Revolution #369, January 12, 2015 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

Abortion After 20 Weeks Should NOT Be Banned

January 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On the first day of the new session of Congress, Republicans introduced a measure to ban abortions after 20 weeks. Branded as the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” this move is vicious in its own right, and part of a whole war on women that has, as a leading edge, forcing women to bear children against their will in all circumstances.

The “pain capable” branding is utterly unscientific. A fetus is not a human being and doesn’t experience pain, but women are human beings and the pain of being forced to bear a child against one’s will is horrific. (See “A Fetus Cannot Feel Pain, but a Woman Denied the Right to Abortion Suffers Intolerable Pain.”)

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According to a 2013 study by the Guttmacher Institute (which does research and education to promote reproductive health and rights): “Most women seeking later abortion fit at least one of five profiles: They were raising children alone, were depressed or using illicit substances, were in conflict with a male partner or experiencing domestic violence, had trouble deciding and then had access problems, or were young and nulliparous [a woman who has never borne a child.]”

And the study concludes: “Bans on abortion after 20 weeks will disproportionately affect young women and women with limited financial resources.”

Late-term abortions are very rare (90 percent of all abortions happen in the first three months of pregnancy), but the right to an abortion at any point is essential. Some women discover health risks to themselves or to the fetus that can only be detected late in pregnancy. Some—owing to the numerous restrictions on abortion—simply could not pull together the resources earlier in their pregnancies. Still others, especially very young women and girls who have little or no education about their bodies and reproduction, don’t even realize they are pregnant until very far along. All women who seek abortions at whatever point in their pregnancies and for whatever reason must have the right to do so. If abortion was more widely available (97 percent of rural counties have no abortion provider), if there were not so many restrictions, if there was real scientific sex education and widespread access to birth control, and if there were no stigma on abortion, late-term abortions would be even more rare (although still necessary). The very “pro-life” movement that is behind the 20-week ban is also opposed to all these things, which could reduce (though not eliminate) the need for late-term abortions.

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Currently, 12 states have banned abortions after 20 weeks. Only one of the state laws has an exception for cases of rape or incest. Only three have very limited exceptions for cases where the fetus is detected to be severely abnormal.

The moves to pass a nationwide ban on abortions after 20 weeks are a serious escalation of the war on women, and require a response in the streets. Relying on an Obama veto to put a brake on, let alone reverse, the ferocious attacks on the right to abortion is a dangerous illusion and contributes to a dangerous dynamic. That dynamic is identified sharply in the statement “Abortion On Demand and Without Apology! For Every Woman in Every State—The Reversal of Abortion and Birth Control Rights Must Stop Now!“:

For too long, millions have watched in alarm as yesterday’s outrageous and unthinkable attack has become today’s “compromise position” and tomorrow’s limit of what can be imagined. This dynamic must be broken. The political leaders of the Democratic Party cannot be relied on to do this. While posing as the last bastion of defense against these attacks, these “leaders” have in fact seriously undermined reproductive rights by seeking “common ground” with fascists and religious fanatics, by ceding the moral high ground, by severing abortion from women’s emancipation and by refusing to stand up when abortion providers are murdered.

The move in Congress to ban abortions at 20 weeks is one more important reason to Confront the Anti-Abortion, Woman-Hating Fascists and build and be part of actions around the country in January called by Stop Patriarchy! to oppose the war on women.

Fetuses are NOT babies. Abortion is NOT murder. Women are NOT incubators.

Abortion On Demand and Without Apology!




Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

Abortion on Demand Is Liberating—Not Genocidal! Protest "#StandingUp4Life"

Updated January 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


PROTEST “StandingUp4Life”
Friday, January 23
12:00 pm-2:00 pm
Oscar Grant Plaza, 14th / Broadway, Oakland


From an activist in Stop Patriarchy

On January 23, four Black Christian fascist preachers have the nerve to hold their “StandingUp4Life” event in Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland (re-named in the memory of one of the thousands of unarmed Black men who have been killed by the police), rolling out their anti-woman agenda under the guise of saving Black lives. These reactionary preachers spread the lie that abortion is genocide. Black women choosing abortion is not genocidal! In many cases, it is a choice they can make that allows them to regain their humanity in a world of rape, racism, and degradation.

Rev. Clenard Childress of, a featured speaker in this year’s anti-abortion Walk for “Life” West Coast in San Francisco on January 24; Walter Hoye of Issues4Life in Union City, who calls Black children an “endangered species” because abortion is still legal; Pastor Bruce Rivers of the Los Banos branch of Greater Exodus Baptist Church; and Pastor Walter Moss of the Black Pro Life Coalition and church leader in Ohio, will preach and march through Oakland as part of a nationally coordinated effort to end abortions.

These men will claim to carry the legacy of the civil rights movement, they will quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and they will seem to condemn crimes of slavery, genocide, and injustice against Black people. Do not be deceived. Despite all that rhetoric, these preachers claim that women, and in particular Black women, are responsible for “the denigration of the national conscience,” and have one main objective: to abolish abortion for ALL women in ALL circumstances, and to see ALL women slammed backwards to an openly subservient role, as prescribed by a literal interpretation of the Bible.

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Rev. Childress of claims that abortion is genocide. He says that, like genocides of the past, such as the Holocaust, the “victim class” (which is how he describes fetuses) is perceived as “getting in the way” of things such as acquiring material wealth, career development, and women’s rights. First of all, fetuses cannot be a “victim class” because they are not full human beings. They have the potential to grow into full human beings. But women are human beings. What Rev. Childress and these types of organizations see as a threat is women taking their lives into their own hands! Why? Because women being treated as fully human, with the right to decide when and whether to become mothers, and the ability to have careers and financial independence, “gets in the way” of patriarchy!

As a matter of fact, it is rare to find a discussion of women at all at The word “women” hardly appears. What does appear quite a bit is the condemnation of terminating “children in the womb.” This is typical of the woman-hating anti-abortion agenda. When women are erased from the picture and the status of a fetus living inside a woman is elevated, it strips women of their humanity and reduces them to incubators. This is dehumanizing! In reality, abolishing safe access to legal abortion means a nightmare of forced motherhood and desperate, illegal, unsafe abortions for a woman who chooses not to have a child for whatever reason. Women who do not risk their lives by dangerous methods of self-inducing abortions end up trapped in abusive relationships, driven into poverty or deeper into poverty, and are denied the ability to decide the course of their futures.

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All of this is enough for people everywhere to oppose this vicious, misogynist agenda. But doing all this in the name of civil rights creates a dangerous misdirection from the real source of the attacks on African-American communities. This system is designed to exploit and oppress people of color, and Black people in particular. It has gone from slavery, to the atrocities of Jim Crow, up through today, when police target, criminalize, mass incarcerate and gun down Black youth with impunity. This is the real genocide, but you won’t hear about this: the actual ways that a slow genocide is being perpetrated against Black people in the U.S., or the horrors of white supremacy, from You won’t hear from them the ways to fight the power, to turn back the real genocide, much less lead to the kind of revolution it will take to actually put an end to all that oppression. You won’t see these preachers taking to the streets against police murder.

In fact, in recent interviews with UrbanFamilyTalk and, Rev. Childress blatantly dismisses the #BlackLivesMatter movement, saying victims of police murder don’t account for half of the “victims” of abortion, and if Black people “really cared about Black lives” they would be fighting to end abortion. He passionately agreed when his interviewer claimed, “We’re so worried about what the White man might do to us... we are sleeping through the biggest crimes being committed in our own backyard.” This is sick. The reality is, the same system that does (not “might”) perpetuate violence against Black people is also at this moment waging a war on women, the battle for reproductive control is a crucial front in that war, and these preachers are firmly standing on the side of that system.

Stand on the right side of history this January 23. Be part of bringing the truth straight into the middle of their shame-fest, and fighting for the full liberation of women!

Abortion On Demand and Without Apology!

Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement!

Fetuses are NOT babies. Abortion is NOT murder. Women are NOT incubators.

Stop blaming women! It’s this white supremacist system that’s genocidal!





Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

Confront the Anti-Abortion, Woman-Hating Fascists and Reach Out Everywhere to Get Others to Do the Same!

Strategic Thoughts on Building the Movement for an Actual Revolution That Breaks ALL the Chains

January 6, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


In just over two weeks, hundreds of thousands will march in Christian fascist woman-hating processions on both coasts in opposition to a woman’s right to abortion and even birth control. These people will mobilize to make even further vicious gains in forcing women back into open subordination to men and into the position where women have no access to abortion or even birth control. They are fighting for a situation where women have no choice but to bear children against their will, or to risk their lives or go to prison for attempting to self-abort.

It is long past time that people stand up powerfully right in the face of these fascists, and bring forward and challenge many more people to join them in doing this. The whole program of hoping these woman-haters will go away on their own, of not sharply calling them out and confronting them, has been proven bankrupt. There must be a powerful pole erected that attracts those who sense this and that sharply challenges those who have not yet come to grips with this. When these fascists march, they must be opposed through powerful protest that breaks through and gets heard across the country and STOPS these fascists from carrying out their hate-fests unchallenged.

Make no mistake: forcing women to have children against their will is a form of enslavement. And all this is an integral part of a much larger and even more all-encompassing war against women that includes the epidemic of rape, the pervasive culture of vicious and cruel pornography, the hatred and shame that is fostered among women for their own bodies and sexuality, the trafficking and pimping out of women and girls, the vicious exploitation of women in the most low-paid and desperate sectors of the global economy, and more.

This must not be tolerated. Women are not bitches, hos, punching bags, breeders or sex objects. Women are full human beings! Fighting this assault on women is an urgent and great need.

It is very good that Stop Patriarchy has called for people to resist, confront, and counter-protest these fascist marches. The demand for “Abortion On Demand and Without Apology!,” their call to “STOP the War on Women,” and their spirit of defiantly confronting head-on the woman-haters need to be spread and built for boldly throughout society. Everyone who is outraged by this whole program of woman-hating and forced motherhood, and everyone who can be won to be outraged by this, must be part of making these protests as powerful as possible. These counter-protests are a key juncture right now in building up the all-around fight for the complete liberation of women. (See box with protest info.)

And while many can and must be won to take part in this from a very broad range of perspectives, for our part, the movement for revolution must take this up as a key part of preparing the ground, preparing the people, and preparing the vanguard—getting ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.

This is true for two fundamental and interrelated reasons:

First, if we are not fighting—and leading huge sections of society, including those who catch the hardest hell every day under this system to fight—for the complete liberation of women as a key part of this preparation, we will not be making the kind of revolution that can lead to lasting emancipation for anyone. Everyone must understand: it is not possible to achieve lasting liberation for anyone while keeping one half of humanity (women) enslaved to the other half (men).

Second, there is a deep well of outrage against the oppression of women that must be tapped into and called forth as a major propeller of the revolution we need. The potential for this was palpable in the thunderous and deeply felt response to Bob Avakian at Riverside Church when he called on people to imagine a world where women could hold their heads high and walk down the street without ever fearing to look any man in the eye, or ever again be brutalized, degraded, or demeaned. Unleashing this fury is a strategic task right now as we fight to get in position to make a revolution, and it remains strategic even after the seizure of power, as the struggle must be carried forward under socialism to uproot every vestige of oppression, not just in one country but all over the world.

Both of these dimensions are spoken to powerfully in the following quote from Bob Avakian:

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

With all this in mind, a few thoughts on key sectors of society and how revolutionaries should be mobilizing for these protests.

Take this to those this system has cast off. Revolutionaries should take this out boldly to those who catch the hardest hell every day under this system. Every time revolutionaries have done this in the past we have found tremendous support—as well as a lot of confusion that needs to be struggled through. Huge numbers of Black and Latino women have been harassed and shamed for seeking out abortions. Many have had their lives destroyed by being burdened by children they were not ready for or did not want. All this is a great weight that must be broken and we must work to find the ways for their outrage against this to be felt in these protests and going forward. Men, too, must be struggled with to take up this fight now as an integral part of winning any kind of real liberation. Banners that get signed supporting abortion rights and opposing slavery in every form, video statements from these masses, as well as contingents of people wearing the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! shirts at the actual protests are a few concrete ideas of how this section of people can be mobilized to be part of going right up in the face of these woman-haters when all eyes will be on them.

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Take this to the students. A real fight must be mounted to bring forward a new generation that is willing to FIGHT for the emancipation of women and that understands that this emancipation MUST be fought for and will never come through voting, “incremental progress,” “individual empowerment,” or any such stuff. Revolution Clubs and others should go out very aggressively to high school and college students, getting out fliers, doing dramatic street theater, speaking in classrooms, involving those they meet on the spot, and in many other creative ways winning growing numbers of students to take part in—and to mobilize others into—these protests. The spirit of students stepping out against police murder, against rape and sexual assault, against anti-LGBT bigotry and other new stirrings should be united with and fanned further. Sticker days—where hundreds of students are mobilized to wear Abortion On Demand and Without Apology stickers on the same day—should be organized that get people talking, break the isolation, and set new terms around abortion rights as well as around the full liberation of women. Powerful contingents of students should be mobilized to join in confronting the Christian fascists in the streets and this should mark a real leap in the strategic fight for this new generation.

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Take this to everyone who has been in the streets and the millions more like them. Think of the tens of thousands who have stepped so boldly and so beautifully into the streets against police murder and the whole slow genocide of Black and brown people at the hands of the state. They have broken out of the stifling and deadly routine in their behavior and in their thinking they are open to many new things that previously they hadn’t even considered. This is the time to go very boldly to all of them—and the millions more like them—who can be won to see that we must oppose slavery in every form. Where the question of women’s liberation—and of these January protests in particular—has been taken out among these folks, there has been a broad and enthusiastic reception. The challenge must go out even further to the artists, young professionals, poets, '60s people, and the rest to bring that same spirit of defiance and determination into the fight against every form of oppression, including right now against the enslavement of forced motherhood.

Get into and get out broadly the compendium Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution. As we do all of this, all of us—especially the Revolution Clubs, but not only them—should be getting deeply into and getting out broadly both the above quote from Bob Avakian (“You can’t break all the chains but one...”) and the entire compendium on women’s liberation that features that quote. In this compendium, Bob Avakian brings together a tremendous visceral hatred for the oppression of women as well as profound theoretical breakthroughs as to the roots and the abolition of this oppression that is essential to achieving human emancipation. He critically examines the best of the previous communist understanding of this question and synthesizes this together with what can and must be learned from other forces who have fought for women’s liberation and sets forth an even more radical framework for both renewed struggle on this front and further theoretical work that is needed. He breaks things down in a very basic way that everyone can understand and puts a deep challenge that everyone who wants liberation must take up. Getting into all this ourselves, and popularizing this very broadly among others, is a key part of bringing alive the revolution and the revolutionary leadership necessary to raise people’s sights and prepare for an actual revolution.

Unite all who can be united to confront the woman-haters. As we do all of this, let's fight for and unite with others who step forward—or who can be won to step forward—from different perspectives to join with and take up this fight for the liberation of women and for these counter-protests in particular. They should be encouraged and welcomed to put forward and mobilize others to stand up from their own viewpoints even as we put forward ours and even as we together engage in principled struggle over the source of the problem and its ultimate solution.

Build organization. A key aim in all of this should be building the organization needed to actually STOP all this oppression and degradation once and for all.

Stop Patriarchy action at Union Square subway station, New York City, January 11, 2014. Photo: @StopPatriarchy.

Stop Patriarchy must be systematically built as a real site where people who want to see this degradation and oppression STOP come together to work and fight to make that happen. This movement has to grow and become magnetic, a place for everyone, young and old but especially young in spirit, who can’t stand the relations and morality of this society and really burn to be part of bringing in something different.

And the Revolution Clubs must also grow through all this. Even as these clubs continue to s pread the work of BA and his recent dialogue with Cornel West in particular, and even as they are taking on the powers around police murder and other outrages, they should not only be building for these January protests, but strongly representing at them as the Revolution Clubs. They should be calling on and challenging others to be part of getting ready for an actual revolution, putting forward the need for others to get with the Club right on the spot and get serious about actually bringing about a revolution aimed at breaking EVERY chain on humanity.

* * * * *

There is not a lot of time between now and these fascist anti-abortion marches, but these are not normal times. Millions have begun to question things they used to just accept. A defiant spirit of resistance has sprung forward and needs to be built upon and spread. Thousands have tuned in and been exposed to the most radical and liberating vision of real revolution and total emancipation in Bob Avakian’s presentation and dialogue with Cornel West just a few weeks ago at Riverside Church. And millions upon millions are being confronted every single day by the outrageous effects of the unrelenting war against women. Let us seize the hour and go out very boldly to build for these protests in a way that prepares the ground, prepares the people, and prepares the vanguard and other forms of revolutionary organization for the revolution humanity so urgently needs.

Abortion On Demand and Without Apology!
STOP the War On Women!
Break the Chains! Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution!





Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

From a reader:

The Bus Ride Home—Filled with the Spirit of the Dialogue as Song and Poetry, and Debate, Blossoms

January 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


I rode to and from the Dialogue on one of the two Greyhound buses from Chicago. On my bus, there was a really diverse group of people in ages, nationalities, backgrounds, atheist and religious. It included a large contingent of front-line fighters from Ferguson, Missouri, students from several colleges and universities in Chicago, people from the Chicago Revolution Club, members of the BA Everywhere Committee, other fighters against police brutality, and a handful of veteran revolutionary communists.

While the trip to NYC was nice and there was a good spirit on the bus, the return trip was a profound experience, shaped and inspired by our common experience at the Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West. It was like taking a peek into the future of the new society and kind of relations we aim to bring into being. Several people on the bus spoke to how they never wanted the trip to end: “I wish life could be like this experience on this bus all the time.”

Almost as soon as the bus pulled away from the Riverside Church, jazz vocalist Maggie Brown stepped into the aisle and announced who she was and that she would open the trip home with a few songs. Maggie appears in the film Stepping into the Future: On the Occasion of the Publication of BAsics, A Celebration of Revolution and the Vision of a New World. She has an amazing voice and is a consummate performer. One song she sang, “Dat Dere,” can be found on YouTube. One of the heaviest pieces she sang is part of her one-woman show, Legacy: Our Wealth of Music—Tracing the History of African American Creativity, also written by her father, Oscar Brown Jr., about a slave auction called “Bid ’Em In.”

As Maggie’s performance was coming to a close, the bus drove right into the glare of light of Times Square, teeming with people on a Saturday night. Our passengers began screaming in delight. Many said they had never been outside of St. Louis or Chicago and they wanted to get off and join the throngs of people in the streets. Everyone’s cell phone was snapping pictures of the scene. Fearing we might lose people in the throngs on the street, a decision was made not to stop. While people were clearly disappointed, they re-focused on why we were here and the amazing event we had just been to. Just a few weeks later, Times Square would be filled with protesters after the grand jury did not indict the police who choked Eric Garner to death. Now we have a living sense of the impact of the protests, having driven through Time’s Square!

As we left Times Square, Maggie Brown culminated her performance with an amazing piece she dedicated to the Dialogue. Also written by her father Oscar Brown Jr., it is called:

A Column Of Birds:

I saw millions of migrating birds flying over today.
Couldn’t tell which was leading and showing the others the way.
But I thought as I watched them sail by, extending for miles in the sky
What a blessing it must be to fly with the column of birds.
They were soaring in search of the source of some almighty force,
All adrift in the drafts of the winds without altering course.
Gripped by gravity here on the ground, I wondered where they might be bound.
Where the site of this search would be found, by this column of birds.
And how did they get it together to take off as one and go race.
This column of birds of a feather off to some better place.
How did they make the connection, how did they come to agree,
To fly in a single direction, though one of them could not see.
They were coming and coming and going and going and gone.
Through the oncoming night towards the brightness of some distant dawn.
As I turned and went back to my plow, to the grind of my grim here and now,
I wished our kind might take off some how,
Like a column of birds.
A column of birds,...

When Maggie’s voice got to the part “a better and distant place,” she alluded to the Dialogue and the world we are working to bring into being.

After leaving the lights of NYC, clumps of people in different parts of the bus broke into intense discussions on various topics connected to the Dialogue. A debate broke out with the college students after someone said that after the revolution, U.S. troops will be pulled out of places all around the world. One young woman wasn’t so sure that was a good thing. “Didn’t U.S. troops keep U.S. citizens traveling the world safe?” She ended up most of the night grappling with others about the role the U.S. plays in the world and in the morning thanked people for opening her eyes about this.

Another grouping grappled with “On the Strategy for Revolution,” parts of which were read aloud by one person as they talked. When one new person asked what did BA mean when he was talking about how to make revolution, a subset of this group got into questions posed in “On the Possibility of Revolution.” He had plans to get his hands on the piece as soon as he returned to Ferguson.

Conversations swirled about religion and atheism and many, many people spoke about how surprised they were to see the love between BA and CW who held such diametrically opposed views on this.

Throughout the bus there was a buzz of conversation.

Interjected into this were a number of performance pieces by young poets from Ferguson. One written a few days after the murder of Mike Brown was called “This Morning My Soul..,Cried.” Another by the same artist was called “Thick Skinned People.” A young woman who said she hadn’t read her poetry aloud much did a poem. Another man from Ferguson performed a searing piece about what it is to be Black in America.

A young white grad student from Chicago stepped forward to read something he had written right on the bus. This piece, MIKE BROWN, appeared in Revolution. In being interviewed after the Dialogue, he made the following points: “BA said something I didn’t expect, but something that touched a very unique chord in my heart. He began talking about the recent comet landing and the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake as being just as important as all the arts. This comparison of science and arts, placing them on an equal footing and as interchangeable manifestations of human motivational needs hit me particularly close. I recall at one point trying (with little success) to convince one of my professors that science was also an art. Hearing BA validate those sentiments was refreshing and I wish I could have been as eloquent as him when addressing this professor. The creativity of the human spirit is something that must be allowed to flourish. Without this we can’t be fully human. This is what a revolutionary society needs.”

At night people slept also but once again as the sun rose, the bus was alive with ideological and political wrangling, poetry, and music.

There were two buses and people on our bus worked out for Maggie Brown to do a send-off when both buses arrived back at the starting place in Chicago, so the second bus wouldn’t be so left out. As it turns out, there was also plenty of spoken word on that bus too! As all the bus passengers squeezed into a room at The Overflow Café that Sunday morning, Maggie did a spine-tingling rendition of Nina Simone’s “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” This was an unbelievable ending to a truly life-changing Dialogue and an amazing trip back as we wished our friends from Ferguson a safe trip home.

This experience on the bus was swirling in my mind together with one of the very last questions in the Dialogue from the audience, “What is the role of art in revolution?” that sent us off back into the world.

The exchange on this question was deep and poetic between Cornel West and Bob Avakian that I can only very roughly capture—you really need to watch it to really appreciate it with all of the sweep and nuances. You can find this particular question and answer at 2:53 on the video of the live stream. [Watch the Dialogue here.] Cornel West begins by referencing an essay by BA [“Materialism and Romanticism: Can We Do Without Myth?”] that explores awe and wonder and the need to be amazed. Cornel goes on to say how this has everything to do with what it means to be human and what it has to do with art. He is emphatic: art should never be seen as an add-on or decorative. You become an artist of living, not an artist of producing certain products. BA responds “amen” and talks about how art is food for the “soul” and how it is a quality of human beings to be amazed. After critiquing some blues music, that it is great musically but is marred by the constant putting down of women, he goes into how it is not inherent in the blues. At one point, BA says, let’s put it simply, “We need beauty.” BA makes the point that it doesn’t have to be tied directly to how we are struggling at a given time... some of the art should be an expression of that but some of it should just go in all kinds of directions and just give us a sense of beauty. He notes that of course different people think different things are beautiful and ugly, but we still need beauty.

I felt that sustaining beauty and love both in the Dialogue and how it carried over into the bus ride on the way home.




Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

Interview with KPFK Radio Interim Program Director

On the Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian: "This is two people bringing their A game"

January 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On December 19, 2014, the last day of the winter fund drive on KPFK in Los Angeles, Interim Program Director Alan Minsky joined host Michael Slate on The Michael Slate Show to talk about “Revolution and Religion: The Fight For Emancipation and the Role of Religion—A Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian.” A four-CD set of the audio recording of this historic Dialogue that took place on November 15, 2014 at the Riverside Church in New York City was offered as a thank you gift for people who called in to support the show and the station; $3,100 was raised in the course of the show. What follows are some of the comments Alan Minsky made during the show about the West-Avakian Dialogue.


Alan Minsky: Cornel West was a professor of mine. He not only was a professor of mine, he was my counselor. He was one of the people in a “legal team.” We were arrested in a political demonstration on our college campus. There were six of us. We had to face the executive committee of the university for our actions, which were doing the right thing, basically. And we got to choose, so we decided to pick a dream team from the faculty who would defend us, and one of our six was Cornel West. And while they deliberated after the trial, as it were, I was sitting out there talking to Cornel West on the way in which the South African revolution—which was ongoing—how much it fit into a classical Marxist paradigm. So that’s what I did while they deliberated. So he was a counselor of mine, and a professor in a previous class.

Michael Slate: What about this Dialogue?

Alan Minsky: What I love about this, and what I try to do as program director at KPFK, whatever the political angle people are bringing, I want to see people bring their “A game.” This is two people bringing their A game. People might look at someone like Cornel West and think he’s just an on-off switch because they see him so much in the media.

But think about what it means for Cornel West to be speaking at Riverside Church, with Bob Avakian. This is a guy who campaigned for Barack Obama, and yet had enough integrity very quickly to criticize Barack Obama, and then it went really sour, and the criticisms continued. So now he’s up talking at Riverside Church and the question on the table isn’t just a better world beyond the capitalist world we live in today, but challenging his very core beliefs.

So you want to see Cornel West, understand going in that he’s got to bring his A game, and then have him deliver his A game—his A game, not somebody who usually is just a decent communicator, but this is Cornel West bringing his A game.

It’s a very, very rich text. When I heard about this event, it was on the radar screen and then I finally heard it—and Avakian, too. He doesn’t back down on his critique of religion, either, in the course of the entire thing.

I was listening to the first clip you played, and Avakian does a very interesting rhetorical strategy. He combines the critique of the present and then a vision for the future. And he actually combines them rhetorically by saying these are the horrors of the present that will not be in the future society that we hope and dream to build.

Michael Slate: You’re talking about what they pose, and they’re calling on people to face this, but what they came together to talk about was also how do you do this. There was a lot of very deep thought that went in there.

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

Michael Slate: Pacifica [Radio] recorded this Dialogue. And you were critical to it.

Alan Minsky: And they did a damn good job. It’s a beautiful recording.

Michael Slate: And when I first talked to you about this, you immediately went, “We’ve got to get this.”

Alan Minsky: I want people to bring their A game, and I knew that this document, the document being the text of the speeches, the way it’s played out over KPFK as audio, that’s what it would deliver.

After the clip of Bob Avakian and Cornel West answering the last question from the audience posed at the Dialogue was played during the show:

Alan Minsky: Cornel West there, telling the story about John Coltrane, and the Coltrane family remains very close to KPFK. We are a place that continues that legacy, the revolutionary aesthetic legacy of John Coltrane here at KPFK.

Make sure this radio station continues so we can continue to bring you revolutionary voices, both aesthetic and political and a combination of the two... It’s a thank you gift that will open your mind. You’ll think about the society we live in. You’ll think about a better society that can be built. It’s not just bringing an A game, but it’s bringing an A game about the very core issues that we have here at KPFK, that we focus on in our public affairs, critiquing the society without turning a blind eye to any of its faults—and contemplating a better future.

The thing too about revolution vs. reform, I don’t know who out there really thinks that revolution as an animating and inspiring concept has gone away or will go away. I always say about Britain, after World War 2, that social democracy was pushed a little further down the road than it ever was here in the United States, National Health and all that. You would never have gone to the working class houses of Manchester, Lancaster, Liverpool, and confused them with the palaces in West London. There was no point at which there wasn’t class inequality, [at which] there wasn’t class oppression. So whatever degree to which you think reformed capitalism can produce a truly better society, it’s always going to fall short of something other than capitalism. So pick this up, challenge yourself, think about revolution, hear what two revolutionary thinkers are thinking in late 2014, what their thoughts are about revolution and building a post-capitalist society, and then challenge yourself to think you can get there any other way. It’s a challenge! I’m not saying there’s a right answer I’m giving you. That’s a challenge.

KPFK is committed to bringing forward the revolutionary. We’ll bring the A game of liberal reformers. We’ll bring the A game of revolution in the current context of where we are in this country. But we’re not going to be silencing revolutionary voices. We’re going to be bringing them forward, we’re going to be challenging our listeners to think about a better world in our time on this planet, and how we get there and what the barriers are to getting there.

People are talking about why I don’t do what a lot of people have done who have worked at Pacifica and parlayed their experience here into working elsewhere in the media, at the “public radio” stations in Southern California. For me it’s pretty simple. If I’m going to be told that I’m going to have Exxon-Mobile’s voice on the radio and we’re not going to have revolutionary voices, I’m not going there.




Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

From A World to Win News Service

Mexico: government's political crisis persists

January 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



5 January 2015. A World to Win News Service. In his first state visit to the state of Oaxaca and his first public appearance in the new year, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto received an unexpected "welcome" from local schoolteachers calling for him to be driven from office. What was supposed to be a reboot for Pena's authority turned out to be another disaster.

Relatives of the 43 missing students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college march holding pictures of their missing loved ones during a protest in Mexico City, December 26. Protesters marched through the city to mark the three months since the 43 students were taken by municipal police and then handed over to a drug gang to be killed and then the bodies burned, according to the results of the Attorney General's investigation. Photo: AP

Relatives of the 43 missing students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college march holding pictures of their missing loved ones during a protest in Mexico City, December 26. Protesters marched through the city to mark the three months since the 43 students were taken by municipal police. According to the Attorney General's report, the kidnapped students were handed over to a drug gang to be killed and then the bodies burned. Photo: AP


Pena's visit was unannounced, to avoid protests, but was to be highly publicized afterwards. His speech was to promote a strategic plan to transform the country's economy by further opening its oil and gas industry and other sectors to foreign capital, along with an education "reform" whose content is symbolized by the attack on and disappearance of 43 teachers' college students, rural youth whom the authorities believe should be beaten down, not educated.

The Oaxaca teachers climbed the barriers surrounding the industrial facility where he was to speak and clashed with police in an effort to prevent his entrance, which took place only amid tear gas and stones.

Members of the Old Guard protest Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's visit to the White House in Washington, January 6, 2015. Photo: AP

Protest against Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's visit to the White House in Washington, January 6, 2015. Photo: AP

About 150 family members and fellow students of the disappeared Ayotzinapa youth travelled from the southern state of Guerrero to the federal capital on 24 December, Christmas Eve,  declaring that they would not celebrate the holidays or allow Pena to do so with his family until the government produced their sons alive. A long line of riot police and barricades prevented them from entering the presidential residence, Los Pinos. Standing outside in a heavy, cold rain, they warned that the holidays and the new year would not see them stop struggle for justice. They returned to Los Pinos on 26 December and then again 31 December.

These protests followed a growing wave since the students disappeared on 26 September, including marches of tens of thousands of people in the capital and several cities in Guerrero on 8 November. A ceremonial door of the presidential palace, originally built for the Spanish conqueror Hernan Cortez, was set on fire. There was an angry mass assault on local government buildings in the Guerrero state capital of Chilpancingo on 14 December.

In December more evidence emerged linking the police detention and subsequent disappearance of the students to the highest levels of the federal government. These facts go against the official narrative, repeated by much of the world media, that the mayor of the city of Iguala sent his police to attack a caravan of students on their way home to Ayotzinapa after a protest because he was afraid that they would spoil an event hosted by his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda. The two were arrested some months ago and now she has been indicted as the “mastermind” behind the disappearance, in connection with her brothers, allegedly leaders of the Guerreros Unidos drug gang, to whom the police are said to have turned over the students for execution.

A protester holds a defaced image of Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto that reads in Spanish 'We want them alive' in Mexico City,, December. 6. Photo: AP

A protester holds a defaced image of Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto that reads in Spanish, "We want them alive" in Mexico City, December 6. Photo: AP

Leaked government documents from an initial investigation (later abandoned) and a scientific investigation revealed three key points:

1)  Federal police and authorities were following the students' movements that day in real time through a local command post and coordinated with the police in the operation against them. Sixteen federal police were on the scene. According to the report in the magazine Proceso, federal authorities "orchestrated" the attack.

2)  The students, preparing for a trip to the capital for a national protest, arrived in Iguala more than an hour after the mayoral event was over. It has also come out that the students were not entering but leaving town when their buses were stopped. So the official fable about the motives behind the attack don't hold up.  

3)  A team of scientists looking into the affair contested the federal attorney general's claim that it is impossible to identify bodies said to be those of the students, even by DNA traces, because of a massive fire. Their report concluded that there is no evidence of a fire capable of such destruction at the rubbish site where they were supposedly dumped. This means the question of what happened to the students is still open, and the authorities are hiding the truth. (See "Iguala: la historia no oficial" in Proceso nos1989 and 1990excerpts posted online on 13 December 2014, and, in English, the UK Guardian summary of the leaked documents and scientific report, 16 December.)

These and other facts have not been totally unknown before; the point is that a political situation is developing in which a broad section of Mexican society is taking note of information previously thought almost unbelievable because of the radical implication that the whole state structure and its institutions from top to bottom have blood on their hands.

Aurora Roja, the publication and website of the Revolutionary Communist Organisation (OCR) of Mexico, has put this event in the context of previous federally-led or federally-covered up attacks on the Ayotzinapa students; the concerted cover-up of responsibility for the attack by the three major political parties and state institutions, including the judiciary and army as well as the presidency; and above all, the "war against the people" being waged by the government, through its armed forces and security forces and the various drug gangs associated with different state entities. This effort to prevent rebellion has now sparked the most powerful rebellion Mexico has seen in decades and a golden opportunity to build a movement for making a revolution.

As Aurora Roja has demonstrated, drawing on many investigations by journalists, human rights researchers and studies by oppositional organizations, this “war against the people” has been waged in coordination with the U.S. government and armed forces. The U.S. government has threatened sanctions against Mexico because of its failure to protect endangered sea turtles, but continues to aid, arm and coordinate with the Mexican government after about 100,000 people have been massacred since the previous president launched a “war on drugs” in 2007.

The White House denied news reports that U.S. President Barack Obama planned to discuss these massacres at their scheduled meeting in Washington 6 January. Although a spokesperson acknowledged receiving a letter from Human Rights Watch about "generalized torture" and widespread "extrajudicial executions by security forces" under Pena's government, documenting 149 cases of forced disappearances, he said that any discussion of "human rights" between the two presidents would be in the context of security cooperation, according to Proceso (5 January). The U.S. has provided more than two billion dollars for Mexico's "war on drugs".

The International Crisis Group (, a think tank set up to advise the U.S. and European governments, warns, "Mexico is facing a crisis of legitimacy." It cites polls showing that most people now have little respect for the army, police, governing parties and judiciary (in descending order of disrespect) – and "democracy in Mexico." That is a system, says Aurora Roja, in which elections are the adornment of "a criminal and illegitimate state" that just happens to be both a vassal and a weak link for the rulers of the U.S.   [re: report in Proceso]  [re: International Crisis Group quotation]

Protester holds up her red-painted hands and the number 43 written on them referring to the 43 missing students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college in Mexico City, December 26. Photo-AP

Protester holds up her red-painted hands with the number 43 written on them, referring to the 43 missing students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college in Mexico City, December 26. Photo: AP




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 #369 January 12, 2015

From A World to Win News Service

Morocco: Students Battle Police, Regime

January 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


5 January 2015. A World to Win News Service. Law students at Mohammed I University in the northeastern city of Oujda in Morocco beat back police and occupied the campus on 22 December. Morocco's campuses have repeatedly been a battleground, especially since last April when radical students battled Islamists at the highly politicized and polarized university in Fes. At that time the Islamist government serving under the authority of King Mohammed VI declared the student movement a problem of "public safety," authorized the police to enter university facilities (previously off-limits to them) and restricted campus demonstrations.

The Oujda students had gone on strike, set up literature tables and blocked access to a law school building in a protest against entrance exams and procedures that admit only 240 students to a masters program out of the 900 who have completed the undergraduate courses. The police entered in force, charging in on numerous vehicles and trying to surround the open area occupied by the students, but appear to have been forced to retreat by youth who stood their ground. Despite encirclement of the campus by security forces the protests spilled over to several neighbourhoods in Oujda. (For footage of this pitched battle, see

This university has been known for radical anti-government opposition, and Education Minister Lahcen Daoudi denounced the students harshly. He claimed that their real political target was the regime, and that having armed themselves "with stones and onions to make tear gas bombs," they had injured a hundred police. Students followed up with a sit-in at the university.

The authorities have singled out the organization Voie Democratique Bassiste (Democratic Path – the Base) for attack in connection with these student protests. Many students allegedly associated with it have been arrested over recent years. Imprisoned student leaders, both those long awaiting trial and those already convicted, have launched repeated hunger strikes – often subsisting on sugar and water and sometimes not – for recognition of their rights as political prisoners and against prison abuses, and demanding accelerated trials and authorization to pursue their studies in jail.

One of them was Mustapha Meziani, who died last 15 October after a 72-day hunger strike in Fes. Abelhak Atalhaoui, in Essaouira prison, waged a long hunger strike in October. More recently, Aziz Elkhalfaoui, a leader of the 20 February Student Movement, arrested on 4 September 2014 and still awaiting trial in Marrakesh, went on hunger strike on 3 December. He was reportedly in a coma and hospitalized on 15 December. Redouane el Aaimi, arrested at the same time and also on hunger strike since 3 December in Marrakesh, is reportedly very ill.

A week later these two young men were joined in their action by two other prisoners, Aziz Elbour and Mohamed Elmouden, serving three-year sentences in the southern Morocco city of Tiznit.

The authorities have blacked out news of these prison protests in the media, and we have learned nothing more since late December.


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 #369 January 12, 2015

From A World to Win News Service

Thinking about Trayvon Martin, an Egyptian artist looks at the world

January 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


5 January 2015. A World to Win News Service. A Cairo art gallery recently held a show of work by Egyptian artist Mona Marzouk called Trayvon, named after the African-American high school student,Trayvon Martin, murdered in Florida (U.S.) in 2012. In a newspaper interview, she says she obsessively followed the case and trial of the vigilante George Zimmerman, who stalked and shot the 17-year-old. "The first thing Zimmerman said to police," Marzouk says, "was 'he's Black.'... I thought it was important to express what happened to this young man for no reason."

Marzouk explains that the surreal trial, in which facts were uncontested and yet the only result was to ratify the "right" to kill Black youth in America, reminded her of the way that Egyptian courts similarly turn right and wrong upside down. All over the world, she says, "people are looking for justice and they [are] in jail." She might have been thinking of the last months in her own country, where the American-favored former president, general Hosni Mubarak, was acquitted of murder, even though he ordered the killing of many hundreds of demonstrators, while youth prominent in the movement that led to his overthrow were sentenced to prison for holding public protests against his successors.

The work in this show, however, is not about any particular case or indeed any particular injustice. A bright yellow wall swarms with black, sharply outlined silhouettes that recall real objects, but rather than representational, they are suggestive, working on many layers of reference and emotion at once. Helicopters, a recurring theme and a symbol of ubiquitous state violence throughout the world, bring to mind birds of prey or malefic insects. Guillotines, electric chairs and nooses combine with grand pianos and clawed creatures. Versions of the American flag replace the stars with terrifying but indeterminate beasts and objects that suggest empires and executions throughout the ages. Grim castles meld minarets and cathedrals, hinting at Pharaohs, Romans, Ottoman and European potentates. A turreted tower gulps down the setting sun as if it were an egg yolk. These architectural structures, like her innumerable helmets, project political dominance and male authority—and hurt. In "Curse Carriers," a giant shark-jawed monster with an airplane body on a tripod confronts a crab-like creature that could be a tank with minarets. The images are razor-edged, frightening and painful to the viewer's very soul.



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 #369 January 12, 2015

From A World to Win News Service

Film: The Messengers (Les Messagers)

January 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



5 January 2015. A World to Win News Service. "Who are these people who left and never arrived"—who left their homes and families in Africa and disappeared trying to cross into Europe? Whether murdered by the Moroccan police and buried in the sand, swallowed by the sea after their inner tubes are punctured by bullets or their canoes rammed by patrol boats, or beaten to death by the Spanish Guardia Civil as they scramble up the wire fence that separates Morocco from the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, they have been devoured by the terrifying abyss that divides the world into the lands of plenty and the lands where much of that plenty comes from. For the makers of this documentary, Helen Crouzillat and Laetitia Tura, these people are not so much migrants as messengers.

The number of those who died trying to cross that abyss is uncountable, but it is not acceptable that they be uncounted, that they remain without a name, buried in bulldozed pits in the sand or the dark, dark sea. No one, not even their closest family, knows what became of them. The filmmakers sought out their identities and their message in the now-empty shelters they built to survive in the sun, from fishermen and others who witnessed their death, and above all from survivors, who explain how they gathered and mourned—and still mourn—for fellow refugees with whom they had no language in common, whom they knew only as they ran for a train in the night and never saw clearly except for in the flash of a spotlight, whom they buried if they could, doing their best to put a name over the grave, or carried them carefully in memory.

One thing that makes the survivors' testimony so powerful is that they know and we know that they are speaking for the disappeared. "We are people who have been turned into things," one tells us. When human beings impose this kind of reign of terror on other human beings instead of allowing their talents to flourish, "this is not a world of construction—we are destroying each other." "We exist, we are young and we want to work," says another, a simple fact made piercing because many people want to ignore their existence and others are employed to bring their existence to an end.

The Guardia Civil hang up containers of water for birds as if mocking the thirsty people waiting in the desert scrub brush for their chance to leap into the abyss, the live or die moment that brought them here. The head of the Guardia explains, "No wall can stop a man who has come a thousand kilometres"—but if some are killed, that, too, is "a wall"—it tells everyone who might want to climb that wall, or swim around it, or venture across the sea that encloses Europe: this is what can happen to you. The Spanish police save some swimmers, drown some and leave many to fend for themselves after their little boats capsize. The Moroccan police who kill these migrants inland and at the shore work for Spanish interests just as the king of Morocco himself is a vassal of the French and Spanish former colonialists and European capital. These killings are rational from the point of view of the interests of the European capitalist classes: they regulate the number of migrants and eliminate the weakest to feed the grinding global system. The unacceptability of this system and its division of the world is the message these migrants are bearing.

Les Messagers, a 70-minute film in French, Arabic, English, Pulaar and Spanish (subtitled in French or English) won the best documentary award at the Verona (Italy) African Film Festival and played at 14 film festivals in Argentina, Belgium, France, Italy and Uganda in 2014. Extracts are available on It can be ordered for public screenings large and small from the distributor,

Also see the project "Je suis pas mort, je suis la" on the Website of the film's cinematographer, the photographer Laetitia Tura (


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 #369 January 12, 2015

On the Release of Issue #4:
From the Editors of Demarcations

Updated June 1, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


As the centerpiece of this issue, we are pleased to publish as our lead article a polemic submitted to Demarcations by Ishak Baran and KJA: “Ajith—A Portrait of the Residue of the Past.” Baran and KJA are adherents of Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism, and their article is a very important contribution to the response to Against Avakianism by Ajith. (At the time this was published, Ajith was secretary of what had then been the CPI (M-L) Naxalbari.)

The focus of their polemic is philosophy, specifically epistemology (the branch of philosophy concerned with issues of knowledge and truth) and methodology. This is a topic that at first sight might appear abstract and distant from the urgent problems of today’s world. But these philosophical issues have everything to do with putting an end to the madness and horror of our times—with the ability of oppressed humanity and all who yearn for a world worthy of our humanity to understand the world (that is epistemology) precisely in order to change it (through revolution).

Demarcations has previously published a number of articles that speak to and refute different dimensions of Ajith’s attack on the new synthesis of communism that Bob Avakian has brought forward and that provides the theoretical framework to initiate a new stage of communist revolution. To understand the larger backdrop of this sharpening debate in the international communist movement, and a listing of the articles in response to Ajith’s attack on the new synthesis, readers should look at our Editors’ Note of September 2, 2014.

There is rich analysis here that takes in issues of how different classes and social forces approach and understand the problems of the world and how to solve them. Avakian discusses the sweep of communist revolution as a “total revolution”; that there is a social base for this revolution in today’s world; and the challenges of leading a complex revolutionary process that involves the interplay of and struggle between different outlooks, lines, and programs representing different classes and class interests.




Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

Some Basic Points About U.S. Charges and Threats Against North Korea Over the Hacking of Sony Pictures and the Movie The Interview

January 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On November 24, it was discovered that computers at Sony Pictures Entertainment's headquarters in Culver City, California, had been hacked into. Data about Sony's business dealings and employees along with several soon-to-be released films were dumped onto public Internet servers. One of the films was The Interview, a U.S.-made "comedy" about a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un, the president of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (commonly referred to as North Korea).

This hack has turned into a major and ongoing political—and potentially military—crisis between the U.S. imperialists and North Korea. The story began building that North Korea was behind the hack to punish Sony and prevent it from releasing The Interview. (Sony delayed but then quickly released The Interview.) The FBI claims it has proof that the cyber-attack came from North Korea. President Obama denounced North Korea for its purported cyber-attack and threatened to take action against it "in a place and time and manner that we choose." Since then, new sanctions have been imposed on North Korea and there is talk of putting it back on the list of "terrorist" states. While Obama stated that the cyber-attack was not an act of war, there is still a possibility that this crisis could escalate into a military clash.

How should people understand what's actually going on here, and where the interests of humanity lie? Here are a few basic points of orientation:

1) No one should take any of the claims and charges being made by the U.S. against North Korea at face value—even when agencies like the FBI claim to have proof, no matter how many times the system's media repeat them. U.S. police and intelligence agencies have a long track record of presenting elaborate cases against their adversaries, complete with alleged documents, photographs, and other "evidence" that were then uncritically spread by the media and turned out to be fabrications. Secretary of State Colin Powell did this before the whole world at the United Nations in 2003 to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq. His claims proved to be lies.

This time, many hackers and computer experts have argued that the U.S. case against North Korea is very flimsy and in fact the evidence may point more to disgruntled Sony employees. (See, for example, Glenn Greenwald, "North Korea/Sony Story Shows How Eagerly U.S. Media Still Regurgitate Government Claims," The Intercept, January 1, 2015.) And North Korea denies the allegations.

2) Don't get played. The imperialists always present things as if they're reacting to the crimes, outrages, or aggressions of other powers or groups, and trying to protect the interests of humanity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whether its adversaries have committed crimes or not, the U.S. rulers act to further the interests of a global system of capitalist exploitation and oppression, a system held in place by enormous and daily violence that is directly or indirectly devastating the lives of literally hundreds and hundreds of millions around the world. In this case, U.S. moves against North Korea are shaped by its necessity to remain the world's dominant power, including in the Asia-Pacific region, and to fend off growing challenges from other rival powers such as North Korea's neighbor, China.

3) The following basic truth, which is never explained but systematically covered up by the U.S. rulers and their media, is essential to understanding U.S. actions at home and around the world:

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

Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
BAsics 1:3

For more on North Korea and the current crisis, see:

"Furor Over Canceling The Interview—Global Mega Thugs Rail at Supposed North Korean Hackers," December 22, 2014

"U.S. Threatens North Korea: What's Behind the Conflict?" April 10, 2013





Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

Day of Appreciation for New York's Finest... Cold Blooded Murderers

January 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


In the face of a growing national movement against police brutality and murder, this system is trying to defend its armed enforcers, claiming they are "heroes putting their lives on the line every day to defend ordinary people." January 9 was declared the first "National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day" and leading up to this, New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio held a press conference on January 5 to declare that the NY Police Department (NYPD) is "the world's greatest police department," and praised "hardworking officers...who tirelessly perform their duty to serve and protect our communities."

To mark this day, would like to offer this list—which is only a partial list of the crimes against the people that this "greatest police department" has carried out:

April 28, 1973—Murder of Clifford Glover: Clifford, a 10-year-old Black child, was with his stepfather in Jamaica, Queens when they were confronted by plainclothes police. Afraid of the men, the two ran; the cops opened fire, shooting Clifford twice and killing him.

September 1983—Murder of Michael Stewart: Stewart, a 25-year-old Black graffiti artist, was arrested for tagging in a Manhattan subway station on September 15. He was beaten so badly in the patrol car that his screams drew dozens of people in nearby dorms to their windows. He went into a coma and died on September 28.

October 29, 1984—Murder of Eleanor Bumpurs: Eleanor was a 66-year-old, emotionally disturbed Black woman. NYPD cops came to her Bronx apartment to evict her; when she refused to let them in the apartment and waved a kitchen knife; they blew away her hand with one shot from a 12-gauge shotgun, then fired again to her chest, killing her.

September 17, 1994—Murder of Nicholas Heyward, Jr.: Nicholas Jr. was a 13-year-old Black child playing cops and robbers with friends in the stairwell of his Gowanus Homes building in Brooklyn. His toy guy had orange day-glow parts on it. A cop shot and killed him. According to a friend who was there, his last words were, "We're playing."

December 22, 1994—Murder of Anthony Baez: Anthony and his brother were playing touch football in front of their home in the Bronx. Their ball hit a cop car. The cop arrested Anthony's brother. When Anthony calmly tried to intervene, he was attacked and put in a chokehold; as his father begged the cop to let him go because he had asthma, the cop choked Anthony to death. (The NYPD had banned the chokehold at that point.) The case went to trial before a judge, who ruled that police testimony was "a nest of perjury"... and then acquitted the cop! (Later the cop was tried on federal charges and sentenced to only seven years in jail.)

January 12, 1995—Murders of Anthony Rosario and Hilton Vega: Three young Puerto Rican men went to a friend's apartment to collect money for a wedding. Without warning, two white men came out of the back room with guns out, yelling at everyone to get down on the floor. Hilton, 21, and Anthony, 18, were murdered as they lay face down—a total of 22 shots, all of which entered their back or side. Their friend survived by playing dead. The killers turned out to be NYPD cops and former bodyguards to NYC's Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who called them that night to congratulate them for "a job well-done."

August 9, 1997—Torture of Abner Louima: Abner was a 30-year-old Haitian immigrant out at a dance club in Brooklyn. A fight broke out and a cop mistakenly thought that Louima had hit him. He was arrested, beaten in the squad car, and then taken to the precinct. There, at least four cops took him into the bathroom, pulled his pants down and sodomized him with a toilet plunger, causing severe damage to his internal organs. In spite of his loud screaming, not a single cop in the precinct asked what was wrong, interfered with the torture, or came to his aid in any way. All the cops united to cover up what had happened, until a courageous nurse at the hospital where Abner was treated leaked the story of what happened. This led to massive protests. One cop was sentenced to prison for sodomizing Louima. One cop did some time for perjury in helping to cover this crime up.

February 4, 1999—Murder of Amadou Diallo: Amadou was a 23-year-old immigrant from the African nation of Guinea. A hard-working street vendor, he was standing near his Bronx apartment after midnight when four plainclothes cops in a car shouted at him. He ran into his building vestibule. The cops ordered him to stop. He reached in his pocket and took out his wallet. The cops opened fire, shooting 41 bullets, 19 of which struck and killed Diallo. Then the cops spent a couple of hours ransacking his apartment, looking—unsuccessfully—for drugs or anything else they could use to smear his name and justify the murder.

March 1, 2000—Murder of Malcolm Ferguson: Malcolm was a 23-year-old Black man. He came into his building in the Bronx to encounter a plainclothes cop harassing other young men inside the building. Malcolm ran; the cop chased him with his gun drawn, grabbed him and blew his brains out. After seven years, a jury awarded his mother $10.5 million dollars, but the cop who killed him never faced criminal charges.

March 16, 2000—Murder of Patrick Dorismond: 25-year-old Patrick Dorismond, the son of Haitian immigrants, was in midtown Manhattan after midnight. He and a fellow security guard were waiting on the street for a cab. Patrick's friend said a man came up to them and asked if they knew where he could buy marijuana. Patrick told the guy to move on and said he didn't want to talk. The stranger (who was an undercover narcotics cop) persisted. An argument and some kind of scuffle broke out. Another undercover cop came running up with his gun drawn. He started beating Patrick with the pistol and then shot him in the chest. The cops reportedly never identified themselves.

November 25, 2006—Murder of Sean Bell; wounding of Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield: Sean Bell was a 23-year-old Black man, out celebrating his marriage to the mother of his two daughters—planned for later that day—with three friends at a strip club in Queens. A tense situation was developing in the club so they decided to leave. When they tried to pull out, their car was blocked by an unmarked car with three plainclothes cops. Fearing they were being robbed or attacked, they backed into the cop's car. The cops responded by opening fire, shooting 50 bullets at them. Sean Bell died on his wedding day, and his two friends were hospitalized for weeks from their injuries.

February 2, 2012—Murder of Ramarley Graham: Ramarley, an 18-year-old Black man, was returning to his family home in the Bronx. Unknown to him, two plainclothes cops followed him, suspecting him of selling marijuana. Ramarley went in his house and upstairs to the bathroom. The two cops pulled their guns, forced their way into his house, followed him up to the bathroom, and shot him dead. When his 58-year-old grandmother asked, "Why did you shoot him?," the cops pointed their guns and threatened to shoot her too. When the cops were arraigned, a crowd of other cops showed up to cheer for them. Later, the cop's indictment was thrown out on a technicality.

July 17, 2014—Murder of Eric Garner: The NYPD murdered 43-year-old Eric Garner in broad daylight on a street in Staten Island. It was caught on camera in horrifying detail as a pack of police pounced on Garner and one cop put Eric in a chokehold and took him down, continuing the chokehold and smashing Garner's face into the concrete—all without any resistance, and even as Eric cried out his last words, "I can't breathe... I can't breathe... I can't breathe." The cops and EMTs on the scene stood there for many minutes and did nothing to help Garner. On December 4, 2014, a grand jury came back with a decision not to indict the cop who had murdered Eric Garner.

November 20, 2014—Murder of Akai Gurley: Just after 11pm, 28-year-old Akai Gurley and a friend left another friend's apartment in the Louis H. Pink Houses in the East New York neighborhood. As soon as they entered the unlit stairwell of the building to walk downstairs, Akai was shot in the chest by an NYPD officer and died soon afterwards. The NYPD and Mayor de Blasio had to admit that Akai Gurley was totally innocent and called this a "tragic accident." But this was the direct result of the NYPD cops carrying out "vertical patrols" in housing projects with guns drawn.





Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

The NYPD and the Whole Damn System Are Guilty—NOT Protesters!

January 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On December 13, 2014, protests were held in many cities across the U.S. demanding an end to police murder and brutality. In New York City, over 25,000 people took to the streets and one of the marches included hundreds of people who marched across the Brooklyn Bridge.

The next day, the mainstream media focused not on the large, determined, and broad protests and the just demands raised by the people—but on the police "hunt" for some protesters. The NYPD claimed that on the bridge, protesters attacked two cops who were trying to arrest someone they claim was throwing a garbage can.

A whole campaign was launched in the media to hunt down, arrest and convict these protesters—based mainly on a two-minute YouTube video. The level of hysteria was ratcheted way up for days. There were high-profile press conferences with Police Commissioner Bratton and other city officials calling on people to help identify those responsible for supposedly "assaulting two NYPD lieutenants." A "Wanted" poster was issued with photos of seven "suspects"—that then appeared on tabloid front pages. People were called on to turn these people in and were offered a reward of $25,000. Those on the "wanted protesters" posters were assumed guilty. Mayor de Blasio jumped in to call for the protesters to be punished but was then roundly criticized by the police for referring to what happened as an "alleged" assault.

Five of the seven "wanted" have now been arrested or turned themselves in, with charges ranging from felony assault on police to resisting arrest, inciting to riot, and obstructing governmental administration.

This orchestrated "trial by media" has been an attempt by city and police officials to target the protests as a whole, put those who have been defiantly taking to the streets on the defensive and try to put a lid on any further demonstrations against the police. This includes trying to pit people against each other—setting terms for who are considered "good" and "bad" protesters.

At a press conference covered nationally on news channels, NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton announced the hunt for the protesters and said, "We do not take attacks [sic] on police officers lightly—never have, never will." Mayor de Blasio declared that those who protest "have to take responsibility for those in their midst, even the smallest minority, anyone who might do violence of any kind... They have to work actively to stop that."

What's happening in NYC is part of the repression taking place across the country as police and governments respond to the continuing protests against police murder and brutality and the oppression of Black people. Police have attacked protesters, at times making mass arrests and also singling out individual activists, and in particular revolutionaries; police unions have threatened athletes who have spoken out by wearing "I Can't Breathe" shirts; students have been warned against doing walkouts; martial law has been imposed in Ferguson and other communities of the oppressed and other forms of repression are being carried out.

Meanwhile, the police in NYC and every other city across AmeriKKKa continue to brutalize, terrorize, and murder Black and Latino people with impunity. This is intolerable, illegitimate, and criminal. This must be resisted and protesters targeted and persecuted must be supported in their fight against such attacks.

There will never be any justice for Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, John Crawford, Ezell Ford, Omar Abrego...and so many others, without determined struggle that reaches all corners of society. Those who send their police to brutalize and kill people of color, their mouthpieces in the media, and those who hate righteous resistance more than they hate injustice... have NO right to attack the people for protesting all these injustices; they have no right to tell people where and how they can protest and define who is a "good" protester! In every case, when those who protest come under attack from the powers, they must be defended politically—and in the courtroom—as an important part of building the resistance.

Revolution/ will be continuing to cover the repression against the protests. Send reports on attacks on the movement for justice to:




Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

The Ominous Attacks Against the RCP and Bob Avakian

Updated January 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Over the past six months, there has been an escalating series of attacks against supporters and members of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and, lately, a particular focus on its Chairman, Bob Avakian. These attacks have developed over time and have included slanders, physical assaults, arrests and massive charges, and—most recently—a concerted web campaign undertaken by openly fascist forces with high connections.

A genuinely revolutionary organization and its leader are being named, singled out, and accused of being something they are not, which could facilitate further attacks and government persecution. This ominous and dangerous development should be of urgent concern for everyone in the movements of resistance and for social change and all who are opposed to assaults on freedom of political expression and activity.

The canvas this takes place on is shaped by the massive protests against police brutality and murder that have deeply shaken the U.S. and reverberated around the world. The long-suppressed and righteous, justified rage of Black people erupted in Ferguson after the wanton police killing of unarmed Michael Brown, as protesters courageously went up against military-style police clampdown and violence. And, after the grand juries exonerated the cops who murdered Michael Brown and Eric Garner, the outrage and resistance spread coast to coast, as people who find the continuing murder and brutality by police intolerable took to the streets and acted in other ways (like medical students staging die-ins and athletes wearing “I Can’t Breathe” shirts). Hundreds of thousands have stood up, with right on their side, and are being heard. The thinking of millions is being challenged, as many people begin to question the legitimacy of a society and its enforcers that treat Black and Latino people in such vicious and unacceptable ways.

Interacting with this was the Dialogue in mid-November between Bob Avakian and Cornel West. 1,900 people from different walks of life, including people from Ferguson, came out to the Dialogue between Cornel West, revolutionary Christian and one of the foremost public intellectuals in the U.S., and Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, on “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion.” The need and possibility for emancipation of humanity and revolution was brought straight up to people who have been in the streets and those who stood with those in the streets.

In the face of this, there has been a concerted and multi-pronged effort by the powers-that-be to repress and suppress this righteous movement. In Ferguson the police imposed martial law, harassing, beating, tear-gassing, and arresting people for exercising the rights supposedly guaranteed under this system to protest. Police have tried to intimidate protesters with massive deployment of riot cops, mass arrests, and singling out of activists for political persecution. In New York City, the police, government, and media recently launched a massive “manhunt,” complete with “Wanted” posters on the front page of a local tabloid paper, for several people accused of trying to free a protester from the clutches of cops.

Because of the role played by the Party in this struggle, revolutionaries in particular have been targeted for repression and this must be opposed. Noche Diaz of the Revolution Club in NYC was pulled out of protests of thousands, and bogus charges were piled up against him. (“Hands Off Noche Diaz”) In Chicago, Grant Newburger, well-known in the oppressed neighborhoods for bringing revolution to the people, has had three felony charges piled on him after being arrested for stepping into the street with a banner. (“Drop the Charges Against Grant Newburger and Everyone Arrested!”) And in another protest in Chicago, the police swarmed into people staging a die-in, especially targeting a young member of the Revolution Club and another protester for arrest and heavy charges. (“Chicago: Oppose the Vicious and Outrageous Charges Against Those Who Protested Police Murder!”)

This happens because those in power deeply fear the struggles and hopes of those “who catch the hardest hell every day,” as well as masses from other sections of society, connecting with the Party that has the program, strategy, and leadership needed for a movement for an actual revolution. Again—from the first days of protest in Ferguson after Michael Brown’s murder, supporters and representatives of the Party have been targeted for arrest and physical attacks, and this has gone hand in hand with slander and lies.

But in the last several weeks, an extremely ominous new development has been added: a wave of threats on the Internet against the RCP and its leadership. The Party, and in particular Bob Avakian (BA), have come under direct attack on some of the major right-wing, white supremacist blogs and websites, including some directly tied into police departments and in some cases connected to major forces in the ruling class. While it has not yet happened in this case, some of these “sources” are picked up and quoted and treated as credible not only on Fox News, but even in more mainstream media like CNN as well. This has taken several forms, including attributing highly provocative statements to people associated with the Party, which they have never made; singling out people like Carl Dix, Travis Morales, and Joey Johnson, and often either making physical threats against them or inciting/implying such threats; and in particular singling out and pointing the finger at Bob Avakian in highly provocative and totally false ways. In particular, there have been attempts to falsely and slanderously associate the RCP and Bob Avakian (BA) with violent acts or threats of violent acts, including against police. This is being done through insinuation and innuendo, as well as outright lies to attribute totally fabricated quotes to people associated with the Party.

Most recently, BA has been the main revolutionary being targeted. It is no accident that the attacks rose sharply after the Dialogue in November. BA plays a crucial and indispensable role—both in leading the Party and, in a different dimension, as the foremost communist thinker in the world today, whose theoretical work has laid the basis for a revitalized revolutionary communist movement.

This is a concerted effort—with common themes and similarly worded threats, lies, and distortions running through many of the blogs, articles, emails, and comments. Again, while so far the more mainstream websites and news sites have not in the main picked up on the specific shit being poured from the extreme right-wing sites, these are just beginning to spread and will very likely intensify. And we should not forget that historically these kinds of accusations by the right wing have become the legal basis and justification for the government and FBI to spy on and launch attacks against progressive and revolutionary groups and individuals.

Taken together with the arrests, physical attacks and piled-on charges, the mounting slanders and false accusations are very, very serious and could have extremely serious consequences and implications. They could well be a reflection of a conscious and calculated effort to lay the groundwork for bringing down further, even more serious, attacks on the Party and on BA in particular. To repeat what we said at the beginning: A genuinely revolutionary organization and its leader are being named and singled out and accused of being something they are not, which could facilitate further attacks and government persecution. This ominous and dangerous development should be of urgent concern for everyone in the movements of resistance and for social change and all who are opposed to assaults on freedom of political expression and activity.

Those who slander the Party and personally attack BA with outright falsehoods and with intent to bring them down must be denounced and not be given an inch of space. That doesn’t mean people should go on the right-wing sites and blogs to engage with those fascists. But everyone should be aware of and alert to these attacks and take a clear and firm stand against them, and come to the defense of revolutionaries who are targeted. A leader like BA comes along extremely rarely—and as part of countering the attacks on him, we need to be doing everything we can to spread his works and appreciation of this leader widely throughout society, as part of building a wall of defense around him. At the same time, anyone who values the right of radicals, revolutionaries, and others to free expression should also be reached to defend BA.

These attacks and slanders are part of creating a poisonous atmosphere and conditions that would make it easier for the powers-that-be, or those that do their bidding, to launch even heavier assaults on the Party and BA and attempt to deprive the people of genuine revolutionary communist leadership—and that must not be allowed to happen. These attacks underscore a key point we have made: “We had better fully recognize and appreciate what we have in BA, and act accordingly.” (“Watching Fruitvale Station with Bob Avakian“)

As a first step, we urge our readers to distribute this article and let people know what is going on.






Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

Who Hates Revolution Books?

January 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


We received the following from the staff of Revolution Books in New York City.


On New Year's Eve, as demonstrators against police murder were gathering in Union Square, a man entered Revolution Books, ripped the "Danger, Police in Area" poster out of our front window, tried to tear it in half, then ran off. An hour later, someone dumped our outdoor book table into the gutter.

Revolution Books window.Revolution Books' front window. The image was created in 1999 by the nationally known artist Dread Scott.

Next, the store began receiving threatening phone calls and emails with messages like: "Hope you go out of business. Better yet? When your business or your home is robbed, I truly hope the officers of the 13th Precinct take their sweet time responding, if at all." Since then, there have been phony "reviews" of RB posted on Yelp: "You people should be ashamed of yourselves, Disgusting ... the images of police. When ur stupid store gets robbed at gunpoint don't call 911" and "RATS! RATS! RATS! This place is horrible. While there, the owner was shouting all kinds of racial slurs to a customer. Then I saw a huge rat running around inside the store..."

Some of these people have NYPD emblems on their Facebook pages and some of the callers actually identify themselves as cops. At one of these sites, cops, ex-cops, and wannabe cops let their racism, reaction and violent mentality all hang out. This is one of the places where a picture of the Revolution Books front window was posted, eliciting comments like: "If I'm in the neighborhood I'm gonna throw a rock," "If someone smashes the window steals the sign, who they gonna call?" and "Where are the phucking drone strikes when you need one the most."

These threats are continuing and Revolution Books takes them seriously. In a time when the country has been convulsed by righteous outrage against abuse and outright murder by the police of unarmed people, usually young Black or Latino men, police organizations, right-wing talk show hosts and the tabloids are retaliating with their furious "pro-police" campaign. This is the dangerous context in which Revolution Books is being targeted.

Poet Saul Williams at Revolution Books on December 5, 2014.

Poet Saul Williams at Revolution Books on December 5, 2014.

Our bookstore has opened its door to forums in support of the movement to halt police violence; this is the place to get posters and Revolution newspaper, and in early December, we hosted a stunning evening of music, poetry and art called "Ferguson Is Everywhere!" featuring major poets, performers and visual artists.

Revolution Books is not going to back off one inch in support of the movement to end police murder and brutality.

Dread Scott's powerful art work remains in our window.

We call on all the friends of Revolution Books, our neighbors, and everyone who is outraged by the epidemic of police murder and brutality to support the bookstore in standing up against these attacks.

Spread the word, tweet, tell friends, come hang out at the bookstore.
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New York, NY 10001




Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

On Events in Paris

Updated January 18, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Wednesday, January 7, two gunmen associated with Islamic fundamentalist forces stormed into a meeting of the editorial board of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. They sprayed the room with bullets. Within minutes, a dozen editors, cartoonists, and others lay dead. Eleven more people were wounded in the attack, and four people died in an incident two days later where someone identifying with Jihadist forces took hostages at a Jewish store in Paris.

We will have more to say at and in the pages of Revolution on these events, but right now, some things are clear.

ONE: The murder of people for expressing disagreements is an outrage. This is true no matter who does it—whether it is the imperialists themselves (who have a long history, including in this country against the Black liberation struggle as well as around the world, of silencing and, yes, murdering critics), or those who claim to be opposed to them.

TWO: Whoever was behind this and whatever their intent, besides causing the deaths and suffering of innocent people, the event has actually benefitted the imperialists. These killings will now be seized upon to further repress people and justify any actions, however unjust, undertaken by the governments in response, as well as the demonization of whole sections of people. The act in Paris can in no way be seen as justifying yet more acts of aggression or repression—yet more drone bomber strikes against civilians, as well as other forms of aggression which take the lives of more innocent people, more repression against immigrants, more spying and surveillance—all or some of which will very likely be mounted “in response.”

THREE: The imperialist system itself is the cause of massive suffering in the world and ultimately bears responsibility for creating conditions that give rise even to very wrong-headed and cruel actions in opposition to it. This can be seen by taking a day to study the history of France and the literally tens of millions of people not only heartlessly exploited and tortured, but murdered in North and West Africa, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and elsewhere—throughout history and down to today. And the same could be said of the U.S., Britain, and other imperialist powers. But things like the attack in Paris are most definitely NOT in the interests of masses of people all over the world, and can in no way be justified.

FOUR: What is urgently needed right now—in opposition to these kinds of harmful acts—is, in countries like the U.S. (and France) and all over the world, the building of massive political resistance and opposition to what the imperialists, led by the U.S. imperialists, are doing—the many crimes they have committed and are continuing to commit—and to the way in which they will seize on this incident to seek to justify and carry further these crimes. This should include resistance against repressive measures directed at immigrant communities and opposition to demonization of immigrants—measures and demonization which had been gaining momentum well before this incident.

FINALLY: A genuinely emancipating revolution—a communist revolution—involves millions and millions of people who are determined to bring about a radical change in society and the world. This communist revolution aims to overturn the grotesque and horrific systems and relations in the world that cause such untold and unnecessary suffering for literally billions throughout the globe, and which themselves also give rise to and are ultimately responsible for grotesque forms of opposition to this. The nature and aim of this revolutionary struggle is nothing less than the conscious and determined struggle of millions and ultimately billions, throughout the globe, to bring into being a whole new world without exploitation, oppression, and social inequalities.

As is pointed out in “Some Crucial Points of Revolutionary Orientation—in Opposition to Infantile Posturing and Distortions of Revolution:”

In a country like the U.S., the revolutionary overthrow of the system can only be achieved once there is a major, qualitative change in the nature of the objective situation, such that society as a whole is in the grip of a profound crisis, owing fundamentally to the nature and workings of the system itself, and along with that there is the emergence of a revolutionary people, numbering in the millions and millions, conscious of the need for revolutionary change and determined to fight for it. In this struggle for revolutionary change, the revolutionary people and those who lead them will be confronted by the violent repressive force of the machinery of the state which embodies and enforces the existing system of exploitation and oppression; and in order for the revolutionary struggle to succeed, it will need to meet and defeat that violent repressive force of the old, exploitative and oppressive order.

In short, revolution—truly fundamental change, truly uprooting oppression—is a serious thing and it must be approached in a serious way—soberly, with science, commitment, and maturity.






Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

"Great Champions of Freedom of Expression"?

January 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


In condemning the murder of Charlie Hebdo journalists in France, the U.S. rulers are posturing as great champions of free speech and expression. But what’s the reality?

» Murder, Spying, and Police Dirty Tricks in the 1960s. During the 1960s, revolutionaries like Black Panther Fred Hampton and author and prisoner George Jackson were murdered by police for exposing the system’s crimes and advocating revolution. The government engaged in massive spying against the Black liberation struggle, the antiwar movement, and progressive artists, as well as secret attempts under the FBI’s COINTELPRO program to disrupt, discredit, and suppress them.

» Murder, Targeting, Jailing of RCP Supporters. On April 22, 1980, Damián García was murdered while building for May 1st, 1980 in a Los Angeles housing project, as a police agent stood nearby. Damián’s killer declared, “You hate the government, I am the government, your flag is red, mine is red, white and blue.”

There were attempts to frame RCP Chairman Bob Avakian and to send him to jail for decades for a speech before a demonstration. There have been arrests, beatings by police, and often imprisonment of hundreds of RCP supporters for essentially acts of free speech.

» Spying on Hundreds of Millions, Criminalizing Online Speech. Today, the U.S. conducts blanket surveillance of tens, probably hundreds of millions of phone and Internet communications—here and around the world. And it is criminalizing oppositional political speech online, including in social media. In Britain, some 20,000 people have been investigated for online comments. Glenn Greenwald reports that a British youth was jailed in 2012 for condemning British soldiers in Afghanistan (The Intercept, January 6, 2015), and that in December 2014 police in Massachusetts “issued a criminal summons to 27-year-old Charles DiRosa for posing an ‘anti-police Facebook post.’”

On June 4, 2014, hundreds of New York police launched a military-style raid on two Harlem housing projects, arresting 40 for an alleged gang “conspiracy.” The pigs’ so-called case was based on tens of thousands of tapped phone calls from jail, hundreds of hours of surveillance video, and police spying on over a million social media pages. (See “NYPD Terrorizes Harlem Neighborhood—Seizes Dozens of Youth.”)

» Imprisoning and Persecuting Whistleblowers and Truth-Tellers. When journalists, government, or military personnel and others try to expose the crimes being committed by the U.S., they are ruthlessly hunted down, persecuted, and jailed. The only person imprisoned over the U.S.’s illegal and immoral torture program was a former CIA agent who tried to expose it—John Kiriakou. Private Chelsea Manning has been held in conditions amounting to torture and sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking documents exposing U.S. war crimes, lies, and other machinations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world. Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was forced to flee the U.S. in order to expose the truth about the U.S.’s massive spying programs.

» Supporting Police State–Torture Regimes Around the World. A list of U.S. allies reads like a who’s who of military juntas and torture regimes where dissenters and radicals are rounded up without trial and tortured. One is Saudi Arabia, a key ally, where the legal penalty for journalists who “insult Islam” is flogging, and where beheadings are routinely carried out.





Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

The Imperialist West's Selective Mourning of Atrocities

January 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Wednesday, January 7, the day the murderous attack on Charlie Hebdo took place, the following atrocities also took place or were revealed. They received very little, if any coverage in the Western imperialist media:

» 10 bodies and 11 severed heads were found in secret graves in the State of Guerrero in southern Mexico. According to ABC News (January 7), “Most of the bodies had their hands tied and showed signs of torture.” Guerrero is where 43 rural teachers college students from Ayotzinapa were disappeared by Mexican police and drug gangs in September 2014. This is part of a pattern of what Human Rights Watch calls “generalized torture” and widespread “extrajudicial executions by security forces” under Mexico’s current government.

Mexico’s rulers are backed and supported by the U.S. “The U.S. government continues to aid, arm and coordinate with the Mexican government after about 100,000 people have been massacred since the previous president launched a ‘war on drugs’ in 2007.” (See “Mexico: government's political crisis persists.”)

» 577 people were killed or found dead in Iraq, including 150 in a U.S. airstrike. According to, on January 7, a mass grave with 320 bodies was discovered and that over 200 more people were killed in widespread fighting across Iraq between the U.S. and the reactionary Iraqi government it backs, and reactionary Islamic fundamentalist forces. Iraq News reported that in one U.S. air assault on ISIS forces, 150 people were reportedly killed. Reuters reports that as of January 7, U.S.-led forces had conducted 1,676 airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria since August 8, using 4,775 bombs, missiles, and other munitions. That day, Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesperson, said the U.S. doesn’t count the number of people it kills: “We’re not getting into an issue of body counts.” In 2014, Iraqi civilian deaths doubled compared to 2013, to 15,538. All this carnage is a direct product of the 2003-2011 U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. (See also Democracy Now!, January 8, 2015)

» At least nine people, including two children, killed in Afghanistan. The children were killed in the Zhari district of the southern province of Kandahar while looking for firewood, probably by a mine or roadside bomb. In the Shahwali Kot district of Kandahar, another 10 children were wounded in a bomb blast, with seven in critical condition. The year 2014 saw 10,000—a record number—killed in the ongoing U.S. war and occupation of Afghanistan.

“‘Our children were there to collect wood to burn when they were hit by this bomb,’ said Bismallah Jan, the father of one of the wounded children. ‘The government should have cleared the area, it their duty to protect us,’” ABC News reported. “Afghanistan is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world, and children are often killed or wounded while playing, collecting firewood or tending animals.”

» Freezing winds and snow endanger millions of Syrian refugees in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. “A fierce winter storm that has unleashed barrages of rain and snow on parts of the Middle East this week has compounded the misery of the millions of Syrians displaced by their country’s civil war and left the organizations that seek to help them scrambling to keep up. Frigid winds, driving rains and layers of snow have hit encampments in Syria’s neighboring countries, flooding settlements, collapsing tents and leaving refugees shivering in the cold and increasing the chances for illness.... Three Syrians, including a child, were found dead in southern Lebanon after getting caught in a storm,” the New York Times reported January 7. The enormous suffering caused by what the media calls Syria’s civil war is the product of the toxic clash between global imperialist powers, especially the U.S., oppressive regional powers, including the Assad regime in Syria, and reactionary Islamic fundamentalist forces.

» Around the world, some 17,000 children under the age of five died on January 7, as they do on average every day of the year. According to UNICEF, these deaths are overwhelmingly from preventable causes like starvation, lack of sanitation and clean water, and treatable diseases. These deaths—on average 11 every minute—are a product, first and foremost, of the workings and legacy of global capitalism-imperialism.




Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

In the Streets in Ferguson: "It is our duty to fight"

January 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Feerguson MO January 10, 2015

Above and below: 50 people marched January 10, 2015 in Ferguson. "People need to stay in the streets as long as it takes to get justice for Mike...." Photo: Special to

Ferguson MO January 10 2015

On January 10, 50 people took to the streets in Ferguson, Missouri, blocking traffic on W. Florissant Ave. where the rebellion began last August after Michael Brown was murdered by cop Darren Wilson. The march rallied at the Canfield Apartments at the memorial to Mike Brown which has been cared for and defended for 5 months. An organizer of the protest said that people need to stay in the streets as long as it takes to get justice for Mike and other victims of police brutality. He said, “This is our duty to fight. This is our duty to win.” Protesters were mainly young people, many who have been in the streets for months, and some who face heavy charges stemming from arrests at previous protests. A group who had come to Ferguson from New Orleans joined the protest. There were daughters with their mothers marching. Protesters blocked the intersection of W. Florissant Ave. and Canfield Dr., with traffic backed up in both directions for blocks. People in cars and along the sidewalk showed support.

The next day 50 protesters again came out, this time in the rain, to challenge a pro-police rally held at the Ferguson Police Station. The pro-police rally, reported in the media to have 200 people, was organized by a group named “Rally Our Troops.” It included “God bless our police” signs, a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, and the presence of the Ferguson Mayor and Police Chief.




Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

The Cold but Liberating Truth About the Police, the Struggle for Justice, and Revolution

January 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |




The TRUTH is this:

The 1000s who took the streets against the police murdering people and walking free were RIGHT...

The police are NOT heroes...

They are NOT “serving and protecting” the people...

They function like an occupying army against Black and Latino people in this country: harassing, brutalizing and murdering people...

And if we want this to stop, we have to build up our movement to re-take the streets, even more massively than before, and even as we learn more deeply how to get at the root of this madness and end it once and for all. WE HAVE TO ACT.

New York City, December 13, 2014. Posters of the eyes of Eric Garner by French artist JR are carried in a march of thousands. Photo: Special to


The Reality of Black Lives

For four short months, beginning in August with the rebellion in Ferguson, MO, and especially in the five weeks after the grand juries in Ferguson and then New York freed the cops who murdered Mike Brown and Eric Garner, Black lives actually did matter in this country.

No, not to those who run and enforce this system; Black lives never have and never will matter to them, except to be exploited or as a source of potential threat to their system. But to the millions who generally just go along with things and don’t allow themselves to think about the horror right beneath the surface—yes, suddenly they were forced to confront the reality of what happens to Black and other oppressed peoples in this society day in and day out, and what has been going on in one form or another since Day One of this country.

And what IS that reality?

Michael Brown's father, shortly after Michael Brown was murdered by police

Michael Brown's stepfather, shortly after Michael Brown was murdered by police. "Ferguson police just executed my unarmed son!!!" Photo: AP

In case we forget, we can go on YouTube and look at the latest video to come out of Cleveland, Ohio where not only did police murder a 12-year-old Black boy, Tamir Rice, for allegedly playing with a toy gun at a playground, but it has come out and can be seen that they shot him less than 2 seconds after they came on the scene and then not only tackled and detained his sister who ran to help him, but stood there while he bled out and died, refusing to come to his aid! Where is the humanity?

In case we forget, we can just look in the newspapers and find out that, far from being an “isolated” incident, the chokehold that the New York police used to murder Eric Garner—another case where these cops stood around and did nothing to aid a man who was dying in front of them, due to their vicious and monstrous actions—is actually the first thing that many cops resort to when arresting someone. Not only is this supposedly forbidden by their rule books, but it has also come out that when they are caught and the so-called Civilian Review Board recommends punishment, nothing is ever done! Where is the justice?

In case we forget, we can read the author Isabel Wilkerson who, like many others, has recently compared the numbers of police murders of Black people to the numbers of lynchings of Black people during the height of Ku Klux Klan terror—and found that the police murders are even more frequent. These murders and this all-around harassment, abuse, intimidation and violence by police serve the same social function as the Klan lynchings: to terrorize an oppressed people, to “keep them in their place.” Where, really, is the so-called progress?

What the Demonstrations Accomplished

But—again—these last few months were different. People did NOT forget and they did NOT block this out from their minds and they began to actually confront this and think about it. Why? Fundamentally because in August, when the police murdered Michael Brown, people in Ferguson rose up—and in large part, those at the backbone were the people on the bottom of society, who are so often demonized and hounded. This rallied others and made it impossible for the powers-that-be to put things back in a box. All eyes were kept on Ferguson and New York. Would there be justice?

Then, when the grand juries allowed the cops who murdered Michael Brown and Eric Garner to walk, tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of people blocked traffic and in many other ways disrupted “business as usual.” People in Ferguson again rose up and in dozens of other cities people of ALL nationalities and skin colors came into the streets, night after night. Millions were inspired, and tens of millions were forced to take notice, here and all over the world. Millions said or chanted or whispered “I can’t breathe” and in doing so broke a suffocation that had been locked down on people for decades. The thinking of millions was changed, and this was a huge accomplishment of the struggle.

It took massive disruptive action to do this. These actions were part of reaching into the deepest suppressed feelings of millions, opening people up to new ideas, and beginning to change the thinking both of those who acted and those who watched. This has been a great beginning, even as it is just that—a beginning.

They Are Trying to Kill This Movement With Lies—What Is the REAL Truth? And What Do We Need to Do?

But in the past few weeks, even as people have in many places bravely continued to fight and even as writers have continued to expose the reality, this new movement faces a big challenge. After trying—and failing—to suppress the movement with arrests, with demonization, and through many other means, the powers-that-be seized on the killings of two police in New York to take the offensive. Overnight, any criticism of police was ruled out of bounds. All kinds of distortions and lies were put out, all kinds of threats were made, and the police and their defenders—none of whom ever once came forward to say that what they and their fellow cops had done and do every day to Black and Latino people was in any way wrong—dominated the airwaves.

Because there have been so many lies put out there, it’s important to clear the air with some truth.

These lies are thin and paltry, but if they go unchallenged then the thinking of millions of people will again be shut down. And these murderers and their masters will again get away with these horrors—unless and until people once again rise up and take the streets. THAT—new waves of struggle, even more massive and defiant than before (including struggle over how people are understanding things)—is a necessary part of shining a light through the fog of lies to get the truth out and more deeply changing the thinking of the millions who have been programmed to go along with all this madness.

So that is definitely one huge challenge before the people right now: to go back on the offensive and bring forward even more massive waves of struggle to STOP these outrages. Not mitigate them, not tone them down—but STOP them.

Right now the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) is joining with others to host a national meeting in early February to develop plans that will re-take initiative on this front. Everyone who has been fighting this, all the different groups who want to see this stop, should be part of this, sorting out differences and uniting more strongly.

At the same time, our Party and the Revolution Clubs are organizing people FOR revolution in the communities and campuses all over. We are mobilizing people to fight the power, in very active and determined ways, and at the same time working to transform people’s thinking... FOR revolution. This is critical... and you can and should be part of this, going up against the powers while learning more about the revolution.

Why Does This Happen?

This gets to another big challenge that has to be met: getting to WHY this goes on, and what must be done to STOP it once and for all.

Why do the police do this? Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has put it this way:

The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and order that enforces all this oppression and madness.

Think about it. THIS is at the heart of what goes on in the ghettos and barrios all over the country. “Relations of exploitation and oppression” are being “enforced.” And these relations go far beyond the ghetto. Think about what goes into just the daily functioning of this system, in addition to the killing discrimination and slow genocide now coming down on African-Americans, and Latinos, and other oppressed peoples within the U.S.:

We Need a Revolution—A REAL Revolution!

These horrors are a big part of what we’re talking about when we say “relations of exploitation and oppression.” This is what is enforced by their cops, their armies, their prisons, their courts and all the rest. This is what is defended and covered over by their media and their politicians. A system that not only produces these horrors, but feeds on them and requires them to keep going, is a system that must be done away with. And the only way it can be done away with is through revolution.

Revolution is not just a catchword. It means something, something real. As we have said:

An actual revolution is a lot more than a protest. An actual revolution requires that millions of people get involved, in an organized way, in a determined fight to dismantle this state apparatus and system and replace it with a completely different state apparatus and system, a whole different way of organizing society, with completely different objectives and ways of life for the people. Fighting the power today has to help build and develop and organize the fight for the whole thing, for an actual revolution. Otherwise we’ll be protesting the same abuses generations from now!

We, our Party, has taken responsibility not only to take up this fight today but to build this as part of getting organized for an actual revolution. And listen—this is not something that has to be way far off—a lot depends on what all of us do, right now and in the immediate future. Our Party has developed a strategy to make revolution. Our Party has developed a vision of what is to replace this system. Our Party is developing the theoretical fighting doctrine through which people could actually meet and defeat these imperialists, even with all their power, once conditions change and the all-out struggle for power comes on the agenda.

AND: we have in Bob Avakian (BA) a leader who has given his heart and soul to the masses of people and who has developed a visionary new synthesis of communism, a deeper understanding of human emancipation. A leader like BA is something rare, and this is a great strength for our movement. “If you are serious about an actual revolution, you have to get seriously into BA.” Our Party is made up of revolutionary fighters dedicated to leading masses of people to get free of this madness, applying science to the problems we face, and organized into the structure of our Party to do that. And we have a way for you to get with this, to learn about this as you are fighting back, to get organized to actually make a revolution.

The time is now. The challenge is there... the leadership is there... what is needed, very urgently right now, is YOU.

Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution!
Get Organized for an Actual Revolution!


To learn more, explore this website, And check out the dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West, “Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion.”




Revolution #369 January 12, 2015

San Francisco Bay Area SMIN:

“Pedie” Perez’s Life Mattered! 

January 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | received the following from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network in the San Francisco/Bay Area:

In November, Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus was sent to Ferguson, MO, by the Department of Justice to review civil rights charges in connection with the Mike Brown murder. He is one of the system's "good cops", that we are told we can trust to reform the epidemic of murder by police who usually are not ever prosecuted. Chief Magnus was even photographed in a protest holding a sign reading "Black Lives Matter". When asked about that, Magnus said, “That ‘black lives matter’ is something that I would think that we should all be able to agree upon. All lives matter.” 

Oh Yeah? 

Only a month earlier, one of his cops murdered Richard "Pedie" Perez in cold blood. Chief "All Lives Matter" Magnus stood behind his killer cop and justified the murder. 

NO! We say “Pedie” Perez’s Life Mattered! 

On September 14th, 24-year-old Pedie Perez was standing with friends out in front of a liquor store when Officer Wallace Jensen drove up for a "security check." An older woman who was with Pedie when the police rolled up said she was there when Pedie was gunned down, "Police told me 'go, go' and made Pedie sit on the ground. As I turned the corner I heard shots." She said she ran back and tried to go to Pedie and the police pointed a gun in her face and told her that if she didn't move back she would be "laying down with him." 

John Burris, the family's lawyer, says Pedie was unarmed when Jensen shot him at least five times and that the cop's claim that the shooting was necessary because Pedie had grabbed for his gun was a "flat-out lie," that it is contradicted by every single witness they had interviewed. Burris said, "This officer should be prosecuted for murder." 

Let's remember Pedie. Let's stand with Pedie's family and friends and fight for Justice. 





Revolution #369 January 12, 2015


Young Leader Arrested for Street Theater for Abortion Rights

Updated January 16, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Revolution/ received the following report from


Union Square subway, Sunday, January 11.

A young leader in, who led the dramatic street theater for abortion rights that can be seen in this video, was arrested when she and another woman repeated this action mid-day Tuesday, January 13, 2015. Another person doing the street theater was threatened with arrest if she took pictures or filmed the arrest. The street theater consisted of women lying “dead” while wearing white outfits stained with blood between their legs and holding the faces of real women who died from botched abortion when it was not legally available.

The street theater was performed in the Union Square subway station on Sunday, January 11 as part of promoting an abortion rights rally is planning on both coasts for the anniversary of Roe v. Wade (January 22 in Washington, DC; January 24 in San Francisco). These protests will be against the annual “March for Life” which is to be held by opponents to abortion. This takes place at a moment of record restrictions on abortions and when the new Congress just introduced a ban on abortion at 20 weeks.

During Sunday’s street theater, commuters were riveted, many snapped photographs and some broke out in applause. The deep and enthusiastic support this theater drew can be seen in the responses captured on video. It was in the same station, Union Square, just two days later that the young leader of Stop Patriarchy was arrested while carrying out a smaller version of the same peaceful theater.

“This arrest was an illegitimate and outrageous suppression of political speech, a violation of my rights and should not be tolerated,” she said. “I am proud to be fighting against the war on women and for abortion rights, abortion rights are in a state of emergency, and I will not stop.”

The young woman is a mere 5 feet and 2 inches and weighs barely over 100 pounds and was acting peacefully, and yet six large officers surrounded and arrested her in an overwhelming show of force. She was released and charged with disorderly conduct.

Contact: or @StopPatriarchy