From The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show:

Sunsara Taylor on the “Society-Shaking Struggle” to Defeat the Assault on Abortion Rights—and How It Relates to the Movement for an Actual Revolution

Editors’ Note: The following is an edited transcript of a segment from episode 84 of the RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show, which premiered its third season on January 13.

Andy Zee: So welcome, Sunsara Taylor, my co-host, to the third season of our show, The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show.

Sunsara Taylor: Andy, I’m really glad to be with you here in the studio. I know you said this before, but welcome to everybody tuning in for our third season. And we have to make this the best and most impactful one. So I’m glad to be here.

AZ: I said in closing out the opening segment that you were going to be doing some new and important things, as a part of a lot of people doing new things to actually bring forward a revolutionary people. So why don’t you give people a sense of what it is that you’re going to be doing and how it’s going to contribute to this.

ST: This week, I have initiated, together with others, what we are determined to make and what really must become a society-shaking struggle in this country: to rouse thousands and tens of thousands and actually millions of people in the streets, in the arts, and many different spheres, to defeat the massive, violent assault on women’s fundamental right to abortion, which really is at the heart of whether women are going to be full human beings, with control over their bodies, their lives, their destinies, or be enslaved by a patriarchal fascist state. We’re aiming to bring forward the kind of struggle in this country that really rocks the rulers back on their heels, on the scale we saw in the Beautiful Rising against the police murder of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd—making clear, to every institution in this country, including the Supreme Court, that they cannot get away with stealing this right of women and slamming them backwards in this way. We’ve just begun, but this is a major undertaking.

AZ: I think you are the person to do this—you have a whole long history with this struggle. But what is going to be different about your role in the show? Because this sounds like, and it will be, an enormous, enormous undertaking.

ST: I’m going to be on the road a lot of the time. We’re going to DC, soon—I’ll tell more about that later. And I’ll be reporting on this, in the field, on the front lines. We’ll be doing dispatches from this struggle. I’ll be providing analysis, and I’m sure a lot of polemic, a lot of leadership for people who want to understand what’s at stake and how to wage this fight. And The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show is going to be a must-watch, both for everyone who wants revolution but also for people who want to understand what is at stake and how to fight to win this, to defeat this assault on women. So this is going to be a big part of our season.

AZ: Yeah, I think this is going to be a real big part of the show. First off, the battle itself, and the struggle around the right to abortion, the way you just put it forward. But also the idea that we’re going to be out there organizing people, to fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution. And these dispatches will be a key part of what we do on the show. And we’ll also be making analysis of how this fits in to the overall movement to bring forward a revolutionary people. So why don’t you give a little more sense of what the vision and the plan is for this initiative.

ST: I think the best way to do that actually is, we have a short film of the statement launching this movement that’s been recorded by our team here at The RNL Show, by Chantelle, who’s a member of the revcoms in Los Angeles, and part of the core group that’s initiating this struggle together with me. She reads our statement, our call to action, which has now been signed by a number of very notable, prominent figures in different realms—Merle Hoffman, an abortion provider, longtime fighter on this front; Gloria Steinem, the well-known feminist; Dr. Cornel West; V, formerly known as Eve Ensler, the poet and playwright; and Frances Fisher… You’ve got to go to the website, RiseUp4AbortionRights.org, and see the whole list. Add your name, and spread it. But why don’t we play this video of Chantelle and let out viewers see it directly and hear this.

AZ: This is a very moving statement, really drawing very sharply the stakes,  how the future for half of humanity is depending on this… it’s a big deal. But I’d like to see if you could just go a little bit further—you said some of this earlier, about how this is fitting into building the movement for an actual revolution. A key part of the strategy for revolution that’s actually in SOMETHING TERRIBLE, OR SOMETHING TRULY EMANCIPATING, this new piece that we’ve been discussing from Bob Avakian, is the revolutionary strategy of fighting the power, and transforming the people—principally, the thinking of people, so that they see things differently, they see both the nature of the problem but also the actual solution—both fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution. So how do you see this initiative that you are part of initiating and that you are a part of, while coming to it from the perspective of organizing for an actual revolution?

ST: I think this is an extremely important question, and I want to speak directly to the question of fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution. But first I think it’s important to step back. The revolution that we’re part of—you and me and The RNLRevolution, Nothing Less!Show, the revolution that Bob Avakian is leading—is a revolution to break all the chains—ALL of the chains. And this includes breaking all the chains that bind women. The Constitution that he has written for the New Socialist Republic, a new society that will be established after this rotten system of imperialism, which has patriarchy woven into it, has been brought down and overthrown. This new society will be one that not only guarantees the most fundamental rights of women to abortion, birth control, and other basic rights, but would give backing, from the state, from the culture, through the education system, and in many different ways, to the struggle of women and others to go and dig up all the remaining forms of oppression, all the modes of thinking that treat women as lesser than men and as objects of sexual plunder or punching bags, all the things in the culture… so that this revolution will not “settle in” but go all the way to full liberation and emancipation. And this is across the board—on every form of oppression.

So it’s from this perspective that I and other revcoms who will be involved in this struggle are coming at this fight. We are going to be uniting very broadly with people who don’t share our revolutionary views, including some people who are really opposed to the communist revolution, but who oppose also the assault on abortion rights. We’re going to be fighting to forge the broadest possible unity, and we’re sincere about that in this struggle. But we’re also not just coming at this from the perspective of stopping an incredible horror and crime against humanity, which is what the enslavement of women, the stripping away of abortion rights would mean. We are coming at this with an understanding that it is possible to actually achieve real emancipation, real liberation. And it’s from that perspective, and lifting people’s sights to that, that we are going to be, again, uniting broadly, but contending. We the revcoms, myself and others, are going to be contributing to what will be anchored here at The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show as well—a society-wide debate over reform or revolution that we’re trying to rip open. And we will really be contending to bring the truth that if you want to end the oppression of women, if you want a world where you’re not having to fight for this right almost 50 years after it was established, the basic right to abortion, where that doesn’t have to be fought for again… you need a revolution, nothing less. And that’s part of what gets opened up, to come back to fight the power, and transform the thinking of people, for revolution—when people lift their heads and they reject and they act against this vicious assault, you start to change the atmosphere in society—what people are thinking about, the questions they’re entertaining. And we’re going to be contending in that context, fighting to organize forces for revolution, as we wage this fight together with others.

AZ: In the statement that Chantelle read, it talks about the first action out of the gates is with the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, Roe v. Wade, that’s coming up in just 10 days or so from now. So how can people get connected with this new initiative around that date?

ST: This new political battle, and fight that we’re launching, is going to have its first manifestation in public, in front of the Supreme Court on January 22nd, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade—at noon, in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. And we want people to come and join us there. From wherever you are, if you can get there, come and be there, spread the word—or organize an event where you are. We want people to go to the website, RiseUp4AbortionRights.org. You can read the statement that Chantelle read. You can sign your name to it. And you can sign up to be an organizer. And we need everybody—there’s a role for everybody in this fight. January 22nd, we launch this. And start planning now for March 8th—protest, marches nationwide, in cities, small towns, everywhere. This is International Women’s Day. This year it needs to be marked by the fury of women unleashed as a mighty force for revolution, and as a mighty force even more broadly to say: Hell no, there will be no going back and no surrender. Abortion on demand and without apology.

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