Revolution #561, September 17, 2018 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #561 September 17, 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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Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

Putting Revolution on the Map

Why You—and Everyone You Know Who Wants a Better World—Should Come to the Preview Screening of the Film of Bob Avakian’s Speech WHY WE NEED AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION AND HOW WE CAN REALLY MAKE REVOLUTION

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This next weekend, the film of Bob Avakian’s speech—Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution—will be previewed in a number of cities. This will kick off a process where people are broadly taking out the film in many ways, including previewing it to others, to spread the word for the online premiere on October 19-21.

We want to answer some questions about this:

Who should come to these previews? Everyone who hates the outrages and horrors that this system constantly brings down and wants to know WHY they happen... everyone who has wondered whether we need a revolution and wants to know how this could actually come about... everyone who wants to act right now but doesn’t know how... all should come to the previews of this film. Bob Avakian (BA) gets deeply into these questions. There has never been a film like this on this subject before—a film that goes so deeply and so clearly into the hardest questions humanity faces... and in just a little over two hours!

So to anyone who fits any part of the description above: Come to the preview and bring people you know who have a feeling in their gut that things have to change.

What will this film do? This film will let everyone who sees it learn that there IS a way out of this madness, and there is leadership for the struggle to make that way real. Today in the face of monstrous oppression here and around the world, people do not know that a radically different and better world IS possible—because they don’t know about this revolution and its leader, Bob Avakian. Bob Avakian has broken through on the problems in understanding that have stood in the way of making an actual revolution, and keeping that revolution going on the road to the full emancipation of humanity.

So spreading the word is the most basic thing to do to make the huge change that humanity needs. This film will be the basis of a movement that goes to work on bringing forward thousands and then millions to be part of a movement FOR fundamental change... for an ACTUAL revolution. What each of us does and what we do together in an organized way with this film this fall—beginning with the previews—are crucial first steps.

What will happen at the previews? After we watch the film, and share thoughts and responses with each other, we’ll talk about how to take this film to others, now. We’ll share ideas on where to take it, from the smallest to the biggest. We’ll get into ideas on fundraising. We’ll have materials there—palm cards, posters, and so on—for people to use. We’ll make plans for all of that. And we’ll talk about ways to get deeper into what BA gets into in this film.

How should we build the previews after this weekend? We, on our own or as part of a group, should take this to people we know and people we don’t know and to wherever people are fighting the power, in ways big and small. We should take this to religious congregations, student groups, classes and youth groups, friends and relatives, people involved in different struggles, barbershops and beauty parlors, and wherever people gather. Key tools like posters, palm cards, flyers, and other materials can be gotten through the Revolution Club, The Bob Avakian Institute, or Revolution Books bookstores to help get the word out. Those of us on social media can spread it on that. The main thing: Bring people’s attention to this speech coming out on film this fall, and that there are preview screenings for it now. Working together to do this is one big way to build up revolutionary organization.

Naturally, previews will and should include a lot of people who will still want to think further about the film before getting active. That’s part of the process we’re trying to start. We should continue to stay on with those people, letting them know about what’s coming up, and working to find ways that they can participate while they reflect on what they’ve seen.

We should definitely pass the hat at the end of any preview we do and, more than that, brainstorm on ways we can raise funds to really project this first to hundreds of thousands and then to millions.

How big does a preview screening have to be? The movement for revolution is going all out for the screenings this weekend, so those should be big. We should try to set up screenings of groups of people wherever we can, like it says above. But setting up screenings of even a few people can play a very important role in spreading the word. IMPORTANT: At the previews, people who want to be part of spreading the film will be given a way to access and show the film before the online premiere.

Who can spread this film? Everyone. Even if you’ve just met the revolution and BA through this film, there are ways for you to take it out and to support the movement... ways to be part of making this a much bigger thing. And it’s more than that too. There are things you know and ideas you will have that are needed to really make this take off as powerfully as it can. No matter how much or how little time you can devote to this, there is a place for you and an important role you can play!

Finally—if you are not in a place where there is a scheduled preview showing and want to organize one, write to revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

Again, all this is part of “spread[ing] 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.”

All this is part of letting people know “We have Bob Avakian (BA) the leader of this revolution and the architect of a new framework for revolution, the new synthesis of communism.” (From “HOW WE CAN WIN”)

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.

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.

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.

See times and locations for Preview Showings of Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

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Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

Opposing Israel Is NOT Anti-Jewish

Major Fascist Move to Repress Campus Criticism of Israel

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Trump/Pence regime, acting through the Department of State has officially adopted a definition of anti-Semitism (racist hatred of Jewish people) that classifies a broad range of opposition to the state of Israel and/or the ideology of Zionism as, by definition, anti-Semitic. And now the Department of Education is using this definition to attack and suppress campus protests in support of the Palestinian people at Rutgers University in New Jersey, at UCLA in California, and elsewhere.

It is hard to overstate the extent to which this constitutes a dramatic leap in repression, not only of the Palestinian struggle, but on campuses as centers for dissent, protest, and critical thinking, and of freedom of speech even more broadly. The full weight of the U.S. federal government is now going to be used to suppress criticism of the state of Israel. This—going from basic and continual support of Israel militarily, politically, and ideologically to fully using the state to repress and effectively outlaw criticism of Israel—is an extremely ominous leap, and it goes with the Trump/Pence regime’s position of uncritical and extreme support for Israel.

Basic and Undeniable Truths About Israel Are Now Classified as “Anti-Semitic”

The website of the U.S. State Department starts by listing real expressions of anti-Semitism (e.g., talk of an “international Jewish conspiracy,” calling for killing or harming Jews, denying the reality of the mass genocide of Jewish people by the German Nazis, etc.). But then it goes on to lump political and ideological criticisms of the founding principles and of current practices of the state of Israel—criticisms which have nothing whatsoever to do with anti-Semitism—together with these ugly, odious, and unscientific ideas.

For instance, the U.S. alleges it is anti-Semitic:

But the establishment of Israel was in fact a racist endeavor, because it was founded on land whose population was in large majority Palestinian Arabs, and because its founders undertook a conscious policy of driving hundreds of thousands of these inhabitants out through massacre and terror.

And because it was founded on this basis, the racist nature of Israel has intensified since then, and a significant section of Israeli leaders and people now speak of Palestinian people as animals and openly advocate their expulsion or annihilation. In 1984, Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan referred to Palestinians as “roaches.” In 2004, Yehiel Hazan, a state official, said, “The Arabs are worms.” In 2012, Israeli lawmaker Ayelet Shaked stated that “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy,” and called for the total elimination of Palestine, “its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.” In 2015, Eli Ben Dahan, who was known for declaring that Palestinians “are like animals, they are not human,” was appointed Deputy Defense Minister in charge of administering martial law against Palestinians on the West Bank. And in 2016, Prime Minister Netanyahu echoed this racism, referring to Palestinians as “wild beasts.” Yet the assertion of this well-founded and well-documented reality is now classified as “hate speech” by the U.S. (See Bastion of Enlightenment... or Enforcer for Imperialism: The Case of ISRAEL for a full history of the founding and role of Israel.)

But again, these comparisons jump out at anyone who looks at the two experiences, so much so that in 2014, as Israel was massacring thousands of civilians, including hundreds of children, during its invasion of the Gaza strip, 40 Jewish Holocaust survivors and hundreds of their descendants published an ad in the New York Times condemning these massacres and saying that “Genocide begins with the silence of the world.” And in 2007, when Israel was severely restricting the flow of gas, electricity, and food to the 1.6 million Palestinians in Gaza, the Israeli government actually calculated the number of calories per person (2,279) that should be let in to avoid a “humanitarian crisis.”

How can anyone read this and not think of the Nazi policy of letting just enough food into the Jewish ghettos to keep people alive and working? But speak it aloud—or act to protest it—and you have “crossed the line” to anti-Semitism, according to the U.S. government.

In other words, if you protest Israel’s crimes, but fail to protest similar crimes carried out by some other country, that’s “anti-Semitism.”

This definition is not just some fucked-up thinking on a government website—the Department of Education is applying this definition to criminalize criticism and protest of Israel on U.S. campuses. It is especially reacting to the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement that has played a significant role in exposing and isolating Israel, including by winning growing numbers of academics, entertainers, and others to refuse to attend events in Israel, in much the same way that anti-apartheid forces exposed and isolated the racist regime in South Africa in the 1980s and early ’90s. While BDS does not as an organization expose the fundamental illegitimacy of the state of Israel overall, it (along with organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine and the Rutgers group, Belief Awareness Knowledge and Action) has played a progressive role—and this is intolerable to the imperialists. For some time now a broad range of imperialists have been going after BDS and related movements; but these moves by the Trump/Pence regime mark a leap in bringing the force of the state directly into play against it.

Zionism Is NOT a Religion but U.S. Imperialism—and Especially the Trump/Pence Regime—Back It With Near-Religious Zeal

Zionism is NOT a religion. It is a political movement that arose in the 19th century that aimed to “solve” the problem of pervasive European anti-Semitism and persecution. European anti-Semitism was indeed horrible, marked not only by pervasive demonization and discrimination but by periodic pogroms, in which large numbers of Jewish people were outright murdered and lynched. The Zionist movement did not respond to this by fighting that oppression within Europe, but by moving Jews to Palestine to build up their own state. The Zionist movement sought the support of various imperialist powers to sponsor it as a colonial outpost in the strategically important Middle East. First Britain and then the U.S. supported this project, with the U.S. backing the founding of the state of Israel and almost all of its various wars and depredations since. Up until the foundation of the state of Israel, the majority of Jewish people did NOT back this movement; instead they either emigrated to escape discrimination or fought it where they were.

While Zionism is not a religion, the U.S. imperialists, particularly with the rise of the Trump/Pence regime with its Christian fascist core, have a near-religious zeal for the state of Israel. And it’s no wonder why—Israel is a heavily armed and thoroughly pro-U.S. enclave right at the center of one of the most strategic parts of the world. Israel is the reliable agent and enforcer of U.S. domination over the Middle East, with its vast oil reserves, strategic waterways, and with its population of hundreds of millions of bitterly exploited and oppressed people.

This “zeal” has taken a leap with the Trump/Pence fascist regime, for two big reasons. First, this regime came to power with the strategy of radically remaking the Middle East, including relying on Israel as a lynchpin of a regional drive to hem in and possibly take down the Iranian government, including possibly through war. Second, a big part of the social base for this regime is Christian fascist fanatics who combine white European chauvinism with a religious view that Israel must have unchallenged domination of the Middle East, and all the Jewish people must gather there, as part of their “Biblical prophecy.” We’ll only note in passing the seeming irony of a regime which counts among its base both those neo-Nazis who march around with torches chanting “Jews will not replace us” alongside those who back the Zionists to the hilt—where they come together is the extreme white racism and European supremacy openly enunciated by the regime.

Why the Regime Is Hammering the Campuses on This

But, again, all the imperialists hold support of Israel as fundamental. Without a powerful Israeli state, the U.S. empire—and its ability to exploit the people and resources of the world—would be seriously weakened. BDS has dealt real political blows to Israel, and in addition, is helping to revive U.S. campuses as centers of critical thinking, protest, and resistance—which is especially dangerous to the fascist Trump/Pence regime. For all of these reasons, there is nothing abstract about the U.S.’s definition of anti-Semitism: It is part of stepping up an offensive to crush these forces and clamp down on dissent generally.

As part of this, the Department of Education just reopened a 2011 complaint against Rutgers University in New Jersey alleging that Rutgers failed to come down heavily enough on Students for Justice in Palestine and Belief Awareness Knowledge and Action after they held a “Never Again for Anyone” event on campus. The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) brought the original complaint with bogus claims that Jewish people were charged admission to the event and non-Jews were not. These allegations were investigated and the claim dismissed by DOE in 2014. Claims by SJP that their members were assaulted and called “towel-heads” and “suicide bombers,” and that a Jewish volunteer was called a “traitor” by ZOA, were of course not investigated.

What was clear then and now is that ZOA—and now the DOE—objected to the event itself, which was part of an international tour that included a Jewish Holocaust survivor and Palestinian speakers to draw out the similarities between the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany and the treatment of Palestinians in Israel, and to rouse people to support the Palestinian struggle. Its title comes from a theme of Holocaust remembrance—“Never Again” can genocide be allowed to happen while the world is silent—to make the point that this should not happen to any people, and was consciously welcoming Jewish people into this struggle. It is quite revealing that the pro-Israel forces found this objectionable, and tried to attack, disrupt, or shut down this tour, not only at Rutgers but around the U.S. and internationally.

Likewise, in California, UCLA is threatening heavy charges against protesters who marched through a pro-Israel event chanting “Free, Free, Palestine,” including possible five-year sentences! Zionist forces called for these charges, specifically linking them to the new definition of anti-Semitism and raising the threat of a DOE lawsuit against UCLA if it failed to come down hard on the protesters. But already, members of the Revolution Club are facing heavy charges and years in jail for speaking out at the campus appearance by Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

PalestineLegal.org has documented legal and extralegal attacks on activities and groups supporting the Palestinian people at 37 colleges and universities in the U.S. Many involve claims that things like erecting a replica of the wall that Israel has built around Palestinian areas, urging the university not to invest in Israel, staging a mock eviction mimicking Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes, having a course on “Palestinian voices” in literature and media, or writing a letter to the New York Times calling for “a final status resolution to the Palestinian” question are all anti-Semitic. And in many cases, those making these charges back them up by referring to the U.S. government definition.

Exactly because the reality of Israel is so blatantly oppressive, it desperately needs to wrap itself in a mythology of being a noble bulwark against the oppression of Jewish people. And because this “narrative” is so paper-thin, it is increasingly necessary to forbid people from even considering critical viewpoints. And the U.S. has taken up the role of enforcer of this suppression of heretical thought with a vengeance. Fighting for a world in which people of all nationalities struggle together in the interests of humanity—or even for a world in which people can debate and discuss contending ideas—requires challenging and repudiating this attempt to forcibly suppress criticism of Israel.

 

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

Bob Avakian, BAsics 5:12

Clearing Up the Confusion: Protesting Israel Is NOT “Anti-Semitism”

Jewish people have been the victims of bitter discrimination and oppression for centuries, which took on monstrous levels culminating in the Holocaust when six million Jewish people were mass murdered in concentration camps. As an oppressed people, the Jews of Europe sought many solutions. For most this meant seeking integration into the larger society, and for many it involved getting into projects for universal human emancipation—that is, seeking an end to the oppression of the Jewish people as part of seeking freedom for everyone. For a minority it meant the Zionist movement, focused on building a separate Jewish nation-state for all Jews.

The establishment of this nation-state, Israel, with the backing of British and western imperialism, consisted of waves of ethnic cleansing, military, and paramilitary attacks against Palestinian villages aimed at displacing Palestinian people and then occupying and destroying Palestinian villages to make way for the expanding Zionist settlements. By December 1947, the Zionists began mass expulsions of Palestinians. This wave of terror, know as the Nakba (from the Arabic word meaning “catastrophe”), continued into the early months of 1949.

During the Nakba almost a million Palestinians were brutally forced from their land, villages, and homes, fleeing with only the possessions they could carry. Many were raped, tortured, and killed. The event held by Students Supporting Israel at UCLA called “Indigenous Peoples Unite” is a part of a concerted effort by pro-Israel forces to erase this history and turn reality upside down as a key part of legitimizing the genocidal colonization and occupation of what is Palestinian land. Zionists claim that they are the original and indigenous inhabitants of Palestine, but the question is not which of the many Middle Eastern tribal and ethnic group lived on the land thousands of years ago! It is that for many centuries, Palestine was overwhelmingly occupied by Arab people (with a very small Jewish minority prior to the 20th Century) and moreover that a Palestinian nation was formed and forged there with its own culture, language, economy, history and so on which was violently uprooted by Europeans—in this case Jewish Europeans—working in close political and military alignment with major imperialist powers. So it is ludicrous for the representatives of these European imperialist invaders to try and claim the mantle of an oppressed indigenous people fighting for their rights!

Opposing the crimes of the state of Israel is not “opposing Judaism” or Jewish people. Israel is holding two million Palestinians hostage in the Gaza Strip, which they’ve turned into an open-air prison. The Israeli military enforces a blockade, preventing any aid from coming in, leaving people without access to clean water and proper medical care, even resorting to storming ships that are bringing aid and shooting down the courageous volunteers. And to top it all off, they drop U.S.-made bombs indiscriminately, including on schools and hospitals, commit crimes against the Palestinian people which, if committed by another country, would be condemned internationally as policies of genocide, mass murder, and brutal occupation. Israel is not a solution to the age-old oppression of the Jewish people as Jews. And opposing the brutal crimes of the Israeli state is not discrimination but is, not only protected political speech, right and righteous.

Read more: Bastion of Enlightenment… or Enforcer for Imperialism: The Case of ISRAEL

 

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Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

From the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

Anti-Zionist Protest Slams Up Against Nazification of the Campuses and Consolidation of Fascism

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Students for Justice in Palestine, pro-Palestinian student activists, and the Revolution Club are under serious attack by the UCLA administration and powerful ruling class forces for a protest in May of this year that shut down an event held by Zionist conservative group “Students Supporting Israel” at UCLA called “Indigenous Peoples Unite.” This event took place three days after the May 14 massacre in the Gaza Strip in which the Israeli Defense Forces killed 60 and wounded 2,771 Palestinians. The attack on this protest is being used as a “test case” for going after pro-Palestinian activists—in which the consequences would mean the criminalization and outlawing of all student protest and dissent against the genocide being carried out against the Palestinian people. This is an important element of the Nazification of the universities overall.

This righteous and defiant protest consisted of over 50 people, including students from many different backgrounds. People stormed into the Zionist event blowing whistles and chanting on bullhorns: “Free Free Palestine!” “1-2-3-4 open up the prison door, 5-6-7-8 Israel is a terrorist state!” (See video here.) Students read the names of the 60 people who were massacred in Gaza by the Israeli military. This incredibly joyous protest completely and decisively shut the event down, and in the face of the determination and defiance on the part of the students, the police backed off and not a single arrest was made.

Days after the protest the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law—a Zionist organization that aims to shape legal policy across the country and is working to criminalize protest against Israel in the name of civil rights—got involved. They sent a letter to the UCLA administration demanding that the students and organizations involved be prosecuted. They specifically targeted student groups and even named individuals who were identified through text messages gathered by student infiltrators, social media posts, and the video of the protest itself! They even went so far as to use these as evidence of “conspiracy to commit a crime.” In addition, the Brandeis Center demanded UCLA implement a number of “policy recommendations” and threatened the school with a lawsuit for a violation of the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act if UCLA fails to do so. Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of “race, color, or national origin” in programs that receive federal funds.

To explain what this means: The Brandeis Center is arguing that protest against Israel is racist discrimination against Jewish people. Their demands included that the UCLA administration publicly denounce the protest, ban the off-campus organizations from campus, punish and prosecute all students involved, and change the definition of anti-Semitism (discrimination against Jewish people) to include anti-Zionism (being against the polices and state of Israel).1 If they succeed in these demands, the consequences would mean that the national organization Students for Justice in Palestine would be banned from campus as a “hate group,” and all protest against the genocide of Palestinians would be considered illegal. The implications of this are far reaching because the verdict would apply to all institutions that receive federal funds—which effectively means pro-Palestinian protest would be banned on campuses across the country.

In response to these outrageous demands, two UCLA vice-chancellors wrote an open letter in the campus paper, the Daily Bruin, publicly denouncing the protests and promising to refer all off-campus protesters to the LA City Attorney.2 This promise was reneged a few days later. A university spokesman said that because there were no arrests and no one filed a police report or complaint regarding the disruption, they would not be prosecuting. And they clarified that their promise to prosecute off-campus protesters actually referred to “an earlier, completely unrelated February 26, 2018 event with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.”3

This was a reference to a righteous protest of Mnuchin by students, members of the Revolution Club, and activists with Refuse Fascism. They disrupted Mnuchin with substantive protest and demands, and then they were physically assaulted and removed by university police! The video of this protest went viral despite Mnuchin’s attempt to suppress it—an attempt that the university initially went along with, despite the video being an important document of public record.

What’s going on here is that the attacks on pro-Palestinian student activists are overlapping with repression directed against the Revolution Club. The UCLA administration seems to be trying to manage this crisis by, on the one hand, not acting on the Zionists’ demands, but on the other hand, aggressively going after the “off-campus” Revolution Club as well as national and regional networks of groups like Students for Justice in Palestine—organizations that university officials would rather have off the campus anyway—for other protests and actions they have been a part of on campus. This is a compromise by the university administration to avoid resorting to openly repressive measures against the student body, which may result in things getting even more out of control and draw out even more defiant resistance.

This development calls to mind the well-known “First they came for the Communists...” quote from Martin Niemöller, a German pastor imprisoned by Hitler from 1937 to 1945, summing up some hard-learned lessons about the rise of fascism.4

These attacks are part of the moves nationally to go after organizations that stand against the attacks on Palestinian people. (See “Opposing Israel Is NOT Anti-Jewish: Major Fascist Move to Repress Campus Criticism of Israel.”) This includes a wave of recent laws that would make advocating for the boycott of Israel—because of their crimes against the Palestinian people—illegal. In addition, there is currently a case out of Rutgers that would also make criticism of Israel synonymous with criticism of Jewish people, having a similar effect to what is stated above.

These attacks against the Revolution Club are also part of a larger attempt at suppression of this Club at the forefront of aiming to prevent the consolidation of fascism and do that as a part of organizing forces for an actual revolution (see sidebar). The UCLA administration even tried to shut down an on-campus screening of the film of the 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, about 30 hours before the event. This showing had been widely publicized for a couple of weeks on the campus. The school administration told the organizers that because of new UCLA rules, they would have to pay thousands of dollars for police and an “events coordinator” to hold this program because they deemed the event “controversial,” and they specifically cited the disruption of the pro-Israel program the week before. Students, and in particular the faculty co-sponsors, fought very hard up until the last minute to prevent these fees from being charged and enabled the event to go forward. The fees and restrictions were rescinded just seven hours before the program was to begin.

Once the Zionists discovered the UCLA administration was not going to meet all its demands, they decided to take matters into their own hands. The Brandeis Center (the Zionist organization mentioned above) flew out a legal team from Washington, DC, and major lawyers and organizations such as StandWithUs. StandWithUs is an international organization based in Los Angeles that is organizing youth to take on challenges to Israel and is spearheading the fight against the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions [BDS] movement on campuses. The legal team walked with members of the Students Supporting Israel to the UCLA Police Department headquarters and filed a formal complaint and police report.

The fascists are going on the offensive around this nationally. Over 40 articles have been written and republished in different newspapers and media outlets. Various fascist media like Breitbart and organizations associated with David Horowitz and Zionist newspapers and magazines have taken up this fight. Edwin Black, a prominent columnist, New York Times best-selling author, and Zionist published an essay denouncing the protest as a violent expression of anti-Semitism. After receiving the formal complaint, and after a massive amount of pressure leveraged against them, the UCLA administration confirmed that it WOULD in fact be prosecuting the Revolution Club and possibly others for the protest against this Zionist event.

As of this writing, we have not heard that these charges have been formally filed, but this is what UCLA has said they will do.

“This case is a turning point for all students across the country,” asserts StandWithUs’s Roz Rothstein. Alyza Lewin of the Brandeis Center agreed, stating, “Students across the country now recognize the importance of promptly reporting incidents like these to the police.” Edwin Black went on to write: “If prosecutions and convictions result from the May 17 UCLA event shut-down disruption, it is expected to help define the criminal limits of such disruptions at campuses across the nation.”5 As is gone into here, the Zionists are targeting any opposition, dissent, or criticism of the state of Israel, and they are using this case as a spearhead to shut down student protest and criminalize it, making it effectively illegal by labeling it as “anti-Semitism.”

This ties in with the pro-Israel event that was disrupted on March 17. The event was called “Indigenous Peoples Unite,” which was an attempt, on the part of the Zionists, to paint themselves as the original people of Palestine: akin to Kurdish people, Armenian people under assault, and people indigenous to the Americas. But this is ahistorical bullshit!

Israel is a country that was founded through wave after wave of displacement and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian people through military and paramilitary attacks. The event “Indigenous Peoples Unite” was a part of a concerted effort by pro-Israel forces to erase this history and turn reality upside down as a key part of legitimizing the genocidal colonization of Palestinian people and occupation of Palestinian land. Zionists are arguing that they are the original and indigenous inhabitants of Palestinian land and that anything they do to the Palestinian people (and any other people) is justified because of the bitter oppression that Jewish people have faced historically, and that any opposition to this is therefore anti-Semitic. This conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism is a key sledgehammer that the Zionists are using to attack student protest like this nationally.

Powerful ruling class forces that see U.S. imperial interest bound up with Israel, like the fascist Trump/Pence regime’s Department of Education and fascists like David Horowitz are working together with Zionists to reshape the universities as well as society overall. They are seeking to target any opposition to the fascist program of the Trump/Pence regime, any scholarship on the crimes of U.S. imperialism (as well as Israel), and any resistance to white supremacists speaking on campus as “violations of free speech.” They are moving to crush student protest and eliminate voices of opposition, as protest is more and more being suppressed and criminalized in society overall. They are attempting to bludgeon the truth and silence any critical thinking that stands in opposition to U.S. imperialist interests, as part of hammering into place a fascist order in this country. For this, they have to legitimize their fascist rewriting of history and facts in the places that have disproportionate impact in the dissemination of ideas, where some amount of opposition to the false narratives of American exceptionalism have been allowed to sprout—in other words, the campuses. They have to obliterate the basic concepts of truth, science, and objective reality in order to shove their white supremacist, woman hating, xenophobic, fascist program down our throats.

What is at stake here is not only the criminalization and banning, nationally, of all student protest against the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people (backed up by the U.S. empire), but the criminalization of even discussion and debate over the nature and history of the Israeli state by labeling them as “hate speech.” And all of this is part of a larger package—the complete restructuring of U.S. society into a fascist form of rule.

It is vitally important that a new generation of students and professors oppose the fascist goons on campus, and step forward to defend the unfettered search for the truth, intellectual ferment, and dissent. And beyond the campuses, all kinds of people—lawyers, writers, Jewish people, Muslims, other communities of faith, and millions and millions more—must stand up against this. One way or another, this struggle over the university and intellectual life will have profound repercussions on the struggle to drive out the fascist regime—and on the prospects for bringing a whole new society into being.


1. From Brandeis Center online piece: “UCLA’s failure to respond promptly and effectively to this discriminatory protest may result in a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of “race, color, or national origin” in programs that receive federal funds. Under the leadership of Kenneth L. Marcus, LDB’s President and General Counsel, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights announced in 2004 that Title VI applies to groups that face discrimination on the basis of shared ethnic or ancestral characteristics.”   [back]

2. dailybruin.com, May 24, 2018   [back]

3. frontpagemag.com, June 14, 2018   [back]

4. “First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”   [back]

5. jewishjournal.com, July 22, 2018   [back]

Clearing Up the Confusion: Protesting Israel Is NOT “Anti-Semitism”

Jewish people have been the victims of bitter discrimination and oppression for centuries, which took on monstrous levels culminating in the Holocaust when six million Jewish people were mass murdered in concentration camps. As an oppressed people, the Jews of Europe sought many solutions. For most this meant seeking integration into the larger society, and for many it involved getting into projects for universal human emancipation—that is, seeking an end to the oppression of the Jewish people as part of seeking freedom for everyone. For a minority it meant the Zionist movement, focused on building a separate Jewish nation-state for all Jews.

The establishment of this nation-state, Israel, with the backing of British and western imperialism, consisted of waves of ethnic cleansing, military, and paramilitary attacks against Palestinian villages aimed at displacing Palestinian people and then occupying and destroying Palestinian villages to make way for the expanding Zionist settlements. By December 1947, the Zionists had begun mass expulsions of Palestinians. This wave of terror, know as the Nakba (from the Arabic word meaning “catastrophe”), continued into the early months of 1949.

During the Nakba almost a million Palestinians were brutally forced from their land, villages, and homes, fleeing with only the possessions they could carry. Many were raped, tortured, and killed. The event held by Students Supporting Israel at UCLA called “Indigenous Peoples Unite” is a part of a concerted effort by pro-Israel forces to erase this history and turn reality upside down as a key part of legitimizing the genocidal colonization and occupation of what is Palestinian land. Zionists claim that they are the original and indigenous inhabitants of Palestine, but the question is not which of the many Middle Eastern tribal and ethnic group lived on the land thousands of years ago! It is that for many centuries, Palestine was overwhelmingly occupied by Arab people (with a very small Jewish minority prior to the 20th Century) and moreover that a Palestinian nation was formed and forged there with its own culture, language, economy, history and so on which was violently uprooted by Europeans—in this case Jewish Europeans—working in close political and military alignment with major imperialist powers. So it is ludicrous for the representatives of these European imperialist invaders to try and claim the mantle of an oppressed indigenous people fighting for their rights!

Opposing the crimes of the state of Israel is not “opposing Judaism” or Jewish people. Israel is holding two million Palestinians hostage in the Gaza Strip, which they’ve turned into an open-air prison. The Israeli military enforces a blockade, preventing any aid from coming in, leaving people without access to clean water and proper medical care, even resorting to storming ships that are bringing aid and shooting down the courageous volunteers. And to top it all off, they drop U.S.-made bombs indiscriminately, including on schools and hospitals, commit crimes against the Palestinian people which, if committed by another country, would be hailed internationally as policies of genocide, mass murder, and brutal occupation. Israel is not a solution to the age-old oppression of the Jewish people as Jews. And opposing the brutal crimes of the Israeli state is not discrimination but is, not only protected political speech, but also right and righteous.

Read more: Bastion of Enlightenment… or Enforcer for Imperialism: The Case of ISRAEL

The attacks on the Revolution Club are part of a larger attack from ruling class forces. The Revolution Club has joined in with RefuseFascism.org to build a mass non-violent movement to drive out the fascist Trump/Pence regime. The Revolution Club is doing this as part of making revolution to overthrow the system of capitalism/imperialism. The LA City Attorney’s office has filed criminal charges against 11 Refuse Fascism and Revolution Club members. Some are facing up to 10 misdemeanor charges (with more charges on the way) and up to 5+ years in jail if you add the penalties cumulatively. Some people, if convicted, will face mandatory minimum jail sentences of 90 days and some people are possibly facing a lot more than that. All of this stems from two actions where the Revolution Club and RefuseFascism.org activists engaged in non-violent civil disobedience which shut down the 101 freeway in downtown Los Angeles.  This in addition to a whole period at UCLA where, on different occasions, the authorities unjustly arrested members of the Revolution Club for engaging in political protest and speech.  This included multiple arrests from a challenge to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin who spoke at UCLA in February 2018 - the first Trump/Pence regime cabinet member invited to speak at UCLA which was in fact a grotesque normalization of fascism by UCLA authorities. Mnuchin, and the Trump/Pence regime he belongs to, were eloquently exposed as murderous criminals whose fascist policies are destroying the lives of millions of people in the U.S. and around the world. See the video.

Through all this, it's become clear that there is targeted political repression against both the Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism.  More on this will be written soon.

 

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Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

Some Points on Brett Kavanaugh and Why He MUST Be Rejected

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Brett Kavanaugh has a long ugly history in both the executive and judicial branches of the U.S. government in pursuing a reactionary Christian fascist agenda. This proven public record is why his nomination to the Supreme Court should be and must be stopped. Kavanaugh played a thoroughly reactionary role in the Republi-fascist Starr Commission's inquisitional attempt to impeach Bill Clinton in the 1990s. As a member of the Bush regime he justified torture. Later he said that the president should be immune from prosecution. And his judicial decisions in the last decade trampled on basic constitutional rights especially regarding women and LGBTQ people.

If he is approved for the Supreme Court he would lock in a pro-fascist majority in a branch of government which can decisively affect all parts of the government, as well as the rights of the people to speak out and dissent. Further: The decisions he would almost immediately participate in will significantly intensify, to put it mildly, the oppression and degradation of women and LGBT people. The protests of the past two weeks have been righteous and should continue.

These are reasons, and reasons enough, to STOP his ascension to the Supreme Court. And these are the terms on which the people’s interests can be upheld and strengthened in this fight.

 

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Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

The Killer Cop Must Not Walk!
Trial of the Cop Who Killed Laquan McDonald Begins with Only ONE Black Person on Jury

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

It was almost four years ago that Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke fired his gun and struck 17-year-old Laquan McDonald as he was walking away from Van Dyke and other cops, with his arms at his side. Laquan was spun around by the impact of the bullet and fell to the ground, motionless. But the killer pig did not stop there—he kept on firing, one bullet after another, until he had emptied his weapon. Laquan was shot in the left scalp, neck, left chest, right chest, left elbow (2), right upper arm (2), left forearm, right upper leg (2), left upper back, right arm, right forearm, right lower back. 16 shots. A young human being, cut down in cold blood, his future gone in a hail of police bullets.

Unlike in almost every killing by police, Van Dyke was charged with murder—but only after the video of this outrageous crime was forced to the surface more than a year later, exposing not only the police lies but how the powers that be in the city, up to the mayor, had worked to cover up the video and keep it from going public. And only after righteous protests demanding justice for Laquan had shut down the heart of the city, and reverberated to broad sections of society, including among middle class professionals and white suburbs, where most people usually support the police and ignore or justify the poverty and repression faced by the masses of Black people.

The second week of Van Dyke’s trial ended on Friday, September 14, with the seating of the jury—which includes only ONE Black juror, along with seven whites, three Latinos, and one Asian-American. This in a city that is almost one-third Black! The killer cop’s defense team fought tooth and nail to prevent Black people from serving on the jury. The jury includes one woman who is an aspiring Chicago cop, another who described the protesters outside the courthouse demanding justice for Laquan as “scary,” and one who expressed support for the police.

Van Dyke’s lawyers have made it clear they’ll try to portray Laquan as someone with a “violent” past—as part of justifying the murder. This dehumanization of Laquan is being given wind in the sails by the local media coverage, including a piece in the Chicago Tribune that went into great length and detail about his many arrests and other conflicts with law enforcement, troubles in school, and so on—totally overshadowing the few anecdotes about how his friends and family remembered him as someone with a lot of humor and heart. This character assassination of Laquan is akin to when rape victims find that, after they press charges, their entire sexual history is put on trial.

Contrast that with the “humanizing” of Van Dyke, which began before the trial with an extensive interview in the Chicago Tribune in which he was handed an opportunity to talk about (as he “wipe[d] his tears away”) how he feared being separated from his family “for doing my job as I was trained,” etc. This has continued with news coverage about how he had to make the really hard decision about whether to go for jury trial or a bench trial (in which the judge decides the verdict), how he looked during the jury selection, blah, blah, blah....

Meanwhile, there has been a theme coming from even some relatively progressive columnists and writers that whatever the outcome of the trial, this whole storm touched off by the killing of Laquan has already brought big positive changes to Chicago. Bullshit. If Van Dyke walks, it will mean that nothing done by pigs in this system, in the name of carrying out their duty and fearing for their lives, will be punished—no matter how blatant and outrageous. And this will make it even worse for the masses of Black and Brown people who already face intolerable terror and brutality at the hands of the police. These kind of articles in the media are supposed to be “consolation prizes in advance” for when the pig walks. Fuck that!

And it should not be forgotten that while Van Dyke pulled the trigger in the murder of Laquan, all the cops who were on the scene, the whole police department up to the top brass, the police “review” board, the city council, and Mayor Emanuel were all involved in the lies and the cover-up. So far, three cops have trials coming up later this year on misconduct, obstruction, and conspiracy charges related to the cover-up. But there have been no consequences for all the others involved.

People in Chicago broadly—especially, but not only, masses of Black people—are increasingly following this trial, which is being broadcast on local TV. The time is NOW to make clear that Van Dyke must not walk—that this killer cop must be convicted of murder (and not of “manslaughter” or some other lesser charge), the crime he committed, and sent to prison. As the Revolution Club, Chicago told revcom.us:

The murder of Laquan McDonald by Jason Van Dyke, and the massive cover-up that followed reveals the lengths to which this system will go to protect and enable these killer cops; the truth that THE WHOLE DAMN SYSTEM IS GUILTY. And it reveals a strategic weakness of this system: That they have no answer to the genocidal police terror and mass incarceration of Black people as well as other oppressed nationalities. That overthrowing the system these murderous pigs really “serve and protect” is the only way to end this outrage, along with the many outrages rooted in this system from its wars and destruction of people and the environment, to the oppression and degradation of immigrants, women, and LGBTQ people. And the struggle that erupted against this murder revealed once again the potential that exists for revolution, if this is transformed, through struggle, into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization.

The Revolution Club Chicago demands that this killer cop, Van Dyke, be convicted and locked up for MURDER. We are calling for people to be out in front of the Cook County Courthouse Monday, September 17, 8 am to bring this demand, and we urge people to stay tuned into revcom.us for upcoming plans and a call for national day(s) of action.

The murderer of Laquan McDonald must not be allowed to walk free, and people around the country must not just watch as this goes down but must act now to demand “Convict Van Dyke! Justice for Laquan McDonald! The Whole Damn System Is Guilty!”

 


Laquan McDonald

 

Bob Avakian, "Yes there's a conspiracy, to get the cops off."

"Yes there's a conspiracy... to get the cops off" Is a clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian, given in 2003 in the United States. More about Bob Avakian here

 

The Revolution Club with a banner outside of Cook County courthouse

 

On two straight days last week, the Chicago Tribune coverage of the Van Dyke trial included pictures of the Revolution Club who were part of the protests outside the courthouse.

 

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Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

Today's Message from the Revolution

June 16, 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.

 

 

June 16, 2019

1. How many more times will police gun down Black people & walk free? How long will we allow these pigs to say "Not a big deal"?

If this were the ONLY thing wrong with this system, it would be reason enough to overthrow it!

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2. This system has no future for the youth, the REVOLUTION does!

revcom.us/avakian

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3. On the Righteous Rebellion Against Police Murder in Memphis

How Long Will We Bury Our Own?
Until We Bury This System!

From the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour & Revolution Club

revcom.us/a/599/on-the-righteous-rebellion-against-police-murder-in-memphis-en.html

Carl Dix & Tour in Memphis now.

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Revolution #561 September 17, 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 #561 September 17, 2018

Some Thoughts on Networks and Building a Mass Movement for Revolution

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a member of the Revolution Club:

In continuing to think about what’s concentrated in HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, I’ve gone back to the piece on “Commitment and the Process of Building a Movement FOR Revolution” and want to share some further thinking.

Building a mass movement for revolution cannot be understood simply as us, people in the Revolution Club, mass distributing HOW WE CAN WIN, the strategy for revolution, agitating on the crimes of the system and the way out, and building for screenings and major events meant to cohere and harvest new people off a period of work. Neither can it be simply understood as giving concrete assignments to people we meet to contribute to those things.

What is essential to developing a mass movement for revolution that amounts to more than a bunch of diffuse sentiment and “thumbs up” is establishing, developing, and integrating networks of individuals in key locations and among key sections of the masses to carry out work that is in line with the overall strategy. Working through this process to achieve a critical mass of sufficient size and determination to overcome obstacles to expanding and developing even more networks.

This will include an element of broad outreach and mass agitation—we are still “beating the bushes,” creating public opinion about revolution and looking for people who want to step into the revolution on different levels. Very importantly we need increasing masses of people coming to know who BA is. AND we must cohere networks of people and break out of working with people on purely an individual basis or we will never achieve the necessary geometric growth, and we will necessarily limit the mass movement to that which the existing Revolution Clubs, social media, and revcom.us are able to reach at any given time, which will restrict us to a process that only increases our forces incrementally.

A mass movement for revolution does not mean the Revolution Clubs going out and working with isolated individuals to go out and do work in a diffuse way. Working with individuals will certainly be a part of the process, but we must strive for that to no longer be the principal aspect of our work. A mass movement for revolution must mean networks of individuals coming together with others to learn more about and spread this movement for revolution. These networks, in their quality and quantity, should be a key measure of how we are doing at organizing a truly mass movement for revolution.

The dynamic that we are aiming for is what I would call networks building networks.

We should be aiming to organize networks of individuals into distribution and postering teams, promotional teams for the new film; groups that get together and debate and discuss revolution through engaging BA and the new film; a network of high school students who organize a “revolution table” in the cafeteria; who are watching clips from the new talk and showing them to others; networks organizing film showings (major ones and people who group together family/friends/colleagues/classmates); groupings that make and sell tamales (and other fundraising work); groups who are organizing protests and walkouts in their school or workplace against the consolidation of fascism etc...

The thinking throughout this has to be finding different ways in for people to carry out meaningful revolutionary work wherever they may be in the process. People need to do this from “where they are at.” By this I mean people need to be able to participate in more ways than we currently have thought through. Right now, people either have to join up with the Revolution Club, or come to one of our events, or share social media posts in order to participate. So if someone works full-time, or has kids, or has health problems, or has super-controlling parents, how can we enable them to contribute? How can we enable them to begin a process where they are contributing, learning, and contributing more? Taking on more responsibility through the whole process? The key to all of this is that the work of individuals needs to result in the formation of networks or else, however important the work may be, this will end up as diffuse sentiment that cannot be mobilized or wielded.

This means that we need networks and forms of organizations in neighborhoods, on campuses, in high schools, among different social groupings and collectives. We need to unleash people with concrete tasks that they can complete from beginning to end, and we have to struggle to win people to see these tasks as necessary and essential contributions to the revolution. We absolutely need to mobilize people right now to promote this new upcoming speech from BA being released on film and get it out very broadly and through this process form more organization. We need networks of people who know who BA is and are on deeper and deeper levels engaging this film and the new communism and are spreading it to others.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/561/getting-out-the-revolutionary-message-on-my-own-en.html

Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

From a Reader:

Getting Out the Revolutionary Message “On My Own”—As Part of a National Movement

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the light of recent events, and the whole Kavanaugh confirmation hearing throwing this debate around abortion and the rights of women as full human beings right back into the public debate in a big way, this interaction from a few months back holds some interest for the movement for an actual revolution. Despite being in a position where I’m largely “on my own” in terms of getting out the message of this movement, and spreading materials on a day-to-day basis, there really is the potential to have meaningful and even impactful interactions with nowhere near a critical mass, which indeed we do need at various points. Even with just one or two people, the beginnings of a change in the whole atmosphere of a place like a college campus can be set into motion.

A few months ago, during the spring semester at the community college that I attend, a group of four or five anti-abortionists had set up shop with their disgusting and misleading posters and materials that lie to people about abortion. Coincidentally, I happened to have some palm cards pertaining to these reactionary fools, and there seemed to be a general feeling of disgust and muted (but real) anger towards them. I used this opportunity to agitate against the anti-abortionists, drawing from and citing the quote on the palm cards I was now distributing (the “Unbelievable as it may seem…” quote from BA). Although I was just doing this exposure to a small group of people, it still injected some science and a communist level of analysis that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. Let’s not underestimate the potential impact of something like this.

To those who are inspired to start up networks and Revolution Clubs in your area: Seize on the opportunities before you, even if you are alone. You don’t have to wait until you have a large crew to engage in actions and spread the word about this movement and this leadership. Wherever you are in this country, whether you are dozens or hundreds of miles  from the nearest supporters or Revolution Club, you are acting in tandem with, and as a part, of a nationwide movement. With the guidance of this site, the works of theory and correspondence of practice that should be continually updated as we experience and learn more, no one who hungers for a better world, and has come to see the flickering light of the New Communism as humanity’s only hope for that better world, should feel alone.

 

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Revolution #561 September 17, 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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Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

Call to Action From Refuse Fascism:

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

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

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

We are horrified and angered at the shocking damage already done to lives here and around the world by the Trump/Pence regime. We recognize that they are poised to do far worse, including threatening WAR, even nuclear war. Through an unrelenting barrage of daily outrages and Twitter outbursts, the Trump/Pence regime is radically remaking society—step by step hammering into place a vicious American fascism. This is not insult or exaggeration, it is what they are doing.

Therefore, WE RESOLVE that nothing short of removing this whole illegitimate regime from power will stop this nightmare.

There is a way to do this. To do so,we must cast aside illusions and self-delusions:

All too many people think and act as if what we face is just the worst of pendulum swings between Republicans and Democrats. NO! This regime, if left in power, will effect a thoroughly reactionary restructuring of society.

If we think that the normal processes of the 2018 or 2020 elections, or the Mueller investigation will, by themselves, redress the situation that humanity faces, we are not understanding the determination of these fascists in power to shatter norms—even though they have been doing so for over a year.

If we think that the heightened activism of the past year, either by itself or together with the elections will stop this regime, we are missing how much harm this regime has already done, absorbing individual protests as it rapidly moves its agenda forward on multiple fronts.

If we are not as outraged and motivated to act today as we were right after the election, we are on our way to accepting a great horror that builds daily. If we adjust to the injustice of this regime, do not ask how the German people could have accepted Nazism in the 1930s.

An American Fascism

We must not reassure ourselves that it couldn’t happen here. It is. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” is a 21st century fascist program of Manifest Destiny—”America First”—wrapped in the flag and Mike Pence’s Bible taken literally, with a program of white supremacy, misogyny, and xenophobia.

This regime denies truth and objective evidence, and yet it has its hands on the most powerful military and nuclear arsenal in history and is preparing and threatening to use it! Millions of immigrants live in terror fearing their loved ones will be ripped away. People’s humanity is viciously denied. Women are poised to lose the right to abortion. Trump and Sessions have instructed police to “take the gloves off,” further brutalizing people of color. LGBTQ rights recently won are under assault. Damage done to the environment by this regime in just 14 months could be irreversible.

Fascism rules by organized repression and terror by the government: civil liberties are stripped away, law re-written, dissent criminalized, the courts packed with fascists, and the separation of powers and of church and state ultimately eviscerated. As part of radically remaking society, the Trump/Pence regime must sharply attack those in positions of power who oppose them. Fascism also mobilizes mobs of vicious thugs as we’ve seen with Nazis marching and murdering in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Trump/Pence Regime has not yet been able to implement their full program. But they are advancing. It might only take a single serious crisis—international or domestic—for this regime to drop the hammer.

Don’t Normalize... Don’t Accommodate... Don’t Conciliate... Don’t Collaborate...

People all over the world are counting on us to STOP this nightmare. The different strains of fascist demagogues and movements in this country see in Trump and Pence their “last chance” to achieve their reactionary program. They will not listen to facts or reason; they have already and will continue to change rules, manipulate elections, and they will not give up.

The Democratic Party leadership will NOT lead us out of this. They are about maintaining order for their whole set up. For them, order is more important than justice, even if that means the order of fascism. After Trump’s election, President Obama said of Trump, “We are all on the same team... We are now all rooting for his success.” NO! If Trump succeeds, it will be catastrophic!

But there IS another way. A different kind of protest. We need to organize now for the time when we can launch massive, sustained nonviolent protests in the streets of cities and towns across the country—protests that continue day after day and don’t stop, creating the kind of political situation in which the demand that the Trump/Pence regime be removed from power is met.

Everyone who recognizes that the Trump/Pence Nightmare Must End is invited to join in and prepare for launching this great act of sustained resistance.

Imagine tens of thousands beginning in several cities and towns, with marches, candlelight vigils, rallies—students, religious communities, immigrants, everyone with a heart for humanity in the streets and not backing down—growing from thousands to hundreds of thousands and eventually millions. Our actions will reflect the values of respect for all of humanity and the world we want—in stark contrast to the hate and bigotry of the Trump/Pence fascist regime. The whole world will take heart.

This will shake millions awake, with many losing their adjustment to life under this regime. The international credibility of the regime will be undermined. A determined struggle that doesn’t yield and won’t be provoked can create a serious political crisis. Those in power who are themselves now under attack by the regime but conciliating with it would be compelled to respond to our struggle from below, leading to a situation where this illegitimate regime is removed from power.

This would be hard, but possible. Possible because millions of us feel the horror of Trump and Pence. Many have righteously protested different outrages, but now we must rise to another level of determined resistance.

We must confront the reality that the world as we have known it is being torn asunder. This requires getting out of our comfort zones and not allowing our differences to stand in the way of rising together in an unprecedented, unrelenting mass struggle to confront the danger of a Trump/Pence fascist America.

WE PLEDGE that we will not stand aside while there is still a chance to stop a regime that imperils humanity and the earth itself. Join us. Let’s stand together with conviction and courage, overcoming fear and uncertainty, to struggle with all we’ve got to demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go.

In the Name of Humanity,

We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America!

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

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Go to:
RefuseFascism.org
to add your name to this statement

 @RefuseFascism on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

 

 


 

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

Revolution #561 September 17, 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 #561 September 17, 2018

Trump IS Unhinged, His Whole Regime IS a Danger to Humanity

Protests in 12 Cities Demand:

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

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 


New York

 

Saturday, September 15—With divisions at the top of society sharply escalating, RefuseFascism.org called for protests across the country to raise, from below, the demand expressing the interests of humanity: “We must not wait to act. THIS NIGHTMARE MUST END: THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!” 

People in 12 cities across the country held protests raising this demand, marching, rallying and distributing Refuse Fascism’s Call to Action. Demonstrations took place in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Honolulu, and Houston. Protests were also scheduled in Boston Detroit, and Seattle

Listen to Andy Zee, co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org and spokesperson for Revolution Books, on The Michael Slate Show digging deeply into what we're up against at this moment and how we CAN and MUST bring millions into the streets to drive out the Trump/Pence Regime.

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

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

Find out more about Refuse Fascism here.


Chicago


San Francisco


San Francisco


Honolulu


Los Angeles


Houston


Atlanta

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/561/us-certifies-escalating-war-crimes-in-yemen-en.html

Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

In the Name of Protecting Civilians, U.S. Certifies Escalating War Crimes in Yemen

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

“I certified to Congress yesterday that the governments of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure resulting from military operations of these governments.”

—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, September 12

The Trump/Pence regime’s “certification” that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were reducing “harm to civilians” is worse than a sham. And so was its claim to be working to “allow unimpeded access” for humanitarian relief and taking actions to lessen the war’s catastrophic impact on Yemeni civilians.

As Pompeo was issuing his statement, Saudi and UAE forces were renewing their assault on Yemen’s critical food and aid lifeline—the port city of Hodeidah—threatening even greater genocidal devastation. And this “certification” was America’s seal of approval—and military backing—to do so!

International Outcry Over U.S.-Saudi-UAE War Crimes in Yemen

In a world filled with horrors, the Saudi-UAE war in Yemen, backed by the U.S. and other Western powers, has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and sparked international outrage and condemnation.

It is being waged to defeat Yemen’s Houthis to prevent the spread of Iranian influence, and ensure U.S.-Saudi dominance of this country strategically located along the Red and Arabian Seas. In three and a half years of war—carried out with U.S. planes, bombs, intelligence, and political support—the Saudis and UAE have bombed hospitals, clinics, schools, apartment buildings, markets, gas stations, factories, and farms. At least 16,000 civilians—perhaps as many as 50,000—have been wounded or killed, the great majority by the Saudis and UAE. Yemen’s food, health, and water infrastructure has been shattered, causing the largest cholera epidemic in history, and leaving 22 million in need of humanitarian aid, including 8.4 million on the brink of starvation.

Fears and Divisions Among U.S. Rulers

On August 9, Saudi forces massacred a school bus full of children—killing 40 and wounding another 56—with a U.S.-made, 500-pound MK82 laser-guided bomb.

All this has given rise to growing concerns among a section of the U.S. ruling class and sharp divisions over the U.S. role in the Saudi-UAE war. They aren’t shocked that innocents are being slaughtered. They’re concerned that openly and uncritically backing the Saudi slaughter is damaging U.S. imperialist interests. America, the self-proclaimed “bastion of freedom” and “force for good in the world,” is being exposed as complicit in the slaughter of children before the world. U.S. officials could be charged with carrying out war crimes. A recent Washington Post editorial warned the war was fanning anti-U.S. anger in Yemen, and that it was “unwinnable” and thus a risky gamble for Saudi Arabia, a key client, proxy, and pillar of America’s global empire.

These concerns had led the Obama administration to suspend delivery of certain precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia (after having sold them over $115 billion in weapons, more than any other president) in December 2016, as it continued to back their war overall. This was reversed by the Trump/Pence regime, but last month Congress voted to make certification a requirement for continuing the U.S. military’s midair refueling of Saudi warplanes, which enables them to carry out attacks in Yemen.

Like Obama’s suspension, this was partly a symbolic, face-saving measure, but it also was aimed at pressuring the Saudi-led coalition to curtail some of its worst atrocities. This “certification” never challenged overall U.S. backing for Saudi Arabia, but some in the ruling class are calling on the Saudis to negotiate an end to the war.

In response, the Trump/Pence regime “flouted Congress’s restrictions,” as the Washington Post wrote, and simply certified—against all the evidence—that Saudi Arabia and the UAE were reducing the risks to Yemeni civilians. The threat of a major war involving Iran—whether by U.S. design, the moves of one or another of the U.S. proxies in the region, or accident—grows sharper by the day.

The Trump/Pence Response: Doubling Down on War Crimes

The international humanitarian organization Oxfam denounced Pompeo’s September 12 “certification” as having no basis in “facts, moral code or humanitarian law.” Instead, as the group correctly argued, the Trump/Pence administration was “doubling down” and “literally fueling the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.” Note: the so-called “adults” in this fascist regime like Defense Secretary James Mattis, who far too many are counting on to save humanity, supported the certification.

This decision concentrates the Trump/Pence strategic approach to the Middle East at a time when America’s domination of the region faces a host of contradictions and challenges, including the vulnerability of some key allies and the growing regional reach and influence of the Islamic Republic of Iran: doubling down on backing for murderous clients like Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Egypt—even feigned concern for international law and human rights be damned—and doubling down on U.S.-backed violence.

This regime’s monstrous crimes in the Middle East (and around the world) are rooted in the needs and functioning of U.S. capitalism-imperialism. Its wealth, power, and stability come from its relentless economic, political, and military domination and exploitation of key regions, key resources, and especially the masses of people all over the world.

The Middle East is one of those key regions, and Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading oil exporter, is a key strategic cog in the whole U.S. empire—economically, militarily, and politically. This is why Democrats and Republicans have supported this barbaric theocratic monarchy for some 80 years. Protecting it, maintaining its stability, and today making sure its regional influence and power is not eclipsed by Iran are top priorities for the U.S. rulers.

Certifying Genocidal Escalation

On September 12, the day the U.S. issued its “certification,” Saudi-UAE forces took control of two of the main roads in and out of Hodeidah—“the sole source of food for millions in northern Yemen,” according to aid workers. They report that little aid is now getting out of Hodeidah, and if it falls “aid is likely to stop.”

This would be catastrophic on a genocidal scale. Some 2.9 million women and children are already suffering from acute malnutrition and another 400,000 children are on the edge of starvation. Recently the Associated Press (September 14) documented massive starvation in Yemen’s Aslam district, reporting, “In a remote pocket of northern Yemen, many families with starving children have nothing to eat but the leaves of a local vine, boiled into a sour, acidic green paste. International aid agencies have been caught off guard by the extent of the suffering there as parents and children waste away.”

Right now the Saudi-UAE assault is threatening grain mills in Hodeidah with enough food stored to feed 3.5 million people for a month. If Hodeidah falls and aid is cut off, as many as 10 million more Yemenis could face starvation.

What Kind of System Deliberately Starves Millions?

The Saudis claim they want to seize Hodeidah to stop the flow of arms and income to the Houthis, not to block food and humanitarian aid. These are lies. The U.S.-Saudi Arabia-UAE have used mass hunger and disease as weapons of war for the last three plus years, and now their goal is to force the Houthis to surrender by cutting off their last sources of aid and starving millions of Yemenis to death if necessary.

Any system that depends on massacring, starving, and infecting millions isn’t a system fit to exist a moment longer. Any system that’s carried out these crimes decade after decade—no matter whether Republicans or Democrats are in power—has proven it cannot be reformed, that THIS is how it operates. Any system like this needs to be overthrown through revolution as soon as the conditions come into being that make that possible. People need to confront the real nature of an empire based on starving children (HERE), and get into the real solution to ending it, and all the horrors it inflicts on humanity (HERE).

Yemen mapMap: revcom.us

Saudi Arabia airstrike of Yemen, August 2018: The Saudi-UAE war in Yemen, backed by the U.S. and other western powers, has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and sparked international outrage and condemnation.

Clip Free yourself from the GTF!

See Also:

40 Children Killed in American-Backed Massacre by Saudi Arabia in Yemen

Read more.

 

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Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

America Steps Up Barbarity at the Border:

12,800 Minors Detained, Migrant Families to Be Locked Up Indefinitely

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Update, September 30—According to news reports, hundreds of immigrant children labeled by the government as “unaccompanied minors” have been moved in the middle of the night from where they were being held across the country to the detention camp at Tornillo-Guadalupe, near El Paso, Texas, and the border with Mexico. This camp is a tent city in the sweltering desert, which the government has quickly expanded from the original capacity of 400 detainees in June to 3,800 now. These children had already gone through the severe trauma of having to leave their families and everything else behind in their home countries, making a dangerous trek through Mexico and across the U.S. border, and then getting treated as criminals here and held in detention facilities. Now hundreds of these youths are being yanked out of where they are with little notice, separated from any friends they have made, and put on buses at night to be sent to a mass detention camp. These kids had been receiving at least some schooling and regular visits from legal representatives assigned to their immigration cases—but at Tornillo, the youths are deprived of any schooling, and access to legal help is limited. This is yet another intolerable crime by this system of capitalism-imperialism that is the cause of so much human suffering around the world.

In late June there was international outrage at the horrific sight of America's Border Patrol agents tearing immigrant children from the arms of their parents—and then the emotional damage to these young children being used by the U.S. to deliver a message to other immigrants and refugees: “Stop coming here.” Of those 2,500 children separated and detained, 300 have still not been reunited with their parents who were deported without their children.

But there are in fact another 12,800 children still in custody—those who came to this country alone, without a parent or guardian. This is the highest number of “unaccompanied minors” ever detained at one time—and a five-fold increase since May 2017! These migrant youth—overwhelmingly children from Central America’s Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala—left their families and everything else behind, risked the dangers of the weeks-long trek across Mexico, only to be treated as criminals for seeking asylum in the U.S.

At the same time, border arrests of immigrant families coming from the countries of the Northern Triangle increased 38 percent in August, making it the greatest number of family arrivals in August on record.

What Drove These People to Come to the U.S.?

The truth is that the conditions in these countries are so intolerable that they are driving huge sections of their populations to flee. And why did the conditions get that way? The violence, turmoil, and poverty that have made these countries unlivable for so many are the consequences of decades of plunder and military and political domination by the U.S. in this region the imperialist rulers so arrogantly consider “America's backyard.”

Direct U.S. support for vicious tyrants and their murderous armies and death squads in the 1980s led to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people in the Northern Triangle countries. This reactionary violence was aimed at suppressing resistance movements backed by the U.S.’s main global rival at the time, the Soviet Union (which had become a capitalist-imperialist power following the overthrow of socialism in the mid-1950s). The expansion of economic plunder by U.S. corporations in the decades that followed—aided by the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), this region's version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that devastated the life of tens of millions in Mexico—made it impossible for huge numbers of people to support themselves on the land. And the widespread violence by gangs (often working with the police) that is gripping whole sections of these countries today and has created world-record murder rates, is the result of decisions made by the U.S. in the 1990s to deport thousands of youth back to Central America, in the name of the “war on gangs.”

The consequences in those countries have been catastrophic, and that has led to the huge flow of refugees and immigrants to the U.S.-Mexico border. In relation to this, there is a section of the U.S. ruling class that views immigration in the context not only of U.S. economic necessity (the super-exploitation of Mexican and Central American labor has always been the cornerstone of the capitalist economy in the southwest and western U.S.), but as a part of maintaining domination over Mexico and Central/Latin America through “soft power” (that is, economic, political and cultural domination in conjunction with the brute force and bullying). They think the best way to protect and pursue U.S. imperialist interests is to forge an arrangement where immigration can continue but under greater U.S. control. 

This was the program that Obama was carrying out. And its consequences were horrific, including trying to stop the flow of Central American refugees through more intense militarization of the border and sending the overwhelming majority back to their homelands. At one point Obama said on ABC News, "That is our direct message to the families in Central America. Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they'll be sent back. More importantly, they may not make it."

Obama’s expansion and unleashing of the Border Patrol drove more and more border-crosssers into the most dangerous parts of the Arizona desert, where hundreds lost their lives each year. The bones and other remains of these migrants, ravaged by desert animals, have Obama's name on them. Obama earned the title “Deporter-in-Chief” because under his regime a record-breaking two million immigrants were deported. He promoted the program Secure Communities, under which local police forces worked hand in hand with ICE agents in cities around the country to target immigrants, until it was pulled back; used indefinite detention to discourage others from coming here; and directed tens of millions of dollars, as Trump is doing right now, to the Mexican government to fund the arrest and deportation of Central American immigrants and refugees before they can get to the U.S. border.

The Fascist Solution

The Trump/Pence regime represents another section of the rulers who are convinced that the fascist program of extreme repression, openly racist “Make America White Again” demonization of people of color, and anti-immigrant ethnic cleansing can succeed in resolving what is in fact an intractable contradiction for this system. Their fascist “solution” includes:

These crimes against immigrants are just a part of the intolerable outrages this system carries out continually, and that cause so much unnecessary human suffering for the masses of people of the world. STOP the demonization, criminalization and deportations of immigrants and the militarization of the border.   

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This detention facility in Dilly, Texas houses over 1,500 women and children who have been detained, August 2018. Photo: AP

Immigrants and the New Socialist Republic in North America

The following is from the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which was authored by Bob Avakian and adopted by the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.

H. Immigrants, Citizenship and Asylum.

3. The orientation of the New Socialist Republic in North America is to welcome immigrants from all over the world who have a sincere desire to contribute to the goals and objectives of this Republic, as set forth in this Constitution and in laws and policies which are established and enacted in accordance with this Constitution. From the time of the establishment of the New Socialist Republic in North America, anyone residing outside of the territory of this Republic who wishes to enter its territory, and any such person wishing to become a citizen, or a permanent resident, of this Republic, must follow the relevant laws and procedures which have been established on the basis of this Constitution. Anyone who applies for asylum in this Republic and, through the relevant procedures that have been established for this purpose, is found to have been persecuted, or to have a well-founded fear of persecution, on account of having taken part in just struggles against imperialist and reactionary states or other reactionary forces, or on account of scientific, artistic, or other pursuits which have brought them into conflict with reactionary powers and institutions, shall be afforded asylum in the New Socialist Republic in North America, so long as they pledge to act in compliance with the Constitution of this Republic, and do act accordingly. Provided that they do not engage in any serious violation of the laws of this Republic, people granted asylum have the right to remain within the territory of this Republic for as long as they choose to do so, and shall be accorded the same rights as citizens, with the exception that, so long as they have not become citizens, they may not vote in elections or be elected or appointed to public office. They shall have the right, after a certain period, determined by law, to become citizens of this Republic, with the same rights and responsibilities as all other citizens. The citizenship process, as well as review of the asylum status of all those granted asylum, shall be carried out in accordance with the laws and procedures established for these purposes.

 

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Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

The Outrageous Pig Murder of Botham Jean
Killed for Living While Black

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Botham Shem Jean was in his apartment the night of August 6, when Dallas cop Amber Guyger entered and shot him in the chest. Botham Jean, a 26-year-old immigrant from the island nation of St. Lucia, died soon after.

Botham Jean was a recent graduate of a Christian university in Arkansas. He was a young man who had landed a well-paying job and nice apartment in a major city. A young Black man who endeared himself to all who met him. He never had so much as a parking ticket and did everything Black youths are told to do to “stay out of trouble.” And now a Dallas pig—who has a record of using her gun on “suspects,” including shooting a Latino man in the abdomen last year—cut his life short before it could fully blossom.

But it wasn’t enough for this pig to simply murder Botham Jean. The police released information claiming they found a miniscule amount of marijuana in Jean’s apartment, and the media in Dallas and nationally blared it out. As if a few joints have a fucking thing to do with the fact that Botham Jean was murdered in cold blood by the police! Family members and people broadly in the Dallas area are furious at the filthy racist attempt to slander a young man murdered with no justification.

Pigs Struggle to Get Their Lies in Line

Other Dallas cops arrived four minutes after Jean was shot. Guyger told them the utterly unbelievable bullshit that she thought she was entering her own apartment, which is a floor below Jean’s. She said she pushed on a door that was slightly ajar, saw Jean inside the apartment, thought he was a thief, and gave him “verbal commands” he did not obey.

Guyger’s fellow pigs found her excuse acceptable. As the Dallas Observer reported, detectives “asked Guyger a couple of questions, drew her blood for alcohol and drug testing and let her leave, following procedures typically used when police shoot someone while on duty.”

First of all, Guyger wasn’t on duty. Second, no pig should ever be “allowed to leave” when they murder someone!

Guyger remained uncharged for three days. Finally, she was arrested and charged—with manslaughter, not murder. She was out on bond in 80 minutes.

Within hours of the murder of Botham Jean, Dallas police obtained a warrant to ransack (“search”) his apartment. They still have not searched Guyger’s. An affidavit for the search warrant claims that Jean confronted Guyger at the door as she tried to get into his apartment, and that a neighbor “heard an exchange of words, immediately followed by at least two gunshots.”

But Lee Merritt, a lawyer for the Jean family, told of accounts from two neighbors in the building which were left out of police reports. He said that “one happened to be in a quiet room reading a book, so she was in the best position to hear things. She heard pounding at the door. The other (witness) was in the living room (of her own apartment) watching TV. She also heard the same pounding at the door.”

To provide the appearance of an impartial investigation of Botham Jean’s murder, Dallas police have turned it over to the Texas Rangers—a paramilitary force founded to carry out genocide of Native Americans, which then became a major force in murderous repression of Mexicans, and enforcement of Jim Crow lynch law—traditions it continues to uphold in today’s genocidal climate of mass incarceration and a militarized border.

The System Hasn’t Changed—and It Needs to Be Overthrown

Angry protests have rippled across Dallas since word of Botham Jean’s murder became public. People have marched and rallied throughout downtown, briefly taken over an interstate, and disrupted city council meetings with chants and demands that there be justice for Botham Jean, that his killer be charged with murder.

Dallas has a well-earned reputation as one of the most racist, reactionary cities in the country. City leaders say that has changed. As evidence, they point to the fact that the police chief, the district attorney, and the sheriff are all Black women.

Some of the faces in power have changed. But what hasn’t changed is the capitalist-imperialist system they represent. A system whose enforcers routinely murder, brutalize, and imprison Black and Brown youth. A system whose laws uphold that brutality, and whose officials try to crush or suffocate opposition to it. Every step of the way through this case—from the murder of Botham Jean to the release of police reports intended to paint him as a drug user and a possibly violent person—this system has been in full operation.

The Dallas County district attorney says the case against Guyger could go to a grand jury, and she could still be charged with murder. But two things must be understood.

The fight to win justice for Botham Jean and to arrest and convict Guyger for murder must continue and deepen. And, most of all, growing numbers of people need to be working with determination, creativity, and perseverance towards an actual revolution. A revolution which uproots and overthrows the system that has murderous oppression of Black people ingrained in its DNA, a revolution which brings about the fundamental change so deeply needed.

Get with this revolution. Be part of bringing about that change.


Bothem Shem Jean

People protest the murder of Botham Jean in Dallas September 10

How Can We Win? How Can We Really Make Revolution?

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/561/outrage-maya-faces-7-years-in-prison-for-silent-protest-in-support-of-immigrants-en.html

Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

Maya faces seven years in prison for a SILENT PROTEST in support of immigrants —
Meanwhile the attacks on immigrants escalated, first DACA now immigrants and children continue to be Caged, Tortured, and Sexually Abused

This is an OUTRAGE—all charges must be dropped now!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On March 1, 2018, University of Chicago police who brutally attacked and arrested Maya (Diya Cruz), a Latinx member of the Revolution Club Chicago, for participating in a SILENT protest in support of undocumented immigrants, charged HER with felony battery on a police officer. She has also been banned from the University of Chicago campus!

Maya took part in 11 minutes of silence for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are being terrorized in an escalating ethnic cleansing by the Trump/Pence regime. As part of a countrywide protest called for by Refuse Fascism, Maya, together with three other members of the Revolution Club, walked into the University of Chicago student center and simply held up sheets of paper announcing 11 minutes of silence for 11 million undocumented immigrants and stood silently for 11 minutes. Many in the dining hall joined in. It was a symbolic summoning to students to THINK about what it means that this government is terrorizing immigrants. After 11 minutes, the Revolution Club thanked all who participated and headed towards the exit, where they were stopped by police who at first prevented them from leaving, demanding identification, and then said they could go. Out of nowhere, the police attacked Maya, grabbing her roughly and then arresting her, literally dragging her down the stairs and out of the building. She has been charged with two felony counts of assault which carry seven years in prison for this SILENT protest, for silently sounding the alarm on the unfolding horror of the Trump/Pence regime.

Ironically, the University of Chicago has made a public point of its policy to encourage free expression, stating: “...the University has a solemn responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation, but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it.” Yet they have, in fact, acted against that very principle when their police attacked Maya. At the same time the U of C administration defended an invitation for the fascist Steve Bannon, whose white supremacist views falsely defame immigrants, Muslims, and people of color.

While the prosecution is likely to claim the persecution of Maya is “not political,” the court hearings show otherwise. At the initial hearing that should have been a routine bail hearing, the prosecutor arrived with a lengthy, distorted, and utterly irrelevant political dossier on Maya, portraying her as dangerous and undeserving of bail—on the basis of her alleged political views and associations and the fact that police have previously attempted to suppress her while she was engaged in lawful speech. At subsequent hearings, Maya’s case has not all been “routine.” At one hearing, the judge recalled that Maya had raised her fist to her supporters at the previous hearing and made it a condition of her bond that she couldn’t raise her fist in his courtroom, which he called “a sacred space.” When, as they were leaving, Maya’s supporters raised their fists the judge told them if they raised their fists again he would jail them for “contempt of court.” At another hearing the prosecution almost successfully got Maya’s bail revoked for another mass harassment arrest of the Revolution Club, this one at the People’s Puerto Rican Day parade, in which Maya was also bogusly arrested.

Maya’s arrest at the U of C also foreshadowed an ongoing series of attacks by the authorities on Revolution Clubs in Chicago and around the country. In Chicago alone, throughout the spring and summer people associated with the Revolution Club have been repeatedly arrested, threatened with arrest, ticketed for using legal sound while reaching out to people throughout the city. Including Maya’s case, people associated with the Revolution Club currently face a full dozen cases in court.

Since the arrest at the University of Chicago, the Trump/Pence regime has accelerated persecution of immigrants, ripping children from their parents’ arms at the border and caging them like dogs. Hundreds of these children remain caged and it is unknown when or if they will be reunited, since many parents have been deported back to their home country. There have been videos and reports of children unable to recognize their parent. The future of OUR children is unknown. But what is known is that the torture children experienced will be a lifelong traumatic experience. The court’s decision to end the separation addresses the problem by holding families together in concentration camps. It’s now come out that over 12,800 children and counting, labeled as “unaccompanied minors,” are held in concentration camps in unimaginable, gut-wrenching conditions. More recently, the Trump administration has been accusing hundreds of Latinx along the U.S.-Mexico border of possessing fraudulent birth certificates, and they are being denied U.S passports.

NO! As Bob Avakian says in the Q&A of his crucial talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America—A Better World IS Possible in speaking about what it is going to take to protect those who are vulnerable to attack by this system, “Other people have to get involved, other people... who are not directly affected in this or that thing, including deportations, have to take the stand that this is intolerable and we won’t allow it.” And he also goes on to say, “We cannot protect people from what the people in power are intending to do to them, other than by driving out the people in power.”

Maya has been part of the movement to drive out Trump and Pence and sounding the alarm that the attacks on immigrants are intolerable! She is also a revolutionary and what motivates her to defy and repudiate the injustices and atrocities of this putrid system is to fight to put an end to all forms of oppression here and around the world.

What is being done now to immigrants is nothing short of ethnic cleansing and there is a clear message here that those trying to fight this will be silenced. YOU ARE NEEDED! If you abhor the way that immigrants are being demonized, terrorized and incarcerated, deported, and that Latinx’ citizenship is being stripped away, then regardless of your political stance, you need to support and defend Maya, and like she did on March 1, take the stand that what is happening to immigrants is intolerable and we won’t allow it!

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW:

The Revolution Club Organizing Center

1857 E. 71st St, South Shore

Chicago, Illinois 60649

(312) 804-9121 * Email: revclub.chi@gmail.com * revcom.us * FB/Twitter @RevClubChi

On March 1, University of Chicago police brutally attacked and arrested Maya, a member of the Revolution Club Chicago, for participating in a SILENT protest in support of undocumented immigrants.

 

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Revolution Club, Chicago

 

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Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

India: "Provocative Speeches" Lead to Arrests, Escalation of Fascist Repression

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: This news report is based on edited excerpts of A World to Win News Service article from August 31, 2018.

On August 28 the Indian police raided homes in cities across the country and arrested five activists and intellectuals under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The UAPA allows the government to hold someone for six months without any specific charges. Those arrested are law professor Sudha Bharadwaj; Gautam Navlakha, former political editor of the widely respected Economic and Political Weekly, an intellectual and political journal with international reach; Varavara Rao, the well-known 78-year-old poet and founder of the Revolutionary Writers Association; human rights activist Vernon Gonsalves and activist and lawyer Arun Ferreira. Over the years, the arrested have led lives that put them at the forefront in fighting caste oppression against Dalits ("untouchables," considered the bottom of the caste hierarchy), the communal hatred and persecution of Muslims and the theft of Adivasi (tribal) lands.

Rationalizing this escalated repression, the Hindu fundamentalist government alleged that those arrested made provocative speeches at a well-attended conference promoting the rights of Dalits on December 31, 2017, part of a celebration of the 200th anniversary of Bhima Koregaon, a victorious battle fought by Dalits against a Brahmanical (upper) caste. Those who believe that India should be ruled by a Hindutva (fundamentalist) interpretation of the Hindu religion and uphold the age-old caste system as part of this abhor this annual celebration where Dalits attempt to step out of the humiliating position they still occupy in Indian society. Stone-throwing Hindu fanatics attacked a 300,000-strong march, resulting in one death. After this attack, thousands of Dalit protestors shut down parts of Mumbai. While two of the Hindutva attackers were charged at the time by sections of the local police, the government then turned to accusing these five individuals and others with "instigating caste violence" through "provocative speeches." Lawyers and supporters of those arrested dispute the accusations and charges.

Prime Minister Modi, who is known for whipping up the most backward religious sentiments and fomenting attacks on Dalits and Moslems in the name of "defending" the Hindu religion and caste supremacy, was formally accused (although not convicted) of being behind a mob attack that killed 2,000 Moslems in the state of Gujarat in 2002, when he headed the state government there. He is a member of a group called the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is considered the ideological parent of Modi's party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Some prominent RSS figures have openly expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler and call for ethnic cleansing to purify the "Hindu nation." As Prime Minister since 2014, Modi has unleashed a Hindu chauvinist lynch mob mentality throughout India. To take just one example, he turned a blind eye when self-styled "cow protection" vigilantes attacked Muslims and Dalit caste members accused of selling beef. (The caste system assigns Dalits the duty of disposing of the corpses of animals, including cows that have died of natural causes; cows are held sacred by the Hindu religion.) They were beaten, tortured and forced to eat cow dung. Directly, or indirectly with his silence, Modi has encouraged such atrocities, including the lynching of Muslims alleged to have been involved in killing cows or eating beef, and his government has generally condoned these kinds of activities, with their perpetrators enjoying immunity.

A previous round of raids and arrests of participants and speakers at Bhima Koregaon took place in June 2018. Police ransacked homes, humiliating family members and seizing books, laptops, computer drives and mobiles (cell phones). Accusing those arrested in June and August with having links to the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), which has been waging armed struggle against the Indian government for several decades, government prosecutors are alleging that a section of these arrestees are (and labeling them as) “urban Maoists” (using the term “Naxalite,” which derives from the origin of the Maoist rebellion in Naxalbari in the late 1960s), spreading “rebellious thoughts” and being part of an anti-fascist united front which sought to influence the Bhima Koregaon anniversary commemorations. Prosecutors also claimed to have discovered a letter about an alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi involving those arrested, no evidence of which was submitted formally in court. A former Indian Supreme Court justice called this accusation preposterous and nothing short of government-sponsored terror. Defense lawyers for the accused have pointed out the lack of any evidentiary connection between Maoist activity and what took place at Bhima Koregaon.

Many activists and intellectuals in India see the charges against the five representing a new round of government attempts to crush opposition to rising Hindutva fascism by creating a climate of fear, claiming to find "a subversive in every lawyer and terrorist in every intellectual." Protests against the arrests of these five and those arrested in June have been held in Mumbai and Delhi as well as other cities across India. Broad sections of the progressive Indian intelligentsia have rallied against these attacks and the overall continuing escalation of state repression which has accompanied recent targeted assassinations of secular intellectuals by Hindutva fascist forces.

The world-renowned novelist and activist Arundhati Roy gave the following statement to one of India's leading newspapers: "The events that are unfolding are being fueled by an intent to do away with democracy and turn this country into a Hindu state. It is an overt statement of intent, now. This, potentially, is more serious and more dangerous than the Emergency [an extremely repressive period in the 1970s]. This time, it is the state itself that is unleashing a law and order problem on minorities, on Dalits, Christians, Muslims and Leftists and anyone else who disagrees—through its proxies in the media, its murderous vigilantes and hate-speech vendors. Everyone who disagrees with a particular ideology is being criminalized, incarcerated or assassinated by shadowy right-wing killers. In the ‘big picture,’ the arrests of lawyers, intellectuals and Dalit activists—and the lack of arrests of lynchers and hate-criminals—are a part of a relentless ideological attack on the letter and spirit of the Indian Constitution… While killers are being garlanded and protected by people in high places, anybody who speaks up for justice or against Hindu majoritarianism is being made into a criminal. What is happening is absolutely perilous. In the run-up to elections, this is an attempted coup against the Indian Constitution and all the freedoms that we cherish.”

India protest

Photo: AP

After the arrest of five activists and intellectuals, thousands of Dalit protestors shut down parts of Mumbai.

India protest

Photo: AP

 

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Revolution #561 September 17, 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 #561 September 17, 2018

A Call To Action From The Revolution Club Chicago:

Justice For Laquan McDonald!
Convict Van Dyke and Throw Him in Jail—
The Whole Damn System Is GUILTY AS HELL!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Van Dyke must not walk free! Murder after murder by police MUST STOP. Because of the video of Laquan McDonald being shot 16 times by Jason Van Dyke, and what people did in response through waves of protest in Chicago and around the country, this murdering pig is now on trial.

But the skids are being greased to let another killer cop loose. This murder and the massive cover-up that followed reveals the lengths to which this system will go to protect and enable these killer cops. Already in this trial, the judge has ruled that Laquan Mcdonald, whom Van Dyke is supposed to be on trial for murdering, cannot be referred to as a “victim.” Yet Van Dyke’s lawyers can paint Laquan as a threat and bring up his past to paint him as a violent “monster” who this 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 Laquan’s alleged “violent” past). A jury has been seated with ONLY ONE Black juror in a city that is almost one-third Black...

From the slave catchers, to the KKK, to the killer cops of today. Black people have been terrorized and oppressed since the beginning of this white supremacist country, and those who run this system have always used the law to murderously repress and control Black people, along with stoking a fear of Black people through demonization and criminalization. While Van Dyke is on trial this time, and Laquan IS the victim of this murdering cop, this is an example that represents what future this system has for millions of youth just like Laquan, and whether that will be allowed and further unleashed. After all the struggle people have waged, another killer cop walking free would be another green light to genocide—under a Trump/Pence fascist regime that would be more than happy to take this to horrific new extremes and has called on police to be even more brutal, to “take the gloves off,” and to be let loose on Chicago.

Ways we can act now. Stakes are high—WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

Everyone everywhere who has a heart and a conscience right now needs to stand on the right side and refuse to accept what for too long has been accepted as “normal.” We have to bring our outrage and heartbreak into the streets, where we work, where we go to school, where we live.

Get with the revolution. Making revolution to overthrow the system these murderous pigs really “serve and protect” is the only way to end the many outrages rooted in this system from the genocidal police terror and mass incarceration of Black people and other oppressed nationalities, to its wars and destruction of people and the environment, to the oppression and degradation of immigrants, women, and LGBTQ people. Everyone who wants to go to work on making revolution now should join the Revolution Club, and see this new filmed talk from Bob Avakian, WHY WE NEED AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION AND HOW WE CAN REALLY MAKE REVOLUTION. This film will let everyone who sees it learn that there IS a way out of this madness, and there is leadership for the struggle to make that way real. Go to revcom.us for Sept. 22nd-23rd preview showings and/or Contact the Revolution Club Chicago at 312.804.9121 or revclub.chi@gmail.com

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Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

The Importance of Protesting the Supreme Court Confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh... and Doing So on the Right Terms

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

(New editors note added at end.)

Brett Kavanaugh represents a grave threat to the future of humanity, and his nomination to the Supreme Court should be thoroughly rejected. As we have written:

Brett Kavanaugh has a long ugly history in both the executive and judicial branches of the U.S. government in pursuing a reactionary Christian fascist agenda. This proven public record is why his nomination to the Supreme Court should be and must be stopped. Kavanaugh played a thoroughly reactionary role in the Republi-fascist Starr Commission’s inquisitional attempt to impeach Bill Clinton in the 1990s. As a member of the Bush regime he justified torture. Later he said that the president should be immune from prosecution. And his judicial decisions in the last decade trampled on basic constitutional rights especially regarding women and LGBTQ people.

If he is approved for the Supreme Court he would lock in a pro-fascist majority in a branch of government which can decisively affect all parts of the government, as well as the rights of the people to speak out and dissent. Further: The decisions he would almost immediately participate in will significantly intensify, to put it mildly, the oppression and degradation of women and LGBT people. The protests of the past two weeks have been righteous and should continue.

In short, Kavanaugh has done great harm throughout his life, and if given the chance to ascend to the Supreme Court he will do far, far worse.  

What we knew and what is even now further coming to light concerning Kavanaugh’s views on the rights of women to control their own reproduction, especially but not only the right to abortion, as well as a number of other serious issues, including torture and executive power, to name a few—which in every case he has verged from stonewalling to deception to outright mendacity—all argue that his ascension to the court would do grave and incalculable harm and must be opposed and STOPPED.

Up to now, despite the efforts and sacrifice of several thousand people who did turn out in DC, with many getting arrested, the struggle to stop this has NOT been commensurate with the threat posed. As for the top Democrats, they have exposed some of Kavanaugh’s record and complained about the cover-ups, but they have not brought out anything close to the full extent and substance of it nor have they pinpointed it as fascist, they have not called out masses, nor have these Senators simply stopped the hearings as illegitimate until a full disclosure was made and a full interrogation allowed; in the main they have basically gone through the motions. 

Yet it is not too late to mount the major struggle required—if masses of people are led to grasp the depth of the harm Kavanaugh’s ascension to the Court will do and its connection to the overall fascist program. But this struggle must be fought on the right terms.

The Accusation Against Kavanaugh of Sexual Assault and Attempted Rape

Early in this whole process, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford told her congressional representative that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted and attempted to rape her when she was 15 years old and he was 17. At this point, other than those who were in the room, nobody knows the exact truth of this allegation; yet many are speaking with utter surety, with no real basis to do so beyond hunches and what they know from press accounts, as to what did or did not happen. To deem something true because it comports with your experience, or is consistent with larger pervasive social phenomena (the outrage of sexual assault in this case), or what feels right to you does NOT lead to actually correctly understanding reality; getting to the truth requires a serious and open-minded sifting of concrete evidence. To act on the basis that something seems true without such evidence can lead, and has led, to very bad outcomes.

At the same time—and this is also very important—some basic truths that have been underlined in this past period include the fact that many women do in fact wait years before bringing truthful accusations precisely because of the huge social forces arrayed against women when they do so, including shaming and outright revenge attacks, all of which multiply in vitriol and pervasiveness in the age of social media. Connected to that, most women do not make such accusations lightly; and virtually all women have stories of harassment, abuse, beatings, extortion, or rape perpetrated by men and boys in their backgrounds. That this is so is one extremely important reason for revolution, for overturning this social order and its putrid relations between people and values (relations and values fostered and reinforced by virtually every institution in society), and replacing it with a genuinely emancipatory one; indeed, were this pervasive harassment and abuse the only thing wrong with this system, that would be reason enough to make revolution. However, this larger social truth does not itself determine the truth, or falsity, of any particular assertion.

Following the emergence of this accusation, for many people the truth or falsehood of this charge has become the decisive issue in the Kavanaugh nomination. And even some people who have up to now opposed Kavanaugh for the more overriding reasons we enumerated at the beginning of this article are shifting their emphasis to make this the principal issue. All of this is wrong. Even if the evidence eventually points unambiguously to Kavanaugh’s guilt, that should not be the decisive question or even the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

How Should We Judge a Person’s Past?

First, even assuming that the weight of evidence brought forward proves the charge leveled against Kavanaugh, what someone did at 17 years old has to be mainly looked at in relation to their entire life. People at 17 are not fully responsible adults; they are still in the process of becoming who they will be.*

The decisive question is not what someone did as a youth but what has been the subsequent arc of their life. People can change; the question should not be whether they did bad things as a youth, but: have they fundamentally confronted and broken with that—or have they continued in the same essential direction? In the case of Kavanaugh, these facts are beyond clear: whatever he did (or did not) do as a teenager, as a full-grown man he has been a major player in strengthening patriarchal oppression and in driving forward the overall fascization of the U.S.—and this is true no matter how many women who knew him way-back-when say that he was a polite teenager, or whether Dr. Blasey’s accusation proves to be true or not. It is for these reasons that Kavanaugh must be opposed or defeated.

The Importance of the Right Terms

This leads to the second point. If Kavanaugh is to be rejected not mainly, or decisively, for his proven record as an adult but for accusations—even if they prove to be true—of what he did as a juvenile, on what basis will the nominee who will surely succeed him (for instance, if it is the even more right-wing, if that is possible, Amy Barrett) be opposed?

More important: what kind of society are we going for? One in which errors and even crimes in people’s youth are brought forward and wielded against them when they are adults, and in which these are deployed for political ends (no matter how just and correct those ends may seem in the short run)? Or one in which people are judged on the arc of what they dedicate their lives to and in which there is a fundamental moral unity between means and ends?

The Struggle Against Kavanaugh Must Intensify

Again, the struggle to prevent Kavanaugh from being seated must not only continue but intensify, with the correct focus—on his thoroughly fascist history and what that portends for the future of humanity. Revolutionaries and radicals should be wherever people are struggling against this nomination, exposing the full weight of the danger involved with this nomination and directing the outrage against the fascist reshaping of the Supreme Court, the Trump/Pence fascist regime overall, and the capitalist-imperialist system which brought forward this whole nightmare.

 

Editors’ note: This past Saturday, the Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh as a Justice of the Supreme Court. This is truly ominous—there is now a pro-fascist majority locked in on the court for the foreseeable future. In light of that, we are reprinting our article filed shortly after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh were made public, but before her testimony.

What makes this ascension to the court even worse is the way in which this was, and was not, resisted. Instead of focusing resistance around his actual fascist history and program, which should have and could have been opposed by millions in determined mass action and prevented in that way, resistance instead was wrongly focused around Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assaults as a youth, which were not the heart of the point in any case and which, in the ways in which this was done, vitiated important principles related to due process. Equally destructive is that there was a streak of revenge running through this, which will undermine, cut against, and ultimately make impossible the emancipation of all humanity.

That things went this way was due in large part to conscious misdirection and manipulation by the Democrats. They put up what amounted to a show of opposing Kavanaugh on the basis of what he actually has done and represents politically (including Roe v. Wade and abortion, torture, executive power, etc.) but, instead of actually “throwing down over it,” and calling for people to come out into the streets and continue protesting and resisting on that basis, with a real determination to defeat the nomination of Kavanaugh, but also anyone else with the same horrific positions—the Democrats, et al., resorted to, yes, pimping off the struggle against the sexual abuse of women, perverting that into an instrument of intra-bourgeois political rivalry (including with an eye to the upcoming midterm elections). The fact that millions got caught up in a movement which had all the limitations we outline in the article above—limitations of a very serious nature which do real harm to the most fundamental interests of the people—adds to the defeat.

There is a way to rebound from this and to wage the crucial battle to drive out this fascist regime. We will be publishing more on this in the days to come; for now, however, we call on readers to go to the website of Refuse Fascism (refusefascism.org) for guidance on how to take this up, and meaningful action they can take up now that will make a real and positive difference.

 


* For this reason, comparisons between this situation and Anita Hill are not entirely apt. Hill brought her accusations against a grown man who had authority over her in a governmental agency. [back]

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

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Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

Some observations about the trial of Jason Van Dyke who murdered Laquan McDonald—Day 2 of the trial

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader

Today a key witness was Van Dyke’s partner, Walsh, who was not televised at his request, so the public could not listen to his testimony.  However in listening to the opening arguments, hearing several pigs-on-the-scene testify Day 1 and today, and reading about Walsh’s testimony (which is the prosecution presenting its case)—you would have thought you were hearing the defense’s side.

In the opening argument, the defense shifted its narrative from emphasizing that Van Dyke feared for his life to Van Dyke was concerned about Laquan going to either the Burger King or the Dunkin Donuts and endangering the people there.  As one attorney who has defended police said in his commentary on the trial – this is a good approach for the police to take because it is about protecting the public, not the individual cop.  This was combined with putting Laquan on trial: “he controlled the situation” (remember how Rodney King was controlling the situation?) by allegedly taking PCP, allegedly going on a sort of “wilding” around the city for the previous 24 hours taking public transit from the west side to the south side, by asking a woman to borrow her car—basically a thug who was a rabid menace to society who had to be put down. 

Then the cops who were given immunity, especially but not only Walsh, were put on the stand by the prosecution; Walsh was given partial immunity for his testimony (since he is up on charges for lying to cover up Laquan’s murder in the first place) and then he proceeded to run out the same story as the defense.   The prosecution did not draw out and hammer Walsh on the fact that he lied to protect Van Dyke right after the murder and made up what he said in his police report and how is it that he is not lying again to protect Van Dyke?  Oh, they couldn’t, Walsh was their witness!!!  Why wouldn’t the prosecution let Van Dyke’s defense team call Walsh to the stand and then shred his testimony as not to be believed.

The Chicago Tribune pointed out that the city inspector general found Walsh made numerous false statements and material omissions in his interview with police and the Independent Police Review Authority (the agency that investigated police-involved shootings) in the wake of the murder of Laquan.  “Walsh’s actions embody the ‘code of silence’ that has no legitimate place in CPD” the report said.   And now he is being allowed to tell another BIG LIE in order to back up Van Dyke’s legal defense.

The defense in its opening arguments showed the law that says something like police can use deadly force when someone is escaping arrest and a danger to the public.  The pigs are now taking the murder of Laquan and trying to figure out how to justify it since the video blew huge holes in their original cover up of this murder.

At the time Laquan was murdered, the ....

”cops and the police report said: That Van Dyke exited his vehicle, drew his handgun, then stood in the street as McDonald came toward him and that “McDonald was holding the knife in his right hand, in an underhand grip, with the blade pointed forward.... He was swinging the knife in an aggressive, exaggerated manner.” That Van Dyke repeatedly ordered McDonald to drop the knife. Then, “When McDonald got within 10 to 15 feet of Officer Van Dyke, McDonald looked toward Van Dyke, McDonald raised the knife across his chest and over shoulder, [sic] pointing the knife at Van Dyke.” Van Dyke said he continued to fire at McDonald while he was on the ground because McDonald “appeared to be attempt(ing) to get up, all the while continuing to point the knife” at him and still presented a threat.                       

One cop said he believed McDonald was “attempting to kill them” when Van Dyke opened fire. One report read, “In defense of his life, Van Dyke backpedaled and fired his handgun at McDonald, to stop the attack.... McDonald fell to the ground but continued to move and continued to grasp the knife, refusing to let go of it.”.  (See “The Murder of Laquan McDonald: Cops, Lies and Videotape, Part 2”).

The video shows Laquan making no aggressive moves toward the cops.  There is a high construction/mesh fence running down the block, Laquan is in the middle of the street.  His hand with a SMALL knife is at his side.  In fact, video on Monday showed a cop walking behind Laquan about 10 feet for several blocks.  This cop had his gun out but said Laquan wasn’t threatening him—he seemed “out of it” and the cops were waiting for a taser.  This scene went on for more than 10 minutes!  Given this, given that Van Dyke shot Laquan within 6 seconds—how are they going to say this is justifiable homicide?

Now the pigs’ testilying revolves around their feigned “concern” that Laquan was going to somehow get into the Burger King or Dunkin Donuts.  IF THAT WAS TRUE WHY DIDN’T THEY SAY IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?  WHY THE WHOLE OTHER STORY COMPLETELY CONTRADICTED BY A VIDEO THAT THE POLICE NEVER THOUGHT WOULD COME OUT? 

Walsh continued to claim that from his vantage point what Laquan was doing looked completely different than what is seen on the video—continuing to claim that Laquan raised up the knife with his arm when everyone can see he wasn’t threatening the police with the knife... this is setting the stage for the defense airing a video that they CREATED that purports to show what Van Dyke saw that night.  A fake video vs the real video.  And the prosecution greased the skids for it!!!

One other heart-breaking moment in the trial—a Cook County sheriff who was patrolling in the area followed the police cars streaming to the scene of the shooting and the video showed him among pigs who are standing in a row out in the street as Laquan’s crumpled body is in the street.  The sheriff’s deputy said he could hear Laquan gasping for air and gurgling.  He went over to the body to “render first aid”—he didn’t do anything.  He claims he told Laquan that an ambulance was coming... but he didn’t know if it even arrived.  The prosecution did not ask him if anyone else on the scene asked him if the teenager was alive or if anyone attempted to administer first aid... the prosecution did not drive home what is a sickening and revealing condemnation of all the pigs on the scene.  They were much more concerned about saving their asses while they treated Laquan like so much road kill.

Dashcam Video of Officer Jason Van Dyke Shooting Laquan McDonald

Police murder Laquan McDonald at 5 minute mark

 

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Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

How to be part of a mass movement to spread BA's speech

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Note: the text below is available as downloadable PDF and should be distributed at the preview showings and beyond.

Now that you’ve seen the film, here’s how you can make a real difference.  Bob Avakian (BA) has laid out Why We Need a Revolution and that Making Revolution is actually possible.  Right now most people don’t know why humanity is living in the state it’s in and have no hope for things being any different. That could change dramatically this fall. For all the people looking for a way out and a way to stand up—this speech will change what people think is possible and what people feel they have to accept.

Spreading this film can be the foundation on which a growing movement for revolution takes root and takes shape—spreading the word that there is a revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian, who has developed the science and strategy for an actual emancipating revolution.  Spreading this speech is part of that strategy, of building up the ranks of the Revolution—first in the thousands and then millions in a mass revolutionary movement for fundamental change that can make an actual revolution when the time for that is right.   And even if you are not ready or don’t agree with the whole mission and strategy—or if you are just being introduced to this and considering it—if you think this is a film that needs to be seen then you need to be part of making that happen.

All this ... cannot be done without you.

This fall there needs to be a mass movement around spreading this film.  We don’t have this all figured out yet. The ways and means are there but it is going to take a movement of people going to work on this together, sharing their ideas, resources and stoking collective imagination to come up with ways to break the system’s sound barrier.  We don’t yet know how to make the next crucial jump from 100's of people who come to the previews—to tens of thousands starting with the on-line premiere on October 19.  What each of us does and what we do together in an organized way will make the difference.

So first contribute your thoughts on how we can do this, bring what you know and be part of knitting that together with what other people know and together forging something that has not been done before. We need everyone to bring what they know about breaking through on social media and fundraising. Social media intersects with and amplifies what is happening on the ground and among people in person.  For instance someone in Public Relations just wrote in a vision for how the social media, people out in the street, and light projections, can all be coordinated for maximum effect. The Bob Avakian Institute is proposing that we should find a platform for signing up 500 people to post the film on the same day.  We need everyone to bring your ideas no matter how wild or how small.  Then send reports to revolution.reports@yahoo.com on what you’ve been doing. Include pictures to document it.

To begin here are four crucial first steps to begin this process:

1. A movement of preview showings—to groups of people in your neighborhood, showings at Churches, barbershops, community groups, campus showings at dorms, in classrooms and campus organizations. Showings in parks and in living rooms.  People who have been moved by this and think others need to see this can all be enlisted in ways to spread this and bring their ideas to a national movement that they are part of growing. These previews are not just film showings. They are ways to build community and new networks of support for the revolution, they are ways to meet people who want to join the Revolution Clubs or The Bob Avakian Institute.

2. Fundraising to pay for posters, palm cards, and also targeted advertising to get the word out. We need to know what platforms you think would make a difference—so hard-earned money is not wasted.  Send in your ideas and plans for how a people-funded effort can expand, from people with means to the people who have nothing to lose. Raising money for the revolution is necessary but also a great opportunity to create revolutionary spaces where people can live the Points of Attention of the Revolution Clubs and be future people. It’s a way to bring forward support and partisanship among people broadly—many of whom may not be able to be activists but who want to financially support the growth of the revolution and who want to defend it from the attacks being launched by the system to suppress it. Who really want to see it grow and get stronger.

3. Spreading the film on social media. A starting proposal is attached... but it is just that. We need hundreds of people involved including people who have platforms and people who have skills. On the simple.... be sure that you have someone who can video on their phone statements people want to make to be part of spreading this at every preview.  We need memes and artwork that can be shared and photos sent into revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

4. Street teams that can work together in an organized way to spread the word—from leafleting palmcards and postering, to light projections and getting up murals. If there is a Revolution Club in your city you can join them for an afternoon. If not you can form up your own street team.

Home page for the film:

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

Here are the key tools to get started:

1. Artwork for:

  • Palm cards
  • Posters
  • Square graphic for social media
  • Stencils to put the name of the film and premiere date on clothing, signs and other personal items

2. A trailer for the film. This will be the first of many promo videos for the speech.

3. Outline for Phone Calls

4. "How to be part of a mass movement to spread BA's speech"

5. Social media sheet

6. Survey for previews

Available here

 

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Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

Two Snapshots on Response of Students in South Loop to the New Film

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Columbia College

A team went to a downtown college in Chicago to build for the preview of the new film of a talk by Bob Avakian, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Could Really Make Revolution this coming weekend.

The building for this preview is also taking place during the trial of Jason Van Dyke, the pig who murdered Laquan McDonald in 2014 and whose murder was covered up by both the cops at the scene as well as the CPD brass and Mayor Rahm Emanuel for over a year until the video of Van Dyke shooting Laquan 16 times in less than a minute was released to the public—sparking weeks of protest against police murder and brutality.

The team had a large poster announcing the previews (there are two in Chicago) and also a poster exposing the murder of Laquan—Justice for Laquan! Convict Van Dyke! The Whole Damn System Is Guilty! 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.

A Few Examples of the Impact of Building for the Previews in the Context of the Trial of Jason Van Dyke

One person, a white kid from a military family, was talking about how he could see some of the outrages committed by some of the police killings, but he didn’t agree with everything we were saying. While we were talking, a woman student and one of her classmates came up and she started in: “In October 2014—I wrote a poem about Laquan McDonald being murdered. ‘Sixteen shots.’”

She began breaking down to the white kid and the Black kid about Laquan. “It was covered up for a year including by Rahm Emanuel. We had big protests for days. Everyone knew about Laquan. It made a big difference that a famous rapper like Vic Mensa had written a rap about it.” She said this film is right on time. She and her classmate took pluggers to get out at the school and ran off.

At another corner, another student from the same school came up. She had gotten the plugger for the film and the flyer about Laquan and she came up and said, “I want to thank you for this. I will come to the film this weekend. What you are doing and saying about Laquan McDonald is so true and it is really good, and really positive and really important. I want to be part of this. Yes, I think there needs to be a revolution. Not just because of Laquan. There is all this terror against Black people. And people killing each other. And no one knows what to do. You have a solution. I get mad at people who complain and then they don’t do what they could to solve it. Like they hate this but they didn’t vote, you can’t complain if you don’t vote. But I will be part of this and build for this film.”

South Loop

I was struck by the percentage of students who stopped to talk about this film and on some level were drawn towards its message. I got contact info from 11 people, but it wasn’t like I had handed out many hundreds of pluggers to meet these folks. I don’t think I got out 100 total the whole afternoon. And there was a level of seriousness among those who stopped. Over and over, when asked how serious is the situation we face, they would say something like “15 on a scale of 10” or another student said, “my parents say this is the worst ever in their lifetimes.”

And the sense of extreme seriousness was generally accompanied by an openness to—a looking for—big, radical solutions, like revolution. A number of the people I talked to said straight out that voting wasn’t going to solve this—the problem was with the whole system. One young woman who started out saying she was going to vote was shocked when I asked her “why?”—like voting was just a given. But when she tried to answer why, she started saying things like “I know this hasn’t really changed things for centuries” and pretty soon she had talked herself out of what she had originally said. We talked about how this society fills people’s head with baseless bullshit that everyone just repeats like it is true.

Talking to professors. I went to the class of a prof I knew from the past and caught her just before it started. She had been very sympathetic to BA in the past, but then left the school. But I was glad to discover she is back. She took material about the film and said she would announce it to her class. We just had a few minutes and I will follow up with her—I emailed her last night again encouraging her to come to the preview.

I met an English prof in front of the school who is very concerned about police murder of Black people (he is Black). He was also interested in the film and said he would help promote it at the school. I texted him last night again encouraging him to come to the preview. I also emailed another five profs last night who were friends of someone who used to teach there. And I have a contact to follow up in the film school. These could be some important building blocks for getting a showing at Columbia after this weekend’s preview.

I got one text response from a student that said that she had already RSVPd for Sunday’s film preview.

A final point on Columbia. A number of people have told me that the student organizations there are not political, rather they are social clubs of different types. This fall there is one new exception—a campus socialist group (we need to find out more about it). But for a school that is “not political” on the surface, there sure were a lot of students who were quite politically aware.

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.

Revolution Club, Chicago, organizing for revolution, inviting people to previews this weekend in Chicago

 

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Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

Revolution Club: On the Trains and Subways—and on a Mission to Spread Word About the New Film and Revolution

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From members of the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

A team of three people from the Revolution Club jumped onto the city train and subways system with just a basic flyer promoting the upcoming preview screening of the new speech from Bob Avakian, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, and the pamphlet How We Can Win. We were very determined and on a mission to spread the word and hopped from train car to train car making public service announcements to tell people about the screening and what it’s all about. We were on a train in South Central and all different sorts of people were on the train. Lots of Black and Latino masses. But also students, scholars, lawyers, doctors and nurses, artists, people from every nationality and walk of life.

We would start off by talking about the way the world is, we would hold up the “5 Stops” and talk about maybe just one or two of them. We agitated about the 12,000 children locked away along the border and the consequences of Brett Kavanaugh being appointed to the Supreme Court, or the case of Laquan McDonald and how the police get away with murder after murder. We really drew from the recent articles on revcom.us, how they described what the film was about and who needed to see it. One comrade described the difference in their agitation saying they felt that this enabled them to speak to everyone rather than speaking to those who are more “attuned to revolution.” We were quick and concise with what this was all about.

When people heard what it was all about, some would put out their hands for the flyer. People would applaud, one woman stood up and said, “I want to support you!” and we quickly gave her a stack of flyers and told her of some ways to get involved before we had to jump off. The majority of people on the trains took the flyers and expressed interest. Especially among the Black masses you would see them close their eyes as if we had struck a deep chord, and small groups of people would scramble to grab the flyer.

There was also contention. There were people who said we had to deal with these problems by voting. So we took it on sharply and asked, “When has voting ever stopped the mass murder of Black and brown people by police?” One person said, “I’m for Jesus” and when we said, “But Jesus isn’t going to save us,” the guy threatened to call the police. Some of the masses took this on and told them to leave us alone and challenged him on that bullshit.

At one point the trains were so packed that nobody could move so we had to rely on masses to pass things out. One high school student said, “This is just like high school, take one pass it down.” Others took up the responsibility and handed it to people near them.

We got the sense that people are more paying attention to what’s going on, and clearly some of them were agonizing about it. We were able to create a scene everywhere we went and overall, it was a really positive example of being that bold social force. An example of achieving critical mass, even just the three of us by being bold and not half-stepping with what we are all about. There was something special about all the different sections of the people who are normally so isolated from each other, grabbing these flyers and expressing support. There was something important about people seeing that others really do care about these horrors. Including Black people seeing white people take this up, elderly and the youth, men and women, people from all different walks of life and different conditions. You could really see a glimpse of a future society. Goddamn this WAS FUN!

There is so much potential for this film to really put revolution on the map as something really contending as a possible future. People are listening and thinking about things, and when people find out that there is another path forward people start questioning all sorts of things. Let’s take this film and change the whole world.

 

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.

 

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Revolution #561 September 17, 2018

Getting Our Heads Around Organizing Thousands ... and Thoughts on Building the Revolution Clubs

From a member of the Revolution Club

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

There are some things that have come up in the process of building the movement for revolution that I think may still be holding us back and are worth drawing some attention to.

One big thing is getting our heads around the kind of process that is involved in thousands getting “organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution.” (From HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution [HWCW]) In a recent letter on revcom.us called “Initial Thoughts on the Revolution Club…,” one of the things it says is, “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.”

The process discussed there, and in the “Commitment... Process” piece should not be taken as an “add-on” to what kind of work we are already doing. I think this involves breaking down, breaking with, and re-conceiving a lot of “how we do things” which tends to involve a lot of one-on-one work with people, and a lot of trying to develop and prepare people before they are involved in and given responsibility for working on the revolution. We need to be involving people and enabling them to take responsibility for the revolution AS they are learning and developing their understanding and ability to lead and take more responsibility, and we all should involve people in forging new ways that people can learn and develop above all in collective ways and as part of the process. How we do at this will also bear on whether or not we are building a movement and developing leaders for an actual revolution.

And the part that says “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’” indicates that these Points of Attention (POAs) need to be much more broadly used to give coherence and organization to a broad revolutionary movement, as opposed to just being the things you have to agree to once you’ve learned what you need to know to be able to begin taking part in the revolution.

I know I’ve been part of different approaches to building the clubs either with no process or coherence, or else an arduous process akin to a few college courses. Instead of this, for example, recently some of us were talking about how to bring into the club a number of people who got to see BA speak over the summer before we said to ourselves, “What are we gonna do with people that he didn’t just do with them and better? Let’s just talk to them and ask if they are ready to live by and fight for the POAs and if they get the basics of that and agree to it, that’s the point.” And this experience ended up showing how impactful it is for people to make that commitment and dedication in front of others when they were officially acknowledged. And then people will have to continue to struggle over how to follow through on that responsibility (I mean, who doesn’t have to keep doing that?) Doing regular ceremonies with groups of people welcomed into the club together with masses checking out the revolution has an affect all the way through, too, as it can also create a standard among the masses who are not yet ready to make that commitment but who can be part of broader support networks who are also able to hold people to those POAs who are representing for the revolution.

The New Film

This gets to another point about the upcoming film of Bob Avakian’s talk Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. I really think with what is said about it in the piece “Take This Film and Change Everything” that this film can play a key role in giving people the basic grounding in the “whys” and “hows” of revolution that can enable many people to take this up and step into the process. With the role this can play in relation to organizing the thousands, as well as influencing the millions, in mind, I think it is worth the clubs to have more crackling over how we build for the upcoming preview screenings and the online launch the next month, as well as sharing advanced experiences and the hardest obstacles. I know, for example, that where I am there is some promising potential of someone who was able to see the talk from BA live seeking to find ways to organize their own showings among circles of people who we are not normally in touch with. We know someone else who no longer lives close by and asked if there was a club near him he could join, so we are trying to set up working with him to pull some people together and send a club member out there to watch the film with them.

People should be coming to expect not ONLY to hear something great that will affect them, but we need to find ways so that people are getting a basic sense of the role this film can play in changing everything. (I saw that there is now another piece up on who should see this film and what this will do, very directly speaks to this and more!)

The Problem and the Solution

This relates to a last point that in everything we are doing, everyone working on the revolution together from brand new to more experienced, from heavily-involved to beginning involvement, everyone should in basic ways be let in on what are the problems of the revolution and how what we are doing now is part of going to work on them. Everyone who was lucky enough to be at the talks that BA gave this summer (that will be this new film) could learn a lot from how he modeled doing this throughout the speech and the Q&As that followed, bringing people in to working together on making revolution. The film, when it comes out, and HWCW are great tools for this, and they need to be worked with so everyone involved can contribute their thinking as well as practical involvement toward solving these problems.

Fighting the Power, and Transforming the People, for Revolution

To round out the picture, I also want to point out that none of what we are doing is off to the side of major battles going in throughout society. As that “Initial Thoughts” piece says, “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.” The film of BA’s talk, and HWCW also, give a lot of guidance for how to understand the “5 Stops” and how to enter into struggle around these “Stops” as part of building up the forces for revolution.

What I just wanted to say here is that here, too, we need to involve people not just in coming to protests or actions of various kinds, but also in questions like: How do we build up the authority of the revolution and its leadership? Where can we unite with others and where do we need to struggle? How do people learn to evaluate different organized forces, programs, culture and values—according to how it relates to the revolution we need to end all oppression? How do we carry all this out and defeat the attempts to crush the revolution and its leadership? Here, too, on revcom.us, there is a lot of up-to-date guidance on the various police attacks and charges facing the clubs all over the country. And here, too, we have to learn how people are involved in working on these problems as part of the whole process.

“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.” (From “Initial thoughts...”)

 

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.

Points of Attention for the Revolution

The Revolution Club upholds, lives by and fights for the following principles:

1 We base ourselves on and strive to represent the highest interests of humanity: revolution and communism. We do not tolerate using the revolution for personal gain.

2 We fight for a world where ALL the chains are broken. Women, men, and differently gendered people are equals and comrades. We do not tolerate physically or verbally abusing women or treating them as sexual objects, nor do we tolerate insults or “jokes” about people’s gender or sexual orientation.

3 We fight for a world without borders, and for equality among different peoples, cultures and languages. We do not tolerate insults, “jokes” or derogatory names about a person’s race, nationality, or language.

4 We stand with the most oppressed and never lose sight of their potential to emancipate humanity—nor of our responsibility to lead them to do that. We work to win people of all backgrounds to take part in the revolution, and do not tolerate revenge among the people.

5 We search for and fight for the truth no matter how unpopular, even as we listen to and learn from the observations, insights and criticisms of others.

6 We are going for an actual overthrow of this system and a whole better way beyond the destructive, vicious conflicts of today between the people. Because we are serious, at this stage we do not initiate violence and we oppose all violence against the people and among the people.

How Can We Win? How Can We Really Make Revolution?

Join the Revolution Club!

 

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