Revolution #422, January 18, 2016 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

Please note: this page is intended for quick printing of the entire issue. Some of the links may not work when clicked, and some images may be missing. Please go to the article's permalink if you require working links and images.




Revolution #422 January 18, 2016

Celebrate the Major New Work by Bob Avakian!

Updated January 22, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |



Download and read the PDF of this new book here.


In summer 2015, Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, gave a presentation to a gathering of some members and supporters of the RCP, including some people in the Revolution Clubs. The text of that presentation is now available online at—THE SCIENCE, THE STRATEGY, THE LEADERSHIP FOR AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION, AND A RADICALLY NEW SOCIETY ON THE ROAD TO REAL EMANCIPATION.

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.

This new work—and the new synthesis of communism brought forward by BA overall—is crucial to human emancipation. The title of the new work gives a sense of its range and sweep. This work is for everyone who has big questions about the way the world is now and whether there can be a radically new, much better, world...whose heart aches at the violence and degradation women suffer everywhere, the wanton police murders of Black and Brown people, the suffering of millions of refugees driven from their homes, and all the other horrors...who is part of, or just getting into, the movement for revolution.

The release of THE SCIENCE, THE STRATEGY, THE LEADERSHIP FOR AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION, AND A RADICALLY NEW SOCIETY ON THE ROAD TO REAL EMANCIPATION is a cause for celebration! We call on people everywhere to hold celebrations/book parties—at book stores, on campuses, in the neighborhoods—to welcome this latest major addition to the pathbreaking body of work from Bob Avakian.








Revolution #422 January 18, 2016

Confront the Woman-Haters in DC and San Francisco, January 22 and 23

Forced Motherhood = Female Enslavement:
Abortion on Demand Without Apology

January 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Women are not...

Important demonstrations are being mobilized by and others against the vicious war on women and women’s fundamental right to abortion and birth control, on January 22 in Washington, DC, and January 23 in San Francisco.

These demonstrations come at a time of extreme emergency: abortion clinics are being set on fire, vandalized, and shut down... anti-abortion fanatics are stalking, terrorizing, and even murdering people... women everywhere are being hounded, harassed, and shamed on their way into the clinics... growing numbers of women cannot access safe abortions and are risking their lives to self-induce abortions, with some even ending up in prison... the vicious LIES that it is women’s “duty” to bear children, that it is “selfish” of women to choose not to bring every pregnancy to term, that abortion is tantamount to “murder” or even “genocide,” are being pumped out by ruling class politicians, influential religious fanatics, and mainstream organs of culture and “news.”

Bob Avakian put it well:

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.

None of this grotesque and Dark Ages oppression of women is necessary and no one should tolerate it. Fetuses are NOT babies. Abortion is NOT murder. Women are NOT incubators. Women have absolutely no obligation—to society, to the state, to the church, or to men—to bring a pregnancy to term or to have a child. Women are full human beings, capable of participating fully and equally together with men in every realm of human endeavor.

Counter-demonstration against the Walk for Life in Washington, D.C, January 2015.
Counter-demonstration against the Walk for Life in Washington, D.C, January 2015. Photo: Special to

Sign readsL "Not one more, I want to go into the streets without fear, International Women's Day, Mexico City, Mexico, March 8, 2011.
Sign reads: "Not one more, I want to go into the streets without fear," International Women's Day, Mexico City, Mexico, March 8, 2011. AP photo

New Delhi, India, Dec.2012. In the streets protesting the gang-rape and killing of a New Delhi student.
New Delhi, India, Dec.2012. In the streets protesting the gang-rape and killing of a New Delhi student. AP photo

Yet, in 2016, on every corner of this planet women are treated like punching bags, breeding machines, sex objects, and slaves—their humanity denied, despised, broken, and sold. Women and girls in the millions upon millions are kidnapped and raped, pimped out and beaten, sexually tortured and humiliated—in war zones, in bedrooms, in schools and workplaces, in prisons, in churches and mosques, and in the multibillion-dollar porn and sex “industries.” From the moment they are born until the second they die, the half of humanity that is female and others who do not conform to patriarchal gender and sexual “norms” are heaped with thousands of years of shame, contempt, and cruel judgment for how they look, for how they love, for their sexual desires, for the violence that is inflicted on them, and for daring to defy patriarchal, male domination.

The only reason any of this outrageous oppression continues is because the world continues to be held hostage to the domination of capitalism-imperialism, backed up by armies, unjust laws, and a whole woman-hating, vicious culture. This system has the oppression of women knitted into its every nook and cranny. This system RELIES on this oppression. But that is not all! This same system unleashes its pigs to terrorize and murder Black and Brown people with impunity in Amerikkka while unleashing its military to carry out imperialist occupations, torture, and terror against innocent people abroad. This same system’s blind pursuit of profit is fueling—and can do nothing to stop—the mounting environmental emergency that threatens our very planet. This system is completely outmoded and must be swept aside at the soonest possible time in the only way it can be: through an actual revolution to emancipate humanity.

This revolution is possible. 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.

Break All the Chains!

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

Sampler Edition | Full Work

Everyone who wants to see an end to slavery in every form needs to dig deeply into the work and leadership of Bob Avakian, actively spread this leadership throughout society, and join in the movement for revolution that he is leading today.

As one critical part of this, people should dig deeply into the compendium, Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution, which builds on the best of what has been accomplished in previous revolutions while also going way beyond even the best of this. Everyone who wants to see real and lasting liberation must take to heart and act upon Bob Avakian’s recognition of how taking up the fight for the liberation of women is critical in both building up the strength to make a revolution, and in ensuring that this revolution goes all the way to the full emancipation of all humanity.

At the same time and very immediately, we all must confront that putting a STOP to the vicious attacks on abortion and birth control and going on to DEFEAT and REVERSE this entire war on women will not happen without a fight—without people going into the streets, raising hell, and putting themselves on the line.

In sum, two challenges must be posed very broadly:

1. Stand up against the woman-haters January 22 in DC and January 23 in San Francisco. Change yourself and others in the process, casting off centuries of tradition and shame while forging and modeling a new liberating morality. Be part of fighting to break many—especially many youth and women—out of the enslaving brainwash of anti-abortion religious fanaticism. Be part of waking up many others throughout society who do not want to see women slammed backwards but who do not yet understand the extremes of this emergency or the possibility of defeating this war. Spread the word to everyone you know—in your school or religious congregation, in your neighborhood or professional network. Let people know they are needed and then bring everyone you can from wherever you are to be in the streets on January 22 and/or 23.

2. Get into BA—Get with the science, the strategy, and the leadership for an actual revolution and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation!








Revolution #422 January 18, 2016

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 #422 January 18, 2016

Background to the U.S.-Iran Nuclear Deal
Not a Victory for Diplomacy, a Risk-Filled Deal Between Reactionaries

January 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Last summer, the U.S. and other major powers signed a major nuclear agreement with Iran. Since then, Iran has been working to fulfill its obligations under the deal to dismantle much of its nuclear enrichment program. This past week, Iran completed these steps. As a consequence, on Saturday, January 16, the U.S. and Europe began implementing their part of the deal by releasing some $100 billion in frozen Iranian assets and lifting crippling oil and financial sanctions (the most recent set of those sanctions were imposed in response to Iran’s nuclear program).

As this was taking place, two other issues were resolved that in the past could have become flashpoints. Earlier in the week, two U.S. Navy patrol boats were seized by Iran after they had entered Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf. The boats and their crews were released a day later after intense behind-the-scenes negotiations. Then, on Saturday, as the nuclear deal was being implemented, the U.S. and Iran exchanged prisoners (Iran had been holding five Americans, the U.S. had been holding seven Iranians).

These developments are being hailed by the Obama administration and many in the ruling class (including the New York Times) as a triumph of peace and negotiations over war and death and a “win-win” situation for the U.S. and Iran, as well as the region and the world. In his State of the Union message, Obama praised the Iran deal as an example of a “smarter approach” to U.S. strategy “that uses every element of our national power.” He said that “on issues of global concern, we will mobilize the world to work with us, and make sure other countries pull their own weight...That’s why we built a global coalition, with sanctions and principled diplomacy, to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. As we speak, Iran has rolled back its nuclear program, shipped out its uranium stockpile, and the world has avoided another war.”

Four critical things to understand:

Bringing Forward Another Way

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

Read the full talk | Download PDF

The rulers of Iran and the U.S. are not acting to ensure peace and cooperation, they are acting to preserve their interests and role within a world of exploitation and oppression and dog-eat-dog competition between contending interests and powers. In the case of the U.S., this means maintaining domination of the Middle East.

The rulers of the U.S. and Iran came to this agreement to attempt to carve out ways to deal with a web of contradictions they each face in a region that is a hellish mess for the people with no good options for the reactionary powers. Moves the rulers of the U.S. have made in the region have made things worse for them.

These moves are fraught with all kinds of potential risks and dangers, not just for the parties in this agreement but for a whole mix of contending powers and forces.

In part because of those risks, this deal is an element of, and is intensifying, conflicts within both the U.S. and Iranian ruling classes.

And all of this poses a need for people to see through the bullshit, understand the potential explosiveness in this situation, and work to wrench a completely different kind of world out of the madness, including seizing on potential openings for revolution that might open up, including in unpredictable ways.

Interests of the Ruling Classes

Domination of the Middle East has been a linchpin in the position of U.S. imperialism as the dominant imperialist world power since World War 2. Today the rulers of the U.S. are confronting a complex, interwoven, and unpredictable set of challenges, ranging from the rise and moves of global powers like Russia and China, to the emergence of Islamic jihadists with their own reactionary agendas that conflict with those of the U.S. During the George W. Bush regime, there was an attempt by the U.S. rulers to steamroll over these conflicts with massive invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq—invasions that have been a disaster for the U.S. New and more virulent strains of reactionary Jihad have emerged, rival powers have clashed with the U.S., and there have been stresses and strains with allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Within all this, the emergence of the Islamic Republic of Iran has posed a major challenge for the rulers of the U.S. Iran has sponsored, supported, or served as an impetus for reactionary Islamic forces in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Yemen, and other places. Both Iran and Russia back the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

The U.S. hit at the Islamic Republic of Iran with vicious “sanctions” whose most substantial impact has been increased suffering among the Iranian people, with the goal of isolating and destabilizing the regime. These sanctions and other measures have had an impact and created real problems for the functioning and stability of the Iranian ruling class.

In much of the Middle East and beyond, the U.S. and its ally Saudi Arabia are engaged in proxy conflicts with Iran, even as in some places the U.S. and Iran have had working agreements to combat mutual enemies like ISIS.

With both the rulers of the U.S. and Iran up against daunting challenges, sections of the ruling classes in each country have gotten behind the nuclear deal, with the intent that this will lead to broader cooperation.

Unpredictable Risks for the Rulers


But the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal poses serious dangers for each side. Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally, sees the nuclear deal as a major threat to its standing in a volatile region and has made moves, including executing a cleric with some ties to Iran, with the intent of inciting tensions and provoking an Iranian response. Israel—which plays a unique role as an enforcer for the interests of the U.S. empire—sees Iran as a major threat, and tensions between the U.S. and Israel have been intense since the deal was made.

For their part, the rulers of Iran have built their legitimacy and credibility on posing as standing up to “the Great Satan.” And they are embroiled in conflicts with U.S.-backed forces around the region (even as they are cooperating to some extent with the U.S. in Iraq against ISIS). And there are sections of the Iranian ruling class that see potentially fatal dangers in closer ties with the U.S.

For these and other reasons, in both the U.S. and Iran, major forces in each ruling class (represented in the U.S. to a significant degree by the Republicans, and in Iran by the Republican Guards and other “hard line” Islamic forces), there is fierce opposition to the nuclear deal and the associated developments in the relationship between Iran and the U.S.

These conflicts have nothing to do with “war vs. peace” or “diplomacy vs. war,” let alone the interests of the peoples of the region or the world. In particular, the U.S. ruling class is fighting over how to confront the dangers to their empire in the region while not getting so drawn in that other (imperialist) powers gain an advantage elsewhere, nor making things such a mess that the dominant order breaks down and generates new and even more unpredictable contradictions (which is what has happened in Iraq, Libya, and Syria).

Their Interests vs. Humanity

See also: Why We Should NOT Root for Our Own Rulers... And Why It's Better If They LOSE Their Wars by Larry Everest

On both sides, this new treaty is itself a gamble, and there is absolutely no guarantee that the situation for either the U.S. or Iran will get better, including because it destabilizes previously existing alliances and intensifies others.

There is nothing positive in any of this for the vast majority of humanity. And rather than get behind any faction of the U.S. ruling class, including those represented by Obama, there is a great need for people in this country to break out of identifying with “their own” rulers, and instead to fight to bring forward a whole other kind of world, free of exploitation and oppression. Unpredictable events emerging from this deal could—with a revolutionary movement with a revolutionary communist vanguard at its core—be part of conditions that would make a serious attempt at revolution possible.

The U.S.-Iran nuclear agreement is about trying to preserve the interests of reactionary ruling classes. But as we have begun to explore here, and have analyzed in ongoing coverage of this deal at, it is a move fraught on both sides, and beyond—with tremendous risks and dangers for them, including the possibility of dramatic setbacks that could open the door to accelerated work towards revolution. Preparing to seize on such an opportunity requires exposing the real nature of this deal, opposing the crimes of “our” ruling class, and preparing the people, preparing the ground, and preparing the vanguard for actual revolution.






Revolution #422 January 18, 2016

Police Murder of Cedrick Chatman Approved by Chicago Powers

This Cannot Go Down! This Cannot Go On!

Updated January 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


In the midst of outrage over one horrendous police murder after another and exposures of the official cover-up from every institution, the video of the police shooting of 17-year-old Cedrick Chatman in January 2013 was forced into the light of day after a battle by the city to suppress it. The family wanted the public to see the video to counter the official lies and verdict that Cedrick’s shooting was justified. “You see him running away from the officers as fast as he possibly could--he never even begins to turn,” Brian Coffman, the family lawyer, said. “Fry [the cop] never says anything. He just gets out of the car, watches him run with his gun trained on him, and fires.” Not only did they gun down Cedrick in the middle of the day on a busy South Side street corner, but there is the sickening sight of the other cop standing with his boot on the mortally wounded, handcuffed teenager, as though Cedrick is some kind of animal in a trophy kill. This horror gives graphic illustration to the reality expressed by many that it is “open season” on Black people. THESE HORRORS MUST STOP NOW!

What has come out around this case is the fact that all the “institutional processes” involved knew about and officially approved the cop’s right to shoot this unarmed Black youth while he was fleeing for his life. In this case both the state’s attorney and the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) cleared Fry of any wrongdoing. Neither cop faced any discipline and they have been on the street to this day.

The official police story was that Cedrick and others had carjacked a car. The police said they saw a car that matched the description, stopped it and that they saw Chatman reach down for something in the car and then get out of his car and run with a black object in his hand that they thought might be a weapon and that he turned slightly toward the pursuing cops, so “fearing for his life” the cop, Fry, opened fire. But the investigation of the scene showed that the object was a black iPhone box, there was no gun. And video footage from three nearby buildings shows Cedrick was sprinting away from the cops. Coffman, who initially was hesitant to take the case, said, “The more I saw, the more I realized, ‘Oh my god, this is a giant scam.’ It was unbelievable. They were fighting tooth and nail to cover this up from the very beginning.”

The only thing that was not pig business-as-usual in this case is that the lead investigator for IPRA, Lorenzo Davis, found that the shooting was unjustified and recommended firing Fry, the cop who murdered Cedrick. Fry was not fired, but Lorenzo Davis was fired for refusing to change his decision. Davis examined the video and concluded that “Cedrick was just running as the shots were fired. You’re taught that deadly force is a last resort and that you should do everything in your power to apprehend the person before you use deadly force. I did not see where deadly force was called for at that time.” The head of IPRA (who is appointed by the mayor), a supposed independent and impartial investigative body, was determined to protect the police and intervened directly and ordered Davis to change his decision to “justified” on this case (and five others including the police murders of Laquan McDonald and Flint Farmer). Davis, who had been a Chicago cop for 23 years, refused and he was fired for “anti-police bias!” After his firing, the higher-ups at IPRA changed the decision on the shooting to “justified.” No charges were brought by the state’s attorney either. Case closed. Officially-approved murder—signed, sealed, delivered.

THERE IS MORE. The murdering cop has a long record of brutality and at least one other death. The wrongful death civil suit filed by Chatman’s family is the fifth civil rights lawsuit since 2006 in which Fry is named as a defendant. The other four allege violations of excessive force, false arrest and illegal searches. They all ended in settlements. At least one involved the shooting of another Black teen. Fry has been the target of 30 complaints throughout his career and ALL were marked as “unsubstantiated." In fact, Fry has faced no discipline whatsoever in his whole career.

AND THERE IS MORE. Instead of charging the killer cop, two alleged accomplices in the alleged carjacking who were 10 blocks away at the time the cops killed Cedrick, were charged with Cedrick’s murder! The prosecutors wrote that the men “set in motion a chain of events that caused the death of Cedrick Chatman.” This is a twisted logic—cops kill a man and get away with murder and two youth who weren’t even on the scene are charged for his murder. The murder charges were used as a club to force them to plead guilty to lesser charges. They are now in prison for 10 years while the cops are free and on duty on the street.

Yes there's a conspiracy, to get the cops off

"Yes there's a conspiracy... to get the cops off" is a 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

What does this tell us? That the whole process and routine machinery of the police, the law, the supposed investigative and legal “checks and balances,” and the executive (mayor and city council) is set up to give the stamp of approval to police murder and terror and to hide what’s really going on so they can keep doing it. Who was punished? Not the cops, not the head of the IPRA. They fired the investigator who wouldn’t back off his finding. This is more than a code of silence, it is a system that is in place to allow the police to murder with impunity, and at the same time routinize it, cover it up, and make it look like the process is fair and equal by suppressing evidence and demonizing a whole section of people that they viciously repress.

Brian Coffman said, “the symmetry between our case and the McDonald case is pretty obvious...This is a bomb that’s about to drop in the city of Chicago, where everyone suddenly realizes the system is broken.”

What this actually reveals is how the whole system really works, and is meant to work, yes, in Chicago, but all over the country, as Bob Avakian sharply reveals in the video “Yes there is a conspiracy ... to get the cops off.”

Everyone who is sick of what they have seen on these videos, everyone who can’t sit silent while police murder more people like Bettie Jones and Quintonio Legrier, everyone who wanted 12-year-old Tamir Rice to have a chance to grow up, everyone who has been protesting and refusing to be quiet—you need to be in the streets and schools raising hell!

And you need to be at the Midwest Regional Conference of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) to STOP POLICE TERROR on Saturday, January 23, 12-6 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, 125 East 26th Street, Chicago. (Go here for SMIN regional conferences coming up in other areas of the country.)






Revolution #422 January 18, 2016

Obama's Last State of the Union Speech

The Reality of the "Change We Can Believe In"—More Wars, Continuing Environmental Catastrophe, Ongoing Horrors

January 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On January 12, President Barack Obama gave his eighth and final State of the Union message.

Eight years ago, Obama was elected the first African-American president in U.S. history. There were massive celebrations, with millions hoping for major changes—a dramatic U-turn from the George W. Bush years and a real beginning to end war, racism, poverty, repression, and environmental devastation. Obama ran on these hopes—“Change We Can Believe In”—and fed them every step of the way. The night he won the vote, Obama told supporters his election proved that America is a “place where all things are possible” and that “change has come to America.” Why was all this possible? Because, according to Obama, of the promise and reality of the American Dream—“that through hard work and sacrifice each of us can pursue our individual dreams.... that each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will.”

So what has Obama actually done? Has he fulfilled those hopes? If not, WHY not? And what are the implications?

Reveling in USA No. 1—Imperialism and Mass Murder

The Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan was hit by a U.S. air strike in October 2015. Photo: AP

A key theme of his State of the Union speech was how even in these times of huge, fast-paced changes reshaping the planet and posing new challenges, the U.S. does and can remain the world’s dominant power—and that people should not only believe this, they should revel in it. Eight years ago, many people had put hope in Obama as the “antiwar candidate”—even when he himself was telling them differently, like promising to send more troops to Afghanistan in order to win the war. Now, Obama sounded like a mafia boss, bragging about U.S. military dominance and his willingness to use it to kill:

[A]ll the talk of America’s economic decline is political hot air. Well, so is all the rhetoric you hear about our enemies getting stronger and America getting weaker. The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It’s not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined.

The candidate who established his reputation by opposing Bush’s launching of the war in Iraq is now demanding that Congress authorize more war: “If this Congress is serious about winning this war, and wants to send a message to our troops and the world, you should finally authorize the use of military force against ISIL. Take a vote.”

And Obama brags that authorization or no authorization, the U.S. has already conducted 10,000 airstrikes against targets in Iraq and Syria, and enemies of the U.S. should understand that this president is ready to assassinate anyone, anywhere—like the U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, murdered by a drone strike in Yemen with Obama serving as judge, jury, and executioner: “When you come after Americans”—in other words, threaten U.S. imperialist interests—”we go after you. It may take time, but we have long memories, and our reach has no limit.” Aside from Iraq and Syria, during his two terms Obama has ordered airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia.

Obama’s performance called to mind what Malcolm X said about the U.S., that it stands before the world like a smiling “bloody-jawed wolf.”

Villagers at a home hit by a drone strike near Kabul, Afghanistan, June 2012. Photo: AP

Obama targeted reactionary Islamic fundamentalists, saying, “Both al Qaeda and now ISIL pose a direct threat to our people.” But the reality is that the workings of U.S. imperialism over decades—its support of murderous fundamentalist tyrannies like Saudi Arabia and the brutal enforcer state Israel, and its wars and occupations, have created the towering horrors that have fueled the growth of Islamic jihadism. “The Middle East is going through a transformation that will play out for a generation, rooted in conflicts that date back millennia,” Obama declared. “We also can’t try to take over and rebuild every country that falls into crisis”—as if the U.S. had nothing to do with the 60 million people who are now refugees, or the million-plus dead in Afghanistan and Iraq, as if U.S. bombings, wars and occupations were benevolent efforts to “rebuild.”

All of this is training people to see the world through the eyes of the empire... to think that only American lives matter... and that in hopes of getting better jobs, education, and medical benefits, the people in this country should turn a blind eye to the murder and mayhem the U.S. spreads around the world and the hell for hundreds of millions right here on planet Earth.

“Reinventing” the Energy Sector... By Becoming No. 1 Oil Producer

Some people may argue that he has fulfilled his promises on the environment. Obama—the so-called “environmental” president—claimed that under his leadership, the U.S. had “reinvented” its energy sector, and that thanks to “the single biggest investment in clean energy in our history,” in many places “wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power,” and that “solar is saving Americans tens of millions of dollars a year on their energy bills, and employs more Americans than coal.” Meanwhile, Obama declared, “We’ve cut our imports of foreign oil by nearly 60 percent, and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on Earth.”

A coal field in Wyoming, 2010. Photo: AP

What’s the reality? At a moment when the planet is at a climate tipping point, with the fate of the environmental fabric of life at stake, and drastic action is required, Obama’s claims cover over the reality that under his leadership U.S. capitalism-imperialism continues to pour out greenhouse gases from massive use of fossil fuels—gases that are the key drivers of the climate change that is pushing the world toward environmental catastrophe. Wind power? It accounts for only four percent of U.S. energy consumption. Solar? Barely over one percent. Fossil fuels still account for 84 percent of U.S. energy (and this does not even take into account the millions of tons of greenhouse gases spewed into the atmosphere from overseas production for the U.S. market).

As for changes in the energy sector and cutting U.S. oil imports, this is something that has happened under Obama—but it’s nothing positive for humanity. More than Bush/Cheney or any other previous administrations, Obama has been the “oil president,” expanding fracking and increasing oil production 72 percent under his watch, turning the U.S. into the world’s biggest oil and natural gas producer. The U.S. uses these fuels and its dominance of fracking technology as a weapon in its rivalry with capitalist competitors. Clearly, these changes under Obama are hardly consistent with “combating climate change.”

Why Obama Couldn’t Fulfill His Promises

In other aspects as well, things have NOT gotten better under Obama—including the new Jim Crow facing Black people (which Obama said almost nothing about in his speech), the attacks on the right to abortion and other ways that women are under assault, and more. Far from turning around the vicious and heartless attacks on immigrants, Obama has presided over record levels of deportation of immigrants, including children and women fleeing violent hell in Central American countries that has its roots in the U.S. domination of the region in the first place.

The fact is that even if he had wanted to, Obama could never have fulfilled his promises. Why?

Not because Republicans have prevented him. Yes, there’s been sharp struggle in the halls of power, but this is a struggle within the class of capitalist-imperialist rulers over how to best manage the empire. The reasons go much deeper, to the very foundation of any society, including the U.S.—its economic base.

No matter what Obama had said, or even what he had intended—no political representative of this system can escape the laws that set the framework for what is, and what isn’t, possible under the current setup: the laws of capitalism and in particular its anarchic driving force of dog-eat-dog, expand-or-die competition between capitalists, and between the world’s capitalist powers. Whoever sits in the Oval Office is compelled by the needs of this system to fight to maintain the U.S.’s global economic, military, and political supremacy—including by having the biggest military and using that power (including acting through proxy powers) to pursue the interests of U.S. imperialism.

The dynamics of capitalism-imperialism are why environmental measures that are actually commensurate with the scope and scale of the planetary emergency are impossible. If somehow Obama, or any president, were to attempt a wholesale transformation of the way the economy and society as a whole is organized in order to make the kind of drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions that are actually needed to seriously deal with the climate crisis, their plans would quickly run up against the workings of the capitalist-imperialist system—including their military and strategic necessities as they engage in cutthroat competition against their rivals around the world. Ask yourself: The U.S. military is the largest single institutional consumer of oil in the world—could the U.S. rulers dismantle their military in order to help save the planet? The answer is obvious.

The fundamental way capitalism-imperialism operates is also why eliminating the oppression of women, the horrendous mistreatment of immigrants, or other horrors is impossible under the current system.

Obama’s role for the last eight years has been to be the political representative of a system that has carried out more wars around the world, environmental destruction, terror against Black and other people of color, violence against and degradation of women, and other horrors—and to try to get people to go along with all this. People who voted for Obama believed that they had chosen him to carry out things they hoped to see. But the truth of the matter is that Obama was chosen by the powers that be to play the role he went on to play—because the ruling class was facing some serious contradictions, within the U.S. and across their empire. This is why powerful forces among the rulers did what they did with Obama—not only having this relatively unknown senator become a “viable” and “serious” candidate for the presidency, but carefully grooming and bringing him forward, including through the mainstream media, giving him an “audition,” and then anointing him to become the face of U.S. imperialism. This is the reality, no matter how much people got sucked into and deeply believed in the promotion of Obama as the “real one” who would finally bring about real “change” in the interests of the people.

What Bob Avakian recently pointed out about elections is very relevant to this: “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.(from “ON ‘PRINCIPLED COMPROMISES,’ AND OTHER CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY”)





Revolution #422 January 18, 2016

From A World to Win News Service:

German Reaction to Assaults on Women: “Don't Touch Our Property”

January 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


January 11, 2016. A World to Win News Service. On New Year’s Eve, the central train station in Cologne, Germany, was a horrendous place to be for women. That is an understatement. More than 600 women have come forward to detail how they were surrounded by groups of dozens of men, unable to leave. The men ripped their clothes, groping them between their legs and down their shirts, leaving bruises on their breasts and buttocks. There were some instances of rape and many robberies. Similar assaults on a smaller scale took place in Hamburg, Stuttgart and Berlin.

The assaults were reportedly committed by groups of young men mainly of North African and other foreign origin. A demonstration called by the far right a few days later demanded an end to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy that has allowed in more than a million people fleeing war in Syria, Afghanistan and other countries. In a counter-demonstration, hundreds of women and men came to the train station with banners saying no to sexism and no to racism.

These horrendous New Year’s Eve acts fueled an already intense debate raging throughout German society from top to bottom and spreading across Europe. Merkel argues that accepting certain refugees is an opportunity for Germany to increase its population, expand its home economy and further strengthen its position as the leading power in a strong European Union. The governments of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic delighted in this Cologne outrage and self-righteously insisted that is why they refused to submit to German pressure to accept more migrants. They often claim an influx of people who profess the Islamic religion will lead to a collapse of culture and civilization in Europe.

people take to the streets demonstrating against racism and sexism in any form, January 9.

The horrible New Year's Eve attacks on women in Cologne, Germany have led to an uproar, creating major havoc for German imperialism. Here people take to the streets demonstrating against racism and sexism in any form, January 9. (Photo AP)

The racist and fascistic far right (the anti-Islamic Pegida and right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany—AfD) are calling for an end to the migrant influx and for Merkel’s head. One comment on the blog Politically Incorrect encapsulates the vicious turn this debate has taken: “The crazy chancellor has allowed millions of male, sexually starved, asocial illegals from the Middle East and Africa to come to Germany. Blond German women are, according to the Koran, ‘prey-women’ who can be abused according to your whims or enslaved.” The real meaning of this insane rant is that the manhandling of German women should be reserved for German men.

Spurred by this outlook, a “manhunt for foreigners” has already resulted in attacks on six Pakistanis and a Syrian man on January 10 by small groups in front of Cologne’s train station.

These attacks on women have led to an uproar, creating major havoc for German imperialism. Whether they can control the political situation remains to be seen as Merkel tries to assuage the German right wing while insisting that EU members fall in line with German interests. Formerly seeking to play the compassion card, now she is calling for the deportation of asylum seekers and those who already have refugee status if they are convicted of any crime, regardless of whether they are sentenced to prison. This implicitly accepts the far right’s arguments.

Break All the Chains!

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

Sampler Edition | Full Work

Migrants, both newly arrived and others, correctly insist these rotten acts do not represent who they are. They are deeply worried how the acts of a few will bring new destruction in their already precarious lives. Driven from their home countries by wars and invasions conducted or spawned by the U.S. and its European partners, they have no place safe to go.

The deplorable statement by the female mayor of Cologne that women should keep strange men at “arm’s length” implies that women are complicit in the sexually aggressive behavior of men. Some progressive, courageous German women and men outraged by these events nonetheless have been hesitant to take a position on these attacks because they understand the backlash against foreigners, given the bloodthirsty mood in Germany today. They want to reach out to refugees as human beings while at the same time fight against the oppression of women. They cite the amount of sexual violence that existed in Germany long before refugees arrived, and the hypocritical concerns for women now that the blame is being directed at refugees.

The New Year’s Eve assaults went on for hours with the police watching. The initial police report the following day stated that the evening had passed uneventfully. It seems that the authorities saw nothing wrong with boys “having a little fun” on their night out until women’s outrage put them in an embarrassing position.

Sexual assaults can occur not only by intimate partners, or on a lonely, desolate street, but also at clubs, stadium games, on women’s evenings out and especially at Oktoberfest, Germany’s annual beer bacchanalia. “The way to the toilet alone is like running the gauntlet: within 50 feet, you can be sure to tally three hugs from drunken strangers, two pats on the ass, someone looking up your dirndl, and some beer purposely splashed right down your cleavage,” wrote Karoline Beisel and Beate Wild in 2011, in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. An average of ten reported rapes take place each year at Oktoberfest while the estimated number of unreported cases is 200.

Patriarchy: Women’s Oppression and the Link Between Rape and Prostitution

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

Patriarchal societies worldwide came into being with the advent of private property and the resulting need to establish inheritance. The domination of women by men was established. With the rise of capitalism, relations of patriarchy and male supremacy, along with other oppressive social relations, became deeply ingrained in this exploitative economic system, a global system in which today a handful of countries fatten on the world’s peoples.

Today women’s oppression exists throughout the world, whether in the developed world of Europe, the U.S. and Japan or countries of the South, in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. What is particular to the different countries and regions are the forms of oppression, subtle and not so subtle, that are a consequence of patriarchal society. In the so-called modern world women are surrounded by a putrid culture and society that uses, abuses and degrades women whether at home or in the streets on a daily basis. Women are trafficked to Europe and North America from all parts of the globe. Male supremacist patriarchal society also exists in the Middle East with its own ugly methods of the oppression of women. All the major religions of the world uphold patriarchy and the social relations that come with it.

According to the UK Telegraph: “People think Amsterdam is the prostitution capital of Europe but Germany has more prostitutes per capita than any other country in the continent, more even than Thailand: 400,000 at the last count, serving 1.2 million men every day. Those figures were released a decade ago, soon after Germany made buying sex, selling sex, pimping and brothel-keeping legal in 2002. Two years later, prostitution in Germany was thought to be worth 6 billion euros—roughly the same as Porsche or Adidas that year. It’s now estimated to be 15 billion euros.” (

Prostitution and also pornography are only one step removed from rape. They are all pillars of a rapacious culture in which a woman’s body is a man’s entitlement, to be used and abused, bought or sold in any way they see fit, from sex shops to the trafficking of women to aspects of “normal” relationships and marriage deeply marked by male supremacy and the imprisonment of women in the roles of providers of sex and breeders of children.

The Science, The Strategy, The Leadership for an Actual Revolution, And a Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation, by Bob Avakian

In Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, Frederick Engels writes about how capitalist society reflects the power relations of men over women that can be undone only with the elimination of capitalist society and its economic and social relations and deeply inculcated ideas: “What we can now conjecture about the way in which sexual relations will be ordered after the impending overthrow of capitalist production is mainly of a negative character, limited for the most part to what will disappear. But what will there be new? That will be answered when a new generation has grown up, [including] a generation of men who never in their lives have known what it is to buy a woman’s surrender with money or any other social instrument of power.”

The refugee crisis and the oppression of women in society both arise from the insidious domination, oppression, exploitation and ways of thinking that are deeply embedded in capitalist-imperialist society. With revolutionary political power that can end this system and its rule of profit, women and men will be able to play an increasingly conscious, active role in the process of uprooting today’s economic and social relations and criticising the traditional ideas—“modern” and ancient—that are generated by them and reinforce them. Overnight rape and sexual assault, anti-immigrant attacks and other violent acts against the people will not be tolerated and a new liberating morality forged, one that instead of preaching resignation and surrender will value the struggle to liberate women as a motor in further revolutionizing all social relationships for the interests of all humanity.

People who hate the world as it is need to step forward and join with others to bring this new society into being.


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 #422 January 18, 2016

Flint, Michigan: The Poisonous System Behind the Water Crisis

January 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Well, a few months after the switch, we had already noticed rashes on my kids’ arms, their backs, my face. And they were different, because you couldn’t put any kind of lotion or cream on it without it burning. It felt like straight-out chemical burns. And every once in a while, our water would turn bright blue or yellow, and we had no idea why. They kept telling us that the water was fine...

—Melissa Mays, Flint resident, water-safety activist
(Democracy Now!, December 17, 2015)

Some of the more than 150 Flint, Michigan residents at a January 14 protest in Lansing against the government's role in the huge water crisis.
Flint, MI, residents at a January 14 protest in Lansing, MI. More than 150 people demanded answers and called for the Michigan governor to resign following the government's role in the huge water crisis. (AP photo)

For over 18 months, the State of Michigan knowingly poisoned the people living in Flint, Michigan, with drinking water contaminated with lead, a toxin that causes permanent and irreversible damage to the nervous systems of children. And until very recently, it has been covering it up, doctoring tests, slandering critics, and lying to people, telling them everything was alright.

Finally, on January 14, 2016, after many months of denials, in the face of angry protest by residents and of doctors and scientists who amassed damning evidence of this mass poisoning, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder could no longer ignore this crisis. It had become widely exposed that those who run this system were not only to blame for poisoning people, but had essentially done nothing to address the problem even after it became known. Snyder wrote to President Obama asking him to declare a federal disaster and to provide almost $100 million needed to provide clean drinking water and filters, and to replace the pipes that are leaching lead into the water. (On January 16, Obama declared a federal emergency, authorizing FEMA aid efforts and pledging only $5 million in aid. The Federal Government declined to declare this a "major disaster," which would provide more aid for a longer time.)


For most of the 20th century, Flint was a booming center of the auto industry that was once a pillar of U.S. capitalism. Hundreds of thousands of people moved there from farms and sharecroppers’ plots, from Appalachia and the South and other places, to work in the many factories. In particular, Black people fleeing Jim Crow in the South and being driven from the land went to Flint and other industrial cities in the North.

Year in and year out their labor produced billions of dollars in profits for the auto giants and the system as a whole. But when global political and technological changes opened up opportunities to exploit desperately poor people in the Third World, most of the Flint operations were shut down. General Motors once employed 80,000 people there; today it employs 5,000. Unemployment skyrocketed, the population dropped by half, infrastructure crumbled, the city tax base deteriorated.

You can’t talk about the situation in Flint without talking about the fact that more than half of those who live in this city of 99,000 are African-Americans who face systematic discrimination and oppression. Forty-one percent of people in Flint live below the poverty line and over 60 percent receive food stamps, and these conditions are even more extreme among Black people. When something like this water crisis hits, Black people―already living in the most impoverished conditions―are the hardest hit.

The same system that squeezed so much wealth out of the people of Flint now has no use for them. The state even took over the city government in order to impose “cost-cutting measures” ―in the logic of this system, why should the state be “burdened” with maintaining a decent life for people once it can no longer exploit them?

As part of this, in April 2014, the city switched from the Detroit water system to temporarily using the Flint River as the water source. People in Flint were alarmed―the Flint River was an industrial dump for decades and notoriously polluted. But the state went ahead with its plan.

Almost immediately, water started coming out of taps filthy and tasting foul. People were getting rashes, their hair was falling out, children were losing weight, developing anemia. Residents showed up en masse at city council meetings, bringing jugs of the vile water, but were assured it was “safe.” The then-mayor even pulled the stunt of drinking a cup of it on TV, as if the fact that he didn’t die on the spot somehow “proved” that the water was safe.

In October 2014, GM told the city that one of its plants in Flint would stop using the water because it was corroding their engine parts! In spite of this, the authorities, including the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), insisted the water, unsafe for steel, was fine for human beings.

In January 2015, the University of Michigan at Flint reported they had found high levels of lead in some of their drinking fountains. In June 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wrote a memo raising “major concern” about lead levels in the water―but the EPA did not send this to MDEQ or make it public, preferring to have “behind the scenes” discussions.

Then in September 2015, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a local pediatrician, led a team of people to do testing of children and found that the number of children with dangerously high lead levels in their blood had doubled in the past year.

Lead is a toxin that attacks every organ and system in the human body, particularly the nervous system. It is especially harmful to fetuses and to children, causing premature and low-weight births, irritability, weight loss, lethargy, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems, among other symptoms. Any amount of lead in the body is harmful. And Dr. Hanna-Attisha pointed out that although the damage from lead is permanent, it only stays in the blood for about 30 days, and so many more children who had been poisoned already would test “clean” once they had stopped drinking Flint water. She was mocked and denounced by the authorities.

In September 2015, scientists from Virginia Tech released findings from tests in hundreds of Flint homes showing elevated lead levels. The Virginia Tech team determined that Flint water was 19 times as corrosive as Detroit water. And the biggest problem was that this corrosive water damaged the service pipes that brought water to people’s homes, many of which were made of or soldered with lead, causing it to leach into the water. So while the water left Flint’s water treatment plant lead-free, it came out of people’s taps with dangerously high levels.

The MDEQ responded by saying that these scientists specialized in “looking for high lead problems” across the country. “They pull that rabbit out of the hat everywhere they go. Nobody should be surprised when the rabbit comes out of the hat, even if they can’t figure out how it’s done.” (Michigan Live, “Flint Water Crisis: Key Figures,” November 11, 2015) But this was no “magic trick”―both scientific data and the experience of thousands of people proved that Flint water was not only unsafe to drink, but even to bathe or to wash dishes or clothes―the only thing it was safe for was flushing toilets!

Finally in October 2015―over a year after residents first raised the alarm―the state acknowledged that there might be some problem, and told people not to drink Flint water unless it was filtered or tested. But even then, THE STATE TOOK ONLY PALTRY MEASURES TO PROVIDE PEOPLE WITH FILTERS OR BOTTLED WATER.

So people were forced to either scrape up the money to buy bottled water or filters, or to drink and give their children poison. Some residents spent $500 a month on water, often diverting cash from food, medicine, and other necessities, but thousands simply could not afford to do that. Ordinary people, activists, and churches launched crowdsourcing campaigns to fund free water distribution, while the government did almost nothing!

Dr. Hanna-Attisha fears the Flint children who tested with elevated levels will suffer lifelong consequences. “If you were to put something in a population to keep them down for generation and generations to come, it would be lead. It’s a well-known, potent neurotoxin. There’s tons of evidence on what lead does to a child, and it is one of the most damning things that you can do to a population. It drops your IQ, it affects your behavior, it’s been linked to criminality, it has multigenerational impacts. There is no safe level of lead in a child.”

The Detroit Free Press characterized officials from the MDEQ as saying that the kind of testing that would have revealed the lead contamination “isn’t required under federal drinking-water rules and has never been done in Michigan. What’s more,” MDEQ argued, “the Flint River water, treated in the city’s plant, was already approved as a backup supply in case of interrupted service from Detroit.” In other words, faced with massive evidence that people were being poisoned, the authorities focused on proving that this contamination was legal under this system, and not on the fact that it was profoundly damaging thousands of lives.

Only in this past week has the government begun to take significant steps to alleviate the emergency, and these are still far from sufficient. For instance, Governor Snyder called out the National Guard, saying this would enable them to distribute water filters to the 30,000 households in Flint, at a rate of only 500 per day. The lack of safe drinking water in a major city demands a major mobilization of social resources to rescue children from grave danger, but the powers continue to act like there is really no emergency here.

And to add insult to criminality—some people in Flint are actually receiving water cut-off notices for not paying the bill for their poisonous water—which means that even when drinkable water does start flowing again, many in Flint will have to pay huge back bills before they can access it.

What kind of system is unable to provide something as basic as safe drinking water to its own population? What can you say about a system, possessing wealth undreamed of by empires of old, which poisons children as a “cost-cutting” measure? And what do you do with a system that cannot shut up about how great and powerful it is, but that lies and urges people to continue drinking this poison in order to try and preserve people’s belief in their legitimacy? This is a system that needs to be gotten rid of through revolution, nothing less.





Revolution #422 January 18, 2016

Porter Ranch Gas Disaster and the Poisonous Lies of the System

by Orpheus Reed | January 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Since October 23, 2015, massive amounts of natural gas have been spewing from a broken well at Southern California Gas Company’s (SOCAL) Aliso Canyon gas storage fields near the community of Porter Ranch near Los Angeles. The gas eruption can’t be seen by the human eye, but infrared cameras show it as a huge plume pouring into the sky. Timothy O’Connor of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) called Aliso Canyon “a mega-leak” and said “the plume is about 1,000 feet high and several miles long.”

People in Porter Ranch have had their lives turned upside down. Many have been sickened and thousands have been forced to relocate. The leak is also a massive climate disaster, as methane, the main component of natural gas, is a potent greenhouse gas that causes global warming. The crisis has built to the point that Governor Jerry Brown was forced to declare a state of emergency on January 6.

This disaster has the fingerprints of the entire system all over it. It shows again that this system is incapable of protecting human health and life and the environment, because it’s not set up and structured to do this but instead is based on private interests and control, profitability, and competition.

Aliso Canyon is the largest natural gas storage facility in the western U.S. It is one of 14 fields in California alone, with hundreds of gas wells. At Aliso Canyon, gas coming from other places is piped in and collected in wells. Then it is injected thousands of feet underground beneath rock into reservoirs that once contained oil.

"Not Fit Caretakers of the Earth," a clip from the film Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian. Learn more about BA here

SOCAL says that the gas leaking at Aliso is from a well called SS-25 that was drilled in 1953 and converted to a gas well in the 1970s. Now the steel tubing, or casing, is corroding and causing the well to rupture some 500 feet underground. SOCAL says it may take several more months to stop the flow by drilling a relief well to cut off the broken pipe from below the leak.

Outrageously, this leak could have been stopped very quickly. SOCAL admitted that in 1979, it had removed a broken safety valve that would have stopped the leak—and that they never replaced it because it wasn’t easy to find a new part, and they didn’t consider the SS-25 a “critical well” because it wasn’t within 300 feet of a home! None of this was stopped or even commented on by any official. And there are reportedly other methane leaks in the field and other missing or leaking safety valves.

Anneliese Anderle, a field engineer for the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermic Resources, said of SOCAL’s Aliso project: “They have a beautiful facility. It’s gleaming. They have great roads and well-marked pipelines. Everything’s painted. But below the surface, it’s junk.”

There are hundreds more gas storage facilities like this in the U.S. This situation—of old, corroding pipes—is apparently a much more widespread problem than just Aliso Canyon or for that matter confined to California. To replace all this infrastructure would mean massive capital investment that would mean huge losses in profitability and competitiveness. So no political structures under capitalism are going to do that. Whatever regulations exist are paltry, and promises to “deal with the problem through new regulations” are not fundamentally possible given the deep necessities of the system. Beyond this, all this production and use of fossil fuels continues despite a screaming climate and environmental emergency.

Far from an aberration, the SOCAL disaster is just a concentration of a much larger problem. Research from the Environmental Defense Fund has shown that methane is leaked at every stage in the production and supply of oil and gas. And there are many other miles of aging, corroding pipelines. All of this is business as usual under this system, and it is only addressed when a major disaster breaks out. Promises are made about new regulations and changes in how things are done, and then everything goes back to normal.

The Impacts on People in Porter Ranch

Porter Ranch is a middle-class community with nice homes, schools, and parks, a place where people can supposedly live nice lives. But now they have had to deal with an onslaught of sickening gas that has made their lives a nightmare. Thousands can’t stay there now without suffering continual health problems. The scale and scope of the disaster and the danger has been covered up, as they’ve been lied to by not only SOCAL but the media and overall representatives of the system.

Initially, SOCAL didn’t even admit the spill existed, despite people being sickened. Then they claimed this leak was nothing more than an inconvenience, that natural gas immediately disperses in the air, and that there was no threat to public safety.

At least dozens of people have reported headaches, nosebleeds, nausea, breathing problems, vomiting, and other symptoms. People are preventing their children from playing outdoors. Some parents have had to take their babies to the emergency room with shortness of breath. People’s pets are vomiting. Sharon Mousavi-Dormani, who has been forced to leave Porter Ranch with her family, says of the impacts of the gas, “It’s like a fog in your brain—it feels like you’re having a stroke. Every time I go back I get sicker and sicker.” Parents report children having cold- and flu-like symptoms and increasing problems with asthma, and say they are deeply worried about what all the long-term impact will be. Three thousand families have been relocated, and there are more than 3,000 more who are still waiting to be relocated, despite being almost three months into this crisis.

With all this, SOCAL, public health officials, and most of the mainstream bourgeois media repeatedly tell people that methane itself is not toxic. But there is well-founded reason to doubt this. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in high concentrations methane gas can displace oxygen in your lungs and can lead to “suffocation and loss of consciousness... headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and loss of coordination.” Methane can inflame lung tissue. Some of these are the very symptoms people are reporting. Further, there is differing information on the long-term effects of methane poisoning, and it doesn’t seem very well studied. Methane gas is also highly flammable, meaning there is danger of explosion.

It has also come out that the brown residue some residents have found coating things in the neighborhood is likely from oil residues mixed in with the escaping gas. Inhaling hydrocarbons in oil is damaging to health, and hydrocarbons are also carcinogenic. And SOCAL understated the number of days and instances where the cancer-causing chemical benzene had been detected in the air at levels above the normal or background rate. The level of exposure Porter Ranch residents have had to benzene and hydrocarbons is not known, but this is something that should be urgently studied, along with studying and combatting impacts of methane. But none of this is being handled as a serious emergency by state health officials or anyone else associated with the system.

A Disaster for the Climate

Special Issue of Revolution on the Environmental Emergency

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

Read online....

Also available in brochure format (downloadable PDF)

The Porter Ranch eruption is a climate disaster. The main component of natural gas is methane. Over a 20-year time period, methane is 84 times more powerful in warming the planet than carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. Already, over 84,000 metric tons of methane have escaped through this huge leak. As of late December, according to the California Air Resources Board, 1.9 billion standard cubic feet of gas had spewed out—as much greenhouse pollution as produced by 330,000 cars in a whole year. This leak has doubled the amount of methane emissions from natural gas production in the state.

All this only adds more to the escalating climate emergency on the planet. It further exposes the false claims by the world’s powers that they are now moving to address this in the wake of the Paris climate agreement. This is a developing crisis that some have said is the largest environmental disaster in the U.S. since the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

There has been an increasing outcry from Porter Ranch residents and environmental groups and calls to shut down the SOCAL facility. To try to contain the crisis, on January 6, California Governor Jerry Brown finally declared a state of emergency. Brown said he was ordering the company to stop any further injection of gas into the underground storage site, calling for inspections of other gas facilities, and would make the company offset the climate impacts of the huge methane releases.

But every step in this whole situation reveals a system that is incapable of preventing or dealing with environmental disasters and protecting people’s health and lives, and deals with people’s concerns by lying to try to cover its tracks.

Brown himself was a big player at the Paris climate talks, where he and California were toasted for doing great things to decrease the state’s greenhouse emissions—at the same moment that the state was experiencing a big climate disaster that was being hushed up. California has announced plans to make big cuts in greenhouse emissions over the next decades, including by reducing its 2013 level of greenhouse emissions 7 to 8 percent by 2020. But the Aliso Canyon leak already cuts into that planned reduction by about a quarter, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

Again and again we hear speeches from “liberal” representatives of this system promising that environmentally “clean” capitalism is just around the corner with the passage of a few more laws, the signing of a new agreement, the election of a new president. And again and again, the deeper, profit-driven workings of that very system generate new and even worse disasters, bringing more suffering to the people and bringing our planet closer to ecological catastrophe. Each time this happens, the whole system goes into gear to cover up or downplay the ways that people are being poisoned and the environment damaged, and lies to us that we have nothing to fear, until finally, when the damage can no longer be covered up and bursts into public view, we get feeble apologies... and a new round of promises.

The reality is that this system, the capitalist system, cannot protect the environment or the people.






Revolution #422 January 18, 2016

Interview with Law Professor David Cohen

Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism

January 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism

In December 2015, Sunsara Taylor interviewed David Cohen about the book he co-authored, Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism (Oxford University Press, 2015). Cohen is a law professor at Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law, where he teaches constitutional law and gender and the law. Prior to teaching, Cohen was a staff attorney at the Women's Law Project in Philadelphia and litigated cases involving abortion clinic safety, reproductive rights, Title IX, and LGBT family law.

From the preface to Living in the Crosshairs: “Because of their work, abortion providers have been murdered, shot, kidnapped, assaulted, stalked, and subjected to death threats. Their clinics have been bombed, attacked with noxious chemicals invaded, vandalized, burglarized, and set ablaze. Individual abortion providers have been picketed at home and have received harassing mail and phone calls. Their family members have been followed where they work, their children have been protested at school, and their neighbors’ privacy has been invaded. Partly as a result of this terrorism, medical facilities providing abortion services have decreased by almost 40% since 1982, 89% of counties in the United States have no abortion provider, and only 14% of obstetrician gynecologists perform the procedure.


Sunsara Taylor: David Cohen, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. You, not long ago, co-authored the book, Living in the Crosshairs: The Untold Stories of Anti-Abortion Terrorism, together with Krysten Connon. Could you start by describing this book and telling us why you wrote it?

David Cohen: Sure. Thanks so much for having me here for the discussion. The book looks at the lives of abortion providers around the country and in particular at the types of targeted harassment and individualized terrorism they face as a result of being abortion providers. The book came out of a case I’d been working on for a long time and then Krysten, my co-author, helped at the very end, representing an abortion provider in Allentown, Pennsylvania, who had been sued by protesters who protested her clinic. The protesters not only sued her individually with some crazy claims, but they also picketed her home, they sent fliers to her neighbors calling her a “murderer,” giving out her personal information. They sent mail, hate mail to her mom who lived somewhere completely different than she did, and one of the protesters who wrote an online newsletter, still does write an online newsletter that he mailed to people in jail for committing violence against abortion providers, included her name and information about her as well.

Because of this, she wore a bulletproof vest to work and it really was one of those things where, you know, I’d actually been doing this work for a long time and I knew the full story, but Kysten heard this for the first time and, shame on me for not reacting this way since I’d known this for so long, but Krysten’s reaction was, “This is horrible! And this is something people don’t know about, that someone who is engaged in a lawful job in the United States, providing constitutionally protected health care, wears a bulletproof vest to work because she fears for her life.”

So it was really from starting to think about her experience from that lens, which is: a lot of people don’t know about this. People might know about protesting that happens outside a clinic or just the general debate about abortion. But we didn’t think people knew about the ways that anti-abortion extremists target individuals, and that’s why we wrote the book, and the book tells the stories of people around the country who have suffered from this kind of targeting and talks a little bit about what the law can do better to try and improve their lives, and offers some solutions to the issue.

ST: I found myself very emotional reading these stories. It’s disturbing, the level of harassment, the invasiveness of it, the way it permeates every aspect of abortion providers’ lives, and I wonder, precisely because it is so unknown and untold, if you could take us through a few of the stories so people really get a vivid sense of what this means.

David Cohen: Absolutely. I mean, if people know anything about this topic, what they know is the high-profile violence, like what happened in Colorado Springs a couple of weeks ago. That certainly got all the media attention it deserved and it probably deserved more, because it quickly left the media landscape once San Bernardino happened. But, you know, that kind of thing gets the attention. When Dr. Tiller was murdered or assassinated in 2009, that made national news and there’s been seven other killings in the past 20+ years of abortion providers, and those things are known and people hear about them. But what they don’t hear about are the everyday experiences of abortion providers. We are not trying to say this happens to all abortion providers, that’s far from it, but it happens to a lot and it happens all over the country. Not just in the most conservative parts of the country but in liberal parts, too. And it really affects abortion providers’ lives.

What we’re talking about are things like home-picketing, showing up at someone’s house on a Saturday or Sunday morning, with anywhere from five to 100 people, or even more. The picketing could be, you know, very peaceful except for the invasion that just being outside someone’s home is, to very loud and aggressive and seemingly very threatening. This happens to abortion providers around the country.

We talked with people who have been followed around town. They’ve been followed leaving work. They’ve seen anti-abortion protester extremists who followed them into a local business and started harassing them and yelling at them in the middle of the hardware store, or while they’re eating dinner at a restaurant and they’re recognized.

We heard many stories of death threats that are conveyed through the mail or online or on phone calls to the house. One of the people we talked to, her kids answered the phone and she got a death threat. Or her kids got the death threat. Other people told us stories of their kids’ schools being protested as a way to get at the parent who is working at an abortion clinic.

We heard stories of physical assault, trespassing, vandalism, personal information being disclosed that is usually private information, hate mail being sent to someone’s home or their parents. Probably, you know... it’s all outrageous... it really is all outrageous but probably the most outrageous thing that we heard, and we heard two stories about this, was a provider’s parent being protested at their nursing home. Here we have someone who’s taking their extremism to such a level that they go to a nursing home to protest or scream or harass someone whose kid is working at an abortion clinic. That level, it just boggles my mind still. When I look at those sections of the book, and read those stories, to think that someone would do that.... But these kinds of stories, they happen all over the country and they really show what abortion providers, many abortion providers in this country, have to live with in order to provide this legal, necessary medical care.

ST: It’s shocking, the level of harassment that the individual providers go through. In addition to the threats, the kinds of things, targeting their children, or in your book, you detail protesters coming to the wedding of a provider’s son or the funeral of a provider’s husband, and these kinds of things that even encroach upon what ought to be a part of somebody’s very private and personal life.

David Cohen: Yeah, we call this in the book “secondary harassment” because most of what we talked to people about was directed at the providers themselves but some of it is directed at other people. It’s almost like the extremist is saying, “I know that by harassing you, the provider, I’m not gonna get anywhere because you’re so stubborn and pigheaded and I’m not gonna affect you. BUT if I harass someone or terrorize someone who is close to you, whether it’s your neighbor or your kid or your parent or your spouse or anyone close to you, then maybe you’ll stop doing this because you care about them.” So this kind of secondary harassment, and I think your reaction is the same we have, which was everything we write and talk about in this book should be, people should look upon it negatively and not part of the normal democratic process, but this kind of targeting of someone else whose, you know, kids or parents, or other loved ones or neighbors, it just feels particularly worse. Maybe it shouldn’t feel worse, because it’s not like the abortion providers deserve it in any way—so, I guess, there’s maybe a sense of these other people deserving less, but no one deserves it and it should happen to no one. It just shows how outrageous these anti-abortion extremists who target individuals are, that they would go to all of these lengths to try and stop abortion.

ST: You also brought out the ways the anti-abortion terrorists and harassers utilize the state, and I’d like to ask you to talk about this in a couple different ways. One that you highlighted is lawsuits and other ways that anti-abortion fanatics use the state to go after providers and then get all kinds of personal information about them or tie them up in the courts and waste their money. Then, the other was people who are actually in law enforcement who are in positions of the state who really abuse their authority and their power to themselves target providers.  

David Cohen: Yeah, I mean it’s absolutely both of them. So you know if you get a really determined anti-abortion extremist in political power they can use the power of the state in some very abusive ways. We saw that with Dr. Tiller in Wichita, Kansas, before he was assassinated. The attorney general for the State of Kansas, Phil Kline, was doing everything he could possibly imagine to harass Dr. Tiller, and actually ultimately Phil Kline was disbarred because of what he was doing. He was using the power of the state to indict Dr. Tiller and investigate him and get his patient records and put him on trial and literally put him on trial, and it was when he was ultimately... Dr. Tiller was acquitted in the trial just a few months before he was assassinated. And Scott Roeder, who assassinated George Tiller, was sitting in the courtroom when Dr. Tiller was acquitted, and it was... he said it was his disappointment and horror that Dr. Tiller was acquitted that led him to ultimately assassinate Dr. Tiller. You see, there the power of the state used in this way just egged on this extremist.

That’s one category, like you said; the other category is the anti-abortion extremists who are not part of the state but use the state to investigate providers and harass providers, filing complaints, often anonymously alleging that the provider is doing something wrong; or filing a lawsuit and doing the same thing, and that means that the provider is now tied up in the state investigatory apparatus. That takes up time, that takes up energy, and [there are] potential penalties. And you see this as a tactic all over the country with anti-abortion protesters monitoring the clinics so that if they ever see an ambulance leaving the clinic they report that and they file complaints against the clinic for doing that, when in reality that’s actually good medical practice. If there’s a problem—abortion has one of the lowest complication rates of any surgical procedure, it’s incredibly safe, but as with any medicine, there can be complications and when they arise, if something happens that is outside the skill of the doctor, then it’s good medical practice to call an ambulance and have that person transported to the local hospital to be taken care of. That is following the guidelines. That’s doing exactly what you’re supposed to. It is not a problem. But the anti-abortion extremists turn it into a problem and start investigations because of it. It’s a big problem to be able to use the state in that way. Abortion providers face this targeting from not only the individuals, but also the state apparatus.

ST: You mentioned that some people have heard about the high-profile cases of now 11 people who have been murdered by anti-abortion violence, clinics that have been bombed, clinics that have been destroyed and vandalized, although even those things don’t get as much attention as they should. But what you’re describing altogether is actually a much bigger sea of anti-abortion terrorism. These are not isolated acts. They are not all centrally coordinated, but it truly is a movement in which thousands and thousands of people participate in different forms and different levels of harassment of different providers all over the country. Is that true?

David Cohen: Yeah. I mean, I haven’t thought about it numerically the way you just put it, but if you think of all the home protests targeting individuals and you think of all the hate mail that’s been sent and phone calls and personal information that’s been used against people, you’re right, there’s thousands and thousands of people out there targeting abortion providers. And I agree with exactly what you said, which is we are not saying in our book and no one is saying that these people are a part of a secret organization that’s coordinating this targeted form of harassment. That’s not what’s happening here. But they are all part of the United States where this kind of targeted harassment flows from extreme rhetoric that’s used around abortion and they are sort of just carrying out what’s part of the political dialogue. When you call people murderers, when you call them killers, when you say that they are selling baby parts, there are gonna be people who hear that and say, Wow, I have to do something about that and I’ll do things that are beyond the normal course of political recourse.

ST: This goes a little bit beyond the scope of what you address directly in your book, but I’d like to explore your thinking in terms of what you think is the view of women that animates this anti-abortion movement—both from those in power, people demonizing abortion and passing laws that are closing down abortion clinics across the country, as well down to the level of people acting on their own, or with their congregation, or with these decentralized ways on the street to harass the women or providers of abortion. What is the view of women, and what would this society look like if they actually had their way?

David Cohen: I don’t think it’s just one thing, but it’s all negative. For some people, women are just absent, they don’t even care about women’s lives, women’s health, women’s needs, women’s wants; they just completely erase the woman from the picture, which is a huge problem, obviously. With other people, I think there’s this idea that women are public, their bodies are controllable by the public, and the public has an interest in what women’s bodies do. For other people, it’s a matter of control over women, controlling women’s sexuality, controlling women’s reproduction, controlling women’s place in society. I think there can be a lot of different strands to this that sort of answer the question, “What does it say about women in society and people’s view of women in society,” and it’s all negative and it’s all horrible and it’s all against a progressive view of equality and gender equality, and I think it really goes to the heart of what’s happening here, which is that these people don’t think of women as fully participatory people within our society.

ST: You detail all of these horrendous things that abortion providers have to go through—the amount of harassment, the amount of stigma, the amount of shame, the amount of isolation, the amount of fear that’s instilled by the anti-abortion movement. This has taken a toll. But overwhelmingly the people that you spoke to were pretty defiant in the face of this, and I want you to share a little bit of what were some of the motivations that made them feel that it was worth it to withstand all this.

David Cohen: We’re very lucky that, for the most part, abortion providers do not let this make them stop. It does prevent some people from going into the field and that’s a huge problem. That’s not the only reason people don’t go into the field, but it’s one of the reasons people don’t go into the field, and that’s a big problem. But once people are in the field, they tend to say that, for various reasons, they’re not gonna let this kind of terrorism and kind of targeting stop them.

Of the 87 people we talked to for the book, only one of them stopped performing abortions because of the harassment we talked to them about, and that’s consistent with studies that have found numerically that less than 2 percent of abortion providers around the country leave the field because of this kind of targeting.

But the reasons that people continue are really inspiring and just show the level of care and commitment that abortion providers have. Some of it is because they feel this really close connection with their patients and this satisfaction they get from helping them in this time of need and this time of medical need, as well as physiological and social need. If you think about it, being an abortion care provider is one of the areas in medicine where you can solve a person’s immediate medical problem relatively quickly. You think of a lot of other medical issues and they take years to resolve, if they can ever be resolved, and they take a lot of care, whereas abortion is, especially a first-trimester [abortion], is a quick, easy procedure with very few complications that will change someone’s life and change it for the better. It won’t solve any of the problems a person had that led them to this moment in life, but it will solve that medical problem, and for some providers it’s really rewarding to be able to help women through that time in their life and be able to solve that problem.

Others feel this deep commitment to the movement, whether they identify the movement as reproductive rights, reproductive choice, reproductive justice, women’s rights, human rights, whatever it is. They see whatever they are doing as being part of this broader movement, which is something that most medical care providers don’t have. And so the people we talked to identified this as a major part of it in saying, “I could have been a dermatologist but what would I have been connected to?” That as an abortion provider, they’re connected to this movement.

Another reason is that some people are just stubborn, where they say, “If I leave, I’m gonna leave on my own terms, I’m not gonna leave because someone forces me out.”

And then the final answer we got that we weren’t really expecting, frankly, when we asked the question why do you continue, was that some people said they continue because they remember or they were told stories from a relative about the era of when abortion was illegal, and when abortion was illegal women were injured by unskilled abortion providers, back-alley providers, and some women died. A lot of women died. So they remember this time when illegal abortion didn’t mean no abortion, it meant unsafe abortion, and they said to themselves that if I leave because of this terrorism, then I am getting us one step closer to that time when abortion was not available from skilled practitioners and women will have to resort to other means that will make them unsafe. So they saw their continuing on as a way to protect women’s health and to prevent us from slipping back into that era before Roe v. Wade.

ST: Over the last few summers, I’ve been part of, with the organization, been part of traveling the country and organizing people to stand up for abortion rights and that was one of the things, too, that the first time we traveled—up to North Dakota, down to Mississippi, from coast to coast—every single place we stopped, and this blew my mind, it was not something I was anticipating, every single stop we made strangers came up and told us about loved ones who died from illegal abortion. And these are stories that people have carried, largely in secret, in shame—but they’re very, very common. I think almost everybody has a story like that in their family and most people have no idea.

David Cohen: Exactly, that’s exactly true, and I mean part of the reason that the title of the book says “untold” is not just because the media isn’t telling these stories, but in some respects a lot of the people that we’ve been talking to haven’t been telling these stories. Their story of their great grandmother who died of an illegal abortion is not something that they tell to many people, and because of abortion stigma and because of the shame that surrounds the issue in this country, they keep quiet about it. And it’s the same thing with the harassment, the harassment is something they internalize, they look at it as normal in their field so they don’t think it’s worth talking about and because of that, that’s another reason why these stories are untold, people just not talking about it.

ST: I just wanted to note, a minute ago you said of the 87 providers you interviewed, only one stopped providing abortion because of the harassment. I wanted to note for our readers that of the 87 that you interviewed, all but five of them have experienced this harassment directly. So this is not something that happens to 10 out of 100 and only one quit, this happens to the overwhelming majority of people with only a very small number quitting. I just think that’s worth noting.

David Cohen: Right, although we didn’t have like a representative sample of providers around the country. We were certainly trying to find people who have had these experiences. But the Feminist Majority Foundation did a study that was released earlier this year that found that this kind of targeted harassment of providers has gone up in the past four years. They did a similar study in 2010 that found about a quarter of clinics around the country had staff members who were suffering this kind of targeting, and the most recent survey found that last year, 2014, four years later, over half of the clinics in the country had staff workers who suffered this kind of individual targeting. So it’s more than doubled in the past four years, the incidents of this kind of targeting, which is VERY concerning.

ST: What’s your sense of why that is?

David Cohen: I think is has a lot to do with the political climate, that there’s been a record number of abortion restrictions passed around the country over the past four years. Ever since the Tea Party took over a lot of state legislators in 2010 there’s been this huge domination in the political realm of thinking: what are we gonna do to restrict and stop abortion, and so the legislators do it through the political process but there’s always extremists who take their message and do it through this targeting. So I think that they go hand in hand and I think that’s what we’re seeing.

ST: I wanted to circle back because I think perhaps we didn’t draw it out fully enough for everybody who may not be as familiar with it. But we both talked about people’s personal information, address, name, children’s names, this sort of thing being disclosed by anti-abortion harassers, but I wondered if you could just describe why is that significant and how does it fit into this picture?

David Cohen: Using people’s personal information is a key tactic of this anti-abortion targeting and terrorism because the anti-abortion extremists dig through public records, they do whatever they can to find out as much information as they can about abortion providers and then make that information public. Knowing people’s personal information can be a very innocent thing, but when it’s done by the people that we’re talking about, there’s a subtle and often not-so-subtle message behind it which is, “I know who your kids are, I know where you live, I know what car you drive, I know where your husband goes to work, and I’m telling you I know this information, not so that we can strike up a bond and have a deep, meaningful relationship, but I’m telling you this information so now you know that I know this personal information about you, and maybe I’ll use it in a way that will harm you, so if I know your kids’ names, then I might be able to go to their school and picket, and if I know where your husband works, I know I can do the same thing, if I know where you live, I can come to your home.” The use of this personal information is either the first step into doing something worse or it’s a not-so-veiled threat that I’m gonna do something worse now that I have this information.

ST: And of course it’s a threat against a backdrop where there’s all kinds of people who have been motivated to carry out that violence. Even if you yourself don’t do anything to further target a provider, if you are putting that information out publicly you are knowingly making it available to a whole sea of people who have been whipped up to think that providing abortions is tantamount to murder, and some of whom have been whipped up to feel they are called on by god to act violently—or even murderously—against the provider. So, you are handing it over to all that.

David Cohen: That’s exactly right. All of this takes place against the backdrop where there have been extreme acts of violence. Now 11 people murdered by anti-abortion violence, arsons and bombings and other physical attacks. And abortion providers know this. They are keenly aware of this history that’s happened to people in their profession, and so having this personal information, showing up at someone’s house, going to their other work place, it is particularly threatening to an abortion provider because of this history, and the anti-abortion extremists know it and play on that and they use that to their advantage because they know that all they have to do is stand in front of someone’s house and it makes that person scared because of this history. So it really is this deliberate use of fear of violence to try and accomplish their political goal, and that’s why we call it terrorism.

Terrorism is violence or the fear of violence to try and accomplish a political goal that people can’t accomplish through normal political channels, and that’s where anti-abortion extremists find themselves. They’ve been unsuccessful for 43 years now, next month, in overturning Roe v. Wade, but they’ve been very successful at restricting access to abortion, though abortion is still legal throughout the country as much as they’ve tried to make it otherwise, and they are frustrated. They are angry that this is not something they have been able to resolve through normal political process, and so they resort to violence and so they resort to fear of violence to try and accomplish that goal. That is terrorism.

ST: Well, that was going to be my last question. Why do you call it terrorism? So, I’ll just ask you one more thing related to that, which I thought was very interesting. The Department of Homeland Security had actually categorized anti-abortion extremism as a form of domestic terrorism at one point, but because of political backlash, they removed it from being categorized as domestic terrorism. This was just a few weeks before Dr. Tiller was assassinated. Do you want to say anything about why that was removed, what were the forces that pushed back against that?

David Cohen: There was a lot of political pushback to the release of those two documents in 2009. It was in 2009 that the Department of Homeland Security released those documents. Anti-abortion forces were pissed about this. Military forces were angry because the document also talked about the risk of terrorism from people who used to be in the military and then get involved in these militia movements. There were a lot of organizations that really pushed back against these documents. Janet Napolitano, who was the head of the Department of Homeland Security at the time, issued a statement saying that these documents were released before they were supposed to and she withdrew them. So the backlash worked. It made the Department of Homeland Security fearful of labeling the anti-abortion extremists as terrorists and of course, as we said, a few weeks later Dr. Tiller was assassinated by domestic terrorists. They called it what it was supposed to be called and then they backed off and then they were proven right.

ST: Any closing words?

David Cohen: One thing that I think is important to talk about a little more is that this deeply affects abortion providers’ lives in ways that make them change what they do with their life, in terms of taking different routes to and from work, wearing disguises to and from work, thinking about where they own property so that it’s a safer location, and ultimately thinking about having a bulletproof vest or purchasing a gun or carrying a gun to protect themselves. Some of these things I just mentioned, it’s just shocking when you take a step back and you say these are doctors, nurses, and administrative assistants, volunteers who work for a lawful profession, providing health care in the United States, not in a military zone, and they’re thinking about bulletproof vests and guns, something is REALLY wrong when that’s the reality for a lot of abortion providers.

ST: Well, I agree with that, and I thank you for coming back to that. I do think that everyone who is reading this, people who are learning about this and haven’t heard this before, we have a responsibility to stand up and be part of changing the political atmosphere and taking on and defeating the war on women that is driving all this. You are absolutely right, this is not a situation that anybody should have to live with, and no one should accept. That is on all of us! I want to thank you, David, for joining us for this interview, thank you for the work you did on the book, and I hope to talk to you again soon.

David Cohen: Thank you so much. I really appreciate this.






Revolution #422 January 18, 2016

From a Revolution Club Member:

The Veil Is NOT a "Form of Power"

January 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


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

Dear Revolution newspaper,

I just saw a clip going around Facebook from a Daily Show interview with Dalia Mogahed [Obama’s adviser on Muslim affairs] that infuriated me. There were parts I appreciated, like when she challenged some of the anti-Muslim bigotry that is so pervasive in this country and spoke about the importance of acceptance towards gays and lesbians and others who are oppressed.

However, what was infuriating was when she defended the veil. She argued that the hijab is just about making women’s sexuality private, that it is a form of power, and argued that it’s oppressive to challenge it. She gets Trevor Noah won over to great applause.

This struck me as being so upside down, such a slavish mentality. So, not wrapping yourself up if you’re a woman means that your sexuality is no longer private? What does that even mean!? Unwrapped women’s sexuality should belong to the public? And power? That power is being able to maneuver within patriarchal domination?

No! Real power for the oppressed comes from ENDING oppression—ending the oppression of women by men in every form, as well as rising up to put an end to all other forms of oppression, exploitation, enslavement and degradation! That’s what an actual revolution is—and that is what humanity really needs.






Revolution #422 January 18, 2016

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 #422 January 18, 2016

CHEERS to the New Sanctuary Movement

January 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


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.

Churches in Arizona and other states are once again considering or have already announced plans to offer sanctuary to Central Americans, including the Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona, which launched the original Sanctuary Movement. The pastor, Alison Harrington, said hundreds of churches across the country are poised to participate in an “underground railroad” similar to those that aided Central American refugees in the 1980s. “We feel we are once again living through a nightmare. Once again, human lives are at stake.”

Rev. Ken Heintzelman, head pastor of Shadow Rock United Church of Christ in Phoenix said his congregation “believes it has a moral obligation to protect Central Americans fleeing violence.” And he added that the U.S. helped create the conditions driving families to flee Central America. “We have made life intolerable for people who want to live peaceful family lives and we don’t take any responsibility for that.”





Revolution #422 January 18, 2016

Free Greg Butler! A Freedom Fighter in Baltimore Uprising Faces Over 25 Years in Jail

January 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Thousands of students from Johns Hopkins University, Goucher, Towson, and other campuses in Baltimore and nearby rally at the City Hall after marching through the streets, two days after the uprising. April 29.
In response to the murder of Freddie Gray by the Baltimore police, thousands of people protested, righteously demanding justice. Gregory Butler, one of the many protesters, is facing outrageous chargers totaling 25 years of imprisonment without parole for his role in the demonstrations. Above: students from local campuses demonstrate at City Hall, April 29, 2015. (AP photo)

In December, a farce of a trial was going on in a Baltimore courthouse for one of the cops responsible for the murder of Freddie Gray, eventually leading to a mistrial (see “Mistrial in Baltimore: The Whole System Is Guilty in the Murder of Freddie Gray”). In the very same courthouse, 23-year-old Greg Butler was on trial for charges originating from his arrest in April during the uprising of the people in outrage at the murder of Freddie Gray. He is one of the people who the state has been targeting for persecution off of the uprising.

Greg Butler was facing charges of carrying a pen knife, attempted theft of cigarettes at a store abandoned during the rebellion, and “second degree” escape for briefly getting free from police clutches. After this trial ended and Greg Butler was leaving the courtroom, federal agents handcuffed him and took him away, without benefit of a lawyer, for the weekend. The Monday after that weekend, he was brought to federal court and now faces charges of “aiding and abetting arson” and “attempting to obstruct, impede, and interfere with firemen,” carrying mandatory minimum sentences totaling 25 years in jail and no possibility of parole.

What is now unfolding here is outrageous! And it says volumes about the true nature of “criminal justice” under the capitalist-imperialist system, as well as how this system offers NO FUTURE for Black and Latino youth, the enormous importance of uprisings of the people and the need for revolution to change all this.

Let’s be clear on some things:

1. The police MURDERED Freddie Gray. They chased him, beat him down, and hog-tied him, with his back bent—as is shown in widely seen videos and described by a witness who said that his back was being bent “like a pretzel.” They dragged his limp body to a police van and left him on the seat, handcuffed but not strapped in. Then Freddie Gray was taken on one those notorious “rough rides.” The police callously ignored his cries for help and then his silence as he lay paralyzed and suffocating. And somewhere between the brutal arrest of Freddie Gray and whatever happened in the police van itself, the pigs murdered the young man.

2. The rebellion was justified. Thousands poured into the streets for days of protest, resistance, and then righteous rebellion. This rebellion terrified the forces of the system—they attacked it with mass arrests, with insults and lies (like Barack Obama calling the people who rose up “thugs”), and more. But the attacks didn’t cool things down—and broader sections of people, particularly thousands of college students, came out to SUPPORT the rebellion. Police across the U.S. have been killing over 1,000 people every year—including many unarmed Black and Latino youths—and these murdering police hardly ever face charges. But on May 1, Baltimore’s chief prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, brought a range of charges against six cops for their role in the arrest, injury, and death of Freddie Gray. This was because of the uprising. In the words of the Baltimore Sun, “By charging six police officers in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby restored order to Baltimore ‘before the entire city became an armed camp or was burned to the ground,’ her office argues in a new court filing.”

3. Property—in this case, the CVS pharmacy that burned down during the rebellion—means more to this system than the broken neck of a young Black man. The cops who murdered Freddie Gray have not spent one day in jail. And even the most serious charge facing any of the cops carries a maximum sentence of 20 years with the possibility of parole after five to 10 years—compared to how Greg Butler, accused of cutting two holes in a fire hose as the CVS store burned, resulting in no injuries to anyone, was denied bail for 28 days and sat in jail with hundreds of others arrested in the uprising and now faces enormous charges. This system has always valued property rights over the rights of Black people—going back to the founding of the country—and so it is now in Baltimore.

To those who argue that “interfering” with firemen is the issue here—let’s contrast what happened in Baltimore with the bombing of the MOVE house in Philadelphia in 1985. The police laid siege to the MOVE house in an effort to evict the radical “back to nature” Black group from their home. Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Goode ordered a bomb dropped on their house, setting it on fire. He prohibited firefighters from putting out the fire, as he openly admitted that he ordered: “let the fire burn.” And five children and six adults at the MOVE house were killed—and the spreading fire burned down 60 houses in the neighborhood. No police or government officials involved ever faced criminal charges for arson or murder for what they did.

The “fire” that the system wanted and wants to put out in Baltimore with such heavy charges against Greg Butler is what James Baldwin called the “fire next time.” As Greg Butler told Revolution: “America runs on fear. They want to instill fear in anyone who even thinks of rising up in the future. They want to bury me under the jail.”

4. After the uprising, Revolution newspaper raised a call: “Defend those arrested in the rebellion—Fighting Oppression Is Not a Crime, Amnesty for All Protesters Against Police Terror.” In that spirit, now a vigorous defense needs to mobilize to defend Greg Butler against the outrageous charges against him. Check at for further information and ways people can join this battle.

5. An uprising is not a revolution—and we need an actual revolution to actually end this nightmare of brutality and suffering. As we uphold and defend the righteous uprising and those attacked for being a part of it, people need to learn that there is a revolutionary solution, a way to get to an actual revolution, and in Bob Avakian (BA) there is the necessary leadership and vision to make that real.






Revolution #422 January 18, 2016

Gathering to Express Love for Nicholas Robertson and Outrage at His Murder by LA Sheriffs

January 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Los Angeles, January 9
Los Angeles, January 9. Photo: Special to

On January 9, Nicholas Robertson would have been 29. But instead of coming together for a party, people who loved Nicholas and knew him in different ways during his short life—cousins, his children, guys he grew up with, young women with children, older women, friends—gathered at the gas station where he was killed to express their love for Nicholas and their outrage at his murder by the LA County Sheriff’s Department. As the protest began, a young woman gave a beautiful rendition of “Happy Birthday,” and then, standing in a circle, everyone joined in. It was both heartbreaking and celebratory.

On Saturday morning, December 12, in Lynwood (next door to Watts in Los Angeles), Nicholas was walking in the street with a gun. Less than a minute after two sheriffs arrived on the scene, they opened fire. One fired 16 shots and the other 17. Seared into everyone’s brain is the image from a widely circulated video of the sheriffs reloading and firing repeatedly at Nicholas after he was down. They fired calmly, as if it was target practice, while Nicholas tried to crawl away. No ambulance was called; no medical aid given. Nicholas had not threatened or harmed anyone, but his life was over.

His body lay in the gas station for 13 hours, not even covered, like a warning to the neighborhood.

Friends said Nicholas was the kind of person who would say “when?” if you asked him to help you move. Anger and pain at his loss, and at the disregard for his humanity in the way he died, runs deep, and it concentrates and focuses the anger people feel daily at the occupation of their neighborhood.

On Nicholas’ birthday, after the song, about 40 people marched down Long Beach Boulevard. to the residential street where Nicholas grew up. Fists went up, including from Latino people, and people joined in as marchers passed by shops chanting, “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail! The Whole Damn System is Guilty as Hell!” A Latina who lives a few blocks away came out with her children, saying that she heard the shots when Nicholas was killed and knew her children would become targets as they grew up. Family members of Jonathan Cuevas, killed by sheriffs on Long Beach Boulevard in 2010, marched in support, as did friends of Johnny Anderson, killed by sheriffs in July in Hawaiian Gardens. “If you’re sick of the murdering police, out of your houses and into the streets!” rang out on Nicholas’ mom’s street.

The Science, The Strategy, The Leadership for an Actual Revolution, And a Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation, by Bob Avakian

Nicholas’ small children joined the march in Stop Mass Incarceration Network T-shirts. People headed back to the boulevard, Lynwood’s main street, and shut it down. “Nicholas was One of Us, the Police Are Murderous!” and “No More! It Stops Today! We Refuse to Live this Way!” Little kids, babies in strollers, young women in the front, guys behind—Long Beach Boulevard was alive with joy and defiance, puncturing the normal routine of occupation, isolation, and fear. A young woman took the bullhorn, saying, “I’m going to call them out—‘No Justice, No Peace! Fuck the Police!’” Ten sheriff’s cars went by slowly on the other side of the street, announcing that people had to get out of the street—and the whole march, far from being intimidated, surged towards them, hollering “Murderers! Murderers!” “Fuck the Police!” At the spot where Jonathan Cuevas was killed, people gathered for a moment, then regrouped, took the street again, and marched back to the gas station where Nicholas was killed.

Among the protesters were many thoughtful people wrangling with big questions: How can we link up with other families protesting murder by police? Why are the police killing people like this? What’s the difference between rebellion and revolution? What role can street gangs and their leaders play in revolution? Revolution Club members and other Revolution newspaper distributors got into these questions with people and struggled with them to get into the works and leadership of Bob Avakian (BA) and the strategy for revolution. Several people said they planned to go to and check out BA’s new major work.






Revolution #422 January 18, 2016

The Chicago Police Murder of Darius Pinex

Five Years of Lies, Cover-up and Murder—How Long Will This Continue to Go On?

January 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Darius Pinex

Darius Pinex, murdered by Chicago police January 2011

On a dark, freezing night in January 2011 in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, Darius Pinex and his passenger were pulled over by police in a “high-risk” traffic stop. The police beamed blinding lights into the windshield, the cop’s vehicle blocked Pinex’s car, and out sprang two cops with masks on and guns drawn, fingers on the trigger. Within minutes, Raoul Mosqueda and Gildardo Sierra had fired a hail of bullets. Sierra alone fired eight shots into the vehicle. Darius Pinex—father of three, brother to six, and a beloved son and grandson died at the scene—a fatal gunshot wound to the head. He was 27. The state’s attorney ruled this murder a “justifiable homicide.” The “Independent” Police Review Board did nothing.

How many times have we seen this... an unarmed Black or Latino person minding their own business gunned down for no reason—like they did to Darius Pinex? How many times have we heard the fabricated stories of the pigs... and then seen the video as we did with Eric Garner in New York, Laquan McDonald in Chicago, or Walter Scott in South Carolina? How many times have we seen the prosecutors let these murdering, brutalizing pigs go free and justify it with the racist excuse that they feared for their lives, as they have just done after murdering 12-year-old Tamir Rice? Time and time again, the people are criminalized and demonized by this white supremacist system and this demonization is then invoked to justify cold-blooded terror and murder.

In the case of Darius Pinex, some truth is reaching the light of day.

Gloria Pinex and three sons at Rise Up October in New York, October 2015.

Gloria Pinex and three sons traveled to New York City last October 22-24 for the Rise Up October actions, as part 100 families of people murdered by the police joining together with others for #Rise Up October—Stop Police Terror—Which Side Are You On?

Gloria Pinex’s heartfelt message: “To all the mommas going through what I am going through and they trying to bamboozle you: Stay strong.” She added, “The police are doing their job. If this wasn’t their job, why they keep getting away with it?”
(Photo: Special to

Determined to fight for justice, Gloria Pinex, Darius’s mother, filed a federal civil lawsuit against her son’s murderers for wrongful death. Gloria had to sit in the same courtroom with these pigs as the attorney for the city of Chicago—acting to defend not just the two cops but the police and the city government as a whole—blamed Pinex for his own death. Because of a slip-up in the testimony of a police dispatcher, the cops’ lies about why they had stopped Pinex began to come apart during the trial. But even then, the judge would not direct a finding in favor of the Pinex family, and the jury allowed the murdering pigs to go unpunished last March. Now, the federal judge has overturned that outrageous jury verdict.

In a scathing 72-page ruling issued on January 4, Judge Edmond Chang cited Jordan Marsh, the lead Chicago city attorney defending the murdering cops, for intentionally concealing crucial evidence before and during the trial and for intentionally misleading the court about his reasons for doing so. The judge ordered a new trial in the civil suit against Sierra and Mosqueda and ordered the city and Marsh to pay the almost $500,000 attorney fees to the legal team that represents the Pinex family.

The judge’s ruling came in a time of coast-to-coast, border-to-border resistance to police terror, at times breaking out into rebellion like the uprising in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 after the police murder of Mike Brown, or the uprising in Baltimore last year after the murder of Freddie Gray. There are defiant protests like the mass disruption of holiday shopping and air travel in Minneapolis. And millions and millions are being challenged to confront, and resist the reality of an epidemic of police murder of Black and brown people.

Chicago is a concentration of all this—the police terror, the outrage, and all kinds of scrambling and moves by the powers that be to manage widespread anger and outrage.

City Attorney’s Office: Enablers of SYSTEMATIC Police Terror

Hours after the public release of Judge Chang’s decision, Jordan Marsh, a 20-year veteran of the Chicago Law Department, resigned. Marsh’s co-counsel in the case had been allowed to quietly resign during the summer. The exposure that the cover-up of the murder of Darius Pinex involved not just the police on the spot, their supervisors, the dispatchers but also the legal department for the city of Chicago sent shockwaves through the city and nationally. The Chicago Sun-Times and the New York Times ran editorial board statements about the depth of the crisis.

Many people were also dismayed that Marsh was simply allowed to resign (pension intact) rather than being fired and disbarred. As Steve Greenberg, lawyer for the Pinex family, said, “There’s just a total disregard for the truth and it runs to the highest levels. There is a culture to cover up and win at all costs.”

The judge’s ruling brings to the light of day how such a cover-up works. Acting as the city’s attorney in the case, Jordan Marsh had literally hidden the existence of a Chicago Police Department radio dispatch that the cops heard the night they stopped and killed Darius Pinex. The CPD and Marsh did not want this dispatch to come into court because its content blows out of the water the pigs’ lies for BOTH the reason they stopped Pinex’s car in the first place AND the pretext for their aggressive, guns drawn, “high-risk” traffic stop.

The police had claimed for more than four years that the dispatch they heard that night said a car matching Darius Pinex’s car was wanted in a shooting and that there was likely a gun in the car. NONE of that was TRUE and none of it was broadcast over the dispatch that night. The dispatch Marsh concealed described a different car and said nothing about a shooting or a gun. As the New York Times pointed out, even just by running his license plate in their system, Darius Pinex would be alive today. It proves the police were lying and that the two cops had set in motion a chain of events that led to Pinex’s murder at their hands.

Judge Chang’s ruling goes into great detail on the egregiousness of this concealment and the role it played in the earlier trial verdict. (The text of the judge’s ruling is available at the Chicago Tribune website. For more on the cover-up, see “Criminal Conspiracy by the Chicago PD—How to get away with murder“ at

During the wrongful death case, Jordan Marsh had the gall to basically say, “Tell Ms. Gloria Pinex we are sorry for her loss, but this is a courtroom for legitimate cases”—knowing full well that he was a key part of the machinery to cover up a murder and deny her justice.

One of the immediate and direct consequences of the conspiracy to protect the murdering cops: Six months after killing Darius Pinex, the cop Sierra murdered again. In this second murder, a leaked police dash-cam video shows Sierra firing repeatedly into the back of a prone Flint Farmer. The gun Farmer supposedly had turned out to be a cell phone.

“The Police Are Doing Their Job”

The families of both Darius Pinex and Flint Farmer heard those lying words—”justifiable homicide.”

Gloria Pinex and her family have been fighting for justice for five years—fighting heroically through the tears, the sleepless nights. The family has been determined to get to the truth—Gloria read through everything she could get her hands on because she knew she was being lied to from day one. She examined the evidence and struggled to understand why this happened to her son.

There are different forces in the mix of the current scandals and the protests rocking Chicago and different viewpoints and outlooks, including revolutionaries. Reflecting on what she has been going through and thinking about, Gloria Pinex spoke frankly: “So when I met the revolution, I was enlightened with everything, and not even really knowing what the revolution was about, I was ready and willing to fight. And I knew I had to fight for my son’s rights—and then I stood up for everyone else’s rights. I’m still in it to win it. This shit got to stop. It must end... I didn’t see this shit and was asleep until this happened to my son. You all did wake me up and I am glad. And since I been woke up, it is right there—pow!—in your face every m’fucking day.”

Gloria and three sons traveled to New York City last October 22-24 for the Rise Up October actions, as part 100 families of people murdered by the police joining together with others for #Rise Up October—Stop Police Terror—Which Side Are You On?

Gloria Pinex’s heartfelt message: “To all the mommas going through what I am going through and they trying to bamboozle you: Stay strong.” She added, “The police are doing their job. If this wasn’t their job, why they keep getting away with it?”






Revolution #422 January 18, 2016

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 #422 January 18, 2016

Black Woman Dies After Hospital Calls Police and Forces Her Out

January 9, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Barbara Dawson

Barbara Dawson

Barbara Dawson, a 57-year-old Black woman, checked into Calhoun Liberty Hospital in Blountstown, Florida, on December 20. She complained of abdominal pain. Dawson had a history of breathing problems; she regularly used an oxygen tank to assist her breathing. Barbara lived across the street and often received treatment at Calhoun Liberty Hospital.

Less than eight hours after arriving at the hospital, Barbara Dawson was discharged. Still in pain and seeking help, Dawson refused to leave, so the hospital called the police.

The final moments of Barbara Dawson’s life can be heard on audio recorded by the police dash-cam.

“No, no, no, no,” Barbara pleads with the police to let her stay. You can hear the desperation and terror in her voice as she begs for help. Over and over she calls out, “Oh my God, oh my God... please don’t let me die.”

The cop responds, “Here’s what’s going to happen. You can walk out or I can take you out of the hospital.”

The tube connecting Barbara’s oxygen tank is removed. The cop places her under arrest. Handcuffs are placed around her wrist. Barbara cries out for help as she’s pushed toward the hospital parking lot where a police cruiser waits. Without the oxygen tank she relies on, she repeats a familiar refrain, “I CAN’T BREATHE...I CAN’T breathe...I can’t breathe.”

As the cop reaches for his keys, Barbara collapses to the ground a few feet from the car.   For 20 minutes, the cop and hospital staff can be heard telling her, “There is nothing wrong with you,” and shouting at her to get up as they attempt to lift her body into the car. They struggle to get her limp, shackled body into the car and the cop radios for a larger vehicle. After 20 horrific minutes on the ground, a doctor checks Dawson’s vital signs and readmits her to the hospital for “symptoms totally different than what she had been released from earlier.”

Barbara Dawson was pronounced dead an hour after she collapsed in the parking lot. The cause of her death: a blood clot in her lung.

The Dawson’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, asked at a press conference this week, “Why didn’t she [Barbara] get the benefit of the doubt? Not just the benefit of the doubt. The benefit of humanity. From the hospital and from the police officer. Nobody gave her the benefit of humanity. She was a human being.” The simple answer is: she was Black and female in the United States of America, therefore her life did not matter.

The death of Barbara Dawson illustrates, on many levels, the illegitimacy of the system that currently dominates. Barbara Dawson died from a blood clot in her lung, but it is the SYSTEM that killed her.

Think about it: What kind of system allows its hospitals to deny care because it hurts their “bottom line” and treats those seeking medical care as if they are too stupid to know that there is something wrong with their own body? What good is a system that uses its armed enforcers, the police, to forcibly deny medical care to someone crying out for help, literally dying? What good is a system whose police “serve and protect” by arresting, brutalizing, harassing, incarcerating, dehumanizing, and murdering the people? The answer is: a system that needs to be swept from the face of the Earth through revolution.





Revolution #422 January 18, 2016

Protests in U.S., London, and Mexico City Demand: Shut Down the U.S. Torture Camp at Guantánamo

by Debra Sweet, Director of World Can’t Wait | January 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On the 14th anniversary of Guantánamo, protesters represented for the prisoners wearing orange jumpsuits and black hoods, from the White House gates to the West Coast, chanting and challenging passers-by with leaflets.

On the 14th anniversary of Guantánamo, protesters represented for the prisoners wearing orange jumpsuits and black hoods, from the White House gates to the West Coast, chanting and challenging passers-by with leaflets. Photo: Eleanor Goldfield/Art Killing Apathy

Protesters across the U.S. and at U.S. embassies in London and Mexico City last week demanded the closure of the U.S. torture camp at Guantánamo Bay first set up by the Bush regime on January 11, 2002. The camp has operated seven years under Obama, as long as it did under Bush, though Obama promised in 2009 to close it within a year. Guantánamo forms part of a larger, global network of prisons set up by the United States after 9/11, an integral part of the limitless global “war on terror” necessary to spread the U.S. empire of capitalist-imperialist globalization exploiting billions worldwide.

The Bush regime brought 779 Muslim men to the military base. Most were captured in Afghanistan or Pakistan, many sold for $5,000 bounty to the U.S. military. Guantánamo exists explicitly to avoid the protections of legal process in the U.S. Constitution. Those held are called “unprivileged enemy belligerents,” not prisoners of war, so they can be held without benefit of the Geneva Conventions, which give rights to those captured in war.

Less than 2 percent (15) of Guantánamo prisoners have ever been charged with anything. Right now 93 remain, including 34 men who have been “cleared for release” but are not allowed to return to their countries. The largest group remaining are the so-called “forever” prisoners, those the U.S. government claims are “too dangerous” to release but says it does not have enough evidence to charge. Attorneys for the prisoners point out that avoiding trials also avoids releasing evidence of the torture most were subjected to.

The prisoners endured years of physical torture and the psychological torture of being isolated and never knowing if they would be released. Among many abuses, prisoners in Guantánamo suffered waterboarding and other torture techniques approved by the Bush White House; years of solitary confinement; deprivation of family and attorney contact; invasive genital searches and beatings. Their meetings and communication with assigned attorneys were spied on; the CIA recruited members of prisoners’ legal teams. The Obama administration opposed legal action in U.S. courts brought by prisoners, including habeas corpus challenges to their confinement. The Pentagon interfered with plans to release prisoners by not providing host countries with medical files, or by just refusing to negotiate the details for years.

Cleveland, January 12—people marched in the freezing cold through downtown, chanting
Cleveland, January 12—people marched in the freezing cold through downtown, chanting "Close Guantánamo/Shut It Down." There were people from Cleveland Revolution Club, Veterans for Peace, Freedom First International, the Catholic Worker Movement, Council on American-Islamic Relations, and other peace activists. Before the march interfaith and community activists came together to speak on "Challenging Islamophobia." Photo:

The ten Yemeni prisoners released on January 14, 2016 had been “cleared” for years, but since the U.S. is backing the Saudi war on Yemen, they were sent to Oman, a U.S. ally. One of those men, Samir Naji al Hassan Moqbel, arrived the day the prison opened. He participated in the prisoner hunger strike of 2013, an action which drew world attention to the brutal force feeding of prisoners by the military. In an op-ed column published in the New York Times, “Gitmo is Killing Me,” Moqbel wrote, “When they come to force me into the chair, if I refuse to be tied up, they call the E.R.F. (Extreme Reaction Force) team. So I have a choice. Either I can exercise my right to protest my detention, and be beaten up, or I can submit to painful force-feeding.”

The Obama administration has indicated it still has plans to close Guantánamo by moving the “forever” prisoners and those it plans to put on trial to the U.S. mainland, possibly to military prisons. Some attorneys for the prisoners say that holding people without charge or trial within U.S. borders could establish a precedent of indefinite detention within the U.S. Ramzi Kassem, a professor at the CUNY School of Law, who has represented 13 of the prisoners, said last year, “Guantánamo was never a single prison facility. From the beginning, it was always an idea, an ideology that purportedly liberated the U.S. government from the fetters of domestic and international law.... When people call for Guantánamo to be closed, it is simply shorthand for a more comprehensive demand to end torture and arbitrary, indefinite imprisonment without trial or fair process.”

“Guantánamo is a legal, moral and ethical abomination, and every day it remains open [it] poisons the U.S.’s claims to be a nation that respects the rule of law,” said Andy Worthington, a British activist journalist who led the campaign to Stand with Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in Guantánamo, and leader of prisoners’ resistance efforts. On January 14, Worthington spoke at Revolution Books New York on the successful battle to get Shaker released, after being cleared for release twice, in October 2015. Campaigners made a 14-foot tall “inflatable” Shaker and worked to get over 100 celebrities and politicians to have their photos taken with the inflatable Shaker, demanding his release. Aamer and five men who had also been detained in Guantánamo protested on January 11 at the U.S. embassy in London, demanding its closure “for everyone, not just for the brothers who are left there.”





Revolution #422 January 18, 2016

From A World to Win News Service:

India: Continued Persecution of Political Prisoner Saibaba and Criminalization of His Defense

January 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


January 11, 2016. A World to Win News Service. The following is excerpted from a press release by the Committee for the Defence and Release of Dr Saibaba and the Delhi University Teachers’ Association that appeared in Economic and Political Weekly. For more on Saibaba’s arrest, see awtwns140526.

We, the Committee for the Defence and Release of G N Saibaba, along with the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), held a protest in association with more than 40 organisations from all over Delhi and other states condemning the re-arrest of Saibaba and the charge of contempt of court on Arundhati Roy. Saibaba is a professor of English in Ram Lal Anand College of Delhi University and a democratic rights activist who has spoken for the rights of Dalits [so-called “Untouchables”], Adivasis [tribal people] and oppressed masses for over 20 years and led a campaign against the state-sponsored war, code-named Operation Green Hunt, in Central India.

He also has 90 percent physical disability and moves in a wheelchair. Despite this, the Maharashtra state police has charged him under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), declared him a “dreaded Maoist,” and held him in the anda [isolation] cell of the Nagpur Central Prison for 14 months. During this time, it was not able to prove any of the charges against him. He was released on interim bail by the Bombay High Court in May 2015 on medical grounds as his health deteriorated rapidly inside the jail.

However, while he was undergoing treatment for life-threatening ailments, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court cancelled his bail and alleged a “conspiracy” to establish medical grounds in its order of 23 December 2015. He was remanded back to the Nagpur Central Prison within 48 hours (when the courts were on winter vacation), so that he would not be able to challenge the order. This single bench judgement also charged writer and activist Arundhati Roy with contempt of court for writing an article titled “Professor, P.O.W” in Outlook magazine in May 2015 seeking Saibaba’s release.

The united protest in Jantar Mantar on 2 January witnessed participation of parliamentarians, intellectuals, professors, students, cultural activists, workers, advocates, film-makers and democratic rights activists from across political orientations.

The novelist, essayist and activist Arundhati Roy addressed Indian public opinion in a May 2015 article “Professor P.O.W.” contrasting the relentless persecution of political prisoner G N Saibaba with the Indian ruling party’s generosity toward convicted murderers associated with Prime Minister Narendra Modhi and the massacres of Muslims that marked his rise to power. She has been charged with contempt of court for writing it and is scheduled to appear in court on 25 January. The following is an excerpt. For the full article, go to

No matter what the charges against him are, should Professor Saibaba get bail? Here’s a list of a few well-known public figures and government servants who have been given bail.

On 23 April, 2015, Babu Bajrangi, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the 2002 Naroda Patiya massacre in which 97 people were murdered in broad daylight, was released on bail by the Gujarat High Court for an “urgent eye operation.” This is Babu Bajrangi in his own words speaking about the crime he committed: “We didn’t spare a single Muslim shop, we set everything on fire, we set them on fire and killed them—hacked, burnt, set on fire.... We believe in setting them on fire because these bastards don’t want to be cremated. They’re afraid of it.”

On 30 July, 2014, Maya Kodnani, a former minister of the Modi government in Gujarat, convicted and serving a 28-year sentence for being the ‘kingpin’ of that same Naroda Patiya massacre, was granted bail by the Gujarat High Court. Kodnani is a medical doctor and says she suffers from intestinal tuberculosis, a heart condition, clinical depression and a spinal problem. Her sentence has been suspended.

Amit Shah, also a former minister in the Modi government in Gujarat, was arrested in July 2010, accused of ordering the extrajudicial killing of three people—Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kausar Bi and Tulsiram Prajapati. The CBI produced phone records showing that Shah was in constant touch with the police officials who held the victims in illegal custody before they were murdered, and that the number of phone calls between him and those police officials spiked sharply during those days. Amit Shah was released on bail three months after his arrest. (Subsequently, after a series of disturbing and mysterious events, he has been let off altogether.) He is currently the president of the BJP [India’s governing party], and the right hand man of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On 22 May, 1987, 42 Muslim men rounded up in a truck by the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) were shot dead in cold blood on the outskirts of Hashimpura and their bodies were dumped in a canal. Nineteen members of the PAC were accused in the case. All of them were allowed to continue in service, receiving their promotions and bonuses like everybody else. Thirteen years later, in the year 2000, 16 of them surrendered (three had died). They were released on bail immediately. A few weeks ago, in March 2015, all 16 were acquitted for lack of evidence.

Hany Babu, a teacher in Delhi University and a member of the Committee for the Defence and Release of Saibaba, was recently able to meet Dr Saibaba for a few minutes in hospital. At a press conference on 23 April 2015 that went more or less unreported, Hany Babu described the circumstances of the meeting: Dr Saibaba, on a saline drip, sat up in bed and spoke to him. A security guard stood over him with an AK-47 pointed at his head. It was his duty to make sure the prisoner did not run away on his paralysed legs.

Will Dr Saibaba come out of the Nagpur central jail alive? Do they want him to? There is much to suggest they do not.


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 #422 January 18, 2016

From the Stop Mass Incarceration Network:

Regional Conferences January 2016

In Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Charlotte, NC

Updated February 1, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


New York City, Rescheduled to February 6, 12 pm-8 pm
Project Reach, 39 Eldridge Street, 4th floor, between Hester & Canal
Facebook Event Page

Los Angeles, Saturday, January 30, 2 pm
Echo Park United Methodist Church, 1226 N. Alvarado Street

San Francisco Bay Area, Sunday, January 31, 2 pm-5 pm
2501 Harrison Street @ 28th Street, Oakland

Charlotte, NC, Southeast Regional conference January 31 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
UNC Charlotte Student Activity Center (SACS) 3rd Floor Salon
The conference is co-sponsored by: Safe Coalition NC, the student chapter of the NAACP, Stop Mass Incarceration Network NC

Chicago Midwest Regional Conference Saturday January 23, 12 noon to 6:00 pm  Trinity Episcopal Church, 125 East 26th St., Chicago, IL 60616
See "Stop Mass Incarceration Network Midwest Regional Conference" for a report back from the Chicago conference.

Rise Up! Get Organized to STOP Police Terror and Mass Incarceration!


Police continue to murder people all across the country without letup and the whole system continues to go into motion to exonerate these killer cops. The more the truth of how widespread this horror is gets brought out into the open, the more it calls into question the whole way this system carries out policing and law enforcement. The horror of police getting away with murder concentrates the genocidal assault of mass incarceration, police terror and the criminalization of whole sections of people. All this is illegitimate and unacceptable. It must be STOPPED! Stopping this is going to take a movement of mass, defiant and determined resistance, one that ultimately numbers in the millions.

Rise Up October contributed significantly to building this kind of movement, impacting society in a major way, shining a spotlight on police terror in the U.S. Quentin Tarantino spoke the truth at Rise Up October and didn’t back down when police unions across the country went on a rampage with threats targeting him. People stepped out to support Tarantino and his exposure of murders done by police spread the reverberations of Rise Up October nationally and internationally. The storm of protests that followed the release of the videos of police murdering people in Chicago point to what needs to be done—People taking to the streets and defiantly calling for these horrors to STOP! This has forced the authorities there to defend the legitimacy of their system and its brutality. We need to make these regional conferences a big step toward forging the kind of resistance that can call into question the whole criminal “injustice” system in this country.

In the 1960s, massive movements of resistance developed opposing the oppression of Black people, the war in Vietnam, the oppression of women, etc. A key element in the rise of those movements were students throwing themselves into the struggles on these fronts. The same needs to happen today to make the movement to STOP police terror powerful enough to end this horror. The struggles against racism that erupted on the campus of the University of Missouri and swept all across the country shows the potential for this happening. We have to take the campuses by storm, enlisting students in the fight to stop murder by police.

Our regional conferences will bring together the forces who want to act to STOP police terror. A key focus has to be everyone who participated in RiseUpOctober (RUO) and everyone who was impacted by it. The conferences will put before people the need to take the movement to STOP police terror to a higher level and that taking this struggle to the campuses is a key part of doing that. AND the conferences will forge the organization and make the plans, including fundraising plans, to take these critical steps. This means forming SMIN chapters on campuses, joining SMIN chapters where they exist or, in the case of organizations, affiliating with SMIN.

Each conference will develop a plan for the No More Stolen Lives tour in their area which will include the following elements. (See accompanying letter on the tour.)

* who will be on the tour,

* what campuses the tour will go to,

* other events that can be done as part of this tour (speaking in communities, at religious institutions, media, etc.),

* how these tours will be led,

* how to generate the funds needed to make these tours happen, and

* how to leave organization in the wake of the tour—SMIN chapters formed on campuses, people joining SMIN chapters where they already exist and organizations affiliating with SMIN.

The conferences will also make beginning plans for the National Student Strike/Day of Action in April and determine how to build up to making that as powerful as possible.

Each conference also has to assess the situation in their region to determine what struggles need to be taken up as part of taking the movement of resistance to police terror to a higher level.

And each conference will develop plans to raise the funds necessary to make all this happen and form a working group to spearhead the fundraising efforts and coordinate with the national office to make this happen.