Revolution #417, December 14, 2015 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

This SYSTEM Has NO Answers...

December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


This world is intolerable! In huge regions of the world, the USA and its allies are terrorizing cities and towns with bombs and drones—and in the process driving people into the arms of reactionary Islamic Jihad. An environmental crisis endangers the ability of humans to live on this planet. Around the world, women are dehumanized, terrorized, raped, and forced to bear children against their will, and LGBT people are shamed and persecuted. Migrants and refugees are demonized and forced to live in the shadows, if they can live at all. And in every city in America, Black and Brown youths have targets on their backs, for a policeman’s bullet or a life behind bars.

A lot of people talk about a system, and even talk about a “revolution.” But what IS this system that rules over humanity? That system is capitalism-imperialism. This is a system that has as its foundation the relentless exploitation of billions of people. It is a system driven by dog-eat-dog, kill-or-be-killed competition among the exploiters. This system is the source of endless crises, wars, and misery. And this system is backed up and enforced by state power that serves and violently enforces—through the system’s police, jails, torture chambers, and drones—the interests and functioning of the system. The workings and institutions of this system push all kinds of poisonous relations between people, and ideas—like white supremacy, male supremacy, xenophobia (irrational hatred of people from “outside” the U.S.), and a “me first” outlook in a million forms. And these are not “problems”—these are horrors that go on generation after generation, horrors that are “baked into” how capitalism-imperialism in the U.S. functions.

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

In the New Year’s Message delivered at the beginning of 2014, but at least as timely today, Bob Avakian said:

Revolution is not an impossible dream. It is not “unrealistic.” Changing all of society, changing the whole world, is not a crazy or dangerous idea. What is crazy, and dangerous, is going along with the way things are, and where things are heading, under this system. Revolution—a radical change in how society works, how we relate as human beings, what our values are, how we understand the world and act to affect it—this is what we, what people all over the world, desperately need. And it is a lot more realistic than trying to “fix” this system. (See “This is Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, with a New Year’s message—A Call To REVOLUTION” at

Bob Avakian: New Year's Message: A Call to Revolution


▶ Read

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▶ Poster:

Because of Bob Avakian and the work he has done over several decades, there really is a viable vision and strategy for a radically new, and much better, society and world, and there is the crucial leadership that is needed to carry forward the struggle toward that goal. And based on that, there is a Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal). This is a blueprint for a new and totally different state power. It is as serious as it is liberating, and anyone serious about real change needs to get into it deeply and work to make it a point of societal debate (including in contrast to the constitution drafted by slave masters and Indian killers that defines what “rights” people in this country have today).

Day 1...

Revolution is the first step in a complex and long historic journey to uproot all oppression. And this is a lot of what the Constitution deals with. But there are basic and urgent things that CAN and WILL be done on day one.

Day 1 after the revolution comes to power... NO MORE U.S. wars of aggression for empire around the world. The New Socialist Republic in North America will dismantle all remaining bases of the former imperialist USA in other countries. It will renounce all treaties and agreements, military and otherwise, that were imposed by that imperialist state on other countries and peoples or served to enforce the domination of the imperialist USA. The revolutionary society will dismantle and refuse to use nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction and ways of fighting that served the goals and mentality of the old system. No more torture. The new revolutionary military will defend the new socialist society, and its role will be defined by the needs of humanity and the world revolution against all oppression, not the domination of empire.

Day 1 after the revolution comes to power... The old police forces that prey upon the people today will have been defeated, demolished, and dismantled. The new forces dedicated to public security and safety of the new society will not be an occupying army. They will cherish and value the lives of the people. For some time, as people transform how they relate to each other and think, there will still be some crime—but this will be addressed in a whole different way. As Bob Avakian has written, “...we would sooner have one of our own people’s police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses. That’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re actually trying to be a servant of the people.” People’s rights will be protected and defended by the new revolutionary state, including the right to dissent and protest against the revolution. Murder by police, judicial cover-ups, and the “blue wall of silence”—all that will be history. And that’s Day 1 of the new society.

"What if?...."


Watch the whole film

Learn more about BA here

Day 1 after the revolution comes to power... Every woman everywhere in the new state will have the right to legal abortion—on demand and without apology or a need to explain her decision to anyone. Doctors and nurses will be mobilized to make safe abortion accessible, including in parts of the country or communities where access to abortion is difficult or impossible today. Woman-hating maniacs will not be allowed to terrorize or attack women getting abortions. Birth control options will be readily available to any woman wanting them.

Day 1 after the revolution comes to power... Persecution of immigrants will end. Everyone living in what was formerly the United States, with the exception of people found guilty of war crimes or other crimes against humanity, will be full citizens of the new socialist republic, regardless of where they were born. The experiences and insights of people driven from their homelands by the workings of capitalism-imperialism will be welcomed into the process of continuously transforming and revolutionizing society. And the new society will have humane and welcoming asylum policies—towards those persecuted for being part of just struggles against oppression or because scientific, artistic, or other pursuits have brought them into conflict with reactionary powers and institutions.

Confronting and beginning to address the climate and environmental emergency is something that can only be solved on a global scale, and will be a serious and protracted struggle. But it is important not to underestimate how much the revolutionary seizure of power in the U.S.—one of the countries most responsible for environmental devastation—would be a game change in the global battle to save the planet. This includes seriously beginning to break with the fossil fuel-based economy and struggling to transform consumerist ideology.


All these immediate steps—“Day 1”—will make a day-and-night difference in the society people live in. At the same time, these steps will be made in the context of a socialist state which, as the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America says, “would embody, institutionalize and promote radically different relations and values among people; a socialist state whose final and fundamental aim would be to achieve, together with the revolutionary struggle throughout the world, the emancipation of humanity as a whole and the opening of a whole new epoch in human history—communism—with the final abolition of all exploitative and oppressive relations among human beings and the destructive antagonistic conflicts to which these relations give rise.”

THIS is something worth living, dying, and fighting for. Get into this revolution—the materials you need to do that are here on this website,, and in Revolution newspaper..





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

In the Wake of the Outrage in San Bernardino:

NO More Unjust War!
NO Pogroms, Paranoia & Persecution!

December 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The murders of 14 people at a holiday social event for environmental health inspectors in San Bernardino, California, and the injuries to 21 more, are a terrible outrage. The victims were men and women, with a wide range of backgrounds, interests, outlooks, and of many different nationalities, including people who immigrated to the U.S. from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. There can be no justification for targeting these people. Their deaths, whatever the motives behind the killing, are a vicious crime and a painful tragedy.

At the same time, the powers that be and their politicians and media have seized on this terrible incident to train people to see the world through a grotesquely warped lens: The killings in San Bernardino are being used to enlist people behind an agenda that will escalate the cycle of death and terror in the world. In the name of “safety,” people are being whipped up with xenophobia (irrational fear and hatred of “outsiders,” including people from other countries) aimed especially at Muslims, with paranoia, and with a program of repression and war that actually makes people here and around the world much less safe.

How People Are Being Trained to Think (or... NOT to Think)

Despite a blizzard of speculation and pronouncements by not just certified fascist liars like Donald Trump and Fox “News,” but the whole ruling class media machinery, right now the actual motives and connections of the people who carried out this murderous rampage cannot be determined by what has been revealed publicly. The suspects’ apartment was not secured by law enforcement authorities, but instead opened up to reporters who trampled the entire scene and corrupted evidence, while posting inflammatory photos and personal information like the driver’s license of a relative of the suspects. A deleted Facebook page that nobody can see, which was reportedly posted in a name other than that of either suspect, is being cited as “evidence” of motive. And routine activity related to the suspects’ Muslim faith is being portrayed as inherently suspicious, intensifying a climate where any Muslim person in this country feels—understandably—under siege.

Contrast this to how the murderous attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado on November 27 has been treated by the media and prominent ruling class political figures. In the attack on Planned Parenthood, the suspected murderer has a public history of connections to Christian fundamentalists and attacks on abortion clinics. And he was reported by a cop to have said “no more baby parts” after his arrest—invoking a slanderous and inflammatory doctored video falsely portraying Planned Parenthood as selling baby parts. Yet the powers that be have been much quicker to draw much broader conclusions about the motives and connections involved in the San Bernardino killings, based on much less actual evidence.

Whatever the facts behind this crime turn out to be (if they are ever really brought to light), the media and major ruling class representatives are using the atmosphere they are creating in the wake of it to enlist people blindly behind vicious repression and persecution of Muslims. And all major ruling class forces are seizing on this incident to line people blindly behind the U.S. empire in the global clash between Jihad and the West. This is a conflict that is bringing death by drones, beheadings, torture, assassinations, invasions, and massacres to a wide swath of the world on a daily basis.

This global dynamic is best understood and explained in the following quote from Bob Avakian that speaks to “outmoded” strata—who represent systems that oppress humanity—in different forms:

What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.

While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “historically outmodeds” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity: It is the “historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system,” and in particular the U.S. imperialists...

It is interesting, I recently heard about a comment that someone made relating to this, which I do think is correct and getting at something important. In relation to these “two historically outmodeds,” they made the point: “You could say that the Islamic fundamentalist forces in the world would be largely dormant if it weren’t for what the U.S. and its allies have done and are doing in the world—but you cannot say the opposite.” There is profound truth captured in that statement.

(From Bringing Forward Another Way, 2007)

Interests of the Ruling Class vs. the Interests of Humanity

Within all this, different sections of the U.S. ruling class and their political representatives are spinning this incident in their own interests and with conflicting agendas. But while there are sharp differences within the ruling class right now, they are over how―not whether or not―to maintain the U.S. empire of exploitation and oppression, and how to enforce their rule in the “homeland.” None of them even claim to represent the interests of humanity.

And through the way this incident is being exploited, people are being trained in the poisonous outlook that only American lives are precious. American lives are not more important than other people’s lives. The million-plus people who died as a result of the U.S. invasion of Iraq; the people killed by an ISIS bomb attack in Beirut, Lebanon; the people who died when U.S. ally Saudi Arabia bombed a hospital in Yemen; the people being tortured for years in Guantánamo... these are human beings too!

In short, whatever the actual factors behind the murderous attack in San Bernardino, the incident is being used and will be used further—by both sides—in the clash between the West and Jihad to further ratchet up the cycle of terror and death.

There is a way out of this madness! There is a viable and visionary alternative to, and strategy for, breaking out of this deadly dynamic, and into a world where people can dream and breathe. That way out is being led by Bob Avakian (BA) and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA—which he leads—as well as forces around the world taking up and promoting BA’s new synthesis of communism. This is a movement for revolution aimed at getting to a world without any exploitation and oppression, and the horrible conflict and bloodshed that is a product of, and enforces exploitation and oppression.

As part of fighting to break out of the terrible “choices” of Western imperialism or Islamic Jihad, and for everyone with a conscience: there needs to be a visible spirit of looking at the world from the interests of humanity. People in this country need to resist the crimes of “our” government, and support people around the world who oppose both the U.S. empire and Islamic Jihad (for more on what that means, see “Why We Should NOT Root for Our Own Rulers... And Why It’s Better If They LOSE Their Wars” by Larry Everest at

Critical to breaking out of the disastrous cycle of escalating death and terror: it must become clear to the world that millions of people in the U.S. do not accept the actions and crimes of “our” government, however they are “justified,” that ratchet up intolerance and repression at home, and a cycle of death and terror in the world. Millions need to visibly manifest that these actions are not being carried out in our name.








Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Trump Is a Fascist:
So Why Is He the Only Thing on TV

December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


There is controversy among mainstream pundits and commentators over whether or not Donald Trump is a fascist. Let’s settle that. He is.

Donald Trump launched his run for president by declaring that Mexicans who come to the U.S. were “bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” Trump threatened to deport 11-12 million Mexican immigrants along with U.S.-born citizens of Mexican descent—never mind that ever since the end of slavery people born in the U.S. have been citizens. When a Black Lives Matter protester got punched at one of Trump’s rallies, Trump said, “Maybe he deserves to get roughed up.” On December 13, in the context of defenders of police murder counterattacking against protests against police brutality by inventing a non-existent “war on police, “Trump told the New Hampshire police union, “Anybody killing a police officer—death penalty. It's going to happen, OK.”

BA on elections

Trump has called for a complete ban on all Muslims entering the United States and for the authorities to openly spy on mosques and close some. He insulted Carly Fiorina, a Republican woman candidate for president, as having a face “too ugly” to be president, and attacked a woman reporter from Fox News—who asked Trump why he called women "fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals"—by insinuating she must have been menstruating.

Trump is an unapologetic serial liar. That’s part of his “appeal”—he embodies and projects the American combination of ignorance and arrogance. He appeals to a core base of “angry white males” who have been “left behind” by traumatic economic and culture changes in U.S. society, and incites them to violence against Black people, immigrants, women, Muslims and others. When two men in Boston beat up a homeless Mexican man and one said, "Donald Trump was right—all these illegals need to be deported," Trump responded, "People who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again.”

Trump meme

Trump has a history of racist, fascist incitement. Back in 1989 he played a key role in whipping up a lynch-mob atmosphere against the Central Park 5, Black and Latino youth in New York City who were rounded up and unjustly convicted after a white woman was raped in Central Park. They were later completely exonerated (see “Propaganda Instruments of the Ruling Class... And the Railroad of the Central Park 5” by Bob Avakian).

As we wrote last week:

Let's be clear: Trump’s lies that Muslims danced with glee at the destruction of the World Trade Center are no different from the rumors that white racists spread in the Jim Crow South that a Black man had allegedly raped a white woman, or the lies that circulated like a virus in medieval Europe that Jews had killed a Christian child and used the blood to make matzoh. The aim, and almost always the result: a brutal mutilation and lynching of a Black man, or a pogrom (mass destruction and murder of an entire community) of Jewish people.

“Crimes of that magnitude cannot be allowed to happen again.”

Why Is Trump Getting So Much Play?

Whether hyping him on right-wing talk radio, gushing over him on Fox, “grilling” him on CNN and MSNBC, or laughing with him on SNL, the whole spectrum of the ruling class media has given a fascist demagogue the stage to set the agenda for Election 2016. And that is not fundamentally because he is “doing well in the polls.” He is doing well in the polls mainly because he is being pumped out in the way he is.

Whatever combination of factors account for Trump being on TV all the time, the essential one is that the extreme fascist rhetoric and solutions he is spewing out speak to the needs of a system of global exploitation and oppression that confronts extreme challenges.

There are inescapable parallels between this situation and the early stages of the rise of Hitler in Germany—the most significant parallel being the ruling classes up against a whole set of crises for which they had no answers. The rulers of USA confront a wave of uprisings and protests against a reign of police murder and terror that that they rely on to keep millions of Black and Brown people locked down. They are bogged down deeper and deeper in unjust wars that bring misery to millions, with no way out. There is an intense and potentially explosive contradiction between changes in the situation of women in the world and traditional morality that has been a social glue holding America together since day one...

All that is the context for the emergence of Trump and his agenda, and other Republican presidential contenders who are cut basically from the same mold. Powerful sections of the ruling class see a need to give the microphone to Trump to mobilize a base of hard-core lunatic defenders of this system. And the ruling class as a whole—as reflected in their media—insist Trump is a legitimate candidate for president at a time when their system faces extreme challenges. That’s the backdrop to why CNN’s Don Lemon sucked up to Trump in a recent interview with, “You’re always leading the conversation.”

The Democrats Are Not the Answer

Counting on the Democrats to stand up to Trump and the Republicans is a recipe for disaster. Even if they do oppose some of what Trump is doing, they are part of, and starting from the interests of, the same system. And most important: why should a world that is just a little bit less horrible than what Trump is calling for be something we are willing to accept, with all the body- and spirit-crushing exploitation, unjust wars and oppression grinding on?

The Democrats, by the way, are more than capable of doing the populist-appeal-to-white-racists thing too. In his first campaign for the White House in 1992, Bill Clinton flew to Arkansas for a photo op at the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a brain-damaged Black man. And just before the Southern primaries, Clinton posed with a Georgia senator in front of a chain gang of Black inmates in white prison suits at Stone Mountain, Georgia, second home of the Ku Klux Klan.

Yes, Trump is a fascist! No, the Democrats are not the answer.







Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Update: Chicago Whitewashes Continue

No Indictment for the Pig Who Murdered Ronald Johnson

December 8, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


In one day, Monday, December 8, here is what happened in Chicago. If you think about it, the two major events show the appearance of changes and at the same time the actual essence of how the system will continue to defend the police because it needs them to terrorize the communities of the oppressed.

For essential background to this story see:

The Police Murder of Laquan McDonald in Chicago and the Coverup
The Whole Damn System is Guilty as Hell



Chicago continues to scramble to contain the outrage that has been roiling since the recent release of the video showing the execution of Laquan McDonald in October 2014.

The head of the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) was forced to resign. The chief of detectives for the Chicago Police Department, who was just appointed to that position this October, resigned. The new head of IPRA is a former federal prosecutor with close family ties to the Obamas. This is the appearance that “something is being done” to bring meaningful change. The reality is just the opposite.

The Department of Justice announced it was opening a “patterns and practices” investigation into the Chicago Police Department. An investigation everyone acknowledges could take a year or even years! (See “Reality Check: Answers to Burning Questions arising in the wake of the release of the video the murder of Laquan McDonald and the extensive cover-up that followed” at


Another sickening video documenting another police murder of a young Black man on the South Side of Chicago was released today (December 8). This murder happened one week before the police executed Laquan McDonald, and the “investigation” and suppression of this video was also dragged out for more than one year. The video clearly shows a cop jump out of a squad car and within seconds shoot Ronald Johnson as he is sprinting full tilt away from police. Ronnieman, as he is known, was fatally shot twice from the back. The Cook County State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, not only released the video but then spent 25 minutes with an elaborate presentation to the assembled media to justify the shooting and defend the murdering pig. She declared Ronnieman’s murder a “justifiable homicide” and refused to press criminal charges.

Alvarez justified all this by claiming Ronnieman had a gun in his hand when one is definitely not visible on the video.

Dorothy Holmes, Ronald Johnson’s mother, and her attorney, who is suing the police, held a press conference afterward to refute Alvarez’s findings. The lawyer was very clear in calling this out as a cover-up. He made the following points:

» Ronnieman did not have a gun OR anything in his hand. The gun was planted after they shot him and his blood smeared on it. There is DNA but no fingerprints found on the gun. The gun is old and rusty.

» The state’s attorney’s office had called just three days earlier to ask if he, the attorney for Dorothy Holmes and her family, had evidence that the gun was planted! In outrage, he said the state’s attorney has subpoena power, grand juries, and a lot of investigators, NONE of which were used to investigate this case. Then they have the nerve to call to ask about evidence!

» Alvarez said she relied entirely on IPRA’s investigation, when the head of IPRA had just been forced to resign due to its shoddy investigations. The attorney for Ronald Johnson’s family declared that this was a JOKE! The state’s attorney never even took a statement from the cop who was the shooter, or any of the other police on the scene, for that matter. The only person who took a statement under oath was the attorney for Ronnie’s family in a deposition he gave, because the cop said he already knew he was not going to be prosecuted. The family’s attorney demanded to know how the cop knew this months ago.

» The family’s attorney pointed out that Alvarez must not have read any of the depositions that he had taken in the case. A key witness cited by Alvarez and the media as saying he had the impression Ronnie might have had a gun, said under oath that the police introduced that whole narrative to him as the only logical explanation for what had transpired. One can only imagine how this witness was threatened to adopt this story.

This is the reality: they will continue to defend and whitewash police murder.

Trying to get ahead of the release of other damning videos, the city released another one, showing the vicious brutalization and murder while in police custody of a Black man, Philip Coleman, in December 2012. Coleman was a 38-year-old graduate of the University of Chicago and the son of a veteran cop who worked for departments in the suburbs south of Chicago. Coleman had a mental breakdown, and his mother called police for help. His father arrived back home and actually helped the police subdue Philip and put him in the police car to take him for psychiatric help. Instead of a hospital, the cops took Philip to jail where, as the father put it, their “bright, talented” son was killed. Philip Coleman was tased repeatedly in his jail cell, “taken down” and dragged out in handcuffs. He was then tased 13 (!) more times and beaten with a baton at the hospital. In spite of the fact that he had many visible marks and signs of having been unbelievably brutalized, the Independent Police Review Authority ruled that he died of a reaction to medication at the hospital and exonerated all the cops involved.







Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Reflections from a Reader on Chicago:
Crisis in the Halls of Power, Outrage in the Streets... and the Potential for Total Revolution

December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


They shot Laquan down like a rabbit.

What we’re feeling in Chicago is the real feeling of America itself, and that’s injustice against people of color.... This has been a problem in America ever since there has been an America. Laquan represents thousands of Laquans—same Black skin, same poverty...
—Rev. Marvin Hunter, Laquan McDonald’s great uncle

This letter is some thinking about how the current crisis in Chicago, set off by the video of the police murder of Laquan McDonald, could contribute to a potential legitimacy crisis, and about the relationship between a legitimacy crisis and a revolutionary crisis. In the current crisis there is broad questioning of the legitimate use of force by the police against Black people and other minorities, and deep anger and questioning of the cover-up of Laquan’s murder. “On the Strategy for Revolution” talks about “sudden jolts and breakdowns in the normal functioning of society, which compel many people to question and to resist what they usually accept.” This is such a jolt. It also talks about situations where cracks appear in the ruling structures and institutions, how the raw relations of oppression are more sharply exposed, conflicts among the powers that be deepen and are not easily resolved, and how it becomes more difficult for the ruling powers to hold things together under their control and keep people down.

The video of Laquan McDonald brought to the light of day not only the acts of one murdering pig who pumped 16 bullets into Laquan’s body, and not just the instantaneous and prolonged cover-up by the police department, but the fact that the main institutions of local “civilian” power swung into gear and played their role in protecting the murdering cop and covering it all up. The fact is that the murder was plain as day on video and yet over a year had gone by while the police department, the State’s Attorney, the mayor, the “independent” police review authority, and the city council had ALL tried to cover it up.

People in the oppressed communities, especially Black people, have long known that the police act with impunity up to and including murder, and there is no justice to be found anywhere. Chicago describes itself as the “city that works.” This is how it works and has worked for decades, this is how police murder, shootings, torture, and brutality are routinely carried out, covered up, and justified... this is business as usual in Chicago and in America.

When this ripped open, more exposures of other horrendous police murders and police terror began to come out; things people have been trying to expose for years but were either suppressed or downplayed: More videos, showing teenagers shot in the back while running away, mentally ill people beaten and tased to death, families of police murder victims terrorized by police. Planted guns, cover-ups, and the lies, the lies, the lies, always the lies.

And now this has become known to much broader sections of society. There are white people out in the suburbs who normally either turn away or blame the Black masses for their conditions who are discussing all this. Some are saying they are afraid of protests and especially of riots, but at the same time want to support the people protesting, even join them, because they see there is a huge problem with the police and how they treat the Black community. If you’re one of those people—jump on in and join the protests! You are needed... and you will be welcomed.

It is worth thinking about a point Bob Avakian (BA) brings out in an article where he is examining the relationship of a legitimacy crisis to the development of a revolutionary crisis (“Legitimacy Crisis and Revolutionary Crisis—‘Legitimate’ Armed Force and ‘Illegitimate’ Armed Force,” While this article is discussing the role of the military in a situation of war, there is applicability to the role of the police as well. BA quotes from the book Experience of War by Martin Van Creveld: “Killing is an activity no society can tolerate unless it is carefully circumscribed by rules that define what is and is not allowed. Always and everywhere, killing done by certain authorized persons, under certain specific circumstances, and in accordance with certain prescribed rules is saved from blame and regarded as praiseworthy. Conversely, killing that ignores the rules or transgresses them usually provokes punishment... Where this distinction is not preserved, society will fall to pieces and war will be mere indiscriminate violence.”

The legitimacy of the police in the eyes of broad sections of people can become unraveled when those people see the police as forces who are killing illegitimately and without punishment. Look at how many people believed at first that the killing of Laquan was unfortunate but necessary state violence (based on the official story that “Laquan had a crazed look in his eye, he was lunging at police with his knife, the police were in danger”)—and then came to see that none of this happened! And not only that, but this cold-blooded murder was covered up by the authorities inside and outside the police department all up and down the line. On top of video after video of other murders by police in the past year, the exposure of the lies and cover-ups around the murder of Laquan McDonald is fueling the mounting fury.

As noted in Revolution/ coverage of the crisis in Chicago, the powers that be are scared and maneuvering to contain the outrage. They are scrambling to limit how much more about police murder and brutality comes out, to quell questioning of the legitimacy of police use of force against oppressed communities, and to channel the furor into dead ends. The authorities were terrified of the reaction of the Black masses in the neighborhoods—the people they terrorize every day, that people would rise up.

Once a judge ordered the release of the video of Laquan’s murder, the powers that be tried to keep everything under control—but it is important to understand that each step they took to do damage control backfired and outraged people even more. For instance, the mayor summoned ministers and community leaders before the video was released and threatened them with withdrawal of all funding for their programs/services if anything got out of hand in the neighborhoods. This was met with stony anger. Most refused to play the fireman role, and some actively called for people to be in the streets.

In the firestorm that followed the video’s release, Mayor Rahm Emanuel admitted it wasn’t just one bad apple but a systemic failure, and he fired the police chief. He announced the formation of a task force to “study the problem.” Hillary Clinton and many others said that the Department of Justice should be called in for a thorough investigation. Emanuel first said “No!” Then he had to welcome the DOJ as part of the “solution.” Key figures were forced out or resigned. Then Emanuel gave the speech of his life—an emotional “I’m sorry” speech. It was too little, too late and was seen as completely phony by a wide swath of people. Immediately, 1,000 people took to the streets to demand that everybody who was involved in the murder and cover-up be held accountable. Dozens of doctors, residents, and medical students held a die-in for 16 symbolic minutes in front of city hall.

The main expression all this is taking is the demand for the resignation of State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and the mayor. While nobody can say where all this will lead... this has the potential to break out of those bounds. And we have to fight to break it out—we cannot let them just “patch it up” and go back to their brutalizing business as usual.

The line is being drawn that what is needed is for everyone who was part of the murder of Laquan McDonald and the cover-up—and part of ALL the police murders and cover-ups (nationwide), all the way to the top—to be INDICTED and CONVICTED of murder and locked up as part of the struggle to STOP POLICE TERROR. And what is needed to stop all this madness and the centuries of the oppression of Black people once and for all is a total revolution!

The outbreak of resistance and the widespread condemnation of the cops’ role in murdering and brutalizing people is having an effect on Chicago police morale and is sharpening up contradictions in their ranks, as well as between the police and the local ruling authorities and representatives from the federal agencies. While the police have terrorized whole neighborhoods for a long, long time and gotten away with it, now they are on the defensive. Videos are being leaked from within the department itself. Several higher-ups have resigned/retired to get out of the way of the coming investigations, leaving underlings to take the heat. Police blogs are angrily denouncing that they are being thrown under the bus by the mayor and are calling on their brethren to not do “policing” in any way that could bring them scrutiny or risk. (BTW: What does it tell you about the role of the police that if they are not allowed to wantonly murder Black teenagers and get away with it, then they cannot and will not do their job? It tells you that IS their job.)

It is worth reflecting on this point from BA:

The essence of dictatorship—all dictatorships, all forms of the state—is the monopoly of armed force, of armed force legitimated through the prevailing political system and the prevailing “social compact” and the attendant “ideological norms.” When, again, the legitimacy of this monopoly of armed force is significantly called into question—and particularly when this becomes widespread in society, affecting broad strata, not just among the proletariat and basic masses but extensively among the “middle class” as well—then this can be a crucial part of the development of one of the key elements making possible a revolutionary struggle, the emergence of a revolutionary people, of millions and millions determined to make revolutionary change.
(from Great Objectives and Grand Strategies: “Legitimacy Crisis and Revolutionary Crisis—‘Legitimate’ Armed Force and ‘Illegitimate’ Armed Force”)

A legitimacy crisis does not automatically turn into a revolutionary crisis, but it is a key ingredient of a revolutionary crisis. As the work cited above from BA goes on to point out, “This leads into the broader question of the sharpening of social contradictions—including those within the ruling class—and the relation of this to legitimacy crisis and to an actual revolutionary crisis.”

The potential for a revolutionary situation to emerge, in no small part in relationship to the oppression of Black people in the U.S., is definitely a possibility—not a certainty but a possibility, as BA and the RCP have been pointing to in the past year. It was just weeks ago that in the wake of Rise Up October, police unions—including the Fraternal Order of Police in Chicago—were all puffed up and attacking Quentin Tarantino for being part of Rise Up October and taking a strong stand against murder by police. Since October, there has been the wave of student resistance starting with Mizzou; the encampment protesting police murder in Minneapolis and the shooting attack there on protesters by white supremacists and thousands taking to the streets in response; the outpouring around the release of the video of Laquan McDonald and the cover-up. In Baltimore, there is the current trial of the first cop for Freddie Gray’s murder. The decision of the grand jury in Cleveland on the police murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice is pending. This contradiction around the oppression of Black people is roiling society.

This all has to be put in the international context in which this is taking place. Obama was put at the helm of the U.S. imperialist empire mainly so that this empire could recover its position in the world after the debacle of Bush and the war in Iraq—which has led to the mushrooming growth of Islamic fundamentalism in the world and the problems that have beset the U.S. and its allies as they try to bludgeon the Middle East into line with their strategic objectives. (See Bob Avakian’s “Obama: Playing the Trump Card?” from correspondence written after Obama’s first election.)

Secondarily, after the meltdown of the economy in 2008, Obama was also a significant safety valve in relationship to the Black community, which was and continues to be hardest hit by the economic crisis. In the current situation in Chicago, there is a significant element of a section of Black people, especially from the middle strata, who are feeling betrayed by Obama both around police brutality and murder and in relationship to the fact there is no future for the youth. There is a lot of pent-up anger at Emanuel for carrying out austerity measures during his first term as mayor—closing 50 schools, closing mental health clinics, etc. The teachers are currently voting on a strike authorization.

This is one of those times where nobody can say how far things can go toward a revolutionary crisis—both because of the depth of the oppression of Black people, the protective blanket afforded to police, the interpenetration with both the international situation and the other “5 STOPS,”1and how the fascist side is being unleashed and mobilized around the Republican Party through the election campaign. The revanchism (retaliation) in defense of white supremacy and patriarchy is intensifying and becoming emboldened. All this is an indication that things can take dramatic turns and leaps.

The last 16 months have brought the question of police terror much more to the fore nationwide, from Ferguson to Baltimore and elsewhere. This is now focused up in Chicago, one of the biggest cities in the U.S. Mayor Emanuel has direct ties to the White House. The only reason Emanuel is mayor in the first place is because Obama installed him here. Obama campaigned in the recent election for Emanuel against a “progressive” Democrat in a close race. The fact that Emanuel was Obama’s chief of staff and is a major player in Hillary Clinton’s bid for president has some people demanding to know who in the White House Emanuel consulted about how to manage the Laquan McDonald crisis. Both Obama and Clinton have been very quiet about the Laquan McDonald murder and the cover-up, given that both hail from Chicagoland.

It was striking that even after the horrors of the San Bernardino shooting, which dominated the national news, the Chicago TV news and newspapers were mainly focused on Chicago with the police department scandal. Objectively, this poses a big problem for the U.S. rulers if the population does not fall in line behind more militarization of the police, more police powers, etc. This is not to mention the international exposure of police murders of Blacks and Latinos.

There is a “moment” here, one that the ruling authorities are trying to turn into a long, slow, go-nowhere direction, with maybe making some small superficial changes in the way policing is done while keeping the whole system intact. That would be deadly for the people. And that is precisely the role of the DOJ investigations.

The situation in Chicago has been characterized by the media as a breakdown in people’s “trust and confidence” in the mayor’s office and in the police department, the second biggest in the country, and the need to “restore the trust.” Some who have been in the trenches fighting to expose Laquan’s murder and the crimes of the CPD are advocating that now that the depth of the problem has been revealed in all its ugliness, this is an opportunity for a “truth and reconciliation process ... to progress from a society that tolerates apartheid justice to one that guarantees equal treatment under the law.” But until people understand the actual role of police in a capitalist society, they will be the victims of deceit and foolish self-deceit.

BA says in BAsics 1:24:

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

As it says in the revcom article “Chicago Goddamn”:

Now is the time to double down, to get organized for an actual revolution and to bring into it everyone who dreams of justice, of freedom, of a radically different, liberatory world. It means getting out to the communities of the oppressed, those whose conditions of life scream out for revolution, to get organized and play a much greater role both in the current situation and in reaching out to and uniting with different sections of people, especially youth and students of all nationalities in the city and suburbs... doing all this to transform the terrain and the people, preparing the ground TODAY for revolution. Those who normally count for nothing in this society—what we do in this situation can count for a great deal in putting an end to all this madness here and around the world.

Anyone who is serious or is just waking up needs to know there is a revolutionary leader out of the great worldwide revolutionary struggles of the 1960s who they need to get into. Tell people to go to the website and find out more about Bob Avakian and the revolution we need. Get with the movement for revolution the Revolutionary Communist Party is building and Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution.

Right now we have to be in the streets like mad, raising hell and demanding justice and at the same time giving out real answers as to WHY this happens and WHAT we could do about it. There can be no half-stepping—all the truth must come out. All the criminals—the real criminals who are behind the crimes committed surrounding the murder of Laquan and the cover-up of that murder—as high as it goes—must be indicted, convicted and go to prison for their crimes. All the other police murders, torture, shootings that have long been buried must also come to light.

To take things back to where we started—through all this we have to raise to people that the monsters who run this society, who command, carry out, enable, and cover up the murders of people like Laquan MacDonald every day, have no legitimacy, their use of force and violence is utterly illegitimate and should be opposed... and that we need a whole new system, a whole new society, where the instruments of power are used to back up those working to transform society toward the emancipation of ALL humanity.


1. The “5 Stops” refers to the slogans appearing regularly at
STOP Genocidal Persecution, Mass Incarceration, Police Brutality and Murder of Black and Brown People!
STOP The Patriarchal Degradation, Dehumanization and Subjugation of All Women Everywhere, and All Oppression Based on Gender and Sexual Orientation!
STOP Wars of Empire, Armies of Occupation, and Crimes Against Humanity!
STOP The Demonization, Criminalization and Deportation of Immigrants and the Militarization of the Border!
STOP Capitalism-Imperialism from Destroying Our Planet! [back]







Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Chicago Goddam!

December 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


See also:

Update: Chicago Whitewashes Continue
No Indictment for the Pig Who Murdered Ronald Johnson

Laquan McDonald, 17 years old, gunned down on a busy Chicago street by a cop. Shot seconds after the cop pulled up and jumped out of the squad car, as Laquan walked away from the cops, hands at his side. After the first shot, Laquan fell to the ground and as he lay there he was riddled with 15 more bullets. This cold-blooded execution of a teenager was followed by a massive cover-up. 16 shots and a cover-up: CHICAGO GODDAM!

The city of Chicago, where Black people came up north seeking freedom and a better life only to be super-exploited in the steel mills and stockyards by this capitalist system, when they could get jobs at all...where 23 Black people were lynched or otherwise murdered “up south” in the bloody summer of pogroms in 1919 just to enforce their being locked down on the bottom of society and to let people know that there would be NO freedom in Chicago either...where white mobs rioted over and over again in the decades that followed whenever Black people dared to go in the “wrong neighborhood” or when schools were being desegregated and where this was managed by the top real estate interests in the city for the benefit of their capitalist system, backed up by the Democratic Party/city government and the mob...where the police murdered the Black revolutionary leader Fred Hampton in 1969 as he slept in his bed, drugged by one of their undercover agents, and then the city, the State’s Attorney and the police all tried to cover it up (see “December 1969: The FBI Assassination of Fred Hampton—I Am a Revolutionary!’“)....where they tortured Black people for decades and the cops in the force still revere the pig commander Burge who ran the torture. The list is long and the crimes are many.

And now Chicago, where they not only murdered Laquan but conspired together, up to the very highest levels—and let’s not rule out the White House either—to cover it up... (See “Recent History of the CPD & More Revelations of Cover-Up in the Murder of Laquan McDonald”)

Here is this goddam city with its downtown of gleaming skyscrapers and sparkling lights, upscale retail shopping districts like the Magnificent Mile...where the rulers have no real way to make profits off of large swaths of the masses of Black people, and unemployment is sky-high and lasts for generations...where segregation is still the rule of the day, more so today than ever, when they are not literally driving Black people OUT OF the city...where the schools in Black neighborhoods are turned into virtual prisons and pipelines to actual prisons, when they’re not being shut down by the city...where, especially now that the capitalists no longer have any use for them to directly exploit, masses of youth are consigned to lives of such hopelessness and desperation that crime, in the words even of one of the capitalist system’s defenders, becomes a “rational choice” and “the life” becomes a source of meaning for the youth and they are driven to murdering and shooting and crippling each other.

This goddam city is not an exception to the rule, it’s the rule itself—the way that Black people are forced to live, and die, in every major city of this country. There is more for people to know about all this, about where this oppression comes from and how to get rid of it, and this is part of the incredible work that Bob Avakian has been doing, and people need to get into that. The point is this: Chicago is Baltimore is Ferguson is Birmingham is Los Angeles is Houston is New York. And it is and it will be, grinding up Black people and even today threatening genocide...unless and until we make revolution, a real revolution, one that can finally get at and abolish this white-supremacist madness by getting at and abolishing the system that gave rise to it and keeps it going—capitalism-imperialism. A revolution guided by the method of understanding reality, the strategy and the vision developed by Bob Avakian and led by the Party he leads.

This goddam city is also where people just shut down the “Magnificent Mile” on “Black Friday”...where people have lifted their heads and are asking big questions...where the powers-that-be are on the defensive, pointing fingers at each other and trying to get this to calm down, blow over. This is just an inkling of what the masses of people are capable of, IF they are aroused and given leadership, revolutionary leadership. Chicago is a major part of this empire, and this whole empire is dealing with all kinds of crises right now, including right within the ranks of those who rule this empire. Right now there is the kind of crisis where truths can suddenly spill out and questions are raised in a way that doesn’t go on “normally.”

The powers that be are scared and maneuvering to contain the outrage, limit how much more about police murder and brutality comes out, quell questioning of the legitimacy of the police’s use of force against oppressed communities and channel the furor into dead ends. A section of the ruling class is in trouble right now, focused on their murdering police in Chicago. While nobody can say where all this will thing is damn sure, we cannot let them just “patch it up” and go back to their brutalizing business as usual with another task force, another mea culpa by the mayor, another pig chief. NO WAY.

Now is the time to double down, to get organized for an actual revolution and to bring into it everyone who dreams of justice, of freedom, of a radically different, liberatory world. It means getting out to the communities of the oppressed, those whose conditions of life scream out for revolution, to get organized and play a much greater role both in the current situation and in reaching out to and uniting with different sections of people, especially youth and students of all nationalities in the city and suburbs...doing all this to transform the terrain and the people, preparing the ground TODAY for revolution. Those who normally count for nothing in this society—what we do in this situation can count for a great deal in putting an end to all this madness here and around the world.

Anyone who is serious or is just waking up needs to know there is a revolutionary leader out of the great worldwide revolutionary struggles of the 1960s who they need to get into. Tell people to go to the website and find out more about Bob Avakian and the revolution we need. Get with the movement for revolution the Revolutionary Communist Party is building and Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution.

Right now we have to be in the streets like mad, raising hell and demanding justice and at the same time giving out real answers as to WHY this happens and WHAT we could do about it. There can be no half-stepping—all the truth must come out. All the criminals—the real criminals who are behind the crimes committed surrounding the murder of Laquan and the cover-up of that murder—as high as it goes—must be indicted, convicted and go to prison for their crimes. All the other police murders, torture, shootings that have long been buried must also come to light.





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015




Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Sunsara Taylor, Merle Hoffman, and Sikivu Hutchinson discuss

The Abortion Rights Emergency –
STOP the War On Women!

December 19, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Stop Patriarchy


In the wake of the mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado and the all-out assault on abortion rights, come hear:

Sunsara Taylor, Merle Hoffman, and Sikivu Hutchinson discuss
The Abortion Rights Emergency –
STOP the War On Women!

Tuesday, Dec. 15, 7:00 pm

at Revolution Books, 437 Malcolm X Blvd.
@132nd St., Harlem, NY (2,3 to 135th St.)


[donation requested at door]


Sunsara Taylor


Sunsara Taylor is a writer for Revolution newspaper (, initiator of, and has been a fighter for abortion rights since 1995.

Merle Hoffman


Merle Hoffman is CEO of Choices Women's Medical Center which began doing abortions in 1971. Author of Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Board Room.

Sikivu Hutchinson


Sikivu Hutchinson, feminist atheist activist and author, Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels and Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics and the Values Wars (Sikivu will participate via Skype).







Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Robert Dear—"Warrior" for the Christian Fascist War Against Abortion

December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On December 9, Robert Dear—the man on trial for the violent attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs that killed three people and wounded nine—interrupted court proceedings to yell out, “I’m a warrior for the babies.” In other words, he was declaring that his bloody rampage was driven by fanatical anti-abortion beliefs. And his words make clear that his heinous act was in service of the overall war against women going on now, focused especially on denying women the right to abortion and even birth control.

But even as Dear has made his murderous intentions clear, federal and state officials still decline to discuss what the killer’s motives were, and major Republicans continue their outright denial that the Colorado Springs attack had anything to do with opposition to abortion.

The reality is that there are those in society—including those in high levels of government and other positions of authority—who are dead set on denying women the right to abortion and are even attacking access to birth control, in order to force women to be child bearers, as a key part of a deeply repressive program of enslaving women and reinforcing patriarchal, male-supremacist control over them. These powerful forces are whipping up a hate-filled storm to push this agenda. It is in that context that Robert Dear, acting as a “warrior” in the war on abortion rights and women’s lives, carried out the horrible killings in Colorado Springs.





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

A Call to RevComs and ALL Who Care About Women's Liberation – Get Out this Quote From BA!

December 5, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From Sunsara Taylor

Unbelievable as it may seem, in the 21st century there are still people—including people in positions of power and authority—who are determined to force women to bear children, regardless of the situation, the feelings, and the better judgment of those women themselves. That is a way of enslaving women to the dictates of an oppressive male supremacist, patriarchal system; and that is what the cruel fanatics who are determined to deny women the right to abortion are really all about.

Unbelievable as it might seem...

Right-click to download palm card here (PDF: with crop marks | w/o crop marks)


back of palm card

A CALL: Print and get out cards of the above quote from Bob Avakian all over – especially onto the campuses, into the projects and neighborhoods of the oppressed, at gatherings around abortion and reproductive rights, as well as to many places beyond. 

A few thoughts of appreciation for this statement and how much it stands out:

Bob Avakian published this statement just over a week before the recent murderous rampage at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado, but his statement stands out all the more poignantly and urgently now.  Avakian puts his finger right on the central nerve of what the entire fight over abortion is and has always been about: whether women will be enslaved to a male-supremacist, patriarchal system or whether women will be liberated, treated and viewed as full human beings.  This – and nothing else – is what is at stake.

Yet, it is astounding how little this is being recognized or spoken to by others – including a great many who really ought to know better.

A few have pointed out how the lies that have been spread against Planned Parenthood and the ongoing demonization of abortion is what set the stage for this kind of crazed, murderous attack.  This is true and important, but it doesn't speak to WHY these lies are told or WHY abortion is being demonized and restricted in the first place.  And this doesn't even begin to give people an understanding of the full dimension of what is at stake which is not merely whether there will be violence at clinics (as important as that is) but whether half of humanity will be enslaved or liberated.

Others, especially on Twitter, have pointed to the discrepancy between the deadly violence routinely used by police against unarmed Black people and the way the police chose to take this white murderer alive.  This certainly is yet another exposure of the completely illegitimate police terror and murder of Black and Brown people.  And it is urgent this police terror and murder be fought!  But, if that is all you have to say about this murderous rampage on Planned Parenthood – you are missing the fucking point.  Worse, you are leading others to miss the point.  There is an actual war raging against women and when a gun-man goes on a killing spree motivated by fanatical anti-abortion beliefs, this is a part of that war on women.  This needs to be named, it needs to be confronted, and millions need to be rallied right now to stand up against it and STOP IT.

Thank you, Bob Avakian, for doing that naming and leading a Party that is serious about uniting all who can be united to stand up and stop this!

As BA has pointed out numerous times, one of the ways you can tell that the assault on abortion is really about enslaving women to the dictates of a male-supremacist, patriarchal system is that the entire anti-abortion movement is also against birth control.  In their large numbers they are motivated by a literal interpretation of the Bible, which mandates that women submit to men and bear children in order to “redeem” themselves for allegedly causing “original sin.”  And, beyond those who are motivated by a fascist literal interpretation of the Bible, those in power in this country who are slamming in anti-abortion legislation, forcing abortion clinics to close, taking birth control out of reach of growing numbers of women, and shaming women who choose abortion – as well as those in power who conciliate and compromise with this fascist agenda, like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton – are proceeding from the interests and the dictates of that very male-supremacist, patriarchal system.  This is why none of them can be relied on to speak to the heart of this matter or bring forward the kind of massive resistance and fight necessary to defeat this war on women.

In his many other works – like Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, as well as in his compendium, Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution – BA goes deeply into all of this.  He does this in the service of leading people to make an actual revolution to put an end to this system that enslaves women and causes so many other needless horrors for the masses of people, including the genocidal oppression of Black people, the destruction of the environment, the wars for empire, and the terror inflicted on immigrants.  This is something many, many more people need to be introduced to right now and many people need to be digging deeply into and making real in the world.

Getting this quote out in large quantities, together with getting out the word about, is a very important way of right now changing the terms of the fight around abortion and of introducing more people to the leadership of BA that is needed to truly get free.





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Interview with Stop Patriarchy Student Activist

Stand Up to the Woman-Haters on the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

December 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On December 5, Revolution caught up with Luna, a student activist with Stop Patriarchy. This is a transcript of our conversation.


Revolution: You are wearing bloody pants to school to make a statement and provoke people to act around the assault on abortion rights. So we want to hear all about that. What is the message? What kind of response you’ve gotten? What inspired you or compelled you to do this? And how does this fit into the upcoming anniversary of Roe v. Wade and actions in support of abortion rights on that day? But let’s start with what it is you are doing.

Luna: So, as you said, I’ve been wearing bloody pants to school every day that I go to school, which is four days a week. And I’ve been doing it for the past three weeks now and what that looks like is—I don’t wear them on the way to school because I don’t want people to like bother me on the subway or anything or follow me or whatnot. Especially in the situation where now there is a lot of violence against abortion activists as we’ve seen.

But I get to school and I walk in, I go into the lobby and I pull out my bloody pants, which are a pair of white medical pants that Stop Patriarchy bought en masse for our July 1 Abortion Rights Rally that we had last summer and we spray painted them with red spray paint one night. So it looks like there’s blood in the crotch area and it’s dripping down the legs and it’s supposed to be like, what’s the word, a very dramatic response. So it’s not really accurate to what abortions really look like, it’s supposed to captivate you and draw your attention in. And so since I’ve been wearing them I’ve been getting some very interesting responses.

July 1 New York City STOP the Assault on Abortion Rights1

Union Square, New York City, July 1Protest in Union Square, New York City, July 1—part of national actions to stop the assault on abortion rights. Photos: Special to

Revolution: Maybe if we can just to go back to the symbolism, the point is to dramatize what happens when women do not have access to safe, legal abortion—say a woman in Texas who doesn’t have the means to travel hundreds of miles...

Luna: Yeah, it’s meant to show what it looks like when women don’t have access to abortion. And when they don’t have access they self-induce in unsafe scenarios where they could potentially lose their lives. And we have statistics of what it looked like when abortion was illegal in this country. ... We hear stories of clinics or hospitals where lobbies were filled with women every night. We don’t want to be put back to that time, but we are. We are being put back to that.

As you said, in Texas women travel hundreds of miles, have to take off work for days, find babysitters for the children that they already have, there are waiting periods—all this added stress or whatnot. What’s easier for them, for a lot of women, is to self-induce, to take up the proverbial coat hanger and to do it themselves. And that is terrifying and that’s what—when I wear these bloody pants—it looks like. That’s what is supposed to being brought across. Women shouldn’t be forced to be in this position again where they have bloody pants on, you know.

And that’s why it’s so important that I’m wearing these every day that I go to school until the end of the semester—to get people to wake up because people don’t realize. I talk to kids in school and they don’t realize the extreme situation that abortion rights are in. They know Roe v. Wade was passed 40 odd years ago and they just know it’s legal. Yeah, but there’s no access to it because clinics have been shutting down, an average of one every one and a half weeks now. That’s the rate at which it’s going. Texas is an easy case to point to in terms of how much it’s accelerated. You look at Texas in 2013, they had 40 clinics. The HB2 law1 was passed there, and the number of clinics dropped down to about 20, and now if it’s upheld by the Supreme Court in the coming months it’ll be dropped down to nine. It’ll be setting a precedent for more clinics across the South, and not just the South, but across the entire country. Laws like this are setting these standards that clinics have to live up to, where the burden is on the clinics to meet these medical standards that have been proven not to mean anything. It does not need to be a mini-medical center to do a simple outpatient procedure such as a first trimester abortion. And yet these politicians are passing all these laws that are making it so that that’s what it needs to be—this standard which is burdensome on the provider and on the woman because the provider shuts down and the woman has the burden of trying to find access elsewhere.

BOB AVAKIAN    The Vision, the Works, the Leadership for a New Stage of Communist Revolution    GET INTO BA!

And this all culminates in this whole right wing assault on women’s right to live their own lives, to decide when and how to be mothers and if they even want to become mothers period. And it’s outrageous, and it’s driven me to work with Stop Patriarchy. And when we decided to do the protest against the so-called “March for Life,” it’s what drove us to come up with this idea to wear these bloody pants every day, to go to school in them, and to make this statement. There’s a lot of potential for college students to come out on this and to mobilize on this en masse to stand up around what is a fundamental right for women.

Revolution: There are some things I want to come back to, including the larger picture that this is all a part of and the importance of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the mobilization every year of anti-abortion fanatics—really anti-women fanatics, let’s call it what it is. But before we get to that, maybe you can talk a little bit about... I’m sure our readers are curious about the response you get.

Luna: So since I’ve been wearing the pants a lot of people just stare at me, they’re not really sure what’s going on. The first day that I actually wore them, it’s kind of a funny story—I wear them and I’m aware of why I’m wearing them. But I go to class and the class goes by and at the end of class I walk out and this girl from my class runs up to me down the hallway and taps me on the shoulder and she goes, we have an emergency. And I’m like, oh my gosh, like what’s going on, I thought someone in my class had an accident, I don’t know. And she goes, it looks like you had a medical emergency, it’s going to be OK, I just want to warn you. She thought I was like hemorrhaging or something. And I was like, oh, no, no, no. And then I explained why I was wearing the pants. And she was like oh, I don’t know, I’ve worn white pants and like when I’ve gotten my period it looks like that, just not on that scale, so I just wasn’t sure. On the one hand, it’s great that she thought I was having a medical emergency and she came up and told me. On the other hand everyone else had seen me and whatever they thought, they just ignored me.

It was kind of funny ’cause then, after that I thought I should put something on the pants so that people know that I’m not having a medical emergency, but that people know it’s for abortion rights. I put the Abortion On Demand And Without Apology sticker on the pants so that people could read that and try to figure out what its all about.

But since then, now that I have the stickers on, people still stare at me. Today, actually this morning, when I went to school when I was wearing them in the elevator after everyone got out and it was just me and another young woman, she turned to me and she goes, do you need a tampon? And I was like, no this is actually for abortion rights, we’re going down to protest for Roe v. Wade, to protest the March for Life and stand up for abortion rights. And she was like, oh, and I handed her a flyer—and then she had to go to class. But a lot of people just ignore me. They’ll see the pants, some people have taken pictures of it, and then I’ll make eye contact with them and they’ll look away and they walk very fast. And it’s because like whatever they’re thinking, they’re thinking, oh wow, what is going on, or whatever it is, it’s something we can’t talk about. You see blood on someone’s pants, most people think it’s her period at first and it’s like we can’t talk about that, we can’t tell her that something’s gone wrong or something. And that ties in to the shame of a woman’s body in general, the shame of her reproductive organs and stuff.

But then on the opposite hand, I’m in a lot of very forward thinking classes so it’s a lot of people who are very open-minded in general, and they love it. Like, I walked into class early one day and this kid comes up and he goes, I love your pants. And then I was like, oh thanks, they’re for abortion rights. He said, that’s what I thought, they’re fantastic. And then I got into a discussion with the entire class about the emergency of abortion rights. And people were like, it’s crazy, like it’s actually outrageous like how backwards it’s getting.

All the kids in the class signed up, they gave me their numbers for reaching out to them about doing outreach and about how they can take this up themselves. It’s not something for just me. There’s this one girl that I know who is always like, oh, you’re such a great activist, you’re like my activist goals or whatever. And I’m like, yeah, it’s goals, but you can do this, I know you can, anyone can do this. If you think that there’s something fundamentally wrong with the way this country is handling abortion rights, then you can pick up these pants and you can put them on yourself. That scares a lot of people for whatever reasons, they’re very timid and they’re afraid to put themselves out there. But then you still see this hope, they’re like, oh, maybe I can do this, and like maybe I will do this, and then start people coming forward slowly but surely. But people are showing interest...

Revolution: I think you could maybe even pose to people, look people have somewhat gotten used to seeing me wearing these, but if more people started wearing them then they wouldn’t be able to just go about their business...

Luna: Yeah. Exactly. The second week that I wore them it was around the time that Mizzou was popping up and the Paris attacks had just happened and everything, and so there was a rally on my campus for that, where a few students had organized where they were going to be holding posters in solidarity with all the different things that were happening all around the world. And I showed up to it with my bloody pants. And this one girl was so amazed. She took a pair of pants right there. She was like... I was like, yeah, you know, if you want a pair you should take them, you should put them on, you should wear them. She was like, yeah, give me, I’m going to do it. She said I’m leaving out of the country for the next week and a half, but once I come back from Thanksgiving break I’m going to put them on. I haven’t run into her yet, but apparently she has been wearing them, which is very fantastic. The minute she saw me and the minute I explained what it was about, there was no hesitation, right away it was like this makes sense, this is what needs to be done. Which is what needs to be more of the attitude of people who consider themselves pro-choice and everything.

One thing we like to talk about when we go out and do outreach—and a lot of times we wear the bloody pants when we do outreach—is that it’s no longer good enough to just be giving a thumbs up, you know people who just smile and like I’m with you and walk away. It’s no longer good enough to be liking it on Instagram and Facebook. We’re in a situation right now where there needs to be mass political resistance, where people are in the streets saying this is not all right, that these clinics closing at a rate of one every one and half weeks is not OK. People need to stand up right now because if they don’t it’s going to be too late. And frankly it is almost too late.

Just yesterday, the Senate voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Just yesterday. And I’m sure Obama will veto it, but it’s still setting this precedent, right? It’s still setting this tone that women’s lives don’t matter, not in this country, not around the world, frankly either.

Revolution: Except maybe as baby-machines...

Luna: Yeah, exactly, to be controlled, to keep reproducing, to be slaves to their reproductive system. Beyond that, their lives don’t matter.

Revolution: When you were saying it’s not enough to like this on Facebook, it’s interesting because that’s kind of like a theme of the activists in Rise Up October against police terror, when they speak...

Luna: There’s such amazing work done from Rise Up October. So much to be learned from it, too, about how we handled going out into communities and getting people to mobilize for this and this question of which side are you on—it can be used for this too. Like, if you’re not standing up for women’s rights, for a woman to make her own decision about her own body, and then you’re on the other side. There are lines being drawn on this subject of abortion rights and on the subject of police brutality and police terror and murder. And it’s not good enough to just be sitting on the line and kind of... but this, but that, but, but, but. It’s not good enough to just be calling out on your social media sites, calling out the atrocities that are happening in this country and everything. It’s just not good enough anymore. Because look where it’s gotten us. Have things really changed?

Abortion rights are on a downhill slide right now. And it’s only getting worse if people don’t stand up for what is really a fundamental right for women to decide. Like I’ve met lots of people who are like Catholic and everything. Literally I met two people back to back the other day while I was doing outreach. One woman, I was like... I asked, what do you think about abortion rights? And she goes, well, I’m Catholic. What’s that supposed to answer for me? And then another woman right afterwards, she goes, I’m Catholic but I understand it’s a woman’s decision and I’m going to fight for that. And it was back to back, and it’s like these two different ideas about what it means to be religious. Is your religion going to hinder people from living their lives or is it just going to be something that you practice yourself?

Revolution: I think that’s interesting and important and it speaks to what you’re saying—there’s a challenge to draw a line in society, where Catholic or whatever—right is right, wrong is wrong. As we’re talking, it makes me think about that quote from Bob Avakian that we have been promoting at revcom2 about how incredible it is in this day and age there’s actually these forces who want to drive women back and that poses some bigger questions about what kind of world we’re living in and what kind of society we’re living in, what’s wrong with it.

I want to come back to the importance of drawing a broad dividing line in society around abortion rights, and protesting on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. But maybe before we get to that you could talk about how you’ve been exploring the root causes of women’s oppression, how it connects with some of these other forms of oppression, what changes you’ve gone through, and how you see changing things.

Luna: So, it’s kind of crazy. There’s a point when I was growing up, I was a Republican, right, my parents were—like what is good for our family, all that stuff. And I was in the Young Republicans in high school, like hard core believing that this is what’s right and everything. Maybe I wasn’t very religious, but like I was very much into politics and it was something that I loved to learn about and argue about.

Revolution: We were talking about that off the tape, how you were raised with a kind of mainstream Republican outlook in a Hispanic family, and later you identified as a “fiscal conservative, social liberal” Republican who was against “big government.” But things going on in the world cut the ground out from under that—including that the Republicans got so fascist. And it is interesting that when you started to question that, you started to explore alternatives outside the whole Republican/Democrat thing and get into the movement for revolution. I’m interested in how that happened—in part because it would be good to get more people to do that!

Luna: When I got into college everything kind of got thrown out the window. It was like: I don’t know what I like anymore. I don’t know anything really for sure. And then some stuff happens, I move from the school I was at in DC, take a year off, then I move up here to New York. And by coincidence, like through a friend, met the Revolution Books store, Stop Patriarchy, SMIN, the Revolution Club, the Party—the RCP. And just like, it was like a whole opening. I always knew that I kind of wanted to do activist work, but when I was in DC none of my friends ever wanted to come to protests with me or anything like that. And so it was like, oh, whatever. And then I came here and like April 14 happens and then after that there’s all this real bursting of stuff happening in New York around police brutality; it goes before that obviously, but when I came that’s when I kind of got more involved. And then I went down to Baltimore after Freddie Gray was murdered.

Revolution: Was that on your own?

Luna: With SMIN and the Revolution Club. I went with my friend and her sister. And it was just like so eye-opening ’cause I met Travis Morales and we were digging into BA (Bob Avakian) and all this stuff, and it was like a whole new world. And I’m like skeptical on this or not, ’cause like I was brought up on this idea—America is great, America is great, America is great. You know, government, you just got to get the right people in politics and all this stuff. And then that all had to be thrown out the window—like which I had already started seeing, you know, the breaks in it beforehand. But to have, like, a real explanation of it laid out nicely and, like, understandably through BA and BAsics and everything. It was just like, oh my gosh! It completely opened my eyes to so many different things. Like I would have never—I didn’t have an understanding of capitalism before that, or the roots of the oppression of Black people and women through patriarchy. These were words I’d heard before—but it was like what does that mean? I blocked out the understanding of it, and the true understanding of it too. And so I got involved and the minute I heard about Stop Patriarchy, I was, like, I want to be in that, I want to be a part of that. And so for the entire summer I got more and more involved.

And one of the really cool things that we did through the summer was Sunsara Taylor held a four-part session about the oppression of women and the roots of it. It all stemmed because a group of us were having a discussion one night and someone posed, like, where did the oppression of women come from? And we were trying to grapple with it, like, well did it come from this, and it wasn’t always around, and we were trying to figure it out. And we kind of came to the conclusion that with the emergence of the division of labor, you know masters and slaves, and everything, the division, the root of the oppression of women came about—maybe I’m not saying this correctly, maybe I still don’t have a full understanding of it. But then we had this four-part session and it was amazing to really dig into the roots of the oppression of women and where it comes from and how with the rise of patriarchy and with the rise of capitalism patriarchy rose even more and like how everything is so intertwined.

And BA has this quote, you can’t break all the chains except one, you can’t expect to free everyone but keep women oppressed3. And it’s so beautiful and it’s so true because the oppression of women goes so, so deep and it’s so, like,in every single significant sphere of life—like from a woman and her body, a woman at home, labor and everything. It’s everywhere. And to recognize that as a pillar of why this society is the way it is, along with the pillars of the oppression of Black and Brown people. It’s just something that I’ve never heard before. You see it on a daily basis when you go about your life—the little micro oppressions against women, like being at home. Like every Thanksgiving, who’s always in the kitchen cooking in my family? It’s the women. And we have a picture of it—the men are sitting down watching the football game and the women are in the kitchen doing the cooking.

Revolution: And for that matter, what’s Thanksgiving all about anyway?

Luna: Yeah, that’s a whole conversation! And it’s just like, I don’t know, from the cleaning duties that my mom assigned us growing up—like the girls were always in the house cleaning and the men were doing the hard labor outside. And you look around and it’s like, oh my gosh, like, it’s something that is so subtle and they might not be the big outward violence against women, which does happen in America and around the world. But it goes so much deeper than that. So much beyond what people recognize.

And it’s just recognizing that, and seeing it changed my way of thinking and continues to because you’re constantly learning more. You dig into this stuff and it just makes you more and more angry!

Brave protesters demanding "Abortion on demand and without apology!" STOPPED the so-called
On the last Roe v. Wade anniversary, January 22, 2015, courageous protesters demanding "Abortion on demand and without apology!" STOPPED the anti-abortion “March for Life," in Washington, DC. The protests on the next Roe v. Wade anniversary, January 22-23, 2016, must be even more powerful. Photo: Stop Patriarchy

And more and more want to go out on this anniversary of Roe v. Wade, where every year since the first year after it was passed the “March for Life” has been going out there and spewing literal woman-hatred and getting the ears of politicians and the people where they make the laws that affect everyone’s lives. They go out there and they ship young kids who don’t know any better in from all over the country. And this happens every year and up until last year no one had ever put a stop to it. No one had ever put their bodies on the line and said this is not right—you do not have the moral high ground, you do not have the grounds to be spewing this hatred—until Stop Patriarchy did it last year, which was beautiful.

And this year, almost more importantly, we need people to come out to this because just what has happened within this past year, from the release of the fake tapes about Planned Parenthood about fetal body parts, to the attacks that have been happening the past few months, the most recent where they literally killed three people, three people died because they were just at an abortion clinic. You can’t separate that demand from the right-wing politicians who are spewing the hatred that he [the shooter] listens to—where he was mumbling about baby parts. It’s all connected.

And that’s why more than ever we need to go down to DC on January 22 to stand up for what is a right for women. If women don’t have this right they are enslaved to their bodies. And if they don’t have this right, women’s lives are at risk in so many different ways. They get locked in relationships that might be abusive or that they don’t want to be in. Their lives are, as so many people say, foreclosed on. They have a child, they can’t pursue their dreams. I think about my relatives or whatever, like my mom. She was going to go to college, she had a kid at 19 and then had seven more. What would her life had been if she had decided to have an abortion? Like, where would she be today? And people always quote this argument, but you wouldn’t be here today. It’s like, well then someone else would be in my place. Because this is a fundamental right for women and this is what is worth fighting over. If it’s not me, then it needs to be somebody else.

And there’s the question that was posed during Rise Up October of drawing the lines and everything, but also—if not now, when? And if not you, then who? Like you recognize that this is a problem, right? But you’re not going to act on that? That makes you no better than the people committing these horrendous crimes. And people get angry when you say that to them. When you say, you know what, you’re no better than the ones killing women and killing Black and Brown people if you’re not speaking up against it. Because when you don’t speak up, people don’t know what you’re thinking, people don’t know that you’re secretly supporting it with the money that you have. And we need masses amount of people!

Revolution: That’s an important point to end on—the need to stand up to the women-haters on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade in DC on January 22. And people can find out about how to get involved at and at our website,!


1. See “Court Upholds Ruling Likely to Close All but Eight Abortion Clinics in the Entire State of Texas” [back]

2. “Unbelievable as it may seem, in the 21st century there are still people—including people in positions of power and authority—who are determined to force women to bear children, regardless of the situation, the feelings, and the better judgment of those women themselves. That is a way of enslaving women to the dictates of an oppressive male supremacist, patriarchal system; and that is what the cruel fanatics who are determined to deny women the right to abortion are really all about.” (from Bob Avakian, “ON ‘PRINCIPLED COMPROMISES,’ AND OTHER CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY”) [back]

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





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

An Invitation to Learn About—and Change—the World

Upcoming showings of REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! and discussions of BA's outline of the new synthesis of communism—near you.

Updated December 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


People are grappling with big questions: Is there a way to change, to really change the way that people around the world are forced to live? What would it take to not just change the many ways that people are oppressed, but to actually END oppression altogether? And what will your life be about in relation to that?

The world today IS a horror—but it doesn’t have to be that way. There is a way forward, a way out of the horrors. As we say on this site:

Because of Bob Avakian and the work he has done over several decades, summing up the positive and negative experience of the communist revolution so far, and drawing from a broad range of human experience, there is a new synthesis of communism that has been brought forward—there really is a viable vision and strategy for a radically new, and much better, society and world, and there is the crucial leadership that is needed to carry forward the struggle toward that goal.

If you are someone who is grappling with the big questions, right now is the time for you to dig deeply into the work and leadership of Bob Avakian (BA), even as we fight forward to change the world. Two good ways to start doing this is to get into BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!—a six-hour film of a talk by Bob Avakian—and the outline developed by BA himself laying out the key elements of the new synthesis of communism that he has brought forward. This outline—The New Synthesis of Communism: Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach, and Core Elementsprovides “a basic grounding and guideline... to encourage and facilitate further engagement with the new synthesis.”

In the coming weeks, there will be opportunities for you to get into this film and the new synthesis outline together with other people at Revolution Books stores in different cities. See the schedule below.

New York City

Revolution Books, 437 Malcolm X Blvd./Lenox Ave.

Contact Revolution Books at the address above or 212-691-3345 / for upcoming events.


Revolution Books, 1103 N. Ashland. 773-489-0930,

Contact the store for upcoming events

Los Angeles

Revolution Books’ temporary space at the Multicultural Artists United (MCAU) Gallery, 220 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park, between Beverly & Temple.

January 21, Thursday, 7:30 pm: Discussion of Bob Avakian’s The New Synthesis of Communism: Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach, and Core Elements.

February 4, Thursday, 7:30 pm. Screening and continuing discussion of the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

Contact Revolution Books for upcoming events at 213-304-9864


Revolution Books, 2444 Durant Avenue

January 19, Tuesday, 7-9 pm: Screening and discussion of sections of the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

Contact Revolution Books for more info at above address or 510-848-1196 /


Little 5 Points Community Center, 1083 Austin Ave @ Euclid Ave.
(enter building from back parking lot, take elevator to 3rd floor) Free Parking

Contact Revolution Books for upcoming events at 770-861-3339 or


Revolution Books, 1158 Mass Ave., Cambridge

Contact the store for upcoming events at 617-388-0133 or


Revolution Books, 2804 Mayfield Rd, at Coventry, Cleveland Hts

Wednesdays, January 13 and 20, 6:30 - 8:30 pm: Screening and discussion of the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live.


2501 Holman (in Project Row Houses)

January 17, Sunday, 4pm: Come to watch and dig into Part 3 of BA Speaks:  REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

For information, call 832-865-0408, or email


Revolution Books, 89 S. Washington St. (off 1st Ave. in Pioneer Square)

Saturdays, 1 pm: Screening and discussion of sections of the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

For more info, contact Revolution Books at the above address or 206-325-7415 /






Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Discussion at Revolution Books: Digging into Bob Avakian’s Outline of His New Synthesis of Communism

December 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Recently, people gathered at the new Revolution Books NYC location up in Harlem for a lively and wild discussion of the new outline from Bob Avakian, “The New Synthesis of Communism: Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach, and Core Elements.” We knew from the outset that we could not exhaust the content of this outline in one evening, rather we aimed to work together to get a deeper grasp of the significance and scope of what is in the outline and why the work and leadership of Bob Avakian (BA) is absolutely necessary if humanity is to make a genuine revolution that can fully and lastingly uproot all forms of exploitation and oppression. There were also very different levels of familiarity and experience with the revolution in our group—some who have been in the Revolution Club for a longer time, some who came to revolution through the resistance struggles in the fall, customers from Revolution Books, and others. We were young and old, many nationalities, and from very different life experiences. We saw this mix as a strength. Everyone had studied the outline and read a recommended section of the interview by Ardea Skybreak (SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION: On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian) and, on that foundation, everyone was encouraged to dive in fully to a collective process of learning and struggle.


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

Read more

Political Activism and Revolutionary Leadership of Bob Avakian (BA), During the 1960s-1970s, and Continuing to the Present Time

Read more

What Is Science?

Taking note of where the outline itself begins, and how it ends, we decided to open things up around several questions pertaining to BA’s method and approach: What is science? Can science be applied to history and human societies? What is new in what BA has done on the question of science? Why is BA’s method and approach necessary for humanity to get free?

From the moment we divided into smaller break-out groups, people dove in with great passion as well as with some very different understandings of what science is. The first woman to speak is new to BA’s work and is still wrestling with whether or not a revolution and communism are actually necessary. She drew first from what she recalled from school about science. She emphasized that “rather than just ideas, science means you test your ideas to see if they are true. Science deals with data and you make a hypothesis and then you test it.” She was unclear, however, how this related to the work BA has done, “Are there multiple ideas BA is testing? Is the hypothesis ‘Why communism vs. something else?’ What data do we have to say this is a valid statement?”

Another newer person responded, “I don’t think BA meant to be speaking in absolutes. He proposes communism as a scientific hypothesis, but remains open to other ideas.” But when he went on to define science, his definition was very different, “Science is absolute definitions. This is what something is. This is how it works. Nothing else to add.” This led him to voice some confusion, “But it’s kind of a paradox. BA is saying he is open to applying other ideas to his idea, but calling it science, when I thought science means you are firm in your conclusion.”

A third person didn’t agree that science cuts off discovery, arguing, “What is science? You need ideas from before, and you advance from there, but the ideas have to evolve and advance. Like in physics, there was the ideas of Newton but then we advanced on those ideas. We kept some, but we also advanced.” The first woman built on that, adding, “Science is to constantly question everything. It’s not, ‘Here’s a theory, period.’ I mean, we used to think Pluto was a planet, now we realize it is not. You are constantly testing everything.”

A member of the Revolution Club spoke up, “Science is a method to interrogate and understand reality based on material evidence.” She posed, “Even the question of why communism, or how a revolution could happen, these are questions that have to be answered with science. With evidence.” Responding to what had been said earlier about BA’s ideas being “just a hypothesis” and “being open to other ideas,” she said, “BA has come to some conclusions, not just ideas. He’s done this based on looking at the material world—what kind of organization of society corresponds to a way that can emancipate humanity? How can you set up an economy that does that? Skybreak says in her interview that there were some key breakthroughs BA has made. He built on Marx who said that all ideas and relations are based on how human society is organized, based on the economic foundation. These are not just ideas. They are not even just the best idea that sounds the best, but he shows why... here is a materialist analysis of history and why this communist revolution is possible now...”

Already, different ideas on what science is and how BA approaches this question were swirling. The leader of the discussion pointed out that one person had argued that science was “absolute definitions” with “nothing else to add,” while others had emphasized that science builds on previous ideas and advances over time. Which is it? And, why?

Science Requires Evidence

Building on that question, she asked: If science does build on previous ideas, how does one determine which ideas to adopt and which ideas to discard? Don’t religions also change over time, building on some of what came before as well as adapting and adding new things at times? Are they both scientific because they both change, or is there something else involved in making something scientific?

A New Theoretical Framework for a New Stage of Communist Revolution What is New in the New Synthesis? An Explorer, a Critical Thinker, a Follower of BA; Understanding the World, And Changing It For the Better, In the Interests of Humanity Some Thank Yous That Need To Be Said Aloud Order the book here Download the full interview in PDF format here

Several people argued that science is not “absolute definitions” with “nothing else to add” because the world keeps changing and we keep learning more. Some of what we once thought was true might be proven to be wrong and so we might have to change our theories, but what makes the theory scientific is that it is based on material evidence. This is very different than religion because religion, even while it might change at times, does not provide evidence.

Science Is a Reality-Based Method, Not a “Set of Conclusions”

Still, big questions hung in the air. One was: how to understand the relationship between scientific “conclusions” and the scientific process of “questioning and testing everything.” As recounted earlier, the person who argued that science is about “absolute definitions” with “nothing else to add,” had also noted how BA has insisted his approach and new synthesis is “still developing.” He drew from this that perhaps BA’s new synthesis wasn’t really scientific. In response, someone from the Revolution Club argued emphatically that BA had actually come to some very important scientific conclusions that were backed up by evidence. They walked through some of these, like the fact that you need a revolution and a different mode of production (a different economic system and way that food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities of life get produced) in order to end oppression and exploitation.

This was very important, and it is true that Bob Avakian has tremendous and well-grounded scientific certitude about many things—many of them are highlighted in the outline we were studying. It is also true that BA’s new synthesis as a whole is backed up by evidence and marks a qualitative leap and advance in the science of communism. Secondarily, BA’s new synthesis—as he himself points out—is an ongoing “work in progress.” How to understand this?

This opened up a whole discussion about how science in general, and BA’s new synthesis in particular, is so much more than—and actually quite different than—a collection of well-grounded “conclusions.”

As I was thinking about this more afterwards, someone pointed me to a passage in the Skybreak interview, “Good science, you know, does not just go out into the world with a big question mark without any kind of developed theory. In order to advance science, you go out into the world with a framework of certain analyses that have accumulated over time. You make your best possible analysis and synthesis at any given time. And then you go out and test it further against reality. That’s what scientists do. And, in the course of that, you discover that some things that you thought were true are in fact very much true—you see some patterns that maybe you expected—and you often also get some surprises, you learn some things you didn’t expect, you find out you were wrong in some instances, and you learn from that as well. That enables you to make an even more advanced analysis and synthesis. And you go on from there. That’s how good scientific knowledge advances. And Bob Avakian models that in everything he does, in my opinion. That’s why I think there’s really no one like him in terms of taking a really consistently good scientific approach to societal issues and the positive transformation of society.

One point that the outline draws out is that BA has developed a more scientific way of approaching reality, a more scientific method and approach, rupturing with elements in the methodology of communism that were NOT fully scientific. We got into how the new synthesis has been established to be true and is the most scientific foundation for acting to change the world towards human emancipation and for continuing to learn more about the world and about how it can be changed. It contains both a great deal of certitude and firm scientific conclusions, and on that foundation a truly searching and constantly restless and interrogating scientific spirit.

But, as one woman posed, “The more I start to understand about this, the more questions get opened up.” This was true for everyone in the discussion.

Does Objective Reality Really Exist, and Can We Know It?

Even the question of “evidence” and being “evidence-based” can be understood in different ways. One person argued that “reality is objective” and that people should “draw from evidence,” but “at the same time, we all have our own realities and our own evidence.” She argued, “You can’t know everything all at once. Everyone has their own reality, so the conclusions you draw from one point of view are valid for you, but that doesn’t mean they speak to all people everywhere.”

Others argued that, even while there might be some “evidence” being marshaled in the example she was giving, it wasn’t really a scientific approach and it’s simply not true that “everyone has their own reality.” People don’t “have their own reality”—in reality everyone exists within one larger objective reality. This opened up the larger question: Is it only possible to be sure about the surface of things that you can directly experience (through your five senses of touch, sight, smell, taste, and hearing), or does science enable us to know things beyond our direct experiences with scientific certitude? Is science merely the collection of data and the testing out of theories on the surface of reality, or can science penetrate to discover the inner workings of things (whether it be a body and a disease, a human society and how it is changing, or anything else) and the underlying dynamics that give rise to the surface phenomena? These are very important questions that are taken up in many of the works cited in BA’s outline, including the polemic “Ajith—A Portrait of the Residue of the Past” by Ishak Baran and KJA in Demarcations #4.

While we didn’t come close to exploring the answers to all these questions, we did make a start of real substance—and that’s pretty important. I mean, I am attempting to draw together some themes as I write, but in the actual discussion things were much wilder than this. At one point someone argued that the real world doesn’t actually exist, “We all are an imagination of ourselves and we experience ourselves subjectively.” Someone else walked through the basic philosophical divide between materialism (the view that reality objectively exists and can be known) and idealism (the view that there is no objective reality, just the ideas of people or the existence of god). In arguing for materialism, they pointed out that one way you know the real world objectively exists is that when humans interact with it, it behaves the same way for everyone. For example, ice melts into water at the same temperature for everyone, regardless of whether someone else has given them that idea before.

Someone else introduced the rupture BA has made with the view that people, simply because of their oppressed status, somehow were more able to tell what is true, and brought alive some of the significance of this breakthrough. Another Revolution Club member commented on how rarely people think about how they think and how important it is that BA is paying attention to this. She had to repeat this statement different ways, because for many of the people present it was so true they’d never thought about it before, and it took them a minute before they even understood what she was posing.

All this, and much, much more, got unleashed as we went forward. Throughout it all, the significance of what BA has done in really developing a thoroughly scientific method and approach—and in providing us with his outline to appreciate and dig into it systematically—stood out. Through no fault of their own, most people have been denied and deprived of an understanding of science. And, as Ardea Skybreak points out in her interview, keeping people from understanding science really serves the ruling class of exploiters and oppressors because it makes it easy to fool the masses of people and keep them enslaved and oppressed. On the other hand, the work that BA has done—in advancing the scientific method, in breaking this down in his extensive body of work to make it accessible to the masses, and in providing practical ongoing leadership to carrying out a scientific revolution—is giving people the most important thing they need to rise up as conscious emancipators of humanity.

Do We Really Need All This Theory?

At a certain point, however, someone got a bit impatient. It seemed to him that perhaps we were straying off into things that had nothing to do with the urgent need to change the world. People are being killed every day, he insisted, and locked down in prisons. “What does any of what we are talking about have to do with really going out and fighting to end this?” It took a while before anyone came out with a clear and correct answer to this. This itself revealed a definite underappreciation for the game-changing significance of BA’s new synthesis, and in particular his development of communism as a science. Eventually, people worked their way to an answer: while it is absolutely essential that people stand up and fight back and while we ourselves put a lot of effort into this, without the new synthesis that BA has developed and leadership that is based on this, they will remain trapped in the world as it is.

If one does not burn with impatience to put an end to this system that causes so much misery for the masses of people here and all over the world, then they do not have the basis to be a revolutionary communist. But, if growing numbers do not take up the scientific approach to communist revolution that is concentrated in BA and his new synthesis, then the masses will never get free.

Someone pointed to the heroism of the masses who rose up in Egypt just a few years ago in the “Arab Spring,” and the heartbreak of all the horrors and rape and U.S.-backed torture and oppression that pervades Egypt today. They needed leadership grounded in the new synthesis! Or, look at the heroism of the Black Panther Party in this country’s history, or the women who rose up in the women’s liberation struggle—and look at the way Black people are still being gunned down by police and slammed into prisons in genocidal proportions and women’s rights are being stripped away and abortion clinics are being shot up. This is because there wasn’t a revolution and we need one—and we cannot make one, and we certainly cannot make one that leads to uprooting and abolishing all oppression, without BA’s new synthesis. If we really burn with impatience to see humanity emancipated, that should drive us to get deeper into the revolutionary theory and leadership BA is providing and we should help each other do so.

Getting Clear on What an Actual Revolution Is—and Why That Matters

As soon as all this was said, a second person got impatient. She jumped to defend the Black Panther Party and the women’s liberation fighters, insisting they had been heroic and their efforts shouldn’t be dismissed. She insisted that they had made revolutions and that revolutions were happening all the time, “Just because they aren’t as big as you might like doesn’t mean you should look down on them.” She argued that even though there are still problems, things are much better for women than they used to be and much better for Black people and other minorities and this should be acknowledged.

One person jumped in to agree with her, while another began arguing that, in fact, things have been getting worse. But the leader of the discussion cut through this by speaking forcefully about what an actual revolution would mean. “Look, if we had made a revolution and now had revolutionary state power, there would not be ANY police terror and murder being carried out in the streets. I mean it, it would be over. It would not happen. No 16 shots in the back and then lies and cover-ups for years. No parents weeping and burying their children just because they are Black or Brown. No more generations locked in cages, dehumanized and degraded. And if the police did kill someone wrongfully, they would be on trial. And if people stood up to protest this, they would not be tear-gassed and beaten, and railroaded into jail. If we had state power, women would not have to walk through a militarized war zone to get an abortion, and they could do so on demand and without apology. They wouldn’t be being beaten and raped literally in the millions. We wouldn’t be sending drones around the world snuffing out wedding parties and reducing villages to rubble. These are not hard problems to solve—if we make a revolution and seize state power. If we don’t, they are impossible to solve.” It was necessary to pose this sharply because people needed to be shaken out of what were objectively very narrow sights.

She went on to acknowledge that there were many problems that are not so easy to solve, problems that would take a lot of time and a lot of work even after the seizure of power—like uprooting all the remaining vestiges of white supremacy and male domination, thoroughly changing the economy and repairing the environment as much as can be done, and bringing all of humanity into the realms of science and intellectual life and so much more—and this whole process is extremely complex. All this underscores why people need to get with the new synthesis and leadership BA is providing. He has developed a strategy and an approach to making this real. It is simply not true that the best we can do is fight heroically to push the same boulder up the hill only to have it come crashing back down on the masses of people year after year after year. Real and lasting emancipation is possible, this is what we must set our sights on and this is why we need to do the work to get into and to fight to get others into BA.1

As this agitation unfolded, the person who had initially expressed impatience at getting into so much theory dove back in, in agreement, adding his voice vigorously to the desire to see that kind of real liberation and not just more crumbs, and perking up to the questions of theory anew. One young woman’s eyes widened and she made clear that she’d never really thought about revolution in such a real way like that before.

The Culture We Need if We Are Serious About Revolution

That so much of this was so new for so many people gathered for the discussion only underscored how important it was that we were taking the time to dig into BA’s new synthesis outline. It also sharpened up a bigger question of what kind of ongoing culture we have in the movement for revolution, and how there needs to be a culture where all the questions taken up in BA’s outline are what we are living in and pulsing around all the time, not just on “special occasions.”

Towards the end, someone who had been in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War opened up about what a big deal it had been for him and other soldiers to get won over to supporting the Vietnamese side in that war. He spoke of how inspired he had been by their freedom struggle and their proclamations of fighting for some kind of communist liberation. He described how millions of them had been killed or given their lives fighting and actually defeating the U.S. Army, but then he choked up when he added, “But you look at Vietnam today and it is a hellhole. Even after all their sacrifice... This is why it matters that we take up the science and new synthesis of communism and BA’s leadership, because whether you really grasp communism or just call yourself a communist while really doing something else, it has life-and-death consequences.”

A young woman who had been challenged several times during the discussion but dove in eagerly with a good attitude all along the way added, “The important thing I am really getting is that this is possible for everybody to understand. I don’t understand it all yet, but I am getting that this is something everyone can learn and take up. Tonight I am going to buy a book from Bob Avakian so I can keep learning.”

We let these two comments stand as important points of orientation for all of us, new and old, not just in wrapping up a spirited discussion but in looking to our responsibilities going forward.


1. Bob Avakian has actually done a tremendous amount, going into the history of the Black Panther Party and the women’s liberation movement in the 1960s, summing these up and getting deeply into what WERE the lessons and how NOW to synthesize these lessons in going forward. Much of this can be found in his memoir, From Ike to Mao and Beyond; My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist; Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution, particularly Part III looking at women’s liberation; “Rereading George Jackson,” from Getting Over the Two Great Humps: Further Thoughts on Conquering the World, and in other works. [back]





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

On the Significance of RiseUpOctober: Building on Strengths, Overcoming Weaknesses... And Fighting to Actually Put an End to Police Terror and White Supremacy Through Revolution

Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

November 30, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


RiseUpOctober, RUO—the mass demonstrations against police murder that took place in New York in October—represented a significant advance in the fight against this terror, and the overall fight against the oppression of Black, Latino. and Native American people of which it is a key part. The three days of action—the march and rallies on the 24th, the nonviolent direct action to shut down Rikers Island prison on the 23rd, and the reading at Times Square on the 22nd of the Stolen Lives, those killed by the police—each in its own right and taken together had a powerful impact on public opinion. The controversy that raged afterward in the media, mainly with the filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’s comments at the march and the defense of Tarantino by others, kept the issue squarely in the public mind, with people representing the action making the point to millions: murder by police must stop—Which Side Are You On?

RUO brought forward and together the voices and participation of people from different sections of society, including students and prominent voices of conscience,around the “reasonable” demands to Stop Police Terror and the police murder of unarmed youths, and convicting and sending the killer cops to jail. On the 24th of October, the march of nearly 4,000 people was bold and defiant, with contingents from different campuses and organizations, and people from Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, and as far away as Texas and California. There were students from the historically Black colleges, the elite colleges and community colleges, along with those from the bottom of society, those “who catch the hardest hell,” joined by activists and others from the social movements and the broad progressive middle strata, all declaring to society, “Which Side Are You On,” STOP Police Terror.

Family members of those killed by police. New York City, October 22, 2015. Photo: Phil Buehler

This political and moral challenge was underscored by the parents and family members of the Stolen Lives, those killed by the police, who came to NYC from across the country, reading the names and telling the stories of their loved ones together with prominent voices of conscience at Times Square on the 22nd. Their powerful and courageous truth-telling was part of bringing home the hard and horrible reality of police murder. The workings of this system and the conscious policies of its rulers seek to keep people divided, and the most bitterly oppressed feeling isolated—and these manifestations of RUO broke through that barrier.

RUO was a powerful political and moral response in opposition to and as part of the political battle over the legitimacy and the right of the police to blow away lives without any consequences or justice. RUO was a necessary intervention to change the terms of discussion and to influence public opinion at a critical juncture. All summer the rulers of this system were on the offensive, attempting to re-seize the initiative after the uprisings of Ferguson and Baltimore had put the question of police terror on the societal agenda. They were posing as the victims, and defending and asserting the right of the police to continue raining terror and murdering people in genocidal proportions.

RiseUpOctober hit back hard at this, speaking the truth and mobilizing people, and as the 24th approached, the powers that be hit back in turn. It is no mere coincidence that Obama and James Comey, the head of the FBI, spoke on the 22nd and the 24th of October on these issues, defending the police in no uncertain terms. Nor is it coincidental that directly after the mass demonstration, the New York Post, Fox News, the PBAs (“Police Brutality Associations”), NYPD chief Bratton, and the rest went on a rampage.

Eve Ensler, Carl Dix, Cornel West, Quentin Tarantino, on march with family members. Photo:

Carl Dix, who along with Cornel West co-initiated RUO, hammered away at this legitimacy, and from this perspective, pointed to the real role of the police in enforcing the oppressive system, and brought alive the solution in communist revolution to get beyond this and its leadership in Bob Avakian (BA), while at the same time working to get everyone he could to get involved in this fight. Other people came together with Carl and Cornel, and this variety of voices and perspectives and the lively debate that ensued added to the strength of RiseUpOctober and modeled something very important for people.

RUO forged and advanced a much-needed and defiant pole of genuine resistance and struggle, giving people a way to act commensurate with the horrors and outrages of the all-too-common stories and videos of police terror and police murder. RUO also included the nonviolent direct action to shut down Rikers Island, a torture chamber and hellhole of a prison right in the middle of New York City, housing mainly Black and Latino inmates—and this action of resistance and struggle is a real leap toward what is needed to end the New Jim Crow, the program of mass incarceration.

Evaluating Strengths and Weaknesses

October 24—Thousands took to the streets of NYC for the culmination of three days of Rise Up October, led by families of victims of police murder (above), many carrying large pictures of men and women whose lives were unjustly stolen.

In evaluating an initiative like RUO, from the standpoint of its objectives, the criterion is its effect on the political terrain, on favorably changing public opinion and people’s thinking in line with the actual reality and putting an end to police terror, and organizing forces in the struggle and movement for this. Let’s remember: the point of RiseUpOctober is to STOP police murder; everything it does is designed to contribute to making that fight as strong as possible. And part of the thinking that went into this is that, in order to STOP this, you will need millions and millions of people feeling compelled to choose sides... and compelled to STRUGGLE AGAINST THE SYSTEM that gives rise to such murder and repression.

RiseUpOctober represented a significant advance, and this struggle and its organization, Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN), needs to be carried forward, grow and politically escalate, especially as people are righteously standing up in Chicago, Minneapolis, and other cities against police murder, and on campuses against racism and white supremacy.

At the same time, all of these advances—from bringing together different sections of society in struggle and resistance, in questioning the legitimacy of the police and the system of which they are objectively the enforcers, and the heightened profile of Carl Dix on the political terrain, as a revolutionary communist leader and follower of BA and courageous truth-teller about and fighter against police terror—need to be built on with strategic perspective to hasten the time when a radically different system and society can be brought into being through revolution, and this, as well as many other horrors, can be ended once and for all. 

In this context, there were some secondary shortcomings to be looked at, interrogated, and solved going forward.

First, we needed more of an organizational and infrastructural core at the heart of the initiative. We also needed to have raised more funds for advertising and promotion, so that many more people would hear of and be able to participate actively in this resistance. Even though RiseUpOctober did have real and powerful impact, had the RUO movement been able to solve these problems that impact could possibly have been even greater. This is a collective responsibility for the movement as a whole, and we should grapple with others on how to solve these problems, and really grow SMIN with vibrant chapters nationwide.

Bringing Out the Need for Revolution and the Leadership of Bob Avakian

BOB AVAKIAN    The Vision, the Works, the Leadership for a New Stage of Communist Revolution    GET INTO BA!

Second, as revolutionary communists, while we worked hard on fulfilling and bringing to life the key objectives of RUO, all too often we lost sight of WHY we take part in these struggles. On the one hand, we hate this outrage with all our might; many of us came into the movement for revolution through this and related battles, and the more that we have understood how deeply interknit it is into this capitalist system and how utterly unnecessary it is, the more—not the less—angry and outraged we have become.

At the same time, unless and until there is a revolution, this horror will go on. It’s that simple. For that reason, we unapologetically lead and participate in these struggles with that larger goal in mind, drawing the links to the system whenever we can and pointing to the solution in revolution and the leadership for that revolution in Bob Avakian (BA).

It is in this regard that we think we fell down some and did not fully enough carry out our responsibility. And a lot of this got concentrated around not letting people know about BA—maybe letting people know some things, but not consistently giving people the full picture of who he is, what he’s brought forward, and how he leads. To put it another way, not stepping off enough from the scientific fact that the outrage of police murder is made all the more unbearable by the fact that it doesn’t have to be this way, there is another way possible through revolution, and there is leadership for that revolution in BA, and the Party he leads.

This is what people need most from us. There is a lot more we could and should have done in bringing to all the need to study and follow BA’s leadership, and becoming part of the process of helping to realize this revolution, including through following, the official website of Revolution newspaper, and the main way for people to get the ongoing leadership of BA and the Party.

BA and the Struggle to Uproot the Oppression of Black People and All Other Oppressed Nationalities

In speaking of BA in particular, a lot of people don’t know that he’s been a fighter on this question since way back in the 1960s, going back to the earliest days of the Black Panther Party, whom he worked closely with. People should check out the “TIMELINE—Political Activism and Revolutionary Leadership of Bob Avakian (BA), During the 1960s-1970s, and Continuing to the Present Time” at to learn more on this. But it goes way beyond that.

Bob Avakian, over many decades of work, has scientifically shown how the oppression of Black people, since the time of slavery, has been central to the history of this country and integral to the workings of this system of capitalism-imperialism, interwoven into the economic, social, cultural, and ideological fabric of this country. Because of this, the system and its rulers have no solution, no answers to all of its horrific manifestations, from police murder to mass incarceration to rampant discrimination in jobs, housing, and all other areas of life.

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

He has done the work to show that with a radically different system, a different economic and political framework, and social relations and ideas that aim to get beyond all exploitation and oppression as part of a worldwide process, there IS a solution, there IS an answer, and we can put an end to the horrors and get to work on rooting out the inequalities of this system. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) goes into this very concretely. This Constitution is a concretization of the work done by BA on what such a society should look like, and an application of the new synthesis of communism which he has developed over decades, a whole new framework and a world-historic contribution to the science of communism and the emancipation of humanity. 

Bringing this society into being will take a revolution, and BA has also developed a strategy for this revolution, and is the leader of this Party implementing and leading this strategy. This strategy of course takes in many, many questions—the oppression of women, the wars waged by imperialism, the destruction of the environment, the persecution of immigrants—and shows the real living links to the capitalist society we live in, and the need to get beyond that. As part of this strategy, he has scientifically analyzed the oppression of Black people as one of the crucial fault lines of this system, one that goes to its very roots and foundations. From his earliest and formative political experiences in the 1960s, the centrality of the oppression of Black people in this society, and the resultant vulnerability of this system on this question, its “Achilles heel,” has been a hallmark of BA’s leadership—that has been scientifically deepened through decades of theoretical work and leading the revolution in the U.S., including deeply examining the struggles of Black people for liberation, and being part of and drawing the correct scientific lessons from the most advanced revolutionary experiences of the 1960s with the Black Panthers.

BA has shown how bringing growing numbers of people into motion around this crucial fault line of this system can deepen and widen the cracks of this system, doing this in a way that hastens the moment when the whole thing can be brought down and a radically different world brought into being through communist revolution. Concretely leading these struggles to end police murder and terror, and its manifestations in SMIN and RUO, are an application of this, with the perspective and goals of advancing the objectives of communist revolution—again, a revolution that can and goes to work on fundamentally resolving not only the oppression of Black people, but of women, of immigrants, and bringing to an end this country’s wars of empire and its destruction of the environment, within and as part of a radically different system aiming for and working towards the emancipation of all of humanity.

And people should definitely know that it was BA himself, as leader of the Party, who is responsible for the Party taking up this initiative, and others like it, going back decades. If you want to check out his thinking on the importance of initiatives like SMIN and RUO, and how they relate to getting to a world where things like police murder and white supremacy really are no more, check out his essay, “The Mass Initiatives and Our Strategic Objectives”.

The Problem... The Solution... And the Process

Why is this important? As people struggle and fight the power, bigger questions are posed such as what is the source of these injustices, what is the relation to other horrors such as the oppression of women and immigrants, the wars and the destruction of the environment, and can we end these and what will it take? There ARE answers to these questions, and it is the responsibility of the revolutionary communists to not only bring the answers to the people, but lead a process for them to increasingly get a scientific approach to society and all of reality, one that is denied the vast majority of people by the workings of this system, and organize them into the actual revolution.

The more people understand the common root of these injustices in the system of capitalism-imperialism, and the fact that these horrors are completely needless and can be done away with through revolution, then the more people’s sights are raised to a radically different world that is necessary, possible, and desirable, and the more people are impelled and compelled to fight even more ferociously—and with an increasingly conscious goal, in thinking and organization, of getting beyond this. This, after all, is the point of fighting to put an END to these horrors, and this takes leadership concentrated in science and a thoroughly scientific approach to society. At this moment in history, the most thoroughly scientific approach to society and the most advanced science of the emancipation of humanity through communist revolution, the solution to all this madness, the way out, is concentrated in the work and leadership of Bob Avakian.

Going Forward

In the little more than a month since RiseUpOctober, this struggle has further intensified, with both RUO, the Revolution Clubs (which are led by the Party), and Party members like Carl Dix right in the middle of it. This must not die down, but must instead go forward. We will be working as hard as we can to build this struggle as broadly as we can, and to do this as part of preparing for revolution, putting an end to this horror. And we look forward to participating with all the people in RUO and many more besides to make this winter and spring a time when the question “WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?” resounds even more powerfully, throughout this society and the whole world.


For more on Bob Avakian, go to:


For more on how the Party views and participates in mass struggles and their relationship to revolution, see BAsics, Chapter 3, especially 3:1, 3:2, 3:3, 3:30, and the Party’s statement on strategy which supplements that chapter.





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

From Noche Diaz of Revolution Club, NYC:

A Message to the Three Freedom Fighters in LA

December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Noche DiazNoche Diaz (Photo:

This is a message from Noche Diaz of the Revolution Club, NYC, to the three revolutionaries who were convicted on December 3 on charges from the protests on April 14 this year, a national day of protest against murder by police (see “Outrageous Convictions of A14 Defendants!” for more about the case).


To my comrades:

While I burn at the outrageous convictions and sentences leveled against my fellow freedom fighters, my heart swells with joy, hope, and pride at the example you are fighting to set. Not ONLY the example of righteously calling out and resisting the crime of police murder and terror, but ALSO your refusal to back down in the face of repression and to further struggle against this illegitimate system which unleashes its pigs to kill us in the street and in our homes and anywhere we BE, while condemning, persecuting, and attacking people who dare call it out and struggle against it.

So much about this outrage is concentrated, as one of you already pointed out, in the fact that on December 3, one year since the day pig officer Daniel Pantaleo was not indicted for the murder of Eric Garner, the LA courts sentenced three freedom fighters who took a stand against police murder! (The same day, in fact, that I myself had to appear in a NYC court facing charges for my role in working for revolution.) This says so much about this system! For whom and for what do these authorities wield their monopoly on armed force? For whom and for what do their courts bestow their blessing of legitimacy and justifiability!? For all their talk of rights, freedoms, and democracy, in reality their system “has no more absolute legitimacy than the divine right of kings,” as Bob Avakian (BA) has put it. This says so much about why we in the Revolution Club say humanity needs revolution and communism to break their hold on power over us and establish a new power. For whom and for what? For humanity to get free, to make a communist world. One important statement from Bob Avakian (BA) this makes me think of is this:

In a world marked by profound class divisions and social inequality, to talk about “democracy”—without talking about the class nature of that democracy and which class it serves—is meaningless, and worse. So long as society is divided into classes, there can be no “democracy for all”: one class or another will rule, and it will uphold and promote that kind of democracy which serves its interests and goals. The question is: which class will rule and whether its rule, and its system of democracy, will serve the continuation, or the eventual abolition, of class divisions and the corresponding relations of exploitation, oppression and inequality.
BAsics 1:22

In the face of this reality, when this system uses its rule to crush people’s resistance and serve the continuation of this oppression and madness, too often the response is to desperately try to find some way AROUND struggling against this system to actually STOP the crimes that move people to resist and rebel, to come back into the killing embraces of one or another representative of this system. This is one important reason to take heart in the example you all are fighting for in the face of this. But most importantly, because the fact is this: The only way out is through fighting the power, and transforming the people, for an actual revolution! There’s no way around this if you want to actually end this system’s crimes: its genocidal mass incarceration and police murder targeting Black people and Latinos; its patriarchal degradation and domination of women everywhere and LGBT people; its wars for empire; its demonizing of immigrants and refugees; and its ruining of our planet’s environment.

So as you continue to forge ahead in the struggle, uniting with people to resist this system’s crimes and repression, continue to get into BA, and get others to do so too! Because of BA we can better, more scientifically, understand why this capitalist-imperialist system not only does all this horrible shit, but cannot do without doing this. Because of BA there is a strategy, a way to build the struggle against this system as part of a movement for revolution, a REAL way out. And because of BA there’s a real way to reorganize society on the road to emancipation—to communism—and to go all the way down that road, learning from before. And there is a Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) to make that real, right after the revolution, a constitution for a new power in service of humanity getting free!






Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

From Carl Dix:

Justice for Freddie Gray—Convict the Killer Cops & Send Them to Jail!

December 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The trial of the first of the Baltimore cops who murdered Freddie Gray has begun, and we need to be clear on some things. First, these murdering pigs are going on trial because people exploded in rebellion after these pigs murdered him. And second, putting the murdering cops on trial doesn’t equal justice.

Cops who kill people almost never go on trial. In the few cases where cops have been put on trial for murdering or brutalizing people, the killer cops either get off scot-free or with a slap on the wrist. The prosecutors who are so skilled at sending Black and Latino people to prison forget how to prosecute.

Let’s be clear, these cops chased Freddie Gray like he was a runaway slave, beat him down, hog-tied him and threw him onto the floor of their police van. Then they drove around the city stopping five times, giving him what Baltimore pigs call the “rough ride.” And these pigs ignored his cries of pain and pleas to go to a hospital. Their actions and inactions stole Freddie’s life. Justice in this case means these cops being convicted and going to jail, not just put on trial. And making that happen is going to take a real fight; people taking to the streets with defiance and determination demanding Justice for Freddie Gray.

We’ve seen police all across the country gunning people down, beating them to death, choking them to death, tasing them to death. This official terror has been built into the fabric of this system from the very beginning of this country; first in slave patrols, followed by KKK night riders and lynch mobs after slavery was ended, and today with police patrolling inner-city communities like an occupying army.

This horror must be STOPPED. The people who run this system have no solution to these horrors. They talk about having a conversation to heal the divisions between the community and the police or about reforms like putting body cameras on cops.

But revolution, communist revolution, has a solution to this and all the other horrors this system brings down—the attacks on women, devastation of the environment of the very planet we live on, the wars for empire, the attacks on immigrants; all of them. That solution is revolution, and we have the leadership needed for this revolution in Bob Avakian (BA), the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). The revolution could STOP this state-sponsored violence right after seizing power from the capitalist rulers. The police departments that enforce brutality and murder today would be dismantled, and a people’s security force would be created to replace them. As BA says in BAsics (his book of quotations and short essays), this security force would be made up of people who would sooner lose their own lives than kill or injure an innocent person.

If you want to see the horror of police getting away with murder ended once and for all, you need to engage BA’s new approach to making revolution to get rid of this blood-sucking system and bring into being a society with totally different economic, political, and social relations and is in transition to a classless, communist world. And you need to get with the movement for revolution the RCP is building.

And everyone with an ounce of justice in their hearts needs to join in building a fight to get the cops who murdered Freddie Gray convicted and sent to jail.







Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Where Is the Pursuit of Truth in the First Trial of Killer Cops in Baltimore?
Where Is the Demand for Justice for Freddie Gray?

December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Baltimore, November 30

March in downtown Baltimore on the opening day of the trial, November 30.

Baltimore,, December 12
Saturday, December 12. Hundreds of copies of Carl Dix’s statement and some posters got out in Freddie Gray’s neighborhood. Above: The West Baltimore corner where police first grabbed Freddie Gray.

The trial of William Porter, the first of the six Baltimore cops facing trial for the murder of Freddie Gray, is drawing to a close—with the case expected to go to the jury on Monday, December 14. Trials for the other five cops are expected to begin in January.

See also: Why Do Murders by Police Go On, Over and Over Again? And What Must Be Done to END THIS Once and For All? (May 4, 2015)


Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Black man, was brutally arrested on April 12 this year after he made “eye contact” with the cops. He was first restrained with his legs and hands behind his back and a cop's knee on his neck until he screamed in agony. When released from that hold his legs appeared inoperable, so the cops dragged him still screaming to the van and pushed him into it. By the time they reached the station, Freddie was unconscious. He died a week later.

As Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party said in his recent statement: “[W]e need to be clear on some things. First, these murdering pigs are going on trial because people exploded in rebellion after these pigs murdered him. And second, putting the murdering cops on trial doesn’t equal justice... In the few cases where cops have been put on trial for murdering or brutalizing people, the killer cops either get off scot-free or with a slap on the wrist. The prosecutors who are so skilled at sending Black and Latino people to prison forget how to prosecute.” (“From Carl Dix: Justice for Freddie Gray—Convict the Killer Cops & Send Them to Jail“)

This is what we have been seeing in the courtroom. If you rely on what has been presented in court by the prosecution, you would scarcely know, for example, that Freddie Gray had been chased, beat down, and hog-tied, his back bent—as is shown in widely seen videos and described by witnesses who said that his back was being bent “like a pretzel.” (See the videos here and here.) Those videos were not part of the prosecution’s case and were never even referenced in their presentation. Indeed, the prosecution has repeatedly asserted, contrary to what is seen in those videos, that Gray was not seriously injured prior to being put in the police van. This is an ominous assertion, considering that they are supposedly going to be prosecuting in a later trial the two cops who are seen carrying out this violence against Freddie in those videos.

Meanwhile, you have a vicious defense team showing utter contempt for Freddie Gray and bringing out infamous “medical expert” Vincent Di Maio, who testified at the trial of George Zimmerman in Florida to support Zimmerman’s outrageous claim that he killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin “in self-defense.” In the Baltimore trial, Di Maio made a number of outrageous claims, contradicting widely held medical understanding of the nature of neck injuries. And he concluded by testifying that he felt no crime had been committed leading to Freddie Gray’s death—and that this was just an unfortunate “accident”!

As I’m writing this, we still do not know what will come out in the closing arguments or how exactly this trial will impact the trials of the other cops. What is clear is that in this situation, it is vital that the interests of the people be heard loud and clear:

Justice for Freddie Gray—Convict the Killer Cops and Send Them to Jail!

The whole damn system is guilty!






Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Hundreds of San Francisco Students Walk Out Demanding Justice for Mario Woods

December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

Since the December 2 street execution of Mario Woods by pigs in the Bay View district of San Francisco, with video of Mario’s cold-blooded murder going viral, there have been a number of raucous community meetings, overflowing with angry people refusing to accept the lies of Chief of Police Gregory Suhr defending the actions of his cops killing Mario. People are demanding Suhr’s firing and the naming, arresting and charging the cops involved in Mario’s murder.

Suhr announced that he has no intention of stepping down, but he is looking for ways to “de-escalate” situations before lethal force has to be used. His suggestion? Tasers—a weapon that San Francisco police have, for years, been trying to get approved for their arsenal. Tasers, by themselves, have killed hundreds of people nationwide. And people have been tasered, incapacitated on the ground, and then shot and murdered by cops while writhing in agony.

On Wednesday, December 9, a huge crowd of Bay View residents, activists, and others took their anger to the Police Commission. They were not there to help the cops get tasers, but to demand justice for Mario. Some were able to get in the hearing room to speak, but the bulk of the crowd was kept out behind police-guarded doors, chanting “let us in,” “fire Chief Suhr” and “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail! The Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell!”

Speaker after speaker demanded that Suhr and the cops be fired, charged and tried for murder—including relatives of Mario Woods, Uncle Bobby (Oscar Grant’s uncle), and Danny Garcia, whose brother Mark was murdered by SFPD Mission station cops under Suhr’s command in 1996.

Some people raised the specter of “civil unrest” in the streets of liberal San Francisco—like has happened or is happening in Ferguson, Minneapolis, Detroit, and Chicago—if justice is not done.

A young Chicana from the June Jordan School for Equity called the Bay Area Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN). She had a SMIN leaflet on the murder of Mario that called on people to take to the streets in protest, and called SMIN to let them to let them in on plans for a student-led walkout with other schools against the “recent massacre of Mario Woods, about police brutality, and all lives matter.” The students at June Jordan formed “Youth Power against Police Brutality” and wrote a leaflet which they took to other schools and posted on Instagram.

San Francisco, December 11
San Francisco, December 11—400 students from at least 12 different high schools and middle schools walked out and gathered at SF City Hall.

At noon on Friday, December 11, 400 students from at least 12 different high and middle schools gathered on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. They had marched from different schools and gathering points. After a short rally, they took off again on a spirited march, shutting down cable cars, trolleys, and traffic on the busiest streets in the tourist and shopping district. At one point, they surrounded a police car and plastered it with signs. There were youths of every nationality and gender carrying banners and signs, chanting and blowing whistles.

San Francisco, December 11
Student walkout in San Francisco, December 11. Photos: Special to Revolution/

Many were out in the streets in protest for the first time. A few had participated in the nationwide protests against murder by police on April 14 called by Stop Mass Incarceration. Some were more aware of recent walkouts at Berkeley High around racism, and other actions and protests against police murder and racism nationally. But for all, this was opening up new horizons, and posing challenges about their responsibility to change the world. Students were very interested in hearing about actual revolution and Bob Avakian (BA). Many times, youths would come back asking for copies of Revolution newspaper to give to their friends. There were kids from everywhere—born all over the world—and they really liked that we were talking about ending all oppression, emancipating all humanity.

On returning to City Hall, students stepped forward to say what this day meant to them, why they walked out, why youth had to do this. They gave statements and read poetry. They made it clear that they were united, all schools, all nationalities—“all lives matter”—and they would keep fighting until justice is done for Mario Woods and all victims of police murder. “We are tired of being hated and hunted,” one Latino student said. “This has got to stop. And we are the ones to stop it.”






Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund

This Holiday Season Do Something Truly Meaningful

Make a Generous Year-End Donation to the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund


As society is shaking with resistance and ferment, the appeals from prisoners to the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) for revolutionary literature are mushrooming. PRLF is calling on YOU to step up in these tumultuous times to ensure that PRLF can meet these rising requests.

PRLF sends subscriptions to Revolution newspaper to over 800 prisoners all over the country. So far this year, PRLF has received almost 100 requests for new subscriptions to Revolution just from people who had been given a copy by a fellow prisoner. For example:

“I am an avid reader. A brotha down a few cells from me shared all your newspapers with me. Your paper not only educated me, it gave me strength and faith and inspired me. I humbly request for a donated subscription of Revolution . In return, I’ll share all the newspapers with the brothas here every chance I get, so they too can keep up with the struggles, activities and functions throughout the world. The RCP would be immensely thanked for its selfless service. Your paper connects with more people than what you may think. For myself and all the brothas and sisters, bond and free, I salute you. In struggle.”

The literature that PRLF sends not only connects people behind the walls to breaking world events, but provides an opportunity for prisoners to wrangle over the deep questions of where the outrages come from, and real solutions— like the kind of revolution that is needed and possible—and to dig into the writings of BA. Many come to see the critical role they themselves can play in this whole process. One prisoner wrote in October:

“I just got done reading “BAsics: from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian” and it opened my eyes to a lot of what is going on in the world. Here’s the thing, I’d like to know more but unfortunately I am one of the many indigent inmates in America and have no one to help me learn. Is there anyway you could send me two books free of charge? It would be much appreciated if you could. They are: “Constitution of the RCP” and “Manifesto of the Communist Party” by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. I have been ignorant my whole life and it’s time to change that, a learned man is a good man.”


$35 / year will fill the request for one new subscription to Revolution newspaper

$100 will pay for sending 10 copies of Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian to prisoners

$2,100 will fulfill 60 subscription requests currently on our waiting list

$3,000 will fill requests for revolutionary and progressive books both for individuals and those in study groups developed from this literature

How to Donate to PRLF

Tax-deductible donations can be made here, or by check/money order, payable to Global Exchange/PRLF, and mailed to PRLF: 1321 N. Milwaukee Ave., #407, Chicago, IL 60622

Regular (non-tax-deductible) donations can be made here or by check/money order, payable to PRLF, and mailed to PRLF: 1321 N. Milwaukee Ave., #407, Chicago, IL 60622

Contact PRLF: email, or call 773-960-6952

Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund is a sponsored project of Global Exchange, a 501c3 nonprofit international human rights organization. Contributions on behalf of Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund may be made payable to Global Exchange/PRLF and are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

NYPD Murders Yet Another Unarmed Man—After an Attempted Traffic Stop

December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Stop Mass Incarceration Press Conference and Speak-Out at NYPD 50th Precinct

Sara from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, NYC

Juanita Young (whose son Malcolm Ferguson was killed by NYPD), Noche Diaz of NYC Revolution Club, and Iris Baez (whose son Anthony Baez was killed by NYPD).

On December 8, two NYPD cops shot dead 36-year-old Miguel Espinal, who was unarmed. All that is currently known is what little the police are letting out: They claim that two cops saw Espinal driving “erratically” in the New York City borough of the Bronx and that when they tried to stop him, Espinal drove away. They chased Espinal through the Bronx and into the next county, Westchester, where he crashed the car and fled into a park. The police claim there was some kind of “struggle,” and one of the cop’s guns discharged. To emphasize again—this is all from what the police say happened. What IS clear is that the police have killed yet another unarmed person—like so many others across the country, especially Black and Latino people.

At a December 11 press conference and speak-out at the 50th Precinct in the Bronx, where the two cops who killed Miguel Espinal are stationed, Sara DeVincenzi from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, NYC, pointed out that the two cops "pursued [Miguel Espinal's] car over the Bronx border into Westchester and Yonkers—for four miles, which in itself is dangerous and contrary to their own NYPD guidelines," which say officers are not supposed to pursue such long distances for a traffic stop. Sara went on to say, "After the car smashed, maybe trying to avoid the cops, the driver in a panic, Miguel Espinal was afraid. I wonder why he might have been afraid of the cops pursuing him. He ran into the nearby woods. He was pursued by the officers... As we usually hear in these situations, the officers are starting to spin their story, that he 'went for their gun'...a whole lot of B.S. 'Went for their gun'—as he was running into the woods, and shot himself, the gun went off. Guns don't go off so easily, they really don't. There's supposed to be a safety on them. Unfortunately, in this situation, we most probably do not have a video. And even when we do have a video, does that help? Did that bring justice for Eric Garner?"

Also taking part in the Stop Mass Incarceration Network protest at the 50th Precinct were Juanita Young, whose son Malcolm Ferguson was murdered by NYPD in March 2000; Iris Baez, whose son Anthony Baez was murdered by NYPD in December 1994; and Noche Diaz from the Revolution Club, NYC, who is currently facing a number of charges and is targeted by the powers that be for his active role in the resistance to police terror and in the movement for revolution. News 12 from Westchester covered the protest.





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Trial Set for January 27:
Support Noche Diaz—Demand That All Charges Be Dropped!

December 14, 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:

Noche Diaz will go on trial in Manhattan Criminal Court on January 27, 2016 for arrests stemming from two separate demonstrations in New York City in the fall of 2014—on August 14 after the police murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and on November 25 after a grand jury refused to indict Michael Brown’s killer. Both outrages sparked powerful mass protests across the country. Noche is a leader in the NYC Revolution Club, works with the Revolutionary Communist Party, and was an early member of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. He will face a total of four misdemeanor charges January 27 in the two cases that now have been consolidated into one.

Noche’s lawyer filed a motion against consolidation, arguing that it would be impossible to determine how to best proceed on this case when none of their requests for discovery have been allowed and when they have also been denied a subpoena for key relevant information. In reality, Noche was singled out for arrest in both cases. The DA has refused to hand over important materials in discovery that could reveal police surveillance and targeting, and Noche’s lawyer’s request to subpoena the DA to produce the discovery materials was denied. This is a blatant effort to hide the political nature of these arrests and criminalize Noche, a freedom fighter and revolutionary leader who has stood strong over many years and who has been repeatedly arrested and faces multiple charges for protesting murder and terror by police.

As said in an earlier article, “Noche Diaz, year after year, over and over, is someone the NYPD has harassed, threatened, arrested, and slammed with charges after charges... But Noche Diaz is NOT a criminal. Every day, Black people and Latinos are shot down by cops, or choked out. Walking down the street, or sitting in a wheelchair, in their own homes, or playing in a park. Beaten, tased, and tortured on the streets, or in the jails and prisons. Raided and rounded up in huge militarized police assaults.

“Noche Diaz is under attack because in the face of all this ugliness he has refused to accept their murderous and illegitimate authority as eternal; he has stood up, and stood with others when they stand up, to this system’s terror. Not just for himself, and not by himself, but as part of a revolution to emancipate humanity from this long nightmare.” (Read the full article here.)

The people need to stand with Noche Diaz. Write statements of support demanding that all charges against him be dropped and sign the online petition.

For more information about Noche Diaz, read the interview with him after his arrest on November 25, 2014.





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Chicago: Murders by Police, Lies, Cover-up and Crocodile Tears... and Protests in the Streets

Updated December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On October 20, 2014, Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old Black youth, was gunned down and killed in cold blood by white Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke. Laquan was shot 16 times in 14 seconds as he walked down the middle of the street. This was followed by a huge conspiracy by the Chicago Police Department, city officials—and let's not rule out the White House—to cover up this crime. The video of this murder was not made public until more than a year later—and only after the city was ordered to release it by a court.

For essential background to this story see:

The Police Murder of Laquan McDonald in Chicago and the Coverup
The Whole Damn System is Guilty as Hell

Chicago, December 9.

Chicago, December 9
Chicago, December 9. Photos above: Bobbosphere.

Chicago, December 9
Photo: Revolution/ received the following report from Chicago about the ongoing protests against the murder of Laquan McDonald:

On Wednesday, December 9, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel delivered a high-profile speech to a packed City Council meeting. This was a high-stakes bid to get control of a situation of deteriorating legitimacy of the mayor’s office and core institutions of the Chicago police and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. Seats in the main floor of the City Council chamber were by invitation only. The broader public either couldn’t get in or were packed in a balcony so that Emanuel and the media wouldn’t hear their angry shouts in response to the mayor’s speech.

Emanuel offered criticism and apologies, along with few crocodile tears, for the cold-blooded police execution of Laquan McDonald and some other police crimes, and offered promises of reform. Emanuel also directly defended the talk from the Chicago police about what a “dangerous” job they have, even as video after video make clear that what’s really dangerous is being Black or Brown in Chicago (or anywhere else in the U.S.). Emanuel also tried to change the subject and spoke about street violence among the people in order to remind people how supposedly vital the marauding police are for maintaining order. But while criticizing some police practices “on his watch” and promising changes, Emanuel’s credibility is battered, particularly because the mayor’s office and the State’s Attorney were involved in the cover-up of Laquan’s murder, including blocking the release of the graphic video for over a year.

Rahm Emanuel’s speech was an attempt to restore credibility, unite those in power, and undercut the anger and momentum of the growing protest movement in the streets. It failed. People were not buying it. And the speech did not resolve sharp infighting in the halls of power. A defiant spirit filled the air as people spilled out after Emanuel’s speech and gathered outside, with many speaking bitterness over the outrages that have come down on the Black community. New contingents of protesters arrived and a speak-out began. Many called for Emanuel to be ousted. A revolutionary called for indicting ALL those who were part of the murder of Laquan McDonald and the conspiracy to cover it up. She said this wasn’t the time to try and patch up the system that has brought 400 years of murder and brutality down on Black people, but to get with Bob Avakian and the RCP and prepare for an actual revolution.

Hundreds were now arriving, including groups of high school and college students who had walked out, as well as teachers and people joining off the sidewalk. People began marching and things quickly escalated as cops went after and grabbed a young high school activist. This show of intimidation backfired. People flooded out into the intersection and blocked the paddy wagon until the activist was released. As the demonstration marched through the streets, it grew to over 1,000, with additional groups of students arriving and people coming off the sidewalks to join. Many more than 1,000 participated at one point or other during the afternoon. People marched to City Hall and did a die-in in the street, marched to the Board of Trade in the financial district, up through the busy State Street shopping area, then to Michigan Avenue and up through the Gold Coast, where protesters stopped at the headquarters of the Catholic Archdiocese and at an elite high school. People marched and disrupted traffic for five hours! Many demonstrators continued on to protest at the Police Board hearing that evening.

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.

The demand for Mayor Rahm Emanuel and State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to resign became the main demand of the protests. And there were more people who came to protest around other demands, for example around education and pension cutbacks; much of this discontent coalesced around demanding Emanuel’s ouster.

People Continue Taking to the Streets

The video of Laquan’s murder, and the righteous actions by thousands of people in going into the streets and disrupting business as usual, has ripped wide open and forced into view, for many people of all strata, the brutal reality about what especially Black youth routinely face at the hands of the police. Combined with this, the top officials, who people are trained to rely on to check great injustices, have been caught in a conspiracy to cover up. The ubiquitous chant of the outpouring has been “16 Shots... and a Cover-up!”

This situation is making it harder for authorities to prevent further exposures from spilling out. Now the release of the video of the police murder of Laquan McDonald has been followed by the release earlier this week of the video of Ronald “Ronnieman” Johnson being shot in the back while running away from police. Nonetheless, State’s Attorney Alvarez announced there would be NO charges against the killer cops. A lead CPD detective is on trial for sticking a gun down the throat of a young Black man. Two days ago another video became public—a vicious beating and tasing in jail, which led to the death of Philip Coleman, a mentally distressed University of Chicago grad student. The release of more videos of police brutality is expected. Some heads have rolled, including Superintendent of Police Garry McCarthy and the head of the Detective Division, as well as the head of the Independent Police Review Board (IPRA).

Protests Continue on Thursday

Medical students die-in at City Hall, Chicago.
Medical students and residents from the University of Chicago, Rush University Medical Center and other schools did a dramatic die-in at City Hall. AP photo

People are feeling angry and empowered, with right on their side. Youths who normally are kept isolated and suppressed in hellish neighborhoods have defiantly stepped out with a sense that the isolation can be broken down. A crew of Black youths marched through a downtown street Thursday night challenging passersby, shouting “16 shots!?” And quite a few, including professional-looking people, responded with the right answer: “16 shots.”

On Thursday morning, 100 medical students and residents from the University of Chicago, Rush University Medical Center and other schools did a dramatic die-in at City Hall. It was a highly visible and dramatic sight: A row of people wearing white coats lying on the sidewalk outside City Hall, “dying in” for 16 minutes to signify the 16 shots cop Jason Van Dyke pumped into 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. They carried signs with the Hippocratic Oath-associated phrase “Do No Harm,” and they called out police brutality as a public health crisis.

One of the students explained her actions this way: “We want Rahm Emanuel to resign because we’re tired of the cover-up. We’re tired of all of the police brutality. We’re tired of the systemic racism in Chicago and something needs to be done about it.”

Chicago, December 10
Chicago, December 10. Photo: Bobbosphere

Later in the day there was a rally and march called by the Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC). Speakers included family members of people killed by Chicago police telling their stories, one of the victims of torture by CPD, and a representative of Arab American Action Network, who connected this International Human Rights Day action with the U.S. government’s role in murder and terror in Palestine. Marchers carried a very long banner with names of victims of CPD. Hundreds marched in the streets to City Hall, stopping for die-ins at City Hall and the State’s Attorney’s office. Chants included “Rahm resign” and “Alvarez resign,” as well as “Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell!” Revolution Club members led a chant: “What do we need to get out of this mess? Revolution Nothing Less!” After the CPAC march to City Hall ended, many stayed in the streets for another hour.

The CPAC action was organized around the demand: “DOJ STOP your complicity in police crimes, prosecute the torturous killer cops!” The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced it will do an investigation of the Chicago police, which has now been embraced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and promoted by national figures like Hillary Clinton as the route to justice. Revolutionaries talked to people about the DOJ’s actual history and role around police murders, and got into why relying on DOJ is “not only a dead end but a deadly illusion.” (See “Reality Check: Answers to Burning Questions arising in the wake of the release of the video of the murder of Laquan McDonald and the extensive cover-up that followed.”)







Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Reality Check:

Answers to Burning Questions arising in the wake of the release of the video of the murder of Laquan McDonald and the extensive cover-up that followed.

December 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The police murders, brutality and torture and the cover-ups have reached a point where the scope and scale over a long period of time shows how deeply this is entrenched in Chicago. It is raising many questions about the role and nature of the police force. Even a major article in the editorially conservative Chicago Tribune on December 4, 2015 titled "Chicago's flawed system for investigating police shootings" starts out with this: "It is a system seemingly designed to fail."

There is a lot of debate over why this is the situation and what can and should be done about it. Many different class and social forces have jumped into the fray, putting forward and fighting for a different analysis of the problem and, correspondingly, the solution. It is important to walk through some of the main ones and indicate in a beginning way why they cannot begin to address stopping police murder and terror, uproot the oppression of Black people and ultimately are dead ends which will derail things.

The fact that the crisis in Chicago around the role of the police comes after a year of resistance to police terror nationwide, at the same time as the shutdown the Fourth Precinct struggle in Minneapolis, in the wake of #RiseUpOctober in New York City to retake the momentum on stopping police terror (see "On the Significance of RiseUpOctober: Building on Strengths, Overcoming Weaknesses...And Fighting to Actually Put an End to Police Terror and White Supremacy Through Revolution"), and the national student upsurge in response to the Mizzou student protests and the football team strike—all this is ripping the social fabric in ways that could be hard to repair. (See "Chicago Goddam!")

Is It a "Chicago" Problem?

It should not need saying after the past year, but it does—it is not that police in Chicago are more brutal, more corrupt or have a more entrenched white supremacist culture than other cities big and small across the U.S. Chicago is part of the U.S.—a concentrated part of it—and while it has its own dynamics, it plays a disproportional role, too, in shaping what goes on in the country overall. Even the stonewalling of the release of the video of Laquan's murder may well have been in consideration to what was confronting the Obama administration last fall. Remember that was a time when things were getting very heavy throughout the country for the first time in decades and where it was all going was NOT a given. The basic reality is that what is happening in Chicago is a CONCENTRATION of the oppression of Black people and the struggle against it. Chicago is not an outlier or an exception, it is rather a LYNCHPIN of this system.

Take a look at cities big and small, cities with "liberal Democratic administrations," cities with overwhelmingly Black administrations, cities with majority oppressed nationality populations, cities with "enlightened reform-minded" police chiefs, cities in the north and the south—all of them have systemic police brutality and murder. Ferguson and Baltimore, Minneapolis and Madison, New York and Los Angeles, Albuquerque and Pasco, Cleveland and Atlanta... and many other cities and towns. All these cities have been rocked by protests against police murdering people in this past year because there is a nationwide epidemic of police murder and terror that is part of a genocidal program. Let's start there.

Is the Problem the "Culture" of the Police or Does Police Culture Reflect Their Role in Capitalist Society?

There has been a lot of pointing to "police culture" as being the problem and what needs to be changed. White supremacy is part of that culture, as is the blue code of silence that protects all the pigs who brutalize people. Changing that culture: working to eliminate the "unstated racial biases," more police training, more Black police—all these are put forward as part of the solution to dealing with the institutional nature of the problem.

Bob Avakian (BA), leader of the revolution, gets to the essence of why this is the "culture" of the police and why delusional notions of changing that culture are going to go nowhere. This does not mean people should put up with this at all. What it does mean you have to understand what you are really up against if you want to stop police terror. BA says in BAsics 1:24:

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

In an essay written back in 1997, BA goes into this even more. This essay could easily be describing the murder of Laquan McDonald in 2014. (See "Richard Pryor Routines...or Why Pigs Are Pigs")

Recently I was reading reports of police assaults on Black people and of Black people fighting against the police in Memphis and Miami. This called to mind a story I was told a while back. A rookie cop was riding in his police car with his veteran partner when a report came in that there was a Black man in the vicinity with a gun. As their car screeched around the corner, a young Black man suddenly appeared sprinting up an alley—into a dead end. "Shoot him!", the older cop screamed, "Go on, shoot him—it's free!"

"It's free!" Think about that for a second. "It's free!" In other words, here's a chance that gets a pig to sweating and salivating with anticipation—a chance to "kill a n*" with the already provided cover that a Black man—a Black man, any Black man—was reported in the area with a gun. This is an opportunity too good to pass up: "Go on, shoot him—it's free!"

Well, in this case, the rookie was not ready for that—perhaps he was one of those rare ones who joins a police force actually believing the "serve and protect" bullshit—and that particular Black man did not die that day. But one of the most telling things about this whole incident is the fallout from it: The rookie cop had to resign. If he wasn't ready and willing—if he didn't have the proper attitude to do what his veteran partner was calling for, what came naturally to the seasoned "peace officer," what any pig in his place and in a pig's right mind would do—then there was no place for him on the force. It was he, the rookie who hadn't learned, and couldn't learn it seems, what it's all about—it was he who was the outcast and felt he had to resign....

Pigs are pigs. Of course, that's an image, a symbol—in the most literal sense they are human beings, but they are human beings with a murderer's mentality, sanctioned, disciplined, unleashed by the ruling class of society to keep the oppressed in line, through terror whenever necessary and as the "bottom line," as they like to say. Terror against the oppressed is even a special reward for "carrying out the dangerous and thankless duty" of being the "thin blue line" between "civilization on the one side and anarchy and lawlessness on the other." Think about it once again: Terror against the oppressed is not just part of the job, it's also a reward. That is one of the deeper meanings of the story at the start: "Go on, shoot him—it's free!"...

Is It Possible to De-Fund the Police and Use Those Resources for the Betterment of the Black Community?

If you come to grips with why the masses of people in oppressed communities, especially Black and Latino are actually worse off than they were decades ago in terms of the level and depth of the poverty, the enforced segregation, massive incarceration of the population and what that has to do with the actual workings of the capitalist/imperialist system, then it should be clearer that funding police is not fundamentally a matter of "policy choices" any more than funding the military is for running an empire. It all has to do with what is necessary for the capitalist system to maintain power. It has to do with the very nature of this system, how white supremacy is embedded in its DNA and has been through slavery, then Jim Crow and now the New Jim Crow. If you come to grips with this then the demand to "defund the police" is really "pie in the sky" and an illusion. This system based on oppression and exploitation here and all around the world has to have the police and the military, the armed forces of the state to enforce that system and prevent any challenges to it. No one has done more work than Bob Avakian on these questions—what is the nature of the problem and why are Black people oppressed as a people within the U.S. and why the answer to this is revolution.

Are Independent or Federal Investigations the Answer or a Dead End?

Many people are calling for federal Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations. There are people who have been subject to police murder and terror who see that the CPD is hopelessly brutal and that there can be no impartial or fair investigations in the city. These Stolen Lives families have been retaliated against by the same police department who carried out the murder of their loved one in the first place. Many people have the illusion that the DOJ will intervene on behalf of Black and Latino people who have been subjected to police terror and especially now that there is a Black attorney general. This is not only a dead end but a deadly illusion.

(There is deep discussion of the history and dynamics of this in BA's work, such as Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy and Birds Cannot Give Birth to Crocodiles, but Humanity Can Soar Beyond the Horizon)

Here is a clue from their own mouths: Mayor Emanuel at first rejected the idea of the Department of Justice looking into the practices of the Chicago Police Department. The Chicago Tribune ran a revealing article, which argued why Emanuel should embrace a DOJ investigation: a federal DOJ investigation would help insulate the mayor from pressure for his resignation; it would provide a club to use against the police department; and it would take a very, very long time for the investigation to be completed, and in the meantime, the problems of the CPD would be "out of the city's hands." Not surprisingly, Emanuel did an about-face and, along with top Democrats like Hillary Clinton, united with a call for a DOJ investigation.

The DOJ investigation upheld and whitewashed the pig Darren Wilson's murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Even worse, the DOJ basically instructed police all over the country in HOW they can commit murder of unarmed people and get away with it, by claiming that they felt in danger for their lives. The DOJ slandered as a "false narrative" the multiple eyewitness descriptions of Mike Brown with his hands up at the time he was executed by a pig.

There are many studies of DOJ-mandated consent decrees and other forms of federal supervision over local police departments, dating back to the Clinton administration in the 1990s. The Marshall Project has done a report, "Policing the Police" (at, which examines some of the failures of these DOJ mandated changes to even take hold in police departments.

The LAPD is held up as the model of federal oversight reforms, which might surprise all the victims of LAPD brutality and murder in the last few years. The Cleveland police department also underwent a DOJ investigation and supervision, and still 12-year-old Tamir Rice was murdered on a playground within 2 seconds of the cops arriving at the park where he was playing. The Laquan McDonald case is being heard by a federal grand jury. Since the video is so clear, why is this still dragging on?

As far as independent investigators, Wisconsin was one of the first states to require them by law for police-involved shootings. It was revealed that these "independent" investigators have law enforcement backgrounds. Why? Because no one else knows how to conduct investigations! Both of the police murderers of Tony Robinson in Madison and Dontre Hamilton in Milwaukee were exonerated by "independent investigators."

Here is the reality: There is NO JUSTICE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. Ask the families of Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Nicholas Heyward Jr., Trayvon Martin or Mike Brown. None have seen justice from the DOJ. Why is it you cannot name one case where the federal government has convicted a cop for killing someone? So don't deceive yourself about saviors from the Department of Justice coming to the rescue.

City Administration Mini Regime Change

There are many people who are calling for the mayor and the district attorney to resign. As with McCarthy, all these people deserve to be investigated and if involved in the cover-up, as seems to be the case, indicted and prosecuted for being part of a criminal conspiracy to cover up the murder of Laquan McDonald.

The whole system is guilty as hell. As Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party put it, "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 change to smooth out the rough edges of that genocide or to slow down its intensity. You act to STOP it."

A change of faces at the top and maybe some people getting a little more clout in city hall, or a few more jobs to pass on or some other tweaking around the edges of this monstrous system is not going to deal with the oppression of the masses Black people or stop police terror or stop the other major crimes of this system like the oppression of women. We don't want that and neither should you. We are about the emancipation of all humanity and as an integral part of this, ending the centuries-long nightmare of the oppression of Black people. You should want this, too. It is the only liberating way forward.

Ask yourself, why do you think the city was so afraid to release the video of Laquan's murder in the first place? It wasn't just Chicago politics. It was Ferguson and the uproar in the country over the police murder of Mike Brown, and the authorities' openly stated worry that Chicago would erupt with a fury that surpassed Ferguson and Baltimore. In Ferguson, defiant ones from rival gangs set aside their beefing with each other and stood up, together with many others from the community—and said we aren't taking this anymore. They braved tanks, National Guard, massive arrests, tear gas, rubber bullets, police dogs and more. Their standing up won support for the justness of their cause from all sections of society—artists, students, religious people—of all nationalities, people who themselves are not directly feeling the boot of the police but do not want to live in a society where this happens to people because of the color of their skin.


Anyone who is serious or is just waking up needs to know there is a revolutionary leader out of the great worldwide revolutionary struggles of the 1960s who they need to get into. Tell people to go to the website and find out more about Bob Avakian and the revolution we need. Study the strategy for making that revolution in a country like this. Get with the movement for revolution the Revolutionary Communist Party is building and Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution.

If people who do hate all this madness and long for something better get together and seize this opening, big advances could actually be made toward a revolution, toward a whole better way of life, where power is directed toward mobilizing masses to end oppression, to dig it up by the roots, and not to constantly reinforce it or conciliate with it.

From that perspective, we have to be in the streets like mad, raising hell and demanding justice and at the same time giving out real answers as to WHY this happens and WHAT we could do about it and HOW to do it.

From that perspective, spread, deepen, the resistance to STOP police murder and terror and be determined to not turn back until that is achieved.


Here is a very just and very reasonable demand: EVERY SINGLE PERSON involved in Laquan's murder and the cover-up should be indicted and prosecuted.

Here is a very just and very reasonable demand: EVERY SINGLE COP involved in the police murders and cover-ups of a long list of other Ronnie Johnson or Roshad McIntosh, Darius Pinex, Dakota Bright or Martice Milliner...should ALL be indicted and convicted and sent to jail. There is no statute of limitations on murder. The list is long and the crimes are many.

Here is a very just and very reasonable demand: STOP police terror.

And challenge everyone in this society: Which side are you on?






Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Recent History of the Chicago Police Department & More Revelations of Cover-up in the Murder of Laquan McDonald

December 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Dashcam Video of Officer Jason Van Dyke Shooting Laquan McDonald

Police murder Laquan McDonald at 5 minute mark

Every day since the video of the police murder of Laquan McDonald by Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke was released last week, more has come to light about the cover-up carried out by the police that started right at the scene of the shooting of Laquan and reveals the cops’ standard operating procedure.

The regional manager of the Burger King near the shooting incident told the media that the BK video system had never experienced a technical glitch. But after police spent hours with it, right after the shooting of Laquan, over 80 minutes of video surrounding Laquan’s murder vanished. The audio from at least five police dash-cams on the scene (automatically triggered when the car’s flashing lights are turned on) somehow doesn’t exist due to “technical malfunction.” The Chicago Tribune recently obtained all the statements given by at least five of the other cops at the scene, along with the summary reports by the Chicago PD investigators who declared it “justifiable homicide.” All the pigs who were on the scene straight up lied in order to cover up for the pig who pulled the trigger.

The number of police shootings in Chicago has averaged one every week over years. In 2014, the year that Laquan was killed, there were 50 police-involved shootings on record, and 18 of them were fatal. The Chicago police have a long and sordid history of shooting and outright murdering people and doing so with complete impunity.

Another dash-cam video is about to be released—of the Chicago police murder of 25-year-old Ronnie Johnson. The city has just abandoned its months-long fight to keep the video from being released to the public. Ronnie’s mother and the family’s attorney, both of whom have viewed the video, say it clearly shows the police shooting Ronnie in the back as he is running away. This police murder took place in October 2014, around the same time and in a similar fashion as the murder of Laquan. The family has been demanding for months that the video be released to the public. No cop has been charged for Ronnie’s murder. Other cases of police murder continue to spill out into the public eye.

Besides police murder, there were major revelations earlier this year in The Guardian (UK) about the “black site” at Chicago’s Homan Square, supposedly a police evidence storage facility, where people detained by the police, disproportionately Black and Latino, were taken “off the record.” (See “Homan Square: Chicago Police Dept.’s Continuing Criminal Enterprise” at People were tortured, some forced to make false confessions. Many disappeared for days and lawyers and families could not find where they had been taken while police “questioned” them.

There is also the recent firing of Lorenzo Davis, the top investigator for the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), a Black 25-year police veteran. He was fired for refusing to change his findings against cops in just four of the thousands of cases of police use of excessive force. Around the same time, the police arrested and beat George Roberts, the only other Black investigator at IPRA, for daring to do the same. On November 18, 2015, the New York Times ran an article based on the findings of the Invisible Institute in Chicago which details how rarely police are punished. For instance, “from 2011 to 2015, 97 percent of the more than 28,500 citizen complaints resulted in no officer being punished...”

Before this there was the years-long Burge torture scandal. Under Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge, many people were subjected to unbelievable cruelty, including electric shocks to their genitals. Burge was protected from prosecution for this torture until the statute of limitations ran out—and then only did minor time for perjury. He still collects a pension, which funds his retirement in Florida. Other cops involved in the torture with Burge are still on the force.

Numerous major city officials (and those above them) are entangled in the current crisis around Laquan McDonald’s murder because over and over again, they have protected the police and pretended ignorance (really, ignore-ance) of the scope of police terror. But anyone on the street in Chicago’s oppressed communities will tell you about it. There was the court case in the murder of Rekia Boyd and the case brought in federal court in the murder of Darius Pinex, where it came out that there was a cover-up starting right at the scene—these were covered in major media. There were also studies associated with the University of Chicago, exposés in the pages of the Chicago Tribune, exposures and stories by independent journalists for literally years. It was all right there hidden in plain sight.

So it was an insulting and infuriating moment when Mayor Rahm Emanuel, at the press conference announcing the release of the video, implied that Laquan McDonald’s murderer, Jason VanDyke, was a single bad apple who had to be held accountable. A protestor’s sign on Black Friday expressed what many feel: “There are no good apples.”






Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Paris Climate Agreement: Dangerous Bullshit from Fossil Fuel Addicts

December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The international climate conference in Paris announced a major agreement on Saturday, December 12. Representatives of 195 nations reached a deal that technically commits nearly every country to carry out plans to lower greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change.

U.S. President Obama immediately praised the new accord: “I believe this moment can be a turning point for the world. We’ve shown that the world has both the will and the ability to take on this challenge.” The Paris conference “met the moment” of the current crisis, Obama declared, and “the planet will be in better shape for the next generation.”

Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Foward Another Way is an edited version of a talk by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters, in 2006. It is must reading for a serious understanding of what the U.S. "war on terror" is really about and how to bring forward a positive force in the world in opposition to both Western imperialism and Islamic Jihad.

Read the full talk | Download PDF

None of this is true. This conference was dominated by the U.S. and other big powers of the world. They are the biggest culprits when it comes to responsibility for global climate change and other aspects of the environmental emergency confronting the world. These big powers were able to get all the other governments (including countries which have only a miniscule impact on greenhouse gas emissions) to agree to an accord that actually leaves the world on a disastrous course.

The goal for reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases called for in the agreement is based on the argument that the rise in average global temperature needs to be kept under 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) compared to pre-industrial times. And the agreement calls for countries to come together every five years to review and revise those targets. But this goal is nowhere near what is required to have a serious impact on global warming, which is already having devastating effects, especially on the poorest regions of the world.

The scientific reality is that even a temperature rise of 3.6 degrees F (2 degrees C) is too much. Even if everything in this new treaty is carried out—and major parts of it are voluntary on the part of individual countries—global warming will continue at very dangerous pace. That means glaciers will continue to melt... the seas will continue to rise... increasingly powerful storms will continue to ravage the planet... plant and animal life—including agriculture—will be under increasing stress and attack... and mass extinctions of vast numbers of plant and animal species on the Earth will continue and grow.

Prominent climate scientist James Hansen hit at the truth before the deal was completely finalized, when he could already see what it was about: “It’s a fraud really, a fake. It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘we’ll have a [2 degrees Celsius] warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises.”

Special Issue of Revolution on the Environmental Emergency

This Revolution special issue focuses on the environmental emergency that now faces humanity and Earth's ecosystems. In this issue we show:

Read online....

Also available in brochure format (downloadable PDF)

Revolution/ will do more analysis of this agreement, but what Hansen is pointing to is right. One of the egregious contradictions in the agreement is that those dominating the process openly admitted before the conference that they were not even trying to get an accord that would establish standards that would keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees C. And the final agreement does not set standards that even pretend to keep the temperature below that level. It is exactly bullshit to claim that because of this treaty, “the planet will be in better shape for the next generation.”

And even more basic than that—the capitalist-imperialist system that now rules the planet CANNOT put an end to the environmental devastation and destruction that looms. This is a system that is based on private ownership of the means of producing what society needs, is driven by dog-eat-dog competition between different capitalists, and can only exist by exploiting and oppressing people. The workings of this capitalist-imperialist system relentlessly ravage the Earth and its land, waters, atmosphere, plants, and animals.

For economic, political, and military reasons, the rulers of this system cannot decisively break their dependence on fossil fuels. The hope that capitalism could do something fundamentally different is an illusion—but determined struggle against the destruction of the environment, and beyond that, revolution and a whole different kind of system, is precisely what IS needed to have an actual chance at saving the planet.





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Naomi Klein's "This Changes Everything" vs. Actually Confronting the Climate Crisis

Naomi Klein's influential book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate evades confronting the actual forces behind the climate emergency and rules out the radical changes the crisis demands.


Reposted December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


We are reposting this polemic versus Naomi Klein’s influential book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate that appeared at earlier this year—with the following intro, dated December 7, 2015, from A World to Win News Service.

A World to Win News Service. Heads of most of the world's states and governments are continuing to meet in Paris for the CoP21 climate crisis, chaired by the French foreign minister whose government is bombing and sending soldiers to Syria and unleashing terror tactics against immigrant communities and potential climate demonstrators at home. Protest activities in favour of the climate are taking place in Paris and other cities across Europe and the world. The slogan ''System change, not climate change'' is widespread, but the content remains ambiguous. Do we mean that the system can be changed to save the environment, or that the system is just that, a system that operates according to an overall inherent logic and can't operate in any other way? Can we take the climate emergency as an opportunity to make corporations and governments accept a gradual process of making the system more human and green, or can the planet only be saved through a whole new, and ultimately global, economic, social and political system, which requires that the states that enforce that system be overthrown and replaced by a new kind of revolutionary political power? As these questions are discussed and debated, the views of Naomi Klein have currency among many of the more radical-minded protesters. As a response to these ideas, we are reprinting the following review of her book from the March 2, 2015 issue of Revolution, newspaper of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (


2014 was the warmest year in Earth’s recorded history. The ice caps at the North and South poles are melting and sea levels are rising; extreme storms hit harder and more often; carbon in the atmosphere is turning the oceans more acidic, posing great threats to marine life.

This Revolution special issue focuses on the environmental emergency that now faces humanity and earth's ecosystems. In this issue we show:

  • the dimensions of the emergency...
  • the source of its causes in the capitalist system, and the impossibility of that system solving this crisis...
  • a way out and way forward for humanity—a revolutionary society in which we could actually live as custodians of nature, rather than as its plunderers.

Read online....

Also available in brochure format (downloadable PDF)

We face a real and accelerating climate emergency. It is driven by the relentless burning of oil, coal, and natural gas; destruction of rain forests; and environmentally harmful agriculture. Scientists warn of the mass loss of species, of human civilization being compromised, even the possibility of a planet on which human beings can no longer survive—if things continue as they are.

This is a dire crisis, and the environmental movement to save the planet is growing and spreading. Within this movement and beyond, big questions are being discussed and debated: Why is the climate crisis advancing so relentlessly... why is the system’s response to “let the planet burn”... and what will it take to stop looming environmental disaster?

In this setting, Naomi Klein’s new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate is causing a lot of stir. Klein is a writer and radical activist who is very influential in this movement. The buzz and controversy around her book have everything to do with the title: capitalism vs. the climate. Indeed, Klein offers valuable exposure of how the economies of the industrialized capitalist countries, especially the United States, have degraded the ecosystems of the planet. And there is excitement about the book because she claims to offer a way forward.

But, as we will show in this polemic, Naomi Klein does not get at the root causes of the climate crisis. And she puts forward a program based on the illusion that it is possible for THIS system to become something it cannot be: environmentally sustainable. Yes, we must “change everything.” But to do so requires revolution.

I. Understanding the Cause: Capitalism and the “Rules of the Game”

Klein passionately declares: “Our economy is at war with many forms of life on earth, including human life”—and she’s right. But for Klein, the problem is not the actual nature and functioning of the capitalist system of production but a particular form of capitalism. She says:

We have not done the things that are necessary to lower emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism, the reigning ideology for the entire period we have been struggling to find a way out of this crisis (p. 18, our emphasis).

As Klein sees it, an extreme ideology, “free market fundamentalism” (sometimes called “neoliberalism”), has hijacked economic priorities and decision-making. She argues that this ideology is setting the terms of things: government regulations are cut back, public life gets more privatized, oil companies and the ultra-wealthy more easily buy off politicians, and uncontrolled extraction of fossil fuels leads to a “careless economy.” This free market fundamentalism is what she wants to change. And she advocates a mass politics that will pressure those on top to bend away from this “free market capitalism” to move towards a more caring and “greener” economy.

Klein indicts and rejects “deregulated” capitalism—but not capitalism. She does not probe deeper into the capitalist system and its underlying ways of operating. But that is where you have to go to scientifically understand what is driving the environmental crisis, and what it will take to confront and act on this crisis on the scale and with the urgency required.

The special environmental emergency issue of Revolution explains this well:

Any society is a system that operates according to certain rules, like a game. If the rules are violated, the system doesn’t work.... So you need to understand the rules. And you need to understand whether you can make the game work by modifying the rules, or whether you need to be playing a different game altogether.

The same is true with the system of capitalism. Yes, there are individual capitalists and corporations who have created the crisis. But we need to understand if there is something about the rules of that game that have led to this crisis. We need to understand whether we can deal with this crisis by working within the rules of capitalism, including perhaps modifying those rules—or whether capitalism itself must go. The future of life itself depends on our getting this right.

So what are the core rules of capitalism?

Rule #1: Everything is a commodity and everything must be done for profit. Everything under capitalism is produced to be exchanged, to be sold. What gets produced, and how it is produced, is motivated and measured by profit: whether it’s housing, computers, medicine, or energy. And profit comes from the exploitation of billions of human beings on this planet. Under capitalism, the environment is regarded and treated as a free “input” to be seized and poured into production for profit. And so rain forests are cleared for agribusiness, pristine wilderness and coastlines are auctioned off for oil drilling... and the planet heats up.

Klein says that the problem is that an “ideological wall has blocked a serious response to climate change” (p. 72). But it is the material-social system of production for profit that is the foundation of things. And the ideology of “markets bring freedom,” of “winner take all,” of “competition brings out the best”—this reflects and reinforces the system of production based on profit.

Rule #2: Capitalist production is privately owned and driven forward by the commandment expand-or-die. Competition runs through this whole system. It’s beat or be beaten. Apple takes on Microsoft. GM and VW battle over the China market. The key way to gain advantage is to cheapen costs, to introduce new technology to produce on a larger and more efficient scale—with devastating consequences to humanity and the planet. For the capitalists, this is not a matter of choice or greed, or the result of the blinders of an “ideological wall.” If individual capitals don’t invest and expand, and keep accumulating profit and more profit, they can’t stay in the game as profitable units of capital—and they go under or get gobbled up.

Klein wants the powers-that-be  to “manage” what she calls “degrowth” to save the planet. But under THIS system, no person or group “manages” the economy. It is managed by these rules of the game. Yes, the capitalist state enacts regulations and standards to keep the system functioning. But it is not possible to consciously regulate the economy on a society-wide scale according to a rational plan. Why? Because of private ownership and competition. And you can’t have a capitalism that doesn’t grow. Suppose GM said to VW and Toyota, “We’re going to slow our growth to save the planet—and you can have the China market.” Well, goodbye to GM.

Rule #3 is the drive for global control. Capitalism is a worldwide system. It is made up of a handful of rich capitalist countries that dominate the world. It operates through a great divide: between the capitalist-imperialist countries and the countries of the Third World that it brutally oppresses and pillages.

Competition and rivalry between corporations and banks take place on this global playing field. But the most intense form of rivalry is between contending world powers for strategic control over regions, markets, and resources. Klein passionately indicts the big oil companies for what they have done to the environment. But oil is bigger than Exxon, bigger than the Koch brothers (right-wing billionaires and big-time political operatives whose companies include oil refining and distribution). Oil is a strategic commodity: control over oil supplies and oil markets brings with it leverage over the world economy. Oil is a strategic weapon of rivalry and intimidation. The U.S. imperialists under Obama, for example, have ramped up oil and natural gas production to maneuver against imperialist Russia as well as countries like Iran and Venezuela that depend on oil sales.

This is the nature of the system. And a fundamental consequence of these rules is that capitalism, as a system, cannot deal with the environment in a sustainable and rational way—even if an individual capitalist, or group of capitalists, wanted to.

II. Naomi Klein Wants to Bend the Rules... We Need a Different System Operating According to Different Rules

Klein puts forward a program:

[I]f enough of us stop looking away and decide that climate change is a crisis worthy of a Marshall Plan level of response, then it will become one, and the political class will have to respond, both by making resources available and by bending the free market rules that have proven so pliable when elite interests are in peril (emphasis added, p. 6).

There is so much here that is wrong.

First, for a supposedly radical critic of the system to embrace the original Marshall Plan is outrageous. What was the Marshall Plan about? After World War 2 ended in 1945, the Western European economies were in a state of ruin, and there was widespread radical and revolutionary sentiment. The United States had come out of the war as the strongest imperialist power and provided aid and financing to rebuild and modernize economies like West Germany. This was the Marshall Plan. But this was not global humanitarianism.

The Marshall Plan had three basic objectives: to rescue capitalism and prevent revolution in Western Europe; to shore up Western Europe to stand against the then-socialist Soviet Union; and to ensure that the U.S. would stay the dominant imperialist power in the world capitalist system. The U.S. imperialists “bent” some of the rules, like offering low-interest loans, to achieve this. But it was the same game of capitalism.

Klein turns her head away from the savage consequences of reviving the world imperialist system: decades of cancerous growth based on cheap fossil fuels, the mass use of tens of thousands of chemicals whose environmental impact is harmful or unknown, and massive expansion of the automobile. The imperialist system that was revived and modernized carried out unjust and horrific wars in Korea, Algeria, Vietnam, and Iraq. The system that was revived and modernized forged a global network of sweatshop exploitation.

Sorry, Naomi Klein... but the Marshall Plan, along with financial institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, gave us the world we have, not the world we need!

Let’s go back to Klein’s program for action. She says that if we start to think differently and pressure the elites, they will bend the rules—and this will bring about a switch from oil, coal, and natural gas to solar and renewable forms of energy, investment in environmentally safe mass transit, and creation of new jobs. Klein makes it sound so very reasonable: it will be good for the capitalists who can invest in “green,” good for the people, and good for the planet.

Once again, Klein ignores the real rules of the game:

» Take the fossil-fuel industry. Huge amounts of resources, infrastructure (like pipelines), and knowledge are sunk into this sector. In a capitalist economy, this investment has to be made good on. In other words, in order to cover these huge investment costs and to return a profit, oil and natural gas have to be extracted and refined or liquefied—and then sold on the market. You can’t just move from oil to solar, like moving pieces on a chessboard.

To create a truly “green economy” would require a radical rupture in the structure of the economy, a monumental outlay of capital, and comprehensive planning: to break the dominance of the automobile, to create sustainable cities, to develop agriculture that does not rely on petroleum-based chemicals. Under capitalism, you can’t rapidly shift resources and the surplus produced in one sector of the economy to another—exactly because of private ownership and control.

» It is astonishing. Klein  has written an over 500-page book about capitalism and climate change that barely says a word about the military. In fact, the U.S. imperialist military—with its tanks and fighter jets, its military bases and logistics, and its unjust wars and occupations—is the single largest institutional consumer of oil in the world. You can’t run an imperialist military on solar and wind power. Okay, the U.S. has been installing solar panels at the Guantánamo naval base. Torture powered by green energy—is this the world we want?

» And let’s look more closely at the solar power industry itself. Yes, the imperialists have “bent the rules” some and given the solar power industry subsidies and backing. But a) it is a drop in the bucket compared to what gets invested in fossil fuels; and b) the solar power industry does not escape the real rules of capitalism. For example, capitalist China is producing solar panels cheaply, utilizing its huge reserves of super-exploited labor—and it dominates this industry globally. The U.S. and Western European imperialists have responded, and Klein notes this, by trying to restrict imports of solar panels from China.

» Klein argues that we can make policy shifts under this system that can bring us back to 1970s levels of consumption: “we enjoyed a healthy and moderate lifestyle and we need to return to this to keep emissions under control” (p. 91). Say what! The 1970s lifestyle for most in the U.S. was based on living in the largest global imperialist empire in history.

But leaving aside this chauvinist blind spot, there is something else. Climate science shows that we must cut carbon emissions by 80 percent or more in the decades ahead if we are going to prevent the possible collapse of ecosystems and threats to human civilization. To make those cuts will require profound and seismic changes in how we live, in what is produced and how, in consumption, in our values. Klein suggests that we can readily adapt and easily change. No, this requires a wrenching transformation.

III. Naomi Klein Concentrates a Mode of Thinking... Of the Radical Petite Bourgeoisie

Klein’s book turns out to be a dead end. She does not really face the depth and seriousness of the social transformations that the environmental crisis demands. She does not confront what the best of her own research points to: that we have to get on a radically different trajectory. She cannot conceive of a world without Exxon. She writes: “Since the oil companies are going to continue being rich for the foreseeable future, the best hope of breaking the political deadlock is to radically restrict their ability to spend their profits on buying, and bullying, politicians” (p. 151). This is hardly a vision of “changing everything”!

Naomi Klein and this book represent the outlook and class position of a radical section of the petite bourgeoisie. This is a class that is “in the middle” between the two great classes, the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, whose interests and outlook are capable of leading society in today’s world.

Instead of seeking a fundamental break with the whole train of environmental destruction, and the capitalist-imperialist system that has given rise to it, Klein goes for the “middle ground,” seeking to resolve all this without rupture and dislocation. She wants to find a solution within the framework of the system itself, and ends up attempting to solve the system’s problems for it. She invents illusory solutions, non-solutions, for excruciating problems that can be solved only by revolution and a new system.

IV. Communist Revolution Opens the Way for Humanity to Confront This Emergency and Become Caretakers of the Planet

There is a way out, through communist revolution. Exxon, and imperialist governments, their police and armies will be no more. We can far surpass a world where the planet’s animals, plants, and sea life are destroyed. Where its resources are ravaged and the oil extracted from this process is burned to serve the private profit of small groups that fight it out for global imperialist domination.

The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) from the RCP is written with the future in mind. It is intended to set forth a basic model, and fundamental principles and guidelines, for the nature and functioning of a vastly different society and government than now exists: the New Socialist Republic in North America, a socialist state which would embody, institutionalize and promote radically different relations and values among people; a socialist state whose final and fundamental aim would be to achieve, together with the revolutionary struggle throughout the world, the emancipation of humanity as a whole and the opening of a whole new epoch in human history–communism–with the final abolition of all exploitative and oppressive relations among human beings and the destructive antagonistic conflicts to which these relations give rise.

Read the entire Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) from the RCP at

A radically different system will be in place of capitalism. What a society like this would be like and how it would function is developed in the visionary Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal).

Socialist society, and even more, a communist world, makes possible economic planning based on the largest and most important needs of human society. The widespread use of renewable power sources like solar, wind, and geothermal (heat energy from the Earth) can become reasonable and possible in a socialist society. A socialist society can mobilize the people, scientific knowledge, and resources to drastically restrict and ultimately move beyond the use of fossil fuels, while solving the practical and economic problems that will come with such a transition to renewable energy. And do that as part of moving to a world in which human society has an economic foundation that takes care of the planet as one of its foundational principles.

With capitalism’s domination of ideas and culture gone, the understanding of the natural world, science, and the values that foster preserving the world will no longer be the preserve of an elite. With a new revolutionary state that serves a radically different system, we can bring into being a culture and orientation towards learning about and changing the world to undo the damage from the past and develop completely new and positive relations between people and the planet.

As an essential component of a global process of revolution, we can develop a process that links together the knowledge, experience, and method of scientists, with people who have lived in the rain forests and know its life intimately, with fisher-people and others all over the world—cooperating, sharing information and experience, working to overcome the deep inequalities left from capitalism, while engaged in a global battle to prevent ecological catastrophe. The questions, research, and experience can reverberate around the world: How is the great international effort to undo the destruction of the fabric of life on the planet going? How are we doing at stopping the injection of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere? At rebuilding the rain forests to take more carbon out? And so much more.

Capitalist society screams at people “buy, buy, buy,” and ranks people by the money and “goodies” they own. With socialism, it will be possible not just to raise opposition to consumerism as a kind of moral principle, but to have an entire society in which profit no longer rules, and where it is no longer necessary for the functioning of the economy to sell more and more goods. In this society, the relations between people will not be based on buying and selling.

It will now be possible for people, increasingly and in a mass way, to see themselves not from within capitalism’s framework of a race for accumulation, “each against all,” but instead as emancipators of humanity and the planet. People will come to see nature not as objects to be hurled into production for profit or carelessly despoiled, but as a rich, living fabric of which humans are one part. They will learn how the natural world is billions of years in the making, and that each human generation has the responsibility to pass it to the next in an improved condition.

This is just a glimpse of what a revolutionary society and people can do. This world is possible. This is what the Revolutionary Communist Party is taking responsibility for—building a movement for an actual revolution with the party at its core to defeat and dismantle the state institutions of the old society, to create a new state power and socialist system, and to work urgently towards the full emancipation of humanity and protecting the planet for current and future generations.

At this perilous juncture for the planet, we do need to “change everything”—through revolution. It won’t be easy. But it is our only chance of achieving a truly sustainable society—and beginning the process of restoring the ecosystems of the planet.





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

A Nightmarish Dynamic That Imprisons Humanity... and the Real Alternative

From the Writings and Talks of Bob Avakian:

The "Two Outmodeds" and Bringing Forward Another Way

November 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris were cruel and unjust. The reactionary armed Islamist movement ISIS claimed credit for terrorist acts that took the lives of at least 129 everyday people going about their normal routines. In short order, the French government imposed a state of emergency—threatening more state terror and chauvinist violence directed at immigrant communities, as well as broad assaults on basic rights. France also launched massive air strikes on Syria. Meanwhile, other Western imperialist powers, particularly the U.S., are threatening new military action in the Middle East. All of which will only lead to more death and destruction, more uprooting of oppressed humanity in a region that has endured so much suffering at the hands of imperialism and its local enforcers. and to more terrorist acts. (See “A Terrorist Attack in Paris, A World of Horrors, and the NEED FOR ANOTHER WAY” at

Step back. Throughout the world, two forces contend. Neither has a real answer—an emancipatory answer—to the agonizing, killing, planet-destroying problems confronting humanity. On the one side are the imperialists who dominate the world: exploiting billions, controlling economic lifelines and global politics, and deploying overwhelming military power to terrorize people into submitting to this. On the other side is a form of reactionary, religious, woman-hating fanaticism. From Nigeria to Pakistan, to Syria and Iraq, to Indonesia and beyond, this fanatical Islam poses as an alternative to imperialism but is in actuality rooted in the same horizons of domination and exploitation.

All this is grotesquely magnified by the fact that for most people, these are the only alternatives that they know about right now.

Over the last few decades, Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, has produced deep, scientific, and indispensable analysis of this deadly dynamic shaping world events and locking people into the world as it is. As he incisively frames it:

What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.

While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “historically outmodeds” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity. It is the historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system, and in particular the U.S. imperialists.

(BAsics 1:28)

The people and the planet need to break out of this life-destroying, suffocating, and intolerable dynamic. This is possible because the underlying roots of this horrific contention—with neither side representing a way out—provides the basis for a radically better way forward for humanity. But, what is that way? Bob Avakian has developed the framework and vision for a truly liberating way that human society could be—and the strategy and orientation for making an actual revolution that can achieve this.

This selection from the writings and talks of Bob Avakian provides essential and crucial understanding of what is going on in the world, why the interests of humanity lie completely outside of and opposed to these “alternatives,” and how humanity can break the vise-grip of this vicious dynamic... and break through to a whole new world. We encourage people to study and spread this material. The works listed here are just a partial list of the work that BA has done on this question. will soon post a full list of all the work he has done on this crucial dynamic.


[1] Bringing Forward Another Way (2006)

Dig into this groundbreaking analysis for understanding the global phenomenon of the clash between Islamic fundamentalism and imperialism, with the U.S. as the top dog, and the political-ideological orientation for developing the revolutionary pole in today’s world. Written during the George W. Bush years, this has tremendous relevance today. The whole text deserves careful study.

Excerpts from this talk were published separately, and here we list two that can serve as a quick reference. However, this world-shaping deadly dynamic demands a full reading of Bringing Forward Another Way by Bob Avakian, available in full here.

* More on the “Two Historically Outmodeds”—Western imperialism and religious fundamentalism—the need to oppose both; why imperialism does the greater damage and is the greater threat to humanity; and why the “war on terror” is in essence a war for empire.

* “An Unequaled Barbarity”—America is not the good guy in the world, and American lives are not more important than other people’s lives. When you recognize the horrors committed by the system, you must act accordingly.

[2] Why We’re in the Situation We’re in Today...And What to Do About It: A Thoroughly Rotten System and the Need for Revolution (2006)

This landmark and engaging audio of a talk by BA presents a sweeping overview of changes in the world since World War 2, including the rise of religious fundamentalism in the Middle East and the U.S.; as well as the international impact of the defeat of the first socialist revolutions, and the way forward today through revolution. Full audio available here.

[3] From Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity (2007); “Part 2: Everything We’re Doing is About Revolution. Heightened Parasitism and the “Two Outmodeds”

[4] From Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World (2008)

* Why is Religious Fundamentalism Growing in Today’s World?
How the vast economic and demographic changes spurred by imperialist globalization have contributed to the current growth of religious fundamentalism; the role of political-ideological factors, including imperialist undermining of secular regimes in the Middle East in the 1950s and 1960s; and especially the far-reaching consequences of the defeat of genuine socialist revolution in China in 1976.

* Religious Fundamentalism, Imperialism, and the “War on Terror”
Refuting the argument that there is something particularly evil and dangerous about Islamic fundamentalism compared with Christian fascism and other varieties of religious fundamentalism.

[5] From the compilation Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women. Entire compilation available here.

*Imperialist Hypocrisy and the Taliban Oppression (2004)
"...These different forms and manifestations of degrading and subjugating women are "mirror opposites" and are all part of the overall oppression of women in the imperialist-dominated world today."

*The Qu’ran, Islam, and the Oppression of Women (1998)
Bob Avakian answers a letter from a reader that argues that Islam provides safety and freedom for women in the oppressed countries.

[6] Quotes from BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

Focusing on internationalism and communist revolution as a worldwide process.


All the works above, except for Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, are available online at

Away With All Gods! is available in print and e-book editions and can be ordered from the publisher, Insight Press.







Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Why We Should NOT Root for Our Own Rulers... And Why It's Better If They LOSE Their Wars

by Larry Everest | November 30, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


After the horrific November 13 terrorist attack in Paris by ISIS, the rulers in the U.S., France, and other imperialist powers are again trying to line people up behind their war moves—including people who’ve opposed previous wars like the ones in Vietnam and Iraq. “We’re not perfect,” they say, “but at least we aren’t religious lunatics like ISIS, and right now we have to defeat ISIS. There won’t be any peace, and people will continue to suffer unless we defeat ISIS.”

Bullshit... on many levels.

U.S. forces being evacuated from Saigon by the CIA, 1975

The U.S. defeat in the Vietnam War weakened the empire militarily and limited its ability to invade or attack other countries for a number of years; and the U.S. defeat in Iraq and its difficulties in Afghanistan have prevented it from carrying out other large-scale invasions in the Middle East. Above: the scramble for the last helicopter out of the U.S. embassy compound in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh CIty), Vietnam in 1975 as liberation forces finally drove the U.S. out.

The U.S. and these other imperialists aren’t waging war to “stop terrorism.” They’re conducting wars, military interventions, and maneuvering diplomatically to preserve the system of global capitalist exploitation that they dominate, a system which grinds up, crushes, uproots, and casts off literally billions of people. So when the U.S. acts, they act in order to destroy whatever they happen to feel is in the way of their domination and/or to set up or protect oppressive relations and oppressive regimes which maintain this whole system—including Islamic fundamentalist forces when that serves their purposes.

Just to take the most recent examples:

» The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001 promising “liberation.” It then put in power a murderous cabal of feudal power brokers, warlords, and armed militias hated throughout Afghanistan. All stood for brutal traditional relations, including the patriarchal enslavement of women, religious fundamentalism, and the subordination of Afghanistan to imperialism. (The new U.S.-backed regime was named the “Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.”)

» The U.S. promised liberation in Iraq too. But after the 2003 invasion, it tried to install a hand-picked collection of puppets and thugs committed to fully integrating Iraq into the U.S. empire. When that move failed, the U.S. turned to reactionary Shi’ite parties and militias, and then to traditional reactionary Sunni powers as well. All this fueled the rise of reactionary Islamic fundamentalism overall and ISIS in particular.

» For the last four and-a-half years, the U.S. has fueled the savage Syrian civil war in order to protect the whole putrid, U.S.-dominated setup in the Middle East—including the barbaric settler-colonial state of Israel, and barbaric states like Turkey and fundamentalist Saudi Arabia (which is preparing to behead over 50 people). As part of these machinations, U.S. allies have directly supported ISIS and other jihadist forces. A recently released secret 2012 intelligence report exposes that the U.S. and its allies tolerated or supported the formation of jihadist enclaves in eastern Syria and western Iraq.

Carrying all of this out has involved torture, atrocities, and mass slaughter by the U.S. military—“our troops”—on a scale way, way, way beyond the crimes reactionary jihadists have carried out. In Iraq it meant using cluster bombs, white phosphorous, and depleted uranium against the people of Fallujah in 2004; murdering 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Haditha in 2005; executing at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a five-month-old infant, in Ishaqi in central Iraq in 2006; and having a U.S. helicopter gun down 11 civilians in Baghdad in 2007.

In Afghanistan—this meant U.S. soldiers murdering two pregnant women, two criminal justice officials, and a teenage girl during a party near the village of Gardez; in 2012 alone it meant one U.S. soldier massacring 16 Afghan civilians—including nine children—in two Kandahar province villages; it meant U.S. soldiers breaking into people’s homes, dragging them away and torturing them—sometimes to death—and then mutilating their bodies. One survivor reported he was threatened with 14 different types of torture and subjected to “electric shocks, beatings, simulated drowning, hanging from the ceiling, partial burial in freezing conditions, and the extraordinary and degrading torment of having a length of string tied tightly around his penis” for four days. (Daily Beast)

A recent study found that since 2001, U.S. wars were responsible for a total of 1.3 million deaths in Afghanistan (220,000), Pakistan (80,000), and Iraq (one million) alone!

All these U.S. actions have strengthened reactionary Islamist movements, which have in turn carried out horrific crimes against the people—also in order to enforce backward, oppressive social and economic relations. Why should anyone expect that further U.S. interventions and escalations will do anything other than this? Why should anyone who understands this want to see those moves succeed—or “win”?

Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Foward Another Way is an edited version of a talk by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters, in 2006. It is must reading for a serious understanding of what the U.S. "war on terror" is really about and how to bring forward a positive force in the world in opposition to both Western imperialism and Islamic Jihad.

Download PDF

Imperialism and Islamic Fundamentalism Are NOT the Only Alternatives! We Need a Revolution!

As Bob Avakian insightfully pointed out, the relationship runs like this:

What we see in contention here with Jihad on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these “outmodeds,” you end up strengthening both.

While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these “‘historically outmodeds’” has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity: It is the historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system, and in particular the U.S. imperialists...

It is interesting, I recently heard about a comment that someone made relating to this, which I do think is correct and getting at something important. In relation to these “two historically outmodeds,” they made the point: “You could say that the Islamic fundamentalist forces in the world would be largely dormant if it weren’t for what the U.S. and its allies have done and are doing in the world—but you cannot say the opposite.” There is profound truth captured in that statement.

Bob Avakian, Bringing Forward Another Way

But imperialism and Islamic fundamentalism are NOT the only alternatives today. There actually is a viable chance to make revolution and bring into being a radically different, liberating society based on Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. This revolution will come out of the existing contradictions of the system AND the work of revolutionaries now. This revolution is the ONLY source of real hope in the terrible situation confronting humanity now.

Strengthening imperialism—the very system responsible for the vast majority of the suffering and destruction on Earth today—including by supporting its wars and military machine—is only going to perpetuate this misery.

Just to be very clear: Revolutionaries totally oppose everything reactionary Islamist forces like Al Qaeda and ISIS stand for and all the horrific ways they fight for their Dark Ages agenda. Not supporting your own rulers—even welcoming their defeat—is NOT the same as wanting the reactionary forces they happen to be opposing to win. Genuine revolutionaries support communists in every country, including those who come directly up against reactionary Islamist forces, and work to spread the ideas of communism even where there are no organized forces currently taking them up.

We do all this as part of getting to a whole better world—and right now, in this country, preparing the ground, preparing the people, and preparing the vanguard—getting ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.

For background sources on death and destruction caused by the U.S., see:

Endless War: As U.S. Strikes Tikrit & Delays Afghan Pullout, "War on Terror" Toll Tops 1.3 Million, Democracy Now!

The U.S. Legacy 10 Years After Invading Iraq: Death, Disease, Devastation, Displacement, Revolution

Obama's Pentagon Covered Up War Crimes in Afghanistan, Says Amnesty International, The Daily Beast

The A-Team Killings and The Kill Team: How U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan Murdered Innocent Civilians, Rolling Stone





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

When a Woman Attempts a Coat-Hanger Abortion, It Is the Patriarchal SYSTEM That Is Guilty of Attempted Murder—Against Her!

by Sunsara Taylor | December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On December 11, Anna Yocca was arrested after rushing to a hospital in Tennessee because she was bleeding so profusely she feared for her health and quite possibly her life. Why was she bleeding? The state of Tennessee alleges that she attempted to self-induce an abortion with a wire coat hanger. If this is true, it is the state of Tennessee and the web of anti-abortion laws, terror, and shame across the U.S. that are guilty of attempted murder against her, for forcing Anna Yocca and thousands of other women into situations where they are willing to risk their lives to self-induce abortions. Yet, outrageously, the very state and patriarchal system that nearly murdered Yocca is now charging her with first-degree attempted murder.

The truth is: Fetuses are NOT babies. Abortion is NOT murder. And women, no matter what the state of Tennessee, the Bible, or any other patriarchal “authority” says, are NOT incubators!

Women must have the right to decide for themselves when and whether to have a child, or they cannot be free. As Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, recently put it, “Unbelievable as it may seem, in the 21st century there are still people—including people in positions of power and authority—who are determined to force women to bear children, regardless of the situation, the feelings, and the better judgment of those women themselves. That is a way of enslaving women to the dictates of an oppressive male supremacist, patriarchal system; and that is what the cruel fanatics who are determined to deny women the right to abortion are really all about.”

Any system that would not only deprive women of the ability to access abortion and birth control without stigma, restriction, and threat of violence, but then arrest and imprison the very women whose lives they have put in danger is completely illegitimate and has no right to rule. That these enslaving restrictions on women’s reproductive freedom are back, with an even more punitive and criminalizing vengeance, in 2015 is but one indication of the fact that this system cannot be reformed and must be gotten rid of through an actual revolution. Bob Avakian has developed the strategy, the vision, and the thoroughly scientific approach for the revolution we need, for how the masses of people can rise up and actually win a revolution, and for this revolution to bring into being a new revolutionary society that truly puts an end to slavery in every form and all around the world.

Everyone who wants to finally be free of the thousands of years of tradition’s chains that continue to bind and enslave women, everyone who wants to put an end to slavery in every form, needs to get into and take up the leadership Bob Avakian is providing. As we do, we must stand up and fight back against the growing war on women here and all over the world. We must demand that the charges be dropped against Anna Yocca and all others who have been desperate enough to allegedly attempt to self-induce an abortion. We must join in and mobilize many, many others to stand up in major demonstrations for Abortion On Demand and Without Apology initiated by End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women ( this January 22/23 in Washington, DC and San Francisco. We must oppose slavery in every form!

Abortion On Demand and Without Apology!

Break ALL the Chains! Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution!


Revolution/ received the following online comment on this piece from Pat McGinnis, a steadfast fighter for abortion rights since 1959, when she distributed literature on street corners in San Francisco to demand an end to all abortion laws:

"Thank you Sunsara and Revolution for covering this critical, sad event. A woman tries to protect herself from inadvertent and untimely parenthood and is denied the proper means for same by callous greedy politically motivated clergy and politicians. That this ruthless system can be used to condemn women to prison, thus ruining their lives, is an insult to all women and a costly mis-use of taxpayer funds."






Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

There Must Be a Defiant, Mass Outpouring for Abortion Rights This Roe v. Wade Anniversary, January 22, 2016

by Sunsara Taylor | November 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors’ Note: In this article, Sunsara Taylor gets into the context of the abortion rights protests being called for January 22-23, 2016 and the crucial importance of those actions. January 22 marks the anniversary of the 1974 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide—for the first time, women could decide for themselves whether and when they wanted to give birth to children. Before Roe v. Wade, thousands of women in the U.S. were seriously injured or died each year from unsafe illegal abortions. Countless others were forced to bear children they did not want. This decision did not come from the Supreme Court suddenly becoming “enlightened.” Only in the face of the self-sacrificing fight of women and others and overall social upheaval of the 1960s and early 1970s—as well as the larger changes in the family and social role of women driven by the shifting economic position and dynamics of the U.S. in the world—did the Supreme Court grant the right to abortion. Even then, they did not guarantee women’s right to abortion but only to a certain scope of “privacy” in this sphere. And since Roe v. Wade, there has been an enormous and mounting assault on the right to abortion, spearheaded by Christian fascists and including court decisions and state laws placing increasing restrictions on abortion.


Brave protesters demanding "Abortion on demand and without apology!" STOPPED the so-called
On the last Roe v Wade anniversary, January 22, 2015, courageous protesters demanding "Abortion on demand and without apology!" STOPPED the anti-abortion “March for Life," in Washington, DC. The protests on the next Roe v. Wade anniversary, January 22-23, 2016, must be even more powerful. Photo: Stop Patriarchy

Spirited counter-protest against the 2015 "Walk for Life" in San Francisco, an annual woman-hating parade organized by a network of Catholic churches aimed at criminalizing abortion and imposing forced motherhood on women.
Spirited counter-protest against the 2015 "Walk for Life" in San Francisco, an annual woman-hating parade organized by a network of Catholic churches aimed at criminalizing abortion and imposing forced motherhood on women. Photo: Revolution/

Abortion clinics across this country are being boarded up. Twenty-two clinics have been shut down in Texas since 2013. In the same time, five clinics in Ohio have been shut down. In Montana, a clinic that was severely vandalized in 2014 has never re-opened. Just weeks ago in Claremont, New Hampshire, a Planned Parenthood facility that didn’t even do abortions was broken into and its computers, plumbing system, and medical equipment were destroyed with a hatchet. It is estimated that abortion clinics are being forced to close in this country at the rate of one every week and a half.

At the clinics that remain, an army of religious fundamentalists make it their mission to harass, shame, and threaten women every single day. “Murderer!” “Slut!” These words are hurled at girls as young as 11 and 12 years old. Then these women and girls are forced to endure a barrage of humiliating further restrictions—forced to make multiple trips because fascist lawmakers think the women and girls can’t be trusted with their initial decision, forced to get permission from parents or a judge as if their bodies don’t belong to themselves, forced to undergo a sonogram—sometimes vaginally—intended to provoke feelings of guilt and attachment to the fetus they do not want. Already, abortion is out of reach for huge swaths of poor, young, and rural women. Growing numbers of women are being forced to risk their lives—and sometimes end up in prison—by attempting to self-induce abortions. Others are being forced to have children against their will, with all the negative lifelong consequences of that.

Even Greater Dangers Looming

As bad as all this is, the situation threatens to get drastically worse very soon. Major cases loom before the Supreme Court that will determine how many of the drastic restrictions on abortion passed in recent years will stand—and how much further they might be allowed to go. These rulings by the Supreme Court—or just as starkly, the failure to consider and reject some of the laws currently on the books—could bring about the most sweeping and permanent changes in abortion laws in decades. They could take the most extreme closures and restrictions in the country in recent years—like those which threaten to close all but 10 out of more than 40 abortion clinics recently operating in Texas—and make them the standard across the entire country.

At the same time, there has been an orchestrated attack, directed by Christian fascists in positions of power, against Planned Parenthood--the largest abortion provider in the country. There have been moves to defund Planned Parenthood in the Congress and in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Texas and Utah. In Texas, police showed up at Planned Parenthood sites throughout the state and seized the medical records of women who’d had abortions, a gross violation of women’s privacy and a threat against any woman who’d consider abortion in the future. And through all this, threats and physical violence against abortion providers and clinics have escalated. Five Planned Parenthoods have been physically attacked—including with firebombs, arson, and hatchets—since the summer.

Break All the Chains!

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

Sampler Edition | Full Work

This Affects ALL Women

Due to the shame and silence that hangs heavy over abortion, the illusion is widespread that these restrictions and shrinking access to abortion will only affect a few women. This is not true. One in three women will get an abortion by the time she is 45 years old. One in three. This number cuts across religious and political beliefs. No matter how silently and shamefully this secret is kept, all of us are surrounded every day by women who have had abortions. This assault on abortion access and this terror against women’s clinics is aimed at and affects all women.

The consequences of not being able to access abortion and birth control are enormous. The ability for women to engage in sexual activity without shame and without fear that their entire lives will be jeopardized disappears without access to abortion and birth control. And, when women are forced to have children against their will, their lives are foreclosed. Often, they are forced to drop out of school, driven into poverty, kicked out of their homes, or trapped in abusive homes. Whether or not any individual woman suffers this outcome, the threat of this outcome and hatred for women bound up with this stalks and affects every woman and girl.

Abortion Is Nothing to Be Ashamed Of

There should be absolutely no shame involved in getting an abortion. Fetuses are not babies. Abortion is not murder. Women are not incubators. If a woman decides for whatever reason that she does not want to carry a pregnancy to term, she must be allowed to terminate that pregnancy safely and without stigma. When a woman is pregnant and does not want to have a child, abortion is a perfectly moral and highly responsible choice. Without the right to decide for themselves when and whether to have children, without unencumbered access to birth control and abortion, women can never be free to participate fully and equally in every realm of society. This is precisely why abortion rights are so important and this is precisely why they are so viciously under attack by Christian fascists and patriarchs. What is truly shameful and immoral is depriving women of the right to abortion and forcing women to bear children against their will. No matter how it is dressed up, this is nothing but woman-hating.

The Need for Mass, Independent, Political Resistance

The truth is this: This fascist assault on abortion has not been and will not be stopped by “pro-choice” politicians who go out of their way to express their “respect” for the woman-haters pushing these laws, who contribute to the shame and defensiveness around abortion by claiming it should be “rare,” and who have conciliated time and again with this whole fascist juggernaut, allowing us to get to where we are today with even greater dangers ahead.

This direction has not and will not be stopped by relying on the courts. It is important and true that, for now, abortion is legal and the recent spate of restrictions DOES violate women’s constitutional rights. But, relying on the courts is not how abortion or birth control rights were won in the first place, and relying on the courts since then has been a big part of how pro-choice people have been de-mobilized and made passive as these very courts have increasingly codified and “legitimated” greater and greater restrictions. In reality, what the courts do has always been highly political and influenced by the broader culture and demands in society.

Stopping this assault, reversing this whole direction and lifting the mountains of shame and stigma off women, requires massive, uncompromising, independent political resistance.

People must go into the streets and confront and expose the woman-hating nature of this assault. People must not only say the word abortion openly, but shout it out with pride and with anger at those who would take it away. Students and others must be woken up to the emergency afoot, shaken out of their complacency and mobilized to fight. Older people who remember the gruesome and terrifying days before abortion was legal must break the silence and tell the stories of friends, mothers, sisters who died or went through harrowing experiences for lack of legal access to abortion. People who oppose abortion must be directly challenged and argued with, not just one by one but in open-air debates and in a way that draws many more into thinking anew about this question. Celebrities and public figures must speak up and join those fighting back. People throughout every corner of society must be confronted with the reality and mobilized to fight. No one should be allowed to sit on the sidelines as women’s lives and futures and rights are foreclosed.

And all this must build for and come together in powerful expressions of mass resistance to this war on women this January 22 in Washington, DC, and January 23 in San Francisco. Right up in the face of the annual marches for “life” that oppose women’s right to abortion and birth control, right on the anniversary of when abortion was made legal, masses of people must pour into the streets, declare their support for Abortion On Demand and Without Apology and join the fight for the future of women.






Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

From Stop Patriarchy

Stand Up for Abortion Rights!
Counter-Protest the March for "Life"

January 22, 2016 in Washington, DC
January 23, 2016 in San Francisco

Updated January 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Fetuses are NOT babies.

We received this video from of a college student and other young revolutionaries challenging boldly challenging their peers to confront the abortion rights emergency and take a stand for abortion rights on January 22 in DC and January 23 in San Francisco:

Brave protesters demanding "Abortion on demand and without apology!" STOPPED the so-called
Brave protesters demanding "Abortion on demand and without apology!" STOPPED the so-called "March for Life" (march for forced motherhood), January 22, 2015, in Washington DC; 8 of them were arrested. Photo: Stop Patriarchy

Abortion is NOT murder.
Women are NOT incubators.

Stand up for abortion on demand and without apology this January on both coasts.

Abortion rights are in a state of emergency! Clinics across the country have been forced to close through unjust laws and anti-abortion violence. Women and staff are shamed, harassed, and threatened. Christian fascist politicians are fighting to shut down Planned Parenthood. Thousands of women are once again risking their lives and prison to self-induce their own abortions. Eleven people have been murdered by anti-abortion terrorists. And a looming major Supreme Court case will affect abortion rights for decades to come.

The time is NOW to stand up for abortion on demand and without apology!

Each year, tens of thousands of fanatics march against women's right to abortion and birth control on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Be part of standing up in counter-protest, letting the world and the powers that be feel our demand that abortion be available to every woman without shame, restriction, or stigma.

Forcing a woman to have a child against her will is a form of enslavement. It traps women in abusive relationships, drives them into poverty, forces them to give up their dreams and forecloses their lives. Denying abortion rights is a keystone of the entire web of degradation, violence, rape, discrimination and oppression that women face throughout society.

This must be stopped! Women are not bitches, hoes, punching bags, sex objects, breeders or property of men. Women are full human beings!

Get organized. Be in DC and/or San Francisco for these counter-protests. Mobilize your school, religious congregation, community group, family and friends. Spread the word far and wide. Donate and raise funds. Do not let the future belong to the woman-haters. Be part of defeating the war on women.

Abortion On Demand and Without Apology!
Forced Motherhood is Female Enslavement!
Facebook event for DC:
Facebook event for SF:
For more info & to get involved:
For DC -
For SF -

Initiated by Stop Patriarchy

Endorsed by:
Carol Downer, co-founder of Feminist Women's Health Center, Los Angeles
Merle Hoffman, CEO, Choices Women's Medical Center
Cindy Sheehan, Peace Activist and Author
Sunsara Taylor, writer for Revolution newspaper
Deep Green Resistance
Joy of Resistance Multicultural Feminist Radio – WBAI
Occupied Wall Street Special Projects Affinity Group

Women's Liberation Front (WoLF)
World Can't Wait





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

George Carlin, Frank Gifford, the NFL and Rugby—More Thoughts on Concussions in Football

December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

The Baltimore Sun recently reported that the National Football League (NFL) has funded the U.S. Army Research Lab at Aberdeen Proving Ground to come up with a safer helmet. I thought to myself, “The U.S. Army and the NFL—how appropriate; the military of U.S. imperialism partnering with a sport that is seriously injuring people to the point where they are dying.” This brought to mind George Carlin’s routine where he says:

In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field, general to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy’s defensive line.

This bit on football was in Carlin’s routine where he compares football to baseball. This is a funny routine. However, one thing about George Carlin is that there is more than a kernel of truth in his humor and the truth in this case is not funny. Football in the United States, and in particular violent tackle football, plays a big role in training and conditioning society, especially boys and men, in the twisted and oppressive values and culture of America.

Concussions in football continue to be a huge topic of discussion in the media. Just today, I heard Mike Golic, a former NFL player on the Mike and Mike sports talk radio show, give a rant on how safe football can be and how the NFL is going “all out” to make the sport safer by going to the military for research for safer helmets and to other organizations to make the fields safer for when the players hit their heads on it. People like Golic, who are defenders of the NFL and football, are trying to counter all the negative publicity that has haunted the NFL since the concussion issue surfaced several years ago.

On December 7, there was an op-ed piece in the New York Times, “Don’t Let Kids Play Football” by Dr. Bennet Omalu, who has studied concussions and is the main character of the movie, Concussion, which is going to be released on Christmas Day. Dr. Omalu discovered the disease CTE1, which is caused by concussions, when he examined the brains of deceased football players.

In a pre-publication of an editorial this fall, the American Journal of Bioethics has called for an end to public school tackle football programs.

The NFL took another huge image hit (pardon my pun) a couple weeks ago when it was discovered that Frank Gifford had CTE. The Frank Gifford story is not only interesting but is sad because he was basically known as the darling of the NFL and was as close to a “poster child” for the league as any player could be.

Frank Gifford was a “pretty boy” and a devout Christian who openly proclaimed his religious beliefs. He was married to Kathy Lee Johnson, a television personality, who co-hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics on ABC with Gifford. He was an All-American football player when he was in college at the University of Southern California. He played pro football from 1952-1964 for the New York Giants. He is on the NFL 1950s All-Decade Team and is in the College and Pro Football Hall of Fames.

Today, most people may know Frank Gifford as one of the three announcers on the Monday Night Football television game of the week. Monday Night Football was must-see television for both sports and non-sports people, particularly when the trio of announcers were Gifford, Don Meredith, and Howard Cosell from 1971-1983. Cosell, an attorney, was the intellectual of the group. Meredith, a former player, was the clown of the trio. Gifford was the straight man. He would always side with the referees whenever the other two felt they made a bad call. Monday Night Football during the period those three were on it played an enormous role in making the NFL popular. Gifford remained on the broadcast until 1997.

When Gifford died earlier this year, his family decided to have his brain examined to find out if he had CTE because they had “suspicions that he was suffering from the debilitating effects of head trauma.” When they discovered he did have CTE, they “decided to disclose our loved one’s condition to honor Frank’s legacy of promoting player safety.”

When I heard that Gifford had CTE, the thing that I remembered was the vicious hit he took in a game in 1960 against the Philadelphia Eagles, where Chuck Bednarik hit Gifford around his chest, neck, and head and laid him out where his head struck the ground with an enormous force. Gifford was unconscious for a long time, and he was not able to play the entire 1961 season because of the head trauma he received in that game. This hit has been shown many times in programs about the “greatest (most violent) hits in football” and is still celebrated at the official NFL website. Some people who have read and agreed with what I wrote about not being able to play tackle football safely (“Tackle Football ‘Can’t Be Saved’: Early Retirements Keep the Focus on Concussions in Football,” September 21, 2015, Revolution newspaper) have told me that the way to play tackle football and reduce concussions is to play without helmets. I heard that college football coaches were asking the rugby2 coach to teach the football players to tackle with their heads up.

Then I discovered an article in the Telegraph (at about a study done by The England Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project, published in collaboration with Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players’ Association, which “showed that although the rate of injuries remained stable during the 2013-14 season, the severity of injuries continues to rise in the professional game.” And that, “For the third consecutive season, concussion was the most common match injury. There were a total of 86 match concussions (a further eight in training), up from 54 in the 2012-13 season, which accounted for 12.5 per cent of all match injuries.” And this is despite the fact that rugby “players had to undertake a mandatory online concussion module.” What was most astonishing in this report is that “the NFL has a lower rate (per player hours) of concussion than in rugby.”

The answer is an empathic NO! Tackle football may be made safer with better helmets and fields, but it cannot be played safely. And this is at the professional level, where there is tons of money to spend on research to tweak the helmets and make the fields softer. At the high school and Pop Warner youth levels of football, forget about it. These kids are putting their brains and lives in immediate danger playing tackle football.


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 that 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.” (“What is CTE?,” Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy) [back]

2 Rugby is a football game that is mainly played in England and New Zealand, but is also played in the U.S.  In rugby the players wear shorts and long-sleeved shirts and play without shoulder pads and helmets. The game is just a physical as football, and the rugby player with the ball is tackled just as is a ball carrier in football. [back]





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

From a reader:

A dangerously escalating situation where Muslims are under siege

December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

No to pogroms--Donald Trump

An article on prompted me to look into a dangerously escalating situation where Muslims are under siege. In the wake of the killings in Paris and San Bernardino, and more recently, in the wake of the Donald Trump’s completely false pronouncement that “thousands” of New Jersey Muslims celebrated the 9/11 attacks, there have been a spate of hateful assaults on Muslims in New York City and nationwide. Even after Trump’s claim was refuted by various media sources, such as Chuck Todd on Meet the Press and Stephen Colbert on his late night talk show, the fascist liar Donald Trump did not back down. But these words and other xenophobic rhetoric spewed forth not only from Trump; the whole ruling class media machinery has had a harmful effect. This xenophobic rhetoric tells people what to think, which in turn informs their actions. Here are just a few of the instances of such attacks:

* Sarker Haque, owner of Fatima Food by Mart in Astoria, Queens, in New York City, was beaten by 55-year-old Piro Kovani last weekend. During the beating Kovani said, “I kill Muslims." Haque was bruised and terrified. He said that he thought his attacker was going to kill him. Two people who were not Muslim came to his aid.

* Last month, at PS 89 in the Bronx, three sixth grade boys put a Muslim classmate in a headlock and tried to remove her hijab, calling her “ISIS.”

* Last month, A Muslim woman at a Brooklyn restaurant was assaulted by a customer who shouted: “Muslim motherfucker.”

* Last month, in a Manhattan eatery, a man screamed hateful anti-Muslim remarks at and hit a Muslim worker and smashed two glass partitions against the food counter.

* On November 30, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a Muslim cab driver was shot by a passenger who had been making anti-ISIS remarks.

* A December 12  bombing of a mosque in Southern California has been verified as a hate crime.

* November 22: An armed group calling themselves Bureau of American Islamic Relations (BAIR) brought firearms to the Islamic Association of North Texas. BAIR claimed that this religious group “has a documented history of funding terrorists.” The Dallas Morning News in North Texas said that there is no evidence for BAIR’s claim.

New York, December 10
New York City, December 10. Photo: twitter/@wagingnv

These are not isolated incidents but a pattern of escalated attacks that have an underlying xenophobic character and are reminiscent of the Nazi mentality that led to the extermination of the six million Jews in Europe. There are people who are sensing the danger involved, like the person at a December 10 rally in New York City who held up a sign that said: “The time for never again is NOW.” This “Dump Trump” rally of hundreds at the steps of Donald Trump’s hotel in midtown New York City angrily condemned Trump’s statement to bar Muslims temporarily from entering the United States. Some signs said: “NYC says: Welcome, Refugees!” There were also comments that Trump’s statement was not that far removed from other politicians calling for restrictions on Syrian refugees who want to settle in the U.S. People expressed fear—fear that attacks and discrimination to the level of the post-911 hysteria would once again surface. On December 12, in Dallas, Texas, hundreds of people marched under the theme of “United Against Racism and Hate” to denounce the November gun-toting BAIR anti-Muslim terror mentioned above. The protesters included a coalition of activists, churches and other religious groups. These protests are a positive factor on the terrain—and there need to be a lot more.





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Justice for Nicholas Robertson! The Whole Damn System Is Guilty!

December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

In the video, you see two sheriffs standing and aiming their guns, shooting straight ahead at a man on the ground. The cops keep firing as the man tries to crawl away. The cops pause, and then start firing multiple shots again. The man is killed by the hail of police bullets. NO! This must stop!

Nicholas Robertson was a 28-year-old Black man, the father of three children. On Saturday, December 12, in Lynwood, California, which is just next door to Watts in Los Angeles, Robertson was getting ready to go to his brother’s wedding. Instead, he was violently ripped away from his family and loved ones at the hands of law enforcement. Ava Duvernay, director of the film Selma, said on Twitter, “Unacceptable. Crawling away. Shot brazenly in broad daylight. Looks like a firing squad. Don’t accept this. #Lynwood.”

As it got to be nighttime, many hours after Nicholas Robertson was killed and his body still lay covered up in the gas station where he died, family, friends and, others refused to quietly accept his murder. Together with the LA Revolution Club, people gathered across the street, where sheriffs stood blocking the street. Nicholas’ wife and his sister-in-law sobbed and shouted their pain and anger as friends and others joined them. When people began to speak out their fury on the bullhorn and hold up posters of the faces of people killed by police nationwide, more police arrived, lining up in front of the crowd and putting on riot helmets. People did not back down in the face of this, but continued to call out the murder, shouting that Nicholas was crawling away, and calling out the Lynwood sheriffs for their brutality and terror.

Several Latino people who had come to the nearby restaurant joined the protest, outraged at what happened to Robertson. One man yelled out at the police, “Where was his trial?” A member of the Revolution Club said on the bullhorn that if the police were really there to “serve and protect,” they would have responded to this murder by arresting the cops who shot a man who was crawling on his knees. Instead, they came in riot gear to further terrorize the family and the neighborhood. She linked this to how the police get away with murder over and over again nationwide; how the U.S. military is doing the same in Syria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan; and how this shows the whole system is guilty. She called on people who are sick of all this and want to see a different world to get into Bob Avakian and get into the movement to make an actual communist revolution at the soonest possible time.

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. Watch the entire film here.

Police and media are working overtime to justify this horrific murder, claiming that Nicholas Robertson had a gun and was pointing it at them and saying they picked up a gun on the scene. In the video, all we see is Nicholas walking and then crawling away from, not towards, the deputies while they fire again and again, at least 30 shots, in broad daylight at 11 in the morning. This is the perverted mindset and practice of genocide against Black people going on right now in America. All over the country police lie about the people they kill and get away with murder again and again, even when caught on video, even in front of the whole world.

Indict, Convict, Put the Killer Cops in Jail! The Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell! It’s up to us to rise up for the humanity of Nicholas Robertson and all the stolen lives. It is up to us to fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution.






Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Seattle: Chris Harris Has Now Died—Indict the Cop That Brutalized Him!

December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

As clearly documented on video, Chris Harris was brutally maimed by King County sheriff’s deputy Matthew Paul in front of the Cinerama movie theater in 2009 when the cop slammed him into a wall. Harris, 32 years old and newly married, was permanently brain damaged from the incident and had been unable to speak or move since then. Police conducted a cover-up, hiding email records that showed cop Matthew Paul had a history of brutality. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s office labeled this crime as “a very tragic incident,” and then refused to file criminal charges against Matthew Paul. The county paid a cash settlement to Harris’ family, showing that they knew a great wrong had been committed. But Paul remained in his job and has never been brought to justice.

Now, after lingering for many years in this condition, Chris Harris has died. His family feels this was due to the terrible condition resulting from Matthew Paul’s attack on him. That makes this MURDER.

Sheriff John Urquhart told reporters, “I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Christopher Harris. My sincere condolences to his family on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office.” This is the same John Urquhart who, as spokesman for the sheriff’s office in 2009, said they had found that Matthew Paul acted correctly when he gave Chris Harris a “hard shove.” The video shows this to be a lie. Chris had run from two men dressed all in black when they started yelling at him. These were non-uniformed cops looking for people involved in a fight. Chris was not involved—he had simply been walking in the area. He ran to the lighted area in front of the Cinerama and came to a stop and was standing there offering no resistance. He is shown in the video raising his hands in a gesture of surrender. But the 250 pound Matthew Paul ran full speed, ducked and hit Chris low, and sent him with a linebacker type hit flying through the air and into the concrete wall head first. The video shows Matthew Paul then dragging the limp Chris Harris around on the concrete like a cat cruelly toying with its kill. It was a horribly brutal and criminal assault.

People in Seattle are planning a vigil for Chris Harris. Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail! The whole damn system is guilty as hell! There is no statute of limitations on murder and cop Matthew Paul must be charged with murder!






Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Statement by Carl Dix:
Mistrial in Case of First Cop Tried for Murder of Freddie Gray Is NOT Justice!
Indict, Convict and Send Killer Cops to Jail!

December 16, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


A Baltimore judge has declared a mistrial in the case of William Porter, the first cop brought to trial for the murder of Freddie Gray. Another cop involved in the death of a Black man at the hands of the police has walked free. This happens all the damned time. It is unacceptable and illegitimate. It is not justice, and it has to STOP!

We should live in a society where those entrusted with public security would sooner lose their own lives than kill or injure an innocent person. It'll take revolution, nothing less, to bring that kind of society into being. This kind of revolution is possible. Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), has spent decades developing a new synthesis of communism that points to how we could get rid of the system responsible for the savage oppression of Black people, and all the other horrors enforced on humanity—the attacks on immigrants, the subjugation of women, the wars for empire, and the destruction of the planet we live on—once and for all. And points to how we could bring into being the kind of world people would want to live in. If you want to see that better world, you need to dig into the work of Bob Avakian.

And if you have an ounce of justice in your heart, you need to join the fight to STOP police getting away with murder. This starts with insisting that Porter be retried. And for all the killer cops—the six who murdered Freddie Gray, the Chicago cops who murdered Laquan McDonald, the Seattle cops who murdered Chris Harris, the San Francisco cops who murdered Mario Woods, the Virginia jail guards who murdered Natasha McKenna, and ALL the rest—to be indicted, convicted and sent to jail.

Look at what the six cops did to Freddie Gray that night. Several chased him down like a runaway slave because he ran when he saw them. They beat him down so bad that one witness said he was “bent up like a pretzel” when the cops put him in the van. The van was a few minutes from the police station, yet these cops, joined by several other cops, drove Gray around for 45 minutes, stopping six times. Pigs in Baltimore call this giving them the “rough ride,” making fast starts and stops. This form of summary punishment has been documented to have killed—murdered—people in police custody. By the time the van had stopped the sixth time, Gray's spine was severed, and he was paralyzed. A week later he died. The Baltimore Sun described Porter’s so-called defense: "Prosecutors argued that Baltimore Police Department rules clearly require officers to seat-belt arrestees. Porter's lawyers argued that police rarely seat-belted prisoners..." And this was enough to get him a mistrial.

This is another example of the whole system going into motion to exonerate cops in the rare cases when their murderous deeds are so outrageous—and the people find it intolerable and go out into the streets, as they did in Baltimore—that the system is compelled to indict one of its front-line enforcers. Imagine what would happen if a group of Black youth had been involved in the death of a cop, and some of them tried to blame it on the others. The system would throw all of them in jail.

Killer cops belong in cell blocks, and we can't rely on the system to get them put there. It'll take mass determined resistance to the ways police get away with murder to get justice for Freddie Gray, and all the victims of murder by police. Get with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and become part of that resistance. And get with the movement for revolution that the RCP is building if you want to end the horrors this system inflicts on humanity.

Indict, Convict and Send Killer Cops to Jail—The Whole Damned System Is Guilty as Hell!
It'll Take Revolution, Nothing Less, to End Police Getting Away with Murder!





Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Job Requirement for President of the United States: Being Ready To “Kill Thousands of Innocent Children”

December 16, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Midway through the 5th Republican Presidential Primary Debate, Hugh Hewitt, one of the “moderators” asked a question that as much as anything defined what this election is all about:

“We’re talking about ruthless things tonight—carpet bombing, toughness, war. And people wonder, could you do that? Could you order air strikes that would kill innocent children by not the scores, but the hundreds and the thousands? Could you wage war as a commander-in-chief?”

No candidate on that stage objected to the question or the premise behind it. There was some booing in the audience from Republicans who seem to have misinterpreted the question, and thought Hewitt was opposed to killing “innocent children not by the scores, but the hundreds and thousands.” But Hewitt made clear in post-interview talk shows that he meant that anyone who is going to be president of the United States needed that level of “lethality.” And that he asked this of Ben Carson, because he wanted to know if Carson was too “soft” to be president, or whether he was willing to do this.

This is a system where the willingness to massacre thousands of innocent children is a job requirement to be president. It is a system of war criminals and mass murdering baby killers. Always has been, still is, and will be until there is an actual revolution.







Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Judge Completely Ignores Decisive DNA Evidence:
Brutal Chicago Police Commander Glenn Evans Found Not Guilty

December 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


This week in Chicago, the former police commander Glenn Evans was acquitted of felony charges. He had been indicted by a grand jury in August 2014 for shoving his gun down the throat of a 22- year-old Black man, Rickey Williams, while holding a taser to his groin and threatening to kill him. This verdict was a kick in the gut to everyone who wants to see justice done, coming as it did during the nationwide outrage against the wanton murder and brutalization of generations of young Black men, and in particular the uproar over the police murder of Laquan McDonald and its cover-up by police and city officials. And it points out the fact that there has to be massive resistance not only to get any indictment, but to get actual convictions.

Williams filed a complaint against the police the day after he was brutalized and tortured by Evans. Considering that Evans has been a notoriously brutal commander with a history of over 50 brutality complaints (see “The Case of a ‘Model’ Cop in Chicago: Promoted for Years of Brutality” at filed against him, this was a courageous move. The assistant state’s attorney trying the case said the evidence of Williams’s DNA on Evans’s gun is “not just the smoking gun we claim it to be. It’s a smoking frickin’ cannon.” And on the basis of finding Williams’s DNA on the gun, Evans was indicted, an extremely rare occurrence. 

But indicted is not convicted. The “justice” system is not set up for justice for the people who suffer brutality and murder at the hands of the police. Evans requested a bench trial (trial in front of a judge, not a jury). The judge, by the way, is a former prosecutor herself. Evans swaggered to the courthouse every day with arrogant assurance that he would get off. From the beginning the judge acted as an advocate for Evans and acted toward Williams as if HE was on trial.

The fact that Rickey Williams’s DNA was found on Evans’s gun was proof that he had stuck it down Williams’s throat, beyond a reasonable doubt. And Williams’s DNA was found on the gun in spite of Evans’s efforts to wipe down the gun before turning it in. The result was that Evans’s prints were not to be found even on the handle of the gun, and that Williams’s DNA was found only in the “nooks and crannies” of the gun. If anything, that Evans only superficially destroyed the evidence only shows the impunity he expected. It makes perfect sense that saliva would be found in nooks and crannies, while other ways Williams’s DNA would have been found on the gun, suggested by the judge, make no sense at all. If Williams had grabbed the gun, as the judge fantasized, the DNA from his hand would not go into nooks and crannies—and do you think he would even be alive to tell the tale? 

Nevertheless, in spite of scientific analysis of the DNA and all common sense, the judge said the DNA evidence was “of fleeting relevance or significance.” She focused instead on some inconsistencies in Williams’s recounting, 15 months after the incident, completely ignoring that he was being tortured during the encounter. You can clearly see the judge’s unapologetic bias by how she jumped on the fact that Williams didn’t identify Evans in a photo array 15 months later, even though no one questioned that it was Evans who was on the scene straddling Williams. If anything, that shows just how traumatized Williams was. 

The attorneys who are working on Williams’s federal lawsuit were incredulous. Williams’s lawyer, Stephen Blandin, said the judge “went out of her way in this case to give every benefit of the doubt” to the commander. “This isn’t about who was telling the truth and who was lying. This is about scientific DNA evidence. Rickey’s DNA was all over that do you ignore DNA evidence?” The judge didn’t credit the prosecution case with a single positive point in her 20-minute ruling! 

There was, of course, in this case the usual failure of prosecutors to prosecute when it comes to the rare instances when cops are put on trial. And along with that was the usual conspiracy involving every branch of the injustice system, including the failure of the crime lab to swab for saliva inside the barrel of the gun, which would have been immune to the judge’s fanciful alternative explanations. In Chicago the so-called Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) is supposed to investigate police brutality charges, yet in less than two percent out of tens of thousands of cases were police disciplined in any way. Evans had over 50 complaints filed against him from 2001 to 2014, but he was never disciplined, except for one two-day suspension. Nine of these complaints were filed after he was promoted to commander in 2012! 

Exposure of IPRA’s lack of investigation and refusal to find any wrongdoing on the part of police has come out in recent weeks from fired IPRA investigators, in the midst of the fury over the murder of Laquan McDonald. But Evans’s lawyers cynically used this exposure of IPRA incompetence and cover-up to argue that the IPRA investigation of Evans’s DNA was bogus and not proven! 

Yes, there is a conspiracy to get the cops off. (See Bob Avakian hit at this point in an excerpt from his 2002 Revolution talk.) By the way, Commander Evans is Black and so was the judge in this trial. Having more Black cops will not stop police brutality. Black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American—once they put on the uniform, they are going to serve the system and come down on the people. Indicting vicious and brutal cops like Evans is just the beginning—convicting them and sending them to jail will take mass resistance in the streets demanding Stop Police Terror, Which Side Are You On?

This outrageous verdict comes during a moment when people have been jolted by the murder of Laquan McDonald and the cover-up of more than a year. The authorities’ response to this upheaval (see comprehensive coverage at here) has been to make some cosmetic changes in the police department and in the IPRA. But at the same time, their response has also been to not even charge the cops in the blatant on-video murder of Ronald “Ronnieman” Johnson, and now to let vicious pig Evans walk—in other words, to spit in the face of the people. WE are the ones who need to stop these horrors. Ending this once and for all will take a revolution, and we are building a movement for revolution to uproot this illegitimate system as soon as possible, and replace it with a system that will NOT utilize torture and terror, because that is not consistent with the goal of a communist world. 


Protestors shut down Michigan Avenue in Chicago on Black Friday in response to the murder of Laquan McDonald and others.






Revolution #417 December 14, 2015

Chicago Urban Prep Students Disrupt Mayor with “16 Shots, 16 Shots”

December 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



For the past week Mayor Rahm Emanuel has disappeared from public view as the outrage over the police murder of Laquan McDonald and the cover-up over the crime has continued. On Wednesday, December 16, Emanuel invited the media to cover his carefully choreographed appearance at the all-male, all-Black, jacket-and-tie-wearing, 100-percent-acceptance-to-college Urban Prep Academy. He spoke briefly about a new “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative and how it could be a model for youths around the city. When Emanuel finished, the school principal asked everyone to stand up and recite the school creed. Instead, a bunch of sophomores started chanting, “16 shots, 16 shots,” for the 16 times the murdering cop shot Laquan. This was all over the evening news. Now THAT’s a model for high school students to replicate!


16 Protesters Arrested in Die-in Blockade of Major Intersection

The day before, on December 15, 16 people protesting Laquan’s murder locked arms and lay down during rush hour on Congress Blvd., a major downtown intersection that leads to the expressway. It took the police an hour to cut them apart after first brutalizing several of them by tugging on their arms, which were locked together in lock boxes. Protesters were recorded screaming in pain. All 16 were arrested. Around the same time, another group of protesters disrupted the City Council’s hearing on the McDonald case, chanting “16 shots and a cover-up.”