Revolution #533, March 5, 2018 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

Taking BA to Campus:
Reports from the Field, Late February

March 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


In the hour-long talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible, Bob Avakian (BA) lays out a compelling, in-depth and comprehensive answer to what we’re facing with the Trump/Pence regime and what we must do. He penetrates beneath the surface with a unique and sharp in-depth analysis.

In the last few weeks, in cities across the country, revolutionaries and others have begun a process of taking this film out broadly. This has been shown to students and professors, people in neighborhoods, with flyers passed out at events, protests, and on college campuses. And it’s been in the mix of a big national controversy about disrupting the fascist treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin.

We need to learn all we can from this, while breaking out on a whole other level in these next few weeks, continuing to focus on college campuses. What follows is a sampling of reports from this effort.

Watch—and share—entire film, trailer, Q&A, selected clips

Going to a Club Meeting

One important experience this week involved a student who invited people from the Revolution Club to a newly forming “arts and activist” organization to give a presentation. They met the main organizer while they were passing out flyers on a campus. She responded to their sign, “Fight the Power, And Transform the People, For Revolution,” and wanted to know what the Club was about. The revolutionaries also learned more about what she is trying to accomplish with this new organization, and she talked about wanting to bring students of different nationalities together. That she considers everyone “her people,” not just Black people. They played a clip for her from the BA film on the spot and made plans for this next meeting.

Here’s a report from that meeting:

“A student we met on campus invited members of the Revolution Club to give a 25-minute presentation on the film of a talk, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! by Bob Avakian, to an “arts and activism” organization they were just forming. We went and had a really great evening and out of it made some immediate plans together for a showing of the full film at their dorm and a gathering on campus on March 1—calling on people to wear black to protest the attacks on immigrants.

“They had a full agenda including a section on next actions. We ended up taking the whole evening talking about the need for people to fully understand what we are up against, the importance of having that overall understanding, talking about the film and making plans.

“We gave a short introduction before we showed several clips from the talk. We drew from the recent editorials on that are making the case why people should see this talk, the impact it would have if thousands watched it this month and spread it everywhere, reaching all those who hate what is happening and want it to end, how people need to understand what we are facing if we are going to be able to act commensurately. We showed ‘Free yourself from the GTF!,’ ‘There is a direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today,’ and ‘What must we do?’

“People responded at first in relationship to what their group was about—the need to empower people during these times, to affirm people’s worth and the need for them to be able to do this in supportive, safe spaces. Another person talked about the importance of people returning to their communities—taking the lead from those most directly affected.

“We said that it is important that we learn from the experiences of those facing ever escalating attacks, and to think about who that would include today—the immigrants, the refugees from ‘shithole countries’ and why do people come here in the first place, women, LGBTQ people, and on and on... and think about the millions in North Korea who are facing the threat of annihilation with three aircraft carrier groups and an armada in place to strike—and where is all of this coming from? You cannot understand this just from inside the experiences of those most affected. And we talked about the need to watch and spread the entire talk—describing what BA gets into, who he is and the importance of the scientific method he has developed and the understanding of the world that flows from that—as part of getting to a radically different and better world.

“So we returned to the questions that this film addresses, which we had read at the beginning of our presentation. How serious a threat does the Trump/Pence regime pose to humanity? Could fascism really happen here? What is the character of the regime—is it fascist, and if it is, what are the implications? What are the roots of this regime? Is it a terrible aberration, ‘more of the same’... or something different still? What must be done to stop it? How? Is a better world possible? And we emphasized the stakes involved in getting this right or wrong.

“The conversation changed and people started to talk about what was going on all around them and we were off and running together.

“The person who had invited us immediately went through what she knew about the history of Korea and how the U.S. actually was the reason why there were two Koreas in the first place, and how people are lied to about the Korean War and how people were killed and women raped by the U.S. military. And she said that she loved the piece on the Confederacy—that she learned a lot from the way that was broken down. Another woman described how in a class she was taking, it became clear that we really have to be coming from the interests of all of humanity, and there are really opposing moralities involved here when people actually justify the dehumanizing of other people. There was some discussion on the need for a whole different morality—objections to the fact that this has come to mean an ugly morality imposed on people by this system and perhaps this was inherent in the whole concept of morality itself—and our view about the need for a radically different morality that flows from working to get to a world free of exploitation and oppression. Someone said they hope all of their meetings are like this.

“And another person talked about all the bullshit she sees around her with people just looking the other way. And how do you deal with that?

“And then reality hit about March 5 and the end of DACA. One person talked about the raids and would you believe that ICE actually went to the Grove—a huge popular and high-end shopping mall in the middle of LA—what the fuck was that? And another person said they got a text in the middle of the night that someone she knew got picked up, and another talked about her neighbors back home who are undocumented. Then people also talked about the political repression—that the administration has threatened arrests if people just stand in a certain area or carry signs that will be construed as weapons when the UC Regents meet later this month about tuition hikes—how this is part of this fascism that we are talking about. And then someone talked about the sixth extinction and the environmental crises and really these are the terms today.

“The people in the group had a lot of heart and they said that people had to come out on campus for 11 minutes of silence for the 11 million immigrants. And yes, let’s organize a film screening. One person offered to bring the pizza and everyone said they would call on everyone they knew and their floor at the dorm where we would be doing the showing. They agreed, it’s almost midterms at their college, but this is important even if only they show up and start to really understand all of this in the way we need to. They said they would start a whole movie night—called An Act of Urgency. And talked about other movies they would show. And we returned to the questions of morality—the need to bring a new morality to this situation and challenge people. The theme of a very visible and powerful action on March 1 was What Would It Take for You to Give 11 minutes for 11 Million Undocumented. People said they needed to know the facts—that it really helped to know the facts, and we talked about the existence of this movement, Refuse Fascism, and the calls they put out with all of the facts. We said we would forward them the orientation from RF and plans—and they made plans to get this all up on social media, make flyers, and get the word out about the screening of the film and the demonstration.

“Then people wanted to know what Revolution Club was all about, so we showed them HOW WE CAN WIN and explained why we are followers of Bob Avakian, who has developed a new synthesis of communism and that communism is the scientific method applied to knowing and changing the world. One person really wanted a BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt. We explained that people who wear this shirt agree with the Revolution Club’s Six Points of Attention. She read the points aloud and said—damn, I could be about that, and then raised her own thoughts on what kind of revolution we needed. We resolved to get into that very important discussion soon.

“The discussion went back and forth between responses to the clips they saw, making plans for a screening to watch the full talk, and making plans to organize a demonstration on March 1, 11 minutes of silence for the 11 million immigrants being targeted by the Trump/Pence regime. They got into struggle over identity politics, the situation we’re facing, people drawing from what they understand about this situation, and all sharing their agonizing and fears. They returned to discussion of the talk throughout this, and also talked more about the mission of the Revolution Club: making an actual revolution to get rid of this whole system, and talked about who BA is and the work he’s doing.”

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Going to Professors

Professors can play a critical role in this whole process. One professor at a city college, for instance, has watched the talk and set up for her students to watch it and discuss it in a class on fascism and authoritarianism. The following reports give a sense of what some professors are thinking right now and how they’re seeing the film.

“Liberals and outrage”

“He really, really appreciated BA’s comments on liberals and thinks there needs to be a deeper and more serious critique of liberals, who, in his opinion, are just rolling over not just for Trump but for the whole ideological offensive. We met right after Laura Ingraham’s comments about LeBron James: ‘Shut up and dribble.’ ‘Where was the outrage in the white media? It made it through a couple of news cycles and disappeared, and even then was rather muted.’ He also wanted there to be more on the media in general... One of his first comments about the talk was that he would like to have seen more on attacks on the media and the role of the liberal media’s complicity in the consolidation of power.

“In his own way, he is grappling with the question of ‘how did we get here?’—especially how did we get from the 1960s to today. Even though he was not deep into the Black radicalism of the 1960s, he was profoundly affected by the climate it helped to create. He commented on the ‘unbelievable aversion to radical change’ that permeates the climate today... He liked the review [of “Agents of Change”] and we talked about the difference between the students then and now, how the students at San Francisco State (and Cornell) acted on the moral imperative of the moment and were not consumed by ‘how many votes in the Senate do we need to win over,’ and that, for the most part, this is missing from students today, but then it is missing from society in general. This led him into reflecting on the difference now in sustained human relations between today and the 1960s—even the hippie movement, returning to the land, the deep and reflective discussions that led youth to strive for radical change rather than to avoid it. It’s not like it is not going on today but it does not characterize the campuses or society in general....

“He wanted to watch the Q&As at the end of BA’s talk, and we talked briefly about doing that together, and that he would think about students he might be able to watch the talk with. He understands there is a challenge to him and he wants to take it up.”

“The need to address American chauvinism”

“I went to the office of one professor who was happy to meet with me and told me he had watched the film a while ago (I did send him an email with the film). He said he was planning to write a response (and still plans to). He said BA talks about all the things that need to be told to people, and he thought what BA does was very important in opening up a dialogue in society because those are important questions of the day. He especially mentioned the point BA addresses on American Chauvinism. [He] thought the GTF is holding people back and people need to overcome that.

“He was surprised to hear that there was a very thoughtful breakdown of the film—the clips and the trailer and the Q&As. It seemed that when he watched the film, he just went directly to it but missed the other parts on the website. So we used his own computer screen and walked him through the box that comes with the film on the website. He was delighted to see that. He said he could show some clips in his classes to students and in that way encourage [them] to watch the whole film. He also said he was planning to spread the clips and the film to some other profs he knows would be interested.

“Then he told me an idea brewing in his mind: He was planning to pull a few other profs into a committee to plan for academic sessions devoted to understanding the politics of key parties (including left parties). He said that among these parties, he certainly included the RCP. He said once this project gets materialized, he will let us know so we can attend these sessions and let students know about the political line and goal of the RCP and BA. (He also proposed that he sit down to talk about more things with a representative of The Bob Avakian Institute.)

“Another professor I talked to had watched the film a while ago but not recently. ... He said from what he could recall, BA raised many deep and insightful points that are very important to change the political climate today. He also did not know there was the box that shows breakdowns of clips and Q&As. [He] was open to showing these to some students whom he considered ‘advanced’ in political thinking, and said he could also recommend the film to some profs he knows. ... He [has] hope for the youth—he said this was due to the high school students’ activism in the wake of the shooting in Florida.”

“Despair... and a basis for optimism”

“X promised to watch the film over semester break and I reminded him again, before I saw him, that the purpose of seeing him was to discuss the film. He still hadn’t watched it, as he had promised he would. When I saw him, he caught me up on the deteriorating atmosphere at his school, which I will describe below, but also said he STILL had not watched the film. So, much of our discussion was probing him about why, and waging struggle with him about this. Till the end of the discussion he was resistant to the thought that he was resisting going where BA would take him. He did finally say that part of the problem has been struggling with how does he be the teacher he must be for his students. He is fighting off feelings of despair and aloneness among his colleagues, and feeling either crushed, or ‘fuck it, I’ll just stand out there by myself and get shot down.’ So without replacing the film, I tried to take him to what is in it and why BA is addressing this problem of what is wrong with the liberals, why millions of people voted for Trump and what that has to do with the whole history of the country, classes and white people, and why people will always be foolish victims of deceit and self-deceit unless they understand the objective existence of classes and the outlook of those classes that exists in every program and the reactions to Trump.

“Off this, I was able to talk with him about why BA does objectively change everything and the real problem that this has been ruled out of order among intellectuals when millions of people need to know about this. And why it is not just a question of time and being overwhelmed, but why it’s wrong for the engagement with this not to rise to a level of priority when no one else is speaking with this clarity and analysis. I will say that I think X seeks us out because he said he knows we will keep him honest.

“What he is telling us about the situation at his school is outrageous. He went into instances of outright censorship of literature and posters publicizing events critical of the regime. Last semester, you could not utter the word fascist, and this semester, you can’t even utter the word Trump in a negative way. He is planning on calling this out, and he has been warned by other faculty that he should not take his position as a given, to which he says, ‘What do you know that I don’t?’

“It seems to me that we are entering times when the problem with liberals is actual collaboration. Silence equals normalization of violence and complicity. He should not have to stand out there by himself, and there is the basis to collaborate with other colleagues who are willing to step out and RADICALLY take this on. We are working to get him together with others.

“On the film, he promised to watch it with an eye to who he can pull together in a salon to watch it, and to let us know his thoughts on the film when we meet next. We ended up having some good struggle about Angela Davis, both about her role, which he does not see, given his ecumenical stance, but more importantly the travesty that Avakian’s work has been effectively marginalized. How do we change this? He had a number of ideas which were important. X says that one of his attractions to BA is how optimistic he is, and I think he really appreciated our discussion of why this has to do with BA putting communism on a much more scientific foundation and the struggle in the Party over this: why there is Cultural Revolution in the Party and the difference between being able to see the underlying reality versus populist epistemology, the idea that reality is determined by what people think.”

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Going everywhere... putting the talk in people’s hands

One of the things we’ve learned is that you can reach a lot of people with a simple and welcoming style of going broadly, and learning as you go. Grab a smartphone or tablet and a speaker... go up to people sitting in a cafe, at lunch tables, knock on professor doors... wherever. Tell them who you are, and that you’re part of a national campaign to make a big deal out of this film, telling them the title (you may want to carry around a big sign as well). Ask if they can take a few minutes to watch a clip from this film that provides the most serious analysis there is for the rise of the Trump/Pence regime and what we have to do about it. Again, this is just the beginning of the process, but it can contribute to having a broad impact and learning more deeply from people, as well as beginning to involve those who are more interested.

Here’s an excerpt from some of the experiences with this approach:

I spoke to a group of three students manning a table outside of the Student Union and showed them clips on the phone screen. One of them wanted to watch the clip, “There is a direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today.” After watching it, a couple of them showed a lot of interest, saying “that is really true.” One student had a question: “Aren’t the Democrats fighting the regime now? I heard that they are counting on the midterm election.” Instead of answering that myself, I “let BA do the work” in answering. I showed them the clip about the Democrats. The student who had asked the question said he agreed with BA, that the Democrats are just resisting on narrow terms. I asked them if they wanted to watch another clip and they said they did. Then I showed them the clip on “Order or Justice.” Off watching that, one student commented that whatever law the regime sets up is not necessarily for justice, and we got into a discussion of how in the past, any justice needed to be gotten outside of the boundary of law. The students talked about how they learned from history that was the case with the civil rights movement. They had to go to class, but were really interested in digging into all this further. So I went through showing them how to get to the website and how to get to the film online.

Another instance was walking into a lounge of the Ethnic Studies Center. There were six students there, eating lunch. After the intro, I asked them if they wanted to see some clips. They wanted to and they used the room’s computer to get to the website and we watched a couple clips. After watching the one on the “GTF,” the “Great Tautological Fallacy” about America, one woman said, “That is really true, this American chauvinism, I know a lot of friends are affected by this, not in openly reactionary way but implicitly, like what BA says.” She also said, “This clip is really provocative and I like it.” She then followed by, on the spot, sending the film and the clips to her friends through her cell phone. A couple students had to leave for classes and a few stayed to watch the clip of “Order or Justice.” They said they have supported the Black Lives Matter movement and were involved in a big political struggle on campus last year, and they all showed concern about the upcoming deadline for DACA. I told them about Refuse Fascism and its plan for protests on March 1. These students all said they would watch the film after school. We also talked some about maybe gathering some of the undergrad and grad students in this center to discuss and watch the film at another time. The guy said if he can gather people he would let me know next week.

There’s another experience on another campus where people put a portable TV on a rolling table and played it amplified on the main walk for a while. This captured attention and cohered a small crowd with handfuls of people debating all throughout the day. This was very positive because it got a broader debate going with new people who’d just seen the clips arguing with others about the reality of fascism. Not everyone came out of this agreeing with what they’d just heard, but it stirred things up and attracted attention with a lot of people pledging to go back and really dig into the talk and Q&As themselves.

Obviously, not everyone we approach will be interested, but we also shouldn’t be narrow or have preconceptions about this, but we should struggle in a good and open way. Here’s an interesting exchange in this regard:

Some people who were sitting and studying would say with varying degrees of rudeness, “I’m not interested” when I went up to them. I would ask, “Do you know what it is?” A couple people told me, “I’m just not political.” I coulda just got pissed and called them a good German or something, lol, but tried a different approach... I would ask them “What are you studying?” One of them told me, Business and Chinese... I want to move to China to do business. I said look, man, Trump is bringing the whole world closer to nuclear war than we’ve been since the Cuban missile crisis. Whether you’re an activist or not, don’t you think it’s important to understand the dynamics of what’s happening in the world, especially as someone that’s studying the language and economics of one of the countries being targeted by Trump’s America First program? This actually broke down his wall, and he opened up a little and said he was interested in checking out the film.

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In the middle of the fray

Another aspect of our approach should be paying attention to—and intervening—in the midst of different controversies, new attacks from the regime, debates and discussions centering on the regime. In relation to all this, we should get out among people quickly—connect people up with the BA talk on the rise and roots of this regime, and BA’s work overall... while also linking this up with the reality that this is a fascist regime and can’t be fought issue by issue or outrage by outrage, but by driving the regime from power.

After Trump’s “shithole” remark, the question of why people came to the U.S. in the first place became a big point of struggle, which BA spoke to with contempt for this system and heart for the masses of people, laying bare the deeper reality. In the aftermath of the disruption of the Mnuchin event, people are paying attention to intervening in the discussion on social media with clips and links to the BA talk, and on this even more could be done.

At a rally on a campus on March 1, after the 11 minutes of silence for 11 million immigrants, someone in the Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism gave a substantive pitch for people to come to a screening they were holding right after the demonstration. They posed the questions and then laid out some of what BA argues in the film, getting a lot of appreciative snaps (this campus’ version of applause) and cheers.

They had a small screening, but those who did come got very deeply into the discussion of what was so different and needed about this analysis—up against the argument that it couldn’t happen here, or that we should rely on “normal” political channels, or just be concerned about our own identities. A number of people who couldn’t come made a point to go up and get palm cards so they could watch it for themselves.

There have been events on the Trump/Pence regime where, during the Q&As, someone intervened from the floor in a compelling and substantive way, talking about the need for revolution, ultimately but how right now, there’s a certain stage we have to go through in confronting that this is a fascist regime and organizing millions into the streets to drive it out. They then pointed people to the BA talk and argued for why people need to get into it. A number of people came up to them afterwards expressing interest in watching the talk themselves, and potentially getting it to others.

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Wielding different strengths

One of the strengths that you can build on: there are people who are not students who are partisan to BA and this revolution, who have also resonated with this talk. This includes people with a lot of experience catching hell under this system, experience that students might not be familiar with and should learn about. Have we talked with them about being part of an outing on campus, why it matters, and the role they could play?

Speaking to another level and on a different note: it’s a great strength that there is a non-profit institute, The Bob Avakian Institute, organized for educational purposes to promote Avakian’s work throughout society. Given the world-historic breakthroughs concentrated in BA’s work, this institute has a very big role to play in working for that to have impact broadly throughout society. They can also co-sponsor classes and discussions, make materials available and be a resource for the promotion of and engagement with BA’s work. Professors and students, including grad students, should know this institute exists and be feeding in their responses to BA’s work, ideas for further promotion and financial contributions to support the work of The Bob Avakian Institute.

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Why focus on campuses?

Finally, let’s pull back the lens some and ask: Why focus on the campuses at all?

The campuses themselves are critical as centers of intellectual life and struggle and we should be making special efforts for this talk to be seen and have impact. Students, including grad students, are still developing their thinking, not so stuck in old ways, and open to asking the biggest questions about the nature of society and future of humanity. This is actually why the fascists have been working so hard to suppress all this, attacking progressive professors, trying to suppress protest on campus and building up a fascist social base from within academia.

Society—and this is true today and will be true tomorrow, in a revolutionary society—needs a place where new, unconventional and mold-breaking ideas emerge and get taken seriously, tested, debated and fought over, and refined in that swirl of experimentation, criticism, and struggle; if the schools aren’t living up to that role today—and they’re not—then let’s be part of changing that with the most revolutionary ideas on the planet!

Even more: There won’t be a revolution without a revolutionary student movement and reaching into the intelligentsia more broadly. This is a hallmark of the new communism,1 having to do with how understanding the world in all its complexity and contradiction is a critical part of any revolution worth making, and how wide ranging intellectual ferment impacts the whole process and mixes and meshes with the struggle of the most oppressed. And if you’re serious about revolution, you have to think strategically about the impact different sections of society can have on each other, and on all of society. (See HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution.)

* * *

Right now, students and intellectuals coming from all kind of perspectives have an essential role to play in the struggle to drive this fascist regime from power and the struggle for a better world. But what they understand can make all the difference. We should be getting out this talk to people in a big way, learning from the approach BA takes: solid core with a lot of elasticity, based on the solid core. There should be a lot of fluidity in our approach—proceeding from reality, in its motion and development, and the larger interests of humanity’s needs and measuring things up against this as we go.

See Bob Avakian’s book THE NEW COMMUNISM, in particular the section “Epistemology and Morality, Objective Reality and Relativist Nonsense” in Part 1, “Method and Approach, Communism as a Science.” [back]

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Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

Defying the Fascist Regime...
Capturing the Headlines: Steve "The Mouse" Mnuchin's Bullying and Cowardice Backfires

Updated 10 pm March 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


It was meant to be another day in the normalization of the Trump/Pence Regime. Steve “The Mouse” Mnuchin came to the UCLA campus to speak and “politely” converse about the regime's cruel and brutal Tax Plan.

But students and professors had been organizing to greet him. And in the midst of protest, boos and hisses from the audience, women from the Revolution Club (LA) and Refuse Fascism stepped out, defiantly calling out the fascists for what they are—fascists—and breaking through the increasing normalization. For this, they were brutally dragged out of the auditorium and banned from the campus.

But it didn't end there. “The Mouse” demanded that the video of the event be suppressed. The center at UCLA which hosted him said this was unprecedented but they bowed to the request. But that didn't stop videos of this event from going viral. This has now been seen by over a million people the world over, setting an example for all those who hate everything this regime is doing and putting into place.

The Night of February 26

As “The Mouse” Mnuchin was trying to justify the Trump/Pence Regime’s fascist program, one after another, the women from Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club raised their voices in protest. They called out the brutal impact of Mnuchin’s cruel budget and tax cuts, they spoke about the impact of the sanctions on countries around the world that Mnuchin bragged about enforcing—sanctions which are intended to starve whole countries into submission to U.S. domination. They spoke about the “politics of cruelty and fascism” and spoke to the need for millions to get into the streets in mass, defiant protest.

And, one by one, these young women were pulled (and in one case lifted) out of their seats, dragged off and arrested.

The event continued with hissing and booing throughout, and a combative question from an 11-year-old which Mnuchin stammered to answer. At one point Mnuchin asked the hissers what their disagreement was and an audience member responded “I just think you’re full of shit.”

Before the event, protesters dressed as Marie Antoinette and Louis XIV distributed cake to the crowd, referencing the charge that—told that people in France had no bread to eat—she responded 'let them eat cake.' These protests came together around an open letter opposing Mnuchin’s appearance on campus called by a coalition of organizations and individuals including Refuse Fascism, the Revolution Club, Students for Justice in Palestine, Young Democratic Socialists and more.

As the event was letting out, two other members of Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club were arrested for speaking out against this regime and these outrageous arrests.

What can we learn from this?

Political suppression is part of this whole outrageous fascist precedent. Those arrested were charged with trespassing and disturbing the peace (the peace of fascism!!). They were given a verbal notice of a 7-day ban from the campus. This included a UCLA student and alum! UCLA had rolled out the red carpet for a representative of this fascist regime, while silencing, arresting and banning protesters! 

Those arrested have since defied the ban—going onto campus to participate in a protest on March 1. This was for the 11 Minutes of Silence for 11 Million Immigrants called for by Refuse Fascism where over 50 students gathered to block a prominent walkway on campus. At this protest, the UC Police Department threatened those arrested on Monday night with another arrest for violating this ban. They backed off, but this is unacceptable.

Mnuchin's Cowardice Backfires

But Mnuchin’s cowardice and the brutality and suppression of the Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism backfired.

People all over social media started posting the cell phone videos of the disruption with comments like “Here’s video of Steven Mnuchin getting heckled. He begged UCLA to not release any video. I guess he didn’t see the other cameras in the room.” ( and “Please don't spread this video of a student being dragged away by cops as she accuses Steven Mnuchin of engaging in ‘the politics of fascism.’ Mnuchin asked UCLA not to post it. Thank you.” (link:

These two tweets alone were retweeted over 60,000 times and the accompanying video has been seen almost 1.5 million times. The fact that Mnuchin couldn’t handle this amount of protest and truth telling led to coverage in nearly every major national media outlet and remained a big story through the week.  On page one of its business section, the New York Times reported, “Mnuchin Blocks U.C.L.A. From Releasing Video of Students Heckling Him” and the LA Times covered it under a similar headline, including one of the tweets in their online versions. This was also covered in the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal and by CNN, CNBC, Spin, and Yahoo News! and Britain’s Daily Mail, and on many websites including the Huffington Post, Alternet, and Common Dreams

The comments in these articles and social media have, in their vast majority, been thrilled at the defiance of the young women, proud of their fearlessness, outraged at their brutal treatment by the police and angry that the audience didn’t stand up in support of these protesters. 

Just a few of the thousands of comments include:

“All these young women are incredibly brave to face the power of The Man in their own school, a school that had no consideration for dissent. Shame on UCLA.” “These brave young women have serious intestinal fortitude!! Mnuchin is corrupt swine happy to be in Trumps court. Shame on UCLA if they ban these women for speaking up and out against this horrendous regime.” “I'm sad nobody tried to stop arrests. A simple wall of peaceful folks blocking the police from getting to the girls, or at least people quietly and peacefully standing to block the door so they can’t be dragged out… hope ACLU got your back.” “I applaud these brave young women speaking truth to power. If only more citizens were expressing outrage to this bullshit fascist regime.”

This is an example of how the courageous actions of a few—commensurate with what we’re facing—can break through the silence of normalization, present a challenge to those who feel the danger but are afraid to face the reality of the situation, and be a model for millions for how they should be acting.

This reveals a strategic weakness—and vulnerability—of these fascists and how they respond in the face of determined opposition. And it shows what that determined opposition can draw forward from the depth of the disgust felt by the reservoir of people that detest this regime. This can and must be mobilized in the millions towards driving out this regime.

What we're facing, what's needed

This regime is a threat to the very existence of humanity, and is rapidly moving to consolidate a fascist regime. There really can be no business as usual. And the impact of actions like this cannot be underestimated. They not only challenge and give great heart to those who hate this regime, but can serve to draw forward and cohere many people to step into the struggle to demand Trump/Pence Must Go.

The threat of nuclear war, mass deportations, moving to end the right to abortion and even birth control, the hatred of LGBTQ people, attacks on science and gutting of the separation of powers… this has direction and momentum and there is only one force in society that will stop this: the people in their millions acting defiantly and with courage, in the streets! We can learn from Act Up [activists who demanded government action to stop the AIDS epidemic that was killing millions in the 1980s—their motto was 'Silence=Death'] which never relented, but went into the thick of it at every turn, knowing that human lives were at stake.

Everywhere they go, these fascist representatives need to meet this kind of response. This has to spread throughout society—every day and all the time—building to the time when millions fill the streets, day after day and night after night until our single, unifying demand is met: This Nightmare Must End! The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!







Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

Interview with Members of the Revolution Club, Los Angeles, on Their Disruption of Trump’s Treasury Secretary Mnuchin:

Setting an Example—Acting in Bold Ways Against the Fascists and Their Regime

March 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of Treasury in the Trump/Pence fascist regime, came to UCLA on February 26 for a speaking engagement—and was met with protest right inside the auditorium, including three women from the Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism who got up one after the other to expose Mnuchin and the regime and righteously disrupted the event. spoke with two members of the Revolution Club who were part of this protest. The following are excerpts.

Q: The video clips of your action have gone viral, but as two of the people involved in the disruption of Mnuchin, tell us what happened, what you did.

Luna: So, we had found out that Mnuchin was on campus, and we were trying to figure out how we would go at this, because we wanted to protest outside, but also we wanted at least some people to go inside and disrupt it. And we met beforehand—there were three of us, and we read the article on revcom about the Tax Bill, and discussed what it was about. Mnuchin was one of the main people behind the Tax Bill. So we got into that. And then we met for about an hour. And then when we got there, there was a small gathering outside the venue itself. You probably saw this, there were some people in a cape and dressed up like Marie Antoinette and stuff like that.

Tala: There was a law professor at UCLA who sent out an email and that was building for Mnuchin in the form of hissing. So while the speech was happening, there were all these people sitting on the same side of the room who were just hissing at him, at his introduction, and how people were saying he was a great student of economics, and they were hissing at appropriate times. And they had also called on people to wear black, and they were all wearing black. And then before he came out to speak, there was a woman, and she was introducing him, and she told everyone, “If you protest, if you disrupt, you will be warned and you will be subject to arrest.” So that’s it, warning everyone in the crowd. This was someone from the university, some official.

Q: And you forged ahead...

Luna: Yeah. (chuckles) Exactly. So Mnuchin came out, but after that he was kind of like... to put it simply, he was very disgusting...

Tala: We hadn’t planned when we were gonna get up and disrupt. And it was kind of like, we were listening to him. He started his speech, and right off the bat he was spewing his fascist poison. He was talking about.... “Oh, part of what you may not know about my job is that I impose sanctions on different countries.” And people very appropriately hissed because sanctions starve people all over the world, including what is happening in Yemen right now. But he was like, “Oh, you don’t like sanctions? So you like the oppression that’s going on all over the world.” It was just getting people to go along with that American chauvinism. But in that room it wasn’t really fooling people. And that the United States was a force for good in the world, and was a liberator of the people all over the world. And he was saying stuff about the Tax Bill, and people hissed at that. And his response was, “Oh, I guess you haven’t gotten a raise in your paychecks. Oh, I forget... I’m talking to students right now.” And so he was just mocking people and he was just disgusting. And so it got to the point... I wanted to stand up at all of those points, but once it got to the point where he said, “Oh, we’re doing a great job disarming North Korea,” I just popped up.

Luna: But before that, he had asked the crowd, “Oh, you are hissing, why are you guys hissing. What is it that you disapprove of?” And the person was like, “I think it’s full of shit.” And people were like snapping and like that.

Tala: Yeah, there was a whole tone of defiance in the room, with the hissing, and with the combination of all of the things. The theater, Marie Antoinette, it was really powerful all together. And so at the point when he was talking about disarming North Korea, I got up and I agitated. The agitation is in the video, but it was how this is just lies. And this is what they do to people all over the world, and what the system is doing with the Tax Bill to Black and Brown people, punishing them for the misery that this very system puts them in. And then Luna got up and did a very heartfelt challenge, including my favorite part when she says people are not gonna have anything to eat. And what is this money gonna go to?—to developing nuclear weapons and to bombing people all over the world. And so we brought reality to that. And at the end there was a call to action for people to stand up against this.

I was lifted out of my seat. And we were all dragged out of the room and arrested, and we were told while we were in custody we were read this verbal statement that we were banned for seven days from the campus. We were charged with trespassing and I was charged with resisting arrest.

Q: We saw the videos of you being carried out, and you were also roughed up while you were outside, you were handcuffed.

Luna: And there were people who were protesting outside as well, some people who stayed. And when the crowd was coming out, we started doing agitation for people to stand with us, with one person on the bullhorn. And then the pigs started to arrest him, and they were very brutally arresting him, and then another guy from the Revolution Club started doing agitation, and started calling on people to take videos and calling people’s attention on the brutal arrest that was happening, and so they descended on him, as well. And so they arrested two other comrades who were outside, and they charged them with disturbing the peace.

They are all ridiculous charges. It was to send a statement that “we are not going to tolerate this kind of defiance.”

I remember when Tala got lifted up out of her seat, and I started doing agitation, I noticed everyone had their phone out, everyone was filming it and filming me. And I was like, ok, I gotta make this count cause I gotta speak to them. This might get somewhere. People are filming, I want to speak to them, but call him out as well.

Q: Tell us why you decided to do this—you as individuals; but also as the Revolution Club, why are you are taking up the battle to drive out the Trump/Pence regime?

Tala: So the system of capitalism has been destroying people’s lives for a very long time now. But when Trump was elected, there was a whole analysis and a recognition that this is actually... this is going to take a leap to something very different. It’s gonna be an escalation of the horrors that have already been coming down on people, but even more than that, a restructuring of the governmental norms into a fascist state. And a recognition of what that’s gonna mean, not just for people in this country with the very slow genocide of Black people that has been occurring in this country having the potential to accelerate. And now all the stuff we are seeing with immigrants being rounded up, being called “snakes” and “animals,” all of this.... not just for the people here, but for the people of the world, like the people in North Korea who right now are looking out into the ocean and are seeing all these battleships parked outside on the beaches. And I just think about the fear that people are living in when they look out and see that and when they have all these drills that are useless—if a nuclear bomb drops it’s not like getting under your desk is going to save you. But they’re conducting drills right now. And it’s just outrageous. They’re putting the entire planet in danger. They’re putting all of humanity in danger.

And so coming from that recognition, and coming from the understanding that this whole system is rotten, and then watching the understanding that is concentrated in Avakian’s film, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible about how we got here. I remember reading the article [by Bob Avakian] on the Weimar, and on the right-wing conspiracy, and it speaks to where this came from. How it didn’t come out of nowhere; how it came out of the very workings of the system of capitalism itself. And how the necessity of what they are facing at this moment is calling for a heightened repression to maintain stability in this country in order to be able to compete for profits reliably because of the contradictions they’re facing, and trying to be the top imperialist power and maintain that position.

And so this is deadly serious. They are seeing this system as being totally at stake, and so they are willing to take great risks in order to save that system. And so that includes all of the horrors that they are unleashing on people even as there has been very important opposition. They are hammering through with their program.

And we recognize as people… we are in danger, humanity is in danger. And the only way that we are gonna be able to even have the opportunity to build a better world is if we drive these fascists out of power. And that has to take the form of millions of people out in the streets, doing non-violent mass resistance, in a sustained way, day after day, night after night, in order to get them out of power. We are facing a situation right now where people are afraid to confront that. Where we’re in a country that has had a lot of political stability, where people were trained to think that politics is just voting every four years, where there hasn’t been political upheaval, or a very mass political upheaval since the ’70s if we count the opposition to the war in Iraq under Bush, but that wasn’t even on the same level. And then war has not happened on this soil for, since the Civil War. So there’s a lot of stability, and people are just going about their normal lives.

And this is something that happened in Nazi Germany, too, where people thought they could wait it out, that maybe elections were going to save them, but we recognize that this is not the case. There is a gap in people’s understanding. They hate what’s happening, but they’re not willing to confront what it really is that we’re facing, and what it’s gonna take to stop it and the sacrifices that they’re going to have to make or rearrange their priorities in order to actually meet that goal which is a great goal, and is absolutely necessary for humanity.

So we have to be out there setting that example, and acting in very bold ways, to help people recognize the importance of really stepping out. And the reality of what it is that we are facing at this moment, the real danger. And that is also part of why, coming from the understanding that we’re coming from and because this sets the context for everything we are doing, we are spreading this talk by Avakian all over the place to bridge that gap in people’s understanding, to get people to wrangle with the actual questions, and not just of what we are facing. A lot of people think that we should be doing something, but they don’t see the potential to really drive this regime out. And so he gets into all these questions, what are the barriers, and then, how do we fight through them to really bring the people out in the streets.

And one of the most important points he makes in that talk is that people act based on what they understand. There’s this part in the talk where he talks about the experience at Kent State when they were shot down by the National Guard. The people who survived that regrouped at a park, and there was a whole fight over what were they gonna do, were they just gonna go home and disperse, or were they gonna take on the National Guard. The point is, how did people come to be so brave? It’s not just something that’s spontaneous or inherent, but it comes from recognizing what the necessity is. What is the danger of what we’re facing? And then what we need to do in relation to that?

Q: Luna, did you want to add anything?

Luna: Yeah, I was wondering why did we do this? I think a lot of it was coming from what Tala said. I was also part of the Freeway Action [blocking a major LA freeway during rush hour with signs saying “Trump/Pence Regime Must Go”], the first time we did it. And I think what it comes down to, is that point in the talk by BA, the point that he talks about. What are we facing? What are we confronting really with a fascist regime in power, and taking the reins of this rotten system, like Tala said, that has its finger on the nuclear trigger? What is nuclear war gonna look like if we get there? What future is the entire planet and civilization facing if people don’t recognize those stakes and are able to step outside of the norm, and step outside of the protest as usual? That even comes down to the other point that he makes [about order or justice]: do we want to go along with the order even if that’s the order of fascism, or do we want justice, even if that means getting outside of our comfort zone and putting our bodies on the line? And I think that if people… don’t recognize this, don’t call this out for what it is, don’t put their bodies on the line, millions of lives are actually going to be at stake... you know, the point about no change has been made without people being out on the streets, without people stepping outside their comfort zone.

And I was even thinking about, I had talked to this guy, maybe six months back, I can’t even remember. He was part of ActUp in the ’80s. I asked him, why did he choose [to act], and he told me about when he was in an action, and pigs would come and arrest him, and they would be wearing blue medical gloves, already signaling to them that they are gonna be... they don’t want to touch them—this was really fucked up. I asked him why were you a part of it, what compelled you. And he was like, you know... everyone around me was dying. He said he would go to organizing meetings and people would be on oxygen tanks. People around him were dying and no one would say anything about it. So, he said, “I had to do it, I had to be a part of this, because if I didn’t do it no one was gonna do or say anything about it.”

And then also the Freedom Riders, and people who decided to keep going—even though a lot of them were beaten to a pulp, but that no, we have to keep doing this. It does come from recognizing the necessity to do so.

Then I was also… at a meeting we had back in December, it was just a little bit after we did the freeway action, and there were some people who didn’t agree with it. They were like, “Well, you had a lot of people who were really upset and didn’t even like it, and we need to be attracting people, and being popular and what have you.” And I kind of put it like, “Why is it that more people are more upset by the fact that we blocked the freeway than they are that Trump is threatening nuclear war to 25 million people?” That also comes back to the point that BA talks about that people would be more upset if dogs were shot down in the street than they are about cops shooting down Black people. It’s just outrageous. And the fact that people were upset that we blocked the freeway… it’s within the context of all the work that we’re confronting. It reinforces the need to do stuff like this, the need to put bodies on the line, to make sacrifices...

Q: Can you talk a little about the process of how this Mnuchin protest came together? There was an open letter, for instance, that came out before this signed by different organizations and people, including the Revolution Club.

Luna: I think how this came together was, there were some students that people had met during the Rahm Emanuel protest before at which one of our comrades also got arrested. And also I had gone to a meeting on campus of Students for Justice in Palestine. And we were talking about Trump’s announcement of moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. So I went with someone else from Refuse Fascism, and we said we were from the Student Task Force. They had this whole presentation of why Trump made that move. And then they opened it up to discussion, but nobody really wanted to discuss. I said, wait, we should get into this. Ideological questions need to be brought up—there was kind of a feeling that no one could go there. And it came up: what are the parallels, or how do you guys see the similarities between the wall in Palestine and the wall between the U.S. and Mexico? They were kinda hesitant to go there, and people didn’t really speak to it. So we were thinking, ok, that’s real important, cuz there’s a connection.

So then I spoke, and I said what is similar to the wall here and the wall in Palestine is that they’re both contributing to ethnic cleansing. This is part of a whole program that is going to totally get rid of people, and, make America white again. That’s also what has been going on in Palestine. There’s a need for us to drive them out of power. That’s necessary. So we met someone who said I’d really like to work with you guys. ...

Tala: I recall, it was a meeting where we hadn’t really set the agenda, we were just gonna talk about Mnuchin is coming to campus and what do we do. But underlying all that, I think all these people were trying to address the question of, there is not a massive movement on campus. And they’re coming from a different perspective, like this person was embracing the word fascism, but more saying like America has been fascist. Not recognizing that this is actually a leap. So people were coming from all kinds of different perspectives, and we united with them because Mnuchin needed to be opposed. And what they were doing was objectively good. Very good.

So we were trying to get into the question of how do we build the student movement. And it was interesting. I asked them what they thought was in the way, what were the barriers. And they said that all the bureaucracy of the campus impedes peoples’ ability to do things they want to do. They said all these campus groups are kind of conservative and they’re coming from a more middle class background regarding education where they think that education is going to be the way they help the community, and they focus resources on research and exposing the horrors that are happening in their community. It’s not really geared toward mobilizing and creating grassroots resistance, which is what we were saying.

And so they were recognizing, here we have a situation that’s bad, what all these fascists are putting forward, it should not be tolerated. But there wasn’t a recognition that this student movement that is forming has to have to orientation of driving the regime out. So we got into those questions and there was some back and forth with them, and ultimately we made plans to write an open letter to oppose Mnuchin.... So there was the Graduate Student Union, people from Students for Justice in Palestine, and we were working kind of indirectly with all these groups.

We wrote a letter which they mostly worked on, and we contributed to, and we put it out, like a week before the program happened, and we spread it everywhere. And we got different groups to sign the letter and to be there. We learned a lot through that process.

Q: Tell us more about the ban they declared on you and others after the arrest. You yourself are a student—how does it affect you?

Tala: I am a student, and the ban itself is ridiculous, and it’s especially ridiculous for me, because I go to UCLA. And they said it to us verbally. Then we came back to defy the ban with 11 minutes of silence for 11 million undocumented people on March 1—part of what we organized was a human blockade. There are pictures, it was a very beautiful action. There were about 50 plus students, and people were joining on the spot. It was heartfelt appreciation for people actually calling on others to stand with immigrants, to do something in the face of all the deportations that are happening. There was a woman who was undocumented herself who talked about, this isn’t just about Dreamers, this is about undocumented people, and we’re not gonna allow all these divisions of “criminal” or not, we can’t allow these divisions, or the “good immigrants” and the “bad immigrants”—we have to stand with all immigrants, and protect them, it’s our responsibility.

It was very multinational. There were Black students and white students, Latino students. It was really important what we did. When we left the human blockade, one of the pigs came up to us and wagged his finger in my face, saying, “You’re the first one who’s gonna get arrested, you have a ban on you for seven days.” But then they made a political calculation, because of the whole situation they were facing, we think, not to arrest us then and there.

It was beautiful, the people who were at that protest. When it ended, they escorted us away from that area when it ended, in order for the police not to snatch us up when the whole crowd dispersed.

Q: Wasn’t this organized in part by someone who had watched part of the BA film?

Tala: Yes, the student had met the Revolution Club on the campus the day after the Rahm Emanuel event, and she saw our signs, and thought this is really great. She considers herself a revolutionary, she was very positive, she was taking pictures of our sign that said “No More Police Murder,” and we had talked to her a bit. We got into the question of who she considers her people. She considers herself as a “white-passing Black person,” and she said it’s not just Black people who are my people, it’s all people, LGBT people, she was expressing that very beautifully. She talked of going to groups to get them to stand up for LGBT people and being shunned by them. She said she has this group called Artists and Activists, and we would love to have y’all come and do a presentation for 20 minutes or something. And we said yeah, we would love to come. And I gave her a palm card for the talk.

And people went to the meeting and showed clips, and had engagement about the talk, and all of them were really enthusiastic, and not only wanted to talk about the call for March 1, but through this, through engaging with the talk, she took a lot of initiative organizing this thing. She made a Facebook page, and she invited all these people.






Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

Trump/Pence Ratchet Up War Threats—Democrats Second the Motion

March 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


From North Korea and Iran, to Russia, China, and beyond, the Trump/Pence regime—largely backed by the Democrats—is belligerently escalating its “America First” military, economic, and political threats. Global tensions are rising as other reactionary powers react and make their own moves. Flashpoints where conflicts could break out are intensifying. The danger of unimaginably cataclysmic war is looming larger and larger, with millions, if not billions, of lives potentially at risk.

In the last week alone, some of the key flashpoints have intensified:

Geostrategic threats: The U.S. has identified China and Russia as rising geostrategic threats.

The Obama administration saw China as a rising capitalist power and competitor that needs to be “contained” within U.S.-dominated world order, and aimed to shift U.S. attention to dealing with this. Now, with Trump, this growing rivalry is moving into even more dangerous and uncharted waters. This has manifested in increased military exercises and challenges to China’s territorial claims in the strategic shipping lanes of the South China Sea, escalated U.S. war threats against North Korea (which has historically been an ally of China), and Secretary of Defense Mattis’s urging this week that new proposed trade restrictions and tariffs be targeted to make exceptions for America’s “national security allies”—in other words, target China—not countries like Canada.

Most ominous this week was the response of the U.S. ruling class to an announcement that the Chinese Communist Party would consider lifting the term limits on current President Xi Jinping, enabling him to rule indefinitely. This was uniformly interpreted as a serious escalation and signal that China was not going to back down in the face of U.S. threats or play by U.S. rules, but would pursue its own interests even more assertively. According to reportage in the New York Times, liberal sections of the U.S. bourgeoisie are united with—and even more, demanding—a more aggressive response from Trump against China.

At the same time, these sections, including the Democrats, are criticizing Trump for “ignoring” threats from Russia. However, the regime’s National Security Strategy and the Nuclear Posture Review actually both target Russia as a major rival and a growing military threat. This is leading to a new arms race, focused on modernization of nuclear weapons, and escalating conflicts for influence in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

The Korean Peninsula: The clouds of war are darkening. (See revcom’s virtual teach-in for articles on North Korea.) As soon as the Olympics in South Korea ended, the Trump/Pence regime announced new sanctions, and edged closer to an economic blockade of North Korea. Such a blockade means the U.S. Navy would board, search, and possibly seize ships headed to North Korea. This is something that North Korea—and perhaps China itself—could regard as a declaration of war.

The momentum toward war was underscored and heightened this week by the resignation of the lead State Department negotiator with North Korea, who had been somewhat at odds with Trump’s bellicose approach. Republican senator Jim Risch, second in line at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, warned last week that Trump is ready to start a war with North Korea, that would “be probably one of the worst catastrophic events in the history of our civilization ... [with] mass casualties the likes of which the planet has never seen. It will be of biblical proportions.”

The Middle East: Already deeply embroiled in the conflicts of the Middle East, the U.S. has further heightened its threats against Iran. The latest U.S. threat is demanding that the European imperialists—France, Germany, and Britain—rewrite the nuclear deal they all signed with Iran in 2015. These European imperialists are trying to preserve the treaty—which Iran has NOT violated—by going along with some U.S. demands to impose onerous new conditions on Iran, including extending stringent restrictions on its civilian nuclear program. These conditions could unravel the nuclear deal, and put the U.S. and Iran on a trajectory toward confrontation and possibly war.

At the same time, the U.S. has stepped up its support for both Israel and Saudi Arabia, key rivals to Iranian influence in the region and proponents of a much more aggressive approach to Iran, including tearing up the nuclear deal. The U.S. continues to give full backing to Saudi Arabia’s murderous—genocidal—assault in Yemen, and to a kind of coup that concentrated power in the hands of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is putting Saudi Arabia on a more aggressive footing, including considering the acquisition of nuclear weapons.

This escalation—in aggressive posturing, rhetoric, and acts from this fascist regime—is increasingly fraught with grave danger for all humanity.

The Evolving Trump Doctrine

The Trump/Pence regime is an extreme concentration of capitalism-imperialism and a response to its driving compulsions.

Capitalism-imperialism is driven by ruthless competition for strategic advantage and accumulation of capital. Blocs of capital are rooted in their particular nation or “homeland,” even as they are driven to operate and compete globally, and with each other. This gives rise to military and political rivalries—and wars—between different states, especially the world’s dominant imperialist powers, such as the bloodbaths of the two world wars. In the last few decades, these rivalries have mainly played out in the form of wars in and against nations oppressed by imperialism, popularly known as the Third World. And now, they manifest as great power rivalry over control of trade routes, access to markets, key resources, and strategic regions such as the Middle East and East Asia.

The U.S. imperialists have dominated this system since the end of World War 2 . But that dominance is increasingly being challenged by rising regional and global powers. The U.S. rulers now talk of “a return to great power competition” with Russia and China as they have “advanced their military capabilities to act as global powers.”

In this context, this regime has adopted a much more aggressive America-first strategy, downplaying notions of working in alliances and multilateral institutions as part of the imperialist “international community” that Obama and other imperialists loved to evoke. Articulating this contrast, Gary Cohn, the director of Trump's National Economic Council, and H.R. McMaster, the national security advisor, wrote of this regime’s “clear-eyed outlook that the world is not a ‘global community’ but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage. We bring to this forum unmatched military, political, economic, cultural and moral strength. Rather than deny this elemental nature of international affairs, we embrace it.” (Emphasis added.)

Translation: in a world of each against all, it is America First, consequences be damned. This is in line with the fascist logic of “Make America Great Again”—with its triad of white, male, and American global supremacy. This demands breaking through the growing challenges and obstacles that confront U.S. imperialism—China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

All this is propelling this regime toward military threats, aggression, and war—completely unchallenged by the Democrats, even spurred on by them. Indeed, the only thing the Democrats say about foreign affairs is their one-note symphony that Trump is not tough enough against Russia! A Democratic victory in 2018 midterm elections is not going to change anything in this regard. The latter brings to mind Obama’s memorable phrase to Trump, capturing a worldview and standpoint, “We’re all on the same team,” especially when it comes to American dominance in the world system of capitalism-imperialism. Any approach that relies on electing Democrats to stop Trump will, at minimum, set people up to go along with the most oppressive and horrific outrages against the people of the world and perhaps grease the skids for nuclear catastrophe.

Fascism and War

The consolidation of fascism requires overcoming obstacles posed by other sections of the ruling class—and from the people. The Trump/Pence fascist regime confronts many obstacles even while they are barreling ahead in remaking society and the state in a fascist direction. War, at least at its outset, can potentially significantly help this process.

The regime will try to win the people to “rally around the flag,” relying on and reinforcing spontaneous American chauvinism. Staunch opponents of this regime and the crimes of this empire will face increased persecution, repression, and attempts to silence them.

Meanwhile, Trump’s ruling class critics and opponents will almost all likely put aside their differences in the interests of the country over its “enemies.” Look not only at the Democrat’s current stance as the “true patriots,” but their near-unanimous support for the PATRIOT Act and the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) which provided a blank check for everything from the invasion of Iraq to murder by drone of anyone that the U.S. president placed upon his “kill list” (and yes, Obama had a much longer kill list than Bush did).

Those who are taking comfort in the chaos of the Trump White House should beware: Trump and others at the core of this regime may seek to deal with the chaos and make a leap in consolidating fascism through some kind of dramatic move, which could include a military attack or war. Such a move could be pre-meditated, or it could be a response to events that gets out of hand and escalates into a major crisis or war.

Those who think the “adults in the room” like “the generals”―Mattis, McMaster, Kelly―and others are going to check these moves toward war should note that none of them has broken ranks as Trump has busted one norm after another—praising the white supremacists in Charlottesville as “fine people,” threatening—at the UN no less―to “totally destroy” North Korea, and too many more to list here. Even with their differences, they are part of this regime—with an overall coherence in its fascist agenda.

The danger of war is surging yet again—wars that could well involve nuclear weapons and “mass casualties the likes of which the planet has never seen.” The future of billions of people, and perhaps humanity itself, is being threatened by a gang of fascist monsters headed by a maniacal bully with his finger on the nuclear trigger. Now, more than ever—this is the time to act, in our millions, to oust this regime from power!





Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

Some Thoughts on Black Panther—Fresh Air, or Poisonous Gas?

by Noche Diaz

March 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


Black Panther tells the story of Wakanda, a fictional African nation with a fantasy resource, vibranium, which has allowed it to develop advanced technology and remain unconquered and hidden from that world. The King of Wakanda assumes the mantle of the superhero Black Panther. This film tells how T’Challa takes on the role of a young heir to the throne of Wakanda and the title of Black Panther.

The oppression of Black people in America... and what is to be done about it

With all of the film’s at times imaginative and beautiful (in my opinion) African envisionings, it is explicitly speaking to and dealing with the oppression of Black people in America, and what is to be done about it. The filmmakers set the prologue scenes in Oakland partly because of director Ryan Coogler’s previous film, Fruitvale Station, about the life and murder of Oscar Grant by the police, and the whole outrage of police terror that it concentrates, and partly to address the revolutionary legacy of the Black Panther Party (BPP), which began in Oakland in 1966. And the choice of setting the prologue in 1992, flashing brief news coverage of what appears to be the LA rebellion, focuses up on the periodic eruptions of resistance to the oppression of Black people.

This is made even more explicit in those early scenes at the apartment of N’Jobu, T’Challa’s uncle and the father of Erik Killmonger, a young boy playing basketball outside who will grow up to become T’Challa’s nemesis. The apartment is decorated with posters on the walls including BPP leader Huey P. Newton in the wicker chair, an Emory Douglas (BPP artist) poster from the revolutionary days, and a poster for the Public Enemy album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Right toward the beginning of the film, in a scene that sets the main plot of the movie into motion, we see N’Jobu confronted by his brother T’Chaka (T’Challa’s father and, in this prologue, still Wakanda’s King and Black Panther). N’Jobu runs down why he has betrayed Wakanda and sold off some of their resources to fund his weapons. He sincerely runs down why he could no longer carry out his mission of just observing, that he has seen the way people here are suffering and that when masses try to rise up, the oppressors kill their leaders, flood their neighborhoods with drugs, over-police them, massively incarcerate them... and he CAN’T JUST WATCH. And this also sets up what is major theme of the movie: reform versus revolution.

Killmonger, who becomes the film’s main antagonist, is the son of N’Jobu and an African-American woman (who is not a character in the film). After the killing of his father by T’Chaka, Killmonger is abandoned in America. He feels bitterness toward Wakanda for doing nothing about the oppression that he and people like him have faced, and aims to make his way into Wakanda to steal its vibranium in order to arm and fund uprisings of oppressed people throughout the world, and to rule over an upside down empire where those who were oppressed are now ruling over and oppressing everyone else.

How to view the Killmongers of the world

Many of the artistic beats are very conscious in their messaging, right down to soundtrack and how they use it. There is a scene that really concentrates something about the movie. Shortly after Killmonger wins the ritual battle with T’Challa and becomes the new king of Wakanda, he is shown walking to the throne. You hear heavy bass pounding hip-hop beats blasting along with the ascendancy of the bad guy, thus symbolizing through both the character of Killmonger, and the music that accompanies him to the throne, the pent up rage of the masses of Black people in the inner cities who are demonized, cast off, and cast down, and then presenting this unleashed rage ascending to power as something to truly fear.

The movie tries not to blame the people who feel the rage. That’s part of what’s so sophisticated about this treatment, and part of what I think makes it so effective and so dangerous. You start off hating Killmonger because he’s so cartoonishly bad: he works with the evil white guy (Klaue) who is stealing Wakanda’s resources and killing important characters, and then Killmonger heartlessly and without hesitation kills his own love interest to get the upper hand. Early on, the movie makes the idea of revolution seem like comic book bad guy stuff, almost as a joke. The way the film handles it, this gets somewhat flipped on you by the end as if it is not so much of a joke: Killmonger IS the enemy, but maybe we made him that way by ignoring the problems he’s raising, and maybe he has half a point.

Again, I feel the way they handle opposing revolution is not just done cheaply and without sophistication, and that’s part of what makes it so bad. Even the choice of making the revolutionary character the villain from the start may have been an artistic choice more sophisticated than “revolutionary = bad guy,” where they may be trying to speak to an audience that, in these kind of movies, may typically identify more with the villain already anyway. In one of the key scenes toward the end, when Killmonger is suffering from a mortal blow he recounts his father telling him about how beautiful Wakanda is and promising to take him there one day, and then Killmonger bitterly remarks about himself “You believe that? A little kid running around Oakland believing in fairy tales.” As a way of acknowledging the feeling that growing up in this situation that masses of people like him are trapped in, it seems impossible to hope. Watching this movie, I could feel like it was made for people like the person I used to be. People who have imagination and are alienated, and filled with rage. I could see a little Noche watching this movie and being pulled by the heartstrings.

By the end of the movie Killmonger seems somewhat redeemed. He is acknowledged to have been a product of oppression having been ignored for so long. The movie tries to come off as not blaming people who hate this system, but focusing the audience on the system’s excesses, and the danger of ignoring those excesses. The movie aims to not blame Killmonger or people who feel like him, but to hammer the message that all that could come of unleashing that rage is becoming the thing you’re fighting against, and that the road to actual redemption for that character (and by proxy the masses of the most bitterly oppressed) would have been (and remains) to renounce revolution. At the end when Killmonger is dying, T’Challa says, “Maybe we can still save you.” Basically offering him a chance to live if he renounces revolution. Killmonger refuses, seeing only the possibility of prison or death. He invokes the ancestors who jumped off of slave ships into the ocean because they knew it was better to die than to live in bondage.

“But these are NOT the only choices”

Here, the movie painfully draws you into a literal dead end. Killmonger actually captures how millions of youth see their future under this system: Prison or death. But these are NOT the only choices. And as long as people think these are the only choices, you see them going along with it and getting caught up in destructive rivalries with people just like them. In the Revolution Club, we see this every day. But Bob Avakian, an actual revolutionary leader, puts it this way:

People say: “You mean to tell me that these youth running around selling drugs and killing each other, and caught up in all kinds of other stuff, can be a backbone of this revolutionary state power in the future?” Yes—but not as they are now, and not without struggle. They weren’t always selling drugs and killing each other, and the rest of it—and they don’t have to be into all that in the future. Ask yourself: how does it happen that you go from beautiful children to supposedly “irredeemable monsters” in a few years? It’s because of the system, and what it does to people—not because of “unchanging and unchangeable human nature.”
BAsics 3:17

And we ARE building a movement for a real revolution that recognizes the importance of winning people to be emancipators of humanity. This takes struggle, at times ferocious struggle, but it is possible. And as part of that struggle, where one of the things we fight for—and fight with youth like Killmonger over—are the six Points of Attention for the Revolution that concentrate this revolutionary morality.

Instead, where the logic of the movie goes is that since we don’t want to become what we’re fighting, any attempt at revolution would set us back and so must be suppressed and put down. Yes, you can’t ignore the problems, so... buy up some buildings, show kids a spacecraft and give at least one of the kids on the playground something to dream about, all while playing a noble Mandela figure at the UN. It’s a message of counterrevolution, which is explicit at times.

An unintended consequence of this film could be people who feel that rage against this system actually celebrating the revenge-fueled outlook, and identifying more with the Killmonger character, played by the charismatic Michael B. Jordan, who is way more compelling than the exceedingly boring king put on the stage by Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa, who is just much more boring than the other major characters in the movie. And, again, the danger of revenge IS a real problem facing a real revolution.

But this has been addressed and answered in a completely different way, with science and heart, by Bob Avakian, who puts it this way:

In the final analysis, as Engels once expressed it, the proletariat must win its emancipation on the battlefield. But there is not only the question of winning in this sense but of how we win in the largest sense. One of the significant if perhaps subtle and often little-noticed ways in which the enemy, even in defeat, seeks to exact revenge on the revolution and sow the seed of its future undoing is in what he would force the revolutionaries to become in order to defeat him. It will come to this: we will have to face him in the trenches and defeat him amidst terrible destruction but we must not in the process annihilate the fundamental difference between the enemy and ourselves. Here the example of Marx is illuminating: he repeatedly fought at close quarters with the ideologists and apologists of the bourgeoisie but he never fought them on their terms or with their outlook; with Marx his method is as exhilarating as his goal is inspiring. We must be able to maintain our firmness of principles but at the same time our flexibility, our materialism and our dialectics, our realism and our romanticism, our solemn sense of purpose and our sense of humor.
BAsics 5:24

THIS is the example and model for people who really want to see all oppression ended. This is the take home message people need to be getting when they have their spirits and imaginations lifted. I can remember when I first read those words from BA feeling like finally I wasn’t just crazy for fucking hating the way the world was, and feeling challenged to be part of taking responsibility for how we win in the largest sense, and to reach for something higher than revenge because that wouldn’t get us past this world.

The Class Outlook Behind the Film

But what we get coming through in the film is the vision and aspirations characteristic of sections of Black middle strata and Black bourgeoisie, along with their fear of basic masses of Black people, their destructive potential, and the upheaval that would come from their rising up. The fear that if this gets unleashed, the only place it can go is a bloodbath of revenge with despotic new rule over the people. This is part of the intentions of settings in Oakland and 1992. To put front and center the “Baltimores and Fergusons” and that “problem.” It seems to say that you can understand why people feel that way, but this potential rage should still be feared, put down, and have the edge taken off by giving something to at least some of the kids in the neighborhood. The best thing that can be done, and what such uprising and upheaval would jeopardize, is those with some status spreading the resources, investing in the community, and trying to teach kids better. You have to renounce revolution, and accept the whole framework of this system and only then can you do something and have some position and carve out some arrangement in this world.

This feeds into the idea that there’s some romanticized past (a utopia of benevolent African kings ruling over subjects who are either warriors, scholars, or contented workers) to look back to, and maybe some future greatness to hope for, but nothing to come out of the horrific experience of Black people in America. The film doesn’t ignore the ugly, but does not see anything good that can come of it all. What came to mind for me was the sharp contrast with Bob Avakian’s statement:

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

Crawling into bed with the REAL monsters and murderers... the CIA

And then there’s the way the message of this film gets tied together with America as a force for good through this CIA agent, the movie’s only redeemable good guy white character. This is a total upside down presenting of the CIA, pretending it exists to stop bad guys in world, including the really bad one, Klaue, who sees Wakanda as a land of savages and a place only good for stealing resources.

And there’s this important personal bond and strategic relationship T’Challa has with this CIA agent. With this, the movie falls into more straight up whitewashing and presenting this CIA character as some cutesy guy who is trying to do the right thing. Even if he might be a little arrogant, he is a friend, and by the way a veteran U.S. Air Force pilot, and America’s Air Force and bombing power can be used for good, like aiding the good guys in the Wakanda Civil War toward the end. (Because America always intervenes on the side of the good guys, or at least with good intentions. This is the GTF—the great tautological fallacy—BA talks about.)

We’re supposed to ignore all the crimes committed by the CIA around the world, including Africa, backing and installing brutal regimes and bloody coups to enforce the American empire. Just look at the CIA-orchestrated murder of the revolutionary leader Patrice Lumumba in the Congo and the installation of Mobutu, a vicious act that set into motion consequences that have caused decades of misery for the Congolese people and directly cost over six million African lives. You can look at the American Crime series on for a true sense of the scale and depth of mass murder and brutality that has been let loose by America, including by its CIA.

I say “ignoring” because, here too if you want to acknowledge this ugly history, they supposedly have something for you too! The only one who seems to know of the massive crimes of the CIA is the CIA agent himself, who points out that Killmonger is “one of us” (American Black Ops, Navy seal assassin) who is trained to and has carried out mass murder. That what he is doing in Wakanda is exactly how they are trained to do, sabotage and overthrow sovereign governments and destroy their mechanisms of political rule, whether it’s sabotaging their elections or destroying their lines of succession. Killmonger also briefly hints at the mass murder he committed in service of America in order to get where he is. And while we’re here, let’s note this: This movie tells us that a character like Killmonger cannot be saved, but the CIA who gives the orders can be made into an ally... GIVE ME A BREAK!

This is all said straight up in the movie, but it’s done in a way so it’s easy to skip over, and any implications of it are ignored by all the characters in the movie, and by extension the audience can look past that too. But the point of it being there, I think, is so that even if you think America is not a force for good in world, you can still have this friend in the CIA who is trying to do good within it.

And after all, the supposed answer to all this is that Wakanda can be a model of what a true nation being a force for good in the world can be, and that this is what can bring out the best of even America. This is captured in the scene of the movie where they’re in the interrogation room handling Klaue, and the CIA agent is swaggering around as if he is in charge of everything and setting terms while the main characters are speaking Wakandan and laughing about him because they know they are more powerful than he is and are really the ones who are setting the terms. So even if you are one of those who may think America is no good now, don’t look any deeper at the system, because if we have a Black capitalist country, we can set terms and America can act better.

Glimmers of possibility... and painful disappointment

There is more to speak to both in the film and the mass phenomenon associated with it, and the thinking and intent of the people who made it, as well as why it was so welcomed as a breath of fresh air among huge numbers of (especially Black) people.

It does say something about this country that it was received as a collective triumph to even have a big budget mainstream movie like this. And there are other artistic choices in the movie that are speaking to real contradictions that Black artists face in the art world, such as being allowed to portray the whole human spectrum in the cast of Black characters (T’Challa’s little sister Shuri for example, who is a geeky tech whiz, and breaks restrictive Black character archetypes).

And there is the way women are portrayed here. It portrays women as fully capable of fighting for the nation, not just fighting for or supporting their husbands or the men in general. This is concentrated in the scene toward the end where Okoye, the woman who is Wakanda’s greatest general stands off with and is ready to kill the man who is her lover, W’Kabi, for her country and what she believes is right, and he is not able to do the same (“You would kill me, my love?” and when it’s clear she would he dismounts his powerful Rhino and bends his knees in submission). Women are warriors, spies, tech experts, and Shuri has no romantic interest at all. I can’t remember any of the Wakandan women portrayed as weak or as sex symbols or objects. I don’t remember a single scene where the camera hangs on a woman’s body part for titillation.

One of the real hurtful things about this movie is that director Ryan Coogler’s first movie, Fruitvale Station, was truly one of the truly great films of the past 25 years, in which the brutal injustice of this system, and the humanity of people usually demonized and killed twice (murdered by police, and then vilified after being murdered) shone through. Whatever his intentions were with Black Panther, he (at best) stumbled badly.

In other words, there are real artistic reasons, along with the hype of an almost all-Black superhero movie, that I could see why this would be welcomed with such anticipation and excitement by masses of people. All that goes to underscore the danger and damage of this movie’s counterrevolutionary theme.

Everyone’s “waiting to exhale” and take in a breath of fresh air... then finally that fresh air seems to come along, only to be mixed in with a poisonous gas.







Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

Trump Regime Ramps Up Ethnic Cleansing
Dreamers, All Immigrants In Peril
Cast Away Illusions – It's Time to ACT

March 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


Last week the U.S. Supreme Court announced it was making no decision on Trump’s right to kill DACA. Instead the court will wait for the federal appeals court in California to rule on the legal challenge to the way Trump ended DACA. (DACA is a program for undocumented youth brought to this country as children. It provides temporary protection from deportation, enables them to get a Social Security card, apply for a job with benefits, and attend school, renewable every two years.)

Let's be clear: There has been no reprieve for the DACA youth. While the nearly 700,000 Dreamers already enrolled in DACA will be able to continue, and renew, their status for now, their lives and their futures are still hanging by a thread, they are still being tortured, together with their families, while they await a court decision that either ends DACA directly, or puts them back in the crosshairs of this vicious fascist regime and their cronies in Congress. That means these Dreamers are in the same situation they have been in—but worse—since DACA could be terminated without warning, making these Dreamers immediately deportable. There are another 1.1 million Dreamers who are eligible for DACA but did not apply. These youth right now face arrest, detention and deportation.

Supreme Court Allows Indefinite Detention for Immigrants

One day later the Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing immigration authorities to continue imprisoning thousands and thousands of immigrants indefinitely—for months, or even years—while they await their deportation hearing, including those who entered the country legally or came seeking asylum. The right-wing majority on the Supreme Court argued the immigration laws themselves don't require a bail hearing regardless of how long the person has been held. Since slavery(!), indefinite detention has been completely unconstitutional. But the majority refused to agree that immigrants are “protected” by the Constitution, and sent the case back to the lower court to reconsider. The ACLU denounced the decision as cruel and unconstitutional. “The Trump administration is trying to expand immigration detention to record-breaking levels as part of its crackdown on immigrant communities.”

The practice of indefinite detention began in the late 1990s under Bill Clinton; but it is now taking place in a whole different context, as the spear point of the fascist remaking of society. The Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations viciously used deportations and the militarization of the border (which in fact resulted in hundreds of deaths a year) as part of a policy that “regulated” immigration. The masses of immigrants were kept in the shadows, but with a hope for carving out some stability and achieving legal status and some basic rights, in the context of being an oppressed group in the U.S. NOW, however, similar and intensified measures form part of an overall fascist offensive and a program of “ethnic cleansing”—directed in particular against immigrants from Africa, Latin America and Asia. As Bob Avakian pointed to in his recent talk, this is “a regime that boasts of all this and declares its intentions do even worse.”

“State-Sponsored Traumatization”

This decision goes hand-in-hand with Homeland Security’s new official policy of detaining asylum-seekers and their children separately while they await their hearings. This act of inhumanity is aimed at forcing asylum-seekers to give up and leave the country. That becomes the only way to reunite families, regardless of the U.S.-created horror they may face in their countries when they return. And it is a message to desperate asylum-seekers—don’t even try to come here.

In an op-ed piece in the New York Times—“The Cruel Ploy of Taking Immigrant Kids From Their Parents”—the three authors, who witnessed the consequences in a McAllen, Texas, processing center, expressed their utter outrage at what ICE is doing: “It is … despicable that the government would use children as bargaining chips. This policy is tantamount to state-sponsored traumatization.” The children they were working with called the processing centers “iceboxes” and “dog kennels.” One child said “I was wet from crossing the river and it was so cold I thought I would die.” Imagine being a small child, fleeing in terror and hunger from your homeland, only to be separated from your parents and locked in freezing prisons with the lights on for 24 hours, with no understanding of what happened to your parents or what will happen to you. And yet, until this op-ed, hardly anyone even knew of this!

In January, an “Urgent Appeal” signed by 34 national and over 80 state and local organizations—all experts in child welfare, juvenile justice and child development—called on Homeland Security to halt their plans. Their statement said “these actions will have significant and long-lasting consequences for the safety, health, development, and well-being of children.” And one of the organizations told DHS that “Family unity is a foundational principle of child welfare law.”

Accelerating the Most Vicious Attacks on Every Front

At the same time the Trump/Pence regime is accelerating and broadening the most vicious, inhuman attacks against millions of immigrants on every front:

A Leap in the Nazification of Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric

All of these hideous crimes, and many more, are being justified by a relentless ideological assault aimed at “educating American citizens” to the threat that these “criminal aliens” represent to their lives, and to their “way of life.” Trump gave a speech in February seen by millions that had the spirit of a Hitler rally. He praised the “toughness” of ICE, and bragged that they are “cracking down” on sanctuary cities—which he now calls “sanctuaries for criminals.” Chillingly, Trump never once used the word immigrant. Instead, he modeled the new terminology to fit their fascist norms, calling millions and millions of human beings “animals” and “killers,” “snakes” and “criminal aliens.” What we’re witnessing is an actual leap in the Nazification of anti-immigrant rhetoric. (See sidebar)

To consolidate their fascist, white-supremacist America, the Trump/Pence regime has to teach “real” Americans to view Black and Brown immigrants as “enemies,” “undesirables,” and “dangers to society.” And to stand aside while the state's enforcers are sanctioned to do anything necessary to protect citizens from this internal menace. (See “What IS Fascism?”) The parallels to the way the Nazis “educated” Germans to view Jews as a threat to the Aryan nation, and to stand aside while Jews were persecuted and driven from Germany, with even more horrific crimes to come, are once again chilling.

Cast Away Illusions, Prepare for Struggle

Now is the time to cast away illusions:

1) These fascists are not going to “come to their senses.” Their white-supremacist war on immigrants is not going away; it’s not going to stop. It is in fact at the heart of, the linchpin and battering ram for, their whole fascist program. There is no “Making America White Again” without making life for Black, Brown and Asian immigrants in their millions a horror; and driving them out of the country.

2) The Democratic Party is not going to “rescue” anyone; they are not part of the solution—they are part of the problem. At every turn, they have betrayed the interests of the people they claim to represent—including the 1.8 million Dreamers. While the Trump/Pence regime threatens nuclear war... hastens environmental catastrophe... disgustingly degrades women... vilifies and terrorizes Black and other oppressed people and immigrants... and relentlessly attacks and mocks truth itself—the top Democratic Party leaders have watched, negotiated, and collaborated. This contributes to normalizing fascism. They’ve done nothing to mobilize resistance commensurate with what it’s going to take to stop this fascist threat.

Why? Most fundamentally because they represent the same system—a system of global exploitation. Maintaining this system, even as and even if the Trump/Pence regime consolidates fascism, is preferable to them over unleashing protest that may burst millions of people out of the “normal channels” that go nowhere. The Democratic leadership may oppose aspects of what the Trump/Pence regime is doing because of fears that some of the fascist policies could harm the interests of their system. But the Democrats fear even more the potential of the people whom they regard as “their base”—especially but not only the more oppressed sections of those who normally vote for and look to the Democrats—getting and staying in the streets in determined mass protest. The Democratic leadership fears the potential of such struggle to start a process in which people increasingly awaken to broader vistas, and in which questions of the legitimacy of the system itself can come into play.

3) The Trump/Pence regime is despised by millions and millions of people, and people have taken to the streets over and over to oppose and resist its ugly crimes. The basis exists for this to become a force that can end this nightmare—but only by confronting the seriousness of the danger these fascists represent, and on that basis breaking with illusions standing in the way of driving this regime from power.


* A “sanctuary jurisdiction” is one that limits its cooperation with the federal government effort to enforce immigration law. [back]







Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

On BA’s Talk on the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime:


February 8, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader

[This talk] is a truly masterful concentration of both current conjunctural (fascism on the rise) and deeper historical roots analyses (how did we get to this point and why?), along with leadership being given to what to do about all this, all while never failing to reveal and confidently proceed back from the largest and most strategic objectives of the New Communism, while also providing a school of method and principle, plus an outlining of the basic pathway forward in practice for those with whom unity can be forged in the current conjuncture even if they don’t yet share (and might never share) those ultimate communist objectives. A model of solid core, with lots of elasticity based on the solid core. A model of unite all who can be united, on the right basis and with the right methods. A model of calm confidence and certitude based on science. A model of decency, of morality, of approachability, of humor and compassion, and yes of hope, all the while not falling into the slightest bit of tailing or ass-kissing and instead waging ferocious polemical struggle with the masses of different strata to work on those living contradictions and challenge and bust through the obstacles and the confining and paralyzing frameworks of this period. And all in an hour. Wow! And then with it the Q&As, with all its intangibles, substance, remarkable scientific ease and liveliness on full display "off the cuff"—Wow yet again!







Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

Thousands of Students Demand School Shootings End—Awakening to Political Life, Confronting Big Questions

Updated March 13, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |



Outraged that schools have become war zones, heartbroken at losing loved ones, fed up with post-massacre “thoughts and prayers,” and determined to end the epidemic of school massacres, thousands of students rallied, protested, and walked out of schools this past week, demanding these shootings end! “Never again should an innocent life be taken while trying to gain an education,” one student declared.

Sparked by the massacre of 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students across South Florida walked out: 3,000 protested at Florida’s State Capitol in Tallahassee, and others protested in Washington, DC, Silver Spring, Maryland, as well as in Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Washington state. National protests are being planned for March 14 and 24.

Everyone should be outraged and digging into why this is happening and how to stop it for real!

Awakening and Confronting Big Questions

The students in Florida and others have come straight up against a hideous manifestation of the real nature of this system and society and the horrors and madness it spawns. Big questions are posed and the students are searching for answers. They’re speaking out about what it means to go through one of these murderous rampages—or to live in fear of one. They’re demanding it stop. And they’re saying they’re going to be the ones that will stop it. There’s a streak of contempt for the political establishment that’s allowed this to continue, and rage at groups like the NRA with its fascist gun culture. It is criminally insane that young people simply trying to go to school, get an education, hang with friends, and grow into life are being shot down in American schools.

There are a lot of conflicting ideas in the mix.

The students’ main demand, one the Democrats and liberal media have pushed for years, is gun control. If you think the problem is a few crazed, hate-filled, or deranged people who’ve gotten hold of high-powered automatic weapons, then gun control seems like the obvious, immediate, practical way to make sure such people can’t get such weapons and that students are safe.

But the problem is bigger and deeper.

The reality is that mass violence is as American as apple pie, woven into its fabric and DNA. It is rooted in the origins and history of America, its system and its political structures, the social relations and the culture it has given rise to and continues to reinforce. To change this, you have to get at those roots.

For an open, painful sore, it may seem logical to apply a band-aid. But if it is a symptom and manifestation of a deeper problem like cancer, it will not work, and may even do harm.

Gun Control and Background Checks: Is the Answer Really Giving This System, This State MORE Power?

What will it mean to enact gun control laws and background checks?

Do we want to give even more power to Trump and his cohorts who say the white supremacists in Charlottesville are “fine people”?

Do we want to give even more power and even more of a free hand to this system’s armed enforcers? In neighborhoods not far from Stoneman Douglas or almost any other high school, you will find police are already harassing, jacking up, violently assaulting, incarcerating, and killing Black and Brown youths. You will find ICE ripping immigrant families apart.

Consider the contrast between how Florida treated George Zimmerman and Marissa Alexander: Zimmerman stalked the unarmed Black teenager Trayvon Martin, assaulted him, and then shot the 17-year-old dead. Marissa Alexander was a victim of ongoing domestic abuse who feared for the safety of her children, so she fired a warning shot into the air. Yet, Zimmerman walked free and Marissa Alexander was torn from her children and sent to prison!

Or consider this: During CNN’s February 22 Town Hall on this school massacre, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel argued that police should be able to detain people before they were deemed a threat to themselves or others.

But the police, not just in Broward County but around the country, have been caught on camera time and time and time again beating people to death, tasing people to death, shooting kids in the back, choking unarmed men to death, planting drugs on those they’ve beaten, and on and on. Overwhelmingly the victims of this terror are Black and Brown—and almost always the police walk scot free.

Or consider this: Stoneman Douglas student Lorenzo Prado desperately feared for his life when a local SWAT team temporarily mistook him for the shooter. The reality behind his story of legitimate terror: “I, not trying to be one of those news stories of someone dying wrongfully because they refused to put their hands up, I just dropped my phone at that moment and kept going.... I had six SWAT members pointing their guns at me.... I knew any move I made would be the end of my life.”

THIS is the capitalist-imperialist state (the institutions and structures, including the armed enforcers like the police, that maintain and enforce the political power of this system and its ruling class) that would be given even more power through background checks and gun control legislation.

This state itself cannot be given the power to further regulate the ability of people to defend themselves against reactionary and illegitimate violence, as this state is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. Any additional powers to which you lend your voice to legitimize this will sooner or later—and usually sooner—be used against the people and against political movements of resistance.

This happened in the 1920s against immigrants and radicals. During World War 2, when the Japanese were interned. In the 1950s, repression was unleashed against suspected communists. And in the 1960s, through the FBI’s notorious COINTELPRO program against revolutionaries and civil rights and antiwar groups. Ever expanding instruments of state repression and spying—legitimized as the “War on Terror”—were turned on Muslim communities after 9/11, and more recently against Occupy and the mass protest movements against police murder.

Don’t be foolish. New gun control measures would only heighten that repression. Guns—especially high-powered automatic weapons—would NOT be taken from the state and its brutal military and police. Proposed background checks allow sections of the people—like the NRA and the white-supremacist fascists who marched in Charlottesville―who say they are preparing for “race war”—to still buy guns, while barring others.

Mass Violence—As American as Apple Pie!

This country was forged through massive violence, against the oppressed and the exploited—with guns, bombs, slave shackles, lynching ropes. From the genocide of Native Americans, to the enslavement and lynching of Black people, to the “Wild West” expansion and theft of Mexican land, to the brutal exploitation of immigrants, to imperialist wars around the world—the Philippines, Vietnam, Haiti, El Salvador, Iraq, and the list goes on and on. American Crime at documents these in a continuing series. It’s what this country is built on: white supremacy, misogyny, and American imperialist supremacy.

American violence is not a partisan issue. Let’s look at the Democrats’ record: they ushered in the nuclear nightmare at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They’ve started and supported murderous war after war, from Vietnam to Iraq to Central America. Under Bill and Hillary Clinton, mass incarceration, police terror, and border militarization skyrocketed. Now leading Democrats like Chuck Schumer and others are collaborating with and normalizing the fascist Donald Trump.

Democrat mayors, governors, and other politicians are rushing to the side of the Florida students on “gun control.” Why? *

A sharp divide exists among the ruling forces of this society—and gun control has become part of this battle. It isn’t over whether to put an end to all the unjust violence the U.S. inflicts upon the world through its wars, or on Black and Brown people in this country through prisons and police, or any of the other horrors that are rooted in this system. This fight is over how best to respond at a time of great change—and the Trump/Pence fascist regime and the Democrats, both representing different sections of the ruling class of this system, have different worldviews and programs on this. (See “When it comes to driving out Trump/Pence FASCISM, the Democratic Party is part of the problem and NOT part of the solution”.)

Trump and the Republicans, and the NRA have, so far, adamantly opposed any gun control measures. It is not essentially because they are beholden to the “gun lobby.” It’s because they are fascists. An important element of that is keeping weapons directly in the hands of their white-supremacist, xenophobic social base—as a vicious video released by the NRA last year made clear.

American violence is fostered and celebrated by a culture awash in violence, misogyny, and an ethos of “me first and fuck everyone else.” How many TV shows and movies center on “righteous” bloodthirsty revenge? How many video games celebrate and score points for wanton violence? Heightened, accentuated, and openly advocated and violently reinforced—with a vengeance—by the fascist Trump/Pence regime, this system’s mouthpieces and representatives claim that the problem is just a few “sick” individuals?

An important reality has been pointed to by students and others again and again in the media: America is unique in the world for this kind of crazed, destructive mass shooting. Democratic mouthpieces chalk this vast difference in shootings up to a single factor: gun control laws. But that doesn’t even scratch the surface!

What is truly unique about America? It is #1 in dropping bombs—including nuclear bombs—on people around the world. It is #1 in genocide and slavery, in mass incarceration and torture. It is #1 in individualist, revenge-ist, me-first culture and fostering victimhood among the privileged. THIS is inseparable from the phenomenon of mass shooters.

It is impossible to understand the roots of mass shootings—or come close to getting beyond them—without connecting to this larger fabric that must be ripped apart and transformed.

Students: Raise Your Sights to the Whole World

DACA recipients, many of them your fellow students, are—for now—able to continue, and renew, their status, which provides temporary protection from deportation. But the Dreamers' lives and future are still hanging by a thread, facing the possibility that DACA could be ended without warning, making them immediately deportable. Eleven million immigrants are also being threatened with mass deportation, and many will see their families torn apart or even sent to their deaths if America carries out these threats.

What about the people and youth of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, who are right now being killed by the biggest of U.S. guns? Or the people and youth of North Korea and Iran, threatened by American nukes? Can you put yourself in their shoes? Can you imagine their dreams? Are you standing up for and with them?

As you awaken to the horrors of this country and what it does, lift your sights to the emancipation of all of humanity. Otherwise none of these burning outrages will end, and in many ways you could end up being pitted against others whose lives are being wantonly destroyed by the same system that is responsible for the school shootings you’re rightly outraged about.

The real insanity is leaving in place this capitalist-imperialist system built on racism, genocide, and misogyny which doesn’t give a shit about youth in Parkland, Florida, or people anywhere else. It’s the same system that’s driving the world toward environmental calamity with global warming, and threatening it with nuclear holocaust. It’s going to take nothing less than an actual revolution to change that.

To those agonizing over the latest school shooting and those who abhor it—dig more deeply into the history of this country and the nature of this society. Rise up, resist, and revolt against all abuses and outrages going on, and against the system underlying them. Come to and get into the most radical revolutionary vision, strategy, and plan for a whole new world, without the needless carnage and insanity that is an American hallmark.

* George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, and others are pouring millions of dollars into supporting the coming marches promoting gun control and voting for the Democrats this fall. Yet they’re not pouring millions into stopping much graver, immediate threats: the attacks on DACA and immigrants, the threats of war, even nuclear war, against Iran and North Korea, the consolidation and normalization of the fascist Trump/Pence regime. In fact, they are feeding a dynamic where these monumental concerns that affect billions around the planet are pushed out of sight as they grind rapidly towards greater horror. [back]







Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

International Women's Day
Break the Chains! Unleash the Fury of Women As a Mighty Force for Revolution!

Screening and discussion of excerpts on the oppression and liberation of women from the film of Bob Avakian's talk, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

March 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


If you hate the way women are brutalized, assaulted, and degraded all over the world... if you are outraged by the threat the Trump/Pence fascist regime poses to women and all of humanity... if you are disgusted by all these oppressive gender roles... if you’ve raised your voice in #MeToo but have questions about where our anger should be directed and how to end this madness for real... the most important thing you can know now is this: There is an answer to WHY this horrendous, ages-old oppression is still going on and intensifying. And there is an answer to HOW this oppression can be eliminated from the face of the planet. Bob Avakian, the architect of a new stage of communist revolution and leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, has done the work of analyzing the cause of this situation... making that understanding available... and on that basis leading people to carry forward the revolutionary struggle to actually eliminate the oppression of women and all oppression.

Come find out more. Be part of the viewing and take part in the discussion.


For a Word file which can be used as a template for invitations, click here.

New York

Revolution Books
437 Malcolm X Blvd. @ 132nd St.
Take #2/3 to 135th St.
Thursday, March 8, 7pm

Screening will be followed by discussion with Sunsara Taylor.
Sunsara Taylor is a writer for Revolution/, a co-initiator of, and an advocate for the new communism

Recommended donation: $5-$10, or what you can.



Revolution Books
2444 Durant Avenue
Thursday, March 8th at 7 p.m.



Sunday, March 11, 3pm
Revolution Club Organizing Center
1857 E. 71st Street


Los Angeles

Friday, March 9, 6pm
2716 S. Vermont Ave #8
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Revolution Club Los Angeles Invites you to a Screening and discussion of excerpts on the oppression and liberation of women from the film of Bob Avakian's talk BA Speaks: REVOUTION—NOTHING LESS! 








Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

Updated March 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


The Upsurge Against Sexual Harassment And Abuse—And The Crucial Questions In Going Forward


A Question of Basic Stand and Orientation

By Bob Avakian


The phenomenon of sexual harassment and sexual assault—including (but not limited to) the sexual abuse of women by men who hold positions of power over them—is long-standing and widespread throughout this male supremacist society and is reinforced by the putrid culture it has spawned. The outpouring of outrage against this sexual abuse and the all too commonplace institutional cover-ups and complicity with it, and the demand for a radical change in the culture—which has made a major leap in relation to the accusations against Harvey Weinstein and has now spread far beyond that, involving millions of women, in sphere after sphere throughout this country and in other countries as well—is right, righteous, and long overdue, and should be supported, encouraged, spread, and defended against counter-attack.

In the context of such a long-suppressed outpouring of outrage, there are bound to be some negative aspects, including some excesses, where false or exaggerated accusations are made in particular cases; but these have been (and will almost certainly remain) a very secondary aspect of the phenomenon. If and when it may be necessary to point to some of these shortcomings, this must be done very judiciously, in a way that does not undermine the overwhelmingly positive character of this upsurge, and in fact helps to strengthen it.

This long-suppressed and thoroughly just outpouring of outrage is not the same as any particular accusation. Such particular accusations do have to be approached on the basis of scientifically evaluating the evidence, and this is especially important where the accusations not only allege misconduct but actual criminal action, such as rape or other sexual assault. But this distinction, between particular accusations and the overall phenomenon, should not be allowed to obscure or diminish the righteousness and importance of the massive upsurge against this widespread and deeply-rooted abuse and the tremendous injury it does to women and to humanity as a whole.

The New Synthesis and the Woman Question: The Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution—Further Leaps and Radical Ruptures

By Bob Avakian

Part III of “Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution” (2009)

Read more

The #MeToo Movement: Keeping Our Eyes On The Prize

A very righteous mass upsurge has broken out around a key fault-line issue of this, and all prior, class societies. Sexual harassment and sexual assault is a problem going back millennia, and a problem which is totally pervasive, including on a global scale. A problem which negatively affects every single girl and woman on this planet: indirectly, since every instance of degradation, humiliation, and dehumanization of any girl or woman is ultimately projected onto ALL girls and women; and, of course, way more often than not directly, because one would be hard-pressed to find a single adult woman anywhere in the world who does not have quite a few personal #MeToo stories.

In this light, the opening of Bob Avakian’s recent statement on this remains very important: “The outpouring of outrage against this sexual abuse and the all too commonplace institutional cover-ups ... is right, righteous, and long overdue, and should be supported, encouraged, spread, and defended against counter-attack.”

This must continue to go further. At the same time, at this point it is in fact necessary to recognize and overcome some negative trends which could serve to misdirect and derail this struggle.

What Should Be the Aims of This Struggle?

When the #MeToo upsurge first emerged there was, in addition to the initial press exposures and outpourings of righteously speaking bitterness, a very significant focus placed on the whole question of INSTITUTIONAL COMPLICITY AND COVER-UPS (similar to the issue of the Catholic Church in relation to pedophile priests). This was a big part of what was new and historically unprecedented about this upsurge: not just the scale of it, the feeling of a dam breaking like never before, including globally, but also the serious attention being given to the fact that these individual behaviors could not go on if they were not being routinely and systematically protected and defended by leading institutions in every corner and sphere of society. This was new, and a very welcome development.

One of the things very important about this is that when you start to recognize the role and complicity of institutions, you start to ask yourself about the overall prevailing culture. You start to wonder about what kind of society and what kind of system we are living under that produces and maintains such institutions and such a culture.

Read entire article

Sri Lanka, 2004. Photo: Mukai

Sri Lanka, 2004. Photo: Mukai

Look at all these beautiful children who are female in the world. And in addition to all the other outrages which I have referred to, in terms of children throughout the slums and shantytowns of the Third World, in addition to all the horrors that will be heaped on them—the actual living in garbage and human waste in the hundreds of millions as their fate, laid out before them, yes, even before they are born—there is, on top of this, for those children who are born female, the horror of everything that this will bring simply because they are female in a world of male domination. And this is true not only in the Third World. In 'modern' countries like the U.S. as well, the statistics barely capture it: the millions who will be raped; the millions more who will be routinely demeaned, deceived, degraded, and all too often brutalized by those who are supposed to be their most intimate lovers; the way in which so many women will be shamed, hounded and harassed if they seek to exercise reproductive rights through abortion, or even birth control; the many who will be forced into prostitution and pornography; and all those who—if they do not have that particular fate, and even if they achieve some success in this 'new world' where supposedly there are no barriers for women—will be surrounded on every side, and insulted at every moment, by a society and a culture which degrades women, on the streets, in the schools and workplaces, in the home, on a daily basis and in countless ways.

—Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:10

Other Key Works:

Click HERE to download the PDF

Excerpt from:


Watch entire talk online at

Bob Avakian: "A World of Rape and Sexual Assault"







Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

Discussion at Revolution Books in Berkeley

Revolution, Religion, Epistemology

March 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

We just had a small but exciting discussion at Revolution Books in Berkeley. I want to share what we did and some of what was provoked in the discussion because I think this is an essential pathway of engagement with Bob Avakian (BA) that we should pursue, particularly among students on the college campuses. And it’s the type of thing that Revolution Books—as the political, cultural, and intellectual center of a movement for an actual revolution—should be known for.

Earlier today I was walking thru Sproul Plaza on the UC Berkeley campus and passed by a young woman on the steps (the Mario Savio steps) preaching emotionally about how she was “lost” and now is “found.” On the one hand, there is the reactionary biblical worldview and political program that she “found.” On the other hand, how many students and young people are feeling “lost” and searching for fundamental answers? I know I was to some extent when I was in college. As BA pointed out, one of the things that is objectively posed for youth and students, and many grapple with, are the “existential” questions—not just “why is the world like this and can it be different,” but “what is the meaning and purpose of human existence” and “how should I go through the world?” If we are not in the mix on this, the religious folks will be there with their faith and their Purpose for you... or you’ll end up with the default, finding your “own truth,” meaning and purpose, just looking out for yourself and your immediate circles.

And WTF, why are the Christians the only ones with passionate intensity and conviction to stand up on those steps and tell the world what they believe in?! As we know, things were a little different when Mario Savio was in that same spot challenging everyone to put their body on the gears of the machine. It wasn’t just that progressive and radical politics were ascendant—as opposed to Christian and alt-right fascist politics—but also that the movements of opposition were not so paralyzed by the relativism and identity politics we see today, where everyone is told to “stay in your lane” and only speak from personal experience. And, as BA pointed out in the Q&A on students (Part 2 of the Q&A sessions for his filmed talk THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible ), it was also the whole mix of political struggle and debate along with wide-ranging intellectual curiosity, the wrangling about poetry and philosophy, which got people thinking critically and asking the big questions.

In that spirit, and in response to a Christian event on campus that raised the question “Is there evidence for God,” we decided to have our own discussion with students on “Revolution, Religion, and Epistemology” based on four quotes (see right column) from the chapter from BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, on “Understanding the World.” We started the discussion with a clip from Bob Avakian’s dialogue with Cornel West on Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion (minutes 45 to 57), where BA describes, beautifully and poetically, what a radically different world would be like, but also why we need a scientific approach for that to get there, humorously comparing/contrasting different kinds of bad doctors up against a real doctor. Then we read the BAsics quotes together and opened it up.

Right off the bat, everyone said they agreed with the point from the BAsics 4:10 about truth being objective (although one student joked that things like food preferences are of course subjective). Another student pointed out that people who claim that there is no truth are caught in the paradox of having just made an objective truth claim. Someone else raised the question of whether ethics is objective. She also said that while she thought the natural world could be studied scientifically, she didn’t think that human society could be. This launched us into a whole discussion about philosophical materialism (that all of reality, including human society, consists of matter in motion) and philosophical idealism (that reality is just an extension of ideas).

One student brought up the question of whether energy is something other than matter or whether it’s a form of matter. He also raised the question of numbers, arguing that numbers are not objective (there’s no objective thing that’s a number), so how does materialism explain that? Are they like a metaphysical “Platonic” idea, a universal that exists independent of the particulars? Someone else argued that no, numbers correspond to the structure of nature—they are a concentration of the fact that particular things exist—pointing to books on the table and counting 1, 2, 3. Another person raised Wittgenstein’s [an Austrian-British philosopher] point about language, that it doesn’t exist independently of our use of it, that the book that was pointed to could be 1 or it could be 267 (the number of pages) depending on what we were trying to say.

From there we talked about the difference between science and logic, that an important part of being rational is that the conclusions must follow logically from the premises, but science is necessary to tell whether the premises are true. For example, “All Black people are good at basketball. Bob is Black. Therefore Bob is good at basketball.” That is a logically consistent statement, but it is a racist lie, because its first premise is false. We contrasted an idealist approach of going for “internal consistency” versus a materialist approach of testing whether or not something is true.

At the same time, we also contrasted the empiricist approach of people like Hume, who argued that all you can really know is what you perceive, with the dialectical materialist approach of looking for the underlying causes, dynamics and larger relations behind the perception. We talked about the example BA gives in the essay on “‘A Leap of Faith’ and a Leap to Rational Knowledge: Two Very Different Kinds of Leaps, Two Radically Different Worldviews and Methods”: If you don’t know the rules of American football and watch a game for the first time, it appears to be just be a bunch of big guys banging into each other. But after a while, you can make the leap from perceptual to conceptual, from experiential to rational knowledge, and come to understand the patterns and underlying rules that govern the game.

One student raised the question of whether the scientific method itself is just an “assumption,” a “leap of faith.” What if another method comes along in 20 years that’s better? Someone argued against that, saying that the scientific method is not arbitrary, but is drawn from reality, and not just the body of scientific knowledge, but the method itself deepens and develops as we learn more. At the same time, from an evidence-based perspective, if God comes down from the heavens with a flaming sword and reveals the Truth to us, we’d have to recognize that!

A student who describes herself as “spiritual” referred to the doctor analogy that BA gave in the film. She agreed that there is a problem with the identity politics approach that truth is simply experience, because then, like BA says about the doctor that just repeats back to you the symptoms you already know, we can’t get beyond the surface to understand the underlying causes of things. She said she’s been thinking about the difference between law (lower case, derived from society) and Law (upper case, divinely inspired). She raised that maybe we need Law to “cure” the disease.

At this point a Muslim student wanted to raise some other important differences. He said he disagreed with BAsics 4:17 that religion was just created out of ignorance. And he said that in a lot of Native American tribes, religion wasn’t tied to class divisions. He argued that indigenous people and Islamic scholars already had science and that the Koran is not in contradiction with science, and in fact is in line with it (citing for example a passage in the Koran about life coming from water). He contrasted the North American indigenous corn/beans/squash agricultural combination (which benefit each other when planted together)—but which is explained by them religiously/mythologically in terms of “three sisters,” as opposed to scientifically—with the soil and people destroying “science” of agribusiness companies like Monsanto. He also raised, regarding BAsics 4:12, that there was Islamic evolutionary science that Darwin drew from, and that Darwin himself had racist ideas. He also said that while he does believe in the science of evolution, and that BA is right in the film when he says the Genesis story cannot be literally true, he believes that all this was set in motion by an original creator.

Someone else made the point that the key question (including in BA’s quote about evolution) is what method are you using. He said that this student was mixing up two very different things—evolution, for which there is a lot of evidence, and a creator, for which there is none—and trying to merge together two different, and opposed, methods. He also argued that the fact that important truths have been arrived at by people who also hold religious views doesn’t make those religious views true. For example, Isaac Newton was in many ways a religious fanatic. His scientific breakthroughs don’t somehow legitimize his fanaticism. In relation to all this we also talked about the concept (that BA has made a core part of the new communism) that communism “embraces but not replace” other spheres of inquiry and endeavor, that truth can and does come from many quarters which communism engages and learns from.

At this point, one of the students was like, “Wait, I’m confused, is communism a political system or is it more than that? It seems like a whole method for investigating reality.” Yes, we said, it’s both! It is the most thoroughly and consistently scientific method and approach—not science in one realm and faith in another, not science for the “natural” world and relativism for the social world. At the same time, it is a political project to change the world, which flows from and can only be achieved by applying that science. But it is not simply a political project in the narrow sense. We talked about one of the problems with the first wave of communist revolutions was too limited a conception of the “material needs” the revolution is aiming to meet. We quoted BA quoting the bible that “man cannot live by bread alone,” and ended by digging into BAsics 4:30 and why awe and wonder, the imagination, and “the need to be amazed” are at the heart of this new communism and its exciting scientific method.

While there was A LOT that was still unresolved, and lots of important questions were still left on the table, everyone, including the communists leading the discussion, was provoked to think deeper and really enjoyed the discussion. While I felt a real tension between the wide-ranging and abstract grappling in the realm of philosophy and giving people a sense of why all this matters and what it has to do with changing this fucked up world, I think it was important to “go there,” to wrangle with these ideas in their own right. And through the course of it I do think we opened these students’ minds to a whole new method and a new understanding of communism, and opened a doorway to BA’s whole project and body of work. At the end we strategized together about continuing the conversation, not just amongst ourselves, but spreading this kind of engagement with BA to other students on the campus.





Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

Trump Supporters Threaten – on Video – to Burn Down Revolution Books in Berkeley

Updated March 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


Statement from Revolution Books, Berkeley on Fascist Threats Against Store:


On March 3, Saturday afternoon, a handful of Trumpite thugs came to our bookstore, yelled and made threats: “We’re going to burn down your bookstore.”

They came to mark the anniversary of the first pro-Trump rally last year in Berkeley. Fueled and backed by the Trump/Pence regime’s hold over the government and society, including the intensifying attacks on immigrants, Muslims, and people of color, and the regime’s flagrant disregard for even a veneer of civil rights, these Brownshirts have repeatedly targeted our bookstore. We said before that these attacks are reminiscent of Nazi book burnings, of Kristallnacht. Now these fascists are actually threatening to burn the store down!

As we said in our statement last year:

“They have targeted Revolution Books because we are the intellectual center of a movement for revolution aimed at bringing into being a radically different and far better world, envisioned in a new communism. Revolution Books brings people together to learn about and engage the world in a deep, scientific, and revolutionary way. Revolution Books works to end white supremacy, emancipate women, and liberate all humanity. In opposition to narrow America-first chauvinism, we proceed from –and invite people to learn about – the interests of people all over the world.

“At the foundation of Revolution Books is the most advanced scientific theory and leadership for an actual revolution for the emancipation of humanity – the new synthesis of communism brought forward by the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian. The fascists – backed up and unleashed by the regime in power – hate all this and want to see it crushed and destroyed.”

Threats like these must be taken seriously. This is not normal and must not be tolerated, and we call on people to condemn these attempts to shut down our store as a part of their efforts to shut down critical thinking and radical ideas throughout society. We call on everyone to stand with and defend this important bookstore. On Sunday, March 4, we are showing a film of a talk by Bob Avakian on the roots of the Trump/Pence regime, the danger it poses to humanity, and the need for massive nonviolent resistance to drive it from power. Later this week, on Thursday evening, we will celebrate International Women’s Day. And on Friday we will show the Iranian film about the oppression of women, The Circle. And all this week our store will be open, as a welcoming and lively space where people can find and engage with the literature, and each other, to understand the reality we face, and how the world could be radically different.




Refuse Fascism, SF Bay Area Chapter, notes with great alarm that fascists have once again targeted Revolution Books in Berkeley, this time threatening to burn the store down!  Such threats, under this fascist Trump/Pence regime, are both dangerous in and of themselves, and must be taken seriously, and they are also an alarming part of the vicious political atmosphere fostered by the Trump/Pence regime and its thugs on the ground.  Revolution Books plays a unique and important role as part of the political, cultural, and intellectual life of the Bay Area, and it has been deeply involved in opposing the regime.   Everyone who opposes fascism should support Revolution Books and come to its aid.

This Nightmare Must End!
The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America







Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

NCAA Compares College Scholarship Athletes to Slave Labor

March 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

In a response to a lawsuit that asserts college “scholarship students who play sports are employees and deserve pay,” the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) claims that college athletes should not be paid because prisoners are not paid. You heard that right. The NCAA compares their athletes to prisoners.

The case against the NCAA is being brought by Lawrence “Poppy” Livers, who argues that “student-athletes who get scholarships should at least be paid as work-study students for the time they put in.” Many college students, as part of their financial aid package, are paid by the federal government for doing what is called “work-study,” working in a college department and paid for the hours they work, but also being able to study during those hours, if no work is available for them to do.

The NCAA’s defense is based in part on the 1992 case of Vanskike v. Peters, where Daniel Vanskike, a prisoner at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois, claimed that “as a prisoner he should be paid a federal minimum wage for his work.” The U.S. Supreme Court rejected his claim, saying in its decision, “The Thirteenth Amendment excludes convicted criminals from the prohibition of involuntary servitude, so prisoners may be required to work ... the Thirteenth Amendment’s specific exclusion of prisoner labor supports the idea that a prisoner performing required work for the prison is actually engaged in involuntary servitude, not employment.”

The NCAA is not only equating its athletes to prisoners, but by using the Supreme Court’s argument, the NCAA is saying they are slave labor!

Many of these athletes are Black and come from impoverished communities, where the only way they can afford a college education is by getting a full ride scholarship.

The vestiges of plantation slavery of “involuntary servitude” are a foundation of the current U.S. system of mass incarceration and its racial component of white supremacy. The NCAA’s argument has put them in the camp of those who continue to uphold slavery and white supremacy.

A Whiff of the Plantation

Think it’s “extreme” to say this about the NCAA? The two college sports that generate the most money, by far, are football and men’s basketball. College sports programs that these athletes play for generate billions of dollars. The Intercept reported that “In 2015, the top programs made a combined $9.1 billion.” Fifty-seven percent of athletes at Division One football programs are Black. At most of the top teams the percentage is higher.

The University of Alabama team has been national champions more than any other in recent years. 80 percent of the starters on last season’s team, which won the national title again, are Black. Their coach, who is white, makes $11 million a year, by far the most of any state official in Alabama. The next four highest paid University of Alabama employees are also all white. The players don’t make a cent.

As historian Taylor Branch said of college football, there is “an unmistakable whiff of the plantation” about it.

This past week, LeBron James called the NCAA “corrupt.” He said, “I do know what five-star athletes bring to a campus, both in basketball and football. I know how much these college coaches get paid. I know how much these colleges are gaining off these kids. ... I’ve always heard the narrative that they get a free education, but you guys are not bringing me on campus to get an education, you guys are bringing me on it to help you get to a Final Four or to a national championship...”

Scholarship athletes are permitted to hold an outside job as long as they are not being paid due to their athletic ability or as publicity for their employer. However, the rigors of playing college athletics and going to school means most do not have time for a job.

Jay Bilas, who played basketball for Duke and is now an ESPN analyst, told Business Insider in 2016: “The only student in college that is subject to a wage restriction is an athlete.” Bilas has also said that college athletes are being “exploited” by the colleges.

Several professional athletes have advocated for paying college athletes. Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors said this week, “You want these players to go out and play on the biggest stage ... and they don’t get a dime for it … I don’t think it’s right. They go out there, and they slave for these programs, to go out there and win a championship to bring a good vibe to these programs.”

March Madness (the NCAA national basketball championships for men and women) starts in less than two weeks. There will be talk during the tournament about college athletes being paid by sports agents and college coaches. But will anyone call out the NCAA for comparing their players with prisoners and slave labor?







Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

Check It Out:

Art Depicting the “State of the Black Athlete”

March 5, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

The Undefeated website asked several artists of color to do art pieces that would depict how they see the “state of the black athlete”—“The cultural resonance, political awakening and activation of the black athlete, as told in pictures.”

Twelve artists did some very beautiful and thought-provoking works.

Adrian Brandon painted a Black sprinter running while looking forward with his shadow being a Black youth running while looking backwards. He said:

My goal with this illustration is to address the commonalities between black professional athletes and the black victims of police violence—it highlights the incredible amount of responsibility black athletes have and the role sports fans play in the current wave of athlete activism.

Brandon Breaux did an illustration of several Black athletes. He said:

Today’s current state of affairs feel special. I think it’s a time where the life of a black athlete/person is so much bigger than the self, and the athletes in my illustration represent the contemplation that comes with it.

Chase Conley’s art piece is of Huey Newton in his chair with athletic implements on him and around him. He said:

What Huey P. Newton has taught me is that I have the power to change my condition, and it’s vital that we stand up against the unjust and fight for what we believe in, even if the cost is high. Until these players start worrying about the issues concerning the state of black people in this country and not about their paychecks, they are still a part of the problem.

Tiffany B. Chanel did a painting of Tommie Smith and John Carlos with their clenched fists, Muhammad Ali, LeBron James, and Colin Kaepernick. She said:

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” said Colin Kaepernick. In the face of explicit and implicit racism, everyday people rise selflessly to address social injustice. Among these people are African-American athletes, such as the ones in my painting, who use their public platform and their First Amendment right to solidify their purpose as change agents. Their primary goal is to rewrite the narrative of oppressed people and afford them a pathway to upward mobility.

Check it out.





Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

MORE Illegitimate Arrests Across the Country As Mnuchin Disrupters Challenge Him to Debate

Updated March 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


" activists on two coasts have been targeted with excessive politically-motivated suppression, repression and governmental snooping, including by the Department of Homeland Security for nothing more than nonviolent political speech. Not only must this repression stop, the message these young women were conveying – exposing the cruel and fascist program of Mnuchin and the Trump/Pence Regime he serves and calling on people to join us in standing up to stop a fascist America – must be heard far and wide"...

—From the March 7 press release below


Scroll down for these from

March 7, 2018 by Refuse Fascism

Press Alert: Secret Service, DC Police, and Department of Homeland Security Suppress Political Speech of Activists

Available for Interview:

Tala Deloria, Revolution Club, arrested twice for challenging Steve Mnuchin at UCLA activists arrested in DC – upon availability

Contact: 917-407-1286


Secret Service, DC Police, and Department of Homeland Security Suppress Political Speech of Activists

Recent days have seen a dramatic escalation of state repression aimed at silencing those who expose and oppose the crimes against the people being committed by the Trump/Pence Regime. A verbal challenge to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to debate has been turned into a crime to be targeted for political suppression, arrest, and political snooping by Secret Service, police, and the Department of Homeland Security.

On March 5th, two activists from were illegitimately arrested in front of the Treasury Building in DC by Secret Service while peacefully reading out loud a challenge to Steve Mnuchin to debate two other young women who were arrested during Mnuchin’s February 26th speech at UCLA. While the two activists were held more than 24 hours in DC jail, the Department of Homeland Security sent an agent to the home of one of the activist’s parents across the country near Seattle to snoop and ask questions about her daughter’s political views and involvement with Note well: this young activist is not a minor, she is more than 30 years old; there is no legitimate reason for any authorities to be contacting her parents, much less visiting their home.

" activists on two coasts have been targeted with excessive politically-motivated suppression, repression and governmental snooping, including by the Department of Homeland Security for nothing more than nonviolent political speech. Not only must this repression stop, the message these young women were conveying – exposing the cruel and fascist program of Mnuchin and the Trump/Pence Regime he serves and calling on people to join us in standing up to stop a fascist America – must be heard far and wide," said spokesperson Sunsara Taylor.

The arrest and political targeting of activists in DC comes on the heels of the widely publicized arrests of protesting students and others during Steve Mnuchin’s speech on February 26th at UCLA. As reported by the New York Times, Washington Post and others, Mnuchin then further suppressed these protesters by begging UCLA to back out of their commitment to publish video of the event. Despite this suppression, cell phone footage of the protesters’ remarks and arrests has been seen more than a million times on social media.

Also on March 5th, back in Los Angeles, Tala Deloria, the UCLA student who can be seen in the Feb 26th video being carried out of Steve Mnuchin’s event, was arrested yet again at UCLA while standing in the lobby of a public event on UCLA campus. The police claim she was violating an illegitimate 7 day ban from campus which they had conveyed verbally during her first arrest. Deloria can be seen in this video issuing a challenge to Steve "the Mouse" Mnuchin to debate her and the others who were arrested during his Feb 26 UCLA speech.

Press Alert March 6, 2018

Contact: 917 407 1286

Bi-Coastal Arrest Spree In Defense of Steve “the Mouse” Mnuchin Claims Four More

Today, Monday, March 5, activists with and the Revolution Club were arrested in Los Angeles and Washington DC for challenging Steve “the Mouse” Mnuchin to debate. This comes on the heels of the widely publicized arrests of protesting students and others during Steve Mnuchin’s speech last week at UCLA, footage of which he then begged UCLA to suppress. denounces this pattern of targeted political persecution of those who dare to speak up and challenge the fascist policies and program of Mnuchin and the Trump/Pence Regime. “The Trump/Pence Regime, including Steve Mnuchin, has no answer to the challenge that our activists put to them. Instead, like the fascists they are, they rely on lies and police state repression,” said Sunsara Taylor, spokesperson for

In Washington, two supporters of Refuse Fascism were illegitimately arrested when they tried to read a challenge to debate directed at Steve Mnuchin in front of the Treasury Building. As of 10:00 pm, the young women have been held for six hours by MPD at the 2nd District. Phone: 202 715 7300.

In Los Angeles, two members of the Los Angeles Revolution Club and, including a student at UCLA, were arrested on UCLA campus in the lobby of a public event. This was six hours after they had posted a video challenging Steve “the Mouse” Mnuchin to debate. These were two of the people arrested during Steve Mnuchin’s event last week. The police claim they were in violation of a seven day “ban” on them setting foot on campus, but this claim – like the “ban” itself – is illegitimate. demands that Steve “the Mouse” Mnuchin show up to debate and answer for his crimes, not send his critics out in handcuffs.


BELOW: A delegation from Refuse Fascism attempted to deliver a debate challenge in writing to Mnuchin's office in Washington, DC. Police arrested two people for attempting to deliver the challenge!






Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

Michael Slate Interview with Filmmaker Raoul Peck on The Young Karl Marx:

"You need to know who is your enemy and how do you fight that enemy"

March 6, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following is excerpted from an interview with film director Raoul Peck, aired on March 2, 2018, on The Michael Slate Show on KPFK Pacifica radio. The entire interview is available at

The Michael Slate Show airs every Friday at 10 am Pacific Time on KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles. The show can be streamed live here and people can listen to or download archived shows here.

Revolution/ features interviews from The Michael Slate Show to acquaint our readers with the views of significant figures in art, theatre, music and literature, science, sport, 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: Raoul Peck is the director of the new film The Young Karl Marx. This is a film that will give you a whole new and completely refreshing and inspiring understanding of the birth and the development of communist revolution. It focuses on five years from 1843 to 1848 and tells the story of the 26-year-old Karl Marx along with Frederick Engels, Jenny Marx, and Mary Burns and their fight to bring a scientific understanding to the revolutionary movement of the times. In doing so, Marx developed the science of revolution. And today this science has been given new life by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party—the Marx of our times and the architect of a whole new framework of human emancipation: the new synthesis of communism, popularly referred to as the new communism.

With that as background, it was with great pleasure that I was able to see Raoul Peck’s The Young Karl Marx and learn about the earliest days of, and battles to establish, the science of revolution. Shortly before the film opened, I sat down and talked with Raoul Peck....

Raoul Peck, welcome to the show. This is a remarkable film that I think everyone should see, so let’s jump into this. Here is something that is very interesting to me—why this period of Marx’s life? You really zero in on 1843 to 1848.

Raoul Peck: Yeah, it was a very difficult choice, to be frank with you. Throughout the different drafts of the screenplay, we basically started from Marx as a 12-year-old student in his gymnasium school to his time in exile in London when he was 32, 33. But little by little we focused on the period starting in France, or a little bit before in Germany when he was expelled, because it’s the most interesting and intriguing moment. That’s where the ideas are developing, and that’s where the first step of taking up organizing the working class, the nonexistent working class until that moment. Most of the heads of the movement, especially the utopian socialists, those were the hand workers. They were tailors, they were woodworkers—they were not workers working in factories.

Marx and Engels come into that juncture and change everything and give it the structure, give it the tailoring and even a more educational approach. Because for Marx, ignorance never helped anybody. You need to know who is your enemy and how do you fight that enemy. So, it became almost natural to tackle that moment that is not really well known, because people always try to go to whatever monument of Marx’ writing and specifically Capital.

Capital is, I would say, the model work where he tried to put everything that he has accumulated over the years, because his approach was to be a scientific one. So he needed a book like this, and that’s why it took so much time write [Volume 1 of Capital was published in 1867]. But the evolution of the ideas, the beginnings and also the energy of the youth were important to us. He said philosophers have spent time analyzing the world when what it needs to be now, to do now, is to change it. This is a phenomenal decision at that moment.

Michael Slate: Let’s talk about the opening scene to the film, which really does set the tone for much of the rest of the film—the ruthless oppression and the struggle to change it.

Raoul Peck: It was necessary to show from the beginning the type of violence we are talking about—blind violence that doesn’t make sense. It’s at the core of, I would say, the reaction of the young Marx, because he is somebody who could not accept inequality and injustice and repression, as a journalist—because at the time that was what he was, basically. And I love that scene as well, because first it shows you the violence of the time. These people in the woods trying to survive by taking wood on the soil, on the bottom of the forest and the forest belongs to a rich class—and even that, they were not allowed by law to use. And this was a total contradiction, and Marx writes that if the people don’t understand the justice of the law and the absurdity of this, they cannot obey those same laws and they are bound to revolt. In a philosophical and political aspect, this was the best beginning I could have. You can see from that moment the evolution of Marx and then Engels together.

And visually, of course that was important because I knew that the rest of the film, we would not have very much space and room for any action situation, because it was an intellectual fight most of the time until 1848 when they wrote the Communist Manifesto. It was important to date the moment and to show visually—and even in the bodies of the people—what kind of violence we are talking about in that moment in the Western world. And it was very symbolic.

Michael Slate: I have to say, there’s a lot of parallels to the world today. And still many of the same questions and issues are posed, especially when you think about the immigrants coming to this country to work and what’s happening to people.

Raoul Peck: Well, that was the idea. How do I provide tools to young people of today to understand what’s going on? Because in the last 40 years, we have had so much incredible changes, changes that did not bring us much more clarity. On the contrary, it blurred everything... we don’t even know what real news is and fake news is. I feel we end up in a place of ignorance that is very hard to react to. What do you do as an artist, as the writer, as a filmmaker to counter that, because it’s not something you can deal with in a matter of one project, one film, one book, or one year. It’s really, how will we face the next 30-40 years? That is what is at stake.

Again to come back to my film, my modest attempt to at least deliver some sort of theoretical tool, some instrument to understand what’s going on. I can say yes, I had tremendous insight and discussion in many of the countries where the film came out—in France and Belgium, in Germany. I can see how motivated young people were in the discussions, and I hope it will be the same here, too. But it’s about how do we regain our capacity of analysis? How do we reverse this permanent growing ignorance about things, the individualization of any group? We love our collective, and there cannot be real change without collectives, without collective minds and ambition for change. The film is just how to give the people the capacity to think again.

Michael Slate: Let’s talk about Proudhon. He was a respected radical philosopher who spoke out against the oppression under early capitalism. The way you handled the relationship between Marx and Proudhon showed the broadness of mind that Marx and Engels had in terms of reaching out to people like Proudhon with whom they had differences—but they also thought people like this could make important contributions. At the same time, Marx was not liberal with anyone. There is a point where Proudhon walks up to Marx and offers him his latest book. Marx looks at the title, The Philosophy of Poverty, and he knows that he is going to have to speak against the arguments advanced by Proudhon in order to develop the kind of revolutionary movement needed.

Raoul Peck: You know it’s the real story, and between the two they have been playing cat and mouse for a long time. Of course Marx, at the beginning, he did respect Proudhon. Marx was a very peculiar character. He was very impatient when he felt like you were not progressing like you should do and, in particular, with great thinkers. So he did recognize the importance of Proudhon, and he did respect him quite a lot. But at some point, he felt like Proudhon was being lazy and was not going further than the space he already had, because Proudhon was already very famous at the time in the movement. Marx understood that the younger son, at some point, has to kill his father in order to emerge. Somehow this is what happened. That’s one aspect in the film where I had to find a way to even explain what Marx’s position was as somebody who wanted to install a more scientific socialism. And the two great movements were, on one side, the more utopian socialists like Proudhon and the more populist socialist like Weitling. So that was the perfect character to show what exactly Marx and Engels are all going for....

Michael Slate: There is the point made continuously throughout the film about laws that are not laws of nature but laws of man, laws of manmade relations of production—and how things don’t have to be this way. There is a certain way that society is organized, but people need to step up and change that.

Raoul Peck: Starting with Hegel and Feuerbach, that’s the fundamental issue—man makes history, and that means if man makes history they can change history. That is the fundamental importance of that. In particular, in the time like this [now], you would really hear a lot of people who are totally discouraged. They are discouraged against politicians—they are all corrupt. And they are discouraged against even the democratic process of voting. They don’t go to vote because it’s all rigged and it doesn’t make sense, etc.

So it’s really important to make understood that whatever the situation is, only we can change it. Only the addition of our strength and our resistance and our engagement can change anything. The history of the workers has shown it. Nothing that we have today in terms of democracy, in terms of process, was the result of somebody handing it to us. It was always the result of fighting, of people dying, of people organizing. Whether it is the independence of America, whether it was the Civil War and the freedom of the slaves, whether it was the Civil Rights Movement, whether it’s the feminist movement, the right to vote for women, the right of work and protection in the workplace—everything is the result of fighting and people understanding their situation, coming together, fighting together, and imposing the changes. This is what we are losing right now.

Michael Slate: And that’s one of the things towards the end of the film that I thought was really important—the argument, the struggle to actually produce the Communist Manifesto that would unleash the world in a way that had never been seen before, that could unleash people of the world in a way that had never been seen before.

Raoul Peck: Exactly. And if you remember, by the way, today is the 170th anniversary of the Communist Manifesto. If you read it today, if you read the first chapter at least, it’s exactly the description of what happens with capitalism today. It’s totally present and current, what it says about the capitalists without brakes invading the planets, that there is no limit and that it will go crisis after crisis and destroy a lot of institutions, etc., etc. So it is exactly what is happening today.

Michael Slate: And the summons to all people to stand up and stop this.

Raoul Peck: Of course, because there will be no magic. And even worse, if you rely only on your anger or on any revolt, that’s the best way to do even more damage. That’s one thing you have in the scene with [populist socialist] Weitling, where Weitling is almost saying, well, if everybody is angry enough, and we can even use people, criminals from prison, and put them in the street and change the system. And Marx said, no, you can’t do that, you need to educate the people. They need to know why they are fighting. So organization is as important as the knowledge of the situation or the anger that you have.





Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

Interview with Refuse Fascism Activists Arrested in Washington, DC for—Get This—Reading, on Public Property, a Challenge to Steve “the Mouse” Mnuchin to Debate!

March 6, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Monday, March 5, two Refuse Fascism activists were arrested in Washington, DC for delivering a public challenge to Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to debate. This debate challenge comes in the wake of the widely publicized arrests of members of the Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism activists at a Mnuchin speech at UCLA last week, as well as the protest of many diverse groups, after which Mnuchin begged UCLA to suppress the video of the event (see coverage here). talked to the Refuse Fascism activists arrested in DC, after their release the next day.

Revcom: Why were you in DC?

A: We went to Washington, DC to stand with Dreamers and immigrants. We went with a whole bunch of different organizations to condemn the Trump/Pence regime’s attacks on DACA—yesterday was the day it was set to expire. It’s in the courts, but attacks on immigrants are rolling on, and people came out from all over the country to say they weren’t going to accept it. And we came to unite with them and demand that attacks on immigrants must be stopped, and most of all—we came to demand that the whole Trump/Pence fascist regime must go! Unless and until it is driven from power, which is what is determined to unite with people to do, this regime will continue to launch new attacks and hammer forward with their fascist program.

We also came to deliver a message to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who was instrumental in pushing through a draconian tax bill which will chip away at healthcare, including for millions of children. It will do a lot harm to Black and Brown people, chipping away at Medicare and food stamps. For many people it will be a death sentence. So we went to Washington, DC to deliver a message—and a challenge—on behalf of the protesters who disrupted him at UCLA and challenged him on these polices. They denounced him for punishing people for conditions they didn’t create, that are out of their control—and for a mentality of “Let Them Eat Cake,” like the Queen of France told starving people in the 1700s. And they challenged him to debate. So we were demanding Mnuchin answer their challenge.

The thing that’s outrageous was that you had these two aspects of fascism being protested on the same day: the attacks on immigrants and the attacks on peoples’ human rights and the basic rights they need to live.

At UCLA, young people who are standing up for humanity, for the seven billion, go and confront this fascist Steve Mnuchin about these outrages and to demand he answer for them—and debate. Mnuchin’s answer was to roll these two courageous young women protesters out of the room, then suppress the video, and then we were arrested just trying to read this challenge out loud in public—it's unacceptable!

Revcom: What happened when you went to read the challenge? It seemed like you just tried to read your letter outside the Department of the Treasury and a bunch of police jumped you.

A: Yes! We were engaged in publicly protected, nonviolent speech, and our arrest was totally illegitimate. Then they held us for 24 hours!

Revcom: What was that like?

A: First, they shackled our feet and hands. Then, before they checked us in to be booked, they kept us in detention. They did not offer us the chance to get our phone call, we had to ask for this and keep asking for it. Later we talked to some of the arrested DACA protesters, and they too were not offered a phone call, and some had their request for one denied.

In jail, we ended up meeting a lot of the Dreamers who were arrested protesting for immigrant rights and were also held 24 hours unjustly. And we also met people in jail, Black people in particular, who told us that they felt the laws and the police becoming more draconian in Washington, DC under Trump.

The conditions in these jails are abysmal, and practically everyone was Black, except for those arrested for protesting and the prison guards. They forced people, including us, to go many hours without water. The beds are unsleepable, big slabs of metal—not mattresses. I’ve been arrested before and the conditions of the jails in Washington, DC were appalling.

A Latina woman who was diabetic told guards that she needed something for her blood sugar and the prison guard told her that she should have thought of that before she had done what she did. Another woman who was hypoglycemic— a DACA protester—was also medically neglected even though her friends kept telling the guard she was in need of medical attention.

A number of the people there were Dreamers who had DACA, but the guards checked everyone’s legal status and told one women they were going to release her but they wanted her to know that she was not here legally. She burst into tears. (We don’t know if they actually did release her.)

Revcom: How important do you think your action was? And how important is it that the action taken by the youth at UCLA and the challenge to Steve “The Mouse” Mnuchin get known and spread far and wide?

B: Our arrest was totally unjust. We were reading a letter that needed to be heard, and we are very proud to have done what we did, on behalf of the protesters at UCLA.

This is the first time I’ve ever been arrested, and I can’t even begin to express how much solidarity I have with all the sisters and brothers across the country standing up against this fascist regime, and all the Refuse Fascism chapters organizing to drive out this regime, a regime full of people like Steve Mnuchin, who are packing the most powerful military on earth with funds, while they’re taking away meals on wheels. These are the politics of cruelty and the politics of fascism.

It is so important to keep getting out this challenge. This is an extremely well written letter, challenging Mnuchin to debate, and calling on him to be accountable. Spreading this statement is important. And most important is understanding that “first they came for the Muslims, then they came for the immigrants—and we’re saying NOT THIS TIME!” Immigrants must stay and poor people have a right to live! Trump/Pence Must Go! And we’re not going to stop or back down in the face of any repression—and that’s why we went to Washington, DC and why we’re going to keep fighting [to organize millions to drive out this regime].






Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

Outrageous Attack by University of Chicago

Stand with Maya Thursday, March 8, 1:30 pm at 51st & Wentworth—demand an end to this travesty of justice!

March 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |



On March 1, University of Chicago police brutally attacked and arrested Maya, a member of the Revolution Club Chicago, for participating in a SILENT protest in support of undocumented immigrants. On top of this outrageous attack, they are now charging HER with felony battery on a police officer and resisting arrest. She goes to court on Thursday, March 8, International Women’s Day, for a hearing on whether the felony charge should stand. On International Women’s Day, stand with our heroes like Maya: sign the petition and come to the courtroom to demand the charges be thrown out of court.

Maya took part in 11 minutes of silence for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are now being terrorized in an escalating ethnic cleansing by the Trump/Pence regime. She, together with three other members of the Revolution Club, walked into the University of Chicago student center dining hall, held up sheets of paper announcing 11 minutes of silence for 11 million undocumented immigrants and stood silently for 11 minutes. Almost the entire dining hall fell silent for the 11 minutes. At the end the Revolution Club thanked all who participated, gave them ways to learn more and get further involved, and headed towards the exit. At the exit, they were stopped by police who then attacked Maya, grabbing her roughly and then arresting her, dragging her down the stairs out of the building.

This is the same University of Chicago that has invited to speak, and in fact rolled out the red carpet for, the fascist, oops we mean “populist,” Steve Bannon, who has done all he can to fight for fascism, not just in the U.S. but in Europe as well (traveling last week to Italy to help out his fascist allies there, who have now come to power). Then they bring down the police against people silently protesting against the demonization and persecution of those same immigrants Bannon is attacking, not only threatening them and forcing them out of the building, but then as the demonstrators were peacefully leaving, these University of Chicago cops—with a whole history of suppressing speech—attacked Maya, who had to go to the hospital for her injuries, then charged her with a bogus felony.

On top of this, Maya, who has been volunteering with the Revolution Club Chicago project since last spring, was further targeted by the state at what should have been a routine bail hearing. The Assistant State’s Attorney arrived with a lengthy, distorted, and utterly irrelevant political dossier on Maya, implying that Maya should not be released—on the basis of her alleged political views and associations, and the fact that the police have previously attempted to suppress her while she was engaged in lawful speech. In other words, the evidence of past attempts at police suppression of her right to expression is now being brought to bear to try to keep her behind bars and unable to speak, either about politics in general or her case in particular. Hence, the repressive power of the state—in close cooperation with the University—is being brought to bear against someone who is peacefully protesting the ongoing raids against and attacks on immigrants, while this same university is bending over backwards to give Steve Bannon not just a large platform but the intellectual legitimization afforded by that platform. What is being done now to immigrants is nothing short of ethnic cleansing and there is a clear message here that those trying to fight this will be silenced.

NO! As Bob Avakian says in the Q&A of his crucial talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America—A Better World IS Possible, in speaking about what it is going to take to protect those who are vulnerable to attack by this system, “Other people have to get involved, other people... who are not directly affected in this or that thing, including deportations, have to take the stand that this is intolerable and we won’t allow it.” And he also goes on to say, “We cannot protect people from what the people in power are intending to do to them, other than by driving out the people in power.”

Maya has been part of standing up to say this is intolerable and we won’t allow it. She is part of the movement to drive out the fascist Trump/Pence regime, and she has been telling people everywhere they need to see this film by Bob Avakian. She is also a revolutionary who is fighting for the emancipation of all humanity. Stand with her, and like she did on March 1, take the stand that what is happening to immigrants is intolerable and we won’t allow it.

Pack the Courtroom! Drop the Charges!

Thursday, March 8

1:30 pm—Rally to Demand the Charges be Dropped!

2:30 pm—Pack the Courtroom!

Courtroom: Branch 48, 5101 South Wentworth Ave., Chicago, 60609






Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

Letter from a Prisoner:

Struggling for a Scientific Understanding of Women's Oppression—and Liberation

March 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


The Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF) received this letter:


As always, health is foundational for all Humyn happiness. So it is a must i inquire about your health and sincerely hope at the time you receive this (and beyond it) you are of sound Mind, Body, Emotion, and Spirit.

P.E.A.C.E GOD! Last year i decided to study feminism for all of 2018. To come to a more clearer and hopefully attain a scientific understanding of Winmin’s condition and the underlying causes of their condition and their struggle. I understand through the study of Brother B.A. (Bob Avakian) and the book The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, by Frederick Engels that the enslavement, oppression and exploitation of Winmin come into existence as a result of the rise, development, and evolution of private property and the state. The Family is also a consequence of this. Along with its organizational patriarchal structure.

Patriarchy came into existence, destroyed the Liberation, Equality and Justice of Winmin, enjoyed by Winmin prior to the rise of private property and the State. Personally, i have come to see patriarchy as gender hierarchy—a social relation in which men have power and control over Winmin. Under patriarchy Winmin and men are coerced into conforming to certain and set social roles, and are abused, degraded, ostracized, and even murdered for not conforming to the social roles set forth for them by the dynamics of patriarchy.

I have come to see and understand how patriarchy has enmeshed itself in every aspect of our cultural, social, and personal lives. Its devastating impact on Winmin and its negative impact on men. And how the death of patriarchy and the Liberation of Winmin is fundamental and essential to the Liberation of Humynity.

I am writing y’all because I was going over y’all article On the Controversy over Matt Damon’s Comments About the #MeToo Movement, Are we going for retribution or transformation? And it was saying that "every boy and man is, to one or another degree, shaped, trained and ensnared from an early age into a prevailing culture which routinely fosters, encourages, defends, and normalizes the practice of male supremacy in countless forms, from sexist “jokes” to porn to endless daily forms of minor harassment, to outright physical assaults, and rape, the ultimate exercise of power to humiliate, degrade, diminish, and dehumanize. We are ALL drowning in this putrid culture. Don’t we have to deal with the manifestations of such problems via boys and men? All the boys and men, shaped by the patriarchy since earliest childhood, boys and men that include loved ones—fathers, boyfriends, husbands, sons, best friends. There are works on the website from B.A. in particular that get into this, and [other recent] articles began to speak to this, but much more needs to be done." [emphasis added by author]

Is it possible to get some of the works off the website that deal with the above mention? I want to study and analyze it. And anything else you have on patriarchy, its multi-expressions and manifestations, and the conditions and struggles of Winmin.

Thank Y’all In Advance. I truly appreciate it.

Carry On the Tradition of Resistance! With All LOVE & RESPECT,

Sincerely, Signed XXX

P.S.—I am still waiting on a copy of Of Primeval Steps & Future Leaps: An Essay on the Emergence of Human Beings, the Source of Women’s Oppression, and the Road to Emancipation by Ardea Skybreak or/and THE NEW COMMUNISM.






Revolution #533 March 5, 2018

Some Points of Orientation on Trump’s Announcement of Talks with North Korea

March 10, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


1. What kind of world are we living in?

It is a fundamental outrage that we live in a world where the survival of humanity rests in the hands of someone like Donald Trump; that the people of the Korean peninsula, and humanity, are held hostage to his acts and speech.

Let’s not forget that he has threatened to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea “like the world has never seen before,” then doubled down at the UN with threats to “totally destroy” North Korea. We are being told this is what forced North Korea and Kim Jong-un to the table. We are being told this is Trump-style diplomacy, the “madman” theory, which Trump himself joked about recently.

Ask yourself: what kind of world is this?

2. Who is the real aggressor?

Let’s be clear: the U.S. has been—for 70 years—and remains the real aggressor here, starting with the Korean War of 1950-53, and ever afterward. And it must not be forgotten that during the Korean War, the U.S. carpet-bombed and eventually burned down every town in North Korea, and that an estimated three million Korean civilians, the great majority in the North, were killed in this war.

Even mainstream commentators have identified the existential and long-standing U.S. threats against the North Korean regime as one of the main reasons that they have pursued this nuclear deterrent in the first place, as a protective measure. (See here for more background on the U.S.-North Korea conflict.)

3. What is at stake in the negotiations—U.S. interests or those of humanity?

The U.S. will be pursuing its imperialist interests through negotiation, as it would through war, and these interests are fundamentally and through and through unjust and have nothing in common with those of the masses, worldwide and within the U.S.

These interests have to do with larger geopolitical considerations, great power rivalry, and fundamentally, the U.S. quest for continued dominance in a changing world. These are the interests that have resulted in and provoked the U.S.’s current aggressive stance, and remain its abiding and driving interests, not the situation and real interests of the people of the Korean Peninsula or humanity.

4. What is the context of the talks?

The proposed talks are fraught with grave dangers. Plans to negotiate take place in the context of an increasingly bellicose stance, direction, and policy posture overall by the U.S., one which is deeply linked to the fascist character of the regime. And this context includes the ramping up of military spending by this fascist regime—and its announced intention to expand, modernize, and make more useable the U.S’s planet-destroying arsenal of 4,000 nuclear weapons

Think about this before celebrating the negotiations: writing in the New York Times March 9, Victor Cha—a candidate for the post of ambassador to South Korea whose nomination was withdrawn because of differences and reservations with this regime over its consideration of a preemptive strike against North Korea, the “bloody nose” option—states:

Finally, everyone should be aware that this dramatic act of diplomacy by these two unusual leaders, who love flair and drama, may also take us closer to war. Failed negotiations at the summit level leave all parties with no other recourse for diplomacy. In which case, as Mr. Trump has said, we really will have “run out of road” on North Korea.

In fact, the dangers of war further heighten Trump’s need to walk the “last mile of peace.” This is a fast-moving situation. The talks may not even happen. Former UN ambassador John Bolton, whom Trump is reaching to as an advisor, has advocated using the talks to issue an ultimatum to North Korea: accept U.S. terms or else.

All of this makes the proposed negotiations fraught and dangerous, not the “magic and easy solution” to the dangers of what would, by all accounts, be a catastrophic war.

5. What has not changed, and what IS needed

The interests of the people here—and around the world—not only lie in NO WAR and NO THREATS OF WAR, but in ousting Trump/Pence regime altogether. Whatever happens with these negotiations, and whatever legitimacy Trump may get and seek to claim from this stance and act, it does not change the fundamental nature of this regime as fascist, with all the horrors it portends for humanity.

The only solution is mass political action, ultimately of millions, aimed at driving this regime from power before it can consolidate its power and/or unleash unprecedented horrors on the people of the world. As part of this, there is an urgent need for people to take to the streets to denounce the Trump regime's ongoing threats against North Korea, and to oppose any military action by the U.S.