Revolution #582, February 11, 2019 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

American Crime

Case #26: The 1946 White-Mob Lynching of Two Black Couples at Moore’s Ford, Georgia

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

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

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

THE CRIME

In the summer of 1946, a white lynch mob near Moore’s Ford Bridge in Monroe, Georgia (a small rural town about 50 miles east of Atlanta), brutally murdered four Black sharecroppers. Despite abundant evidence, eyewitness accounts and two investigations by the FBI (60 years apart), there has never been a single indictment.


Roger and Dorothy Malcom


Mae Murray and George Dorsey

The events that would eventually lead to the lynching began on July 11, 1946, when a fight occurred between a Black sharecropper and a white farmer. The sharecropper, Roger Malcom, believed his wife, Dorothy, was having an affair with a white farmer named Barnette Hester. Dorothy and Roger were yelling at each other outside Hester’s home. When Hester tried to intervene, Roger stabbed him with what may have been an ice pick. Hester was seriously injured, and few thought he would survive, but he did. In fact, local newspapers reported on the morning of the day the lynching took place that Hester, for the first time, sat up in his hospital bed.

Roger Malcom knew stabbing a white man was tantamount to suicide; violence and execution pervaded the lives of Southern Blacks. White lynch mobs regularly killed Blacks for false accusations and often for no reason at all. Malcom hoped that jail might provide him some protection from white vigilantes. Even the sheriff believed a mob would come for Malcom, as they did for most Black men accused of harming a white person.

Dorothy Malcom's mother, Moena Dorsey Williams, begged a white farmer named J. Loy Harrison for help to get Roger out of jail. Roger, along with Dorothy's brother, George Dorsey, worked for Harrison. Harrison was known to be a brutal employer, but Moena was desperate to get her daughter’s husband out of jail. Initially, Harrison refused, referencing the repercussions he would face from local whites. Several days later, Harrison surprised everyone when he offered to post Roger Malcom’s bail in exchange for work on his farm.

On July 25, Harrison arrived at the Dorsey home. He invited Dorothy Malcom and her brother, George Dorsey, along with his wife, Mae Murray Dorsey, to accompany him on the ride to town. They happily took the opportunity to leave the farm and go into town. Once they arrived, Harrison told his passengers to go shopping while he ran errands and arranged for Roger Malcom’s release. They agreed to return to the courthouse at 5:00 pm where they’d meet Roger and return home. Harrison went to talk to the sheriff... alone.

After talking with the sheriff for a few minutes, Harrison paid $600 for Roger Malcolm’s release. Everyone got in the car and Harrison drove the longest route toward home. After a few minutes, they exited the highway and turned onto a winding dirt road. Harrison’s car began to approach Moore’s Ford around 5:30 pm, only an hour after Roger’s release. Several yards from the bridge, Harrison stopped. Two dozen white men blocked the road. They were trapped.

The men peered into the car. Some of them held guns. Harrison later told the police: “A big man who was dressed mighty proud in a double-breasted brown suit was giving the orders. He pointed to Roger Malcom and said, ‘We want that nigger.’ Then he pointed to George Dorsey, my nigger, and said, ‘We want you, too, Charlie.’”

The mob ripped the two men out of the car, roped them together and dragged them toward the undergrowth of the river. One woman in the car started calling out the attackers by name. Without hesitation the mob descended on the two women, ripped them from the back seat and tied them to a tree next to their husbands. Bound and unable to run, their fate was sealed.

The bodies of George, Mae, Roger, and Dorothy were found disfigured beyond recognition. Bullets fired at point-blank range filled the victims’ faces and arms. George Dorsey’s body lay face down on the ground with bullet and shotgun wounds covering his arms, head, and back. The lynch mob singled out Roger Malcom for the worst punishment—a shotgun blast exploded his face and the noose of a 10-foot-long rope encircled his neck. Another rope held his hands tied to George’s. Dorothy Malcom’s disfigured face pointed toward her husband, Roger. Dorothy’s body touched Mae Murray Dorsey’s. Mae was closest to the road—her body was in a crouched position, a large-caliber bullet had pierced the back of her skull.

After hearing about the lynching at Moore’s Ford, hundreds of whites visited the scene looking for souvenirs, taking bullets and bone fragments. They even pulled up the tree that held the victims.

Four months after the murders, a grand jury convened, ostensibly to identify the killers and bring them to justice. There were 21 white and only two Black jurors. Hundreds of witnesses took the stand. J. Loy Harrison was one of the main suspects, but he claimed he was innocent.

Fearing reprisal, Black residents were reluctant to testify before the grand jury, but at least one brave Black man did. Lamar Howard claimed he saw Harrison at the local icehouse where he was working on July 25, an hour before the murder, deep in conversation with James Verner, a violent white supremacist known to fire shots at Black people. (Both Harrison and Verner admitted to prior membership in the Ku Klux Klan.) Howard also testified he saw Harrison dispose of two pistols behind the icehouse, shortly after the murder. Harrison denied this, but later admitted that he was at the icehouse that day. (Two weeks after Howard gave his testimony, James Verner and his brother Tom showed up at the icehouse where they beat Howard with a pistol while demanding to know what he told the grand jury.)

Harrison’s story had other holes in it. Monroe is a small town, yet Harrison claimed he was unable to recognize a single one of the two dozen men who surrounded his car, nor recall the name of the woman, either Dorothy or Mae, who yelled out when identifying the attackers. Despite these facts, glaring contradictions in testimony by the 20-some suspects, and numerous threats against witnesses, after 16 days the grand jury was “unable to establish the identity of any persons guilty of violating the civil rights statute of the United States.” One man was charged with perjury, but the charge was eventually dropped. The records of this grand jury disappeared but were found in 2017 in the National Archives, and researchers, family members, and activists have filed suit to have them released to the public. The Justice Department objected, arguing that the records don’t meet the requirements for disclosure, and the case is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals.

The gruesome murder shocked the conscience of people around the globe. News of the Georgia lynching ran alongside articles about the trials of Nazis for atrocities in Europe during World War 2, with headlines announcing prosecutors’ demand for death sentences for those guilty of “the doctrine of hatred” that permitted murder “conducted like some mass production industry.” Many wondered how the U.S. could denounce the massacres in Europe while ignoring the murder of Blacks domestically.

More than 70 years have passed since the Moore’s Ford lynching and it still resonates today. The community and families of the victims still hope for answers, but with each passing year, their hopes fade. Moore’s Ford, along with thousands of other lynchings in the South, remain unresolved and the killers unaccountable.

THE CRIMINALS

J. Loy Harrison portrayed himself as a helpless victim who, despite his objections, couldn’t stop the mob from murdering the four young Black people in his car. However, the evidence points to Harrison and the sheriff having concocted the lynching plan in the hours before it took place. The sheriff had told Harrison not to bother stopping at the courthouse and to go directly to the jail. Now Roger Malcom could be taken without raising any eyebrows—Walton County never allowed a Black man to be bonded when a white man’s life was in danger without prior approval from “interested people.”

Speaking to investigators, several Black farmhands reported Harrison threatening them and warning them not to speak with agents. One worker reported Harrison warning him and other Black farmhands, “He said if any of us did tell anything, folks would find us scattered about dead.” Harrison also told them he had an informant who would report to him anything they said to agents.

The Police. Local law enforcement conspired with J. Loy Harrison and aided in the murder. Harrison and the sheriff’s deputies coordinated the time Harrison would bail Roger Malcom out of jail, and the route and location of the crime. How were two dozen men able to prepare their weapons and assemble at the bridge in a matter of minutes? Several witnesses said they saw a law enforcement vehicle blocking the road and at least one officer and Harrison taking part in the killing. The sheriff and deputies admitted to cutting segments from the rope tied around Roger Malcom’s neck to keep as souvenirs.

The KKK. In 2008, investigators discovered Ku Klux Klan membership rosters that provided circumstantial evidence of their involvement in the murders. The rosters date back to the 1930s and 1940s and include the names of four men who were suspects in the 1946 investigation. The roster also contained a fifth man listed as an “Exalted Cyclops” of the local Klan chapter in 1939. This Klansman owned the white funeral home that recovered the victims’ bodies before it transferred them to a Black-owned funeral home.

Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge, a Southern Democrat, served several terms as governor before losing the position to a more progressive Democrat. In 1946, Talmadge sought nomination for governor in the Georgia Democratic primary—recently forced by a federal court to allow Black voters. Talmadge centered his entire campaign around white supremacy and maintaining segregation. His campaign ignited white outrage at Blacks who refused to “stay in their place.” In the weeks leading up to the Moore’s Ford lynching, Talmadge led a boisterous crowd in Walton County where he warned Negroes “to stay home and not attempt to vote.” The lynching at Moore’s Ford took place three days before the primary when racial tension was boiling over. Talmadge eventually regained the governorship. White people who sought to maintain Jim Crow segregation celebrated his victory. J. Loy Harrison was a steadfast supporter of Talmadge, even naming one of his sons after him.

The FBI. When the FBI had leads, they failed to pursue them. Even when evidence indicated that the local sheriff had known of the threats against Roger Malcom’s life before the lynching and did nothing to protect him, investigators didn’t even pursue a case.

To make matters worse, whites in Monroe did everything they could to stonewall the investigation; they closed ranks, purposefully misleading investigators, refusing to cooperate and intimidating Black residents who dared speak.

Racial terror and the lynching of Black people were pervasive in the South, but it was rarely investigated. The FBI was far more interested in weakening and suppressing Black people’s growing demand for civil rights than it ever was in prosecuting lynchings. A few years after the Moore’s Ford lynching, when 14-year-old Emmett Till was brutally lynched in Mississippi, FBI head J. Edgar Hoover called it an “alleged murder” and spent more energy investigating communists protesting the lynching than the lynching itself.

U.S. Congress. Civil rights organizations like the NAACP spent years fighting for anti-lynching laws. Despite public outrage following the Moore's Ford lynching, Congress did not enact an anti-lynching bill until 2018. Some 200 anti-lynching bills introduced in Congress between 1877 and 1950 were blocked, particularly by the Southern Democrats (Dixiecrats).

THE ALIBI

A white farmer, J. Loy Harrison, reported to a local sheriff that a mob of 24 unknown white men blocked the road just before Moore’s Ford Bridge and forced his car to a stop. The men attacked the four Black passengers riding in his car. The mob viciously beat and then murdered the two Black men and two Black women. Harrison claimed he did not take part in the killing and recognized none of the attackers.

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE

The heinous lynching at Moore’s Ford provides a glimpse of the barbarity faced by Black people in the South. Even after literal slavery was ended through the Civil War, the horrors of oppression continued for Black people in new forms—including segregation and being chained to the land as sharecroppers—and lynching and its effects were a certain concentration of what the masses of African-Americans faced. For decades under the overt segregation known as Jim Crow in the South, every Black person there faced the threat that at any time they could be brutally murdered for anything they did that might “offend” some white people—or for nothing at all except the color of their skin—and nothing would happen to their killers. This was a key way that the system of white supremacy and the subjugation of Black people were enforced and kept in place.

For Black people, Jim Crow was a looming death sentence. The only evidence white people needed to justify killing a Black person was dark skin and an accusation. Lynching served a reminder to all Black people that they could be next.

A report by the Equal Justice Initiative, “Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror,” documents over 4,000 mob killings of Black people between 1877 and 1950 in just 12 Southern states.

Lynchings were often announced days before being carried out. Spectators gathered in a picnic-like atmosphere. White men, women and children cheered as Black bodies dangled from trees, and photographers lined up hoping to get the best photos, which would then be sold as postcards.

After World War 2, major economic transformations were taking place in the South. Many Black people were moving (or being forced) off the land into urban areas, and the political tides were shifting as more and more Black people stood up to injustice. Whites feared the political gains being made by Black people and struggled to repress any move to challenge their dominance. Black veterans like George Dorsey were particularly threatening to Jim Crow and white claims of racial superiority. Thousands of Black veterans were assaulted, threatened, abused and lynched. The number of lynchings rose sharply after the war, with 12 Black people lynched in 1945 alone.

In 1944, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that white primaries were unconstitutional, which allowed some Black people to vote in the Democratic Party primaries. The massacre at Moore’s Ford took place two years later.

Sources

Anthony Pitch, The Last Lynching: How a Gruesome Mass Murder Rocked a Small Georgia Town (Skyhorse, 2016).

Answers to last mass lynching in U.S. die when investigators close case after 72 years,” Southern Poverty Law Center, February 7, 2018.

Probes of Moore’s Ford lynching end with no charges, AJC learns,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, December 28, 2017.

Moore’s Ford lynching: years-long probe yields suspects—but no justice,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, December 29, 2017.

FBI questions elderly Georgia man in connection with unsolved 1946 lynching at Moore’s Ford Bridge,” New York Daily News, February 17, 2015.

A Last Hope for Truth in a Mass Lynching,” New York Times, October 7, 2018.

Lynching in America: Targeting Black Veterans,” Equal Justice Initiative

 

Clips from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian

“They're selling postcards of the hanging.”

 

“Emmett Till and Jim Crow: Black people lived under a death sentence.”

Watch the entire film online at revolutiontalk.net.

Clip from BA Speaks: REVOLUTION – Nothing Less!

“How Long?! How Many More Times Do the Tears Have to Flow?”

Watch the entire film online at revolutiontalk.net.

 

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Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

American Crime

Case #25: The “Neo-Slavery” Killing Fields of Sugar Land, Texas: 1878-1911

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

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

American Crime

See all the articles in this series.

THE CRIME

In early 2018, a construction crew in Sugar Land, Texas, a fast-growing suburb 20 miles outside of Houston, accidentally discovered 95 shallow unmarked graves. The 94 Black men and one Black woman whose remains were found were as young as 14 and as old as 70 when they died. Rusted farm tools and chains were also found at the site, including chains with swivels on them, likely used in chain gangs.1 The bodies had been buried over 100 years ago in pine boxes just two to five feet under the earth’s surface.2 This accidental find has now revealed something of their painful story and a gruesome chapter in the ugly history of America’s treatment of Black people.

Archeologists who have begun to study this site date the bodies back to 1878-1911. They found signs of horrific injuries on the skeletons, ranging from bone infections and “shackle poisoning” (when human skin rubs against rusty metal shackles causing potentially fatal infections) to healed bone breaks and “bones distorted by heavy labor and muscles torn away from the skeleton,” according to the New York Times.3 Many of the bones unearthed were deformed in the same ways, which indicate that they bore the repeated stress of incredibly hard labor.

These remains belonged to prisoners—leased convicts—who had been forced to work in virtual slavery for Sugar Land’s Imperial Sugar Company, once this country’s leading sugar producer. Some of them may have been former slaves. Were these human beings literally worked to death and then unceremoniously disposed of?


Child prisoners used in leased-convict labor, 1903. Credit: John L. Spivak, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Collection, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=65943203

Sugar and Slavery

Sugar was first produced by slave labor in 1452 off the coast of Africa. By 1600, sugar was being produced by slaves on plantations in Brazil, and by 1803, following the Louisiana Purchase, slave-based sugar production began spreading in the U.S.4

By 1850, sugar accounted for as much as a third of the economies of major European powers.5 It also came to be known as “the slaughterhouse of the trans-Atlantic slave trade by killing more people more rapidly than any other kind of agriculture,” Brent Staples writes in the New York Times.6 Historian David Eltis estimated that about “70 percent of the 12 million or so captives” from Africa were shipped to sugar colonies in the Caribbean and South America and to U.S. states like Texas, Florida, and Louisiana (where “the average life span of a mill hand was said to be only seven years....”).7 By the 1850s, sugar was a major industry in the southeast Brazos River region of Texas where Sugar Land came to be located. It came to be known as “the sugar bowl of Texas”—or as the “hellhole on the Brazos.” The U.S. sugar industry depended on slave labor for its profitability, and the end of slavery threatened the whole industry.

“Neo-slavery” or Slavery by Another Name

Slavery was formally ended in 1865 in the U.S.—except, under the 13th Amendment, for prisoners. Right after the Civil War (1865-1866), all Southern states passed laws (“black codes”) under which Black people, especially young Black men, were arrested in sweeps or individually for trumped-up or petty offenses such as loitering, breaking curfew, selling crops at night, flirting with white women, gambling, drinking, or vagrancy (inability to prove employment). With the end of Reconstruction in 1877, former slave owners and capitalists in the South quickly seized on these laws to institute a system of leasing convict labor from prisons that literally re-enslaved tens of thousands of Black people.

The Texas sugar plantations were profitable because they depended on slave labor. Abolition crushed the industry, but the convict leasing system resurrected it in a form that can legitimately be seen as more pernicious than slavery: Slave masters had at least a nominal interest in keeping alive people whom they owned and in whom they held an economic stake.

By contrast, when a leased inmate died in the fields, managers who had contracted with the prison system for a specific number of bodies could demand a replacement. Beyond that ... the working conditions on the plantations in Fort Bend County, where the Sugar Land dead were discovered, were as bad or worse than they had been on the slave plantations....

—Brent Staples, “A Fate Worse Than Slavery Is Unearthed,” New York Times, October 27, 20188

According to “Hell-Hole On The Brazos: A Historic Resources Study Of Central State Farm, Fort Bend County, Texas,” two former slave owners and Confederate officers, Edward Hall Cunningham and Littleberry Ellis, formed a partnership in 1875, grouping their sugar plantations together. They pioneered the convict-leasing system and became the biggest Texas sugar growers by signing a five-year contract to lease the entire prison population of Texas.9

“In 1878, Cunningham and Ellis procured a 5-year state contract leasing the entire prison system and put convicts to work in their sugar cane fields,” researcher Amy Dase found. “By 1882, more than one third of the state’s inmates, roughly 800 prisoners, worked on 12 of Texas’s 18 sugar cane plantations through the Ellis and Cunningham contract. The combined Cunningham and Ellis properties had a workforce of more than 500 prisoners at one time.”10

Even as their partnership dissolved and the plantation passed through different hands, the system of convict leasing continued as Sugar Land (named after Imperial Sugar Company) became a company town by the turn of the 20th century and was incorporated as a city in 1959.

Leased prisoners worked barelegged in wet cane fields, clothed in striped rags, in mosquito-infested swamps full of alligators and other dangers, and hoisted cane stalks into mule-drawn wagons for delivery to sugar mills. One author noted they were “dying like flies in the periodic epidemic of fevers.”11


Leased prisoners unloading a cane car at the Imperial Sugar Company's mill, circa 1900. Credit: Sugar Land Heritage Foundation

Southern states used convict leasing during the Jim Crow era and, typically, 90 percent of prisoners in the convict-leasing system during that time were young Black men (who made up 60 percent of the Texas prisoner population).12 It is estimated that between 1866 and 1912, more than 3,500 Texas prisoners—mainly those leased into forced labor—died. When prisoners died, the companies would just go back to prison authorities and tell them “you owe us another prisoner.”13 Historian Robert Perkinson calculates that more Black people died in the South from this convict-leasing system than from lynchings in the same period of time.14

The Cunningham and Ellis contract lasted for five years (1878-1883). In 1909, the state of Texas opened its Imperial State Prison Farm on the same land that had been the Imperial Sugar Company. It was the first prison farm owned by the state of Texas. While the name and ownership changed hands, prisoners continued to be forced to work on this sugar plantation in near-slavery conditions.

Conditions for prisoners who worked in the cane fields were horrific—they often were forced to chop cane until they “dropped dead in their tracks.” Many suffered from heatstroke, cuts from hacking down 10-foot sugarcanes with razor sharp 16-18 inch machetes, mosquito-borne epidemics, frequent beatings, and a total lack of medical care. This resulted in a high mortality rate, with prisoner laborers as young as 14 worked to death at Sugar Land.

Bill Mills, a (white) prisoner who did 25 years, with five years at Imperial Prison Farm, recalled:

Human lives were not of value ... “I saw more cruelty and inhuman treatment in those five years than I have seen in the other 20 years in prison.” Prisoners there constantly faced beatings with bats that were “two-foot long leather strap mounted securely on a wooden handle.” He recounted how for first time minor offenses, a prisoner was held in a dark cell from Saturday night to Monday morning (36 hours) with up to 8 other men, in a “room about eight feel long, six feet wide, and six feet high. It had no bedding,” no clothing “except a gown,” and no food except “one cup of water and one piece of corn bread Sunday at noon.” For a second offense, prisoners were chained by the wrists and hoisted to hang for 3-4 hours depending on ...“whether he became unconscious.”15

Author Douglas Blackmon argues that “...in truth, since the beginning of the 20th century, a new form of forced labor involving hundreds of thousands of people, and terrorizing hundreds of thousands of other people, had emerged in the South, that amounts to what I call ‘neo-slavery,’ and we should call it what it was, the age of neo-slavery.”16 He finds that “There’s no place in America that proves that more powerfully than Sugar Land.”

THE CRIMINALS

State of Texas. One of the last states in the U.S. to officially end slavery and the first to adopt a convict-leasing system.17

Imperial Sugar Company and two of its early developers, Edward Hall Cunningham and Littleberry Ellis, slaveholders turned Confederate generals in the 4th Texas Infantry Brigade—a brigade that supposedly distinguished itself in the Civil War by acting as shock troops for the Confederate army. Their families’ wealth was derived—literally—from the blood and bones of Black people, especially through the convict-leasing system. This enabled them to become sugar barons and part of a new wave of capitalists of the South. The history section of the official website of today’s Imperial Sugar Company states that the company “has a long and rich heritage”—but makes no mention of the Black slaves, slavery, or convict leasing.

The 39th U.S. Congress (1865) ratified the 13th Amendment which formally abolished slavery and involuntary servitude “except as punishment for crime.” This formed the legal and political basis for forced prison labor, including convict-leasing, to flourish, down to today.

U.S. Steel, Tennessee Coal and Iron Company, Imperial Sugar Company, and many more private corporations—from mine owners to railroad barons—who amassed huge amounts of capital through convict labor. Blackmon documents a typical case:

On March 30, 1908, Green Cottenham was arrested by the Shelby County, Ala., sheriff and charged with “vagrancy.” After three days in the county jail, the 22-year-old African-American was sentenced to an unspecified term of hard labor. The next day, he was handed over to a unit of U.S. Steel Corp. and put to work with hundreds of other convicts in the notorious Pratt Mines complex on the outskirts of Birmingham. Four months later, he was still at the coal mines when tuberculosis killed him.18

THE ALIBI

During the Jim Crow years, forced convict labor was justified on the grounds that imprisoned Black people were inherently criminals without rights. Since it was expensive for prisons to feed and clothe convicts, it was justified to lease prisoners out so the state could earn revenue while companies could work, feed, and clothe the prisoners. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, H.B. Frissel, the white superintendent of Virginia’s all-Black Hampton Institute, expressed a common rational for convict leasing:

While it kept negroes from being educated, it also kept them from being criminal.... When emancipation came, the naturally depraved and criminal class of negroes were let loose and deprived of this restraining influence of the slavery system. Such men began, naturally, to confound license with liberty, and they have instinctively degenerated since slavery days.19

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE

After the Civil War, the Southern economy was in shambles, and there was a great demand for a labor force that could be super-exploited. And the ending of Reconstruction signaled that the victorious capitalist North could only recohere and “unify” the country on the basis of maintaining white supremacy in new forms. These two forces—capitalism and white supremacy—drove the formation of the convict labor system of Jim Crow.

The criminalization and forced enslavement of tens of thousands of Black people was part of robbing a whole people of their full humanity and formed another ideological justification for the continuation of white supremacy following the end of chattel slavery. As Douglas Blackmon observed, pointing to a rationale used to this day, “Sympathy for the victims, however brutally they had been abused, was tempered because, after all, they were criminals.”

 


1. “Remains of 95 Africa-Americans Forced Laborers Found in Texas,” Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, July 19, 2018.  [back]

2. “You can’t fight racism without looking it in the eye,” Houston Chronicle, January 19, 2019.  [back]

3. “Documenting ‘Slavery by Another Name’ in Texas,” New York Times, August13, 2018.  [back]

4. “Sugar Plantations,” Spartacus-Educational.com.  [back]

5. How Sugar Changed the World, LiveScience.com.  [back]

6. A Fate Worse Than Slavery, Unearthed in Sugar Land, Brent Staples, New York Times, October 27, 2018.  [back]

7. ibid.  [back]

8. ibid.  [back]

9. “Hell-Hole On the Brazos: A Historic Resources Study of Central State Farm, Fort Bend County, Texas,” Amy E. Dase, September 2004.  [back]

10. ibid.  [back]

11. “Bodies believed to be those of 95 black forced-labor prisoners from Jim Crow era unearthed in Sugar Land after one man’s question,” Meagan Flynn, Washington Post, July 18, 2018.   [back]

12. The Reason Why: The Colored American is not in the World’s Columbian Exposition 1893, chapter III, The Convict Lease System, Ida B. Wells.  [back]

13. Op. Cit, Flynn, Washington Post.  [back]

14. ibid.  [back]

15. “‘Hell Hole on the Brazos’ an introduction to convict labor,” Richard A. Vogel, Fort Bend Star, August 14, 2018.  [back]

16. Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, Douglas A. Blackmon, Doubleday Press, 2008; Slavery by Another Name PBS Documentary narrated by Laurence Fishburne, 2012; “Douglas Blackmon interview with Michael Slate,” revcom.us, June 15, 2008.  [back]

17. “Horrific convict-system exposes dark truths about American history,” Jeffrey L. Boney, Amsterdam News, September 9, 2018.  [back]

18. From Alabama’s Past, Capitalism Teamed with Racism to Create Cruel Partnership, Douglas A. Blackmon, Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2001.  [back]

19. Worse Than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice, David M. Oshinsky, Free Press, 1996.  [back]

 


Digging at a construction site revealed a mass grave of 95 bodies of convicts leased as slave labor to Imperial Sugar Company. (Photo: Houston Chronicle)

City of Sugar Land, Texas, and City Manager Allen Bogard claimed Imperial Sugar and its convict labor system had nothing to do with his city’s development: “Our history as a city begins fifty years ago. The Imperial Sugar Company, of course, played an important part in our early history. But the fact is that this area would have developed with or without the Imperial Sugar Company.” A bitter debate erupted in Sugar Land after the remains of enslaved sugar workers were discovered. City officials wanted to move them to a nearby cemetery, while members of a city-appointed task force rightly argued that a historical find of this magnitude should be memorialized on the spot where it was discovered.

 

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Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

U.S. Poses as “Humanitarian” While It Weaponizes Starvation in Venezuela

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Right now, in the name of “humanitarian aid,” the U.S. rulers are deliberately starving and driving people to their deaths in Venezuela.

They are doing this in order to push their imperialist interests in that country and deepen their grip on Latin America. Venezuela, whose economy relies on oil exports for 95% of its hard currency—needed to buy food, medicine and other necessities—was thrown into deep crisis in 2014 when the world price of oil plunged by half. Seizing on this crisis, the U.S. implemented an escalating wave of sanctions, first restricting Venezuela's access to credit, then blocking imports of Venezuela’s oil and and seizing Venezuelan assets. The aim was and is to incite the population—and the military—against the Maduro government by driving millions more people into hunger, starvation, misery or death caused by the lack of life-saving medication. This is a crime against humanity.

A Venezuelan economist working for a brokerage firm said, “I’m afraid if these sanctions are implemented in their current form, we’re looking at starvation.” News accounts describe people going through dumpsters looking for food scraps in the capital city of Caracas. The New York Times describes how “pharmacy shelves are often bereft of essential medicines, causing a fall in life expectancy and the re-emergence of previously eradicated diseases, including diphtheria.” (New York Times, February 2, 2019)

The U.S. has been combining the intensifying sanctions (and mass suffering) with an attempt to funnel millions of dollars in so-called “humanitarian” aid to Venezuela—through the opposition forces of Juan Guaidó. The Trump/Pence regime has declared Guaidó the “legitimate” president of Venezuela and threatened military intervention to oust Maduro. On February 7, the U.S. media was full of coverage of “emergency relief” like baby formula and medicine—organized by the U.S. and opposition forces—piled up in warehouses at the Colombia-Venezuela border. The Maduro government had blocked the supplies from crossing the border.

This move by the U.S. is not about humanitarian concerns for the people’s suffering—it is aimed at pressuring the Venezuelan military to abandon Maduro and go over to the side of the U.S.-backed opposition. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who is playing a big role in the U.S. attacks on Maduro, tweeted: “The Post-Maduro future of military leaders in #Venezuela will depend in large part on whether or not they allow that aid to reach the people.” A Venezuelan political scientist, Dimitris Pantoulas, told the New York Times, “This is 99 percent about the military and one percent about humanitarian aspects. The opposition is testing the military’s loyalty, raising their cost of supporting Maduro. Are they with Maduro, or no? Will they reject the aid? If the answer is no, then Maduro’s days are numbered.” The International Committee of the Red Cross and its local affiliates in Colombia have refused to participate in this supposed aid, citing their “fundamental principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence.” And in fact, the aid itself is a mere pittance—enough to feed no more than 5,000 people for 10 days.

So the intensifying sanctions combined with offers of “aid” are an extremely cynical and ruthless strategy by the U.S. imperialists to weaponize starvation—to pressure the Venezuelan military into a coup while painting the Maduro government as responsible for the starvation and deaths to justify further intervention.

What the U.S. is doing in Venezuela now is part of a whole history of such crimes in Latin America, under both Democrats and Republicans—from the 1973 CIA coup in Chile to the backing of death squads and massacres of indigenous people in El Salvador and the coup in Honduras engineered by Obama and Clinton, to literally hundreds and hundreds of other invasions, embargoes, coups, manipulations, and other acts of aggression.

Since our last article on Venezuela (“USA Backs Coup in Venezuela, Makes the Godfather Look Like Mary Poppins”), the situation has become even more dangerous. The new U.S. sanctions put into effect last week, further clamping down on Venezuelan oil exports, will horribly intensify the starvation and deaths among the people. At the same time, given that Maduro has dug in (and seems to have the military’s backing, for now) and the opposition coup-makers have lost some momentum, the stakes are raised for the Trump/Pence regime to step up aggressive moves, including possible invasion. Such direct military intervention will, at minimum, mean even more terrible suffering for the people of Venezuela—and very possibly lead to even worse clashes in that country and beyond.

The humanitarian bullshit of the U.S. must be exposed and its aggression opposed. At the same time, the road promoted by Maduro as “socialist” is socialist in name only. As the “Godfather” article concluded:

Venezuela, with the largest oil reserves in the world, has long been dominated as a gas station for U.S. imperialism. This has created a lopsided and distorted society with a highly technical oil sector and an overall backwards economy with huge numbers of people unemployed and living in slums. Chávez1 and Maduro are not “socialist.” They attempted to angle for a “better deal” with like-minded countries to improve their bargaining position and get a bigger share of the oil profits, and then used some of that wealth to fund social welfare programs among the poor.

But Venezuela didn’t really break with the relations of imperialism and left many of the backward social relations within Venezuela intact: Almost nine million people remained locked into slums. Women remained subordinated and degraded—abortion is banned in Venezuela. As for the environment, Venezuela is the largest CO2 emitter in Latin America.

This leads to a very important point: the road promoted by Chávez is part of the problem and NOT part of the solution. It is a dead end trap that leaves imperialism itself untouched.

But despite still being locked within this oppressive system, this “art of the deal” was too much for the U.S. to tolerate in what they so arrogantly regard as their “backyard.” The U.S. imperialist ruling class—and this includes both the Trump/Pence regime and the Democrats, almost all of whom are on board with this coup attempt—is determined to put Venezuela, and all of Latin America, back in what the U.S. regards as “its place.” That’s what’s really behind all the honeyed words these politicians spew to justify regime change and all the misery and suffering they are consciously subjecting tens of millions of people to.

We need a whole new world—beyond the division of the world into a handful of imperialist powers who exploit, dominate, and bludgeon the whole rest of humanity... a world moving to eliminate all forms of oppression and exploitation, and all the relations between people and the ideas that are founded on and reinforce that exploitation and oppression. And as part of fighting for that revolution, we need to oppose the current vicious—and highly risky—threats and actions being carried out by U.S. imperialism against Venezuela.


1. Hugo Chávez, president of Venezuela from 1999 until his death in 2013. [back]

Q&A: Would Mexico And Central America Still Be the US Backyard After the Revolution?

Excerpt from “Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution”
A speech by Bob Avakian

Watch the whole speech, spread it, fund it

Find out more about this speech—and get organized to spread it

People scavenging for food in Venezuela. Photo: AP

 

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Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

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

 

 

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/581/the-green-new-deal-sustainable-snake-oil-for-a-green-american-empire-en.html

Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

From Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

The Green New Deal: Sustainable Snake Oil for a Green American Empire

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Green New Deal is not only an utterly ridiculous delusion, it’s a program for an American chauvinist “better business plan.” It promises a complete reconfiguration of the American economy without confronting the reality that things are produced through vast and interconnected global networks of exploitation, and it promises Americans better distribution of the spoils gained from that exploitation.

The problem isn’t that we need a better business plan for a Green American Empire. The problem is this system of capitalism-imperialism that’s driving the destruction of the planet.

The Green New Deal Resolution modestly states that the U.S. has a “disproportionate responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions, having emitted 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions through 2014” and rolls the real dirt on the U.S. under the rug.

The U.S. is king-of-the-hill on top of the capitalist-imperialist system where 77% of the world’s resources are consumed by 20% of the world’s people. And in order to remain the top gangster of planet earth -- the U.S. requires a massive military to brutally enforce its domination of countries and edge out its strategic competitors.  

This has caused massive environmental devastation and human misery not to mention the fact that the U.S. Military is the single largest institutional consumer of oil in the world. With the need to gas up America’s murder machinery, and with the help of Democratic president and so-called ‘friend to the planet’ Barack Obama, the U.S. has become the #1 Fossil Fuel producer in the world.

It’s the very laws of this system that drive capitalists and imperialist governments like the U.S. to move from one part of the globe to another, compelled by expand-or-die competition. The search for profit, and the do-this-more-ruthlessly-or-your-competitors-will dynamic drives them to prey on the people of the world and plunder the planet for resources, causing wars and leaving devastation and destruction in their wake. And anything that goes significantly up against the rules of the game will be rolled back. Just look at the response to the existing paltry protections: this same system has brought to power an anti-science fascist regime that’s revving up the chainsaws and bringing back coal.

Don’t get played! As long as capitalism-imperialism dominates over humanity, the destruction of the planet will and can only continue and accelerate, even if small, utterly insufficient protections are passed, and no matter who you vote for. And you cannot deal with this through small-scale individualized solutions. The consumption of fossil fuels and the destruction of the environment are tightly interwoven with the whole development of capitalism and it is going to take massive upheaval to uproot this system on a world scale to actually take humanity on a different course.

The Green New Deal and its hypemongers are doing nothing but funneling you back into the same system that causes these problems and has brought humanity to the brink of extinction; they are telling you feel good honeyed bullshit to get you revved up to vote for the new ‘woke’ faces of the Democratic Party; they are corralling your righteous anger and locking you up in the voting booth while the planet burns.

What we need to deal with this climate crisis is a real revolution to OVERTHROW the system of capitalism imperialism - to uproot the old ways and build a society in which human beings have a planned and rational interaction with the planet, and where humanity acts as the caretakers of the earth. Everyone who cares about the future of humanity has to work for this revolution NOW.

Further exposure and analysis to come at REVCOM.US

Revolution Club, Los Angeles:
(323) 424-6687  revclub_la@yahoo.com
2716 S. Vermont Ave Unit 8, Los Angeles, CA

 

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Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

Hey Brittney Cooper—

Do You Realize How Politically and Morally Bankrupt It Was For You To Invoke the War Criminal Nancy Pelosi When You Shut Down A Revolutionary?

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a member of the Revolution Club, revcom.us

Last week, at a public program, Rutgers professor Brittney Cooper led a crowd to drown me out to stop me from asking a pointed question. After calling me a “typical man in a feminist space” she smugly proclaimed, “We will Pelosi this shit and shut you down!”

Here's my response:

[1] Brittney, when you turned Pelosi's name into a verb, which definition were you thinking of?

Did you mean like: “The people of Gaza got Pelosied”? You know, like the time Nancy Pelosi pushed a resolution backing Israel's one-sided slaughter of 1,400 people—including almost 300 children—in 2009.

Or did you mean it like: “The migrants at the border are being Pelosied”? Let's not forget Pelosi's insistence that she opposes Trump's Fascist Wall only because she wants “more effective” means of militarizing the border and policing immigrants.

Or maybe you meant it like: “The people in Guantanamo and Abu-Ghraib got Pelosied.” Remember, as the leading Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Nancy Pelosi knew about the government’s torture policy in 2002 and did nothing to oppose it.

Or by “Pelosi that shit,” did you have some other monstrous crime in mind that we're supposed to cheer for because it was carried out by a woman?

[2] Exactly how many people is it okay to massacre or cage in order to claw one’s way to the top of this imperialist dungheap called America?

That night you “contextualized” the towering crimes of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Kamala Harris by insisting that we appreciate what it takes to be the “first”:

“What I'm really, really, really bothered by is the way that people think that you’re radical and you’re right because you can yell out '[Kamala] was a prosecutor and that's bad.' Or, 'She locked people up for truancy,' which is bad, without thinking about: What does she have to do to even have a shot at being president?”

Well that really, really, really begs the question: If in order to become “the first,” Kamala Harris had to throw Black and other oppressed people in prison... and Hillary had to call Black youth “super predators,” threaten to “obliterate” Iran, back a coup in Honduras, destroy Libya... and Obama had to drone bomb 7 countries, set records for deportations, call Black youth “thugs” for rising up against the police murder of Freddie Gray... then why the hell should anyone want to be the first, second, third, or any part of that?

The truth: We don’t need fresh new faces on the same rotten system, we need to OVERTHROW this system through an actual revolution.

[3] A “typical man”? No, I’m a revolutionary communist.

Brittney led the audience to drown me out because I am a man. This is wrong. I don't speak as a male. I speak as a representative of the fundamental interests of the 7 billion people on this planet. I don't base myself on my own experience or anyone else's, but on a scientific understanding of the real roots of the problem and the solution to the excruciating conditions that humanity faces every single day.

To those interested only in rearranging who is on top of this fucking nightmare, I've got nothing to say to you.

To those who really want to end all this oppression and get humanity free, stop getting played by focusing only on identity and deal with the CONTENT of what we’re fighting for, because it holds the way out.

For those who are serious, this is the place to start: Watch Why We Need An Actual Revolution, And How We Can Really Make Revolution, a speech by the leader of the revolution, Bob Avakian, at REVCOM.US.

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

A speech by Bob Avakian
In two parts:

 

Watch it, spread it, fund it

Check out clips and audio of the film and Q&As

Find out more about this speech—and get organized to spread it »

 

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Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

You Can’t Change the World If You Don’t Know the BAsics

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Every week, Revolution features one quote from Bob Avakian. We encourage Revolution Clubs and other readers, everywhere, to take the time to discuss the quote—the whole quote—and to write us at revolution.reports@yahoo.com with accounts of these discussions, or thoughts provoked in yourself by reading the quote.

 

Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

"You can't change the world if you don't know the BAsics."

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian is a book of quotations and short essays that speaks powerfully to questions of revolution and human emancipation.

Order the book or download the book in ePub format HERE

 

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Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org

Women in White Surrender to Trump's Thoroughly Fascist State of the Union

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following article, written by Coco Das of Refuse Fascism and originally posted on Refusefascism.org, sharply analyzes important elements of Trump's important – and fascist – State of the Union speech.

By Coco Das, contributing editor to RefuseFascism.org

Trump’s State of the Union address on February 5th was a disgusting display of white supremacist demonization of immigrants straight out of Hitler’s playbook, Christian fascist lies about abortion that went almost completely unchallenged in the news commentary, vicious “America First” chauvinism putting Iran, Venezuela, and the people of the world in its crosshairs, and a grim glimpse of our nightmare future if fascists are allowed to consolidate their power. This was a speech in which new groups of people were being recruited and won over to fascism, with great success. People who should be fiercely resisting the Trump regime instead played by the rules and got played:

If you have a heart for humanity, as sickened and disgusted as you should have been by Trump making crude conciliatory gestures and then going in for his vicious attacks on immigrants, women, and the people of the world—you should be more disgusted by the response from the women in white who were supposed to represent the people most under attack by this regime. The color white was chosen as a tribute to the Suffragette movement, but it is also the color of surrender, and surrender they did. Despite a few eye rolls and grim expressions at the most hateful parts of Trump’s speech, quickly forgotten once he moved on, despite their crisp white outfits contrasting with the stiff suits of the GOP, despite “raising the roof” when Trump boasted about women entering Congress, and despite Nancy Pelosi’s supposed sarcastic applause, they did nothing to oppose Trump. Nothing to draw a line in the sand for the people who are under the boot of ICE, Homeland Security, the police, the prison system, the military, and all of the departments and institutions now guided and controlled by Trump’s fascist regime. They stood when they were supposed to stand and clapped when they were supposed to clap.

But, believe it or not, it got even worse than that. The lowest point of the night was this: when the women in white chanted “USA USA USA,” louder and more exuberantly than any of the Republican fascists in the room, that was the moment when Trump won. That ugly MAGA chant coming out of the mouths of those women as they celebrated America’s gangster power around the world, showed us what this #resistance is really about. It’s about maintaining American empire without all the ugly words. Let’s dress prettier and use prettier words and go bomb the shit out of some people. Let’s plunder the world’s resources and distribute the spoils among us. Fuck the rest of the world.

At Trump’s State of the Union, the women in white showed us that they are ready to do their job—to COLLABORATE with a fascist regime and lead their followers to do the same. This is what it is ... not the “politics of resistance,” as Trump called it, but the politics of conciliation, the politics of complicity, the politics of collaboration.

If you found yourself fooled by this spectacle, if you were comforting yourself with some hope that this regime will be stopped by sarcastic clapping and eye rolls, snap out of it. It’s long past the time to dispense with the “leadership” of those who are leading you down a road to disaster. It is up to us to stop this catastrophe for humanity at the soonest possible time, thousands leading to millions in the streets, day after day, acting with courage and determination and refusing to go home until this cruel, illegitimate, fascist regime is removed from power.

 

RefuseFascism.org is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in the 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 through non-violent protests that grow every day until our demand is met.

Go to RefuseFascism.org to learn more and find out how to participate.

During the SOTU
IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!

Chicago

New York City

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/568/refuse-fascism-leaflet-nov10-en.html

Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

From RefuseFascism.org:

Our mission: Millions in the streets demanding In the Name of Humanity, Trump/Pence Must Go

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Our singular demand:

In the Name of Humanity, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

How does that happen?

Every fascist move by the Trump/Pence regime should be met by more struggle and involve more and more people and diverse political forces opposed to the moves of this regime. And this struggle needs to be aiming at and preparing for nothing less than driving out the whole regime through the non-violent massive struggle of people staying in the streets day after day, creating the kind of political crisis that could drive out the whole fascist regime.

[1] The most defining thing about the recent elections is that the fascist program of the Trump/Pence regime became more consolidated and its fascist social base was more fully unleashed. Pipe bombs sent to leading Democrats and CNN. A hideous antisemitic massacre. Racist murders of African-Americans. Vicious anti-immigrant lies of an “invading caravan” to be met by US Troops who Trump said should shoot if the refugees throw rocks. Trump whipping up his rallies – Nuremberg style. On top of two years of the regime eviscerating what are supposed to be civil and legal rights, banning Muslims, locking in a majority fascist Supreme Court, stoking violent white supremacy and xenophobia, hateful misogyny, and ripping up international alliances and ramping up the threats of war. The Trump/Pence regime and the forces within it have said they view this presidency as the “last chance” to secure their vision for this country. This will continue and grow worse – with Trump now firing Sessions, attacking reporters, doubling down on his racist nationalism – unless and until it is stopped by the masses of people acting in fierce and sustained opposition outside the confines of politics as usual.

[2] The Democrats winning a majority in the House did not change this. The Democratic opposition throughout the elections and Nancy Pelosi’s post-election speech, refused to confront Trump’s fascism, but instead normalized, accommodated, and then promised to collaborate with the regime that is bringing an American fascism. About the Democrats, it could be said: First they came for the Muslims, and I protested once and then let it happen… Then they came for the immigrants, and I voted for healthcare and stayed mum.” They are determined to maintain order – even if that is the order of fascism – rather than risk the instability that it would take to confront and drive out the fascist regime and the nightmare they are hammering into place.

[3] The people who hate and fear this whole fascist nightmare and direction must now ACT with great determination in the streets – while organizing to move tens of thousands and soon millions to join them in the streets – with sustained determination until we drive this fascist regime from power in the name of humanity.  This is why we are organizing a movement – aiming to bring hundreds of thousands and millions into the streets – to say: In the Name of Humanity, The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!

Refuse Fascism and others in San Ysidro, California, November 25, 2018, in support of immigrants as the U.S. shuts down the border crossing.

RefuseFascism.org issued a call for nationwide protests on the heels of the midterm elections, November 7 and 10. Protests were held in New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Orange County (California), Philadelphia, San Bernardino (California), San Francisco, and Seattle. Here are initial photos we have received and gathered from some of those cities. Revcom.us will have more coverage in the days to come.



New York City, November 10, 2018


Chicago, November 7, 2018


Philadelphia, November 10, 2018


San Francisco, November 10, 2018


Santa Ana, California, November 7, 2018


Houston, November 7, 2018


Los Angeles, November 10, 2018


Los Angeles, November 10, 2018


Seattle, November 7, 2018

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/578/rebecca-traister-how-to-domesticate-your-rage-en.html

Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger by Rebecca Traister

Or: How to Domesticate Your Rage and Get In on a System That Exploits and Torments Women All Over the World

By Toni Redtree

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Rebecca Traister is a commentator on politics from a feminist perspective.  In her book Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger, she exposes how anger works for men in ways that it does not work for women within the system—and how women’s anger has been the fuel often igniting movements for social change in the history of the U.S. Traister goes after the rampant misogyny that marked the 2016 election, and the more general and pervasive oppression that female political candidates and women in the professions and business must face. To be clear: there is valid exposure of this in her book including in the treatment of Hillary Clinton. But the election of the first female president would not have changed this, nor will Traister’s prescriptions do anything but keep the same machine that generates that oppression going.

Traister in Good and Mad posits the problem as government not being truly representative, prescriptively implying that if that representation can be wrested from these white patriarchal men the majority of women could be free from subjugation. She states in her chapter Let’s Get Elected: “In the wake of Trump’s defeat of Clinton, a gang of women were eyeing the aging cast of men who’d been hogging America’s political power ... forever, and imagining they might replace them. Replacement. It was a particularly charged concept...” [Emphasis ours]

Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that fear of being “replaced”—backlash against the relatively minor concessions made to women and people of color—has fueled the rise of the Trump/Pence regime and the fascist movement more generally. But—much more fundamentally—NO! Replacement—that is, changing the faces in a system that remains fundamentally the same—does not make it represent those groups this system continues to oppress. "Replacement" just means you want to get to the top of it and grab “your” share of the spoils too.

Traister’s Fantasies vs. Historical Evidence

While a constant refrain, it is one that is thoroughly refuted by a mountain of historical evidence that women (and oppressed people) can come to the head of oppressive governments while the majority of the people they supposedly represent remain locked in subjugated existences and change anything significant for those people over any length of time. Did Obama’s election and presidency fundamentally change the situation of the vast section of people in the U.S. who are Black? Nearly every single country in South Asia has had women in power, sometimes for decades, with no real change in the horrifying oppression of women. There is more than enough evidence that women are equally capable of being pigs—presiding over a monstrous system—from Hillary Clinton to Theresa May to Angela Merkel.

There is NO historical evidence that women being equally “represented” in government have been able to fundamentally change or “reform away” the basic functioning of the capitalist-imperialist system, the very functioning of which engenders and reinforces—every second of the day—the systemic oppression and worldwide subordination of women. To the degree legal rights have been extended to women and other oppressed groups, they have largely required tremendous struggle and sacrifice from “below,” from the people—they have not been merely granted from on high!

Along with slavery, patriarchal rule was encoded into the nation’s founding—something Traister recognizes—but the fact is that the oppression of women continues to be integral to this system’s ability to function and exist. Even while a vast majority of the world’s female population has been drawn into the labor force, forces of reaction that aim to reassert and reinforce patriarchy have gained ascendance. Mike Pence, a Christian fascist, now sits within a heartbeat of the presidency; someone who believes in the literal biblical relegation of women to a man’s authority, and won’t sit alone in a room with a woman. 

Revolution Does NOT Mean Old Wine in New Bottles

Anyone who gets into the halls of Congress must play by the rules required by the system’s functioning and learn to “compromise,” as we hear incessantly from the Democrats… and as their actions prove. The subordination of women in this system cannot be “reformed,” “elected” or “represented” away—it’s in the nature of the beast.

None of this—especially changing faces atop this monstrous system—is remotely “revolutionary,” despite what Traister may claim. An actual revolution means a DIFFERENT system, not just different people administering oppression. An actual revolution requires the OVERTHROW of the system. It speaks to the ignorance of this society that one can get away with using the word revolutionary in the service of women motivated by something as hideous as getting atop—or their fair share in—a system as predatory, monstrous and outmoded as U.S. capitalism-imperialism!

Hillary Clinton—Exhibit A for Traister… and an Exposure of the American Chauvinism Saturating Her Approach

If there is a single example of the logical outcome of the political solutions in this book, it lies in Rebecca Traister’s shameless apology and support for Hillary Clinton.

Let’s state what should be an obvious and indisputable truth: Hillary Clinton is NOT a standard bearer for the liberation of women—she is a woman who is a war criminal. Just to take two examples:

Hillary Clinton’s active support for the main policies of her husband, Bill Clinton, while he was President (and she was a major, if unofficial, member of his team)—policies of mass incarceration, of NAFTA and its devastation of Mexico, of the profoundly anti-woman and racist ending of welfare—were themselves criminal. Her role in the promotion of the slogan that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare” (thereby ceding the moral high ground to the Christian fascists) was particularly damaging.

Anyone who can put “Hillary Clinton” and “using your anger as a catalyst for change” in the same sentence—much less the same book—is automatically disqualified from using the word “revolutionary” in their book title.

Ultimately, the problem is Good and Mad not only reinforces “let’s get elected” as the horizons of what is needed, but it’s fundamentally not really all that madcommensurate with the depth, the scale, the intensity of women’s oppression all around the world. The fury of women can indeed be a catalyst for fundamental and radical social change—one that gets to the roots of the problem through an actual revolution. But Traister’s outlook and program can only channel that fury into futility or, worse yet, becoming a cog in the machine.

(Next week: Traister on #MeToo—And what happens when “me” eclipses “too”)

 

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Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

"The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, but It Bends Towards Justice."

Bullshit.

This System Has Enslaved, Brutalized, Tortured and Betrayed Black People for 400 Years!

We Need an ACTUAL Revolution to Emancipate ALL Humanity!

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

“There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten, raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.”

– Bob Avakian, leader of the revolution

The Most Important and Urgent Truth Demonstrated by the History of Black People in America

From the Revolution Club, NYC (@NYCRevClub)

If ever a history brings out in vivid color that where there is oppression, there will be resistance, it is the history of Black people in America: a history of over 400 years of the most vicious, brutal and cruel oppression, from slavery, through Jim Crow lynchings and segregation, to today’s mass incarceration, police murder and brutality, with an open white supremacist back in the White House... and a history of heroic resistance and rebellion that has rocked this system on its heels and inspired people the world over, from slave rebellions to the Civil Rights Movement and Black Liberation struggles to today's fights against police terror and mass incarceration.

If it was just a question of courage, of determination, and of sacrifice, Black people, and many oppressed people all over the world, would be liberated by now.

But the most important and urgent truth demonstrated by this history is this: “[W]ithout the necessary scientific theory and leadership, the struggle of the oppressed will be contained, and remain confined, within the system which is the source of oppression, and the horrors to which the masses are subjected will go on, and on.”1

We have seen this too with the struggle against the oppression of Black people repeatedly being misled, betrayed, and channeled back into the confines of the very system that is the source of this oppression.

But today, this is no longer necessary. Today, we have the scientific theory and leadership we need to get free in the new communism forged by, and the ongoing work of, Bob Avakian (BA). BA has developed the science, the strategy, and the vision and concrete plan for a real revolution and a radically new society on the road to full emancipation. As part of this, BA has shown how, “White supremacy and capitalism—they have been completely interwoven and tightly ‘stitched together’ through the whole development of this country, down to today; to attempt to really put an end to white supremacy while maintaining the system of capitalism would tear the entire fabric of the country apart.”2

Indeed, only a REAL REVOLUTION can put an end to this nightmare. Right now, “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.”3

You think you are woke but you are sleepwalking through a nightmare. We Need an ACTUAL Revolution to Emancipate All Humanity.

Let go of the vicious notion that getting Black faces at the top of this system of global plunder and exploitation will change anything meaningful for the masses of people here and worldwide when history has shown time and again exactly the opposite...

Stop getting played by basing who to listen to or follow on someone’s “identity” rather than critically evaluating the objective content of what they have to say and what it will mean for humanity’s future....

Cast aside the paltry notion of Black people striving to compete on the terms of this dog-eat-dog system through “Black capitalism” and Black entrepreneurship....

And it’s time for oppressed people to get off their knees and stop praying to a nonexistent God to come down and save them. Like BA says: “Let’s call this what it is—it is a slave mentality, with which people are being indoctrinated. All this ‘thank you Jesus!’ is a slave mentality.”...

And one last thing to white people specifically (as well as others who are not Black)—there is no excuse for sitting this fight out, even under the BS guise of “staying in your lane” or acting merely as an “ally.” All of us of every nationality bear full responsibility for ending this oppression by taking up this struggle, scientifically digging into the cause of the problem and solution, and acting on that understanding—as part of emancipating all humanity.

If you are ready to stop getting played and get on the road to real emancipation, you need to get into the science, the strategy, and the leadership we have to make the revolution we need.

Where to start:

“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.”4

 

The Revolution Club in Ferguson, 2014:
Fight The Power, And Transform The People, For Revolution.

Humanity Needs Revolution and the New Communism

Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution

 


Footnotes

1. Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, January 1, 2016 [back]

2. Bob Avakian: Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution [back]

3. Excerpt from HOW WE CAN WIN, How We Can Really Make Revolution, the strategy for an actual revolution from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. [back]

4. Excerpt from HOW WE CAN WIN, How We Can Really Make Revolution, the strategy for an actual revolution from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. [back]

 

Note to readers: This statement and PDF that we are posting tonight should be printed and distributed, but readers should know this statement will be part of a four-page mini-edition of Revolution newspaper on Black history, to be printed and distributed widely beginning this coming weekend. The PDF/JPG files for the broadsheet will be posted later in the week.

Download for print:
8.5"x14" PDF

 

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Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

U.S. Senate Moves to Pass Law Effectively Censoring Criticism of Israel

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The “Combatting BDS Act” is part of the very first bill moving through the United States Senate in 2019. It should be called the “Targeting Exposure of and Enabling Genocidal Crimes by Israel Act.” It aims to silence and criminalize—in the form of official blacklists—exposure of and opposition to genocidal crimes being committed right now by Israel against the Palestinian people, and the role of the U.S. behind those crimes.

How many Americans know, to take just one example of what this act is aimed at covering up, that on January 26 of this year, eight heavily armed Israeli settlers stormed into the small Palestinian village of Al-Mushayyir and opened fire on villagers with live ammunition, injuring dozens and murdering 38-year-old Hamdi Naasan, who was carrying a wounded villager to an ambulance. The Israeli army stood by during the killing, then later joined in the assault on the village by firing teargas at outraged and defiant villagers. The only people arrested were Palestinian protesters. This kind of KKK-style terror is increasingly a daily fact of life—and death—for the Palestinian people. (For an exposure of the nature of the Jewish settlers, see the short Al Jazeera documentary Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel’s Hilltop Youth.)

And how many people know the real story behind the origin of the state of Israel? That it is a product of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, accomplished through terror, rape, and massacres known as the “Nakba” (catastrophe in Arabic) leading up to, through, and beyond the year 1948? On April 9, 1948, for example, Jewish forces occupied the quiet Palestinian village of Deir Yassin. A 12-year-old survivor described what happened: “They took us out one after the other; shot an old man and when one of his daughters cried, she was shot too. Then they called my brother Muhammad, and shot him in front us, and when my mother yelled, bending over him—carrying my little sister Hudra in her hands, still breastfeeding her—they shot her too.” Women were raped, then killed. Dozens in this small village were massacred. Jewish terrorist organizations publicly bragged about the massacre to spread terror among the Palestinians, as part of driving the vast majority of them out of Israel. (See The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, by Ilan Pappé, which draws extensively on firsthand accounts of crimes like this by the founders of Israel.)

As a result of the Nakba and the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine, today there are now almost 4.5 million Palestinians living under Israeli military domination in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza (the “occupied territories”), and about 1.5 million Palestinians in Israel itself, where they are officially second-class citizens. The state of Israel now occupies about 78 percent of historic Palestine, and the Israeli settlements in the West Bank continue to grow.

The U.S. has provided essential financial, military, and diplomatic backing for Israel. That is not because of the influence of this or that lobby, but because of the strategic nature of a “special relationship” where Israel—with its massive high-tech military machinery and nuclear arsenal—serves as a contracted hit man for the interests of the U.S. empire in a strategic part of the world.

Targeting Telling the Truth About Israel

In the face of ongoing and escalating horrors, people around the world, including in the U.S., have increasingly come to oppose what the state of Israel has done and is doing to the Palestinian people, especially, but not only, in the occupied territories. Among the movements exposing and opposing these crimes, BDS advocates boycotting Israeli institutions, divesting (withdrawing investment in Israel), and sanctions—severing diplomatic and other institutional ties with Israel.

The bill moving through the U.S. Senate puts a formal, federal stamp of approval on a wave of anti-BDS laws that are already in effect in over 25 states, and in the pipeline in many more. Some of these laws have been stayed by courts, and the federal law is aimed at overriding those impediments. Others are in effect with chilling impact. Last year, Bahia Amawi was fired from her job as a contracted speech therapist with a Texas public school district because she would not sign a pledge that she “does not currently boycott Israel” and “will not boycott Israel during the term of [her] contract.” After New York governor Andrew Cuomo issued an anti-BDS executive order, an attorney for a Palestinian rights organization said “[T]he chilling effect is very real. We have received calls from groups who are concerned they would lose state funding if they hosted a speaker in favor of B.D.S.”

The torrent of anti-BDS laws converges with intensifying censorship of any exposure of Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians. The organization Students for Justice in Palestine and their activities have been slandered as anti-Semitic, and their activities banned on campuses. (See “Opposing Israel Is NOT Anti-Jewish: Major Fascist Move to Repress Campus Criticism of Israel.”) Last November, author, professor, and activist Marc Lamont Hill was fired by CNN right after he spoke at the UN calling out Israel for “normalizing settler colonialism and its accompanying logics of denial, destruction, displacement, and death.” (See “Professor, Author & Activist, Marc Lamont Hill, Fired by CNN,” by Carl Dix.) And on campuses across the country, academics and student activists who criticize Israel have been threatened, censored, and fired. (See “Major Fascist Move to Repress Campus Criticism of Israel.”) All this, and now the Senate bill adds up to an ominous, coordinated offensive, aimed at suppressing views critical of Israel and ostracizing and blacklisting anyone who dares express even the mildest opposition to Israeli policies.

This vicious attack must be exposed and defeated. Revolutionaries should enter into these battles: targeting and firmly opposing this naked censorship and supporting those who come under attack; exposing the breadth of the crimes of America and its attack dog Israel, and their roots in this system; and fighting for the only solution to that—revolution.

In doing this, we should be guided by HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, especially the following: “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.”

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Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

From Revolution Club, Chicago:

Music, Dancing, and Revolution at Fundraiser for #FreeMaya

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Friday, February 8, a #FreeMaya fundraising party on the North Side of Chicago brought together fantastic musicians and a diverse grouping of about 50 people for a night that was a lot of fun and raised over $2,500 (and an additional $1,000 was donated online the next day). The night opened with Mariachi Tradiciόn Juvenil, an ensemble of youth musicians, playing traditional Mexican music, followed by a performance from world-class Chicago blues musicians led by award-winning songwriter and harmonica player Matthew Skoller. The music lit up the night as people took to the dance floor to the sounds of Mexican music and blues.

Maya is facing trial and the possibility of seven years in prison as part of a national trend of political arrests of Revolution Club members and Refuse Fascism activists. She was arrested for doing a silent protest for immigrants at the University of Chicago (more details below). Her outrageous case has begun to inspire people from different political perspectives to step forward to support her and fight to get this case known widely and raise and donate money for the legal and political battle. The fundraising party was a real expression of that, hosted by Refuse Fascism and Revolution Club, Chicago with different kinds of people really throwing in to make it happen. It was held at the Centro Autόnomo (Autonomous Center) of Albany Park which gladly opened up their space to contribute to fighting this case, and two representatives of the center spoke at the party. The musicians donated their art and their time, and some really threw in a lot of effort to help it all come together. A number of people worked with the #FreeMaya Defense Committee to do outreach and get donations from local restaurants, bakery shops, and incredible gifts to raffle such as drum and singing lessons and other art.

Speakers from the Revolution Club challenged people with the need for revolution, not reform, and being part of meeting the needs of making revolution. One speaker called out the craven “USA, USA” chants of the “hip new Democrats” at the State of the Union and challenged people with the reality that this system has no solution to what is being done to immigrants other than to continue it, but the revolution does and people need to get with this revolution. Another Revolution Club member gave a fund pitch that put in front of all the great need for people to financially support the revolution and fighting the cases that stem from going up against this system so that we can break through and take this fight all the way to getting rid of this system.

To donate to Maya’s legal defense go here.


Maya is a member of the Revolution Club who is being politically prosecuted for daring to be part of working for revolution and leading others to do so. She is facing trial and the possibility of seven years in prison for a silent protest for immigrants at the University of Chicago last March: 11 minutes of silence for the 11 million undocumented immigrants under attack by the fascist Trump/Pence regime. This protest was in conjunction with similar actions nationwide called for by RefuseFascism.org which was sounding the alarm about what this regime was doing to immigrants well before things like separating families and caging children even came to light. The protest was inside the public dining hall and was a challenge to the students, many of whom did in fact join in the 11 minutes of silence on the spot. University of Chicago police have a history of targeting the Revolution Club—as does the Chicago Police Department with which they work closely - and came down hard on this protest that wasn’t breaking any laws or even campus rules. They violently removed Maya from the building and then charged her with a bogus charge of battery on a police officer. At her first court appearance the real reasons she is facing trial were made clear by the prosecutor who laid out Maya’s political affiliations to argue against releasing her without bond.

Maya, a member of the Revolution Club, is being politically prosecuted for daring to be part of working for revolution and leading others to do so.

 

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for the costs of Revolution Club Chicago’s legal defenses and challenges HERE

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Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

“You Think You’re Woke...
But You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare —

This System Cannot Be Reformed,
It Must Be Overthrown!”

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

 

See the schedule of meetings around the country HERE


Download and print the PDF of this Call


Download and print the PDF with space for local info

To you who are fed up with this society and “solutions” that are no solution...

To you who are angry and defiant and want to see an end to the white supremacy, the patriarchy and its many forms of gender oppression, the persecution of immigrants, the imperialist wars and occupations and threats, and the capitalist plunder and destruction of the environment—an end to all, or any, of the horrible forms of oppression and exploitation that define and intertwine with this capitalist-imperialist society...

To you who seek not justice for yourself or even just your own people, but the Emancipation of ALL Humanity...

To you who hate the fascism of Trump and Pence, but see through “vote for me and I’ll set you free” and any road that just makes the present horrors a little more tolerable for some within the U.S., while people around the world suffer even more...

To you who choke on “I’m woke,” “I’m good,” “No worries” when the world is being torn asunder and who have no patience for the putrid morals and relations of this culture...

To each and every person who senses that none of these horrors will be solved by this dog eat dog capitalist/imperialist system and that something radical—a real revolution—is needed... even as you have a thousand questions as to what that revolution would look like and whether it is even possible:

There Is a Way Out of This Madness!

“Let’s get down to basics:
We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit.”
—Bob Avakian

We are constantly told, openly and by implication, that there is no alternative to the present order. But that is wrong!

There is a scientific approach that makes clear this madness is unnecessary and indicates the potential pathways for change. There is an actual plan for a radically different—and radically better—society, on the road to wiping out all exploitation and oppression, and emancipating humanity. There is a strategy to draw forward the millions and millions needed to make that happen. There is the leadership, in Bob Avakian (BA), the architect of the new communism and the leader of the revolution. These are great strengths on the people’s side. But, what is now missing and urgently needed is YOU—to get with, support, and become an organized part of the revolution.

There is a project to put this revolution before millions and organize thousands into it. That project is the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tourstarting out in Los Angeles in March and going around the country for the rest of the year. We’re going to boldly bring forward that science, strategy, and leadership for revolution and go right up against all the bullshit—the outmoded, petty, self-deceiving, and self-seeking bullshit that just ends up perpetuating the outrages of today.

But that’s not all. There’s no revolution without organization. We’re going to work: organizing for a revolution—enough now of everyone in “their lane,” with eyeballs glued to their screens. We’re gonna go everywhere, from the hard streets to the suburbs, from the hardscrabble rural areas to the campuses, and to wherever people are creating the new or debating the future. We’ll be giving people the concrete ways and means to support, contribute to, and join this revolution, in many different ways, big and small—with ideas and with practical involvement, with support and with questions and criticisms.

The tour will go far and wide, spreading and showing the film of the historic 2018 speech by Bob Avakian, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, that deeply answers the two questions in its title. And, the tour will get out the pamphlet, HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, which concisely lays out the principles for how we get from the situation we are in today to actually winning an actual revolution.

Busting the People Out of Mental Shackles

We’ll call out the dead-end paths and mental shackles:

And we will definitely take on complicity with the Democratic Party, which poses as “the only alternative.” When in fact:

The Republican Party Is Fascist
The Democratic Party Is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity
This System CANNOT Be Reformed—It MUST Be Overthrown!
We Need an Actual Revolution

The tour will IMPACT everywhere it goes—opening up debate, stirring up controversy, shaking up society so that people no longer feel they have to accept the unacceptable and adjust to injustice, and instead are inspired to get organized for a revolution to change everything.

The tour will work with the Revolution Clubs where they exist and help form new ones where they don’t. The tour will connect with people protesting and resisting this system’s crimes, especially those that concentrate the deep conflicts of this system. Stepping to people with revolution straight up, and coming from that place, we’ll unite in fighting injustice and oppression, and we’ll struggle with them to see the need and possibility for revolution. This is what it means to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution. The tour and the Revolution Clubs are where you learn about the revolution while leading—contributing to building vanguard organization necessary to lead a revolution.

The tour kicks off in March in Los Angeles and Southern California. Your participation and your support are needed to start, sustain, popularize, and defend the tour.

What You Can Do NOW

A Radically Different and Better World IS Possible!

Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

 
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Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

IDENTITY POLITICS AND PRIVILEGE

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Have you ever noticed that the one privilege these “identity politics” hustlers don’t talk about is American privilege?—the privilege that comes from living in the USA, a country that plunders the world and whose wealth and power rests on brutal exploitation and oppression throughout the world, backed up by the massive violence of the American military. These hustlers want all they can get of that privilege. In opposition to that, what the masses of humanity need is to do away with and move beyond this whole vampire system, putting an end to all exploitation and oppression.

 

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/582/letter-from-a-comrade-hastening-while-awaiting-with-the-new-call-to-get-organized-en.html

Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

Letter from a comrade

Hastening While Awaiting With The New Call To Get Organized

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To the editors:

I was inspired to read the Call for “The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour.” Yesterday, I went back to Bob Avakian’s speech from last summer—WHY WE NEED AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION AND HOW WE CAN REALLY MAKE REVOLUTION—and this provoked more ideas on this Tour and how we can immediately begin making this what it needs to be.

Bob Avakian (BA) says in this speech that a crucial next step in making this revolution real is that, Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution.” He goes on to call for organizing these thousands right now into “networks of people, working together to spread the word about and organize people into the revolution,” as part of a national movement. He talks about the importance of a “critical mass”—meaning a force which, “although it may be small at first, has sufficient numbers and determination to fight through obstacles to have a real impact on the ‘political terrain.’” I think all this bears very directly on the Tour. 

BA then goes on to quote The New Communism, saying:

You are affecting the terrain by having organized forces united around a revolutionary line... it goes out to the world, especially in this age of the internet. It goes all over the place. And then people do want to know: Who are those forces that did that?.... It’s not that they all join up with you right away, or that you should bring them fully into the ranks of the revolution right away, before they even have a chance to get a basic understanding of what this revolution is all about. There’s work and struggle that has to go on. But you’re able to get this dynamic going where you’re growing, you’re wielding your organized forces for revolution in a way to significantly impact society and drawing people to you, and through struggle accumulating more organized forces... and then you are able to do more to affect the situation, once again through a lot of struggle. This is the dynamic we have to advance while, once again, not narrowing our sights to just that dynamic, but looking at the whole world and how we affect the whole world toward the goal of revolution....

This is the correct basis for ... understanding the point ... about the “thousands” and their relation to the “millions.” It’s not just some vague notion of “thousands of people” who sort of go “thumbs up” on the idea of revolution (or even are very enthusiastic about it). If you’re talking about leading millions, you need an organized force of thousands of people, a growing number of people, in the thousands, who are oriented, organized, trained and led to be an actual revolutionary force and pole of attraction...

I think these sections of the speech are crucial orientation for taking out this Call. Bringing forward these thousands, now, is an immediate objective in actually making revolution at the earliest possible time. 

On that basis, there are tasks that cry out to be done, including right now. I know that some cities are organizing meetings soon to let people know about and enlist their support in this effort. Some ideas I had in this regard:

All this should be done proceeding not from “building a tour,” or “building a program,” but from what BA in the speech calls the “strategic approach of hastening while awaiting the emergence of the conditions to go all-out to actually overthrow this system.”

I hope the above sparks both effort and creativity.

A comrade

 
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The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour:

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

A speech by Bob Avakian
In two parts:

 

Watch it, spread it, fund it

Check out clips and audio of the film and Q&As

Find out more about this speech—and get organized to spread it »

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/582/organizing-meetings-around-the-country-en.html

Revolution #582 February 11, 2019

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

Organizing Meetings Around the Country

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This page will be updated as information becomes available

Organizing Meetings:

Bay Area, CA:

Sunday, Feb. 24, 4:00pm
Revolution Books
2444 Durant Avenue
Berkeley
(510) 848-1196

Chicago:

Sunday February 24th 2:00pm
Revolution Club Organizing Center
1857 E. 71st Street
(312) 804-9121

Los Angeles:

Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 at 3 p.m.
Revolution Club Organizing Center
2716 S. Vermont Ave Unit 8
(323) 424-6687
revclub_la@yahoo.com

New York City:

Sunday, February 24, 1:30 pm
Revolution Books
437 Malcolm X Blvd./Lenox Ave.
(212) 691-3345

 
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