Revolution #377, March 9, 2015 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

The Real Truth on the Ferguson Cover-Up:

Michael Brown—Like Thousands Before Him and Hundreds Since—Did NOT Deserve to Die!


March 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On March 5, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released its report on the murder of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson. In a second report, the DOJ was forced to admit that the Ferguson Police Department was guilty of systematic racism of a pervasive, gross, and cruel character... but then turned around and claimed that none of this pervasive racism had anything to do with Darren Wilson shooting an unarmed Black youth to death, and that there was no need for a trial to determine whether it may have—that even without such a trial, the Justice Department said that there was no credible evidence to contradict Wilson’s version of what happened, in effect making him innocent in public opinion, and the killing of Michael Brown a case of “justifiable homicide.”

In other words, the Justice Department let out a sliver of the truth about the ugly reality of Ferguson—which, in fact, is the ugly reality of America. But then this sliver of truth was put in the service of a bigger lie: that once again the police were justified in pumping shot after shot into an unarmed Black youth. No government office keeps exact records (and think about why!!), but we do know that thousands of people have been killed by police in just the past decade. We know that hundreds have been killed by police since Michael Brown’s death. We know that most of those killed are Black or Latino—and that Black male teenagers are 21 times more likely to be shot and killed by police than white male teenagers, all over America! We know that the very day after the report came out, yet another unarmed Black youth, 19-year-old Tony Robinson, was killed by police—this time in Madison, Wisconsin. (See more coverage of police murders and mass incarceration.) But here we have the Justice Department once again declaring in effect that an egregious case of just such a murder—that of the unarmed Michael Brown—is “justifiable.”

Some people say that at least we got them to admit that the Ferguson police are racist. And yes, it is true that without massive struggle and upheaval, nothing whatsoever would have happened and nobody, beyond his family and friends, would even remember Michael Brown, and the horrible racist hell that is Ferguson would have hummed on without interruption. It is right that people feel vindicated that their struggle did indeed force out a bit of the truth of how Black people all over this country—and not just Ferguson—are treated.

But the fact remains that Michael Brown is in the ground and Michael Brown did not cause his own death. Michael Brown did not have a weapon. Michael Brown was not putting someone else’s life in danger. Michael Brown was walking down the street in a way that the cop Wilson didn’t like, so Wilson decided to mess with him. And Michael Brown was shot down by a cop who the same Justice Department has been forced to admit comes out of and works in a police department saturated with racism, a cop who said that Michael Brown looked like a “demon,” a cop who claimed the highly dubious scenario that even after he had shot Brown several times Brown then charged at him, a cop who some witnesses said had shot Brown when Brown had his hands up or in any case was not in fact charging. And yet with all this, the Justice Department would not even let this come to trial to see if there was any way in which this killing of Michael Brown had anything to do with him being Black and Wilson having some animus toward Black people, and went so far as to exonerate Wilson without even a trial!

We are even told by Barack Obama himself that since “reasonable doubt” existed, there was no basis for a trial—when in actual fact “reasonable doubt” is not the standard for indictment, but for conviction. And “reasonable doubt” is to be decided by juries, not Obama. So, no, this is not a victory—this is a further attack on the victims of police murder everywhere, and an attack on the people who stood up for Michael Brown, who are now being slandered for having “rushed to judgment.”

But let’s take a minute to look at the sliver of truth about policing in America that the DOJ did let out. (See "Dept. of Justice on Ferguson: A Sliver of Truth About the Thoroughly Racist, Rotten Police Department.") This report showed in some detail the widespread, pervasive, systematic, and inescapable racism that permeates the town of Ferguson and every branch of its government. Now Ferguson will be prodded by the government to make some changes. Most likely these changes will be cosmetic. But let’s even say that the government disbanded the Ferguson Police Department, as they are now “floating out there.” First, it is very reasonable to say—indeed people’s experience, all kinds of testimony, and high stacks of volumes of research bear this out—that the same essential policies and culture pervade each and every police department in this country and before very long would once again characterize the “new” police department in Ferguson—again, even if they did do a “housecleaning.” How would doing something to just one of those departments change that? And it is not just the police departments—it is the whole set of social relations (that is, the ways in which people are organized in society to live, work, survive, etc.) in society where white supremacy and racism are still as American as apple pie, where Black lives are NOT seen to matter by those in power, which the police departments enforce. Indeed, how in the world could anything short of a revolution, a whole new political and economic system in which people had the means and power to actually emancipate themselves, change this?

Again: it is part of and has been part of the “American way of life” and “American governance” in particular, that Black and Latino and other “minority” people must be controlled, surveilled, repressed, hounded, and generally kept down... in order to force them to accept the conditions of exploitation, oppression, robbery, and degradation that this system has consigned them to—again, since Day One. The fact that for now this is being enforced by a Black president and Black attorney general who understand their job to include assuring people that “progress is being made” does not change that fundamental fact.

In this light we have to comment on Obama’s remark at the recent commemoration of the bloody 1965 assault on civil rights demonstrators in Selma, Alabama, that “what happened in Ferguson may not be unique, but it’s no longer endemic [widespread]. It’s no longer sanctioned by law or custom,...” Really??!?! How is it that since Selma the number of Black and Latino men in prison has increased by eightfold? How is it that the police murders of Black and brown youth go untried and unpunished? Don’t the legal system and, yes, the laws of this country have quite a bit to do with that? Yes, there may no longer be “Black Codes” written down in a place for all to see—but those same codes are written into the minds and reflexes of every pig department in America, vindicated by virtually every judge and prosecutor, and covered up by big politicians like Obama.

Why did they do this? Imagine for a minute a different decision, one in which Wilson was indicted and had to stand trial. First of all, what would that do to their whole agenda of repressing Black and Latino communities, an agenda that relies on violence by the police and the continued insistence that this violence is justified and legally allowed? True, once in a great while they may send a cop to trial. Yet, on those rare occasions when they do, the prosecutors usually “forget” how to prosecute, as Bob Avakian has said. And if the police are even found guilty they almost always get only a slap on the wrist—just last week, in fact, three prison guards in New York State who beat a man so brutally that the medical personnel who treated him insisted he be taken to a hospital outside the prison, were allowed to get off their felony charges by promising to resign their positions and plead guilty to a misdemeanor. But mainly, the government has to and will stand by their enforcers, because those enforcers are key to their whole setup and they MUST maintain that their use of force is legitimate—even when it is clearly and egregiously ILlegal, IMmoral, and ILlegitimate.

There’s another reason as well, one that points to a weakness of the powers. Again, imagine if the Justice Department had actually said that depriving a young Black man of his life without due process is a crime and that Darren Wilson should stand trial for this crime. Don’t you think that would have caused an even more major shit storm among the powers-that-be—who are already at each other’s throats over a number of other crucial issues, like the Middle East? Remember what happened in New York when the mayor, Bill de Blasio, said that he told his son, who is Black, to take special care when approached by police? The head of the police union launched all kinds of accusations against de Blasio and the police rebelled against civil elected authority, refusing to carry out assignments for a week. Had the Justice Department indicted Wilson—again, as they most definitely should have—Obama could very well have come under attacks that would have made what was done to de Blasio seem mild by comparison.

At the same time, and more importantly, the powers knew that if they said nothing, when much of the oppressive horror of daily life for Black people in Ferguson had already come to light, when people had put so much on the line to demand justice, they would lose all credibility and risk renewed upheaval from the masses of people, and a loss of legitimacy among the oppressed and those who sympathize with the oppressed. When these conflicts break out among the powers, our response cannot be to “choose sides,” to “chill things out” for the sake of the liberals, to choose between the foxes who trick and the wolves who openly threaten, but to push on the cracks among the powers that have been revealed and push push push for real and fundamental change.

The powers-that-be, including very definitely Obama and Eric Holder, calculated this move not from the standpoint of truth, not from the standpoint of liberation for masses of people, not from the standpoint of justice... but from the standpoint of what was needed to hold their system together and preserve “legitimacy” among masses of people. In this case, they calculated that maybe they could get away with letting Wilson go, if they tossed people a scrap. This was a “compromise deal”—to make people think something will be done, but to maintain full support for the police... and to put the protesters themselves on the defensive.

A14 logo

But whether the system does get away with this is up to us—all of us. And let’s state it clearly: they must not get away with this!! Now is not the time to cool out. Now is not the time to back off, to seek new laws or new procedures, to go through “established channels,” or to find some wing of the powers-that-be to shelter under (when they will use that wing to smother you). Now is not the time to allow the powers-that-be to cover up the fact that those who are fighting police murder have right on our side and more than enough evidence to show that this is systematic and widespread and part of a whole genocidal plan. In fact, everyone who stood up to call out these crimes was righteous and has nothing whatsoever to apologize for or explain. Only those who stood silent or, even worse, defended the police should be apologizing.

Listen: there is a major fight going on in society right now that people have to rise to and take sides—take the right side and push back—and not allow any of this “there are problems on both sides” bullshit. Those who cried “Black Lives Matter,” “I can’t breathe,” “Stop police killing of our people,” and, yes, “Hands up, Don’t Shoot” should be upheld. Those who publicly took a stand to influence society broadly, like athletes or medical students, were doing the right thing, taking a stand on the horrible reality that affects the lives of millions, and saying “no more.” And those who were arrested for bringing things to a halt need to be defended, strongly.

Now is not the time to play defense. Now is the time to take the offense... to say loudly that this whole New Jim Crow of mass incarceration and police brutality and murder, this whole genocidal program, must be STOPPED. And to be part of the massive efforts on April 14 to “shut it down.” No one who was moved by the cries for justice powerfully demonstrated in the streets of this country at the end of last year can stand aside now.

But as we do that, let’s look at the whole problem. This system has had 350 years to reform itself. It has not done so because it can not do so. And the systematic oppression of Black people since Day One in this country—horrific as this is—goes along with a system that subjugates women, that wages wars to dominate and plunder people all over the world, that destroys the environment, and that terrorizes those who have been forced to immigrate here looking for work. We need revolution to get rid of all this, and to bring in a new world without it. Get into this revolution. Find out about the strategy to make this revolution, its goals, and the leadership to carry it through in Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. Go to, and keep going to,





Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Dept of Justice on Ferguson:
A Sliver of Truth About the Thoroughly Racist, Rotten Police Department

March 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


What was the situation of Black people on August 9, 2014, the day Michael Brown was killed by Darren Wilson? What was the pattern and practice of the Ferguson Police Department that Darren Wilson was part of?

A new report by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) uncovers some of the ugly truth about the Ferguson police. Based on a six-month investigation, the 100-page report documents how Black people in Ferguson are subjected to blatant racial discrimination and violations of their constitutional rights as well as the thoroughly racist culture in the Ferguson Police Department and among city officials.

The very day this report was released, on March 4, the U.S. Department of IN-Justice also announced that no civil rights charges would be brought against Darren Wilson. (See "The Real Truth on the Ferguson Cover-up: Michael Brown—Like Thousands Before and Hundreds Since—Did NOT Deserve To Die!")

Two basic points:

Ferguson, August 2014Clayton, Mo., Oct. 2014. AP photo

#1: NONE of what’s in this report would be coming out from the U.S. government if it had not been for the powerful upsurge of the people—first the heroic protests in the streets of Ferguson after the police killing of Michael Brown in August 2014 and then the spreading of this spirit of rebellion against police murder around the country, with tens of thousands taking to the streets in the fall and winter and into 2015, especially after grand juries refused to indict the cops who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

#2: If you really step back and look at the whole situation, it becomes clear that what is being unearthed and brought to public light around the police in Ferguson is NOT due to “a few bad apples” but something deeply ingrained in the whole nature of the police and the culture that goes with this. This is something that no doubt can be found in police departments all over the USA. And as has been shown time after time, in city after city, the police get away with crimes against Black people, including brutality and murder.


The DOJ report reveals criminal practices that are routine and thorough, affecting “nearly every aspect of Ferguson police and court operations.” Federal investigators conducted hundreds of interviews, reviewed 35,000 pages of police records and analyzed race data compiled for every police stop. It details the widespread, pervasive, systematic and inescapable racism that permeates the town and city structures of Ferguson.

Blatant Racial Discrimination

The report found that:

Cops make decisions all the time about who they will and will not target, stop, harass, brutalize. It is almost certainly the case that white people just standing on the corner are a lot less likely to be considered “suspicious” by the cops than a group of Black youths doing the same thing.

The report found that such racist actions are used in even the most minor offenses like jaywalking. No doubt lots of people in Ferguson jaywalk, but Black people accounted for 95 percent of all jaywalking tickets. (People might remember that Darren Wilson said he stopped Michael Brown for “walking in the street.”) Citations for Disturbing the Peace were brought almost exclusively against Black people; 94 percent of those hit with Failure to Comply charges were Black.

Violating People’s Rights

Ferguson cops blatantly violate people’s constitutional rights—stopping them without “reasonable suspicion,” arresting them without “probable cause” (actual legal requirement that must be met for law enforcement to arrest or search someone) and using “unreasonable force.” By law, people have the right to decline to identify themselves to a police officer, but Ferguson cops routinely arrest individuals for failure to identify themselves despite lacking reasonable suspicion to stop them in the first place. The report also documents how Ferguson cops brutalize people with mental health conditions.

Ferguson cops blatantly violate people’s First Amendment freedom of speech rights. People are punished for lawful activities like talking back to police, recording public police activities, and protesting injustices.

Example: On February 9, 2015, several individuals were protesting outside the Ferguson police station on the six-month anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. According to protesters, and consistent with several video recordings from that evening, the protesters stood peacefully in the police department’s parking lot, on the sidewalks in front of it, and across the street. Video footage shows that two FPD vehicles abruptly accelerated from the police parking lot into the street. An officer announced, “everybody here’s going to jail,” causing the protesters to run. Video shows that as one man recorded the police arresting others, he was arrested for interfering with police action. Officers pushed him to the ground, began handcuffing him, and announced, “stop resisting or you’re going to get tased.” It appears from the video, however, that the man was neither interfering nor resisting. A protester in a wheelchair who was live streaming the protest was also arrested. (DOJ Report, p. 27)

The New Jim Crow

“Thousands of people ... take money from their disability checks or sacrifice money that is desperately needed by their families for food, diapers, clothing, rent, and utilities to pay ever increasing court fines, fees, costs, and surcharges... They are told that, if they do not pay, they will be thrown in jail. The cycle repeats itself, month after month, for years.”

—From a class-action lawsuit against the City of Ferguson,
describing the city’s modern-day debtors’ prison

Clayton, MO, Oct. 2014Ferguson protest, August 2014.

The book Slavery by Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon describes the many different ways African-Americans were re-enslaved after the Civil War. Under laws specifically aimed at Black people, tens of thousands were arbitrarily arrested for things like loitering and vagrancy or standing in the street. They were hit with outrageous fines and charged with the costs of their own arrests. Prisoners with no means to pay these “debts” were sold as forced laborers to owners of coal mines, lumber camps, farm plantations, etc. These prisoners supposedly had the opportunity to “buy their freedom” by paying back their debt. But they never could because their new “owners” charged them the costs of their clothing and shelter—so they remained enslaved, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

Today in Ferguson, there is a white racist establishment that funds the city by locking up poor Black people for no reason and extorting money from them—it’s a modern-day version of the Jim Crow debtors’ prisons.

Cities all over the country generate huge revenue through traffic tickets. The city of Ferguson not only relies on such revenue, but has also instituted a whole system where Black people are singled out for the most excessive fines, fees, and incarceration for minor traffic violations. Again, consider the fact that Black people are 67 percent of the population in Ferguson but are 85 percent of those subjected to traffic stops, get 90 percent of tickets, and are 93 percent of those arrested. Ferguson cops routinely issue multiple citations during a single stop, often for the same violation—in some cases writing six, eight, or, in at least one instance, 14 citations for a single encounter. Then people are caught in an endless web of late fees, further violations, warrants, and incarceration.

In 2013 alone, the Ferguson court issued more than 9,000 warrants on cases stemming in large part from minor violations such as parking infractions, traffic tickets, or housing code violations. Jail time is generally considered too harsh a penalty for these types of code violations. Yet the municipal court in Ferguson routinely issues warrants for people to be arrested and incarcerated when they fail to pay fines and fees on time.

Example: One woman ... received two parking tickets for a single violation in 2007 that then totaled $151 plus fees. Over seven years later, she still owed Ferguson $541—after already paying $550 in fines and fees, having multiple arrest warrants issued against her, and being arrested and jailed on several occasions. Another woman told us that when she went to court to try to pay $100 on a $600 outstanding balance, the Court Clerk refused to take the partial payment, even though the woman explained that she was a single mother and could not afford to pay more that month. A 90-year-old man had a warrant issued for his arrest after he failed to timely pay the five citations FPD issued to him during a single traffic stop in 2013. An 83-year-old man had a warrant issued against him when he failed to timely resolve his Derelict Auto violation. A 67-year-old woman told us she was stopped and arrested by a Ferguson police officer for an outstanding warrant for failure to pay a trash-removal citation. (DOJ report, p.42)

The way that Black people in Ferguson are targeted, arrested, or cited for minor offenses, hit with fines and fees they usually cannot pay, with warrants issued for their arrests if they fail to appear in court or pay fees and fines... this modern-day debtors’ prison is part of the whole continuing system of white supremacy in the U.S., where Black people are oppressed through many layers of political, economic, and cultural oppression.

Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, spoke recently to what this actually means for people:

“I hear people often say, ‘Oh, come on, it’s just a misdemeanor. It’s not that big of a deal. It’s not like they have a felony.’ Well, today, a misdemeanor can show up on your record, through a few keystrokes on the computer by an employer, and it can be the reason that you’re denied an opportunity to work. It can also be the reason you’re denied access to housing. Public housing officials are free to discriminate against you on the basis of criminal records, including arrest records. And so, you know, what you find is that even for these extremely minor offenses, people find themselves trapped in a permanent second-class status and struggling to survive. So I think it’s critically important that we not dismiss these kinds of charges that are being brought against folks as being minor and shrug them off. No, they can actually alter the course of one’s life.” (Democracy Now!, March 4, 2015)

Racist Culture in Police and Government

Talk to Black people in Ferguson and they’ll tell you how when they are stopped, harassed, and beaten by the police they also have to endure the most-racist insults hurled at them by the police. The DOJ report sheds some light on the whole culture of white supremacy in the Ferguson Police Department and city government.

There are ugly examples of the racist culture like remarks in emails or casually traded comments between police supervisors and court officials. One email from a city official depicts Black people as monkeys. Another says that Black women having abortions is a way to stop crime. Another says Obama would not be president for long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years?” One email included a photo of a bare-chested group of dancing women, apparently in Africa, with the caption, “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.” Another email stated: “An African-American woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital for a pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers...’” Another email joked about a man seeking to obtain “welfare” for his dogs because they are “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddies are.” Another email included jokes based on offensive stereotypes about Muslims.

There is no indication that any officer or court clerk engaged in these communications was ever disciplined before the DOJ report came out; no one was ever even asked to refrain from such activity—in fact, the racist emails were usually forwarded along to others.


The report does reveal some of the ugly truth about the oppression of Black people in Ferguson. But at the same time, it is clearly not about—nor could it be about—actually doing something to put an end to such crimes against the people. Just look at what all else is going on around the release of this report: The continuing brutality and murder of Black people by cops and the continuing workings of the system to let killer cops go free.

To re-emphasize: The government wouldn’t have even come out with this DOJ report if it had not been for the tremendous upsurge in Ferguson—which spread and grew to tens of thousands around the country protesting grand jury decisions to not indict the cops who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The so-called “solutions” in the DOJ report are aimed at leading people into dead ends and away from what is really needed: persevering in the righteous protests and going even further in building mass resistance against police murder.

The rot in the Ferguson Police Department runs DEEP and is part of the whole capitalist-imperialist system. This system has NO future for millions of Black people, especially the youth, and the rulers use their brutal pigs to enforce oppression and exploitation.

As the chant that rang in these streets of Ferguson and then around the country put it: “Indict, convict, put the killer cops in jail! The whole damn system is guilty as hell!”




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015


March 6, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


After the demonstrations of the summer and fall...

After all the promises and all the investigations that went nowhere...

After the hundreds and hundreds of arrests...

The police are still brutalizing and murdering Black and Latino people—hundreds a year—and getting away with it... in every city and town of America.

We will NOT live in a society that does this. And we will NOT stand by. On April 14, we need to “hit them where it hurts.” And when it comes to STOPPING murder by police... what REALLY “hits them where it hurts” is:

massive outpourings of people, shutting things down all over the country, bringing the "normal operation" of things to a halt through mass political mobilization and action... drawing forth more and more people, from all different parts of society... going straight up against and exposing, BEFORE THE WHOLE WORLD, this whole damn system—its brutally oppressive nature, its towering INjustice, its murdering enforcers the police, its sickening lies that it is "the champion of freedom"—and SHOWING THE WHOLE WORLD that there are masses of people pouring into the streets, right in this country, to demonstrate that they WILL NOT TAKE THIS ANY LONGER!

ALL OUT FOR APRIL 14! offers this statement to any in the movement who wish to endorse and print it.




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Justice Department Drops Other Shoe


Statement by Carl Dix

March 6, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on March 4 that they found “... no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove Wilson’s stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety.” This is the final punch in the gut to the family of Michael Brown and to all those who held onto some hope that the federal authorities might give justice when the locals wouldn't. That was false hope that the authorities stoke by opening DOJ investigations after local authorities let killer cops walk free. Now, like they have done in case after case, they investigated for months, and then they decide there is insufficient evidence to indict the killer cops.

It's time and way past time for people to stop being taken in by this false hope—POLICE GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER MUST STOP and it will be us standing up and saying NO MORE to these horrors to stop it!

The DOJ tried to soften the sting of this non indictment by releasing a report that found that the law enforcement authorities in Ferguson subjected Black people to illegal and immoral treatment. This won't do a damn thing about the way police get away with brutalizing and murdering people! The DOJ has done a number of such investigations. They did one on the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and forced Los Angeles to sign a consent decree promising to change how their police operated in 2000. Did that consent decree keep the LAPD from murdering Brother Africa on March 2nd? Or Mayra Cornejo before that? Did it stop them from murdering many, many other brothers and sisters in the years since that consent decree was signed?

The powers that be keep telling us that if we're serious about this issue, we'll get out of  the streets and engage in serious discussions about policy. The policies they have been offering have all proven not to do anything about police getting away with murder. In November, Obama offered putting body cameras on cops, but within days the grand jury in Staten Island let the murderers of Eric Garner walk, even tho' everyone had seen the video of them committing murder. Now in short order, the DOJ has refused to indict the murderers of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

It's time to face reality, and time to learn from our enemy. What did they try to get us to stop doing—taking to the streets in powerful protests that exposed the horrors their system was inflicting on people! That's what really hurt them, and it's what we need to do a lot more of.

We can hit them hard by acting on April 14—the national Shut Down Day—a day of disrupting business as usual because business as usual in this society includes police wantonly murdering Black and Latino people and the system letting them get away with it. On this day, students all across the country will walk out of school and act on their campuses in other ways, and people in cities nationwide will gather and shut shit down.

We've been thru this dance with the DOJ over and over again. They've opened up investigations of police murder after police murder. And almost every damn time the feds end up saying there's not enough evidence for them to do anything. There will be no savior coming from Washington to deal with the horror of police getting away with murdering people. It's up to us to say NO MORE to the system letting police get away with murdering Black and Latino people.



- See more at:





Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Los Angeles: Hundreds in the Street Denounce LAPD Murder of Homeless Man

March 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


This is the LAPD’s training ground. This is where the LAPD comes and hurts people, because they know these people don’t have any family to fight back; their family have either given up on them, or don’t know where they are, or they don’t have any.
(Homeless man who helps to organize people on Skid Row)

Two hundred or more people took the streets early Tuesday morning in downtown Los Angeles, less than 48 hours after a gang of LAPD pigs carried out yet another cold blooded murder—this time of a homeless man known as “Africa” (since identified as Charly Keundeu Keunang, a native of the African country of Cameroon). The whole incident was captured on video—with seven million people reportedly viewing it within seven hours of being posted.

This murder is unlawful and illegitimate—and should not be tolerated. If you look closely you can see a small woman standing her ground as the police jump Africa; and when one of the pigs throws his baton to the ground, she appears to pick it up. She too is then brutalized and arrested, adding to the savagery of this unjustified LAPD assault. People in the area who know her have not heard from her since.

The marchers gathered at San Pedro and 5th Street on Skid Row at 8 am, near the spot where Africa had been pulled out of his tent, roughed up, and thrown to the ground by six cops and then shot to death. Many homeless people came to show support for Africa and the protest, to talk to protesters and the press about Africa’s life and death, and what it’s like to live on Skid Row. The man quoted above has been homeless and living on Skid Row for two years; he has been helping people get organized. He spoke movingly about life there, and about the police:

To live down here is, this is a community full of good people; it’s a real community. And people here are more real than anywhere else I’ve ever been. And they keep it real... We have mental health down here that doesn’t do its job. There are eight or ten mental health facilities right here, and they are all empty; because they don’t go out to the community and bring in those who are their patients.... There are a lot of people who are off their medications. Then you have those who are stable, but they’re just broken. Their spirit is broken. They are good people when you talk to them. They just down and out, they just need a helping hand, not to be picked on, in a playground for their [LAPD’s] training.

From this spot where Africa was killed, homeless people joined with activists from different organizations, religious forces, and many others in a march to LAPD headquarters, expressing their anger and outrage at this killing and chanting, “They can’t kill Africa! They can’t kill Africa.”

The march went right up to the entrance to the building; and while a line of cops stretched across the entrance, organizers, religious leaders, and homeless people spoke with a lot of outrage about the police killing of Africa; the brutal treatment by the police of the homeless living on the streets of Skid Row; demands for change; and the need to continue the struggle. An organizer for Stop Mass Incarceration Network—SMIN—spoke to the rally about the crossroads the movement to Stop Police Murder confronts; the call to Stop Business as Usual April 14; and that this killing is yet another reason we can’t wait to open the floodgates and reopen the road of resistance. He also called on people to mobilize others to be at LAPD headquarters at noon on Saturday to condemn the murder of Africa even more forcefully.

Many people brought their own signs to the demonstration. One sign read “Stop Modern-Day Lynching! Prosecute Africa’s Murderers, and ALL other Killer Cops! #Can’t Kill Africa; #Black Lives Matter.” Three women stood side by side, each holding a sign: “Our Homeless + Mentally Ill Matter;” “Stop the Frustration, Take Action;” and “All Lives Matter.” And there were signs and a banner from SMIN: “#Black Lives Matter; #Use Your Voice!; #ShutdownA14;” SMIN and the contingent from the Revolution Club were broadly distributing whistles for people to wear, and to blow, whenever they see the police mistreating people on the street.

Inside LAPD headquarters a meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission—which supposedly oversees the actions of the police—was being held to discuss this killing. While the protest continued outside, dozens of protesters packed the meeting, where they confronted and challenged the Commission. The Los Angeles Times headline was “'Irate' protesters blast LAPD at packed meeting” (March 3, 2015). They reported that people jeered at Police Chief Charlie Beck and at the President of the Police Commission. And “One man called them ‘cowards’ as he repeatedly blew a whistle into the microphone—an attempt, he said, to get their attention."

Major media poured out to cover this march—TV, radio and newspaper reporters and film crews—from the local papers and stations; to national sources like AP and Reuters; and also international media from many different countries.

* * * * *

More than 100 people converged at LAPD Headquarters at noon on Saturday, March 7, taking the streets for a second time in six days in outrage over the cold-blooded killing of a homeless man, known as “Africa” by a gang of LAPD cops. The protestors included skid row advocates, the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, the Revolution Club, the LA Community Action Network (LACAN), and many individuals demanding that the wanton police murder of Black and Latino people must be stopped.

Los Angeles, March 7


Los Angeles, March 7

Los Angeles, March 7
Los Angeles, March 7. Photos: Special to

After a short rally at LAPD headquarters the demonstrators, intense and defiant, marched through downtown streets to the site of Africa’s murder on skid row. There were chants of “You Can’t Kill Africa” and “Indict, convict, put the killer cops in jail—The Whole Damn System Is Guilty As Hell!” Twice the protestors held die-ins in the middle of intersections as people along the way showed their support, sometimes talking about other police killings that angered them as well.

As they marched, organizers for SMIN, along with the Revolution Club and others, passed out whistles, especially to the homeless men and women on skid row. Blowing the whistles is a form of collective alert and defense to use whenever pigs come down and mistreat people. Many of the homeless grabbed them up while protestors chanted: “Yo brother/sister, we’ve got your back; we blow the whistle when the pigs attack.” SMIN is calling on people to mobilize for a day of Blowing the Whistle on brutal, murdering cops on March 14.

From the spot where Africa was gunned down, the march continued to Metro Division nearby, where Africa’s killers are stationed. Keith James spoke for SMIN, emphasizing the need to retake the political offensive against police murder, and against the New Jim Crow, calling on people to “Shut It Down” on April 14. Stickers for A14 went out everywhere—to demonstrators, to people along the way, and to the drivers caught in the traffic. Cue Jn’Marie—”Pastor Cue”—whose Church Without Walls ministers and advocates for the homeless, spoke about the need for more help, not more brutal cops, for the people on skid row. And a Revolution Club organizer linked these protests to getting ready for a real revolution that can finally put an end to all of the crimes of this system.

The demonstrators then headed for Union Station. They marched through the station filling the air with banners and the sound of chants.

There was both English and Spanish media there, and the demonstration was given significant coverage on TV that night. The Los Angeles. Times reported on the demonstration, including running a large photo, and pointed to the actions on April 14: “ Organizers linked the killing of Keunang [Africa] to the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York City during police encounters, and said they were planning another local march April 14, as well as an action in Washington, D.C.”

This kind of response—hot on the heels of yet another wanton murder of one of our people by this system’s enforcers—is righteous; and more people and organizations need to step forward and join them. More and more people need to become involved; the word has to spread everywhere—to the high schools, the college campuses, among the Black, Latino, and immigrant communities, artists, and professionals of all kinds—that April 14 must be a day when everybody who hates the way the police get away with murder knows they have to act to say NO MORE!




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

If you try and change the system from within, the system will change YOU!

by Travis Morales | March 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


In the face of time and time again, police wantonly murdering Black and Latino people and almost never being charged, some activists and others have advocated that the time for demonstrations in the streets is over. They say we need to focus on policy changes, working with policy makers, getting serious about changing laws and working to change the system from within. For all those who take these positions, consider the case of Cecilia Muñoz. Described as “a longtime civil rights advocate,” she was the Senior Vice President for the Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the major Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the country. She worked with NCLR for two decades, advocating for “comprehensive immigration reform” and ending deportations. I saw her speak on Spanish and English language television and at immigrant rights conferences over many years.

In 2009, Muñoz joined the Obama administration and is now director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. She has gone from immigrant rights advocate to defending the Deporter-in-Chief Obama administration’s record two million-plus deportations as well as the arrests of and deportation proceedings last year against tens of thousands of Central American children at the southern border. In defending the Obama administration’s deportations, she said, “even broken laws have to be enforced.” There you have it, from immigrant rights advocate to deportation defender. If you try and change the system from within, the system will not change, you will!




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Two More Police Killings in Los Angeles Area

This Illegitimate System and Its Brutal Enforcers Have Got to Go! We Need a Revolution... Nothing Less!

March 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


March 6, 2015
From a reader

In the past week, police in the Los Angeles area, in two separate incidents, besides the murder of Africa on Skid Row, have killed two unarmed Latino men by shooting them while they were in a vehicle.

Late Wednesday night this week, the LAPD shot and killed 35-year-old Sergio Alexander Navas, who was unarmed. The killing happened at a time when there were no witnesses, so all we know about this is what the LAPD is saying. Navas was a stolen car suspect who was chased by the cops from North Hollywood into a dead end street in Burbank. At first, the cops claimed that Navas rammed their vehicle, but they later came out and said, “There was no multiple ramming of the police vehicle.” A cop in the passenger’s seat shot from his vehicle into Navas’ vehicle. Navas stumbled out of the car. The cops grabbed him and handcuffed him on the ground. A nurse who lives nearby came out to assist the paramedics, but the cops would not let him help. Navas died at that spot. This is another case of cold-blooded murder by LAPD this week. We will continue to report on this as we get more information.

Last Friday, February 27, in Santa Ana (30 miles south of downtown Los Angeles) the Santa Ana cops shot and killed Ernesto Javier Canepa Díaz, a 28-year-old Mexican immigrant while he was in a vehicle, that belonged to his brother-in-law. According the Orange County Register, the cops approached the vehicle and then shot Canepa. The Register reported: “A large group of people gathered near the location of the shooting... Several individuals in the crowd complained that the shooting was unjustified and yelled profanities at police.”

Then on Tuesday, March 3,  people protesting the murder went to the Santa Ana City Council meeting to demand answers. Canepa’s brother, Andres Canepa showed up with a sign saying “Fuck the Police.” He said that his dislike of police officers has grown since his brother’s death. “They’re a gang with a badge.” People held signs at the meeting, “We want answers” and “We want justice for Ernesto and his kids. We love him. We miss him.” One of the attorneys who is representing the Canepa family said that despite the fact that the cops say they found a “replica gun” in the vehicle, “Canepa was unarmed, according to witness accounts.” (See

The Orange County Register further reported: “The Mexican government is condemning the police killings of three of its citizens in the United States,” including this one and the murder of Antonio Zambrano-Montes in Pasco, Washington, and is calling on the U.S. government to investigate.

There is a vaccine for this epidemic of brutal police murders, and that vaccine is revolution... nothing less! People need to be pouring out into the streets with their outrage over these cop murders in Los Angeles and around the country, and that has to be built into a powerful day on April 14, with hundreds of thousands in the streets of this country demanding that this shit has got to stop. Building for April 14 and April 14 itself can be a day when more people can come to the realization that it is the workings of this system along with its brutal police enforcers that are the reason thousands have been killed by the police nationwide. This system is illegitimate and it is going to take an actual revolution to bring into existence a new society where all lives matter. (I encourage people to read “Ending Police Murder...This System Has NO Answers—the REVOLUTION DOES.")




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Reflections on the Oscars... and Possibilities for a World Without Oppression

March 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



I appreciated the Cheers for Oscar Comments posted at, and I’ve been thinking about the overall significance of how things went at that awards ceremony this year, and what that might portend for getting to a world without oppression.

One of the things the powers-that-be tell us is that the values generated and perpetrated by their dog-eat-dog system, especially “me first,” are just “human nature.” When you talk about overthrowing this system and replacing it with a whole other kind of state power that is based on the collective interests and needs of humanity, and at the same time appreciates and provides a nurturing atmosphere for individuality, they come back with that old “human nature” bullshit to tell you that’s not possible.

Not to draw too much out of one awards ceremony, but on the other hand, let’s not draw too little out if it either: there was much in this year’s Oscars that revealed the basis for another world in the content of some of the films and statements, and in the sentiments behind them.

There were remarkable films that won awards. Citizenfour is really an important documentary on both what Edward Snowden revealed about massive government spying on practically everything everyone does, and it is also a moving portrayal of a genuine hero who gave up the “good life” to risk it all to tell the world the truth about the crimes of this government. If you haven’t seen that movie, do.

It was refreshing to see people use their “90 seconds” in accepting awards to not talk about themselves or go on and on thanking “god” for their personal success. Instead, this year, there was a really interesting and inspiring range of insights, challenges, and protests from award winners.

The performance of the song “Glory” from the movie Selma by Common and John Legend, and Legend’s comments afterward, were the cutting-edge and defining moment of the night. The performance was staged with full chorus and a theatrical re-creation of the march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge—the site of a brutal, bloody attack by police on civil rights marchers in 1965, a scene dramatically depicted in Selma.

Invoking Rosa Parks refusing to sit at the back of the bus, and Ferguson, the song declares, “They say, ‘Stay down’ and we stand up.” And in case people missed it, I appreciated the line, “When it go down we woman and man up”—a nice fix on the old patriarchal “man up” thing.

The audience responded with a huge standing ovation.

John Legend’s reference to the late blues/jazz singer Nina Simone is itself significant. Nina Simone was a beautiful and ferociously rebellious voice of the oppressed in her music, coming out of the 1960s. Here is what Legend said: “Nina Simone said, ‘It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times in which we live.’ We wrote this song for a film that was based on events that were 50 years ago, but we say that Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now. We know that the Voting Rights Act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today. We know that right now, the struggle for freedom and justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more Black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850. When people are marching with our song, we want to tell you that we are with you, we see you, we love you, and march on. God bless you.”

No one has taken the opportunity of a platform that reaches hundreds of millions of viewers on a globally televised awards show to speak about mass incarceration in this way, and what John Legend said connected deeply with those who saw it, moving people to tears. I think the “Ferguson moment”—by which I mean the uprising after the murder of Michael Brown, and what that set off nationwide, including sparking profound questions and anger over why do police keep killing Black people with impunity, and an atmosphere that this is no longer going to be tolerated—undoubtedly impacted why the award ceremony had this different character or this element and edge. Common and John Legend’s performance got underplayed in coverage and even controversy around the awards, so we should spread the word about it and share the YouTube.

And I think this “Ferguson moment” had something to do with why so many artists took “Nina Simone’s advice,” as Legend put it, around a number of different issues and these contradictions they were speaking to.

Julianne Moore won best actress for playing an Alzheimer’s patient, and said, “I’m so happy—I’m thrilled actually that we were able to hopefully shine a light on Alzheimer’s disease. So many people with this disease feel isolated and marginalized and one of the wonderful things about movies is it makes us feel seen and not alone. And people with Alzheimer’s deserve to be seen, so that we can find a cure.”

At a time when fascists are being whipped up in an anti-immigrant frenzy, director Alejandro González Iñárritu dedicated his best picture win for Birdman to his fellow Mexicans, and called for immigrants in the U.S. to be treated with “dignity and respect.” In the midst of a war on women, Patricia Arquette got a rousing response from women in the audience when she said, “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

One moving moment was when Graham Moore, who won best screenplay for the movie Imitation Game, spoke out against how outrageous it was that the subject of the movie, Alan Turing (who was gay), was viciously persecuted for being different. Moore movingly spoke out against the persecution of people who feel like they don’t belong or fit in in society. After talking about how he himself was driven to attempt suicide as a teenager, Moore called out: “Stay weird! Stay different!”

Not everyone liked this year’s Oscars. The New York Times complained, “The audience clearly cast its vote for Clint Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper,’ a reality-based [sic!] Iraq war story that has taken in about $320 million at the domestic box office.” (See “American Sniper: Humanizing and Glorifying a Mass Murderer for the Empire“ for the real story with that movie.) Channeling Tea Party/Fox News fascist-populist criteria that anything a lot of Americans buy or like must be good art(!), the Times quoted a professor declaring, “[T]he Oscars have become, well, elitist and not in step with anything that is actually popular.” The same Times article complained that “wildly popular Joan Rivers”—best known for “jokes” humiliating women actresses for the dresses they wore and in general degrading women, Black people, LGBT people, and being a manic cheerleader for Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians—didn’t get acknowledged in the “In Memoriam” part of the show.

There was also a phenomenon of snarky, supposedly liberal or alternative commentators picking on this or that possible shortcoming in some of these statements to attack them. In addition to the attacks on Patricia Arquette—which another reader responded to (see “The Breath of Fresh Air from Patricia Arquette and the Foul Stench of Reactionary Haters”), Graham Moore was attacked for basically speaking out against both persecution of gay people and persecution of people who are “weird” or “different.” As if there is something wrong with caring about both!? Moore had the courage to share how he felt growing up in a world of mean intolerance. Attacks like those on Moore are shaped by the narrow perspective of identity politics that—as Bob Avakian puts it in All Played Out—really boils down to “me!”

On the other hand, if you’re looking at the world from the perspective of how do we get rid of all oppression, then you can take responsibility to embrace, lead and, yes, divert where appropriate, all these positive sentiments in a direction that will lead to a world where all humans will flourish, not be oppressed, and there will be a full flowering of diversity and dissent in the context of humanity wrestling with how to build a better world.

My point is not that this wide range of expression of outrage, of putting others ahead of yourself, of creative expression... will, by itself, uproot the profound and deeply embedded systemic roots of intolerance and oppression, inequality and poverty, spying and repression, and wars of plunder.

Only an ACTUAL REVOLUTION can unlock the currently suppressed energy, creativity, and resources in the arts, in science, in focusing health care and research on human need and not profit... and so many more things that are so desperately needed.

That’s the point.




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Tell me again why we do not need to be in the streets on April 14?

by Travis Morales | March 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Recently, in talking with people about the Call for April 14, some have told me that now is not the time to get back out in the streets to demand that the police murder of Black and brown people stop. They say things like: we did that last year and now we have to get serious and develop policy demands; protest is very different from building a movement, the time of these protests and yelling in the streets is done for now; actions like protesting are not effective... working with social scientists, academics, and policy makers is; do you want to be irate or do you want to find common ground (with the police and the authorities) to find solutions; we need to be part of work that is responsive to people’s needs and not repeated calls for shutdowns and strikes. Some of this has come from people who were in the streets and played a very positive role in demanding justice. By policy demands people mean citizen review boards, special prosecutors, body cameras on police, sensitivity training for the police, and other proposals.

Whatever the intentions of those who are making these arguments, all of this amounts to turning our backs on—and frankly stabbing in the back—those whose lives have been and continue to be destroyed by this horrible system. It is robbing them of the hope that was awakened by the powerful protests that broke free of the limits deemed acceptable by those who run this system!!

First, what is one of the biggest needs people have right now? People need the police murder with impunity of Black and brown people to stop!

Second, beginning with the defiant youth in Ferguson, Missouri, who night after night stood up to rubber bullets, tear gas, armored personnel carriers, arrests, brutality, and militarized police to demand justice for Michael Brown and then taking a leap in later November and December when tens of thousands poured into the streets across the country, this has done more to expose and bring forth resistance to the bloody reality of the systematic police murder of Black and brown people with impunity than all the conferences, calls for special prosecutors, Justice Department investigations, civilian review boards, and promises of reform have done over the last several decades. Be real! If the youth in Ferguson had not stood up, Michael Brown would have been just one more Black man murdered by the police and only his family and some friends would have known about this. If people had not poured into the streets, Black lives would not have mattered to millions the way they did last year. People would not be talking about the need to stop these outrages and trying to figure out what to do.

Third, listen to our enemies. Beginning in Ferguson and through the end of last year, the police, the authorities, the media, and some “community leaders” worked to get people out of the streets with intimidation and threats, militarized police, empty promises, massive arrests, and heavy charges carrying years in prison. When that did not work, they seized on the death of two NYPD cops on December 20 to spread confusion and demoralization among the protesters and all those that want to stop the police killing our people. What was their main demand? Put a moratorium on protesting, put the protests aside, GET OUT OF THE STREETS! Why? Because this uprising exposed to the world that the police routinely murder Black and brown people and the system almost never punishes them. People began to question how this system, as policy, brutalizes and murders people of color and ask why this happens. That stung the system and opened the eyes of millions. People began to act to stop the police murder of our people.

Fourth, tell me, do you want to go backward, thinking that somehow without massive resistance in the streets involving millions that the system will have a change of heart and stop killing us after hundreds of years of doing just that, or do you want to bring forth a movement of millions that will not stop until the police murder of Black and brown people stops?




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Statement from Parents of People Murdered by Chicago Police:
"We Can't Accept that NOWHERE Has There Been Any Justice"

March 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Wednesday, March 4, 2015, a federal Jury found no wrong in the police murder of Darius Pinex at a “routine traffic stop.” The same day, the Department of “No Justice” announced that no charges would be brought against Darren Wilson who murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. And six months after the police murder of Roshad McIntosh, his mother has not received the most basic information about the murder of her son. Meanwhile, Homan Square in Chicago has made international news as the world discovered the regular police torture and mistreatment of people arrested and brought to that site.

We can’t accept that NOWHERE has there been any justice. This has to stop. It is on us—all of us who care about justice—not just us who have been most directly and brutally affected. We cannot rely on getting Justice from the Department of Justice—from Trayvon Martin to Mike Brown they have given a green light to murdering police and racist vigilantes.

We will be taking to the streets along with people across the country ON APRIL 14—a national day of No Business As Usual to Stop Police Murder. We are calling on others to join us. We won’t tolerate this injustice and Police Murder. And we won’t go back.

Gloria Pinex, Mother of Darius Pinex, murdered by Police January 7, 2011
Panzy Edwards, Mother of Dakota Bright, murdered by Police November 8, 2012
Dorothy Holmes, Mother of Ronald Johnson, murdered by Police October 13, 2014
Freddie McGee, Father of Freddie Latice Wilson, murdered by Police November 13, 2007




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Letter from Carl Dix & Cornel West

March 6, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Cornel West and Carl Dix

Cornel West and Carl Dix


Dear friend,

As you are well aware, we face a serious problem today—police killing again and again and being given a pass by the authorities when they do. Last year many, many people stood up to deliver a message that this horror must STOP! These protests were powerful, beautiful and very necessary because without them the loss of so many Black and Latino lives at the hands of the police would've been swept under the rug.

Yet the killings continue without let up. Worse yet, the authorities have attempted to derail these protests with threats and false promises and by promoting a false narrative that the actions of the police should not be protested because cops have such a tough job. Those who took to the streets in Ferguson and everywhere else to say NO MORE to police murdering Black and Latino people had right on their side. We must not back down from calling out this injustice and demanding that it be STOPPED. In fact, we must step up our resistance.

As part of doing that, a conference in Atlanta issued a call for a day of “disrupting business as usual” on April 14 because business as usual in this society includes police killing people and getting away with no punishment for their murderous deeds. We urge you to enlist in the effort to make April 14 as powerful as possible in every way you can.

Ways that you could join this effort include:

1) Sign the Call for April 14—You can sign the Call on line at:;

2) Spread the Call for April 14 and the hash-tag, #ShutDownA14, as broadly as you can;

3) Join activities planned in your area on April 14 and building up to April 14, or if nothing is planned in your area, plan something; and

4) Donate generously to help make April 14 as powerful as possible. (You can go to the web site:, to make a donation on line.)

Thank you,

Carl Dix and Cornel West
FB: stopmassincerationnetwork
Phone: 347-979-SMIN (7646)





Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

April 14th: All Sets – All Colors – Together – Blacks... Latinos: A Day of Unity – Where in One Voice We Say: No More of This Shit!

March 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


April 14: No Business as Usual! No set trippin! No sets! No hoods! No colors! We are not each other's "enemy."

Walk out of class! Don't go to school! Don't go to work!

Everybody into the streets! Everybody act and loudly say: no more to the police getting away with murdering Black and Latino people!

Ferguson, August 2014Youth in Ferguson sport red or blue colors, shoulder-to-shoulder, defiantly in the face of police repression, August 2014. Photo:

Everybody into the streets to disrupt the normal routine—a routine that includes—putting us in conditions where we must compete with each other—do dirty shit to one another—while “watching our backs”—shit like this in order to survive.

A routine that makes us fight—“hit up”—and kill each other over the “wrong color”—over “respect”—over “pay back”—in order to survive and find a place in this fucked up world.

A routine that makes Latinos “hit up,” “check” Blacks if they appear in the “wrong” hood. A routine that makes Blacks “hit up,” “check” Latinos if they appear in the “wrong” hood.

While the real enemy—this capitalist imperialist systemgives a green light to its enforcersthe killer copsthe murdering pig policeto brutalize and murder Black and Latino peopleover and over again and againto keep us in these fucked up conditions where every day they rob us ofthey stealour very humanity.

Brother Africa on Skid Row, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Antonio Zambrano-Montes, Omar Abrego, Ezell Ford, Mayra Cornejothe list goes on and on...

On April 14thon this dayall setsall colorstogetherBlacks. Latinos. Loud and cleara day of unitywhere in one voice we say: no more of this shit!

Bob Avakian, the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Partythe leader of the revolutionis right. In his New Year's message to usyou can find it @revcom.uswhich says in part:

And what we do matters a great deal. Our lives should be, and can be, about something with meaning and purpose that is really worth living for and fighting for. Why should we do what they want us to do—killing and crippling each other, trying to beat down or beat out each other, ending up in jail, or paralyzed, or dead at an early age—instead of joining together to go up against the system that has got us in this mess in the first place? Why should we accept the lies that people who are of a different color, or live in a different place, or speak a different language, or love in a different way, are less than human and deserves to be locked up, or beaten down, or murdered? Why should girls and women be treated like things, whose only value is to be used for sex and having babies? Why should we go along with the sickening culture of this system which says money is more important than people, and people are only a means to make money? Why should we believe that “it's all in god's hands,” when all this horror and suffering is completely unnecessary and could be ended? Why should we accept the way things are, or just try to make things a little bit better, still living within this system that will keep on destroying the lives of human beings, and denying a decent future to the youth, all over the world?

We need to, and we can, do much better that this. We can change all this—we can change ourselves as we change the world—Fighting the Power, and Transforming the People, for REVOLUTION.”


Joe Veale and a member of the Revolution Club




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Go All Out to Raise Funds—$20,000 by March 25, 2015 To Make a Big Deal of the Launch of the New Film:

The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion

Updated March 16, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


$20,000 is needed by March 25—to fund the launch of the new film and the beginning of major promotion:

$20,000 by March 25:
Everyone’s contribution is needed and every contribution will matter

Giving generously to REVOLUTION AND RELIGION will give huge numbers of people the chance to experience Bob Avakian through this film up close—digging into why revolution is necessary, possible, and can bring about a radically new world, and to see BA and Cornel West deeply wrestle with one of the biggest questions facing humanity today. They model a morality that refuses to accept injustice, that pours heart and soul into standing together for a radically new and different world. Every donation contributes to spreading this ethos that is so urgently needed. 

EVERYONE can raise funds: from bake sales and tamale sales in the neighborhoods to several-hundred-dollar donations from professionals to several-thousand-dollar donations from those with more money. Everyone who is learning about this film or about Bob Avakian for the first time, everyone who has been active in the movement for revolution for some time, every BA Everywhere Committee that is dedicated to raising funds to making the work and leadership of BA known everywhere... Everyone. Here are some basic ideas for how to raise funds:

Be in touch with the national BA Everywhere campaign for help and to share experience. Email to We’ll post correspondence so that everyone can learn from our collective experience. This will help move the campaign toward the goal. Check back here often to see where we are in relation to raising $20,000 by March 25.

25 percent of the goal has been reached—LET'S GO!





Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Protesting the NYC Porn Film Fest: Bringing a "truly liberating perspective"

March 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Protesting the NYC Porn Film Festival, February 28Photo: Special to

February 28—Today I rolled with a small group of activists from Stop Patriarchy to protest the NYC Porn Film Festival. This is being advertised as the first, with the sense that this should be an ongoing tradition, and as a venue to “challenge the proscribed male dominated narrative” and the stated intent of the festival is to “place sexuality and porn in context and recognize it as a medium and art.” The festival is taking place in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, which is a talent hotspot with a very high number of “cultural creatives.” We were determined to oppose this eclectic spin and the festival’s weak postmodern frame that somehow the degradation and sexual violence of the porn industry is in any way liberating to women, LGBT, or anyone at all.

The relevant context is that PornHub is sponsoring the festival and is the largest pornography website in the world. PornHub is the biggest free porn website in the world; they are having a real and putrid societal effect. The vast majority of their media and particularly their most watched videos promote and celebrate rape, torture, and humiliation, and solely reference women in ways meant to dehumanize, such as cumdumpster. And this is all occurring in the larger context of a world where sexism thrives and is reinforced by the objectification and subjugation of women.

The first festival participant that I met was a Chinese woman in her early 20s who was waiting for her friend. She was coming to the festival because she was curious and thought that porn could be a form of art. She said she believes some cultures can become too sexually repressed and that it creates a complete objectification of women. She also stated that it is bad for teenagers to be exposed to, but that adults can control themselves. When her guy friend arrived she seemed to me to backtrack on some of her more definite statements and she reiterated that she was neither for nor against pornography. She said that she would not watch anything that was gross, but that others should be able to watch what they want.

After the showing of a James Franco film (about the making of a leather scene in gay pornography) a woman came outside and before leaving she yelled to us: if you are here to protest PornHub and their effect on the porn industry, then I’m with you; but if you are here to protest gay pornography, then fuck you. She wouldn’t read our pamphlets and said that she has heard all the arguments against porn before. Another participant that I met is Johnny Bootleg, a female pornography director of films that she characterizes as flipping the roles on their head and using the medium for therapy of sexual trauma. She was wearing a dress that had a butcher’s map of different cuts of meats on an animal. This is exactly the kind of murkiness that such a festival produces, and Stop Patriarchy offers a poignant analysis to help put things in a truly liberating perspective.

  1. The people in porn are real.
  2.  The society that makes people think that porn is “not a big deal” is real.
  3. The effects of the fantasies being fed to you by porn are real.





Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Same-Sex Marriage, Texas, and Thoughts from a Reader on the Coming Civil War and Repolarization

March 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Bob Avakian’s short statement “What Is a Revolutionary Situation?” is packed with deep scientific insight. It merits returning to repeatedly. Not merely to memorize a list of components making up such a situation—but everyone working towards revolution, everyone who wants a better, radically different world and understands on some level that such a world is possible, needs to grapple, in an ongoing and ever-deepening way, with the kinds of developments we need to not simply be “looking for,” or waiting for, but actively working upon and prepared to pounce upon and shape in order to bring forth the full possibilities for revolution.

Revolution recently wrote of two developments last fall, the powerful actions all over the country against murder by police and the Dialogue in New York between Bob Avakian (BA) and Cornel West, REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, and said that “These two things, together with other developments and acute contradictions in the world, could be part of opening up a real possibility to make revolution—if we rise to the challenge. Such revolutionary situations don’t arise very often—and nothing would be worse than squandering such a possibility, or even missing its possible emergence.”

It was with all that in mind that some recent developments have provoked me to think about the opening section especially of BA’s statement, beginning with this: “What is a Revolutionary Situation? A deep crisis and sharpening conflicts in society and in the government and ruling circles, where they cannot find a way to resolve these conflicts...” (the entire statement by BA should definitely be studied).

In particular, observing the ongoing, intense conflict over same-sex marriage in Alabama, and the recent inauguration of an overtly Christian fascist state government in Texas (and the venomous upsurge of threatening outbursts this has already inspired among its fascist social base) has compelled me to look at ways in which geographic divisions in the country can be understood as a partial expression of the political polarization in the U.S. as a whole. This includes understanding the depth and volatility of the ongoing conflict within the ruling class over contradictions—including conflicts over morality—this capitalist-imperialist system cannot resolve, and the contention within the ranks of the system’s rulers these deep differences give rise to.

And most importantly—what all this has to do with preparing for, hastening, and making and winning an actual revolution.

The Attack Dogs Get a Longer Leash

In Alabama, a section of the federal court system and the Alabama state courts have been engaged in an intense back-and-forth legal battle over the recognition of same-sex marriage. This battle, now contained within the courts, very directly impacts the lives of many people in Alabama, and has important implications for people throughout the country: whether people who desire same-sex marriage are full human beings with the same rights as others, or a separate category who can be discriminated against in the legal code.

Traditional American Values

A federal judge ruled in January that Alabama probate judges, who issue marriage licenses in that state, must issue them to same-sex couples. But this was contested by Roy Moore, Alabama’s Christian fascist Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The result was that most probate judges refused to issue licenses to same-sex couples, while a few, especially in the larger cities of Mobile and Birmingham, did. But just this week, the entire Alabama Supreme Court ruled that the Alabama ban on same-sex marriage is legal, and that the federal court order should be ignored pending a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, licenses for same-sex marriage are not being issued anywhere in the state.

In Texas, since the November elections, the state government is completely controlled by fascists—Christian fascists, Tea Party fascists, or some combination of the two. Something similar is taking place in most, if not all, of the so-called “deep red” (i.e., completely dominated by Republicans) states, which are mainly in the South, Midwest, and Rocky Mountain West. I think there’s an important distinction between saying the state government is completely controlled by fascists and saying fascism has been imposed in those states. But, “you can see there from here.”

What’s happening in Texas is actually a leap beyond what previously existed there. And considering what previously existed—governments led by the likes of George W. Bush, Rick Perry, Tom DeLay, and others, governments which consistently executed and imprisoned record numbers of people, sent armed troops to patrol the border against children, forced anti-scientific ignorance into public school teaching, moved systematically to abolish all access to abortion in the state, took measures to ensure that they and their ilk would remain in power unchallenged, etc.—well, that means things have gotten very ugly indeed.

But, I think it’s an objective, scientific assessment, not exaggeration, to say that fascists are in control of the state government in Texas, and outside of a few big cities and some areas of the Rio Grande Valley, virtually all other levels of government as well. These people came to their offices on a program of outlawing abortion, mass criminalization of Black and Latino people, further militarization of the border, denial of science, opposition to same-sex marriage, exalting Christianity above other religions, and a “free market capitalism” rid of federal government oversight.

There are divisions and disagreements among these people, but as a group or movement they didn’t come this far just to water down what they’re about, or to concede to the federal government what they perceive as “rightfully their authority,” especially one in which Democrats hold significant power. They also are not just some backwoods ignoramuses who’ve been out in the Texas sun too long, but in fact represent, and some are part of, a powerful section of the ruling class. A point in the important article “The Shutdown, the Showdown, and the Urgent Need to Repolarize ... for Revolution” is very relevant here, and it is important to really “get” its implications: “...understand this: For the most part, these fascists really believe what they say, and they are more than willing to fight for it, if it comes to that.”

Three events that occurred in the first few weeks of the new Republican administration of Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick give some sense of the direction these people want to take things in society. Both Abbott and Patrick repeated the phrase “come and take it” as part of their inaugural speeches. They did this in the context of mocking and challenging Obama in particular and the federal government in general. By “it” they meant not just various measures taken in Texas in defiance of the federal government, or to undermine federal mandates or direction, but, even more, how they see the state’s “sovereignty” (self-rule).

“Come and Take It” is the slogan of the “Open Carry” movement. Open Carry is a movement coalescing in Texas around the demand that everyone in the state should be able to openly carry any weapons anytime, anywhere. Members of Open Carry have staged ugly demonstrations of heavily armed white men in several Texas cities, and are among the racist vigilantes patrolling remote areas along the Texas/Mexico border.

This group has, I think, the real potential to become something similar to the “Brown Shirts” of the Nazi Party in Germany—thugs used in that situation to attack communists, unionists, and Jews, burn down synagogues, and other violent acts that helped propel Hitler and the Nazis to national power.

“Come and Take It,” a taunt aimed at government authorities, is on all the Open Carry flags and banners, along with an image of a firearm. On the day Abbott and Patrick were inaugurated in Austin, armed Open Carry fanatics swarmed all around the Capitol grounds and in the Capitol building itself. In an incident widely publicized in Texas, they stormed into the office of a state legislator from a border town they consider to be not sufficiently anti-immigrant, and repeatedly threatened him. In the incident’s aftermath, they not only refused to back off these threats and apologize for their Brown Shirt-type actions, but their threats became uglier and more intense. In fact, the legislator and his family still need to have body guards.

Even more noteworthy is that both Abbott and Patrick declined to dissociate themselves from these actions and threats, despite being asked their thoughts on it several times, including why their inauguration sparked this kind of activity. Using the phrase “come and take it” in their inaugural speeches was a deliberate, conscious way for the new governor and lieutenant governor of Texas to associate themselves with the thuggish goals and methods of Open Carry.

About a week later, a group of Muslims from across the state came to Austin for their annual “Muslim Capitol Day.” This event has been going on for about 10 or 12 years, and has been a day for people to meet their state representatives, tour the state government buildings, etc. This year the people who participated were ridiculed and assaulted by an organized mob of Tea Party anti-Muslim fanatics. Among those bullied and ridiculed by these fascists was a group of schoolgirls wearing head scarves and singing patriotic songs.

Hateful, threatening comments made by a leading Republican legislator allied closely with Dan Patrick got a lot of publicity (she said the Muslims needed to publicly renounce Islam and accept the Constitution before they got into her office). Once again both Abbott and Patrick pointedly refused to comment, or distance themselves in any way from the mob or the ignorant invective of their colleague.

Finally, towards the end of January and in the context of controversy around the movie American Sniper, and in particular some comments on the film made by documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, Greg Abbott ostentatiously declared February 2 to be “Chris Kyle Day” in Texas. Abbott called Kyle, a cold-blooded killer and racist hater of all Muslims, an outstanding son of Texas and an American hero, which this sociopathic mass murderer undoubtedly was.

So, that’s a lot of damage in less than a month. But I think there is something very important for revolutionaries to understand about what is developing, what deeper underlying contradictions reactionary displays like these reveal, and what they mean for the work of revolutionaries.

BA has made an important pathbreaking analysis of this whole Christian fascist movement. (See The Coming Civil War and Repolarization for Revolution in the Present Era.) Drawing from that analysis, it has been said that the Republicans treat their social base as trained attack dogs kept on leashes that can be slackened or tightened as the situation demands, while the Democrats send what they see as their social base to obedience school. A central point these examples illustrate is that some prominent political leaders are willing, even eager, to provide the “attack dogs” a lot more leash these days.

And it is crucially important for revolutionaries to understand what this tells us about the schisms and chasms that divide and polarize this society, the seriousness of the divisions within the ruling class over how to deal with these chasms (as well as with all the international challenges U.S. imperialism faces), and what it all means for revolutionary potential to burst forward, perhaps from unexpected places and in unexpected ways, perhaps seemingly abruptly.

The Outlines of a “Hot Mix” with Revolutionary Potential

Austin, August 2014Abortion Rights Freedom Riders traveled across the state of Texas for five weeks in August 2014 confronting the assaults on women's rights.

It is worth thinking through various possible scenarios of the way a “hot mix” of contradictions began to come together in Texas last summer. The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride spent five weeks traveling across the state to oppose laws intended to shut down all but a handful of clinics in the state, and millions of people were positively impacted by its courageous actions and slogans; at basically the same time, along the border with Mexico, the federal and state governments unleashed vicious attacks upon immigrant women and children, mainly from Central America, and protests against the heartless assaults began shaping up all along the border region; in the middle of the Freedom Ride, the fight for Justice for Michael Brown burst forward in Ferguson and soon people in cities across the entire country, including in Texas, were taking over freeways, holding sit-ins, and other forms of protest to bring out that “Black Lives Matter.”

This illustrates some important points. One is that revolution is never a simple, linear affair; in fact, even massive outbursts of protest aren’t. But none of this is “under the control” of the rulers, and when people in their millions are compelled to confront the questions (for example) of whether or not women will be recognized as full human beings, and whether it is right for the government to utilize overwhelming force against starving children, what the revolutionaries do makes a huge difference in affecting what people think and do, and what comes out of such a situation.

Another point is that it is important to understand the reality we are acting upon in all its complexity and texture; understand it as fully and scientifically as possible, from the perspective of making revolution. Even in places where it seems as if the most overtly reactionary elements of the ruling class have a stranglehold on political life, there is tremendous unevenness, and enormous potential for revolutionary advance.

Several aspects of BA’s new synthesis are very relevant in grappling with the significance and implications of these types of developments mentioned and touched on above: the “pyramid point,” about the roles of the Democrats and Republicans and the social bases they strive to represent; BA’s analysis of identifying Christian fascism as being a possible “stage manager” for the emergence of a crisis of legitimacy, and even a revolutionary crisis in this society; BA’s emphasis that we can and must do better than democracy in making revolution.

Key elements of the RCP’s overall political analysis are also very relevant in understanding what’s underway: regional crisis in the Southwest as a potential triggering factor for a larger legitimacy crisis; conflict around how to develop policy towards the U.S./Mexico border and towards Mexico itself as a concentration of the intense contention within the U.S. ruling class; the question of women’s emancipation or deepened oppression as something that will be radically resolved, one way or another.

Same-Sex Marriage, the Supreme Court, and the Eruption of Societal Conflict

All this bears on a U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage that is likely to come this year. This decision has the potential to be a very big deal, in several ways. Arguments are expected to be heard, to my understanding, in April, with a decision expected in late June. The Court’s decision could go several ways, and I’m not trying to predict the exact outcome.

If the Court does rule favorably for advocates of same-sex marriage, or even if the ruling is mixed but largely favorable, I don’t think these Christian fascists in Texas, Alabama, or elsewhere are going to accept it. I don’t think their response will be, “Well, we disagree, but now that this is the law of the land under our Constitution, we’ll just have to live with it.”

I’m not predicting secession (or any other particular response), but I think there’s an analogy to South Carolina (soon followed by other states) leaving the Union when Lincoln was elected. It’s very possible that these people just won’t recognize such a decision as being legitimate, and they’ll look for ways to oppose it. Christian fascists and Tea Partiers will likely use a form of the old racist, reactionary arguments used to justify slavery, secession, and Jim Crow—“states’ rights” and “nullification”—as the legal basis of their opposition, buttressed by fundamentalist Christian theology as their philosophical foundation and ultimate justification.

What would it mean if state governments in sections of the country won’t go along with a Supreme Court decision? Divisions in the ruling class are deep and serious today, as BA has repeatedly analyzed, and I think a decision along the lines of the one mentioned above could be something that sets things off in society in unpredictable ways; it could be, I think, in the overall context today, the sort of thing that really inhibits the ruling class as a whole from “ruling in the old way” (one of the criteria for the emergence of a revolutionary situation, as expressed by the great communist leader, V.I. Lenin).

I’m not really up on all the legal issues involved in the same-sex marriage cases and decisions, and the full and apparently rather complex lineup of social forces on different sides of this question. But I do think this is a matter we should be able to address deeply when this case goes to the Supreme Court. (Another outcome worth thinking about is a decision that does leave it up to the states—what would be the implications, not just for the question of same-sex marriage, but even more for revolutionary possibilities—if the Supreme Court’s decision does leave things up to the states, if same-sex marriage remains legal in states like Massachusetts and California, while outlawed in Texas and Louisiana; what would such growing geographic social and political fragmentation, expressed around acceptance or denial of such a basic right, as well as around many other questions, mean for the growing polarization in society, and for carrying out the RCP’s strategy for revolution?)

An Exponentially Growing Audience for “Our Kind of Music”?

A brief point on the Democratic response to what’s underway in Texas. They are gripped by paralysis, powerlessness, irrelevance, and delusion. They say the Republican dominance in the state is due to the gerrymandering institutionalized by Tom DeLay, the fact that for various reasons something like seven million adults aren’t registered voters, and that sooner or later demographics will kick in (white people are a minority in Texas) and the Republicans will be voted out.

People who go along with this line of reasoning need to look at some basic facts. Dan Patrick, the lieutenant governor, who has always been a straight-up Christian fascist and makes no bones about it, claims he now has a “mandate.” In last year’s Republican primary, where “everybody knows” the general vote was decided, less than three percent of registered voters selected Patrick, who then won by a landslide in the general election, through which Patrick laid low and never spoke to what he’s all about. Needless to say, he’s not been deterred from ramming through his hateful agenda since he came to office.

My point in raising this is that the potential audience for “our kind of music” could grow significantly if things come to something of a head around the same-sex marriage case, and the Democrats are cautioning people to “wait until the next election cycle,” or until more “minority” (actually a majority in this state) people vote. In short, I think we should think big about this upcoming ruling, and be prepared to really speak to, and lead, millions.

This is essential to being poised to pounce on and maximize, as the RCP’s “On the Strategy for Revolution” states, “major events or big changes (that) can happen in society and the world and can come together  in  such a way that the system is shaken to its foundations ... deep cracks appear and magnify within the ruling structures and institutions ... the raw relations of oppression are more sharply exposed ... conflicts among the powers-that-be deepen, and cannot be easily resolved, and it becomes much more difficult for them to hold things together under their control and keep people down. In this kind of situation, the ‘legitimacy’ of the current system, and the right and ability of the ruling powers to keep on ruling, can be called seriously and directly into question, with millions hungering  for a radical change that only a revolution can bring about.”




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Netanyahu Bites, Obama Snarls Back:

When Bloody-Jawed Wolves Feud, Don't Choose Sides... Bring Forward Another Way!

by Larry Everest | March 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Tuesday, March 3, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the U.S. Congress (and the world). This wasn’t an ordinary speech by the leader of one of the U.S.’s closest allies. Netanyahu was invited by Republicans in the House of Representatives specifically to denounce the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran, which are reportedly at a critical point. Netanyahu indeed delivered a scathing critique of U.S. talks with Iran, claiming they would strengthen and legitimize Iran and lead to a nuclear arms race in the region. Barack Obama quickly went on TV to sharply and directly counter Netanyahu’s charges, arguing his negotiations were the best way to contain Iran and its nuclear program.

In the mainstream media, the terms of this are being twisted and distorted to obscure the real deal: This feud is not in any way about how to stop the danger of nuclear war or bring freedom to the Middle East. What’s happening is that the U.S. imperialists and Israelis are scrambling and undertaking all kinds of machinations in an effort to maintain their grip on the Middle East as their imposed regional order tears at the seams and threatens to fly apart. These tremendous stresses and strains are generating intense conflicts between Israel and the U.S. and within their respective ruling classes.

What Is the “Special Relationship” Between the U.S. and Israel?

Special Issue on Israel:
Bastion of Enlightenment... or Enforcer for Imperialism:
The Case of ISRAEL

#213, October 10, 2010

Also available in PDF

The U.S. imperialists have “stood by” Israel for decades as their most loyal bastion in the Middle East and an invaluable enforcer of their interests worldwide. Why? The U.S. economic, political, and military stranglehold on the Middle East has allowed it to dominate the world’s main source of oil and natural gas and a key nexus of global trade and geopolitics. Domination of the Middle East has been, and continues to be, key to the U.S. maintaining its position at the top of, and preying on, a world of misery and oppression. And Israel has been an enforcer for all this, in the Middle East and beyond.

But for the peoples there, these past decades have brought one horror after another—with the lives of hundreds of millions suffocated, crippled, or just ended thanks to the U.S. For the past 70 years, from Morocco to Egypt, to Iran, to Afghanistan, and most everywhere in between, the U.S. has installed and backed military juntas, religious fundamentalist tyrannies, and all manner of torture regimes. It has orchestrated coups, threatened military intervention, and imposed economic sanctions—killing children by the hundreds of thousands.

U.S. sanctions against Iraq alone were responsible for the deaths of 500,000 children. In 1996, Madeline Albright, then U.S. President Bill Clinton’s UN Ambassador (and soon-to-be Secretary of State), appeared on the TV program 60 Minutes and was asked whether the deaths of half a million children was worth it. Her answer: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price—we think the price is worth it.”

The U.S. launched devastating bombing and drone campaigns, and most recently invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, impoverishing, uprooting, wounding, and killing millions.

Palestinians driven from their homes in Galilee are on the road to Lebanon, November 1948.Palestinians driven from their homes in Galilee are on the road to Lebanon, November 1948. AP photo

Palestinians watch as others carry a body from the rubble of a house destroyed by an Israeli missile strike in Gaza City, July 21, 2014. AP photo
Palestinians watch as others carry a body from the rubble of a house destroyed by an Israeli missile strike in Gaza City, July 21, 2014. AP photo

Israel plays a unique and indispensable role in all this. Israel is a settler-colonial state based on the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population—the Palestinians. This has been carried out by terrorist violence and inhuman war crimes, from daily humiliations, to torture, to cruise missiles and cluster bombs. Hardly a day goes by without another news report of some Israeli outrage—people in Gaza denied aid and still living amidst rubble, a Palestinian youth shot down. And every day, more expansion of Israeli “settlements”—armed outposts of Zionists who terrorize and kill the displaced Palestinians in the West Bank. All this is a form of genocide.

Netanyahu is a fitting representative and embodiment of this brazen savagery and imperialist arrogance. He has, repeatedly throughout his career in Israeli politics, overtly advocated the violent ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian people, subjecting the Palestinians in Gaza to genocidal slaughters, seizing land, maintaining a constant state of terror, and viciously attacking any resistance or opposition.

Sharpeville, March 1960For nearly 50 years in South Africa, until 1994, the apartheid system was in effect. A wealthy minority of white settlers held all political power and used it to rob the land, labor and resources of the country, enriching European and U.S. imperialism, while the great majority of black people were segregated, denied any human rights or respect, and lived in deep poverty. Any resistance to this setup was met with brutal repression. Shown here, in the township of Sharpeville in March 1960, police opened fire on a black protest, killing or wounding hundreds. This was the beginning of the movement that eventually brought down the apartheid system. AP photo

mass grave of people massacred by the Guatemalan army in 1982
August 2007. Villagers next to mass grave of people massacred by the Guatemalan army in 1982. AP photo

The “special relationship” Israel and the U.S. proclaim and celebrate extends far beyond the region. Israel trained and armed the white-racist Apartheid regime in South Africa—a key U.S. ally in the ‘70s and ‘80s—while it massacred black protesters. In the early 1980s, Israel trained and supervised the death squads carrying out genocide in Guatemala—killing 200,000 indigenous people when the rulers of the U.S. assessed oppositional movements in Central America as a threat to their empire. Under the direction of the U.S., Israel provided essential military and logistical aid and weapons (including 10,000 Uzis) to Christian fundamentalist butcher Efraín Ríos Montt and “advised” the death squads that subjected the Mayan people and others in Guatemala to systematic rape, bullets to the head in front of family members, beheading, ripping the hearts out of small children in front of their parents, burning people alive, and other atrocities. (See “Ríos Montt on Trial in Guatemala: A Censored Massacre Made in USA.”)

If you’re looking for depraved savages who murder children by the hundreds of thousands, tear children from their parents, carry out systematic rape and murder of pregnant women, and carry out genocide—and don’t apologize for any of it—the rulers of the United States and their junior partner, Israel, are far and away at the top of the list.

In many ways, Israel has become more crucial during this period of profound upheaval and conflict, when other U.S. “allies” in the Middle East (bloody, repressive regimes) like Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and others are unstable or challenging the U.S. in various ways. And when the U.S. confronts increasingly aggressive rivals around the world. And the existence of Israel is fundamentally dependent on massive U.S. diplomatic, economic, and military aid and other relationships—open and covert.

That is why even in the midst of the furor over Netanyahu’s speech, Netanyahu himself said, “Our alliance is stronger than ever. My speech is not intended to show any disrespect to President Obama or the esteemed office he holds. I have great respect for both. I deeply appreciate all that President Obama has done for Israel.”

And in turn, Obama framed his criticisms of Netanyahu by emphasizing, “The prime minister appropriately pointed out that the bond between the United States of America is unbreakable, and on that point I thoroughly agree.”

That “bond” is a bond between the world’s greatest criminal and one of his most vicious henchmen.

The Intensifying Clash Between McWorld and Jihad

So if the bond between Israel and the U.S. is “unbreakable,” why the intense conflict?

The unprecedented level of public feuding between Israel and the U.S. is driven by serious challenges to the whole oppressive, U.S.-dominated regional order. Across the 4,000 plus mile arc from North Africa through the Middle East into Central Asia, reactionary Islamic fundamentalism is growing explosively, including dramatic gains by groups like the Islamic State (ISIS) which now controls a big swath of northern Iraq and Syria. States, including Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq have collapsed or are fragmenting. Iran’s influence has increased in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and regionally. Upheaval has wracked U.S. pillars like Egypt. And these challenges to the “authority” of the U.S. empire are intersecting with broader conflicts between the U.S. and powers like Russia and China.

Let’s be clear: There is nothing good at all about Islamic fundamentalism—about ISIS, Islamic Republic of Iran, Boko Haram, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, or other varieties. It is completely reactionary and against the interests of the people, including—and especially—very oppressed sections of people in the slums of Cairo, Paris, or Kabul for whom these forces often claim to speak and among whom—tragically—they attract a following. These forces aim to forcibly impose a fundamentalist or absolutist interpretation of the Koran and Sharia law (the body of religious rulings made by Islamic clerics) on society as its governing law and ideology. Central to this is the most cruel, inhumane oppression of women. And the Islamist Jihadists’ methods reflect their reactionary ideology and program, including targeting and murdering non-combatants, terrorizing whole populations, and sanctioning severe corporal punishment or death for infractions of Islamic law. They differ ideologically with the U.S. imperialists and “the West” only in the forms of exploitation and oppression.

The Interests of the U.S. Empire are NOT Our Interests

Fundamentalist Jihadists are a nightmare when they are in power, but that is not the problem the U.S. and Israel have with these forces. When the U.S. can use them to advance and enforce the interests of their empire, they find “signs of progress” among the medieval princes of Saudi Arabia (where women can’t even drive cars, and where the regime carried out 345 public beheadings between 2007 and 2010 ), or “partners” in feudal warlords in Afghanistan who ban girls from schools. And Israel is notorious for working with and through some of the most oppressive and vicious Islamic fundamentalist forces when it serves their interests.

But the challenges posed by forces like Iran and ISIS (even as those Islamic fundamentalist entities have sharp conflicts with each other), and larger global challenges to the U.S. empire, have given rise to the sharp conflicts between Israel and the rulers of the U.S., and within their respective ruling classes over things like if and how much to try to integrate the reactionary, women-enslaving regime in Iran into functioning as an enforcer for U.S. interests in the region (and how to deal with its nuclear program in that context); how to deal with (and in places use) forces like ISIS; as well as what forms through which to carry out the ongoing genocidal ethnic cleansing of Palestine and more.

The arguments among these predators are so heated because the problems they face are so intractable, and because they have no good options or clear choices—and fundamentally no answers.

BAsics 3:8

When these kinds of crises develop and spark intense infighting among reactionaries like what we are seeing now between the U.S. and Israel, and within their ruling classes, the people of the world have less than zero interest in either side of this feud. Their crises and difficulties are not our crises and difficulties. Neither they—nor the Islamic fundamentalists of any stripe—have any answers for the people.

Bring Forward Another Way

There is nothing good in either side in conflicts and upheaval like we are witnessing today—taking the form of the clash between Obama and Netanyahu. But conflicts like this do point to an important element of why revolution is not impossible but possible. The clash between Obama and Netanyahu is one indication of the depths of the contradictions the system is facing in the Middle East, their lack of solutions to their own crises, and the potential for a revolutionary situation to emerge from this and other contradictions.

In “What Is a Revolutionary Situation?“ Bob Avakian identifies one element as “A deep crisis and sharpening conflicts in society and in the government and ruling circles, where they cannot find a way to resolve these conflicts—in society and among their own ranks—which do not make things worse for them and call forth more resistance and further undermine people’s belief in their “right to rule” and in the “legitimacy” of their use of force to maintain their rule...”

Nobody can say how all the kinds of conflicts provoking the tension between the U.S. and Israel and other international crises will end up, or how they might interact with intense struggles within the U.S. against police murder, and the movement for an actual revolution in this country making important, if beginning, advances in getting on the stage.

But for all who refuse to accept a world of oppression, degradation, and unjust wars, conflicts like the one flaring up now between Obama and Netanyahu must be moments to expose the real terms of things, to expose and oppose the whole setup, and to wrench people out of accepting that this is the best the world can be. It is NOT! (For a deep analysis and understanding of how to act to radically transform the terms of things in this situation, a critical analysis is found in Bringing Forward Another Way—a talk by Bob Avakian).

After the holocaust...

For anything good to come out of all this, and for people—especially in this country—to not be passively complicit in terrible crimes, we need to wage determined struggle, right now, against any intervention in Iran and against Israel’s genocidal assault on the Palestinian people and overall role in the Middle East. We need to expose the obscene lies that justify U.S. crimes in the Middle East, and actively protest them—to oppose and prevent, right now, horrible injustices and grave crimes, both of which are going on and could easily intensify in such a volatile situation. And such struggle should be seen and built by revolutionaries as part of preparing the terrain, the people, and the vanguard for the earliest possible opportunity to actually do away with this horrific system.

The “5 Stops“ poster includes among other key elements “STOP—WARS OF EMPIRE, ARMIES OF OCCUPATION, AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY!” And that is one reason it is so important to get that out everywhere. The movement for revolution needs to reach out to the campuses and beyond, seeking out and working with students, especially those who ARE opposing the actions of the U.S. and Israel in the Middle East.

Those challenges (opposing the crimes of the U.S. and Israel, and getting to a world free of all oppression) are, in fact, tightly integrated. In that light, rather than seeking a sliver of illusory hope in one or another side in this conflict, what we need is to oppose the crimes of the U.S. and Israel as part of a moment to rip something completely different out of the world as it is—and to build a movement for an actual revolution which will sweep away this system and its injustices and be a transition to a world where all humanity is free.





Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

New York City

Battle Cry on International Women’s Day—“Rise up for the women of the world!”

March 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


New York, IWD 2015Photos: Special to

New York, International Women's Day 2015

March 8—Today’s International Women’s Day march in the streets of NYC unleashed a unique beauty that only this kind of fierce defiance can express—right to the places representing this system’s war against women! Starting off from the steps of St. Patrick’s cathedral and heading to the Eighth Avenue porn district, passing through the throngs of people in Times Square, the home of military and NYPD recruiters. The march included a visit to a theater to protest Fifty Shades of Grey. Everywhere, the battle cry was, “Rise up for the women of the world! For the women of the world: RISE UP!!!"

Check back at during the week for more on International Women’s Day 2015.




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

REVCOM.US Urgently Needs Your Financial Support!

March 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


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Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Madison, Wisconsin: Thousands of Students Demand Justice for Tony Robinson

March 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Tony Robinson and his mother, Andrea IrwinTony Robinson and his mother, Andrea Irwin

Family of Tony Robinson, murdered by police March 6 in Madison, Wisconsin, calls for people to stand up to STOP THIS!

March 9—You could hear it in the anguished voice of the grandmother of 19-year-old Tony Robinson, a handsome young man who had just graduated high school. You could feel it in his mother’s pain as she shared a cherished picture of Tony at his high school graduation in 2014. You could see it in the pain on the faces of his best friends as they spoke into a bullhorn at a candlelight vigil and in the rotunda of the Capitol. Tony was loved and respected by many, many young people, including those he mentored. Another unarmed Black teenager killed by police on Friday, March 6 at 6:30 pm in Madison, Wisconsin, on Williamson Street, not far from the Capitol building and the University of Wisconsin. Tony was killed the day before the 50th anniversary commemoration of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama. Photographs of the bloody front steps of his residence, where apparently the police dragged his body after he had been shot multiple times, circulated on Twitter.

A righteous spirit of outrage immediately broke out into protests against this police murder and has been growing every day. Monday, March 9, the protests broke out into a new level with an outpouring of 2,000-3,000 defiant students from four high schools, as well as middle schools, walked out and took over all lanes of one of the main streets leading to the State Capitol—fists in the air, marching, and running, demanding Justice for Tony Robinson. A hundred University of Wisconsin students marched from the campus. A diverse crowd of thousands packed all three floors of the Capitol Rotunda, their chants echoing in the building: “Stand up, fight back, no more Black men under attack” and “Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail—the whole damn system is guilty as hell.” Hundreds of whistles got to the students who promptly began blowing them. When the mayor started talking about the importance of graduating from high school, some students started chanting, “Fuck you, Tony graduated from high school.”

The protests began the night of Tony’s murder and hundreds marched again on Saturday summoned by the Young, Gifted and Black coalition. The mother of Dontre Hamilton, who was killed by police in Milwaukee, came to show her support. Students from the suburban high school Tony graduated from wore all black at their basketball game on Saturday night to protest his murder. Churches held vigils and speakouts. At one of these gatherings, a revolutionary gave a message of support and outrage to the family and Tony’s friends read the “Statement from Parents of People Murdered by Chicago Police.”

On Sunday night, a grieving community joined together for a candlelight vigil outside the house where Tony was killed. At this vigil, high school students announced they would walk out after the first period of class on Monday. This set in motion a chain reaction... University of Wisconsin students put out a last-minute call for university students to walk out and join the high school students. Others called for adults to come and stand with the youth and keep them safe from the Capitol Police.

Madison, WI, March 9Thousands of students pack the state capitol rotunda to demand justice for Tony Robinson, Madison, WI, March 9. AP photo

Revolutionaries from Chicago went to Madison and the centerfold of Revolution with all the pictures of people murdered by police could be seen being held up by youth in the protests along with a large banner with photos of those whose lives were stolen and the words “Murdered by Police.” Word of April 14—Shut It Down—was gotten out very widely... stickers adorned the youth who had walked out of the schools. Students were chanting, “If we don’t get justice—shut it down.”

The fact that Tony Robinson was gunned down in Madison, Wisconsin, was too much for people to bear and they poured out their hearts and into the streets. This should be a call to people with conscience everywhere that police murder must stop and that together it is up to us to make it stop... This is what April 14 is all about... NO BUSINESS AS USUAL, SHUT IT DOWN, EVERYWHERE.

Madison is ranked to be one of the best places to live in the U.S.. but not if you are Black. Tony’s aunt, Lorien Carter, spoke to a crowd in front of the building in Madison, Wisconsin, where her nephew was earlier shot and killed by a police officer. According to the Guardian, she said: “Here in our little bubble of Madison, WI ... I want y’all to know, that for minorities, we are [in one of] the top five worst places to live. But we are [also in one of the] three happiest cities to be in. So who is it happy for?” The Guardian also documented how deeply racist things are in a supposedly progressive, liberal community: “In 2013, a report by Race to Equity, an initiative run by the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, found that in 2011, 80% of youths in juvenile detention facilities in Dane County, where Madison is located, were African American. They represented only 9% of the county’s population. The report also noted that African-American youths were arrested six times more often than their white counterparts. A 2007 report from the Justice Policy Institute, ranked Dane County third in the nation in racial disparities for drug-related crimes.” (emphasis added)

Students carried handmade signs reading “Who do we trust? Not the police” as the vilification of Tony started. The father of Tony’s close friend said, “they are going to frame this so that it’s the Black kid’s fault.”

More protests are planned this week.





Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Wisconsin Students Walk Out of School to Protest Police Killing of Tony Robinson

Hundreds Occupy State Capitol to Say Police Getting Away with Murder Must Stop!

by Carl Dix | March 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Friday, March 6, 19-year-old Anthony “Tony” Robinson was killed by a cop in Madison, Wisconsin; another young Black man dead at the hands of the police. This time the killer cop was responding to reports of someone running across a busy street thru the traffic and getting into fights. The cop forced his way into Robinson’s apartment and shot him dead. Then they dragged Tony’s body out of the house, leaving his blood all over the steps of the building. Horrors like this must STOP!

Family of Tony Robinson, murdered by police March 6 in Madison, Wisconsin, calls for people to stand up to STOP THIS!

Many people in Madison took to the streets enraged over this murder. Protests began that night and continued over the weekend, with hundreds taking to the streets on Saturday. A candlelight vigil followed on Sunday, and then young people took things to a higher level on Monday. Students from Sun Prairie High School, the school Tony graduated from, walked out of school, marching thru the streets of Madison over to the state capitol building and took it over. By this point, the numbers had swelled to 2,000 people, as students from another high school, middle school students and some college students joined in. Older people joined too, forming a ring around the students to keep the police from attacking the youth.

This outpouring is reminiscent of the powerful, beautiful and very necessary outpourings of resistance last year after the police killed Michael Brown and after grand juries let the cops who murdered Brown and Eric Garner walk free. And it’s exactly what needs to be happening again, all across the country.

Think about it—if people hadn’t poured into the streets last year, people across the country wouldn’t even know about what happened to Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and this issue wouldn’t have been forced into the consciousness of millions of people. And the authorities wouldn’t be doing investigations of police departments or even talking about police killing so many Black and Latino people as being a problem.

What the students did in Madison is exactly what April 14, the national shut-down, needs to look like. The powers-that-be came at the movement of resistance to police getting away with murder with threats and false promises. They arrested many, many protesters. They told us we should get out of the streets and sit down with them to discuss ways to reform how the police operate, even as they continue to let cops who brutalize and even murder people walk free when they do it. Remember what really hit them where it hurt—us going into the streets in protest, exposing the savage brutality and murder their criminal “injustice” system was inflicting on people before the eyes of the world and calling for it to STOP! We must mount this kind of resistance all across the country and follow it with wave after wave of resistance, until the horror of police getting away with murder is really NO MORE.

The students in Madison are showing the way. We must join with them. Make Justice for Tony Robinson a theme in the March 14 “Blow the Whistle on Brutal, Murdering Cops” day. Send video and written messages of solidarity to the youth and others in Madison taking to the streets. And we must do just like they’re doing in cities all across the country on A14.




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

March 14—It's Whistle Time! Blow the Whistle on Police Brutality and Murder.

March 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


In recent times we have seen video after video after video of police murdering Black people. Eric Garner in New York, Afrika in Los Angeles, Tamir Rice in Ohio, and on and on and on. NO MORE just standing by and watching while the police carry out beatings and murder.

When you see the police harass and brutalize one of our brothers or sisters, Blow the Whistle! Alert the community and the police that we are not going to tolerate this brutality and murder. Call the community together to act by blowing the whistle. Blow the Whistle so everyone knows the cops are brutalizing or about to brutalize our people again and everyone should come out to Blow the Whistle and stop this brutality.

We have seen again and again and again, no matter how brazen and brutal the police are, no matter how clearly they are caught on camera carrying out murders reminiscent of lynchings, they are not punished. NO MORE! BLOW THE WHISTLE! We must take action to stop this.

March 14, blow the whistle on the police, be part of retaking the offensive against murder by police. On March 14 get your people together and go into the neighborhoods where the people are the target of harassment, beatings and murder at the hands of the police. Whenever you see the police, Blow the Whistle. By Blowing the Whistle on the police, let the police and everyone know this is a new day beginning now. No more police murder of our people. Make Blow the Whistle on March 14 a big part of getting ready for April 14, when we shut shit down, no work no school no business as usual! We will not go back! No more to the system giving a green light to killer cops!

Getting Organized to Blow The Whistle!

How to Blow The Whistle





Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Atlanta: Police Kill Yet Another Unarmed Black Man...One More Reason We Need an Actual Revolution

March 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Monday, March 9, police in Chamblee, Georgia, in the Atlanta area, shot and killed Anthony Hill, an unarmed 27-year-old Black man. People at the apartment complex where this took place said Hill was running around without any clothes—obviously without any weapons—banging on doors and lying down on the ground. He clearly seemed to be having some mental health problems. At least one witness said that Anthony Hill had his hands in the air when the cop fired his gun and murdered him on the spot.

Anthony Hill is the third unarmed Black man killed by pigs just in the last five days, along with Tony Robinson in Madison, Wisconsin,  and a man (whose identity has not been released) in Aurora, Colorado, both on Friday, March 6. Check back at for more on this latest police murder.

These police murders are intolerable—and they must STOP! They're yet more reasons that we need an actual revolution!





Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

San Francisco: Police Kill Guatemalan Man—Town Hall Meeting Doesn't Go Their Way!

March 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

San Francisco police shot and killed 21-year-old Amilcar Peréz-Lopez on Thursday night, February 26, in front of his apartment. He was a construction worker loved by many in the neighborhood; and this became evident as police try to justify the murder of Amilcar and cool things out in this part of the Mission District.

But the town hall meeting called for the following Monday by police chief Greg Suhr didn't turn out well for them at all! A couple of hundred people packed the school auditorium, and immediately began shouting down the cops. Chief Suhr sat at a table flanked by several cops (about 30 inside and out). And the police story, which began with labelling Amilcar a suspect, was shouted down so strongly that they were eventually forced to sit stone faced before the people's anger. After a 5th grader stood on a chair to lead a chant "shame on you," the Jamaican mother of O'Shane Evans (recently killed by the SFP) said that as an immigrant from a third world country, she got the same kind of story from the cops as in Amilcar's case.

When the police were unable to take the mic away from a Stop Mass Incarceration Network member, friends unfurled a banner announcing "ShutDownA14" as he led the room in a chant "indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell" as well as "April 14th Shut it Down," which was widely broadcast on the evening news in the SF Bay Area (both Spanish and English channels).

While many things about the killing of Amilcar remain unclear, the police story that Amilcar, knife in hand, chased after a man to steal his bicycle, is strongly disputed by the witnesses who were there. A prior press conference which included SMIN, ANSWER, anti-police activists, families of victims, neighbors and teachers exposed the real story... that the police had killed a young man of color and were trying to get away with it again. 

The police may have thought that this town hall meeting would serve to send people back to "business as usual." At the time of Amilcar's killing, they even told people "go back inside." Instead, the call for April 14 Shut it Down was now sending the message that people must not go back—that we cannot tolerate another police murder!




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

From Oscar Grant to Oscar Perez-Giron—No More Police Murder of Our Youth at the Train Stations!

March 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

Oscar Perez-GironOscar Perez-Giron, loved and missed by many.

Many know of the police murder of Oscar Grant at Fruitvale Bay Area rapid transit station in Oakland in 2009. Here in Seattle, there is an inquest coming up into the murder of another Oscar, at another train station. On June 30, 2014, at the SODO light rail station, Oscar Perez-Giron, a 23-year-old Latino immigrant, was shot to death over a $2.50 train fare.

Oscar had been held at the SODO station because he was suspected of not paying. There were three transit guards and a Sheriff’s deputy, Malcolm Elliott, present. Witnesses say there was no need for deadly force, that Oscar was pinned against a partition by a transit guard when Deputy Elliott reached his pistol in and shot Oscar point blank several times, at which point Oscar fell to the pavement as the cops stood back and watched him die.

The notorious SPD (Seattle Police Department) seized the public security camera footage and refused to release it until they had "improved" it. An SPD spokesman said that when they were done, the video "would not reflect well on the persons involved other than the officer." This took about 10 days. Cops say the released video shows Oscar had a pistol, but many others say the video is not clear even after viewing it multiple times. Police have also published a photo of a pistol they say Oscar had. Oscar’s family says he did not own a pistol and would not be carrying one. They say Oscar had been loaned a pre-paid transit card, and there may have been a problem with it. They also say that detectives have told them conflicting versions of what happened.

Police nationwide have often been caught lying about their murders, and many feel we have no reason to believe them now. Many people have rightly said this situation could have been handled a whole different way. But instead, police escalated the situation and outrageously stole Oscar's life over a fucking $2.50 train fare!


Here is some of the bigger picture behind this killing: Oscar's family is from Mexican city of Mexicali, which Business Week calls "the poster child for NAFTA," the U.S. imperialist program which ruined living conditions for millions of people in Mexico, driving many north. Oscar was sent to the U.S. when very young with some others. His mother died young, in Mexicali, of dehydration during hot weather. Just one of the horrendous crimes being inflicted on the people of the world by imperialism is the control of water for profit. In a video clip from his talk Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, Bob Avakian calls out real sharp just WHY people come to the U.S. And when they get here, the constant threat of deportation is used to exploit their labor, deny human rights, silence their voice, and control their behavior. And the ability of the poor to move around and live like human beings is controlled and limited by the transportation system.

Oscar was a Seattleite, and even had the Seahawks football team mascot tattooed on his head. Since age 16 he worked as a day laborer, going to mall parking lots to get landscape and construction work. He wanted to be an auto mechanic. He was the first in his family to get a high school diploma. And he had also got caught up in the juvenile detention system. Oscar had been refused U.S. citizenship, and his family says the only reason he would resist arrest is that he feared being deported back to Mexico. It would be hard for him to get around there because his Spanish was limited. Friends say they feel he was profiled on the train for how he was dressed and appeared. He was loved by many and is very deeply missed.


There have been protests against this killing, supported by family, friends, the immigrant community, and activists. At one, people got on the train together and refused to pay, chanting, "I have not paid, you're going to have to shoot me!" and rode it to the SODO station. One protest sign said "Justice!!! from SODO station to the U.S. border."

Later in the summer, the protest against the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in NYC erupted, and the defiance continues to inspire people in Seattle as it has in the rest of the nation. This has elevated many struggles here, including that for justice for Oscar. The Seattle Transit Riders Union recently took up a collection at a showing of the film Fruitvale Station, where family of Oscar Perez-Giron spoke. These funds will support having an independent lawyer present at the inquest to advocate for justice for Oscar.

This February in Pasco, Washington, another Latino immigrant, Antonio Montes-Zambrano, was murdered by police. Many there are also inspired by the defiant ones in Ferguson, and the powers-that-be are working to repress their resistance. Loved ones of Oscar and others killed by police, revolutionaries, and activists from the October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality (Seattle affiliate) traveled there and were welcomed by those standing in defiance. (See "Shut Down the Bridge! Resistance Against the Police Murder of Antonio Montes-Zambrano Continues") There is a movement afoot there, supported by Occupy Tri-Cities and others, to support the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) call for a national day of action on April 14 to advance the fight against police murder and stop business as usual across this nation.

The inquest into the slaying of Oscar Perez-Giron is scheduled for March 23 at the King County Courthouse in Seattle. No inquest into a police killing in Washington State has ever resulted in a cop being charged with a crime. In the Seattle area as elsewhere, the legitimacy of the system is suffering because of all the ongoing police brutality and murder. This inquest can be seen as an attempt to regain some of that legitimacy, by showing that something is being done, and at the same time helping to justify the actions of a killer cop. The jury at an inquest is not asked "yes" or "no" whether the killing was right. Instead, they must answer a set of questions framed to try and get the cops off. This is why people must be there to witness what goes down, and to make the court know that what happens there will be made known in the streets, and that the system will pay a political price if it approves yet another police murder!

The October 22 Coalition, revolutionaries, and others are working to get the news of the March 23 inquest out to all, and get people to come. We will demand justice for Oscar Perez-Giron, and also will make known the call for the April 14 nationwide shutdown to stop business as usual, and end police murder. The whole movement against police terror has risen like a wave, and the system has been shocked and is trying hard to defeat this movement. We can't let it get defeated, instead we must push all this forward to a whole new level! And the fight for justice for #OscarPerezGiron is part of that and will be part of April 14!




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Broad Coalition of Forces Stands Up to Catholic ArchBIGOT Cordileone
Stop Patriarchy Takes the Challenge to Saint Mary's Cathedral: Outside and In

March 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


In response to the outrageous “Morals Clause” imposed on San Francisco's Catholic schools by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, a group of roughly 400 teachers, students, and parents held a vigil on Ash Wednesday (February 18, 2015), raising slogans like "Teach Acceptance" and "Cordileone Denies Gay Families."

Then, on International Women's Day on March 8, in response to a call from Stop Patriarchy, people gathered at the home church of ArchBIGOT Cordileone, to voice their outrage and determination that this "Morals Clause" must not stand. This protest included, among others, students from SF Catholic Schools, college students, some fiery feminists, and members of Stop Patriarchy and the Revolution Club. They held a morally-charged speak-out where people put forward different views on religion, and united strongly against what the Archbigot represents.

Some of the members of Stop Patriarchy skipped the beginning of the protest to go inside the church and make an announcement. They walked to front of the church, unfurled signs that read "BEING LGBT IS NOT IMMORAL" and "ABORTION IS NOT IMMORAL," and delivered the following statement, in voices that echoed through the chapel:


In San Francisco, the woman-hating, gay-bashing Archbishop Cordileone -- who has a long history of attacking abortion rights both nationally and through pro-life boot camps when he oversaw Oakland schools, was head of the Vatican committee to prevent gay people from acquiring basic rights to marriage, and who has refused to release lists of names of accused child molesters from his previous church in San Diego -- has announced that he is appointing teachers at Catholic schools in San Francisco to be "ministers" who will be required to sign an "Affirm and Believe" statement.

San Francisco, March 8, 2015
Photo: Special to

The clause that Cordileone is adding to the handbook for teachers condemns birth control, abortion, homosexuality, masturbation, and sex outside of wedlock as "grave evils."

This is a bald-faced move to assert the training of many young people in San Francisco in an archaic and patriarchal ideology that says that women only exist to serve men, reduces women to tools for reproduction, and considers LGBT people to be "deviant" and "sinful," fueling and accelerating a whole climate of hatred and violence against more than half of humanity. The clause is set to go into effect September 1, and must be opposed!




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Getting Groceries at the End of International Women's Day

March 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Cashier: How's your weekend going?

Me: Great! Today is International Women's Day. I was protesting women's enslavement, starting at the Catholic Church.

Cashier: Yeah, also the Republican Party!

Me: Then we protested the strip clubs.

Cashier: Wait.  I am going to have to ask you... Don't the women choose to go into that?

Me: Women also choose to go into the church. What's your point?

Cashier: Whoa.  You did not just do that to me. Wow.

Cashier then high-fives me and nods with respect so enthusiastically that other cashiers and shoppers in the area turned their heads.




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Let's Be Crystal Goddamn Clear:
The Problem Has Been and Is the Relentless Unpunished Murders by Police. This MUST Be STOPPED! And We Must Stop It.

March 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Right now, the sharpest single outrage within U.S. society is the relentless, ongoing, unpunished murder by police of African-American and Latino people, and the whole systematic practice of abusive, brutal and downright predatory police repression that this murder sits atop. At least three unarmed Black men have been murdered by police in just the short time since the Justice Department issued its report exonerating the killer-in-blue of the unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The murder before that of the unarmed homeless immigrant nicknamed Africa in LA, and before that of the unarmed Mexican immigrant Antonio Zambrano-Montes in Pasco, Washington bear this out. THIS MUST STOP—NOW!!

The Department of Justice report, while whitewashing the murder of Mike Brown, was forced to reveal a sliver of the police-state in Ferguson: racist harassment, widespread unprovoked violent assaults against African-Americans, unconstitutional and illegal arrests, totally unjustified imprisonment, and parasitically sucking up the little money that people have to finance the whole racket, all seasoned with plenty of racist “jokes” and other everyday nastiness and viciousness. This kind of pervasive outrageous year-in year-out oppression is in no way an exception but is typical of a whole system of mass incarceration that has been put in place in the past four decades. This widespread police terror is the front line and spearpoint of a new Jim Crow, and it has a definite genocidal edge to it. A new Jim Crow that is the latest form of the systematic oppression of Black people and other people of color that is as old as the damn land-stealing slaving founding fathers. And no, Mr. Obama, this IS “endemic.” Ferguson is everywhere. Pasco is everywhere. Madison is everywhere.

A Statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party - ON THE STRATEGY FOR REVOLUTION

THIS is the problem that people must address themselves to. THIS is the problem that people must STOP, right now. And just to be clear, the RESISTANCE to this madness is NOT the problem. Indeed, without resistance last summer and fall—without people standing up and breaking the so-called rules when they did so—nobody would even know about Ferguson today. Without resistance—militant resistance—very few people—beyond the millions of victims of it and the thousands of victimizers—would even be aware of what we laid out above. Without resistance, people would not be raising their heads and asking why things are this way and what could be done to change all this—at least not on anywhere near the scale that this is happening now, and the far greater scale that it must happen in the weeks and months ahead.

So what is needed right now is MORE RESISTANCE—in Ferguson, in Madison, in Pasco, in LA and Atlanta, and everywhere else these killers in blue commit their crimes. And on April 14 this must go to a whole other level. On April 14 there must be a massive outpouring all over the country, stopping business as usual, to make it unmistakably clear that this problem must be dealt with...this problem must STOP...NOW. This outpouring has been called for by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, which our Party supports, and which involves a very broad spectrum of groups and individuals fighting to do just that: STOP mass incarceration, and police terror.

This problem CAN be ended. Not by modifying or reforming this system, but by getting rid of it and replacing it with something far better. That can be done and our Party and its leader, Bob Avakian, have shown how and why this is necessary, and why it's possible. People, in their billions, do NOT need to live this way. The suffering that this system brings on the lives of tens of millions of African-Americans and many others within the U.S., and the even worse horror it wreaks on billions more across the planet, is UNNECESSARY. We are actively organizing people to prepare for the actual revolution so badly needed that can bring in a whole other way. Get with us. Find out more.






Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

The "Long Haul"—and the Urgent Need RIGHT NOW

March 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Some of the people who have been active fighters against police murder, especially but not only last summer and fall, are saying now is the time to dig in for the long haul.

Now there’s a point to really committing yourself to everything it’s going to take to make the kind of fundamental change that’s needed here. It’s not all going to happen in a day or a week.

But let’s not set things against each other which should not be. Put it this way: If we don’t take to the streets in massive ways now, then we will weaken ourselves for the longer and bigger fight. But if we do take to the streets – and specifically if we all pull together for the biggest possible outpouring on April 14, walking out of school and working and doing the same kinds of things, and more, that masses of people did to protest the outrages around Michael Brown and Eric Garner and Tamir Rice and so many others – then we’ll be strengthening ourselves for that longer and bigger fight.

April 14 needs to mark a new jumping off point, a new entry ramp for hundreds of thousands to flood back into the struggle, to once again force all of society to confront what is being done in their name, to call on them to take a stand against it and to do something, and to carry forward the struggle for the massive change that is going to be necessary to reverse these horrors.




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

Day of Action in Madison, Wisconsin: Hundreds of Students and Others March to Governor's Mansion

March 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

The March 11 National Day of Action in Madison was called long before the police murder of Tony Robinson, as an action for mainly economic justice. After his murder on March 6, it became a Black Lives Matter affair, with hundreds of high school students joining in.  Some of the students, and others, came from other cities in Wisconsin. At its peak, there were about 1,000 there.

Hundreds of students gathered in the park, just before 3 pm. The Revolution Club from Chicago was in the middle of this, taking out revolution and building for the April 14 Shut-Down day. Also there was Carl Dix from the Revolutionary Communist Party and the Stop Mass Incarceration Network--who had just come from the 50th anniversary events in Selma, Alabama, and from the protests in Ferguson. The students at the park took up the striking stickers for the April 14th Shut-Down day as if they were thirsting for them. As the stickers were handed out, the youth were told that the whole country needs to look like Madison looked two days ago (when 2,000+ walked out of school and took over the State Capitol). They were challenged to “take Madison everywhere” as the world watches. The only thing as popular, or more popular, was the whistles being handed out in the hundreds.  Before too long, the air began to fill with the sound of whistles, growing steadily as more whistles got out, matching the cadence of whatever chants or circumstances were going on. 

Madison, March 11.Marching in the streets of Madison, Wisconsin, March 11. AP photo

As the rally was about to begin, a contingent of students from East High arrived, joined by three buses full of students from West high, with three banners from Chicago in the front. They had a “chant off” with the larger group in the park, standing behind their Black Lives Matter banner. “What’s his name? Tony Robinson!” “Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail! The whole damn system is guilty as hell!” The “uniform of the day” was some sign like “justice for Tony” combined with an A14 sticker and a whistle. 

Among the high school students there were some who thought the whistles were for fun only. When it was explained to them that blowing the whistle is a call for people to come together and resist when the police are messing with someone, it became clear that this is serious business. It can really make a difference in whether the encounter becomes brutal or deadly as it often does. Many small flyers were distributed along with the whistles explaining March 14 “blow the whistle on brutal, murdering cops” day.

Carl Dix in Madison, March 11. From a tweet by @wnkramer

After a few short speeches at the park, which included statements from Tony Robinson’s family, people formed up and marched to the nearby Department of Corrections. One speaker referred to it as the “incorrect” department that needs to be “corrected.” The main theme was for restorative justice as opposed to mass incarceration ruining lives. The speakers positioned themselves on a small hill in front of the DOC sign. They positioned the banners along the crest of the hill: the banner with photos of many youth killed by Chicago police, a Stolen Lives banner with the names of hundreds murdered by police all over the country, the big Black Lives Matter banner that has been in the front of all of the protests; and a big blue banner with April 14—Stop Murder by Police, #ShutDownA14.

After the speeches, the crowd took over both sides of the street and marched. It stopped in front of the Burger King where a speaker told of a woman who worked there earning $7.25 per hour, and then being promised a raise of $1 to be manager. After three months of not getting the raise, she protested—only to be fired. There was actually a lot of unity around opposing police murder of Black and Brown people from the people organizing around labor issues, in particular the low wage worker movement “fight for 15.” One labor organizer got out a few whistles, then came back and insisted on taking 100 whistles, which she distributed in a few minutes.   

From there the march wound around until we were in a very upscale neighborhood, with mansions on Lake Mendota. The destination was Governor Scott Walker’s house. One young Black woman remarked, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.” The neighbors didn’t exactly come out and welcome us. More speeches were made in front of his mansion. The mother and brother of Dontre Hamilton spoke. Dontre was a mentally challenged man who was accosted at a public park in Milwaukee by a cop and shot 14 times. An "independent investigation" as required by Wisconsin law was completed with the verdict "justifiable homicide." Nate Hamilton, Dontre's brother, in particular was angry, and sharp. He looked behind himself at the governor’s mansion, and noted “they haven’t done anything, not anything.” His mother is calling for a national protest around “mothers for justice united” in DC in May.

Carl Dix, by popular demand, made a short statement about the relationship between what has been happening in Madison and #ShutDownA14.




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

DeKalb County, Georgia: Anger at Police Murder of Unarmed Anthony Hill: It's Time to Stand Up!

March 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From the Atlanta Revolution Club:

On Monday March 9, Anthony Hill, a 27-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by white DeKalb County (in the Atlanta metro area) police officer Robert Olson. Hill, known by his friends as Tony, was met by police after a neighbor reported that he was walking around the apartment complex naked and confused. Rather than trying to help him, the pig fired two shots into Tony’s chest, leaving him on the ground naked for over an hour as friends and neighbors begged them to cover his body as children got off their school buses. The cop claimed that Tony “lunged” at him, leading him to shoot him dead—however even the DeKalb County Chief of Police had to admit that Tony was unarmed. The cop was carrying a Taser and pepper spray, but instead chose to reach for his gun and take Tony’s life.

According to local news reports, Hill was in the Army and served a tour in Afghanistan before being medically discharged. Some reports also claim that he struggled with bi-polar disorder and his Twitter posts seem to support that claim. His posts on social media and accounts from his friends and neighbors who spoke with the Revolution Club Tuesday, also show a kind, loving person who was deeply concerned about the police killing Black and brown youth. Several of his recent posts ended with #blacklivesmatter.

Tuesday, the day after Tony’s murder, the Atlanta Revolution Club went to his neighborhood. When we got there we unfurled a massive Stop Mass Incarceration Network banner with the names and images of dozens of people slain by the police. Most of Tony’s neighbors are Latino, but despite some language and cultural barriers, they really seemed to love and respect him.

Within minutes we were surrounded by middle and high school youth on skateboards asking questions and reading the banner. They took handfuls of #ShutdownA14 stickers. A lot of people expressed that the police “treated them like garbage.” An older woman in the crowd said they had been stepped on too many times and that it was time to stand up. The youth helped translate what the revolutionaries were saying to older folks and vice-versa.

Finally, about 40-50 mostly youth gathered as we marched through the complex chanting: Policías Asesinos, ¡No Mas! and Police Murder, No More! Several youth, including a young woman that was a friend of Tony’s took the megaphone, leading chants and calling people from their apartments out into the street – and they listened. Nearly every TV news station in the city rushed to catch the impromptu demonstration.

We stayed and talked with people in the neighborhood about the importance of stepping up resistance at this moment and not allowing the system to get away with this murder. Many of the residents said that they wanted to see the cop tried for murder and expressed some worry about resisting when many people are already under the gun due to their immigration status. We talked about how important it would be to bring together people from in and outside the neighborhood of multiple nationalities to demand justice, blow the whistle, and prepare for April 14. Together we decided to call for people to come to Tony’s neighborhood Saturday to BLOW THE WHISTLE ON POLICE MURDER and march into the broader community. The youth said that they would announce the event at school and several people mentioned taking it to their churches. A young woman told us how people at school had been encouraging her to protest for justice for Tony, but she had thought “me and what army?” As we left she said, “Now that I’ve met you all, I have my army.”

Tonight (Wednesday) there was a march and die-in with about 200 people in downtown Decatur (the Dekalb County seat) for Anthony Hill.

One more reason to SHUT IT DOWN on APRIL 14!




Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

NYC: Going Out to High Schools to Build for March 14 Whistle Day

March 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From the NYC Revolution Club:

The last two days a couple of us have been going out to high schools in Harlem to build for March 13 and 14 national day to blow the whistle on murdering pigs. It is hard to even get down the street while carrying an enlarged poster of victims of police murder, the centerfold from the current issue of Revolution showing many faces of people unjustly killed by police. The poster is 40" x 60" so just imagine walking down the street with this. People stop you constantly. One older Black man said "Let me see. What? All those?" We said this is just a few. He said "what is happening in this world? Everybody killing each other." A young revolutionary said "we need revolution." He said "that's what it will probably take."

So far, we have been out to school 2 mornings this week. The kids are very sleepy but many greeted the #ShutdownA14 stickers with delight—almost everyone took them. We were seeing lots of familiar faces, getting their names. This was the same area we organizing youth last year for October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality and the November 15 Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian. We saw a young woman we met building for the dialogue, she signed up her friends for March 13 and 14. They were getting whistles, running around blowing them. We met 2 youth who had gotten tickets for November 15 dialogue but didn't come. One is from journalism class and he took stickers for others. Another is a young gay guy who hangs out with young women.

There is a developing enthusiasm for March 14 and April 14 at this school. There was notable joy in faces of some, especially young men, as I said, "Wear the sticker! Stop murder by police." We agitated some about the police killing of Tony Robinson in Madison and the righteous protests—what was happening there right now with thousands of students walking out, and what needed to happen here on April 14. Several young women gave us their names.

Another young man in bright green pants, a fashionable young man, came back after looking at the sticker and said "I want to do this!" and gave us his name. One thing we noted, a lot of people we have been meeting over the last period knew about the Cornel-BA Dialogue—some came and others didn't but for people in this area of Harlem, the dialogue is a reference point.

A young white woman with 2 little girls stopped. She works with Occupy and goes out to Rikers Island prison complex. She said she recognized us from a demo at Staten Island where we spoke. She lives in a shelter and said she is always getting reported for organizing occupants. She took a pile of flyers to get out on the train.

In the community around the schools, many people stopped. A young Black woman, not high school age but maybe late teens or early 20s, was very outraged. "I want to help with this." An orthodox Jewish man came by and pointed to the poster and said "This is terrible! This is so bad!" He called on other people to look at the poster. An old Black woman with a cane going across the street said to him "Yes sir, it hasn't been easy for us. This is what we've been facing for hundreds of years." This was significant, both that the man was so concerned and that the poster opened that exchange between people.

At end of day, one of us ran into an old friend from his working at warehouse days. He talked about all his police encounters since they had seen each other. He is like someone from the book On the Run... cops know him and constantly go after him.

At the high school, one Black student with a group of friends said, "If they get me, I want my picture up on that poster!", pointing to the enlarged centerfold. Noche from the Revolution Club said, "We want to stop this! We don't want you on that poster!" The guy turned around as he went upstairs and threw his arms up in the air in a joyful way with big smile on his face. This was a palpable expression of youth feeling they have no future under this system, and a recognition of people's humanity. At the same time, we refuse to accept this future for our youth—we WILL put an end to this!






Revolution #377 March 9, 2015

The Dogs Are Still in the Street

This Is Not the Time to Pull Back or Go on the Defensive

by Carl Dix

March 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


This is a time when we have to be crystal clear about what's going on and what's really needed. Two cops were shot in Ferguson on Wednesday, March 13. Not enough is known to be sure of exactly what happened, who did it, or why. I'm not going to engage in speculation about any of that. But this I do know:

The problem was and is that the front-line enforcers for this system—the police—continue to get away with brutalizing and murdering people. This is part of an overall program of suppression targeting Black and Latino people in this country that has a genocidal thrust. I've seen this system's enforcers steal the lives of people here and around the world, and I've dedicated my life to working to STOP it.

People who are standing up against a genocide have no reason to be defensive about doing that. What they are doing is right, and they should continue to do it and be boldly calling on more people to join them, not becoming defensive or backing off from their righteous stand!

Learn more HERE.

Talk about moratoriums on protests is straight up wrong and should not be listened to or spread. Anyone calling for people to help the cops interrogate protesters or carry out raids in search of suspects should be ashamed of themselves.

The dogs are still in the streets, and they are carrying out vicious attacks, especially on Black and Latino people—sections of people this system hates and fears. Right now, everyone who cares about justice must continue and step up building resistance to these attacks. This is needed right now, and it needs to be done building up to and manifesting in powerful outpourings of resistance on April 14 that disrupt business as usual all across the country because that business as usual includes police getting away with murdering Black and Latino people.