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Sights & Sounds of July 4, 2024

SAY NO to Celebrating America—
Truly a Model of Depraved, Racist Genocide 

We Need and Demand: Revolution 
For a Whole New Way to Live, 
A Fundamentally Different System 

March with banner July 4: Say No to celebrating America

 

New York City, July 4. The procession marched through Harlem ending up at 125th St. in front of the U.S. military recruitment center with a short rally.     Photo: revcom.us

As part of Revolution Summer, the revcoms spent the weeks before July 4 calling on people to “Say NO! to celebrating America, truly a model of depraved, racist genocide, and to rally around Revolution—a whole new way to live and a fundamentally different system.” And on July 4 itself, there were gatherings in several cities across the country organized by THE REVCOM CORPS For The Emancipation Of Humanity that gave life to these slogans in different ways. While these gatherings did not have big “breakthrough” impact on the public consciousness, they were marked by a high spirit, and by the presence of people who had just come forward in the weeks or even hours before it, and there were also some lessons to learn that could be the basis for significant further advance. 

Noche Diaz, spokesperson for THE REVCOM CORPS For The Emancipation Of Humanity at anti-July 4th celebration in South Central LA.

In the weeks before the 4th, the revcoms took the call for July 4 actions all over, challenging the backward fools who would defend this blood-soaked system and rallying those who yearn to stand against it but feel suffocated and weighed down by the way things normally are. This slogan—and the main poster up on the walls everywhere—had a very positive effect: forcing people to confront the reality of this country in very graphic ways, repelling and outraging some while drawing forward others.

In some areas, including Los Angeles, THE REVCOM CORPS boldly put forward @BobAvakianOfficial social media message Number Two, where Bob Avakian (BA) asks, “When has the USA been a ‘great country’?” and boldly answers, “NEVER.” The slogan “No Fascist Trump, No Genocide Joe, The Whole Damn System’s Got to Go” generated sharp controversy and—again—support; and even some who liked the first slogan wanted to struggle over the second. The more that the revcoms did this as a unified force, the more sharply things fell out and the more magnetic the revcoms were.

One significant way that people were brought forward to contribute was through working on art projects that brought out the main slogan. These visual pieces often involved groups of new people working together with more experienced revcoms and had a strong effect. In New York, an artist re-did the Revolution Books window along the lines of both main slogans, working with four others during the whole process, and people stopped in their tracks to take pictures in the days before and after the event. In LA, in a courtyard of a cluster of homes in a neighborhood of the oppressed, some teenagers along with some family members and neighbors made mock body bags representing the children and others who have been slaughtered in Gaza by made-in-USA missiles. As they did this, they listened to and wrestled with some of Bob Avakian's social media dispatches. In Chicago, over half a dozen people coming from different backgrounds and cultures contributed to a project designed by an art student. There were also poems, songs, performances and powerful statements made by people coming from different perspectives, and uniting around the key slogans of the day.

In some cities, these projects gave expression to an important principle of revolutionary strategy brought forward by Bob Avakian: the two maximizings. The “two maximizings” refers to “maximizing resistance and the development of a revolutionary movement and organized revolutionary forces among the basic masses, and among the more middle strata.” (from The New Communism: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation) When people from different sections of society come together on projects or actions it can generate a positive “synergy.” It can break down the isolation that people from different parts of society often feel from one another and it can give people a sense that bigger change really is possible.  

There are important lessons to learn and spread and important things to build on. From every effort and from every development, positive and negative, new questions inevitably arise. There will be a struggle to draw those lessons and a struggle over how to go forward—and that’s good! The main thing now is to do that struggle in the process of surging forward in this rare time.

“I will never celebrate the 4th of July… Get with the Revcom Corps for the Emancipation of Humanity”

My name is Veda Sterling Abusaleh.

I am the auntie of Alton Sterling who was murdered by [Baton Rouge, Louisiana] police on July 4 weekend in 2016. 

Alton Sterling, Murdered by Police July 4, 2016

 

Alton Sterling   

They shot him on July 4 and pronounced him dead on July 5th. I don't celebrate the 4th of July. I have never celebrated the 4th of July. 

I always hear them say this is the land of the Free. There's nothing free about this land. Slavery, genocide against the native inhabitants. Wars to conquer and plunder other lands. That ain’t freedom. Our ancestors’ blood is crying out from this land. They built America, but we did not get credit for it and we still don't get credit for it. I will never celebrate the 4th of July.

My nephew Alton was only out there selling CDs when they killed him. He gave away more CDs than he sold, which is why he touched the lives and the hearts of so many people here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I don't understand why especially people of color celebrate this pagan holiday. 

But I do understand if you don't know why you shouldn’t celebrate America, you need to search out all the things that have happened, what has happened in the past, what’s happening today, and what the system has planned for your future.

I ask that you get together with a group of people that can help you learn that. The blind can't lead the blind. I got with the RevComs in 2016. It is 2024 now, and they have never left my side, and I appreciate everything. I want y’all to remember this one thing if you don't remember anything else. I have seen that this system is not made for us. It's made for slaves, and you should ask yourself the question, are you a slave? If your answer is no, then you should be doing something about getting rid of this system because the whole system is really guilty as hell.

Get with the RevCom Corps for the Emancipation of Humanity.

They shot him on July 4 and pronounced him dead on July 5th. I don't celebrate the 4th of July. I have never celebrated the 4th of July. 

I always hear them say this is the land of the Free. There's nothing free about this land. Slavery, genocide against the native inhabitants. Wars to conquer and plunder other lands. That ain’t freedom. Our ancestors’ blood is crying out from this land. They built America, but we did not get credit for it and we still don't get credit for it. I will never celebrate the 4th of July.

My nephew Alton was only out there selling CDs when they killed him. He gave away more CDs than he sold, which is why he touched the lives and the hearts of so many people here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I don't understand why especially people of color celebrate this pagan holiday. 

But I do understand if you don't know why you shouldn’t celebrate America, you need to search out all the things that have happened, what has happened in the past, what’s happening today, and what the system has planned for your future.

I ask that you get together with a group of people that can help you learn that. The blind can't lead the blind. I got with the RevComs in 2016. It is 2024 now, and they have never left my side, and I appreciate everything. I want y’all to remember this one thing if you don't remember anything else. I have seen that this system is not made for us. It's made for slaves, and you should ask yourself the question, are you a slave? If your answer is no, then you should be doing something about getting rid of this system because the whole system is really guilty as hell.

Get with the RevCom Corps for the Emancipation of Humanity.

Los Angeles

THE REVCOM CORPS For The Emancipation Of Humanity kicked off their July 4th activities with a small rally that drew together a diverse group of people. Emcees Michelle Xai and Luna Hernandez indicted the crimes of America and called on people to lift their sights to revolution for a whole new way to live and a fundamentally different system.

In the weeks leading up to July 4th, THE REVCOM CORPS For The Emancipation Of Humanity took the call to, “Say no to celebrating America on the 4th of July and yes to revolution!” all over the city. They organized people to join in creating an art installation that exposed the crimes of the USA – from an event at an African American Museum to a courtyard of a cluster of homes in a neighborhood of the oppressed.  Other volunteers came together to construct a paper mache home in Gaza that has been reduced to rubble. Those who came out on July 4 pitched in to assemble all of this into a powerful internationalist indictment of the USA.

New York City

July 4, 2024, NYC: Art installation of baby in razorwire on the border.

 

Revolution Books NYC window display done by artist for July 4, 2024.

 

The program to say No to Celebrating America was held in front of Revolution Books in Harlem. The compelling front window display at the store served as background, bringing alive the slogans “Say NO to Celebrating America—Truly a Model of Depraved, Racist Genocide” and "We Need and We Demand: Revolution for a Whole New Way to Live, a Fundamentally Different System." This included images of the U.S. backed Israeli genocide in Gaza, a representation of U.S. crimes at the border with Mexico at the Rio Grande river and more. These are images from the display. 

July 4 program in front of Revolution Books New York City

 

Marching in Harlem, New York City on July 4 with No to Celebrating America

 

The procession marched through Harlem ending up at 125th St. in front of the U.S. military recruitment center with a short rally.

Chicago

July 4, 2024, Chicago: Revcom agitator at The Bean.

 

The rally at the downtown Millennium Park included members of THE REVCOM CORPS in Chicago, spoken word and poetry readings, and the main speech by Rafael Kadaris, a national leader of THE REVCOM CORPS For The Emancipation Of Humanity. He tore into the horrors this country was founded on and the continuing crimes it was built on, and concluded by getting into the rare time we are in when revolution is more possible and how now is the moment to seize the time to get organized into the revolution, taking up the leadership of Bob Avakian. We marched to the Bean—a large reflective sculpture that is a major Chicago attraction. Tourists from all over the world and others watched with rapt attention. After some sharp agitation about the crimes of America, two U.S. flags went up in flames. 

Many people passing by stopped to view the art installation, made by a crew of volunteers from different backgrounds including art students, young people from around the world, along with people from THE REVCOM CORPS. The dramatic piece, designed by an art student, showed an American flag with skulls instead of stars surrounded by paintings of key crimes of America, this “model of depraved, racist genocide.”

July 4, 2024, Chicago: Engaging with people around banner at The Bean.

 

San Francisco

July 4, 2024, San Francisco: Large banner in Spanish.

 

July 4, 2024, San Francisco: Engaging with people in the mission.

 

THE REVCOM CORPS and other revcoms went out to 24th and Mission in the Mission District of San Francisco, a predominantly immigrant neighborhood. They challenged people not to celebrate America, and called on people to lift their sights to a liberating future possible only through a real revolution and to join the movement for revolution to make this future a reality. The Corps focused on spreading @BobAvakianOfficial social media. The bilingual banners with "SAY NO to celebrating America—truly a model of depraved racist genocide" got a lot of attention. The revcoms got into some deep engagements with people, struggling with them to break with illusions about this system, tapping into their deeper aspirations and yearning for a better world, connecting them with invaluable leadership of Bob Avakian, and bringing the real and unique possibility for revolution in this rare time with a challenge to act now as a part of an organized, disciplined revolutionary force.

Austin, Texas

July 4, 2024: RevComs took revolution out to the masses at the Star-Spangled Fest in Austin, Texas.

 

THE REVCOM CORPS For The Emancipation Of Humanity, Texas took revolution out to people at the Star-Spangled Fest in Austin, attended by thousands "celebrating" America. Many were immigrants from Latin America and Asia and Black people who live every day under the boot of this system. A group representing THE REVCOM CORPS and some others—including people from Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio as well as Austin—got out materials that challenge people to break with American chauvinism and get with the revolution. Three people joined on the spot to help hold up banners and get out stickers saying, "We don't have an immigration problem. We have an imperialism problem." The banners highlighted U.S. crimes here and around the world. The revcoms held pop-up rallies around the area, including at a busy intersection where hundreds were entering the festival. All this turned heads and planted a pole for real revolution. 

Boston

July 4 in Boston: Standing on the flag.

 

Members and supporters of THE REVCOM CORPS For The Emancipation Of Humanity went to Revere Beach, just north of Boston. This is an area with a large concentration of immigrants from Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa as well as a growing number of young urban professionals. The revcoms set up at the main entrance to the beach and reached out to people with amplified playing of @bobavakianofficial, numbers 1-11 and agitation on why America was never great.