revcom.us, June 10, 2019 through June 16, 2019 (#599)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/599/june8-a-day-of-revolution-in-three-parts-en.html

| revcom.us

 

 


On Saturday, June 8
In the streets of South Central Los Angeles
A beginning force for an actual revolution came on the scene


On Saturday, June 8
In the streets of South Central Los Angeles
A beginning force for an actual revolution came on the scene

The Specter of Revolution ... and a Real Beginning

On Saturday, June 8 in South Central Los Angeles, something new appeared on the scene... the beginnings of a movement for an actual revolution. People have never seen anything like this. The specter of an organized force growing was raised: in the discipline, defiance and joy of the revolutionary cohort marching with chants that put forth the goal of revolution for the emancipation of humanity. At the march’s conclusion in front of the notoriously brutal 77th Division of LAPD, a sharp indictment of the whole system and of America was delivered by Noche Diaz speaking for the National Revolution Tour, which was then dramatically brought home in the statement made with the simultaneous burning of five American flags for each of the 5 Stops—5 horrors of this system that cannot be reformed, but which must be No More!

A glimpse of the beginning of an organized force for an actual revolution, the potential this represents.... Below we are featuring a multimedia dispatch of what happened on the day as well as an audio excerpt of a talk by Andy Zee that began the organizing workshops the following day, which captures the import of what was accomplished.

Return to this site over this next week for further reports, photos and video from the march and actions.

 

Opening Remarks to the June 9 Workshops by Andy Zee

You don't yet realize the significance of what we have begun...

On Sunday, June 9, the National Revolution Tour held a day of workshops, as a part of a weekend of Revolution... The day began with an informal introduction by Andy Zee.

Read more

June 8, 2019—South Central Los Angeles:

A Day of Revolution in Three Parts

A Precursor: Before the Day Began...

11:00 am: Dozens of RevComs fill a parking lot near Crenshaw and Slauson, decorating flatbed trucks, drilling their marching steps, and finishing other final preparations.

 

 

Midway through, Noche Diaz pulls them together for a brief orientation, "What really makes us mighty is the fact that we represent the seven billion on this planet and the way to actually put an end to the oppression that they face here and all over the world. What makes us mighty is that we have leadership—Bob Avakian—that has done the work to figure out what is the source of all this oppression, and what's the way forward out of the madness. How we could make a real revolution and run a whole new society on the road to real emancipation."

 

Soon, the contingent of students from UCLA shows up and unfurls its banner.

Part I: No More Killing Each Other, Stepping Into the Real Revolution

1pm: The Mighty Mighty RevComs march through the street, stopping opposite the Marathon Clothing store where Nipsey Hussle was tragically cut down just 10 weeks before. Since his death, thousands from across Los Angeles, from around the country, and even around the world have made a pilgrimage to this spot to remember a beloved rapper and to cry out against the senseless loss of yet another Black person before their time. When the revolution marches through, it is not only to cry out against this senseless killing, but also to lift people's sights and call them into the organized forces for an actual revolution to put an end to this system and bring about a world where all humanity can truly flourish.

 

Several new members of the Revolution Club put on the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! t-shirt and tell the world why they did. The last one calls on those watching to cross the street and join the march. Some do.

 

The revolutionaries then pile into flatbed trucks and a decorated car caravan and take the revolution through the streets to the second stop.

 

Part II: From Rebellion to Revolution and the Big Deal of BA's Leadership

2:30 p.m.: Florence and Normandie
People step out of their houses and shops—dancing to the rhythm of the chanting, raising their fists, filming, and snapping up literature. The caravan stopped at the corner of Florence and Normandie, the flashpoint of the historic 1992 Los Angeles Rebellion.

 

 

Joe Veale delivers a scorching speech from the flatbed truck vividly recalling the brutality inflicted on Rodney King by police, as well as the beauty and unity among Black people and Mexicans, as well as broader support from white people and others across the country, forged through the righteous rebellion of '92. The heart of Veale's speech appreciates the need for science and leadership—and calls on others to take up—the rare and truly precious leadership of Bob Avakian, who has forged a scientific approach and path to go far, far beyond even the most heroic and inspiring rebellions—to make an actual revolution that can emancipate all of humanity.

 

 

Part III: A Message to the World: Five U.S. Flags Up in Flames

4 p.m.—At the hated, notoriously brutal 77th Division of the LAPD

Noche Diaz stands on a flatbed truck strewn with revolutionary banners, surrounded by dozens of uniformed, disciplined revolutionaries and masses from the neighborhood, with the notoriously brutal and deeply hated 77th Division of the LAPD directly behind him. As Noche calls out the 150 long years of depraved brutality and racism of the LAPD, masses from the neighborhood sense their opportunity and step into the faces of pigs lining the sidewalk, telling them off and adding their voices to the indictment. Several Black women step forward to purchase and put on the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! t-shirts and join the organized crowd.

 

Then, the Revolution Club clears a large opening and 10 members step forward. Five carry large signs indicting the crimes of the system. Behind them, five members march in with large American flags. The crowd silences in anticipation. Five powerful indictments of America and the system of capitalism-imperialism are delivered—for its unending crimes against Black and Brown people, against women and LGBTQ people, against immigrants, against the people of the world, and against the environment.

 

Then: Five American flags go up in flames. Right in front of the 77th Division. Revolutionaries and masses of people burst into cheers of revolutionary joy.

 

 

Today, it is the flag of this system that was turned to ashes. The National Revolution Tour is going to work for the forces of revolution to grow from scores to hundreds, aiming to organize thousands into this revolution... bringing forward and preparing for the time when millions can be led to make revolution, to overthrow this system, and build a whole new society, based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian.

 

Postscript: A Revolutionary Celebration, A Day of Workshops, and Much More to Come...

That evening, revolutionaries and others new and old gather at the Mid-City Arthouse to live and celebrate the liberating future we are fighting for. The next day, they roll up their sleeves and get deeper into the leadership, science and strategy for revolution and how to get organized through a day of workshops. In all, a real advance has been forged from which it is urgently necessary—and possible—to go much, much further....

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/599/opening-remarks-to-the-june-9-workshops-en.html

Opening Remarks to the June 9 Workshops

You don't yet realize the significance of what we have begun…

| revcom.us

 

On Sunday, June 9, the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour held a day of workshops, as a part of a weekend of Revolution, to introduce those who are just turning their faces towards revolution and others to the science, the leadership, the strategy and the goal of this revolution, followed by organizing workshops on how to organize a Revolution Club and developing the necessary vibrant digital web presence for the revolution.

The day began with an informal introduction by Andy Zee, spokesperson for Revolution Books. This introduction began with a playing of the video of the song “Que Queremos” by the band Outernational. This was followed by a short video clip of the march to the 77th Division of the LAPD. Clips of both are posted below.

These remarks captured what was begun with Saturday’s march, and introduced people to the great strength of the revolution in the leadership of Bob Avakian. The audio, made by someone in the audience, begins about a minute into the talk. Andy began by asking the audience to reflect on what they had done the day before and recognize that we don’t yet realize the significance of what we had done.... 

Click to play audio

 

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/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

Help raise $1,000 in new monthly sustainer funds for www.revcom.us by August 31—become a sustainer, increase your sustainer, donate generously

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

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 »

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

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

 

 

IMAGES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA

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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

 

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/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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Help raise $1,000 in new monthly sustainer funds for www.revcom.us by August 31—become a sustainer, increase your sustainer, donate generously

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.

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!

Read more

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...”

 

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/596/field-reports-from-the-national-revolution-tour-en.html

Field Reports From The National Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

 

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"

Read more


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

Read about the Tour stepping up and stepping out »

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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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

Help raise $1,000 in new monthly sustainer funds for www.revcom.us by August 31—become a sustainer, increase your sustainer, donate generously

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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

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.

 

Help raise $1,000 in new monthly sustainer funds for www.revcom.us by August 31—become a sustainer, increase your sustainer, donate generously

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/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:

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:

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:

“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 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

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.

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)

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/500/skybreak-why-is-it-so-important-and-what-does-it-mean-to-get-into-ba-en.html

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/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.

Updated April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | 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.

Donate towards promotion of this film:

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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


Trailer and Clips From the Film:

Trailer

Clip: "Free Yourself from the GTF!"

Clip: "What are we facing?"

Clip: "Order or Justice?"


Clip: "What Must We Do?"

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

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

Clip: "The Christian Fascists
Now In Power"

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

 

 

 

 

 


 

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/599/bob-avakian-you-cant-change-the-world-if-you-dont-know-the-basics-33-en.html

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

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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/599/420-million-children-growing-up-in-war-zones-en.html

420 Million Children—One in Five Children in the World—Are Growing Up in War Zones
THIS is the World of Imperialism

| revcom.us

 

It is a horrifying statistic: 420 million children are growing up in war zones. That’s greater than the entire population of the United States. That’s almost one in five children on this planet who are suffering indiscriminately and disproportionately in wars and conflicts that have everything to do with imperialism.

According to a recently published and extensively researched study, Stop the War on Children:

  • Thousands of children in the oppressed countries of the Third World are dying in battle-related killings and destruction each year. But far morehundreds of thousands of children each yearare dying in these zones due to the indirect effects of these conflicts: malnutrition, disease, and the breakdown of health care, water, and sanitation.
  • Thirty percent of children in Africa and 40 percent in the Middle East are living in conflict zones, subjected to being killed, maimed, kidnapped, and deliberately starved, and are facing acute health risks.
  • In war zones like Yemen and Syria, schools and health infrastructure are targeted for bombings. Warring factions block aid convoys. In the conflict zones of Africa, children become prey to child labor and sex trafficking.

The death, destruction, and dislocation have been major factors fueling the catastrophic global refugee crisis. It is now the case that one in 200 children in the world is a refugee.

It is staggering; it is heart-wrenching. Vast numbers of children in the Third World are growing up in these conditions, if they even make it to adulthood. Growing up in a world dominated and devastated by imperialism… by a system that is as cruel as it is unnecessary.

Deafening Silence in the U.S.

Was this report, Stop the War on Children, publicized in the U.S. media? No. Was it a source of public discussion and outrage in America? No. Did Democratic presidential hopefuls demand an immediate halt to America’s unjust wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria? Did they call for emergency investigations into the Obama and Trump administrations for arming and politically supporting its client regime, Saudi Arabia, which is bombing hospitals and schools and carrying out other war crimes in Yemen? Do you really need the answer?

These politicians are ever so shrill denouncing Russian “meddling” and “interference” in America’s elections. What about the fucking meddling and interference by America and other Western powers that are destroying the lives and futures of… 420 million children?

The Brutal Logic and Deadly Hand of Imperialism

Here in alphabetical order are, in the words of the report, “the ten worst conflict-affected countries to be a child.” Keep in mind as you look at this list that in 5 of these countries(*), the U.S. is waging wars or engaged in military interventions and operations, or providing vital military and logistical support:

*Afghanistan
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of Congo
*Iraq
Mali
Nigeria
*Somalia
South Sudan
*Syria
*Yemen

These countries did not emerge spontaneously as “conflict zones.” They have long been dominated economically, politically, and militarily by imperialism, even if they are formally independent states. Their populations have been exploited for profit. Their resources have been plundered for profitCongo’s minerals are vital to the supply chains of imperialism. Many have been battlegrounds in the great-power rivalry and geopolitics of imperialism. In all of them, munitions from the U.S., Russia, the UK, France, Germany, and China have been pouring in.

But maybe, someone might suggest, distressing as all this is… things are improving. No! The 420 million children living in war zones today is more than twice as high as in 1989-91, when the Cold War ended. Between 2016 and 2017 alone, the number of children in these zones increased by 30 million!

A. Imperial Invasions, Proxy Wars, and the Toll on Children

The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 1990 destroyed much of the country’s water and health systems. Not satisfied, the U.S. imposed punishing sanctions on the population: Iraq was prevented from selling oil and generating the revenue to obtain needed medical and other supplies. As a result, 500,000 Iraqi children died in the 1990s. The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001. And it invaded Iraq again in 2003—to topple a regime that was a thorn in its side and to turn Iraq into a strategic platform to project U.S. power in the oil-rich Middle East.

But the two invasions of Iraq and the invasion of Afghanistan did not go according to plan. They have unleashed chaos and fueled all kinds of civil war. In 2017 in Afghanistan, 3,179 children were wounded or killed, many from U.S. bombing and drone strikes.

In Syria, the U.S. is waging a proxy war with Russia. In other words, each side is fighting through intermediaries to advance its regional and global interests. Russia is backing the oppressive regime of Bashar Hafez al-Assad, and the U.S. is backing and arming local reactionary forces seeking to topple the regime. It is a war of atrocity. Today, one- third of Syria’s schools lie in rubble; and one in four children is at risk of developing a mental health disorder.

B. U.S. Arms Sales and Mass Destruction in Yemen

The U.S. is the top arms exporter in the world. The transfer of arms is a major means by which it secures its influence and domination over regimes that serve its regional and global interests. Saudi Arabia was the main recipient of U.S. arms sales in 2014-18. You see, the Middle East is a key region of the world—for oil, global trade, and transit routes—and Saudi Arabia with its oppressive, theocratic regime is a key cog in the U.S. empire’s domination over the Middle East and for confronting Iran.

An insurgency and civil war in Yemen is endangering Saudi Arabia’s position—and so the U.S. gives the green light for slaughter.

Saudi Arabia is carrying out war crimes in Yemen. Revcom.us has extensively documented the world’s largest and imperialist-caused humanitarian crisis. On average, Saudi Arabia carries out 14 air strikes a day. Hospitals, clinics, schools, school buses, apartment buildings, markets, gas stations, factories, and farms are strafed, bombed, and destroyed. One in five schools in Yemen is no longer being used; an estimated two million children in Yemen are out of school. And in the two years 2016-17 alone, 113,000 children starved to death, or died of malnutrition and preventable diseases, like cholera.

C. Memo from the U.S.: Arms Treaties Mean Nothing When They Interfere With Our Imperial Interests

The Stop the War on Children report makes the point that the sale of arms to a country like Saudi Arabia that commits humanitarian and human rights violations (targeting civilians and children in Yemen) is illegal under the terms of the 2014 Arms Trade Treaty. Conveniently and arrogantly, the U.S. has refused to sign the treaty.

The report also calls attention to landmines, one of the most indiscriminate battle weapons of the modern era; they especially endanger children and civilians in populated areas. True to form, the U.S.—we’re talking the Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations—has steadfastly refused to sign the 1999 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban. Why does America continue to stockpile three million landmines? Because, the U.S. proclaims, its military reserves the right to use these weapons in a conflict on the border between North and South Korea. No matter the human price.

***

This is a world that cries out for revolution, a revolution to overthrow this imperialist system. A communist revolution to bring about a world in which children’s well-being is valued… in which the very existence of a global divide between a handful of rich countries and the majority of humanity living in poor countries, being exploited and plundered by rich countries, has been overcome… a world where exploitation and oppression are no more… in which children can grow, learn, and flourish as part of and contribute to a world community of humanity.

 

References:

Stop the War on Children: Protecting Children in 21st Century Conflict, Save the Children International, 2019 (https://www.stopwaronchildren.org/report.pdf)

Trends in International Arms Transfers, 2018, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 2019 (https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/2019-03/fs_1903_at_2018.pdf)

For three years the U.S. has supported its “strategic ally” Saudi Arabia in a genocidal war against Yemen, backed first by Obama and then by Trump. The war has led to a famine that has already taken the lives of 85,000 children and threatens more. Pictured here is 7-year-old Amal Hussein, who died of starvation a few days after this picture was taken. (Photo: AP)

In this frame grab from from video, people carry a child's body after pulling it out from rubble following Saudi-led coalition airstrikes that killed at least six, including four children, in the residential center of the capital, Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, May 16, 2019. The Sanaa airstrikes came after Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who control the capital, launched a drone attack earlier in the week on a critical oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia, Tehran's biggest rival in the region. (Photo: AP)

March 14, 2019, women and their children who left the besieged Islamic State-held village of Baghouz, Syria, scramble over a rocky hillside to be checked by U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. An international aid group says it recorded 31 deaths in the final week of March among people making their way out of the last sliver of territory held by the Islamic State group and toward a camp for the displaced. The high weekly death rate reflects the desperate conditions of the mostly women and children who left the village of Baghouz for al-Hol camp. (Photo: AP/Maya Alleruzzo)

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

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

| revcom.us

 

On June 12, federal marshals killed Brandon Webber, a young Black man from the Frayser neighborhood in Memphis. People in the neighborhood had had enough and decided to let the world know just how fed up they are, bravely standing up against guns, gas and all the rest. This gives heart not just to people in America, but all over the world. Standing up against police murder is righteous and we need more of it. 

Now ask yourself this: How many Black and other oppressed people have been shot down like this, by murdering cops in one city after another? How many have found justice from a system for whom the lives and humanity of Black people mean absolutely nothing? How long has this system carried out exploitation, outrage and mayhem against Black and other oppressed people, here and around the world? How long? Way too long. And unless and until we make revolution—unless and until we overthrow this system... unless and until we defeat and dismantle their armed forces of repression and violence... this same shit, along with all the other horrors this system brings down, will go on. And on. And on.

We need a revolution—an actual revolution. The leader of the revolution, Bob Avakian, says:

...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!

We are the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour and the Revolution Club. We are working right now to bring that revolution closer, working to reach and move the millions we need to actually WIN.

Learn what we’re about. Be part of this. Go to www.revcom.us or follow us on social media @tuneintorevcom. Get into the work and leadership of Bob Avakian, BA, at this same site.

This System CANNOT Be Reformed! 
It MUST Be Overthrown!


North Memphis, Tenn., June 12, 2019, after the murder by police of Brandon Webber. Photo: Jim Weber/Daily Memphian via AP

DOWNLOAD PDF of this Statement to print and get out broadly.

Brandon Webber

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/599/july4-imagine-a-world-without-america-en.html

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JULY 4, 2019: IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT AMERICA

A Call to Act

 

From the National Revolution Tour and the Revolution Club

On July 4, 1852, the great anti-slavery fighter Frederick Douglass said:

“...[For] revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.”

As we approach July 4, 2019...

  • When the American flag flies over concentration camps on the border, where children cry and even die...
  • When that same bloody rag blesses the bombs and planes and troops that have murdered and mangled hundreds of thousands of children in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and dozens more countries in just the past decade...
  • When it flies over the pens of mass incarceration filled with over 2 million people, mostly Black, Latino, or Native American, and is sewn as a shoulder patch on the arms of the murdering police who send them there, if the pigs don’t kill these youth first...
  • When it is pasted on the derricks that drill into the earth and destroy the environment...
  • When it sits on the lapels of the legislators who rip from women the right to control their own bodies...
  • When it is waved by the shameless fascist jackal who struts as president and who plans to bray and grunt a “speech” that day in Washington, DC...

We echo Frederick Douglass and say: “‘Barbarity and hypocrisy’? Truer words were never spoken—whether back then, today, or all through U.S. history.”

And we echo and stand with the leader of the revolution today, Bob Avakian, when he says:

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

On July 4 this year, we invite you not only to “conceive of a world without America,” but to fight and work for that world. On that day, this flag so soaked in the blood of “barbarity and hypocrisy” will burn in symbolic places around this country. This will be a bold statement of truth and a declaration that we have had enough; and a clarion call to revolution and the emancipation of ALL humanity.

Be part of this. Spread the word through social media. And do your own flag-burning on that day where you are. Another world IS possible—if we dare to fight for it.

The National Revolution Tour and the Revolution Club

To find out more, to support this, and to follow it when it happens, stay tuned to revcom.us and follow @tuneintorevcom on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.  And if you do one yourself, let us—and the world—know!

Five American flags, one for each of the Five Stops, go up in flames June 8, 2019, in front of the 77th Division of the LAPD. The National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour in South Central, Los Angeles.

DOWNLOAD PDF of this Call to print and get out broadly.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/599/memphis-people-righteously-rebel-after-pig-murder-of-brandon-webber-en.html

Enough is Enough!

Memphis: People Righteously Rebel After Pig Murder of 20-Year-Old Brandon Webber

| revcom.us

 

On the night of June 12, a death squad anchored by U.S. Marshals called the “Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force” murdered 20-year-old Brandon Webber in the Frayser neighborhood of Memphis, Tennessee. These pigs didn’t even identify Brandon—they claimed they were on the prowl for a “suspect with felony warrants,” they saw Brandon, and within moments they opened up with their guns and murdered him. Brandon’s cousin, Demetrick Skinner, said these pigs fired as many as 20 shots at Brandon.

This Time Was Different

People from throughout the neighborhood immediately began gathering. Scores of Memphis police swarmed into the neighborhood too. One man told a Memphis newspaper that he saw these pigs “laughing, sometimes even taunting the gathered community members.” He continued, “Every time I turned around, I saw another person with tears in their eyes, furious at another life lost.”

Hundreds of angry people faced off against the riot-equipped pigs. Reports indicate that the people broke out windows of police cars, and pelted police with bricks, bottles, and whatever they found at hand. Police responded with brutality—but people bravely stood up and continued to battle these pigs with their tear gas, their yard-long batons, and all the rest of their arsenal of death. According to a report on National Public Radio, 36 pigs with the Memphis P.D. and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department were injured, some being hospitalized.

The public murder of Brandon Webber happened the day after Memphis authorities announced that another cop would not be charged in last year’s murder of Terrence Carlton, an unarmed 25-year-old Black man.

In the last few weeks alone, among the murders of Black people by police that have come to light: Pamela Turner, assaulted and then gunned down at point blank range as she walked to her apartment in Baytown, Texas; Myron Flowers, shot to death while he sat in the back seat of a car pulled over for “equipment violations” in Clinton, Louisiana; 20-year-old JaQuavion Slaton, killed by police in Fort Worth, Texas; 20-year-old rapper Willie McCoy, shot 55 times in 3.5 seconds as he sat in a Taco Bell drive-through in Vallejo, California. All the killer cops—and the killers of countless other people—remain free.

Murder, brutality, repression, imprisonment, injustice at every turn—this has been going on for centuries! It is a cornerstone of a system that exploits and oppresses people across the world, and is destroying the planet itself. The system lets these killer cops walk time after time—because they are doing their job, they are defending a system, that allows them—encourages them—to kill people, and they know they won’t be punished. And the people in Memphis were courageous and righteous to rise up in rebellion against these killers and the system they enforce.

Now officials in Memphis are vilifying Brandon Webber, and praising their murdering pigs! Brandon Webber was a human being, a young Black man who was wantonly shot by a gang of killers authorized by this system to do just that. He was a father, a high school graduate, and college student. He loved and was loved by many people.

Far, far too many Black, Latino, and Native American youth like Brandon Webber have been cut down by the enforcers of this murderous system. Far, far too many tears have been shed for far too long. How long will this pain and suffering continue? Until we make revolution and put an end to this madness. It is past time for all who want these outrages to stop to get with the revolution and work with it now, so we can put an end to the system.   

 

 

See also:

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

Statement from the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour and the Revolution Club

Read here

Brandon Webber

Find out more about the leader of the revolution, Bob Avakian.

Help raise $1,000 in new monthly sustainer funds for www.revcom.us by August 31—become a sustainer, increase your sustainer, donate generously

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/599/joey-johnson-statement-about-cleveland-settlement-in-flag-burning-case-en.html

Cleveland to pay $225K to 2016 RNC protester Gregory Johnson

Press Statement by Gregory “Joey” Johnson

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Joey Johnson read this statement at a press conference on June 11, 2019 at the Chandra Law Firm in Cleveland, where the settlement was announced. See video on this page of the entire press conference.

 

I was the named defendant in the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court case, Texas v. Johnson where I fought to establish that burning the American flag in protest was constitutionally protected speech.  

We are here to announce a settlement of my lawsuit against the City of Cleveland and the Cleveland Police Division, holding them accountable for what happened here during the Republican National Convention in 2016.

As Trump was delivering his fascist message of white supremacy, “law and order,” scapegoating of immigrants, disgusting misogyny, and naked “America First” chauvinism to the Republican National Convention—outside, up against all this, the Revolution Club linked arms and I stood in the middle of the circle and lit the red, white and blue rag of imperialism on fire.  Our message to the world—“America was NEVER great!  We Need to Overthrow this System.”

Cleveland police along with other state and federal agencies launched an unjust, vicious police assault to break up our protest.  I was put in a chokehold and dragged to the ground.  Others were knocked down.  Altogether 16 Revolution Club members and other protesters were brutally arrested, dragged off to jail, and held for more than 24 hours until the RNC was over. The police repeatedly lied to the mediachanging their story about why we were arrestedin spite of videos that show clearly it was the police that assaulted and endangered the protesters.

Besides the arrest of myself, two of the arrested faced serious felony charges and years in prison and more than a dozen others faced multiple misdemeanors.  After more than a year of fighting these prosecutionsall the charges against us were either dropped or dismissed.  In fact most were dismissed after a judge held an evidentiary hearing and found that we were engaged in a lawful protestand he specifically cited Texas v. Johnson as the authority for his ruling.

Now the city of Cleveland has been forced to settle the lawsuit I brought in the wake of winning our criminal cases.  While the city has tried to minimize and deny its liability, this settlement of almost 1/4 million dollars speaks much louder than their denials.  The city settled this case because they knew our arrests and prosecution was an assault on a Supreme Court precedent that I won 30 years agoburning the American flag in protest is constitutionally protected symbolic speechin my case expressing unmistakable contempt and revulsion for what this country and government stand for.  The City was afraid to have all this come out in a trial, so they have settled.

What we did in burning the flag outside the Republican National Convention in 2016 was not only our rightit was the righteous thing to do.  I burned the flag at the RNC because it is wrong to close our eyes to the history of genocide and slavery; the wars of empire, invasions and occupations, the coups and tortureall the atrocities the U.S. has committed here and around the world.  I really believe as Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution says, “American lives are NOT more important than other people’s lives.”

I and others in the Revolution Club—and we urge others to join with usare urgently working for the day when this empire can no longer terrorize and oppress the people of the world.  I plan to donate generously to ways that will further bring that closer.

I want to thank all the attorneys involved in this case, who from their own perspectives saw this case as an important fight to take up.  The National Lawyers Guild, (their coordinators Jacqueline Green and Sarah Gelsomino), who together with the NAACP organized 40 volunteer attorneys that represented the RNC16 defendants, my criminal defense attorney, Andrea Whitaker, and of course the attorneys who brought this suit from The Chandra Law Firm, Subodh Chandra and Patrick Kabat.  And I am also encouraging others arrested with me at the RNC to also file suit against the City of Cleveland and the Cleveland Police Division.

 

Press conference at Chandra Law Firm in Cleveland on June 11 to announce the settlement

 

 

 

 

 

See also:

City of Cleveland pays $225K to Gregory Johnson who burned the American flag in protest outside 2016 Republican National Convention as Trump was nominated

Subodh Chandra, civil rights attorney:

“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 school children.”

Jacqueline Greene, partner at the law firm of Friedman & Gilbert and co-coordinator of the Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild

Jacqueline’s statement detailed how in preparation for the 2016 RNC in Cleveland, the Ohio NLG organized 100s of volunteers, people from Cleveland, the state and across the country.  She described how over 40 lawyers from the NLG, from the Cleveland branch of the NAACP, and from private practice worked hard for over a year to defend against the sham prosecution of Joey Johnson and the RNC 16.  Jacqueline concluded:

“And as we stand here today, it’s clear that the charges against the RNC16, including Joey Johnson, were politically motivated. The Ohio Chapter of the NLG stands with movement workers, activists, and demonstrators, who exercise their constitutionally protected rights, and remains committed to defending those who are falsely charged for exercising those rights, as Joey was.  Cracking down on people who express dissent is an egregious attack on democracy that cannot be tolerated.  This settlement in Joey Johnson’s case represents a clear acknowledgement that the arrests, jailing and prosecution of the RNC16 were illegal.

“The Ohio NLG congratulates Joey Johnson and thanks him and his attorneys and all of the RNC16 for their dedication and hard work in holding the city of Cleveland accountable.”

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/599/cleveland-pays-$225k-to-gregory-johnson-who-burned-american-flag-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Media Advisory contact: DefendJohnsonOfTvJ@gmail.com
June 11, 2019
http://www.revcom.us/

 

City of Cleveland pays $225K to Gregory Johnson who burned the American flag in protest outside 2016 Republican National Convention as Trump was nominated.

Johnson defendant in the landmark 1989 Supreme Court case Texas v. Johnson which determined flag-burning protected speech.

Gregory ‘Joey’ Johnson available for interview

 

Johnson and 15 members of the Revolution Club were arrested and fought charges for more than a year after the RNC before charges were dropped against everyone arrested.

Johnson stated, “This settlement of almost 1/4 million dollars speaks much louder than the City of Cleveland’s denials of liability. The city settled this case because they knew our arrests and prosecution were an assault on a Supreme Court precedent that I won 30 years ago—burning the American flag in protest is a form of constitutionally protected speech critical of the government, and they did not want to have all this come out in a trial.

What we did in burning the flag outside the Republican National Convention in 2016 was not only our right—it was the righteous thing to do. I burned the flag at the RNC because it is wrong to close our eyes to the history of genocide and slavery; imperialist wars, invasions and occupations, the coups and torture—all the atrocities the U.S. has committed here and around the world.” (Complete statement)

Johnson was represented in the civil case by Cleveland civil rights attorney, 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 school children.”

Attorney Jacqueline Greene, co-coordinator of the Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild described how over 40 lawyers from the NLG, from the Cleveland branch of the NAACP, and from private practice worked hard for over a year to defend against the sham prosecution of Joey Johnson and the RNC 16. Jacqueline stated:

“And as we stand here today, it’s clear that the charges against the RNC 16, including Joey Johnson, were politically motivated. The Ohio Chapter of the NLG stands with movement workers, activists, and demonstrators, who exercise their constitutionally protected rights, and remains committed to defending those who are falsely charged for exercising those rights, as Joey was. Cracking down on people who express dissent is an egregious attack on democracy that cannot be tolerated. This settlement in Joey Johnson’s case represents a clear acknowledgement that the arrests, jailing and prosecution of the RNC 16 were illegal.

“The Ohio NLG congratulates Joey Johnson and thanks him and his attorneys and all of the RNC 16 for their dedication and hard work in holding the city of Cleveland accountable.”

More media coverage:

https://www.cleveland19.com/video/2019/06/11/cleveland-will-pay-man-who-set-flag-fire-during-rnc/

https://www.wkyc.com/article/news/local/cleveland/protester-who-burned-american-flag-during-2016-rnc-gets-225000-settlement-from-cleveland/95-d4a9f669-6c05-47df-a595-fe8fc4a40451

 

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

  

Read also:

Press Statement by Gregory "Joey" Johnson

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.

 

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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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#NoKidsInCages Installations Bring Horror of Immigrant Children in Detention to NYC Streets

| revcom.us

 

On Wednesday morning, June 12, thousands of people going to work or school, tourists, and others in New York City were jarred out of their daily routine when they came across metal cages on sidewalks with what appeared to be a child-size figure inside, wrapped in Mylar sheets. There were voices of children wailing for their “mamá” and “papá.” Anyone with any awareness of the horrors going on in the world immediately recognized what this was about—the thousands of immigrant children seized at the border by the U.S. and kept in detention under inhumane conditions, separated from parents. For those who should be aware but weren’t, there was a sign on the cages, under the hashtag #NOKIDSINCAGES, saying in English and Spanish:

Kids are still in cages at the border.
They’re kept from their parents.
Thousands go to sleep shivering and
afraid and then wake up sick and
afraid. 6 children have already died.

The sign urged people to be part of this action, saying “Sharing is an act of protest.”

This striking protest was the work of the immigrant and refugee rights group RAICES working with the progressive ad agency Badger & Winters. They placed more than 20 of the cages around different locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, including Union Square, Barclays Center, Natural History Museum, offices of major national media, entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge, and other busy locations. Inside the cages were mannequins representing the detained immigrant children, wrapped in the foil blankets that are their only protection in the cold detention cells that the immigrants call hieleras (iceboxes). The children’s voices are from an actual recording at a detention center that was released by ProPublica last year.

The police quickly mobilized to cover over or take down the installations—though not before many people had seen them. RAICES tweeted from one scene, “Police here with a chainsaw. The State can act rapidly to put a stop to an art installation but every night over 13,000 children are locked up for the crime of seeking a safe haven. Know this: this system is working as designed. #NoKidsInCages.”

In a statement, Badger & Winters Founder Madonna Badger said, “We have to rise up against innocent children being ripped from their parents’ arms. What has been happening at our borders is inhumane and against domestic and international law. There is no justification for harming the ones among us who are most in need of love and protection.”

For more on the continuing—and mounting—brutality and horror carried out by the U.S. against refugees and immigrants at the border, go here.

Photo: RAICES


Photo: RAICES

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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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Prosecuted for the Crime of Assisting Refugees in Distress
America’s Rulers Will Not Tolerate Interference With Their War on Immigrants

| revcom.us

 


Dr. Scott Daniel Warren

The felony trial of Dr. Scott Daniel Warren in federal court in Tucson ended in a hung jury Tuesday, June 11: 8-4 for acquittal. Scott Warren, a lecturer at Arizona State University and volunteer with the humanitarian aid group No More Deaths/No Mas Muertes (NMD), was facing three felony charges: two counts of “harboring” and one count of “conspiracy to transport and harbor” immigrants. If convicted, he could have received a maximum 20-year prison sentence. The government has not yet disclosed whether it intends to retry Warren.

The criminal complaint alleged that Warren had provided two undocumented immigrants "food, water, beds and clean clothes" for three days at "the Barn” outside Ajo, Arizona, 43 miles from the Mexican border. These border crossers, Jose and Kristian, had just survived a 2-day trek across Arizona's Sonora Desert, and had come to the Barn, a rundown house which serves as a base camp for No More Deaths volunteers setting out to search the desert for migrants, or their remains. The Barn also provides a place for migrants to get medical help, food, and water after what can be a horrific journey—one which has claimed the lives of over 3,000 migrants since 2001 in this region of Southern Arizona alone. The number of deaths skyrocketed after the Border Patrol began implementing its “Prevention Through Deterrence” strategy under President Clinton, which has deliberately funneled potential border crossers into the most treacherous portions of the U.S.-Mexico border. Death, after all, is the ultimate “deterrence.”

Border Patrol agents had been stalking Scott Warren for at least 6 months, and had the Barn under surveillance. They arrested Warren and the two migrants when they were spotted there together. A nurse testifying for the defense described the medical care that she provided to Jose and Kristian. And another member of NMD’s medical team backed her up, saying she had advised that they needed continued medical observation and treatment before going back into the desert.

What kind of system implements policies that have, intentionally, turned Arizona's Sonoran Desert into a killing field littered with the remains of thousands of human lives that have been found, and unknown thousands more which have forever been "disappeared" by Border Patrol practices that drive migrants into the most remote terrain to die of thirst—and let vultures, coyotes, and insects do the rest. The lives of men, women, and children are being taken, for the "crime" of searching for a safe haven and a future far from the "remains" of whole countries the system of U.S. capitalism-imperialism has dominated and plundered for a century and more.

And what kind of system responds to the exposure of its crimes by making criminals out of people determined to provide humanitarian aid to those same human beings in the face of mounting repression? NMD reports that the remains of at least 89 more migrants have been found since the day Scott Warren was arrested.

In the middle of the trial the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a statement: “Providing humanitarian aid is not a crime. We urge the US authorities to immediately drop all charges against Scott Warren.” Of course this statement was ignored.  

Intimidation, Retaliation, and Repression

Scott Warren was arrested on January 17, 2018. Only hours before his arrest, No More Deaths had released a devastating report—“Disappeared,” Part 2, “Interference With Humanitarian Aid: Death and Disappearance at the U.S.-Mexico Border”—that exposed policies and practices of the U.S. Border Patrol to interfere with and stop the efforts of volunteers from searching migrant pathways for desperate migrants who might still be alive, and for the remains of those who succumbed. For years No More Deaths volunteers have been leaving water jugs and canned food so that border crossers would not die of thirst. For this they have been arrested and convicted by a judge - for "disposal of waste" in a national wildlife refuge.

The NMD Report stated: “Border Patrol agents are destroying gallons of water intended for border crossers.... In data collected by No More Deaths from 2012 to 2015, we find that at least 3,586 gallon jugs of water were destroyed” in one desert corridor. As part of their report, they posted videos – that went viral in no time - showing Border Patrol agents stabbing, stomping, kicking and draining the bottles of water, smiling as they poured water into the sand, knowing full well that they were taking the lives of human beings in the process. 

Throughout this case the defense has exposed evidence of the sweeping extent of government surveillance of No More Deaths going on long before Warren was arrested. They filed a Motion to Dismiss due to Selective Enforcement, which showed that communications by the U.S. Border Patrol about the movement and activities of No More Deaths volunteers in Ajo, and specifically Scott Warren, had been going on at least 6 months before his arrest. And in the weeks before the arrest, two agents were exchanging the address of Warren's home, the make and model of his car, and were closely monitoring his whereabouts. Throughout this whole period, no crime was even alleged.

No More Deaths has called for groups and communities around the country to join them in a “Day of Action” on Friday, June 21st, “the longest day of the year, and often one of the deadliest in the Arizona desert,” for actions at Department of Homeland Security offices around the country to demand an end to Prevention Through Deterrence.

The prosecution of Scott Warren represents a blatant, and extremely serious act of political intimidation, retaliation and repression aimed at threatening not only No More Deaths and other humanitarian aid groups, but anyone who the U.S. Department of INjustice views as daring to “interfere” with America's objectives, however monstrous, criminal, and immoral.

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

Bob Avakian: 
The Demonization, Criminalization and Deportations of Immigrants

Watch full speech here

Screenshot from video posted by No More Deaths showing border agent grinning while pouring out water left for migrants. No More Deaths reported “Border Patrol agents are destroying gallons of water intended for border crossers.... In data collected by No More Deaths from 2012 to 2015, we find that at least 3,586 gallon jugs of water were destroyed” in one desert corridor.

In this Feb. 8, 2019 photo published the first week of March, a 13-year-old immigrant from El Salvador peers over the U.S. border fence from Tijuana, Mexico, as a 17-year-old Honduran migrant, and his sister, 25, look on while looking for a way to help the sister and her son cross undetected. (AP Photo/Emilio Espejel)

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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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