Revolution #364, December 8, 2014 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

Please note: this page is intended for quick printing of the entire issue. Some of the links may not work when clicked, and some images may be missing. Please go to the article's permalink if you require working links and images.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

An Illegitimate System... and the Need for Revolution

Burning Questions

December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The murders by police this summer of Eric Garner and Michael Brown—along with murder after murder after murder of other unarmed Black and Latino men and children during these past months—and then the exoneration of the killers are, in one horrific sense, nothing new. These monsters have been doing this for years, and for years the system has let them walk, either without a trial or just a farce of one, or—in rare, rare cases—a slap on the wrist.

But this time things changed. People in Ferguson—the everyday people in the streets—refused to follow the rules of "protest as usual" and forced the world to wake the hell up. What had been an outrage that oppressed people had been forced to learn to accept—however bitterly—and that other people had learned to ignore or shrug off, became intolerable.

The actions of those standing up—beginning in the hard streets of Ferguson but spreading to all parts of the country and then the world, and to all walks of life—have forced everyone in this country to confront the reality of the epidemic of police brutality and murder, of mass incarceration, of the criminalization of entire peoples. More than that: These actions have begun to compel people to confront what Bob Avakian has called the "simple and basic truth" that "There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery," and that the legacy of this slavery has continued—and morphed into new forms of white supremacy, still central to this society.

All this raises serious questions.

First: What legitimacy does a system have which not only generates crime after crime from those in authority, but exonerates the culprits? What legitimacy does a system have whose laws and rules have functioned for centuries to repress and condemn and murder entire peoples? What legitimacy does a system have which offers no future for millions of Black and Latino and Native American youths, and then pens them in, locks them down and kills them off? What legitimacy does a system have whose laws and rules have functioned to exploit and plunder and rape and rob, not only here but worldwide, not only in some so-called "isolated instances" but against millions and tens of millions and, yes, hundreds of millions? And what legitimacy does a system have which not only does all this, but all the while continues to hurtle humanity into nightmare ecological disaster and possible planetary suicide?

None whatsoever.

What must be done to a system so illegitimate, so bankrupt, so lacking in any humanity or justification?

We have to be real here. Reform after reform after reform has been tried for years. And the result of all this has not been a "more perfect union," but—to get right down to the essence of things—a "more perfect" machinery of exploitation, violence, and repression, and bamboozlement of the people.

No. You cannot clear away the weeds but leave the roots intact. We need revolution. We need revolution to do away with this whole system, root and branch. We need revolution to defeat and dismantle its machinery of violence and oppression which it uses to terrorize people. We need revolution to replace it with a new economic and political system that leads people to do away with exploitation and oppression and to bring into being the world that actually IS possible—a world of cooperation and true justice, where human beings can flourish.

This does NOT mean that we do not need to fight against the powers today. We cannot let them grind the people down to dust. And when people do rise up, it opens minds—as we have seen these past three months. In fact, now is the time to INTENSIFY the battle for justice. But we must wage these battles to WIN, in both senses—to actually defeat these attacks AND to do this as part of building a movement for revolution.

Could a revolution really overcome these horrors and longstanding agonies?

Yes! As we have said elsewhere, "The wretched of the earth have made revolution and started on the road to communism—first in Russia and then in China—and they achieved great things in doing so, before they were turned back by the forces of the old order. We are here to tell you that not only has this been done before, but we can do it again—and even better this time. This is the truth that is covered up and lied about, but we have the facts and the analysis to back this up—tremendous historical experience has been summed up, scientifically, and is there for us to learn from and build on." This work of scientific summation has been led by Bob Avakian and has brought forward a new synthesis of communism. This new synthesis is concentrated in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal). And this Constitution shows how we could go forward to transform everything, in unity with the people of the whole world.

But is such a revolution possible?

Again, yes! There is a strategy for this revolution, crystallized in our Party's "On the Strategy for Revolution" that shows how to go from where we are today to a time when an all-out struggle for power would be possible. The heart of this strategy is captured in the slogan Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution. Battles like those today play one part in that, raising people's understanding in society and serving to develop the organization needed to win, when the time is ripe. There is also a doctrine that could actually enable revolutionary forces to meet and defeat the powers of repression when things develop to that stage. And there is a core of leadership willing and able to take this whole process forward: the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and its leader Bob Avakian.

If you have never heard about this, is this not the time to get into this and see what it's about? And if you are one of those who once yearned for revolution but then, one way or another, stepped back but now have awakened once again—don't you need to see if your questions have been answered?

The times are too serious—and too promising—not to.








Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

To All Those Who Want to Work for Revolution... What to Do NOW!

December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


  1. Be out among the masses, part of the struggle against the powers, fighting for justice and constantly bringing forward the larger picture.
  2. Get out Revolution newspaper and let people know about, which scientifically and sweepingly brings out that larger picture. In times like these, get out tens and even hundreds of times more than you usually do.
  3. Get out palm cards letting people know where they can hear the historic Dialogue between the revolutionary Christian Cornel West and the revolutionary communist Bob Avakian.
  4. Make and carry posters and banners with slogans like "Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution," and "No More Police Murder/We Need Revolution" with on them, even as you continue to use the posters we have already made. See posters here.
  5. Build the organizations that people need. Open the doors wide. The Revolution Clubs should be bringing forward new people who want to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution, AND at the same time want to learn more about the revolution. The Stop Mass Incarceration Network should be growing and raising funds for its invaluable work, from all who want to end the evils of mass incarceration and police terror. And people must be able to find out about and get closer to the vanguard, the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.
  6. Build and bring many new people to the dinners being planned by the BA Everywhere committees, coming off the historic Dialogue between BA and Cornel West. Bring those who heard it, and use this as a way to introduce new people.
  7. Build Revolution Books stores as vibrant centers where people can learn what they need to know about this society and how to transform it, through revolution.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

11/28 New Statement by Carl Dix


November 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


A St Louis county grand jury refuses to indict Darren Wilson, the cop who killed Michael Brown. In the days leading up to this decision, a cop in Cleveland guns down Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black child who was playing with a toy gun, and a New York cop who heard a sound in a dark stairwell shot and killed 28-year-old Akai Gurley. These are only the most recent cases of wanton police murder of Black people. These racist monsters do this ALL the time, and to Latino people too—like the murder of 13-year-old Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa, California, as he walked down a rural road carrying a toy replica of a BB gun in 2013.

This is dragging some of the reality of what it means to be Black or Latino in Amerikkka out into the open for all to see. People in Ferguson stood up to say NO MORE to police murder. Many, many people all across the country of different nationalities joined with them in defiant resistance. People are raising their heads and declaring that this must STOP.

As part of building a movement that can stop these horrors, we have to confront some crucial questions:

Why do police murder people again and again? And why are they almost never punished for their crimes?

And what needs to be done to end this horror once and for all?

First, we have to be clear on just what the problem is, and what it isn't. The problem isn't that police need more or better training. How much training do you need to not murder people? To not gun down unarmed people, or to stop approaching Black people carrying toy guns and immediately blow them away? And it's not that we need more Black elected officials or more Black people in charge of law enforcement. We've elected many, many Black mayors and even a Black president. We've had Black police chiefs, and now we have a Black man in charge of the federal department of justice. Yet police murder continues and has even intensified.

So what is the source of our problem? Africans were dragged to these shores in slave chains and forced to labor for 250 years to build up the great wealth that these flag-wavers love to brag about. This happened because capitalism required this labor to get going, and individual capitalist merchants, and slaveholders, could make enormous profits off it. How did they enforce it? With armies and armed white people. How did they justify it? With racist ideas and white supremacist institutions.

Then there was the Civil War, which ended slavery. Yet Black people were still not free. They were still chained to the fields of the South, as well as industry, worked like slaves—again because the capitalist-imperialist system required this, and individual capitalists made huge profits from it. This was enforced with armies and police forces and lynch mobs. How was it justified? With more racist and white supremacist crap, in the schools and the culture and the political life. All this use of force and violence—and we are talking about MILLIONS and MILLIONS of cruel and early deaths, and mutilated horrific lives, over the years—all this has been and still is totally illegitimate.

Powerful uprisings in the 1960s rocked the system and forced it to grant concessions. African-American people, along with other oppressed peoples and progressive and revolutionary white people, put everything on the line, and scores of people died to fight for freedom. Revolutionaries were shot down, in some cases murdered in their beds by police. Again, Black people and their allies had to go up against the armies and police of the capitalist-imperialists, and reactionary whites of the KKK and similar ilk, and they had to fight the institutions that generate all manner of white supremacist ideas and relations. And again, people won real and important concessions. But because the system remained in effect, people have continued to suffer. Capitalism’s chase after profits led to moving U.S. factories to far-flung parts of the world where people could be worked for starvation wages in more dangerous conditions. This left millions in the inner cities in a very desperate situation with no real place in the formal U.S. economy. The program for dealing with this has been criminalizing and demonizing whole generations of Black and Latino youth, targeting them with a slow genocide of mass incarceration and police terror. And it is enforced the same way—by their institutions of violence and repression, and brainwashing mass media and school system. (I have dealt with this history very briefly here. To get more deeply into it, people should read “The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of the System, and the Revolution We Need” at the website

The official stamp of approval for police murder, which the grand jury decision represents, has been met by people standing up in Ferguson and defiantly saying NO MORE to police murder. And people all across the country have joined them in determined resistance that has disrupted business as usual. This is very necessary, and it must be continued and built on.

But let's be clear about where things need to go. So-called structural change that leaves this economic and political set-up intact means that people will continue to suffer this savage oppression. It will take revolution, people rising up and getting rid of the capitalist/imperialist system and building a whole new society in its place, to end this horror and everything else foul this system enforces on people in the U.S. and around the world. Anything less than this will leave future generations to continue to endure the brutality and indignity people suffer today.

There are two big things about this revolution. First, you will never make it without dismantling and doing away with their instruments of reactionary violence that as we showed have always enforced this horror. Second, this must be a revolution to do away with ALL exploitation and ALL oppression, not just a little bit—or it won’t be a revolution that will bring real liberation or be worth fighting. At the same time, as the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, Bob Avakian, has pointed out:

There will never be a revolutionary movement in this country that doesn't fully unleash and give expression to the sometimes openly expressed, sometimes expressed in partial ways, sometimes expressed in wrong ways, but deeply, deeply felt desire to be rid of these long centuries of oppression [of Black people]. There's never gonna be a revolution in this country and there never should be, that doesn't make that one key foundation of what it's all about. (BAsics 3:19)

Right now isn't the time to go for revolution, but now is the time to build up the forces for revolution so that when the time comes, when the rulers are deep enough in trouble and when people can't go on living like this anymore, we'll be ready and in position right to seize power from the capitalist blood-suckers and build a whole new world. Storms that will rock the U.S. global empire are gonna come; but will WE be ready to seize the opportunity for emancipation when it comes along? Will there be a force hastening that time, shaping it, and preparing for it? That’s what we have to be thinking about and working to realize. That’s a big, big part of what the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) is all about.

So as we continue to mobilize resistance that involves broader sections of people, everybody who hates the reality that Black people playing with toy guns or walking in dark hallways or just existing are risking their lives needs to check out and get with the revolution. Go to the website: Read BAsics and other writings by Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution. Watch the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian. And run with the movement for revolution the RCP is building as it fights the power, and transforms the people, for revolution.






Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Making the Absolute Most Out of an Incredible Dialogue

December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Dear Revolution:

In this letter, I want to start by sharing some thinking about the truly unprecedented Dialogue that went down November 15 at Riverside Church between Bob Avakian and Cornel West. I want to speak both to the significance of the Dialogue itself, and also to the tremendous need and basis to exponentially spread this Dialogue and its impact throughout society, and for the movement for revolution to make real leaps forward coming off November 15. Then, I want to share some thinking about the relationship between this Dialogue and the current political moment with the outrageous grand jury decisions in Ferguson and New York and the righteous outrage around the country that has grown even stronger in the aftermath of these decisions. These two things—the Dialogue and this political moment—both have great importance in their own right. But they also are very much linked, and it would be out of line with reality, as well as a costly mistake, to separate these two from each other. Both the Dialogue and this current political moment only highlight further the urgency of one another.

Watch the Dialogue NOW!
Re-broadcast of the November 15 Simulcast

I want to say right away that I am not just writing this letter in order to share my own thinking. Rather, I am writing with the hope and suggestion that people reading this reflect on the points raised here and discuss them with others, in a consistent way, and that this whole process will lead to lots of further thinking and ideas about the points raised in this letter. Hopefully, this letter will inspire further correspondence and grappling, because I think these points are not just important in the next week or two, but in a lasting way.

So, let me start by talking about the Dialogue that just happened between Bob Avakian and Cornel West. And let's start by talking about what this Dialogue actually was.

There is a cliché that is often spoken—perhaps about great works of art, or times of great political significance—that sometimes one has to temporarily step back from something in order to truly grasp and appreciate its significance. With that in mind, I want to urge those who attended this Dialogue, those who promoted and organized this Dialogue, those who are part of this movement for revolution, and in fact anyone who wants to see a different world, to step back and fully appreciate what a truly big deal this Dialogue was.

Let's really take a minute to stop and reflect on this...

On November 15, nearly 2,000 people packed one of the most famous churches, one of the most prominent and historic venues in the country, to experience—live and in person—Bob Avakian in dialogue with Cornel West. As a recent article in Revolution newspaper pointed out: "It was the first public appearance in decades by Bob Avakian, the revolutionary leader and architect of a whole new framework for the emancipation of all of humanity, who spoke directly and in depth to the need and basis for revolution; in dialogue with Cornel West, one of the most important and provocative public intellectuals of our time and who spoke and engaged in dialogue from the perspective of Christian and Black prophetic traditions, and as an uncompromising champion for the oppressed." The crowd of nearly 2,000 people came from all over the country—New York, Ferguson, Chicago, as far away as Hawai'i—and included people from the housing projects, the high schools and college campuses, the religious communities, the arts, the front lines of political struggle, and more.

This crowd experienced a substantial, electrifying presentation by BA, a revolutionary leader who was completely on fire with both the scientific understanding and visceral feeling that the world doesn't have to be this way, that people don't have to live this way, that a radically different world is possible, and who has a plan for how to get to that world. Thousands of people got an up-close and personal introduction to Bob Avakian, everything he's about, and the revolution that he's leading, and an up-close and personal invitation and challenge to step forward and be part of this revolution. And they experienced this leader, Bob Avakian, engaging in an extremely warm, principled, provocative, thoughtful, and substantive exchange, which included exploration of key points of unity and disagreement with Cornel West on the major themes of revolution, religion, and human emancipation, along with a wide range of burning questions related to those themes.

For all of the reasons spoken to above, and more, there has never been anything like this Dialogue. That's not just something cool and provocative to say. It's a simple fact.

So, while there is obviously much more to be said, those are a few overall points in terms of what this Dialogue actually was. But now, in the immediate and long-term aftermath of this Dialogue, there is a big question confronting the movement for revolution, and in fact confronting anyone who was inspired by this Dialogue and wants to see it have significant, lasting impact: How do we make the absolute most out of this Dialogue?

How will the thousands of people who were in the house at Riverside Church November 15, those who watched live webcasts in Los Angeles, Oakland, and London that day, all those who have watched the Dialogue on Livestream since then, and the even greater numbers of people who learned of this Dialogue through the work to promote it, be led to understand its content and significance? What will be done with all the hearts lifted, eyes opened, minds challenged, expanded, and inspired?

Broadly speaking, will people who experienced this Dialogue merely understand and approach it as a "really cool," "really interesting," "controversial," perhaps even "amazing" event that happened one Saturday in November 2014, one that they will always remember and perhaps were lucky enough to personally attend? Or, will we really apply ourselves to building on this Dialogue in order to achieve major leaps coming off this Dialogue in making Bob Avakian (BA), his work and vision a reference point for people throughout society; putting real revolution on the map in this country; actively organizing people into the movement for revolution on many different levels, including in the form of people who are ready to do so joining the Revolutionary Communist Party at the core of this movement; and changing the political terms and terrain in society in a major way?

Related to this question, here are two key points I think we have to grasp: As great as this Dialogue was, it will not consistently project itself out into society—we have to consistently project it. And as inspired and transformed as many of the people who experienced or watched this Dialogue will be, they will not organize themselves into the movement for revolution—we have to organize them.

In fact, this reality was reflected in one of the questions that an audience member posed to Bob Avakian and Cornel West at the Dialogue itself: "I wish life could be like this room tonight all the time, but when we leave here, we go back to a hard world, where some people go through hell, and others harden their hearts and heads to the possibility that things can actually be much better. How do we carry the spirit of mutual respect back home and sustain it while we struggle to change the world. I mean, cynicism is deep; how do we keep our heads?"

I think this sentiment likely speaks to how many people who experienced this Dialogue will feel, and the process that they will go through after watching it: On the one hand, they will feel incredibly inspired and changed by what they heard and experienced, with their eyes opened, their hearts lifted, their sights raised, wishing "life could be like this room all the time." They will feel on fire to learn more about, and get deeper into, what BA and the movement for revolution that he leads are all about. On the other hand, at least one part of these same people will feel the next day, or the next week, that they are preparing to "go back to a hard world, where some people go through hell, and others harden their hearts and heads to the possibility that things can actually be much better."

But that is not the end of the story. That is where our responsibility comes in. We have to bring people back to, and bring them forward from, this Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West.

This means that we have to vigorously and consistently follow up individually with people who experienced, or learned about this Dialogue, at the same time as we are vigorously and consistently following up in a mass way by spreading this Dialogue throughout society in all kinds of different ways—through mass "on the ground" work on the streets, campuses, in the neighborhoods, and anywhere people are resisting the crimes of this system; online and through social media, and more. Through the synergy of this individual and mass work, many more people will discover this Dialogue for the first time, while those who already heard about it or experienced it will be given the basis to dig back into it and go deeper.

Very importantly, for people who have already seen the Dialogue—and especially those who were in Riverside Church and experienced it live and in person—we need to talk with and learn from people about their thinking and reactions, and the impact this had on them. In doing this follow-up and social investigation, we need to apply the understanding concentrated in this quote from Bob Avakian: "What people think is part of objective reality, but objective reality is not determined by what people think" (BAsics 4:11). In terms of how we are specifically applying this point to our approach in the immediate aftermath of the Dialogue: We need to be broadly exploring and scientifically summing up what people thought of the Dialogue and the two speakers, how they were impacted, key points and themes they were struck by, how they came away feeling, things that they agreed with and disagreed with, things they were surprised, excited, or perhaps even disappointed by, etc. However, even while there are very important insights and observations that will come from this process and even as our overall understanding of reality will be strengthened by this process of scientific inquiry and synthesis, we also need to keep firmly in mind that people's reactions and perceptions about the Dialogue are not the same thing as what this Dialogue actually was. And, related to that point, we need to recognize the need to lead and transform people's thinking about all this, and about the Dialogue as a whole.

Whether people loved the Dialogue, really didn't like it, or anywhere in between, we need to be doing what BA modeled in the Dialogue and what he does so well in all of his work: inviting and challenging anyone who is serious about changing the world to go deeper. We should be—on both an individual and societal level—fighting for a correct, scientific summation of the substance and significance of this Dialogue, while consistently leading people to go back to, and go deeper into, the Dialogue itself. The Livestream of this Dialogue that is now available on is a great resource to do this!

Look, I think we should recognize that when people first meet, or even are relatively new to, Bob Avakian and the movement for revolution that he leads, even those who are extremely enthusiastic are going to "get it" on one level, but not yet get it on a deeper level. The reason this is so is because everything that BA stands for, and the understanding he has forged, is at one and the same time in line with reality and how it can be transformed, and completely at odds with the way that this system and society have conditioned people to think their entire lives. But again, this is not the end of the story! Both of the following two things are true and important not to lose sight of: First, that people and their thinking can be and has been profoundly transformed, including in a life-changing way, by experiencing BA, all the more so with having had that experience live and in person. Second, this does not mean that people who came to this Dialogue from all these different frameworks of understanding are going to wake up the next morning and suddenly have become revolutionary communists overnight, or that all of the questions and contradictions in their thinking are going to have vanished. That's just not how it works! The process through which people's thinking, their understanding of the world, transforms is just that—a process. Experiencing BA live and in person, and this whole Dialogue between BA and CW, can dramatically accelerate and deepen that process on both an individual and societal level. But those of us who, on various levels, understand the tremendous significance of this Dialogue now have to follow through: We have to fight to bring people back to what they experienced and how they felt, lead them to go deeper into the Dialogue, in synergy with repeatedly projecting this Dialogue and especially projecting BA throughout society, even while we ourselves are getting deeper into this.

I want to speak briefly to one more element of this process of leading people to go deep into the Dialogue, and fighting for the correct summation of it—guided by the understanding that "What people think is part of objective reality, but objective reality is not determined by what people think." While it certainly was not the dominant reaction in Riverside Church, there were—and will be—some people saying that BA spoke too long. I don't think we should be surprised or disoriented by this, nor overly preoccupied or at all defensive. Again, when something is going up against all the thinking, and methods of thinking, that this system and society drills into people, it is not scientific to expect that literally everyone is going to have a singularly good reaction. Nor is that the goal or the yardstick by which something should be evaluated. And even among people who are, or can be won to be, very enthusiastic about the Dialogue overall, there is going to be contradiction in their thinking. At times, even some people who feel very positively about the Dialogue overall might, be temporarily swayed by wrong summations of it.

But, to return to a theme of this letter: That is not the end of the story! If there are people who felt that BA spoke too long, that is important to understand because these perceptions are part of the reality of people's reactions that we need to understand. But this is not a correct verdict on the Dialogue, and we have to struggle for the correct understanding. I do think there's a basic level on which we have to say to people who raise the complaint that BA spoke too long: "Well, what was it BA talked about that you think there should have been less of?" I don't think this needs to be, or should be, said in a nasty or antagonistic way; I think it should be posed matter-of-factly, as part of leading people to actually engage and grapple with the content of the Dialogue and to raise their questions, agreements, disagreements, and concerns about that content. Yes, BA gave a roughly two-hour presentation—about how humanity can get free and the whole world can be radically different, and the strategy and vision for that. Isn't that a great thing? Which part of that should there have been less of? I think posing things in these terms compels people to either recognize and acknowledge that they had been looking at things in the wrong way, and/or it compels people to get to where their real discomfort or disagreement lies—with the content, or at least an aspect of the content, of what BA had to say. In which case, let's talk about that.

Furthermore, anybody who honestly and without prejudice watches the Dialogue cannot help but come away recognizing that there was a very rich, deep, substantive, and warm exchange between Bob Avakian and Cornel West.

Brief Points of Orientation—and Concrete Ideas—for Following Through on This Dialogue

1. Once again, people will generally not bring themselves forward into and further forward into the movement for revolution—at least not in a consistent and sustained way. We have to actively bring people forward. This—working to bring people forward—is a process that we should think of in both ideological and practical terms, and not in a narrow way.

In other words, in working to bring people forward, we should be asking them to step forward and take up different concrete tasks and responsibilities and forms of practical involvement in the movement for revolution, but we should also—and even more fundamentally—be working with people ideologically, to develop and transform their thinking in an ongoing way.

2. In relation to the above point, but also a point that is obviously really crucial on its own: Coming off this Dialogue, we should be leading people to get into—and get more deeply into—BA.

Thousands of people just experienced—live and in person—BA, his leadership, his method, his vision, and got an extremely rich introduction to and concentration of his decades of work and everything that is all about. Let's really follow through on this! Coming off this Dialogue, we should really be repeatedly leading people to go directly to BA's works and dig into them. I think the analogy that was at the end of the "Jimi Hendrix of Revolution" piece definitely applies here: Just as those who saw Hendrix live and in person no doubt left feeling even more excited to listen to his albums, people who experienced BA live and in person should only leave more hungry and on fire to engage his works, and we've got to lead people—and give them the ways—to do this consistently.

This—people engaging BA's body of work, method and approach—while part of a whole, multifaceted process of how people will develop into revolutionaries and communists, is the single most important part of that process. And we've got to make it easy for people to get connected with BA's works and to find out about events and programs where BA's works are being discussed collectively.

Speaking of which... for all the reasons spoken to above... let's seize this moment in the aftermath of the Dialogue to really get the sessions at the Revolution Books stores viewing and discussing BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! going on a whole different level. Let's invite lots of people to this, with a special emphasis right now on making a big deal about these sessions among people who came to the Dialogue. Let's really explain to them what we are doing with these sessions, why they're important, and why people should come. (I think the article that was on in May—that spoke to the importance of these sessions in the context of the two mainstays and accumulating forces for revolution—would be important to return to in order to reground ourselves in the importance of these sessions and as part of making the case broadly to others.)

3. The BA Everywhere Campaignnationally, and in different citiesthe number of people who are taking up this campaign, and the amount of money raised for it, should all really be growing significantly in the aftermath of this Dialogue. There is every basis for this to happen, and we need to make it happen.

The Link Between Ferguson and the Dialogue

Because I am running out of time, I don't have time to write very much on this now.

However, for the time being, the main point I want to make here is this: I think we really need to constantly be bringing alive to people the links between this Dialogue and the importance of consistently digging into and spreading the Dialogue, and the need for people very broadly to stand up and fight the power on the heels of these grand jury decisions in Ferguson and New York City.

Another way to go at that is: It is absolutely critical that people are standing up and, in a courageous and determined way, resisting these completely outrageous grand jury decisions and all that they concentrate. This resistance has been extremely positive, important, and heartening, and it both needs to continue and in fact go to a higher, broader, and deeper level still.

At the same time, this urgent moment should definitely not result in building on the urgent need to build off and project the Dialogue being put "on the backburner."

The Dialogue and this political moment are linked in the sense that both BA and Cornel West spoke very directly to the significance of this moment around Ferguson during the Dialogue, and in the sense that there was a whole crew of people in the house from Ferguson who were very enthusiastic about the Dialogue, and to whom BA was speaking during the Dialogue, in both a literal and direct sense and in a more overall sense.

But even more fundamentally, the Dialogue and this moment of massive resistance sparked by outrageous police murders and the refusal to indict the murderers are linked for this reason: What people heard at the Dialogue, especially from BA, is about how we can get to a completely different world where outrages like the police murder of Michael Brown and Eric Garner—along with all the other horrors this system inflicts on people—never happen again.

Another way to get at this is that the link between this moment, and the tremendous importance of this Dialogue and the need to keep projecting it, has everything to do with the strategic approach of Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution. From that standpoint: It is absolutely essential that people fight the power in the wake of these outrageous grand jury decisions and all they concentrate, but it is also absolutely essential that people's sights be raised, their vision be broadened, and their understanding be deepened in relation to the larger picture these police murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the grand juries letting the murderers walk fits into—the system that causes police murder after police murder and what it will take to do away with that system and these outrages once and for all.

And this Dialogue—especially BA's presentation, but the totality of the Dialogue and the exchange between the two speakers—is a critical means of raising people's sights, transforming their thinking, broadening their vision and deepening their understanding in this way.

To be clear, as I hope is obvious from other parts of this letter, I am by no means reducing the importance of this Dialogue to the inspiring mass resistance to police murder. Rather, I am trying to speak to how I see the link between the two and one key dimension of how I think we need to be bringing this link alive.

Let me end by mentioning some resources that I have been thinking about in relation to understanding and illuminating the link between the Dialogue and the current political moment, which I think would be important for us to go back to, in addition—obviously—to the Dialogue itself!

*"On the Strategy for Revolution"

*The opening section of the What Humanity Needs interview, where BA talks about Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution—including the relationship between the different interconnected elements of this

* BA's "The Mass Initiatives and Their Relation to Our Strategic Objectives"

*The recent article, "The Forest and the Trees: It's ALL About Getting Free"

Well, I think I've got to end there for now, since I'm out of time.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

December 14, 2014

BA Everywhere Dinner Celebration

Download Word version
of New York flier

Updated December 6, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |



You are invited:

BA Everywhere Dinner Celebrations

Come together to celebrate the victories and achievements of the past year, even as we remember the outrages and horrors that people faced...

Come together to celebrate the historic November 15th Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, "Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion"...

Come together to celebrate the ways in which people all over have stood up against the outrageous refusal to indict Darren Wilson for the murder of Mike Brown...

Come together to break bread with friends old and new and very new, to sing and dance and have fun, and to talk about the year to come...

Come together to raise money to spread this Dialogue far and wide in the coming year...

Go to now to see simulcast video of the Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel WestThese dinners are hosted by and are a benefit for the BA Everywhere campaign, a national campaign to raise large sums of money so that Bob Avakian's radical vision and strategy for revolution becomes known throughout society.

Click at right now to see the full, uncut simulcast of the Nov. 15 Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West, "Revolution and Religion: the Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion."


Find out more:

Transgression and Convergence, Infectious Chemistry and Serious Urgency:
Reflections on the Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian

Read more

Making the Absolute Most Out of an Incredible Dialogue

Read more

Get to Know Bob Avakian
His vision for a revolutionary society, his writings, and his leadership

New York City

Sunday, December 14 - 4:30 to 7:30 pm
West Park Presbyterian Church
165 West 86th Street at Amsterdam Avenue
(#1 or C train to 86th Street)
$10 - $50 Sliding Scale or Bring a Dish

RSVP and for more information:
New York City BA Everywhere Committee


Sunday, December 14, 4:00-7:00 pm
Quaker House, 5615 S. Woodlawn Ave., (Hyde Park, Chicago)
$10—or Bring a dish to share
(More contributions are welcome)

RSVP and for more information: / 312-860-8167

San Francisco Bay Area

Sunday, Dec. 14, 5-8 pm
North Oakland Community Charter School
1000 42nd Street, Oakland, California
$10 - $50 Sliding Scale and Bring a Dish

For More Information Contact:
BA Everywhere  (510) 387-5615, or Revolution Books   (510) 848-1196 

Los Angeles

Sunday, Dec. 14, 4 pm 
Revolution Books
5726 Hollywood Blvd., L.A., California 90028
$10 to $50 or bring a dish
To RSVP. volunteer or more info: 213.304.9864


Sunday, December 14, 3-6 pm
SHAPE Community Center/Harambee Bldg.
3903 Almeda, Houston, Texas  77004
$10 Sliding Scale (based on ability to pay)
and Bring a Dish to Share
RSVP and for more information:


Sunday, December 21, 4-7pm
Little 5 Points Community Center
Top Floor room #202 (enter from back parking lot)
1083 Austin Ave. @ Euclid Ave
(same building as WRFG radio and Horizon Theater in Little 5 points)
Sliding scale $10-$50 (more or less)
Bring a dish to share.
RSVP: Revolution Books


Saturday, December 20
time and place to be announced




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

A Special Message to Those at the Bottom of Society, the Ones This System Hates, Fears, and Kills, and to Those Who Have Stepped Out in the Streets in Outrage

December 6, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


San Francisco. Photo: Special to

Rhode Island, shutting down I-95. Photo: Twitter

Die-in at a major West Side intersection, Chicago, December 6. Photo: Special to

To those in the streets: Stay in the streets and get organized. Get with this movement for revolution! You have found your fighting spirit; don't lose it again by following dead-end solutions! You already know that voting doesn't work! You already know that having a Black president doesn't change shit for us down here! You already know that having these pigs wear body cams won't change shit. There's countless videos where these fuckin' pigs wantonly murder people right in front of a camera knowing they're being recorded! What the fuck is it gonna take to get these muthafuckers to stop?! The answer is Revolution—Nothing Less! Nothing less than overthrowing the capitalist-imperialist system that they so viciously serve and protect by keeping us trapped down here, by having us killing each other over streets they own and control, by having us going off on a senseless individualistic "paper chase," and then locking us up for doing exactly what they want us to do.

This shit has to stop and you can be part of stopping it. All these pigs, all the courts, all the prisons are there not because they want to keep our communities safe, all that shit is there because they fear YOU! They know what you rising up and not staying in your place could turn into. They fear what your righteous anger and your unwillingness to just bow down to their illegitimate authority represents. They fear your potential to transform and become the gravediggers of this system and that's why they hate you! A pig killed Eric Garner with his bare hands, enraged because the big Black man didn't follow orders and call him "sir"! That's why they killed him! That's why they killed Oscar Grant! That's why they killed Ezell Ford! And that's why they MURDERED Michael Brown! They fear you inspiring others with your rebelliousness, with your outrage, with your refusal to just keep taking this shit. But more than they fear you joining others in righteous protest, more than they fear you breaking windows, burning buildings, or flipping over a fuckin' cop car, more than they fear even another LA Rebellion, they fear you coming together as an organized revolutionary force to overthrow their rotten fuckin' system.

What they're hoping for—and what they're counting on—is that you go back to accepting this. They want us to go back to keeping our heads down and avoid looking at them when we notice them. They want us to call them "sir" when they come into our neighborhoods and let us know who really runs shit. And they want us to accept them killing our youth, gunning them down, or choking them to death when they "get out of line." If we don't stay in the streets, they get what they want. If we fall into the voting trap, they get what they want. If we fight for meaningless reforms, they get what they want. If we turn away from revolution and the leadership of the Revolutionary Communist Party, they get what they want. They get us walking around in circles aimlessly without any real clarity about the problem and much less the solution. And while now is not the time to go all out for revolution, now IS the time to resist, now IS the time to fight back, now IS the time to build the movement FOR revolution, and now is the time to strengthen the organized force that will lead that revolution.

Get with us, find out why this revolution is necessary, why it's possible, and what it's all about because as Bob Avakian, the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party and leader of this revolution puts it in BAsics, the handbook for revolutionaries, "We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit."





Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Get Organized!

December 4, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


You can have fun playing pickup basketball in the park. But if you want to win a serious tournament, you need a team. You need organization.

Teams bring to bear the different strengths of the individuals involved. They operate from a common strategy and common game plan. The people on the team know—or should know—how what they do is contributing to winning the game. The people on the team develop their skills and learn how to operate as a unit.

Coaches develop the game plan based on their understanding of the laws of the game, and of the strengths and weaknesses of the two sides. If she is a good coach, she lets the players know the game plan, inside out. She forges people into a team, with a common sense of purpose, based on this understanding. She enables the players to know how what they are doing contributes to the plan, and how to take initiative within that plan and on that basis to exercise leadership themselves. At key points, she sums up what they have accomplished, and what they need to do to go further and win. An important part of this is identifying and learning from mistakes, and from advances. And as the game develops, she leads the players to make the necessary changes and adjustments.

This is not a game we are playing. This is serious. We want to win. But we do need to be organized. We need teams like this, right now, in the struggle we are waging. And we have them.

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network is an organization—a team—whose goal is to end the whole way that this system unjustly imprisons, persecutes, tortures, abuses, and even murders Black people, Latinos, Native Americans, and other “minority” communities. If you want to be about this, get with this network and multiply your efforts.

The Revolution Club is a team that fights the power today and prepares, and transforms, the people to make revolution tomorrow—and make “tomorrow” come as soon as possible. If you want to do this—if you want to mobilize people to fight back and, at the same time, learn about and spread the word on the revolution we need—then you need to “join the team.”

These two organizations must grow right now. They must throw open their doors in new ways. Unlike sports, in the people’s struggle there is no limit to the number of players—in fact, “the more the merrier.” These organizations must act as a team at demonstrations and other mass outpourings, with a real identifiable and attractive presence, letting people know that there is somewhere they can go to make their energies count and to make sense of what they’re doing.

Join them!




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Interview with Legal Expert Lisa Bloom on the Ferguson Grand Jury

"It's very clear the prosecutor never wanted an indictment"

December 4, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Lisa Bloom is a civil rights attorney, author, and legal analyst on national TV. In the following excerpt from an interview for the December 5 episode of the Michael Slate show, Lisa Bloom discusses how from beginning to end, the grand jury inquiry into the police murder of Michael Brown covered up what happened. Listen to the entire show, including an interview with Carl Dix Show on KPFK radio station Friday, 12/5/14, 10 AM (PDT), or listen to an archive of the entire show here.

Q:        Lisa, you said that you were ashamed for the justice system that is so good at protecting celebrities and authority figures, and so pathetically bad at protecting the ordinary person, especially when it's an African-American person assaulted by a white person, especially a police officer. Let's just dig into that for a little bit.

A:        There's really no question about any of that, is there? I'm just the one who happened to say it, and I got a lot of retweets, and that video went viral. But don't we all really know that? How is it that people in power are protected over and over again by our justice system, and the ordinary people can't get any resolution. They can't get justice. All of us before the decision on November 24th knew that there was not going to be an indictment. There was so much cynicism, right? But I have to say for myself, even though I said on the air many, many times, on CNN and MSNBC and elsewhere that there would not be an indictment, there was kind of a small part of me that hoped that there would be. I hoped that, even though I knew that the prosecutor did not want an indictment, that they were handling this case differently, that there were so many danger signs and warning signs going into this, about how the prosecutors were sending a message that the grand jury should protect officer Wilson, I still kind of hoped that maybe somebody on the grand jury would take the lead and say, “You know what? There are six eyewitnesses who say that Mike Brown's hands were up in the universal sign of surrender at the time that he was shot, and that's enough for probable cause, the lowest standard we have in our legal system. Let's indict him, let's send him to trial, let's have a full-blown trial, where of course he can present any defenses he wants, where somebody will be the voice of Mike Brown, and let's have a full and fair public trial.” But, as we know, that didn't happen.

Q:        But you also went on to say, and this struck a chord with me, that you would have been absolutely shocked if there was an indictment, but because District Attorney Bob McCulloch actually rigged the system to get the results he wanted. I wanted to explore this a little in detail.

A:        I don't use that word lightly, because I'm a practicing attorney for 28 years. I take our system very seriously, and it has many flaws, but it also has some strengths. And one of the strengths of our system is the idea of cross examination. We don't just take somebody's word for something. We don't just let them tell the story in the way that's the most comfortable for them. We put people on the stand, somebody like Darren Wilson who shot and killed an unarmed kid, and we cross examine them. We ask them difficult, painful, uncomfortable questions. We challenge them with their prior inconsistent statements. We challenge them with physical evidence that's inconsistent with their stories. And that didn't happen with Darren Wilson. Before I had a chance to read the grand jury transcript, I suspected that that was the case. But I immediately dug into those grand jury transcripts when they were released about a week ago. I got up at 2:00 in the morning the next day after being on television about 16 hours straight, and I started reading. I started reading with Darren Wilson's testimony. And there it is, on the record, the kid glove treatment he got. The prosecutors, one of them said mistakenly, “Well in this crime . . .” and then she corrected herself, “Well, not crime, this situation.” The prosecutors, including Bob McCulloch, and the two assistant prosecutors saying over and over again that this case was different, cross examining eyewitnesses who had stories that were not favorable to Darren Wilson, but not cross examining Darren Wilson, giving the wrong law in the jury room, at the very beginning, telling them the incorrect Missouri law, a law that had been ruled unconstitutional in 1985, a law that said you can simply shoot a fleeing felon for any reason, within the police officer's discretion. That is not correct law. And that was only corrected at the very, very end by the assistant prosecutor in a garbled, confused message to the grand jurors. As an attorney, I could read it, I could piece together what she was saying, but I wonder if they could.

This thing was riddled with mistakes from top to bottom. So there are only two explanations: incompetence. Or they were clearly directed to get a no indictment for Darren Wilson.

Q:        This didn't actually have to go to a grand jury, right?

A:        No. It didn't have to go to a grand jury at all. I try to impress on people that six eyewitnesses who say that Mike Brown's hands were up is extraordinary. It's very rare. I do excessive force cases. I wish I had six eyewitnesses who told a story like that. Most of the time you have none. Or you have one. Or you have a couple but they tell conflicting stories. Here you had six. That alone is sufficient for probable cause, the lowest standard we have in our legal system, which goes beyond a reasonable doubt.

Usually what happens is a prosecutor looks at the evidence. They say, is there some evidence that a crime was committed? Yes. OK, we're going to charge the guy. Now, it goes forward to trial. He can present his defense. The prosecutor will put on the case and we'll see how it all sorts out. They chose not to do that. They also said very early on that they were not going to recommend any particular charges to the grand jury. That was a big red flag, a flashing danger sign to me. Because that is very different from the way every other case gets handled.

Bob McCulloch really needs to answer to the public why this case got treated differently than every other case that this very grand jury had heard. They'd heard a bunch of other cases before this, which had all gone by standard operating procedure: here's a witness or two. Here's a little bit of evidence. Here's the charges that we recommend. The grand jury essentially rubber-stamps that. You move on to the next case. This case was different. They were told that from the very beginning. They were told it wasn't a crime. They were given the wrong law. Darren Wilson testified early on. And everybody else was essentially supposed to conform to his testimony. And when people didn't, they were rigorously cross examined.

Q:        When I was a kid and people in my neighborhood would get cases, they'd say, whatever you do, you don't want to go to the grand jury, because the grand jury can do whatever it wants, and you're going to be screwed if it goes before a grand jury. They would say it's a prosecutor's paradise. And then you look at this and you’re thinking, whoa! What the hell's going on here?

A:        It's very clear the prosecutor never wanted an indictment, and he was trying to use the grand jury as cover. I think the mistake he made was that he was so arrogant as to release all the grand jury transcripts, which he thought people would read and say, “Whoa, there's conflicting testimony. Well, what could anybody do?”

Listen, there's conflicting testimony in every case. If conflicting testimony meant that we didn't charge people with crimes, we would not be the land of mass incarceration. I wish we weren't the land of mass incarceration. But the question in this case is the preferential special treatment for Darren Wilson. As I said on Twitter a bunch of times, boy, if I was ever accused of a crime, I wish I would get the Darren Wilson treatment. I wish I would get a prosecutor who was going to bend over backwards to exonerate me, who would let me testify without cross examining me. And I have to tell you, I've been so shocked to discover that many people in America don't think Darren Wilson should have been cross examined. I would think that would be something we could all agree on. Cop shoots an unarmed kid. He should have to answer hard questions under oath.

Q:        Definitely.

A:        A lot of people don't think that's the case..

Q:        This is one of the reasons I really wanted to talk with you, aside from the general information that I needed to hear from you. But I think broadly there's a lot of people in society that look at what McCulloch did when he was doing that whole 30-minute oration about this is this, and this is this. He basically did everything he could to undermine the prosecution case, whatever that was, and to build up a defense of Darren Wilson, including a portrayal of all the people that seemed to be the witnesses in favor of Mike Brown and getting the cop for what he did to Mike Brown, portraying them as addle-brained or misinformed, or they didn't really see what they saw. They were liars, or whatever.

A:        It was so outrageous. We've seen some of these people like Tiffany Mitchell, like Piaget Crenshaw, or like Dorian Johnson. They've given television interviews. Anybody can go online and look up their names and watch them. And you tell me if you think these folks are lying.

Now, it is very common that when eyewitnesses all view a traumatic event, they do tell a slightly different story. One's going to say his hands were up. One's going to say his hands were down. One's going to say he was turning this way. He was twenty feet away. He was thirty feet away. That's very, very common. It doesn't mean that people are lying. You have to look at the whole spectrum to discover if they're lying. One witness, for example, said there was another police officer in the car with Darren Wilson. And this was a witness who was favorable to Darren Wilson. That was clearly wrong.

The witness that Bob McCulloch liked the most is named Witness #10 in the records. Witness #10 said he was initially a hundred yards away when he saw Mike Brown get shot. A hundred yards, that's a football field. That's a long way away to be an eyewitness and see things as clearly as he describes it. Then in his grand jury testimony he said he was only fifty yards away. Well that's a big change! Did he get grilled on that change? No.

Listen, as a lawyer, cross examination is my favorite part of what I do. And it's really not that difficult. You line up the earlier statements. You listen carefully when witnesses are testifying and when they change, you nail them. Because the truth doesn't change. But when people lie, and you bore down on the details, then you can really catch them. You also confront them with the physical evidence. Darren Wilson, for example, says that Mike Brown punched him with his closed fist full force twice in the face. And yet you look at those photos, and if you sort of squint and hold them sideways up to the light, you can kind of see a little pinkness on one side. That's not consistent with being punched hard in the face. And show me the photos a couple days later where the bruises turned blue and purple. We don't have that. He was already lawyered up at that point. We don't have those photos. Explain to me why. Explain to me why the gun was never fingerprinted, and his story is that Mike Brown grabbed the gun – not reached for the gun, but grabbed it. And it was never fingerprinted. I could go on for three hours with all the deficiencies in this case.

Q:        That's really important, though, because there are a lot of people who really got bamboozled by the idea that somehow there just wasn't any way to get to the truth in this situation, that there wasn't any way to understand, that it was a complicated mess, and you couldn't really discern who did what to whom.  And it had a lot to do with exactly what you're saying. There was no advocate for Mike Brown.

A:        Exactly. And this is ultimately the problem. There was no voice for Mike Brown, shot and killed, lifeless, in that grand jury room. The prosecutors are supposed to be that voice. Darren Wilson, he's entitled to a defense just like anyone. But where is the voice for Mike Brown in this process? That's what's so appalling. And that's what we see over and over again in cases where African-Americans are shot and killed by either vigilantes like George Zimmerman, or by police officers like Darren Wilson. We discover prosecutors who all of a sudden, whoops! – forget how to prosecute. They take the defense side and just cozy up with the defendant. And the jury or the grand jury, they get that message pretty clearly.

Q:        One of the things that you said was that one of the questions they never asked Darren Wilson was, “Did you shoot Mike Brown when his hands were up?” That's the question that first pops into your mind.

A:        Can you believe that, that they never asked him that? It's absolutely appalling. And because the grand jurors had the wrong legal standard all the way through, while they were listening to his testimony, everybody else's testimony, all the way until the very end when it was only halfway corrected in my opinion. They didn't ask him a lot of questions that they would have asked if they had the right legal standard. The right legal standard is you can only shoot to kill if Mike Brown was an imminent threat to the life of Darren Wilson or somebody nearby.

So when Mike Brown's running away and Darren Wilson is following him, it's very important to establish that each bullet that was shot was shot with justification. You can't just rain down a hail of bullets and hope for the best. That's not the way it works. The grand jurors or the prosecutors should have been asking, in response to each bullet, were you in imminent fear for your life or the life of another at that point? If so, why? If he's thirty-five feet away from you, and he's already been shot a bunch of times, and he's leaning, and he's staggering, and you know he's unarmed, explain to me the imminent threat that justified the fatal bullets into this young man's head. And nobody ever asked those questions.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

LAPD Cops Gun Down Man On Hollywood Boulevard

December 6, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


About 7 pm on Friday evening LAPD cops rushed to the intersection of Hollywood and Highland—where protests against police brutality and murder have been taking place night after night—and quickly opened fire at a man they allege was holding a knife. He died a short time later. The police claim they were responding to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon. A chilling photo of the man lying bloody in the street with cops still aiming their weapons at him went all over social media. The police claim a Swiss Army Knife was found at the scene.

However this story was almost immediately challenged by accounts of witnesses to the shooting. One person wrote—"Police just shot a man in the head 10 times for no reason right in front of me—holy fuck." And according to NBC Los Angeles, a woman said a man ran into a MacDonald's shouting that police shot his friend, who sometimes "liked to wave a knife to scare tourists."

Members of the Revolution Club and others, still in the streets protesting the grand jury decisions in Ferguson and Staten Island, got word of the police killing and went right to the intersection. They held up the centerfold poster in the new issue of Revolution newspaper—"Ferguson is Everywhere; Police Brutality and Murder MUST STOP!"—told people the police had just killed someone and called on them to rally and get the paper. A group of youth came up and got the newspaper, chanting "fuck the police." Someone driving by stopped and joined the protest because of the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner; and then had his car towed away by the police. Tourists there from other countries joined in and talked about what they would tell people about the police in the U.S. when they returned home.

At least three people who live on the streets told the Revolution Club that they knew the man the police killed, that he wasn't threatening anyone, and the police had no reason to shoot him. This is a corner where "impersonators" of famous movie characters hang out, making money by having their pictures taken with tourists. They said their friend was imitating a character from the movie Scream. For this he was shot to death by the police without a second thought.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Protests after Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision

December 5: Outcries Around the Country and Around the World

December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Three days after the grand jury announced no indictment of the police who murdered Eric Garner, people stepped up the struggle.


  • NYC Gramercy Art High School. Photo: Twitter/RaySanchezNY
  • NYC die-in at Grand Central Station 915pm. Photo: Twitter/B4I0
  • NYC Macys Die In. Photo: Twitter
  • NYC protest at Apple Store-Photo: Twitter.MarkMorales5
  • Austin, TX Congress Bridge die-in. Photo: Twitter
  • Cambridge Somerville die-in. Photo: Twitter
  • Dallas protest at American Airlines Center. Twitter/TheRealWhytney
  • LA South Central die-in. Photo: Twitter/DrArameh
  • Los Angeles. Twitter/SMIN_LA
  • New Orleans die-in. Twitter/Bipartisanism
  • Ohio University protest in Baker Center. Photo: Twitter
  • Paris, France. Twitter/JamiaStarheart
  • Seattle. Twitter/bannerite
  • Tokyo, Japan: Solidarity With Ferguson. Twitter/DarcNoodles
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14







Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, Ferguson, MO

Hundreds of High School Students Walk Out:
“Turn up, don’t turn down!  We do this for Mike Brown!”

by Larry Everest | December 4, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |



Hundreds of high school students from Ferguson and St. Louis County walked out on December 2 in response to the #HandsUpWalkOut call for nationwide school walkouts, including the high schools in the Ferguson-Florissant District—McCluer South-Berkeley High and McCluer North—along with Hazelwood Central and Hazelwood East, Clayton High, Kirkwood High, and Ritenour High in St. Louis, where students laid down on the football field for 4.5 minutes.  And other schools may have walked out as well.  Some schools had been shut on Monday due to weather, so the students took action Tuesday.

I caught up with 200, mainly Black students, from Ferguson’s McCluer South-Berkeley High, located not far from the Ferguson police station, as they were defiantly marching up South Florissant to Airport Road where they rallied for an hour or more. 

Their energy—and desire to speak out was impossible to contain—expressed in loud chants or talking about their feelings and why they’d walked out and marched. 

“He should have been indicted!” “We want to be heard!”  “Black lives matter.”  “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” were some of their shouted demands.  “Turn up, don’t turn down!  We do this for Mike Brown!”

One said: “It wasn’t right, it wasn’t right, it could have been any of us,” one young woman said.  “It hit me in the heart.  I got brothers.  That shit matters.”

December 2 Ferguson High School Walkout

December 2 Ferguson High School Walkout

December 2 Ferguson High School Walkout

“I ain’t even Black, man you know what I’m saying,” said one Asian-American student.  “But police saw me one time—so I know about the shit.”

“We’re out here trying to make our voices heard,” a young woman said. “Our generation is going to make a change.  We’ve got to get out heard.  We can’t just be upset and say nothing.  It’s been going on too long—it could have easily been her or me...”

“We need to get justice, we’re out here for justice—no justice no peace for real!” one woman yelled.

“He [Darren Wilson] didn’t have to shoot to kill,” one young man said.  He [Mike Brown] wasn’t going to do nothing to that man, and that’s why we’re out here.  They’re [police] are out here following us like we’re going to vandalize something.  Why are they following us?”

“There’s a lot going on,” a woman student said quietly.  “We’re just tired of all the killing by the police.”

“It’s not right for them to let the man walk away with murder,” one male student said, “he’s got to be doing some time.”

Several of the students told me that they’d been a core of some 20 students who began the walkout by marching around the school and rallying others.  They told me that they wanted the other students to be more serious about the walkout and the issues—and not just out because others were.  I shared my experience from the 1960s—that a lot of people, including me in some ways—who get drawn into things in part because "everyone is doing it," can change and get really serious about changing the world.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Oakland-San Francisco, December 4-5

December 6, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Thursday, December 4—Hundreds of people gathered at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland Thursday night before marching into Jack London Square and then into East Oakland along International Boulevard. Protesters we talked with said there were about 1,000 people.

Police blocked off the protesters, kettling them between 22nd and 21st streets at International Boulevard. They then only allowed a few people to leave at a time and the march went way down in numbers. In spite of this, some of the protesters continued a dozen more blocks to the notorious Fruitvale BART station where Oscar Grant was shot to death by BART police in 2009. BART tweeted that the station was shut down for a time “due to civil disturbance.”

The demonstrators held a moment of silence for Oscar Grant.

There was also a protest in San Francisco Thursday night where people staged a "die-in" on Market and Powell streets and then marched to Union Square and along Market Street.

Friday, December 5—For the third night in a row people gathered downtown and marched, numbering around 500-1,000. They walked up a ramp onto the 880 freeway and traffic was blocked in both directions. From there the protesters marched to the West Oakland BART station and shut it down before returning downtown. Huge lines of riot cops closed in as cops declared it an unlawful assembly around 11 pm and people dispersed for the night. Protests also occurred in several places in San Francisco.

  • Downtown Oakland, CA, December 5
  • Oakland, CA, Chinatown, December 5, 2014
  • Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA, December 5, 2014
  • Oakland, CA, Chinatown, December 5, 2014
1 2 3 4

Photos used with permission: Erika Fournier





Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Dec 5 in NYC: High School Students Protest, Die-Ins Disrupt Shopping

December 6, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


In NYC on Dec 5, protests around Manhattan continued for a 3rd night despite a cold rain.

Photo: Twitter via @RaySanchezNY


Students, including many Black students from Gramercy Arts protested at Union Square. They carried signs: “Welcome to amerKKKa where being Black is the biggest crime,” and a sign with a noose with the words “I can’t breathe” inside. One student declared “This is not the world we want to live in.”

Other protesters staged a die-in at 9:15 PM at Grand Central Station – a major commuter terminal in and out of New York City.

In mid-town, marchers blocked traffic at Times Square for ten minutes. Hundreds of protesters marched into the Apple store and Macy's – disrupting holiday shopping with die-ins. Signs included “This Stops Today – Eric Garner,” and “I can’t’ breathe.” Protesters in the stores chanted “Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Shut it Down! Shut it Down!” and “Black lives matter!” Many shoppers were supportive, and CNN reported that Macys’ management made a decision not to interfere with the protests. As marchers tied up traffic in mid-town Manhattan, cab drivers honked and held their hands out of their windows in approval. Other protesters attempted to shut down the Manhattan Bridge and the FDR Drive and were blocked by police who made arrests.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Denver High School Students Walk Out, December 3

December 6, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Wednesday, December 3, hundreds of high school students in Denver, Colorado, walked out of school in protest of the grand jury decision in Ferguson that let the cop who killed Michael Brown walk free. received these photos and brief report at

Special to

"Basically my school got together and protested/marched because we're tired of the racism in our community. Not just in our community but around the world since so many minorities are faced with racial profiling and violence. We also marched for justice for Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, and many other young black unarmed men that have been killed. We collected can goods, toys, books etc for the kids effected by the riots since the schools shut down for a short period of time and many other students are donating to Ferguson."





Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Every Year Droves of Anti-Abortion Fanatics Mobilize on the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade...


by Sunsara Taylor | December 5, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Clara Duvall

Savita Halappanavar

Becky Bell

Rosie Jimenez

Pauline Shirley

Gerri Santoro

Some of the hundreds of thousands of women around the world who have died because they were denied access to safe and legal abortion.

Each year on the anniversary of the legalization of abortion in this country, tens—perhaps hundreds—of thousands of people descend on Washington, DC and San Francisco to stand in public opposition to women's right to abortion. They call themselves the March for “Life,” but what do these marches really stand for? What is the view of women they are promoting? What role are they playing in the larger political and legal landscape of escalating assault on women's right to abortion? And how must those of us who care about abortion rights and women's lives respond?

First, the March for “Life” opposes all abortions in all circumstances for all women. They make no exception for women who are raped. No exception for the health—or even the life—of the woman. No exception when the fetus has a severe anomaly or doesn't stand a chance of surviving. For them, from a fertilized egg has the same value as the woman or girl whose body it is in. Their principles clearly state: “the life of a preborn child shall be preserved and protected to the same extent as the life of, e.g., an infant, a young adult or a middle-aged prominent national figure... There can be no exceptions.” In other words, the idea that pregnancy from rape is a “gift from god” is not a “fringe” position within the “pro-life” movement. It is the mainstream. This year the March's theme is, “Every Life Is a Gift.”

Second, this March is a rallying point for the entire anti-abortion movement. It is the largest anti-abortion gathering in the world. Sitting members of Congress and Senate, sitting presidents, the Pope, and the whole spectrum of religious fanatics have taken part. Some put on a compassionate tone and claim that “abortion harms women.” Others openly express the truly fascist core of the March's politics. Nelly Gray, the March's now-deceased founder, often called for holding “feminist abortionists” accountable for their “crimes,” invoking the Nuremberg Trials whose penalty was death.

In recent years, this March has transformed into a year-round political force. The week surrounding the March is filled with trainings for students, religious leaders, bloggers, and others. Tens of thousands of Catholic school kids and youth ministries are bussed in, indoctrinated, and charged with the life-mission to be the generation that ends abortion. This has helped fuel the unrelenting nationwide assault on abortion which has risen to unprecedented levels in the last few years. Since 2011, more than 200 restrictions have been passed against abortion at the state level and dozens of clinics have been forced to close. Six states have only one abortion clinic left. With the landslide Republican victories in the recent elections, all this will surely continue.

Third, this anti-abortion mobilization has had a profound impact on public opinion. Especially among young people and even among those who support abortion rights, abortion is increasingly thought of along the spectrum that starts with “tragic” and ends with “genocidal.” More and more shame is cast on the women who seek abortions. Fewer and fewer people feel unapologetic about abortion rights while those who oppose it feel completely emboldened. This is partly because young people do not remember the days before legal abortion, with the shotgun weddings, girls being “sent away,” and thousands dying from botched abortions. But it is also because the anti-abortion movement systematically indoctrinates and mobilizes their youth as foot-soldiers while the “pro-choice” side teaches people to defensively avoid the word “abortion” altogether in favor of things like “privacy” and “healthcare.”

All this is extremely dangerous. Fetuses are not babies, abortion is not murder, and women are not incubators. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting an abortion for whatever reason a woman chooses. What is wrong is forcing women to have children against their will.

Yet, this is precisely what is happening already in huge swaths of this country and many parts of the world. Especially rural and very poor areas, women face extreme difficulty terminating unwanted pregnancies. Many are unable to come up with the money, childcare and time off work for significant travel and an overnight stay to comply with mandatory waiting periods. Immigrant women who lack papers can't travel through fascist check-points near the U.S./Mexico border. Young women and girls in 38 states can't get abortions without parental involvement. Already, a great many either resign to having a child they did not want or risk their lives—and prison time—to self-induce abortions.

Forcing women to have children against their will is a form of enslavement. It means that women have to foreclose their other aspirations and dreams, scramble or remain in abusive situations, and bear and raise a child they did not want. They have to endure the weight of thousands of years of shame and judgment that comes down on women. And all women and girls live in a society where they know that their lives do not matter as much as a clump of unformed tissue.

It is long past time for that this massive anti-woman March be publicly and massively opposed! It must no longer be the case that a fascist anti-abortion message is the only one heard loud and clear on Roe v. Wade, shaping public opinion. It must no longer be the case that the anti-abortion fanatics are the only ones rallying the new generation to take the future of abortion rights—and of women—on as a primary life mission.

Those of us who do not want to see women forced to have children against their will must step out in defiant counter-protest this year. We must change the terms of this fight, declaring loudly “Abortion On Demand and Without Apology” and give millions more the confidence to say this too. We must hold up the pictures of the women who have died from illegal abortions and wake people up to the fact that this fight is over women's liberation or women's enslavement. We must model—through die-ins and other defiant acts—the courage and political clarity that can inspire and call forward many others.

In early January (date to be announced very soon), Stop Patriarchy will hold a major Abortion Rights Speak Out in New York City which will be webcast nationally. People across the country should organize viewing parties in their homes and public places that bring people together to learn the truth about this emergency, what is at stake for women, and how to take meaningful action to join with or support the Roe v. Wade protests. Then, on January 22 in DC and January 24 in San Francisco, people need to bus and caravan and converge at the national mobilizations counter-protesting the Marches for “Life.” It is time for students, artists, grandparents, professionals, religious folks as well as atheists, musicians and many more to come together and stand up. It is time to show our strength, courage and determination not to allow women to be forced backwards any further and to win a whole better future for women everywhere.

This Roe v. Wade anniversary, we fight back!




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Mexico Burns, U.S. Needs to Feel the Heat

December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors' note: We are reposting this article, which originally appeared December 8, because of the continuing importance of the struggle sparked by the September 2014 police attack on 43 students in Iguala in the Mexican state of Guerrero. So far, the remains of one of the 43 missing students have been officially identified through DNA testing. Protests are continuing in Mexico. On December 26, three months after the students were disappeared by the police, protesters covered the wall of the military base in Iguala with graffiti declaring "Here are the murderers."


Relatives of the 43 missing students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college march hold pictures of their missing loved ones during a protest in Mexico City, December 26, 2014.

Relatives of the 43 missing students from the Isidro Burgos rural teachers college march holding pictures of their missing loved ones during a protest in Mexico City, December 26, 2014. AP photo

“If you don’t burn, you are ashes,” reads one hand-made sign in a Mexico City march, meaning: How could you not burn with fury and grief for the disappearance of 43 students at the hands of the police in the state of Guerrero in southwest Mexico; how could you not burn for the disappearance of more than 25,000 people and the deaths of more than 120,000 since the start of the U.S.-orchestrated “war on drugs” in 2006? It may have seemed (and the ruling class had hoped) that the enormity and gruesomeness of this situation had chilled many people in Mexico into a silence of ashes, but now the fierce struggle of the fellow students and parents of the disappeared has provided a spark which is spreading like a wildfire.

“A political earthquake the likes of which Mexico has not seen in generations” is how a November 15 Los Angeles Times op-ed piece by Rubén Martínez described the crisis in Mexico. Every day the crisis continues to intensify.

Check out just a snapshot of events since September 26, when police killed six people and disappeared 43 teacher college students in Guerrero, Mexico:

“We would be willing to take up arms, first and foremost, because we’re not going to have any alternative,” said a father of a disappeared student in a documentary by Vice News, The Missing 43: Mexico's Disappeared Students. This kind of sentiment is being hotly debated and defended in social media and on the streets.

Blatantly Political Attack on the Rural Teaching College Students

On September 26, 150 students of the men’s rural teacher training college in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, (a 3½ hour drive south of Mexico City) went to the city of Iguala, Guerrero to raise funds to travel to Mexico City on October 2 to commemorate the anniversary of the government massacre of hundreds of students and other protestors in Tlatelolco Plaza in 1968. That evening, they took three buses from the bus yard, winning over the drivers to give them a ride home.

Travelling to events by commandeering buses—convincing the bus drivers to support them, or driving the buses themselves—is a tradition among poor youth in Mexico. This time, however, the buses were cut off on the way out of town by Iguala police who fired indiscriminately into the buses, shooting two to death on the spot and horribly killing another in the bushes by tearing off his face and gouging out his eyes. The police loaded 43 students in patrol cars, took them to the police station and there handed them over to the drug trafficking gang which was headed up by none other than the mayor of Iguala and his wife.

Many students were able to flee the scene, and they returned a few hours later with local journalists and more fellow students. They were again attacked by men shooting from unmarked vans, so wildly and openly that three people in passing vehicles were killed. One of the surviving students, Omar García, tells how they were fleeing, carrying a fellow student with a gunshot head wound, when they ran into soldiers from the military base very close to the attack scene. Refusing to call an ambulance, a captain instead interrogated and photographed the students, telling them that if they did not give him their real names they would disappear and nobody would know what happened to them. They told the students, “You wanted to act big, you asked for it.”

Now the Mexican government tries to pin the whole incident on the mayor of Iguala, Abarca, and his wife, now in custody after the federal government allowed them to quietly go on the lam for 40 days. Bullshit! Last year Abarca ordered the kidnapping of six political opponents; one of them escaped and testified that Abarca had personally taken part in killing the victims. The state refused to indict Abarca. His party, the Partido de la Revolución Democrática, the “leftist opposition” party, supported the upcoming mayoral campaign of his wife, whose ties to top drug lords are an open secret. And what about the military in the area of the attack? The federal government sent 10,000 troops to Guerrero to supposedly hunt for the students’ remains, but there is not even a whisper of investigation of the military’s threats against the students that night and the military’s failure to even question the hail of bullets around the students.

What the government is covering up is that Ayotzinapa students have been a thorn in the side of the ruling class in Mexico. The rural teacher colleges in Mexico have a long tradition of training youth of the very poor and often indigenous communities in leftist ideology and militant direct action. For this reason, along with the neoliberal economic program currently being crammed down the throats of the society at the demand of the U.S. imperialists, the government has closed most of the rural teacher colleges. Ayotzinapa students have been battling for years to fight the government’s efforts to force their college’s closure by cutting off its budget to a tiny trickle. In 2011, two students were gunned down by police during a march which blocked a major highway. It is absurd to claim that this intense conflict between the Ayotzinapa students and the state had nothing to do with the virulent police attack and the disappearance of the 43 students.

What the government is also trying to cover over is that many thousands of people are pointing to all levels of government as being responsible and in complete collusion with the extremely lucrative drug cartels. The municipal, state and federal police, the military, the rival electoral parties and the cartels are all in the service of enriching capitalist empires inside and (especially) outside of Mexico and enforcing their rule by exploiting and terrorizing the masses, although they may accomplish that through a complex interplay which includes a murderous rivalry among and between all these forces.

For more information on the struggle of the rural teachers colleges, see "From A World to Win News Service: Mexico: Rising protests after the kidnapping of 43 students."

Uncle Sam Is the Puppeteer Behind “El Barbie”

The U.S. government continues to staunchly support the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto, ridiculed in Mexico as “El Barbie” for his resemblance to a Ken doll, intellectually as well as physically. But he’s not just a Ken doll, he’s a certified made in America doll. Just listen to U.S. big media drooling over him last December, after he rammed through the privatization of Mexican oil reserves, the fifth largest in the world:

“As Venezuela’s economy implodes and Brazil’s growth stalls, Mexico is becoming the Latin oil producer to watch—and a model of how democracy can serve a developing country,” (Washington Post editorial, 12/15/13)

“Mexican Oil And Gas: Christmas Arrives Early” (Forbes magazine, 12/12/13)

Of course, U.S. machinations in Mexico go much farther back than its recent efforts to restructure the Mexican economy in its image. The website shows profit remittances into the U.S. from investments in Mexico were $14 billion in 2012 alone.

But even more important than those financial statistics is the 2,000-mile border that Mexico shares with the U.S. and the millions of immigrants from Mexico who live in the U.S. and give the U.S. economy a huge shot in the arm.

This does not mean, however, that the U.S. is doing a good job at dealing with the chaos on its southern border.

The “war on drugs” which has caused such a disastrous loss of life since 2006 was largely orchestrated by the U.S. The extent of U.S. involvement has been kept secret to avoid a backlash against the campaign in Mexico. A full description would require a much longer article, but as John Ackerman, a National Autonomous University of Mexico professor noted on “The United States has funneled at least $3 billion in assistance to Mexico over the last six years, in addition to enormous amounts of secret spending in direct military and security support. U.S. agents directly participate in the Mexican drug war. Numerous ‘fusion centers’ exist throughout Mexico for directly sharing intelligence. American drones constantly fly over Mexican territory. Last year, the Obama administration ordered the website host GoDaddy to close down a leading Mexican opposition website in response to a groundless complaint from the Mexican government. And the Wall Street Journal has just revealed that U.S. agents dress up in Mexican military uniforms to participate directly in special missions.”

The U.S., the Real Power Behind the Mexican War on the People

This points to the urgency for people in the U.S. of all nationalities to take responsibility to aim struggle directly at the U.S. government for its so-called “war on drugs” (in reality a war on the people) and its support for the blood-stained Mexican government, which includes all its parties and branches of government.

There have been protests in different cities in the U.S. in support of the people's struggle in Mexico around the disappearance of the Ayotzinapa students. The website, among others, called for actions December 3-6 focused on protesting the U.S. government’s support for Peña Nieto. YES! Go directly to the source and hit at the hand which controls the puppet (or the Ken doll, in this case)! In some cities, those protests joined with actions against the grand jury decision to not bring any charges against the cop who killed Eric Garner in Staten Island, NY.

These protests need to continue and grow. People in the U.S. have a special responsibility to support the struggle of the people in Mexico, and to expose and oppose the moves of the U.S. capitalist-imperialist rulers.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

From A World to Win News Service:

Mexico: "Spread the people's awakening and rebellion against the criminal state!"

December 5, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


December 1, 2014. A World to Win News Service. Huge numbers of people marched in Mexico City and a dozen other cities in about a third of Mexico's states in a "National Civil Shutdown" 1 December to step up the movement demanding that the government return the 43 Ayotzinapa teachers' college students kidnapped in September. On the day that President Enrique Peña Neto marked the end of his second year in office with a speech promising institutional reform, the demand that he resign reflected a growing sentiment that his government is totally illegitimate.

Teachers and others in many states from Sonora and Durango in the north to more than a hundred schools in the state of Mexico and southern states went on strike. The day began when thousands of teachers in Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, blockaded an oil refinery, while others briefly seized the state's main airport. Teachers, students and members of indigenous organizations blocked motorways and marched in San Cristobal de la Casas, Chiapas. Education workers in Guerrero, the state where Ayotzinapa is located, forced major stores to close. They later stormed the state prosecutor's office in Chilpancingo, torched police cars and rubbished administrative offices. In Guadalajara, a group of writers led a march from the International Book Fair to the city centre. In Veracruz, demonstrators responded to government accusations by chanting "We are not infiltrators, we're the people and we're mad as hell" and covered the walls of the National Election Institute with graffiti. In many places marchers carried photos of the disappeared students and denounced the government's attempts to criminalize and smash the protest movement.

A half dozen marches criss-crossed the capital until they joined in a single stream led by Ayotzinapa parents. In the evening, as tens of thousands of people, said to be mainly secondary school and university students, along with union members and others, marched down a major avenue chanting slogans demanding the president's resignation, hundreds of police '"kettled" (trapped) a contingent of about 500 youth. Observers from the country's National Human Rights Commission came and escorted the demonstrators away from the police to safety.

Solidarity demonstrations took place abroad, including Los Angeles (California) and Frankfurt, Germany. While the December 1, march in LA was at the Mexican Embassy, a protest was scheduled at U.S. government facilities for 3 December to condemn U.S. complicity in the Mexican government's war against the people.

The following, written shortly after a previous round of protests on 20 November, is from the Web site of the Revolutionary Communist Organization (OCR) of Mexico (

The parents of the 43 disappeared students arrive at the capital's main square in the afternoon of 20 November as part of the fourth Global Action Day for Ayotzinapa, the teachers' college they attended. After talking with many people in the course of their three car caravans through various parts of the country, they came to a very clear conclusion: "It's not just the state of Guerrero – everywhere in Mexico there are secret mass graves, extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances."

Throughout Mexico and around the world, the fourth Day of Protest marked a new upsurge of struggle. Many people once kept silent by fear now dare to protest and demonstrate. Many who were once overwhelmed by the daily struggle to survive or to get ahead, kept in ignorance by the  mass media and its disinformation, are beginning to awaken to political life and demand justice in this totally unjust society.

Tens of thousands of people converged on the Mexico city centre, according to La Jornada and AFP.  Their lively and combative marches throbbed with music. There were solidarity strikes at more than a hundred public and private universities in several states. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in 120 cities in Mexico and more than 30 cities around the world, from Argentina to Russia and in many places in the U.S. It was a magnificent day of struggle and rebellion, a repudiation of the criminal state that is responsible for the murders and disappearances of the Ayotzinapa students in Iguala and countless other blood crimes in its war against the people.

Once again the Mexico City government of Miguel Mancera  of the PRD (the "leftist" opposition party to which the mayor of Iguala belongs) and the federal government headed by Enrique Peña Nieto of the PRI (the historic governing party) joined efforts to brutally and arbitrarily suppress demonstrators in the capital, again revealing the common interests of the governing parties in repressing the people. Because of the usual coordination between the government and the media there was no television coverage of the capital riot police and the federal police beating people randomly, including children and the elderly. Instead TV newscasters lectured about "violence" because a few people threw things at the national palace, which these parrots for the system consider much more reprehensible than the many murders carried out by the government.  As usual they chattered about "violent demonstrators" and "the victimized police", while covering up the police violence and random arrests.

The repression was documented in videos and photos circulating on the Net. Groups of peaceful demonstrators, sometimes including whole families, were "kettled", pushed up against the metal fences surrounding closed stores and mercilessly beaten, many until they fell to the ground. An elderly man who held up a text to the riot police, asking them to read it, was brutally clubbed by a group of police. The so-called "law enforcement" forces also attacked reporters and representatives of human rights organizations.

As usual the arrests were arbitrary. They included a Chilean student who happened to go by on a bike and an art student whose outrageous arrest was videoed and posted on the Net. Although the numbers reported are contradictory, at least 26 people were arrested. Of the 15 who were taken to the federal prosecutor's office, 11 have been treated as if they were dangerous criminals, locked up in high security prisons in the states of Veracruz and Nayarit, charged with criminal conspiracy, riot and attempted homicide. After the federal district authorities had bailed another 11 people who had been arrested, they received orders to stop releasing prisoners on bail and imprisoned three men and a woman still in custody. A policeman told people who had been arrested in a demonstration near the airport, "We're going to take you to Oaxaca and dump you like the 43 students. Obviously the state was prepared to unleash even bloodier repression.  Photos posted on the Net showed snipers on the roofs of the national palace during the demonstration, recalling the army's massacre of hundreds of students and other people in 1968.

A few hours before the state unleashed its guard dogs against the people, President Peña Nieto led an armed forces ceremony where he condemned violence "no matter who commits it" and condemning the "unjust" accusations against the army for the cold-blooded killing of 21 youth who had surrendered to the armed forces in Tlatlaya and participating in the repression of the Ayotzinapa teachers' college students in Iguala. State violence gets total impunity, while the people are met with an iron fist.

The families of the disappeared students have not even been allowed to see the files on this case, even though full access to the files was one of the ten points the president had supposedly agreed to with the families. None of these points were respected. After leaving a meeting with representatives of the federal government on 21 November, family members of the 43 disappeared students threw water and soda cans to express their outrage at the duplicity of the government, which has not released any reliable information about the search for the disappeared and instead is increasingly trying to repress the protest movement.

President Peña Nieto talks about "peace and justice" while the state he heads is waging a war against the people and committing all kinds of injustice with total impunity. He condemns "the attack on our institutions" when those institutions are attacking, disappearing and killing the people. This is clear not only in this case but in the endless number of cases of murders, disappearances and tortures committed by the armed forces and police who still enjoy impunity. None of this would have come out without the struggle for justice for the Ayotzinapa students, a justice that will never come from the government. Many people are asking, Why? What should we do now?

The problem is not just with certain politicians or electoral parties. From the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre to the Atenco massacre and now Ayotzinapa, all the main electoral parties have taken part in vicious repression against the people. Nor is the problem just neo-liberalism. Tlatelolco, the 1971 massacre by paramilitary forces, the dirty war and many other state crimes took place before the system began to implement these free-market policies.

Today's state is rooted not so much in the 1910 Revolution as the counter-revolution carried out by the "constitutionalist" forces led by generals Carranza and Obregon, who treacherously murdered Zapata and Villa and slaughtered the revolutionaries who followed them and the Flores Magon brothers. The state established back then was a state in the service of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal system that has increasingly evolved into a capitalism under the heel of imperialism, especially the U.S. This state has always oppressed and repressed the people while defending the exploitative system that still keeps the majority of the people in poverty and subject to reactionary violence, just as the global capitalist-imperialist system suppresses the great majority of humanity.

Since we can't hope for justice from this state, what should we do?

We should learn from the very positive initiative taken by the families of the 43 disappeared students, who took their struggle to the people in many areas and at the same time learned from the suffering of those people. We have to spread the exposure and struggle, taking it above all, more deeply among the masses of proletarians and peasants and the poor and oppressed of the countryside and cities in general. Along with the students and intellectuals who have powerfully driven the beginning of this movement, these lower masses can get to the root of the problem and completely change this country. Let's spread the brigadeo (a currently widespread activity in which groups form up brigades to go out and do mass agitation, locally and across the country) and many other creative mechanisms through which everyone can learn the truth about these state crimes!
Amidst this exposure and resistance to the criminal state, and  struggle for justice for the students, we need to be forging a movement for revolution, because revolution is the only possible way to put an end to the massacre of our youth, the massacre of women and other intolerable injustices. Only revolution can lead to emancipation as we overthrow this criminal state and build a new state power that serves the people and humanity, as we dismantle this inhuman predominantly capitalist system and unchain the creativity of the people to build a new, fundamentally different and liberating state. Even the most advanced people in the 1910 revolution did not have the understanding necessary to lead that process, but today, as a result of the very positive and also negative lessons of the socialist revolutions of the past century, and other sources of knowledge, a new revolutionary understanding has been brought forward, the new synthesis of communism developed by Bob Avakian, which gives us new tools to be able to discover and forge the road to liberation.

Let's not let ourselves be tricked by the illusion of being able to put this broken and intolerable system back together again. Revolution is the only road to people's emancipation from so many insufferable and unnecessary injustices. In order for this struggle to really contribute to the building of a much better world and not waste today's awakening of millions of people, we need to forge the movement for revolution that does not yet exist and yet is so necessary.


A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world's Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.





Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

From A World to Win News Service

8 March: Helping the Victims Is Not the Same as Ending Violence Against Women

December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


1 December 2014. A World to Win News Service. The following statement on the occasion of the International Day Against Violence Against Women (25 November) is by the 8 March Women's Organisation (Iran-Afghanistan) (

* One out of every three women experiences violence or sexual harassment in her lifetime. The perpetrator is usually a family member or someone close to her. That makes the home one of the most unsafe places in the world for women.

* Every year 60 million school girls are targets of sexual harassment on the way to school or elsewhere.

* 80 percent of the human beings trafficked globally are women and girls who are trafficked for the express purpose of sexual exploitation.

* At least 60 million girls are "missing" from various populations, mostly in Asia, as a result of infanticide, neglect or sex-selected abortion.

* Between 100 million and 140 million women and girls alive today have been genitally mutilated.

* Over 60 million girls are sexually abused as child brides on a world scale today.

This list could go on and on, but enough is enough! Enough of such statistics! As horrifying as these simple figures may be, they depict only a small part of the reality of the war that is going on against women on a world scale. They cannot show the endless moments full of anxiety experienced by women in every walk of life and corner of society.

If these numbers are now being talked about, it is because we have been fighting to break the silence, because we no longer want to be "silent" "decent" and "loving" victims, because we don't want our bodies to be commodities for the political, economic and religious interests of the ruling powers or even individual male sexual desire. Sometimes we are forced to remain covered with a veil to indicate our modesty, and at other times our bodies are used to sell merchandise or sold outright.

We know well that as long as there is someone to buy sex, our exploitation will continue. In Iraq, Daesh has been selling our Yazidi and Christian sisters as war booty, just like 1,400 years ago, in the slave market of Mosul. Our sisters in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and so many other countries are on sale in "modern" slave markets called "red light districts". We understand these are different forms of the same male chauvinism. 

We Middle Eastern women are especially familiar with the various kinds of religious backward forces and theocratic rulers, and are witnessing more nakedly barbaric forms of violence based on Sharia law. At the same time, we are also familiar with the imperialist wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and elsewhere, where women have been more directly the targets of gunfire and bombardment and the victims of refugee camps, rape, insecurity and poverty. Above all, they are subject to the sell-outs and compromises among the imperialists and regional reactionaries.

In Iran, the Islamic Republic, the first and the role model of the backward fundamentalist forces in the region, a regime synonymous with the subjugation of women and the compulsory wearing of the hijab (headscarf) in particular, is increasingly closing even the smallest openings through which women can participate in the life of society and eliminating them from the political, social and economic scenes. The Islamic Republic has intensified its attacks against women and is using its armed security police to make sure that they are covered and acting "decently", and keep them out of sport centres. It is driving working women out of jobs and social life, keeping them at home and using them as incubators. At the same time it is implementing the brutal Sharia law of Qesas (retaliation) to execute rebellious women such as Reyhaneh Jabari. (The woman executed a month ago because in an act of self-defence she killed an intelligence agent who intended to rape her). Furthermore, the regime is the force behind the recent acid attacks on so-called "bad-hijab" (insufficiently covered) women, in order to make society increasingly more insecure for women and close its door to them.

This is the reason why we believe that domestic and social violence against women would not be able to express themselves without state violence. 

Women should also fight back and launch their struggle against anti-women policies and women's oppression. And through the course of these struggles, we should learn more about the oppression of women and its origins and unite with others and understand how to eliminate it.

All women, beginning from when they are a female embryo and continuing when they are old, in the entire world and in all its virtual and real spaces, such as bedrooms and offices, universities and sport centres, and at any time, are threatened by violence. All women are the direct or indirect victims of the inherent, organized and systematic violence of the patriarchal capitalist system, a system that cannot continue to live without upholding and defending male superiority over females in all economic, social and domestic spheres. So it imposes an all-round, brutal and at the same time quiet war against women.

But helping the victims is not the same as ending violence against women. 

There is no need to prove it. We women are the victims of the world capitalist system commanded by the quest for profit and super profit, a system that wants us to be quiet victims.

They also do their best and spend their resources to train their military, political, judicial and religious representatives, and also husbands, fathers and brothers, so that with their violence in various forms they can chain the rebellious "slaves".

But we have not been obedient victims in this war and we will not be. As revolutionary women, we have enough experience, inspiration, anger and courage so that we can stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters all over the world and eventually end this unjust war against women. We have scientific and liberating theories to rely on and help our sisters all over the world become conscious and organized and join the political struggle. We know that this violence will not disappear without the complete liberation of women. The subjugation of women does not come from "women's nature," nor does the violence come from "men's nature". The relationship between men and women is a product of the patriarchal class societies, including the capitalist system, that must be overthrown to put an end to male ownership of women.

With high revolutionary aims, we must build a world where women, without any obstacles or fear, are the active part of the dynamic wheel of society and the respect for human beings is institutionalized, where no man and no institution has the power or opportunity to oppress others.

Women can and must break the chains of oppression and exploitation in such a way that no one will be able to tie them again around the foot or neck of any woman and anybody at all.

A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world's Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Interview with Noche Diaz of the NYC Revolution Club:

Assaulted by Police, Threatened, and Facing 11 Charges for Leading Resistance

December 1, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors' note: Both after the murder of Michael Brown, and after the announcement of the grand jury decision to let the cop who murdered him walk, Noche Diaz was singled out in protests in New York by the NYPD, threatened, assaulted, and arrested. In both cases, police piled on a long list of charges, and Noche is going to court Tuesday, December 2 at 9:30 am on both sets of charges. Noche is well recognized by friend and foe as being with the NYC Revolution Club and for being on the front lines of the battle against police murder and brutality.


Noche Diaz at Union Square Tuesday November 25, 2014

Revolution: Let's start with what happened at your latest arrest.

Noche Diaz: Tuesday evening, November 25, after the grand jury decision was announced, there was a march that began with a rally at Union Square. There was a powerful rally with people speaking out, and then we started marching: "Killer cop has walked, Amerikkka must come to a halt!" We were heading towards the Holland Tunnel, trying to get there. And right away police started targeting me.

Revolution: Describe that.

Noche Diaz: They were saying things like, "I know you, you already have a case, you better go home, cuz when we get you, you ain't going nowhere for a long time, we're gonna put you away." They repeated this, telling me things like, "We already got you for the same thing before." And other people in the march overheard police pointing me out and talking about me, too, I believe. It was clear to a lot of people they had my number, so to speak.

Along the march there were standoffs between marchers trying to go to the Holland Tunnel and police. People were chanting, "Let us march!" The police were telling people in the crowd that we were violent for not stopping protesting and going home. They tried to get the protesters to fight each other and were spreading all this stuff about we were violent. We were talking about they killed Michael Brown and they're calling us violent. But they were trying to isolate people who were trying to lead things, especially people in the Revolution Club, including myself. But they weren't able to do that and they kept striking me on the back of the head.

Revolution: Police kept assaulting you? Hitting you on the head?!

Noche Diaz: Yeah. During this standoff with police, they were hitting me on the head.

Revolution: Police repeatedly hit you on the head during this standoff?

Noche Diaz: Yes. And at different points police tried to snatch me, but weren't able to. People in the crowd were trying to protect me from these assaults. The police had me pushed against a car, and finally were able to pull me out of the crowd. They had made a decision to really go get me. Despite efforts from the crowd to protect me, they got me. They slammed me to the ground. Then they pulled me up to my feet and took me behind the police line. One said, "Let's take him down behind the truck where no one can see." So I stopped walking and faced the crowd.

Revolution: Taking you behind a truck where nobody can see can't mean anything legitimate, especially given that they were assaulting you even when everyone could see.

Noche Diaz: And I had been assaulted the night before at a protest. On Monday night, some kind of supervisor—in front of a number of people—grabbed me by the throat and said, "Get out of here." So that's what I was thinking about.

Revolution: Tell us more about what happened Monday night.

Noche Diaz: Monday night, right after the grand jury decision was announced, we were marching, and the police kept trying to corral the march with motorcycles. They kept hitting people with motorcycles, and some of us were trying to protect people from that. And a police supervisor grabbed me by the throat, and was choking me, saying "Get out of the way, get out of here."

Revolution: So then, back to Tuesday night when they arrested you...

Noche Diaz: As they were talking about taking me out of sight behind a truck, I folded my legs and sat quietly.

Revolution: And what are the charges?

Noche Diaz: Inciting to riot, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and unlawful assembly.

Revolution: So what is the status of these charges?

Noche Diaz: I'm going to court Tuesday on both these charges, and facing a similar set of charges from August 14. That was a few days after the killing of Mike Brown. There was a nationwide moment of silence. The NYC Revolution Club was part of that, and then led people to go from silence to defiance, marching up to Times Square. Marching back from Times Square, the police kettled people—surrounded them and wouldn't let people leave. They reached into the kettle and dragged me out and arrested me for my role in helping lead the march there. I have six charges from that arrest.

Revolution: Let's talk about what this is all about and part of, what you've been in the middle of.

Noche Diaz: Going back to August, people in Ferguson stepped out and defied the powers that be, and set an example for people everywhere, not just protest as usual. They defied teargas, tanks, and rubber bullets. Youth who have been cast off and criminalized by the system were in the front lines. That was affecting the atmosphere everywhere. And the powers that be are very afraid of that. Even when there were moments of silence in different parts of the country, and here, for sure, many became places where people stepped out in the spirit of Ferguson. And the powers that be really hated that, and hate the role I played in that. And at same time, in the local setting, the murder of Eric Garner is a flashpoint that could bubble over at any point, and mass dissatisfaction with and hatred for the new police commissioner, Bratton, and disillusionment with de Blasio's "progressive" agenda, that, in de Blasio's words, "threatens to tear this city apart."

So they hated people standing up. And that happened again starting Monday when the grand jury came back, for much of the same kinds of reasons. Because all across the country, people refused to swallow this or wait, like Al Sharpton says, for a federal investigation, which takes forever and goes nowhere. So we were responding to the call from Carl Dix to shut the country down. People shut down bridges, tunnels, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Bratton condemned the protesters as "callous" for daring to disrupt such an important American holiday. And around the country, Black Friday was "Black Lives Friday." Yesterday, people marched in Harlem.

So, again, going back to Tuesday night, I was clearly singled out for the role I've been playing.

Revolution: We have been seeing different dimensions of repression against people expressing outrage against the grand jury decision, and the murder of Michael Brown. Protests have been attacked—hundreds arrested in LA. In Ferguson, the State of Emergency targeted those who catch the most hell every day—who live under police state terror day in day out, and ratcheted that repression up to a whole other level. And leaders are being targeted. The NYPD is bragging, overtly bragging, about spying on "professional agitators" in Ferguson (and whatever that is supposed to mean, it isn't against the law). So it seems targeting you is an expression of all this.

Noche Diaz: To add to that, myself and the Revolution Club play a role in bringing people targeted for repression into political life. And also in calling out people like Sharpton who say "light a candle and go home." People like myself who refuse to accept letting the system work in the way it is intended to work, to oppress and kill people. People like myself, who lead people to act around that, and bring a section of people into political life and protest, are targeted—not just for leading marches tactically, but for playing this kind of political role. They want people to stop protesting. They're doing everything they can to find someone in Ferguson to put on TV to say "people just want things to go back to normal." The reality is, if it wasn't for people in the streets, these murders would be just getting swept under the rug, and we'd all be waiting for a federal investigation. So you can listen to what the powers that be say they are afraid of and learn from that. They don't want people in the streets.

Revolution: In going after leaders of the movement, different political forces and perspectives have been targeted, and have to be defended. And within that, they have gone after the Revolution Club with a lot of venom and violence.

Noche Diaz: Yes, they've made no secret of targeting people associated with getting out fliers from the Revolutionary Communist Party. National news has slandered the RCP in Ferguson, but not just there. It's not a secret they hate what the RCP is about. And you can check out what the RCP is about at

Revolution: And what is the next step, how and when do people support you and oppose the political charges against you?

Noche Diaz: The Revolution Club is calling for everyone to join us in a protest Tuesday, December 2. Rally outside 100 Centre Street, 8:45 am and pack the courtroom in Part B, 100 Centre Street, at 9:30.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Michael Brown's Parents Testify:

UN Report Issued on U.S. "Excessive Use of Force and Police Brutality"

December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


On November 28, the United Nations Committee on Torture released a 16-page report on the United States, its first such review since 2006. A section on “Excessive use of force and police brutality” expresses concern about the militarization of U.S. police departments and "excessive use of force by law enforcement officials, in particular against persons belonging to certain racial and ethnic groups."

This report came out only a few days after a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the cop who murdered 18-year-old Mike Brown in August; and only a few weeks after the parents of Michael Brown, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., traveled to Geneva to appear before the committee. Their testimony was based on a 13-page report titled: “Written Statement on the Police Shooting of Michael Brown and Ensuing Police Violence Against Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.” The UN committee organized the parents’ trip, after saying that Brown's killing, and the force used by police officers during protests that followed, "represent violations of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment."

Shortly after this trip, Michael Brown Sr. said in a CNN interview that they had gone to the UN committee "trying to get the eye opener of attention to the situation going on in St. Louis and all over America" and that this case is about "What's going on in the United States and all over the world with the police, police brutality, no justice."

The new UN report says:

The Committee is concerned about numerous reports of police brutality and excessive use of force by law enforcement officials, in particular against persons belonging to certain racial and ethnic groups, immigrants and LGBTI individuals, racial profiling by police and immigration offices and growing militarization of policing activities.... It also expresses its deep concern at the frequent and recurrent police shootings or fatal pursuits of unarmed black individuals. In this regard the Committee notes the alleged difficulties to hold police officers and their employers accountable for abuses....

When Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden testified before the UN committee, they said their goal was “not only to achieve justice in Ferguson, but to unite governments around the world against the human rights violations that result from racial profiling and police violence.”

The UN committee report is limited by what it can actually do (it only makes recommendations) and by its outlook, which is to reform the system as it exists. But it does point to real crimes of the U.S. around police brutality as well as around other human rights abuses including: juveniles in the criminal justice system, the use of the death penalty, sexual violence in the U.S. military, treatment of immigrants on the border, the U.S. record on military interrogations, maximum security prisons, solitary confinement, Guantanamo, deaths in custody, and use of the death penalty.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights who oversees the UN Committee on Torture had also issued a statement on November 25, the day after the Ferguson grand jury announced its decision not to indict the cop who killed Mike Brown. Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein urged people to avoid violence in the wake of the grand jury decision, stated he is not in a position to comment on it, and then says:

Nevertheless, I am deeply concerned at the disproportionate number of young African Americans who die in encounters with police officers, as well as the disproportionate number of African Americans in U.S. prisons and the disproportionate number of African Americans on Death Row. It is clear that, at least among some sectors of the population, there is a deep and festering lack of confidence in the fairness of the justice and law enforcement systems. I urge the US authorities to conduct in-depth examinations into how race-related issues are affecting law enforcement and the administration of justice, both at the federal and state levels.

Concerns about institutionalized discrimination in the US have repeatedly been raised, by respected national bodies and by UN bodies monitoring the implementation of international human rights treaties, ratified by the US. These include, this year alone, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the Human Rights Committee. In addition, just two weeks ago, Michael Brown’s parents addressed the Committee against Torture which is currently reviewing the United States’ application of its obligations under the Convention against Torture. That committee will deliver its conclusions on Friday.


This new UN report comes at a time when the utter hypocrisy of the United States is being put in an international spotlight.

People are told, all over the world and in the U.S. itself, that the USA is “the greatest country in the world,” that it is the “leader of the free world,” and “the home of freedom and democracy.” But this LIE is now getting exposed for all to see, as thousands and thousands of people are taking to the streets in cities all over the U.S., protesting the fact that Black and brown people, especially the youth, are targeted and gunned down ALL THE TIME by the police, who are as a rule NEVER punished.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Stand with the Student Rebels in Ferguson/St. Louis!

by Larry Everest | December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Ferguson, December 6, 2014—An intense and crucial front is shaping up in the national battle against police murder and terror against Black people here in Ferguson/St. Louis area high schools. This past week witnessed an eruption of deep, passionate outpourings at high schools here, involving hundreds of students from at least 19 area high schools and middle schools. In walkouts, marches, schoolyard rallies and die-ins, students protested the grand jury’s refusal to indict Michael Brown’s murderer.

I was at one protest and it was clear that these high school students represent a very powerful force that is key to taking the nationwide struggle for an end to police terror to a higher level, and changing the whole political terrain. Students were literally dancing in the streets as they marched, their rhythmic energy and exuberance felt potentially uncontainable. Theirs was a deep desire to be taken seriously—that their lives and voices counted.

What happened to Michael Brown “could have happened to any of us,” one said. And these high school youths, particularly in oppressed communities, are often directly under the authorities’ boot, denied basic rights by a system that has no future for them and is trying to stomp the life out of them. Their actions are inspiring people broadly.

When students from the middle/upper middle class Clayton High walked out, one student said, “Just because we are, you know, wealthy and predominately white doesn’t mean that we’re not aware. We are a part of this issue.”

Walkouts and Repression

Ferguson, December 2

Ferguson, December 2

There were high school walkouts in the Ferguson/St. Louis area nearly every day this past week. At some schools, officials accompanied the students, and in some instances, that encouraged more students to take part. But students were fairly quickly bused back to campus, and in some cases warned they would be disciplined if they didn’t return, even though a significant number wanted to continue.

One student I talked with said his principal sat students down after a walkout. The principal said “he didn’t want to stop us from having our voices heard, but there was a better way than disrupting our education.” But the student I talked with insisted that no one [in authority] talks about the fact that Mike Brown had graduated and was going to go to college—and he was killed anyway. And then the media and the police just focused on the negative about him. All this was part of why he and other students were determined to do things. At home, this student’s family had been getting automated phone messages from the school district saying if students walk out again, there would be “severe consequences.”

Students at Hazelwood high schools walked out on December 2 and were confronted by police. Afterward, the school superintendent warned that the district would “not condone disruptive behavior.” In consultation with local police, the school district then imposed “security measures” that made the school feel like “a prison,” one student told the Huffington Post. “At lunch there are officers at every exit, and you can’t leave class to use the bathroom without a police escort.”

At other north St. Louis County schools, teachers and counselors have tried to channel students to be less confrontational. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, “Brandy Gioyard, a sophomore at McCluer North, said the demonstration was not just about Brown’s death, but ‘everything boiling over. They’ve been trying to keep us quiet. This is our chance to do something. It gives me confidence in our generation.’”

This is a time for everyone to come to the support of these courageous students and the teachers and others who back them. Demand that administrators and other authorities back off on their threats and punishments aimed at students who are doing what they should be doing—fighting to change the world.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Cheers to Ariyana Smith: “I could not play that game”

December 5, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Saturday, November 28. During the singing of the national anthem, Knox College basketball star Ariyana Smith stood on the basketball court with her arms raised up in a “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” posture. She then walked toward the American flag, her arms still raised and fell to the ground—and lay there for a full 4.5 minutes, symbolizing the 4.5 hours that Michael Brown’s body lay in the streets after he was shot down and killed by Ferguson cop Darren Wilson.

The game was against Fontbonne University—in Clayton, Missouri, the very city where the grand jury chose not to indict officer Darren Wilson.

Ariyana Smith was immediately suspended by her coach—Knox College later reversed the punishment.

Smith said: “I could not go into that gym and pretend that everything was OK...I could not play in good conscience. I could not play that game.”




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Hey, Charles Barkley!

December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Are you really that much of a fool and tool of the system? Your comments denying that white cops regularly kill Black people and challenging anyone to provide evidence that this is so set a new record for belly-crawling and outright stupidity. What you deny is undeniably true and is fully proven by the actual record–anyone can easily see, who is willing to look, that there is a large-scale, long-standing, and ongoing, pattern of cops (and, yes, particularly white cops) killing unarmed Black people, especially young Black males (see accompanying box). And this kind of idiocy, combined with craven slavishness, is not new for Charles Barkley. This is the same Charles Barkley, it should be recalled, who previously insisted that slavery had been a good thing because Black people in America are so much better off now than Black people in Africa!! This, too, represents, on Barkley's part, a stunning combination of subservience–the outright "yes-master" bootlicking of the house slave–and world-class ignorance about slavery and the oppression of the masses of Black people in America, down to today, and about what colonialism and imperialism has done, and is continuing to do, to Africa and the masses of people there.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Honolulu, Hawai'i: Disrupting Celebration-as-Usual

December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Honolulu, December 6

Honolulu, December 6

Honolulu, December 6

Photos: Special to

December 6—It was no celebration as usual at Honolulu's Annual City Lights Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony as almost 150 people waded through thousands of people to stand near the stage where the mayor was speaking. The chants were so loud the mayor was forced to stop his speech and address the protesters in an effort to silence them, but instead increased the energy of the protesters. Then, as the mayor turned on the Christmas tree lights, the protesters dropped to the ground to "die-in." As the protesters marched out of the venue chanting "Hands Up, Don't Shoot," many in the crowd joined them. It was an audacious and controversial action that was seen and heard by thousands at the event, as well as by people watching the televised live feed.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Cheers to Derrick Rose

December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


During pre-game warmups, Saturday night, December 6, Derrick Rose of the NBA Chicago Bulls wore a T-shirt that said, "I Can't Breathe"—Eric Garner’s last words before he died from a chokehold by an NYPD cop.

Derrick Rose, December 6

Others applauded his action through tweets:
Jalen Rose, former NBA player
I respect Derrick Rose for rocking the "I Can't Breathe" tee for warmup's #Nba

Kyle Cooke, former NFL player
Good for Derrick Rose. Not enough athletes have been raising their voices.

Chris Draper, former Canadian pro ice hockey player
Love that Derrick Rose warmed up in an "I Can't Breathe" t-shirt.

Kirk Goldsberry, visiting scholar at Harvard

Respect to NBA star #DerrickRose for showing solidarity with the movement. #EricGarner #ICantBreathe...

Nestlé Snipes, writer, actor
Uncle #CharlesBarkley couldn't make a statement as profound as #DerrickRose's t-shirt if he had 10 writers #BlackLivesMatter #ICantBreathe

LeBron James said he was impressed by Rose's gesture and is looking for one of the T-shirts for himself.

Teammate Joakim Noah said, "I knew that Derrick was going to put that T-shirt on. I think he has every right to express his beliefs... I respect Derrick 150 percent and I'm riding with him... a lot of people feel that way."




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Even When the Fox Guards the Chicken Coop...

Federal Report Reveals Illegal Brutality of Cleveland Cops

by Li Onesto | December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


On December 4, 2014 the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released a report on what so many people have directly experienced, seen with their own eyes, and already know: That just like so many other police departments all over the USA, the Cleveland Division of Police (CDP) murders and brutalizes people all the time, especially African Americans.

After a 20-month investigation, reviewing 600 incidents in which force was used against people between 2010 and 2013, the DOJ found the CDP to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution in a significant percentage of such encounters.

This is a case of the fox that's guarding the chicken coop having to admit some truth—which is no doubt just the tip of an iceberg of crimes against the people. This is the United States Department of Justice that oversees the system's whole structure of INJUSTICE—under which two grand juries just let the murderers of Mike Brown and Eric Garner go free and where millions of Black and brown people—especially the youth—have been targeted, racially profiled, stopped and frisked, brutalized, and unjustly incarcerated. In the midst of a tremendous uprising among the people against all this, from coast to coast and with a fierce determination to fight for justice—the DOJ has issued this report on egregious crimes by Cleveland cops.

Modern-Day Lynchings

To put this report in context you need to start with two stories:

November 22, 2014. Millions have now seen the horrifying video. Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice, who is African American, is playing with a toy gun in a Cleveland park. Someone calls 911 saying a boy has a gun that is "probably fake." A cop car drives up on the scene and two cops jump out. Within TWO SECONDS, Tamir Rice is shot DEAD.

November 29, 2012. More than 100 cops in over 62 cars chase Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams in their car at high speeds for 25 minutes. The scene brings to mind plantation owners chasing their slaves. (Watch the video here.) Cops say they thought they heard a gunshot coming from the car, but it now appears the car was just backfiring. The chase ends in a parking lot where 13 cops fire 137 rounds into the car, Russell is hit 23 times, Williams is hit 24 times. Both are killed. About 37 percent of the on-duty force was involved in this murder. Yet a year and a half later, a grand jury indicted only one of the 13 cops with two counts of voluntary manslaughter.

The DOJ report shows that murder and brutality by Cleveland cops is NOT an anomaly. AND as people who are taking to the streets now all over the country in reaction to the latest grand jury decision around Eric Garner are saying—such cases of police murder only highlight that this is not just about this or that police department. This is a NATIONAL PROBLEM—a problem of the WHOLE SYSTEM, where the police kill people, especially Black and brown youth, and get away with it, time after time after time.

Brutality: Standard Operating Procedure

The 59-page DOJ report includes these overall findings:

In addition to killing people, the CDP brutalizes people—hits them in the head, kicks them, using the butts of firearms, Tasers, pepper spray, and fists—unnecessarily or in retaliation and many times this is done to people who are handcuffed and/or subdued in other ways.

In many cases this has been done to those who are mentally ill or in crisis and where family members called the police to come and just check on their welfare.

Cleveland cops "carelessly fire their weapons, placing themselves, subjects, and bystanders at unwarranted risk of serious injury or death."

In addition to recounting the murder Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, the report cites many examples of blatant abuse, including:

The report says these all point to a pattern of behavior that it is neither isolated nor sporadic and is tolerated and endorsed by supervisors. In fact, officers assigned to investigate such cases, the report says, "admitted to us that they conduct their investigations with the goal of casting the accused officer in the most positive light possible." Only six officers have been suspended for improper use of force in three years.

The report also notes there is an "us-against-them" mentality—pointing to a large sign hanging outside one station that identifies it as a "forward operating base," a military term used to describe outposts in war zones.

All this underscores the demand that people took up in Ferguson—and that has now reverberated in New York and in cities and towns from coast to coast: Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail. The Whole Damn System is Guilty as Hell!




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Unprecedented Outpouring of Rage from Chicago Religious Forces

December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

Chicago churches marched December 7 to protest murders of Eric Garner, Mike Brown and many others

Chicago churches marched December 7 to protest murders of Eric Garner, Mike Brown and many others. Photo: Special to

Sunday, December 7—In a matter of a couple of days, a video call-to-action by seven South Side Chicago ministers led to coordinated actions this Sunday by about 100 churches across Chicago. During Sunday services churches held a variety of protests of the murder of Eric Garner and Mike Brown, from sermons to marches to street takeovers, to occupying a major CTA train station. Father Pfleger of St. Sabina Church and 6 other South Side pastors had called for actions, in Pfleger's words, “As a symbol, that as we interrupt traffic, we want to interrupt this racial profiling, interrupt a social justice system that is not working in this country, the injustice and the killing of black youth.”

At the church service Sunday morning at St. Sabina, there were representatives from other churches and other religions, including a rabbi and someone from the Muslim community. They were invited up to speak. Father Pfleger emphasized that there was "genocide" going on, though he didn't specify what he meant by that. He said that the youth across the country have been leading and he was concerned that youth would perceive the church community as irrelevant. During the sermon Pfleger called the youth in the church to come forward and they led the congregation out of the church.

About 250 parishioners marched out of St. Sabina and “interrupted traffic” with a die-in at an intersection and 11 minutes of silence, representing the 11 times Eric Garner said “I can’t breathe.” They were joined by rabbis and two dozen people from a Jewish congregation in the far north suburb of Glencoe, and representatives from the Muslim community. Marchers had colorful posters that were distributed during church: “Black Life Matters,” “The Justice System is Broken,” and “I am Eric Garner.” Father Pfleger emphasized that the point of taking church members into the streets was to get a message through to those youth who that have stepped out that “we have your back.” There were more sermons in the intersection and even the word "revolution" used (but not defined), and after 20 or 30 minutes, the congregation was led back into the church. 

At Trinity United Church of Christ on the South Side, more than 500 church members marched out and took over the CTA station at 95th & State singing “We who believe in freedom cannot rest...” See the moving video of their action at right.

From the oppressed Black neighborhoods on the West Side, 500 or more people from at least 9 churches shut down a major intersection for an hour. People at the main Episcopalian church in downtown Chicago reportedly marched; the new Archbishop of Chicago led the Holy Name cathedral congregation in raising their “Hands Up”; and on the north side in Rogers Park and Edgewater, dozens of churches had protests and walk-outs.

About 100 churches across Chicago participated December 7 in protests against police murders. Photo: Special to

These actions give a sense of how the resistance across the country has compelled broader sections of society to confront what Bob Avakian has called the “simple and basic truth” that “There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery,” and that the legacy of this slavery has continued and morphed into new forms of white supremacy and remains central to this society. At the event today, the crimes of the system were called out, but not the legitimacy of the system. Father Pfleger framed the action as the duty of "good Americans." But as noted in Revolution newspaper "These actions [defiant and militant struggles against the non-indictments of the cops who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner] have shown people that there is a movement arising that in fact will NOT tolerate this and these actions have pulled increasing numbers of people INTO that beginning-to-be-born movement. All this is still beginning, still first steps in what must be a dogged and determined and hard fight—but yes, the brave fighters for justice have accomplished a great deal."





Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Taking Up "Ferguson Is Everywhere" in the Heart of Chicago's West Side

December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Bringing traffic to a halt on Interstate-290, Chicago, December 6

Bringing traffic to a halt on Interstate-290, Chicago, December 6. Photo: FJJ

Chicago West Side, December 6.

Chicago West Side, December 6. Photo: FJJ

Chicago West Side, December 6. Photo: FJJ

December 6—At the intersection of Madison and Pulaski, the heart of Chicago’s impoverished West Side, a crowd of 75 people opened an afternoon of raucous  protest that swelled to more than 200 at its height and included the shutdown of a major interstate highway. The initial call for this gathering came from the Chicago Revolution Club and some people from the neighborhood who rallied there several days before. Families of people murdered by police displayed banners of their loved ones, youth took up “Ferguson is Everywhere” posters and wrote the names of friends killed or brutalized by cops on the back. Many people also held up Revolution newspaper as their poster. A couple hundreds copies were distributed along with the call to a mass meeting of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network the next day.

The protest was overwhelmingly people from the hood. But they were joined by people who had come out from the protests which had taken place downtown. This included “street” medics and legal observer and some young anarchists. People came from where 19-year-old Roshad MacIntosh was murdered by police last August—including his mother. An important contingent came from Saving Our Sons Ministry—a group founded by formerly incarcerated who are part of the movement to stop police brutality.

There was a brief rally and then everyone took to the street. People chanted “Hands Up—Don’t Shoot, Fist Up—Fight Back” and included the chant “Who’s going to protect the people from the Police? WE WILL, WE WILL.” Whistles were passed out to the protesters and people blew their whistles after this. People also chanted “I Can’t Breathe," "Save our sons and we’ll save your sons! Save our daughters and we’ll save your daughters.”

The march electrified the community. The response from cars snarled in the traffic was honks, grins, fists and hands in the air. Die-ins took place at several intersections and then wound through the community. Then people rushed down an off-ramp and out onto Interstate 290, jubilant as they brought traffic to a dead halt.

The protest ended back at Madison and Pulaski. You could feel the pride and taste of freedom people had after such a powerful protest. Walking away, one woman literally let out a roar.





Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

NYC Stop Mass Incarceration Network Emergency Meeting Held on December 7: Organize to Take Things Higher!

December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) put out a call for Nationwide Mass Meetings on Sunday, December 7 to organize a Week of Mass Outrage to begin on Monday, December 8 under the slogan: Intensify and Spread the Struggle Against Police Murder and the New Jim Crow—Get Organized and Go Higher!

In New York City, over 150 artists, students, teachers, religious leaders, lawyers and revolutionaries came together to plan for the WEEK OF OUTRAGE TO POLICE MURDER.

New York City, December 4, 2014. Special to

Travis Morales greeted people saying, “We are here because of Michael Brown’s brutal death. All of you saw the video—of Eric Garner saying ‘I can’t breathe’ with all these police around and they didn’t do a damn thing to stop Panteleo. Did they do CPR? NO! You saw it—Pantaleo smirked and waved to the camera. Why did he smirk? Because he knew then what would happen—he wouldn’t be indicted! We are here because Darren Wilson was not indicted! This has to STOP! (Applause)

“We have to be part of a new day. And we can’t stop until the murder of Black and brown people has been stopped! We are here to plan a Week of Outrage. Yes, we’ve done some wonderful things—we shut down the West Side Highway, bridges, Times Square... Millions of people who before that decision hated what happens and were outraged about this, and now many more who’ve had their eyes opened to this reality are part of this, too. This Week of Outrage must take things higher and continue to bring many more people into it!”

The Mission Statement of SMIN was read—it says in part: “We are initiating an effort to accelerate the movement to stop the injustice of mass incarceration and police brutality; and the racially biased policies and practices of the police, the courts and the U.S. legal system; and to support prisoners’ human rights, and of the formerly incarcerated. We call on all to join us.”

Carl Dix also addressed the audience. Dix founded SMIN, along with Cornel West; he is a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party and initiated together with Cornel West non-violent civil disobedience against NYPD's Stop-and-Frisk and the recent October Month of Resistance to Stop Mass Incarceration, Police Terror and the Criminalization of a Generation. Carl said:

“I salute that all of you are here today. This is a crucial time because things are different now about police murder. It’s not different—because police continue murdering people and for what seems like forever—since the slave patrollers and through Jim Crow to today—but because people are standing up and saying NO MORE to all these horrors. (Applause) Yes, in 50 states! Think about that! Alaska—even in Peoria: signs that read, Black Lives Matter! A new situation has been created. We have to make sure it’s not a couple of weeks and then back to normal. That normal will include murder of Black and Latino people. That will include a green light given to murdering police, a normal that would continue but that we have to get rid of! (Applause)

“What we have to talk about here and now is how to build on our resistance—spread it further with more determination—to sections of society that haven’t moved yet, and make it a mission to stop this horror. They are killing people quickly with bullets of the police and slowly with prisons, because the system has no future for them. It’s great when thousands and tens of thousands act as they did, but we need millions! We need a week and it needs to be on a national scale! More walkouts at colleges and high schools; days of civil disobedience. NBA players like Derrick Rose, who came out to warm-up in a t-shirt that said ‘I can’t breathe’...writers on the sports pages taking this up...five members of St. Louis Rams! (Applause). Each a good example, but we need a whole lot more of that. Why aren’t there whole teams doing this, more entertainers canceling appearances or turning appearances into speak-outs? We need to work on that. So that next Sunday in churches across the country people are talking about it and encouraging congregations to be involved.

“We have to make it so everybody is challenged and asking each other, 'What are you doing about this?' We have to do this; people are dying. It is hard to deny because every day you are hearing about another case—12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland—there’s potential to bring a new situation into being. What kind of society backs up the murder of children by police and the media asks, 'What did the children do wrong?' (Applause) They couldn’t find anything on 12-year-old Tamir Rice so the media reported 'there was domestic violence in the family.' What can you say about a system like this? It’s got to be gotten rid of! (Applause) Children have a right to grow up. We have to stop this! We need a week of acceleration.”

People broke into different groups to make immediate plans, including a plan for a press conference on Monday, December 8, at Manhattan City Hall with the demands:

Groups included an artists group, religious group, students group, non-violent civil disobedience group, and neighborhoods group.

Other SMIN emergency meetings were held on December 7 in San Francisco/Bay Area, Chicago, St. Louis/Ferguson, Los Angeles, and New Haven, CT.


UPDATE: On Monday, December 8 the New York City SMIN chapter announced the following plans:

Monday, Dec. 8: Press Conference—1 pm
Announce the week at City Hall. Everyone welcome!

Tuesday, Dec. 9: Flash Mob—5 pm at north end of Union Square.
Bring black shirts to be stenciled “I Can't Breathe.” No experience necessary, training held on the spot, then flash mob will move through the city.

Wednesday, Dec. 10: Non-Violent Civil Resistance—gather at 2 pm at Herald Square at 34 Street and 6th Ave.

Thursday, Dec. 11: Student Day—High school and college students and teachers/professors take action. Die-ins, walk-outs, teach-ins. More TBA.

Also: protest NYPD police commissioner Bill Bratton's public appearance at the Chamber of Commerce, Thursday, December 11 at 1:00 pm, 80 5th Ave (bet 13th & 14th streets). More TBA.

Friday, Dec. 12: Blow the Whistle & Speak Out at Police Stations in the Hoods—Those who live daily under the gun of police terror must have the backing of people throughout society in standing up, speaking out, and blowing the whistle on police brutality, terror, and murder! Everyone should be there! Locations and times TBA.

Saturday, Dec. 13: MASS PROTESTS IN DC & NYC and Evening of Art—details to come.

December 12 to 14: Faith Community Participation
Special sermons and testimony at all faith services.

For plans from other SMIN chapters around the country go to for details.

Forward the announcement of plans to everyone!

Tens of thousands of dollars are needed to fuel this WEEK of OUTRAGE and carry this movement forward till this genocide STOPS!

To contact SMIN:






Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Brooklyn, NY: Running Into—and Running with—High School Student Protesters

December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

December 8—While taking a late lunch break I came across a group of approximately 65 high school students protesting through the busiest part of downtown Brooklyn, NYC. The first thing that I noticed was a huge police presence of several cop cars and vans, all with their lights flashing, following the kids. When I joined the mix I learned they were from Benjamin Banaker Academy, a high school that was about a mile away. One student told me his friends had planned this in school and they marched all the way here. When I gestured to the amount of police, this student said "that's because they're scared of us." Then I spoke to another student and he said that he didn't know anyone there because he was from Brooklyn Tech, another nearby high school, but that he joined when he heard the chant "Hands Up, Don't Shoot!"




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Berkeley: More than 1,500 Stop Train, Interstate 80 in Third Night of Protests
"Unless we're free, we will prevent the system from operating."

December 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

December 8—After facing the clubs of riot police, tear gas, and rubber bullets on the two previous nights, more than 1,500 took to the streets in Berkeley on Monday night, marching for hours, blocking freeways, lying on railroad tracks to stop an Amtrak train, and facing off with police to demand justice for Eric Garner, Michael Brown and other Black and Latino people murdered by the cops.

Photos: Erika Fournier

A student said that a University of California Vice Chancellor sent out an e-mail to all students and staff before the protest urging them to leave the campus early to avoid the demonstration. The student said that given the title of the e-mail—“Protests Planned, Take Action”—and the number of students at the protest, the e-mail may have had a different effect than intended.

The protest was made up primarily of students but also people from the campus community, activists, Black youth from West Berkeley and Oakland and others. 60 people from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley came as chaplains, marching with the protest and providing water and food.

The Berkeley Student Advocate’s office handed out kits with water and masks to help protesters deal with tear gas.

After leaving the UC Berkeley campus the protest took off toward the Berkeley police station, which was blocked by scores of police in riot gear behind police barricades. The protesters took off down University Avenue, determined to block a freeway. The night before, protesters had blocked Highway 24 and police had used tear gas to drive them off that freeway.

Near the entrance to the freeway about 100 police faced off with the protesters. Face-to-face with the cops, protesters called them out and raised their hands shouting, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot.” After about a half-hour standoff, a section of the march circled around to another freeway entrance, again blocked by the police. The protesters marched along a frontage road. At one point a fence was torn down and several hundred protesters climbed onto the Interstate 80. When they made it to the freeway, the protesters danced with joy, linked arms, and sat down, blocking freeway traffic in both northbound and southbound direction. After about 30 minutes this group was forced off the freeway by police who clubbed several protesters.   

At the same time another group of protesters lay down on railroad tracks while others linked arms bringing an Amtrak train to a stop. A protester stood in front of the train with a sign reading, “Black Lives Matter.” One of the protesters who stood on the tracks and linked arms to block the Amtrak train told the San Francisco Chronicle, “Unless we’re free, we will prevent the system from operating.”

A third group of protesters blocked a long line of police on motorcycles who were trying to use a pedestrian walkway over the freeway to get to the protesters on the freeway.

The group of protesters that had been pushed off the freeway was able to regroup and march along the frontage road. Another fence was torn down, and again several hundred strong the protest spilled onto the freeway. The protesters eluded police by jumping over the center divider several times while marching toward the Bay Bridge.

After more than one hour blocking the highway and having marched past two freeway exits, police were finally able to block the protesters' path. A group of protesters were “kettled”—surrounded by police with no route of escape. The kettled protesters chanted, "I don't see no riot here! Why use riot gear?" while those outside the kettle yelled at police to let them go. 159 people were arrested by the police and Highway Patrol.

On Tuesday, December 9, Mayor Bates canceled the planned City Council meeting because people had planned to come and protest the use of tear gas and rubber bullets. On Wednesday Berkeley High students are planning a walkout. Protests against police murder and brutality continue.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

NYC: Artists Flash Mob Grips Grand Central Station

December 9, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Grand Central NYC Flash Mob

Grand Central NYC December 9

December 9—At the end of rush hour in NYC's Grand Central Station, over 100 people converged suddenly. They formed a circle, within which a Black man powerfully recited Eric Garner's words, as he was being set upon by the pigs on Staten Island, and as he was firmly standing up to them before he was put in a chokehold and killed: "Stop harassing me...this ends here...I can't breathe."

A Black woman evoked the same scene through dance. Drummers tapped out a beat, as the crowd whispered rhythmically and then roared, "We can't breathe!" And then 50 people fell to the ground in a die-in. This scene played out four or five times, and became the focal point of attention in the vast crowded space of Grand Central, with many dozens of commuters crowding around or standing on balconies to watch.

This flash mob action is part of the December 8-14 Week of Outrage to Police Murder called by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network for across the U.S., and a project of the artist group that came off of the December 7 planning meeting in NYC. The whole thing was fueled by powerful sense that these racist police murders have to stop—and people feel a deep responsibility to act. (Go to for more on the Week of Outrage.)

After two hours of the flash mob action at Grand Central, the protesters regrouped and marched out into the streets of Manhattan, still chanting, "We can't breathe!"




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Athletes Stand Up for New York and Ferguson

December 9, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Cheers to Professional Athletes Who Are Protesting the Grand Jury Decisions

This past weekend, professional athletes stood in solidarity with those protesting the grand jury decision not to indict the cop who murdered Eric Garner in New York City.

Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose. Photo: Twitter

Reggie Bush
Reggie Bush. Photo: Twitter

Johnson Bademosi
Johnson Bademosi. Photo: Twitter

On Saturday night, Derrick Rose of the NBA Chicago Bulls came out on the court during warm-ups for his game against the Golden State Warriors wearing an “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt, the final words of Eric Garner as he was being murdered by the New York Police. His photo was tweeted all over the internet and was also seen by Derrick’s 2.1 million twitter followers.

Then on Sunday Reggie Bush, running back for the Detroit Lions, and Cleveland Browns defensive back, Johnson Bademosi wrote in large letters, “I Can’t Breathe” on their warm-up shirts when they came out to warm-up for their games.

But that was not all. A week after 5 of his St. Louis Rams teammates came out of the tunnel with their hands up, signifying their protest of the grand jury decision not to indict the cop who murdered Michael Brown, Davin Joseph wrote “I Can’t Breathe” on his shoes he wore during the pregame warm-ups. He said, “I feel like we should support what we feel is right. We should always have an opinion of sticking up for people who don’t have a voice. He also tweeted an image of his shoes with the message, “R.I.P. Eric Garner.” Fellow Ram player Jared Cook had it written on his wrist tape, and Ram wide receiver Kenny Britt, who was one of those who raised his hands coming out of the tunnel last week, wrote on his shoes several names of those who were murdered by cops and vigilantes, including Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

On Sunday, two University of Oregon basketball players held their hands up during the national anthem. Dwayne Benjamin and Jordan Bell held their hands up at chest level during the anthem, and then, according to The Oregonian, “one appeared to frisk the other as the team’s starting lineup was announced.” (  

Jeers to Charles Barkley and Cheers to Those Who Took Him On

Charles Barkley, former NBA player and an outspoken NBA commentator on TNT, came out and supported the grand jury decision not to indict the cop who murdered Michael Brown. He called the protestors in Ferguson “scumbags” and said that “they are not Black people. In an outrageous statement, he said that cops are not murdering Black youth at an unprecedented rate and he supported more cops in the Black community, by saying that “if it wasn’t for the cops we would be living in the Wild, Wild West in our neighborhoods.” Fox Network and the Tea Party were falling all over themselves in praising Barkley. Previously, Barkley supported the jury’s not guilty verdict of George Zimmerman, who murdered Trayvon Martin.

Barkley was immediately blasted by other athletes. Etan Thomas, former NBA player, wrote an open letter to Barkley, “Once you were not afraid to ask that all-important question: “Who’s afraid of a large black man?” Tragically, it now seems like the answer might be you.” ( Thomas takes on Barkley calling the protestors “scumbags” Thomas says, “...there is a reason people are hostile. There have been fourteen black teens killed by police since Mike Brown. Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice killed in Cleveland, 14-year-old Cameron Tillman in Louisiana, VonDerrit Myers Jr. not far from where Mike Brown was killed, 18-year-old Jeffrey Holden in Kansas City.”

He goes on, “In addition, a never-ending reel of police brutality and beatings is constantly shown on social media. And, in most cases, fails to result in any type of punishment for the cop. They typically are put on paid administrative leave (as was Darren Wilson for over 100 days), which is in essence a paid vacation, and yet you have the nerve to praise the police as a whole for their work in the black community ?”

Thomas tells Barkley, “You have to take into account the everyday living and existing in a state of inequality that has led to the riots. The outrage and disgust of feeling helpless. A community who sees no justice.” He then quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, who said “A riot is the voice of the unheard.”

Kenny Smith, former NBA player and Barkley’s commentator partner on the TNT basketball show also wrote an open letter to Barkley and posted it on A For the Win. The letter was mostly a love-fest for Barkley, but Smith did raise something that really upset Barkley when he wrote, “The question must be asked: Why is there so much distrust in the police and the legal system from the African American community? Without manifesting what the effects of slavery still have today, December 1st still marks only 59 years since Rosa Parks sat on that memorable bus. Many of our parents and grandparents have lived through those times and have passed those stories on to all of us. Those civil rights changes were at one time the law! They were not illegal.” 

In the next TNT basketball show, Barkley, Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal had a 10 minute discussion about Smith’s open letter. Barkley could not deal with Smith and others evoking slavery as a way to show how America is today. He then went on to show his total ignorance of this subject by saying that he did not really know much about slavery, except what his grandmother told him about it. The fact, Charles, is that “There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.” (Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:1)

John Carlos, who along with Tommie Smith protested the oppression of Black people by raising a black-gloved fist on the victory stand at the 1968 Olympics, gave several interviews blasting Charles Barkley. In the interview on CNN program Legal View, Ashley Banfield asked Carlos if anything is better for Black people since his 1968 protest. Carlos told her, “I don't think that days have gotten better, I think things have cosmetically gotten better. They put a good surface or something, well, I'm not concerned about the surface, I'm concerned about beneath the surface.”

In another interview with Dave Zirin of the Nation, Carlos gave props to the St. Louis Rams players, who held their hands up. “How about those Rams? They may be under contract to play football, but greater than that, they have a right to care about humanity. They have the right to feel whether something is just or unjust. They are entitled to their opinions, most centrally that Michael Brown’s life should not have been taken. Asking them to just ‘shut up and play’ is like asking a human being to be paint on the wall. They have the right to say what they feel in their heart." He went on to tell Zirin, “A lot more athletes need to step up and speak up as well. These atrocities have been going on and we are saying enough is enough. I remember saying in 1968, you think I’m bad, just wait until this new generation comes out. I feel like that new generation is here at last.” (my emphasis)

From Attica to Ferguson

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, former NBA all-pro player, wrote an article in Time magazine about the Ferguson protests titled “White People Feel Targeted by the Ferguson Protests—Welcome to Our World.” In it, Kareem makes a very cogent point about the relationship between the 1971 Attica prison rebellion and the defiant protests in Ferguson. “I hope the chanting of ‘Ferguson! Ferguson!’ and the symbolic upraised arms of surrender will become a new cry of outrage over social injustice that will embed itself in our popular culture as deeply as Attica did. ...the reason Attica makes such a poignant symbol 43 years later. The word isn’t about a specific prison and the terrible violence there; it’s about feeling unjustly imprisoned. Many African-Americans feel imprisoned by walls that are no less restrictive for being built by lack of educational and employment opportunity than by concrete and razor wire.”

Kareem goes on to say that “The people of Ferguson, and across the country, are not protesting against white people or police officers; they are protesting against the kind of racism that is so embedded in various social institutions that it’s invisible to all except those it affects. They are protesting a blind faith in any institution when the facts don’t warrant that faith.”





Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

#RoyalShutdown shuts down intersections in Brooklyn

December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Photos: Special to

December 8, Barclays Center, Brooklyn. Over 500 people were fired up for #RoyalShutdown at Barclays Center in Brooklyn today in freezing weather. Britain's Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton were inside as both Nets and Cavaliers players warmed up in “I Can’t Breathe” shirts. Outside, die-ins were held in front of Barclays Center—while people streamed in for the game—and in the major intersections which were shut down for a half-hour. There was a lot of support from folks in cars, and shoppers at the adjacent Atlantic Center, several of whom joined the protest and die-ins.

There were many home-made signs, including:

“All I want for Christmas is to LIVE!”
“Our Lives Matter”
“No Apartheid! Black Lives Matter #ShutItDown!”
“We’re not free until everybody is free”
“Lock Up KKKiller Cop”
“My only and greatest crime was/is existing. Why am I being sentenced to death row? #BlackLivesMatter”





Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Take the Revolution to the March Against Police Violence in Washington, DC on Saturday, December 13!

December 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Saturday, December 13, thousands of people will come to march in Washington, DC against police violence, called by National Action Network. People will be coming from the entire eastern seaboard, from Florida to New England and as far away as Detroit. It has been announced that families of those lost to police murder will be there, including relatives of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin.

This is the first major national mobilization against police brutality since the non-indictments of the police killers of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Millions are up against the glaring, aching need for the real, radical solution. Be part of the Revolution team, making sure that the eyes of the world see a section of people in this country acting on, and organizing others around, the need and possibility for actual revolution. Be part of making sure that the thousands who go there, passionately seeking how end this horror, learn about the actual revolution and the leader who has developed the vision and strategy for this revolution, Bob Avakian—and that people get hooked up with the movement for revolution. Bring your creativity, imagination, daring and determination to make it unmissable!

Connect with the team ahead of time by contacting NYC Revolution Books at 212-691-3345. Find the team at DC by looking for the big yellow & red banner: "NO MORE POLICE MURDER—WE NEED REVOLUTION."





Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Berkeley, December 6: "It is our duty to fight for our freedom"

Police Repeatedly Stop, Corral and Attack Student Protesters in the Home of "Free Speech"—but the People Stay in the Streets

December 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Protesters stand off against police on Telegraph Ave. near the UC Berkeley campus, December 6. Photos: Above: Telly Channing, Below: Special to

Several hundred protesters gathered in Sproul Plaza on the University of California Berkeley campus on Saturday night to join with the massive nationwide outcry against the decisions not to indict the police who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Shouts of “Black Lives Matter!” filled Berkeley as the march took off down Telegraph Ave, soon growing to around 1,000. The march followed an action on Thursday by the Black Student Union on campus shutting down the Golden Bear Cafe on the campus.

The demonstrators held signs: “We are all one bullet away from being a #” and “It is our duty to fight for our freedom.” One student carried a sign with a quotation from Franz Fanon, “We revolt because we can no longer breathe,” drawing a link to Eric Garner’s dying words.

“I’m here because it’s not possible for me to sit down while my people are killed,” a Black freshman at Mills College in Oakland who was at the protest told the Daily Californian. “It seems like no one...understands what it’s like. Nobody gets why I’m angry all the time. I cried when I heard that (the officer who shot Michael Brown) wasn’t indicted. It made me feel unsafe.”

Protesters also denounced the death of Kayla Moore, a transgender woman who died in police custody in Berkeley last year, and the abduction of 43 students by police in Mexico.

After marching down Telegraph Avenue they went to downtown Berkeley and staged a die-in at a busy intersection. Many of the shoppers and movie goers expressed their support for the protest, raising arms, chanting, etc. The next stop was the Berkeley police station. There, while some protesters stood in front of riot police with their hands raised, “don’t shoot”-style, others performed a dance and still others sat down in the street in front of the police station singing a calls and response version of an old civil rights protest song, “Which side are you on?” (“freedom's side”)

When protesters continued the march, police suddenly massed and blocked the street with scores of riot equipped officers. Police clubbed demonstrators, knocking several older folks to the ground with their clubs. A few minutes later, police fired smoke bombs and flash grenades into the crowd of protesters. 

People broke through the line, and marched down University Avenue toward Interstate 80. At the bottom of University near the freeway ramp a line of riot police blocked the march. The media reported that more than 100 police from all over the Bay Area were called in to reinforce Berkeley’s cops.

As the march continued, lines of police repeatedly blocked its path. The protest was broken into smaller chunks and forced on dark residential streets. The people, many very new to protests, were determined and creative, scaling fences, to get back on the main Berkeley artery.

For hours the area around the campus was an intense scene of protest, teargas and pigs. Some of the march had made it back and many more came to join the protest. There was a tense standoff at the corner of Channing and Telegraph. Walls of riot police with gas masks formed a ring around the intersection facing out at students on all four sides –a brutal but fearful occupying army. Students were chanting “Eric Garner, Michael Brown. Shut it Down. Shut it Down!”

Many students were enraged, some terrified, some crying, others joining the chants, processing the shock of seeing the real nature of the enforcers up close for the very first time. Some had even been unaware of the nationwide outrage surrounding the police murders of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. One white student observing the scene asked, “What are you trying to accomplish, why here, why not go to the State Capitol?” A slightly older Black student explained that the courts didn't work, the police kept killing people, and so people need to be in the streets, where they could be heard.” 

Many were enraged at the repression—they chanted “Hey hey, ho ho, the police state has got to go.” Police declared the assembly unlawful and later surged at the crowd. Police used tear gas against protesters on Telegraph Avenue also gassing those returning from a concert at Zellerbach Playhouse on the campus as well as people inside stores. Some people were hit by rubber bullets. When some sought refuge in the passageway where Revolution Books and other stores are located, the police shot teargas inside. Police continued to repress the protesters, blocking them, threatening them, splitting them up, while protesters continued to resist. The last protesters were reportedly dispersed around 3 a.m.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Senate Torture Report:

Crimes Against Humanity, Complicity, and the Need for Justice

December 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The release of the Senate report on CIA torture, detailing the most sadistic, inhuman, and systematic torture imaginable by agents of the United States government poses profound moral and political challenges to everyone with a shred of conscience.

In 2009, in the midst of revelations of the orgy of torture that took place under the Bush Regime, we wrote:

Let’s make it plain: torture is, literally and in essence, a crime against humanity.  Like rape, it is a systematic attempt to violently degrade people and rob them of their very humanity.  Any government which not only tolerates such things but which, from its highest offices, justifies and insists on them as "instruments of policy"...any government which does not, once this has been exposed, prosecute the perpetrators but instead provides them in advance with immunity...reveals itself as a system that requires such crimes, and such criminals, for its functioning.  Any people that does not resist such crimes, and demand prosecution of the torturers and, even more so, those who formulated the policy at the highest levels, reveals themselves to be complicit in those crimes. And in passively allowing the humanity of others to be degraded and attacked, they lose their own.

And we posed:

And on the other hand, if people DO resist, if they DO demand that the criminals be prosecuted and wage a serious political struggle to make that happen, it can be the beginning of a struggle that can, among other things, lead to the beginnings and possibility of real  justice—and not some phony, feel-good, "let’s-forget-about-the-past-and-move-on" so-called redemption and/or "reconciliation" that only ultimately enables still more, and still worse, crimes by the bloody criminal enterprise known as America. 

(read the entire article, “The Torture Memos ... And the Need for Justice”)

We will have more to say on what is revealed by the release of Senate Torture Report, but the stakes, and challenge posed in 2009 are all the more real and urgent today.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Scenes from Ferguson: the Uprising's Reach, and the Reaction

by Larry Everest | Posted December 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Tuesday, December 9, Ferguson, Missouri—I've been in Ferguson since November 22, and I don't think a day has gone by where there hasn't been a protest, most often multiple protests. There may be one at the Ferguson police station, and another in the St. Louis Shaw neighborhood, just south of the City Center, or perhaps on one of the campuses: Washington University, St. Louis University, the University of Missouri St. Louis, and/or out in Clayton or West County.

Last night, Monday, December 8, 250 people packed a meeting of the Ferguson Commission, formed by Governor Jay Nixon to look into the social and political conditions behind the "unrest" and make recommendations so the St. Louis area can become a "stronger, fairer place for everyone to live." The meeting took place in the Shaw neighborhood, near where 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers Jr. was murdered by police. Things went as planned until St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson began reading his remarks. The room erupted with protest and boos and Dotson was forced to stop speaking. Some people left, fed up with the meeting. Others stuck around, hoping this state-led process might work.

The day before that, 80 people protested in the Shaw area against the St. Louis Police Department's "finding" on Friday that they committed "no criminal wrongdoing" when they shot and killed Vonderrit Myers Jr. on October 8. (The county prosecutors have supposedly not yet decided whether or not to charge Myers' killer.) Twenty others protested police murders at a performance of Annie at the Fox Theater attended by hundreds of parents and children. "They got to see what's going on in the world," one demonstrator told the St. Louis Post Dispatch (December 8, 2014). "They're going to be thinking about it, and they're going to be asking their parents questions."

Rams Players Step Up: "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" and "I Can't Breathe"

It hasn't just been street protests. The "hands up, don't shoot" action by five National Football League (NFL) St. Louis Rams players on November 30, as they came into the stadium for their game with the Oakland Raiders, sent a jolt through America. According to the wife of one of the Rams players, they've received death threats for their action, which disrupted America's revolting culture of "things are fine/ignore the oppression of Black people," of which the NFL is a big part.

The St. Louis Police Officers Association (SPOA) immediately demanded that the players be punished by the Rams organization and by the NFL. In other words, the pigs can murder people and then dictate what any prominent, influential people can even say anything about it! (The SPOA claimed that Rams officials had apologized, but the Rams denied this, and the NFL refused to sanction the players.)

Meanwhile, "Fans departing the Dome, site of a 52-0 drubbing of the Oakland Raiders, were met by helmeted city police officers, National Guard units, and protesters shouting 'Those killer cops have got to go' and other chants, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported (December 1, 2014). "'Social media wasn't enough,' said Mickey Greer, 22, of Peoria, Ill., who recently joined the protests. 'I decided to step it up and show change with my body by getting out here and doing something.'"

The day after the Rams' "hands up" action, the Time Out Sports Bar & Grill in St. Louis disowned the Rams. "Due to the bone headed 'hands up, don't shoot' act by the number of Rams players," Time Out declared on its Facebook page it was taking all the pictures and information about the Rams off its walls, and that it would no longer have "Happy Hour" to celebrate Rams games. "We need to stand up to thugs who destroy our community and burn down local businesses, and boycott the other thugs/organizations who support them."

This reaction itself generated a huge reaction. Nearly 40,000 people "liked" the post. But it also got 6,500 comments, many of which denounced the action and forced the bar to retreat a bit, declaring in another post that it wasn't "taking sides" and supported the right to free speech and protest but still opposed the Rams "bringing the protest to a nationwide professional sporting event." It also said that henceforth, "Happy Hour" would only be celebrated for Kansas City Chiefs games. The next night protesters briefly shut down two of Time Out's St. Louis locations. (Huffington Post, December 3, 2014)

None of this has stopped some Rams players from continuing to speak out! Sunday, before the Rams' game with Washington (I'll be damned if I'm going to write that team's racist nickname), they made what the St. Louis Post-Dispatch called "another societal statement," this time with "I Can't Breathe," referring to the NYPD's choking of Eric Garner to death. According to CBS News on December 8:

Guard Davin Joseph wrote the words on the cleats he wore during pre game warm-ups. ...Tight end Jared Cook had it written on his wrist tape. Receiver Kenny Britt had several names—including Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin—written on his blue and gold cleats. The names were of black men or teens whose deaths led to protests.

Joseph tweeted an image of his shoes before the game (at right).

Players at other NFL games expressed similar sentiments. Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush had "I Can't Breathe" written in black across his blue warm-up shirt. Browns cornerback Johnson Bademosi wrote the message on the back of the shirt he wore before a game in Cleveland. San Diego Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram did the same.

"Honestly, I've always been the quiet kid. I've always been the one who's reserved, to kind of sit back and not really get into politics and things like that," said Bush, whose mother has been a police officer for about 20 years. "But I don't know why I just felt some kind of ... I guess the situation just touched me.

"It's kind of resonated with me," Bush said. "Not because I've been through a similar situation or because I've seen anybody go through it. I just really felt terrible about what was going on these past couple of weeks."

Artists: "We Are Ferguson"

Scene from "We Are Ferguson," part of the Public Media Commons Artists Showcase. Photo: Special to

Artists are also responding to the murder of Mike Brown and the outpouring against police murder. One way was the Public Media Commons Artists Showcase of the work of 17 area artists that took place Tuesday night, December 2, at the outdoor Public Media Commons, located in the Grand Center Arts District of St. Louis.

Most of the works were short audio-video narratives projected on two of the walls of this open-air plaza between buildings. The works, including a beautiful abstract soundscape turned to light show; a video of a quartet (violin, piano, bass, and percussion) performing an abstract improvisational piece, one of voices from the community; and a dramatic 10-minute photo montage of pictures and sounds from the August uprising in Ferguson right after Mike Brown was murdered, by artists Chris Renteria and Darian Wigfall, titled "We Are Ferguson," concluded with audio of tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang grenades being fired on protesters on August 17, as the screen goes dark. A very powerful poem read "live" by a local person concluded one portion of the show.

Pilgrimages to Memorial for Mike Brown

Another important dimension of how deeply Mike Brown's murder and the Ferguson revolt has impacted millions of people is how the memorial to him on Canfield Drive, where he lived and was gunned down, has become a site of pilgrimages. People from different parts of the U.S. but also internationally have come to see the memorial, a tribute in the center of the street where he lay dead for four-and-a-half hours, and another against a lamppost on the side of the street, to let the reality of these events sink in, for people to pay their respects, express their condolences, reflect, and in some cases to report. During one 30-minute visit, I saw media from Canada's Globe & Mail newspaper, South Korean TV, and Danish TV. Others come through at most hours of the day and into the night, having their pictures taken there and seeing what it all looks like.

One Revolution newspaper reader wrote about her experience:

Visiting the spot where Mike Brown was murdered, you are struck by the fact that it's such a small road, winding through a quiet housing development. Now there is a permanent collection of messages and mementos piled up in the middle of the road and crawling steadily up the nearest light pole. You realize that it has become a kind of pilgrimage site. In the middle of the afternoon or late in the evening, people are there. Some just take photos and seem lost in thought, reading the messages of loss and anger, while others want to share their feelings. And just as likely as not, reporters will be there. We met one from LA and another camera crew was setting up as we left.

One Palestinian American family drove from Memphis to visit Ferguson and the memorial to Michael Brown. When asked of the father why they came, he said his teenage daughters demanded they come. We asked his daughter what she thought of the grand jury decision; she said it was "messed up." A woman who lives close to the memorial described the checkpoints in Ferguson where only people with Ferguson ID can pass through and the police escort you to your destination. The Palestinian man exclaimed that that's just like Palestine! He wanted to be sure that all the people visiting the memorial then knew that the people of Palestine knew about and supported their struggle for Justice.

Photo: Special to

Small Businesses... Not All Focused on "Property Damage"

One night I went out for dinner and talked with a member of the Black family that owns a small local chain of restaurants, one of which is in Ferguson. Several of the windows were still boarded up, and she described how they'd been broken into on November 24, the night of the uprising after the grand jury refused to indict Darren Wilson. Other than some broken windows, not a lot of damage had been done. She was matter-of-fact about it, and not mad at the protesters. She said that people from the neighborhood had warned the authorities in September that if Darren Wilson wasn't indicted, they were going to "burn it down." She also said that some of the businesses were targeted because even though they had standing and a voice within the community and power structure, they hadn't spoken up on behalf of those who fork over their money to them. The restaurant had some leaflets on one of the tables, along with other announcements and literature.

It turned out the woman I was talking with had seen my intervention in Gov. Nixon's press conference on CNN and, like many others, she got a big smile on her face, chuckled, and thanked me for what I'd done. It's been interesting how much of this I've gotten, online and in person. People feel so frustrated and insulted by all the bullshit that's shoved at them on TV, that when someone breaks the rules of "civility," that is, going along with the program and who "did not back down," as one person put it, but instead turns the tables on the authorities and puts them on the defensive (rendering these supposedly all-knowing, all-powerful rulers tongue-tied and evasive, if only for a few minutes, gives people heart and joy. It's a small example of the enormous potential for a revolutionary pole that gets projected into society, to attract millions. (Last I looked, nearly 24,000 people had looked at one of the YouTubes of the intervention.) She was excited about talking to me, and said she was going to go home and look closely at the whole website.

Up Against the Deep Structures and Reactionary Ideology of White Supremacy

The people have had a lot of initiative over these past weeks and months, but make no mistake: They are up against the deeply entrenched structures and ideas of white supremacy, and an active reaction against the people's upsurge.

One way this hit me was a nighttime drive through the streets of north St. Louis, past row after row, street after street of mostly two-story red-brick houses and apartments, some dating back to the late 1800s. A fair number are abandoned, some are probably squats, most look very rundown, some look uninhabitable.

Wells/Goodfellow is one of the neighborhoods of north St. Louis. According to 2000 census data, 8,193 people lived there, nearly 30 percent fewer than a decade earlier. Ninety-eight percent were Black. Of 4,063 housing units, 27 percent, nearly 1,100, were unoccupied.

Admittedly, this was one drive through and no doubt there are nuances I didn't see. But all in all it was a desolate looking scene, and an outrageous indictment of the richest country in the world leaving whole areas and whole sections of the people to rot, unable to provide the most basic needs of life. The look and feel was a glaring example of how the old Jim Crow has become the New Jim Crow, with Black people still suffering horrific national oppression, just in somewhat different forms.

Not far away, and not unconnected from life in north St. Louis, is a 175-acre factory complex that from 1954-1981 was the Union Boulevard General Motors Assembly plant. It once employed 13,000 and churned out the Chevy Caprice, Impala, pickup trucks, and the Corvette. It's now a business park, but was stone silent the night I drove by.

St. Louis was once second only to Detroit in auto employment, 35,000 at its peak. These were manufacturing jobs that provided workers, including some Black workers, with something of a stable, "middle class" income. But those days are long gone; by 2010, not only was GM gone, but the Ford plant in Hazelwood and the Chrysler plant in Fenton were shuttered as well. The workings of global capitalism demand that the auto industry, like all others, pursue the highest rates of exploitation and profit possible, or be eaten alive in cutthroat competition with rival capitalists. And beyond the loss of these jobs, many more workers in factories that supplied the auto plants with parts and services were made "unnecessary" in the outlook of the capitalist class,. In 2011, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote that GM's 1981 closing "seemed to kick open the door to a mass migration of manufacturing jobs, automotive and otherwise. In the years since, a cornerstone of the regional economy has slowly crumbled, shedding middle-class jobs to largely nonunion, right-to-work states and, more recently, emerging economies overseas."

U.S. capitalism now has no place and no future for millions of Black people, creating what the capitalists consider to be a surplus, and superfluous, population that it has been trying to suppress through prisons and police terror.

Expressions of white supremacy aren't, of course, ancient history. When the NAACP went through the town of Rose Bud on their civil rights march from Ferguson to Jefferson City, the Missouri state capital, they were met by a crowd of some 200, including openly racist whites flying a Confederate flag and shouting racist vitriol. Some among them had put out on the street a bucket of fried chicken, a melon, and a 40-ounce beer bottle. One white youth had a sign saying "go home."

On Wednesday, December 3, a white man aggressively drove through a crowd of protesters in downtown St. Louis and then started waving an automatic pistol at them when they surrounded his car. Being an armed white man, as opposed to an unarmed Black youth, he was detained by police, but without being shot and killed.

A growing number of white people are awakening to the ugly, intolerable reality of white supremacy and the oppression of Black people in America, and hollow talk that it's "moved beyond" race. One young white woman I met at a protest had a sign reading "My life changed when I started listening." She talked about not having realized what was going on, but being awakened by the murder of Mike Brown and the uprising against it. She now feels compelled to speak out. Another, at another protest, carried a sign reading "White Silence Is Violence."





Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

Talking to

"I can't sit it out any longer"

December 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


A correspondent for talked to people out at Union Square who were gathered on Tuesday, December 9 for a flash mob action which was part of the December 8-14 Week of Outrage Against Police Murder. Here is some of what people said:

Young white guy, recent graduate from liberal arts college in Maine:

How can this wanton murder of unarmed youth by the police be stopped?

This is such an important issue and I wonder if there is a way that's preventative of civil war. I don't know another way of saying that. Protesters are getting a very aggressive response from the police.

Last night we were at Barclays Center for the Nets-Cavalier game and police whipped out their batons, mace-ready, and pointed them at us. Police were making very intimidating comments to us and were clearly upset they couldn't be more aggressive—that they were asked to refrain from that. They seemed to want to respond in a violent way. At Barclays last night they used an orange plastic fencing to corral protesters and were physically pushing us. We heard there was a confrontation with police in the subway. Also that they were using Stingrays to tap people's phones. I'm not surprised that they're violating our rights.

I think part of the solution is getting more than just the protesters that are already out here involved, not just the young people and the African-Americans and the Civil Rights activists that are already out here. We need more than that. We need people who don't care. We do actions among them, but does it make them care? Looting, I understand, is a result of oppression, part of the history people have suffered. I don't think we need aggressive protest and I hope the police respect that (laughs) but then they don't know that word, even though it's on all their cars.

I'm out here to show my support and I am listening to ideas. Blue-collar people seem to be overwhelmingly supportive. Then people sitting in their Mercedes are not caring at all. I was born in NYC and went to college in Maine. This is only my second day out here. I'm partly out here, too, because my younger brother has been in the midst of protests everyday, coming home with all the stories, and I can't sit it out any longer. He told me a few days ago he had glass bottles thrown at him from up in a building. My parents support our coming out to protests but they also worry a lot, they say, "Watch out, watch out!"


Young Black guy, 23 years old, from the West Coast

Yesterday I led a group of 15 people from mid-town [Manhattan] all the way to Barclays Center [in Brooklyn]. We grew to 30 people at one point on the way and made it there in one hour. This was great but it was my first time leading people from one spot to another and I found it very scary at times. Twenty of us actually made it all the way to Barclays Center because 10 people got split off when we marched through Chinatown where a series of back alleys and cops pursuing us made things difficult to stay together. I don't know what happened to those 10 people. I feel responsible for the group I was leading.

It is great that people are coming together and there's lots of room for leadership and for people giving direction. I'm looking forward to Saturday's "Millions March." I come to Union Square every evening 5-6 pm. People are starting to know each others' faces and when we see each other around we express appreciation. And that's nice.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

St. Louis-Ferguson, December 10: Actions at the Federal Court and Washington U Med School

December 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


On International Human Rights Day, there was a demonstration and press conference at the U.S. Federal Court House in downtown St. Louis, condemning U.S. human rights abuses from torture to the police murder of Mike Brown and Eric Garner. Then at 2 pm, 70 medical students at the Washington University Medical School conducted a moving protest and die-in, right in the main atrium entrance to the university. This was part of the nationwide #WhiteCoats4BlackLives protest that reportedly took place at some 80 different medical schools across the U.S.




Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

A Reader Shares Some Thoughts on the Revolution Clubs and the slogan "Get Organized for an Actual Revolution"

Updated March 2, 2015 | Originally published December 11, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |



To the editors:

I have been following the current upheaval around police murder and the illegitimacy of the legal system. This truly is a “jolt” along the lines pointed to in the Party’s statement on strategy: a situation “in which many more people are searching for answers and open to considering radical change. The work of building the movement for revolution must be consistently carried out at all times, but in these situations of sharp breaks with the 'normal routine' there is greater possibility, and greater potential, to make advances. This must be fully recognized and built on to the greatest degree possible, so that through such situations, leaps are made in building up the movement and the organized forces for revolution, creating in this way a stronger basis from which to work for further advances.

The statement goes on to emphasize that:

All along the way, both in more "normal times" and especially in times of sharp breaks with the "normal routine," it is necessary to be working consistently to accumulate forces—to prepare minds and organize people in growing numbers—for revolution, among all those who can be rallied to the revolutionary cause.

And toward the conclusion, it points to this as one crucial part of “how thousands can be brought forward and oriented, organized and trained in a revolutionary way, while beginning to reach millions more, even before there is a revolutionary situation...and then, when there is a revolutionary situation, those thousands can be a backbone and pivotal force in winning millions to revolution and organizing them in the struggle to carry the revolution through.

I have also been thinking, in relation to this, about the Party’s new slogan “Get Organized for an Actual Revolution.”

All this is background to saying that I have been following the work of the Revolution Club in various cities as best I can through the website. It is clear that club members have been at the forefront of these protests, showing the way in both word and deed—as indeed they should be! This has been very good and very important. And it is extremely important that the protests and resistance and upheaval continue, and grow in strength—and that revolutionaries, and people who think that the revolutionary position needs to be part of the mix, make every effort within this upheaval to get out the fact that there is a party with a real program to END all this, and a real strategy to make that program reality, through revolution. “Nobody can say exactly” where all this could lead—but what we can say is that WE had better be out there push push pushing as hard as we can.

In the spirit of making the maximum of this current “jolt,” and pushing it as far as it can go, in every sense, and thereby bringing closer the day when people can finally be free of this madness and the torture, including literal torture(!), that it brings down on people not only here but around the world, I wanted to pose some questions to think about, as people continue to participate in and give leadership to the resistance.

1) Can the Revolution Club do better at projecting itself as an organized, cohesive force in the midst of the struggles in the street? Can it be more powerful in making visible the existence of a force that is serious, organized, and working with all it has to bring closer the day when people can be led to wage an all-out struggle for power? I realize that banners and posters and other visuals have been out there, and that the Clubs have played a big role in this. This has been good and should continue. But I am getting at something else. When the Black Panther Party would come to a demonstration, you knew through their uniforms, their chants, and their organization that there was an organized, serious revolutionary force there—serious about both the struggle at hand and about linking that to making revolution, as soon as possible. This made you want to check out what this revolution was all about. I know a veteran comrade who told me her first demonstration was one organized by the Black Panther Party in which people ringed the federal building, raising Red Books* in the air, and chanting “I Am a Revolutionary.” She said she had never considered herself a revolutionary before, but the chant matched her feelings—and she never looked back.

The Revolution Clubs are just as serious, and follow a Party that has developed the strategy to actually make revolution when the time is right. But is this getting conveyed? And are there ways to do this better?

2) Can the Revolution Club do better at growing, right on the spot, and organizing new people into the Clubs? Right now there are many people who not only want to check out the revolution but who could be won to “run with” the Club, in a serious way. Yes, many have questions—but I have a strong hunch that there are many who would want to run with the Club while they work through their questions. Are we doing enough to move on this now, when people’s thinking is in motion? I know a comrade who told me that her first experience with revolution was going to a demonstration to free Mumia. A person in the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade (a youth organization of the Party during the 1980s and '90s) grabbed her hand and said, “We’re going into the streets.” She felt conflicted; they had on a really cool revolutionary tee-shirt that captured her imagination, and they were projecting themselves in a way that really resonated with how she felt... but “did they have to be communists?” She put that aside to run with them that day, then got into what communism was about over that summer, and “the rest is history.”

3) Is this a time where the Clubs need to raise money to rent pop-ups, or find a friendly church or community center, where they could have “office hours” and people could come by to find out what’s going on, or to watch the dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West, to plan actions, or just to kick it with people in the surrounding community? Such a thing would not replace, but complement, going into questions with people all the time—in the streets, at the movies, over coffee, wherever...

I raise all this in the spirit of contributing to grappling with how we can make maximum advances toward revolution, nothing less, in the midst of this inspiring—and challenging—upsurge.

* The Red Book, a revolutionary handbook of quotations from the revolutionary leader Mao Tsetung (or Mao Zedong), was taken up by revolutionaries and radicals all over the world in the 1960s, and became a symbol of revolution.] [back]





Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

1,000 Berkeley High Students Walk Out

December 11, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |



From readers:

Wednesday, December 10—At least a thousand students poured out of Berkeley High School today in a “Black Lives Matter” walkout. They were joined by students from a couple of other nearby high schools, and some teachers who had helped spread the word in their classrooms.

All photos: special to

There was an almost uncontainable energy and excitement in the air! The students went right up to city hall and did a short rally, led by the Berkeley High Black Student Union (BHS BSU). A couple students spoke passionately about what it's like to be Black in Amerikkka. One student talked about how his cousin was killed in his own backyard and the cop who did it wasn't indicted, and then he led the students in the chant “Black Lives Matter,” which the crowd took up enthusiastically and loudly! Another student talked about the importance of this generation taking a stand—making the point that some people try to say high school students don't know anything and need to read more books, but that they know enough to know that what is happening is wrong.

The students, led by the BHS BSU, then took off in a very fast and joyous march up to UC Berkeley. They chanted “hands up, don't shoot” and “I can't breathe” and sometimes “peaceful protest.” At the UC campus, they stopped at Sproul Plaza where one student talked about the Free Speech Movement back in the day at Berkeley and then began the chant, “You're the ones who taught us how, @UCBerkeley join us now!” A number of UC Berkeley students did join, including a group from the Cal BSU, that helped to lead the march through campus to the Campanile (a big clock tower and a famous symbol of the Berkeley campus) where students did a die-in.

The night before, December 9, hundreds of people—Cal Berkeley students and others—hit the streets for at least the third night in a row, protesting the pig murder of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. With chants of "Black Life Matters" and "Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Shut It Down Shut It Down," they left the campus and headed through the dorm area ringing the campus calling on students—Out of the Dorms and Into the Streets! The march eventually headed toward the freeway, Highway 24, running onto an overpass above the streets of Berkeley.

The outrage over the murders have drawn in many students who were demonstrating for the first time in their lives, and the protests have been characterized by a fierce determination not just to make a statement but truly to shut down the machine. In the previous nights, students had shut down different freeways in the area sometimes multiple times in the same night. This time, they marched past phalanxes of cops guarding various on-ramps, but then dozens of the protestors surprised the cops by ripping down a fence and charging up onto the on-ramp. Cops fired bean bags and smoke projectiles, and both BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) traffic and all traffic on the highway came to a stop. One student said that it was finals—but she had to be there to take a stand.





Revolution #364 December 8, 2014

East Oakland: Week of Outrage in the 'Hood

December 11, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

December 10—While fierce demonstrations (including freeway takeovers) for Mike Brown and Eric Garner have been happening in Berkeley and many parts of Oakland for several days, it was a rare sight to see the people take to the streets in East Oakland. This is an area where harassment, repression and police terror of Black people are a daily occurrence. An area where jobs have disappeared, where many men are locked up or on parole. An area where police in recent years have killed Alan Blueford, Brownie Polk, Oscar Grant (at the Fruitvale Bay Area Rapid Transit station), and many others. 

East Oakland December 10, 2014 Protest Week of Outrage Against Policy Brutality and Murder

Photo: Special to

This demonstration was part of the Week of Outrage Against Police Brutality and Murder, planned at a Stop Mass Incarceration Network meeting the prior Sunday. As the Wednesday demonstration began with banners, bullhorns and whistles and entered into a major intersection, some people from the 'hood joined on the spot, while others watched from the sidelines responding to "hands up, don't shoot." A great majority of the cars passing through honked their horns, grabbing flyers and Revolution newspapers, prompting a young Latina to ask if there was a way to involve these drivers more actively, rather than just honking support.

As the intersection was taken by about 30 people, motorcycle cops at first tried to intervene but soon backed off, and barricade their own police station down the road. A police helicopter kept watch from above. A few stores in nearby Eastmont Mall were locked up and guarded.

Then the march took off, snaking through the mall and hooking over to MacArthur Blvd, building up numbers along the way. Many of the people hanging out on the sidewalk took pictures and chanted with the marchers, "Eric Garner, Michael Brown, shut it down shut it down"; "I can't breathe"; "Hands up/don't shoot//fists up fight back"; "Indict convict, send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell"; "Revolution is what we need to stop police brutality," etc. Later, at another major intersection, a die-in was held; and then it was on to the police station.

East Oakland December 10, 2014 Protest Week of Outrage Against Policy Brutality and Murder

Photo: Special to

In front of the barricades, a short speak-out was held in front of the cops' faces, where people spoke bitterness about the crimes of police murder. An older woman, "Mama Toni," spoke through her tears: "These cops killed my two sons, Derrel and Walter, in 2005 and 2007. They left me, the grandmother, to care for triplets who kept saying 'when is daddy coming back?'" She ended by chanting with the crowd "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."

As we returned to the original intersection, one of the young women from the hood said, "I don't think there's ever been a march down this street (MacArthur) before. We need a lot more people. All kinds of people." A tall older Black man said, "Hey, the ice has finally been broken." As people talked with each other about what it will take to get justice, the leaflet "A Special Message to Those at the Bottom of Society, the Ones This System Hates, Fears, and Kills, and to Those Who Have Stepped Out in the Streets in outrage" was read in sections and widely distributed (along with the EXTRA issue of Revolution that came out in response to the grand jury decision not to indict the pig who murdered Mike Brown). A couple of teachers said in response, "Now we know the way!"

About 20 people from the 'hood had joined the protest, which grew to 50 at its height. One young man who at first lamented from the sidelines that staying in the streets wouldn't change anything ended up marching and leading a couple of other friends in the chants and whistling. Another late-comer asked where the march was, and a neighbor said, "There they go" (pointing toward the police station with a big smile on his face).