revcom.us, June 3, 2019 through June 9, 2019 (#598)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/598/this-week-this-issue-en.html

This Week...this Issue

| revcom.us

 

This was another week marked by insane and unnecessary cruelty. The U.S. took more than 900 of the refugees captured at the Mexican border and imprisoned them in a space designed for 100 people. They instituted further cruel cuts in abortion rights, with more and more women forced to bear children against their will. Furious trade wars and threats of trade wars with China and Mexico, arms sales to push forward genocide in the country of Yemen. The administration banned all agencies from making any projections whatsoever about the likely or possible courses of climate change that go beyond the year 2040. Trump threatened and defied the Democrats, and the Democratic leadership did... nothing.

Don’t let the steadiness of the drumbeat harden you to the intensification of the horror. MAGA is not merely a stupidly simple campaign slogan, though it is that. It is a fascist rallying cry, a call to reassert the interlocking triad of oppression that supposedly “made America great”—white supremacy, male supremacy, and crude America-first chauvinism—to justify U.S. murder and extortion around the world. These attacks are not just “going back to the past,” nor are they part of some mythical “pendulum swing.”

It is not that the regime is going to restore these forms of oppression—in fact, those horrors never went away, no matter who has held the White House. No, this regime is on track to intensify these outrages to a level that today may seem unimaginable to you—and indeed is doing so as you read this. This is because what has served this empire for decades is now fraying and in crisis, and sections of this country’s rulers feel they require desperate measures to continue to stay atop and enforce this capitalist-imperialist system. The Trump/Pence regime is a particularly putrid expression of this system, not an aberration.

And Trump is not just some dangerously moronic madman in the White House, though he is that. He is an effective demagogue who heads and coheres a fascist movement: a movement that is in power and taking things in a very definite direction. They have packed the courts. They were caught this week rigging the census to try to cut down on the votes and voting impact of Black people, Latinos, immigrants, and other non-white people. Trump has openly said that if things go against him, he will rely on his support among the police, the military, and “bikers for Trump.” The fascist movement he heads, in and out of power, openly threatens civil war.

This is not going to be stopped with votes. This is not even going to be stopped with calls for impeachment, while people sit on their asses. Fifty years of voting and “working within the system” have gotten us here: up against a fascist regime locking down an even more horrific future... if indeed there is even to be a future for humanity. This system has shown you that it has no answers to what is going on today, that it cannot accommodate even the reforms made in the 1960s—reforms that have been under attack ever since.

The revolution DOES have answers and it has radical ways for you to act as you are getting into those answers and learning more. This week we are focusing on:

Grounding all of this are the words and works of Bob Avakian. Especially for this week, listen to the excerpt from BA’s answer to a question on the role for newer people in this movement, from the speech he gave last summer, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution; and the excerpt from Ardea Skybreak’s book Science and Revolution, “Leadership: Does It Stifle or Unleash Initiative?

 

Bob Avakian Speaking to Those Just Coming Into the Revolution — Their Role, and Their Potential Contribution

Watch BA's whole speech, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

Funds urgently needed each month to maintain, upgrade, and expand revcom.us.
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You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/597/june-8-9-a-message-to-reverberate-en.html

A Message to Reverberate Nationwide

June 8 & 9, Los Angeles,
Enough! Basta Ya! Revolution—Nothing Less!

| revcom.us

 

This week the National Tour and the Revolution Club in LA met to grapple with, refine and sharpen the proposals and plans for the weekend of June 8 and 9.

This was a vibrant meeting that included some just turning their faces towards revolution, and down with the basic theme and sentiment of: Enough! Basta Ya! We Need an Actual Revolution—A Better World IS Possible!

Manifest were raw and visceral sentiments of those who feel Basta Ya!, who have just “had it” with what the system does... to Black and Brown people... to women and differently gendered people... to immigrants... to people around the world in its vicious wars... to the environment.

All of this is completely unnecessary, a radically different and far better world is possible... through Revolution—Nothing Less!

This, Revolution—Nothing Less!, is the message to the world, and we are organizing the thousands now, through revolutionary struggle and accumulating forces, hastening the time when it will be possible for millions to go all out for revolution and win. This message must reverberate across Los Angeles and inspire people nationwide.

This weekend is for ALL those who hate what this system does to people here and around the world, joining with others who feel like this—defiant, and looking for a whole different way the world could be.

The plans developed with the thinking of masses of people are:

Saturday afternoon, we will gather at Slauson and Crenshaw, where the rapper Nipsey Hussle was tragically cut down—one more victim of the way this system has oppressed people killing each other instead of aiming their anger at the source of this madness...

We will go to Florence & Normandie, where people rose up in the righteous LA Rebellion in 1992, giving a glimpse of their potential to create history...

We will finish up with a powerful political manifestation at the notorious 77th division of the LAPD (76th and Broadway), the pigpen headquarters of police brutality and murder—a hated symbol of what this system does to people and part of its worldwide machinery of repression...

Saturday night, we will celebrate with others in a way that lives and manifests the future we are fighting to bring into being, in line with the Points of Attention of the Revolution.

Sunday, we will get down on how to bring forward and organize thousands in this next year to prepare the millions we need for the time when we can actually make revolution with a real possibility of winning.

This week, planning and preparations for the weekend go to a whole different level.

It is up to us: to wake up... to shake off the ways they put on us, the ways they have us thinking so they can keep us down and trapped in the same old rat-race... to rise up, as conscious Emancipators of Humanity. The days when this system can just keep on doing what it does to people, here and all over the world... when people are not inspired and organized to stand up against these outrages and to build up the strength to put an end to this madness... those days must be GONE. And they CAN be.

Be part of this. There is a role for you—across the country—to support and manifest. Get with the revolution today. 

 

323.424.6687 • revclub_la@yahoo.com • Social Media: @revclub_la
www.revcom.us • @tuneintorevcom


Download poster (JPG)
Download flyer (PDF)

Revolution Club, Los Angeles, Planning Meeting
Saturday, June 1, 3 p.m.

at the Revolution Club Organizing Center
2716 South Vermont #8 (upstairs), near Adams

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/598/lapd-celebrates-150-years-of-murder-en.html

As the LAPD Celebrates 150 Years of Murder, Brutality and Repression:
Here’s the Real Story of Just One Los Angeles Pig Sty

| revcom.us

 

This weekend, the Los Angeles Police Department is marking its 150th anniversary on the very day that the Revolution Club has also set a major manifestation. And, as coincidence would have it, they are both taking place at the same location: the 77th Division pig sty!

Which raises a question: who and what ARE these police? The pigs of today have replaced the racist thug sheriffs, the KKK lynch mobs and the mounted slave patrols and militias of the past. The role of the police, as Bob Avakian says, “is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in....” (from BAsics 1:24) And the police are part of the larger machinery of repression that enforces the rule of capitalism-imperialism here and around the world.

To get a sense of this let's look at the history of the 77th itself, as just one typical example. The 77th Division includes Watts, and the brutality of its pigs was a key spark of the righteous rebellion of the people in August 1965. According to various accounts of the beginning of the uprising, a young Black man, Marquette Frye, was pulled over by pigs and beaten. When a crowd gathered and protested, the pigs began attacking others too—word spread that among those brutalized was a pregnant woman. Police terror was a daily occurrence—but this was the last straw. People were outraged, and soon rocks began flying at the pigs and the struggle spread. People fought heroically for days in the first sustained mass urban rebellion of the 1960s.

The 77th Division pigs were part of the massive and brutal police and National Guard response to the rebellion, which included more than 30 Black or Latino people killed and some 5,000 injured or busted. In the book Fire This Time, author Gerald Horne wrote, “The notorious 77th Street Division—in the heart of the August 1965 curfew zone—was a veritable heart of darkness for Black L.A. One angry black complained that ‘you’ll find more people in jail in the 77th Precinct than anywhere in the city of Los Angeles, on suspicion, suspicion… don’t wear tennis shoes, because if you wear tennis shoes, you might go to jail, you might go to jail for suspicion… They search you in all ways. You spread your legs.’” 

The 77th Division is where Mark Furhman worked for many years. For those of you who don’t know, LAPD detective Furhman was the key police witness for the prosecution in the 1995 trial of OJ Simpson. Furhman testified about prosecution evidence, including a bloody glove he said he found at Simpson’s estate. During questioning by the defense, Fuhrman denied having used racist epithets during the past 10 years. The defense then introduced audio tapes featuring Furhman in which he repeatedly used the “n-word,” saying things like “People don’t want n*ggers in their town” and “We stopped the choke [chokehold] because a bunch of n*ggers have a bunch of these organizations in the south end and because all n*ggers were choked out and killed…twelve in ten years.” When asked to say under oath if he had manufactured or planted evidence in the case, Fuhrman refused to answer. The defense said Fuhrman’s lies about the use of racist language raised the possibility that Fuhrman had planted evidence as a racist plot against Simpson.

In the audio used as evidence at the trial, Fuhrman is also heard talking specifically about the 77th Division: “Why don't you give them the 77th lie detector test?... And a bunch of guys will laugh—old timers, you know. And then one kid will ask his partner, ‘what's that?’ You choke him out until he tells you the truth. You know it is kind of funny. But a lot of policemen will get a kick out of it.” As this points to, Fuhrman was not an exception—the “bunch of guys” are his fellow pigs. And Fuhrman belonged to group among the cops called "Men Against Women" that harassed women on the police force. Fuhrman went on to a lucrative career as a “law enforcement expert” on TV—an excellent commentary on what this system upholds and glorifies.

Here are just some of the people murdered by the 77th Division pigs:

In October 1998, 76-year-old Joe Joshua was riding his bike near Manchester and Vermont when he was stopped by the cops. The police later claimed Joshua charged at them with a knife. Various people in the neighborhood who saw what happened said the cops were lying, including one man who said, “I was standing right there. The police told Joe to put his hands up, so he had his hands up. His knife was in his right hand. They said he charged them. But he didn't, he was just standing there and they shot him in the chest. It was murder!”

In June 2012, Vachel Howard, a 56-year-old Black man, was set upon by six pigs while being handcuffed to a bench inside the 77th. He had told the cops he had schizophrenia and had not taken his meds. Video footage showed the pigs tasing and putting a chokehold on him. As Howard lay motionless on the floor, the officers chuckled. Howard was pronounced dead at the hospital.

On June 10, 2016, Keith Bursey, a 31-year-old Black man, and his girlfriend had parked their car in the parking lot of a store where people were hanging out. The pigs made his girlfriend sit inside with her hands on the steering wheel and made Keith get out of the car. Then they shot him in front of her. They made up the same lying excuse they always use, saying he had a gun—while witnesses saw his empty hands up.

On October 1, 2016, 77th Division pigs murdered 18-year-old Carnell “CJ” Snell—for being a Black youth in South Central, and driving in the middle of the afternoon with temporary license plates. And for running for his life when they pulled him over. People on the scene say the police shot CJ five times in the back. Witnesses told reporters Snell was running with his hands up and was telling officers not to shoot him. To add degrading obscenity to murder, police at first refused to allow CJ’s mother, who was at the scene, to see her son, as he lay dead or dying on the street in handcuffs.

***

Given that the LAPD is intent on celebrating its 150-year history at this very precinct this weekend, revcom.us will post an article later this week exposing the multitude of crimes against the people committed by the LAPD through the decades.

You’ll learn how the LAPD was founded in 1869 and modeled on vigilante paramilitary forces with a white supremacist lynch-mob mentality. You’ll find out that the LAPD’s “highly honored” police chiefs like William Parker and Daryl Gates were stone racists, who proclaimed it was their job to keep LA “white” and that Latinos came from the “wild tribes” of Mexico, and who compared Black people to monkeys and claimed their deaths from police chokeholds were caused by their racial anatomy, not excessive police force.

We’ll document how from jump, the LAPD has carried out a reign of terror against Black and Brown people in particular—through murder, sadistic brutality, mass incarceration and political repression. How it formed SWAT and gang databases, leading the way for other pig departments in militarization and targeting whole sections of people. And we’ll show how the pigs haven’t changed their stripes no matter who’s been in charge—from the police terror that sparked the righteous Watts uprising of 1965, to the Rodney King beating and the 1992 LA rebellion, right up to today when between 2015 and 2017, the LAPD killed more people than any other police force in the whole country. In particular, we’ll show how these pigs targeted revolutionary and radical organizations.

 

Funds urgently needed each month to maintain, upgrade, and expand revcom.us.
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You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/598/statement-from-the-national-get-organized-for-an-actual-revolution-tour-en.html

Statement from the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

 

June 1, 2019

Greetings from the National Tour to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution:

To all whose hearts ache at what people here and around the world suffer from the workings of this system...

To people young and old of all nationalities, races, and genders who have not lost hope that humanity could do so much better than destroying itself and the species and planet we live on...

There is a way out of the madness: Revolution—Nothing Less! A revolution that clears the ground of this capitalist-imperialist system and its enforcers and builds a radically new society founded on the new communism developed by Bob Avakian.

The National Tour pledges again today and is working every day to advocate for, fight for, and organize for that revolution. We will not be deterred or defeated. We will puncture all delusions and frameworks that leave this world the horror it is. The Tour is aptly titled:

“You Think You’re Woke... But, You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare—
This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown!”

We are serious about this. This is a Tour to organize today—to bring forward thousands into the ranks of the revolution over the next year... to impact the whole society, millions, with increasing impact as we accumulate scores, then hundreds, then thousands into the revolution. Then, with these new thousands, the revolution will become a major pole of alternate authority—a pole of attraction and of sharp controversy and polarization. Masses of people will begin to feel that there is an alternative to this system and begin to consider, think about, and many won to support this revolution. And others will join with the revolution, and the revolutionary vanguard forces will be strengthened in understanding and organization... and all of this in preparation for the time when millions could be led to go all-out and win an actual revolution.

In a Message on New Year’s Day 2014, Bob Avakian said:

This is no joke, and it is not just some “grand idea” with no basis “in the real world.” It is real, and it is being taken up with a serious, scientific method and approach—and with the joy of striving for a world where the suffering and madness that is now daily life for the masses of humanity will be gone, and whole new dimensions of freedom and of human potential will open up for people everywhere, no longer divided into rich and poor, masters and slaves, rulers and ruled. No longer fighting and slaughtering each other, but working together for the common good. No longer destroying, but acting as fit caretakers for the earth. This is communism, the goal of our revolution, a future—for the youth, for all of humanity—that is truly worth dedicating our lives to.

What the National Tour is doing has never been done before. Not in this country, or any other so-called “advanced” capitalist country. It is as momentous and liberating as it is radical and difficult.

And... we on this Tour have never really done this before—going out with revolution straight up, an actual revolution to overthrow this system that puts us through hell every day, that causes tremendous suffering for the masses of people all over the world and threatens the very future and existence of humanity. We mince no words: anything else—all the other bullshit that is put forward as the way to deal with the situation we face and the hell we are put through—will lead nowhere, will just lead back to the whole madness we are already caught in, and will just make it even worse.

Revolution is possible. We have the scientific approach to know and change the world because Bob Avakian has developed a qualitative breakthrough in putting communism on a more scientific foundation—making revolution for the emancipation of humanity realizable; we have the strategy for revolution, and we have the concrete plan for a new society in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA. And we have a core of people working on this on the National Tour and in different areas. BUT, we don’t have nearly enough people to accomplish this great endeavor. That is the problem the National Tour is putting before the people. That is what we are putting before you.

Today, we are calling on you—here in New York and around the country, to follow the Tour online at www.revcom.us and on social media, to tell people you know and those you’ve never met about the Tour and this revolution, and to support the Tour. How? [1] become a sustainer and/or make a substantial contribution; [2] provide or help find logistical support for wherever the Tour goes: housing, transportation, food, legal and medical assistance; [3] support the Tour politically: learn about, wake up your woke friends to the reality humanity faces and that there is a way out through revolution; and [4] invite the Tour to your city and/or volunteer for the Tour.

This is a Tour, this is a movement, and BA is a leader for the masses of oppressed people of the whole world and for all those from every walk of life who don’t want to adjust to the horrors of this world and who aspire to a radically different world. This is revolution for the future of the seven billion people of this planet. This is a revolution to emancipate humanity.

The National Tour pledges to you that we will give all our hearts to doing our part. And we are inviting and challenging you to be a part of making this happen: Get into and take up the 6 Points of Attention for the Revolution Clubs. Join or form a Club. Invite the Tour to your city, school, or institution. Support the Tour. Go to www.revcom.us at least a couple of times a week to learn about the world and the revolution.

We have chosen our path. BA has said in the talk, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, that:

“...we have two choices: either, live with all this—and condemn future generations to the same, or worse, if they have a future at all—or, make revolution!”

WHICH WILL YOU CHOOSE?

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/596/message-from-the-national-revolution-tour-en.html

Special REVOLUTION newspaper issue, May 2019

"You Think You're Woke...
But You're Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare

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

A Message from: The National Get Organized
for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

 

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...

There Is a Way Out of This Madness!

5-2-6: 5 STOPS, 2 CHOICES, AND 6 POINTS OF ATTENTION - Easy to remember: concentrating the path to getting organized for revolution

5 STOPS—five horrific forms of oppression that this system can't reform away. The 5 STOPS:

STOP

Genocidal Persecution, Mass Incarceration, Police Brutality and Murder of Black and Brown People!

STOP

The Patriarchal Degradation, Dehumanization, and Subjugation of All Women Everywhere, and All Oppression Based on Gender or Sexual Orientation!

STOP

Wars of Empire, Armies of Occupation, and Crimes Against Humanity!

STOP

The Demonization, Criminalization and Deportations of Immigrants and the Militarization of the Border!

STOP

Capitalism-Imperialism from
Destroying Our Planet!

Spread these everywhere

2 CHOICES:

"...we have two choices: either, live with all this—and condemn future generations to the same, or worse, if they have a future at all—or, make revolution!"

—Bob Avakian

Spread this everywhere

6 POINTS OF ATTENTION which The Revolution Club upholds, lives by, and fights for.... Spread them. Take them up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spread these everywhere

BROADSHEET PDFs

(To order printed copies, contact Revolution, c/o RCP Publications, Box 3486, Merchandise Mart,
Chicago, IL 60654-0486 • 773-227-4066 • rcppubs@hotmail.com)

PAGE 1 - Download PDF

 

PAGE 2-3 - Download PDF

 

PAGE 4 - Download PDF

 

 

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“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

Make a REAL Difference - Spread the Word - Get Organized for Revolution

What You Can Do Today

 1. Distribute this Special Issue of REVOLUTION: The “5-2-6”

2. Join the Revolution Club or, start one where you are.

3. Donate and Raise Funds for the revolution. The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour needs big funds to be able to send teams of organizers across the country over the next year. Sustain the tour with a monthly contribution. When you raise funds you raise awareness. Go online to www.revcom.us/revolutiontour/.

 

Bob Avakian

Get Into:
Bob Avakian (BA)
the leader of the revolution

We have a great strength in the leadership of Bob Avakian (BA), who over decades has developed the new communism, qualitatively advancing the science. BA breaks down why reality is the way it is, and how people can change it for the better.

He has developed the science, the strategy, and the concrete vision and blueprint for a radically different and much better society and world in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. At the same time, BA deeply understands and connects with the most oppressed, and he provides strategic leadership for the movement today.

The National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

The National Tour to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution is travelling the country over the next year to involve you and thousands of people like you in this movement for an actual revolution. We are working to develop an organized and growing force, of thousands now, so that we can have an increasing impact on the whole country—with the whole world in mind, preparing for the time when we really could make a real revolution. To find out more and support the tour go to: www.revcom.us/revolutiontour/.

 

 

 

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/597/stop-the-war-on-women-en.html

Stop the War on Women!
Abortion on Demand Without Apology!
We Need—And Demand—A Better World and the Full Emancipation of Women!

| revcom.us

 

A vicious wave of extreme abortion bans is sweeping the country. Missouri, Georgia, Kentucky and Alabama have established draconian laws meant to challenge Roe v. Wade in the country as a whole.

As of Tuesday, June 4, the state of Missouri may well shut down the only abortion clinic left in a state of six million people. Meanwhile, the courts have been packed with Christian fascist judges aiming to wipe out Roe v. Wade, with birth control next in their sights.

Think about it: Women are being demonized and called murderers for deciding when and whether to have children. The laws being enacted are not just “going back” but are much more severe—including exacting criminal sentences for women who have abortions and people who provide them. Hundreds have already been prosecuted and jailed for “endangering a fetus”—a broad category that has included “suspicious” miscarriages, not having a caesarean, taking Darvon during pregnancy, etc.

This is a war on women but it’s not being treated as such. People have been relying on politicians and judges for 50 years, while the right to abortion has been attacked and eviscerated. Look where it’s got us. All over the world religious fundamentalists and fascists are pushing women back into roles of traditional subservience... the fate of billions of women is being written by what we do—or do not do.

The National Revolution Tour calls on everyone who refuses to accept this violent, Dark Ages assault on women to stand up now and fight to stop these bans. Take to the streets on Tuesday, June 4 across this country. Wear bloody pants and heavy chains to dramatize the future being imposed on women.

This system of capitalism-imperialism has patriarchy woven into its fabric. So long as it stands, women will be constantly attacked. Now this worldwide wave of fascism and fundamentalism is hellbent on making things far, far worse. We need an actual revolution to fully and finally emancipate women, one half of humanity. We, the National Revolution Tour, are organizing now to get in position to make this revolution and are taking up this fight as an essential part of that. Join us on Tuesday in the streets and the public square to defend this right. Go to www.revcom.us/revolutiontour to find us. And join with us, the weekend of June 8 and 9 in LA, for a time of struggle, celebration and planning/organizing for a far better, emancipatory future.

Fetuses Are NOT Babies.

Abortion Is NOT Murder.

Women Are NOT Incubators!

Forcing women to have children against their will is a form of enslavement. Which future do you choose?

The whole question of the position and role of women in society is more and more acutely posing itself in today’s extreme circumstances... It is not conceivable that all this will find any resolution other than in the most radical terms... The question yet to be determined is: will it be a radical reactionary or a radical revolutionary resolution, will it mean the reinforcing of the chains of enslavement or the shattering of the most decisive links in those chains and the opening up of the possibility of realizing the complete elimination of all forms of such enslavement?

— Bob Avakian, leader of the revolution

@TuneIntoRevCom    www.revcom.us/revolutiontour   (323) 424-6687


Photo: Special to revcom.us

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/583/you-think-you-are-woke-but-you-are-sleepwalking-en.html

You Think You Are Woke...
But You Are Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare

Get Organized for An ACTUAL Revolution to Emancipate All Humanity

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Read the #BEB - Bourgeois Electoral Bullshit - broadsheet

#BEB Revealed!

Read more

Read the text of this speech by Andy Zee

 

5 Reasons "The Green New Deal" Is Misleading, Dangerous and Part of the Problem

Delusion and Deception in Service of American Empire

Read more


Flooding in Indonesia

 

Noche Diaz Presenting the Lifetime Fire Extinguisher Award to Al Sharpton at the Sacramento, CA State Capitol.

Intersectionality: Feel-good Make-believe in the "Woke" Spaces of Empire

by Nayi Duniya

Welcome to the land of intersectionality—where a seemingly radical and all-encompassing framework can comprehend and traverse multiple oppressions faced by billions on this planet without the “messiness” of overthrowing the system that generates and enforces these oppressions; where truth is determined and wrong is righted by anointing the most oppressed as authority and leadership in struggles for reform; where the most fundamental and deep-seated social divisions and lopsided gulfs of the world such as between rich and poor nations are effectively ignored and where identified “intersections” and “direct experience” shared across “lanes” are sufficient to change the world.

This is feel-good make-believe “woke” world. In the real world of horrendous—and needless—suffering, it is a cruel joke inflicted upon the billions of humanity. The world is a horror for the vast majority—oppression and exploitation of whole peoples, genocidal wars and violence in the intimate sphere, millions driven off homes by conflict and global warming. This world is shaped and stamped by a system: the system of capitalism-imperialism.

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IDENTITY POLITICS AND PRIVILEGE

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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Response to FEM Magazine:
Trying to Censor Revolutionaries in Safe Spaces of Empire

By Tala Deloria, Revolution Club, LA

After The Word on Wednesdays (an open mic poetry venue at UCLA) censored a revolutionary’s poem, we challenged the people attending to a debate about where the framework of intersectionality leads. They did not come to debate, but a contributor to FEM magazine wrote an article about the incident. This is a response to help bring clarity to the contention.

What we have here is two opposing models in contention. One aiming to sweep away oppression and exploitation throughout the planet, and the other aiming to curate the positions of oppressed people within this system—dictating who owns what oppression, and what stories can be told by whom—all of which leaves the world as it is.

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Prison Abolition: How to Feel “Woke” Without Fundamentally Changing a Thing

A REVOLUTIONARY Intervention from Tala Deloria
Revolution Club member and UCLA student

If you’re serious about ending mass incarceration and police terror, you need to be talking about the OVERTHROW of this system. Anything short of this, in the final analysis, is bullshit.

This system of capitalism-imperialism is what’s driving the genocidal police terror and mass incarceration of over 2 million people, over half Black, Latino and Native American men and women. This same system terrorizes the globe with wars for empire, economic sanctions, coups, bombing and torture. It drives people from their homelands in desperation for a life and livelihood and then warehouses them in detention centers and concentration camps at the border. This same system enforces vicious misogyny, oppressive gender relations and has now brought to power a fascist regime reigning through undisguised dictatorship and intensified repression, concentrating the naked vileness that makes up the heart of America. This system CANNOT be reformed!

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Stop Being Farra-CONNED!

We Don’t Need to GET IN ON Oppression,

We Need to END Oppression

Get With the Real Revolution

Welcome to Farrakhan’s “Saviours’ Day” message, where he will tell you how after 400 years of being bitterly oppressed, you should now learn to be a more obedient slave, prove you can be useful to your oppressors in hopes of negotiating a better deal and becoming their junior partners, and look to an imaginary ruler in the sky to one day give you a chance to be big-time oppressors.

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Going After the Sacred Cows of Identity Politics on a College Campus—Opening the Debate on Reform or Revolution

You Think You’re Woke... But You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare! Intersectionality, “democratic socialism,” and all the rest of that stuff will keep you locked within the system we have now. These approaches can only lead you to bickering, begging and bargaining for seats at the imperialist table. We need a revolution—NOT reform—a revolution to OVERTHROW everything rotten and emancipate all humanity.

We brought this message to an Ivy League campus and challenged people to debate. Before we got very far, campus security freaked out and kicked us off campus. So we came back, but this time with a satirical flyer from campus security that said, “A Message From Campus Security: Do Not Talk To The Communists On Campus.” We dressed up in a police jumpsuit and the ugliest pig mask you have ever seen and handed out the flyer. A picture of our flyer was tweeted out by a writer to 47+ thousand followers, we ended up in group texts and somebody told us that we’d been made into a meme.

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Why I Went to Challenge Brittney Cooper—and What We Could All Learn From This

I recently went to an event on Black Feminism and Hip Hop to challenge Black feminist author Brittney Cooper. I brought an open letter written by a comrade of mine titled, “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?” When two of us in the audience separately posed this question to Cooper, she refused repeatedly to answer the question.

But the question matters. The problem of people taking up leadership based on “identity” rather than on the content of what is being brought forward and where those ideas will lead is extremely widespread and very damaging, far beyond Brittney Cooper as an individual. This kind of identity politics prevents people from thinking critically and sets them up to get played.

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Barack Obama comes to Oakland to make you think this meatgrinder of a system works!

To the Commander-in-Chief who waged war on 7 countries, drone bombed wedding parties, presided over torture at Guantánamo, and backed Israel’s genocidal massacres in Gaza.

To chief demagogue & peddler of false "HOPE," whose MBK (My Brother’s Keeper) program is predicated on the notion that the problem is our youth, that it's their outlook and their "bad choices" that need to be reformed....

Whose Justice Department supported every single act of police violence that came before the Supreme Court, but called the youth in Baltimore “thugs” after they dared to rise up in rebellion after the murder of Freddie Gray....

To Barack Obama, we say NO MORE EXCUSES. This system has enslaved, brutalized, tortured and betrayed Black people for 400 years! Your system can’t be REFORMED, it must be OVERTHROWN!

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Booker T Washington–Style House Slave and the Line Behind Jay Z's Power Move
(Whose line is it anyway?)

Booker T. Washington is known for proposing—and fighting for, including through the establishment of HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)—a certain way that a recently enslaved and systematically oppressed people could become active members of society and to rise above the muck of the being deemed by birth less than human. He stressed that Black social mobility had to be approached by not messing with the white man's power but by striving to be just like them.

Recently, Jay Z pimped off of Colin Kaepernick's selfless resistance and then threw Kap under the bus when he declared, "We are past kneeling" and was featured in pictures with Roger Goodell, lead commissioner of the NFL. It's a giant power move that required distancing himself from anything too radical for the league – i.e.: athletes using their platform to call out the way this system's police kill Black and Brown people daily, all while portraying them as animal-like “thugs.”

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Excerpts from a Daily Cal op-ed:
Berkeley needs to stand up to fascist ideas
by Rafael Kadaris

Over the last two years, pro-Trump fascists have attacked Revolution Books in Berkeley and even threatened to burn it down. This past Sunday, Sept. 1, pro-Trump protesters once again attempted to march on our bookstore but were prevented from doing so by a defiant and joyous counter-protest.

The call for their “No to Marxism” protest said, “Revolution Books is a communist anti-American store.” Innocent as charged. Revolution Books is the intellectual, cultural and political center of a movement for an actual revolution. At the heart of our store is the new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian—a further development of Marxism and an even more scientific and liberating understanding of the world and how it can be radically changed.

We will not be intimidated by these anti-communist protesters. At the same time, these threats must be taken seriously. This fascism is not a sideshow or something that can be voted away, but it is deeply rooted in this system—it can and is “happening here.”...

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On the cold-blooded police murder of Willie McCoy in Vallejo

This System Has No Future For Youth, But The Revolution DOES

This system has enslaved, brutalized, tortured, and betrayed Black people for 400 years! They have NEVER valued Black lives, except as labor to mercilessly exploit in building up the wealth of this country. And now, because this capitalist system has moved so much industrial work to places where they can pay people even less and make even more profit—and because Black people in racist America have always been last-hired and first-fired—this system has no jobs and no future for millions of people besides a jail cell or a police bullet. And they patrol whole neighborhoods like an occupying army, treating people like Willie McCoy as nothing but a “problem,” to be caged or killed off.

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Fascists and Pelosians Have No Right to Condemn Anybody...

Blaming "the Benjamins" Whitewashes Reality: The U.S. Backs Israel Because It Is an Enforcer for the U.S. Empire

Basic point number 1: Donald Trump said there were “good people” among the murderous fascist mob chanting “Jews will not replace us” in Charlottesville, Virginia. His regime has legitimized Nazis and created a climate that produced the most lethal anti-Semitic massacre in U.S. history, the mass killing at a Pittsburgh synagogue last October. Any leading figure who can uphold, or tolerate, or “reach across the aisle” to a fascist regime like that has very obviously forfeited any right to speak on who and what is anti-Semitic. So those people should shut up.

But point number 2: No amount of Benjamins ($100 bills) buys or sells strategic allies for this bloody-jawed empire. All the conspiracy theories about how the Israel lobby represents—as Omar insisted in a follow-up tweet—“allegiance to a foreign country” channel the outrage people in this country and around the world feel at Israel’s genocidal crimes against the Palestinian people into looking at the world through the lens of what is in the national interest of the United States! And when you look at the world through that lens, you are on your way to complicity with the ongoing crimes of an empire built on genocide, slavery, and wars of empire.

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From Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

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

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.

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From our readers:

Reform vs Revolution at a West Coast Climate Conference

Members of the Revolution Club, LA went to a conference at UC Irvine called Fire and Ice: The Shifting Narrative of Climate Change. The conference, attended by about 500 people, featured well known activists and authors against climate change like Bill McKibben, initiator of 350.org; Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction; and Nathaniel Rich of the New York Times.

Through our interventions and impact, we repolarized to where a central question at the conference was reform or revolution. Various speakers felt compelled to speak to that question from the stage, and our interventions drew clear lines that repelled some and drew in others who were either curious or appreciative of the sharpening of the terms.

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“The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, But It Bends Towards Justice.”

Bullshit!

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

We Need an ACTUAL Revolution to Emancipate ALL Humanity!

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.

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Standing Up Against Trump’s National Emergency & Calling Bullshit on American Chauvinism and Unprincipled Attacks on RevCom

We went right up against the imperialist chauvinism of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). We called out how, by placing their focus on health care, education, and housing for people in the U.S., they are just fighting for a bigger share for Americans of the wealth America extracts through vicious exploitation and plunder from the sweatshops of Bangladesh to the starvation in Yemen to the mass rapes and civil war in Congo and beyond. In contrast, we are fighting for—and what humanity needs—is an actual revolution to overthrow this system of global imperialism and bring about a radically new world for all of humanity.

This got under people’s skin in a good way.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/586/fundraising-for-tour-en.html

Thousands Raised...Many Thousands to Go...
Donors speak out about why they gave to The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour has started in Los Angeles, as the start of a national Tour going across this country. There have been events in different cities to kick off the Tour that raised funds, and send-off parties for volunteers heading to Los Angeles, where funds were raised. The call to donate financial support for the Tour has already brought some significant donations that indicate the real, if beginning, potential for very broad support for this Tour. This includes people who have given matching donations—one for $2,000 if others would match it—and a number who agreed to sustain the Tour on a monthly basis. There are others who have agreed to donate food for the volunteers going on the Tour, and some who have made things to be sold to generate funds for the Tour.

The many thousands of dollars raised so far is just a very small portion of what is going to be needed to support this Tour, and sustain and grow the movement for revolution, organizing thousands now and impacting the whole society that this Tour is setting out to do.

Here is the basic truth. Bob Avakian (BA) emphasizes in Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, Networks of people, working together to spread the word about and organize people into the revolution, need to be built, and expanded, in all parts of the country—and linked together.” Very importantly, this includes building up financial support now for the Tour as part of that process. There can be no revolution without financial support. There will be no revolution without organization of people of all strata, networks of people who are an essential part of the strategy for an actual revolution.

Many thousands donating now—including many people who are just hearing about the need and possibility for an actual revolution for the first time—will make it possible for this Tour to shake things up at this crucial moment in history, when so much hangs in the balance for humanity.

The statements on this page from donors give a living sense of the different ways people are seeing the importance of contributing by donating to the Tour, and calling on others to join them in this historic effort.

Internationalist fundraiser for Revolution Tour:
Great Food—Great Company—Great Cause

Posted May 27, 2019

From readers:

It was an afternoon befitting the invitation for “an internationalist feast to support the National Tour to Get Organized for an Actual Revolution.” Guests were greeted by large posters from revcom.us of the “5 STOPS” and BAsics 3:2 as they walked into the garden patio filled with the sweet scent of jasmine flowers and delicious home cooked world cuisine. There were trays of tahdig (aka Persian soul food), pita pocket chicken sandwiches, Iranian rice, tamales, a big pot of Champurrado, freshly grilled BBQ chicken, and even a potato salad with the word “Internationalism” spelled out on top, and much more.

A real added internationalist treat was a rich mixture of melodic accents from various parts of the world in animated conversations, infusing a couple hours of intense and lively debate and discussion. People wrote out “internationalist messages to the National Tour” on a message board in Farsi, Amharic, Spanish and English, some of which read: “Saludos y abrazos a los valientes camaradas de la gira!”; “Nos urge una REVOLUCION pero YA!”; “Revolution needs communication & love needs sacrifice”; and “Wishing you much success.”

We made our goal of raising $1K from this event (a total of $1,102 with pledges and cash)... Read more

An Internationalist Benefit Dinner for the Revolution Tour

Posted May 20, 2019

From a reader:

Over $1,400 was raised at the “Celebrate Internationalism” benefit dinner for the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour. $1,200 came from the event on May 11 and the rest from donations and new sustainers. About 30 people came, including some new people recently met during the 12-day effort in spreading the Points of Attention (POAs). The food was delicious and international—Afghan, Iranian, Palestinian, and Mexican restaurant owners contributed food in addition to food brought by supporters of the movement for revolution. Three languages were spoken—Farsi, Spanish, and English... Read more

Stoop Sale Fundraising for the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

From a reader:

Last weekend, some of us organized a stoop sale in response to the National Get Organized for An ACTUAL Revolution Tour call for fundraising. (Stoops are the stairs outside a house.) We’re counting on this stoop sale to spur you and others like you to raise funds for the national tour.

We would like to make two challenges:

  1. Match our $1,000 by Sunday, May 26. Of the $1,349 we raised at the sale, we decided to put $1,000 toward a matching donation to challenge others to contribute and double the funds for the Tour. (The rest of the money will go towards promotion and other expenses.)
  2. Organize a garage sale or flea market. Set a goal and raise money to meet the Tour’s May goal of $20,000!

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From a Mental Health Professional and Supporter of the Revolution...

Step Up to My $1000 Challenge to Support the National Revolution Tour

[Editor’s note: This matching donation challenge was met by May 1]

I will double your donation to the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour, up to $1,000, received by May 4. The National Get Organized for an Actual Revolution Tour goal: to spread the word and bring people into the process of building for an actual revolution.

I have searched my heart and soul, and either I choose to accept to live in a world based on heinous brutality and crimes against humanity in the US and around the world, or I stand up and fight for revolution. It is through studying the scientific work of Bob Avakian, that I am convinced that the only way out of this hell, is through a revolution that digs up this system's rotten roots and brings into being a whole new system that is not built on exploitation, but on the needs of the people and the highest aspirations of humanity...

Read entire statement

From an immigrant store-owner:

We have been fooled and given false promises. For 2 years we were told to wait for the Mueller report. We need the power of the people and we need to be in the streets. Barr is Trump’s DOJ, Barr works for Trump and not for the people. It’s wrong that we waited and trusted the government. Both the Democrats and the Republicans have been joining to create illusions for the people, like the Mueller investigation.

They make people passive, to string people along to believe there is always a next step in the process of the system in order to get rid of Trump. There’s not going to be change through laws, and there’s not going to be change from the Democrats, and there is not going to be a change through normal channels. I feel this is the time people must wake up. These times are more dangerous. Trump is a fascist, backed by Miller, and white supremacists. Trump is out for revenge. This is just like Hitler. I feel we need a real revolution. I feel it is important to support this tour because it is spreading revolution and is organizing for revolution. I am making a monthly donation and encourage others to do so.

From the Revolution Club, NYC:

A Beautiful Celebration and Send-Off Fundraising Party for the Tour Volunteers

“I’m going because... we need a different world... and people don’t actually know... there is a Party, there is Leadership, and there is a plan and strategy to make this real and that’s what we’re bringing to people, the fact that there can be a different world. That it’s completely unnecessary how people are living right now and that it can be radically changed... a lot of good people are being fooled into thinking that these different ways of acting are what we need, whether it’s the electoral process or thinking about yourself and approaching the world from yourself out... so I’m really glad to be a part of this and be a part of those who are trailblazing and actually bringing this strategy to people who need it.”

—volunteer for the Tour at the March 7 Send-Off Fundraiser in New York City

On Thursday, March 7, a beautiful celebration and send-off fundraising party took place at Revolution Books in Harlem for some of the volunteers traveling to Los Angeles to take part in the first leg of the yearlong Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour. The nationwide Tour kicks off in mid-March and will be traveling across the country to put revolution before millions and organize thousands into it. It was a fun evening hosted by the Revolution Club, who overall led in working and struggling with many others to make it happen. From choosing the songs on the playlist that bumped all night (which, among those picking the songs, involved important grappling with what it means to have a lively culture that is also uplifting and not degrading), to the different people who cooked and bought food or went to restaurants to get items donated, to the live performance and the jam session at the end, the evening truly came together in a powerful way. A dramatic reading of the Call for the Tour was done to the beat of a drum and the audience clapping their hands (this was a creative idea from a newer Revolution Club member).

The centerpiece of the evening was getting to hear from the volunteers who spoke with tremendous heart for humanity and with science and passion for changing the world. Each spoke to why they were volunteering, what this means and why it matters. One of the volunteers said, “I’m going because we need an actual revolution” and later referenced Bob Avakian’s point that the question “for whom and for what” are we doing what we’re doing is important, that all this has to be about the emancipation of humanity. The volunteer said she was throwing in on this “for the seven billion people on this planet who need this revolution. That’s why I’m doing this and that’s why we should all be doing this... for the millions who are slaving away in Bangladesh and the children in Yemen that are dying from malnourishment; this is ‘for whom’ we are doing this for...”

An urgent challenge for the evening was to raise $1,000 towards the $15,000 that is needed nationally by March 15. A Revolution Club member worked and persevered with some donors to the Tour who weren’t able to attend to write statements to express why they had donated and to challenge others to support. In doing this, it was important to continually go back to the Call for the Tour and how all this has everything to do with making revolution and emancipating humanity. These statements were read by Revolution Club members from the stage and this inspired others in the room to donate on the spot or to make a pledge. The audience was made up of people in the arts, students, people who’d recently met the movement for revolution, along with longtime supporters. There were a number of people from all around world as well.

Throughout the night there were updates on how much had been raised and how close it was to achieving the goal. During the mingling, some of the people who had already donated, or pledged to sustain, and understood the importance of the Tour, stepped up to make the case to others to donate. Through the evening a sense of responsibility among many came alive—to raise much-needed funds for the Tour and to get NYC ready for when the Tour comes to town. At the end of the night the goal of $1,000 was reached.

As the Call for the Tour puts it: “Without hype, absent fundamental change, without revolution, the future of humanity and the planet hangs in the balance.... Make a Profound Difference and DONATE to the possibility of something that could get beyond this horror and radically change the world.” The send-off fundraising party was a beginning step in making that real.

“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

Read about the Tour stepping up and stepping out »

Read the Call to the Tour »

Checks can be sent to:
RCP Publications, Box 3486, Merchandise Mart
Chicago, IL 60654-0486 (Mark for the Tour)

This is a statement from someone who donated $2,000 and called on people to match it—other donors matched his challenge.

Hey what’s up. This is Mark from The Resistance Company in front of Trump Towers on the beach. I just want to say I’m donating to the Revolution Club. They are going to be touring the U.S. in an effort to transform society. And we need now more than ever to have society transformed. We NEED a REVOLUTION! Fuck you, Donald Trump. New York hates you!

This Revolution Tour is significant—it has real significance. We’ve got talk of the release of the Mueller report, about freshman Congress members’ proposals, and all of the 2020 Democratic candidates. NO CHANGES. Now here comes the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour: THAT is a universal call, for HUMANITY, not for identity politics or a political machine. It’s a challenge to the comfort zone of normalization. The Call for the National Revolution Tour has real depth to it, and front and center is Bob Avakian and what he is saying. How to produce change? How else would you do it? The Tour is creating an environment for this change, not martyrdom, but real change.

How urgent is this tour? Trump wants to drop a bomb on Iran and threatens all the people on the Korean Peninsula with nuclear weapons. The Tour is going to the rural areas too! Look at the damage to people’s psyches in the rural areas, the opioid epidemic, even with protests against the companies fueling this epidemic... still, all this keeps going on and an astounding number of people have died. And nothing is being done. But the Call and Revolution Tour is pushing on, pushing forward. I am someone who can’t wait, and I support this Revolution Tour because I am a grandparent and I am concerned about the future, for my grandchildren and everybody’s grandchildren. I can give $50 this month, and we’ll keep talking about donations each month....

A supporter of the Tour from California

Hello Chicago Revolution Club,

I really like to put the small amount of money I have to good use, and, in my opinion, there is no better use for it in today’s troubled world than to support all of you at the Chicago Revolution Club.

The vanguard movement of the Revolutionary Communist Party’s new synthesis... is what gives me solid hope for the future. It is the ONLY answer to ending the centuries-old nightmares of the inhumanity of the existing system that I see as a scientific thinking person.

Knowing that I am doing my small part in supporting the fearless integrity and scientific foundation of the Revolution Club gives me a warm feeling inside because I KNOW you are at the very leading edge of what needs to be done to slice through the lies and misconceptions perpetuating the horrific crimes happening every minute of every day all around us and all around the world.

NO, it doesn’t have to be that way. And so, I am very happy to do my part for the cross-country Tour starting in LA to show thousands that a determined, scientifically based revolution IS the only way forward here in the spring of 2019. We are AWAKE to MAKE history, instead of allowing others to force nightmares upon us.

I am compelled to support the Tour because this is a crucial time in human history, a moment in which human rights are eroded at an alarming rate—and eroded, period! We are facing a crossroads at which fascism could seriously consolidate or people can be swayed by imperialists with an American chauvinist agenda who are appealing and appeasing with false promise of something different. The Revolution Club has enormous potential to break through both these forces and win people over to critical thinking and the viable, necessary strategy of Bob Avakian and the Party. And we must support and enable this with everything we’ve got. I’m calling on people to match my $200 donation. [This donation was matched.]

From a high school student who is an intern at Revolution Books:

I think it’s very moving because the people who are going on the Tour are doing this for humanity, not just for themselves. Especially at a time when people think nothing can be done to make a change. And even though it’s national, it should have reach beyond the U.S. so people around the world know about it. So people should be open-minded and listen and learn from the Tour. “That’s interesting, I never thought about it that way.” That’s how you make change, open yourself to understand more. And without the support of people, it wouldn’t even make sense to have the Tour. It’s necessary for people to support and help out in any way they can. A donation or give time, let’s work as a unit to make this work.

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/592/what-people-are-saying-en.html

What People Are Saying about the Tour

| revcom.us

 

From a Reader from Iran:

An Internationalist Salute and Call to Donate to the National Revolution Tour

I want to send an internationalist salute to the National Tour to Get Organized for an Actual Revolution and call for everyone to support it, to get involved with this all out struggle for a better world.

The present social and economic system we live under has become totally unbearable for billions of people throughout the world. We are also at a stage of human development when every conscious human being needs to seriously ask if our survival could be sustained in this capitalist-imperialist world order.

The urgent question begging for an urgent answer is whether we can tolerate the cries of tens of millions of dying, exploited and disease-ridden children? Tolerate the rapid destruction of the environment? Tolerate past and continual genocidal wars (direct or proxy) of the imperialists—invasions, occupations, bombings and even the possibility of nuclear war? Tolerate the everlasting white supremacy, mass incarceration, police brutality and murder of Black and Latino youth? Tolerate militarization of the border, cries of tens of millions of refugees, children ripped from parents and put in cages? Tolerate the misogyny that crushes women’s bodies and dreams generation after generation? Tolerate the normalization of outright fascism with the Trump/Pence regime? Tolerate all this that non-stop victimizes millions of people every minute of every day? Or...

In his truly breathtaking talk Why We Need an Actual Revolution and How We Can Really Make Revolution, Bob Avakian (BA) keenly and seriously challenge those who are fed up with such monstrous capitalist-imperialist horrors to get organized and get rid of such a rotten and outdated system, to make revolution to replace it with a new and much better world—one dreamed and longed for by billions worldwide. There is no other way. I’ve watched this film many times and feel everyone should see it...

Read full statement

From Isabel Cardenas

The young people in the Revolution Club are focused on a better world for humanity.  They aren’t just thinking about people in this country, but also those in the entire world.  They are working for revolution because they are very courageous, and it takes committed people to carry out this National Revolution Tour.  I believe in what they are doing—organizing people—it takes time and it takes support.  These young people are tireless and need our support!  I say this from the bottom of my heart: When I was a young activist, I used to “hear things” about the Revolutionary Communist Party such as: “if those people give you literature, don’t take it...”—but I have come to know them, and I admire and respect them.  I also have heard some activists say that the RCP is “too radical....” And what comes to mind is that “If the Germans and Jews would have been just as radical during the Nazi period, millions of lives could have been saved.”  Nobody is as courageous as the RCP.  Everyone should start working with them and, most importantly, also donate to the National Revolution Tour.  It’s a worthy cause—just think of the cost for flyers, posters, travel, food and more.  Those with thousands of dollars should donate thousands.  I am able to donate hundreds.  Please go to the revcom.us website and commit to donate $50 or $100 a month.  This tour stands for the people who have no voice.  They are out to help humanity.  I believe in what they are doing, working for revolution.  Bob Avakian has the plan... what is needed is for people to organize themselves and study this plan. 

I am in! You should also join and support this worthy cause!

Isabel Cardenas
American-Salvadoran / USA Citizen
And Community Activist since 1960

From Carol Downer

Funding ourselves

May 3: Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour at my home for dinner. We had roasted chicken with coleslaw, mashed potatoes and gravy and hot rolls that I purchased from Von’s. Additionally, I purchased the ingredients for and prepared corn muffins and potato salad. Tour members helped me set out the dishes and finish up preparations. Other volunteers brought salad makings and an after-dinner pastry.

The tour members had organized several actions to spread the word about how grassroots activism to push for a revolution would be more effective than putting our efforts into bringing about social change through voting for social reforms. They were righteously tired and hungry, so the first order of business was to eat heartily. They were interested in my experiences in visiting Iran after the Iranian people had thrown out the Shah, a U.S.-supported ruthless dictator who commanded the fifth-largest army in the world in an almost bloodless revolution. So, I shared the exhilaration and joy that I had in being in a free country; I witnessed in Iran how a brave and resolute people had overthrown tyranny.* Then all of us shared the events of the day and enjoyed our political solidarity which cemented our friendship.

I encourage others to provide this kind of concrete support to the “Get Organized” tour as it goes around the country to stir people and challenge them to throw off their cynicism and join in the effort to mount demands for revolutionary change. Although I spent a few dollars and I devoted some time to shop for and prepare the food, the meal cost far less than if we had sat down at a restaurant or ordered take-out, and we were able to take as long as we wanted to eat our meal and socialize. Pooling our limited resources makes them go a long way. No time wasted applying for grants. No strings!

No one is going to fund us except ourselves, and why would we even want them to? Even the most benevolent funder wants you to submit proposals, file reports and evaluations. Also, that evening we created through our collective efforts a democratic, egalitarian event that celebrated our diversity in class, age and ethnicity and reinforced our revolutionary fervor. After the dishes were cleared, washed and put away, we ended the evening stronger. That strength came from ourselves, not from outside funding.


1. In 1978, millions and millions of Iranian people, from virtually all walks of life with a wide range of political viewpoints, rose up against the hated Shah and his regime, which was overthrown in February 1979. Millions had been awakened to political life, and their awakening and struggle continued in different ways after the revolution. However, by the early 1980s reactionary Islamic fundamentalists led by the Ayatollah Khomeini had brutally suppressed their opponents, which included Iranian communists, and were able to consolidate political power and establish the repressive theocracy that still rules Iran today. [back]

 

“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

Read about the Tour stepping up and stepping out »

Read the Call to the Tour »

Checks can be sent to:
RCP Publications, Box 3486, Merchandise Mart
Chicago, IL 60654-0486 (Mark for the Tour)

From Reverend Cecil L. “Chip” Murray:

April 17, 2019

Dear Friends,

I am referring you to open your minds and hearts to a message that has been begging for attention for 400 hundred years. I have personally listened to their presentation of the great concept they are embarking on, and suggest you do the same for their National Tour to Organize for an ACTUAL Revolution.

I am aware that there are many people in America who oppose communism on certain matters of great importance. I ask you to examine one matter which is birthed in communism, and that is what links us in the revolutionary need to emancipate humanity.

I am a Christian and not a communist nor am I an advocate of communism. However I commend all those who undertake the cause of justice and righteousness, such as opposing abuse of power by police and law enforcement, and opposing mass incarceration and massive homelessness. In Christian tradition, it is believed that “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” Therefore you should engage their message and decide for yourself as to its merit for support.

As part of this, you may want to review and engage the film by Bob Avakian, the founder and designer of the new communism titled Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Reverend Cecil L. “Chip” Murray

From Fr. Luis Barrios, NYC:

“The revolution is not coming from the sky, sent in by God. We have to put together this revolution...”

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/596/field-reports-from-the-national-revolution-tour-en.html

Field Reports From The National Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

 

Donate to and Sustain the National Get Ready for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

Luan from National Revolution Tour at Union Square, New York City, October 26 #OUTNOW rally.

Thousands in Chicago "Greet" Fascist Trump In Manner He Merits

From a member of the National Revolution Tour

October 29, 2019

Read more

On the Righteous Rebellion Against Police Murder in Memphis:
How Long Will We Bury Our Own?
Until We Bury This System!

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

Read more

June 4—Nationwide: Stop the War on Women! Abortion on Demand Without Apology! We Need—and Demand—A Better World and the Full Emancipation of Women!
A Call From the Revolution Tour

The crowd at Les Mis at Pantages in Los Angeles applauded wildly as @revclub_la @SunsaraTaylor and the National Revolution Tour stood up for abortion rights and called people to the streets June 4.

Read more

National Revolution Tour at the Los Angeles rally by presidential candidate Julian Castro, exposes him as #BEB


Dispatch from the National Revolution Tour:

Out Among the People, "Disturbing The Air"

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There's Only 2 Choices.
Which One Will You Choose?

This speech was delivered by Sunsara Taylor and Tala Deloria

Read more

“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

More about the Tour »

Read the Call to the Tour »

Tala Deloria and Lenny Wolff talk about The National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour, and about the May 20 speaking event at UCLA on The Michael Slate Show


Andy Zee and Michelle Xai "Grand Experiment... As Serious As Your Life"

On The Michael Slate Show

LISTEN HERE


Noche Diaz Presenting the Lifetime Fire Extinguisher Award to Al Sharpton at the Sacramento, CA State Capitol.

Revolution Club at the State Capitol in Sacramento

 

Read flier here

Two members of the National Tour took this basic flyer to a MEChA conference at UCLA attended by hundreds of students from around the country. The flyer sparked controversy, including from some of the conference leadership, and this in turn sparked interest and real engagement.

The next day, a larger contingent of Revolution Club members marched with their banner in a MEChA march that, among other things, denounced U.S. imperialism in reference both to Latin America and oppressed communities within the U.S. And here too, a couple of dozen people wanted to get more deeply into the challenges posed by the revcoms.

Learning from this, we can see that a basic flyer like this can be a way to clearly set terms and on that basis generate engagement.

 

A Speech by Bob Avakian

This speech is in two parts.

Watch trailer, clips, Q&A sessions here »     Find out more, get organized »     Listen to audio clips from Q&A sessions »     Text of speech »
 

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

Leadership: Does It Stifle or Unleash Initiative?

| revcom.us

 

In the early part of 2015, over a number of days, Revolution conducted a wide-ranging interview with Ardea Skybreak. A scientist with professional training in ecology and evolutionary biology, and an advocate of the new synthesis of communism brought forward by Bob Avakian, Skybreak is the author of, among other works, The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What's Real and Why It Matters, and Of Primeval Steps and Future Leaps: An Essay on the Emergence of Human Beings, the Source of Women's Oppression, and the Road to Emancipation. This interview was first published online at www.revcom.us.

Q: I think part of what you’re pointing to also is this question. There’s a widespread conception in society that leadership stifles initiative. But does it stifle initiative, or does it actually unleash people and unleash initiative?

AS: There’s no question in my mind that in any sphere, including in the natural sciences, but also in this scientific communism, good leadership is always seeking to unleash initiative, but this has to be done in a disciplined, organized manner. Think about it. If you were doing a project in the natural sciences, and you were trying to get people to tackle a particular problem or particular set of questions, and you were trying to get people to work together collectively on the project, it wouldn’t work out very well if everybody just took off willy-nilly in any old direction of their own personal choosing and started off by applying completely different sets of working assumptions and theoretical frameworks and templates to the problem right at the outset, in a kind of anarchic manner. Certainly the best collective natural science projects I’ve ever been involved in have been led, and have unleashed creativity and individual initiative on that basis. Have definitely unleashed individual initiative and creativity and all sorts of individual contributions, but on the basis of initial, and also ongoing, good scientific leadership. I’ve learned a lot from that kind of leadership/led interaction, when it’s correctly conceived of and unfolded.

Leaders of scientific teams in the natural sciences are generally not shy about providing leadership! [laughs] Such leadership is often provided in the form of such things as: identifying key problems to resolve and the questions to focus on at any given time; delineating core guiding principles and methods, based on prior accumulated knowledge and the most developed experience in a given field or sub-field of natural science; articulating sets of working assumptions and hypotheses and the basic theoretical framework to take out into the world, with which to poke and probe and seek to transform reality. In short, one way or another, good science projects are led. And I think most natural scientists understand on some level that, no matter how many people might be involved in a project or how much money or other resources you might have at your disposal, you’re never going to get anywhere or make any real progress in advancing scientific understanding or in resolving complex scientific questions or problems if you proceed to work on things in an anarchic manner, absent a sound scientific base and ordered structure from which to proceed, including to best enable you to encounter and explore completely new things or concepts that were previously completely unknown or not yet understood. Without this underpinning in an ordered base and structure, in what is essentially the best possible grounding in the most developed scientific theory available at the time, you won’t be able to even pose the right questions or correctly and systematically analyze and synthesize what you encounter as the project unfolds. And you certainly therefore won’t have a very good basis for either further contributing to the accumulation of new scientific understanding or to transforming material reality in certain desired directions (by curing a disease, figuring out how to protect an ecosystem, or whatever) if this also happens to be your objective. Right? Well, all this is definitely the case in the natural sciences, but the very same principles also apply if you’re trying to apply science to understanding and transforming a society, including by applying scientific methods to the complex process of making a social revolution. This process, too, needs to be led, and individual creativity and initiative and all sorts of individual contributions definitely can and must be unleashed, but this can best be done on the basis of sound scientific leadership. This ongoing and very positive interplay of leadership and led is especially important to keep in mind and actively contribute to if you’re actually trying to change things in the world, for the benefit of the many, and not just trying to indulge your “self” or just your own individual interests and proclivities.

So again, good leadership should constantly try to consciously unleash initiative, and you can’t make a social revolution without unleashing a tremendous amount of conscious participation and conscious initiative on the part of growing and increasingly diverse numbers of people and types of people. But the problem is, it’s a two-way street! You have to take some responsibility for this process yourself. You know, when you look into Bob Avakian’s materials, you see that he’s constantly calling on people–inviting people and struggling with people–to enter into the process, to actively engage things and not remain passive. But some people resist that, even some well-intentioned people sometimes resist that. If somebody says, “I don’t wanna get a headache trying to wrestle with complicated questions, so just tell me what you want me to do, and I’ll do it”–that’s no good. You have to struggle with them. You can’t make a revolution that way! You have to say, “No, that’s not right!” You have to do some work yourself. You have to think about what’s right. You have to study the orientation, the direction that’s being provided by leadership. You should try to evaluate it critically while, yes, at the same time, going out with it, taking it out into society, into the material world. In other words, you should work to take things out into society, systematically and in a disciplined way, on the foundation of the leadership guidance that’s being given, but then you should also be sure to contribute to systematically analyzing and reporting back on what you’re encountering, what you’ve been doing and what you’ve been learning, so that all this can feed into and enrich the overall collective process. That’s a scientific approach to unfolding revolutionary practice.

Q: I think this also gets at the question of the role of outstanding individual leaders, and in particular the role of BA, because, just to go back to what you were saying a minute ago, you were making the point that BA is miles ahead of everyone else, both in terms of the development of the theory and also in terms of the application of the theory, the practical application of the theory. So I wondered if you could talk a little bit more about the kind of the relationship there is, or should be, when you have someone like BA who actually has that advanced understanding and how that actually contributes to unleashing that initiative, like you’re saying, in an organized and disciplined way.

AS: Well, look, to me it’s a question of basic scientific materialism to understand that everybody’s not going to have the same abilities, everybody’s not going to have the same level of understanding, just to state the obvious. And I do think that anybody who has some honesty, some principle and integrity, who actually does a close study of the work, of the extensive body of work, that BA has developed over a number of decades, is going to be struck by the fact that...look, whether you agree with it or not, if you are an honest person with principle and integrity you should be able to pretty quickly recognize that this work is of a whole order of magnitude beyond what prevails in the society generally, beyond what has passed for so-called leadership in the so-called political movements, or even revolutionary movements, in recent history. BA’s one of those rare individuals that comes around once in a great while, as the world changes, as society changes...in the context of these objective changes and developments, sometimes individuals emerge who have particularly developed skills and abilities and some very new ways of thinking and some trailblazing approaches to leading and transforming things in some very new directions. This is true in every sphere. It’s certainly true in the natural sciences, and in things like sports, music or all the many other spheres of art and culture. Just think about it for a minute and I’m sure you can come up with quite a few examples from those different arenas. For a number of different reasons, factors and influences that come together in sometimes unexpected ways, there are simply individuals who periodically emerge with particular qualities and particular skills and abilities at a given time, and who kind of rise above everybody else in their field. And the crime, frankly, is when other people in society are not willing to recognize that, or even seriously check it out and take a good look to see if that’s in fact the case. It took a long time before a visionary pathbreaker like John Coltrane could be recognized and appreciated in the field of jazz for instance, just to take one example. At first, people covered their ears and complained his music was just too dissonant, and uncomfortable to listen to, and oh yeah, his solos were too long! [laughs] Seriously though, especially when somebody is dedicating their whole life to trying to make a better world for all of humanity, you would think that this would require that people at least give them a good solid hearing–and actually read and study what they’ve brought forward–and not just engage in facile dismissals, without even really investigating what it is that has been brought forward. And it galls me to no end that most of the people today who engage in “facile dismissals without serious engagement” of BA and his body of work, are people who themselves have nothing of substance to offer in terms of any kind of serious programs and solutions to the world’s complex problems. We should keep asking such people: “What’s your program? What’s your strategy? What’s your solution to the problem of the recurrent horrors generated by this system?” And, well, if you don’t have much to say about any of that, if you don’t have much serious substance to offer in terms of strategic plans and programs for systemic change, then maybe you should have the decency to shut up for a while and get to doing some serious work yourself to at least more thoroughly explore and engage the substance of the work done over a number of decades by someone who in fact is proposing a substantial, multi-layered, radically different and yet coherent and scientifically grounded in reality, vision and plan for the future.

You don’t have to agree, but it’s unconscionable in my opinion not to seriously delve into this work. Unless, of course, you just don’t care. Which I guess is a big part of the problem in the current self-absorbed society: too many people care more about cultivating personal views and opinions that they can personally feel good about, than about exploring methods and approaches, and strategies and programs, that might actually enable millions...billions...of people to free themselves from horrific conditions of exploitation and oppression that weigh down their entire lives. That’s what we’re talking about freeing people from. What are YOU talking about?

And I think that anybody who does look into BA’s work seriously, and who’s basically honest, is going to end up saying, “Oh, OK, well, I didn’t quite realize the complexity of what was involved, and all the thorny contradictions that are being wrestled with, and all the ruptures with some past incorrect methods and approaches that BA has been leading, and I wasn’t really familiar with the ways in which he’s been arguing for a whole new framework, on many different fronts, in terms of the process of how to build a revolutionary movement, what kind of revolution to make, how to have a chance of winning, how to develop a new society...I hadn’t realized he’d been working on all that, with this much depth and substance…” There’s so much that’s new, and so much that’s rich and complex, that any honest person willing to set aside prejudice and misconceptions and really explore his work with an open mind will likely quickly recognize this and may well be intrigued and provoked to explore things further.

But then the question comes up, what about everybody else? OK, there’s BA and everything that makes him stand out as unique, but what is everybody else doing? Well, for one thing, “everybody else” isn’t the same either. There are different levels of revolutionary communist leaders, people with different strengths and shortcomings, with different abilities, making various contributions to the revolution; there are also different levels and abilities of participants in the broader movement for revolution; and there are of course brand new people, people who come from a wide variety of different backgrounds, entering into all this for the first time. But what I want to stress here is that everybody has a role to play in the revolution, everybody has something they can contribute to the process. That’s something that BA always promotes and encourages. It is important to understand that this is a revolutionary movement that is not just for intellectuals, for those who may have the training to handle complex abstract theoretical writings; and that this revolutionary movement is also not just for the basic people who are the most exploited and oppressed at the bottom of society (though it most certainly is, especially, for them). This is a revolutionary movement that is truly for anybody who feels that the whole world, including this U.S. society, is currently overflowing with absolutely unacceptable horrors and injustices and outrages, and who wants to put a stop to those things, and work for a better and more just world. A world where you can actually advance toward the emancipation of all of humanity–not just work for the emancipation of your own group, or just your own “identity,” so that your own people or your own identity can get a chance to lord it over other people–instead, work concretely for the genuine emancipation of all of humanity.

And there is a place for anyone who thinks and feels like this to participate in this movement, and there is a place for everyone to learn and develop more as they go along. I think it’s very important for people to realize that they are actively being invited in to be part of this process, including directly by BA himself, and to know also that the revolution, the revolutionary process itself, ultimately cannot go very far forward without them. That’s a simple fact.

So, in my opinion, people should do more conscious thinking about not only the responsibilities of leadership but also the responsibilities of the led. The responsibilities of the led vis-à-vis leadership, as well as the responsibilities of leadership vis-à-vis the led. I don’t think enough people, even in the revolutionary movement, give enough conscious thought to that. It’s not just a question of getting people to “do a bunch of stuff” and to just participate in various actions, or various initiatives, as important as all that is. Again, the approach can’t be one of just trying to get people to “do a lot of stuff.” It’s getting people, on every level, every kind of person who wants to be part of this and who can be part of this, to bring their ideas, their experiences, their questions, their initiatives, and to help further identify and better develop the ways that they and others like them can be actively part of all this–participating in finding their place in the revolutionary process, contributing to it, and working on developing themselves, as well as others, in order to help raise everyone’s level in an ongoing way.

Here’s something else to think about: What kind of a revolutionary movement would it be if individuals came into it at a sort of beginning, elementary level at one point, but then years go by and they seemed kind of stuck in place, like they hadn’t developed significantly more theoretical understanding, more practical skills, more scientific methods or the ability to take on significantly more leadership responsibilities? This would be a real cause for concern, and something that would really need to be addressed by leadership in order to transform this situation, right?

On the other hand, you know, you look at an example of somebody like Wayne Webb (Clyde Young) who came from the basic masses of Black people and who did quite a bit of time in prison in his early years. People can learn about his life and contributions at revcom.us. My point here is that he learned, he studied while he was in prison. He became a revolutionary. He got into BA, followed the leadership of BA, and himself became a high-level leader in the RCP, the Revolutionary Communist Party. That’s the kind of inspiring transformation that actually can and does happen, especially under this kind of leadership. You know, many prisoners actually do a lot of serious study, many seriously study the revolutionary process, and they’re a tremendously precious resource. When I was writing the Evolution book, there was a great deal of important feedback that came from some of the people who are incarcerated, and who I guess were pretty motivated...they had the time to read and study, but it wasn’t just that–they also had the motivation...because I guess they understood that this kind of learning wasn’t just about learning a few, even a few very important, scientific facts and principles–some of them seemed to really “get” that all those questions of scientific methods and principles, the ones that are repeatedly hammered at in that book, have a great deal to do not only with understanding material reality as it actually is (in all its dynamic contradictoriness and unevenness) but also a great deal to do with understanding that, within those very contradictions (whether you are talking about a biologically evolving system, or a societal system that will change through conscious human interventions) lies the very basis for that reality to change, or to be changed. So some people, including some people who live under the difficult conditions of incarceration, do seem to get why all this matters, profoundly.

Again, whether people come from very difficult circumstances in life, live in very oppressed conditions in the inner cities, or are even incarcerated, and whether they have had the privilege of fancy education or have received very little education, there’s room for everybody, and there’s a need for everybody to get involved. Anybody who basically says, “Enough! I’m not going to tolerate any more of this–these police murders, these rapes of women, these endless wars, this destruction of the planet, these hounding of people across borders–I’m not going to accept a world like this any more, I’m not going to agree that this is the only way, or the best way, the world can be,” anybody who sincerely feels this way, and who is serious and honest about being willing to learn, to study, to discuss, to actually participate in the revolutionary struggle, will find a place in the movement for revolution, and should themselves, right from the start, be learning what it means to lead.

And if you do want to learn to lead in a revolutionary movement, here’s a tip: study how Bob Avakian leads. Study what he models in his books and writings, in his talks, in the films, in things like the Dialogue he did with Cornel West. Study what he does: how he talks to different sections of the people; what he focuses on; how he brings out the problems in society; how he brings out the solutions; how he doesn’t pander or cater to people’s backwardness or misconceptions, but, rather models that Malcolm point: he tells people what they need to hear. Even if they don’t necessarily wanna hear it, he tells them the truth, and what they need to hear. Study how Bob Avakian struggles, repeatedly and right down on the ground, with his audiences, with various kinds of audiences, to bring them to a better place, to a higher level of understanding. And then go ahead and work on doing this yourself, in your revolutionary work, in your discussions with family and friends. Learn from those methods, and be part of the revolutionary process in that way. And generally, keep thinking about that important relationship between leadership and led. This is something for everyone to reflect on who wants to be part of the revolutionary movement.

 

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

 

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

Why Is It So Important, and What Does It Mean, to Get Into BA?

July 17, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

In the early part of 2015, over a number of days, Revolution conducted a wide-ranging interview with Ardea Skybreak. A scientist with professional training in ecology and evolutionary biology, and an advocate of the new synthesis of communism brought forward by Bob Avakian, Skybreak is the author of, among other works, The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What's Real and Why It Matters, and Of Primeval Steps and Future Leaps: An Essay on the Emergence of Human Beings, the Source of Women's Oppression, and the Road to Emancipation. This interview was first published online at www.revcom.us.

Q: OK, picking up on your point that there’s a role and a need for everybody who finds the state of the world intolerable, to get with this movement for revolution—with that point in mind, and picking up on the point that you just made, I wanted to ask you to speak directly to people with different levels of familiarity with BA, whether they’re just finding out about him or whether they’ve been familiar with his work for a while. And the question I wanted you to speak to is, basically what it means on different levels for people to get into BA and get with his leadership? Why is this so important?

AS: Look, in a lot of ways, it’s pretty straightforward. Whatever kind of background you come from, whatever your position in society today, if you’re the kind of person who feels that there are a lot of things that are really messed up about the way the world is, the way society is; if you’re completely outraged and unwilling to tolerate for a minute longer a lot of the more outrageous abuses and injustices of the society—and there’s no shortage of these that different people become aware of—then follow your conscience, first of all. Follow your conscience and follow your convictions, and follow the trail to see what does BA say, given that we’re saying, look, this guy’s been doing decades of work, analyzing why these problems keep happening, what they are rooted in, what’s the fundamental reason these terrible things keep happening in this society, what could be done about it.

So, “get into BA” means, first of all, don’t stand aloof when you see these great injustices and this great suffering of the people from various directions. Get involved. Get involved in fighting and exposing these abuses, in joining with others, get organized to fight these abuses, to expose these outrages, to make it clear you’re not tolerating them. And, as you become part of this movement, this movement for revolution, this movement to fight the power, to transform your own thinking and the thinking of your friends and family, and others, on some of the key questions of the day, as you get more involved in that, at the same time as you’re doing that, go deeper. Go deeper. Be like a good scientist. Get into BA, because by getting into BA you are going to learn a lot about the deeper source of the problems and what the actual solutions are, or are not, and what can be done about these problems.

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

A good place to start, if you’re new to things, besides something like the Dialogue, I would highly recommend that people watch, and watch with their friends and families, and so on, the film Revolution—Nothing Less! It’s six hours of BA talking, analyzing the deeper sources of the problem in society and the solution. There’s also an earlier film, Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About, that is also full of very helpful material which gets very clearly into why a revolution is necessary and why it is possible, even in a country like the U.S., and what kind of revolution should we have, what kind of society should we bring into being. And you can get a copy of BAsics and just start reading it anywhere you want, read some of the quotes and the short essays that are in there that give a feel for some of the range and the depth of analysis on some of these questions, and why this system cannot just be fixed with a few tweaks, why it can’t just be reformed.

One of the most important things that it means to get into BA is to get into the deeper analysis and exposition of precisely why you cannot reform this system, and why capitalist imperialism as a system needs to be completely dismantled through a revolution, an actual revolution, and replaced with a new society built on a completely different economic and political foundation and, correspondingly, very different social values and ways people can relate to each other and function in society.

So, getting into BA—well, there’s not just one way to get into BA. There are many different ways. If you’re new to things, I would recommend the Dialogue, BAsics, Revolution—Nothing Less! I would recommend going regularly, at least once a week, to the revcom.us website and exploring not only Revolution newspaper on a regular basis, but also going to the other portals on the website: the portal that has BA’s works, and talks about the new synthesis; the portal that talks about the Party he leads, why there’s a need for a revolutionary party and what that involves and why people should be talking about joining this revolutionary party; and the portal that talks about what’s going on in the movement for revolution and these different initiatives to fight mass incarceration and police murders and brutality, and to combat the restrictions on abortion and combat the degradation of women through pornography and rape culture and in other ways, and the fights around the environmental degradation and against these imperialist wars, and so on. There are a lot of practical things, practical initiatives, that people can get into, and people can get involved in one, or more than one, of these initiatives. But getting into BA means, at whatever level and wherever you start, trying to really get into what is he saying about why you can’t fix things just one thing at a time, and why you can’t fix things by trying to reform this system. And it means getting into what is the relationship between fighting particular abuses and outrages today, and being able to get to the point where you’re in a position to have an actual full-out revolution to dismantle the existing system and reconfigure the society on a completely different foundation.

There is something that has been on the revcom.us website recently which gives a short definition. It’s called “What IS An Actual Revolution?” I’m just going to read it here:

An actual revolution is a lot more than a protest. An actual revolution requires that millions of people get involved, in an organized way, in a determined fight to dismantle this state apparatus and system and replace it with a completely different state apparatus and system, a whole different way of organizing society, with completely different objectives and ways of life for the people.

“With completely different objectives and ways of life for the people.” I just want to stay on that for a second. That’s a very important thing, how a society is organized. What does the system that governs the society—what is it aiming to do? Under capitalism-imperialism, it seeks to meet the needs of the capitalist-imperialists, in terms of being able to develop and sustain their empire, increase their profits, compete successfully with other capitalist-imperialists. It has very little to do with meeting the needs of the people, either the basic requirements of life or these more intangible things like art and culture and science. It is geared to meeting the needs of the capitalists, the imperialists. The whole state apparatus, the police and the armed forces, and so on, these are state institutions that are geared to buttressing, supporting and strengthening this system and its objectives, its goals.

And a real revolution is a process which actually involves getting to the point where you can fight—where millions of people can be involved in fighting—to dismantle, to break down and completely break apart the existing institutions of the system, and replace them with completely new institutions and new organs of power, and new ways of setting up the economy, and all the things that flow from that, including all sorts of ways that the people relate to each other, and all the ideas that flow from that. It’s a radical transformation in everything, from the way people live, to the way people relate to each other, to the way people dream and aspire to things—all of this undergoes a real sea change when you have an actual revolution.

And if you get into BA, this is what you should be looking for—you should be looking for his method and approach, his analysis of why things are the way they are. Why do police keep murdering unarmed Black and Brown people in this society? Why is this continuing what has been in existence since the days of slavery and Jim Crow? The “lynching culture” is now the “police murder of people culture”—it is an extension of the same thing. BA does a very deep and insightful analysis of the whole history of this and of how this is so woven into the fabric of this system that you can’t just wish it away, and you can’t even protest it away. You should protest, you should have strong fights against this, organize with other people, like the movement that’s been developing since Ferguson, a movement which started around Trayvon Martin and then built up around Mike Brown and Eric Garner, with people coming forward all over the country in different cities, and in cities around the world, to denounce this kind of thing. It is extremely important not only to continue this, but to actually expand it and have it grow and be stronger. It is part of organizing the people and strengthening the people.

And the same can be said around a number of other key concentrations of social contradictions, these key outrages in society, these contradictions that this system cannot fix. They cannot fix the oppression of Black people, of Brown people. They cannot fix the way immigrants get blocked from borders or turned away or tormented or denounced as “illegals,” as if any human being were ever an “illegal” human being. It cannot fix the way women are degraded and treated as less than full human beings in this country and all around the world. It cannot fix the environment in any sustained fundamental way—not as long as we live under a system that is driven by a constant search, and a fierce competition, for profits, not as long as those are the rules of the system running things. The rules of the game for capitalism-imperialism are that capitalists are constantly competing with other capitalist-imperialists around the world to divide the world, and for plunder and pillage, and to increase their profits; and if you don’t play that game, and beat out others, you go under. So even if an individual capitalist wanted to have a more enlightened position, they can’t really do anything about it. The system is set up to meet the needs of that system, not the needs of the people.

So when you get into BA, you should be reading and listening and checking out all the different things that intrigue you and interest you, and talking to other people about it. You don’t have to agree with everything, just check it out, do some work. Get together with people, read things, listen to things, watch films, discuss things, and develop your own understanding, at the same time that you’re out there fighting and denouncing and exposing the injustices of everyday life as they’re going on right now, which BA is definitely encouraging people to do. At the same time that you’re doing that, keep going deeper, so that you really start to understand why these terrible outrageous abuses are built into the fabric of this system, and you can push back for a while, but ultimately you cannot totally get rid of these abuses until you get rid of the system itself and replace it with a completely new system. BA makes very, very deep and insightful analyses of all of that: why you need a revolution; what is the possibility for a revolution; what is the basis—on what basis, even in a powerful imperialist country like the United States, with all its military and stuff, is it actually possible; and, if you succeed in seizing power, then how do you build a society that was worth fighting for, that you’d want to live in, as opposed to yet another bad system. All of that is in BA’s works.

In that statement I was reading about “What IS an Actual Revolution?” it gets into the link between fighting the power today and building for an actual revolution. It says, “Fighting the power today has to help build and develop and organize the fight for the whole thing.” “The fight for the whole thing”—if you don’t get into BA, you’re going to be missing a lot about how to link all these different things together and understand their root causes, which are deeply built into the fabric of the system, and you won’t know how to fight for the whole thing. And you have to fight for the whole thing in order to have an actual revolution. And this statement ends, “Otherwise we’ll be protesting the same abuses generations from now!” I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that, three generations hence...people have made that point about Emmett Till, that people protested what happened to Emmett Till, the lynching of Emmett Till way back in the 1950s, and here we are protesting what happened to Eric Garner, to Mike Brown, to Oscar Grant, to Ramarley Graham, to Amadou Diallo, to Trayvon Martin, to Tamir Rice...the list goes on and on and on... Right? How long are we going to be doing the same thing?

So, yes, first of all, we should definitely be protesting, but we also need to go deeper and be more scientific and more organized and more unified, and we need to get smarter, frankly, about how we take on these things. Bob Avakian has developed a whole strategy for the whole revolutionary process—not just for one corner of it, but for all the different components of it—in this country, in a country like the U.S., as well as having some very important insights for the development of revolution in other countries, including other types of countries, like Third World countries that are under the domination of imperialism, where it is necessary to work in somewhat different ways for an actual revolution.

So all that is some of what it means to get into BA. You know, just do the work. Go to the revcom.us website. Get BAsics. Get Revolution—Nothing Less! Watch the Dialogue. Read BA’s memoir, From Ike to Mao and Beyond. Listen to some of the cultural things. Listen to “All Played Out.” Play the “Borderline” song on the Outernational album. Watch and listen to these things with other people. There are many, many different angles and many different ways to get into this. Look, BA has spent a lifetime, he’s spent decades developing all of this work. You’re not going to be able to catch up, you’re not going to be able to “get it all,” in a few weeks or a few months or even a few years. But make a start, and then follow it up. Ask questions if things aren’t clear enough. Struggle with other people about their misconceptions. Go to your friends and family and talk to them about what you’re learning. And, by the way, expect to be mocked, ridiculed, criticized, to be told you don’t know what you’re talking about! Expect push back, OK? But don’t give up when that happens. Do the best you can in answering things, on the basis of what you’ve been learning, but when you run into things that you don’t understand well enough, go back to BA, go back to his materials, dig in a little deeper, talk to other people who know more about this, ask them for help, so that you can keep spreading this among the people.

The idea is that, if you had hundreds more, thousands more, tens of thousands more, discussing, debating what BA has been bringing forward, what he’s arguing for, his analysis, what he says the nature of the problem is, and what the nature of the solution is, then it’s not that everybody would immediately agree, but we’d all be so much better off—if everybody were having that kind of discussion, instead of just sort of turning their backs on the problems of society and the problems of the people and just cultivating their own little “self,” or maybe actually trying to fight some of these abuses but in a way that is sort of like being stuck in a narrow little cubicle, where you’re just taking on one issue, or one corner of one issue, but you’re not seeing the bigger patterns, and you’re not linking them up to the other egregious outrages in society, and you’re not understanding that there is actually a strategy to get out of this mess once and for all. There is a strategy. This is why you should get into BA, and this is how to make a start.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/349/watching-Fruitvale-Station-with-Bob-Avakian-en.html

Watching Fruitvale Station With Bob Avakian

August 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

April 22, 2019. This article was originally published in 2014. We believe that it is particularly timely now to either return to this or, for those who have not read it before, to read it for the first time.

For those who don’t know, Fruitvale Station is a very powerful, moving, and excruciating film that depicts the last day in the life of Oscar Grant.  Oscar was a 22-year-old, unarmed Black man murdered by Bay Area Rapid Transit police on New Year’s Day, 2009.  He was returning home from celebrating on New Year’s Eve, when police stopped Oscar and the friends he was with, harassed and brutalized them, straddled Oscar as he lay face down on a subway platform, and fatally shot him in the back. 

Not too long ago, I watched Fruitvale Station with Bob Avakian (BA), chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party.  Towards the very end of the film, agonizing, heartbreaking and infuriating scenes are shown: The cop shooting Oscar in the back; Oscar’s girlfriend frantically rushing to the scene, trying to find out what happened; Oscar’s loved ones gathering together and waiting desperately to find out if he would make it, only to find out he was gone forever.

As these scenes unfolded, I looked over at BA.  He was sobbing.  Not just misty-eyed. Sobbing.  And he continued to cry tears of heartbreak and rage for several minutes, as the closing credits rolled.

This made a very big impression on me.  BA did not know Oscar Grant personally. But he felt the sting of his murder in an extremely raw and visceral way. And I think his reaction speaks volumes about who Bob Avakian is, what he represents, and what he is all about. 

BA has literally been fighting against this system for 50 years.  He has been a revolutionary communist for about 45 years.  He has been shouldering the responsibility of leading the Revolutionary Communist Party for almost 40 years. And over the course of the last several decades, he has forged the theory and deepened the science for the revolution humanity needs to get free, while also providing practical leadership to the party and movement working for that revolution.  And all of this has involved not only tremendous work, but also tremendous risk and sacrifice on BA’s part as anyone with a sense of U.S. history, and/or BA’s personal history—specifically, what this reveals about the way the U.S. government viciously goes after revolutionary leaders—should well understand. And over all these decades, and through everything described above, BA has never lost an ounce of his love and feeling for the masses of people, his sense of outrage and hatred for all the ways in which the masses suffer needlessly, and his fire for revolution to emancipate the masses all over the world.  Not one bone in his body has become numb.  

There is a great deal more that could be said about the experience of watching Fruitvale Station with BA. But I want to highlight two points.

First, I think that in BA’s reaction to this movie, there is a lot for revolutionary communists, and anyone with concern for humanity and hatred for oppression and injustice, to reflect on and learn from.  Even with all the work BA has done and continues to do in the realm of theory, in order to forge a deeper understanding of why police murders like the execution of Oscar Grant and countless other outrages keep happening, the larger picture they are connected to, and how these outrages can be ended through revolution; even though BA has been at this for decades; and even with all of the horrors that pile up every single second that this system remains in place, there is absolutely no sense on BA’s part of world-weary detachment or defeatism when something like the murder of Oscar Grant goes down.  His reaction is decidedly not:  “Oh, well of course, this happens all the time, what do you expect?”   Rather, he cries tears of rage and anguish, both because he feels acutely the pain of Oscar’s life being stolen and because he knows that outrages like this are completely unnecessary and that humanity does not have to live this way.

This brings me to the second point I want to make here—and it is one I want to give even greater emphasis to, even while the first point above is very important and very related. The point I want to close this letter with is: We had better fully recognize and appreciate what we have in BA, and act accordingly.

I’ll say it again: We had better fully recognize and appreciate what we have in BA, and act accordingly.

And when I say “we had better,” that “we” is addressed to many different people and audiences.  Yes, I am most definitely speaking to revolutionaries and communists and to all those who are already deeply familiar with and supportive of BA.  But in saying “we,” I am also speaking to those who are just now—or just recently—learning about and getting introduced to this revolutionary leader—including, to quote BA, “Those this system has cast off, those it has treated as less than human” who “can be the backbone and driving force of a fight not only to end their own oppression, but to finally end all oppression, and emancipate all of humanity.”   

To all the masses of people, here and around the world, who suffer brutal oppression minute after minute, day after day... and to all those who may not directly suffer this oppression but ache for a world where this oppression is no more, I want to say this:  If you do not know about Bob Avakian, or just recently learned about him, that is not your fault.  But you, and millions of other people, need to understand how incredibly rare and precious it is for the people of the planet that we have this revolutionary leader and act in accordance with that reality.

BA is not only the leader of the revolution, he is also a best friend to the masses of people.  He is a leader who has done decades of work in the realm of theory to bring forward the scientific method, strategy and vision needed to make revolution and bring into being a radically new world where all the horrors that humanity suffers unnecessarily would be no more. He is continuing to develop the advanced scientific method that he has forged, and apply that method to all of the big questions and obstacles confronting the revolution. He is able to break all of this down for people, without even slightly watering it down, in a way that everyone can understand, take up, and be inspired by. He has taken on the daily responsibility of leading a party and a movement to make revolution right here in the most powerful imperialist country in the world. He has dedicated his life to the emancipation of humanity. And, through all of this, he maintains a deep, visceral connection to and feeling for the masses of people who most desperately need this revolution.

A leader like this comes along very, very rarely.  And when this does happen, the absolute worst thing we could do is fail to recognize this, fail to act in accordance with this, fail to take this seriously, or take this for granted.  Instead, all of us—whether we have known about BA for decades, are just learning about him and what he represents, or anywhere in between, and whether you agree with BA about everything or not—must fully recognize and embrace what BA means for the people of the world.  We must study, and learn all we can from his incredible body of work on the biggest questions of revolution and human emancipation, as well as the lessons of who he is and what he stands for as a revolutionary leader.  We must realize that it is not just us who need to know about BA, his work and vision, and the leadership he is providing to this party and movement for revolution:  millions of people must know about all of this, and this must impact all of society.    

Furthermore, and very crucially, we must fully confront the reality of what it would mean for the people of the world to lose this leader, and take extremely seriously that there are people and forces—those officially part of the powers-that-be, as well as those willing to do the work of the powers-that-be—who hate what BA represents and would like nothing more than to tear him down, silence him, and take him from the masses of people.  And we must be absolutely determined not to let that happen.

This means taking very seriously the need to do everything we can to protect and defend BA. This means denouncing and not giving a millimeter of space to those who slander and personally attack BA, because these attacks and slanders are part of creating the poisonous atmosphere and conditions that would make it easier for the powers-that-be, or those doing their bidding, to take BA from the people of the world.  Protecting and defending BA, and building a wall around him, also means boldly and sharply challenging those who may not be part of the camp of the enemy, but who are wallowing in, or at least being influenced by, arrogance, cynicism and snark, and who seek to dismiss without seriously engaging what BA has brought forward; this arrogance, snark, cynicism, and dismissal, regardless of the intent of those who fall into it, stands in the way of BA and all that he has brought forward having the reach and societal influence that this urgently needs to have.  And this, too, creates easier conditions for those who would try to silence and isolate BA and take him from the masses.

Few things in life are more tragic than a critical lesson learned too late. And it would truly be a tragedy if BA were taken from the people, and then people said: “Wow, I wish I had realized sooner what we had here.”

But the good news is: It is not too late.  We, and the masses of the planet, have BA right now.  We had better realize, and let everyone know, what that means.

 

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/598/bob-avakian-you-cant-change-the-world-if-you-dont-know-the-basics-32-en.html

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

| revcom.us

 

 

Every week, revcom.us features one quote from BAsics, by Bob Avakian, the handbook for revolution. 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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You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/512/see-and-share-this-talk-en.html

In this Film, Bob Avakian Analyzes the Deep Roots and Driving Forces of Trump/Pence Fascism and What Must Be Done to Stop It.

Watch It Here, and Spread It.

| revcom.us

 

Be part of bringing the most serious answers to the most urgent questions to tens and hundreds of thousands, and ultimately millions.

This talk from Bob Avakian (BA) provides a scientific understanding of the roots of this fascist regime—in the history of the U.S. and the deeper roots in the system of capitalism-imperialism. He does so with passion, humor, humanity, and a deep sense of history. He cuts into the deepest, most agonizing questions, first in the speech and then in a wide-ranging Questions and Answers.

If more people watched this talk, it could change today’s political equation. But far too few have seen this talk, or even know about it. You are needed to be part of changing this.

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Scroll down for the film trailer, videos of the Q&A session following the speech, and clips from the film


Click to view the full speech.

The film and all video clips are also available for download HERE

For instructions to download this film click HERE

 

 

 

Questions and Answers with Bob Avakian

NEW:  Download, share, and watch each Q&A in a separate clip. To download these clips, click the "v" icon on the bottom right of the clip to get to the Vimeo page, and scroll down to the button for "Download"

Q&A: What do you say to the comedians who ridicule Trump/Pence but also run the risk of contributing to normalizing fascism?

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Q&A: If we drive out the Trump/Pence regime, what will replace it?

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Q&A: How can we sustain the massive movement required to drive this regime from power?

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Q&A: What strategies are there to break through the mainstream news whiteout of Refuse Fascism?

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Q&A: How can we protect immigrants targeted directly by this regime?

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Q&A: What's the role of students in the movement to drive out the Trump/Pence regime?

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Q&A: The Democrats are supposed to be the lesser of two evils, but I don't want to vote for them. I know the system sucks, but what do we do in the interim?

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Q&A: As a revolutionary Christian, I believe that we do need this revolution but how can you have religious people not feel alienated?

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Q&A: What's the relationship between fighting fascism and making revolution?

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Q&A: How can we overcome obstacles in reaching out broadly to drive out the Trump/Pence regime?

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Q&A: Millions hate what's happening with the Trump/Pence regime, but does that matter if they don’t act?

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Q&A: Do you think that we need animal liberation?

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Trailer and Clips From the Film:

Clip: "Free Yourself from the GTF!"

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Clip: "For Black people, isn't Trump just more of the same?"

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Clip: "America: the leader of the free world? When was that ever true?"

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Clip: "What's the matter with liberals?"

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Clip: "Slavery? Genocide? And you think fascism can't happen here?"

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Clip: "What are we facing?"

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Clip: "Order or Justice?"

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Clip: "What Must We Do?"

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

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Clip: "Why is it the Democrats can only try to resolve this on the terms of the system?"

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Clip: "The Christian Fascists
Now In Power"

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Clip: "The 'Unholy Alliance' Between Trump and Fundamentalist Christian Fascists"

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Clip: What Has Given Rise to the Situation in Which We Have a Fascist Regime Ruling the U.S.?

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Clip: Why Can't We Rely On the Democratic Party to Root Out the Trump/Pence Fascist Regime?

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Clip: If We Drive Out Trump, Won't We Just Get Pence? And How Can Mass Action Drive Out Trump, Anyway?

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Clip: On What Basis Can Revolutionaries and People Who Are Not Revolutionaries Unite to Drive Out the Regime?

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/avakian/bob_avakian-on-the-rise-of-fascism-and-how-to-fight-it-en.html

Bob Avakian On the Rise of Fascism and How to Fight It

| revcom.us

 

 

Bob Avakian On Revolution And The Fight Against Fascism

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Q&A: It looks like there may be a coming civil war between the Democrats and fascists. How should we understand this and act to realign things?

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Q&A: The rise of fascism & struggle in international communist movement

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What would be the next step if the Trump/Pence regime consolidates power?

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How to spread the fighting spirit confronting fascists despite what Dems say?

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Free yourself from the GTF!
Clip from the film by Bob Avakian The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America - A Better World IS Possible

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You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/598/50-years-after-stonewall-we-will-not-accept-a-fascist-america-en.html

50 Years After Stonewall: We Will Not Go Back! We Will Not Accept a Fascist America

Reposted from Refuse Fascism (June 1, 2019)

| revcom.us

 

by Coco Das

This month marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, when people bravely fought back against police harassment at a gay bar in Greenwich Village. This uprising brought the struggles of LGBT people out of the shadows and sparked the political and cultural movement for LGBT people to be seen and treated as full human beings. Fierce, determined, collective struggle led to progress. Because of the rebellion at Stonewall, the LGBT movement went on to fight for the lives of millions affected by HIV, and for equality in marriage, employment, and other spheres of society.

It has only been a few years in which LGBT people have begun to be able to take their rightful place in society, and already we are seeing how fragile this was. Right now, LGBT people are the targets of a particular kind of revenge—the revenge of a fascist movement in power in the highest institutions in the land, determined to silence, intimidate, and erase the LGBT community. This is worse than just turning back the clock. To lose the rights so recently won, to be sent back in the closet, to lose precious lives to wanton hate crimes, to have to submit to the vicious homophobic patriarchy of this Christian fascism, and the implications of the determination of these fascists to destroy any ability of LGBT people to fight for or win their rights again, is nothing less than a road to genocide.

We watched as the Trump/Pence regime banned transgender troops, eliminated LGBT concerns from government documents and services, dismissed discrimination complaints from LGBT students, and instituted state-sanctioned discrimination against LGBT people. We watched as the Supreme Court made it legal for businesses to refuse to serve LGBT customers. We hear Trump make jokes about Mike Pence wanting to hang gay people. But as with every attack that has come down from this regime, the outrage is nowhere near commensurate with the actual danger we all face.

Fascists want a future that is cemented in this horrible past—the days before Stonewall, before Roe v Wade, before the Civil Rights Act—when gay people, women, and black people were subject to overt and brute violence and terror. No one with a heart should want to go back to that. This regime is fighting a war against the people on many fronts as part of a total vision and strategy. They have not yet been able to implement their full program, but every victory they win takes us further into a full-throttled nightmare.

As Drea Shadburne wrote in 2018, “Who will not survive the lynch mob terror that they are unleashing? Take for example Gavin McInnes—leader of the fascist ‘Proud Boys’ thugs—who has called upon Trump supporters to, ‘Choke a tranny. Get your fingers around the windpipe.’ How many more friends and family will be lost to suicide, fired from jobs and thrown into homelessness, or contract HIV with no access to resources to treat it—how much of that are you willing to accept? Are you willing to accept a whole generation of us cast back into the shadows and deprived of the space and resources to realize our identities? Make no mistake, this is only just the beginning. Should we fail to stop this by driving this regime out of power, what more will we have to try and survive?”

We must not allow any of this to become normal. But it has become normal. The great barrage of outrages has a numbing effect. It is meant to overwhelm you and silence you, and it will not stop unless we drive out the regime that is accelerating a fascist locomotive rolling over the social progress of the last fifty years. All of us need to come together to say No! We will not go back! In the name of humanity, we will not accept a fascist America.

We honor the heroes of Stonewall. Let’s be like them.

Coco Das (@coco_das) is a contributing editor to RefuseFascism.org

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.

Sunday, June 29, 1969: Gay youth in New York City stand up to the police who routinely harassed, brutalized and arrested people simply for being gay. Their resistance sparked what became known as the “Stonewall Riots.” Photo: New York Daily News, 1969.

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You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/598/maya-en.html

“We Are All Maya”: Defense for Maya Cruz Builds

| revcom.us

 

We received the following from a member of the Free Maya Defense Committee. See here for more on Maya’s case.

On May 22, a beautiful day, members of the Free Maya Defense Committee gathered at a cafe near the University of Chicago campus with an actor and member of the Free Maya Defense Committee who designed Maya face masks for several participants to hold in front of their faces. They also shrouded their bodies with Mylar blankets, like the ones issued to incarcerated children held in cages on the border. Maya could organize with us at this cafe but not participate in the event that followed because she is banned from the UChicago campus.

For those unfamiliar with Diya “Maya” Cruz, Maya was arrested at UChicago and faces seven years in prison for participating in a silent protest on March 1, 2018. She and others held up signs asking that students lunching at a dining hall on campus remain silent for 11 minutes to represent the 11 million immigrants that Trump was threatening to deport after his election win. The University of Chicago Police Department aggressively threatened the peaceful protesters as they were leaving the cafeteria, grabbed Maya, physically abused her, and then charged her with battery. Maya was the only one injured, requiring a hospital visit.

Led by the artist, we moved silently through the quadrangle, stopping and turning while engaging students through surprise and shock. One of the supporters passed flyers and engaged students and visiting parents. As we walked slowly toward and around the central quad of the campus, students came up requesting flyers. Some of the students wanted more information about Maya and the charges she faces; others were already aware of the case. Quite a few students and parents expressed shock at how Maya’s rights of free speech were violated at a renowned campus like UChicago.

In conversation with students we described Maya as a member of the Revolution Club, Chicago whose members are dedicated to the creation of a better world. We asked students: “Is this is a crime?” All answered with an emphatic “No!” Students were challenged to put the demand to university President Zimmer and the UChicago to drop the charges. Many of the students in the quad were sun bathing on a rare warm spring day and would not bother themselves to learn about why we were dressed in Maya masks—we had the feeling that it might be finals overload or just conditioned aloofness to the important events in their world.

When we had finished the walk around the quad we regrouped in the cafe to review our experiences. All felt that it was very worthwhile and we had distributed flyers to many and piqued the interest of more students and support for Maya. We reminded all to pack the courtroom for the next court hearing on June 25.

The Free Maya Defense Committee

On March 1, 2018, University of Chicago police brutally attacked and arrested Maya, a member of the Revolution Club Chicago, for participating in a SILENT protest in support of undocumented immigrants. On May 22, 2019, members of the Free Maya Defense Committee gathered on the University of Chicago campus. Several participants held Maya face masks in front of their faces. One of the supporters passed flyers and engaged students and visiting parents.
Photo: Special to revcom.us

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You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/598/check-it-out-when-they-see-us-en.html

Check It Out: When They See Us

| revcom.us

 

From a reader:

I want to urge everyone who can to watch When They See Us, Ava Duvernay’s film of the story of the Central Park 5 on Netflix. The Central Park 5 were five teenagers coerced into confessing to the rape and attempted murder of a female jogger in Central Park, in New York, in 1989. Years later, they were exonerated when the real rapist confessed and DNA matches to him proved conclusive. As a footnote, the Central Park 5 was the case where the fascist Donald Trump first strutted onto the political scene to mouth his racist demagogy—as the movie documents.

I have only seen the first two episodes of four—in part, to be honest, because the film was too intense to watch at a single sitting. You will see how this system functions in every sector and at every level—right down to the way that the oppressed even see what is possible. You will see youth caught up in this situation fight impossible pressure to maintain their humanity and integrity. There is sharpness and clarity, and there is subtlety and nuance; and there is a story that every human being in the U.S. needs to know.

Again, I have only seen the first two episodes. But these two for sure are well worth viewing and thinking about.

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You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/598/be-part-of-the-weekend-of-june-8-9-en.html

| revcom.us

 

ENOUGH! BASTA YA!
REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

A BETTER WORLD IS POSSIBLE! IT IS UP TO US!

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 8

SOUTH CENTRAL

4PM, GATHER AT THE 77TH DIVISION OF THE LAPD
(76TH AND BROADWAY)

WE WILL DECLARE our determination at this symbol of oppression:
This system must be taken down—AND IT CAN BE...
Inviting all those who feel time’s up for this system.

1PM, GATHER AT CRENSHAW AND SLAUSON

Join a revolutionary caravan

3:30PM, GATHER AT FLORENCE AND BROADWAY

We march to the 77th

 

SATURDAY NIGHT, 7PM

A night of revolutionary celebration:
Living and fighting for a whole new world!
Mid-City Arthouse, 5555 Washington Blvd.

SUNDAY, JUNE 9, 11AM-3PM

A day to get organized with the National Revolution Tour,
traveling across the country to organize
thousands into the revolution. Contact for details:

LEARN ABOUT AND BE PART OF
ORGANIZING TO MAKE IT REAL.

323.424.6687 • revclub_la@yahoo.com
@tuneintorevcom • www.revcom.us

 

If you are fed up with this system and its horrors, and with its phony “solutions” that are no solutions... then we have a message for you:

Revolution is needed. Revolution is possible. And we are organizing to make it real.

We are the National Revolution Tour. We have the science, the strategy, and the leadership in Bob Avakian to MAKE an actual revolution. We are going across the whole country, organizing people into the revolution. So...

if you have had it with what this system does...

if you are furious with the cops running amok against Black and Brown people... or the anti-woman and anti-LGBTQ laws and lunacy... or the heartless persecution at the border... or the genocidal wars... or the wanton destruction of the earth we share with 7 billion other humans... or at all of these outrages...

if you are fed up with the divisions this system puts on us, and want to be part of uniting all different kinds of people to bring this monster down...

Then we need to be together, in the streets and then getting organized, on June 8 and 9, in LA. Your energy, your ideas, your courage, and your aspirations are urgently needed – to build a movement that can change everything. As we spread revolution, we are gathering the thousands NOW as a force to lead the millions we need to actually WIN a real revolution.

#RevolutionNothingLess

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/598/revolutionaries-disrupt-hollywood-theater-en.html

National Disruptive Actions June 4

Revolutionaries Disrupt Hollywood Theater: “Abortion On Demand and Without Apology!”

| revcom.us

 

On Saturday June 1, Sunsara Taylor and the National Revolution Tour staged a direct action sounding the alarm on the abortion emergency in Hollywood at the Pantages Theater's showing of Les Miserables.

The group wore bloody pants and shouted, “Abortion is on the verge of being illegal!” They called on people to join June 4 Emergency Die-Ins to Say: “We Won't Go Back!”

They were met by thunderous cheers and rippling applause from the audience.

Missouri, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky and Alabama have established draconian bans on abortion. On Tuesday June 4, the state of Missouri may well shut down the only abortion clinic left in the state of six million people. Severe laws are being enacted that give criminal sentences for women who have had abortions and the doctors that have provided them. Hundreds have been prosecuted and jailed under a broad category that has included “suspicious” miscarriages.

Sunsara Taylor says, “There is a war on women but it is not being treated as such. We have to act in a way that's commensurate with the emergency we face. Wear bloody pants and raise bloody hell on June 4. Fundamentally, we have two choices: either live with all this and condemn future generations to worse – or make revolution.”

The National Revolution Tour calls on everyone who refuses to accept this violent, Dark Ages assault on women to stand up now and fight to stop these bans. Take to the streets on Tuesday, June 4 across this country. Wear bloody pants and heavy chains to dramatize the future being imposed on women.

Partial List of demonstrations for Tuesday June 4 2019:

  • New York City 7:00 pm Red Steps Times Square 47th & Broadway Emergency die-in! Stop the War on Women, Abortion on Demand!  Facebook
  • Los Angeles 12:00 pm & 5:00 pm at Pershing Square Emergency Die-in for Abortion Rights #StopTheBans Facebook
  • Atlanta 7:00 pm East Beltline under the bridge at Fourth Ward Skate Park  Facebook
  • Chicago 11:00 am at State and Jackson outside the downtown campus of DePaul University Facebook
  • Cleveland 6:30 pm 14th Street & Euclid, SE corner
  • Honolulu 7:00 pm Waikiki Kalakaua & Seaside
  • Houston 4:30 Bridge blogging, Montrose Bridge over 59 Freeway; 5:30 pm march
  • Philadelphia 6:00 pm Rittenhouse Square Abortion, Patriarchy, and Fascism: a Handmaids Teach-in Facebook
  • San Francisco 5:00 pm Powell & Market Streets #StopTheBans on Abortion Protest Facebook
  • Seattle 10:00 am Westlake Park fountain Stop the War on Women “Wear Bloody Pants Action Facebook

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/598/plan-and-purpose-for-june8-en.html

The plan and purpose for June 8

| revcom.us

 

June 3, 2019

To all who have turned their faces toward the revolution...

The plan and purpose for next Saturday:

This Saturday, June 8, will mark an important step in bringing forward a force determined to make an actual revolution.  At a time when the very future of humanity seems up for grabs—when the question of whether there will even be a future is more and more sharply posed—there is a force determined to fight for a whole better world... for the emancipation of all humanity.  

This Saturday we will send a message to the world from that force.

We will assemble at 1 pm Slauson and Crenshaw, the site of Nipsey Hussle’s murder.  For too long a dog-eat-dog system has set oppressed people against each other, with cruel and terrible results.  We will read the Points of Attention of the Revolution Club.  These Points set forth the goal of the struggle and they show the way to a whole different morality. Those people who have decided to uphold these Points in their lives and to participate in the revolution will step forward.  They will put on the Revolution tee-shirt, and join the Revolution Club.  They will be among the first...the first of a force determined to grow to the scores, then the hundreds, and then the thousands in the next year.

We will then travel in flatbed trucks and vans to Florence and Normandie, the site where the 1992 rebellion kicked off, arriving at 2:30 pm.  The 1992 rebellion shows that masses of people will continually rise up against their conditions of oppression and those who enforce this oppression.  These struggles are righteous and absolutely necessary.  But without the necessary scientific theory and leadership, they will be turned back and the same crimes against the people will continue... over and over.  We have that scientific theory in the new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian (BA).  We have the strategy that he has developed and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America that he authored.  And we have BA’s leadership today.  This is a tremendous positive for the people, opening the road for us to WIN, in every sense of the word, and we will proclaim that to the world.

We will then march at 3:30 pm from Florence and Broadway to the 77th Division of the LAPD, one tentacle of a worldwide monster of oppression.  At the very site where these pigs will be celebrating 150 years of oppression and repression, we will indict them for their crimes against the people.  But more: we will declare to the world our determination to prepare the ground, prepare the people and prepare the vanguard—to get ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.  And we will set out the path for the next year, organizing thousands into this revolution, to bring that time closer. 

This will be followed by a celebration that night at Mid-City Arthouse, 5555 West Washington Blvd., and then serious workshops the next day to figure out how to carry forward this mission.

In whatever way you can, take part in this weekend.  This revolution needs YOU—your ideas, your initiative, your direct participation and your support.

For more information on all of this, or to participate right now, call 323-424-6687. Register for workshops HERE.

 

Read more

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/598/june-4-demonstrations-en.html

Around the Country on June 4...
People in the Streets, Raising Bloody Hell to Demand: Stop the War on Women! Abortion on Demand and Without Apology!

| revcom.us

 

  Los Angeles

 

 

 

 

  Chicago

 

 

 

  New York

 

Times Square, NYC






Agitating outside Revolution Books in Harlem: "Sisters! Donald Trump wants to steal your right to control your body. Come in here!"

 

  San Francisco

 

Marching in Westfield Mall

 

  Houston

 

 

  Seattle

 

 

  Philadelphia

 

 

  Cleveland

 

 

  Atlanta

 

 

 

 

 

There is a vicious war on women going on in this country, focused on attacks on the crucial right to abortion. Extreme anti-abortion laws are being passed, with different states passing draconian bans meant to challenge Roe v. Wade and the right to abortion nationally. Women are being demonized and called “murderers” for deciding when and whether to have children. The laws being enacted are not just “going back” but are much more severe—including criminal sentences for women who have abortions and people who provide them. At the same time, this war is not being treated as such—people have been relying on politicians and judges for 50 years, while the attacks on abortion have mounted.

The National Revolution Tour issued a call for “everyone who refuses to accept this violent, Dark Ages assault on women to stand up now and fight to stop these bans. Take to the streets on Tuesday, June 4 across this country. Wear bloody pants and heavy chains to dramatize the future being imposed on women.”

The call for these actions on June 4 was part of building toward the upcoming June 8-9 weekend in Los Angeles. As the call said: “We need an actual revolution to fully and finally emancipate women, one half of humanity. We, the National Revolution Tour, are organizing now to get in position to make this revolution and are taking up this fight as an essential part of that. Join us on Tuesday in the streets and the public square to defend this right.”

The call from the National Revolution Tour was taken up by Revolution Clubs, Refuse Fascism activists, and others in cites from Los Angeles to Chicago to New York City and elsewhere. On this page are some sights and sounds from the day and night of actions on June 4.

 

 

June 1: The crowd at Les Mis at Pantages in Los Angeles applauded wildly as @revclub_la @SunsaraTaylor and the National Revolution Tour stood up for abortion rights and called people to the streets June 4. #revolutionnothingless

Funds urgently needed each month to maintain, upgrade, and expand revcom.us.
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You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/598/revolution-weekend-sunday-organizing-workshops-en.html

Revolution Weekend
Sunday: Organizing Workshops

| revcom.us

 

If you are fed up with this system and its horrors, and with its phony “solutions” that are no solutions... then we have a message for you:

Revolution is needed. Revolution is possible. And we are organizing to make it real.

This is part of the Revolution Weekend: Enough! Basta Ya! We Need An Actual Revolution. A Better World IS Possible. Find out about and join in on Saturday.

Go to work with the National Tour on how to get organized for revolution... how do we reach and involve the thousands needed to influence millions for revolution over the course of this year.

The schedule for Sunday:

10am: Start and opening remarks

10:15 to 11am: Ice breaker sessions: A better world IS possible. Talking together about the world we want to see.

11:15am - 12:45pm
Workshop Sessions 1
A. What is the new communism, who is Bob Avakian and why this is a game changer for the emancipation of humanity?

B. What is an actual revolution?  And what is the strategy to make one?

1 - 2pm: LUNCH

2pm - 3:30pm
Workshop Sessions 2
A. Revolution Club Organizing 101

B. Spreading the word, changing thinking of millions towards this revolution – a new web presence: the website, social media, and media.

3:30pm: Closing Remarks

REGISTER HERE

Read about the entire weekend

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/598/a-revolutionary-force-will-march-in-south-central-la-en.html

For Immediate Release, June 6, 2019
Noche Diaz available for interview (English)
Michelle Xai available for interview (Spanish)
Contact: Pete Ha, 323.424.6687, revclub_la@yahoo.com

A Revolutionary Force Organizing NOW
to OVERTHROW this System
Will March in South Central LA
culminating at the notorious, brutal 77th Division of LAPD

When:             Saturday, June 8th, 4pm culmination (dramatic photo-op)

Where:           South Central Los Angeles

4pm Culminating at the 77th Division of the LAPD at 76th
and Broadway (dramatic photo-op)

Earlier:

1pm:   Gather at Crenshaw & Slauson, where Nipsey Hussle was killed

2:30pm:   Amass at Florence & Normandie, where the 1992 LA Rebellion kicked off

3:30pm:   March from Florence and Broadway to the 77th Division

 

Who:              The Los Angeles Revolution Club &
                        the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

******

Saturday, June 8th, a revolutionary force will march and caravan through the hard streets of South Central Los Angeles. At the notorious 77th Division of the LAPD: ENOUGH! BASTA YA! REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! A Better World is Possible!

Today the future of humanity and the planet is in peril. The wind of fascism gathers momentum. Revengist white supremacy, male supremacy, America-First chauvinism ride high. NO!

Saturday will see the first forces for an actual revolution stepping out. At the racist murdering 77th Division of the LAPD an important Declaration of Political War will be delivered by the National Revolution Tour. Hear it. See it. Record it. No mistake, we are serious about our objective.

“Our scores will soon become hundreds and then thousands who not rest until we have led millions to put this system in its grave. We will tear down the blood-soaked red-white-and-blue banner from every vulture's perch and replace it with the banner of human emancipation,” says Noche Diaz, a leader of the Revolution Tour.

The National Revolution Tour takes leadership from, and is carrying out the strategy for an actual revolution developed by, Bob Avakian, the architect of the new communism. Avakian has written a Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which will form the foundation for the new society set up after the victory of the revolution.

To follow the Revolution Tour: @tuneintorevcom, www.revcom.us

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/598/american-crime-18-LAPD-150-years-of-repression-en.html

American Crime

Case #18: The LAPD—150 Years of Murder, Brutality, Racism and Repression

| 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 CRIMES

The LAPD, with its slogan of “To Protect and Serve,” is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.  But what is its actual history—from beginning to today?  And what does it say about the actual history of this country and the role of the police? 

1950-1966: Chief Parker and the Watts Rebellion—A More “Professional” and More Brutal LAPD

William Parker, who became police chief in 1950, was hailed as a modernizer.  But there was nothing “modern” about his stone-cold racism.  When he was sworn in, he declared, during a period when tens of thousands of Black people were migrating to LA, that “Los Angeles is the white spot of the great cities of America today.  It is to the advantage of the community that we keep it that way.” 

A decade later, Parker told the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that Blacks and Latinos were more likely to commit crimes than white people, and that the barrios had a high crime rate because people there were a step removed from “the wild tribes of Mexico.”

In between, Parker, who called the police the “Thin Blue Line” protecting civilization (i.e., white supremacy), unleashed a reign of terror against Black and Brown people.  “The policing of the ghetto was becoming simultaneously less corrupt but more militarized and brutal,” writes Mike Davis. Previously, LAPD officers often “shook down” the interracial, Black-owned nightclub scene on Central Avenue for bribes. Now Parker’s police shut it down—even blockading Black-owned stores and warning white customers away.

This police terror escalated in the 1960s.  In April 1962, some 75 LAPD cops shot up a Nation of Islam mosque, killing one and wounding six others.  Why?  Some cops had gotten in a beef with two members of the mosque after they accused them of having a “suspicious amount of clothes in their car.” It turned out the two owned a dry cleaning business. After the assault Malcolm X came to LA and condemned Parker for “filling his men with hatred for the Black Community.” 

1965: The Watts Rebellion

Between 1963 and 1965, thousands of young Black men were harassed or brutalized, and 60 Black people were shot by the LAPD—27 in the back.  Then an incident of this kind of everyday harassment turned into something else. 


1965 Watts Rebellion: Black people stood up in anger and defiance at the LAPD—an estimated 75,000 people took part—rocking LA and sending shockwaves around the world. (Photo: AP)


More than 5,000 youth were injured or arrested. Photo: AP


More than 30 Black and Latino people were unjustly shot to death by pigs. Photo: Creative Commons

According to various accounts, on the evening of August 11, a California Highway Patrol (CHP) cop stopped Marquette and Ronald Frye on suspicion of drunk driving.  Ronald, who was a passenger, went to get their mother, as a crowd began to gather.  When Ronald and his mother came and the crowd had grown to several hundred, Marquette exploded in rage, “cursing and shouting at the officers [saying] they would have to kill him to take him to jail.” An altercation ensued and all three Fryes were arrested and taken to jail. 

But the growing crowd wasn’t having it.  They cursed the CHP.  The pigs decided to assert their authority and waded into the crowd to arrest one agitator and a woman who supposedly spit on them.  A rock hit the CHP cruiser as it was leaving, and when word circulated that a bad bust had gone down and a pregnant woman had been abused, the community rose up. 

Black people stood up in anger and defiance—an estimated 75,000 people took part—rocking LA and sending shockwaves around the world.  A feeling of freedom and liberation surged through the Black community as the hated pigs had been driven out—and it took them nearly a week to regain control.  The LAPD was forced to put 46.5 square miles of the city under military-enforced curfew, mobilize 21,000 cops and National Guard troops, and lock down and retake one neighborhood after another. More than 30 Black and Latino people were unjustly shot to death by pigs who were totally rampaging, and 5,000 were injured or arrested—but it still took the authorities six days to bring the Watts Rebellion to an end. 

The 1960s-1980s: Spying, Suppressing, and Murdering Radicals and Revolutionaries


LAPD attack a 1967 protest against the Vietnam War at Century City Mall. Hundreds of police attacked them. Photo: courtesy LA Times Photographic Archive, Young Research Library UCLA

The Watts uprising was a turning point in the 1960s, helping to usher in a period of massive upheaval and rebellion in cities across the country.  The LAPD under Parker protégés Edward M. Davis (1969-1978) and Daryl Gates (1978-1992) responded with paramilitary assault units, including SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) teams, and stepped up spying aimed especially at radical and revolutionary forces.

The LAPD’s Murderous Assaults on the Black Panther Party

On December 8, 1969, four days after the Chicago Police Department and the FBI assassinated Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton, the LAPD launched a predawn assault on the LA Panther headquarters at 41st and Central.  Inside their sandbag-fortified office, 11 Panther members, including Vietnam vet Geronimo Pratt, engaged in a five-hour shootout with 350 cops, SWAT teams, and LAPD helicopters, that rained bullets and tear gas into the Panther house in Watts.  Five thousand rounds of ammunition were exchanged.  Masses of people from the area turned out in support, along with student radicals, and this helped to prevent the police from unleashing an even worse barrage.


December 8, 1969, SWAT teams and LAPD helicopters rained bullets and tear gas into the Black Panther Party house in Watts.

Roland Freeman got buckshot in his legs from a police shotgun, and a single shot shattered the bone in his arm. A police sniper’s bullet tore through the legs of Tommy Lewis, one of the two women there. Not being able to stop the bleeding of some of their comrades, the Panthers called an end to the exchange.   When it ended, four Panthers and four SWAT cops were wounded but there were no fatalities.

In the 2006 documentary by Gregory Everett, 41st & Central: The Untold Story of the L.A. Black Panthers, Wayne Pharr recalls what he felt during that intense standoff facing overwhelming murderous police firepower: “That was the only time as a Black man in America that I ever felt free, was the five hours that I was in the shootout.... For those five hours, I was in control of my destiny...” Millions of people also saw the LA-BPP self-defense action as heroic and took inspiration from it.1

The 1970 Chicano Moratorium and the Murder of Rubén Salazar


On August 29, 1970 over 25,000 Chicanos marched in East LA in the Chicano Moratorium, demanding an end to the Vietnam war and to the oppression they faced as a people. (Photo: Los Angeles Public Library)


An LA County Sheriff's deputy shot a tear gas canister through the door of the Silver Dollar Bar, hitting prominent Chicano journalist Rubén Salazar in the head and killing him. (Photo: Raul Ruiz)


The LA County Sheriffs and the LAPD came out in force against the Chicano Moratorium. They reacted to a shoplifting situation by declaring it an illegal assembly and sheriff’s deputies and LAPD stormed into the crowd, shooting tear gas and swinging their batons. (Photo: CreativeCommons)

The LAPD and other law enforcement agencies had the burgeoning Chicano liberation movement in their crosshairs since March 1968, when some ten thousand Chicano students in East LA walked out of their predominantly Mex­ican-American high schools in protest of the inferior education available to them. 

So on August 29, when over 25,000 Chicanos marched in East LA in the Chicano Moratorium, demanding an end to the Vietnam war and to the oppression they faced as a people, the LA County Sheriff’s Department and the LAPD came out in force.  Toward the end of this largely peaceful march, some youth allegedly shoplifted drinks from a nearby store and ran into the crowd.  The sheriff’s deputies seized on this to declare an illegal assembly and deputies and LAPD stormed into the crowd, shooting tear gas and swinging their batons. People did not disperse, but courageously stood their ground and fought back.  At one point, a sheriff’s deputy shot a tear gas canister through a shop door that hit prominent Chicano journalist Rubén Salazar in the head killing him.  Two others were also killed before the day was over.  Salazar had given voice to Chicano demands, and many demanded an investigation feeling the Sheriff’s Department may have targeted Salazar for assassination, an investigation that an inquest jury found was warranted. Yet DA Evelle J. Younger refused to proceed.

Militant Chicanos held three other major protests over the next five months which were attacked by the LA sheriff’s deputies and LAPD, including on January 31, 1971 when one demonstrator was killed and thirty-five were wounded.

May 17, 1974: The SLA Massacre


The LAPD fired some 1,200 rounds of ammunition into the tiny home as six SLA members shot back. Teargas containers thrown into the house ignited a fire, but the SLA refused to surrender and all six were killed by burns and smoke inhalation. (Photo: AP)

On May 17, some 500 LAPD cops surrounded and laid siege to a small house in Compton where they suspected members of the small radical group the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) were hiding out.  Then they opened fire.  The SLA had carried out a series of actions—including the highly publicized kidnapping of ruling class heiress Patty Hearst, demanding her family distribute food to poor people in California, which the family did.2  (Other SLA members, not present, were later arrested and sent to prison for murder, bank robbery, and kidnapping.) 

The LAPD fired some 1,200 rounds of ammunition into the tiny home as six SLA members shot back. Teargas containers thrown into the house ignited a fire, but the SLA refused to surrender and all six were killed by burns and smoke inhalation. 

April 22, 1980: The Murder of Revolutionary Communist Damián García 


Damián García raising the red flag on top of the Alamo.

On April 22, 1980, Damián García, a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, was building for May First in the Pico-Aliso Housing Project in East Los Angeles.  A month earlier Damián and two other members of the “May Day Brigade” had scaled the infamous Alamo, lowered the flag of Texas and raised the red flag of revolution. This powerful internationalist statement made the front page of newspapers in many countries of Central and South America—and made Damián a “dangerous individual” in the eyes of this system and its political police, and the LAPD.

As Damián and his comrades moved through the housing project, he was confronted by a man who said, “You hate the government. I am the government. Your flag is red. Mine is red, white and blue.” He and others jumped the Brigade in what at first appeared to be a fistfight. But suddenly Damián fell to the ground and died—slashed in the neck, abdomen and back. 

The LAPD quickly claimed it had been a gang killing, and that the gang member responsible for Damián’s murder had himself been killed six weeks later—case closed. But two years later, an ongoing investigation revealed that a police agent (Fabián Lizárraga), who went by the alias "Ernie Sánchez," had been assigned by the LAPD’s Public Disorder Investigation Division (PDID) to target Damián.

The PDID had been formed in 1970 and it had infiltrated, spied on, and disrupted over 200 groupings and kept files on 50,000 people—including the LA Times, the National Organization for Women, Students for a Democratic Society at UCLA, the Peace and Freedom Party, and the Black Panther Party (BPP). They also spied on members of the City Council, the Police Commission, and at least one judge.

One week after Damián and his comrades scaled the Alamo, “Sánchez” had infiltrated the May Day Brigade.  He was with Damián daily and fed the PDID information about Damián’s schedule, including the day he was murdered.  And Sánchez was standing five feet away when Damián was assassinated.

In 1983, an ACLU lawsuit accused the PDID of illegally spying on 131 social movement activists and organizations.  This revelation of the extent of LAPD spying and its targeting of political activists—including Damián—caused a major social uproar and forced the Police Commission to disband the PDID.  (It was replaced by an anti-terrorism division).  Adding to the outrage, it also came out that one PDID cop, Jay Paul, had defied a 1976 order by the Police Commission to destroy the unit’s confidential intelligence files on revolutionaries, radicals, members of the City Council, the Police Commission, and at least one judge and instead stored them in his garage and shared the files with a private, fascist intelligence dissemination operation called Western Goals.

The Gates Years, 1978-1992:
The LAPD sets the standard for state-sponsored racist terror and suppression

The Murder of Eula Love.  Daryl Gates took over the LAPD in 1978 and quickly became infamous for his sneering, open racism, and his war-like approach to policing Black and Brown people.  Gates ushered in his tenure with, among other horrors, the murder of 39-year-old mother of three Eula Love on January 3, 1979.  Love was recently widowed and struggling to raise three kids on a limited income in her small home in South Central.  That day she was upset because a utility man had come and tried to turn off her power.  They got into an altercation and he called the police.  When the police arrived Eula came out of her home while her children stayed inside.  The cops talked to her for two to three minutes before opening fire, hitting her with twelve .38-caliber slugs from eight to twelve feet away.  They claimed she’d advanced on them with a knife in her hand, but it turned out she was moving away. 

After they murdered Eula, the cops rolled her lifeless body over and handcuffed her on the grass in her own front yard.  There was a major outpouring of protest after her murder, but Gates responded by mocking and assaulting her—and all Black people again—declaring the white pig who shot her was “just as much a victim of this tragedy as (she was).”

With LA’s Black mayor, Tom Bradley, and other Black “leaders” remaining silent as the so-called “war on drugs,” launched in earnest by Ronald Reagan in 1982, escalated, Gates was emboldened to openly insult and taunt Black and Brown people as part of the terror the LAPD was raining down on them.  In 1982, after a string of young Black men were killed by LAPD ”chokeholds,“ Gates claimed their deaths were caused by being Black: “We may be finding that in some Blacks when [the carotid chokehold] is applied the veins or arteries do not open up as fast as they do on normal [sic] people.”

The “War on Drugs” and Operation Hammer 1988-1990.  The “war on drugs” was not about bringing down crime; it was a war on oppressed people aimed at ramping up suppression and social control—a counterinsurgency before the insurgency.  And the LAPD under Gates was in the vanguard of waging, expanding, militarizing, and brutally carrying it out.


The "war on drugs" was not about bringing down crime; it was a war on oppressed people. A thousand extra-duty patrolmen, backed by elite tactical squads and a special anti-gang taskforce formed Operation HAMMER. They arrested more Black youth than at any time since the Watts Rebellion of 1965. (Photo: AP)

By 1987, with crack spreading and violence surging among the youth of different gangs and sets —and hysteria about the situation fanned by the media, Democrats, and Republicans—the LAPD launched the so-called Gang Related Active Trafficker Suppression program (GRATS) which targeted “drug neighborhoods” with 200-300 police ordered to stop anyone “suspected” of being a gang member based on “criteria” like clothing and hand gestures. Gates announced that full manpower reserves of LAPD would be thrown into super-sweeps called Operation HAMMER. 

Author Mike Davis describes Operation HAMMER’s first action on April 9, 1988: 

A thousand extra-duty patrolmen, backed by elite tactical squads and a special anti-gang taskforce, bring down the first act of “Operation HAMMER” upon ten square miles of Southcentral Los Angeles between Exposition Park and North Long Beach, arresting more Black youth than at any time since the Watts Rebellion of 1965... Kids are humiliatingly forced to “kiss the sidewalk” or spread eagle against police cruisers while officers check their names against computerized files of gang members. There are 1,453 arrests; the kids are processed in mobile booking centers, mostly for trivial offences like delinquent parking tickets or curfew violations. Hundreds more, uncharged, have their names and addresses entered into the electronic gang roster for future surveillance.

Daryl Gates called it “war.”  The Chief of LAPD Hardcore Drug Unit said, “This is Vietnam here.”

The Dalton Street Raid.  One of the infamous operations during Operation HAMMER was the Dalton Street raid on August 1, 1988. Eighty-eight cops from the infamous Southwest Division swooped down on a group of apartments on Dalton Avenue near Exposition Park. They wielded shotguns and sledgehammers and shouted racist slurs and insults. The LA Times reported:


An infamous operation during Operation HAMMER was the Dalton Street raid on August 1, 1988. Eighty-eight cops from Southwest Division swooped down on a group of apartments on Dalton Avenue. They wielded shotguns and sledgehammers and shouted racist slurs and insults. (Video screen capture)

Residents... said they were punched and kicked by officers during what those arrested called “an orgy of violence....”

They also accused the officers of throwing washing machines into bathtubs, pouring bleach over clothes, smashing walls and furniture with sledgehammers and axes, and ripping an outside stairwell away from one building.

[They] destroyed family photos, ripped down cabinet doors, slashed sofas, shattered mirrors, hammered toilets to porcelain shards, doused clothing with bleach and emptied refrigerators. Some officers left their own graffiti: “LAPD Rules.” “Rollin’ 30s Die.”

Damage to the apartments was so extensive that the Red Cross offered disaster assistance and temporary shelter to displaced residents—a service normally provided in the wake of major fires, floods, earthquakes or other natural disasters.

As Mike Davis reported in City of Quartz, at Southwest Division, 32 people arrested were forced to whistle the theme from the Andy Griffith TV show as they had to go through a gauntlet of pigs beating them with fists and flashlights. After all the lives and homes devastated, the result was two minor drug arrests.

Gates institutionalized the Operation HAMMER sweeps as semi-permanent occupations of neighborhoods of the oppressed, including the largely immigrant neighborhood of Pico Union, later the site of the infamous Rampart scandal, which Gates claimed was “a veritable flea market for drug dealers.” 

By 1990, the LAPD and the LA County Sheriff’s Department together had detained or arrested some 50,000 suspects—roughly half the entire population of 100,000 Black youth in Los Angeles at the time!  In many of these highly publicized sweeps, more than 90 percent were released without charges —but their innocence didn’t necessarily keep them out of the LAPD’s growing gang database. 

All of this was facilitated by support from the media, which fanned horror stories about the masses. Leading Democrats, including Black politicians like Senator Diane Watson, whose press secretary said, “when you have a state of war, civil rights are suspended for the duration of the conflict,” also joined in.  Reformist Black “leaders” like the Urban League and SCLC started arguing that the problem was “too little policing” —not police brutality. “Progressives” like Ishmael Reed and Harry Edwards joined in denouncing Black youth as beyond hope, and demanded they be locked up to protect the rest of the Black community (i.e., better-off working, middle, and upper class Black people).

Meanwhile, California state laws were being passed—with Democratic backing as well as Republicans—targeting Black and Latino youth in the name of a “war on gangs” and “war on drugs.” One was the 1988 “Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act” (STEP), which made alleged membership in a “criminal gang” a felony. Such laws, along with the much harsher punishment for crack as opposed to powder cocaine, led to ensuring people of color and the poor were locked up much more frequently and for longer than white people—and all this was a big part of the explosion of mass incarceration, disproportionately targeting Black and Latino youth. To this day, with an average population of 17,000 to 20,000, the LA County Jail is the largest jail system in America.

1991-92:  The Rodney King Beating and the LA Rebellion3

The night of March 3, 1991, Rodney King, a young Black man, was pulled over for speeding. LAPD and Highway Patrol officers flooded to the scene and over the next few minutes, at least seven mercilessly beat and tased King, crushing the bones in his face, breaking his teeth and ankle, and causing numerous lacerations and internal injuries. Over a dozen other cops stood around laughing and encouraging the beating. 


Within minutes after the four cops who beat Rodney King were acquitted, people began gathering all over LA, hundreds at LAPD headquarters. Protests erupted in many neighborhoods. Here Parker Center is in flames. (Photo: AP)


Authorities mobilized the largest domestic military operation since the 1960s: nearly 20,000 police, National Guard troops, federal military troops, FBI, Border Patrol, and others. (Photo: AP)


By the time it ended, the 1992 LA Rebellion was the largest urban rebellion in U.S. history. Some 63 people had been killed, 10 by law enforcement—nearly 80 percent Black and Latino. Some 12,000 people were arrested. (Photo: AP)

A resident across the street videotaped the whole assault, and the tape was repeatedly shown on TV.  Despite police claims that the video didn’t tell the real story, public anger was so intense that prosecutors were forced to charge four of the white officers with excessive force to try to contain things.   

A year later the four officers went on trial. The trial had been moved to the virtually all-white Simi Valley. There was a widespread feeling that this time the brutality and the treatment Black people continually faced was caught on tape for all to see, and that the officers had to be found guilty. But on April 29, 1992, the Simi Valley jury verdict acquitting them of all charges was broadcast on live TV.

Within minutes, people began gathering all over LA, hundreds at LAPD headquarters.  Protests erupted in many neighborhoods, but the gathering at Florence and Normandie became a flashpoint that propelled the whole uprising.  By that evening, fires were burning throughout LA and protests were jumping off across the country. Over the next three days, the authorities mobilized the largest domestic military operation since the 1960s, with nearly 20,000 police, National Guard troops, federal military troops, FBI, Border Patrol, and others on the streets. By the time it ended, the 1992 LA Rebellion had become the largest urban rebellion in U.S. history. Some 63 people had been killed, 10 by law enforcement—nearly 80 percent Black and Latino. Some 12,000 people were arrested.

From 1992 to Today: Cosmetic Changes, Same Racist, Murdering LAPD

Over the 27 years since the LA Rebellion, various commissions, different police chiefs, and many calls for and declarations of change, the LAPD has continued to be the same savage machine of murder, brutality and repression.  A few examples:

  • Stolen Lives: Killed by Law Enforcement, published in 1999, was able to document 197 police killings in the LA area in the 1990s (some by LA sheriff's deputies and other smaller police departments, but most by the LAPD.)
  • 1999 Rampart scandal.  In 1999, it came to light that the Rampart Division of the LAPD and its elite “anti-gang” CRASH unit (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) had been terrorizing the residents of Pico Union, a largely Spanish-speaking area.  This included murder, attempted murder, brutality, robbery, extortion, drug dealing, and routinely framing and convicting thousands of people based on lies, planted “evidence,” and trumped-up charges—including Javier Francisco Ovando, a 19-year-old Honduran immigrant who was wantonly shot four times, paralyzed for life, then convicted of attempted murder!  Over 70 CRASH cops were involved, but only four were put on trial. The trial exposed some of their gruesome crimes and the jury found them guilty.  Instead of carrying out the verdict, LA Superior Court Judge Josephine Connor threw out the verdict and exonerated the pigs!
  • 2002: When former NYPD head William Bratton became chief he brought “Stop and Frisk” from NYC to LA with a vengeance.  The number of stops went from 587,000 in 2002 to 875,000 in 2008.
  • 2009-2018: Charlie Beck and more police murder.   Beck was featured as a “reformist” chief by Obama at a White House meeting. In reality, on his watch from 2015 to 2017, the LAPD had the highest number of people killed by police in any city in the whole country. The LAPD killed 19 in 2015, 20 in 2016, and 17 in 2017.
  • Political persecution of revolutionary and anti-fascist activists: 11 members of Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club were criminally charged for engaging in or supporting nonviolent civil disobedience and political protests from September 2017 through March 2018. This included holding banners across the 101 freeway saying “Trump/Pence Must Go!” and disrupting Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at UCLA. Some of the dangerous elements of the prosecution include two Refuse Fascism activists being singled out for “criminal conspiracy”; involvement of LAPD’s “Major Crimes/Anti-Terrorism Division,” which has a history of targeting progressive and radical movements; use of  a “confidential informant” to spy on and illegally record members of Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club.

THE CRIMINALS: The entire LAPD, from 1869 until today, all the cops listed above, and all the politicians—Democrats and Republicans—and media who backed them.

THE ALIBI: See “In Their Own Words” sidebar

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE:

All in all, the LAPD is a textbook illustration of Bob Avakian’s point in BAsics:

The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness.


SOME KEY SOURCES:

Mike Davis, City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (Verso 1990), in particular chapter five, “The Hammer and the Rock”

“A History of the LAPD, 1900-1965: Historic Racial and Class Repression throughout the 20th Century Leading to the Creation of SWAT by the LAPD following the Watts Unrest of 1965,” Clinton Clad-Johnson, Senior Thesis for Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones

The Raid That Still Haunts L.A.,” Los Angeles Times, March 14, 2001

Edward J. Escobar, “The Unintended Consequences of the Carceral State: Chicana/o Political Mobilization in Post–World War II America,” Journal of American History, June 2015

American Crime Case #66: The “War on Drugs,” 1970 to Today, revcom.us, March 6, 2017

John Johnson, Jr., “How Los Angeles Covered up the Massacre of 17 Chinese,” LA Weekly, March 10, 2011

American Crime Case #67: 1848-1900: Brutal Exploitation and Ruthless Oppression of Chinese Immigrants, revcom.us, February 13, 2017

 


1. During the subsequent trial of the Panthers arrested, it was revealed that two undercover LAPD informants (Melvin “Cotton” Smith and Louis Tackwood) had been in the BPP headquarters and had given the LAPD the layout of the office and fabricated “intelligence” that military weapons were being stored there, which was used to justify the assault.

The LA chapter of the Black Panther Party was subjected to more police assaults than any other chapter nationwide.  They included:

  • The January 1, 1969, murder of Captain Franco (Frank Diggs) in Long Beach. 
  • On January 9, 1969, John Huggins and Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter, BPP leaders in Los Angeles, were gunned down by members of the US Organization (United Slaves), a reactionary nationalist group led by Ron Karenga, during a meeting at UCLA to discuss forming a Black Studies Department. Their assassinations were a result of COINTELPRO actions against the BPP. It is not known if the LAPD played a role. See American Crime Case #42: COINTELPRO—The FBI Targets the Black Freedom Struggle, 1956-1971, revcom.us, April 30, 2018.
  • In May 1969, the LAPD carried out 56 arrests of 42 Panthers. 
  • On September 8, 1969, an armed LAPD unit raided the Panthers' free-breakfast-for-children program in Watts.
  • Panther Bruce Richards was wounded and Panther Walter Toure Poke was killed in a shoot-out with the LAPD on October 10, 1969.  
  • Geronimo Pratt was arrested in 1970 and then convicted for the murder of a Santa Monica schoolteacher on trumped up charges, based on a testimony of an LAPD informant, and held in prison for over two decades. 
  • In November 1970, the LAPD raided the LA BPP’s childcare center, holding guns on the children and beating up the Panther in charge. [back]

2. Then-California governor Ronald Reagan said he hoped there would be an outbreak of botulism among the poor who received the food. [back]

3. The LA4.  In the aftermath of the rebellion, one of the main ways the authorities tried to go after it was the prosecution of the LA4—four young Black men charged with the attack on white truck driver Reginald Denny at Florence and Normandie. While the judge, prosecutor and mainstream media tried to railroad them to prison, the jury would not go along and delivered not guilty verdicts on nearly all of the charges. In a heroic development, when Denny himself took the stand he called for no jail time and expressed some real understanding of what led to the rebellion. The Los Angeles Times quoted Denny: “Everyone needs respect.... And as soon as you take a group of people, and put them on a shelf and say they don’t count. Let me tell you, they count in a big way.... It’s hard saying what those guys have gone through.” The RCP joined with a wide range of people to mount a campaign to defend the LA4. “Free the LA4+! Defend the Los Angeles Rebellion!” and “No More Racist Pig Brutality!” were two of the slogans.  “20th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Rebellion—It’s Right to Rebel Against Injustice!“ revcom.us, April 22, 2012 [back]

"How Long?! How Many More Times Do The Tears Have To Flow?"

A clip from BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian given in 2012. Watch the whole talk at revolutiontalk.net.

1869-1950: The founding and early “lynch-mob” years

The LAPD was founded in 1869, modeled after the paramilitary L.A. Rangers and City Guards and their lynch-mob spirit, and it’s been a brutal, murderous, racist operation ever since.  Los Angeles was being built on land recently seized from Mexico and stolen from Native Americans, and it had a significant and growing nonwhite population.  The LAPD’s job from day one was focused on confining and suppressing the basic masses, especially Black, Brown, Native American and other non-white people, and relentlessly assaulting those who organized and politically fought back. 

Just some of its crimes during those early years: 


In 1871, the largest mass lynching in U.S. history took place—against Chinese immigrants. Los Angeles authorities, including the LAPD, did nothing to stop the carnage. Bodies of some of the murdered Chinese immigrants.

In 1871, the largest mass lynching in U.S. history took place—against Chinese immigrants.  From the mid-1800s to the early 1900s, scores of racist, xenophobic anti-Chinese laws were passed that unleashed mob violence.  The 1871 Chinese Massacre started when a mob of around 500 attacked Chinese immigrants.  Seventeen were hanged by the mob, after most had already been shot to death, and some mutilated.  The city’s authorities did nothing to stop the carnage. Police chief Marshal Francis Baker made a brief appearance and then went home to bed, leaving the mob in charge.  The city’s elite did act decisively on one front: making sure the lynchers put on trial were set free. 

In 1910, the LAPD seized on the dynamiting of the Los Angeles Times Building, which was immediately blamed on “labor saboteurs,“ to compile records on at least 300,000 suspected “subversives” including sympathizers with the Mexican revolution.

During World War 1, suspected anarchists, socialists, and communists were hunted down by the LAPD and vigilantes and 220 were arrested under the Espionage Act. 

In 1923, the LAPD began to infiltrate the Industrial Workers of the World (the IWW, a radical workers’ group) and the Communist Party and in the ‘20s, and ‘30s LAPD Red Squads regularly broke up union and leftist meetings, beating up and arresting people.

The department’s first statistics, published in the 1920s, showed that the LAPD was disproportionately targeting Black and Brown youth for arrest.


In August of 1941 the LAPD began rounding up hundreds of “subversive” Japanese residents, even before President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democrat, ordered their internment in concentration camps.

In 1941, two days after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, the LAPD began rounding up hundreds of Japanese residents they labeled as "subversive," even before President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democrat, ordered their internment in concentration camps.


In 1942, when José Gallardo Díaz was murdered, the LAPD rounded up 600 Latino youth, arrested 59, and convicted 17 (shown here) without one definitive witness or piece of evidence.

In 1942, when the body of José Gallardo Díaz was found near a swimming hole, the media dubbed it the “Sleepy Lagoon Murder,” and whipped up furor against “Mexican Boy Gangs” who were blamed for his death. The LAPD rounded up 600 Latino youth, arrested 59, and convicted 17 without the prosecution producing one definitive witness or piece of evidence.


On May 31, 1943, white servicemen in LA assaulted Mexican youth dressed in zoot suits while the LAPD stood by. Then LAPD arrested as many as 500 of the zoot suiters.

On May 31, 1943, 12 white sailors and servicemen fought with some Pachuco youth—Mexican gangs and others who adopted the oversized “zoot suit” as a sign of rebellion.  Over the next several days, hundreds of white servicemen fanned out across LA looking for zoot suiters to attack, in what was called the “Zoot Suit Riots.” What did the LAPD do?  It stood by as the Pachucos were being assaulted, then arrested as many as 500 of them! The LA Times, which helped create anti-Mexican hysteria with reports of “Mexican crime waves,” called the sailors’ actions “a great moral lesson” for the “freak” zoot suiters.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS:

LAPD police chief James Davis, during the Red Squad raids of “subversives” and labor union strikes of the 1920s-30s:

“The more the police beat them up and wreck their headquarters, the better. Communists have no constitutional rights...”

LAPD chief William Parker told his audience at his swearing-in ceremony in 1950, a time of major Black migration to L.A. from the South:

“Los Angeles is the white spot of the great cities of America today. It is to the advantage of the community that we keep it that way.”

Parker said of the 1965 Watts uprising;

“Like Monkeys in a Zoo. One threw a rock and the rest started throwing rocks.”

Afterwards, he warned:

“[I]t is estimated that by 1970, 45% of Los Angeles will be Negro.... If you want any protection for your home and family ... you’re going to have to support a strong police department. If you don’t, God help you.”

LAPD chief Daryl Gates, following a string of LAPD “chokehold” killings of young Black men in custody. claimed that the deaths were the fault of the victims’ racial anatomy, not excessive police force:

“We may be finding that in some Blacks when [the carotid chokehold] is applied the veins or arteries do not open up as fast as they do on normal people.”

Daryl Gates, to critics of Operation Hammer:

“This is war.... we’re exceedingly angry.... We want to get the message out to the cowards out there, and that’s what they are, rotten little cowards -- we want the message to go out that we're going to come and get them....”

“I think people believe that the only strategy we have is to put a lot of police officers on the street and harass people and make arrests for inconsequential kinds of things. Well, that’s part of the strategy, no question about it.”

Testifying in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1990, Daryl Gates stated that

casual drug users “ought to be taken out and shot” because “we’re in a war” and even casual drug use is “treason.”

Editor’s note: Tyisha Miller was a 19-year-old African-American woman shot dead by Riverside, California police in 1998. Miller had been passed out in her car, resulting from a seizure, when police claimed that she suddenly awoke and had a gun; they fired 23 times at her, hitting her at least 12 times, and murdering her. Bob Avakian addressed this.

If you can’t handle this situation differently than this, then get the fuck out of the way. Not only out of the way of this situation, but get off the earth. Get out of the way of the masses of people. Because, you know, we could have handled this situation any number of ways that would have resulted in a much better outcome. And frankly, if we had state power and we were faced with a similar situation, we would sooner have one of our own people’s police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses. That’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re actually trying to be a servant of the people. You go there and you put your own life on the line, rather than just wantonly murder one of the people. Fuck all this “serve and protect” bullshit! If they were there to serve and protect, they would have found any way but the way they did it to handle this scene. They could have and would have found a solution that was much better than this. This is the way the proletariat, when it’s been in power has handled—and would again handle—this kind of thing, valuing the lives of the masses of people. As opposed to the bourgeoisie in power, where the role of their police is to terrorize the masses, including wantonly murdering them, murdering them without provocation, without necessity, because exactly the more arbitrary the terror is, the more broadly it affects the masses. And that’s one of the reasons why they like to engage in, and have as one of their main functions to engage in, wanton and arbitrary terror against the masses of people.

—Bob Avakian, BAsics 2:16

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/598/american-crime-case-19-lapd-rampart-division-scandal-en.html

American Crime

Case #19: The LAPD Rampart Division Scandal: 1996-2000:
Police Murder, Terror and Frame-ups—and the Conspiracy to Get the Cops Off

| 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 1999, it was revealed that the Rampart Division of the LAPD and its elite “anti-gang” CRASH unit (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) had been carrying out widespread, vicious brutality in the oppressed, largely Spanish-speaking neighborhood of Pico Union that they patrolled.

Dozens of these CRASH cops roamed this small area in street clothes and unmarked cars, sporting tattoos of a skull with a cowboy hat and a pair of aces and eights (“dead-man’s hand”).1 They gave each other plaques for their “heroic” service, which was exposed as a mountain of crimes against the people including murder, attempted murder, brutality, robbery, extortion, drug dealing, and routinely framing and convicting thousands of people based on lies, planted “evidence,” and trumped-up charges—including against those they had just shot or murdered.

In 1998, one of these CRASH cops—Rafael Pérez—was caught repeatedly stealing and dealing pounds of cocaine evidence from the LAPD property division. As part of his plea deal, Pérez admitted some of his other crimes and testified against other Rampart CRASH cops, implicating more than 70 officers, including police supervisors who committed corrupt acts or allowed them to occur.2

Because of the huge outrage from the exposé, the powers-that-be were forced to put four of the Rampart cops—out of many more involved—on trial. Some of the cases that surfaced during the Rampart scandal included:

  • The murder of Juan Saldaña. José Pérez was standing in front of his apartment house in the 600 block of Shatto Place. When he saw several carloads of cops roll up, he walked inside his building. The CRASH police charged in, shooting at residents. José Pérez was shot in the back with no warning. Juan Manuel Saldaña was killed with multiple gunshots in another part of the building. A third man, Salvador Ochoa, was seriously wounded as he walked down the stairs with his children.

“Instead of calling an ambulance, the officers planted a gun alongside Saldaña and calmly concocted a story.... By the time an ambulance arrived, it was too late for Saldaña, who died soon after being taken to the hospital. Afterwards, the officers celebrated at Short Stop, a sports bar near Dodger Stadium.”3

Later, as he was recovering from his wounds José Pérez found out that his friend Juan Saldaña was dead. He also learned that the police claimed he was armed and that they were charging him with his friend’s murder. He recalled, “I got shot in the back and my homeboy got killed. They have to make a story out of it. I didn’t have a gun. I was on the floor, bleeding and they handcuffed me. I wasn’t even running. I was walking. They said I was pointing a gun at them. But I didn’t even have a gun. Neither me or my homeboy ever shot a gun.”

The chief of police declared the killing of Juan Manuel Saldaña and the wounding of José Pérez and Salvador Ochoa “justified.”4

  • The crippling of Javier Francisco Ovando. On October 12, 1996 Javier Francisco Ovando, a 19-year-old Honduran immigrant, was walking down the hallway of an apartment building in the Pico-Union when two cops, Rafael Pérez and Nino Durden, stopped him, forced him to his knees, handcuffed him and shot him. They then planted a Tec-22 semiautomatic beside him that they had “filed off the serial number so it could be used as a ‘throwaway’ gun in emergencies.” The cops shot Ovando a total of four times in the neck and chest, then in the head, paralyzing him for life.

The cops claimed that they were in a vacant apartment when Ovando burst in and pointed two guns at them. The police said they fired in self-defense. Based on the cops’ shameless lies, Javier Ovando, who was wheeled into court on a gurney, was convicted of attempted murder of a police officer. A judge declared that Ovando showed no remorse for his “premeditated crime”—and sentenced the young man to be locked away for 23 years. His public defender said the judge prevented her from putting on a defense.5

  • Setting up the murder of Eric Vega. On November 5, 1996 Rampart CRASH cops Mario Ríos and Michael Montoya, picked up 16-year-old Eric Vega, nicknamed on the streets as “Baby Happy.” For a second time, these cops dropped him off at the border of a rival gang’s turf. Moments later, Vega was shot to death. No arrest was ever made even though the shooter had been identified by witnesses and the two cops were never indicted, much less prosecuted.6
  • The beating of Ishmael Jiménez. On February 25, 1998 inside the Rampart police station, CRASH cops Brian Hewitt and Daniel Lujan beat a handcuffed Ishmael Jiménez in the chest and stomach until Jiménez vomited blood.7
  • Violent rape. At least one woman came forward to name two CRASH Division cops who had “forc[ed] her to rent a motel room, where one of the cops had sex with her while the other waited” (i.e. raped her).8

The System Standing Behind the Cops

When some of the atrocities committed by the LAPD’s Rampart Division burst into public view, the system kicked into high gear to cover up the full extent of police criminality and protect the cops.

  • Charges were only brought against 4 out of over 70 Rampart cops who were implicated in crimes against the people. The DA’s office limited the charges to “conspiracy to obstruct or pervert justice, perjury, and filing false police reports” rather than any serious ones linked to brutality and murder.
  • The trial of the four CRASH cops was a damning example of this system at work. The whole charade, including the lack of a vigorous prosecution, was orchestrated to let the cops off. But then the jury went off script and returned a guilty verdict against three of the four cops. LA Superior Court Judge Josephine Connor responded by throwing out the jury verdict! Then in 2008, the reputedly liberal Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals even awarded $15 million to those very three cops who had been convicted.

Because of this, the full scope of the crimes carried out by the LAPD—just at the Rampart division—has never been revealed. As law professor Erwin Chemerinsky wrote in January 2001 in the LA Times:

The true extent of the Rampart scandal still is not known and it increasingly appears that it never will be known. Essential questions remain: How many officers in the Rampart CRASH unit were involved in the illegal activity? How many officers knew and were complicit by their silence? How high in the chain of command was there involvement or knowledge? To what extent were there similar problems in other CRASH units and other units and divisions? None of the reports on the Rampart scandal have investigated or answered these questions. As a result, it cannot be known how many innocent people remain in prison as a result of police fabrication of evidence and perjury or how many officers remain in the LAPD who should have been disciplined and prosecuted.9

By May 2001, only 58 cops had been brought before the police internal administrative board, with 12 of them suspended, seven resigned and five fired. At least 3,300 people had been convicted on the testimony of 20 cops that were fired or suspended through the scandal, yet only a little over 100 people had their charges dismissed. 10

THE CRIMINALS:

The many named and unnamed Rampart CRASH cops who directly and routinely terrorized and carried out atrocities against the community.

The entire LAPD, which had rubber-stamped and covered up police crimes against the people, and routinely praised, promoted and gave rewards, honor and respect to those in blue who carried them out for its entire (then) 130-year history.

LAPD Chief Daryl Gates (1979-1992) who created CRASH in 1979. Under Gates, in 1986, the LAPD implemented a “shoot-for-the-head” policy.11

Chief Bernard Parks (1997-2002) who oversaw the Rampart scandal. Parks suppressed evidence, obstructed investigations, and protected the cops by refusing to grant immunity to whistleblowers—thus enforcing the police “code of silence” to cover up their crimes.

LA Mayor Richard Riordan (1993-2001), District Attorney Gil Garcetti and their offices. They presided over the prosecution and imprisonment of Rampart CRASH victims while refusing to prosecute and jail guilty cops.

The courts, judges, police commission, and political officials who went into high gear to minimize and cover up the police criminality exposed during the Rampart’s scandal in order to protect and preserve the role of the police.

Superior Court Judge Josephine Connor who threw out the jury verdict that found three of the four Rampart’s CRASH cops guilty, and the liberal 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals which awarded $15 million to the cops whose conviction Judge Connor threw out.

The bourgeois press/media which consistently demonized “gang members” as subhuman and lionized the LAPD (and the police generally) to justify violent repression, even as the Rampart scandal was unfolding. Typical of this, the LA Times wrote in August 1997:

Weary residents and merchants in the gang-plagued Pico-Union neighborhood were cautiously optimistic Monday that something finally will be done about the 18th Street Gang, especially after authorities held a high-profile news conference to say they are going after the gang....

THE ALIBI:

The LAPD’s own Board of Inquiry produced a report titled the “Rampart Area Corruption Incident.” It blamed the crimes revealed during the scandal on poor management by middle and lower level police officials, mediocrity in the LAPD rank and file, and a few rogue cops.

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE:

Immigrants from Central America and Mexico were concentrated in the Pico Union area, which had “the highest population density of any urban area west of the Mississippi, officially 36,000 people per square mile.”12

With this influx of desperately poor, alienated and possibly rebellious migrants, those in power faced an added necessity for new means of social control. Immigrants lived (and continue to live) in circumstances where they find themselves desperately struggling to survive in the U.S. And where they are viciously oppressed, exploited and pushed into the shadows. The immigrant youth were thrown into schools where they barely spoke the language. Surrounded by LA’s spreading gang culture and feeling the need to protect themselves, many of these immigrant youths began to form their own gangs.

This contradiction of controlling this population became more acute for the system’s rulers in the 1990s, when the Pico Union swelled with immigrants, which included indigenous people from Mexico but also many fleeing the massacres and destruction of the U.S. proxy wars in Central American countries of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Some of these super-exploited immigrants had previously taken part in resistance against U.S. domination in their home countries and actively rebelled in the 1992 LA Rebellion. For the rulers, the savage crimes and repression of their police that were revealed during the Rampart scandal were necessary to suppress and maintain social control over this community.

The Rampart scandal is an illustration of the fact that the job of the police is to protect and serve the capitalist-imperialist system, and in particular to repress and terrorize those it oppresses and exploits—especially those it considers potential threats to its rule.


1. “One Bad Cop,” Lou Cannon, New York Times Magazine, October 1, 2000.  [back]

2. “Rampart scandal,” Brittanica.com July 8, 2016.  [back]

3. “One Bad Cop,” op. cit.  [back]

4. “Planting of ‘Evidence’ by Police: The Notorious Case of LAPD Rampart Division,” www.revcom.us, April 11, 2015.  [back]

5. “One Bad Cop,” op. cit.  [back]

6. “Officers Linked to Death of teen,” LA Times, December 8, 2002.  [back]

7. Rampart Scandal Timeline, Frontline, PBS.  [back]

8."Two Rampart Officers Were Disciplined in Sex Case", LA Times, Nov. 5, 1999.  [back]

9. “For Answers on Rampart We Have to Ask Questions,” Erwin Chemerinsky, LA Times, January 23, 2001.  [back]

10. “LA Ramparts Scandal: Still No Justice for the People,” www.revcom.us, September 16, 2001.  [back]

11. “'Shoot for the Head' Policy Is Wrong : New LAPD Training Is a Particular Danger to Minorities,” LA Times op-ed, December 8, 2008.  [back]

12. Violence and Nonviolence: Pathways to Understanding, Gregg Barak, SAGE Publications, 2003.  [back]

 

Ramparts Scandal 4 in court

The trial of the four CRASH cops was a damning example of this system at work. The whole charade, including the lack of a vigorous prosecution, was orchestrated to let the cops off. But then the jury went off script and returned a guilty verdict against three of the four cops. LA Superior Court Judge Josephine Connor responded by throwing out the jury verdict! Then in 2008, the reputedly liberal 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals even awarded $15 million to those very three cops who had been convicted.  (Credit: Wikicommons)

Funds urgently needed each month to maintain, upgrade, and expand revcom.us.
Sustain or donate generously NOW!

You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/598/june8-sights-and-sounds-en.html

June 8, South Central Los Angeles, The Revolution Delivered a Message to the World
Basta Ya!/Enough! We Need A Revolution! A Better World IS Possible!

Sights and Sounds From June 8

| revcom.us

 

To our readers: Stay tuned to revcom.us for an initial report—to be posted later today—on what happened in Los Angeles on the weekend of June 8-9, with new photos, videos and audio.

The RevComs march through South Central LA.

WE INDICT AMERIKKKA! The blood-soaked imperialist rag goes up in flames in front of the brutal 77th Street pig sty!


Stepping up, wearing the shirt.


Revolution in the streets of South Central.


Marching to the 77th Street pig station.


Photo: Peter Switzer

5 flags turned to ashes today for all 5 STOPS. We are aiming at bringing down the whole system—at the soonest possible time!

Welcome to the revolution.

The future of humanity and the planet is in peril. The wind of fascism gathers momentum. The interlocking horrors at the foundation of America—white supremacy, male supremacy and America-First chauvinism—are being taken to new levels, threatening the future of billions.

These horrors cannot be reformed away; they are built into the system of capitalism-imperialism.

Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution, tells it true:

“[W]e have two choices: either, live with all this—and condemn future generations to the same, or worse, if they have a future at all—or, make revolution!

We are ORGANIZING NOW TO OVERTHROW THIS SYSTEM to bring about a radically new and better society: the New Socialist Republic in North America. We are touring the country to organize thousands today for the time when millions can be led to make an actual revolution.

If you yearn for real liberation not just for yourself but for all of humanity, learn about, spread the word about, and join us in making this revolution real.

Nationwide and going forward:

  • Sign Up to stay connected and get organized for Revolution
  • Start learning and organizing: The 5-2-6: the foundation for organizing for revolution.
  • Donate - 10s of $1000s needed
  • Watch the film of Bob Avakian's historic speech: Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution.
  • Follow us on: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.
  • Visit this website regularly.
  • Write to us with your questions, ideas, and/or to bring the Revolution Organizing Tour to your area.

A better world IS possible, but a nightmare is upon us. The future is unwritten, which one we get is up to us.

#RevolutionNothingLess!

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/599/cleveland-to-pay-225k-to-RNC-protestor-Joey-Johnson-en.html

BREAKING: Cleveland to pay $225K to 2016 RNC protester Gregory Johnson, for retaliation claims; press conference at 1 pm

| revcom.us

 

Revcom.us received the following press release from the Chandra Law Firm LLC

Cleveland to pay $225K to 2016 RNC protester Gregory Johnson, for retaliation claims

Johnson was burning the American flag at the 2016 Republican National Convention, when police intervened. He was the defendant in the landmark 1989 Texas v. Johnson Supreme Court case, which held that flag-burning is First Amendment-protected speech.

 

Cleveland, OH — The City of Cleveland has agreed to pay Gregory Lee “Joey” Johnson $225,000 to settle his federal First Amendment-retaliation lawsuit over his unconstitutional arrest and prosecution for flag burning at the July 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Mr. Johnson and 15 other protestors were prosecuted.

On January 11, 2017, the Cleveland Municipal Court dismissed the supposed criminal case against Mr. Johnson. In October 2017, Municipal Court Judge Charles L. Patton dismissed the remaining "criminal" cases, rebuking Cleveland police's actions:

If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea without more that removes the idea from the First Amendment’s protection. See, Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, 485 U.S., at 55-56; City Council of Los Angeles v. Taxpayers for Vincent, 466 U.S. 789, (1984). The U.S. Supreme Court has not recognized an exception to this principle even where the flag has been involved in protest marches.

In the case pending before the Court, the defendants were engaged in the expressive conduct of flag burning. As repugnant as that behavior may be to some, Texas v. Johnson makes it plain that such conduct may not be sanctioned as breaches of the peace.

Mr. Johnson was the Johnson in the very Texas v. Johnson case Judge Patton cited—the landmark 1989 U.S. Supreme Court case establishing that burning the American flag is protected symbolic speech. It was Mr. Johnson's flag-burning outside of the 1984 Republican National Convention that led to the high court's decision. Mr. Johnson is a supporter of the “Revolution Club,” which protests what he perceives as American jingoism, imperialism, and capitalism.

He came to the 2016 RNC in Cleveland to express these beliefs—and to protest the rising authoritarianism represented by Donald Trump.

Video footage of the police action definitely disproves Cleveland police officers'—and the city administration's—claims that Mr. Johnson had set himself on fire. Mr. Johnson also had no burn marks on himself or his clothing. Nor did anyone else. The protest was peaceful.

Simply put, city officials' statements were false:

 

Chief Calvin Williams: "They burned, or attempt[ed] to burn, an American flag, which is their right, but in doing so, the individual had actually lit the flag, lit himself on fire, and as we're trying to put him out, and he's trying to push my officer away, he actually got a couple other people lit on fire, which we tried to put out too..." Williams's claims were false.

Stills of video footage prove Mr. Johnson was not on fire when police began literally extinguishing his constitutionally protected speech.

 

Mr. Johnson had space around him and was not on fire when Cleveland police started dousing his free-speech rights. And later clips show neither he nor his clothes were burned.

 

Just before arresting Mr. Johnson, Cleveland police boasted on Twitter that they anticipated violating his rights:

 

Subodh Chandra, Johnson's lead counsel said, "Instead of protecting RNC protestors' constitutional rights, Cleveland police stalked them, literally extinguished their speech rights, and then arrested and prosecuted them—violating 30-year-old Supreme Court precedent taught to schoolchildren. City leaders have yet to hold officers accountable for lying about Mr. Johnson being on fire and setting others on fire. They're simply defiant and unapologetic about their failure to uphold the rule of constitutional law within Cleveland city limits."

Chandra continued, "Why does the truth about what the video footage shows happened apparently not matter to a single Cleveland official? Where is the internal-affairs investigation? Where is the Civilian Police Review Board investigation? Where were the county or city prosecutor's offices, which let the statute of limitations run out on prosecuting these officers for their false claims?"

Explaining his beliefs, Johnson said, "I burned the flag outside of the 2016 RNC as Trump was nominated because, 'America Was NEVER Great,' and it is wrong to close our eyes to the history of genocide and slavery, wars of empire, invasions and occupations, coups and torture—all the atrocities the U.S. government has committed here and around the world. When Cleveland police unjustly and brutally arrested me and 15 others, they attacked the Supreme Court decision I won 30 years ago holding that flag burning in protest is a powerful form of constitutionally protected speech critical of the government."

Chandra added, "No matter what one may think of Mr. Johnson's views or his manner of expressing them, we live in a time where respect for fundamental rights is eroding and authoritarianism is on the rise. That calls for more expressions of dissent, not self-appointed speech police extinguishing dissent—and then lying about it."

A press conference to discuss the $225,000 settlement will be held at The Chandra Law Firm LLC today:

Where:
The Chandra Law Firm LLC
The Chandra Law Building
1265 W. 6th Street, Suite 400
Cleveland, OH 44113-1326

When: 1:00 PM

Who: Gregory Lee Johnson, his counsel, and Cleveland lawyers who volunteered to defend civil liberties during the 2016 RNC—when the City would not.

 

The press conference will be live-streamed on The Chandra Law Firm LLC's Facebook page.

More information available at:
Joey Johnson and the RNC 16 Put the System on Trial in Cleveland

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You’ve read this article, now think about the crucial role revcom.us plays.  White supremacy and fascism are running rampant, and women’s basic rights are being ripped away.  America threatens wars on Venezuela and Iran, as it terrorizes immigrant families and wantonly plunders our environment—imperiling humanity’s very future.  At revcom.us you learn where these horrors come from, how they can be ended through an actual revolution, and how people are working now toward revolution.  You can find, engage and spread the work of Bob Avakian, the leader of this revolution, the architect of the new communism, and author of a concrete blueprint for a new society moving toward full emancipation. So become part of fighting for humanity’s future: sustain or donate now.

 

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