Revolution #419, December 28, 2015 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #419 December 28, 2015

Why America Is Not—AND CANNOT BE—a Force for Good in the World

December 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


In one of those statements of his that goes against what almost everyone thinks, Bob Avakian asserts:

The essence of what exists in the U.S. is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism and political structures to enforce that capitalism-imperialism. What the U.S. spreads around the world is not democracy, but imperialism and political structures to enforce that imperialism.

—BAsics 1:3

Is that true? And if so, what are the implications for whether “America” (U.S. capitalism-imperialism) could ever be a force for good in the world?

Case Study: The Gates Foundation’s Coffee Initiatives in Africa

As one case study of the imperialism the U.S. spreads—and can only spread—around the world, let’s look at the example of the Gates Foundation’s Coffee Initiative in Ethiopia, an impoverished country in the Horn of Africa. Bill and Melinda Gates write that they started initiatives like this because they were horrified by the widespread death and disease they saw when they first visited Africa. They felt this suffering was “unnecessary” and could be ended by enlightened philanthropy.

Today, the multi-billionaire Bill Gates points to the kind of investing and structural reforms his foundation finances around the world as a model for governments and fellow billionaire philanthropic capitalists. An article on his foundation’s website, “How Good Coffee Becomes Good Business for African Farmers,” talks about how floating loans to Ethiopian farmers has “helped thousands of East Africa’s smallholder farmers” gain “access to technical knowledge, professional processing and milling services, reliable markets [and] working capital.” And to top it off, these farmers provide a reliable source of high-quality coffee for U.S. consumers.

Gates argues that the enormous crises facing humanity—such as poverty and climate change—can and must be taken on by extensive government regulation and massive philanthropic efforts like his own.

And to take that a step forward, it could be—and often is—argued that the U.S. should use its great wealth to meet human needs by investing in projects that provide a living wage and improve the lot of the poor, and stop pouring $600 billion into the military—over half the discretionary budget of the United States this year.

Let’s dissect the Gates Foundation’s work in Ethiopia, and then draw back the lens to see what this reveals about the nature of capitalist-imperialist investment.

Where Does the Gates Foundation’s Money Come From?

See also...

An open letter to the signatories of the NY Times ad "Is This America?"

YES, This IS the United States of America—We Need to Move Beyond That in the Interests of Humanity

Read more

But how do philanthropic efforts like the Gates Foundation’s Coffee Initiative, to take but one example, actually work?

The first thing Gates omits from his promotional materials is that the funding for his foundation’s investments must be generated from profitable investments. To continue to generate money to fund its charity or less-profitable projects, the Gates Foundation needs to see a return of something like five percent profit on its investments. You don’t get that kind of return investing in small coffee farms in Ethiopia.

The Gates Foundation “invested $423 million in the oil companies whose [Nigeria] delta pollution literally kills the children the foundation tries to help. It had vast holdings in Big Pharma firms that priced AIDS drugs out of reach for desperate victims the foundation wanted to save. It benefited greatly from predatory lenders whose practices sparked the Great Recession and chocolate makers said by the US government to have supported child slavery in Ivory Coast.” The foundation “holds more than $1.2 billion in a rogues’ gallery of corporate actors, including BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, whose environmental despoliation promotes climate change.” ("How the Gates Foundation’s Investments Are Undermining Its Own Good Works: Its vast holdings in the fossil fuel and arms industries subvert the foundation’s battle against disease and poverty,” by Charles Piller, The Nation, August 22, 2014)

If you were to confront Gates, he would probably readily respond—accurately—that if his foundation didn’t invest in these enslaving, exploiting, environment destroying projects, there wouldn’t be profit to fund charity work. That even if he didn’t invest in them, someone else would.

Those are the rules of the game.

What the U.S. Brings to the World: Capitalism-Imperialism

Whatever Gates’ intentions, the changes brought by the projects his foundation (or the U.S. government) undertakes that are not for profit are far outweighed and undercut by the overall and horrific operation of the capitalist-imperialist system. (And such charity projects are objectively part of maintaining the legitimacy of that overall system.)

Second, even if these projects are motivated by a desire to reduce global poverty, they proceed through the system of capitalism-imperialism and reinforce its economic, political, and social relations. This is what the foundation means by giving small farmers greater access to “technical knowledge, professional processing and milling services, reliable markets [and] working capital.” So they actually end up intensifying global poverty, inequality, and the domination of a handful of imperialist powers like the U.S.

Imperialism means huge monopolies and financial institutions controlling the economies and the political systems—and the lives of people—not just in one country but all over the world. Imperialism means parasitic exploiters who oppress hundreds of millions of people and condemn them to untold misery; parasitic financiers who can cause millions to starve just by pressing a computer key and thereby shifting vast amounts of wealth from one place to another. Imperialism means war—war to put down the resistance and rebellion of the oppressed, and war between rival imperialist states—it means the leaders of these states can condemn humanity to unbelievable devastation, perhaps even total annihilation, with the push of a button.

Imperialism is capitalism at the stage where its basic contradictions have been raised to tremendously explosive levels. But imperialism also means that there will be revolution—the oppressed rising up to overthrow their exploiters and tormentors—and that this revolution will be a worldwide struggle to sweep away the global monster, imperialism.

—BAsics 1:6

The Gates’ Coffee Initiative is one example. It has not ended, but in many ways worsened hunger in Ethiopia. Right now, 8.2 million Ethiopians teeter on the verge of hunger, even starvation, without reliable access to enough healthy, affordable food. The immediate cause is a severe drought (worsened by imperialism’s devastating impact on the global climate), but also capitalism’s domination of global food production. Investment in coffee pushes more farmers to grow crops for export to wealthy countries, not affordable food for Ethiopians, even as millions go hungry. And it leaves Ethiopia increasingly dependent on imported food and at the mercy of the ups, downs, and crises of global capitalism.

Investment in modern coffee growing for export also warps and twists the development of infrastructure in a country like Ethiopia. Financing, transport, and communication are developed to invest in, produce, and ship coffee for export while food grown in one part of Ethiopia is inaccessible to starving people in other parts of the country. (See “Ethiopia’s agriculture boom yields a bare harvest for poor as El Niño bites: Ethiopia may be portrayed as an emerging African powerhouse, but prolonged drought has left 8.2 million people facing a major food security crisis,” Guardian, October 26, 2015).


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

Read more

The anarchic workings of capitalism mean that projects like the Coffee Initiative also generate inequality and deeper class divisions. Of Ethiopia’s 80 million people living on and dependent on small farms—some 30 million live in abject poverty. The Coffee Initiative is impacting a tiny sliver of them—perhaps 90,000 of the 15 million Ethiopians who work in the coffee industry. The farmers getting such assistance and access to the world market will have a competitive advantage over other small farmers. So even if they’ve started out on a more or less equally, capitalist competition means the gulf between them and those without assistance and access will grow and many farmers will be driven under.

Structures That Enforce Capitalism-Imperialism

To stick with our case study of the Gates Foundation investment in Ethiopian coffee farmers, what does it mean that what the U.S. brings to the world are structures that enforce capitalism-imperialism?

As we’ve seen, capitalist-imperialist development projects—whether non-profit or for profit—bring massive inequality and misery, which generate mass suffering, anger, and often opposition. So how is this economic setup maintained? By political structures that enforce that imperialism—both by forcing through economic projects and by suppressing the population overall.

Take the Ethiopian state, which is backed by the U.S. Right now it is threatening to forcibly evict thousands of farmers and tribal peoples from their lands to make way for imperialist-sponsored projects, including sugar plantations. The regime has implemented “economic reforms” to facilitate global investment in commodity markets while violently suppressing opposition to the intolerable, imperialist-dominated status quo. Just this year, human rights groups report that the Ethiopian government has persecuted journalists, bloggers, and other opponents, detained and tortured protesters, and continues to oppress minority peoples. And the Gates Coffee Initiative is objectively part of maintaining that oppressive structure by building up a base of support within Ethiopia for an imperialist-oriented economy and state.

An Empire to Enforce a WORLD of Exploitation

What’s illustrated by the example of Ethiopia is also true globally. The kinds of grotesque inequality and severe poverty, the social upheaval and crises provoked by the anarchy of capital in endless competition for higher profit require violent enforcement. So when a bank tells rural farmers or urban slum dwellers that they have to move on, there are death squads and police and troops to enforce that. This is one reason why the U.S. backs ruthless tyrants all over the world.

Structures to enforce imperialism include violent repression of resistance and rebellion of the oppressed. But imperialism also means conflict and war between rival reactionary powers, invasions, backing brutal tyrants, staging coups, and carrying out war crimes through proxy armies. In countries like Ethiopia, key regions like the Middle East, and on a global scale, U.S. domination is under constant challenge from major capitalist rivals, regional powers, and reactionary “rogue players” like ISIS—all of whom are driven by the system’s rules and compulsions.

Take Ethiopia. It’s a populous and relatively stable state in the Horn of Africa—a strategic and highly volatile area, which includes failed states, ISIS strongholds, allies of Iran, and is a target of big power rivalry. So the U.S. has built up a relationship with the Ethiopian regime and military to help enforce U.S. political and military interests in the region, including in contending with rival powers and, particularly today, with reactionary forces that threaten the operation of global capitalism-imperialism and the U.S. role within that. Ethiopian military and intelligence collaboration is a key part of the “war on terror” and attempting to maintain U.S. power in the Middle East and North Africa.

So spreading capitalism-imperialism and the structures that enforce it are why the U.S. invests so massively in drones, bombs, spy technology, nukes, and troops. This is why the U.S. spends more on its military than China, Russia, France, the UK, Germany, Japan, and India combined. It’s not because some “military-industrial complex” outside the workings and needs of the U.S. empire has corrupted the U.S. political system. That vast military enforces a world of exploitation, and the role of the U.S. as top dog within that.

To Change the World, You Have to Uproot the Problem

These are the system’s laws that no one can escape, and regardless of whether some people do a little better, this system can never liberate people en masse. This is why the U.S. is incapable of doing “good” in the world, even when it tries.

The example we explored here is a microcosm of how capitalism-imperialism has to operate within a set of rules that rule out the interests of humanity, regardless of the intent of the capitalists themselves.

Uprooting exploitation and oppression requires overthrowing imperialism, and the political structures that enforce that.

And that requires an actual revolution.

Because of the work that BA has done—summing up the experience of the first wave of communist revolutions and further developing the scientific method of understanding and transforming the world—there is a REAL way to get to a whole different world—one in which the terrible lop-sidedness between the vast majority of countries like Ethiopia and the handful of imperialist powers is eliminated and in which this whole process is one which proceeds through narrowing and overcoming, rather than exacerbating the gaps and disparities between different peoples and among the people themselves. THAT is beyond the scope of this article—but anyone who truly wants to overcome this horrific and life-stealing lopsidedness needs to check this out.





Revolution #419 December 28, 2015




Revolution #419 December 28, 2015

Talk by Sunsara Taylor:
Confronting the Abortion Rights Emergency — Fighting for Complete Liberation

December 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On December 15, a program at Revolution Books in Harlem, New York City—The Abortion Rights Emergency—STOP the War on Women!—featured a panel with Merle Hoffman (CEO of Choices Women’s Medical Center, which began doing abortions in 1971, and author of Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Board Room); Sunsara Taylor (writer for Revolution/ and initiator of; and Sikivu Hutchinson (feminist atheist activist and author of Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels and Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics and the Values Wars). The following is the transcript of Sunsara Taylor’s remarks.


Unbelievable as it might seem...

Last Wednesday [December 9], a woman from Tennessee, Anna Yocca, was arrested and charged with first-degree attempted murder. This, after she was rushed to the hospital, bleeding profusely, her life in danger. The state alleges that she had attempted to use a coat hanger to self-abort her pregnancy. According to the news, Yocca was 24 weeks pregnant and her alleged self-abortion did not work. The fetus was still alive. But when she got to the hospital, instead of recognizing the fundamental right of every woman to decide for herself when and whether to have a child and assisting her in an abortion, which should have been available to her safely in the first place, the hospital removed the fetus and put it on life support—forcing her to become a mother against her will. Then, instead of prioritizing the safety and privacy of this patient, the hospital turned her over to the criminal justice system.

Finally, instead of recognizing that the severe restrictions and shame heaped on abortion in Tennessee and around this country have created a situation where women are once again resorting to the coat hanger—a method that claimed the lives of thousands of women before abortion was made legal (and rightly, and in large part due to the clarity and moral courage of Merle Hoffman, the coat hanger has become a symbol, an infamous symbol, of those horrendous days when abortion was illegal)—instead of looking at this situation and seeing that the crime was attempted murder by the state of Anna Yocca for putting her in this situation, the state instead charged her with murder!

As we speak, she sits in jail, and this is a precedent, a legal precedent, that can be used against many, many women.

Now we could spend hours detailing the cases of other women like this, and you’ve heard of some others, both in this country and around the world. And we could spend hours more detailing the violence and terror against abortion providers—including the murders at Planned Parenthood recently in Colorado. We could talk about—and Sikivu mentioned this and I’ll touch on it briefly right now—the poisonous campaign targeting Black women in particular, comparing them, if they get abortions, to the lynch mobs that murdered Black people—a campaign that at the same time vilifies Black women, belittles lynching, further demonizes abortion for all women, and views Black women the same way the slave masters did, by the way, as nothing more than breeding machines. We could talk about the particular challenges to immigrant women—especially those without papers, to young women, or we could examine the way even the most privileged women are oppressed when abortion is criminalized...

But instead, I refer you to the many things I and others have written about this at, to the many books, including those by the two speakers tonight, available here at Revolution Books, and urge you to learn more.

Break All the Chains!

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

Sampler Edition | Full Work

I want to address a question that is beneath the core of all of this—the question of WHY? Why are these laws being passed? Why do politicians knowingly use this hateful rhetoric that whips up terrorists? Why do they spread lies? Why do they do things like oppose birth control and sex education that would actually reduce the rate of abortion? Why do people who claim to be about “life” go on killing sprees? WHY?

I think the most important thing to understand in all this is something recently said by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party. He wrote: “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.”

Years ago, in his book Preaching from a Pulpit of Bones, Bob Avakian wrote further about this (and I witnessed this directly myself for the first time 20 years ago in North Dakota and many times since): anti-abortion fanatics praying, “Lord, please break this curse of independence that has afflicted women.” This fight has never been about “babies.” Fetuses are NOT babies. This fight is about controlling and enslaving women.

Now, the fact that after the tremendous struggle of the women’s liberation movement in the 1960s and 1970s, which is what it took to win this right, this kind of hatred of women is back with such a vengeance—and as Merle spoke to, this has been ongoing for decades, an escalating emergency—the fact that this is back is but one indication that patriarchy and male supremacy is woven deeply into the system of capitalism that we live under. It cannot be reformed away. We need a revolution.

By revolution I don’t mean a bunch of protests or political upheaval. I am not talking about replacing who is in power within the same basic setup. I am talking about overturning and putting an end to capitalism-imperialism, to its armies and its courts, its unjust laws and murderous police, and bringing into being a new, revolutionary state power—a socialist state in transition to a communist world. Revolution is needed to liberate women from not only this form of enslavement, but also from the epidemic of rape and sexual violence, the beatings and abuse, the trafficking of women and girls as sex slaves throughout the world, including in this country, the degradation and dehumanization of pornography, and the many other crimes of this system; the rampant police murder directed especially against Black and Brown people; the war on immigrants; the destruction of the environment, and the horrendous and escalating nightmare of what the U.S. does around the world, its imperialist drones and occupation, wars and torture, all of which fuel and reinforce Islamic fundamentalism and all the reactionary and enslaving forms of that against women and others, as well. We need a revolution.

And it is very fortunate for humanity that someone has done the work to develop the scientific understanding of how this can be done and is leading this. That person is Bob Avakian. The scope of the work he has done to develop the strategy for revolution, the vision of a new society, and the scientific method needed to carry this forward goes beyond what I can address in these brief remarks. But everyone who is serious about liberation has a responsibility to get deeply into his work and to help make it known to others. Go to, get the book BAsics, come regularly to this bookstore, Revolution Books. And particularly germane to this evening’s topic and discussion is the compendium, Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution, where he breaks new ground on how the liberation of women and the fight for the liberation of women is and must be a driving force in making a revolution to emancipate all of humanity.

Before concluding, I want to raise two final things—which draw on this body of work and which I think are essential for defeating the war on women.

First, the Bible taken literally is a horror. The Bible commands that non-virgin brides be stoned to death, that gays and lesbians be killed. It upholds slavery, and blames women for supposedly causing the downfall of man by eating the so-called forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. In this way women are blamed for everything bad that has ever happened—and told, in the book of Timothy, that they can only redeem themselves by obeying their husbands and having children. This horrendous stuff is in the Bible because it was written by human beings who lived in patriarchal, slave-owning societies before science, and the moral codes they dreamed up reflected those oppressive societies. But this Dark Ages stuff sits at the core of the anti-abortion movement, and it is time we start taking this on head on. The fact is: god does not exist, and it is a very good thing that that is true. But even if you believe in god—and I know there are a lot of people who support abortion rights who do, and I am happy to stand with them—but even if you believe in god, we all must agree that the Bible taken literally is a horror and this kind of Christian fascist biblical literalism must be taken on, not tolerated or compromised with.

Second, we cannot defeat this war on women by relying on the structures of this system—their elections, politicians, the Democratic Party, or the courts. These are all part of a system that needs patriarchy, and they repeatedly compromise with and cede the moral high ground to the fascists—talking about how abortion is a tragedy or should be rare, as if there is something wrong with abortion. Never calling out these fascists for the woman-haters they are or challenging their fascist biblical literalism. Relying on them is how we’ve gotten into this mess, where yesterday’s outrage over and over again becomes today’s compromise position and tomorrow’s limit of what can be imagined. We need to get OUT of this dynamic. We must change the terms—saying and acting on what no politician will say: Forced motherhood is female enslavement. Abortion must be available on demand and without apology.

We must rely on ourselves and we must put ourselves on the line. Right now, this means mobilizing to be in Washington, DC, and San Francisco this January for the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, to show our strength and our determination. To stand up and say we will not accept slavery in any form. To do this right in the face of thousands of anti-abortion fanatics who march every year. This is how we change ourselves. This is how we change the thinking and challenge the passivity of millions of others—and call them forward to join us. This is how we beat back the vicious attacks on women from the halls of power and the fascists on the street. I and the Revolutionary Communist Party are all in and will be doing this as part of getting ready for revolution—just as we recognize the need for and are proud to stand with people who come from very different perspectives, like those on this panel with me tonight, who see from their own lives and experiences the great importance of this fight for the future of women.

Wherever you are at in this process, join with us. Become part of—the full name being End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women—which brings together people from many different perspectives to fight this together. Get your own organization or group involved. Give money to support this work! Stand up. The future of women is being fought out and it’s going to be decided. I know the emergency has been building for years, but things like this don’t stay two-sided forever. One side or the other is going to win, and the scales are tipping the wrong way. It’s not a time to be on the sidelines. It’s not a time to be demoralized. There is a tremendous potential to wake up millions and reverse this whole direction. Which future we get is up to each of us.






Revolution #419 December 28, 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 #419 December 28, 2015

Statement from


December 26, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Quintonio Legrier

Bettie Jones

Download PDF to distribute

At 4:30 in the morning December 26, the day after Christmas, a Chicago cop murdered two people in cold blood: 19-year-old Quintonio Legrier, a student at Northern Illinois University and Bettie Jones, a mother of five and grandmother of 10. Police had been called because Quintonio had been struggling with mental health issues and his family wanted help. Instead, the police pulled up to the apartment house and fired, hitting Quintonio Legrier seven times and Bettie Jones once.

How many more will these murderers in blue shoot down?!? How long can this be tolerated, from people who are supposed to serve and protect?? What kind of a system does this??!?

Black people have been kidnapped, murdered, enslaved, exploited, Jim-Crowed, lynched, segregated, rioted against, discriminated against, beaten, scorned and slandered, imprisoned, bitten by dogs, lied to and lied on, soft-soaped with hope and promised and tricked, sold out and shot out and shot down in the streets, and just goddamn brutalized and killed over and over, since day one. And here we are going into 2016, and nothing has changed.

How long?!?

As long as the system that did all this and does all this still stands.

Humanity needs revolution, a real revolution, a communist revolution. There is a way to win and a new world to build, there is a plan for all this, there is a leader—Bob Avakian (BA)—who has shown the way, and there is a party that he leads, the Revolutionary Communist Party.

As BA has said:

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. (BAsics 1:24, emphasis added)

And as he has vowed:

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

Get with this leader and get with this Party. We aim to make good on this vow. Visit the website, and find out more. And join with us, now, in the streets to protest and resist this huge outrage that has just been perpetrated. Bring your anger, your sorrow, your outrage and your hopes for emancipation.






Revolution #419 December 28, 2015

The Paris Climate Agreement: System Failure on a Global Scale

December 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The world is up against a dangerous and intensifying environmental crisis, with climate change the cutting edge. 2014 was the warmest year in Earth’s recorded history, and 2015 shows every sign of breaking that record. The ice caps at the North and South Poles are melting, and sea levels are rising; carbon in the atmosphere is turning the oceans more acidic, posing great threats to marine life; scientists warn of increasing disruptions of ecosystems and the threat of mass extinction of species. (See “Some Basic Facts on Global Warming/Climate Change.”)

The last reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2014 warned of the danger of “long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.” The panel said that the greater the warming, the greater the danger of “abrupt and irreversible change.” (For further analysis, see the special Revolution/ issue “State of EMERGENCY! The Plunder of Our Planet, The Environmental Catastrophe & The Real Revolutionary Solution.”)

This crisis—driven by the relentless burning of oil, coal, and natural gas; destruction of forests; and harmful agricultural methods—set the background and context for the Paris climate agreement passed last week. The agreement was acclaimed by the world’s big powers. Obama said the agreement was “a turning point for the world”—that it met the test of our time and was bringing into being a situation in which “the planet will be in better shape for the next generation.” This is, as climate scientist James Hansen put it, “bullshit.”

As if to scream to the world just how much the agreement does not put these powers on a course to a solution to the environmental crisis, just a few days after U.S. representatives endorsed the Paris agreement, the U.S. Congress passed—and Obama signed—an appropriations bill that includes provisions to lift the ban on U.S. exports of crude oil. Estimates are that ending the export ban could increase U.S. oil production by more than three million barrels a day and cause the release of more than 500 million tons of additional carbon pollution per year. According to Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity’s Biological Climate Law Institute, “Lifting the ban on crude oil exports would undercut all the other progress our nation may make in fighting climate change. It would increase planet-warming pollution and unleash more fracking and dangerous drilling in America’s vulnerable communities and precious wildlife habitat.”

For the U.S. to do this while they are still patting themselves on the back for supposedly finding the solution to global climate change is brazen and disgusting. But it does point to the truth that there is a relentless compulsion under this system to produce, refine, and transport fossil fuels, and to wield them as weapons in strategic contention with other powers. The Paris agreement did not in any way undercut THAT.

The crucial lesson to take from the Paris agreement—taking into account what the agreement was and what it was not—is not simply that it failed to do what it claims to do, but that this capitalist-imperialist system cannot solve the problem of the environmental crisis. The crisis is that deep, and environmental devastation is deeply bound up with all the other oppression and horror that this system produces around the planet.

This system not only ravages the planet and its people, it is fundamentally out of control of the imperialist rulers themselves. Even if the capitalist-imperialist leaders of the system sincerely wanted to pull it back from hurtling toward an environmental catastrophe, they could not.

What Is Actually Needed—and What the Powers Came Up With

To get into why this system cannot solve this crisis, let’s look at what it would take to even begin to really deal with global warming, which is just one part of the unfolding environmental crisis.

» Capitalist interests have many trillions of dollars invested in fossil fuel reserves and in technology, transport, and machines that burn fossil fuels—and they spend billions more every year to find new reserves. Yet what is needed is a very rapid transformation away from fossil fuel-dominated power production to overwhelming reliance on renewable power sources like solar, wind, and geothermal (heat energy from the Earth). The immense capital investments cannot determine the direction of energy production but instead would have to be effectively abandoned.

» Transportation in places like the U.S. and in cities all over the world would have to be completely reorganized and restructured; and the economically wasteful and environmentally disastrous system of individuals driving private cars would need to be radically and quickly transformed into safe, environmentally sound, and user-friendly public transportation systems.

» Agriculture and food production would need to be radically transformed away from today’s highly capital-intensive, energy-consuming, and chemical- and pesticide-dependent agriculture geared for profit for extremely concentrated global capital, which rests on the labor of exploited and oppressed labor in the U.S. and around the world. This system of agriculture not only hurts the climate, people, and animals, but also harms the land itself. A big percentage of the carbon emissions that drive global climate change now come from agriculture, the expansion of livestock production, and the destruction of forests.

» All of these changes—and this is only a part of what has to happen—have to take place on a global scale, with people working together across the globe, bringing together scientific knowledge, resources, and masses of people to do everything necessary to deal with this crisis.

These are again just some key, but essential, points of what would have to be done to stop the deadly injection of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into Earth’s atmosphere. Any serious evaluation of the agreement in Paris must start from what is actually needed to solve the crisis. An agreement that does not do this but instead proceeds from what is economically and politically in the interests of this or that group in power, or of all the groups now in power put together, fails the test of what really does have to be done to meet the challenges of what scientists are pointing out and have been pointing out for decades now.

Instead of any plan like this, the powers went into Paris with fundamentally different aims, plans, and objectives. Their aim was NOT to meet the challenges posed by scientists but instead to manage this crisis in a way that allows them to preserve their system (for now) and advance the immediate interests of the dominant powers. This comes through in everything about the Paris conference. Here is a glaring contradiction in the agreement: The stated goal of climate negotiations has been to keep global temperature rise “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial times. Large changes have already occurred from just the 1 degree C change that has already happened—and scientists say that a rise above 2 degrees C could be disastrous. But those dominating the process at Paris openly admitted before the conference that they were not even trying to make an agreement that would keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees C.

Blue ice from glacial meltwaterGlobal warming is leading to the accelerated melting of glaciers around the world. Above, meltwater from the Canada Glacier in Antarctica. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

All the goals for greenhouse gas emission cuts that came out of this conference are voluntary, with each country setting goals based on their own national interests, not the needs of the environment or humanity. And the cold truth is that even if every single country completely meets all of their pledges, which is to say at the least extremely unlikely, this would still lead to a catastrophic temperature rise of around 3 degrees C or more. This conference set no firm timeline on when fossil fuels need to be completely phased out—while most scientists say that to keep warming at 1.5 degrees C or less (which is what is needed), the complete phase-out must happen globally by 2050, and for rich countries by 2030. None of this was even on the table in Paris.

This is a climate agreement that at the most basic level accepts that the global temperature will continue to rise and proposes no actual plan to stop it. (The agreement does propose future climate meetings every five years, with countries promising to come up with better goals in the future—but how much better is never defined, and there really is no real plan to stop the climb in temperature.) The agreement is not a plan for responding to what is actually required to stop global warming—it is a plan that aims to manage a crisis that is only going to get worse under this system.

Further, there is no serious commitment or binding obligation of imperialists and richer countries to aid those countries without resources, which are hit the hardest by climate change. There is a non-binding goal of $100 billion, including both aid and forms of capital investment. The U.S. in particular acted very strongly to block any language in the treaty that might hint at “reparations” to be paid by the richer countries. In a situation in which the imperialist countries have robbed, plundered, and exploited the oppressed countries for centuries, in which the imperialist countries are overwhelmingly responsible for carbon in the atmosphere, and in which a basic criterion for real change is genuine global cooperation, as touched on above, the Paris agreement works to continue to enshrine the horrendous power relations that dominate the planet. In no way does it promote genuinely working together.

A big part of the supposed “plan” for “success” off of the Paris agreement, which was hailed in the press, is the claim that the agreement will unleash all kinds of capitalist investment in clean energy. First, this is a wish, based on a false understanding of how capitalism actually works. And more than that, it is NOT a plan to actually transform the world in the way we outlined above to actually deal with the crisis—it is a way to make profit. Just to get a sense of the realities of this: after decades of alarm around climate change, only 1.6 percent of world energy need is met by solar and wind now. And energy companies not only continue to extract fossil fuels and have huge amounts of assets still in the ground that they plan to extract, they continue to invest billions per year in finding more reserves. All this only goes up and down based on “market realities,” economic downturns, etc., NOT on the environmental needs of the planet.

The International Business Times predicts (and hails the prediction) that by 2040 renewable energy will have more money invested in it than in fossil fuels. But the reality here is that even if that were to happen, it means a great deal of fossil fuel would still be burned. The Business Times article itself says, “Climate change pollution will increase until 2029, and emissions will still be 13 percent above 2014 levels by 2040.” This, again, has nothing at all to do with any plan to actually meet the need for combating climate change. It is a plan to make profit and to attempt to mitigate the climate disaster a little bit along the way.

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One stark exposure of just how far this agreement is from actually meeting the real needs posed by the reality of climate change: The Paris agreement does not even mention carbon emissions by airlines and shipping, which now constitute five percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions and which are expected to be an even bigger proportion in the future. That five percent is equal to the amount of carbon emitted by the lowest 164 emitting countries. What a stark exposure of how lopsided the imperialist global economy is—airline and shipping emissions, which overwhelmingly serve the imperialist countries, equal the emissions of 164 countries! And the Paris agreement does not even touch it! This is no plan for combating climate change—it is a plan for preserving the imperialist world order.

And finally, the emissions of the U.S. military—the largest institutional carbon polluter in the world—are not counted in the Paris calculations. It comes down to this: the U.S. imperialists are not going to use battery power for their jet fighters, they are going to use jet fuel. And they are NOT going to let the carbon pollution by their military be a point of discussion in any climate talks. For them, first things first. And that does NOT mean the needs of the planet—it means the needs of this system, including the ability to rain death and terror down from the sky in the interests of protecting and expanding their empire.

What It’s Going to Take for a Solution in the Interests of Humanity

To sum up the essential point: The Paris conference did not even try to do what is actually required to respond to the climate crisis. It produced an agreement that preserves the present rotten and oppressive imperialist global order and does not tackle in any way what is really required to respond to this crisis. This is because of the deep structure and dynamics of the capitalist-imperialist global order. THAT is the problem. And THAT is why only revolution can bring a real solution in the interests of humanity.

Only actual revolution can bring into being a socialist society that CAN solve the problems outlined here and much, much more. The kinds of transformations required—from fossil fuels to renewable power production; to transportation systems that meet the needs of society but do not flood the atmosphere with carbon and other pollution; to agriculture that can meet the needs of the people while preserving the planet—all of this can be done under socialism. And socialist countries must and can at the same time be base areas for spreading the world revolution and fighting for the greatest possible ecological transformations globally.

As we said in the polemic “Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything’ vs. Actually Confronting the Crisis”:

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.

And further:

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:

  • 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)

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.

A desire to stop what the imperialist system is doing to the planet has brought tens and at times hundreds of thousands into the streets, and people have waged powerful and courageous struggle against things like Arctic oil drilling and the Keystone XL pipeline. And people took to the streets of Paris during the Paris climate talks, at times going up against police-state measures. Hundreds of thousands came out in protests worldwide. Such struggles are both a crucial and urgent part of resisting environmental crisis now, and are a crucial part of the pathway to the revolution that is urgently needed to unshackle the potential of the people of the planet to respond to environmental devastation in the way that can take humanity and the planet to a radically different and better place.






Revolution #419 December 28, 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

▶ Download audio

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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 #419 December 28, 2015

Children Make Desperate 2,000 Mile Journey Seeking Safety:

Now They Face a New Terror—Homeland "Security" Police

Updated January 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On December 23 the Obama administration announced that the Department of Homeland Security will launch a wave of armed raids on hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of homes around the U.S., beginning this January. The Washington Post reported, “The adults and children would be detained wherever they can be found and immediately deported.”

The targets of these assaults will be the parents and their children who in 2014 fled for their lives from hellish violence, as well as extreme poverty, in their home countries in Central America—from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala—many after a son, a brother or a daughter had already been raped, murdered, kidnapped, tortured or disappeared by armed gangs and/or the police.

The violence was so terrifying that some did not even dare go home to collect their ID or family photos. They ran with their children, a little money, the clothes on their backs. Many who could not flee themselves sent their adolescent children on their own. They braved the 2,000 mile journey through Mexico, where thousands would be raped or robbed by gangs or police, and hundreds would die in a journey that could take weeks or months. They rode atop freight trains, they walked through jungle and desert, they lived with fear every minute of every day.

When they finally got to the Rio Grande River, the border between the U.S. and Mexico, they thought they had reached safe haven. In the thousands they sought out and turned themselves in to the U.S. Border Patrol, and asked for asylum. You could see the relief in their faces as they were taken into custody, expecting a fair hearing of their obviously legitimate claims for refugee status.

Who are these people? In a piece in the NY Times, Sonia Nazario described one family:

“In a migrant shelter in Ixtepec, Mexico, I met July Elizabeth Pérez, 32, who was clutching her 3-year-old daughter, Kimberly Julieth Medina, tight in her arms, and keeping a careful eye on her two other children, 6-year-old-Luis Danny Pérez and 12-year-old Naamá Pérez. She arrived at this shelter after fleeing San Pedro Sula, a city where she grew up and worked as a waitress but that is now the deadliest town in Honduras, a country with one of the highest homicide rates in the world. She was aiming to reach the United States, where her mother and grandmother live legally in Florida—3,000 miles away.”

The stepped up, U.S. backed repression against refugees traveling through Mexico has given a green light to criminals and police to prey on them. Tens of thousands of refugees from Central America have been kidnapped for ransom while attempting to reach the U.S. border. Survivors tell of being enslaved working in marijuana fields or forced into prostitution.

But in these tens of thousands of mostly women and young children, the rulers of the U.S. did not see desperate human beings—human beings who were in fact fleeing a social meltdown. No, they saw the possibility of a flood of desperate people—driven in one way or another by the workings of capitalism-imperialism to try to make it to the U.S. And so they moved decisively to seal off the escape routes from the searing fire in Central America that they themselves had ignited. During the 1980s, the U.S. directly and through its flunky governments waged and led genocidal campaigns in several Central American countries to crush rebellions influenced by its imperialist rival, the Soviet Union. Their economies have been devastated by the “free trade agreement” imposed a decade ago, and gangs have filled the economic void, creating countries with vast areas run by gangs and police under their influence.

Those refugees—including children—who somehow made it to the U.S. border were hustled off to detention camps that were so inhumane they became an international scandal, and kept there for months, even when there were family members or communities already established in the U.S. that were offering to take them in. They were run through a “legal process” of asylum hearings that were outrageously rigged against them. Some mothers who had crossed with their children were forced to wear electronic bracelets to track their movements and ensure they reported for immigration hearings. Some youth did not even have lawyers to represent them in these complex hearings, and standards for proving “well-founded fear of persecution” were impossibly high. Of the 6,100 adults with children processed as of November 24, 2015, nearly 80% were denied asylum. Of the almost 20,000 unaccompanied children, almost half were denied asylum.

Now those people will face a new terror—“Homeland Security” police. Their homes will be surveilled. Then will come the knock at the door, the armed men pouring in, the shouting, the glaring lights, the children and parents taken away in handcuffs, put on planes, and sent back to the very places from which they fled for their lives. Of the people deported back to Central America since the beginning of 2014, at least 83 have been murdered, according to a UK Guardian study.

Reports of these planned raids follow a whole program where the U.S. has pushed its “partner,” the Mexican government, to unleash a reign of terror against Central American immigrants as they attempt to enter, or travel through, Mexico. The U.S. gave Mexico over $80 million to launch the Southern Border Plan (Plan Frontera Sur). Mexican police have been sent to patrol its southern border with Guatemala. In 2014 over 20,000 raids were carried out in bus stations, hotels, highways, and hotels, hunting “suspected” refugees. Barriers and other structures were built to prevent people from getting on trains, and to knock them off if they somehow made it to the top of the trains. Some police fired tasers at people on the tops of the trains.

The effect of this has been to make an already dangerous journey into a terrifying horror. Forced off the trains, young children, or parents carrying toddlers, must now walk through difficult and dangerous terrain. And forced away from the historic migration routes—which are dotted with way stations set up by religious and charitable groups—people must now travel in more isolated areas where they are much more vulnerable both to nature and to criminal attacks.

The injustice of deportation and the U.S.-imposed horror of the journey are both done with a point—to spread the word among people in Central America that no matter how horrible their situation is, it is just not worth it to try and come to the U.S., and if you somehow succeed, you will likely be deported anyway. The Wall Street Journal reported, “the operation aims to send the message to would-be crossers that they won’t be allowed to remain in the U.S.”

This is how the self-proclaimed great defender of human rights “solves the refugee crisis”! Donald Trump—he of the fascist lies about and threats to immigrants—took credit for prompting Obama’s move. This is, without exaggeration, like some monster forcing people back into a burning building. And in this case, it is the same monster—U.S. imperialism—that set the building on fire.

Yet people continue to come, because when parents see their children’s very lives in danger there is no measure they will not take, and no risk too great, to try and protect them. These refugees have had to face all the dark forces that can be mustered by the U.S. empire to stop them.

Everyone of any nationality and in whatever situation should stand with them. It is time and past time for growing numbers of people in this country to defend and welcome these refugees, to fiercely condemn, oppose and resist the criminal barbarity of forcing children to their deaths, and to do all this as part of preparing to get rid of this monstrous system that can only heap more and more suffering on people here and around the world.


Bob Avakian, "Why do people come here from all over the world?"

Clip from "Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian" given in 2003. Learn more about Bob Avakian here

Above: Immigrant children, who were stopped while trying to cross the border, seen here sleeping on the floor of a holding cell in Brownsville, Texas, June 2014. Photo: AP

The Department of Homeland Security carried out its first wave of armed raids on the homes of refugees from Central America over the New Year’s weekend, taking 121 women and children in Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas into custody. Those picked up were transported to detention centers near the border, where they are being processed before being forced to return to the violence and danger in the countries they fled. What these immigration agents are doing is completely illegal. Lacking arrest warrants, armed agents barged into immigrant homes after lying about why they were there and threatening those inside with arrest if they didn’t open up. Once inside, anyone who couldn’t show an identification card was hauled away.

One family described hearing their doorbell ring at 4:30 am; followed by searchlights looking in every window; then armed agents lying in wait for hours. When someone finally left the house he was stopped. The agents had no legal right to enter the house without a warrant, so they lied and told him they wanted to search the house for a man wanted by the law. The immigrant still refused to let them in, so he was threatened that “non-collaboration with the police department could lead to your arrest.” When he finally gave in, the agents rushed inside the house, demanded to see everyone’s identification card, and took away a mother and two children from El Salvador.

Between July 18, 2014, and Nov. 24, 2015, U.S. courts heard 46,956 cases for immigration violations by unaccompanied minors. Of the 19,326 cases in which courts have ruled so far, 9,109 children ordered deported back to horrific conditions that drove their families to send them on the desperate journey from Central America to the U.S.

Above: Central American families, including young children, riding on top of a freight train through Mexico on the way to the U.S. border, July 2014. Photo: AP

Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob AvakianNow I can just hear these reactionary fools saying, “Well, Bob, answer me this. If this country is so terrible, why do people come here from all over the world? Why are so many people trying to get in, not get out?”...Why? I’ll tell you why. Because you have fucked up the rest of the world even worse than what you have done in this country. You have made it impossible for many people to live in their own countries as part of gaining your riches and power.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:14

CHEERS to the New Sanctuary Movement

January 12, 2016

Religious and immigrant rights groups around the country have condemned the armed raids against refugees here from Central America carried out by Homeland Security at the start of this year, calling them illegal, deeply immoral, obscene, and inhumane. They are organizing opposition through online petitions, statements, press conferences, and more. Warnings about possible raids are appearing in Spanish on Twitter. A campaign to educate immigrants is taking place on social media, using hashtags like #Not1More, and #WatchICE. Tips and phone numbers to call if ICE agents show up are being provided, and people are urged not to sign voluntary deportation papers and to ask for their lawyers.

A very significant development within this growing resistance is the new Sanctuary Movement among religious congregations and immigrant rights groups, vowing to offer refuge to illegal immigrants being targeted by federal raids. The original Sanctuary Movement arose in the 1980s, when churches in the Southwest especially provided sanctuary for immigrants from Central America to obstruct and prevent the government’s efforts to deport them. At that time too, thousands and thousands of Salvadorans and Guatemalans were desperately trying to escape from the repression and the genocidal military campaigns being waged by the U.S. directly and through its flunky governments to crush rebellions influenced by its imperialist rival, the Soviet Union.

Read more

In October and November of this year, more than 12,000 people traveling as families were apprehended at the Mexican border. This is over twice the number apprehended in the same months last year.

Above: Immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador, including children, after being stopped in Texas while crossing the border, June 2014. Photo: AP




Revolution #419 December 28, 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 #419 December 28, 2015

Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

Download PDF for print. Can be printed 1-sided with the statement, or 2-sided wih statement, ads and room for local address.


November 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Break All the Chains!

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

Sampler Edition | Full Work

BA Speaks

* Writing in the New York Times “Book Review” section (Sunday, October 25, 2015), speaking about the convention in 1787 that “led to the creation of the United States Constitution,” Robert E. Rubin, former Secretary of the Treasury under Bill Clinton, actually says the following:

“Disagreements about the extent of federal power and the design of our democratic institutions were resolved through long arguments and, ultimately, principled compromises.” (Emphasis added)

Principled compromises?! The founding of this country on the basis of institutionalizing slaveryofficially establishing the “right” to own slaves, and the status of slaves as less than human, in its founding Constitution—that is a “principled compromise” in the eyes of a present-day representative and functionary of the ruling class of this country. And the fact is that no major politician and no other significant representative of this ruling class will, or can, denounce this country, since its very founding, and denounce its “founders,” in the terms in which they deserve to be denounced: monstrously criminal. If founding a country on the basis of institutionalizing slavery is not a monstrous crime, what is? The fact that no significant representative and functionary of this system, in this country, can recognize and acknowledge this as a monstrous crime—and instead they all uphold as “great men” those, like Thomas Jefferson, who founded a country on the basis of this monstrous crime, and who perpetuated this crime for generations—that gets to the very core of what this system is all about and why there is a great need to put an end to this system at the earliest possible time, and replace it with a system that has no need, no place, and no apology for slavery in any form.


* 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.


* On Elections: Choosing between oppressive rulers will not stop them from ruling over and oppressing you and committing horrific crimes against humanity. This is true of all the major presidential candidates, of both the Republican and Democratic parties, and it will be true of anyone who becomes president, or occupies any major political office, under this system. What supporting these people does accomplish is making you complicit with these crimes.





Revolution #419 December 28, 2015

Revolution Club Member Asks Spike Lee at Chi-Raq Q+A...

"Do you think the problem is human nature or the nature of the system?"

December 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a Revolution Club, New York member:

Through contacts I found out that Spike Lee was doing a Q+A after the screening of Chi-Raq in Brooklyn.  Immediately, I tried to contact everybody I could think of to attend and intervene as I was planning to go to Columbia University. One other member of the Revolution Club was down to attend. I debated going and 20 minutes prior to it starting I made the decision to go because (1) nobody else was going and (2) I had just read an article on that day that said revolutionaries should go and interact with audiences of Chi-Raq; and given Spike Lee was doing the Q+A—it seemed irresponsible to not attend).  So with very little preparation (materials, etc.) I rushed to meet my fellow club member.

The film artistically is well made but ideologically it is sharply contradictory. I had read the New York Times review and was somewhat familiar with the Greek play.  So on my way to the theater I thought about a question to pose.  It’s a two-hour film and I was getting lost in the process.  As soon as it ended we passed around all the BA quote cards we had.  Spike Lee entered the theater and I knew I had to insist on getting heard—so I raised and waved my hand very high (and I was the second person to get called on).  I introduced myself and as soon as I said communist; Spike Lee replied “Oh oh here we go”.  I asked “Do you think the problem is human nature or the nature of the system?”  I said “I follow a leader Bob Avakian” and Spike Lee said “Who?”  I said “Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolution Communist Party who is convinced that characters like Chi-Raq (the main character who is the leader of the Spartans gang) can go from ‘irredeemable monsters’ to emancipators of humanity but not through the church (because the parallels in the film for Black people was the gang life or the church) but by fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution; like the defiant youth in Ferguson and Baltimore.  So to pose my question again do you think the problem is human nature...” And he asked “human nature?”  I said “Yes, like it’s in people’s nature because I am firmly convinced that it is in the nature of U.S. imperialism and it’s going to take a revolution to get rid of that system.  And I invite you and everyone in the audience to get into Bob Avakian and the new synthesis of communism that’s providing a way out of this madness.” 

He thanked me for my comments and said “We obviously have different outlooks.”  He went on several tangents: he’s gotten a lot of flack for the film; as soon as he entered the theater he jokingly said who’s going to be the first to ask me about Black sexuality—and so he continued on that stream.  And then he tried to answer my question by getting into the social constructs of society that give rise to gang life—so he didn’t think it was in people’s nature.  But, then he couldn’t get over the phenomena of Black on Black crime; he even compared the gang life back in the day when innocent people wouldn’t get hurt (or the rules of thug life) and talked about the mothers whose kids get innocently killed.

The question posed set a certain tone for the overall audience.  Usually people’s questions aren’t deep but Spike Lee’s responses were interesting.  One person asked about working with the city of Chicago; and Spike Lee went on an important tangent on Laquan McDonald.  He had met with the mayor before filming; and talked about the hypocrisy of the mayor, given all the footage that’s been released and all the trouble he’s in given people want him out of office.  He did agitate for a bit on the outrageous murder of Laquan McDonald and asked “How much more footage do they have?”  Somebody else in the audience asked about the role of the police—which in a tangent to my question in talking about the brutality of the police he said everybody wants to talk about Black Lives Matter but what about the mothers of those who’ve been killed by Black on Black crime?  So in a response to the role of the police he basically said they’re painting a bad picture of themselves by choking Eric Garner to death and by continuing to kill unarmed men.  The Q+A was brief so this was the extent of the exchange. 

I was sitting all the way in the back and was going to give him a copy of the paper.  So as I was climbing over my seat he came up to me to shake my hand; I handed him a paper and he quickly walked away.  The other Revolution Club member and I started selling the paper to the audience (we had a lot of freedom) and got out all of our copies. 

As we were leaving I noticed Spike Lee was signing autographs. The crowd was thinning out and I decided to approach him again.  He basically said “now is not the time” then he said “you’re the communist, right?” I nodded.  I said “I’ll leave by saying this: everybody is so locked in the permanence of today; and I would insist that you get into the works of Bob Avakian because there is a lot of materialism there.  We need a revolution.  And if what he’s saying is true that things don’t have to be this way—then it’s bigger than you and me. It’s actually about the people of the world; and us having a chance of getting free.”  He didn’t say anything and I didn’t want to push it, so I said good night and so did he (he was also getting ready to introduce the next showing of his film). 





Revolution #419 December 28, 2015

"The First Time I Read This Quote from BA I Cried"

A Revolution Club Member Responds to Bob Avakian on the Liberation of Women

December 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


My reaction to the compendium Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on Women’s Emancipation and Communist Revolution has been twofold: 1. visceral, which I will dig into after the period ends this sentence, and 2. understanding its importance in unleashing women and all kinds of folks around the “woman question” in order to make an actual revolution, one worth fighting for, and ALL the way emancipation (number 2, I am also calling “every ‘feminist’ and everyone, period, needs this in their stocking/holiday bag”).

As promised, expanding on number one: The first time I read this quote by BA in the Break ALL the Chains! compendium sampler, I cried:

Recently I heard a startling statistic: one out of every four women in the U.S. will be the victim of a sexual assault during her lifetime. One out of four!, and the number is expected to rise to one out of three. Right there, even if this “way of life” did not produce any of the other seemingly endless outrages and genuinely monstrous crimes—all the way to world war—that it does produce, even if what stands behind the statistic were the only thing seriously wrong with this system, that alone would be enough to rise up against it and not stop until it had been overthrown and something better put in its place. (“Provocations,” Revolutionary Worker #228, October 29, 1983)

Even re-reading it to others, and as I write this I tear up. The words “that alone would be enough to rise up against it and not stop until it had been overthrown and something better put in its place” are in fact the words that make me cry. Reading it, processing it, hearing that the violence against women ALONE is reason enough to make a revolution takes my breath away. I have never heard anything like that before, something so powerful, something that validates the experiences of women. Something that decries the horror of what happens to women here and around the world as just that. Not some side issue. Not something that women complain about. Not something small or insignificant. A horror worth fighting against, and making great sacrifices to get rid of. Not ameliorate. Not hold safe space for. Get rid of once and for all.

A wave of emotion rushes over me. I am reminded of my childhood. I am reminded of the men I adored and loved who violated me. Assess you part by part. Relate to you not as a person but as a girl, and then a woman. You become to them the same as the women they watch in porn, the women they hoot and holler at. You hate your body. You feel disgusting. You feel ashamed. You have no name for it. No category except pain. You carry it with you every day; sometimes it’s more present than other times. I imagine all of the times I’ve been harassed on the street. A constant reminder of who you are. A piece of meat. A thing to be used.

Stop the War on Women!

I imagine, as if a slave being auctioned, a woman on a block being evaluated based on how sexually titillating she is to men. Whether or not she can reproduce. I imagine the young woman in Ethiopia who is kidnapped and then raped. I imagine the woman in Harlem raped by police officers. I imagine the women in prison shackled as they give birth, perhaps an unwanted pregnancy because a CO officer raped her. I imagine the women in Mexico working at maquiladoras, U.S.-owned factories, disappeared, kidnapped, and raped, whose bones are found later on. I imagine the women in Middle Eastern villages being stoned to death after a white sheet without blood is used to claim she is not a virgin. We are each other and they are me. We are suffocating. We can’t breathe. We are, as a comrade has said, plants growing underneath a rock.

Imagine unleashing women to be a part of a revolution to put an end to the anger, frustration, shame, degradation, humiliation, beatings, self-hatred of women here, and around the world. Imagine women fighting to emancipate not just themselves but to emancipate all of humanity. Imagine a world without the constant threat of rape. Without women holding back for fear of being brutalized. Imagine women seen as human beings, girls as contributors to society, and not as things to be bought and sold. Imagine women did not have to keep moving to stop themselves from grappling with their oppression because it causes them too much pain. Imagine women not having to choke on their anger anymore!

Bob Avakian synthesized the experiences of women in a few sentences. They are bulky and smooth all at the same time. And by that I mean it is easy to read and yet encompasses the heaviness of experiences of a whole section of society in a way that packs a hard punch. Reading through the compendium I feel as though he’s writing to me. I think at the same time how it actually is nonsense to think that only women would have access to the truth on where women’s oppression comes from and how to end it. Bob Avakian isn’t just a man, he’s a revolutionary communist, applying a scientific method and approach to get at reality and how to transform it. How and why women need to be unleashed in order to make a revolution and struggle over the “woman question” in order to make all the way revolution! He breaks down the origins of women’s oppression. He actually goes there: boldly speaking the truth about the social role of women, and why and how this revolting culture must be resisted, and gotten rid of. His approach gets under the surface and gets at the heart of what it’s actually going to take to fully emancipate women and how, and why. And it is exciting. It is fucking exciting to know there is someone out there who has done this work and that there is in fact a solution to the horrors of this system.

I urge everyone, especially in light of the ongoing assault on women’s right to abortion, to read, to dig into, to refresh on Break ALL the Chains. To quote one of my favorites:

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. (BAsics 3:22)






Revolution #419 December 28, 2015

Double Murder by Chicago Police:
"When is this going to end?"

December 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers in Chicago:

Bettie Jones

Quintonio Legrier

December 26—There is sorrow and blazing outrage tonight in Chicago as news of the murders by police of a 55-year-old Black woman and a 19-year-old Black college student top the local news.

Quintonio Legrier and Bettie Jones were cut down in a hail of police bullets inside the vestibule of a two-flat on Chicago’s West Side. Quintonio’s father, Antonio, had called the police because his son was struggling with mental health issues and his family wanted help. He had called Bettie Jones, who lived downstairs, to alert her to his son’s situation and let her know to be on the lookout for the police. Antonio said, “I don’t feel his life was worth losing because he got upset.”

Bettie Jones was shot three times, and Quintonio Legrier was shot seven times. Bettie’s daughter Latisha told reporters that the police “were firing very rapidly.” Her mother had gone to the door and then Latisha heard shots. She rushed to the hall to find her mother and Quintonio lying there bleeding. As Latisha came to the doorway, the police threatened to shoot her as well! One bullet fired by the police went through the front door and through several rooms in Bettie Jones’ home.

Latisha told how it took the ambulance half an hour to arrive. She was with her mother and Quintonio, checking their pulses and making sure they were still breathing. She described how, when the ambulance attendants got there, they “just dragged” her mother and Quintonio out of the house and down the steps to the waiting wheeled stretchers. Both Bettie and Quintonio died at the hospital.

In the course of the day, a number of activists and religious forces involved in the fight for justice around the police murder of Laquan McDonald came out to the block, including members of the Revolution Club. People came out to share the families’ grief and to let them know they would stand with the families in the battle to get justice for Bettie Jones and Quintonio Legrier.

People in the neighborhood were furious and talked about how this happens way too often. One person commented, “They used to do it with a noose but now they do it with a gun and a badge.” One guy compared “how they do us” to slavery days. Members of the Revolution Club brought out the Stolen Lives banner, with the pictures of a few dozen out of thousands of victims of police murder. Looking at the portraits of 47 people killed by police on the banner, those gathered around pointed out a number of people they knew personally and told others their stories. They also pointed out and talked about people on the banner who they knew from the news.

Who were the two people the police murdered with such callousness?

Quintonio Legrier had graduated with honors from Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy and was studying electrical engineering at Northern Illinois University (NIU). Friends remembered Quintonio as being especially good at math and how he helped them with their homework. He was always smiling and cracking jokes. Quintonio was an avid runner and was part of a team of students who ran the 2013 Chicago Marathon to raise money for clean drinking water for African children.

One of Quintonio’s friends at NIU says she and others plan to gather friends, family, and NIU faculty to march in downtown Chicago to protest the police murders. She said, “Police are killing innocent children. People are being killed and it’s not right.”

On Sunday, December 26, members of the families of Bettie Jones and Quintonio Legrier, the Revolution Club, neighbors and Chicago activists marched in the neighborhood where Bettie and Quintonio were murdered by Chicago police. (Credit: SMIN Chicago)

Bettie Jones’ niece Naportia Jones described her aunt to the Chicago Tribune as “a lively spirit” who loved Smokey Robinson and step dancing. Naportia said that she had “straddled the fence” on the recent protests against murders by Chicago police, thinking there must be some “situation” behind what she heard about those murders. “It really don’t hit you as hard until it’s in your front yard,” she said.

Bettie Jones had five children. Latisha Jones told the press that her mother, who had been fighting ovarian cancer, was working on the assembly line at Alpha Baking. Latisha and her mother were going to have a mother-daughter day together before Bettie was murdered by the police. Latisha said, “They tell me to be calm but there ain’t no being calm! They killed my mama!”

“None of this needed to happen,” Melvin Jones, Bettie’s brother, said as relatives gathered hours later in the house to mourn and pray. “And they say there will be an investigation into the shooting? I already know how that will turn out. We all know how that will turn out. When is this going to end?”





Revolution #419 December 28, 2015

Courageous Fighters Facing Serious Charges for #ShutDownRikers

Drop The Unjust Charges!

December 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On October 23, as part of Rise Up October, protesters held portraits of people who had died at Rikers, they spoke out, sang and danced energetically, and some sat down chanting "Shut It DOWN!"
On October 23, as part of Rise Up October, protesters held portraits of people who had died at Rikers, they spoke out, sang and danced energetically, and some sat down chanting "Shut It DOWN!" The NYPD put up barricades across the road leading to Rikers  Island prison, and for more than an hour access was blocked. Prisoners heard about the shut down and cheered according to reports from relatives. (Photo: Special to Revolution/

Reverberations of Rise Up October protests in New York City to STOP police terror and murder were felt in courtrooms this past week as some of the 27 people arrested during three days of action appeared to face protest charges. Prosecutors say that two arrested outside the entrance to Rikers Island will be tried on charges serious enough to get a one-year sentence on Rikers Island for nonviolent political protest.

On October 23, as part of #RiseUpOctober, 100 people gathered to #ShutDownRikers, the island prison they compared to Abu Ghraib. This is no exaggeration. Decades of deaths in custody at the hands of guards, brutal and widespread sexual violence, solitary confinement for years, denial of medical care, and abuse of children are routine—a part of the genocide of mass incarceration. Of those imprisoned at Rikers on an average day, some 90 percent are Black or Latino.

Rikers Island: 14,000 people imprisoned, 85 percent of them have not been convicted of anything; people locked up because they are poor, because the court system is purposely clogged. People held for weeks, months, even years without a trial. People who are tortured, brutalized, driven insane.” From “Shut Down Rikers Island Prison.”

Despite years of lawsuits, many of them won against the city, as well as commissions, panels and with even some in the power structure saying Rikers cannot be fixed and should be shut down, thousands disappear into the hell of this prison, making people feel powerless. The righteous demand “Shut Down Rikers” has had significant support. But up until October, no organized group had put out a call to actually stop the machinery delivering prisoners there with nonviolent civil disobedience. Sunsara Taylor, correspondent for Revolution/ and an initiator of, and others called on people to do that as part of three days of action to STOP police terror and murder.

A day after families of those killed by police had brought the lived experience of murder by police to Times Square in No More Stolen Lives: #SayTheirNames, the outpouring on October 23 was strong and beautiful. One hundred marched to the entrance of Rikers, including some of those family members; co-initiator of Rise Up October, Carl Dix; students from Columbia and New York Universities; war resisters, including the “Raging Grannies”; revolutionaries and the Revolution Club; religious leaders; and a couple who drove from Michigan to join the protest.

For more than an hour, as the NYPD put up barricades across the road leading to the island prison, access was blocked. The crowd held portraits of people who had died at Rikers. They spoke out and sang and danced energetically. Some sat down and chanted, “Shut It DOWN!” Prisoners heard about the shut down and cheered it, according to reports from relatives. Finally, someone was doing something tangible in response to their outcries. (See photos/video at “A Shout-out to the Courageous Fighters Who Put Their Bodies on the Line to Shut Down Rikers Island Prison.”)

The authorities responded with a show of force. NYPD vehicles massed for arrests. Police dogs—the 4 legged kind—increased the tension. “I thought they stopped deploying dogs against people of color in like 1960?” tweeted a videographer.

Sixteen people were arrested, and others forced away from the barricades. But no one left unmoved by the righteousness of the action and the passion of the protest, which was based on the reality of what Rikers means for the people. Confronting the monstrous brutality of Rikers strengthened people’s determination to really STOP it—and the rest of the system’s genocidal program.

“I didn’t really even know enough about Rikers until I came that morning and heard Sunsara and others telling the stories of people who had died there. They were just so passionate, and I knew I had to be part of the action,” said a woman who was arrested.

Fourteen protesters were released hours later, charged with disorderly conduct. This past week, in a Queens, New York, court, charges were dismissed against four of them, and 10 were given a 24-hour “adjournment in contemplation of dismissal,” meaning the charges have been dismissed—a very good development.

But two of the protesters involved in the action were put through the system with criminal charges that could bring one year in Rikers, “obstruction of government administration,” a catch-all charge often used on political protesters such as Noche Diaz. (See “Trial Set for January 27: Support Noche Diaz—Demand That All Charges Be Dropped!“)

On December 17, the two arrested on October 23 appeared in criminal court, where the prosecutor refused to drop or lower the charges. A junior district attorney said her supervisor told her he was “personally offended” by the protest. A trial date was set for February 22. Stop Mass Incarceration Network supporters and the legal defense team say they will file to have the charges dismissed, and seek discovery to reveal why and how these two protesters were singled out for criminal prosecution.

The political battle to stop terror and murder by police is also continuing in the courts around arrests made at the major October 24 march in Manhattan. On December 16, ACDs (adjournment in contemplation of dismissal after six months) were given to four people arrested on Fifth Avenue, an area for which organizers were given a permit to march. A lawyer for the NYPD directly intervened in the court proceedings to argue that there was “probable cause” for the arrests, and demanded as a condition for one person’s ACD that the defendant “admit” they were blocking traffic—going directly counter to the fact that an ACD is supposed to be given without any admission of guilt.

This police lawyer tried this same maneuver on another person who also had been arrested October 24 in Times Square on a Parks violation after the main march ended, demanding that he admit to being “disorderly” in order to get an ACD. This NYPD “offer” was refused by the defendant, with the defendant’s lawyer arguing vigorously against this condition and later saying that this action by the NYPD was “profoundly improper.” This defendant’s next court date is February 16.

Drop These Unjust Charges did a shout-out to those arrested in October: “Rikers Island is an abomination, an atrocity. It is a concentration of the horrific abuse this system routinely, daily inflicts on Black and Latino youth. The heroes who sat in and laid down at the gates of Rikers have put a challenge in front of anyone with a conscience and a sense of justice.”

The system’s message that protesting the intolerable conditions at Rikers could get you a year on Rikers makes the case for justice even more strongly. They’re incapable of “fixing” their own system. Shut It Down!

Support those arrested October 23/24 at #RiseUpOctober actions:
Tuesday, February 16, 9 am, Midtown Community Court, 314 West 54th Street
Wednesday, February 22, 9 am, Queens Criminal Court 125-01 Queens Blvd.

Updates will be posted at





Revolution #419 December 28, 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 #419 December 28, 2015

No Indictments in Modern-Day Lynching of Sandra Bland

“I’m infuriated, and everybody else should be infuriated as well.”

December 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On December 21, a grand jury in Waller County, Texas announced that no indictments would be issued against police or jail personnel who presided over the modern day lynching of Sandra Bland this summer. This outrage was immediately denounced by Sandra's family and attorneys. Geneva Reed-Veal, Sandra's mother, said “Right now, the biggest problem for me is the entire process. I simply can't have faith in a system that's not inclusive of my family....” Attorney Cannon Lambert told reporters “We are not going to allow what they have done in a limited, secret capacity to prevent us from doing what we need to do to get answers for the family.”

Sandra Bland was 28 when she drove from Chicago to Prairie View, Texas, where she had graduated with a degree in agriculture from Prairie View A&M University, an historically Black institution. She was a young woman happy to be back among college friends, happy to have gotten a good job. But soon after she arrived, a cop pulled her over. He brutalized and mocked her. He pulled her out of the car and threw her on the ground. He threw her into the Waller County Jail­—all this for supposedly not using her turn signal before she changed lanes!

An Ongoing Coverup

Two days later Sandra Bland was found dead, hanging in her cell. Police and prosecutors immediately claimed that she had killed herself. Her family, and thousands of people throughout the country fighting to end brutality and murder by police refused to accept the “official story.” Her name became yet another of the thousands of Stolen Lives.

Everything done by police and prosecutors since the moment news of her death came out has been a cover up. They released a video that had obviously been tampered with, and never explained its gaps. The Waller County DA said he regarded the cell where Sandra Bland died as a “crime scene”—then allowed reporters to trample through and effectively destroy the evidence. Jail authorities tampered with evidence in obvious ways. After word of Sandra's death got out, police claimed she was “suicidal,” but the county jail authorities, even by their own admission, did nothing to see that she was given medical attention. No testimony has been released from what were supposed to be interrogations of jail personnel. No one knows what went on in the grand jury, except that none of Sandra's friends and family who were communicating with her were called in.

Some things that are known: the cop who pulled Sandra Bland over, who brutalized her, threatened her, and arrested her when this Black woman wasn't subservient and docile, walks free. All the cops and jail personnel who were in the Waller County Jail supervising Sandra Bland walk free. Their supervisors, the Waller County DA and sheriff, walk free. Sandra Bland was alive when she was taken into the clutches of these thugs; she was dead when she left their miserable county jail.

The grand jury said it will reconvene in January to consider other possible charges. But at the same time the “special prosecutor” in this case announced that “no Waller County Jail employee” will be charged, and it is unclear what they will be considering in January.

Sharon Cooper said about her sister Sandra, “I'm infuriated, and everybody else should be infuriated as well.” She is right; the murder of Sandra Bland is outrageous and unacceptable. People should be infuriated at the cover up that has been in place for months. The truth of what happened to Sandra Bland when these Waller County cops took her into their custody must be brought to the light of day.

No More Stolen Lives

Dead from hanging in a jail cell, like Sandra Bland. Choked to death on a sidewalk, like Eric Garner. Shot 16 times, like Laquan McDonald. Neck broken in the back of a police van, like Freddie Gray. Gunned down while playing in a park, like Tamir Rice. Cop after murdering cop exonerated, not charged at all, most likely acquitted if ever brought to trial.

Any system that does this to people routinely; any system whose “law officers” gun people down, choke them to death, beat and lock them away for nothing; any system whose legal apparatus time after time lets these murderers walk free to do it again—such a system has lost its legitimacy and has no right to exist.






Revolution #419 December 28, 2015

From Chicago Stop Mass Incarceration Network

Police Who Murder People Walk Free—
While Iggy & Alfredo Face Felony Charges for Protesting Police Murder & Demanding Justice!

Drop All the Charges Now on Iggy & Alfredo and on All Those Arrested Protesting Police Murder!

Updated January 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Police nationwide continue to murder unarmed people, disproportionately Black and Latino. And while the police almost never face charges, people all over the country who protest to stop police murder are arrested, charged, and threatened with years in prison.The murder of Laquan McDonald has unleashed a torrent of almost daily protests in Chicago. In response the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the powers behind them continue to arrest protesters who are standing up for justice, just as they have done since the protests over Mike Brown and Eric Garner broke out over a year ago. And the police have been singling out, threatening, and arresting key activists from different perspectives who are playing major roles in the protests. THIS MUST STOP!

Now is the time, in the midst of these roiling protests, for everyone to come together and demand that all charges against all protesters be dropped and that CPD stop targeting key activists! A political and legal battle needs to be waged to make this happen and all people of conscience need to get involved in this.


Last year, after grand juries refused to indict cops for the murders of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, Chicago police arrested more than two dozen people at a downtown protest that was part of a national day against police murder on December 13, 2014.  Most of those arrested had their charges dropped or were allowed to opt for “community service”.  A misdemeanor case was defeated in court.

But two protesters, David “Iggy Flow” Rucker and Alfredo Reyes, were beaten by police, and then charged with aggravated battery to a police officer and slapped with $75,000 bail each. One year later, they still face felony charges and 7 years in prison.


Iggy works with the Revolution Club of Chicago and has been very visible in the protests against police murder, from Michael Brown of Ferguson to the protests today against the murder of Laquan McDonald. He is still being singled out by police. At one recent protest for Laquan, a cop who recognized Iggy assaulted him with a night stick and at another, a cop got in his face, shouting, “Hey, Punk, wanna take a swing at me?” The Sun-Times recently revealed that the Revolution Club and others were the target of police spying during that period.

Alfredo joined in the protest against police brutality.

If you have been protesting against police murder and terror, if your heart is with the protestors, if you believe in the value of protests shining a light on grave injustices — then




On September 26, the South Shore 2 were in South Shore with the Revolution Club and others from the neighborhood organizing for the national protest “Rise Up October —Stop Police Terror! Which Side Are You On?” in New York City on October 24, 2015.

The group was passing out palmcards, calling on people to stand up against police terror, and displaying a banner with the faces of 40 people murdered by the police.  They passed out whistles to “blow the whistle on police brutality.” 

As people from the neighborhood gathered, speaking their outrage about their treatment by the police and about the police murders of Alfontish “NuNu” Cockerham and JJ Kemp, (two men from the South Shore neighborhood), the police began harassing a man nearby for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. Many people gathered to “blow the whistle” on the police, and in the face of this resistance, the cops backed off and let the man go.  But a short time later, after most of the crowd left, the police returned and suddenly attacked the group, arresting a young Black woman and young Black man – the South Shore 2.  They did nothing to deserve this. For a political protest against police terror they were each charged with the serious felony of aggravated battery to a police officer, by the very police that they were protesting.

PACK THE COURTROOM FOR THE SOUTH SHORE 2! At the last hearing on January 6 the court proceedings were continued to a later date. Watch for future information.


Stop Mass Incarceration Network - Chicago • (312) 933-9586
The Stop Mass Incarceration Network is a project of the Alliance for Global Justice, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. For more info, see





Revolution #419 December 28, 2015

From A World to Win News Service:

"Sometimes I wish I were a dog, because in Europe, dogs have a better life than foreigners like us."

Reposted December 27, 2015 (originally June 19, 2014) | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors’ note: In light of the ferocious persecution of immigrants and refugees seeking safety in Europe, and the general demonization of and brutal attacks on refugees around the world, we are reprinting the following article from 2014. It features the story told by an Afghan migrant who calls himself Jawad. His story brings to life one man’s experience fleeing a country turned into a living hell in the clash between Islamic fundamentalists and western capitalism-imperialism—a dynamic in which the driving factor is the U.S. invasion and ongoing occupation of Afghanistan. Jawad describes a journey in 2012; conditions for migrants have gotten much, much worse since.

June 9, 2014. A World to Win News Service. On the eve of the elections for the European Parliament in May, the French government sent the CRS riot police and bulldozers to tear down an improvised complex of immigrant camps outside the northern city of Calais and scattered its inhabitants. Many hundreds of people, mostly refugees from countries racked by wars spurred on by the U.S. and Europe, had gathered to help each other stay alive as they waited for the chance to hop on a lorry and make it across the English channel in search of work.

On August 21, photographer Georgi Licovski documented a brutal attack on migrants attempting to get out of Greece, where they are subjected to hate and concentration camps. The migrants were heading towards hoped-for sanctuary in northern Europe. But as they attempted to cross the border from Greece into neighboring Macedonia, police there fired tear gas and stun grenades to drive them back into Greece. Licovski said babies, children, and mothers were among those gassed and beaten, and that families were split up in the chaos.

Migrants attempting to cross the border from Greece into neighboring Macedonia, August 21. Police at the border fired tear gas and stun grenades to drive them back into Greece. AP photo

The government's official pretext for the attack was that the immigrants posed a public health hazard. Some allegedly suffered from scabies, a skin disease easily prevented by clean water and sanitation facilities—which the government itself had deprived them of when it razed the Red Cross refugee center there several years ago.

The police brutalized local people and others who came to the migrants' aid. A few days later, after the plurality won by the anti-immigrant National Front party in the French EU parliament elections, "We are all children of immigrants" was the main slogan of street protests by secondary school students in half a dozen French cities. Later several hundred people traveled to Calais in a show of support for the refugees.

A previous gathering place for migrants was Villemin Square in Paris, where Afghan migrants took shelter in 2009, before they were scattered by police, and some of them, with no other place to go, moved on to Calais. The French photographer Mathieu Pernot spent time with them then.

His photos show young men wrapped up in sleeping bags or sheets of plastic, their heads covered to shield their eyes from the early morning light: "Invisible, silent and anonymous, reduced to their simple forms, they sleep and hide themselves from the public gaze, withdrawing from a world which no longer wants to see them. Both present and absent, they remind us of the bodies found on the battlefields of a war we no longer see."

Pernot's work is marked by a determination to connect with his subjects over time so as to create an interplay between how they look, his artistic depiction of their exclusion and oppression, and their own interiority and outlook. In 2012, an Afghan migrant called Jawad filled up some notebooks Pernot had given him with this account of how he ended up in Paris. In today's world few countries have produced more refugees and migrants than Afghanistan, from the days of the Soviet [social-imperialist] occupation to the hell its people now endure in the wake of the U.S.-led invasion and occupation.

My Journey

Syrian refugees waiting to cross the border into Turkey, June 15, 2014.
Syrian refugees waiting to cross the border into Turkey, June 15, 2015. (AP photo)

My name is Jawad. I'm from Afghanistan and I'm 26 years old. I was born in 1986 in a working class district of Kabul. In 1989, my father, Moudjahidin, received threats from the Afghan government and we had to leave Kabul for Iran. I couldn't go to school, as my parents didn't have residence permits. They used someone else's identity papers to get me into evening classes with some older people. Thanks to that, I know how to read and write. Once I'd finished these classes, I wanted to enrol in an Islamic university, but once again I wasn't allowed to because of my Afghan nationality, even though it's possible for people from anywhere else in the world to enrol. The Iranian government is very unfair; it doesn't want Afghan refugees in the country and so we didn't receive any help from anyone. I'd been living in Iran for seventeen years when I was arrested by the police and sent back to Afghanistan. It was then that I took the decision to leave for Europe. I and some other Afghans asked a people smuggler to get us into Turkey.

Once he had got us across the Iranian border, the smuggler picked us up in a car in the town of Van. For twenty-four hours we traveled like sheep with some Pakistani migrants in a vehicle, with nothing to eat or drink. We arrived totally exhausted in Istanbul where we stayed for three days. The smuggler took us to Izmir on a bus and left us in a house. One evening, he took us to a forest that it took three hours to cross before finally arriving in the dead of night at the coast. He left, alone, in a motorboat and just left us there. We spent the night there. The next day, he brought us some bread and water and a dinghy, which he inflated and hid in the thicket. A little while later, some police came by and discovered our boat. We got frightened and went to hide in the mountains. We didn't have any food or water left. We were hungry and thirsty. We didn't know what was going on and called the smuggler. During the night, we came down from the mountain and headed back to the coast. With no food or water, we were losing all hope. I dreamt of eating bread. We didn't know what to do and prayed to God to help us. Suddenly, the smuggler arrived with some bottles of water! He became our guardian angel! He decided to take us back into town but got us lost in the forest. We wandered about in the countryside for several hours. A dozen of my friends decided to set off on their own in another direction. They asked if I wanted to go with them but I preferred to stay in the smuggler's group. There were just twenty of us left in the group now, rather than the thirty we had started out with. We walked and eventually found a barn that we spent the night in.

The next day we set off again and went past a village, crawling on our hands and knees for fear of being seen by the inhabitants. We came to a tunnel that runs under the motorway and spent a whole day there. That evening, someone else picked us up in a car and dropped us off in a town we didn't know. When we got out of the car, a man came over to speak to us but we didn't know what he was saying. He started shouting, 'Police! Police!' Everyone quickly scattered, running off in all directions. Eventually, we found our smuggler who took us down to a beach. He inflated the dinghy and made us all get inside. He pointed to a light on the other side of the sea and told us it was Greece. Our little boat sailed across a very big sea.

As we approached the Greek shore, we watched the sun rise over the sea. I had the thought that we were leaving darkness and misfortune behind us and heading into the light and a better world. But a little while later the Greek police spotted us and approached us in their boat. The man who was steering our boat decided to puncture it so that we'd be classed as drowning and the Greeks wouldn't be able to send us back to Turkey. We jumped into the water and swam to the shore. There was a pregnant woman in the boat and she didn't know how to swim, so she clung on to the side of the rapidly deflating dinghy and waited for the police to come and get her. When we got to the bank we climbed up it, hoping to find a town. At the top, we found a road that led to Samos. From there we hoped to reach Athens but unfortunately the police arrested us and took us to a refugee camp that was just like a prison.

It was in this camp that I met an Afghan who asked me if I wanted to go to Norway with him because he'd heard that it was a country that welcomed people in our situation. To get there, we'd have to cross Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. I got through Macedonia and arrived in Serbia. Along with my friends, I got arrested in the Serbian town of Nis. We were brought before a judge who fined us all 70 euros and sentenced us to ten days in prison. Arriving in the detention centre, we were told to get undressed in front of everyone and then had to undergo a body search, which I found really difficult to bear. I spent ten days in prison, locked up with murderers and drug mules. There was a head count three times a day. Those ten days felt like a hundred years to me.

When we got out of prison, we weren't given any documents that would allow us to circulate freely in Serbia. The police in Nis simply told us that if we were arrested again in Serbia, we should just tell the other police to get in touch with them. The next morning, we took the train to Subotica, on the Hungarian border, and were arrested again that evening and taken to court the following morning. We told the judge that we had been in prison in Nis but it didn't help. The magistrate said that either we paid up or we'd go back to jail. The prison in Subotica was worse than the one in Nis. We were only allowed out of our cells for an hour a day to walk around the yard. We were only permitted to get washed once a week and could only spend two minutes in the bathroom.

After we got out of prison, we managed to get across the border into Hungary but just after we arrived there, we were arrested again and taken to a refugee camp in Bekescsaba. In the camp, we had to queue just to get a banana, apple or pear. You had to sign two or three documents just to be able to eat a piece of fruit. We were under constant observation by CCTV cameras and brutal guards, who would beat anyone who tried to escape. We didn't have the right to answer them back or to ask any questions. We couldn't understand whether we were refugees or prisoners. Despite the presence of the guards, I managed to go under the barbed-wire fences and escape from the camp.

I went from there to Budapest and then to Vienna, where I took the train to Hamburg without buying a ticket. I hid in a storage cupboard under one of the bunks in the sleeping carriage. In the middle of the night, the old woman who was sleeping in the bunk above me realised I was there and called the ticket inspector so he could call the police. I begged him not to do it! In the end, I got to Hamburg without being arrested. I was alone and I walked. I looked for a train that would take me to Denmark. Once again, I got stopped by the police. I could have escaped, but I was so hungry and tired that I gave myself up to them. They took me to a police station and presented me with a document written in Dari that said I was a criminal. I asked them why they considered me a criminal when I hadn't done anything wrong. They told me that entering Germany without the right papers is a crime. As I didn't have any choice, I signed the document. My situation was getting worse and worse every day. In Hungary, I had to sign a paper to eat an apple and in Germany I signed a paper to acknowledge that I was a criminal. After the administrative formalities were over, the police sent me to a really tough prison. I felt very sad and prayed to God to give me my freedom back. He must have listened to me because the next day I got out of prison. They gave me the address of a refugee camp where I could apply for asylum.

In this camp, there was a lovely building that I stayed in for a few days. Having spent several weeks not eating very well, at last I had some decent food. It was really nice for me. But when I got to thinking about how the German police might arrest me and deport me back to Hungary, I told myself that maybe the food had been poisoned! After two or three days, the governor of the camp gave me a document with a train ticket to go to another camp in Neumunster. I stayed in that camp, which was comfortable, for nearly three months. There was a gym that I trained in. I enjoyed going for a run in the city streets. Very early one morning, a policeman knocked on our bedroom door and asked to see our papers. I showed him my papers and he told me I had to go back to Hungary. He told me to pack my bags and I told him I had none. He checked in my wardrobe, saw I didn't have anything and then told me to follow him. He took me to an immigration removal centre at the airport and I waited there until 10 am. They made me get on a plane to Budapest. During the two-hour flight, I told myself that I'd lost all my friends and my whole life in Germany.

In the plane, I made the decision to go to France as soon as I was able. A friend in the camp I'd just left had told me it was a welcoming country. The plane landed in Budapest at 12 pm and I waited at the airport till 1am. It was still night and I had to get into a bus full of unfortunate people who, like me, had fled Hungary and now found themselves back there. At 8 am the bus took us to the Bekescsaba camp. I spent a night there and tried to escape again the following morning. But I cut my hand on the barbed wire and it bled a lot. As I was injured, I let the guards take me without kicking up any fuss. They took me straight back to the camp without treating my hand. When I went to see the governor to show him the cut, he decided finally to send me to the hospital. I spent about a dozen days in the camp. The authorities gave me a card that would allow me to get into the camp in Debrecen. It's for people who are seeking asylum. I stayed there for twenty-five days. Life there was really hard. Our rights weren't respected. It was more like a prison, with the only difference being that you could go out. Sometimes, the police would come with six or seven dogs to search the rooms for banned objects. When we asked them why they came with dogs, they said they weren't dogs, but work colleagues! I didn't like living in Hungary so my friends and I took the decision to leave for France.

We decided to go in a taxi. First we went to Austria, then to Italy where we got out at Milan. From there we took the train to Ventimiglia and crossed the Italian-French border on foot. We had to go through a narrow train tunnel. If a train had come while we were in that tunnel, I wouldn't be writing this story.

When we arrived in France we discovered Monaco, a very pretty, old town. There were lots of beautiful orange trees in the streets, but we were more interested in eating the oranges than in looking at them. We ate some and put some in our bags. As we went on our way, we met an Arab. We asked him how to get to Paris. He told us to get on the number 100 bus for Nice and to get a train from there to the capital. But in Nice, when we asked how to get a train for Paris, no one understood. We were amazed to learn that people in Nice didn't know Paris, a city that's so well known across the world! We finally came upon someone who understood us. He also took the opportunity to tell us how to pronounce Paris... It was evening, we were still in Nice, and it was really cold and raining. Our clothes were soaked. We were hungry and didn't have enough money to get to Paris. We decided to go and take shelter in a church but the priest wouldn't let us in. We begged him but he asked us to leave. It was as though God's door had been closed on us. We left for the station thinking that "God's enemy," the police, might arrest us, which would at least give us a roof for the night. We got arrested at the station. The policeman asked us for the papers we didn't have. I had the thought at that moment that we were stateless refugees. The police handcuffed us, hands behind our backs, made us get in a police car and put on the blues and twos.

In town, the passers-by must have thought that the police had arrested some dangerous people, but we're just refugees! They took us to the police station, locked us in a cell and handcuffed one of our hands to a bar fixed quite high up on the wall. When we asked them to take the handcuffs off because they were hurting (and anyway, we couldn't escape), they just laughed at us. Then they took us to another cell where we spent the night. There was absolutely nothing in it and we were soaking wet. We asked for a blanket. The policeman just mocked us by way of an answer. We slept on the cell floor in our wet clothes. As I drifted off to sleep, I thought about my Afghan friend who had told me that France was a very welcoming country.

The next day, the policeman came back with an interpreter who spoke Dari. They asked us several times whether we wanted to stay in France or go to England and I told them each time that I wanted to stay in France. He gave us a piece of paper and let us out of the police station. We went back to the station where we met a fellow Afghan who was having some problems. He explained that he had bought a train ticket but a policeman had confiscated it and taken him to prison the night before. By the next day, his ticket had expired. As we didn't have enough money to buy a ticket, we tried to jump on the train but the ticket inspector stopped us. So we spent another night sleeping rough in Nice. The next day, we got on a train but got caught by the ticket inspector, who I begged to allow us to go to Paris. I offered to give him my jacket, my shoes and my turquoise ring, which was a present from my father. I even offered to work in the train (cleaning the toilets, for example), but he refused and we had to get off the train at Cannes. At the station in Cannes, we managed to take a bus we thought was going to Paris, but we'd made a mistake and we found ourselves instead on a bus for tourists. We arrived in a really beautiful city but didn't know where it was. We explained to the driver that we wanted to get to Paris. He was really surprised and explained that we had to go back to Saint-Raphael, where we could catch a train for Paris. At Saint-Raphael, we tried to sneak on the train without a ticket but the inspectors were watching us. We were really unlucky that day! It was still raining. We looked for a place and slept on a cafe terrace. The next day, we went back to the station and, thanks be to God, managed to get the train to Paris. In this city we asked for asylum and we slept rough on cardboard boxes. Our situation is very bad. Sometimes I wish I were a dog because in Europe, dogs have a better life than foreigners like us.

Translated text taken from the book Les Migrants, published by Guingamp, edited by GwinZegal, 2012. For Pernot's work, see Also see "Should immigrants be criminalized or supported?" in AWTWNS140310.


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




Revolution #419 December 28, 2015

NFL Concussion Settlement:
$765 Million to Suppress the Truth About Brain Injuries

September 15, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


On August 30, 4,500 current and former professional football players settled their lawsuit against the NFL (National Football League) for the brain injuries suffered by the players while they were playing football. The $765 million settlement is to be used to pay the families of those players who are dead, for those players who are currently injured, for the players’ medical costs, and for the players’ attorney fees. This settlement was called a “win for the players” by a few newspapers, television and radio sports columnists, and sports bloggers. A few more called it a “win-win for both the players and the NFL.” Many more called it “a win for the NFL.”

1998, Carolina Panthers' Fred Lane loses his helmet in a hard tackle. Photo: AP

This is not about who “won.” It is about the continuation of concussions, brain damage, and ultimately, the early death of many of those who play football during early childhood, in high school and college, and in the professional leagues. This is about the criminal action of the NFL, which will not give the players, their families, or their physicians access to the players’ own medical records while they played in the NFL. It is about the criminal negligence of the NFL, which has spent millions of dollars researching brain damage in their players, in preventing the release of that research, which could help the players and their families at all levels of the game to know the truth about the brain damage that occurred while playing football. This is about the horrors of capitalism, where everything has a cash value, and for the NFL that means paying $765 million to suppress the truth about brain injuries while playing football.

Football players who receive multiple concussions are ending up with a brain disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).1 Doctors are currently unable to diagnose this disease in living people. Only after the player is dead and an autopsy has been done on the brain, can it be determined that the person had CTE. The ultimate medical condition for CTE in living people is a severe form of dementia (like Alzheimer’s disease). There are indications there are links between CTE and a disease similar to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)2 that attacks motor nerve cells in the brain and muscles. The Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (BU CSTE) found that 34 of the 35 brains of former NFL players donated to the center have CTE.

Life after pro football has been more than just a horror for those with CTE. In 2002, Mike Webster, age 50, died of a heart attack. In his final years he exhibited severe memory loss and dementia. He would put Super Glue on his teeth and Tasered himself to relieve his pain.3 He was the first NFL player to be diagnosed with CTE. In 2004, Justin Strzelczyk, age 36, drove his car at 90 mph, head-on, into a tractor-trailer. Examination of his brain found CTE. In 2005, Terry Long, age 45, committed suicide by drinking antifreeze. He was found to have CTE, and the medical examiner ruled brain trauma a contributing factor in his death. In 2006, Andre Waters, 44 years old, shot himself in the head. It was discovered he had the brain tissue of an 85-year-old man. In 2009, Chris Henry, only 26 years old, died after either falling or jumping from a moving truck. He was later diagnosed with CTE. In 2011, Dave Deurson, age 40, texted his family that he wanted his brain sent to the Boston University School of Medicine and then shot himself in the chest. The BU School of Medicine found Deurson had CTE.4 In 2012, Junior Seau, 43 years old, shot himself in the chest so his brain could be left whole. The National Institutes of Health found that his brain had CTE.5

Audio Talk by Bob Avakian

The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters

Whether or not you're into basketball, the talk "The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters" by Bob Avakian will open your mind to some revealing truths—through humor, anecdotes, and science. It is available in two downloadable audio files here, as part of a series of 7 Talks (2006).

Despite the fact that CTE was not discovered in football players until 2002, indications are that the NFL knew of the severe dangers of concussions and head trauma as early as 1982. Keith Olbermann, commenting on the concussion settlement on his ESPN show on August 29, recounted the 1982 players’ strike against the NFL when he covered the negotiations between the players and the league. With tears swelling in his eyes, Olbermann told the story of Doug Kotar, who was found to have an inoperable cancerous brain tumor during the strike. Kotar was known as a player who would “lead with his head,” a practice of diving head-long at opposing players in order to knock them down. It was clear to the players that Kotar’s tumor was most likely the result of his type of play, which would jar his brain upon contact. The NFL denied that Kotar had brain injuries due to playing football and would not pay for his medical bills. Olbermann talked to two players after one negotiation session ended abruptly when a player lunged across the table at an NFL negotiator. That player, who had a law degree, told Olbermann that the players had asked the owners for Kotar’s medical records. The NFL refused and told the players, “Why would we let you see your medical records. You guys are too stupid to know what this means.” The player told Olbermann, “That’s when I wanted to kill that guy because of Doug Kotar.”

It is criminal that an employer will not give its employees their medical records. And now with this settlement, the NFL will continue to keep the players’ medical records from the light of day and will continue to deny that it is withholding life and death information regarding the players’ injuries. What kind of a society is this where people are not allowed access to their own medical records, and information that could help treat those injuries is withheld from them? It’s a society that needs to be swept away.

Further, this settlement only includes funds for those NFL players who have either retired or are playing right now; and the $765 million, which is to be paid out in increments of half in the next three years and the remainder over the next 17 years, is a pittance compared to the $9.2 billion in revenue the league took in last year.

The NFL is the richest sports league in the world with billions of dollars brought into its coffers through lucrative contracts with four of the biggest TV networks. Despite the fact that the NFL reaps enormous profits, it has been granted “non profit, tax exempt” status by the U.S. government! We’re not kidding.

The NFL is also the most popular league in this country, and it, as well as college football, boxing, and hockey, contribute in a large part to the culture of violence in this and other countries. ESPN, the premiere sports network, shows highlights of the “hardest (football) hits,” where one player throws his body at another player. ESPN continues to show the video of Jadeveon Clowney of the University of South Carolina violently knocking backward Vincent Smith of the University of Michigan in the January 1, 2013 Outback Bowl. The video shows Smith’s helmet being ripped off his head by the force of the violent contact and landing five yards from the point of impact. This video has had over 6 million viewers on YouTube. If you Google “football’s hardest hits,” you get 1.5 million links, with the top ones being YouTube videos, each having hundreds of thousands of viewers. One of those videos is actually titled, “Jadeveon Clowney Blxxs Up Michigan...!”

On October 8 and 15, PBS is going to air Frontline’s two-part investigation: “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis.” This show is being touted by Frontline as “the hidden story of the NFL and brain injuries, where “thousands of former players and a host of scientists claim the league has covered up how football inflicted long-term brain injuries on many players. What did the NFL know, and when did they know it?”6 Revolution does not know what will be revealed in this show. However, we will be watching it and encourage others to do so too.

Originally, ESPN was to partner and collaborate with Frontline on this show, but ESPN pulled out of it one week after the NFL, which airs some of its games on ESPN, complained to ESPN about the show, which depicts “the league turning a blind eye to evidence that players were sustaining brain trauma on the field that could lead to profound, long-term cognitive disability.”7

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

Pro and college football Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett, who has a severe mental disability due to lack of oxygen to part of his brain and who was one of those who were pressured to play with concussions and other injuries, when asked if this settlement will pay for his medical bills texted, “NO, it wont.” “If I get some money out of this, $100,000 or $200,000, what is that going to do for my medical bills? What is that going to do for my quality of life?”8

Further this settlement does not include future NFL players, let alone youth playing Pop Warner football or high school and college football players. The serious medical risk to young kids playing football, who Dr. Robert Cantu, co-director of BU CSTE, describes as “bobble-head dolls with big heads and weak necks,” where any kind of a blow could shake a young player’s head more violently than it does with a fully-formed adult. Cantu says that youth should not be playing football, hockey, and soccer while they are under the age of 14.9

Revolution first wrote about football and CTE before the Super Bowl in 2009. This lightly edited quote from that correspondence holds true today:

We need to put a stop to these athletes being used by the NFL to add value to their product and then ending up as a vegetable or even worse. We should demand that the NFL (and all levels of football) focus on the health of these athletes and that they own up to and put a stop to the head injuries that cause this horrendous CTE disease that is resulting in the death of football players. Players at risk for CTE should be allowed to retire early with pay. The NFL should be demanded to give these players their own medical records and turn over all research the league has done on players’ injuries. However, it is ultimately going to take revolution and getting rid of capitalism-imperialism in order to fully put an end to the business of sports that treats athletes as commodities and chews them up and spits them out. Only when we get to socialism will we be capable of transforming athletics and sport into a game and not a business where the product takes precedent over athletes’ health.10

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. (Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy) [back]

2. ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, where a patient becomes totally paralyzed in the disease’s later stages and then dies. Lou Gehrig was a Hall of Fame baseball player who had ALS. While playing baseball, he was knocked unconscious four times, due to getting hit by a ball in the head or by fighting. In all cases, he played the next day. He is well-known as the “Iron Horse” because he played 2,130 consecutive games. Baseball players did not wear helmets when Lou Gehrig was playing. He also played football at Columbia University. There are differences in the medical community about whether Gehrig’s head trauma while playing sports resulted in his getting ALS, as his medical records have not been released by the Mayo Clinic. [back]

3. Keith Olbermann on ESPN, August 31, 2013 [back]

4. Keith Olbermann on ESPN, August 31, 2013 [back]

5. All others in this paragraph attributed to “A Timeline Of Concussion Science And NFL Denial,” Barry Petchesky, August 30, 2013, [back]

6. [back]

7. “Did The NFL Put Pressure On ESPN To Divorce Frontline?” Richard Deitsch, [back]

8. “Cowboys great Tony Dorsett concerned that NFL concussion lawsuit settlement amount ‘not nearly enough,’” Brad Townsend, Dallas Morning News, August 30, 2013. [back]

9. Concussions and Our Kids, Robert Cantu and Mark Hyman, Houghton Mifflin Harcort, 2013. [back]

10. “NFL Capitalist ConcussionsRevolution #155, February 8, 2009. [back]




Revolution #419 December 28, 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 #419 December 28, 2015

"People have to see that this shit actually exists"

Minneapolis Protesters Shake Up Holiday Business As Usual at Mall & Airport

December 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Minneapolis, December 23 - From the Mall of America, protesters quickly traveled by light rail to the airport where they blocked entrances at both terminals chanting "No justice, no peace! Prosecute the police!"
(Photo: Leila Navidi/Star Tribune via AP)

On December 23, defiant protests shut down sections of the Mall of America and disrupted the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. Black Lives Matter activists who called the protest issued a statement that said, in part: “We protest the continued unmitigated state sanctioned violence against Black people and communities of color. We protest the continued denial of justice for Black people and Black communities. We want a complete overhaul of the justice system both locally and nationally. Just days after the non-indictment decision in Sandra Bland’s murder in Texas and two months after the fatal police shooting of Jamar Clark in Minnesota, we continue to demand justice, including the release of the tapes in the Jamar Clark case. Grand juries do not get justice for Black people when they are murdered by police, this is just one way the system is setup and works against Black people.”

The protest continued a wave of resistance in Minneapolis that began on November 15, when police murdered 24-year-old Jamar Clark. There was an immediate outpouring of outrage in the Black community in the North Side of Minneapolis where the murder took place. A wide range of people joined in an encampment outside the North Side police station. At one point, white racists attacked protesters, shooting five Black men (all of whom survived). On December 4th, police launched a vicious attack at 3 AM, arresting protesters and bulldozing the encampment (see Minneapolis Cops Attack Encampment: Protests Continue to Demand Justice for Jamar Clark). Police continue to refuse to releases video of the killing.

Early Wednesday afternoon, about 500 protesters gathered at the Mall of America. Some 80 stores temporarily closed their gates, kiosks were covered and even Santa left his sleigh shortly before protesters gathered at the massive shopping district on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Numerous signs were posted on mall property, saying no protests were allowed—including a long message on a screen in a central rotunda between two Christmas trees. Police from several cities, and Minnesota State Patrol troopers blocked access to the mall’s east rotunda, where the protest was to take place. Many stores also closed their security gates—some with shoppers inside. Four people were arrested for trespassing or disorderly conduct during the mall protest, according to local police. The phalanx of riot clad police who confronted protesters were a fine example of why this place is called the Mall of AMERICA.

One of those arrested was a relative of Jamar Clark who was active in the encampment and is active in the ongoing battle for justice. At the Mall, he was targeted by the police who surrounded him, grabbed him, and called out his full name. He was thrown against a wall, handcuffed until his wrists bled, and taken to another jurisdiction where he was cavity searched, and booked in front of other cops who were applauding, and asking “Isn’t that Jamar’s cousin?” He told a local newspaper “This is something that’s got to have some type of awareness to it. People have to see that this shit actually exists.”

From the Mall, protesters quickly traveled by light rail to the airport where they blocked entrances at both terminals chanting “No justice, no peace! Prosecute the police!” And, “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” Eight more people were arrested at the airport.

The actions sparked heated controversy at the mall on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and at the airport—where parts of the terminal were temporarily shut down and flights delayed. Many shoppers and travelers felt compelled to line up one side or the other. Channel 11 news featured a European tourist complaining that the protesters didn’t think his life mattered since they disrupted his family’s vacation plans. Interestingly, a white news reporter covering the story responded “but not all travelers responded so coldly,” and his report followed with an interview with a white traveler who expressed support for the protesters: “We’re not free if people can’t enjoy a free life in our society, if people can be gunned down, or arrested and never come back just because of the color of their skin.”

Organizers said terminals at the airport were also blocked in part to “protest Islamophobia and anti-Black racism in airport policing.” This has important significance given the intensifying attacks on, and ratcheted up repression against anyone who appears to be Muslim.

After the protest, organizers announced, “We will continue to protest until we get justice for Jamar Clark, until the tapes are released and the rest of our demands are met. We will not give up and we will not give in. Until there is justice, there will be no peace. 2016 is coming, so are we.”





Revolution #419 December 28, 2015

Outrage in Chicago Continues

December 22, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Chicago, 12/18/2015—Almost four weeks from the release of the video of the murder of Laquan McDonald, protests have continued—sometimes more than one a day. If the authorities thought that the anger and determination for an end to police terror had diminished, events on this date prove it still is burning bright.

A protest earlier in the day shut down the streets around Midway Airport. High school students walked out in protest of police brutality. Fenger High School was notorious in the past for bitter conflicts among the youth, but videos from December 18 show students marching in the street against police brutality after walking out (see The Police Murder of Laquan McDonald in Chicago and the Coverup—The Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell) .

Then, at 3:16 p.m., up to a thousand people of various nationalities and ages took to the streets of Chicago. Blogger Eugene “Geno” Stanley described the scene: “Maybe 1 hour into the revolt, and I looked around, and there were every type of happy, enthusiastic, angry, disgusted, and united people there is on this planet. I mean people of all races, social class, and cultures.” This protest was a called as “City Wide Walkout Part II” and organized as a follow-up to the major protest 9 days earlier.

As the rally started, stacks of picket signs with “Stop Police Terror, Which Side Are You On,” signed by, and “There Is No Justice From the Department of IN-Justice”, signed by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, were widely taken up as were mounted stolen lives posters. Two stolen lives banners made a presence through the night. As the march started, protesters filled the streets of the Chicago Loop, marched around City Hall, up Michigan Avenue into the Magnificent Mile shopping district and snaked around neighborhood streets in Chicago’s Gold Coast to Astor Street—a street of mansions where some of Chicago’s wealthiest live.

Throughout the protest, which a determined core of up to 100 people carried on for five and a half hours, major streets were shut down. Some drivers, stuck at intersections, honked their horns in time to the chants and held up their fists. DNA Info showed a picture of a cab driver, caught by a street blockade, displaying his own “Rahm must go” sign.

Occupying the street in front of the Water Tower place, as well as at other gathering points, different programs were put forward. One of the youth who initiated the day's protest called for people to focus on elections. In contrast a youth from the Revolution Club agitated about the crimes of the system starting with police brutality and murder but going beyond that to address all of the 5 Stops. When he asked “who here believes in revolution?” many in the crowd cheered and then joined in the chant “How do we get out of this mess? Revolution—Nothing Less!”

At one point in the protest, after police had arrested three protesters, the crowd surrounded the police van in which the protesters were held, sitting down in the street all around it and blocking it from moving. Along with “16 Shots and a cover up” (the signature chant of the movement) people chanted “Put Rahm in the paddy wagon—let the people free." After negotiations and only when the police commander agreed to give each arrested protester only a traffic ticket, was the police van allowed to move and the march continued.

The ongoing struggle sparked by the release of the video showing the brutal police murder of Laquan McDonald must be part of building a movement for revolution which rids the world of that criminal, inhuman system once and for all. See for an in-depth analysis.

Major protests are planned for Christmas Eve to, again, shut down the Magnificent Mile high-end shopping district.






Revolution #419 December 28, 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 #419 December 28, 2015

Houston Protest vs. Refusal to Indict Jailers in Sandra Bland's Murder

December 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

Hermann Park, Houston
Hermann Park, Houston (Photo: Special to

Within 24 hours of the December 21 announcement of the Waller County, Texas grand jury’s refusal to indict anyone for the murder of Sandra Bland (see “No Indictments in Modern-Day Lynching of Sandra Bland: “I’m infuriated, and everyone else should be infuriated as well”), about 50 fired-up people came out in a drizzle to Houston’s Hermann Park to express their outrage. Along with various organizations National Black United Front, Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Brown Berets, New Black Panther Party, Occupy, Out of the Flames of Ferguson, NOI (Nation of Islam), there were high school and college students, some people from the neighborhoods, some fraternity brothers, revolutionary communists, and at least one individual who knew Sandy personally. For some, this was their first protest.

Our crew brought a large stolen lives banner, which drew a number of people up close. One woman, studying the faces on the banner of those murdered by police, said that she used to be afraid, but things have gotten so intense that now she’s beyond the point anymore of feeling fear.

After a brief rally on “the hill,” we marched, reciting chants like, “Sandy Still Speaks! No Justice No Peace!,” to the zoo, where there was a holiday celebration going on. We rallied again at the zoo entrance. A lot of families were there with their kids. Many of the onlookers were shocked out of their holiday spirit, and a few stopped to watch. One young Black woman rushed by with her two very young sons, saying that she had to worry that they might be next.

A young white woman, apologizing that she had to catch up with her friends, explained how, first, the death of Sandy Bland, and now, the utter contempt for any semblance of justice, just made her feel sick. A number of people wanted to find out more about how we can end this situation and got copies of Revolution newspaper.

One person spoke about how now is not the time for celebration when there has been no justice for Sandra Bland, and for the countless other people who have been murdered by police. At one point one of the speakers challenged the crowd, asking which side they are on. He said that he is on the right side of history—“What about you?”

A pastor who had been at a vigil outside the Waller County courthouse the night before denounced the arrogance of the sheriff and the police there—smirking in their confidence that there would be no indictments.

A student had organized a bunch of her friends to come to the protest. Looking at the front page of Revolution (which shows the faces of the main presidential candidates with the headline “They Have No Answers, The Revolution Does!”) she said, “Yeah they don’t have any answers for this.”

One youth said that he doesn’t think protest is enough, and asked what the revolution is about? He pointed at the police laughing as they blocked the protest, and said that they have no feeling for people, so what is it going to take to stop all this?

There were different political programs in the mix, from writing to elected officials, to self-defense, to revolution. One woman who had come up to the stolen lives banner said that this is about more than the police: the system has to change. One guy said that it’s good people came out, but we got to go deeper than this. He wanted to know what kind of society we could have after the revolution.






Revolution #419 December 28, 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 #419 December 28, 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 #419 December 28, 2015

One Out of the Thousands of Police Who Rape Is Convicted in Oklahoma City

December 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

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.

For at least seven months, from December 2013 through mid-June 2014, an on-duty, in-uniform cop stalked Black women in an oppressed area of Oklahoma City. He attacked at least 13 women—about one every two weeks during that time period—including a 17-year-old girl raped on her mother’s porch and a 57-year-old grandmother forced into oral sex while staring at her attacker’s handgun. Terror and humiliation was central to these crimes, most of which were carried out on streets and other public areas where some of the women were forced to disrobe. Many of the women said they believed that they would be killed if they did not submit, or maybe even if they did.

The sadistic thug who carried out these attacks was Oklahoma City cop Daniel Holtzclaw, and on December 10, he was convicted on 18 counts of sexual assault against eight women. (He was not convicted on charges involving assaults on five additional women.) He is awaiting sentencing, and could face 235 years in jail.

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

The evidence against Holtzclaw was overwhelming. First and foremost there was the heroic testimony of the women themselves, defying fear of not only Holtzclaw, but of the police as a whole, who in this society hold the power of life and death, and who wield that power viciously and without accountability against Black and Brown people. In fact, Holtzclaw himself had been part of a gang of four cops who, one year earlier, brutally hogtied a 39-year-old Black man having a mental health crisis, leading to his death...and all four were exonerated in this murder by the police department.

Think of the courage it takes for a group of poor Black women, many living on the margins of society where encounters with the police are common, to publicly call out a cop as a rapist and demand he be punished!

The women all described very similar patterns of being stopped for allegations of minor crimes or violations, and being told that the only way to avoid arrest was by submitting to Holtzclaw’s sexual demands. And this testimony was corroborated by his GPS, which located him at the time and place of each of the attacks, and in some instances by DNA from the women found on Holtzclaw’s clothing.

Holtzclaw was brazen! He carried out these attacks in the course of his regular duties, wearing his uniform with his name tag, driving the patrol car assigned to him. Some were carried out in his squad car or at the side of the road. He clearly believed that none of the women would dare to report him, and if they did, that they would not be taken seriously. And to a large extent, he was right about that.

Holtzclaw’s victims spoke to why they did not report their attacks at first: “I didn’t think anyone would believe me. I’m a Black female”; “I feel like all police will work together”; “I didn’t know what to do. Like, what am I going to do? Call the cops? He was a cop.”

Break All the Chains!

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

Sampler Edition | Full Work

And let’s be clear, rape at the hands of police is not an “aberration,” it is common. Holtzclaw’s basic M.O. of preying on women who have minor run-ins with the police and demanding sex in exchange for being let go, is widely practiced across the U.S., a familiar fear among women of color, and considered one of the “perks” of the job by plenty of cops.

An Associated Press investigation of sexual abuse by police described the case of one victim in Milwaukee, Wisconsin: “Despite screaming ‘He raped me!’ repeatedly to other officers present, she was accused of assaulting an officer and jailed for four days, the district attorney, citing a lack of evidence, declined to prosecute [the cop who raped her]. Only after a federal investigation was he tried and convicted.” [Emphasis added.]

The AP report cited a Chicago woman who works with victims of sexual abuse by police: “[M]ost of the women she counseled never reported their crimes—and many who did, regretted it. She saw women whose homes came under surveillance and whose children were intimidated by police. Fellow officers, she said, refused to turn on one another when questioned.” A woman—formerly police chief in Portland, Oregon—summed up: “How are you going to get anything to happen when he’s part of the system and when he threatens you and when you know he has a gun know he can find you wherever you go?” [Emphasis added.]

According to the AP, there were over 500 police nationally who were decertified because they had committed sexual assaults between 2009 and 2014. And again, these were the cops who were reported, and where the charges were taken seriously, and where their departments took action. So this is a very small portion of the police rapists. AP also reported that between 2005 and 2011, more than 5,500 cops were arrested for sexual misconduct. Again, the tip of the iceberg.

Stop the war on women!

In Holtzclaw’s case, his last (known) victim did report the attack, in June of 2014. And in this case, police pressed charges, there was a trial and conviction—a rare case of at least partial justice in a rape-by-police case. But even this trial was in many ways a vivid example of in-justice, white supremacy, and degradation of rape victims. For one thing, the 13 Black women victims confronted their attacker in a courtroom in which everyone else—all the jurors, the judge, the bailiffs, the prosecutors—was white. And, while Holtzclaw, out on bond, showed up every day in a suit and tie, many of his victims had been jailed and were led into the courtroom in handcuffs, wearing their orange jumpsuits, and in some cases were even shackled while testifying.

And it was also very notable that in spite of the horrific nature of the charges against Holtzclaw, which came in the midst of a national uproar about police terror, his arrest, indictment and trial were pretty much a non-story nationally until the last few days of the trial. The mass (really ruling class) media played its role of “damage control,” doing what they could to justify, conceal or distort reality so as to protect the pristine illusion that the police are anything but violent enforcers for a brutal and oppressive system, and their culture is one where a serial rapist in uniform could sexually assault Black women for months.






Revolution #419 December 28, 2015

The Revolution Club in Tennessee for Anna Yocca Arraignment

December 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Unbelievable as it may seem....


The Revolution Club, Stop Patriarchy, revolutionaries, and activists came to Murfreesboro, Tennessee to #StandWithAnnaYocca during her arraignment on December 22, 2015 (she is still in jail with a $200,000 bail).  We were 14 strong from NYC, Atlanta, and Tennessee.  We brought a simple message "When a Woman Attempts a Coat-Hanger Abortion...It is the Patriarchal SYSTEM That Is Guilty of Attempted Murder—Against Her!" (  The Revolution Club came to let everyone know of the leadership we have in Bob Avakian AND of the REVOLUTION we need.  We brought BA's NEW quote (card) from "ON 'PRINCIPLED COMPROMISES,' AND OTHER CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY", "Break ALL the Chains!" Samplers, and Revolution newspaper. 

We held up our signs and posters outside the courthouse and rallied for about an hour.  We mic-checked on the outrageousness of Anna Yocca being charged with first-degree attempted murder, and we distributed materials.  We mic-checked on why we traveled to #StandWithAnnaYocca.  A progressive man who drove 4 hours to attend the arraignment spoke with conviction of why a woman should have TOTAL control over her body.  A woman who drove from a neighboring county spoke to the need of abortion being accessible and without shame (she made a sign with slogans from   

We went inside the courthouse to witness the arraignment.  While inside the courtroom we noticed several police officers strategically seated around us.  After the arraignment we stood up with our fists in the air and chanted "DROP ALL THE CHARGES! FREE ANNA YOCCA!"  The press followed us outside and we continued to rally while some of us got interviewed.  (See press coverage:

Stand with Anna Yocca

We decided to travel to a relatively busy area in downtown Nashville to let everyone know about the day AND to challenge people to get into this movement for revolution—in particular the leadership of Bob Avakian.  At a certain point we marched and chanted down the sidewalks.  Immediately someone yelled out of their car "Murderers!" And while we encountered a lot of backward, reactionary, anti-science women haters, pro-female enslavement zombies, we were able to interact with several people who were very supportive and appreciated us being there.  Most people did not know of Anna Yocca and several were shocked upon hearing the details.  People took materials and gave statements in support of abortion rights with one person giving a $100 donation.

Revolution 417 front page

When we led with BA's quote—it brought A LOT of clarity and framed why " the 21st century there are still people—including people in positions of power and authority—who are determined to force women to bear children...." Ted Cruz—one of the fascists running for the Republican nomination for president—was in Nashville (that same day) and some people gravitated to the issue of Revolution newspaper with candidates on the cover and the message "They have no answers / THE REVOLUTION DOES." And this provided an opportunity to walk people through this week's editorial

Our experience was brief but the overall day emphasized the importance of our presence and intervention.  It sharpened the need of many more people from all walks of life urgently taking up the fight to STOP this war on women—especially on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. And it stressed the importance of many more people getting into the leadership of Bob Avakian (and the movement for revolution he leads) in order to fight for the emancipation of women as part of fighting for the emancipation of all of humanity.

Stand with Anna Yocca Stand with Ann Yocca




Revolution #419 December 28, 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 #419 December 28, 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 #419 December 28, 2015

Donald Trump Is a Fascist—And Ted Cruz Is Too

December 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Lots and lots of people are justifiably disgusted and freaked out by Donald Trump running for president—let alone the idea that he would actually win. Trump is a fascist!

But now Ted Cruz is being packaged as the “more reasonable” alternative to Trump as the Republican presidential candidate. When Trump says something totally reactionary and outrageous, Cruz can come along and say the same thing, but in a seemingly more reasonable and perhaps less repulsive way—and so some people think this Christian fascist is more moderate.

A Christian Fascist Agenda

Ted Cruz has strong backing from powerful sections of the U.S. ruling class. More specifically, Cruz has longstanding, carefully cultivated ties with leading Christian fundamentalists. For over a decade he has been building a base of support among key groupings of far right-wing Christian fascists.

BA on elections

Cruz began his official run for the presidency at Liberty University, a bastion of fundamentalist Christian fascism. Before a boisterous crowd of students, he pledged to head a federal government that would “defend the sanctity of human life, and to uphold the sacrament of marriage.” In other words, he is adamantly against a woman’s right to abortion and same-sex marriage. Cruz vows he will defund and probably prosecute Planned Parenthood.

Cruz says he will build a 700-mile-long wall and quadruple the amount of military and police aircraft along the U.S.-Mexico border. He attacks and slanders the many people throughout the country protesting police murder and brutality, and recently joined in the chorus of those spewing the lie that the real problem is cops under assault.

This summer, Cruz and other Republicans running for president spoke at South Carolina’s “Faith and Freedom Barbecue.” Cruz got repeated standing ovations for a speech one reporter described as “almost martial” (military). He said he would “rip to shreds” any agreement Obama signed with Iran, and blustered, “If the Ayatollah doesn’t understand that, we may have to help introduce him to the 72 virgins” (a crude and insulting vow to assassinate Iran’s leader). He also promised to “secure the border,” end sanctuary cities, and move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem (which would be an endorsement of Israel’s genocidal treatment of Palestine). He concluded by declaring “no man who doesn’t begin every day on his knees [i.e. praying] is fit to stand in the Oval Office [as president].”

In the December 15 Republican debate, Cruz defended previous statements that he would “carpet bomb ISIS into oblivion” and see whether “sand can glow in the dark.” Let’s be clear what these statements mean. Carpet bombing was a tactic of genocidal mass murder used by the U.S. against the people of Vietnam. It means saturating every part of a large area with highly destructive bombs. Carpet bombing is considered a war crime by the Geneva Conventions. Cruz’s talk about seeing if “sand can glow” is a threat to use nuclear weapons in the highly populated deserts of the Middle East, and has gone completely unchallenged in the U.S. media.

Cruz overtly advocates a Christian theocracy (religious doctrine ruling the government). He was personally “blessed” by David Lane, a crazed (and powerful) Christian fascist who wrote in a 2013 article, “Wage War to Restore a Christian America,” “... you ask, ‘what is our goal’? To wage war to restore America to our Judeo-Christian heritage with all of our might and strength that God will give us. You ask, ‘what is our aim’? One word only. Victory.”

In short, this is a very dangerous man. He is a committed religious fanatic who thinks women are breeding machines, subordinate to men and who should be denied the right to abortion. Who threatens the use of nuclear weapons as if it’s a joke. Who vehemently opposes equal rights for LGBT people. Who promises to triple the number of Border Patrol agents on the U.S.-Mexico border and build even more immigration prisons and enhance deportation. Who refuses to distance himself from fascist thuggery.

The Promotion of Cruz

The promotion of a Christian fascist like Ted Cruz points to, as we said about Trump: “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 the USA confront a wave of uprisings and protests against a reign of police murder and terror 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...”

THIS is the context for the promotion of Ted Cruz as the “more reasonable,” perhaps less repulsive fascist Republican presidential candidate.

But now is no time to be intimidated by the ugly repression offered up by the likes of Cruz. Nor is it time to succumb to the hopeless dream that the Democrats—who represent the same bloody, oppressive system—somehow represent a meaningful alternative. No. What humanity needs is revolution, changing everything, changing the whole world. And what is needed right now is working to build and make as powerful as possible the movement for revolution, so we can get there as soon as possible.






Revolution #419 December 28, 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 #419 December 28, 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 #419 December 28, 2015

Speech by Andy Zee at Grand Opening of Revolution Books...

Revolution Books and the Emancipation of Humanity

November 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |

Andy Zee Andy Zee, spokesperson for Revolution Books, at the store's November 15 grand opening celebration in Harlem

The following is the text of the talk given by Andy Zee, spokesperson for Revolution Books, at the store's November 15 grand opening celebration in Harlem.

It is with great joy, and with a serious sense of responsibility that comes from understanding what Revolution Books can mean for a radically different and better future for the people of the world, that I have the great honor of opening the first program at the new Revolution Books in Harlem, New York.

So now, I say to all of you have joined us for this Grand Opening Celebration, and I say to the world: It's on! We're here. We're ready, to make real just what we say we are: a center of a movement for an actual revolution, a bookstore with the novels, poetry, history, science, philosophy, and more, a place about the world and for a radically new world...a place where people have the opportunity to discover, experience, and engage all of this...and do so in the context of not just how the world has been historically or how it is today, or even in an imagined future, but looking at all this with our sights set on what really could be, because the reality of the world today holds the potential for something far better, and to unlock that at the foundation of Revolution Books is the most advanced scientific revolutionary theory for a revolution for the full emancipation of humanity: the new synthesis of communism brought forward by the revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian.

My name is Andy Zee, I am the spokesperson for Revolution Books, Welcome. My appreciation to all of you for joining us today for this celebration. I want to invite you to join me in recognizing the dedication and work by the staff of Revolution Books over the past five months. I also want to appreciate the incredible warmth of the people from this neighborhood who pitched in and worked so hard on the renovation; who came by and donated what they could to make this possible. Let's give a big shout out to the people who are listening outside because the program was sold out. And I want to say to you, I look forward to meeting you here next weekend at the open house.

And, please join me in also recognizing the welcoming spirit and encouragement of people from all walks of life—from the Harlem arts community to the people from the projects—as well as those from across the city, everyone who contributed funds, opened up doors and who came in to work, paint, and move and shelve the books. And I want to shout out to the students and grad students from Columbia University, CCNY and other schools, to everyone who has pitched in and pulled together to make this possible.

The joy of today's celebration is made so much sweeter by the students from the University of Missouri, including the Mizzou Tiger Football team, who beat Brigham Young University yesterday, which only matters because the Mizzou players put the interests of the people before their athletic careers, inspiring students across the country from Yale to California to stand up against the white-supremacist structures of the universities—students who themselves were propelled into political life by the righteous rising of the youth of Ferguson. Let's recognize too, the 100 families whose loved ones were murdered by police who came to NYC on October 24th for Rise Up October, who stood up in the face of their unimaginable loss and said THIS MUST STOP—and were joined by thousands of people, including voices of conscience and artists like Quentin Tarantino, which unleashed a firestorm of attacks and threats on him from the police and media. To all of these fighters I say, Revolution Books is for you.

And now, join me in welcoming a long-time friend of Revolution Books, a voice of conscience and former prisoner of conscience, a story teller of incredible imagination and beauty who has given the world the gift of taking us inside the lives and experience—the sufferings, the struggles, and the dreams of his country, Kenya—an experience that resonates the world over because of the commonality of life under the domination of imperialism, the billions of lives grotesquely circumscribed, economically, politically, and culturally—making life a living hell—an agony ultimately, and indeed continually, brutally enforced militarily. It tells you a lot about Revolution Books, and lot about this man, that he has come here today to open Revolution Books. Join me in welcoming Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o.


The last time Ngũgĩ spoke at Revolution Books NY we debuted his childhood memoir, Dreams in the Time of War, a memoir of a master storyteller that reads like a novel and which delivers the promise of its title, telling of a person and a people who dream of a better future in the midst of oppression and real horrors.

Today the door opens on this place of truly great possibilities. For Revolution Books is a place of dreams and yes, in a time of war...for everywhere today humanity is besieged. Revolution Books is a place that holds the dreams and the hopes for humanity for a world where no longer will the legacy of the lash of slavery or the noose of lynching be present as it is today in the bullets of the police or the cages of mass incarceration. Where no longer will women fear to walk down the street, be afraid even of her most intimate partner, or have control of her own life and body with the right to decide when and if to have a child taken from her by the state. Where gender will no longer be cause for stigmatization. Where no longer will people across the world fear the buzzing that signals death by the remote-control missiles of terror launched from suburbs of Maryland. Where no longer will tens of millions be driven as refugees from their homes to endure horrific detention camps and face demonization, deportation and worse. Where no longer will the creative potential and spirit of billions of people be crushed by the murderous grinding of imperialism. Where no longer will the planet itself be despoiled.

At Revolution Books the dream of a world that has overcome all forms of exploitation and oppression lives. What is extraordinary at RB is that here people can find the way to make these dreams a reality.

People's lives and dreams, our struggles large and small, are told in the pages of the books at RB. The engagement, dialogues, debate with authors, artists, scientists, front-line fighters, thinkers from the university and around the way; reveal a fertile vein—a deep mine—that reflects and concentrates the rich and complex history and present brutal reality as well as the aspirations and soaring artistic achievements of humanity. It is true that you will find the world at Revolution Books.

But the problems of the world today appear on the surface to be intractable. People are compelled into choices of competing horrors and futures that are no future. Witness the contention between two horrendous forces—the reactionary fundamentalisms rearing their backward path around the world and, on the other hand, the brutal forcible imposition of imperialist modernity... We are seeing this played out in blood in France with the outrageous attacks on innocent people, actions that have nothing to do with liberating anyone, anywhere. And what drives this fury are the imperialist bombs and troops and special ops unleashed from imperialist metropoles with the U.S. at the head of the pack, enforcing the daily robbery and deprivation that is the norm of this system. Humanity needs another way.

Look at the choices and the future of a Black or Latino youth growing up in projects like those two blocks from Revolution Books, whose life trajectory is mapped out by the system before they are even born—where one in three will end up in prison if not shot by the police.

Consider what it means that the first communist-led revolutions of the 20th century were defeated, first in the Soviet Union in 1956 and then in revolutionary China after the death of Mao in 1976. These revolutions began and achieved much in the struggle for people to get free from the thousands of years of oppressive class divided societies. Today, because for 40 years there hasn't been any country that is a beacon of real liberation, political sights around the world seek backward answers or at best are politically low—working on band-aids at the margins of what is today.

This is a time crying out for radical transformation. For a way to breakthrough. For revolution. At Revolution Books, people have the opportunity to discover the work and leadership of Bob Avakian, who today is playing a role analogous to that of Marx in the mid-19th century, piercing the methodological and theoretical fog and limitations of the past; developing a strategy for an actual revolution with a vision and concrete framework for a radically new society and state that is going to work on uprooting all exploitation and overcoming all forms of the oppression of different peoples and nationalities, and genders, and the great division between those privileged to work with their minds and those locked out of the full life of the mind and ideas—forced to toil, from dawn to dusk in manual work. This is a new society where people will be struggling with each other to overcome all the superstition and thinking that reinforces outmoded class and social relations. This too must be a revolution where the whole world comes first.

Most of all, Bob Avakian has brought forward a further development and synthesis of communism as a scientific method and approach—more firmly rooted in understanding reality and working on the objective world as it actually is...discovering the patterns and pathways that are nascent in the acute contradictions that oppress people today and how they are developing and which hold the potential for revolution.

In a world crying out for fundamental change, and many decades after the previous great socialist revolutions were defeated, this is a game changer. At Revolution Books people have the opportunity to experience, engage, and be a part of a movement for an actual revolution that is guided by this scientific method and approach, and the concrete strategy and vision for a new society.

At Revolution Books ideas connect with people. Thinking is explored and challenged. Community is forged by through the process of engaging the big and the hardest questions. There is space here to read and think by yourself, to sip a coffee or a tea. Here people can find a path to begin a process to a life of profound meaning and import, not just for yourself alone, but to be a part of freeing the people of the world. At RB, as I said, if you want to act on what you are coming to understand, you can connect with the movement for revolution and the party which is its leading core. Lives are changed at Revolution Books. Let today's celebration of the opening of Revolution Books be your invitation.

Last week, there was a young man from the neighborhood and two freshman women from Columbia University working in the store and they got to talking with each other about the police brutalizing and murdering people in epidemic proportions. A staff person brought up a quote from BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian where he raises in response to the murder of Tyisha Miller, a woman in Riverside, California who had passed out in her car from a seizure, that in a new society the people's police would sooner give their life than wantonly murder someone like this. Then the discussion was on: is it good cops and bad cops, or is it something deeper and systemic? When they were getting ready to leave, the young man said: "I have never been so challenged in my life while moving heavy boxes to a basement. You know, I think about these things all the time. I know I sound like I'm defending the police, but the truth is I'm more of a target than me being able to change them." The two young women said: "We are so lucky we ran into Revolution Books. We have been looking everywhere on the campus—campus groups—for something radical and we were so disappointed to find nothing! But now we are here where it's really about change and the whole world!" This is what happens at RB: People connect with each other who would otherwise pass in the night. People with different life experiences that normally pull them in different directions find themselves together digging into the biggest questions from the broadest perspective of: Does it have to be this way? Could humanity live differently? Is reform or revolution the solution?

A few days ago I spoke with a graduate student in journalism from South Africa. We only had time to begin a conversation to take apart what it really means for the people of her country that as incredibly historic and important as it was to end institutionalized apartheid in South Africa, without a change in the economic and the political system of capitalism-imperialism, which was then justified and in reality covered over by Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, what this has meant for the masses of South Africans, especially the basic youth, is a life of continued horror, but now without hope. Humanity needs a way out. RB is the place to take the journey to find it.

I have said before that RB encompasses nothing less than the present and the future, and, in a living sense, what we learn from the past. How people understand reality shapes what they do, how they fight back—with what objectives, how they determine friends of the people from enemies, how differences among the people should be taken up now, and in the future, how to fight and how to win—not just the immediate struggle, whether in the streets, the schools, or in the realm of ideology and culture, but how to win in the largest sense, bringing about a whole new society.

As you are figuring out what you think about the new synthesis of communism, your agreements and disagreements, recognize what it means that there is a place where there are the books and the engagement over the biggest questions of what is at the root of the problems humanity faces and the possibility of a radically new world. Without Revolution Books, without this place with its scientific spirit of discovery, the critical thinking, the poetic spirit, and the engagement with revolutionary theory and a broad spectrum of intellectual, cultural, and scientific work, without a place that can connect people to the movement for revolution and its leadership, no matter how heroically people fight, no matter how passionately people expose and denounce the current state of the world, it will stay as it is.

Today we inaugurate the new Revolution Books. It is great to be in Harlem with its rich cultural legacy of Black America...Langston Hughes and James Baldwin, Ellington and Billie Holiday, the creativity on the court of Rucker and the passion and insight of Malcolm X. Harlem has been and remains today a concentration of the foundational oppression of Black people: housing projects run like prisons, militarized police raids stealing the lives in the projects half a mile from here, setting up, framing, and sending the youth to prison. And all this runs smack up against the energy, creativity, and cultural vibrancy of the people and place of Harlem. In recent decades, there is a new diversity of people in Harlem—new immigrants from Central America and Africa, as well as middle-class white people, including students. There's a new energy in the air.

All of this will infuse the new RB. RB is now on the scene—bringing revolution, straight up and all the way—the potential of a radically new world—not just for Harlem but to emancipate people the world over.

Thank you!

See coming events at Revolution Books




Revolution #419 December 28, 2015

New Year's Eve Party Hosted by the Revolution Club!

December 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |




This New Year's Eve, ring in the new year with the Revolution Club at the NEW Revolution Books in Harlem! Join with revolutionaries, artists, students, people from the neighborhood, and from everywhere, young and old, to celebrate a righteous year of resistance to the crimes of this system, and the fact that things don't have to be this way! Come enjoy music that lifts us up (with special live performances throughout the night) dancing, refreshments, and Conversations about things that matter.

9pm-1am @ Revolution Books
437 Lenox Ave. @132nd St.
$10 suggested donation





Revolution #419 December 28, 2015

January 11, 2016—14th Anniversary of U.S. Torture Camp at Guantánamo Bay: Close It NOW!

December 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Opponents of the U.S. torture camp at Guantánamo will protest Monday, January 11, the 14th anniversary of the Bush regime’s establishment of an isolated military prison where 779 men were held without charges. Many were tortured by the U.S. military when captured, often after they were turned in by local militias who collected a $5,000 bounty, or moved around to other secret prisons in Asia and Europe before being kept at Guantánamo.

Many years of international protest won the release of most prisoners, as it became clear that the U.S. had no evidence against the vast majority. Reports of torture were verified by attorneys who fought for the prisoners’ right to legal representation, and prisoners themselves struggled for justice through hunger strikes and learned English to get their stories out.

Of the 107 prisoners still held in the torture camp that Obama said he would close in 2009, 48 have been “approved” for transfer, but are denied freedom until “security conditions can be met’,” three have been convicted by a military commission (a process designed by the military to get convictions), and seven are awaiting military commission trials; 49 more have never been charged. The U.S. government claims these uncharged prisoners cannot be released because they are too “dangerous,” and they can’t be tried because they’ve been tortured.

World Can’t Wait, a participant in the January protests, says: “The real interests of the vast majority of people in this country are to oppose the crimes of the U.S. empire―to stop thinking like Americans and start thinking about humanity, and to act on that conviction. We are not giving up on the mission of closing this open insult to humanity that is Guantánamo.”


Protesting the U.S. military detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. January 2013. Photo: AP





Revolution #419 December 28, 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 #419 December 28, 2015

Statement from

More Police Murder... More Murdering Police Go Free
This Cannot Go Down Like This!
This Cannot Go On!

December 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Tamir Rice

Quintonio Legrier

Bettie Jones

Monday: After over a year of lies and cover-up, the IN-justice system now says they will bring NO charges against the police who murdered Tamir Rice! This is outrageous. This is intolerable. Tamir Rice was a 12-year-old boy, playing with a toy gun in a city park. He was shot down in less than two seconds by police who rolled up on him.

Saturday: At 4:30 in the morning December 26, the day after Christmas, a Chicago cop murdered 19-year-old Quintonio Legrier, a student at Northern Illinois University and Bettie Jones, a mother of five and grandmother of 10. Quintonio had been struggling with mental health issues and his family wanted help. Instead, the police pulled up to the apartment house and fired, killing both of them.

How many more will these murderers in blue shoot down people?!? How long can this be tolerated, from people who are supposed to “serve and protect”?? What kind of a system does this??!?

This cannot go down like this! This cannot go on!

Everyone, everywhere, act now! Join protests, or call protests if nobody else is. Make a sign and get out where people are and call on them to join you. Spread this message by social media, and print it up and get it out everywhere.

Black people have been kidnapped, murdered, enslaved, exploited, Jim-Crowed, lynched, segregated, rioted against, discriminated against, beaten, scorned and slandered, imprisoned, bitten by dogs, lied to and lied on, soft-soaped with hope and promised and tricked, sold out and shot out and shot down in the streets, and just goddamn brutalized and killed over and over, since day one. And here we are going into 2016, and nothing has changed.

How long?!? As long as the system that did all this and does all this still stands.

Humanity needs revolution, a real revolution, a communist revolution. There is a way to win and a new world to build, there is a plan for all this, there is a leader—Bob Avakian (BA)—who has shown the way, and there is a party that he leads, the Revolutionary Communist Party.

As BA has said:

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. (BAsics 1:24)

And as he has vowed:


Go to the BAsics page.
Free E-book Now Available:
Right-click to download the e-book for the Kindle here. Right-click to download the e-book for other e-readers here. For instructions on downloading and moving files from your computer to your e-reader, click here.

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

Get with this leader and get with this Party. We aim to make good on this vow. Visit the website, and find out more. And join with us, now, in the streets to protest and resist this huge outrage that has just been perpetrated. Bring your anger, your sorrow, your outrage and your hopes for emancipation.