Revolution #560, September 10, 2018 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Posted September 11, 2018

Posted September 13, 2018

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/560/announcing-the-film-of-bob-avakians-speech-en.html

Revolution #560 September 10, 2018

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Take This Film and Change Everything…

Announcing the Film of Bob Avakian’s Speech:

WHY WE NEED AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION AND HOW WE CAN REALLY MAKE REVOLUTION

If you have agonized about the horrors of this society, but did not know why we face all this and thought there was no way out… this filmed speech will reveal why those outrages go on and how they can be changed.

If you have thought that even if people could get together on it, revolution was not really possible up against the powerful repressive machinery we face… this filmed speech will challenge you.

If you have hungered for fundamental change, but did not know where to begin… this filmed speech will give you the map you need and the way to connect.

There has never been a speech like this on this topic before...

Read more

DONATE

IMPACT SOCIETY WITH REAL REVOLUTION

ALERT: Protest the GoFundMe cancellation!
Donations towards promoting this film on social media are temporarily accepted HERE.

This speech will premiere online on October 19. We are raising $5,000 for targeted social media advertising, focused on reaching college students.

Go up against the mainstream message and dominant culture, the ways this system has people thinking this is the best of all possible worlds. Defy all that with a message that can change everything, challenging this generation to raise their sights... and be part of fighting for a whole different way the world could be. Contribute toward this putting this message of revolution before society.

Official Biography of Bob Avakian
How Can We Win? How Can We Really Make Revolution?

Home page for the film:

WHY WE NEED AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION AND HOW WE CAN REALLY MAKE REVOLUTION
A speech by Bob Avakian

Trailer for Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

A speech by Bob Avakian

Spread this trailer today.  Let people know they have a chance to be among the first to see this speech.  

 

 

Then join the movement to put this before all of society, toward the online premiere October 19.

Preview Showings of Why We Need an Actual Revolution and How We Can Really Make Revolution

Chicago

Tuesday October 2nd and Thursday October 18th at 6:30 PM at Evanston Civic Center Room 2404

Occupy Evanston’s Movie Series presents:

Sneak Preview of Why We Need an Actual Revolution and How We Can Really Make Revolution

Part 1: Why We Need An Actual Revolution
Part 2: How We Can Really Make Revolution

Evanston Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Avenue,
Room 2404
Plenty of Parking in the Civic Center Parking Lot

Sponsored by Occupy Evanston Documentary Film Group, All Are Welcome - Come and Join Us

****

Seattle
Sunday, October 7. 1:15pm-4:45pm
Doors open 1:15pm, Film starts 1:30 sharp
Beacon Hill Library Meeting Room*,
2821 Beacon Ave S., Seattle
Public Transit: Beacon Hill Station (Light Rail),
Metro Bus Routes 36 & 60
*This event is not sponsored by The Seattle Public Library

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/560/the-question-is-posed-will-people-act-will-refuse-fascism-lead-en.html

Revolution #560 September 10, 2018

Trump is unhinged and his whole regime is a danger to humanity. Millions feel this.
The question is posed: will people act—will Refuse Fascism lead?
Now is the time to mobilize to demand:

THIS NIGHTMARE MUST END:
THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Following is an edited version of an informal 15-minute talk that Andy Zee, a co-initiator of Refuse Fascism and spokesperson for Revolution Books, gave to a conference call of 38 organizers of Refuse Fascism this past weekend. What follows is based on preparatory notes which have been edited for publication and then slightly expanded to add context for a broader audience. Andy Zee is reflecting on the call from the leadership of Refuse Fascism for actions to be organized by RefuseFascism.org this week, and why it is critical, from his perspective as a revolutionary and advocate for the new communism developed by Bob Avakian. Refuse Fascism is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in our recognition that the Trump/Pence regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power.

1. There is a moment when once again, but in a way that is truly unprecedented, the question, the reality, that Trump is a danger to humanity presses and imposes on the whole society and when millions of people are agonized and in turmoil.

There has been coincidence and perhaps coordination in the events of the last week, beginning with the McCain funeral and running through Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward’s book; the Kavanaugh Supreme Court nominee hearings; and the New York Times Anonymous Op-ed piece, reportedly from a Trump regime insider who claims to be working to prevent Trump from wreaking havoc. And now, Obama hitting the campaign trail speaking out against the danger of Trump and directing people to vote for the Democrats in the midterms. What all of this should tell us is that the split in the ruling class over the danger of Trump in particular, but in actuality reflecting a larger divide over the direction that the regime as a whole is taking, has burst forth in even sharper ways.

The McCain funeral (which he orchestrated before his death) was a rallying call to all the “wise” rulers—to the patrician class—to return to what has been at the center of the cohering norms and promise of America—which yes, is to give voice to mythology that masks the underlying reality of empire, exploitation and oppression, but which at the same time does reflect a different set of cohering beliefs and a different set of governing norms, principles, and policies that are sharply posed against the values and program of the Trump/Pence fascist regime. There is a real and qualitative difference between fascism and bourgeois democracy, and what we saw with McCain’s funeral was a concerted effort to rally the different factions of that bourgeois-democratic section of the ruling class to stand up against Trump and what he concentrates. George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who have sharp differences between them, nonetheless spoke here to prevent what they see as a dangerous direction that will undermine the values and governing principles which they believe are the best way to preserve and protect the American empire.

2. The Anonymous Op-ed—whoever it was and whatever their motive—whether this was a call to the masses who are concerned to not worry, there are “adults” in the room, or is a self-justification should Trump go for whatever reason, or to prepare to keep and defend aspects of the Trump/Pence fascist program, or even a call to lay the groundwork for Trump’s removal ... I don’t know, and that is not the essential question. That is true even as, if the person who wrote the Op-ed piece is outed and Trump does attempt to go after them or the New York Times legally, we may have the necessity to defend them. But, the salient point for us is that there is an important consequence of this Op-ed, most likely unintended, which is that millions of people are aroused or at least have the question re-posed in their minds of what the fuck is this danger to humanity still doing at the seat of power? However people come at this, it is now in their faces. The very real FEAR of nuclear or environmental devastation, of losing basic rights to abortion, immigration, dissent. DISGUST at the lying, corruption, demeaning culture of hatred and bigotry. OUTRAGE that this narcissistic white supremacist, misogynist, Nazi pig is still in power.

What is the channel for all that to be expressed? Will the only channels be relying on the political processes, in one form or another, that currently exist—processes that have left the regime in power up to now? Will the only avenue be voting for and pressuring the Democrats? Even as some of them may raise a hue and cry of protest, and even as they genuinely express their convictions, at the end of the day they can only and will only leave people with the message and program to support, rely on and vote for us, the Democrats, to resolve this. We need to recognize that because of their disproportionate influence and because their social base is looking—even begging—for them to act, when they step out and do so, this will have the contradictory effect of arousing the people; of sharpening the contradictions with the fascist regime; and at the same time attempt to lead the masses of people who would prefer for the Democrats to resolve matters for them. Nonetheless, what we are emphasizing in making this Call to Act this week, is that the questions are posed: Who will lead the masses to act in their own interests to drive out this regime? Who if not us?

How will Refuse Fascism ever realize its single overriding mission, “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” if we don’t give all we’ve got to mobilize masses of people in this situation?

Could this situation turn out to be another moment that ends up piling more evidence on top of evidence of actions of outrage that soon peter out? Yes, that is possible ... but that is not all that is possible. Do we see the depth of the crisis that this moment reveals in the sharpening contradiction at the top of the ruling class and what that should tell us about the potential to bring forward the masses of people whose interests will not be served by those in power who seek to return to what was, which is to say which limits the people’s struggle and things on terms that maintain the conditions that have spawned this fascism in the system we live under? The Democrats will not fundamentally challenge or unleash the fury of the people because they are committed to maintaining the system of capitalism and the coherence of America that has two and a half centuries of white supremacy woven into its fabric—the genocide and theft of Native people’s land, on slavery and continued oppression of people of color; a country that then expanded the wealth extracted from literal human bondage with vicious exploitation and demonization of immigrants that continues with new groups subjected to this oppression in new horrific forms as we speak on this phone call, with hundreds of children separated from their parents; and the projection and enforcement of an empire of exploitation and oppression around the world. Again, McCain and Bush and Obama, with all their sharp differences with each other, see projecting America to the world in the name of democracy (while sometimes acknowledging some of its “imperfections and faults”) while seeing multilateral global institutions and alliances as the best way to advance U.S. imperialist interests, and at the same time are sounding the alarm and rallying their class against the Trump/Pence regime’s fascist program which they regard as a great danger to their whole setup. They have a deep belief that their program is the only and best way to advance those interests, that those interests must be advanced through the established channels and not getting to the root of the problem. And that would mean that not only all of the oppressive fabric of this society would be left intact with all that means for people’s lives, but the whole political structure that enforces this empire (from the ICE to the injustice system of mass incarceration) will also be intact to enforce those relations. And, note this well, leaving this just to elections and the Democrats will also leave the hard social base of Donald Trump—that now is determined to have their White Supremacist, Patriarchal Christian Fascist world delivered to them—enraged and even more vengeful, while the progressive strata will have no initiative, having left the Democrats to conciliate, collaborate and perhaps very partially ameliorate the damage already done.

This is why Cory Booker will risk being “Spartacus” in breaking Senate protocol and even pay some price for that and set some example... But he did not call out all those—hundreds of thousands and millions—who oppose Kavanaugh to, for example, blockade D.C. or surround the Capital ... and instead will lead people to see the only remedy lies in the midterm elections. BUT, WE SHOULD RECOGNIZE and LEAD PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND AND ACT at a moment like this, when there is a sharpening clash in the ruling class, when TV news not only plays Booker’s statement but shows the scene from the movie Spartacus where slave after slave stands up in the face of the slave masters to say “I am Spartacus,” that an idea is planted (and promoted). Again, we ask, will we call all of those Spartacuses forward to act now... people of diverse political persuasions who are now aroused, many of whom are looking for and all are needing leadership and a way to act?

3. Do we see the real potential in what is unfolding right now and as things may well continue to sharpen? Protests that begin this week could continue—perhaps every week. Depending on what we do and what others see their necessity is and what they do—including masses of people and other social forces and groups—as the week unfolds with perhaps more revelations, attacks and possibly or likely the confirmation of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Wednesday evening’s protests and speak-outs, or next Saturday, could see a flood of forces pouring into the streets. We could even possibly be faced soon, or in the future, with candidates for elected office wanting to join and even speak at Refuse Fascism protests. Yes, different groups and forces who objectively and/or even consciously will try to take things into the ways they see for resolving the crisis... but we have to understand that this is the complex mix we want and will necessarily be a part of the process of getting to the millions. We do have to put forth and struggle and organize for what must the solid core of our protests and if such forces succeed in cooling things out by taking the actions of masses of people back into the midterms full stop, that will undermine the masses' ability to drive out the regime. But we have to understand that to get to where millions are in the streets, that contention over programs will be a part of the process—with many coming into the streets, from points of view which will correspond to what people have been trained in—which is relying on forms of protest that are bound up with a process of protesting as a way to mobilize for the ballot box and/or pressuring those in power. Yet, when people do stand up, it is in large part because they feel the urgency to act, and that is something we can work with and lead.

Refuse Fascism has a clear program: that only millions of people in the streets and staying in the streets day after day in sustained nonviolent protest can create the situation where the regime is removed from power, which is the only way that the interests of humanity will be served. All the way through until the regime is driven from power, we will be struggling for bringing forward the people, the organization, and the unity to achieve that, to developing increasing understanding and momentum towards that goal which will necessarily take place in the course of struggling over what program will resolve this.

My main point here—a key “take away” in this third point in this presentation—is that rather than see—and worse—be bound by what could be the limitations of the current situation ... the Refuse Fascism plan for this week of mass expressions is based on and is aiming for the potential of this situation to continue to sharpen, and to give expression to and provide a vehicle for the mass struggle to drive out the regime to grow, with Refuse Fascism not only putting its program in front of society and directly into the hands of thousands, but also building the organization as well as the unity with other organized groupings—from religious to more political and cultural forces—to build the momentum towards our objective. And we’ll work for and see whether or not that comes out of this round of struggle—and we most definitely should not rule that out.

Let me just elaborate on one more point so we have more clarity on the actual political situation that is unfolding. The Republican Party having increasingly developed in a fascist direction and now having thrown their lot in with the Trump/Pence regime—including the unleashing of the hard core white supremacist social base being called into battle with campaign rallies and through daily tweets and more explicit calls on fascist media and social media—will not back down. In response, the Democrats will not be calling their base out to act in a way such that they could really be unleashed to struggle against fascism as if the future depended on it—which it does. Just imagine if the Democrats walked out of Congress and stayed out till the regime was gone, or even until the nomination of Kavanaugh was scuttled, and they called on the people to occupy the streets of D.C. and cities around the country. Unimaginable now ... Yes, why? Because they want to and have a need to keep things within the bounds of the system. And, when they do call protests, they do so strictly to rope people into the arena of the elections—including on terms that the Democratic Party leadership wants to compete with Trump—on the economy, and being even more pro-military. The Democrats also allow some space for reformers. Obama put his arm around that last week pulling these people in, saying: “... with each new candidate that surprises you with a victory that you supported, a spark of hope happens.” But the reality will be that the system will change the reformers and not the other way around.

What if, instead, the people act in their own interests? Then, the equation changes and real things that are in contention in their inter–ruling class divisions (that impact lives of millions and which people are deeply concerned about) could come into play in ways that are favorable for the masses in motion to fight even more for our own interests and continue to fight as that struggle sharpens.

An important tool for people broadly to understand the roots of how we got to this point in history, the dynamics of the situation, and what to do about it, 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 America; A Better World IS Possible! This film is featured on the Refuse Fascism website, and members of Refuse Fascism would benefit from repeated viewings of it, as well as sharing it with others.

One last point on the potential of this situation, again without a crystal ball or guarantees: the underlying contradictions of the capitalist system we live under and the way that has taken shape in the history of this country have given rise to the current moment, and the dynamics of this are now taking shape in the political reality of fascism as a particular form of rule of that system—concentrated in the Trump/Pence fascist regime. This is in contention with what has been the mainstream of ruling circles—and in sharp antagonism with the interests of the majority of humanity. What is unfolding right now has real elements of a constitutional crisis, which could give rise to even sharper constitutional crisis on a whole more profound level. And as this unfolds in a sharply contended political situation, it could possibly give rise to legitimacy crises and vice versa in what could be a contended back-and-forth mix. From a revolutionary analysis and perspective, all of this holds the potential for a radically different future—to overthrow the system that has given rise to this fascism and all the horrors of this system. While this is not the unity or program of Refuse Fascism, I think it crucial that this analysis and how an actual revolution could be made be engaged by thousands and millions. In this regard I want to commend to your attention the announcement on revcom.us that very soon there will be a film of a talk by Bob Avakian—Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution.

4. In conclusion, this a moment when the NIGHTMARE is urgently palpable to millions yet again. This is a moment when, if there is a force that gives people a way to act that really does have the potential to create the political situation where the regime IS driven from power—they could be moved. Refuse Fascism is that force ... but we are that only if we act now. That is the thinking behind working hard this week to call forth everyone to a mass meeting—everyone we have known, all those groups and organizations that are working to oppose the regime, and getting the word out far and wide. Calling students and others to protest and speak out on Wednesday after work—in the public squares. This should happen everywhere across the country. We should recognize that this week will likely bring the confirmation (or not) of Kavanaugh and all that this could call forth from the people. This then is creating momentum for masses to come out on the weekend. Refuse Fascism will be providing a vehicle for all who feel a renewed moment to act—an outrage at Trump and all that he has brought forth—which is a regime bringing a fascist America—to stand up, to join the great struggle and cause to end the nightmare and drive the Trump/Pence regime out. We will declare and infuse this with the understanding and stand that In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America.

 

From RefuseFascism.org:

It's True And You Know It: Trump IS Unhinged, And His Whole Regime IS A Danger To Humanity.

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

in cities across the country:

Mass Meetings—Monday Night, Sept. 10

Protest and Speak Out—Wednesday, Sept. 12

All out for Mass Protest Saturday, Sept. 15

Read more | Times and places

Watch audience members put their hardest questions to Bob Avakian in the Q&A that followed the film.

Share/Sign the Refuse Fascism Call to Action:

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

 

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Revolution #560 September 10, 2018

How the Police Murdered Laquan McDonald, How the System Tried to Cover It Up, the Danger of a Whitewashed Murdering Pig Walking Free… and What We Must Do NOW!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The trial of Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke on charges of murdering Laquan McDonald began on September 5—almost four years after he killed the 17-year-old Black youth.

October 20, 2014—Van Dyke drives up to the street scene where other cops have been trailing Laquan McDonald for some time. Six seconds after getting out of his vehicle, Van Dyke starts shooting Laquan—who is walking down the middle of the street, moving AWAY from the cops, and a full traffic lane away. Laquan’s hands are at his sides. When Van Dyke opens fire, he is NOT backpedaling (as he would claim), but appears to be moving toward Laquan as he fires. Laquan spins around from the impact of the bullet and immediately crumples to the ground, a puff of smoke rising from his body as he lies there. Van Dyke continues to fire shot after shot—16 in all—emptying his gun. Laquan’s body jerks as more bullets strike—but he makes no move to get up from the ground.

This was an execution-style murder of a human being at the hands of a uniformed “officer of the law.” Laquan’s great-aunt, who had lived with him for a long time, remembered, “He loved surprises. I remember one time, my mom’s birthday, he come back with a cake, we didn’t even know he went out to get a cake. She was so, so happy, so surprised. And all he kept saying was, ‘This my grandma’s birthday, this my grandma’s birthday.’ She was so overwhelmed to where she just couldn’t stop hugging him, kissing him, telling him how much she loved him. He was really just the life of the house.”

A Very Rare Trial of a Killer Cop

Cop on trial for murder—these are words almost never heard in America. What you do hear, over and over and over again, is “justified use of force”—the system’s police and politicians backing up the killer cops’ claims they had “reasonable fear for their lives” and so were perfectly justified in shooting, choking, or tasing their victims to death, many of them Black, Latino, and Native American, even if they were unarmed or clearly posed no threat or suffered from mental breakdowns. In the seven years leading up to the murder of Laquan, the Chicago police had shot nearly 400 people, disproportionately Black and Latino—all these shootings were deemed officially “justified.”

That’s the way the murder of Laquan McDonald would have gone down—except that a dash cam video was forced up to the surface over a year later and shattered the lies. Millions of people around the country and around the world saw what the police and the city had tried to cover up.

The video touched off a political and societal firestorm in Chicago itself. Protesters righteously took to the streets with shouts of “16 Shots and a Cover-up!” shutting down Chicago’s Magnificent Mile shopping hub on Black Friday. The Revolution Club was an important part of the mix in the protests—as they had been in the protests before that against the police murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri—standing with the people, exposing how murders by police stem from the nature of the system, and agitating for the need for revolution.

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and others in the power structure scrambled to keep a lid on things. Prosecutors finally indicted Van Dyke, just a day before the video was made public. But protests continued day after day and night after night, in the face of police threats and brutality, demanding that everybody involved in the cover-up be held accountable. Outrage spread beyond the inner city to white suburbs and people in the professions, like dozens of doctors, residents, and medical students who held a 16-minute die-in (for the 16 bullets) in front of City Hall.

And now, the eyes of the world are on the very rare instance of a murdering cop in America actually being put on trial. What happens in this trial, and what the masses of people do in relation to it, could have major impact way beyond Chicago—not only on the situation of Black people and the struggle against their oppression but the whole intensifying political situation in this country.

The Familiar—and Outrageous—Signs of a Whitewash

Even before the trial started and in its first few days, there are signs and court rulings that the machinery of whitewash is going into effect, getting ready to free a killer cop:

» The judge barred the prosecution from using the word “victim” in referring to Laquan in the main phase of the trial—they could do so in the closing arguments if the judge determined that the prosecutors laid the basis for this during the trial.

» At the same time, Van Dyke’s lawyers are allowed to bring up Laquan’s past—which will no doubt be used to paint the youth as a violent “monster” who the cop had no choice but to kill.

» The judge forced Laquan’s mother to appear at a pre-trial hearing to answer questions from the Van Dyke lawyers (no doubt about things like Laquan’s alleged “violent” past)—threatening that if she did not come in, she might not be allowed to attend the actual trial.

» While the judge will let the damning video be played at the trial, he is also allowing Van Dyke to use an animated “simulation” of the shooting that reportedly is meant to back up his “self-defense” claim.

» When Van Dyke openly went against the gag order the court imposed on both the defense and the prosecution by giving an interview to the Chicago Tribune, the judge gave him a slap on the wrist: a minor increase in his bail.

And, as has been shown repeatedly in other cases involving cops across the country, the law itself under this system gives the police great leeway in shooting and brutalizing people with impunity in the name of fearing for their own lives.

The High-Level Cover-up—and the Crumbling of the Cover-up

On the day before the trial started, Rahm Emanuel made an unexpected announcement—he will not be running for reelection as mayor. What is behind this move is unclear, but the trial puts the spotlight back on Emanuel’s role in the cover-up of Laquan McDonald’s murder.

Immediately after Van Dyke killed Laquan, the wheels of cover-up-as-usual began to spin. When one of the cops on the scene called in to the dispatcher, the dispatcher asked for information on “the victim.” The cop corrected her—“the offender.” The dispatcher said, “That’s what I meant.” The other cops on the scene all conspired in Van Dyke’s lie that Laquan was “swinging” the small knife he had in his hand in an “aggressive manner,” and that Laquan “continued to advance” toward Van Dyke, who “backpedaled” as he fired his gun. The cops took witnesses who had seen what had actually happened to the station and forced them to change their statements. The lying story about the shooting was fed to the mainstream media, which repeated it dutifully.

Beyond the immediate cover-up by the police, the main institutions of the local “civilian” power swung into action and played their role in protecting the murdering cop and putting up a veil of secrecy around the crime. The video showed indisputably that this was cold-blooded murder. But more than a year went by as the superintendent and other top police, the “independent” police review authority, the state’s attorney, the city council, and Mayor Emanuel all tried to suppress the video.

Emanuel had been a top cog in the Chicago Democratic “machine” and then a high-level White House official under Obama before becoming mayor with Obama’s backing. He and others in the top levels of the power structure were terrified of the outrage and protest that the release of the video of the Laquan murder would touch off, among the most oppressed sections of the people terrorized by the police but also more broadly, in the third largest city in America—a longtime stronghold of the Democrats and Obama’s “home town.” The city of Chicago even reached an out-of-court agreement to pay Laquan McDonald’s family $5 million—in return for a stipulation that the family could not publicly release the video.

But investigative journalist Jamie Kalven and civil rights attorney Craig Futterman learned of the existence of the video from a whistleblower inside law enforcement. Kalven began reporting on it, as well as on the autopsy of Laquan that detailed exactly where each of the 16 bullets hit. The exposures and outrage built to a point where a judge ordered the release of the video. Emanuel had fought to block the release every step of the way. And once it became clear he could not stop it, he summoned ministers and community leaders before the release and threatened them with withdrawal of all funding for their programs and services if anything got out of hand in the neighborhoods. This was met with stony anger. Most refused to play the fireman role, and some actively called for people to be in the streets.

Conflicts Among the Rulers Over Police Reforms

The uproar once the video was released, 400 days after Laquan’s murder, led to a crisis in the halls of power. From the point of view of the rulers of this system, there was a dangerous crack in the “legitimacy” of the police—not only among Black and other oppressed people most affected by police terror and among those who were out in the streets protesting, but among much broader sections of society.

This was not just a “Chicago problem” for the rulers of this system. This was at a time when protests against the outrageous police murder of Michael Brown (shot down with his hands in the air), Eric Garner (choked to death by a gang of pigs in New York for selling loose cigarettes as he repeated “I can’t breathe”), and others were rocking the country. Two months before Laquan’s murder, defiant youths and others took to the streets in Ferguson for days and then weeks, refusing to back down in the face of tear gas, rubber bullets, and the National Guard. The Ferguson rebellion sent a shock wave, waking up millions about the ugly realities of what the police do to Black and other people of color, and inspiring a nationwide struggle for justice long overdue.

It is not hard to imagine that Emanuel either had in mind, or had it “called to his attention,” that were the video of Van Dyke’s outrageous murder of Laquan McDonald to come to light, the flames of protest could well rise much higher. Obama was already on the political defensive for this—after all, here was the “Black president” and what was he presiding over? The murder of Black youths by police... and those same police walking free.

Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) pursued “dual tactics” during this period. On the one hand, and most fundamentally, they backed up the local pig departments and generally refused to pursue any federal charges as one after the other of these cops walked free courtesy of the local prosecutors and grand juries. On the other, they moved to both make a show of and to actually attempt to curb some of the most egregious practices by conducting investigations and drawing up consent decrees, in which local pig departments were required to make some reforms, while maintaining the foundation of the whole thing: the role of the police as a repressive force in the Black community and other communities of color. They also attempted at this time to draw some of those who had emerged as activists into pursuing “a seat at the table” within the system itself.

All this got reversed when the Trump/Pence regime assumed power. Consent decrees were shelved and Trump even urged the police to be more brutal in a public speech on Long Island. Trump himself repeatedly threatened to send the “feds” into Chicago during his campaign and after, supposedly to stop the killings among the youth, but in actual fact to serve as a battleground and model to install a much more severely repressive agenda against Black and Latino people in the urban cores, first in Chicago and then everywhere.

This has gone on for a while through struggle over whether Chicago would have a consent decree to reform the police. (See sidebar, “The Chicago Consent Decree: What It Does and Doesn’t Do, and Why It Is Being Fought Over.”) Now this conflict has shifted to the Van Dyke trial itself.

This could be seen when, on the very opening day of the Van Dyke trial, Jeff Sessions sneaked into town to address an annual memorial for cops killed on duty and blamed protesters for hampering police and being responsible for the thousands of deaths from violence among the people. This notorious racist, now the highest law enforcement official in the country, said, “The last thing we need to do is to follow the protestations of anti-police radicals and those who have never walked a beat. If you want crime to go up, listen to the radicals. If you want crime to go down, listen to the professionals—listen to the police. And let me be blunt: This insight has been proven in Baltimore, St. Louis, Chicago. After riots, and violence, and political actions, unwise policies, violence began to surge, as proven, proactive policing faded in these communities. It was a catastrophe, really, for so many neighborhoods. Much blood has been spilled—thousands of unnecessary deaths resulted.”

The fake “concern” from Trump and Sessions about the violence among the people in Chicago is nothing but justification for criminalizing inner city youth and painting them as “savages” and further unleashing the killer police, as part of their overall agenda of clamping down fascist rule. This agenda will further advance if Van Dyke is not convicted of murder. As a statement by the Revolution Club of Chicago says, “If Van Dyke walks free, and the system is able to shove that verdict down the throats of the people, this will be a big green light for straight-up genocide. THIS CANNOT GO DOWN!”

Fighting for a Different Future

As the Van Dyke trial starts, there are different class and social forces in motion and putting out different views of the problem and the solution. For people who seek real justice and fundamental changes, this is important to take note of and understand. Chicago occupies a central place for both camps in the ruling class of this country—those represented by the Trump/Pence regime and by Obama and the Democratic Party. Trump has made draconian threats about cracking down on Chicago a major theme of the overall fascist agenda. The Democratic leadership fears that the Trump/Pence regime’s approach would lead to even more exposures about and opposition to the police and lead to even less “cooperation” with police forces that even someone like Philadelphia’s mayor conceded are seen as an “occupying army” in the ghettos and barrios, but they desperately do not want the masses of people to rise up and act outside the normal channels of this system. They are trying to lead people into putting their energies into voting and other activities within politics as usual, including the upcoming Chicago mayoral election now that Emanuel has opted out of a reelection bid—but this is a deadly trap, not a real solution.

In this situation, it is more imperative than ever for the masses of people to take independent historical action—to do what HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution talks about:

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.

This is what the Revolution Club is fighting, and leading people, to do: aiming to win everyone with a shred of humanity to stand up against the injustice concentrated in Laquan’s murder and demanding a GUILTY verdict in the trial of the killer cop. And as they do that, bringing forward the fact that ONLY a revolution, a fundamental change requiring the overthrow of this system, can put an end to the oppression of Black people and the other crimes of this system.

This trial will be one shaping factor in the political landscape this fall. It is imperative that revolutionaries everywhere keep their eyes on it and build support very broadly, in every city of the country. The stakes are very high. And one thing is clear:

VAN DYKE MUST NOT WALK!

THE KILLER COP MUST GO TO JAIL—
THE WHOLE DAMN SYSTEM IS GUILTY AS HELL!

 

Dashcam Video of Officer Jason Van Dyke Shooting Laquan McDonald

Police murder Laquan McDonald at 5 minute mark

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

"Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?" is a clip from the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN. The film is of the November 2014 historic Dialogue on a question of great importance in today's world between the Revolutionary Christian Cornel West and the Revolutionary Communist Bob Avakian. Watch the entire film here.

Chicago Pigs: A Very Long History of Wanton Murder, Brutality, and Torture

The Chicago police have a long and horrific history of shooting and outright murdering people and doing so with complete impunity. Here’s just some of that history.

In 1969, Black Panthers Fred Hampton, 21, and Mark Clark, 22, were murdered in cold blood by a special operations team of 14 Chicago police. The pigs stormed into the apartment, directed by Cook County Prosecutor Edward Hanrahan and acting in close coordination with the FBI Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO). Using a floor plan provided by an informant, the police shot anyone they saw and sprayed the apartment with machine gun fire. The cops’ lie of a gun battle was exposed when ballistics experts determined that only one of the bullets fired came from the Panthers’ side.

In 2015, the Guardian revealed horrific details of the Homan Square detention center—a secret interrogation warehouse where Chicago pigs “disappeared” 7,000 people, 6,000 of whom were Black. Only 68 were allowed access to a lawyer. People were tortured, some forced to make false confessions. Many disappeared for days, and lawyers and families could not find where they had been taken. The parallels to Guantánamo and CIA secret torture chambers around the world jump out. David Gaeger, a Chicago lawyer who had a client who was taken to Homan Square in 2011 after a marijuana bust, called it a “near-paramilitary wing of the government.”

Before this, there was Jon Burge, a Chicago pig commander who for over 20 years, starting in 1972, tortured people in custody. He and others tortured more than 100 Black men to force confessions and get people to incriminate co-defendants. The torture included beating with fists, clubs, and other objects; electric shock to the genitals with cattle prods and hand-cranked generators; suffocation with plastic bags; mock executions; Russian roulette; burning with a hot radiator; deprivation of sleep, food, and toilet facilities. Thirteen victims of this torture ended up on death row as a result of false confessions after the torture. Burge was protected from prosecution until the statute of limitations ran out—and then only did minor time for perjury—and other cops involved in the torture remained on the force.

The Chicago Tribune compiled a database of every time a Chicago cop fired a weapon from 2010 to 2015 and found that, on average, a Chicago cop fired a gun at someone every five days. In six years, there were 435 shootings, more than 2,620 bullets fired, with pigs killing 92 people and wounding 170 others. About four out of every five people shot by police were African-American men.

A government report obtained by the Invisible Institute showed that between late January 2004 and April 2016, there were more than 67,000 reports of use of force by Chicago cops. In addition to shootings, there were thousands of other uses of force involving an average of 10 people every day—where cops tackled, tased, or used other types of force on people, nearly 90 percent of whom were people of color. Young Black men were about 14 times more likely to experience a CPD use of force than young white men. And these numbers undoubtedly underestimate the instances of brutality because cops underreport or hide the uses of force against people.

 

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Revolution #560 September 10, 2018

The Chicago Consent Decree: What It Does and Doesn’t Do, and Why It Is Being Fought Over

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

It was in the context of the major upsurge of struggle against police murder that erupted over the police murders of first Michael Brown, then Eric Garner, and then others, that in late 2015 Obama’s Department of Justice stepped in to conduct an investigation into the Chicago Police Department. In January 2017, the DOJ issued a report that gave a picture of the widespread use of excessive and lethal force, in particular against Black and other oppressed people; a pattern of cover-ups; and the overtly racist mind-set in the CPD. The report found, for example, “many circumstances in which officers’ accounts of force incidents were later discredited, in whole or in part, by video evidence. Given the numerous use-of-force incidents without video evidence ... the pattern of unreasonable force is likely even more widespread....” They reported how cops and their supervisors regularly referred to Black people as “monkeys, animals, savages, and ‘pieces of shit.’”

The city of Chicago agreed to enter into a consent decree to allow federal supervision of the police, including various proposed reforms putting some restraints on the police—like better “supervision” of cops, more “transparency” about use of force, etc. This consent decree and others in various cities certainly did not come out of those in power suddenly realizing that their police have been murdering and brutalizing the people and that this injustice has to stop. No, the rulers have been forced into them by the struggles of the people, which were bringing to the surface some ugly truths about the nature and workings of this capitalist-imperialist system. Many middle class people and white people generally who normally turn away from or even blame the masses of Black people for the horrific conditions they live in were having their eyes forced open—beginning to see there is a huge problem with how the police treat Black people, which raised questions about their illusions of how America is the land of “fairness” and “justice.”

The consent decrees in no way put a stop to police terror in general nor did they substantially diminish the oppression of Black, Latino, and other people of color. But other powerful forces at the top opposed the DOJ even admitting that there are some “bad” cops and that police departments needed to be “reformed,” because they insisted such actions conceded legitimacy to the protests and weakened the police. And with the inauguration of Donald Trump and installation of his fascist regime—just a week after the DOJ report on Chicago came out—those forces now hold the reins of executive power in the federal government. Attorney General Jeff Sessions claimed that even the modest reforms pushed under Obama “cost more lives by handcuffing the police instead of the criminals,” and his DOJ declared that they will no longer enforce or enter into consent decrees mandating federal oversight of police departments. (As the accompanying article points out, Sessions snuck into Chicago on September 5 to reiterate and underline this reactionary stand.)

And Trump himself has made crystal clear that his regime is removing all restraints on the police, calling on them to “please don’t be too nice” to the masses of people, who are in fact brutalized and terrorized by these pigs day in and day out. Using the heart-rending violence among the people in Chicago as a hypocritical and sinister justification for increased repression, Trump declared days after his inauguration that if Chicago doesn’t “fix” the problem, “I will send in the Feds.” What all this means is that the slow genocide that has inflicted Black and Brown people in this country is not only continuing but intensifying, openly incited from the highest levels of power.

Meanwhile, the DOJ under Trump was making clear that it was ditching the consent decrees in Chicago and elsewhere. In response, civil rights lawyers at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University law schools filed a class action suit, arguing that their clients were at a high risk of having their constitutional rights violated by the police and seeking supervision of the Chicago Police Department overseen by a federal judge; in other words, what would effectively be a new consent decree. This suit forced a great deal of exposure of the CPD into the light and it is worth reading over. (Go here for a PDF of the suit.) It was endorsed by editorials in the two main Chicago papers, the New York Times, and by other forces.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel tried to have the suit dismissed, saying a consent decree was unnecessary because the city itself was implementing reforms. But in the meantime, Illinois State Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a Democrat, had stepped in to push for a consent decree and reforms overseen by a federal judge on the basis of the pattern of unconstitutional policing revealed in the Obama DOJ report. In negotiations with Madigan over the decree, Emanuel tried to limit the scope of reforms, such as whether cops should be required to report every time they draw their weapons. The decree is being supported to varying degrees by different civil rights and activist groups, independent journalists, and others.

As the trial of Van Dyke opened, Madigan and Emanuel announced that they had reached a deal on the consent decree.

But even the relatively tame reforms proposed by the consent decree—concessions won through the struggle of the people—are loudly condemned and opposed by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the police union. And they are backed from the highest levels. In May of this year, Trump tweeted open support for the FOP and attacked Emanuel: “Chicago Police have every right to legally protest against the mayor and an administration that just won’t let them do their job. The killings are at a record pace and tough police work, which Chicago will not allow, would bring things back to order fast...the killings must stop!” Then, as noted in the main article, Sessions went to Chicago right before the trial to reaffirm this support and in effect throw the weight of the federal government behind acquittal.

The FOP is challenging the consent decree in the courts. But even if they are unable to legally block the decree, they effectively hold veto power, because under the city’s collective bargaining agreement, a number of key provisions in the decree cannot be implemented unless the FOP agrees to changes in relevant sections of their contract!

What all this and so many other stories like it most clearly show is that the masses must fight like hell to get even the most limited concessions, which then come under constant attack; that these fights can awaken others, bring to light further abuses of the system and spark people to seek the causes of those abuses, and strengthen people’s fighting capacity and organization; but that to get the most fundamental change, to uproot the underlying causes of the endless abuses and outrages, requires a whole different system—through an actual revolution.

Cards: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

How the Police Murdered Laquan McDonald, How the System Tried to Cover It Up, the Danger of a Whitewashed Murdering Pig Walking Free… and What We Must Do NOW!

September 10, 2018

Read more.

 

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Revolution #560 September 10, 2018

From the Revolution Club Chicago:

As Trial of Pig Who Killed Laquan Begins:
Fighting the Power, and Transforming the People, for Revolution

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the Revolution Club Chicago

On Wednesday, September 5, the trial began of the murdering pig who killed Laquan McDonald. The Revolution Club Chicago issued a statement, “THE MURDERER OF LAQUAN MCDONALD MUST NOT WALK FREE! WE NEED AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION!! AND WE NEED YOU TO BE PART OF IT!” and has started to get out to the people about what is happening with this trial and what we need to do now to not allow it to be an accelerator to genocide against Black and Brown people, but instead to make it be a way we advance the revolution and break out of being encircled and crushed.

On the beginning day of the trial, the Revolution Club marched into the protests in formation and marched in front of the courthouse chanting, “Indict, convict, send the killer cop to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell!” and “It’s time, it’s time, to get organized for an actual revolution!” This was part of a whole scene where a number of organizations rallied across the street, and people going in to their court dates and who were drawn to the Revolution Club presence stopped and chanted along with us or stepped in to march for a couple minutes.

A few days later, the Revolution Club went out to a big street festival on the South Side, mobilizing a crew to get out to the people with the message about this trial and spreading the word of the revolution we need, the leadership and strategy and organization we have, and what we need to do now to build for revolution. We took a banner that said, “Convict Van Dyke, the Whole System Is Guilty!” and we had a flyer announcing the important new film and upcoming preview showing of the talk by Bob Avakian, Why We Need an Actual Revolution and How We Can Really Make Revolution.

As happens routinely in this city, almost immediately the authorities attempted to intervene and stop this message from connecting with people—police, some of the festival organizers, and a private security company tried to physically and violently move us. An attorney who was out with the club worked hard to get the police to follow their own laws and back off of this attack. She did this in the context of everyone in the Revolution Club crew standing strong and continuing to reach out to the masses, and then the people at the festival responding to the message we were bringing.

A crowd gathered in support of the Revolution Club, with some people directly stepping in to yell at the security guards and festival organizers and others walking up in the middle of everything to ask for flyers and then passing them out to people walking by. As the authorities were backing off, a well known community figure in the area who was part of the festival came up and shook the hand of everyone in the Revolution Club crew, signaling his support to friend and foe. A bit later, a different festival organizer came and offered us the use of an empty booth, where we set up and reached out to people the rest of the time we were there. People came up throughout the day saying they were proud of us.

In Chicago, the word that the Van Dyke trial is starting is still beginning to get out, but almost everyone knows the name Laquan or the story of what happened to him. Shot 16 times while he was walking away from the police. He was 17 years old. When the video came out, it showed how ALL the pigs had lied and completely made up the story that Laquan was trying to attack the police with a knife, and that the killer pig Jason Van Dyke “feared for his life.” The police superintendent and the mayor covered up the video for a year.

The other part people know and feel is the pain, because it never leaves. Not when the killing continues day after day. Not when so many have lost so many to the violence among the people that bubbles up continuously from the poisonous depths of this system that has no future for the youth, and to police guns cutting down children and fathers and grandmothers, cousins and brothers, husbands and lovers, terrorizing the masses of Black and Brown people.

What people remember less clearly or never understood is how the protests that erupted when the video came out rocked the city, how people lifted their heads when they stood up and how their protests reached into other sections of society, into the suburbs and into the upscale downtown theaters, how people who usually don’t see, SAW and felt something about the brutal oppression and systemic violence committed against Black people, standing with and supporting the protests in the streets. Breaking down that division is something that has to happen again and even stronger. The situation of Black people being dehumanized and portrayed as vicious criminals and savages has caused tsunamis of unnecessary suffering—and in the current situation, the attacks on Black and Brown people are intensifying with the openly white supremacist, fascist Trump/Pence regime in power.

As we said in our statement, “From the slave catchers to the KKK lynch mobs to the heavily armed police of today, this system has always terrorized the masses of Black people as a whole. To put an end to this, the whole system needs to be overthrown, and we have to protest and resist the brutality of this system NOW as part of how we get ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.”

This month, as this trial unfolds and as people need to be spreading the word of this revolution and taking to the streets in protest, there will also be something happening that can change the whole equation in a powerful way. On September 22, the Revolution Club Chicago is hosting a preview screening of a new talk from Bob Avakian: Why We Need an Actual Revolution and How We Can Really Make Revolution. Bob Avakian is the leader of the revolution and the architect of a new framework for human emancipation, the new communism. He gave this talk in several cities this summer. We have never had a leader like BA and there has never been a talk like this on this topic. Everybody who wants to see an end to white supremacy and all the horrors this system rains down on people not just here, but all over the world—the wars for empire, the degradation of women, the destruction of the environment, the criminalization of immigrants—needs to hear the case made by Bob Avakian. And starting now, be part of organizing thousands and influencing millions for revolution.

 


Revolution Club Chicago at street festival on the South Side. Above and below.

 

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Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

"Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?" is a clip from the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN. The film is of the November 2014 historic Dialogue on a question of great importance in today's world between the Revolutionary Christian Cornel West and the Revolutionary Communist Bob Avakian. Watch the entire film here.

 

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Revolution #560 September 10, 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 #560 September 10, 2018

Excerpt from SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION, On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, An Interview with Ardea Skybreak

Getting Clearer on the Need for Revolution—
Breaking With Wrong Ideas and Illusions

June 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the early part of 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. This interview was first published online at www.revcom.us.

Q: In the process of coming to see the need for revolution and communism, what were some of the key previous ways of thinking that you had to break with?

AS: Well, let me see. One thing—it didn’t last long, but when I was in high school, I briefly went through a little bit of a pacifist stage. I remember making little peace symbols out of copper wire. [laughs] Look, like most decent people, I’m not inclined to simply accept human suffering and death and destruction—if this could be avoided, I’d say so much the better. But I came to understand, even early on, the nature of the system that dominates this society and that causes so much exploitation and oppression, and I came to understand the tremendous violence of that system—violence that is perpetrated on the people on a daily basis. All you have to do is look at all the police brutality and murder that goes on, that everybody’s been talking about lately, and which has been going on for a long, long, time. That’s one example of it. But there is also what they do in the course of their imperialist wars—and they’re ruthless. I mean, these are very, very violent people and very, very violent institutions. And, yes, they’re very powerful. They have tremendously sophisticated and developed weaponry and military forces, and so on. So you’d have to be very non-materialist and very naive to think that you could just, at some point, politely say to them: “Excuse me, but could you please just step aside and let us run society in a more reasonable and rational manner that would benefit most of humanity? Oh, and by the way, you and your way of doing things? You’re out!” [laughs] To think that they wouldn’t come back at you with tremendous violence, with everything they could throw at you—you’d have to be very naive to think that. So, this became very clear to me. I don’t know any revolutionary communists who are thirsting for blood and carnage, or any such thing. You are talking about decent people, who are not cold to the reality, who don’t fail to understand what it means for people to suffer and die and to lose close friends and family. But yes, I broke with pacifism, even in high school. Like I said, it was a very brief phase, because in those days people were talking about what it was that imperialism was actually doing here and around the world, so you got to see and hear about their tremendous brutality, the tremendous violence they were routinely perpetrating. People were talking about it, and were willing to investigate it, and were willing to share that knowledge with each other. They were not just trying to cultivate their own gardens.

Ardea Skybreak Science and Revolution excerpts A New Theoretical Framework for a New Stage of Communist Revolution What Is New in the New Synthesis? The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic--A Visionary and Concrete Application of the New Synthesis Serious Engagement with the New Synthesis--The Difference It Could Make An Explorer, a Critical Thinker, a Follower of BA Some Thank Yous That Need To Be Said Aloud Order the book here Download the full interview in PDF format here

So again, this was a time when there was a lot of mass discussion and debate around such things as the question of reform versus revolution. Would it be better to try to “work within the system,” or outside the system? This was a mass question in society at that time. Could you change things through elections? Could you just try to find more progressive candidates? Is that the way you should try to change things? Or did you need to recognize that the system itself was functioning on a basis that could not really accommodate to a new and more just and equitable way of life, and that could not deal with getting rid of all these injustices and outrages and violence, and that it would therefore have to be forcibly removed as a system in order to clear the way for a new kind of society?

Now, people in those days in the U.S. certainly didn’t know too much about how to go about making a revolution. At the time I personally certainly didn’t know anything about revolutionary organization or revolutionary strategy. When I was first being affected by these social movements and developments, I had never even heard of the concept of what’s known as a Leninist party, a vanguard party. I had no sense of why one would even need such a party in order to be able to carry out a revolution. And there were a lot of other things that even revolutionary-inclined people just didn’t know anything about, but that would be essential for making an actual revolution in a country like the U.S. For instance, how would you go about uniting people very broadly, but still manage to maintain strategic focus on preparing minds and organizing forces for an actual revolution aimed at dismantling the existing system and at setting up the basis for a socialist society? What forces should you involve? What forces should you rely on? There were many, many such questions. What kind of stages might this go through? And how would you even begin to set up a new society? Again, things were very primitive in some ways back then, and there were more questions than answers, but many people were actively searching for those answers. And what was impressive was how many people cared, how much they cared, and how many people were willing to sacrifice a lot of their own lives and a lot of their—frankly, a lot of their own happiness, or stability, or safety, or things like that. And that was inspiring, too. People in large numbers were willing not only to dream of a better world, but also to take steps and act in accordance with those dreams.

Personally, I would say that the other thing I had to break with was...look, I didn’t come from the hard streets. My family was always strapped for money when I was growing up but, for a number of reasons, I was able to get a very fancy education, and therefore I had a lot of entrée, or access, into a very privileged world of intellectuals. And that meant that there was a basis for me to end up having a pretty comfortable professional life, doing all the things that I really enjoyed doing, and making a living at it. I was lucky enough at a very young age to be able to have a lot of very positive experiences that way: to travel internationally, to conduct scientific experimentation, and basically to thoroughly enjoy myself. But at a certain point, I really had to confront the question of “self,” and how much was I going to remain on a track that encouraged and basically promoted and prioritized my own well-being, versus how much was I going to dedicate myself to trying to make a better world for humanity in general, and work on relegating “self” to a more secondary position, and no longer proceed from prioritizing just my own personal needs.

And look, I suspect there are quite a few people today who are like I was back then. People who have a lot of potential, who could make a lot of contributions to the revolution, but who still have some trouble with the notion of subordinating “self” to something larger than themselves and putting first things first, on the right basis. Especially given the prevailing “me, me, me” culture of today! But I guess, first of all, you have to care, right? That’s one thing that in my own experience I could never quite shake off: I actually did care a lot about the outrages, the injustices, the tremendous unnecessary suffering people were subjected to in both the United States and in the Third World. Now, caring, in itself, that’s a good start, but it’s not quite enough. The next question becomes: Are you going to do some work to get a deeper scientific understanding of why all these outrages keep happening? Why can’t we get past all this? Why do these same problems keep coming up over and over again? Why can’t we get to a better society, to a more reasonable and rational society, that would actually benefit the vast majority of people?

Then, once you start finding the scientific answers to those kinds of questions, a new set of moral questions comes up. OK, now you know enough: In at least a basic sense you know what the source of the problem is; you know that the system can’t be reformed; you know that it’s going to take a revolution, and that revolution is a complicated process; and you also know there aren’t enough people who have this understanding yet, that there aren’t enough people who are part of this process, and that a whole lot more people are going to need to get involved for there to be any chance at succeeding in making an actual revolution. So then that poses a moral dilemma, a dilemma of conscience. You get to that point, and you basically have two choices: you can either look at yourself in the mirror and say: I know too much to turn away, and I really have to become part of this; or you say: Well, you know, I kinda like my life, thank you very much, and I think I’ll just go on and do what I feel like doing as an individual, and turn my back on the people who are suffering under this system.

Once again we are at a time when a lot of people should be asking themselves these types of questions.

Q: I think this relates very much to what BA talks about in terms of the head and the heart. There is the scientific understanding that the world doesn’t have to be this way, and it could be radically different. And then it seems like—another thing your own experience points to, including for intellectuals in particular, is having to make the decision—at a certain point you made the decision to fully give your heart to humanity and to the revolution and to the masses of people. You could have had, I’m sure, a career as a natural scientist...

AS:     Well, I did.

Q: Well, you did. But I mean you could have continued to focus on that career. Right? You could have kept going that way. And you made a decision at a certain point to give your heart to the revolution. So how did you make that decision to give your heart to the revolution?

AS: Well, I think it’s what I was just saying: realizing that I knew too much at that point to turn away from what I understood. What I understood on a scientific basis. Also, having gained some sense of the revolutionary possibilities. I never thought that the revolutionary process would be an easy process. I always expected that there would be sacrifices and risks. Like many people who came out of the ‘60s, you expected that you might be jailed, you might be killed—just for opposing U.S. imperialism. I mean, look at what happened to the people at Kent State and Jackson State, for instance. They were college students—but that didn’t save them. When you get to a certain point, if you have a heart and you care, and in addition to that you also have some scientific understanding of problems and solutions, then it becomes pretty difficult to live with yourself if you turn away from all that. Because then every single time you open a newspaper, or you turn on the TV or something, and there’s Trayvon Martin dead in the street, or Eric Garner, who can’t breathe, being choked by the police right on video, or Mike Brown gunned down so brutally—and all the Oscar Grants and all the Amadou Diallos and all the Sean Bells. And they stay with you, you don’t turn away, and you don’t forget them. There are so many outrages like that, and when I see those things, I feel like any one of them is enough for me to want to make a revolution. Any one of them is enough of a reason! Because I do understand: it’s not an accident, it’s not an anomaly, it’s not something that “just happened” because of some individual rogue cop or something. I understand how all this is systemic, it’s built into the very fabric of the capitalist-imperialist system. That’s why these things keep on happening. And it’s the same thing every time a woman or a young girl is cast out by her family for being pregnant, or a woman becomes pregnant and seeks an abortion but she can’t get one because there are no longer abortion clinics in her state, or she has to travel many miles away, and she ends up not being able to get an abortion and is forced, literally forced, to give birth to a child she never wanted or is simply not ready to raise and take care of because of her circumstances. I look at all that cruelty and I recognize it as a form of slavery. A woman who is denied the right to control her own reproduction is reduced to the status of a slave, and all women everywhere are objectively degraded by this. So again, all these outrages, any one of these outrages...that’s enough for me to want a revolution and to get serious about it.

Or every time this system uses the death penalty against people—you hear about people who’ve been convicted who were clearly innocent, and who’ve been thrown into the dungeons of the prison system for decades, or are executed; or people with obvious mental health problems who are executed. Any one of those kinds of things is enough.

Every time they turn away people at the border, or they deport people and break up families, or they gun down people on the border, and label people as “illegals”.... Any one of those examples is enough for me to want a revolution, and to want to work for it.

Every time I see a homeless person, trundling along, trying to find a place to sleep for the night, because they can’t...because in this incredibly wealthy society, there’s not even a place for them to get basic shelter! Or people are going hungry. BA sharply called this out: why isn’t there a right to eat?

Or when I hear about things like the U.S. sending its drones and its bomber planes to countries in the Middle East, dropping bombs on people, wiping out civilians, I don’t think about, Oh, what fancy technology they have, or how clever those drones are. I’m thinking about bodies exploding and brains splattered, and families broken up, and suffering horribly. Any one of those things is enough to want a revolution.

When I think of women throughout the world and the sex trade, and the promotion of pornography, where generations of boys and young men are being trained to think of sex basically in rape-culture terms, and they have no idea—nobody seems to have any idea any more—of what really good sex is, or feels like, or how to have decent relationships. And there’s this constant promotion of the degradation and dehumanization of women as mere sex objects and a widespread and worldwide trade in young girls and women as literal sex slaves. When is enough enough?

So any one of those stories, that you can find in any daily newspaper, or on the television news or on the internet, is enough of a reason for me. And multiply that by millions of times. But it wouldn’t be enough if I just thought, this is horrible, this is tragic, this is terrible. If that’s all I thought, or understood, then frankly I would probably get pretty discouraged and depressed about it all, and I would probably kind of turn away from it. Maybe I would just stop reading newspapers, or watching the news or checking things out on the internet, you know, because it would be so discouraging. But, I don’t turn away from it, and I don’t get numb to it. And the reason I don’t turn away is because I do understand what the scientific evidence tells us about what these problems are rooted in, in terms of the fundamental form of organization of a capitalist-imperialist society. I understand that these things are direct outgrowths of that particular form of societal organization. I understand that, in past times, human beings found very different ways of organizing their societies (not that they were any great shakes, or free of oppression because they weren’t), and this reminds me that human beings could once again re-organize their societies on a completely different basis: one such radical reorganization would be to replace the existing capitalist-imperialist form of society with a socialist society, that is in turn moving in the direction of an even more fully emancipatory communist society. And that would be, I am absolutely convinced, a far better world, not just for a handful of people here or there, but for the vast majority of human beings across the planet.

So that’s what keeps me going: the understanding of the problem, and the understanding that there is actually a material basis, in the existing relations of society, to transform things in that direction, toward revolution and socialism, and ultimately a communist world. It’s not gonna happen all by itself. It’s not like the system’s going to collapse by itself and then one fine day we’ll wake up and say, oooh, I guess capitalism collapsed, so now we can build up a new and better society. No. It is going to require conscious human intervention. It is going to require people banding together to consciously work on the problem, to work on those contradictions, to develop a process that creates new conditions that will ripen towards being able to have a revolution. It is going to require that. But it is possible.

And I’d much rather live in that kind of new society, and any sane person should want to do that, too.

Q: I think part of the point is that a lot more intellectuals and scientists need to do what you did, and give their heart to the revolution and to the masses of people.

AS: Well, obviously I agree with that, because you need more and more people to join in the revolutionary process. But I don’t want to make it sound as though it’s something that people have to do right when they are first learning about it. If people are newly checking this out, it would be pretty daunting to think like, Oh my god, I can’t even look into this, I can’t even learn about it, because these people are gonna put pressure on me and ask me to become part of everything right away, and to commit my life to this, or something. And I think it’s important to understand that people can be part of the process at different levels and to different degrees. Just make a start. There’s a place for everyone. There’s a place for people to come into things, and learn about it, to just check things out, and become informed. That’s the first step.

Educate yourself, become informed, and go regularly to that revcom.us website. Definitely check out BA’s works. Talk to people. Become part of the struggle around one or another issue of importance to you. Keep your ears open, study and learn, and evaluate things as you see what’s before you. You shouldn’t feel like you have to make a life commitment to things to just start getting into it. And the same thing in terms of being part of the process. There are many, many different ways that people can contribute to the process. Some people will devote their entire lives to it, and it will become the primary focus and priority of their lives. Other people will contribute to the extent they can in different ways: Some people will contribute money, some people will contribute support in different ways, some people will participate in helping to spread the word about one or another initiative, or they’ll contribute in other ways.

Once again, there is a real need for more and more people to join the revolutionary process, and a great need for growing numbers of people to actually dedicate their lives to this, in the fullest sense, but I’m trying to make the point that I don’t want people to feel like you have to go from zero to 60 right away. I’m a scientist in my approach. I don’t think anybody should jump to something just on the basis of, say, a few people talking about it. Come in and do the work, and check things out, and learn about things, and be part of the process. Ask your questions, learn more, ask more questions. Compare and contrast what you encounter with other viewpoints and approaches and methods. Above all, check it out in relation to reality, and see if it seems to correspond to reality as it actually is. And then act accordingly.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/559/new-podcast-series-en.html

Revolution #560 September 10, 2018

 

  New Podcast Series for Revcom.us—Volunteer!

 

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader

As part of building and strengthening the presence of revcom.us/Revolution newspaper on social media, and getting out to masses of people the science, the strategy, and the leadership for an actual revolution, a new podcast series is being developed, featuring articles from this site read aloud, with a simple intro and outro to direct people to dig deeply into all of this and get organized into the movement. We are calling on readers of revcom.us to contribute to this effort by offering their voice, expertise, and thoughts on how to make this as influential as it needs to be. This podcast must reach the students and youth on campuses who need to be digging into the questions put forward by revcom.us and receiving guidance on how to really change the world. It needs to reach people in the most desperate of conditions in the inner cities and the rural areas—people who have been denied the right to a quality education or even the chance to become literate. Everywhere people are agonizing over the state of the world, looking at their own futures or the future of humanity with a sense of dread, people need to get connected to this website and the works of Bob Avakian. This project can be a powerful tool for spreading this revolution.

Volunteer to be part of recording, posting and promoting.  Contact revclub_la@yahoo.com to get connected to the volunteers working on this.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/547/commitment-and-process-of-building-movement-for-revolution-en.html

Revolution #560 September 10, 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!*

 

 

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/366/what-is-an-actual-revolution-en.html

Revolution #560 September 10, 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!

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/560/over-200-arrested-at-fascist-kavanaugh-confirmation-hearing-en.html

Revolution #560 September 10, 2018

“I Am What’s at Stake!”
Over 200 Arrested at Fascist Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Hearing

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Barely a minute after the start of the Senate hearings on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s second fascist choice for the U.S. Supreme Court, the disruption began. Protesters in the back of the room began rising, one after the other, holding signs and shouting as loudly as they could until they were dragged out of the room by police. Most, but not all, protesting this patriarchal fascist were women. Some women wore T-shirts that said “I Am What’s at Stake.” Others wore black veils or put black tape over their mouths.

This was not a single outburst—it continued throughout the day, and throughout the four days of hearings that ended on Friday, disrupting and at times preventing them from going forward. On the first day alone, more than 60 were arrested, 73 on the second day, and by the end of the week over 227 had been arrested inside the Senate hearing room as well as at other protests.

As this was taking place in the hearing room, dozens were lined up outside waiting their chance to come in and protest. A group of women organized by Demand Justice dressed as characters from The Handmaid's Tale—the story of a future in which women are enslaved by men as incubators—stood silently outside the hearing room. One day people occupied the office of Senator Charles Grassley, the Republican chairing the committee hearings. Greenpeace USA projected #KavaNOPE and Stop Kavanaugh onto the top of the Supreme Court building to tell the Senate: “STOP Kavanaugh’s confirmation!” Planned Parenthood organized people to line the U.S. Capitol’s halls outside of the hearing room from 11 am to 1 pm each day and held vigils at night. These were the most vocal and disruptive protests at any Supreme Court nomination hearing in memory. There were also protests in other cities, including Refuse Fascism protests in Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Philadelphia, and Honolulu demanding #StopKavanaugh, #AbortionOnDemand, and #TrumpPenceMustGo.

Trump was outraged and suggested protest itself should be outlawed: “I think it’s embarrassing for the country to allow protesters.” Grassley, in charge of the fascist mob ramming through Kavanaugh’s confirmation, denounced the protests as “mob rule.” (Some Democrats whined that the protests would hurt them with “independent” voters in the November midterm elections.)

People from across the country answered the call put out by Women’s March, NARAL, and Ultraviolet to take direct action to stop the hearings; other organizations, including Code Pink and Greenpeace, also mobilized people. A range of views was expressed—from “saving our democracy” to denunciations of Kavanaugh’s racism, misogyny, attacks on disabled people, and more. But there was a palpable sense that adding Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court represented a very dangerous leap in the assaults on people’s basic rights. The executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, who was arrested Tuesday, said, “My goal is for this nomination to not go through. The stakes have never been higher.”

Among those arrested the first day for protesting inside the hearing room was actor Piper Perabo, the star of Covert Affairs. Afterwards she tweeted, “Many citizens before me have fought for the equal rights of women. I can’t be silent when someone is nominated to the Supreme Court who would take our equal rights away.”

As Refuse Fascism tweeted, “Now with the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the Trump/Pence regime is poised to impose an extreme and long-lasting transformation of the highest court in this country—a major leap in the consolidation of fascism.”

 

People from across the country answered the call to take direct action to stop the hearings. Here people protest in Hawaii. (Special to www.revcom.us/Revolution)

Protester at the hearings for confirmation of Kavanaugh being dragged out of the committee room by Capitol Police. Photo: AP

Women wore T-shirts that said “I Am What’s At Stake.” Photo: AP

Outbursts continued throughout the four days of hearings, disrupting and at times preventing them from going forward. Photo: AP

Some women wore black veils and put black tape over their mouths. Photo: AP

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/560/voices-from-the-dc-kavanaugh-protests-en.html

Revolution #560 September 10, 2018

Voices from the DC Kavanaugh Protests

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Revcom spoke with two members of Refuse Fascism about why they traveled to Washington, DC, to protest and disrupt the September 4-7 Senate confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Their views are their own.

 

Lillian, a volunteer with the Refuse Fascism NYC chapter

Revcom: What did you do and say in the hearings?

Lillian: I was the second wave coming in of spectators at the hearing. I stood up. I’m not used to doing this kind of thing. There were all these flashbulbs going off. I said, “With all due respect Senator, do not let Kavanaugh become a member of the Supreme Court. He will confirm Trump as a fascist dictator. For the sake of humanity refuse fascism.”

As I said this the police were hustling me out. A German Facebook friend of mine said I was on German TV [although] the Senators were talking over the activists.

Revcom: How do you see the danger represented by Kavanaugh?

Lillian: There are multiple dangers. The danger of depriving us of our rights. And probably the scariest to me is locking down the Trump administration as fascist. For young women, of course, it’s Roe v. Wade. For women in general, including me, it’s lowering the position of women in general. And the man lied, according to many of the commentators. He lied under oath, and that is very scary, that someone like that would be on the Supreme Court.

—————

Mark—a member of Refuse Fascism

Revcom: What did you do and say in the hearings?

Mark: I wasn’t arrested, but I was outside protesting with Refuse Fascism. I brought my guitar, did my song “Fuck You Donald Trump, New York Hates You.” This time I added “Stop Brett Kavanaugh.” Outside the hearing you had a line of women who had traveled—a group from Alaska, from Arkansas. Lots of women from the Women’s March.

I talked to a lot of people, specifically to the danger of Brett Kavanaugh. It’s suspected that with his confirmation to the Supreme Court abortion will no longer be legal in the U.S., and that means women will start dying from illegal abortions. So women are very concerned about their right to do as they choose with their bodies. Roe v. Wade was obviously an issue that brought a lot of women down. And an issue very important to me, and to other people.

Kavanaugh is on record saying [former President Richard] Nixon could have been handled differently ... His sound bite: a president can’t be indicted. So let’s say the Mueller probe takes two years and has everything they need on the man in the White House. Guess what, it won’t matter because the Supreme Court [with Kavanaugh] decides you can’t indict a president, so you’re still stuck with a fascist.

Where I differed with a lot of people on line, as I was signing people up for Refuse Fascism, was about voting. I was able to turn a lot of people on to the point that the vote actually brought us this problem... But the thing I ran into with people from the Women’s March is they are mad, they are ready, and that means fill out the circle and vote. My desire is for people to get in the streets and demand removal. That worked in Armenia most recently, and in South Korea. Why is it when we have a problem we look to elected officials to solve it for us? That doesn’t make sense. We should be fighting our own battles, and especially now because our future is in danger because of elected officials.

I met so many amazing people ready to go into that hearing, to go in and raise hell. It was inspiring and rejuvenating.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/560/sunsara-taylor-stop-kavanaugh-stop-a-fascist-america-get-organized-for-revolution-en.html

Revolution #560 September 10, 2018

The Kavanaugh Emergency:

We Don’t Need to “Save ‘Our’ Court”—We DO Need to Resist & Stop Kavanaugh, STOP a Fascist America and Get Organized for an Actual Revolution!

by Sunsara Taylor

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The past week has witnessed Senate hearings over the most monumental Supreme Court nomination in decades. In a matter of weeks, the Supreme Court could have not just a “conservative majority,” but a solidly pro-fascist majority that is a pliant tool in the Trump/Pence regime’s drive to “Make America WHITE Again,” to impose Christian fascist theocracy, to completely deregulate and accelerate the destruction of our planet, and to eviscerate civil rights and civil liberties. Christian fascist ghouls, America-First warmongers, and racists everywhere are absolutely giddy.

A Nominee to Drag America Back to Trump’s Retrograde Vision of “Greatness”

Brett Kavanaugh is a stone-cold originalist. Originalism is a theory of law which holds that any “right” that is not explicitly written in the Constitution or in a ratified amendment, and which is not “rooted into the traditions and conscience of our people,” simply does not exist. But what were the rights written into the Constitution? The right to hold Black people in chattel slavery, of husbands to rape their wives, of white settlers to exterminate Native peoples, and more. And while there have been amendments since then that have restricted and overturned some of these atrocities, the “traditions and conscience” of America have been an unbroken chain of racist lynchings (whether by KKK or by police), of epidemic violence against and denial of reproductive rights to women, of destruction and poisoning of the environment, of draconian repression against political dissidents and revolutionaries, of xenophobic racism, of anti-LGBTQ bigotry, and many more violations of the fundamental rights of the people.

Concretely, this legal theory has been used as a cudgel for decades now—starting in earnest during the Supreme Court headed by William Rehnquist, Kavanaugh’s “first judicial hero”—to reverse and/or gut the whole direction the Supreme Court had taken in the 1960s and ’70s, during the era when rights were being expanded to Black people, to women, and to many others. Kavanaugh explicitly celebrated Rehnquist’s dissent (disagreement) in the Supreme Court ruling which legalized abortion (Roe v. Wade) as well as Rehnquist’s successes in drastically expanding the ability of the police and prosecutors to use illegally obtained evidence in the courts to convict and imprison people accused of crimes. And Kavanaugh’s own record shows extreme hostility to women’s right to abortion and even birth control, to the separation of church and state, to environmental regulations, to attempts to curtail racism and discrimination, to torture victims, and much, much more.

The Democrats “Resist,” but on Ruling Class Terms

Many leading Democrats are genuinely alarmed at the way Kavanaugh would turn the highest court into a tool in Trump’s drive to rip up the social compact and legitimating norms that have held this country together for generations. They are also alarmed about how Trump’s court-packing could “lock in” Republi-fascist rule no matter what—both by eviscerating voting rights, cementing gerrymandering, etc. and through the fact that a majority fascist Supreme Court will give these Republi-fascists veto power for the next 30 years over any social legislation even if the Democrats somehow gain a majority in one or both houses of Congress.

Because of this, the hearing has been marked at times by an unusual level of open defiance from Democrats. Through their questions and invited experts, they have dragged into the open Kavanaugh’s hostility to the rights of women, LGBTQ people, Black people, and others; his likely role in George W. Bush’s crimes against humanity; and his shocking views that the president is above the law.

However, it is important to note that these Democrats have saved their real fire for more procedural complaints, like the fact that Republicans kept much of Kavanaugh’s record sealed.

Kamala Harris, for example, interrupted the fascist Republican Chuck Grassley to ask that he postpone the hearings to allow time to review newly released documents. Dick Durbin appealed directly to Kavanaugh to postpone his own hearings, again to be able to review documents. Cory Booker likened himself to Spartacus, the leader of a historic slave revolt, and expressed willingness to endure censure or even be kicked out of the Senate for reading into the record a document that had been sealed from the public.

While it is a fascist maneuver by the Republicans to keep so much of Kavanaugh’s record secret, focusing on this obscures the bald-face reality that Kavanaugh’s views are already well known. It further obscures the fact that these Democrats, even as they raise a hue and cry, more fundamentally are participating in and legitimizing the approval of this completely illegitimate, pro-fascist judge.

In fact, even as they put on their show of opposition, they bent over backwards to demonstrate their civility towards the fascists. Diane Feinstein, before asking a single question of Kavanaugh, apologized to him for the protesters who kept courageously disrupting. Cory Booker, even as he challenged the process, praised Grassley for showing the “patience of Job.”

Contrast this to the way Republicans blocked not just Merrick Garland, Obama’s Supreme Court nominee—refusing to even meet with him or give him a hearing for over a year—but also dozens of other federal judges nominated by Obama. Because of their efforts, when Trump assumed the presidency he had not just an empty Supreme Court seat to fill, but also 107 other judgeships. By contrast, Reagan had 35 judgeships to fill and Obama had 54. And, quiet as it’s been kept, just last week, Democratic leader Chuck Schumer personally fast-tracked 15 more of Trump’s fascist federal judges for approval!

Still, while it is essential to recognize and call out the objectively collaborationist dynamic of the Democrats’ “resistance,” it is also a fact that even this very narrowly constrained opposition—together with the major ruling class challenges to Trump, including everything concentrated in McCain’s funeral and the anonymous op-ed from a high-level White House official—is contributing to arousing a fighting spirit of people across this country who yearn to see this nightmare ended.

The Righteous Anger of the People—Which Way Will It Go?

More than 200 people have been arrested for courageously disrupting the hearings and/or occupying senators’ offices—and each reflects and represents the simmering anger of countless others who are watching in horror and anguish across the country. These righteous disrupters have yelled out about the women who will die from illegal abortions, about the disabled who will lose their health care and possibly their lives, about the rights of Black people and Native people, and more. This anger is righteous and extremely positive. At the same time, even more frequently people have cried out to senators to “save our courts” and “save our democracy.” This reveals dangerous illusions that, if not diverted, will not lead to good results.

The Supreme Court Is Not “Our Court” and the U.S. Is Not “Our Democracy”

The cold truth is that the Supreme Court is NOT “our court” and the system that rules over us is NOT “our democracy.” Rather, as Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has put it, “The essence of what exists in the U.S. is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism and political structures to enforce that capitalism-imperialism.” 1 As he expounds much more fully in his pamphlet, Constitution, Law, and Rights—in capitalist society and in the future socialist society, the Supreme Court of the United States is exactly one of the political structures that enforces the system of capitalism-imperialism. The truth of this can be seen, for example, in the reality that even before Supreme Court “Justice” Anthony Kennedy resigned and Kavanaugh was appointed, the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s Muslim Ban; presided over a regime of white supremacist mass incarceration and police terror; allowed restrictions so severe and multitudinous that abortion rights now hang by a thread; protected the “right” of a Christian fascist baker to deny services to a gay couple; dramatically restricted labor rights; and much more. Real change in the interests of the people cannot be won by relying on these ruling class institutions.

To be clear: The Court may at times reflect a ruling class consensus to make certain concessions, often in response to struggle from below; but the foundational economic and social relations of capitalism-imperialism remain in place and the purpose of the concessions themselves is to protect and expand those relations.

A Time to FIGHT—and to Get Organized for an Actual Revolution

All this does not mean that nothing can be done. To the contrary, now is a time to fight, to unite with and unleash an even greater spirit of defiance and outpouring of furious refusal—and to lift our sights as we do.

More than anything else, this dangerous moment—with its fight between outright fascists and the more “mainstream imperialists” grouped around the Democratic Party—reveals the absolute worthlessness and outmoded nature of the system of capitalism-imperialism. It reveals the truth that the interests of those who rule over us are not the interests of the people. It reveals the need for an actual revolution that overthrows this system, sweeps aside its laws and institutions of repression, and implements a radically different system rooted in a radically different mode of production and with radically different social relations, values, and ways of relating to the rest of the world. This is what is concentrated in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian—a far better, liberating society that is geared towards meeting people’s fundamental needs, overcoming all exploitation and oppression, and doing this together with people all over the world even as the rights of the individual and rule of law are protected in far stronger and qualitatively different ways than they are now.

Rather than pleading with or picking sides between the different factions of those who rule over us, the people need to take advantage of this sharp contention at the top to break through with our interests—to make real advances in propagating the need for, getting organized for, and fighting the power in ways that contribute to an actual revolution. How to do this, and to what aim, is laid out in this pamphlet.

Unite All Who Can Be United to Drive Out the Fascist Trump/Pence Regime

A decisive and very urgent part of this now is fighting to mobilize all who can be united—including many who are not yet convinced of the need for revolution but who recognize the emergency being faced in the Trump/Pence regime right now—to step outside the official channels of the system that rules over us and truly resist. To raise the demand—THIS NIGHTMARE MUST END: THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!—and build organization and strength to get in position to launch sustained, mass, independent political protests that start with many thousands and grow to millions and do not stop (day after day, night after night) until the whole regime has been driven from power. As RefuseFascism.org correctly insists, only the people can stop a fascist America—what each of us does in these fraught days will truly matter.

THIS NIGHTMARE MUST END: THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!

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

 

1. “The essence of what exists in the U.S. is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism and political structures to enforce that capitalism-imperialism. What the U.S. spreads around the world is not democracy, but imperialism and political structures to enforce that imperialism.”
—Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:3 [back]

See Also:

“I Am What’s at Stake!”
Over 200 Arrested at Fascist Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Hearing

Read more.
Constitution, Law, and Rights – in capitalist society and in the future socialist society

This compilation brings a truly unique perspective to a subject that is of critical importance for all those concerned with social justice: constitution, law, and rights.

Read more about this compilation here

View, read or print PDF here

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/560/letter-from-prisoner-grappling-en.html

Revolution #560 September 10, 2018

Letter from a Prisoner:

“A prisoner who has been given the opportunity to engage and grapple with the path-breaking works of Bob Avakian”

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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. The following is one of the letters sent to the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRFL) in response to the special issue. (Go here for other prisoner responses.)

PRLF,

As a prisoner who has been given the opportunity to engage and grapple with the path-breaking works of Bob Avakian, and who is striving in becoming a revolutionary communist, I have come to understand in a scientific and living way how vitally important it is for us to promote and spread the liberating leadership of BA and the new synthesis of communism throughout society and the world.

Bob Avakian’s uncompromising and historic talk THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! not only digs deeply into the roots and dynamics of the fascism we confront, but also shows how the movement to drive out this regime interpenetrates with building a movement for an actual revolution.

This special issue of the Revolution, as well as the weekly compiled articles we receive, has played a crucial role in introducing BA and blazing a path to a much more broader discussion in terms of the American empire and how the “normal workings” of this worldwide system of global exploitation has now brought fascists to power.

Most importantly, to learn that a better world is possible and the need to break free from the “established norms” and “acceptable limits,” as well as the poisonous outlook of American chauvinism continues to be very liberating and inspirational to many people who hate everything Trump is about and to everyone with a heart for humanity.

It is with this spirit that I would like for PRLF to arm me with the following materials if possible: 1) Set the Record Straight by Raymond Lotta, 2) Break All the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution, 3) Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, 4) HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution.

As Ardea Skybreak pointed out in the book Science and Revolution: “And no matter what your circumstances and conditions of life are, or have been, you can definitely learn to be scientific. And it’s a very liberating feeling to take up the basic scientific methods even in your everyday thinking and everyday life, as well as around more strategic questions involved in how to radically change society for the better.”

In Unity-Struggle-Unity XXX

*I just received the book THE NEW COMMUNISM at mail call tonight... Thank You!

 

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 #560 September 10, 2018

Letter from a Prisoner:

“If two ranking members of rival gangs can relate...”

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Dear PRLF Volunteers:

I do read & rotate your books to fellow comrades (prisoners). One guy recently surprised me the most, because I read one of his books about the Mexican Revolution and he in turn read Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy [by Bob Avakian]; the thing that shocked me was his feedback. He looked me straight in my eyes and said that: “with us being mixed with Mexican, can I imagine if our ancestors had all just got along and worked together, the type of difference they could’ve made...” We talked for awhile about how the system was corrupt & racist, and he asked if he could read THE NEW COMMUNISM. The thing is that he’s with the [California Latino gang], and I’m with the [rival California Latino gang]. Me and this guy have been around each other for years and never even spoke one word, but ideas about revolution broke the silence. We even spoke about how in the late ’60s all Latinos were united throughout the California penal system, and about why we all broke apart.

I had numerous encounters like this with people that are way outside of my circle. I’m not saying this because it’s a popular thing to do. This sh** is real, we’re talking about two blood-death rivals. We hurt the same when we see all this sh** happening about immigration, Dreamers, and border control. If two ranking members of rival gangs can relate about what we’re feeling under this regime, then how could any set-of-people remain divided? This is all made possible by a set of circumstances, but only BA has a plan that’ll bail us out.

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 #560 September 10, 2018

Check It Out: Stranger Fruit

June 4, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

The film Stranger Fruit is a documentary written and directed by Jason Pollock. The documentary follows the shooting death of 18-year-old Black high school student Michael Brown by pig Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri. The film puts the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office under a microscope and also interviews Michael Brown’s family members.

The documentary shows the upsurge of outrage that swept across the country and the world: the heartbreaking grief and loss the Brown family suffered, like many Black and Brown people whose children or other family members have been murdered by police while the cops walk free.

The film was recently shown at Trinity United Church of Christ, in Southside Chicago. A panel discussion followed, including Mike Browns’ father, other families who had lost loved ones to police murder, and young people who spoke about living under the occupying army of police in their community, murders by police, and the fear they face every day of their lives.

Stranger Fruit tears the cover off the lies and distortions pumped out by the murdering pig Darren Wilson, the chief of police, the mayor of Ferguson, and by city, state, and federal government officials.

The film focuses on the forensic evidence that showed clearly that Darren Wilson not only shot Mike Brown six times, but how he came up to his body and shot him two more times in his head, killing him. This was a straight-up assassination. There is more forensic evidence that was recently introduced that shows the complete distortion of the actual facts, the lies about Mike Brown’s character, the cover-up and the blue wall of silence that went up the minute the police murdered Mike Brown.

In the aftermath of the killing, the system convened a grand jury that was all along about COVERING UP what happened. There was MORE than enough evidence on Day One to indict Darren Wilson immediately. The Brown family is fighting to reopen the case, given this new evidence that was NOT presented to the grand jury.

This is a film filled with heart, anguish and determination to get to the truth and should not be missed. It is now playing on Amazon Prime and will be on Starz premium channel.

 

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/558/initial-thoughts-on-the-revolution-club-en.html

Revolution #560 September 10, 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 #560 September 10, 2018

Yet Another American Crime in Latin America:

U.S. Officials Secretly Met With Venezuela Coup Plotters

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

It’s just been revealed that beginning last year, U.S. officials secretly met a number of times with Venezuelan military officers who were plotting a coup to overthrow the government of President Nicolás Maduro. Maduro’s is an oppressive, not a revolutionary or socialist, government, and this action by the U.S. is yet another crime and outrage against the people of Latin America.

According to the September 8 New York Times (“Trump Administration Discussed Coup Plans With Rebel Venezuelan Officers”), one of the military commanders the U.S. was meeting with has been accused of “torturing critics, jailing hundreds of political prisoners, wounding thousands of civilians, trafficking drugs” and other crimes. This IS exactly the kind of criminal the U.S. imperialists have worked with across Latin America—and the world—to further their interests for the last 100 plus years and counting. The Trump/Pence regime claims it’s trying to “bring positive change” to Venezuela. Apparently they consider criminals like this the right kind of men for the kind of change they have in mind.

The U.S. did not end up backing this particular reactionary plot with arms, funds, or equipment. Yet just meeting with these reactionaries could well have had the impact of encouraging them. And the U.S. rulers—starting with Bush and Obama and now escalating under Trump—have imposed harsh economic sanctions on Venezuela and continue to threaten it with military action.

One key reason the U.S. backed off, according to the Times report: fear that the effort “could backfire politically in Latin America” because of the widespread hatred of America’s “covert intervention across Latin America,” including in the Times’ words, “backing previous rebellions, coups and plots in countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil, and Chile, and for turning a blind eye to the abuses military regimes committed during the Cold War.”

And that’s not the half of it. The U.S. has carried out colonialist and imperialist aggression against its “southern neighbors” from its founding right up to the present day. Seriously look into this history. You’ll find America isn’t the “greatest country on Earth”—but it has committed the greatest crimes on Earth!

A few examples of American Crimes—in Latin America alone!

Case #57: The 1973 CIA Coup in Chile

THE CRIME: Beginning in the early morning hours of September 11, 1973, the Chilean military, with political guidance and secret backing from the U.S., carried out a military coup against the government of Chilean president Salvador Allende. With U.S. Navy ships offshore and U.S. spy planes overhead as backup, the Chilean Air Force and tanks and soldiers from the Chilean Army dropped bombs and launched artillery and small-arms fire in a furious, coordinated assault on La Moneda palace, the central government building in Chile’s capital, Santiago. Allende, a social democrat elected on a platform of social reform three years previously, was killed along with a small group of defenders.

The CIA had collected “arrest lists” and “key government installations which need to be taken over,” according to a 1975 U.S. Senate investigation. In the hours, days and weeks that followed the coup, tens of thousands of officials of Allende’s government and the Unidad Popular governing coalition, along with workers, union leaders, activists, students, progressive intellectuals, artists and people who just happened to be on the streets on the morning of September 11, were rounded up, then held in Santiago’s National and Chile stadiums and in military installations and facilities converted to concentration camps in locations around the country. They were subjected to brutal physical and psychological torture, or just outright murdered. Read more.

Case #83: The U.S.-Mexico War of 1846-1848

THE CRIME: In the spring of 1846, U.S. President James Polk sent General Zachary Taylor and several thousand U.S. troops into what had been—before slave-holding settlers from the U.S. declared it an independent “Republic of Texas” in 1836—Mexican territory between the Nueces and Rio Grande Rivers, near the Gulf of Mexico, with the goal of provoking a war. When Taylor’s troops arrived at the Mexican town of Matamoros on the Rio Grande and began menacing maneuvers, they were attacked by a force of Mexicans, just as Polk and his cabinet believed they would be. President Polk wasted no time in declaring Mexico guilty of aggression against the U.S. Read more.

Case #38: The U.S. Backs El Salvador’s Death Squad Government, 1980 to 1992

THE CRIME: Throughout the decade of the 1980s into the early 1990s the U.S. government backed, trained, and financed the reactionary government and military of the Central American country of El Salvador in its murderous counterinsurgency war that killed tens of thousands of workers, peasants, students, intellectuals, artists and others and forced hundreds of thousands to flee into exile.

El Salvador was dominated by U.S. imperialism in league with a few Salvadoran families who controlled the vast majority of the country’s land and wealth, while millions of peasants, workers and others lived in extreme poverty. They had no democratic rights and during the 1960s and 1970s their political protests were violently suppressed. In 1977, the Salvadoran military killed hundreds peacefully protesting voter fraud. The Salvadoran government unleashed paramilitary vigilante groups or “death squads” against its opponents, kidnapping and murdering leaders of labor unions, peasant organizations, political parties, and guerrilla groups, as well as priests and lay religious workers who sided with the poor. Read more.

Case #43: The U.S. Invasion of Panama, 1989-1990

THE CRIME: On December 20, 1989, the U.S. military invaded Panama with 27,684 troops and 300 aircraft, killing thousands of civilians and removing Manuel Noriega and his Panamanian Defense Force (PDF) from power. The invasion was given the name of “Operation Just Cause” by U.S. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney.

The Central American Human Rights Commission (CODEHUCA) reported, “The most devastated civilian neighborhoods—such as Chorrillos and San Miguelito—were extremely poor, densely populated areas. Half of the neighborhood of Chorrillos—which had a pre-invasion population of approximately 25,000—was literally destroyed by US troops and civilian residents were victims of direct attacks.” Read more.

Case #75: Obama, Clinton and the 2009 Military Coup in Honduras

THE CRIME: On June 28, 2009, the Honduran military carried out a coup d’etat against the elected president, Manuel Zelaya, a liberal-leaning populist. The coup had crucial backing from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the U.S. State Department. The generals and politicians behind the coup brought to power a more openly fascistic and pro-U.S. regime that plunged the Honduran people even more deeply into the hell of U.S. domination, state-sponsored political assassinations and terrorism, and intensified violence, poverty, and oppression. These horrors remain in effect to this day, with U.S. backing. Read more.

 

For more, see the entire American Crime series at revcom.us.

 

 

American Crime

A massacre of Mexican civilians in a cave at Agua Nueva by American cavalry. One eyewitness wrote: "...The cave was full of volunteers, yelling like fiends, while on the rocky floor lay over twenty Mexicans, dead and dying in pools of blood, while women and children were clinging to the knees of the murderers and shrieking for mercy..."

Operación Rescate (“Operation Rescue”) was part of the “anti-guerrilla campaign,” but there were no combatants in El Mozote. The villagers (some shown here), completely unarmed, were massacred during the Reagan administration.

Panama Invasion

On December 20, 1989, the U.S. military invaded Panama with 27,500 troops and 300 aircraft, killing thousands of civilians and removing Manuel Noriega.  Photo: AP

Honduran troops inside the presidential palace during the arrest of the president during the 2009 coup. Photo: rbreve/flickr

Honduran troops inside the presidential palace during the arrest of the president during the 2009 coup. (Photo: rbreve/flickr)

 

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Revolution #560 September 10, 2018

Tens of Thousands Join "Rise for Climate" Actions Across the U.S. and Around the World

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

September 8—In hundreds of “Rise for Climate” actions across the U.S. and around the world, people marched and protested around the climate crisis and the threat this poses to humanity and life on the planet. Tens of thousands marched in San Francisco itself, the focal point of these protests in the U.S., and the Revolution Club was part of this. Nearly 20,000 marched in Paris. These protests were called for a few days before a Global Climate Action Summit convened by California Governor Brown and others—see revcom.us analysis of this here.

 


Paris, France. Photo: AP


Pacific islander contingent. San Francisco. Photo: Special to Revolution/revcom.us


Revolution Club contingent. San Francisco. Photo: Special to Revolution/revcom.us


New York City. Photo: Revolution/revcom.us

 

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Revolution #560 September 10, 2018

Revolution Club at the San Francisco Climate March:

“The Capitalist System Is Destroying Our Planet—Revolution Is the Solution”

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From the Revolution Club Bay Area

September 8—30,000 climate marchers arrived at Embarcadero Park, San Francisco, Saturday morning to the “Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice” march. Signs from many different political views highlighting the environmental crises we face colored the streets and sidewalks. Revolution Club Bay Area, together with a small yet mighty force from Revolution Club Los Angeles, fused to organize ranks into the movement for revolution, influencing the masses to be in favor of this revolution, while also building for the upcoming Revolution Books Berkeley special preview screening of a film of a new talk by Bob Avakian, Why We need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution—3 pm Sunday, September 23.

As a result of the agitation and chanting, three people came forward to put on “Revolution—Nothing Less!” T-shirts, in the prep area of the march. Just before the march began, Revolution Club members took formation and began to weave through an eager crowd, preparing to march. After weaving through the crowd, four more people came forward to drum and carry the banner which read, “The System Can Not Be Reformed! It Must Be Overthrown!” The backside of the banner was deliberately tailored to include the fifth stop on climate change and read, “The Capitalist System Is Destroying Our Planet—Revolution Is the Solution”.

In addition to the fact that there were both marchers and spectators who took up Revolution Club chants, some reporters and marchers were compelled, on their own accord, to say that Revolution Club had the best chants, the best rhythms, and were the loudest. The formation line in front of the banner represented a revolutionary force with conviction, with members handing out materials to enthusiastic bystanders.

The conclusion of the march allowed people to engage with outreach booths, including Revolution Books Berkeley. Refuse Fascism Bay Area was also there. Large art projects were being painted on the streets for aerial photographs, but the city unfortunately power-washed them away immediately afterwards. These projects were meant to convey aspects of indigenous culture while advocating for environmental protection. Revolution Club seized the opportunity to march in formation one last time while chanting and handing out materials to those painting and socializing.

 

Above and below: Revolution Club Bay Area and Los Angeles march with 30,000 others in "Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice", organizing for the movement for revolution. Photos: special to revcom

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/560/los-angeles-stop-kavanaugh-en.html

Revolution #560 September 10, 2018

September 7—Revolution Club Los Angeles and courageous volunteers with Refuse Fascism

#StopKavanaugh

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

September 7—Revolution Club Los Angeles and courageous volunteers with Refuse Fascism took up the call to #StopKavanaugh and his Supreme Court hearings as part of preventing the further consolidation of Christian fascism in America. We put fake blood on ourselves in an act of street theater and participated in civil disobedience by blocking the street with a die-in to demonstrate the real and near future for millions of women if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court and women are forced to bear children against their will or perform back alley abortions, which have and can lead to their own deaths.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/today/index.html

Revolution #560 September 10, 2018

Today's Message from the Revolution

September 19, 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.

 

 

September 19, 2019

1. WHY is it the Democrats can only deal with the nightmare of the Trump/Pence regime on the terms of this monstrous system?

Bob Avakian answers.

Republicans AND Democrats believe in the "exceptional greatness" of America & its empire.
BOTH stand for the capitalist system of exploitation.

Relying on the Democrats is a dead-end trap.

To understand the roots and dynamics of this fascist regime and what it will REALLY take to stop it, watch: vimeo.com/238240664

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2. Which historically outmoded system has done the most damage to humanity?

revcom.us/avakian

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3. STOP! Wars of Empire, Armies of Occupation, and Crimes Against Humanity!

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Revolution #560 September 10, 2018

From a Revolution Club Member:

Eminem, the Toxic Diss Culture—and
the Diss Tracks We DO Need

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

I found myself getting hyped over the response tracks to Eminem’s surprise drop with his new album Kamikaze a few days ago. The album is all full of disses against other rappers, including of Machine Gun Kelly, a rapper from Cleveland. While listening to Machine Gun Kelly’s quick response to Eminem’s diss of him on WorldStarHipHop, seeing the nod to Kathy Griffin’s criticism of Trump, getting psyched and asking people if they had heard it yet, I had to stop for a moment and think about the point of this. As much as the quick lines, the criticisms of new rappers and the beats bump, it’s only reinforcing the big bad macho rapper shit that honestly draws me in as much as it repels me from the scene. The whole sanctity of “my daughter,” dissing mothers, calling people “cunts,” “sissies,” “bitches” and “faggots” (words that are clearly homophobic and women-hating that Eminem keeps using despite being checked repeatedly on it), promoting the whole “if you disrespect me or mine, I will kill you” logic on and on and on.

HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution points out, “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.”

Eminem has been one of far too few people, with such a big platform, to openly call out the Trump/Pence Regime. It was awesome hearing his freestyle ripping into Trump last October and setting a great example for how people should be acting artistically. Filled with the real hate against this fascist and real threats of nuclear war, Trump’s disdain for humanity and in particular Black people, Puerto Rico, the NFL players who took a knee, and more, even drawing a line for his fans. Now of course he isn’t a communist, he thinks we should respect the military for protecting this country and their “hard work.” But his main point in the end—“We fucking HATE TRUMP”—and praising people standing up against hate was righteous. We should continue to struggle with people like him on the highly problematic views he has on gay people and women through making it a question in all of society if we are going to fight for and fight to take up the world vision embodied in the “Points of Attention for the Revolution” and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, of a world where all are emancipated and this system of profitability and exploitation is defeated through revolution.

All that said, the Diss culture is Toxic. If it remains in the realm it has been, it only perpetuates the logic of a system that is bombing people regularly in the Middle East including hospitals and school buses. The type of Diss tracks we do need, if any, are against this system, their enforcers and everything embodied in the ideas and social relations. Want a great model to figure out how to make the kind of Diss tracks we need? Bob Avakian, the architect of the new synthesis of communism and leader of this revolution, dropped one a few years ago: All Played Out. Where he nails, layer by layer, the putridness of the system and its society we live in today, calling on people to see and proclaim it’s “All Played Out!” The track is not only thorough but artistically fresh and flowing from a worldview where humanity’s chains are broken.

Want a great model to figure out how to make the kind of Diss tracks we need? Bob Avakian, the architect of the new synthesis of communism and leader of this revolution, dropped one a few years ago: All Played Out.

 

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