Revolution #363, December 1, 2014 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

December 2

The Struggle for Justice Is Righteous, and It Must Spread and Intensify

December 2, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


This past week has been painful, and glorious. The pain of yet one more outrage—the exoneration without even a trial of Darren Wilson, the cop who killed Mike Brown, an unarmed Black youth. The pain of Wilson’s openly racist testimony, calling Mike Brown a “demon,” referring to Mike as “it,” and so much else. The pain of the DA’s callous sneering face. The pain of the many racist mouths that echoed and justified the verdict.

But, even more, the glory. The glory of people finally standing up against this vicious system and its enforcers! As we said last week, “The red hot tears of Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, melted the ice and overflowed the dam of pent-up righteous anger among the people, and that anger finally began to flood into the streets in a way that has been long overdue and badly needed. The anger in Ferguson lit up and summoned tens of thousands of people all over the country to come out of their isolated homes, to raise their too-long quiet voices and their fists, to march for hours, to block traffic, to brave arrests and sprayings and beatings, to stop business as usual and to say, in voices that could finally be heard and had finally to be listened to: ‘NO MORE! NO MORE!! NO GODDAMN MORE!!! STOP KILLING OUR YOUTH—NOW!!!’

From the youth blocking the highways to the athletes and entertainers who’ve put their careers on the line to make a statement... from the actions disrupting Black Friday shopping rituals to the colleges where people are marching and “dying in”... and in the Ferguson area itself, where people’s outrage lit up the night... people have stood up—Black people and other people of color, side by side with many whites. During this last week, the actions of the people have done more than all the commissions, elections, reforms, lectures, and other bullshit of the past two decades. The actions of those who rose up let hundreds of thousands find their voices and locate their consciences and gave hope to millions more, here and around the world. The people who stood up compelled tens of millions to confront one huge, taproot part of the ugliness that is America: America’s ghoulish, horrific practice of using people who are supposed to be “serving and protecting” to not just pen in, lock down, abuse, humiliate, and brutally attack the Black and Latino and other “minority” youth who live here, as these heartless monsters do every hour of every day, but to outright murder these youth, stealing their lives and wreaking havoc on their families and friends... and then justifying these murders as “legal.”

In short, the people have, in this past week, taken a beginning but big step toward stopping this madness. And Obama, once again, has it exactly wrong: righteous rebellion is precisely what changes things.


There are many sections of the people who must be brought forward into the struggle. In some cities, Monday showed that youth in the high schools are ready to take a stand. Go to them. It must be clear that there is a new generation that is not going to be quiet and turn its head in the face of outrageous injustice.

Some of the actions taken in the communities of the oppressed on Saturday, even if small, revealed a hint of the severe oppression these communities face. The actions of people showed tremendous potential and a deep well of righteous anger. “Ferguson is everywhere,” says the slogan, and this is true. Ambitious actions should be planned in ghettos and barrios that make clear to all that those most under the gun are determined to stand up and get organized. And those from outside those communities should be invited and urged to be part of that, to show the support that people will have as they DO raise their voices and fists.

Artists and athletes—like the five players on the St. Louis Rams—are beginning to take important stands. The movement for revolution needs to reach a hand to the artists and others who are doing this or want to find ways to do this, giving them venues and ways to connect with the people. These voices must be amplified and spread.

IMPORTANT: Be ready to rush to the scene of any outbreak of struggle. And be ready to defend anyone who gets arrested fighting for justice, with bail and lawyers and political support. In everything, have banners and posters—visual presence is absolutely important to get out a clear, basic message and where to go for more.

After an action is over, don’t just go home. Get coffee, or go back to Revolution Books, or hang out—but GET ORGANIZED!

In all this, take out the larger picture. Answer people’s questions about WHY these murdering police keep killing our youth, and HOW to stop this, and WHAT revolution is by letting them know about the website WWW.REVCOM.US. Strip away the legitimacy of this system. Show people that the murdering monsters who run this system, these masters of drones and nukes and prisons and all kinds of horror, they who sit on top of this empire of rape, of kidnaping, of genocide, of bitter grinding exploitation, have absolutely no right to rule, no right to keep using force to keep people down, no right to keep people exploited, no right whatsoever to keep them penned in and locked down and on the run. Get out Revolution newspaper, with word of the recent historic Dialogue between Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and Cornel West, the revolutionary Christian. Introduce people to the work and leadership of Bob Avakian—wield BAsics, the handbook of revolution, while you are out among people, and have copies to sell. Get out many copies of this paper, and turn people on to the important statement by Carl Dix in this issue. Call programs and meetings, at Revolution Books, but in other communities, too.

Find the ways to get speakers for the revolution out there. Look for media opportunities for Carl Dix or other people who can put forward the need for revolution in a compelling way. (This is a good job for people who cannot, for whatever reason, be out among the people.) Make tons of signs for people with the main slogans against police murder and the name of the website on the bottom, and get these out to people.

In sum: can’t stop, won’t stop, keep on fighting the power, and transforming the people, FOR REVOLUTION!




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014


November 27, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The last few days have seen something very very different in this country, something that poses great challenges and rare opportunities for all those who hunger for justice and those who want revolution. Yes, the people have been forced to watch and endure once again the same sneering injustice, the same justifying lies, the same openly racist excuses, same searing hurt, the same intolerable and enraging betrayal, the same shock that is not shocking, the same feeling of being punched in the heart that are all too routine, all too business as usual, in America, as the murderer of Michael Brown walked totally free and the District Attorney who set it up strutted and crowed.

But we have seen something else as well. We have seen more fight, more struggle, more unity, more diversity, and more change in the last three days than in the ten years that went before it. The red hot tears of Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, melted the ice and overflowed the dam of pent-up righteous anger among the people, and that anger finally began to flood into the streets in a way that has been long overdue and badly needed. The anger in Ferguson lit up and summoned tens of thousands of people all over the country to come out of their isolated homes, to raise their too-long quiet voices and their fists, to march for hours, to block traffic, to brave arrests and sprayings and beatings, to stop business as usual and to say, in voices that could finally be heard and had finally to be listened to: “NO MORE! NO MORE!! NO GODDAMN MORE!!! STOP KILLING OUR YOUTH—NOW!!!”

We write this Thursday morning. During the last 60 hours the actions of the people have done more than all the commissions, all the “conversations about race,” all the “programs that (supposedly) ‘work,’” all the et cetera et cetera blah blah blah bullshit of the past two decades. The actions of those who rose up have let hundreds of thousands find their voices and locate their consciences, they have given hope to millions more, and they have compelled tens of millions to confront one huge, taproot part of the ugliness that is America: America’s ghoulish, horrific practice of using people who are supposed to be “serving and protecting” to not just pen in, lock down, abuse, humiliate, and brutally attack its Black and Latino youth, as these heartless monsters do every hour of every day, but to outright murder these youth... under “color of authority.” The people have, in these past few days, taken a big step toward stopping this. Obama, once again, has it exactly wrong: righteous rebellion is precisely what changes things.


This can mark and it must mark the beginning of a new era. But for that to happen, more must go on. Immediately, this struggle must continue—people must stay in the streets. And this struggle must also draw in more people. We will have more to say in the next few days. But right now, for this very important weekend, we call on readers to do the following:

Friday: unite with the efforts of diverse groups to make so-called “black Friday”—that orgy of shopping—a day of “No Shopping As Usual” by making it BLACK LIVES MATTER FRIDAY. If there are no groups doing things around this in your area, then get some friends and go to Wal-Mart with signs and flyers making clear that outrages like the murders by police of Michael Brown, of Vonderrit Myers, or of John Crawford, a young Black man shot down this August by cops in Wal-Mart for examining a toy gun that was on sale there, MUST STOP!

Saturday: go into the communities of the oppressed, where the police abuse is daily life, and draw out and listen to the testimony of the people, unite with their anger and help give this expression. Hold on-the-spot rallies and marches, and pass out—and lead people to BLOW—whistles against police brutality. Make posters and flyers with the slogan “Ferguson Is Everywhere! Police Murder Must Stop!” and get these out to people. Spend the day getting out flyers and posters and copies of Revolution newspaper to people and bring them together to “speak bitterness” at 5 p.m. near the police stations. Look at this video to get an idea of how powerful this can be. 

Sunday: unite with the call of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and other groups for sermons in churches on the outrageous injustice in Ferguson—the unpunished assassination of Michael Brown. (Go to congregations of non-Christian religions for services on Friday and Saturday as well.) Then organize the rest of the day for the new week, checking this site for news on what next.

In all this, be ready to rush to the scene of any outbreak of struggle. And be ready to defend anyone who gets arrested fighting for justice, with bail and lawyers and political support. In everything: have banners and posters—visual presence is absolutely important to get out clear basic message and where to go for more.


In all this, take out the larger picture. Answer people’s questions about WHY these murdering police keep killing our youth and HOW to stop this and WHAT is revolution by letting them know about the website Strip away the legitimacy of this system—that is, show people that the murdering monsters who run this system, these masters of drones and nukes and prisons and all kinds of horror, they who sit on top of this empire of rape, of kidnaping, of genocide, of exploitation, have absolutely no right to rule, no right to keep using force to keep people down, to keep people exploited, to keep them penned in and locked down and on the run. Get out Revolution newspaper, with word of the recent historic dialogue between Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and Cornel West, the revolutionary Christian. Introduce people to the work and leadership of Bob Avakian—wield BAsics, the handbook of revolution, while you are out among people, and have copies to sell people. 

Find the ways to get speakers for the revolution out there. Look for media opportunities for Carl Dix, or other people who can put forward the need for revolution in a compelling way. (This is a good job for people who cannot, for whatever reason, be out among the people.) Make tons of signs for people with the main slogans against police murder and the name of this site, on the bottom, and get these out to people.

Make the Revolution Books bookstores vibrant centers of revolution, and magnetic poles for anyone with a radical, justice-hungry bone in their body.


Call meetings of the Revolution Club—or have meetings on the spot, after going out among the people or fighting the system. Now is the time for these clubs to grow in a big way. Get out what the club stands for, in palm cards if you have them or leaflets if you don’t. Bring in new people. Call up all the people who have been part of the Clubs for the past few years—nobody goes forward in a straight line, and now is the time when people’s flame has been rekindled. (Again, another good job for people who cannot be in the streets.)

Build the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. Many people have shown that they want to fight this genocidal program of murder after murder, of unjust incarceration of a whole people; give them a way to be part of an organization that is RIGHT NOW finding the ways to carry forward the fight. 

Let people know about and build their vanguard, the Revolutionary Communist Party. Right now, in a time of crisis and challenge, the need for a strong party stands out all the more sharply. Think how much more could have been done with a stronger, larger, more widely known party. Then build that party. 

Raise funds—raise funds to get out these materials and to support the revolutionary fighters, to enable people to take off work, etc.

And look to this site every day for plans for early next week. In other words, stay tuned—more is coming!





Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Bay Area Transit Station Shut For 2 Hours: Black Lives Matter!

November 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Around 10:30 a.m. Friday, November 28- prime shopping time–a couple dozen protesters entered the West Oakland BART (Bay Areas Rapid Transit) station. Wearing “Black Lives Matter” shirts and hoodies, they chained themselves together, and then to trains running in both directions out of the station.

Activists from The Blackout Collective chained together bringing the BART train station to a halt for two hours, November 28, 2014.


A spokesperson said ,”We are interrupting Black Friday commerce specifically to send a very important message which is that Black Lives Matter! We want to send this message specifically in the wake of the decision to not indict with the Ferguson verdict.” Fourteen activists were eventually arrested. They chanted “No justice, No Peace!”and tied up trains for almost two hours while BART information signs informed passengers that there were "system-wide delays due to civil unrest at West Oakland Station." As we post this, funds have been raised to bail out the protesters.

The action followed days of protest in Oakland. On Wednesday night, Thanksgiving Eve, the third night in a row of powerful protests against the Ferguson verdict rocked the streets of Oakland.  Protesters marched from downtown Oakland to West Oakland, taking the struggle to the masses of people in this historically Black neighborhood. Some 500 people were in the streets, mostly young, and of all nationalities, at least some for the first time since the grand jury decision—testimony to the breadth and determination of people coming into this battle.

In addition, there have been a number of other important actions by many different people around the Bay Area–more than we can report on now.  For example, on Tuesday, Stanford University students took over University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto. 




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Friday, November 28 Actions in Chicago

November 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Friday, November 28, there were a number of different actions in Chicago called by various forces demanding justice for Michael Brown. Here are some of them.


At Chicago's Magnificent Mile
"We're Not Here to Shop Till We Drop, We Are Here to Stop Killer Cops"

From a reader:

November 28—Magnificent Mile is a world-famous shopping area in Chicago where tens of thousands of people, including tourists from across the country and world, come to shop. On this Black Friday, their routine was challenged by a powerful protest/speakout for "Black Lives Matter Friday," led by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) at Water Tower. The chant "We're Not Here to Shop Till We Drop, We Are Here to Stop Killer Cops" could be heard for blocks.

Chicago November 28, protest at Water Tower against Grand Jury decision for Michael Brown

Protesters chanting at Chicago's Water Tower on "Black Lives Matter Friday."

At the protest/speakout dozens of people of all ages and nationalities lined the corner, standing up to this injustice. Revolutionaries spoke of the systemic nature of the crimes against Black people and the need for revolution. Students and professionals and others eloquently and movingly spoke out to each other and to the throngs of shoppers that they could not ignore the daily harassment, degradation, and police murder of Black people. Most of them had never demonstrated before and many were hesitant to speak at first, but some felt compelled to step forward as they gained strength from each other and in rebuttal to getting ignored and to racist remarks. One woman challenged all the people who tried to look away: "Oh, uncomfortable are you? Well, I've been uncomfortable for 37 years," as she described the life of Black people being profiled, made to feel invisible, suspected, and humiliated. As more and more people spoke out and joined in denouncing police murder and brutality, the numerous police present became more visibly tense.

Responses from the shoppers ranged from people who joined the protest or signed the banner, to curiosity or shock, to trying to ignore it, and a few who expressed open racist hostility.

The fact that one Black person is killed by the police every 28 hours in the U.S. was repeated by many who testified. Some young Black men gave moving testimony about how they had been treated by police, including one who couldn't go on after describing being threatened with arrest when he was 10 years old. Other people made a statement with their presence—defiantly holding signs, while dozens showed their solidarity by signing a banner that said "Ferguson Is Everywhere. Police Brutality and Murder MUST STOP."

A strong sense of unity was forged among those who participated, a sense of standing up against this injustice together with right on their side and a determination to not back down.

Some of the people involved included a group from an award-winning Black theater, a gay activist from Wisconsin, an activist public school teacher who brought her young children out in the subfreezing cold, a union organizer, and students from colleges and high schools in Chicago and around the country. Some came purposefully and others came to Michigan Avenue to shop and decided on the spot that they had to take a stand, including a number of people from out-of-state in Chicago for the holidays.

During the protest a truck with big signs, "Black Lives Matter Friday,"; "Ferguson Is Everywhere. Police Brutality and Murder MUST STOP!" and a huge "Justice for Mike Brown" banner circled the block.

Photo: Twitter/@OccupyChicago

There were other important protests that day, including at Water Tower, involving hundreds of people. (See below.)

“Black Friday” in Chicago—Black Lives Matter!

The day after Thanksgiving there were several protests called to turn Black Friday in Chicago into a day of protest demanding that "Black Lives Matter" and against the grand jury not indicting the cop who murdered Michael Brown.

The Water Tower and the "Magnificent Mile" are the center of upscale shopping in Chicago. At one demonstration called "Brown Friday" named after Michael Brown, Black Youth Project and We Charge Genocide members and others rallied over 200 people in a park across the street. The crowd marched for miles and held die-ins at Wicker Park and outside a Walmart.

Protesters gathering at Chicago Water tower park on BlackLivesMatterFriday. Photo: Twitter/@EthosIII


2 PM: Protesters stage a die-in at North & Damen in Chicago tying up traffic. Photo: Twitter/@EthosIII





Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Black Lives Matter Friday – Major St. Louis Mall Disrupted and Shut Down

By Larry Everest and supporters in Ferguson | November 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


On one of the biggest shopping days of the Christmas season, Black Friday, hundreds of people of all nationalities shut down one of the largest shopping centers in the St. Louis area – The Galleria in Richmond Heights—for a least an hour when police stopped people from coming into the parking lot, disrupted shopping as usual for most of the afternoon–and opened a lot of eyes.  Black Friday was turned into “Black Lives Matter” Friday.

After gathering outside in the Mall parking lot, about 100 people streamed inside.  The protest grew in size to number several hundred.  Chants of “No justice No Peace,” “If Mike don’t get it, shut it down,” “Indict, convict send the killer cop to jail the whole damn system is guilty as hell” could be heard reverberating through this exclusive shopping center. People held die-ins – at least one for 4 and a half minutes–a minute for each hour Michael Brown’s dead body lay on Canfield Avenue–speak outs, and marched throughout the walkways while shoppers took fliers and Revolution newspapers.

The central dome rang with chants as people went from floor to floor–"Stop shopping, join the movement," "No Black Friday shopping," “Who shuts shit down - we shut shit down” – sometimes encircling the entire level of the central rotunda.  The protest went on from about 1pm to 2pm, and then resumed later at another mall.  There was an energetic, determined spirit that the struggle for Justice for Mike Brown and against police murder had to go on!

Die-in in St. Louis Galleria, November 28, 2014

Die in at St. Louis Mall. Photo: Special to

Only one shopper I saw vocally expressed irritation at not being able to shop.  Most people were watching – and when I stopped a number of Black youth and told them what was going on, there was a lot of support – including for the idea that it was going to take a revolution to change anything.  Interestingly, when I was talking with one group, an older white woman who worked at the mall stopped to listen – and she too wanted a copy of Revolution.  “That sounds right.”  One young white couple we met on the way told us this was their first protest, but they’d been meaning to come out for Michael Brown since August, and they too were very open to hearing about the bigger picture and the need for fundamental, revolutionary change. 

Protest at Ferguson Walmart, Black Friday November 28, 2014

Disrupting Black Friday at Ferguson Walmart. Photo: Special to

Earlier in the day - starting at 7am - Earlier in the day people had been out in front of Walmart’s with signs: Ferguson is Everywhere -Police Brutality and Murder Must Stop, No Shopping as Usual, Black Lives Matter Friday. There were also protests at a St. Louis area Target store. The protests drew a lot of media and got major national and international coverage.  At one point people marched all the way through Walmart. The actions took place in the face of threatening police and security presence. One journalist told us that the store, which had a heavy police and undercover presence outside, was telling customers that the bargain items they were looking for had been sent elsewhere.  A number of those coming out were very open to the No Black Friday/ Black Lives Matter message.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Cleveland: Determined to Have No Business as Usual

November 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

November 25—Close to 300 people protested the grand jury decision of no indictment of Darren Wilson, the pig who murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson. This was also in the wake of recent vigils and protests in Cleveland against the police murders of Tanisha Anderson, a woman who was seeking help, and Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old shot at a city park. Puncture the Silence (affiliated with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network) called for the action, and many groups joined in.

At 3 p.m. Tuesday, people gathered at Public Square (center of downtown). A few people spoke and then the call was made to take the streets. At first a protester lay in the street, with a sheet over her, and hundreds made a circle, linking arms. The police grabbed one protester, and people yelled furiously, “Let him go. Let him go!!” The arrest only got people even more determined to have no business as usual in Cleveland. People blocked two streets in the Square for an hour. It was a vibrant scene with banners and signs and youth dancing in the street shouting “Fuck the Police” and “Stop Police Terror.” Then we took to the streets to block Route 2, a major highway here, during rush hour. We marched by the police and their cars and then blocked the highway in all lanes in both directions. There were hundreds of cars locked in both lanes for over an hour. In fact, because of seeing this on the news and on Twitter more people came to join in. Programs on television were interrupted to put the protest on. Taking over the highway and holding it for over an hour made one person say, “This is beautiful!” Another said, “It shows our power.”

As we held the traffic to a standstill we got more determined to hold down and so when the cops came up to try to let cars through, people yelled, “We will not be moved!” And no one gave in until we decided to move on. We then marched by the county jail and chanted “No justice no peace, No racist police”; prisoners were banging on the windows with their fists.

There were lots of people in the action: students from Oberlin College, Cleveland State University, Case Western University and Cuyahoga Community College came out in huge numbers. Lots of youth who usually ignore political protest were inspired by the many students and youth of different nationalities and joined the action. As they saw us sitting down in the street they grabbed signs and yelled “Fuck the Police” and “Black Lives Matter.” One youth yelled “Fuck America” and lit up a U.S. flag.

Throughout the action, there was a growing sense that we will not stop, that we will not stop until the police murders stop. As darkness came upon us, a call was made that we accomplished a lot today and must continue the resistance and take it higher and that we are building a movement for revolution so that police brutality and murder will be a thing of the past. Scores of people signed up to be part of building the movement for revolution, took Revolution newspapers, and Carl Dix’s statement “Amerikkka must come to a halt!” There was a feeling that we had crossed over the line of usual protest into being “part of changing everything.”




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Detroit: Marching and Blocking Traffic to Demand Justice for Mike Brown

November 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

November 25—In the late afternoon, various groups called for a "Detroit demonstration to honor Michael Brown: condemn the Failure of the Grand Jury to file charges against Ferguson cop." After a rally in the main downtown park along the river, people took the streets, marching and chanting through downtown to another rally at the courthouse where the cop who killed seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley Jones in 2010 was declared innocent. Leaflets were distributed with Carl Dix’s statement “If the murdering pig walks, Amerikkka must be brought to a halt!

Photo: Valerie Jean

Then the march of more than 100 people took over one side of I-75 for about 20 minutes until forced off the freeway by the police and continued to march on major streets of the city. Local media covered the march and freeway takeover.

In the meantime, a rally and march in support of Michael Brown was held at the Wayne State University (WSU) Law Library, sponsored by the campus group Sister 2 Sister. In the early evening, a crowd of protestors descended on the Lodge Freeway near WSU and blocked it for a short period of time.

Later in the evening, more people, organized by Black Lives Matter and others, gathered at the major police station on the east side of Detroit on Gratiot Avenue. Possibly as many as 200 people took to the major east side thoroughfare in the face of orders and intimidations by the police to keep part of the street open for traffic. There was lots and lots of honking support from passing cars, with some drivers parking and jumping out to participate. When it came time for the 4.5 minute silence in honor of Michael Brown, the protestors took the entire street and forced the police to shut up and wait until the march continued. At a point, the police waded into the crowd, grabbing one of the main people speaking on the loudspeakers, claiming that he was “inciting a riot,” and attempted to drag him away. Protestors surrounded the police in a compact group, demanding that the police let him go. They did.

Photo: Valerie Jean

At this march, leaflets were widely distributed of the Carl Dix statement along with Revolution newspaper. Also, in advance, a small group made a banner and posters. (Something that people who cannot leave their crib can do.) The banner read, “The Killing of Black Youth Must Stop! Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution!” The people readily took up the posters and traded off carrying the banner.

After about two hours of occupying the street, most of the marchers rushed down a ramp and interrupted traffic on I-94 for about 15 minutes. I don’t know how many police cars that produced, but it looked like most of the police force from the east side of Detroit! The police went a little crazy, pushing and knocking people down and even ramming people with their cars, even as a cop in charge repeatedly yelled, “Disengage, disengage!” (Unfortunately, the banner was lost in that confrontation.)  Several people were arrested on the side of the freeway.

The march returned to the east side police station with several blocks of police cars trailing them. Again, several people were arrested at that point. Local media and cell phones captured the march and some of the freeway shut down. One blogger said, in part, “I don’t think I felt the cold all night. I was at home, with all of those people, affirming my anger, demanding justice. It’s not over. This whole system must go.”

Also, reviewing media and Facebook coverage, we can say that marches and rallies involving hundreds of people took place in other parts of Michigan: Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Jackson, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Entertainers, Artists, and Athletes Speak Out on the Grand Jury Letting Killer Cop Walk Free

Updated December 2, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Immediately after the announcement of the Ferguson grand jury's decision, many well-known entertainers, artists, and athletes reacted with disappointment and anger through tweets and Instagram. The following are some of those that went out immediately, in the wake of the announcement, as thousands were taking to the streets in protest around the country:


Russell Brand youtube:

Ferguson: What Value Do Our Laws Have? Russell Brand The Trews (E197)



Killer Mike's pre-show Ferguson Grand Jury speech:

[Delivered before his show, about an hour and a half after the grand jury decision was announced, he ends with: “It is us against the motherfucking machine”]



Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler and Blackout for Human Rights, a network of artists and activists, organized a boycott of Black Friday shopping, using the Twitter hashtag: #BlackoutBlackFriday, calling for to make Nov. 28 “a nationwide day of action and retail boycott” and “for people to come out and show their solidarity in the fight for equal human rights.”

Celebrities, including actors Jesse Williams, Michael B. Jordan, Kat Graham, Isaiah Washington; Russell Simmons, singer Tyrese Gibson, Selma director Ava DuVernay and Laz Alonso urged people to participate in the movement.


Jesse Williams tweeted: No Justice, No Profit: Corporate/public power only speaks $. So let's talk to 'em. #BlackOutBlackFriday

and posted a video:

#BlackoutBlackFriday: The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

[showing instance after instance of police brutality with Christmas music playing in the background]


John Burris, the lawyer for Oscar Grant family who filed a civil law suit posted a youtube video in support of BlackoutBlackFriday:

#BlackoutBlackFriday: The Time Has Come


Another youtube video in support of the Black Friday boycott:

#Blackout: Emerald Garner Can't Buy Her Dad a Christmas Present

(features interviews with people about how Christmas time is special with Snoopy Christmas music in the background, then the video of Earl Garner with police right before he was killed and an interview with his daughter about how she can’t spend this Christmas with her father)


Writer and journalist, Ta-Nehisi Coates has appeared on TV and wrote an essay in The Atlantic about Obama's response to the Ferguson grand jury results titled, “Barack Obama, Ferguson, and the Evidence of Things UnsaidViolence works. Nonviolence does too.”

He says:

What clearly cannot be said is that violence—like nonviolence—sometimes works....

"Property damage and looting" is a fairly accurate description of the emancipation of black people in 1865, who only five years earlier constituted some $4 billion in property. The Civil Rights Bill of 1964 is inseparable from the threat of riots. The housing bill of 1968—the most proactive civil-rights legislation on the books— is a direct response to the riots that swept American cities after King was killed. Violence, lingering on the outside, often backed nonviolence during the civil-rights movement. "We could go into meetings and say, 'Well, either deal with us or you will have Malcolm X coming into here,'" said SNCC organizer Gloria Richardson.”


Kareem Abdul-Jabar, six time NBA champion, author, and filmmaker, wrote an article for Time magazine ( titled, “White People Feel Targeted by the Ferguson Protests—Welcome to Our World.”

In it he says:

In 1971, a riot broke out at the Attica Correctional Facility in New York during which prisoners demanded more political rights and better living conditions. About 1,000 inmates out of 2,200 took control of the prison, holding 42 staff members hostage. Negotiations went on for days before state police stormed the prison, resulting in 43 deaths... The word “Attica” is no longer about what happened in that prison 43 years ago, but is now simply a synonym for political oppression.I hope the chanting of “Ferguson! Ferguson!” and the symbolic upraised arms of surrender will become a new cry of outrage over social injustice that will embed itself in our popular culture as deeply as Attica did....


On The View:

Rosie O'Donnell called the grand jury's decision "horrifying" and "overwhelming." She went on to say that she thought they waited to announce the decision until 9 o'clock at night because:

“I think that was like a calculated decision in order to incite people.... that it "takes everyone off of what actually happened to an 18-year-old boy in the street and puts it onto, 'look at those horrible people rioting.' And I think the anger of the people rioting, that's righteous indignation and rage. And I understand it. And although it's not necessarily productive for the cause, it is very understandable as a human being why one might react in the way so many did." [many in the audience applauded at this]


Musician Moby tweeted: "darren wilson chased michael brown and murdered him. how did the grand jury get around this basic fact? #Ferguson #FergusonDecision"

Comedian DL Hughley tweeted: "The people who say there is no excuse for violence seem to forget that it was violence that started all of this! #TeamDl"

Actor Gabrielle Union tweeted: "Heavy heart, angry soul... we matter. ALL our lives matter. Hear us, feel us, respect us... ALL"

Comedian and actor Kevin Hart tweeted: "His name is #MikeBrown and we should NEVER forget what happened to him 108 days ago in #Ferguson"

YouTube personality and LGBT advocate Tyler Oakley tweeted: "A murder isn't even going to trial. We have so much to fix in this country. BLACK LIVES MATTER. #FergusonDecision"

Musician and actor Kid Cudi tweeted: "Same ol' bullshit in the U.S.A."

Comedian/actor Chris Rock tweeted out this quote from W.E.B. Du Bois: "A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect." And also: “Doesn’t take 100 days to decide if murder is a crime, it takes 100 days to figure out how to tell people it isn’t.” #FergusonDecision

Actor Michael Ealy tweeted: "'The grand jury gave up their lives.' Mike Brown's life was taken from 153 ft. I guess after 6 bullets he was still a threat. 6 more."

Rap artist Macklemore tweeted: “The system that instills & protects white supremacy wins again. Humanity loses...No justice. I pray for Mike Brown & his family. So sad."  Macklemore also marched in the streets in Seattle with protesters.

Actor Jeffrey Wright tweeted: "'No probable cause...' but enough probable cause exists to change police tactics. Protect & serve—stop hunting. #Peace #FergusonDecision of the Black Eyed Peas tweeted: "#FergusonDecision...I just found about the verdict...I feel sick to my stomach...I'm angry & confused...I feel betrayed....America is lost"

Actor and musician Taraji P. Henson tweeted: "The scary part is he believes what he is saying WOW When he rattled off how many times an UNARMED child was shot DID HE LISTEN 2 HIS WORDS?"

Rihanna posted this picture on Instagram:

Rihanna posted this picture on Instagram

Spike Lee sent out a graphic of Mike Brown in a graduation cap and gown with the words, “TRUTH, JUST-US & THE AMERICAN WAY. WE ARE MIKE BROWN.”

Rapper QTip joined protests in New York City and wrote on Twitter: “No value for black life. But they extrapolate our magic, sweat, our voice, our fire... and leave us stripped of our right to exist.” 

Guitarist Tom Morello, who previously released his song "Marching on Ferguson" in support of the protestors there, tweeted: "Baseball, apple pie, decisions like this. #Merica" following the grand jury ruling. "Hey #Ferguson: take it easy. BUT TAKE IT. #MichaelBrown #FergusonDecision #fuckthosefuckinfuckers," he added.

Nasir Jones (Nas) tweeted: "You were put here to protect us, but who protects us from you?" - KRS One

Rapper T.I. posted a photo of Tupac, accompanied by one of the late rapper’s lyrics. T.I captioned his photo saying: “Sh** makes me ashamed to be American Bruh!!! A Black man’s life ain’t worth sh** in dis country I guess??? Godbless #MikeBrown #TrayvonMartin #SeanBell, Every other black man that has fallen to these crooked cops, All dey families, And da Revolutionaries Who Gon Ride Tonight!!!! #NoJustice #NoPeace.”

Grammy Award singer Alicia Keys simply posted the white letters out of black: “MIKE BROWN”

Rapper Big Boi tweeted: Fuck This Bullshit !!! #JusticeForMikeBrown

Actor Jesse Williams posted a photo of prosecutor Mcullough with the words over it: “We investigated ourselves and found we did nothing wrong”

Hip hop group, Migos tweeted: Fuck 12 #FergusonDecision

Musician and artist, Derrick N Ashong tweeted: No justice. No surprise. #Ferguson


Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions running back, posted several tweets: “So this is what justice looks like huh! SMH (shake my head)” and "I guess we shouldn’t be surprised anymore when stuff like this happens! #JusticeForMikeBrown"—Bush posted a picture of a man holding a sign reading, “The Palestinian people know what mean to be shot while unarmed because of your ethnicity #Ferguson #justice” and wrote: "No matter who you are, what color skin you have, where you live, we are all in this together! This isn't a Ferguson problem it's a Global Problem! We need change NOW! What happened to humanity? #JusticeForMikeBrown" He also posted photos of protests in Oakland, Seattle, New York and Chicago then wrote: We all in this together! Detroit lets go! #AllLivesMatter #JusticeForMikeBrown.

Serena Williams, the world’s top woman tennis player, tweeted: “Wow. Just wow. Shameful.  What will it take???”

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers posted this drawing to his Instagram account



LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers posted this drawing to his Instagram account:

LA Clippers small forward Matt Barnes, posted a photo to his account of a captured TV screen that read: “Darren Wilson...No Indictment.” Barnes wrote: “So it’s okay to kill people? As long as the person being killed is of color & the person behind the trigger has a badge!!! Sad day not only for mike browns friends & family but a BAD day for our nation! Not saying all cops are bad, BUT there are a lot of them out there that abuse their authority.... #RIPMikeBrown #WillThereEverBePeace #StopTheViolence”

Oakland Raider defensive end Justin Tuck put out a string of tweets that read: “Just so no one misunderstands where I’m coming from, I’m MAD. Mad bc 1 young man 1 dead. I don’t care that he was blk white purple. I know cops are under extreme pressure. I have family that are cops, but I’m tired of have of seeing stuff like this. If a blk cop shot a white UNARMED white young man, I would be mad about that as well so understand I’m about making this world a better place. I have sons and I want them to live in a world that they don’t have to worry about this crap. I’m praying for the Brown family and suffering tonight blk white etc.”

Oakland Raider fullback Marcel Reece posted to Instagram a photo of Michael Brown with a drawing of two hands up and wrote “Don’t Shoot” on it.

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson of the NFL Washington football team posted a photo captured from CNN that had on it “No Indictment; Brown Family Profoundly Disappointed." Jackson wrote: “It’s Sad we have to Raise our kids in this Environment !! Wrong is wrong !! Can’t never make that a right !! Justice once again not served !! #RIPMikebrown PRAYERS FOR BROWN’s Family !!”

LA Lakers point guard Steve Nash tweeted: “Disgusted by decision in Ferguson. Racism is learned.  Accepted is systematic suffocation of education and opportunity.  What are we saying?”

Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers tweeted: “The system enables young black men to be killed behind the mask of the law #Ferguson #tippingpoint #change”

Former NBA all-star Ervin “Magic” Johnson tweeted: “I am very disappointed with decision in Mike Brown case in Ferguson, MO. My thoughts & prayers are with the Brown family and the people in Ferguson. We must work together to stop unnecessary loss of young men of color. Justice was not served in Ferguson.”

Basketball player Chiney Ogwumike tweeted: Praying for Ferguson... "If not us, then who? If not now, then when?"

Football player Takeo Spikes tweeted: All lives matter. Black lives matter. #JusticeForMikeBrown #Ferguson #TimeForChange.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Kent State Black United Students Stage a Walkout and Protest

November 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | received the following report from the Public Relations Director of the Black United Students at Kent State:

Photos: BUS Kent State

Approximately 200 Kent State students gathered in the Kent State Student Center to begin a 2-hour long protest following the jury’s decision to not indict Michael Brown’s shooter Darren Wilson.

The students gathered shortly before 1 p.m. in the hub for the protest. It began with a moment of silence for 4 ½ minutes to pay homage to the 4 ½ hours Michael Brown laid in the street after the shooting.

BUS President Matthew Thompson opened with an address about maintaining unity and moving forward peacefully to combat issues in the black community.

“This isn’t just a moment; this is a movement,” Thompson said.

He went on to discuss the  importance of unity and connecting communities in times like this.

“In tragedies like these, communities can be torn apart or can come together and progress their situation,” Thompson said. “It's important for us at Kent State to make sure we’re being progressive and intentional in what we’re doing so we’re always moving forward for the black community and other communities we serve. Things don’t always have to burn for there to be change.”

Members of BUS proceeded to their student center office to clean out all belongings. Turning in the key declared the organization’s permanent move to Oscar Ritchie Hall, the building BUS members rallied for in 1970s.

A march to the university’s famous rock on front campus followed the move. At the rock, students spray-painted the landmark black, shared spoken word pieces, and lit candles in honor of Michael Brown.

Chants of “hands up, don’t shoot” and “I am Mike Brown” erupted throughout the crowd as the protesters continued their march to the Kent Police Station.

A chorus of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” lead by a member of BUS took place outside of the police station. A few Kent police members watched the rally from the window, but none came out to address the protesters.

A student opened the floor for other to speak up and share names of people who have fallen victim to police brutality. From there, three to four students shared a piece of encouragement and support.

Consistently and repeatedly throughout the protest, students lead a chant saying, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom; it is our duty to win; we must love and support each other; we have nothing to lose but our chains.”




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

11/28 New Statement by Carl Dix


November 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


A St Louis county grand jury refuses to indict Darren Wilson, the cop who killed Michael Brown. In the days leading up to this decision, a cop in Cleveland guns down Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black child who was playing with a toy gun, and a New York cop who heard a sound in a dark stairwell shot and killed 28-year-old Akai Gurley. These are only the most recent cases of wanton police murder of Black people. These racist monsters do this ALL the time, and to Latino people too—like the murder of 13-year-old Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa, California, as he walked down a rural road carrying a toy replica of a BB gun in 2013.

This is dragging some of the reality of what it means to be Black or Latino in Amerikkka out into the open for all to see. People in Ferguson stood up to say NO MORE to police murder. Many, many people all across the country of different nationalities joined with them in defiant resistance. People are raising their heads and declaring that this must STOP.

As part of building a movement that can stop these horrors, we have to confront some crucial questions:

Why do police murder people again and again? And why are they almost never punished for their crimes?

And what needs to be done to end this horror once and for all?

First, we have to be clear on just what the problem is, and what it isn't. The problem isn't that police need more or better training. How much training do you need to not murder people? To not gun down unarmed people, or to stop approaching Black people carrying toy guns and immediately blow them away? And it's not that we need more Black elected officials or more Black people in charge of law enforcement. We've elected many, many Black mayors and even a Black president. We've had Black police chiefs, and now we have a Black man in charge of the federal department of justice. Yet police murder continues and has even intensified.

So what is the source of our problem? Africans were dragged to these shores in slave chains and forced to labor for 250 years to build up the great wealth that these flag-wavers love to brag about. This happened because capitalism required this labor to get going, and individual capitalist merchants, and slaveholders, could make enormous profits off it. How did they enforce it? With armies and armed white people. How did they justify it? With racist ideas and white supremacist institutions.

Then there was the Civil War, which ended slavery. Yet Black people were still not free. They were still chained to the fields of the South, as well as industry, worked like slaves—again because the capitalist-imperialist system required this, and individual capitalists made huge profits from it. This was enforced with armies and police forces and lynch mobs. How was it justified? With more racist and white supremacist crap, in the schools and the culture and the political life. All this use of force and violence—and we are talking about MILLIONS and MILLIONS of cruel and early deaths, and mutilated horrific lives, over the years—all this has been and still is totally illegitimate.

Powerful uprisings in the 1960s rocked the system and forced it to grant concessions. African-American people, along with other oppressed peoples and progressive and revolutionary white people, put everything on the line, and scores of people died to fight for freedom. Revolutionaries were shot down, in some cases murdered in their beds by police. Again, Black people and their allies had to go up against the armies and police of the capitalist-imperialists, and reactionary whites of the KKK and similar ilk, and they had to fight the institutions that generate all manner of white supremacist ideas and relations. And again, people won real and important concessions. But because the system remained in effect, people have continued to suffer. Capitalism’s chase after profits led to moving U.S. factories to far-flung parts of the world where people could be worked for starvation wages in more dangerous conditions. This left millions in the inner cities in a very desperate situation with no real place in the formal U.S. economy. The program for dealing with this has been criminalizing and demonizing whole generations of Black and Latino youth, targeting them with a slow genocide of mass incarceration and police terror. And it is enforced the same way—by their institutions of violence and repression, and brainwashing mass media and school system. (I have dealt with this history very briefly here. To get more deeply into it, people should read “The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of the System, and the Revolution We Need” at the website

The official stamp of approval for police murder, which the grand jury decision represents, has been met by people standing up in Ferguson and defiantly saying NO MORE to police murder. And people all across the country have joined them in determined resistance that has disrupted business as usual. This is very necessary, and it must be continued and built on.

But let's be clear about where things need to go. So-called structural change that leaves this economic and political set-up intact means that people will continue to suffer this savage oppression. It will take revolution, people rising up and getting rid of the capitalist/imperialist system and building a whole new society in its place, to end this horror and everything else foul this system enforces on people in the U.S. and around the world. Anything less than this will leave future generations to continue to endure the brutality and indignity people suffer today.

There are two big things about this revolution. First, you will never make it without dismantling and doing away with their instruments of reactionary violence that as we showed have always enforced this horror. Second, this must be a revolution to do away with ALL exploitation and ALL oppression, not just a little bit—or it won’t be a revolution that will bring real liberation or be worth fighting. At the same time, as the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, Bob Avakian, has pointed out:

There will never be a revolutionary movement in this country that doesn't fully unleash and give expression to the sometimes openly expressed, sometimes expressed in partial ways, sometimes expressed in wrong ways, but deeply, deeply felt desire to be rid of these long centuries of oppression [of Black people]. There's never gonna be a revolution in this country and there never should be, that doesn't make that one key foundation of what it's all about. (BAsics 3:19)

Right now isn't the time to go for revolution, but now is the time to build up the forces for revolution so that when the time comes, when the rulers are deep enough in trouble and when people can't go on living like this anymore, we'll be ready and in position right to seize power from the capitalist blood-suckers and build a whole new world. Storms that will rock the U.S. global empire are gonna come; but will WE be ready to seize the opportunity for emancipation when it comes along? Will there be a force hastening that time, shaping it, and preparing for it? That’s what we have to be thinking about and working to realize. That’s a big, big part of what the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) is all about.

So as we continue to mobilize resistance that involves broader sections of people, everybody who hates the reality that Black people playing with toy guns or walking in dark hallways or just existing are risking their lives needs to check out and get with the revolution. Go to the website: Read BAsics and other writings by Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution. Watch the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian. And run with the movement for revolution the RCP is building as it fights the power, and transforms the people, for revolution.






Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

"Nothing To Be Thankful For"
Protesters Disrupt Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


For 90 years the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC has been an annual celebration of genocide against Native Americans (“Thanksgiving”) and  a way to hype people up for an orgy of shopping the next day. This year it was disrupted by protesters chanting: “Dead bodies on the floor, Nothing to be thankful for!”

About 100 protesters, overwhelmingly young people from diverse backgrounds, wended their way from the famous 42nd Street branch of the New York Public Library down Fifth Avenue and began their way west across the heart of Midtown and amidst streets lined with 10’s maybe 100’s of thousands of Macy’s Parade-goers in Midtown Manhattan. A few minutes later the police threatened them with arrest. The protesters came back with “Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter!” And: “NYPD – KKK, How Many Kids Did You Kill Today?!” And less than a minute after that, the police began rushing the youth, hitting and pushing them against the barricades, grabbing arresting several. After the police attack, protesters regrouped and took their message into the crowd watching the parade and got a receptive hearing.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Students from Coast to Coast Protest Grand Jury Decision to Let Mike Brown's Killer Go Free

Updated November 29, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Students held protests on campuses and participated in demonstrations all over the country. Most of the actions were organized on social media, many by Black student groups. The following are reports of some of the campus protests taken from news sources. urges people to send more reports to


Photo: Revolution/

University of Washington, Seattle. In a fast-paced, defiant and energetic protest called by the Black Student Union in downtown Seattle, November 25, 100 students and other youth blocked intersections throughout downtown and the Capital Hill district for many hours.


University of California, Los Angeles. Hundreds of students took part in a demonstration outside Royce Hall on Tuesday. Dozens laid on the ground while others chalk marked around them. One UCLA senior said, "This could be me today, later today, this could be my little cousin, this could be my little brother, this could be my nephew."

Morehouse students, at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, led a protest of the Grand Jury decision (AP Photo).

Historically Black Colleges and Universities. A few hundred students went to a vigil held at the Martin Luther King International Chapel at Morehouse College in Atlanta on the night of the announcement. Howard University students and students from other Washington, DC area schools marched to the White House in protest of the decision, according to the International Business Times. One large group of students from Morehouse walked 2.4 miles from their school in the West End neighborhood to the CNN Center in downtown Atlanta to protest the jury's decision on Tuesday, according to the Athens Banner Herald. A peace rally on Clark Atlanta University's campus also included students from Morehouse and Spelman College. "I put my trust in a system that I don't feel like is protecting me and my community," a student told IBT. "We are filled with anger and rage, and finally I think, we are fed up." Leighton Watson, president of Howard University's student government association, said, "We've seen that movements can originate from our campuses that can affect campuses across the nation." He said they decided to take the stance that "If my brother is in jail, I'm in jail. If my brother is not free, I'm not free."

Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant. "If you are not mad today, you are not paying attention," said Portia Brown, a junior and one of the organizers of a protest of more than 120 students on Tuesday. Protesters chanted, "Hands up, don't shoot," Black lives matter," "Indict, convict, send that killer cop to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell."

University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Students held a protest Tuesday morning. Four students created a Facebook event, "Ferguson: No Indictment," calling on students to wear all black and meet up in Hahn Plaza. During the protest, students laid down on the ground to show how unjust it was to leave Mike Brown's body on the sidewalk for over four hours after he was killed.

University of California, Davis. On November 26, hundreds of UC Davis students and community members gathered at the Memorial Union Coffee House to object to the grand jury's verdict and support the protestors in Ferguson.

Morgan State, Baltimore. Students at Morgan State University in Maryland gathered Tuesday in protest of the grand jury decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.


Ohio State University, Columbus. More than 150 students gathered in the student union for a vigil.

Ohio State University, Athens. About 100 students gathered at Baker University Center Monday night. Shortly before midnight, students rose from the circle they had been sitting in for more than two hours as they discussed whether to leave or go. "No! I'm not leaving," yelled student Jolana Watson. "That is the history of Ohio University!" Jacob Chaffin, a student with a megaphone said, as he noted OU's history with rebellions in the 1970s.

Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti. Students protest the Grand Jury decision and one states "this is an issue that hits home regardless of if you know these people of not... it is something that hurts all of us... just know that this is not the end".

Columbia University, New York City. Monday night, 200 people held a two-hour rally in the middle of the Columbia University campus—chanting, sharing their stories.

Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond. Hundreds of students and residents of nearby neighborhoods protested Monday night. Local CBS News 6 reported that members of the VCU student poetry organization Slam Nahuatl organized the protest using social media after hearing about the grand jury's decision. Protesters began the march at the VCU Student Media Center then went to West Broad Street, then to the Richmond Police Department.

Madison, Wisconsin. About 250 people—students from the University of Wisconsin and residents—demonstrated on Tuesday. Protesters went to Capitol Square chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot" and "Black lives matter." After a rally, protesters went to the Madison City Hall and sat in on a Dane County Public Protection and Judiciary Committee meeting—protesting a new county jail. One protester told the committee: "If you build this jail then you are supporting a new Jim Crow."

University of California, San Diego. Several dozen students lined up across a La Jolla stretch of Interstate 5 from about 6:50 am to 7:20 am during rush hour, causing a miles-long backup of traffic. News reports said the action was organized by the Black Student Union at UCSD.

Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts. Protesters and others packed City Hall to testify about police brutality, racial profiling and unequal treatment. A group of more than 125 mostly Clark University students marched from the campus to Main Street, stopping along the way, sitting down in the road each time and blocking traffic in all directions. The majority of students at Clark University are white; African-Americans make up only 4 percent of the student body. People also carried signs in memory of other minorities who have been killed by police in Worcester, including the name of Victor Davila, an unarmed Hispanic man who was shot by a rookie state police officer inside a stolen car in 2012.


Tulane University, New Orleans. In response to the Grandy Jury verdict in Ferguson, Tulane students in Louisiana take to the streets and protest with chants of "We are Mike Brown".


Indiana University, Bloomington. About 50 law students demonstrated on campus Tuesday.

University of Rhode Island. Students from campus multicultural organizations protested in front of the student union, with more than 100 young men and women either lying or sitting on the ground, blocking a cordoned-off segment of Lower College Road on Tuesday. They also blocked Interstate 95, a highway that connects Providence to Boston and New Haven.

University of Texas, Austin. The Black Student Alliance organized a protest on campus on Tuesday.

University of Maryland. On Monday, about 50 students marched around campus. On Tuesday, a student climbed onto a table in the middle of the cafeteria in Stamp Student Union and then led more than 100 student protesters who locked arms and formed a human wall around the cafeteria in four-and-a-half minutes of silence to honor Michael Brown. Students then had a sit-in where they gave speeches, led chants, and refused to buy food from the nine restaurants in the cafeteria. One student read stories of other Black men killed by the police—with the crowd shouting out the person's name each time. They are holding a sit-in at Stamp until the university gets rid of an armored transport vehicle and high-powered weapons it got from the Defense Department.

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 200 students held a protest on Tuesday in The Pit, a gathering place outside the student union. Another 150 students and others attended a candlelight vigil at Peace and Justice Plaza. One first-year student at UNC reported that students spoke about what it meant to be a Black student at UNC and in America and said, "The decision just made me feel like I was next."

Kent State, Akron, Ohio. 200 students marched along Terrace Drive to Oscar Ritchie Hall, led by Marvin Logan, undergraduate student government executive director. Protestors marched across campus and spray painted the rock near Main Street black. Many students chanted, "I am Mike Brown... I am every Black life that has been lost at the hands of the police."

Southeast Missouri State University. About 50 students began a protest in front of the Kent Library in the center of campus chanting Mike Brown's name and "Hands up! Don't shoot!"

Rutgers University, New Jersey. More than 450 students marched through campus in a protest organized by the People's Coalition Against Police Brutality, a coalition of students and New Brunswick residents. Speakers recounted stories of other cases of police brutality and murder including the police killing of New Brunswick resident Carolyn Adams in 1996.

Penn State University. About 50 students gathered on campus and marched to city hall for a citywide protest. Students Organizing for Unity and Liberation organized stations around campus to paint red handprints on the faces of those who wanted to show solidarity with protests around the country. The handprints were meant to symbolize that the jury's decision was a "slap in the face," organizers said.

Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. Students and others gathered to protest. Some wore duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing the voice Brown can no longer use. Organizers urged students to wear black to signify unity.

Middle Tennessee State University. About 300 students rallied in front of the Student Union Building on Tuesday.

Loyola University, New Orleans. More than 100 students marched on campus Monday night starting at 10 pm. People marched across the campus and then to Tulane University, where they went into the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library with their hands held up, climbed to the fourth story and silently circled the floor, keeping their hands high. Protesters then went to McAlister Drive where they drew chalk outlines of each other's bodies to represent Michael Brown. The protest ended at 2:30 am.

Princeton University, New Jersey. Over 300 students marched along Prospect Avenue starting at midnight Tuesday morning, chanting "Hands up, don't shoot," "No justice, no peace" and "Black lives matter," in what is being reported as probably the largest public protest at the university in recent years. One student, Xavier Bledsoe, told the crowd, "My heart is heavy, my heart is burning with anger. Nonetheless, we are not broken, but we are not satisfied. How many people have been the victims of institutionalized racism... We are Princetonians. We need to use our privilege to make the world a better place. We have that power. So use it."

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Hundreds of students participated in a march downtown, starting from City Hall on Monday night. One senior, Kyle Webster, the president of Onyx Senior Honor Society, said, "I wanted to believe in America... This is once again an affirmation about the value of marginalized communities in America," that they do not matter.

Arizona State University, Tempe. Tuesday, the Black African Coalition and the African American Men of ASU organized a protest to respond to the grand jury decision.

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. A vigil was held at LSU's Greek Amphitheater Tuesday night attended by 200 people. One of the organizers read from a list of 61 names of unarmed Black people who were killed in confrontation with police. At one point someone from the crowd yelled, "That was my friend!" He was referring to Victor White III—the coroner had ruled that this 22-year-old had shot himself in the chest while handcuffed in the back of a police squad car.

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Students started their protest of the grand jury decision by standing silently with signs like, "We are Michael Brown" and then chanted, "Hands up, don't shoot." About 50 people fell to the ground in the student union. Students also held signs that read "We are Dontre Hamilton," a Black man killed by a white officer in Milwaukee in April.


Students react to Darren Wilson describing Michael Brown as a "demon"

In his testimony to the grand jury, Darren Wilson, the cop who killed Mike Brown, described Michael Brown as "Hulk Hogan" and a "demon." On U.S. college campuses and on Twitter, many students were stunned and outraged by the grand jury decision and also reacted to the blatantly racist way Wilson talked about Mike Brown.

Many Twitter users posted their response under hashtags such as #blacklivesmatter for example:

Lizz Brown @lizzzbrown

Reading #DarrenWilson 's GJ transcript..surreal....Like I am reading the original script of #BirthOfANation #Demon #scaryblackmen #Ferguson

11:26 AM - 25 Nov 2014

Sheryl Kaye @SherylKaye_

#DarrenWilson did not see #MikeBrown as human. Someone should say that. #demon #it

Angela. D. B. K @DidiAngela

#hulkhogan #Demon anything other than #Human that's what they see #DarrenWilson #Ferguson #FergusonDecision #mikebrownverdict #Sad

11:50 AM - 25 Nov 2014

After reading Wilson's testimony, Lamar Richardson, a senior at Columbia University who studies psychology and sociology, said he felt disgust and disbelief: "To dehumanize him, to equate him to a demon, it reflects the large-scale notion of the state of Black people in America." Richardson said Wilson's statement read like "a fabricated web of lies."

[Source: Christian Science Monitor, "On college campuses, students stunned by 'demon' description of Michael Brown (+video)" 11-25-14]


From To Kill a Mockingbird

At a vigil at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, a student, Megan Gilliam read part of a passage from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, in which a Black man represented in court by Atticus Finch is falsely convicted of raping a white woman.

The passage reads:

"Atticus," said Jem bleakly.

He turned in the doorway. "What, son?"

"How could they do it, how could they?"

"I don't know, but they did it. They've done it before and they did it tonight and they'll do it again and when they do it—seems that only children weep.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Cleveland: Marching into Walmart on "Black Lives Matter" Friday

November 29, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Twenty people marched into Walmart in University Heights, Ohio (suburb of Cleveland), through the aisles chanting "Black Lives Matter," "No Justice No Peace, No Racist Police!" and handing out Carl Dix's statement "Wilson Has Walked: AMERIKKKA MUST COME TO A HALT!..." After we left we joined forces with the Walmart protest against low wages.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Seattle: Hundreds of Protesters Disrupt Business as Usual at Westlake Center Mall

November 29, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Demands for justice for the murder of unarmed Michael Brown are not over after the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, let killer cop Darren Wilson walk free. In Seattle, the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, in coordination with students who have been active around this issue, called for an event that started early on Black Friday afternoon at Westlake Park and continued into the evening. Westlake Park is the main public plaza in Seattle and is where the Occupy movement took place. Looming over it are major department stores and shopping centers, including Westlake Center shopping mall, where Seattle's Christmas tree lighting ceremony was scheduled to take place that evening. It was the busiest shopping day of the year.

Photo: Elliot Stoller

Security guards tried to block the doors but were overcome by more than 200 protesters who strode into Westlake Center carrying signs and chanting while riding the escalators up to the top and down again through the crowds, urging people to join in. They then took the streets, blocking major intersections, going into transit stations, and threading through shopping malls and department stores. Surface traffic came to a halt as die-ins were conducted at major intersections. The Seattle downtown transit tunnel was shut down for an hour, the major Westlake underground transit station was closed for several hours, and other transit stations closed at times. Police trapped some protesters inside the stations as others outside demanded their release.

The Pacific Place Mall has a huge multi-story open atrium, with escalators going up one side and down the other. About 300 protesters crowded in and rode these in a long, solid train, calling and waving to each other across the expanse of the atrium, chanting and singing, and urging the crowds of onlookers, many of whom were supportive, to join in.

Now over 500 strong, the marchers went from Westlake up to Capitol Hall and came back towards Westlake. To stop further impact on Westlake, Seattle police (SPD) blocked the public roadway and, showing who poses the real threat of violence, attacked protesters with flash-bang grenades and chemical spray. The grenades have projectiles that leave wounds and bruises. At least five people were arrested, but others bypassed the barricades and filtered back down to Westlake.

Back at Westlake Center there was a major interruption of and intervention into the Seattle tree-lighting ceremony. Protesters occupied the exclusive VIP banquet area and public address platform for the tree lighting ceremony, and made repeated demands for the voice of justice for Mike Brown to be heard. They held this area until forced out by throngs of the SPD, armed with huge clubs, throwing people around, knocking over tables, and scaring children.

The people were driven downstairs but remained and conducted a huge die-in, lying on the floors, with others around them speaking out. In response to all this, Westlake Center was then closed entirely for the rest of the day. Protesters continued outside under the giant Christmas tree, with chants and many people speaking out for justice and sharing thoughts on how to get justice and how to end police murder.

The protesters were a diverse crowd of many ages and nationalities that included revolutionaries, activists, students, and others who are outraged over the events in Ferguson and elsewhere. People are planning further actions here.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

"Black Lives Matter Friday," November 28, San Francisco Bay Area

November 29, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

Here in the Bay Area, outraged, defiant waves of people have poured into the streets since Monday night's grand jury decision to let Ferguson cop Darren Wilson go unindicted for Michael Brown's murder. Friday morning, mass protests continued. The BART (regional subway) system was brought to a two-hour halt by protesters in West Oakland who chained themselves to trains and each other. Meanwhile, another crowd gathered at the Walmart in East Oakland, where "Black Lives Matter Friday" protesters marched with the "Our Walmart" picket line (national campaign against Walmart labor conditions), chanting and at one point taking a noisy march into the aisles of the store itself. Later, this protest continued, moving on to another nearby Walmart.

Another protest was called for that evening by World Can't Wait, members of Occupy SF Action Council, and Code Pink. They announced a "Black Lives, Latino Lives, ALL Lives Matter—Demand Justice for Michael Brown" rally in the heart of San Francisco's most upscale Black Friday corridor, Union Square. The official city Christmas tree was to be lit with much fanfare, so the square and the blocks all around it were packed with shoppers, international tourists, and news media.

As dark fell, the first few dozen protesters appeared on the steps just below the giant Christmas tree and across the boulevard from Macy's. As they began hoisting signs and banners, their numbers quickly grew to over 100 people of all ages and from all parts of the Bay Area. We had suburban high school students at their first big demo, Black families with children, antiwar and Palestine and Occupy and Code Pink activists, middle-aged professionals, some Starbucks baristas, and a lot of young people of all nationalities, bursting with energy and outrage.

With several thousand spectators filling Union Square and facing us from the sidewalks below, waiting for the tree lighting—we stretched across the top of the steps, lofted a huge Light Brigade display spelling out "BLACK LIVES MATTER" in bright blue Christmas lights. Chanting "Black Friday doesn't matter—Black Lives Matter!" "Ferguson Is Everywhere—Justice for Michael Brown!" "Hands Up, Don't Shoot!" we held this message up for an hour. There were orange signs all around it—many homemade signs, a Stolen Lives banner, a giant BLACK LIVES MATTER banner, and from World Can't Wait a huge "Arrest Darren Wilson," sign plus 13 portraits with stories about people killed by police in the U.S. just during a single month in 2014.

Holiday gaiety blared out behind us. "This is wild, this is weird," said one young woman who helped keep up the defiant spirit, leading chants over a bullhorn. "We're holding up these pictures of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and all, and they want to drown us out with fucking Jingle Bells!" Her friend replied: "If these people weren't thinking about Ferguson when they got here, we're sure making they think about it now!" We saw a lot of people nodding to the beat of our chants, many people picked up signs and joined in for a while. There were relatively few hostile hecklers ("He [Michael Brown] got what he deserved!"), but mostly they were shut up and shut out by the crowd.

Minutes after the giant tree lights went on, dozens of protesters snaked their way out of Union Square, and marched toward Market Street. Police tried to deflect their route because they knew another 1,000 "Black Lives Matter Friday" protesters had rallied farther downtown and were now marching up Market Street, attempting to meet up with the group from the square. This began the next few hours of hundreds marching in the street as larger and smaller groups from both protests succeeded in linking up. They kept calling many more people off the sidewalks into the streets to join in, and filled Market Street with their continuing call-outs and chants. Dodging and defying police blockades and stand-offs, the marchers made their way into the Mission District and stayed in the streets for several more hours. Repeatedly in a call-and-response, they raised their voices: "Black Lives Matter! Latino Lives Matter! All Lives Matter! We Are Not Afraid!"




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Los Angeles: Nearly 200 Arrested Overnight

December 1, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Beginning late Tuesday night, November 25, the LAPD began mass arrests of protesters in an attempt to get people out of the streets and shut down the protests. By Wednesday morning, there had been nearly 200 arrests, most of them from the night before. People who came out to protest on Wednesday took to the streets to demand the release of all those arrested and to drop all the charges. They stopped in front of the federal detention center, where immigrants and federal prisoners are held, and then marched toward Men's Central Jail chanting "Free the protesters, jail killer cops!" The marchers were blocked by police and not able to march up to the jail, which is filled with Black and brown people who are routinely rounded up and housed there, and which is notorious for vicious brutality by the sheriffs. (The arrested protesters were actually not at the main jail, but sent to three different police stations spread out across the Los Angeles area: Metropolitan downtown, 77th in South Central, and Van Nuys.)

The march then turned to head toward Staples Center, where a Lakers basketball game was about to start. As it got close, an army of police blocked Figueroa Street and then "kettled" the marchers—surrounded them from both sides so nobody could get out. The police locked in about 200 people this way, and then eventually opened one side and let people out. As people tried to regroup, the police worked to separate the marchers from each other by getting ahead of where people were marching and then blocking the way, continually locking them in as people looked for ways to escape their traps and stay in the streets. After protesters had finally broken free from being locked in by the police near the public library, those trying to leave were suddenly blocked by a line of police. Others who had gotten out regrouped and came back to stand with those locked in and demand they be let through. Other people who were just out walking around began to gather across the street as well. The chant "let them through" was taken up on all corners. The police refused to back away and instead surrounded everyone who was on the same corner as those they had locked in and then declared the entire crowd to be under arrest for failure to disperse. Something like 140 to 165 people were arrested.

California highway cops block downtown LA freeway ramp, November 26, 2014

California highway cops block a freeway ramp  in downtown Los Angeles. Nov. 26, 2014.
AP photo


It was a very blatantly illegal arrest, and those arrested as well as the lawyers monitoring it and those watching were all outraged. On Friday, after a press conference denouncing the illegal arrests, another march was kettled and then the police took down the personal information of every single person, ran them for warrants, and one by one released people unless they had a warrant. All this is clearly outright political suppression to try to put a stop to the righteous and defiant protests that have shaken the whole country in the wake of the decision delivered in Ferguson Monday night that put an official stamp of approval on the murder of Black youth. It is illegitimate, illegal, and must be fought as people continue to get into the streets to stop police brutality and murder.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Obama's Immigration Moves—and the Need for Increased Resistance

December 1, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


“A lot of people are using the term bittersweet, but I don’t think that’s enough to describe the amount of emotion I’m feeling right now. Unfortunately my mom didn’t qualify and I didn’t know how to call my brothers and sister and tell them that it wasn’t our turn. I told them to call mom and tell her we love her. I can handle it, but I don’t know how well she’s taking it. It’s heartbreaking.... I can't celebrate this, because there are a lot of people left out”

A man in Chicago describing his reaction
to President Obama's November 20 speech on immigration.

Crossing the Border

June 25, 2014—Immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador crossing US-Mexico border are stopped in Granjeno, Texas by the U.S border patrol. AP photo

Over 10 million immigrants—people this system calls "illegal" because of where they were born—live every day of their lives with this: the awareness that their least little encounter with any authority could very quickly lead to disaster in their lives. A sword of arrest, deportation, and the threat of being torn apart from family and friends and the lives they had been struggling to make in this country hangs over the heads of immigrants constantly—this has been the reality of the lives of millions of people.

For several years a courageous struggle has burst forth among these same people. Many people, especially youth, have openly and bravely put themselves in harm's way and publicly declared themselves "illegal." "Not One More Deportation" has been a rallying cry for a movement involving people coast to coast, in large cities, small towns, and rural areas. People have persistently rallied, marched, held sit-ins and hunger strikes, and faced arrest in a movement demanding an end to the deportations, and reforms in the immigration system so that a path to citizenship is opened up for them. On more than one occasion, a speech of Obama's on immigration has been disrupted by protesters demanding that the deportations and breaking up of families stop.

Other battles have erupted that both exposed and opposed the harsh, heartless treatment inflicted upon immigrants. Cruel, barren and remote detention centers for immigrant children and immigrant families have been the focus of repeated protests and lawsuits. This past summer, people in the U.S. and around the world were shocked at the overwhelming cruelty of the military, police and legal measures taken by the U.S. government to detain and prepare for likely deportation tens of thousands of impoverished, desperate children from Central America.

The U.S. ruling class—and in particular the Obama administration and the Democrats—faces a dilemma. They need to contain and channel people's growing anger and discontent within bounds that don't do real damage to the capitalist imperialist system over which they preside and provide some sense of hope to the undocumented; at the same time they need to step up repressive measures aimed at immigrants, and prepare for even harsher, more sweeping repression. 

The hopes of many people rose during the early years of Obama's administration—hopes that the threat of deportation would end, that the basic humanity of immigrants would be recognized, that a path to some form of legal status would be opened up to people who had been in this country for years. When he was first elected president, Obama told an audience composed largely of immigrants, "I marched with you in the streets of Chicago to meet our immigration challenge. I fought with you in the Senate for comprehensive immigration reform. And I will make it a top priority in my first year as President."

Obama has made immigration a priority, but not in the way many people hoped for, and were led to expect by Obama's words and promises. He has presided over more deportations, by far, than any president in U.S. history. He has continued to pour military, police, and legal forces into the border region, an area already saturated with militarization. He has done next to nothing to counter the racist immigrant baiting and demonization coming from his right wing opponents.

Still, when Obama announced that he was giving a major speech on immigration on the night of November 20, people across the country gathered in front of TV screens at community centers, union halls, restaurants, and in their homes waiting to hear what he would say, many wishing that, in the words a woman from Pasadena, Texas posted on Facebook, "Tomorrow's announcement brings hope for my family... I hope that the wait of 14 years ends tomorrow."

Relentless Repression, Honeyed Words

Obama's short speech was a combination of boasts about how tough on immigrants he has been, threats and promises of further repression, sentimental appeals to a mythological American "compassion" for immigrants—lightly sugared with some paltry and temporary concessions. Obama declared that "our immigration system is broken, and everyone knows it” and announced three major changes and developments in U.S. immigration policy. First, he said he is further militarizing the U.S.-Mexico border, and taking measures to speed up deportations. He also said the U.S. will begin expediting the ability of "highly skilled" and entrepreneurial immigrants to enter the U.S.

But the centerpiece of the speech was its third measure—an executive order that will defer potential deportation for about 4 million people, almost all of them from Mexico or Central America. Obama's plan allows millions of undocumented people to apply for a form of temporary legalized status, with NO promise that they won't be deported in the future. "Here's the thing," he said. "If you register, pass a criminal background check, and you're willing to pay your fair share of taxes, you'll be able to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation." He specifically added that his measures do "not grant citizenship or the right to stay here permanently."

Obama also declared an end to the much hated "Secure Communities" program, which allowed ICE (Immigration Enforcement and Control) agents to collect fingerprints of people held in city and county jails, including for the most minor offenses, and tell local police to hold prisoners they thought could be deported beyond their sentences. Obama claimed his new program will put an emphasis on "felons, not families." In fact the end of Secure Communities will have only a small impact on ICE policy. As a reporter for the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Under the new program, federal agents will continue to examine local fingerprint records and, in some cases, continue asking jail officials to hold certain inmates beyond the length of their sentences. Unlike before, Immigration and Customs Enforcement will now have to specify that the inmate has a removal order against them or is likely deportable."

Obama's executive order means that, beginning next spring, millions of undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who have been in the U.S. for at least five years can apply for relief from deportation—for three years. This measure is being called "Deferred Action for Parents" (DAP), and is similar in most ways to the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" (DACA) program instituted last year. Estimates are that this measure will apply to roughly one-third of the undocumented in the country now, or about 4 or 5 million people. Parents of the "Dreamers"—undocumented people who came to this country as young children—are not included among those eligible for the deferment of deportation unless they also have one or more children born in this country. Obama and his supporters present this measure as a magnanimous gesture in keeping with what he called the U.S. "tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world."

The Department of Homeland Security described the conditions of DACA and DAP: "certain people... may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status". (Deferral under DAP will be for three years.)

Taken together, all this is an apt concentration of the face of American democracy: brutal repression coupled with threats that "it could get worse for you," self-righteously presented as generosity. A hallmark of Obama's administration has been relentless repression aimed at immigrants, slathered with honeyed words. Obama has presided over more deportations than any president in U.S. history. This summer, his administration unleashed vicious repression against impoverished children trying to rejoin their families in the U.S. The extreme, murderous militarization of the U.S./Mexico border has already reached an all time high in the Obama years. The measures announced by Obama this week are in keeping with and an intensified continuation of this history.

Out of the Shadows, into the Government Spotlight

There are millions of people without legal documentation in this country—most estimates indicate at least 12 million people. Continuing and deepening the savage exploitation of these immigrants is essential to the profitable functioning of the capitalist imperialist system.

Yet, in the eyes of the system's rulers, these are people of questionable loyalty, people who must not only be exploited ruthlessly, but monitored and controlled. Obama's executive decision is aimed at getting people “out of the shadows,” as he put it, to a place where they are in the open, and can be registered with and monitored by the government. The remainder of the "illegal" Mexican and Central American immigrants in the U.S. now, and those who manage to get into the U.S. in the months ahead, will be, as Obama said in his speech, regarded and treated as "actual threats to our security" and targeted for arrest or deportation. He identified these people—who number in the millions—as "felons...criminals...and gang members." The day after Obama made his nationally televised speech, he travelled to Las Vegas and Chicago to drum up support for his executive order. Three times during his Chicago speech in front of a selected audience, he was disrupted by hecklers shouting “you have been deporting families.” They are right, and that is exactly what Obama, and the entire ruling class he represents, Democrats and Republicans alike, intend to keep doing.

Obama is moving to break a deadlock within the ruling class over how best to repress, monitor and control the most heavily exploited and among the potentially most politically volatile sections of immigrants. Different sections of the U.S. rulers have been locked in a bitter, protracted conflict over policy towards immigrants and immigration that centers on how to best protect and extend the interests of the capitalist-imperialist system they all represent, while sustaining deep exploitation of immigrant workers.

Sharpening Conflict in the Ruling Class

To many of Obama's Republican opponents, the measures Obama has taken are not enough—they accuse him of being “soft” on immigrants, of not doing enough to “seal the border.” And they say that even opening a pathway to any form of legal recognition for the undocumented is a form of “amnesty” that can never be allowed. They have enacted ugly anti-immigrant laws and measures at state and local levels, and unleashed police and National Guard forces under their command to arrest immigrants and patrol the border. They have created a racist environment in which hateful mobs of racists attack children with impunity.

Republicans in Congress began bitterly denouncing Obama's moves before he even gave his speech. Despite the fact that Obama's administration has, in his words and in fact, deployed "more agents and secure our southern border than at any time in our history," that in the past six years "illegal border crossings have been cut by more than half," and that deportations have been at an all-time high under Obama, the Republicans argue that Obama has not been aggressive enough in repressing and deporting immigrants.

They demand even more vicious assaults at the border and upon immigrants already within the country, and no shred of encouraging or allowing people to obtain a status in which they aren't threatened with deportation. Along with powerful and influential public-opinion creators, they have worked steadily to foster and inflame a fascist, xenophobic (having hatred of "foreigners") atmosphere in society as a whole, and to pass hateful anti-immigrant laws on the local, state and federal levels.

Even more, they have been using their differences with Obama and the Democrats over approaches to repressing and controlling immigrants to launch an attack on what many of them call Obama's "imperial presidency." By this they mean that Obama is acting not only outside of, but against, the U.S. Constitution. This is an extremely serious accusation, and it indicates the depth of the divisions within the highest circles of the U.S. bourgeoisie.

Congressman Steve King, described by the New York Times as a voice of "rising prominence" among Republicans, blustered that the Republicans are considering a variety of options to undercut Obama, not just on immigration but in his presidency. King said that impeachment of Obama "is still on the table." Several of them have called Obama an "emperor" and a "king" and invoked images of the founding of the United States as a rebellion against a king.

The contention bursting out around immigration now between leading political figures is part of sharpening conflicts between two blocs of the U.S. ruling class, generally represented by Republicans and Democrats. As the important article "The Shutdown, the Showdown, and the Urgent Need to Repolarize...for Revolution" put it, "While there is underlying unity between the leaders of the two parties over maintaining empire and the domestic pillars of that empire, the conflicts between them are quite real. These battles are not, in the main, phony pro-wrestling type posturing—and they could easily get out of control of the antagonists. One miscalculation on either side, and an even more open and serious conflict actually could erupt." As part of that, the contradictions that are driving both political parties of the U.S. ruling class in how they are approaching the question of immigration are not going to be lessened or resolved by any law.

These contradictions are thoroughly embedded in the system of capitalism-imperialism. The rulers of this country require a large pool of deeply exploited immigrants for the functioning and profitability of their overall system. But they fear immigrants carry with them the contagion of contributing to potential dissolution of a U.S. social cohesion grounded in white supremacy, male supremacy, repression of immigrants, and "English Only." To put it another way, when it comes to immigrants, the capitalists "can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em."

Further vicious attacks by this system on immigrants are sure to happen, including against those who come forward under Obama's executive order and also those not in this country yet. But the choices provided by this system are not the only options—there is another way, a revolutionary way. What is needed for immigrants is not a path to greater repression and control disguised as "coming out of the shadows" but fierce defiance and resistance to renewed assaults upon immigrants, from all sections of the people who oppose oppression and injustice. What is needed is exposure of and resistance to these attacks—built as part of the entire movement for revolution, with the orientation of "Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution."




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Interview with Noche Diaz of the NYC Revolution Club:

Assaulted by Police, Threatened, and Facing 11 Charges for Leading Resistance

December 1, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors' note: Both after the murder of Michael Brown, and after the announcement of the grand jury decision to let the cop who murdered him walk, Noche Diaz was singled out in protests in New York by the NYPD, threatened, assaulted, and arrested. In both cases, police piled on a long list of charges, and Noche is going to court Tuesday, December 2 at 9:30 am on both sets of charges. Noche is well recognized by friend and foe as being with the NYC Revolution Club and for being on the front lines of the battle against police murder and brutality.


Noche Diaz at Union Square Tuesday November 25, 2014

Revolution: Let's start with what happened at your latest arrest.

Noche Diaz: Tuesday evening, November 25, after the grand jury decision was announced, there was a march that began with a rally at Union Square. There was a powerful rally with people speaking out, and then we started marching: "Killer cop has walked, Amerikkka must come to a halt!" We were heading towards the Holland Tunnel, trying to get there. And right away police started targeting me.

Revolution: Describe that.

Noche Diaz: They were saying things like, "I know you, you already have a case, you better go home, cuz when we get you, you ain't going nowhere for a long time, we're gonna put you away." They repeated this, telling me things like, "We already got you for the same thing before." And other people in the march overheard police pointing me out and talking about me, too, I believe. It was clear to a lot of people they had my number, so to speak.

Along the march there were standoffs between marchers trying to go to the Holland Tunnel and police. People were chanting, "Let us march!" The police were telling people in the crowd that we were violent for not stopping protesting and going home. They tried to get the protesters to fight each other and were spreading all this stuff about we were violent. We were talking about they killed Michael Brown and they're calling us violent. But they were trying to isolate people who were trying to lead things, especially people in the Revolution Club, including myself. But they weren't able to do that and they kept striking me on the back of the head.

Revolution: Police kept assaulting you? Hitting you on the head?!

Noche Diaz: Yeah. During this standoff with police, they were hitting me on the head.

Revolution: Police repeatedly hit you on the head during this standoff?

Noche Diaz: Yes. And at different points police tried to snatch me, but weren't able to. People in the crowd were trying to protect me from these assaults. The police had me pushed against a car, and finally were able to pull me out of the crowd. They had made a decision to really go get me. Despite efforts from the crowd to protect me, they got me. They slammed me to the ground. Then they pulled me up to my feet and took me behind the police line. One said, "Let's take him down behind the truck where no one can see." So I stopped walking and faced the crowd.

Revolution: Taking you behind a truck where nobody can see can't mean anything legitimate, especially given that they were assaulting you even when everyone could see.

Noche Diaz: And I had been assaulted the night before at a protest. On Monday night, some kind of supervisor—in front of a number of people—grabbed me by the throat and said, "Get out of here." So that's what I was thinking about.

Revolution: Tell us more about what happened Monday night.

Noche Diaz: Monday night, right after the grand jury decision was announced, we were marching, and the police kept trying to corral the march with motorcycles. They kept hitting people with motorcycles, and some of us were trying to protect people from that. And a police supervisor grabbed me by the throat, and was choking me, saying "Get out of the way, get out of here."

Revolution: So then, back to Tuesday night when they arrested you...

Noche Diaz: As they were talking about taking me out of sight behind a truck, I folded my legs and sat quietly.

Revolution: And what are the charges?

Noche Diaz: Inciting to riot, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and unlawful assembly.

Revolution: So what is the status of these charges?

Noche Diaz: I'm going to court Tuesday on both these charges, and facing a similar set of charges from August 14. That was a few days after the killing of Mike Brown. There was a nationwide moment of silence. The NYC Revolution Club was part of that, and then led people to go from silence to defiance, marching up to Times Square. Marching back from Times Square, the police kettled people—surrounded them and wouldn't let people leave. They reached into the kettle and dragged me out and arrested me for my role in helping lead the march there. I have six charges from that arrest.

Revolution: Let's talk about what this is all about and part of, what you've been in the middle of.

Noche Diaz: Going back to August, people in Ferguson stepped out and defied the powers that be, and set an example for people everywhere, not just protest as usual. They defied teargas, tanks, and rubber bullets. Youth who have been cast off and criminalized by the system were in the front lines. That was affecting the atmosphere everywhere. And the powers that be are very afraid of that. Even when there were moments of silence in different parts of the country, and here, for sure, many became places where people stepped out in the spirit of Ferguson. And the powers that be really hated that, and hate the role I played in that. And at same time, in the local setting, the murder of Eric Garner is a flashpoint that could bubble over at any point, and mass dissatisfaction with and hatred for the new police commissioner, Bratton, and disillusionment with de Blasio's "progressive" agenda, that, in de Blasio's words, "threatens to tear this city apart."

So they hated people standing up. And that happened again starting Monday when the grand jury came back, for much of the same kinds of reasons. Because all across the country, people refused to swallow this or wait, like Al Sharpton says, for a federal investigation, which takes forever and goes nowhere. So we were responding to the call from Carl Dix to shut the country down. People shut down bridges, tunnels, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Bratton condemned the protesters as "callous" for daring to disrupt such an important American holiday. And around the country, Black Friday was "Black Lives Friday." Yesterday, people marched in Harlem.

So, again, going back to Tuesday night, I was clearly singled out for the role I've been playing.

Revolution: We have been seeing different dimensions of repression against people expressing outrage against the grand jury decision, and the murder of Michael Brown. Protests have been attacked—hundreds arrested in LA. In Ferguson, the State of Emergency targeted those who catch the most hell every day—who live under police state terror day in day out, and ratcheted that repression up to a whole other level. And leaders are being targeted. The NYPD is bragging, overtly bragging, about spying on "professional agitators" in Ferguson (and whatever that is supposed to mean, it isn't against the law). So it seems targeting you is an expression of all this.

Noche Diaz: To add to that, myself and the Revolution Club play a role in bringing people targeted for repression into political life. And also in calling out people like Sharpton who say "light a candle and go home." People like myself who refuse to accept letting the system work in the way it is intended to work, to oppress and kill people. People like myself, who lead people to act around that, and bring a section of people into political life and protest, are targeted—not just for leading marches tactically, but for playing this kind of political role. They want people to stop protesting. They're doing everything they can to find someone in Ferguson to put on TV to say "people just want things to go back to normal." The reality is, if it wasn't for people in the streets, these murders would be just getting swept under the rug, and we'd all be waiting for a federal investigation. So you can listen to what the powers that be say they are afraid of and learn from that. They don't want people in the streets.

Revolution: In going after leaders of the movement, different political forces and perspectives have been targeted, and have to be defended. And within that, they have gone after the Revolution Club with a lot of venom and violence.

Noche Diaz: Yes, they've made no secret of targeting people associated with getting out fliers from the Revolutionary Communist Party. National news has slandered the RCP in Ferguson, but not just there. It's not a secret they hate what the RCP is about. And you can check out what the RCP is about at

Revolution: And what is the next step, how and when do people support you and oppose the political charges against you?

Noche Diaz: The Revolution Club is calling for everyone to join us in a protest Tuesday, December 2. Rally outside 100 Centre Street, 8:45 am and pack the courtroom in Part B, 100 Centre Street, at 9:30.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Repression, Resistance, and Rebellion in Police State Ferguson

by Larry Everest | November 30, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Sunday, November 30, Ferguson, Missouri. The governor of Missouri declared a state of emergency on November 17, and this is what's been happening in Ferguson and St. Louis County, Missouri: You drive past a major traffic and commercial intersection like Chambers and West Florissant and you see the cross-street barricaded by a half-dozen or so police cars with bubble lights flashing, crime scene tape, a military Humvee, armed soldiers, and more police in the Walgreen's / mini-mall across the street. You often hear helicopters circling overhead, at night sometimes you can see their searchlights sweeping nearby. Meanwhile, the airspace has been closed off to all other traffic, reportedly to prevent news helicopters from providing video and pictures of what is going on below.

Outside Ferguson Police Station Nov. 28, 2014. Ferguson, Mo. Photo: AP

You go to a protest—whether in the streets or at a shopping mall—and you see a heavy police presence, often backed up by uniformed military personnel and undercover cops. Nonviolent marches and rallies can be (and have been) declared "illegal assemblies" and then violently shut down on the slightest pretext. Sometimes this means massive riot vehicles firing volleys of teargas—effectively collective punishment of the whole crowd for the alleged actions of one or two. Sometimes military-like riot police line up threateningly, or even charge the crowd. Pepper spray, bean-bag rounds, and clubs have all been deployed and used. Those who speak up in outrage have been pointed out by the police, and then a gang of six or eight cops jump, throw down, arrest, and drag them away.

After claiming to be a democracy that respects the people's right to assemble, speak, and protest, the government has deployed dozens of police, spies, and military organizations that have been planning for months about how to contain and suppress expected protests. They've arrested more than 500 people in the area since August, and have conducted widespread surveillance on political activists, organizers, and journalists—some of whom have then been arrested driving in their cars, or when they come to protests. Revolutionaries and other resisters have been targeted, slandered, and vilified in the media.

If all this was taking place in countries that the U.S. has a conflict with—like Russia, China, or Iran—the same mainstream media that are now supporting the repression of protesters and the people in Ferguson would be condemning those countries as "dictatorships" and "tyrannies." Well, that is what is going on here.

Ferguson—Epicenter of an Uprising Rocking the Country

This is happening because Ferguson has been the epicenter of a powerful uprising that has rocked the whole country and awakened millions to the fraud of "civil rights progress" and "equal rights," and to the reality of the vicious oppression and murder of Black and other oppressed people in America today.

Michael Brown was murdered by Ferguson cop Darren Wilson on August 9, triggering a massive rebellion and waves of protest across the country. The system responded with a military deployment in the streets of Ferguson that further outraged millions and exposed the founding lies of America: that this country is a global beacon of freedom, a place unlike any other in the world in its respect for people's rights, including the right to speak out and to protest.

Since then, authorities in St. Louis County, as well as nationwide up to the highest levels, have been preparing for the day the prosecuting attorney's office would announce whether Michael Brown's murderer would even be charged.

Leading up to the announcement, Loyola University law professor and associate legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Bill Quigley, wrote, "Dozens and dozens of different police forces will be surrounding the protesters in Ferguson when the Michael Brown verdict is announced. There will be federal FBI agents, Homeland Security, US Marshals, State Police troopers, County Sheriffs, and local city cops from the dozens of little towns in and around St. Louis."

This is a system based on white supremacy, one whose functioning and interests are directly contrary to those of the vast majority of people, and one whose rule is maintained by violence. It's a system that understands that particularly the Black masses—like the people who've risen up in Ferguson—pose a threat to its existence—including because when Black people rise up, it calls forward the best of other sections of the people. When they talk about government "of the people, by the people, for the people" they mean violently enforcing oppression.

In the 108 days between Michael Brown's murder and the announcement that Wilson would walk free, the powers-that-be coordinated and built up their police response, including Governor Jay Nixon's November 17 announcement of a state of emergency, even as they made a (thin) pretense that they would give protesters "an opportunity to express their first amendment rights," as St. Louis Mayor Slay put it.

Then came the November 24 announcement that Darren Wilson was getting off free, that a Black person could be murdered in America any time, any place, by law enforcement in particular, without consequence. The rage that erupted was deep and wide. That night the system lashed back and the next day Nixon tripled the National Guard presence to 2,200, escalated its role, and the police adopted even more aggressive tactics.

Police State Ferguson—This Is What American Imperialist Democracy IS Like

On Monday night, November 24, people in front of the Ferguson police station were confronted with huge riot vehicles, were massively tear gassed, and many were forced from the streets. Sixty-one were arrested that night, some with felony charges. And for all the system's bullshit about "outside agitators"—as if that is a bad thing—these were actually overwhelmingly local residents.

Tuesday night, November 25, the section of West Florissant around Canfield Apartments—where Michael Brown lived and was executed—was blocked off. Police declared illegal and broke up a protest of about 60 at the corner of Chambers and West Florissant without provocation. On South Florissant police tear gassed and dispersed a protest of hundreds in front of the police station.

Wednesday, the 26th, I saw police violently shut down a mass demonstration in central St. Louis, pepper spraying some demonstrators and snatching people just for speaking out.

Intimidation on Black Friday

Friday, the 28th, I saw a big police presence, including undercover cops in Walmart's parking lot. When I went up to one regular car with a young Black man inside to ask him what he thought of the Black Lives Matter boycott, he said, "Step back from the car." I thought he just meant to back off a little, but when I tried to ask him a question he began to get out and said more loudly, "No, I mean step back from the car." I did. He was an undercover pig and there were more nearby. There was also a large police presence at the Galleria in Richmond Heights. (See reports on the Black Friday protests.)

One of the activists who shut down a Walmart in St. Louis County told revcom:

There were aggressive, armed security and dogs at Walmart. We started chanting, and rallied at the exit. There was a wall of police. Police were yelling at shoppers: "If you're gonna shop, shop"—as if to warn people, don't pay attention to them. When we were chanting outside Walmart, police officers put hands on their pistols! I found that shocking, if believable. Almost grotesque in the sense that this is just a store. You have a police presence in a store to protect private property, and this holiday, and these transactions.

The Blinding of Dornella Conners

On Saturday, November 29, Dornella Conners, a young, pregnant Black woman, was in a car with her boyfriend simply trying to drive away from a police clampdown. The police blocked the car, front and back, and fired a bean bag at the window. It shattered the glass, sending shards of glass into her face and blinding her in one eye. "I weren't looting or anything. I was just out with my boyfriend. We were just riding around respecting Mike Brown," she told a local radio station. "How can a pregnant person in a car be causing chaos?" her father asked.

A Broad, Countywide, Unconstitutional Pattern of Repression

These are not isolated incidents. Kris Hermes, the National Lawyer's Guild (NLG) legal worker vice president, described a broad multi-dimensional pattern of repression against the people and those protesting.

"Chasing people out of an area to disperse them, as happened on Tuesday, November 25, near the Ferguson Police Department, because of some property destruction, instead of allowing people to demonstrate—this was violating the constitutional right to assemble and protest."

So is using weaponry against protesters like rubber and plastic bullets, pepper spray, and tear gas. "This is not individual punishment for breaking the law, this is collective punishment," Hermes said. "Tear gas is indiscriminate. Shooting rubber bullets into a crowd is indiscriminate. Pepper spray is indiscriminate."

People scrambling to escape the fumes of the tear gas thrown by the police. Photo: twitter/@VSouza_STL

One particularly egregious example was the tear gassing of people at MoKaBe's Coffeehouse in south St. Louis in the early morning hours of Tuesday, November 25. This was supposed to be a safe space and people were in the café and outside on the patio having coffee, a popular hangout for people active in the struggle for justice for Michael Brown and VonDerrit Myers Jr., a young Black man who was shot eight times and murdered by St. Louis police on October 8. But around 1:00 am, police fired tear gas at people at the café, and then a little later even tear gassed people attempting to get to St. John's Episcopal Church, another safe haven. Jennifer McCoy, an NLG legal observer, told me that when people went into the church, there was so much tear gas on their clothes that they were forced back outside.

The NLG's Hermes said that widespread arrests as well as blocking off streets—a stretch of West Florissant in this case—are also a means of preventing or suppressing protest. One hundred twenty people had been arrested since Monday night when the grand jury decision was announced, 30 of them for felonies. Contrary to all the government and media talk about the uprising being driven by outsiders, Hermes said, "The vast majority were local residents."

Quigley—the CCR's constitutional law expert—wrote that the whole notion that the government can tell people when, where, and how to protest—as police have been doing in Ferguson—is unconstitutional. "The government will say people can only protest until a certain time, or on a certain street, or only if they keep moving, or not there, not here, not now, no longer. Such police action is not authorized by the U.S. Constitution. People have a right to protest, the government should leave them alone."

Quigley points out that police intimidation—showing up in full riot gear—is also an unconstitutional suppression of dissent.

The National Guard—Actively Helping Suppress Protest

The National Guard has been portrayed as playing a passive role in simply protecting property, but Hermes emphasized this is not the case, that they are playing an active role in suppressing protest: "The National Guard has helped block off an entire stretch of West Florissant, preventing vehicular and pedestrian traffic, which is itself a suppression of rights.

"The National Guard," Hermes added, "has also appeared on the scene at the Ferguson Police Department, an act of intimidation and a form of policing against crowds there to peacefully protest. Friday night, there were a couple dozen or so National Guard there. Together with law enforcement agencies they outnumbered the protesters. This kind of massive show of force is a form of intimidation."

Widespread Surveillance and Targeting of Activists

Hermes stressed that "heavy surveillance has been a foundation" of what the police have been doing. "They are intensely videotaping activists across the St. Louis area, targeting particular people and picking particular people out of a crowd—often for brutal arrest. They're going after organizers."

One example was the arrest of videographer and live-streamer Bassem Masri, who has been very prominent and active in the protests. He was being followed by police and was then arrested and detained on a $15,000 cash bond for allegedly driving a vehicle with a revoked license. This constitutes an act of preventive detention. The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee in St. Louis quickly raised the money through crowdfunding to get Masri out.

Hermes reports that "Some of what is going on is people are being filmed, and if they seem to be leaders or organizers, they are then later targeted at demonstrations. This has been common and has happened over and over again. The protests have been going on weeks and weeks and this has gone on for that time. I would say dozens of times. It's a practice they've been using since August. There have been over 500 arrests since then."

Three NLG legal observers were illegally arrested on November 21 while monitoring and filming the police.

The Bronx Defenders, a legal group whose mission is to "zealously defend the rights of clients, fight for systemic change and promote justice for the community," sent a delegation to Ferguson and their Tweets paint a similar picture:

NYPD Spying on Protest Leaders

It has also been reported (WNYC, November 25) that the NYPD has sent experts to Ferguson to identify "professional agitators." "We have a number of our detectives out there, have had them out there for over a week to help out in terms of intelligence we have on some of the professional agitators who are involved in these types of activity," NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said.

Coming from New York's police commissioner, this is an outrageous self-exposure and admission of illegal actions by the authorities. First, it's not against the law to be a "professional agitator," whatever that means. The targeting of "agitators" is not being based on any specific allegations of illegal activity but simply people the NYPD doesn't think have the right to speak out against police brutality and murder!

Reports seem to indicate this strategy is being put into action: In Ferguson as well as in New York, Los Angeles, and other cities, activists and "agitators," including communist revolutionaries, have been targeted simply for political speech, and snatched out of crowds and arrested.

What's described above is, no doubt, just some of the state's illegitimate violence, violation of rights, and repression being wreaked on the people. Email your stories to The whole world needs to know!





Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

From A World to Win News Service

On the Indonesian Documentary The Act of Killing

by Susannah York |November 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


November 24, 2014. A World to Win News Service. Cutting off heads is an efficient way of killing people. It's cleaner. Beating people to death means there is too much blood to clean up and it smells awful. At least that is the expressed opinion of Anwar Congo and his band of ghoulish executioners, who are the stars/actors in the award-winning documentary, The Act of Killing, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer. In a surreal movie within the documentary, men who killed suspected communists and others by the hundreds of thousands after the CIA-sponsored coup in 1965 reenact the torture and murder with pride and pleasure. They are still considered heroes by the Indonesian power elite and enjoy impunity. The effect created by the disconnect between the awfulness of what they did and their continuing status and vanity makes this film extremely disturbing.

For background on the making of the film, see the July 19 interview with the director, Joshua Oppenheimer, at Democracy Now! (“The Act of Killing”: New Film Shows U.S.-Backed Indonesian Death Squad Leaders Re-enacting Massacres.)

The Indonesian military overthrew the government headed by the elected president, Sukarno, who was allied with the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI). As part of the documentary, several mass murderers make their own "movie" of execution scenes and discuss their justifications for doing what they did. They take Oppenheimer and the camera to the places where they did this, an urban building they blandly call "the office" and small villages. As they recreate their history, they explain why they felt they had to eradicate communists, calling them "cruel" people who redistributed land to the peasants and therefore deserved to die—an official history that bombards every schoolchild in Indonesia to this day.

Estimates of the number of people killed range from half a million to more than a million during the year following the 1965 coup, including communist leaders and cadre, trade unionists, intellectuals, teachers, land reform advocates, ordinary peasants, ethnic Chinese, women and children. Bodies clogged rivers in many areas of Indonesia. Many hundreds of thousands more were herded into concentration camps and spent years there.

Oppenheimer did not originally intend his documentary to turn out the way it did. Initially he wanted the victims to speak out, as this sordid history is all but forgotten or has gone unnoticed outside of Indonesia, but the climate of repression and fear they still lived in prevented that. The killers live all around them and the army kept intervening, detaining the crew and confiscating their equipment and tapes. When the issue of whether to continue the documentary was discussed with some human rights advocates, Oppenheimer was persuaded to talk to the villains who openly boasted of their role. It was felt that in this way, he would no longer be harassed by the military, the murderous nature of the whole regime would be revealed to all Indonesians, and some justice could finally be achieved.

Oppenheimer persisted in feeling compelled to expose what he considered mass murder on an unimaginable scale. Being in Indonesia reminded him of Nazi Germany, albeit in Indonesia they were still in power. Many of his family perished in Nazi Germany, and while growing up, the family dinner discussions often revolved around how this kind of genocide should never happen again anywhere in the world.

After eight years of research and interviews with 40 death squad leaders who were recruited by the Indonesian army to help carry out the hard work of torture and cutting off heads, Oppenheimer met Anwar Congo, a gangster and revered founder of a right-wing military organization. Congo understood what a documentary was. He was influenced by lavish Hollywood musical productions and gangster movies from which he and others learned some of their brutal techniques. He and his cohorts were eager to recreate what they did for Oppenheimer and his film crew. They considered the documentary a historical piece the whole family could watch. Many of the film crew were Indonesians who remain anonymous for fear of retribution for making this documentary.

When Oppenheimer saw some flicker of remorse in Congo's eyes, he decided that his film would not be about all the executioners as originally intended, that what Congo was doing with this reenactment was struggling with the nightmares that haunted him. The process of making the film confronts Congo, and some realization of the acts he committed begins to take place even while the others are totally immune to such feelings, having been permanently dehumanized by their acts.

Throughout the documentary, different issues are discussed among Congo and his collaborators and different meetings arranged with important politicians in power who support the reenactment of this history and speak proudly of their own historical role. In one situation, we meet a journalist who denies he knew these killings were going on, even though he was working above the "office" at that time.

Congo and friends ridicule him, saying that what they were doing was an open secret and all the neighbors knew, so how could he not know? Elsewhere in discussions, someone raises why don't the children of those killed take revenge, and someone replies to general laughter, "Because we would kill them all."

In another setting, one of the film crew tells his own story. When he was t12, his step-father was taken away in the middle of the night and he and his mother found the body days later. No one helped them; they were shunned by their neighbours and could only bury the body in a shallow ditch. While telling this story, he insists repeatedly that this is not a criticism of what Congo and his group have done. Later this person plays the role of the victim for the film within the documentary. The recreation of the scene is so realistic that he breaks down and begs that they give his wife and children a message before he dies, thinking that they were actually going to kill him for telling the story of his step-father.

Oppenheimer asks the executioners if they fear being brought up on charges of war crimes under the Geneva Conventions. One of Congo's sidekicks in the massacres, Adi Zulkadry, replies negatively, saying, "War crimes are defined by the winners. I'm a winner." While watching their film reenactment, Adi is concerned that they are the ones that look cruel, not the communists. Others reply that this is their history, the truth, but Adi responds that too much truth is not always a good thing. He warns that this film is going to make them look bad.

In another scene, Congo acts out the role of the victim who is about to have his head cut off. Clearly unsettled by this experience, he declares he won't play the victim's role again. Having experienced the loss of dignity, Congo asks Oppenheimer if the people he killed felt like he did during his reenactment. Oppenheimer replies that they felt far worse because they knew they were going to die.

Congo, who estimates that he personally killed about a thousand people, is only a small perpetrator among many in the massacres that took place in Indonesia in 1965-66. Behind him stood not only the Indonesian army and the gangsters they recruited, but the biggest criminals and murderers of all, the U.S. government. The 1960s was a time of national liberation struggles around the world and Washington considered President Sukarno a problem. The U.S., then ramping up its intervention in Vietnam, was eager to replace him with a puppet. General Suharto's military coup was hailed in Time magazine as "the best news for the West in Asia in years."

Giving guidance and coordination to the coup d'état behind the scenes was the U.S. and a band of CIA advisers to the Indonesian army. The U.S. provided money, weapons (especially small arms for killing at close range), and radio communication equipment so that the army could efficiently proceed with the killings across Indonesia's 18,000 islands. The CIA provided a "killing list" with 5,000 names of PKI party leaders, prominent opposition figures, leftists, leaders of unions, and intellectuals. As the killings progressed, U.S. advisers assessed the manhunt, checking the names of the dead off the list.

The U.S. claimed to have no knowledge of what was happening during that year. But the supply of radios is perhaps the most telling detail. They served not only as field communications but also became an element of a broad U.S. intelligence gathering operation constructed as the manhunt went forward. Perhaps the most irrefutable evidence of the U.S.'s attitude was that they and the UK kept coup leader General Suharto in power for more than three decades.

Although these crimes were somewhat overshadowed by the immensity of the U.S. war against Vietnam, in later decades declassified documents and cables helped reveal the bloody hand of the U.S. in Indonesia. Former senior U.S. diplomats and CIA officers described in lengthy interviews how they aided Suharto in his attack on the PKI. "It really was a big help to the army," said Robert J. Martens, a former member of the U.S. Embassy's political section in Indonesia. "They [the Indonesia army] probably killed a lot of people, and I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that's not all bad. There's a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment." Martens worked under William Colby, then director of the CIA's Far East division and later head of the CIA.

Although not part of the documentary The Act of Killing, it is worth mentioning that 10 years after the coup, the Indonesian armed forces unleashed another bloodbath with the invasion of East Timor, killing about 250,000 people, a third of its population, again with the help of the U.S. government. The more than 20 years of Indonesian military rule in East Timor were some of the bloodiest and most brutal in Southeast Asian history.

How could the 1965 human slaughter of a million people go on for several months with so little resistance when Indonesia had one of the largest communist organizations in the world, enjoying an immense popularity among the workers and peasants? The Communist Party of Indonesia was a non-revolutionary party with a strategy of parliamentary politics, in coalition with nationalist forces like President Sukarno. The PKI believed that there could be a peaceful transition to socialism and that the state had a "people's aspect" in Sukarno, seen as a hero who led the Indonesian independence struggle against the Dutch. Sukarno foolishly declared that his power base was the PKI, the army and the Islamist forces, but the U.S. helped organize most of the army and the Islamists to overthrow him and hunt down and kill PKI members and decimate their social base among the people.

The PKI did not understand that local bourgeois forces and the world imperialists would never allow them to come to power and saw them as a threat to their interests and control of an important country geopolitically and also rich in oil and other resources. In the context of the times, the overthrow of Suharto was a declaration of the U.S.'s intentions to dominate the region and the world. With a wrong understanding of the role of the military, to protect the state and crush any attempts at taking it over, the devastating results were that the party and their supporters were left unprepared to resist and the people paid the price.


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





Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

We Saw The Cops Murder Eric Garner!


December 1, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |

By Carl Dix

As we continue to take to the streets disrupting business as usual in society, demanding justice for Michael Brown and an end to police murder of Black people, media reports are saying the grand jury in Staten Island, New York City, hearing evidence in the police murder of Eric Garner is getting close to announcing its decision. WE MUST BE POISED TO RESPOND TO THAT GRAND JURY’S DECISION, even as we continue to build resistance to police murder.

We all saw the video of cops choking the life out of Eric Garner back in July. We heard him struggle to get the words out, “I can’t breathe,” again and again. If this grand jury refuses to indict the cops who murdered him, we must pour back out into the streets and say NO MORE! This would be an outrage piled on top of a seemingly never ending chain of outrages, and we must refuse to accept this crap anymore. A failure to indict would be the system trying to tell us that we didn’t see what we saw, and that we didn’t hear what we heard; that our eyes and ears were lying to us. We must take to the streets with a heightened sense of outrages if they let those killer cops walk.

Even if the grand jury indicts several of the cops who murdered Eric Garner, we still need to be out in the streets, letting the system know that an indictment isn’t enough. The murdering cops need to be tried, convicted and jailed for their crime, and we must stay on the case till that happens and not let the system drop the case or bungle the prosecution and let them walk.

The system has already delivered a message that police murder will remain part of Amerikkka’s normal routine. Everyone who was enraged when they heard of the police murders of Ramarley Graham, Tamir Rice, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Andy Lopez and all the other victims of police murder needs to STAY READY TO TAKE TO THE STREETS when the grand jury in Staten Island announces its decision.

Justice for Eric Garner!

Black Lives Matter! Latino Lives Matter! All Lives Matter!





Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Monday: "Hands Up Walk Out" Actions Coast to Coast and Worldwide

December 1, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Hands up! Walk Out! NO business as usual while police murder Black people, and while the killer of Michael Brown walks free! The case is NOT closed. It is NOT time to “move on to a nationwide discussion”—much less one at the fucking White House!  NO! It is TIME TO STRUGGLE and that’s what happened today as students walked out of high school and college campuses around the U.S. Filling the streets, confronting the powers-that-be, and making a powerful statement that Black lives matter.


  • New York City HIgh School Walkouts. Photo:
  • Berkeley High, CA students at police station. Photo: Twitter
  • Berkeley Law School, CA. Photo: Twitter
  • Blocking Harvard Square, MA. Photo: Twitter
  • Harvard Law students walk out. Photo: jonathanlwalton-Instagram
  • Brandeis University, MA. Photo: Twitter
  • New York City, people left work to join protests. Photo: Twitter
  • Stanford, CA protest. Photo: Twitter
  • Jackson State, MS. Photo: Twitter.
  • Vanderbilt University, TN. Photo: shrayley-Instagram
  • Episcopal Divinity, Cambridge MA. Photo: Twitter
  • American Federation of Teachers, Washington DC. Photo: Twitter
  • Marchers on State Street in Chicago, IL. Photo: @soit_goes
  • Wheaton College, IL. Sign reads 'Where is the CHURCH?.' Photo: marryweather-Instagram
  • University of Colorado, Boulder. Photo: Twitter
  • Washington University, St. Louis, MO. Photo: Twitter
  • Smith College, MA. Photo: Twitter
  • Yale University, CT. Photo: Twitter
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18


Mainstream news couldn’t ignore it. Protesters marched on Times Square, with national local media tagging along and broadcasting the event live on CNN, while students chanted “NYPD-KKK, How Many Kids Did You Kill Today?”, along with “Black Lives Matter” and “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail, the Whole Damn System Is Guilty As Hell.”

In many cities, students marched on the police stations and there was bitter, angry testimony from people who had lost loved ones to police murder. In Iowa City, about 75 people marched to a police station and to City Hall, despite the 18-degree weather. In Los Angeles, people gathered in front of the LAPD Newton Division and blocked traffic at the intersection of 65th Street and Broadway, where the police shot and killed Ezell Ford earlier this year.

Die-ins shut down traffic from Harvard Square in Boston to the Department of (IN)Justice in D.C.

The New York Times reported that at UCLA, a student activist said “We’re out here not just because they called for a protest, but because we all have a responsibility to put a stop sign in what can only be described as American genocide by these institutions.” How often does THAT reality break into mainstream media?

Students marched out of the classrooms at the evangelical Christian Wheaton College in Illinois carrying signs “No Justice No Peace.” They were led by a sign asking: “Where is the Church?”

Students challenged everyone to take a stand, and confront injustice. In Chicago, a Palestinian-American college student drew links between the murder and suppression of her people by the Israeli Defense Forces and the police in this country.  A member of Veterans for Peace spoke of the violence committed by the US military around the world and drew parallels between the dehumanization of “the other” from the battlefield to people of color in this country.   A young white woman forcefully challenged passersby, “You can’t stand aside from this, and you are complicit if you do.”

Marches were attacked and protesters arrested—and those arrested must be defended as part of expanding the movement. The powers-that-be terrorize and murder Black and Latino people. They attack protests. Pigs even threatened players on the St. Louis Rams who entered their Sunday game with a “hands up” gesture. And then these powers-that-be lecture people to “avoid violence!” At Harvard 300 students held up a banner saying, “Your peace is violence.” And everywhere: No justice, no peace!

Workers around the country walked out and joined protests—from the National Domestic Workers Alliance of Atlanta; post office employees in Beacon, New York; and members of the Gathering, a United Methodist Church in Clayton, Missouri, were among those who walked out of their jobs.

And students at ground zero in the battle against police murder walked out of school in Ferguson, MO.  The whole world is watching! There were solidarity actions around the world—including in England and Japan.

And in the midst of the courageous outpourings of protest, people grappled with the big questions—what’s wrong with this setup, and how to change it. In NYC, Revolution Books kept its doors open late and student protesters dropped in to watch the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian: REVOLUTION AND RELIGION, and then discussed and debated what they saw, and what they had done that day into the night after going toe-to-toe with the police all day.

This is just a small taste of what happened today.  Stay tuned to!





Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

From the Stop Mass Incarceration Network

Justice for Eric Garner!

New York City Plans for Grand Jury Decision

December 3, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Justice for Eric Garner!
Charge the Killer Cop with Murder!
When the Grand Jury Decision is Announced, Immediately Go to Union Square.
Then, The Day After, 5 pm Union Square
No Business As Usual

If the Killer Cop Walks,
America Halts!
We March!




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

From the Streets of New York City Immediately After the Cop Who Murdered Eric Garner Was NOT INDICTED

December 3, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


New York City, Union Square, December 3, 2014, 6:00 p.m. “I can’t breathe!” “I can’t breathe!” “I can’t breathe!” Immediately after word came out that AGAIN grand jury was giving a stamp of approval to yet another public lynching of a Black man by the police, people gathered at the site of the killing of Eric Garner in Staten Island. The chants were loud and angry. They were Eric Garner’s last words as an NYPD cop choked him to death and all the world watched. The words resonated not just for the murder of Eric Garner but for the tens of millions of African-American and many, many more people from all walks of life who feel they cannot breathe.

People are stunned. How could this happen? Even after Ferguson? This one was caught live on TV. Everyone saw it. Even the pundits on TV can’t explain it. The murder of Eric Garner was the bitter fruit of the “broken windows” policy of new mayor Bill de Blasio and new police commissioner William Bratton. The man was supposedly selling loose cigarettes. The cops knew they were being filmed. The pig who choked Eric Garner to death smiled and waved at the camera after he killed Garner.

By 5 p.m., angry groups are gathering at different places throughout NYC. News media from around the world, including Europe and Latin America, are covering the protest at Union Square.

A young Black man is speaking bitterness to the crowd at Union Square. He says the only comfort he gets is that a white man today told him that when he sees a police, his blood boils. Two African-American 10th graders from Brooklyn were the first to leave their school and head to Union Square to protest. One says,”It’s Eric Garner. It’s Ferguson. This has to be stopped!” They plan to organize a walkout at their school tomorrow and they expect their principal to support them. A white man in his 50s is holding a sign saying “It’s de Blasio time and Eric Garner Is Dead.” It’s a reference to the fascist era when Rudy Giuliani was mayor of New York, popularly referred to as “Giuliani time.” He says “I had cautious hope that de Blasio would change things, but the death of Eric Garner is on his watch. The failure to indict is on his watch.”

A white woman holding a sign “Ferguson Is Everywhere; Police Brutality and Murder MUST STOP!” says “Our humanity is at stake. White silence is complicity. I can’t breath either. The “Ferguson Is Everwhere” is everywhere in the crowd. Travis Morales from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network leads a mic check taking on Giuliani, who said on TV that the problem is “black on black” crime. Morales says “Stop changing the subject! The system has given our children no future and the system is killing our children.”

This afternoon, there was a die-in at Grand Central Terminal. Marchers from Union Square have headed uptown to Times Square. De Blasio has cancelled his appearance at Manhattan’s ceremonial Christmas tree lighting.

The mood is determined. The night is young.


Eric Garner Protesters Stage "Die-In" at Grand Central Station




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

From the NYC Streets, Wednesday night, 8 p.m.

December 3, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


A report from the middle of a march:

Few hundred of us rallied at Union Square. There were lot of people, including lot of young people, testifying about what they thought about the outrageous grand jury decision. People expressing fear they had of themselves or for their brothers getting killed by police. Young people crying. Pouring out anger and outrage. We met lots of people who told us this was their first protest. When they heard about the grand jury decision not to indict the cop who choked Eric Garner to death, they couldn't take it any more—they just had to go to get out into the street.

We marched out from Union Square to Rockefeller Plaza where the annual big Christmas tree lighting was scheduled—to  disrupt business-as-usual and tell the world that these police murders must STOP. We joined up with others at Times Square. We were not able to get to the tree lighting because of the HUGE police presence.

People have been chanting for hours now: "Justice for Eric Garner!" "Indict, convict, the whole damn system is guilty as hell!" "NYPD, KKK, how many kids have you killed today?!", etc.

We've marched up to Harlem, where there was a speak-out against police brutality at the 25th precinct station. There were chants of "This is racist bullshit. We need an indictment!"




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

From the NYC Streets, Wednesday night, 9 p.m.

December 3, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


9:00 pm, Times Square, New York City

Groups of people are coming to Times Square looking for a protest. Dozens of Mexican American activists are having a vigil in solidarity with the 43 students who have been disappeared in Mexico. They are a magnet for Black kids who have come to Times Square looking for a protest in response to the refusal to indict the cop who murdered Eric Garner. English-speaking Ayotzinapa protesters tell the Black kids how America's "war on drugs" has turned their country into a killing field. The whole group takes up chants, "Hands Up, Don't Shoot!" "No Justice, No Peace!"

Times Square NYC Ayotzinapa protest chanting "Hands Up Don't Shoot" December 3


A block or so away, nonviolence advocates are blocking the street in a peaceful protest. They calmly and sincerely explain to the police that they are making a nonviolent statement. Suddenly, from amidst the crowds at Times Square, a couple dozen riot police emerge and drag16 of the protestors into police trucks.

There's a delegation from Amnesty International documenting human rights abuses. Small groups of Black people are gathered with protest signs all around Times Square. Several foreign media crews are interviewing three Black youths standing on a corner. They ask the kids whether they agree with President Obama that police should have cameras put in their cars. One youth says, "Yes, that's the only way to stop them from killing us." The Revolution correspondent asks, "Wasn't the murder of Eric Garner caught on video and didn't the whole world watch it? What good did that do?" His friends respond, "That won't do it. One way or another, this has to stop."

On another corner, three Black women stand with union protest signs. Karen, a 43-year-old musician, says some of her friends are Black cops and she argues with them about how can they be part of police force. "Our Black boys are being hunted down and shot." She says the problem is the police don't live in our communities. They see us as animals and I'm tired of it." She is asked, "What about your Black police friends? Are they doing something other than what the rest are doing?" She says, "No, the Black cops are just as vicious as the whites."

A 24-year-old Black woman student is carrying a sign that says "Amerikka Hates Black People." She says, "This is as upsetting as it was expected. The time for civil disobedience is over. Things in this country come to a head every 50 years. We are overdue for a revolution. We don't want to sing 'We Shall Overcome' anymore. They are killing us and I can't take it anymore."

Word is spreading that a thousand protesters are shutting down the West Side Highway. Everyone is heading west.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Hundreds in Ferguson-St. Louis County Protest No Indictment in Eric Garner Murder: "I Can't Breathe!"

by Larry Everest | December 3, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


St. Louis-Ferguson, December 3

Protest at St. Louis County "Justice" center in Clayton, Missouri, December 3.

St. Louis-Ferguson, December 3

Die-in, December 3.

St. Louis-Ferguson, December 3


Within hours of hearing that Eric Garner’s murderer would not be indicted, hundreds turned out to several protests in the Ferguson—St. Louis County area condemning the lack of an indictment—and the lack of justice for Black people all across the country. One was at the Department of Justice in downtown St. Louis, another began at 4:30 in Clayton at the St. Louis County “Justice Center”—where the office of the Prosecuting Attorney who refused to indict Darren Wilson, Michael Brown's murderer, is located. After the Clayton demonstration ended, people were planning to continue in Shaw Park in Clayton and later at the Ferguson Police Station.

Around 250 people turned out in Clayton at 4:30—nearly half from the Gamaliel-“Fire of Faith” organization, a national grouping of faith/religious organizations involved in social justice work. Clergy from various denominations and churches spoke of how their faith called on them to be their brother’s keeper, their sister’s keeper—and our brothers and sisters are suffering all across the country. One very well-dressed Black man said, “Black life has such little value, we can’t even get an indictment when a Black man is killed, never mind a trial or a conviction. We can’t even get an indictment.” One 30-something white man said Michael Brown’s murder and then the Grand Jury’s refusal to indict was an awakening. “There’s no justice,” he said. “And I feel like shit if I don’t get out and do something about it.”

After marching several blocks, the protest came back to the St. Louis County “Justice Center” for a 4 and a half minute die in blocking a  nearby intersection.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Quick Chicago snapshot

December 3, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Wednesday, December 3– The situation is changing rapidly. Masses of people  are shutting down traffic in New York City. Rage and realization that the system has actually let more murdering pigs walk free. And Eric Garner’s murder was captured second by second on video for the world to see. Ten days after the grand jury in St. Louis, Missouri refused to indict the cop that murdered Mike Brown.

Here in Chicago, there is similar anger but as yet not as many people have the same burning feeling that “we must act NOW!” that flows so deeply tonight in New York. Nevertheless, a spirited street-corner rally held downtown at rush hour brought forth a dozen or so people, many joining on the spot.

A young Black woman told, “It’s just the injustice everywhere. I don’t really think that the system is set up to help people of color, Black or brown. It’s the injustice. Like the sign says ‘Who do you call when the police attack us?’ But I think that if we all realize we’re human first, things can change. But we do need to have a change.”

A young Mexican woman started testifying in Spanish about the horrific disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa, in the state of Guerrero in Mexico. She had just come from a rally at the Federal Building a block away, in solidarity with the huge struggle of the people in Mexico demanding the return of the students who had been kidnapped by a drug cartel, with the active assistance of the local authorities and police. One of the major demands of the people there is the resignation of the Mexican president. She saluted the struggle of the people in the United States and added “we demand that these people be returned alive, because they were alive when they were kidnapped.”

The rally then turned into a march that went up and down the sidewalk, calling out to shoppers and to people on their way home from work.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Intensify and Spread the Struggle Against Police Murder and the New Jim Crow—Get Organized and Go Higher!

December 4, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The exoneration of the murderers of Eric Garner—an illegal and inhuman public execution filmed for all to see—crosses a line even for that empire conceived in slavery and genocide and sustained today by oppression, violence and a grinding exploitation and destruction of this planet’s people and resources. Watch the video, the full video, here. Eric Garner, a father of six children working to support them, asserts his dignity and humanity in a reasonable but determined way. In response, the human tools of the American system slowly, methodically, and heartlessly strangle him to death. Then, rather than try to revive him, they poke at his lifeless body. 

Get this article out everywhere people are stepping out in struggle—especially in schools and neighborhoods where people are standing up. Discuss it with people, and encourage them to make plans—as the article calls on readers to do.

Click here for a printable Word file.

What legitimacy does a system have which not only generates a crime like this from those in authority, but refuses to punish it and exonerates the culprits? What legitimacy does a system have whose laws and rules have functioned for centuries to repress and condemn and murder entire peoples? What legitimacy does a system have which offers no future for millions of Black and Latino and Native American youth, and then pens them in, locks them down and kills them off? What legitimacy does a system have whose laws and rules have functioned to exploit and plunder and rob, not only here but worldwide, not only in some so-called “isolated instances” but against millions and yes tens of millions? None whatsoever. If we were to tolerate this latest horrific outrage with perhaps a few token protests, we would be complicit in the crimes. AND WE MUST NOT AND WILL NOT BE!

So what has been done so far in protesting and REFUSING to tolerate this, first in response to Ferguson and now the unpunished murder of Eric Garner, has been crucially important and a much-needed first step. The nightly outpourings, the walkouts, the actions by athletes and artists, the disruptions of all kinds have been excellent and needed and must continue. These actions have forced everyone in this country to confront the reality of this epidemic of police brutality and murder, of mass incarceration, of the criminalization of entire peoples. They have compelled everyone in this country to confront what Bob Avakian has called the “simple and basic truth” that “There would be no United States as we know it today without slavery,” and that the legacy of this slavery has continued and morphed into new forms of white supremacy and remains central to this society. Whether people want to confront that or not, they have been forced by the actions of those in the streets to do so—and that in itself is an important accomplishment, and has shaken up and shaken loose the conscience of millions. And these actions have shown people that there is a movement arising that in fact will NOT tolerate this and these actions have pulled increasing numbers of people INTO that beginning-to-be-born movement. All this is still beginning, still first steps in what must be a dogged and determined and hard fight—but yes, the brave fighters for justice have accomplished a great deal.

But now is certainly not the time to retreat or quiet down. Now is not the time to fall for the honeyed words and empty promises of the oppressors, nor to be misled by their slanders. Now is the time to intensify and to spread this movement and the righteous actions taken so far. Still more people must be involved—there are plenty of people who have not come out in struggle yet, who must and should and can be won to come out. And these actions themselves must become more determined in confronting the business-as-usual of this empire. Organizing through Twitter and Facebook has its definite strengths, but people also need to get together in person and decide how to take this higher.

We call on people to organize meetings this Sunday or sooner, drawing together as many people and groups as possible, with as much diversity as possible. We support the impulse and the talk of making next week an entire week of outrage, December 7th to the 14th, with widespread actions of different kinds each day, including expressions within the very communities where these monsters-in-blue carry out their sick crimes, drawing in justice-craving people from throughout society. We endorse the march in DC next Saturday, called by Eric Garner’s family, demanding justice—including the demand that there be a federal prosecution of the murdering police in New York and Ferguson. This march should be as broad and powerful as possible and should be echoed in other cities, drawing in religious groups (there should be sermons on this on the weekends of December 7 and 14), community organizations, and social activism groups of all kinds. And there should also be creative actions throughout the week of various kinds that give militant expression to people’s determination to NOT live in a society where this kind of abuse and murder can be carried out.

Within all this, and broader than all this, we call on revolutionaries and all people who want to see fundamental change to get out the special issue of REVOLUTION, along with the inserted statement from Carl Dix on the murder of Eric Garner, far and wide. Pass this out broadly and then take donations in buckets. Get this into new places. The word of this struggle and the way to go deeper into understanding the problem and learning about—and being part of—the solution must be spread. And in everything, continue to get out posters with key slogans.

See you on the front lines!







Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Marches and Speak-outs in Downtown Seattle

December 4, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

December 3—In Seattle, 100 people responded to a call by the October 22nd Coalition on 5 hours' notice to come out in the streets to condemn the grand jury verdict in the murder of Eric Garner. High School and college students and many other youth of different nationalities took over streets all over downtown, blocking traffic, doing die-ins and holding emotional and searing speak-outs that brought in basic masses and others off the streets. People repeatedly stood-off with the police, despite fairly small numbers and a heavy pig presence that has flooded downtown Seattle ever since Black Lives Matter protests on November 27 succeeded in thoroughly disrupting business-as-usual in the core of the shopping district.

People who had loved ones killed by police spoke out about their hurt and anger and connected it to the cases of Eric Garner and Mike Brown. An older Black man ran down his life experiences of oppression at the hands of the police and system, indicted this “way of life” and pronounced his love for the new generation in the streets. Revolutionary communists indicted the utter illegitimacy of the system and the need for spreading the resistance and building up a movement for revolution. There were '60s people who came forward to speak, tying resistance then to now. The “speak bitterness" sessions riveted everyone and became like schools to learn about how this system really treats Black people and others. Youth, many of whom had never spoken at a protest spoke in anger at the verdict, in love for Black people and all people, rapped out their sentiments, and discussed and debated big questions—do we need more Black voices on the mike or does everyone need to speak? Does this need to spread to everybody to stop all this? What will it take to stop it? Through the speak-outs and debates over some of these questions the protest came into the hands of the people. A real appreciation and connection developed for each other, for Black people, and also deep anger at the verdict, the murders of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and so many others. Tears rolled down people’s faces. Determination was forged to stand with each other, with Ferguson and NYC, and spread and intensify the struggle.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Oakland: 500 March Through the Streets

December 4, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Oakland, December 3

Oakland, December 3

Oakland, December 3

From a reader:

December 3—In Oakland as soon as the grand jury’s decision not to indict the cop who choked Eric Garner to death was announced, messages started going out via twitter, email and other means saying to gather as soon as possible at 14th and Broadway to protest this outrage. The intersection, one of the busiest in Oakland, was the site of many protests last week after the Ferguson grand jury let Michael Brown’s killer go free.

Soon hundreds had gathered and protesters took turns speaking over a bullhorn expressing outrage and determination that the murder of Black men by the police has to stop. Soon a march of 500, made up of people of all nationalities took to the streets. Shouts of “I Can’t Breathe” echoing the last words of Eric Garner as he was choked to death by the cops, rang out along with chants against the murder of Michael Brown. Many signs said, “Black Lives Matter.”

Protesters marched for hours covering more than five miles in often heavy rain. As the march went by cafes, gyms and bars people raised their fists (or put their hands in the air) and more than a few joined the protest. The protesters marched down Telegraph Ave. to Piedmont Ave, a more well off area of shops and restaurants.

Oakland, December 3.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

From Class and Out into the Streets

December 4, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader in NYC:

December 3—I first heard about the Grand Jury's decision via text around 3 pm on my way to my school for a forensic mental health class. I decided to go ahead to the class, and arriving a little late I found they had heard about the None Indictment and the professor was leading a discussion:

The professor asked some questions and (by show of hands) we learned that no one out of a class of about 20 students had had a class discussion about Ferguson. We critiqued how these discussions are not integrated into the mainstream and instead the nation (academia included) will only start serious discussions after there is upheaval and ferment. The original topic was counseling with multicultural sensitivity and a discussion on politically correct language was shifted to the importance in use of language and word choice around Ferguson. For example—the national conversation is constantly referring to riots/looting and this misrepresents the sentiment on the street. I suggested the more accurate term of rebellions. Also someone compared the labeling of Mike Brown as "a thug," while a white shooter who fires on a crowd is labelled as "a good kid where something just went wrong."

There was also a comparison to psychoanalysts in Nazi Germany who had to decide if they wanted to help the average citizen to be well-adjusted or if they could use their influence with "liberation psychology." Another student brought up the statistics of current white privilege and history as a constant struggle to secure and maintain this power by a ruling class.

From this class I walked towards Rockefeller Plaza (around 6:30) and first encountered the cops with barricades set up a few blocks north of any action. I kept walking and then found a protest of maybe 300 at 51st and 6th Ave. People were yelling at the cops saying things like "Get Off the Bullshit Code of Silence!" and "Indict Killer Cops!" 

The group was not able to (or decided not to) cross the avenue to move closer to the tree lighting ceremony and headed west, then north.

I got my hands on a banner that read "If the Killer Cop Walks, then Shut It Down." A couple of students volunteered to carry this, one young Black woman said she had to go to work at 10 pm but she saw this group and decided to join. She said it is about time that people begin to do something about the way things are.

The group marched all the way to Harlem, with lots of solidarity and group leadership as to when to make sharp turns. Almost every time that the cops were positioned at the front of the protesters, the group turned down another street with lots of comments such as "fight the power" and "fuck the police." Eventually we made a "people's circle" across an intersection of four lanes (125th and Lexington). We had a die-in and used the people's mic to share how important these actions are and the target of shutting down the bridges, tunnels and hopefully One Federal Plaza to send the message of no more business-as-usual. 




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Get Organized!

December 4, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


You can have fun playing pickup basketball in the park. But if you want to win a serious tournament, you need a team. You need organization.

Teams bring to bear the different strengths of the individuals involved. They operate from a common strategy and common game plan. The people on the team know—or should know—how what they do is contributing to winning the game. The people on the team develop their skills and learn how to operate as a unit.

Coaches develop the game plan based on their understanding of the laws of the game, and of the strengths and weaknesses of the two sides. If she is a good coach, she lets the players know the game plan, inside out. She forges people into a team, with a common sense of purpose, based on this understanding. She enables the players to know how what they are doing contributes to the plan, and how to take initiative within that plan and on that basis to exercise leadership themselves. At key points, she sums up what they have accomplished, and what they need to do to go further and win. An important part of this is identifying and learning from mistakes, and from advances. And as the game develops, she leads the players to make the necessary changes and adjustments.

This is not a game we are playing. This is serious. We want to win. But we do need to be organized. We need teams like this, right now, in the struggle we are waging. And we have them.

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network is an organization—a team—whose goal is to end the whole way that this system unjustly imprisons, persecutes, tortures, abuses, and even murders Black people, Latinos, Native Americans, and other “minority” communities. If you want to be about this, get with this network and multiply your efforts.

The Revolution Club is a team that fights the power today and prepares, and transforms, the people to make revolution tomorrow—and make “tomorrow” come as soon as possible. If you want to do this—if you want to mobilize people to fight back and, at the same time, learn about and spread the word on the revolution we need—then you need to “join the team.”

These two organizations must grow right now. They must throw open their doors in new ways. Unlike sports, in the people’s struggle there is no limit to the number of players—in fact, “the more the merrier.” These organizations must act as a team at demonstrations and other mass outpourings, with a real identifiable and attractive presence, letting people know that there is somewhere they can go to make their energies count and to make sense of what they’re doing.

Join them!




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Every Year Droves of Anti-Abortion Fanatics Mobilize on the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade...


by Sunsara Taylor | December 5, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Clara Duvall

Savita Halappanavar

Becky Bell

Rosie Jimenez

Pauline Shirley

Gerri Santoro

Some of the hundreds of thousands of women around the world who have died because they were denied access to safe and legal abortion.

Each year on the anniversary of the legalization of abortion in this country, tens—perhaps hundreds—of thousands of people descend on Washington, DC and San Francisco to stand in public opposition to women's right to abortion. They call themselves the March for “Life,” but what do these marches really stand for? What is the view of women they are promoting? What role are they playing in the larger political and legal landscape of escalating assault on women's right to abortion? And how must those of us who care about abortion rights and women's lives respond?

First, the March for “Life” opposes all abortions in all circumstances for all women. They make no exception for women who are raped. No exception for the health—or even the life—of the woman. No exception when the fetus has a severe anomaly or doesn't stand a chance of surviving. For them, from a fertilized egg has the same value as the woman or girl whose body it is in. Their principles clearly state: “the life of a preborn child shall be preserved and protected to the same extent as the life of, e.g., an infant, a young adult or a middle-aged prominent national figure... There can be no exceptions.” In other words, the idea that pregnancy from rape is a “gift from god” is not a “fringe” position within the “pro-life” movement. It is the mainstream. This year the March's theme is, “Every Life Is a Gift.”

Second, this March is a rallying point for the entire anti-abortion movement. It is the largest anti-abortion gathering in the world. Sitting members of Congress and Senate, sitting presidents, the Pope, and the whole spectrum of religious fanatics have taken part. Some put on a compassionate tone and claim that “abortion harms women.” Others openly express the truly fascist core of the March's politics. Nelly Gray, the March's now-deceased founder, often called for holding “feminist abortionists” accountable for their “crimes,” invoking the Nuremberg Trials whose penalty was death.

In recent years, this March has transformed into a year-round political force. The week surrounding the March is filled with trainings for students, religious leaders, bloggers, and others. Tens of thousands of Catholic school kids and youth ministries are bussed in, indoctrinated, and charged with the life-mission to be the generation that ends abortion. This has helped fuel the unrelenting nationwide assault on abortion which has risen to unprecedented levels in the last few years. Since 2011, more than 200 restrictions have been passed against abortion at the state level and dozens of clinics have been forced to close. Six states have only one abortion clinic left. With the landslide Republican victories in the recent elections, all this will surely continue.

Third, this anti-abortion mobilization has had a profound impact on public opinion. Especially among young people and even among those who support abortion rights, abortion is increasingly thought of along the spectrum that starts with “tragic” and ends with “genocidal.” More and more shame is cast on the women who seek abortions. Fewer and fewer people feel unapologetic about abortion rights while those who oppose it feel completely emboldened. This is partly because young people do not remember the days before legal abortion, with the shotgun weddings, girls being “sent away,” and thousands dying from botched abortions. But it is also because the anti-abortion movement systematically indoctrinates and mobilizes their youth as foot-soldiers while the “pro-choice” side teaches people to defensively avoid the word “abortion” altogether in favor of things like “privacy” and “healthcare.”

All this is extremely dangerous. Fetuses are not babies, abortion is not murder, and women are not incubators. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting an abortion for whatever reason a woman chooses. What is wrong is forcing women to have children against their will.

Yet, this is precisely what is happening already in huge swaths of this country and many parts of the world. Especially rural and very poor areas, women face extreme difficulty terminating unwanted pregnancies. Many are unable to come up with the money, childcare and time off work for significant travel and an overnight stay to comply with mandatory waiting periods. Immigrant women who lack papers can't travel through fascist check-points near the U.S./Mexico border. Young women and girls in 38 states can't get abortions without parental involvement. Already, a great many either resign to having a child they did not want or risk their lives—and prison time—to self-induce abortions.

Forcing women to have children against their will is a form of enslavement. It means that women have to foreclose their other aspirations and dreams, scramble or remain in abusive situations, and bear and raise a child they did not want. They have to endure the weight of thousands of years of shame and judgment that comes down on women. And all women and girls live in a society where they know that their lives do not matter as much as a clump of unformed tissue.

It is long past time for that this massive anti-woman March be publicly and massively opposed! It must no longer be the case that a fascist anti-abortion message is the only one heard loud and clear on Roe v. Wade, shaping public opinion. It must no longer be the case that the anti-abortion fanatics are the only ones rallying the new generation to take the future of abortion rights—and of women—on as a primary life mission.

Those of us who do not want to see women forced to have children against their will must step out in defiant counter-protest this year. We must change the terms of this fight, declaring loudly “Abortion On Demand and Without Apology” and give millions more the confidence to say this too. We must hold up the pictures of the women who have died from illegal abortions and wake people up to the fact that this fight is over women's liberation or women's enslavement. We must model—through die-ins and other defiant acts—the courage and political clarity that can inspire and call forward many others.

In early January (date to be announced very soon), Stop Patriarchy will hold a major Abortion Rights Speak Out in New York City which will be webcast nationally. People across the country should organize viewing parties in their homes and public places that bring people together to learn the truth about this emergency, what is at stake for women, and how to take meaningful action to join with or support the Roe v. Wade protests. Then, on January 22 in DC and January 24 in San Francisco, people need to bus and caravan and converge at the national mobilizations counter-protesting the Marches for “Life.” It is time for students, artists, grandparents, professionals, religious folks as well as atheists, musicians and many more to come together and stand up. It is time to show our strength, courage and determination not to allow women to be forced backwards any further and to win a whole better future for women everywhere.

This Roe v. Wade anniversary, we fight back!




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, Ferguson, MO

Hundreds of High School Students Walk Out:
“Turn up, don’t turn down!  We do this for Mike Brown!”

by Larry Everest | December 4, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |



Hundreds of high school students from Ferguson and St. Louis County walked out on December 2 in response to the #HandsUpWalkOut call for nationwide school walkouts, including the high schools in the Ferguson-Florissant District—McCluer South-Berkeley High and McCluer North—along with Hazelwood Central and Hazelwood East, Clayton High, Kirkwood High, and Ritenour High in St. Louis, where students laid down on the football field for 4.5 minutes.  And other schools may have walked out as well.  Some schools had been shut on Monday due to weather, so the students took action Tuesday.

I caught up with 200, mainly Black students, from Ferguson’s McCluer South-Berkeley High, located not far from the Ferguson police station, as they were defiantly marching up South Florissant to Airport Road where they rallied for an hour or more. 

Their energy—and desire to speak out was impossible to contain—expressed in loud chants or talking about their feelings and why they’d walked out and marched. 

“He should have been indicted!” “We want to be heard!”  “Black lives matter.”  “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” were some of their shouted demands.  “Turn up, don’t turn down!  We do this for Mike Brown!”

One said: “It wasn’t right, it wasn’t right, it could have been any of us,” one young woman said.  “It hit me in the heart.  I got brothers.  That shit matters.”

December 2 Ferguson High School Walkout

December 2 Ferguson High School Walkout

December 2 Ferguson High School Walkout

“I ain’t even Black, man you know what I’m saying,” said one Asian-American student.  “But police saw me one time—so I know about the shit.”

“We’re out here trying to make our voices heard,” a young woman said. “Our generation is going to make a change.  We’ve got to get out heard.  We can’t just be upset and say nothing.  It’s been going on too long—it could have easily been her or me...”

“We need to get justice, we’re out here for justice—no justice no peace for real!” one woman yelled.

“He [Darren Wilson] didn’t have to shoot to kill,” one young man said.  He [Mike Brown] wasn’t going to do nothing to that man, and that’s why we’re out here.  They’re [police] are out here following us like we’re going to vandalize something.  Why are they following us?”

“There’s a lot going on,” a woman student said quietly.  “We’re just tired of all the killing by the police.”

“It’s not right for them to let the man walk away with murder,” one male student said, “he’s got to be doing some time.”

Several of the students told me that they’d been a core of some 20 students who began the walkout by marching around the school and rallying others.  They told me that they wanted the other students to be more serious about the walkout and the issues—and not just out because others were.  I shared my experience from the 1960s—that a lot of people, including me in some ways—who get drawn into things in part because "everyone is doing it," can change and get really serious about changing the world.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Cheers to Ariyana Smith: “I could not play that game”

December 5, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Saturday, November 28. During the singing of the national anthem, Knox College basketball star Ariyana Smith stood on the basketball court with her arms raised up in a “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” posture. She then walked toward the American flag, her arms still raised and fell to the ground—and lay there for a full 4.5 minutes, symbolizing the 4.5 hours that Michael Brown’s body lay in the streets after he was shot down and killed by Ferguson cop Darren Wilson.

The game was against Fontbonne University—in Clayton, Missouri, the very city where the grand jury chose not to indict officer Darren Wilson.

Ariyana Smith was immediately suspended by her coach—Knox College later reversed the punishment.

Smith said: “I could not go into that gym and pretend that everything was OK...I could not play in good conscience. I could not play that game.”




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Greensboro, North Carolina: WHO SHUT SHIT DOWN? WE SHUT SHIT DOWN!

December 5, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Greensboro:

Last night, only a few short hours after yet another grand jury gave its stamp of approval to the lynching of yet another unarmed Black man, we marched into the heart of downtown Greensboro and SHUT IT DOWN. On very short notice, around fifty people gathered and marched to the very spot where activists fighting racist segregation shut down the same intersection forty-one years ago, and took it over. It took cops about 20 minutes to even show up; meanwhile, there was vocal and visible support from many of the drivers whose cars were stopped. Although 25-30 of us had declared that we were willing to risk arrest and had blocked the intersection while a growing crowd on the sidewalk fully took part by chanting and bearing witness, the cops kept their distance, and blocked off Market and Elm streets to traffic, without arresting anyone. At that point we broke into a loud and celebratory chant: “WHO SHUT SHIT DOWN? WE SHUT SHIT DOWN!”

Right now we are moving forward on the strength of an outpouring of outrage, locally and nationally, that hasn’t been seen in decades. The genocidal moves of this system against Black and Brown people that the Stop Mass Incarceration Network has described since its founding have escalated with the freeing of the murderers of Mike Brown and Eric Garner. However, these same conditions have pushed people into action in massive numbers here and nationwide. Just last week, around four hundred people took to the streets in protest of the non-indictment of the murdering cop who ended the life of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO. We took over the streets that night too, marching from one institution of repression to another our voices loud with defiance: from the courthouse, to the police station, and to the jail. At every stop, people spoke from a deep bitterness about the abuses of this system, and how it’s imbued with racism and white supremacy in every aspect of its political and social existence.

People are feeling all of this outrage on a deep level, and expressing it with their presence and their voices. Last night a young Black woman who recently moved here from Florida opened her comments before the march by saying, “The first time a cop called me ‘nigger’ I was five years old.” That hit people hard. She then spoke to how she’d always felt compelled to confront oppression as a Black queer woman, and that yesterday’s ruling made it clear that she needed to join people in the streets. Another Black woman who was interviewed by a TV news station last night while marching arm in arm with several others told the reporter, “The people that we pay taxes to are not protecting us and they need to know we are done, we are tired...I’m hurt, and I have a brother and I’m scared that I won’t ever see him again if he’s stopped by a cop for whatever reason.”

At the same time, people are also expressing hope: not “HOPE” as a cynically misleading slogan for yet another oppressor, but the hope that we can unite on deep, principled levels to confront all of the oppression coming down on people. Many people looked around at the very diverse crowds that had been called into the streets, and expressed the beginnings of a real hope that we can cross boundaries of race, nationality, sexual orientation and gender expression to challenge all of this oppression together. From one facebook post seen after last Tuesday’s march: “Being in demonstrations and participating in protests have been the most diverse area I've ever been in that I've actually felt comfortable. That's why I went to majority black schools because that's where I feel safe. I feel like Malcolm when he went to Africa and opened his eyes to see Muslims were all colors and changed his outlook on SOME things.”

There are tremendous strengths in all of this and tremendous openings as well. Our local SMIN chapter brings out the understanding that these police murders and non-indictments are fundamentally connected to the 2.2 million people locked up in prison, 60% of whom are Black or Latino. We strive to be an example of a multi-racial, multi-national formation that can challenge the very foundations of the racist, genocidal program of this system, and unite with people broadly on that basis. Many challenges are ahead of us, not the least of which is the fact that while cops are being mostly non-violent in how they deal with these protests (outside of Ferguson, at least), that can change at any moment, especially as the protests grow bigger and draw more deeply from the ranks of the people who are being brutalized daily (like in Ferguson). No matter what, though...we keep pushing like we have a world to win, because we do.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Die-In at University of Chicago

December 5, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

University of Chicago, December 4

Special to

December 4—An outpouring of anger at University of Chicago broke through the intellectual “cool” that usually prevails at this elite university. At noon a crowd of about 150 jammed the entrance to Regenstein Library, chanting and creating a corridor where about 50 people held a die-in. After a 4-1/2 minute silence symbolizing the 4-1/2 hours that Michael Brown lay in the street, the die-in continued while the crowd—mostly students but also people from the Hyde Park neighborhood of Obama—sang protest songs and waved signs: “Black Lives Matter,” “I Can’t Breathe,” and “I Didn’t Sign This Social Contract.” After the die-in, marchers took over a busy intersection near campus, and stopped traffic. Through the action, we got out copies of Revolution and talked to several students.

University of Chicago, December 4

Special to

Deep conversations went on along with chanting and singing: one young African-American woman student asked some of the white students, “Tell me, how do you respond when people say ‘Well, he must have done something wrong for them to murder him’?” A chorus of voices rose in criticism about that "way of thinking"—how can that even be the question, when repeated reality has shown that police murder young people of color and no cop is ever indicted. The young woman said that she had known young boys and girls who were harassed by the cops; she’d known grown men and women too, and this pattern had to be broken. We went into how this is a system, and she responded how disgusted she was with Obama; people put their faith in him but he has done just what other presidents have done: justifying oppression and wars. She said that even Obama’s new immigration “reform” was just to bring immigrants into their system so they could be followed and deported.

Then we took over the intersection, and students we talked to all knew about and many planned to attend the 5 pm protest at State and Jackson in the Loop.





Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Chicago Comes Alive in Protest, December 4

December 5, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Downtown Chicago, December 4

Downtown Chicago, December 4. Photo:

“Time has come today,” sang the Chambers Brothers in a '60s rock classic. This could be the soundtrack for Chicago tonight. Tonight—a new night! At least 1,000 gathered in the same downtown corner of State and Jackson that saw not many more than twenty the night before. 

The protesters, of different nationalities and backgrounds, soon surged forward into the street, refusing to let the cops push them onto the sidewalk. People kept up a fast march for miles on downtown and near downtown streets. They stopped to shutdown major intersections, sitting down and chanting. Then just as swiftly, on their feet and marching again. 

There was method to the seemingly meandering route—as marchers reached the I-90/I-94 interstate overpass on Roosevelt Ave., hundreds ran for the on-ramp. A few reached the highway itself, and briefly stopped traffic during the busy rush hour. But they were pulled back by the cops, who also massed and prevented protesters from reaching the highway. People headed back the other way, sitting down at the intersection and blocking the off-ramp, effectively backing up highway traffic for miles.

Motorists in cars on the surface street that were blocked and stalled by the protest were generally supportive. They honked their horns in unison with the chants from the crowd, they pumped their fists out of vehicle windows. One young Black man in a van stalled at the edge of the crowd sat out of the van window. He waved a copy of Revolution newspaper and yelled, “What is it going to take for this to end?” The crowd took up his call as a chant.

People then headed back east toward downtown again. They made their way back to State St. and eventually made it onto Lake Shore Drive (a major north-south thoroughfare along Lake Michigan), shutting it down! There was a long stand-off as the cops set up a line to confront the people. Finally, they pushed people back off the Drive. 

People took off again, taking the street on the “Magnificent Mile,” the upscale shopping mecca of North Michigan Avenue.

As this is being written at 10 pm, and according to the live TV news, marchers are still in the streets in downtown Chicago! As the revolutionary band Outernational sings, “We own the night!”




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

December 14, 2014

BA Everywhere Dinner Celebration

Download Word version
of New York flier

Updated December 6, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |



You are invited:

BA Everywhere Dinner Celebrations

Come together to celebrate the victories and achievements of the past year, even as we remember the outrages and horrors that people faced...

Come together to celebrate the historic November 15th Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, "Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion"...

Come together to celebrate the ways in which people all over have stood up against the outrageous refusal to indict Darren Wilson for the murder of Mike Brown...

Come together to break bread with friends old and new and very new, to sing and dance and have fun, and to talk about the year to come...

Come together to raise money to spread this Dialogue far and wide in the coming year...

Go to now to see simulcast video of the Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel WestThese dinners are hosted by and are a benefit for the BA Everywhere campaign, a national campaign to raise large sums of money so that Bob Avakian's radical vision and strategy for revolution becomes known throughout society.

Click at right now to see the full, uncut simulcast of the Nov. 15 Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West, "Revolution and Religion: the Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion."


Find out more:

Transgression and Convergence, Infectious Chemistry and Serious Urgency:
Reflections on the Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian

Read more

Making the Absolute Most Out of an Incredible Dialogue

Read more

Get to Know Bob Avakian
His vision for a revolutionary society, his writings, and his leadership

New York City

Sunday, December 14 - 4:30 to 7:30 pm
West Park Presbyterian Church
165 West 86th Street at Amsterdam Avenue
(#1 or C train to 86th Street)
$10 - $50 Sliding Scale or Bring a Dish

RSVP and for more information:
New York City BA Everywhere Committee


Sunday, December 14, 4:00-7:00 pm
Quaker House, 5615 S. Woodlawn Ave., (Hyde Park, Chicago)
$10—or Bring a dish to share
(More contributions are welcome)

RSVP and for more information: / 312-860-8167

San Francisco Bay Area

Sunday, Dec. 14, 5-8 pm
North Oakland Community Charter School
1000 42nd Street, Oakland, California
$10 - $50 Sliding Scale and Bring a Dish

For More Information Contact:
BA Everywhere  (510) 387-5615, or Revolution Books   (510) 848-1196 

Los Angeles

Sunday, Dec. 14, 4 pm 
Revolution Books
5726 Hollywood Blvd., L.A., California 90028
$10 to $50 or bring a dish
To RSVP. volunteer or more info: 213.304.9864


Sunday, December 14, 3-6 pm
SHAPE Community Center/Harambee Bldg.
3903 Almeda, Houston, Texas  77004
$10 Sliding Scale (based on ability to pay)
and Bring a Dish to Share
RSVP and for more information:


Sunday, December 21, 4-7pm
Little 5 Points Community Center
Top Floor room #202 (enter from back parking lot)
1083 Austin Ave. @ Euclid Ave
(same building as WRFG radio and Horizon Theater in Little 5 points)
Sliding scale $10-$50 (more or less)
Bring a dish to share.
RSVP: Revolution Books


Saturday, December 20
time and place to be announced




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Revolution and Religion: a Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian

©2014 by Alice Walker

If the murder of our youth is considered insignificant to those in American society who make the laws, those of us who love the children, and their parents, and ourselves, must awaken to the reality that the political system we find ourselves prisoners of must be abandoned. What is to be done?

This question is approached with courage, dignity, and clarity in this conversation between Cornel West, a Christian revolutionary, and Bob Avakian, a Communist revolutionary. The way will not be easy, but when has it ever been? We will not all agree, on anything, but when has that not been so? Rage, I believe, has no future. Destruction is not a cure. Calling people the names of innocent and quite decent animals is really beneath us as offspring of those regularly called everything but children of God. As they phrased it so poetically. What do I believe shifts reality: deep study of the causes of our suffering, helpfulness toward those we see are struggling, teaching the illiterate to read, feeding those without food, clothing those without clothes. Housing the homeless. In my opinion the saying attributed to Marx “From each according to his ability and to each according to his need” would not seem out of place among some of the teachings in The New Testament, itself a manifesto. Both have been mocked and derided by masses of humans, as they strove to climb over others to get to the top of the hill. We can look at both again, in light of this historic dialogue between brother Avakian and brother West. Our lives on this planet, and the life of the planet itself depend on our ability to learn how to study as well as protest. That is why, in the Sixties, students who were arrested in the South, carried their books with them to jail. That is why, in Mississippi, we considered teaching reading and writing a fundamental act of rebellion.

We will probably never, as a people, relinquish our solidarity with Jesus. And why should we? Jesus was a revolutionary himself. Chasing the money lenders out of the temple isn’t all he did. Get to know this man, deeply, not as a sacrificial lamb hanging on a wall, but as an exemplar of compassion, empathy and courage. And fierce intellect. A public intellectual, indeed.

Realize he is born over and over again, as well, in all people who hold the characteristics he embodied.

Get to know why Communism is so maligned. In hindsight it is almost amusing to consider how “Godless Communism” was the phrase that most impressed many people away from Communism, when in fact the crushing of Communism was about the rich being determined, by whatever murderous means necessary, to keep their wealth. Does anyone today believe the owners of most of the stolen wealth in the world care about God?

Thank you, brothers West and Avakian, for this ray of light. We shall know the truth, if it is the last thing we ever know. And who knows what future for humanity lies beyond our knowing.
Reprinted with permission




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Grand Jury Says Cops Who Murdered Eric Garner Committed No Crime!


December 3, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


by Carl Dix

Everybody must get out into the streets right away to declare in UNMISTAKABLE TERMS that the decision of the grand jury in Staten Island not to indict any of the cops who murdered Eric Garner is INTOLERABLE. This grand jury has allowed another murdering cop to walk free! POLICE MURDER MUST END NOW!

This decision is a huge slap in the face to everyone who has an ounce of justice in their hearts. We all saw the cops step to and harass Eric Garner because they claim he was selling loose cigarettes. We all saw them choking the life out of him as he struggled to get out the words, “I can’t breathe,” again and again. We saw them standing over his lifeless body for minutes, offering him no CPR or other emergency assistance. And we saw the cop who had administered the chokehold, a procedure banned by the NYPD, wave to the video camera as he left the scene.

Obama has told us that police having body cameras will help deal with this problem  Well, we had this police killing on video tape, and the grand jury refused to indict the killer cops. This decision is the system telling us that we didn’t see what we saw and didn’t hear what we heard; that our eyes and our ears had lied to us. They are telling us that none of these murdering cops did anything criminal. Add this to the wave of police murders that have come down over the past few months—Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, Taniesha Anderson, John Crawford, Ezell Ford and many more—and it amounts to the system telling us that their police can wantonly murder people, and nothing will be done about it. We’re back to the 1857 decision by the US Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case—that Black people have no rights that this white supremacist system is bound to respect.

Amerikkka has told us once again that its business as usual will continue to include police murder of Black people; that Black lives have no value in this society. Our very humanity cries out for us to keep on taking to the streets and disrupt business as usual as we say NO MORE to police murder.  Powerful outpourings of resistance are needed in the face of this outrageous non-indictment.

This is a critical time. The system is doubling down, giving its front line enforcers, the police, a green light to murder people and assuring them they will not be punished for their murderous deeds. We must redouble our efforts to resist the horror of police murder by continuing to pour into the streets, raising  our voices to say that police murder is unacceptable and illegitimate, and that it must STOP!

Justice for Eric Garner and All the Victims of Brutal, Murdering Cops!
Police Murder Must Stop Now!




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014


Courageous Speakout Denounces NYPD Crimes, Demands Justice for Mike Brown

November 30, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


November 29—Forty people rallied at the State Office Building in New York's Harlem, and then marched through the streets and on the sidewalk to the NYPD's 28th Precinct, headquarters for countless acts of brutality, police murder and harassment in Harlem over many years, a fountain of violence against the people that spews terror still.

Many marchers carried signs reading: "Ferguson Is Everywhere: Police Brutality and Murder Must Stop!" with the logo. Chants rang out: "Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail—The Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell!"; "Black Lives Matter!"; "Justice for Mike Brown: If We Don't Get It, Shut It Down!"

March through Harlem November 29

Then, right at the doorstep of the criminal pigsty, with dozens of cops lined up and media lights and cameras aimed at them, person after person got up, gave their name, and heroically exposed and denounced the many atrocities of the police in New York City and around the U.S. A middle-aged woman spoke about how, because she wears dreadlocks and drives a nice car, police stop and harass her and accuse her of dealing drugs. Another woman spoke about the military-style raids that swept up dozens of youths in Harlem projects last June. A young woman opened her remarks by saying that brutality doesn't just hit men, but women as well. She went on, full of emotion, to describe how at age 11, she was falsely accused by police and swept into a hellhole of group homes and state homes for several weeks, before being exonerated. A young man spoke out about the constant harassment of his generation. Another woman talked about being badly beaten by the police, then thrown in the hole for weeks.

A very powerful moment came when a young woman rose to say that she had never been the victim of the police, but lived in constant fear of what might happen to her brother, and said that the endless murders of Black men "make me afraid to have children of my own, something that I have wanted my whole life."

Travis Morales made the point that police forced the marchers off the street with the threat of arrest, but that police could kill Black and Latino people and never face arrest, and said this tells us a lot about this system, and why we need to take this new movement to stop police brutality to a whole new level, but do this as part of preparing for revolution to sweep away this entire system. A young brother from the Revolution Club also spoke to the truth that voting, telling youth to pull up their pants, and other so-called solutions were useless or worse than useless, and that it would take "Revolution, Nothing Less," to put an end to these outrages.

After a half hour of these stinging denunciations, which were again and again linked to more well-known crimes, like the murders of Mike Brown, Ramarley Graham, and so many others, and were echoed and cheered by the crowd, people regrouped and marched back to the State Office Building, ending with the vow to continue to take things higher, eyes focused on this coming Monday, a national day to Walk Out of School and Work to demand Justice for Michael Brown.

Earlier, the NYC Revolution Club and supporters were enthusiastically invited to join a march against NYPD violence against Black youth that was also on the streets. This march was organized by "Stop the Urban Youth Violence," many of them people concerned with so-called "Black-on-Black" violence, but also the murders of so many youth in Black communities by the police. This group included several parents of police murder victims, including Juanita Young, Iris Baez, and Hawa Bah, the mother of Muhamad Bah. Queen Mother Blakely, the community mayor of Harlem was also in this group.

"Stop the Urban Youth Violence" group and Revolution Club NYC join up in Harlem November 29.






Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

St. Louis Rams Football Players: "Hands Up" in Support of Ferguson Struggle

November 30, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


St. Louis, November 30—While taking the field for their Sunday National Football League home game against Oakland, several players on the St. Louis Rams did the "Hands up, don't shoot!" gesture in solidarity with the struggle in Ferguson.




Revolution #363 December 1, 2014

Transgression and Convergence, Infectious Chemistry and Serious Urgency:

Reflections on REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight For Emancipation and the Role of Religion—Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian 

by Andy Zee | November 30, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


3:00 p.m., Saturday November 15, brilliant sunshine barely warms the coldest day of Autumn 2014. A double line of people stretches around the block in front of Riverside Church in New York City. The main floor of Riverside’s enormous chapel fills and two balconies are opened up to seat the capacity crowd.  Sunlight streams through the stained glass windows and the place crackles with anticipation. An announcement is made that we are waiting for a bus from Chicago that includes people from Ferguson, Missouri who have been on the front lines in the struggle for justice for Michael Brown. 

Cornel West and Bob Avakian are backstage making their last minute plans for their dialogue, when all of a sudden the air is broken with loud rhythmic voices coming from the chapel. Cornel and Bob ask: What’s happening? The whole place is on its feet chanting “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” as Ferguson enters the room.

The spirit of revolution and resistance and of serious purpose is in the house and in the air—looking forward to a deep engagement with the life-and-death questions about humanity’s future. People came excited and curious for the rare chance to see and hear Bob Avakian live and in person and in dialogue with Cornel West, at a moment when people around the country were tense awaiting the Ferguson verdict and were coming alive after a summer of struggle with a new determination put a stop to the epidemic of police murder of Black and Latino youth. In the weeks leading up to the event, the Dialogue organizers had stressed that believers and non-believers were welcome—that the dialogue was not just about one’s personal beliefs but about a question—the fight for emancipation and the role of religion—that matters deeply to billions of people at this moment in history. 

1,600 people are ready as REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion—A Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian is about to begin. A full-page ad for the dialogue appeared in the New York Times two days before, fueling the understanding that this was an event of great import. Before the hour is out, 1,900 people will fill almost every seat in Riverside. The turnout evidenced a broad hunger to hear these two people speak on this topic. 

It was a rare electrifying mix of people—scores of people from the projects around New York and from Chicago and cities across the country. Front-line fighters from Ferguson, people of all nationalities, ages and genders. Public high school students, university students from Columbia, Rutgers, and CUNY intermixed with distinguished professors and high school teachers. Prominent musicians, actors, writers, filmmakers, religious leaders and activists from different churches and denominations fill and are abuzz in the pews. People were watching on Livestream on the West Coast and in other countries. 

The program was on. After brief introduction, Cornel West and Bob Avakian each spoke with passion and depth to the need to stand up to the outrageous suffering of the billions of this planet. Giving voice to what has been all too absent from political discourse for decades—they both unsparingly criticized excuses to accept, to become indifferent to, to acquiesce and/or be complicit with the horrors that this system rains down on the people and the planet. Together they struggled with the audience for a morality and a moral courage that these times demand. And, they fought for people to see the need for radical, revolutionary change—each in their own way and coming from different philosophical frameworks. They modeled and challenged the audience to think and to act on their convictions and to do so with courage.

Before the dialogue Cornel West recorded a PSA that promised that there would be “transgression and convergence.” Indeed. Their differences with each other and their struggle with the audience were palpably undergirded with a respect and love that arises from the potential for people to rise up to change themselves and the world. One woman from the suburbs commented that she hadn’t heard anything like this for decades—it was so rare and inspiring to listen to and be in the presence of such impassioned, knowledgeable speakers who weren’t attempting to trade platitudes or promises for votes or other favor, but who have and continue to put themselves on the line for their convictions. 

Bob Avakian and Cornel West at Dialogue on November 15

This was a dialogue—two substantive presentations followed by a profound discussion between Cornel West and Bob Avakian bouncing off of incredibly thought-provoking written questions from the audience. It repays repeated listening and watching the whole thing, which you can do on line at The poet and writer Alice Walker posted the video on her website, writing: “Thank you, brothers West and Avakian, for this ray of light.” 

In this report we are but trying to convey the experience and import of the Dialogue. We will touch on just a few of the themes and the content that Bob Avakian and Cornel West discussed—hopefully enough so that readers go to the video and dig into it themselves and together with others.

Bob Avakian (BA) spoke first with a sweeping and in-depth talk that began with a dedication to Clyde Young, a friend and a member of the RCP,USA’s Central Committee who recently died. Clyde Young, also known as Wayne Webb, grew up hard, as one of those who the system treats as the “worst of the worst.” In prison for most of his early life, Clyde became a revolutionary and dedicated his life to the emancipation of all of humanity. He was courageous; a deep thinker, and friend to masses of people all over the country. In his visceral and personal dedication to Clyde Young, BA brought alive how those who are despised and demonized by this system can come to understand the causes of this and the solution through revolution; and in so doing lead lives and lead the people to transform themselves and the world. 

BA challenged people’s thinking, at times taking them out of their comfort zones. Many were inspired and exhilarated to be confronted with a moral and methodological framework that unsparingly took on all the political and ideological assumptions that this society rests on. How rare for thousands to experience Bob Avakian give a full-out presentation of revolution to overcome and rid the world of all forms of exploitation and oppression. This was not talk that invoked the word revolution to offer some changes at the edges of the brutality of the current system. BA made a profoundly radical—which means getting to the root—call for real revolution and the morality and the methodology that humanity needs to emancipate itself. 

Most people had never heard such a talk before. People with experience from the 1960s, or who had studied the period, reached back for comparisons. But this was different and new, as Avakian began with, and returned to, a discussion of morality—a morality rooted in a scientific method of understanding the world as it actually is and how it could be transformed through revolution. He broke down the scientific method through example and humor so that all could understand. From this perspective—a materialist understanding that another world is possible through revolution, BA posed and spoke to big questions such as: “Can we do without god?” “Can we be good without god?” “And, if there is no god, what can our guide be in struggle for a more just world?” 

BA began his discussion of religion by sharply exposing the horrific social relations that run through the New and Old Testaments—the patriarchy, the vengeance, the endorsement of slavery and brutality. He then posed how all but the most fanatic religious fundamentalists take a pick-and-choose, “salad bar” approach to scripture—discarding what is abhorrent today and resting their faith and their actions on those portions of the Bible they believe to be morally good. He said that if this is what you are doing, say so, posing this as a contradiction to grapple with. At the same time, he embraced those whose religious convictions lead them to stand with the oppressed in their struggle to end oppression, and encouraged them to continue to do so, putting forth the understanding of why it is that ultimately relying on “faith” will straitjacket the ability of humanity to liberate itself. Later, in his presentation and in the dialogue between them, Cornel West would sharply challenge this perspective with the experiential impetus and foundation that faith plays in his ability—and in the ability of Black people in America—to live, love and to struggle. Yet Cornel too, from this perspective, stressed the import and basis for people to stand together against oppression and repression and that this must guide what we do, and who we stand with. 

In a passage that stirred the audience, Bob Avakian posed a compelling vision of the possibility of a radically different and better world that made the horrors of this world stand out as so outrageously unnecessary and out of sync with what is possible. He posed: “What if the world doesn’t have to be this way? What if we could live in a world where never again will a parent have to fear for the life of their child just because of the color of their skin?” He went on to pose horror after horror up against what could be. The two “what if's” that brought down the house with cries of recognition were: “What if there were no such things as immigrants, what if we lived in a world community of human beings without borders and tanks and guns and planes to enforce that.” And, “What if women could walk down the street and look every man they encounter straight in the eye and fear nothing?”  

Avakian gave no quarter to the reality of what the U.S. is and does. He exposed the lies and cohering myths that blind people to this—including the tremendous crimes against humanity committed by the Democrats—and he challenged the audience to confront just what it is they endorse when voting for those who are, in fact, war criminals. At the same time, BA spoke to what was the imminent grand jury verdict in Ferguson and the profound need to act. This section of the speech merits revisiting right now.


After Avakian’s speech Cornel West gave an impassioned, strong exposition of the revolutionary Christian approach to changing the world. He began by saying, "My brother Bob Avakian can sustain the revolutionary fire for a long time"—speaking to the scope, length, and revolutionary fire of BA’s talk, and locating this in BA never giving up over decades, never selling his soul for some “pottage.” 

Cornel began and rooted his talk in the need to be faithful to the oppressed. His talk was framed by four questions posed by W. E. B. Du Bois in 1957: “How does integrity face oppression? What does honesty do in the face of deception? What does decency do in the face of insult?" And, "What does virtue do in the face of brute force?” He forcefully applied these moral benchmarks to the current moment, his point of departure being the cross. 

He brought forth that for him personally, Jesus is not an abstraction but stems from deep experience: the wellspring of his grandmother’s tears and his understanding of the struggle of Black people. He spoke of the need to struggle and the moral compass of a faith grounded in love. He railed against Empire and the profound need for critical analysis of capitalism which is one of the things he values in Bob Avakian and the Party he leads. 

Cornel sharply posed his theological and philosophical differences with communism and atheism for not recognizing the meaning of the cross in the story of Jesus and especially in Black people’s lives, while doing so in the context of a passionate call for and unity based on integrity, honesty, and commitment to struggle that stems from a deep love for “the least of these” and a deep calling to end injustice. He expressed appreciation for the fact that BA and the RCP have and promote a vision for a way to move beyond this society. He concluded with a sharp point that “historically black rage has always been the central threat to the status quo,”...“not because Black people have a monopoly on truth, goodness or beauty..." but because when “Black people wake up, all the people who are subordinated and dominated can get in and wake up.” Ending with: “This is what we understand together; this is why we’re here.”

Here we have but touched on the scope and depth of Bob Avakian's and Cornel West's presentations. Once again, go to the video and take it all in.


The chemistry between Cornel West and Bob Avakian was infectious. They were humorous and serious, relaxed and charged with great urgency, sharply political and then spinning into discussions of music, morality and epistemology. Most of all it was totally ingenuous—straight talk between two people with a shared passion for engaging and struggling over ideas as integral to how people can unite to struggle together to fight to end oppression. 

This just sings in the hour and half dialogue between them. It must be watched to appreciate. To try and capture the urgency and the richness of their discourse is beyond the scope of this article.

Some of the audience questions: How do religious people square faith with a revolutionary mindset? What do we do about police brutality and murder? What is god? What is the role of art in revolution? What are the sins of religion and of communism? How do we overcome the oppressors’ massive brutal force? You could feel the development of BA's and CW's thinking in their responses to these questions and through the back and forth with each other. 

There was something people felt in their chemistry—a comradery that modeled a different kind of movement. The audience could sense the process unfolding as principled differences over substance were engaged, not soft-pedaled or put aside. Through this, as differences clarified, their unity deepened, rooted in standing with those on the bottom of society who need to be affirmed and empowered not just for themselves alone but to fight against all forms of exploitation, oppression and injustice. Together they set an example and called on people to not be satisfied with doing a little good and resting on and accumulating laurels while nothing fundamental has changed for the people of the world. This was a process of forging a unity that didn’t take differences lightly, cognizant that these differences matter while recognizing the fiber, the strength, and the love that comes from standing on principle and working together to enable others to do so as well. 

The chemistry also flowed from a shared sense that the struggle is not about me or my group, not just about ending some of the oppression of some of the people, but ending all exploitation and oppression. Even as they come from different perspectives—revolutionary Christianity rooted in the cross and revolutionary communism rooted in the scientific approach of dialectical materialism—they met and spoke and inspired and modeled a movement with radically new and different social relations. 


There was something else that many have commented on in the warmth and the challenge between the speakers and the audience. If you were in the room, or if you watch the simulcast online, you can sense the collective spirit of traveling together to change the world. There was no sugarcoating of this. Both Cornel and BA struggled with the audience—to discard the mental traps, boxes, and lures with which this society ensnares people's thinking, and to stand up and ACT. One person said after the event that she thought perhaps the headline for the event should be something BA said a couple of times: “This is not a game, we are very serious about this.” This seriousness of purpose, the struggle with people to get up off of thinking that limits their horizons and their actions, came from a profound recognition of people's potential to change. 

The event was not without controversy. Not surprisingly, different people were made uncomfortable by different parts of the radical content of Bob Avakian’s speech. BA spoke longer than Cornel West, and for some people who had an issue with the length of BA’s talk, this became a vehicle to express disagreement with the content. There were challenges to different cherished beliefs that took some people out of their comfort zones. These included not only religious faith per se, but included such articles of faith as America and democracy; the role of elections and voting for the Democratic Party; restricting one’s vision of change to getting a more equitable arrangement between contending groups within the current social order and system; and really applying a scientific methodology to changing the world—critiquing not only religion, but the religious way all too many communists and progressive forces have treated communism as inevitable, and the oppressed as innately possessing a special purchase on the truth. Others understood and appreciated what they just experienced. A 20-year-old Caribbean poet expressed it like this: 

Bob Avakian really, really impressed me. I was annoyed with people asking him to stop. It was a bit long. I must admit that, but I was really impressed with his radical, militant, “I don’t care, I will tell you” perspective. I think we need more of that. This nation is, in fact, fucking imperialist...

To get a fuller sense of the incredible response to the Dialogue, read through the comments posted on And send in your own thoughts.  

The Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian was an amazing event with profound and historic significance. The full house... who was in the room—concentrating decades of experience in fighting for freedom, to young people fresh from the front lines, to those grappling with big questions. Artists and teachers and religious leaders of different faiths, revolutionaries and people struggling for justice. It was an event charged with the theme of Revolution and Religion: the Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion. And at the heart of this were Cornel West and Bob Avakian, what they each said, the Dialogue and the chemistry between them and with the audience. 

What was opened up on November 15, 2014 must continue. People should see the Dialogue as a jumping off point to get deeply into their work. To get a full and living sense of BA and the work he has done, after watching this Dialogue, get a copy of the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Let's continue digging into the substance, the questions, the divergence and the unity so that together we forge the unity to ACT together to fight against all forms of oppression and to do so aiming for a world fit for human beings.