Revolution #405, September 21, 2015 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Which Side Are You On?

Why There Must Be a Truly MASSIVE Outpouring Against Police Murder on October 24 and Why YOU Are Needed

September 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



By now you’ve seen it more times than you can count. A Black or Latino person, at any time, just walking down the street or driving to work or standing in front of a hotel or even in their home, has their life snuffed out for no reason whatsoever. Video after video of people with their hands up, people running away, people surrendering, people pulled over for a traffic stop, or doing absolutely nothing but minding their own business—verbally abused, body-slammed, tased, gang-stomped and/or outright murdered, often after they have surrendered. Picture after picture of parents, of partners, of children demanding justice, of communities pouring into the streets. Time after time of the victim then being demonized and slandered, of authorities claiming “this wasn’t racial,” of killer cops walking free because they claim “they were scared.” And now one side of the media, the politicians, and powers-that-be viciously attacks those who protest... while the other side says “go slow, be patient, it’s complicated.” No! There’s absolutely nothing complicated here. And there’s no more time for “going slow.” How is any of this legitimate? What kind of society tolerates a system that views and treats an entire group of people, based solely on their skin color or language, as suspects, as criminals, and worse—as people having no rights or even humanity which the police are bound to respect? How long must this go on? Police murder and terror must stop, NOW!


This situation is not static. Either the protests and resistance will be repressed or derailed and the controversy shut down, with the horrors not only staying in place but intensifying... or people will come forth in much greater numbers and determination than before, and seriously change the terms of how all of society looks at this and acts on it. There is a way to do that, to fight this, right now, and to take this fight to a higher level. This October 24 in New York City thousands and thousands will pour into the streets, insisting to the world and the country: THIS MUST STOP! This outpouring aims to change the terms of how people think about this and act on it, and to politically rock those who order and carry out this terror back on their heels. This will draw a sharp line in all of society: WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?? Everybody who agrees with the simple demand that POLICE MURDER AND TERROR MUST STOP should be there on October 24. Let’s make clear to the whole world, in our numbers and determination, that there are many, many people who refuse to tolerate these outrages, who will not be silent and complicit in the face of them. NOBODY with a beating heart and a functioning conscience should stand aside. (A call from Cornel West and Carl Dix... #RiseUpOctober to STOP Police Terror)


There is a place for you in this. Your ideas, your support, your efforts are urgently needed—now—to make this happen. In fact, this can only happen on the scale and scope that is absolutely necessary if many many people throw in on this, now—people who have been fighting this, as well as people who are just now coming to the fight. You are needed. We face a decisive moment, a crossroads, where terms are being set as to what is legitimate, what will be tolerated and what will be opposed. Lives are at stake. Be part of determining the outcome.


Also see: October 24, New York City: POLICE MURDER MUST STOP! The Struggle to Stop Police Murder





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Reality Check

Updated October 5, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



What REALLY Changes Things?

Those who insist voting can bring change, but determined resistance and struggle cannot... have it backwards. Yes the powers that be wield their police, army, and media to enforce their rule, but they’re in deep shit around the world and have conflicts within their own ranks—they can be challenged and defeated. A lesson from history: In 1964, a Democrat (Lyndon Johnson) won a landslide victory running for president as a “peace” candidate. He massively escalated the Vietnam War. In 1972, Republican Dick Nixon ran for president threatening to escalate the war further. He was forced to pull out U.S. troops and sign a “peace agreement” that led to the defeat of the U.S. in Vietnam. In neither case did how people voted in the elections determine what happened. The actual factors were a whole set of events in the world along with defeats the U.S. suffered in its wars for empire, and protest and rebellion in the homeland. A critical lesson for today: Real change never comes through working through this system’s elections, but determined struggle can be a game changer.


Why Economic Boycotts Will Not STOP Murder by Police

The real power the masses of people have is the ability to challenge the injustice this system has brought down on Black people and other oppressed people from the very beginning of this country; not withholding our dollars from the economy of the country.

The outpourings of protest have stripped away the cover of legitimacy the rulers work to keep over the savage oppression and the vicious exploitation this capitalist-imperialist system brings down on people. Rather than calling on people to stay home and not shop, which is a very passive form of activity, we need to mobilize even more powerful resistance, bringing forward wave after wave of people taking to the streets and saying NO MORE to police getting away with murder... It is easier to stay home and not shop or to work on getting people to do that than to go right into the teeth of the repression, the mass arrests and the threats the authorities have unleashed against those who have stood up to say this shit must STOP! But it won’t stop the horrors from continuing to be perpetrated against the people.

—Carl Dix, representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party
and co-initiator of #RiseUpOctober


Codifying Racism into the Law

Every time another pig uses “I feared for my life” as a justifiable legal excuse for the straight-up murder of unarmed Black or Latino people, this system is codifying racism into the law. They are saying that it’s legally “justifiable” for an armed enforcer of this system to murder someone based on their racist, white supremacist ideas—ideas that are shaped by this racist, white supremacist system. Such a system is murderous and decrepit, it’s totally fucking illegitimate and needs to be swept away!


Who Are You?

To those who say: “Who are you to be standing up against police murder?” We’re people who think this is outrageous and has to stop—where do you stand?

And to those who say: “You’re invading my safe space by being so sharp.” Bullshit! There is no safe space, for you or for the masses of people getting harassed, beat down, brutalized, and murdered.

Now let’s get down and change all this once and for all!


Crime Among the People and the Police: A Revolutionary View

There should be no “ambiguity” or “confusion” about the role of police in dealing with crime among the people. Let’s look at the actual relations here. People have been maintained forcibly in conditions where, to quote a conservative writer, Edward Luttwak, for masses of youth in the inner city, crime is a “rational choice.” Even with the risk of prison and lives cut short, crime is a “rational choice” under this system. Why? Because of the workings of this system, there are no decent jobs and there is no education for millions of Black and Latino people in the inner cities, there is forced segregation to this day, and there are forced conditions of poverty. There is absolutely no justification for bringing down violence on people who have been forcibly kept in this position in their millions and millions for generations.


A Point to Media Mouthpieces

To Fox, CNN, MSNBC, and the media mouthpieces of this system who defend police violence and murder: At every point in the history of this country, when it comes to Black people, people just like you defended the enslavement and the vicious violence they were subjected to and then came around later and said it was wrong. When the overseers were cracking the whip and the slave chasers were running amok, people like you defended it as necessary to keep the slaves in line... until the next phase of white supremacy, where you came around and said that, after all, slavery was so wrong—while you backed up Jim Crow, KKK, and widespread lynching. Now you’re up there, ready to admit that that was just terrible, while you defend the current form of white supremacy: police murder, brutality, and mass incarceration. Until you admit that and are ready to fully expose the violence this system rests on and perpetrates, shut the fuck up!





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Interview with LaToya and Alice Howell, Fighters Against Police Terror

“Stand up and Rise Up October and say this has to stop!”

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


LaToya and Alice Howell—mother and grandmother of 17-year-old Justus who was murdered by Zion, Illinois police—are actively building for Rise Up October. They were among the family members at the powerful August 27 program in Harlem that challenged people broadly to come to NYC October 24. Alice is a member of the Rise Up October Steering Committee. Revolution recently interviewed these two fighters against police terror.


Revolution: So let’s dive in. Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with us. And I’m going to have a number of questions. First, just to give you a preview: I’m going to ask you about Justus Howell and what happened to him; I’m going to ask you a little bit about when you came to New York for August 27 and why you’ve been involved in this, what you’ve felt about that; and then a little bit looking towards Rise Up October. So that’s the scope of what I’m hoping we’ll talk about. Does that sound good?

LaToya Howell: OK. Sounds good.

Revolution: Either one of you—Alice or LaToya—why don’t you start by telling us about Justus—who he was, what he was like, and then what happened to him.

LaToya Howell: Well, Justus... he loved music. He was a high school student. He had planned on becoming a surgeon after college. And basically, he was my heart. His birthday had been coming up on June 18—it was a couple of months away from the day he was killed. And basically he just wanted to go to school, go to college and become a surgeon. And he was very popular for his music, as well, out here. Seventeen years old—they took his dreams away.

Revolution: Alice, do you want to add anything?

Alice Howell: I’m Justus Howell’s grandma. And along with that, Justus was an affectionate person. He cared about people, whether adult or his peer. He cared about people. And for his life to be stolen at a young age, not only the family was hurt and heartbroken, but all his friends and peers and schoolmates—we see them today and they’re still heartbroken. It was his unjust murder that prompted us to be a part of Rise Up October.

Revolution: What do you think the message is sent when Justus was murdered by the police? What do you think the impact and the message of that was on his friends and other young Black men and women, as well as family?

LaToya Howell: The main message that is sent to all of the youth out here and all around him was that you can’t trust the police. And they were supposed to be here to protect and serve and I believe that they just went off. And they’ve been lying to us our whole entire lives. To be afraid of them—that’s the main thing—like they want to send a message that, you know, if we don’t bow down to them then we can be killed. And I just feel like a major issue came about where we’re angry at the police for not being qualified, or for them not having any compassion of any sort. By them not being indicted or charged with anything, that also stirs up a certain kind of hate, you know what I mean? I’m not saying it’s right, but it’s real.

Revolution: And my understanding was that Justus was running and he was shot two times in the back. He was unarmed. Is that correct?

LaToya Howell: Correct.

Revolution: Alice, a minute ago you said this is what prompted you to get involved in Rise Up October.

Alice Howell: Yes, we all sit back and we see this happening around the world: 854-plus police killings of people of color, young peoples. And it’s an epidemic. I say my grandson was executed. He was executed, and I say that. And for the system in Lake County [Illinois] to justify that killing and to cover it all up—that was unjust for us too. So that’s why we have to fight this system. We have to say: this is not OK, this has to stop. And it won’t stop until we stand up as a people, nationally. Stand up and Rise Up October and say this has to stop. Enough is enough! You know, they try to counteract what we’re doing with their police killing. A police gets shot—they have national [media] coming around doing this to distract us from our cause. No! You killed 854 people here—do the math. So something has to be done. This has to stop! And I say that over and over again.

Revolution: Both of you traveled out to New York on August 27 to be a part of the big event with Carl Dix and Cornel West and other families of police murder victims at the First Corinthian Baptist Church. LaToya, do you want to say how it felt to be part of that? What you thought of the event? The impact that that had on you and that you think it had on others to see people come together in that way?

LaToya Howell: Yeah, I mean it basically brought the sense of realness there, like right up front and personal. They got a glimpse into each one of our lives and let it be known that we were robbed, you know, we were robbed of our children. And it’s not right. And that you must stand for something or, as I say, fall for anything. If we don’t stand together as a people the same thing will continue to happen and more of us will lose our children, our mothers, our fathers, our brothers to this. This is an epidemic. And I think that was a big part of this movement by going to New York, because it reached out to people that had no idea that it’s happening as much in their own communities. You know what I mean, I think it was an eye-opener. And it reached a good amount of people, and I think that if we continue to have these kinds of meetings, gatherings, that we can start to change things out here and around the world.

Revolution: Alice, you mentioned that people need to stand up nationally, and I know that since you were in New York, you have been very busy, both of you, organizing and going out to people to bring them to New York City for Rise Up October. Why don’t you say why you’re doing that and some of the stories—who you’ve taken this out to, what your experience is.

Alice Howell: OK, I was there in New York to support my daughter. Being the grandparent of a stolen life, I just had to be there. I had to be with the other families to let the other families know that we feel your pain and for this organization to stand up and say: We are with you, we know what’s going on, we’re gonna fight for you. And it was such a powerful, emotional presentation that was given there in New York. And that just sparked my fire. We have to go back and let these people know what’s going on, what we can to do help. Let’s stand together. Let’s get out there and fight for justice for our kids. Because we never know which one will be next.

That also prompted me to come back to my community to let them know because, again... and I know it’s sad... but my community is so asleep on what’s happening. They’re scared to stand up. I have been running into conflict of interest because of government programs and what have you. But I need to let the families know it’s okay to stand up. I know we’re hurt and we’re pained and that sparked a fire for me to get out there and get justice. We still have the hashtag #JusticeforJustusHowell. We have web pages. We’re talking to families to reel them on in. Let’s go stand for our children that their life has been taken by law enforcement. It is so important to do something. And that helps alleviate some of the pain for me.

Like I said this once before, early on, I would go to my grave fighting for justice—not just for my grandson, Justus Howell, but for all the other victims of police killings and brutality. And that’s why I’m a part of this. That’s why I’m working daily on trying to get people there, to get somebody out there for us that can help us, that can fight this. You don’t have to deal with it alone.

Revolution: Who have you taken this to? Because I think it would be helpful for people to hear. I know you got mixed reactions, but you took it a lot of places.

Alice Howell: I’ve taken it a lot of places. I’ve taken it to the college. I want to get students involved. I’ve taken it to the faith community. I have Reverend Jerome McCorry working with me with the faith communities in my area. I’ve taken it to our township supervisors. I’m meeting with the township of Zion on Monday: you guys gotta do something that helps. But we find out most times, again, conflict of interest. But on a personal level: are you gonna help us? We want to get these families to New York so we can stand and face this issue of police brutality and killing. So I’ve taken it several places. I’m just stretching out. I’ve gathered some families who have just totally shut down after their case was settled and their loved one murdered by police and they think that’s it. They don’t want no more parts of anything, they just want to grieve. And that’s fine, if that’s what they want to do. You have these families who feel that their loved one’s life was stolen through an unjust system and there was no justice served. So that’s why we continue to fight. That’s why I continue to fight. But, we have three families that we’re taking from our area and we’re raising funds to also get them to New York for Rise Up October.

Revolution: LaToya, you made a very powerful statement in New York when you spoke, and you did the same... I’ve seen you on video in a number of places. And you tell people it’s not enough to just put the “like” on Facebook or offer their sympathies. Why do you say that?

LaToya Howell: Well, I say that because a lot of people just think, especially in the social media and the youth being so driven off the social media, I think that they think they’re doing something by sharing links and pressing the “like” button. But it’s not. It needs to be a household conversation every single day, because whether they like it or not, this could be their position. They could live this reality every single day. They could lose someone very dear to their heart. And if we don’t stand up for that and do something about it instead of just staring at the screens, nothing will change. Nothing ever changes by looking on your computer screen. Things change by you going out and making it change. You have to change it. You have to force this change.

Revolution: What would you like to see? October 22 we’re going to have the reading of the names of everybody who’s been murdered by police in New York City. We’re going to read this. There’ll be protests around the country. October 23 there’s going to be nonviolent direct action in New York City. And on October 24, it’s going to be a massive, massive march in the streets of New York. What’s your vision for this? What would you like to see? What do you think that needs to look like?

LaToya Howell Speaks Aug27 NYC What We Must Do to STOP Police Terror and Murder

LaToya Howell: Man, I’m excited for it, actually. I’m excited. I want to see progression. I want to see a change somewhere, somehow, I want to see something change. I want to see something crack through the surface, like I really need to see a difference. They need to start indicting these police and charging these police—that’s what I want to see. That’s what we here in the community need to see, we need to see justice happen. Whether that’s calling up these cases or there will be new cases—seeing some indictments and seeing some new laws put in place, you know what I mean—that could help us as a people. Because everything [is to protect] officers and there’s nothing there protecting us. But yet they say they’re here to protect and serve. I need to see change.

Revolution: Alice, what would you like to see?

Alice Howell: I would like to see thousands and thousands of people stand here, wherever we’re standing on that day, October 24th, confront the unjust system—here we are, here we stand—we had enough. This has got to stop. And I would like for us to stand strong and leave a message to them that this would have to stop. I would also like to see nonviolence on law enforcement’s part and on our part. We’re angered, yes, but we’re just putting out a statement there. This is enough. We’re tired. Stop it. Now! And just hope that it’ll be a peaceful march and something will come of it, they will recognize that we have had enough. And I know there’s power in numbers so I would just like to see people from all over the nation, just come and stand up. And at that point, we will know which side they’re on.

Revolution: Well, you kind of touched on it, but my last question—and you could say more if you want or we could leave it with what you just said—but my last question is, what is your message to everybody, to the students, to the people in the congregations and religious faith communities, to the kids in the projects and the neighborhoods, to the kids in the suburbs? What is your message to them about why they need... why you are traveling to New York City and why they need to be here for October 24 Rise Up October, Stop Police Terror, Which Side Are You On?

LaToya Howell: I will advocate for the youth for the rest of my life and continue to reach those who will advocate for them as well. And to let them know that it’s not right what’s happening and we won’t stand for it until justice is served. We won’t stop, we won’t be scared to stand, we will stand up and not be moved. We need change and we won’t stop until we get it.

Alice Howell: I said what I want to say.

Revolution: OK. Is there anything else you guys want to say that I didn’t ask about?

LaToya Howell: Power to the people!

Revolution: Power to the people!

Alice Howell: Show up and stand October 24! Rise Up October!

Revolution: Alright, you guys. Thank you so much for taking the time. I think this will really make a difference for people to see this and read this. So thank you for everything you’re doing.

LaToya Howell: Thank you as well.

Alice Howell: Thanks, I’ll see you in New York.




Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Voices from August 27... A Challenge to Everyone

"Come to New York City on October 24"
STOP Police Terror!

Updated September 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On August 27, 2015, hundreds of people packed the First Corinthian Baptist Church (FCBC) in Harlem, New York City to take up Rise Up October.

People came together this night—families whose loved ones have been murdered by the police; folks from the religious community; college and high school students; people from the neighborhoods; activists, revolutionary communists; and many others—to put out the call and challenge:

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? WHERE WILL YOU BE ON OCTOBER 22-24? Get organized. Come to New York City. Come one, come all. Be part of standing up and saying no more! Change history.

The whole evening provided a dynamic expression of the diversity of outlooks, agendas and philosophical frameworks of those coming together for Rise Up October and of the powerful love, unity, and determination to STOP police terror and make October 22-24 a serious step towards changing everything. Here are voices from those who spoke this night. The full webcast is available at and at























Get organized.
Come to New York.

Families of those murdered by police... people from the communities... college and high school students...Come one, come all. Be part of standing up and saying no more! Change history.

This will draw a big dividing line in society, posing the question for millions of people: Which Side Are You On? This will give heart to those who suffer this brutality and murder 24-7. And it will open the eyes of many more people in this society who don't suffer this brutality—and challenge them to join in acting to stop it.

Get organizing materials & comprehensive coverage here and at

Co-MC Nkosi Anderson, graduate student at Union Theological Seminary, #RiseUpOctober Steering Committee

I wish that I could say that we are gathered here tonight for a celebration. But that is not the case. In fact it is quite the opposite. We are in a state of emergency in this country. Broken windows type policing and mass incarceration and the police killings of Black and Brown people are terrorizing our communities. These injustices cannot continue. And so, we are all here tonight to stand together to say: NO MORE. THIS STOPS NOW....

Now I want to emphasize the network component. Tonight’s speakers represent the wide range of perspectives, backgrounds and orientations towards this problem of unjust policing. But here tonight we stand together to fight it. The Stop Mass Incarceration Network is part of the larger movement in this country and around the world to stop police terror. And so are various organizations and individuals in this fight, activists like Black Lives Matter, religious groups, student organizations, etc. We need all hands on deck in this fight. And only by working together can we ever hope to overcome, but overcome we shall. The purpose of this evening is to build momentum for Rise Up October.

Reverend Willie Francois III, assistant pastor at First Corinthian Baptist Church

It is a joy to welcome you to First Corinthian Baptist Church. We open this space to the real moral architects of America, people who are able to see through the smoke and see through the blood and the fire, to see and fight for a world that is feasible, a world where all people are free. That’s why this is a sacred space. And I welcome you to this sacred space. And it is not sacred because of the name that is affixed on the outside, it is not sacred because of the symbols that surround it. But it is sacred because of the work of freedom and justice that it is committed to. Because in this place we know that we cannot say Jesus without also saying justice simultaneously. So we welcome you to this space. This is a sacred space. It is sacred because of the work that it does. So it is important for you to be here today.... And so we welcome you to this place, a sacred place that is sacred because you are here today, and the divinity that is in you, and the power that is in you, and the sacredness that is in you will now add another flame to this movement to end mass incarceration. Because we know police brutality and policing is the front door of mass incarceration. So we’re here today to shut the front door of mass incarceration.

Noche Diaz, Revolution Club, New York City

This has got to stop! This is why we got these shirts on that say “BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!” We’re talking about going up against these monsters and taking this system down without becoming the monsters that we’re fighting... Speaking of monsters, we’re coming up on the 60-year anniversary of the lynching murder of Emmett Till. I remember when I heard Bob Avakian tell the story of Emmett Till when I was 15 years old. I had tears flowing down my cheeks. When I heard about Mamie Till preparing her son to go down to Mississippi, and I heard echoes of my own mother and my own family telling me how I had to walk the streets, right here in New York, in the Bronx, to not be seen as a threat, to not be seen as a “criminal” or a “thug.”

This is a veil of terror that generations have been strangled and suffocated with. And this is what began to be dragged into the light when people began to rise up, starting in Ferguson when the youth took to the streets and said no, not this time, we’re not taking this anymore—and then spreading everywhere. All throughout society, including people who aren’t facing this everyday, standing with them, stepping out with them, saying this has got to stop. And we learned some things about how people have to live in what they tell us is the “great USA.” We learned that we don’t even know the half of how many people they kill every year. The youth who cannot even walk the streets or leave their own homes because of the fear of this police terror. This has got to be the mission of a generation to stop this. Lines began to form in the ashes of the rebellions and that needs to be taken to a whole other level in October where “which side are you on?” becomes the message all throughout society and a whole new generation begins to shake everything up.

Reverend Stephen Phelps

I had an opportunity to meet with [former commissioner of the NYPD] Ray Kelly in his massive offices at One Police Plaza, and I was rather annoyed by my fellow clergy and the softballs they were lobbing at the Commissioner. And I said to him, Commissioner, members of my church, members of my staff—I was then at Riverside Church—are terrified to see your men in blue. Just terrified. This is degrading the whole social fabric. And he said, “Somebody’s gotta pay for safety in this city. Somebody’s gotta pay.” Well, we got rid of him, but we did not get rid of police terrorism....

One of the things that God says according to the traditions is that he hates brutality against the oppressed... What’s it mean if god hates that? Does that mean that we forgive and sit back and wait? I don’t think so. Does it mean “vengeance is mine,” sayeth the Lord, therefore we sit back and wait? Does it mean doom is coming? Sit back and wait for doom? I don’t think so. No, I think there is only one thing that we really need to get into about what God hates. God hates it when people are shaken and refuse to wake up.

Jamal Joseph, former Black Panther, prosecuted as one of the Black Panther 21, Columbia University professor, artist and activist

[After talking about the 1985 NYPD murder of 66-year-old grandmother, Eleanor Bumpurs; the 1973 police murder of 10-year-old Clifford Glover; and a Black man coming home from WW2 in 1943 shot by police in Harlem...]

The history lesson is to say that nothing has changed in terms of state violence and state terror. There has been resistance... But nothing has changed in the way that our Black and Brown boys, men and women, in this case our grandmothers, our girls being slammed on the ground with no respect for their humanity. We are dealing with a state that doesn’t consider us humans, brothers and sisters. Human beings who have treated other human beings like dogs. Slavery has built this country. Built it because it was free labor and people got rich. They got rich off the slave trade...

Police are not here to protect us, they are here to protect property, and so we have to engage this idea. We have to engage this of this insanity that makes the young men and the young women in this room at risk when they step outside of the door. It is insane, it is crazy. We are in an insane asylum. But this is what we are saying. On October 22 to 24, the inmates are about to take over the insane asylum. Sweeping and dynamic change is going to come because from this night we spread forward, and we show the police, we show the state, we show state violence that we are human. All power to the people.

Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, a former senior policy analyst for, and whistle-blower on, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), activist with the DC Hands Up Coalition

I’m so happy to be here. This is a wonderful spiritual moment for us to recommit to our fight for justice... I’d like to tell you why I am supporting Rise Up October. You see, I am the mother of a son who has been stopped by police over 30 times. That means my son’s life has been threatened over 30 times. He has been terrorized by the police in the Washington, DC area. He has suffered severe depression and anxiety. You see, I am every Black mother. Because I don’t know a Black mother whose son has not been terrorized by police. I don’t even think we have the right to call ourselves mothers if we don’t stand up and protect our children. I don’t think we have the right to call ourselves fathers unless we stand up and protect our children... As parents we need to stand up and say either you are going to either take us out or you’re going to stop harassing our children. But you gotta make a choice because it cannot be both.

The mayor of Washington, DC two days ago announced that under a new program, it’s really under a pretext because of the rising crime rate in DC, she’s going to hire 500 more police. She didn’t say: I’m going to create 500 new jobs. No, what she’s doing is she’s putting in place structure to kill and to incarcerate and to terrorize our children. And so the streets of Washington, yesterday and today, we have been in the streets protesting this program. The program will allow police to search the homes of “ex-offenders”—and in Washington, DC, one out of every five Black guys are ex-offenders. Which means that all Black men in DC, essentially, will be covered under this law. So once you are labeled an offender, you are always an offender, there is never an “ex” before your name. So this program will amount to the reactivation of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. But instead it will be the Fugitive Slave Act of 2015.

Gina Belafonte, co-director of the SANKOFA Foundation founded by Harry Belafonte

I’m a human being. I come from a legacy of freedom fighters, a legacy that I carry and share with everyone in this room... I come from a family that is rich and multi-cultural. I am unapologetically Black... I am unapologetically WHAT? [audience answers: Black!] Unapologetically? [audience: Black!] We ready, we coming. We ready, we coming.

Are we ready? Are we coming? Are we rising up in October? Which side are you on? You really need to take a look in the mirror and make a very clear and precise choice. You need to educate yourselves and prepare yourselves for this movement. I’m going to get emotional because I went down to Ferguson. I was not prepared. It’s no joke. They think it’s a game, they think it’s a joke. We need to prepare ourselves for this moment. We need to look, truthfully look into the eyes and see another human being there. We need to uplift and shine a light on the most marginalized, our transgendered and gay women; Black gay and transgendered gay women are the most marginalized. Say their names. We need to somehow figure out the way for all of us to deeply understand that as human beings, as long as we are not hurting anyone else, we need to allow ourselves to be all that we choose to be. I want to thank you all...for helping me, to guide me in this struggle, to help me carry on this legacy. I support Rise Up October.... This has got to stop.

Co-MC Kimberli Diaz

When you came in you were handed a rolled-up poster called the Stolen Lives Poster. Can you please open that up and take a look? Now, as you see, on that posters are the names and photos of just a small, small portion of lives that have been stolen across this country for many, many years. Now lift those posters up in the air. This is to symbolically lift up the names and the lives of these beautiful souls that are no longer with us. They are no longer with us because their lives were stolen by police murder and police terror. As we look over these posters, I’m sure you noticed that some of the names and dates that are there are from a long time ago. As some of the other speakers have noted, this isn’t something new. This isn’t something that just started last year with the murder of Michael Brown. This is something that has been going on entirely too long. And this tonight is a declaration that we’re all going to join together to make sure that it stops once and for all. October 24 will be an even bigger gathering to show that this must stop once and for all.

Juanita Young, mother of Malcolm Ferguson, murdered by NYC police March 1, 2000

I’m still trying to get Rivera put away for my son’s murder. In 2000, my son Malcolm, Ferguson was murdered in the Bronx by police officer Luis Rivera, he blew my son’s brains out. The DA Robert Johnson refused to indict this cop. I took the case to civil court. In civil court my attorney was able to get Luis Rivera to truthfully admit what really happened. According to Rivera, he murdered Malcolm for no reason. When you ask why did he shoot him, he says he don’t know. But why is this man still out on the streets today? That’s why I have to keep asking for justice because there is no way this man is still able to walk and be a police officer. And I have to cry everyday because I can’t touch, see or hear my son. My family is destroyed by the loss of their brother... We need to rise up in October. We need to let the people know, we have had enough. We have had enough of y’all coming into our communities and destroying our families. If there's any way possible you can help bring some more families to New York for October 22, 23, and 24th, please do. I come to you as a mother, as a family member. And we as families up here ask you to stand with us.

Mertilla Jones, grandmother of seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones,
murdered by Detroit cops May 16, 2010

I want to see what side people are on. Aiyana, seven-years-old, asleep—they came in and automatically blew my granddaughter’s brains out in front of me. Like I said, I seen the light of life leave out of Aiyana’s eyes. I never seen anything like this in my life. I don’t care how ghetto they say I am, how hood they say I am. I’ve never seen nothing like that in my life and I hope to never see it again. And I shouldn’t have had to see it on my seven-year-old sleeping. I traveled all the way from Detroit, Michigan to ask everybody: which side are you on?

Sharon Irwin, grandmother of Tony Robinson, killed by Madison, Wisconsin police March 6, 2015

This is my grandson. He was 19. He’s young. He is Black and he is beautiful. And I am here to tell you that they took his life with seven bullets. [The cop] shot him three times, dropped his flashlight, picked it up, shot him three more times, looked at him and shot him again. Tony was unarmed and nothing he did deserved that. I’m looking at all these people, the human side of this. I cry every day. I have to go through hundreds of pages of evidence because they didn’t indict him—they said, no, he didn’t do anything wrong. And I say to you, if you lie to justify your actions, are they justifiable? No. And he lied, and the Madison police lied, and the DA lied. And they disgraced my family, they made us the criminals, they made my grandson a criminal that he was not. And I’m telling you, I’m tired and I’m not standing for this anymore. We are one people. We are the human race. But they are targeting Black folk. I’m sorry, I get very emotional. I feel this this every day. My daughter feels this every day. Our grandchildren feel this every day. Yes, I am from a rich and multicultural family and like she said, I am unapologetically [hands mic to Tony Robinson’s aunt] Black.

We have, as a people, been taught to stay divided, because they can control us easier. Hey, if we stood up, there’s seven billion of us! If we stood up, what could anybody do? It is time to wake up. It is time to see we are not different. We are a people with different cultures and different ways to live. But we are human! And it is time!

Lorien Carter, aunt of Tony Robinson, killed by Madison, Wisconsin police March 6, 2015

The reason Rise Up October is so important is because there ain’t enough room in this church for all of the names. The reason why Rise Up October is so important is because in Madison, Wisconsin we are the number one worst place for minorities to live in this country and the number three “happiest place” in the country. We are the number one city in the entire country for minority youth incarceration, 18 and under. Our population of jail consists of three-fourths Black children. Meanwhile, our population outside consists of eight percent Black people. The truths that they are providing to you are not truths at all. The reason why Rise Up October is so important is because I neglected the facts and my nephew has paid. Because if any one of you, if it makes you feel uncomfortable I’m glad, it should. The blood of all of these people stains your hands, the same way it does mine. My nephew, yes he was biracial. It could be your nephew, it could be your grandchild. This is no longer polarized.

LaToya Howell, mother of 17-year-old Justus Howell, murdered by Zion, Illinois police April 4, 2015

I want you to all be aware of the realness of this tragedy. Every time I come up before all of y’all I don’t know what to say. But every time I look at a young face I think of my son and think of his demise. Every time I see little boys I shed a tear because I know that one day they can grow up and be killed—be killed, taken from us. That means all of our teaching, everything we told them not to do, everything he knew not to do, everything he was and was going to be, was stolen from him. And it’s all because of racist, coward police. It ain’t right. It’s not right. It’s not enough. I can’t stress this enough, it’s not enough to just press “like” on your Facebook status. It’s not enough to just tell somebody: Oh, did you hear about so-and-so, they got killed by the police?

But guess what’s next? We’re going to rise up together as one and fight it together. Otherwise that face that you see passing on the street could look like your boy, could look like your granddaughter, your children. And you could walk around feeling like something was snatched from you. When I heard it—have you ever felt scared and just knew something was wrong and then y’all took that breath and said, whew, I’m glad that wasn’t mine. I never got that chance to breathe. That was my boy laying there in the street. They wouldn’t even let me go back and see him. They wouldn’t let me go in the hospital, they told me repeatedly that he wasn’t in the hospital, that that wasn't my son. But it damn sure was. And that could be yours, you could be here just like me if you don’t stand up and tell the next person that the terror has to stop....

So I ask you all today, which side are you on? Would you stand by the way and watch another kid get gunned down, beaten? Another woman get raped? Would you stand by and act like it ain’t happening? I ask you today to stand up and choose your side. Power to the people. There is power in numbers. Put your fists in the air. Power to the people y’all!

Nicholas Heyward, Sr., father of 13-year-old Nicholas Heyward, Jr., murdered by NYC police September 22, 1994

Rise Up October is something that should have been done many, many Octobers ago. My son was killed—I use the word “killed,” but really he was murdered. Whenever you shoot and kill someone who is unarmed, committed no crimes, no threat to anyone and you shoot and kill that person, that is murder. My son was an honor student. Yesterday, August 26, he would have been 34. It was a very painful day for me, I cried just about half the day. The reality is that Nicholas Jr. is no longer here because of a cowardly cop who shot and killed him while he was playing with his friends an innocent game of cops-and-robbers with a plastic toy gun that didn’t look nothing like a real gun, they were all colorful guns and looked nothing close to a real gun.

Joanne Mickens, mother of Corey Mickens, murdered by NYPD March 13, 2007

My son Corey Mickens was killed in Manhattan, March 13, 2007. He was murdered while he was sitting in a restaurant eating. He was shot 12 times but they tried to say he had a gun. They shot him but it turned out he didn’t have a gun. And the person that murdered my son is the same officer involved in another shooting... I’m fighting for justice for my son. I’m going to be out here fighting for justice for all. Please don’t give up the fight, everybody. I’m still out here for the fight, for justice for my son.

Reverend Jerome McCorry, faith coordinator for Rise Up October Initiative and for
Stop Mass Incarceration Network

Tonight brother Reese is here with me because we have decided to be true to the cause. They taught me when I was ordained that you really have to serve in three ways. Your time, your talent and your tithe.... When you look at these family members—stand up and face the audience and give them a hand. We have put an unfair burden on these families... They tell their stories, but the truth of the matter is, if you rely on me to be real honest with you I’m going to tell you it’s the church that faces some condemnation. We don’t give money to pay nobody’s funeral, we don’t put folks on planes to get them to where their loved ones are, unless you’re a member in good standing. There is a role that all of us must play tonight to help these families on this tour, to help these families to get back here on October 22-24. To get the family of John Crawford III, from Beavercreek, Ohio, shot dead in a Walmart Store... It’s a broken system. Families after families, like that of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old with a toy gun, playing in a park by himself, the police shot him down dead. These families have to travel, and they have been doing it at their own expense. We have to take that burden off of them. They shouldn’t worry where the next meal is coming from. They shouldn’t be concerned about where they’re going to stay when they travel. We at the Stop Mass Incarceration Network are going to be bringing 100 families representatives to New York in October, and we’re going to get them here. But we need your help in order to make that happen.... If you’re going to be here in October 24 put your hands together [applause]. And so to put that same hand that you clapped with and dig down deep and do what’s necessary to support this movement as you’ve never supported it before. Now there’s somebody in the audience here with that $500 gift, this is your time.

Will Reese, the NYC Revolution Club

I want to tell you a story while you’re thinking about this $500. You’ve seen this poster [of people killed by the police]. You have it in your hand. Two weeks ago I was standing with an enlargement of this poster, and there was this kid who was about the same height as the poster, standing affixed in front of that poster. So I walked over to him and said, “You know what this is about, don’t you?” He looked up and he shook his head, “Yeah.” I said, “You think about this?” He said, “Yeah, I do.” He said, “The police kill people.” And then he said, “Did they kill the little girl too?” He was looking at Aiyana Stanley-Jones. And I told him the story of Aiyana Stanley-Jones. And he said, “The police are killing everyone.” I asked him, “How old are you?” He said, “I’m seven.”

Some people tonight have said tonight, it stops here. It begins here. And there are people across this country who are listening to what we do here today. There are people who are watching what we do here. And as we move forward, things have to be different. And I’m going to ask you as you’re thinking about whether you can do $500—what do you tell that seven-year-old? I’m not going to tell you what I told him. What do you tell him? “It’s going to be all right baby”? “It’s going to be all right, just do the right thing”? See what these people said about how they taught their children to do the right thing, and their children are dead. What are you going to tell that kid? It’s not some abstract question. What are you going to tell people across the country? Are you going to do something different? This is your chance to do something different. There is more than one $500 here. And I’ll tell you something else. Somebody always has to be first. And I want to know who the hell it is. I want to know who it is. There’s the hand. $500. There it is. Another $500. And another one...

Carl Dix, representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party, co-initiator of
Rise Up October

Don’t let people tell you we can’t do better than this... Don’t let anybody tell you that America is eternal, and that the best we can hope for is getting some itty-bitty changes in HOW they dog us. Don’t let them suck you into framing what you’re trying to do in the language and the terms of the system. Don’t let them tell you that we have to limit ourselves to working within the channels this system puts out there. We’ve seen this movie before, and the result is the whole genocidal situation we face right now—and yes, I said genocide. So I’m challenging everyone here, especially you young people—get into this revolution, get into Bob Avakian and what he’s brought forward about how to make revolution—keep your sights aimed where they need to be: on emancipating all of humanity. You can do this by going to our website——or come to our new bookstore opening up this fall in Harlem at 437 Malcolm X Blvd at 132nd Street... but do get into him.

Now, coming from where I’m coming from—the need for and possibility of revolution—I understand that we have to fight right now—we can’t let them beat people so far down that we could never rise up against the things they do to us. We have to mobilize everyone we can, wherever they’re coming from and however they see the problem and the solution, to fight this madness we face. Again, that’s why you came here tonight—to find out what we must do to stop police terror and murder.

Dr. Cornel West, Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at
Union Theological Seminary, co-initiator of Rise Up October

Black people at our best, a hated people, taught the world so much about love. Treated unjustly but taught the world so much about justice. Traumatized, but taught the world so much about how to be cool. Black people at our best have been truth tellers, which means we’ve been cross bearers before we were flag wavers.... The problem in the age of Obama is that once we got a Black president we got too many people more concerned by the breakthrough at the top, then lose sight of those stuck in the basement, those wretched of the earth that Franz Fanon talked about, in the midst of the American Empire. That’s what Stop Mass Incarceration is all about...

But how do we do it? It’s a spiritual question as well as a political one. For Black people, any time we decide to straighten our backs, to speak the truth, to bear witness, and be willing to live or die for something, any time we decide to do that, the powers-that-be start shaking.

[Pointing to the pictures of the faces of victims of police murder on the stage] Their afterlife [will] work through us. Because we gonna have Sankofa, which means we not gonna move forward till we first look back and remember the best of those who came before us. That constitutes wind at our back. That’s what Stop Mass Incarceration’s about. That’s why I call it the love train. Get on the love train! Curtis Mayfield said you don’t need no ticket, just get on board! Get on board! Stop mass incarceration, and decide what side you’re really on. And come with us.





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Advisory Board Formed for Rise Up October—STOP Police Terror

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


A newly formed Advisory Board for Rise Up October—STOP Police Terror has been announced. Here are the members of the board:

Gina Bellafonte

Gina Belafonte Born and raised in New York City, Gina Belafonte has spent her life in the arenas of entertainment and activism where her professional work thrives today. As the youngest child of Julie and Harry Belafonte, whose impact in these fields is among the most influential and progressive in the world, Gina’s passions come as no surprise. Gina was the lead producer on the internationally acclaimed documentary film, SING YOUR SONG, exploring the extraordinary life and legacy of Harry Belafonte that was selected as the opening film for the Sundance Film Festival in 2011. She is the co-director of


Carl Dix

Carl Dix is a co-founder, with Dr. Cornel West, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, and has spent his life opposing injustice. He is a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party. In 1970, Carl was one of the Fort Lewis 6, the largest mass refusal to go to Vietnam by U.S. soldiers during that war. He spent two years in a U.S. military prison for this stand. Carl has been a leader in the fight against police terror and of the annual October 22 marches to stop police brutality. In 2011, he and Cornel West called for mass, nonviolent protest at NYC police precincts with the highest rates of “stop and frisk,” contributing to mass public opposition to the practice. Along with Dr. West, Carl put out the Call for the October 2014 Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. In August and October 2014 Carl joined mass protests in Ferguson, Missouri, against the police murder of Michael Brown, and was arrested while standing with the “defiant ones” on the first night of the national guard mobilization there. With Cornel West, he issued a Call for a national Shut Down 4/14/15 to Stop Murder by Police.


Eve Ensler

Eve Ensler is the Tony Award winning playwright, activist and author of the theatrical phenomenon, The Vagina Monologues, which has been published in 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries. Eve’s plays include Necessary Targets, The Treatment, The Good Body, and Emotional Creature. Her books include Insecure At Last: A Political Memoir; the New York Times best seller I Am An Emotional Creature, and her latest critically acclaimed memoir In the Body of the World. She is founder of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls which has raised over 100 million dollars to end violence and One Billion Rising, a global mass action campaign in over 200 countries. Her play O.P.C. recently had its world premiere at American Repertory Theater where she will also debut and perform In the Body of the World, based on her memoir in Spring of 2016, directed by Diane Paulus. Her newest short play Avocado opened to rave reviews this summer at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and at the Latitude festival in the UK. She has written numerous articles for The Guardian, Time Magazine, Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune. She was named one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Changed the World” and The Guardian’s “100 Most Influential Women.”


Jamal Joseph

Jamal Joseph Eddie Joseph was a fifteen-year-old Bronx honor student when he joined the Black Panthers in 1968. At sixteen, by then called Jamal, he was in prison with the legendary Panther 21 and would later serve more years at Leavenworth, where he earned two college degrees and found a new calling in prison theater. Now a film professor at Columbia University and former chair of their Graduate Film Program, as well as a recent Oscar nominee, he tells the remarkable story of his transformation in Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention. He is the executive artistic director of the New Heritage Theater in Harlem and co-founder and executive artistic director of IMPACT Repertory Theater, which has mentored over one thousand Harlem teens, providing an artistic voice for their lives and a constructive channel for social activism.


Arthur O Farrill

Arturo O’ Farrill, pianist, composer, educator, and founder and Artistic Director of the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. His debut album with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, Una Noche Inolvidable, earned a first GRAMMY Award nomination in 2006. His next album Song for Chico, earned a GRAMMY Award for Best Latin Jazz Album in 2009. The 2015 release of The Offense of the Drum was yet another Grammy Award winner. Arturo was, in addition, the winner of the Latin Jazz USA Outstanding Achievement Award, and a Cubadisco Award for The Offense of the Drum in 2015. His newest album release (August 21, 2015) is Cuba: The Conversation Continues on the Motéma label.


Stephen Phelps

Rev. Stephen Phelps focuses practices of inner development and social transformation toward a just economy, for inner revolution is key to the permanent revolution the world needs. In 2014, Rev. Phelps concluded three years as Interim Senior Minister of The Riverside Church in New York City. Now, joined with a wide network of progressive organizations, he works to strengthen the hand of people with too little power and weaken the grip of them with too much. Rev. Phelps speaks and writes on these and related themes and contributes to national blogs and journals.


Cornel West

Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is a Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. He has written over 20 books and has edited 13. Though he is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and for his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, his most recent releases, Black Prophetic Fire and Radical King, were received with critical acclaim.






Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

How Do We Step?  Three Stories, Two Approaches

September 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


A young woman inspired by the August 27 gathering in Harlem to GET READY for #RiseUpOctober in NYC, and who had donated money, came to the first organizing meeting after the 27th.  When someone (fortunately) followed up with her, she told him that she really wanted to do something, but the people at this meeting were so disorganized that she decided her efforts would just be wasted.  The person struggled with her, in a good way it seems.  But how many other people are like this who have been lost?

Someone wrote to an artist, proceeding from the actual reality we face and the great need before us, to donate and play a more active role.  The person responded quickly and in a way that went quite beyond what she had been specifically asked for and actually reflected a more acute grasp of what would be needed to really make October 24 succeed.

Some people in the Midwest were planning to take October 24 to a festival that attracts a lot of progressive people.  They were going with a parent of a police murder victim and they planned to set up a table, sell some things, get the word out and meet people.  “No way!” someone said.  “We need to march in there with some signs, chanting loudly, and put it boldly to people that everybody here has to get with this, that we need money for buses to go New York, and people need to go on those buses, and we’re not leaving ‘til we get what we need!”

Think about it.  Are we getting the moment?  Do we understand that October 24 could fill a great need—and that people will respond to this need, if that need is really put to them?  This can only happen if we step to people in a way that reflects that.  If you go to people aiming low, then people think you aren’t really going for what you say you are.  If you go to people without an organizational plan, or with a plan that won’t really do what you say, they’ll get that—and they might give you a “good luck” but they won’t throw in, they won’t organize for and donate to this, and they may not even come themselves.  If you go to people without challenging them to really TAKE SIDES in this, to be there FOR REAL, well... then why should they?  After all, you must not think it’s that important.

There are millions right now who would respond with support to these simple three points or to Carl Dix’s August 27 speech, or to some of the other excerpts from that night.  Not always (or even often) without struggle, and not without work—but they would respond.  Let’s not let low sights and narrow vision stand in the way!





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Noche Diaz Gets Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Noche Diaz

Noche Diaz speaking at Times Square, New York City, on August 13 at a show stopping event that included major recording artists, community leaders, and family members of victims of police murder in the fight against police terror. Photo:

After a spirited rally of supporters outside Brooklyn Criminal Court on September 15, Noche Diaz was given an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (an “ACD”) at his court appearance on charges thrown at him after his arrest during the #ShutdownA14 action in New York City last April. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office refused to drop the charges outright—one misdemeanor and a violation with two counts that remained from his original charges—but backed off its requirement of five days of community service.

This is the same offer made months earlier to most of the other 41 arrested that day (and accepted by them) but which the DA had refused to offer Noche until the night before his trial. It means that all charges will be dismissed in six months, but also could be reinstated if Noche is arrested again within that time. It is necessary to remain vigilant and guard against any trumped-up charges on Noche or efforts to attack him in any way.

At the same time, this was a positive development for the people. What was concentrated here was whether the movement protesting police terror would be suppressed and its leaders locked down or if it would fight that suppression and criminalization as part of the larger battle to stop police terror. (For more on this, read “The Struggle to Stop Police Murder.”)

When Noche walked into the courtroom, it was clear he wasn’t standing alone. A visible presence of approximately 30 supporters filled almost half the courtroom, and the Brooklyn DA’s office had received calls from respected clergy, celebrated artists, community activists, and others, calling for the DA to drop all charges on Noche. Written statements of support from many others have been collected by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network.

See also: Excerpts from some of the many statements of support for Noche Diaz

After the judge entered and called Noche’s name, it was over in a few minutes. In a late-night phone call, his lawyer had heard from the DA’s office that it was willing to offer the ACD straight up with no “community service.” Noche and his lawyer were determined to fight the “community service” because in reality it is a penalty that carries an implication of guilt.

After the judge had announced the ACD, Noche and everyone who had come to support him went outside for a brief rally. Noche spoke to what had been accomplished and what the verdict meant:

“Last night, the DA’s office backed off. But this case was only the first of three—I’ve got two more coming up in October in Manhattan, and these have more serious charges, including inciting to riot, than this one did. We have to build on what we did here and get ready to build an even stronger political defense for these next trials, as part of building a whole national battle around #RiseUpOctober...

“After the April 14 national action to Stop Murder by Police, they tried to say that the people were the violent ones. [Mayor] de Blasio had the nerve to say that protesters assaulted police and were using ‘the right to peaceful protest as cover to initiate violence, cause mayhem or incite disorder.’ The only ones injured were the ones protesting police violence. There was no evidence presented by cops of any injury; the only concrete claim was an off-duty officer who said he was struck by protesters, which is a lie, and we have photo evidence showing in fact he was the violent one, pulling out a gun on protesters in front of a yellow school bus. We also have evidence of a woman assaulted who had her rib broken and was hospitalized. So who are the violent ones?”






Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

The "People's Pope"

This Is NOT a New Catholic Church

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On September 22, Pope Francis arrives in the U.S. Along with meeting with the powerful, he will have well-publicized meetings—photo ops, really—with immigrant workers from Africa and Mexico in New York and encourage their struggle for union recognition, along with other groups of oppressed. He comes to the U.S. having earlier issued a passionate critique of environmental destruction. In a world of extreme inequality, he preaches “the dignity of the poor.”

But despite surface appearances, this is NOT a new Catholic Church. This is a repackaged or re-branded church, a church refitted to both regain and bolster its waning influence, and—for all the pope’s supposed speaking out—to actually lull people into acceptance of the world as it is.

The Real Hell We Live In... and the Church

The fact is, most people on this planet do not need to read the lurid make-believe nonsense of the Book of Revelations to learn about hell—they live it right now.

The 10-year-old Paraguayan girl raped by her stepfather and forced to carry the fetus to term because of the Church’s power—that is hell. The parent who sends their child across the desert or onto a crowded smuggler’s boat on the high seas because there is no work or food, and their country is ravaged by either the gangs or the army—that is hell for both parent and child. The little boy or girl in Yemen who picks up a U.S.-made cluster bomb designed to look like a toy and gets blown apart—that is hell. The parent of the youngster blown away by police because he “fit the description,” or “seemed threatening”... the immigrant, desperate for work and barely surviving... the prisoner, whether innocent or driven into crime by a criminal system... the young gay boy or girl bullied and shamed into suicide, or even abused and killed by those acting out the moral code of the Bible... or the young wife in Africa or Asia dying of AIDS while her children watch and wonder what will become of them (and where a simple condom, the distribution of which is opposed by the Church, could have saved her life)... they all know hell.

In THIS hell that humanity lives in—some of which is directly caused by the Church and all of which it serves to sustain—Francis comes to offer a false solace—that if you fundamentally accept this order and work for modest reform, the Church will support you. Yet these reforms are nothing but paint jobs in hell—a real hell in which the Church is not only complicit, but one of the architects of a chief pillar.

Available now as an eBook! Purchase from your favorite online vendor:, iTunes, Barnes & Noble,, IPG, Kobo

Order the print edition now.
Publisher: Insight Press

Why should anyone applaud this? What is needed is revolution—doing away with this hell called capitalism and a world in the here-and-now where people could actually work and struggle together for the common good... for a world WITHOUT exploitation and one group of people oppressing another... for a world in which people are not kept ignorant and fearful but have access to knowledge and a means for really understanding and acting to change the world.

THAT the pope will not have. He has proved it through his complicity with a fascist junta in Argentina in the 1970s and 1980s, at best distancing the Church from those who were resisting. But that—emancipation, not consolation—is what we need.

Re-branding the Church in a World in Crisis

To understand the re-branding of the Catholic Church through Pope Francis, you need to look at why he was elevated to pope. The Catholic Church is an institution in crisis within a world in crisis. Today most Catholics live on two of the most impoverished continents: Africa and Latin America. These are regions of the world where the workings of capitalism-imperialism create the most hell for the most people. These are places where the imprint of slavery, genocide, and colonial plunder (in old and new forms) is an everyday thing. In sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, fully 40 percent of the people do not have access to the basic essentials of life: food, clean water, clothing, shelter, and the average person lives to age 46 (while people in countries at the other end of the spectrum of global inequality live decades longer).

At the same time, the Church itself has come to be seen as characterized by endless scandals over the sexual abuse of children, appearing to care more about the privileged elite than the oppressed, and looking and acting as if not much had changed since the Dark Ages. In the U.S. and Europe, where many Catholics also live, the sexual hypocrisy of the Church and its flagrant flouting of the law, alongside its draconian edicts against women who wish to control their own reproduction (whether through abortion or birth control) has undercut its legitimacy and relevance.

In the context of a church, and a world, in crisis, the Catholic Church made a call in 2013 to effect a radical makeover. The Church fathers fired the previous, widely hated, Pope Benedict and elevated Pope Francis to be the symbol and leader of a re-branded church.

And Pope Francis is being deployed to not just revitalize the Church, but to play a certain kind of role. First, to promote the traditional Catholic teaching that if people are obedient and humble, if they accept their place in the world and allow themselves to be demeaned as sinners responsible for their suffering, their lives will have meaning and they will live forever after they die. Second, to promote the idea that if people struggle for modest improvements in their lives, the Church will stand with them and speak out on their behalf. Third, that—in the case of those who the Church has almost literally demonized, including women who get abortions or use birth control, gay and lesbian people, and people who get divorced and remarry—there will be forgiveness and compassion... if they repent of their supposed sins.

The So-Called Mercy of the Pope on Women Is Degrading and Outrageous

The pope is being hailed for supposedly enlightened and merciful changes in the Church’s position on women and LGBT people. Space does not permit us to get into all the hypocrisy and misrepresentation involved in this myth, and all the self-deception in which people who believe it are engaging. In all these cases of his so-called mercy, let it be noted, Francis is still insulting people as sinners needing to repent—the only difference being that if they are sincerely repentant they will be welcomed back into the Church.

But let’s take one example: abortion. Recently the pope announced a year of mercy and said that women who get an abortion but sincerely repent and confess to their priest may, after a year, be allowed to take communion.

Mercy? Repentance? Are you fucking kidding?

In fact, 47,000 women every year die from botched abortions, in large part due to the Church’s relentless efforts to keep or make abortion illegal. 47,000. What if the Church were to line 47,000 women against the wall? Picture them, like women you know, from all the different countries, people with lives and dreams and work and love. Then think of them murdered, one by one, nearly a thousand every week. And not just one year, not even just one decade—but for centuries. This “people’s pope” is soaked in the blood of women, from his shoes to his scarlet vestments. His profession of concern is oily insult on top of raw, unspeakable, repeated injury.


» The Symbolism of Not Crossing the Mexican Border

» Junipero Serra and the Pope's Message for Today

» Straight Talk on the Pope and Climate Change

» The New Pope: A "Humble Man of the People"... or Fascist Collaborator?

» The Message of the "People's Pope":

Countless more millions of women are forced to bear children against their will, due to the Church’s opposition to birth control. Again—for centuries.

No woman, anywhere in the world, has anything to repent to the Catholic Church for. And no thinking person, anywhere, should fall for the sick hype about the “people’s pope.” Vindictiveness wrapped in professions of concern and mercy is still vindictiveness.

As for the Church itself? It can never atone for the suffering it has enforced and the ignorance it enshrines, every single day, vindictively and without apology. The day when all tradition’s chains on all humans—including the ideological hold and all-too-real chains of the Catholic Church—have been shattered and buried will be a truly joyous one.

People don’t need a makeover of the Church. We don’t need some guy in medieval pajamas alternately dispensing mercy and condemnation, telling us he is with us while he tries to smooth over and cover up the howling horrors of this system... giving consolation to the slave to make slavery tolerable, rather than leadership in a fight to do away with slavery... wagging his finger at the destroyers of the environment while legitimizing their right to power.

We need a revolution. And we need it as soon as possible.





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Deadly Zip Codes in St. Louis

Decades Stolen from the Lives of Black People

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?


After Black people in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson rose up against the police murder of Michael Brown, the governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, ordered a commission to investigate racial inequality in the St. Louis area. On September 14, the commission released a 189-page report which includes this fact:

Life expectancy for people born in some mainly Black zip codes are not just years, but DECADES less than those of people living in nearby, prosperous and virtually all-white suburbs.

This means:

If you are born in the 92 percent white suburb of Wildwood, you can expect to live 91.4 years.

But if you are born in the 95 percent Black suburb of Kinloch, 21 miles away, you can expect to live only 55.9 years—a little over 35 years LESS!

DECADES of life are being stolen from Black people.

What leads to early deaths for Black people in these neighborhoods? It’s things rooted in the historic and current oppression of Black people:

It’s low-paying, exploitative jobs and sky-high unemployment; poor and unreliable public transportation that make it hard to get to jobs, grocery stores, and hospitals. It’s being constantly harassed and ticketed by police (Black people are 75 percent more likely than whites to be pulled over in traffic stops) and ever-mounting fines that lead to being jailed, losing your car, your job.

It’s living in neighborhoods with no access to fresh fruits or vegetables, run down and overcrowded schools where Black children are 10 times more likely than whites to be suspended. It’s the lack of access to medical care and discrimination by health care providers.

It’s mass incarceration, vicious police murder and brutality, and violence among the people that comes as a result of being brutalized, degraded, disrespected, and given no chance for a decent life from the day you are born.

Black people don’t “choose” to live in these deadly zip codes. There has been a system of segregation at work here since 1916, when a law was passed in St. Louis making interracial communities illegal. That law was eventually struck down. But segregation has continued to be enforced through conscious racist policies of banks and real estate companies. Even after segregation became formally illegal in the 1960s, the government failed to enforce anti-segregation laws and segregation and inequality is alive and killing Black people today.

The truth of the situation is that no matter what changes this system has gone through, no matter what “reforms” have been instituted to address “racial inequality”—the workings of this system have widened and deepened the systematic oppression of Black people.

This system is LITERALLY killing Black people—stealing decades from their lives. This is a system that is totally illegitimate and needs to be gotten rid of through revolution, nothing less!






Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

On Anniversary of Disappearance of 43 Students

Report Shreds Mexican Government Lies

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Demonstration in Mexico City in February 2015, with posters saying, "You took them alive, return them alive!" Demonstration in Mexico City in February 2015, with posters saying, "You took them alive, return them alive!" (AP photo)

It stinks to high heaven: the stench of cover-up by the Mexican state of its central role in the murder and disappearance of college students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, is too foul even for official world bodies to ignore.

One year ago, the Mexican government rushed 10,000 soldiers to the area around Iguala in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero to supposedly search for 43 students who were taken away in police vans after a savage assault by police and armed thugs on the buses which the students had commandeered, after a killing spree which executed three students and three passersby and wounded 40 students. The hills around Iguala reeked with dozens of mass graves and hundreds of still-unidentified corpses, dug up mostly by volunteers and families of the thousands of other missing people. But the military campaign was intent only on suppressing the fury and determination of the victims’ families and fellow students, and the state specifically refused for months to even step foot on the military base close to the intersection where the attack occurred.

On September 6, 2015, a group of experts appointed by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IACHR) released their report on the September 26, 2014 attack.

For six months the IACHR team interviewed witnesses and detainees and reviewed the government’s evidence and conclusions. Their findings—which confirm what those investigating the case have been uncovering since this atrocity first took place—point to a government cover-up based on the torture-induced confessions of the key witnesses and the destruction, suppression, and distortion of crucial evidence. All this was aimed at casting the blame solely on local corrupt politicians working through the local police and drug gangs and crudely denying the direct involvement of the federal police and the Mexican military.

The UN Group of Forced Disappearances called for Mexico to heed the report and to guarantee that all actions, “including those which involve military authorities, be implemented by the government in a diligent and exhaustive manner.” (emphasis added)

Official Narrative(s)

The Mexican government has floated out several contradictory narratives. First, it claimed that the local police attacked the students, who were leaving the city of Iguala after fundraising in the streets, to prevent them from disrupting a speech by the wife of the mayor of Iguala. Another story is that the students were infiltrated by a gang that is a rival to the dominant regional cartel, Guerreros Unidos, of which the mayor, his wife, and her family were leading members. The mayor and his wife were arrested and remain in jail.

According to this account, the local drug gang took the 43 students from the police station, killed and incinerated them and tossed the burned remains in a river. Much of the government’s “evidence” comes from statements made by people arrested and questioned by the federal police. When huge holes in the official story were exposed, President Enrique Peña Nieto insisted that it was time to “move forward” and “get over this painful moment.”

International Report’s Findings

The findings by the IACHR have exposed to an international audience what independent Mexican investigators had long ago shown: There is considerable evidence that, rather than a crime by corrupt “local” officials, this massacre was overseen and carried out by the federal police and the Mexican military.

Government Story Based on Torture

The Mexican government has used the confessions of four suspects they identify as members of the drug gang that allegedly killed the students as crucial evidence for their version of events. But interviews with these suspects and their families have shown they are actually impoverished construction workers who deny involvement and say their “confessions” came after being savagely tortured.

These four witnesses were beaten repeatedly and nearly suffocated by having bags wrapped around their heads, and electric shocks were administered to their genitals. Their torturers also threatened to do the same to their wives and children. A medical examination of the men found pin pricks consistent with electric shocks, and the number of wounds on the four of them were 72, 42, 94, and 60.

What would warrant such an elaborate cover-up, which likely includes the “seeding” of bone fragments of at least one student on top of the thousands of unidentified remains collected in the river? Although the answer is not certain, both scientific experts and historical trajectory point to the logic of the students being cremated or otherwise disappeared at a military base. An ex-general reported that he personally knew that in the 1960s and 1970s, dissidents were secretly burned at crematoria on military bases.

Behind the Disappearance

The Ayotzinapa students had commandeered buses to travel to a demonstration to be held a few days later in Mexico City commemorating the massacre of students at Tlatelolco by the Mexican military in 1968, at the start of the 1968 Olympics. This commandeering of buses, and fundraising from motorists, is a tradition among youths in Mexico. While the federal investigation only mentions four buses, students and other witnesses say they had commandeered five. The report found federal police detained one of the five buses the students were traveling in. Students on the fifth bus say they were stopped by the police and forced out, and ran off. The bus has never been seen since. The report’s theory is that the students had taken over one or more buses carrying heroin bound for the U.S. Midwest, or drug money being sent back.

According to the report, “Public information shows that Iguala is a shipment and transport point for drugs, especially heroin, to the United States, and especially Chicago.” And according to the affidavit by a United States Drug Enforcement Administration agent last year, the alleged local boss of Guerreros Unidos in Chicago “worked with individuals in Mexico and the Chicago area to transport and distribute narcotics that were concealed in commercial passenger buses that traveled between Mexico and Chicago.” (“New Report Offers Most Plausible Explanation Yet for Attack on 43 Mexican Students,” Roque Planas,, September 9, 2015)

This missing fifth bus and its possible cargo of hidden drugs may be ONE factor behind what happened on that night in Iguala, but the hypothesis that it is the “most plausible explanation” fails to even touch on the historical context for the repression of these students in particular.

WHY were the military and federal police ALREADY coordinating surveillance of the students via C4 long before they commandeered the buses?

WHY were two Ayotzinapa students shot to death by police during a protest in 2013?

WHY did national politicians immediately try to use the crisis in Iguala as an excuse to call for closing this and other rural teachers colleges?

The truth—which no “official body” wants to touch—is that Mexican rural teachers colleges are a breeding ground for radical and revolutionary ideas and organization, with deep roots in the indigenous and impoverished peasantry. For this reason, and also as part of a major move toward a neoliberal program in Mexico that breaks with aspects of the state’s historical claim to represent the institutionalization of the revolution, there has been a concerted effort to close or severely limit the rural teachers colleges and to repress the independent teachers’ movement.

Family Members Call for Major Mobilizations on One-Year Anniversary

Chicago, April 4, 2015: María de Jesús Tlatempa Bello, mother of the disappeared student Jose Eduardo speaks at a march and rally in Chicago in support of victims of the massacre and kidnapping of 43 Ayotzinapa students in southern MexicoChicago, April 4, 2015: María de Jesús Tlatempa Bello, mother of the disappeared student Jose Eduardo, speaks at a march and rally in Chicago in support of victims of the massacre and kidnapping of 43 Ayotzinapa students in southern Mexico. One of the main slogans of the Caravana43 is "¡Vivos se los llevaron, vivos los queremos!" (Alive You Took Them, We Want Them Alive!) Photo: Special to

Over the past year, people in dozens of cities and towns have taken back control of their communities from organized drug cartels and the authorities that are tied to them. In the approach to the June elections, sharp and controversial struggle was waged in southern Mexico, with Ayotzinapa forces and teachers as a key element, to boycott and prevent the elections as a farce in a number of areas, chasing out political campaigners, occupying polling places, destroying ballot boxes, and defending themselves against heavy repression from thousands of troops and paramilitary assault forces organized by the state. The Mexican government and army have responded with even more blatant repression, targeting and killing people in these movements in different confrontations.

In response to the disappearance of the 43 students, the families and fellow students of those missing have organized international caravans speaking in major cities in the U.S., Latin America, and Europe, calling on people around the world to support their demand for justice—and drawing world attention to the crimes being carried out in Mexico by the drug cartels with complicity by governmental officials, which have turned large parts of Mexico into a war zone and graveyard. They are creating political problems for the Mexican and U.S. governments internationally.

They raised the demand that the U.S. stop funding the Mexican military, which has been complicit with the drug cartels in the killings of over 100,000 Mexican people and over 25,000 disappeared in the past eight years. For some this reflects a hope that the U.S. can force the Mexican government to act in the interests of the Mexican people. Others are beginning to recognize that the U.S. imperialists cannot be a part of the “solution”—they are in fact the major part of the problem. It is also significant that the tours specifically rejected reliance on any electoral parties or politicians.

In the name of financing Mexico’s “war on drugs” and “securing the border,” the U.S. gave $1 billion to the previous Mexican regime of Felipe Calderón, and is now giving money to the current Peña Nieto government, along with arms and technology to equip and train Mexico’s army, navy, federal police, and municipal and state police—the very forces that are deeply complicit with the drug cartels. This major backing is based on the interests of the U.S. imperialists in maintaining their domination and control over Mexico.

* * * *

Major international mobilizations are taking place on September 26, the one-year anniversary of this crime by the Mexican state. People everywhere should stand with those who are denouncing this atrocity and the hand of the Mexican and U.S. governments behind it, raising these demands:

Stop the War on the People!

From Iguala to the Presidential Palace, put the killers in jail! The whole damn system is guilty!

The state is not negligent, it is criminal! Only the people will bring justice!






Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Genocidal Maniac Declared a Saint

Junipero Serra and the Pope's Message for Today

Updated September 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The Pope’s move to canonize—make a saint out of—Junipero Serra during his visit to the U.S. is not incidental to, much less an aberration from, the essence of Pope Francis’ message.

See also: The "People's Pope" This Is NOT a New Catholic Church

Junipero Serra played a key role in the physical and cultural genocide of the Native Americans. He set up the mission system in California that led to the deaths of over 60,000 Native Americans from 1769 to 1821. Serra’s genocidal agenda was expressed in a letter he wrote in 1775 about the deaths of Indian children: “In the midst of all our little troubles, the spiritual side of the missions is developing most happily. In [Mission] San Antonio there are simultaneously two harvests, at one time, one for wheat, and of a plague among the children, who are dying.”

Speaking of (if hardly scratching the surface of) the physical and cultural genocide of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, the Pope admits to “grave sins committed against the native peoples of America in the name of God.” And he insists there were “priests and bishops who strongly opposed the logic of the sword with the strength of the cross.” In fact, the cross and the sword were both essential to the genocide of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, and Serra himself executed both roles—violently enslaving Native Americans, viciously whipping those who tried to escape or rebel, and at the same time proclaiming all this the will of the Christian God.

The genocide and theft of land of the indigenous peoples—so foundational to the rise of the United States as we know it—were not “sins” against any version of “God” (and in fact the God of the Bible is fine with genocide against conquered peoples and with slavery). They were crimes carried out in the interest of European powers and emerging capitalism.

Contrast the Pope’s “sin” cop out with a scientific understanding of the genocide of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, and a morality that derives from that: Karl Marx, the founder of communism, identified the ways in which the entombment of millions of indigenous people in the gold and silver mines, and the enslavement of others in missions provided, along with slavery, what today is called “start-up capital” for what Marx called—with appropriate and bitter irony—“the rosy dawn” of capitalism. The morality that flows from this understanding is that capitalism must and can be overthrown and replaced with a system that serves the interests of the vast majority and, ultimately, all of humanity.






Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

The Symbolism of Not Crossing the Mexican Border

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


If you’re focusing on the symbolism of Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S., focus on this: The pope is making a saint out of Junipero Serra, a Spanish missionary who played a critical role in the genocide and enslavement of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. (See “Junipero Serra and the Pope’s Message for Today.”)

And here’s another major statement: At some point in the preparations for his visit, the pope or his staff floated the idea that the pope would enter the U.S. through Mexico, which in today’s climate of vicious global anti-immigrant xenophobia might have actually come into conflict with some of the fascists in the U.S. ruling class, and raised the question: What is the nature and history of a border (between the U.S. and Mexico) carved out of the violent theft of much of Mexico’s land to extend slavery in the U.S. South?

And such an entrance might have focused attention on the ongoing and extremely unequal and oppressive relationship between the U.S. and Mexico.

So what happened to that idea? The pope told reporters that crossing into the U.S. from Mexico might be “a beautiful gesture” but that he couldn’t do it because, “A war would break out and I don’t have time.” (Huffington Post, January 20, 2015). Whether or not this was said partly tongue in cheek, the pope was alluding to how intense the conflict is between the U.S. and nations to the south it oppresses on the one hand, and clashes in the U.S. power structure concentrated, in the months since he said this, in the fascist rants of Donald Trump.

But did the pope defiantly challenge the atmosphere of xenophobic hatred of immigrants and terror directed at them?

No. New pope or not, the rules are still “Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).

The pope may condemn “new colonialism” all he wants, but when it comes down to the real world, the limits of protest—even symbolic—are confined to what does not challenge the fundamental setup in this world.






Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Cheers to "Planting Peace"

Billboard Sends a Message to Kim Davis and Anti-LGBT Bigots

September 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Planting Peace sends a message to Kim Davis, who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, in her hometown in Kentucky. (Photo from Planting Peace, used with permission)


Following the June 26 Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk Kim Davis became a hero to bigots, maniacal advocates of traditional patriarchy, Christian fascists, and haters of equality and diversity by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, claiming that to do so would have compromised her religious beliefs.

In a creative, refreshing, funny, and defiant response, the organization Planting Peace created and posted a billboard high above a Rowan County road, where Kim Davis couldn’t miss it.

The billboard has attracted widespread mainstream news coverage.

Planting Peace explained the message: “As has been painstakingly observed time and time again, the anti-LGBTQ movement is comprised of a substantial number of zealots who unfailingly refer to their rigid interpretation of religious text to narrowly define ‘traditional’ institutions and values. They pick and choose what they wish to convey as immoral and unacceptable, while seemingly sweeping lines of scripture just a few letters away completely under the rug.

“In response, Planting Peace has constructed a message for Kim Davis and the anti-LGBTQ movement. The intent of the billboard is to expose this narrow interpretation by Davis and others that they use to defend their discrimination against the LGBTQ community. It is important and relevant to call this out, because these messages and actions are not simply about a political or religious debate. There are LGBTQ youth across the world who are taking their lives at an alarming rate because of these messages from society that make them feel broken or less than. We have to meet hate with love... intolerance with compassion.”

And Planting Peace posted this message at their website:

Our message to our LGBTQ youth is simple:
You are loved, valued, supported, and beautiful.
There is nothing wrong with you, and we will stand by you.
You are not alone.





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Revolution Books NY Must Re-Open Soon
People Have Stepped Forward and More Is Needed Now!

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Revolution Books NY is at a crucial juncture in its fight to re-open at its new location at 437 Malcolm X Blvd, Harlem, NYC. On May 31, 2015, RB had to close its doors in Chelsea—a downtown neighborhood in New York City. Right away, Revolution Books began to mobilize support to raise big funds and bring forward and mobilize volunteers. What a difference it will make to have the store at the center of the movement for revolution—where people come from all over the world to find the books and engagement about why the world is the way it is and the possibility of a radically different way the world could be—re-open in Harlem.

Today, the renovation of the new store is well underway. Over $30K was raised through an Indiegogo Campaign by late August. The final push to open is now on. There is $35,000 more to raise over the next 6-8 weeks to complete renovation and to re-stock the shelves. Donations can be made directly at

Yet in addition to the funds, delays in renovations and city permits have made it necessary to postpone RB's opening. The aim now is to open the store in early October, with a Grand Opening the second week of November.

Think about what's happened in the world just since RB closed: The global refugee crisis has gone to a horrific level of misery. The Obama administration has approved new drilling in the Arctic as global warming intensifies. Police continue to kill with impunity.

If RB were open now there would be RB programs on these burning matters. Think how much this is needed. A place for critical thinking like no other—where the world of ideas and culture interact with the movement for revolution. Where people find and engage the new synthesis of communism brought forward by Bob Avakian, a breakthrough in the scientific method for understanding the world in the most deep-going way, and on that basis making and carrying forward a revolution that can truly emancipate all of humanity.

All who donated to RB thus far have made a great difference, yet more is needed. RB has put out a call that now is the time to donate and join in raising the funds for the flagship Revolution Books at this crucial moment. October 22-24 is Rise Up October in New York City—thousands and thousands will pour into the streets proclaiming to the country and the world: Police murder must stop!

RB's doors must open, and soon.

Humanity Needs Revolution
The Revolution Needs Revolution Books
Revolution Books Needs You






Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

From A World To Win News Service

"No to fortress Europe"—
European demonstrators march to support immigrants

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


14 September 2015. A World to Win News Service. As European Union politicians manoeuvred and bickered about how to keep out the hundreds of thousands of people seeking refuge, or make political use of them, demonstrators throughout the continent and the UK marched in solidarity to welcome them. In some cases they supported their governments, perceiving them as reacting humanely. In others, they opposed their governments’ openly anti-immigrant efforts and the monstrous arguments used to justify them.

Geneva, Switzerland, September 12 Geneva, Switzerland, September 12, 2015. (Photo: Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)

The earliest rallies were in Paris and other French cities on 5 September, in protest of the Socialist government’s refusal to crack open the country’s borders. In Gothenburg, Sweden’s second-largest city, 10,000 people attended a 9 September rally to proclaim, “Refugees Welcome.” A smaller gathering 5 September in Stockholm was addressed by the country’s prime minister the week before, and the weekend after many thousands came out to greet refugees coming to Sweden through Denmark. In Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city, thousands of people braved heavy rain to take a stand against their government’s hard-line anti-immigrant position. A smaller rally took place in Copenhagen. Munich and other German cities saw innumerable expressions of support for incoming foreigners, including at football games in Munich and Hamburg.

On Saturday, 12 September, demonstrations demanding that borders be opened were held in Madrid, Lisbon, Krakow (Poland) and Romania. Several hundred people came out in Budapest in opposition to the Hungarian government.

In the UK, whose government has deliberately put itself at the forefront of anti-foreigner hysteria, marches were organized in numerous cities throughout England (including Brighton, Manchester and York), Scotland (Glasgow), Wales (Cardiff) and Northern Ireland (Belfast). In a London demonstration whose size exceeded anyone’s expectations, friend or foe alike, as many as 100,000 people flooded the streets, bringing the city centre to a halt for several hours as the protesters marched to Downing Street, the prime minister’s residence, shouting, “Cameron—Shame on you!”

One group of youths chanted, “David Cameron, hey, hey, how many kids did you drown today,” evoking the death of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, who drowned along with his brother and mother as his family tried to cross the Mediterranean. Cameron is notorious for arguing that immigrants should not be rescued at sea, because that would encourage others to make the journey. A home-made sign carried by an anarchist proclaimed, “Hey Dave, we’re your swarm,” a response to Cameron’s speech where he referred to refugees and migrants as a “swarm,” as if they were locusts.

Athens, Greece, September 12Athens, Greece, September 12. (AP photo)

The diverse crowd included people from all walks of life: pregnant women, families with small babies, single mothers, men and women in wheelchairs, from very young to elderly. British and non-British-born people participated, including thousands of present and former refugees.

The march was organized mainly by anti-war, anti-racist coalitions and organisations as well as refugee support groups, with the official slogan “Refugees Welcome Here” a deliberate and sharp rebuke to Cameron’s premeditated hostility to newcomers. Many of the participating groups and individuals came with their own handwritten placards and slogans like “No borders,” “Smash the borders” and “Be human.”

A notable number of people influenced by the recent desperate exodus adopted more radical positions, extending their opposition to include not only the Tory government’s immigration policies but more broadly the sources of the suffering of the people who have been forced to flee their home. They raised slogans such as “Don’t bomb Syria,” “They are not refugees, they are the victims of our bombs” and “They are not chasing our benefits, they are fleeing our bombs.” This was especially appropriate at a moment when Cameron announced that his government’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis, for which the UK is in no small part responsible after a century of British imperialist interference in the Middle East, now once again accelerating, would be to step up the bombing of Syria. Whatever the results of the current Syrian situation, the UK wants to see its own interests served.

There were contradictory currents in the march, including among Syrians and many other people of Middle Eastern origin. For instance, a small group carried a very large banner asking the UK and other imperialist countries to use their militaries to “Stop Assad’s killing machine.” Although they were ignored by the majority of the people except media outlets such as BBC, this showed the crucial need for clarity on the root causes of the Syrian civil war in the functioning of the imperialist system as well as the policies of particular great power governments. There was a general problem in understanding how imperialist attacks fuel Islamic fundamentalism, in Syria and elsewhere, and more generally the dynamics of conflict yet mutual support between imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism.

The biggest challenge facing those who want genuine radical change, including in the situation of the millions of the world’s refugees, was also reflected in the protest. A months-long campaign for the leadership of the Labour Party came to an end Saturday, with the results announced right before the march set off. The winner was Jeremy Corbyn, who is broadly seen as a veteran “hard left” Labour MP with a programme roughly along the lines of Greece’s Syriza or Spain’s Podemos. There was euphoric celebration among a large section of the demonstration, and Corbyn’s first act as new Labour Party leader was to give a major address at the rally.

What does Corbyn’s victory herald? Is it really possible to conceive a solution to the crises convulsing the world coming from the Labour Party, with 100 years of proven unrelenting service on behalf of British imperialism, including presiding over the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq under Tony Blair—a fact perhaps ironically recognized by the marcher whose sign read, “No human being is illegal—except Tony Blair.”

People showed once again there is a great potential for international solidarity and internationalism, but also that the fight must continue to further deepen and strengthen this solidarity by exposing the ruling classes, their deceptions and intrigues, and their system itself.


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 #405 September 21, 2015

From A World To Win News Service

March 8 Women's Organization on the 27th anniversary of the massacre of political prisoners in Iran

"The life-and-death message of thousands of political prisoners of the 1980s:
Revolutionary overthrow of the oppressive Islamic Republic regime!"

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


14 September 2015. A World to Win News Service. The following is by the March 8 Women’s Organization (Iran-Afghanistan).

The oppressive anti-women regime of the Islamic Republic has executed more than 1,900 prisoners, including political prisoners since 2014. Once more they have retained the number one position on a world scale! In the past six months, 570 prisoners have been hung!

Since Rohani’s presidency and the Iranian regime’s efforts to convince the U.S. and European imperialists that they can be relied on as a “legitimate” and powerful state in helping them to come out of the capitalist and Middle East crisis, the regime has intensified the arrests and executions of their opponents. In turn the imperialist powers, in order to get out of the swamps of the Middle East crisis they are facing, and in order to recover from their capitalist crisis, shut their eyes and silently endorse the executions, the intensification of the subordination of women, the imprisonment of the opposition, the repression and imprisonment of workers and toiling people by the Islamic state, as they have done throughout the past 37 years since the Islamic Regime came to power—and especially the massacre of political prisoners in the 1980s and particularly in the summer of 1988.

From when the Islamic regime first came to power, they announced that women must wear the hijab, the symbol of slavery, and enforced their barbaric and reactionary laws against women. They enforced organized patriarchal violence at home, work and in the society, and when they banned all the revolutionary and militant parties, and under the name of the “Islamic Culture revolution” attacked the universities, and when they were arresting and imprisoning the revolutionary youth... they told the masses of people that the subjugation of women, oppression, torture and execution are all an inseparable part of their identity. And only through these means have they been able to continue their filthy existence.

Twenty-seven years have passed since these most horrific events in contemporary Iran. During these events, thousands of political prisoners were executed in less than two months. The best sons and daughters of the people were secretly hung or otherwise executed behind prison walls. The extent of the regime’s crimes was so enormous that in order to hide any evidence, the executed prisoners were buried in mass graves under the cover of night. The regime hoped that by physically eliminating thousands of political prisoners, they could eliminate them from historical memory and hide from the new generation the prisoners’ goal of building a world without oppression and exploitation. They laid down their lives in struggle to achieve this goal.

 But the regime was not able to hide such a horrific crime from the people. Constant exposures by revolutionary and militant forces as well as the struggle of the families of the executed prisoners did not allow this crime to be forgotten. Revealing this crime became another powerful reason for the masses to understand the anti-people and anti-women nature of this oppressive regime and to expose them even more.

A large portion of these political prisoners were women who rebelled against the rotten ruling anti-women system. These women were prosecuted not only for fighting against oppression and exploitation, but they were also tortured and sexually violated, because they were women, with the aim of teaching reactionary lessons to women in the society as a whole. But militant and revolutionary women turned the prison into a battle ground against the religious reactionary rulers. Torture, rape and execution could not make them surrender.

In the past 17 years since the decade-long massacres, we were able to establish the slogan of “We will neither forgive nor forget” as a naked truth against those who deliberately tried hard to make this horrific crime of the Islamic Republic regime of Iran be forgotten. It was our organization that first put this slogan into the political arena of Iran, and since then, the activists of our organization have been severely attacked by the reformist trend, because these reformists know very well that this slogan leaves no room for compromise with the criminal regime of the Islamic Republic. The presentation of this slogan by revolutionary and radical women expresses this undeniable truth that the women can and must raise the flag of radical and fundamental change in the society, and the fulfillment of this slogan must remain as one of the most important demands of women and all the people of Iran.

We women, by continuing our struggle, will show that we will not forget nor forgive the brutal massacre of thousands of women political prisoners who were representatives of rebellion and fought for the emancipation of women. This commitment demands that thousands upon thousands of rebellious women who have had enough of the current situation step forward and ask, “Why did you execute our sisters?”! If demanding emancipation and rebelling against the most barbaric regime of our time is a “crime,” therefore all of us women are “criminals,” because all of us demand emancipation and want to rebel against outmoded, backward and barbaric regimes such as the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Today women and revolutionary militants, particularly the youth, not only value the message of life and death of these thousands of political prisoners, but they are also committed to the realization of this slogan. Along this path, we cannot forget the massacre of the political prisoners nor forgive those who are responsible for such a crime.

The new generation of fighters can become flag bearers of the anger and hatred of the people against the Islamic Republic regime, and like the martyrs of the 1980s, will accept nothing less than the revolutionary overthrow of the entire anti-women Islamic Republic regime of Iran.


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 #405 September 21, 2015

Carl Dix Speaks on #RiseUpOctober:
It HAS to Happen

August 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Carl Dix is the co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.

Carl Dix
Carl Dix is the co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. (Photo: Revolution/

Sixty years ago tomorrow, Emmett Till was brutally murdered. Why? Because they say he whistled at a white woman. Four days later, two white men came to his family's house and dragged Emmett off. They took him to a river, made him take his clothes off and beat him nearly to death. They gouged his eye out and shot him in the head. Then they tied his body to a 75 pound fan and threw him in the river. They were never punished for this murder, even tho' they admitted to doing it in an interview run in Look magazine.

Saturday will be another solemn anniversary. 10 years ago Hurricane Katrina roared ashore from the Gulf of Mexico. Katrina broke thru the levees in New Orleans and flooded 80 percent of the city. Hundreds of thousands of people were driven from their homes. Thousands and thousands of mostly poor Black people were left to die as the authorities failed to provide rescue from the flood waters or emergency supplies of food and water. Nearly 2,000 people DID die. Black people were herded into pens in the New Orleans Superdome that reminded many of the way enslaved Africans were jammed into the holds of slave ships. Blacks who acted to save their own and others' lives were condemned as "looters." The governor of Louisiana gave orders to shoot looters on sight. And police did gun down people who were doing nothing more than trying to escape the flood waters. In the weeks that followed, the authorities used Katrina to ethnically cleanse New Orleans, driving 100,000's of mostly Black people out of New Orleans. I saw some of this up close because I was in New Orleans several times in the aftermath of Katrina, and I fought together with people against the way Black people were driven out of the city.

These two anniversaries are gone into, deeply, in our newspaper, Revolution.  I urge everyone to get multiple copies of Revolution here tonight. Let's think about these two horrific anniversaries. And think about this—from Emmett Till to Sandra Bland... from the catastrophe of Katrina to the ongoing catastrophe of mass incarceration... from all the horrors of the slave ships, the Middle Passage, the centuries of enslavement and lynch mob terror, South AND North, to what we're here tonight to talk about—WHAT WE MUST DO TO STOP POLICE TERROR AND MURDER... think about what America has meant.

So what MUST we do to stop all this? I'm gonna talk tonight about the only REAL way to put an end to this, and then I'm going to talk about Rise Up October, the huge National March to Stop Police Terror on October 24 here in New York City, which is something that everyone can and must jump into right now to push these killers back. And to start all this, I'm going to share with you a quote from Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party. Here's what 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.

That ugliness is so real, it is painful to even think about. There is the way they nearly wiped out the native peoples who lived here and stole their lands, and then put the few who survived into concentration camps called reservations. There is the way they dragged millions of Africans to these shores in slave chains. Oh yes, this capitalist system came into being dripping with blood from its every pore as Karl Marx said. There's the subjugation of women, which is ages old and current day with the culture of servitude and rape and viewing women as sex objects, and the attempts to control women's most private decisions of when or whether they want to have a child. There's the way they do immigrants who are driven here by hunger and horror the U.S. causes in their homelands, desperately seeking work and then persecuted—deported in record numbers by Obama and insulted by fascist idiots like Donald Trump.

Carl Dix

There's the imperialist wars—the powers that be sometimes tell us about the Americans who die in these wars, but do they tell us about the people they kill? They killed over a million people in Iraq these past two decades. They killed three million people in Vietnam and three million more in Korea. And do they tell you why? Well, Cornel can tell you—it's for EMPIRE. And I was in their army, I saw how they try to break people's spirits and turn them into mindless killing machines for their imperialist wars. When they told me in 1970 that I had to ship out to Vietnam, I said "HELL, No!" I did two years in Leavenworth military prison because I refused to kill my Vietnamese brothers and sisters for this system. And now they're even putting all of human life in danger by destroying the environment of the planet we all live on.

We can't turn away from this ugliness. We have to confront it.

But there's something else. There's the great beauty that Avakian talks about. The potential to emancipate all of humanity.

This is not a dream. This is not "don't worry, we'll get justice some day." This can be done. Humanity CAN be emancipated. And the way to do this is through revolution—thru getting RID of this system and bringing in a system that is based on freeing people from all that ugliness and developing whole new ways for people to relate to each other and to the whole world.

A lotta people tell me, "Carl, you're crazy. You can't make revolution. They're too powerful." But what's crazy is going along with this system and expecting things to get better. And let me tell you about their power—I've seen it up close, and I've seen the very real potential to defeat that power.

We saw the potential to make revolution in the 1960's, when Black people stood up against the oppression enforced on them, sparking much broader resistance here in the U.S. and striking a chord with people around the world. The potential to defeat them and their power was shown in Vietnam where peasants who were inspired and organized defeated their big powerful army—and part of how they did that by inspiring soldiers like me to rebel. Back then we wanted to question and change everything. We saw glimmers of a different morality, a whole different way people could relate to each other. We saw a glimpse back then of the beauty Bob Avakian is talking about.

In a few parts of the world people did get free, and here in the belly of the beast, the system got knocked back on its heels. But things didn't go far enough. We never made revolution here in the U.S., leaving power in the hands of the capitalist exploiters. Where revolution had been made, power was seized back. The attempt to change everything got defeated, and people around the world and in this country have paid a heavy price in blood and misery for this ever since. A lot of people got too beaten down and gave up. What we got was a few faces in high places—some Black, some Latino, some women. What else we got was over two million people in prison.

Today one in two Black children grow up in poverty. We got crack and AIDS and all the horrors that go with what Lorraine Hansberry called a "dream deferred." But that's where Bob Avakian comes in—because he never gave up on the people and he never gave up on revolution, and not only that, he made new breakthroughs in revolution, including in basically solving the problems that the revolution ran up against back then.

Don't let people tell you we can't do better than this...don't let anybody tell you that America is eternal, and that the best we can hope for is getting some itty-bitty changes in HOW they dog us. Don't let them suck you into framing what you're trying to do in the language and the terms of the system. Don't let them tell you that we have to limit ourselves to working within the channels this system puts out there. We've seen this movie before, and the result is the whole genocidal situation we face right now—and yes, I said genocide. So I'm challenging everyone here, especially you young people—get into this revolution, get into Bob Avakian and what he's brought forward about how to make revolution—keep your sights aimed where they need to be: on emancipating all of humanity. You can do this by going to our website——or come to our new bookstore opening up this fall in Harlem at 437 Malcolm X Blvd at 132nd St. ... but do get into him.

Now, coming from where I'm coming from—the need for and possibility of revolution—I understand that we have to fight right now—we can't let them beat people so far down that we could never rise up against the things they do to us. We have to mobilize everyone we can, wherever they're coming from and however they see the problem and the solution, to fight this madness we face. Again, that's why you came here tonight—to find out what we must do to stop police terror and murder.

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

Let me start out by getting personal. When I tell you the police have killed over 700 people so far this year, these are not just statistics to me. In the decades I've been working to stop murder by police I've seen the devastation killer cops inflict on families and on communities. I met Mertilla Jones five years ago. It was just days after a SWAT team broke into the wrong house and murdered her 7-year-old granddaughter, Aiyana Stanley-Jones. I met Juanita Young 15 years ago, just days after a cop who had arrested her son Malcolm Ferguson the previous week for protesting the murder of Amadou Diallo murdered Malcolm. I met Nicholas Heyward almost 20 years ago, two years after his 13-year-old son, Nicholas Jr, was gunned down by a cop while he was playing with a toy gun. These are just a few of the thousands of people who have been murdered by police. Ask these parents what it's like to mourn your child, without even justice. Or ask my wife, whose brother was shot down by cops right in front of his mother, just a day after they had told her they were gonna kill him. All this is a big part of why I'm doing all I can to mobilize people to act to STOP police getting away with murder. And it's why you need to join with this effort

People who front for this system are asking, "what are your demands?" They say, "You can't just tell us to stop letting our cops kill you, you have to have some 'reasonable' demands.'

It tells you something about this system that to them stopping the police from murdering innocent people and terrorizing Black and other oppressed peoples is "unreasonable." Let's leave that aside for now. OK, here are some demands. How about indicting, convicting and putting the killer cops in jail? And I don't just mean the ones who get caught on video killing someone next week. I mean all the killer cops, including those who have killed 1000s of people over the past years and decades. This is a "reasonable" demand because there is no statute of limitations on murder!

How about dismantling the new Jim Crow of mass incarceration and the whole genocidal program this concentrates? Don't be bragging about how Obama pardoned 46 people when there are 2.3 million people locked down. How about doing something about this for real? How about dropping the charges on everybody who got arrested protesting murder by police over the past year? How about shutting down that dungeon and butcher shop they got over there on Riker's Island, and the other dungeons just like it in other cities? And we do have an overarching demand: how about you STOP unleashing your cops to kill our people?

These are pretty reasonable demands, unless you are presiding over a system that NEEDS official murder, terror and massive unjust imprisonment. These are the demands that people need to throw down over and fight for as part of ending these horrors. And RiseUpOctober, the big national march in NYC on October 24, is aimed at making a big leap in the fight to do this.

When you're up against a genocide, and that IS what we're dealing with, you don't ask the people presiding over it to make some changes to smooth out the rough edges of that genocide or to slow down its intensity. You act to stop it.

And when you're up against a genocide, you don't listen when they say: "you've made your point—now you can stop disrupting the business as usual of our system." We haven't "made our point" until all of society is in an uproar saying that THIS MUST STOP. We haven't made our point until everyone has felt compelled to choose sides on this because they understand that there is no middle ground, and people feel challenged to be in the street saying THIS MUST STOP. We haven't made our point until, like Rev McCorry says, these so-called champions of human rights stand revealed before the whole wide world for the frauds that they are, and the whole world sees that THIS MUST STOP.

Video of the full event held on August 27:
What We Must Do to STOP Police Terror and Murder

Diverse, Intense & Uncompromising: A Night in Harlem to GET READY for #RiseUpOctober in NYC, October 22-24, 2015

THIS is why we have to be out there on October 22, 23 and 24. When we stand out there on October 22 reading the names of those the police have murdered—with prominent people joining with loved ones of those murdered and with clergy and others to, as Kimberlé Crenshaw and Janelle Monáe have called on us to do: SAY THEIR NAMES. This will send a powerful message. When people take to the streets in cities all across the country on October 22, people won't be able to turn their heads and say they didn't see it. On October 23, when students and clergy alongside and in solidarity with those who feel the lash of this every day, engage in non violent direct action and shut down one of their institutions of misery and terror—that will send a powerful message to all—this movement is serious.

Then on October 24, we, all of us, will march in from Grant Homes and Strivers' Row in Harlem, from Washington Heights and Jackson Heights, from Bed-Stuy and Hunts Point and from Jamaica and Staten Island. There will be students from CUNY, Columbia and dozens of other campuses from this area, people from Newark and Paterson and Hartford, numbering in the thousands and thousands. We will be joined by thousands and thousands more from Atlanta and Chicago, from Detroit and Cleveland, from New Orleans and Mississippi and many other places. Millions of people all across the country and around the world will hear our powerful cry: WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? Millions more are gonna say, okay, I gotta choose sides and many of them will decide they have to be with the ones trying to STOP this.

We will change history. We will inspire thousands and yes millions, who are tired of being treated like criminals and tired of seeing cops patrolling their communities like occupying armies, to see that they don't have to take this, to see that it's not their fault. And they will stand up and act to stop this. We will rally to their side thousands of people from other sections of society who refuse to stand aside while horrors are inflicted on people because of the color of their skin. We will open the eyes of those who don't suffer these horrors, challenging them to quit swallowing the lying justifications the authorities give for continuing to give a green light to killer cops, challenging them to get off the sidelines—Which Side Are You On? Are you on the side of acting to STOP these horrors? Or are you on the side of continuing to let them go down? There's no middle ground, no neutrality, on this. You gotta choose a side. And I don't mean just giving us your sympathy. I mean actively joining in the resistance and mobilizing others to resist too. You gotta join with this effort to make October 24 as powerful as possible. You gotta listen when somebody here tonight tells you what you can do and who you can hook up with to be part of RiseUpOctober, or, and let me be real—if you and people like you don't throw in on this—it ain't gonna happen.

And it HAS to happen.

I don't want to have to keep on making hashtags with the names of people killed by the police. I don't want to keep adding names to the lists of the lives stolen by law enforcement. I don't want to have to keep adding pictures of people the police have murdered to banners like this. I don't want to let this genocide keep going so that future generations will be here discussing what to do about it 20 years from now. We've got to act to stop it now.

So let's get out there, let's do all we can to STOP this, and then let's do more—let's make October a big step toward a world where when the next generation learns about Emmett Till and Katrina, it really WILL be history, a history that has been overcome and that no longer echoes and booms in the reality of the present. A world where humanity has straightened its back and emancipates itself.






Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Cornel West & Carl Dix Call for a Major National Manifestation Against Police Terror

#RiseUpOctober 24 to STOP Police Terror
Which Side are You On?

Come to New York City!

Updated September 18, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Call for Rise Up October pdf download


Michael Brown...Freddie Gray... Rekia Boyd... Andy Lopez...Tamir Rice

One after another—and so many others, precious Black and Brown lives—victims of police murder. We think of their faces, and furiously ache for justice. Over 1,000 people a year killed by police—yet since 2005, less than 60 indictments, less than 25 convictions! 1

Millions languish in prison, generation after generation, Black and Latino brothers and sisters. The spearpoint of a whole matrix of oppression.

People have struggled, resisted, risen up. This must go on and go further—all summer, in many different ways, intensifying.

At the same time, these repeated outrages cry out for a major, national manifestation this fall that states very clearly:


This demonstration will be resistance-based, uncompromising in spirit and, at the same time, pluralistic and diverse, involving hundreds of thousands of people, reaching into every corner of this society and powerfully impacting the whole world.

History has shown that no significant change has been won without mass determined resistance.

We refuse to be derailed by promises of reform that are merely that: promises.

We refuse to be intimidated by government repression or by threats from forces of open and unrepentant racism and fascism. We will respond to the urgency of the political situation by mobilizing hundreds of thousands of people to take to the streets to say these horrors must stop.

We aim to amplify the many forms of resistance against police murder and mass incarceration. More important, we aim to change the whole social landscape, to the point where a growing section of people all over take ever-increasing initiative and make it unmistakably clear that they refuse to live in a society that sanctions this outrage, and where those who do NOT feel this way are put on the defensive.

Join us—on October 24 in the streets of New York City.


Initiated by Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party & Dr. Cornel West, author and educator

Initiating Endorsers include family members of those whose lives were taken by police:

Click here to see initial endorsers.





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

The TRUTH About Police Murder and Mass Incarceration in the United States

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Killings by Police

graphic, so-called "war on cops"

Number of people in the U.S. killed by police this year (through September 18, 2015): 837.

Number of police killed by people this year (through September 18, 2015): 31.

Number of police who have been charged or indicted over the 10-year period 2005-2015, during which police killed thousands of people: 45 (only 11 of whom have been convicted of any crime).

Black people are two-and-a-half times as likely to be killed by police than are white people.

A Nation of Mass Incarceration

There are approximately 2.3 million people in U.S. prisons and jails.

Black people are about 13 percent of the U.S. population but make up almost 40 percent of the total prison and jail population. African-Americans, Latinos, and American Indians have the highest rates of incarceration.

The United States has five percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of its prisoners.

In 2015, there are more than 201,000 women prisoners in the U.S., about 8.8 percent of the total American prison and jail population, and the U.S. female prison/jail population is growing.

Nearly a third of all female prisoners worldwide are incarcerated in the U.S.

African-American women’s incarceration rate has increased by 800 percent since 1986, compared with an increase of 400 percent for women of other races and nationalities.





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Excerpts from some of the many statements of support for Noche Diaz

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Statement forwarded from Dr. Cornel West, who could not attend Noche’s court appearance:

 “I wholeheartedly support dropping the charges against Noche.”


As a Presbyterian Clergy, I have a duty to respond to matters that concern justice. I am aware that Noche Diaz is facing charges in county court tomorrow. If any matter is a concern for justice, this certainly is. What is at stake here is the ongoing lethal assault by police against people of color in oppressed neighborhoods. Mr. Diaz represents the voice crying out against those assaults, yet he is the one being charged. Things have gotten turned around backwards. What is necessary is that all charges against Mr. Diaz be dropped immediately and that charges be brought against those police who act in violence against innocent persons. Only then will justice truly be served.

The Rev. Dr. Robert L. Brashear, Pastor
West-Park Presbyterian Church


Noche Diaz’s right to protest is upheld by our Constitution. The First Amendment protects free speech and peaceful assembly, all charges against him must be dropped. I marched with Noche and his commitment to work for justice is unparalleled. This is the United States of America, we do not jail people for working towards a more perfect union.

Aida L. Montero
Member, Riverside Church


Edward “Noche” Diaz is a community leader who stands in the tradition of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and so many other freedom fighters. It has been an honor to march by Noche’s side in the work for justice. Freedom of speech and peaceful assembly are protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. I and many others call for all charges against Noche to be dismissed, immediately. Thank you.

Nkosi Anderson, M. Div.
Ph.D. Student, Union Theological Seminary


As you take the difficult case of Noche Diaz, I ask you to pursue the true “justice for all,” on which this country was founded. When I sat on a jury a number of years ago, it was made clear to us that, at every trial, American justice was on trial, and not just the defendant. We were to make sure that it was equally applied, and impartially applied. If Noche Diaz, alone, is convicted of criminal charges, it will be clear that this does not hold true. It will be clear that American justice has failed a test.

When police are attacked, it is true that justice is in danger, for the police are charged with upholding justice. But when police attack others, it is equally true that justice is in danger, for the same reason—for the police are charged with upholding justice.

I hope that the Brooklyn DA’s office will continue to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, for us all.

Rev. Stephen C. Holton, STM
Episcopal Diocese of New York


To the Brooklyn DA’s office:

I believe Edward ‘Noche’ Diaz should have all charges dropped against him by your office. His actions and motivations come from a deep and heartfelt commitment to bring about a more just and humane criminal justice for all New York City residents.

Prof. James Vrettos
Sociology Dept., John Jay College of Criminal Justice






Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Voices from the Hell of Solitary Confinement

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


See also: California Prison Officials Forced to Stop Some of Their Crimes: The Struggle to END the Torture of The Pelican Bay SHU Continues

Close your eyes and imagine you’re in a cell that’s 8 x 10 feet—with no windows, no air, just concrete walls all around you. This tomb includes a slab of cement to sleep on, a toilet and sink. That’s it. You’re deprived of human contact. Your food is shoved through a slot in the door. Maybe once a day you are let out of this cell for one hour, into a space a little bigger, with a little bit more air. And if the guards decide you’re not cooperating—for something as minor as not returning a food tray or banging on the door—a team of them, in full riot gear, with batons, handcuffs, will “extract” you from your cell, hogtie you and beat you with no mercy. Maybe you have been in this cell, subjected to this torture, for five years, or 10 years, or maybe 30 years, deprived of human contact, never feeling the sun, never seeing the sky or a blade of grass, never hearing a note of music.

This is life—or more accurately, a slow death—for nearly 80,000 prisoners who have been put in solitary confinement all over the USA. This kind of solitary confinement stands in violation of international human rights standards, including the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. This kind of sensory deprivation and lack of human contact is known to create severe psychological disorders. There is evidence that long-term isolation can alter brain chemistry and produce psychopathologies, including panic attacks, depression, inability to concentrate, memory loss, aggression, self-mutilation, and various forms of psychosis.

On September 1, 2015, a settlement was reached in a class action suit filed against California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on behalf of all of the men now imprisoned in the nightmare of long-term solitary confinement and sensory deprivation in the SHU—the Security Housing Unit—at Pelican Bay State Prison. The suit, Ashker v. Brown, was based on the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment and the denial of due process. The CDCR has now been forced to end some of the most egregious ways it subjects prisoners to the torture of solitary confinement. See article at But it cannot be forgotten that many thousands of men and women have been TORTURED, their bodies and minds have been wrecked in horrific ways, AND tens of thousands of prisoners throughout this country are still being tortured in solitary confinement!

Read and listen to the voices of some of those from around the country who have gone through this living hell:

Robert King was one of the “Angola 3,” along with Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox—prisoners who were targeted for punishment and placed in solitary confinement at the Angola Prison in Louisiana because they were members of the Black Panther Party. King was released from Angola in February 2001. From an interview with the ACLU:

The worst thing, the punishment that I underwent was separating from people. Just being on a tier [a prison hallway] with someone, maybe hearing a voice every now and then, while it’s not total sensory deprivation, it is almost worse. That has a tendency to dehumanize people.

Most times people hear me talking, and they’ll ask me a lot of the time, why aren’t you insane? I would like to think that I’m very sane.

But I’m also prone to tell people that it’s impossible to get dipped in waste and not come up stinking. Or not come up smelling. The impact, even though there might not be a physical stench, the psychological stench is something that I can’t even fathom.

Only thing I know is this, when you are in solitary confinement, the best way I could describe it is, the soul cries and I think the brain shrinks. Especially if you are in a 6x9x12 foot cell, your brain is automatically shrinking, and I think everything else shrinks with it. And I think that’s lasting.

Joe Giarratano, a prisoner at Virginia’s Wallens Ridge State Prison, spent a total of eight years in Secure Housing and supermax units. From handwritten letter [to ACLU]:

The cell was a bit larger: 8’ x 12’. Solid slider door with small window in it. They kept the window covered with a magnetic flap (picture a large, flexible, refrigerator magnet). The cell had a concrete form bunk with very thin mattress. Stainless steel toilet/sink combo. There was a cell window, approximately 3” X 5”, which let some natural light in for a few hours in the morning/afternoon. I was allowed a small amount of legal material, and religious materials, and writing material. I was allowed 2 hours of “outside” rec and 2 10-minute showers per week. The outside rec was in a small, high walled cube area with no roof. Maybe a little larger than a cell. Yelling to other prisoners was not permitted. If you did it you would lose your rec period and shower. Only human contact was with guards or counselor. If the counselor wanted to see you, the guard would shackle you, cuff you behind your back, place you on a short leash and sometimes put a hood over your head. You would be escorted to a room and chained to a wall where the counselor would speak. Then you would wait to be escorted back—could take a few minutes, could be 2 hours chained to the wall. I went on a hunger strike that lasted about 80 days.

My 8 years in SHU made me less sociable. I get extremely uncomfortable being around or in groups of people. I have experienced panic attacks in these situations.... I generally do not initiate conversations. I do respond if someone speaks to me. I have become much more of an introvert. Depression remains a problem... Human beings are social creatures. We need psychological, intellectual, spiritual, environmental stimulation to function properly, to grow and develop. Without that stimulation we deteriorate. I do not care how strong one is mentally solitary confinement will adversely affect you. I have literally watched grown men deteriorate before my eyes, and go mad. There were times during my 8 year stint that I lost it and began to hallucinate and lose my grip on reality. What the public needs to realize is that eventually all of those who experience that will be released back into society, far more broken than when they went in.

Five Omar Mualimm-ak, now a prison reform activist, served almost 12 years in prison for illegal weapons possession. From a 2013 interview with the Guardian:

Kalief Browder was sent to New York City’s hellish Rikers Island prison in 2010 when he was 16 years old, accused of stealing a backpack. He spent three years being tortured there without trial.He never recovered from the torture he was subjected to, and on June 6 he took his own life.

While serving time in New York’s prisons, I spent 2,054 days in solitary and other forms of isolated confinement, out of sight and invisible to other human beings—and eventually, even to myself.... There was nothing to hear except empty, echoing voices from other parts of the prison. I was so lonely that I hallucinated words coming out of the wind. They sounded like whispers. Sometimes, I smelled the paint on the wall, but more often, I just smelled myself, revolted by my own scent.

There was no touch. My food was pushed through a slot. Doors were activated by buzzers, even the one that led to a literal cage directly outside of my cell for one hour per day of “recreation.”

Even time had no meaning in the SHU. The lights were kept on for 24 hours. I often found myself wondering if an event I was recollecting had happened that morning or days before. I talked to myself. I began to get scared that the guards would come in and kill me and leave me hanging in the cell. Who would know if something happened to me? Just as I was invisible, so was the space I inhabited.

The very essence of life, I came to learn during those seemingly endless days, is human contact, and the affirmation of existence that comes with it. Losing that contact, you lose your sense of identity. You become nothing.

Everyone knows that prison is supposed to take away your freedom. But solitary doesn’t just confine your body; it kills your soul.... The scars that isolated confinement leaves behind may be invisible, too, but they are no less painful or permanent than physical scars. Even now that I am out of prison, I suffer major psychological consequences from those years in isolation. I know that I have irreparable memory damage. I can hardly sleep. I have a short temper. I do not like people to touch me. I cannot listen to music or watch television or sports. I am only beginning to recover my ability to talk on the phone. I no longer feel connected to people.






Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Police Rain Terror from Above:
San Bernardino Sheriffs Fire on Rush-Hour Traffic from Helicopter

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Sheriff’s deputies in Southern California opened fire from a helicopter into the middle of Friday afternoon rush-hour traffic on the 215 freeway September 18. The gunfire from the air killed one man the police say was a suspect in a home-invasion robbery a day earlier. And when he jumped or fell out of his car following the barrage of shots, the vehicle collided with another car, sending three people in that car to the hospital. The number of people shot, or injured in resulting car crashes, could easily have been much higher. No one is saying yet how many shots the sheriffs fired, but at least seven bullet holes can be seen in photos of the dead man’s vehicle. It’s not yet known whether the man died from a bullet that struck him or from falling from the car.

The incident reportedly began when the suspect wouldn’t obey an order to pull over. Without any reason to think a life was in imminent danger from the suspect, the sheriffs acted in a way that they became the imminent danger. They chased him on city streets at speeds reaching over 100 miles an hour, risking the lives of all the drivers and pedestrians in their way. Only then did the man enter the freeway going in the wrong direction, and the sheriffs’ pursuit now became even more threatening, leading them to open fire on a freeway full of cars.

How many times have police in this country turned a suspect into a corpse? How many times have they delivered a death sentence to someone—whatever the alleged crime or infraction may be, or for nothing at all—without bothering with a trial, and gotten away with it? And how many times in the process have they endangered or harmed others in “collateral damage”? No, this is not “serving and protecting the people”—this is “serving and protecting the system that rules over the people.”

And if you think the sheriffs in this incident are just a few “bad apples”—it was a gang of thugs from the same sheriff’s department who were captured on news video in April nearly beating to death a subdued suspect—kicking him 17 times, punching him 37 times, and hitting him with a baton four times. (See “San Bernardino Sheriffs Caught on Video: The Savage Beating of Francis Pusok”)

This has got to stop! And we have got to make it stop!





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

New Video: Natasha McKenna Murdered by Prison Guards

September 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Natasha McKenna was murdered by prison guards in February in Fairfax County, Virginia. Last week, Sheriff's officials released a video of the brutal, inhumane assault on this 5’3, 135 lb woman suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder that led to her death. Natasha McKenna was shot with a stun gun and Tasered. She cried out, “You promised me you wouldn't kill me. I didn't do anything."

Watch the video here, now.

Fairfax County Sheriff Stacy Kincaid said the video shows “[E]xactly both the professionalism and the restraint and the patience that the deputies demonstrated in trying to get Ms. McKenna treatment...” What does it tell you that this murder-in-custody represents “[E]xactly both the professionalism and the restraint and the patience” this system has for a Black woman in desperate need of mental health care?

Which Side Are You On?





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

If You're a Ninth Grader from Sudan Who Makes A Clock... The Cops Treat You Like a "Terrorist"

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Fourteen-year old Ahmed Mohamed went to high school in Irving, Texas, near Dallas. He is from a Muslim family that immigrated to the United States from Sudan. He likes studying robotics and engineering. On September 15, he went to school wearing a NASA T-shirt. He brought an electronic clock he had made at home and showed it to his engineering teacher, hoping to start a robotics club. The teacher told him not to show it to anyone else. Ahmed put the clock in his backpack and when it beeped during his English class, the teacher confiscated it.

Then, later in the day, the principal came with four police officers. Ahmed was arrested, handcuffed, and taken to juvenile detention. Ahmed kept insisting the clock was... just a clock! But the cops kept interrogating him, without his parents even present, let alone a lawyer—trying to get him to confess to bringing a bomb or a fake bomb to school. They fingerprinted Ahmed, and took his mug shot.

Ahmed later said in a YouTube video, “It made me feel like I wasn’t human. It made me feel like a criminal.”

Police initially considered charging Ahmed with making a “hoax bomb.” Not until the next day did they announce no charges would be filed. Still Ahmed was given a three-day suspension from school!

This is post 9/11 America, where if your family is from a certain country... If you’re Muslim... It doesn’t matter if you’re just a KID who’s interested in science. It doesn’t matter if you wear a NASA T-shirt to school and want to start a science club. The police will treat you like they consider you a “terrorist threat” and you will have NO rights.

No matter how much Obama and other voices in high places are now rushing to criticize how Ahmed was treated—this incident shines a light on the racist, anti-Muslim atmosphere promoted by the so-called “war on terror” and the illegitimacy of the police who consider a kid with a clock a dangerous suspect to be arrested and interrogated.






Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Exposed! The Real Story Behind a Shooting in the “War on Cops”

Updated September 18, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The September 1 death of cop Charles Joseph Gliniewicz near Chicago has been used as a rallying cry to falsely claim there is a so-called “war on police.” Authorities launched a military-style manhunt with 400 heavily armed cops for the alleged “suspects”—a Black man and two white men. Thousands of cops attended the funeral for Gliniewicz, who was made into a hero and martyr. It turned out that as of today, no evidence has been presented that anyone killed Gliniewicz. There IS NO “war on police”—there is an epidemic of police killing people! Just since the beginning of this year, over 800 people have been killed by police in America—compared to 31 cops dying in the line of duty. Which side are you on?
(Photo: Brian Hill/Daily Herald, via AP)

Over the past couple days, there have been strange developments in the case of a cop whose death was used to hype up the war on anti-police brutality protesters.

On September 1, suburban Chicago cop Charles Joseph Gliniewicz died from one or more gunshot wounds. News reports said before his death he radioed that he was chasing three people engaged in "suspicious activity.” Nobody has said what that “suspicious activity” was, but reportedly one of the “suspects” was Black, in the almost all-white suburb of Fox Lake, and the other two were white.

Immediately authorities launched a massive manhunt with 400 heavily armed cops, helicopters, snipers in camouflage and dogs for suspects identified in a surveillance video. Trains were stopped and searched. Residents were locked into their homes—they couldn’t even take their dogs out to relieve themselves. Authorities turned the area around the shooting into a scene that looked like the U.S. invasion of Iraq, or—to take an example closer to home—like old-time slave catchers gone rabid in search of a runaway or rebellious slave.

Thousands of police from around the country and others attended Gliniewicz’s funeral, followed by a mile-long funeral procession marked with blue ribbons in support of police. The so-called “Blue Lives Matter” movement made Gliniewicz—nicknamed “GI Joe”—a martyr and a hero. The media repeated the lie that the death of Gliniewicz was yet more supposed evidence that police were “all under siege” because of anti-police brutality protests. (Chicago Tribune 9/17/15). And this in the context of headlines like one at Fox “News” that claimed “In America today the blue uniform has a bull's-eye on it.”

Check It Out: Larry Wilmore, The Nightly Show, on the Phony “War on Cops”
Watch this video clip of Larry Wilmore, host of Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show where he takes apart the manufactured lie that there is a “war on police.” With humor and contempt and from his own perspective, Wilmore targets “Trickery Dickery” FOX News for regurgitating over and over again cops’ blatantly false claim that Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protests are endangering cops’ lives.

Then what happened? The Gliniewicz story faded from national news. The suspects identified from surveillance video—targets of the invasion-level manhunt—were found and cleared by police with barely a notice in the press. Nobody asked what made them suspects in the first place.

And in a striking development, the County Coroner reported that Gliniewicz’s death could have been the result of a wide range of events including “homicide, suicide, accident, undetermined" because among other things, the trajectory and entry point of a bullet indicated suicide was a possibility. The coroner is now saying he cannot make a determination of cause of death because he is shut out of the police investigation and doesn’t “know what happened in terms of where did this bullet come from."

Additional reports have raised possible connections between Gliniewicz's death and a scandal that forced his chief to resign in the midst of an investigation into how his force handled an arrest in 2014. And in another development, a retired Chicago cop was arrested for calling the Lake County Sheriff's office and making threats against everyone investigating the Gliniewicz death unless it was declared a suicide. While neither of these reports proves anything, compare the way they are being treated to the way rumors and gossip are dredged up—like accusations that the victim was selling loose cigarettes—when a Black person is the victim of police murder.

Fact is, no evidence has been released pointing to anyone or anything responsible for the death of Gliniewicz, and there seems to be an effort by authorities to cover up the whole story. Yet his death is being used as a rallying cry for an invented wave of killings of police.


Again: compare the way the powers-that-be responded to the death of Gliniewicz—due to unknown causes—to how they respond when a Black person is brutalized or murdered by police on video where millions see it happen and it is clear someone was murdered, and who the murderer is! When the victim is Black, and the killer a cop, is the victim made into a national cause? Is there a massive manhunt mobilized to apprehend his killer? Do top officials attend the funeral and vow this must never happen again? Do the media dig into what the motives and factors behind his murder by police were?

You know the answer: In cases where police brutalize and kill, there is almost no pretence of apprehending the assailant. In fact, each assault or murder-by-police is turned into an orgy of demonizing Black people as a whole as “thugs” and “demons” while celebrating the “courage” of the police who murdered them. It happened with Eric Garner. It happened with Mike Brown. It happened to thousands of others.

Since the beginning of this year over 800 people were killed by police in America, vastly disproportionally Black and Latino, and over and over again unarmed and presenting no threat to anyone. Compare that to the 31 police who—like Charles Joseph Gliniewicz—die in the line of duty and whose deaths were used to generate a blizzard of bullshit turning reality upside down.

NO! There is NO epidemic of people killing police, there IS an epidemic of police killing people.

Which side are you on?

Since the beginning of this year over 800 people were killed by police in America. 31 police are reported to have died at the hands of civilians. NO! There is NO epidemic of people killing police, there IS an epidemic of police killing people.





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Updated September 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


This is a text of a leaflet from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network-Chicago, which is going out to the Beverly Unitarian Church in Chicago—the church that put up a “Black Lives Matter” sign and then took it down after receiving some hostile responses.

For more on the national debate within the Unitarian Universalist Church on Black Lives Matter and police terror, see Unitarians and Black Lives Matter... Debate Spreads—and watch a video from a Unitarian Church in Anapolis that is responding the right way to attacks on their Black Lives Matter banner.


Open Letter to Beverly Unitarian Church—Which Side Are You On?

Either you stand on the side of those who defend police murder of unarmed Black and Latino people OR you stand against this together with others who refuse to accept it.

By taking down your sign, "Black Lives Matter" you took a side. The wrong side! BLACK LIVES DO MATTER.

PUT THE BLACK LIVES MATTER SIGN BACK UP and many people will stand with you. When you cave into the lies, mis-education and racist threats that led you to take your sign down, you do great harm.


To the congregation of the Beverly Unitarian Church,

Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Laquan McDonald, Tony Robinson, Justus Howell. In 2015 alone, there are hundreds of names. We know their names because people stood up and protested and demanded that this society recognize that Black Lives Matter and police murder must stop.

Your church caved into a campaign underway by right-wing politicians, media and police representatives that is out to demonize the protestors. They got your church to swallow their lies that the movement against police terror is anti-white, anti-police and most outrageously, somehow terrorist. Let’s be real. There is terror, but it is police terror—the terror that comes from state violence that ends a Black or Latino person’s life for no reason other than a cop or racist vigilante saying, “I felt scared.” The victim and their families are demonized. There is no justice time and time again.

We call on you to do the moral and principled thing and put the sign, BLACK LIVES MATTER back up. Get back on the right side of history.

We are building for a major, massive demonstration in the streets of New York City on Oct 24th—everyone who agrees with the simple demand that police murder and terror must stop should be there. Let’s make clear to the whole world, in our numbers and determination, that there are many, many people who refuse to tolerate these outrages, who will not be silent and complicit in the face of them. JOIN US IN BUILDING FOR OCTOBER 24th IN NEW YORK CITY.
For more information: Stop Mass Incarceration Network-Chicago • (312) 933-9586
@StopMassIncChi                      #RISEUPOCTOBER






Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Chicago Artists for Rise Up October: An Evening of Art, Poetry and Spoken Word Against Murder by Police

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Artists in Chicago supporting Rise Up October are organizing what promises to be an inspiring, and thought-provoking, evening of visual and performing art to raise funds to send 100 members of families who have lost loved ones to police murder to New York City for October 22-24! The Invitation to Artists (see below) is circulating now, and several artists well known in the community where the exhibit will be held have already donated work to the event, along with others. The venue is in the heart of Pilsen, a Mexican-American community that is now a very lively art scene as well, so this exhibit will be bringing Rise Up October into communities of the oppressed, of artists and galleries, and of middle-class art lovers.

Much more is needed and possible, so artists, graphic designers, poets and performers are all invited to get in touch with the organizers (email address below).

An Invitation to Artists:
Stop Police Terror! Which Side Are You On?

A call for an evening of art, poetry and spoken word against police murder.

When: 4 to 8 pm, Sunday, Oct. 11
Where: La Catrina Cafe, 1011 W. 18th St., Chicago
Who: YOU!

Artists, the forces of repression are killing people across this land on a daily basis, spreading terror in the communities of the oppressed and destroying families. While thousands have taken to the streets to fight against this police terror, let's not forget that the canvas, the pen, the word are also weapons in this struggle.

We have seen the videos and taken to the streets, where we have been met by massive police presence and thousands of arrests. Body cams and training are offered as solutions— and yet police ARE still killing our people, and they are getting away with it! No one can say they don't know. If, in the face of all this, one refuses to take action, that IS complicity. That's why we will say in massive numbers on Oct 24: Which Side Are You On? STOP Police Terror!

In this spirit, we are organizing an evening of art, poetry and spoken word in Chicago to inspire and incite political resistance that will culminate in a Major National Mobilization in New York on October 24. Please read the Call for October 24 and sign! The proceeds from sales of art at this evening will go to funding transportation of families who have lost loved ones to police murder so they can participate in "Rise Up October" in New York on October 22, 23 and 24. Check out the website for details.

Artists who have already committed to contributing to this event include José Guerrero, Alejandro Medina, Jill McLaughlin, Ayana Tomeka, Muhammed Naqee, and Victor Alegría.

Artist who are interested in participating are invited to email us at

Artists For Rise Up October, Chicago






Revolution #405 September 21, 2015


People's Arrest Warrants Served by #RiseUpOctober for Police Assault on James Blake

September 16, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Arrest Warrant served on James Frascatore for assaulting James Blake

On September 16, 3:00 pm at the New York Police Department's 17th Precinct, 167 East 51, a delegation of organizers for #RiseUpOctober, a mass mobilization to STOP Police Terror on October 22-24, served a People's Arrest Warrant for NYPD Officer James Frascatore for:

Count 1 - Felonious Assault and Battery on September 9, 2015 on James Blake
Count 2 - Aiding and Abetting a Genocide Against Black Lives

A People's Arrest Warrant was served for NYPD Commissioner William Bratton for:

Count 1 - Harboring a Felonious Criminal, James Frascatore
Count 2 - Aiding and Abetting a Genocide Against Black Lives

This People's Warrant was served on behalf of ALL the victims known and unknown of Officer Frascatore and the NYPD.

To get involved and donate:

On September 9, NYPD Officer James Frascatore ran up and body slammed James Blake, a Black man, to the ground. People everywhere have seen the surveillance video. Frascatore, in plainclothes, never identified himself as an NYPD officer. He made no effort to talk to James Blake before rushing him and slamming him to the ground.

After Mr. Blake was brutalized, the police released him, saying they had the “wrong person.” But then NYPD Commissioner William Bratton defended Frascatore, saying that Mr. Blake “looked like the twin brother” of the suspect the police were seeking. Bratton went on to say that in the attack on Mr. Blake, “Race had nothing to do with it."

Despite a record of previous unjustified assaults, Officer Frascatore has not been discipliined, and despite calls by Mr. Blake and many others that he be fired, he is on paid desk duty.

Organizers for #RiseUpOctober served warrant on Officer Frascatore and Police Chief William Bratton

Travis Morales of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, stated, "Mr. Blake could easily have ended up dead like Michael Brown or Eric Garner with the police claiming, ‘we feared for our lives’ and walking free. No, Mr. Bratton, race had everything to do with this brutality as it had so many thousands of times at the hands of your police that beat and murder Black and Latino people with impunity.”

Morales went on to say, “The brutality perpetrated against Mr. Blake is the very brutality that Black people suffer at the hands of the police every day in New York and across the country. This is why thousands of people from New York and around the country will fill the streets of New York on October 24 for '#RiseUpOctober - Stop Police Terror! Which Side Are You On?. They will draw a line sharply in society. There is no middle ground. There is no neutrality. Either you stand with the victims of police brutality and murder and those trying to stop it or you stand with this brutality and murder at the hands of the police.”





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Fascists Attack Planned Parenthood to Take Away Birth Control and Abortion

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On September 18, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill aimed at blocking $500 million in federal funds to Planned Parenthood.

Download the PDF of this pamphlet: A Declaration: For Women's Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity

This attempt to defund Planned Parenthood is the latest attack in an ongoing campaign by fascist forces to stigmatize abortion and birth control, to demonize those providing these health services to women, and to eventually make it completely impossible for women to get birth control and abortions—to force women to bear children against their will.

This legislation could affect millions of the women who go to Planned Parenthood clinics every year. Planned Parenthood is the largest provider in the U.S. of family planning services, including birth control and abortion. Over 25 percent of Planned Parenthood’s clients are teenagers and 75 percent have incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. All of these women would be drastically affected by this legislation. It will be much harder, if not impossible, for millions of women to get essential health care like screening for breast and cervical cancers, pregnancy testing, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases; sex education, tubal ligations. And it will mean that millions of women will not have access to birth control, emergency contraception and abortions.

This will mean more women forced to bear children they do not want. And forced motherhood and the control of women IS the agenda of these Christian fascists.

This will make it much harder for women like Princess to get birth control and abortions:

“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.” (Sunsara Taylor, "Who Are the Women Going to the Last Abortion Clinic In Mississippi?" at, August 17, 2015)

These Christian fascists want to effectively ban ALL forms of birth control and abortion. These reactionary religious forces uphold the patriarchal view that a woman’s role is to be subordinate to her husband and a breeder of his children. They want women to be, in essence, the property of men, to be controlled by their husbands and to be breeders of children, breeders of property, for their husbands—and birth control as well as abortion can undermine that.

The vote in the House to defund Planned Parenthood came after hearings on an undercover video done by a Christian fascist anti-abortion organization, which claims the video shows Planned Parenthood agreeing to sell fetal organs and tissue, which would be against the law. But what you see in the video is Planned Parenthood executives discussing how women can donate fetal tissue to medical research—all of which is not only perfectly legal, but has the potential to help advance treatments for many diseases.

Break All the Chains!

Break ALL the Chains!
Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution

Sampler Edition | Full Work

This video is being used to say Planned Parenthood is “killing babies.” But let’s be clear: Fetuses ARE NOT babies. Fetuses are not human beings. But women are! And if anyone believes that “fetuses are babies” they should read the article by ASK that breaks down why this is an unscientific lie. (“What Is an Abortion and Why Women Must Have the Right to Choose”) It is a woman’s absolute right to choose whether or not to bear a child and avail herself of any form of safe birth control and abortion.

Being anti-abortion is a major part of every Republican presidential candidate’s platform. And Republican leaders in Congress are saying they won’t pass the spending bill coming up for a vote unless it includes the defunding of Planned Parenthood. They are threatening to shut the government down over this demand. This is how deadly serious they are in their effort to win a major battle in their war to completely deny women the right to choose.

This war on women is real: There is currently a bill likely to pass that will ban all abortions past 20 weeks. Six states have only one abortion clinic left. Over 330 laws restricting abortion have been introduced—and 50 laws have been passed nationwide this year alone.

The effort to defund Planned Parenthood is part of the war to demonize and de-legitimize abortion in order to pave the way to not only drastically cut back funds and close down clinics, but to ban and eliminate birth control and abortion altogether. This reactionary war to enslave women must be STOPPED.







Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Letter from a Reader:

Tackle Football "Can't Be Saved": Early Retirements Keep the Focus on Concussions in Football

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


As Adrian Coxson lay prone on the football field, his Stony Brook University teammates jogged by his motionless body on the way to their locker room at halftime of the final game of the season last year. A few seconds before, Coxson had leaped high in the air to catch a pass, when he was hit very hard in the neck by an Albany player. Coxson did not play in the remainder of the game because of a serious concussion, but he was declared “perfectly healthy” later on.

Coxson, considered a promising future pro player, was not drafted by the NFL (National Football League) this year and was trying out for the Green Bay Packers team. On the third day of practice early last month, he felt fatigued and light-headed and was taken from the field in an ambulance. Coxson was diagnosed at the hospital with a grade 3 (severe) concussion. After being released by the Packers, Coxson announced that he was retiring permanently from football saying, “I’m retiring because I’m still having symptoms and my health is more important to me than the game of football... The next hit to my head could possibly kill me or be life damaging... I take pride in being able to function now from this injury. I’m concerned about how healthy I am and I want to get to as close to 100 percent as I can get. I’m concerned about the outcome of this whole injury. It was a bad one.”

Coxson is one of many players who are now leaving football and all the money behind in order to remain healthy. Coxson and these other players are on the forefront of those who are acting on their understanding that an increasing number of retired NFL players have suffered concussions and developed memory and cognitive issues such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).1

The most notable of these is 24-year-old Chris Borland, who played for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. Borland was one of the top rookies in the league last year and was named Rookie of the Week for two weeks in a row. Borland’s early retirement shocked the NFL, and his statements about it sent shivers through the NFL offices—the professional football league that has continually tried to minimize, suppress, and cover up the effects of concussions and brain trauma on its players.2

“I just honestly want to do what is best for my health,” Borland said. “From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it is worth the risk. I’m concerned that if you wait [until] you have symptoms, it’s too late.” Later, during a visit to the Boston School of Medicine, where football brain injuries are studied, Borland concluded that he may have had 30 concussions since childhood. Borland focused on three players who died of CTE due to brain concussions—Mike Webster, Dave Duerson, and Ray Easterling—that made him rethink about life in football (see box below: “Some of the Former Athletes Diagnosed with CTE”). Borland went on to say that he will not coach football and has trouble watching football.

Then Borland dropped the “bombshell” that the NFL did not want to hear when, at the National Summit on Sports Concussion in Los Angeles, he told the audience that based on his experience, he “couldn’t play football safely” and believed that “football can’t be saved.” (It seems clear that Chris Borland was not talking about touch or flag football but about tackle football as played in high school, college, and the professional leagues.)

Borland’s retirement prompted others to follow him. Jack Miller, an offensive lineman for the University of Michigan, decided to forgo his final year due to concerns over concussions. Miller said, “I’d be lying if I said the concussion thing doesn’t scare me a little.” Borland’s former 49er teammate Anthony Davis said he was taking a leave of absence from football “to allow my brain and body a chance to heal.”

Others who are retiring at an early age this year are Jason Worilds, 27-year-old Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker; Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (age 26); Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew (age 29); Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis of the 49ers (age 30); and another 49er, Justin Smith (age 35). Although these players did not specifically cite concussions as the reason, several said that they were leaving early for health reasons. Willis said, “Honestly, I pay attention to guys when they are finished playing, walking around like they’ve got no hips and they can’t play with their kids. They can barely walk.” Several sports writers have commented that the current situation of some players leaving for fear of damaging their brain if they continued to play may have played into these other players deciding to retire early.

These early retirements have caught the NFL and people who pay attention to football by surprise because players stepping away for health reasons and forgoing future lucrative contracts has been unheard of in the past and goes against the dominant player culture in the NFL to “be a man and play with pain.” As Andrew Brandt, a former agent and former team executive put it, “The vast majority of NFL players—no matter what age—don’t retire voluntarily; the are ‘retired’ by teams that no longer need their services. Often when we see players retire a month or two into free agency [when they are free to sign a contract with any team in the league], it’s because no team is willing to ‘un-retire’ them so they can continue playing.”

Much of the previous discussion of brain injuries in the NFL was centered on the massive concussion suit against the NFL by hundreds of former players. The NFL settled the suit by paying a paltry amount to these players while the league avoided billions of dollars of negative exposure and having to admit any liability for the players’ brain trauma, and could claim that they were taking care of their former players to some degree. “However,” as Andrew Brandt commented, “when players in the prime of their careers decide the risk is not worth the reward, that is an entirely different conversation, one the NFL does not want to have.”

But the real conversation that the NFL and those who run this country do not want to have is the conversation that should be had that tackle football “can’t be saved.” You have to dig very deep to grasp the truth of Chris Borland’s statement. You have to understand that tweaking tackle football as it is—better equipment, better concussion protocols, improved tackling techniques, and penalties, fines, and suspensions for serious head hits—may reduce some concussions, but will not eliminate them and certainly will do nothing to stop the sub-concussive hits to the head that players receive that contribute to CTE. Harry Cheatle, writing for, put it this way: “The NFL says that ‘football has never been safer,’ but that’s some chickenshit moral calculus—am I supposed to feel good that the players I’m watching are suffering a lower rate of brain damage than before?”

When you dig deep, you have to understand that football provides this capitalist system and the social relations under this system with much more than just being a game or a business—football promotes a culture that is in line with what is necessary to keep this rotten and putrid system continuing as it is. As a reader wrote in a letter, “The Outrage Over Pro Football Bullying: A ‘Guy Culture’ of Rape, Racism, and Violence“:

Football culture is a concentration of and promotes the kind of values associated with this society. Men across society are taught and trained from an early age to “man up.” Bob Avakian, in his interview with A. Brooks, was asked about the arena of art and culture. He says, “ an overall and ultimate sense, art and culture does give expression to one worldview or another, and it does become part of the arena of ideological and ultimately political struggle, even where it is given a lot of rein to go in a lot of different directions and is not so directly tied to political and ideological struggle.” He goes on: “ certainly does have a major influence, particularly on guys and ‘guy culture’—which is not a healthy culture—it’s a male chauvinist culture, for short, which incorporates the celebration of violence, real as well as ritualized violence.” (Bob Avakian, What Humanity Needs—Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism)

So, I say kudos and cheers to those players who are quitting the game and continuing to shine the light on the pain and suffering of those who play it and who, through their actions, are keeping the horrors of the effects of concussions as one of the most important discussions we should be having about the NFL and football in general.

Yes, Chris Borland, tackle football can’t be saved and that’s a very important discovery. Any thinking that it could be saved would keep you confined within the system of capitalism-imperialism. We need to get beyond football as we know it today, and that means we need to get beyond the capitalist-imperialist system.


1. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes (and others) with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head. CTE has been known to affect boxers since the 1920s. However, recent reports have been published showing neuropathologically confirmed CTE in retired professional football players and other athletes who have a history of repetitive brain trauma. This trauma triggers progressive degeneration of the brain tissue, including the build-up of an abnormal protein called tau. These changes in the brain can begin months, years, or even decades after the last brain trauma or end of active athletic involvement. The brain degeneration is associated with memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and, eventually, progressive dementia. (Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy) [back]

2. Revolution has previously reported on concussions in football and the NFL’s attempts to downplay the seriousness of this injury. See “NFL Concussion Settlement: $765 Million to Suppress the Truth About Brain Injuries, Revolution 316, September 15, 2013, and “League of Denial is a League of Criminals—The Outrageous Brain Injury Cover-Up of the National Football League, Revolution 320, October 14, 2013. [back]







Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

From a reader:

Cheers to Batman #44

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Batman cover #44

The cover of Batman #44. Photograph: DC Comics.

I was struck by this headline in the Guardian newspaper about Batman #44, the latest in the DC Comics series: “Batman confronts police racism in latest comic book.”

As the Guardian points out, comic books, and superhero stories in general, usually confront social contradictions in metaphorical terms (if they do it at all). But Batman #44 centers around a young Black man, unarmed, wearing a hoodie, shot by a cop. The cop, a 10-year veteran, has a history that Batman knows has probably been “papered over” to hide other events like this. When the cop tries to justify what he did, Batman doesn’t even listen to the excuses—he’s thinking about all the newspaper reports he’s read, about how many cops shoot Black people, how many of those victims are not armed, and how seldom the cops are even charged.

He can’t treat this as he treats so many things, as a story with a “bad guy” who he can then go beat up. The present-day scenes, as Batman investigates the crime, are mostly drawn in black and white, but the flashbacks to the story of the young man, Peter Duggio, as Batman learns what happened to him, are in vibrant color. Batman is trying to fit a very complex story into a very simple good-versus-evil worldview, and it’s not working. Beating up the cop, giving vent to what the Guardian refers to as his “famous rage,” would be to pretend that everything Batman knows, which he sees in all the newspaper clippings that float in and out of the comic book panels, doesn’t exist. (So the title of this story, “A Simple Case,” is sharply ironic.)

Observations on Art and Culture, Science and Philosophy

Observations on Art and Culture, Science and Philosophy

by Bob Avakian


Order from Insight Press


This provocative collection of reflections and observations by Bob Avakian on art, culture, science and philosophy offers a rare treat. Excerpted from formal talks as well as more informal discussions and conversations, many of the texts in this collection allow the reader to experience firsthand the freewheeling Bob Avakian—in the process of developing his thinking and reenvisioning the communist project on a wide range of controversies, from the dictatorship of the proletariat to discussions of truth, beauty, science and imagination. This collection will provide the reader with important, fresh, and provocative insights and provoke further creative and critical thinking on art, culture, science, philosophy... and revolution.

The two-page spread in #44 that the Guardian talks about, where Batman stands on a rooftop and looks out over the city, has quite a few fragments of newspaper stories arranged around him in the panel. All the stories begin and end in the middle of sentences, and some are upside down, but we don’t need to see the whole story, because we see it every day in the newspapers of our real world. Cops, unarmed Black people, death, no consequences for the killer cops, another tragedy for the families and the community.

The final page is powerful, too. Batman jumps down from his rooftop, landing near some neighborhood kids. They immediately start running, of course, but he calls them back and says, “Wait. Talk to me.” The kids are understandably surprised (“You serious?” “Really?”), but they do stop, and you know that Batman, the billionaire who spends his nights finding criminals to beat up, eternally trying to avenge his parents who were killed for no reason, is about to learn some things that even the newspaper articles aren’t telling him.

So, cheers to writers Scott Snyder and Brian Azzarello, artist Jock, colorist Lee Loughridge, and the rest who produced this very powerful book.

If you want to check it out, it’s availably digitally from Amazon and Comixology.





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Call to Prisoners:
Be Part of Building for Massive Outpouring Against Police Murder on October 24!

September 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Brothers and sisters inside Amerikkka’s hell holes:

You are needed to bring your experiences and insights to bear in the urgent efforts for Rise Up October—for a truly massive outpouring in New York City on October 22-24. Talk or write to all your family and friends and different political, cultural, educational and other groups on the outside. Let them know about Rise Up October, using the material in Revolution newspaper. Put the challenge to them: Which Side Are You On?—everybody who agrees that police terror and murder must stop needs to be in NYC October 24. From behind the walls, you can make a real difference in Rise Up October happening on the scale and scope that is urgently needed.





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Protest in Pasco Defies Intimidation and Demands Justice for Antonio Zambrano-Montes

September 22, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

"Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?" is a clip from the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN. The film is 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. Watch the entire film here.

On September 12, people in Pasco, Washington, defied police intimidation and repression to protest the announcement that the three cops who murdered Antonio Zambrano-Montes will walk free. After stalling for seven months, Prosecutor Shawn Sant issued a statement saying he thinks “a unanimous jury would not find the presence of malice and the absence of good faith beyond a reasonable doubt in this case.” The fact remains that Antonio was murdered. As documented by viral video and autopsy, Antonio was shot from behind while running away, then shot many times again when he turned as if to surrender. He posed no threat to three police with guns! He was acting irrationally and needed help. Instead he was gunned down like a dog in the street. There has been ongoing coverage of the resistance against this reign of terror in Revolution newspaper.

In talking to people in Pasco, a common reaction we’ve heard to this announcement is “I just don’t see how they can do that, just say these police did not do anything wrong.” It is a reaction of stunned disbelief. Part of our response to people has been that killer cops are murdering people and then walking free in every city and every town in the U.S., and this is why we need #RiseUpOctober, the national manifestation against all this police terror and murder in New York City October 22-24. Also we have discussed what the actual role of the police is in this society, in protecting the system of exploitation that rules over us.

#RiseUpOctober activists and revolutionaries from Seattle were there at the rally called for by Tri-Cities Community Solutions in the central downtown park. Many were hanging back under shade trees while listening to the speakers in the 95 degree heat. Some of the people we met on #BARevolutionary T-ShirtDay came out wearing the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts and brought their family.

One of Antonio’s aunts spoke on stage: “Antonio has a mother, has a father and a family, and they are suffering a very sad hardship in Mexico... just like all of us here, but I think you cannot compare a mother’s pain to anything. Five months before he was assassinated, he suffered an accident. His hands were hurt. He did not have the strength to fight against police officers....” (Antonio was injured in a fall while working in an orchard.)

A revolutionary also spoke, standing on stage with the family of Antonio, talking about #RiseUpOctober as a national outpouring in the streets of New York City in full view of the world, as what we must do to actually end this terror. And that we must “Indict, convict, send these killer cops to jail,” to which the crowd responded: “The whole damn system is guilty as hell!" They by now know this chant in its entirety.

A march led off from the rally and took the full width of major Pasco streets, winding through town on its way to where Antonio was murdered at the intersection near Vinny’s Bakery, which still bears bullet holes in its walls. There is also a small memorial to Antonio that people maintain on the sidewalk. The banners people carried included the big one we brought, with many faces of lives stolen by police murder nationwide. A small but loud and defiant group leading chants stayed on the sidewalk, and we found out why: The police had a recent history of selectively snatching the more outspoken protesters off the streets.

At the intersection by Vinny’s, people rallied in the setting sun, with the cars driving by often honking in support. Pasco pigs were observed in the parking lot across the street, in an unmarked car, but parked so as to make it obvious to the protesters, especially local people, that they were being watched and identified. Locals also spotted local youths who avoided the protest, but drove by in their cars and honked or raised a fist. Several of those in the protest, including one of Antonio’s family members, wanted to make it clear they were not intimidated, and brought the large Stolen Lives banner over and displayed it in front of the cop car, calling these pigs out as murderers and cowards hiding under the protection of the system.

We Need to Get 100 Families of Those Murdered by Police to NYC for October 24!

Earlier in the day we shared materials with family members of Antonio about the #RiseUpOctober call to get 100 families of loved ones murdered by police to NYC on October 24. They showed interest, but it was a later discussion where we were able to get into what this really meant, as far as going beyond the scattered protests across the country and forging that into a powerful manifestation in New York City, calling on everyone to show which side they’re on and raising the possibility of ending this terror and murder, that really made a difference in their understanding. They left thinking about how they themselves could go to NYC and with plans to watch the video of the event from Harlem, “What We Must Do To Stop Police Terror and Murder.”

We worked with them to make short videos calling for funds and talked about how we can work together to raise money for plane tickets. The protest that day was small, but Antonio’s family members did NOT want to stop fighting and did NOT want to accept the decision not to bring the cops that killed him to trial. It seemed to make a big difference for them to find out that there is a way forward and higher, #RiseUpOctober, for families and everyone who is determined to see this nightmare of police terror and murder ended once and for all.

More on the Atmosphere of Intimidation

The initial response to Antonio’s murder was a flood of unexpected mass protest in Pasco, including many Latino immigrants and other oppressed people. One of these actions shut down a major bridge. The best float at the annual Pasco May 5/Cinco de Mayo parade was one with puppets and horses with Antonio’s face on them. People talked about that for weeks afterward. Yet the crowd at this latest protest was only about three dozen people, almost all activists, and many of them from out of town.

While the rally near Vinny’s was breaking up and people were talking in smaller groups, we talked to people and learned how the scale of police repression in this small agricultural town was one factor affecting local people’s decision on whether to come into the streets.

Police are specifically targeting people they feel are leaders of resistance, those who have been speaking out at public meetings and protests or seen as organizing. These folks have been snatched from the street and even the sidewalk while doing nothing that other people weren’t at the time. While locked in the back of a cop car they heard the cop radio say, “We got their leaders!” One who was tackled and injured was denied treatment by a doctor, who also colluded with the police by writing a letter saying there was no injury. Honest doctors later found a blood clot and torn ligaments! His arm is still undergoing treatment.

After people were dispersed from one march, cops hunted down and arrested people. For example, one activist from out of town was snatched later at a taco stand. When people went to the jail to demand he be set free, cops swarmed out and snatched a local leader. During all this the police had no-name warrants in hand. Others received visits at home from police for made-up reasons. One woman was taken from her home right before a scheduled march on an old warrant that cops chose to wait until that time to use. All those arrested still have charges against them, trials still pending, or years of deferred charges prohibiting any civil disobedience, all in an attempt to keep them under the thumb of the system.

In spite of this atmosphere of intimidation, as we started packing up the car to get back on the road to Seattle, two different people saw and approached us from a distance: one to buy a Revolution newspaper, and the other to get a T-shirt. He wanted a Justice for Antonio T-shirt, which we didn’t have, but decided to get a BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt instead when he read the flyer about what it means to wear this T-shirt—that you’re stepping into the revolution. The other person encouraged him, saying “Yes, that’s a good T-shirt for you!”

“Indict, convict, send these killer cops to jail! The whole damn system is guilty as hell!”

There are people in Pasco who are determined to continue to demand and fight for justice, but it is clear that much more is needed to get justice for Antonio and all the victims of murder by police AND to defeat the police and state repression that aims to crush resistance and demoralize the people. We must spread the call Which Side Are You On?/#RiseUpOctober nationwide! Everyone needs to throw all in on this! Support, share, participate, donate, and be in New York City October 24 to STOP police terror and murder.





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Houston Police Brutalize and Arrest Student for Riding a Hover Board

September 22, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Jesse Valdez, a 22-year-old student at Prairie View A&M University, was brutalized and arrested at a Houston mall for riding a hover board! Jesse was bothering no one, having a good time on Saturday night, when a pig threw him to the ground, cuffed him, stuck a taser in his back, and held him there till several more cops came. The cops have charged Jesse with resisting arrest, and are threatening his brother, who recorded the arrest and kept asking the cop why he was brutalizing Jesse, with interfering with the arrest and inciting a riot.

Jesse Valdez told reporters, "I rode around the mall one time before I was approached by the officer. The officer told me to get off the Segway. Instead of answering my question, he applied force to me and took me off the Segway."

Think about what it says about this society and its system that every day in every part of this country, Black and Latino youth are brutalized by police while they are walking down the street, hanging out with friends, just enjoying life. This must stop! Which Side Are You On??





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Victory for Grant Newburger
Felony Charges Dropped to Traffic Citation for Protest

September 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Contact: We All Stand Together Defense Committee
Phone: Defense Committee 312-722-2534
Available for Interviews/photo op


In a stunning rebuke to the vindictive political persecution of Grant Newburger, all three felony counts of aggravated battery on a police officer against him were dropped today and he was merely cited with a single citation of interfering with traffic, which is the same ordinance violation that many other protesters were charged with last fall. The penalty Grant got was a $10 fine, he is no longer facing the 7 years in prison. 

The November protest where Grant was arrested was part of what became a massive national wave of protests against police murder.  Grant was knocked to the ground by police while he was walking in an intersection on a green light, carrying a banner declaring, “Justice for Mike Brown.” Two others arrested at that protest had their charges dropped last fall.  But Grant was singled out, and charged with the very serious and very outrageous crime of battery to an officer, which Grant never did. Instead he was the one battered by police.

See also:
Chicago Prosecutors Pile On More Felony Charges Against Grant Newburger

Drop the Charges Against Grant Newburger and Everyone Arrested!
They want to punish a Revolutionary and make you afraid to stand up!

Grant is well known in Chicago’s South and West Side Black communities for opposing police brutality, his participation in the Revolution Club and bringing revolutionary politics to the people for over 20 years. The charges against Grant didn’t stem from anything he did at the protest but because of his role in opposing police terror and the system at its root.

Grant says: “What is concentrated in my case, and the case of Iggy Rucker and Alfredo Reyes  who are still charged with felonies for protest against police murder, and other cases around the country is whether the movement protesting police terror will be suppressed and its leaders locked down or if it will fight that suppression and criminalization as part of the larger battle to stop police terror. People must stand up in much greater numbers and determination and seriously change the terms of how all of society looks at this and acts on it.

"I am organizing for Rise Up October 24 in NYC to Stop Police Terror.  Many thousands need to converge in NYC to deliver a powerful message, with national and international impact. Police Murder Must Stop NOW!”

Grant added: "I would also thank my attorneys, Tom Durkin and Robin Waters for their tireless and outstanding efforts on my behalf."


Stop Mass Incarceration Network - Chicago • (312) 933-9586

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network is a project of the Alliance for Global Justice, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more info, see






Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

From A World to Win News Service:

CPI (MLM) on the Recent Wave of Migration to Europe:
"The totality of this world system, in any form, deserves to be overthrown"

September 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


September 21, 2015. A World to Win News Service. The following statement by the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) is dated August 29, 2015.

The migration of millions of human beings from Africa and the Middle East to Europe has taken unprecedented dimensions. This is the biggest wave of immigration since the end of World War II. On foot, riding on trains, jammed into meat trucks, sailing by the hundreds on boats not meant for more than a dozen people, hidden in the luggage section of the aeroplanes...

This has resulted in hundreds of deaths so far. Last night hundreds of African youth were swallowed by the waves. One of the survivors said, “This path is a road to death. In a graveyard called the Mediterranean.” Two days ago, in eastern Austria, a truck was abandoned with decomposing bodies of 71 people. They had died several days back... and there is no end to this wave of death.

The recurring publication of news about the heart-wrenching death of asylum seekers has forced the European imperialists to demagogically talk about a “human tragedy.” But their first step in response to this tragedy was to intensify the policing of the borders and especially the strengthening of the armies of Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, etc., to prevent the movement of the immigrants. European police have taken some Middle Eastern immigrants and without even inquiring about their country of origin, deported them to refugee camps in Libya!

Migrants and refugees arrive at the railway station, southwest of Budapest, Hungary, near the Austrian border,  September 19.
Migrants and refugees arrive at railway station southwest of Budapest, Hungary, near the Austrian border, September 19. (Photo: Gyorgy Varga/MTI via AP)

Despite these measures, this wave of immigration is so great that it has broken through borders and spilt into the imperialist bastions. A major reason behind these recent migrations is the military intervention by the U.S. and French imperialists and their other allies and rivals in the Middle East and Africa, interventions that accentuate the poverty and instability caused by their political and economic domination. All these immigrants are the victims of situations caused by the bombing of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Mali... Imperialists, reactionary Islamic forces such as Daesh and Boko Haram, corrupt and reactionary states in the Middle East and Africa (from Iran, Turkey and Syria to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Libya)—all are responsible for this situation. All these forces and states, in any shape and form deserve to be overthrown.

This wave of immigration is a reflection of the deep class divide and blatant national and racial discrimination in the capitalist-imperialist world where 89 percent of the world’s people live in poverty and only 11 percent of people enjoy relative prosperity, and this only in particular countries. The average annual income of an African is 400 Euros, whereas Europeans earn between 10,000 to 80,000 Euros per year. For some time now, because of chauvinist and anti-immigration laws and regulations in the EU, the number of deaths among immigrants is rising. In the last month alone, the migrants included 7,300 children with no guardians. Whatever happened to their parents is no concern of rulers of these imperialist countries.

A young Eritrean man who lives in a tent in a Parisian park says, “We escaped from corruption, poverty, suppression and Islamic groups and managed to arrive here. If it were not for the help of some individuals, we would starve to death. At night, we sleep in the rain; during the day we suffer from the sun. And there is no perspective of a way out of this situation.”

There is no doubt that some people in Europe have sympathy towards these immigrants. Some step forward to provide help. But there are also right-wing and fascist Europeans who set fire to camps and attack asylum seekers. And under the protection of the system of imperialist democracy, they organize anti-immigrant and anti-foreigner demonstrations and call for new anti-immigrant laws.

The situation we are facing is the result of the workings of a class system. Today the movement of international capital in search of more and faster profit is moving unhindered and with such cruelty that a great many of the people of the world have absolutely nothing to lose. What this horrible class system has brought about for the majority of the people in the world is unjust wars and cruel occupations, deadly poverty and inhuman inequality, the generalized subjugation and discrimination of women, the lack of future prospects as well as the collapse of morality and identity for the youth, and an accelerating environmental crisis that is threatening the Earth with destruction.

This world must be changed—this system must be overthrown. Under this system, the forces of production, the sources of material wealth, are tightly intertwined but privately owned. On the one hand there are the great majority of disposed, oppressed and exploited, including immigrants and refugees, and on the other a small minority who own the means of production and control economic, political and cultural wealth and means and privileges. The contradiction between private ownership and socialized production contains the potential for the people to move beyond exploitation, scarcity and social distinctions. This system can be overthrown. This world can be changed.

In order for the waves of the Mediterranean Sea and perilous paths to not become slaughter houses of war-ridden, hungry and oppressed masses, in order for the migrants who have survived the road not to be welcomed by bullets, barbed wires, prisons and imperialist camps, in order for thousands upon thousands of immigrant women to not become victims of international sex slavery networks, in order for the homes, jobs, existence and future of the people to not be burned in the fire of imperialist, national and religious wars, the capitalist system must be destroyed, in its totality, with all its exploitative relations of production and unequal social relations, with all its old and reactionary institutions and thinking. In order to clear the face of the Earth of all this darkness and garbage there is no other way but a violent social revolution. It is only on the debris of this world that a new one can be built with the participation of billions of toiling and oppressed women and men. A new world where people are not forced to defy the anger of seas and the fire of deserts in order to satisfy their mental and material needs.


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 #405 September 21, 2015

From A World to Win News Service:

Aurora Roja, Mexico: March in Oaxaca Demands Justice for Disappeared Students

September 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


September 21, 2015. A World to Win News Service. The following is from Aurora Roja, voice of the Organizacion Comunista Revolucionaria de Mexico ( It has been edited for publication in this news service.

A march of about a thousand people was held in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, Mexico September 12 to demand justice for the 43 students who disappeared a year ago and punishment for those responsible for this crime.

Called by the “Stop the War on the People” National Resistance Network, the march began at the entrance to the university campus. Among the diverse groups and individuals involved was Clemente Rodríguez Moreno, father of Cristian Alfonso Rodríguez, one of the Ayotzinapa Teachers College students kidnapped by state forces in the town of Iguala, in the state of Guerrero, September 26, 2014. (Oaxaca is a state on the Pacific coast of southern Mexico, adjacent to Guerrero.)

The majority of the marchers were members of the National Educational Workers Union (SNTE), along with members of the People’s Revolutionary Movement (MPR) and the National Resistance Network, contingents from the International Network of Oaxaca Indigenous People (RIIO), people from the Committee for the Defence of the People’s Rights (CODEP), the Totonundó Canoe Collective, construction workers, shopkeepers, students and residents of various neighbourhoods and slums in the city of Tlaxiaco.

Marchers chanted, “From Iguala to Los Pinos (the presidential residence), jail the murderers,” “Arm in arm, we are all Ayotzinapa” and “They were taken away alive, we want them back alive.” People came out in the side streets to support the march by raising their fists and in other ways.

The protest ended with a rally near the Saturday market in the city centre, where vendors from many indigenous and peasant communities come to sell their wares. The father of a disappeared student denounced the federal government’s long string of lies to the families and the Mexican people in response to the families’ demands that the students be brought back alive. He called for people to join this movement for the lives of the students and the thousands of other people who have disappeared in Mexico, and for justice.

He announced that on September 26, the anniversary of the students’ disappearance, the families and teachers’ college students would gather at four points around Mexico City and march to the central plaza of the capital. This will be preceded by a two-day hunger strike. He called for people to follow the example of Chilpancingo, Tixtla and other places on 15 September and instead of celebrating the country’s independence, demand justice for the disappeared and the resignation of President Enrique Peña Nieto. The families’ demands were also supported by speakers from the teachers’ union and other organizations.

In this rally as well as all along the march route people from the Revolutionary People’s Movement exposed and denounced the role of the army, federal police, state and municipal police in this horrible crime. (The students disappeared while returning to their school from political fund-raising activities in buses they had commandeered. The Ayotzinapa Teachers’ College is attended mainly by young men from peasant families and other poor and often indigenous youth, and has a strong history of radicalism.) Even before the buses were attacked, the students were monitored and followed by a federal government security unit known as C4 that coordinated between the various security forces in real time.

This is one of many facts that the government has tried to hide. A recent report by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission confirmed the conclusions reached by independent scientists and journalists. It presented evidence that the federal prosecutor was lying when he claimed that the disappeared students were burned in a rubbish heap. The people have to be drawn even more broadly and deeply into the struggle alongside the families and Ayotzinapa teachers’ college students to demand justice and the punishment of those responsible, from the president on down, the speaker said.

The Revolutionary People’s Movement declared that the basic problem is the capitalist-imperialist system and that system’s ruling class in Mexico, the big Mexican and foreign capitalists and the landlord class, and the criminal and illegitimate state that protects them. The suffering this system causes is as extreme as it is unnecessary, from India, where 150,000 farmers ruined by global capitalism have committed suicide over the last decade; and Eastern Europe, where every year thousands of women are kidnapped to be turned into slaves to be sold on the global sex market; to Mexico, with more than 150,000 people murdered, more than 30,000 femicides, more than 25,000 people disappeared and hundreds of political prisoners, a country where Central American migrants are extorted, kidnapped and murdered with total impunity, often by the government itself working in collusion with organized crime, among the many other crimes committed or facilitated by the government.

This system doesn’t deserve to go on any longer, the speaker said. It has to be overthrown and dug up from the roots. We need a revolution. The Revolutionary People’s Movement speaker at the rally ended with these words: “We can’t let our children, our grandchildren and even our grandchildren’s grandchildren continue to suffer the horrors of this criminal system, having to fight the same horrors and worse, and even the possible extinction of the human race. Let history say, on the contrary, that here and now, as in other places on this planet, there has begun a new movement for revolution that will not stop until the liberation and emancipation once and for all of all humanity. History remains to be written, and its unfolding depends on what we do, each and every one of us here right now. Dare to struggle for a liberating revolution!”

(The “Stop the War on the People” network has called for a Third National Week of Resistance from October 19-25, 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 #405 September 21, 2015

Statement from Ed Asner on #RiseUpOctober/Which Side Are You On?

September 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


When people become inspired en masse, which is not too often, they can leave their stupidity behind and truly move mountains and advance the glory of mankind. October 24th can well be one of those rare occasions when this occurs.





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

From a Reader:

Urgency of Rise Up October and Lessons from the Genocide of Jews

September 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


I've been struggling with students and others over why, as it said in a recent article in Revolution newspaper:

There is a huge need to make a leap nationwide in this next period, not fighting city by city, always on the defensive after the pigs gun someone down, but drawing a line in society that challenges everyone, Which Side Are You On?

Some lessons of history are relevant. As a baby boomer of Jewish background, I grew up in the "shadow" of the Holocaust that murdered 6 million Jews and millions of others. Though my family wasn't directly affected, the genocide of the Jews haunted and infuriated me: why had the Jews allowed themselves to go to the gas chambers, why didn't they rise up? Why didn't people in Germany and other countries rise up on their behalf? Later I learned there had been some resistance, but too little, too late!

Many people know the poem by Martin Niemoller, a German pastor who opposed the Nazis:

First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.

But fewer people know how he summed up the responsibility of people of conscience, in a speech given after the war when he was released from a concentration camp he had been in for seven years for opposing the Nazis:

We preferred to keep silent. We are certainly not without guilt or fault and I ask myself again and again, what would have happened, if in the year 1933 or 1934, 14,000 Protestant pastors and all Protestant communities in Germany had defended the truth until their deaths? If we had said back then, "It is not right when Hermann Göring simply puts 100,000 communists in concentration camps in order to let them die." I can imagine that perhaps 30,000 to 40,000 Protestant Christians would have had their heads cut off, but I can also imagine we would have rescued 30 to 40 million people, because that is what it [cost us.]

What does this have to do with why it is so important for Rise Up October/Which Side Are You On? to succeed in bringing tens of thousands, massive numbers of people to NYC on October 24, to demand with conviction and determination: "Police Murders of Black People Must Stop! No More!" We need the level of resistance there should have been in Germany in the early years of the Nazi genocide, that could have stopped it! Not only those most directly affected but all kinds of people of conscience rising up to stop today's police murders, mass incarceration and other genocidal crimes against Black people.

Because, as Carl Dix said in his speech at the August 27 program in Harlem, New York City to build for Rise Up October:

When you’re up against a genocide—and that IS what we’re dealing with—you don’t ask the people presiding over it to make some changes to smooth out the rough edges of that genocide or to slow down its intensity. You act to stop it.

Carl Dix, in his August 27 speech, had more to say about this:

And when you're up against a genocide, you don't listen when they say: "you've made your point—now you can stop disrupting the business as usual of our system." We haven't "made our point" until all of society is in an uproar saying that THIS MUST STOP. We haven't made our point until everyone has felt compelled to choose sides on this because they understand that there is no middle ground, and people feel challenged to be in the street saying THIS MUST STOP. We haven't made our point until, like Rev McCorry says, these so-called champions of human rights stand revealed before the whole wide world for the frauds that they are, and the whole world sees that THIS MUST STOP.

Organize your church, neighborhood, school, arrange busses, raise funds, buy tickets—and if you're not in New York City, "get on the bus" to be in New York City on October 24! History and present day realities demand this! Which Side Are You On!





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Mexican Immigrant Donates $1,000 to Help Send Families to October 24 NYC

September 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Following are edited excerpts of a conversation with a Mexican immigrant who donated almost $1,000 to send three family members of victims of police murder to the October 24 Rise Up October national demonstration in New York City—as part of the call for people to donate to help bring families of 100 victims of police murder to the O24 protest. He has a manual labor job and earns $1 more than minimum wage. In the discussion he talks about the inspiration he gets from community self-defense forces who have kicked out the drug cartels from the region of his home town in Mexico and are guarding the towns day and night.

“I have no country, I’m of the world. When I see that the police are beating a Black person or anyone, I feel hate. I feel repudiation of the whites, of the racists, of the police. Because of my color, I don’t want that to happen to my children, I want that to stop before it happens to my children.

“It’s the same brutality we are living in Mexico and here, the same. Here, they see our color and kill us. There, they see that we have a dollar and they kill us. It’s the same lack of security because of the government we have.

“I just went to Mexico, and I was really impressed by what I saw and what they told me. When the people rose up and chased out the narcos and the corrupt authorities, the army came in and tried to take away their weapons. The women took to the streets waving their pots and shouting at the soldiers, ‘Motherfuckers, what do you think, that when they (the narcos) come, all we’re going to do is kiss them? That’s why we need arms, to fight against them.’ What really struck me, I don’t know how they got organized, but all the people exploded all of a sudden and were able to take back their territories. They were living in terror but they awoke from that nightmare and said, ‘If we die, we’ll be free, but if we live, we’ll be free,’ and they made up their minds and they did it. It’s not a done deal because they are still guarding their territory like dogs. But it is an example: If we want to, we can. There are no barriers that can stop us.”





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Beverly Unitarian Universalist—
Put Your "Black Lives Matter" Sign Back Up!

September 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |

The sign the activist is standing in front of used to have "Black Lives Matter" but in a move to appease reactionary sentiment against this slogan, the Beverly Unitarian Universalist church took it down. The lies and threats received by the church are part of a larger campaign by right-wing politicians, media and police representatives that claims that the movement against police terror is anti-white, anti-police and most outrageously, somehow terrorist.

From readers:

Last Sunday, a small group of us went to Beverly Unitarian Universalist (BUU) church and out to the community.   Unlike big stretches of South Side Chicago, Beverly is a fairly mixed, and relatively well off community of Black and white residents.   There are many police and city officials who live in this and the neighboring community.  BUU had “black lives matter” up on its electronic signboard and then took it down when a storm of controversy erupted over it.   

There are important lessons here.  What happened at BUU shows how in fact there are objectively two sides in this struggle.   And that if you do not stand up for what is right against the defenders of police murder and virulent racists attacks, you will actually strengthen and even accelerate the dominance of the very thing you abhor.

1.  “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”  This is from a poem by Yeats.  We learned how true this is by going out to BUU.  Besides the lies, mis-education and pressure within the immediate area to take down the sign; the church, the minister and even their pre-school received a barrage of both physical threats and virulently racist emails.  According to inside sources, some of the hate mail was from self-identified police. 

What does it say that defenders of the police spew this garbage, especially in the wake of Charleston?   These people making these threats are not going away, they are pushing very aggressively for a genocidal program carried out against Black people.  The response to the sign should really underscore the importance of the message and the struggle that has arisen against police terror in the first place.  It should drive home that it is imperative that people who do not want these fascist forces to prevail in society need to get off the sidelines and stand up for what is right. 

2.   The minister and many of the congregants are genuinely agonized by the situation they find themselves in.  But they took down the sign and have not put it back up which is what we called on them to do.  Instead, they keep trying to find some ground from which they can “carry forward” against racism.  The problem is that they already conceded that there is something legitimate to the attacks on their Black lives matter sign.  You cannot “carry forward” from standing over on the wrong side.   For example, what if the freedom riders or the students who sat in at the lunch-counters said they were worried about upsetting the feelings of enforcers of Jim Crow?   

On the other hand, if the BUU stood firm (and they still can do so by putting their sign back up), they could have rallied many people to stand up with them on the right side of this divide.  The congregation is divided over the sign and whether it should have been taken down.  We took out the big “Stolen Lives” banner, passed out the flyer of an open letter to BUU and challenged people to put on stickers that said Black Lives Matter.  Shamefully, only one Black man out of about 40 total congregants there, 35 of whom were white, put it on and wore it throughout.  This situation undoubtedly reinforced his view “that the dinosaurs will come back before racism ends.”  We talked about what Rise Up October has to do with changing everything that weighs down on Black people. 

Afterwards, we went out into the community, in a very decorated van, reading the flyer and the call for Rise Up October over a sound system.   Many people honked in support.  Others told us they knew about the sign being taken down and thought it was wrong.  At least 4 people said they would build for Oct 24 going to NYC in Beverly, getting materials and signing up.  There was one person who has been there a long time who conveyed that we wouldn’t believe what really goes on around there, given the concentration of police who live there, and what gets enforced in that community.  He also steered us away from areas where there were concentrations of police-occupied houses.





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Organizing at NYU:

How We Should Be Stepping

September 24, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader

A volunteer for Rise Up October/Which Side Are You On?/Stop Police Terror and I were going out for dinner near NYU and we stumbled upon a panel titled "THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT, RACIAL INEQUALITY, AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE UNITED STATES." We looked at each other and quickly realized we could not pass this up. We called the Rise Up October national office and had someone bring us materials.

The panel had already started but we were determined to intervene and organize people for Rise Up October. We listened closely. When the floor opened up for Q&A we raised our hands (high in the air). Eventually, I was picked to ask a question. I posed two questions and said something along the lines of: "I am firmly convinced that we cannot achieve any human rights under this system of exploitation and oppression—capitalism-imperialism. This is why we don't have the right to eat, the right to housing... And this is why we need a Revolution Nothing Less...." I then went on to briefly expose the role of white supremacy in shaping the rights that get enforced with brute force under this system.

The second part of my question put forward a challenge to the panel and the audience to get with Rise Up October. I said something along the lines of: "No change has ever come about without mass resistance and everybody who is sick and tired of this genocide has to act to stop it—this is why you have to get with and organize for Rise Up October/Which Side Are You On?/Stop Police Terror."

As I spoke a lot of heads were nodding—especially when I spoke about revolution.

One of the panelists spoke to my question and said: "I agree with your second point that no social change has ever come about without mass resistance. But, I don't agree with your first point about revolution." He then went on to explain that the rights that have been fought for (for the people) need to be implemented. 

Both before and immediately after the panel ended a lot of people came up to thank me for my comments. They said they agreed with what I had to say.

We talked with circles of people: challenged them to get organized and began to make plans for how to do so. We were invited to a “disorientation” event for law students and to an informal dinner (this weekend).

After the crowd thinned out, I went up to the panelist who spoke to my question. I posed Bob Avakian’s question of "Through which mode of production will any social problem be addressed?" and said if this system is fundamentally rooted on exploitation and oppression; and if rights are used to maintain and reinforce that system...why would we want any part of that?

The panelist went on to say that he's not for working within the system. But he's speaking to law students and they have to work to reinforce the laws that have been won for the people. I heard what he said. And then returned to Rise Up October/Which Side Are You On?/Stop Police Terror and said if you agree that no social change has ever come about without mass resistance then you need to get with Rise Up October and you need to organize your networks to be part of this powerful manifestation. He agreed and gave me his business card to follow up.

We learned a lot through this brief experience. And struggled with each other and others to get organized for Rise Up October. There's more to sum up, including sharpening up our agitation. But we thought it'd be important to share and as a contribution to how we should be stepping. 






Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Everyone, Everywhere, Get Out the Word and Build for Rise Up October

September 24, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



Dear Revolution Reports,

I'm hearing from some of the people we are reaching out to for Rise Up October who say they are supportive and friendly, saying thanks for letting them know about Oct 24, but they can't get to NYC, and asking what they can do in their area. And I have some thoughts on how we need to respond.

Rise Up October has to change history. It has to be an extremely powerful demonstration in New York City that will impact millions countrywide. So everyone, everywhere, needs to start from that and then figure out how to take the most powerful stand possible with the people who have been victims of this brutality and murder by the police and declare "no more"—POLICE MURDER MUST STOP NOW—wherever they are.

What should we tell people to do who are not in NYC?  Get the word out that this is happening, raise money, make it a mass movement in your area to find ways to get people there—to NYC to make this powerful statement. Everyone, everywhere should be getting out the word FAR and WIDE and mobilizing buses and car caravans, raising money for flights, helping make it possible for 100 families of people murdered by police to be there, and finding every possible way to be in NYC and help others be there. Nothing less.

Carl Dix' speech on August 27 put it like this:

"We will change history. We will inspire thousands and yes millions, who are tired of being treated like criminals and tired of seeing cops patrolling their communities like occupying armies, to see that they don't have to take this, to see that it's not their fault. And they will stand up and act to stop this. We will rally to their side thousands of people from other sections of society who refuse to stand aside while horrors are inflicted on people because of the color of their skin. We will open the eyes of those who don't suffer these horrors, challenging them to quit swallowing the lying justifications the authorities give for continuing to give a green light to killer cops, challenging them to get off the sidelines—Which Side Are You On? Are you on the side of acting to STOP these horrors? Or are you on the side of continuing to let them go down? There's no middle ground, no neutrality, on this. You gotta choose a side. And I don't mean just giving us your sympathy. I mean actively joining in the resistance and mobilizing others to resist too. You gotta join with this effort to make October 24 as powerful as possible. You gotta listen when somebody here tonight tells you what you can do and who you can hook up with to be part of RiseUpOctober, or, and let me be real—if you and people like you don't throw in on this—it ain't gonna happen.

"And it HAS to happen."





Revolution #405 September 21, 2015

Protesting and Indicting Pope Francis in NYC

"The Catholic Church Enslaves Women!"

September 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Procession of Unrepentant Women, NYC, September 24 Procession of Unrepentant Women, NYC, September 24. (Photo: Bud Korotzer)

“The Catholic Church enslaves women!” Strong voices echoed out through the canyons of New York City streets, turning heads and causing jaws to drop. “They are criticizing Pope Francis?” Scandalous!

On September 24, the Procession of Unrepentant Women, organized by Sunsara Taylor and, wore chains to represent the enslavement of women and blood-streaked pants to represent the 47,000 women who die each year for lack of safe, legal abortions. They carried the faces of women who died from illegal abortions and bold signs which read “Abortion on Demand and Without Apology!” and “We Indict Pope Francis.” They distributed 1,000 copies of a People’s Indictment against Pope Francis and the Catholic Church.

For several hours, they rallied and marched through the city. Everywhere, they shouted out the crimes of the Catholic Church and Pope Francis--their condemnation of divorce, birth control, and abortion which has caused untold suffering and misery to women over centuries; the recent canonization of the genocidal maniac Junipero Serra; the rape and abuse of children by priests; their condemnation of LGBT love, and more. Everywhere, controversy abounded.

Folks pulled out their cameras and snapped pictures. A few screamed “sinners” and “bitches” at the procession. A man with a “Repent, Follow Jesus” sign started to preach near them but quickly wandered off, seeming to assess he didn’t look very good next to such a graphic portrayal the suffering caused by the Church. Another man was not at all deterred, circling back repeatedly to curse the procession out as “bitches” and “whores.”

Others, however, were extremely heartened: women and men both yelling out “I agree!” or giving a thumbs up. Some were particularly happy to see that not everyone was buying the hype about Francis supposedly being a “friend of the people.” One young man rode up on his bicycle and, after reading the indictment through, said, “Man, I just bought a pope shirt and now I can’t wear it.” Mothers stopped and explained to their daughters what the blood on the pants of the people in the procession represented, and nodded their approval.

As the procession marched towards St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where Pope Francis was scheduled to appear later in the day, it passed crowds who were beginning to line up to receive the pope. At 49th Street, a block away, the street was fully barricaded and no one could get any closer to St. Patrick’s. New York City police swarmed up on the procession and insisted that protest was only allowed in a special “protest pen” which was set up several blocks away. Taylor and others called this out loudly, pointing to the fact that all around us Catholics were waving flags with messages to welcome the pope and wearing Catholic buttons and shirts, but only those carrying the faces of women who died from illegal abortion and wearing their blood were being denied the right to “welcome the pope.” Stop Patriarchy refused to allow the police to deny their right to assemble and continued to call out, “Women have NOTHING to repent for, abortion is not murder, and women are not the property of the church.”

The NYPD then took a different tack, promising to set up a “special protest area right here.” It soon became clear that this meant encircling the Procession of Unrepentant Women with police barricades, but before they could finish, the Procession took off again. Again, crowds swelled around it, with news media from different parts of the world snapping pictures and doing quick interviews and passersby staring with their mouths agape.

When the Procession arrived at the closest point allowed near the church, they pulled out their indictment and read the entire thing one more time. Then they posted it up to the police barricades, in lieu of being able to nail it to the door of the church. Here it is:

People’s Indictment against Pope Francis & the Catholic Church

Posting People's Indictment Against Pope Francis and the Catholic Church on police fence outside St. Patrick's Cathedral
Posting People's Indictment Against Pope Francis and the Catholic Church on police fence outside St. Patrick's Cathedral. (Photo: Bud Korotzer)

3 Counts—Felonious and Malicious Cruelty Against Women: protests Pope Francis in New York, September 24

* For condemning divorce, causing millions of women to be trapped, over centuries, in violent, abusive, and spirit-crushing marriages and then be shamed and blamed for their misery.
* For condemning birth control, destroying the lives of millions upon millions of women who’ve been forced for centuries to live as little more than breeders, forced to have child after child against their will, dying in child-birth, and cast out in shame if they do not slavishly subordinate and sacrifice their every desire to serving husband and child.
* For condemning women’s right to abortion, contributing to the cruel and brutal deaths of 47,000 women each and every year for the lack of safe, legal abortions and millions of women forced into motherhood against their will. For, as one example of this barbarity, ex-communicating those who assisted a 9 year old rape victim in getting an abortion in Brazil, but not the grown man who raped her.

1 Count—Heinous Repression and Barbarism Against LGBT People:

* For proclaiming that same-sex love is a “sin” and forcing millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people over centuries into self-hatred, shame, vicious brutality and deprival of fulfilling intimate lives.

2 Counts—Aiding & Abetting Genocide:

* For condemning condoms, adding gasoline to the genocidal fires of the HIV/AIDS epidemic as it tore through the entire continent of Africa and other oppressed parts of the world, with millions tortured to death in agony, whole villages de-peopled, millions of children wandering as orphans.
* For canonizing “Saint” Junipero Serra who was responsible for the physical and cultural genocide of Native Americans. Father Serra set up the mission system in California that led to the deaths of over 60,000 Native Americans from 1769 to 1821.

1 Count—Aiding & Abetting International Sex Crime Ring:

* For using one’s religious authority to cover up, obstruct investigation of, and abet over decades the sexual abuse of many thousands of children and others by countless priests and other officials in the Catholic Church around the entire globe.


Pope Francis is no “friend of the people.” He is a new face on the same barbaric cruelty that the Catholic Church has perpetrated against oppressed people over centuries. Recently, he extended the invitation to women who have had abortions to “repent” their “sin” and be welcomed back into the church. No, abortion is not a “sin” because fetuses are NOT babies, women are NOT incubators and abortion is NOT murder.

We refuse to repent. We march and deliver this People’s Indictment on behalf of the millions of women and others whose lives have been destroyed by the Catholic Church. We fight for a future without Dark Ages institutions and oppression.