Revolution #442, June 6, 2016 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |



The much-proclaimed democracy under this system is a sham, and worse—it promotes the illusion that it is expressing "the will of the people," while really involving the people in "legitimizing" the rule of a rapacious and murderous class of capitalist-imperialists, who dominate and shape the electoral process, and political decision-making overall, and whose rule is in reality a dictatorship that fundamentally relies on brutally oppressive force and violence.

Bob Avakian
Chairman, Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

The much-proclaimed democracy under this system is a sham, and worse... The much-proclaimed democracy under this system is a sham, and worse...
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Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

The Science...Actual Revolution title image

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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 section titled "Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit."

More from the section:
Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit

Now, I’ve talked about the relations of production. So let’s get into that a little more. Again, Lenin did some valuable work for us which we should utilize. Lenin analyzed that there are three basic parts to the relations of production. One is ownership, whether or not you own what’s called the means of production: land, raw materials, factories, machinery and technology of various kinds. That’s the first and most fundamental thing in terms of relations of production. Do you own or do you not own means of production? Now you know what it means if you don’t own them: you got to go to work for somebody who does. Everybody knows about that. You don’t own a factory, you don’t own a hospital, and so on—well, you got to try to find a job from somebody who does, that’s the deal. So ownership (or non ownership) of technology, land, other means of production—that’s the most basic thing about the economic relations, the relations of production.

The next thing is what’s your role in the overall division of labor in society. This refers to the fact that there’s a whole process through which society is functioning, through which it’s producing the basic things people need to live and to reproduce. What role do you play in that? If you’re an owner of means of production, then you command all the people who work for you. If you’re somewhat lower down—say, you’re somebody in management—then you kind of occupy a middle position. You work for people who have ownership of means of production, but you also order a bunch of other people around below you. Or, if you’re working as an intellectual, in academia, or someone in a similar position, then you’re also sort of in a middle position in the overall division of labor of society. Or you may be on the bottom of society—either you have no job and you’re scuffling the way you can, or you get a job and somebody exploits you. And to get that job, you have to go and sell yourself. That’s what you do. You go in for a job interview and they say, “Well, now, let’s go into your history,” and all that. Sometimes they want you to piss in a bottle, and sometimes they want to know everything about your personal history, they want to know if you have ever been arrested, or do you have a felony conviction. And you can’t say, “What the fuck, just give me the job, goddamn it, I’m hungry!” You’re out the door. You can’t even more politely say, “Excuse me, but that’s kind of a personal question, don’t you think?” No, because the person interviewing you is in that middle position working for the people who own the means of production, and you don’t own any, so you’re in a powerless position, because if you don’t satisfy them, they don’t hire you. And you can’t go in there and turn things around and say, “Well, OK, since we’re having question and answer, let me ask you a question: Does the company you work for own anything in Bangladesh? Are you responsible for any of those fires over there in Bangladesh where all those women died in the fires in those factories?” Your ass is out the door. You don’t get to ask questions like that. That’s because, in the division of labor, you’re on the bottom. You own no means of production and you don’t have a lot of intellectual skills. You’ve been prevented from developing the kind of intellectual skills that might enable you to work in a more privileged position. You don’t have a college degree or a post-graduate degree that enables you to go into medicine and be a doctor, or go into management, or be working for one of the internet companies developing new technology, and so on. You are on the bottom.

And then we get to the third part of the relations of production: what is your share in the distribution of the overall income of society? Think about it. If you’re on the top, owning means of production, you may own billions of dollars, or hundreds of millions of dollars, worth of factories and machinery, and so on—not just in one country, but in many parts of the world—so you’re going to get a big share of the wealth. Even if you reinvest a lot of it to keep the process going and compete with others, you’re going to get a big share of the wealth. If you’re in the middle, with a certain amount of intellectual skills or owning a small amount of means of production—maybe you’re a small store owner or something, you own a little means of production or distribution but you don’t own much—then you’re going to get a lesser share. And if you’re on the bottom, owning nothing except your ability to work, and you don’t have a lot of highly developed skills, intellectual training, degrees and so on, you’re going to get a small share.

So if you put those three things together—whether you own a lot of means of production, or you own a little bit, or you own none; what your role is in the overall division of labor of the society; and consequently what share you have in the distribution of society’s wealth—then you can identify pretty much the class structure of a society. In very basic terms, you have the people at the top, the bourgeoisie (which is a French word that basically means capitalists, the capitalist class); then you have the petite bourgeoisie (“petite” is a French word that means small) so you have the small bourgeoisie, the “in between” class, made up of owners of a small amount of means of production, and people who’ve developed intellectual skills, have degrees, and so on, people in management or in medicine, and so on—and then you have the people at the bottom, the proletariat, which is a word that means people who don’t own anything except their ability to work. This is why you have different classes in society—it’s all related to what the economic system is and what people’s role is in that overall economic system.

So when we think about getting beyond class distinctions, we have to think about changing all that, as well as changing the kinds of social relations where men oppress women, where one “race,” or nationality, oppresses others, where some people have advantages over others in terms of having a high degree of intellectual training, degrees and so on, where they can work with their minds mainly, while other people, who of course also have minds and think, are forced to carry out manual labor. You have to get beyond all those things if you want to get rid of exploitation and oppression. This enables us to understand more deeply Lenin’s statement about how people are the foolish victims of deceit and self-deceit until they learn to recognize the class interests involved in things going on in society and the world as a whole. You have to look to the classes in society and see what economic and social relations, and what system of political power that enforces those relations, do different ideas serve. What class interests do those ideas actually express? Those corresponding to the outlook and interests of the big bourgeoisie? Or of the petite bourgeoisie? Or of the lower masses of people, the proletariat and the poor people?

But beyond that, if you just do that and you don’t dig deeper for the roots of all this, then it’s like the difference between a cow and a sheep. A cow comes along and eats the vegetation, but it leaves the roots. A sheep pulls everything up by the roots. That’s why in the Old West, they used to have all these range wars between the sheep owners and the cow owners: the cow owners got pissed off at the sheep owners because the sheep came along and pulled up all the plants, so then the cows couldn’t graze, whereas the cows just grazed along the surface so the plants would still grow back. Anyway, without getting too far afield with this awkward metaphor (!), the point is this: If you just look at classes, and that’s all, you’re not going to get to the roots. And if you want to really change something, you have to get to the roots.



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 #442 June 6, 2016

A Revolutionary Response to Hillary Clinton's Anti-Trump Speech

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On June 2, Hillary Clinton stationed herself in San Diego—home to one of the world’s largest naval fleets and to a huge community of retired U.S. military. Three days after Memorial Day—the day America celebrates its wars of conquest and plunder, past and present, and glorifies those who fought in them—Clinton made the case that she, not Donald Trump, should be commander-in-chief of the U.S. empire and its unparalleled weapons of mass destruction.

The Real

The audience in the room were 250 handpicked, mostly military personnel—killers and ex-killers for empire. But beyond the crowd and the venue, and all that symbolism, the speech was addressed to two audiences: the public at large and, even more important, the ruling class.

First and foremost, Clinton’s speech was addressed to those who actually decide the terms of what goes on in elections, especially presidential elections. The people Bob Avakian has accurately identified as “that small part of ‘the American people’ which dominates the economy and therefore the politics, the media and in general the means of molding public opinion, and every other sphere of social life: the capitalist-imperialist ruling class and its political and literary representatives.” (See “THE REAL ‘AMERICAN IDOL’: ELECTIONS AS AUDITIONS—Whose Consent Really Counts and How Decisions Are Actually Made,” by Bob Avakian at

In that article, Bob Avakian breaks down the relationship between presidential candidates “auditioning” for the public at large and auditioning for the ruling class. What is that relationship? One part of getting the approval of those who actually call the shots is proving you can get over with the general public. But more important, candidates for president have to prove they can get over with a message that serves the interests of that capitalist-imperialist ruling class.

In that light, Hillary Clinton made the case that she, not Trump, is the most ruthless, cold-blooded, calculating, and serious candidate to manage a global empire that sits atop a world of sweatshops and slums. And she is the best one to orchestrate a whole gamut of global violence to maintain that empire especially at a time of crisis.

And she did this in slickly crafted terms that were designed to align people who are not part of the ruling class—in this country (and even beyond)—to identify not with the interests of humanity, but with the interests of a ruling class that exploits and oppresses the vast majority of humanity.

Who ARE the U.S.’ “Allies”?

Hillary graphic
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Clinton made a big deal out of her experience as secretary of state, and her diplomatic skills. She insisted that she, not a lunatic loudmouth like Trump, would be more effective in making sure “Moscow and Beijing” would not be able to match “our alliances around the world.” Clinton declared, “America’s network of allies is part of what makes us exceptional. And our allies deliver for us every day.”

But what are those alliances around the world? And what do they “deliver every day” for the U.S. rulers?

In every corner of the globe, “America’s network of allies” is made up of blood-soaked and brutal regimes. In the Middle East, the “alliance” starts with Israel, a country built on ever-escalating genocide against the Palestinians. A country that twice in the last 10 years has carried out horrific, one-sided slaughters of thousands of people in the Gaza section of Palestine with U.S. support. Clinton has distinguished herself from Obama (and Trump) as being much more pro-Israel.

And when Clinton insists she has a track record of building these alliances, she’s telling the truth.

During Clinton’s reign as secretary of state, the U.S. moved the brutally repressive regime in Myanmar (Burma) into closer alignment with the U.S. “network of allies.” Myanmar shares a long border with China and the U.S.’ rulers saw it as a key link in encircling and isolating China. Today Myanmar is universally condemned by human rights groups for brutal ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya minority, escalating sex trafficking, massive forced and child labor, widespread torture, systematic gang rape by the military, and pervasive terror against dissidents. Clinton called the emerging U.S. alliance with the Myanmar regime a model of “the unique role the United States can and should play in the world as a champion of dignity and democracy,” and “America at our best” (from Hard Choices: A Memoir, by Hillary Clinton).

Hillary Clinton’s State Department played a key role in legitimizing the 2009 military coup that overthrew an elected government in Honduras that was too close to Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela to suit U.S. interests. In the aftermath of the coup, dissidents and union organizers were beaten, threatened, jailed, and killed. Restrictions on “development” that serves U.S. capitalism-imperialism were torn down. In 2009, Honduran sweatshops were the third-largest exporter of clothes and textiles to the U.S. market, employing over 100,000 workers, mostly women, who made less than $45 a week. Clinton upheld her support for the coup as recently as April 13 of this year on the show Democracy Now!

Israel... Myanmar... Honduras... all examples of “allies” who are “delivering every day” for the U.S. empire. And Hillary Clinton can justifiably take credit for a key role in forging those alliances.

As for the “diplomacy” Hillary Clinton promotes as a sane alternative to Trump’s lunacy, it is a diplomacy of mass murder. Bill Clinton’s former secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, spelled it out when she said “the price was worth it” to kill 500,000 children in Iraq through sanctions that prevented the country from getting food and medicine—when that served the interests of the U.S. empire. And Hillary Clinton bragged about her own role in imposing and enforcing sanctions against Iran—which hit most harshly, by design, at the most marginalized and poor people in that country.

“Hillary the Hawk”

But let’s be clear. Hillary Clinton is not just selling herself as someone who can forge alliances with brutal oppressors, or as someone with a track record of killing innocent civilians with “diplomatic” sanctions. She is, and sells herself as, a proven, repeat war criminal.

Hillary Clinton played a singular role in pushing for the U.S./NATO bombing of Libya that effectively overthrew the regime of Muammar Gaddafi that had been a thorn in the side of the U.S. and the West. The result: Libya is in utter shambles, torn apart by reactionary warlords and a breeding ground for ISIS. Some 400,000 Libyans have fled their homes since the U.S. and its NATO allies overthrew Gaddafi. When Hillary Clinton got news that Gaddafi was dead, she ghoulishly laughed and gloated, “We came, we saw, he died”—invoking the imperial words of Julius Caesar, who is reported to have celebrated a victory over a rival by saying “I came, I saw, I conquered.”

This is not an aberration. In an extensive survey of Hillary Clinton’s record, an article in the New York Times Magazine told you what to expect if Hillary Clinton is the next president: “For all their bluster about bombing the Islamic State into oblivion, neither Donald J. Trump nor Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has demonstrated anywhere near the appetite for military engagement abroad that Clinton has.” [our emphasis]” (“How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk,” April 21, 2016)

Everything They Do Is Framed in Maintaining Their Empire

from Bob Avakian: The much-proclaimed democracy under this system is a sham, and worse...

In her June 2 speech, Hillary Clinton—almost in passing—objected to Trump demonizing Muslims and Mexicans.

But did Clinton point to the reality that Trump has it totally upside down? That the U.S. conquered half of Mexico in large part to advance slavery, and much of what is left of Mexico has been turned into sweatshops, corporate farms, and massive slums by U.S.-based capitalism? Did she even talk about what a human rights horror it would be to round up millions of people, tear them from their children, and deport them? Did she go after Trump for attacks on Muslims that evoke ominous comparisons to Hitler’s rhetoric about the Jews?

No. She complained that Trump’s rhetoric “alienates the very countries we need.” In other words, Trump’s problem is not that racist, fascist venom is obscene and intolerable. The problem, we are being told to think, is all that gets in the way of enlisting reactionary countries and forces to fight, kill, and die to advance the agenda of the U.S. empire—in largely Muslim areas of the world and in Mexico, where the government plays an indispensable role serving and enforcing the interests of the U.S.

Clinton was selling herself to the rulers. And at the same time, she was also working a mind-fuck on people who are appalled by Trump’s attacks on immigrants and Muslims—getting them to think in terms of what’s good for the U.S. empire, and not to start from the interests of humanity.

Why Should ANYONE Have Their Finger on the “Nuclear Codes”?

In a key sound bite in her speech—something that got a lot of mainstream media play—Hillary Clinton railed against Donald Trump for not being responsible enough to possess the codes that would start a nuclear war.

Hold on. Hit the pause button here. Think about how this system and its operatives get you to think. Clinton is posing that the question is which representative of the U.S. ruling class should have those codes.

The real question is: Why the hell should any representative of the U.S. ruling class be able, at the push of a button, to condemn millions to nuclear destruction and perhaps set off a nuclear war that would endanger humanity!

Who Are You Calling “WE”?

OK, give Hillary Clinton her due. She is a cold-blooded, warmongering proven war criminal for the U.S. empire. But that’s NOT OUR EMPIRE. That’s an empire that enslaves child laborers in cocoa plantations in Africa, burns women sweatshop workers alive in Bangladesh, and poisons Mexican farmworkers on farms run by U.S. agribusinesses.


When Hillary Clinton, or any representative of the U.S. ruling class starts talking about “our” security and “our” interests... the response of anyone with sense enough to understand what that means and enough of a moral backbone to stick to principle needs to be: “Who are you calling ‘WE,’ motherfucker?!” This is not our empire. YOUR interests are NOT OUR interests. Malcolm X was right: We are not Americans, we got sense enough to know it. And we stand with humanity, not the war criminals who rule this country.

The terms of this election—posing a “choice” between a lunatic fascist and a proven, repeat war-criminal-and-proud-of-it—underline how critical it is that people NOT buy into the system’s whole election hustle. And how urgent it is to be organizing, now, for revolution—to bring this monstrous system down at the earliest possible time.






Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

San Jose, California: Righteous Protest vs Trump's Fascist Rally

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From members of the Revolution Club, San Francisco Bay Area:

The fascist Donald Trump, promoting bigotry and American chauvinism with every breath, exhaled his vile odor and released his supporters all over the San Jose Convention Center on Thursday, June 2. This was met with righteous anger from a youthful crowd of protestors from many backgrounds.

Protest at Trump rally, San Jose, June 2
Protest at Trump rally, San Jose, June 2. Photo:

When the Revolution Club arrived on the scene, there were lines of Trump supporters but just a few scattered protesters with homemade anti-Trump signs. We gathered some of them up, including three Latina high school students who took turns carrying English and Spanish enlargements of the cover of Revolution newspaper with Trump with a KKK hood and Hitler mustache and the words “Mein Trumpf: A Thoroughly American Fascist Pig” throughout the protest. We brought out the Revolution Club banner “Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution. Join the Revolution Club” and started passing out the Message from the Central Committee of the RCP (hundreds got out throughout the day).

For several hours, as Trump supporters filed into the rally, about 40-50 of us protested outside. The Revolution Club was doing agitation on the bullhorn, leading chants, and also encouraging the youth to speak out about why they had come. We were saying, “The fact that Trump is a legitimate political candidate in this system shows that the whole system is illegitimate.” And then the people spontaneously started chanting “The whole system is illegitimate.” We were doing agitation about the actual history of this country, driving home the message that America was NEVER great.

Read Message | Download PDF 11x17"

Listen to audio of the Message, recorded by members of the Revolution Club

Soon, there were hundreds of people in the streets surrounding the convention center. Overwhelmingly, these were Latino high school and college students, including some from “street organizations,” who were joined by others from many different walks of life. There were union activists, teachers, Bernie supporters, and others of many nationalities. One small group held the sign: “Make America NATIVE Again.” There weren’t many organized groups, but a lot of individuals and groups of friends moved by their rage to be there.

One young white man said his mother was mad at him for going to protest, instead of attending to some academic obligation, but he told her, “Some things you have to do because they’re right. Some things just cannot stand. Trump coming here is one of them.” After he took his stand and gave this short speech, his mom came around, moved and proudly posting on Facebook that her son was doing the right thing that day by taking a stand against bigotry.

A group of Latina teenagers showed up in graduation caps and gowns. We asked, “Did you just graduate?” They said no, they are on their way, but they had to stop here first to protest Trump! Another young woman had a sign that said, “THIS IS WHAT HATE LEADS TO” with captioned pictures: of genocide of Native people, slavery, internment camps of Japanese, and other crimes of the U.S. One young man led a chant that was repeated throughout the protest: “1 2 3 4: Slavery, genocide, and war! 5 6 7 8: America was never great!”

At one point, people swarmed the entrance to the convention center after provocation from Trump supporters attending their Nazi rally. Dozens of police lined up around the entrance to push people back. The anger was palpable. People shouted in unison: FUCK TRUMP! During this time, the Revolution Club started agitating about the system that creates Trumps, that throws its police at the people who oppose his bigotry, and the call to get organized for an actual revolution. People were grabbing the Message out of our hands, either hearing what was said, or dashing through the chaotic scene and seeing the bold letters: TIME TO GET ORGANIZED FOR AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION. People’s eyes brightened, or they muttered “Fuck yes,” or smiled widely, as they took the Message and navigated the crowd. We also chanted: “How do we get out of this mess? Revolution, nothing less!” and it was taken up by the crowd, and was also repeated by others throughout the rest of the protest.

Protest at Trump rally, San Jose, California
Protest at Trump rally, San Jose, June 2. Photo:

Back in the street, the protest stopped traffic. A lot of people in their cars honked and pumped fists, and some of them got out to join in. Trump supporters and protestors and police were all mixed up in the street, with dozens of police moving to circle the intersection and helicopters flying overhead as clashes between the Trump supporters and protesters broke out. In the face of taunting and the overall smug ignorance and arrogance of Trump and his supporters, the youth stood up bravely and justly. Trump supporters, fresh out of the rally where Trump had been whipping them up around racist hatred, paraded through the street, with their signs and T-shirts reading, “Make America Great Again” and “The Silent Majority Stands with Trump.” As part of the rebellion against Trump and the whole USA #1 chauvinism, protesters burned the “Make America Great Again” hats and American flags.

Occasionally someone would call out that anger is not the answer, to which they were challenged in good ways by a lot of different people. The anger of the protesters is justified. The whole existence of Trump, and this fascist rally in San Jose in particular, is a provocation. Immigrant workers and others are treated like dogs and worse every day, and now this chump comes through spewing his hatred with his Nazi parade. Damn right people are angry. One young man asked, “So that’s the solution? Anger?” Someone else responded, “It’s not everything, but it’s sure as hell part of it.”

At one point, as things were a bit dispersed, the Revolution Club marched in formation up the street, chanting “We are the revcoms, mighty, mighty revcoms” and mass distributing the Message from the RCP. A man with tattoos all over his face, who had also carried an enlargement of Trump in the KKK hood and Hitler mustache, marched and chanted with them, and young people came from all directions to take the message. When the Revolution Club called, “How do we get out this mess?” many others joined in: “Revolution, nothing less!”

We held speak-outs in the streets, where youths poured out their anger, spoke proudly and with love about their families who Trump is a champion of dehumanizing and criminalizing. A chant broke out, “Queers against Trump!” and the crowd took it up. Many young people wanted to vent, yell, “Fuck Trump!” and there was a lot of love expressed through that anger, for people who are routinely treated as less than human in this country and under this system: Latinos, gay people, women, Muslims, and others.

Revolution Club at Rise Up October

Get with the
Revolution Club

There were quick and sharp conversations about the problem and solution throughout the protest, and agitating condemning the whole system, challenging people to not rely on the Democrats and Bernie in particular, or any ruler offered up by this oppressive system, which is the problem, but to fight for revolution, a whole better world, and to get with the leadership of Bob Avakian now: Be an emancipator of humanity.

One Latino man who was stopped in his car asked who the revolutionaries were voting for. They said, “We don’t vote for this system, we’re working on overthrowing it,” and he was taken aback. He said he could not vote, and he couldn’t believe someone who could, would choose not to. He said, “If you don’t vote, it’s like you are giving up your voice.” We told him, “What we need to do is give up on this system and stop playing by its rules, and be part of a fight to change the world through revolution.”

Overall, this protest marked another wave in the unrest and rebellious mood of the people in response to the openly fascist program of the pig Trump. This resistance should grow exponentially, while more and more people come to see the source of all Trumps in capitalism-imperialism, and the solution in revolution—not for one group of people, but for everyone, here and around the world.





Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

Prisoners Respond to Bob Avakian's Quote on Fundamentalist Islamic Jihad

Islamic Fundamentalist Jihadism: NOT A Radical Alternative...Just Another Form of Vicious Oppression

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Earlier this year, posted a quote from Bob Avakian on fundamentalist Islamic Jihad (see below). A number of prisoners have written to us with their thoughts about and responses to this quote. Their comments reflect different viewpoints and perspectives. The views expressed here are the views of the writers and not newspaper. We greatly appreciate receiving these letters and encourage prisoners and others to keep sending us correspondence.

Bob Avakian on Fundamentalist Islamic Jihad, not the answer


"Oppression which replaces oppression is itself oppression"

BA is absolutely correct in saying that oppression which replaces oppression is itself oppression:

Oppression is not what the world needs. People have an inherent right to freedom. Freedom to express oneself to the fullest. Freedom to help and support one another to the utmost. Freedom to grow, to learn, to change. The world is constantly changing, and we must be in tune with that change in order that the best outcome might be achieved. Dated and inferior ways of thinking must be replaced by an egalitarian spirit, that all may have what they need in order to live a life of fulfillment and contentment. Greed is never satiated. Denying people the opportunity of a decent life only robs one of their own decency.

It is time to awaken.

It is time for revolution.

—a prisoner in Massachusetts

"Another form of enslavement, oppression, and atrocity, against women and masses of people overall"

For those who are desperately looking for a way out of this nightmare of a system of capitalism-imperialism—specially those who have historically been the most oppressed by said system, blacks and other minorities, women, etc. who are seen and treated as lesser human, things to be exploited, or as mere breeders. For those who claim or even consider that the answer to escaping said nightmare is fundamentalist Islamic Jihad, then I want to say that you are being misled. Because as BA said “ is not a radical alternative to this system and its monstrous crimes—it is itself another form of enslavement, oppression, and atrocity, against women and the masses of people overall.”

The only way to escape this nightmare of a system of capitalism-imperialism, without entering another nightmare in different form, is to get into the movement for Revolution; with the final aim of a communist world, free of all forms of oppression. A good starting point is to read Revolution and BA’s works. I invite you to walk through that path together.

—a prisoner in California

"What does American capitalism, Zionism and Islamic Jihad have in common?"

What does American capitalism, Zionism and Islamic Jihad have in common? The short answer: DEVASTATION! Outside of the fact that both Zionism and Islamic Jihad can both point to American capitalism as reasons in part to their existence, all three (3) are in the business of destroying any and all forms of resistance and opposition to its philosophy of the way it believes the world should function. American capitalism, Zionism and Islamic Jihad are all predicated on the devastation of Humanity! All three (3) programs can have no alternative result.

American capitalism created the school to prison pipeline that has kidnapped, caged, and held captive millions of us trapped in the clutches of its mechanism of Destruction. Islamic Jihad and its fundamentalist radical interpretation of the Koran created a system of belief that thinks their god is cool with them throwing acid in a girl's face or shooting her or killing her simply because she does not want to be illiterate. Zionism in its ridiculous zeal to bring to life some version of a supposed holy land given to them by their god created a policy to remove by any measure they deemed right which mostly is by killing and bombing an entire people from their homes and land.

—a prisoner in California

"Fundamentalist Islamic Jihad is not the answer to any of the matter issues at the heart of this system"

Point One: I entirely agree with the statement that science and truth get distorted and twisted, reduced to what is useful in the mad drive for profit. I would say that organized religion plays a larger role, though for many of the same reasons others attempt to suppress progress. It is in their best interest to keep the people ignorant and superstitious, lost to the many realities only scientific advance can present. Of course fundamentalist Islamic jihadists fear the unfettered search for truth, for if the people were to open their eyes the money, power and influence the world’s top religions enjoy would quickly disappear... Fundamentalist Islamic Jihad is not the answer to any of the matter issues at the heart of this system because it is only another facet of this system. Until there is a real and revolutionary change, radical thinking and systematic replacement, oppression will always remain a mainstay of any governance that replaces another.

—a prisoner in Indiana

"I had to wrestle with everything I had previously been told to find Truth"

Being the product of an Islamic household and a part and parcel of a quasi-Islamic organization..., I had a lot to think about concerning this topic. I had to wrestle with everything I had previously been taught to find Truth. The following is how I understand BA’s declaration. It is true; this amerikkkan system of capitalism-imperialism continues to oppress, suppress, and depress Black, Asiatic, and less affluent peoples throughout the world. It is also true that fundamentalist Islamic Jihad cannot, by definition, serve as an emancipating revolution. This is because Islam is by its own self-identification a religion.

To fully overstand that last sentence and why “religeon” is relevant, one must appreciate religeon’s Truth: the prefix “re” means to “do again”. “Ligeon” is from the latin “ligeo” or “ligare” which means to “Bind, Tie Up, or Hold Back”. This does not coincide with what an actual revolution is. In fact, it is in direct opposition to revolution. It is a reactionary method to re-distribute power to those whom it was taken from that does not erase class lines through the manifestation of true Equality, but instead does nothing more than move from one caste system to another with even more demands for obedience to a powerful institution whose head can be neither seen, nor touched.

—a prisoner in Wisconsin

"I agree 100% with the Chairman"

In response to your subject-matter: Fundamentalist Islamic jihadism, I agree 100% with the Chairman; Islamic Jihad is just another form of brutal oppression cloaked under the robe of religious nonsense.

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Many times I try to figure out the reason for its gravitational pull on the minds of so many people (worldwide) and, try as I might, the logics of it always seem to evade me—where’s the sense in it? What’s the appeal? I got some insight into this, via your article, where it mentioned about “reactionary hunger,” this is 100% accurate; this brand of Islam is a reactionary line, put forth as the answer to western capitalist/imperialist aggression.

Like BA said, humanity needs science to get a clear understanding of how society functions. A scientific approach is also needed to get an insight into who sets the social order that dictates the social relations, which causes so many billions to live out a despicable form of existence. As a matter of fact, Fundamentalist Islamic Jihad allows the fascist imperialist monster-machine to—in response to their lunatic violence—ratchet-up on its suppression of people’s basic rights. These are instigated under the guise of fighting terrorism. The people’s own ignorance is used against them, and so they give their fundamental freedoms in promise of “so-called” security, which consistently falls short on curbing terrorist violence—which is as unpredictable as the wind. It was Adolf Hitler who said, “What good fortune for those in power that people don’t think!” I can loop this statement to cover various contexts: 1) In BAsics 4:1, it says: “Oppressed people who are unable or unwilling to confront reality as it actually is, are condemned to remain enslaved and oppressed.” By subscribing to whatever brand of religion, people are consequently steered away from the much-needed scientific approach to life—which would unearth truth and unleash the strategy of Realism; Realism, according to BA, is the disposition to face facts and deal with them practically. The fact is: terrorism isn’t limited to just terror cells, there’s also terrorist States/Countries. If people take an unbiased look, they will be able to identify these States/Countries. This is an example of the scientific approach.

—a prisoner in Florida




Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

Questions and answers on getting organized for an actual revolution

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Question: Who can join the Revolutionary Communist Party?

Constitution of the RCP,USA
Click to read

Answer: Continually building and strengthening the Party is crucial in preparing for the actual revolution that is urgently needed. Anyone who is helping to build the movement for revolution the Party is leading, who hungers for, and is ready to dedicate their life to fighting for, a radically different world, without exploitation and oppression in any form, and who feels that they agree with the goals, methods, and principles of the Party, can and should apply to join the Party. Such an application will lead to a process of systematic discussion of the line of the Party, beginning with the Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, January 1, 2016 (available at, the responsibilities of Party members as set forth in the Constitution of the Party, and other important questions, which will be the basis for determining whether the person applying is in fact ready to join the Party, or whether a further process of work and discussion with the applicant is required before they can be accepted as a Party member.

See also....

Taking Responsibility for the Line of the Party—At the Highest Level  Read more

Clyde Young on Meeting, and Joining, the Revolutionary Communist Party  Read more

Interview with a Former Prisoner Read more

» Part 1: Breaking with the Gang Life, Getting with the REAL Revolution
» Part 2: Science, Revolutionary Theory, and Getting Into Bob Avakian
» Part 3: Don't Risk Your Life Over Stupid Shit—Be Down for Revolution

Why You Absolutely Need A Vanguard Party To Make Revolution, by Lenny Wolff    Read more







Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

Clyde Young on Meeting, and Joining, the Revolutionary Communist Party

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Clyde Young came up as a Black street youth in the early 1960s. In an interview conducted in 1990, he talked about becoming a revolutionary, and finding the Revolutionary Communist Party. At the time of his death in 2014, Clyde Young was a member of the Party’s Central Committee. The following excerpts from the interview speak specifically to how Clyde Young met and took up the line and leadership of the RCP. Read the entire interview here.


Clyde Young

Clyde Young in prison, Michigan City, Indiana, circa late 1960s.

When I was in prison in the early ’70s, there was this group called the SLA. They were a group that was formed by some ex-prisoners and their political line was one of urban guerilla warfare. They kidnapped Patty Hearst and that became a whole national and international incident. So the revolutionaries in prison were checking out what all the radical groups were saying about it. And the thing that struck me about it at that time was that a lot of so-called revolutionaries were just condemning it, talking about how terrible it was that Patty Hearst had been kidnapped and condemning the SLA and that particular act.

Now it wasn’t often that I was able to get a lot of revolutionary newspapers when I was in prison because of the censorship, but I did happen to come across a copy of Revolution—which was the newspaper of the Revolutionary Union, the organization that later formed the RCP—and there was a whole piece on the SLA in that issue. By that time I was really disgusted with a lot of what the other people on the left were saying and how they were summing it up and analyzing it. But the way the RU dealt with the whole thing really struck me as different, and I have never forgotten it, the way it was taken up. The RU had some big differences with the strategic approach of the SLA and the tactical approach they were taking also, but far from condemning the SLA out of hand, the RU aimed their fire first and foremost at the imperialists and united with the spirit of wanting to find a way to bring imperialism down as soon as possible. They made a lot of exposure of what the Hearsts were and their whole history that I thought was really rich. And at the same time there was some criticism that this was not the correct strategic approach that needs to be taken to making a revolution in this country.

At that time that kind of urban guerrilla warfare thinking was the currency. In other words, a lot of revolutionary people thought that if you were going to make a revolution in this country, you’d do it like they do it in the Third World. You would do it in an urban setting but adopting the same road of taking liberated territories that were used in the Third World. And this article by the RU was the first time I had ever seen something that was attempting to put forward what would be a correct strategic approach for revolution and the armed struggle in an advanced imperialist country like the U.S.


[Question:] Was it controversial among your friends that Bob Avakian, Chairman of the RCP, is not Black?

Yes, that question came up in a big way! But I can remember playing the May Day speech that the Chairman gave back in 1979 for members of my family and many other people. And the thing I can remember is people just being blown away by that, that he was speaking to shit that they had felt all their lives, but he was putting the shit together in a way that they had never heard it put together before. And more recently I have heard of cases where people have been checking out Bullets, the silver book of quotations by the Chairman, and being really blown away by what he was saying and then turning to the front of the book and seeing his picture and seeing that he is white and not being able to put that together with the powerful shit that he was saying in that book. I actually heard a funny story a few years ago, where after reading something by the Chairman or hearing an old tape of one of his speeches, someone who is Black asked if he was “raised by a poor Black family.”

So the point is that this question came up and it still comes up, and we have to fight through on that question with revolutionary people coming forward who, because of nationalism, might find that difficult to deal with or whatever. On one level it is not so surprising that questions like this come up even from the oppressed among our people. After all, the oppression of whole nations and peoples is a fundamental pillar of this imperialist system. H. Rap Brown used to say that “violence is as American as apple pie,” and borrowing from that statement I would say that “racism and white supremacy is also as Amerikkkan as apple pie.”

But let me say this: I have fought with many people over this question over the years but I have never been defensive about who our Chairman is or that he is white. And there is absolutely no reason to be defensive about that. It has certainly been a disadvantage that this brother has not been able to function openly, hasn’t been out there in a public way, though his voice and his leadership is definitely on the scene. But the fact that he is not out there in that public way and in fact is in exile1 just shows how goddamn serious we are—serious about slam-dunking this whole putrid system, serious about winning.

In one of his recent articles, “Some Thoughts, Some Further Thoughts,” the Chairman comments in paraphrasing Mao that what most stood out about Lenin wasn’t “his political acumen or strategic and tactical sense, nor even his important theoretical developments and contributions in terms of revolutionary science... but instead the fact that HE GAVE HIS HEART TO THE MASSES, to the oppressed.” On a personal note, having had the opportunity to work with the Chairman in the past in a number of situations, including going into housing projects with him when he could operate more freely, I can say without exaggeration—and I’m sure other comrades would join me in saying this—that our Chairman too has given his heart to the masses, to the oppressed, not just in this country but the world over. And this comrade is thoroughly intoxicated with the revolution. His leadership has been decisive at key turning points in the revolutionary movement in this country—going back to the ’60s—and it is crucial today and looking ahead to the future. As we have said, our ideology is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism,2 our vanguard is the RCP and our leader is Chairman Avakian.

I realize a lot of the youth today, Black youth in particular, are looking back to things like Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party for direction, and it is not surprising, nor a bad thing, that many of the Black youth who are awakening to political life are attempting to learn from the revolutionary legacy of the ’60s. It also seems that there is a broad sentiment that another BPP or Malcolm X is what is needed. Now, revolutionary nationalist leaders exist today, and it seems likely that as the situation sharpens new revolutionary leaders will emerge from the struggle of Black people, and I can only say right on to that. But what OUR people, the oppressed of ALL nationalities really need—what we already got in our Chairman and in our Party—is REVOLUTIONARY COMMUNIST/PROLETARIAN INTERNATIONALIST LEADERSHIP. Mao said, without a party, without a party based on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the masses of people have nothing at all! Well, that kind of party already exists and the question is that proletarians of all nationalities have to step forward and join it and help build it and help prepare for all-the-way—stone to the bone!—revolution. And ain’t nothing soft about that!

1. In 1979, the decision was made that BA should leave the U.S. in order to disrupt what were clearly mounting attempts by the powers-that-be to move against him. For more on this see the BA Timeline. [back]

2. At the time of this interview, the science of revolutionary communism was referred to as “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.” [back]







Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

American Crime

Case #94: November 2004—War Crime Fallujah

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


American Crime is a regular feature of Each installment will focus on one of the 100 worst crimes committed by the U.S. rulers—out of countless bloody crimes they have carried out against people around the world, from the founding of the U.S. to the present day.

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.



THE CRIME: In the early morning hours of November 8, 2004, the U.S. launched “Operation Phantom Fury”—a massive air and ground assault on Fallujah.

Weeks before, the U.S. military had cut off entry and exit from Fallujah, which was home to 300,000 people. U.S. Marine and Army troops poured thousands of artillery rounds, hundreds of rockets, bombs, and missiles, and nearly 100,000 machine gun and cannon rounds into this densely populated city. A U.S. Marine sergeant warned, “We’ll unleash the dogs of hell, we’ll unleash ‘em... They don’t even know what’s coming—hell is coming! If there are civilians in there, they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

On November 8, “The sky over Fallujah seems to explode,” one newspaper reported, as a massive bombing assault was unleashed. This bombing campaign included anti-personnel cluster bombs and white phosphorous—a chemical firebomb that can melt skin and burn right down to the bone. U.S. officials at first denied it, but were later forced to admit they’d been used. Using these weapons against people is illegal under international law, and their use constitutes a war crime.

Then came a ground assault by armored bulldozers that tore up all the main streets of the city, and troops that shot at anything that moved, going “house to house, room to room, raining death and destruction on the proud, ancient ‘City of Mosques,’” the Guardian reported. By November 16, the Marines were in control of most of the city.

Fallujah, Iraq, November 2004. Photo: AP
Fallujah, Iraq, November 2004. Photo: AP

Reporters who entered Fallujah afterward described a “wasteland” of “utter ruin,” with desperate dogs and cats feeding on corpses in the streets. As many as 2,000 Iraqis—labeled “insurgents” by the U.S.—plus 800 or more civilians were killed. The once-crowded city lay empty and broken with 60 percent of its buildings damaged or destroyed: “36,000 homes, 9,000 shops, 65 mosques, 60 schools, both train stations, one of the two bridges, two power stations, three water treatment plants and the city’s entire sanitation and telephone systems,” according to the Fallujah Compensation Committee.

Two hundred thousand people had been forced from the city—first by the blockade, then the cutting off of water and food, then the threats of invasion, and finally by the assault itself—and then they were scattered across war-torn central Iraq, often in sprawling, unplanned tent cities where there were already outbreaks of diseases, including typhoid.

THE CRIMINALS: U.S. President George W. Bush, who told his generals: “Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close....”

Vice President Dick Cheney, who called the invasion and occupation of Iraq “one of the most extraordinary military campaigns ever conducted.” Donald Rumsfeld, Bush’s “Defense” Secretary, who said the destruction of Fallujah would not “stop without being completed.” Generals Richard F. Natonski, Keith Stalder, and James Mattis, who commanded U.S. forces.

The U.S.-appointed Iraqi Interim Government, which authorized the attack.

THE ALIBI: The U.S. claimed it was freeing the people of Fallujah from the grip of a small group of foreign terrorists and was taking great care to protect civilians.

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE: To crush Sunni-based forces aligned with the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein who were resisting the U.S. occupation. To collectively punish the people of Fallujah and terrorize Iraq's six million Sunnis. And to serve as an "object lesson," as one ex-Army officer put it, about U.S. power and its willingness to use it for any and all in the region and beyond.

REPEAT OFFENDER: After Operation Phantom Fury, the U.S. military claimed it had “broken the back” of the anti-U.S. resistance. But they hadn’t, and have been working ever since with the reactionary Iraqi government to once again take over Fallujah, now under ISIS control. As of now, another bloody assault is imminent, backed by the U.S., Iranian, and Iraqi governments. Human rights groups report that the ongoing siege of the city has drastically cut food supplies and at least 50,000 people are facing starvation and death.





Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

Picnic to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


The Revolution Club sponsored a picnic on Memorial Day at a park near a neighborhood that has been the focus of taking out the Message from the Central Committee of the RCP, “Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution.” We wanted to reach hundreds of people, and this park on a beautiful day was a great place to do that. It is a park with a reputation for being peaceful in an area of town where shootings take place daily. Many Black people come to this park from all over the area and there are also a few groupings of Latinos and a sprinkling of white people. We did up a quick flyer about the picnic and contacted people we met in the area to come meet up with the revolution at the park.

Memorial Day picnic to get organized for an ACTUAL revolution
Photos: Special to

Volunteers went early in the morning to get a primo spot. Right next to the sidewalk they set up a tent with a large black and white banner on the front, “Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution,” which definitely attracted a lot of attention. They put posters of this statement on a lot of trees. In front of the banner was a table with the flyers, Revolution newspaper, BAsics, the DVD BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, the DVD of the Dialogue between BA and Cornel West, Bob Avakian’s memoir, the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, palm cards with quotes from BAsics, recent quotes from BA, and the BA Timeline. Inside the tent were folding chairs and posters of the Message. A van was backed up near the tent with a large-screen TV out the back and chairs set up for showing video clips including “BA Through the Years,” and “Why Are We Still Fighting in 2015” from the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian. There was a bbq area with food going for donations.

Reading thte message in Spanish.

We succeeded in making an actual revolution known to hundreds of people. Dozens were directly engaged in various ways, including several new people who had helped distribute the Message in their neighborhood in the previous two weeks. Several people in BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts were passing out the flyers to people walking by the whole time and took seriously steering people to revolutionaries at the table, in the tent, and showing the videos. They were engaged continually by interested people wanting to know about this actual revolution. The title of the statement, together with a vibrant and revolutionary scene of young and old, Black and white (and for quite a while, a Mexican family joined the scene) was intriguing to a lot of people passing by. And people who stayed and were part of it got a feel for what this revolution is about.

It was an inviting and welcoming revolutionary scene. The picnic setting provided an opportunity to go more deeply with people who came from the neighborhood who have been supportive but who we hadn’t had an opportunity to really sit down with and get into serious discussions and/or watch the video. Several people commented that “it’s all there” in the Message: the problem, the solution, the leadership of BA, and how to move today. The Points of Attention gave people a sense of concretely what it means to be part of this revolution. At the table we read through the proclamation with a number of people, and really promoted the website as a place where people could learn more about and get into BA, the newspaper, the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, and BAsics.

We have had revolutionary events at this same park before, but it felt different this time—people were more serious and engaged than in previous experience. We thought some reasons for this were because of the message we were bringing and how we were bringing it and because of changes in society (like the struggle against police terror and mass incarceration, the intensifying situation of the youth killing each other, women’s oppression, and Trump) were propelling people to look for serious solutions. People got that we were serious about actually preparing for revolution. One guy said in looking at the sign, “Yes, at the soonest possible time. We should have already done it. If we had a revolution before we might not be in the situation we are in today.” People were coming up to us to ask what this was about: What kind of revolution are you talking about? When will this revolution happen? What will it take to have a revolution? People wanted to know who/what is BA, and we read what the Message said and we showed them BAsics and the BA Timeline, and some of them watched BA on video clips. A number of people wanted to know: What is this “radically new and better society, the Socialist Republic of North America” that the Message talks about. We looked at the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America together.

Two women were very interested in the Message and wanted to know how DO we “urgently get organized for revolution,” and does the Revolution Club hold any meetings? These women had initially seen a poster of “Women are Not Bitches and Ho’s...” near the table, which stopped them in their tracks. They came back later with two friends and pointed out in the Message things that particularly caught their eye: “setting them [Black and Brown youth] up to fight and kill each other, when they should be fighting the REAL enemy,” and “when the fury of women must be unleashed for revolution.” A group of girls, nine and 10 years old, were reading the “Women are not bitches...” poster to a little boy with them and lecturing him that this was really important and he should pay attention.

Revolution Club at Rise Up October

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We read through the Message with a number of people, and many people were drawn by the fact that this revolution is about ending oppression and exploitation all over the world. We emphasized what the Message says that this is an actual revolution that must OVERTHROW this system at the earliest possible time; that it will take millions of people and we are seriously preparing the ground, the people, and the vanguard now to do just that. And if you are serious about getting rid of all the horrors the people of the world face, you need to be part of this revolution. Two 17-year-olds who knew an autistic teenager who was killed by police in his own home, were really struck that this revolution is for the whole world. A Mexican family was very excited to learn about this. They said, “We need this. Everybody has to be part of this.” The family of a young man who had been murdered by police were picnicking nearby, and throughout the afternoon adults and kids alike came over to look at the banners to Stop Police Murder with pictures of people murdered by police and find out about the revolution.

There were pigs on bikes in the park who spent time hanging around where the revolutionaries were set up, even photographing the scene. When challenged by a legal observer about what business did they have surveilling the gathering, the pigs claimed they were just citizens taking pictures on their cell phones!!! There are plans to expose this.

We stressed to everybody that we ARE getting organized NOW for an actual revolution. We have the science, the strategy, and the leadership for an actual revolution and a radically different society, and what’s needed is YOU. Twenty-five people signed up, and a number of these people were invited to a meeting the Revolution Club is holding to get deeper into the Message and how they can get involved.






Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

Front page issue 439

In Pictures:
Organizing for the Revolution, Getting Out the Message

Time To Get Organized For An ACTUAL Revolution

Message from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |



Photos: Special to



   Above: A moving movie theater to bring BA to the neighborhoods



   The Revolution Club at the protest against the Trump rally in San Jose, CA







Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

Protesting UCLA anti-woman event
Protesting the anti-woman event at UCLA. Photos:

UCLA: Student Protest Against Anti-Woman Event by Campus Republicans

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From members of the Revolution Club at UCLA:



A group of people started a Facebook page planning to protest an event called “Feminism is Cancer” hosted by the Bruin Republicans. The main speaker was Milo Yiannopoulos, an active promoter of the hatred of women, who claims that rape culture is a myth, that women are inherently less intelligent than men, and so many other fucked up ideas that contribute to the atmosphere within which women are regard as mere breeders, sex objects, and the property of men. People were stirred up by the outrageousness of this event and the ideas it promoted, but also because of a recent incident where Bruin Republicans took a photograph of themselves smiling smugly and holding signs which said “Get your gender out of my restroom,” “There are only two genders” and “Transgenderism is a mental disorder.”

We arrived at the scene after two crowds had already gathered. One crowd included about 80 students blocking the main entrance to the event at the top of some stairs, linking arms and chanting “Bruins against hate!” and hundreds of students and others there to watch the event. Then there was a large number of people wearing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hat, along with various American flag garb. The protest was defiant, unwilling to leave despite being repeatedly asked to by the pigs. The little agitation that was being done came up short in channeling the defiance of the crowd with real substance against the slew of hateful and harmful ideas represented by the event and some of the people in the crowd.

We initially joined in some of the chanting and allowed people to speak on the bullhorn before we did agitation of our own. We contributed a few chants such as “Women’s lives/trans lives, they matter here!”; “Rise up for the women of the world!” and “Racist, sexist, antigay, American fascists, go away!” We read the quote from Bob Avakian: “Unbelievable as it may seem, in the 21st century there are still people—including people in positions of power and authority—who are determined to force women to bear children, regardless of the situation, the feelings, and the better judgment of those women themselves. That is a way of enslaving women to the dictates of an oppressive male supremacist, patriarchal system; and that is what the cruel fanatics who are determined to deny women the right to abortion are really all about.” We riffed off of that to talk about the war on women and the righteousness of our standing up against it.

In response to the chants and agitation, the fascists at the bottom of the stairs started chanting “USA!” and “Build a wall!” In turn, we read the short piece “Food for Thought: Trump and an Illegitimate system” to expose what the people at the bottom of the stairs, this country and this system are really all about. We riffed off of the piece to indict the system and direct people to the real solution—revolution and communism—and to communicate how they can act now—by joining the revolution club and fighting the power.

Read Message | Download PDF 11x17"

Listen to audio of the Message, recorded by members of the Revolution Club

We passed out the recently released Message from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and had a few great conversations with people, one of which began with someone asking us a question about how to make revolution in an advanced capitalist country, since that hasn’t been done before. We were there with someone who just decided to run with the Rev Club and who said that this protest was “a great initiation into the club and political life.”

The protesters successfully blocked the main entrance and forced the attendees to go enter through the back of the building. We stayed at the top of the stairs until pretty late after the event began; we continued to chant and agitate some against the fascists who couldn’t get inside. It is not often that the fascists come out of the woodwork at UCLA—a lot of people commented about how they projected blatant disregard for oppression and backed that up with a lot of entitlement and ignorance. It is even more rare, though, to see this kind of defiant opposition to these harmful ideas among students, so it was important for us to be there to project the possibility of a totally different world and to channel people’s defiance into what it’s really going to take to get free.






Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

Response to the release of IPRA's police review evidence


June 4, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


For years, people in Chicago have been told that police shootings and brutality complaints were being investigated by IPRA (the so-called Independent Police Review Authority, AKA the wastebasket). For years, IPRA has buried the evidence of the Chicago Police Department’s brutality and murder. In response to months of outrage and protests, IPRA just dumped evidence in almost 100 cases, some five years old, into the public’s view. Even the way this was done was cold—released on a Friday afternoon while the mayor was out of town! More revelations will be spilling out in the days to come. But right now four things need to be said:

1. All this shows once again that the CPD is an occupying Gestapo army terrorizing communities of the oppressed, covering up their crimes and getting away with it. Year after year, and yet no punishment for these crimes, including murder after murder. In fact, it is the people the police brutalize who get charges and do time. Just one of the cases: a van carrying alleged “burglars” who were unarmed was riddled with 75 bullets, killing one person and wounding two others. When the IPRA investigator said it was excessive use of force, he was fired. The case is still being investigated over four years later!!!! This was not a “backlog” as the city claims. It was a systematic cover up.

2. NONE of this would have come to light if people had not been raising hell in the streets protesting the fact Black and Latino youth have a target on their backs and are treated as suspects and brutalized from a very early age. In Ferguson, the youth said ENOUGH and rose up against the violence of the police and the killing of Mike Brown. The protests that rocked Chicago after the video was released showing Laquan McDonald being gunned down in the street like a dog—this forced the city to release the material from these cases. There is only one “reasonable demand” in this situation—INDICT, CONVICT, SEND THESE BRUTAL COPS TO JAIL. THE WHOLE DAMN SYSTEM IS GUILTY AS HELL.

Revolution Club at Rise Up October

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Revolution Club

3. “The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in....” (Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:24) This is why the police keep murdering and brutalizing here and across the country and get away with it. There is no reform or transparency that will “fix” the police because the system needs them to maintain a “law and order that enforces all this oppression and madness.” Until we learn this lesson, people will be fooled once again by the rulers of this system.

4. The days when this system can keep doing this must be over. The Revolutionary Communist Party is organizing NOW to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time. Preparing to lead an actual revolution to bring about a radically new and better society: the New Socialist Republic in North America. The RCP has the strategy and the leader in Bob Avakian—what is missing is you. Join with us, standup and learn more about this as you work with the Revolution Club and go to to get with the revolution.

Revolution Club, Chicago 312 804-9121





Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

Black Lives Matter Activist Convicted Under Lynching Law

It's Right to Resist Police Lynch Mobs!

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


vidz from Pasadena Now on Vimeo.

Last September in Pasadena, California, police moved in to arrest a young Black woman for allegedly not paying for her meal at a restaurant. Just as in so many other cases, they began viciously attacking her. This could have ended with another person on the list of those brutalized or even killed by police. But this time there were people determined to prevent this from happening.

On the other side of the street, in Pintoresca Park, there were people who had just been at a Black Lives Matter demonstration highlighting the police murder of Kendrec McDade, a Black 19-year-old shot and killed by Pasadena cops in 2012. They had seen how Sandra Bland and Freddie Gray and so many others have ended up dead or brutally beaten after being taken into police custody. They had every reason to believe this woman’s life was in real danger, and ran across the street.

A video of the incident shows a whole mob of pigs with billy clubs viciously attacking the woman. People surround them and you hear people yelling, “This is what we’re talking about—police brutality,” “She doesn’t weigh that much, she’s only 130 pounds, let her go, you’re going to hurt her, you’re going to break something on her, she has her hands behind her back,” “Look at these coward motherfuckers,” “This is an illegal arrest.” People were righteously calling out the pigs for this brutality. They were completely justified in getting up in the pigs’ faces and challenging this vicious police assault.

No one else was arrested that day. But the next day an 11-year-old boy was arrested and cited with what would be “resisting arrest” for an adult that also covered “delaying or obstructing a law enforcement officer performing his or her duties.” He was released into the custody of his mother.

Then the following day, 28-year-old Jasmine Abdullah (Richards), part of the struggle against police murder, was arrested and charged with four crimes—inciting a riot, child endangerment, delaying and obstructing peace officers in the discharge of their duties, and attempted felony lynching. Later, all of the charges were dropped EXCEPT the felony lynching charge. On Wednesday, June 1, Jasmine became the first Black person to be tried and convicted under this felony lynching law and now faces up to four years in state prison.

California’s “lynching law” was put on the books in 1933. It was aimed at preventing mobs from forcibly taking people from police custody for “vigilante justice,” like how the KKK went into jails, grabbed Black people who had been arrested, and then lynched them—that’s why this crime was called “lynching.”

But in more recent decades there has been a history of this law being used against protesters and now, as Nana Gyamfi, Jasmine’s lawyer, points out, “A law that was enacted for the purposes of defending Black people against hangings and torture is now being used against Black people who are fighting for the lives of Black people who are killed by the police.”

From 1877 (the end of Reconstruction) to 1950, at least 4,000 people were lynched in the United States. Under what is now the New Jim Crow, in this past year alone the police in the USA have killed more than 1,100 people—many unarmed, about half Black or Latino.

In such a situation, where the police are in fact modern-day lynch mobs—judge, jury, and executioners—carrying out genocidal murders against Black and Latino people, it is completely just and righteous for people to rise up in response to violence initiated and perpetrated against them by the police. Such actions can be life saving.

The way this anti-lynching law is now being used against people accused of freeing someone from the pigs is like  making it illegal for people to interfere with KKK lynch mobs that were hanging Black people. This is fucking outrageous!

Sentencing is set for Tuesday, June 7, 8:30 am at the Pasadena Courthouse, 300 E. Walnut, Pasadena. There are calls to pack the courtroom to support Jasmine Abdullah.





Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

Staten Island, NYC: 16-Year-Old Black Youth Dies After Being Chased by Racist Mob

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Dayshen McKenzie

Dayshen McKenzie



On June 3, the New York Daily News broke the news about the death of Dayshen McKenzie, a 16-year-old Black youth, a week earlier as he ran for his life, chased by a mostly white group of youth in Staten Island, New York City. The story has also been reported in other media in the city. On May 27, Dayshen, a high school sophomore, and some of his friends, all Black, reportedly had some dispute with the other group, who began chasing Dayshen and his friends in several cars. A woman in the neighborhood who saw the chase told the NY Daily News, “To me, it’s murder. They were chasing him—that’s a crime. You’re hunting them because they’re black ... You’re calling them a n----r.” One of Dayshen’s friends said, “I just heard a lot of racial slurs.” When Dayshen—known to his friends as Poppa Jawn—collapsed, the woman witness, who is trained in CPR, tried to revive him. Dayshen had asthma and a heart condition. But, the woman said, “At that point, the cops came in and told everyone to put their hands up—so I complied, put my hands up”—this at a time when Dayshen’s life was hanging in the balance. Dayshen was pronounced dead a short time later at the hospital. Tisha Richardson, Dayshen’s mother said that he was a comedian, rapper, and a basketball player. No one has been charged in Dayshen’s death.

There is an ugly legacy of Black people being attacked and murdered by racist mobs in New York City. 1982—Willie Turk, a Black transit worker, was stomped to death by a group of white men in Brooklyn. 1986—Michael Griffith, a 23-year-old Black youth, and three friends were trying to get help after their car broke down when they were attacked by a group of white men. Griffith was savagely beaten and then killed when struck by a car while trying to escape. 1982—Yusuf Hawkins, a 16-year-old Black youth, was attacked by a mob of 30 whites and shot to death in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

Witness describes last minutes of Dayshen McKenzie's life.

Check back at for further on the attack on Dayshen McKenzie as more becomes known.





Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali 1942-2016           (AP photo)

Muhammad Ali  1942–2016

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Muhammad Ali died on June 3. From the very beginning Ali brought a breath of brashness and defiance into the world of sports. He was a great and artful, graceful and courageous champion in what is, under this system, a brutal, corrupt and dehumanizing arena. But most of all, he should be cherished for the defiant and extremely important stand he took against the U.S. government and its war in Vietnam, refusing not only to join their bloody army but refusing as well to regard the Vietnamese as his enemy. Instead, he declared: "No, I am not going ten thousand miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would put my prestige in jeopardy and could cause me to lose millions of dollars which should accrue to me as the champion. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is right here."

In punishment, he was stripped of his title and not allowed to fight. And it was only through long legal battles that Muhammad Ali both defeated the U.S. government’s attempt to jail him for five years, and eventually regained the right to box professionally, winning back his championship despite being forced out of the ring for over three years. Yet this sacrifice was certainly well worth it, for this stand inspired and gave heart to people all over the world, as well as all through the U.S.—from the ghettos to the campuses and far beyond—and helped to strip away the moral pretensions of U.S. imperialism. This stand is why billions around the world mark his passing.






Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

Imperialism's Mexican Miracle of Transubstantiation: How the Bones of Mexican Peasants Become Broccoli on the Tables in the U.S.

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Farm workers at a U.S.-owned lettuce plantation, Guanajuato, Mexico, March 2008. (AP photo)
In the feverish drive to meet the demands of the U.S. market, the water table in the region of Guanajuato has been depleted and wells in the area have dried up. Farmers are pumping deeper and deeper into the ground to water these crops and dredging up water that's 10,000 to 35,000 years old—and tainted with arsenic and fluoride in quantities that are poisonous to humans. Above, farm workers at a U.S.-owned lettuce plantation, Guanajuato, Mexico, March 2008. (AP photo)

Question: What’s the connection between the fresh broccoli on the dinner plates of most American households and the aching bones and blackened teeth of villagers in Mexico?

The answer begins in the state of Guanajuato, a dry region in central Mexico. Yet this dry region grows 70,000 tons of broccoli per year, almost entirely to export out of the country. And broccoli needs water to grow. In the feverish drive to water these crops and meet the demands of the U.S. market, the water table in the region has been depleted and wells in the area have dried up. Farmers are pumping deeper and deeper into the ground to water these crops and dredging up water that’s 10,000 to 35,000 years old—and tainted with arsenic and fluoride in quantities that are poisonous to humans.

A recent New York Times article described the small village of San Antonio de Lourdes, not thirty minutes away from these lush fields (“Prosperous Mexican Farms Suck Up Water, Leaving Villages High and Dry,” Elisabeth Malkin, May 19). There the villagers huddle around a new water tank praying desperately for rain to fill it. With their well dried up, it’s the only source of water for the meager crops of corn and beans that are their main source of food. Many of the residents have blackened teeth and suffer severe pain in their joints, one 39-year-old man virtually crippled from the pain in his feet. Numerous people in the village are suffering from kidney disease, one young woman only 16 years old. A 51-year-old woman whose kidneys failed a year ago spoke of her six sons who have left for the U.S. to find work and send back money for her dialysis treatments: “They are working to cure me,” she said. But three other people from the village suffering from kidney disease have recently died.

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

This leads to another question: How did it come to be this way? On one level, to really understand what’s causing this poisoning of the people, we have to go back almost 170 years, to the U.S. war against Mexico. The U.S. invaded the country, stole one-third of its territory, and put the part that it did not steal under its thumb.

But even with that, throughout much of the 20th century, Mexico had an agriculture-based economy and was able to feed itself with small-scale farming. But increasingly U.S. capital began encroaching on Mexican agriculture, establishing large commercial farms for export, particularly in the north.

In 1992 this process went into overdrive when Mexico amended the clause in its Constitution that had declared all land, water, and mineral rights to be the property of the Mexican people. This new amendment opened up small rural landholdings for purchase by foreign investors. Huge conglomerates in the U.S. bought up land throughout the country and set up farms for export agriculture. The government agency (Conasupo), which had previously bought agricultural products from the peasants, was abolished and credit to small farmers was cut off.

Then, with the implementation in 1994 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), this intensified. Under the terms of the agreement, the Mexican government was forced to cut agricultural subsidies on corn, beans, sugar, and milk that had protected local farmers. This opened up the market for U.S.-grown corn and other agricultural products, which are heavily subsidized by the U.S. government and therefore much cheaper than what local farmers in Mexico can grow.

3 things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better

With huge quantities of corn and beans from the U.S. flooding the market in Mexico, there is no way for small-scale farmers to compete. Profits pour into the U.S. agro-industry, while peasants like those living in San Antonio de Lourdes are driven off the land in search of another way to survive. As the NAFTA treaty was being negotiated, a high official of Mexico’s Department of Agriculture said: “The possibility of expelling 15 million Mexicans from their lands was considered acceptable, an undesirable but necessary effect of the modernization of the rural productive apparatus.”

Clearly, “free trade” under imperialism means free exploitation of the people and resources and the molding of the economy of a country like Mexico to meet the needs of big financial interests in the United States, opening it up for further penetration and control by the U.S.

So the people uprooted from the countryside are forced into massive shantytowns ringing Mexico City, or else make the perilous and often horrific attempt to cross the border to the U.S. Others are bitterly exploited by the huge factory farms producing food for the U.S. market. They live in rat infested camps encircled with barbed wire fences and are forced into debt at the company stores just to purchase the bare necessities for survival on the meager wages they receive. (See “Product of Mexico,” Los Angeles Times, December 7, 2014) Those left behind in the villages have seen their communities depleted and poisoned as the productive capacity of the country is put to the service of the U.S. market and huge profits are reaped by agricultural conglomerates in the U.S.

Mexico has gone from being a food self-sufficient country to a state of food dependency. Now to feed itself Mexico must import $10.1 billion of corn, wheat, and other products while its entire agricultural base has been reconfigured to feed people in the U.S. and put fresh vegetables and fruits on their tables—$12.7 billion in tomatoes, melons, lettuce, broccoli, and other fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits. That is the price of fresh vegetables under imperialism.

A price that cannot be tolerated... and a world that must be radically transformed.









Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

Check It Out:


June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

The remake of the Roots mini-series, which recently aired on the History Channel and A&E, is an important and dramatic portrayal of the towering crime that was the international slave trade and the slave system in the United States. This new version of Roots is compelling and should be watched—both by people who saw the original and by those in the newer generations who never had the opportunity to see it. The new series can still be viewed on On Demand and online at Definitely check it out.

This Roots is an updating of the original television series aired in1977, adapted from Alex Haley’s book of the same name. When the original Roots was aired, it was an unprecedented cultural phenomenon. It brought to light for the first time for many people, of all nationalities, some of the hidden truth about this ugly legacy of U.S. history and the resistance waged by the slaves.

Starting with the capture of a young man, Kunta Kinte, from West Africa, the series follows his family and descendants through many generations of slavery.

While in the recent period, more books, films and TV shows have been coming out on this subject, still today too many people are woefully ignorant about this terrible crime and its aftermath. Two hundred and fifty years of the enslavement of an entire people is the foundation that the wealth and power of the U.S. was built on, and its reverberations continue to shape everything about the racist and oppressive system we live under today. Roots is a definite must-see.





Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

From A World to Win News Service

How much longer can the massacres at sea be allowed to continue?

June 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Refugees jump in the water right before their boat overturns off the Libyan coast. Since January this year the majority of people crossing the Mediterranean are from sub-Saharan Africa where wars, poverty, and repressive regimes are the driving factors pushing them out of their own countries. (Italian navy via AP Photo, file)
In late May, at least 800 migrants drowned in the Mediterranean in three days.These deaths are the result of political choices. Any number of drownings is considered acceptable to keep mass migration from threatening order in Europe. These half-hearted rescue interventions seem intended to save the moral legitimacy of European governments and the West in general. Yes, they save some people, but it can't be overemphasized that the existing situation makes one after another massacre at sea inevitable. Above, refugees jump in the water right before their boat overturns off the Libyan coast, May 25. (Italian navy via AP file photo)

30 May 2016. A World to Win News Service. “This week was a massacre,” said a spokeswoman for the NGO [non-governmental organization] Save the Children, after at least 800 migrants drowned in the Mediterranean in three days.

The reasons and responsibilities were multiple. The vessels carrying them were death traps. But even now, after one unbearable tragedy after another in central Mediterranean waters, the European powers refuse to initiate a systematic search and rescue operation. Thousands of refugees have been picked up by NGO vessels, passing freighters, the Italian navy and a few other EU [European Union] military ships, but the main Western effort remains criminally focused on Operation Sophia, designed and equipped to interdict and arrest smugglers, destroy their boats and deter further migration, not to save people from drowning.

If thousands of people who left from Libya have been rescued in the central Mediterranean, it is because there are so many people trying to make the crossing that even the most temporary, improvised effort can scoop them up. These half-hearted rescue interventions seem intended to save the moral legitimacy of European governments and the West in general. Yes, they save some people, but it can’t be overemphasized that the existing situation makes one after another massacre at sea inevitable. These deaths are the result of political choices. Any number of drownings is considered acceptable to keep mass migration from threatening order in Europe.

This indifference to humanity is further demonstrated in the way they treat those refugees who do survive. It would be only a slight exaggeration, at most, to say that the EU has turned the Greek government into a prison subcontractor. The stubborn resistance of refugees demanding to be admitted into the EU in Idomeni, at the border with Bulgaria, is a political embarrassment for the EU. Greek police have been bulldozing the tent city and busing its inhabitants to temporary shelters in military bases and other establishments. The official reason is that the encampment is not fit for human habitation. But initial NGO reports indicate that the networks they were able to set up at Idomeni to provide minimal sanitation, medical, educational and other support have been destroyed, not replaced.

Save the Children says that new government-run camps in northern Greece lack adequate toilets. Adults and children are not getting enough water, food to eat more than once a day, and the most basic hygiene supplies. The NGO also warns of the danger to unaccompanied children now that existing informal networks and relationships have been ripped apart (there doesn’t even seem to be a registry of who has been sent where), and of parents and children becoming separated in the Greek government’s haste to evacuate Idomeni. It is undeniable that this move was meant to put people out of sight and under control, no more motivated by concern for their welfare than what the Western navies are doing in the Mediterranean.

Bringing Forward Another Way

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

Download PDF

The political choices at work became even more apparent with the establishment of a Western-backed puppet government in Libya, whose purpose, among others, is to turn the country into a wall to keep people out of Europe, a project even more criminal than futile. This paper “government” is supposed to authorize Nato ships to raid the Libyan coastline, take over ports and destroy fishing boats and other craft seen as potential smuggling vessels, which the UK, in particular, labels a security threat to Europe. These measures could include European armed operations on Libyan soil—after years of U.S. and European military intervention, under one pretext after another, trying to put back together under Western domination a country that Western interference tore apart.

It is true that there are smugglers with no concern for human lives—no more than, say, finance capitalists invested in tobacco companies, the weapons manufacturers at the heart of Western economies, the big Western clothing brands whose suppliers’ factories in Bangladesh are even bigger death traps, or any of the owners and political representatives of finance capital that is destroying the planet and its people. Whatever the responsibility of these small-time opportunists, that is not the basic problem.

The basic problem is a globalized imperialist system of economic exploitation and political domination that makes the risk of death the best available option for so many people in countries dominated by this system. What does it tell you about the way the world is organized when many people in Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria, where most of this week’s dead came from, are as desperate as people in war-torn countries like Syria?

The European powers’ reaction to this “crisis” is to make it their priority to keep people out—to use their police and militaries to enforce the present world order at a time when the “migrant” crisis shows just how much today’s division of the world is unacceptable and unsustainable.






Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

American History 101

June 9, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |



  1. Out of the first five presidents of the United States—all “founding fathers”—name two or more who were not slave owners.
  2. Out of all the “founding fathers,” name the ones who took the position that they would not declare allegiance to the Constitution of the United States, because it legalized and institutionalized slavery.
  3. Name any of these “founding fathers” whom you condemn for committing crimes against humanity, because of their participation in and support for a Constitution and a country that institutionalized and practiced slavery.


*especially the ones who want to defend the U.S.











Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

The Stanford Rape Outrage

“Reason Enough to Make Revolution”

by Sunsara Taylor

June 13, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |



Bob Avakian, "A world of rape and sexual assault"
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.
Learn more about Bob Avakian here

Bob Avakian has said that the frequency of rape in this society would be reason enough for revolution, even if all its other towering crimes and injustices did not exist. A deep look at the recent rape case at Stanford underlines that—and why a revolution is needed to solve it.

On January 18, 2015 a young woman’s life was shattered. Her evening began with a lighthearted family dinner and a last-minute decision to accompany her sister to a party, but it ended with her strapped to a gurney, with bruises and debris covering her body and the inside of her vagina. She had been viciously raped on the ground, behind a dumpster, outside a Stanford frat party, while she was unconscious.

Brock Turner, 20-year-old Stanford student, was charged. Turner’s lawyer dragged in all kinds of slanders and irrelevant accusations against the victim. He put her through hell on the witness stand. Blaming her for drinking, for being sexually active, for how she was dressed, and more. As if somehow that would excuse Turner’s violent violation of her.

Despite all this, the evidence was overwhelming and the jury convicted him on three felonies.

Then the judge stepped in. He said jail time would “have a severe impact” on the rapist. So, instead of potentially 14 years in prison, he gave Turner a mere six months in jail.

The message sent by the court is that rape is “not that serious.” This is outrageous and wrong.

But that is not all. This case is an X-ray of the whole culture of promoting and excusing violence and degradation against women. It is a concentration of the urgent need for the most radical and thoroughgoing revolution in the history of humanity.

A Courageous and Harrowing Voice

Break All the Chains!

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

Sampler Edition | Full Work

In a display of tremendous courage, the young woman read a letter aloud to the court that detailed her experience. She brought alive how the damage inflicted by rape does not end when the physical act is over. It unfurls over a woman’s lifetime, radiates out to those around her, and hangs in the air as a violation against all women everywhere.

She explained: “I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn’t know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.”

The trauma infiltrated every aspect of her life: “I tried to push it out of my mind, but it was so heavy I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone. After work, I would drive to a secluded place to scream. I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone, and I became isolated from the ones I loved most.”

With piercing clarity, and without a hint of revenge, she demolished the excuses of her rapist and his defenders. No, alcohol is not an excuse for rape. No, sexual promiscuity (where someone willingly has sex with many people) has nothing to do with rape (where someone is forced to have sex against their will). No, it is not OK that she was asked irrelevant and re-traumatizing questions on the witness stand. She posed, “If a first time offender from an underprivileged background was accused of three felonies and displayed no accountability for his actions other than drinking, what would his sentence be? The fact that Brock was an athlete at a private university should not be seen as an entitlement to leniency, but as an opportunity to send a message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class.”

Her letter is 13 pages long and everyone should read it. In its entirety. Out loud. In classrooms. In church groups. In families. On sports teams. On air.

Her pain must be seen. Her battle against despair must be supported. Her courage must be multiplied.

Judge Rebukes Rape Victim and Humanizes the Rapist

Even after this harrowing letter, Judge Persky gave Brock a mere slap on the wrist. In effect, he signaled a green-light to rapists everywhere.

Outrageously, Persky is not an exception. Rather, he concentrates this society’s whole putrid rape culture. In the U.S., as in all “modern” capitalist states, rape is only “wink-wink illegal.” In other words, rape is formally against the law, but for all intents and purposes—especially for the powerful and their enforcers—rape is a protected activity.

Face it: Until outrage erupted over this case, Stanford had never expelled a single student for rape. Thousands and thousands of rape kits sit unprocessed for years in police precincts across the country. Less than two percent of rapes reported to police result in convictions and jail time. It was legal in all 50 states for a man to rape his wife until the 1970s. Only in 1993 did the last state make it illegal. In the U.S. military one in three women is raped or sexually assaulted, but if she reports her rape, she is 12 times more likely to be retaliated against than to ever see her rapist convicted.

Why? Because rape serves a major function under this system. It terrorizes all women, keeps them fearful and constantly reminded of “their place.” It is a violent means of enforcing the many twisted “perks” and privileges promised to men, to make them feel they have a stake at least in some part of this system. This is objectively true, even as some men themselves may not like—and even be sickened by—this particular form of oppression.

This violent terror and degradation of women is a cornerstone, a major glue, of every modern capitalist society—including the U.S. And right now, it is being rapidly and aggressively escalated. It’s fueled by men who are furious that women have entered campuses, corporate board rooms, and sports—arenas that used to be male-only bastions of unchallenged domination. It is also fueled by the simmering anger of other men who face growing economic insecurity and the breakdown of the traditional male-dominated family; men hungry to reassert their control and take out their rage against women.

It’s the mainstreaming of rape porn. It’s the music that derides women as “bitches” and “hos.” It’s the Bible scriptures that celebrate rape as a reward of war. It’s the “guy culture” promoted by coaches and gym teachers, in board rooms and military battalions. It is the way boys and men who don’t participate are bullied, called “fags,” and often sexually violated themselves. It is the culture of strip clubs and “escorts” that pervades Wall Street and Silicon Valley. It is the shaming and threats and virtual-mobs of men who hound women on social media. It’s the words of Brock’s father, dismissing his son’s act of rape as merely “20 minutes of action.”

Rape Must Be Ended—This Means Revolution!

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

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

It is essential that people fiercely resist this whole culture of rape and violence and degradation against women. What this young woman did in refusing to just take the howling injustice of the sentence, what two Swedish graduate students did by physically stopping this rape as it was underway—this is what many, many more people must do.

No more joking about, excusing, or belittling rape. No more shaming and blaming rape victims. No more asking, “What was she wearing?” or suggesting that “She asked for it.” No more getting off on porn that sexualizes women’s degradation and torture. No more treating women like punching bags, like sex objects, or like mere breeders of children.

The Revolution Clubs have it right: “We fight for a world where ALL the chains are broken. Women, men, and differently gendered people are equals and comrades. We do not tolerate physically or verbally abusing women or treating them as sexual objects, nor do we tolerate insults or ‘jokes’ about people’s gender or sexual orientation.”

It’s time to start living this way now. And this must be linked to bringing about the kind of total revolution that can uproot and abolish rape once and for all. The system must be overthrown. It must be replaced with a radically new, revolutionary state power.

With revolution, the courts and media will no longer re-victimize women through victim-blaming questions about what they were wearing or their sexual history. Schools will teach equality, mutual respect, and consent in sexual relations. Sports will be radically re-ordered. Under socialism, it will be the norm—not a rare and refreshing exception spurred by mass outrage—for the media to give backing to voices like this young woman’s who speak out against rape. People will be encouraged to break out of the patriarchal family. And more.

Read this everywhere:

The Stanford Rape Case
Statement from the Young Woman Who Was Raped

Her letter is 13 pages long and everyone should read it. In its entirety. Out loud. In classrooms. In church groups. In families. On sports teams. On air. Her pain must be seen. Her battle against despair must be supported. Her courage must be multiplied.

Read it here

All this will radically cut down the incidence of rape and the way in which this terror serves to damage and confine women. And the new society will foster in many more men the aspiration to be emancipators of ALL humanity, not petty tyrants over women.

But this is just the beginning. Bob Avakian has qualitatively advanced the understanding that unless and until all vestiges of male-domination and patriarchy have been completely wiped out, this oppression will become the basis for dragging all of society back to today’s ugly divisions into masters and slaves. So, the orientation of revolutionaries will be to continue to unleash the fury and impatience of women and others to put an end to all attitudes, family structures, notions of “manhood” and gender, and religious traditions that reinforce patriarchy and women’s oppression. To do this even—and in some ways, especially—when this is disruptive to society and its institutions.

Not a Minute to Waste

This is not a dream. It is possible. But you are needed right now.

Through decades of work and struggle, Bob Avakian has developed the thoroughly scientific approach, the strategy, and the concrete vision for the new society. He has developed the most radical and liberating approach to women in human history: Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution. Plunge into this!

At the same time, BA is actively leading a movement for an actual revolution in the U.S., theoretically and practically. Spread this newspaper/website ( Join with the Revolution Clubs. How many more women will be battered and violated, shattered and shamed before you throw in with everything you’ve got?







Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

The Stanford Rape Case

Statement from the Young Woman Who Was Raped

June 10, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors Note: The following harrowing and courageous "victim impact" statement was read in court by the woman who was assaulted and raped by ex-Stanford student Brock Turner. It has been released widely and is reposting it here. As Sunsara Taylor said in "The Stanford Rape Outrage: Reason Enough to Make Revolution": "Her letter is 13 pages long and everyone should read it. In its entirety. Out loud. In classrooms. In church groups. In families. On sports teams. On air. Her pain must be seen. Her battle against despair must be supported. Her courage must be multiplied."


Your Honor, if it is all right, for the majority of this statement I would like to address the defendant directly.

You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.

On January 17th, 2015, it was a quiet Saturday night at home. My dad made some dinner and I sat at the table with my younger sister who was visiting for the weekend. I was working full time and it was approaching my bed time. I planned to stay at home by myself, watch some TV and read, while she went to a party with her friends.

Then, I decided it was my only night with her, I had nothing better to do, so why not, there’s a dumb party ten minutes from my house, I would go, dance like a fool, and embarrass my younger sister. On the way there, I joked that undergrad guys would have braces. My sister teased me for wearing a beige cardigan to a frat party like a librarian. I called myself “big mama”, because I knew I’d be the oldest one there. I made silly faces, let my guard down, and drank liquor too fast not factoring in that my tolerance had significantly lowered since college.

The next thing I remember I was in a gurney in a hallway. I had dried blood and bandages on the backs of my hands and elbow. I thought maybe I had fallen and was in an admin office on campus. I was very calm and wondering where my sister was. A deputy explained I had been assaulted. I still remained calm, assured he was speaking to the wrong person. I knew no one at this party.

When I was finally allowed to use the rest room, I pulled down the hospital pants they had given me, went to pull down my underwear, and felt nothing. I still remember the feeling of my hands touching my skin and grabbing nothing. I looked down and there was nothing. The thin piece of fabric, the only thing between my vagina and anything else, was missing and everything inside me was silenced. I still don’t have words for that feeling. In order to keep breathing, I thought maybe the policemen used scissors to cut them off for evidence.

Then, I felt pine needles scratching the back of my neck and started pulling them out my hair. I thought maybe, the pine needles had fallen from a tree onto my head. My brain was talking my gut into not collapsing. Because my gut was saying, help me, help me.

I shuffled from room to room with a blanket wrapped around me, pine needles trailing behind me, I left a little pile in every room I sat in. I was asked to sign papers that said “Rape Victim” and I thought something has really happened.

My clothes were confiscated and I stood naked while the nurses held a ruler to various abrasions on my body and photographed them. The three of us worked to comb the pine needles out of my hair, six hands to fill one paper bag. To calm me down, they said it’s just the flora and fauna, flora and fauna. I had multiple swabs inserted into my vagina and anus, needles for shots, pills, had a Nikon pointed right into my spread legs. I had long, pointed beaks inside me and had my vagina smeared with cold, blue paint to check for abrasions.

After a few hours of this, they let me shower. I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it, I didn’t know what had been in it, if it had been contaminated, who had touched it. I wanted to take off my body like a jacket and leave it at the hospital with everything else.

On that morning, all that I was told was that I had been found behind a dumpster, potentially penetrated by a stranger, and that I should get retested for HIV because results don’t always show up immediately. But for now, I should go home and get back to my normal life. Imagine stepping back into the world with only that information. They gave me huge hugs and I walked out of the hospital into the parking lot wearing the new sweatshirt and sweatpants they provided me, as they had only allowed me to keep my necklace and shoes.

My sister picked me up, face wet from tears and contorted in anguish. Instinctively and immediately, I wanted to take away her pain. I smiled at her, I told her to look at me, I’m right here, I’m okay, everything’s okay, I’m right here. My hair is washed and clean, they gave me the strangest shampoo, calm down, and look at me. Look at these funny new sweatpants and sweatshirt, I look like a P.E. teacher, let’s go home, let’s eat something. She did not know that beneath my sweatsuit, I had scratches and bandages on my skin, my vagina was sore and had become a strange, dark colour from all the prodding, my underwear was missing, and I felt too empty to continue to speak. That I was also afraid, that I was also devastated. That day we drove home and for hours in silence my younger sister held me.

My boyfriend did not know what happened, but called that day and said, “I was really worried about you last night, you scared me, did you make it home okay?” I was horrified. That’s when I learned I had called him that night in my blackout, left an incomprehensible voicemail, that we had also spoken on the phone, but I was slurring so heavily he was scared for me, that he repeatedly told me to go find [my sister]. Again, he asked me, “What happened last night? Did you make it home okay?” I said yes, and hung up to cry.

I was not ready to tell my boyfriend or parents that actually, I may have been raped behind a dumpster, but I don’t know by who or when or how. If I told them, I would see the fear on their faces, and mine would multiply by tenfold, so instead I pretended the whole thing wasn’t real.

I tried to push it out of my mind, but it was so heavy I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone.

After work, I would drive to a secluded place to scream. I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t interact with anyone, and I became isolated from the ones I loved most. For over a week after the incident, I didn’t get any calls or updates about that night or what happened to me. The only symbol that proved that it hadn’t just been a bad dream, was the sweatshirt from the hospital in my drawer.

One day, I was at work, scrolling through the news on my phone, and came across an article. In it, I read and learned for the first time about how I was found unconscious, with my hair dishevelled, long necklace wrapped around my neck, bra pulled out of my dress, dress pulled off over my shoulders and pulled up above my waist, that I was butt naked all the way down to my boots, legs spread apart, and had been penetrated by a foreign object by someone I did not recognise.

This was how I learned what happened to me, sitting at my desk reading the news at work. I learned what happened to me the same time everyone else in the world learned what happened to me. That’s when the pine needles in my hair made sense, they didn’t fall from a tree. He had taken off my underwear, his fingers had been inside of me. I don’t even know this person. I still don’t know this person. When I read about me like this, I said, this can’t be me, this can’t be me. I could not digest or accept any of this information. I could not imagine my family having to read about this online. I kept reading. In the next paragraph, I read something that I will never forgive; I read that according to him, I liked it. I liked it. Again, I do not have words for these feelings.

It’s like if you were to read an article where a car was hit, and found dented, in a ditch. But maybe the car enjoyed being hit. Maybe the other car didn’t mean to hit it, just bump it up a little bit. Cars get in accidents all the time, people aren’t always paying attention, can we really say who’s at fault.

And then, at the bottom of the article, after I learned about the graphic details of my own sexual assault, the article listed his swimming times. She was found breathing, unresponsive with her underwear six inches away from her bare stomach curled in fetal position. By the way, he’s really good at swimming. Throw in my mile time if that’s what we’re doing. I’m good at cooking, put that in there, I think the end is where you list your extracurriculars to cancel out all the sickening things that’ve happened.

The night the news came out I sat my parents down and told them that I had been assaulted, to not look at the news because it’s upsetting, just know that I’m okay, I’m right here, and I’m okay. But halfway through telling them, my mom had to hold me because I could no longer stand up.

The night after it happened, he said he didn’t know my name, said he wouldn’t be able to identify my face in a line-up, didn’t mention any dialogue between us, no words, only dancing and kissing. Dancing is a cute term; was it snapping fingers and twirling dancing, or just bodies grinding up against each other in a crowded room? I wonder if kissing was just faces sloppily pressed up against each other? When the detective asked if he had planned on taking me back to his dorm, he said no. When the detective asked how we ended up behind the dumpster, he said he didn’t know.

He admitted to kissing other girls at that party, one of whom was my own sister who pushed him away. He admitted to wanting to hook up with someone. I was the wounded antelope of the herd, completely alone and vulnerable, physically unable to fend for myself, and he chose me. Sometimes I think, if I hadn’t gone, then this never would’ve happened. But then I realized, it would have happened, just to somebody else. You were about to enter four years of access to drunk girls and parties, and if this is the foot you started off on, then it is right you did not continue. The night after it happened, he said he thought I liked it because I rubbed his back. A back rub.

Never mentioned me voicing consent, never mentioned us even speaking, a back rub. One more time, in public news, I learned that my ass and vagina were completely exposed outside, my breasts had been groped, fingers had been jabbed inside me along with pine needles and debris, my bare skin and head had been rubbing against the ground behind a dumpster, while an erect freshman was humping my half naked, unconscious body. But I don’t remember, so how do I prove I didn’t like it.

I thought there’s no way this is going to trial; there were witnesses, there was dirt in my body, he ran but was caught. He’s going to settle, formally apologize, and we will both move on. Instead, I was told he hired a powerful lawyer, expert witnesses, private investigators who were going to try and find details about my personal life to use against me, find loopholes in my story to invalidate me and my sister, in order to show that this sexual assault was in fact a misunderstanding. That he was going to go to any length to convince the world he had simply been confused.

I was not only told that I was assaulted, I was told that because I couldn’t remember, I technically could not prove it was unwanted. And that distorted me, damaged me, almost broke me. It is the saddest type of confusion to be told I was assaulted and nearly raped, blatantly out in the open, but we don’t know if it counts as assault yet. I had to fight for an entire year to make it clear that there was something wrong with this situation.

When I was told to be prepared in case we didn’t win, I said, I can’t prepare for that. He was guilty the minute I woke up. No one can talk me out of the hurt he caused me. Worst of all, I was warned, because he now knows you don’t remember, he is going to get to write the script. He can say whatever he wants and no one can contest it. I had no power, I had no voice, I was defenseless. My memory loss would be used against me. My testimony was weak, was incomplete, and I was made to believe that perhaps, I am not enough to win this. His lawyer constantly reminded the jury, the only one we can believe is Brock, because she doesn’t remember. That helplessness was traumatizing.

Instead of taking time to heal, I was taking time to recall the night in excruciating detail, in order to prepare for the attorney’s questions that would be invasive, aggressive, and designed to steer me off course, to contradict myself, my sister, phrased in ways to manipulate my answers. Instead of his lawyer saying, Did you notice any abrasions? He said, You didn’t notice any abrasions, right?

This was a game of strategy, as if I could be tricked out of my own worth. The sexual assault had been so clear, but instead, here I was at the trial, answering questions like:

How old are you? How much do you weigh? What did you eat that day? Well what did you have for dinner? Who made dinner? Did you drink with dinner? No, not even water? When did you drink? How much did you drink? What container did you drink out of? Who gave you the drink? How much do you usually drink? Who dropped you off at this party? At what time? But where exactly? What were you wearing? Why were you going to this party? What’d you do when you got there? Are you sure you did that? But what time did you do that? What does this text mean? Who were you texting? When did you urinate? Where did you urinate? With whom did you urinate outside?

Was your phone on silent when your sister called? Do you remember silencing it? Really because on page 53 I’d like to point out that you said it was set to ring. Did you drink in college? You said you were a party animal? How many times did you black out? Did you party at frats? Are you serious with your boyfriend? Are you sexually active with him? When did you start dating? Would you ever cheat? Do you have a history of cheating? What do you mean when you said you wanted to reward him? Do you remember what time you woke up? Were you wearing your cardigan? What colour was your cardigan? Do you remember any more from that night? No? Okay, well, we’ll let Brock fill it in.

I was pommeled with narrowed, pointed questions that dissected my personal life, love life, past life, family life, inane questions, accumulating trivial details to try and find an excuse for this guy who had me half naked before even bothering to ask for my name. After a physical assault, I was assaulted with questions designed to attack me, to say see, her facts don’t line up, she’s out of her mind, she’s practically an alcoholic, she probably wanted to hook up, he’s like an athlete right, they were both drunk, whatever, the hospital stuff she remembers is after the fact, why take it into account, Brock has a lot at stake so he’s having a really hard time right now.

And then it came time for him to testify and I learned what it meant to be revictimized. I want to remind you, the night after it happened he said he never planned to take me back to his dorm. He said he didn’t know why we were behind a dumpster. He got up to leave because he wasn’t feeling well when he was suddenly chased and attacked. Then he learned I could not remember.

So one year later, as predicted, a new dialogue emerged. Brock had a strange new story, almost sounded like a poorly written young adult novel with kissing and dancing and hand holding and lovingly tumbling onto the ground, and most importantly in this new story, there was suddenly consent. One year after the incident, he remembered, oh yeah, by the way she actually said yes, to everything, so.

He said he had asked if I wanted to dance. Apparently I said yes. He’d asked if I wanted to go to his dorm, I said yes. Then he asked if he could finger me and I said yes. Most guys don’t ask, can I finger you? Usually there’s a natural progression of things, unfolding consensually, not a Q and A. But apparently I granted full permission. He’s in the clear. Even in his story, I only said a total of three words, yes yes yes, before he had me half naked on the ground. Future reference, if you are confused about whether a girl can consent, see if she can speak an entire sentence. You couldn’t even do that. Just one coherent string of words. Where was the confusion? This is common sense, human decency.

According to him, the only reason we were on the ground was because I fell down. Note; if a girl falls down help her get back up. If she is too drunk to even walk and falls down, do not mount her, hump her, take off her underwear, and insert your hand inside her vagina. If a girl falls down help her up. If she is wearing a cardigan over her dress don’t take it off so that you can touch her breasts. Maybe she is cold, maybe that’s why she wore the cardigan.

Next in the story, two Swedes on bicycles approached you and you ran. When they tackled you why didn’t say, “Stop! Everything’s okay, go ask her, she’s right over there, she’ll tell you.” I mean you had just asked for my consent, right? I was awake, right? When the policeman arrived and interviewed the evil Swede who tackled you, he was crying so hard he couldn’t speak because of what he’d seen.

Your lawyer has repeatedly pointed out, well we don’t know exactly when she became unconscious. And you’re right, maybe I was still fluttering my eyes and wasn’t completely limp yet. That was never the point. I was too drunk to speak English, too drunk to consent way before I was on the ground. I should have never been touched in the first place.

Brock stated, “At no time did I see that she was not responding. If at any time I thought she was not responding, I would have stopped immediately.” Here’s the thing; if your plan was to stop only when I became unresponsive, then you still do not understand. You didn’t even stop when I was unconscious anyway! Someone else stopped you. Two guys on bikes noticed I wasn’t moving in the dark and had to tackle you. How did you not notice while on top of me?

You said, you would have stopped and gotten help. You say that, but I want you to explain how you would’ve helped me, step by step, walk me through this. I want to know, if those evil Swedes had not found me, how the night would have played out.

I am asking you; Would you have pulled my underwear back on over my boots? Untangled the necklace wrapped around my neck? Closed my legs, covered me? Pick the pine needles from my hair? Asked if the abrasions on my neck and bottom hurt? Would you then go find a friend and say, Will you help me get her somewhere warm and soft? I don’t sleep when I think about the way it could have gone if the two guys had never come. What would have happened to me? That’s what you’ll never have a good answer for, that’s what you can’t explain even after a year.

On top of all this, he claimed that I orgasmed after one minute of digital penetration. The nurse said there had been abrasions, lacerations, and dirt in my genitalia. Was that before or after I came?

To sit under oath and inform all of us, that yes I wanted it, yes I permitted it, and that you are the true victim attacked by Swedes for reasons unknown to you is appalling, is demented, is selfish, is damaging. It is enough to be suffering. It is another thing to have someone ruthlessly working to diminish the gravity of validity of this suffering.

My family had to see pictures of my head strapped to a gurney full of pine needles, of my body in the dirt with my eyes closed, hair messed up, limbs bent, and dress hiked up. And even after that, my family had to listen to your lawyer say the pictures were after the fact, we can dismiss them. To say, yes her nurse confirmed there was redness and abrasions inside her, significant trauma to her genitalia, but that’s what happens when you finger someone, and he’s already admitted to that.

To listen to your lawyer attempt to paint a picture of me, the face of girls gone wild, as if somehow that would make it so that I had this coming for me. To listen to him say I sounded drunk on the phone because I’m silly and that’s my goofy way of speaking. To point out that in the voicemail, I said I would reward my boyfriend and we all know what I was thinking. I assure you my rewards program is non transferable, especially to any nameless man that approaches me.

He has done irreversible damage to me and my family during the trial and we have sat silently, listening to him shape the evening. But in the end, his unsupported statements and his attorney’s twisted logic fooled no one. The truth won, the truth spoke for itself.

You are guilty. Twelve jurors convicted you guilty of three felony counts beyond reasonable doubt, that’s twelve votes per count, thirty ­six yeses confirming guilt, that’s one hundred percent, unanimous guilt. And I thought finally it is over, finally he will own up to what he did, truly apologise, we will both move on and get better. ​Then I read your statement.

If you are hoping that one of my organs will implode from anger and I will die, I’m almost there. You are very close. This is not a story of another drunk college hook-up with poor decision making. Assault is not an accident. Somehow, you still don’t get it. Somehow, you still sound confused. I will now read portions of the defendant’s statement and respond to them.

You said, Being drunk I just couldn’t make the best decisions and neither could she.

Alcohol is not an excuse. Is it a factor? Yes. But alcohol was not the one who stripped me, fingered me, had my head dragging against the ground, with me almost fully naked. Having too much to drink was an amateur mistake that I admit to, but it is not criminal.

Everyone in this room has had a night where they have regretted drinking too much, or knows someone close to them who has had a night where they have regretted drinking too much. Regretting drinking is not the same as regretting sexual assault. We were both drunk, the difference is I did not take off your pants and underwear, touch you inappropriately, and run away. That’s the difference.

You said, If I wanted to get to know her, I should have asked for her number, rather than asking her to go back to my room.

I’m not mad because you didn’t ask for my number. Even if you did know me, I would not want to be in this situation. My own boyfriend knows me, but if he asked to finger me behind a dumpster, I would slap him. No girl wants to be in this situation. Nobody. I don’t care if you know their phone number or not.

You said, I stupidly thought it was okay for me to do what everyone around me was doing, which was drinking. I was wrong.

Again, you were not wrong for drinking. Everyone around you was not sexually assaulting me. You were wrong for doing what nobody else was doing, which was pushing your erect dick in your pants against my naked, defenceless body concealed in a dark area, where partygoers could no longer see or protect me, and my own sister could not find me. Sipping fireball is not your crime. Peeling off and discarding my underwear like a candy wrapper to insert your finger into my body, is where you went wrong. Why am I still explaining this.

You said, During the trial I didn’t want to victimize her at all. That was just my lawyer and his way of approaching the case.

Your lawyer is not your scapegoat, he represents you. Did your lawyer say some incredulously infuriating, degrading things? Absolutely. He said you had an erection, because it was cold.

You said, you are in the process of establishing a program for high school and college students in which you speak about your experience to “speak out against the college campus drinking culture and the sexual promiscuity that goes along with that.”

Campus drinking culture. That’s what we’re speaking out against? You think that’s what I’ve spent the past year fighting for? Not awareness about campus sexual assault, or rape, or learning to recognise consent. Campus drinking culture. Down with Jack Daniels. Down with Skyy Vodka. If you want talk to people about drinking go to an AA meeting. You realize, having a drinking problem is different than drinking and then forcefully trying to have sex with someone? Show men how to respect women, not how to drink less.

Drinking culture and the sexual promiscuity that goes along with that. Goes along with that, like a side effect, like fries on the side of your order. Where does promiscuity even come into play? I don’t see headlines that read, Brock Turner, Guilty of drinking too much and the sexual promiscuity that goes along with that. Campus Sexual Assault. There’s your first power point slide. Rest assured, if you fail to fix the topic of your talk, I will follow you to every school you go to and give a follow up presentation.

Lastly you said, I want to show people that one night of drinking can ruin a life.

A life, one life, yours, you forgot about mine. Let me rephrase for you, I want to show people that one night of drinking can ruin two lives. You and me. You are the cause, I am the effect. You have dragged me through this hell with you, dipped me back into that night again and again. You knocked down both our towers, I collapsed at the same time you did. If you think I was spared, came out unscathed, that today I ride off into sunset, while you suffer the greatest blow, you are mistaken.

Nobody wins. We have all been devastated, we have all been trying to find some meaning in all of this suffering. Your damage was concrete; stripped of titles, degrees, enrolment. My damage was internal, unseen, I carry it with me. You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today.

See one thing we have in common is that we were both unable to get up in the morning. I am no stranger to suffering. You made me a victim. In newspapers my name was “unconscious intoxicated woman”, ten syllables, and nothing more than that. For a while, I believed that that was all I was. I had to force myself to relearn my real name, my identity. To relearn that this is not all that I am. That I am not just a drunk victim at a frat party found behind a dumpster, while you are the All­ American swimmer at a top university, innocent until proven guilty, with so much at stake. I am a human being who has been irreversibly hurt, my life was put on hold for over a year, waiting to figure out if I was worth something.

My independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle I had been enjoying became distorted beyond recognition. I became closed off, angry, self deprecating, tired, irritable, empty. The isolation at times was unbearable. You cannot give me back the life I had before that night either. While you worry about your shattered reputation, I refrigerated spoons every night so when I woke up, and my eyes were puffy from crying, I would hold the spoons to my eyes to lessen the swelling so that I could see. I showed up an hour late to work every morning, excused myself to cry in the stairwells, I can tell you all the best places in that building to cry where no one can hear you.

The pain became so bad that I had to explain the private details to my boss to let her know why I was leaving. I needed time because continuing day to day was not possible. I used my savings to go as far away as I could possibly be. I did not return to work full time as I knew I’d have to take weeks off in the future for the hearing and trial, that were constantly being rescheduled. My life was put on hold for over a year, my structure had collapsed.

I can’t sleep alone at night without having a light on, like a five year old, because I have nightmares of being touched where I cannot wake up, I did this thing where I waited until the sun came up and I felt safe enough to sleep. For three months, I went to bed at six o’clock in the morning.

I used to pride myself on my independence, now I am afraid to go on walks in the evening, to attend social events with drinking among friends where I should be comfortable being. I have become a little barnacle always needing to be at someone’s side, to have my boyfriend standing next to me, sleeping beside me, protecting me. It is embarrassing how feeble I feel, how timidly I move through life, always guarded, ready to defend myself, ready to be angry.

You have no idea how hard I have worked to rebuild parts of me that are still weak. It took me eight months to even talk about what happened. I could no longer connect with friends, with everyone around me. I would scream at my boyfriend, my own family whenever they brought this up. You never let me forget what happened to me. At the of end of the hearing, the trial, I was too tired to speak. I would leave drained, silent. I would go home turn off my phone and for days I would not speak.

You bought me a ticket to a planet where I lived by myself. Every time a new article come out, I lived with the paranoia that my entire hometown would find out and know me as the girl who got assaulted. I didn’t want anyone’s pity and am still learning to accept victim as part of my identity. You made my own hometown an uncomfortable place to be.

You cannot give me back my sleepless nights. The way I have broken down sobbing uncontrollably if I’m watching a movie and a woman is harmed, to say it lightly, this experience has expanded my empathy for other victims. I have lost weight from stress, when people would comment I told them I’ve been running a lot lately. There are times I did not want to be touched. I have to relearn that I am not fragile, I am capable, I am wholesome, not just livid and weak.

When I see my younger sister hurting, when she is unable to keep up in school, when she is deprived of joy, when she is not sleeping, when she is crying so hard on the phone she is barely breathing, telling me over and over again she is sorry for leaving me alone that night, sorry sorry sorry, when she feels more guilt than you, then I do not forgive you. That night I had called her to try and find her, but you found me first. Your attorney’s closing statement began, “[Her sister] said she was fine and who knows her better than her sister.” You tried to use my own sister against me? Your points of attack were so weak, so low, it was almost embarrassing. You do not touch her.

You should have never done this to me. Secondly, you should have never made me fight so long to tell you, you should have never done this to me. But here we are. The damage is done, no one can undo it. And now we both have a choice. We can let this destroy us, I can remain angry and hurt and you can be in denial, or we can face it head on, I accept the pain, you accept the punishment, and we move on.

Your life is not over, you have decades of years ahead to rewrite your story. The world is huge, it is so much bigger than Palo Alto and Stanford, and you will make a space for yourself in it where you can be useful and happy. But right now, you do not get to shrug your shoulders and be confused anymore. You do not get to pretend that there were no red flags. You have been convicted of violating me, intentionally, forcibly, sexually, with malicious intent, and all you can admit to is consuming alcohol. Do not talk about the sad way your life was upturned because alcohol made you do bad things. Figure out how to take responsibility for your own conduct.

Now to address the sentencing. When I read the probation officer’s report, I was in disbelief, consumed by anger which eventually quieted down to profound sadness. My statements have been slimmed down to distortion and taken out of context. I fought hard during this trial and will not have the outcome minimized by a probation officer who attempted to evaluate my current state and my wishes in a fifteen minute conversation, the majority of which was spent answering questions I had about the legal system. The context is also important. Brock had yet to issue a statement, and I had not read his remarks.

My life has been on hold for over a year, a year of anger, anguish and uncertainty, until a jury of my peers rendered a judgment that validated the injustices I had endured. Had Brock admitted guilt and remorse and offered to settle early on, I would have considered a lighter sentence, respecting his honesty, grateful to be able to move our lives forward. Instead he took the risk of going to trial, added insult to injury and forced me to relive the hurt as details about my personal life and sexual assault were brutally dissected before the public.

He pushed me and my family through a year of inexplicable, unnecessary suffering, and should face the consequences of challenging his crime, of putting my pain into question, of making us wait so long for justice.

I told the probation officer I do not want Brock to rot away in prison. I did not say he does not deserve to be behind bars. The probation officer’s recommendation of a year or less in county jail is a soft time-out, a mockery of the seriousness of his assaults, an insult to me and all women. It gives the message that a stranger can be inside you without proper consent and he will receive less than what has been defined as the minimum sentence. Probation should be denied. I also told the probation officer that what I truly wanted was for Brock to get it, to understand and admit to his wrongdoing.

Unfortunately, after reading the defendant’s report, I am severely disappointed and feel that he has failed to exhibit sincere remorse or responsibility for his conduct. I fully respected his right to a trial, but even after twelve jurors unanimously convicted him guilty of three felonies, all he has admitted to doing is ingesting alcohol. Someone who cannot take full accountability for his actions does not deserve a mitigating sentence. It is deeply offensive that he would try and dilute rape with a suggestion of “promiscuity”. By definition rape is not the absence of promiscuity, rape is the absence of consent, and it perturbs me deeply that he can’t even see that distinction.

The probation officer factored in that the defendant is youthful and has no prior convictions. In my opinion, he is old enough to know what he did was wrong. When you are eighteen in this country you can go to war. When you are nineteen, you are old enough to pay the consequences for attempting to rape someone. He is young, but he is old enough to know better.

As this is a first offence I can see where leniency would beckon. On the other hand, as a society, we cannot forgive everyone’s first sexual assault or digital rape. It doesn’t make sense. The seriousness of rape has to be communicated clearly, we should not create a culture that suggests we learn that rape is wrong through trial and error. The consequences of sexual assault needs to be severe enough that people feel enough fear to exercise good judgment even if they are drunk, severe enough to be preventative.

The probation officer weighed the fact that he has surrendered a hard earned swimming scholarship. How fast Brock swims does not lessen the severity of what happened to me, and should not lessen the severity of his punishment. If a first-time offender from an underprivileged background was accused of three felonies and displayed no accountability for his actions other than drinking, what would his sentence be?

The fact that Brock was an athlete at a private university should not be seen as an entitlement to leniency, but as an opportunity to send a message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class.

The Probation Officer has stated that this case, when compared to other crimes of similar nature, may be considered less serious due to the defendant’s level of intoxication. It felt serious. That’s all I’m going to say.

What has he done to demonstrate that he deserves a break? He has only apologised for drinking and has yet to define what he did to me as sexual assault, he has revictimized me continually, relentlessly. He has been found guilty of three serious felonies and it is time for him to accept the consequences of his actions. He will not be quietly excused.

He is a lifetime sex registrant. That doesn’t expire. Just like what he did to me doesn’t expire, doesn’t just go away after a set number of years. It stays with me, it’s part of my identity, it has forever changed the way I carry myself, the way I live the rest of my life.

To conclude, I want to say thank you. To everyone from the intern who made me oatmeal when I woke up at the hospital that morning, to the deputy who waited beside me, to the nurses who calmed me, to the detective who listened to me and never judged me, to my advocates who stood unwaveringly beside me, to my therapist who taught me to find courage in vulnerability, to my boss for being kind and understanding, to my incredible parents who teach me how to turn pain into strength, to my grandma who snuck chocolate into the courtroom throughout this to give to me, my friends who remind me how to be happy, to my boyfriend who is patient and loving, to my unconquerable sister who is the other half of my heart, to Alaleh, my idol, who fought tirelessly and never doubted me.

Thank you to everyone involved in the trial for their time and attention. Thank you to girls across the nation that wrote cards to my DA to give to me, so many strangers who cared for me.

Most importantly, thank you to the two men who saved me, who I have yet to meet. I sleep with two bicycles that I drew taped above my bed to remind myself there are heroes in this story. That we are looking out for one another. To have known all of these people, to have felt their protection and love, is something I will never forget.

And finally, to girls everywhere, I am with you. On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought everyday for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you. As the author Anne Lamott once wrote, “Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”

Although I can’t save every boat, I hope that by speaking today, you absorbed a small amount of light, a small knowing that you can’t be silenced, a small satisfaction that justice was served, a small assurance that we are getting somewhere, and a big, big knowing that you are important, unquestionably, you are untouchable, you are beautiful, you are to be valued, respected, undeniably, every minute of every day, you are powerful and nobody can take that away from you. To girls everywhere, I am with you. Thank you.





Revolution #442 June 6, 2016

Embracing the Legacy of Muhammad Ali Means Standing Up and Acting for Principle

by Carl Dix

June 10, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


People talk about their admiration for Muhammad Ali and profess to embrace his legacy. I have a serious question and challenge to put to them, and especially the prominent Black people among them: Are you ready to stand and act for principle as he did? Muhammad Ali put himself on the line to stand up against the oppression this system was bringing down on Black people. When the powers that be told him he had to join their army and be part of the military machine being unleashed to drown the liberation struggle of the Vietnamese people in blood, Ali responded in bold and clear terms:

“No, I am not going ten thousand miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would put my prestige in jeopardy and could cause me to lose millions of dollars which should accrue to me as the champion. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is right here.”

This stand cost him the heavyweight boxing championship of the world and millions of dollars. And it put him at risk of being jailed for years, but he stood firm and refused to back down. This is what was most inspiring about Muhammad Ali: his willingness to put it all on the line to oppose terrible wrongs.

Today, the same system continues to inflict savage oppression: horrific numbers of particularly Black and Latino people, including many youth and even young children, brutalized and murdered by vicious police. How many videos must you see of people gunned down or beaten, tased or choked to death by the police, responding only with weak sympathy for the victims, and begging the system for justice someday? How long will you stand aside while the system backs up their killer cops again and again, seldom putting any of them on trial—and in the few cases where cops have been tried, virtually never convicting any of them, or at most giving them a slap on the wrist? “Justifiable homicide”? No. Ali said then, and we must say now: “This is the day when such evils must come to an end.”

Ali, in a short poem, said: "Me, Whee!" With props to his exuberance, I am going to take a liberty with his rhyme to say: Yes: You, me, WE know this horrific police brutality and murder is still going down. Are you/are we going to stand up and say unequivocally that these and other horrors perpetrated by this system must stop? ARE YOU/ARE WE GOING TO PUT IT ON THE LINE TO FIGHT TO STOP THESE CRIMES AGAINST THE PEOPLE? I’ve been doing this for a long time and will continue to so. Are you ready to join this fight? The time is now. THIS IS THE LEGACY THAT MUST NOT ONLY BE SPOKEN OF, BUT ACTED ON.