Revolution #456, September 12, 2016 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

September 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |

Announcing: The Launch of a Pathbreaking New Book from Bob Avakian

The science, the strategy, the leadership
for an actual revolution,
and a radically new society
on the road to real emancipation

Also read: Getting THE NEW COMMUNISM Everywhere

BA Everywhere...
Imagine the Difference It Could Make!

Get into BA, and get into the campaign to raise the funds to Get BA Everywhere.

Find out more

The Bob Avakian Institute

The Bob Avakian Institute is a nonprofit institute organized for educational purposes. Its mission is to preserve, project, and promote the works and vision of Bob Avakian with the aim of reaching the broadest possible audience.

To donate online, go to:

Checks/money orders can be mailed to: The Bob Avakian Institute (or The BA Institute), 1016 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago IL 60607

A pathbreaking new book from Bob Avakian is available now: THE NEW COMMUNISM: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation.

As described on the book’s cover:

FOR ANYONE WHO CARES ABOUT THE STATE OF THE WORLD and the condition of humanity and agonizes over whether fundamental change is really possible, this landmark work provides a sweeping and comprehensive orientation, foundation, and guide to making the most radical of revolutions: a communist revolution aimed at emancipating humanity—getting beyond all forms of oppression and exploitation on a world scale.

THE AUTHOR, BOB AVAKIAN, IS THE ARCHITECT OF A NEW SYNTHESIS OF COMMUNISM. This new synthesis is a continuation of, but also represents a qualitative leap beyond, and in some important ways a break with, communist theory as it had been previously developed. Avakian has written this book in such a way as to make even complex theory accessible to a broad audience. In this book, he draws on his decades of work advancing the science of communism and his experience as a revolutionary communist leader, including leading the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, as its Chairman since its founding in 1975.

THIS IS A PATHBREAKING WORK, one that scientifically analyzes the system of capitalism-imperialism and its unresolvable contradictions; confronts the challenges facing the movement for revolution; and forges a way forward to making an actual revolution in this country, as part of contributing to communist revolution internationally.

This work is being released at a time of unspeakable and unnecessary suffering from one corner of the globe to the other—millions driven from their homes by unjust wars and environmental destruction, rampant violence and hatred against women, relentless murder and brutality against Black and Brown people by police in the U.S., vicious attacks on immigrants, and much more. It comes as well at a time of tremendous upheaval, with powerful resistance breaking out and people taking bold stands, and with many more being shaken into political life—and deeply disgusted—not only by the fascism of Trump but also the war crimes and lies of Clinton and the Democrats.

Launching This Pathbreaking Work into the World

All this heightens the importance, and the basis, for this book and Bob Avakian (BA) to be taken out and engaged very, very broadly. If you are questioning—or rising up against—the crimes of this system... If you are an intellectual or artist, a scientist or religious person... If you are locked down in prison or trapped on the hard streets seeking a way to fight and to understand the world and how to change it... If you are from the new generation of students and budding intellectuals who this system is working to train as administrators of its system, but who need to—and can—become leaders and fighters for a world free of exploitation and oppression... Get into—and help spread—this book.

This fall must be a time when THE NEW COMMUNISM gets out very widely and Bob Avakian is engaged as never before.

The October 8 Book Launch

A major book launch event for THE NEW COMMUNISM has just been announced for Saturday, October 8, at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, featuring Cornel West and Carl Dix. Cornel West stands out among intellectuals for his principle, as well as his work, and stands out as well for having engaged BA, including in the historic Dialogue on Revolution and Religion, and Carl Dix is a longtime follower of Bob Avakian and a revolutionary leader in his own right. Andy Zee, the spokesperson for Revolution Books NYC, will moderate the event, which is sponsored by New York Revolution Books, The Bob Avakian Institute, Revolution Books Educational Fund, and Insight Press. The event, together with a special fundraising reception to follow at Revolution Books, again featuring Cornel West and Carl Dix, will raise funds for the further promotion of THE NEW COMMUNISM.

This is an opportunity for hundreds to gather in one place to hear readings from and discussion of this new book, to raise funds, and to make a big splash about the book and its author in the realm of public opinion very broadly.

As BA himself has put it:

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

We encourage readers to write in with their thoughts on THE NEW COMMUNISM, their experiences taking it out, and their ideas for making this work and its author a really big deal throughout society (send to Together, let’s dive into this pathbreaking book and help make a leap projecting it, and its author, Bob Avakian, into all corners of society.


The Launch of a Pathbreaking New Book from Bob Avakian:


The science, the strategy, the leadership
for an actual revolution,
and a radically new society
on the road to real emancipation

Saturday, October 8, 1:30 pm

Schomburg Center for
Research in Black Culture

515 Malcolm X Blvd. @135th Street, Harlem, NYC
(2/3 trains to 135th)

Cornel West and Carl Dix

Moderated by: Andy Zee, spokesperson for Revolution Books

Tickets: $200 premium*, $85 select*, $25 regular, $15 low-income

* These tickets make it possible to offer discounted tickets to students and low-income individuals; includes wine & cheese reception with speakers

Presented by: Revolution Books, The BA Institute,
Revolution Books Educational Fund, Insight Press

For more info, to purchase tickets, or to buy THE NEW COMMUNISM,
contact: or 212.691.3345




Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

Letter to the Editors: A point to add on Bob Avakian's new book


September 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


To the editors:

I wanted to add one point to last week’s exciting coverage at of the upcoming publication of Bob Avakian’s THE NEW COMMUNISM: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation and the plans laid out to take the BA Everywhere campaign to a much higher level. And that point is internationalism.

First, the book itself is an event with international ramifications. BA has taken communism—which is a science encompassing the entire world, a political movement that must take root in every corner of the globe, and the goal of a world community of peoples, beyond borders and countries—to another level. To be a communist in the world today is to be a follower of Bob Avakian—anything short of that, let alone opposed to it, just isn’t communism. This is not just something for the movement in the U.S.—and the May 1 statements this year from revolutionary communist organizations in other countries, as well as polemics and articles from still other groups and individuals, make that very clear (see end of the letter for titles and links).

Second, one of the key elements of the new synthesis of communism is a breakthrough that BA has made in the theory of internationalism. BA has taken much further and qualitatively deepened our understanding of the extremely complex but nonetheless interconnected process through which the world develops in this era of imperialism, and the revolution against imperialism. On that basis, he has broken with significant errors made in previous communist revolutions and laid the basis for a real leap in HOW our movement, worldwide, fights both today as we hasten and prepare to make revolution and in the future, when we are leading new socialist societies after state power has been seized. This is precious—it opens the way for all of humanity to get beyond the horrors of today. And BA has personally and politically always put the whole world first—another thing that comes through in this new book. (See “The New Synthesis of Communism: Fundamental Orientation, Method, and Approach, and Core Elements—An Outline,” by Bob Avakian, Chairman, Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, Summer 2015)

All this leads me to my conclusion: that a huge effort should be made this fall to get word of THE NEW COMMUNISM out into immigrant communities, to expatriate or visiting intellectuals and artists, and to international students. In the communities, on the campuses and at cultural programs and seminars—word must spread, and the ways be found to engage people with this work... and with BA's new synthesis overall. There would always be the need for an advance like this to get out to all of humanity—but does this not cry out with even greater urgency today, in a world wracked with needless, excruciating suffering but where the only REAL way out is not even known about in the vast majority of the planet? The lack of engagement with this, or even knowledge of it, has had tremendously negative consequences for whole regions of the world—this is something we must urgently work to change.

Check out these statements, polemics, and articles:

The New Synthesis of Communism and the Residues of the Past,” by the Revolutionary Communist Organization (OCR), Mexico

This Is an Emergency May Day Call! No Time to Waste! A Radically Different World Is Possible! Only If We Take Up the New Synthesis of Communism!” from the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist)—May Day 2016

Urgently needed: Take up the new synthesis of communism of Bob Avakian, the new framework required for a new stage of revolution!“ Declaration of Grupo Comunista Revolucionario de Colombia, May 1, 2016

SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION: On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian—an Interview with Ardea Skybreak





Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

September 6, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Also read
Announcing: The Launch of a Pathbreaking New Book from Bob Avakian

BA Everywhere...
Imagine the Difference It Could Make!

Get into BA, and get into the campaign to raise the funds to Get BA Everywhere.

Find out more

The Bob Avakian Institute

The Bob Avakian Institute is a nonprofit institute organized for educational purposes. Its mission is to preserve, project, and promote the works and vision of Bob Avakian with the aim of reaching the broadest possible audience.

To donate online, go to:

Checks/money orders can be mailed to: The Bob Avakian Institute (or The BA Institute), 1016 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago IL 60607

Getting THE NEW COMMUNISM Everywhere

The publication of THE NEW COMMUNISM: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation is a major opening to really promote BA and his analysis of the problem and solution and the whole scientific method he’s taken to another level—and that requires organization! To begin with, it’s time to re-forge the BA Everywhere Committees and take them to a much higher level.

The BA Everywhere campaign flows out of the recognition by revolutionaries that making BA known throughout all of society is one of the most decisive parts—indeed, the leading edge—of building a movement for revolution. The heart of this campaign is a major struggle in the realm of ideas over the question: what is the problem facing humanity and what is the solution? To sharpen this up, as BA himself has put it, “What we’re promoting when we are promoting BA Everywhere is the advance in the understanding of the necessity, the possibility, the character, the strategy and the means for revolution aiming for the final goal of communism.” All this is extremely concentrated in this new book, THE NEW COMMUNISM. At the same time, this campaign embraces and encompasses many—coming from a great diversity of perspectives—who may not themselves be convinced of the need for revolution or of everything BA is putting forward, but who agree it would make a very liberating difference in society if millions of people knew about and were engaging the work and leadership of BA. Through the BA Everywhere campaign, all these kinds of people come together to raise massive amounts of money to project BA and his work far and wide.

Through this period, the BA Everywhere Committees must become vibrant mass forms involving people from many different backgrounds and outlooks. These committees must be a place where people can dig into BA’s work together and actively raise the funds needed to make BA a household name. They should be reaching out to all kinds of people and developing a growing network of donors. They should host salons to give people the opportunity to dig into BA’s work together. (See the article “Taking Bob Avakian’s New Synthesis of Communism to Academic Sociology Conferences: ‘Wow, I’ve never thought of that...’” in this issue for an example of the kinds of things these committees could be doing.)

The BA Institute must also grow and become more widely known through this. Many more people need to be won to support it financially and through their active involvement so that it can fulfill its mission: “to preserve, project, and promote the works and vision of Bob Avakian with the aim of reaching the broadest possible audience.”

Even as they step up efforts to take out and organize people on the basis of the Message from the RCP’s Central Committee, the Revolution Clubs need to be immersing themselves in and wrangling with THE NEW COMMUNISM and taking it out to all those they are working with. They should also organize special efforts (and take part in those organized by others) to get out, and get people into, this book. This book must be the foundation on which a whole new wave of real revolutionaries—true emancipators of humanity—are brought forward to change the world.

Going to All of Society

Buzz, anticipation, and engagement with this book must be built throughout the intellectual, cultural, and artistic scenes. Everywhere people are debating the current state of political affairs, everywhere people are making art that explores this country’s crimes or struggles to envision a better way things could be, everywhere people are coming together in scenes that celebrate the great diversity of humanity rather than the ugly divisions fostered by this system, everywhere people are wrestling with big ideas in philosophy and science and more, people need to be getting advance copies of THE NEW COMMUNISM and buying tickets—especially premium fundraising tickets—to the October 8 launch.

Word needs to spread through social media, online, and on the airwaves about this. Blurbs from people who have read, or begun seriously digging into, THE NEW COMMUNISM, need to be solicited now and then must get out broadly, as part of spurring many more to engage and be there on the 8th. Palm cards and posters need to be spread very widely. Immigrant communities and intellectuals of various diasporas need to be reached with this.

This must be taken to students of all kinds—yes, those who are active in the social movements and studying social injustice, but also those in the sciences and arts, in history and philosophy, in engineering and business and more. Students who threw themselves into the Bernie campaign and now are trying to figure out what to do... Students who are part of the renewed interest in Marxism and communism... Students who have been propelled by the struggle against police murder and racism, or against sexual assault or the deportations or the wars or the environmental destruction... They must be invited and challenged to get into this book and to attend and bring others to the launch.

By going out to all these sections of people with BA and his new book, THE NEW COMMUNISM, let’s make a real leap in both getting BA known and engaged very broadly and in building the growing, organized mass movement to spread this through all of society and raise the funds necessary to do so.


The Launch of a Pathbreaking New Book from Bob Avakian:


The science, the strategy, the leadership
for an actual revolution,
and a radically new society
on the road to real emancipation

Saturday, October 8, 1:30 pm

Schomburg Center for
Research in Black Culture

515 Malcolm X Blvd. @135th Street, Harlem, NYC
(2/3 trains to 135th)

Cornel West and Carl Dix

Moderated by: Andy Zee, spokesperson for Revolution Books

Tickets: $200 premium*, $85 select*, $25 regular, $15 low-income

* These tickets make it possible to offer discounted tickets to students and low-income individuals; includes wine & cheese reception with speakers

Presented by: Revolution Books, The BA Institute,
Revolution Books Educational Fund, Insight Press

For more info, to purchase tickets, or to buy THE NEW COMMUNISM,
contact: or 212.691.3345




Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

The Science...Actual Revolution title image

Download PDF of entire work

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

This excerpt comes from the section titled "II. Socialism and the Advance to Communism: A Radically Different Way the World Could Be, A Road to Real Emancipation."

Excerpt from the section:
Socialism as an Economic System and a Political System–And a Transition to Communism

In talking about the radical alternative and the road to communism, it’s been pointed out that socialism is three things: It’s a radically different socialist economic system; a radically different political system, the dictatorship of the proletariat; and a transition to communism. This is something that comes through very clearly in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. And, once again, what do we run into?—contradiction. This is full of contradiction: Each of these three elements—a radically different economic system, a radically different political system, a transition to communism—each is full of contradiction, and there are contradictions between all three of them. This can come down very concretely, and it has in the history of socialist countries that have existed so far. Being a base area for the world revolution, for example, can come very acutely into contradiction with defending the socialist state from attack, both from within—from exploiters and reactionaries within the socialist state who want to bring back the old system—and from outside, by imperialists and other powerful forces. And any time you get to the point where the seizure of power will come on the agenda, all these contradictions will start posing themselves very sharply. We saw this, for example, in Nepal: These contradictions started posing themselves very acutely when they got near to the threshold of going for the seizure of power. (I’ll come back to this, and get into it a little more deeply, later.)

And a radically different economic system—that’s full of contradictions. In socialist society, you’re still dealing with commodity relations, to a significant degree and for a long time. You still have to take into account the law of value, even while you can’t let it be the thing regulating the economy. Now, some people, like anarchists and some others, don’t understand why, if you’re going to have a different society, you have to do things like pay a physicist or a doctor more than a factory worker. The reason is that the law of value is still there. What does that mean? There is a certain amount of socially necessary labor that goes into enabling someone to develop the ability to be a doctor or a physicist, which is significantly greater than the amount of labor that goes into being able to work in a factory, or in a warehouse or something like that. This is just a fact. You may restrict that, but if you don’t recognize that and you try to pay a physicist or a doctor the same as a factory worker, or somebody working in a hospital as an orderly, let’s say, you’re going to have real problems with your economy. Let’s go back to what I was speaking to earlier: what’s happening in these commodity exchanges? Exchanges of labor, ultimately. Well, then if you try to pay a physicist or a doctor the same as a factory worker or an orderly in a hospital, your system is going to get out of whack economically, because you’d be exchanging labor disproportionately—and you actually do have to have a functioning economy. People like anarchists don’t think about things like that—they just think that you can do this magically, or essentially by spontaneity. “Let’s have the workers in each factory run their own factory”—that’s an idea common to anarchists, and some others. Well, then, how are they going to exchange things between factories, by what means are they going to do that? If you try to eliminate money right away, then you run into Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, and we don’t want that. In other words, you’d have to force a lot of things, and it won’t work—people will rebel against it. So, then, to try to enforce this, you’d have to use all kinds of dictatorship against people who shouldn’t be dictated over—this will turn into a bad, a reactionary dictatorship. (I will also have a little more to say about the experience of the so-called, but not really, communists, the Khmer Rouge, in Cambodia a little later.)

So, even in developing a socialist economy, while you’re quickly taking ownership of the major means of production—the factories, and the land, and so on—and ultimately all means of production are being taken out of the hands of individuals and transformed into the social property of the society as a whole—which is in line with how they’re actually produced, socially—it takes a while to accomplish even that. And even while you do that, there are still for a long period all these commodity relations, there’s still the use of money, there are still significant remnants of the old division of labor—in particular the mental/manual contradiction we talk about (some people working with ideas, and other people doing the physical work). Those are major contradictions that you can’t eliminate right away, and they are bound up with getting beyond commodity production. You have commodity exchanges between different units of the economy—for example, different sectors of the economy are selling machinery to each other, or parts to each other—and then you have commodity relations in the consumption by individuals of different necessities, personal items, and so on.

Now this is quite different than in capitalist society. I remember when I was in China in 1971, and one of the people in our delegation was someone from the Young Lords Party; we were in a department store and he wanted to get one of those things that was called a Mao jacket, that a lot of the Chinese people wore. He was talking to the clerk working in the store, and he said to her: How much does that cost? And she said five yuan (that is the Chinese currency). And then, without thinking, he asked her: Is that a fair price? And everybody cracked up. She answered: It’s the same price everywhere.

That was the price—you don’t have capitalism where different units of capital are competing with each other. That was the price, five yuan. Go down the street to another store, five yuan. So it’s different. You have a planned economy that’s using the resources for the social good and the needs of the people—both their immediate material needs, but also their intellectual and cultural needs—but you still have commodity relations, you still have to put down five yuan.

So there are all these contradictions in the economic system.

And there are contradictions in the political system. You have the dictatorship of the proletariat. Now, remember in the Skybreak Interview she says: dictatorship of the proletariat, get over it, you’re living under a bourgeois dictatorship right now—and, by the way, the dictatorship of the proletariat is a very good thing.

The dictatorship of the proletariat means, as set forth in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic, that the institutions of society, the political institutions and so on, have to be vehicles for the communist revolution. Well, that’s a very good thing. But there are a lot of contradictions bound up with that, too, because, for one thing, what’s an appropriate vehicle, or institution, at one stage to advance the revolution becomes outmoded, becomes a drag on that revolution, at another stage. So then you have to transform that institution. Plus, you don’t just have the proletariat, you have all these different classes, and you have contradictions among the people who make up the proletariat. When we get to the “parachute point,” we’ll talk about that—that you have all these different forces, different social classes and strata in socialist society, and you can’t do away with them until you’ve done away with the material basis for them—not by the Khmer Rouge model of smashing everybody down to an equal level, but by moving beyond the economic and social relations that underlie these class and social differences. (Again, I will come back to the situation, and real problems, with the Khmer Rouge a little later.)

Then there’s the contradiction that you need a vanguard party to exercise the dictatorship of the proletariat, but the party itself can be turned around into its opposite, into a vehicle for restoring capitalism and enforcing the exploitation and oppression of the masses of people. The party doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It exists within the larger society and in the context of the class struggle going on in that society; and the influence of the social relations and the economic relations and the ideas that are out in society as a whole exists within the party as well. In some important ways this takes a concentrated expression within the party. Along with this, you have the influence on the party of the larger world, of the international situation, which will likely be, for some time, dominated by imperialists and other exploiters. So, on the one hand, you need the vanguard, but within that vanguard itself you will have intense struggle over whether that vanguard’s going to stay on the road of socialism toward the goal of communism, or whether it’s going to be turned around into an instrument that carries out the restoration of capitalism, sometimes in the name of communism. So, again, this is complex. I keep saying complex—and complex should not be a word that frightens us. Complex calls on us to do work, and keep on doing it as we go forward.

But, that’s not all of it. Out of these three elements—that is, a new, radically different economic system, a radically different political system, and a transition to communism—the transition to communism is, and has to be, the principal, the main, one. And that’s full of contradiction, too, because you do have to have a functioning socialist system—economically, politically, socially, and so on—even as you’re moving forward on the communist road and transforming the existing socialist system through ongoing revolutionary struggle. And again, there’s a whole world out there, and when socialist countries come into existence here and there, at least for a long period of time it’s very likely that most of the world is still going to be ruled by imperialists and other exploiters. And they’re not going to like what you’re trying to do, to put it mildly. They’re going to try to intervene in all kinds of ways—through espionage, through sabotage of your economy, as well as through political intrigue, and through outright military attack, if they can do it. So that’s full of contradiction—being a transition to communism is itself full of contradiction, and is acutely in contradiction with these other aspects of what a socialist society is.

Again, the point is not: “Oh, my god, if you’d have told me, back when I first got involved in this, that this was going to involve all these complex problems, I would have gone and done something else.” No—that’s not the point. Look, none of us, when we first get involved, understand all this complexity—and maybe that’s a good thing! But, nevertheless, we do have to come to terms with it. It’s what it is. It’s not like there’s no resolution to these things, but you’re not going to be able to lead people through this if you aren’t working on really grasping the complexity, the contradictions involved, and then working and struggling to transform this in the direction that it needs to go. That’s what this is about. It’s not to promote a sense of defeatism—quite the contrary. The more we understand this, the more we have the basis to go to work on it. And there is a material basis, a basis in the real world, to go to work on it. There are a lot of things working against it, but there is also the fundamental fact that, without this revolution, these contradictions can’t be resolved in a way that is actually in the interests of the broad masses of humanity. That’s what we have fundamentally going for us—but then we have to do the work.



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 #456 September 12, 2016

Updated September 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


What People Are Saying About Bob Avakian and THE NEW COMMUNISM


“I love it when he talks about my people being all people…. My people across the board—I don’t care who they are…. he always puts the struggle against white supremacy at the center…. Second, the centrality of the issue of gender, the vicious forms of patriarchy inseparable from that white supremacy. Third, empire—invasions, dominations…. And the fourth, the planet—not just global warming. It’s ecological catastrophe that is impinging every day primarily owing to corporate greed and the elites who are in the driver’s seat of a capitalist civilization that cuts across national boundaries—that’s what you find in this text. And last but not least, the concern about our precious immigrant brothers and sisters and the vicious scapegoating that’s going on, the deportations under neo-liberal presidents, no matter what color they are. The attempt to [not] lose sight of their humanity. How do you bring these together in such a way that you have a united front? And that’s in part what he’s calling for, and I as a revolutionary Christian in the name of Jesus will be part of that united front, even given the disagreements that we might have. That’s why I like this text. That’s why it’s important.”

Dr. Cornel West speaking about THE NEW COMMUNISM at the launch for the book.

With america in the midst of a profound sickness evidenced by the continuing slaughter of black people by police recently—it is necessary that a literature be in existence that challenges our assumptions and lets us begin to understand that there is a way out of this suicidal madness. However we eventually get out of this mess it will take a profusion of ideas by fearless thinkers—and Bob Avakian is that.

What I found initially interesting about Avakian was that as someone who was around the black panthers, and while recognizing some of the failures of past counterculture movements, he has continued to push forward and create a dynamic synthesis and literature in a scientific way that gives us a basis to critique the roots and structures here that hold us in chains. He never lost the faith.

Matthew Shipp

During a recent event at Revolution Books in Harlem a patron presented reservations about a revolution, citing Malcolm X and that it would be bloody.  This is an issue that Bob Avakian, as always, meets head on without equivocation in his latest book The New Communism.  “You don’t make a revolution without tremendous sacrifice,” Avakian writes. This is a reality, he continued, “ have to go through to get to a better world.” In this book, Avakian honestly and perceptively handles a number of questions about the difficulties of bringing about a total change in an oppressive system.  It is a valuable addition to his corpus of work; a splendid exegesis of revolutionary potential.

Herb Boyd, author of the forthcoming Black Detroit—A People's Struggle for Self-Determination (Amistad Press, 2017)

THE NEW COMMUNISM is exciting! Hundreds of pages, decades of research, a method and approach to understanding and confronting reality, and a strategy to actually make a revolution in the 21st century. This is monumental; for the billions of people who catch the worst hell under this system, and for everyone wondering why the world is the way it is and how it could be radically different, Bob Avakian’s work is unrivaled! To get to a new and radically better society on the path to a world free of exploitation and oppression will take nothing short of a Revolution, not an easy task however you slice it. But, in BA’s work and leadership, readers and revolutionaries can discover the scientific method and approach that has been lacking in previous socialist movements, as well as an understanding of how revolutions are made, and ways to move forward today to fight the power and transform the people. Viva BA!

A young woman from West Africa

Having gone and listened to a live, public Bob Avakian speech, as I have, is to be exposed to one of the most provocative, serious and controversial social thinkers of our time. He's an American original who should be heard, debated and critiqued for these dramatic and troubling times.

James Vrettos, professor, John Jay College, NYC

This is a book of “big ideas” in an era where so few have the intellectual courage and the epistemological backbone to analyze social phenomena in their totality and in their mutual penetration... let alone while announcing one’s intentions to lead an actual revolution. The strategy and method of that revolution is drawn from precisely the book’s intricate analysis, which is full of suggestive provocations and sharp indictment of the capitalist system and prevailing culture.

A grad student in sociology

The world has been crying out for The New Communism!

The conditions of the masses of the world are intolerable, they have been awakening to political life and yearning for revolution.

It has been decades since the loss of the last socialist states and we would not be able to have a deep understanding of the reasons that led to the defeat of socialism by the defenders of the old order had it not been for the tireless investigation of BA that has led to the development of The New Communism.

The New Communism is what revolutionaries across the world have been needing to be able to break with the traditional ways of thinking of what true communism and a true revolutionary line based on a higher scientific understanding is, to be able to lead masses of people to emancipation. As Mao said: “The correctness and incorrectness of the ideological and political line decides everything” and this is what has been lacking in the revolutionary communist movement.

The New Communism, the correctness of the ideological and political line, along with other factors could have put the 1979 Revolution in Iran on a different path; it could have had taken the struggle in Peru to a different level and put Nepal on the map as the next socialist state.

The New Communism is the true meaning of internationalism, it is communism with a true global perspective, The Whole World Comes First, the angle from which communist revolutions need to be led within local boundaries.

The New Communism is as important to today’s world as Marx, Lenin and Mao’s work was to previous revolutionary struggles.

It needs to be taken broadly out to the masses of the world. Without The New Communism, there will not be a radically different socialist economic system; a radically different political system, the dictatorship of the proletariat; and a transition to communism, and the masses of people will suffer endlessly.

Internationalist supporter of BA's new synthesis of communism originally from Iran

Not very long ago I had an opportunity to read parts of and discuss a new book by Bob Avakian, the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party.

His latest book, called THE NEW COMMUNISM: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation.

As one who saw the movement of the 60’s and 70’s fall short, where there were so much to push one in the direction of a revolution—police beating and murdering Blacks, Natives, Latinos and others in the poor community across AmeriKKKa.... I never understood why there wasn’t a revolution then.  Nor did I know what a revolution was, nor what it involved.

This new book by Bob Avakian reads more like a blueprint for the RCP and Revolution Clubs to build a better bridge to understanding even more about the science within a revolutionary movement, and how to seize and maintain control once a change is made!

With this system waging war in every country and even within its own borders!  It is time for those being oppressed to utilize this new approach and break away from this stranglehold before we too are choked to death!

In this new, powerful book by BA he discusses the works of Lenin, Marx and Mao and modernizes their works better than anyone else ever has!

He scientifically breaks each one open and gives the reader the knowledge that with this new scientific approach a revolution is not only possible, but capable of being won, and a road to communistic society is foreseeable.

Former prisoner and
Revolution Club member

BA's new book gave me a better understanding of what political line actually means.  And what it means to be a leader—an actual leader for the revolution that is yet to come.  And that we actually need a science in order to make this leadership happen.  Also it showed me that there can be a better society than capitalism.  And that made me appreciate it more because as a Black man growing up in this society it was always very, very tough for me.  The book gave me a way to understand that we need to make a new society and hope.  I am eager to share this book with everybody.

A Revolution Club member

...I particularly enjoyed how BA stated the new constitution is constructed in such a way that you have to repeatedly win the masses of people to stay on the socialist road and ultimately communism. The very last sentence is an in-depth dialogue in its own right, continually winning people over to take up all manner of contradictions, including ones that the dogs put in your way to turn people against you.

I was likewise struck by the way BA issued the challenge that more people should be grappling with the new constitution to show what kind of society we’re fighting for of course. But also to convey how heavy all this is.

Excerpt from Letter from a California prisoner, on reading a pre-publication copy of THE NEW COMMUNISM

Bob Avakian has made trenchant observations and brought insightful analyses to a host of problems confronting contemporary society. He is genuinely concerned about the plight of the masses and has given much critical thought regarding proposed solutions for their uplift.

Norm R. Allen, Jr., author and founder of African Americans for Humanism

Why is the world the way it is?
Is there a way to change it?
Isn’t communism a nightmare?
What is socialism?
What kind of world could we build?

From questions of morality to questions of what is reality, from the science and its role in changing the world. The more crucial questions for human emancipation are not just explored but deeply developed in this book in a very profound way. Have you ever felt in the Matrix as Neo when he took the red pill? Have you ever felt the veil of illusions, ignorance and lies fed to you by this system get dissipated? Revealing, challenging, bold, and very accessible. That is what this book is about, Bob Avakian challenges the ways you think about yourself, and the world, it exposes what ways of thinking represent what interests, it challenges you to take action in the road to emancipate the whole world, not just a group of people, an area or a country, but all of it. And it gives you a way to do so. This is the science, the strategy and the leadership humanity needs for bringing into being a whole new world. It all is in here and is a challenge from beginning to end.

A young woman from Latin America

The first work I read of Bob Avakian takes you to another place; In understanding, Challenging and critically changing this world. From a time I was cynically hardening to a thoroughly US American system, To have this body of work wrench and ground me in reality is beyond amazing. Confronting Topics, Vocabulary and theories I’m continually understanding better, is exciting. To know that The 7 billion around the planet can get to a world without exploitation and oppression ... As BA has said, Why strive for anything less? This needs to be in every hand and mouth; beyond coast and coast; from suburbia to the projects and high rises and even further into those who the system has no place literally on the fringes of society. THE NEW COMMUNISM, Damn, Now THAT’s a book to read.

A young Black woman

Bob Avakian is a fearless revolutionary fighter for the poor and oppressed people throughout the world. From what I see of him throughout my years in the struggle, Avakian has dedicated his life to addressing everything that stands in the way of people getting free, and this book is a product of all that work. Anybody who looks at the world and sees police getting away with murder or people driven from their homes in countries around the world by wars and wonders what, if anything, can be done to stop things like this from happening again and again needs to read The New Communism.

Nicholas Heyward, father of Nicholas Heyward, Jr.—murdered by New York Police Dept. in 1994

Before I was released from prison, I had the opportunity to read BA’s latest work, The Science, The Strategy, The Leadership for An Actual Revolution, and A Radically New Society on the Road to Real Emancipation. This talk which he gave the summer of 2015 touched on a lot of significant points in a very concise manner, while at the same time reinforced key contradictions that we must become better at. The more we strive to reorient people towards approaching the problem and solution from a scientific approach, the better we will be overall in creating a material force—a movement for revolution—that will be capable of carrying out a real revolution in this imperialist country, and once successful, expanding that material basis on an international scale. Because in the last analysis, communism is about fundamentally transforming the whole world and being emancipators of all of humanity not just the proletarians and basic masses within the borders of the United States.

Excerpt from Letter from an ex-prisoner, on reading a pre-publication copy of THE NEW COMMUNISM

Dear Revolution: I am really excited about the publishing of the latest major work by Bob Avakian, "The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation", in the form of a book, with an apt new title, The New Communism. I believe this to be an historic event at an historic moment, with world wide ramifications for the future of humanity.

At a time when people in this society are standing up against and resisting oppression and taking a firm stand against police brutality, the timing could not be more opportune. Also, there is a great upheaval in the world, and the Imperialists are having to deal with ever sharpening unresolvable contradictions. This has the potential for sudden jolts in the system of capitalism imperialism.

Besides, the suffering in the third world, (including the South Asian subcontinent, the area I migrated from); the death and destruction caused by wars for empire; the human suffering of displaced persons/refugees; the constant degradation of the environment with catastrophic possibilities, are all crying out for communism.

Since the restoration of capitalism in China in 1976, after the death of Mao, the first wave of communist revolutions practically came to an end. In the new era, Bob Avakian, coming out of the upsurge of the 60's, emerged as a new revolutionary leader, who took over the responsibility of deeply analyzing the whole previous revolutionary experience, studying both their short comings and great achievements, with the aim of finding what led to the reversal of communism in China, and how to move forward from there on.

His painstaking work of several decades culminated in " The New Synthesis". As Ardea Skybreak has rightly said in her interview:".... Bob Avakian's work in this period is actually ushering in a new stage of communism". BA's work has taken the science of communism to another level, and in addition to making significant leaps in many aspects of revolutionary theory, and important ruptures, he has also made crucial breakthroughs and resolved crucial contradictions, putting the science of communism on a far more firm foundation. He has raised Internationalism to a new dimension, completely breaking with narrow nationalism, national chauvinism, identity politics and the like. This is reflected throughout his works: "... the whole world comes first", "...American lives are not more important than other peoples lives", "...emancipation of humanity" and so on. Today, in the era of the second wave of communist revolutions, BA's New Synthesis is the only correct revolutionary theory that can lead to a successful revolution. His breakthroughs and path breaking contributions, put him at a par with the founders of communism, Marx and other great communist leaders, Lenin and Mao.

In the global situation that prevails today, anyone who cares about humanity and its future, has got to get connected with BA, engage with him and spread his vision world wide, so that people can be armed with "The New Communism", to prepare and organize for communist revolution, to deliver humanity from the clutches of Capitalism-Imperialism; end all forms of oppression and exploitation, and build a socialist society, on the march to achieving the final goal of communism world wide.

An internationalist supporter of the new synthesis from South Asia




Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

Native Americans Fight Modern-Day Genocide:

Standing Up at Standing Rock

Updated September 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |



March from Standing Rock protest encampment to Dakota Access Pipeline construction site. (Courtesy: The Red Nation and KIVA)
See interview with Native American activist below.

Update, September 19: Following the government’s September 9 intervention (see below), construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has been temporarily halted on federal land near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. However, pipeline construction continues in other areas—and the pipeline’s owners, Energy Partners, has vowed to complete it. Since then, the fight to stop the DAPL has continued and broadened. This weekend more than 3,500 people took part in the protest encampment at Standing Rock. On September 13, thousands took part in support actions for Standing Rock in over 200 cities across the U.S. as well as in Canada and England. The next day, more than 20 people were arrested near New Salem, North Dakota, some 70 miles northwest of Standing Rock, for blocking pipeline construction.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe of North Dakota has been battling for two years to stop the construction of an oil pipeline near their reservation. The pipeline threatens their water, land, and irreplaceable historical and cultural sites—literally threatening to destroy the Standing Rock Sioux as a people.

The Standing Rock Sioux are a small tribe—8,250 live on the reservation near where the Cannonball and Missouri Rivers meet. And they’re up against long odds and powerful forces: America’s long history of genocide, and now a juggernaut of big financial institutions and energy companies, backed by the government, the legal system, and the armed enforcers of the state.

But the people of Standing Rock have truth and the interests of humanity on their side, and they’ve refused to give up. Instead, they have fought courageously, standing firm, and reaching out widely for support. In the last few months, their battle has become a national and international issue. It has thrown a spotlight on the history of America’s genocide against Native Americans and how that horror continues in new guises today. More Native American tribes, some 200, have come together than ever before around Standing Rock. Thousands of Native people as well as environmentalists and activists have come to the protest encampment there to stop the pipeline. The hashtag #NoDAPL has been spreading on social media.

Standing Rock protest
The battle at Standing Rock intensified heading into September 9, the day the federal court was to announce whether or not the construction of the pipeline would continue. Protesters stood up to the pipeline company pigs and their dogs, stopping construction at one point. Photo:

The battle intensified as Friday, September 9, approached. That was the day a federal court was scheduled to announce whether or not the construction of the pipeline would continue. Protesters stood up to the pipeline company pigs and their dogs, stopping construction at one point. Support actions have taken place across the country. According to media spokespeople for the Standing Rock Sioux, press attention has been overwhelming. The battle has reverberated internationally: When President Obama recently traveled to Laos in Southeast Asia, he was grilled on America’s treatment of the Standing Rock Sioux and its indigenous peoples. (See "Obama's Bullshit vs. 10 Realities on Past and Present U.S. Crimes Against Native Americans.") Meanwhile, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple had activated the National Guard to be used against protesters.

Then on September 9, the battle took a sudden turn. That afternoon, a federal judge rejected the Sioux’s demand that the pipeline construction be halted. Literally moments later, in the context of unprecedented protests and global outrage, the Department of Justice, Department of the Army, and Department of the Interior issued a joint statement. They announced that construction of the pipeline would be temporarily halted on Army Corps of Engineers land bordering and under Lake Oahe (the part of Missouri River next to the Standing Rock reservation, where the Dakota Access pipeline is supposed to cross). They also said that the federal government would meet with Native peoples to discuss giving them more of a voice in future infrastructure projects like the pipeline.

But everything that has led to this explosive confrontation—why the pipeline is being built, and what the Standing Rock Sioux have faced—points to why this step back by the federal government is not to be trusted. And it points to why the struggle must not simply continue but deepen—and be more connected to the revolution it will actually take to stop the genocide of Native peoples and the destruction of the Earth’s environment.

Genocide: STILL as American as Apple Pie

What’s being done to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota is as American as apple pie.

A capitalist juggernaut of banks, drillers, and corporations, backed by the regulations, laws, and armed force of the state were again marauding over Native peoples. They were again despoiling the lands that Native Americans live on, plundering resources, and carrying out the genocide of Native peoples that has been taking place in one form or another ever since European settlers landed on American shores. And because exploitation and the dispossession of Native peoples are built into the fabric of U.S. capitalism-imperialism, this is not ancient history. It’s still going on.

This time it is called the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL). This pipeline, owned by the Texas conglomerate Energy Transfer Partners, could eventually carry 500,000 barrels of crude oil a day some 1,200 miles from the Bakken oil fields in northwest North Dakota to Illinois (nearly as long as the infamous Keystone XL pipeline).

The Dakota Access pipeline “would snake across our treaty lands and through our ancestral burial grounds,” writes the Standing Rock tribal chairman, Dave Archambault II. “Just a half-mile from our reservation boundary, the proposed route crosses the Missouri River, which provides drinking water for millions of Americans and irrigation water for thousands of acres of farming and ranching lands.” Some of those crucial historic and ancestral sites—which include irreplaceable Native art and pictographs—were savaged on September 3 by the Dakota Access bulldozers—after the company and the government were told of the sites.

The whole process of planning, approving, and constructing this pipeline drips with Native blood and the historic stench of America’s genocide of Native peoples. Over 90 percent of the pipeline is being built on private land—much of which was stolen from the Sioux. The 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie granted the Greater Sioux all of present-day South Dakota west of the Missouri River, including the Black Hills. But most of that land was stolen back 11 years later after the Great Sioux War.

And the theft has continued since then, including of 56,000 acres taken from the Standing Rock Sioux by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1958. On September 9, sickeningly, one justification the federal court used to refuse to stop the pipeline was that some of the relevant government environmental and historical preservation regulations don’t apply to private land.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the original plans didn’t call for the pipeline to cross the Missouri near Sioux lands but near Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota. State officials worried that an oil spill could poison the capital city’s drinking water. So in a blatant act of environmental racism, they moved the pipeline crossing to within half a mile of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation—land taken from the tribe in 1958.

The Dakota Access project was approved without “meaningful consultation” with the Standing Rock Sioux. “The first draft of the company’s assessment of the planned route through our treaty and ancestral lands did not even mention our tribe,” states tribal chairman Archambault II. “The U.S. government is wiping out our most important cultural and spiritual areas,” LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, the Standing Rock Tribe’s Historic Preservation Officer, wrote in YES! Magazine. “And as it erases our footprint from the world, it erases us as a people. These sites must be protected, or our world will end, it is that simple.”

Environmental Racism & Genocide

The Dakota Access pipeline has been subject to minimal environmental regulation. A pipeline break and oil spill would threaten drinking and irrigation water supplies and endanger the health of not only the Standing Rock Sioux but millions in the region. This isn’t a remote, abstract danger. From 2012 to 2013, there were 300 oil pipeline breaks in North Dakota alone. And since 1995 there have been more than 2,000 significant accidents involving petroleum pipelines across the U.S. This total has increased under Obama, in step with the nearly 60 percent expansion of U.S. oil production and fracking since 2009.

Such an oil spill could have a devastating, even genocidal impact on the Standing Rock Sioux and other peoples. “We are borrowing this land from our grandchildren so we need to take care of our main life source: water,” one participant in an April Relay Run in Opposition of Dakota Access Pipeline wrote. “Without clean water, we will cease to survive, thus exterminating our own existence. We are running for our future generations.”

Then there’s the planetary impact of releasing yet more greenhouse gases from the burning of another 500,000 barrels of oil a day—at a time the environmental crisis is visibly accelerating. This planet needs another oil pipeline like it needs to collide with a massive meteor—whatever the pipeline’s pathway. But the compulsion to continue to extract, sell, and burn fossil fuel and control its supply globally is built into the economic workings and the strategic military imperatives of the U.S. imperialist empire—no matter who’s president.

This is why drilling and fracking has skyrocketed under the self-proclaimed “environmental president” Barack Obama, whose actual role is commander-in-chief of U.S. imperialism. And this is why he refused to meet with tribal representatives and remained silent for so long on the Dakota Access pipeline—despite the fact that he visited the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in 2014 and promised them, “My administration is determined to partner with tribes.”

Standing Up at Standing Rock

Robbing Native peoples, threatening their heritage and lands... plundering the environment... and doing so with government support—in America, all this is routine, business-as-usual. It’s how the United States was forged, and it’s how it operates today. Then all of a sudden it wasn’t... because people—originally a small group of people—refused to put up with it.


The Standing Rock Sioux began opposing Dakota Access when they first learned of it in 2014. They filed lawsuits to stop it. And in April of this year, they set up a camp protesting the pipeline’s construction. They were met with hostility, racial profiling, police roadblocks and surveillance. The sheriff and Energy Transfer have called the protest “unlawful.” North Dakota’s governor, a Trump supporter, has declared a state of emergency for the protest site.

But people stood strong and had right on their side. They reached out to other Native peoples and activists and progressive people more broadly. The word got out. More people came. By August the protest encampment had become the most significant coming together of different Native American tribes in memory. Nearly 2,000 people were camped out.

The action by a determined few had touched a nerve, galvanizing the feelings and fighting spirit of many more. “This is a historic moment for indigenous people,” Tara Houska of Honor the Earth said. (Democracy Now!, September 9) “They have come from all over the country to stand here with the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and to say, ‘No more. Enough is enough.’ So, to see this moment, I think that people are aware that indigenous people are still here. They’re aware that we have treaty rights, that we are no longer accepting any type of environmental injustice of a pipeline being sent through drinking water. You know, this is a moment in which we are standing up together.”

Standing Rock protest
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe of North Dakota is battling to stop the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline. On September 9, a determined group went to Bismark, ND to protest in front of the state capitol. Photo: AP

Members of The Red Nation and KIVA from New Mexico who traveled over 1,000 miles to join the Standing Rock protest encampment. Courtesy The Red Nation and KIVA.

The battle at Standing Rock has also cast a glaring spotlight on the genocidal history and genocidal realities of the United States today. And it has raised big questions about the legitimacy of the whole thing. The government and some backward fools have been mobilized against Standing Rock. Once again, they’re being whipped up behind “the right” of white people to roll over Native people in seeking “prosperity.” But the firm stand by a determined few—in the face of daunting odds, reactionary forces, and an initially unfavorable polarization—has in important ways repolarized the terrain. This time, lots of people—white, Native, and other nationalities—are not having this racist, genocidal garbage, and they’re putting shit on the line to oppose it.

Support actions have taken place across the country, including Washington, DC, Denver, New York City, San Francisco, Tulsa, and Omaha. Celebrities, including actor and comedian Chris Rock; actors Susan Sarandon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Shailene Woodley; and cast members of the upcoming movie The Justice League, including Ben Affleck, have spoken out against the pipeline.

There have been more militant, determined protests to shut down the pipeline. On August 23, Native Americans on horseback startled and drove back a line of police. On September 3, people rushed over barricades and stood up to mace and guard dogs—which bit six people, including children—to stop construction and the desecration of Native sites. Right after the federal court ruling the pipeline would continue, a PBS reporter at the protest encampment noted, “There is a minority of people here, at least, who will do everything they possibly can to try to stop this from going forward.”

The Rulers Take a Step Back... What the DOJ Announcement Means, and Doesn’t Mean

Why did the federal government step in to halt at least part of the pipeline construction? Because they had a serious problem on their hands.

The Standing Rock battle has turned into a national and international cause célèbre. It has thrown a spotlight on the history of America’s genocide against Native Americans and how that horrific abuse continues today. Native peoples were coming together, many were being radicalized, and diverse forces were being brought together in opposition to fault line contradictions—the destruction of the environment and the historic oppression and genocide of Native peoples—which this system has no answers for.

This is unfolding at a moment when the very notion of “America’s greatness” is being invoked in different ways by both presidential candidates and is being very broadly contested in society. (For example, in the burnings of the U.S. flag at the Democratic and Republican conventions by the communist revolutionaries, and the refusal of San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other athletes to stand for the national anthem.) All this has called America’s legitimacy into question—at home and around the world, and that makes this a very explosive issue for the powers that be.

The rulers feared the whole situation could become even more explosive and exposing. So they stepped in to defuse the confrontation, buy time, divert the struggle into their killing embrace, and work to preserve the appearance of their system’s legitimacy.

What the Obama administration will do in relation to the pipeline is unclear. But the statement from the Departments of Justice, Army, and Interior only stated that construction would be temporarily halted on Army Corps of Engineers land—which makes up roughly three percent of the land the pipeline is being built on—until they can review the permit process. They’ve made clear that they’re simply asking Dakota Access to “voluntarily pause” construction in a 40-mile radius around Lake Oahe and construction on the rest of the pipeline can continue. And their promises to meet with Native peoples and discuss the permit process offer no guarantee whatsoever of any significant change.

Most fundamentally, these are agencies of a ruling class and capitalist state that has broken every treaty it’s ever had with Native Americans. It’s a setup whose very existence and power has been based on shredding those agreements and stealing the land and resources of indigenous peoples.

A World Without America and Everything It Stands For—Including Genocide!

The rulers hope that temporarily stopping part of the pipeline will mollify people—rather than it being seen as a sign of weakness that inspires people to fight harder. The temporary halt is a sign of the difficulties the rulers face, and now is the time to fight harder. We should appreciate the lessons in what’s happened so far at Standing Rock: This IS a country built on slavery, genocide, and unjust war. And calling that out in a bold and determined way can hammer at “cracks in the wall” people are locked down inside of, and change the political and ideological terrain.

The Standing Rock Sioux have stated that their struggle against DAPL will continue. That’s important, and this fight must increasingly become part of the movement for an actual revolution. The horrific genocide of Native people formed part of what Karl Marx, with biting and bitter sarcasm, called the “rosy dawn” of the capitalist system. This genocide, now focused in the battle at Standing Rock, continues under that same system in various forms today. Moreover, this crime of theft and slaughter and cultural extermination—foundational as it is to everything this society is about—formed the basis for a whole horrific roster of crimes, which are documented on this website every week in the series American Crime.

It will take revolution, a communist revolution which draws forward and leads those whom this system has tried to crush, along with all those who refuse to go along with that and seek a better world, to be part of the overthrow of that system and the establishment of a radically different society to finally end the genocide, exploitation, and environmental devastation capitalism constantly gives rise to, here and all around the world. It will take communist revolution to bring into being a global society in which the seven billion on the planet can live lives worthy of human beings.

Bob Avakian (BA), the leader of the movement for revolution, has written the blueprint and plan for a radically emancipating society that opens the way to a whole new society and which, as part of moving to that, will mobilize people and resources to overcome the effects and legacy of America’s terrible history of genocide and oppression of Native peoples. That document is the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal). And we urge everyone aching for a different future, everyone seeking alternatives, to read it and deeply engage it (see sidebar). And BA has developed the strategy for an actual revolution—a way to mobilize millions to defeat and dismantle the institutions of force and violence and a strategy through which they could be victorious. A way, at last, to overthrow this system of exploitation and genocide, and bring in a whole new one based on overcoming all that and bringing in totally different values.

If you have been part of those at Standing Rock, or part of the many more who have been moved by it, or are just learning about it now... check out this site. Get into BA. Learn more... and get involved. (Read the Constitution.)





Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

Obama's Bullshit vs. 10 Realities on Past and Present U.S. Crimes Against Native Americans

September 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


During a town hall in Laos during his recent Asia trip, Barack Obama was challenged to say what he was doing about protecting the rights of Native Americans, including at Standing Rock (see: Native Americans Fight Modern-Day Genocide: Standing Up at Standing Rock). Obama dodged speaking about the protests. Then he said, “the way the Native Americas were treated was tragic”—and claimed that one of his priorities has been “restoring an honest and generous and respectful relationship with Native American tribes.”

No, Obama—what happened to Native Americans was not some “tragic” thing that just happened in the past, as if it fell from the sky. The way the rulers of this country have related to Native Americans has been full of lies, violent theft, and dehumanizing disrespect—from decimation of the original inhabitants through genocidal broken treaty after broken the grinding oppression today.

Here are 10 realities about the past and present U.S. crimes against Native Americans.

1. The United States was founded on genocide. This country was founded on genocide of Native Americans—along with slavery and theft of Mexican land. George Washington, the “father” of this country, was commander-in-chief of a genocidal military campaign against native peoples in western New York, known as the Iroquois League. Washington ordered the U.S. Army to carry out “total destruction and devastation of their settlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible.” Over 50 communities were totally demolished. Hundreds of those who fled this horror during the dangerous winter months died from the cold, malnutrition and disease. This massacre became a model for the violent expansion of the United States westward across the country into territories where Native Americans had been living for centuries. Would Obama—or any other ruling class representative—ever denounce George Washington, quite accurately, as a genocidal maniac? Not a fucking chance. (For more on the massacre of the Iroquois that Washington commanded, see: “American Crime: Case #90: The Sullivan Expedition, 1779—Genocide of Native People and Scorched Earth in Upstate New York”)

2. Genocidal atrocities as official government/military policy. The history of the United States is marked by repeated massacres of Native Americans. Four examples: In 1838 and 1839 the U.S. stole the lands of tens of thousands of Cherokee people and forced them on a death march to Oklahoma—4,000 died on the forced march known as the “Trail of Tears.” On January 29, 1863, 450 Northwestern Shoshone were killed by the U.S. military near what today is Preston, Idaho. In 1890, the U.S. cavalry killed 300 Lakota men, women, and children on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota in the Wounded Knee massacre. On September 3, 1863, the U.S. Army massacred more than 300 people from different Sioux communities at Whitestone—not far from where the current fight over the Dakota Access pipeline is taking place.

3. The United States has broken every treaty it ever made with Native Americans, with the murderer’s logic of “might makes right.” One example is the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 that granted land to the Sioux, including the land now being used for the Dakota Access pipeline as well as the Black Hills area of South Dakota. When gold was discovered in the Black Hills, prospectors rushed in. At that point, the U.S. government instigated armed conflict against Native people of the area, in what came to be called the Great Sioux War of 1876. There was determined and heroic armed resistance by Native Americans. The U.S. military suffered a significant defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn (portrayed in American culture as “Custer’s Last Stand,” as if the genocidal general who commanded the U.S. troops died a “hero”). However the U.S. defeated the native people’s forces, tore up the Fort Laramie Treaty, and forced the Native Americans to give up much of the land that had been covered by the Treaty, including the Black Hills.

4. Cultural genocide. Part of the genocide carried out by the U.S. against Native Americans were the attempts to wipe out the people’s language and culture through forcing Native children into “boarding school” to be educated according to European-American standards. Beginning in the late 1800s, these schools were set up by Christian missionaries as well as the U.S. government’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. Youths were often separated from their families, forbidden to speak their original languages, and pressured to abandon their Native American cultures and identities. Their traditional names were replaced by European-American names, in the name of “civilizing” and “Christianizing” the children. Recent investigations have revealed many documented cases of physical, sexual, and mental abuse at these schools (for example, “Soul Wound: The Legacy of Native American Schools” in Amnesty International magazine).

5. Poisoning of health and environment. There is an ugly history of the U.S. rulers not only stealing resources from the land Native Americans lived on but also utter disregard for the effects on people’s health and their environment. One example is U.S. uranium mining and the deadly consequences for Navajo people in the Southwest. After World War 2, the U.S. ramped up uranium mining as they rapidly expanded their nuclear arms arsenal. When large uranium deposits were found in or near the Navajo Reservation, many Navajos were hired to work in the mines. The mining companies and the U.S. government kept the Navajos in the dark about the known dangers—this went on for decades. As radiation illnesses began to mount among the Navajo, those who tried to get compensation and help through the courts were often unsuccessful. And this poisonous legacy continues today—with hundreds of uncleaned abandoned mines in the Navajo areas and other regions of the Southwest posing continuing health and environmental dangers. This, again, is not some blameless “tragedy”—it is a deliberate crime against a whole people, a product of a system of exploitation and oppression, carried out by those in power in the U.S.


6. Deep, widespread poverty. The horrific legacy of the crimes that the U.S. has carried out for so long against Native Americans continues to have very real and terrible effects today. Most of the people who survived the massacres and other genocidal assaults on Native American lives were forced onto reservations controlled and surrounded by the armed forces of the U.S. capitalist-imperialist state. Today, most Native Americans live outside reservations. While poverty rates for Native Americans as a whole are very high, the reservations are some of the most poverty-stricken areas of this country. In the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, the poverty rate is over 42 percent, triple the average nationwide. Two out of three members of the tribe are jobless, and the average annual individual income is only about $4,400 (compared to the national average of over $24,000).

7. Disparities in health and life expectancy. Because of poverty, discrimination in delivery of health services, and other factors, Native Americans are disproportionately affected by serious health problems. Native Americans die at higher rate than other people in the U.S. in many categories of health problems, like chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, diabetes mellitus, and chronic lower respiratory diseases. Among young adults ages 18-24, Native Americans have a higher suicide rate than people of any other nationality/ethnicity. Life expectancy on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is the lowest anywhere in the western hemisphere, except for Haiti. A recent study found the life expectancy for men to be 48 years, and for women it is 52 years.

8. Targets of police murder and terror. Today, Native Americans make up just 0.8 percent of the total U.S. population—but they are victims in 1.9 percent of all killings by the police across the country. This is a higher rate of death at the hands of the police than for any other group. Native American men are sent to prison at four times the rate of white men; and the incarceration rate for Native American women is six times the rate for white women.

9. Assaults on Native American culture. Attacks against and degradation of Native American culture—as part of promoting white supremacy—is not a thing of the past. The callous disregard of the Standing Rock Sioux ancestral burial grounds and other important cultural sites by the Dakota Access pipeline company and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is one manifestation. According to LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, Standing Rock Sioux tribal historian, “Of the 380 archaeological sites that face desecration along the pipeline route, 26 are at the confluence of these two rivers [Missouri and Cannonball]. It is a historic trading ground, a place held sacred not only by the Sioux Nations, but also the Arikara, the Mandan, and the Northern Cheyenne.” (, 9/3/16)

10. Continuing imprisonment of political prisoner Leonard Peltier. In 1975, Leonard Peltier was framed by the U.S. government for the deaths of two FBI agents who were part of a massive attack on an American Indian Movement (AIM) camp on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Peltier and others were helping to protect the people on the reservation from violent thugs who were protected and backed by the U.S. government and the FBI. During this “Reign of Terror,” 64 AIM members and supporters were murdered. Peltier has now been in federal penitentiaries for over 40 years. He is in failing health, and there have been calls for his release from a wide range of forces in the U.S. and worldwide. But the U.S government continues to keep this political prisoner behind bars.





Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

Colin Kaepernick came and kneeled behind players and coaches from Castlemont High in Oakland as they laid on their backs with their hands up during the national anthem. (Photo via Twitter/@kirkmorrison)

Before the college football game between University of North Carolina and Pittsburgh, North Carolina fans and band members hold fists in the air during the anthem. (Photo via Twitter)

Madison, Wisconsin. High school teams Madison East Purgolders and West High Regents both take a knee during the anthem. (Photo via Twitter)

Sit Down for Their Nasty-full Anthem! A Teachable Moment in the USA

Updated September 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


All over the country, there’s a breath of fresh air blowing out of the world of athletics. From San Francisco to Alabama and beyond, from the pros to the high schools, people are taking the disgusting patriotic ritual of standing and saluting the national anthem at sporting events and using it to raise questions, register dissent, and project resistance. As you might expect, this is coming under attack—and opening up debate.

Now is the time to go to these events and bring things like “The Top 10 Reasons to Sit Down for the Nasty-full Anthem—#sitdownfortherag” and critically relevant BA quotes. If people are acting, talk to them, listen and engage. Take action yourself. Join or provoke the debate—and take it further. Bring Bob Avakian’s Invitation to people—and ways for them to take it up. Take the Message from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party—and put out the challenge, and the possibility, of REAL revolution.

In short: dive into the controversy... and take it further.


Rockford, IL
Several players took a knee during the national anthem, Auburn High School, Rockford, IL. (twitter/@ShaunKing)

Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos
Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos loses endorsement deal with the Air Academy Federal Credit Union after national anthem protest. (

Beaumont (Texas) Bulls youth football team
In the face of death threats, the entire Beaumont (Texas) Bulls youth football team and their coach continued to refuse to stand for the national anthem, September 17. (Photo via twitter/@Shaun King).
See also "Texas Youth Football Team Refuses to Stand for the Anthem Despite Death Threats."

Seattle: Garfield High Bulldogs knelt in unison with their coaches during the playing of the nasty-full anthem, September 16. They were joined by some players on the Wildcats sideline.

SF Mission High School team
San Francisco: Every player on the Mission High School football team took the knee for the second time before their game on September 16. According to a TV news report, "some of the team leaders told KRON4 about how they had been having a conversation on the bus [to the game] about racial injustices and about the symbol Kaepernick has become with his silent protests." (Photo via twitter/@nbcbayarea)

Chris LongVia twitter/ ‏ @ actdottv

Cheerleaders at Howard University kneel for the anthem
Howard University cheerleaders kneel for the national anthem before the game, September 17. (Photo via Twitter/@WPGC)

Megan Rapinoe continues her protestMegan Rapinoe continues her protest, and the U.S. Soccer Federation announced it will not discipline her for kneeling during the national anthem, September 15. (Photo: Kyle Robertson/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

Woodrow Wilson High School, Camden, NJ
Woodrow Wilson high school coaches and players take a knee during anthem, Camden, NJ. (Photo: twitter/@PhilAnastasia)

Two players, one white, one African-American, took a knee as a silent protest, Lincoln Southeast High School, Lincoln, NE.

Waggener High School, Louisville, IN
Following Colin Kaepernick's lead a Waggener player takes a knee during the national anthem, Louisville, Indiana.

West Virginia University Tech volleyball playersThree women volleyball players at West Virginia University Tech kneeled for the national anthem in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick.

Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins, September 11. (AP photo)

Watkins Mill, Gaithersburg, MD Watkins Milll High School, Gaithersburg, MD, September 11.

Marcus Peters raises his fist during national anthemKansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters raises his fist during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers, September 11.






Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

Updated September 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Sit Down for Their Nasty-full Anthem! A Teachable Moment in the USA

Top 10 Reasons to Sit Down for the Nasty-full Anthem—#sitdownfortherag

All over the country, there’s a breath of fresh air blowing out of the world of athletics. From San Francisco to Alabama and beyond, from the pros to the high schools, people are taking the disgusting patriotic ritual of standing and saluting the national anthem at sporting events and using it to raise questions, register dissent, and project resistance. As you might expect, this is coming under attack—and opening up debate.

Now is the time to go to these events and bring things like “The Top 10 Reasons to Sit Down for the Nasty-full Anthem—#sitdownfortherag” and critically relevant BA quotes. If people are acting, talk to them, listen and engage. Take action yourself. Join or provoke the debate—and take it further. Bring Bob Avakian’s Invitation to people—and ways for them to take it up. Take the Message from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party—and put out the challenge, and the possibility, of REAL revolution.

In short: dive into the controversy... and take it further.

Click here for photo essay

Top 10 Reasons to Sit Down for the Nasty-full Anthem—#sitdownfortherag

  1. Because the United States was founded on slavery, Black people still have no rights this white supremacist system is bound to respect, and there is an epidemic of unpunished murder by police.
  2. Because the U.S.A. was built on and continues to carry out genocide of the native peoples.
  3. Because America was created by stealing half of Mexico's land in a war of conquest, rape and plunder in 1846-48.
  4. Because in America a woman is raped every 2 minutes and a woman is battered every 9 seconds—violence fueled by a culture of porn and patriarchy.
  5. Because the U.S. massacred over 200,000 innocent civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, with nuclear bombs and is the only country that's ever used them.
  6. Because the U.S. murdered 3 million people during the Vietnam War and has killed over 1.3 million in the Middle East since 9/11.
  7. Because America imprisons 2 million people, mostly Black and Latino—more than any country on earth.
  8. Because the U.S. terrorizes and demonizes immigrants, deporting 1.7 million in the last 5 years alone.
  9. Because America's wealth comes from exploiting and enslaving millions of people here and around the world, including children, from Mexico to China to Congo to Bangladesh.
  10. Because America has done more to destroy the planet's environment than any other country on earth—the U.S. military is the single greatest institutional polluter in the world.

(Download an 8.5x11 PDF here)

Sit down for Their Nasty-full Anthem!

And Don't Do the Pledge of Malfeasance to Being a Fascist Robot Either!

  • Get out to all kinds of sporting events, including high school football games—or even practices. Or, wherever the nasty-full anthem celebrating slavery, genocide and unjust war gets played on people. And make a big point of sitting down. Alone, in groups, whatever. If you're with a Revolution Club, do it as the Club for sure! And be sure to bring the Message from the Central Committee of the RCP: "Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution".
  • Print out copies of the Fact Sheet: Top Ten Reasons Why You Should NOT Salute the American Flag to let people know why you aren't going along with this shit, and why they shouldn't either.
  • Print copies of the 8.5x11 flier with BAsics 1:31, the image "Sit With Colin—No Respect for that Genocidal Rag!" and the revolutionary websites people need, and pass them out.
  • Incite and challenge students in high schools or other schools: Do Not Stand Up for that Robotic, Fascistic Pledge of Malfeasance Every Morning!


  • Tweet #sitdownfortherag—and sit down for the rag when they play the Nasty-full Anthem. Post your account of what happens, and send it to

Downloadable flier:


For social media:

If you can conceive of a world without America—without everything America stands for and everything it does in the world—then you've already taken great strides and begun to get at least a glimpse of a whole new world. If you can envision a world without any imperialism, exploitation, oppression—and the whole philosophy that rationalizes it—a world without division into classes or even different nations, and all the narrow-minded, selfish, outmoded ideas that uphold this; if you can envision all this, then you have the basis for proletarian internationalism. And once you have raised your sights to all this, how could you not feel compelled to take an active part in the world historic struggle to realize it; why would you want to lower your sights to anything less?

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:31

There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:1

Now, of course, slavery was not the only factor that played a significant part in the emergence of the U.S. as a world power, whose economic strength underlies its massive military force. A major historical factor in all this was the theft of land, on a massive scale, from Mexico as well as from native peoples. But, in turn, much of that conquest of land was, for a long period of time up until the Civil War, largely to expand the slave system. "Remember the Alamo," we are always reminded. Well, many of the "heroes" of the Alamo were slave traders and slave chasers....And expanding the slave system was a major aim of the overall war with Mexico, although that war also led to the westward expansion of the developing capitalist system centered in the northern United States.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:2

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

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:3

Not only did slavery play a major role in the historical development of the U.S., but the wealth and power of the U.S. rests today on a worldwide system of imperialist exploitation that ensnares hundreds of millions, and ultimately billions, of people in conditions hardly better than those of slaves. Now, if this seems like an extreme or extravagant claim, think about the tens of millions of children throughout the Third World who, from a very, very early age, are working nearly every day of the year—as the slaves on the southern plantations in the United States used to say, "from can't see in the morning, till can't see at night"—until they've been physically used up....These are conditions very similar to outright slavery....This includes overt sexual harassment of women, and many other degradations as well.

All this is the foundation on which the imperialist system rests, with U.S. imperialism now sitting atop it all.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:4

It is not uncommon to hear these days, from government officials and others, that only 1 percent of the population is in the U.S. military but that this 1 percent is fighting for the freedom of the other 99 percent. The truth, however, is this: That 1 percent, in the military, is in reality fighting for the other 1 percent: the big capitalist-imperialists who run this country—who control the economy, the political system, the military, the media, and the other key institutions—and who dominate large parts of the world, wreaking havoc and causing great suffering for literally billions of people. It is the "freedom" of these capitalist-imperialists—their freedom to exploit, oppress, and plunder—that this 1 percent in the military is actually killing and sometimes dying for.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:5

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

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

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:6

These imperialists make the Godfather look like Mary Poppins.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:7

There is a semi-official narrative about the history and the "greatness" of America, which says that this greatness of America lies in the freedom and ingenuity of its people, and above all in a system that gives encouragement and reward to these qualities. Now, in opposition to this semi-official narrative about the greatness of America, the reality is that—to return to one fundamental aspect of all this—slavery has been an indispensable part of the foundation for the "freedom and prosperity" of the USA. The combination of freedom and prosperity is, as we know, still today, and in some ways today more than ever, proclaimed as the unique quality and the special destiny and mission of the United States and its role in the world. And this stands in stark contradiction to the fact that without slavery, none of this—not even the bourgeois-democratic freedoms, let alone the prosperity—would have been possible, not only in the southern United States but in the North as well, in the country as a whole and in its development and emergence as a world economic and military power.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:8

"You can't change the world if you don't know the BAsics."

BAsics is a handbook for making revolution and emancipators of humanity.

Get free eBook HERE.

Order HERE.

Shitstorm Over the Nasty-ful Anthem Spreads ... Dive In! Take it Higher!

Read more

Sit Down for Their Nasty-full Anthem! A Teachable Moment in the USA—A Photo Essay

Colin Kaepernick came and kneeled behind players and coaches from Castlemont High in Oakland as they laid on their backs with their hands up during the national anthem. (Photo via Twitter/@kirkmorrison)

Before the college football game between University of North Carolina and Pittsburgh, North Carolina fans and band members hold fists in the air during the anthem. (Photo via Twitter)

Madison, Wisconsin. High school teams Madison East Purgolders and West High Regents both take a knee during the anthem. (Photo via Twitter)

In the face of death threats, the entire Beaumont (Texas) Bulls youth football team and their coach continued to refuse to stand for the national anthem, September 17. (Photo via twitter/@Shaun King)
See also "Texas Youth Football Team Refuses to Stand for the Anthem Despite Death Threats."

Howard University cheerleaders kneel for the national anthem before the game, September 17.(Photo via Twitter/@WPGC)

Camden, NJ Woodrow Wilson High School, September 10. (Photo: twitter/@PhilAnastasia)

San Francisco: Every player on the Mission High School football team took the knee before their game, September 16. (Photo via twitter/@nbcbayarea)

Seattle: Garfield High Bulldogs knelt in unison with their coaches during the playing of the nasty-full anthem, September 16. They were joined by some players on the Wildcats sideline.

Megan Rapinoe continues her protest, and the U.S. Soccer Federation announced it will not discipline her for kneeling during the national anthem, September 15. (Photo: Kyle Robertson/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

View photo essay

The Revolution Club, Bay Area, at the 49ers Game: Intervening In a Polarized Crowd

Revolution Club at the SF 49ers

Read more

The Shitstorm Over Sitting Down for the National Anthem... And Breaking Out of EVERYTHING the USA Stands For

From a reader:

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the national anthem has unleashed a shitstorm. He told the press: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

What happened next points to an important truth: a courageous stand by a single individual against oppression can reveal deep discontent and unleash protest very broadly. Of course, the haters—racists, Fox News fascists, police unions, Donald Trump, and idiots who just resented having their football disrupted by reality—are flipping out. But what is more important, and interesting—starting from the need to get to a world without exploitation and oppression and what that’s gonna take—is what the controversy reveals about deep and wide outrage in society over the way police murder people and get away with it, over and over. And more: by doing this in a way that goes up against the ritual of flag worship that people are expected to participate in, this raises questions about the whole society and the so-called American way of life.

Read more

From the Revolution Club, Bay Area

The New Communism and Internationalism, Shaking up the Campus

September 2: School is starting, and the Revolution Club in the Bay Area headed out to "Calapalooza," a University of California at Berkeley campus-wide event where all the student organizations host booths and thousands of students are out, getting connected and involved.

Into the middle of Calapalooza was the Revolution Club, challenging students to get organized now for an actual revolution, to overthrow the whole system, at the soonest possible time. An American flag was on the ground with one person sitting on it....

Read more

From the Revolution Club, NYC

The Revolution Club in New York—
DIS-Respecting the Flag and Shaking Things Up at Columbia University

Read more




Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

How Socialist State Power Would Handle the Louisiana Flood:

Confronting Disaster in the Struggle for a Communist World

September 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


A few questions to think about ...

People being rescued from flooded homes along the Tangipahoa River near Amite, La., August 13.
People being rescued from flooded homes along the Tangipahoa River near Amite, Louisiana, August 13. (Photo: Ted Jackson/ The Times-Picayune via AP)

Volunteers pull a boat with a woman and young child as they evacuate from their homes, Aug. 13, 2016, in Baton Rouge

Volunteers pull a boat with a woman and young child as people evacuate their homes, Baton Rouge, August 13. (Photo: John Oubre/The Advocate via AP)

An urban area endures massive flooding that destroys over 100,000 homes. Legions of youth are unemployed, many of them eager for work. Yet those youths aren’t mobilized to put their energy and creativity into rebuilding the city. Why?

A month later, debris and stinking, rotting garbage remain in piles six feet high on countless streets in 100-degree heat. White property owners arm themselves against and threaten to shoot on sight (largely non-existent) “looters” supposedly bent on stealing their destroyed property, because the loss of this garbage will impact their claims on insurance companies. And everyone knows that when they say “looters” they mean Black youths who “don’t fit in”.

Why should anyone accept this?

Waters engulf a region routinely soaked with heavy rains; urban and agricultural areas prone to flooding; a region filled with bayous, swamps, and rivers, bordered by one of the world’s largest rivers that has repeatedly flooded. In response, a patchwork, haphazard series of dams, levees, retention ponds, canals, and other measures provide an (often false) sense of security in some locales, but worsen the overall disaster by diverting it to other, nearby sites.

Why isn’t there a systematic, centralized plan to deal with this situation in a way that preserves and protects human life and the delicate ecosystems in the region?

An area that has been the scene of centuries of brutal oppression of Black peopleenslavement and harsh labor on cotton plantations; 100 years of viciously enforced degradation and brutality called Jim Crow; decades of mass incarceration and police brutality, is devastated by a natural disaster. Once again, Black people, and areas where Black people live, are the most severely impacted. The response of the system’s political leadership? "That’s just the way it goes."

But why is that the “way it goes”? What can be done to change that?

The Rain and the Flood

In mid July floodwaters engulfed Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, and large rural and semi-rural areas around the city. At least 13 people were killed. Over 110,000 people have had to apply for housing assistance. As of September 1, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported that exactly one Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trailer was in place to provide temporary housing.

Revolution recently wrote about some of the stories behind this flood—the heroism of many oppressed people, the crimes of this system and its police, the big questions of climate change, capitalism, and the future that this flood put before society—and the revolution that can solve this. (See “The Louisiana Flood: A Natural Disaster, a Disastrous System“).

“God brought the rain, man made the flood”. Numerous people in Baton Rouge have told us this or something similar. People are saying the rain was a natural phenomenon; the flood was caused by conscious decisions and actions taken by authorities. It’s true that heavy summertime rain in southern Louisiana is not exactly news. It’s also true that conscious decisions taken by political leaders worsened the catastrophe faced by many people.

But we need to dig deeper to get at the real causes of the massive flooding. Must severe natural events always have such devastating impact? How has the social order and structure imposed by capitalism-imperialism shaped the ways in which floods and other contingencies are prepared for (or not prepared for) and confronted? How are people mobilized to deal with such a large scale, life threatening event when it occurs; what is considered important to protect, what values and goals drive and organize how people move through such a situation?

A System that Blocks Human Potential

All societies are organized in certain ways. As Bob Avakian wrote in Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity, the most basic and essential of all human activity is “the production and reproduction of the material requirements of life.” BA continues that people don’t do this any old way, but by becoming part of a definite set of “relations of production.” This means how individual people fit into the division of labor that exists in all of society—whether they work with their hands and backs or in mental work; picking tomatoes or stocking shelves at Walmart; even whether they can find work at all. It means how much of the products they receive in return for their work. And most of all it means whether or not they own the factories, mines, farmland, ships, etc.—the means of production. And on this foundation a network of legal and political institutions, and ideas that correspond to those institutions, arises, and reinforces the existing relations of production.

In the system of capitalism-imperialism, millions of people in this country and literally billions worldwide engage in production that is tightly bound together, whether any of those particular individuals know it or not. This is socialized production—production that takes place most fundamentally not on the basis of individuals working alone (to make cars, grow foods, sew clothes, or produce anything else), but of countless particular people engaged in the worldwide processes of producing, mining, harvesting, packaging, shipping, and distributing the material goods of life.

But ownership of that production is not in the hands of those who labor to produce it. It is appropriated by a relative handful of people—the capitalists—who use it to amass their own obscene amounts of wealth, but even more to keep the entire process of exploitation going. This bedrock relation of capitalism runs through, influences, and shapes all the relations of capitalist society. It sets the limits and forms for how people think and view the world, and their own place in it. This process, or contradiction, of socialized production and private appropriation (ownership) results in the bitter impoverishment of billions of people worldwide, and the enrichment of a few.

Indications of what this means down on the ground are everywhere in Baton Rouge. The Mississippi river is filled 24-7-365 with tankers, cargo ships and barges carrying industrial and agricultural products to and from all parts of the world. ExxonMobil’s oil refinery is one of the world’s largest, and sprawls over an enormous area along the river in North Baton Rouge, sending toxins into the air, land, and water. Baton Rouge and the surrounding area is one of the poorest places in the U.S., and Louisiana has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, overwhelmingly because young Black men are incarcerated at a staggering pace.

One key expression of socialized production and private appropriation is that in capitalist societies, there is no conscious social planning to meet human need, to prepare and mobilize for emergencies, or to protect vital and diverse ecosystems. This is not an oversight. It is not mainly because of capitalist heartlessness—though there is plenty of that to go around.

Many people are eager and willing to join together and act to help as many people as possible in a crisis like the Louisiana flooding. But the potential for that is held in check, channeled, and ultimately squashed by this system. As one man in Baton Rouge said to us, when the floods hit it was “everyone for himself, and God for us all”. It is still “everyone for him (and her) self” in the aftermath of the deluge.

While there is no god—whether “for us all” or not—there IS the system of capitalism running things, which is not for anyone besides its own continued functioning and expansion. At times of crisis (and in general) the big focus of the system’s rulers is to maintain control, to keep people in place, to keep them passive, relying on the authorities and perhaps charity. They do NOT want people acting together with others independent of the authorities, raising their heads, asking questions, and forging unity. So in North Baton Rouge and other largely Black areas, no official rescue teams were seen for several crucial days when flood waters surged up to six feet deep. When they did appear it was to impose a curfew and prowl the streets of the oppressed.

A New State, Setting New Terms for Society

Things would be radically, completely different in the state made possible by revolution and envisioned in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.(CNSRNA).This new state would have come into existence after the victory of an actual revolution: after the complete defeat and dismantling of the currently existing capitalist-imperialist state, in particular its armed forces of repression and the institutions that back them up: the military, the police, the national guard, the courts, the prisons and the penal system. An entirely new power would be in place, setting new terms for all of society and all the individuals in it.



This is possible because this state would be built on a foundation of public-state, not private ownership. Socialized production would be, increasingly, socially owned until, through continued revolutionization of society worldwide, communism is attained and the whole concept of “ownership” will become obsolete. That process of revolutionary transformation would open up entirely new vistas of possibilities for humanity.

A crisis such as the Louisiana flooding would be a big jolt in the new socialist society. Would the new society confront this crisis in a way that meets its urgency and doesn’t take days to take shape, but also serves the advancement of the world revolution and the overall revolutionary transformation of society?

Meeting people’s needs in the new society means not only “doing things differently” but challenging, and transforming, how people think. As Bob Avakian wrote in his essay “Three Alternative Worlds”, “How can the masses of people really take up the task of consciously changing the world if their outlook and their approach to the world remains what it is under this system? It’s impossible, and this situation will simply reproduce the great inequalities in every sphere of society ...”

Raising the Bottom Up

A basic principle of the CNSRNA and its approach to the economy is to take special measures to “raise the bottom up.” The CNSRNA states that “This principle serves the crucial task of overcoming historic inequalities affecting the formerly oppressed nationalities, and other profound disparities in society. The whole of society will be mobilized to overcome these inequalities. Priorities in distribution of needed social goods and services (like health and housing) will be guided by this principle.”

If anyone thinks this process will be smooth sailing in the aftermath of something like the flood in Baton Rouge, they are in for a rude awakening. There is a whole history and reality to the oppression of Black people in this country. As BAsics 1:1 states, “There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.”

This oppressive legacy has left material and ideological scars, and they are as deep in Louisiana as anywhere in the country. Years of whiplashed enslavement along the “river of dark dreams”; a century of viciously enforced “second class citizenship” and “no rights that a white man is bound to respect” Jim Crow, with all the lynching and brutality that enforced it; institutional segregation and discrimination down to today that is barely distinguishable from the era of the 1950’s. And an odious, hateful outlook—virulent racism—that has reinforced, justified, and perpetuated all this.

Raising the “bottom up” and working to overcome the historic inequalities left over from centuries of oppression of Black people will be official policy and not be “up for grabs”. But this will be sharply contested and contended.

The stakes will be very high. Struggles over questions like how to confront the sudden trauma of major flooding can lead to great leaps and advances in further overcoming the old, bourgeois economic and political relations and ways of thinking, and advancing on the revolutionary road. They can also lead to stagnation, even setbacks in the fight to revolutionize society and advance the world revolution, and strengthen the basis for capitalism to re-emerge.

There will be differing assessments of the situation, differing solutions offered—a diversity of political outlooks, programs and tendencies which reflect and express economic and social relations of the old society. One very sharp question would likely be—why should the policy of “bottom up” be applied when other areas also suffered extreme damage? What would it mean to apply that policy in the first place? Does this mean simply giving Black people “preferential treatment” like so-called “affirmative action” claims to do in capitalist society, or is it aimed at actually uprooting the legacy of oppression?

All this would be in the context of a revolutionary society and a socialist state that, while giving due emphasis to meeting the needs of the people and continuing to uproot remaining inequalities, gives fundamental priority to advancing the revolutionary struggle, and the final goal of communism, throughout the world. In that light, how would the goal of advancing the world revolution be met concretely in circumstances like a major flood? Wouldn’t many people argue along lines similar to an argument often heard today: “How can we help people around the world if we can’t get our own situation straightened out?”

Optimizing Resources

Another big question would center around how to optimize society’s resources. There are never unlimited resources. There is never an ability to do “whatever you want”. Everything couldn’t be rebuilt at once. The question of whether some places and things should be rebuilt or restored would almost certainly be sharply contended. Understanding all this is part of understanding the terms that objective conditions will set on socialist society, even as the conscious forces continually struggle to lead in transforming those conditions.

In a socialist society, preparations would be made in advance to minimize, in a planned and societal way, the potential impact of flooding and other foreseeable natural crises in different areas of the country. Steps would be taken that prepared for emergency responses to mobilize masses of people to ensure that the most basic needs of life were met—food, shelter, water, medical supplies and support. More than that, overall efforts would be made to minimize the long term possibility of potential flooding in southern Louisiana and the entire area up and down the Mississippi river.

This effort would consciously aim at implementing and concretely developing all three of the criteria cited above in the CNSRNA (see sidebar). It would draw on the knowledge, insight, and experiences of scientists and engineers, along with people from the affected areas. Housing that could withstand foreseeable potential crises would be systematically constructed. All this would be thrashed out through struggle, based on the overall guidelines of the three criteria. None of this is possible under capitalism. But it could, and would, be underway in a planned way, very quickly in the new society.

This intersects with the problem of the enormous destruction of the environment capitalism-imperialism has caused. Already, sections of the earth have been made uninhabitable. The likelihood of extreme weather conditions is intensifying. Hard decisions will have to be made about whether some areas can be saved for human habitation. Often these are areas—like South Louisiana—that are home to large numbers of oppressed people. This will be debated out very broadly, on the basis of the broad principles and guidelines we’ve already talked about.

A Moving Target

The orientation of “solid core with a lot of elasticity” will be at the heart of how communists approach all challenges in the new socialist society. It will also be part of the cohering political glue of society.

Concerning the orientation and objectives of the new society, the CNSRNA states that “the principle of ‘solid core, with a lot of elasticity’ must be applied. This means that, on the one hand, there must be a continually expanding force in society, with the revolutionary communist party as its leading element, which is firmly convinced of the need to advance to communism and deeply committed to carrying forward this struggle, through all the difficulties and obstacles; and, on the basis of and at the same time as continually strengthening this ‘solid core,’ there must be provision and scope for a wide diversity of thinking and activity, among people throughout society, ‘going off in many directions,’ grappling and experimenting with many diverse ideas and programs and fields of endeavor—and once again all this must be ‘embraced’ by the vanguard party and the ‘solid core’ in an overall sense and enabled to contribute, through many divergent paths to the advance toward the goal of communism.”

BA’s breakthrough understanding of “solid core with a lot of elasticity” is a central part of the advance in epistemology that runs through all dimensions of his New Synthesis. It is not just a theoretical abstraction, a “good idea”. It is in fact a very good idea—and more to the point it is profoundly, scientifically moored in material reality in all its wild conflict and turbulence. It scientifically reflects and concentrates the actual material relations of all of society, a reality communists are seeking to transform.

Advancing through any natural disaster or social crisis would not be simple or easy in a socialist society. But without a scientific understanding grounded in Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism and leadership firmly proceeding from that, there is no way anything positive for humanity’s emancipation can come out of it.

So, think again about those questions at the beginning of this article. Things don’t have to be that way. Another world is not only necessary—another world is possible. We need revolution as soon as possible to get to that world.






Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

45 Years After the Rebellion at Attica Penitentiary:

Resistance in America's Hellhole Prisons

September 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On September 9, 1971, the most powerful and significant prison rebellion in U.S. history erupted at Attica state prison in New York. Attica was part of the Black Liberation struggle and the revolutionary upheaval of the 1960s.

On September 9, 1971, the most powerful and significant prison rebellion in U.S. history erupted at Attica state prison in New York. Attica was part of the Black liberation struggle and the revolutionary upheaval of the 1960s. (AP Photo)

On September 9, 1971, the most powerful and significant prison rebellion in U.S. history erupted at New York’s Attica State Penitentiary. Over half of Attica’s 2,200 inmates, mainly Black but also white and Puerto Rican prisoners, seized control of large parts of the prison, taking 38 guards hostage. They declared: “We are men. We are not beasts, and we do not intend to be beaten and driven as such... What has happened here is but the sound before the fury of those who are oppressed...” On September 13, 1971, police, sheriffs, park police, and the National Guard launched a murderous assault at Attica prison in upstate New York, killing 39 unarmed people. Forty-five years later, the actual revolution that will end this kind of inhuman brutality is needed more urgently than ever. (See American Crime: Case #81: September 13, 1971—Massacre of Heroic Attica Prisoners.).

This year, on the anniversary of the Attica rebellion, there were courageous outbreaks of resistance inside U.S. prisons up to and on September 9.

Uprisings in Florida Prisons

On September 7, and lasting long into the night/early morning of September 8, more than 400 inmates at Florida’s Holmes Correctional Institution rose up in a series of protests that spread throughout the compound. It appears that at least one instigating factor was the authorities’ decision to keep prisoners confined to dangerously hot dormitories except at meal time, and deny them access to outdoor recreation of any kind.

Prisoners worked together to disrupt ways in which a dehumanizing network of surveillance cameras and guard posts keep prisoners under constant scrutiny. The sustained nature of the uprising involved protests breaking out in different dormitories. As the guards suppressed one outbreak, new protests erupted in other dormitories.

In a nation of hellish mass incarceration, Florida ranks third—behind Texas and California—in the number of people locked up. Over the past few years, glimpses of the conditions in the Florida prison system have come to light, including brutal or unexplained deaths of inmates, and a record number of use-of-force incidents by guards. In one such incident four years ago, Darren Rainey, a Black 50-year-old mentally ill prisoner serving a two-year term for drug possession at the Dade Correctional Institution, was savagely murdered by prison guards—forced into a scalding hot shower and left there for more than an hour. When guards finally opened the door, Darren was dead, with his skin shriveled and peeling from his body. One inmate said he saw Darren’s “burnt dead body” go by his cell on a stretcher. Another was told to clean up the scene, and said he found chunks of Darren’s skin in the shower and on Darren’s shoe that he was told to throw in the trash.

In response to the protests at Holmes, the Miami Herald reported that authorities re-established control “after setting off canisters of chemicals, making it hard for the prisoners to breathe.” There are reports that prisoners are confined to dorms, or being shipped to other locations. Prison authorities have imposed ominous censorship, denying prisoners access to the media to tell the truth about the conditions they face and the violence they were hit with.

On September 9, two additional Florida prisons (besides Holmes) were placed on lockdown, where prisoners are confined to their cells and dormitories. The Florida Department of Corrections, said “disturbances” had happened Friday morning at Gulf and Mayo Correctional Institutions, and smaller protests were reported in other prisons across the state. In a telling admission-in-the-form-of-a-lie, and as an indication of growing outrage in society over conditions in prisons, the Miami Herald reported that a spokeswoman for Florida prisons insisted the prisoners’ actions were “not in protest of ‘inhumane conditions’ or abuse.”

Prison Strikes

Prisoners and activists issued a call for prisoner strikes on September 9, the anniversary of Attica. They called on prisoners to refuse to work their jobs maintaining prisons, cooking meals, and working at jobs that produce profit for the prison system and private corporations. Calls for the strike included, “This is a call to end slavery in America. This call goes directly to the slaves themselves. We are not making demands or requests of our captors, we are calling ourselves to action. To every prisoner in every state and federal institution across this land, we call on you to stop being a slave, to let the crops rot in the plantation fields, to go on strike and cease reproducing the institutions of your confinement.”


Strike organizers are posting reports on Twitter including: In North Carolina, many prisoners refused to go to work on September 9, and suspected leaders were placed on lockdown in their cells. At the Central California Women’s Prison in Chowchilla, a number of women refused to work, and because of the nationwide prison strike, and fear of an uprising, the prison was locked down stopping ALL slave labor! And, women at the Fluvanna prison in Troy, Virginia, participated in the strike, as well as women in a Kansas prison.

A report from inside Holman prison in Alabama said that at “12:01 Sept 9th, all inmates at Holman Prison refused to report to their prison jobs without incident. With the rising of the sun came an eerie silence as the men at Holman laid on their racks reading or sleeping. Officers are performing all tasks.”

Chelsea Manning Initiates Hunger Strike

While in the U.S. Army, Chelsea Manning leaked a secret video showing U.S. soldiers in a helicopter gunning down Iraqi civilians, journalists, and passersby who tried to aid the wounded and dying—the infamous “Collateral Murder” video. For that heroic act, she is serving a 35-year sentence at the maximum security military prison at Fort Leavenworth for exposing U.S. war crimes.

At the time of her arrest six years ago (when she was known as Bradley Manning), Chelsea Manning was a transitioning female. During her time in prison, she has been subjected to inhumane physical and psychological torture directed at trans people in U.S. prisons.

In a statement on September 9, Chelsea Manning said:

Today, I have decided that I am no longer going to be bullied by this prison—or by anyone within the U.S. government. I have asked for nothing but the dignity and respect—that I once actually believed would be provided for—afforded to any living human being.

I do not believe that this should be dependent on any arbitrary factors—whether you are cisgender [people who are not transgender] or transgender; service member or civilian, citizen or non-citizen. In response to virtually every request, I have been granted limited, if any, dignity and respect—just more pain and anguish.

I am no longer asking. Now, I am demanding. As of 12:01 am Central Daylight Time on September 9, 2016, and until I am given minimum standards of dignity, respect, and humanity, I shall—refuse to voluntarily cut or shorten my hair in any way; consume any food or drink voluntarily, except for water and currently prescribed medications; and comply with all rules, regulations, laws, and orders that are not related to the two things I have mentioned. (Read the entire statement here.)

Chelsea Manning should not be in prison in the first place. Her persecution by the U.S. government was a move to silence and terrorize other whistleblowers who expose war crimes. And nobody should ever be subjected to the systematic, depraved abuse of lesbians, gays, bi-sexual, or trans people that is institutionalized throughout the U.S. prison system.

A Radically Different and Better World Is Necessary and Possible

The mass incarceration of millions in America’s hellhole prisons is a crime against humanity. It serves to violently enforce the needs and interests of a system of exploitation and oppression. An ACTUAL revolution will not only end this crime against humanity, it will unleash as many prisoners as possible as positive factors in the ongoing revolutionary transformation of society.

The prisoners who have stepped out and stood up to the barbaric conditions they are subjected to have done so at great risk. Everyone with a conscience must stand with them, and oppose moves by the authorities to punish them. And these courageous acts pose the biggest questions about the nature of a system that brands itself the model of human rights, but finds it necessary to lock up more people than any other country under the most horrific conditions.

The actions of these prisoners create an opening, and a real challenge to those who see that the world does not have to be this way: to connect people with a scientific understanding of the problem, and enlist them in the solution.

How the new revolutionary society will address this situation is blueprinted in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, written by Bob Avakian and adopted by the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party. “Article III. Rights of the People and the Struggle to Uproot All Exploitation and Oppression” includes a section “Legal and Civil Rights and Liberties.” We are reprinting part of that section on this page, and strongly encourage readers to dig into and promote the whole Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.






Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

Letters from the Hellholes of America’s Prisons—on Science & Revolution... An Interview with Ardea Skybreak, and Getting into Bob Avakian

September 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


To prisoners: Write to us! Revolutionary voices coming from America's hellholes carry real weight and influence many.

Announcing: The Launch of a Pathbreaking New Book from Bob Avakian

Read more

Get this book into the
hands of prisoners!

Here's how. The publisher has a special offer: Buy one paperback for yourself from Insight Press, and buy a second book at 50% off for a prisoner and it will be sent directly to a prisoner. Total price for this offer is $25.50, plus $5.00 for shipping.

Contact Insight Press

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






Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

Letter From a Prisoner On Science & Revolution... An Interview With Ardea Skybreak

"Realizing this will allow me to engage with those [middle] classes and present an argument they can comprehend"

September 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Announcing: The Launch of a Pathbreaking New Book from Bob Avakian

Read more

Get this book into the
hands of prisoners!

Here's how. The publisher has a special offer: Buy one paperback for yourself from Insight Press, and buy a second book at 50% off for a prisoner and it will be sent directly to a prisoner. Total price for this offer is $25.50, plus $5.00 for shipping.

Contact Insight Press

Indiana, August 24, 2016

Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) Volunteers,

I finished Science and Revolution, the interview with Ardea Skybreak, last night. It was quite informative and thought provoking, especially in regards the middle strata. Not only is this an important work for the middle strata to read and study, it is a work we in the proletariat need to get into because it reveals the mindset of those in the middle strata. As a proletarian I have a lot of animosity toward those in the middle and upper classes, but after reading this interview I realize that some of those people may not be as intentionally ignorant or careless about the plight of the lower classes. Realizing this will allow me to engage with those upper classes and present an argument they can comprehend and perhaps relate better to, rather than me just telling them they are wrong. I can show them how they are wrong from their point of view. There is a lot more to be learned from this interview, but I just wanted to mention this aspect because it struck the loudest chord with me. I also want to relay my appreciation for your having sent it to me.

The interview mentioned two other works I would like to read, Democracy: Can’t We Do Better Than That? and Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, both by Bob Avakian. Is it possible you could send one or both of these?

Sincerely, A Comrade in the Struggle





Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

Letter From a Prisoner On getting into Bob Avakian

"Now that I'm getting into BA, I find myself at a crossroad to where I am given the choice to take the necessary burden of change upon my shoulders and just dive right in"

September 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


California, August 23, 2016

To: Whoever this may concern at Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF):

Announcing: The Launch of a Pathbreaking New Book from Bob Avakian

Read more

Get this book into the
hands of prisoners!

Here's how. The publisher has a special offer: Buy one paperback for yourself from Insight Press, and buy a second book at 50% off for a prisoner and it will be sent directly to a prisoner. Total price for this offer is $25.50, plus $5.00 for shipping.

Contact Insight Press

Immediate changes in values, beliefs and principles is a difficult task to accomplish—although evolution is inevitable. We, who are incarcerated, have spent years resistant towards the change the system has bestowed upon us as an admirable way to assimilate into mainstream society. For it is we, who often come from the arduous circumstances of the ghetto, who see the worse of law enforcement and the system’s arbitrary use of law enforcement to keep the lower class on its belly.

Because of the war on our class, we have seen crimes perpetrated by law enforcement that the common persons in society will never experience. I mean how long has those labeled criminals been saying that cops whom patrol their neighborhoods are wrongfully murdering them? Long before this sudden explosion of cops being caught in the act, on social media, have we been saying the same exact shit many peoples are growing conscious of today. This prison system has archives of instances of police brutality and torture by the state prisoners have been complaining about for centuries.

That is why so many of us harbor such hatred towards this whole fucken system. I mean, I know, I need to change, but to emulate those people whom parade such racism, fascism and bigotry—I WILL NEVER! Are we not better off resisting the system than sheepishly giving in and compromising our experiences and values? For what atrocities society, through social media, has caught glimpses of, I see everyday. So what? Be more like them to get by?

For instance: when I was a child, I was picked up by a pig for a gun charge. Mind you that I’ve been a gang member since I was twelve years old. I understand that I shouldn’t have had a gun or been from a gang etc. But I was taken from my neighborhood, gang-territory, to drive around my enemies’ territory—only for the cops to point out rival gang members’ houses and vehicles. After being told to not let them (the pigs) down, I was given back my gun and released into rival territory. I may have been thirteen at the time, but I knew these motha fuckers were foul as fuck. Many more instances come to mind when these swine had meant to stir the pot and cause harm by orchestrating circumstances that either could have or have caused someone to be injured or killed. That’s not to mention how many people I know whom were murdered or beat at the hands of these perpetrators.

You can’t forget that. You can’t forget the homies you know who were either killed or set up to be killed by the cops. I guess that is why we resist change indefinitely, although we know how we’re living isn’t exactly appropriate to our evolutional process, there isn’t (wasn’t) an appropriate alternative for us to emulate.


Now that I’m getting into BA, I find myself at a crossroad to where I am given the choice to take the necessary burden of change upon my shoulders and just dive right in to the motha fucker. Certain articles resonate deeply and are corroborated by my experiences. I, also, find myself challenged to evaluate the garbage I allowed to fester within my mind. I mean, maybe I do harbor alot of the oppressors’ doctrine and don’t even know it. Patriarchy is one that I am guilty of and I wouldn’t want any of the women in my life to be subjectified by some motha fucker thinking he can, simply, because he was born with a penis.

I’m doing double life for gang murders. I was twenty years old when I was first arrested. Of course, I evolved. That hatred for self, manifested in crimes perpetrated on people whom resemble that man in the mirror, has become evident. I don’t want to be that type of person anymore. Thank you for your guidance. Please keep in touch. I really believe in Bob Avakian’s message.





Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

Obama in Laos: Being an Imperialist Means Never Having to Say Sorry for War Crimes

September 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


A scene from the country of Laos:

A couple of poor farmers are walking in the countryside near their village looking for scrap metal to sell. They start to dig up a piece of metal half-buried in the ground. They know it is an old bomb casing left over from when the U.S. dropped bombs on their country during the Vietnam War, but assume it is no longer dangerous. But the bomb explodes. Shrapnel rips through the body of one of the men who has four kids, killing him instantly. His friend survives the blast but is now blind and has lost his left leg and arm.

Now a scene from Obama’s recent trip to Laos to attend the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (September 7):

Obama is speaking at a center that provides prosthetics for those who have lost their arms and legs. He acknowledges that during the Vietnam War, the U.S. dropped 270 million cluster bombs on Laos, more per capita than any other country in the world... that 80 million of these bombs did not explode and that in the last four decades, some 20,000 people, including many children, have been killed or wounded by unexploded ordnance (UXO).*

So did Obama apologize for this horrendous war crime carried out by the USA—that continues today to kill and maim many hundreds of Laotian people? Did he apologize for the fact that these cluster bombs were designed to explode in hundreds of pieces with razor-sharp shrapnel that would rip through a human body? That they had a toy-like shape and that 40 percent of the casualties from unexploded bombs since the war ended have been children?

NO. Being a top-dog imperialist power in the world means never having to say sorry for the war crimes you carry out against the people.

Obama DID NOT apologize for the savage bombing—let alone the whole UNJUST war the U.S. waged in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. He didn’t say anything of the sort.

Instead, in a typical Obama-esque way, he promised more money to help clean up the bombs, accompanied by BULLSHIT comments about how “We see the victims of bombs that were dropped because of decisions made half a century ago and we are reminded that wars always carry tremendous costs,” and that there is “the suffering and sacrifices on all sides of that conflict.”

NO, motherfucker! This was not a “tragic” war or, as you say, one of the “painful chapters in our history.” This was an imperialist war for U.S. domination in Southeast Asia, where the U.S. carried out great crimes against humanity. It is bullshit to talk about the “suffering and sacrifices on all sides of that conflict” as if this was not an UNJUST war waged by the U.S. and that 58,000 Americans who died in the Vietnam War count for as much as the one to three million Vietnamese, over 600,000 Cambodians, and a million Laotians who were killed.

The next day, September 8, a headline in the Asia Times read: “US apologizes to Laos over cluster bombs, then sells them to pound Yemen.” In fact, only three days after Obama talked about “America’s moral obligation to help Laos heal,” his administration approved another $1.15 billion arms package to Saudi Arabia to bomb Yemenis—which INCLUDES THE SAME KIND OF CLUSTER MUNITIONS used in Laos that have and continue to kill and maim hundreds of people, including many children.

* A "cluster bomb" contains hundreds of small bomblets that it spreads over a very wide area; each bomblet then explodes, releasing shards of metal that tear through the bodies of any one in their path.






Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

Reality Check: NGOs
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Reality Check: NGOs

September 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


NGOs (non-governmental organizations) at best, aim to reform injustice; they adjust and leave intact the system that is the source of injustice.

Revolutions, communist revolutions, aim to root out injustices; they overthrow the system, opening the road to emancipate humanity.





Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

American Crime

Case #80: 1915-1934: The U.S. Invasion, Occupation and Domination of Haiti

September 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Bob Avakian recently wrote that one of three things that has "to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better: People have to fully confront the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today, and the terrible consequences of this." (See "3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better.")

In that light, and in that spirit, "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: On July 28, 1915, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson ordered 330 U.S. Marines to invade Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince. This was the beginning of a 19-year U.S. occupation that didn’t end until 1934. At the time of the invasion the political situation in Haiti and the government itself were extremely unstable. U.S. troops landed after Haitian President Vilbrun Guillaume Sam was killed by people in the streets. And Sam himself had come to power after leading a revolt to topple the president a year earlier.

The Haitian people fiercely resisted the U.S. occupation in a series of revolts which the U.S. military ruthlessly crushed. Haitian rebels are enslaved in ropes, 1915.

Haiti, a Caribbean country that shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, had been France’s most lucrative colony until the Haitian people rose up in the largest successful slave rebellion in history, led by Toussaint L'Ouverture in 1791. At the time of the U.S. invasion, Haiti was a poor, mainly rural country that different foreign imperialist powers were trying to dominate.

After the invasion, the U.S. immediately gained complete control over Haitian finances. Even before the invasion U.S. soldiers had gone to the Haitian National Bank, removed its gold reserves and sent them to National City Bank (now Citibank) in New York City. The U.S. also forced the election of a new pro-American puppet president, Philippe Sudré Dartiguenave, by the Haitian legislature in August 1915.

In September 1915, the U.S. ratified the Haitian-American Convention, a treaty granting the U.S. security and economic oversight of Haiti for a 10-year period. The U.S. was given veto power over all government decisions in Haiti, and U.S. Marine Corps commanders served as administrators in Haiti’s government departments.

By 1918, the Haitian Constitution, which had banned foreign purchases of land, had been rewritten by Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was then Assistant Secretary of the Navy (and would later become president of the U.S.), to explicitly allow foreign ownership of Haitian property. Land was seized from small peasants to create large plantations; the economy was reorganized so that 40 percent of Haiti’s gross domestic product flowed to U.S. banks. The U.S. seized control of Haiti’s banks and the national treasury and 40 percent of Haiti’s national income was designated to repay debts to American and French banks. This included debt that originated in the “indemnity” that Haiti was forced to pay to France for property—including slaves—the French lost after the Haitian Revolution, the equivalent of $40 billion in today’s currency.

Racist attitudes toward the Haitian people by U.S. occupation forces were blatant and widespread. Robert Lansing, then U.S. secretary of state, justified the occupation by claiming Haitians had “an inherent tendency toward savagery and a physical inability to live a civilized life,” so were incapable of self-government. Medill McCormick, a senator from Illinois, wrote in 1920 that the American occupation was necessary “to develop the country, the Government, and above all, the civilization of the people, of whom the overwhelming majority have African blood in their veins.” There were many reports of U.S. Marines sexually assaulting Haitian women. The occupation included segregation and enforced chain gangs to build roads and other construction projects.


U.S. Marines murdered one of the occupation's most famous resistance fighters, Charlemagne Péralte, then pinned his body to a door where it was left to rot in the sun for days.

The Haitian people fiercely resisted the occupation in a series of revolts, which the U.S. military ruthlessly crushed—murdering leaders, burning villages to the ground, and killing thousands of people.  Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat wrote: “My grandfather was one of the Cacos, or so-called bandits, whom retired American Marines have always written about in their memoirs. They would be called insurgents now, the thousands who fought against the occupation. One of the stories my grandfather’s oldest son, my uncle Joseph, used to tell was of watching a group of young Marines kicking around a man’s decapitated head in an effort to frighten the rebels in their area.” Danticat also talks about how the Marines murdered one of the occupation’s most famous resistance fighters, Charlemagne Péralte, then pinned his body to a door where it was left to rot in the sun for days.

During the 19 years of the U.S. occupation, at least 15,000 Haitians were killed. In 1918 there was an uprising of some 40,000 people. After the Haitian Gendarmerie was overwhelmed, U.S. Marines helped put down the rebellion, killing 2,000 people. During a December 1929 demonstration in the city of Les Cayes, part of a nationwide strike and ongoing rebellion, U.S. Marines fired on 1,500 people, wounding 23 and killing 12.

The U.S. didn’t end its occupation until 1934—leaving behind a brutal, U.S.-trained Haitian National Army to repress the people.

This invasion and occupation was the beginning of, and laid the basis for, subsequent decades of U.S. domination of Haiti and brutal U.S.-backed regimes.

François “Papa Doc” Duvalier came to power in the 1957 presidential election and set up his own army of thugs—the Tontons Macoutes. The Duvalierist reign of terror—supported and backed by the U.S.—killed roughly 50,000 people. When Papa Doc died in 1971, U.S. warships were stationed just off the coast of Haiti to oversee a smooth transition of power to Duvalier’s son, Jean-Claude (“Baby Doc”). Baby Doc was closely associated with the “American Plan,” which explicitly aimed to cut the ground out from under peasant agriculture by large-scale imports of cheaper U.S. goods. This drove hundreds of thousands of peasants into the cities and shantytowns, desperate for work in U.S.-owned assembly plants. These were being set up by companies like Disney and Kmart, some paying workers 11 cents an hour to make pajamas and T-shirts.

After popular uprisings ousted this brutal tyrant, the U.S. maneuvered and intervened—opposing any forces that threatened U.S. interests—and worked unsuccessfully to prop up and stabilize a series of governments that the Haitian people called out as “Duvalierism without Duvalier.” In 2004, the U.S. was directly involved in overthrowing the popularly elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

At the time of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Bill Quigley, legal director at the Center for Constitutional Rights, said of the U.S. role in Haiti: “We have kept the country dependent. We have kept the country militarized. And we kept the country impoverished. We have dumped our excess rice, our excess farm produce and that stuff on the country, thereby undercutting the small farmers who would make up the backbone of the place.... We didn’t create the earthquake, but we created some of the circumstances that made the earthquake so devastating....” (Democracy Now!, January 14, 2010)


1915-1934 invasion and occupation: President Woodrow Wilson; Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Assistant Secretary to the U.S. Navy; the U.S. Marines

1957-1986: The U.S. government, which backed the brutal dictatorships of “Papa Doc” Duvalier and “Baby Doc” Duvalier with their murderous Tonton Macoute militia that killed thousands of people.


Wilson claimed the reason for the 1915 invasion and occupation was to “re-establish peace and order...”


At the time of the invasion, the U.S. Secretary of the Navy instructed Admiral William Deville Bundy, commander of the invasion, to “protect American and foreign” interests. These interests had everything to do with U.S. imperialism recognizing the strategic importance of controlling Haiti, as part of dominating the Caribbean region and Latin America as a whole, while preventing rival powers from gaining influence.

The years leading up to the U.S. invasion of Haiti was a time of great political instability—where there were a series of political assassinations and forced exiles resulting in six presidents holding office between 1911 and 1915. Various rebel armies carried out coups, enlisted by rival political factions. This was taking place in a situation where German imperialism—which at that time was embroiled in World War 1 against other European imperialist powers over which one would dominate the world—was gaining influence in Haiti and increasingly becoming a rival power for the U.S. in the region. The U.S. itself would enter that war two years later and emerge from it as a major imperialist power. It was in this context of violent contention among imperialists for empire that it was crucial for the U.S. to control this nearby island of Hispaniola.


The official U.S. government “Office of the Historian” website says:

As a potential naval base for the United States, Haiti’s stability concerned U.S. diplomatic and defense officials who feared Haitian instability might result in foreign rule of Haiti. In 1868, President Andrew Johnson suggested the annexation of the island of Hispaniola, consisting of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, to secure a U.S. defensive and economic stake in the West Indies.... In 1915, Haitian President Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam was assassinated and the situation in Haiti quickly became unstable. In response, President Wilson sent the U.S. Marines to Haiti to prevent anarchy. In actuality, the act protected U.S. assets in the area and prevented a possible German invasion.





Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

The Revolution Club, NYC—
DIS-Respecting the Flag, Shaking Things Up at Columbia University

September 9, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Revolution Club at Columbia University, NYC. Photos: Special to

The NYC Revolution Club stepped out on the first day of classes at Columbia University, ready to shake some things up. In the middle of the afternoon, one member of the club walked to the middle of campus, alone, pulled out the american rag, laid it out on the steps, and sat on it. Then three other RevComs entered the scene with large signs: One with "Sit Down with Colin Kaepernick" from, and the other with Joey Johnson and the RNC 16 burning the american rag. They started chanting "1,2,3,4, slavery, genocide and war, 5,6,7,8, America was NEVER great!" Noche Diaz of the Revolution Club began agitating about what this country is really all about, why we have no respect for that imperialist rag. He continued: in fact, there is a way out; we have the leadership in Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party and a strategy to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time. He invited students to the October 8 launch of the book, THE NEW COMMUNISM by Bob Avakian, featuring Cornel West and Carl Dix.

This drew in lots of students, who got the Message from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, "Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution."

The club sat on the rag, and talked with people who were interested in what we were doing, what we were about, etc. A small group of veterans came out to challenge us, and very quickly debate sharpened over the role of the U.S. military. A veteran and friend of the Revolution Club came by and was invited to sit on the rag, and struggled with a reactionary veteran, saying that even in the Navy, they treat Black people like slaves, and that he was ashamed to have served in their military. Another student joined the club in calling out a reactionary veteran, and struggled with a friend of his who was trying to argue that America was essentially "post-racial." He signed up to learn more about the club, and left with a handful of materials.

So some things have been opened up on this campus with the club's bold action, and need to be pushed on a lot further.







Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

Shitstorm Over the Nasty-ful Anthem Spreads ... Dive In! Take it Higher!

September 13, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


KPIX (CBS-TV in SF Bay Area) coverage of controversy over Colin Kaepernick included this.
KPIX (CBS TV in the San Francisco Bay) online coverage of controversy over Colin Kaepernick and others not standing for the national anthem included Top 10 Reasons to Sit Down for the Nasty-full Anthem –#sitdownfortherag.

KCBS TV coverage of controversy over Colin Kaepernick and others not standing for the national anthem includes an interview with Joey Johnson who burned the American flag at the Republi-fascist convention that nominated Trump.

The first week of NFL football, the real story was not who won or lost. Something way more important was going on. At least a dozen NFL players joined San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in either refusing to stand for the nasty-ful anthem, or in responding with defiant fists–often with black gloves–inspired by the historic protest staged by Tommy Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics.

The website for CBS news in the Bay Area, reported that one fan heading for the 49ers game said of Kaepernick’s protest: “I ain’t going to stand with them. I’m going to kneel with him. We go through police brutality, you know what I mean? We lose people every day to police brutality.”

And CBS coverage of the first game of the season included: “Activists with the Revolutionary Communist Party were handing out flyers at the Santa Clara Caltrain station encouraging those attending the game to keep their seats during the anthem. The flyer, which was topped by the title ‘Top 10 Reasons to Sit Down for the Nasty-full Anthem –#sitdownfortherag,’ offered a list of alleged wrongdoings committed by the United States dating back to the 1800s right up through modern times.”

And KCBS TV coverage included an interview with Joey Johnson, who burned the American flag with the Revolution Club at the Republi-fascist convention that nominated Trump.

And in all levels of sports, all around the country, the shitstorm continues and spreads (see more coverage here). Now is the time to go to these events and get out “The Top 10 Reasons to Sit Down for the Nasty-full Anthem—#sitdownfortherag” and critically relevant BA quotes. If people are acting, talk to them, listen and engage. Take action yourself. Join or provoke the debate—and take it further. Get out to high school football games and stir shit up! Do like the Revolution Club in Chicago did: give people the opportunity to walk on the red, white and blue rag and speak out about why. Bring Bob Avakian’s Invitation to people—and ways for them to take it up. Take the Message from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party—and put out the challenge, and the possibility, of REAL revolution.

In short: dive into the controversy... and take it further. And send reports and correspondence on the experience to





Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

Statement from Carl Dix

Police Terror Must Be Stopped!

September 15, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


On September 14, cops in Columbus, Ohio, chased 13-year-old Tyre King into an alley and gunned him down. These pigs and the media, were quick to justify their murderous deed by spreading the police story that the BB gun they claim King had looked like a real gun.

I don't give a damn if he had a BB gun that looked real. And let's be clear, so far the only story about how this killing happened is the police story, and they lie all the damn time, especially when they're trying to justify murdering a Black youth. I don't care if he ran from the cops. I'm sick and tired of seeing cops getting away with murdering Black people. Now this Black child is dead at the hands of those who are supposed to “protect and serve.” This was the illegitimate action by the front line enforcers of an illegitimate system.

We must not let this go down. People need to stand up and refuse to silently accept the system killing our children. We should live in a world where those entrusted with public security would sooner lose their own lives than kill or injure an innocent person. It's up to us to bring that kind of world into being.

Fierce determined resistance is critically needed in the face of the system unleashing its cops to brutalize and murder people. And it will take an actual revolution—one that overthrows this system and gets rid of its institutions of violent repression and its economic and social relations and brings into being a totally different system with new economic relations and new ways for people to relate to each other —to end this horror once and for all.

We in the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) are organizing right now for an actual revolution. We have the leadership needed for this revolution in Bob Avakian, the leader of the RCP. Avakian and the party he leads have developed a vision of the kind of world we could bring into being thru revolution and the strategy needed to realize that vision.

If you hate hearing that the life of another Black child has been gunned down by the police and all the other horrors this system enforces on humanity, get with this revolution and join the fight to stop these horrors once and for all.






Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

Marines Burn and Terrorize Muslim Recruit in Industrial Dryer, Drive Another to Death...
Another Reason NOT to Support the Troops

September 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


BA on the US military
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The U.S. military puts their lives on the line so others can be “free” and “safe.” Risks it all to fight “bad guys” and help people around the world?  Real heroes? 

What about the Marine drill instructor at Parris Island, South Carolina who repeatedly berated one Muslim recruit as a terrorist: “You’re going to kill us all the first chance you get aren’t you, terrorist? What are your plans? Aren’t you a terrorist?” He even accused him of being involved in 9/11. This sergeant, on multiple occasions, forced this recruit to get inside an industrial clothes dryer and then turned it on. The recruit was left in so long he could feel his arm and neck start to burn; he was traumatized and terrorized. 

In one instance, the drill instructor ran the dryer for 30 seconds, stopped it and asked him who he was “working for.” When he replied “nobody,” the drill instructor turned on the dryer again, stopped it and asked what his religion was. When he replied “Islam” he turned it on again. The instructor stopped the dryer and asked if he was still a Muslim. When the recruit answered “yes,” he turned it on again. This is sick and depraved—it makes you think of the Gestapo! 

This torture happened in 2015. The victim reported it to Marine officials on Parris Island, who had been aware since at least 2014 of this kind of vicious hazing of recruits. But the drill instructor was allowed to continue "training" recruits. Within months this same sadistic, xenophobic dryer-burning marine drove another Muslim recruit to his death.  Raheel Siddiqui, a 20-year-old recruit from Michigan was being harassed and abused by this same Drill Instructor. On March 18, he told his instructor he wasn’t feeling well. The instructor forced him to do punishing sprints. Siddiqui collapsed and the instructor slapped him so hard it could be heard throughout the facility. Siddiqui ran away rather than endure more abuse—and died when he leapt from a 40-foot stairwell. The Marines are now claiming Siddiqui committed suicide and there was “no foul play.” But Siddiqui’s family isn’t buying it. 

This kind of an abuse isn’t an aberration; it’s baked into “Jarhead culture.” That’s why the Marines ignored the 2015 reports of this drill instructor’s torture by dryer. This is why they’re now claiming suicide and “no foul play” in Siddiqui’s death. The M.O. of the entire 3rd Recruit Training Battalion this drill instructor was part of was physical and emotional abuse, even physical injury, coupled with racist and homophobic verbal assault. And drill instructors threatened recruits that they’d be beaten if they complained about these outrages: “snitches get stitches."  

All this has continued, even though the Marines have rules prohibiting abuse and occasionally punish some Marine officers, because it had a logic and a purpose: inculcating a broader culture of brutality and dehumanization of Muslims in general. Protecting this vicious abuser and enabling him to continue—even after throwing a human being in a dryer!—sent a message to the entire base that abusing and harboring xenophobic, racist hatred of Muslims was institutionally protected and encouraged. 

Overall, this is all about preparing savage killers and torturers to carry out the barbaric war crimes demanded by U.S. imperialism around the world, and especially in the Middle East right now. This is a military that encourages and then covers up widespread war crimes against people in countries it occupies. To take but one example, in 2005, U.S. Marines murdered 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in the city of Haditha and then blamed it on “insurgents.” 

Any military is a concentration of the kind of system and society it is fighting to maintain and enforce. In this case, one waging an unending war of imperialist domination and terror against whole regions, including those with large Muslim populations. One that demands bigotry and xenophobia at home... A society that promotes and enforces a culture of degradation, rape, abuse, and dehumanization of women... A society founded on the enslavement of Black people which is maintained by murdering and terrorizing them. This is a country that bullies, beats, and kills people who don’t conform to its reactionary heterosexual sexual and gender norms and way too often drives them to suicide... All this in the service of enforcing the global system of capitalism-imperialism, a world of exploitation and plunder, that intensifies the misery of billions on our planet every single day. 

This is what the U.S. military and its troops are fighting for and defending.

No! Just as you should not stand for the anthem, just as you should not salute the bloody U.S. rag, you should NOT support the troops!





Revolution #456 September 12, 2016


September 15, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


We received the following press release:

RNC Flag Burning Defendants File for Dismissal of Charges Their Attorneys Call “Unconstitutional” and “Unacceptable”

15 September 2016
For Immediate Release
Contact: Revolution Club Media
646 450 4701

Protesters arrested July 20 outside the Republican convention as a flag was burned filed Wednesday to dismiss criminal misdemeanor charges on constitutional grounds. At the protest, organized by The Revolution Club, Gregory “Joey” Johnson, who fought and won the 1989 Supreme Court decision that it is legal to burn the U.S. flag, burned a flag and was arrested with 15 others.

Today their attorneys detailed the “content-based policing” they are discovering. They said, “Flag burning is protected free speech activity. The City of Cleveland had a duty to protect the rights of these protesters, including their right to burn the flag – but instead the Cleveland Police violated their constitutional rights and threw them in jail,” said Michael Nelson, president of the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP and one of the attorneys who filed motions to dismiss on behalf of the RNC protesters.

More than 40 attorneys with the NAACP and the Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and other affiliated lawyers have “volunteered to defend these protesters against the criminal charges on a pro bono basis,” the group said.

Raphael Kadaris, a defendant arrested July 20 and profiled by MSNBC, is available for interviews.

See also:

Drop the Charges Against Notorious Flag Burner Joey Johnson and the RNC16!

Cleveland Cops Accused of Lying About Flag-Burning Protesters Catching Fire


The defendants, collectively known as the RNC16, released this statement:

On July 20, 2016, the theme inside the Republican National Convention was “Make America #1 Again.” Outside, with the whole world watching, Gregory “Joey” Johnson and members of the Revolution Club and other protestors gathered to burn the American flag. Johnson said “America First? It's always BEEN first: at genocide, at slavery, exploitation, destruction of the environment, torture, coup d’états, invasions ... we're standing here with the people of the world today.”

Joey had to cut short what he was saying over the bullhorn because the police were already assaulting us, trying to force their way into our circle of protest to stop an act of constitutionally protected speech—the Supreme Court decision upholding this even bears his name!

The police assaulted us! Everyone can see this on the videos that are widely available. Yet besides all the people scooped up and charged with misdemeanors, there are also two Revolution Club members who were charged with felonies for allegedly assaulting the police AFTER the police assaulted a peaceful protest. The prosecutor took it to a grand jury and increased the felony charges—while in Cleveland, the cop who murdered Tamir Rice was not even indicted.

Joey and another defendant are charged with assaulting a member of the media when they supposedly got burned by the flag. These fake ass reporters were Alex Jones' Infowars operatives who actually brag on video about assaulting Joey and doing everything they could to stop the flag burning as unAmerican! The fact that these charges have not been dismissed shows this is a vindictive and politically motivated prosecution.

We uphold the right to burn the flag. We also want to stress that it was absolutely RIGHT to burn the flag. The fascist Trump says “Make America Great Again.” Clinton says it’s already great. We were out there to cut through the BS and get out the truth by burning the American flag—America has NEVER been great!

For days during the RNC, the Revolution Club was in the streets of Cleveland hammering home this point: Was America great when it carried out genocide of Native Americans? Was America great when it kidnapped and enslaved Africans? Was America great during a century of Jim Crow segregation and lynch-mob terror? Is it great right NOW when its police are terrorizing, brutalizing and gunning down Black and Brown people and the murderers never go to jail?! Is America great right NOW as the flag flies over hundreds of ICE detention facilities housing thousands of immigrants? Our message was unmistakable—the flag is the brand for a global network of exploitation and wealth extraction and a military armada, CIA black sites and mass graves from My Lai to Fallujah.

Gregory “Joey” Johnson and the Revolution Club are fighting for a radically different future. We are a disciplined force with a clear message that we took to the streets of Cleveland “America Was Never Great. We Need to Overthrow this System.”

IT was RIGHT to burn that filthy rag.

We demand the charges be dropped immediately against all the protestors arrested that day at the RNC.


Members of the Revolution Club and RNC 16  September 15, 2016





Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

Letter from a reader

Texas Youth Football Team Refuses to Stand for the Anthem Despite Death Threats

September 15, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Last Saturday, September, 10, the entire Beaumont (Texas) Bulls youth football team and their coach knelt during the national anthem. Now they are receiving death threats, but the team and the coach vow to continue to not stand for the anthem.

Eleven-year-old running back Jaelun Parkerson had been very upset about the police murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and wanted to do something about it. After hearing about Colin Kaepernick’s protest against the treatment of “Black people and people of color” and when Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos knelt during the anthem last Thursday, Jaelun (who is bi-racial with a white mother and Black father) told his mom, “OK, We’re going to do this.”

Jaelun, his entire team, his coach, Rah Rah Barber, and the rest of the coaching staff “kneeled and placed their hands on each other’s shoulders in silence before the playing of the national anthem” at their game this past Saturday.

Barber said that Jaelun had shown him a photo of professional football players not standing for the anthem and said the team wanted to do the same. Barber asked the team, “Do you know what this means?” And “they said that they did.” The players and the team got approval from their parents to go ahead and protest.

Jaelun’s mom, April Parkerson, told ABC News that the team wanted to show solidarity with other protesters and to help bring attention to the issues of racial injustice” and in doing that “players on the team have received threatening messages.” Tweets and messages on social media have threatened the youth with death and one tweet called for the lynching of Coach Barber. Parkerson said that the team’s protest of the national anthem “will continue.” Barber also told the press that these threats are not going to stop the team from taking their stand.

Barber said these threats have showed “how far behind we are as a society.” He said that Kaepernick’s protest has “motivated (him) to read up on the history of the national anthem.”

Colin Kaepernick’s courageous protest against the oppression of Black people and people of color and against police brutality has resonated among the oppressed and others and they are taking this up. Jaelun’s mom said that “Colin didn’t have to take this subject on. But he decided to use the platform he had to speak up for people who have no voice.”

Well, the people are showing they DO have a voice and this voice—and the debate around not standing for this rag has got to grow. If these youth can do it, so can thousands and thousands of others who hate the way things are in this country. Not standing for the national anthem is a wonderful and beautiful thing. The article “Sit Down for Their Nasty-full Anthem! A Teachable Moment in the USA” calls on people to go to these sporting and other events and “bring things like The Top 10 Reasons to Sit Down for the Nasty-full Anthem—#sitdownfortherag’ and critically relevant BA quotes. If people are acting, talk to them, listen and engage. Take action yourself. Join or provoke the debate—and take it further. Bring Bob Avakian’s Invitation to people—and ways for them to take it up. Take the Message from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party—and put out the challenge, and the possibility, of REAL revolution.”

So let’s get to it and dive into the controversy... and take it further. And send reports and correspondence on the experience to





Revolution #456 September 12, 2016

Tyre King—Murdered by Pig Who Shot 4 and Killed 2

September 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Tyre King
Tyre King

From a reader:

The day after 13-year-old Tyre King—who was just 5 feet and weighed less than 100 pounds—was murdered by cop Bryan Mason, we arrived in Columbus, Ohio as a vigil/speak-out was taking place in a park near where Tyre had his young life unjustly cut short. About 200 people were gathered in a circle. In the middle, people spoke of their sorrow and frustration at the murder of Tyre—another Black child shot down by the police. Tyre's sister poured out her anger and grief and spoke about the shock of learning her brother wouldn't be coming home.

Tyre was not the first victim of the murdering pig Mason—this “nine-year veteran” of the force shot dead a man in 2012, and was involved in two other shootings in recent years. He hasn’t even received a slap on the wrist for any of this—in fact, the department gave him an award for “bravery” in 2010. The department is now providing him with counseling for what they claim is “trauma” he supposedly is going through after killing a 13-year-old. The Columbus police killed four people in four weeks this June and July. None of the cops involved have been charged with anything. And if you look around the country, the police have killed over 770 people so far this year.

Statement from Carl Dix:


Bob Avakian: Police murder... and the murderous logic of this system's election game.

As Bob Avakian (BA) points out, the fact that cops murder youth after youth—and are almost never punished for these crimes—shows how that is their “job.” (Watch the video clip on this page: “Bob Avakian on: Police murder...and the murderous logic of this system’s election game”)

The crowd at the vigil/speak-out for Tyre, organized by People’s Justice Program, was a mix of people of all ages. While it was mainly Black people, there were also many white and some Asian and Latino people. In a historically Black neighborhood where there’s been recent gentrification and tensions among different sections of the people, it’s significant there were many middle class people, Black and white, taking a stand against yet another police murder of a Black youth. One of the speakers said, “After this we can’t just let things go back to business as usual.” (Another vigil was organized by students of the Black Liberation Network at Ohio State University five miles away.)

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.

From Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution—Message from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

We stood with the people in outrage at the police murder of Tyre King, and got out the Message from the Central Committee of the RCP, "Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution" among the crowd. We connected people with the liberating truth that there is a way to bring an end to murder by police and other horrors—and a revolutionary movement and leadership that is organizing to overthrow the system behind these pigs at the soonest possible time.