revcom.us, June 17, 2019 through June 23, 2019 (#600)

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/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...

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/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

| revcom.us

 

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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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-pays-$225k-to-gregory-johnson-who-burned-american-flag-en.html

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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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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/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.

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/600/danger-of-war-against-iran-how-long-must-this-go-on-en.html

How Long Must This Go On?
Tankers Damaged in Persian Gulf—America Again Ratchets Up Threats, Danger of War Against Iran

| revcom.us

 

The U.S. is—once again—ratcheting up tensions, escalating its aggression, and heightening the danger of a potentially devastating war against Iran.

On Thursday, June 13, two oil tankers—one Japanese, the other Norwegian—were damaged, apparently from an explosion, as they were in transit near the mouth of the Persian Gulf—a major route for world oil shipments, which lies off Iran’s southern coast.

Within hours, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran. “It is the assessment of the United States Government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,” he declared, but he didn’t provide definitive evidence to back up this “assessment.” The U.S. Central Command quickly produced a timeline of the attack and a grainy video, which supposedly showed Iranian Revolutionary Guards removing an unexploded mine from the hull of one of the damaged tankers. The next day Trump claimed there was no doubt—the attack had “Iran written all over it.”

The truth, however, is that it’s not yet known exactly what happened to these two tankers (or to the four ships that were damaged in the Gulf on May 12, an incident the U.S. also blamed Iran for).1 The fuzzy U.S. video is far from conclusive, and the owner of the tanker it ostensibly shows said the ship was damaged by a flying projectile, not a mine as the U.S. claimed, a statement consistent with initial reports of the incident. Iran denies any involvement in the incident, and then there’s America’s long history of lying and creating pretexts for aggression and war, including the fabricated 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident used to escalate the Vietnam War, and the fabricated weapons of mass destruction “intelligence ” the U.S. used to justify its invasion of Iraq in 2003.2

It’s also possible that Iran carried out the attack, perhaps as a warning to the U.S. and its allies that Iran has the ability to disrupt global energy shipments and the global economy if they don’t ease their escalating economic sanctions and military pressure. (Three days before the incident, Iran’s foreign minister warned that those who were waging “economic war” on Iran shouldn’t think they’d “remain safe.”)

The Biggest Lie of All—America as a Force for Good in the World

Whoever is behind this particular incident in the Gulf, it’s crucial to step back and look at the bigger picture and the bigger forces at work—and not be bum-rushed into supporting U.S. aggression or war by this system’s lying politicians and media. Because the biggest lie of all is the whole framework they peddle 24-7: that Iran (or whoever stands in the way of U.S. imperialism at any given moment) is the main aggressor and culprit here, while the U.S. is a force for good in the world that’s acting reasonably and merely trying to keep the peace.

Iran is an oppressed, Third World country run by a reactionary theocracy which is battling to maintain its rule and contend for influence in the region.

But that doesn’t make the U.S. the “lesser evil ” or a force for good in the world! The U.S. is the biggest, most dangerous aggressor here and around the world. It bears the main and overwhelming responsibility for ratcheting up the suffering of the Iranian people and heightening the danger of a devastating war:

And draw the lens back further:

Sharp Differences, Grave Dangers

There are sharp differences, grave concerns, and a certain element of turmoil within the ruling class—including within the Trump/Pence regime—over the possibility that the U.S. may end up at war with Iran. They all agree that Iran’s regional influence, actions, and ambitions conflict with U.S. imperialist interests, posing a challenge to U.S. domination in one of the most strategically vital parts of the world.4 They fundamentally agree with America’s necessity and “right” to dominate the Middle East. For example, leading Democrats who oppose going to war with Iran now also call Iran “a major threat to our national security,” warn against its “malign activities,” and demand the U.S. “be more vigilant than ever in fighting Iranian aggression.”5

At the same time, there are serious differences on going to war, especially with a country with a relatively strong and developed military, what in the words of the New York Times could be a “cataclysm ” and ultimately hurt U.S. imperialist interests instead of furthering them.

It is not clear how all this will unfold from here, but it is clear that U.S. actions, including its response to this latest incident, have again increased tensions and potential “tripwires” that escalate the danger of a military clash or even war in the region.

These are not “our” actions, the rulers’ debates are not “our” debates, and the interests of these imperialists are not “our” interests. They reflect the predatory interests of the imperialist system and the class that rules it, and are diametrically opposed to our interests, the interests of humanity. All the moves and actions the U.S. is undertaking in the Middle East should be resolutely opposed by people in this country in particular. It’s intolerable for people here to sit passively by—which amounts to tacit support while people around the world are murdered, maimed, terrorized, or starved by the U.S. again, and again, and again. (See U.S. Imposes Crippling Sanctions on Iran: A Major, Dangerous and Utterly Illegitimate Escalation.)

How Long Must This Go On?

Many people across society are rightly alarmed that the U.S. is ratcheting up dangers of another war in the Middle East—one with the potential to be far more devastating than even the horror America has inflicted on Iraq, where some 1 million people have died because of its 2003 invasion. But the question they need to be asking—and digging into HERE—is why does this system wage war over and over and over...what will it take to end America’s unending wars...and what is their responsibility in the face of this—including to repudiate American patriotism and doing all they can to end this scourge on humanity?

 

1. See, "Iran: America Plays Imperialist Roulette in the Gulf—Putting Millions of Lives at Risk" [back]

2.In 1964, the U.S. claimed that North Vietnam had attacked the U.S.S. Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin, then used the “incident” to escalate its war on Vietnam. No such attack took place. In the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the U.S. cherry-picked and outright fabricated “intelligence” that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had chemical, biological and perhaps nuclear weapons, and posed an imminent threat to the U.S. In fact, Iraq had destroyed its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) years earlier under UN and U.S. supervision, and after the U.S. invaded its inspectors found no – zero - WMD. [back]

3. See, "American Crime--Case #98: 1953 CIA Coup in Iran: Torture and Repression – Made in the U.S.A." [back]

4. See, for example, revcom.us article “U.S. Imposes Crippling Sanctions on Iran: A Major, Dangerous and Utterly Illegitimate Escalation.” [back]

5. “Even as he criticized Trump’s recent actions, Representative Seth Moulton last week called Iran ‘a major threat to our national security.’ In a statement emailed by her staff, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand condemned its ‘malign activities.’ Senator Cory Booker has in the past insisted that the United States ‘be more vigilant than ever in fighting Iranian aggression.’” Peter Beinart, “Even Democrats Keep Thinking Iran Is Worse Than Saudi Arabia—The 2020 candidates are resisting the latest brush with war, but they’re not going far enough,” The Atlantic, May 21, 2019. [back]

 

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The Real Deal of U.S. “Free Trade” with Mexico and Trump’s Tariffs Against Mexico...
Domination, Exploitation, and Fascist Bullying

| revcom.us

 

As Donald Trump tells it... Mexico is taking unfair advantage of the U.S. with cheap imports… “we’ve been had by the worst trade deal in history” and “we have to reclaim our economy, our jobs, and our greatness.”

Then there’s another telling… this from mainstream sections of the U.S. ruling class, many liberal Democrats, and so-called “informed public opinion”: free trade is “win-win” for the U.S. and Mexico, with more jobs and higher growth for everyone. Tariffs (which are a kind of sales tax on goods coming into the U.S.) that limit trade will “hurt U.S. companies” (pinching profits), “hurt U.S. workers” (they may lose jobs), and “hurt U.S. consumers” (with higher prices).

What both of these narratives have in common is: a) a total whitewash and obliteration of U.S. domination over Mexico, and b) rank and sickening American chauvinism—what’s paramount and all-consuming is… what’s good for the U.S., what it means for “us,” to hell with the rest of the world.

Three Things They Don’t Tell You but You Need to Know…and One Key Thing You Need to Do

1) Mexico is a neo-colony of the United States.

First things first when talking about the “sanctity of borders”: the U.S. violently seized and incorporated half of Mexico’s territory in the mid-1800s. Mexico’s government and state system are formally independent. But U.S. imperialism dominates Mexico and subordinates Mexico to its global interests.

*Economically, Mexico is thoroughly penetrated by U.S. transnational corporations. The U.S. is the largest source of foreign investment in Mexico and exerts tremendous power over crucial sectors of the Mexican economy, like auto. The majority of Mexico’s export-oriented assembly plants in auto parts and electronics have U.S. parent companies. The U.S. is far and away the largest provider of foreign loans to Mexico: about 4 of every 10 dollars of Mexico’s foreign debt is owed to U.S. financial institutions; and 75 percent of Mexico’s foreign debt is priced in dollars. Mexico’s export structure is geared to and serves the U.S. market: fully 80 percent of Mexico’s exports go to the U.S. And because of Mexico’s dependency on the U.S., its economy is subject to the ups and downs of the U.S. economy.

*Militarily, there are close military connections between the U.S. and the Mexican state. These include the sale and transfer of U.S. weapons, joint military training and military exercises (carried out under the banner of combating drugs), and policing of the U.S.-Mexico border. This is a military alliance dominated by the U.S. The Mexican war on drugs, largely overseen by the U.S., has—and this is a conservative estimate—cost the lives of 200,000 Mexicans since 2006.

2) NAFTA deepened U.S. penetration of Mexico—leading to more intense exploitation, to greater distortion and dependency of the Mexican economy, and to heightened suffering for the Mexican people.

*A key U.S. objective of the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994 (NAFTA) was to more thoroughly and tightly integrate cheap-labor Mexican manufacturing activity—especially in auto and especially in the northern parts of Mexico—into the global production chains of U.S. imperialism. To cite one measure of advantage for U.S. capital: the average manufacturing wage in the U.S. is about $21 per hour—while in Mexico, including sectors of high-tech manufacturing, it is $2 per hour (a 10-fold differential).

*The fundamental aim of NAFTA was to create more favorable economic conditions in Mexico to enhance the competitiveness and profitability of U.S. capital in the world market. NAFTA contributed to the expansion of complex, profit-driven cross-border supply chains in which specialized production leads to greater efficiency, productivity, and profit. And let’s demystify some bullshit right now: much of the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico that Donald Trump lashes out at is in fact due to exports by U.S. companies with operations in Mexico, like Ford and General Motors. These companies also move huge profits back into the U.S.

*NAFTA “opened up” Mexican agriculture to U.S. foreign trade and investment, to devastating effect. Cheaply produced, and U.S. government-subsidized, corn flooded Mexican markets. As a result, some 1.1 million small Mexican farmers—who provided much of the corn that was a staple of the Mexican diet (and also fresh fruits and vegetables)—could not compete and were driven from the land. And another 1.4 million Mexicans dependent upon the farm sector were displaced from work and land. As indebted small producers abandoned farming, foreign agribusiness firms grabbed up and consolidated prime land into large agro-export plantations. Forty-five percent of Mexico’s food needs are now met by imports—including much of the corn that it consumes! The nutritional profile of Mexicans has been reshaped by processed foods imported from the U.S.—while Mexico exports fresh fruits and vegetables to the U.S.

*NAFTA accentuated the gap between the more developed north of Mexico and the southern regions. Poverty has grown in Mexico's southern states; and they are ever-more dependent on remittances (portions of earnings sent home) by Mexicans who have emigrated to work in the U.S. In many cases, these remittances cover the very survival needs of huge swaths of the population in Mexico's south.

*More of the laboring population works in unstable “informal jobs”—at poverty wages, with few if any benefits, and little security. In 2018, 7 of every 10 Mexicans was living in poverty or vulnerability.

No, the U.S. was not, as Trump bellows, the “victim” of NAFTA. No, NAFTA was not, as liberal imperialists argue, a deal that was or could be “good for everyone.” Mexico was savaged by it, U.S. capital derived the benefits of it. And while sectors of U.S. workers saw wages get squeezed and jobs disappear—this was not Mexico’s doing but the workings of imperialist globalization. The truth is that the gap in the standard of living between people in the U.S. and the people of Mexico is not only howlingly wide—but very much a product of U.S. domination over Mexico and other oppressed countries of the Third World.

3) Trump canceled and renegotiated NAFTA to U.S. advantage. He is using tariffs to bludgeon Mexico into submitting to his anti-immigrant, secure-the-border program and fascist global agenda. And the Mexican people will suffer even more.

Trump renegotiated NAFTA. The new agreement resembles the original but puts certain restrictions on auto production in Mexico and extends the lifespan of intellectual property rights of U.S. pharmaceutical companies. The Mexican government went along because its whole economy has been shaped by and subordinated to the trade-investment structures of NAFTA—and the new NAFTA in fact further limits Mexico’s ability to diversify beyond, and pegs its economy more firmly to, the U.S..

Not long after the ink had dried, the U.S. went into a new bullying mode. Trump issued an ultimatum to the Mexican state: you seal your southern border with Guatemala and step up the lockdown of the northern border with the U.S…. or you’re going to pay with tariffs (again, tariffs raise the prices of goods entering the U.S. from another country and make these goods less competitive because of their higher price). The tariffs that Trump threatened against Mexico, and that still hang over the head of Mexico, are not principally driven by economics. They serve a larger fascist program and geopolitical agenda.

*On the one hand, this is about implementing and enforcing the fascist regime’s agenda and policies towards immigrants, policies bound with great nation chauvinism and white supremacy: America for Americans, “make America white again.” The clampdown against immigrants is part of a larger “locking down” and “walling off” approach towards a problem for which the ruling class as a whole has NO ANSWER: the workings of this system are driving millions of people in “the third world” of oppressed countries from their homes and lands—from the effects of global warming, from wars, from economic deprivation, from social devastation and violence—to seek refuge in the imperialist citadels of the world, like the U.S., Europe and Australia.

*On the other hand, Trump is using these tariffs to send a message to imperialist allies, rivals, and governments throughout the world: “It will be our way, or no way.” The message is that no economic agreement or relationship can be considered secure, because “we reserve the right to act, to impose tariffs or sanctions, and to renegotiate on our terms when we decide it necessary.” It is fascist bullying to strengthen empire.

*Trump can hold Mexico hostage to tariffs precisely because, to stress again, Mexico is dependent on and subordinate to U.S. imperialism—to the U.S. market and to U.S. infusions of capital and finance and technology.

*Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has caved in to U.S. demands to limit immigration to the U.S. He did this in order to avoid the punishing tariffs. AMLO, as he is called, is the leader of the National Regeneration Movement and masquerades as a progressive socialist-minded leader. But he answers to the logic of capital and the imperatives of maintaining a dependent client regime of U.S imperialism.

Here was the situation. In states such as Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacán, and Oaxaca, informal employment, poverty-level and unstable, exceeds 50 percent. Significant tariffs (and Trump threatened going as high as 25 percent) would lead to job losses... which could lead to protest and social unrest... which could destabilize the investment climate... and the regime! Further, the Mexican state is already cutting social programs under AMLO and has little maneuvering room to provide additional economic relief to newly displaced workers. If AMLO tried to retaliate by putting tariffs on U.S. goods, well, the U.S. could come back with even more brutal economic warfare. Remember how Mexico depends on imports of corn and soybeans, which are now at record levels of purchases.

What all this means is that for Mexico to maintain growth and profitability under conditions of tightening U.S. imperial domination—exploitation will have to be intensified, government programs (as mentioned, already strapped) will have to be further cut back, and the Mexican state will have to tack and maneuver in response to U.S dictates.

*So Lopez Obrador capitulated to U.S. demands around immigration. He has agreed to mobilize up to 6,000 National Guard troops to prevent migrants from entering Mexico through its southern border with Guatemala. The Mexican state has also agreed to bolster draconian measures to ensure that more refugees seeking asylum in the U.S.—which is totally protected by international law—will be sent back to Mexico while they wait for their claims to be processed by the United States.

The reality is this: Donald Trump is getting a version of his “border wall” on Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala. The reality is that the lives of tens of thousands of refugees and immigrants are now in even greater jeopardy. This is the handiwork of U.S. imperialism. It is unacceptable, it is intolerable.

4) And one key thing people need to do: Stop thinking like Americans, start thinking about HUMANITY.

 

Selected Sources

Congressional Research Service, U.S.-Mexico Economic Relations: Trends, Issues, and Implications, March 26, 2019

Mexico Center, Rice University, Jesús Velasco, The Future of U.S.-Mexico Relations: A Tale of Two Crises, August 2018

The Mazatlán Post, Mexico’s External Debt: Who does Mexico owe? And how much, January 30, 2019

Econofact, Alonso de Gortari, How Much of Your Car Is Made in Mexico? January 20, 2018

Tecma University, Juan Arvilla, Mexico Labor Costs Continue to Benefit Manufacturing, 2019

Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, NAFTA’s Legacy for Mexico: Economic Displacement , Lower Wages for Most, Increased Migration, March 2018

OECD, Global and Mexico Economic Outlook 2018 (Poverty in Mexico)

Stratfor Worldview, Despite a Deal on Migration, a Tariff Threat Still Hangs Over Mexico, June 11, 2019

NACLA, Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera and Laura Weiss, El Chapo and Mexico’s Drug War Spectacle, March 4, 2019

Bloomberg Opinion, Daniel Moss, New Era of Free Trade Leaves Mexico More Isolated, October 9, 2018

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Neocolonialism is a form of control by rich imperialist countries over oppressed countries in the Third World. It is control by indirect means rather than direct colonial governance—but results in colonial-like exploitation. Neocolonial power is exercised through client regimes, like those of Mexico, Nigeria, and Egypt, that provide favorable economic conditions for foreign investment and repress the masses—and that depend on economic and military assistance from imperialist powers. Neocolonialism works through transnational corporations and international financial institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and through cultural-ideological dominance. Coups, interventions, and military invasions (like the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan) are tools of neocolonial rule.

Transnational refers to activities, movements, and organizations that span international boundaries. General Motors is a transnational corporation: with a home base in the United States, it operates in many different countries.

Supply, or production, chain consists of the various stages involved in the production of a particular product. Automotive supply chains are among the most complex. A car may contain more than 20,000 parts originating from thousands of different suppliers in different countries. Imperialist capital develops supply chains to maximize profits, making extensive use of low-wage labor in oppressed countries.

Informal employment refers to jobs that are highly insecure, not subject to national labor laws and regulations, with hours of work and wages below those of standard jobs, and generally without benefits (like social security). Sometimes called casual labor, these jobs are often for short duration. Informal work is part of the survival strategy of much of the global workforce, especially in the Third World.

“Would Mexico & Central America still be the US' backyard after the revolution?”

From the Q&A following the speech by Bob Avakian Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

Some Background on Trump's Threats of Tariffs to Demand Mexico Be U.S.'s Partner in Crimes Against Refugees

Over the recent period, using the threat of crippling, escalating tariffs on all goods coming from Mexico as his cudgel, Trump demanded that Mexico knuckle under and become an even more thorough collaborator in, and enforcer of, the Trump/Pence regime’s goal of effectively shutting down the right to asylum for mounting numbers of refugees from Central America fleeing poverty, unemployment, violence, and repression in their own countries.

On June 7, just hours before the tariffs against Mexico were to go into effect, Trump announced that Mexico had signed a “joint declaration” agreeing to “take unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration.” Mexico also agreed to expand the “Remain in Mexico” program across the entire U.S.-Mexico border. This program forces thousands to wait for asylum in Mexico for months, or even years, until their asylum claims are decided, having to find work and survive in Mexico’s dangerous border cities instead of being able to join families and friends in the U.S. while they wait.

Mexico is also reportedly close to signing an agreement—in complete violation of U.S. and international law—that would force all Central American refugees to apply for asylum in the first country they enter. If that goes into effect, Guatemalans would have to apply for asylum in Mexico, while Hondurans and Salvadorans would be forced to apply for asylum in Guatemala—a country with conditions of poverty so severe, magnified by global warming that is destroying its crops, that children are dying of hunger.

Even before June 7, Mexico had already been conceding for weeks and months to U.S. bullying to head off the tariff threat. Mexican armed forces have been carrying out raids and setting up 24-hour roadblocks of routes north. Recently, Mexico deployed 6,000 heavily armed troops, part of a newly formed National Guard, to block a caravan of about 1,000 migrants and force them to turn around just a day after crossing the border from Guatemala.

To assure the U.S. that Mexico’s intelligence agencies were on board as well, Mexican authorities arrested two prominent humanitarian aid workers with Pueblo Sin Fronteras (PSF). The two aid workers had played key roles in organizing last year’s large public caravans that traveled from Honduras to the U.S. The caravans were viciously attacked by Trump and his fascist regime as “invaders” of America’s “sacred borders.” According to secret documents released to the press last winter, they had been under surveillance by a joint U.S.-Mexico intelligence operation—which also targeted other activists, lawyers, and journalists—after the Border Patrol teargassed refugees in Tijuana in November 2018. One of the aid workers, Irineo Mujica, director of PSF, has worked closely with Scott Warren, a volunteer with another aid group, No More Deaths. Warren had been on trial in Tucson facing outrageous felony charges simply for providing food, clothes and a brief place to stay for two desperate migrants before the trial ended in a hung jury.

The Trump/Pence regime had begun meeting with the Mexican foreign minister right after the inauguration of the newly elected president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (known as AMLO). This culminated in December with the U.S. State Department announcing an agreement with Mexico “on a strategic framework for our cooperation in Central America to address root causes of migration.” Mexico’s foreign minister said that up to $10.6 billion in existing U.S. funding was promised for “institutional reform” and “good government” initiatives in Central America, along with regional development in southern Mexico. In other words, U.S. imperialism intends to use Mexico as regional enforcer of imperialist interests. Nothing about this agreement has anything to do with the interests of the masses of people in Central America or Mexico—at all.

 

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The Crucial Importance of the New Communism and BA's Leadership

| revcom.us

 

The following is a summation of some group study and discussion of the new communism and the leadership of Bob Avakian (BA).

First of all, I want to say that it has been truly great, deeply meaningful, critically important—and a lot of fun!—digging into the work, leadership and method of BA together. I have been thinking recently about some key themes and lessons that occur to me regarding our study and discussions and their purpose and importance. There is obviously so much that I could highlight—in terms of the key points we have gotten into in these sessions and the significance of these sessions—and trying to cover it all would be well beyond the scope of what I have written here (which ended up being longer than I envisioned when I started). However, I wanted to frame our work together with two overall themes.

The first of these themes is drawn from the beginning of a quote from BA: “Let’s get down to basics: We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit.” (from BAsics 3:1)

The second theme is the critical role of revolutionary theory.

Let me briefly get further into each of these themes—in general, as it relates to the role and importance of BA and his leadership in the world, and also as it relates to our study and discussions.

Given how much there is to say on each of these two themes, I can only really scratch the surface here. But let’s start with the first one:

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

The understanding captured in this quote not only speaks to the state of the world and of humanity—and to what is urgently needed in light of this—but also, relatedly, illuminates WHY we have been engaging in this study and discussion together and WHY this is so important.

We have often talked—and very correctly so, to be clear—about having “cool” discussions. But it’s important to understand that this is NOT fundamentally about having “cool,” “interesting,” “fun” or “mentally stimulating” discussions, even though these discussions definitely ARE all of these things!

Rather, our work together has a specific purpose: to deepen our understanding of the world not just for the sake of knowledge in some academic sense, but in order to radically CHANGE the world. And, more specifically, to deepen our understanding and application of the science of revolution and communism, as this science has been qualitatively advanced in groundbreaking ways through the new communism brought forward by BA—deepening our grasp and application of this science as a key part of contributing to the process of making revolution on the basis of this new communism.

Just look at the world! We have talked about the “5 STOPS,” which speak to five key, defining contradictions of this capitalist-imperialist system. These 5 STOPS are: “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!”

A quick glance at the news from the past few weeks alone will reveal that the contradictions spoken to in these 5 STOPS—and the staggering level of suffering and misery caused by these contradictions—are only intensifying.

This is on top of the countless other forms of tremendous poverty, deprivation, misery, exploitation, oppression and suffering spawned by this system and heaped upon literally billions of human beings and humanity as a whole every single day that this capitalist-imperialist system continues.

A key point to understand, which BA’s work illuminates so sharply and powerfully, is that NONE of these outrages are accidental, isolated or disconnected from each other. They have a common source—this SYSTEM of capitalism-imperialism. These outrages and horrors for humanity are woven into this system’s rules, its operation, its “DNA,” its roots, its historical and ongoing functioning. For this reason, the system CANNOT be reformed—it must be overthrown through revolution.

This point about the NEED for an actual revolution—as opposed to attempts to “fix” or “heal” or “reform” a system that in fact CANNOT be fixed, healed or reformed—in order to put an end to the countless ways that humanity suffers needlessly is, I believe, one vital takeaway from our study and discussions of BA’s work; it is one critical point on which our collective understanding should be significantly deepened.

Another one of these vital points that I think has been a theme of our study and discussions—especially recently, as we have watched the most recent film from BA (Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution) and listened to the Q & A from this film—is what an actual revolution IS, what it involves and what it requires.

An actual revolution does NOT just mean “a big change”—in one form or another—which is how many people think of it or try to define it. Rather, an actual revolution means overthrowing the capitalist-imperialist system, meeting and defeating its repressive force, dismantling its institutions and setting up a new, socialist system and state power and society—and, accordingly, new institutions—on the road to communism. Right now is NOT the time for an actual revolution, because the necessary conditions for this revolution do not yet exist. But right now IS the time to be working for, hastening (i.e., working to accelerate the emergence of) and preparing for an actual revolution.

This point leads us to the question of what we ALREADY do have, and what we DON’T yet have and therefore need to urgently work on bringing into being, in terms of the necessary factors and conditions for revolution.

In terms of what we DO have: By far the biggest positive factor we have is BA. Through decades of work, BA has forged the new communism, which is the framework—and, most fundamentally, the scientific understanding and method—that humanity needs to make revolution and continue that revolution all the way to communism. Think about this: Just as the first round of communist revolutions would never have happened without the initial scientific breakthroughs and framework forged by Marx, so the next round of communist revolutions will not happen without millions of people taking up the further scientific breakthroughs and framework forged by BA.

The framework of the new communism includes: a comprehensive and further developed scientific understanding of the nature of the problem, that is, the nature of capitalism-imperialism, how it specifically operates, historically and in the world today, why and how it is responsible for the many different forms of suffering that humanity faces and why this system cannot be reformed and must be swept away through revolution; a viable strategy for revolution—for working now to hasten while awaiting a revolutionary situation and then winning in that future situation; and a concrete, vivid and thoroughly developed vision and “blueprint” for a radically different socialist society on the road to communism, as put forward in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA.

Most fundamentally and importantly—and this is a thread running through and underlying the understanding, strategy and vision—is the scientific METHOD of the new communism.

The new communism forged by BA builds upon—but also goes far beyond, and in some key ways breaks with—the past experience in theory and practice of the communist movement.

Speaking in depth to the totality and specific dimensions of the new communism is also beyond the scope of what I am writing here, but to quickly highlight some key points of this.

In terms of the totality of what is represented by the new communism, I want to quote the first of the Six Resolutions of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, which we have previously discussed. This first resolution makes the point that the new communism

represents and embodies a qualitative resolution of a critical contradiction that has existed within communism in its development up to this point, between its fundamentally scientific method and approach, and aspects of communism which have run counter to this.

This point is important enough that I think it bears repeating in order to help facilitate ongoing further reflection: The new communism “represents and embodies a qualitative resolution of a critical contradiction that has existed within communism in its development up to this point, between its fundamentally scientific method and approach, and aspects of communism which have run counter to this.

While—as this quote from the first resolution points out—communism’s method and approach has been FUNDAMENTALLY scientific, there have been important ways in which past socialist societies along with the communist movement, past and present, have taken up unscientific and even ANTI-scientific ways of thinking, methods and approaches to understanding and transforming reality, with very harmful effects.

The new communism brought forward by BA qualitatively resolves this contradiction, putting communism on a more firmly scientific footing and therefore carving out the method and framework that makes it possible—not inevitable, but possible—to confront and transform the many contradictions involved in making revolution and continuing that revolution all the way to communism.

Needless to say, this is a big deal in terms of the possibilities this new communism opens up for humanity!

While, once again, it is not possible to review in depth the various specific dimensions of the new communism, I want to highlight here three examples of this.

*First, the new communism breaks new ground—and breaks with unscientific approaches within the communist movement—in terms of its approach to the TRUTH, the process by which the truth should be pursued, understood and arrived at, and the importance of going for the truth not just in a general sense but specifically in terms of the goal of getting to communism.

The new communism’s approach to this breaks with the unscientific and harmful ideas—which have far too often and to far too great a degree infected the past and present of the communist movement at different points—that a particular section of society, such as communists, or the most oppressed and exploited, have a monopoly on truth; the idea that whether or not a statement is true should be evaluated based on the class (or social) position of the person making the statement; the idea that different classes have their own versions of the truth, i.e., that the proletariat has its truth and the bourgeoisie has its truth; the notion of “populist epistemology”—that whether or not something is true should be evaluated based on the numbers of people who believe it at a given time; the notion of “political truth”—the idea that whether or not something is true should be evaluated based on whether or not it is viewed as convenient at a given time.

Once again, all of those wrong ways of thinking are not just prevalent in society more broadly but have been significant problems in the past and present of the communist movement.

In opposition to all of this is the understanding encompassed in BA’s new communism that truth is... TRUTH! That it does NOT have a class character, nor is it determined by whether it is viewed as politically convenient in the short term, nor is it determined by the number of the masses who recognize it as truth at a given time. That truth is determined by whether or not something corresponds to objective reality, and it must be fully confronted in all of its dimensions—including those that might be unfortunate or inconvenient in the short run—as an essential part of actually getting to communism.

These points are encompassed in this very important quote from BA that speaks to a key breakthrough in understanding concentrated in the new communism:

Everything that is actually true is good for the proletariat, all truths can help us get to communism. (BAsics 4:5)

Once again, as BA has pointed out, the new communism’s breakthroughs in regard to the truth are not just a matter of recognizing that going for the truth is essential in general—though this understanding is encompassed, too—but that going for the truth is essential IN ORDER TO GET TO COMMUNISM.

*A second example of a specific key dimension of the new communism is its breakthrough in regard to internationalism—the understanding that “the whole world comes first.” This is not just a moral stand—although it is ALSO that—but represents a more fully scientific understanding of internationalism and its importance in the process of making and continuing revolution, and a rupture with and departure from unscientific understandings of internationalism in the past and present of the communist movement. This breakthrough developed with BA’s new communism includes the understanding that the world situation is principal—in other words, that it is the most important factor setting the terms—in regard to the process of making revolution in any particular country; that there can sometimes be a sharp contradiction between the needs of a particular socialist state and the need to advance the world revolution, and that advancing the world revolution must come first; and that in past revolutions there were sometimes important errors made by failing to recognize this and putting the needs of particular socialist countries above the world revolution. Here again, this is not just a matter of an abstract idea of internationalism, but principles based on the work BA has done to deeply engage and synthesize the correct understanding of and approach to the actual contradictions involved in consistently applying internationalism, with all the complexity and difficulty involved in this. (In this regard, the discussion of internationalism in BA’s book THE NEW COMMUNISM is very important.)

*A third example of specific dimensions in which the new communism has broken new ground is in terms of the method of “solid core with a lot of elasticity on the basis of the solid core,” which is a scientific understanding which in fact ruptures with the past understanding and approach of the communist movement in important ways, including in the application of this method to the process of making revolution and leading the future socialist society.

In terms of epistemology (theory of knowledge) and method, “solid core with a lot of elasticity on the basis of the solid core” intertwines with some of the key points made earlier in regard to truth and comprehends that while the communist method and approach is the most systematic, comprehensive and effective means of getting to the truth, this does not mean that communists have a monopoly on the truth and are always correct or that those NOT applying the communist method and approach are always incorrect; rather, those coming from other outlooks, methods and approaches can discover important truths and shed important light on elements of reality. Therefore, the METHOD of solid core with a lot of elasticity on the basis of the solid core involves applying the communist outlook, method and approach to reality with a specific goal, making revolution and getting to communism, while also understanding the need—ON THE BASIS OF APPLYING THAT METHOD—to learn from, sift through and sort out what is brought forward through many diverse streams of human activity and by people coming from a broad range of perspectives, including those that are not communist and even opposed to communism in some cases.

Applying this understanding of solid core with a lot of elasticity on the basis of the solid core to the process of making revolution and then continuing that revolution in the future socialist society on the road to communism, BA’s new communism recognizes—on a level far beyond and in some cases in opposition to the way this was understood prior to the new communism—the complexity and diversity of human activity and thought that must be involved in the process of making revolution and leading a socialist society to communism. This includes recognizing in a whole new way and on a whole other level the importance of dissent, debate, experimentation, ferment and individuality—not individualism but individuality—in socialist society.

To contrast this with one example from the first wave of socialist societies: In socialist China—which, again, overall represented an enormous leap for humanity in so many different spheres and overall—Marxism was in essence viewed as an “official ideology” that people in socialist society should profess, while the new communism, and in particular the approach of “solid core with a lot of elasticity on the basis of the solid core,” embodies the understanding that the leading element in socialist society needs to be communism, but this should not be enshrined and institutionalized as, in effect, an “official ideology” but put forward and struggled for as something people need to be won to and to consciously and voluntarily take up, while at the same time recognizing the importance of giving space to and engaging, and learning what can and should be learned from, the insights of others who have not, yet, been won to communism.

As positive as the overall experience of socialism in China was, BA’s new communism represents a very different vision of socialist society that involves a radical leap forward from even the best of the past.

So, these three examples—related to the approach towards truth, internationalism and solid core with a lot of elasticity on the basis of the solid core—are just that: three of many examples and points that could be offered to illustrate just how profoundly new BA’s new communism is, and the ways in which this new communism (to go back to the quote from the first of the six resolutions):

represents and embodies a qualitative resolution of a critical contradiction that has existed within communism in its development up to this point, between its fundamentally scientific method and approach, and aspects of communism which have run counter to this.

The works that we have read, watched and listened to from BA have been an application and illustration of the new communism—and this has immersed us in this new communism, in an overall way, as captured by the quote from the first resolution as well as in various specific dimensions, including the three highlighted in this letter.

Accordingly, our study and discussion of this work should have deepened our understanding and application of the new communism and its scientific method. Many of our discussions, in fact, have involved studying BA’s scientific method and seeking to take up and apply this method ourselves, to the best of our ability, even while not being able to do this on anywhere near the same level that BA himself does. This focus on method has been extremely important and instructive, manifested, for instance, in the way that we have studied and sought to emulate the way that BA boldly confronts, plainly presents and systematically unpacks the key contradictions and questions of the revolution, involving and inviting others to join him on that journey.

So, once again to return to the question of what we HAVE in regard to the factors and conditions needed to make revolution, the biggest positive factor we have by far is BA, the scientific framework, breakthrough and understanding that he has forged with the new communism, and the ongoing leadership he is providing. This leadership, as highlighted in the second of those six resolutions, involves an extremely rare combination: the ability “to develop scientific theory on a world-class level, while at the same time having a deep understanding of and visceral connection with the most oppressed, and a highly developed ability to ‘break down’ complex theory and make it accessible to the masses of people.” Our viewing, listening, reading and related study/discussion has also driven home this rare combination point repeatedly and powerfully.

In terms of what we don’t yet have, and therefore urgently NEED to work on bringing into being in order to make an actual revolution: We don’t yet have masses of people, first in the thousands and then in the millions, who are won to this revolution and its leadership and developed as an organized force for this revolution; we don’t yet have a situation where the party that is needed to lead the revolution has grown and been expanded and strengthened to the point where it has the necessary ties and influence in society to actually lead a revolution; and we don’t yet have a revolutionary crisis in which the system is unable to rule in the traditional way.

So, the urgent task before us—not just us, but certainly ALSO us—is to take the critical things we DO have and go to work on bringing into being what we DON’T yet have.

This theme—of what we do have, what we don’t have, and what we therefore need to get busy doing—has been another theme both directly spoken to and objectively posed by the works of BA that we have dug into and by our discussions of these works.

Bringing into being the conditions that we don’t yet have is urgently necessary, absolutely possible and in line with reality and how it can be changed, and there is a strategy for going to work on this, as we have discussed recently. But this will not be easy—it will take lots of STRUGGLE, repeatedly and fundamentally on a societal level.

This understanding, too, is another theme that jumps out in reflecting on our study and discussion.

We should understand that we are not operating on an “empty playing field.” There can be a tendency, especially when people are young and still relatively inexperienced politically, to think that everyone with a decent heart will immediately rally to the correct understanding of reality as soon as they are exposed to this understanding. And without question, there is a tremendous basis to win MILLIONS of people to this revolution and its leadership because it DOES, in fact, correspond to reality and to what humanity needs, and no other program and line does.

However, the understanding of BA and the new communism is, to put it simply, contending with all kinds of wrong ways of thinking, on all kinds of questions, that are spontaneously called forth and actively and repeatedly promoted by this system, and it is contending with all kinds of wrong LINES—i.e., wrong outlooks and methods applied to reality—that keep people trapped within this system. This includes, but is not limited to, people in society who call themselves “socialists” or “communists” but are actually about nothing that has anything to do with actual socialism and communism and really just want to reform capitalism and perhaps slightly redistribute the wealth generated by the capitalist system of exploitation. These reformists have nothing to do with an actual revolution and bringing into being a radically different world—and in some cases they will even admit as much. In any case, these fake socialists and communists are often some of those who most viciously attack BA and the GENUINE communism represented by BA, the new communism, precisely because BA and the new communism ACTUALLY represent what they may PRETEND to be about but in reality fundamentally oppose: real revolution and communism.

Few things are as threatening to a poseur as someone who actually IS what they PRETEND to be.

Returning to society more broadly: sharp ideological struggle must be waged—not just on an individual level or in small numbers, but among MASSES OF PEOPLE, and on a SOCIETAL SCALE—to rupture people out of all the wrong ways of thinking and wrong lines that they are caught up in and into the framework of BA’s new communism.

Once again, there is every basis and every urgency to do this, exactly because BA and the new communism correspond to reality and how it can and must be changed, while these other lines and ways of thinking do NOT. But this will take determined, sharp struggle—of the sort emphasized and modeled by BA in the works that we have studied together.

This brings me to the point with which I want to briefly conclude, which is the second of the two themes I have emphasized.

The Importance of Revolutionary Theory

Another tendency that people can have when they are young and relatively inexperienced is the tendency to view “doing stuff” as the most important political task at hand. “Doing stuff” can be defined in a number of different ways, including things such as attending programs, events or protests or doing “on the ground” political outreach and work.

Well, first of all, the question of “doing WHAT stuff” is immediately posed. In other words, what KIND of political work and outreach are people doing, and what KIND of programs and protests—around what line—are people seeking to be involved in? This is obviously a key question.

It’s not the case, as people often think and sometimes say, that “it’s all good”—in other words, “liberal”/“progressive”/“socialist”/“communist”—“sure, sure we all basically want the same things and are on the same page.”

NO. While there are certainly some important areas in which genuine communists can find unity with broad ranks of progressives, there are different lines out there and these different lines are in contention and lead to fundamentally different understandings of the problem and solution in the world.

So, that’s the first question: doing “WHAT” stuff and with WHAT goal?

That said, “doing stuff” in the right sense—i.e., doing “practical work” on the ground and in the broader society to promote this revolution and its leadership, to organize people into the revolution, working to hasten and prepare for an actual revolution, to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution, including through different forms of political outreach, programs and discussions, demonstrations and protests, etc.—is extremely critical and important, and in fact urgently necessary.

But it is important to understand that in a movement for revolution—like any good team—everyone has different roles, and it is important for people to understand and embrace their roles in order to make the greatest possible contribution to the team and, in this case, to humanity.

However, even beyond this question of each person’s individual roles, there is the question of the decisiveness of revolutionary theory.

Once again, “doing stuff” in the right sense—i.e., practical revolutionary work—is critically important. If millions of people had the right theoretical understanding but didn’t act on that understanding in practice, nothing would change.

However—and this goes up against the ways people are trained to think in this society, and against the spontaneity of how people often see things when they are young (or new to things), but is nonetheless true and important—what is even more fundamental than “doing stuff” is the question of what people, individually and in their masses, UNDERSTAND. Whether and how people act—and the effect this has in the world—ultimately comes down to what people UNDERSTAND.

From that standpoint, it is crucial that people find the ways to do what we have been doing: immersing ourselves in, taking up and applying the most advanced revolutionary theory in the world, BA’s new communism, as part of the overall process of making revolution.

One final point: It is important not to look narrowly at what it means to TAKE UP and APPLY the new communism. This doesn’t just mean direct political work and outreach, which, once again, is very important. Taking up and applying this work means—in a BROADER sense—applying the understanding represented by BA and the new communism to understanding and changing reality. Very importantly, this includes sharing observations/ideas/questions and thoughts—about what you are learning and the material you are studying; about developments, changes and trends in society (and the world overall); about ways and openings to promote this revolution and its leadership; about how people (those you know and people more broadly) are viewing and discussing different things going on in society/the world, what this reveals about openings for revolution and jolts in society but also the need to transform people’s thinking; about major events and developments in music and the arts... just to give a few examples.

These are all VERY IMPORTANT contributions to the revolutionary process, and it would be wrong to think otherwise.

So, let me end this where I began: This process we have embarked on has been—and will continue to be—deeply meaningful, really exciting, and a lot of fun. And this is a crucial part of actually participating in and contributing to the process of building for the revolution that is so urgently needed.

THE NEW COMMUNISM

The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, by Bob Avakian

Download PDF of book here

Read more

Breakthroughs —

The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism
A Basic Summary

Updated prepublication copy, April 10, 2019
Read or download (searchable PDF)

 

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

| revcom.us

 

 

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

 

Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

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

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

Order the book or download the book in ePub format HERE

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

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

 

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Statement from the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

 

June 1, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHICH WILL YOU CHOOSE?

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

A speech by Bob Avakian
In two parts:

 

Watch it, spread it, fund it

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

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

 

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

Get Organized for An ACTUAL Revolution to Emancipate All Humanity

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Read the #BEB - Bourgeois Electoral Bullshit - broadsheet

#BEB Revealed!

Read more

Read the text of this speech by Andy Zee

 

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

Delusion and Deception in Service of American Empire

Read more


Flooding in Indonesia

 

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

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

by Nayi Duniya

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

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

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IDENTITY POLITICS AND PRIVILEGE

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

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

By Tala Deloria, Revolution Club, LA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Stop Being Farra-CONNED!

We Don’t Need to GET IN ON Oppression,

We Need to END Oppression

Get With the Real Revolution

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

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

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

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

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

I recently went to an event on Black Feminism and Hip Hop to challenge Black feminist author Brittney Cooper. I brought an open letter written by a comrade of mine titled, “Hey Brittney Cooper—Do You Realize How Politically and Morally Bankrupt It Was For You To Invoke the War Criminal Nancy Pelosi When You Shut Down A Revolutionary?” When two of us in the audience separately posed this question to Cooper, she refused repeatedly to answer the question.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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From Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

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

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

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

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From our readers:

Reform vs Revolution at a West Coast Climate Conference

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

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

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

Bullshit!

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

We Need an ACTUAL Revolution to Emancipate ALL Humanity!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted May 27, 2019

From readers:

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

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

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

An Internationalist Benefit Dinner for the Revolution Tour

Posted May 20, 2019

From a reader:

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

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

From a reader:

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

We would like to make two challenges:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read entire statement

From an immigrant store-owner:

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

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

From the Revolution Club, NYC:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

Read about the Tour stepping up and stepping out »

Read the Call to the Tour »

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

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

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

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

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

A supporter of the Tour from California

Hello Chicago Revolution Club,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

What People Are Saying about the Tour

| revcom.us

 

From a Reader from Iran:

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

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

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

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

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

Read full statement

From Isabel Cardenas

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

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

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

From Carol Downer

Funding ourselves

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

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

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

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


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

 

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

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

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

Read about the Tour stepping up and stepping out »

Read the Call to the Tour »

Checks can be sent to:
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Chicago, IL 60654-0486 (Mark for the Tour)

From Reverend Cecil L. “Chip” Murray:

April 17, 2019

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Reverend Cecil L. “Chip” Murray

From Fr. Luis Barrios, NYC:

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

 

 

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

Field Reports From The National Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

 

Speech by Luan from the National Revolution Tour at the December 14 #OutNow! Protest in NYC

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

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

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

From a member of the National Revolution Tour

October 29, 2019

Read more

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

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

Read more

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

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

Read more

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


Dispatch from the National Revolution Tour:

Out Among the People, "Disturbing The Air"

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

More about the Tour »

Read the Call to the Tour »

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


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

On The Michael Slate Show

LISTEN HERE


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

Revolution Club at the State Capitol in Sacramento

 

Read flier here

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

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

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

 

A Speech by Bob Avakian

This speech is in two parts.

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

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

A speech by Bob Avakian
In two parts:

 

Watch it, spread it, fund it

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

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/600/when-is-enough-enough-en.html

When Is Enough, Enough?

| revcom.us

 

A Letter from a Reader

Scenes of horror continue to emerge.

Between 100 and 150 migrant men detained for more than a month on a bridge—in what a reporter called “a human dog pound,” in El Paso, Texas. Detained outdoors in temperatures approaching 100 degrees, they told the professor who reported this, “... they haven’t washed or been able to change the clothes they were detained in the entire time, and that they’re being poorly fed and treated in general.”

A teenage girl from Guatemala sitting in a wheelchair in extreme pain, with a bunched up sweatshirt, detained at a crowded “border facility.” Under this sweatshirt, a premature baby who urgently needs to be in an incubator with a heart monitor at a neonatal hospital facility.

This follows the chilling image of detainees “standing on toilets” for breathing room at a border facility holding 900 people in space meant for 125.

And those of open air camps cramped with detainees in the extreme cold of winter... of children separated from their parents and housed in cages... of children dying in the “care” of the Department of Homeland Security, at least five since late last year...

Nobody in these United States can claim they did not know... with each new image and story that is not responded to with outrage and protest, the moral backbone weakens further. For all those who look away, whose outrage is numbed, who refuse to pursue their convictions to where they will lead ...

When is enough, enough? If not now, when?

This week a few DID take action, even if beginning and basic: artists in NYC, where chilling art installations depicting crying children in cages popped up across the city, which police quickly took down, and Paris, where the artist Saype in “Beyond Walls,” at a park across from the Eiffel Tower, depicted hands interlocking with each other symbolizing those rescuing people attempting the deadly crossing between Africa and Europe.

A positive stand was taken by jurors who were part of a deadlock and declared a mistrial for a courageous activist, Scott Warren, from No Mas Muertes, a group that wants No More Deaths for those crossing in the border regions between Mexico and the U.S.1

Much more is needed—art and activism, outrage and creative defiance, protest in the streets and walk-outs, from ALL people of conscience ... I am reminded of Mario Savio’s call at the Free Speech Movement:

There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part! You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels ... upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

And in this context, note the call from No More Deaths for a “Day of Action” on June 21, “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. The actions will demand an end to “Prevention Through Deterrence,” the Border Patrol program, begun under President Bill Clinton, which has deliberately funneled potential border crossers into the most treacherous portions of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Ask yourself, and ask everyone you meet: Why are thousands flooding the border? Tell them the “hot” truth: Global warming has made scarce harvests, driving people off their land. Societies have been destroyed by U.S.-backed invasions, coups and regimes with violence endemic and terrorizing; economies destroyed by global imperialism that distorts the economy to serve those countries atop this system, especially the U.S. Trump may succeed in further outsourcing the horror of terrorizing and detaining the migrants to the Mexican government. Or you may get the Democrats with their “civilized” electronic fence. But the horror will go on... and on. THEY—THE CAPITALIST-IMPERIALIST SYSTEM AND ITS RULERS—HAVE NO ANSWERS.

There are only two choices: Either this goes on and on ... or, WE MAKE REVOLUTION! Supporting and getting with the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour. Bringing into being through an ACTUAL revolution a radically different system and society! And with this, birthing an entirely different relationship to the earth and its people, and an entirely different relationship between those of us living in North America and the peoples to the South and all over the world that the U.S. has so bitterly exploited and oppressed.

We need a movement for revolution AND we need people of all views, who wish to hold onto their humanity, to begin acting now to change this outrage, coming from their own convictions.

I myself am heartened by Scott Warren’s stand, coming from his religious convictions to “provide emergency aid to fellow human beings in need.” Ask yourself: What sort of system criminalizes someone like him, for offering water to those in the desert, fleeing violence and destruction? What kind of system threatens and hangs the sword of a 20-year prison sentence on someone like him?

 


1. Warren, a geographer who taught courses at Arizona State, was arrested for allegedly providing food, water, beds and clean clothes to undocumented immigrants near Arizona’s scorching Sonoran Desert. Warren faced up to 20 years in prison on charges of “harboring and conspiring to transport" immigrants. Jurors in the case could not reach a unanimous verdict and remained deadlocked. During the case, it emerged that Border Patrol agents were conducting surveillance of these activists and were punitive in their charges, filing them in retaliation for the activists’ release of a report criticizing the Border Patrol that showed “video footage of agents behaving cruelly and unprofessionally.” [back]

Bob Avakian's Answer to People Who Complain about Immigrants Crossing Borders

Click here to watch the whole film:
Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution


Neal Rosendorf, a government professor at New Mexico State University, took this photograph of migrants he discovered being detained outdoors near the Paso del Norte Bridge in El Paso. The men said they had been held there more than 30 days, without showering or changing clothes. (Photo: Neal Rosendorf)

 


Detainees at a border facility holding 900 people in space meant for 125.

 


Many New Yorkers 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—representing caged refugee children--wrapped in Mylar sheets. Photo: RAICES

 


In Paris, "Beyond Walls," by the artist Saype at a park across the Eiffel Tower, depicted hands interlocking with each other symbolizing those rescuing people attempting the deadly crossing between Africa and Europe.

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

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

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/600/american-crime-17-mass-murder-in-the-skies-over-iran-en.html

American Crime

Case #17: Mass Murder in the Skies Over Iran:
The Shoot-Down of Passenger Flight 655… by the U.S. Navy

| 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.

Editor's Note (January 13, 2020): As we go to press, a major political crisis is developing in Iran concerning the Iranian theocratic regime's downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane, killing all 176 passengers, most of them Iranian citizens or of Iranian origin. This was in the immediate aftermath of the regime's response to the U.S. assassination of one of its major military leaders, Qassem Soleimani, with missile attacks against a U.S. base in Iraq. Iran admitted "unintentionally" hitting the plane after initially denying it, amid rising tensions with the U.S. Mass protests have broken out against the Iranian regime in Tehran, the capital, and other cities.

In this article, we review the history of the U.S. shooting down a passenger jet in Iranian airspace over 30 years ago, an American crime!

THE CRIME

At 9:53 on the morning of July 3, 1988, Captain Mohsen Rezaian was piloting Iran Air Flight 655, a civilian airliner on a routine flight from Bandar Abbas, 140 miles across the Persian Gulf to Dubai, normally a 28-minute flight. 290 people were aboard the plane.

Suddenly, without warning, two surface-to-air missiles launched from the U.S. warship Vincennes, 18 miles away, ripped apart his plane which then crashed into the Gulf. All aboard were killed, though only about 200 bodies could be recovered.

At the time, Iran had been at war with Iraq for nearly eight years.

In 1984, Iraq launched its first attack on Iranian oil facilities and shipping, and in 1987, Iran responded by targeting the oil tankers of Kuwait—which was supporting Iraq’s war—with mines. The U.S. dispatched 42 U.S. warships to escort re-flagged Kuwaiti oil tankers and ostensibly to protect neutral shipping (which did face threats from both belligerents). In late May 1988, the naval cruiser U.S.S. Vincennes equipped with the state-of-the-art Aegis radar system had been sent into the Gulf, supposedly to protect against Iranian anti-ship missiles.

A little over a month later, it shot down Iran Air 655. Sixty-six children under 12, 156 men, and 66 women were killed. Most all were Iranians, but there were also Arabs, Koreans, and Japanese people among the dead.

One Iranian businessman was waiting to greet his family in Dubai. All were killed—his wife, her brother, and their eight children. When he heard the news, “The man just went out of his mind, going from pillar to post and banging his head,” a witness reported. To this day, there are ceremonies in Iran in memory of those killed on July 3, 1988.

THE ALIBI

The U.S. immediately blamed Iran for the disaster. On July 5, the New York Times ran an editorial that called on readers to see things from the perspective of the Vincennes’ captain, Will Rogers. The editorial was titled “In Captain Rogers’s Shoes,” and sketched the following scene:

The [Vincennes] was not only in a combat zone; but at that very moment was engaged in action against Iranian gunboats making high-speed runs against it. Then Captain Rogers’s radar operators reported an aircraft heading toward the ship and descending. The plane, which had taken off from Iranian territory, was reportedly flying five miles outside the civilian air corridor and failed to answer three warnings over the civilian distress channel that all aircraft are supposed to monitor. The radar operators apparently had indications, which the Navy refuses to discuss, that the plane was a powerful F-14 jet.... Captain Rogers already had a battle on his hands. Barring surprising findings, it is hard to fault his decision to attack the suspect plane.

But the Times had no trouble finding fault with the dead pilot and with Iran, arguing that in the “episode”:

... blame may lie with the Iran Air pilot for failing to acknowledge the ship’s warnings and flying outside the civilian corridor. Iran, too, may bear responsibility for failing to warn civilian planes away from the combat zone of an action it had initiated.

And the Times’ editorial concluded:

The present rules of engagement allow a captain to fire first in defense of his ship. ...the onus for avoiding such accidents in the future rests on civilian aircraft: avoid combat zones, fly high, acknowledge warnings. Better still, no one would have to be in Captain Rogers’s shoes in the first place. That prospect turns on Teheran’s willingness to bring an end to its futile eight-year war with Iraq.

The Times’ editorial was echoed by then-Vice President George H.W. Bush, who told the UN that:

[The shooting down of Flight 655] occurred in the midst of a naval attack initiated by Iranian vessels against a neutral vessel and, subsequently, against the Vincennes when it came to the aid of the innocent ship in distress.

Despite these hostilities, Iranian authorities failed to divert Iran Air 655 from the area. They allowed a civilian aircraft loaded with passengers to proceed on a path over a warship engaged in battle. That was irresponsible and a tragic error.

The information available to Captain Will Rogers, the captain of the Vincennes, indicated that an Iranian military aircraft was approaching his ship with hostile intentions. After seven unanswered warnings, he did what he had to do to protect his ship and the lives of his crew. As a military commander, his first duty and responsibility is to protect his men and his ship.1

LIE UPON LIE

Virtually every word of the U.S. version of events was false, and by the time Bush gave his UN speech, the U.S. knew it. As is brought out and documented in meticulous detail in “Vincennes: A Case Study,” (from the pro-military U.S. Naval Institute) here is the truth:

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE

The United States has a long and bloody history of seeking to dominate and oppress Iran (one of the world’s largest oil producers).3 In September 1980, the U.S. gave the green light to Iraq (under Saddam Hussein) to invade Iran in order to weaken and contain Iran’s new Islamic Republic.

During the initial stages of the Iran-Iraq war, the U.S. provided or facilitated military aid to Iraq—including poison gas that Iraq used to kill thousands of Iranian troops as well as Kurdish civilians. When Iraq seemed to be close to winning, the U.S. provided aid to Iran. (The U.S. goal was to protract the war and weaken both countries.) There were 262,000 to 367,000 Iranians and 105,000 Iraqis killed, plus an estimated 700,000 injured or wounded on both sides.4

But by 1987, the war was destabilizing the whole region, and Iran was getting the upper hand, threatening U.S. allies and interests in the region, so the U.S. sought to bring it to an end by moving decisively against Iran. The U.S. warships were sent to the Gulf not only to protect Kuwaiti tankers but also to pressure Iran. Tensions escalated on April 14, 1988, when the U.S. frigate Samuel B. Roberts hit an Iranian mine and nearly sank. Four days later, on April 18, with U.S. backing (and with the use of sarin gas), Iraq seized back the strategic Fao (al-Faw) Peninsula. That same day, U.S. forces launched Operation Praying Mantis, attacking the Iranian navy inside Iranian territorial waters, destroying or severely damaging half of Iran’s navy.5

It was clear that when the Vincennes arrived in the Gulf in May 1988, it was “on a mission” to draw blood, to carry out aggressive military action that had nothing to do with its alleged function of providing radar protection for the U.S. fleet.

It is possible that Rogers did not realize the plane he was shooting down was a passenger jet, but it is certain that like a swaggering pig rolling through a Black neighborhood spreading terror, it really wasn’t very important to him to make the assessment. His was a “shoot first, ask questions later” orientation. It is also possible that the U.S. deliberately shot down a civilian airliner to send a chilling, Mafia-like message to Iran.

In either case, and because at key points in the incident Rogers checked in with and got approval from naval headquarters in Bahrain, it’s clear his actions were in line with and served the strategic orientation of the U.S. military at that point: to bully and bloody Iran in order to force them to agree to a ceasefire in the war with Iraq. Taken together with the U.S. destruction of half the Iranian navy, and the U.S.-backed seizure by Iraq of the Fao Peninsula, the shootdown of Flight 655 was taken by Iran as a signal of U.S. ruthlessness and a message that things would only go from bad to worse if they didn’t abide by U.S. demands to agree to end the war.

Sixteen days after Flight 655 was downed, Iran accepted the UN ceasefire that the U.S. had been pressuring it to agree to.

THE CRIMINALS

President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush, who were strategically in charge of the U.S. role in the Iran-Iraq War, and “set the tone” (whether or not they gave specific orders) in which war crimes like the shoot-down of Flight 655 could take place. Reagan called it a “terrible tragedy” (a statement “Aimed at Saving U.S. Policy in the Gulf,” according to the Washington Post), but overall he and Bush in particular brazenly defended and justified this crime.

The U.S. Naval Command (Joint Task Force in the Middle East) in Bahrain, which oversaw the Vincennes operations and green-lighted them at key points. And, two years after the incident, President George H.W. Bush commended Captain Rogers for his actions and awarded him the Legion of Merit—the U.S. military’s second-highest peacetime medal.

While the commendation did not mention shooting down Flight 655, it covered the period in which it happened, and Rogers was specifically praised for his “dynamic leadership, logical judgment and unexcelled devotion to duty” in the attack on Iranian boats that led up to and provided justification for shooting down the plane. Rogers’ weapons and combat systems officer, Lt. Commander Lustig, also received a medal for the attack on the Iranian boats, which was described as a “heroic achievement.” Both Rogers and Lustig remained in the military and were given important posts.

Not one member of the Vincennes crew was ever disciplined in any way for the mass murder. In fact, the whole crew was awarded Combat Action Ribbons.

Captain Rogers, who made the decision to shoot down the plane, lied about what happened afterwards, and never expressed the slightest remorse.

The officers and crew of the Vincennes, who, even if they were not making command decisions, carried out immoral orders and participated in the lies and coverup once the slaughter was over.

The U.S. media (with special “honors” to the New York Times), which shamelessly promoted the lies the U.S. military told to justify its crimes, and was a mouthpiece for both bullying Iran and rousing the U.S. population—especially progressives and liberals—to support the U.S. attacks on it.


1. Excerpts for Vice President George Bush’s Remarks to U.N. Security Council, July 14, 1988. [back]

2. “The data from USS Vincennes' tapes, information from USS Sides and reliable intelligence information corroborate the fact that TN 4131 was on a normal commercial air flight plan profile … squawking Mode III 6760, on a continuous ascent in altitude from take-off at Bandar Abbas to shoot down.”, See Vincennes: A Case Study, by Lieutenant Colonel David Evans, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), in Proceedings, Vol 119/8/1,086, August, 1993, published by U.S. Naval Institute. [back]

3. See American Crime, Case #98: 1953 CIA Coup in Iran: Torture and Repression—Made in the USA, revcom.us, May 16, 2016. [back]

4. The Republican Party Is Fascist; The Democratic Party Is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, “Fueling the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988,” revcom.us, January 7, 2019. [back]

5. Vincennes: A Case Study, Ibid. [back]

 

Arrow is flight path of 655 and red "explosion" symbol is where plane was destroyed by rocket attack.

Iranians carrying coffins in the streets of Tehran of the victims of the U.S. airstrike against the Iranian commercial flight 655. (Photo: AP)

Iranians throwing flowers in the Persian Gulf in annual commemoration of the 290 people killed when the U.S. shot down the commercial aircraft 655.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

“I will never apologize for the United States of America. Ever. I don’t care what the facts are.”

Then-VP George H.W. Bush, August 2, 1988 speech while campaigning for the presidency

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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:

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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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/600/it-now-comes-out-vallejo-pigs-55-shots-in-3.5-seconds-murdered-willie-mccoy-en.html

It Now Comes Out...

Vallejo Pigs Fired 55 Shots in 3.5 Seconds When They Murdered Willie McCoy—and They Call It “Reasonable”!

| revcom.us

 

Fifty-five shots! That’s how many times the pigs in the California city of Vallejo fired at Willie McCoy when they murdered the 20-year-old Black man on February 9. Even one lethal shot fired by the cops at the young man passed out or sleeping in his car would have been totally unjustified. But 55 bullets—in less than four seconds?! This makes it even more clear: Willie McCoy was the victim of a cold-blooded execution at the hands of the system’s police.


Willie McCoy
The revelation about the 55 rounds fired (it was known that 25 bullets had struck Willie, shattering his body) came in a report by an “outside expert”—a consultant who is an ex-cop—hired by the city of Vallejo, which was just released. The report came to a different conclusion about the police killing of Willie McCoy—do we even need to spell out what it was?

The ex-cop wrote, “I opine the 55 rounds fired by 6 officers in ~3.5 seconds is reasonable based upon my training and experience as a range instructor as well as through applied human factors psychology.” Reasonable?? Let’s go back to the night of Willie McCoy’s murder. It was Saturday night, and Willie was slumped over in his car in the drive-through lane of a Taco Bell. Then someone called 911. Six pigs showed up, and after yelling some commands, they began firing. They would later claim they saw a handgun in Willie’s lap and his hand moving. His cousin said, after seeing police video footage of the shooting, “They killed him in his sleep. He scratched his arm in his sleep ... and they murdered him. There is no justification.”

And the “applied human factors psychology” b.s. is nothing but the outrageous justification pigs use over and over again when they murder somebody—they “feared for their lives” so they had to blast away with their guns. A justification accepted by police chiefs, police review boards, and the courts time and time again, as the murdering pigs are allowed to walk.

This ex-cop is the same “expert” who determined that cops in Sacramento did not violate any laws when they gunned down Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old Black man, in March 2018. Stephon was standing, unarmed, in his grandmother’s backyard, with his back to the cops, who fired 20 times. In March of this year, the district attorney refused to bring any charges against the two cops who killed Stephon, ruling (as reported by the New York Times) that “police officers are legally justified in using deadly force ‘if the officer honestly and reasonably believes’ he is in danger of death or injury.”

How many more times will police get away with murder because they “feared for their lives”?

As we said shortly after the pigs murdered Willie McCoy:

The execution of Willie McCoy is part of a raging epidemic of police murder taking place across this country. This remains a continuing and horrific epidemic of needless deaths of mainly Black and Brown youth at the hands of the police, even if it is not in the news, or there is far too little mass protest and resistance demanding it STOP!!

White supremacy and the vicious oppression of Black and other oppressed peoples—from the nightmare of slavery... to the horrors of lynching and Jim Crow... to the epidemic of racism, mass incarceration, and police brutality, terror and murder today—are woven into the very fabric of this capitalist-imperialist system. This system cannot be reformed. It can and must be overthrown—through an actual revolution. The time to be working toward that revolution is NOW!

HOW LONG MUST THIS GO ON!?

HOW MANY MORE WILL BE MURDERED BY POLICE BEFORE THIS ENDS!?

THIS IS INTOLERABLE AND UNACCEPTABLE, AND IT MUST STOP!

THIS SYSTEM CANNOT BE REFORMED, IT MUST BE OVERTHROWN!

“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.

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/600/murder-of-layleen-polanco-em.html

The Murder of Layleen Polanco and the System’s War on Transgender Women

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Layleen Cubilette-Polanco, an Afro-Latinx transgender woman also known as Layleen Xtravaganza, was sent to Rikers Island, the notorious jail in New York City. She was due to be released on June 13. But now her family is preparing a funeral after Polanco was found dead in her cell on June 7. The cause of death hasn’t been announced. But what is clear is that the workings of this system caused Polanco’s death. 

In April, Polanco was arrested after an altercation with a cab driver. Back in August 2017, a bench warrant had been issued after Polanco missed a court date relating to misdemeanor charges for prostitution-related offenses and a lowest-level drug charge. So when Polanco was arrested in 2019 on charges for which she should have been released, the judge outrageously demanded a $500 bail which she could not pay.

Polanco was initially put in a transgender unit, but then, after reportedly getting into an altercation with another inmate, was sent to a restrictive housing unit. When she died, Polanco had been in what is basically solitary confinement for at least a week

Polanco had epilepsy, a serious seizure disorder. Her attorney, David Shanies, says the Rikers staff knew this. And he said, “She certainly was not in a condition where she should have been left alone, unmonitored to die alone in a cell.”

Remembering Polanco, Speaking Out in Anger

Hundreds gathered in Manhattan on June 10 to remember Polanco and protest her death. They demanded answers and justice. They demanded the shutdown of Rikers, where so many, especially Black and Latino people, have been brutalized and killed by guards.

Friends and family say Polanco was a caring mentor to young transgender women, embraced by her two families—the one she was born into and the community of transgender and gender nonconforming people. Melania Brown thanked her sister’s transgender family for supporting Polanco when her blood relatives had struggled to come to terms with her gender identity. And she condemned those responsible for Polanco’s death, saying, “They treated my sister like she was nothing for how she decided to be happy.”

Indya Moore, who stars in the TV show Pose, spoke at the rally. She knew Polanco from when they both worked at the Xtravaganza ballroom, which was featured in the 1990 documentary, Paris Is Burning. Moore recited the names and details of the nine known violent deaths of Black trans women this year and told the crowd, “Our community is literally dying to live. We are literally dying to be visible in peace and harmony with you all... We aren't safe anywhere.... If you don’t like the way we are fighting for ourselves then fight for us or get the fuck out the way because you will not silence us and you will not rest in peace any longer."

Workings of a Murderous System

“It starts with the family. You have an identity as a trans person, you might be coming to grips with. You start expressing that as a child and your family starts to say things about you, call you names, or they start rejecting you. You go to school, and school is basically torture because that’s where you’re called even more names and made to feel different. School authorities aren’t helpful. So you no longer want to go to school, you don’t finish school, you grow up. Let’s say you assert your trans identity. It’s hard to find a job because no one wants to hire you because of their own feelings about trans people. They’re not going to put you doing customer service, so then you’re driven into an underground economy that’s criminalized, and you wind up in the system.”

—David Miranda, public defender in NYC who has represented homeless youth overwhelmingly identifying as LGBTQ

Patriarchy is a defining feature of capitalism-imperialism. It involves the subordination of women to men; it is interwoven with and reinforces traditional and oppressive gender roles; and it necessitates the structures and reveres the sanctity of the family. And it means the violent suppression of anything that departs from or challenges all this, including the harassment, demonization and oppression of LGBTQ people. And this is all being ratcheted up now under the fascist Trump/Pence Regime, with its Christian fascist agenda and program.

Transgender people face all kinds of discrimination and more than this, are tormented, terrorized and treated as less than human by cops and gangs of homophobic bullies. All this acts together with the oppression of people of color. Since 2013, there have been 136 murders in the U.S. of trans people, the majority people of color. And there have been at least ten trans women murdered just this year. Six Black trans women murdered in just the past month: Chanel Scurlock, Chynal Lindsey, Muhlaysia Booker, Michelle Washington, Paris Cameron, and Zoe Spears.

The death of Layleen Polanco shines a light on the murderous workings of the system: There are the oppressive social relations, the policing and criminalization targeting those who challenge or “transgress” traditional gender norms. Then there is the criminal “injustice” system, with its cash bail system, which puts people behind bars just because they are poor; with its solitary confinement, even though this has been internationally condemned as cruel and unusual punishment; and with its jails and prisons where people face the most inhumane conditions and are routinely brutalized and killed by guards. With this whole setup and more—the very working of this system led to Layleen Polanco becoming the seventh inmate death at Rikers since 2012.

The death of Layleen Polanco should call forth and intensify people’s anger at how at every level and in every corner of society this system harasses, discriminates against, brutalizes and kills transgender women. And it should deepen our understanding that such crimes, along with so many other Amerikkkan crimes around the world, can only be ended by an actual revolution.


Layleen Polanco

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/600/ebola-outbreak-in-congo-deadly-disease-even-deadlier-system-en.html

Ebola Outbreak in Congo: Deadly Disease, Even Deadlier System

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: Below is a lightly edited excerpt of a letter from volunteer correspondents for revcom.us. We welcome and appreciate such correspondence that helps pull the lens back to the larger systemic links, nature and causes of events like the Ebola outbreak. And doing this, while pointing out the need for sharp struggle—where needed—with people, our people, against anti-scientific ideas and for their fundamental interests. This is precious when the mainstream media largely trumpets xenophobic American chauvinism.

An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus has struck the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and has recently spread across the border into the neighboring country of Uganda. More than 1,400 people have suffered painful, horrible deaths and the known number infected is over 2,000. Up to one-quarter of cases are unreported. The disease is spreading at an accelerating rate. The World Health Organization (WHO) said it may be two years before the outbreak is under control.

During the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, more than 11,000 people died. After that outbreak, researchers, doctors, and others were determined that such a disaster would never be repeated. Emergency response teams were reorganized, strategies were rethought, new research on the virus was carried out, and a vaccine was developed. When this recent outbreak began there was optimism that it could be quickly contained.

“Despite this, the response has failed,” Karin Huster and Justin Healy, a nurse and physician working with the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders in the DRC, wrote in The BMJ (British Medical Journal). “In the volatile context of North Kivu—a region where armed groups, distrust of government, and socioeconomic injustices violently intersect—the Ebola response has been met with distrust and violent attacks on health workers and health facilities, the most recent being the killing of Dr. Richard Mouzoko,” they continue. Dr. Mouzoko was an epidemiologist from Cameroon working in the DRC who was murdered by armed gunmen on April 19.

Ebola is a deadly disease (see sidebar, “What is Ebola?”), but it is the chain of oppression from slave days to today in Congo and Africa as a whole that has created the conditions for Ebola to spread and make it difficult to eradicate.

A Wealth of Resources Together with Extreme Poverty

Congo is one of the most mineral-rich countries in Africa. The DRC supplies cobalt, for jet engines and batteries, and coltan, used in mobile phones and laptops.

Yet, because of the domination of Congo by capitalism-imperialism (see "How Imperialism Ravaged Congo"), Congo is among the poorest countries on the planet with an average per capita income of $1.30 per day. Total expenditure on health is $32 per person per year (in the United States it is $10,224.) Two-thirds of its population suffers from under-nutrition. In 2012, only about half of the population had access to safe drinking water. This extreme poverty contributes to the spread of Ebola, but in itself it is only a part of the cause.

Brutal Militias, Ebola, and Your Cell Phone

A war has been raging throughout the DRC for the last 25 years, fanned and manipulated by the imperialist powers. More than five million people, mainly civilians, have been killed, 300,000 women raped, and additional millions displaced. More than 100 militias currently operate in the DRC. Many of these are proxies for neighboring countries. Others represent religious groups including fundamentalist Christianity and Islam, ethnic and tribal divisions (such as Tutsi and Hutu), or local gangs and warlords. None of them are any good for the people, or represent anything fundamentally emancipatory. The central government is savagely brutal toward the people, but too weak to take control of the whole country.

These militias get a significant amount of their arms and resources through looting the mineral wealth of Congo. A United Nations Report called the sale of coltan and other minerals “the engine of the conflict in the DRC.”

These militias, in addition to attacking the people, have attacked medical workers and Ebola treatment centers. This has made it much harder to deal with the disease. Between January and early May, 85 health workers have been wounded and four killed.

More than 60,000 people in North Kivu province have left their homes since the latest wave of armed attacks began in late March. This is also a factor contributing to the spread of Ebola.

The government also plays a vicious role in relation to the outbreak. The New York Times reported that “Police officers and soldiers accompanying Ebola response teams have on occasion opened fire during confrontations with grieving family.” This is not only criminal, it has also exacerbated the situation. People do not trust the government-backed health system and what it is saying about the disease and the measures that must be taken to stop the epidemic. In December 2018, the government used the outbreak as a pretext to stop voting in the region. People have seen one regime after another pile up billions in secret bank accounts while the people exist in poverty, and this is enforced by the army and police and supported by the imperialist powers and the imperialist system.

There is a blood-soaked imperialist supply chain running from the militias in the DRC to iPhones and PlayStations of the U.S., European Union nations, and other rich countries. The profits Apple, Google and company make in high-tech come from enforced child labor (over half of the children in areas of coltan mining will end up working there), savage militias, extreme hunger, malnutrition, and disease in Congo. Now this chain is covered with the blood of more than 1,000 victims of the Ebola virus.

Unscientific Ideas Contribute to the Outbreak

The New York Times reports that the people in some communities where the virus is spreading have attacked health care workers when they have tried to take the bodies of the dead. In traditional burials in the DRC, mourners have a lot of contact with the body of the deceased. The bodies of Ebola victims are highly contagious. Handling the bodies of deceased family members is a major way that the disease is spread.

We do not fully understand everything that is involved in the thinking of the people who are in the middle of a hell on earth, nor do we know how widespread the attacks by the people on health workers are. There are good reasons for people to not trust the government or the United Nations. But in the midst of a dangerous outbreak wrong ideas among the people can allow a disease to spread in ways that are horrific—and reactionary forces can seize on unscientific thinking among the people to manipulate them, and also to make the outbreak worse. This was the case, for example, during the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. when anti-gay prejudice (and other unscientific ideas) helped the disease to spread and were fanned by reactionary politicians.

In the situation in Congo, unscientific thinking—and the lack of access to a basic understanding of science and the scientific method by the people—is a further huge burden on the people in a horrific situation. This point from BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, gets at something very important: “Oppressed people who are unable or unwilling to confront reality as it actually is, are condemned to remain enslaved and oppressed.” (BAsics 4:1)

In the face of a public health emergency, it is the duty of those taking responsibility for the interests of the people to struggle—sometimes sharply—against wrong ideas that are fueling the outbreak. If they care about the people, those fighting for the truth must persist even if it means putting their lives or safety on the line.

American Lives Are NOT More Important Than Other People’s Lives

During the first two weeks of June, several hundred migrants from Central Africa came to the U.S. border near San Antonio to escape the horrific conditions in their countries. Fascist anti-immigrant media outlets in the U.S., including Infowars, Breitbart, and Laura Ingraham of Fox News, have begun to spread lies that these migrants are carrying the Ebola virus. Because of the length of their journey and the health screenings they receive when crossing the border, there is no chance that any of the people carry the virus. This fascist fear-mongering is nothing but a justification to attack and round up immigrants and refugees, especially those from Africa. Anyone with a sense of justice and compassion should welcome refugees from Central Africa who have made an extremely difficult journey. Any attempts to round up or attack immigrants must be opposed and stopped. And, if any health care worker returning from Africa or migrant does present with the virus in the country, they should be given the treatment they need.

During the last Ebola outbreak, the United States did nothing while thousands were dying. Only when the disease threatened to spread to the U.S. was any attention paid to it. Even then the U.S. was not interested in helping the people of West Africa. Instead, it went on a xenophobic rampage targeting African people and health care workers who risked their lives to help people in Africa. Trump, before he became president, played a key role in fanning this ugly response.

The American way of life rests on a foundation of slavery, theft, genocide, exploitation, and war. To uphold that “way of life” is to uphold (and glory in) that history and present-day reality. For a powerful repudiation of that kind of thinking we urge readers to check out Bob Avakian’s “Answer to People Who Complain About Immigrants Crossing the Border,” from a Q&A following his speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution.

The lives of people of Congo—and Africa as a whole—are a horror because of the role of the U.S. and what it represents and enforces in the world. Now a new outbreak of Ebola is added to that suffering.

The world does not need to be like this. A better world is possible. We need revolution, nothing less!

Click here to watch the whole film:
Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

What is Ebola?

The Ebola virus was first identified in 1976. The virus gets its name from a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Ebola is extremely deadly, killing between 30 and 90 percent of those infected. It is classified as Biohazard Level 4, the highest classification, and can only be studied in specially equipped labs by scientists wearing special suits.

Ebola is spread by contact with the bodily fluids of infected persons, usually blood, vomit, or feces. In addition to humans it is carried by bats and some species of monkeys and apes. It is believed that fruit bats are the “natural reservoir” of the disease, meaning that they are the breeding grounds for the virus, carrying it without becoming sick.

Recent studies have linked Ebola outbreaks with deforestation of African rain forests. The areas hit the hardest in the 2014 outbreak, for example, were sites of extensive deforestation, linked to capitalist production for the world market and the poverty of the people who are driven by starvation to cut down forests to survive. The Guinea rain forest has shrunk to less than one-fifth of its original size to make way for cocoa production for chocolate. In Liberia, more than half of the forests have been sold off to logging companies.

The Ebola virus itself may be evolving to better adapt to transmission and spread among humans. Scientists studied genetic material from more than 1,500 samples of the virus and identified mutations that allow the virus to bind better with human cells.

Before the 2014-2016 outbreak, scientists had developed several vaccines for Ebola. But none of these vaccines were even tested. Why? Because pharmaceutical companies could not figure out how to generate a profit, from vaccines and drugs whose main consumers would be from some of the poorest countries in the world! It was only after Ebola threatened to spread to Europe and the U.S. than any funds were put into testing a vaccine. At the time, a specialist from the UK wrote in an op-ed in the Guardian, “This is the moral bankruptcy of capitalism.”

Colorized electron microscope photo of Ebola virus. Viruses like Ebola are made up of strands of DNA or RNA, long chains of genetic material that pass along the code for living things to make copies of themselves. The strands are surrounded by a protein shell. [Photo: Frederick A. Murphy/CDC]


Dr. Richard Valery Mouzoko Kiboung, an epidemiologist from Cameroon went to the city of Butembo, one of the epicenters of the Ebola outbreak at the end of March to battle the outbreak. He was assigned to lead the local response team. On April 19, armed gunmen broke into a staff meeting he was leading, killing him and wounding two others.
In an interview with Nature, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, told of meeting with health workers in Congo shortly after Mouzoko's assassination: "I could see how shocked they were. But, at the same time, many said, 'We are life-savers—we will not be intimidated by this attack. We will strengthen our resolve, and we will fight to finish Ebola.' They could have said, 'Take us away, we don't want to risk our lives.' They didn't say that. They said, 'We will fight.'" (Photo: WHO Cameroon)

A coltan mine in North Kivu, DRC. Coltan is a mineral that is crucial to making cellphones and other portable electronic devices. The DRC is one of the few places in the world where it can be found. Mining of coltan in Congo is done by hand and miners make about $1 per day. 30% of the children in the area work in the mines. The income from coltan funds the armed militia groups that terrorize the people, government officials and corporations. The main beneficiary from this suffering is the capitalist-imperialist system whose profits depend on a steady access to these minerals. (Photo: United Nations MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti)

 

See Also:

How Imperialism Ravaged Congo

During the slave trade, more than 10 million people were ripped from their homes and families in Africa. Forty percent of the people kidnapped from Africa came from Congo and nearby Angola, robbing the region of its most valuable resource and destroying African societies.

At the 1884-1885 Berlin Conference—where European powers divided up Africa—King Leopold II of Belgium was given personal control of much of central Africa. A system of slavery was created to increase rubber production. Expeditions were sent out to destroy villages which refused to participate. The economic and cultural life of the people was devastated further.

Failure to meet the quotas set by Leopold was punishable by death. Rather than use ammunition, that had to be imported, hands were chopped off of the people of Congo to prove that they had been killed...

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A health worker vaccinates a man who has been in contact with an Ebola affected person. January 2019 in Kivu Region, DRC. (Photo: World Bank/Vincent Tremeau)

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/600/how-imperialism-ravaged-congo-en.html

How Imperialism Ravaged Congo

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During the slave trade, more than 10 million people were ripped from their homes in Africa and families. Forty percent of the people kidnapped from Africa came from Congo and nearby Angola, robbing the region of its most valuable resource and destroying African societies.

At the 1884-1885 Berlin Conference—where European powers divided up Africa—King Leopold II of Belgium was given personal control of much of central Africa. A system of slavery was created to increase rubber production. Expeditions were sent out to destroy villages which refused to participate. The economic and cultural life of the people was devastated further.

Failure to meet the quotas set by Leopold was punishable by death. Rather than use ammunition, that had to be imported, hands were chopped off of the people of Congo to prove that they had been killed.

Adam Hochschild, the author of King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, estimates that about half of the population of Congo, about 10 million people (out of an estimated 20 million) died during the period from 1885 to 1908.

In 1908 as his atrocities became widely exposed, King Leopold sold his direct control to Belgium but the looting of Congo and virtual slavery for the people continued in somewhat less brutal form.

In 1960, when Patrice Lumumba, a popular anti-colonialist, was elected prime minister, the U.S. and Belgium backed Joseph Mobutu, a former colonel in the Belgian army to organize a coup, to assassinate Lumumba, and seize power. (See “American Crime: Case #73: The CIA-Directed Murder of Patrice Lumumba.”)

Mobutu was a brutal dictator who stole billions from Congo, which he renamed Zaire, over more than 30 years in power. For most of his rule he was backed and armed by the U.S. who used the country as a base area against national liberation struggles in southern Africa and serving as a springboard for U.S.-backed military intervention against Soviet-backed Angola. Mobutu was a close ally of Ronald Reagan, visiting the White House three times during his administration. Reagan praised Mobutu as “a voice of good sense and goodwill.”

In 1994, an army led by Laurent Kabila overthrew Mobutu aided by Rwanda. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. no longer had any reason to prefer Mobutu to Kabila. Once in power, Kabila made deals with mining companies, enriching himself and the elites tied to him. When Kabila was assassinated, his son Joseph Kabila took over and continued on the same path. Félix Tshisekedi was elected president in Decembe 2018 and took office in January, with NO fundamental change.

 

 

See Also:

Ebola Outbreak in Congo: Deadly Disease, Even Deadlier System

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/599/no-kids-in-cages-installations-bring-horror-of-immigrant-children-in-detention-to-nyc-en.html

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

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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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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/599/prosecuted-for-the-crime-of-assisting-refugees-in-distress-en.html

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

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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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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/600/phoenix-this-is-beyond-outrageous-en.html

Police Assault Family in Phoenix, Arizona

This Is Beyond Outrageous

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After years of consent decrees, body cams, high-profile trials and non-trials, THIS is what went on in Phoenix... and how many other places that day, how many other parking lots or back streets or strips malls or urban crossroads in America.

This system can't be reformed... it must be overthrown.

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/600/press-release-joey-johnson-pledges-to-burn-flag-july-4-en.html

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20 June 2019 For immediate release
Contact: Larry Everest 202 556 3906

After Trump’s Call to “Bring your flags” Gregory “Joey” Johnson Pledges to Burn American Flag on July 4th

The day after Trump’s called on supporters in Orlando to “bring your flags, bring those flags" to Washington, DC on July 4th, Gregory “Joey” Johnson, who The New York Times has called “America’s Most Famous Flag Burner” issued the following message to Trump:

“On July 4th, I will be part of the movement to burn the American flag in different places that symbolize the reality of what this flag stands for. And I’m not saying where I’m going to be doing this, but I am saying that I am going to be doing this in a way and in a place that will be quite legal, but which will unmistakably challenge and expose your whole fascist regime and agenda.”

Trump has repeatedly called for outlawing flag burning and has now taken over the annual July 4th celebration in Washington, DC. Trump is planning “a big fascist rally,” Johnson says, “promoting America First, saluting the military as he threatens war on Iran.” On July 4th, Johnson will be taking part in actions envisioning a radically different future without imperialism, exploitation, oppression: “Imagine a World Without America.”

Johnson’s 1989 Supreme Court case (Texas v Johnson) established the Constitutional right to burn the American flag in protest and is now taught at law schools across the country as a crucial case in First Amendment law.

This case arose from his arrest for burning an American flag at the 1984 Republican National Convention, and takes on heightened importance today given Trump’s assaults on political rights, the media, and the rule of law.

Earlier this month, Johnson won a $225,000 legal settlement from the city of Cleveland stemming from his 2016 arrest for burning an American flag at the Republican Convention as Trump was being nominated. (See, “Cleveland Is Paying $225,000 to a Man Who Burned the American Flag,” The New York Times, June 15)

5 min VIDEO: Joey Johnson on why he still burns the flag, how selling “Stars and Stripes” newspaper as an “Army brat” youth opened his eyes, and whether he considers himself an American.

VIDEO: Joey Johnson’s 2016 flag burning arrest in Cleveland outside Republican National Convention

Johnson is available for interviews at 202 556 3906 @Joey4Revolution
This week Joey Johnson was interviewed on Fox News’ Liberty File with Judge Andrew Napolitano for future posting.

Joey Johnson is an active member of the Revolution Club and a follower of the revolutionary communist leader Bob Avakian. For more go to revcom.us.

See also:

JULY 4, 2019: IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT AMERICA

A Call to Act

See also:

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

Press Statement by Gregory "Joey" Johnson

 

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