Revolution #428, February 29, 2016 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

The Science...Actual Revolution title image

Excerpt from the sections:
Introduction and Orientation


The Cultural Revolution Within the RCP

Download PDF of entire work

Editors' note: The following is an excerpt from the new work by Bob Avakian, The New Communism. In addition to excerpts already posted on, we will be running further excerpts from time to time on both and in Revolution newspaper. These excerpts should serve as encouragement and inspiration for people to get into the work as a whole, which is available as a book from Insight Press. A prepublication copy is available on line at

This excerpt comes from the opening section, "Introduction and Orientation," and from part of the section titled "The Cultural Revolution Within the RCP," and is accompanied by the Table of Contents for the work as a whole.

From the section:
Introduction and Orientation

This gathering is taking place at a very important time, when masses of the oppressed in this country, and in particular those most bitterly oppressed, have been rising up— refusing to take the brutality and murder to which they are continually subjected, particularly by the police, acting as the enforcers of this system of oppression—and these uprisings have been joined by people from other sections of society. Rebellion and resistance on this level around such a crucial contradiction and “fault line” of this system, the depth and determination of this rebellion and resistance, and the way in which it has continued, and continues, to “flare up” with new outrages—this is something that has not been seen in a long time. And, with the aim of propelling this resistance to a qualitatively higher level and concentrating it in a qualitatively more powerful way, impacting all of society, and the larger world—and, from our standpoint, working to make this serve the strategic goal of an actual revolution that will put an end to this, and other outrages that concentrate major social contradictions of this system, as embodied in the “5 Stops”1—a massive mobilization of people, demanding that the outrage of police brutality and murder, as well as mass incarceration, must be stopped, has been called for this fall, RiseUpOctober,2 focused in New York City on the days of October 22-24, putting forward the challenge to all of society around this: Which side are you on? All this poses great potential, great necessity, and great challenges for those working for an actual revolution that would put an end to this, and to all, oppression. At the same time, in the larger context in which this is taking place, the contradictions within this system are sharpening, internationally as well as within particular countries, and in some places—many places, in fact—these contradictions are boiling over. And there is the fundamental reality that communist revolution, and nothing less, is necessary to deal with the egregious outrages and injustices, and the profound contradictions, that mark the current world and the system of capitalism-imperialism that still dominates the world, at the cost of so much suffering for the masses of humanity.

In this context, in reading reports on work in various areas over the recent period, and looking at our website ( in particular, I think of the comment by people in Baltimore, when people went out to them with revolution—and it’s a comment you hear quite frequently when you go out to masses of people, taking the revolution to them. They sharply posed the question: “Will you be here? We’ve seen people come here, we’ve seen groups come and go and talk a lot of talk. But is this serious? Will you be here?” This is a very important question and poses a very direct challenge for us. We have to meet this with the answer “yes” in the immediate sense, but also in the most profound and all-around sense. We have to be here, now—and we have to be here for the whole thing. Whether any particular individual is there at a given time, that’s not the question that’s really at stake; it’s whether or not the movement for revolution and, above all, the Party, the leadership that people need to get out of this nightmare, is going to be there, in an overall and fundamental sense, because when you get down to it, ultimately the people really do have nothing if they don’t have a party based on the science that can lead them to emancipate themselves and emancipate all of humanity. This is true whether, at any given time, the people know it or not.

And I was thinking about something even heavier when reading about the work being done in Baltimore: the comment of a woman, one of the basic masses in Baltimore, who said, “I am getting worried”—when people were bringing the revolution to her—“I’m getting worried.” Now, you might say, why was she getting worried? She explained: “Because I am beginning to hope.” Now, think about what that means for the masses of people, that they are afraid to hope. Afraid to hope that maybe the world doesn’t have to be this way, that maybe there is a way out of this. Afraid to hope, because their hopes have been dashed so many times. Now, we know there’s a ruling class out there. We know how, along with the vicious repression they carry out, they maneuver and manipulate whenever the people rise up. We have seen it already again in Baltimore, for example: Oh, all of a sudden there’s a crime wave, they say; and they insist that they have to come down even heavier with the police and that they need the federal authorities to come in and help out the police, because the masses are running wild, and the police can’t go out and kill them with impunity, right now.

So, all this is why people say, “I’m getting worried.” They are afraid to hope. And if we don’t intend to meet the responsibilities that we have, if we don’t intend to follow through when we go to people and say there is a way out of this, we should get up and leave right now. Because the masses of people do not need anyone else who comes along, fly-by-night, and leaves them to the miserable conditions they will be subjected to, and the even worse horrors of this system coming down on them. We have to mean it when we say we’re serious about revolution.

This brings us to the question of for whom and for what are we doing what we’re doing. This is not about any individuals, including ourselves. This is one of the first things you have to come to grips with—that this is not about any individual, but is about something much bigger. Look, many people do come to revolution out of their own direct experiences, what this system has done to them, even though they don’t understand it’s a system—or even if they have heard this word “system,” they don’t really know what that system is. But a lot of people do come to this out of their own direct individual experience—they don’t immediately understand that it’s part of a larger picture of what’s happening to literally millions and even billions of people around the world. This is the understanding we have to bring to them. But, first of all, we have to understand: for whom and for what? This is for the emancipation of humanity. This is for the masses of oppressed humanity who desperately need this revolution. It’s not about anything else—and it’s certainly not about ourselves; it’s not about our egos, it’s not about whether we look good or don’t look good, or any of these kinds of questions that should be completely out of the picture.

I’ve talked about this before, but think about it in these terms: People are going to go out here to make a revolution, and the people who are acting as the leadership, as the vanguard, are going to sacrifice, there are going to be big sacrifices. You don’t make a revolution without tremendous sacrifice, and if we don’t understand that, once again, we should just fold up and go away. There’s going to be suffering. There’s going to be dying. There’s going to be terrible repression. There’s going to be torture. I’m not saying this to make some kind of religious-sounding appeal—“let’s gather up our courage like monks whipping themselves”—or something like that. But this is the reality of what you have to go through to get to a better world.

And here is what makes it even harder, ideologically, in terms of how you think about this, how you feel about this. People are going to sacrifice in all kinds of ways. And let’s say you have a revolution, and you’ve lost comrades, you’ve lost friends and loved ones— you’re part of the vanguard of this revolution, or you’re part of the masses who are the backbone of this revolution, and you’ve lost many friends and many comrades, you’ve seen people torn away, tortured, subjected to all kinds of horrors. Meanwhile, a lot of people sat there with their arms folded, or even sniped at you from the sidelines and tried to undermine everything you were doing. And then you get to the new society and you have a new constitution—think about the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America3—you have a new constitution, and all of a sudden, all these people who didn’t do a damn thing to help the revolution, and maybe even tried to undermine it, come out of the woodwork, and every time you’re trying to do something with the economy, or you’re trying to build new political institutions and bring into being new social relations, or you’re sacrificing for the world revolution—they come along and they go blee, blee, blee, blee, blee, blee, blee, blee, blee, blee, with all their little petty complaints about how they don’t have this and that, that they had in the old society. You feel like saying to them: “Shut the fuck up! You didn’t do a damn thing when people were out here sacrificing and dying in all kinds of terrible ways, and now you want to come around with your little petty complaints.” But you can’t do that. And that’s what makes it so hard. You can’t do that. You can struggle with them, you have to struggle with them. You can say, “You don’t know what the hell is going on. You don’t understand any of the contradictions we’re up against, and you should try to actually come to grips with what we’re doing here and what we’re up against.” You can struggle like crazy with people. You have to. But you can’t take revenge on them. You can’t even say, “Who the hell are you to raise any criticisms of what we’re doing, because you didn’t do anything to help—in fact, you tried to undermine things when people were out here fighting and dying.” Why can’t you do that? For whom and for what? This is not about us. If we aren’t prepared to sacrifice, then we’re not serious. This is about getting to a different world where all these horrors for the masses of people don’t go on any longer. And that’s the way we have to approach this. This is our role. This is our responsibility to the masses of people of the world who are suffering so terribly—and, what makes it all the worse, suffering so unnecessarily.

So this has to be our orientation in everything we do, in the way we struggle with each other, in the way we struggle with masses of people. There’s a need for a tremendous amount of struggle. But for whom and for what? This is what we have to keep uppermost in our mind.

Now, I want to turn to the question of why are you here, in particular. Many of the people here come from among the basic masses of people, or have ties with basic masses. And, in any case, people here generally can play a very important role as “levers,” if you want to put it that way, in bringing forward to the revolution growing numbers of people, from among basic masses, as well as students and others.

So, with that in mind, let me turn to the purpose and aim and the approach in what we are doing here—what it is, and what it is not. To begin, as I think you’ve been advised, this presentation will cover a lot of ground, speaking to fundamentals of the communist revolution, and what should guide us in working to bring about an actual revolution. Then we will grapple together with key points that have been raised. So everybody should buckle in, in your seatbelts, and get ready for the ride. There will be a great deal to “take in,” but that’s because, as Mao once put it, so many deeds cry out to be done—to rise to the challenges and responsibilities we face, to do all we can to work actively for the revolution that is so urgently needed by the masses of humanity, and to continually bring forward more people to join the ranks of this revolution and the Party as its leading core. Here, I want to emphasize this important point of orientation: No matter whether we have been involved for a long, or a relatively short, period of time, we all have to keep on learning—and everyone here is fully capable of taking part in the process of what we are doing here and contributing to it while learning from it. We should all have the approach of wrestling together and struggling, in a good way, with each other, based on a sense of the importance of the questions we’ll be digging into. Everybody should fully plunge into the discussion following this presentation—and do so with a conquering spirit, based on an understanding of the need, and the basis, for everyone to apply a scientific method and approach to the biggest problem facing humanity: how to put an end to this system that is the fundamental source of so much misery and torment in the world, and bring something radically different and much better into being. It’s with this orientation and this goal in mind that we should grapple deeply with what will be discussed here, learning and contributing as much as we can.

This is an unusual opportunity—to, in a sense, “step back” and dig into these big questions. And it is very important, even with everything going on in the world, and all the responsibilities we have in relation to this, that we have carved out the time to get into the big questions we will be taking up here. But it needs to be understood that this is NOT just some kind of “study group” or “discussion group” in some aimless sense, where “interesting ideas” are batted around just for our own intellectual stimulation or enjoyment—or as some kind of “diversion” from what we are normally concerned  with. We will be dealing here with theory, and going deeply into some things on a high level of theoretical abstraction. Ooh, right away that may sound scary. And it’s gonna be challenging. But this is a challenge we should all welcome, because whether or not there is going to be a scientific approach to revolution and a group of people, a growing group of people, organized to apply that science to really transforming the world toward an actual revolution—that makes all the difference for the masses of people. What we will be doing here is, in one sense, far removed from what, spontaneously, masses of people are concerned with and thinking about on a daily basis; but it has everything to do with whether the masses are going to be brought forward and led to emancipate themselves and contribute to the emancipation of humanity from the systems and relations of oppression and exploitation that weigh down on masses of people all over the world, and all the horrors that flow from this. For it is a very real and profound truth that without revolutionary theory—theory based on a consistently scientific method and approach, and in particular the scientific method and approach of dialectical materialism—and without this theory being taken up and applied by growing numbers of people, there can be no emancipating revolution, and the horrendous outrages and abuses to which the masses of humanity are continually subjected will go on—and on. It is also profoundly true that anyone who applies themself to this, and does the work, can take up this scientific method and approach, can continually deepen their grasp of this theory and the ability to apply it and popularize it, learning and doing in a dialectical—a mutually reinforcing—relation between theory and practice. With this understanding, the basic orientation and goal here is to make leaps, real leaps, in grasping this theory in order, then, to return it to practice—and not just “any old kind of practice,” but practice, guided by this theory, which is in fact aimed at revolution, an actual revolution, and nothing less.

To return for a minute to what the approach is NOT—it is not, and must not be, an approach where things are taken up here in a certain “heavy” and lofty way, and then this is forgotten, or “put aside,” in returning to the “normal, everyday” situation and political work that all too often is marked by the implementation of some other orientation, method and approach. Nor can people’s approach here be, “Let me see if there are some things here that are useful for the work I am doing”—for then that work will not be the kind of work it needs to be; it will be something else than really working for an actual revolution. And, to emphasize it again, because it can’t be emphasized too many times: Our grappling here with crucial points of theory and of strategy should not be approached as some kind of “educational experience,” in the bad sense—as a kind of “scholastic exercise,” which will then find its mirror image in practice divorced from communist theory and from actively working for an actual revolution. At the same time, the point here is not to create expectations of being able to “master,” all at once, everything that is gone into here—and, in terms of this opening presentation, the way to approach it is not to try to fully “digest,” right away, every one of the points that is spoken to (or to become frustrated if that proves not to be possible!). A lot of points will be returned to, things will be woven together, and by the end hopefully things will become clear which perhaps weren’t clear right at first; and then we’ll go into the discussion where things will be drawn out more fully. So the point is to take in this presentation overall and keep in mind the process here, in which this presentation will serve as the introduction to and the foundation and framework for several days of vigorous discussion and struggle. To be clear also, the point is not to leave here with the expectation of taking everything that has been learned here and “force feeding” it, all at once, to people we are working with and going out to: “Hey, let me tell you, I’ve just learned a whole bunch of heavy stuff!” The purpose, what we are aiming for here, is to get a much stronger grounding in what we will be engaging here—and, above all, method and approach—with the orientation of correctly linking theory and practice; and, as we go forward from here, continuing to grapple with and grasp communist theory, more fully and deeply, in dialectical relation with carrying out this, and no other, line—this, and no other, method and approach—taking the basics of this to people, and working with them to get into this more deeply as we join with them in fighting the power, while at the same time we are consistently fighting, in the appropriate ways and with the right spirit, for this line, and no other, to in fact be the line that is in command in giving impetus and direction to building a movement for an actual revolution, with the Party as its leading core.

From the section:
The Cultural Revolution Within the RCP

Now, here, let me speak to the question: Why was I doing the work I was doing? Once again, we’re back to for whom and for what. I wasn’t doing this work for myself. When I was young, in middle school and then even more so in high school, my life got changed in a very major way by coming into contact with people that I hadn’t really known that much before, in particular Black people. I started learning about their situation and how that relates to what goes on in this society as a whole. I was drawn to the culture—not just the music and the art overall, but the whole way of going through the world—of the Black people who became my friends, and the world they introduced me to. And I came to the point of recognizing: these are my people. Now, I knew they had a different life experience than I did. But these are my people—I don’t see a separation—it’s not like there are some other people “over there” who are going through all this and somehow that’s removed from me. These are my people. And then I began to recognize more deeply what people were being put through, the oppression they were constantly subjected to, the horrors of daily life as well as the bigger ways in which the system came down on them. And as I went further through life and began to approach the question of what needs to be done about this, and was introduced to taking up a scientific approach to this, I realized that my people were more than this. I realized that my people were Chicanos and other Latinos and other oppressed people in the U.S.; they were people in Vietnam and China; they were women...they were the oppressed and exploited of the world...and through some struggle, and having to cast off some wrong thinking, I have learned that they are LGBT people as well.

These are my people, the oppressed and exploited people of the world. They are suffering terribly, and something has to be done about this. So it is necessary to dig in and systematically take up the science that can show the way to put an end to all this, and bring something much better into being. You have to persevere and keep struggling to go forward in this way. And when you run into new problems or setbacks, you have to go more deeply into this, rather than putting it aside and giving up.

1. The “5 Stops” refers to the following demands that reflect key concentrations of social contradictions (and is available in poster and leaflet forms at
STOP Genocidal Persecution, Mass Incarceration, Police Brutality and Murder of Black and Brown People!
STOP The Patriarchal Degradation, Dehumanization, and Subjugation of All Women Everywhere, and All Oppression Based on Gender or Sexual Orientation!
STOP Wars of Empire, Armies of Occupation, and Crimes Against Humanity!
STOP The Demonization, Criminalization and Deportations of Immigrants and the Militarization of the Border!
STOP Capitalism-Imperialism from Destroying Our Planet! [back]

2. In response to a call co-initiated by Carl Dix (spokesperson for the RCP) and Cornel West for a massive mobilization in New York City on October 22-24, 2015 to stop police terror and murder, thousands took part in three days of action. RiseUpOctober started with the reading at Times Square of the names of the Stolen Lives, those killed by police; the next day this was followed by nonviolent direct action to shut down Rikers Island prison; and then on the third day this culminated in a march and rally of nearly 4,000 people. Through the work building for these three days and through the actions themselves, a political and moral challenge was issued in society: Murder by police must stop—Which Side Are You On? [back]

3. Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP Publications, 2010). Also available at [back]


Publisher's Note

Introduction and Orientation

Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit

Part I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science

Materialism vs. Idealism
Dialectical Materialism
Through Which Mode of Production
The Basic Contradictions and Dynamics of Capitalism
The New Synthesis of Communism
The Basis for Revolution
Epistemology and Morality, Objective Truth and Relativist Nonsense
Self and a “Consumerist” Approach to Ideas
What Is Your Life Going to Be About?—Raising People’s Sights

Part II. Socialism and the Advance to Communism:
            A Radically Different Way the World Could Be, A Road to Real Emancipation

The “4 Alls”
Beyond the Narrow Horizon of Bourgeois Right
Socialism as an Economic System and a Political System—And a Transition to Communism
Abundance, Revolution, and the Advance to Communism—A Dialectical Materialist Understanding
The Importance of the “Parachute Point”—Even Now, and Even More With An Actual Revolution
The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America
   Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core
Emancipators of Humanity

Part III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution

One Overall Strategic Approach
Hastening While Awaiting
Forces For Revolution
Separation of the Communist Movement from the Labor Movement, Driving Forces for Revolution
National Liberation and Proletarian Revolution
The Strategic Importance of the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women
The United Front under the Leadership of the Proletariat
Youth, Students and the Intelligentsia
Struggling Against Petit Bourgeois Modes of Thinking, While Maintaining the Correct Strategic Orientation
The “Two Maximizings”
The “5 Stops”
The Two Mainstays
Returning to "On the Possibility of Revolution"
Internationalism—Revolutionary Defeatism
Internationalism and an International Dimension
Internationalism—Bringing Forward Another Way
Popularizing the Strategy
Fundamental Orientation

Part IV. The Leadership We Need

The Decisive Role of Leadership
A Leading Core of Intellectuals—and the Contradictions Bound Up with This
Another Kind of “Pyramid”
The Cultural Revolution Within the RCP
The Need for Communists to Be Communists
A Fundamentally Antagonistic Relation—and the Crucial Implications of That
Strengthening the Party—Qualitatively as well as Quantitatively
Forms of Revolutionary Organization, and the “Ohio”
Statesmen, and Strategic Commanders
Methods of Leadership, the Science and the “Art” of Leadership
Working Back from “On the Possibility”—
   Another Application of “Solid Core with a Lot of Elasticity on the Basis of the Solid Core”

Appendix 1:
The New Synthesis of Communism:
Fundamental Orientation, Method and Approach,
and Core Elements—An Outline
by Bob Avakian

Appendix 2:
Framework and Guidelines for Study and Discussion


Selected List of Works Cited

About the Author





Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

Come Together, Raise Funds and Build the Campaign for BA Everywhere

Fundraising Dinners for the Bob Avakian Everywhere Campaign, Weekend of March 18 Nationwide

Updated March 13, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


You are invited to come together, raise funds, and build community, as part of accelerating the BA Everywhere campaign. The campaign aims to raise big funds to make the new synthesis of communism that Bob Avakian (BA) has brought forward, and the leadership he provides, a major question in society: a point of reference and, for increasing numbers, a living framework for how to understand, and transform, the world. The new synthesis represents a qualitative advance in the scientific approach to making revolution and emancipating humanity.

BA, the Chairman of the RCP, USA, embodies a rare combination: a revolutionary leader who on the basis of 40 years of work has been able to develop scientific theory on a world-class level, while at the same time having a deep understanding of and visceral connection with the most oppressed, and a highly developed ability to “break down” complex theory and make it accessible to the masses of people.

Where there is oppression, there will be resistance—the masses of people will continually rise up against their conditions of oppression and those who enforce this oppression. But, without the necessary scientific theory and leadership, the struggle of the oppressed will be contained, and remain confined, within the system which is the source of oppression, and the horrors to which the masses are subjected will go on, and on.

BA, his work, and his leadership exist at a time when the influence and organized force of revolution—real revolution—is not nearly as strong as it urgently needs to be, but the basis for this is actually stronger than ever. The biggest immediate problem right now is that this is not yet known in the way it needs to be... As BA himself says in the new work we are celebrating:

There is an urgent need for this new synthesis to be taken up, broadly, in this society and in the world as a whole: everywhere people are questioning why things are the way they are, and whether a different world is possible; everywhere people are talking about “revolution” but  have no real understanding of what revolution means, no scientific approach to analyzing and dealing with what they are up against and what needs to be done; everywhere people are rising up in rebellion but are hemmed in, let down and left to the mercy of murderous oppressors, or misled onto paths which only reinforce, often with barbaric brutality, the enslaving chains of tradition; everywhere people need a way out of their desperate conditions, but do not see the source of their suffering and the path forward out of the darkness.

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

This has to change... now. As a first step, build these dinners. If you are not now connected to the Party or BA Everywhere and want to participate, or to learn more about this campaign, write to us at or get in touch with the local Revolution Books bookstore, or the local distributor of Revolution where you live.

Download PDF


DONATE to the
BA Everywhere Campaign!

Click Here





Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

BA Everywhere:
Making Bob Avakian a Major Question Among Museum Goers

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Dear readers:

Some of us got together to make plans based on the article about BA Everywhere dinners to be held nationwide on the weekend of March 18-20: “Come Together, Raise Funds and Build the Campaign for BA Everywhere.” We wanted to share with you all one of the ways we are setting out to raise funds now and to make BA a major question among important sections of people who are in a lot of turmoil right now, looking for serious solutions in a world that many are feeling is more and more completely intolerable. We want to reach deeply into sections of people like this and challenge them to donate on the spot and to come to the fundraising dinner that will be held over the weekend of March 18 along with dinners nationwide, and to be part of wrangling over what difference it will make for BA and his revolutionary work to be known and debated all over.

Lots of museums across the country have “Free First Friday” or “Free First Saturday” programming that attracts young people, families, and culturally aware people of all ages. Last month, Revolution Books and a team of Revolution newspaper distributors had a significant impact on a Black History Month First Saturday at an important museum in our city. The First Saturday events at this museum have become a destination for a mainly under-40, mixed, culturally cutting-edge crowd of several thousand over the course of the day’s programming. There can be visual art exhibits, film, artist discussions, book discussions, family activities, music, and dance—all going on simultaneously in different parts of the museum. It can be a wild scene! Last month, about 100 of the special issue of Revolution newspaper announcing the Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA got out in this crowd, tapping into the heartfelt need among many to know about a leadership to really make the revolution and radically change the same shit the Black Panthers and other revolutionaries set out to confront 50 years ago that is still going on today and worse. The legacy of the Panthers was a theme at this event, with a showing of the new film by Stanley Nelson (Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution) and a Revolution Books-sponsored discussion in an adjoining room on the legacy of the Black Panther Party and the role of Bob Avakian.

The next First Saturday at this museum has a Women’s History Month theme featuring women performers and creators in all kinds of disciplines. We decided this is a very important place to take BA Everywhere and the invitation to the dinner coming up over the weekend of March 18-20. There is no more thoroughgoing approach to emancipating the half of humanity that is humiliated, brutalized, objectified, and subjected to forced reproduction, rape, and subjugation just because they are female. But not just that: BA’s new synthesis takes the emancipation of women as a foundational and driving force for winning a real revolution and for continuing to radically transform society after the revolution toward fully emancipating all of humanity.

This is profound and people need to know it! We have a simple plan and approach: have a visually compelling team with BA Speaks: Revolution Nothing Less! and BA-image T-shirts as people are going into the event, pass out the BA image card—this is an artistically inclined crowd and the idea is to create intrigue and curiosity by passing out this beautiful and compelling image. Some people will also be handing out the BA quote cards with this quote:

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

Break All the Chains!

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

Sampler Edition | Full Work

We will also be getting out Revolution newspaper—and the website has a PDF poster on International Women’s Day, which can be printed out. We will have a display of the sampler edition of Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution—the publication of this sampler was funded by The Bob Avakian Institute. But we do want the image cards to create some buzz and interest without having to be “explained.”

Some people will also go inside the museum among the crowd, passing out the image card in particular. As people start leaving, the emphasis will be on getting out invitations to the BA Everywhere dinner and more of the materials—quote cards and Revolution newspaper. There will be BIG VISUALS of the BAsics 3:22 quote and BIG, WELL-DECORATED BUCKETS for people to donate on the spot, with a challenge to people to learn about BA’s all-the-way revolutionary leadership to emancipate ALL of humanity and be part of making this known and a point of reference all over, at a time when this revolution is needed more than ever. We will collect contact information and get back with people quickly to underline the invitation to the dinner, the challenge to donate for BA Everywhere now, and work with them to spread the word and invite and challenge their friends as well.

As the “Come Together, Raise Funds and Build the Campaign for BA Everywhere” article put it: “BA, his work and his leadership exist at a time when the influence and organized force of revolution—real revolution—is not nearly as strong as it urgently needs to be, but the basis for this is actually stronger than ever. The biggest immediate problem right now is that this is not yet known in the way it needs to be...”

So let’s get to really begin solving this now. Let’s go!

Join the BA Everywhere campaign





Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

Serious Stakes and New Developments in the Battle for the Chicago March 2 Day of Resistance Against Police Murder

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


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

March 2 will mark 500 days since the police murder of Laquan McDonald. In the three months since the video of the execution of Laquan was forced into the light of day, there has been video after video of street executions by police, the tasing of prisoners to death in jail, the story of the police double murder on the morning after Christmas, cover-ups reaching to the very top, and threats and slanders against families who have bravely spoken out amid tears and rage. Then the cop who killed Quintonio Legrier counterattacked by suing his family because supposedly he, the cop, suffered emotional trauma after gunning down the 21-year-old college student!

The reign of unpunished police terror and murder continues, and the question before everyone is what is gonna be done? In Chicago, people are building for a powerful March 2 Day of Resistance to Stop Police Murder: Which Side Are You On? Indict all the Murdering Cops and All Those Who Are Part of the Cover-ups, Send Them All to Jail! There are two major actions: “Stolen Lives” Families Demand Justice at noon at the State of Illinois Thompson Center; and at 3 pm people will gather for “no business as usual as long as the business of usual is cops killing people with impunity.” (See the call from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Chicago) Organizers plan to disrupt the evening rush hour.

 Chicago, December 9, 2015. Photo: Bobbosphere
Chicago, December 9, 2015. Photo: Bobbosphere

Throughout the fall and into the winter, protests rocked the city, putting the police and their protectors on the defensive. “Sixteen shots and a COVER-UP” rang out over and over again in the streets, and wherever the mayor appeared. The chief of police was forced to resign, as was the head of the agency charged with investigating the police. A Chicago Tribune investigation reports that the police are being confronted with video cameras and defiance everywhere they go, and morale is low because they can’t racially profile or brutalize people the way they are used to doing.

A revealing quote from a cop in the Tribune article gives a sense of how they normally operate with impunity: “The days of the hunch are over ... you have to have something more than intuition.” Intuition is not a legal basis for stopping anyone, much less killing them! And now people are challenging them—they pull out their phones to video them when the police stop people. The youths on the street call out “fuck the police” at them.

It is widely known that there is still NO justice coming off all the exposures and protests. In the 500 days since Laquan McDonald was killed, none of the cops who covered up the murder, who tampered with evidence, who lied on the official reports, have been charged. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many families like Laquan’s who are still demanding justice. All the killer cops and all those who covered for them need to be indicted.

Now is the time to retake the offensive. When they have been exposed for their crimes and are on the defensive is the time to push even harder. These murdering cops and all those who cover up and protect them can not get away with this. We need to be in this to STOP police terror at a moment when the movement is facing a crossroads. The call for March 2 has been taken out to high schools and colleges, neighborhoods, and the largest Chicago Transit Authority stop on the South Side, as well as to protests against draconian cuts in education.

A Permit Battle

There is a battle for the permit to hold the Stolen Lives Families Demand Justice event in a public space inside the State of Illinois building. It is an outrage that the system is trying to silence the voices of the families whose loved ones were wrongly killed by police, who are all demanding JUSTICE for those killed by official, state-endorsed murderers.

After silence by the state, the application for the permit was denied on the grounds that the planned event is a “demonstration” and is therefore prohibited. By their logic, the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) can’t have this special event because they don’t have a permit, and they can’t have a permit because officials have labeled this special event a “demonstration.” People can’t demand the END to official murder of the people, at the official State of Illinois building? This is nothing less than political suppression of opposition to the police murdering people with impunity. The police who executed Laquan McDonald in 2014; Quintonio Legrier and Bettie Jones four hours after the end of Christmas 2015; Darius Pinex in January 2011; Justus Howell in Zion, Illinois in April 2015; and so MANY more ALL remain on official payrolls.

The police departments and top levels of city governments, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, have ALL covered up (and/or endorsed) these murders of unarmed Black people. These outrages must STOP, and the state of Illinois must grant the permit for people demanding on Wednesday, March 2, that these outrages STOP, as well as JUSTICE for all of these people, and many more, in Illinois and in this country.

In response to the denial of a permit, Gloria Pinex, mother of the murdered Darius Pinex, issued a letter that said:

Saturday morning February 27

To my student supporters at DePaul University, Loyola School of Social Work, McCormick Theological Seminary and all other students and youths who’ve heard my story: From Gloria Pinex

I just found out this morning that the permit for our Mar 2 “Stolen Lives” Families public event at the Food Court at the Thompson Center from noon to 2:00 pm has been denied!!!

Really? This is outrageous and unacceptable. How dare they deny us this public space after they have killed our loved ones, covered up the murders, demonized our families. And everyone knows! Not a secret.

I am f**king outraged at all the police murders that go on, especially my son Darius Pinex who has yet to get justice from this system. Only 1 cop out of all the killa cops has even been indicted and still no justice. If you are as outraged, please join me and other family members on March 2nd at the Thompson Center against police brutality.

Demand we get our permit! We will be there. Join us and continue the protest all day Mar 2 no business as usual until this stops!

Stop Police Murder!

Indict, Convict, Send the Killa Cops to Jail and all Those Who Lied and Covered Up for Them. The Whole Damn System is Guilty as Hell

Our demands are simple!

I am counting on you to do the right thing for justice and for the future.

Fighting for Different Sections of People to Step Up

Chicago, February 25
Chicago, February 25

The Revolution Club and others have been stepping to and challenging youths who are very directly under the gun of police terror and brutality. On Thursday, February 25, at rush hour at the 95th Street train stop in the major transportation hub deep in the Black community in Chicago’s South Side—commuters were faced with a bold challenge from the Chicago Revolution Club as they exited the turnstiles from the train. The Revolution Club held up a large banner painted on two U.S. flags. Members and supporters of the club loudly shouted out the words painted on the flag: GENOCIDE, SLAVERY, DRONE ATTACKS, POLICE MURDER, WARS FOR EMPIRE, STOP POLICE TERROR, MARCH 2.

Many people took extra palm cards for the March 2 actions and extra copies of the statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party, Chicago Branch, to pass out to others on the spot or to take with them. A high school teacher took a stack of palm cards and told us he was going to bring his whole class to the protest. A crew of about 10 youths hung out the entire time, and at one point in the evening the revolutionaries were able to reach out with this to large numbers of young white people headed for a Bernie Sanders rally at a nearby college campus. (For more on this experience, see From a Member of Revolution Club, Chicago:A Bold Challenge to Walk on the Flag.)

The response to the RCP flyer for March 2 at the Bernie Sanders rally, including people being challenged to step on the U.S. flag, was more controversial but this was an important section of youths and others to reach out to. Off the agitation being done about police terror and cases like Tamir Rice, Laquan, and others, there was one young white guy who stepped out of the line to stand in front of the flag being held up and who began to agitate passionately to the crowd: “I went to one of the most diverse high schools in Chicago and many of my friends there were Black. I fear for their lives every day!”

Into the High Schools

Download PDF

At an alternative high school, a teacher invited revolutionaries to come and discuss the importance of March 2. The classroom has pictures posted on the wall from Revolution newspaper that are used to discuss both current events and to understand how the world could be different. Revolutionaries talked about the stakes of March 2, the enormity of the genocidal program leveled against Black and Latino people with the cutting edge being police murder. And how the leadership of Bob Avakian (BA), Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, showed how we could actually work today not only to resist these crimes now but build up our revolutionary strength for the moment when we could be rid of this whole system and begin to build a society in the interests of humanity.

Students brought out their own experience with police murder and brutality. One student spoke to being busted Christmas Eve and how most of her friends are hassled on a daily basis by cops. Another student raised how we get tossed into jail if we do crimes, but the cops who kill walk free!

Students in one class grappled with the question: what is genocide? Most did not know what that meant. We talked about World War 2 and the genocide against Jews. What if people had stood up against these crimes from the very beginning? The students felt people should have stood up, but what about now? Was this happening again? One student asked, are you talking about us standing up against police murder? Another student responded—YES, it has to stop

At an assembly of 50 students at another school, while holding up a poster with pictures of people whose lives were stolen by police, organizers asked two questions: Who here knows someone who was killed by police, and who has participated in protests against the police murder of Laquan McDonald? Several students raised their hand to say “yes” to both questions. One student raised his hand and asked what can we do to stop police injustice? Revolutionaries read Bob Avakian’s quote on the role of the police and urged people to go to and get connected with the revolution and BA. They challenged the students to come to March 2 and to organize others to come. Many students raised their hands. And WHO are you gonna organize? One student said, “Everybody we know!” Our part of the assembly ended with a boisterous chant: “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail—the whole damn system is guilty as hell.”

Chicago public schools are facing drastic cuts in funding on March 1 because of a fiscal crisis and refusal of the state to release funds. At a protest downtown of 100 multinational high school students, mostly from the top-tier college prep schools in the public school system, a young woman did a powerful spoken word piece that ripped into how the school system saw the students as nothing more than “human cadavers” to be plundered for profit. Revolutionaries brought alive what that connection actually is—both that the police role is exactly to enforce all this as well as how all this is rooted in the capitalist-imperialist system.

There is also beginning outreach to university students.

* * *

The statement from the Chicago branch of the RCP ends with this challenge:

We are working right now to get ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win. Get with BA and get with this Party. Go to the website and find out more. In Chicago contact the RCP at Revolution Books, 773-489-0930, 1103 N. Ashland.

Right now everyone must stand up against police terror and murder and take the resistance against police terror and murder to a new level—one where everyone in society has to confront WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? The powers-that-be have been stalling for time, hoping the anger will die down, that this will be the new normal and things will go back to business as usual. What are their so-called “reforms”? Tasers! As if tasing people to death is better than shooting them. NO! And the Department of Justice has shown that they will bring NO JUSTICE to the victims of police murder anywhere.

If we don’t stand up now, the message will be that it’s OK for the police to murder with impunity. But going back on the offensive now will send the message to the powers-that-be that we will not tolerate this situation and it will strengthen our side and make us more united in our ability to fight for a different future and a different world.

ACT on MARCH 2. Stop Mass Incarceration Network has called for a day of resistance against Police Terror on MARCH 2. Everyone, young, old, Black, white, Latino, Asian, from all walks of life—if you are opposed to police terror, STAND UP. BE THERE.






Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

Reporter's Notebook from Flint Part One

How the North Side Ghetto Became Ground Zero for Lead Poisoning

by Alan Goodman | February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


In the few days I was able to spend recently in Flint, Michigan, I encountered people from many walks of life whose lives have been upended by revelations that the water they had been drinking, serving to their customers, or mixing with their babies’ formula had been poisoned by lead in the water supply system.

On many blocks of Flint's North Side ghetto, abandoned houses outnumber inhabited ones. Here a house has "RIP" for three different people whose lives were stolen too young—"expendable people" in the eyes of this system.
Photo: Special to Revolution/

There is widespread outrage that the authorities made one decision after another in reckless disregard for people’s lives. Government officials denied the danger, and ridiculed and marginalized those who were exposing what was going on until it was no longer possible to sweep the crisis under the rug. Left to their own devices, those with the resources to do so scrambled to install filters that manufacturers say will remove lead from water. Some small businesses are trying to fight through impossible bureaucracy to get emergency assistance. Some people, who can, are getting out of town to places where the water is not poisonous.

Then there’s the situation on the North Side of Flint. This is the most oppressed section of Flint where poor Black people live. It lies to the north of the toxic waste sewer known as the Flint River that runs east-to-west through the city. As I canvassed the North Side house-to-house with a member of the Revolution Club, we were stunned by how many homes were abandoned. Their doors were ripped off. They were stripped of anything sellable. We walked by one abandoned house with “RIP” for three different people—lives stolen too young, people driven to desperate measures to survive. “Expendable” people in the eyes of this system, to be isolated, and feared.

Here on the North Side, people were among the last to be told about lead poisoning their water. Here they have the almost no resources to do anything about it. When I interviewed Michael Pitt, an attorney representing victims of lead poisoning in civil actions, he told me about a grandmother who, in order to encourage her grandchildren to drink a healthy amount of water, added sugar and Kool-Aid to the bad-tasting stuff coming out of the tap, only to find later to her horror that the water was poisonous.

People on the North Side were informed very late about lead poisoning in their water. They have almost no resources to do anything about it. Photo: Revolution/

As of this moment, people we spoke with on the North Side have been given water filters. But without any training in how to use them, without any provision for frequent monitoring, testing and regular replacement of the filter element, these filters will not be effective. And aside from a lonely billboard advising people not to boil the poison water, there are no such resources. In the North Side lead-poisoned water flowed, and continues to flow, into people’s homes.

Many people we met had little or no access to lead poisoning testing. They have even less access to the kinds of fresh foods and vitamin-rich diets recommended for restricting the amount of brain damage lead poisoning creates in children. One man we talked to had made his way to a fire station 10 days before to be tested for lead poisoning, but had not heard back. Many people told us the disgusting water had aggravated their diabetes, which is epidemic among African-Americans.

Nor do people on the North Side have access to the kinds of special needs education and assistance they and their children need to cope with the heartbreaking effects of lead poisoning.

The People Who Run This System “Don’t Care”... and They Couldn’t Do Things Differently Even if They Wanted To

One woman whose husband had worked decades at GM told me, “Black people put this country on wheels and now that they sucked the life out of us, they don’t care about us.” They don’t. And the thing is, those who run this system couldn’t do things differently even if they wanted to.

Under this capitalist system every capitalist (like the giant auto companies) competes with other capitalists around the world. They are all driven by the law “expand or die,” to beat out their competitors—or go under. To do that they are driven to continually cheapen costs in order to stay alive. This means cutting costs wherever possible. It means devastating the environment, abandoning factories to rust, moving production around the world. This means seeking out the lowest, most exploitative wages. It means leaving millions of people behind without means to survive. These are the rules of the system.

And values and outlooks that arise on the basis of and serve this system become the dominant outlook in society—infecting everything, with vicious implications for people. That’s what we saw expressed when a nurse told the mother of a child who was the victim of brain damage caused by lead poisoning, “It is just a few IQ points. ... It is not the end of the world.”

Look at how this came down in Flint—which was at one point built up by General Motors as a company town with 200,000 people. Today it is a decimated city with half that population, hardly any tax base, and no future for most of the people who live there.

A few generations ago, a massive interconnected industrial complex evolved along the Great Lakes from the iron mines of Minnesota to the rubber factories of Akron and the steel mills of Chicago and Cleveland, down to the coalfields along the Ohio River, and east to Buffalo and the East Coast. A key element in this was the auto industry, centered in the Detroit area. Flint—60 miles north of Detroit—was the home of General Motors, which at one time employed 80,000 people in that city alone.

But this was not the result of some master plan. Nobody said, “Let’s build up all this industry in a way that makes sense for the people of the world, in a way that preserves the environment, builds what people need, provides opportunities for everyone—especially sections of society who historically have been discriminated against, and serves getting to a world free of all exploitation and oppression!” As a matter of fact, the evolution of the U.S. auto industry was not—in the most fundamental sense—the product of any plan at all. That’s not the way capitalism works.

Yes there were planners and “visionaries” of capitalist development, like the owners of GM who built up Flint as a base for their manufacturing. But their plans and visions were framed fundamentally by the anarchy of capitalist development. Different and competing units of capital (in the form of the auto industry companies) found it advantageous to locate in the Detroit area because of factors like the existence of raw materials and transport linkages that made this an efficient and highly competitive way to build cars for the U.S. and world markets.

Viewed through the distorted, short-sighted lens of capitalism, that “worked.” In 1950, something like 90 percent of all cars in the world were built in the U.S.—overwhelmingly in the Detroit area. But even during that period, the U.S. auto industry was characterized by tremendous of anarchy and chaos. During the glory days of the U.S. auto industry, over a hundred auto makers or divisions and brands came and went... including American Motors, Kaiser, Nash, and Studebaker. The “survivors” were those who were able to produce cars that undercut the price and exceeded the perceived value of competition. They swallowed up rivals or drove them out of business—leaving the “Big Three” (GM, Ford and Chrysler) still standing.

Now, today, the same anarchic forces of capitalism that created the auto industry centered in Detroit have left vast sections of this country a rusted-out, abandoned wasteland.

How did that happen? It was a combination of factors—again, none planned—in an increasingly globalized world of capitalism-imperialism. Ironically—and further illustrating how unplanned and anarchistic capitalism is—the victory of the U.S. empire in World War 2 had much to do with the end of the domination of the U.S. auto industry.

How so? Even as the United States emerged from the horrors of World War 2 as the dominant capitalist-imperialist country in the world, it was also facing a global revolt against imperialism. Within that, the socialist Soviet Union and China represented a whole other way society could be. Under the circumstances, the rulers of the U.S. encouraged and enabled the revival of the losers in World War 2—(West) Germany and Japan—to act as a counterweight and force of opposition to the socialist states and revolution.

The horrific devastation of World War 2 essentially destroyed the industrial base of Germany and Japan. As their auto industries rebuilt from scratch, they were in position to invest in more modern, efficient technology—including automated assembly lines. They were able to build more cars with fewer workers, and sell them more cheaply than U.S. companies, while still returning a profit. The result: Toyotas, Datsuns, and VW “Beetles” undercut U.S. domination of the market for lower priced cars, and then the larger auto market.

The intensity of competition for the world auto market went to a whole other level after the restoration of capitalism in China in 1976, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union (which had ceased to be a socialist society in the mid 1950s). Rapid and dramatic changes in integration of the world economy, in transportation, communication, and technology served to push the fast-forward button on anarchic changes in the world auto industry.

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

Much of the capacity of the U.S. auto industry was literally abandoned and left to rust as U.S. car makers moved production. They moved to the South and to countries outside the U.S. where workers can be paid less and more viciously exploited. They built new factories with newer technology that radically reduced the number of workers needed to produce a car. Today, many U.S. autoworkers, particularly in the non-union South, make as little as $15 an hour. Even with all these traumatic changes, today the U.S. ranks far behind China, Japan, Germany, and behind South Korea and India in auto production. Today, leaner, meaner, more automated U.S. automakers build about 15 percent of the cars in the world. And the pace and intensity of global competition to produce cars more efficiently and more cheaply continues to escalate.

And what happens to those who had worked in auto or related industries, and because of all these changes ended up without a job? Were they retrained? Were they given jobs doing much of the work that needed to be done in society? No, for the basic reason that this did not turn a profit. Instead of advances in technology making people’s lives better and easier, under capitalism, every new innovation in technology, communication and transportation renders millions of people “obsolete.” Their lives are worth nothing to the system. The tremendous contributions so many people could be making to the world are strangled by the workings of a worthless system.

How Did the North Side of Flint Become Ground Zero for Lead Poisoning?

So how, in this picture, did the North Side of Flint, where poor Black people live, become the place where lead-poisoned water continues to have the most terrible impact? And why is the extremity and concentration of the crisis there whited out of coverage of what’s going on? Here, we see a convergence of the defining anarchy of capitalism with conscious policies that overall flow from and serve that—specifically white supremacy.

When General Motors built up Flint, workers were pulled from Eastern and Southern Europe, from Appalachia and Alabama. But that happened in a society that had, and has, a caste system at its foundation. That caste system—the systematic defining of Black people as less than human—was and is rooted in the defining role slavery played in the United States becoming the rich and powerful empire it is today.

After the end of formal slavery, Black people were not integrated into U.S. society as equals. In the short-lived period of Reconstruction and in the decades of ruthless exploitation on the land and Jim Crow lynch-mob terror that followed, Black people were forged as an oppressed nation within the United States, mainly as sharecroppers in regions that comprised the old plantation areas in the South.

For decades Black people were kept on the land by force... until the needs of capital—the burgeoning industry that “took off” in the 1890s—created a demand for Black labor. But because of their status as part of an oppressed nation with no democratic rights, they were “integrated” into the workforce as a super-exploited section—kept in the worst, most dangerous jobs. They were last hired and first fired. They were preyed upon by ruthless landlords and small merchants in the segregated ghettos in which they were forced to live. And all this was enforced by law, by governmental policy, and by police violence.

This super-exploitation of Black people, particularly in the period of the “great migration” of six million Black people from the rural South to the factories of the North and South (from around 1910 to the early 1970s) was a significant factor the success of the U.S. auto industry. It helped GM and the rest build cars more cheaply, undercut their competition, and maximize profits.

And just as critical to the functioning of this system: the glue of white supremacy has been, and is, central in the social cohesion of the United States. Workers, particularly those from Europe, came to this country with their own nationalist prejudices, and often with the influence of radical anti-capitalist politics. But when they got to the U.S., they were encouraged and conditioned to identify not as Poles or Italians, Irish or Jews, Germans or Ukrainians, still less as part of a “working class,” as they were openly seen in Europe. Instead, they were encouraged and conditioned to see themselves as white Americans. And to identify their interests, to a large degree, with the interests of the system on the basis of privileges that “white American” status entitled them to.

Flint was emblematic of that. The General Motors Institute in Flint trained white men to be industrial engineers and administrators, creating a culture of “upward mobility”—for whites. In fact, even today that school, (renamed Kettering University after a former executive of GM), still in Flint, is almost 90 percent white (and 85 percent male) in a majority Black city.

GM built three-bedroom houses for white workers in Flint with a provision—written into formal legal contracts—that they agree not to sell them to anyone but “Caucasians.” Meanwhile, just north of the Flint River—which GM used as a toxic waste dump—“crackerjack housing,” as one activist described it, was built for Blacks. The homes there were qualitatively more poorly built, and the people who lived in them had far less access to resources to upgrade them over the decades, if they were able to hold onto them at all.

One activist I met with in Flint, now in his 60s, told me that growing up in Flint he never had any interaction with Black people on the North Side: “Nobody crossed the Flint River.” As the expansion of the national freeway system expedited commuters and commerce, the logic of the system—including the key role that white supremacy plays in the ideological life and the everyday political dealing within the system—dictated “urban removal” and freeway construction that further isolated the North Side. And along with growing isolation and desperation, people who lived on the North Side were demonized as violent criminals. If you search for “Flint” and “North Side” online, you’ll find almost nothing but crime stories.

Of course I could be writing something like this about nearly any big or medium sized city in the United States today! And many of them have lead-poisoned water that has had the most horrible impact on Black and poor people as well.

For all the reasons I’ve tried to point to, this system cannot unravel and undo the ways in which white supremacy is woven deeply into the fabric of the United States. Look: even with all the outrage, protest, and exposure, Congress has been unwilling to even fund replacing the toxic lead water pipes in Flint!

To seriously address the crisis in the inner cities, the whole way that production and distribution is planned—including what would be produced, where, how, for whom—would have to strongly take into account uprooting this oppression, as one part of the tasks of the socialist economy.1 To take just one dimension, even to scratch the surface of the oppression of Black people would require a massive infusion of all kinds of resources into the urban areas, and that is something utterly incompatible with the anarchic driving forces behind investment under capitalism—which, again, is the restless search for profit in cutthroat international competition with rivals.

And uprooting the mentality of white supremacy would be traumatic, even suicidal, from the perspective of a capitalist ruling class that has always relied on white supremacy to maintain social order. Just look, for instance, at how far Donald Trump has been enabled by the powers that be to whip up white supremacists at a time of social polarization and widespread alienation. As noted earlier, this system has baked this poison into the psyche of white America, and it will take tremendous social upheaval—including winning a big section of white youth to reject this putrid shit—to change all that.

These two things—the transformation of the economic base of society and the political and ideological struggle that will rage all through society—are absolutely necessary. It cannot happen under capitalism. It can only be done and will in fact be done as a central dynamic in a socialist society. In a revolutionary, socialist society, uprooting this oppression will not have to first proceed through the question of how it affects “the bottom line”—that is, the ability of capital to accumulate. And that will make all the difference. The Constitution for a New Socialist Republic in North America, written by Bob Avakian, is a blueprint for that revolutionary society, and something anyone who refuses to accept that this is the best of all possible worlds needs to get into and spread the word about.

A Slow Genocide...

Poor Black people, including Black youth in the inner cities—with their often-rebellious attitudes, energy, creativity, and capacity to transform themselves and the world—have a great deal to contribute to humanity. But as it has evolved—again through conscious policy, but most fundamentally driven by its anarchic nature—capitalism has no place for millions and millions of people trapped in the inner cities, places like Flint’s North Side. To the ruling class of this country, these are superfluous people.

Those who run this system and their policy makers remember well how in the 1960s the powerful and mass uprisings of Black people against oppression sparked upheaval, protest, and rebellion throughout society. And so young Black people are deprived of access to jobs and education, funneled into mass incarceration, subject to an epidemic of police terror and murder, and then demonized and blamed for the desperate conditions they have been put by the workings of this system.

At the same time, the rulers of the U.S. brand themselves as global champions of human rights. So what we have going on is a slow genocide... one that does not “speak its name” but is genocidal all the same... a slow genocide that could become a fast genocide.

All of this—the ways in which this system does what it does—have come together to make the impact of lead-poisoned water most extreme on the North Side of Flint, among people this system would just as soon see dead.

This Cannot Go Down... This Cannot and NEED NOT Go On!

Help must be delivered to people in Flint NOW! We cannot allow the authorities responsible for poisoning the water in Flint to sweep this crisis under the rug! And the particularly acute needs of people on the North Side must be seriously addressed. People need drinkable water, serious health care, and long-term, ongoing assistance in dealing with the painful and terrible impact of lead poisoning. And every informed expert and activist says what is happening with the Flint water is the tip of an iceberg.

This ongoing crime of poison water in Flint is not because this system is not working the way it should. The problem is that capitalism is a mode of production that has nothing to contribute to humanity and should not be tolerated one minute more than necessary.


1. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America breaks down that three overarching criteria for a socialist economy: 1) Advancing the world revolution to uproot all exploitation and oppression and to emancipate all of humanity; 2) Meeting social needs, creating a common material wealth that contributes to the all-around development of society and the individuals who make it up, and overcoming oppressive divisions between mental and manual labor, town and country, different regions and nationalities, and men and women; and 3) Protecting, preserving, and enhancing the ecosystems and biodiversity of the planet for current and future generations. [back]





Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

Abortion Rights Emergency:
Federal Court Ruling Leaves Only ONE Abortion Clinic in Louisiana; Crucial Supreme Court Hearing on March 2

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On February 24, the Fifth Circuit Court, a federal court, ruled against granting a temporary block against a “TRAP” (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Provider) law. This went into effect immediately, closing three out of the four remaining abortion clinics in the entire state of Louisiana. The ENTIRE state of Louisiana now has only ONE abortion clinic, which in reality means that many, many women in Louisiana can’t get abortions: women who do not have the means to travel, the ability to take the time off of work for the mandatory waiting period the state requires of women, or the money to pay for the procedure.

Several weeks before this ruling, another abortion clinic had to close down, and the one clinic that remains open, in New Orleans, was already struggling to set up appointments with everyone from that clinic that needed an abortion. Women were already being put in a situation where they were being forced to have unwanted babies, or perhaps deciding to take their lives into their own hands by attempting to self-abort, which can be fatal. It needs to be stated, repeatedly, that without abortion rights, and without access to safe and legal abortion care, women have no more rights than a slave. Forced motherhood is female enslavement.

Washington, DC, January 22
Defending abortion rights at the Supreme Court, Washington, DC, January 22, 2016. Photo: Revolution/

Ever since the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in 1973, anti-woman, anti-abortion forces have been trying to deny women the right to abortion. Part of their strategy has been to END or severely restrict access to abortion on a state-by-state basis. And these TRAP laws are a big part of this. The anti-abortion forces behind these laws that are passing (at an alarming rate) argue that they are about the health and safety of women. But this is an outright murderous lie! For example, there are TRAP laws that require abortion clinics to be turned into Ambulatory Surgical Centers (basically emergency rooms) which require them to have hallways that are a certain width, that certain drugs be available, that special med-gas systems be installed, etc. But abortion is an extremely safe procedure, and there is NO medical need for these things. These types of requirements can cost abortion providers millions of dollars, and so clinics who cannot afford to make such unnecessary renovations have been forced to shut down.

Equally ludicrous are TRAP laws that say doctors working in abortion clinics must have admitting privileges at a local hospital in order to be able to see patients there. First of all, among the few heroic doctors who do provide abortions, many travel to several clinics and may not live in the same state as these clinics—which disqualifies them from obtaining admitting privileges at a hospital local to the abortion clinic. And admitting privileges for these doctors is completely unnecessary anyway since doctors at the local hospitals would be the ones caring for any patient brought in from the abortion clinics.

Supreme Court to Rule on Crucial Texas Abortion Case

Break All the Chains!

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

Sampler Edition | Full Work

The outcome of these current legal assaults on women’s right to abortion will have huge repercussions on the entire South—as well as the whole United States. And this ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court comes one week before the most important Supreme Court abortion case in decades.

On March 2, the U.S .Supreme Court is set to hear the case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a case from Texas dealing with a law similar to the TRAP laws in Louisiana. In 2011, Texas had 41 abortion clinics, and about half of those clinics were forced to shut down in 2013 due to a TRAP law with four parts. It requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles; it has a 20-week abortion ban (some exceptions for life-threatening conditions, but NO exceptions in the case of rape); it requires all abortion facilities (even those that only use the abortion pill) be Ambulatory Surgical Centers; and it restricts how the abortion pill is given.

If this Texas law is allowed to stand, whether through an actual decision by the Supreme Court or through a 4-4 tie vote, this will give the green light to many more states in the South that have these types of laws pending, and it will pave the way for even more legislation in other states throughout the entire U.S. to broaden and continue this tsunami of abortion clinic closures. After the clinic closures in Texas, women from Texas who had the means (or were able to frantically gather the means) to travel went to other states—including Louisiana!—to get abortions. But if the Supreme Court on March 2 does not rule in a way that very clearly and sweepingly is in favor of the abortion clinics, these TRAP laws will go into effect, clinics will be forced to close down, and this will mean that there really won’t be much of anywhere in the South for women to go to if they need an abortion. Consider the number of states that would have abortion clinic closures: Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. These states are all bordering on each other; you could draw a single line through them on a map, and they represent a large part of the southern part of the U.S.!

Bloody pants, chains symbolize women who die or are enslaved when safe legal abortion is not available.

Bloody pants and chains symbolize women who die or are enslaved when safe legal abortion is not available. Photo: Revolution/

Sunsara Taylor with image of Bob Avakian—total revolution against all oppression.
Sunsara Taylor with image of Bob Avakian—total revolution against all oppression. Photo: Revolution/

Without the basic right of this safe medical procedure, women cannot determine for themselves when and whether they will become a parent, and they cannot determine the course of their own lives. Women’s role in society should NOT be determined solely by their biological ability to reproduce, women are NOT breeders or incubators; they are HUMAN BEINGS who are capable of participating in EVERY realm of society. Women’s lives and bodies are NOT the property of the state, and whether women are treated as state-mandated incubators should NEVER be up for a vote. A court of law should not be allowed to take away women’s basic humanity!

Ultimately a revolution and NOTHING LESS is needed to put an end to the oppression of women. As an important part of this, the RCP’s Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America guarantees that all women will have abortion rights, and birth control would be provided on demand and without apology! Scientific information about the abortion procedure, birth control, and sexual education will be made readily available. This kind of society would aim to unleash and enlist all kinds of people, including women—half of humanity—to play a full role in the total transformation of society, on the road to emancipating all of humanity.

All those who want to see women liberated and humanity emancipated need to recognize that this Supreme Court case is a crucial pivot point in whether the attacks on abortion and women will very rapidly accelerate. And this has huge implications for the lives of women, for their ability to play a full role in society, including being unleashed as a mighty force for revolution.

The right to abortion in the United States came about only after tremendous mass struggle. And it is going to take massive, uncompromising struggle to beat back the anti-abortion, anti-woman attacks that are increasingly consigning women to enforced motherhood—which is nothing less than female enslavement. Only through truly massive, independent political struggle do we stand a chance at defeating the truly unyielding and powerful anti-abortion forces. But they can be defeated. As Sunsara Taylor said, “Forced motherhood is deeply opposed to the interests of humanity. If we get out there and tell the truth, if we resist, if we clarify the stakes of this battle, and if we mobilize wave upon wave of the masses to get off the sidelines and into the streets with us, we can win. There is a tremendous reservoir of people who can and must be called forth to join in this struggle.”

Stop Patriarchy has put out an URGENT CALL for people to stand up for abortion rights and to be in Washington, DC on March 2. It will matter if people are in the streets at the Supreme Court and it will matter if others around the country organize different actions to speak out about this abortion rights emergency. We cannot rely on ruling class politicians to reverse the anti-abortion tide. We must be in the streets and wage massive, public, uncompromising political resistance to STOP THIS WAR ON WOMEN.






Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

U.S. v. Boko Haram... and the REAL Alternative of Communist Revolution

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


U.S. Marines train with Nigerian navy forces in 2011.
The U.S. carries out military interventions, wars, and diplomatic maneuvering in the interests of the system of global capitalism that they dominate—a system that grinds up, crushes, uproots, and casts off billions of people, including in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. Above, U.S. Marines train with Nigerian navy forces in 2011. (Photo: Master Sgt. Grady Fontana/Marine Corps)

The U.S. is soon sending several dozen special operations troops to Nigeria as “advisers” to the Nigerian Army in their conflict against Boko Haram, an Islamic jihadist group that controls significant territory in northeast Nigeria and operates in several nearby countries in West Africa. This is not about the U.S. imperialists coming in to defend people against terrorists. IF the U.S. were really against terrorizing people, they would not support the scores of regimes that carry out equivalent if not greater terror than Boko Haram—not to mention their own blood-soaked genocidal record, past and present. No, the U.S. carries out military interventions, wars, and diplomatic maneuvering in the interests of the system of global capitalism that they dominate—a system that grinds up, crushes, uproots, and casts off billions of people, including in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. When the U.S. imperialists move against Boko Haram or other Islamic jihadists, they are acting to destroy whatever they think is in the way at any given time of their domination and/or to set up or protect oppressive relations and regimes that help maintain this hellish system.

But Islamic fundamentalist jihadist forces like Boko Haram are not a radical alternative to the horrors created by the capitalist-imperialist system. They actually aim to enforce—and are enforcing—oppressive relations that keep people in chains and crushed, including the subjugation and degradation of women. Look at how Boko Haram raided a girls’ school in 2014 and kidnapped more than 250 girls—with their leader saying that girls should not be in school and that “Allah had instructed me to sell them” as child brides. This is misogyny of a particularly barbaric and vicious character. No one with any heart should want to live in a world like that.

There is a real answer: an actual revolution—a communist revolution—that aims to get rid of all oppression and emancipate humanity. The new synthesis of communism, brought forward by Bob Avakian on the basis of 40 years of revolutionary work, provides a foundation and point of departure for a new stage of communist revolution. The situation in the world today cries out urgently for this revolution and for the new synthesis of communism to spread among all who yearn for a way out of the nightmare that humanity is trapped in. This—not the so-called liberal democracy of the imperialists nor the dark-ages horrors of Islamic fundamentalist jihad—is the only trend that offers a way out... the only REAL alternative.






Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

Reflection on the New Work by BA, The Science, the Strategy, the Leadership for an Actual Revolution, and a Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following correspondence is from a Spanish-speaking reader ofíon.
It was translated into English by

Download PDF

For whom and for what?

This is one of the questions that we have to be constantly going back to, because it reflects the seriousness we have on all this, but fundamentally whether humanity can be emancipated or not... and if the answer is yes—what kind of system will exist, how will society be reorganized? Under what mode of production will the basic needs of the people be created and met, and what will the social relations be like arising from this economic base, not only in one particular country but internationally? Because even as revolution has been undertaken in any place in the world, once it is established, socialism will still have to deal with a capitalist-imperialist world.

What is your life going to be about?

Each day there is no dramatically different change (a communist revolution) in the world, the suffering will continue, until there is no reason to fight. And it’s not that no one has attempted something, whether correct or not... Today with global warming you hear people saying, you have to recycle and things like that. Which, however positive that may be, cannot respond to the kind of problem which is being dealt with.

Revolution and nothing less is what is needed. Without a scientific method, without a dialectical-materialist approach to reality, no qualitative change can be achieved in the society or in the world.

The new synthesis of communism provides a new vision with a strategy and concrete plan and broad fight for a radically different world.

Why BA?

There’s something crucial regarding the new synthesis of communism developed by BA. (I must say that very few people know about BA.) The value of his contribution has no price. We are saying that for a long time there has been no leader of this caliber.

We are saying that BA and his leadership and the new synthesis really can be what represents a qualitative advance toward world revolution, freeing up the potential of the masses, breaking all chains for a communist world.

This is not poetry... but not recognizing this could drive us to a new wave of oppression, death, and destruction. But on the other hand, there are those who recognize the importance of BA and his leadership, studying and continuing to engage the theory, learning from his method and approach, since new contradictions will continue arising as we go forward resolving today’s problems.

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

We cannot afford to lose a leader like him. We cannot wait until he is gone to start studying and taking up the work he is developing, to start promoting him among the basic masses and intellectuals, to start challenging everyone to deepen and engage, to be able to solve all these problems through revolution.

This is very serious, this is not a gift, there is work to do, and the responsibility grows.

Who will be there, who will be on the front lines? Who will continue this work?

We are lucky that BA is here and is alive and active, modeling and working on all these contributions, but as BA says, there is work to do. The fact that there is a possibility does not mean that it will fall from the skies—we have to put the pedal to the metal, preparing the ground, preparing the people, and preparing the Party for revolution.






Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

A Reader Writes on "How a Socialist State Power Would Handle a Water Crisis Like Flint"

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

I feel that the last issue of Revolution/ (#426-427) had important beginnings that were different. Readers could get a sense from the combination of articles in this issue that this is the website and newspaper of a Party that is serious about leading a revolution and a revolutionary society and is working at applying BA’s vision for a whole new and radically different and better way the world could be—not just as a distant vision or nice idea but the way the world could be if we made a revolution in this country.

This is what we mean when we say on our website:

Get Organized for an Actual Revolution

Get Ready to Bring This System DOWN...

And Bring Something Much Better Into Being

Prepare the ground, prepare the people, and prepare the vanguard—get ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.

In this light...

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

The article on Flint (“How a Socialist State Power Would Handle a Water Crisis Like Flint”) was a new thing. That was very heartening to see. Actually getting into what a new socialist state power could do and how it would address such emergencies. It is overall part of the effect that this issue has on you. Much of the argumentation and vision was important and compelling and it did a better job of promoting the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America than many other things where I feel it is just a link in an oft-repeated “urge to check it out.” While I don’t think we should be chopping the Constitution up to address every specific issue in an economist package, I do get irked when I feel the content of this is not being brought to bear.

I did have one question about how the content of this was gone at. The article was mainly “on Day One” we could be dealing with an emergency like this with whole new freedom and in a diametrically opposed way to the kind of society we live in now. But my question here: Were we thinking about and did the article give a vision of how the approach of solid core, and the maximum possible elasticity on that basis, would be applied? That is, were we proceeding from the stated solid core of the Constitution and that not just the Party but the government would be addressing such a crisis from the perspective of a revolutionary society trying to get to a communist society as stated in the preamble of the Constitution—which we could have quoted from directly?

The uprooting of the old inequalities are spelled out very compellingly in the article—but should we also be more taking the opportunity to give people a vision of what IS actually setting the terms in this new society? And I’m not sure that the article gives enough of a picture that there would also be a lot of controversy and struggle in how to go about this that would be part of the picture here. In the most recent work by BA (The Science, the Strategy, the Leadership for an Actual Revolution, and a Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation), he makes the point that there will always be necessity—and not unlimited resources—and there would be forces in society who would be seizing on such an emergency to create chaos. I am not suggesting the article would go into this, but I was provoked to think about this after rereading the section of the new work by BA on the Constitution. People would have different ways to go about this (remembering BA’s examples that there will be debate over whether resources should be put to a health clinic or a library) and in this situation there would likely be different assessments and different solutions to this and high-stakes debate. There would very likely be different assessments and views of how to solve this problem from plumbers to urban planners and among the people affected. There would be the need for immediate solutions to a crisis, but also larger questions of how to rebuild with sustainable urban planning that is part of getting to a whole different kind of society than what you inherit right after the seizure of power. The future of a whole urban area and the well-being of the people are at stake. There would be struggle over how to deal with needed immediate fixes and underlying problems to sort out. Do you rebuild what’s already there (for example, do you need to replace the lead pipes that have been destroyed in an entire urban area, and how would you triage such repairs?)—or do you develop plans to rebuild the city with an entirely different kind of city than what existed?

The key thing here, of course, is that you have a whole different economic base and different relations that give you a totally different freedom to deal with this, and that does come through in the article (as does very strongly the need to unleash the conscious initiative of the masses). You don’t want to paint a utopian picture absent real struggle and the ferment that is actually very necessary to a scientific process aimed at transforming the whole legacy of imperialism that you have been left with. It’s not just basic people and intellectuals working together; it’s the necessary ferment and debate needed to get at the truth and the best way forward in a huge and devastating public health crisis. The environmental legacy of imperialism is going to be a big element of socialist transformation and necessity on a world scale.

In sum, what could have been stronger in the article was envisioning the ferment over which road to that is an important part of the new synthesis of Bob Avakian and the Constitution.

On another note, it was a blast to see the “Einstein proved” article which explained the magnitude of this development and provided further lessons on scientific method and approach—with relevance to theory running ahead of practice as a difference between scientific method and revisionism.






Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

URGENT CALL from Stop Patriarchy: Be in Washington DC - Wed. March 2 - Stand up for Abortion Rights

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Abortion on demand and without apology!

Don’t sit this one out. Be in Washington, DC, this Wednesday, March 2 and stand up for abortion rights at the U.S. Supreme Court. Join the Rally to Protect Abortion Access from 8am to noon as HB2—Texas’s abortion clinic shutdown law—is argued before the Supreme Court. The case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is the most important abortion case in decades.

The Rally to Protect Abortion Access is being called by The Center for Reproductive Rights, whose attorneys are arguing the case before the Court.

If the Court votes to uphold HB2, all but 9 or 10 abortion providers in the whole state of Texas will close and this will be a go-ahead for similar draconian “TRAP” laws* which have already been enacted in other states to go into effect, and lead to many more clinic closures. On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a similar law to take effect in Louisiana. This will shut down all but one abortion clinic in the entire state of Louisiana. That means seven states with only one clinic left.**

The fate of abortion rights is being decided and women’s lives are at stake. We cannot leave women’s fundamental rights to the “wisdom of the courts.” Without access to safe, legal abortion services, the right to abortion becomes empty. Without this basic right, women cannot be free.

We must change the terms by telling the truth: Fetuses are NOT babies. Abortion is NOT murder. Women are NOT incubators. Women need Abortion On Demand and Without Apology!

We must be in the streets and wage massive, public, uncompromising, political resistance.

We must rely on ourselves—and mobilize the outrage of others—to STOP THIS WAR ON WOMEN.

Forced motherhood is female enslavement.

Look for our orange ABORTION ON DEMAND & WITHOUT APOLOGY signs and join STOP PATRIARCHY at the Rally. contact:


* TRAP laws—“Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers”—laws which impose medically unnecessary and burdensome regulations on abortion providers, but not other medical services. The clear purpose of such laws is to drive abortion doctors out of practice, make abortion care more difficult and more expensive to obtain, and force abortion clinics to close. [back]

** States with only 1 abortion clinic left: North Dakota, South Dakota, Mississippi, Wyoming, Arkansas, Missouri and now, Louisiana. [back]





Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

From a Member of Revolution Club, Chicago:

A Bold Challenge to Walk on the Flag

February 27, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Chicago, February 25. 95th Street Dan Ryan station
Chicago, February 25, 95th Street El stop. Photos: Special to

The 95th Street El stop in THE major transportation hub deep in Chicago’s Black South Side—On Thursday, February 25, rush hour commuters were faced with a bold challenge from the Chicago Revolution Club as they exited the turnstiles from the train. We held up a large banner painted on two American flags. Members and supporters of the club agitated about the flag, including by loudly shouting out the words painted on the flag: GENOCIDE, SLAVERY, DRONE ATTACKS, POLICE MURDER, WARS FOR EMPIRE, STOP POLICE TERROR, MARCH 2 (“March 2” refers to the call for “A Major Day of Resistance to Stop Police Terror“ in Chicago).

The police said “you can’t do this” and wanted to stop it. A lawyer was on hand to explain that this is perfectly legal and they could not stop it. The police called in a higher-up who said they had to allow it. The only thing they could do was make us move the flag over a few inches.

Chicago, February 25
Chicago, February 25

On the floor in front of the turnstiles, taking up almost the entire space were two more flags sewn together that lay on the floor. “Walk on that rag,” we called out to the crowd. Some people looked down, almost acting like we weren’t there, as they squeezed through the small path the police had ordered us to leave open. Others looked stunned. One woman tried unsuccessfully to pick the flag up off the floor as we stood on it.

One person called out, “People died for that flag”—to which we answered, “People all over the world died BECAUSE of that flag.” One club member began loudly recounting all the places young children have been killed in drone attacks. “How many Iraqi civilians are dead because of that flag” Another club member called out, “This flag stands for the genocide of Native Americans, slavery, Jim Crow and the new Jim Crow.”

Other people were uplifted and defiant and walked across the flag. Some were jubilant as they took selfies of themselves on the flag. Some people asked to pose with one of us as they stood on the flag with us. A well-dressed man literally danced across the flag over and over shouting out, “Revolution! Revolution!”

We also repeatedly shouted out, “We are the Chicago Revolution Club, working for an actual revolution. Get with the revolution and its leader Bob Avakian.” One young club member agitated about how Bob Avakian had written the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America that people need to get. “Go to” was another refrain.

Many people took extra palm cards for the March 2 day of resistance to stop police terror and extra copies of the statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party, Chicago Branch, to pass out to others on the spot or to take with them. Two young Black women told us we needed to take this “through the hood.” One high school teacher took a stack of palm cards and told us he was going to bring his whole class to the protest.

A crew of about 10 youths hung out the entire time we were there, soaking up the scene. At one point one of them shouted out, “Fuck 12” (Fuck the police) and was elated, and somewhat shocked, when we joined in with this. Before these youths left, they all got on the flag.

Toward the end of the evening rush, large numbers of white people began coming through the turnstiles—something very unusual for this el stop. They were headed to a Bernie Sanders rally scheduled nearby. Most walked around the flag but a few stepped right on it. At the Bernie Sanders rally itself later that night, people were also met by a crew of revolutionaries challenging them to walk on the flag.

At the El stop, many, many people raised their cellphones taking videos and stills of the scene. “This is going to be all over Facebook,” said one young Black man, a friend of the Revolution Club decked out in his BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less! T-shirt and keffiyeh.




Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

Shut Down Rikers Now!
Revolution Club and Stop Mass Incarceration Network Disrupt Defenders of Rikers Island Concentration Camp at "Public Forum"

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Kalief Browder was sent to Rikers Island prison in 2010 when he was 16 years old, accused of stealing a backpack. He spent two of his three years at Rikers in solitary confinement — something globally recognized as torture. After three years, charges were dropped and Kalief was released and his case became a national scandal. He never recovered from the torture he was subjected to, and on June 6, 2015, he took his own life.

New York's Rikers Island is a living hell for the tens of thousands of people, overwhelmingly poor, Black and Brown, who are taken there every year. Eighty-five percent have not been convicted of a crime. They are there awaiting trial—which can take years—on mostly petty charges, because they cannot pay the high bonds that the courts routinely set. For decades Rikers has been well-known as a torture chamber in which inmates, including juveniles, are routinely beaten by guards or other inmates; kept in solitary for months or years; and sometimes murdered.

The cries and demands of thousands of people to immediately shut down Rikers Island prison/concentration camp continue to rise, even finding echoes in the halls of the NY city council and on the editorial pages of the New York Times.

In a panicky response to this, on February 22, Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network got together with COBA, the union representing Rikers' "corrections officers,"—those brutal thugs who daily torment and torture Rikers' inmates—to host a "forum" on what to do about Rikers. In the guise of a "public forum," this meeting was a straight-up effort to confuse, diffuse and beat back the calls to close this hellhole .

This effort was righteously and courageously punctured by the intervention of members of the Revolution Club and the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN). (Watch NY1 news report.)

Bootlicker Supreme

Featured at the forum was Darcel Clark, head of the Bronx district attorney's office (which has Rikers in its jurisdiction), which has utterly failed to prosecute the hundreds of known criminal acts committed by guards against inmates. Before Clark was DA, she was a judge who presided six times over hearings for Kalief Browder, which all ended with him being sent back to jail. Kalief was 16 years old when he was accused of stealing a backpack. Because he could not make bond, he spent three years at Rikers awaiting trial, which the prosecutors repeatedly put off because they had no case. He was held in solitary for two years, beaten by guards while handcuffed and on the ground, and also beaten by gang members. He repeatedly attempted suicide, yet the whole system ground on, keeping him locked up until they finally dropped their case. Not long after being released, Kalief, permanently damaged by what was done to him, killed himself. Clark has said Kalief's death was "a tragedy"—for which she takes zero responsibility; she says she doesn't even remember Kalief. That's how much blood these people have on their hands—they cannot even remember the names and faces of all the people whose lives they have destroyed.

Norman Seabrook, the fascist head of COBA, spoke, and spent a good chunk of time whining about how rough Rikers is... FOR THE GUARDS! And Sharpton also spoke, making clear his opposition to closing Rikers. Like the other speakers, and like New York's "progressive" Mayor Bill de Blasio, Sharpton's position is that the authorities have to keep all or most of these people locked up somewhere, so it might as well be Rikers! They can't even imagine a society that doesn't incarcerate and torture huge numbers of people just for being poor or for petty crimes.

Revolution Club at Rise Up October

Get with the Revolution Club  here


Faced with this podium of pigs and an audience with large numbers of prison guards and their supporters, the Revolution Club and SMIN broke through the bullshit and boldly represented for the people who are victims of this whole setup. As Darcel Clark blathered on about the need to be "tough on crime" and "prosecute criminals," Noche Diaz of the Revolution Club, well known leader in the fight against police murder, (who the system has been trying to railroad off to Rikers for many years!) stood up and said:

"You're sitting right next to one of the biggest criminals responsible," referring to Seabrook. "[Seabrook and COBA] are the ones responsible... They are the ones that should be brought up on charges and facing punishment and repercussions over what their role has been. And that torture chamber needs to be shut down." And Noche went on, calling out Clark herself for her criminal role in the Kalief Browder case: "And you're one of the people responsible for Kalief Browder's death! Who's going to investigate you? Who's going to put you on trial?"

Noche was then forcibly removed by National Action Network staff, COBA members, and police—there was no room in this "public forum" for even a few moments of truth! But even after being dragged out, Noche continued to speak the truth: "That torture chamber needs to be shut down!"

For more on Noche Diaz and his most recent court case, see: Victory in Noche Diaz Case






Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

"Land of the Free"? Give us a fucking break!

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Listen to any speech by any presidential candidate, and you will hear these phrases, again and again: “America is the leader of the free world,” “This is the land of the free.” This is never challenged by mass media, or commented on, or called out as ludicrous. It’s a “given,” something we are all supposed to believe without question.

The professional liars and representatives of this system should shut the fuck up! And everyone who gets caught up in this myth needs to let it go. This country is built on slavery and genocide, it is a country that leads the world in imprisoning its own people, far outstripping any of the “authoritarian regimes” that the U.S. rulers want to talk about. It spies on millions of emails and phone calls; it runs an international network of secret detention and torture sites; it declares almost every police murder of unarmed Black and Brown people to be “justifiable” while it prosecutes and jails people who protest murder by police; it’s a country that arrested, tortured, and even murdered hundreds of revolutionaries in the 1960s and ’70s and still vindictively incarcerates some, including holding them in solitary confinement for decades—40 years later—that’s your fucking “land of the free”? That is the record of a brutal dictatorship, the rule of a class of exploiters whose rule depends on all this.

Think it’s not true? Or all in the past? Read these articles (and many others at, and then ask yourself what is the real substance of American reality.


Political Prisoners Locked Away for Decades:

Hidden behind the walls of prisons in the United States, and locked away from the public eye, are many political prisoners, including many revolutionaries from the 1960s and ’70s who were framed and jailed for their role in exposing the imperialist system and leading others to resist it. Not satisfied with locking up these heroic fighters for the people, this system has vindictively persecuted and tortured those who refused to give up their revolutionary views. Decades of solitary confinement have been the price paid by these political prisoners. Solitary confinement: locked in a concrete 6' x 9' or 8' x 10' cell for 23 hours a day. No windows. No fresh air. No human contact beyond guards, if you can call them human. The United Nations has declared that solitary confinement for more than 15 days is torture. This country has kept some in solitary for decades.

Here are three men who have spent decades in jail, subjected to inhuman torture, exactly because they stood up to foundational crimes of this system, specifically the oppression of Black people and the ongoing genocide of Native American people.

Mumia Abu-Jamal
Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal has been unjustly imprisoned in Pennsylvania for nearly 35 years. Before his arrest, the government had Mumia under surveillance since he was 14 years old. A protest leader in high school, he became a young Minister of Information for the Black Panther Party in Philadelphia. In following years he attended college and became a respected radio journalist in Philadelphia.

In 1982, he was unjustly convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of a cop in a trial that was an obscene farce. Years later, through the process of appeal, his defense made a clear case of fabricated evidence, coerced testimony, and a crime scene that did not correspond with what the prosecutor presented. To this day, the system will not release him. Mumia spent 25 years in solitary confinement on death row until courts overturned his death sentence while affirming his conviction, leaving him to face the prospect of life in prison without parole.

In August 2015, Mumia’s legal team went to court to force the prison authorities to provide urgent medical treatment, and hearings were held in December 2015. As we write this, no ruling has yet been announced. The legal brief said, “Mumia Abu-Jamal is suffering severe and chronic symptoms from untreated, active Hepatitis-C. In the past several months he has experienced diabetic shock, a painful and pruritic [extremely itchy] rash affecting his entire body, edema, skin lesions, anemia, and likely fibrosis of the liver. Scientific advances in the treatment of Hepatitis-C have established a new standard of care that could cure Abu-Jamal of his Hepatitis-C and alleviate the painful symptoms within 8-12 weeks without significant side effects through daily administration of a single pill. DOC [Department of Corrections] defendants, however, are refusing to provide Abu-Jamal with this medically necessary, life-saving treatment.” The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has fought to deny this medical treatment.

Throughout his life, Mumia has continued to denounce the crimes against humanity perpetrated by this system, including by becoming a radio journalist in Philadelphia. From death row, he continued this with audio and written commentaries. Through all this Mumia has refused to capitulate on his beliefs or make peace with the system.

Leonard Peltier was framed by the U.S. government for the deaths of two FBI agents who attacked an American Indian Movement (AIM) camp on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in 1975. Peltier and others were in camp helping to protect people on the reservation from attacks and murders by thugs who had protection and backing from the U.S. government and FBI. During this “Reign of Terror,” 64 AIM members and supporters were murdered. Leonard Peltier has now been in federal penitentiaries for 40 years. In 2009, after being transferred from one prison to another, he was jumped and beaten by gang members he didn’t know. The feds put him in solitary. Peltier remains unbroken. He is 71 years old and in declining health.

Albert WoodfoxAlbert Woodfox (Photo:

Albert Woodfox was released from prison on February 19 of this year. Woodfox, Robert King, and Herman Wallace were the “Angola 3,” Black youths from the streets who were sent to the notorious Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana. While in prison, the three became revolutionaries and connected with the Black Panther Party. For the Louisiana prison authorities, this was their unforgivable crime. They were falsely convicted of killing a guard in Angola prison, based in part on their membership in the Black Panther Party.

Albert Woodfox’s conviction was overturned three times, yet he spent 43 years in solitary confinement. In June 2015, a judge ordered him released, but he was held for another eight months. In 2012, he said, “I do not have the words to convey the years of mental, emotional and physical torture I have endured. I am not sure what damage has been done to me, but I do know that the feeling of pain allows me to know that I am alive.”

The Angola 3 never broke. Albert spoke for all three in the movie In the Land of the Free when he explained, “I thought that my cause, then and now, was noble. So therefore, they could never break me. They might bend me a little bit, they might cause me a lot of pain. They might even take my life. But they will never be able to break me.”

Revolutionaries, progressive people, and anyone with a shred of humanity should defend and cherish these brothers, and in the cases of Mumia and Leonard Peltier demand their immediate release. And whenever anyone brings up that “free world” crap, the way these human beings were gone after, framed up, and tortured for years should leap to your mind.


Clark Kissinger (left); Miles Solay (right); and their attorney Kenneth Gilbert.

Clark Kissinger and Miles Solay appeared for trial on February 22 in Queens, New York, on charges from the #ShutDownRikers protest in October of last year. See Free C. Clark Kissinger & Miles Solay—Shut Down Rikers! for the full story. There was a brief hearing on the evidence the defense is seeking to discover from the prosecutor, who is required by law to provide it to the defendants, including video footage the NYPD was seen taking at the scene. The prosecutor disclaimed knowledge of such video, and has so far refused to lower charges against Clark and Miles.

A new trial date was set for Tuesday, April 12. Fifteen others arrested at the protest faced no criminal charges, but Clark and Miles are charged with “Obstruction of Government Administration,” which could carry a sentence of a year at Rikers. Supporters, including the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, are demanding the Queens District Attorney drop charges in the case, as the two were part of a nonviolent protest. SIGN this message to DROP the Charges against Clark Kissinger and Miles Solay.

Above: Clark Kissinger (left); Miles Solay (right); and their attorney Kenneth Gilbert.

Rikers Island jail complex sits in the East River in New York City. It has an average of 14,000 inmates a night. The savagery there—beatings, torture by isolation, and other horrors—happens daily only miles from New York City’s gleaming skyscrapers, and only 300 feet from the runways of LaGuardia Airport.

On October 23, 2015, 100 people sat and blocked the entrance to the Rikers Island jail. Seventeen were arrested for this nonviolent civil disobedience demonstration, which was part of the three days of Rise Up October protests against police terror and murder. Miles Solay of the band Outernational and C. Clark Kissinger were singled out and given a charge that could carry a sentence of one year... at Rikers! Their next court date is set for April 12, 2016. (See “Free C. Clark Kissinger & Miles Solay—Shut Down Rikers!” and follow for updates.)

Kalief Browder was a Black youth, 16 years old, when he was arrested and charged with stealing a backpack. Because he could not make bond, he spent three years on Rikers Island awaiting trial, which the prosecutors repeatedly put off because they had no case. He was held in solitary for two years, beaten by guards while handcuffed and on the ground, and also beaten by gang members. Both of these beatings are on videotape. Kalief repeatedly attempted suicide, yet the system ground on, keeping him locked up until the case was finally dropped. Soon after his release, Kalief, permanently damaged by what was done to him, succeeded in killing himself on June 6, 2015. No Rikers guards or authorities have been held accountable in any way for any of this.

Have Rikers guards and authorities—or City of New York authorities for that matter—been held accountable? Not hardly.

In 2009, a guard named Victor Rodman beat Rikers Island inmate Carlos Sanchez so badly that Sanchez lost the vision in one eye. In January 2016, Rodman was sentenced to 90 days in jail for the beating. The New York Daily News reported February 16 that the city Department of Correction reinstated, with full pay, seven Rikers guards who are scheduled to go on trial February 24 for savagely beating Rikers inmate Jamal Lightfoot. February 14, 2014, Jerome Murdough, 56, died when his Rikers cell overheated to above 100 degrees. February 16, former Rikers guard Carol Lackner pleaded guilty to a felony charge that she lied about checking on Murdough. She got five years probation. He got the death sentence for trespassing.

As Miles Solay put it: “Rikers Island ... is a debtors’ prison where poor people get sent. It’s a torture prison where thousands of people are dehumanized. It’s a conveyor belt to the mass incarceration of our people. It’s unjust, it’s inhumane. It’s like a tumor from the cancer of American capitalism. Too many have died here. Far too many rot away in oblivion. Over the years, thousands and thousands of human beings have had their lives foreclosed upon. Rikers Island needs to be shut down.”

The charges against Miles and Clark must be dropped!





Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

Thousands Shot by Police in Southern California—Only One Cop Prosecuted

This System Has No Answer to Police Murders—The Revolution DOES

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

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 in the United States. More about Bob Avakian here

According to a recent investigative report by Jack Dolan in the Los Angeles Times, since the year 2004, more than 2,000 people have been shot by the police in the six Southern California counties (Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Imperial)—and only one of those cops was prosecuted, and he was acquitted. Further, since the year 2000, more than 1,300 police shootings have occurred in Los Angeles County and not one single cop has been prosecuted.

This is an astonishing statistic, even for someone who knows the cops are almost never prosecuted for killing people.

Despite the fact the police are not tried for killing people, the municipalities they work for are brought to court in civil suits filed by the families of those who have been murdered. The six counties and the cities in them in Southern California have paid out at least $150 million in settlements for the murders committed by their police since 2004. And why are there these settlements? Because the evidence—videos and photos and witnesses—show their cops have wantonly, brutally, and illegally gunned down people, and the funds that are paid are essentially admissions of guilt. And sometimes, the money is aimed at keeping the families quiet.

Take the case of shooting of Elio Carrion, who was a passenger in a car that was pulled over after a high-speed chase in Chino, CA in 2006. Carrion was unarmed and was shot while on the ground by a San Bernardino County deputy. Carrion was not killed. The video of this speaks for itself. It shows Carrion on the ground saying “we mean you no harm” to the cop, who fires three shots at him seconds later. This video drew national attention, and it was the centerpiece of the only trial to be held since 2004 in Southern California charging an on-duty cop with the crimes of attempted manslaughter and assault for shooting someone. This pig was acquitted! Carrion then sued in civil court and settled for $1.5 million.

In 2006, Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies fired 61 rounds into the back of Alfredo Montalvo’s car following a brief pursuit in Lynwood, killing him. The cops were not prosecuted because the D.A. said that the car had been used as a weapon to ram into a patrol car and the cops said they had been knocked over and one car ran over the foot of another cop, injuring all three. But in civil court several cops and other eyewitnesses testified that they did not see any cop “fall down or get run over,” and the medical report said that none of the cops had any injuries. Photos of Montalvo’s vehicle and the patrol car that was rammed showed “almost no collision damage.” The photo did show 12 bullet holes in the back window of Montalvo’s car. The jury awarded Montalvo’s family nearly $9 million.

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According to the investigative report, “Montalvo’s widow, Annette Montalvo, said the money is bittersweet because she thought the officers should have been prosecuted. ‘I think the officers should pay a price. They’re the ones who keep doing this.”

Then there was the Brian Beaird car chase in 2013 that ended with Beaird being murdered by the LAPD on live television. When Beaird got to downtown Los Angeles, he hit another car and then careened into a light post. Beaird, who was unarmed, stumbled out of his car and as he attempted to walk away, he was shot in the back by three Los Angeles police. That video is posted on YouTube, and his murder comes during the 21st minute of the video.

Despite the fact that LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the shooting of Beaird was “not justified,” the D.A. would not press charges against the murdering pigs.

The LA City Council decided to pay Beaird’s father $5 million prior to a lawsuit coming to trial.

If you go to You Tube and search for “police shoot unarmed man” you get over 97,000 videos. There are hundreds and hundreds of videos of people being murdered by the cops, but hardly any of these murderers ever get prosecuted. What does that tell you about putting body cameras on cops in order to stop these shootings?

Besides the police, the legal system—the courts, the judges, the district attorneys and prosecuting attorneys—is, as Bob Avakian has said, a part of the forces of the ruling class and its state apparatus of repression. They’re part of the machinery that enforces, on behalf of the ruling class, and with all the violence they deem necessary, the existing system of exploitation and oppression...”(from The Science, the Strategy, the Leadership for an Actual Revolution, and a Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation.)

Get organzied for an actual revolution






Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

From The Michael Slate Show

Interview with Physicist Joshua Smith on Discovery of Gravity Waves: "A completely new way to look at the universe"

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Joshua Smith was interviewed February 19, 2016, on The Michael Slate Show on KPFK Pacifica radio. This is a transcript of that interview.


Michael Slate: On Thursday, February 11, a worldwide team of scientists announced the first direct observation of gravitational waves, and this is a major scientific achievement. It directly confirms predictions of Einstein’s general theory of relativity made 100 years ago and opens up a whole new branch of astronomical investigation—a new window to understanding the entire universe. So there was this discovery and I was really pleased about that. I really wanted to understand more of it myself, so we hooked up with Joshua Smith, who directs the Gravitational Wave, Physics and Astronomy Center and is an Associate Professor of Physics at California State University, Fullerton, and we hooked up with Josh to talk with us about the significance of all of this. Josh, welcome to the show.

Joshua Smith: Michael, thank you very much for having me on.

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Michael Slate: Good! Why all the excitement? What exactly happened and why all the excitement about gravitational waves? What actually are they and why are people excited about discovering them?

Joshua Smith: I think the excitement starts 100 years ago. Einstein predicted gravitational waves 100 years ago but he thought they’d be too small for us to ever measure them. If you fast forward, we’ve improved technology enough in the last 100 years that we now have a chance and we’ve actually done it. And then I think the reason they’re so exciting is because they give us a completely new way to look at the universe. As you said, they open a new window. We look at the universe every day with light in all its different forms: radio, X-rays, gamma rays, visible light with all different types of telescopes. Well, gravity tells us not about how electrons or charges move, which light does. It tells us about how masses move, so we can look at things like black holes that don’t give off light and we can look at them through ripples and gravity. And gravitational waves are ripples in gravity that travel at the speed of light.

Michael Slate: So, the significance of this? What difference does knowing all of this make?

Joshua Smith: Well, there are a couple of things. First of all, Einstein’s theory of gravity is the most accurate theory that we have for understanding how gravity works, how the orbits work in the solar system. We couldn’t even understand Mercury’s orbit accurately until Einstein improved upon the existing theory that Newton had. Newton said two masses have a force between them that depends on their masses and is inversely proportional to the square of their separation. And Einstein said it’s more like a curved rubber sheet, where a mass will curve that sheet and the amount of curvature you get is proportional to how strong the gravity is and that keeps the planets in their orbits. So, by understanding Einstein’s theories better we can understand gravity better, which is one of the major forces in the universe. The other thing it gives us is a new way to do astronomy. So that’s something everyone can partake in and right now we’re using LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, to see black holes from across the universe.

See also: Hearing the Universe for the First Time
The Detection of Gravitational Waves and What That Has to Do With... Everything

Michael Slate: I want to get into that in a minute. But how does this all fit together? I’m trying to get my head around why these waves are so significant. It’s important for people to understand how the universe works, but to fit in this thing that was sort of a momentary chirp—to people who were reading the paper it was a momentary chirp—and it’s like, “Well, why are all you guys out there jumping up and down and screaming and having parties?”

Joshua Smith: I think it’s because we don’t think of it as a momentary chirp. We think of it as maybe that first radio transmission that was ever sent, or the first form of a new type of communication or a new sense for humanity. So this first chirp was signaling that our detectors worked well and can sense this type of signal from a billion light-years away. But this won’t be the last thing that we find. This actually is the first of many things that we’ll see using this new type of technology. So, I think the reason why we’re jumping up and down isn’t only because we’ve shown Einstein’s theory to be accurate in this one area, but also because we feel like it’s a start of a new way to do this science.

Michael Slate: There are so many questions, and that’s exactly what you want, when you actually have something of this magnitude and you’re actually getting people who really want to understand what’s happening this way. You talk about Einstein’s theory about gravity. How do gravitational waves fit into that theory?

Joshua Smith: In Einstein’s theory where he said that kind of mass makes a curvature in space and time, that’s Einstein’s general theory of relativity. He also has a special theory of relativity that said nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. What that means is, if you move a mass... like let’s say that we made the sun disappear, or better, maybe we had two stars rotating around each other, if you are far away from that system, information about the mass that had moved couldn’t get to you faster than the speed of light. And so Einstein’s theory made it necessary to have some sort of wave, which in this case is very similar to a ripple on a pond. Imagine if you drop a stone into a pond, the stone changes the surface of the water and the waves ripple out from that. This is very similar, except that dropping the stone, instead of that you have something like a star exploding. The waves would ripple out from that at the speed of light and provide information about the change in the curvature of space time. So, it’s necessary both for his special theory of relativity and his general theory of relativity to have waves.

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

Michael Slate: Why are they so hard to find? People have been searching for them for quite some time, right? Since Einstein predicted them, people have been trying to find them and they’ve been extremely difficult to find, right?

Joshua Smith: That’s right. So, in Einstein’s original papers, he predicted they would be hard to find. He had an equation and he said, “If you take this equation for the amplitude of gravitational waves and you put in any practical number you think about, the amplitude of gravitational waves would be practically vanishing.” But Einstein didn’t have in mind systems like two black holes going around each other. Those systems weren’t known to him at the time. And also, Einstein didn’t know the leaps that technology would take in the meantime. So, in the ‘60s, people started looking for ways to detect gravitational waves and since then the sensitivity has improved by orders and orders of magnitude and a lot of that is pushing technology—like lasers and mirrors and vacuum systems and seismic isolation, and also technology from the world, from companies, industry developing and being put back into science, so us using developments that were made in industry. And those things come together—the fact that you have these amazing astronomical objects and you have this great new technology to make the most sensitive instruments ever. And they need to sense incredibly tiny waves because the objects that are producing these big waves are far away. By the time the waves reach us they’re very, very small, because they spread out as a sphere from a source.

Michael Slate: Josh, you were working on this whole process, right?

Joshua Smith: That’s right. So, I have a team of students and professors here at Cal-State Fullerton, but I’m also part of the LIGO scientific collaboration that has about 1,000 people working on this and they’re all around the world. So, a number of universities and funding by the National Science Foundation. Yes, I’ve been working on this for 15 years. Some of my colleagues have spent their lifetimes working on this. And so, that February 11 announcement was a major day in many of our lives.

Michael Slate: Big party, huh? [Laughs]

Joshua Smith: [Laughs] That’s right.

Michael Slate: Tell me something; I read something that kind of struck me because it was said in such plain language and it was just so straightforward. We were just talking about how hard they are to find. But there was also something like a million different things that could happen to screw up the search for that, like just make a blip or cause something that just disguised it, or be out there and not be what you’re looking for—that there were a million different ways that this thing could have been missed. That was kind of intriguing to me because you guys fought through on this and you developed the technology to actually fight through on this, but there still was like a noise coming from someplace that could have completely turned things off. This was something you really had to use the scientific method very deeply and very profoundly in order to actually continue working on it and also to be able to sum up when you have actually made the discovery, right?

Joshua Smith: That’s a great point. This event happened in September and we didn’t announce it until February. And one of the primary things we were doing between September and February was vetting the event. And you’re right; locally, there are a lot of disturbances that can couple into the detectors. The detectors can be affected by earthquakes, by even much smaller things, by local, we call it anthropogenic, noise: people walking around, by cars driving. But we have a couple of things working in our favor. This was designed, designed this way so we could make a confident detection. We have two detectors: one is in Livingston, Louisiana, and one is in Hanford, Washington, separated by about as far as we could get them, given the land that we needed to purchase. And that means that it’s much easier to find coincident signals that aren’t local disturbances. It’s harder to have things that will couple into such widely separated detectors. And then the second thing that we can do is when we have a signal we can compare that signal to what we expect for wave forms from the sources calculated with general relativity, with Einstein’s theories. So here at Fullerton we have students and professors that use super computers to model what happens when two back holes collide. And they use those wave forms along with the LIGO scientific collaboration to match the data that we see. And this particular signal was an excellent match, whereas most of the blips and blops that you talked about, local noise and things like that, are very poor matches. And that gives us a lot of confidence but we still spent many months making sure that this was real and checking everything that we could.

Michael Slate: One of the things that I was wondering about too, this Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory and how it found these waves, you’re speaking to that to a certain degree now, but really, it just amazed me because this is something that was brand new, right? When you look at the various videos of what this thing looks like and how people actually figured out how to do this, it’s not like when somebody says, “We’re working with telescopes” or “we’re doing this” or “we’re doing that” or “we have an observatory” and people are looking at, almost like something out of cartoons where you’re standing there looking in a telescope and you’re looking out into space. But you guys actually designed something that was very particular in terms of finding this kind of thing and it was something that was brand new, right?

Joshua Smith: Well, that’s right. It is very particular. Gravitational waves, the way we can measure them is that gravitational waves, when they pass through you they stretch space time. So, if a gravitational wave passes through the Earth, it stretches it in one direction and squishes it in the other. We can use that property to make the measurement. So, we built detectors that have very long arms, two and a half miles, four-kilometer-long arms. And what I mean by arms is at each end of those two-and-a-half-mile vacuum tubes—they’re like big tunnels—there are mirrors. And in between the mirrors, we shine a laser beam and it very accurately measures the distance between the mirrors. And we make it an “L” shape so like when I said the Earth gets squashed and squished in different directions, one part of the “L” gets squished and the other gets lengthened and a little bit of light, from the interference of light, will come out and we’ll measure it at a photo detector. So, we use laser light to very accurately measure the distances and we look for passing waves. And this is called an interferometer. And you’re absolutely right, it’s not like looking into a telescope. We don’t get an image of the system, it’s more like we record a wave form from the system, so it’s something a little bit more like a microphone. And by recording the wave form with multiple detectors we can get confidence that they were coincident at the two detectors within the travel time of gravitational waves and we can get information of where in the sky they came from, but we don’t form a picture. We more measure like a sound. It’s not a sound. It’s a wave form of gravity.

Michael Slate: Now, this LIGO, as I understand it, is only working at one-third its potential right now?

Joshua Smith: Yeah, that’s right. And this is another part of the reason why we’re all so excited about this. As I mentioned, we hope that this is the first of hopefully many signals. That’s part of the reason. When we make LIGO more sensitive, that one-third of its sensitivity is talking about the distance that LIGO can “see.” But looking out into the universe when you make the distance longer, you’re actually expanding the distance along a whole sphere. So you would cube that distance that you’re going to make it more sensitive and we would expect to see 27 times the number of sources if it just gets three times more sensitive in distance.

Michael Slate: Wow!

Joshua Smith: So, there are engineers and scientists at the LIGO site that are working right now to improve the detectors. We’ve taken the detectors offline. We’re going to perform analyses on the remaining data and publish those, but right now the detectors are being improved further and will come online in the summer with even better sensitivity and start another run.

Michael Slate: Alright. Let me ask you this, and this is kind of a strange question because it involves some philosophy too, in terms of epistemological approaches to things. You went into this, you guys all had to go into this—and again, it’s also related to the scientific method question—you went into this thinking, “OK, Einstein had talked about gravitational waves and we want to prove that these exist.” But you weren’t going in to prove something. Your approach to examining the universe wasn’t so that we can find this. It was actually, if they exist we’re aiming to find them. If they don’t, though, we’ll also have to deal with that because you couldn’t approach this as sort of, “Well, we know what we’re going to find and we’re just going to find what we know we’ll already find. You’re actually exploring what was going on in a part of the universe that really hadn’t been examined in the way that you examined it. And you had to be open to whatever it was that you would find, right?

Joshua Smith: I think that’s right. I will say that we took a safe bet. Einstein’s theory has been right in every way that we’ve tested it. In 1993, there was a Nobel Prize awarded to Hulse and Taylor, who discovered a system of neutron stars called pulsars that were orbiting around each other. And later work, which is continuing even today, saw that these two neutron stars, as their orbits went around, their orbits got smaller and smaller and they behaved as though they were emitting gravitational waves, and it precisely agreed with Einstein’s theory. So, we had very good information that gravitational waves do exist but nobody had ever set up a detector to catch them. So, I think we took a safer bet in that sense. But you’re absolutely right that within the error bars of our knowledge, we did not know that we would see black holes. We did not know we would see them so early. And we were all very excited and pleasantly surprised to see two black holes 30 times the mass of the sun, orbiting around each other a fraction of the speed of light at a billion light-years away. That was an unexpected source, or at least was on the optimistic end of what we expected. And we didn’t take a safe bet on that astrophysics, and I think we’ve made out very well and it looks like nature’s been very kind and we’re going to have a lot of interesting things to look at with our gravitational wave detectors.

Michael Slate: Yeah, I’ll say! [Laughs] I want to follow up with you often, OK? Again, if you hadn’t been able to detect these—we’re going to talk in a minute about what actually happened, what’s the result of having discovered this, but if you hadn’t been able to detect these gravitational waves or if they didn’t exist or if you somehow proved that they didn’t exist to a certain extent, that would have thrown a whole hell of a lot of physics and astronomy into question right now, right?

Joshua Smith: Yeah, I think that’s right. A lot of times I’ve heard my colleagues over the years say, “You know, it might be the most interesting result if we don’t detect anything.” I didn’t agree with them. [Laughs]

Michael Slate: Thank you! [Laughs]

Joshua Smith: I’m really happy that we started this new field of astronomy, but that’s right. I think one of the most exciting things in life, and especially in science, is when you find out something that you really don’t know or you find out something that isn’t quite right. It’s an opportunity to learn more about the universe. And if we had found that some of our theories weren’t quite right the hard way by not detecting something, that might have actually been a lead in another direction. I’m really happy that that’s not the case, but you’re right and I’m very happy that the National Science Foundation supported this project and that we’ve had so many colleagues around the world that have worked so hard to make it happen.

Michael Slate: Yeah, and there’s also a lesson that the people at large can learn in terms of pursuing the truth without fearing what that might be actually, because whatever you can find that’s true actually can help you in a certain sense, just by knowing it, even if it’s something that’s a terrible truth and you have to go back and, “Oh my God! Einstein was a crackpot!” [Laughs] But, you’d have to figure it out. You couldn’t just give up. Better that you found that out than you never found it out and you were pursuing something that was completely wrong, but instead you found something very different. And I thought in terms of epistemology that was pretty important in terms of the approach that people take. Because science is not a subjective thing. It’s not something where what’s true and what isn’t is based on who’s doing the observing. It’s objective and that’s very important. You put a lot on the line pursuing this, in a certain sense, and actually now you’ve got this whole other thing that’s opened up and let’s talk about that. What actually is opened up? People are talking about it. You mentioned it. In a certain way, there’s a whole new level of science that’s been unleashed right now. Let’s talk about that.

Joshua Smith: Yeah, so I think the big change that’s happened is that recently, there’s been a rebirth in astronomy. People are looking at astronomy through other channels. It started with light and then you looked at light in all the parts of the light spectrum; from gamma rays to radio waves. And you found different things whenever you looked in those different channels. And in past decades people have started looking at other particles like neutrinos and doing astronomy with other channels. Now, what we’ve done here is opened up a way to look at the universe with gravity and you can look at objects that don’t give off light, but you can learn about them based on the motion of their masses. Or, you can look at objects that do give off light but you can see a different side of them, because you can see what their mass is doing, not necessarily what their charges are doing like you learn from light. So, I think with this first signal we’ve seen the first glimpse of that and as the detectors get more and more sensitive we’ll probe farther out into space and hopefully see different types of sources and we’ll start to be able to do this new style of astronomy based on gravity. And there are things there that you can learn that you just can’t learn from light.

Michael Slate: There’s actually a point where you wouldn’t be able to investigate parts of the universe based on light because there’s no light there. It’s too muddy or whatever. This thing of being able to go back all the way perhaps to the Big Bang has a lot to do with these gravitational waves providing a way to view all of this. That was pretty mind-blowing there.

Joshua Smith: Yeah, that’s right. So, cosmologists think, and I’m not a cosmologist, but we have a lot of really smart people who are looking into this. Cosmologists think that in the evolution of the universe, there was a period where the universe was opaque, so light couldn’t pass through it. And so, that’s like a wall on how far back in time we can look with light. Gravitational waves, because they couple—gravitational waves are so weak and they’re so hard for us to measure here on Earth, because they couple so weakly to things. Coupling means you have a wave, how much of it you can grab or how much energy you can extract from it. They couple very, very weakly, which means that they pass right through objects. Our detectors on one side of the Earth or the other side of the Earth, there’s no shielding from the Earth. Gravitational waves can’t be jammed. They pass right through things. And that means they provide an opportunity for us to look back farther in time because of how they pass through things.

And so we have a group of people involved in the LIGO scientific collaboration that are looking at gravitational waves from what we call “stochastic” sources: from kind of rumbling sources from the time of the early universe, from the Big Bang. And there are also other projects that are going to have sensitivity in other frequency ranges and sort of fill in the gravitational wave spectrum. LISA [Laser Interferometer Space Antenna] in space and also pulsar timing and those projects will also be looking for what you mentioned, gravitational waves from the very earliest moments of the universe.

Michael Slate: Yeah, very cool. One more question, and this is more of a reaction from you on this: Szabolcs Marka, a member of the LIGO team, there’s a quote from him that says: “Until this moment we had our eyes in the sky and we couldn’t hear the music.” And I thought the poetry of that in relation to what we’ve been talking about is pretty intense and I wanted to get your thoughts on that.

Joshua Smith: It’s a beautiful way to put it and another way that I’ve heard, that actually a person that I was speaking with yesterday said, is that humanity has gained another sense through this discovery. I think that’s apt. Although we’ve seen only one event so far, it’s a new sense we have. We use our tools to sense it, but we can now sense the ripples in gravity from far- away objects like black holes, and I think that’s really amazing.





Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

Smyrna, Georgia: Cop Murders Nicholas Thomas... and Gets Promoted

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Nicholas Thomas
Nicholas Thomas

Nicholas Thomas was murdered at his job by Smyrna/Cobb County Police (Smyrna is a suburb right outside of Atlanta) in March of 2015. A SWAT-style task force that included police from both Cobb and Smyrna showed up to the Goodyear tire shop where Nick Thomas was working to serve a six-month-old misdemeanor warrant. Police claimed that Nicholas Thomas drove the Maserati that he was working on at the shop toward them at a “high rate of speed” forcing Sgt. Kenneth Owens to fire into the vehicle, killing Nick Thomas. Even though the bullet holes in the car and forensic evidence proved that the cop shot into the driver’s side of the vehicle, contradicting the claim that Thomas was driving toward the officers, the grand jury refused to indict Sgt. Kenneth Owens—deciding that this cop was justified in murdering Nicholas Thomas.

Nicholas Thomas’s family has been brave and outspoken ever since the murder of their son, speaking at and organizing protests demanding justice. Nick’s family and the community were shocked when it was announced this month that Sgt. Kenneth Owens, the cop who killed their son, was being promoted to lieutenant. Owens has a rap sheet of piggery that dates back before murdering Nicholas Thomas. He was slated for firing from the Cobb County Police Department several years earlier due to charges of domestic abuse. However, he was allowed to resign and was quickly hired by the neighboring Smyrna Police Department.

On Monday, February 15, a protest was held at the Smyrna City Hall where the mayor and city council were slated to honor Kenneth Owens’s promotion to lieutenant. The Thomas family along with activists from Black Lives Matter, SCLC, Nation of Islam, Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Revolution Club, and others participated in the protest. After speaking outside, protestors gathered inside of city hall chanting and speaking bitterness at the cops guarding the chamber doors. Eventually, the doors were opened and after passing through security, protestors packed nearly every seat inside the council meeting. Right away the mayor announced that there would be no discussion about the promotion of any individuals at that meeting and told people they could sign up on the public comment list.

Everyone was outraged that the agenda had been hastily changed in order to prevent any public discussion about Owens’ promotion. The meeting began with the pledge of allegiance and a prayer which was repeatedly interrupted. The council tried to continue and brought up an official to announce the city’s recognition of Arbor Day. People shouted from the crowd, “What? You want to plant more trees to hang us on? This is bullshit! Let’s talk about justice for Nick Thomas!” Then the city brought in three women dressed in African garb to announce the city’s recognition of Black History Month. The three women ignored calls from the crowd to stand with the Thomas family and not play into the charade, however they continued to do what was expected of them and began to sing and dance, “stand together...” in front of the all-white city council as the crowd jeered at them. Shortly after that, everything erupted. People couldn’t stand to watch the bullshit continue. A few started chanting, “Shut it Down!” And “Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell!” Protestors rushed the front of the city council, crossing over the barrier between the crowd and the council members. The cops attempted to hold people back, but were forced to give way to the crowd and quickly escorted the mayor and council members out of the room. Speakers then took over the microphone, read demands, and spoke to the outrage of Nicholas’s murder and the callousness of his killer’s promotion.






Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

Jury Rejects the Lies of Baltimore Police—Acquits Keith Davis Jr. of All 15 Original Charges

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Keith Davis Jr
Keith Davis Jr.

Keith Davis Jr. was fired at 44 times by Baltimore police on June 7 last year, including three shots to his face. (See “Keith Davis Jr.—Shot at 44 Times by Baltimore Police. His Crime? That He Survived.”) He survived that shooting. And rather than investigate and charge the cops in this outrage, the prosecutors went after Keith—the victim—and he was the one in jail facing multiple felony charges. On February 25, a Baltimore jury acquitted Keith Davis Jr. on all 15 of the original charges. The jury convicted him of the additional charge, added by the state’s attorney in December, of possessing a firearm as a prohibited person, so he still faces over five years in jail.

In the trial, the cab driver who was asked to identify Keith as the man who had attempted to rob him on June 7 replied, “That don’t look like him to me.” Further, the gun that the police claimed they “found” on the scene had never been fired. Keith’s attorney, Latoya Francis-Williams, summed up in court: “They’re in damage control. Why? Because they shot the wrong person... They double down hoping that no one will notice, that an innocent man will be convicted and we’ll close the books on this.”

Indeed, the trial included a parade of government witnesses, including the cops who had fired at Keith Davis. Despite the fact that the cops claimed that they had not been asked to file reports on the shooting until January—over six months after the shooting, despite Maryland law giving cops 10 days to get their story together—the cops’ testimony was not only filled with lies but numerous inconsistencies between their accounts.

Further, a witness to the event, Martina Washington, testified that the police “...keep saying all the stuff to you and telling you what they want you to say...” And minutes before a key defense witness, Kelly Holsey (who was on the phone with Keith as he was being shot at by police) was supposed to testify, officers outside the courtroom served her with a grand jury subpoena on state’s attorney letterhead. Kelly said at a press conference later that she has no idea what case she is being called to testify in and denounced the grand jury subpoena as a blatant attempt at witness intimidation.

The battle for justice for Keith Davis Jr. is by no means over. His conviction on the weapons possession charge is being appealed while he remains in jail with a bullet fragment lodged in his neck, still awaiting needed medical attention.

Free Keith Davis Jr.!

Indict the cops who fired at him 44 times!

Police terror must stop!






Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

Seattle: Justice for Che Taylor! Police Stop Murdering Our People!

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

The police have killed yet another Black man: Che Taylor, 46, was gunned down by the Seattle police (SPD) on Sunday, February 21. He had been returned to the streets in 2014 after 20-plus years in the mass incarceration machine, and the system had its eye on him, eager to pull him back in. Police stalking the neighborhood decided they suspected him of possessing a firearm, and rolled up to quickly escalate the situation into deadly violence.

A dashcam video released by the police shows Che Taylor apparently going to the ground as they command him—but then they close in and open fire! It is notable that the SPD released this video the day after, apparently to avoid the sense of cover-up of police murder that people have been rising up against. The police have their story, that Che was going for a gun. But there have been so many cases documented nationwide showing how the police lie to cover up their murders and brutality. Che is dead, and now there is a media smear campaign repeating the words “convicted felon” over and over, implying that having a criminal record is justification enough to execute a person in the street.

Che Taylor was known and loved by many. A vigil was held the following night, at the spot where Che was killed, and more than 50 people gathered, many friends and family. They are in deep mourning. The mood and talk was that this killing cannot be allowed to stand, this police terror is ongoing, and if people don’t fight back it is just going to get worse. There is a video from the vigil on YouTube showing this, and also a video where people tell about how police lie. Family members there said they were not allowed to see Che in the hospital when they went there. They were not allowed to see his body after they were told he was dead. And they hate the way he is being vilified and criminalized. More vigils and protests are planned.

Seattle NAACP leader Gerald Hankerson, who has also been in the mass incarceration machine, said in a statement to the media that this was a cold-blooded murder. Hankerson also questioned the police claim that they found a gun and drugs, saying they could have come from a police supply closet. A lawyer for Che Taylor’s family also stated there may be additional videos of the incident that police are withholding.

The mayor of Seattle has stated that so far, this murder appears “proper,” and took the opportunity to press for the dead-end solution of body cams. The police murder of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York City, was on video—with no cops convicted as a result. In the Seattle area, Tony Black was murdered by cops wearing body cams and they simply refused to turn over the footage.

One of the cops who hunted down and killed Che is Michael Spaulding, who also took part in the notorious murder of Native man Jack Sun Keewatinawin in 2013. No police were charged, and killer cop Spaulding and others were left free to hunt. The deadly SPD has been under Department of Justice oversight and ongoing “reforms” since 2012. The powers that be want to get people to sit back and “let the system work.” Meanwhile, police are STILL hunting people down in the streets.






Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

Celebrate International Women's Day—March 8, 2016
Unleash the Fury of Women as a Mighty Force for Revolution

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Across the globe, women face the fear of being raped—walking down the street at night, at the hands of soldiers, law enforcement, fathers and brothers, even from those who are supposed to be their most “intimate lovers.” Women face thousands of years of stigma and shame, preached at them from religious patriarchs who command them to obey their husbands and fathers. Women—and young girls—are kidnapped, drugged, battered, and stripped naked, and sold as sex slaves. Women are demeaned and humiliated, from pornography, to advertisements, to the thong—treated as body parts for men’s pleasure. Women are imprisoned under veils and burqas, denied the right to travel or work or even drive without permission from the men who “own” them. Women are forced to have children against their will—or forced to risk their lives to avoid this fate—47,000 women die yearly around the world from unsafe, illegal abortions. No matter the heights of “success” attained, women can never escape the threat of violence, rape, discrimination, disrespect, and a culture that demeans and devalues them, resents them, and seeks to punish them in countless ways.

What kind of system is this? And why should anyone accept that this is the best way the world could be?! Another world IS possible. There is a basis, more than ever before, to bring forward a tidal wave of powerful revolutionary struggle to put an END to all forms of enslavement, degradation, abuse, and oppression of women. And to do this as a central and driving element of the revolution needed to emancipate all of humanity.

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

Break ALL the Chains!

Bob Avakian on the
Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution

Full work          Sampler Edition

March 8, International Women’s Day, is a day when people all over the world join together to declare our determination to break the thousand-years-old chains of oppression that bind half of humanity. IWD is a day to call forth the fury of women and unleash it as a mighty force for revolution; a day for all who dream of and yearn for a better world to act on the recognition that you cannot break all the chains except one, that if you are serious about emancipating all of humanity you must include the fight for the full liberation of women. A day of struggle against the many different chains of women’s oppression: from the brutality of Dark Ages patriarchal feudalism and Islamic fundamentalism; to the trafficking of women worldwide; to the “modern-day” chains of Internet pornography and denial of reproductive rights.

IWD grew out of struggle—a massive demonstration in 1909 of women garment workers in New York City, who poured out of the dangerous sweatshops into the streets, in inspiring defiance. This outpouring inspired the first International Women’s Day on March 8, 1910, organized by communists and socialists. Since then, IWD has been celebrated around the world as a revolutionary holiday. In 1970, Bob Avakian played a key role in reviving the celebration of International Women’s Day as a revolutionary holiday in the United States.

Today, the oppression of women all over the globe is even more extreme and what position and role women will play in society is being posed very sharply. The question is, will there be a radical reactionary or a radical revolutionary resolution to this? Will the chains of women’s oppression be further tightened and reinforced? Or will some of the most decisive links in the chain of women’s oppression be shattered as part of getting rid of all forms of oppression?

A radical, revolutionary solution is not only necessary—it IS POSSIBLE. Bob Avakian is the architect of a whole new framework of human emancipation, the new synthesis of communism. Because of this, we have the science, the strategy, and the leadership for a real revolution that will get rid of this monstrosity of a system of capitalism-imperialism and replace it with a radically different economic, political, and social system, a genuine socialist society aiming for a world without social divides and exploitation and oppression, a genuinely communist world. And BA’s new synthesis takes the emancipation of women as a foundational and driving force for winning a real revolution and for continuing to radically transform society after the revolution toward fully emancipating all of humanity.

A Declaration: For Women's Liberation And The Emancipation Of All Humanity

After reading the compendium Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on Women’s Emancipation and Communist Revolution, a member of the Revolution Club wrote about how BA applies a scientific method and approach to get at reality and how to transform it: “How and why women need to be unleashed in order to make a revolution and struggle over the ‘woman question’ in order to make all the way revolution! He breaks down the origins of women’s oppression. He actually goes there: boldly speaking the truth about the social role of women, and why and how this revolting culture must be resisted, and gotten rid of. His approach gets under the surface and gets at the heart of what it’s actually going to take to fully emancipate women and how, and why. And it is exciting. It is fucking exciting to know there is someone out there who has done this work and that there is in fact a solution to the horrors of this system.”

This year, on International Women’s Day, Tuesday, March 8 (and throughout the week), we call on people to widely distribute copies of the sampler compendium, Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution and the special issue of Revolution, A Declaration: For Women’s Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity, including on campuses, in communities, and at IWD events. And everywhere people go, they should raise money for the BA Everywhere campaign—so that Bob Avakian’s voice and works can get projected throughout society. (The Declaration and compendium are available at

Write about what happens.


Women are not bitches, hos, punching bags, sex objects or breeders.


Fight for the Liberation of Women Here and All Over the World!

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





Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

Chicago, March 2: Stolen Lives Families Demand Justice

March 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Lunch hour in the state of Illinois building, downtown Chicago. The Chicago offices of the Governor, Attorney General, and other state offices occupy this 17-story building. All floors open over a very large, sky-lit atrium in the center of the building. At the very bottom is the concourse which can be seen from all the floors above.

Chicago, Stolen Lives Families Demand Justice. March 2
Chicago, Stolen Lives Families Demand Justice, March 2, 2016. Photo: Special to

In the center of the concourse, over 100 people faced a big Stolen Lives banner and family members of 10 people murdered by police. Many held pictures and posters of their loved ones. At the back of the audience was a bank of TV and video cameras, recording the “Stolen Lives Families Demand Justice" special event on Wednesday, March 2.

Behind and surrounding this scene were hundreds of other people who came to a large food court to have lunch.

“This is a crime scene! Chicago is a crime scene!... Body after body lying in the streets for hours... while cops stroll around and decide how to cover up their crimes! Today we have witnesses to these murders—families who have lost precious loved ones, and refuse to be silent!”

Speaking of the national epidemic of police murder, the emcee continued—Indict, Convict, Send the killer cops and ALL those responsible for covering up those murders to jail! The whole damn system is guilty as hell!

The family members from Chicago whose loved ones were murdered by police were Chantell Brooks, mother of Michael Westley, 15 years old, killed in 2013; Gloria Pinex, mother of Darius Pinex, 27 years old, killed in 2011; Janet Cooksey, mother of Quintonio Legrier, 19 years old, killed the day after Christmas in 2015; Lagina Kelly, sister of Christopher Kelly killed in September 2015; Darius Smith, brother of Jamal Moore, 23 years old, killed in 2012; Octavia Mitchell,  mother of Izael Jackson, murdered by police in 2010; “Godfather,” the father of Freddie Latrice Wilson, murdered in 2007. They were joined by Latoya and Alice Howell, mother and grandmother of Justus Howell, murdered by Zion, Illinois, police in 2015; Venus Anderson, mother of Christopher Anderson, killed by Highland Park, Illinois, police in a hospital room; and Andrea Irwin, mother of Tony Robinson, murdered by Madison, Wisconsin police in 2015. 

Everyone felt the moral and emotional weight of having all those families standing up and telling their stories together. Each one of these police murders is such an outrage but hearing them at the same time painted a picture that was searing. Mothers were describing teenagers murdered by police; people shot in the back running away, people killed in routine traffic stops. The lies, the cover-ups, the demonizing of loved ones, the retaliation against the families for speaking out. And over and over, no justice... killer cops walk the streets. 

One hundred people filled out the center of the concourse, all ages and different nationalities. Teachers and professors brought small groups of students including “at-risk” youth from one high school. People passing by were drawn into it. The cameramen reacted to it. There was the tremendous pain, and family members broke into tears and supported each other. But there was also something more ... through all the pain was the courage of standing up and speaking out. The anger and the demand that this police murder and terror must stop, built through the event. 

The Stolen Lives Families Demand Justice was filmed by four local news stations and CAN TV cable show as well as several independent film makers. A video will be posted at when it is available.

Chicago, March 2: Stolen Lives Families Demand Justice
Chicago, Stolen Lives Families Demand Justice, March 2, 2016. Latoya Howell, mother of Justus Howell, at mic. Photo: Special to

Some of the words of the parents capture the event:

Gloria Pinex, mother of Darius Pinex who was murdered in Chicago during a bogus “high-risk” traffic stop over five years ago. The only one at “high risk” was Darius. (See article on his case online at For the whole time there was a cover up including throughout a civil suit against the killer cop. A new civil trial has been ordered by the federal judge. But meantime the killer cop has still not been indicted. Gloria said that there were a lot of other mothers who weren’t there, but she would speak out for them: “No Justice, No Peace.”

Sixteen-year-old Trevon read a poem he wrote about his brother Darius.

“I’m holding on strong, trying to be a man. Why you had to leave me, I just don’t understand,” he said.

Latoya Howell described how her 17-year-old son, Justus, was shot twice in the back in Zion, while running away from five cops who were chasing him. She went on to address people like those sitting in the food court: “I don’t understand how people go on with their daily lives as if this didn’t happen.  'I’ve got to stick to my job, close my eyes, close my ears to this, I can’t get involved'... If your voice is not heard—KNOW that you are NOT part of the solution. If your voice is not heard—you are part of the problem. Speak Out! Never hold your peace! Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail, The Whole Damn System is Guilty as Hell.”

Andrea Irwin, the mother of Tony Robinson, who was murdered by Madison police on March 6, 2015. He was shot seven times in the chest and face in 18 seconds. “Every person—if you think it’s not going to happen to you, next time around it CAN be you. It wasn’t me. Now it IS me. Don’t wait until you lose your loved one. This HAS to STOP! If you stand by and do nothing, you’re just as guilty as those who are doing the crime, period. You HAVE to stand up...”

Andrea went on, “We need people who’ve never been a part of this to stand up with us. Because there’s somebody next, somebody waiting in line to have their number called. And we’re going to... watch these people die. Please... make this system change...they NEED to see this, we NEED to take this to their front doors. They have to be held accountable for what they’re doing.”

Chicago, Stolen Lives Families Demand Justice, March 2, 2016
Chicago, Stolen Lives Families Demand Justice, March 2, 2016. Janet Cooksey, mother of Quintonio Legrier, at mic. Photo: Special to

Janet Cooksey, the mother of Quintonio Legrier, the NIU honor roll student who was killed the day after Christmas in 2015 was passionate: “None of the police are paying for (these murders), if they was, this wouldn’t continue to happen.” Referring to the fact the pig who killed her son is now suing his family for his 'emotional distress,' she said, “You kill my son and you want to be compensated for it? You have no conscience, no principles! And these are the people we have to go to ... my son called 911 three times for help! The police officer shot him, and then the police officer tried to cover it up and say my son tried to hit him with a bat!”

“Anita Alvarez  subpoenaed my son’s phone. What’s my son’s phone got to do with this? Everything’s about my son! What about this officer’s mental state? They said my son has mental health problems, what about that officer? They say my son had marijuana in his system. He’s a teenager!! What did that cop have in his system? Was HE drug tested? The police are not solving any problem. They ARE the problem...”

After Janet Cooksey finished speaking, Hank Brown, supporter of the RCP, read a quote from Bob Avakian, BA, that spoke to everything that the families were testifying to:

There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten, raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.

The event also featured a very moving spoken word performance and together singing “Hell U Talm Bout” (by Janelle Monae)—saying the names of those killed in Chicago and around the country by police.

Grant Newburger urged everyone to take to the streets at 3 pm for this day of resistance to police terror and murder 500 days after Laquan McDonald was murdered. (See news flash about the brutal arrests during the afternoon protests on the streets of Chicago.)






Revolution #428 February 29, 2016

From Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Chicago

Arrested Protesters Released on I-Bond... Drop the Charges on the Anti-Police Terror Demonstrators!

March 2, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Chicago police attacked a peaceful protest on State Street this afternoon, throwing participants to the pavement, arresting four people and sending one to the hospital. The March 2 "No Business as Usual as Long as Murdering Police Walk Free" protest was viciously attacked by police moments after it began. (See WGN Channel 9 video.)

This was clear retaliation by the police for the message of the march and the earlier event at noon, "Stolen Lives Families Demand Justice," at the State of Illinois Building. Family members of 10 people who were murdered by police gave searing, bitter and heartbreaking testimony about the murder of their loved ones and demanded justice. March 2 marked 500 days since Laquan McDonald's murder. Demonstrators denounced the fact that no one is in jail for that murder and cover-up, and the murder of unarmed civilians by police continues.

Two of the organizers of the 3 pm demonstration (including Stop Mass Incarceration Network press liaison) and two other participants were arrested shortly after the march began. At least one person arrested had to be taken to the hospital.

Chicago police who murder unarmed civilians walk free while those who protest are arrested for demanding justice? This must stop!

We want to thank everyone who called Chicago Police Department this evening and demanded the protesters' release. Now we all have to come to their defense and demand that ALL charges be dropped.


The battle continues for justice for David "Iggy Flow" Rucker and Alfredo Reyes, who were arrested at an anti-police murder protest in December 2014. Please come out for their next court appearance Thursday, March 3, 9:30 am, Room 206 Cook County Courthouse, 26th & California.

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