Revolution #399, August 10, 2015 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

From A World To Win News Service

Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The world's worst war crime and the countries willing to do it again

August 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



3 August 2015. A World to Win News Service. "That fateful summer, 8:15. The roar of a B-29 breaks the morning calm. A parachute opens in the blue sky. Then suddenly, a flash, an enormous blast – silence – hell on earth.

Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima

Children fleeing firestorm in Hiroshima

Firestorm over Hiroshima

Above: Survivors fleeing the firestorm after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, 1945.

"The eyes of young girls watching the parachute melted. Their faces became giant charred blisters. The skin of people seeking help dangled from their fingernails. Their hair stood on end. Their clothes were ripped to shreds. People trapped in houses toppled by the blast were burned alive. Others died when their eyes and internal organs burst from their bodies. Hiroshima was a hell where those who somehow survived envied the dead." (From the 6 August 2007 memorial statement by Hiroshima mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, in a plea to rid the world of all nuclear weapons)

"A woman who covered her eyes from the flash lowered her hands to find the skin of her face had melted into her palms... Hundreds of field workers and others staggered by, moaning and crying. Some were missing body parts, and others were so badly burned that even though they were naked, Yoshida couldn't tell if they were men or women. He saw one person whose eyeballs hung down from his face, the sockets empty." (From Nagasaki, Life After Nuclear War, by Susan Southard, Viking, 2015)

Seventy years ago the United States became the first and only country to ever use nuclear weapons.

On 6 August 1945, an American bomber dropped a nuclear device over a hospital in Hiroshima, a Japanese city with little military significance. The bomb was attached to a parachute and set to go off high in the air to maximize the number of people who would be exposed to lethal radiation. About 140,000 city residents were killed or so badly injured they died within a few months.

When informed about the blast he had ordered, U.S. President Harry Truman gleefully exclaimed, "This is the greatest thing in history." To show just how "great" the atomic bomb was, three days later, on 9 August, the U.S. dropped another one, destroying the city of Nagasaki and killing another 70,000 people. Many years of suffering from cancer and other ills caused by radiation poisoning lay ahead for the survivors and their children. Susan Southard's new book, based on interviews with survivors over the last decade, recounts how some were so monstrously disfigured that children would run away from them. The fact that about 192,000 victims are still alive shows that this is not ancient history.

The U.S. occupied Japan after the war ended shortly after, and suppressed news articles recounting the horror that had occurred. Instead, newspapers like the New York Times parroted official lies, denying the existence of radiation sickness and downplaying the seriousness and special nature of the devastation caused by atomic weapons – which the U.S. government was then considering using on the USSR. The general in charge of developing the atom bomb told Congress that death by radiation was "a very pleasant way to die."

The U.S. unleashed the nuclear era in the closing days of the Second World War. Germany had already surrendered. Japan's economy had been destroyed and its capital fire-bombed into ashes; its military had been dealt decisive defeats. Many historians believe that Japan would have surrendered without the atomic bombing. The purpose of the bombing was not just to make sure that the U.S. and its allies won the war, but even more, to make sure that the U.S. and the U.S. alone would benefit from Japan's surrender.

The U.S. was determined not to let the Soviet Union prevent it from stepping into Japan's shoes as the top colonial power in Asia. The USSR was still a socialist country then, although a decade later it would take a different path. It had been allied with the U.S. during the war against Germany and Japan, but even before the war was over the U.S. was baring its teeth to the USSR and setting out to dominate much of the world.

The USSR is no more but the U.S. and other countries still threaten the world with nuclear holocaust. The U.S., UK, France, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel hold thousands of nuclear warheads and the missiles, aircraft and submarines to use them. (Note: This list does not include Iran, despite the hysteria stoked by Truman's successor as U.S. president, Barack Obama.)

When Obama was campaigning for president in 2008, he promised he would seek nuclear disarmament. The committee that awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize the following year cited the agreement for a "nuclear-free world" he signed with Russia. (If Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize for this, so did Russian president Vladimir Putin.)

Yet the treaty sought no such thing. It permitted the two sides to each retain 1,550 strategic nuclear weapons deployed and ready to go, not counting those in storage. (Russia already had less than that.) Many are vastly more powerful than the bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The thousands of tactical nuclear weapons not covered by the treaty are, in some ways, even more dangerous than the strategic ones, because their use is envisioned in ordinary official military doctrine, and once a nuclear exchange begins, no one can say how it will end. A nuclear world war is not now on the horizon, as it was at several points during the height of U.S.-Soviet contention for world domination in the 1960s through the 1980s, but still, the only reason to have nukes is to be able to use them.

Although the arms race between the U.S. and Russia today is no longer about an ever-accumulating stockpile of nuclear bombs, Obama has launched a trillion-dollar campaign to modernize his country's atomic bomb-making facilities, produce new or refurbished missiles, submarines and bombers to use them, and update existing warheads. Russia is reported to be updating its nuclear delivery vehicles. Similar efforts are being carried out by the UK (the modernisation of its nuclear arsenal and a new fleet of Trident ballistic missile submarines) and France (new air-to-ground nuclear-tipped missiles). Rather than working to consign nuclear weapons to the past, these programmes are meant to ensure their usability far into the future. 

When asked to explain Obama's apparent turn-around, an advisor pointed to "Putin's invasion of Ukraine." (New York Times, 21 September 2014) This is a perfect example of the Cold War posture when each of the two imperialist superpowers was ready to risk destroying the world rather than lose the contest to run it. The implicit threat to use nuclear weapons to "protect" Ukraine – in other words, to keep Russia from challenging U.S. geo-political interests – is completely insane from the viewpoint of the interests of the population of Ukraine and the world.

As for combating Islamist terrorism, the current pretext for U.S. and European military intervention in the Middle East, if terrorism is defined as the killing of innocent civilians for a political purpose, then there has seldom been a terrorist act more horrendous in its consequences or on a bigger scale than the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


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






Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

A World to Win News Service

From John Hersey's Hiroshima

August 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



3 August 2015. A World to Win News Service. The American novelist and journalist John Hersey arrived in Hiroshima after the 6 August 1945 bombing, and returned again the following year to conduct interviews for a magazine article and later a book that helped open the eyes of several generations. It was banned in Japan under the American occupation. The following excerpts from his Hiroshima (Penguin Classics, 2001) focus on the accounts told by two survivors.

At exactly 8.15 am, on 6 August 1945, Japanese time, at the moment when the atomic bomb flashed above Hiroshima, Toshiko Sasaki, a clerk in the personnel department of the East Asia Tin Works, had just sat down at her place in the plant office and was turning her head to speak to the girl at the next desk.

Photos and captions below are taken from material collected as part of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Physical Damage Division, conducted by the U.S. government in the wake of the horrific destruction and death in Hiroshima as a result of the U.S. nuclear attack. A group of 1,150 military personnel and civilians, including photographers, were sent to record the destruction. The photos reveal and reflect the mission of the survey—to learn from this horrible war crime in order to commit more war crimes. Read more


United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Physical Damage Division
[Flash-burned asphalt on Bridge 20 over the Motoyasu River, Hiroshima],
October 26, 1945


United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Physical Damage Division
[Charred boy's jacket found near Hiroshima City Hall], November 5, 1945


United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Physical Damage Division
[Remains of a school building], November 17, 1945

At that same moment, Dr Masakazu Fujii was settling down cross-legged to read his newspaper on the porch of his private hospital, overhanging one of the seven deltaic rivers which divide Hiroshima. Hatsuyo Nakamura, a tailor's widow, stood by the window of her kitchen, watching a neighbour tearing down his house because it lay in the path of an air-raid-defence fire lane. Father Wilhelm Kleinsorge, a German priest of the Society of Jesus, reclined in his underwear on a cot on the top floor of his order's three-story mission house, reading a Jesuit magazine. Dr Terufumi Sasaki, a young member of the surgical staff of the city's large, modern Red Cross Hospital (no relation to Miss Sasaki), walked along one of the hospital corridors with a blood specimen in his hand. And the Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto, pastor of the Hiroshima Methodist Church, paused at the door of a rich man's house in Koi, the city's western suburb, and prepared to unload a handcart full of things he had evacuated from town in fear of the massive B-29 raid which everyone expected Hiroshima to suffer.

A hundred thousand people were killed by the atomic bomb, and these six were among the survivors. Later, they wondered why they lived when so many others died. Each of them counted many small items of chance or volition – a step taken in time, a decision to go indoors, catching one street-car instead of the next – that spared him. And afterwards each knew that, in the act of survival, he had lived a dozen lives and had seen more death than he ever thought he would see.

At the time, none of them knew anything. Then a tremendous flash of light cut across the sky. Reverend Tanimoto has a distinct recollection that it travelled from east to west, from the city toward the hills. It seemed a sheet of sun. Both he and his friend Mr Matsuo reacted in terror – they had time to react for they were 3,500 yards, or two miles, from the centre of the explosion. Matsuo dashed up the front steps into the house and dived among the bedrolls and buried himself there. Reverend Tanimoto took four or five steps and threw himself between two big rocks in the garden. He bellied up hard against one of them. As his face was against the stone, he did not see what happened. He felt a sudden pressure, and then splinters and pieces of board and fragments of tile fell on him. He heard no roar. (Almost no one in Hiroshima recalls hearing any noise of the bomb.)

When he dared, Reverend Tanimoto raised his head and saw that the rich man"s house had collapsed. He thought a bomb had fallen directly on it. Such clouds of dust had risen that there was a sort of twilight around. In panic, not thinking for the moment of Matsuo under the ruins, he dashed out into the street. In the street, the first thing he saw was a squad of soldiers who had been burrowing into the hillside opposite, making one of the thousands of dugouts in which the Japanese apparently intended to resist invasion, hill by hill, life for life. The soldiers were coming out of the hole, where they should have been safe, and blood was running from their heads, chests, and backs. They were silent and dazed. Under what seemed to be a local dust cloud, the day grew darker and darker.

Hatsuyo Nakamura had not had an easy time. Her husband, Isawa, had gone into the army just after the youngest of her three children, Myeko, was born, and she had heard nothing from or of him for a long time, until, on 5 March 1942, she received a seven-word telegram: "Isawa died an honourable death at Singapore." Isawa had been a not particularly prosperous tailor, and his only capital was a Sankoku sewing machine. After his death, Nakamura got out the machine and began to take in piecework herself, and since then had supported the children, but poorly, by sewing.

As Nakamura stood in her kitchen watching her neighbour, everything flashed whiter than any white she had ever seen. She did not notice what happened to the man next door; the reflex of a mother set her in motion toward her children. She had taken a single step (the house was about [1,350 yards] from the centre of the explosion) when something picked her up and she seemed to fly into the next room over the raised sleeping platform, pursued by parts of her house.

Timbers fell around her as she landed, and a shower of tiles pummelled her; everything became dark, for she was buried. The debris did not cover her deeply. She rose up and freed herself. She heard a child cry, "Mother, help me!" and saw Myeko, the five-year-old, buried up to her breast and unable to move. As Nakamura started frantically to claw her way toward the child, she could see or hear nothing of her other children...

From the mound, Reverend Tanimoto saw an astonishing panorama. Not just a patch of Koi, as he had expected, but as much of Hiroshima as he could see through the clouded air was giving off a thick, dreadful miasma. Clumps of smoke, near and far, had begun to push up through the general dust. He wondered how such extensive damage could have been dealt out of a silent sky; even a few planes far up would have been audible.

Houses nearby were burning, and when huge drops of water the size of marbles began to fall, he half-thought that they must be coming from the hoses of firemen fighting the blazes. (They were actually drops of condensed moisture falling from the turbulent tower of dust, heat and fission fragments that had already risen miles into the sky above Hiroshima.) Reverend Tanimoto thought of his wife and baby, his church, his home, his parishioners, all of them down in that awful murk. Once more he began to run in fear toward the city.

Hatsuyo Nakamura, the tailor's widow, having struggled up from under the ruins of her house after the explosion, and seeing Myeko, the youngest of her three children, buried breast-deep and unable to move, crawled across the debris, hauled at timbers and flung tiles aside, in a hurried effort to free the child. Then, from what seemed to be caverns far below, she heard two small voices crying, "Tasukete! Tasukete! Help! Help!"

She called the names of her 10-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter: "Toshio! Yaeko!" The voices from below answered.

Nakamura abandoned Myeko, who at least could breathe, and in a frenzy made the wreckage fly above the crying voices. The children had been sleeping about three metres apart, but now their voices seemed to come from the same place. Toshio, the boy, apparently had some freedom to move, because she could feel him undermining the pile of wood and tiles as she worked from above. At last she saw his head, and she hastily pulled him out by it. A mosquito net was wound intricately, as if it had been carefully wrapped, around his feet. He said he had been blown right across the room and had been on top of his sister Yaeko under the wreckage. She now said, from underneath, that she could not move, because there was something on her legs. With a bit more digging, Nakamura cleared a hole above the child and began to pull her arm. "Itai! It hurts!" Yaeko cried. Nakamura shouted, "There's no time now to say whether it hurts or not," and yanked her whimpering daughter up. Then she freed Myeko. The children were filthy and bruised, but none of them had a single cut or scratch.

Nakamura took the children out into the street. They had nothing on but underpants, and, although the day was very hot, she worried rather confusedly about their being cold, so she went back into the wreckage and burrowed underneath and found a bundle of clothes she had packed for an emergency, and she dressed them in pants, blouses, shoes, padded cotton air-raid helmets called bokuzuki, and even, irrationally, overcoats. The children were silent, except for the five-year-old, Myeko, who kept asking questions: "Why is it night already? Why did our house fall down? What happened?" Nakamura, who did not know what had happened, looked around and saw through the darkness that all the houses in her neighbourhood had collapsed. The house next door, which its owner had been tearing down to make way for a fire lane, was now very thoroughly, if crudely, torn down; its owner, who had been sacrificing his home for the community's safety, lay dead...

After crossing Koi Bridge and Kannon Bridge, having run the whole way, Reverend Tanimoto saw, as he approached the centre, that all the houses had been crushed and many were afire. So impressed was he by this time by the extent of the damage that he ran north two miles to Gion, a suburb in the foothills. At Gion, he bore toward the right bank of the main river, the Ota, and ran down it until he reached fire again. Near a large Shinto shrine, he came to more fire, and as he turned left to get around it, he met, by incredible luck, his wife. She was carrying their infant daughter. Reverend Tanimoto was now so emotionally worn out that nothing could surprise him. He did not embrace his wife; he simply said, "Oh, you are safe." She told him that she had been buried under the parsonage with the baby in her arms. The wreckage had pressed down on her, and the baby had cried. She saw a chink of light and, by reaching up with a hand, she worked the hole bigger, bit by bit. After about half an hour, she heard the crackling noise of wood burning. At last, the opening was big enough for her to push the baby out, and afterwards she crawled out herself. She said she was now going out to Ushida. Tanimoto said he wanted to see his church and take care of the people of his neighbourhood association. They parted as casually – as bewildered – as they had met.

All day, people poured into Asano Park. Hatsuyo Nakamura and her children were among the first to arrive, and they settled in the bamboo grove near the river. They all felt terribly thirsty, and they drank from the river. At once they were nauseated and began vomiting, and they retched the whole day. Others were also nauseated; they all thought (probably because of the strong odour of ionisation, an "electric smell" given off by the bomb's fission) that they were sick from a gas the Americans had dropped. When Father Kleinsorge and the other priests came into the park, the Nakamuras were all sick and prostrate. A woman named Iwasaki, who lived in the neighbourhood of the mission and who was sitting near the Nakamuras, got up and asked the priests if she should stay where she was or go with them. Father Kleinsorge said, "I hardly know where the safest place is." She stayed there, and later in the day, though she had no visible wounds or burns, she died.

When Reverend Tanimoto, with his basin still in his hand, reached the park, it was very crowded, and to distinguish the living from the dead was not easy, for most of the people lay still, with their eyes open. To Father Kleinsorge, the silence in the grove by the river, where hundreds of gruesomely wounded suffered together, was one of the most dreadful phenomena of his whole experience. No one wept, much less screamed in pain; no one complained; not even the children cried; very few people even spoke. And when Father Kleinsorge gave water to some whose faces had been almost blotted out by flash burns, they took their share and then raised themselves a little and bowed to him in thanks...

As she dressed on the morning of 20 August, in the home of her sister-in-law in Kabe, not far from Nagatsuka, Nakamura, who had suffered no cuts or burns at all, though she had been rather nauseated, began fixing her hair and noticed, after one stroke, that her comb carried with it a whole handful of hair; the second time, the same thing happened, so she stopped combing at once. But in the next three or four days, her hair kept falling out of its own accord, until she was quite bald. She began living indoors, practically in hiding. On August 26, both she and her younger daughter, Myeko, woke up feeling extremely weak and tired, and they stayed on their bedrolls. Her son and other daughter, who had shared every experience with her during and after the bombing, felt fine. At about the same time, Tanimoto fell suddenly ill with a general malaise, weariness, and feverishness. These four did not realise it, but they were coming down with the strange, capricious disease which came to be known as radiation sickness...

A year after the bomb was dropped, Toshiko Sasaki was a cripple; Hatsuyou Nakamura was destitute; Father Kleinsorge was back in hospital; Dr Sasaki was incapable of the work he once could do; Dr Fujii had lost the 30-room hospital it took him many years to acquire, and had no prospects of rebuilding it. Reverend Tanimoto's church had been ruined and he no longer had his exceptional vitality. The lives of these six people, who were among the luckiest in Hiroshima, would never be the same...

It would be impossible to say what horrors were embedded in the minds of the children who lived through the day of the bombing in Hiroshima. On the surface, their recollections, months after the disaster, were of an exhilarating adventure. Toshio Nakamura, who was 10 at the time of the bombing, was soon able to talk freely, even gaily, about the experience, and a few weeks before the anniversary he wrote the following matter-of-fact essay for his teacher at Noboricho primary school: "The day before the bomb, I went for a swim. In the morning, I was eating peanuts. I saw a light. I was knocked to little sister's sleeping place. When we were saved, I could only see as far as the tram. My mother and I started to pack our things. The neighbours were walking around burned and bleeding. Hetaya-san told me to run away with her. I said I wanted to wait for my mother. We went to the park. A whirlwind came. At night a gas tank burned and I saw the reflection in the river. We stayed in the park one night. Next day I went to Taiko bridge and met my girl friends Kikuki and Murakami. They were looking for their mothers. But Kikuki's mother was wounded and Murakami's mother, alas was dead."





Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Jackson, Mississippi:

People’s Hearing for Abortion on Demand and Without Apology

August 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Diane Derzis

Diane Derzis, owner of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization—the only remaining abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi

Sunsara Taylor, correspondent for Revolution and an initiator of Stop Patriarchy

Stop Patriarchy volunteers present awards of appreciation to the owner, staff, and defenders of the Jackson Women’s Health Center


A powerful, inspiring People's Hearing for Abortion on Demand & Without Apology was broadcast Live from Mississippi. It was organized by Stop Patriarchy (, and included important participation by the owner, staff, and volunteers from the Jackson Women’s Health Organization—the “Pink House”—the only remaining abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi.

One highlight of the Livestream broadcast is the experience of Stop Patriarchy volunteers from around the country who have been taking out the dynamic pamphlet, “A Fetus Is Not a Baby.” There are stories and videos bringing home the impact of connecting the science and morality behind the need for women to have the right to abortion with men and women—particularly poor and Black people in Jackson.

The event closed with substantial presentations from Diane Derzis, owner of the clinic, and Sunsara Taylor who is a correspondent for Revolution and an initiator of Stop Patriarchy on the state of the battle to defend abortion rights, and how to wage that struggle.

Watch the whole event below! And contribute to the important work of Stop Patriarchy at









Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Chicago, August 5: Which Side Are You On?/Rise Up October National Speaking Tour Holds Press Conference Outside Police HQ

Updated August 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following is a short report about the press conference. Read a fuller account of the press conference here.


On Wednesday, August 5, the Which Side Are You On?/Rise Up October National Tour held a press conference at the Chicago Police Department headquarters at 35th and Michigan Streets. This tour is aimed at reaching thousands with the word of Which Side Are You On?/Rise Up October in New York City against police terror and murder and organizing many people to build for and be in New York City on October 24. (For more on Rise Up October go here.) The national tour hit the ground in Cleveland a couple of weeks ago—and will be in Chicago till August 7, when it heads to Ferguson for the events marking one year since the police murder of Michael Brown and the uprising that followed.

At the Chicago press conference, Carl Dix—representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party and co-founder with Cornel West of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network—was joined by people whose loved ones were killed by police, and others. Speaking at the conference were Carl Dix; Mertilla Jones, grandmother of seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, murdered by Detroit police in 2010; Andrea Irwin and Sharon Irwin, mother and grandmother of Tony Robinson, murdered by Madison, Wisconsin police; Latoya Howell, mother of Justice Howell, murdered by Zion, Illinois police; Joshua Lopez, nephew of John Collado, murdered by NYPD; Hannibal Saleem Ali, uncle of Anjustine Hunter, murdered by Memphis, Tennessee police; Raymond Richards of Brothers Standing Together; and Rev. Gregg Greer, from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and president of Freedom First International. An excerpt was read from a statement sent to the press conference from Ted Jennings, PhD, professor of Biblical and Philosophical Theology at Chicago Theological Seminary.

Video: special to revcom

Carl Dix said about the Rise Up October: "We're going to be involving thousands upon thousands of people, manifesting in New York City, delivering a message to the country, and to the whole world, that this green light to cops who brutalize and murder is unacceptable. It must be stopped, and we're going to be acting to stop it." (The quotes from Carl Dix and other participants are from the coverage at See video of press conference at right.)

Andrea Irwin—whose unarmed 19-year-old son, Tony Robinson, was shot and killed by a Madison cop in March—said: "My son needed help. He didn't need gunshots. We need justice. These police officers think it's OK to open fire on these people, take their lives and go on with theirs, they need to know that they have to be held accountable for their actions." also quoted Mertilla Jones, grandmother of 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones who was killed by Detroit police during a raid at her home in 2010: "I'm (here) all the way from Detroit trying to spread Aiyana's story. I refuse to let her memory die, because she didn't die, she was murdered... We gotta take a stand. There's power in numbers. More people need to get up, get out and be about progress toward stopping police brutality."

Also quoted by was Cynthia Lane, whose 19-year-old son, Roshad McIntosh, was murdered by Chicago police almost a year ago last August: "I'm gonna keep fighting until I get justice for my son, because they killed him for no reason. I'm not gonna stop until I get justice, because there were too many people out there that...witnessed that my son did not have a gun, as the police said. They shot him while his hands were up. He begged for his life, and they still shot and killed him."

Check back for further updates from the Chicago leg of the Which Side Are You On?/Rise Up October National Tour.

Chicago Press Conference - Which Side Are Your On?/Rise Up October National Speaking Tour, August 5, 2015

Which Side Are You On?/Rise Up October National Speaking Tour in front of the Chicago Police Department Headquarters, August 5. Photo: Special to Revolution/








Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Chicago #RiseUpOctober Press Conference: Diversity of Forces, Determination to STOP the Horror of Murder by Police

August 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Video: special to revcom

The August 5 Which Side Are You On?/Rise Up October national tour press conference, right in front of the headquarters of the Chicago Police Department, took place on the one-year anniversary of the police murder of John Crawford at the Wal-Mart in Beaver Creek, Ohio. Also, this month marks 60 years since the lynching of Emmett Till, and this weekend is the one-year anniversary of the murder of Mike Brown.

At the Chicago press conference, Carl Dix—representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party and co-founder with Cornel West of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network—was joined by people whose loved ones were killed by police, and others. Speaking at the conference were Carl Dix; Mertilla Jones, grandmother of seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, whose life was taken by Detroit police in 2010; Andrea Irwin and Sharon Irwin, mother and grandmother of Tony Robinson, murdered by Madison, Wisconsin police; Latoya Howell, mother of Justus Howell, murdered by Zion, Illinois police; Joshua Lopez, nephew of John Collado, murdered by NYPD; Hannibal Saleem Ali, uncle of Anjustine Hunter, murdered by Memphis, Tennessee police; Raymond Richards of Brothers Standing Together; and Rev. Gregg Greer, from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and president of Freedom First International. An excerpt was read from a statement sent to the press conference from Ted Jennings, PhD, professor of Biblical and Philosophical Theology at Chicago Theological Seminary.

Carl Dix said afterwards that there were two key things about this press conference: "One was the way it showed in embryo the diversity of the forces taking up #RiseUpOctober—family members of police murder victims, religious leaders, revolutionaries, community activists. The speakers at the press conference included Blacks, whites and Latinos. The other was the determination of those who spoke to STOP the horror of police getting away with murder and the sense that a huge outpouring of people in NYC on October 24 would be a big step toward doing that. This was put forward in especially moving ways by the family members who spoke."

Others who have lost loved ones to murder by police joined those who spoke. They included Gloria Pinex, mother of Darius, murdered by Chicago police in 2011; the mother of toddler Dillan Harris, recently killed by a motorist who was being chased by Chicago police; Cynthia Lane, mother of Roshad McIntosh, who was murdered by Chicago police in 2014.

The gathering of family members was both heartbreaking and inspiring. Their shared grief and outrage, their support for each other and their call for everyone to stand up and stop police murder so that no other family would ever have to face what they have faced. They bear the burden of deep loss made worse by insults and lies from the same system that stole the lives of their loved ones. In the face of a system that is trying to choke them with injustice, they are turning their grief into great strength to fight for justice.

Chicago Press Conference - Which Side Are Your On?/Rise Up October National Speaking Tour, August 5, 2015

Which Side Are You On?/Rise Up October National Speaking Tour in front of the Chicago Police Department Headquarters, August 5. Photo: Special to Revolution/

Carl Dix opened the press conference, saying in part, “Just in the past few weeks, Sandra Bland, Sam Dubose, Rakina Jones in Cleveland, and many more people have lost their lives at the hands of law enforcement. There has been a level of resistance to police terror that this country hasn’t seen in decades. But with all of that resistance the killings continue. And the killer cops continue to be exonerated.

“October 24 in New York City is going to address that. We need to take the resistance to this horror to a much higher level. We’re going to be involving thousands upon thousands of people. Delivering a message to the whole country and to the whole world that this green light to cops who brutalize and murder is unacceptable, it must be stopped and we’re gonna be acting to stop it.

“I’m a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party. We see this official violence as something that is rooted in the fabric of this system and that has been there from the very beginning. From when they dragged the first Africans to these shores in chains and carried out a genocide against the native inhabitants. Up thorough the lynching and segregation of the old Jim Crow era and right down to today where cops and guns have replaced lynch mobs and lynching ropes. We see that it’s going to take revolution–nothing less to end this once and for all and that is something that the party that I’m in and its leader Bob Avakian are working to bring about. Not only to end this horror but all the other horrors this system brings down. And anybody who wants to see this ended once and for all—we urge them to get with the movement for revolution we’re building.

 “But everybody—whatever you think about revolution—everybody needs to be a part of saying ‘police getting away with murder must stop,’ and that’s the message we’re going to take all over Chicago."

Andrea Irwin, whose 19-year-old son Tony Robinson was murdered by police in March 2015, spoke next: “These police are going in and killing people and they’re making up the same exact story. We need to see that this isn’t right, this isn’t justice. My son needed help, he didn’t need gunshots. We need justice. These police officers that think it’s ok to open fire on people, take their lives and go on with theirs—they need to know that they have to be held accountable for their actions. The police departments and the entire cities that represent and stand behind these police officers need to be held accountable. This going to New York, for me, is to make sure that on a national level we start to make some form of a difference. Because if we all stand up together and say that this has to change, they will have to pay attention. And it is power by numbers.”

Latoya Howell, whose 17-year-old son Justus Howell was murdered by police in March this year said, “I want to start off by saying injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere. They continue to murder our youth with no remorse. I’m asking you as a community, in our neighborhoods—stand up and don’t just sit behind the television or the computer and wait for someone else to give you their victimized story....Stand up now! Choose a side. Support this because without numbers we have nothing. We need more than just sympathy. Sympathy gets us nowhere but more tears. More bloodshed. We need to stand and stop the police brutality.... My son can’t stand here for himself right now. I vow to stand every day of my life for him and those who have been murdered by police. I can’t do it alone. It could have been your son. It could have been your mama. It could have been your sister, your brother. You think it can’t happen to me—I was one of those—but it did happen. We have to put a stop to it. Challenge the government. If it’s for the people, by the people, then let the people stand. We need to be heard, we need to come in unison. Stand up! Stand for something or fall for anything. I stand. I will stand for justice for our youth. Justice for our Latinos, Blacks, whites—we have to fight, take stands and plant your feet in the ground and let them know we won’t be pushed over.”

Mertilla Jones, grandmother of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, said: “May 16, 2010 the Detroit police did a raid on my house.... They kicked in my door, threw a flashbang... As soon as Officer Joseph Weekly entered the house, he shot Aiyana in the head. He still today claims that I grabbed his gun. I was way on the other side of the room, laying n the floor spread-eagled. I lay on the floor screaming ‘Y’all done killed my granddaughter!’ I lay on the floor and Iwatched the life and the light go out of Aiyana’s eyes.... We have to be leaders. Everybody is sitting around saying, ‘Oh, we should do something about this.’ Get off your ass! C’mon now. I came all this way from Detroit to tell Aiyana’s story. She didn’t just die, she was murdered!... We’ve gotta take a stand. Like the other families said before me, there is power in numbers. More people have to get up and get out and be about stopping police brutality and police killing.”

Rev. Gregg Greer, from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Freedom First International: “We are tired. We want change. Change has to start now. We’re not asking you. This is a declaration and a call for unity. As we come together, as we pull together, we will find justice.”

Raymond Richard, of Brothers Standing Together, a group working with released prisoners: “People talk about ‘Black-on-Black crime.’ That is a major concern. But an even larger concern is that the people who are supposed to serve and protect us are also perpetuating violence throughout the country. We cannot rise up as a people if we don’t stand united. We cannot get the job done by standing on the sidelines watching as Rekia Boyd, as 19-year-old Roshad McIntosh or a 7-year-old child are being slaughtered by the people who swore to serve and protect them. If we want to get the job done we understand there are going to be some risks involved, we understand there are going to be some sacrifices involved. Who here is willing to stand to make a sacrifice for the people? We have been quiet too long, we have been paralyzed too long.”

Joshua Lopez, the nephew of John Collado, killed by the NYPD: “I’m trying to bring awareness. We need October. We need people to rise up. Because if we leave it up to the system there’s nothing going to happen. They’re going to keep killing us. So I think October 24 Rise Up is really very important. We need everybody to come out to New York.”

Hannibal Saleem Ali, uncle of Anjustine Hunter: “My nephew was killed in Memphis, shot down like an animal. He had no weapon. They tried to sweep it under the rug. He was college-bound, his life was snuffed out before it could begin. We’re talking about human beings. Every life is precious!”

Sharon Irwin: “I want to say that the police murdered my grandson [Tony Robinson]. They tried to make him look like a criminal but he wasn’t. I heard the officer testify personally to what happened, and it is nothing like the statement he made days later after the DCI showed him all the evidence, walked him through the scene of the crime and allowed him to rewrite his first statement. We are one people. We are the human race. There are 7 billion of us. If we stand up who could stop us? No one!”

Learn more about Rise Up October

Carl Dix took the mike to wind up the press conference: “We see that the killings have continued even in the face of resistance. What we see in that is that they are doubling down on continuing to back up their killer cops. And we have to take the spirit that these family members are putting forward here and say ‘Are we going to let this go down? Or are we going to step up?’ And that’s what this march is, us stepping up. But stepping up in a particular way, working to bring out how serious this situation is. That’s why we have these families tell their stories. So people can see these are human beings and in many, many cased our future is being snuffed out. Because that’s what the youth are, they are our future. We take banners like this, we show people, this is a widespread problem. We wanna put that problem before people. Some people will tell us, well it makes me uncomfortable to have that problem put before me. But that problem is in front of you, you’re just refusing to look at it and we’re gonna help open your eyes to it. And then we will challenge you to act based upon your humanity, which should demand that you do something about it. Through this, we intend to mobilize a huge march that will send a message to the country and to the world that there is a sizeable number of people who are determined to act to stop it and we’re not stopping in October. October is just gonna be a step to gather even more until this gets stopped. And like I said, we got differences among us about how we approach worship, whether we worship, we are different nationalities and races, but we are together that the horror of police murdering people must stop. We’re gonna act together and work together until it’s stopped."

The press conference was well-attended by media, including: local affiliates of ABC and public television, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reporter, Medill wire service from Northwestern University's School of Journalism, Progress Illinois, Azteca, and The Final Call.





Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Update from Ferguson

August 5, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Since last weekend, the street memorial to Michael Brown at W. Florissant Ave. leading to the Canfield Apartments, where Mike Brown lived and where he was murdered by police, was removed—and then partially re-built. It was the apartment management company (their security) that removed the memorial. In August 2014, after Michael Brown was killed, the people in Ferguson stood up in the face of brutal repression to say "No More" to police murder. People are now getting ready for the August 8-10 anniversary of the police murder of Michael Brown and the beginning of the Ferguson rebellion.

At W. Florissant and Canfield Drive in Ferguson--building for protest on the one-year anniversary of police murder of Michael Brown and the beginning of the rebellion. Photos: Special to

Ferguson, MO    






Revolution #399 August 10, 2015


Volunteer: Be part of creating a Black history timeline at


July 27, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten, raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.

Bob Avakian, Chairman, Revolutionary Communist Party, USA


Be part of creating a Black history timeline at—to tell the true and largely unknown story of the oppression and resistance of Black people in U.S. history.

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, the handbook for revolution, starts out with this quote:

There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.

There is a wealth of precious and invaluable material about the oppression of Black people at But the true history of Black people, the history of resistance to that oppression, and what that says about the basis and need for revolution needs to be made accessible to many more people. There is a real need to organize, illustrate, and bring to life a timeline that captures the sweep and development of the history of Black people in the U.S.—with sharp, concise text and quotes along with photographs, videos, illustrations, etc.

Whether you're brand new to or have been checking out this site and newspaper for a while—if you see the importance of getting out the truth about the oppression of Black people, we invite you to be a part of this timeline project as you learn more about Bob Avakian and the movement for revolution he is leading.

This will be a fun effort, where people bring their creativity, skills, and just plain desire to learn more about history and the world—contribute to a meaningful project that is part of the movement for revolution to radically change the world.

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

Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:19

To get involved in this project: Write to






Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

From the Stop Patriarchy blog

Protesting Hooters: A Place that Feasts on the Humanity of Women

August 4, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a member of Stop Patriarchy:

In the hours before going into Hooters, people were feeling nervous jitters and bursts of excitement. We were going to confront this business that not only prides itself on, but sells the degradation and objectification of women to the masses. We didn’t know what would go down, but we knew that this was something of great importance: to disrupt what is ordinarily so incredibly normalized, a business that exploits women yet hosts entire families as if exploitation was perfectly acceptable. We were excited to go into this place and expose it for what it really is: a place that feasts on the humanity of women.

Hooters in Jackson, MS, August 2Inside Hooters, Jackson, Mississippi, August 2. (Photo: Stop Patriarchy)

Dressed in Abortion on Demand and Without Apology shirts, members of Stop Patriarchy rolled into the Hooters of Jackson, Mississippi. Holding signs that read, “Women are NOT bitches, hoes, sex objects, punching bags, breeders or incubators, women ARE full human beings!” and “Stop objectifying women, start fighting patriarchy”, we circled up in the center of the Hooters. A member of the team shouted “this is a public service announcement” and began stating boldly why an establishment such as Hooters is aiding and abetting in the domination of men over women. We all began shouting, “women aren’t objects, women aren’t toys, women aren’t play things for the boys” over and over again.

Many people whipped out their phones to take video of us. There was a group of young men, chanting “tits and ass,” heckling us. In the face of them heckling, we were yelling back at them and to everyone, “women aren’t objects, women aren’t toys, women aren’t play things for the boys!” That shit was amazing! To feel, for the first time for some of us, that we weren’t going to just sit back and swallow this bullshit hurled at us like so many women do, that we stood up and said hell no!, that was so liberating. And to know that it isn’t just you feeling this way, that you have a whole crew to back you up, who know that you aren’t crazy or too much and that you need to calm down like many people say. We don’t need to calm down! We need to rise up, stand together and fight for a world where women aren’t seen as just tits and ass that exist to serve you.

At the same time these men were heckling us, there were several people who were just staring at what was going down. One older gentlemen had his mouth open, eyes wide, just staring at us like “What in the hell is going on!?” They had never seen anything like this before. That is exactly why we NEED to be out doing pop up protests in places like Hooters, porn stores and strip clubs, because we are confronting this patriarchal bullshit right in the belly of the beast, taking these places on head first, taking patriarchy by storm and letting people know that as long as these places exist, they will have to face people like us who are bringing them the reality of what they are doing to women.

We were in the Hooters for 2 minutes and 17 seconds before being physically removed by the managers. These men were dragging us out by our signs, ripping them in the process and pulling us by our waists or arms. Mostly everyone who was grabbed managed to get back to the center of the room before officially getting thrown out. It was 2 minutes and 17 seconds that we were in there but it was the most liberating 2 minutes and 17 seconds anyone could ever feel in a place like Hooters. We all came out excited and smiling from ear to ear. Many of us shouted, “let’s go to another” when the manager followed us out and proceeded to step to one of our comrades who was leading. He was angrily grumbling about how we were fucking up HIS business and how Hooters will stay in business when our comrade replied, “well they made money off of slavery too man.” He didn’t know what to say. In the face of wildly disgusting cultural views, which are learned and not human nature, Stop Patriarchy confronts the bullshit that is served to the masses. And we will continue to do so, until it is wiped off the face of this earth, for women in this country and around the globe.





Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Saturday, August 22:

Be Part of REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-Shirt Day Across the Country
Represent for Revolution and the Emancipation of All Humanity

Updated August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


A Screening of Excerpts from the new film


The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion: A DIALOGUE BETWEEN CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN

Friday, August 21, 2015   2:30 pm, Doors open at 2:15 pm
Strand Theater in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard
At the foot of Circuit Avenue

The matinee screening is free and open to the public.

Presented by Revolution Books Cambridge
1158 Massachusetts Avenue, 2nd Floor, Cambridge
For more information on Revolution Books:

Revolution--Nothing Less T-shirt poster

Click image to enlarge | Download PDF poster


Revolution--Nothing Less T-shirt poster

Click image to enlarge
Download PDF poster color | black & white





Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

August 8, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


A Screening of Excerpts from
the new film


The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion

Friday, August 21, 2015   2:30 pm, Doors open at 2:15 pm

Strand Theater in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard

At the foot of Circuit Avenue

The matinee screening is free and open to the public.

A film of the November 2014 historic Dialogue on a question of great importance in today's world between the Revolutionary Christian Cornel West and the Revolutionary Communist Bob Avakian.

palm card frontpalm card back

Presented by Revolution Books Cambridge

People who want to be part of getting the word about this film can volunteer with Revolution Books Cambridge.

Revolution Books, 1158 Massachusetts Avenue, 2nd Floor, Cambridge
For more information on Revolution Books:

For more information about the film:






Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

The U.S. - Iran Nuclear Deal & the Imperialists' Dilemma

by Larry Everest | August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



Obama claims the nuclear deal with Iran is about peace. It’s not. On both sides the deal is being driven by the needs and perceived opportunities of a global oppressive superpower (the U.S.) and a regional oppressive power (Iran). The U.S. sees enlisting Iran as a stabilizing force in a region where the U.S. empire is facing pressing threats (such as ISIS) at a time when they confront increasing challenges from rivals around the world like Russia and China. For the rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran, this is about gaining recognition by the U.S., stabilizing their regime in the face of domestic discontent and expanding their role as a regional oppressor. There is nothing in this deal on either side, or in the arguments of belligerent opponents of the deal in the U.S. or Iran, that is in the interests of the vast majority of humanity.

On July 14, a nuclear agreement was signed between the Islamic Republic of Iran, a reactionary regional power, and the U.S. and other reactionary global powers. Iran has agreed to drastic cuts and limits to its nuclear energy and technology program and very intrusive inspections by the world’s dominant countries for at least a decade. In return, the U.S., Russia, China, Germany, France, and Britain have agreed to lift the sanctions—severe restrictions on Iran’s trade and financial dealings with other countries—that have crippled its economy and created enormous suffering for ordinary Iranians. This deal also marks the U.S.’s first official recognition of the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic and its nuclear enrichment program.

This agreement is a very big move and gamble by the rulers of all the countries involved to try to advance their own interests—not the interests of the people. It’s motivated by the enormous changes that have shaken the world and the Middle East over the past 14 years, and the deep difficulties and challenges all these powers face. The agreement has, in turn, sparked new contradictions. These include a huge fight within the U.S. ruling class, vehement opposition by key U.S. allies like Israel, and divisions among Iran’s rulers. Whether the deal moves ahead or is torpedoed isn’t certain, but either way, it’s likely to lead to other big shifts and changes. It’s important to dig through what’s going on here, because these kinds of changes and difficulties can be part of creating a situation where a real revolution becomes possible.

A Radical U.S. Shift to Deal with Big Failures and Big Problems

The wealth and power of the U.S. and the very operation of its capitalist economic and political system depend on worldwide exploitation and oppression—enforced by cold-blooded violence. For decades, controlling the Middle East has been one of the ways U.S. imperialism has dominated the planet. This region is where much of the world’s oil and natural gas are located. It’s a crossroads linking Africa, Europe, and Asia. Global trade routes run through it. And it’s very important militarily—for example, in world wars and in the global contention between rival powers. Losing control of the Middle East would be a body blow to the U.S. rulers, with profound repercussions.

Over the past 70 years, the U.S. has faced different challenges to its Middle East dominance—for example, national liberation struggles during the 1960s and the Cold War rivalry during the 1970s with the Soviet Union, which by that time had become a capitalist-imperialist power.

In recent decades, the U.S. has faced enormous new challenges concentrated in the rise of ever-more virulent strains of reactionary and often anti-U.S. Islamic fundamentalism, and sharpening conflicts with global rivals like Russia and China. In many ways these challenges have been concentrated in Iran. It is a powerful regional state with huge petroleum reserves. It’s been a major pole of Islamic fundamentalism with its own agenda and ambitions which have undercut U.S. control, and clashed with the interests of key U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia. This is why the U.S. refused to recognize the Islamic Republic for over 30 years and instead tried to strangle and overthrow it. (The nuclear issue is part of this larger context: Iran has never had a nuclear weapon, but the U.S., with its huge nuclear arsenal, and Israel, which also has a large number of nukes, are determined to prevent Iran from even gaining the know-how to make a nuclear weapon.)

The George W. Bush administration tried to deal with these contradictions by invading and occupying Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. But those wars failed and backfired. The U.S. has not been able to crush its enemies and establish stable client regimes. Instead, the clash between reactionary, outmoded imperialism and reactionary, outmoded Islamic fundamentalism has greatly escalated in very complex and intense ways, impacting other deep problems and contradictions across this volatile region. (For example, the rapid growth of Islamic fundamentalism has stoked sectarian or religious warfare between followers of the Sunni and Shi’ite branches of Islam, which has also been directly fueled by oppressive regional powers such as Saudi Arabia and Iran.) This bubbling cauldron of contradictions now threatens to tear the region apart.

This situation has forced the Obama administration to radically change course and try to turn Iran from an enemy to an ally, an ally which it hopes can help stabilize the region and eventually become part of the U.S.-dominated global order (also attempting to make sure Iran doesn’t link up with U.S. rivals instead). The nuclear deal is seen as the first step in that process.

(Iran’s rulers also feel they need to cut this deal. These reactionary religious leaders have claimed to be revolutionaries and anti-imperialists, but their theocracy, led by Shi’ite fundamentalists, is another very oppressive form of capitalism that remains embedded in the imperialist-dominated world economic system. Their rule is threatened by the economic devastation and international isolation caused by U.S., United Nations, and European sanctions, the threats of war by the U.S. and Israel, deep discontent within Iran, and the regional growth of Sunni Jihadism.)

The Imperialist Dilemma

So why are right-wing Republicans denouncing Obama for supposedly marching Israel’s Jews to “the door of the oven” like Hitler during the Holocaust, and screaming that the U.S.’s “enemies don’t fear us, our allies don’t respect us”? And why are other ruling class critics, including some Democrats, worrying that the deal is a blunder? Because Iran still has its own needs and interests, and this deal could make it even stronger in the region (legitimizing its status and giving it access to frozen funds, investments, and global markets). This could undercut key U.S. allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia, and end up weakening U.S. regional dominance. And this deal does signal that the U.S. can’t just bomb, invade, and bully its way around the world—and that’s a very dangerous signal for a global gangster to send to rivals big and small.

Obama responds that the U.S. tried attacking and invading countries like Afghanistan and Iraq under the Republican George W. Bush, that this turned into a disaster for the imperialists, and that war with Iran could be even more dangerous for them. So now, striking a deal with Iran and getting its help is the only way to prevent the U.S. from being drained by endless wars and growing chaos in the region.

In other words, both camps among the U.S. imperialists can point to some truth—and neither has any good answers. They could be damned if they make this deal, and damned if they don’t.

Deal or No Deal—the U.S. Brings Only Horrors to the Middle East

The U.S. rulers and the region’s reactionary powers have no solutions for the contradictions they face and the unimaginable nightmares they’ve created for the peoples of the Middle East. Instead, they’re aggressively making moves to preserve their power and the very oppressive political-economic order that’s the root cause of these horrors.

Obama claims this deal means fewer nuclear weapons and less danger of nuclear war. But Iran has no nuclear weapons. It’s the U.S. and its ally Israel which together have thousands. Are either of them giving up a single nuke? No. In fact, both the U.S. and Israel have repeatedly declared their right to use military force, including nuclear weapons, anywhere they see fit. (And prominent U.S. generals argue that the deal helps the U.S. militarily.)

Obama says the agreement makes war in the region less likely. Maybe between the U.S. and Iran—for now—but meanwhile the U.S. is supporting Saudi Arabia’s merciless blockade and bombing campaign against Yemen, which has killed thousands and thrown millions into starvation. The U.S. is escalating its bombing of Syria, a country already as close to hell on earth as one can imagine. It’s collaborating with the despotic Turkish regime’s vicious assaults on Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, and Syria. The U.S. continues to support Israel—as Palestinian children are being burned alive under Israeli occupation and people in Gaza live in rubble, and as Israel continues the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. And the U.S. is more responsible than any other force for all these dislocations and suffering, heartbreakingly captured by the tens of thousands of men, women, and children risking drowning to death crossing the Mediterranean Sea to escape the region’s chaos and violence.

Why should this setup be continued? Yet that’s what the U.S.-Iran nuclear agreement is about—so there’s nothing good for humanity anywhere in it. The only way to end these horrors is through communist revolution. The argument over the Iran deal shows that the rulers are not all powerful and that revolution is possible. But that won’t happen unless everyone who really wants to stop the nightmares we see or hear about every day—like constant wars—learns about and gets connected to the revolution at That’s where you can get into Bob Avakian—BA—the leader of the revolution, find out about the Revolutionary Communist Party’s strategy for revolution, and become part of the movement for revolution.






Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

More Injustice and More Righteous Struggle in East Oakland

August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a member of the Revolution Club:

East Oakland, Sunday July 26—One week after Richard Linyard died after being chased down by Oakland police (see “Richard Linyard didn’t have to die. The whole damn system is guilty!”), there was a get-together and BBQ in the neighborhood with Rich’s family and friends. All of a sudden some of the youth ran over yelling that the police are chasing Lil Dev (Rich’s brother). A bunch of us started running up the street toward where the police sirens were coming from. Some of us from the Revolution Club were blowing our whistles, calling people out into the streets. We got up to 66th and International and they already had Dev in the police car. Some people were saying they saw the whole thing and Dev didn’t do anything. Now their mom, Jessica’s other son has been stolen by these pigs! An angry crowd gathered around the police, fired up by the injustice of the whole thing. The pigs all got in their cars and quickly left the scene. The crowd pushed out into the street, taking over all four lanes of International Blvd, the main street running through East Oakland.

About 25-50 people shut down International Blvd for the next four hours! A protest like this has not been seen in East Oakland as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, since none of this was planned, we didn’t have any signs to let the cars know what it was about. At one point there was some unnecessary antagonistic stuff with some of the people passing by. So people started the chant, “Fight the system, not the people.” We kept the chanting going in order to keep it focused: “Justice for Rich!” “Richard Linyard didn’t have to die, we all know the reason why, the whole system is guilty!” And we tried to let all the cars know what it was about...and they were almost all supportive despite having to be re-routed. The street blockade was led by the friends and family of Rich and Dev, but a number of others from the neighborhood joined on the spot, including a number of Latino youth, the sister of O’Shaine Evans (murdered by SFPD), the cousin of Derrick Jones (murdered by OPD), and the cousin of Jody Woodfox (murdered by OPD).

The pigs had backed off, until about 10 pm, when the crowd was dwindling, they came back and attacked. First, they amassed a large contingent of cops into a ‘V’ formation. Then they started walking slowly toward the protesters to clear the street. Then all of a sudden they charged at people, grabbing and arresting at least three, and pushing people into and knocking over the candlelight memorial for Rich on 64th St.

The next day we talked to some of the youth who had played such an important role in the shutdown. We read through, the Revolution Club statement about Richard Linyard and BA’s quote about “There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system...” and we watched the clip from the film of the dialogue on religion between Bob Avakian and Cornel West about “Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?” One of the things that really stood out to them from the previous day was the fear that these pigs had in that moment, and the power that the people had. On the other hand there was some of the negative stuff that happened, and also the way in which some people who should’ve joined instead just stayed on the sidewalk.

This was like a microcosm, a small-scale example of the revolutionary potential of the most oppressed. But it also highlighted the need for leadership, organization, discipline... specifically revolutionary leadership so that people can understand who are their friends and who are their enemies, and most importantly, so that all that righteous anger can get directed toward the overthrow of this whole system and the ENDING of all forms of oppression and exploitation, and not just some revenge. And it also highlighted all the work that we have to do NOW to bring this revolutionary potential into being by preparing the ground, preparing the people, and preparing the leadership for revolution, to get to a situation where the revolutionary forces are strengthened, millions of people support the revolution including allies among the more privileged middle class sections of society, and the revolutionary forces can operate, like Mao Zedong talked about, “like fish in the sea of the people” who give aid to the revolutionary communists and deny it to the enemy. Even in this small example, as one of the youth pointed out, imagine if we had all been wearing the  BA speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts (and understood who BA is and what this revolution is about)... imagine how much more of a force we would be.

Lastly, on behalf of the Revolution Club: we denounce the ongoing police harassment and intimidation of Richard Linyard’s family and friends. This is nothing but an attempt to intimidate and silence people. But, as Sunday night showed, people are not in a mood to be silenced. Drop ALL the charges on Lil Dev and everyone else who’s been arrested for standing up for Justice 4 Rich!




#RiseUpOctober to STOP Police Terror! Which side are you on?


A Moving Funeral for Richard Linyard—and the Fighting Spirit of His Family and Friends

On July 22, about 150 people gathered for Richard Linyard’s funeral at a big church in East Oakland—friends, family, neighbors, mostly African American, all ages but especially the young people who were so close to Rich and his younger brother. A big photo of Rich in a hoodie, with the big smile he was known for, was displayed at front of the stage. A number of Rich’s friends spoke through tears about how much Rich meant to them and several talked about how wrong it was the way he died. A revolutionary spoke also, drawing from the Revolution Club statement and BA’s new statement, and got a lot of applause when he talked about how it was the responsibility of everyone—Black, white, Latino, Asian—to STOP this slow genocide directed at Black people. In her eulogy, the pastor of the church recited and analyzed the lyrics to a couple of Rich’s songs (his rap name was Afrikan Richie) and called him a “prophet” sent by God to wake the people up and get them to rise up against injustice. (For an example of Afrikan Richie’s work, see YouTube for “One Day“.)

When the eulogy was over, everyone went outside to take a break before eating. All of a sudden we noticed one of Rich’s friends being stopped by a cop right in front of the church. About 30 of us, revolutionaries and many of the youth, ran over and started yelling for the pigs to let him go—they already killed Rich, and they need to get the fuck outta here and stop harassing people here at the funeral! With all the people around yelling and filming, the pigs first called in a bunch of other cop cars and even a helicopter, and  then they made a quick retreat.





Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Readers Correspond on What Happened, Miss Simone?

August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


To Revolution:

I watched What Happened, Miss Simone? last night and I encourage everyone to see it. It is a new film by director Liza Garbus, released on Netflix. This life story of Nina Simone, born Eunice Waymon, is powerfully told—mainly through extraordinary footage of performances and interviews by Nina herself—as well interviews with a few people who knew her well. In Nina’s own words, we learn about her dreams, her daring and defiance, her disgust with and utter contempt for the United Snakes of America, her love for Black people, and her unquenchable thirst to be free and to help free others. And we get an all too brief, sweet/sharp taste of the important and memorable music she created. The film highlights her participation in the civil rights and Black liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s through her art, the impact her song “Mississippi Goddam” had, and the price she paid for this. She was a complex person and the film does not avoid her dark side, giving some time to her battles with (long un-diagnosed) mental illness and how this impacted her relationship with her daughter, her career, and her life. It speaks about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her manager/husband (who is interviewed in the film and comes off like the pig he was and is), and the break she finally made with him, most of all because she wanted to do art at the service of the people.

We need a blossoming of revolutionary culture now and What Happened, Miss Simone? gives a glimpse of what this could be.

The name of this tune is Mississippi Goddam
And I mean every word of it

Alabama’s gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam


To Revolution:

Shortly after Nina Simone died, Revolution correspondent Michael Slate wrote: “When an interviewer once asked Nina how she wanted to be remembered, she replied, ‘I want to be remembered as a diva from beginning to end who never compromised in what she felt about racism and how the world should be, and who to the end of her days consistently stayed the same.’ And we are all forever grateful for that and all the art—and heart—that came out of it.”

The new documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone?, recently released on Netflix and in some theaters, gives you a taste of what he was talking about, and makes it very clear why artists who today are finding their way to stand with the people rising up against police murder and mass incarceration are coming back to her to learn and emulate. The film gathers footage not previously released, together with interviews from people who knew her.

The opportunity to hear Nina herself speak about her art, her politics, and her struggles with the system that suppressed her art shouldn’t be missed. At one point she says, “When I perform I aim to disrupt,” and the (too brief) performances in this film do exactly that.

Early in the film she talks about what went into the song “I wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free”—that you can’t really explain to someone who has never been in love what it means to be in love. And you can’t really explain to someone who has never been free what that means. At another point she describes her reaction when four Black girls were killed by white supremacists who bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. In a few hours she wrote “Mississippi Goddam” and you watch her on stage perform it the first time.

Nina Simone as an artist emphatically believed that she had to connect with her times, and the movie gives a sense of some of that, showing speeches by Stokely Carmichael, interviewing daughters of Malcolm X, showing the scenes of her performing at civil rights marches.

Interviews with her ex-husband/manager are excruciating as he rants about how she ruined her career by becoming radical, and as you hear about the abuse she suffered from him. The documentary doesn’t shy away from drawing from her diaries to show the pain she was often in, including her battles with mental illness which was undiagnosed.

The documentary provokes you to think about a lot of questions: what would it take for an artist like Nina Simone to be able to flourish in the world; how people like Nina Simone are suppressed by the music industry and the larger society; what can the role of an artist be in a world of racial hatred and oppression.

What comes through it all is an incredible artist “who never compromised.” Watch the documentary.







Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Puerto Rico: Background to a Crisis

August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Last month, the governor of Puerto Rico announced that the government's $72 billion debt was "not payable," and that the island's economy was in a "death spiral." Then, on August 3, the government defaulted on a bond payment of $58 million, the first default since Puerto Rico was brutally invaded and subjugated by U.S. troops in 1898 and made a colony, which it remains today.

Puerto Rico has been in a major recession the past eight years, largely the result of the recession on the U.S. mainland that began in 2007, but with even greater dire results. Some 45 percent of the island's 3.7 million people live under the poverty line, the unemployment rate is 12-14 percent, twice that of the U.S., and the people are staggering under government austerity measures, with large cuts in social services, a four percent increase in the sales tax, higher interest rates, dozens of school closings, and a proposed $166 million cut in the public university system, which led to large student demonstrations and fierce confrontations with the police in May.

Perhaps most serious is a looming health crisis, due mainly to large cuts in Medicare and a Medicaid program serving 1.6 million people that could run out of funds by the end of next year. Doctors are leaving the island at a rate of 400 a year, on an island that already has too few doctors to serve the people's health needs, and large numbers of the unemployed as well as others are also leaving Puerto Rico to come to the mainland in hopes of finding jobs and a better life.

U.S. law forbids Puerto Rico from seeking bankruptcy protection, and Congress is refusing to consider financial assistance, calling it an undeserved "bailout." The Obama administration and the U.S. Treasury have also ruled out financial assistance, demanding instead, along with multibillion-dollar U.S. hedge funds and other shark creditors, that Puerto Rico come up with a plan to avoid further defaults and pay the debt, which will require even more draconian austerity measures and a further deepening of the "death spiral."

The current economic and social crisis is breaking out in the context of oppression and resistance to 115 years of U.S. colonial rule. Below is an article that originally appeared on the 100th anniversary of the U.S. colonization of Puerto Rico in the Revolutionary Worker, the forerunner of Revolution/ It provides basic background on the U.S. colonization of Puerto Rico.

Also, to the right, is the section from the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America describing how, with the grip of U.S. imperialism finally broken, the new socialist society in North America, on the basis of internationalist principles, will recognize the Puerto Rican people's right to independence and their right as a nation to self-determination.

* * * * *

May 12, 1898: U.S. Opens Fire on Puerto Rico

Revolutionary Worker #956, May 10, 1998

One hundred years ago--on May 12, 1898--seven U.S. warships opened fire without warning on the town of San Juan on the northern coast of Puerto Rico. Two and a half months later, in July, U.S. troops landed in Puerto Rico for the first time and seized control of the island from Spain.

The United States came to Puerto Rico claiming to be liberators. But it quickly became clear that the old and weakened Spanish colonialists had been replaced by a new and more powerful oppressor. For the Puerto Rican people, the events of 1898 marked the beginning of military occupation, exploitation and poverty, cultural suppression and national subjugation under the bloody flag of U.S. imperialism.

From Stealing a Continent to Conquests Across the Seas

The military conquest of Puerto Rico was part of a major colony-grabbing thrust by the United States across the waters of the Caribbean and the Pacific.

At the end of the 1800s, as the era of imperialism was being ushered in, the European powers moved to divide up the world, claiming colonies and "spheres of influence" for themselves. At the Berlin Conference of 1884-85, they divided up the whole continent of Africa--including large areas that no Europeans had even set foot in.

Unlike the European imperialists, the United States did not have an extensive colonial network before 1898. The U.S. ruling class did not lack experience in military intervention and power plays overseas. The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 declared that all of Latin America was a U.S. sphere of influence and off-limits to the European powers. Between 1798 and 1895, the U.S. military had already intervened at least 103 times in other countries.

But before the 1890s the U.S. rulers were focused mainly on securing their continental base. They seized territory that the Native Americans had lived on for centuries--massacring the Indian people and forcing survivors onto concentration camps known as reservations. They kidnapped millions of Africans and worked them as slaves on plantations. They invaded and annexed the lands of northern Mexico, from Texas to California.

The United States had stolen a whole continent. But the capitalist logic of "expand or die" pushed the U.S. ruling class to seek a global empire. Unable to contend with the European powers in Africa, the U.S. imperialists set their sights on Latin America and the Pacific Rim. They moved to seize a number of colonies from Spain, one of the weakest and most vulnerable of the European powers.

U.S. "Liberators" Arrive

Spain's rule over its remaining colonies was quickly crumbling. In Cuba and the Philippines, armed movements fought against the Spanish colonial army. Challenges to Spanish rule were rising in Puerto Rico. The U.S. decided to act before the people of those countries kicked out Spain and declared independence.

In February 1898 the U.S. battleship Maine blew up in the harbor in Havana, Cuba. U.S. naval investigators knew that the Maine's overheated coal furnaces had detonated the ship's ammo supply. But the incident became a convenient justification for a war that the U.S. government had already decided to launch.

The U.S. forces defeated the Spanish colonial army and navy in a few months. In Puerto Rico, as in Cuba and the Philippines, the U.S. portrayed itself as a benevolent protector of the people, on a mission to bring "civilization" to these islands. The commander-in-chief of the U.S. invading forces in Puerto Rico declared in July 1898, "We have not come to make war upon the people of a country that for centuries has been oppressed, but, on the contrary, to bring you protection, not only to yourselves but to your property, to promote your prosperity, and to bestow upon you the immunities and blessings of the liberal institutions of our government."

The truth behind these false and condescending words by the new occupiers came out in another proclamation the very next day. This statement instructed the military commanders to make sure that the people obeyed the authority of the U.S.--"the power of the military occupant being absolute and supreme and immediately operating upon the political conditions of the inhabitants."

In December 1898 the U.S. signed a treaty with Spain--giving the U.S. outright possession of the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico. Cuba was not officially annexed, but it became a U.S. colony for all intents and purposes. When the independence movement in the Philippines rose up in 1899 against the new colonial rulers, the U.S. poured in half its armed forces and massacred hundreds of thousands of Filipinos in the course of crushing the revolt.

A Century of Colonial Oppression and People's Resistance

After the invasion with guns came the invasion with the Almighty Dollar. The U.S. monopoly capitalists saw their newly acquired colonial possessions as an opportunity to exploit labor, plunder resources and make profits. They set out to reshape whole cultures, economies and societies to serve their imperialist interests.

The colonial military regime in Puerto Rico made the use of Spanish, the language of the people, illegal in schools and other institutions. The national flag of the Puerto Rican people was banned; anyone caught displaying it was jailed.

U.S. interests bought up large parts of the island, ruining the small farmers and leaving many with no choice but to work on the giant sugar plantations and tobacco and coffee farms which produced for the export market. In the 1940s and '50s, U.S. firms took advantage of low wages in Puerto Rico to set up factories to assemble manufactured goods for export. But large numbers of people were unable to find any work--and over the years, many Puerto Ricans have been forced to leave their homeland and live in the barrios and housing projects of the U.S. Today Puerto Rico is a major site for the manufacture of medicine--providing 50 percent of U.S. pharmaceutical imports. The average wage in manufacturing jobs in Puerto Rico is 60 percent of the average in the U.S., so pharmaceutical corporations reap huge profits.

The U.S. also turned Puerto Rico into an important military outpost. The U.S. military used bases in Puerto Rico to practice and launch the invasions of the Dominican Republic in 1965, Grenada in 1983 and Haiti in 1994. Today, the U.S. has 13 military bases in Puerto Rico to threaten the Caribbean and Latin America. The U.S. has taken over a whole island, Vieques, and turned it into a testing range for its missiles and bombs.

U.S. Out of Puerto Rico!

For a hundred years, the U.S. imperialists have kept the people of Puerto Rico in chains. They have robbed the Puerto Ricans of their land, wrecked the agriculture of the island, suppressed the culture of the people, and driven many to the cities of the U.S. This oppressive situation has given rise to constant resistance and powerful movements for independence and national liberation.

In the upsurge of the 1960s and '70s, new organizations rose to fight for Puerto Rican independence, based on the island itself as well as in the Puerto Rican communities in the U.S. The U.S. government used all kinds of political police methods to hunt down revolutionary activists and target these movements. Many independentista fighters remain unjustly imprisoned, persecuted and subjected to brutal torture within the U.S. prison system today. <

On the 100th anniversary of the U.S. takeover, the just struggle of the Puerto Rican people for independence continues against the colonial status that is still imposed on them.





Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Who, and What, Is Behind 200 More Deaths in the Mediterranean?

August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Migrants from Syria and Afghanistan arrive on a dinghy from Turkey to Greece, July 27, 2015. Refugees risk their lives crossing the sea from Turkey in dangerous, overcrowded boats. Photo credit: AP

Between 600 and 700 refugees were on board a fishing boat that capsized 15 nautical miles off the Libyan coast on Wednesday, August 5. More than 200 are feared drowned. “It was a horrific sight,” said Juan Matias, of Doctors Without Borders who was among those rushing to the aid of the victims. “People desperately clutching life belts, boats and anything, fighting for their lives among the drowning and those who were already dead.”

Last year, 3,200 migrants from Afghanistan, Syria, and Northern Africa died making the horrific crossing to Europe, entering through Italy and Greece and hoping to get to more prosperous Northern Europe. This year, many more are dying—in large part because the European governments have taken the position that rescuing too many of them would, in the words of a British minister at the Foreign Office, be “an unintended pull factor” encouraging more people to risk the deadly crossing.

They are being driven to a cold death in the waters of the Mediterranean or, if "lucky," being detained in European concentration camps. They are fleeing violence, terror, and social meltdown in Afghanistan, Syria, and other places where U.S. invasions, bombing campaigns, and bloody civil wars have been set in motion by the U.S. empire to overthrow regimes they saw or see as not sufficiently compliant or too aligned with rivals.

These victims are our sisters and brothers, our blood.

What is happening to them is yet another reason humanity needs and why we are building the movement for: REVOLUTION – NOTHING LESS!





Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Why People Are Stepping Up to Sustain RCP Publications and Why You Should Too!

Updated August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



As people send their donations and pledge as sustainers, they are sending notes to challenge others to do the same. Here are some of the comments:


The comment below was accompanied by a $100 donation:
Thank you for all you do. We are not in a position to become a sustaining member at this time, but at least we can contribute something to this all important effort to remove the chains of slavery.

from Wisconsin readers


We can’t be behind, we gotta be the vanguard. If we don’t have the resources, in terms of the newspaper and the website, it will deviate the direction of the movement for revolution. Because we gotta win the argument with the masses, so that they see that this is the group, the RCP and BA, that they should follow. When you got a solid purpose—and our, the Party’s theory and understanding of revolution, you have to get it out there, because there are a lot of reformers that sound like revolution but they have their doubts are not really for revolution.

Reader in San Francisco Bay Area


I hope this donation goes at least in part to support the work of Carl Dix and Sunsara Taylor. Mr. Dix is doing outstanding work concerning mass incarceration and Ms Taylor is doing excellent work with her StopPatriarchy organization and writing for the paper. Both deserve as wide a venue as possible to promote their ideas and efforts and I hope Revolution news provides every opportunity for this to happen.

From a reader who is sustaining for $10/month


As a high school student, I decided to make a donation because I came to the realization that we need more bookstores like Revolution Books. If it was not for the couple months I volunteered and attended events, I would not have thought change and revolution was possible. And thanks to the organization, I am beginning to make sense of things at my own pace, and bringing others with me throughout the process.

—Black woman from Harlem who just graduated from high school, about to start college, who’s going to donate $5 a month to and $5 a month to NYC Revolution Books


"To strengthen RCP Publications I recently became a sustainer. I am contributing $50 a month. I think RCP Publications is important because it does something nobody else is doing at the present. It is giving humanity a scientific way out of the horrible situation that we are stuck in. When I first started reading Revolution and BA over a decade ago I was afraid of what was being said. The idea of getting rid of this society was something I never thought about in a real non idealistic way. The paper and Bob Avakian brought this to life. When I read the paper the first time years ago I became frightened by its radical vision and I stopped reading the paper after a few issues. However, within a year I had renewed my subscription and have not missed a paper for many years. I read and re-read all the works of BA. The idea of a communist revolution is real to me and is needed for all. That is part of the reason that I am and others should consider sustaining RCP Publications."

—From a high school teacher in the Midwest


"People need this newspaper because they are kept so ignorant and believe in the system and the Democratic Party, but also they need the leadership of Bob Avakian, because it isn't just needing to rebel, we need a whole different world and that is possible. We don't want a situation like in Egypt, where people rebelled and even drove out a dictator, but what did they get—another dictator!"

–From a supporter on a fixed income who donated and will sustain at $5 a month


“I donated $20 and will sustain at $5/month because there are people on the front lines catching hell. People like in Ferguson, Baltimore, and Chicago. We have to reinforce them and support them, either giving what I can or spreading the word and the newspaper.”

—a supporter


“If you want to know about the world, and get connected; if you want to stand up and fight back against what is being done to people, go to this Party, take up this Party’s newspaper. If you want revolution, we have a strategy for revolution. This newspaper is a key component of this strategy. The newspaper is the voice of the RCP and provides the foundation and guideline for the whole process for revolution, especially through publishing the works of Bob Avakian through articles. This paper exposes and expresses why things are the way they are, it does not have to be this way. The newspaper is the guideline so thousands of people can stay connected and learn. I am donating $10/month and also collected $20 from a friend and am letting others know about the website, especially to watch the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian.”

―an Iranian supporter of the RCP who lives in the U.S.


“I will support the courage of RCP as a donator and sustainer. Why? Because of the commitment of BA and what I’ve come to know is the only way out of capitalism in all its forms. I’ll donate $5 to $10 a month to sustain RCP Publications.”

—a devoted reader on a fixed income


“There is so much injustice and suffering going on in this capitalist-imperialist country and around the world, and I believe RCP Publications and Bob Avakian’s leadership need to be widely promoted in order to prepare the people to fight and bring about a much better society and world through revolution. I am giving $20 to the RCP Publications fund drive. I encourage whoever is yearning for a better world to do away with all this suffering, to contribute in any way, whatever you can. And if you can, SUSTAIN the work—consistently apply the method of analyzing and changing the world, and consistently give money to the revolution. It is hard work, but it must be done and we can do it if we apply the revolutionary method and not take it for granted. We sometimes get complacent, but we can and need to change, and we can all contribute so much more to emancipate humanity!”

—an Iranian supporter of the revolution who lives in the U.S.


“This is a time when a revolutionary crisis can make a big leap. In Ferguson and Baltimore, people are fed up and are open to see what revolutionary forces are saying. The system has this big contradiction: They can’t give up on the oppression of Black people that makes people resist; yet they can’t allow them to rise up without repressing them; but they can’t keep repressing them without them rising up. It is a big contradiction for them.”


“With the work of the revolutionaries and the newspaper, the system is more and more exposed. The activities of the Party need to increase to bring the truth to people. On the TV they only show the looting and not what causes it. They try to portray brave and courageous people as ‘thugs.’ We need to expose the whole system is the problem, no matter who is president―the police are instruments of repression, and these crises can lead to something else—a revolutionary situation.”


Why I am Supporting RCP Publications Fund Drive—And Pledge to Do More

“I am a regular sustainer to newspaper, but I see the need to increase my donation to support the call to put RCP Publications on higher ground so that more people can learn about it. I want to support it, so they can carry out the work of helping to build even further the movement for revolution and introduce Bob Avakian, leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA to even more people, not just here in the U.S., but to millions and millions of people around the world. That revolution and communism is not ONLY desirable, but eminently possible!

“What have I learned from newspaper? I am learning and struggling to view things on a scientific basis and go on the basis of reality and not what seems to be ‘practical’ or the easy way out.

“One of the things that newspaper has been very good at is pointing out various proposals that different people have made in response to the current epidemic of police murder and brutality. For example, there are people who suggest that waiting for the IN-justice Department to do an investigation is helpful.

“Nothing could be further from the truth—for months Mike Brown’s family and many other people waited for the IN-Justice Department’s report on Ferguson—and when it came out, it was a slap in their faces and pouring salt on their wounds! The report did expose some of the vicious methods used to exploit people—like jailing them if they did not have the money to pay fines from traffic tickets piling up, but otherwise, Eric Holder and others in the ruling class just gave the murdering cops a pass and a free ride, and said that they couldn’t find any basis to indict Darren Wilson for Mike Brown’s murder. This was a dead end that the system wants people to get into—to stop struggling and rely on this criminal system which is incapable of doing anything halfway decent for any human being on this planet.

“There wouldn’t have been ANY IN-Justice Department report on Ferguson if it wasn’t for the fact that the people of Ferguson stood up, rebelled, defied the system and decided that the murder of Mike Brown and everything else is intolerable.

“You DO NOT have to agree with all or even some of what newspaper is about in order to engage with it. What IS required is that you have the questions and curiosity as to what is going on in the world and what to do about it.

“I am going to double what I currently am donating, even though that would be a financial sacrifice due to my current situation. I am also challenging other people to step up and donate to newspaper and donate what they can.

“Without money, RCP Publications would be unable to do the important work that it needs to do. If you don’t have money—have bake sales or flea markets to raise money for this precious newspaper, and commit to being a regular sustainer. If you have funds, dig deep and give a large one time donation and become a sustainer on a regular basis.”


June 4, 2015

“Why I Sustain?

“I’ve been a sustainer for a number of years. I sustain because the RCP and the newspaper Revolution/ is the only thing going in the world today. When I was young I had high hopes for Mao’s China but that revolution got turned back by a capitalist line. I had high hopes with the revolutions in Peru and Nepal until a capitalist, status quo line turned those revolutions around, too.

“Other than the RCP and what’s left of the RIM [Revolutionary Internationalist Movement] all the other lines in the world represent capitalism, feudalism, slavery or barbarism. No, things aren’t going to get better by ‘falling apart.’ This kind of anarchism is no solution. The world needs to see that right here, in ‘the belly of the beast,’ in Babylon itself there are those who can see beyond the horror and have a plan and strategy to achieve a much better world for us human beings.

“So, to all those whom I’ve heard say, ‘tell me when you’re having the revolution and I’ll be there,’ well the time is now. Give some money and be a part of it. It’s the least you can do. Get some literature and spread the word, that’s something you can do also.”


I became a monthly sustainer for RCP Publications because I want to see copies of BAsics in Hebrew, Arabic, Farsi, Korean, and any other language you can think of.  I want to see the works of Bob Avakian and the new synthesis of communism reach all corners of the earth and all sections of society so the oppressed everywhere know there is a way out of the horrors this system subjects people to and that way out is Revolution.  I also want to help people connect up with the Revcom website and revolution newspaper so they know that there is a party with the strategy and leadership that makes an actual revolution in this country possible.

—From a student/unemployed member of the Revolution Club
and a new sustainer for RCP Pubs


I am subscribing as a monthly sustainer for $10.00 per month. I wished I could do more, but is what the current pocket can bear. I have selected 5 organizations to assist in their efforts for a very different world, and as a Socialist, Communism of course is a long term goal...

Thank you for all your work.



"I just want to say what inspired me most was the way the RCP threw itself into the mix in Ferguson, NY City and Baltimore, seriously determined to raise the level of understanding and resistance—and provide leadership. I said to myself these people are serious about making revolution and not just paying lip service to it. I was seeing RCP banners and t-shirts on news sources other than revcom."

—From a reader who made a substantial donation
and doubled his sustainer commitment


Reading the Constitution for The New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)

"I donate because an Actual Revolution is the only sane and logical way forward for humanity and the planet! And even though I may be separated from the high energy areas of the country, I get a rush thinking about the youth, with the Revolution Newspaper in their hands for the first time, kinda like a modern day singing telegram for the oppressed!"

—From a reader on a fixed income in a very small town


“I want to support the courage of others trying to change the world—hopefully for a better future for others to come.  People are risking the most valuable thing they have, which is their life, for a good cause, and that is admirable.”

—A woman who grew up in a country dominated by U.S. imperialism and
who is pledging $25/month to sustain RCP Publications.


"I am donating a $100 towards the fund raising, in addition to my monthly sustainer for Revolution newspaper. I am donating this amount because I feel at this critical juncture people need to connect with the leader of revolution, Bob Avakian, to really put an end to police brutality and murder of unarmed black and brown youth, and all the other horrors of this System; and build a far better world. For this purpose a lot of funds are required to upgrade Revolution newspaper, distribute revolutionary literature, videos, books and other works of BA, so that people can learn about his vision and strategy for revolution and become part of the movement for revolution for emancipation of humanity." 

A reader in Texas


“I urge everyone to help raise funds and donate to help put RCP Publications on a higher ground:
Because black, brown and poor are being murdered by the police in the 'Land of the free.'
Because the capitalist imperialists are committing crimes against the planet and humanity.
Because women are denied their basic rights in different forms, being raped and sold to sex slavery.

Because millions are homeless, refugees and crying out for change, as they are caught between two outmoded reactionary forces of capitalist imperialists and backward Islamists fundamentalists who seem to many as the only alternative! 

Because the science, theory and the leadership is there to end all of this and prepare the masses for an actual revolution, but there is a huge gap that can be fulfilled by putting the idea and leadership out there.”

A reader in Texas




At the present time, RCP Publications cannot accept any contributions or gifts from readers who reside outside the borders of the United States.





Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Obama's Climate Action Plan: A Charade as We Face Climate Disaster

by Orpheus Reed | August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On August 2 Obama announced a plan for climate change that would cut greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Obama, and the mainstream media, have called this plan the most significant step the U.S. has ever taken to "combat climate change." Obama said in a video statement, "Climate change is not a problem for another generation, not anymore."

Climate Scientist James Hansen on Obama Plan

Renowned climate scientist James Hansen says that Obama's "actions are practically worthless... They do nothing to attack the fundamental problem."

MSNBC reported:

"You've got to be kidding," he [Hansen] wrote, when asked if the plan would make continued climate activism unnecessary. Obama's plan, and for that matter the proposed plan of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, he continued, "is like the fellow who walks to work instead of driving, and thinks he is saving the world."

Some leading environmental commentators are casting Obama's plan as a potential "turning point," even a "game changer." Others, like Naomi Klein, say Obama is now "talking like a climate leader" but still has to follow through, and "act like a climate leader." Both these views reflect deep illusions about the reality of what this plan will actually mean for the climate, why the U.S. is doing this, and what interests are being advanced through this plan.

To put it simply: 1) what these rules aim to accomplish is puny in the face of the actual environmental crisis humanity faces; 2) even these rules will almost certainly be challenged in the courts, Congress, and at the state level, and powerful ruling class forces oppose them so it's unlikely they will be fully implemented; and 3) Obama's move is part of staying with—not moving away from—the energy program and interests of the U.S. capitalist-imperialist system that is destroying the earth.

Breaking Down the Reality Behind Obama's Plan

Power plants produce around one-third of all U.S. greenhouse gases. So Obama's proposed 32 percent power plant cuts, if fully implemented, would only amount to approximately an 11 percent cut of overall U.S. emissions compared with 2005.* Presumably, this is part of a larger plan Obama has put forward to cut all U.S. emissions by 27 percent by 2025. Scientists have said much more massive cuts are needed, possibly on the level of 60 percent by developed countries per decade. So Obama's proposal will not come close to the kind of cuts needed to seriously deal with the climate crisis. Instead, they're designed to take steps to "manage" the crisis but to do so in a way that is not damaging to U.S. capitalist-imperialist interests.

Further, official greenhouse emissions of the U.S. and other developed capitalist countries cover over the real amount of emissions these countries are responsible for. The big powers have shifted production to countries like China and other poorer countries because they can more profitably exploit labor, produce without worry about environmental regulations, etc. It has been estimated that as much as 50 percent of China's emissions, for example, stem from production of goods for the "developed" countries. So in effect, all the big powers are "off-loading" emissions to the poorer or "developing" countries. According to the Guardian newspaper, if emissions from such production in other countries are taken into account, U.S. emissions in 2011 would have been higher by 8.4 percent.

Also, none of the emissions from the U.S. military are even counted toward U.S. greenhouse emissions. The U.S. military is the largest institutional consumer of oil on the planet. Some estimates place the emissions from the U.S. military at fully five percent of the world's total emissions—the U.S. does not release such data. In international climate talks, the U.S. has insisted that these military emissions be excluded from U.S. totals! Yet the U.S. war in Iraq alone was estimated to produce more greenhouse gases than that produced by 139 other whole countries! This is on top of the other environmental devastation caused by U.S. wars and military operations. All of this continues under Obama.

Some have argued that Obama's plan will shutter hundreds of coal power plants in the U.S. And it is likely that many coal plants will shut down. This, though, is simply continuing a trend of less use of coal in the U.S. because coal is now less profitable given the enormous boom in fracking for natural gas. The U.S. under Obama has become the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas. It uses these fuels and its dominance of fracking technology as a weapon in its rivalry with other capitalist competitors, including in trying to strong-arm Russia in the war in Ukraine. On top of this, while the U.S. is moving away from using coal, export of coal has actually doubled since Obama came into office in 2008. Obama has opened huge swaths of the Powder River region in Wyoming to coal production. Coal trains are rumbling throughout the West to go to ports for shipment to Asia, and many other terminals are being planned to facilitate shipment of coal, gas, and oil. Clearly, none of these changes under Obama are consistent with "combating climate change."

The Real Record of Obama, the So-Called "Environmental President"

Here are just some of what else Obama has done regarding the environment:

*He expanded oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico—which in 2010 was the site of the most massive oil spill in U.S. history, a spill that is continuing to cause terrible devastation of Gulf ecosystems.

*Just a few years after the Gulf spill, Obama announced the opening of huge areas of the Atlantic Ocean off the Eastern Seaboard for oil and gas drilling. In 2013, the Obama administration held 30 sales of leases for oil and gas drilling on 5.7 million acres of federal lands—the most such sales in a decade.

*Obama and his administration have opened up the Arctic to drilling, approving drilling leases and permits for Shell Oil. Shell is spearheading U.S. efforts to pry open this extremely rich natural region for oil exploitation and military power extension. These decisions went forward despite the high likelihood of a devastating oil spill according to Obama's own ocean bureau, and despite warnings from climate scientists that burning oil from the Arctic is incompatible with keeping climate change within safe levels. As Shell's moves to drill have met serious resistance from courageous activists, Obama's Coast Guard has worked with local police and federal judges to suppress the people who are trying to save the Arctic, while protecting those who are moving to destroy it. Obama hasn't said one world against this.

*Under Obama, as with every other U.S. president, international negotiations on climate change have been sabotaged and/or turned into meaningless charades. Since the danger of climate change was first made public in the '70s and '80s, absolutely nothing has been done by any U.S. president or other world leader to seriously stop this. Instead, greenhouse emissions have continued to rise to unprecedented levels causing a crisis that now threatens the planet's future.

What Does the Planet Need?

From "Some Key Principles of Socialist Sustainable Development," in the special Revolution issue on the environmental emergency:

This is our orientation. Revolution makes it possible to live lives worthy of human beings and to protect the environment. It is why socialist revolution, and the creation of a new socialist state in one or several countries, would have an incredible effect on the world. The establishment of even one new socialist state—especially in a significant country, in terms of geography and population—would dramatically change political alignments in the world. It would give hope and inspiration to people throughout the world. This heightens our determination to make that revolution and to call on others to join and contribute to this most vital undertaking.

What has been an accelerating climate emergency now looks to be taking dangerous leaps, possibly toward unraveling of our planet as we know it. The pace of acceleration and change is shocking: the smashing of all-time temperature records in 2015; studies that we have already entered the sixth mass extinction of species in Earth's four-billion-year history; unprecedented drought and wildfires ravaging western North America all the way to Alaska; studies indicating that the previously considered acceptable 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature rise could lead to up to 10 feet of sea-level rise this century, threatening the immediate future of many major cities; deaths of up to 80 percent of sockeye salmon this summer in the Columbia River because drought has made the waters too warm to live in; indications that life in the oceans around the world is being drastically shaken up and undermined, and could be headed for a possible unravelling of ocean ecosystems that could last millennia. Note well: These are just a few of the recent revelations.

What the planet needs, right now, are: immediate emergency efforts to drastically cut greenhouse emissions, a stop to the destruction of rain forests, big efforts to plant and regrow forests worldwide to take up carbon dioxide, beginning of urgent efforts to transform climate-destructive agricultural practices and radical transformations in the energy foundation of the planet, bringing forward green, non-carbon-polluting forms of energy, urgent transition away from use of fossil fuels and leaving new sources of fossil fuels in the ground.

This is what's required by the actual climate and environmental crisis. And these things are actually possible. The scientific and technical know-how exist to do them. And there is a plan for a new system with principles that could make these great needs come to life. (See "Some Key Principles of Socialist Sustainable Development.")

To move toward this, it is vital that people break away from tying our fight to trying to make those who rule this life-eating system listen to reason. We need the kind of struggle where people follow through on their convictions, and don't stop no matter what is thrown at them, until this destruction is stopped. This type of struggle, building up to involving millions, has the best possibility to force this system to back up on its sickening destruction. It can change the thinking of millions, and truly impact the direction of things, unlike all the attempts to pressure Obama or others like him to "do the right thing." And connected to building the movement for revolution, it can lay help the groundwork for a revolution and a new socialist system—the only thing that can fundamentally save our planet.

U.S.—the Largest Destroyer of the Planet

Obama's plan is not even on the same page as to what is urgently needed. It is intended to try to stuff an extreme crisis into the "manageable" tool box of the capitalist-imperialist interests of the U.S. This plan is crafted as part of an effort on the part of Obama and powerful sections of the ruling class, including sections of the U.S. imperialist military, to try to "manage" and "mitigate" the climate crisis to deal with what they increasingly see as a threat to U.S. strategic power and domination of the planet. Obama cites his plan as more evidence of the U.S. "leading on climate change," as the U.S. and other powers maneuver for best position in their rivalry leading up to the Paris climate talks in December of this year.

The reality is that the U.S. has long been "leading" on climate change—as the largest destroyer of the planet and the largest producer of greenhouse gases historically.

Sometimes people in the environmental movement have a hard time making sense of Obama's moves—finding it contradictory and inexplicable that he would seem to cut emissions substantially or protect certain wilderness areas, and then open the Arctic to drilling. But all of these moves, including his relatively puny cuts in power plant emissions, are part of a coherent strategy of advancing U.S. imperialist interests as his section of the ruling class sees fit. They may base their approach on accepting the reality of climate change, unlike the stone-age right wingers who idiotically deny this screaming reality. But this is still consistent with and proceeding from the interests of the system that is responsible for this crisis and cannot solve it. His plan is founded on continuing to try to dominate world fossil fuel supplies, use these sources as a weapon of competition and rivalry, and maintain strategic U.S. power. Trying to control this crisis, while appearing to the world to be seriously combating it, is also central to U.S. power positioning. They aim to get world public opinion on the side of the U.S., and try to maintain this system's legitimacy, even as this very system is the chief cause of the world being dragged into an enormous maelstrom.

Let's stand up and put a stop to this madness and horror, before it's too late.


* The U.S. has picked 2005 as the year to measure its emissions cuts against only because it is one of the years with the highest levels of emissions in U.S. history. So cuts the U.S. makes now compared to that year will be relatively small. To give an example, compared to 2005, U.S. emissions as of 2013 had dropped nine percent—but if 1990 is used (the base year most countries use), U.S. emissions as of 2013 had actually increased five percent! [back]





Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Updated August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From Anthony Baez and Amadou Diallo to Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and Sam DuBose:
The Police Are STILL Killing Black and Latino People

Stolen Lives poster
Poster PDF (for print) color | black & white       JPG (full size, for web)

Cornel West, Carl Dix

and others speak on


Thursday, August 27, 6:30 pm

Doors open at 6:00 pm

First Corinthian Baptist Church,
1912 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. @ 116th St., New York City

Get Ready for

Rise Up October: Massive Mobilization to Stop Police Terror & Murder, October 22-24


Watch the rebroadcast of this event at





Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

The Red Detachment of Women: Inspiration from Socialist China's Cultural Revolution

August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Lincoln Center in New York City, one of the most prestigious cultural venues in the U.S., is not usually associated with revolution, socialism, and communism. But on July 11, 2015, before an audience of about 2,000 people, something unique and almost surreal occurred: An amazing opportunity to see and experience a stupendous performance of a great work of art produced during the Cultural Revolution in China—the high point of the first wave of socialist revolution.

Scene from The Red Detachment of Women, 1972.A s

A scene from the 1972 production of The Red Detachment of Women.
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The National Ballet of China, the pre-eminent ballet company of capitalist China, performed The Red Detachment of Women, a ballet written and first performed in 1964 when China was socialist.

The story is simple yet powerful. It begins with the heroine, Qionghua, chained and enslaved by a landlord, about to be sold. But she manages to escape, meets up with the Red Army and through twists and turns becomes a leader in the revolution.

This takes place on Hainan Island in the 1930s, an intense stage of the revolutionary civil war in China. Many poor peasant men had joined Mao Zedong’s Red Army and women also banded together to defend themselves against reactionary forces. The communists helped these women acquire weapons and learn guerrilla techniques and, out of this, a legendary Women’s Detachment of the Red Army emerged. This is the unit Qionghua joins after Red Army soldiers rescue her.

“Breathtaking” is a word much overused in describing works of art. But when Scene 2 opened, it was literally breathtaking. The dancing is dazzling and amazing—and not what you typically expect when you go see ballet. In the beginning scenes the stage was dark and dreary, emitting the oppressive atmosphere of feudal China. But when the curtain rose for Scene 2 in the “Red Area,” the audience erupted into loud roars and applause. The sky is a bright blue, colorful flags are flying, there are blossoming trees—it looked higher than life, like a truly liberated area.

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The audience for this performance was part of this unique experience. It included many Chinese people now living in the U.S. who had lived in capitalist China for many decades but had also lived in China when it was socialist. There were younger Chinese people in the audience who had only heard stories—and many lies—about the Cultural Revolution. There were also people who had been inspired by Mao and socialist China during the radical and revolutionary upsurges in the U.S. during the 1960s and 1970s; as well as younger people who were seeing a revolutionary work of art from the Cultural Revolution for the very first time. This was not your usual cultural event at Lincoln Center, or typical audience, to say the least.

At the very beginning, when the music started, right away there was a gleeful, collective energy from a huge section of the audience who immediately reacted in nostalgic recognition. Like embracing an old and dear friend, many in the audience start clapping and moving to the music, nodding their heads when the main characters took the stage.

The Red Detachment of Women was an amazing work of revolutionary art, performed during the Cultural Revolution, when hundreds of millions of people in China were taking part in the most radical and most liberating social experience in modern history, when Mao and revolutionary leaders were mobilizing and relying on people to prevent the return of capitalism. At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, it was summed up that most culture in China still reflected the old feudal society, old thinking and old ways, and that movies, plays, and books were still dominated by “emperors, princes, generals, ministers, scholars, and beauties.” And there was a huge struggle to put the masses of people—the peasants, soldiers, workers, and revolutionary heroes on stage.

When Red Detachment was first performed in 1964, ballet had only been practiced in China for 10 years. The choreography and dancing in Red Detachment achieved a very high technical and artistic level, but was also transformed and revolutionized, in content and form. The whole ballet company went to Hainan Island to become familiar with the revolutionary areas and to meet former members of the women’s detachment, and several songs written for the ballet were inspired by folk pieces from the island. The choreographers created specific dance vocabulary to express the revolutionary ardor and militant force of the characters—incorporating new poses and martial arts movements. In the various dance movements, for example, the hero always stands up, head raised and chest high. And for the heroine, Qionghua, a set of clear-cut, concise dance movements were developed to bring out her deep suffering and bitter hatred, as well as her rebellious character. An article written in China at the time about Red Detachment said: “A pose cannot last very long, sometimes only for a moment. But in this twinkling of an eye a pose can crystallize the most essential qualities of character, thus leading the audience more deeply into the soul of the hero, and intensifying the impact of the art.”

The women dancers themselves were put front and center on the stage as fighting alongside the men for the revolution. And the struggle for women’s liberation was central to the storyline. This stood in stark contrast to traditional ballet works where women were usually the dainty love interest of a hero. The program notes (for the 2015 performance) acknowledge that “the plot features female advancement during a time when such mobility was practically unattainable in other parts of the world.”

During the Cultural Revolution in China, artists saw their role in society as “serving the people” and being part of the revolutionary struggle to change society. But after the death of Mao in 1976, there was a reactionary coup d’état, the socialist revolution was defeated and now for the last four decades, China has been a capitalist society. Now the motto of the National Ballet of China is: “United, Pragmatic, Independent, and Enterprising.”

The Chinese government proclaims that China is “socialist with Chinese characteristics.” But in fact China is a thoroughly capitalist society. This is exactly what the Cultural Revolution was aimed at preventing! So it is no surprise that the official line of the regime in China is that this period in Chinese history was a “disaster” and a “nightmare.” But the current ruling class in China has its own interests in selectively allowing certain works of art produced during the Cultural Revolution, like The Red Detachment of Women, to be performed. On the one hand, some of these works remain very popular. On the other, and more importantly, the current rulers want to utilize them in a way that can promote patriotism and nationalism that will serve the reactionary interests of building a more powerful capitalist China, at home and internationally.

But overall, this 2015 production of The Red Detachment of Women stayed mainly true to the original, artistically and in content.* And the choreography and music, dancing, costumes, and staging were amazing. It wouldn’t do justice to try and describe it here. But the whole thing was, as all great art should be, a higher than life experience—the 3D sets, the 70-piece orchestra, the chorus of 40 singers, and above all the 80 dancers doing fantastical feats that seemed to defy gravity.

During the Cultural Revolution a tremendous amount of culture flourished throughout society—in a way that had never happened before and that involved the masses of people, not just as spectators but also as non-professional practitioners of art. And emphasis was put on bringing revolutionary cultural works to the peasants in the countryside and having common people take up the production of revolutionary culture as integral to revolutionizing all parts of people’s daily life and thinking.

Bob Avakian has studied the experience of socialist revolution in the Soviet Union and China—the great achievements as well as the shortcomings. He has drawn from wide spheres of human experience. And he has brought forward a new synthesis of communism that builds on but goes beyond what came before. Bob Avakian has talked about how the advanced cultural works produced during the Cultural Revolution were really world-class achievements in revolutionary content as well as artistic quality. And he has also talked about how, at the same time, there were certain tendencies towards rigidity and dogmatism, and nationalism. One thing he points out is that there was not a full understanding of the distinction between what needs to go into creating model cultural works and what should be broader artistic expressions, which might take a lot of diverse forms, and should not be supervised and finely calibrated in the same way necessary to produce model cultural works. To read BA’s insights on art and culture during the Cultural Revolution in China people should really check out “The Cultural Revolution in China...Art and Culture...Dissent and Ferment...and Carrying Forward the Revolution Toward Communism.”

The Revolution Today

Before the performance at Lincoln Center, Revolution Books, New York set up a book table, talked to people arriving for the performance and passed out a provocative leaflet—which talked about the significance of The Red Detachment of Women and upheld Mao and the Cultural Revolution. A major mission here was to introduce people to Revolution Books as a place to learn the real history and real lessons of the Cultural Revolution... why the world is the way it is and how it can be transformed through revolution; a place to learn about the revolutionary leadership of Bob Avakian. And people were called on to join the emergency campaign to save and re-open Revolution Books in NYC. After 35 years in downtown Manhattan, the store has been forced to temporarily close and people were called on to contribute to the campaign to raise $150,000 to move Revolution Books to Harlem.

Someone who participated in the Cultural Revolution as a student attended the performance, read the leaflet, and later came to talk with someone from Revolution Books. He said he has been really wrestling with what happened and trying to figure out whether it was a failure or a defeat when, after Mao died, capitalism was restored in China. He had already gone to the website and read Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage—A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and now wants to study the special issue of Revolution, You Don’t Know What You Think You “Know” About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation: Its History and Our Future.

After seeing The Red Detachment of Women, a group of about 20 people, including members of the Revolution Club who had gone to the performance, went to a nearby restaurant to eat, drink, and talk about what we had just experienced. Everyone was just so high off the whole thing. People talked about what really struck them about the performance; there were questions and discussion about the background and current relevance of the ballet. The youth, in particular, were extremely blown away by the power of The Red Detachment of Women, how moving it was and they were also thinking about what it means for building a movement for revolution today.

One young woman in her late 20s, visiting the U.S. from another country, said: “It was a very powerful ballet and for many different reasons I enjoyed it a lot and I felt very lucky to be there. For me it was traveling to a time, going back to a period, which I didn’t have a chance to live in.... You can see that when there are different values in command, different types of art are coming. And it was very powerful for me and I felt that, wow, what would it feel like if I was living in such a society in a world where women are not sex objects and I wouldn’t just see half- naked, sexy-style, Barbie-style women everywhere and I wouldn’t feel the pressure like that. And from another perspective, it was a masterpiece, artistically—the music, the lights, all the single movements, and I enjoyed it a lot and I wish there were more of such things.”

A young Black man who is a member of the Revolution Club said: “It blew my mind, I was just on my feet, I was just almost about to jump over the rail, it was just so inspiring, it was strong, it was hard core, it makes you just want to fight harder and make the Revolution Clubs what they need to be. It’s the most inspiring thing I’ve ever seen. It’s in my head right now. It’s hard to get it out of your head and I think it brought our Revolution Club even closer with everyone seeing it together. The Rev Club went together and the next day we were trying to think on how we need to have a force [out there] like how everyone greeted each other on the stage, the men and women were equals, they were all strong people and they were all trying to lift each other up and trying to help each other.”


Many people used the word “inspiring” to describe how they felt after seeing The Red Detachment of Women, whether they had seen it before or for the first time. And this is because, as has been the case now for half a century, this ballet—through its dance, music, costumes, choreography, and story—is a work of art that is both higher than life but also gives people a very concrete picture of the kind of revolutionary changes that happened in China during the Cultural Revolution, from morality, to the kinds of values that people had, to the transformation of relations, like between men and women, to the level of culture. There is a lot here to enjoy and delight in. To cherish and learn from, to build on, and then to go farther and do better, in continuing the fight to emancipate all of humanity.

* There was at least one significant change in content to note. In Scene 3, the hero Hong Changqing goes to the evil landlord’s house in disguise. The plan is for him to fire a shot to signal the Red Detachment to begin their raid. But when Qionghua arrives she cannot suppress her rage and shoots at the landlord, accidentally setting off the raid early; the landlord is wounded but gets away. When the next scene opens, members of the Red Detachment are attending a lecture. A chalkboard with the lesson for the day emphasizes being “Organized and well-disciplined.” The program notes explain: “Hong Changqing lectures the Red Detachment of Women on politics and reminds the soldiers of the need for discipline. Quionghua understands and becomes determined to fight for the liberation of the country.” But according to the original script/libretto, the blackboard is supposed to say, “Only by emancipating all mankind can the proletariat achieve its own final emancipation.” And the original stage notes indicate that the lesson is that “Revolution is not simply a matter of personal vengeance... Its aim is the emancipation of all mankind.” This is a pretty significant change. Bob Avakian has emphasized and really deepened this important principle of the communist revolution—that the communist revolution must NOT be about individual revenge where “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.” But that it MUST be a revolution to emancipate all of humanity. [back]







Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Police Murder of 19-Year-Old Christian Taylor

"How many hashtags now?"

August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Yet another unarmed young Black person murdered by police! In the early hours of Friday, August 7, Christian Taylor, a 19-year-old student and defensive back on the football team at Angelo State University, was shot dead by police in Arlington, Texas.

Christian Taylor with friends.
Photo: @_lawjohnson / Twitter

Christian Taylor is the 696th person—and the 179th Black man—killed by police in the U.S. just in this year. And he was killed two days before the one-year anniversary of the police murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

The police claim that two cops were answering a burglary call at a car dealership, where they claim an “altercation” took place—and then an officer-in-training shot Taylor. First, people shouldn’t believe anything the police say—police around the country have been proven time after time to lie shamelessly about the murder and brutality they carry out. But one thing is undeniably clear: Christian Taylor was unarmed, and he was cut down in the prime of his youth by armed pigs acting under the color of authority.

Among the outpouring of grief and outrage at this latest brutal act of terror by the police was a tweet from tennis star Serena Williams: “Really??????!!!!!!!!!!? are we all sleeping and this is one gigantic bad nightmare? #ChristianTaylor how many hashtags now?”

As Christian Taylor himself had tweeted over the past year: “Police taking black lives as easy as flippin a coin, with no consequences smh” and “I don’t feel protected by the police.”

How many more lives will be so brutally and unjustly stolen by police across the U.S.? There was immediate anger at the murder of Christian Taylor, and over the past year we’ve seen a level of resistance to police brutality that hasn’t been seen in this country in decades. Yet the police terror continues, and killer cops continue to get exonerated. This intolerable situation underscores the urgent need for a huge outpouring in October in New York City to demand a STOP to police terror.

And this horror of police murder after police murder, especially of Black and Latino people, is part of all the other horrors that this system of capitalism-imperialism brings down, here and all around the world. Everyone who wants to see all this ended once and for all: get with the movement for revolution, here at





Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Take a Big Step in Getting BA Everywhere!
August 22: Represent for Revolution and the Emancipation of Humanity

August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On August 22, people all around the country will answer the call of the BA Everywhere campaign to wear the bold T-shirt, BA Speaks; REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! and represent for revolution and the emancipation of humanity. As we approach this day, we want to answer a few questions about it.

Revolution--Nothing Less T-shirt poster

Click image to enlarge | Download PDF poster

What is the purpose of T-shirt day?

To bring forward people, based in the bedrock oppressed of society, but reaching out more broadly, to represent together for the leadership and the revolutionary way out of this horror that Bob Avakian, BA, has developed. To spread both the content of this leadership and to embody for people the fact that this revolutionary leadership is increasingly taking root. To contribute, in doing this, to the broad spirit of defiance and searching for answers going on right now among all people, and to provide direction for that. Not least, raising money for the BA Everywhere campaign, whose aim is to make BA a point of reference in society.

August 22 will put this T-shirt on the map in a new way, and mark a step toward BA, the movement for revolution, and the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! becoming widely known and talked about everywhere you go.

What will happen on T-shirt day?

Clusters of people, as well as individuals, representing with this shirt in key places, from major cities to small towns. Boldly marching in, chanting, giving all who see it the sense of a force that is sure of the revolution and sure of themselves. Sharing the words of BA with people and bringing the message. Where necessary, challenging the backward and calling out, or standing up against, the authorities. Through all this, gathering more people on the spot, and spreading the word all day long.

Photos will be important to give a sense of the scope and reach of the day. But this is not a photo-op—this is a full day and night of representing for revolution and spreading the REVOLUTION, nothing less and straight up—with a strong spirit of defiance!

How should T-shirt day be built?

In as many creative ways that people can come up with! Send your ideas to by emailing to

Those in the movement for revolution should build this day by taking BA and what he represents straight up to the people, now. They should go to the most oppressed and they should go to many other kinds of people as well. There are many tools for this. BA’s message on New Year’s should be played. The flyer “when you wear this shirt, you step into the revolution” should be distributed and used with everyone we talk to. (That short piece has the virtue of putting BA before the people right from the beginning, with the “no more generations” quote from BAsics 1:13.) The film that the T-shirt publicizes—BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!—should be distributed and the showings of it on August 23 should be publicized and built for, with tickets being sold. BAsics, the handbook for revolutionaries from the talks and writings of BA; the filmed Dialogue of BA with Cornel West, REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; and this website and Revolution newspaper should all be gotten out. Everywhere people go, funds should be raised for BA Everywhere. The shirt should be sold to people broadly, and they should be encouraged to wear it as much as possible between now and the 22nd, and they should be given materials both to get into and to help them explain to others what they are into... and why these others should be into it too. They should be given a way to hook into the revolution—on the spot, and then how to get back in touch later. Doing all this is critical to actually building a movement FOR revolution, with the Revolutionary Communist Party at its leading core, and preparing the political conditions, the people, and the vanguard both to make that revolution when the time is right and to hasten that time.

We should, all the time, be accumulating forces for revolution. These next two weeks are a concentrated process of going to people and recruiting them to take part, in this way and on the spot, in the revolution... and then wielding this force to further represent the revolutionary way forward and accumulate more forces. People should try to draw lessons in this from positive experience in building for last fall’s Dialogue between BA and Cornel West, or on the recent tours to promote the October 24 day against police terror and murder, and make very bold plans accordingly.

If we do this—if we go into the neighborhoods of the oppressed and the crossroads where people of all sections mix and mesh with THIS, in a bold and certain way—and if we draw people in and give them other ways to be part of this movement—then we can make a major and significant impact on August 22, consolidate people for the movement for revolution on August 23, and move on from there to build this movement to a higher plateau.







Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Inside the California Drought

Mendota, California

August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


California is going through the fourth year of the most severe drought in its recorded history. This year the drought has further intensified, and now the vast majority of the state is in “extreme drought.” The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains this year, which large sections of the state rely on for water in the late spring and summer months, is only six percent of normal. The huge capitalist agribusiness in California’s vast Central Valley has been a focus of complex struggle over allocation of the sharply decreased water—agriculture uses an estimated 80 percent of the water in the state.

A small crew of reporters and photographers spent a day in and around Mendota, California, to find out about the effects of the California drought and to report to Mendota is one of the places where the drought is hitting the hardest. It is a small, largely Latino town of about 11,000 people in the Central Valley, near Fresno. We came away from our short visit with a richer and deeper understanding of just how insane and horrific capitalist development is—how it ravages the land, and savagely exploits the people—and came away also with a sharpened sense of why we need a revolution, now.

Mendota, California
Mendota, California

When you drive through the countryside around Mendota, in California’s Central Valley, you can right away begin to get a sense of the impact of the California drought. You can see whole orchards, with hundreds or thousands of trees, dried out and dead from lack of water. You can see huge fields, stretching along the highway, left fallow (not planted with crops) because the water to grow plants is not available or is too expensive. If you talk to people who operate the farms, you hear that some are planning to uproot thousands of almond trees because of lack of water.

The fallow fields are not a small matter. The California Central Valley is a very big player in capitalist agriculture in America—roughly 50 percent of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables sold in this country come from this huge valley. But in addition to the overt signs of the drought, you also see things that, on the surface, don’t make sense. You see massive fields where row after row of thousands of tiny trees are propped up on stakes to give them a start—they have just been planted, or planted very recently. And it will take years before they yield a profit. And they will have to be irrigated the whole time. Some people with a lot of money are betting that they will manage to make a profit out of these new trees. We wanted to find out what is going on.

And from another angle, in Mendota you can see the hardship faced by the people whose labor has been at the foundation of enormous profits in California agriculture, and how they, too, are deeply affected by the drought. When we visited Mendota, it was 95 degrees in town. And it was probably hotter in the fields surrounding the town. Just standing there in the sun, we broke into a sweat. We met and talked with a crew picking cantaloupes in that sun—it was 4 pm on a Saturday, and they were still working. And we also talked to others in Mendota who were on the desperate edge of being able to survive because their hours were being cut due to the fallow fields and reduced work because of the drought. They were suffering because they could NOT get out into that sun all day to do backbreaking labor.

The California drought is caused in the most immediate sense by a years-long decrease in rain and snow, and is part of a larger and longer drought across the U.S. Southwest and parts of Mexico. Scientists say that some of this is simply the kind of fluctuation that comes naturally, which has happened many times over thousands of years. But some scientists also say that the extent and intensity of this particular drought cannot be explained simply by natural variation alone. They say that the fact that California is warmer because of global warming, driven by human burning of fossil fuel, is a crucial factor—and the warmer climate means that what water there evaporates faster and intensifies the drought. (And this also intensifies the forest fires now raging across the state.)

And even more important is the fact that the whole history of capitalist development of California, and this takes particular focus on the use of water, has been a completely unplanned and unsustainable process driven not by the needs of the people and the environment, but by competition between different groups and factions of capitalists, struggling with each other and ripping off people and exploiting nature. (See the article “California Drought and an Insane System.”)

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Water in California basically comes from three sources. One is rain and snow, which has dramatically lessened because of climate change, (as well as the years of drought). The second major source of water is the Colorado River, which itself has been drained by development and is suffering from drought. (The mighty Colorado, which once entered the ocean in Mexico at Baja California in a vast wetlands, now almost never makes it to the sea at all and the wetlands have almost completely dried up. The water which once flowed to Mexico and the ocean now goes to Phoenix, Los Angeles, and other cities, and to agriculture.) The third source of water in California is pumping from underground aquifers.

A dramatic illustration of the long history of unsustainable pumping of water from aquifers in California is the accompanying picture which shows that just outside Mendota, from 1925 to 1977, the ground level fell 30 feet because of water being pumped from underground aquifers. When the ground falls like this as aquifers are drained, the underground spaces in rock and clay formations that have been holding the water are crushed and broken. The earth itself does not fully recover, and cannot hold as much water again.

The pumping of groundwater went on for decades, and all over the Central Valley. Because the difficult soil conditions in Mendota require a LOT of water for agriculture, groundwater was pumped there more than almost anywhere else. But the pumping stopped, or was significantly reduced, when statewide irrigation systems made water available through canals from the Sacramento River Delta 150 or so miles north of Mendota. Taking water from the Sacramento River Delta had its own bad environmental consequences, and it, too, was unsustainable in the long run. And today very little of that water is available because of the drought, and the pumping of the underground aquifers, in Mendota and elsewhere, has resumed with a vengeance. We were told in Mendota that not only are the well-drillers extremely busy all over the area, but some farmers are bringing in oil companies with their oil-drilling rigs to go far deeper. The deeper you drill, the older the water. Some water 20,000 years old is now being used for irrigation.

All of this is taking place with no plan, no coordination, no regulation. This is fundamentally because the driving force behind development is the anarchic capitalist economy. What is planted is planted because there is a profit in it, not because it is needed or sustainable. Water and other natural resources are sucked into the capitalist production process without regard for social or environmental consequences. This even takes legal expression—California has had essentially no rules for the use of water pumped out of the ground. If you drill a well, the water is yours. You are not required to record how much you use. (There is a new law which requires reporting and some other regulations of groundwater pumping—but the requirements don’t go into effect until 2022 or later.) In short, you can suck everything you can out of your well. The San Jose Mercury News described the resulting water wars going on now:

To ensure they can support their crops, farms are “ordering wells faster than we can put them in,” said Arthur, of Arthur & Orum Well Drilling.

Driller Ron Bradley, of Del Rey, south of Fresno, is busy replacing or deepening dry domestic wells. “Without the groundwater being replaced, they’re not adequate anymore.”

It’s akin to an arms race, said hydrologist Vance Kennedy. Newly deepened wells drain the water below existing wells—forcing neighbors to drill ever deeper or risk going dry.

“People don’t know, or don’t care, that they are also pulling water from thousands of feet around them,” he said. “If their neighbor suffers? Well, it’s a dog-eat-dog world.” (“California Drought: San Joaquin sinking as farmers race to tap aquifer”)

This water is under the ground because of geological processes tens of thousands of years old, and in some cases cannot be replaced. It should be left for future generations—not consumed in a frenzy of dog-eat-dog profit-taking. And there is a further twist—the water from the underground aquifers is saltier than the water from other sources—and some crops cannot grow in it. Mendota once promoted itself as the “cantaloupe capital of the world.” It also grew a range of vegetables. But as the drought has intensified, one consequence of saltier water more and more characterizing what is growing in Mendota is that things like vegetables and cantaloupes have been cut back, and fruit and nut trees, which have greater tolerance for salt, have expanded. At the beginning of this story we posed the question of why huge groves of new trees were being planted. It seems that part of the answer is that some of them are pistachios, which are very tolerant of saltier water.

So this is the emerging picture in Mendota, which is in some ways an extreme expression of what is going on throughout the whole Central Valley: water resources from tens of thousands of years ago are being sucked out of the ground to water crops that are planted on land which is not that suited for agriculture in the first place—and this process is increasingly environmentally damaging and cannot be sustained in the long run. And what determines the course of development today is what can be profitably produced, especially for the large and powerful capitalists that are able to operate in the big-time agribusiness that dominates the Central Valley. Much has been made in the press in California of the fact that it takes more than a gallon of water to produce one almond, and 4.9 gallons to grow a single walnut. But these crops are also immensely profitable. And over the years in the Central Valley, major imperialist investors have shifted toward more water-intensive crops during the drought. The San Jose Mercury News listed a series of major investors, including hedge funds, who have bought out farms and shifted production to MORE water-intensive crops during the years of the California drought. We saw groves of 10,000, or even more, new trees in our trip. So this is another part of the answer to the question of why massive numbers of new trees are being planted—some big capitalists are hell-bent on finding water by hook or by crook (which most likely means ever deeper wells) for what they hope are very profitable investments in water-loving trees.

Crops that need more and more water... ever-deeper wells even as the ground is falling... and water that is saltier and saltier. This is madness, and it cannot be sustained—but this is capitalism at work, driven by the global, anarchic competition between capitalists and groups of capitalists, searching the Earth for ways to extract profit, and fighting it out to dominate each other. A gardener in Mendota, when asked why it was that growers were planting massive groves of new trees, told us, “It’s kind of like the last bite...”

“Taking the last bite” does capture some things about what is going on in Mendota. But here’s the problem—capitalism on its own will never stop taking the last bite—it will go on, digging deeper wells and bringing the surface of the Earth down and down—it will go on squeezing everything it can from the immigrants working in the fields—and it will do this because this is what capitalism is and what capitalism does.

This points to why nothing can really change without a revolution.

Impact on the People: “We are drying up”

But what about the people who live in Mendota? How has the drought affected them and what has been the impact on their lives?

Just as the drought has intensified the madness of this system’s use of water, which was already going on in Mendota, so, too, the drought has intensified the exploitation and oppression of the people of Mendota.

The town is 90 percent Latino. There may well be a higher percentage than that because many people do not have papers. We were told that most people in the town and working in the fields are from Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras. Driven by the search for a better life, by hunger and the way that the workings of the international imperialist system, and most especially U.S. imperialism, have dominated and ravaged Mexico and Central America, people have been unable to live in their own countries and have undertaken the sometimes desperate and dangerous, and always wrenching, journey to the U.S. to serve inside this country as modern-day slave labor. We spoke, for example, to a farmworker from Honduras. He said he made the trip from Honduras because life is so difficult there and because of the violence that made life very dangerous and precarious. To get to the U.S., he came by train—he rode on the famous train, La Bestia, where people come across Mexico on the roof of the train, threatened by police, theft, and rape along the way. His trip took 15 days from the Honduran border to Monterrey, Mexico. From there, it was another seven days to cross into the U.S.

We spoke to people without papers or rights, working at or around minimum wage in the hot sun to make enough to barely survive and send money back to relatives in the countries they left behind. Think about it—on top of the harsh work and low wages, they are hounded by the immigration authorities and vilified and called “parasites,” “criminals,” “drug dealers” and “rapists” by the likes of Donald Trump—while from Obama they face the largest number of deportations in history, along with the holding of men, women, and children in detention under terrible conditions. This whole horrific situation has been made much worse by the drought.

One big part of the difficulty the drought has intensified is that where they once would be able to work long enough to eke out survival for themselves and their families, this is no longer true, at least in many cases. One supervisor told us what he observed: “People would work in the corn and then in the melon, and when that ended, they’d work in the broccoli until January. If before [the drought] people had 10 or even 11 months of work, now they have maybe four.”

A woman whose daughter worked in the onion fields told us, partly in tears, of how this came down in her family: “The work is over already. Just one week more. And then there is no work. My daughter always worked all year and not now. We don’t know what we’re going to do no longer. Work in the tomatillos is also coming to an end. We’ve lived here for seven years.”

We asked, “What do people say they’ll do?” She answered, “They do not know. It helps some because people come from Fresno to give food. But bills and the rent and all that? They come every 15 days to give food in the park. You get rice, beans, milk—they give us all that. But it’s difficult. We don’t know what to do.”

This story is the story of many people in Mendota. This woman was the second person we talked to in Mendota—we drove into town, walked into a laundromat, and started talking to people. Pretty much everyone there worked in the fields or was related to or lived with people who did. And this is the bitter reality—the people whose hard labor produces 50 percent of the fruit, nuts, and vegetables in the U.S. are going hungry.

And it is not just the farmworkers who are the victims and whose lives are being shaken. We talked to a gardener who had owned a small business for 35 years in Mendota:

“For a small business like me, the situation is that the water is being rationed. People are being fined for throwing water, if a sprinkler is running down the gutter. Lawns are drying up. The other day I went to cut about six lawns and four of them said don’t cut it. Let it go another week. Others said, we got our own lawn mower, you know. I’m getting affected real bad—35 years I’ve been in this business and usually by this time I have a little money saved up. This year it’s been real tough. I’ve been 35 years in Mendota and I’ve never seen anything like this before. The only reason people are getting crops and stuff like that is because of well water. It’s not from the mountains or anything else. Another year and the only option I got is some retirement money. I’ll be 62. If it wasn’t for that, I’d have to go on welfare.”

He went on: “We’re drying up. The situation is bad. Everybody I talk to—everybody knows me—you can tell there is something in the air. They’re in distress, under pressure, everywhere you go here it is slow—mechanics, everything. Right now it’s supposed to be going full blast but it’s not like that.”

He told us that the tap water in Mendota—which comes from wells—is undrinkable, that you can smell the chemicals, that he has to buy drinking water, and that this is not just a product of the drought, it has been like this for a long time.

He spoke with passion and bitterness of how much wealth has been taken out of Mendota and the surrounding area—and how little has benefited the people. There is a sense he had—and also among others in the town—that things cannot go on as they have—and not just in Mendota—even if the rains start again in earnest. The drought has brought some things to the surface—and not just 20,000-year-old water, but anger at the long and bitter history of raw exploitation and oppression.

This is what we are dealing with. The U.S. goes around the world and destroys the economies and social cohesion of whole countries; it draws their people here to work as wage slaves; it destroys the planet itself—its air, water, and the extraordinary life on the planet; and it hounds the people who come here to work and to survive with immigration police and poisonous lies about how they are parasites, even as they are the ones who are putting food on our tables. And then, when production shifts from one crop to another, when capital jumps to another field, or another country, because it can squeeze more out of some other worker somewhere else—then, too fucking bad for you, you can just go hungry and your babies can starve.

It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way

But what really makes you angry is that it doesn’t have to be this way. A whole, radically different world is possible. One where the capitalist system and its mad anarchic drive for profit through exploitation and ravaging people and the Earth itself has been defeated, its institutions of repression and control shattered and broken by a powerful revolution which goes on to immediately build a new state and a new and radically different system based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal). And on that basis a new economic system can come into being which is based on advancing the revolution to liberate the whole planet, to meet social needs, and overcome all the oppressive divisions and relations; and which protects, preserves, and enhances the environment for present and future generations.

And in that society, growing food will still be a struggle. We will still have to deal with things like drought. And most likely we will have a big battle to overcome the catastrophic environmental devastation and climate change capitalism has caused, which will include drought and devastating storms along with rising seas, and many other problems. But with revolutionary state power and a powerful revolutionary movement anchored among oppressed people, but extending through all society, we can quickly move to a place where the land itself isn’t owned by big capitalists, but by the revolutionary state, and we can quickly learn how to carry out the production of food in a way that feeds all the people. And we will immediately put an end to the slave-like conditions of labor in agriculture. We can immediately put an end to the obscene inequalities that push people who are producing food for everyone to the edge of starvation. We can quickly leave behind the insanity of private landowners producing for their own profit above all, where stealing water from neighboring farms is what you do if you are going to survive. We can start right away to STOP the endless abuses and discrimination faced by the immigrants in places like Mendota, the suppression of their language, culture, and legal and political rights. We can break down the ancient divisions that have some people working with their hands and others doing the thinking and telling them what to do. We can draw on the knowledge and methods of scientists, activists, farmers, and the workers themselves to organize agriculture in a way that leaves the Earth in a better state, not in a nightmare world where the surface of the Earth itself is falling.

When we get to that world, what has happened to the earth, to the water, and to the people in Mendota (and in places like Mendota all over the planet) will be seen for what it really is—a great and terrible crime. And maybe when we get to that future society there will be a museum in Mendota where there will be a picture of the ground falling 30 feet because of the groundwater being pumped out, and other exhibits which point to the madness and horror of capitalism so starkly manifest in Mendota. And maybe the exhibits in this museum will bring out how this all came not from something evil about humanity, but from the capitalist system and the way it forced people to be.






Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Ferguson 2015: It Was—and Is—Right to Rebel! Was in the Air!!!

August 8, 2015, marching to Ferguson police stationAugust 8, 2015: Marching through the streets of Ferguson to the police station.
(Photo: Special to Revolution/

August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The weekend of the anniversary of the murder of Mike Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri cop, and the ensuing courageous and determined struggle for justice, saw a wide range of marches, vigils, and protests around the country, with more to come early next week. A powerful and rebellious Ferguson Rocks concert Saturday night in St. Louis featured Tom Morello and the Freedom Fighter Orchestra, Jessica Care Moore, The Coup, Outernational and others. Carl Dix made a blistering challenge to the crowd at the concert to take up and be in the streets at Rise Up October, October 24 in NYC.

The high point -- to this moment -- was a determined and defiant late night march of hundreds of mostly youth – Black and white – through the streets of Ferguson up to an intense confrontation at the Ferguson Police Department.

Saturday night in Ferguson

A Revolution correspondent on the scene reported: It was—and is—Right to Rebel! was in the air!!! With the anniversary of the murder of Michael Brown approaching, many Black youth and others gathered along the main drag of Ferguson, West Florissant Avenue, hanging out on their cars, some selling t-shirts and buttons, lots of people talking about Mike Brown and the hundreds of others killed by the police.

Revolution Club members and revcom people and people from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network were getting out Rise Up October palm cards, agitating on the bullhorn and getting people signed up to organize for Rise Up October. and some of us were getting out Revolution newspapers. Lost Voices, an organization of Black youth formed last year as a result of the rebellion, had set up an encampment that was a pole of attraction for all kinds of youth and the leading force in the march that took off from West Florissant, through side streets to the Ferguson Police station. Youth hanging out of cars were yelling “Fuck the Police”, and “Hands UP, Don’t Shoot!”, horns blowing and blowing. 

Nicholas Heyward, Union SquareAt Union Square in New York City. Pictured is Nicholas Heyward Sr, father of Nicholas Heyward Jr., killed by NYPD at age 13. Photo: Jerry Michael Jones

As the march reached the police station, at least 300 Black and white youth confronted the pigs guarding the station.  Youth, sisters and brothers, stood on a barrier yelling at the pigs calling them out for the crimes and the terror against Black people. When the crowd yelled “FTP, Fuck the Police” you could feel the hatred the youth feel about the murder of Mike Brown by Darren Wilson and his getting away with it, and the deep hatred they feel about all the others killed by police.  They were yelling and pointing fingers at the police denouncing the horror they bring down on Black people every day. 

There were all kinds of political messages on signs in the crowd, and banners and signs like ”Justice for Sandra Bland,” and “Justice for Mike Brown.”  A Revolution Club member with a bullhorn called on people to mobilize thousands to take the level of resistance to a higher level and be part of a massive protest in New York City on October 24. He said, “There is a slow genocide going on. Which side are you on? Are you going to let the genocide go on or are you going to be on the side of stopping it.  And revolution nothing less is needed to end these horrors once and for all. We have a Party, the Revolution Communist Party that has a strategy to make revolution. Check it out.”  

Cambridge, anniversary of the murder of Michael Brown.August 9, 2015: Called by Black Llives Matter Cambridge, around 350 people rallied and marched through Cambridge, Massachusetts.  (Photo: Special to

In the aftermath of the night’s action a young Black woman said, “Our voices need to be heard about the police killing Black people and tonight they were heard.”   A member of Lost Voices said, “What happened last year unleashed a beast. And that beast has been tamed too many times. Not tonight. “ As we were leaving the scene, one comrade said, “What happened tonight was reminiscent of the first night of the rebellion a year ago.“   

It was clear that the defiant ones who the powers-that-be have tried to crush both physically and through the media, the defiant ones  who stood up in the face of tear gas, tanks, rubber bullets, live machine guns, curfews, hundreds of arrests in the face of political firemen urging people to be calm while the police murder people over and over were in the streets Saturday night.  Their message was loud and clear: we are determined to stop the pigs from murdering us and we the people will stop them.






Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

From Stop Mass Incarceration Network:

What Is the Political Aim of October 22-24?

August 3, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The situation is this: thousands of people have risen in the last year to demand that the police stop their ruthless and repeated killings of Black and Latino people. But the police, backed up from on high, have continued this onslaught and lashed back harder. This is a plague, this is the spear point of a genocide.

Yet way too many people still sit on the sidelines.

In the face of this relentless terror, Rise Up October has called for militant and mass mobilization on October 22 to 24, focused in New York City, to STOP this. These actions aim to mobilize many more thousands of people, from all walks of life, much more actively into this fight, to powerfully insist through their actions on those days that these murders must simply stop, NOW.

Such an unprecedented outpouring of protest and resistance, along with the whole process of building up to these days, would awaken and inspire millions, and sharply raise the question to the whole society and the whole world: WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? The aim is to get things to the point where there are millions who both feel in their bones that this system of intimidation, terror and murder is INTOLERABLE... and are willing to step out and act in all different ways to stop this, and have the ways to do so. In other words, these actions in October aim to change the whole tenor and direction of society and make a major leap in turning back and stopping this terror in blue.

That is what we are calling for. And that is worth going all-out on.





Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Dispatch from a Revolution Club Member

Day One in Jackson, Mississippi: A Lively Example of the Urgency for Revolution

August 4, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Telling the truth about abortion in Jackson, MS.

We approached a house that, like many other houses in its vicinity, looked uninhabitable—the glass of the windows was broken, the wood was falling apart; nevertheless the house loosely clung to its foundation. Before we turned away, a very friendly woman, probably in her 60s, came out of the house, smiling, curious about these two women with T-shirts that read REVOLUTION―NOTHING LESS! We said, “Hello, we are revolutionaries!”

Betsy is a Black woman who resides in utter desolation in Jackson, Mississippi. Her life concentrates the horrors that millions of Black people experience in a country founded on slavery and genocide. She is among the millions of Black people who have been cast off by this system. When we brought the movement for revolution to Betsy’s doorstep and explained how this system perpetuates the oppression of Black people and women, the way out—communist revolution and the leadership we have—she widened her eyes, sat down, and said “OK, let’s talk!” She then proceeded to unbraid the white supremacy and patriarchy prevalent in her life.

The conversation began with a reading of the “You cannot break all the chains except one...” (BAsics 3:22) quote. When we asked her what struck her about the quote, she said, “It’s powerful. It’s a good quote, but I don’t understand it.” We began to break down what this quote means and how liberating women isn’t just a moral question, but that there is a scientific basis for doing so, that we can understand when and how the oppression of women emerged, the way it manifests itself today―through reducing women to breeders and/or sex objects—and, consequently, the pathway to liberating women. It was an experiment; every time we spoke and she asked questions, we realized the need to break things down more concretely and define all of our terms so she could understand that revolution is a complex process rather than a process impossible to understand. Through trial and error we were able to bridge the gap between her current understanding of the state of the world and the revolutionary understanding she needed.

We got into the particularities of why we were in Jackson: to defend the last abortion clinic in the entire state and build a movement dedicated to stopping patriarchy. As we were relaying this all to her, she interjected and said, “Wait you all are against abortion? Or...” and we said we are for abortion which lead her to exclaim, “Oh no, I’m against abortion. I hate that word.” When we asked her why, she repeatedly said, “It’s just wrong, it’s just wrong.” She explained she had six children and thought about getting an abortion a number of times but decided to keep her “babies.” She said once a young woman conveyed to her that she used a coat hanger to give herself an abortion, but that she just couldn’t stay to listen to the young woman because “It was just wrong,” not because a woman was placed in that same situation but because abortion, according to her, is immoral.

Jackson, MSJackson, Mississippi
Photo: Stop Patriarchy


Download brochure (PDF)

After we showed her the brochure (at right) that lays out the science of what an abortion is, the discussion was re-cast in a way that got to our primary disagreement: whether or not a fetus is a baby and resulted in a subtle change in her position. We showed her the picture of what an embryo looks like at the first three weeks of pregnancy and explained that 90 percent of abortions are performed during the first trimester of pregnancy. “That’s how the baby looks?” she asked. “No, that’s how the embryo looks,” we said. We then posed the question, “Do you really think abortion could be called murder?” Instead of responding immediately, Betsy unfolded the pamphlet and pointed at the second picture of a fetus at three months and asked, “What about this one, is that what the baby looks like?” and we said, “No, that’s what the fetus at three months looks like.” We proceeded to tell her that the potential life of a fetus is subordinate to the life of a woman, that a fetus is entirely sustained by the woman’s body, just like any other clump of cells in her body. We reframed the debate around abortion and explained the importance of women having the right to abortion and what this decisive fight is all about: whether women will be enslaved or liberated. We could see in her expression how surprised she was. She was facing for first time the reality of abortion. We then asked her if her view of abortion changed after we came to the doorstep and she said, “No. I’m against abortion but I understand why... why women need abortion.” When we broke down how forced motherhood is female enslavement, that any entity that is state regulated is enslaved she nodded and said, “Yes, yes. I understand why a woman would get an abortion now that you talked to me. I understand why, can I keep this [the brochure]? I am going to read it again.”

We then returned to the fact that we, as revolutionaries, understand that the way Black people are treated―pushed into ghettos, incarcerated, shot down by brutal cops, essentially offered no future and means to grow and flourish as a people—flows out of the same system that is keeping half of humanity down. We gave her a copy of Revolution newspaper and when she saw Sandra Bland on the cover, she became sad and exclaimed, “Why did this happen? They [the cops] shot my son twice in the back when he was filling his car up with gas. There’s a video of it so I’m suing them. He is still alive though. My other son was shot by a person who thought he was someone he wasn’t.” We explained to her we no longer have to live this way―in a world where Black and Brown people’s futures are laid out before they are even born, that this system cannot do away with the oppression of Black people, that it will continue to keep them down so long as it remains intact. She said she was glad that we talked to her and introduced us to her 12-year-old grandson who had been listening in on the latter half of our discussion. He asked us, “What are you about? What are you promoting?” and after we explained he said, “We need change, we can’t live like this no more, and I want to promote it too.” He explained that a good way he could promote it was through his Instagram because he has over 6,000 followers. He took a picture with BAsics so his “friends could learn about the revolution.”

Jackson, Mississippi, August 2015

At the last abortion clinic in Mississippi.

The process of unfolding the need for revolution combined with the horrors Betsy faces illuminates how much she relates to the revolution—a Black woman who grew up in Mississippi, living in an uninhabitable house, two of her sons have been shot; the fact that she had considered abortion and knew somebody who self-induced an abortion with a coat hanger. And there she was, sitting in the window-less house, no AC on a hot summer day in Mississippi, a house in the middle of this deserted neighborhood, living the life that millions of people are forced to live in this country, deprived of a future with the exception of rearing children and just getting by. This revolution was exactly what she needed to hear about, it was right that we were there, she is a lively example of the urgency for revolution.






Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Gangsters Conspire in the Middle East:
The New U.S.-Turkish Agreement

by Larry Everest | August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


There’s been yet another significant shift in the complex, tumultuous Middle East.

In late July, the U.S. and Turkey announced a major new agreement: according to press reports, Turkey has agreed to join the U.S. campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS, or ISIL) and other reactionary Islamic fundamentalist forces. Turkey will now reportedly start launching military attacks in Syria and perhaps Iraq, and will also allow the U.S. to use the Incirlik Air Base in southwest Turkey to launch air and drone strikes against ISIS in particular. There are also reports that the two countries aim to drive ISIS and other jihadists from a 65-mile-wide zone along the Syrian-Turkish border, creating a “safe” space for Syrians fleeing the civil war, and a base of operations for U.S.-organized forces who oppose both Syria’s President Bashar Assad, as well as the anti-U.S. elements of the anti-Assad opposition—in particular ISIS and the al-Nusra Front. (At least for the moment, it doesn’t appear that Turkey or the U.S. is directly targeting the Assad regime.)

This is a big shift in Turkey’s position. Since the start of the Syrian civil war in March 2011, and as it has evolved into one of the most hellish slaughters between different reactionary forces on the planet, Turkey has refused to join the U.S. “coalition” against ISIS and other jihadists or to launch or facilitate attacks inside Syria. Instead, it has been giving them tacit support by not joining in the attacks by the U.S., or clamping down on its border—through which many jihadi recruits, money, and materials flow. Turkey has been something of a rear area for these anti-Assad forces, a place where they can get medical treatment, regroup, and reportedly act as a conduit through which ISIS has been selling oil and raising millions of dollars.

Turkey’s Bloody History... and Today Targeting the Kurds

Turkey did launch some strikes against ISIS targets in Syria as the deal was being announced. But quickly Turkey unleashed a much larger bombing campaign (reportedly over 100 strikes) as well as military attacks and political roundups directed at another target: Kurds and Kurdish opposition forces (particularly the Kurdistan Workers' Party—PKK) in Turkey (breaking a two-year truce), Iraq, and Syria. Some of these groups had been fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq with U.S. backing. The PKK—despite the “Workers' Party” name, represents the outlook of Kurdish bourgeois (capitalist) forces who seek a better position in Turkey through armed struggle and negotiation with the ruling regime, along with alignment with U.S. imperialism. These attacks provoked massive demonstrations in Turkey against the Erdogan regime and its collaboration with ISIS, which were violently attacked by government forces, including reportedly with live ammunition. (New York Times, July 27)

So what’s going on here?

With 80 million people, and located at a junction between Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, Turkey is one of the region’s largest, more powerful, and most strategically located states. This brutally oppressive power was forged as a “modern state” in the aftermath of World War 1 from the remnants of the Ottoman Empire through the horrific genocide of over a million Armenians, and the brutal subjugation of the Kurdish people, an oppressed nationality (now numbering some 25-35 million people) living mainly in the mountainous region that straddles southeast Turkey, and northern areas of Iraq, Iran, and Syria.* When Kurds revolted in the 1920s and 1930s, many were resettled, their traditional names, dress, and language were banned—and even their existence was denied—with the millions of Kurds in Turkey labeled “Mountain Turks.” This violent oppression has continued right to the present day. During the past 30 years, the Turkish government has killed some 40,000 Turkish Kurds to crush their 30-year struggle for self-determination. (A truce was signed between the Kurdish fighters of the PKK and the government two years ago.)

Today Turkey is economically and strategically subordinate to global imperialism—a member of NATO with a “special” relationship with the U.S. At the same time, Turkey’s rulers, especially the current government of Islamist Recep Erdogan. harbor their aspirations—from being a model of more modern Islamic rule (what some call “Islamic Lite”), to exerting more influence in the region, to joining the European Union.

U.S.-Turkey Deal and the Middle East Cauldron

Turkey’s relationship with the U.S. and its European allies has been full of contradictions (for example, around Turkey’s role in the Syrian civil war and its clashes with Israel, among other things). This already tension-filled relationship is being shaken up by the tremendous destabilizing factors erupting in the region and the world, creating different necessities for all the powers involved, as well as, in that context, perverse opportunities for the Turkish rulers (including because of U.S. difficulties and the erosion of its hegemony).

The U.S. wants and needs Turkey to fight ISIS, as well as play a role in stabilizing the region and maintaining U.S. dominance overall. But the two have a sharp conflict of interest vis-a-vis the Kurds. For one, the U.S.’s key interest is in holding together this increasingly fragmented region overall, and the Kurds, in Iraq in particular, have proven valuable allies in that endeavor, as well as the most effective on-the-ground fighters against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Turkey has issues with ISIS. It fears the destabilizing impact of the Syrian civil war, including because there are two million Syrian refugees in Turkey. And recently there have been border clashes between ISIS and Turkish forces.

But Turkey has even bigger issues with the Kurds. The oppression of the Kurds has been a cornerstone of the rule of the Turkish bourgeoisie. The regime may now fear that Kurdish groups are gaining strength along the Turkish border due to the fracturing of the Syrian and Iraqi states, and in the course of their armed struggle with ISIS (and thanks to some U.S. military support). Second, this and other factors may be strengthening Kurdish opposition forces inside Turkey, and interfering with Erdogan’s ability to more permanently consolidate his quasi-fascist rule.

In this tension, the U.S. is trying to limit and focus Turkey’s attack on the Kurds, but Turkey has insisted that this is a package deal. (There are reports that the Turkish government opposes using its bases for bombing missions in support of Kurdish forces fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq.)

A State Department official claimed the U.S. “played no role in the airstrikes against the Kurdish group, but recognized Turkey’s "right to self-defense," tacitly endorsing attacks on the PKK, which is still on the U.S. “terrorist” list. Could it be that the U.S. imperialists are preparing to betray the Kurds once again, coldly calculating that Turkey is potentially a much more strategic and substantial partner in advancing their agenda in Syria and elsewhere?

Then again, it’s far from clear how this new arrangement with Turkey will work out, including in Syria. The New York Times warned that the deal signaled the U.S. was sliding “ever more deeply into a complex war.”

What is clear is that nothing good ever comes from U.S. imperialism in the Middle East—or anywhere else.

* Imperialist and local reactionary powers have a long, sordid history of collaborating to suppress the Kurds and prevent them from achieving statehood or self-determination, even though they’re the fourth-largest nationality in the Middle East. [back]





Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Taking Revolution and the Fight Against Police Terror to Chicago Bud Billiken Day Parade

August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

Bud Billiken Parade, 2015Bud Billiken Parade, Chicago, the largest and oldest African-American parade in the U.S. (Photo: Special to

Saturday, August 8—Tens of thousands of people lined Martin Luther King Boulevard for hours to watch the Bud Billiken parade, the largest African-American parade in the country. About 20 people—Black, white and Latino, from five years old to over 60 years—marched in the Revolution Books contingent in the parade. Revolution Books invited other groups to participate. The Revolution Club Chicago Chapter had a contingent as did Stop Mass Incarceration/Rise Up October, which included Anonymous Chicago.

The Revolution Club carried a large banner, “Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution.” Wearing BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! shirts, they gave a very sharp and clear message around what humanity needs—revolution! They carried a large poster of the Revolution newspaper cover of Sandra Bland while others passed out the newspaper and palm cards with Bob Avakian’s quote about the “potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system” on one side and “What we need is an actual revolution—and if you are serious about an actual revolution, you have to get seriously into BA” on the other side.

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network/Rise Up October contingent carried the “Stolen Lives” banner, with photos of people killed by police across the country, and a big poster for Rise Up October. They called for people to join in the struggle to STOP Police Terror, Which Side Are You On? and be part of the October 24 protest in New York City. The reaction especially to the banners and message was electric. A number of people asked us to stop and hold the Stolen Lives banner so they could take photos of it. The chant “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” was massively popular, with most of the crowd putting their hands up and chanting as our group passed by. The chant “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail! The whole damn system is guilty as hell!” was taken up widely. People passing out thousands of palm cards about Rise Up October had trouble keeping up with the demand. Many onlookers on the sidelines eagerly passed them around to others.

Last year’s parade was on August 9, the day that Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson. The change in awareness and resistance around the country since then were reflected in this year’s parade. Sandra Bland’s national sorority had a float, “Say Her Name,” with posters and Sandra’s picture. Dance troupe floats included “BLM” and “Black Lives Matter.” Stop Police Crimes had a float.

Revolution Books also had a tent along the parade route that was decorated with posters and banners and provided a place for people to sign up and pick up large bundles of palm cards to get out to family and friends. A number of people stopped to look at the faces on the Stolen Lives banner. Others posted up small Stolen Lives posters near their barbeque spots and remarked that they knew some of the people on the poster.






Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Which Side Are You On?/Rise Up October National Tour Organizing Meeting in Chicago

Updated August 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


A key part of the National Tour in Chicago was the organizing meeting on Wednesday night, August 5. Earlier that day, the tour held a press conference in front of the Chicago Police Department headquarters.

Rise Up October 24th logo

The audience of 50 people at the organizing meeting heard powerful presentations from Carl Dix and Rev. Jerome McCorry, national leaders of Rise Up October; from family members of loved ones killed by police; and from other people from Chicago. The main message was “Police Terror Must Stop, Which Side Are You On? We are all standing together saying, we have to step up and take nationwide resistance to a whole other level.” Carl Dix, co-initiator of Rise Up October with Cornel West and representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party, began the meeting with this message.

Dix addressed the depth of the problem of police murder and mass incarceration, pointing out that this is part of a genocidal program: “Genocide, this is not hype. When a group of people are put in circumstances where they cannot thrive and survive, that’s genocide. Official violence has been built into this society from the beginning. Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans are treated as criminals and demons.

“How do you deal with genocide? Do you try to put a new coat of paint on the slave chains—or do you get rid of the chains? It’s going to take revolution, nothing less, to end this—and to end the attacks on women, the wars for empire, the devastation of the environment. We in the RCP and Bob Avakian exist to bring that revolution into being and call on you to get into this movement for revolution. I know all of you ain’t there. I am working on you all to get there. And while we talk we need to work together—everybody.

“Which side are you on? Sympathy is not enough, stop sitting on the sidelines. There are only two sides, justice and injustice. Your humanity is at stake. I don’t care who you are. If you are human, you have to feel these are our children being killed. It’s up to us to stop this.”

Mertilla Jones traveled from Detroit to Cleveland and Chicago as part of the tour. She brought home the horrendous reality of police terror. The crowd sat in stunned silence as she told the story of the police raid on her home (the wrong house) that resulted in the murder of her seven-year-old granddaughter, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, and her own arrest. She said, “They did not kill me that day, I’m still here to speak for Aiyana. I want you to know this is real people, we are real human beings. When cops kill and abuse people, they kill a whole family, a whole community.”

Joshua Lopez, who traveled from New York City, spoke of the police murder of his uncle, John Collado, and called on people to take up the fight for Rise Up October. “We need to stand up and say ‘NO MORE.’ We’re tired of this. We need unity. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. This is why I refuse to be silent.”

Martinez Sutton, brother of 22-year-old Rekia Boyd, killed by Chicago police, spoke. Even though the cop who killed Rekia was the first to be charged in Chicago in 20 years, in the middle of the trial the judge threw out the charges and the cop walked away scot free. As Martinez struggled to tell Rekia’s story, Mertilla Jones and Joshua Lopez stepped back up to the front to stand with him and support him. He said: “For three years they dragged us along, only to end in a not-guilty verdict. They are killing us out here. They are destroying whole families. I’m not a lion, I’m not Cecil the Lion. But they treat us like animals, worse than animals. Innocent human lives are taken every day, but they don’t talk about that—they think a lion is more important. A police officer in this country was fired within a week for shooting a dog, but I had to wait for three years and then the cop was found not guilty. This experience has made me stronger. Now is the time to rise up and get up off your butts and get to fighting. It is time for us to rise up.”

Rev. Jerome McCorry, national faith leader of Rise Up October, began with the fact that today is the one-year anniversary of the police murder of John Crawford for being Black and picking up a toy gun at a Walmart in Beavercreek, Ohio. Rev. McCorry did not mince words about what is needed: “There’s been 250 years of slavery, 60 years of Jim Crow, 30 separate but equal. Now we’re being killed in the streets. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

He continued: “It’s revolution time... You can’t fix what’s wrong with modern policing. You have to tear down the foundation. It’s going to take systemic changes. Rise Up October! We have to build this, we have to make this happen...

“One institution that has failed us is the Black church. We’ve got to do new things in new ways. We’re bogged down in the paralysis of analysis. What happened in Charleston... how do you forgive and holler ‘peace’ when you are in the midst of a war? There is a time for peace, but this is not it. The slave catchers became the militia, the National Guard, and the police. They did not lose their thirst for killing. I can’t forgive. I believe forgiveness comes with repentance, and with atonement for your sin. Don’t ask me to forgive when they’re still keeping up the action. I’m sick and tired of prosecutors saying, ‘at least we sent it to the grand jury.’ Justice is when we get convictions.

“I’m hearing from churches, ‘we don’t know what to do.’ I have here a list of things churches and people can do from the Rise Up October Faith Team.”

Nancy, from Chicago Stop Mass Incarceration Network, read from a statement she had written to challenge and move white people to recognize the oppression of Black people and take action to stop it. These are excerpts:

“White America, you have to wake up from your deep sleep. It is clear that countless young Black and now young Brown people are being killed. White America, your silence in the face of these killings is your loud and clear approval of these brutal and murdering events. How does all of America become so disturbingly quiet in the face of these obvious and cruel crimes?

“The police are doing the work of a great and unending white dominant culture... making us feel safe and special and fearful because the targeted group, the lowest group, the poorest group is being subjected to terror and injustice and death or incarceration.

“White America, if you are not loudly saying and acting to stop this evolved brand of enslavement, then you are approving and contributing to its continual terrorizing form.... Your life depends on your awakening. To live in a country that ignores the deaths of its own holocaust is not the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Carl Dix wrapped up the presentations with a rousing call for immediate action. “You have heard the vision, you have heard from the family members and Rev. McCorry why we’ve got to do October 24. You heard them say we don’t just need sympathy, we need action. Who is going to organize to make October 24 a reality? When people say they want to do this, we have to enlist them on the spot. That’s what we are doing tonight.”

Many people said they were inspired by all the testimony, and this galvanized people to take an active part in getting organized at the three main workshops: outreach, fundraising, and logistics for October 24. The workshops dug into the work that needs to be done to make October 24 a reality and reported back to the group at the end. There were a lot of great ideas, and people volunteered to get started on them. All the report-backs emphasized fundraising, because huge funds are required to make this a success. A few highlights are:

A volunteer is already reaching out to Spanish-speaking families whose loved ones were killed by police and is gathering their testimony. She is also reaching out to immigrant groups to be part of the Rise Up October Coalition.

The fundraising workshop proposed raising funds for scholarships for people to go to New York on October 24. One idea was for artists to donate artwork and auction it off.

The social media group proposed national Twitter storm days every week until October 24 as a way to spread awareness and raise funds.

A student who is part of a nationwide Black sorority volunteered to contact them right away to bring them into October 24. She offered to also contact Sandra Bland’s sorority, which had a “Say Her Name” contingent with posters and pictures of Sandra at the huge African-American Bud Billiken parade on Saturday. Black fraternities and sororities could be an important part of both outreach and fundraising on campuses, since “service” is a big part of their mission.

A student suggested she and another student start a Revolution Club at their college as a way to spread both October 24 and the movement for revolution, and as a platform from which to reach out to other student organizations. She proposed having an event as soon as school starts that could be a kick-off event for October 24, with spoken word, etc. She also suggested going regularly to open mics at poetry venues to spread the word and organize youths into October 24.

The faith workshop proposed a speakers bureau to speak at churches and schools.

A student took responsibility for developing an art contest on campuses and art schools for an “iconic” artwork for October 24/Which Side Are You On? with the idea for the winning work to be on the website, posters, banners, etc. They will go to art students at the School of the Art Institute to get the ball rolling.





Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

The Rise Up October Tour Hits Chicago, August 4-7

August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


This tour has key dimensions—the national leaders like Carl Dix and Reverend Jerome McCorry, who speak powerfully to frame the need for Rise Up October from different perspectives; the family members of people who have been murdered by police; and last, but not the least, the youth, most members of the Revolution Club who ran with the tour during its time in Chicago (and then went on to Ferguson, the next stop on the national tour).

For more on what Carl Dix, Rev. Jerome McCorry, family members of those murdered by police, and others said during the Chicago tour, see the articles online at on the August 5 press conference in front of the Police Department headquarters, and the organizing meeting that night. Among the many family members who took part in the press conference and the organizing meeting were Mertilla Jones, grandmother of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, the seven-year-old murdered by Detroit police; Andrea and Sharon Irwin, mother and grandmother of Tony Robinson, murdered by Madison police; Joshua Lopez, nephew of John Collado, murdered by NYPD, and others.

One wonderful thing about youth is that when they are outraged at an injustice, they can jump into the fight very quickly, and when they are introduced to revolution, a world opens up. The youths from Chicago who joined the tour give a taste of what could be magnified many times over, including through the Rise Up Tour.

Chicago Sistas Stand with Sandra Bland, August 4Mertilla Jones, grandmother of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, at “Chicago Sistas Stand With Sandra Bland” protest Aug 4.   The protest [initiated by the UHURU organization] was next to a major “El” train stop at a highway exit on the South Side of Chicago. #RiseUpOctober participated and spoke to the need to draw a line in society against police terror with the Oct 24 demonstration.  Hundreds of people in cars exiting the highway got cards for #RiseUpOctober and invitations to the next day’s organizing meeting. (Photo:

One young man from the South Side of Chicago had BA’s New Year’s message working on him as he went off to college this past year and he tried to take up April 14 at his campus, as part of the nationwide “Shut It Down” protests called by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. Returning home this summer, he let people know he was ready to get down with the revolution and jumped into taking the revolution out to these intense situations. After a few weeks he was ready to join the Rise Up October tour in Cleveland and recruited another young man who had been following the revolution at the community center where they both work but who had never joined up with the revolution. So he had BAsics to read on the way to Cleveland. Days later, climbing off the Megabus at 2 am in downtown Chicago... they looked like living, breathing advertisements for BA Everywhere, and they were ready for the Chicago/Ferguson leg of the tour. Back in Chicago he watched the first disc of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! They were joined by a “veteran” Revolution Club member who had gotten involved when Ferguson happened a year ago. They and others ran with the tour crew, who came from different cities.

There was a critical mass of youth, mainly Black youth wearing BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts, which was electrifying and a very dynamic factor building for revolution and Rise Up October.

The first day of the tour in Chicago, they rode the el trains down to the biggest station on the south side of Chicago for a “say her name” protest called by Chicago Sistas Stand for Sandra Bland. A Revolution Club member reported:

The trains were a lively scene as we jumped from train to train and it was a lot of fun. People were recording and taking pictures and video taping while the mighty revcoms spoke about October rise up against police murder and terror. They passed out lots of flyers and we chanted “Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell!” A real popular phrase was ‘fuck 12!’ A tour member said, “We questioned people: Which side are you on? Are you going to let a genocide happen and sit by on the sidelines? Or are you going to be the type of people that stand up and fight to stop this slow grinding genocide?” This presence and defiant stance against police terror and murder sparked lively debate and discussion on different train cars. Will God come and stop this? Will voting this away be the answer? Or will massive determined resistance be the answer? Lots of young people were happy to see us on the trains and a lot of them wanted to get involved so we gave them stacks of cards and invited them to come with us right then. “But if you can’t come now, go back to your neighborhoods and start organizing immediately.”

RiseUpOctober Tour, downtown Chicago.Members of the Revolution Club joined the #RiseUpOctober Tour in taking the call for Oct 24 to downtown Chicago and involving people on the spot. Police tried to shut the action down, insisting that the sound system be shut off but they just sharpened up the dividing lines. In the end, as more people gathered, videoing the action, taking up cards to get out and signing up to build for #RiseUpOctober, the cops settled for issuing 2 tickets for "generating noise louder than an average conversation at 100 feet!" Photo: Special to Revolution/

At the protest for Sandra Bland, the tour brought a lot of energy—getting out to the commuters coming off the el train and off a major exit of the freeway at the height of rush hour. Mertilla Jones—the grandmother of Aiyana Stanley-Jones who at seven years old was killed by the Detroit police—who is on the Rise Up October tour spoke at the protest. (For more on what Mertilla Jones said on the tour, see articles online about the August 5 press conference and the organizing meeting.) There was controversy when a young leader of the Revolution Club spoke about the leadership of Bob Avakian... a Black nationalist countered with the view that liberating theory had to come from Africa. On the train ride afterward, other people who had been at the protest wanted to know more about what the revolution and the Revolution Club and Rise Up October were all about. Regular vendors outside the el station got REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts and put them on and joined in passing out O24 palm cards and the new BA quote as a result of the tour coming through.

Later that same night, the tour went to a community center that hosts a regular spoken word for the youth. Around 150 youths were in attendance. The hosts of the event were hesitant at first about the tour taking the stage, but afterward had major thanks for it coming. One of the reasons this was a big deal was because most of the youths from Chicago running with the tour have roots in this center, and now they were up on the stage representing for the revolution as well as calling for Rise Up October. In the midst of the spoken word poets, rappers, singers, and dancers in a space where different sets from different neighborhoods can come together and have a lot of fun. It is a neutral ground for the youth of Chicago. A couple of poets’ pieces were about police brutality and how horrible it was that Black people are being killed in the streets. The mighty revcoms got up on the stage and pulled a Stolen Lives poster out and spoke about the genocide and what we are up against at this time in history, and that they might not know it yet but we are the force that is going to end this. Mertilla Jones spoke powerfully and movingly. People were shocked and some were in tears as she spoke. The tour told people the next stop was Ferguson and that they should come with us.

A veteran revolutionary who regularly speaks to the youth at this center said that it was electrifying. Youth not only took stacks of palm cards to pass out, but also many said they could see now is the time to get off the sidelines.

Joshua Lopez (left) with members of RiseUpOctober tour and people of Englewood communityJoshua Lopez on left with members of #RiseUpOctober Tour and people of the Englewood community.  After the RUO press conference in Chicago on August 5, organizers went to Englewood, a mainly Black neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. People in the community joined in and many who identify with revolution put took up “BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less!” t-shirts from the Revolution Club.  Many people got cards to distribute and signed up to be part of organizing the tour.
Photo: Special to Revolution/

There were other outings of the tour, mainly the youth taking a van with sound equipment and marching through neighborhoods on the South Side, especially Englewood, where both youth and adults were drawn forward to represent for the revolution, putting on the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! shirts and taking up the palm cards (both for Rise Up October and new BA quote). Englewood is a neighborhood with some of the worst poverty and some of the highest rates of violence among the people and a burning hatred of the police. Some of the adults who got shirts are relatives of young men around the gang life who have been getting into the revolution.

The tour also reached out―on a beautiful summer day at lunch time in downtown Chicago—to a wide range of people. They met a close friend of Trayvon Martin. A homeless youth who hangs out downtown had gotten his REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt at the protest on the anniversary of Eric Garner being killed. He came wearing it and joined with the tour as it held a speak-out with the Stolen Lives banner. The police galvanized the crowd when they tried to shut down the sound system... people were calling them out as hypocrites because louder sidewalk preachers are not hassled and people got that the police hated the banner of all the stolen lives. By this time the tour was running short of palm cards because so many had gone out, including in stacks, to many, many people.

As the tour traveled through the Chicago area, speaking broadly to people from all walks of life about the need for the massive protest in New York City on October 24, the commitment of the people on the tour—from New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and more—grew more solid and determined. Next stop: Ferguson, Missouri.






Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Opposing the Confederate Flag Flying Racists at Stone Mountain

August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a member of the Revolution Club, Atlanta:

On August 1, 2015, several hundred racists rallied in support of the Confederate Flag at Stone Mountain, several miles east of Atlanta. The organizers of the rally built for the event as part of a national call by a group that calls themselves the Confederate States of America (CSA) to “fly the Confederate flag.”

These AmeriKKKans have taken the name of the CSA, the Confederacy—the slave states that fought to preserve slavery in the Civil War. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the CSA as “A group that hopes to recreate the government that lost the Civil War, is linked to both militia leaders and militia-derived ideology. The South, according to the CSA, is ‘an occupied nation’...The CSA wants to repeal all Constitutional amendments beyond the first 10—meaning the citizenship of blacks, the right of women to vote and the federal income tax, among other things, would be withdrawn.”

The CSA called for this rally in the wake of the Charleston massacre where Dylann Roof, a devout-ideological racist, carried out the murder of nine African Americans attending a church Bible study. In the wake of the massacre, pictures of Roof holding the Confederate flag appeared throughout the media and suddenly politicians (despite their hypocrisy at being fine with the Confederate flag prior to this) and major corporations started calling for the removal of the Confederate flag; after much struggle, where all kinds of people, including many in government, stepped up to defend the Confederate flag, it was removed from several state capitols, including South Carolina.

Charlie Anderson

No way the people were going to let these defenders of white supremacy go unopposed. The Revolution Club and Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) called for people to go and stand up against and protest this ugly, racist Confederate gathering. Even a small group calling out these racists were able to break into the media and challenge the pro-Confederate BULLSHIT lie of “heritage not hate.” Video of the pro-confederates and militia members carrying assault rifles yelling at protestors taking on their ugly white supremacy can be seen all over the Internet. Coverage of the event included photos of people holding a large banner that said “STOP MURDER BY POLICE,” with dozens of photos of people killed by the cops.

In addition to the demonstration called by SMIN and Revolution Club, another grouping associated with the Black Lives Matter movement in Atlanta, entered the rally, burned a Confederate Flag, and called out white supremacy. Racist flag supporters have harassed some of these demonstrators since the rally, threats have been made against them and some of their home addresses have been posted on Facebook.

The recent removal of some Confederate flags from government buildings in the South was a concession to calm people’s outrage and resistance against the ongoing oppression of Black people, most especially concentrated in the epidemic of police murder. Think about what it says about AmeriKKKa that this fucking flag—which symbolizes SLAVERY—was still flying like this 150 years after the Civil War. The fact that it flew, and continues to fly, all over this country is one more damning indictment of how deeply the oppression of Black people is embedded in the whole system. And now you these rabid racists coming out, wailing at this blow to their “heritage” of slavery, oppression and the KKK. The rally at Stone Mountain was held to embolden and mobilize some of the most vicious elements in this country to mobilize and defend white supremacy.

Stone Mountain is in all respects a monument to and celebration of the Confederacy. The main roads leading into the park are adorned with the names of Confederate generals; the main road is General Robert E. Lee Drive. The face of the mountain is like a Mount Rushmore to the Confederacy with massive carved images of “Stonewall” Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis. The original conception of the memorial that never came to fruition featured Robert E. Lee leading KKK members across the mountain summit.

The history of Stone Mountain and the Ku-Klux-Klan are inseparable. In 1915 on Thanksgiving Day, a minister named William Simmons, inspired by D.W. Griffith’s racist film Birth of a Nation, rebirthed the KKK on top of Stone Mountain. The group of about 16 burned crosses on top of the mountain and reignited the modern KKK, which gained about five million supporters by 1920 and brought lynching and terror to Black people in the South. It was no mistake that this rally was held at Stone Mountain—the symbolism was intentional and the intent was real.

Supporters of the Confederate flag are calling for another rally at Stone Mountain later this month and it is very important that many, many more people come out this time to oppose these forces. Some people say we shouldn’t mobilize opposition to these groups, claiming that this only gives them legitimacy. But this is BULLSHIT! The United States was founded on white supremacy. It continues to live and breathe today with the unrelenting murder of Black people by the police and the New Jim Crow of mass incarceration. It continues to live in the poisonous ideology that feeds killers like Dylann Roof. The Confederate flag rally viscerally represents the core on which this country was founded. And it is very important for the people to be out there opposing and exposing this ugly shit.






Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

A Revolution Club Discussion on Bob Avakian's Outline of the New Synthesis

August 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

A couple weeks ago, I sat down with a small crew from the Revolution Club to open up some discussion of the new outline from Bob Avakian, The New Synthesis of Communism: Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach, and Core Elements. In addition, I asked people to read Watching Fruitvale Station With Bob Avakian. While I wanted us to mainly focus on an initial discussion of the Outline, I thought this would contribute to getting more into the character of the leadership who brought all this forward. I also wanted us to talk some about a critical point emphasized in that Watching Fruitvale Station article: “We had better fully recognize and appreciate what we have in BA, and act accordingly.

This Outline is a really tremendous thing to have: a distillation of the core elements that make up the revolution in human thought represented by the new synthesis of communism. And it merits repeated and ongoing discussion... getting into the full cohesive framework for the further advance to communist revolution.

I opened with some brief comments referencing a point BA made answering the question of what is the new synthesis. In a talk from 2005, The Basis, the Goals, and the Methods of the Communist Revolution, BA said “The first point that needs to be made is that this is something that is dealing with real world contradictions—it’s not some idealist imaginings of what it would be nice to have a society be like.” I thought this was important in terms of understanding the materialism of the new synthesis of communism. I also wanted people to begin to get into the lived impact of taking one approach vs. another... that there are great stakes in the ruptures concentrated in this new synthesis and will have a great impact one way or another.

One young woman said that, at first, she thought the outline was more like a bibliography, a guide to key aspects of BA's work. But the more she read it, she realized this outline was itself a synthesis. That BA has distilled the core questions, contradictions and breakthroughs that make up this whole framework. People echoed this point in appreciation of the Outline itself. She added later that it's exciting to see it all put together in this way—to see it broken down, and be able to get into what really are the core breakthroughs.

We talked briefly about a point BA makes in the “introductory point of orientation” that the new synthesis is still a “work in progress” at the same time as it's correct to say that because of the work BA has done, “there is already a further, qualitative development in the science of communism that is embodied in the fundamental orientation, method and approach, and the core elements, of the new synthesis.” I asked the group why they thought this was emphasized.

A few people talked about the nature of science being always ongoing. There are always new contradictions and problems to solve and therefore, our understanding has to develop. One person said that it's important how BA emphasizes that the scientific method and approach is the most important part of this because all the other breakthroughs in the new synthesis came from applying this scientific method and approach. Proceeding with that method, you understand that reality is going to keep changing and you need a scientific method to keep applying that in the real world.... the world presents new things that have to be dissected and as a result, the theoretical work is always ongoing.

This is true of science over all, and true of the science of communism and I think it is really important for people to understand this aspect. But I also feel there is something in this important to appreciate about BA—someone who is restlessly working to understand the world in the deepest way and applying himself to forging the theory required to make a total revolution, a revolution to emancipate all of humanity. He's constantly learning from every sphere of human society, from revolutionary practice understood in a broad sense and wrangling with what it will take for revolution—here and internationally—to actually break through. We should just really appreciate that we are living in a time when the most advanced, visionary scientist in the sphere of revolution is continuing to do this work, and that we—all of us—have an opportunity and a responsibility to be deeply digging into this work, contributing to it and fighting for it. And – given that BA is still putting himself to this work—it puts even more responsibility on us to vigorously promote and defend this precious resource for the people of the world.

In one discussion, we knew we were just going to begin to scratch the surface of what's in this Outline so with all of the above as a basic opening, I asked people to carve in where they wanted—elements they wanted to wrangle with further, ask questions about, thoughts on the whole thing etc.

The two questions we ended up focusing on were in the section on method and approach.

First, someone asked what is meant by necessity, what is the actual definition and then, as the discussion went on, someone else asked what is meant by “a further synthesis” of the understanding between freedom and necessity? We defined necessity as material requirements or material compulsion, and got into some brief discussion about the different levels of necessity in nature and human society. Taking off from this, we read aloud the quote from BA that is referenced at the beginning of the Outline that is quoted by Ardea Skybreak in the intro to Of Primeval Steps & Future Leaps, An Essay on the Emergence of Human Beings, The Source of Women’s Oppression, and the Road to Emancipation: “Neither the emergence of the human species nor the development of human society to the present was predetermined or followed predetermined pathways. There is no transcendent will or agent which has conceived and shaped all such development, and nature and history should not be treated as such—as Nature and History. Rather, such development occurs through the dialectical interplay between necessity and accident and in the case of human history between underlying material forces and the conscious activity and struggle of people.”

We talked about this for a while, using different examples and getting into the different levels of accident and necessity throughout history and nature. A student who has been getting into Marx's work talked about what Marx's breakthrough opened up. Prior to him, she said, people thought history worked as a ladder wherein which everything and everyone was just ascending in a linear way to more and more progress. But this isn't how it works. And now, with BA's building on Marx—we are able to understand the world even more dynamically.

In terms of how what BA has brought forward is a “further synthesis” of this, we got into some of the secondary tendencies in the communist movement to see communism as inevitable (something that is still being fought out today). Related to this, and overall to this “further synthesis” was how BA criticized a conception from Engels of “the negation of the negation.” In the discussion, a couple of us described this but I've since looked up how this is discussed in Communism: The Beginning of A New Stage, A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party: “In the original conception of human society’s historical development toward communism, even as formulated by Marx, there was a tendency—although this tendency was definitely very secondary—toward a somewhat narrow and linear view. This was manifested, for example, in the concept of the 'negation of the negation' (the view that things proceed in such a way that a particular thing is negated by another thing, which in turn leads to a further negation and a synthesis which embodies elements of the previous things, but now on a higher level). This concept was taken over from the philosophical system of Hegel, whose philosophy exerted a significant influence on Marx (and Engels), even while, in a fundamental sense, they recast and placed on a materialist foundation Hegel’s view of dialectics, which was itself marked by philosophical idealism (the view that history consists in essence of the unfolding of the Idea). As Bob Avakian has argued, the 'negation of the negation' can tend in the direction of 'inevitable-ism'—as if something is bound to be negated by another thing in a particular way, leading to what is almost a predetermined synthesis. And when applied to the historical sweep of human society, in such a way that it verges on being simplistically formulaic—as in the construct: primitive classless (communal) society was negated by class society, which in turn will be negated by the emergence once again of classless society, but now on a higher foundation, with the achievement of communism throughout the world—the tendency toward reductionism with regard to the extremely complex and variegated historical development of human society, the tendency toward a 'closed system' and toward 'inevitable-ism,' become more pronounced and more problematical.”

We got into the significance and dynamism of this. This also provides the further understanding that communism won't be a static utopia. We talked more about how the science of communism has advanced on these questions drawing from Mao's further development of Engels' understanding and how BA has built off all this (here's this important quote from Mao: “Engels spoke of moving from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom, and said that freedom is the understanding of necessity. This sentence is not complete, it only says one half and leaves the rest unsaid. Does merely understanding it make you free? Freedom is the understanding of necessity and the transformation of necessity—one has some work to do too.” The science has developed since Marx, at the same time there is a qualitative rupture in the work BA has done on these questions—putting the whole understanding on a more consistently, thoroughly, comprehensively scientific foundation.

Someone else talked about the “constant need to confront necessity and transform it into freedom, how you understand the necessity that is impinging on you and how you see transforming that. This is the nature of reality. Skybreak talks about it in terms of evolution. For example, bones of different species are all made out of very similar substances. This has to do with the constraint of all evolving from a common ancestry, things develop certain ways but they branch out of that. To understand any phenomenon in nature or society, you have to understand the dynamic relationship between freedom and necessity or necessity and accident. Especially if you're trying to make a totally emancipatory revolution, you can recognize where you have freedom to act if you understand the deep going necessity and where that necessity arises.”

She took off from this to talk about how exciting it was the first time she came to understand that communism isn't inevitable because it meant that—based on how things have developed up to this point in human history—what we do or don't do can have a qualitative impact on whether things go one way or another. Communism is not a narrative or our story that we like to believe in and really coming to see that there is a powerful material basis in reality but no spontaneity and definitely no inevitability, enables you to see that all the contradictions in that reality are part of the material basis for communism, but it's a material basis that we have to go to work on.

Responding to this, someone talked about how ideas of the anarchists are so unscientific. The idea that you should have total freedom doesn't recognize the underlying material contradictions in society and it doesn't enable you to see why the goal of the revolution has to be much more than equality. And that if you tried to enforce equality, that would just bring you back to a system of exploitation and oppression. She said, “If I have a few young kids and one leg and you have no kids and are able bodied and we're each given an equal plot of land to till, me and my kids are going to go hungry while you'll have a thriving farm. At a certain point, I'm going to need you to exploit my labor for a wage so I can buy some food to eat. This shows how enforcing equality covers over inequality... and it shows that in any circumstance, you're going to have to deal with different levels of necessity. The question is how you approach those things: by scientifically confronting and analyzing it, or by pretending it doesn't exist or that you can just step over all that, flattening out a whole complex dialectical process. Objectively, the necessity we face in material reality or in the birthmarks of this system limits people’s freedom. That's why calls for absolute equality are just wrong and idealist, meaning not proceeding from the dynamics and contradictions in the actual reality we face.”

In relation to the further dynamic understanding that BA has brought forward of the vibrancy of the socialist transition to communism, I brought in a point from the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal), which also provides a really living understanding of the importance in the orientation that society won't get to communism through some kind of linear straight line path, there will be an ongoing dynamic and struggle between necessity and freedom, and accident and necessity. The Preamble of the Constitution makes this point: “...the principle of 'solid core, with a lot of elasticity' must be applied. This means that, on the one hand, there must be a continually expanding force in society, with the revolutionary communist party as its leading element, which is firmly convinced of the need to advance to communism and deeply committed to carrying forward this struggle, through all the difficulties and obstacles; and, on the basis of and at the same time as continually strengthening this 'solid core,' there must be provision and scope for a wide diversity of thinking and activity, among people throughout society, 'going off in many different directions,' grappling and experimenting with many diverse ideas and programs and fields of endeavor–and once again all this must be 'embraced' by the vanguard party and the 'solid core' in an overall sense and enabled to contribute, through many divergent paths, to the advance along a broad road toward the goal of communism. This orientation and approach is embodied in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

I mainly encourage people to get into the Constitution as a whole to appreciate the larger context wherein which this is being discussed. In that context, this is a description I've always been really inspired by—the appreciation that there is on the one hand, only one solution to the nightmare of capitalism and that's communist revolution but that path to communist revolution and the achievement of communism through a whole dynamic epoch full of struggle and transformation is not all mapped out and will not just march in a straight line. It will be full of the dynamic relationship between necessity being transformed into freedom, resulting into new levels of necessity on many different levels and spheres of society.

We talked about this for a while, including what is meant by “many divergent paths.” In response to this, someone talked about the problem of how people too often view necessity as a negative thing to work through, instead of understanding it is what is—material reality, contradiction to work through. Also, bouncing off the point from the Constitution, he talked about BA's emphasis that there are many different elements of upheaval and transformation that will have to go into uprooting “the four alls.” [Meaning: the abolition of all class distinctions; the abolition of all the production relations on which those class distinctions rest; the abolition of all the social relations corresponding to those production relations; and the revolutionization of all the ideas corresponding to those social relations.]

Someone else linked all this and talked about how “the divergent paths come about as a result of necessity and accident and understanding the interplay between those things can potentially offer freedom that you can't see on the surface. For example, you can look at the oppression of women: is it just a negative monolithic blob or is it the case that while it’s manifesting itself in a horrible way, it is also pulling on the fabric of capitalism-imperialism which can be stretched and torn but from which patriarchy and the oppression of women can never be unbraided. But by recognizing the deeper reality of this question, and really pulling on it, it can open be opened up and even lend itself to openings which can contribute to making a revolution.”

Finally, in closing out this part of the discussion, I brought in a point from BA from the beginning of some observations from a few years ago: "Freedom and Necessity, and Proceeding from a Strategic Standpoint: Some Thoughts on Methods and Leadership." There, he says: “A big and recurrent problem has to do with the relation between freedom and necessity. Historically, there have been difficulties with this in the communist movement and in our own Party. On another level, this is manifested in relation to 'Occupy' and what it is up against. It has come up against necessity, particularly in the form of repression by the bourgeois state, and there is the phenomenon among many of not seeing any way to forge any freedom out of this—and, instead, they are trying to find some way to work within the necessity that's been imposed that they don't see any way of breaking through on. That is objectively what is going on to a significant degree.”

This is so critical and such a scientific rupture that enables us to break out of the determinism that frankly plagues way too much of the thinking of people who want to see a better world but don't proceed consistently with a scientific approach: do you go more deeply to try to understand the underlying contradictions and motion giving rise to the necessity you're facing, or do you just accept it without analysis and try to work within it?

We then had a briefer but important discussion on BAsics 4:10 and why BA links this to the question of morality. We talked about the science of communism being the basis for communist morality and compared and contrasted it to moralism on the one hand, or not seeing the importance of morality on the other. We also got into how objectively relativism, populism and identity politics contribute to the world as it is backed up by the state—brutally backing up and enforcing the world as it is, with all the oppression, exploitation, class divisions and antagonistic divisions among people that flow from all that.

We didn't have much time left but did have some discussion of the article "Watching Fruitvale Station With Bob Avakian." Once again, getting into this Outline—in its entirety and then digging into even just a couple of the different aspects—it brings you back to the import and significance of the leadership we have in Bob Avakian. Someone who has put himself to developing this revolution in human thought and is continuing to develop that “work in progress.” At the same time, there is this rare combination of, as BA himself has put it, “the visceral and the theoretical”—someone who is working on such a high theoretical level and has such a deepgoing sense of, and heart for, the most oppressed sections of society. Someone who really is, as the article talks about, “the best friend of the masses.”

I talked about this briefly and then acknowledged that we wouldn't really have the time to do justice to this article (and certainly were just beginning to wrestle with the Outline) but I asked people to speak to the different levels of meaning in the sentence in bold, which is repeated twice and which I quoted above: “We had better fully recognize and appreciate what we have in BA, and act accordingly.

Through the discussion, one person said, “We really need to appreciate what BA represents and have to build a wall around him while we also make that need known to people. And if we don't recognize and make known this need, we're just leaving the leadership vulnerable. That's not ok.” She went on to talk about how “there is so much unnecessary human suffering in the world today, here's this leader who has brought forward a way out of all the way these people suffer. If you don’t build a wall around this leader and emphasize why that is needed, then really you're not just dismissing BA's leadership, you're dismissing all the masses who are suffering at the same time.”

Another person talked about how when you understand the content and the real importance of the new synthesis of communism, you see the importance of his continuing ability to expand that work and expand the new synthesis as further problems of the revolution present themselves. It is very, very important to protect that leadership and line... to recognize the importance of the work and the person who’s continuing to do the work.”

We had to end the discussion because we ran out of time, but encouraged everyone to keep digging into the Outline formally and informally, and to continue digging into the interview with Ardea Skybreak, both discussing it in sections but also reading it cover to cover to get the whole sweep of it.






Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

The Dogs Are Still in the Streets

Ferguson 2015—It's Still Right to Rebel Against Injustice!

Download PDF of this statement for printing and distributing widely

by Carl Dix

August 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


One year since the police murder of Michael Brown. A year marked by resistance on a level we haven’t seen in this country in decades. This resistance was ushered in by the refusal of defiant youth in Ferguson to accept this murder in silence, and it spread among people across the country; youth and students, clergy, professional people, people of all races and nationalities. It has also been a year of police continuing to murder people and the whole damn system working to exonerate them when they do.

It was right for the youth to rise up a year ago after the murder of Michael Brown, and it’s right for them to continue rising up today. It was very heartening to see youth in the streets in Ferguson, the parents of Michael Brown and VonDerrit Myers Jr. hold activities to mark the murders of their children last year, and family members of police murder victims from all across the country join the protests. It was also very good to see clergy and others do civil disobedience, and artists hold concerts. The system has doubled down on giving a green light to killer cops. We must take our resistance to a much higher level.

And on the very anniversary of the murder of Brown, cops from three different jurisdictions flooded the streets of Ferguson using rubber bullets, armored personnel carriers and smoke grenades against youth who took to the streets in anger at the way the system continues to let killer cops get away with murder. The dogs are still in the streets!

And one year to the day after the murder of Michael Brown, police shot Tyrone Harris, an 18-year-old Black man, a few blocks from where Wilson murdered Michael Brown. The police say Harris fired shots at another man and then at some undercover cops—who shot him, severely wounding him. The full circumstances of this shooting are not yet known. But there is no reason to accept what the police say as true. And witnesses saw police handcuff Harris while he lay on the ground bleeding and arrest someone who demanded they get Harris medical assistance.

The authorities justify the violence their police inflict on Black and Latino youth by depicting them as thugs and criminals. And they try to get sections of people to buy into the way they depict the youth so they won’t oppose the clampdown they enforce on the youth. In reality, this official violence is aimed at suppressing sections of people this system has no future for, people it hates and fears. This kind of violence has been built into the very fabric of America since the first Africans were dragged to these shores in slave chains centuries ago. It is completely illegitimate, and it must be stopped.

Everyone with an ounce of justice in their hearts, everyone who hates hearing that another Black or Brown person has been killed by the police, needs to join the fight to STOP these horrors. The Rise Up October National Tour has been going around the country and was in Ferguson for the anniversary, spreading the message: Stop Police Terror—Which Side Are You On? A key way for people to join the fight to STOP these horrors is to throw in to make the October 24 National March in NYC as powerful as possible. Help spread its message everywhere. In this way, we will have the backs of the youth who are targeted by brutal, murdering cops.

Such an unprecedented outpouring of protest and resistance, along with the whole process of building up to these days, would awaken and inspire millions, and sharply raise the question to the whole society and the whole world: WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? The aim is to get things to the point where there are millions who both feel in their bones that this system of intimidation, terror and murder is INTOLERABLE... and are willing to step out and act in all different ways to stop this, and have the ways to do so. In other words, these actions in October aim to change the whole tenor and direction of society and make a major leap in turning back and stopping this terror in blue. So I urge every person and organization who feels these murders must stop to join with Cornel West and myself and many others to make this happen as powerfully as possible.

Police terror concentrates an ugly program of suppression targeting Black and Latino people. It will take revolution, nothing less to end this and all the other horrors this system enforces on humanity—the attacks on women, the wars for empire, the devastation of the environment, and more. Bob Avakian, BA, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has developed a way to make revolution, for real. A way to actually go up against the monsters who run things now in an all-out struggle for power and to have a real chance of winning when the opening emerges and the time is right. A way to fight today—for real—against the powers-that-be so that we build up our strength and change conditions to bring about that opening—as soon as possible.

BA says, “There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.” If you yearn to see all these horrors ended, once and for all, get with the movement for revolution that we are building.






Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

One Year After the Police Murder of Mike Brown:

Days of Defiance

Updated August 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From the streets of Ferguson to Boston, NYC and spreading around the country as we post this, the weekend and Monday after the first anniversary of the police murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has been marked with defiant protest and expressions of unleashed outrage. The protest has broken way into mainstream news, and cannot be ignored.

"Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?", a clip from the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Film of the Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian. Watch the entire film here.

One year after they murdered Mike Brown, the powers-that-be wanted that anniversary observed in ways that whitewashed their crime and covered up the nature of the system. A lot of effort—of different kinds—went into trying to stuff the just outrage that erupted a year ago back into the bottle. But what emerges from three days is that people weren’t going to be stuffed back into the bottle. Lies, promises, threats, and violent attacks by the authorities have not able to shut down the defiant ones. And defiant spirit and protest are just what is needed!

The powers-that-be are lashing back. Police are attacking protests. Videographers are being arrested for documenting police crimes. The Department of Homeland Security arrested people protesting at the Department of IN-Justice in St. Louis on Monday. And on Monday, on the pretext of an incident for which there is little actual information except that a Black man was shot by police on Sunday night in Ferguson, St. Louis County (which includes Ferguson) was placed under a state of emergency, bringing back the infamous virtual military occupation imposed a year ago during the uprising demanding justice for Mike Brown—when the world saw armored personnel carriers and militarized pigs blasting away at protesters with rubber bullets and gas. People everywhere must demand: back the fuck off, you murderers! People have a right to protest!

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Below—some sketches from what’s going on updated 8/11. Check back for new updates, starting with the most recent. Stay tuned...




Ferguson August 10

Stepping out into the streets, linked arms, heading for the DOJ in Ferguson. Credit:  Special to Revolution

Monday, St. Louis. Starting at noon, protesters assembled at the Christ Church Cathedral—a church that describes itself as “a vibrant Episcopal community and a spiritual center for downtown St. Louis” whose mission includes “celebration of diversity; a breathtaking sacred space; and advocacy on behalf of those marginalized in society.”

Before marching speakers called for moral conscience, for others in society to have the moral conscience to move people to act to stop police terror. An Arab woman who spoke said, “Our Black and Brown children are traumatized by racism and this has to stop.”

Ferguson, dozens of peple were arrested August 10

Carl Dix and Cornel West among those confronted by Homeland Security police (in foreground) at the Dept of IN-Justice in St. Louis. Credit: Special to Revolution

The march itself was very strong, stepping off with “Indict! Convict! Send the Killer Cops to Jail!”—not always, but often followed by “The Whole Damn System is Guilty as Hell.” People sang “What side are you on, my people? What side are you on?” And chanted “Black lives matter!” And “If we don’t get it, shut it down!”

People locked hands in the first few lines, in determination not to be stopped. There were drummers, and a whole mix of people—young, old, Black, white, Arabs and others. People sang freedom songs. Some folks saw themselves as demanding the DOJ do its job. Others saw the DOJ as part of the problem. The huge Stolen Lives banner was in the mix and everyone got challenged to be part of Rise Up October, October 24, in New York City.

After a short march from the Church, protesters faced off with Homeland Security police at the downtown St. Louis Department of Justice and later dozens of St. Louis police with stun guns. People moved straight to the door of the DOJ where arrests started. The spirit of defiance didn’t die down—more the opposite. A core of people had planned to participate in civil disobedience, including a half dozen or so clergy who were defiant and strong. Some in the crowd were saying “We will pray with our feet.” When people sat down in front of the federal courthouse they said in unison, “I believe we will win. “  They sang, “I Can’t Breathe”—the song popularized by Samuel L. Jackson.

Others were inspired and compelled to join in on the spot—at this point dozens of people have been arrested. Among them Cornel West and Carl Dix.

A reporter for the Guardian tweeted “Should be noted peaceful protesters at fed courthouse in downtown St Louis are being arrested by officers from the Dept of Homeland Security.” Food for thought on the real nature of “national security!”

A woman journalist from France who joined the protest told Revolution, “It is so sad to see they’re still killing Black people. There is a Black president but it is still going on. He is just a symbol. This is an international issue—in Europe, even Africa—even though it’s worse here.”

A spoken word artist who ended up getting arrested said “If they know there are consequences, disruption of business as usual, people change. In Cincinnati they indicted the cop who killed Sam DuBose pretty quickly because of a rebellion in 2001 after Cincinnati police murdered Timothy Thomas. There have to be consequences.”

The protest and arrests have gotten significant coverage in U.S. and world mainstream media. The European news service Reuters pushed global stock market reports, ISIS, and Greece down the list of stories to feature Cornel West and others being arrested while the crowd chants “Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell!”

From our correspondent’s notes: “What I felt today was that what the defiant ones in Ferguson, those youth who faced the attacks by police but would not stop coming to get justice for Mike Brown and all the thousands of others have a tremendous effect on the people who came out today, on the clergy, on people not directly under the gun, not so much crushed by the killing of our people by the police. The youth who are targeted, profiled, locked up, and with no means to live, have no future under this system, who face the ugliness of white supremacy and its enforcers,  but who have stood up to it, who have continued with the beatings, the arrests, the demonization by the authorities, continued to fight back. On Saturday night and since they showed people what it means  to carry forward the spirit of the rebellion a year ago, the spirit that is right to rebel and is still right to rebel.  As I heard speeches, and participated in the march—with its strong and determined chants and defiance—I thought how much the defiant ones have had an effect on this section of people, have inspired these people to yell ‘The whole damn system is guilty.’ A common theme among many perspectives: ‘We WILL NOT STOP’.”

In the afternoon of August 10 activists heroically staged a massive Freeway Shutdown on Hwy 70 near St. Louis.


Caption: Defiance in the rain in Ferguson Sunday on West Florissant. Credit:‏@kodacohen

Ferguson August 9

8/9/15: Late night on Canfield Avenue in Ferguson. Credit: Special to Revolution

Ferguson August 9

8/9/15: Police shooting smoke bombs at protesters on Canfield Ave, a few blocks from where Mike Brown was murdered. Credit: Special to Revolution

Sunday in Ferguson, Sunday in Ferguson began with a gathering at Canfield Dr. at the site where Mike Brown was murdered. People did four and a half minutes of silence to mark the time when one year earlier Mike Brown's body was left to lie in the street for four and a half hours. Many hundreds then went on a silent march to Greater St. Mark's church where a community memorial service was held.

Another important event happened in the early evening before things broke out on W. Florissant. Several hundred filled St. Mark's church that evening to hear Cornel West and a panel of local religious leaders addressing questions about where the Black church stands and where it should stand in relationship of oppression Black people face in U.S. society.

As afternoon turned to night time, the mood grew more intense; those in the streets were confronted with a large number of pigs, and an armored carrier, at both ends of West Florissant.

At different points, people chanted, “Hands up don’t shoot” and “indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty.”  At  one point one of the pigs said snidely, “Will never happen.”

The protest was viciously attacked by police, who filled the air with smoke bombs.

From a correspondent on the streets that evening:

Early in the evening, on Flo’ one of us saw hundreds of youth hanging out, playing music including “Fuck the Police”, sitting on their cars. Some may have marched the night before. Some were thinking about Mike Brown, some just chillin’. 

But soon this mood was broken. Shots were allegedly fired but the main thing is that Tyrone Harris, 18, was shot by police and is in critical condition. His mom said Tyrone was a good friend of Michael Brown. And then the police moved in, in force, over a hundred and in riot gear. The youth there are used to this, that no matter the problem, the police use it all to enforce their rule of oppression on the Black youth.  In fact, the police forced us down the street to a small parking lot of a liquor store.  About 60 or so youth gathered  and some spoke out. One said, “They want to destroy every Black person in every state. This is a war.” 

People signed up for Rise up October as an answer to the genocide and police terror that the youth of Ferguson have fought heroically against.

At one point, a Black woman was yelling at the police for being there.   A pig looked her in the eye holding his club ready to use it on her. He said, “Back up or else.”    Then another Black woman there yelled and yelled at the cops for being there in the first place.  In response to what the pig told the other woman, she said, “Don’t tell her to step back, you need to step back and get out of here, all of you” There was deep hatred of the pigs for being an occupying army enforcing white supremacy in Ferguson. And when we referred to BA’s quote about the role of the police, it certainly rang true to the youth there. 

The Revolution Club and the Stop Mass Incarceration Network took the message of resistance and Rise Up October out all over Ferguson. And there is a moment to be seized to organize people into the movement for revolution. Credit: Special to Revolution

A Revolution Club member said to the crowd, “We facing genocide. This is what we get, the police attacking us, when we refuse to live like this. They want us to be quiet and we refuse.” The potential for much more resistance and for people to come out for Rise Up October and the potential to build a revolutionary movement holds a great among our youth and others here. On the one year anniversary of the savage death of Michael Brown and no jail for the killer these pigs come in to declare we can kill you but you can’t protest or even feel the sorrow and pain of what happened to Mike Brown.

On Sunday night, there was an important organizing meeting for Rise Up October at Christ the King Church near Ferguson. The gathering was addressed by Reverend Jerome McCorry, along with family members of people murdered by police. Those family members included J. Andree Penix Smith, mother of Justin Smith, beaten to death while unarmed and handcuffed by five Tulsa, OK police officers Aug. 14, 1998, and Mertilla Jones, grandmother of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, the seven-year-old murdered by Detroit police. Activist Nellie Hester Bailey from New York City also addressed the meeting. After the presentations, people broke into groups for fundraising, outreach, and logistics for October 24.


August 8, 2015, marching to Ferguson police station

August 8, 2015: Marching through the streets of Ferguson to the police station. (Photo: Special to Revolution/


Late Saturday Night at ground zero—Ferguson itself—after a day of different kinds of events and protests, hundreds of people, mostly youth, marched up to the Ferguson Police Department—the scene of ongoing crimes. After long and intense confrontation with police guarding the station a  young Black woman told a Revolution reporter, “Our voices need to be heard about the police killing Black people and tonight they were heard.”   A member of Lost Voices group told him, “What happened last year unleashed a beast. And that beast has been tamed too many times. Not tonight. “ And one comrade said, “What happened tonight was reminiscent of the first night of the rebellion a year ago.“  

Our correspondent wrote: "It was clear that the defiant ones who the powers-that-be have tried to crush both physically and through the media, the defiant ones  who stood up in the face of tear gas, tanks, rubber bullets, live machine guns, curfews, hundreds of arrests in the face of political firemen urging people to be calm while the police murder people over and over were in the streets Saturday night.  Their message was loud and clear: we are determined to stop the pigs from murdering us and we the people will stop them."




Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

August 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


An Important and Urgent Meeting


A Bookstore for the World—Coming to Harlem
What It Is...Why It Matters... How YOU Can Help Make It Happen    

Bring your questions and ideas

6:30-8:30pm • Harlem YMCA, 180 W. 135th St.


August 17—a pivotal point in the battle to save and re-open Revolution Books:

One week to go to raise $30,000 through the RB Indiegogo fundraising
One month to go to reach the target date to renovate, re-stock and re-open RB.
For the world to have a new Revolution Books, BE THERE, MONDAY, AUGUST 17.

Revolution Books NY, volunteer renovation

Volunteers renovating the new Revolution Books. Credit: Revolution Books, NY

Revolution Books is a bookstore for the whole world—a world of suffering and horrors here and around the globe.

Revolution Books is needed more than ever:

The place where people come from all over the world to find the books and the deep engagement about why the world is the way it is and the possibility of a radically different way the world could be. Scientific and poetic, wrangling and visionary, Revolution Books is at the center of building a movement for revolution.

At the new Revolution Books people will engage the biggest questions facing humanity through a broad selection of books and provocative discussions and programs. Revolution Books will be a site of critical thinking like nowhere else.

Because at Revolution Books people experience and engage the new synthesis of communism developed by the revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian—a scientific method and approach to understanding reality and a vision and strategy for the revolutionary struggle to overturn and uproot all systems and relations of exploitation and oppression to achieve the emancipation of all humanity.


Humanity Needs Revolution

The Revolution Needs Revolution Books

Revolution Books Needs You


Andy Zee is the spokesperson for Revolution Books.  

For more information:    212-691-3345






Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Protests Around the County on the Anniversary of Mike Brown's Murder by the Police

August 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


There were protests around the country on the weekend of August 8-9 and continuing on to Monday, August 10. These are just some of what's happened:

Union Square, NYC, August 9, 2015. Credit: Jerry Michael Jones

In New York City, over 100 people gathered outside Barclays Center in Brooklyn on August 9 with banners and signs against police brutality and calling for justice. At 1 p.m. protesters did a four minute die-in, and then marched defiantly through the streets. At the busy Fulton Mall, two protesters were arrested—one was targeted by the police while carrying a "Black Lives Matter" sign. Others rallied at Union Square in Manhattan.

Over 200 people rallied in front of the Waller County, Texas jail/courthouse where Sandra Bland died under police custody after being arrested and brutalized for a supposed minor traffic violation. In Houston, a small but determined group held a speak-out and march in the Third Ward—a community where police murder is rampant. People from the neighborhood and students joined with revolutionaries and the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. After the speak-out at a park, people marched into the neighborhood with chants and the Stolen Lives banner.

Called by Black Lives Matter, around 350 people rallied and marched through Cambridge, Massachusetts—around three-fourths of the protesters were white people, some teenagers and many in their 20s and 30s.

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 100 people marched through downtown and protested at the convention center where the national Fraternal Order of Police was opening their national convention.

In Portland, Oregon, about 100 people blocked an intersection, and two were arrested.

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, people took to the streets on August 10 for an "emergency shutdown" and closed down intersections.


August 9, Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY

August 9, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY. Credit: Cynthia Trinh.

Minneapolis August 9

August 9, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Credit Twitter/@UR_ninja

Cambridge, Massachusetts, August 9

August 9, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Special to Revolution





Revolution #399 August 10, 2015

Donate to Ferguson Volunteers

August 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Funds are urgently needed NOW to sustain crews of volunteers who left home to come to Ferguson for the anniversary of Mike Brown’s murder and the start of the Ferguson rebellion. We came to stand with the people, to uphold the Ferguson rebellion in the face of attempts to repress and slander it, and to spread the message of the Which Side Are You On?/Rise Up October National Speaking Tour. These volunteers include family members of police murder victims, youth tired of being treated like criminals—guilty until proven innocent if they can survive to prove their innocence—and longtime activists and people down with the movement for revolution. These volunteers have been in the street with people facing down cops firing rubber bullets and pepper spraying people in an attempt to suppress the righteous protests again this year. And these volunteers have been organizing people and raising their sights.

Funds are needed for food, gas, lodging, and materials. The volunteers need to, and want to, stay here during this crucial moment. But they cannot stay without your support.

Once again the eyes of the world are riveted on Ferguson. The stakes are enormous. As we have said in words and deeds—it was right to rebel a year ago, and it’s right to rebel now! Your contributions will make it possible to carry this work forward.