Revolution #558, August 27, 2018 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

September 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

To Do This, We Need To Know:

Why we need an actual revolution.
What we need to do now.
How we could defeat them.

Why We Need An Actual Revolution

An actual revolution does not mean trying to make some changes within this system—it means overthrowing this system and bringing into being a radically different and far better system.This system of capitalism-imperialism cannot be reformed. There is no way, under this system, to put an end to the brutality and murder by police, the wars and destruction of people and the environment, the exploitation, oppression and degradation of millions and billions of people, including the half of humanity that is female, here and throughout the world—all of which is rooted in profound contradictions built into the basic functioning, relations, and structures of this system. Only an actual revolution can bring about the fundamental change that is needed.

What We Need To Do Now

To make this revolution, we need to be serious, and scientific. We need to take into account the actual strengths of this system, but more than that its strategic weaknesses, based in its deep and defining contradictions. We need to build this revolution among those who most desperately need a radical change, but among others as well who refuse to live in a world where this system spews forth endless horrors, and this is continually “justified” and even glorified as “greatness.”

We need to be on a mission to spread the word, to let people know that we have the leadership, the science, the strategy and program, and the basis for organizing people for an actual, emancipating revolution. We have Bob Avakian (BA) the leader of this revolution and the architect of a new framework for revolution, the new synthesis of communism. We have the Party led by BA, the Revolutionary Communist Party, with this new synthesis as its scientific basis to build for revolution. We have the Revolution Clubs, where people can take part in and powerfully represent for the revolution in an organized way, as they learn more about the revolution and advance toward joining the Party. We have the website of the Party, revcom.us, and its newspaper Revolution, which sharply expose the crimes of this system, scientifically analyze why it cannot be reformed, and give guidance and direction for people to work in a unified way for revolution. We have the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA and adopted by the Party’s Central Committee, which provides a sweeping and concrete vision and “blueprint” for a radically new and emancipating society. People in the inner cities, and in the prisons, students, scholars, artists, lawyers and other professionals, youth in the suburbs and rural areas—people in all parts of society—need to know about this and seriously take it up.

Those who catch the worst hell under this system, and those who are sickened by the endless outrages perpetrated by this system, need to join up with this revolution. Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution. We have seen the potential for this in the protests that have taken place against police brutality and murder, and other ways in which large numbers of people have gone up against the established authorities and the political “rules of the game.” But this needs to be transformed, through struggle, into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization. The organized forces and the leadership of this revolution must become the “authority” that growing numbers of people look to and follow—not the lying politicians and media of this oppressive system—not those who front for the oppressors and preach about “reconciliation” with this system—not those who turn people against each other when they need to be uniting for this revolution. While many people will do positive things in opposing the crimes of this system, we need to approach everything—evaluate every political program and every organized force in society, every kind of culture, values and ways of treating people—according to how it relates to the revolution we need, to end all oppression. We should unite with people whenever we can, and struggle with them whenever we need to, to advance the revolution.

While awaiting the necessary conditions to go all-out for revolution, we need to hasten this and actively carry out the “3 Prepares”: Prepare the Ground, Prepare the People, and Prepare the Vanguard—Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can Be Led to Go for Revolution, All-Out, With a Real Chance to Win. We need to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution—protest and resist the injustices and atrocities of this system, and win people to defy and repudiate this putrid system and its ways of thinking, and to take up the outlook and values, and the strategy and program of the revolution, build up the forces for this revolution, and defeat the attempts of the ruling powers to crush the revolution and its leadership. With every “jolt” in society—every crisis, every new outrage, where many people question and resist what they normally accept—we need to seize on this to advance the revolution and expand its organized forces. We need to oppose and disrupt the moves of the ruling powers to isolate, “encircle,” brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and who most need this revolution. We need to “encircle” them—by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system.

All this is aiming for something very definite—a revolutionary situation: Where the system and its ruling powers are in a serious crisis, and the violence they use to enforce this system is seen by large parts of society for what it is—murderous and illegitimate. Where the conflicts among the ruling forces become really deep and sharp—and masses of people respond to this not by falling in behind one side or the other of the oppressive rulers, but by taking advantage of this situation to build up the forces for revolution. Where millions and millions of people refuse to be ruled in the old way—and are willing and determined to put everything on the line to bring down this system and bring into being a new society and government that will be based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. That is the time to go all-out to win. That is what we need to be actively working for and preparing for now.

How We Could Defeat Them

“On the Possibility of Revolution” is a very important statement from the Party, which is posted on revcom.us. It sets forth the foundation—the strategic conception and doctrine—for how to fight with a real chance of winning, once a revolutionary people in the millions, and the necessary conditions for revolution, have been brought into being. Now is not yet the time to wage this kind of fight—to try to do so now would only lead to a devastating defeat—but ongoing work is being done to further develop this strategic conception and doctrine with the future in mind, and the following are some of the main things the revolutionary forces would need to do when the conditions to go all-out to make revolution had been brought into being.

  • When the revolutionary situation is clearly emerging, rapidly transform backbone forces of the revolution into organized fighting forces in key strategic areas, carry out the necessary training, obtain the necessary equipment and provide for the basic logistical needs of this revolutionary fighting force to start the all-out fight, while preventing the enemy from crushing the revolutionary forces at this crucial juncture. Back up these core fighting forces with millions more organized into powerful “reserves” for the revolution.
  • Initiate actions throughout the country, accompanied by a bold declaration to the world, which make clear that there is an organized force determined to defeat the forces of the old order and bring into being a new, revolutionary system. Upon completion of these initial actions, quickly regroup forces for “follow-on” actions and maintain the momentum of the revolution.
  • Counter the enemy’s superior destructive force by seeking to fight only on favorable terms, and actively avoiding decisive encounters, which would determine the outcome of the whole thing, until the “balance of forces” has shifted overwhelmingly in favor of the revolution. Utilize equipment captured from the enemy in ways that fit the fighting strategy of the revolution. Build up political and logistical bases of support, in key strategic areas, but do not attempt to openly control and govern territory, until the necessary “favorable balance of forces” has been achieved.
  • Maintain the initiative—or, if it is temporarily lost, regain it—through surprise and maneuver. Fight in ways the enemy does not anticipate. Carry out actions to keep the enemy off balance, disrupting the concentration and utilization of his forces and contributing to their disintegration. Always conduct operations and act in ways that are in line with the emancipating outlook and goals of the revolution, and turn the barbaric actions of the enemy against him—to win greater forces for the revolution, including those who come over from the ranks of the enemy.
  • Combine strategic direction and coordination for the fight as a whole, with decentralized actions and initiative by local units and leaders. Relying on mass support, the intelligence this provides for the revolution and the denial of intelligence to the enemy, counter the enemy’s efforts to find, fix and annihilate revolutionary leadership and key fighting units. Rapidly replace forces and leaders that are lost—continually train and deploy new forces and leaders.
  • Correctly handle the relation between this all-out fight and the situation—including the character and level of revolutionary struggle—in countries to the south (and the north).
  • When the “balance of forces” has shifted in favor of the revolution, conduct operations aimed at achieving final victory, while continuing to “calibrate” these operations so that decisive encounters are still avoided until the forces of the old order have been brought to the brink of total defeat—and then fully, finally, rout and dismantle the remaining enemy forces.

All this depends on winning millions to revolution in the period that leads up to the ripening of a revolutionary situation. The chance to defeat them, when the time comes—the chance to be rid of this system and to bring something far better into being—has everything to do with what we do now. Everyone who hungers for a radically different world, free of exploitation and oppression and all the needless suffering caused by this system, needs to work now with a fired determination to make this happen, so we will have a real chance to win.

 

Now is the time to spread these messages to all of society

"HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" is a companion to the Message from the Central Committee of the RCP, USA posted on www.revcom.us on May 16, 2016.  Get "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,” together with “Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution,” out everywhere.  Now is the time to spread the word to all of society.

Download "HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution" HERE (36”x24” PDF): ENGLISH  | ESPAÑOL.  Download “Time to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution” HERE (17"x 22" PDF): ENGLISH | ESPAÑOL.  Our suggestion is that they be printed on white bond paper and posted together in the appropriate ways all over the place. Here’s a rough picture of what this could look like.

“HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution” now in booklet form!

Printing Instructions:
The PDF of a booklet that includes “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution” and the “Points of Attention for the Revolution”is now available. This booklet is 16 pages long. The size of the laid-out pages is 5 1/2" x 8 1/2". It can also be printed 6" x 9". There are two layouts here. 1) One is a single PDF with 16 consecutive, individual pages. 2) The second is a printer's spread; that is, the first spread is page 16 and page 1, the second is page 2 and page 15, etc., so that when it prints and is folded, the pages will be in order. Printers can tell you which layout they need. Readers should make plans for printing this 5 1/2" x 8.5" booklet, raising money, and getting it out in the tens of thousands everywhere as soon as possible.

ENGLISH:
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, single pages
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, printer spread

SPANISH:
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, single pages
Download 5.5x8.5 PDF, printer spread

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

What IS an Actual Revolution?

December 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

An actual revolution is a lot more than a protest. An actual revolution requires that millions of people get involved, in an organized way, in a determined fight to dismantle this state apparatus and system and replace it with a completely different state apparatus and system, a whole different way of organizing society, with completely different objectives and ways of life for the people. Fighting the power today has to help build and develop and organize the fight for the whole thing, for an actual revolution. Otherwise we’ll be protesting the same abuses generations from now!

 


 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

Come See the Film of Bob Avakian's Razor-Sharp Speech THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! at the Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater, Harlem, NYC, On August 30

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution, says that “we are confronted by—we are now being ruled by—a fascist regime.” He says, and proves, that there is “a direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today.” This system, from its founding, has meant slavery, genocide, bitter exploitation, wars of empire, the rape, plunder and all-round oppression of women, the destruction of the environment and 1,001 other crimes. We need a revolution—nothing less!—to end that madness.

Today, with the Trump/Pence regime in power, this takes on the even more monstrous form of fascism.* This has already meant horror for people here and all over the world and could, if left in power, mean catastrophe. It will make any efforts to fight for a better world immeasurably harder. These fascists are on a mission and on a rampage, and this regime will not be deterred or stopped by indictments, hearings, conflicts among themselves, or special reports alone—in fact, they will “double down.” There must be massive, in-the-streets resistance.

In this light, Bob Avakian’s speech is more important than ever. Come out Thursday, August 30, 7 p.m., to Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater in Harlem (enter at 5th Ave. and 124th St.) to hear it.

Why?

1) To get truth about this regime. Bob Avakian delivers a scientific revolutionary analysis of the deep roots of this fascist regime, why it has come to power now...and what we must do about it.

2) To get organized: Come to the film and get hooked up with Refuse Fascism, which is organizing people all over the country for massive demonstrations to drive out this regime... the Revolution Club, which is fighting for revolution and the new communism of Bob Avakian, and urgently organizing people now to prepare to overthrow this system, when conditions are right (and waging the battle against the regime as part of that preparation)... and Revolution Books, the political, intellectual, and cultural center for the movement for an actual revolution, located right in Harlem. 

3) Most important: to “meet” the leader of the revolution, Bob Avakian. He is the architect of a whole new framework for human emancipation. He has made theoretical breakthroughs, he has an ability to break down ideas so people can readily understand them, and he connects in visceral way with the basic people. This film can introduce you to him.

At a time when this regime is particularly pumping up white supremacy in all its ugliness, it would make a huge statement for hundreds of us together—all nationalities from all over the city—to come together in Harlem for this knife-sharp critique of what we face and to get connected to fight it, in a real way, to defeat this regime and go beyond to a whole different society.

Be part of building beginning now by calling 212-691-3345 or going to http://revolutionbooksnyc.org/.

*Fascism is the exercise of blatant dictatorship by the bourgeois (capitalist-imperialist) class, ruling through reliance on open terror and violence, trampling on what are supposed to be civil and legal rights, wielding the power of the state, and mobilizing organized groups of fanatical thugs, to commit atrocities against masses of people, particularly groups of people identified as “enemies,” “undesirables,” or “dangers to society.”

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Prisoners Respond to the Special Issue of Revolution Featuring Bob Avakian’s Speech: “This talk needs to get out far and wide”

 

Earlier this year, revcom published a special issue of Revolution, in English and Spanish, featuring the full text of the speech by Bob Avakian (BA), THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible. This was in order to get this crucial talk by BA into the hands of those locked up in America’s dungeons, who can’t watch the film of the talk online.

As we said in our call to readers to donate to the printing and distribution of the special issue: “Think of the difference it will make as copies of BA’s speech pass from cell to cell through some of the most notorious hellholes in this country; as prisoners of different nationalities and backgrounds discuss the significance of the ‘Great Tautological Fallacy’; as they grapple with and learn from the scientific method and approach BA uses to develop his analysis. Think what it will mean as people cast off and locked up by this heartless, racist system read and engage with BA’s searing exposure of this country’s bloody history of slavery and genocide, and how that legacy endures and is expressed today.”

The following is a selection of letters we have received from prisoners in response to the special issue.

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

 


 

“This talk by BA needs to get out far and wide”

PRLF,

When you seriously engage and grapple with the revolutionary scientific works of Bob Avakian, you begin to come to a revolutionary understanding—as you’re developing a scientific method and approach—that we cannot eliminate the suffering of the masses if we don’t even know, or are unwilling to get to the root causes of that suffering. Like so many in this country, I have spent most of my life buried alive deep within cold steel and concrete. Coming up, I was like so many of the youth today. I was unable to see how the petty senseless violence amongst ourselves serves to degrade and dehumanize us in unimaginable ways all while helping the oppressors to keep us down.

We have to go up against the images that have been created of us as being nothing but dangerous “animals” and “criminals” that need to be hunted and contained.

“Looking out for me and mine” and referring to people down the block, who are in the same desperate situation, as “Opps” only serves to strengthen the profound and poisonous lie of white supremacy—even within our own thinking.

The Supreme Court of the United States in Dred Scott v. Sandford ruled on March 6, 1857 that:

A free negro of the African race, whose ancestors were brought to this country and sold as slaves, is not a “citizen” within the meaning of the Constitution of the United States.

And also that:

The only two clauses in the Constitution which point to this race treat them as persons whom it was morally lawful to deal in as articles of property and to hold as slaves. [emphasis added]

The rise of mass incarceration, murder by police, and the overall oppression of Black, Brown, and other people of color can be traced back to when the first ships unloaded African slaves in the harbors of New York and Charleston.

As BA pointed out in his talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!, “The USA is a country which established its territory and built the foundation of its wealth through the armed conquest of land, genocide, slavery, and ruthless exploitation of successive waves of immigrants to America.”

This talk needs to get out far and wide. We need to get to the roots of the rise of fascism becoming a form of rule in preserving the American empire and its system of global exploitation, and what we must do to stop it.

What are the genocidal implications of Trump hugging the American flag while referring to immigrants living here as being an “infestation”?

Or Jeff Sessions using bible verses to justify turning Walmart into an internment camp to detain children snatched from their parents?

A fascist America poses a grave danger to the future of humanity and the planet! (Go to RefuseFascism.org.)

I just want to encourage people out there to get up with your local Revolution Club, or go to revcom.us and begin the process of engaging the 40 yrs worth of revolutionary scientific works of Bob Avakian, the most radical revolutionary on planet Earth.

I am, in a living way, an example of how necessary and vital the leadership of BA is in the emancipation of humanity.

I will end this here with a quote from BAsics 1:31. “If you can conceive of a world without America—without everything America stands for and everything it does in the world—then you’ve already taken great strides and begun to get at least a glimpse of a whole new world. If you can envision a world without any imperialism, exploitation, oppression—and the whole philosophy that rationalizes it—a world without division into classes or even different nations, and all the narrow-minded, selfish, outmoded ideas that uphold this; if you can envision all this, then you have the basis for proletarian internationalism. And once you have raised your sights to all this, how could you not feel compelled to take an active part in the world historic struggle to realize it; why would you want to lower your sights to anything less?”

In Unity—Struggle—Unity,
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“Ready to actively carry out the ‘3 Prepares’”

First of all I would like to thank the volunteers who send out the Revolution newspaper and insightful articles to those of us behind bars. I’ve just read the special edition of Revolution on THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible, and I believe that humanity has been brutally exploited under the capitalist-imperialist system and it looks like it will continue until we come together collectively to stop the atrocities this dictatorship commits. The US has a long history of using open terror and violence throughout the world in order to impose their heinous agenda. I became politically radicalized in 2016, but after reading THE NEW COMMUNISM by Bob Avakian, I realized that there is an actual movement out there that has real possibilities of emancipating humanity from this corrupt system we currently live under. I’ve heard a member of the RCP call prison the “university of revolutionaries,” but from my personal observation, people are obsessed with making money. The sub-culture here in prison has adopted the corrupt capitalist ideology. Prisoners have abandoned solidarity in order to survive and succumbed to the cutthroat principles of laissez-faire capitalism. The subjective conditions for a real chance at revolution are not yet mature because fear is holding people back. Anyone who represents the importance of values rather than pure profits becomes a threat to the status quo. It is in the prisoncrats best interest that the prisoners remain ignorant, living, as Karl Marx states, a “cattle-like existence” blindly obeying orders. I’m calling out to all prison revolutionaries to step out of the shadows and educate the masses and talk about the injustices that have been committed against humanity around the world. I get that most of us grew up in a society that from childhood fosters in us a subordinate “minority” consciousness and our creativity and free thought has been suppressed to the point where we’d rather conform to our current situation because we think we have no choice. The culture of oppression has been internalized and the masses are submerged in it. Nobody wants to destroy the only world they know because they have no alternative, at least they think they have no other alternative. So, if there is nothing to compare it to, how will they know there is something better or worse?

I’m ready to actively carry out the “3 prepares” to spread the truth because I care for the well-being and growth of those ignorant of their own critical consciousness. I’m ready to organize those around me for revolution and lay the issues out on the table to discuss the problems and also provide real concrete solutions. I support the aggressive measures that would bring about the fall of the ruling powers that have mass incarcerated and repressed us under this system. I’m ready to lead and learn as I lead, so I will need the help of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA to provide me with literature and articles that I can use to teach people about the leadership, the science, and the strategy and program that Bob Avakian has structured for us. Revolutionary action is necessary to bring to fruition the new synthesis of communism. I can see no overwhelming reason not to entertain such aspirations when the wheels have already begun to turn. The insanity must come to an end!

Compañero,

XXXXXX

BA “really gets us”

To: Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF)

Greetings to all my comrades. I first want to give a shout out to the big homie, BA, for his life long dedication to the struggle. The speech was mind blowing (THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!) He really gets us. I mean on a real level that most can’t grasp. The best thing that happen to me in years was this speech & Science and Revolution by Ardea Skybreak. She is brilliant and her breakdown of BA is life changing. It makes me want to learn more, to be engaged by a new synthesis with scientific evidence. I have started debates about the root of the problem and a possible solution. I’m on fire right now and this knowledge was the worst thing for a capitalist society, design to hold people down. It’s possible, it’s within reach, and the time is now! Here’s a poem I wrote after reading BA speech.

“Trump Start the revolution”

I see why we got Millions of Americans deaf,
Dumb, blind with no minds
blindly following a
Religion of slave trafficker’s, that got a pope to
Co-sign
and while capitalist gain
the poor get drained
The rich drive Bentleys, and the poor get driven insane
Ever since the invention of race
we been out paced
In a race that got us at the starting line, while the
Rich running to space
so I pray for revolution
For America’s sake
And I ask Donald Trump, when
Was America great?
The only thing that ever been great
Is America’s hate
built off slavery, war, murder, and rape.
This why a revolution is must needed
it won’t be televised,
Live streamed, or tweeted
(All power to the people)
We will not be defeated. im supose to see y'all
When my vision fail
im supose to feel y'all when I don’t
Feel to well
im supose to hear y'all from my prison
Cell.
Tell the world the new synthesis of communism
And BA got the only solution
the time is now
Trump start the revolution, the time is now trump
Start the revolution.

Revolutionary Love,
XXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

This is a letter from the Host Committee for the August 30 Harlem showing of the film of Bob Avakian’s talk, addressed to students and faculty urging them to come to the showing and to spread the word on it.

An Invitation:
COME TO MARCUS GARVEY PARK ON THURS., AUGUST 30, 7 PM TO WATCH:
THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We invite you to one of the most important films of our time. We are proud to host an August 30th showing of THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible!—a filmed talk by Bob Avakian. Avakian, the chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, tells the hard truth about how we ended up with a fascist regime in this country, where this is headed, and how only we can end this nightmare.

As students, you didn’t create the situation of having a fascist in the White House, but you do have the responsibility to shape the future. Watching this film can help prepare you and others to shape a future in which the fascist Trump/Pence regime has been driven from office.

Come out to Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater on Thursday, August 30, at 7 pm. (Enter at 5th Avenue & 124th Street. Take #2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 train to 125th Street.)

Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/280253829406410/

Below are some of our statements on this film.

Avakian’s speech ... demands that we remain awake. It demands that we take action to stop Trump’s allies, enablers, racists and evangelical apologists from making good on their dystopian ‘Making America Great Again’ slogan.”

Dr. David I. Orenstein,
professor of anthropology, Medgar Evers College

“[W]e are really up against something bad with this Trump/Pence regime.... [T]ry to have this [film] in your church and your organization.... Very educational, and very enlightened.

Pastor Doris Johnson,
Faith Tabernacle, Queens, NY

I am very strong recommending Bob Avakian, my brother, in a prophetic way ... a prophet is the one with the capacity to first identify problems; second ... denounce the problem. But more important, to change that reality of oppression into a liberating experience....”

Rev. Luis Barrios,
Holyrood Church/Iglesia Santa Cruz, NYC

Bob Avakian is a compelling advocate for real social change, and the more his voice and vision are exposed ... the more I’m convinced that others will feel a need to join him on the ramparts.”

Herb Boyd,
author, educator, activist

Come out to Marcus Garvey Park on Thursday, August 30, at 7 PM. (Enter at 5th Avenue & 124th Street. Take #2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 train to 125th Street.)

Bring others with you. Spread this invitation on your campus, get your professors to have announcements on this showing made in your classrooms. Share this on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/280253829406410/

Watch the trailer

Watch this clip “What are we facing?

Watch this clip “The direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today.

Watch this clip “Order or Justice?

Contact us if you’d like to have this film screened at your campus: (212) 691-3345, revbooksnyc@yahoo.com, Facebook event page.

Other members of the host committee include: Nkosi Anderson, Ph.D. candidate, Union Theological Seminary; and Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party.

 

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

There Is No Santa Claus, and the Trump/Pence Regime Will NOT Be Ousted, Nor Will FASCISM Be Stopped, on the Basis of Corruption

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian (BA) paints the situation this way at the very beginning of his major filmed speech THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!:

We are confronted by—we are now being ruled by—a fascist regime: relentlessly assaulting civil rights and liberties and openly promoting bigotry and inequality; acting with callous disregard or cold-blooded malice toward those they consider inferior and a drain or stain on the country; on a mission to deny health care to millions who will suffer and many who will die without it; crudely degrading women, as objects of plunder, breeders of children without the right to abortion or birth control, subordinate to husbands and men in general; defying the science of climate change, attacking the science of evolution, and repudiating the scientific method overall; a regime brandishing an arsenal of mass destruction and threatening nuclear war; intensifying state terror against Muslims, immigrants, and people in the inner cities; unleashing and giving encouragement and support to brutal thugs spewing vile “America First,” white supremacist, male-supremacist, and anti-LGBT venom—a regime that boasts of all this and declares its intention to do even worse.

These outrages—and not the regime’s disruptions of traditional imperialist foreign policy alliances and approaches, and its supposed “lack of patriotism” (more on this later), nor backed-up sewers of corruption that now overflow—are the key crimes of this regime and the central reasons it must be driven out. And note well: BA speaks of a regime, not a single individual, because while Trump occupies a critical spot in the regime’s hierarchy, the essence of the matter is the regime. Go here to get a sense of just how deeply and broadly this regime has already carried out its criminal changes and what they have in store (and then use this with others who still have no real idea of this).

Further: as we point out elsewhere in this issue: “These fascists are on a mission and on a rampage, and this regime will not be deterred or stopped by indictments, hearings, conflicts among themselves, or special reports alone—in fact, they will ‘double down.’” This flows out of the fact that this system is in a profound crisis—one with deep economic roots but stretching through all the political, social, and cultural institutions of this society. It is now routine for many commentators on all points of the political spectrum to draw analogies to the Civil War. Neither the regime, nor the movement that backs it, nor the roots that gave rise to it are going to be wished—or voted—away. Hence, the conclusion of the above-quoted paragraph: “There must be massive, in-the-streets resistance.”

The struggle that needs to happen is stirring, but still fighting for oxygen. The massive opposition to the sadistic and indeed genocidal breaking up of immigrant families, as well as dramatic individual actions (e.g., the nonviolent takeover of the Statue of Liberty); the brave stands taken against the threats of armed white supremacists, emboldened both by Trump’s escalating racist taunts and the regime’s intensified attacks on “minority” voting rights, its defense of police murder and brutality, etc.; the demonstrations against Pence, who concentrates the Christian fascist assault on women, LGBTQ people, science and critical thinking more generally; and, as we go to press, the demonstrations against the nomination of the Christian fascist Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court—all these are important. Resistance in the cultural sphere that homes in on these outrages—The Handmaid’s Tale is one important example but hardly the only one—need to be upheld and spread. All this needs to grow in breadth and in militancy. All this needs to be increasingly cohered around the interests of all humanity. And there needs to be a strengthened and clearer voice of those who convincingly indict the system itself for the monstrous crimes of the regime, linking them to the whole history and social structure of this country, and pointing to the need for a revolution.

Right now, though, there is a great deal of energy coming from the Democratic Party leadership and the mainstream media to go somewhere else—to focus on the corruption of Trump in particular and the people around him, or to accuse him of “treason” for the way in which he is disrupting “traditional alliances.” The immediate dangers here are threefold:

Why do the Democratic Party, CNN, the New York Times, and all the rest promote and insist on these terms? Because these are imperialist institutions whose existence depends on the American empire (that is, the system of imperialist military, political, and economic domination through which the U.S. extracts unbelievable plunder). These are NOT the interests of humanity—indeed, they are bitterly opposed to the interests of humanity! Yes, some of those at the top of this system indeed have differences, serious differences, with the Trump/Pence fascist regime—but these are differences which boil down to how best to preserve and protect that empire.

Right now, there needs to be a fight on two fronts. One, the main front, is a struggle with the Trump/Pence fascist regime. The objective of that struggle is not just to fight the regime, but to get rid of it. The other is a fight over what terms and how to conduct the first fight; while not the main thing people need to be doing, this battle bears very directly on whether people will only resist the regime, or actually fight to drive it out. If we the masses intensify our resistance on the right basis, we could conceivably and hopefully get to the point where the people will be in a strong enough position to make use of the contradictions between the two sections of the ruling class. We will be able to advance the agenda of both getting rid of this fascist monstrosity and moving forward to revolution and a whole different world, beyond the point of constantly toggling between fascism and the “normal” workings of imperialism (which again require the grinding up and oppression of billions of human beings every single day). If we don’t, then the masses will once again be used in the interests of a small clique and, worse yet, the interests of humanity will be betrayed and the very fate of humanity itself will hang in the balance.

And that, we cannot afford.

 

Clip: "The direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today"

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

Fuck John McCain—A Mass Murdering, Imperialist War Criminal—And Fuck the System He Served!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Honor John McCain? Mourn his passing? Are you fucking kidding??

McCain, a longtime Republican senator, is being hailed by this system’s mouthpieces—including the Democrats and, yes, the “democratic socialists”—as a “war hero” and a man of “integrity.”

BULLSHIT! John McCain was a mass murdering, imperialist war criminal—through and through!

Mass Murder and War Crimes in Vietnam

McCain began his adult life by raining death on and carrying out towering war crimes against the Vietnamese people as part of U.S. imperialism’s illegitimate war of aggression.

McCain flew an A-4E Skyhawk warplane in the 1965-68 bombing campaign against North Vietnam called “Rolling Thunder,” in which over 30,000 civilians were killed. In October 1967, the Vietnamese righteously shot his sorry ass out of the sky and took him prisoner (even saving his life) after he had bombed a civilian power plant in Hanoi—a war crime.

McCain was a gung ho soldier in a war of war crimes. From 1965-1975, the U.S. burned children alive, dropping over 380,000 tons of napalm, massacred whole villages, poisoned Vietnam’s lush landscape with 20 million gallons of the toxic defoliant “Agent Orange,” and ended up murdering some three million people—and still got their asses handed to them by the Vietnamese people! (See “American Crime Case #96: Vietnam, March 16, 1968—The My Lai Massacre.”)

Did McCain see the error of his ways after war crimes like the My Lai massacre were exposed and the war’s toll was documented? Hell no! He gloried in America’s atrocities and used his five-year imprisonment to vault to national prominence, while the system used it to turn reality on its head—portraying Americans as the war’s victims—not the three million Vietnamese they massacred.1

In 2000, McCain refused to apologize for calling Vietnamese the racist slur “gooks”: “I hate the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live,” he declared. (A week later, after intense criticism and with California’s presidential primary coming up, he apologized.)

McCain: From War Crimes in Vietnam to War Crimes World Wide

John McCain’s war crimes in Vietnam were a prelude to even greater war crimes to come.

After being elected to Congress in the 1980s, McCain rose to become one of the most powerful leaders in the Senate and the Republican Party, and after 9/11, a leading ruling class voice on global imperialist strategy. In this he was hailed for his “bipartisan” approach to putting the “greater interests” of America’s bloody empire of exploitation and oppression, and its global domination first.

In a nutshell, McCain never met a country he didn’t want to bomb. Afghanistan? Iraq? Iran? Libya? Syria? Yemen? You name it.

In the 1980s, McCain supported the murderous, right-wing Contras and the overthrow of the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. He fully backed the 1991 Persian Gulf War and subsequent decade of sanctions on Iraq that ended up killing over 500,000 children.

The day after the attacks of September 11, 2001, he called for war on Afghanistan and more: “[W]e’re talking about Syria, Iraq, Iran, perhaps North Korea, Libya and others.” A month later he helped lead the charge to prepare for war on Iraq.

In Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone, a staggering 1.3 million people were killed in the first decade of the so-called “war on terror” that McCain championed, voted for, and helped launch, according to a 2015 report by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War-Germay, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Physicians for Global Survival. (Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the ‘War on Terror)

Did McCain regret any of this? Hell no! He pushed for staying in Iraq and attacking Iran—even making a joke out of bombing Iran in 2007 when he was running for president, singing: “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb; Bomb, Bomb Iran” to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann.”

And as this old war criminal was dying, he was still supporting towering war crimes—this time the U.S.-backed Saudi war of mass murder, mass starvation, and mass disease in Yemen.

White Supremacy, Torture, and Collaborating with Fascism

Of late, McCain has been portrayed as an enlightened champion of truth and justice because of his clash with Trump. But don’t let these sharp differences among imperialist predators fool you: John McCain was a stone reactionary, white supremacist, environment destroyer, and fascist-enabler.

McCain wasn’t just racist toward Vietnamese. He initially opposed making MLK day a holiday. In 2000, he fought to keep the Confederate battle flag flying in South Carolina, calling this symbol of slavery and oppression a “symbol of heritage.” And he stuck with the Republican Party as it pursued its racist “Southern strategy” in election after election and moved further and further right toward outright fascism.

McCain is portrayed as a big opponent of torture, but when it really counted, McCain cut a backroom deal with the Bush regime that allowed it to keep right on torturing.

The environment? This so-called “man of principal” said a few words about the threat of global warming, but then in 2008 campaigned on the “Drill, Baby, Drill!” platform of essentially throwing gasoline on the climate catastrophe.

And despite their differences, McCain supported much of the Trump/Pence regime’s agenda.

What Kind of System Mourns and Glorifies a John McCain?

What does it say about this system that its rulers—including Obama, MSNBC, and the New York Times—are slobbering over this war criminal who has played a key role in the mass murder of literally millions of people? And what does it say about this putrid system that is turning his death into an occasion to deify the bloody U.S. military and justify more American war and slaughter?

It says, loud and clear, that this system cannot be reformed, it must be overthrown!

So America’s rulers can have this mass murdering motherfucker. He’s one of theirs. They belong together.

So John McCain, FUCK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.

 

1. In a lengthy August 26 obituary, the New York Times goes on and on about McCain's alleged mistreatment by the Vietnamese, while devoting not one word to the atrocities McCain helped carry out. [back]

Fallujah, Iraq, November 2004. Photo: AP

In Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone, a staggering 1.3 million people were killed in the first decade of the so-called “war on terror” that McCain championed, voted for, and helped launch. Above: Fallujah, Iraq, 2014. Photo: AP

 

John McCain making a joke out of bombing Iran in 2007 when he was running for president, singing: "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb; Bomb, Bomb Iran" to the tune of the Beachboy's "Barbara Ann."

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

Protests in All 50 States Across the U.S. Demand: #StopKavanaugh

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 


New York City. Photo: Special to Revolution/revcom.us

 

On July 9, Trump announced the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh—a confirmed and longtime fascist—to replace Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. This is a major step in the courts in this country being put more firmly in the hands of the fascists, part of how the “new order” of fascism is more directly and strongly asserting itself.

On August 26, people took to the streets across the country to oppose Kavanaugh, demanding a STOP to his confirmation. There were protests in large cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. But people came to express their outrage and opposition to Kavanaugh in many smaller cities as well, like Alexandria, Virginia; Peoria, Illinois; Eugene, Oregon; Des Moines, Iowa; Great Plains, Oklahoma; and Anchorage, Alaska.

Organizers of the “day of action,” NARAL Pro-Choice America, MoveOn.org, and community groups across the country, said 75 organizations had planned 180 events in all 50 states. They said: “There’s no doubt: Kavanaugh would rule to gut Roe and criminalize abortion, gut health care, attack voting rights and LGBTQ rights, slash environmental protections, and further damage workers’ and immigrant rights. If the Senators vote to confirm Kavanaugh, they would cement into place the worst and most dangerous of Donald Trump’s policies for generations to come.”

As we wrote when Trump announced the nomination:

The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court is often described by liberal pundits and Democratic Party leaders as threatening to “restrict women’s right to abortion” and “erode our civil rights and liberties.” This is wildly underestimating the danger. Kavanaugh’s outlook and legal positions are to a great degree in line with the Trump/Pence fascist regime and its campaign to “Make America White Again,” and in particular with the Christian fascist hostility to women being treated as full human beings, and their objective of implementing Christian theocratic rule.

As the fifth pro-fascist vote on the nine-member Court, Kavanaugh would, if confirmed, tip the highest court in the land into a compliant tool of fascist transformation. For this reason, the fight to block Kavanaugh’s confirmation—which to be meaningful has to be waged as part of driving the whole fascist regime from power—is one of life-or-death urgency for women and LGBTQ people; for Black, Brown, and other oppressed people; and for all who hope for a brighter future for humanity and for the planet we inhabit.

A lot of the people who came out to the August 26 protests are particularly concerned about and want to fight against the fact that if this fascist ends up on the Supreme Court, he will join with other fascists on the court and be able to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal in the U.S. The reality is that there have already been increasing levels of legal restrictions on abortions, and in large areas of the country, women have to make extraordinary efforts and travel long distances in order to get an abortion—but overturning Roe would be a whole new leap. Many protesters carried signs from Planned Parenthood and NARAL saying “Protect Safe, Legal Abortion” and “Don’t Criminalize Abortion.”

At the New York City protest, many women spoke openly about their abortions and the importance of their right to make that choice, while condemning the “shaming” of women who have had abortions that is all too common today. People also expressed outrage at many other aspects of what the fascist Trump/Pence regime is doing. One speaker in New York was the woman who climbed the Statue of Liberty in early July to protest the separation of migrant families on the border, and she challenged others to act in ways that are necessary to change the course of events in this country. A protester in Chicago carried a sign that read: “We believe Black Lives Matter, No Human is Illegal, Love is Love, Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, Science is Real, Water is Life. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

At a number of protests, women spoke out against the woman-hating misogyny of Kavanaugh by dressing up as women in The Handmaid’s Tale—the Margaret Atwood novel and current Hulu series that imagines the kind of future that these fascists are working to bring into being, in which women are totally subservient to men and are looked at as servants and breeders.

So-called “pro-life” anti-abortionists organized counter-protests in a few cities. In Chicago, these reactionaries were exposed and confronted. Revcom.us received a report from a reader that said, “Midway through the anti-Kavanaugh rally, the Revolution Club and others confronted an Illinois ‘right to life’ youth group, #justice4life, that came marching with drums and chanting into the back of the rally. They wore ‘I am the Pro-Life Generation’ T-shirts and some held pro-Kavanaugh signs. They have been organizing and hope to get a ‘pro-life’ Supreme Court member. Once it was clear who they were, perhaps 1/3 of the rally turned away from the stage and confronted them with chants, ‘Right to life is a lie. You don’t care if women die’ and blew whistles drowning out their chants. Many followed them until they left.”

Many, if not most, of those who came out to these protests have the dangerous illusion that we can get rid of Trump and his regime by voting and relying on the Democrats. It was very important that Refuse Fascism mobilized to join demonstrations around the country, uniting with people’s righteous outrage while also putting forward the need for, and organizing new people to take up, truly determined political struggle of masses of people to STOP this confirmation and drive out the whole fascist Trump/Pence regime.

The Revolution Club was also out in force in a number of cities, contributing to this fight from the perspective of the need for an actual revolution to overthrow this system, as concentrated in the statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party, HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution. They boldly agitated about the real source of the problem and organized people into the movement for revolution.

On this page are initial photos and tweets of some of the protests. Check back for updates. We encourage readers to contribute to this by sending reports, photos and videos to revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

 


Atlanta. Photo: Special to Revolution/revcom.us


Seattle. Photo: twitter/@RadRevSusan


Chicago. Photo: twitter/@mccuellar


Chicago. Photo: twitter/@mccuellar


Cleveland. Photo: Special to Revolution/revcom.us


Los Angeles. Photo: Special to Revolution/revcom.us


Los Angeles. Photo: Special to Revolution/revcom.us


Minnesota. Photo: twitter/@krispyk


New York City. Photo: twitter/@IvanPer


Portland. Photo: twitter/@TaylorWGME


San Francisco. Photo: twitter/@NicoleKowalski5


Planned Parenthood, West Virginia. Photo: twitter/@NARAL

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

Prisoners Strike for Just Demands: A Courageous Fight That Must Be Supported!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

UPDATE: As the widespread prisoners strike that began on August 21 enters its third week, resistance and repression are both intensifying. For the full story on this strike, see below. Because of censorship by the authorities, information about what is going on with the strike is hard to come by. An August 28 press statement from strike support organizers said that prisoners were known to be participating in 11 states—Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Washington, California, Texas, New Mexico, Indiana, Ohio, and Florida—with work stoppages, hunger strikes, and boycotts of prison commissary. Prisoners at a jail in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada reportedly went on strike in solidarity as well as with their own demands.

In Florida, there were unconfirmed reports of 11 of the state’s 143 prisons being struck by organized protests. In Indiana, prisoner rights activists announced that on August 27, several men in the SHU (Secure Housing Unit) of Wabash Valley prison were starting a hunger strike. The group Northwest Detention Center Resistance reported on August 31 that 62 prisoners at the immigrant prison in Tacoma, Washington, were on hunger strike, with another 20 sent to solitary the previous evening in retaliation for joining the protest. The prisoners issued a statement that they were “acting with solidarity for all those people who are being detained wrongfully and stand in support of all those women who have been separated from their children.”

There have been hundreds of solidarity actions on the outside. Rallies, phone zaps to prison authorities, banner drops about the strike, and teach-ins have been taking place in dozens of big cities and small towns from coast to coast—for example, a march of 70 in New Haven, Connecticut, and a rally of 500 in front of San Quentin prison in the San Francisco Bay Area. A support rally outside the Hyde prison in Fairfield, North Carolina, with chants and banners was met with over 100 prisoners joining in the political protest on the other side of the barb wired fence. The men stood in the yard for about an hour, in the face of guards threatening them, and held up their bed sheet banners that read “better food,” “in solidarity,” and “parole.”

Even before the strike started, the prison authorities had been carrying out increased repression against the prisoners and especially the leaders. A spokesperson for the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee told the Guardian, “The retaliation and repression was instantaneous and constant. Leaders were picked off, one by one, and thrown into solitary in anticipation of the strike that was coming.” One prisoner, Kevin Rashid Johnson, wrote in an op-ed published in the Guardian that he was moved to a death row cell in another prison in Virginia: “I have never been sentenced to the death penalty, so there can be only one reason they have put me here—to shut me up and prevent me fraternizing with other prisoners as they fear I will radicalize them and encourage them to resist their oppression.”

The courageous and determined rallying cry from those brutalized and locked inside the dungeons of the so-called “land of the free” has gained attention around the world—including coverage in the Middle East (Al Jazeera) to Latin America (teleSUR). Prisoners’ demands and stories have been spread on social media, in the alternative media, and commented on in a few mainstream media (though news of the strike has been mainly suppressed in the latter so far). Prisoners in Greece and Palestine have issued statements supporting the strike.

The strike is set to continue until September 9, the anniversary of the Attica Prison uprising. Word about this righteous struggle of the prisoners—demanding recognition of their humanity—must spread further. And retaliation by the authorities against the strikers must be denounced and opposed.

See recent interview on The Michael Slate Show with Heather Anne Thompson, author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, about this current strike.

*********

On August 21—the 47th anniversary of the murder of the revolutionary leader George Jackson by guards at California’s San Quentin prison—prisoners in 17 states began a strike. The strike is set to end September 9—the anniversary of the heroic 1971 rebellion at Attica prison in New York.

The demands of the striking prisoners are first and foremost that there be “Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women.” Other demands include ending prison slavery, ending “gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown humans," and rescinding laws that remove all possibility of “rehabilitation and parole” for prisoners. The complete list of demands are available online here.

The prisoners said that as part of the strike, they will carry out: work strikes (“Prisoners will not report to assigned jobs”); sit-ins (“In certain prisons, men and women will engage in peaceful sit-in protests.”); boycotts (“All spending should be halted.”); hunger strikes (“Men and women shall refuse to eat.”). The British newspaper Guardian wrote that this action, in the country that has by far the biggest prison population in the world, “has the potential to be the largest prison strike in U.S. history.”

Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, a group helping publicize the strike, wrote, “Prisoners understand they are being treated as animals. Prisons in America are a warzone. Every day prisoners are harmed due to conditions of confinement. For some of us it’s as if we are already dead. So what do we have to lose?”

According to an August 24 report on the Marshall Project website, "Organizers say they have confirmed accounts of participation at Northwest Detention Center, an immigration detention center in Washington; Folsom State Prison in California; McCormick Correctional Institution in South Carolina; and Toledo Correctional Institution in Ohio. They have relied mostly on the word of families and volunteers who have been in touch with participating inmates."

Lee “Correctional Institute,” South Carolina

A press release calling for the strike said it was particularly in response to the repressive actions of prison authorities after a deadly outburst of fighting between prisoners tore through South Carolina’s Lee “Correctional” Institute in April of this year. One prisoner there told the Associated Press that bodies of dead and wounded men were “literally stacked on top of each other.” Prison and medical authorities allowed bleeding, beaten, and sometimes mortally wounded prisoners to lie unattended on the floor for hours. The press release calling for the current strike said, “Seven comrades lost their lives during a senseless uprising that could have been avoided had the prison not been so overcrowded from the greed wrought by mass incarceration, and a lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation’s penal ideology.”

Prison and government authorities blamed the violence at Lee on “gang warfare.” But Heather Ann Thompson, author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, wrote in the New York Times, “Yes, it was a gang fight, prisoners tell me, but it was corrections officials who had decided to house rival gangs in the same dormitory, and it was the officials’ increasingly punitive policies that exacerbated tensions on the inside. … Punitive sentencing laws have taken away prisoners’ hope for the future. … Daily degradations grind away at men’s souls.”

A System Steeped in Oppression

Massive numbers of people, especially Black, Brown, and Native American youth, are behind bars in this country. Millions are held in inhumane conditions that amount to systematic, protracted torture. This is the reality and the future that the system of capitalism-imperialism has inflicted upon generation after generation of youth. It is utterly fucking unacceptable, and it must stop!

The prisoners in South Carolina and elsewhere are struggling to overcome the depraved outlook imposed by this system and its enforcers that sets them at each other’s throats. Their courageous fight must be supported. It must inspire people within and outside the “concrete and barbed wire” to build a movement for revolution aimed at overthrowing the system that offers millions of youth nothing but brutality, impoverishment, oppression, and imprisonment, and poisons them with the outlook of a system based on relentless exploitation of the many by the few.

Prison authorities are trying to prevent word and information on what is going on inside from reaching the outside world. Revcom will report more on this strike as information becomes available. Readers with knowledge of the strike at any location should correspond to us at revolution.reports@yahoo.com

George Jackson

Attica Prison Rebellion

 

The press release calling for the strike said, “Seven comrades lost their lives [at Lee Correctional Institute] during a senseless uprising that could have been avoided had the prison not been so overcrowded from the greed wrought by mass incarceration, and a lack of respect for human life that is embedded in our nation’s penal ideology.”

 

THE PRISONERS REVOLUTIONARY LITERATURE FUND

Graphic imagePRLF is an educational literature fund that has sent Revolution newspaper (www.revcom.us), works from Bob Avakian, (Chairman of the RCP) and other revolutionary and scientific literature to hundreds of prisoners across the U.S. for 10 years. PRLF has fought attempts by prison officials to censor these publications. For example, the ACLU of Southern California successfully represented PRLF in a censorship battle focused on Pelican Bay State Prison with statewide ramifications in California.

Donate here to support the work of the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund.

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

Initial Thoughts on the Revolution Club...

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

We have to set ourselves to how we are going to make the leap called for by the situation we face, as set forth in HOW WE CAN WINHow We Can Really Make Revolution: “Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution.” This past summer has marked important efforts to that end, and this is an attempt to indicate a few key and beginning thoughts off that experience, and the grappling that went into it, and grew out of it.

The new communism of Bob Avakian, taking organizational form in the Revolutionary Communist Party, is the solid core of the revolution humanity needs. The Revolution Clubs are mass organizations at the solid core of a mass movement for revolution. The clubs go out into the world putting forth the only solution to the madness engulfing humanity—an actual revolution to overthrow this system of capitalism-imperialism, the source of these problems. The Revolution Clubs learn the science of revolution as they lead. They should be a magnet for people who hunger for radical fundamental change and involve masses of people who contribute to the revolution in many ways.

Revolutions are made by the bold. On the basis of the solid core foundation of the works of BA and other key documents of the new communism, and the guidance that must be up every week and every day at revcom.us, the clubs must dare to storm the heavens—and dare to make mistakes in the process. Fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution is a key part of the strategy for revolution. In carrying out such a radical strategy for such a radical goal, the clubs must of necessity be the most radical, convention-breaking, not-playing-by-the-rules thing out there—and must bring forward masses to defend them when they are attacked for being that.

Spreading and acting on the basis of the Points of Attention for the Revolution, the clubs have to go through the world as people living and embodying the values of the future world we’re fighting to bring into being. This too is a pole of attraction to the revolution for many. The clubs should be open to everyone who agrees to the Points of Attention, working and struggling with and learning from people, and not thinking everyone, or most people, will go “from zero to sixty.” The clubs must embody a way of organizing and working with people that is gone into in the “Commitment and the Process of Building a Movement FOR Revolution” piece from earlier this summer.

On that same basis of the new communism that BA has brought forward, clubs should be able to communicate and be collective with each other about challenges they face. If we make advances, we should share and learn from those. If we make mistakes, we should use the science of the new communism to sum them up and help everyone learn how to do better from them. If we have ideas or thoughts or things we need to surface, we should struggle to write them up or tape them or find some other way to get these out for everyone to collectively wrangle with. People in the clubs should go boldly onto social media, spreading their thinking and creativity, and jumping into struggles as they are occurring—from the highest level they can reach, and modeling a sharpness of understanding of the problem-solution, a principled stance toward all, and generosity of spirit that will stand in sharp contrast to too much of what is in the culture now.

How We Can WIN talks about organizing thousands now. This has to be, and is, for real. The Revolution Clubs must become “a thing”—a real organized force, a critical mass—where they are now, including in Chicago where the Party and the Revolution Club have vowed to reverse how people in the world see that city as a place where people from the basic masses are senselessly killing each other. And they must spread everywhere, to where they are not yet, seeding and building new clubs. More than that, the Revolution Club must act and impact as a national force. As part of this, people all over, on the basis of getting into How We Can WIN, or reading or hearing BA’s works and wanting to take them up, or otherwise learning what the club stands for, need to form up clubs; and the more experienced clubs need to be able to go help people who want to form new ones.

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

Commitment and the Process of Building a Movement FOR Revolution

June 11, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

People need to be serious in whatever commitments they make—they need to follow through on such commitments—and we should set and struggle for this to be the standard and the actual reality. But getting involved in the movement for an actual revolution has a specific dynamic that differs, say, from joining a sports team or a music group. We should not demand “zero to sixty” right away—or, in any case, try to force a leap, rather than winning people to it as part of an overall revolutionary process. What we need to be building is a continually developing mass movement for revolution—yes, an actual revolution—with a vibrant “Ohio,”* through which exponentially growing numbers of people can be actively involved and continue to advance (not all, but many of them) through the dialectical interplay of contributing and learning in continually increasing dimensions. As for those who do reach the “advanced end” of this “Ohio,” again this raises the question of their becoming not only part of the Revolution Club but also making the further leap to becoming part of the communist vanguard; but here again as well, the question of commitment should not be approached (even if in a somewhat “backhanded” way) from the negative, defensive position that amounts to: “We have had people make commitments and then not keep them, and then disappear (‘ghost’) on us; so we are going to make sure you don’t (can’t) do that!” Rather, we should proceed with the recognition that commitment, while it involves and requires (repeated) leaps along the way, essentially corresponds to and is grounded in what aspirations have been awakened, or brought forward, in people, and what they are coming to understand is required in relation to that. So, again, while we do need to have a serious attitude with regard to people making and carrying through on commitments, this must be commensurate with what their understanding and sentiments are at a given point, and most essentially must be in the context of and contribute to the broader mass revolutionary movement that they are part of (or becoming part of) and, while not involving any tailing, should proceed from what they themselves have been won (yes, won through struggle, even at times sharp struggle) to see as a necessary and essential contribution to the revolution.

 

* The “Ohio” refers to the Ohio State marching band’s practice of marching in such a way as to spell out “OHIO” when viewed from above; in this process, band members who begin the first O, then move through the other letters of the word until they are at the last “O”. The point is that there is an analogous process involved in building any kind of progressive or revolutionary movement, in which people “move through” various levels of understanding and commitment, though this is not (“in the real world”) quite so linear and in lockstep as the Ohio State marching band!*

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

Discussion At Revolution Books in Berkeley

Challenging Students at the Beginning of the School Year: “Reform or Revolution?”—What Will Your Life Be About?

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

About a week after most of the new students had arrived at the University of California at Berkeley (Cal) and the day before classes started, we held a discussion on “Reform or Revolution” at Revolution Books in Berkeley. We did a similar discussion about a month ago, which attracted a lot of new people, and so we decided to do it again once school started.  

Again, we built for it by setting up A-frame signs around Berkeley with a simple and bold announcement for a discussion on Reform or Revolution, along with the BAsics 3:2 quote. We did some postering and flyering at a freshman orientation event. Some students also found out about it because they had come into the bookstore in the last week.

About 35 people, including about 25 students showed up!! These were mostly new freshmen (freshpeople) and a few new transfer and international students. They came on their own, and some came in groups of three or four from the dorms.  These students seemed very excited to discover a place like Revolution Books! And although they were not initially very clear on what revolution is, they were drawn to the idea, and in various ways could see the limits of reforms. Several of them also had checked out Marx, and were interested/open to communism.

After introducing people to Revolution Books and Bob Avakian, I passed out a flyer with the “5 Stops” on it, speaking briefly to the contradiction between the magnitude of these problems, and the pathetic reform “solutions” we are offered, using some examples.

We gave everyone a copy to read along while another bookstore volunteer and I read the essay from Bob Avakian’s BAsics, “Reform or Revolution: Questions of Orientation, Questions of Morality,” aloud. I asked what people thought of the analogy BA lays out about the plague and antibiotics being hoarded and guarded by armed thugs and only distributed for profit, and the two alternatives in that situation—putting wet towels on people’s foreheads to ease their suffering, or organizing people to storm the compound to seize the antibiotics and distribute them among the people.

One student used the example of an NGO dedicated to providing healthcare in poor countries, but which doesn’t even scratch the surface of the problem. Another student said that she initially thought, “it’s not as simple” as that analogy, but that she actually thinks it IS that simple—people are dying from preventable things, while the resources they need are there. A third year student talked about the campaign to get people to stop using plastic straws, and how this is a distraction that takes people’s attention away from the corporations that are the real cause of environmental destruction. Another student agreed with this example, making the point that we are told that our morality lies in our personal consumer choices, rather than getting to the root of the problem. Another student agreed, but also said that stopping the use of plastic straws can be a good first step for someone, as they become more aware.

At this point I spoke to the importance of the head and the heart. Caring about these problems is fundamental—if you don’t care, if it doesn’t make your blood boil seeing all this oppression and unnecessary suffering, you can’t be a revolutionary. But at the same time, if you don’t understand what is the cause of that oppression and what is the solution to it, you also can’t be a revolutionary. I talked about the nature of the capitalist system, based on vast socially produced wealth, which is owned and controlled privately, and that basic things like food, medicine, and housing are produced, not to meet people’s basic needs, but as commodities to be sold for profit. This is why 10 million children are dying of preventable disease every year in the Third World. It really IS that simple!

An older Black woman disagreed with me that people who are being oppressed don’t understand the causes of their oppression, saying that everyone she talks to already knows the problem is capitalism. This was nonsense, which I challenged from a number of angles, and it was good for people to hear the back and forth on this. One student made the point that Marx was wrong about the idea that workers would automatically rise up and make revolution. Other people chimed in on this, adding that people should already be rising up given what’s happening. This was an important opportunity to speak to some of what is new in Bob Avakian’s New Communism, including the very important break with the unscientific notion that proletarians obtain revolutionary “class consciousness” simply by virtue of their oppressed/exploited condition, and that revolution was inevitable… and at the same time, the crucial strategy for revolution that has been developed. I held up the “5 Stops” flyer again, asking people to think about how many people care about one or more of these “Stops,” and that the basis for revolution lies in the fact that none of these huge problems can be solved without a revolution, and people can come to see that. I also pointed out how many people showed up here, hungry to dig into these important questions!

At this point we passed out HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution to people, briefly describing what it is, and encouraging people to take stacks of them to get to others. Grappling with this question of a revolution to actually defeat and dismantle the “armed thugs” who enforce the system, one young woman talked about the problem of a huge “power differential” in terms of weaponry, etc. She said, you would have to vastly outnumber them, but that maybe it would be more “practical” to convince the capitalists to share their wealth… although she didn’t think they would do that. Another student, returning to the antibiotics analogy, said that ultimately there’s no other way besides forcibly taking the antibiotics and distributing them among the people.

Lastly, the question of elections came up. Almost everyone thought that the “two party system” was bullshit, although one student insisted on the importance of local elections for things like school boards, using almost the identical argument that Bob Avakian had addressed in the essay, “How can I just sit back and wait for revolution, while people are suffering now.” Another bookstore volunteer talked about the strategic importance right now of “fighting the power and transforming the people, for revolution.”

At the end, I reiterated the importance of this discussion becoming a mass debate in society, and as part of that people can take these HOW WE CAN WIN pamphlets and get them to others (a number of people did). I encouraged everyone who appreciated this type of discussion and engagement to become a volunteer with the store. I acknowledged that there was a lot that was new for people, and that not everyone was convinced of the need for communist revolution, and that people should continue to come to the bookstore and get into Bob Avakian’s works… but for those who are convinced we need this type of revolution, or are leaning in that direction, I’m part of the Revolution Club that is seriously organizing now, preparing people for an actual revolution—and that youth and students are a key part of every revolution—and you should come talk to me about it! About five students came up to me afterwards, and others talked to other bookstore volunteers. We made a plan for this Friday to discuss HOW WE CAN WIN. One young woman who wanted to join the Revolution Club said that she really likes communism, but has a hard time with the accusations that get made about the history of communism, so she picked up the interview with Raymond Lotta in Revolution newspaper about this.

To Revolution Clubs and Revolution Books around the country: I really encourage you to do discussions like this, aimed at students, right at the beginning of the school year! The sooner the better, while they are very open to new things and checking out groups to get involved with, before they get bogged down in classes and homework. Keep it simple… put flyers/posters advertising a discussion of “Reform or Revolution” all over campus—I think people will come—and then read the BAsics essay and discuss! There’s so much in that beautiful essay to get into, which we barely touched on, including important questions about morality and epistemology, and how all that relates to “social approbation,” which is something that really weighs on young people. And it will be a great on-ramp to HOW WE CAN WIN, the strategy for an actual revolution. 

Get BAsics – Order from RCP Publications or download the eBook

Read about and download the 5 Stops Posters

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

Revolution Club Chicago Sidewalk Party
A glimpse of a newly developing movement for revolution

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Saturday. Late summer. Chicago. There has been death after death, murder by police, shootings among the people, a LOT of pain. There has been resistance and striving for a way out of this mess. On Saturday, August 25, a whole other, beautiful thing began blossoming—right out on the sidewalk, in the middle of South Shore, a beginning of something new.

At the Revolution Club Organizing Center, an all-day benefit party brought a feeling out on the street that was like a glimpse and a taste of what a mass revolutionary movement feels like. And this was brought together and taken to a higher level by a powerful program in the middle of the day. There was an incredibly attractive scene that reverberated out through the neighborhood all day. It was a scene characterized by new people stepping up for revolution and a sense that there is a growing force here representing and fighting for a radically better world, including right in that neighborhood.

August 25 outside the Revolution Club Organizing Center, Chicago.

People newly in the revolution and some just beginning to find out about it, courageous revolutionary volunteers who have spent the last year in Chicago fighting to bring forward a revolutionary pole and force here, revolutionary communists who have dedicated their lives to making revolution, and people passing through checking it all out—all eating and listening to music together, talking and dancing, a feeling of camaraderie and joy and love, together with the seriousness of working for an actual revolution. You got the feel of people coming together and fighting together for a new and better world, and a movement widely drawing and inviting people in, with leadership and a growing organized force at the core.

Early on in the day, some newer revolutionaries who have some history in the streets went down the street with flyers to bring more people over to the party. A bit later they returned with some people. They had run into people they know, people who used to know them in a different way, living a different life, now seeing them in the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts that are increasingly becoming associated with a force that is fighting back, representing a liberating morality, and seriously working and organizing for an actual revolution.

In front of the center, as the grill and the music were going, people pulled up chairs and got into some deep and serious discussions about what people are up against and how to go at this, what kind of revolution we need and how to go about that in a way that can change things now. One of these was the kind of discussion driven by the pain of loss and frustration with the way things are, but a serious discussion that kept going deeper, with the people in it working together on the problem of how to get people out of going at each other and into making revolution—a revolution that is real and going somewhere.

Little kids played inside and outside of the kids’ room where volunteers kept an eye on them; a sign on the window thanked the local businesses that donated for the benefit party; and a banner on the corner said, “This system can’t be reformed, it must be OVERTHROWN!” Pictures of people killed by police were on display. Inside the center, people came to see the pictures of building the movement for revolution from all over the country that filled one of the walls: from people in South Shore wearing REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts while protesting the police, to the force for revolution represented by the Revolution Club contingent in DC recently opposing the white supremacists, to group discussions of the strategy for revolution, to our comrades in Los Angeles standing on the American flag.

In the middle of the day, all of this was brought together inside the center for a brief, but incredibly powerful, program featuring two ceremonies—a Remembrance and Rededication ceremony followed by a Revolution Club induction ceremony. The theme of the program was that there are two things Chicago is known for and something else it needs to be known for. It is known for unrelenting murder by police and heart-grinding violence among the masses. It needs to be known for people, especially those subjected to and caught in all this, getting organized for revolution to overthrow the system that is responsible for all this heartbreak and terror.

The program began with a clip of Bob Avakian, including him saying, “No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that.” (BAsics 1:13)

A number of people killed by police were recognized and remembered: Justus Howell, Darius Pinex, Harith “Snoop” Augustus, Aquoness “Quono” Cathery, Maurice Granton Jr., Steve Rosenthal, Charles Macklin. And then, some of the people in the room were called on to come up and talk about their loved ones killed in the violence among the people. Many people in the room had lost loved ones. Three people spoke, including two who are newly stepping into the revolution and have very recently lost relatives and are still reeling from the weight of it. Their pain was felt by everyone in the room as they remembered their loved ones and expressed their aspirations to see an end to this, and it had deep meaning when some talked about how they are getting with this revolution to do that. Joe Veale spoke about the need and the potential for people who are caught up in all this madness of killing each other to get with this revolution, and the leadership we have in Bob Avakian.

The MC came back up and returned to the quote from Bob Avakian about no more generations of our youth. He said all of these people are all our youth, and went on to say that the children in Yemen, the immigrant children, the children all over the world are also our youth and we are making this revolution to emancipate all of humanity. He played two videos to bring this alive for people, and many were very moved by seeing the video from Yemen of the children laughing and playing who were then slaughtered by a U.S. bomb.

In the second part of the program was a different ceremony, this one to recognize and honor people who have taken the important step of joining the Revolution Club. Three people received their Revolution Club member patches and spoke about what it means to them to take this step. They expressed a serious desire for revolution and a love for their comrades they are joining together with to do this. And there was an explicit call and challenge put to everyone there to begin the step of becoming a Revolution Club member.

After the program, some people stayed inside talking while others spilled back onto the sidewalk for more food and music, enjoying each other’s company, dancing and talking. One woman who had come with her young child heard and responded to the challenge at the end of the program. She has only just begun to learn about the revolution, but wanted seriously to know more and what was involved in becoming a Revolution Club member. She watched some Bob Avakian clips on the spot and then sat and talked deeply with someone from the Revolution Club. The party was transformative for her, but not just her—a lot of people there went through changes in one day on different levels.

At one point, lots of people were dancing to a playlist of music that a group of people preparing for the party had put together after discussing the Points of Attention for the Revolution. The whole scene gave life to those points—men and women of different backgrounds and sexual orientation, treating each other as friends and comrades, music that was lively and not degrading, including some in Spanish, and people talking about the lyrics and culture.

As the day turned to night and everybody, including passersby, started singing together to Prince, people were slow to peel off to head home. You had a sense there was something people were part of that they didn’t really want to end. And really, there is something people are now part of that is really just beginning.

August 25, at the sidewalk party outside the Revolution Club Organizing Center

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

ALERT: Trial of Chicago Cop Who Murdered Laquan McDonald Begins September 5

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The trial of Jason Van Dyke, the pig who murdered 17-year-old Laquan McDonald on October 20, 2014, is set to begin in Chicago at the Cook County Courthouse on September 5.

This is the first time in almost 40 years that an on-duty Chicago cop has been put on trial. The only reason Van Dyke was even charged was because the city was rocked with wave after wave of protests after a video—that had been suppressed for a whole year by the police and city authorities—was released showing that Laquan was gunned down in a hail of bullets as he walked away from police. Smoke rose from his body lying on the street as he was shot over and over.

Laquan’s murderer has been out on bail and employed by the Fraternal Order of Police. There is a great deal at stake in this upcoming trial and ongoing efforts to cover up Laquan’s murder.

We call on readers to begin preparing now to act politically around this critically important trial, and not allow the killer cop to walk free. Stay tuned. Revcom.us will have more on this soon.

For background see “The Murder of Laquan McDonald: Cops, Lies and Videotape, Part 2” and “Chicago Goddam!

Laquan McDonald

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

An Explorer, a Critical Thinker, a Follower of BA: Understanding the World, and Changing It for the Better, In the Interests of Humanity

and

Some Thank Yous That Need To Be Said Aloud

Excerpts from the Interview with Ardea Skybreak

March 17, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the early part of this year (2015), over a number of days, Revolution conducted a wide-ranging interview with Ardea Skybreak.  A scientist with professional training in ecology and evolutionary biology, and an advocate of the new synthesis of communism brought forward by Bob Avakian, Skybreak is the author of, among other works,The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What’s Real and Why It Matters, and Of Primeval Steps and Future Leaps, An Essay on the Emergence of Human Beings, the Source of Women’s Oppression, and the Road to Emancipation. An excerpt from this interview, “On Attending the Dialogue Between Bob Avakian and Cornel West,” was first published in February 2015.  The following are two additional excerpts from this interview. The text of the complete interview (including a Table of Contents, with links to the different sections of the interview) is also available at revcom.us.

 

An Explorer, a Critical Thinker, a Follower of BA: Understanding the World, and Changing It for the Better, In the Interests of Humanity

Question:     I thought a good note to end on would be: What does BA’s leadership and new synthesis of communism have to do with how you understand and approach the world?

AS:     [Laughs] People sometimes inquire about what kind of people will work with BA or follow his leadership. And I guess that’s part of what your question is trying to get at. Well, I would say, just look around. I think you’ll find an impressive and diverse mix of creative people of conscience with many different backgrounds, skills, and personalities. Speaking for myself, I guess I’d say that I’ll always be a critical thinker. I just don’t know any other way to be! [laughs] I’m sure I’ll always be curious about just about everything, both in the natural world and in human society. I am both challenged, and sustained, by the diversity and complexity of the natural world and the social world. I think I am, at heart, an explorer. Exploring the unknown, discovering what has not previously been understood, breaking new ground: In my own view, this is a lot of what makes life worth living.

But I also don’t want to just understand the world. I want to help change it, for the better and in the interests of all of humanity. And that’s where BA’s new synthesis of communism comes in for me. Because thanks to BA’s new synthesis of communism, and especially as it is concentrated in his application of scientific methods and approaches, I feel that I have gained, over the years, a much deeper appreciation, not only of the great complexities of the overall process of revolutionary transformation, but also of the very real possibilities for such transformation. How you could actually do it.  How you could actually win. How you could actually bring into being a new society that would be worth living in.

Get into BA!

If it weren’t for the new synthesis of communism, I might have gotten discouraged. In my own work on the woman question, in my work on popularizing the science of evolution, and in many other areas where I have tried to make some contributions, I have repeatedly drawn great insights from the new synthesis epistemologically and methodologically, and I have tried to apply this in my work, to good effect, I think. In all of my life’s work, I think it’s clear that I am very committed to spreading basic scientific understanding and methods among the people as broadly as possible, helping many, including from the most oppressed and the least formally educated, to actually enter into and participate in the scientific process in their own right. And I am also committed to bringing to bear all my training and life experiences to bringing a more consistently rigorous scientific approach into every nook and cranny of the movement for revolution and to forging the pathways that go towards a new society, a new socialist transition towards communism. And BA’s new synthesis of communism, and the whole method and approach that most clearly characterizes and concentrates it, has inspired and provoked and challenged my work in many positive ways over the years, and in many dimensions.

Again, more than anything else, it is the method and approach concentrated in the new synthesis, and in particular its epistemological dimensions: its rigorous pursuit of the patterns that reveal material reality as it really is, regardless of how unexpected and how uncomfortable those discoveries might be; and its scientific grasp that it is always the contradictions that exist within a thing or process that provide the material basis for change; and that therefore you will find that the material basis for the radical, revolutionary transformation of society and the world resides primarily right within the handful of the key underlying contradictions, the ones that constitute the core underpinnings and defining characteristics of the prevailing system, which today is the system of capitalism-imperialism that currently dominates the world. All this has not only provided the framework within which I feel one can “ask the right questions,” increasingly, but also pursue those questions to their resolution. It has, in a very real sense, provided me personal sustenance and air to breathe. And I feel that it has enabled me to make at least some significant contributions to the overall process of scientific discovery and transformation in various spheres. Not just for my own enlightenment, or because of my own curiosity, although it does assist in this as well [laughs], but also to help advance the process of radical transformation of society that is needed so urgently and by so many. BA’s new synthesis of communism has challenged me in positive ways, and enabled me to make contributions that I would not otherwise have been able to make. And, speaking not only for myself, but for many others who have been inspired in their own work and in their own contributions by BA’s new synthesis, that once again is a sign, an indication, of what I think of as really good scientific leadership.

 

                                   
Some Thank Yous That Need To Be Said Aloud

AS: Especially in the face of not just the hardship and difficulties, but also the slander, the snark and gutter attacks that some people never tire of spewing forth, I’d like to say some thank yous, because I think there are some thank yous that good people have in mind sometimes, but that are not enough, not often enough, said aloud. So let me say some of those thank yous aloud right now.

Thank you, first of all, to Bob Avakian, for his tireless dedication and many personal sacrifices over many decades. Again, all he’s done his whole life is work tirelessly to serve the people, not for personal advantage or to feather his own nest. Thank you for never giving up, for never selling out, for always trying to more deeply understand the deep root causes of the great unnecessary suffering experienced by so many here and around the world. Thank you for buckling down and doing the hard work to apply consistently scientific methods to uncover the truth of things, wherever it might lead, however uncomfortable it might be, and then following through to bring to the fore “the logic of the logic”– that a revolution is not only desirable, but absolutely necessary and also possible. Thank you for your generosity of spirit and your broad-minded inclusive and optimistic vision. Thank you for all your work in developing the vision, the strategy, and the concrete plans to advance towards the emancipation of humanity from capitalist-imperialist oppression, and then working tirelessly to spread this understanding and this strategy and this plan broadly among the people–to thousands, to millions, to any who would listen, especially among the most oppressed at the bottom of society that so many in society would just feel comfortable throwing away, while you invite in all others who are willing to join in the movement of resistance and revolution. Thank you for telling it like it is, for doing systematic, scientific work on the problems, for giving of this knowledge and of yourself to all who would listen.

Thank you, also, to all the other comrades, the followers of BA’s new synthesis of communism who contribute daily to this process, to the best of their abilities, and also often at great personal cost. Thank you for not giving up, for fighting through the exhaustion and discouragement, for dedicating your lives to serving the people, for striving to always learn more and contribute more, and on an ever higher level.

Thank you also to all those in the broader society who in many different ways donate their time, their money, their ideas, their legal expertise, their research, their organizing skills, their music, designs, paintings and other art works. To all those who open their doors and their hearts to welcome and assist the resisters and revolutionaries, thank you. To all those who have refused to bow down to social pressure, to turn their backs on the revolutionary communists, to shun or slander them, thank you. Thank you to those brave elements who have stood up in places like Ferguson, in defiant resistance, who are serving notice on the system that they will not take it any more, and who are working to put aside their own conflicts and the differences among themselves in order to stand up together to the greater enemy–this system and its enforcers. You inspire and motivate many, many more in this country and around the world. And you are being heard. Thank you.

Thank you to all the heart-broken ones who have suffered unimaginable loss and grief as their children and other loved ones have been brutally slaughtered by the police and other enforcers. Your cries of agony echo forevermore in the minds of the revolutionaries, and are constant reminders of the need to persevere to put an end to this horrible system. Thank you for standing up in the midst of your pain, and joining with others to fight and resist these outrages, to demand justice, to demand that these outrages stop once and for all, so that no other family should experience ever again such needless pain. What you are doing is a fitting tribute to your lost loved ones, and will give strength to the movements of resistance and revolution which are working to get beyond all of this. Thank you.

And once again, coming back around full circle, thank you to Bob Avakian for the dream, the vision, and the ability to turn all this into concrete plans and a concrete strategy for the emancipation of all the oppressed and exploited, and all of humanity, and for envisioning and mapping out how things really could be so different, and so much better, for the vast majority of people on this planet. Thank you for your willingness to shoulder the responsibility to lead. Thank you.

 

 


 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

The Science...Actual Revolution title image

Download PDF of entire work

Editors' note: The following is an excerpt from the new work by Bob Avakian, THE NEW COMMUNISM. In addition to excerpts already posted on revcom.us, we will be running further excerpts from time to time on both revcom.us and in Revolution newspaper. These excerpts should serve as encouragement and inspiration for people to get into the work as a whole, which is available as a book from Insight Press. A prepublication copy is available on line at revcom.us.

This excerpt comes from the section titled "III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution."

Excerpt from the section:
Forces For Revolution

Let’s dig further into the strategic approach to revolution. What are the main forces for revolution, and what are other groups in society where large numbers of people have to be won either to be actively involved, or to be supportive, or at least to have a stance of “friendly neutrality” toward the revolution (in other words, at least not opposing it)? Obviously, this relates to the point I was emphasizing before about not being encircled, surrounded, and crushed. What are key contradictions that have to be confronted—where necessity has to be transformed into freedom and initiative for the revolutionary forces, in significant ways—to create the basis to go all-out with a real chance of winning?

First, it is important to recognize that revolution can not and will not be made by just spreading the idea of revolution around, and perhaps getting some positive responses. (Hey, thumbs up on Facebook!... Tweet out a message in favor of revolution!) Yes, it is very important to propagate the need for revolution, in a living and compelling way; but here is a point that needs to be emphasized: Accumulating organized forces for revolution is, and must be, a key objective in building toward an actual revolution; and whether or not real advances are continually being made in accumulating such organized forces is a key measure of progress—or lack of progress—in building the movement for an actual revolution. Here we can take something from Marx and adapt it to the current point: Accumulate, Accumulate, Accumulate!—Accumulate more and more capital!—that, said Marx, is the Moses and prophets for the bourgeois. Well, we can say for the proletarian revolution: Accumulate, Accumulate, Accumulate!—Accumulate organized forces for this revolution!—that must be a crucial commandment and guide!

And it’s not just accumulate over here, off in some corner. We could put it this way: It’s accumulate, impact; accumulate further, impact more; accumulate further... and on and on—even while taking into account the larger picture of what’s happening out in the world at large, as is pointed to at the beginning of Part 2 of Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity. What do I mean by accumulate, impact? I mean that when you have organized forces, you can have a magnified impact on political situations and on the political terrain overall. To just take an important but relatively small-scale example, compared to the society as a whole, imagine if, in these upsurges in Ferguson or in Baltimore, you had an organized force of revolutionary communists of even a hundred people who were able to come on the scene, putting forward that program and organizing people around that program in the midst of that upsurge—think of the way that you could change all the dynamics in that situation. Whereas, if you have a few people there, who are even doing very good work, your ability to impact that situation is gonna be so much more limited. Now, you still have to try to impact it to the maximum degree—and, to do that, one of the things you have to do is to get very good at agitation, which is something we really need to strengthen and develop. But imagine if you could have a major impact in situations like this.

I was watching this thing on CNN when Don Lemon was out in the street interviewing somebody in the aftermath of the massacre of Black people in that church in South Carolina. Now, someone portrayed Don Lemon this way, and I think this really captures something about the role he plays: “I’m Don Lemon—I’m not really a Black man, but sometimes I play one on TV.” That gets to an important aspect of the role he plays as a puppet for the powers-that-be. But, in any case, Don Lemon was out interviewing somebody, playing his usual Uncle Tom role, and this Black woman came up behind him and started yelling, and they were live so it was hard for them to cut away, it took them a while to cut away. She started yelling, “Talk about the anger, Don. Don’t talk about the forgiveness, talk about the anger, talk about the anger, Don. Obama’s an Uncle Tom, too, Don. Talk about how Obama’s an Uncle Tom, Don. Talk about the anger. Are you talking about the anger, Don? Don, you’re an Uncle Tom.” Now, this is one woman standing behind him. Imagine if you had a hundred people, not saying exactly what that woman was saying but even more impacting the situation with compelling agitation proceeding from a revolutionary communist understanding. Then it changes everything. It changes the whole terrain—even with that number of organized forces, you’re changing the whole terrain. And then every force in society has to react differently.

Or think about this: Every time the masses rise up now, you have this situation where—here they come again—these “community leaders,” which is an updated version of what the ruling class and its mouthpieces used to call “Responsible Negro Leaders.” They are mobilized by the ruling class: religious figures of various kinds (not all of them, but too many of them), so-called community leaders, and others, including some who claim to be on the side of the people—they come out there in the situation where the people are angry, they’re in the street and they’re confronting the police, and these forces form a line, linking arms together, and they face the people. Now imagine if you had a force of even 30 people in that situation that came out there and said, “You motherfuckers are facing the wrong way! If you’re supposedly standing with the people, you should be forming a line opposing the pigs. Those are the ones harming the people. Turn around and face down the pigs!” You change the whole terms—and then the Don Lemons really have to “go to commercial!” You are affecting the terrain by having organized forces united around a revolutionary line. Even in a situation like that, it goes out to the world, especially in this age of the internet. It goes all over the place. And then people do want to know: Who are those forces that did that? Who are those forces that stood with the people and stood between the police and the people, facing the police and not allowing the police to attack the people? Who are those people who, while they were doing this, said, “We’re doing this for revolution, to get rid of this brutality and murder, and all the other shit that people are going through in this country and around the world”? See, when you have organized forces moving like that, then you seriously impact the situation, and then you draw more forces. It’s not that they all join up with you right away, or that you should bring them fully into the ranks of revolution right away, before they even have a chance to get a basic understanding of what this revolution is all about. There’s work and struggle that has to go on. But you’re able to get this dynamic going where you’re growing, you’re wielding your organized forces for revolution in a way to significantly impact society and drawing people to you, and through struggle accumulating more organized forces... and then you are able to do more to affect the situation, once again through a lot of struggle. This is the dynamic we have to advance while, once again, not narrowing our sights to just that dynamic, but looking at the whole world and how we affect the whole world toward the goal of revolution. But this is why we have to be seriously working to accumulate organized forces for revolution and to wield those forces to impact the terrain, and accumulate and impact more, while not approaching that in a narrow and linear way (as if everything will just go forward, from advance to advance, in a simple straight line, directly out of what we’re doing).

This is the correct basis for the point that’s made, and for correctly understanding the point that’s made, in “On the Strategy for Revolution,” about the “thousands” and their relation to the “millions.” It’s not just some vague notion of “thousands of people” who sort of go “thumbs up” on the idea of revolution (or even are very enthusiastic about it). If you’re talking about leading millions, you need an organized force of thousands of people, a growing number of people, in the thousands, who are oriented, organized, trained and led to be an actual revolutionary force and pole of attraction—not some vague bunch of electrons floating around with no real solid core.

 

Contents

Publisher's Note

Introduction and Orientation

Foolish Victims of Deceit, and Self-Deceit

Part I. Method and Approach, Communism as a Science

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

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

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

Part III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution

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

Part IV. The Leadership We Need

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

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

Appendix 2:
Framework and Guidelines for Study and Discussion

Notes

Selected List of Works Cited

About the Author

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/a-couple-thoughts-on-the-recent-dc-protests-en.html

Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

A Couple Thoughts on the Recent DC Protests in Light of What We Are Preparing For: AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a member of the Revolution Club NYC:

In reflecting on last weekend in DC with the Revolution Club, I have been thinking about the point in HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution (HWCW) where it says, “We need to take into account the actual strengths of the system, but more than that its strategic weaknesses, based in its deep and defining contradictions.” The protests in DC revealed some very “strategic weaknesses” of this system in different ways, on different levels. In listening to the Revolution Club and RefuseFascism.org describe some of the experience on the ground in their report back at Revolution Books in NYC, along with the experience I had there, as well as during the drive with others to and from DC, this point stands out. And it is something we need to sum up for everyone, from the people who ran with us in one way or another to the people who are reading about all of this and are checking out the movement for revolution.

Even though some stories from the Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism talked about the fear that some people expressed, and despite the fact that there should have been many times over the amount of people that did show up to the DC protests, at the same time the people who actually attended came from different strata, not only from among “those who catch the worst hell” but also from those “who are sickened by the endless outrages perpetrated by this system.” And as several of the stories reflected, many of these folks were both challenged by the Revolution Club’s agitation around our basic message—that this system can’t be reformed and must be overthrown, and that we have the leadership in Bob Avakian (BA) and the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) as well as the strategy and plan to make an actual revolution—and the chants and slogans, but also there was attraction to this. The chant “This system can’t be reformed—it must be overthrown!” resonated with many in the crowd, including among people from the middle strata. A number of them reached out for HWCW and took up the chant (as well as other chants we led). A number of people put on the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt, joined and marched with our contingent, and took up the challenge from the Revolution Club to step into this.

One of the comments from one of the volunteers at the report back was instructive in terms of this point from HWCW about disrupting the moves of the ruling powers to “isolate, ‘encircle,’ brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and who most need this revolution.” A young intellectual of Haitian background said this experience (his first major protest) taught him that maybe the whole world is not against the people of the Caribbean. Similarly, another volunteer recounted her interpretation of the positive response she thought many of the folks marching with Black Lives Matter (BLM) had when they ran into Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club (and the other 200 or so people who took to the streets with us). She said she thought maybe many of the Black people in the BLM contingent thought, “OK, this is going to just be Black people standing up,” but then felt even more emboldened when they ran into the Refuse Fascism and Revolution Club contingent, which was very multinational and very radical and revolutionary, with a lot of substance. Anyway, the Haitian brother said, “Perhaps I was wrong about that; that may not be the case.” This is a small example, but an important one, of disrupting the ruling powers’ attempts to “encircle” the most oppressed... and instead mobilizing to “encircle” them, “by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system.” This is strategic in terms of winning when the time comes.

This reminds me of the point from BA about how we will not be able to do what needs to be done if you have a large section of people in the middle strata who generally go along with what is done (what the system does) to Black people and other oppressed masses and go along with the notion that the youth and others from these sections of the masses are all “monsters” (I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the essential point from what I remember). These are some of the things we need to be summing up with people, bringing alive what is in HWCW, wielding it, applying it, etc.

The last thing (for now) is how the Revolution Club, and in a different way Refuse Fascism, were uniting and contending with many frameworks out there about what is the problem, the solution, and what needs to be done. This was challenging and attractive, and again you can get a sense of this from the report back. There was some agitation that challenged the notion of “American exceptionalism” and the U.S. being a “force for good” in the world, but this could have been more sharper (I think). The chant, “1-2-3-4, Slavery, Genocide, and War; 5-6-7-8, America Was NEVER Great!” was important in terms of setting different terms (in particular among the broader middle strata). I also did want to highlight that there was one point when some of the basic Black youth from DC in the march seemed ready to throw down in ways that weren’t actually that strategic. It sounded like one of the brothers from the Chicago Revolution Club did a good job of asserting revolutionary authority and challenging these youths to make their sacrifice towards the emancipation of all humanity.

That’s it for now.

Report Back from Washington DC held in NYC August 14

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

Drop the Charges Against Revolutionaries and RefuseFascism Activists in Los Angeles!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Pack the court room: Wednesday, September 5th 8:30am Metropolitan Courthouse ~ 1945 S. Hill St. (Washington & Hill, near the Metro Blue Line) Dept. 60

The Los Angeles city attorney has just criminally charged 11 members of Refuse Fascism, including members of the Revolution Club, an Iraq War vet, a Ph.D. student and college instructor, as well as a noted artist and University of Southern California (USC) professor. Their arraignment dates begin August 27 and continue through September and October. The multiple misdemeanor charges stem from three significant events, including two actions on the 101 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles last fall, and from a public challenge in March to Trump’s treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin at UCLA.

These criminal charges by the LA city attorney represent an effort by the state to silence dissent against the Trump/Pence regime. They specifically target members of Refuse Fascism, including revolutionary communists and a professor, for being unwavering in their pledge to not stand aside while there is still a chance to stop a regime that imperils humanity and the Earth itself. The defendants are calling for tens of millions of people across the U.S. to get out of their comfort zones and not allow differences to stand in the way of rising together in an unprecedented, unrelenting mass struggle to demand: This Nightmare Must End—The Trump/Pence Regime MUST GO!

They need your support now:

The 101 Freeway stoppages, the first in September 2017 and the second in November 2017, were a clarion call to the whole of society that a dangerous fascist regime—the Trump/Pence regime—had seized and was consolidating power, and that we—the people of the world—faced an emergency situation and millions needed to rupture with “politics as usual.” Then and now, we have to face the reality that this regime poses an existential threat to humanity, and we need to act accordingly: to get into the streets in our tens of thousands—ultimately galvanizing millions—with the single objective of driving this fascist regime from power.

The September 2017 freeway action called for “NOV 4—IT BEGINS!”—an opening salvo that put the November 4 call for sustained protests on the map with the single objective of removing the fascist Trump/Pence regime (video). The November 2017 freeway action featured protesters unveiling a 60-foot banner on the downtown LA freeway at rush hour, which read “TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO” (video). These freeway actions aimed to “shake society awake” and caused widespread controversy. They were viewed by over five million people on social media, rattled the base of Trump/Pence fascist forces, and boldly put before people—including tens of millions of people who abhor the Trump/Pence regime—the urgent necessity to break out of the process of normalizing this dangerous fascist regime, to rupture with illusions that “it can't happen here” and to take up the urgent task of driving this fascist regime from power through nonviolent, massive, sustained nationwide protests.

UCLA’s invitation to treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin in February 2018—the first Trump/Pence regime cabinet member invited to speak at UCLA—was a grotesque normalization of fascism by UCLA authorities. On this big political stage (the action can be seen on videos that have been viewed by millions), Mnuchin, and the Trump/Pence regime, were eloquently exposed as murderous criminals whose fascist policies are destroying the lives of millions of people in the U.S. and around the world. The charges against the people who publicly challenged Mnuchin include “interfering with peaceful conduct of a campus facility,” “disturbing the peace,” “trespassing to interfere,” and “obstructing a public officer.” You can watch the video of three women publicly challenging Mnuchin as they are physically removed from the auditorium and arrested at Mnuchin’s presentation. This was followed by arrests of others—by UC police—who were protesting the unjust arrests that had just occurred in the auditorium, and then by UC police vamping on and arresting two of the same defendants one week later as they were merely standing in line to attend a talk at UCLA by Chelsea Manning!

These criminal charges are not only retaliation for these brave and righteous acts, but also concentrate efforts by authorities high up in the Trump/Pence regime and at UCLA (in league with other powerful forces on college campuses), to suppress and ultimately eliminate the space for protest at UCLA and on college campuses across the country—efforts that objectively give carte blanche to fascists on campus under the signboard of “free speech,” when in fact such fascists parading and being protected at UCLA and on other campuses are a critical front of the Trump/Pence regime’s intense drive to consolidate a fascist society and government, with dire implications for billions around the world.

Since December 2016, the Los Angeles chapter of Refuse Fascism has dedicated itself to driving the Trump/Pence regime from power, organizing and participating in countless rallies, marches, and other actions. Some of these actions have included acts of civil disobedience, where individuals have bravely risked arrest and put their lives on the line to oppose the consolidation of fascism in America. These individuals are now facing prosecution for their acts of conscience, with a number of arraignments scheduled for the coming weeks. Your support is needed NOW. Call the LA city attorney to demand the charges be dropped. Show up at the courthouse to demonstrate to the judges and prosecutors that the world is watching. Donate to help with legal costs. The charges (which include “conspiracy to commit a crime,” “obstruction of free movement of people,” “disobeying a police officer,” and “refusal to disperse”) carry fines and penalties of 2+ years jail time, meaning that these fellow freedom fighters could be locked up merely for acts of principled resistance, while the true criminals in Washington remain free to continue their hideous policies of racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and planetary destruction.

 

Above, in September 2017, protesters Block Highway 101, Carrying signs that say November 4th it Begins... This nighmare must end. The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! November 4 It Begins.

Below, in November 2017 5 protesters unfurl #TrumpPenceMustGo banner on the LA 101 freeway

No! In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America!

Read, share and endorse the full Refuse Fascism Call to Action here.

Find out more about Refuse Fascism here.

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

Cheers to Relatives of Mollie Tibbetts for Taking on Trump's Xenophobic Scapegoating Even Through Their Grief

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Update: Mollie Tibbetts’ father condemns the use of Mollie’s death to promote racism

In a powerful September 1 op-ed in the Des Moines Register, Rob Tibbetts, the father of Mollie Tibbetts, condemned those who have “distorted and corrupted” his daughter’s death to advance “views she believed were profoundly racist” and called on them to stop. He did not identify anyone by name, but clearly he was referring to Trump and others around him.

Rob Tibbetts said the person accused of taking Mollie’s life, allegedly an undocumented immigrant, no more reflects the Latino community than white supremacists reflect all white people. “To suggest otherwise is a lie.” In the name of his entire family he extended an apology to Latino people for what’s being done to them in Mollie’s name. “We treasure the contribution you bring to the American tapestry in all its color and melody. And yes, we love your food.”

Tibbetts said his stepdaughter is Latina and her sons are Latino. “That means I am Hispanic. I am African. I am Asian. I am European. My blood runs from every corner of the Earth because I am American.” And he said that the racist use of Mollie’s death “incites fear in innocent communities and lends legitimacy to the darkest, most hate-filled corners of the American soul.... It is the opposite of humanity. It is heartless. It is despicable. It is shameful.” He finished by calling on people to “turn against racism in all its ugly manifestations both subtle and overt.” Cheers to Rob Tibbetts for his courage, in this painful moment, to refuse to allow the fascists to use his daughter’s death to promote their program of ethnic cleansing.

Mollie Tibbetts has been missing for a month, and now her body has been found. A tragic killing of a 20-year-old with her whole life ahead of her. An allegedly undocumented man (this has been disputed by his lawyer) has been charged with her killing. Trump wasted no seconds to convict not just this individual, but ALL undocumented immigrants... and really all immigrants. He is using this tragic death to spew out his demand for his racist border wall and even greater terror against immigrants already here, whom he calls “animals.” A move taken straight out of Hitler’s play book—constantly blasting out to the world every crime (real or invented) committed by Jews to intentionally paint all Jewish people as criminals and “vermin.”

In this context, it is all the more important that even through their grief, members of Mollie Tibbetts' family spoke out against this. Mollie’s aunt wrote on Facebook “Evil comes in every color,” a pointed rebuke to Trump’s use of this death to demonize all immigrants. And a cousin took on pro-Trump commentator Candace Owens on Twitter to blast the way she also tried to use Mollie Tibbetts' murder to fan anti-immigrant hatred:

Bob Avakian, "Why do people come here from all over the world?"

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

A Question to Erich Pica of Friends of the Earth: What Would It Mean To “Dismantle the Systems That Destroy Our Planet”?

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the revcom.us staff

The August 5 New York Times Magazine ran an article on the failure of capitalists and politicians beginning in the late 1970s to do virtually anything to deal with the crisis of climate change even after there was convincing scientific evidence as to the damage it would cause. With all its shortcomings in analysis, which are beyond the scope of this letter, to the extent that it did detail the criminality around the environment by those who run this system, it was a painful and infuriating article to read. The depth of this crime does boggle the mind and outrage the heart.

In response, Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, wrote that “To solve this crisis, we must dismantle the political and corporate systems that destroy our planet. We must halt the extraction and burning of fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy that prioritizes the most affected communities.

“The power to achieve these goals lies with people. Only a mass movement of people, built from the ground up, can take on the corporations and politicians who endanger people and the planet for profit. This is how we win.”

Pica’s letter expresses something true. It reflects something positive that sentiments like this are now being openly expressed by many people. The problem lies mainly in the way the questions fall short of fully engaging the reality, and in the questions not posed at all. At this late date, with everything hanging in the balance, the FULL reality must be confronted.

Why not name those “political and corporate systems that destroy our planet”? It is in fact a single system, capitalism-imperialism. This system is organized around the private production of profit based on exploitation—in which human beings and nature serve the ceaseless and reckless accumulation of profit and NOT social need and protection of the planet. Capitalism-imperialism is compelled by the inner logic of its economic relations to plunder the planet; if any particular bloc of capital (a corporation, for instance) did not, it would go under. These economic relations give rise to and are protected by a political structure, which includes as its most essential element the monopoly on violence recognized as “legitimate” and resting on armies, prisons, police forces, courts, etc. Without correctly understanding the essence of the problem, we will not be able to really deal with it.

What does it concretely mean to “dismantle” that system? The institutions that defend capitalism-imperialism do in fact need to be dismantled, and it’s significant that this term—rather than reform—is now used here. But what would it take to truly dismantle the massive forces of violent repression that defend the system? What orientation would be needed? What kind of strategy could actually achieve that? This would require a revolution—an actual revolution that would meet and defeat those forces of violent repression... that would overthrow the system.

What does it mean to “win”? We do, as Erich Pica says, need a “mass movement of people, built from the ground up... [to] win.” But a mass movement organized around what goal, to do what? A mass movement that seeks reform, or that is organized to make an actual revolution? Which one would be necessary if we are serious about stopping the destruction of the planet? The overwhelming majority of people in the environmental movement are indeed serious in that goal; to be consistent, they must seriously grapple with how that goal could be achieved.

And one must also grapple with this: What would the society we need look like? How would a society be structured in which humanity actually could act as caretakers of the earth and its webs of life, in their beauty and diversity, and where the needs of those who have been oppressed for so long in the current order are, as Erich Pica proposes, “prioritized”?

These questions cry out to be forthrightly posed, deeply dug into, and answered.

In fact they have been—in the works of the new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian. These include in particular the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, as well as works on strategy and, most fundamentally, the science that enables people to truly understand and transform the world.

And that implies one last question:

At such a dire time, when so many both recognize the extremity of the situation and sense the extremity of what is required to deal with it, isn’t it time and past time for everyone who cares to deeply and honestly confront and engage the answers to those crucial questions that Bob Avakian has brought forward?

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

From A World to Win News Service:

UK: Labour Leader Corbyn, Zionist Racism and Europe’s Lurch to the Right

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

August 21, 2018. A World to Win News Service. Is it anti-Semitism to oppose Zionism (the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine) or to compare Israel’s policies with those of the Nazis?

As the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn bid for a chance to govern the UK, both their rivals, the currently ruling Tories (Conservative Party), and many of their friends, anxious to demonstrate Labour’s fitness to rule, have been relentlessly hammering Corbyn in the mass media for Labour’s reluctance to answer yes to both questions and adopt these definitions as official party policy, and to drive out those who refuse to accept them. The intensity of this effort reflects in part growing concern that the current government led by Theresa May [leader of the Conservative Party] is hanging on by its fingernails as negotiations over the UK’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) provoke intensifying infighting in British power circles, with Corbyn and Labour lurking in the wings.

These formulations on anti-Semitism come from the fraudulently-named International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, a grouping of pro-Israel countries led by the U.S., formed to counteract UN resolutions condemning Israel and grass-roots international movements to isolate it. This is not mainly a free speech issue. It’s a response to the growing moral stench surrounding Israel—as a result of its indiscriminate murder of Palestinians and other atrocities—by declaring that opposition to the Zionist state is out of bounds and potentially illegal.

To forbid people from “claiming that the existence of the state of Israel is a racist endeavour” means forbidding people to tell the truth. Israel came into existence by driving out about 80 percent of the Palestinians who lived there and confiscating about half the land owned by the 20 percent who stayed and making them second-class citizens at best. The meaning of a “Jewish state”—one whose “self-determination” means that only Jews can have full rights—was further clarified by the July 2018 Israeli law that dropped the hypocrisy about equality in Israel’s founding constitution. Since the beginning, anyone with a Jewish parent anywhere in the world can claim Israeli citizenship, while millions of Palestinian refugees and their children and grandchildren are forbidden to enter the country, let alone reclaim their family homes. What can justify this other than arguments whose essence is racist, the systematic subjugation of a particular ethnic group? Israel’s brutal occupation of the West Bank and its atrocious attempts to crush Gaza—murdering people of all ages simply for approaching the border and demanding the right of return to their homeland—are crimes committed to enforce the results of the original crime.

As for comparison to the Nazis, while sometimes this is done with reactionary intent (implying that the Jews are responsible for their own persecution), Israel has no right to be indignant. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called some neo-Nazis “true friends” largely because they support Israel. This is what he recently called Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who considers himself the heir to the country’s World War 2-era leader, a Nazi collaborator and oppressor of Jews in his own right. Orban, whom US fascist theoretician Steve Bannon deemed “Trump before Trump,” repeats Nazi propaganda in frenzied campaigns against Jewish opponents and Jews in general. Israel also recently welcomed the head of the Austrian government, Sebastian Kurz, who governs in coalition with a party founded by ex-Nazi SS officers, again justified by Austria’s support for Israel. If you don’t want to be compared to the Nazis, don’t embrace their successors. And don’t act like Nazis, either.

This “anti-Semitism crisis” in the Labour Party has been manufactured, if not out of whole cloth then at least a very thin one. The statements Corbyn is being assailed for were made years ago, long before anyone thought he had a real chance of becoming Prime Minister. Now Labour’s foes and friends alike are putting demands on him that under current circumstances he may accept, as he did by dropping his opposition to nuclear weapons—a stance that had made him popular with a significant section of the public, especially the youth, but unacceptable to the British ruling class as a potential prime minister.

In the context of the rightward lurch in the UK and the world, it is not hard to understand why many progressive people have been looking to Corbyn—but any idea that Corbyn will stop this rightward lurch is a deadly illusion. Again and again, in an effort to make Labour “electable”—i.e. acceptable to a major section of the British ruling class—Corbyn has ditched one after another remnant of the policies that made him popular in the first place while standing firm on the core points that have made Labour one of the two main governing parties in imperialist Britain for a century now—not least Labour’s commitments to NATO and Britain’s “leading position” in the world (atop the imperialist food chain) and to British military power and the Trident nuclear submarine force to enforce that position.

Some people might defend Corbyn’s defensiveness, his refusal to stand up to the most reactionary arguments of his assailants. They may think he has to do that to get elected, and, all in all, better Corbyn than the Tories. But Labour is going along with a raging reactionary current, not against it. In fact, Corbyn’s statements and his repeated conciliation with regard to Britain’s imperialist position in the world, and the acceptance of the imperialist order that implies, including Israel’s unchallenged position in the Middle East, ultimately give a left cover to an increasingly reactionary discourse. The Corbyn illusion pulls countless youth into the electoral arena, where the machinery of parliamentary democracy renders their discontent toothless at best, and at worst further legitimates the existing order. This dynamic also constantly cedes ground to fascist forces, whose numbers have been rising in Britain. The invective piled against Corbyn in the false name of eradicating anti-Semitism, and the almost unanimous acceptance of his critics’ assumptions even by Labour and Corbyn himself, are two sides of a single phenomenon: a sharp shift to the right.

This assault against a significant section of informed public opinion and the truth itself, within the specific context of British political life, also has to be seen within the broader context of Trump’s domestic and international efforts to politically isolate the Palestinians and those who support them, in preparation for crimes that could match the Nazis in scale as well as moral content. No matter what happens to Corbyn’s political ambitions, he is playing a dishonourable part in the overall process of the rightward lurch in Europe and a darkening world—a prospect that urgently calls for a revolutionary alternative that rouses people from below to fight this rightward lurch while avoiding a return to “normal” liberal imperialist governance and preparing to overthrow the entire capitalist-imperialist system that underpins it.

After the Holocaust, the worst thing that has happened to Jewish people is the state of Israel.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 5:12

 

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/557/reflections-on-the-one-year-anniversary-of-charlottesville-en.html

Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

Reflections on the Courageous Outpourings on the One Year Anniversary of Charlottesville in Light of the Even Bigger Struggles to Come

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Backdrop and Significance of the One Year Anniversary of Charlottesville 2017

The march last year in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017 was a watershed moment putting before the world the white supremacist fascist movement that has been unleashed by the Trump/Pence regime now at the helm of the U.S. empire. 

They chanted: “You will not replace us—viciously and openly targeting Black people, Jews, women, LGBTQ people, and immigrants. They wielded torches, backed up with bats, clubs, fists, shields, guns, and a high speed car murdering Heather Heyer. They raised the NAZI slogan, “Blood and Soil”—an unadulterated assertion of white supremacy and fascism exposing the deep contradictions and essence of AmeriKKKa that is being further unleashed by a fascist regime. Trump’s brazen support of this signaled to the world what is unfolding.

This was followed by a year of the most vicious fascist white supremacist attacks from the Trump/Pence regime: openly championing white supremacist police violence, state-enforced terror and torture against immigrants including small children, NAZI language of “animals” and “shithole countries” deployed by Trump, strengthening of Christian fascist assaults on women and LGBTQ people, heightened repression from the state, heightened threats of war including nuclear war, and much more.

The specter of civil war was conjured by Trump’s rallies, his tweets and the virulence of his fascist thugs—especially the fascist separation and caging of immigrant children which echoed the separation of Black people over hundreds of years of slavery as well as the current grinding genocide of mass incarceration, child “protective” services, and more, which Trump is moving to accelerate.

In recent months, there has been more talk in various mainstream media of the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime and of fascist movements internationally, even as normalization and accommodation to the regime has deepened among many who despise the direction of the regime.

At stake this year in Portland, Berkeley, Charlottesville, and Washington, DC—locations of fascist rallies and counter-protests surrounding the Charlottesville anniversary—was the question: Would this stand? Or, would this fascist commemoration of Charlottesville be met by a movement to a put a stop to this white supremacist onslaught? Would there be a force and movement for revolution on the scene with the determination, the vision, plan and organization to prepare today to put an end to the system that spawned this fascism?

The Courageous Resistance in the Street Is Important, but Must Be Built On and Transformed Through Struggle to Meet the Bigger Challenges Ahead

The Charlottesville anniversary was marked by mass and courageous resistance. In DC on August 12, as well as in Charlottesville, Berkeley, and Portland in the days and weeks before it, thousands of people overcame fear and uncertainty to stand up and say no.

In Portland, Berkeley, and Charlottesville, police came in riot gear itching for confrontation. Some protesters accurately noted, “Last year we faced thugs with torches, this year we faced thugs wearing badges.” In Portland, one protester had a police-fired metal projectile lodged in his helmet in what could have been a life-threatening injury.

In DC, many of the organizers of the #ShutItDownDC coalition behind the main protests had themselves only recently defeated bogus charges carrying heavy prison sentences, up to 60 years for some, that had been pinned on nearly 200 people for protesting Trump’s inauguration. Members of the Revolution Club who came from Chicago and New York had been on the front lines of last year’s bloody assault by Nazis in Charlottesville, some sent to the hospital with serious injuries. Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, joined protesters in Charlottesville and opened herself up to days of interviews in major media around the world always keeping the focus on the white supremacy her daughter gave her life to end.

What was most significant here, even as the numbers of counter-protesters only numbered in the low thousands in each city, was the emergence of a section of people who are again rising up—prepared to take risks to act, to put themselves on the line, so that this white supremacist fascist shit does not stand. This needs to be built on and led in a direction that stops it and that ultimately—and “ultimately” may well not be something far off in the future—digs it up at the roots through an actual revolution.

To draw a point from How We Can WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution (HWCW), all this was an indication of the potential for thousands to get organized now into the ranks of the revolution and be influencing millions. But, as pointed to in HWCW, this needs to be “transformed, through struggle, into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization”

Within this mix, the Revolution Clubs from Chicago and New York represented powerfully in DC. This nascent force united with the broader resistance while putting forth the real roots of the problem we face: the system of capitalism-imperialism which has white supremacy woven into its DNA; as well as the only solution: an actual revolution that overthrows this system and establishes a radically new economic system, a new social system and a new revolutionary state power as laid out in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian. In the days leading up to August 12, the Club fanned out around DC propagating the need for revolution and promoting the leadership of Bob Avakian and his new synthesis of communism, as well as mobilizing people to join the protests. Some of those met joined up with the Club for Sunday’s protest, putting on the “BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!” T-shirt, along with new people who did the same throughout the day itself. Many more were both challenged by, and attracted to, the Club’s message. Some were visibly uncomfortable the first time they heard the Club chant, “1-2-3-4, Slavery, Genocide and War! 5-6-7-8 America Was NEVER Great!” but then would join in after they listened to the Club’s agitation. All this—the content of the Club’s agitation and chants, the collective force for revolution being boldly represented, and the highly developed leadership and strategy concentrated in HWCW that was being grabbed up by protesters who encountered the Club—stood out starkly in contrast to positive, but still often shallow and at times misguided, sentiments being expressed by others at the protest, including through chants like “Whose streets? Our streets!” “Whose Country? Our country!” and simply “Fuck You Nazis!”

The Revolution Club united with and at times marched with a contingent from RefuseFascism.org who also made a powerful impact on the scene. One reporter tweeted out, “Refuse Fascism are one of the first groups to arrive at Freedom Plaza. ~50 strong, they just moved in with their characteristic chant - ‘in the name of humanity, we refuse a fascist America.’” This RefuseFascism.org contingent included volunteers from Cleveland, New York, Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Wilkes-Barre, PA, and the DC area to not only mobilize against the white supremacists in the street but to call out—and get people organized to drive out—the white supremacists and fascists inside the White House. They, too, had fanned out around DC in the previous days building for the protest. On the day itself, volunteers worked together to distribute hundreds of signs, which made it into almost all the media coverage and which read, “This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!” as well as hundreds of stickers, and copies of the RefuseFascism.org Call to Action. When word came that the white supremacists were heading towards the White House early, RefuseFascism.org worked with the Revolution Club and others to lead a march of hundreds into the streets to join with a Black Lives Matter contingent and get there first. Along the way, they led hundreds to take the RefuseFascism.org Pledge to drive out the regime.

All this takes on heightened importance because as much as people deeply detest and were determined to stand against the white supremacy that is now riding high, even among those in the streets—and all the more so among those who stayed home—there is the illusion (really delusion) that the way to stop all this is through the midterm elections, by relying on Mueller’s investigation, or by just taking on individual white supremacists and Nazis by confronting them on the ground and working to get them fired and banished from public life. But this will not resolve or stop the fascism that humanity is facing.

In addition to all the other ways that the Democrats have repeatedly capitulated to and worked to normalize the Trump/Pence fascist regime—from turning their backs on DACA youth to celebrating Trump’s use of military terror and violence as “presidential” to insisting that impeachment is “off the table”—it should be noted that the Democratic Party leadership has been completely silent in the face of Trump’s recent wave of virulent anti-Black racism. They have not defended the NFL players attacked by Trump. Their leaders joined in scolding Maxine Waters when Trump assailed her, rather than coming to her defense. And not a single one of them showed up in DC to stand against the white supremacists. As for confronting the fascists on the street, this is righteous and necessary but is not a strategy for removing a fascist regime from power.

Only by people stepping outside the official channels of elections, supporting the Democrats, counting on Mueller, etc. can the people realize their real potential to stop a fascist America—by taking up the mission laid out by RefuseFascism.org: “We need to organize now for the time when we can launch massive, sustained nonviolent protests in the streets of cities and towns across the country—protests that continue day after day and don’t stop, creating the kind of political situation in which the demand that the Trump/Pence regime be removed from power is met.” A key tool in forging the necessary understanding among the people to mount this fight for the future of humanity is the Film of a Talk by Bob Avakian, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist AmericaA Better World IS Possible!”

What Must Be Done Now

Right now, everyone who sees the need for radical and fundamental change needs to work aggressively, boldly, and systematically to bring forward a mass movement for revolution of thousands of people using HWCW as a living guideline. As that document says, “We need to be on a mission to spread the word, to let people know that we have the leadership, the science, the strategy and program, and the basis for organizing people for an actual, emancipating revolution. We have Bob Avakian (BA) the leader of this revolution and the architect of a new framework for revolution, the new synthesis of communism. We have the Party led by BA, the Revolutionary Communist Party, with this new synthesis as its scientific basis to build for revolution. We have the Revolution Clubs, where people can take part in and powerfully represent for the revolution in an organized way, as they learn more about the revolution and advance toward joining the Party.” How We Can Win goes on to talk about more of our strengths we must be spreading—the website, revcom.us, the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA, and more—as well as how we need to be mobilizing growing numbers to fight the power and transform the people for revolution.

At the same time, everyone who refuses to accept a fascist America must build off recent advances in DC and in previous powerful actions taken over the summer to advance the mission of RefuseFascism.org to mobilize thousands and eventually millions to launch sustained, mass, nonviolent protests that do not stop until the Trump/Pence regime has been driven from power. RefuseFascism.org must now become a truly mass organization, uniting people from a great diversity of political perspectives to fight with courage and conviction in the name of humanity to stop a fascist America.

In a recent talk, Bob Avakian made this point, “both to meet the immediate challenge of creating a political situation in which this regime will be removed from power—and in which the political initiative has been seized to a great degree by those who are determined to turn back the assault on humanity that is being carried out by this regime and to strive for a better world, however they understand that—and to advance toward the fundamental goal of revolution, it is vitally important that all those who have come to understand the need for revolution actively contribute to building the movement to drive out this regime, and do so from the perspective of and in the overall framework of building for revolution.

This is a time to prepare for struggle—against a regime that must be driven from power through determined struggle of the people, and against a system that cannot be reformed.

With nothing less than the future of humanity in the balance, if not now, when?

 


Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC, August 12, 2018. Photo: twitter/@TheArtist_MBS


The Revolution Club in Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC, August 12, 2018. Photo: twitter/@NYCRevClub

RefuseFascism.org in the march.

 

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/558/american-crime-case-number-36-august-28-1955-the-torture-and-lynching-of-emmett-till.html

Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

American Crime

Case #36: August 28, 1955: The Torture and Lynching of Emmett Till

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian has written that one of three things that has "to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better: People have to fully confront the actual history of this country and its role in the world up to today, and the terrible consequences of this." (See "3 Things that have to happen in order for there to be real and lasting change for the better.")

In that light, and in that spirit, "American Crime" is a regular feature of revcom.us. Each installment will focus on one of the 100 worst crimes committed by the U.S. rulers—out of countless bloody crimes they have carried out against people around the world, from the founding of the U.S. to the present day.

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

 

 

THE CRIME

On Sunday, August 28, 1955, two white supremacists, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, tortured, mutilated, and murdered Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Black youth.

Emmett, nicknamed Bobo, was a typical fun-loving teenager from Chicago who was visiting relatives near Money, Mississippi for summer vacation. His mother Mamie Till-Mobley recalled that he liked “art, math and science” in school.

On the evening of Wednesday, August 24, Emmett and six of his teenage cousins drove into town to get soda and candy after a day working in their uncle Moses Wright’s cotton field. They stopped at a grocery store owned by a young white couple, Roy and Carolyn Bryant. At the time, Carolyn Bryant was the only one minding the store. One of his cousins, Simeon Wright, said Emmett had been inside the store for “less than a minute” when he went in to get him. Emmett may have put money for some gum into Bryant’s hand and looked her in the eye—violations of racist, Jim Crow taboos. Simeon said Emmett let out a whistle, “maybe to get a laugh out of us,” when Bryant walked by them outside the store.

Word that something had happened at the store got to Roy Bryant. Four days later, he and his half-brother J.W. Milam went to Moses’ home at about 2:30 in the morning wielding guns. They demanded Moses turn over “the one that done the smart talk up at Money,” dismissing the family’s offers of money and pleas that Emmett was from up north and didn’t know any better. They were seen beating Emmett as they drove away.

They tied Emmett up and took him to a barn where they savagely beat and tortured him. Bryant and Milam gouged out Emmett’s eyes, and hacked off his tongue and pieces of his ear. They cut the bridge of his nose, broke both his wrists and a leg bone, and split open his head. Then they shot him in the head with a .45-caliber pistol. They tied Emmett’s lifeless body to a 70-pound cotton gin fan blade with barbed wire, and then threw him in the Tallahatchie River.

Moses went to search for Emmett, looking under many bridges, but could not find him. On August 31, a body was discovered by 17-year-old Robert Hodges when he was fishing in the Tallahatchie. The body was horribly bloated and disfigured but Moses identified it as Emmett’s: an engraved ring with his father’s initials, L.T.—Louis Till—was still on his finger.

This may have ended the whole incident—just another Black man savagely murdered in Mississippi. But Mamie Till-Mobley courageously took Emmett’s mutilated body back to Chicago and insisted it be displayed, as is, in an open casket for the world to see. Tens of thousands of Black people viewed Emmett’s body and a photo of his mutilated corpse was published in Jet magazine, which sparked national and international press coverage and further protests.

A trial was quickly held in September. Bryant and Milam were charged with murder and kidnapping, before an all-white, all-male jury. The courtroom was segregated and only a few Black people were let in to witness the proceedings. Bryant and Milam were closely associated with a local sheriff, H.C. Strider. He’d secretly arrested two potential witnesses for the prosecution, and greeted Black journalists attending the trial with “Good morning, niggers,” each day as he walked by their segregated table.

Carolyn Bryant testified that Emmett had clutched her waist with both hands and made lewd comments—a lie she recanted in 2008 to author Timothy Tyson. Attorneys for Milam and Bryant accused Mamie Till and the NAACP of making up the whole story: they were hiding Emmett in Chicago, Detroit or maybe New York. They claimed Mamie Till couldn’t possibly have identified her own son with certainty, because the cadaver was so badly disfigured, and that she was just out to collect on a tiny life insurance policy she had on Emmett. Emmett’s uncle courageously identified Milam as one of the men who took Emmett—“crossing a line that no one could remember a black man ever crossing in Mississippi” according to one reporter. Bryant and Milam admitted in open court to kidnapping Emmett, but said they’d then just let him go.

After five days of testimony, the jury returned a not guilty verdict on all charges—in one hour. It would have been less, one juror said, but they took a soda-pop break to “make it look good.”

Hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. and worldwide denounced and fiercely protested Emmett Till’s murder and this sham trial. A few months later, Look magazine paid Bryant and Milam $4,000 for an interview. The two men openly bragged about brutalizing and murdering Emmett Till.

THE CRIMINALS

President Dwight D. Eisenhower ignored the massive protests and never answered Mamie Till-Mobley’s telegram about her son’s death. He declared that segregationists “are not bad people. All they are concerned about is to see that their sweet little girls are not required to sit in school alongside some big overgrown Negroes.”

Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI called Emmett Till’s death “an alleged murder” and directed the FBI to investigate the role of communists among those protesting this lynching.

The White Citizens Council (WCC) backed Bryant and Milam including by raising money for their defense. One of its founders and financial backers said it was “a shame [Milam and Bryant] had not slit open [Till’s] stomach so that his body would not have risen in the river.” J.J. Breland, a lawyer for Milam and a WCC official, told Look that the lynching was due to the Brown v. Board of Education decision: “The Supreme Court is responsible for the murder of Emmett Till.” Other criminals include the court officials and jurors who orchestrated the acquittal of the murderers, and the whitewash of the Till murder.

J.W. Milam, Roy and Carolyn Bryant, and all their accomplices (a few Black, mostly white) who had participated in the activities, lies and cover up of the torture and lynching of Emmett Till.

Editors and news reporters who contributed to the murderers’ acquittal by lying about and slandering Emmett Till. For instance, The Greenwood Morning Star reported that “Till made an ugly remark to Mrs. Bryant”, that he was “insolent” and refused to address her with “Yes, ma’am.” Or William Bradford Huie of Look who painted a sympathetic portrait of Bryant and Milam.

THE ALIBI

At their trial, Milam and Bryant admitted to seizing Emmett from Moses Wright’s house but said that they had released him and did not kill him. Unfounded rumors and claims also circulated that Emmett Till had grabbed, accosted and propositioned Carolyn Bryant.

The REAL MOTIVE

J.W. Milam pointed to the real motive for Emmett Till’s barbaric murder and torture, and the acquittal of his murderers—maintaining segregation, Jim Crow and the brutal oppression of Black people—in his interview with Look:

“I just decided it was time a few people got put on notice. As long as I live and can do anything about it, niggers are gonna stay in their place. Niggers ain't gonna vote where I live. If they did, they'd control the government. They ain't gonna go to school with my kids. And when a nigger gets close to mentioning sex with a white woman, he's tired o' livin'. I'm likely to kill him. Me and my folks fought for this country, and we got some rights. I stood there in that shed [where he and Bryant were torturing Emmett] and listened to that nigger throw that poison at me, and I just made up my mind. 'Chicago boy,' I said, 'I'm tired of 'em sending your kind down here to stir up trouble. Goddam you, I'm going to make an example of you—just so everybody can know how me and my folks stand.'”

At the time of Till’s savage murder, the system of Jim Crow segregation was coming under stress from the huge, post-World War 2 economic, social and political changes in the U.S. and the world. This included U.S. imperialism’s sharp contention with the then-socialist Soviet Union (socialist from 1917-mid 1950s). The U.S. was posing as the leader of the free world and friend to the rising national liberation struggles in Asia, Africa and Latin America that were challenging the old colonial powers of Europe and Japan. In this national and international context, Emmett Till’s lynching and Mamie Till-Mobley’s brave decision to share her grief publicly helped fuel the civil rights and Black liberation movements of the next decade.

REPEAT OFFENDERS

After Milam and Bryant had both died, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reopened the case to determine if anyone other than the two men was involved and, if so, if such person(s) should be prosecuted under federal law. In 2005, Emmett’s body was exhumed, autopsied and positively identified. Two years later in 2007, a Leflore County jury did not indict anyone, even though Carolyn Bryant was/is still alive and 14 people had been identified by a documentary film maker as having been involved in Till’s kidnapping and murder.

In mid-2018, 63 years after the murder and trial, the DOJ has again reopened the case, saying it had discovered “new information” but refusing to specify what.

To this day, this system has never brought justice to Emmett Till and his family.

Sources:

An excerpt from Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About, by Bob Avakian

The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy Tyson, Simon and Schuster, 2017

Emmett Till, Wikipedia

Murder of Emmett Till, Hidden Story, Emmett Till Special 60th Anniversary, posted by Keith Beauchamp, March 25, 2017

The Untold Story of Emmett Till, history documentary directed by Keith Beauchamp, 2005

 

Emmett Till, 1941-1955 Emmett Till

Bob Avakian, "Emmett Till and Jim Crow: Black people lived under a death sentence"

Tens of thousands of people pay their respects to the mutilated body of 14-year-old Emmett Till that his mother Mamie Till-Mobley courageously insisted be displayed in an open casket.  (Photo: AP )

 
American Crime

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Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/558/on-the-importance-of-the-death-of-john-mccain-en.html

Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

Letter From A Reader:

On the Importance of the Death of John McCain and the Struggle Within the Ruling Class

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

To the editors:

John McCain’s death is being treated by the major media as an event of extraordinary import.  He is being lionized as an American hero and exemplar of principle.  Why?  What does it have to do with actually making revolution and, in the current context, driving out the Trump/Pence regime?

For this is indeed MAJOR.  Only 32 people have lain in state in the Capitol in U.S. history, as McCain’s body is now doing.  Sunday programming on CNN and MSNBC was almost totally given over to McCain, including quite a bit on his antagonism toward Trump.  But it went further: McCain and those around him arranged to release a posthumous “deathbed” statement clearly intended to serve as a rallying cry and cohering position for the opposition to the regime (more on this statement shortly).  Further still, McCain not only left instructions that Trump was NOT to be invited to his funeral, he also arranged for the former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama to speak at it. 

The refusal to invite Trump is not a fit of pique (“McCain’s famous temper”) but rather a very calculated move intended to directly question the legitimacy of the entire regime.  The invitation to the two former presidents, who have serious differences with each other and can be said to represent two sections of the opposition to the Trump/Pence regime within the ruling class, is, like the deathbed statement, meant to use his own death to cohere the opposition.  By the same token, Trump’s refusal—at first—to continue to fly the White House flag at half mast and then his caving into this under pressure also shows the depth of what is being fought out.

In a word: What is being done in relation to the extensive memorials around McCain represents a “patrician clarion call” for “bipartisan rescuing of the Republic” on the basis of long‑established “norms” and “principles,” and on that basis to ensure the ongoing primacy of the U.S. in the world. This will have a spontaneous appeal well beyond sections of the ruling class, reaching well into much of the middle class, and even some of the basic masses.

In fact, McCain was a dedicated, loyal, and aggressive representative and fighter for this system and its role as a dominant force in the world, who adhered to and fought for the “norms” and “principles” of this system—and did so in the last years of his life in sharp opposition to what is represented by Trump and his trampling on those “principles” and “norms.” On the part of McCain and those who are now engaging in a massive effort to celebrate his life and hold him up as a great hero and model, one of their main indictments and focuses of struggle against Trump is that they believe what Trump is doing is undermining the dominant role of America in the world.  And the truth is that this system, and the “principles” and “norms,” and the dominant role of the USA in the worldwhich McCain, and others, have adhered to and championedhave embodied and perpetrated brutal, murderous, truly monstrous oppression and exploitation, plunder and destruction, here and all over the world, from the founding of this country down to today.

Why Is This Conflict Between Rulers Important?

To get a sense of why this is important, and how to view it, let’s go back to the two paragraphs that we run on this site every week.

The Democrats, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, etc., are seeking to resolve the crisis with the Trump presidency on the terms of this system, and in the interests of the ruling class of this system, which they represent.  We, the masses of people, must go all out, and mobilize ourselves in the millions, to resolve this in our interests, in the interests of humanity, which are fundamentally different from and opposed to those of the ruling class.

This, of course, does not mean that the struggle among the powers that be is irrelevant or unimportant; rather, the way to understand and approach this (and this is a point that must also be repeatedly driven home to people, including through necessary struggle, waged well) is in terms of how it relates to, and what openings it can provide for, “the struggle from below” for the mobilization of masses of people around the demand that the whole regime must go, because of its fascist nature and actions and what the stakes are for humanity.

Let’s get into this.  Conflicts within the ruling class do not in and of themselves make for a revolution or even the fall of a regime.  But Bob Avakian, drawing from Lenin and applying his insight further, has gone into how such splits can stimulate struggle “from below.”  Depending on how that struggle then develops, this can blossom into a full-blown fissure through which, as Lenin put it, the “indignation” of the masses bursts through, which holds the potential for positive radical change.

At the same time, splits among the rulers also exert a magnetic pull on the masses of people away from fighting in their own interests and toward lining up instead with one or another side of the bourgeoisie.  This relates to another point from Lenin that BA has emphasized and developed: that there is a “striving” on the part of the masses—and not just the middle strata—to “come under the wing” of one or another section of the bourgeoisie.  The masses come into motion but they do so, if not immediately then fairly soon, spontaneously gravitating to the banners, slogans, programs and watchwords of those who represent the interests of other classes.  To do otherwise requires a “step into the unknown.” 

For this, there needs to be leadership prepared to reveal the class interests behind the honeyed words of the ruling class and their mouthpieces. Further: people need to be organized to make that step into the unknown and that requires both the sharpest agitation and the ability to identify, speak to and break through on questions that are pulling masses away from that step.

Otherwise people will again become played.  Lenin said:

People always were and always will be the foolish victims of deceit and self-deceit in politics until they learn to discover the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises. The supporters of reforms and improvements will always be fooled by the defenders of the old order until they realize that every old institution, however barbarous and rotten it may appear to be, is maintained by the forces of some ruling classes.

Think about it: when ruling class figures from both parties, and the major media repeat in a loop over and over that McCain was an American hero who stood for principle, whose interests are they promoting: the people all over the world and here who have been murdered and maimed by U.S. bombs and discrimination and police terror? Or, the interests of the system in seeing this perpetuated?  People are drilled in what BA has called the Great Tautological Fallacy that, since Americans are the “good guys,” then everything America does is by definition good—no matter how horrible the atrocity would seem were it done by a different force that is NOT America and hence NOT a “good guy.”  This gives all the more emphasis and importance to Lenin’s point.

So while it certainly won’t do to fixate on such splits, neither can you ignore them... if you are serious about revolution, or any major change for that matter.  These splits and those tendencies form a major part of the terrain on which revolution would be made or on which any major significant social change short of revolution will be fought for. 

On What Terms Is This Unity Being Forged?

Let’s go further into WHAT it means to attempt to make McCain the unifying symbol of the opposition.  The article previously run at revcom.us makes clear the horrendous crimes carried out by McCain personally and the bloodthirsty militarism he came to champion as a political figure, and I won’t repeat all of that here.  McCain fanatically supported every act of military aggression by the U.S. in the past six decades and his only criticisms were that the U.S. either hadn’t been aggressive and brutal enough in one or another of these aggressions, or else had not undertaken it. McCain, in the 2008 election, ran on the platform of escalating the war against Iraq (a point conveniently glossed over in all the tributes).  The recent grotesque and ominous bill that Trump put forward to jack up military spending was literally named after McCain (a move by forces in the Senate that Trump bridled at but had to go along with). 

What we began with on the character of the conflict between McCain and the regime (the “norms” of how America should dominate and plunder the world, not whether) is highlighted in McCain’s deathbed statement.  The heart of the statement says:

“Fellow Americans”—that association has meant more to me than any other. I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have acquired great wealth and power in the process.

We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.

While taking full note of this conscious deception wrapped in a god-given “blessed” patriotism, which has been and is at the core of the fascism that is now concentrated in the Republican Party, this is clearly a call to be more aggressive (it is rather bald, though true and unwittingly quite revealing, how McCain links America’s acquisition of “great wealth and power” to these wars).  But the key thing is his insistence on waging war under the banner of so-called “American ideals” and not under an open and blatant white supremacist America-uber-alles chauvinism.  McCain’s remark on walls is also significant.  McCain represented a section of the bourgeoisie that viewed immigration in the context not only of U.S. economic necessity (the super-exploitation of Mexican labor has always been the cornerstone of the capitalist economy in the southwest and western U.S.), but as one part of maintaining domination over Latin America and Mexico in particular, in part through “soft power” (that is, economic, political and cultural domination in conjunction with the brute force bullying that sometimes seems to be the only chord in the Trump/Pence theme).  He, like the Bushes and Obama, sought to forge an arrangement where immigration could continue but under greater U.S. control. 

It is telling that McCain’s statement does NOT say anything about white supremacy or misogyny.  Here I have to say that one of the greatest failings of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) is that there has never been an alert about one of the most damaging epidemics in America, which is the amnesia intentionally spread by the media. Let’s go back to 2008, when McCain campaigned against Barack Obama.  Let’s remember that McCain chose as his running mate Sarah Palin.  Palin was a relative unknown, but McCain knew enough to know that she was an open rabid racist and would play the role of giving voice to the really raw racist shit that the Republi-fascists need to gin up their core supporters and intimidate their opponents.  By the end of the campaign, not just Palin’s rallies but McCain’s as well were over the top with people foaming at the mouth and literally screaming out racist epithets and calling for Obama’s death, to the point where other members of the ruling class felt compelled to privately intervene with him on how dangerous this was getting to larger interests.

One would almost have to laugh—if the stakes were not so high—at how the media has now conveniently put that all at the doorstep of Palin (as if she were somehow snuck into the campaign under McCain’s nose).  And they have glorified McCain’s supposed “profile in courage” moment when he told a supporter that Obama was “not an Arab, he’s a decent family man.”  Really!?!  Think about the logic here.  The whole argument rests on the assumption that Arabs are not “decent family men,” Obama is a decent family man, therefore Obama is not an Arab.  It is also not mentioned that by this point in the campaign the predominant forces of the ruling class had united around Obama as the one for the moment—America was in serious crisis over both the failed Iraq war AND the financial meltdown which had just occurred—and it was clear that McCain was going down.  In this case, with this pallid (and, again, essentially racist) demurral McCain fell on his sword or, to use today’s language, took one for the team.

Let’s be clear: McCain, had he been president, would have been another in the line of the Republi-fascist presidents since Nixon who have been steadily transforming the U.S. political structure and ideological consensus into a fascist one.   

So the attempt now to cohere ruling class opposition to Trump on the basis of McCain and “McCainism” is not only significant but frankly ominous.  Up to now, those forces opposed to the regime have not been able to find a champion.  Name one significant ruling class figure who has come forward to openly call out the regime.  Indeed, the Democratic Party has spent the current election campaign refusing to even articulate an overall program of opposition, still less to sharply call out and fight the Trump/Pence fascist attacks on women, immigrants, Black people, war, and the environment.  Democratic candidates range from those “on the right” (many of whom are former military who make that their appeal to Trump voters who won’t even mention or openly oppose Trump (and his regime) to those “on the left” who try to appeal to Trump voters by going after cronyism, corruption, and advocating common “bread and butter” economic interests of Trumpites and the masses who are the Democrats’ base.  This is true of Democratic Socialists who want to reform the Democratic Party but who advocate or conciliate with American chauvinism. The “f-word” these candidates most seek to avoid is... fascism.

Now, rallied around the corpse of McCain and his program of extreme militarism and aggression founded on a heavy “America right or wrong patriotism,” along with the white supremacy and male supremacy he stoked, agitated, and supported through legislation, there is an attempt to cohere the basis for an opposition—on terms that are themselves fascist!

Yet many people who sincerely and deeply oppose this fascism will spontaneously rally around this because the very presence of powerful ruling class figures and the familiarity of the program will feed the illusion of a relatively painless exit from what seems to be the Trump/Pence death-grip on the current situation.  But should such a program come to dominate an upsurge against the regime, should this become what people take on as their goal and defining political outlook, it would have extremely negative consequences to say the least. This would be tantamount to the tragic spectacle of masses in the streets of Egypt in 2011, revolting against the extremely repressive regime there headed by Hosni Mubarak under the slogan “The People and the Army Are One Hand”—only to have the army later come down to crush the people and install an even more repressive regime.  The lesson there is NOT that the masses should not rise up... but that there must be a vanguard force that can bring clarity around what to rise up around, and how to carry through.

Communists, and not only communists but all those who truly oppose fascism, need to go very broadly to masses of people and struggle with them to see the truth about what they are being rallied to, and win them to what they have to be won to—a true struggle against the regime as a whole and its entire program and apparatus, and not just its figurehead and some elements of its policies.  This need will almost certainly become greater as the funeral on Saturday approaches and in its aftermath.

Back to Basics

Once again: these differences among ruling class figures are differences over how BEST to enforce exploitation, plunder, and misery all over the world... how BEST to keep people in a situation where they are forced to put up with truly horrendous and truly unnecessary suffering.  This is important and fundamental. 

At the same time, and as a conclusion, it is worth repeating the quote with which we began:

The Democrats, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, etc., are seeking to resolve the crisis with the Trump presidency on the terms of this system, and in the interests of the ruling class of this system, which they represent.  We, the masses of people, must go all out, and mobilize ourselves in the millions, to resolve this in our interests, in the interests of humanity, which are fundamentally different from and opposed to those of the ruling class.

This, of course, does not mean that the struggle among the powers that be is irrelevant or unimportant; rather, the way to understand and approach this (and this is a point that must also be repeatedly driven home to people, including through necessary struggle, waged well) is in terms of how it relates to, and what openings it can provide for, “the struggle from below”for the mobilization of masses of people around the demand that the whole regime must go, because of its fascist nature and actions and what the stakes are for humanity.

The Pyramid of Power
And the Struggle to Turn This Whole Thing Upside Down

by Bob Avakian

Read more

BA Speaks:
REVOLUTION — NOTHING LESS!
Bob Avakian Live

A must-see film of a talk given by Bob Avakian in 2012. Watch the entire film HERE.

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

First Experience with Getting Out HOW WE CAN WIN: “This is about humanity in the planet getting free”

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following is from a reader sharing their first outing getting out HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution:

Today there was a counter-protest against a “Blue Lives Matter rally,” and Refuse Fascism was taking part in that. This was mainly led by a coalition of leftist, socialist, anarchist, etc. collectives and Refuse Fascism had been asked to endorse just a couple days before. We didn’t really get to plan this task of getting out HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution (HWCW) due to constraints, but I have been paying attention to the experience and reports of others on the website (particularly "What It Means to Really WIELD HOW WE CAN WIN"). I went into this thinking that some kind of “jolt,” some kind of clash between opposing futures, would be the best moment to get this out in a mass way the most effectively.

At one point, there was a confrontation between the pigs and counter-protestors and it turned very violent, very quickly. It just so happened that we were outside of a church in Center City, one that has a long progressive history, but these people were actually there for a funeral. It was mainly a family affair, but a few other people were waiting at the bus stop in the same spot.

They were puzzled as to what was going on in front of them, and nobody was talking to them, so I figured this was the best moment to seize upon. I walked over and started agitating about how protesters were righteously standing up against police brutality and white supremacy, and just like the pigs they are, they cracked down on the people who were standing up for a better world. This sparked some real anger in the crowd towards the police and they were getting vocal, cursing while recording them. They were narrating what was going down to their cameras, with one taking note to her viewers about how they don’t do just this to Black people. I started to let people know that there was an actual political and military strategy to defeat these repressive forces of this system and bring a better system into place right here in my hand, developed by the Revolutionary Communist Party. I had to clarify several times that this protest wasn’t led by the RCP and that wasn’t what was going on right now. I told people about how there is finally the strategy for a way out of this for real, and that we don’t have to accept living in a world where the people are “encircled and brutalized” like they were seeing now. People were still kind of just watching and frozen in place for a bit.

So I asked, “Is there anyone here who doesn’t want to live under this system anymore?” Silence...

“Is there ANYONE here who refuses to accept a world like this and wants out?” Silence...

“You can’t tell me that NOBODY here wants to get free! Someone! Where are you?”

A man pushes through the crowd and says he’ll take a copy. Two women follow suit shortly, one after being motioned by her son to do so. I got lost in the moment and just started getting them into outstretched hands. It wasn’t a whole lot, but close to10 since I didn’t have a huge stack in my hand. People starting reading it right away, and I could overhear people talking about how sick they were of this police violence shit repeatedly.

It looked like things were moving on, so I went back over to the counter-protest. Everything got split up as some counter-protesters went off in a different direction. I was able to get some out to Refuse Fascism volunteers that had not heard about it, agitating on similar points and directly reading from Part 2 at one point about how we need to “encircle them.”

This is also an area where a lot of homeless people gather and hang out. They had been watching everything go down and then actually tried to call us out for not fighting the cops ourselves (and he was talking to Refuse Fascism). One guy was just going on and on, I was going to let him say his piece but he wasn’t trying to hear anything back. He really didn’t know shit about us or what was going on here, and I was about to read from HWCW right there to shut the infantile bullshit and fighting on unfavorable terms he was trying to push us towards. It was hard for me to take this, not because he was heart-checking me or belittling my intelligence, but because people in these conditions need to dig into this and wield it too and not being caught up in losing strategies, and how we need to fight for this to be seen as the leading authority. However this wasn’t the only thing I had to do today, and I was being pulled away by others who did not wish to entertain them.

A lot can and should be said about how to do this more scientifically, in a more living and refined way. I look forward to struggling and being struggled with. This is all bigger than me. This is about humanity in the planet getting free, wiping the system of capitalism-imperialism off the earth and entering a communist epoch. I am just so personally fulfilled to have been part of taking this out to people straight-up and inviting them to be a part of this movement to end all exploitation and oppression, including with all the bullshit and danger that comes with this. Several times I thought of how people in other areas are doing this too, in other parts of the world, and I was filled with a greater, solemn sense of urgency and excitement.

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! Screened August 30 at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

August 30—On a hot summer night in Harlem, New York City, the film of Bob Avakian’s talk THE TRUMP PENCE/REGIME MUST GO! was screened outdoors at Marcus Garvey Park.

The showing, drawing an audience from the neighborhood as well as a diverse range of people from across the city, was sponsored by Revolution Books, Revolution Books Education Fund, and The Bob Avakian Institute. One of the video compilations here shows remarks from several members of the event’s Host Committee. The other video gives a sense of the successful showing, including comments from several audience members.

 

Watch the full film here:

 

 

 

 

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

Today's Message from the Revolution

August 21, 2019 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution says, "Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution."

Be part of those thousands across the country. Check here every day. Spread these on social media. Join in with the Revolution Clubs on the ground and on social media. Report back with your thoughts, responses and suggestions at revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

 

 

August 21, 2019

1. What's it going to take to STOP the FASCIST Trump/Pence regime?

Thousands must be organized to take to the streets in cities across the country, mobilizing millions in protest until the demand has been met: This Nightmare Must End! The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

It's past time to act.

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2. There is a place where epistemology and morality meet...

revcom.us/avakian

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3. From the Middle East to the border to the streets of America... This is an American Horror Story

What are YOU going to DO about it?

Revolution–Nothing Less!

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Revolution #558 August 27, 2018

Another Outrage in Chicago: Police Kill 15-Year-Old and Claim It Was Suicide

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On August 17, Steven “Stevie” Rosenthal was outside celebrating his 15th birthday with friends when Chicago police started chasing him. Minutes later he lay dead in the stairwell of his grandmother’s house from a gunshot wound to his head. The police claimed it was a suicide, that somehow Steven shot himself in the head while they were chasing him.

At a press conference two days later, friends and family called out this murder by police. “Within moments, these officers, without cause or provocation shot and killed 15-year-old Steven,” the family’s lawyer said. He continued, “Based on several eyewitness accounts, these officers ended the hopes and dreams of a talented young man with a bright future.” A crowd of more than 100 people, mostly young teenage friends of Steven’s, surrounded the grieving family.

At the press conference’s conclusion, people, more than 100 strong, took to the streets in protest. Chanting “Justice for Stevie,” “Who Killed Stevie? CPD!” they marched through Chicago’s West Side Lawndale neighborhood. They stopped at Mt. Sinai Hospital where family members, who had still not been able to view the body, led people in chanting, “We want to see Stevie.” From there they took over Ogden Avenue, a major thoroughfare, and marched to the 10th District police station. Chanting and dancing in the streets, their cries for justice rang out.

LaToya Howell, the mother of Justus Howell, murdered in 2015 by police in the Illinois town of Zion near the Wisconsin border, had come down with family members. She led these youths in chants, including “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail, the Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell!” as they marched to the 10th District police station.

Stevie was part of the varsity basketball team at his high school. Team members in uniform and two team coaches positioned themselves at the front of the crowd as it faced off with the police. They blocked the street outside the 10th District station for close to an hour. As darkness fell, the crowd marched through neighborhoods back to where they started, vowing to return every day at 7 pm for 30 days. As of this writing, they have kept that pledge. Revolution Club members have joined these protests as part of carrying out their strategy of “fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution.” Stevie’s funeral is Saturday, September 1. The Revolution Club plans to attend.

 


Stevie was on the Crane High School Varsity Basketball team. Team members and coaches along with two members of Justus Howell's family face the 10th District police station on Chicago's west side. The crowd is gathered behind them.


Steven "Stevie" Rosenthal


Friend of Steve Rosenthal holds a sign for him

 

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