Revolution #502, July 31, 2017 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Clashes at the Top...
But the Fascists Fight for the Initiative

July 31, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Viewed from the prism of “normal” politics, this past week could be seen as marked by defeat and disarray for the Trump/Pence regime. Trump fired his chief of staff after an ugly public attack. A few days before, the regime failed in its drive to deprive tens of millions of people in the U.S. of health care—at least for now. And, indeed, the latter was a defeat—and the conflict within the regime has been, and remains, extraordinarily sharp.

But Donald Trump is not normal, and neither is the regime he heads. As Bob Avakian has pointed out, Trump gained the nomination and the presidency precisely on the basis that he promised to break up the “norms.” So with that in mind, let’s look again at this past week.

Take the high-profile speeches Trump made to the Boy Scouts, to his supporters in Youngstown, Ohio, and to police on Long Island, New York. These speeches demonized and dehumanized whole groups of people, as well as his ruling class opponents. Trump called for extraordinary repression and openly encouraged police to batter and endanger the lives of those they arrest. Officials associated with the groups may have tut-tutted afterward, but the audiences roared enthusiastically.

Internationally, the Trump/Pence regime moved forward with its extremely aggressive and extremely dangerous policies, especially in regard to risking nuclear war. Trump’s moves against LGBTQ people were vicious, heartless and going in the direction of the pink triangles of Nazi Germany. And meanwhile, on the ground and often away from the cameras, untold damage continued to be done to millions and millions, in the form of administrative moves.

Trump has also used the week to whip his core into shape, humiliating some and firing others, trampling on notions both of rule of law and individual dignity. The crude, humiliating, and ignorant gangster-style behavior with which it was done was an essential part of the message, part of the point, to anybody who would oppose him. Then he appointed the first military man in the highest White House position (chief of staff) since Richard Nixon’s administration. Some forces aligned with the Democrats actually applauded this move—as if a more organized, “tighter ship” of fascism would be a good thing.

All this is bad. Very bad. Untold damage to millions around the world and to the environment has already been done; still more damage is done every day it goes on; and unless this is stopped, unimaginable and truly horrific damage will almost certainly transpire. Even in response to defeats and disarray, the regime continues to set the terms; it does not “see reason” but steps up the bullying and intensifies the mobilization of its loyal followers, egging them on to go after those it considers enemies.

The terms that this fascist regime sets, the moves it makes to seize back the initiative and fight for advantage—the moves that were in fact the most salient part of the last week—should reawaken and exponentially deepen the foreboding and anguish that tens of millions felt on the morning of November 9, 2016. Faced with this reality, there is an urgent need to expand the depth of our political understanding of the monstrosity we face and the breadth of our political imaginations on how to fight it; to challenge and rally others in their millions, and raise the level of what we are all willing to put on the line to stop it.

With that in mind, get into this issue. Get into the articles that detail and analyze what’s been happening. Learn about—and more than that, become part of the movement that is building to both resist but, even more important and in fact crucial, to drive out this regime. And get into—seriously get into, and engage—the deeper analysis as to the cause of the problem and the ultimate solution we need: revolution, and a whole new world.






Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

The Long Island Speech

Trump Incites Racism, Calls on Pigs Nationwide to Assault the Oppressed

July 31, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


On July 28, Donald Trump journeyed to Ronkonkoma in Suffolk County, New York, a county with a large Latino population, both immigrant and U.S.-born. There is a long history of Latinos there being subjected to a reign of terror from white racists: pelted with objects thrown from cars, run off the road when on bikes, beaten with baseball bats, faced with arson attacks and even murder, to the point where many parents have refused to let their children play outside.

But Donald Trump did not go to talk about that. No, he went to talk to an audience consisting of pigs, pigs, and more pigs (sorry, we meant to say “sheriffs, local cops, and state troopers”) from around the New York/New Jersey area. Trump came to stir up racist fear and hatred of Latinos, using lurid descriptions of a few horrible crimes attributed to the MS-13 gang (which has perhaps 10,000 members in the U.S., mainly among Salvadoran immigrants) in order to label tens of millions of people as “animals” who should be hunted down and jailed or deported.

This is no exaggeration: After reveling in gruesome descriptions of alleged MS-13 crimes, Trump makes clear that his target is not the tiny percentage of immigrants in gangs, but the entire Latino population, asking: “What happened to the old days where people came into this country, they worked and they worked and they worked, and they had families, and they paid taxes ...? We don’t see that.” In other words, past immigrants—white, European immigrants—were good, they came to work and raise families, but these Latinos are here (in Trump’s words) to transform our “peaceful parks and beautiful, quiet neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields.”

Trump’s “Solution”—Unleash the Cops to Be as Brutal as They Wanna Be—the Law, the Constitution, and Civil Rights Be Damned!

Having painted a picture of the whole U.S. overrun by violent immigrant criminals, Trump called for a nationwide offensive of police brutality and terror against Latinos (and Black people as well) aimed at “liberating our towns” “one by one.” And this offensive, Trump made clear, should be unconstrained by any concerns about the rights of people suspected or accused of crimes, or by laws, courts, or anything else. Trump promised the cops repeatedly: “We have your backs 100 percent.”

Remember when Baltimore cops threw Freddie Gray, handcuffed, into a police van and gave him a “rough ride” around the city, snapping his spine? Trump does too; he told the cops, “When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon—you just see them thrown in, rough—I said, please don’t be too nice.”

Remember when Ferguson, Missouri, cops killed Michael Brown, and then suppressed peaceful protests with armored vehicles, automatic weapons, and clouds of tear gas, night after night? Well, Trump does, too, and he reminded the cops, “When you wanted to take over and you used military equipment—and they were saying you couldn’t do it—you know what I said? That was my first day: You can do it. (Laughter.) ... And I tell you what—it’s being put to good use.”

But Trump isn’t just revisiting the “greatest hits” of past police atrocities. According to Trump, any constraint on the police by the laws, courts, or politicians has to be thrown aside. Trump claims that existing U.S. laws are “made to protect the criminal” and are “stacked against” the police. Trump complained that sometimes cops and immigration agents have to go through judges instead of just doing what they want. He railed against sanctuary cities as if their purpose was to protect murderers, rather than ordinary people trying to provide for their families. He complained about “pathetic” mayors who mildly constrain the police.

This whole picture of cops being “handcuffed” is America upside down! This is a country with more than two million incarcerated people, very few of whom even had a trial.1 It is a country in which cops killed roughly 10,000 civilians since 2005, yet only 83 cops were ever charged, and only 30 convicted. It is a country where millions of Black and Latino people have been searched by police without probable cause, and hundreds of thousands of youths labeled “gang members” because of how they dress or who they hang out with.


But Trump is aiming for all-out fascist terror against the oppressed. After describing MS-13 members as sadistic killers, Trump said U.S. enforcers were “rougher,” that MS-13 is “nothing compared to our guys.... And that’s what you need.”

Chicago in Trump's Crosshairs

Then Trump took another leap, turning his attention to Chicago, the city with the second-highest Black population in the U.S., and infamous both for its murderous, lying cops and for the plague of violence among oppressed youths. From his inauguration, Trump has put Chicago in the crosshairs of his regime, threatening to send in the feds to fix gun violence, which he and others blame on Black people. In June, the regime sent 20 additional agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) into Chicago—an advance guard for a reign of terror on top of centuries of savage oppression of Black people. And in the Long Island speech, Trump revealed that his target is not just immigrants or even Latinos—his aim is to violently reassert American white supremacy, everywhere and with a vengeance.

Highlighting this objective, Trump talked about a Chicago cop who supposedly told him that “if you gave me the authority,” the problem of gang violence there could be straightened out “in a couple of days.... We know all the bad ones. We know them all.”

Taken together with everything else Trump said in this speech, this evokes the unleashing of cops—without judicial oversight, warrants, probable cause, or evidence—to kick down the doors of hundreds or thousands of Black and Latino people in Chicago that the cops consider to be “bad guys.” Jailing some, deporting others, spreading terror everywhere, with no questions asked and no resistance tolerated. It raises the specter of the early stages of Gestapo terror in Nazi Germany, an opening wave of racially guided terror that, if not met with massive resistance (and not just from the section of people targeted!), will grow, and spread to other sections of people. And this lawless army of enforcers, increasingly pledged to personal loyalty to Trump himself, could just as easily be turned on white or middle class opponents of fascism, and on Trump’s opponents within the ruling class. In other words, this is a key element of the fascist drive to clear away all obstacles to their complete lockdown of society.

In short, Trump’s speech was a call for fascist policing of the oppressed and others—which was warmly welcomed by the cops in the room, who at the end broke into the bitterly appropriate chant, “USA, USA, USA.” Trump’s vision is indeed well-grounded in the whole white supremacist history and current oppressive relations of the USA. But Trump is preparing to take that longstanding nightmare to a dramatically higher level. This reality must be confronted, condemned, and defeated, as an integral part of driving this regime from power.

1. According to Michelle Alexander, a noted expert on the criminal justice system, writing in the New York Times: "More than 90 percent of criminal cases are never tried before a jury. Most people charged with crimes forfeit their constitutional rights and plead guilty.

“'The truth is that government officials have deliberately engineered the system to assure that the jury trial system established by the Constitution is seldom used,' said Timothy Lynch, director of the criminal justice project at the libertarian Cato Institute. In other words: the system is rigged." For more on this see Alexander's book: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. [back]







Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Trump's Ban on Transgender People in the U.S. Military

An Outrage, a Signal, and an Ominous Sign of Things to Come

July 31, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


On July 26, President Trump issued the following directive in a series of tweets:

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

As one writer sharply noted: “Many commentators immediately branded this move a distraction, an attempt to draw attention away from the Russian-conspiracy story, the health care battle, or anything else they deem more important than the president’s declaration that a group of Americans are second-class citizens.” (“Why Autocrats Fear LGBT Rights,” Masha Gessen, The New York Review of Books, July 27, 2017)

In fact, the transgender ban is a deadly serious attack on transgender and really all LGBTQ people. It came on the same day the Trump/Pence regime launched two other major attacks on LGBTQ people.

In an important employment rights lawsuit, the Justice Department under Jeff Sessions filed a brief upholding discrimination against LGBTQ people by making the outrageous claim that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bans sex discrimination, does not protect employees from workplace discrimination based on their sexual orientation.

That same day, the regime nominated Sam Brownback, a notorious Christian fascist and rabid opponent of LGBTQ rights, to head the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom.

These are signs and signals of more vicious attacks to come, and of the way that the Trump/Pence regime is responding to difficulties by escalating and accelerating its drive towards the fascist transformation of all of U.S. society.

To be very clear and upfront: The U.S. military is an organization of reactionary violence against the people of the world, including in the U.S., armed enforcers for the empire as it seeks to dominate the entire planet. And in times of crisis and upheaval, it is turned loose on rebellious people in this country.

So NO ONE should join, support, praise, or conciliate with the U.S. military. That is a matter of basic right and wrong.

But Trump’s order banning trans people from the U.S. military is a way for the rulers of the U.S. to brand them as less than human, as “untrustworthy,” as “not full citizens.” And it is bound—and intended—to signal to a rabidly anti-gay section of society that transgender and all LGBTQ people are “fair game” for harassment, assault, and murder.

The poisonous nature of this ban was driven home by former Arkansas governor, Christian fascist, and major Trump supporter Mike Huckabee, who said, “The military is not a social experiment.” Huckabee is implying that transgender people are not human beings—with an assortment of strengths and weaknesses, skills and idiosyncrasies, medical and psychological needs, like every other human—but rather some kind of freaks or alien species to be studied.

LGBTQ people have been subject to demonization, persecution, and murder throughout U.S. history, in large part because their very existence challenges the highly regimented gender roles and patriarchal hierarchy that all existing oppressive systems depend on to cohere society and maintain “social order.”

But this contradiction grows far more acute with the Trump/Pence regime. Major forces in this regime (including VP Mike Pence) are Christian fascists who believe that the Bible should literally be the “law of the land.” After Trump’s election, documented the multi-layered attacks on LGBTQ people that the fascist Trump/Pence regime would bring, because in their worldview, “deviations” from traditional male/female roles are a “stain upon the land” that “turn God against America.” The Bible itself calls for executing homosexuals, and we should not think for a second that these modern-day Christian fascists would stop short of that under certain circumstances.

Trump’s claim that the ban was motivated in part by “the tremendous medical costs and disruption” for transgender people in the military was a lie, but Trump spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders uttered some truth when she said the ban was aimed at strengthening “unit cohesion”—by which she means strengthening unit cohesion around a Christian fascist ideology, an ideology that is openly hostile to LGBTQ people, and strengthening the already-powerful Christian fascist pole in the military.

With all this in mind, it should be no surprise that, according to David Brody, the White House correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network, it was exactly these forces who pushed for the ban. Brody tweeted that Trump’s evangelical “faith advisors” “discussed strategy to reverse transgenders in military policy at WH two weeks ago.” And Brody added that “The transgender announcement by @POTUS is more proof that @realDonaldTrump has become a dream come true for conservative evangelicals.”

Yes, and it is also “more proof” of the absolute urgency of mobilizing millions to drive this regime from power, and continuing on to fight for a world where—among other things—people of all genders and sexual orientations are respected and cherished, not demeaned and persecuted.

(For an essential understanding of these Christian fascist forces and why they have come to the forefront in modern U.S. society, see Bob Avakian’s seminal work: “The Truth About Right-Wing Conspiracy... And Why Clinton and the Democrats Are No Answer”)






Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Trump/Pence Threatens Millions Around the Globe—This Week Alone

Updated August 2, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


ALERT: On August 1, appearing on the Today show, Senator Lindsay Graham threatened the lives of many millions of people in Asia. Graham dismissed those who say the U.S. doesn’t have military options in North Korea: “There is a military option—to destroy North Korea's program and North Korea itself." He readily admitted that “Japan, South Korea, China would all be in the crosshairs” of a U.S. war on North Korea. "If there’s going to be a war to stop [North Korea], it will be over there. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die here. And [Trump] has told me that to my face." The U.S. has carried out massive slaughters before: during the 1950-1953 Korean War, the U.S. killed 3 million people, carpet bombed the north, and destroyed every building over one story.

Just this past week, the Trump/Pence regime threatened the lives of hundreds of millions across the globe:

U.S. Naval Commander Says “Yes,” He Would Nuke China If Trump Ordered It. During his campaign, Trump asked a foreign policy expert three times: If we have nukes, why can’t we use them? On Thursday, July 27, while in Australia for war games aimed at China involving 30,000 U.S. and Australian soldiers, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet was asked if he would obey a Trump order to launch a nuclear attack on China. Admiral Scott Swift replied, “The answer would be yes.” This chilling response threatens China and the world with a nuclear holocaust.

Threatening war with North Korea and beyond: On Friday, July 28, shortly after North Korea carried out a new missile test, the U.S. military command and South Korea discussed military options against North Korea, and the two countries carried out military maneuvers. Then Sunday, in a show of force, two U.S. B-1 nuclear-capable bombers flew close to the North Korean border. This comes after repeated threats by the Trump/Pence regime that all options are on the table against North Korea.

Earlier this week, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, “[A]nyone who’s been alive since World War II has never seen the loss of life that could occur if there’s a conflict on the Korean Peninsula,” but warned such a war was not “unimaginable.” What was unimaginable, he said, was allowing North Korea to have a nuclear-armed missile capable of hitting Denver, Colorado. In other words, the U.S. would rather go to war, knowing the slaughter that would ensue, rather than lose its military and political dominance of the Asia-Pacific region. 

The U.S. has deployed attack aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines to the Korean Peninsula and is now setting up the THAAD anti-missile defense system in South Korea. China considers this a direct threat that could weaken its ability to deter a nuclear attack. South Korea is now demanding that the U.S. allow it to build more powerful, longer-range missiles that could hit not only North Korea but China as well.

Trump Ratchets Up Threats Against Iran, Trying to Void Nuclear Deal. In the Middle East, the U.S. has officially certified that Iran is abiding by the nuclear agreement it signed in 2015 with the U.S. and other world powers. The U.S., however, is blatantly violating the deal by imposing new sanctions on Iran, and now Trump has ordered his staff to come up with excuses for pulling out of the agreement while blaming it on Iran. Breaking this agreement would signal a major threat against Iran and move toward confrontation.

In Youngstown, Ohio, this week, Trump condemned the Iran nuclear deal and threatened “if that deal doesn’t conform to what it’s supposed to conform to, there’s going to be big, big problems for them.” Recently, a New York Times editorial warned that the “drumbeat of provocative words, outright threats and actions” against Iran from Trump, his supporters, and reactionary regimes like Saudi Arabia could lead to war.






Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

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. An updated pre-publication PDF of this major work—now including the appendices—is available here.

This excerpt comes from the section titled "IV. The Leadership We Need."

A Fundamentally Antagonistic Relation—and the Crucial Implications of That

I want to focus now on a point that is emphasized in the Interview with Ardea Skybreak, and it’s something that needs to be repeatedly emphasized: In fundamental terms, the relation between the Party and the ruling class of this society and its state—which, after all, despite its outward trappings of democracy, is in essence and in fact a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, with everything that means—this relationship is, after all, an antagonistic relation. Let’s get into what that means and the implications of it. Whatever the particular status is, at any given time, of that relation, and whatever the outward appearances of that are—in other words, whether the powers-that-be are fully going after the Party, or apparently ignoring it, or infiltrating it on a certain level but to appearances not doing more—whatever the particular expression of that relationship is or appears to be at a given time, it is always an antagonistic relation, which means it is one in which, ultimately, one side has to destroy the other. That’s what it means when it’s antagonistic. It doesn’t mean this will fully come to a head immediately—and, again, we’re not setting out right now to overthrow the system and go for the seizure of power—but that doesn’t change the fact that this relationship is, fundamentally and in its essence, antagonistic all the time.

The Ardea Skybreak Interview goes on to point out that there are, among the representatives and functionaries of this ruling class and its state, those who recognize and take seriously the threat posed to this system, even potentially, by an actual vanguard party and its leadership, and especially outstanding leaders when they emerge. Here it’s worth thinking about a comment by Donald Rumsfeld, who was the Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush when they invaded Iraq. (By the way, I just have to say, as a matter of method: I never really agreed with the criticism of Donald Rumsfeld’s statement about “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns,” which he made during the Iraq war. When asked, at a certain point about the situation there, he said, there are some things we just don’t know, and he added: “There are known unknowns.... But there are also unknown unknowns.” Many people ridiculed him for that statement. But I thought he had a point, methodologically. There are things that you know that you don’t know, and then there are things you don’t even know about that you may not know. He was correct about that. So, even though it’s Donald Rumsfeld, you have to be scientific.) But, to get back to the more important point here: Rumsfeld was asked, why are you going after these Islamic fundamentalists with such a vengeance? In response, he made an analogy which we should think about seriously. It demonstrates that there are some people in the ruling class who think strategically. His analogy was this: Back when Lenin wrote that little pamphlet What Is To Be Done? in the early 1900s, if we had known everything that would lead to, we would have crushed it right then.

So this is something to think about. You have people in the ruling class who think about things in that kind of way, and they don’t always wait until things pose an immediate threat to them before they pay attention to them and recognize the potential threat. Maybe not all the representatives of the ruling class approach things that way, but there are representatives who pay attention to these things and call the attention of others to it. And the question sharply poses itself: To what degree is this understanding clearly and firmly grasped among the ranks of the Party and the movement for revolution—and to what degree are the standards of this Party and this movement an expression of a correct understanding of this fundamentally antagonistic relation—or to what degree are the standards an expression of something else?

Now, besides the Ardea Skybreak Interview, there was an important article that I’m sure you’re familiar with—the article about watching the movie Fruitvale Station with BA.65 There were two basic points made in that Fruitvale Station article. One of them more or less corresponds to the point in the Skybreak Interview about the rare combination represented by BA: someone who is highly developed theoretically and has brought forward very advanced theory, and at the same time has a deep understanding of and a deep identification with the masses of the oppressed. That was one of the points—that was the first point—that this Fruitvale Station article was making. It wasn’t just “Look how sensitive BA is, he isn’t the stereotype of a cold, machine-like communist”—that was a point, but the essential point was the same point that’s in that section of the Ardea Skybreak Interview about the rare combination. And then, flowing from that, was the point that was explicitly emphasized in that Fruitvale Station article: We had better recognize what this means, what we have here, and do everything we can to prevent the other side from taking it away from the masses of people. And the question, again, poses itself: How much, in reading the Ardea Skybreak Interview, did people really pause on this section that I’m referring to, speaking to this antagonistic relationship, and how much did it make them think of what was emphasized in that Fruitvale Station article? These are questions people should think about and grapple with.

65. “Watching Fruitvale Station With Bob Avakian,” Revolution #349, August 24, 2014. Available at [back]



Publisher's Note

Introduction and Orientation

Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit

Part I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science

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

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

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

Part III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution

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

Part IV. The Leadership We Need

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

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

Appendix 2:
Framework and Guidelines for Study and Discussion


Selected List of Works Cited

About the Author





Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Going from Conspiracy Theories and Religion to Scientifically Understanding the REAL Problem that Humanity Faces

July 31, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Reading the section “Getting Clearer on the Need for Revolution—Breaking With Wrong Ideas and Illusions” in the Science and Revolution book made me think about the brief period of time when I was into conspiracy theories (the Illuminati). I would watch videos on YouTube about how the government was conspiring to do things. This crazy theory of lizard people living under the White House. Even without thinking scientifically, some of these theories seemed kind of stupid and unrealistic. Not getting to the REAL problem that humanity faces. Then I ran into Bob Avakian’s work.

I had never been into politics and didn’t even have a basic understanding of why all of these horrible things were happening to people. Around the same time Trayvon Martin was murdered. I was really outraged about that. Watching some of the Revolution talk DVD [Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About], a lot of the things BA was saying had an impact on me. Getting into—SCIENTIFICALLY—why these things happen, getting into “they’re selling postcards of the hanging.” Some of the history of the U.S. I knew nothing about.

Another thing I struggled with and eventually broke from was religion. As most Latino families, I was raised Catholic and been taught that there was a higher being looking over us. That you shouldn’t question it or you would be punished. I was conditioned to think all those things. So when I watched BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, the part on god and religion, I felt really uncomfortable. For the first time ever I felt challenged to think and confront the reality that there is no god. Also reading some excerpts of the book AWAY WITH ALL GODS! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World made me think and brought the reality of what the role of religion actually is and how harmful it is for the masses of people. All this is why people need science and the scientific approach to things. Actually getting to the root of the problem and the solution. All this is why people need to know about the leadership of this revolution, Bob Avakian and the new synthesis of communism.

Ardea Skybreak makes the point that all the suffering that people go through is so unnecessary and it doesn’t have to be this way. I came to understand that, and I wouldn’t want to do anything else with my life than to fight for the emancipation of all of humanity.






Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Letter from a revcom:

Pig Arrests Spark Mass Debate on Facebook and Intense Back-and-Forth in Neighborhood

July 31, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


In the battle over forging revolutionary organization on the South Side of Chicago, there are further developments in the neighborhood where police arrested five members of the Revolution Club last week. For weeks police have outright retaliated against a whole neighborhood and threatened people individually for beginning to check out the revolution and get organized. With this there has been lots of questioning, controversy, and debate in relation to the message of the Revolution Club and how to understand the police repression and what to do about it, with people on different sides and often switching sides. (The message of the Revolution Club is concentrated in our proclamation: This Summer in Chicago Will NOT Be a Bloodbath of Killing Each Other. This Summer Will NOT Be Free Rein for Police to Murder and Terrorize Black and Brown Youth. This Summer We Get Organized for Revolution to Emancipate All of Humanity.)

This has all sharpened with the escalation of the police attacks last week AND the way the Revolution Club and supporters responded. The Revolution Club held a press conference the same day and then rallied the next day at the scene of the arrests with people from the neighborhood and supporters from other organizations. The commander of the 7th District police has now repeatedly come personally to try to stop the Revolution Club from getting out the message of revolution and was taken on by Carl Dix and members of the community at the rally.

Debate on Facebook

In the days after the arrests, the debate also took off in another arena and brought in wider swaths of people. Someone in the neighborhood who filmed the arrests and was siding with the police against the revolutionaries posted his videos to Facebook. Within a few days, one of the videos had been seen by more than 92,000 people. Throughout the neighborhood, most people have seen the video, and it has also been widely seen in at least one other South Side neighborhood where the Revolution Club is starting to be known.

The Facebook posts quickly also became a place of lots of struggle between people taking different positions, but overwhelmingly siding with the revolutionaries and with a lot of substance and heart. Not only was there outrage against the police clearly carrying out illegitimate arrests against people simply speaking on a public sidewalk, but there was also unity with the message the police were trying to silence, and anger at the videographer who was siding with the pigs and saying they should lock up the revolutionaries for starting trouble with the police.

Some of the back-and-forth:

A: I don’t understand why record them and talk shit when they trying to stand of for us... if you don’t agree with some of things they’re saying just say so, not talk shit

B: Thank u He more on the cops side that’s wats sad

Videographer: You don’t even know what’s going on they making our community hot if the police was fukn with somebody it’s understandable but they fukn with them ppl

A: They wasn’t fucking with them... they was clearly stating that cops are shooting innocent people and getting away with it and as usual cops sit they ass on the corner and watch and then come fuck with people... they asked why was they there and they wasn’t doing shit but trying to appeal to you guys


Videographer: Man they making that shit hot and this coming from a mf with a job

C: Y’all just don’t get the point. The block isn’t yours nor the niggas that stand on them corners. I understand most gotta provide but that isn’t the only way. That’s the way they have glorified it for our boys to keep at each other and not really seeing what’s going on around y’all... this is bigger than a damn block and y’all not going to see that until it’s too late


D: you lost in this sauce young brother... the block ain’t hot when we going to war with each other but you sneak dissing mfs that got the balls to stand up to the law and stick up for you and your community... something you clearly not about... peep game shorty


E: if she can stand up n put her life on the line for something that is definitely right and need to change in our community why is people not coming together to stand with her what is everybody scared of it like no one is trying to get involve or with the movement n people are so stupid up here talking about stop blowing the whistle they are blowing the whistle to get everyone’s attention to see what the police are doing and to hear what the lady is saying I think that is very smart if we had more people to think like this lady Justice will be served we need to wake up and come together I want to find out her name and what is the movement I want to be a part of it and I hope everyone up here do to and why be afraid they killing our kids and family n us anyway it’s either that u live 4 nothing or die for something so if you will die or do anything for your kids or family but yet you are scared to stand for what’s right or die for what’s right so your kids and they kids can have a better future so it can be more safe I just want to know what did our grandparents and great-grandparents and ancestors die and fight for or went through what did they go through it for then ig for us to be afraid I don’t think so. WE ALL NEED TO COME TOGETHER AND GET OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS INVOLVED WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FAITH AND THE STRENGTH OF OUR CULTURES.

There is actually quite a bit to reflect on in these debates. There is resistance to those who disrupt the “routine”—and a deep aspiration to stand with those who DO dare to disrupt the routine of oppression.

In the neighborhood, the same debate is going on, though also on a deeper level among some who are starting to find out about and engage the work of Bob Avakian (BA), the leader of the revolution. Here the stakes are very high, as the police have made very clear that they will try to make people pay a price for standing up. So people are getting into deep questions and expressing support, with some stepping forward in some ways, but mainly thinking about and weighing getting involved.

At the same time, some are bowing down to the pressure of the police harassment, including one who went so low as to even wave the police over when the revolutionaries were back in the neighborhood talking with people! However, when the police pulled up four cars for three revolutionaries and got out of their cars and started moving in like they were going to start arresting people, others came up from the park, including one person who had been expressing her own disagreements earlier, in the face of the police took the right stand, joining in the agitation the revcoms were doing, standing with the Revolution Club until the police backed off. The Revolution Club has issued and started to distribute a statement, “Revolutionary Communists Serve the Interests of Humanity... Pig Police Serve and Protect the System... Which Side Are You On?” (See statement at right on this page.)


On Friday night, the Revolution Club organized a film showing in the park of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, the major talk from Bob Avakian given in 2012. This is the same park where the revcoms were arrested the week before and the same park where a number of people have been killed in violence among the people. The showing was projected on a big screen and could be heard from the sidewalk.

People had to go up against a lot to come to this showing, and we need to do more showings that maybe are easier for people to come to. There was a small but significant number of people from the neighborhood who did come very consciously to represent their support for the revolution. And then there were others who checked it out on the edges, watching from the sidewalk or along the fence. A number of really young kids wanted to be part of the scene and some of the middle-school-aged people who came with them to keep an eye on them seriously engaged the film.

Then, at the end of the film showing, right at 10 pm, the 7th District commander showed up! Some people had been calling him during the week to demand he stop the harassment and arrests, and when he showed up he did not bring a force to make arrests, this time. He did once again straight-up say to the legal observer that he did not want the message of the revcoms in that neighborhood. And as he did, someone who had been drawn in to watch part of the film passed by holding a copy of the film on DVD and held it up in front of the commander, defiantly saying, “I’m going to watch this!”

The Revolution Club is following up with people from the neighborhood to fight through on people getting deeper into BA and how we can really win a revolution, with the mission of organizing people concretely for revolution and into the Revolution Club. And we are NOT stopping.







Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Revolution Summer! Chicago Fund Drive Enters Second and Decisive Phase
On to $50,000!

From the Revolution Club, Chicago

July 31, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


We are in the midst of an important campaign to raise $50,000 for Revolution Summer! Through this, we hope to bring many people in more middle strata to support this effort, and in the process to learn more about what the masses of people are facing in the oppressed neighborhoods, and about the revolution that is needed. We have raised a little over half of what is needed. Many people around the country will need to step forward to meet this goal as quickly as possible, to keep this project going.

As it says on the GoFundMe site for the project: “Donations are needed right now to support the work being done this summer in Chicago by the Chicago Revolution Club, out-of-town volunteers, and Carl Dix [a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party]. The Club is taking out the leadership and the science people need to get free to the people who are currently shooting and murdering each other. The Club is on the front lines, fighting relentlessly to get the youth to stop the insanity and get into the revolution. This situation is more acute than ever as the Trump/Pence regime sets its fascist sights on Chicago. ... Everyone with a heart agonizes over this situation. But here is a way for you to actually do something—make a donation that can actually make a difference—because this project is not about putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound.“

We have learned some things with our initial efforts in the middle class in Chicago, concentrated in a group of health professionals and workers who have donated several thousand dollars to Revolution Summer! in both small and large sums. The six Points of Attention for the Revolution have played an important role in this work—projecting a vision for a new future and of moral authority for that future.

Because there is such a huge gulf of ignorance and ignore-ance among the middle strata, even in Chicago, of the conditions people on the South and West Sides actually face—there is the need in this work to bring to life the reality that the violent oppression of Black people has been deeply embedded in every aspect of this country for hundreds of years and that, due to the workings of capitalism-imperialism, millions of Black people have become expendable in its eyes. This agitation/argumentation does have an impact on people being asked to donate to this project. The problem is this system and not some pathology of Black people who in fact are the victims of all of this. Middle class people raise to us: Can these problems be addressed by more education? Should we focus more on problems of the Black family and the lack of fathers in the home? But how well do these people in more privileged positions, who are immersed in “information” but not in scientific analyses, get the horror of mass incarceration that has robbed these communities of so many people? How well do people understand the history of how this system created these segregated neighborhoods with redlining and restrictive covenants/the destruction of public housing/the turning of public schools into prisons with no chance at real education? These questions are all addressed at, and using these articles has made a big difference in winning people to donate.

Why People Donated

Among those who decide to support this it has been important to get people to express why, from their perspective, they are supporting this project and to share that with others still on the fence. One health professional donated to Revolution Summer twice and wrote: “Made another 50.00 donation on the GoFundMe page. Instead of writing something of my own I will just pick some quotes that I like. (1) ‘The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further than yourself but the ends you serve that are for all, in common, will take you into eternity.’ Marcus Garvey. (2) ‘For any marginalized group to change the story the society tells about them takes courage and perseverance.’ Sharon Salzberg. (3) People often call fighting discrimination being ‘PC’ because they don’t want their own unearned privileges challenged.’ DaShanne Stokes.”

A professional whose parents are from South Asia wrote: “I grew up doing volunteer work with my parents. So I’ve seen injustices and inequality of under privileged communities as well as the sense of hopelessness in the children/adolescents who can’t see a way out. When my friend discussed the Revolution Club, it got my interest immediately. An organization that is working to change things on a big scale. I’m in agreement that the world needs to open their eyes and see the blatant disregard for other humans just because of the low income or skin color. Thus glad to see a national movement for change.”

Carl Dix Dinner/Discussion with Health Professionals

We recently had an informal dinner meeting/discussion where four health professionals met with Carl Dix after all had donated to this project. Carl spoke about the decision to bring a Revolution Summer to these neighborhoods, to the pull of the street and the struggle to break people out of that and onto another road and what would be involved in this. He also gave a lot of attention to the campaign of police-imposed “martial law” in the area on the South Side where the Revolution Club has planted a pole—including the raid of over 100 cops on a family’s 4th of July party. Those at the dinner were really taken aback by this and learning of the 7 am-3 pm curfew which led to one resident being ordered off the sidewalk to his porch and then off his porch into his home! The issue of neighborhood development to “uplift the neighborhoods” came up. Carl spoke to the Obama library and the Tiger Woods golf course, both planned for South Shore and, as Carl explained, both meant to delude people into dead ends that do nothing to address the real problem.

At the end of the dinner, one professional who has been generous in her support of this project raised her questions about communism and human nature, and Carl went into this with substance. The next day, another of the professionals added that she very much appreciated what Carl had to say, and expressed her views this way: “Changing all of this is hard work and will take a lot of time and I appreciate that there can be many approaches to going at this.” She offered that she is going to donate again and would be willing to reach out to a few others that she knows. What we have learned, among other things, is that people do not have to agree with everything about Revolution Summer in order to support it, AND TO TAKE IT OUT TO OTHERS.

Support Those with a Real Plan to End the Crimes of This System

It is important to grasp that progressive middle class people, people who do have a heart and are agonizing over the daily carnage among these youth, have a responsibility to support this project even as they explore and engage with and raise questions about and voice disagreements with revolution and with Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. We welcome all of this, but not by making disagreement principle over the need to have the back of Carl Dix and the courageous Revolution Club volunteers as they fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution in these neighborhoods. You can sense the excitement of so many good middle class people when they first hear that somebody is out there on these mean streets with a plan to actually END this monstrous crime imposed by the system upon humanity! Then, of course, people want to “get real,” and why wouldn’t they, not grasping the deep science behind this plan? So now they’re on a journey—and we need to help lead them to that science and its methods and conclusions. But don’t let them lose that spark that we lit! Here’s a simple truth—No other plan out there is even close to commensurate with this fucking problem! Support that!

Bob Avakian, in his new book THE NEW COMMUNISM: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, talks about the “positive synergy” between building the revolutionary movement among the most oppressed—and among the middle strata. Those who catch the most hell need the middle strata to back them up to not feel that the rest of society is against them. This is strategically important in making revolution.

Another positive development we’ve seen so far in this fund drive is increasing excitement, and multiple donations, from a section of donors who follow Revolution Summer online at or at least through GoFundMe updates, and emails we send out to them. When they read articles like “Face-Off on the South Side of Chicago” and how things were getting very intense and people in the neighborhood were stepping forward in various ways, including putting on the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts, some donated again and sent encouraging statements. We have to make sure the Revolution Club and the people they are reaching out to HEAR that there ARE middle class people who do HAVE THEIR BACKS.







Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

From a prisoner to the Brothers and Sisters of the Street Organizations of America

“I read The BAsics...It's time for us to focus that fearlessness towards a BETTER WORLD”

July 24, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


It has been awhile on my part, but The Struggle hasn’t stopped! I am a “Lifer” with 16½ years done on the rest of my life. It seems since Trump manipulated his way into the highest political position of the United States government, my time (life) has got harder! Now (supposedly) I reside on the worst prison in the State of Texas (XXX) and currently we are on Lockdown. Due to an African-American prisoner killing a Hispanic prisoner, so tensions are very high. So, The Administration decided to lockdown and shakedown at the same time. Well, the Captain supervising the guards that were searching my property decided that I had too much property, even though all my property could fit in my locker box. Well, they took all the reading material that you all (Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund, PRLF) had sent over the years.

Now I been working as a Janitor in the Kitchen for 17 months, but the Admin. took my job, because I am a Confirmed Gang Member. Am I a Confirmed Gang Member? Yes, I am and been on file since 2001. Now, I haven’t had a disciplinary write-up in 3 years, and I am at the highest level (S3-G2) that I can go.

I would like to speak to my Brothers and Sisters of the numerous Street Organizations of America. VIOLENCE IS A FERRIS WHEEL OF HORROR! Violence begets (causes) violence. It never stops! We must stop it! I’ve been a member of the YY since I was 11 years old; I am now 44 years old. For most of my life, revenge and retaliation has been my meat and potatoes. Has been my sole reason for opening my eyes daily. Then one day I woke up tired (emotionally) sitting in Administration Segregation, looking at the rest of my life incarcerated. I knew the system (America) was broken, but didn’t have one clue on how to fix it, or change my mindset for the better. Then my next door neighbor introduced me to BA, and as I read BAsics, a whole new world—a world different than the one I was taught/brainwashed by my school teachers—became known to me.

Brothers & Sisters, WE ARE A FORCE TO BE RECKON WITH, and right now we are doing exactly what the powers that be want us to do. Destroying each other, they’ve been on this “divide and conquer shit” for centuries! Right now, we are their allies, and our own worst enemy! I was borne into this broken ass system, just as we all was. And we was, also, programmed to believe that this is the way it is suppose to be. But, Mr Bob Avakian has shown me that I’ve been lied to my entire life. Like Bob Avakian said in his book—BAsics: “If you want to know about, and work toward, a different world—and if you want to stand up and fight back against what’s being done to people—this is where you go. You go to this Party, you take up this Party’s newspaper, you get into this Party’s leader and what he’s bringing forward.” (BAsics 3:34). What more needs to be said?!?

Brothers and Sisters, I know you all are frustrated, tired, and mad as a muthafucker! Trust me when I say, BA is the answer to our problems with this country! Believe me or not, the powers that be wants us killing each other off. And the ones that survives, they will send their cops to lock the rest up, or finish y’all off! They are slowly, but surely, “MOWING” us down, and we are helping them do it! We might as well put the gun in our own mouths!!!

Brothers and Sisters, we have shed blood, sweat, and tears, plus put in so much “work” for Our Nations, Families, Hoods, and Sets. It’s time for us to focus that energy, that fearlessness towards a BETTER WORLD! All of us have proven over and over, we are willing to STAND TALL for what we believe in! Isn’t a better world for us and our children worth believing in?


P.S. Regardless of my daily struggles, I shall always strive in The Struggle.


We greatly appreciate receiving these letters from prisoners and encourage prisoners to keep sending us correspondence. The views expressed by the writers of these letters are, of course, their own; and they are not responsible for the views published elsewhere in our paper.






Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Meeting the LA Resistance Fighters of July 15
Part 2

by Michael Slate

July 30, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


It took courage to be among the hundreds who gathered at Hollywood and Highland, the site of the Trump Hollywood star, to rally and march against the fascist Trump/Pence regime on July 15 in Los Angeles. Trumpite fascists had threatened the marchers in advance—and they did come out to try to intimidate and silence the protesters, and physically assaulted at least two people.

Michelle Xai of Refuse Fascism Los Angeles, the young woman emceeing the rally, called out the fascists in a strong and spirited rap that got right to what was so important and urgent about the protest, and rallied the people forward:

We’re here on a mission to drive out this fascist regime. These people, what are they representing, what are they opposing? When Donald Trump says make America great again, what is he saying? He’s saying make America white again. He wants to go back to the days when there was a separation, when Black people had to use different bathrooms than white people, when they were treated as less than human. We say NO to that, and we are determined to drive out this fascist regime from power. And we are not going to sit back and wait and see. This fascist in the White House has already shown us what they’re gonna do. They’ve told us what they’re gonna do. And we are not gonna be those good Germans who just sat back when there was bodies all around them and just covered their eyes and pretended like it wasn’t happening. No! We are not gonna go back to those days!... We refuse these fucking ignorant fools trying to intimidate us. They came out here to protect a piece of concrete [the Trump star]. If it wasn’t so dangerous, it would be laughable. But these people are serious—this is how fascism consolidates, through these modern-day brown shirts going around and shutting up all opposition while the people in power continue to carry out these genocidal programs against the masses of people. We should not get distracted. We are on a mission to drive out this fascist regime from power, and we’re not gonna back down from that!

There was a moment where the fascists were chanting “USA, USA, USA,” and the crowd responded with “HUMANITY FIRST, HUMANITY FIRST!” The fascists turned strikingly silent, and the moment had a profound effect on everyone involved.

Who were the 400 resistance fighters doing the right thing, marching against the Trump/Pence regime? They represented a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds, and shared a sense of responsibility to humanity to drive out this fascist regime. Revolution correspondent Michael Slate caught up with a number of them, and shared notes on the scene, who was there, and why.

This is the second part of this series; we will add more in days to come, so stay tuned. See Part One here.

* * * * * * * *

The Trump/Pence Nazis kept sneaking people into the rally and were filming and recording speakers and some of the protesters. Adrianna, a middle-aged professional who heard about the rally on KPFK radio, said that she had to come to the protest. And she made sure she brought her husband and a few friends.

When I asked her to talk with me, she hesitated for a moment and then jumped into it. “I’m worried about not only the political situation here, but also the humanitarian situation in the U.S. I don’t even know where to begin. It’s just... we’re regressing to I don’t even know where to begin. It’s just we’re regressing to Make America Great Again. When was that? When we had slavery and women weren’t allowed to vote? This is such a retrograde moment and it doesn’t need to happen. I mean ultimately we are all after the same thing, I think. But all this bullshit is causing so much noise and we’re at the point where the government has been enabled through a variety of means and we have these boardrooms full of aging white men. I mean, look at it, health care, there’s two women involved in its defense... I mean how are people going to get representation? Anyway, it’s a sad state of affairs and I’m just sick of it. I’m not American but this is a global issue. We have to get this fucker out! We just have to get him out.”

I asked her if she thought the Trump/Pence regime was fascist. “Do I think Donald Trump is a fascist? I think one can label it things, but I think that no matter what one calls it, in practice I’m not really interested in naming a group because that’s another step backwards. I think we have to take on actually what’s done like behaviors and policies. And calling one another fascist—like they’re calling us fascist—and few people have a sense of the historical meaning of this term. I think we have a frightening situation globally. You know, this is the last moment we really have.”

Adrianna’s friends called to her to make sure she stayed together with them. Before she left, I asked her what she thought it would take to get Trump/Pence out of power. “My sense, observing various precedents and looking at it—be it the Ukraine—I mean, I dread to say it, but I think this is headed towards a violent clash. I think in many ways we are looking at the embers or the sparks of a kind of a civil war in America. Every day there is new shit coming out, right? And whatever momentum we make on one end, there’s an equal one happening on the other end where things are being rewritten, the public is forgetting.

“You know, like it should have ended at pussy grabber as far as I’m concerned. But there is kind of this collective amnesia that takes hold. Everyone has things at stake, you know? And you get into your sealed kind of life and so the system is geared against resistance. You know, everyone has their jobs, their families. I think what we need to do is organize and understand that if we all got on the same page. It’s kind of sad, kind of disappointing, but if all of these factions were organized in a way where we could literally just go to Washington and just take over the Mall, you know, like drill down, chain ourselves there, and take the hits... it’s now or never. Right, it’s now or never. And it’s just gonna get worse from here... so... when do you want to make the sacrifice? Now, or have sacrifices foisted upon you later on?

“If we had millions of people it would happen. You know, it’s just... it’s a mixture of apathy, other responsibilities, and general confusion; there’s a lot of antagonistic forces. The web is saturated with complete bullshit and people don’t have the critical capacity to kind of evaluate it as such. And that’s largely because Fox News is the watched broadcast in the U.S. How do you react against that? How do you demote the forces that have been able to sell to the level where they essentially control so many communicative outlets?

“You can probably tell I’m somewhat disheartened. They need to be removed. But, I hate to say it, but having followed this whole process really closely and kind of understanding the signals for the emergence of a totalitarian and so deeply embedded system, the only thing we can really do is we have to come together. It sounds cliché and perhaps it is, but it’s now or never. And it’s getting increasingly difficult. So I think people are gonna have to say we’re gonna take the hits. We’re gonna have to get maybe hurt, right? For a long game, kind of an end goal of dislodging this because it’s just sick. It’s a sick thing to watch.”

* * * * * * * *

When I left Adrianna and started walking through the crowd again, I felt a tug on my shoulder. I turned around to see a Latino man in his mid-20s. Mario told me he had been listening to my conversation with Adrianna and really wanted to talk with me. He said he feels doubly downpressed by Trump—he’s Latino and he’s gay. “What brought me here is this regime. You see, I don’t celebrate it to begin with. Racism has been disguised and among other things, judgments and prejudices against minorities. Minorities fighting minorities—this is the shit that Trump has awoken. I mean it was never absent to begin with, but it’s energized. And that has to stop! Our world has to come together. We are the future....

“Are we gonna live in an era where it’s just dark? Where it’s just the rich are getting richer and the poor keep dying? No! If we have resources and we have people that are willing and involving the government and involving science and other organizations, why oppose that for your own country? We need to move forward. This country is dying.”

When I asked Mario if there was something in particular that this regime had done that motivated him to be here, he looked at me like I was crazy. “To be completely honest with you, there is more than one thing that he has done. Among others, this ridiculous health care reform. My mother is going to lose coverage. My mother has a terminal illness. My mother worked for 20 years, owned a business, lost everything in the recession, came back on her feet. Everything she has left is her coverage. If you take that away from her, that’s it, you basically took away everything. It’s like you took all of her. Honestly, it’s just not fair for someone like my mother, who came to this country to fight for her children, to raise her children without a father because the father was this abusive person, dealing with drugs and what have you. You know people like that, like my mother and other women, are gonna lose their health care and their rights. It’s just not right. It’s inhumane; we are literally sending people to their deaths. And I don’t sit right with that. I don’t know how people sleep at night with that thought.

“Among other things, it is obviously the targeting of the LGBT community. I mean we have been fighting this fight for, I believe, more than one decade. That’s enough, that’s enough! I think the picture is pretty clear, we’re not going anywhere. So yeah, those particular things I must say. Also, the targeting of people of color. That also has got to stop. That infuriates me.”

Mario had heard me ask Adrianna if the Trump/Pence regime was fascist, and he wanted to speak on that. “I do believe that the Trump/Pence regime is a fascist regime. And like I said, it’s been around, it’s just energized right now and we must fight back. People need to understand this. This is our reality, this is not superstition. This is not some illusion. It’s happening right in front of us and we need to fight back. Everything that they’re doing, we need to be observing very closely. We need to keep our eyes on them. This is haunting. We can’t just let it happen. We need to stay on top of it. People need to wake the fuck up. It’s happening to someone in their family and they don’t even know it.”

* * * * * * * *

I stepped into a small corner store to get some water. When I came out, an older Black woman was on the sidewalk urging people to stop and be part of the rally. She had picked up a flyer about the demonstration and said that it had said everything she was thinking. She said that she was retired and living on a fixed income, and once she read about this demonstration she just had to be here.

She explained what compelled her to be there. “The fact that people are getting together. You can’t just sit back and yell at the TV, you’ve got to get out here and be part of this. And say we gotta get rid of this person that’s in the White House that is pulling down our government, our democracy and just destroying our country with all of his terrible scandals and all of his nothing ever happening policies and the environment and everything. So that’s why I’m here.

“It’s the Trump/Pence regime that is trying to undo our health care system. That’s gonna kill everybody in our country. And also our environment, he’s trying to destroy our environment. And then the education system—he’s just an awful person and so that’s why I’m here. He’s a fascist, he’s an awful person, that’s what I think. What’s it going to take to get rid of the Trump/Pence regime? People coming together. You’ve got to get your butt out and vote. There’s the Republican machine that’s trying to keep him in there so they can push all their stupid policies. And you gotta get him out of there. How are you gonna do that? You have to all get together and work at doing it with a unified front so that you can get together and fight this man and his policies and the Republicans minions that he has there fighting with him and all their crookedness and their scandals.”

I asked her if she thought it important that I wasn’t just talking about Trump but about the Trump/Pence regime. She was quick to answer. “Absolutely! This is my thing. I can’t never see why if the president goes, then the vice-president comes in next. They came in as a package, they should go out as a package. That was my thing.”






Revolution #502 July 31, 2017


Trump Calls for More Freddie Grays – NO!

July 30, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


In April 2015, Baltimore police murdered Freddie Gray by torturing him, folding his thin body like a pretzel, dragging him down the street to a paddy wagon and bouncing his body against the steel walls of a police truck on what they call a “rough ride”. No cops were convicted for the murder of Freddie Gray.

July 28, Donald Trump, in a speech to a room full of laughing, cheering police on Long Island, New York: “When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddywagon, you just see them thrown in, rough. I said please don’t be too nice. Like when you put somebody into a car and you protect their head? ... I said you can take the hand away, OK?” Trump is issuing a fascist call for open police brutality against Black and Latino people with the full backing of the most powerful authority in the country. NO! This must not be allowed! No More Freddie Grays!








Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Gen. John Kelly—a Fascist "Star" in the Trump/Pence Regime

July 29, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


When Trump named John Kelly as the new White House Chief of Staff on July 28, he called the retired Marine general a “star.” What has Kelly done to earn this high praise from the fascist-in-chief?

Kelly rose to the rank of general during the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. This was a war of empire based on U.S. lies about Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” and “liberating” the Iraqi people. In reality, the U.S. invaders killed thousands of civilians, and their war and occupation unleashed all kinds of reactionary forces and violence that led to staggering horrors for the people in Iraq—hundreds of thousands killed and millions forced to become refugees.

As head of the Southern Command from 2012 to 2016, in charge of U.S. military forces in Latin America and the Caribbean, Kelly was a staunch defender of the U.S. torture camp at Guantánamo. He upheld the “interrogation” of Guantánamo detainees and force feeding of prisoners on hunger strike—practices that international human rights organizations denounce as torture. Many of the nearly 800 Muslim men originally brought there were people who had been simply sold for bounty to the U.S. military, and only a handful of prisoners have ever been charged with anything. But Kelly declared, “There are no innocent men down there.”

Picked by Trump to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Kelly was one of three generals and an admiral named to high-level positions in the Trump/Pence regime (James “Mad Dog” Mattis, Secretary of Defense; Mike Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency; Michael Flynn, National Security Advisor—who later resigned and was replaced by another general, H.R. McMasters). As we’ve said, “The fascist agenda of the Trump/Pence regime requires a radical, violent restructuring of U.S. society, and a ferocious re-assertion of ‘America First’ here and around the world. Trump’s incorporation of the generals strengthens his ability to do that.”

As DHS chief, Kelly signed the orders in February that began to put Trump’s call for “expedited” deportations of immigrants into actual practice in horrific ways. Millions have been put in the crosshairs of the immigration police--even people who have been accused of nothing more than a traffic violation, or people who have for years been regularly checking in with immigration officials. Whole communities are living in terror. Families are being ripped apart. Civil liberties are being shredded. Undocumented immigrants, immigrants and anyone who looks or sounds like an immigrant to Trump’s Gestapo, can be grabbed up at any time, for anything.  Since the Trump inauguration, over 400 people a day have been ripped away from their families, friends, and jobs.

When he headed up the Southern Command, Kelly described the flow of undocumented immigrants into the U.S. as an “existential threat”—when, in fact, it is the domination by U.S. imperialists that has been the cause of deep poverty, violent conflicts, and political repression causing millions to flee their homelands. As DHS leader, he pushed for Trump’s border wall, large increases in Border Patrol and immigration police, and other measures to further militarize the border.

Kelly has also enthusiastically championed Trump’s fascist Muslim ban. In an April speech, Kelly attacked those who, in his words, because of “some alleged event at an airport, in a courthouse, or at a border crossing ... assume the men and women of DHS are intentionally abusing innocent individuals while breaking or ignoring U.S. law or court orders.” What he dismissed as “some alleged event at an airport” refers to the devastating effects of Trump’s Muslim ban, which was intended to—and did—send shockwaves of terror around the world. The ban led to sudden detentions and closing of doors to immigrants, refugees, and travelers. It separated families. It cut off the trickle of desperate refugees. It demonized Muslims around the world, including people living in the U.S.

Kelly has been right in line with Trump in his fascist attacks on the media and on the rule of law. He claimed that outrageous incidents—like the arrest of a woman who was seized while appearing in court for a domestic violence case and then deported—were simply “partial or inaccurate media report[s].” He declared that if Congress didn’t like the way his DHS was doing things, they should “change the laws [or] shut up.”

Now this promoter of torture, mass immigrant round-ups, and a ban on a whole group of human beings has become the chief of staff for Trump. Commentators in the mainstream media, including those put forward as “critics” of Trump, are hoping that Kelly will bring some “stability” and “order” to the White House.

No! Why the fuck should we want a “stable” and “orderly” fascist regime?! What humanity urgently needs is for people in their millions to drive out the fascist Trump/Pence regime, before they can firm up their power and carry out even more monstrous crimes.





Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

When It Comes to Fascist Repression—Trump and Sessions on the Same Page

July 28, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Over the last week, Trump sent out multiple tweets attacking his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and there has been constant speculation in the media over whether Trump will fire Sessions or if he will resign. At the same time, Sessions has blazed on, continuing the Trump/Pence regime’s remaking of society and attempt at consolidating a fascist America.

Stepping Up Attacks on Sanctuary Cities and War on Immigrants

On Tuesday, the Department of Justice headed by Sessions announced a new policy depriving “sanctuary cities” of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants, unless they are in lockstep with the Trump/Pence regime’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants. This includes the requirement that local law enforcement must allow ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents access to their jails to grill people who are detained and who aren’t able to produce documents showing legal status. Cities and states must also have their law enforcement agencies notify ICE at least 48 hours before releasing any incarcerated undocumented immigrants, if ICE had expressed interest in detaining them. The new Justice Dept. policy also requires that local jurisdictions can’t prohibit their employees from handing over information about an individual’s immigration status to the federal government.

These are among the steps that the Trump/Pence regime has been threatening as part of their ramping up of their assaults on immigrants—and now they are moving ahead to put those policies into effect. And more are in the works.

When Sessions announced this new policy, he said, “So-called ‘sanctuary’ policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes.” This is part of the Trump/Pence regime’s whipping up a poisonous climate of demonization and scapegoating of all immigrants as “criminals” and “animals” who “make us less safe”—in order to justify the fascist anti-immigrant offensive. This is aimed at criminalizing 11 million undocumented people in this country—and millions of others who are deemed “suspicious” because of the color of their skin, the way they speak, etc.

Sessions stepped up the demonization of immigrants as “criminals” with his July 27 trip to El Salvador to talk to government officials there about how to go after the MS-13 and other gangs. The next day, Trump himself gave a speech in Long Island in which MS-13 was a big focus. Again, all this talk about MS-13 (a violent criminal gang, many of whose members are immigrant youth, some of whom are forced to join) is a deliberate move by the fascists in power to create a pretext to demonize and target a whole section of society, millions of people, as “criminals” who deserve to be ostracized, hunted down, penned in, kicked out, and more. The immigrants who are being terrorized in this way are human beings whose only “crime” is to seek to escape the dislocation, poverty and reactionary violence that the U.S. imperialists have brought to their homelands in Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and many other countries across the planet.

Seizing Assets from People Not Even Charged with Crimes

Another repressive step Sessions took was to strengthen federal control over civil forfeiture—a legal process in which law enforcement officers seize assets (like cars and cash) from people who are alleged to be involved in illegal activity—even if they have not been actually charged with any crime. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia had placed some restrictions on these civil forfeitures. Moving against these changes, Sessions announced that the assets seized through civil forfeitures can now be turned over to the federal government—bypassing state regulations on these forfeitures. The federal government will then pool the proceeds and return 80 percent of the amount gained to the local and state police.

Intensifying Assaults on LGBTQ Rights

Early in July, Sessions spoke behind closed doors to the Alliance Defending Freedom [ADF], the largest Christian fascist law firm in the U.S., and pledged the backing of the Justice Dept. for the ADF agenda of imposing Christian fascist ideology on state and federal laws and on every aspect of society. Then, on the same day that Trump tweeted that transgendered people would be banned from the U.S. military, Sessions’s Justice Department filed court papers in an important court case relating to LGBT rights. They pushed the outrageous claim that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, a major federal civil rights law, does not protect employees from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.

This goes against a long-time federal policy. And while the particular case that the Justice Dept. intervened in has to do with employment law, if Sessions and the regime are able to get their way here, it has much wider implications. The Washington Post points out, for example, that Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendment, relating to discrimination in education, is “generally interpreted in sync with ruling on the employment discrimination law.”

Trump and Sessions: On the Same Page on Fascist Repression

When Trump tweets and questions Sessions’s “loyalty,” and bullies others in his cabinet, he is intentionally raising the fascist bar even higher. One commentator on Fox Fascist “News” said this is Trump “lighting a fire under Sessions.”

During his trip to El Salvador, when asked by a Fox talking head about the Trump tweets, Sessions bragged about how there has been a dramatic increase in criminal prosecutions across the U.S. What this translates into actually is that even more people, disproportionately Black and Latino, are being funneled into prisons and that the war against millions of non-white immigrants is being further revved up.

Sessions and Trump are on exactly the same page when it comes to anti-immigrant attacks and other aspects of the fascist agenda on stepping up repression. As the Call to Action from Refuse Fascism says:

Fascism has direction and momentum. Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. Group after group is demonized and targeted along a trajectory that leads to real horrors. All of this has already begun under the Trump regime. History has shown that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.





Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Trump Taps Christian Fascist Crusader for Office of International Religious Freedom

July 28, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has been chosen by the Trump/Pence regime to be ambassador at large for the Office of International Religious Freedom. Under the State Department, the OIRF “promotes religious freedom as a core objective of U.S. foreign policy.”

Brownback has been a leading figure in the Christian fascist movement for decades. Two core pillars of this movement are the patriarchal enslavement of women and the imposition of theocratic, biblical literalism on society. Now he’s being tapped to be an international mouthpiece for the Christian religious “freedom” of the Trump/Pence regime to crusade and plunder the world wrapped in the Bible taken literally (as interpreted by them) and the American flag.

Brownback is driven by a vision of a theocracy led by the “will of Christ alone.” He spent 15 years in the U.S. Senate promoting anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage legislation and other religious bigotry, opposing anti-bullying laws, and attacking secular public schools under the guise of promoting school vouchers. In 2006, Brownback blocked the confirmation of a federal judicial nominee because she had attended a same-sex commitment ceremony. At the same time, Koch Industries was Brownback’s chief campaign donor when he ran for governor of Kansas in 2010 principally because of his promotion of unrestrained free-market capitalism, including tax cuts for businesses and elimination of state jobs.

As governor, Brownback signed three anti-abortion bills the first year, one of them while standing in front of giant pictures of “fetal citizens,” as he calls them. “I see it [abortion] as the lead moral issue of our day, just like slavery was the lead moral issue 150 years ago.” He signed the “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,” which deliberately used false, unscientific, and inflammatory language to ban the safest and most commonly used method for abortions in the second trimester. And he issued an executive order protecting the “religious freedom” of clergy and organizations that opposed same-sex marriage. He rescinded an executive order by his predecessor protecting LGBTQ people from being fired because of their sexual orientation. And in 2016, he signed a law that prevented Kansas colleges and universities from requiring religiously affiliated clubs to not discriminate in their membership.

Brownback is an “evolution denier” who wants the anti-scientific “theory” of intelligent design—the latest form of creationism—to be taught in the classrooms to counter evolutionary theory.1

Persecution of any person for religious beliefs should be opposed—but the Office of International Religious Freedom is not about that. It is a propaganda weapon in the political and military arsenal of U.S. capitalism-imperialism, with “religious freedom” used as a club for U.S. objectives. The Trump/Pence regime has declared “international religious freedom” a priority—with Vice-President Mike Pence pointing specifically to violence against Christians.

Brownback claims that more Christians have been persecuted during the last 10 or 20 years than throughout human history, and that Christianity is fighting a worldwide war against secularists and Muslims. This paradigm of a global clash of civilizations between Christianity and Islam underlies the Trump/Pence fascist regime’s contention that the billions of people in the nations ravaged by the U.S. and other imperialist powers pose a mortal threat to Christian civilization. And where reactionary Islamic Jihad has taken root in some of those places—in the soil and environment created by imperialism—the Trump/Pence regime declares it must be crushed by overwhelming military force.

Every day brings more and more evidence that the Trump/Pence regime is on a march to consolidate fascism—with a major Christian fascist component—and wield it to serve the goal of “America First” and “Make America Great Again.” People need to confront the reality that each new outrage and crime by the Trump/Pence regime is part of a fascist strategy and program. And this understanding is the starting point for a movement that mobilizes millions and millions aimed at doing what only the masses of people can do—stop this fascist regime and drive it from power.


1. Ardea Skybreak breaks down how intelligent design is a form of creationism in her book, The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What’s Real and Why It Matters.[back]







Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

July 29, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Received by

Stand With the Stonewall 4!
Drive Out The Trump/Pence Regime!

Trial Date: August 7, 2017 9:00am 
100 Centre St. Manhattan Criminal Court

The Stonewall 4 are four people who were arrested at "LGBTQ Solidarity with Muslims", a permitted rally held at the historic Stonewall Inn on February 4, 2017.

They were opposing Trump's first Muslim Ban, and the regime's attacks on LGBTQ people. At Stonewall, the 4 rallied together with thousands of others in 2+ hours of chanting, speaking, and spreading thousands of flyers, stickers, and posters with the message of

"NO! In The Name of Humanity We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America!"

As the rally was drawing to a close, several hostile Trump supporters appeared and began to harass the Stonewall 4, who stood their ground and did not respond. The Trump supporters walked away. As the Stonewall 4 were packing up to leave, they were surrounded by NYPD and then brutally arrested.

The police gave no order to disperse and offered no explanation for the arrests. This is an early example of a disturbing and growing pattern whereby fanatical Trump supporters (becoming increasingly organized and violent) carry out harassment aiming to provoke an incident and create pretext for police to arrest people exercising their right to protest and oppose this fascist regime.

This arrest also came after a month of NYPD stalking and harassment of activists and an arrest of one of the Stonewall 4, all following the publication of a New York Times ad with Refuse Fascism's call to action on January 4.

The Stonewall 4 include Noche Diaz who has been targeted repeatedly for years by the NYPD for his role in the NYC Revolution Club, especially in leading people to resist police terror, and standing with those brutalized and assaulted by police. Another defendant is a Revolution Club member who also faces outrageous charges in another case where police stalked, arrested and brutalized her on the way to a Refuse Fascism event on January 12, 2017. While in custody she was forcibly sent to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric evaluation because, according to her medical report, an NYPD cop said she "talked about her dislike of President Elect Donald Trump."

This additional case is set for trial August 15.


After months of legal proceedings (which have included the District Attorney changing their story and the charges being brought against the Stonewall 4, as well as Stonewall 4 attorneys winning a dismissal of the charges of Disorderly Conduct)...  
They are now to be tried for Obstruction of Governmental Administration and Resisting Arrest (each misdemeanors carrying a 1 year maximum sentence). They are now claiming that somehow – by being backed up against police barricades and surrounded by a dozen or so police officers, then being closed in on by police, pushed around and dragged to the ground by police, and then arrested by police – the Stonewall 4 prevented the police from doing their job. 


Resources and Connections: |
IG/Twitter/FB: @RefuseFascism | @NYCRevclub
Email: |






Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Beg, Borrow or Steal a Ticket to Roger Waters Us + Them Tour

July 29, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

OK, well don’t steal, but short of anything unethical or illegal try to get your hands on a ticket to this show. I haven’t been to a concert this good since Janis Joplin! And I wasn’t even high.

“Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls” (from “London Calling” by The Clash)—they were there at this show. Multi-generational, many ’60s people, mainly white and probably a lot of people from the suburbs. And, of course, tons of Pink Floyd fans. But this experience wasn’t just reliving the ’70s. The crowd was really in tune (sorry for the pun) with the love for humanity that pulsated from the stage leading up to a resounding, scorching musical and visual denunciation of Trump. The show lives up to its billing as an immersive sensory musical journey. The music and the visuals soar and fill the stadium, bringing to life the beauty of the planet/cosmos and people from all over the world. At the same time, it jars you with the contrast of children working in garbage piles, homeless sleeping on the street, drones blowing away villages. The show and the music summon people to resist: images of people protesting in the streets against immigrant- and woman-bashing, against police brutality and for Black Lives Matter. “The Wall,” the iconic song the entire arena sings, features children lining the stage dressed in orange jumpsuits which, halfway through, they strip off to reveal T-shirts that say RESIST! as they careen happily to the music.

The song “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” is 12 minutes, and a visual curtain wall runs the length of the arena flashing pictures of Trump as an egotistical baby tyrant, Trump in a KKK hood, Trump as Hitler. The giant painted pig floats around the stadium denouncing the military and Trump. The song ends as the words “TRUMP IS A PIG!” fill a screen couple of stories high the whole length of the arena. (This is also the message on the back of some of the official concert T-shirts.)

The amateur videos at YouTube like this one give a taste.

This tour is heading to Detroit, Cleveland, and the East Coast. If you are with Refuse Fascism or the revcoms, be outside if you can with huge visuals to take the message to this audience. It is a chance to reach people who are part of the millions who hate the direction of the country and who will be challenged by Roger Waters.

Roger Waters, in an interview with Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune, says, “This a bit more radical than ‘The Wall’ is, but it’s pointing in the same direction philosophically and politically. With the nincompoop president, we’re building a nation with walls. You can’t be a nation without walls? Yeah, you can. We haven’t arrived at the end of the story.... This is what you find, if you ever have the opportunity to travel the world. You discover what the show is about: We’re all the same. No matter what color or religion, we’re all in this together. This is a small, fragile place, we’re in rough waters and we can’t navigate it without doing it together.”







Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Letters on the Movie Detroit

August 7, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a member of Revolution Club, Chicago:

“Watching the movie Detroit—I felt like my heart would pound out of my chest”

August 6, 2017

Watching the movie Detroit felt like my heart would pound out of my chest and the rage at the system with their enforcers, police and military, damn near boiling over. The mixture of “good ol’ boy” Klansmen-esque torture, eager militarism of the police locked and loaded, and the assertion of male domination made it hard not to throw up. One scene that stuck out as well was when the pigs asked a young white woman why she wanted to be with Black men, and she responded, it’s 1967... In 2017 there are officers like Wayne Welsh of the Estherwood, Louisiana, police—recently forced to resign because of widespread outrage at his tweeting an image of a white woman pushing down the head of her daughter in the bathtub with the caption, “When your daughters first crush is a little Negro boy”—are still on the same racist shit. As a lawyer for the police in the movie said, the police were doing their job.

The theatre on the South Side was packed, with few seats open. Gasps and anguished sighs were heard at some of the intense moments of the film, like when the friend tells the truth with his life on the line, and later on as well in court as the courts of injustice read out the verdict. The movie finished, leaving people in a stunned state, when some of the Revolution Club members started agitating, enraged tears still wet on their faces. Trump is saying to the pigs they’re being too nice—was that nice? That was years ago, and they haven’t let up. “Philando Castile, cover-up! Alton Sterling, cover-up! ... This system has had 400 plus years to make right. It’s time we stop taking their bullshit and get organized to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time!”

As this went on, we passed out copies of HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution and our Declaration (“The Revolution Club Declares: This Summer in Chicago Will NOT Be a Bloodbath of Killing Each Other...”) to eager hands and nodding heads. One woman was yelling in agreement as she was coming down the stairs. We talked with people who stopped in the middle of the theatre and in the bathrooms, getting into the solution and what we have—the leadership in BA and the RCP, and the work that’s been done on how a revolutionary force could end centuries of heartache through revolution. A middle-aged woman asked for a stack to get out in her neighborhood and others opened their purses to have a pamphlet stuffed in, asking about how they could be a part this solution. Half an hour later, we were tying it up with people lingering after midnight, eager to get into BA and stop by the Revolution Club’s South Side organizing center.

Just as the “Check It Out” says, Detroit is a must-see movie. And people who know something of the solution, of BA, and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America and what’s needed to get to another society, need to come out and bring the only solution to fight for to the fore.

Letter from a reader:

Detroit—the movie

August 6, 2017

I just saw the movie Detroit and am still reeling from it emotionally—it brought tears of heartbreak and fury. It’s hard to put in words, but here goes. It feels so real because it IS real. There is a continual kick in the gut—there is no historical or emotional “distance”—as you watch the movie because although the Algiers Motel Incident happened 50 years ago, the same police murder, brutality, and the whole systemic approval and cover-up the movie depicts so up-close and unflinchingly are still happening today.

The movie shows the terror of a young Black man in Detroit running for his life AWAY from the cops and desperately trying to climb a fence when the cop cold-bloodedly takes aim and shoots him and then congratulates himself and walks away as the young man crawls under a car to die. How many times have we seen this in the last three years alone? And in Detroit when the body is found, the murdering cop flagrantly justifies it to his superior officer who sends him right back out on the street to murder again.

The Detroit Rebellion of 1967, which the movie depicts, was one of the largest and most impactful rebellions of Black people of the ’60s. In response, not only the Detroit police, but the Michigan state police, the National Guard, and army troops were sent in to smash the rebellion and punish the people. The movie does not pull any punches about the role of the National Guard, a literal invading army with tanks and machine guns, who (along with the State Police) were complicit in the atrocities of the police at the Algiers Motel and give them free rein. There are references to the war in Vietnam in the movie that in my mind connect the oppressor role and mind-set of the U.S. military’s wanton war crimes going on at the same time in Vietnam where the people were treated as subhuman enemies to be crushed, with the openly white supremacist police view of the Black people of Detroit. The sick “game” the police play in the movie which leads to the murder of three people and terror and torture of many more is but one example.

The movie makes you feel you are “in the room” with the terrifying police torture and executions. You feel the naked and intentional cruelty, the bitter unfairness, the vicious white supremacist culture of the enforcers of this system. The power of this movie is what it made me feel about how wrong this is, what a basic violation of the humanity of Black people, how unjust, how much suffering it causes. It filled me with fury, at the same time I was crying for the pain this caused to the victims and their families in Detroit but also the thousands and thousands across the U.S. in the decades since.

There is no justice in this movie just like there is none in real life in the IN-justice system of the white supremacist USA, a capitalist-imperialist system where the oppression of Black people is built into its foundation since slavery days. In Detroit the murdering cops actually get put on trial in the context of the outrage and rebellion of Black people across the country. But the movie shows how the victims and witnesses against the police were treated like THEY were on trial and abused and criminalized in court and how this resulted in the all-white jury setting the murdering police free. There is a great scene where people in the courtroom call this out and stand up against this, but in the end the fucking pigs still get off. As I watched this my blood was boiling, I kept thinking over and over how true are the words of Bob Avakian in BAsics 1:24:

The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and order that enforces all this oppression and madness.

Today fascists are in power with a genocidal program which, like the police and feds in Detroit, lauds white supremacist, above-the-law, lynch-mob, officially sanctioned fascist terror. Just last week Trump made his speech to cheering cops on Long Island, calling on them to be more vicious, calling immigrants and Black people “animals” and telling the cops that he’s behind them 100 percent in brutality and murder. This is what he means by “make America great again.”

At the end I was thinking “this is the one of the truest movies I have ever seen.” That truth is ugly and bitter—it tells the truth about America that people of all nationalities need to know. And I was thinking how badly people need to know that there is a way out of this madness through total revolution and that it is actually possible to bring into being a radically better world for all of humanity where this kind of oppression never happens again to anyone. They need to know that Bob Avakian is the leader of this revolution who has forged a new framework for revolution—the new communism. And that he is leading a revolutionary communist party that is preparing now to bring down this system at the soonest possible time.

I have to say I couldn’t speak for a couple hours after the movie. But I do think there would be tremendously worthwhile to go again to the theater and after the movie is over take Revolution newspaper and the pamphlet “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution” and tell people “If this movie moved you to pain and anger and you feel that there is something really wrong with what this system does to Black people in 1967 and today 50 years later, and if you can’t stand it, and you want to find out about how to end this once and for all, talk to me, go to, and find out about this revolution and its leader Bob Avakian.







Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Check It Out

The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America

Brooklyn Museum, Now through September 3

July 28, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America opened this week at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City, and will run through September 3. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), Brooklyn Museum, and Google. The EJI has done groundbreaking research into the history of racial terror lynchings and mass incarceration in the U.S. and has fought to free wrongly convicted prisoners.

According to the EJI website,

EJI’s multi-year investigation into lynching in 12 Southern states during the period between Reconstruction and World War II documented more than 4000 racial terror lynchings of African Americans in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia between 1877 and 1950—at least 800 more lynchings of black people in these states than previously reported in the most comprehensive work done on lynching to date.

In 2017, EJI supplemented this research by documenting racial terror lynchings outside the South, and found these acts of violence were most common in eight states: Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.

An interactive map in the Brooklyn Museum exhibition details the scope of these atrocities. (The map is also on the EJI website.)

The powerful exhibition features short films with oral histories by descendants of Black people who were lynched. These are heartbreaking. Through their stories, you get a deep sense of how the monstrous crime of lynching has immeasurably affected not only the immediate families of those who died at the hands of white mobs, but of the impact lynching has had on the whole Black community for generations—“embedded terror” in the words of one descendant of a lynched relative.

Mass incarceration is another crime of this system that is highlighted in the exhibition. There’s a film about Anthony Ray Hinton, who spent 30 years on death row in Alabama for a crime he didn’t commit. Hinton relates what the white detectives said to him upon his arrest:

I don’t care whether you did it or didn’t do it. But I’m going to make sure you’ll be found guilty of it (murder). And there’s five things that are going to convict you. Number one, you’re Black. Number two, a white man is going to say you shot him. Whether you shot him or not, I don’t care. Number three, you’re going to have a white prosecutor. Number four, you’re going to have a white judge. And number five, more than likely you’re going to have an all-white jury. You know what that spell? Conviction, conviction, conviction, conviction, conviction.

The documentary strongly makes the point that the death penalty is an extension of lynching.

In an article in ARTnews magazine, EJI founder and and Executive Director Bryan Stevenson explained, “Imagery is another means of conveying history, but ... efforts were made to explicitly avoid graphic photographs that objectify victims over telling stories of ‘society’s complicity in tolerating terror.’”

Among the artworks in the exhibit are a framed fire hose by Theaster Gates recalling those used against civil rights demonstrators; panels by Jacob Lawrence, which were painted as an extension of his Great Migration series that portrays Black people who fled the horrors of the South and moved North only to find oppression in a different form; and a series of black painted laser-cut steel silhouettes by Kara Walker that includes a burning African village, lynching trees, and a man holding a whip. Besides these, there are works by at least 15 other artists.

The Brooklyn Museum’s web page notes:

After slavery was formally abolished, in 1865, racial terror lynching emerged in the late nineteenth century, and continued until about the middle of the twentieth century, as a vicious tool of racial control, to reestablish white supremacy and suppress black civil rights. The aftereffects are still with us today—from issues of mass incarceration to disproportionate sentencing of people of color....

Throughout the Brooklyn Museum’s history, our exhibitions and public programs have confronted difficult and urgent issues because we believe that great art and courageous conversations contribute to a more just, civic, and empathetic world.

The discourse opened up by this exhibit is more urgent than ever in today’s climate under the fascist Trump regime. If you’re in the New York City area, definitely make plans to experience this extraordinary exhibit.







Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Michael Slate Interview with Professor Under Attack

George Ciccariello-Maher: “We need to fight and it’s going to be a fight”

July 31, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


The Michael Slate Show airs every week at 10 am Pacific time on KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, a Pacifica Network station. The show can also be streamed live and people can listen to or download archived shows.

Revolution/ features interviews from The Michael Slate Show to acquaint our readers with the views of significant figures in art, theater, music and literature, science, sports, and politics. The views expressed by those interviewed are, of course, their own; and they are not responsible for the views published elsewhere by Revolution/

The following are excerpts from a July 7, 2017 Michael Slate interview with George Ciccariello-Maher.

Michael Slate: If people have been following what’s going on in academia, it’s quite disturbing. I recently came across a case that just knocked me back in my seat. It had to do with my next guest, George Ciccariello-Maher. George is an American political theorist, commentator, and activist. He is also an associate professor of politics and global studies at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Reactionaries are waging a vicious campaign against George because he is resisting fascist attacks on academics.

It began on Christmas Eve 2016 when George tweeted: “All I want for Christmas is white genocide.” He was responding to a racist backlash against State Farm Insurance for supposedly advocating white genocide by depicting an interracial couple in one of their ads. The infamous Trump supporters at the fascist Breitbart “news” said that George was calling for the mass murder of white people.

George has refused to back down in the face of this attack and he has also stood strong against Drexel University’s attempts to discipline him. I’m really pleased to welcome him to this show.

George Ciccariello-Maher: I’m glad to be on.

Michael Slate: You were recently accused by Brietbart and various other reactionary sites and people of unacceptable behavior and leftist militancy that’s totally inappropriate for a college professor. Tell people what happened.

George Ciccariello-Maher: So, this goes back to December and it goes back to a satirical tweet that I sent mocking this white racist, nationalist, fascist concept of white genocide. What’s really sinister, I think, about this idea is the fact that over the past 40 years there’s been this idea developed that on the one hand the United States is a colorblind society, but on the other hand what that implies is that anyone who’s actually demanding equality is involved in some kind of reverse racism or actually oppressing white people.

So, in this broader cultural context, white nationalist, fascist, open Nazis have turned to using these sort of, sneakier terms—what I understand to be Trojan horse ideas that play on a mainstream white understanding of “white victimization” as a way of covering the fact that they’re actually white supremacists. So, it’s much easier to gain a mainstream following by saying white people are being the victims of all these policies, than it is to say, you know, “we’re the master race.” So, this is a strategic tact that the fascists have taken. One of these ideas, a very crucial one, is this idea of white genocide, which I think for most of us is the height of absurdity—the idea that this is a real thing or any kind of threat in the world, that white people will be the victims of precisely the kinds of genocide that they have inflicted on the rest of the globe, is really too much to even take seriously. Yet, this is very serious for fascists. They think that white people are being slowly being out bred; that they’re being intermixed; that any kind of intermarriage is undermining the purity of the white race—and that all policies of cultural diversity are kind of enforced genocide on so-called white culture.

Of course, there’s no such real thing as whiteness. It’s a political category. There’s no white culture. There are sort of various ethnic cultures that are grouped politically under “whiteness.” So this entire concept is absurd, but in mocking it, I became a target for these white nationalist groups that use Breitbart as the bridge to the mainstream media, to Fox News, and to other kinds of far-right outlets that sort of maintain a foot in the mainstream. And they created a campaign of pressure against myself, against my university in Philadelphia, all calling for me to be fired for being a sort of “anti-white racist,” which of course is not a thing.




Michael Slate: And as I understand it, they also actually attacked your family and the people close to you, right?

George Ciccariello-Maher: Of course. And I got, you know, we’re talking about hundreds of threats. We’re talking about doxxing. We’re talking about releasing of my family’s home address, photos, all these things. These are really brutal kinds of organizations. I want to be clear that when we say fascists, while that term can be used I think, in a more broad fashion, I’m actually referring to actually fascist organizations—organizations that identify as fascist, as white supremacist, as anti-Semitic. For example, one of the main websites leading the charge on me was called “The Daily Stormer.” It was an anti-Semitic Nazi website.

Recently, you know, flyers were going up at Drexel, where I work, about anti-white sentiment on campus and trying to get students to come hear about fighting back against this anti-whiteness. These flyers were put up by people associating with the podcast called The Daily Shoah, Shoah being the word for the Holocaust. So, we’re talking about some of the most fringe, dangerous fascist, and Nazi organizations that were nevertheless tied by people like Steve Bannon to the Trump government, to the Trump administration and to these other mainstream figures like Ann Coulter, for example, who are explicit white supremacists and yet, maintain access, a very dangerous access, to mainstream media. Fox News and these outlets are running the words of people who explicitly are identified with upholding whiteness.

Michael Slate: What do you see as being at stake in relation to these attacks?

George Ciccariello-Maher: We need spaces to make those cultural ideological arguments. We need spaces to be able to interact with people where we can say, “Well, no listen. Trump is blaming migrants for the state of the economy and unemployment and wages, but that’s actually simply not true. That’s a total ruse.” And we need to be able to explain the ways in which it’s actually the capitalist structures and imperialist structures governing the world that are creating these conditions—not the fact that we’re competing say, with migrants or that Muslims want to destroy us, or any of these other sort of explanations that the Right is giving.

We need to do that in movement spaces. The university is in no way a substitute for movement organizing. But so many people move through universities—and we’re talking about public universities, private universities; really, universities that impact hundreds of thousands and millions of people. We need to be able to fight battles. We need to keep those spaces, not so we can simply educate people in better citizenship, but no, so we can actually interact with and create militants who are gonna be able to fight this fight going forward. The universities won important space in which that’s going to happen—in which that needs to happen. And that’s why the Right thinks that it can take it over, chase out the radicals as it has done in the past, you know, we’re talking about the ’50s and ’60s, and attempt to win this cultural war that they’ve been battling for so long.

Michael Slate: In this era of Trump that you’re talking about with a bona fide fascist in power, with these kinds of attacks continuing, how do you see fighting back against this? What do you think is required of people right now?

George Ciccariello-Maher: Well, the first thing to understand is that we need to fight. I think this is really the shocking thing is that you have on the one hand, Democrats saying, “Oh, Trump’s gonna be a fascist. Trump’s gonna be a fascist” and as soon as he was elected then they said, “Well, let’s give him a chance. Let’s see what he does, alright?” Then Trump, after a couple of months in power and under pressure, made some moves to accommodate himself to the, you know, to the very same policies that Hillary Clinton would be pursuing, for example.

And I think what’s being forgotten—and what’s being undermined consciously by the liberal sector is the need to fight and the need to really fight and the need to recognize that no matter, whether or not Trump was elected or not, he’s not a legitimate president with legitimate ideas. The forces behind him are the most reactionary and retrograde forces that need to be fought at all costs.

So, I think the first thing to do is to be organizing; is to realize that we need to fight and it’s going to be a fight—and look at the parameters of where that fight is going to come. I think defending the faculty on campus, which is by the way, also defending students’ rights to exist on campus and to have your ideas that they want to hear on campus and their own ability to organize. But, we’re also talking about fighting when it comes to police violence, which is going to continue. We’re gonna talk about fighting against the wave of Islamophobia and the wave of deportation and doing so in a direct-action way that allows people to organize self-defense structures in their own communities, that allows them to resist deportation, that allows them to resist police violence, as you were just talking about with the previous guest [Carl Dix], and to do so on a community level. These are the kinds of things that all need to be tied together. But we can’t write off the universities and say, “This doesn’t matter.” Because the Right is very, very clear about the fact that it does matter.

Unfortunately, you have too many professors and faculty that think that they live in a bubble and think nothing’s going to affect them or they have tenure or something. Well, you know I have tenure. I’m under investigation and who knows what’s going to happen. Even worse is the fact that most faculty now don’t have tenure because the universities are attempting to basically proletarianize their workforce by hiring adjuncts, by hiring people who aren’t even making minimum wage and making them do all the teaching in a way that makes them utterly expendable if they ever raise their voice or if they ever say anything controversial, as we’ve seen.

So, we need to create a united front across the universities as well, so that faculty, students, and everyone realizes that it’s an important fight; that it’s not just a couple of individuals. As I said, there have been more than a dozen cases over the past couple of months. This is a unified, coordinated attack by the Right and we need a unified and coordinated response by the Left.





Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

White Supremacists Plan August 12 Rally in Charlottesville

Call Issued: “We say absolutely #NoNewKKK!”

Updated August 7, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


This Call to Action was posted on on July 25:

“On August 12, the alt-right plans to descend on our small town of Charlottesville, VA. Right now they claim to be bringing as many as 1,000 people to terrorize and intimidate anyone who disagrees with their ideology of white supremacy and toxic masculinity. We must outnumber them in order to #DefendCville. This is a call to everyone across the nation who feels called to stand in solidarity with Charlottesville to shout loud and clear that we say absolutely #NoNewKKK. Bring your friends, bring your skills, bring your voices, we are deeply grateful for every offer of support....”

The plan for a “Unite the Right March on Charlottesville” comes after recent confrontations between white supremacists and anti-KKKers. In May, after the city council decided to remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, 100 white supremacists rallied with burning torches, some with automatic weapons, and chanted “We [white people] will not be replaced.” On July 8 a couple dozen KKKers, showed up, wearing white KKK robes, sporting handguns in holsters, carrying Confederate flags, and shouting “white power” slogans. A multinational crowd of about 1,000 counter-protesters rallied to SHUT THESE MOTHERFUCKERS DOWN. The cops protected the KKKers and brutalized anti-KKK protesters, arresting 22, four of whom now face felony charges.

Dr. Cornel West and Rev. Dr. Traci Blackmon are among national leaders planning to go to Charlottesville—to support plans to confront the white supremacist “Unite the Right” rally. And Congregate C’ville has issued a call for 1,000 clergy and faith leaders to travel to Charlottesville August 11-13 and local clergy and faith leaders are planning trainings, interfaith services, and opportunities for visible prayerful presence throughout the weekend.

Black Lives Matter has also issued a National Call to Action—“August 12th, Facing the Alt-Right, and Everything After,” which says, “We invite allies of Black Lives Matter to once again #DefendCville and to say #NoNewKKK for an entire weekend of action (August 11th-13th, 2017).”

A recent post at the Solidarity Cville website says: “We have seen time and again, from Berkeley to Portland, that a proven tactic of the alt-right is to use the freedom to assemble as a smokescreen to create a violent situation—and then count on law enforcement to intervene on their behalf by violently cracking down on their opponents. This is what we can reasonably expect to happen on August 12.... Even the white nationalist organizers acknowledge that they are not intending to peaceably assemble to exercise freedom of speech but are using the event as a pretext for violent attacks against their political opponents. Given this evidence, we cannot, as a city, continue to insist this is a free speech issue.”

The threats of reactionary violence are not intimidating anti-KKK organizers in Charlottesville who are calling on people in the city and “everyone in the nation” to come to the city on August 12 and shut this white supremacist shit down.

Stay tuned at for ongoing coverage of this struggle in Charlottesville.






Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Women of the WNBA Raise Their Voices Against Trump/Pence and Murder by Police

July 31, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Looking for professional athletes to stand up for social justice and against the fascist moves of the Trump/Pence regime? Look to the women of the WNBA—Women’s National Basketball Association. Here’s some of what they’ve done and said recently.

Support for Planned Parenthood

This past week, the WNBA team Seattle Storm held a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, whose funding has been under constant attack from the Trump/Pence regime. The fundraiser, $5 from each ticket sold for a game between the Storm and the Chicago Sky, raised $41,790. The three women who own the Storm, Lisa Brummel, Ginny Gilder, and Dawn Trudeau, floated the idea of this fundraiser to the team, who immediately endorsed it. Four players—Breanna Stewart, Sue Bird, Sami Whitcomb, and Noelle Quinn—did a public service announcement on behalf of Planned Parenthood.

Gilder, a U.S. Olympic rower who participated in political protests while at Yale in the 1970s, said, “I definitely got involved in the ownership group because I saw that this was the intersection of three things that I love: sports, business and social justice....”

After the Trump election, the Storm owners wanted to openly advocate for causes that they thought would be undermined by Trump. Gilder said, “For me, this thing with Planned Parenthood really came out of the sense of profound despondence in early November.” Trudeau said, “You’re living in this world. And you’re saying: ‘This isn’t right. What can I do?’”

Chicago Sky player Imani Boyette, who skipped the pre-game warmup to attend a rally for Planned Parenthood, said, “Today was just amazing to see all the support from women, men, from babies all the way up to people my grandparents’ age.”

Protesting the Muslim Ban

Breanna Stewart, the 2016 WNBA Rookie of the Year and a player on the gold-medal-winning U.S. team in the 2016 Olympics, took part in the Los Angeles airport protests in January against Trump’s ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries and all refugees. In an interview with the Guardian, she said, “I think it’s important to speak up because as I continue to gain success and followers in my sport, I also have a platform which I can speak on and I’m speaking for others who might not have the opportunity.”

In another interview Stewart said, “I think we will look back on this moment and remember where we were and I wanted to be on the right side on history.... We can’t sit out on issues this important. You have to take a side, so I went.... I know that this is a life and death issue for refugees.”

Stewart said, “I think everyone deserves the right to be equal. There are more things now where people are being told you can’t do this because you’re LGBT or because of your race or religion. It’s like, what are we doing? We’re in 2017!”

Against Police Brutality and Murder

Stewart also participated in the WNBA protests against the police murders of Black people. Six teams wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts, and several players knelt during the national anthem in the playoffs. It started when the Minnesota Lynx wore shirts saying “Black Lives Matter,” “Change Starts With Us,” and “Justice and Accountability.” The shirts had the images of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, who were murdered by cops. They were followed by the New York Liberty, and then the Phoenix Mercury, who wore plain black shirts as a way to protest.

When the teams were fined for not wearing their standard uniforms, Tina Charles of the Liberty wore her warm-ups inside out as a form of protest when she accepted the Player of the Month award. Then players from several teams started tweeting out pictures with them wearing black shirts, and the Washington Mystics wore the Black Lives Matter shirts in the locker room after a game. Several teams refused to talk to the press, and Natasha Cloud of the Mystics said that the team’s media blackout would last “until we get support” from the WNBA, and further, “If they’re going to take away our right and our voice to advocate for something so important to 70 percent of the league which is African American, we’ll find other ways to do it and other ways to do it is to wear our shirts to and from the game and use the media to [express ourselves].”

“We want to be able to use our platforms; we want to be able to use our voices,” said Liberty guard Tanisha Wright to reporters. “We don’t want to let anybody silence us.”

The WNBA was forced to back down, and league president Lisa Borders tweeted, “Rescinding imposed fines to show them even more support.” An article at stated, “Rarely have so many players and teams in a league stood together across racial lines on a matter of social import.”

Support for the LGBTQ Community

Think Progress reported that Layshia Clarendon of the Atlanta Dream was upset when, this past year, the WNBA changed the Pride Day event into “Diversity Night” because a few of the players did not want to support LGBTQ rights by wearing a Pride T-shirt. Clarendon said, “You show up and you either play with or against these players every single night, and you just start looking around — like a lot of us started doing after the Trump election — who didn’t want to wear the shirts? There’s that looking over your shoulder, like, ‘wow, I show up every day and there is someone out there that doesn’t believe that my life matters, or that I should be able to get married.’”

Clarendon, who is a non-cisgender1, said “We live in a world that is divided male, female, the binaries really don’t give people any space to be in between, and people are threatened when we don’t fit into the boxes.... A big part of my fight is breaking down those binaries and showing people what is beautiful, what is female, what is woman can look different in so many ways. That is very threatening to a lot of people.”

Think Progress reported that “Earlier this month, Clarendon used the WNBA Player’s Association Twitter account to send a supportive message to Mili Hernandez, the eight-year-old soccer player banned from a tournament in part because her short haircut made someone think she looked like a boy.”

1. A non-cisgender person does not identify their gender as either male or female. Their gender is fluid and can be anywhere in between what is considered cisgender, the gender assigned to them at birth, either male or female.





Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Michael Slate Interview with Playwright Robert Schenkkan

Building the Wall: A Play About the Future Now

August 1, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Building the Wall takes place in the very near future. The Trump administration has carried out the round up and detention of millions of immigrants. A writer is interviewing the supervisor of a private prison—who is awaiting sentencing for carrying out the federal policy that has escalated into the unimaginable. Building the Wall is a riveting, harrowing, and illuminating drama by Pulitzer and Tony award-winning playwright and screenwriter Robert Schenkkan. It delivers a powerful warning and puts a human face on the inhuman, revealing how, when personal accountability is denied, what seems inconceivable becomes inevitable. The play premiered at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles and since then has spread across the country. Schenkkan urges theater companies, actors, and others to grab the play and mount performances wherever they are. The following are excerpts from an interview on The Michael Slate KPFK radio show with Schenkkan on March 31, shortly after Building the Wall opened in Los Angeles.

The Michael Slate Show airs every week at 10 am Pacific Time on KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, a Pacifica Network station. The show can also be streamed live and people can listen to or download archived shows.

Revolution/ features interviews from The Michael Slate Show to acquaint our readers with the views of significant figures in art, theater, music and literature, science, sports, and politics. The views expressed by those interviewed are, of course, their own; and they are not responsible for the views published elsewhere by Revolution/


Michael Slate: Robert, your play is blowing a lot of minds. It’s an extremely important piece out in the world today. You said you wrote it in a “white hot fury” and finished in a week. What compelled you to do this?

Robert Schenkkan: Well, this is in late October—as one of the more dispiriting presidential campaigns lurched to a close. I was extremely angry and anxious at what I was hearing and how it was being treated in the press. I thought that the then Republican presidential candidate’s rhetoric was quite deliberately incendiary and had crossed quite a serious line. I kept hearing fairly respected commentators, press as well as politicians, trying to reassure us that “he didn’t mean it” or, that “it was just words,” or that they would protect us and I didn’t believe that. I thought that regardless of how the election turned out—and I will be honest, I expected a different result—I thought that however the election turned out that we had already crossed a serious line politically and culturally. I needed to respond to that as an artist. So, I sat down and I wrote this play in a week. That is a bit faster than my normal process, which can take several months or several years. But I had such a strong impulse here and such a sense of urgency about the situation. I felt then and even more today that we’re in the middle of an unfolding political crisis—the magnitude of which I’ve certainly never seen within my lifetime and I doubt that the Republic has in 100 years, certainly not in terms of such an internal threat.

MS: The play is situated in the aftermath of the Trump regime to a certain extent, and it has a certain progression built on the most horrendous and terrible things being done. You’ve argued, though, that this is not some kind of “wild-assed” science fiction here—that in many ways it’s the logical conclusion of where things are headed. Let’s talk about that in relation to you doing this play.

Robert Schenkkan: Oh, absolutely! The play is set in the near future, the fall of 2019. You could call it speculative fiction. But I would argue that the ultimate reality that I’ve envisioned here is very easily one that could be brought into being. What we are seeing right now in the early months of this new political regime—while startling and infuriating and scary, is not new. This is a page out of a very old handbook, the authoritarian handbook. The process here is pretty straightforward. You make the populace feel afraid and isolated and anxious. You position yourself as the strong leader who is the only person capable of rescuing them. There are appeals to nativism and racism, scapegoating of minorities, racial and religious and a consolidation of power and the diminution of personal liberties...

MS: The way you present this, it’s all very compelling and challenging. You have these two characters and frankly, the interaction between the two—there’s sort of an edge to it. But there’s also a way that they’re really exploring where each other is coming from to a certain extent. There’s a lot going on in terms of the confrontation and interaction between these two characters themselves who are arguing out arguments that are taking place in this society and that are very organically tied up with what you just said about things being done that are just an unfathomable crime against humanity.

Robert Schenkkan: Well, thank you, that’s certainly what I intend to do here. The play’s not intended to be a polemic. I’m actually trying to get at some complicated ideas that we’re struggling with; some complicated issues that are not black and white. There’s a reason why people who would not normally have voted for our current president did during this election and this has to do with very real economic and societal failures that created the kind of conditions in which this kind of authoritarian figure can arise. It’s very important to understand that; not to excuse but to understand so that we can solve the underlying problem and hopefully change the circumstance under which we’re currently struggling. So yes, with these two characters who are different in many ways—Rick is a blue-collar managerial type who ran a private prison and he’s white, male. The other character, Gloria, is an African-American female who’s a professor of history. They come together in this one moment. Rick has been convicted of some unspecified, but obviously pretty serious crime, and is awaiting sentencing. And interestingly, Gloria is the only person, or first person that he has allowed to interview him.

So, they’re both here in this cell trying to understand history, trying to understand what happened. To some degree, Rick is honestly struggling as much as Gloria is, to understand what he’s done and what the consequences are. These people, like all people, come into this room with a certain set of expectations and stereotypes about the other person and the other person’s politics. These are confounded and surprised over again and both people are forced to recognize, more than once, how limited their understanding is, how narrow their perspective is, and how complicated people are. That’s quite intentional. The play’s intended to appeal to a very broad audience—regardless of your politics, or whether you’re in a rural or blue state or red state—because it speaks to a very fundamental human condition. The challenge here, as the challenge always is, is between the conscience of the individual and the power of the state. This is a struggle that’s central to the dynamic tension of democracy. Aeschylus was exploring this 2,000 years ago. It’s still true today. We like to think of our democracies as vibrant and healthy and strong and yet, we’re seeing, and not just in the United States, but in Europe as well, how fragile they are, really; how easy it is to wobble, to spin off course and how important, how even more important it is then for citizens to exercise their moral principle, their moral choice and not cede that authority to the authorities.

MS: When you write about the play, you talk about the book by Gitta Sereny, Into That Darkness, and the impact it had on you.

Robert Schenkkan: This book is kind of a classic now, in Holocaust literature. I just stumbled across it, I couldn’t even tell you how. It is an investigation into the life and times of this one individual, who for a brief moment became extremely powerful in the Nazi death machinery. She spends almost 60 hours interviewing him. But she also interviews his wife, family members and colleagues and people who survived him. It’s a real attempt to come to sort of grips with, “How did you wind up doing these kinds of things”? It was very, very provocative and very illuminating—for me personally. My grandfather was a Dutch Jew who emigrated in the 1920s, not just out of economic necessity, but also because I think he saw the coming cloud of fascism. He lost 16 family members in the Holocaust and the loss was so painful that he actually never spoke of it to me. I did not know this part of my family history until I discovered it by accident in my 30s. That’s how painful and profound the loss was, the wound was. I know that reading that book, which I did almost a year ago, certainly had an influence on me and it certainly found some expression in the play that I’ve written.


MS: I keep thinking about the film The Nasty Girl where this woman goes back to Germany and the village where her grandparents lived. She starts talking to all these people who had done the most horrendous things during the fascist Hitler regime, turning in their neighbors and everybody to the Gestapo and people being slaughtered and tortured. And no one wanted to talk about it, pretending it was all in the past. But I thought that what you do with this play, the way you work out the struggle here, is that people are challenged not to forgive. You want people to understand how this happens. It’s not a question of forgiving somebody where there have been crimes against humanity. This seems linked to the point that you have quoted a couple of times where you say that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

Robert Schenkkan: Well, it’s very true. I was just reading an interesting article the other day in the newspaper, a review of a book talking about the Gestapo and how actually, the number of members of the Gestapo, the Nazi Germany police force, was astonishingly small given the size of the population. They managed to intimidate and control something like 3,800 citizens for every Gestapo agent. Well, obviously it’s not that that single agent is in contact with every one of those 3,800 people in every moment of the day, so what’s keeping them in line? What’s obviously keeping them in line, keeping them intimidated, keeping them subservient, is their own concession to the state. That’s a critical notion; that they gave their power away. They ceded their power to the authorities. Even if they were not explicitly active in the criminal activities that were perpetrated by the regime, they were implicitly involved because they didn’t say “no,” because they didn’t stand up. They didn’t take a stand and that’s a very, very important thing to keep in mind...

We’re all of us, the hero of our own play. We rarely think or admit that we might be wrong or that our motives might be less than pure. It requires a very, very strong constitution and conscience to be able to examine one’s motives and one’s action in an objective manner, but it’s critical that we attempt that. Rick’s slow progression here to Golgotha is full of half-steps and quarter-steps that in and of themselves make sense, sort of—don’t seem necessarily bad in the moment, but cumulatively we can see that he’s going down a certain kind of path, the consequences of which are dire and as you suggest, ultimately unforgiveable. The only way that one avoids that, and this is what the play’s ultimate argument is, the only way one avoids that is by staying very conscious—very conscious in your life. It’s critical to stay awake; to be aware of what’s happening! The human tendency to avoid unpleasantness or deny unpleasantness is almost overwhelming. It’s part of how we’re hardwired—particularly when a threat doesn’t appear immediate.

You know, it’s fascinating, I don’t know if you saw this recent article in the New York Times about American citizens and their perceptions of climate change. This actually now, is a fairly sizeable majority, 70 percent who agree with the statement that climate change is happening and it’s man-made. But what’s fascinating is that only 20 percent of those same people feel that it’s having any impact on them and therein lies the dichotomy and the terrible, terrible problem that we’re facing. We’re not feeling the consequences of our actions nearly acutely enough. As a consequence we’re not able or willing or ready to change our actions, even though we are setting in motion terrible forces, which once unleashed, may never be able to be recaptured. That’s the human condition. It requires a real effort to surmount that, to be awake, to be aware and to make our choices consciously.







Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

1 August 2017. A World to Win News Service.

Remembering Amir Hassanpour, revolutionary communist fighter, intellectual and internationalist from Iran

August 2, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


On 24 June 2017 Amir Hassanpour, renowned revolutionary intellectual and revolutionary communist with long connections to the struggle in Kurdistan, Iran and elsewhere, passed away in Toronto, Canada.

On 22 July, 250 people of many nationalities gathered at the University of Toronto to honour and learn from Amir’s life. Memorials are planned in other cities as well.

The intellectual and political life of comrade Hassanpour was intertwined with events in the international communist movement and the Iranian revolutionary and leftist movements. Amir was born in 1943 in Mahabad in Kurdistan of Iran where he spent his childhood and teenage years. It is a region whose people, especially the poor peasants, were oppressed by feudal and reactionary patriarchal social relations and also suffered national discrimination.

The first-hand experience of national oppression and the political environment of Mahabad drove Amir to join a nationalist movement in his youth (Kurdiati), but in his own words, after he got to know about Marxism, his view on things changed. He saw the reality of human exploitation and national oppression in the light of Marxist theories, which helped him go beyond the confines of nationalist theories and views. Amir was a theorist on the national question in Kurdistan and the Middle East and a prominent scholar and researcher in the fields of the culture, language, literature and history of Kurdistan, with many academic publications. But above all he always tried to understand and analyze problems of human society by applying the science of communism. “I do not have any identity,” he stated frankly. “If I have to choose an identity, I must say that I am an internationalist.”

Amir joined the Iranian student movement in Tehran in the 1960s. This connection continued in the 1970s with his participation in the Union of Iranian Students in the United States. On 1 May 1968, during a student trip to the U.S., he landed in Paris and immediately joined the youth rallies in the Latin Quarter and their fighting with police. This period of activism connected him to the future Communist Party of Iran (MLM) and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP, USA).

Amir was, on one level, typical of the revolutionary intellectuals who were active in the 1960s. He was an enthusiastic participant in and advocate of the revolutionary national struggle then sweeping the world, from Kurdistan and Palestine to Vietnam and Brazil. As a student he jumped into the rebellion and intellectual ferment of those days in the United States and other countries of the imperialist world.

All of this was heightened and put on a scientific footing by Mao Tsetung and his leadership of the earth-shaking Cultural Revolution in China, which was showing in vivid colour the possibility of advancing toward the final goal of a society that finally surpasses all class divisions and all of the rotten relations and ideas that correspond to exploitation. Amir was also deeply concerned over the emancipation of women. He became a communist, a Maoist, and devoted his considerable talents and energies to the struggle to bring about a communist world.

He was one of the many communists and revolutionary intellectuals who threw themselves into the struggle in Iran as the Shah’s regime crumbled in the later 1970s. Amir was one of the founders of the Toilers Peshmerga organization in Kurdistan in 1981, affiliated with the Union of Iran Communists (UIC).

For the communists in Iran, the overthrow of the Chinese revolution after the death of Mao Tsetung in 1976 was accompanied by the defeat of the Iranian revolution and the rise of the reactionary Islamist movements in Iran, the Middle East and North Africa. This was followed by the emergence of the conflict between the two historically outmoded pillars: Islamic fundamentalism and imperialism. For those in the Iranian movement determined to carry forward the cause of revolution, the need for the fresh breeze of new communism and its scientific and political leaps was greatly felt. Amir, who was surrounded by many remorseful former left-wing intellectuals and ex-communist leaders from the 1980s and 1990s, never gave up on the cause of communist revolution and the struggle for the liberation of the oppressed. The new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian once again gave him the opportunity to challenge his thinking and engage with the advances in theoretical and political developments in the communist movement.

Amir knew that science is not a static, frozen phenomenon, but was marked by twists and turns, corrections of previous mistakes and new developments. This view on science helped him to become very involved with the new communism, which Amir struggled to dig into, grasp and actively promote.

At the memorial meeting in Toronto, Amir’s broad influence on revolutionary and progressive people from the Middle East and in the academic sphere was reflected by diverse statements and messages and cultural performances. The meeting began with a short drum performance and a talk by Salah Hassanpour, his son. After discussing Amir’s personal and political qualities, Salah pointed out, “My father was an optimist but not an idealist”—that Amir based his hopes and struggle for a better future for humanity on dialectical materialism and the science of communism.

A powerful tribute entitled “A Statement on the Passion of a Rebel” from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Iran (MLM) was read. This statement celebrated Amir’s passionate and rebellious spirit, as well as his uncompromising fight against the oppressors and his lifetime search for truth. A fearless search which in the last years of his life made him a close adherent of the new synthesis of communism developed by Bob Avakian.

A short tribute by faculty members from Palestine hailed Amir’s contributions and invited people to continue on his path fighting for the liberation of Palestine.

A statement by KJA, a contributor to Demarcations, the theoretical journal of the RCPUSA, was read by a comrade from the US. It pointed out, “Confronting the process of ‘Maoism dividing into two’, learning to sift out what was essential and correct in our previous understanding and to reject the wrong, the harmful, the non-scientific thinking, has not been so easy for most of us who lived that shared experience, even with Avakian shining light on this very contradiction. In this perspective, the power and importance of Amir’s firm adoption of a political position in favour of the new synthesis, despite having to wage a protracted battle against a cruel disease, stands out all the more sharply.”


Some of Amir’s former students also spoke at the memorial, praising his lively teaching, his encouraging pedagogical approach that emphasised learning through criticism. Another activist and sociology student mentioned that for him, Amir’s special characteristic was the role he played in exposing the Persian chauvinism that is so strong in contemporary Iran.

Activists and leaders of other parties and movements, including the Kurdish Satar Awehang (Communist Party of Iran-Komala) and Fatih Sheikh (Worker Communist Party-Hekmatist) sent video massages, while others like the linguist Jaffer Sheykholislami and Farid Partovi personally read their statements. Though the speakers represented different political lines, they all agreed that as a revolutionary communist Amir tirelessly fought against all sorts of oppression, including national oppression, the oppression of women and class divisions. In addition to his undeniable role in the Kurdish liberation movement, Amir’s contributions to the study of Kurdish history, language and culture were emphasized.

Shahriyar Jamshidi performed deep and sad music, bringing many of the people in the room to tears.

The hall was decorated by several insightful quotations from Amir. One read: “Yes, I am for grand narratives… I wish they were even grander… we have no interests in one human being over another one.… We want this kind of world and this kind of relations and this kind of ‘grand narrative’. And science gives us this, and on the basis of this scientific truth we must aim to leap and achieve this horizon that humanity has been able to explore.”

Professor Shahrzad Mojab, Amir’s lifelong partner, colleague and comrade gave a strong and emotional talk. Shahrzad’s voice broke several times from sadness, but very soon she would remember one of Amir’s humorous moments and make the audience smile along with her in sharing lively memories. Shahrzad talked about Amir always standing on the right side, with the oppressed and against the oppressors. From boycotting Israeli products to regularly going to the Consulate General of Israel in Toronto to talk to people and make them aware of the oppression of the Palestinians. Shahrzad stressed that Amir was filled with passion for learning, life and humanity. She concluded her speech with a quote from one of Amir’s favorites, the early 20th century U.S. poet and singer Joe Hill—“Don’t mourn! Organize!”

The message from the Communist Party of Iran (MLM) concluded: “The world cries out the need for communist revolution. Without revolutionary communists there will never be a communist revolution. It is time to decide and scale the heights again. Riding the new waves of communism, Amir’s victorious smile will be with us.”

The ceremony also was live streamed on facebook (



On March 17, 2017, A World to Win News Service (AWTWNS) announced its transformation into a more thorough-going tool for revolution based on Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. Read its “Editorial: Introducing a transformed AWTWNS” here.






Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

CPI (MLM) on the death of Amir Hassanpour: “A Statement on the Passion of a Rebel"

August 2, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


1 August 2017. A World to Win News Service. The following statement by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) was issued on 22 July, 2017.

Losing someone like Amir is heavy. Especially in a world that dishes out unbearable misery for the majority of human beings every second.

When you think of Amir, you can hear his warm voice saying: How can you not agonize over what is being done to people all over the world? How can you not get angry at the unnecessary and senseless deprivation of the very basic needs of human life suffered by billions of people? How can you not fume over ongoing imperial wars, the horrendous spread of religious bigotry and slave/patriarchal relations among people, and worst of all, the rise to power of Christian fascists—and not ask why? What is the root cause of all this and the real solution?

Amir had a big heart for humanity and a burning desire for a better world.

In the beginning he was a young nationalist who grieved over the feudal exploitation of peasants, the national oppression of Kurds and the patriarchal relations that squeezed the life out of women. Then he discovered communist theory, which illuminated the root causes of this situation and proved that actually there is a real potential in human society to go beyond this ruthless way of life, this outmoded hierarchical social organization, and usher in a new epoch of communist society.

As an individual, Amir had a lot of loving qualities. But he represented more than himself. He was part of the 1960s generation. Revolutionaries of that generation had big dreams and deeds—aiming for the emancipation of humanity from class divisions, exploitation, oppression and old ideas corresponding to these relations and divisions.

Those in power called them a “lost generation” because a very big portion of those students and intellectuals who had been trained to become cogs and wheels in their system instead chose to use their skills in the service of the oppressed and the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism. Right in the belly of the beast, they worked for the defeat of the U.S. and its allies in the Vietnam war; they exposed the reactionary/imperialist nature of the state of Israel and defended the right of Palestinians to Palestine; they became voices of the rebellion of the United States’ African slaves; and they turned universities into hubs of scientific truth against religious and non-religious obscurantism. Right in the heart of capitalism they dared to call on people to see the necessity, possibility and desirability of building a communist society on the ashes of ruthless and destructive capitalism.

For trained intellectuals, there is always a fundamental contradiction to solve: What are you going to do with the privileged status that capitalism has given you? For whom and for what are you going to use your intellectual abilities and skills and the know-how that the oppressed and exploited are normally deprived of obtaining while they direly need it in order to break their chains? Are you going to use your abilities as trained intellectuals to carve out a niche for yourself in this system and in the final analysis justify and validate the existing order, or are you going to use this in the service of opening the way to overthrow the system and radically transform the world in the interests of humanity and the Earth? In other words: Which side are you on? This is the point of departure for a rebellious intellectual. But to stay on this road will necessarily require more and higher ruptures.

For us to remain rebels and stay on the revolutionary path was not smooth and easy, as we faced some major crushing defeats. Revolutionary China was lost, and the first wave of communist revolution that started with the short-lived Paris Commune of 1871 came to an end. Within this framework, a big revolutionary opportunity in Iran turned into a sour and bitter counter-revolution that spread its dark clouds all over the Middle East.

After these defeats, many revolutionary communists became demoralized, and the system was able to “recycle” some of them. Those in power did this by applying harsh means of terror and suppression as well as “soft” means. For example, incredible efforts and investment were made to distort and bury the real history of communism. Relativist, instrumentalist and positivist thinking became dominant in academia and in fact were institutionalized as the normal and acceptable world outlook in the academic world.

All of us, including Amir, grappled with the challenge of not giving up in the face of this massive reactionary campaign.

It was hard to respond to the challenge of why we were defeated. Revolutionary communists had to get their heads clear. To this end, they had to critically review history and draw lessons. Big summations were made to understand the achievements and errors in theory and practice by the first wave of communist revolution. This process finally led to a radical leap in understanding, a revolution in the mind, a new synthesis of communism, and the person who carried out this process was Bob Avakian, whom our party has called the greatest revolutionary of our time.

Amir closely followed and engaged in this process. Some might think Amir’s adherence to the new synthesis was just a reflection of a nostalgic attachment to his revolutionary communist past. This is very far from reality! In fact, it was a result of his passionate attachment to the goal of radically transforming the world as well as his unwavering scientific outlook in searching for and recognizing the truth. In making judgements, he consciously avoided instrumentalism. He did not calculate the personal consequences of declaring hard and unpopular truths. In his view, truth is truth and nonsense is nonsense, and one must dare to make this distinction.

As he wrote in the preface to the Kurdish language book The Real History of Communism:

We cannot achieve a communist future by relying on the previous communism, and without the new communism one can neither correctly understand the past nor build the future. Making a communist synthesis of the previous communism and developing the new communism was the colossal work accomplished by Bob Avakian in the process of carrying out vast theoretical, political and ideological struggles over the past three decades. He succeeded in doing this. If communists want to be a vanguard of the future and not a residue of the past, they should take up the new synthesis of communism and seriously look into it and see its actual place in history and in the world today.

We will miss Amir so much. The voice of this dear comrade will always echo with us:

Yes, I am for grand narratives … I wish they were even grander … we have no interests in one human being over another. … We want this kind of world and this kind of relations and this kind of “grand narrative.” And science gives us this, and on the basis of this scientific truth we must aim to leap and achieve this horizon that humanity has been able to explore.

In memory of Amir, please allow us to bring our words to an end in the following manner.

Friends from the old times: it’s never too late to become a revolutionary rebel again! One can always make daring and inspiring choices.

And dear younger friends: the world cries out the need for a communist revolution. Without revolutionary communists there will never be a communist revolution. It is time to decide and scale the heights again. Riding the new waves of communism, Amir’s victorious smile will be with us.



On March 17, 2017, A World to Win News Service (AWTWNS) announced its transformation into a more thorough-going tool for revolution based on Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism. Read its “Editorial: Introducing a transformed AWTWNS” here.






Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Learning from the Life of Amir Hassanpour

by KJA

August 2, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


July 19, 2017

Like many so many others, I was saddened to learn of Amir Hassanpour’s passing. The grief comes not only from a recognition of all that Amir has done for the communist and revolutionary movements in Iran and the Middle East and more broadly. My grief also stems from that fact that Amir had so much left to say and to do. Even though he left some precious tools for us to use, we will now have to carry on the fight without him.

Amir was, on one level, “typical” of the revolutionary intellectuals who were active in the 1960s. He was an enthusiastic participant in and advocate of the revolutionary national struggles that were then sweeping the world from Kurdistan and Palestine to Vietnam and Brazil. As a student he jumped into the rebellion and intellectual ferment then going on in the United States, France and other countries of the imperialist world. And all of this was heightened and put on a scientific footing by Mao Tsetung and his leadership of the earth-shaking Cultural Revolution in China which was showing in vivid colour the possibility of advancing toward the final goal of a society that finally surpasses all class divisions and all of the rotten relations and ideas that correspond to capitalist exploitation. Amir became a communist, a Maoist, and devoted his considerable talents and energies into the struggle to bring about a communist world.

Amir himself pointed out that “Even many of the nationalist movements regarded themselves as ‘advocates of Mao Tsetung Thought’ and ‘socialist China’, without being actually attracted to communism.” How true this observation is! A great many of the previous “advocates of Mao Tsetung Thought” dropped any such pretention when, after the 1976 coup d’état in China, the party and state leaders themselves violently and vociferously turned against Mao’s communist politics and ideology. Looking back from today, we can see that this phenomenon was even more pronounced and pernicious.

It was not only the pro-China nationalists of Kurdistan or Africa who turned against communism. Among the Maoists of the time, scientific communist ideology lived alongside other, non-communist, politics and world views. It can be said that, in a sense, the forty-year period since the destruction of the revolutionary communist bastion that was Mao’s China has been a whole process of “Maoism dividing into two”. On the one hand, the revolutionary, scientific kernel at the heart of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism has been rescued, corrected where necessary and has been raised to new heights; on the other hand, the secondary weaknesses that coexisted in the previous Maoist movement have become hardened, consolidated, fossilized into political currents (both open revisionism and sometimes “left” dogmatism) that have nothing to do with revolutionary communism and indeed are viciously opposed to it.

Herein lies a great contribution of Amir and a painful loss for the great political and ideological struggle that has begun in all its fury but has not yet won basic victory. Amir was one of many activists and intellectuals from the previous communist movement all over the world who have been confronted with the phenomenon of “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism dividing into two”, even if few understand it that way. What distinguishes Amir from most others who went through much of the same experience, is the openness and eagerness with which he grappled with the new synthesis of communism brought forward by Bob Avakian and Amir’s efforts to side with and promote this new communism.

Amir made important contributions in different revolutionary and intellectual domains in over five decades of activity. Confronting the process of “Maoism dividing into two”, learning to sift out what was essential and correct in our previous understanding and to reject the wrong, the harmful, the non-scientific thinking has not been so easy for most of us who lived that shared experience, even with Avakian shining light on this very contradiction. In this perspective, the power and importance of Amir’s firm adoption of a political position in favour of the new synthesis, despite having to wage a protracted battle against a cruel disease, stands out all the more sharply.

I personally came to know Amir only in the latter years of his revolutionary activity. While I had a number of fruitful and invigorating discussions with Amir, I also realize how much more there is to learn from his thinking. I was very moved to read, over the last few days, an English translation of one of Amir’s last articles, “A Discussion on Scientific Knowledge” from a talk he gave, as I understand it, to some young Kurdish activists in Paris only one year ago and printed in a collection of Amir’s writings done by the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist). Amir’s article shows a great deal of insight into crucial questions facing revolutionary intellectuals of all generations. It is not only a declaration in support of the new synthesis of communism, it is also a living example of how the new communism helps us make sense of the political and intellectual currents of the recent decades and how our new, higher level of scientific understanding renews and strengthens the revolutionary commitment to transform the world. I encourage everyone to read it.

In the article mentioned above, Amir recounts how he would combat the influences of post-modernism and identity politics among his students as well as their disdain for Marxism as a “grand narrative”. As he put it, “I would declare that: yes my narratives are grand but I wished they were even grander.” Amir Hassanpour’s narrative is grand indeed, and his thirst for “even grander” is more than something to appreciate: it is something precious to emulate and strive for. Let us learn from Amir and devote our energies, our intellectual capacities, our enthusiasm and our creativity to the cause of communism, as Amir did, until his last breath.


(A regular contributor to Demarcations, the theoretical journal of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.)







Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

“What does this world right now need more than anything? COMMUNISTS! Genuine communists that are followers of Bob Avakian!”

August 2, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Reading the excerpt, it made me think back to a discussion I had with some comrades, members of the Revolution Club. We were talking about how big the world is, and how people’s outlooks make them feel like just everything in front of them is all that matters. One person from the Revolution Club, talked about this video, Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. She pulled it up on her phone and played it for us. THAT BLEW MY MIND!

In the video it makes the point that one person is very small compared to the world, and even more so, the universe. When I was younger I was scared to think of the planet being so big, and I refused to think of the universe, because it was so big and scary. Back then, to me, the definition of what was beyond the sky, was god and heaven. But now thinking about all of this is actually very liberating, and thinking back to the video, it paints a picture and makes the point that people tend to see the problems that are right in front of them and thinking so narrowly. That’s exactly how I used to think. It was hard to even picture anything beyond my neighborhood anything that was right in front of me. I have a really small family, so I only thought of them and of my closest friends. When I would watch the news, I remember feeling helpless, seeing all these horrible things happening in my own neighborhood and not being able to do anything about it. I cared, but I always acted as if I didn’t.

I think back to that period in my life and can’t help but think about the millions, who are told over and over, that they can’t do shit! That feel the exact helplessness I felt when I watched the pigs stopping people in the neighborhood. When I heard about women being abused and beaten by their partners! I felt outraged and helpless! I HATE THAT FEELING! Up to this day I still hate that feeling. In a way it was very liberating to know THERE IS SOMETHING THAT WE CAN AND MUST DO! But by itself, it’s useless! What I mean by that is the feeling itself isn’t going to solve anything, it required me to get scientific about understanding the world and how to work to change it and getting to work on that. I never want to feel that helplessness again! Not that I wanna feel “saved” or like some “savior” but there is a fucking answer to this shit—understanding where it comes from and how to stop it! Knowing and understanding that there is a whole different way the world can be! Seeing the potential of others, the same way that the revolutionaries saw the potential in me and fought for me to dedicate myself to this! Not by shaming me but by actually helping me through the process of understanding some very difficult shit.

I am a high school dropout. When I first came around, I didn’t understand half of what the revolutionaries talked about. I always thought: “I will just do the street work and the protests and let other people tell me what to do.” There was a lot of struggle around that, which now I see very clearly. I would think, “Just let it go and let me continue to help on the side.” When we would get into theory, I would get frustrated. I got to the point of calling myself stupid and actually thought I was unable to learn this very complex work. Today, I know that’s a bunch of crap! I was giving up without trying my hardest, because my whole life I was told I was stupid and wasn’t gonna make it to shit! And I believed it so much, I ended up telling myself that.

Once I understood why it mattered to get into the science, I did. All bullshit aside, I asked all the questions that were coming through my mind, I put myself to get into Bob Avakian’s work, and not in a “personal responsibility” type of way, but I actually thought about this question: What does this world right now need more than anything? COMMUNISTS! Genuine communists that are followers of Bob Avakian! Because I knew it mattered, we don’t need more social workers, telling us that everything will be okay and they will help us. What is needed is people who are taking up this New Synthesis of Communism, applying the method, understanding the world, and leading people to themselves break out of these fucked up ways the system got us in, to become communists. How are we going to make revolution if just a few people do the work in the realm of theory while others blindly follow? Because that’s what it would have come down to. And objectively, how are we going to deal with contradictions we face in making revolution, if only a few are dealing with it? It’s impossible! We are never going to make revolution that way, or run a different society that way!

I always think about this point: What is it going to take for people to really appreciate and “form a wall” around BA, really able to protect and defend his ability to keep leading in the face of repression and attacks? It’s going to take people digging into and engaging with the New Synthesis of Communism. I’m saying that to say we don’t want blind followers, we want and need conscious emancipators of humanity. And that’s what I am and have dedicated my life to.






Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

From the Refuse Fascism protesters vs. Ann Coulter:

“When you work with fascists, you normalize the road to horror”

August 2, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


On July 29, protesters with Refuse Fascism courageously and righteously disrupted fascist Ann Coulter at the Politicon conference in Pasadena. We received the following from one of the protesters.

On the weekend of July 29, attended Politicon, a liberal-inspired political conference that invites fascists onto the stage for discussion. Although people from different parts of the political spectrum were present, the fascist presence predominated. While seated in the audience of a panel titled, “Censorship on Campus,” featuring leading Nazi intellectual Ann Coulter, the sea of people become a blur as I gathered my strength for what we were about to do.

As we slipped on our red arm bands painted with swastikas, I thought of Coulter’s declaration that there is a white genocide being perpetrated by Muslims and immigrants and the colorful ways she describes the assassinations of various liberals. I then turned my thoughts to what is already happening to immigrants, women, Muslims, Black people and how all of the above was being normalized right in front of me. This drove me insane.

After the band reached my upper arm, a man turned around and saw the swastikas. Astounded, he brought over a security guard and pointed out our armbands. The security guard nonchalantly dismissed the man’s fear. The security guard’s reassurances worked, the man stopped turning around. Just like the many neo-Nazis we were surrounded by, we were welcome so long as we remained seated and respectable.

As the emcee began to introduce Ann Coulter, we stood up and clapped, radiating the enthusiasm of Hitler’s youth. In full Nazi regalia, we stepped out into the middle of the aisle, did the Nazi salute, and exclaimed, “Heil Trump, Heil Hitler, Heil Coulter.” Then, pandemonium erupted. Some people in the audience stood up and clapped in what appeared to be genuine adoration, others were dumbfounded, unsure if this was theater or real Nazis praising Coulter. Others seemed to express support. Dozens of Trump supporters stood up, and chanted, “USA” over and over again. I encouraged them. After all, they are a part of the program our brown shirts represented.

We continued, “We are the children of the sun. Heil Our Victory.” A security guard gently grabbed my arm, and I said, “Why are you taking me away. Ann is my Nazi leader.” She let go and we went on, “Heil Trump, Heil Hitler, Heil Coulter.” All the while, we continued to give our Nazi salutes. Surrounded by cameras and people recording us, we were pushed out by security. While exiting the doorway, I looked across the room at Coulter, she seemed to be looking right at us. I said, “Why are you taking me away? This is a Nazi rally. I came to see my leader, Ann Coulter. I am a child of the sun. We are children of the sun. Heil Our Victory.” My fellow fake Nazi friend continued to chant, “Heil Trump, Heil Hitler, Heil Coulter.” As we were escorted out of the venue by the police, my friend stayed in character even as the police told us we were banned from the event. He said, “We came to see Coulter. She is our leader.” People continued to film us.

The pig then responded with what appeared to be a genuine apology, “I’m sorry. It’s a private event. We can’t let you back in.” The police thought we were real Nazis! The officer who was writing me up forgot to cut off my wrist band, but was reminded to do so by a fellow officer as I was walking away. We then yanked off our swastikas and as we stomped on them chanted, “In the name of humanity. We refuse. A fascist America. No. No. No. No. No.” A small crowd gathered around and watched and filmed as we defaced our armbands (which the police ended up keeping).

During the time we were outside, two other volunteers disrupted the event. They courageously stood up and held up the sign “Trump and Pence Must Go” and chanted “Trump and Pence Must Go” and “” One volunteer went on to say, “Trump and Pence are fascists. Ann Coulter is a Nazi. You’re a Nazi. You’re a pig. You’re a fucking white supremacist. Donald Trump is a white supremacist! Say NO! to a Muslim ban! Say NO! to a transgender ban!” They were not treated as kindly as we, the fake Brown Shirts, were. A Trump supporter puffed out his chest that read “TRUMP,” and they were roughly pulled out. A man came over and grabbed the female volunteer. The young woman righteously said, “Do not normalize fascism” and “Do not normalize white supremacy.” The people seated next to them got up and clapped in support of this message. She ended with, “This is not free speech; this is fascism.”

As my friend and I were chanting outside in the front, we were joined by the two other volunteers. One officer grabbed the young woman’s wrist in ways that insinuated she was about to be handcuffed. The officer who had written me up said we could not be on the public sidewalk! I responded, “Why don’t you tell that to those Nazis?” as I pointed at the Trump supporters (who were protesting outside the event) as they chanted “Build a Wall.” The officer just walked away after that. We continued to chant, “In the name of humanity. We refuse. A fascist America. No! No! No! No! No!” Finally, we made a pledge to humanity and vowed we would not stop until we drove out the Trump/Pence fascist regime.

We posed the question: If you think these swastikas are extreme, you need to wake the fuck up because what Coulter and the Trump/Pence regime represent is NO LESS EXTREME! This action put a spotlight on the reality that “When you work with fascists you normalize the road to horror.” There is no debating people like Coulter and it is up to us to defiantly disturb the air and to not only force others to see the Trump/Pence regime in it’s true fascist nature, but to inspire them to act before the Trump/Pence regime proceeds to do what Hitler already accomplished.






Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Trump Imploding? Look at Tuesday and Wednesday...

August 2, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |



As liberal commentators largely focus on Trump’s legislative difficulties and talk about his “paralysis,” “chaos,” and “unraveling,” dramatic new moves in the fascist transformation of U.S. society continue to be rolled out at a rapid clip:

Tuesday: Re-segregating America: Trump’s Justice Department is planning to redirect its Civil Rights Division’s resources to investigating and suing universities over how white people are supposedly being held back by affirmative action, a concession to the struggle against the overwhelming and pervasive inequality and oppression of Black and other oppressed nationality people. Black and Latino people must still climb a Mt. Everest of historical and present oppression just to get an education. Black people make up only 6% of the students at the 100 top-tier U.S. colleges and universities, while making up 15% of the college age population. This is the same percentage as in 1994, but apparently still too high for the fascist Trump/Pence regime.

Wednesday: Cutting immigration in half: Trump welcomed a plan to cut the total number of immigrants and refugees admitted to the U.S. in half, effectively limited to well-educated English-speakers. The excuse is that low-skilled immigrants from the Third World take jobs from Americans and drive down wages, but somehow at the same time also don’t work and live off welfare. Along with mass deportations, militarization of the border and building of “the Wall,” this plan marks a major step in the regime’s “Make America White Again” program.

Wednesday: Secretary of State Tillerson Warns of “Open Conflict” with China: As U.S. and Chinese planes and warships—some nuclear-capable—play cat-and-mouse in the South China Sea, and six days after a U.S. admiral affirmed that yes, he would launch nukes against China if Trump ordered him to, Rex Tillerson declared the U.S.-China relationship was at a “pivot point,” and warned of “open conflict” if the current trajectory wasn’t changed, by China.

Wednesday: Trump's Climate Change-Denying Nominee Agriculture Department Post Revealed As a Rabid Racist. On July 19, Trump nominated billionaire Sam Clovis, an open climate-change denier as chief scientist for the Department of Agriculture. On August 2 it came out that for years Clovis, an Iowa Republican, had for years maintained a virulently racist blog. Typical of the ravings on this blog, Clovis denounced Black progressives as “race traders,” who supposedly whip up false claims of racism in order to gain power, money and influence. And he branded white progressives as “race traitors”—for standing up against the oppression of Black people

Does all this sound like the Trump/Pence regime “imploding”? No, this is fascism accelerating its efforts to consolidate power and implement its program.






Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Response on the Streets of Chicago to Prisoner's Letter

“Damn, that touched my heart”

August 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


The Revolution Club in Chicago has been using a prisoner’s letter that was posted on recently. (From a prisoner to the Brothers and Sisters of the Street Organizations of America: “I read The BAsics… It’s time for us to focus that fearlessness towards a BETTER WORLD”) We’ve been struggling with people to get out of fighting and killing each other and get with the movement for revolution and into BA. This letter is coming from someone who was caught up in that same madness and speaks directly to people who are still caught all up in it.

We decided that we had to make good use of this letter so we made posters and very deliberately put them up on poles right where some of these youth hang out. We’ve also gone right up to these youth and some older cats to challenge them with what’s in this letter. Just about everybody we’ve used it on in one-on-one discussions has been locked up themselves and are, or have been, part of “the life.”  There have been different responses worth recounting but rather than go on and on doing that, I’d like people to know about one young guy’s reaction.

We walked up to a group of youth who like others in this neighborhood are semi-friendly because they know the police don’t like us and we don’t like the police but at the same time don’t want to seriously engage us when we tell them to get out of the shit they’re caught up in and into the Revolution Club. They all scattered when we tried getting them to engage some BAsics quotes but one of them stayed to tell us how he sees things and how we can’t actually change nothing. We kept trying to get him to be serious but he was all over the place. At one point we took one of the posters of the prisoner’s letter that we had in our hands and told him, “Man, check this out. This is from a prisoner doing life who was caught up in all the same shit.” One of us just started reading the letter and even had to stop him from interrupting at one point where he wanted to talk about how the prison conditions in Illinois are worse than Texas: “Look, man, the point of this letter isn’t to talk about prison conditions or where the worst dungeons are. Just listen to the rest of it, it’s important.” We read the whole thing and by the end of it his whole attitude had changed; he said, “Damn, that touched my heart” and he started calling out to his friends, “Ay, y’all gotta see this, this is from a prisoner doing life.” He asked if he could have one and if we could give him some tape. He walked up to a wall on a corridor leading into some apartment building where many of these youth hang out while continuing to call on his friends to come check this letter out. He said, “Y’all gotta see this, he just pours his heart out here. On my brother, he speaking some real shit. Y’all gotta come over and read this.” He seemed a little dejected by the fact that he wasn’t getting any response from the friends he was calling over and just kept putting more and more tape on the letter to make sure it wouldn’t fall off the wall. We asked him, what had touched him about the letter and he said, “What he saying about us doing what they want us to do, we destroying each other and being our own worst enemy… how they just killing us off and we’re helping them do it… We might as well put the gun in our own mouths.” We told him that this prisoner is also telling him to fight for something different and he’s telling him to get with the revolution and get into BA. We held up BAsics and told him, “This is the book he’s talking about, this is what you got to get into. This system is what has us all fucked up but it don’t have to be this way, we could make a revolution that will get rid of all this shit but you got to get out of that and you gotta get into this.” He nodded his head and when before we couldn’t get him to stop talking and listen, now we couldn’t get him speak. He walked away without answering and we just called out to him telling him that he was going to have to decide what his life was going to be about, he just looked back and nodded but kept walking.

We didn’t recruit this youth into the Revolution Club on this day but this letter clearly had an impact on him and we want to highlight the importance of prisoners who are getting into BA writing to the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) and addressing their letters directly to these youth. You are making an important contribution and so are the people who are donating to the PRLF and helping sustain Revolution newspaper. This isn’t just about hoping that the Revolution Club does a good job in Chicago; everybody who sees the urgent need to get these youth to stop killing each other and become gravediggers of this system and emancipators of humanity has a role to play.







Revolution #502 July 31, 2017

Nashville Protest Denounces Trump/Pence Attacks on DACA Immigrant Youth

August 5, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


On August 3, about 200 people from around Tennessee protested outside a Nashville fundraiser for Republicans, featuring Trump’s VP Mike Pence. Many of the people in the protest were “Dreamers,” people who were brought to the U.S. as undocumented children and have been given legal work permits and temporary relief from deportations under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. That is, until Trump and Pence got into the White House. As part of their overall ramped-up attacks on immigrants, the Trump/Pence regime has been threatening to end DACA, putting 800,000 Dreamers in danger of being kicked out of the place they grew up in, separated from their families and friends, and forced to end their education.

One of the protesters, Nashville resident Cesar Bautista, said, “As they’re enjoying their dinner, having peace of mind, DACA recipients like myself have to worry, wondering: what is our future going to look like if DACA is taken away?”

Another DACA recipient, Alondra Gomez, told the other protesters that she came to Chattanooga, Tennessee, from Mexico when she was five years old. She recalled, “Dance was going to be my way out of the poverty and the pain that comes with being undocumented in America. Then DACA happened. When I received that work permit, my life changed.” She enrolled in a community college to be a medical assistant and now works at a clinic in her community. And she is about to begin her studies at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. But, said Gomez, for her and others, “All of this is under the threat of being snatched away in a blink of an eye.”

The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, which organized the protest, says, “Since inauguration day, the president has been carrying out his draconian campaign promises of mass deportations. In the first 100 days of the administration, immigration arrests were already up nearly 40% over the previous year. Across the country, and here in Tennessee, ICE has been terrorizing communities and separating families.”

At the end of June, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery was among attorneys general of 10 states and one governor who sent a letter to Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, declaring that if DACA is not ended by September 5 this year, they will sue in federal courts.

Aurora Padilla, now 18, came to Nashville with her family from Mexico when she was four. After being accepted for DACA, she began to work to save up for college and is going to begin at Middle Tennessee State University this fall. Padilla, who works with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, said at the Nashville protest, “We didn’t really have a choice in coming here or not. We’ve been brought up here. We’ve built our life here. We want to continue to stay here.”