Revolution #400, August 17, 2015 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #400 August 17, 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!

Donate to Ferguson Volunteers

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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 #400 August 17, 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.






Revolution #400 August 17, 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 #400 August 17, 2015

Who Are the Women Going to the Last Abortion Clinic In Mississippi?

by Sunsara Taylor | August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Women are everywhere. They make up half of society. Half of the world’s population. Yet, so much of what women are forced to endure daily is kept invisible. Right now, for example, a vicious war is raging against the right of women to decide for themselves when and whether to have a child, yet almost never do you hear the actual impact this is having on women. Already this year, more than 50 laws have been passed to further restrict abortion rights. Fascist lawmakers are clawing all over each other to be the most extreme in abolishing abortion—and even birth control—yet the women whose lives are being crushed by this are left completely out of the picture.

At the last abortion clinic in Mississippi

Week of Taking Patriarchy By Storm, August 2015, at the Pink House. (Photo: Stop Patriarchy)

Recently, I spent 10 days in Mississippi with Stop Patriarchy, standing up for abortion rights and against the entire war on women. Like five other states, Mississippi has only one abortion clinic left. Like a dozen other states, Mississippi forces women to wait at least 24 hours after seeing a doctor before being allowed to get an abortion, forcing women to travel to the clinic at least twice. Like every state, hateful anti-abortion fanatics harass women on their way into the clinics.

What is the impact of these restrictions on real women? How do these restrictions come together with and intensify the overall oppression that women already face?

One way to answer this question is to tell the stories of just three of the women I spoke to at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi during the week of August 2, 2015.


Not long ago, Tamika moved herself and her three small children 2,400 miles from Sacramento, California, to Mobile, Alabama, to be with the man she’d fallen in love with. Only when she arrived did she learn that he already had five children. It wasn’t the kids that bothered her, it was the dishonesty. The lack of respect. She was giving up everything to share a life with him. He hadn’t even bothered to tell her something so big. Now, with her youngest just a year old, she found herself pregnant again.

For weeks, she was paralyzed with indecision. She tried to picture herself with a fourth child, tried to imagine this man stepping up to become a real partner. But this man was completely indifferent to her pregnancy. Not excited. Not worried. Not angry. Just “blank.” The reality became harder and harder to avoid—she was completely on her own. “It took me about seven weeks to realize, six weeks actually, it’s just not going to be right for you. You know, you can’t have this baby. You have this baby, then what? I financially struggle with my three... it would take a toll on me mentally, I would just be a mess.”

She’d driven four hours that morning to get to the clinic and wouldn’t be home until late that night. She’d been called a “murderer” as she walked through the clinic doors. She still wasn’t sure how she would come up with all the money she needed and who would care for her daughters when she had to make the full roundtrip again.

Tears streaked her cheeks as she struggled to find words for the stress she endures trying to provide for her three girls, her heartbreak as she confronted the situation with the man she’d fallen in love with, and the impasse she was facing with her life overall. Reaching further back in the chain of events, she described how her own mother had struggled to raise five children, each a year apart, starting when she was just 16 years old. She admired, even revered, her mother, but never intended to end up in a similar situation. Now, more than anything, she was determined to provide a better chance for her daughters. But the path to do so wasn’t clear. Only one thing was definite: getting this abortion was a necessary first step.


I had noticed her on the way into the clinic. Everyone had. Electric blue afro. Cobalt slip-dress. Sparkling sapphire earrings. Together with her best friend, whose hair blazed fire-engine red, she radiated an irrepressible—and irresistible—enthusiasm for life.

She is young, still living at home. She works full time and goes to school full time and had to push back her appointment because she was having trouble coming up with the money. No one in her family knew. “I didn’t want to be a disappointment to my mom,” she explained. If she had a child, something she considered briefly, she couldn’t imagine staying in her parents’ home. Too much judgment and stress, too much disapproval. But on her own with a child, she’d never finish school. Besides, she wasn’t even sure if she wanted kids ever. Plus, she has sickle cell anemia, a disease that can prove dangerous—even deadly—during pregnancy.

When she spoke of the young man involved, there was a tremor of emotion in her voice that went beyond relief. He didn’t just respect her decision to abort, he admired her for her dreams and didn’t want to see her held back. It was obvious why he would feel that way. She had a quiet confidence that was infectious.

Stop the War on Women!

Anger bubbled up when I asked her about the anti-abortion protesters who had harassed her and about the politicians who have fought so hard to close down abortion clinics. “I feel like they are back in the old days, the past times. Like, we are in 2015... If you are able to pass same-sex marriages and marijuana and all that, you should be able to let women do what they want to do. Like, I feel like birth control should be free. That’s a right. You shouldn’t tell that woman you are supposed to have a baby.”

Even with her extremely strict family, even living in a small town in rural Mississippi, she still couldn’t square the broad horizons she had been raised to expect with the reality of restrictions being imposed on her and other women. She had ambitions and she was just starting out, yet here was the state and a bunch of fanatical strangers working to take everything away.

“It’s frustrating, cuz we only have one clinic, so we have to travel far. Well, some of us have to travel far, have to come down here and we have all these state requirements and come back for a treatment and it’s like, what if we don’t live here? What if we don’t have ways or means of transportation to come back here?” For Princess, due to tremendous determination and the fortune of good friends, it was likely that this question would be hypothetical. For many women, it is not.


Mandy had long since given up her job and settled in to domestic life when she learned that her “successful” husband was frequenting prostituted women across the globe on his business trips. Overnight, everything that seemed stable fell apart. Heart-broken and humiliated, she spiraled downward. Two years and two more failed relationships later, she was tens of thousands of dollars in debt and living with an unemployed meth addict. She called it “love,” but knew it wasn’t healthy.

The morning she discovered she was pregnant, she broke her boyfriend’s meth pipe. She claimed he had never been violent with her before. Suddenly, he threw her against the wall and choked her. When she tried to flee, her bare feet were cut open by the glass he had shattered. The violence escalated over days. He choked her repeatedly. He pounded on her thighs and torso and arms, careful—at first—to keep the bruises out of sight. To keep her from leaving, he stole her phone, car keys, money, and shoes. He dragged her by her hair, poured milk on her head, and spat in her eyes.

After each beating, he’d apologize and promise to be a good father. He vehemently and religiously opposed abortion. Secretly, she called the clinic to schedule her abortion. Three times she had to reschedule because she could not get out of the house. She only made it this morning because he had finally found a day’s work and wasn’t home.

The violence and terror had escalated so rapidly and so intensely, this visit to the clinic was her first chance to step back and reflect. She pulled up a photo of herself from just a year ago, “This is who I was. I want to find that girl again.” In the picture, she was quite a bit lighter and beaming behind a pair of glamorous sunglasses. In real life, her face was decorated with deep blue-black bruises.

How was she going to get out of the house again to keep her next appointment, the actual abortion?

She had no idea.


Read more   |   Sampler Edition

Each of these women told me that their lives would be devastated if they were not able to make it to that clinic, or if that clinic were closed. That is how it is for all women. Being forced to have a child against one’s will is a form of enslavement. It comes on top of and intensifies all the other forms of violence and oppression that women already face. Just like for these women, it hits Black and other oppressed nationality women hardest.

This—and worse—is the future laid out for women everywhere if the nationwide assault on abortion rights and birth control is not stopped.

No longer can those who support abortion rights speak meekly about “choice,” hide behind the euphemism of “health care,” or wring their hands about the supposedly “tragic decision” to abort. No more bending over backwards to show “tolerance” towards those who would force women to have children against their will. No more allowing anti-abortion fanatics to prance around with pictures of fetuses floating on their own, as if there were no woman involved.

The fight over abortion is a fight over women. It is time to tell these women’s stories. It’s time to put women back at the center of the picture. It’s time to demand abortion rights without apology or restriction. It’s time to link this up with the fight against all the chains that bind women.


If you want to share your story please send it to  Provide details necessary to conveying the story, but it is not necessary to include your name or similar details.






Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

The Biggest Problem with the Bernie Sanders Campaign for President

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The mainstream media amplify every one of Donald Trump’s fascist rants. But it is Bernie Sanders who is attracting 10,000+ people at his campaign stops. Sanders rails at what he calls the “billionaire class.” He pledges to raise the minimum wage, mandate family leave, and push other policies that improve the lot of the working class. He promises to defend and extend Medicare and make college tuition-free. Very recently he added a “Racial Justice” section to his website.

In future articles, we will make the case that the kinds of domestic economic reforms Bernie Sanders is promising cannot actually be delivered in the context of this system, and the challenges it faces in a tightly wound and inherently dog-eat-dog global marketplace. And we will address whether the Bernie Sanders campaign is moving the agenda “to the left” or whether it is serving to rally progressive people behind an agenda set by the system.

But first we want to speak to something much more defining of the nature and role of the Bernie Sanders campaign for president: The Bernie Sanders campaign—like those of every candidate who the ruling class allows to be taken seriously—essentially takes as its starting point stabilizing, strengthening, and ultimately enforcing the whole structure of a world dominated, exploited, and oppressed by the U.S. empire. And telling people that those interests are their interests.

And nothing good can come from that.

A World of Sweatshops and Slums Enforced with Drones and Torture

Let’s pull back the lens and look at where programs like Medicare and Social Security come from. And beyond that, what accounts for the great gap between the relative economic security and stability people in the United States have experienced over the past several generations, and the conditions of billions of people around the world living on $2 a day.

Is this gap due to some unique and outstanding work ethic on the part of U.S. workers? Look, if economic security was the product of hard work, just to be blunt, most people living in the U.S. would have lifestyles exponentially more sparse than Bangladeshi garment workers, millions of whom work 14-16 hours a day, seven days a week, in grueling, dangerous conditions.

But workers slaving in the death-trap sweatshops of Bangladesh are among the lowest paid in the world. They live in flimsy shacks without sanitation, access to clean running water, and in constant hunger while most people living in the U.S., even the poor, generally have access to a roof over their heads, plumbing, and drinkable tap water.1

So no—concessions like Social Security and Medicare are not the product of some uniquely U.S. “American can-do spirit” or “work ethic.” Social Security was granted in 1935 during the Great Depression in the U.S., when there was an unemployment rate of 20 percent, in the midst of a tremendous economic and social crisis and a tremendous struggle and sacrifice against the hardships produced by U.S. capitalism. And this took place at a time when the socialist Soviet Union—where unemployment had been eliminated—was looked to as an inspiration by people around the world. Medicare was one product of the 1960s, a time of radical and revolutionary upsurge in the U.S. and around the world, when the U.S. ruling class assessed it had a need, but also the freedom, to make some concessions (even as those concessions, particularly in relation to the struggle against the oppression of Black people, have been under assault from the moment they were granted).

Copy these posters and distribute everywhere, especially on the campuses.
Black & White (JPG) | Color (PDF)

But the ability to make these concessions was a product of the position of U.S. imperialism. People in Bangladesh, to return to that country as an example, have waged tremendous struggles and gone up against more severe repression than people face in the U.S. The fact that they don’t have the same social safety net that people in the U.S. do is because Bangladesh is in a whole other position in the global “food chain” than the United States or the more prosperous countries of Western Europe.

In short, the enormous profits wrung out of the sweat and blood of people around the world by the operation of U.S. capitalism-imperialism have been foundational to the “American way of life” and the relative economic security many North Americans have had access to for decades.

What enforces this world order of sweatshops and slums? More than anything, it is the vast military apparatus of the U.S. empire. It is not that the U.S. military (mainly) occupies mines, plantations, and factories. But U.S. military power enforces a global division of the world where the rulers of the U.S. are in a position to appropriate vast wealth. And the U.S. enforces this setup with drones that assassinate wedding parties, creating generalized terror in large parts of the Middle East and Central Asia. It backs up what it declares to be its turf with torture chambers, run directly by the USA (like Guantánamo) or secretly outsourced to local enforcers. The U.S. has an arsenal of thousands of nuclear weapons that threaten all humanity with extinction. It carries out invasions and coups and deploys and glorifies assassins and spies on pretty much everyone on the planet who uses a cell phone.

And the enforcement of this whole setup takes place through diplomacy—bullying, and in other ways enlisting as allies the rulers of reactionary regimes to serve as small-time enforcers and thugs for the U.S. empire.

All these forms of enforcing U.S. domination of the globe have, at their foundation, violence and terror. And they all enforce a world of horrors.

In light of all this, what does it mean that Bernie Sanders’ campaign seems silent on these crimes?

Bernie Sanders on the U.S.-Iran Nuclear Deal

Let’s return to where Bernie Sanders’ paradigm fits into this picture by examining his position on the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal. Bernie Sanders was an early and vocal proponent of the U.S.-Iran nuclear treaty. He endorses Barack Obama’s argument that opponents of the treaty are making the same “mistake” the U.S. made in invading Iraq. Now listen to how Sanders characterizes that “mistake”: “The war in Iraq, which I opposed, destabilized the entire region, helped create the Islamic State, cost the lives of 6,700 brave men and women and resulted in hundreds of thousands of others in our armed forces returning home with post-traumatic-stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.”

Notice anybody missing in this picture? What about over one million Iraqis killed as a result of the U.S. war, directly (about a half a million) or indirectly (due to destruction and disruption of war, including to water and power systems, health care, and food production)?! Or the 4.2 million injured? Millions were forced to leave the country and now live in dire conditions in neighboring countries. Or the escalating conflict between reactionary Islamic jihadist forces like ISIS and U.S.-backed regimes—a hellish spiraling conflict driven in the largest part by U.S. invasions?

The U.S. invasion of Iraq may have turned out to have been a “mistake” from the perspective of those who rule this country. But this invasion was a crime against humanity of epic proportions.

Bernie Sanders ends his stated position on the Iran nuclear treaty: “If Iran moves toward a nuclear weapon, all available options remain on the table.” This “all options on the table” threat comes from a superpower with the largest military machine in the world. And from the one country in the world that has already murdered hundreds of thousands of people with the atomic bomb at the end of World War 2. (See A World to Win News Service: “Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The world’s worst war crime and the countries willing to do it again.”

This U.S.-Iran nuclear deal, as we have analyzed in the pages of Revolution and at, is a move by the U.S. to try to incorporate, on some level, the reactionary Islamic Republic of Iran into the U.S. orbit, enforcing its interests in the Middle East (the Iranian rulers have their own agenda for stabilizing their rule and expanding their influence as a regional power as well). It is not a good thing, and the bullying and threats the U.S. has mustered (along with economic sanctions that have brought hardship and suffering to millions of ordinary Iranians) are not just “militarism” or “war-mongering,” they are part and parcel of what the U.S. is all about.

In Bernie Sanders’ position on the U.S.-Iran nuclear agreement, you can see how his campaign is starting from upholding the U.S. projecting its interests all over the world. And training people whose interests do not lie with that, to look at the world through that skewed lens.

Is Bernie Sanders “Too Silent on Foreign Policy”?

Many of Bernie Sanders’ supporters express disappointment that, as they see it, he speaks out on domestic issues but is—again as they see it—silent on foreign policy, military spending, and war.

But Bernie Sanders’ relative silence on “foreign policy” flows from the fact that his positions on “foreign policy” are completely in line with and in the framework of everything we’ve been addressing here—maintaining and enforcing a tightly knit global system of exploitation and oppression.

When Bernie Sanders proclaims “the time is long overdue to end the waste and financial mismanagement that have plagued the Pentagon for years,” he does so in the context of declaring, “I support a strong defense system for our country and a robust National Guard and Reserve that can meet our domestic and foreign challenges.”

While he criticizes some of the most egregious specific incidents of Israeli massacres, he equates that with the exponentially smaller impact of attacks on Israel by various forces in Gaza, and upholds the essential nature and role of Israel by calling it a bulwark against terrorism and oppression. (For a full response to the argument that Israel, whatever its faults, is a bastion of enlightenment against terrorism and obscurantism in the Middle East, see the special issue of Revolution on Israel.)

And on the Environment...

Let’s examine one more example of how Bernie Sanders’ positions (even when they take the form of silence) on key issues are also sharply framed by keeping the U.S. at the top of the heap of global predatory powers.

The Climate Change & Environment section of his campaign website has no mention of opposing either fracking or Arctic drilling. Yes, he—and others in the ruling class—are on record, for now at least, that the XL extension to the Keystone Pipeline is not needed. But you will find no mention of opposition to fracking or Arctic oil drilling.

Fracking and Arctic drilling are environmental catastrophes in their own right, and major contributors to deepening the world’s addiction to environmentally devastating fossil fuels. And we have analyzed and exposed through coverage at Revolution/ how both fracking and Arctic drilling are critical not just as a source of profit for U.S. energy companies, but in U.S. contention with rival powers. As we wrote recently:

“The U.S. has already vastly expanded oil and gas production to become the world’s leader. And it is using these resources, as well as its lead in fracking technology, as a weapon in rivalry with other capitalist countries, for instance battling Russia over Ukraine. Control over Arctic resources means strategic power and domination. None of the great powers or big oil companies can afford to stand aside from the race to grab for this or else they will risk losing out, being driven down, and even under by competitors.

“And this is not just about economic competition. The projection of military power—while not yet to the point of endangering a direct conflict, is a growing aspect of competition between the U.S., Canada, Norway, Russia, Denmark, and others like China, who are trying to find a way in.” (“Why Is the U.S. Opening the Arctic to Drilling?”)

The U.S. Empire: Built on Slavery and Genocide, Feeding on Humanity

To this point, we’ve identified how on the most fundamental questions facing humanity, Bernie Sanders’ positions (or apparent silence) serve to endorse and enforce the global U.S. empire.

That global U.S. empire came into being on a foundation of violent genocide of the Native Americans, and the violent kidnapping of millions of African people to create a critical part of the wealth appropriated—again violently—by the rulers of this country. U.S. capitalism-imperialism grew with the theft of much of Mexico. By the end of the 1800s, the U.S. ruling class, drawing on the great wealth created by these crimes and others, emerged as a global power, violently seizing Puerto Rico, Hawai’i, the Philippines, and other colonies.

After World War 2, the U.S. emerged as the dominant capitalist-imperialist power in the world, and in a position to feed off the vicious exploitation of people around the world. And, to go back to where we began, it was on that basis that they were able to—in the face of crisis and struggles of the oppressed—make concessions like Social Security and Medicare.

But today the rulers of this country face fierce and intensifying competition and conflict, with threats to their setup around the world—from rival powers like Russia and China, and from relatively small-time reactionary forces like Al Qaeda and ISIS. And moves by the U.S. and its allies that they expected would serve their interests, like the bombing assault that drove out the Qaddafi regime (which was a thorn in their side for decades) and left Libya in misery and chaos, have created large regions of North Africa and the Middle East that are highly destabilized and threaten to unravel the world order, albeit in ways that do not lead anywhere positive for the masses of people.

And, particularly back in the 1960s, but in scenarios that could develop again, the ferocious destructive power of the U.S. military has been, and is prepared today, to attack genuine revolutionary movements.

So, again, it is on this basis—an empire of exploitation, oppression and death—that the rulers of the U.S. have been able to maintain a level of economic security and stability for large sections of people in the U.S.

American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People’s Lives

The “American Way of Life” is being torn apart by huge changes in the world, and in U.S. society. And this is leading to all kinds of intense social conflicts. But if social conflict is to lead anywhere good, it will be on the basis of opposing, not lining up behind, the U.S. empire.

It is possible to create a society that provides for the basic needs of people in this country—not just food and shelter but culture, sports, education, and more—without that all being based on the plunder and enslavement of the people of the world. The methods and means for that are broken down in detail and in depth in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal).

But that wrenching transformation of the economy, the culture, and society as a whole requires a revolution. And an orientation that American lives are not more important than other people’s lives.


1. There are also, within the United States, super-exploited workers whose conditions of life, hours, wages and working conditions are extreme and severe—like undocumented immigrants working in agriculture. And this vicious super-exploitation is also part of the basis on which the U.S. is the richest country in the world. [back]





Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

Bernie Sanders: Re-Slicing the Bloody Pie

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Bernie Sanders wants to “divide the pie” of America’s wealth more equally. But he does not want to ask about—or change—the ingredients in the pie... the way the pie is baked... and what must happen for that pie to exist in the first place.

Order Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy

Read online

Listen to MP3:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

American wealth comes from empire. Those who die in the collapsing clothing factories in Bangladesh, or whose bodies lie shattered on the ground at Apple subsidiaries in China; the Mexicans and Central Americans dead in the Arizona desert in a desperate search for construction work in “El Norte” (USA); the children laboring in toxic battery factories in Pakistan. Their bones are baked into that pie, their blood flavors it.

Slavery drawing

The recipe for that pie was developed through the enslavement of Africans and the genocide of the Native American Indians, and still today is salted with the tears of the relatives of those descendants of slaves continually brutalized and shot down by the police, and those original inhabitants locked down on reservations.

This pie is cooked to a crisp in the blazing-hot oven of wars for empire, and then delivered to the table by the billions of women, worldwide, reduced to servitude and humiliation of every kind imaginable. And meanwhile, the gluttonous gorging that is so necessary for the continued baking of that pie destroys the entire environment of the planet, and puts many forms of life—including us—at grave risk of extinction.

Quarreling over the servings as Bernie Sanders does... or proposing to tinker with the recipe: those are needless—and ultimately very deadly—distractions. Humanity needs a whole better world—and a better world IS possible. Forget about Bernie Sanders and his schemes to re-slice the bloody pie. Do something that will count for all humanity: Get into Bob Avakian (BA), and learn about the revolution and real possibility for human emancipation he’s brought forward and fights for.

Relatives of missing workers wait hopefully for their loved ones at the collapsed factory site in Savar, Bangladesh.

Relatives of missing workers wait hopefully for their loved ones at the collapsed factory site in Savar, Bangladesh. (AP photo)




Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

Trump: The Vileness IS the Point

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The vicious misogyny and the scurrilous attacks on immigrants... the threats of violence against the Black Lives Matter movement should they dare to speak out at one of his rallies... the braggadocio and braying, the bullying and utter lack of substance or even reason... the refusal to admit he’s wrong, even when totally caught out in a lie or an outrageous slander... the flaunting of his riches and of his viciousness in getting them... these are not beside the point, or secondary things, about the Donald Trump candidacy. These ARE the point.

It is very revealing that the racists who feel betrayed by the Republican politicians for not “standing up for” the Confederate flag have rallied around Trump. They may not even know his record of whipping up racist, lynch-mob-like hysteria in New York during a notorious trial of Black and Brown youths that proved to be a frame-up (and for which those youths served years and years in prison). He doesn’t even have to say anything about it—they feel instinctively that he represents them. They dream of being him. They will follow him.

The Coming Civil War cover

It is very revealing that Trump vows that he would go after and defeat any perceived “threats to America.” Even his ridicule of and personal attacks on established ruling class politicians like Barack Obama and John McCain serve a purpose—to attract those who are alienated from the politicians of today NOT because they serve reactionary ends, but because they do not do so aggressively and viciously enough!

And it is also revealing that even though the liberal populist Bernie Sanders has actually drawn bigger crowds, it is Trump who has been given hour after hour of air time on all the cable news channels to spout his poison. Sanders is also being used by the imperialists (see accompanying article). But Trump, for now, is being used to set the main tone and terms of things—to make sure that the grievances of the “angry white men” who have been taught to take out their resentments against those beneath them in the social pyramid, and who have been taught to aspire to bossing around and humiliating others, are given full voice and erected as a powerful pole in society. Those who make the decisions feel that it is useful to them that the outright white supremacy, male supremacy, and vicious hatred of immigrants (xenophobia) that is the cultural glue of America must be reinforced in a year when those who have been the victims of all that have been standing up, questioning, and resisting.

Trump is not a clown show. Trump is not a gimmick to boost TV ratings. Trump may spout idiotic rants, but these are calculated and the Trump campaign is deadly serious. Again, the rants and the viciousness and even the idiocy ARE the point. It is no coincidence that the summer of Trump is the summer when white men have gone into the streets with automatic rifles—at Stone Mountain, Georgia, to celebrate the Confederate war to maintain slavery (and in other places that have not been reported); in Ferguson, when Black people rebelled; at army recruitment centers around the country; and who knows where next. Please note: this is a very serious escalation, and has received very little attention from those who have given Trump center stage.

Bob Avakian has pointed to a lineup forming, including among the rulers, of a possible “coming civil war”—he has gone into the roots of why that could happen and he has made the analysis to show how, faced with such a situation, we must actually prepare for and hasten the emergence of the political conditions where revolution is possible, and then fight to win. He has led in developing a Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America that actually could, among many other things, clear away the soil that gives rise to one Trump after another and set totally different terms for a society in which resources and will are marshaled to overcome the scars of this society. Now more than ever—this analysis needs to be engaged.

For the time is late. Make no mistake. Have no illusions. They are preparing. Those who cannot stand what Trump represents, those who want justice, also need to prepare. But NOT by getting into a defensive crouch, and NOT by flocking to and sheltering under the wing of some Democrat (even one who claims to be “socialist”) or a “moderate” Republican in the vain hope of sliding by; but rather to get organized for an actual revolution to uproot everything in society that gives rise to, and gives a megaphone to, a Donald Trump.





Revolution #400 August 17, 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 #400 August 17, 2015

Carl Dix on: Ferguson, Rise Up October, and Revolution

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Carl Dix, representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party and co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, was interviewed for The Michael Slate radio show. Dix was in Ferguson, Missouri. The following is from that interview:

Michael Slate: I’m pleased to welcome to the show Carl Dix. Right now, Carl is in the midst of a tour that’s going around the country building for Rise Up October/Which Side Are You On?, which is a plan to have, on October 24 in New York City, 100,000 and more people in the streets to shut it down. So it’s a crew of people going around the country building for this? Tell us about that.

Carl Dix: We have had people go to Cleveland. We’ve hit Chicago. And right now we’re wrapping up a stop of the tour in Ferguson, where we were for the activities one year after the murder of Michael Brown, August 7 through the 10th. Some of us are still here. We’re taking the message of Stop Police Terror! Which Side Are You On? through those cities. Along with me are some family members of police murder victims: Mertilla Jones, grandmother of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, the seven-year-old girl who was murdered by police who raided her grandmother’s house where she was sleeping on the couch in the room. They came in with a flash-bang grenade and shooting and shot Aiyana in the head, which was a SWAT Team raid that broke into the wrong apartment, and no police, no authorities, have been punished for that murder. Also, Andree Smith, the mother of Justin Smith, who was murdered by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma. in 1998, and Joshua Lopez, a young man from New York City, whose uncle, John Collado, was murdered by the NYPD in 2012. There are also some young people, some from the Revolution Club, touring with us, and Rev. Jerome McCorry, Faith Coordinator for the Stop Mass Incarceration Network has also been on the tour.

Michael Slate: As you guys are going around on tour, and as you said, you’ve most recently been in Ferguson, this is a very intense time. Particularly, we’re looking at a year that’s passed since the brutal murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson and all that was unleashed in response to that, both on the side of the system, and more importantly on the side of the people, in terms of standing up and fighting against it. What’s happened in that year, between the murder of Mike Brown and now?

Carl Dix: This has been a year, most importantly, of a level of resistance to the horror of murder by police that we have not seen in this country in decades, ushered in by the defiant young people in Ferguson who went into the streets after the police gunned down Michael Brown, who had his hands up when Darren Wilson shot him, but they left his body laying for four and a half hours in the street. And the young people were like, “This is it! We’re not taking this anymore.” They had seen police brutalize and murder people before, but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

They went into the streets in the face of everything the authorities could throw at them: tear gas, rubber bullets, sound cannons, armored personnel carriers, police in riot gear with military assault weapons, curfews, National Guard mobilizations. These youth stayed in the street night after night, and it called forth a response from around the country, where other people―people who were tired of dealing with the police getting away with murder—began to step out in solidarity with the Ferguson protests, and in protest of the police murders happening in other parts of the country.

And then when the system slapped us all in the face by exonerating Darren Wilson, the cop who murdered Michael Brown, and by following that up very quickly by exonerating the cop who choked Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York City, to death, a murder that we all saw because it was videoed and seen not only across the country, but around the world, protest exploded on an even higher level. So that’s one big part of what’s been happening. But the other thing is that the killings have continued. Police have continued to kill people at a rate of more than 1,000 per year. They’ve killed around 700 people this year. They’ve killed 1,080 people since August 9 last year—since the murder of Michael Brown, 1,080 have been killed by police. And the system continues to exonerate killer cops, to give them a pass, to flash a green light to their brutal and murderous activity.

So those are the two things that have happened, and the coming together of that is what convinced Cornel West and I that we had to issue the call for Rise Up October. Because the system has doubled down on unleashing their cops to brutalize and murder people and on exonerating those killer cops. So we felt we had to take the resistance to a much higher level, not just responding to each murder that they commit, but to take the resistance beyond that, and that’s why we called for a national march that is going to be a huge outpouring of people in New York City under the theme of Stop Police Terror/Which Side Are You On? October 24, that’s the date.

Michael Slate: You’re out here on a tour. You’re talking to people about the need to rise up, to stand up against this. You made a very powerful statement: “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.” Is that controversial? How are people responding to that?

What the System Is Doing to People Is Genocide

Carl Dix: There is controversy on it. But one side of that controversy is that it is welcomed by a lot of people who are really tired of this, who see that they have not stopped, that getting cameras that record some of these horrible murders, while it’s led to a few indictments, there have been many more cases where there were videos of what the police did, where you could see that people were unarmed, where you could see that there was no criminal activity being carried out. And police have got away with literally murdering people.

In the face of that, it’s hitting people that they are killing us. I’ve been saying for a while that what the system is doing to Black people amounts to a genocide and that the epidemic of police murder and mass incarceration viciously targets broad sections of Latinos as well. This is something that is hitting home to people, and they want to see it stopped. When somebody comes to them and stands with them in standing up against it, they welcome that. And then when you say we’ve got to take that higher, they want to know, well, what’s the plan? How is this going to work? What are we going to do? How do we make this happen?

But at the same time, you got voices coming at it the other way, saying, well let’s get practical. Let’s come up with some concrete policies and programs and laws that the authorities can enact that will deal with this problem. This began even before the grand jury results that exonerated the killer cops in the Ferguson and Staten Island cases. You had Obama call people to the White House, and say, well, you know what we’re going to do? We’re going to get body cameras and put them on the police. Then that way we’ll know what happened and that will allow us to deal with this problem. And then a couple days later, the grand jury looking into the murder of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, where there was a video, and you could see what happened, decided to exonerate all the cops who killed Eric Garner.

They told us, well, we’ll get special prosecutors. That will take care of it—leaving out the fact that John Crawford, the young Black man who was gunned down by police in Beaver Creek, Ohio, while inside a Walmart where he was purchasing a toy gun that he had on his shoulder while he talked on the phone and it was a special prosecutor who looked into that case, who watched a video of the cops storming into Walmart and gunning him down and then saying to him, “Drop it!”

It was a special prosecutor in Wisconsin, which is a state that has a law mandating special prosecutors, in the murder of Dontre Hamilton, a young man who was asleep in the park in the afternoon, accosted by a cop who began to beat him and then shot him to death. The special prosecutor exonerated that cop. Then in the case of Tony Robinson, a young man who needed help. Somebody called the cops, they came, kicked in the door to Tony’s apartment and then shot him through the door even though he was unarmed. A special prosecutor exonerated that cop, too.

So every policy change that they say is going to deal with this, every law that they say is going to make this stop, continues to allow this to go on. And what it points to is that there needs to be a sea change in how people in this society look at the question of policing, police being unleashed to wreak violence, especially on the ghettos and barrios and the people who live there. in this country and the way that this system does not punish any of these killer cops. There needs to be massive outpouring, like we’re calling for October 24 in New York City, and we have to challenge people over Which Side Are You On?

Defiance in Ferguson

Michael Slate: I want to talk more about October 24 in a minute, but I wanted to talk to you about what’s going on in Ferguson right now. You’ve been talking about this, especially after we’ve just been talking about the point that 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, and sort of the situation in the country overall, where it’s not a backing off, it’s not a lessening of the oppression and repression that’s coming down, but actually, there’s a steady intensification of this. I wanted to talk to you about what’s happened in Ferguson over the last few days. It’s been jarring for many people to see on the very anniversary of the murder of Michael Brown, that there were all kinds of things going on, not just the people in the streets, but the response of the police and the authorities to it was pretty brutal, right?

Carl Dix: Exactly. When we hit Ferguson at the beginning of the weekend, the police put on Officer Friendly masks and were handing out water and popsicles to people out on the street. But then, when people took to the streets in protest, those masks came off and it could have been last year in Ferguson, because you had cops out there with armored personnel carriers, you had people being maced for wanting to protest.

A state of emergency was declared in St. Louis County, but it was a particular kind of state of emergency, one that meant that you couldn’t protest in the area where Michael Brown was murdered. You would be corralled on the sidewalk by an outpouring of police. You could get maced or pepper-sprayed, smoke grenades thrown at you. However, the Oath Keepers, right-wing fascist folks, could come into that area armed during the state of emergency and were welcomed by the police and in fact collaborated with them as a message of suppression to people, that “You can’t stand up. You can’t bring your righteous anger to the streets.”

And the youth weren’t having it. They came out in numbers. They came out in the face of massive police mobilizations. They rejected this thing of, oh, it’s the criminal element that’s coming out and we have to suppress them. They’re not legitimate protestors—which is a narrative they try to put out, demonizing and criminalizing the youth to justify the violence that they direct at them in order to suppress them. But it was very powerful and very positive that the young people, especially the defiant young people came out, and that other people also were active this weekend. Because Monday, there was a civil disobedience activity in different parts of St. Louis, starting with a march of hundreds of people on the Federal Building in downtown St. Louis, where about 60 people were arrested for engaging in civil disobedience. I was among those 60 people, along with Dr. Cornel West and others, and along with some bloggers and live-streamers who were recording what was happening, who got arrested for doing so, including DeRay and Neta, two of the people who rose to the forefront a year ago in the response to the murder of Michael Brown.

The cops were very brutal, but people came out against that. There were also concerts by a number of artists. I’m going to name a few of them, and probably forget some, but Talib Kweli performed at a hip-hop concert. Tom Morello was part of a rock concert, the band Outernational. Boots Riley performed, Immortal Technique, Common, and I’m probably forgetting some people. A lot of people felt they had to be here, and they had to be here to remember Mike Brown, but also to say, this murder by police and the exoneration of these killer cops has got to stop. And that’s an important step, because the dogs are still in the street. The police are still killing people. It was right and important for people to stand up and rebel against that a year ago, and it is just as right and just as important that they continue to stand up.

October 24: Taking the Fight to STOP Police Terror to a Whole New Level

Michael Slate: Let’s talk about October 24 now. You mentioned that earlier, and I really wanted to pursue this, because a lot of the stuff we’re talking about raises the question of really taking things to a whole other level, to really create a situation in society where this whole assault on Black and Brown people is pushed back. This kind of development around October 24 seems to be something that could be pivotal. Why don’t we talk about how important October 24 is, and who are you looking to be involved in this?

Carl Dix: Let me start with the second part first. Everybody who sees a problem with police murdering people, and disproportionately Black and Latino people, is who we’re looking to get involved. We’re looking to get involved the young people who are being criminalized and demonized by the system to justify the brutality and murder that gets unleashed on them. We’re looking to involve students, young people who are growing up in a world where this goes on and targets people because of the color of their skin, and find that kind of world intolerable. We’re looking to involve professionals who don’t want to stand aside and see this happen to others and stay on the sidelines. We’re looking to involve the clergy.

We’re looking to go into the communities very broadly and bring people out to stand with the young people who are being targeted. We want to bring forward family members and other loved ones of those who’ve lost their lives at the hands of the police, and bring them forward in large numbers to speak from the heart about the devastation that the horror of police murder has wrought on their lives, and give them a platform to call them out, to condemn it, and to call forward people to stand with them. We’re launching a project to bring hundreds of family members of police murder victims to New York City, and that’s going to be out there in the days to come.

That’s who we’re looking to get involved. And the point is, we’ve just got to change the way people look at this problem. It’s got to be a thing of people seeing this and getting that these are not “isolated incidents” that seldom happen. Nor are they the result of bad choices, criminal activity or suspicious movements that the victims face, but it’s the result of police being unleashed to inflict brutality, violence and murder on sections of people that this society has no future for, especially the young people growing up in the inner cities that they don’t have legitimate ways for them to survive and raise families.

This is the backdrop for this program of punishment that’s concentrated in these police murders. We have to put that out there for people and bring out to them that it is intolerable that this is going down, and that everybody with an ounce of justice in their heart has to stand up, has to join the side that’s saying “This must stop!”

There is no neutrality or middle ground here. You can’t say, well, I can see points on both sides. That’s kind of like going into Nazi Germany and saying, well, I can see why the Jews are upset about being put into concentration camps, but on the other hand, I can see why the Nazis are putting them there. No, there was no middle ground there, and the Germans who stood aside from these horrors being committed, closed their eyes, stopped up their ears, they were facilitating the genocide that was carried out there. And it’s the same today, and we have to bring that to people. That’s the point to grouping Stop Police Terror and Which Side Are You On?—challenging people with the reality of police getting away with murder, and challenging them to get on the right side of that, the correct side, the side of acting to stop it.

Michael Slate: When you were talking about October 24, what do you see it accomplishing?

Carl Dix: What I see it accomplishing is, radically transforming the way people look at this question, getting them to go from sympathy with people who are suffering this to actively siding with them and acting together with them, and then getting other sections of people to go from, “This doesn’t have any effect on me. It’s not my problem,” to seeing that it is all of ours problem. Because when you hear about a 12-year-old boy like Tamir Rice gunned down in less than two seconds by cops because he was playing with a toy gun, and they rolled up on him like he was a criminal that they had to blow away. You have to feel like, that was my child out there; that’s our children that are being hit like this. It is our sisters who are being killed in police custody, when you hear about Sandra Bland or Ralkina Jones in Cleveland.

That’s what people have to feel, and here’s the other thing that people have to feel. People have to feel, how many more victims of loss of life at the hands of the cops are we going to have to make hashtags out of? How many more anniversaries like the anniversary of Michael Brown, or before that, the anniversary of the murder of Eric Garner, are we going to have to mark?

We’ve got to get rid of this, and it’s going to take revolution, nothing less to do that. There is leadership for that. There’s Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, who has worked on and brought forward the way out of this, how we could actually make revolution for real, and what needs to be done now to build up to that. People need to check that out. And while they’re engaging that and digging into it—and they can do that at the website—and while they’re doing that, they need to throw in to make October 24 happen, while they’re still working out whether revolution is what they want or not, whether it’s possible. While they’re still digging into all that, they need to throw in to make October 24 Rise Up October to Stop Police Terror/Which Side Are You On? as powerful as possible. They need to be mobilizing people to come, organizing transportation to get people there, raising funds to make all of this possible.

They can find out about that and get hooked in with that process at the websites and

Michael Slate: You’re on this tour. Where is it headed now?

Carl Dix: It’s going to be headed to the Baltimore/DC area. We’re going to touch in with people who rose up in response to the murder of Freddie Gray. We’re going to be going down into the Southeast, hitting Atlanta. And there’s going to be a tour going along the West Coast at the same time, which means they’re going to have two different tours going, because the same crew can’t get everywhere that it needs to with the message that Police Terror Must Stop, and Which Side Are You On? Be on the lookout for the schedule that the tour’s going to put out, and also be on the lookout for the fact that on August 27, Cornel West and I and others are going to speak to the question of how do we stop police murder in New York City, August 27 at a church in Harlem, and that’s going to be live-streamed. So it’s going to be available to people all across the country.






Revolution #400 August 17, 2015


Letter from a Reader

July 27, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


My immediate response upon reading this document was to be tremendously impressed by the sweep and scope of the new synthesis of communism in all its many dimensions, and to think that we really need to get this document out far and wide (and also use it extensively in our boxing–our ideological struggle—with individuals and with other trends). Although others have written articles or given speeches aimed at summarizing the new synthesis of communism, this document is unique because this is Bob Avakian (BA) himself outlining in a very concentrated way what he considers the core elements of this new synthesis of communism, those areas where he has made the most significant and most path-breaking advances in our science. 

When you understand the emphasis that BA has put on developing a more thoroughly scientific method and approach and then can see the application of this method and approach reflected in significant theoretical breakthroughs in relation to so many elements (and these are only the core elements and not a comprehensive list of all the elements where he has charted new theoretical territory!), you can’t help but recognize and appreciate the extent to which BA has revolutionized communism by putting it on a more scientific foundation. As a result of this theoretical work that he has done over decades, BA is indeed “ushering in a whole new phase of the communist revolution and a whole new conception of the kind of society and world we need to be building for the benefit of humanity” (to quote from our website).  

This document drives home the tremendous potential that the new synthesis of communism holds to emancipate humanity, and I couldn’t help but think what a crime it is that this new synthesis of communism isn’t more widely known and embraced here and throughout the world. I think that this document could have a powerful positive impact in turning that situation around and opening people’s eyes to why we say that BA is a great communist leader on the level of Marx, Lenin, and Mao. In regards to boxing and addressing those in other trends or those who are simply skeptics about BA, I say, “You want evidence of why we consider BA a rare, precious, and irreplaceable communist leader? Start by reading this document, and then tell me of anyone else in the world today who even begins to come close to grappling with the questions outlined here with the same sweep and with the same depth and substance and with the same seriousness that BA has. He has dedicated his life to this, and spent decades developing this new synthesis of communism—and is continuing to do so.”

Although I have read this document a few times, I feel that I have only scratched the surface. When I first read the document, what especially stood out to me was the significance of the advances/ruptures in relation to all the areas that are outlined. Specifically, I considered how radical and new the conceptual understanding forged by BA on each of these elements is; the ways in which this understanding builds on, and at the same time in some significant ways diverges from, what has historically been the thinking around these elements within the communist movement; and also the profound implications that this new, more dialectical and more materialist, understanding of all this has for our entire project. I also reflected on why these advances/ruptures are so often undervalued, and what this has to do with the denigration of theory, as well as the phenomenon of sights of so many being so lowered from the truly radical and historic leap that is represented by an actual revolution aiming for the final goal of a communist world, free of all exploitation and oppression.

Even though the various core elements of the new synthesis, as indicated in this Outline by BA, are extremely wide ranging, what has stood out to me more than ever is the overall coherency of the new synthesis of communism. I think that this is an important point that is not well understood, and I wanted to briefly comment on this. This coherency clearly stems from BA’s consistent grounding in a scientific method and approach, which I have gained a deeper appreciation for over the course of the Cultural Revolution within the RCP, and most recently from this document and also the Interview with Ardea Skybreak. I feel that this Outline (in combination with that Skybreak Interview) has contributed to giving me (and presumably others) a more synthesized understanding of the interrelationship of the many layers and dimensions of the new synthesis of communism and how these different parts mesh together to form an integrated and coherent  whole. This understanding stands in marked contrast to a more mechanical and linear approach, which tends to view each particular theoretical breakthrough in isolation, divorced from other core elements or from the underlying scientific method and approach.    

The more that I have read (and re-read) this document, the more that it has caused me not only to think about the profound and qualitative leap represented by the new synthesis of communism, but also to reflect once again on what we have in BA and his leadership, and how precious he is to the masses of the world. Put bluntly, without the new synthesis of communism that BA has developed, we would not have the theoretical understanding required to emancipate humanity and forge a communist world. Those with responsibility to lead a communist revolution might still be well-intentioned, but we would be flailing, mired in idealism and continually pulled down in the undertow of various bourgeois-democratic, economist and reformist, and nationalist tendencies, unable to recognize how corrosive such tendencies are to making a communist revolution and advancing to a communist world. 

In reading this document, I was reminded of a statement made by BA that he doesn’t set out to write a great work; instead he proceeds from the orientation of meeting a great need. As this document demonstrates, this orientation has led to his wrestling with the thorniest contradictions that we face—and in the process, challenging the method and approach, and thinking on key political and ideological questions, that currently prevails within the communist movement. Furthermore, I think it is important to recognize that he has had to show tremendous perseverance and determination, because at every turn he has been met with resistance and outright opposition, as well as venom directed at him personally.      

It definitely does need to be said out loud: Thank you, BA for all that you have done and that you continue to do! The possibility of making an actual revolution and forging a new communist world has been greatly heightened as a direct result of the new synthesis of communism that you have developed, and are continuing to work to further develop, while providing leadership to the revolutionary struggle on so many crucial fronts.





Revolution #400 August 17, 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 #400 August 17, 2015


When you put on this T-shirt, you step into the revolution.


July 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From the Revolution Club

Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution, has said this:

No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that. (BAsics, 1:13)

Los AngelesLos Angeles, California

For that to happen, you need REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian—BA—has developed a way that we can make that revolution, for real. A way out of this horror and oppression. A way forward to emancipation. 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 winningwhen 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.  

This revolution is not for or about just one group. This is a revolution to overcome ALL exploitation and oppression. A communist revolution. A revolution to bring in a world where there are no more divisions among people in which some rule over and oppress others, robbing them not only of the means to a decent life but also of knowledge and a means for really understanding, and acting to change, the world. And BA is leading right now, every day, to make that real—again, as soon as possible.

“BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less!” When you wear that shirt, you let people know about that revolution and that leader. But it’s more than that. You’re wearing this shirt along with other people, all over the country. You’re part of a whole movement letting people know that there’s a way to fight back, right now, as part of getting ready for revolution. You’re part of a movement for revolution letting people know that there’s a way to change ourselves as we do fight back, learning more about the revolution and setting a different kind of example with our lives. When you put on this shirt, you take the first step. You let people know that you, with other people all over the country, want to represent for the EMANCIPATION OF HUMANITY from this madness they’ve got us chained in.

Be part of the revolution. Take up the T-shirt.

* * * *

Check out BA. Start watching the film BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less! Or watch his dialogue on Revolution and Religion with Cornel West... or to listen to his Call to Revolution, where he puts the message out there in a sharp and powerful way.  

And run with the Revolution Club.

Humanity Needs Revolution and Communism

Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution








Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

More Thoughts on Representing for Revolution, August 22-23

August 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Monday, August 10, we posted the article "Take a Big Step in Getting BA Everywhere! August 22: Represent for Revolution and the Emancipation of Humanity." The following points build on what is in that piece and are supplementary to it.

Revolution--Nothing Less T-shirt poster

Click image to enlarge | Download PDF poster

Who should be part of T-shirt day?

Everyone who wants to wear the shirt on that day. The solid core of the day is what is concentrated in the flyer “When you put on this T-shirt, you step into the revolution,” and everyone who wears the shirt should get and read the flyer. At the same time, people who are not totally down with BA’s new synthesis of communism and revolution will still want to be part of wearing the shirt and promoting it, and this will be for a lot of different reasons—because they really dig BA and want others to hear about and get into him and want it out in society broadly; because they sympathize with and support the movement for revolution, even if they are not yet ready to fully commit to it or even know that much of about it; because they see the shirt as a symbol of defiance of the way things are and of aspiring to a better world; because the “spirit moves them;” and many other reasons besides. So again, on the basis of the solid core of understanding represented by the statement about what the shirt represents, there should be and can be a very broad participation on August 22.

How should revolutionaries see T-shirt day in relation to other important objectives, such as the massive outpourings against police murder set for October 22-24?

First, the more that BA is out there in society, the better for every initiative that is about going up against the horrors of this society. Getting out what BA represents—finally getting free from this rotten system, making sure that we will not face these same horrors in slightly different form 30 or 50 or 100 years from now—has everything to do with people raising their heads, asking why, and being inspired to change the world. If you put BA and what he stands for before people, it opens up “a way in” for them—they will “sort themselves out” in relation to revolution and the possibility of a whole different world, and the paths to actually fighting back in a meaningful way will open up. Getting BA way out there societally changes the whole political terrain and world of ideas, in terms of what people think is even possible. On the other hand, without BA strongly in the mix, after a while people can feel as if these struggles have no perspective and that they are not part of something larger. And they would be right. Without BA as the context and framework for fighting the power, without revolutionaries striving and struggling to build these battles as part of preparing for revolution, the horrors will never be eliminated and people will see no path to emancipation and eventually get discouraged. Vigorously promoting BA these next two weeks, with strong manifestations on August 22 and serious engagement with the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! on August 23 will push forward the entire process of revolution.

Now many people who are building for T-shirt day should, as part of these next two weeks (and beyond), also very energetically build the initiatives against mass incarceration and police murder, and against the enslavement and degradation of women (as well as other battles). In particular, many of those taking out and building for T-shirt day will also want to and in fact should at the same time mobilize people to turn out to the immediately upcoming August 27 program featuring Carl Dix and Cornel West. They should also let people know about—and get them hooked up with the fund-drive to save Revolution Books in NYC and open up the new store in Harlem. Many will want to distribute whistles and materials building the struggle against police terror and murder, or materials from Stop Patriarchy. In fact we should let people know that part of the way that BA leads the revolution is in leading the Party’s work in different strategic initiatives—initiatives in which people in the Party and those who look to BA, including the Revolution Club, join with many others to fight the power and in which we make that count toward something bigger at the same time: human emancipation. Making sure that people get our newspaper, Revolution, will also help them to see the connections between the different ways of fighting the power today and making revolution for a whole new world tomorrow. The point: it’s all about getting free.

Further, we should build on the spirit of defiance in society right now—and T-shirt day itself will build this if we carry it out as discussed here—and we should certainly join in if struggle with the authorities, or ideological struggle with people whose thinking is caught up in the system, develops on the spot.

But to return to the basic answer to this question: getting people connected to BA and his leadership—and in this case, uniting with scores and hundreds of people in different neighborhoods and cities representing with the T-shirt to do that—is the most important thing we can be doing in everything we do.






Revolution #400 August 17, 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 #400 August 17, 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 #400 August 17, 2015

Ferguson, Missouri—From a Reporter’s Notebook:

Tuesday Night (August 11) on West Florissant: The youth remain defiant!

August 13, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors’ note: After three days of defiant and wide ranging protest (see “Three Days of Defiance”, the mood in Ferguson stayed defiant and there were outbreaks of rebellion and engagement with revolution. The following is from our correspondent’s notes on the scene:


Defiant youth out on West Florissant in Ferguson, Missouri, Tuesday August 11. Photos: Special to Revolution

West Florissant Tuesday August 11, 2015

West Florissant Tuesday August 11, 2015
West Florissant Tuesday August 11, 2015

We heard there was going to be a march to the police station last night, so a few of us from and #RiseUpOctober went to West Florissant to check it out. It is a few blocks from where Michael Brown was murdered. This is a gathering point for diverse youths and others who want to resist the daily killing by the police and consider Ferguson the epicenter of resistance that hasn’t been seen in this country for decades. This two-block area of West Florissant is where the rebellion happened. It is a strip with beauty supply stores, nail salons, convenience stores. There are no Starbucks, no upscale restaurants here, but there are youths coming out night after night to resist and protest the killing of Mike Brown and other victims of police murder with chants, signs, lots of soul and heart, and determination to get justice.

As people were gathering and still arriving and some talking about what to do that night, I got out Carl Dix’s statement “Ferguson 2015—It’s Still Right to Rebel Against Injustice,” the new issue of Revolution, and Rise Up October palm cards and talked to people. I asked a Black man in his 30s why he was there. He said, “I am out here and from the day after Michael Brown got shot because my brother was brutalized by the police, and me... they stop me all the time, almost every day. I have no record, have a job, have travelled the world teaching dance, continue to protest the police. That’s what we have to do.”

A Black woman student from St. Louis said, “I am proud of what happened here, that’s why I am here. I am scared, I am Sandra Bland, I am an activist too.” I ran into two 19-year-old white college students who drove from Kansas City to be part of what was happening last night. They told about a debating club they are in that mainly takes up the issue of racism and the police killing of Black people. They said the main problem is institutional racism that permeates society, that that is why the police kill Black and Brown people. They think education is key to stopping this. I told them what BA says about the role of the police. They were interested in that view and said they would check out and took a few palm cards for Rise Up October, thinking they might organize people to go to New York on October 24.

As night fell, about 100 people gathered and the police in riot gear were across the street from us. At one point, people ran into the street and blocked traffic in both directions. Then the pigs moved in, grabbed and pushed people. Then the line of at least 100 cops in riot gear and shields pushed people back, and then we faced off.

One young Black man looked them straight in the eye and said over and over again, “Why you here with guns, bulletproof vests, Tasers, shields. Why you here? All we got is our voices. Why you here?” More people surged towards the pigs, yelling at them for being there. Then people shouted, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” and “There is no riot here/Why you in riot gear?”

The youths remain defiant in the face of the “official violence 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.” (“Ferguson 2015—It’s Still Right to Rebel Against Injustice!”).

At one point, the cops moved back but kept the riot gear on, ready to be used. I walked over to a few youths. One said, “No justice with the cops, they make it clear. They want us to kill each other. They not there to serve and protect.” About 30 people marched up and down West Florissant chanting, others stood around talking to each other, sometimes laughing and chillin’ along the strip. But as soon as the police made a move, they responded; or when I showed them Carl Dix’s statement and about Rise Up October, they jumped into conversing about the issue of police terror and what to do about it. Many of them said they want to go to New York on October 24.

Revolution—Nothing Less

As I walked along the strip, I suddenly saw many people wearing REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts, people I didn’t know. When I asked one youth why he was wearing it, he smiled and said “Because they say revolution, that’s what I am for.”

I saw a group of three women with them on and they said they are signed up for revolution and Rise Up October. I told them they needed to check out BA by watching the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! They nodded in agreement and walked along. Seeing youths wearing the shirts, even several of them, made a youth from Ferguson I know ask me, “Where can I get a shirt?” I told him we will have more in the next day or two. Keep that in mind when you (reading this) think about how strongly you are reaching out to raise money to subsidize getting those T-shirts produced and shipped!

As I sat down on a curb resting, and seeing more people with shirts, I thought how exciting it is for the defiant ones of Ferguson to make August 22 a day when people all over the country will wear REVOLUTION— NOTHING LESS! T-shirts to represent for revolution and the emancipation of humanity. I thought of all that the defiant ones have done to make “It’s Right to Rebel Against Injustice” a rallying cry everywhere and how August 22 can be a day when the youth searching for answers to the horrors of capitalism-imperialism can provide direction to that.

August 22 and building for it needs to be the time when the youth here will be “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. ... 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.” (“Take a Big Step in Getting BA Everywhere! August 22: Represent for Revolution and the Emancipation of Humanity”)

I got up from the curb excited at the prospect of a powerful August 22 and 23 here in Ferguson—THAT will impact all over.

West Florissant in Ferguson, Missouri, August 11, 2015

Photo: Special to Revolution






Revolution #400 August 17, 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 #400 August 17, 2015

A Vision and Plan from Carl Dix:

What Does Oct 22-24 Need to Be?


July 13, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On the evening of June 30, at the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City, 150 people came together with Carl Dix and Cornel West, with family members of people murdered by police, with student and religious activists, and with each other, to launch #RiseUpOctober: Stopping Police Terror: Which Side Are You On? Carl Dix opened things up with a vision and plan for three days of action—October 22, 23, and coming together for a massive march in NYC on October 24. Following are excerpts from his speech:

We have to mobilize a huge march in the streets of New York in October. We have to do this because Black people continue to be targeted by racist killers in and out of uniform and this must STOP. Charleston—nine people massacred in a church during a Bible study session by a killer who spouted white supremacist lies as he murdered them. And because the whole system works to exonerate killer cops when they murder Black and Latino people and that must also stop.

Now when that massacre went down in Charleston, that killer was no crazy lone wolf. The rage that drove him was nurtured by the white supremacy that has coursed through the veins of America since the first Africans were dragged to these shores in slave chains. The same white supremacy nurtures the climate in which cops feel justified in exchanging racist messages on social media and then going out to brutalize and murder Black and Latino people. Charleston concentrates the slow genocide targeting Black people in this country.

This talk about forgiving and coming together is aimed at helping the system keep things under control. The New York Times explained why they moved on removing the Confederate flag when they said: ‘...if nothing happened, boycotts and other ugliness’ could follow.’ By ugliness they meant people taking their rage to the streets, which is ugly to the rulers of this country, but beautiful to those of us who want to STOP racist attacks! Reconciling with this falls into a ruling class trap that aims to smother our righteous rage. You can’t end oppression by forgiving and reconciling with your oppressors. The system tells us it’s wrong to hate. No, it’s right to hate oppression. It’s right to be enraged by racist attacks. We should hate them so much that our rage moves us to act to STOP them. You can’t start healing until you diagnose the disease and root it out. The disease is white supremacy rooted in capitalism/imperialism, and it is not time to come together and heal with people who continue to preside over white supremacist attacks on Black and Latino people.

We have to draw a huge dividing line in society over these outrages and challenge people with the question: Which side are you on? There is no room for neutrality here. There is no middle ground. You are either standing with the people who are acting to STOP these attacks or you are OK with racists in and out of uniform murdering Black people. We have to turn society upside down over this by mobilizing a huge march in New York City to STOP police terror.

I know people have marched and done vigils around Charleston and before that around the intensified wave of police murders. That’s good and needs to continue. It’s good that people have acted around the Confederate flag. And there’s a national march called for Charleston on July 4th, where we have to make sure that the Call for October 24 resonates there.

But we have to take things much higher! The cops aren’t holding back. In LA and Baltimore and around the country, cops shot unarmed Black men in the days after Charleston. Police in Oklahoma shot a Black man and when he said, “I can’t breathe,” they replied, ‘F... your breath!’ We have to go beyond responding every time racists in or out of uniform target Black people. We have to take our resistance higher. We have to go on a mission to bring thousands and thousands of people into the streets of New York City on October 22-24.

This will be three days of determined resistance. Powerful demonstrations in cities across the country on October 22, the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. The many lives stolen by killer cops and the system that backs them up will be featured in these outpourings, bringing to life the devastation murder by police inflicts on so many people. This will be followed by a non-violent direct action in New York City that involves well-known people and targets an institution that concentrates the slow genocide of police terror and mass incarceration. And on October 24, thousands and thousands of people will descend on New York City to deliver a message that police terror must STOP, shutting it down by the sheer weight of our numbers.






Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

#RiseUpOctoberTour Hits Ferguson

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From Friday, August 8 through Tuesday, August 11, the #RiseUpOctoberTour was in Ferguson, Missouri. They were organizing people to protest on the one-year anniversary of the police murder of Mike Brown. They united with people in struggle on that anniversary (see coverage) and organized people to make October 24 happen in New York City.

RiseUpOctoberTour in Ferguson

#RiseUpOctoberTour in Ferguson. Photo: Stop Mass Incarceration Network

On August 8, the tour held a press conference in Ferguson—across the street from the police station. They called everyone to be in NYC October 22-24 for #RiseUpOctober—STOP Police Terror/Which Side Are You On?

Speakers included Carl Dix, who along with Cornel West initiated the call for #RiseUpOctober and who represents the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA; Andrea Smith, mother of Justin Smith, murdered by the Tulsa, Oklahoma police department, August 14, 1998; Reverend Jerome McCorry, faith coordinator of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and #RiseUpOctober; and long-time Harlem activist Nellie Bailey. Watch the press conference here:





Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

Correspondence on Going to NYC for #RiseUpOctober from Bay Area

Donating to Send Families of Police Murder Victims to Rise Up October

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


This anonymous statement that was written and accompanied by a $500 contribution to getting Bay Area family members to #RiseUpOctober.

Rise Up October 24th logo

When some of us heard the voices of the Mothers, Sister, Brother, and Father of young men gunned down by police at the Celebration of their Lives, at South Park recently, we decided to make a donation to Stop Mass Incarceration to help send perhaps one of these family members to New York in October to a national event led by Cornel West and Carl Dix focusing on the brutal violence of police in our society today.

Dionne Smith-Downs, mother of James Rivera, 16 years old, who spoke about only watching on TV the deaths of young black men until the reality landed on her porch, as she put it. Forty-eight bullets fired with military weapons, 18 bullets reaching their target in the body of her son.

Sharon Watkins, her son Phillip shot multiple times, including in his face by two police officers. All he possessed was a small knife.

Cadine Williams whose brother, O’Shaine Evans was murdered within sight of the park from which she was speaking, called for putting aside all differences and showing unity and support if we ever are going to change these situations from happening endlessly to our community.

Laurie Valdez whose partner Antonio Guzman Valdez was murdered by police was there with her son Josiah. She spoke of the effect Antonio’s death had on little Josiah.

Derrick Benson whose brother Darnell was murdered by police while in custody... while in custody no weapons.

One father who was there in response to his daughter Nicole’s seeing a photo two days later taken by Peter Menchini in which her father had the look on his face that forced her to ask the question who was it that died:

He later responded to her... there were so, so many different emotions, at the “Celebration of Life” Nicole , I cried, I laughed, I frowned, I Shouted, I felt weak, I felt strong, I was empowered, I got angry, I was disappointed In myself, I was encouraged, I was enlightened, but most of all I felt love!!! So Baby Girl...Your Dad’s fine!!! But I know now, I can do more!!! Love Baby!!!






Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

Times Square NYC: Powerful, Moving Action Against Police Terror

August 13, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



Thursday, August 13, in Times Square, New York City a powerful and very moving action involving major recording artists, leaders and activists in the fight against police terror, family members of victims of police murder, and others disrupted the usual hub-bub. Credit: Miles Solay

Jamel Mims, Carl Dix, Jidenna and others from Wondaland Records. Credit: Miles Solay

"HELL YOU TALMBOUT! Walter Scott—say his name!...Michael Brown—say his name...Sandra Bland—say her name!..."

Thursday, August 13, in Times Square, New York City a powerful and very moving action involving major recording artists, leaders and activists in the fight against police terror, family members of victims of police murder, and others disrupted the usual hub-bub. Singing and chanting rang out from a large group of protesters, attracting both the curious and the furious who watched and even joined in a brief march to the Times Square police station, where performance and die-ins were spread around the world via snapping cellphones.

The action was preceded by a press conference and speak-out featuring Janelle Monáe, Jidenna, and other Wondaland artists; Carl Dix, co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party; and parents and other family members of youths whose lives have been stolen by police and have become activists in the movement to stop murder by police. A call went out to artists to step forward and become part of the organizing force to end police terror coming down on Black and Brown youth and for everyone to build for a massive protest in NYC , October 22-24.

Hear the song "Hell You Talmbout" featuring Janelle Monáe, Deep Cotton, St. Beauty, Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, and George 2.0 at Soundcloud and on YouTube.






Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

Check it out:

Rachel by Angelina Weld Grimké presented by New Brooklyn Theater

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers

Irrepressible 12-year-old Rachel can barely stop exclaiming to her mother about the wonders of life, especially little Black and Brown babies. Her mother, sad and distracted tells her that it is the tenth anniversary of a horrible event: her husband, Rachel's father had been lynched. As the play unfolds, Rachel is confronted with how the little children in her tenement are taunted and harassed with racial slurs and insults at their school. We see the spirit and life drained from Rachel to the point that she can no longer even think of bringing children into this world. As Rachel is pondering all of this, I kept thinking of Bob Avakian's message of how Black mothers fear that their children will be targets of police terror, and what it will take to get to a different world.

"They're selling postcards of the hanging." - clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian given in 2003 in the United States. Bob Avakian is the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. This talk, followed by questions and answers, is a wide-ranging revolutionary journey, covering many topics. It breaks down the very nature of the society we live in and how humanity has come to a time where a radically different society is possible. It is full of heart and soul, humor and seriousness; it will challenge you and set your heart and mind to flight.

The message of Angelina Weld Grimké's 1919 anti-lynching play is very visceral and emotional. This thoughtful production brings the meaning to life through effectively staging the action against the background audio of Eric Garner being confronted and strangled by the police. As the director, Courtney Harge, said: "The tragedy of the work is not the story that unfolds on stage. The tragedy is that this conversation has remained unchanged for so long. Lynching is not merely a dramatic device or a writing prompt. Lynching was a reality, not vastly unlike the police—and vigilante—involved shootings of our current era."

A thoughtful discussion afterwards showed it touched a nerve. One white woman asked about what impact this is having on people. The director said, "It has been a varied response that sometimes brings out a lot of emotion." Then she said, "I will be honest...I am doing this for a white audience, for a lot of people who do not know about this, and whose lives are very different from this." Then a guy asked if the play had any effect on the culture of lynching back in the day. The director said "Not enough." He also commented about the linkages that the play makes between the lynching back in the day and the present day reality of police terror and asked—"What can be done now?" We got called on next, and we talked about how we can never forgive and never forget these horrors and in the face of the present reality of police terror—there is a call for thousands from all over the country to come into New York City to oppose this in Rise Up October. We handed out the cards announcing Oct 24 which were eagerly taken up. And we also got out packets with Revolution to the cast and director.

Rachel, by Angelina Weld Grimké, presented by New Brooklyn Theater, is playing August 7 - 29, 2015 at the Irondale Center, 85 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217






Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

August 14, 2015

Check It Out: "Hell You Talmbout"

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Real quick, check out this song: “Hell You Talmbout

The Wondaland Records (Janelle’s Monae’s label with new artists) crew sang this at the protest in Philly on Wednesday, Times Square on Thursday, and then closed out a concert last night with this. Listen! Powerful and sends chills!

Janelle Monae and the Wondaland artists have all posted a statement about the song on their social media accounts:

“This song is a vessel. It carries the unbearable anguish of millions. We recorded it to channel the pain, fear, and trauma caused by the ongoing slaughter of our brothers and sisters. We recorded it to challenge the indifference, disregard, and negligence of all who remain quiet about this issue. Silence is our enemy. Sound is our weapon. They say a question lives forever until it gets the answer it deserves... Won’t you say their names?”






Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

Artist Mary Engelbreit Stands with Michael Brown Protests in Face of Racist Attacks

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Mary Engelbreit: No one should have to teach their children this in the USA

Mary Engelbreit: I will not stay silent so that you can stay comfortable.

Mary Engelbreit Mary Engelbreit

Last year, Mary Engelbreit, a children’s book illustrator in St. Louis, did an artwork responding to the police murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson. At the time, Engelbreit said that “these events unfolding now in my hometown and across the country, shining a light on the ugly racism that still runs rampant in our country, made me think that maybe this drawing could help in some small way.” She posted it on line, sold prints and donated the money to the Michael Brown Jr. Memorial Fund. She got a lot of support for it, but also a lot of pro-police and racist comments. As a result, Facebook shut down her Facebook page. But she stood her ground, and her page was re-instated. (See “Cheers to Illustrator Mary Engelbreit for ‘In the USA.’”)

This year, for the one-year anniversary of the police murder of Michael Brown, she reposted the drawing, with a statement: “It’s been a year since unarmed Michael Brown was shot and killed in the street by a policeman. The protests about his death and countless others have seemed to do some good, leading Missouri governor Jay Nixon to order the retraining of police in conflict resolution. Don’t stop protesting. Fight racism.”

Again, she received support from across the country along with a flood of racist comments. She responded with a new drawing—“I WILL NOT STAY SILENT SO THAT YOU CAN STAY COMFORTABLE”—and wrote:

“Regardless of the details of Michael Brown's actions, none of which deserved the death penalty, by the way, his death made people open their eyes to the racism in this country. It opened the eyes of the government on local, state, and federal levels. It became impossible to ignore anymore. Changes are slowly being made. Today, on the 1 year anniversary of his death, peaceful protests are being held across the country. This is my way of participating in those peaceful protests. If you’d like to leave this page and throw out all your ME items, be my guest. Just don’t throw them AT people—that would not be peaceful.”

Again, CHEERS to Mary Engelbreit—many more artists are needed to step up!






Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

Oakland: Nate Wilks Killed by Police—People Take to Streets in Anger

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Nate Wilks

On August 12, Oakland police shot and killed another young Black man, 27-year-old Nate Wilks. The facts of the shooting are not clear, but what is clear is that Wilks was shot multiple times by the police and that he never fired a shot. He is the fourth man killed in altercations with Oakland police so far this summer.

Activists were on the scene within minutes of the shooting of Nate Wilks, and reports by eyewitnesses contradicted the police version of events. Almost everyone interviewed reported that Wilks was running away from police when he was shot. Family members cite many unusual facts about the case, such as information about it coming not from the police themselves, but from an attorney representing the rabid Oakland Police Officers Association (the police union).

Within hours of the shooting, people gathered to protest. About 100 people took to the streets, marching throughout Oakland, burning Confederate flags and blocking a freeway.

On Friday, August 14, 200 people gathered for a vigil at the intersection where Wilks was killed. A small memorial was put up with pictures of Nate, and people held candles with his picture.

Wilks family at the vigil on August 14: Far left, Jasmine Marshall, Nate Wilks' sister-in-law; second from left, Wilks'spartner, Chemika Hollis and daughter Kai'lei Wilks family at the vigil on August 14: Far left, Jasmine Marshall, Nate Wilks' sister-in-law; second from left, Wilks's partner, Chemika Hollis and daughter Kai'lei.

At the vigil, Nate’s partner, Chemika Hollis, trying to hold back tears, held their three-month-old daughter, Kai’lei. Chemika’s sister, Jasmine Marshall, spoke for Nate’s family, saying, “We are in a state of distress trying to figure out something that we have seen all too often in the history of our country. It was personal a month ago. It was personal last year. But it got all the way real on August 12 when they murdered Nate Wilks right here on 27th and Martin Luther King.... We appreciate everyone who is here today and, if you can, inspire others to take notice to this cause—the cause of us losing our people, our brothers, our sisters, to people who are supposed to protect us. We got to spread this awareness. We got to make something happen. It’s going too far. I understood last month that this could happen to somebody close, but it wasn’t real until it really happened to somebody close. Tell other people this could be yours right here. This is not an isolated problem. This is all of our problem.... We’re here to come together to say that we notice it, we’re not going for it and we’re here to do something about it.”

"Why are we still fighting
for justice in 2015?"

From Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Film of the Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian

A young Black man, speaking to the need to confront the epidemic of police murder and the deep racism in U.S. society, read a quote from Black science fiction writer Octavia Butler: “Intelligence does enable you to deny facts that you dislike. But your denial doesn’t matter. A cancer growing in someone’s body will go on growing in spite of denial.”

Toward the end of the vigil, Jasmine Marshall spoke again, saying, “From Ferguson to Baltimore, the whole world is watching. This is not the land of the free, this is the land of oppression. All power to the people!”

Protesters block freeway in Oakland in protest of police murder of Nate Wilks, August 12. (Photo: @marg1nal)Protesters block freeway in Oakland in protest of police murder of Nate Wilks, August 12. (Photo: @marg1nal)




Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

Which Side Are You On?/Rise Up October! Protest in Fontana, California—Justice for Ernesto Flores

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

The Fontana, California, site of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department station.

On Saturday, August 15—four months to the day 52-year-old Ernesto Flores was murdered by San Bernardino sheriff's deputies—family and friends of Ernesto held a Which Side Are You On?/Rise Up October! protest at the Fontana, California, site of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department station. Four months ago, on April 15, Ernesto Flores was having an unusual mental episode, and his daughter called 911 for help. San Bernardino deputies arrived at the scene. Instead of helping, they shot Ernesto Flores multiple times, including bullets to the head. Before being murdered by the sheriff's department, Ernesto had come out of the house with his hands in the air. He was then hit by 19 bean bag rounds, which dropped him to the ground. Then, the sheriffs executed Ernesto right in front of his children. The Sheriff's Department deputies then dragged Flores down the home's walkway to the driveway, leaving a blood trail.

Since April 15, there's been NO answers for why the sheriffs murdered Ernesto Flores. NO cooperation from the authorities. NO explanation for why Ernesto was murdered. NO answers whatsoever. The family of Ernesto Flores demands answers NOW, and the murdering sheriff's deputies need to be indicted, convicted, and put in jail.

The August 15 event, in 110-degree heat, was a building action, and part of the movement Rise Up October!—hundreds of families throughout the U.S., with thousands and thousands of others, declaring terror by police MUST STOP NOW! We, including the family of Ernesto Flores, along with thousands and thousands of others, will be in New York City October 24, shutting down NYC and sending a message to the world there is a force on the scene determined to stop police terror in the U.S.






Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

Η Κομμουνιστική Επαναθεμελίωση ανοίγει το δρόμο για:
Να σπάσουμε τη θηλιά του καπιταλισμού και να χαράξουμε ένα διαφορετικό μέλλον!

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


[Revolution/ editors' note: The following is a Greek translation of a leaflet distributed by the Revolutionary Communist Manifesto Group in Europe, which appeared in the July 27, 2015 packet from A World to Win News Service.]


Η κρίση, αυτή που μαστίζει την Ελλάδα αυτές τις εβδομάδες, παρουσιάζεται σαν φυσικό φαινόμενο, ένας γιγαντιαίος ανεμοστρόβιλος που ρουφάει τις ζωές εκατομμυρίων ανθρώπων στη σκοτεινή και ταραχώδη του άβυσσο, πετώντας τες από πλευρά σε πλευρά, πνίγοντάς τες, τυφλώνοντας τες, κατακυριεύοντας τόσους πολλούς με το αίσθημα της ματαιότητας και της απελπισίας. Αλλά αυτός ο ίδιος ο ανεμοστρόβιλος κρύβει πολύτιμες δυνατότητες, που είναι εκεί για να τις αρπάξουμε, για ένα ριζικά διαφορετικό μέλλον.

Έπειτα από 7 χρόνια συνεχιζόμενων θυσιών των ανθρώπων στο όνομα της «λιτότητας», έπειτα από την εκλογή της αυτοαποκαλούμενης ριζοσπαστικής αριστεράς που υποσχέθηκε να απορρίψει τον εκβιασμό των Ευρωπαϊκών Δυνάμεων, και ακόμη, έπειτα από το δημοψήφισμα και τα ξεκάθαρα αποτελέσματά του, τα συμφέροντα και οι ανάγκες των μαζών ποδοπατήθηκαν για άλλη μία φορά. Τα βασικά στελέχη της κυβέρνησης Σύριζα μετατράπηκαν σε θύτες και θύματα των ίδιων καταστροφικών απρόσωπων δυνάμεων.

Δρακόντειοι νόμοι γεννιούνται μέσα σε απρόσωπα νούμερα, λογιστικά φύλλα και προβλέψεις κερδών. Δεν υπάρχει τίποτα το ιερό ή το μόνιμο σε αυτές τις καταστροφικές δυνάμεις. Πίσω από τους απρόσωπους νόμους, βρίσκουμε τις πραγματικές σχέσεις μεταξύ των ανθρώπων, την ταξική διαίρεση της κοινωνίας, ένα παγκόσμιο σύστημα ιδιοκτησίας και εκμετάλλευσης.

Μια βαθειά πολιτική κρίση διαπερνά τη χώρα. Το εκλογικό σύστημα, ο τρόπος με τον οποίο υποτίθεται οι άνθρωποι εκφράζουν τη βούλησή τους, γίνεται όλο και περισσότερο φανερό πως είναι μια φενάκη, που μικρή σχέση έχει με τις πραγματικές σχέσεις εξουσίας ή τη λήψη αποφάσεων. Ο ίδιος ο ρόλος των εκλογών, της νομιμοποίησης των κρατικών θεσμών στα μάτια των πολιτών, έχει βαθειά τραυματιστεί, ακόμη και στην Ευρώπη όπου τέτοιες αυταπάτες κρατάνε ακόμη γερά.

Πίσω από τις κυβερνήσεις που εναλλάσσονται, παραμένουν σταθερά στη θέση τους η αστυνομία, ο στρατός και η γραφειοκρατία – η απόλυτη εγγύηση διατήρησης της εξουσίας της ελληνικής αστικής τάξης, η οποία δεν πρόκειται να χάσει το θρόνο της με εκλογές. Για άλλη μια φορά, δικαιώνεται ο Μαρξ. Το αστικό κράτος δεν μπορεί να γίνει μέσο για επαναστατική αλλαγή.

Στη μαζική αντίσταση των τελευταίων ημερών καθρεφτίζεται η μηδενική ανοχή απέναντι στα νέα μέτρα και η άρνηση των ανθρώπων να θυσιαστούν ακόμη μία φορά. Η αποκαθήλωση προσώπων που μερικές εβδομάδες πριν θεωρούνταν από μεγάλα τμήματα του κόσμου ήρωες, είναι ενδεικτική.

Το ερώτημα με το οποίο έρχεται αντιμέτωπος ο λαός στην Ελλάδα είναι το ίδιο που συστηματικά αποκρύπτεται στα περισσότερες χώρες της Ευρώπης και του κόσμου: είναι οι άνθρωποι καταδικασμένοι να ζουν κάτω από αυτές τις συνθήκες ή μήπως υπάρχει τελικά άλλος δρόμος, ένα εναλλακτικό πολιτικό, οικονομικό και κοινωνικό σύστημα που μπορεί να αντικαταστήσει το υπάρχον παγκόσμιο καπιταλιστικό και ιμπεριαλιστικό σύστημα και να εξαφανίσει τις στερήσεις και τον τρόμο που αυτό γεννάει; Παρά τα όσα έχει υποστεί και συνεχίζει να υφίσταται ο λαός, οφείλουμε να αναγνωρίσουμε ότι η Ελλάδα βρίσκεται σε αυτή τη σπάνια στιγμή όπου το υπάρχον κοινωνικο-οικονομικό, πολιτικό, ακόμη και πολιτιστικό, ιδεολογικό υπόβαθρο μπορούν να καταρρεύσουν. Η ίδια η κατάσταση φέρει τη δυνατότητα γα εναλλακτικούς δρόμους, είτε απελευθερωτικούς, είτε αυτούς της πλήρους υποδούλωσης. Για πόσο καιρό θα συνυπάρχουν και οι δύο δρόμοι είναι αδύνατον να προβλεφθεί, αλλά η εξουσία σε Ελλάδα και Ευρώπη μανιωδώς προσπαθεί να επιβάλει μια νέα τάξη, η οποία όχι μόνο διασφαλίζει τα συμφέροντά της, αλλά σκοτώνει την ελπίδα και εκτονώνει την επαναστατική προοπτική των μαζικών λαϊκών κινητοποιήσεων. Κι έτσι, μέσα στο καζάνι των αντιθέσεων, καθίσταται ακόμη πιο επείγουσα η ανάγκη να χαραχτεί ένα πραγματικά επαναστατικός δρόμος.

Η ανάδυση μιας συνειδητής δυναμικής, οπλισμένης με βαθειά κομμουνιστική αντίληψη για τα δομικά προβλήματα της κοινωνίας και για τις απαιτούμενες λύσεις, είναι απαραίτητη προκειμένου να χαραχθεί αυτός ο δρόμος. Μιας δυναμικής αποφασισμένης να αναλάβει την ευθύνη μιας επανάστασης. Είναι πλούσια η ιστορική εμπειρία όπου οι δυνατότητες για ρήξη υποτιμήθηκαν ή χάθηκαν στα χέρια ηγετών – κάποιοι από τους οποίους τελικώς προσέτρεχαν στη διάσωση του status quo. Από την άλλη πλευρά, υπάρχει και το πολύτιμο παράδειγμα του Λένιν, ο οποίος άδραξε την ευκαιρία που αναδύθηκε στη Ρωσία και, εκμεταλλευόμενος τις αντιθέσεις, χάραξε το δρόμο προς την επαναστατική κατάκτηση της εξουσίας από το προλεταριάτο και όσους αναζητούσαν την απελευθέρωση το 1917.

Η κυβέρνηση Σύριζα διαμαρτύρεται για το καπιταλιστικό σύστημα αλλά ταυτόχρονα δηλώνει ότι τα χέρια της είναι δεμένα από τις ανίκητες ιμπεριαλιστικές δυνάμεις της Ευρώπης, κι έτσι η Ελλάδα δεν έχει άλλη επιλογή από την ταπεινωτική παράδοση. Αλλά το να καταφέρεσαι ενάντια στην συνθηκολόγηση της ηγεσίας του Σύριζα δεν έχει νόημα, εκτός και αν η απόρριψη του Τσίπρα μετουσιώνεται σε συνολική απόρριψη του σχεδίου μιας καλύτερης διαπραγμάτευσης εντός ενός άδικου και άνισου πολιτικού πεδίου. Είναι η ίδια η στρατηγική του Σύριζα
που αποτυγχάνει, όχι απλώς η τακτική τους.

Τα θεμελιώδη προβλήματα της Ελλάδας, της Ευρώπης και του κόσμου δεν μπορούν αν λυθούν μέσα στο υπάρχον καπιταλιστικό και ιμπεριαλιστικό πλαίσιο. Το πραγματικό ερώτημα είναι πως φανταζόμαστε μια γνήσια επαναστατική εναλλακτική πρόταση και τι χρειάζεται για να φτάσουμε ως εκεί; Ενώ πολλοί βλέπουν στα γεγονότα των τελευταίων εβδομάδων και μηνών τη συντριπτική υπεροχή του παγκόσμιου συστήματος, αυτή είναι μόνο η μία πλευρά του νομίσματος. Ναι, ο εχθρός είναι ανυπέρβλητος. Αλλά οι ίδιες αντιθέσεις που συνθλίβουν τους ανθρώπους, είναι εκείνες που τους οδηγούν στην αντίσταση. Αυτός ακριβώς ο φρενήρης ρυθμός των πολιτικών εξελίξεων που προκαλεί ζαλάδα κι αίσθηση αποπροσανατολισμού, αυτός προοιωνίζει πως σύντομα, σε μέρες ή και εβδομάδες, οι θέσεις των πολιτικών υποκειμένων θα παρουσιάζονται ξεκάθαρα, και τα διάφορα πολιτικά σχέδια θα μπορούν να δοκιμαστούν και να συγκριθούν μεταξύ τους σε ένα πυκνό πολιτικό χρόνο, ειδικά αν αναδειχθεί μία συνειδητή επαναστατική δύναμη και παρουσιάσει την ανάλυσή της και το πρόγραμμά της στο λαό. Πλατιά τμήματα της κοινωνίας ξυπνούν βιαίως από τη χειμερία νάρκη τους εξαιτίας των εξελίξεων και αναζητούν απαντήσεις. Και οι ίδιες οικονομικές και πολιτικές αντιθέσεις, βαθαίνουν και αποκαλύπτουν τις αντιθέσεις ανάμεσα στους εχθρούς – δείτε τη ρωγμή που άνοιξε μεταξύ Γαλλίας και Γερμανίας. Ναι, οι Μεγάλες Δυνάμεις είναι ενωμένες όταν ζητούν το μερίδιο τους από την Ελλάδα, αλλά ταυτόχρονα ανησυχούν γιατί ολόκληρο το σύστημα τελεί υπό διάλυση και είναι βαθειά διχασμένοι ως προς τις μεθόδους διατήρησης της εξουσίας τους.

Ο στραγγαλισμός της ελληνικής κοινωνίας μας φέρνει αντιμέτωπους με τη σχέση μεταξύ της πιθανής ρήξης καθώς και με τα όρια της στην Ελλάδα και με την πραγματικότητα ότι ολόκληρος ο κόσμος κυριαρχείται από το καπιταλιστικό-ιμπεριαλιστικό σύστημα. Στην πραγματικότητα, η ύπαρξη των αντιθέσεων στο παγκόσμιο σύστημα ωθεί και οξύνει τις εξελίξεις στην Ελλάδα και βγάζει στο προσκήνιο την ανάγκη για μια ριζικά διαφορετική παγκόσμια τάξη. Τις τελευταίες δεκαετίες ζήσαμε μέσα στον φρενήρη ρυθμό της παγκοσμιοποίησης και της χρηματιστηρικοποίησης, που κατέληξε στο να οξύνει τις υποβόσκουσες αντιθέσεις του καπιταλισμού. Η απελευθέρωση ολόκληρου του κόσμου από τα δεκανίκια του χρηματιστηριακού κεφαλαίου είναι αναγκαία, αλλά αυτό δεν μπορεί να αποτελεί δικαιολογία προκειμένου να μην αμφισβητήσουμε το υπάρχον σύστημα. Αντιθέτως, η ελληνική κρίσης πρέπει να μετασχηματιστεί σε μια θαυμάσια ευκαιρία να ξεκινήσει ένας επαναστατικός δρόμος που θα επηρεάσει όλο τον κόσμο.

Η επιτυχία του επαναστατικού μετασχηματισμού θα κριθεί σε παγκόσμια κλίμακα.

Το υπάρχον καπιταλιστικό-ιμπεριαλιστικό σύστημα πρέπει να αντικατασταθεί με εκείνο του σοσιαλισμού και εν τέλει του κομμουνισμού, το ξεπέρασμα των τάξεων και των θεσμών, αλλά και των αντιλήψεων που γεννήθηκαν μαζί με τις τάξεις.

Η θηλιά της καπιταλιστικής εκμετάλλευσης γύρω από τον κόσμο, επιδεινώνει τον τρόμο και τις συγκρούσεις: νέες μορφές καταπίεσης και υποδούλωσης των γυναικών προστίθενται καθημερινά στις πιο «παραδοσιακές». Μαζικές εκτοπίσεις πληθυσμού και εμπόριο ανθρώπων σε κλίμακα που είχαμε να δούμε από την εποχή του δια-ατλαντικού εμπορίου σκλάβων. Πόλεμοι για την αυτοκρατορία και άπειρες αιματηρές συγκρούσεις όπου η προοπτική της απελευθέρωσης απουσιάσει εντελώς. Ο πλανήτης οδηγείται προς την ανεπίστρεπτη καταστροφή του. Το να λες πως η επανάσταση, η κομμουνιστική επανάσταση, είναι η μόνη λύση ΔΕΝ είναι ρητορικό εύρημα. Είναι επιστημονική αλήθεια, πλήρως γειωμένη στην παγκόσμια πραγματικότητα. Πολλές από τα παραπάνω, βρίσκονται αυτή τη στιγμή στην Ελλάδα, όπου η ανάγκη εξόδου από το καπιταλιστικό και ιμπεριαλιστικό κόσμο είναι πιο εμφανής από ποτέ.

Η επαναστατική διαδικασία χρειάζεται να επιτυγχάνει ρήξεις, όπου και όποτε αυτό είναι δυνατό, πρώτα σε μία χώρα ή σε πολλές χώρες. Η πρόοδος και οι νίκες σε αυτές τις χώρες πρέπει να γίνονται το σάλπισμα και το πέρασμα για τις μάχες που θα δοθούν σε άλλα μέρη. Τα φώτα της σκηνής είναι πάνω στην Ελλάδα και εκατομμύρια ανθρώπων στην Ευρώπη και αλλού ελπίζουν πως θα μπορέσει να αντιμετωπίσει τις αντιξοότητες και τους εκβιασμούς και να χαράξει ένα διαφορετικό δρόμο. Οι Μεγάλες καπιταλιστικές ιμπεριαλιστικές Δυνάμεις, και ειδικά
η Γερμανία, το έχουν καταστήσει σαφές πως ο λαός της Ελλάδας θα πληρώσει πολύ ακριβά. Το να αποφύγει το τίμημα δεν αποτελεί επιλογή. Το πραγματικό, όμως, ερώτημα είναι πιο τίμημα θα κληθεί να πληρώσει και γιατί: το τίμημα να αιμορραγεί για μία ή και δύο ακόμη γενιές για τα συμφέροντα του Δυτικού κεφαλαίου ή το απελευθερωτικό «τίμημα» του να χαράξει ένα πραγματικό μονοπάτι αντίστασης στους «θεσμούς»; Η Ελλάδα θα είναι το πρότυπο, αλλά ποιο πρότυπο: ένα κακοποιημένο πρότυπο συλλογικής τιμωρίας, ιδανικό για εκφοβισμό απέναντι σε οποιονδήποτε σηκώσει κεφάλι στο μέλλον, ή, πιθανά, ένα πρότυπο που θα καλεί και τους υπόλοιπους στην περιοχή και, πράγματι, στον κόσμο όλο, να διαλέξουν ένα ριζικά διαφορετικό δρόμο; Η ηγεσία του Σύριζα και τα μεγαλύτερα τμήματα της ελληνικής αριστεράς υποστηρίζουν πως το κίνημα θα αναπτύξει θεσμούς αδιαμεσολάβητους, δημοκρατικούς και από τα κάτω, και έχει τη δυνατότητα, ξεκινώντας από «τοπικές αυτόνομες νησίδες», να προκαλέσει ριζικούς μετασχηματισμούς της υπάρχουσας πολιτικής και κοινωνικής τάξης πραγμάτων. Είναι εξαιρετικά σημαντική η διαδικασία κατά την οποία πλατιά τμήματα της κοινωνίας αντιστέκονται, και ψηλαφούν τις δυνατότητες δόμησης τελείως διαφορετικών σχέσεων μεταξύ των ανθρώπων.

Παρόλα αυτά, αυτή η συναρπαστική διαδικασία μετασχηματίζεται, αμβλύνεται, και εν τέλει «εξημερώνεται», έτσι ώστε να στηρίξει την αστική κοινοβουλευτική δημοκρατία, το πολιτικό σύστημα που ξέρει καλύτερα από το καθένα να διατηρεί και να μεταμφιέζει την αληθινή δικτατορία των καπιταλιστών.

Κάθε επαναστατική προσπάθεια θα επηρεάσει άμεσα, όχι μόνο την Ελλάδα, αλλά όλο τον κόσμο. Ναι, το μίσος των Μεγάλων Δυνάμεων θα είναι δριμύ και δεν θα σταματήσουν πουθενά, ακόμη κι αν αυτό σημαίνει να εξαπολύσουν δολοφονικό πόλεμο, καθώς και οικονομικό στραγγαλισμό και εκβιασμό, προκειμένου να καταστείλουν το λαό. Αλλά αυτέ οι ίδιες Δυνάμεις, δεν μπορούν αν δουν ανενόχλητες, και η σκληρή αντεπανάσταση, καθώς και η έμπνευση μιας πραγματικής επαναστατικής ρήξης, θα είχε βαθύτατες συνέπειες σε όλη την Ευρώπη, στο Βερολίνο και στη Λισαβόνα, και σε όλη την Ανατολική Μεσόγειο. Ακόμη και τώρα έχουμε σημαντικά δείγματα συμπαράστασης και αλληλεγγύης για την αντίσταση των ανθρώπων στην Ελλάδα απέναντι στην τιμωρητική λιτότητα. Δυστυχώς, μέχρι τώρα, οι ελπίδες των ανθρώπων που στέκονται αλληλέγγυοι στον λαό της Ελλάδας έχουν καναλιζαριστεί και καταπνιγεί τόσο ώστε να στηρίζουν τις ίδιες απατηλές θεραπείες και τους ίδιους εκλογικούς μηχανορράφους (τους Ποδέμος, στην Ισπανία για παράδειγμα), αυτούς του ίδιους που έχουν ήδη χρεοκοπήσει στην Αθήνα.

Μια γνήσια επαναστατική προσέγγιση θα προκαλέσει ένα κύμα δυναμικής και μεστής νοήματος αλληλεγγύης και στήριξης, ειδικά ανάμεσα σε εκείνους που μπορούν και χρειάζεται να γίνουν η μαγιά για την επανάσταση σε άλλες χώρες, ανάμεσα στους ανθρώπους από όλο το φάσμα της ζωής που λαχταρούν για μια λύση στα δεινά του καπιταλισμού.

Ένα ακόμη ερώτημα που τίθεται μετ'επιτάσεως είναι η σχέση μεταξύ της Ελλάδας και της υπόλοιπης Ευρώπης, ειδικά με την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Η Ευρώπη, όπως και οι ΗΠΑ, η Ιαπωνία και η Ρωσία (με την καπιταλιστικής Κίνα να αναρριχάται στο club) είναι οι στυλοβάτες της στυγνής ιμπεριαλιστικής εκμετάλλευσης. Αυτό το club, βέβαια, δεν λειτουργεί ισότιμα: ο καπιταλισμός δεν δουλεύει αλλιώς. Για ιστορικούς, γεωγραφικούς, οικονομικούς και πολιτικούς λόγους, η Ελλάδα είναι καταδικασμένη σε κατώτερη θέση μέσα στον Ευρωπαϊκό συσχετισμό δυνάμεων. Αλλά μια παρατεταμένη προσπάθεια να κερδίσει ή να εκλιπαρεί για μια καλύτερη θέση σε αυτό το συμπόσιο των κλεφτών είναι και αδύνατο και ανήθικο.

Φτάνει πια με τις υποσχέσεις της Μέρκελ και του Ολαντ ότι η Ελλάδα θα είναι ο απαραίτητος προμαχώνας της πλούσιας Ευρώπης απέναντι στις μαζικές εκτοπίσεις πληθυσμών από τη Μέση Ανατολή και απέναντι στους χιλιάδες απελπισμένων ανθρώπων που προσπαθούν να δραπετεύσουν από μια κλιμακούμενη τρέλα. Αντί, λοιπόν, το ελληνικό κράτος να δρα ως τείχος ή στρατιωτικό φυλάκιο για την «Ευρώπη Φρούριο» απέναντι σε αυτά τα εκατομμύρια των ανθρώπων ή σαν ένας μικρός ηγεμόνας στις ακτές, το προλεταριάτο στην Ελλάδα θα μπορούσε να δείξει ένα άλλον δρόμο και να τείνει μία χείρα βοηθείας, παρέχοντας πολιτική, ηθική, και υλική συνδρομή σε όσους αναζητούν την απελευθέρωση. Οι μετανάστες που σήμερα επαναπροωθούνται, πρέπει να βοηθήσουν για την επανάσταση αύριο. Η αναγκαία επαναστατικός προσανατολισμός θα οξύνει τις αντιθέσεις ανάμεσα στις Μεγάλες Δυνάμεις, αλλά επίσης θα φέρει στο προσκήνιο νέες εφεδρείες στήριξης και, το κυριότερο, θα επιταχύνει την παγκόσμια επαναστατική διαδικασία, από την οποία εξαρτάται η μοίρα των ανθρώπων στην Ελλάδα, και όλων των καταπιεσμένων.

Η Ελλάδα έχει βαθειά επηρεαστεί από τις προηγούμενες προσπάθειες για επαναστατική αλλαγή στη χώρα αλλά και στον κόσμο. Η Ρωσική επανάσταση, η οικοδόμηση του σοσιαλισμού στη Σοβιετική Ένωση, ο ρόλος των κομμουνιστών στην αντίσταση κατά των Ναζί κατακτητών στο Δεύτερο Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο, ο ελληνικός εμφύλιος – όλα αυτά έχουν αφήσει ανεξίτηλα τα σημάδια τους στη συλλογική μνήμη. Τα επιτεύγματα αλλά και οι ανεπάρκειες σε αυτή τη διαδικασία είναι μαθήματα που πρέπει να κατανοηθούν.

Η παγκόσμια προλεταριακή επανάσταση έφτασε στο απόγειο της στην Κίνα, υπό την ηγεσία του Μάο, ειδικά κατά τη διάρκεια της Πολιτιστικής Επανάστασης, η οποία όχι μόνο υπερασπίστηκε την προλεταριακή εξουσία στη χώρα αλλά έκανε γιγάντια βήματα προκειμένου να αντιμετωπίσει τις ανισότητες και τις γερά στερεωμένες αντιλήψεις του παλιού εκμεταλλευτικού συστήματος, και να προχωρήσει προς τον κομμουνισμό. Τη δεκαετία του 60 και του 70, οπότε και η αποκάλυψη του καπιταλιστικού χαρακτήρα του Σοβιετικού μπλοκ έριχνε βαριά της σκιά της, η Κίνα του Μάο ήταν ισχυρή πηγή έμπνευσης για πολλούς στην Ελλάδα και σε όλο τον κόσμο. Δυστυχώς, πολλοί από τους κομμουνιστές εκείνης της περιόδου, συμπεριλαμβανομένων και εκείνων που υποστήριζαν την τότε επαναστατική Κίνα εξαιτίας της αντίστασης της στον ιμπεριαλισμό και της στήριξης της στην επαναστατική πάλη, απέτυχαν στο να κατανοήσουν τη ριζοσπαστική σκέψη του Μάο στην επαναστατική θεωρία και στον κομμουνισμό.

Για τους περισσότερους ανθρώπους, η ανάσχεση στο πρώτο στάδιο της κομμουνιστικής επανάστασης (η ήττα του σοσιαλισμού πρώτα στη Σοβιετική Ένωση και αργότερα στην Κίνα –έπειτα από το θάνατο του Μάο), είναι αποσπασματική και διαστρεβλωμένη. Η έλλειψη πληροφόρησης για τα ιστορικά επιτεύγματα, τα πραγματικά λάθη και μια βαθύτερη κατανόηση του σύνθετου χαρακτήρα και της διαδικασίας της κομμουνιστικής επανάστασης ανάμεσα στους ανθρώπους που τώρα μάχονται ενάντια στους σπασμούς και τις επιθέσεις του καπιταλισμού είναι μεγάλο ιδεολογικό και πολιτικό βάρος που τους εμποδίζει να πάνε τον αγώνα στο επόμενο επίπεδο.

Έχουμε το πλεονέκτημα να έχουμε στα χέρια μας αυτές τις διευκρινίσεις, μια κατανόηση που από τη μία ανακαλύπτει εκ νέου τα μεγάλα επιτεύγματα των προηγούμενων γενιών στο πως προχωράμε στη ρήξη με τον ιμπεριαλισμό, και από την άλλη εξηγεί με επιστημονικό τρόπο τους λόγους για την ήττα αλλά και τις παραλείψεις, σε επίπεδο ιδεολογίας και πρακτικής, εκείνων των πρώτων αποπειρών για την προλεταριακή επανάσταση. Η εμβάθυνση της επιστημονικής γνώσης για τι μπορούμε και πρέπει να κάνουμε για να εξαπολύσουμε το νέο στάδιο της προλεταριακής επανάστασης και να προχωρήσουμε τη διαδικασία στον τελικό της στόχο, αυτόν της παγκόσμιας κομμουνιστικής κοινωνίας, χαίρει της συνεισφοράς της Νέας Σύνθεσης του Κομμουνισμού από τον Bob Avakian.

Αυτή η νέα θεώρηση του κομμουνισμού, παρέχει τα εργαλεία να υπερβούμε όλες τις θεμελιώδεις δυσκολίες της καπιταλιστικής κοινωνίας που διαλύει τις ζωές και το φρόνημα δισεκατομμυρίων, και προχωρά σε μια πραγματική απελευθερωμένη κοινωνία ανθρώπων – όχι μόνο για ένα κόσμο πέρα από τη σημερινή εξασθενημένη εξουσία, αλλά για έναν πολύ καλύτερο, πολύ πιο ζωντανό και απελευθερωτικό και από τα υψηλότερα επιτεύγματα των προηγούμενων σοσιαλιστικών επαναστάσεων.

Αυτή η νέα σύνθεση επανατοποθετεί την κομμουνιστική επανάσταση στις υλικές και ιστορικές συνθήκες που την κατέστησαν δυνατή και αναγκαία. Η προλεταριακή επανάσταση γίνεται ακαταμάχητη, απτή, και γι'αυτό επιθυμητή. Η νέα σύνθεση του κομμουνισμού παρέχει το κρίσιμο εκείνο πλαίσιο, μια διεξοδική επιστημονική προσέγγιση στην κατανόηση του κόσμου για να τον αλλάξουμε, για την αναγέννηση ενός γνήσιου επαναστατικού κομμουνιστικού κινήματος στην Ελλάδα και αλλού.

Πέρα από την πλούσια ιστορία των αγώνων, υπάρχει και η κληρονομιά των επαναστατικών δυνατοτήτων στην Ελλάδα και αλλού που χάθηκαν. Τα μαθήματα από αυτές τις εμπειρίες, ενισχύουν την αποφασιστικότητα και την ικανότητα να μην επιτρέψουμε να χαθούν οι σύγχρονες επαναστατικές δυνατότητες.

Η κατάσταση στην Ελλάδα αποζητά ένα πραγματικό κίνημα για μια γνήσια προλεταριακή επανάσταση και καλεί τους επαναστάτες να υιοθετήσουν την πιο σύγχρονη επιστημονική επαναστατική σκέψη. Οι δεκάδες μπορούν και πρέπει να γίνουν χιλιάδες και οι χιλιάδες θα οδηγήσουν σε εκατομμύρια. Μπροστά στις δυσκολίες, τις σύνθετες και αντικρουόμενες καταστάσεις με μεγάλη προοπτική, είναι βασικό να οπλιστεί ο καθένας με την πιο βαθειά κατανόηση της κοινωνίας και της επαναστατικής διαδικασίας για το μετασχηματισμό της – τον επαναστατικό κομμουνισμό. Η Νέα Σύνθεση του Κομμουνισμού αποτελεί βασικό συστατικό για να φανούμε αντάξιοι της στιγμής και να χτίσουμε μια εμπροσθοφυλακή που μπορεί να αντιμετωπίζει τα όσα προκύπτουν. Η κρίση και το κίνημα στην Ελλάδα είναι το καμίνι μέσα στο οποίο οι συνειδητοί επαναστάτες μπορούν και πρέπει να κάνουν ένα βήμα μπροστά ως απελευθερωτές της ανθρωπότητας, εκκινητές του νέου σταδίου της κομμουνιστικής επανάστασης, μαζί με τα αδέρφια τους από όλο τον κόσμο.

Συντάχθηκε από υποστηρικτές της Νέας Σύνθεσης του Κομμουνισμού, συμπεριλαμβανομένου του K.J.A. (συνεισέφερε στις οριοθετήσεις), του Ishak Baran (ιστορικό μέλος του Μαοϊκού κινήματος στην Τουρκία), υποστηρικτές του Κομμουνιστικού Κόμματος Ιράν (Μαρξιστές – Λενινιστές – Μαοϊκοί ) και άλλους.
Διανέμεται από: Revolutionary Communist Manifesto Group (RCMG Europe).
Για περισσότερες πληροφορίες σχετικά με τη θεωρία της Νέας Σύνθεσης του Κομμουνισμού δείτε στο: 27 Ιουλίου 2015


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 #400 August 17, 2015

From A World to Win News Service

Tunisia Year Five: Caught in a Tightening Vice

by Samuel Albert | August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Revolution/revcom editors’ note: The incident in Sousse (about 90 miles south of the Tunisia’s capital city, Tunis) mentioned in this article took place on June 26, 2015. The gunman killed 38 people and wounded dozens at a tourist resort hotel and beach.


A World to Win News Service. Thousands of young Tunisians drown trying to make their way to Europe, hoping that the West can offer a life that their own country cannot. Thousands are going to neighboring Libya or other countries to wage jihad against what they perceive as the Western way of life, thirsty for vengeance against the West and its values.

What these two different situations have in common is that for many young Tunisians, accepting the lives they’ve been given is not an option. The March 2015 massacre of 22 people at the Bardo Museum, one of Tunis’s main cultural tourist attractions, and then the June murder of 38 Europeans at a beach resort in Sousse, demonstrated that Tunisia can’t escape being caught between the contending forces fighting for the allegiance of people across the region. On the one hand, millions of lives and futures are stunted or shattered by the conditions created by the world market and globalized finance, while the monopoly capitalists who rule the imperialist countries prosper. On the other, Islamist political rule is represented as the only alternative to what the West calls “democracy”, the political, social and ideological institutions whose function is to stabilize this intolerable situation.

The Islamist 23-year-old graduate student who shot the tourists in Sousse was striking out at a situation where youth from poor families in the interior feel cut off from the modern world as it is enjoyed by some on the coast and people in the West in general. Their fathers work, when they can, wherever they can, in back-breaking construction, and their mothers in investor-owned fields under the thumb of merciless labour contractors who act as if they own them. Workers in factories and call centres are at the mercy of overseas orders. The educational system, especially in the technological fields, fills students with a narrow “input” of skills they can hope to “output” in a vocation promising a different life than their parents—until at last, emerging with diploma in hand, they tumble into the abyss of unemployment or mindless jobs with no prospects. The phosphate mines that bring much of the country’s wealth produce serious environmental problems and few jobs for the people who live around them. The tourism “industry” touted as the country’s hope is driven by real estate speculation and prostitution, and the huge number of people trapped in prostitution reveals what values and future the West has to offer Tunisia.

In this situation—and in a world with no socialist states and few genuine revolutionary movements, where a reality-based revolutionary vision has not yet become the property of widespread masses of people—the powerful attraction of political and jihadi Islam, now presenting itself as the main challenger to the status quo imposed by Western imperialism, is tragic but not surprising.

President Beji Caid Essebsi’s response was to declare a state of emergency to enable new repressive measures against strikes, sit-ins and other movements that have nothing in common with jihadism, and even ban public gatherings and cultural events. “Since 2011 the country has been like a school-yard recess and now that has to end,” declared a pro-government pundit. Essebsi emphasized that his political rivals and fractious friends too had to “get into line” with his government and its Western approved programme. For the sake of stability, he said, well-connected prominent businessmen, widely hated for robbing the public, would be protected from legal action.

In short, the country whose “success” was contrasted with the daunting of the Arab Spring in Egypt, has become like Egypt, in many aspects, if not all.

Like Egypt, the U.S. has been drawing Tunisia closer, providing significant funding and loan guarantees (even though unlike in Egypt, U.S. moves in Tunisia are always at least tinged by rivalry with France, Tunisia’s historic overlord). In May 2015, on the heels of the Bardo museum attack, Essebsi visited Washington, where Obama named Tunisia a “Major Non-Nato ally”, a status bringing more military aid and “strategic cooperation”. In July, Tunisian media reported that a U.S. military base and regional listening post now located in Sicily would be moved to Tunisia.

For the U.S., especially, Tunisia matters most as a “security problem”. Trying to “fix” Tunisia’s “dysfunctional” security services, the U.S., UK and France are taking charge themselves in some matters—for example, the UK’s Scotland Yard is running the investigation of the Sousse massacre.

This increasingly direct interference, motivated by these imperialists’ perceived regional and national interests and not the good of Tunisia, will not save Tunisia from disaster any more than it did in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. Rather, it heightens the danger that Tunisia will be pulled into the maelstrom of the regional and civil wars between those lined up with the U.S. and groups like Daesh who are the main challenge to its interests at the moment. [Daesh is another name for ISIS or ISIL— editors.]

What has the “democracy” so praised by the West and its apologists brought Tunisia? And why does the rise of Islamism seem so unstoppable? The answer lies in the way the two trends reinforce each other, even as they ferociously contend for the country’s future.

The hated president Ben Ali is gone, toppled by the opening act of the Arab Spring, but the uprising left the state apparatus fundamentally unchanged. The police forces organized to brutally protect the old regime remain intact. They aggressively beat youth on the streets in poor neighbourhoods and towns as much as ever, and still torture prisoners, political and otherwise. Social movements in the interior are viciously repressed. The military, which supervised the so-called “democratic transition,” continues to make its will known through threats to political parties and the general public. It has held key ministries and governorates (provincial authorities). Prime Minister Habib Essid is only the most prominent figure among the former regime’s men who, rather than losing their authority, have been promoted. The people have had no relief from the bureaucracy that governs much of everyday life and the fate of citizens like Mohamed Bouazizi, the young fruit vendor in Sidi Bouzid who set himself and the country on fire on 17 December 2010.

The country’s economy is the same as it was, structured over decades to depend on foreign markets and capital. There have been no serious proposals to change Ben Ali’s economic orientation by any of the major parties. The continued privatization of state enterprises has brought even more obscene wealth to wealthy partners of French, U.S., Saudi and Qatari capital, while promises have sputtered out for projects for economic development in interior areas like Kasserine and Sidi Bouzid where the revolt started. Unemployment is worse than ever.

The electoral system has gathered most of the opposition to the old regime into its fold and turned them into its servitors. The enlistment of former radicals into the “political class”—the set of people allowed to practice politics—has brought cynicism and discredit to the “leftist” ideals they once professed. Less than half of the potential voters bothered to cast a ballot in the last elections.

Unlike the jihadis, the opposition politicians (including so-called “leftists”) most definitely don’t seek or believe in radical change. Lately they have been encouraging Tunisians to hope that new oil deposits (which supposedly have already been found but whose existence is being covered up for obscure interests) can save the country, just as phosphate exports were once hailed as the country’s future. Has having plenty of oil saved Algeria, or instead delivered it even more deeply into the clutches of the global market and its implacable demands, while subsidizing the rule of a handful of men who are that cruel market’s local representatives?

Tunisia’s economic development in the 1990s brought the society to where it is today. Its Association Agreement with the EU helped make the country a subcontractor for automotive and electric parts, clothing and call centers, while unable to feed itself without the imports that in turn require ever more economic subordination and massive waste of the potential of the country’s people.

In response to the Sousse massacre, the government has had little to deploy but troops. A government that forbids men under 35 to travel freely—for fear they will join the thousands of Tunisians waging jihad abroad, and then come back—is declaring that it cannot even dream of waging a struggle for the country’s youth, let alone offer a credible alternative. It can do nothing to change a situation which generates wave after wave of Islamists, not only because of the jihad raging in nearby countries but also because under today’s circumstances, the society itself is a matrix for Islamism.

There are different currents of Islamism, but the dividing line between jihadism and electoral Islamism is extremely porous in theory and practice. The leaders of Tunisia’s Ennahda party, who come out of the Egyptian Moslem Brotherhood current and like to compare themselves with Erdogan’s AKP in Turkey, used jihadi methods before the fall of Ben Ali opened up the way for them to share power in an elected government. During that latter period, Ennahda provided practical and ideological cover for sworn jihadis.

The difference between armed Islamism and electoral Islamism is not a question of loyalty to “democracy.” Any class that rules over an exploitative and oppressive system, in the world’s most developed countries like anywhere else, will opt for whatever form of political rule necessary to preserve its rule. Islamism is defined by its goals, the imposition of Islam as the legal regulator of political and social life (which is very different than defending people’s right to voluntarily practice their religion), and not by whatever means to achieve those goals that might seem most effective at any given moment.

Many reactionary armed forces, including the U.S., encourage young people to murder innocents to assuage their feelings of having been wronged. Islamism can mobilize the blind loyalty of some desperate people among the lowest masses and the resentment of the petite bourgeoisie. It may offer a path to social advancement for many individuals that the status quo does not make available to them. But in terms of class interests, it represents old and new exploiters among imperialist-dominated nations.

The goal of Daesh, al-Qaeda and, in a somewhat different way, the Moslem Brotherhood and the AKP is not to challenge capitalism but to win a new place for themselves that has not been possible under the geopolitical order in the Middle East that the U.S. built to serve its supremacy. While the alignments of class forces differ from country to country in the Islamic world, it is surely no accident that the leadership, ideological training, financing, logistics and arms used by today’s two main strands of Islamism come from the predominantly capitalist ruling classes of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries, often in alignment with Turkey, on the one hand, and on the other, the Islamic Republic of Iran. These are outstanding examples of regimes whose ruling classes with roots in pre-capitalist modes of production have become inseparable from the private accumulation of capital amid the globalized production relations of the imperialist system and its ineluctable economic logic. Conflicting interests and not just religious differences between Shias and Sunnis explain why Islamists can line up on opposing sides or alternately be used by and oppose imperialist projects.

At the same time, Islamism has its own dynamic as an ideology and political movement, a momentum where what is perceived as its advance against foreign-imposed humiliation favours more advance. The basis for Islamism in material conditions and its congruency with and usefulness to reactionary class interests should not lead to underestimating the great importance of the ideological factor in its rise. A major reason for its attractive power is the absence of a clearly-posed ideological and political alternative to the status quo that has the potential strength of being based on a true understanding of reality and the real interests of the vast majority of people.

Given the reactionary nature of Islamist goals, it follows that they would be faithful students of imperialism when it comes to using terrorism against the masses for political aims. Theirs is not a blind violence but something even worse—deliberate barbarism meant to create terror among people for political goals, just as the imperialists have done from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima to U.S.-backed Israeli assaults on the people of Gaza and Lebanon and the American-led rampage that destroyed Iraq.

Because of its reactionary nature, Islamism often has ambiguous relations with imperialism and its local regimes. In Algeria, for instance, the 1990s civil war between Islamists and the ruling military had a dimension of a mutual war against the people, the slaughter of intellectuals and others that both sides hated. We’ve seen this in Tunisia, too. In fact, today’s Tunisian government itself rests on an uneasy and unstable alliance between forces representing imperialism and its traditional local flunkies on the one hand and Islamism on the other.

After initially dismissing the significance of the Sousse massacre, President Essebsi declared, “If such incidents happen again, the state will collapse.” One reason for his alarm is that his governing Nidaa Tunes party, answerable to both France and the U.S, was elected on its promise to overturn the Islamization process initiated by its predecessor in government, Ennahda. At the same time, it cannot (and does not want) to govern without Ennahda’s parliamentary support.

But the problem goes deeper than electoral opportunism. Since Tunisa’s formal independence the country’s rulers have always used religion and religious identity (the constitution’s first article defines Tunisia as a Moslem country) to disguise their fealty to imperialism. They have never forgone the legitimacy of religion and tradition and the religious suffocation of those it governs. This has been combined with repression, including against Islamism when it presented problems—when Ennahda was in rebellion against the government rather than one of its pillars.

Now, especially because today’s Tunisian government suffers from the inherited illegitimacy of the Ben Ali regime, whose ignominious downfall at the hands of the people has not been forgotten even by those currently politically inactive, and because it has even more reason than Ben Ali to fear the masses of people, it is extremely unwilling to confront Islamism, especially in ideological terms, but in other ways as well.

For instance, take the 2013 assassination of Chokri Belaid, a major leader of the Tunisian electoral left and an important symbol to many secular intellectuals and others. The fact that he had defended the Islamists under the Ben Ali regime did not stop Islamists from killing him. Neither the Ennahda government at the time nor today’s supposedly secular government tried very hard to elucidate this crime. In July 2015, when 30 men accused in connection with the murder were summoned for trial, most of them refused to appear in court. The government did not dare try to defeat this challenge to its legal system and moral authority in the name of Islam.

After the Sousse massacre president Essebsi called for the shuttering of 80 mosques he said were run by Salafists, but religious fundamentalism is thriving throughout the extensive state-supervised religious establishment, the public educational system and the dominant culture in general, pressuring and intimidating the many millions who are not eager to live in a society governed by religious law. For instance, the police have started arresting people for public possession of beer, which is not illegal and until now not uncommon, with the explanation that such behavior by Moslems (and all Tunisians are presumed to be Moslem) constitutes “public debauchery.” Foreigners with non-Moslem-sounding names are free from the religious restrictions the police have taken upon themselves to enforce. [Salafism is a branch of Sunni fundamentalism— editors.]

How can a ruling class and power structure that constantly reproduce Islamism, and depend on it ideologically and politically, confront armed Islamism without endangering its own existence? This seems to explain Essebsi’s warning about how the state might not be able to withstand another Islamist attack, not because it would be defeated militarily but because of its own explosive political and ideological contradictions.

While Ennahda’s role in the current government is small, no major political force considers its Islamist project out of bounds or opposes the growing Islamization of Tunisian society as a matter of principle rather than taste or lifestyle preference. This is especially striking in the case of many people in the “leftist” Popular Front, the self-appointed representatives of the country’s “patriots” and “democrats,” which in the last elections supported Essebsi in the name of opposing Ennahda.

More recently, in response to Islamist pressure, the Front’s spokesman, the former “communist” Hamma Hammami (in reality an opponent of the revolutionary communism represented by China’s Mao Tsetung) declared that he had no “ideological problem” with Islamists because he, too, is a Moslem. Regardless of his personal beliefs (and “leftists” perpetuating and worshipping traditional thinking is an old and serious problem in most countries), the society any kind of Islamists want is totally unacceptable, even if only considered from the point of view of what it means for women, half of the world’s population, not to mention other aspects of the emancipation of humanity from ignorance and superstition, and all forms of oppressive social relations. If some political organizations, whether Trotskyist or falsely self-proclaimed Maoists, can use the excuse of opposing imperialism to find anything to support in Islamism, that speaks volumes about what kind of society they are willing to accept or help govern.

Not unexpectedly, the Front’s response to the Sousse massacre was capitulation of another sort. In the face of imminent danger, they demand the beefing up of the army—whose job is to defend the status quo for imperialism. It is all too typical to see “leftists” who never considered how to make a real revolution scuttle back and forth from tailing Islamism to throwing themselves into the arms of the imperialists.

The architectonic forces that began to break through the surface in December 2010 are still at work. That revolt involved a broad section of the people, spurred by youth in the interior and relayed by students in coastal cities and finally the capital. People from all social classes took part, including elements of the bourgeoisie excluded from Ben Ali’s favored inner circle or those who felt that dumping him was the best available alternative to a prolonged and cascading upheaval. That unity of “the people” quickly hit the limits of the fundamentally antagonistic class interests at work. Islamists as such played very little role in the revolt. But those domestic and foreign observers who congratulated the Tunisian people for the “moderation” of the outcome, which they attributed to a supposed Tunisian character, misjudged the depth of the crisis and what it would take to resolve it.

What has come even more clearly to light after the Sousse attack is not the importation of exterior conflicts into Tunisian society but a particular, localized and explosive expression of contradictions at work on a world scale. There would be no modern-day Islamism without the economic and social changes in the predominantly Islamic countries brought about by imperialist development. Further, the criminal actions of the U.S. and its allies in recent years (in Palestine, Iraq, etc.) have been inseparable from this development. Without all that, Islamism would still be a minor trend with little future.

Instead it has become a “perverse expression,” as Bob Avakian has put it, of the fundamental contradiction at work in today’s world: between the socialization of production that is drawing the whole globe into productive processes and transforming economic relations, and the private—and therefore exploitative and competition-driven—appropriation of the surplus value thus produced. This is what has led to the accumulation of capital in the hands of the monopoly capitalist rulers of the imperialist countries and the horrendous and unbearable intensification of the world’s inequalities and lopsided development.

It is a “perverse expression” because instead of a solution, it is an obstacle to resolving this contradiction by moving toward a world where the abolition of the private ownership of the necessary means to live, and all the social relations and ideas based on that, enables everyone to work for the common good while fully blossoming as individuals. Imperialism and Islamism can be called “the two outmodeds” because neither represents what the world could be if the enormous productive forces developed by humanity, and most basically the people, could be liberated and enabled to transform the world and themselves.

Tunisia cannot be a haven from the world’s storms. It remains a country whose contradictions cannot be solved by anything other than a full revolution—the emergence of a flag, programme, party and broad revolutionary movement whose goal is to defeat the forces of the old state and establish a new kind of political power that can free the people at the bottom, along with the middle strata and intellectuals and others, to begin transforming society in a far more radical and liberating fashion that Islamism or imperialism could even pretend to offer.

Otherwise, the conflict between the “two outmodeds” will continue to rage and wreak death and destruction, with the masses of people deluded victims instead of conscious protagonists.


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 #400 August 17, 2015

Sunsara Taylor in Jackson, Mississippi:

This IS About Women's Liberation

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


This is a transcript of Sunsara Taylor’s presentation at Abortion Rights People’s Hearing in Mississippi on August 7, 2015

Sunsara Taylor speaking at Abortion Rights People's Hearing

Sunsara Taylor, correspondent for Revolution and an initiator of Stop Patriarchy, at the Abortion Rights People’s Hearing in Jackson, Mississippi

Hey everybody. So, I really want to thank everybody for coming out tonight. I am honored to be here with everybody, who's enduring the heat, who's telling the stories. And I just want to take a moment, tonight we’ve heard the stories of women. We’ve heard what is going on in this country. Not just the stories of the women at that moment that they need an abortion, which I want to come to. But who are women, how do women live in this society? How do women live in this world? We heard about the woman who was afraid to get out of her home because of the brutality she faces. Every 15 seconds in this country, where we are told women are so free, a woman is beaten. Every 15 seconds. That woman is millions of women. We heard about the women who are living in poverty. The women who travel and uproot themselves to go across the country to live with a man that they think is going to be their partner, their soul mate. And he’s been trained through a society that gets him to think that woman don’t deserve respect. He’s not told her everything about his history. She’s there across the country, uprooted herself, and it’s not what she was hoping or what it should have been. That’s millions of women.

These are what women go through, the brutality, the rape, the abuse, the molestation, the degradation, the objectification. The way women are reduced to body parts, made to hate themselves, made to starve themselves, cut themselves, all of this. And then on top of that you have this basic right, which was illegal for many, many years and thousands and thousands of women died when abortion was illegal, every year. And millions of women had their lives curtailed because of this fear and this danger. And women fought heroically and won the right to abortion. And here we are 40 years after it was won and clinics have been bombed, and doctors have been killed, and patients get harassed on their way in. They get called murderers and all this other hatred. So you have all of this that women face, and then that moment comes when they find out they’re pregnant and they don’t want to have a baby. And having a baby, don’t get me wrong, if you want to have a baby can be one of the most beautiful things in your life. But if you don’t want to have a child, if you can’t afford a child, if you’re in the wrong circumstances, being forced to have a child on top of everything else that women face, that is a form of enslavement. That is a form of hatred against women. That is a form of controlling women. And it is just as vicious and just as harmful as rape. It is male authority taking over and controlling and penetrating and dominating a woman’s body and her own life and her whole future.

And right now we are living in a time when 40 years after abortion was made legal, it’s never been more difficult to access. It’s never been more dangerous to provide, and it’s never been more stigmatized for women. It’s never been more shameful. It’s never been more secret. It’s never been that the “pro-choice movement,” I put air quotes, has been more defensive about it. “We’ll reframe it as healthcare.” No it’s not under attack because it’s healthcare, it’s under attack because it gives women control over their lives. And so we’ve seen here tonight, on the one side what is being done to women and these rights that are being ripped away. And over 300 laws have been introduced this year to criminalize abortion, to further restrict it. Over 50 have been passed. Clinics have been forced to close across this country. Access is drying up for women. And women are risking their lives, once again, to self-induce, or therefore closing their lives by forced motherhood.

So we’ve seen this on the one side, and there was a big thing in the Republican debate last night: who was going to be more anti-abortion? You know, this is like acceptable political debate. Will you be... how vicious will you be for the enslavement of women? And that’s just in the mainstream. And that’s gaining power.

And on the other side you have seen and heard from the people who go every day, and I am honored to share this evening with you and I have gotten to know you over the past few years, who serve at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization inside, outside, and all the different capacities. The people who have put their lives in the service of women, who see women’s stories, who care, and know that abortion really is about women. I’m honored to be here with the defenders who stand up, defiantly. I’m honored to be here with the volunteers from Stop Patriarchy who uprooted themselves, didn’t take a summer vacation somewhere beautiful and, I mean they planned to be in Jackson. [Laughter] Don’t get me wrong, but they didn’t go to the beach, they didn’t go somewhere else. They came to the hottest place in the country, in the middle of August, to stand up for women’s right to abortion. And to go out, door to door, and bring the signs, and put women back in the center of this debate, and to model something.

It was important the hundreds that we reached, you heard some of their stories. But we also are modeling something, that we are challenging everybody who is watching to scale up. You need to join this fight on different terms. This fight is about women, women’s enslavement, or women’s liberation. And there’s only one right side. There is no common ground, there’s no middle ground. [Applause] And to tell the truth, we are living in a historical moment where they have two fundamentally different views of half of humanity. Women are either breeders and objects or women are full human beings, and these are clashing. And one side or the other is going to win. We’re not going to be in a limbo for ever. You can’t maintain this forever. And for decades now we have been losing. And so whether we go one way or the other, it really depends. And everybody in the room tonight, and everybody tuning in, they have gatherings in Honolulu, in Seattle, in Chicago, in Cleveland, and Los Angeles, and New York, and Bay Area, all over the country where people are gathered to watch this, everybody there, we have to answer that question. Which side will win? We are the ones who have to answer that question. Us and the people we go out and fight and bring forward into this movement. We have a huge responsibility. We’re living in a historical moment on this.

And I have to say we are also gathered at the time, I think it would be wrong not to talk about this. We have the one-year anniversary of a major eruption of another major social fault line in this country. It is the one-year anniversary of the murder of Mike Brown, who despite all the lies, had his hands up when he was shot. Unarmed Black youth, one of thousands and thousands who’ve been murdered by police. And this is another thing that has been ripped open in this country, and here we are in Mississippi. I’ll tell you every where we went, we talked about abortion rights, we talked about this, you saw the videos. But everywhere we went people also wanted to talk... I write for Revolution and some of us were taking this [holds up Revolution newspaper] out when we went, which has stuff about the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride, but also about the whole revolution, and we have Sandra Bland on the front. And this was so raw. People wanted to talk so much. We met parents whose children had been shot by police, we met people who wanted to tell their stories. This is another question. It is going to go one way or the other. The police are getting away with murder, mass incarceration, new Jim Crow, a slow genocide against Black and Brown people. And all of us have a role to play in answering whether that will win, or whether the people will rise up and defeat that.

And the same thing can be asked about a lot of other questions facing humanity right now. What’s happening to our immigrant sisters and brothers, who are being rounded up and detained and deported and torn apart from their families? What’s happening to the environment? It’s being polluted and degraded, as we speak, by the system of capitalism-imperialism. What’s being done to peoples around the world, through the machinery of the U.S. military, the drones, the invasion? All of this we’re responsible for. And for people who’ve been on the front lines, or people who are just joining this battle, I want to challenge people that it’s easy, we live in a society where our rights and our lives and our humanity has been under assault for so long that it’s hard to even imagine a world without this.

A Declaration: For Women's Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity

A Declaration: For Women's
Liberation and the Emancipation
of All Humanity

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But I think we need to lift our sights, and we need to dream of and fight for and be determined not to settle for anything short of a world where never again does a woman know what it’s like to walk down the street with fear any time of day or night, or to go and enter her home at the end of the day and be afraid. Where never again does a woman know what it is like to have her sexuality or her child bearing coerced, or forced. Where never again do Black parents have to fear for the safety of their children when they leave because of the danger of the police. Where never again do families have to be torn apart across globes. Where never again do kids in Pakistan and Yemen have to fear sunny days. And I kid you not, children fear sunny days because those are the days that drones come. Those are the days that are clear enough that bombs drop. So they prefer... children learn to prefer clouds. When that never happens again, when people can enjoy the environment and not have it melting and being polluted and destroyed. We have to raise our sights to that, we have to insist on that, and we have to bring people together to fight for that.

Now, they said when they introduced me and it’s true and I’m proud of it, I am a communist and a revolutionary. And I am firmly convinced that it is going to take an actual revolution to make that world possible. The more that I’ve fought, the more that I’ve learned, the more I’ve become convinced of that, and the more I’ve become convinced of the possibility of an actual liberating revolution, the more I’ve been determined to fight because I know it’s possible. And I want to invite you guys, there is... I write for Revolution newspaper, the Revolutionary Communist Party, there’s a new synthesis of communism Bob Avakian has developed, a leadership and a strategy and a vision and a constitution for day one after the revolution... how we can make all of this real. And people, if you hate the way this world is, what people are forced to endure, you have to hate it enough to stand up and fight back, and to hate it enough to get scientific about what it’s going to take to end it. And Revolution newspaper is a good place to start. And as you get into that, and as we debate and learn from each other, and as we come together in this struggle, we all have to surge for the front lines right now.

Because there’s no neutral. Sitting on the sidelines right now is letting these rights be stripped away. Sitting on the sidelines means you’re okay with it. But standing up and fighting back, we change ourselves, we change the culture, we make conditions more ripe for the kind of fundamental change we need. And in that struggle there is room. And in this movement, Stop Patriarchy, just like Diane said, there is room for a capitalist, who I would never call her a pig. [referring to how Diane Derzis jokingly referred to herself in earlier in the People's Hearing] I never would. I have tremendous respect for you. But for a capitalist and for a communist revolutionary to come together in this fight because we do agree that women are not property. We do agree that women are not bitches, hos, punching bags, breeders, sex objects, or incubators. We do agree that women are full human beings, and there’s no world worth living in where we do not fight for and realize that. Laying low and finding a way to get along in this world by avoiding the fight that is necessary to free women is not a life worth living. Is not a society worth living in. [Applause]

All Played Out by Bob AvakianListen to "All Played Out," spoken word by Bob Avakian,
music by William Parker

So I want to invite and challenge everybody who is watching, everybody who is here, this is a movement that needs everybody. We have to go out across this country. What happens in Mississippi, we brought volunteers here from all over the country for 10 days in the heat, because what happens here is everybody’s responsibility. It’s immoral to abandon the women in Mississippi. The disproportionately poor and Black women who need this clinic, who suffer multiple forms of oppression in this so-called land of the free. It’s immoral to abandon the women here, and it’s also delusional to think if we don’t stand up here and change the terms and turn the tide that this fight, that this attack on women is not spreading. ’Cause it is.

So we have to have a national resistance, a national counteroffensive. We need to tell the truth, people have said this, I’ll be brief. Fetuses are not babies, bring out the science, and put women back in the middle of this fight. This is about women’s enslavement or women’s liberation. And people understand that they can join this fight, they can find their voices, they can tell their stories. And we need to rely on ourselves, not the courts, not the politicians. It has never worked, it’s not how we won anything in the history of this country, and it’s not how we will defend these rights now. We need to get out of that mode, and wage massive political protest and resistance. So people should get organized where you’re watching. Talk with each other, go to Start a chapter, order a bunch of these flyers, help spread this, and call us up ’cause we will work with you. We are building a movement, and we will not stop until women everywhere are fully free of all forms of terror, violence, disrespect, and oppression. So thank you for coming out, and [drowned out by applause].





Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

People's Hearing for Abortion on Demand & Without Apology

Diane Derzis, owner of the last abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi: "I am so proud to say I am an abortionist."

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Diane Derzis is the owner of the Mississippi Women’s Health Clinic—also known as the Pink House—the only remaining abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi. She participated in the Abortion Rights People’s Hearing in Mississippi on August 7, 2015. The following is excerpted from her presentation.

Diane Derzis

Diane Derzis at the People's Hearing in Mississippi, August 7, 2015.
Read more and watch video of the hearing

Today I was doing what I do best, and that was shopping. [Laughter] And I was in the store and this woman asked me.... she said, “What brings you?” She saw the Alabama tags, she said, “What brings you to Mississippi?” And I said, “I have a business here.” This was outside of Jackson. She said, “What kind of business?” I said, “An abortion clinic. The only abortion clinic in Mississippi.” And she was a young white woman, and she said, “I would imagine you don’t tell a lot of people that, because of the way things are here.” And I said, “Oh, no, no, I tell everybody that.” [Applause] “Because I am so proud to say I am an abortionist. I am so proud to say that.” [Applause]

And she looked at me and she said, (and this is how I feel about some of the stories tonight) she said, “When I was very young, I was beaten and raped. I was in a coma, for two weeks. They didn’t think I would live.” She said, “I was so torn up I needed plastic surgery on my face. So torn up that they couldn’t do the abortion until I was six weeks.” And she said... I mean I have to tell you it was like that’s the worst kind of story to hear.

You know every abortion is as important as any other abortion. And every woman’s reason is as important as every other woman’s. But when you hear about a woman who needed plastic surgery, and whose vagina was so irreparably damaged, and she said, “No I’m fine. I’ve always been fine. I didn’t want children then. I don’t want children now.” Then she said to me, “But that choice has to be there for women. So I appreciate what you do.”

And I think that’s what you’ve been doing here, which is so important and that’s going to the community and talking to women. Because that’s what’s missing in this movement, and that is the stories. ’Cause that’s what counts: physical women.

One out of three have had abortions. I’ve had an abortion. How many people in this room have had an abortion? Don’t, alright you know it’s... that’s what’s out there. Women we walk past on the sidewalk, women we see, those women have been in the same place we’ve been. But for whatever reason, they don’t talk about that. And that’s OK too. They don’t have to talk about that. But I think the stories are so important. And that’s part of the other thing I wanted to say.

All of us in this room are different people. We all believe in different things. And that is what I love about Stop Patriarchy. We share one thing, whether you’re a capitalist pig, like I am, [laughter] we share one thing. We believe the woman is the only person who needs to be making that decision. That we trust women to make those decisions. And I think that’s what we’ve got to remember, is that we all are different in this country, we all have different things, we all have different agendas. We all have different reasons for doing what we do. But the important thing is that we believe in this issue.





Revolution #400 August 17, 2015


Great Potential Among People from the 'Hood

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


BA Speaks: Revolution-Nothing Less!

New York City. Photo: Special to

From readers:

We’d like to share some experience we’ve had wearing and selling the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts recently:

We’ve found that there’s a great potential for people from the ’hood of all ages and folks from other strata as well to buy and wear the shirt, and really feel like they are part of this revolution. Not only that, but it makes people feel they are not “alone”; in fact, it connects people with others of like mind (i.e., who are for revolution) who might never have connected. We’ve sold the shirts in the ’hood, and downtown in a city. One man who bought the T-shirt earlier at a demonstration returned later and asked us, “How’s the T-shirt going?”

Several recent protests to demand justice for Richard Linyard (a 23-year-old Black man who was found dead suspiciously, after being chased by the Oakland police) took over International Blvd., a major street in the East Oakland ’hood, with a dozen people wearing the shirt, leading the chants saying “Justice for Richard, the whole damn system is guilty!” This certainly had a cumulative effect on the marchers, which drew others to ask where they could buy the shirt. In short, the shirt was quite an “attractive force” to revolution!

Several people wore the T-shirts at a rally for Eric Garner in July, including a professional photographer who said, “I’ve tried to be neutral when I come to demonstrations, but given all these the police murders, I HAVE to take a stand, I have to come over to the side of revolution, which I think is needed... and this is how I’m doing it (wearing the shirt) to show that.”

BA Speaks: Revolution-Nothing Less!

Baltimore. Photo: Special to

We’ve also learned that when we painted a picture of how people wearing the T-shirts in a public setting can on-the-spot add to an attractive force out there, it can inspire and galvanize other people to get involved in this movement for revolution, and in this way help to carry out the Party’s strategy for revolution, to prepare minds and organize forces for revolution. Painting a picture like this often helps to stretch people’s imaginations and adds a sense of meaning to people wanting to buy and wear the T-shirt, and in some cases compels people to look into the strategy for revolution.

We also tell people to save August 22 as a day when those who bought the shirt will all wear it to come to a public outing, telling the world that they are for revolution and getting more people to buy and wear the T-shirt and join in, further growing this movement for revolution.

Sometimes, promoting the T-shirt was done together with promoting BA’s quotes (the new quote and BAsics 1:13). At a BBQ organized by the family of Richard Linyard, we talked with a young Black woman about the role of cops and what is the source of all these horrors. Then we read out the “No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over...” quote from BA (BAsics 1:13) and we said to her that to do this “no mores” we need an actual revolution. Looking at her little kid, who was running around in the yard, this young woman asked, “Can I get that T-shirt (that she saw someone nearby was wearing), how much does it cost?” We sold her the shirt and said to her that this was the first step in getting with revolution. She said she knows—and then proudly put it on.

BA Speaks: Revolution-Nothing Less!

New York City. Photo: Special to






Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

An Open Letter to Middle Class People, Especially Middle Class White People

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

I recently came across a documentary, Salute, that focuses on the courageous action taken by Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. Tommie and John are not the main subject of the movie. The third person on the dais that day is the main focus—he was “the white guy,” Peter Norman of Australia, who finished second behind Tommie Smith in one of the greatest races in human history. As we work for an October 24 outpouring that will rock this country, no, the whole world, I urge you to find that movie somewhere, on Netflix or cable TV, YouTube, Amazon, somewhere, just find it, carve out a couple of hours, and watch it. Discuss it. It matters. It’s an example of what difference you can make.

Rise Up October 24th logo

You see, right now, as you read this, we are at a point in history where what you do matters immensely for the future of humanity. Now, like then, the struggle of Black people against this genocidal, spirit-killing system is central to our time. Carl Dix’s statement in the aftermath of the Charleston, South Carolina massacre is to the point: “Everyone should understand that there is no middle ground in this struggle where people can be neutral while this system grinds away, crushing the bodies and breaking the spirits of those on the bottom of society. If you have an ounce of humanity, you must add your voice to those demanding that horrors like these STOP! Right Now!” This coming October, step up, be an active part of Rise Up October. It’s time to put something on the line and do something that can and must change the course of history.

Peter Norman found himself in exactly that position at the end of that 200-meter race in 1968. If you never heard of Peter Norman, that’s because this history has been hidden. Well, now you have heard of him, and here’s why he matters. Without going into all the details of Salute, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, in various interviews, some with Peter Norman, make the point that for a while after the games, they had no idea what happened to Peter. The two were vilified and ostracized, they couldn’t find work. Not even in a car wash, a job Tommie Smith was fired from. John Carlos was so harassed his wife was driven to commit suicide. As this was going on in the U.S., Peter Norman was the subject of a campaign being orchestrated by the leading bodies of Australian athletics, and he also was ostracized, turned into an outcast. Peter’s “crime”? Not turning on Tommie and John, but supporting their action. Understand that Peter Norman was, even 40 years after the 1968 Olympics, the fastest human being ever born in the Southern hemisphere! I say that to emphasize that the authorities, in turning Peter into an outcast, vilified someone who would have been a national hero, and they did this to make a point—don’t you dare stand with the oppressed! But stand he did, and it mattered greatly to the oppressed what Peter did, and toward the end of Salute this is brought out very movingly.

The demonstration by Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics literally sent shock waves around the world! I was a runner back then, and closely following the much-discussed possible boycott by Black athletes. Like Bob Avakian put it, at first I didn’t get the importance of their clenched-fist salute while standing on the victory dais and I’d wanted the Black athletes to boycott the 1968 Olympics. And as BA put it, boy was I wrong!

Salute shows two different views on the demonstration by Tommie and John. It includes pieces of an interview with Larry Questad, another sprinter on the U.S. team, a white athlete. Questad’s take on that moment? “I was just [pauses, facial look of disgust] sick... I just think that what people should think about that 200-meter race in Mexico City is that Tommie broke the world record by three-tenths of a second and it was a tremendous event. There haven’t been too many of those things where someone would make such a quantum leap on a world record, and when I talk to people and we talk about track and field and we talk about 200 meters in Mexico City, I have yet, in all these years, have anyone tell me what they thought of it was it was a tremendous performance that he put on ... all they talk about is the black fist, and that’s a crime to me ... if they hadn’t done that they’d have been happier, healthier, wealthier, and been more influential in their community than they have been with what they’re doing now...”

Well, that’s the “look out for yourself” viewpoint, which we’re all too familiar with.

Statue of Tommie Smitha nd John Carlos at San Francisco State UniversityStatue of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at San Jose State University. (Photo: Trackinfo - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Peter Norman's challenge at the statuePlaque at the staute with Peter Norman's challenge.

Here’s the truth: speaking at the memorial service in Australia for Peter Norman, John Carlos said: “ guys lost a great soldier. Peter’s a human you can’t claim as your own. You can’t claim Peter Norman and say ‘he’s ours.’ Because Peter belongs to the world.” Tommie Smith said “ know, Peter means rock. He left a legacy to stand on. Stand on that rock. Be proud. My friend, Peter Norman, the humanitarian, who believed that right can never be wrong.”

Peter Norman: “It’s been said on a number of occasions that sharing my silver medal with that incident on the victory dais detracted from my performance. On the contrary, I’ve got to confess that I was rather proud to be part of the action that they took.

On the campus of San Jose State University there stands a beautiful statue of Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Peter did not want to be part of the statue, but instead, as John Carlos once related in a radio interview on KPFK with Davey D, Peter wanted a plaque there that challenges people, and it is there and reads: “Fellow Athlete Australian Peter Norman Stood Here—Take a Stand.”

So, to you reading this, I say: NOW is the time to take up the challenge from Peter Norman. The stakes are high now, as they were then. You can go through life, be a Larry Questad, and live a life of comfort and be a disgusting human being, gorging on the spoils of this empire. Or you can do what Peter Norman did—stand shoulder to shoulder with the most oppressed, stand for something that matters! You will be part of making this a better world—for that you will be loved, and you will make a difference!






Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

Readers debate:

Is the RCP wrong about porn?

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors' note: We received a thoughtful letter from a reader who is "profoundly disturbed and in opposition to the RCP's positions on pornography," and asked a team of other readers of Revolution to write a response. We think this is an important discussion and debate, and encourage readers to continue to write on this and other controversial questions. Both the letter and response follow.


This is intended to be a friendly communication, although it may not be regarded as such.

I have supported the Party in many ways over the years, and have great respect for Bob Avakian and the dozens of RCP members and supporters I have met and in some instances worked with on projects of common interest over the years.

I think that no other organization in the U.S., and few internationally, has so consistently tried to put the needs of the world’s people and the international proletarian revolution first.

The Party is doing great and significant work right now in helping to lead the unfolding mass struggle around police brutality and murder and also around the attacks on the right to abortion and birth control.

Bob Avakian’s new synthesis gave great renewed hope to many in the U.S. and around the world that perhaps the mistakes of the past would not be repeated in terms of the correct handling of contradictions among the people and in terms of upholding artistic freedoms. The change in the Party’s position on homosexuality over a decade was also refreshing.

With all that said, I have to say that I am profoundly disturbed and in opposition to the RCP’s positions on pornography and sex workers. I think the depiction of pornography in the paper has been one-sided, focusing only on the most extreme and misogynist, which does not reflect what most of it is. Additionally, by placing opposition to pornography front and center as a focus, you are seeming to make this a dividing line, and, while you say you aren’t supporting laws to suppress artistic freedom, objectively siding with right wing and reactionary forces that do wish to impose censorship and repression. I think it flows from a continuing puritanism.

I watch and enjoy pornography, as millions of people in the country do, including many women. I also have friends and acquaintances, including some very progressive and even in a few cases, revolutionary minded people, who are or have been involved in the pornography industry or as sex workers.

Our differences about pornography and sex work are contradictions among the people, not between the people and the enemy. By raising it as a major focus of your work, you are driving away many good people now, and will drive away many more over time, many of whom will not engage with the Party at all if you make these issues a dividing line. I think you are just flat out wrong on these questions. I have, after much thought, decided to send this message to you, as it would be the height of irresponsible liberalism to disagree this strongly and not raise these differences.

Dixi et salvavi animam meam.

A supporter, in general



The letter we are responding to raises strong disagreement with the RCP’s position on pornography. We think the letter writer’s position is wrong, and we will dig into why. It is of great importance that those who want a better world dig into this, and sort it through on a correct basis so that we don’t wind up fighting for a world that is about “getting in” on a system of inequality and brutality, but are able to clearly see—and fight for—a far more radical solution.

But first, we have to talk about the methodology for figuring out what is right and wrong. We cannot base our discussion on what “millions of people” do—as anyone involved in trying to make radical change in the world knows, millions of people CAN be wrong. Think millions of people who supported the invasion of Iraq based on lies from the government, or the invasion decades earlier of Vietnam. Think millions of people who are racists. Think millions of people who at one point believed the Earth is flat. While knowing what people think about something is important, and is part of understanding the world as it actually is and as it can be transformed, adding up how many people believe something doesn’t get us to whether it is true or not. The movement for revolution in fact often has to go against the tide of what people think, against the spontaneity of the “way things are,” or we will never get out of the nightmare that is capitalism-imperialism.

We are going to focus on three points in response, although before getting directly to them we’ll have to step back to put them in context. (1) Is it true that the “most extreme and misogynist porn” does not reflect what the majority of porn is? (2) Is porn—whether the most viciously violent or not—harmful? (3) Are we just being puritanical?

Worldwide, there is a war on women, a war that in all its aspects is increasingly violent. Through rape and murder, through attacks on rights such as the right to abortion, through ideological and psychological shaming and degradation, through objectification as “things” that are tools for men, the goal of this war is strengthening the enforced subjugation of women to men.

Two central elements in this war on women are the onslaught of attacks on the right to abortion and women’s right to control their own bodies, and the enormous growth of the porn “industry,” with a particular feature of a huge increase in violent porn, porn where brutal assaults both physical and verbal are depicted. Here, we are focusing on the second part of this, but for more about the first, watch “STOP THE ASSAULT ON ABORTION RIGHTS! BREAK ALL THE CHAINS THAT ENSLAVE WOMEN! A Talk by Sunsara Taylor.”

Over the last 40-50 years there has been an enormous increase in the marketing of all kinds of porn. A marked feature of this is the huge increase in the percentage of porn which involves aggressive and violent acts against the people involved, mostly women. In 2014 “abuse porn” websites averaged over 60 million combined hits per month. (Hot Girls Wanted, based on research by the Kinsey Institute) What is “abuse porn”? Porn where women are violently raped, by one or more men, by chaining and shackling them often for days while they are assaulted by multiple men or by mechanical dildos, beaten and battered. Or look at the subcategory of abuse porn—facial abuse—violent blow jobs, often with objects jammed down her throat, aimed at making the woman vomit. According to, more than 88 percent of the “top-rated” porn scenes contain aggressive acts, and “94% of the time that is directed towards a woman.” “Teen” is the number one search term in Internet pornography, depicting women too young to legally be able to consent to sex (Hot Girls Wanted).

Sunsara Taylor has written several times about going with a group of young women to a porn shop in Times Square—one picked at random. She described the wall of brutal films displayed as soon as they stepped into the shop. She then described looking for several of these women who had disappeared from the shop, finding them outside sobbing. “Women choking on their tears, sobs. Bodies and souls shaken. This is the trauma of entering a war zone. Confronting a wall of violence.”

The documentary Hot Girls Wanted follows several women who are recruited through Craig’s List by a “manager/pimp” as they go through their first porn shoots as “virgins being violated.” The film documents that while women may start out in “sexy” photo shoots, they don’t last long in the business unless they participate in scenes that are increasingly violent and aggressive against them. One of the women makes the comment, after she went through the filming of such a scene, about the men buying this stuff: “They’re watching it on a computer and not going out and doing it to an actual girl.” Just think about the world we live in where a statement like this makes any sense at all—a world where it is the man’s “right” to do this, and it is “better” that it is provided to him by video.

In fact, the idea that providing such material on film means it won’t be done to an actual woman is simply wrong. Porn fuels rape. Rape is normalized, dominance of and brutality towards women are normalized—and in some cases, at least the inhibitions against rape are undermined by porn.

Let us not forget that alongside this rise in pornography is the increase in sexual trafficking of women and children around the world, some of that for the porn industry.

Is it, as you say, true that torture porn does not reflect the majority of porn? The reality is that the trend has been for this type of porn to more and more be promoted and dominate, and statistics show “torture porn” has the most number of views on the Internet. This alone should be reason enough for anyone who hates the degradation of women in society to join in opposing the pornography industry.

End Pornography and Patriarchy, The Enslavement and Degradation of Women

Download PDF | Read the Call to End Pornography and Patriarchy

As the Call to End Pornography and Patriarchy says: “This is NOT society becoming more comfortable with sex. This is society becoming saturated with the sexualized degradation of women. If you can’t imagine sex without porn, you’re fucked.”

So what is going on here? Why the big increase in pornography, especially violent pornography, over the last 40-50 years? On one level this is the way capitalism works—making a commodity out of everything, including women. It takes the woman, or even just the body part of the woman, and turns it into a “thing” that can be bought and sold. When someone purchases this “thing,” the actual social relations contained in the price, of why the women are in the video, who is benefiting from this, and how it affects the rest of society, are hidden, just as the tears of the women burned in Bangladeshi garment factories are hidden in the price of a piece of clothing sold cheaply at Walmart.

But on another level, in 2012 Sunsara Taylor noted that this rise in violent pornography and the sexual enslavement of women flows out “of the way this system has unleashed revenge (often through whipping men up to be the enforcers of this revenge) against women for daring to challenge thousands of years of tradition’s chains. There is a near-direct relationship between the advances women have made in public, political, and professional life and the dramatic increase in strip clubs as the new bastion of unchallenged male chauvinism. Or, as veteran porn producer Bill Margold put it, ‘I’d like to really show what I believe the men want to see: violence against women... The most violent we can get is the cum shot in the face. Men get off behind that because they get even with the women they can’t have.’ And, the tremendous growth in the global trade in women’s flesh cannot be separated from the quasi-official reliance on brothels as a ‘perk’ to male soldiers in the U.S. military, or—even more profoundly—from the whole oppressive and exploitative world order which the U.S. military is the key enforcer of.” (From “Out of Denial and Into the Streets—International Women’s Day 2012“)

What if porn is not of the most extreme, violent type? What if it is the kind of porn you and your friends watch? You still have to look at the actual social relations that go into it, what it actually depicts. Pornography is by definition writing or images about people (mostly women) who are bought and sold. Hidden in the price of the porn (which has the appearance of an equal exchange of value) are the lessons girls learn from very young that their role is to be the “virgin” or the “whore” in society, that they must spend a good portion of their lives making their bodies attractive for men, that they are responsible to meet whatever sexual desires a man has, that if they are not “attractive” by standards that are impossible to meet there is something wrong with them. Hidden is the self-hatred, expressed in behaviors like cutting and eating disorders, that women have learned because they don’t meet these standards. Hidden are the choices they make because they live in a world where they are seen as incapable of leading, or being intellectual, or becoming artists, or where the money they get is far more than most jobs available to women when they can get them. Hidden is the act of “buying” the woman, where the woman is reduced to being an object for the sexual stimulation of those looking at the photo, the video, the story. Hidden is the reality of the torture and abuse women are often subject to when making porn movies.

Do you know anyone else—any person or organization—that has managed to bring forth an actual PLAN for a radically different society, in all its dimensions, and a CONSTITUTION to codify all this? — A different world IS possible — Check out and order online the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal).

While you can look anywhere in society and find women being degraded and assaulted, there is no other industry which so clearly ties that degradation to the sexual arousal of males. As Gail Dines wrote in response to the massacre of female students by Elliot Rodger at the University of California, Santa Barbara, “Name one other cultural institution that prides itself on torturing women as its raison d’être. Porn is now the major form of sex education in the western world, and it produces an ideology that makes women seem disposable ‘sluts’ who are undeserving of dignity, bodily integrity, or the slightest shred of empathy.”

This hatred for women saturates and shapes the landscape all of us walk through every day. Step back and think about the effect of all this on young women and how it constrains how they see who they are, what is possible for them to do with their lives, and what their goals should be. Think of what it means that women are looked at not as full human beings with ideas and imagination, but as bodies that exist to be consumed, to be raped—even reduced to pieces of their bodies that are used to advertise to sell other products. Think of women filled with self-hatred for not meeting some standard of what they had heard some body part is supposed to look like, cutting themselves and developing eating disorders. Think of women who can only imagine relations with others where their role is to “be desirable.” And think of the women murdered, tortured, beaten to ensure they remain submissive.

And then think of what it would be like for a young woman to grow up in a world where how she looks does not determine her “value,” or where the question of what her “value” is never even gets asked.

Likewise, think of what it means that the primary form of sex education for young boys is pornography. Young boys are trained to look at the women around them as objects the boys “have a right to,” as “lesser” and “inferior.” That their sexuality gets expressed in dominating women. Think of how it might be different if the objectification of women was not part of the training of “how to be a man.”

If films of assaults on any other group in society were being distributed, bought and sold for the “pleasure” of those outside the group, there would be an outcry. Bob Avakian has talked about the way in earlier years it was popular to create and sell postcards of the lynchings of Black people in the South. And that there is no difference between selling postcards of the hangings of Black people and selling videos of the degradation and abuse of women. Yet the videos depicting the violence against women are part of the “norm” of society, viewed tens of millions of times each month.

* * * * *

On the Position on Homosexuality in the New Draft Programme,” adopted by the RCP in 2001 on same-sex relations includes this:

People engage in sex in many different ways and for many different reasons. One of the main reasons is, of course, that sex (at least when it is freely engaged in) feels good!

That’s not puritanical.


by Bob Avakian, Chairman, Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, Summer 2015

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The call to “End Pornography and Patriarchy: the Enslavement and Degradation of Women!” is not about being puritanical—it is about creating a world where the stage is not set by the oppression and degradation of women, where love between people is not framed by that oppression, where women are full human beings, able to participate on all levels of society.

The oppression of women didn’t begin with capitalism—it arose with class society. But it cannot be ended under capitalism. Bob Avakian put it succinctly:

Marx and Engels said in the Communist Manifesto that the communist revolution represents a radical rupture with traditional property relations and with traditional ideas. And the one is not possible without the other. They are mutually reinforcing, one way or the other.

If you have a society in which the fundamental role of women is to be breeders of children, how can you have a society in which there is equality between men and women? You cannot. And if you don’t attack and uproot the traditions, the morals and so on, that reinforce that role, how can you transform the relations between men and women and abolish the deep-seated inequalities that are bound up with the whole division of society into oppressors and oppressed, exploiters and exploited? You cannot.

From the “Three Alternative Worlds” supplement in BAsics

We desperately need a revolution that will end the entire system of oppression and exploitation, and as part of that, the oppression of women. For the first time in the history of class society, that is possible. And, with the new synthesis that Bob Avakian has developed (and is still working on!), we have a much clearer vision of how the struggle to make that revolution can happen and to do it in a way that does actually result in the first giant steps towards the emancipation of humanity.

With the revolutionary seizure of power it will immediately be possible to end much of what objectifies and oppresses women. Imagine walking through a city and not seeing advertising that features women’s body parts selling products. And imagine women not having to constantly look in fear at night (or even in day). Imagine relations between partners that are not based in and on property relations.

We know that within the new socialist society there will continue to be a struggle for the complete emancipation of women—struggle over ways of thinking that reflect the old oppressive division of labor, struggle over how society is organized so as to give full expression to the role of women, struggle over artistic expressions, and more. These traditional ways of thinking and living have been in existence for thousands of years, and will take struggle to fully rupture. Continuing this struggle will be a critical part of the struggle to get to a fully communist society.

Pornography, both in its most violent forms and in its objectification of women, will not be funded. A society whose goal is the emancipation of all people, including women, could not continue to fund something which degrades and terrorizes women. How will it be decided whether something falls in that category or not? Listen to Bob Avakian’s answer to the question asked of him several years back: “When we seize power how does the decision making process work? How do we decide at different times that we should give funds to this or that and a number of things at one time? For instance, people who disagree or some masses, they don’t consider pornography to be pornography, they consider it to be eroticism. So, how will the decision making go? What gets on TV and what will be on the air voicing disagreement?”


In March 2012, issuing a call for a force of people who would join the battle to “End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women,” Sunsara Taylor said:

Why am I angry? Because everywhere you look, in every corner of the globe, from the highest offices of power to the most intimate spheres of people’s private lives, from the corporate boardrooms to the wretched sweatshop floors, from the sleekly promoted multi-billion-dollar porn industry to the bloody and ravaged bodies littering the world’s many war zones, women’s bodies are being broken, women’s dreams are being snuffed out, women’s rights are being revoked, and women’s futures are being foreclosed.

The question is, why are YOU not fucking angry about all of this? Your letter references the “most extreme and misogynist” pornography but says nothing at all about what should be done about it. Why are you trying to hold onto “some” porn while standing aside from the social, moral, and even physical effects of that brutality? Why aren’t you finding this intolerable? Don’t make your peace, accept this degradation as just “the way things are.” If you do that, then you are just accepting this world with its assaults on and oppression of women.

As Sunsara Taylor said in responding to “frequently encountered bullshit” at the NYC Porn Film Festival:

If you really think your desire to get off on depictions of women—or others—being brutalized and degraded is more important than the right of women everywhere to not be terrorized and humiliated through these depictions and the violent degradation they reinforce, you are seriously mistaken. Simply put: you are not more important than half of humanity.

And if our challenge to you makes you uncomfortable, what do you do with that discomfort? Do you tell us to tone it down? To be more “reasonable”?

Or do you also come to think it is intolerable not to be filled with anger?





Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

Justice Department Hires Professional Liar to Justify Murder By Police

This System IS a Nightmare—and Those Who Run and Enforce It ARE Ghouls!

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

The August 1, 2015 edition of the New York Times ran an article about a “Dr.” Bill Lewinski. Reading it, I couldn’t help but flash to the part in the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! where, after running through just some of the murderous crimes of this system (in particular those by the Democrats), Bob Avakian exclaims, “These people are ghouls!”

According to this article, Lewinski is a psychology professor. For the last 25 years, he has made a career out of developing the theoretical justification, in court and in public opinion, for any and all murders by police, and he founded the Force Science Institute to conduct “research” for this. There apparently is no crime by police bad enough that he won’t jump to defend, actually saying police have no choice. He has testified in hundreds of cases of murder by police, including for the cop that murdered Oscar Grant in the San Francisco Bay Area; one of the cops who murdered James Boyd, a homeless man in Albuquerque, which was videotaped by a cop body camera; the cop who murdered Anthony Dwain Lee in LA, a Black Hollywood actor who was shot through a window—in the back—during a costume party on Halloween; and many, many more.

Lewinski calls his work “science”—work that is widely criticized as invalid and called “pseudoscience” (fake science) by the scientific community for its method, and is never subjected to any peer review—to “prove” in court that cops have no choice but to shoot, at any time. He has latched onto and twisted a thing called “inattentional blindness,” a term developed by two real psychologists (one of whom denounces Lewinski’s work in this same New York Times article), to justify things like police shooting people in the back or at a car that has gone past them, and the cops just have to say they didn’t realize that the “threat” had passed.

But this isn’t even the worst part of this story. Anyone who still feels that federal investigations or better training for cops is the way to solve the genocide against Black and Brown people we are witnessing today, pay attention: After a review in 2012, the Justice Department said Lewinski’s work lacked basic elements of legitimate research and drew conclusions that were unsupported by the data. Then last year, one year after this review, as part of a settlement over excessive force in the Seattle Police Department, the Justice Department endorsed sending cops to this same Lewinski for training. Let me say that again: After being exposed for brutality against the people, police were sent to get trained in how to do it even better—by the federal Justice Department! In January, Lewinski was paid $15,000 to train federal marshals. He also trains local police departments around the country.

This system really is an intolerable and profoundly unnecessary nightmare. We easily will do much better than this, starting day one after a revolution.

Get with BA and the revolution, and let’s solve this.


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Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

Political Prisoner Hugo Pinell Killed—Blood Is on the Hands of the System

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On August 12, Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell, a political prisoner and one of the defendants in the famous case of the San Quentin 6, was killed in Folsom Prison in California. Originally from Nicaragua, Pinell was 71 years old and had been in prison since 1964, more than 50 years. Almost 46 of those years were spent in solitary confinement, longer than any other prisoner in the California system.

Hugo Pinell in 1982Hugo Pinell in 2001

Hugo Pinell in 1982 (left) and 2001.

Hugo Pinell was 19 years old when incarcerated in 1964. In prison he met George Jackson and other revolutionaries and became radicalized. Jackson himself had become a revolutionary in prison, influenced by the revolutionary times. Jackson joined the Black Panther Party, and his articles appeared in the Black Panther newspaper. He urged unity among prisoners of different nationalities and tried to build revolutionary consciousness and a spirit of resistance behind the walls. For this, he was hated—and feared—by the authorities. And on August 21, 1971, the authorities assassinated George Jackson during what they said was an escape attempt from San Quentin Prison. The full details of what happened that day aren’t known. But what is clear is that they murdered this revolutionary brother in order to silence him.

In a November 29, 1971 article, the Black Panther newspaper wrote: “Comrade George Jackson and Comrade Hugo Pinell, one Black and one Latino, were living examples of the unity that can and must exist among the prisoner class. These two men were well known to other inmates as strong defenders of their people.

“Everyone knew of their love for the people, a love that astounded especially the prison officials of the state. It astounded them so thoroughly that these pigs had to try and portray them as animals, perverts, madmen and criminals in order to justify their plans to eventually get rid of such men.

"They're selling postcards of the hanging." - clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian given in 2003 in the United States. Bob Avakian is the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. This talk, followed by questions and answers, is a wide-ranging revolutionary journey, covering many topics. It breaks down the very nature of the society we live in and how humanity has come to a time where a radically different society is possible. It is full of heart and soul, humor and seriousness; it will challenge you and set your heart and mind to flight.

“For when Comrades George and Hugo walked and talked together, the prisoners began to get the message too well.”

The authorities didn’t stop at killing George Jackson. They went with vengeance after other prisoners—in particular, six prisoners who came to be known as the San Quentin 6: Hugo Pinell, Willie Tate, Johnny Larry Spain, David Johnson, Fleeta Drumgo, and Luis Talamantez. They faced multiple charges related to what happened on August 21, which had led to six deaths—George Jackson, three guards and two other prisoners. After a 16-month trial, three of the six were acquitted of all charges, while Spain was convicted of killing two guards, and Johnson and Pinell were found guilty of assaulting prison guards.

Since that time, Hugo Pinell had been confined to a small 6-foot x 8-foot cell for 23 hours every day. His cell contained a concrete bed, a metal toilet, a sink, and a TV. He had very little human contact except with brutal armed guards who stood watch over him 24/7.

In a letter to revolutionary journalist Kiilu Nyasha, Hugo Pinell wrote, “I’m a very free energy, my sista, and captive only because we (Blacks, Browns, and others) remain in many ways imprisoned and enslaved by Uncle Sam & Co. I’ve worked hard to keep growing, learning and transforming into a free energy and I’m not looking back.”

According to an August 15 article in the SF Bay View by Dr. Willie and Mary Ratcliff, “Isolated in the Pelican Bay SHU from 1990 to 2014, Yogi supported his SHU comrades’ campaign to end solitary confinement. He participated in the hunger strikes and applauded the Agreement to End Hostilities, authored by 16 of his comrades, Black, Brown and White, and dated Aug. 12, 2012, three years to the day before he was killed.” (Go here to read the Agreement to End Hostilities.)

The details surrounding Hugo Pinell’s death are not known at this time. But it is clear that his blood is on the hands of this system which tortured him for so many years and holds so many of our brothers and sisters captive in the prison dungeons of the USA.





Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

Call to Our Readers:

Get Ready for the Special Revolution/ Issue: 10 Years Since Katrina and 60 Years Since Emmett Till

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Coming up in the last weeks of August are two important anniversaries of major crimes by the system:

*In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans—and the people in the poorest sections of the city, mainly Black, were not only abandoned and given zero help from the government, they were treated like criminals. More than 1,000 people died in the hurricane and its wake, and hundreds of thousands suffered greatly.

*In August 1955, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Black youth from Chicago visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi, was kidnapped by white racists because he had whistled at a white woman. A few days later, Emmett Till’s body was found in a river. He had been lynched—beaten and shot to death.

Emmett Till and Jim Crow: "Black people lived under a death sentence" - clip from "Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian" given in 2003 in the United States. Bob Avakian is the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. This talk, followed by questions and answers, is a wide-ranging revolutionary journey, covering many topics. It breaks down the very nature of the society we live in and how humanity has come to a time where a radically different society is possible. It is full of heart and soul, humor and seriousness; it will challenge you and set your heart and mind to flight.

The print and online issue of Revolution/ coming out the week of August 24 will be a special issue focusing on these two horrendous crimes. The basic themes of the special issue will be: How long will these crimes go on? There IS a way out! REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

This will be a very powerful, timely issue of Revolution/, with sharp exposures of these and other crimes of the system and making the connections to the movement for revolution today. And it urgently needs to get out broadly to all corners of society, to all kinds of people. So we’re calling on all our readers—whether you’re new to Revolution/ or have been following us for a while—to be part of getting this out in a BIG way.

Here are things you can do right now:

* DONATE so that we can do a big printing of this issue and so that teams of volunteers can go to key places to get this issue out. Make your donation here and call on others to donate.

* Start organizing people to get this issue out. Contact people to let them know about this issue, get commitments from people about going out with a team, ask people to take time off from work if they can, and strategize about what are the key places/events to get to with the special issue. If you’re not near a Revolution Books store or a Revolution distributor, contact RCP Publications to get issues of the paper (, 773-227-4066 ) and email us at to let us know of your plans.

* FOR PEOPLE IN THE SOUTH: There are plans being made to take Revolution out in a major way in Jackson, Mississippi, and New Orleans on the weekend of August 29-30. Be a part of these teams—getting the special issue out will have major impact on the political terrain in those places and around the country, and it’ll be very exciting!

If you want to join the Jackson team, contact: Atlanta Revolution Books, 770-861-3339;

For the team going out to New Orleans, contact: Houston Revolution distributors, 832-865-0408,






Revolution #400 August 17, 2015

Send in Photos/Videos on BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt Day

August 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


As we’ve emphasized, August 22, national BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt Day 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!” That said, photos and videos that capture the spirit of people who took part and what actually happened will be a very important part of giving our readers a sense and scope of the day.

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

The T-shirt posters that have appeared in Revolution and on have been exciting and dynamic—reflecting, amplifying, and promoting the movement to get BA Everywhere through people wearing the shirt and being out in the neighborhoods and protests. The T-shirt day should be a leap in this (including through video).

That means getting prepared now to take the best photos and videos from the day to send to Revolution/ Look at what’s being planned for the day where you are—and think about what kind of photos/videos to take (while being prepared to capture unexpected things that may happen as well).

If you’re not a photographer yourself, approach photographers and videographers—including people from a wide range of perspectives who have not been involved in the movement for revolution before—and call on them to take this up. The leaflet “When you put on this T-shirt, you step into the revolution” and other Revolution/ materials will give people a basic sense of what the day is about—and on that basis, they can relate to it in different ways and make important contributions.

One thing to note: When taking photos or videos, obviously it should be made clear that this is for Revolution/—giving people who would prefer not to be in the pics/videos a chance to do that or to put on a hat, sunglasses, etc... and giving people who DO want to represent a chance to be in the pic/video with their “game face” on.

We want to have coverage of the day quickly—so send in pics/videos by 4 pm EDT on August 23 at the latest, and earlier if possible.

To send pics/videos to Revolution/

Email photos to Pick out the best photos. Include clear, concise info on where each photo was taken, what’s shown in the photo, and how it should be credited.

For videos, upload them to YouTube (with the status set at “unlisted”) and then send the link to