revcom.us, September 16, 2019 through September 22, 2019 (#613)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/612/a-readers-suggestion-taking-out-an-urgent-challenge-en.html

An Urgent Question: What Are YOU Gonna Do NOW?

| revcom.us

 

To Revcom.us:

Every time I have gone over the article “Individualism, BEB and the Illusion of ‘Painless Progress’” that you have been running by Bob Avakian, I have been struck by the following questions that he poses “for the millions and tens of millions who hate everything Trump stands for but have failed or refused to mobilize, in their masses, in non-violent but sustained action around the demand that the Trump/Pence regime be removed from power, as has been called for by Refuse Fascism.”

The questions are:

If you will not take to the streets now to demand that the Trump/Pence regime must go, what will you do if Trump is re-elected (perhaps through the electoral college, even if he again loses the popular vote)? And what will you do if Trump loses the election (even by the electoral college count) but then refuses to recognize the results and insists he is still President?!

Of course there are other important questions posed in this article and there are other very strong and provocative sections of it. But I want to suggest that your readers take the two questions posed above that I have pulled out, put them on a big poster-board and then set them up on a downtown street, or in front of a campus cafeteria or student union, or at a busy transit hub, etc. with a sign saying something like, “We are asking this question of everyone. What do you think? And what do you think we can do about the fact that millions are not taking to the streets, now?” Then get into this – gather several people around to talk about it with each other, or call a meeting for later that day near the same spot where people can talk about it, or both. And then you go from there...

I think if people took this quote out like this, right now, very simply, and reported on the results to the website (write revolution.reports@yahoo.com), we would learn something very important... and perhaps set in motion a larger process as we do.  

 


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Put these on a big poster-board and then set it up on a downtown street, or in front of a campus cafeteria or student union, or at a busy transit hub, etc. Gather several people around to talk about it with each other, or call a meeting for later that day near the same spot where people can talk about it, or both. Write to revcom.us (revolution.reports@yahoo.com) about what you found out.

Download 8.5x11 PDF | Download 17x22 PDF

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Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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/612/refuse-fascism-mass-meeting-sunday-september-22-2019-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

Mass Meeting
to Consider and Plan for Sustained Nonviolent Mass Protest Beginning this October

Puerto Rico and Hong Kong show the way – Thousands Becoming Millions

We Must Take to the Streets in Non-Violent Protest
Week After Week becoming Day After Day
Not Stopping Until the Demand is Met:

THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO – NOW!

 

Share this video of the meeting

Sept. 22 in Washington DC

Activists with Refuse Fascism and others gathered in Washington, DC, on Sunday, September 22 to consider and plan a historic undertaking: mass, sustained, nonviolent protests that begin in late October and continue week after week, growing and growing, not stopping until this demand is met: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go NOW! These meetings were opened with important remarks from Coco Das and a substantive speech by Andy Zee, all of which was livestreamed over Facebook for an audience around the country. The video of these presentations can be seen on this page.
This meeting was the first in a series across the country in coming days—see full list of upcoming meetings on this page.

The basic vision of this movement is captured in the call for these meetings (see below), and the plans developed at these important meetings will be announced soon. Stay tuned.

Find an organizing meeting in your area this coming week.

Concentration Camps on the border... the earth melts and burns... the danger of war, even nuclear... white supremacy rules... fascist mobs and mass murderers... truth and science erased... the right to abortion near gone...democratic and civil rights stripped away... THIS IS FASCISM UNFOLDING.

The Democratic Party HAS FACILITATED all of this – refusing to call this regime what it is – fascist. HOWEVER, with the Democratic Party making the move to open an impeachment inquiry – NOW is the time to seize the potential opening here, to bring thousands forward to recognize the need and possibility to drive this fascist regime from power, and to get these thousands in the streets, with the aim of thousands leading to millions.

Waiting on 2020 is immoral and dangerous: If you will not take to the streets now, what will you do if Trump wins? What will you do if he loses, but refuses to leave office? History shows it can become too late to stop fascism.

To NOT ACT IS COMPLICITY.

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

RefuseFascism on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram 
info@refusefascism.org 
RefuseFascism.org  917-407-1286
@Refuse-Fascism on Venmo

Mass meetings taking place across the country

Ann Arbor, MI Wednesday Oct 2, 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Crazy Wisdom Bookstore, 114 S. Main Street (Contact Refuse Fascism Detroit Area at 313.806.2531 * detroit@refusefascism.org * @refusefascismdetroitarea)

Atlanta Sunday September 29 1:00 pm, Ebrik Coffee Room, 16 Park Pl NE. Facebook event

Boston Sunday September 29 3:00 pm, Windsor Street Art Center, 119 Windsor Street, Cambridge MA. Facebook event

Chicago Saturday September 28 2:00 pm Unity Lutheran Church, 1212 W. Balmoral, Chicago Facebook event

Cleveland Saturday September 28 1:30 pm Cleveland Public Library, Woodland Branch 5806 Woodlawn Avenue Facebook event

Detroit Saturday, September 28 from 3:00 to 5:30 at the Conely Branch Library at 4600 Martin Street in Detroit Facebook event 

Honolulu Saturday September 29 2:00 – 4:00 pm Saunders Courtyard, University of Hawai`i Manoa Facebook event

Houston Sunday September 29 4:00 pm Taco Cabana 8905 Richmond Avenue Facebook event

Los Angeles Saturday September 28 3pm, Echo Park United Methodist Church, 1226 N. Alvarado, Los Angeles CA, 323.946.1742

New York City Sunday September 29 2:00 pm LGBT Center 208 West 13th Street Facebook event

Philadelphia Monday September 30 6:00 pm Sam’s Morning Glory Diner 1000 S. 10th Street Facebook event

San Francisco Thursday, Oct 3, 6:00 pm, 3358 Cesar Chavez St., San Francisco Facebook event

Seattle Sunday September 29 6:00 pm, All Pilgrims Christian Church, 500 Broadway East. Facebook event

 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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/612/los-angeles-tuesday-september-24-town-hall-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org

When Do YOU Say Enough?
A Town Hall: A Time to Act

Why This Is Fascism
Why We Need to Get In the Streets to Demand
Trump and Pence Must Go – Now!

Defend those who are standing up: free the #Freeway9 and #UCLA5

Tuesday, September 24 at 6:30pm

Echo Park United Methodist Church
1226 N. Alvarado, Los Angeles 90026

Come in person or watch on Facebook Live

Speakers include:
Andy Zee, co-initiator of Refuse Fascism and part of the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour;
Rev. Frank Wulf, Pastor, Echo Park United Methodist Church;
Stephen Rohde, Chair of interfaith Communities United For Justice and Peace;
Alan Myerson, Film and Television Director

Each day of the Trump/Pence FASCIST regime brings outrage and suffering, to immigrants in concentration camps on the border, to women denied the right to abortion... pouring gasoline on an already burning planet... gutting the rule of law.

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

If you will not take to the streets now to demand that the Trump/Pence regime must go even after all of these outrages, what will you do if Trump is re-elected? And what will you do if Trump loses the election but then refuses to recognize the results and insists he is still president?!

Discuss. Get organized.

 


Refuse Fascism is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in our recognition that the Trump/Pence Regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet, and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power through non-violent protests that grow every day until our demand is met.

Watch the Facebook Live from Los Angeles: Tuesday September 24

(Sound gets better after about 15 minutes)

 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/506/uniting-all-who-can-be-united-en.html

Refuse Fascism:

UNITING ALL WHO CAN BE UNITED,
Defeating "Divide and Conquer"

August 30, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Don’t allow the ruling forces, or any other force, to divide us or pit us against each other. Don’t fall for "divide and conquer" schemes and divisive actions, reject and rise above petty disputes and sectarian squabbles—reach out BROADLY to UNITE ALL WHO CAN BE UNITED, from different perspectives and viewpoints, around the great unifying objective of driving out, through massive, sustained political mobilization, this regime which has already done such great harm and which poses a grave threat to humanity.

We Demand the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go—NOW!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/613/on-immigration-the-democrats-are-part-of-the-problem-en.html

On Immigration, the Democrats Are Part of the Problem

| revcom.us

 

From Bernie to Beto to Biden, the Democrats make all kinds of promises on how they’ll be different than Trump on immigration. In fact, they have no answers. They are trying to lull you to sleep while a genocide gallops forward.

There is a massive refugee/immigration crisis around the world. Tens of millions of people are desperately fleeing for their lives. The two charts with this article show 1) the ways in which the Trump/Pence fascist regime has ratcheted up the oppression of immigrants to unbearable, genocidal levels in just the past month or so, and 2) the ways in which the Democrats have bullshitted and misled the masses of people.

Why is this happening?

The “world is burning” because of the climate change caused by the imperialist system. For decades they have plundered the whole planet and its people. They have carried out genocides and in other ways torn apart societies. They have dominated and outright invaded with their armies. The workings of this capitalist-imperialist system has devastated economies around the world, driving millions off their land and out of their homes, searching for any livelihood.

All this has now driven tens of millions to flee in desperation.

In this situation, all the imperialist powers are turning their “home countries” into fortresses. They take in a few immigrants but leave the vast majority to die. People are beginning to stand up against this in some places, but much more is needed. The Democrats pose and posture to lead this struggle, and they do have differences with some of Trump’s policies. But overall, they aim to corral and domesticate the struggle, to derail it into elections while real horrors are going on. In fact, the Democrats are complicit with Trump.

Why?

The Democrats oppose some of what Trump is doing, but they overall fundamentally agree with Trump that the U.S. has a right to “defend its borders” from “those who would break the law.”

Eric Holder, Obama’s attorney general, responsible for enforcing the laws of the land, said this weekend, “Democrats have to understand that ... borders do mean something.” When asked about unauthorized border crossings, he said decriminalization would “certainly take a tool away from the Justice Department.” As the New York Times voiced in a major editorial in July, “Every person who assumes the title of president of the United States also takes on the role of deporter in chief”. (Emphasis ours.)

And where did these borders come from? From a bloody war of conquest, waged by the U.S., whose main purpose was to extend slavery. Who violated the “laws” then? Who were the real rapists, murderers, and thieves? These borders enforce imperialist relations; and the U.S. violates borders all the time, not by sending refugees but by invading and bombing and dominating the vast majority of the world.

The Democrats agree with Trump that the U.S. has no real responsibility to the masses from these countries. But why are millions risking their lives to come here and Europe? Because the U.S. and the other imperialist powers have dominated, exploited, invaded, and controlled their countries and made their societies unlivable.

Think about it. If the Democrats didn’t basically see things this way, then why did Clinton begin militarizing the border back when he was president, with walls and Border Patrol—measures which have led to well over 7,000 deaths in the past 20 years!1 And why did Obama deport three million people? And why did Nancy Piglosi lead in passing a $4.6 billion bill this June for funding border security? They did this because the Democrats have a basic unity with Trump that the needs of this system are more important than the lives of the masses of people. This is why they posture and pose to bring the masses under their wing, but always end up betraying the struggle.

THEY HAVE NO ANSWER!

Bernie concentrated this when he said earlier this year:

If you open the borders, my God, there’s a lot of poverty in this world, and you’re going to have people from all over the world. And I don’t think that’s something we can do at this point. Can’t do it. So that’s not my position.

Only the revolutionary communists get to the real root of the problem—imperialism. Only the revolutionary communists have the real solution—revolution, here and all over the world. The victorious revolution in the U.S. will above all fight to advance revolution all over the world; and it will welcome all those who sincerely want to build the new society here to be part of that great effort, as full members of that society. And that is a world worth living and dying to bring into being.


1. According to data from the U.S. Border Patrol itself, 7,216 people died while crossing the southwest border at remote locations in the 20-year period from 1998 to 2017. Most of them died in the desert from dehydration, hypothermia or heatstroke. The actual number of deaths is much higher. According to CNN, the Border Patrol usually just counts dead bodies they discover while patrolling the border. In 2017, for instance, the Border Patrol reported 294 deaths, but CNN identified at least 102 more, not including scores of other likely crossing deaths in which officials were not able determine whether the remains were migrants. [back]

 

The Demonization, Criminalization and Deportations of Immigrants

Share widely on social media


This June 2014 photo shows two young girls, separated from their parents, being held in cages at a detention center in Nogales, Arizona. Photo: AP

Follow: @TheRevcoms
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Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/613/chart-fascist-attacks-against-immigrants-en.html

A Chart: Fascist Attacks Against Immigrants Just in Past Two Months, as of September 14, 2019

| revcom.us

 

Date

What Happened

Links for Sources and Further Info

Date: July 14

What Happened: Trump unleashed barrage of racist, anti-immigrant tweets directed at four Democratic congresswomen of color—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar. He demanded the four, all U.S. citizens, "go back to the crime-infested places from where they came." A few days later that chant, "send her back," was taken up at a Trump rally.

Links for Sources and Further Info ‘Go back home’: Trump aims racist attack at Ocasio-Cortez and other congresswomen , Guardian, July 15, 2019


“The Demonization, Criminalization and Deportations of Immigrants”
From Bob Avakian's speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution


Date: July 22

What Happened: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) begins DNA testing on asylum seekers, threatening to separate families if they don't allow it.

Links for Sources and Further Info ICE ramps up DNA testing for migrant families along the southern border, WTKR, July 22, 2019


Date: July 24

What Happened: Seventh person dies in ICE custody since last October.

Links for Sources and Further Info A 44-Year-Old Man Is the 7th Person to Die in ICE Custody Since October, Vice.com, July 25, 2019


Date: July 26

What Happened: U.S. Supreme Court approved Trump/Pence regime transfer of "billions of dollars of military funding" to build sections of border wall in California, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Links for Sources and Further Info Supreme Court allows Trump to use disputed military funds for border wall, CNBC, July 26,1019


Date: July 25

What Happened: According to an AP article, in recent days reporters have seen busloads carrying some 450 asylum seekers (unable to get into the U.S. or turned away from the U.S.), who thought they were being taken to a safe shelter where they could live, work, and study—instead being dumped in dangerous neighborhoods in Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo, without any support. Another article (August 19) says 3,000 asylum seekers have been sent to these cities "since last month."

Links for Sources and Further Info Migrants sent back by US dumped in Mexico’s Monterrey, Houston Chronicle, July 25, 2019


Date: July 28

What Happened: A white supremacist, targeting immigrants, massacres three and wounds 15 at Gilroy, California Garlic Festival. The three murdered were 6, 13, and 25 years old.


Date: August 1

What Happened: Salvadoran immigrant dies in Border Patrol custody. The 32-year-old father was being held in New Mexico. He is at least the 15th migrant, including seven children, to die in U.S. custody (ICE, Border Patrol, or other agencies) since September 2018.

Links for Sources and Further Info 32-year-old man who recently crossed border dies at New Mexico facility, CBS News, August 1, 2019


Date: August 2-3

What Happened: Immigrant hunger strikers assaulted in Louisiana ICE Detention Center. Over 100 were teargassed, beaten and shot with rubber bullets. Some 30 hunger strikers at another Louisiana facility were pepper-sprayed the day before.

Links for Sources and Further Info 'More than 100' immigrants tear gassed by ICE in US detention centre, Independent, August 7, 2019


Date: August 3

What Happened: A white supremacist, echoing Trump rhetoric, targets Latinos and murders 22 at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart. His fascist manifesto stated he was "defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion."

Links for Sources and Further Info The El Paso shooting isn't an anomaly. It's American history repeating itself. Vox.com, August 6, 2019


Date: August 7

What Happened: ICE agents arrest 680 immigrants in mass sweep of poultry plants in Mississippi. This was one of the largest immigration raids in U.S. history. Without warning or help, children were left without their parents, traumatized and crying.

Links for Sources and Further Info ICE rounds up hundreds of undocumented workers in immigration sweeps in Mississippi, CBS News, August 8, 2019


“The Terror of Deportations – Millions of Families Split Apart”
A clip from BA Speaks: REVOLUTION – NOTHING LESS!


Date: August 12

What Happened: Trump/Pence regime issues "public charge" rule, which denies green cards (permanent residency, necessary step for getting citizenship) to immigrants whom the government brands as people who will more likely go on welfare and receive other public benefits. The new rule, per New York Times, "will almost certainly disadvantage poor people from Latin America, Africa and parts of Asia." Policy supposed to go into effect October 15.

Links for Sources and Further Info Trump’s Policy Could Alter the Face of the American Immigrant, New York Times, August 14, 2019


Date: August 16

What Happened: Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allows the Trump/Pence policy of barring migrants seeking asylum if they passed through another country before getting to U.S. (thus totally barring asylum seekers from Central America) to remain in effect in Texas and New Mexico (while halting it in Arizona and California, also in the Ninth Circuit jurisdiction). (See entry for September 11—the U.S. Supreme Court allows Trump/Pence asylum policy to stand overall.)

Links for Sources and Further Info Trump administration’s latest asylum rule allowed to stand in Texas, New Mexico, Texas Tribune, August 16, 2019


Bob Avakian, “Why do people come here from all over the world?” - clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About.


Date: August 19

What Happened: Department of Justice files brief to the Supreme Court declaring that the Trump/Pence regime "correctly, and at a minimum reasonably, concluded that DACA is unlawful" when Homeland Security ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program [which had given undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children temporary protection from deportation and allowed them to work and attend school] two years ago. This is in a case expected to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in November.

Links for Sources and Further Info Trump Has Right to End DACA, Justice Dept. Tells Supreme Court, New York Times, August 19, 2019


Date: August 19

What Happened: Lawsuit filed in California on behalf of the 55,000 people in immigrant detention in the U.S. describes conditions of "torture": caged 24 hours a day, denied medicine and basic care (including to people with serious chronic conditions or disabilities).


Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) held hundreds of immigrants outdoors, behind fences topped with concertina wire, under the Paso del Norte bridge in El Paso, Texas. (Photo: AP)

Links for Sources and Further Info Caged alone 24 hours a day, denied medicine: lawsuit claims ‘torture’ in US migrant jails, Guardian, August 19, 2019


Date: August 19

What Happened: From a Fox News report: "The Trump administration issued new policy guidance on Monday tightening the rules for awarding discretionary work permits to immigrants who have been temporarily allowed into the United States for 'urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit' under the Immigration and Nationality Act."

Links for Sources and Further Info Trump administration tightens rules for immigrant work permits, Fox News, August 19, 2019


Date: August 19

What Happened: The U.S. government said they will retry No More Deaths leader Scott Warren in November. If convicted of the charges stemming from giving life-saving water to immigrants crossing the border through the deserts, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

Links for Sources and Further Info Activist Scott Warren, Facing Federal Charges for Aiding Migrants, Says He Won’t Be Deterred, Democracy Now!, August 19, 2019


Date: August 20

What Happened: Trump regime proposes new regulations to undercut the 20-year-old Flores agreement, thus removing court-imposed limits on detention of migrant children past 20 days, and allowing families to be detained indefinitely while their cases were in court.


Date: August 21

What Happened: Trump calls for end to "birthright citizenship," under which all children born in the U.S., regardless of the immigration status of the parents, are legally considered U.S. citizens.


Date: August 22

What Happened: Democratic Senator Merkley says he obtained a letter from directors of U.S. asylum field offices in the Northeast that reveals most U.S. government asylum officers working in Newark, NJ, and Boston have been reassigned to the Southwest border—leading to suspension of "virtually all asylum claims" by migrants in the Northeast.

Links for Sources and Further Info Letter shows U.S. asylum officers in Newark, N.J., Boston were reassigned to border cases, NBC News, August 22, 2019


Date: August 24

What Happened: Customs and Border Patrol tweets to claim "CBP has constructed over 60 miles of new border wall system along the SW border since 2017 and expects to complete 450 miles by the end of 2020." Tweets includes drone footage of what they say is the new wall.

Links for Sources and Further Info Border Patrol releases drone footage showing miles of ‘new wall system’ being built, Fox News, August 26, 2019


Date: August 27

What Happened: Trump/Pence regime is pulling $271 million in funds from Homeland Security, including $155 million from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Disaster Relief Fund, to pay for more immigration detention space and for temporary hearing locations for asylum seekers now forced to wait in Mexico.

Links for Sources and Further Info Trump admin pulling millions from FEMA disaster relief to send to southern border, NBC News, August 27, 2019


Date: August 28

What Happened: Trump/Pence regime said that the children of some U.S. military members and government employees working overseas will no longer automatically be considered U.S. citizens, as they were before. Effective October 29.

Links for Sources and Further Info Trump officials say children of some service members overseas will not get automatic citizenship, The Hill, August 28, 2019


Date: August 28

What Happened: Fascist group Oath Keepers tweets: "Oath Keepers is sending a leadership team to the El Paso, TX area September 1-10, to reach out and offer our protection to any ICE, CBP, or other LEO [law enforcement officer] or military family under threat; to help organize and train neighborhood watches..."

Links for Sources and Further Info twitter.com/Oathkeepers, August 28, 2019

 


Bob Avakian's Answer to People Who Complain about Immigrants Crossing Borders
From the Q&A following Bob Avakian's speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution


Date: August 28

What Happened: Per New York Times report, denials and delays in getting visas have become increasingly common for international students and scholars wanting to visit or study in the U.S.

Links for Sources and Further Info International Students Face Hurdles Under Trump Administration Policy, New York Times, August 28, 2019


Date: August 28

What Happened: A Border Patrol agent pled guilty to a misdemeanor for assaulting an immigrant trying to cross border—and was sentenced to one-year parole. Earlier in August, another Border Patrol agent pled guilty to same charge for intentionally running over an immigrant with a truck. Court filings in the latter case revealed text messages among border agents referring to immigrants as "subhuman" and "savages."

Links for Sources and Further Info Border Patrol Agent Pleads Guilty to Hitting Man in Face, New York Times, August 28, 2019


Date: August 29

What Happened: Without any public announcement, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services eliminated a "deferred action" program this month that had allowed immigrants to avoid deportation while they or their relatives were undergoing lifesaving medical treatment. The agency said that it received 1,000 deferred-action applications related to medical issues each year.

Links for Sources and Further Info Sick Migrants Undergoing Lifesaving Care Can Now Be Deported, New York Times, August 29, 2019


Date: August 30

What Happened: UN agency International Organization for Migration, with funding from U.S. government, has been flying thousands of immigrants from the U.S.-Mexico border back to Central America. Immigrant advocates question whether the people being sent back home fully understand their rights. So far this year 2,200 Central Americans have been flown back under this program.

Links for Sources and Further Info U.N. Agency Is Flying and Busing Migrants From U.S.-Mexico Border Back to Central America, KTLA, August 30, 2019


Date: September 3

What Happened: Pentagon officials said they are delaying or suspending 127 military construction projects to divert $3.6 billion in funds toward building of the Trump border wall.

Links for Sources and Further Info Pentagon to Divert Money From 127 Projects to Pay for Trump’’s Border Wall, New York Times, September 3, 1019


Date: September 4

What Happened: A leaked note from Phoenix FBI office revealed that the FBI is monitoring groups protesting U.S. immigration policy, labeling them as "extremist." The note claimed the groups are "increasingly arming themselves and using lethal force to further their goals." But almost all the "evidence" cited in the note was of nonviolent protest activity.

Links for Sources and Further Info Document Reveals The FBI Is Tracking Border Protest Groups As Extremist Organizations, Huffington Post, September 4, 2019


Date: September 5

What Happened: Deportations of Central Americans begin as Trump/Pence regime moves on their suspension of the Central American Minors (CAM) initiative—which started in 2014 and gave a few thousand children and teens (among many tens of thousands) fleeing Central America legal status to stay in the U.S.


Date: September 5

What Happened: A Mexican man was shot and seriously wounded by an ICE agent in Nashville. The man did not immediately go to a hospital because of deportation fears. The agent claims he shot because the immigrant attacked him. But the immigrant's lawyer, who negotiated his surrender to authorities, says there is no evidence of that.

Links for Sources and Further Info Mexican man shot while fleeing immigration agents is ‘‘recovering’’, Guardian, September 7, 2019


Date: September 6

What Happened: A Salvadoran woman, who was 8½ months pregnant and had crossed the Rio Grande into the U.S. to seek asylum, was caught by Border Patrol—who took her to a hospital to be given drugs to stop contractions, and then deported her immediately back to Mexico under the "Remain in Mexico" policy.

Links for Sources and Further Info US tells migrant woman 8 months pregnant to wait in Mexico, Houston Chronicle, September 6, 2019


Date: September 6

What Happened: Roland Gramajo, a Guatemalan immigrant activist in Houston, organized a community meeting to address people''s fears about ICE raids. He invited activists from around the country, congresspeople, and even ICE officials. A few weeks later, he was arrested and now faces deportation for being "illegal."


Date: September 6

What Happened: Trump reported to be considering big escalation in attacks on asylum/refugee program. One option under consideration—basically ending the program altogether, allowing president to admit refugees only in cases of emergency. Another would cut down refugee limit to 10,000—even lower than the already historically low cap of 30,000 for this year.

Links for Sources and Further Info The Trump Administration Might End Refugee Re-Settlement As We Know It, Vanity Fair, September 6, 2019


Date: September 9

What Happened: Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California reinstates nationwide injunction vs. Trump's asylum policy re: "safe passage" through a third country (but the Supreme Court overrules this a few days later).

Links for Sources and Further Info Judge Reinstates Nationwide Injunction on Trump Asylum Rule, New York Times, September 9, 2019


Date: September 9

What Happened: Mark Morgan, acting Customs and Border Protection head, declares in press briefing that Mexico needs to "do more" to stop immigrants coming to U.S., MPP ("Remain in Mexico") is working, etc.

Links for Sources and Further Info Press Briefing by CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan, whitehouse.gov, September 9, 2019


Date: September 11

What Happened: In an unsigned order, the Supreme Court said the Trump/Pence regime may enforce their new rules against immigrants from Central America. Per New York Times, this "was a major victory for the administration, allowing it to enforce a policy that will achieve one of its central goals: effectively barring most migration across the nation's southwestern border by Hondurans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans and others."

Links for Sources and Further Info Supreme Court Says Trump Can Bar Asylum Seekers While Legal Fight Continues, New York Times, September 11, 2019


Date: September 11

What Happened: Trump/Pence regime says people from the Bahamas displaced by Hurricane Dorian will not be granted temporary protected status (TPS). A TPS status would have given Bahamians legal status to live and work in the U.S. Bahamians may only be allowed in if they have the "right documents"—but even then will not be granted permits to work.


Great Abaco, Bahamas, September 5, 2019 (Photo: AP)

Links for Sources and Further Info Trump admin won’t give temporary protected status to Bahamian victims of Hurricane Dorian, NBC News September 11, 2019


Date: September 12

What Happened: Ken Cuccinelli, Trump's acting head of U.S. Customs and Immigration Services, says action by Trump to end birthright citizenship is "not in the near future, at least." But he also said, "I think [birthright citizenship] ought to be addressed in such a manner that citizenship is reserved for people who are here legally, but how Congress chooses to do that is—there's a lot of ways to do that."

Links for Sources and Further Info Cuccinelli says Trump birthright citizenship action not coming ‘‘in the near future’’, The Hill, September 12, 2019


Date: September 12

What Happened: Tents have been set up in Laredo and Brownsville, Texas, and Yuma, Arizona to hold asylum hearings for immigrants who have been forced out of the U.S. to wait in Mexico. This is an integral part of the regime's "Remain in Mexico" policy (MPP), and officials claim it has contributed to a "major decline in border apprehensions."

Links for Sources and Further Info The Trump Administration’’s Latest Experiment on the Border: Tent Courts, New York Times, September 12, 2019


Date: September 13

What Happened: The impending possible end of Temporary Protected Status for Central Americans is going to severely impact hundreds of thousands of people in DC and other areas, and cause problems in industries like construction that have benefitted from employing immigrants.

Links for Sources and Further Info Salvadorans, Washington’s Builders, Face Expulsion Under Trump, New York Times, September 13, 2019


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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/613/the-democrats-aiding-and-abetting-monstrous-crimes-en.html

The Democrats—Aiding and Abetting Monstrous Crimes Against Immigrants

| revcom.us

 

What has the Democratic Party done to stop the Trump/Pence regime’s fascist onslaught against immigrants? Have they been moving heaven and earth to stop construction of the Trump wall and all the weaponry, personnel, and concentration camps used to enforce it? Have they backed protesters demanding that concentration camps across the country shut down? Have they declared their full support for people arrested aiding immigrants stranded in blistering desert heat and demanded that all charges against them be dropped? Have they insisted and acted on the demand that gestapo-like ICE raids and deportations stop?

No, they haven’t. Here’s some of what top Democrats have done recently:


Issue:

What Top Democrats Did and Said:


Issue:

Funding for the Trump Border Wall

What Top Democrats Did and Said:

June 27: Nancy Pelosi brokered a $4.6 billion deal for Trump’s “emergency funding” for the border wall. She did this following a meeting with Mike Pence in which, according to the New York Times, he promised her the fascist regime “would voluntarily abide by some of the restrictions and rules that she had sought, including notifying lawmakers within 24 hours after the death of a migrant child”!

This was after Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 25, and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande near Brownsville, Texas. The same day, the bodies of four other migrants—a 25-year-old woman, a toddler, and two infants—were found, dead from dehydration, 50 miles upstream from Brownsville. Pelosi justified the deal with Trump by saying this will enable the government to “get resources to the children fastest... As we pass the Senate bill, we do so with a Battle Cry as to how we go forward to protect children in a way that truly honors their dignity and worth.”

September 4: After the Trump/Pence regime diverted $3.6 billion in military funding toward paying for the wall, top Senate Democrats Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand released a statement complaining Trump is putting U.S. “national security at risk, and limiting the military’s ability to compete with our country’s most powerful adversaries.”


Issue:

Trump's Racist, Anti-immigrant Tweets Directed at Four Democratic Congresswomen of Color Demanding They "Go Back" to Where They Came From

What Top Democrats Did and Said:

Trump targeted these four women for who they are and also as a stand-in for whole sections of people who the regime seeks to dehumanize, terrorize, and “cleanse” from America. A Democratic Congress member introduced a resolution, called a “censure,” that would be an official condemnation of Trump. But Pelosi prevented it from coming to a vote. She said in a closed-door meeting that a weaker resolution—criticizing Trump’s remark as “racist” but not condemning Trump himself—might allow more Republicans to support it. The resolution was passed with 240 votes—4 of them Republican.


Issue:

Protests Demanding Concentration Camps Close

What Top Democrats Did and Said:

This summer, courageous protesters across the country have faced brutality and arrest demanding that the immigrant concentration camps be shut down. Activist Scott Warren was put on trial and faces a retrial in October for providing food, water, medical assistance, and a place to rest for two immigrants who had just survived a 2-day trek across the scorching Arizona desert. Meanwhile armed white supremacist vigilantes prowl the border, often working in conjunction with Border Patrol, threatening, detaining, and turning over immigrants.

In response, the top Democrats have said and done... nothing.


Issue:

Asylum

What Top Democrats Did and Said:

In response to Trump’s racist, fascist attacks on people seeking asylum, Schumer issued a three-point plan: more judges at the border to hear asylum cases (so more people can be deported more quickly); the ability for people to apply for asylum in the U.S. in their home countries (which could be a death sentence for people who go to a U.S. embassy and say they need protection from the police and other threats in their own country); “security assistance” to Central American countries (more of the U.S.-trained military and police already persecuting people).

Schumer’s plan is essentially identical to what Trump is already doing—with one difference. While Trump is constructing tents in U.S. border towns to hold farcical teleconference hearings about the fate of the lives of immigrants who are forced to wait outside the U.S., Schumer and the Democrats want such a hearing to be conducted with due and proper legal decorum.

A New York Times op-ed (8/15/19) noted that both Trump and the Democrats recognize that either way, “a vast majority of asylum claims will be rejected.”

Top Democratic presidential candidates have all acknowledged this because they all agree the U.S. must “defend its borders”:

Cory Booker: “An unlawful crossing is an unlawful crossing... If they have no justifiable reason to be here, they are returned.”

Julián Castro: “We have a system to consider asylum claims based on certain criteria where people either qualify for asylum or they don’t... can we take everyone who would like to be in the United States? Nobody has called for that.”

Bernie Sanders: “If you open the borders, my God, there’s a lot of poverty in this world, and you’re going to have people from all over the world. And I don’t think that’s something we can do at this point. Can’t do it. So that is not my position.”

Joe Biden: When asked about Obama’s record of deporting 3 million people, Biden said Obama “did the best thing that was able to be done... I stand with Barack Obama all eight years.”


The Trump/Pence regime is carrying through with an escalating series of attacks on immigrants that Trump has described as something that “comes together like a beautiful puzzle.” Over these past few months the Democrats have said and done almost nothing as the attacks on immigrants have been ramped up to genocidal levels—or at most proffered toothless objections and modifications. But when all is said and done—the Trump wall has been funded (twice), ICE raids have been stepped up, asylum procedures have been utterly recast, kangaroo courts are being held in tents, and murderous racist bile, with its “send them back” chants and mass murders, has intensified.


Central American migrants in a cage erected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (Photo: AP)

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/613/of-hurricanes-sharpies-and-deadly-serious-clowns-en.html

Of Hurricanes, Sharpies, and Deadly Serious Clowns

A Rant

| revcom.us

 

Last week in the fascist circus, the Sharpie took center stage. But like the clown in It, it was deadly serious.

When Hurricane Dorian blew through the Atlantic, wreaking disaster on the Bahamas and threatening parts of the southeastern U.S., Trump took to Twitter to claim that it threatened to dump flood-level rains on Alabama (coincidentally one of his white supremacist strongholds). The national weather service immediately tweeted the truth—that Dorian was NOT predicted to affect Alabama. They did so both because it was true and because if people had undertaken extraordinary measures to deal with the threat, it could cause harm. And the weather service (which is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association [NOAA]) was right.

But Trump had said otherwise, and Trump would not be denied. He showed official charts, revised with his amateurish Sharpie extensions on national TV to falsely extend the path of the hurricane. This then dominated liberal air waves, which crowed and derided Trump’s ignorance and idiocy.

So Trump doubled down.

Trump’s minions forced scientists to twist the truth to fit Trump’s absurd claim. They compelled the NOAA to issue an unsigned statement that the Alabama office was not actually upholding scientific laws of probability when it debunked Trump’s claim.

When the NOAA interim head, Neil Jacobs, upheld the scientists in an internal memo, Wilbur Ross, Trump’s secretary of commerce, reportedly threatened to activate an investigation of the whole agency—the very institution responsible for research into global warming, the existential threat facing humanity that Trump and his fellow fascists simply deny. What makes it even worse is that NOAA has a particular reputation for scientific objectivity and NOT bending.

Ross threatened to fire people and forced the head of NOAA to make confessions that Herr Mein Trumpf was right—despite what the scientists said... and what actually happened. NOAA head Jacobs then spoke at a gathering of the National Weather Service where he managed to both uphold Trump and say some nice words about the Alabama office that contradicted Trump.1

Liberals mockingly laughed off “Sharpie-gate” as they moved onto the Democratic presidential debate. None of the “presidential” candidates said this is a “stop everything” moment. None said, “Let’s get people on the streets to protest imposing this absolute falsity and fantasy as truth. Let's get people to protest this unacceptable denial of science. Let’s get people to protest this craziness from the highest offices of the land.” Instead, the Democrats from Piglosi to Schumer, from Biden to Beto, went along... Silent and complicit!

But Trump's move—dismissed as “clownish”—is part of how fascism comes to power, consolidates its rule over society as a whole and even other sections of the ruling class, including the liberal “reality-based” section… until reality and truth does not matter. The diktat of the fascist is all that matters, Herr Führer....

Yet the very same people act as if Trump is going to obediently and politely follow the upcoming election results if he loses.

Really? After this demonstration of perverting reality and truth on something supposedly petty when it comes to something that matters far more, Trump is going to say... “Oh man, the people have spoken, I gotta go back to my penthouse-man-cave on 5th Ave, possibly even face prosecution for my many, many frauds....”

Really?

What you saw with the NOAA incident was Trump conditioning a fascist social base in the outlook and method that whatever Trump says is true is true, regardless of reality. And the official opposition normalizing it through laughing it off. What you saw was actually part of fascism moving forward.


1. The New York Times ran a news article whose main thrust was quoting people remarking about the speech sympathetically saying “what else could the head do.” But the head of the National Weather Service, Louis Uccellini, led a rousing ovation for the Alabama forecasters who corrected Trump, saying, “Let me be clear: The Birmingham office did this to stop public panic, to ensure public safety.” Then he called on the members of that office to stand and be recognized, and those in the audience stood and applauded the staff. [back]

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/613/iran-gangsters-debate-en.html

Gangsters Debate Which Crimes Best Serve Their "National Interests"

What Is Revealed and What Is Missing in the New York Times' "Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran"?

| revcom.us

 

On September 4, the New York Times Magazine published “The Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran,” based on extensive interviews with present and former government officials over the last two decades. It fleshes out a complex, 17-year-long struggle within and between the U.S. and Israeli ruling classes1 about how to deal with Iran2—through what combination of crushing economic sanctions, internal subversion, military threats, bombing or outright invasions could Iran be made to bend to U.S. demands and fit itself into U.S. domination of the region.

Largely this struggle has focused on how to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons, thus maintaining the U.S./Israeli monopoly on nuclear weapons that is a key element of their control of the region. Israel has 80-90 nuclear warheads, and the U.S. has over 6,000; both have the ability to launch warheads from air-, sea- and land-based delivery systems. Iran has no nuclear missiles or warheads, making it 100% vulnerable to U.S. and/or Israeli nuclear blackmail.

There is much in the Times article—some of it previously known, some new information—that should be shocking:

In other words, what we see, running through three different U.S. administrations, is example after example of imperialist gangsters and their Israeli allies discussing and debating unprovoked acts of war, subversion, and economic terrorism against another country, all with the aim of establishing complete domination of the region by the U.S. and its close allies. So here you have the U.S. dictating to the countries of a region halfway around the world as to what the power alignments would be, who could have what weapons, and so on. This is scarcely different than the infamous Berlin Conference in the 19th century when the big powers in Europe drew lines through a map of Africa and divvied up who would get what.

Yes, there were differences among different U.S. leaders, but not over fundamentals. Obama wanted to rely mainly on sanctions and was willing to allow Iran to remain a significant force “shar[ing] the neighborhood” with close U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, whereas forces around Trump aim for “a realignment of the Middle East, with Israel and select Sunni nations gaining supremacy over Iran and containing the world’s largest Shiite-majority state [Iran].” [Emphasis added.] But both insisted on subordinating Iran to U.S. interests, and both were ready to impose suffering and starvation, bombs and invasions on the people of Iran, even to risk “unspool[ing] widespread chaos” in the whole region, including wider wars and economic collapse if it served “U.S. interests.”

What Is Missing?

What is missing from this 10,000-plus word article is anything that any of the big power protagonists say, or that the Times reporters say, that reflects the slightest concern for the lives and well-being of the 80 million people of Iran, or for the interests of humanity as a whole. These things just do not exist in their worldview.

Not once does the Times report that anyone in any of the many debates they report on or the interviews they conducted says, “We cannot wage war on another country just because they don’t do what we want” or “We cannot plot to overturn the government of another country” or “We really have to be aware that these economic sanctions don’t just ‘squeeze’ some abstract ‘Iranian economy’—they cause massive suffering for tens of millions of people and bring death to the most vulnerable—to infants, to the ill and to the elderly.”

Nowhere does anyone even make the point that “obviously, everything we are discussing here is completely illegal under international law and we will have to start working on our lies and pretexts right now to cover up what we are really doing.” Everyone is completely locked into a framework that the only thing that matters is the interests of the U.S.—which are in fact the interests of U.S. imperialism.

The fact that all this went on is a stunning indictment of the criminality of the imperialist system. The fact that the NY Times article approaches this all as legitimate discussion, rather than as scandalous and outrageous, and that these revelations provoke zero outrage in society at large is frankly an indictment of how corrupted by imperialist national chauvinism the U.S. population—including the liberal and progressive readership of the Times—has become.

And all of it together should be a challenge to all those who do see this for the monstrous criminality that it is—to step up to the challenge of the 5-2-6, and make a choice to bring about a radically different world.


1. Israel is fundamentally and overwhelmingly dependent on the U.S.—for money, high-tech weapons and political cover. Moreover, the U.S. is Israel’s ultimate “protector”—any force that threatens Israel knows it may face the full military power of the U.S. On the other hand, the U.S. needs Israel—a relatively stable, highly militarized and solidly pro-U.S. state right at the heart of one of the most economically and strategically important regions of the world. In this context, in spite of the lopsided power relationship, Israel is often able to push for its own specific interests and views, often leveraging splits in the U.S. ruling class to its advantage. Generally, the hard line “hawks” in Israel—grouped around Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—work closely with the Christian fascists and the Trump regime in the U.S. For more see Revolution special issue on Israel.  [back]

2. The Islamic Republic of Iran, a predominantly Shi’ite country of 80 million people, is a major regional power in the Middle East. Its rulers are vicious oppressors in their own right and overall eager to facilitate the imperialist plunder of Iran’s resources and people as long as they get their cut. But they often oppose U.S. and Israeli interests in the region, directly or through forces in other countries they are aligned with. And Iran represents a pole of opposition that strengthens other regional forces that the U.S. and Israel want to subordinate.  [back]


Map of the Middle East and surrounding regions

Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Forward Another Way is an edited version of a talk by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters in 2006. It is must reading for a serious understanding of what the U.S. "war on terror" is really about and how to bring forward a positive force in the world in opposition to both Western imperialism and Islamic Jihad.

Download PDF

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/613/a-question-en.html

A Question: Why Did the Commentators and Candidates All Avoid Using the "F" Word to Describe Donald Trump at the Big BEB Debate (Democratic Party Division)?

| revcom.us

 

27,799 words were spoken at the Democratic Party debate last week. Yet the one word that best characterizes Trump and the grave threat that he and his Christian fundamentalist partner in crime Pence pose was never uttered. We are talking about the “F” word—and no, we don’t mean fuckers.

What is that word? And why did it not come up?

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/613/bernie-sanders-favorite-bob-dylan-lyric-en.html

Bernie Sanders' Favorite Bob Dylan Lyric:

We looted and we plundered on distant shores
Why is my share not equal to yours?

| revcom.us

 

 

A response from a Revolution Club member:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/611/special-resource-page-on-the-environmental-emergency-en.html

Capitalism-Imperialism Is Destroying the Planet...
Only Revolution Gives Humanity a Real Chance to Save It

"...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

revcom.us

 

Earth Day 2020: A Planet “On Fire”

This is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, an annual global event in support of the environment. Even as humanity confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, the destruction of the environment and ecosystems around the world continue at a rapidly accelerating pace, furthered by fascist anti-science regimes like the Trump/Pence regime in the U.S. and the Bolsonaro regime in Brazil. More than one billion people (!) are estimated to be driven from their homes over the next three decades due to the effects of global climate change and its impacts, which (along with other forms of environmental destruction) is driving rising sea levels, extreme weather events, droughts and famines, mass extinctions, and destruction of ecosystems like mangrove swamps and coral reefs, and much, much worse.

At this moment, it is important to return to—and reground in—fundamental questions, and urgently go to work on that basis: What drives the plunder of the planet and global warming? Can this be resolved under this system of capitalism-imperialism, and if not, why not? What about reformist programs like the Green New Deal? What is the solution, what will it take?

We direct our readers and others to this Special Resource Page.


  • Hurricane Dorian struck the Caribbean nation of the Bahamas with unprecedented force. A week later, thousands were still missing, with the number of dead rising, countless homes destroyed, whole towns and communities wiped out, and tens of thousands needing clean water, food, housing and medical aid. Global warming is increasing the power and intensity of hurricanes, especially affecting island nations and coastal areas around the world. Above: Great Abaco, Bahamas, September 5, 2019 (Photo: AP)

  • Two signs in the Arctic of how quickly and catastrophically climate change is affecting the world: 1) August 1, the layer of ice covering Greenland melted more in a single day than has ever been recorded. 2) For the past two months, unprecedented wildfires have been burning from Alaska to Siberia, including north of the Arctic Circle, destroying wild forests and sending more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Above: Rapid melting in the Barnes Ice Cap in the Canadian Arctic. (Photo via University of Colorado, 2017)

  • The Amazon rainforest, the largest rainforest in the world, is burning—causing deadly harm to what is known as the "lungs of the planet." The fires are set deliberately by farmers and agribusiness companies with the backing of the Brazilian government. If this continues, the results would be horrific: extinction of tens of thousands of species and further acceleration of global climate change. Above: Jacundá National Forest, near the city of Porto Velho, August 25, 2019 (Photo: AP)

  •     Watch this film

Yes, “the house is on fire,” as climate activists declare. We are facing a crisis of unprecedented and existential dimensions—threatening the ecosystems of the planet and life itself. Yet three years on since the adoption of the Paris UN climate accords in 2016, not one major capitalist industrial power is on track to meeting its (obscenely inadequate) goals, and the U.S. has withdrawn. As the planet heats up!

The Destruction of the Planet by Capitalism-Imperialism,
by Bob Avakian, an excerpt

This system and those who rule over it are not capable of carrying out economic development to meet the needs of the people now, while balancing that with the needs of future generations and requirements of safeguarding the environment. They care nothing for the rich diversity of the earth and its species, for the treasures this contains, except when and where they can turn this into profit for themselves.... These people are not fit to be the caretakers of the earth.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:29

The question is... what underlies this crisis and what must be done? The stakes could not be higher. We invite you to dig into the materials on this page and to confront these questions:

  • Why does capitalism plunder the planet? And can this system of capitalism-imperialism, driven by the competitive pursuit of profit and more profit, and by the rivalry between great powers for global control and dominance—somehow act, or be pressured to act, to put the interests of humanity and the planet first? The resources on this page, including articles, major works, and videos from talks by Bob Avakian, demonstrate how that is impossible.
  • Can a “Green New Deal” that operates within the framework of this system, and that takes the U.S. standard of living and the U.S. empire and military as a given, provide a workable solution? The polemic against the Green New Deal shows that this is a toxic illusion.
  • And what about the fate of the great mass of humanity in the Third World who are suffering the greatest consequences, and will face even more horrific consequences, of global warming? Their lives and futures count for nothing in the calculus of the ruling classes of the rich capitalist countries.

There are in fact only two choices: Let the planet hurtle uncontrollably toward environmental disaster, and let other horrors continue and intensify—such as wars of aggression and the oppression of Black and Brown people, of women, and of immigrants—OR we make a revolution, an actual revolution to overthrow this system of capitalism-imperialism.

How would a revolutionary socialist society address the environmental emergency? To the many, many people who DO feel the depth and urgency of the situation, we invite and challenge you to grapple with the only framework through which humanity can forge a viable answer to this environmental emergency, and on a truly emancipatory basis. We need a whole other way... and there are a Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America authored by Bob Avakian and “Some Key Principles of Socialist Sustainable Development” that show the way.

Watch for continuing analysis, polemic, and late-breaking commentary.

Why does capitalism plunder the planet?

The Destruction of the Planet by Capitalism-Imperialism, by Bob Avakian, an excerpt

Bob Avakian, "Not fit caretakers of the earth"

How would a revolutionary socialist society address the environmental emergency?

How Would a Revolutionary Socialist Society Address the Environmental Emergency?

Excerpts from the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

  • A. The Economy.
  • B. The Environment.
  • Article IV. The Economy and Economic Development in the New Socialist Republic in North America.
  • Section 5. The System of Public-State Ownership is the Foundation of the New Socialist Economy.

 

How Would the Revolution Deal With the Climate Crisis?
A Q&A with Raymond Lotta

Plundering and Destroying the Planet

Dead-End Paths and Mental Shackles

Further Reading...

 

 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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/613/get-ready-new-york-city-en.html

"GET READY, NEW YORK CITY!"

| revcom.us

 

From a member of the National Revolution Tour:

On Saturday, September 14, a packed social hall at the Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew in New York City welcomed the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour. Longtime supporters and those just coming into the revolution as well as people from as far away as Philadelphia and Boston came to meet, hear from, and strategize with members and volunteers with the Revolution Tour. We showed video clips of what the Tour has accomplished. The place erupted in an uproar when the U.S. flag was burned in DC in front of the White House and in San Ysidro. A lively and engaging program was framed with a speech by Noche Diaz on the stakes of this moment as well as clips from Bob Avakian excerpted from the filmed speech, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. Also expressed in this program was the need and possibility for the Tour to utilize to a much greater extent both this film and THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible. Major screenings of both of these films from BA were announced, one in late September and one in October. Plans were also announced for the Revolution to be among the mass outpourings on the climate crisis, the anti-Trump “We The People” march on DC, the mass Refuse Fascism organizing meeting on September 22, and the September 23 Climate Strike, both also in Washington.

At the end of the program, everyone stayed for lively discussions and to find out more about what the Tour has learned (and what was the struggle over), what the process has been like, and how do we really get people’s heads out of their asses. People walked away excited. Someone from the Revolution Club pointed out how different this program was and how you had a real feel that the National Tour is in town and people wanting to be a part of that after they were called on to fill a need.

 

 

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Disturbing the Air ... Collective Wrangling with the Problems of the Revolution ... Getting Organized

| revcom.us

 

From members of the Revolution Club, LA on the first few days on a couple junior colleges

As schools are opening, the Revolution Club in LA is working on organizing a campus tour of the defendants and Revolution Club members in the Freeway9 and UCLA5 cases: “Why we are on trial for disrupting business-as-usual to stop fascism. Why you should defend us, and why you should join the fight for the future.

The Freeway9 and UCLA5 are members of Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club who were arrested for being part of protests aimed at sounding the alarm about the danger of the Trump/Pence fascist regime, aiming to call people into the streets in their millions in mass, sustained, non-violent protest to drive this regime from power—blocking traffic on the 101 Freeway in rush hour morning traffic in the Fall of 2017 and disrupting Steve Mnuchin’s speech at UCLA in the Fall of 2018. Read more about their cases here.

The Revolution Club campus speaking tour will be organizing people into the revolution and the struggle to drive this regime from power, stepping off from the two slogans of the National Revolution Tour:

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

This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown!

The Republican Party Is Fascist. The Democratic Party Is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. We Need an Actual Revolution!

The plan is to bring forward students to take this up themselves and bring us onto their campus for events big and small. We see this as a way to tie together the legal cases and the goals of the National Revolution Tour: to organize thousands into the ranks of the revolution over the next year and making Bob Avakian and the new communism known and engaged throughout society.

When we’ve gone onto campuses, we’ve marched in chanting, doing agitation to gather a crowd and putting straight to people the reality we face: that we are the Revolution Club, organizing for an ACTUAL Revolution, to overthrow this system which has given rise to the fascist Trump/Pence regime. This regime is bringing a nightmare down on people, with 80,000 immigrants in concentrations camps, white supremacists massacres in the streets, open white supremacy in the White House, pouring gasoline on an already burning planet ... and people are sitting on their asses doing nothing ... all worried about me, me, me and not thinking about humanity. People are NOT in the streets in the ways we need to be. Why is this and what are we going to do about it? This was something we further developed as we went, but this is the basics that people bounced off of. We also mass distributed the special issue of Revolution with the 5 STOPS, the 2 Choices we face, and the 6 Points of Attention of the Revolution Club and this was woven into our discussion.

After we got people’s attention, we would work to gather people to talk about this problem collectively. Fighting through on these group discussions was key, and we learned a lot.

People Wrestling with the Problems Together

Day 1 at a Trade College

Early on, we had a growing circle of about 6 to 10 people. One person posed how do we even know that all this is actually happening, like the mass shootings, what if that is a hoax? With all the news media not being objective? One woman responded that way of thinking is a real problem, and is a product of social media—that people don’t read books anymore, they don’t do their own research anymore, everything they see is just virtual and they don’t look for themselves to really figure out what’s true. Another woman responded, agreeing with the criticism of social media, saying it’s like you’re going through your feed, you see something really horrible that happened but you don’t even let that sit with you, you’re just onto the next thing, liking your friend’s vacation picture. People also talked critically about how selfish people are, the need for people to be about more than themselves.

Here, we also had some discussion on what we need to do about this ... we laid out that we are organizing for revolution, they need to be part of this revolution and key to making revolution right now is uniting broadly to drive this regime from power ... and we said briefly what that has to mean—millions in the streets in sustained, non-violent mass protest. Here, having an enlarged picture of the protest in Puerto Rico really made a difference. This is not something that people easily imagine so it was good to point to it. No one in that crew thought we should wait until 2020. One woman suggested we boycott all the fast food restaurants that support Trump. Someone else responded, that might be ok, but that doesn’t enough get to their whole thing—like where all their money comes from. Everyone felt strongly we had to figure out how to make people more aware of what’s happening, and to make people feel more how it’s affecting people.

In this discussion, someone else joined in and said Trump is messed up, but this has been happening in America, it’s not just about Trump but the whole thing. We brought in one of the slogans of the National Revolution Tour: The Republican Party Is Fascist, The Democratic Party Is Also a Massive Machine of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. This System Can’t Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown! People didn’t mainly speak to this except to say they didn’t like the Democrats either, and one woman criticized all the politicians as being out for themselves. After raising that he thought Trump was no different, and this has always been the same, we showed this one guy the palm card with the definition of fascism from revcom.us and he read it, quite seriously. We showed him the 5 Stops and talked about these outrages being woven into this system, and intensifying under the Trump/Pence fascist regime. When we talked about the difference between a slow genocide against Black and Brown people vs. a fast one, he kind of paused and went, “Oh, I get that.”

Another deep insight from a student that day was a point about how this regime has “weaponized identity politics.” This was from a more politicized student who pays attention to different political voices on YouTube. He meant this in two senses: first, that the more progressive people are all stuck into their different identity groups, letting themselves be picked off and not coming together ... meanwhile, the fascists are ridiculing all that shit while using white identity politics to organize. He was saying he was sick of all that, and that we had to come together to recognize the deeper problem in capitalism. We talked about the actual strategy for revolution developed by BA and the scientific breakthroughs in the new communism. He’s familiar with BA, having watched some videos on YouTube, but didn’t know about the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America or the new speech, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution.

Group Debate About the American Dream

Day 2 at a City College

On the second day, we started off in the school cafeteria during lunchtime where there were about 300 students. We got on a chair and did loud agitation (basically what’s characterized above) which got a huge applause in the cafeteria and people coming from the other end of the cafeteria to talk to us. From this, we were able to pull together a crowd of four to five people. One woman ended her phone call with a loved one to come talk to us, another guy who observed people in the cafeteria going back to their business felt compelled to come from the other side of the cafeteria to get into these questions with us because he was pissed at their complacency. Another guy was more conservative but wanted to talk.

This discussion was very deep with people grappling about the situation in the world, what is happening to the people at the border, WHY they are coming across the border and risking everything to flee their country. People talked about the foundation of this country in exploitation and oppression and how we got to this point where there is now a fascist in the White House. And we got into what we are going to do to change all of this.

People in the discussion were led to respond to each other. The conservative guy was trying to set terms but people were taking his shit on, with a lot of substance and certitude! At one point, he was talking about the “American Dream” and why people who come to seek it don’t go through the “proper process” of requesting a visitor’s visa etc. One young woman in the discussion rightly said, “Let’s talk about this ‘American Dream.’ Does it even exist? If so, for who? For people who look like me and you (meaning, white people). Anyway, people aren’t here pursuing this so-called ‘American dream,’ people are escaping terror, death, starvation. These people don’t come here on a vacation for the fuck of it!”

We brought this discussion back to the 5 Stops, and posed how can we actually put an end to all of this, in the interests of all humanity? People had a hard time seeing how you could actually end all this but wanted to know more when we talked about revolution, the fact that there is a strategy and leadership for revolution in Bob Avakian.

After this discussion, we went to a spot outdoors and agitated again. At one point, we called on students to respond by yelling, “Fuck Trump.” At first only a couple did, but we persevered and soon lots of students were responding. When we put out the rest of our challenge, about 30 people came to join the discussion—which we had a hard time cohering. What was important in this was people actually wrangling with what is and isn’t happening, and how do we transform that—with revolution vs. reform in the forefront of that. There were a few young women from Sweden who were comparing the inactivity of people in the U.S. which is very different than their home country. They were recognizing this as a problem they wanted to be part of solving.

Collective Engagement with Bob Avakian

Day 3: Back to the Trade School

On the third day we took this whole approach even further. First, we had a scheduled appointment that same day that we were telling people to come to. Second, we brought a computer and speaker so we could play BA clips in the midst of, and to kick off, this process. This was important—to put BA to people in this more mass way and to enter into the larger discussion.

Right away we drew a crowd of about eight young women, where we said who we are and posed this same basic challenge. People said we’re not acting because of fear, because of selfishness, because we’re all distracted by social media and because we aren’t putting ourselves in other people’s shoes.

One young woman said her sister is undocumented and now she can’t even get health care because Trump is saying you’ll lose the ability to get citizenship. She said her sister is terrified but you have to be one of those people to experience that, and everyone else can ignore that.

Another young woman said she’s a citizen but a lot of her family is undocumented, and it’s like you just get used to the terror. For years, she’s been living with the terror that she’s going to come home and her mom, or aunt or cousin is going to be gone. And the whole family’s been living like that for a long time—desperately trying to stay under the radar and hope it doesn’t happen.

Speaking to this fear, a young woman said she’s undocumented and that her dad is terrified for her. She said her dad tells her to wear foundation to make her skin look lighter so she can pass for white. She powerfully rebuked this, saying, “I refuse to be so scared all the time because this is how they control you! I have to fight for what’s right.”

This set different terms for everyone. We asked people to respond and others assented, “Yeah, that’s really right.” Or, “I want to be like that too. That’s inspiring.” We played the “Order or Justice?“ clip from BA and asked people to respond to that. The younger defiant woman said, “Yes! I’m going for justice!” Again, others agreed with her.

Another young woman asked what fascism is. Someone responded with a good, and frankly little understood, explanation: she said it’s a different way to rule, where they just get rid of all your rights, your free speech, and go after groups of people. She referenced Hitler and what he did.

We kept bringing it back to what they heard from BA: are you going to choose “the order of fascism with everything that means,” or “justice—even if that means stepping outside our comfort zone and putting ourselves on the line to prevent this fascism from consolidating its rule and fully implementing its program.” People responded in different ways, including that this meant fighting for what’s true, even if other people don’t agree. That you have to be willing to stand out and be different. People also responded that you can’t just be about yourself, but have to risk yourself. A number of people critiqued the widespread selfishness, and interestingly tied that into how consumed people are with social media. Here we also pointed to the Points of Attention for the Revolution.

We talked about the Freeway9 and UCLA5 cases and bringing the defendants to campus. People said we never get to have these kinds of discussions and it really matters if we’re going to act. Also, we challenged people to join the Revolution Club and a couple people wanted to know if this was something on campus, or something they should start on campus.

After this discussion was over, one young woman stayed behind to tell us an idea. She said that with these new laws, Trump is taking away food stamps from undocumented immigrants. So what if we had a hunger strike at school—that would get a lot of attention. We agreed with this and said we should talk and figure out how to make that kind of thing really mass.

We had a few other smaller group discussions, playing BA clips as the centerpiece. In a one-on-one discussion, we had a struggle with a guy who looked at the 5 Stops and with whom we asked the question we were posing to people. He’d gone to protests and was paying attention to what Trump is doing. But, he said, “Look, I hate what Trump is doing ... I think we need to fight that, but we really can’t have open borders.” We weren’t able to make this more of a group debate but did play him the clip from BA on “Free Yourself from the GTF” (Great Tautological Fallacy), and the disgusting American chauvinism that is a big part of the obstacle to people acting to stop this fascist regime. He sort of wanted to slide over this, “yeah, I know all that,” but wasn’t confronting the framework of his own thinking until we made him walk through what BA was saying. What is that tautological fallacy, what is it rooted in, what does that sit on in terms of the crimes of the U.S. throughout history. Walking this through in this way, he could recognize how his thinking was entirely within the framework that BA was critiquing. He wasn’t won over, and we didn’t try to have a long debate about it, but was left feeling uncomfortable.

In a smaller group discussion of two different people, we played the clip on “what are we facing.” One person said people don’t put all that together, we just see the small parts here or there. Another young woman said she just didn’t know any of that was happening. The first young woman was mad that no one talks about this and said one of her teachers wouldn’t allow a political discussion in her class—we have to be able to talk about what’s happening and it’s all like we’re all just ignoring it, not talking about it anywhere.

Everyone was told about the whole of the speech from BA on the Trump/Pence regime and where to find it online, along with who BA is and why they need to get more deeply into his work overall.

Getting Organized ... and the Need to Go Further

Off of these on-the-spot discussions, we have tried to pull together a few gatherings on the day of or the next day. So far, only one person has come to our follow-up meetings but several more have apologized for not being able to make it and are staying in touch. But there’s more to wrestle with here.

The one woman we met with got more deeply into what the Revolution Club is, the questions of reform vs. revolution and bringing the Revolution Club Speaking Tour to her campus. She also wants to show the BA speech on Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution at a local community center.

We’re thinking about how to do much more with these group discussions in terms of getting organized—while continuing to give space to this kind of rich wrangling and problem solving of people together. We also feel there is much more to do in terms of having BA’s work as the centerpiece in these discussions: where people are responding together to what’s being fought for from the leader of the revolution directly.

This is still a work in progress, but there are two important lessons so far. First, how the whole process is transformed and enriched when people are led to wrangle with the problems of the revolution. There was a solid core presented to people, with a major problem we face and then the revolutionaries led a process of having masses talk to each other. This point from “Further Thoughts on Putting the Problems of the Revolution Before the Masses” really came through:

“I really think lots of people WANT to talk about these types of questions/obstacles. These are objectively obstacles to revolution, even if they don’t quite see it that way yet because they are new. But communists wrangling with brand-new people (who care) over such questions (and how to get that geometric progression going) IS, objectively, ‘putting the problems of the revolution before the people’ and can also really help break down the ‘us/them divide.’ Communists leading this type of active social investigation are in an excellent position to at one and the same time learn a lot we ourselves need to know more about in terms of what holds people back, and actively transform the thinking of people through this very process. Lively and largely informal get-togethers to really wrangle over such questions and problems of these times can attract, inspire, and organizationally retain. We need to do a lot more of this.”

The second thing is that there is a real difference in the terrain overall—once these questions are posed, people really wanting to get into it. And overall, there seems to be a deep, roiling dissatisfaction about what’s the Trump/Pence regime is doing and the MASS INactivity in the face of that.


(click to enlarge)

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/612/whose-line-is-it-anyway-en.html

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

| revcom.us

 

from a Revolution Club member

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.”

I think Bob Avakian hits the nail on the head:

Modern-day Uncle Toms,
"Respectable Negros,"
Who squawk out poison,
Parrot the lies of powers-that-be,
Package slander as the "truth,"
Never fail to blame the youth –
Oh you boot-licking, wannabe bourgeoisie –
You're: ALL PLAYED OUT!

So, whose line is it anyway? The Black bourgeoisie's!


Colin Kaepernick (center) kneeling for the National Anthem in 2016. (Photo: AP)


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Jay-Z, 2019. (Photo: AP)

Follow: @TheRevcoms
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Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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/612/all-charges-dropped-in-dc-superior-court-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Charges Dropped Against Joey Johnson for July 4th Flag-Burning in front of White House

Flagburner was Gregory “Joey” Johnson, Defendant in Landmark Supreme Court, Texas v Johnson (1989)

Johnson said July 4th Flag Burning was an "Imagine a World Without America" Protest

 

10 September 2019
For immediate release 
Gregory "Joey" Johnson available for interviews 
Contact: Larry Everest 202 556 3906 
gregoryjoeyjohnson.global

The District of Columbia Attorney General today filed papers dismissing all charges against Gregory “Joey” Johnson. Johnson was arrested after he burned two American flags on July 4, 2019 in front of the White House in opposition to Trump, his “Salute to America”, and everything America stands for historically and today. A video captured the dramatic protest.

Johnson was represented in the case by attorney Mark Goldstone. Goldstone and the ACLU of the District of Columbia sent a letter to the Office of the Attorney General insisting that Johnson’s flag burning was constitutionally protected speech and demanded that charges against him be dropped.

Johnson, joined by members of the Revolution Club and the Get Organized for an Actual Revolution National Tour was part of a July 4th protest “Imagine a World without America! A Call to Act!

Johnson stated that he should never have been brutally arrested, thrown to the ground and held overnight for exercising a constitutional right he established in the 1989 Supreme Court case (Texas v. Johnson). Trump has repeatedly called for outlawing flag burning and re-tweeted a Breitbart meme of Johnson's flag burning outside the White House on July 4th.

Just weeks before his arrest in D.C., in June 2019, 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. (Cleveland Is Paying $225,000 to a Man Who Burned the American FlagThe New York Times, June 15)

Johnson stated, “As Trump posed with tanks and fighter jet flyovers for his Nuremberg style rally, I burned the American flag in protest of his whole fascist agenda. America was never great.”

“When I see that flag burn, I’m not only thinking of the children who are starved and bombed by the U.S. in Yemen, or the children who are torn from their parents along the U.S.-Mexico border,” he said to the Washington Post “This is the workings of a system . . . built on the plunder of literally billions of people around the world.”  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.

Media coverage / background:

Revcom.us “JULY 4 2019 IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT AMERICA: A Call to Act

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.

Washington Examiner, June 24, “’Burn that rag!’ Activists to desecrate the flag at Trump July Fourth rally

New York Times, June 15, “Cleveland Is Paying $225,000 to a Man Who Burned the American Flag

 

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Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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/612/digging-deep-for-the-truth-en.html

Digging Deep for the Truth, Not Meandering and Grazing on the Surface

Forging a team of scientists and building a movement for revolution with BA as the solid core.

| revcom.us

 

From a member of the National Revolution Tour

We’ve accomplished some important things with the work of the Tour on this leg. The most notable being that we are beginning to really forge a team of scientists. We are beginning to demystify what it means to lead the kind of process where our unevenness can work in our favor, where people of varying understandings can carve into a question and enrich the process of transforming reality. This is still very initial and our ability to do this came out of great struggle, in particular as it relates to questions of the Cultural Revolution in the Revolutionary Communist Party and how these questions, of whether we are working to make an ACTUAL REVOLUTION or working for something else, get concentrated in BA.

We had struggle from the beginning about epistemological discipline. Meaning that we have to be a team of scientists working on the SAME problem and have discipline about doing so, and if we are trying to work to transform reality, we sure as hell can’t act like we’re doing it from scratch. We are doing science, which means we’re building on the collectively accumulated knowledge. 

If a team of scientists comes together to... cure cancer for example, the first thing they’d do is study what’s been understood so far, learn the method, experiment further and forge new pathways as they learn.

So, no! We can’t just watch BA and let our brain go shooting off all over the place; we need to speak to what he’s saying there, understand it, build on it and apply the method to reality. If we’re to change the world, up against every other framework (including those we’ve taken up as part of a revisionist pathway), we better steep ourselves in the work that the leading scientist has done. He gives a lot of guidance proceeding from the underlying workings of reality and from beyond the blinders of the permanent necessity of the world as it is. He’s waging polemic and ideological struggle, handing people the tools to carve in on different questions.

Going there with people is key in unleashing the kind of elasticity that needs to be unleashed if we are to build a movement for revolution. We have to broaden our conception of what it means to organize people on the spot – it’s not just give them a stack of palm cards... it means presenting them with the solid core of what we do have and working with them on the problems of the revolution. This is what can be done if we are putting BA straight up without getting in the way.

Too often we show people BA and we go chase things the masses bring up, or other times we get in the way by trying to “lead them back to it” by “breaking it down in our own way” and this often leads away from where BA is trying to take things. We’ve seen in the Q&A on the gangs and in what was unleashed on this leg of the tour when we insisted on epistemological discipline amongst ourselves, that the elasticity and initiative unleashed among people is qualitatively different when they are actually studying and proceeding from what BA is putting forward.

 Again, it’s the point that you aren’t starting from scratch. We have this leader and the way advanced work he’s done, so we MUST introduce people to this work and give them the solid core to work with and take off from – to unleash their creativity on THAT basis. This is science – we are trying to advance an understanding collectively with others – to learn as much as we can from people and unleash them to go to work on the same problem with the same crucial tools as opposed to everyone putting out a mish-mash of ideas and political frameworks. So when we take out BA we better be going out to get people to engage, and we should not underestimate just how much people can get out of it when this happens. It’s not that they’ll understand everything all at once, but if we don’t have confidence that they can understand things in some basic way we will treat them as tools, never advance the scientific understanding and never really unleash the kind of ferment and initiative in society that characterizes a mass movement for revolution.

With that I want to come back to the point about the Cultural Revolution in the RCP. All the things that keep us from introducing people to BA or that compel us to get in the way (in the various ways I described) even when we do introduce people to BA have everything to do with whether or not we are working to make a real revolution. All the defensiveness, the pulls toward appealing to where people are at, etc., they’re pulls that are out there in society. They are the same pulls and frameworks that are keeping people away from revolution, the frameworks we have to break with and fight for others to break with.

This is why it’s important to wage this line struggle explicitly, and to do it in a way where we are enabled and enabling others to differentiate between the two roads. Rather than ignore these pulls or do a B-line to pretend they don’t exist, or table them because we have immediate things to do... we have to use this struggle as a marker to measure the advance of the quality of our work and as a tool to deepen people’s understanding, doing this at the same time as we work on transforming reality and not as a marginal and separate process.

READ THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE

ORDER THE BOOK HERE

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

Read more

See all excerpts HERE.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/612/goal-accomplished-an-important-beginning-en.html

$50,000 Goal Accomplished! An Important Beginning

| revcom.us

 

The collective efforts and financial contributions of hundreds of people around the country turning their minds toward revolution have made possible the achievement of the $50,000 summer fundraising goal for the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour. A total of $51,289 was raised during this period.

This is an important beginning and now the fundraising efforts need to be scaled up to a whole other level as we enter into the next important phase of the Revolution Tour. As we have said: The stakes are enormous, the time is short. As the political landscape sharpens and grows more dangerous daily, this Tour is what is needed to put the need and possibility for an ACTUAL revolution before thousands and thousands of people and to introduce people to Bob Avakian, a leader whose heart is with the masses of humanity that suffer needlessly under this system and who has brought forward a scientific understanding of why and how this oppressive imperialism must be overthrown and how a liberating new world can be built. A much greater level of funding is needed to enable the Tour to have even more powerful society-wide impact.

The August 25 Livestream brought alive the fact that this is a collective effort across the country—here’s the need, here’s the goal, here’s where we’re at right now, and YOU are crucial to accomplishing the goals and building this movement. People tuned in and were brought right inside the Tour with impassioned discussion among Tour members about the struggle for the Tour to rise to what’s needed as society is shaken by each new outrage and the need for revolution cries out ever more urgently. Gatherings of people watched the August 25 Livestream and donated. One person who drove hours to join an Internationalist dinner in Houston where the Livestream was being shown, wrote:

I have had my eyes on revolution for a long time, but on Sunday I came to realize that it was time for me to put my heart into it. When Tala posed the idea of imagining now what could be possible if we got rid of this system and brought a whole new world into being—imagining what architecture would look like, for example—I felt a burning desire for this system and all its ugliness and cruelty to be gone today.

The Livestream boldly put out the challenge: To those who have been financially supporting and following the Tour, YOU need to go out and spread the word and involve much broader sections of people in learning about and contributing to this Tour.

In the days that followed, people who had tuned in were on fire to go out and spread this everywhere and make the financial goal. Well over a hundred more people donated in big and small amounts, many of whom had never before donated. Supporters of the Tour got on the phone, talked to old friends and contacts, talked to family, reached beyond the circles of people who have been actively following the Tour. For those who donated, hearing about the Tour (some for the first time) struck a chord and people donated from different perspectives:

An office worker wrote: “I gave because I must. I felt compelled. There is nothing else I can do right now. There is still a chance to change things. There is still oxygen in our lungs. We can still struggle. We have to fight this fascism. The young people’s words and deeds brought back to me that moment of discovery, that we can change things. Change is possible.”

One person watched the powerful video clip of Bob Avakian “What if the world doesn’t have to be this way?” and immediately pulled money out of his pocket saying: “I think this is a very important cause to give my money to.”

A lawyer and first-time donor heard about the Tour commemorating Red Summer of 1919 in Chicago, and immediately said he would donate. He knew of those events of 1919, and he was also moved to see that some from the Tour had traveled to join the protests of Japanese Americans against the present-day concentration camps for immigrant children.

Other people spoke of the horrors of the Trump regime and made clear they wanted to be part of something that is going straight up against all that. (See accompanying box for more statements from people who have supported the Tour.)

In addition to this kind of outreach, important collective efforts were undertaken to help achieve the $50,000 goal. Yard sales and used book sales raised thousands of dollars. Internationalist dinners and other kinds of fundraising gatherings were held. A group of immigrant women who had already raised $460 for the Tour announced they would be holding another fundraising picnic “inviting everyone who wants to celebrate internationalism and diversity, and wants to learn more about the Revolution tour that is organizing for an ACTUAL revolution.”

All of this is just a start; it reveals tremendous potential that we have just barely begun to tap. The challenge is before us. Many, many more people need to hear about this Tour, become inspired by its message and the hope that it brings on a solid scientific foundation—and step forward to support it financially. We need to redouble our efforts and reach and inspire all kinds of people, including those who have the ability to contribute at a much higher level.

The funds that have been raised so far have been critical to enabling the Tour to have broad impact in Los Angeles and Chicago. For Tour members who have left jobs and families, the funds have helped to feed and house them, to produce materials to spread revolution, to travel from city to city, and to carry out high profile actions like the stunning presence at the Bud Billiken parade in Chicago where the flag was torn to shreds while the horror of what the rule of U.S. imperialism means for humanity was denounced and exposed.

The Tour is now coming to New York to take things to a higher level. Many tens of thousands of dollars are needed to continue to fund these volunteers and enable the Tour to keep on disturbing the air with revolution and challenging people to confront the nightmare humanity is living and the need to overthrow this system in order to get free of this—and to bring forward thousands of people into organized relationship to this revolution. The fundraising efforts that have begun need to be built on and vastly and creatively expanded to a whole other level.

A Thank You from the Revolution Tour to Those Who Donated

We are making this thank-you letter to donors available to download (Word | HTML).

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Send Checks or Money Orders to:
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Make checks payable to:
    "RCP Publications" and mark them
    “National Revolution Tour”

Watch the August 25 Facebook Live from the Revolution Tour in Chicago

“What if the world doesn’t have to be this way?”

One person who helped provide meals for the Tour in Chicago wrote:

There’s a lot of negativity in this country right now. Fascist assholes feel like they have the upper hand, and of those passionately opposed to them, the prevailing solution is wait another year to vote.

People everywhere need to have their sights raised, they need to hear that revolution is the solution, and they need to be challenged on some long held beliefs, on voting, on women, on racism, on immigrants, on religion, on violence among the people. This is the crew to do that.

A friend of Revolution Books who donated $100 wrote:

I’m not a republican, I’m not a democrat, I’m not fully in the revolution mode. But I follow the emails about the Revolution Tour, and I support people who are about movement and change, and I know that’s what you are about.

Someone who had donated when the tour just started, was inspired by watching the video of Maya tearing up the American flag at the Bud Billiken parade and was moved to donate $150. He wrote the following about this:

I’m tired of all this enforced patriotism! Support Our Troops is all over town at the same time a pro-immigrant and lgbt church in Albuquerque is vandalized 7 times in 3 weeks!  So when the proud Boys display the confederate flag with a nod from Trump, I can certainly support the rev club burning and ripping the us flag as seen on the website! Also I totally respect what Colin Kaepernick has done! I’m afraid to look at the news nowadays but you HAVE to in order to change it. Trump and Pence have to go!

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/613/fundraising-picnic-for-revolution-tour-en.html

Picnic in an Immigrant Community to Raise Funds for the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

| revcom.us

 

The second “World Without Borders” fundraising picnic for the National Revolution Tour was held on September 7 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Compared to the first picnic, held two months ago when Trump’s planned raids on immigrant communities were imminent, the community was back on the streets, vendors had returned to the street corners and streets once again were busy with weekend activity. However, a dark cloud of worry and fear still hung over people’s lives with the recent white supremacist mass murders in El Paso and the continued terror of deportation and concentration camps. Against this backdrop, the mission of the Revolution Tour gave hope to people. And the theme of the picnic, “World Without Borders,” stood out as a ray of sunshine piercing these dark clouds: No Raids, No Concentration Camps, No Kids in Cages, No Deportation, Enough Is Enough, Revolution Nothing Less, a Better World Is Possible!

Over 35 people came to this successful picnic, with at least 20 from the immigrant community, especially members of a prominent immigrant women’s organization which has been active in the fight to shut down the camps and has been active in many of the Refuse Fascism protests in the past two years. For some in the community, there was a beginning recognition of a regular presence of a group of immigrant women who have stood up against fascism and for revolution. This beginning pole has also attracted the attention and support of some progressive and radically minded people, and some of them came to this picnic, like several progressive middle class religious folks, Refuse Fascism activists, and a Never Again Means Now artist, while others who did not come gave donations to express support. An older middle class couple, when asked why they came to this event, pointed to the grouping of immigrant women there and said, “They are standing up and I am standing up with them.” And when asked what they thought about the theme of the picnic, this couple said, “They are fighting for a better future, and we support this.”

Surrounded by big visual displays of the 5 Stops, and 6 Points of Attention for the Revolution, and eight large pictures of the children who have died in camps and on the border, a short program was held. The welcoming remarks by the MC denounced the mass murders in El Paso, the cruel torture of children in concentration camps, and the heightened deportations, all of which are a product of an imperialist system that has white supremacy woven into its very fabric. All this cries out for an actual revolution to overthrow this system—yes, we need revolution, nothing less; we need a world without borders. That is why we are fundraising for the national Revolution Tour that started in Los Angeles, went to Chicago, and is now in New York.

The MC also told people that after the El Paso massacre by a white supremacist, the Revolution Tour put out a statement boldly challenging people “Which side are you on?” and blocked the busy traffic of Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

An immigrant woman activist who has initiated these fundraising events in the community told people, “All that is happening is a horror, but many people think it is not happening. Yes—it is happening, look at the photos of the children dying in the concentration camps. We have to stop this, we don’t want these concentrations camps, we don’t want children in cages, no more raids, we want a world without borders. We have to organize and learn from the example of Puerto Rico and Hong Kong, where people organized and have gone to the streets by the thousands and hundreds of thousands. We are organizing this picnic to raise funds for the national tour to get organized for an actual revolution. We need to spread the word that this fascist regime must go. And we have to advance for revolution.”

Another immigrant woman who played an active role in building for this picnic spoke bitterness of how immigrants, who work in the hardest jobs that no one else will take, are treated like criminals and hunted down. And children are now being put in cages. She spoke with anger, but also passionately expressed a burning desire for revolution and her respect for the leader Bob Avakian.

A member of the Revolution Club talked briefly about the importance of science and the leadership of BA. She then got into the need for revolution and the crucial role of the Revolution Tour in this process.

As people ate, there was a lot of friendly engagement and discussion, with a lot centered around the question of reform versus revolution: Why did the previous revolutions in Central America go bad? What makes this Revolution so different from the others? And how could revolution win in a powerful country like the U.S.? BAsics and other works by BA were promoted.

A total of $502 was raised by this picnic. This included $237 collected at the picnic from those attending it. The rest was from donations from people: $165 from doctors, nurses, and clerks at a local hospital. A “Trump” piñata was donated by another merchant. It was beaten up and torn apart by a bunch of kids and adults in the park, a fitting finale for this event.

At the end of the picnic, about a dozen immigrant women got together and filmed a video. In high spirits they chanted: “We need a revolution. It needs more strength, we need unity and solidarity. Let’s go for revolution—yes we can do it!”

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/605/identity-politics-blues-en.html

| revcom.us

 

"Identity Politics Blues"

 

I don’t even know who the hell I am

I got twenty-five identities and twenty-five brands

I drove to the intersection and my car just stalled

I sure am feeling really confused

with these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I heard someone saying they had truth to tell

but they got white skin and a penis as well

so I knew that they couldn’t possibly be right

never knew that truth had a gender or hue

‘Till I got these postmodern identity politics blues

 

So I shouted out loud to every woman and man

“I’m eight-fifteenths indigenous and ten percent trans!

that means you have to buy my merchandise”

even as I said it, though, I started to snooze

these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I just read this book, you should really try it

“10 Quick Steps to Decolonize your Diet”

Now I can survive on agency alone

there’s nothing meaningless I will refuse

with these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I purchased an onion and started to cry

as I peeled back its layers of privilege, then I

threw it in the trash and typed a Facebook post

all I need now is someone to accuse

with these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I feel deep in my heart that I have love to give

I just hope that’s not “heteronormative’

but then who am I to even use that word?

Why must I be stricken with a cisgender muse?

these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

Someone said “I’d like to report a crime,”

I said “Call the Arts section of The New York Times,”

there’s nothing decent that they won’t condemn

just be patient when they’re asking “who are you?!”

These damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

Yesterday, a cop punched a guy in the face

without a trigger warning and inside a safe space

he told the cop, the cop wasn’t impressed

the cop wasn’t woke and he was stuck in his views

these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I went to the lecture on empowering dogs

someone started whispering “What about frogs?”

Pretty soon, things ground right to a halt

after all, who are we as humans to choose?

These damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I woke up in the morning for a leaderless swim

I had never swum before, but still I jumped right in

two minutes later, I promptly started to drown

the other swimmers smirked and just looked amused

these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

I somehow washed ashore and collapsed on the sand

I coughed and gasped for air and I could not understand

how the currents took me so far out to sea

it dawned on me that I might need to lose

these damn postmodern identity politics blues

 

So now I want to change the world, or at least I might

if I could just stop asking if I have the right

I’ve had it with these hustlers, fakes and fools

how much longer must we be abused

by these damn postmodern identity politics blues?

 

 

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/582/identity-politics-and-privilege-en.html

IDENTITY POLITICS AND PRIVILEGE

| Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

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

 

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/609/introducing-new-series-en.html

1619-2019: Introducing A New Series:

The Oppression of Black People and the Revolutionary Struggle to Emancipate Humanity

| revcom.us

 

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

—Bob Avakian

Four centuries ago, in August 1619, the first slaves in the colonies that became the United States were brought to Jamestown, Virginia. They were approximately 20 men and women kidnapped captives, most likely from the kingdom of Ndongo in modern-day Angola. Bought by the Jamestown settlers from English pirates who had seized them from a Portuguese slave ship, they were put to work on the tobacco fields of the South. They formed part of over 12.5 million kidnapped and enslaved captives from Africa shipped across the Atlantic Ocean in what is known as the Middle Passage, a voyage of misery and death in horrific conditions of brutal whippings, casual violence and the rape of women captives. Captives who were sick were thrown overboard, so often that sharks would follow the ships. Nearly two million did not survive this journey.

One of the cruelest instruments of commerce, the slave ship defined and shaped America, in conjunction with “the whipping machine,” critical to cotton production in the slave states of the South, and capitalist accumulation of wealth across the emergent United States.

Among some sections of liberal and progressive people, this anniversary is bringing forth a long-needed and welcome reckoning with the actual history of this country, not only the unspeakable horrors and brutality of slavery but how it defined, shaped and put its stamp on every facet of American society from its very origins and founding. It is calling forth beginning examination of and starting to touch on the continuing legacy of slavery in white supremacy and the oppression of Black people, and how it is originating in and still woven into the fabric of this system of capitalism and this society, foundational to the wealth and position of this country today. For example, this is manifest in the 1619 Project of the New York Times, among a range of works from other intellectuals and artists.

As a seminal anniversary and in the midst of this ferment, revcom.us and associated social media aim to play—through the fall and coming year—a vital and needed role in the questioning, discussion and debates, centered around the historic breakthroughs and extensive works of Bob Avakian (BA) on the actual character of the relationship between capitalism and white supremacy, and how the latter could actually—and only—be overcome through a revolution aimed at the emancipation of all humanity... a communist revolution.

To this end, we will have a series focused on the theme of The Oppression of Black People and the Revolutionary Struggle to Emancipate Humanity. It really does matter, from the perspective and goals of making revolution and emancipating humanity, that people follow through on this reckoning and confrontation, learning more about the history of this country and its founding and foundations. It matters, even more, that people follow through on their convictions and go beyond their comfort zone, to logical and scientific conclusions such as what BA says in the film Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution:

White supremacy and capitalism—they have been completely interwoven and tightly “stitched together” through the whole development of this country, down to today; to attempt to really put an end to white supremacy while maintaining the system of capitalism would tear the entire fabric of the country apart. White supremacy and capitalism—it is not possible to overcome and finally abolish the one without overthrowing and finally abolishing the other.

There are sharp choices and futures posed now.

First, there is the MAGA-style open re-assertion and imposition of white supremacy with potentially genocidal implications.

Second, there are efforts like that of the Times and many progressive public intellectuals to open up and make available the actual history of this country, in an effort to “save America” or, in the words of Nikole Hannah-Jones, the editor and driving force behind the Times’ project, to cast Black people as “the perfecters of this democracy” within the myth and comforting narrative of America as constantly striving for and gradually achieving “a more perfect union.”

Third, there is the real urgent necessity of getting organized now for an ACTUAL revolution to overthrow and defeat the system of American capitalism-imperialism, and the white supremacy woven into its fabric. As Bob Avakian has characterized:

There will never be a revolutionary movement in this country that doesn’t fully unleash and give expression to the sometimes openly expressed, sometimes expressed in partial ways, sometimes expressed in wrong ways, but deeply, deeply felt desire to be rid of these long centuries of oppression [of Black people]. There’s never gonna be a revolution in this country, and there never should be, that doesn’t make that one key foundation of what it’s all about.

BAsics 3:19

Follow revcom.us throughout the autumn, as we not only bring forward the seminal work of BA on this, but enter into and bring that work to bear on the crucial debate on the cause of the problem, and the actual solution.

September 9, 2019:

Q&A: What will it take for masses of white people to break from white supremacy?

September 2, 2019:

August 26, 2019:

The Oppression of Black People and Other People of Color, by Bob Avakian, an excerpt

August 19, 2019:

The following is an excerpt from Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, a talk given by Bob Avakian in 2006 and published as a pamphlet in 2008.

Slavery, White Supremacy, and Democracy in America

Read excerpt here

Listen to speech: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Read entire speech

 

 

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Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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/613/kashmir-dying-en.html

Kashmir Dying

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ note: The following are excerpts from a correspondence we received from a reader on developments around the state of Kashmir (officially known as Jammu and Kashmir) in India. We thought that this exposure of the situation facing the people in Kashmir was important to share with our readers.

As a brief background: Kashmir lies on the northern borders of India and Pakistan. About 65 percent of its 12.5 million people are Muslims, 30 percent Hindus, and the rest other ethnicities and religions. With the end of formal British rule over the Indian subcontinent after World War II, the British carried out a divide-and-conquer policy to exacerbate divisions between different nationalities and religious groups, and Pakistan was partitioned off as a separate Muslim state. Two-thirds of Kashmir came under Indian control, with the rest controlled by Pakistan. The oppressive rulers of both India and Pakistan have sought to control Kashmir, including waging wars, for their own ends. In early August, the Indian government moved to end Kashmir’s autonomy, sent in tens of thousands of additional troops to an already heavily militarized area, and put the region under a state of siege.

Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see?

These lyrics from Bob Dylan’s iconic song Blowin’ in the Wind have proved prophetic for Kashmir in India. The northernmost state of India has been under a lockdown from the Indian government for almost four weeks now. The state’s more than seven million people remain jailed in their homes with statewide curfew, and no access to food, medicine, health care or any other basic amenities. They exist, but are not free; they are being slowly tortured to death in inventive ways by Indian army and police. The bigoted majority Hindu population on the other hand, has turned its head away from one of the worst humanitarian tragedies in the history of the world, and pretends all is well. It is chilling to the core. Unnatural death, either inflicted by the Indian state or the lack of access due to curfew is becoming an accepted feature of the Kashmiri family. This is slow genocide in progress. The right-wing Modi government wants the land not the people.

The occupation of Kashmir has been done with constitutional chicanery and fraud, by revoking Article 370 that connected Kashmir to India. This was done overnight, stealthily and swiftly, and in one stroke the identity of Kashmiris and land were robbed. Kashmir, at the time of independence of India from British colonial rule joined India through an Instrument of Accession, that allowed Kashmir full autonomy except for defence, foreign affairs and communication. This included Kashmir having its own constitution and its own flag. This became enshrined in the Indian constitution through Article 370 of the constitution. Now, it stands abrogated; without the will, consent or consultation with Kashmiri people.

On August 5 Kashmir woke up caged. Every home was turned into a jail with a statewide curfew. The vast majority of the Indian population celebrated it exuberantly, bursting crackers in some cases, tone deaf to the genocide like situation on the ground. Over five hundred Kashmiri politicians were jailed and thousands more arrested in one swoop. Any spontaneous protest was crushed with an iron fist, and people were beaten, maimed, jailed and killed mercilessly. The pellet guns used by Indian forces is the first mass blinding operation carried out by armed forces anywhere in the world. They intentionally aim at the eye, and chose the more deadly pellet for use compared to the earlier more benign one. As the days passed by, young boys, 10 to 13 years old, were kidnapped and abducted from families in night raids by Indian forces, and are being held in jails without charges. These children are hostages, to prevent the parents from protesting for their rights and identity. Kashmiri jails are full, the children are now taken to jails of other states. The aim is clear—to eliminate Muslims from Kashmir, perform an ethnic cleansing, and change its demographics forever. The rapes and torture in Kashmir today are as savage, as brutal, as heartless as any other worse time in the history of humanity. As BBC reported on beatings and torture, “They beat every part of my body. They kicked us, beat us with sticks, gave electric shocks, beat us with cables. When we fainted, they gave us electric shocks to bring us back. When they hit us with sticks and we screamed, they sealed our mouths with mud.”  

This is a rise of Hindu Nazis which the world is silently watching. These are the people who literally worship Hitler and approve of ethnic cleansing methods adopted by Hitler. The parallels are stark. Modi in India rode on a wave of popularity just like Hitler, largely fueled by his hate speeches, majoritarian plank, and populist slogans like Hitler. He made Muslims the enemy with careful pandering to majoritarian sentiments, stoking imaginary fears just like Hitler, who made Jews the enemy. The false Hindu pride, and harking back to ancient glory just like that of Germans, was made the prime narrative of political discourse. The mob-lynching of Muslims was slowly normalized in Modi’s first terms in last five years, as was the killing of Jews, with no action taken on the perpetrators. In many cases these goons were felicitated and encouraged by Modi, his government and its supporters. Modi follows Hindutva goons on Twitter who spew the worst kind of hatred, abuse and venom on the social media.

An over-arching, a far more sinister, and pervasive propaganda campaign than Goebbels could have ever imagined was put in place to brainwash common people, witch hunt and punish every dissenter, every truth-seeker and every critic of Modi. The entire Indian mainstream media was bought and turned into a hostile, reactionary enemy of the people who fawned on Modi and shut down any opposing and dissenting voice. They spread not only fake news and lies, but also incited communal violence and hatred against the Muslim minority, and the underprivileged in India, called Dalits. The Indian mainstream media will go down in history for their brazen complicity in giving rise to Hindu Nazis and Hindu terror. They willfully went along as the democratic and secular framework of India was taken apart piece by piece by Hindu Nazi rulers. They are the cheerleaders of the ascent of Hindu Nazi dictatorship. Combined with the vicious online troll army, the Modi government has the Indian population surveilled and terrorized, where truth has become a precious but also lethal commodity. The rest of India is as occupied as Kashmir, except that people are not jailed in their homes. As one commentator profoundly put it, Kashmir will not be Indianized, rather, India will be Kashmirized.


Kashmir above; outlined in red below.


In early August, the Indian government moved to end Kashmir's autonomy. Any protest was met with an iron fist—tear gas (above), pellet guns intentionally aimed at the eye, and mass arrests. The aim: ethnic cleansing—eliminating any Muslims. (Photo: AP)

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/613/lapd-chief-pig-announces-they-did-nothing-wrong-en.html

LAPD Chief Pig Announces They Did Nothing Wrong in Spying on Refuse Fascism: "Because We Say So"

| revcom.us

 

On Tuesday, September 10, LA Police Chief Michel Moore announced at a Police Commission meeting that the LAPD has completed their internal investigation of their spying on Refuse Fascism. He gave a verbal report that concluded that sending a spy into meetings in the fall of 2017 at a church to record meetings and private conversations was fine. The evidence for this? “Because we say so.”

Lies Abound

One way you can tell this whole “report” is bullshit is it began with a basic lie from Chief Moore. In July, when the news of this LAPD spying broke in the LA Times, Moore responded immediately with a promise of a “top to bottom investigation,” acting as if he knew nothing about the investigation into Refuse Fascism which resulted in a total of 57 criminal misdemeanor charges being lodged against 11 members of Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club. In his most recent comments, we find out that Moore—as Chief of Operations at the time—was one of the people who signed off on placing the spy into Refuse Fascism.

In addition, and more fundamentally, Moore claims that this spying was legal and needed no “independent oversight” because this was an investigation into criminal activity and not political surveillance. Bullshit!

First of all, this surveillance is part of a whole pattern in keeping with the LAPD’s long and bloody history of political repression. In the 1980s, the political surveillance wing of the LAPD had files on 50,000 organizations and people they were targeting including the Revolutionary Communist Party, the Black Panther Party, the National Organization of Women and even the LA Times, members of the City Council and more. Through a whole series of lawsuits and public exposés, this surveillance wing was forced to disband and the LAPD reorganized, promising a whole set of reforms and changes which have amounted to nothing but more repression and brutality with a new cover.

In July, Moore himself tried to justify the spying on Refuse Fascism on the basis of lies alleging that members of Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club were part of protests in the Bay Area wherein “criminal acts including vandalism, assault with a deadly weapon or arson,” are alleged to have occurred. These were protests against fascists marching in Berkeley, including in the days after Heather Heyer was murdered by fascists in the streets of Charlottesville. Not only was this slander and distortion trying to legitimize unconstitutional LAPD spying and criminalize nonviolent protest, it also intimated a much bigger spying operation than has been made public up to this point—spying aimed at political suppression. This time around, though, Moore changed his story, mentioning none of this as justification for the spying. All this talk about this being a straightforward “criminal prosecution and criminal surveillance” is a “top to bottom” lie.

As Refuse Fascism said in a statement to the press, “The allegedly independent Police Commission gave this verbal report from Moore a rubber stamp—with no evidence, no transparency, inconsistencies in Moore’s comments and nothing in place to stop them in the future except an empty promise of reforms... promises the LAPD has made and broken again and again.”

They also said, “Refuse Fascism demands to know the evidence for why they are saying we were involved in ‘criminal activity,’ the extent of the spying operation, who approved it, who was involved and how high it went. In addition to filing a Public Records Act, we demand the release of this investigation, and all associated interviews and documents.”

An Illegitimate System Moving to Enforce a Fascist Order

This self-investigation by the LAPD is not just a farce, it’s extremely dangerous.

The LAPD is criminalizing anti-fascist protest, justifying repression and spying while the Trump/Pence regime is moving rapidly to consolidate a fascist America. This regime is gutting the rule of law, trying to declare anti-fascists as “domestic terrorists,” attacking the press and tearing up what are supposed to be civil rights and liberties.

But it is the members of Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club who are on trial: for sounding the alarm about these dangers and calling on millions to step outside the bounds of protest-as-usual to fill the streets through sustained, mass, nonviolent protest aimed at driving this regime from power.

In a mistrial in June, a hung jury (with nine voting for acquittal) failed to conclude that the two Refuse Fascism and Revolution Club defendants were guilty of a crime. But still the LAPD and the Democrats in the City Attorney’s office are working overtime to drag all of the #Freeway9 and the #UCLA5 into court, surveil and harass them.

This whole case shows why you cannot rely on the normal channels of this system to prevent the consolidation of fascism. But it also shows the basic illegitimacy of those “normal channels.”

As Bob Avakian says in BAsics 1:24:

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

The LAPD is notorious for murder and brutality. In 2016, they murdered more people than any other police department in the country. This is the law and order they routinely enforce. Now any restraints that have been fought for—by a very active civil liberties community and by mass protests and uprisings—are being obliterated by a fascist regime. Trump has threatened to use the racist policy of “stop and frisk” on a federal level. He’s openly encouraged the police to be even more brutal, saying “Please don’t be too nice,” suggesting the police smash the heads of people on police cars as they’re being arrested.

No one should trust the words out of Moore’s mouth, the LAPD’s investigation or the obedient LA Police Commission. But people should also see through this the deeper reality of the role the repressive forces of the state serve—enforcing a system that has no answer for the horrors it creates except brutality and murder. Every attempt at reform—Police Commissions, body cameras, and “community policing” as a cover for neighborhood snitch networks—has been used to deepen and expand the counterinsurgency and repression against the masses of people who have no future under this system.

See also:

Which Side Are YOU On?

Members of Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club, LA are being dragged into court for disrupting the business-as-usual of fascist normalization. They need to be defended.

Read more

Things You Can Do

  • Call City Attorney Mike Feuer at 213.978.8100 to demand: Drop the charges against the #Freeway9 and #UCLA5 .
  • Sign the online petition HERE.
  • Pack the courtroom for ongoing court hearings: stay tuned to twitter.com/RefuseFascismLA for updates
  • Invite the Revolution Club defendants to speak on your campus, church or community center: “Why We Disrupted the Business-as-Usual of Fascism and Why You Need to Join the Fight for the Future.”
    Contact the Revolution Club, LA at 323.424.6687; revclub_la@yahoo.com; @revclub_la.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/612/revolution-books-brooklyn-book-festival-en.html

Revolution Books Hosts Two "Bookend" Events as Part of the Brooklyn Book Festival, Sept. 16-23

| revcom.us

 

September 19, Thursday, 7 pm
Harriet Washington on Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind

Science writer and bioethicist Harriet Washington, author of the acclaimed Medical Apartheid, will present her new book A Terrible Thing To Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind. Washington deconstructs the fraudulent notion of intelligence as inherited trait. She identifies the deleterious effects of institutional factors and environmental racism on learning and cognitive abilities in marginalized communities of color. And what needs to change. Hear Harriet and join the conversation.

September 21, Saturday, 3 pm
New Women Voices of African Fiction—Novuyo Tshuma and Namwali Serpell in Conversation

Two authors of two ambitious debut novels. Novuyo Tshuma is a Zimbabwean writer living in Houston. House of Stone is her sweeping epic spanning the fall of Rhodesia through Zimbabwe’s turbulent beginnings, exploring the persistence of the oppressed in a young nation seeking an identity but built on forgetting.

Namwali Serpell is a Zambian writer who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. The Old Drift is an inter-generational saga that combines history, romance, and science fiction, revealing the cruelties and absurdities of colonialism, and the yearning to create and cross borders.

A special opportunity to hear these exciting writers read from and discuss their work.

 


437 Malcolm X Blvd./Lenox Ave.
212-691-3345
revbooksnyc@yahoo.com
revolutionbooksnyc.org

 


Novuyo Tshuma

Namwali Serpell

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/605/a-critical-challenge-an-urgent-appeal-en.html

From THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible – A Talk by Bob Avakian

A Critical Challenge, an Urgent Appeal

| revcom.us

 

[W]hether we consider ourselves revolutionaries, convinced of the need for a radical overturning of the system and thorough transformation of society, or we believe that it is possible to bring about changes that will lead to a more just society within this system; whether our understanding is that America is not, and cannot be, a force for good in the world, or we hope it still can become that—all of us need to come together, and act together, with the urgency that corresponds to the terrible present and the gravely imperiled future that this fascist regime represents for humanity, and with the conviction that something far better is necessary and possible.

We may have differences about what that “something far better” is, and how it can be brought about—and we should continue to discuss and debate this, with the orientation of seeking the truth, whether convenient or inconvenient, comfortable or uncomfortable, and following the truth wherever it leads—but it is not only possible but crucial and urgent that we unite—and actively go forward to win truly massive numbers of people—to act, in a really meaningful way, to bring about the removal of this fascist regime before it can fully consolidate its rule and bring down the full effect of its horrific agenda. In the “Paul Krugman” article, I put it this way:

“Krugman is a proponent of capitalism, whereas I am an advocate of communism, a new communism, who is convinced that what is ultimately and fundamentally required to deal with the current horrors facing the masses of humanity, and the looming threat to the very existence of humanity, is a truly radical and emancipating revolution. But that is not the immediate question and challenge before all of us at this present moment. Rather, it is to deal with the grave danger posed by those now in power, through nonviolent but massive and sustained political action—the mobilization of first thousands, growing into millions, determined to get and remain in the streets until this regime is removed from power. Does not the common recognition that this regime ‘may end up destroying civilization,’ demand of us—of all those, of many divergent viewpoints, who can recognize that these are the stakes for humanity—that we act together, and do everything in our power, to bring about the massive political manifestation that is urgently needed to drive out this regime?”

And, in concluding, let me go back to what I wrote at the end of that article:

“It is in this spirit and with this understanding that it is crucial for everyone—those, like Paul Krugman, with a prominent platform from which to influence public opinion, as well as those without such a platform—who do recognize and agonize over what is at stake for humanity to act, from their own perspective, to give meaningful support to, and indeed to become actively involved in, the critical work building toward November 4: publicly endorsing and promoting the Call from Refuse Fascism, helping to break through what is effectively a white-out of this by the mainstream media, donating and raising funds, directing people to the RefuseFascism.org website, and in countless other ways helping to develop the necessary political and organizational basis for what RefuseFascism very rightly calls ‘this great cause.’ For it is the massive and sustained political mobilization called for by RefuseFascism that truly represents the prospect of forging a positive path through and beyond this extremely dangerous and potentially disastrous situation.” 

RefuseFascism.org is a movement of people coming from diverse perspectives, united in our recognition that the Trump/Pence Regime poses a catastrophic danger to humanity and the planet, and that it is our responsibility to drive them from power through non-violent protests that grow every day until our demand is met. This means working and organizing with all our creativity and determination to bring thousands, eventually millions of people into the streets of cities and towns, to demand:

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

RefuseFascism.org welcomes individuals and organizations from many different points of view who share our determination to refuse to accept a fascist America, to join and/or partner with us in this great cause.

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

Find out more about Refuse Fascism here.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/606/bob-avakian-individualism-beb-and-the-illusion-of-painless-progress-en.html

The following is taken from a recent talk given by Bob Avakian

Individualism, BEB and the Illusion of "Painless Progress"

| revcom.us

 

Note Added by the Author, Fall 2019

This work is the edited text of a talk given in the spring of 2019, and the following section (“Individualism, BEB and the Illusion of ‘Painless Progress’”) has been published (posted at revcom.us) beginning in the summer of this year.  In late September 2019, Nancy Pelosi (and the Democratic Party leadership of which she is a prominent representative), after a prolonged stubborn insistence on refusing to impeach Donald Trump, reversed course and announced that an “impeachment inquiry” of Trump would be undertaken. This reversal was hinged upon—and Pelosi and Company have made an attempt to focus this “impeachment inquiry” overwhelmingly, if not solely, on—the revelation (stemming from a report by a government “whistleblower”) that Trump has been involved in an effort to pressure the government of Ukraine to do Trump the “favor” of digging up (or “cooking up”) dirt on Joe Biden, former Vice President (under Obama) and a leading contender for the Democratic Party nomination for the presidential election in 2020.  Pelosi and the Democrats have identified this as an abuse of presidential power, in pursuit of Trump’s personal interests (particularly looking ahead to the 2020 election) and have given emphasis to their insistence that, in making this “favor” the basis (and the price) for the continuation of the U.S. military aid to Ukraine, in its confrontation with pro-Russian forces, Trump “undermined U.S. national security,” particularly in relation to its major adversary Russia.  In other words, while, from their bourgeois perspective, their concern is very real in regard to the imperialist “national interests” of the U.S., the “norms” of how this system’s rule has been imposed and maintained, the importance to them of a “peaceful transition” from one administration to another through elections—and the danger posed to this by Trump’s trampling on these “norms”—Pelosi and Company, in focusing this “impeachment inquiry” on this narrow basis, have underlined the fact that they are acting in accordance with their sense of the interests of U.S. capitalist imperialism and its drive to remain the dominant imperialist power in the world, and that they continue to refuse to demand Trump’s ouster on the basis of his many outrageous statements and acts directed against masses of people, not only in the U.S. but internationally:  his overt racism and promotion of white supremacy and white supremacist violence; his gross misogyny and attacks on the rights of women, including very prominently the right to abortion, and on LGBT rights; his repeated calls for and backing of intensified brutal repression and suppression of dissent; his discrimination against Muslims and his cruel targeting of immigrants, involving confinement in concentration camp-like conditions, including for those fleeing from persecution and the very real threat of death in their “home countries” and seeking asylum on that basis, and the separation of even very young children from their parents; his assault on science and the scientific pursuit of the truth, including denial of the science of climate change and continuing moves to undermine and reverse even minor and completely ineffective protections of the environment; his threats to destroy countries, including through the use of nuclear weapons—in short, his all-around drive to fully consolidate fascist rule and implement a horrific, fascist agenda, with terrible consequences for the masses of humanity

While, as of this writing, it is not clear what this “impeachment inquiry” will lead to—whether Trump will actually be impeached in the House of Representatives, and what will happen then in the Senate to determine whether he should be convicted and removed from office—it is already clear that the way in which the Democrats are seeking to narrowly focus the move to oust Trump emphasizes yet again the importance of these basic points of orientation:

The Democrats, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, etc., are seeking to resolve the crisis with the Trump presidency on the terms of this system, and in the interests of the ruling class of this system, which they represent.  We, the masses of people, must go all out, and mobilize ourselves in the millions, to resolve this in our interests, in the interests of humanity, which are fundamentally different from and opposed to those of the ruling class.

This, of course, does not mean that the struggle among the powers that be is irrelevant or unimportant; rather, the way to understand and approach this (and this is a point that must also be repeatedly driven home to people, including through necessary struggle, waged well) is in terms of how it relates to, and what openings it can provide for, “the struggle from below”—for the mobilization of masses of people around the demand that the whole regime must go, because of its fascist nature and actions and what the stakes are for humanity.

Clearly, the removal of not just Trump, but also the Christian Fascist Vice President Mike Pence, and indeed this whole fascist regime, is of urgent importance.  But this will only serve the fundamental interests of the masses of people—not just in this country but in the world as a whole—if this is achieved, not on the basis of confining things within the terms of and through the furthering of the “national interests” of the monstrously oppressive U.S. empire, but on the basis of the mobilization of mass opposition to the fascism of this Trump/Pence regime, which has been produced by and risen to power through the “normal functioning” of this system, of which it is an extreme but not somehow an “alien” expression.

~~~~~~~~~~

Individualism, BEB and the Illusion of "Painless Progress"

All this—even the seemingly more “benign,” or oblivious, individualism—links up with the repeated and stubborn insistence on chasing after the illusion of painless progress. If something makes people uncomfortable—and still more, if it holds out the prospect of sacrifice, necessary sacrifice, on their part—far too many people turn away from it. As I’ve pointed out before, there’s this whole attitude of approaching reality as if it’s a “buffet,” or approaching it like a consumer: “Well, that makes me uncomfortable. I’ll just leave that to the side. I don’t want to look at that because that makes me uncomfortable.”

I am going to talk later about some of the more ridiculous and outrageous forms of this. But just to give a little preview, as I pointed out in The New Communism, some people went on one of the college campuses a couple of years ago with a poster of Stolen Lives, people who’d been killed by police (not all of them, by any means, but dozens), and someone came up and started whining: “I don’t like that poster, it makes me feel unsafe.” As I commented at the time: Oh, boo-hoo! Let’s get out of this boo-hoo shit and start talking about and engaging seriously what’s happening to masses of people, one significant part of which is represented by what’s on that poster.

One of the most common and problematical forms of this repeated and stubborn insistence on chasing after the illusion of “painless progress,” particularly among people who consider themselves somewhat enlightened (or progressive, or “woke,” or however they want to put it), is what we very rightly term BEB—Bourgeois Electoral Bullshit—and the phenomenon that people continually confine themselves to the narrow limits of what is presented to them by one section of the ruling class, as embodied in the Democratic Party: “These are the limits of what I’ll consider in terms of possibly bringing about change”—because this is the well-worn rut of what is, at least up to this point, relatively safe in terms of political engagement. It may even become not-so-safe in the future, depending on how things go with these fascists who are working to consolidate their power right now through the ruling regime of Trump and Pence. But for now it seems relatively painless. It is also completely ineffectual and doesn’t bring about any kind of change that’s needed, but it’s a way to feel that you’re doing something while avoiding any sacrifice, and even any real discomfort.

One of the ways this gets expressed, along with the BEB, is people, in their masses, not confronting the reality of Trump/Pence fascism, and therefore not acting in a way commensurate with the danger and the potentially even greater horrors this represents.

Just to step back, and to speak to a very important element of this that I’ve touched on before, Trump’s election—through the electoral college, not the popular vote—is, in a real sense, an extension of slavery: the people who voted for Trump are the kind of people who would have been pro-slavery, had they been around at the time of slavery in the United States. And those who find it acceptable to have the overt white supremacist Trump in the White House are the kind of people who would have ignored or would have openly accepted and justified or rationalized slavery when it existed. And here I have to invoke what I thought was a very insightful comment by Ron Reagan (yes, Ronald Reagan’s maverick son, who is also, to his great credit, an unabashed atheist): Trump’s much-analyzed, over-analyzed, “base” will continue supporting him, no matter what he does, Ron Reagan has pointed out (and this is very insightful), because Trump hates all the same people they hate.

As opposed to all the obfuscation about the economic difficulties people are going through, blah, blah, blah, that is often used to rationalize why people voted for and continue to support Trump, what Ron Reagan has sharply pointed to is the essence of Trump’s “base.” And, by the way, notice how all the mainstream media, CNN and so on, continually use this term: Trump’s “base.” This is a neutral term, “base.” These are a bunch of fascists, okay? And by using these euphemisms, or these neutral terms, like “base,” you’re obscuring and keeping people from seeing what is actually represented by Trump and those who support him, and the depth of the real danger this poses. Ron Reagan’s comment is very much to the point. He went on to elaborate: They hate LGBT people, they hate women (independent women, and really all women), they hate Black people, they hate immigrants, they hate Muslims, and so on. And Trump hates all the same people they hate.

That is why they’ll never desert him, whatever he does. That is why he could very rightly make the comment: “I could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue in New York City and these people wouldn’t turn against me.”

At the same time, it has to be bluntly said: For the millions, and tens of millions, who say they hate everything Trump stands for and what he is doing but who, after all this time, have still not taken to the streets in sustained mobilization demanding that the Trump/Pence regime must go, this makes them collaborators with this fascist regime and themselves guilty of the egregious crime of tolerating this regime when they still could have the possibility of achieving the demand that it must go, through such mass mobilization!

To paraphrase Paul Simon: They are squandering their resistance for a pocketful of mumbles—and worse—from the Democratic Party.

It is long past time—and there is still time, but not much time—for this to change, for masses of people to finally take to the streets, and stay in the streets, with the firm resolve that this fascist regime must go!

And here are some very relevant questions for the millions and tens of millions who hate everything Trump stands for but have failed or refused to mobilize, in their masses, in non-violent but sustained action around the demand that the Trump/Pence regime be removed from power, as has been called for by Refuse Fascism: If you will not take to the streets now to demand that the Trump/Pence regime must go, what will you do if Trump is re-elected (perhaps through the electoral college, even if he again loses the popular vote)? And what will you do if Trump loses the election (even by the electoral college count) but then refuses to recognize the results and insists he is still President?!

At the same time, it is necessary to point to the very serious problems with the dangerous naiveté and “left” posturing of certain “progressive” intellectuals. For example, someone like Glenn Greenwald, who has done some good things in exposing the violations of people’s rights under this system—human rights, civil rights and civil liberties—but who, whenever anything’s brought out about the terrible crimes and horrors that are represented by the Trump/Pence regime, insists upon immediately saying things like, “Yes, but what about Hillary Clinton, and what about the Democrats, and the terrible things they have done?” All of which is true. As we have pointed out: The Democratic Party is a machine of massive war crimes and crimes against humanity. And this does need to be brought out. At the same time, it is necessary to recognize that the Republican Party is fascist, and if you don’t understand that this has real meaning and real importance—and every time someone speaks to the outrages and horrors perpetrated by these fascists, you insist on immediately raising, “Yes, but what about the Democrats?”—you’re leading people, or pointing people, away from an understanding of the real dynamics going on here and the real dangers.

And then there is Slavoj Žižek. As is very bluntly, and very accurately, put in the article by Raymond Lotta, “Slavoj Žižek Is a Puffed-Up Idiot Who Does Great Damage”:

Slavoj Žižek, an influential fool-of-a-philosopher who often poses as a “communist,” declared his support for Donald Trump on British TV. A victory for Trump, according to Žižek, will help the Republicans and Democrats “rethink themselves”—and could bring about “a kind of big awakening.” And speaking from his “what-me-worry” perch [Lotta goes on], Žižek pronounced that Trump “will not introduce fascism.”

As Lotta then succinctly states: “This is wrong, this is poison.” And it is similar to the kind of wrong and dangerous thinking that people like Glenn Greenwald fall into and propagate. Similarly to Glenn Greenwald, it involves playing down the actual reality and danger of what’s represented by fascism, even as, once again, the Democratic Party is an instrument of bourgeois dictatorship, and a machine of massive war crimes and crimes against humanity.

This kind of wrong thinking is also exemplified by someone like Julian Assange, who actually, from all appearances, and it does seem to be the case, contributed to the machinations that went on around the Trump campaign, involving, it does seem, the Russians in this, and who did so with the same kind of rationalization that Žižek put forward, as cited by Raymond Lotta—that Clinton and the Democratic Party represent the old establishment, the old ways of doing things, and if they’re defeated and somebody who’s outside the establishment gets in, it will shake things up. I have heard Assange saying (his own words, not just others characterizing what his position is): “Maybe this will lead to a negative change, or maybe it will lead to a positive change, but at least it will lead to change, or it will hold open the possibility of change.”

Well, what kind of change is it actually leading to? There’s no room for agnosticism or ignorance about what kind of change it is leading to. Yes, bourgeois dictatorship in any form is very bad for the masses of people, very oppressive and repressive of the masses of people, and needs to be overthrown. But an overt fascist dictatorship that tramples on any pretense of upholding rights for people is not something that should be put in the category of “maybe it’ll be a positive change, or maybe it’ll be a negative change.”

Now, at the same time as making this sharp critique, particularly with regard to Julian Assange, it is very important to emphasize the need to oppose the persecution of Assange by the U.S. imperialists, whose persecution of him is in response to and revenge for his part—not in something to do with the Russians, but overwhelmingly in exposing just some of the monstrous crimes of this system. In this regard, there was an interesting article called “Julian Assange and the Woeful State of Whistle-Blowers” by Edward Wasserman, who’s a professor of journalism and the Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. (This article appeared in the New York Times on Saturday, April 27 of this year, 2019.) Wasserman points out that, with whatever his failings are, political and personal, Julian Assange, through WikiLeaks, “enabled spectacular disclosure of official secrets,” including, as Wasserman himself puts it, “war crimes, torture and atrocities on civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan” by the U.S. And this is why he’s being attacked in the legal arena and politically by the U.S. ruling class. This dimension is where people need to rally to Assange’s defense, even with his limitations and failings. And the need and importance of defending Assange, particularly from political/legal persecution by the U.S. government, has been greatly heightened by the fact that this government (headed by the Trump/Pence fascist regime) has now piled on very serious charges of espionage in this process of persecution, with dire implications not just for Assange but for any and all who would dare to uncover and expose the war crimes and crimes against humanity continually carried out by U.S. imperialism and its institutions of violence and repression.

Yet, without in any way failing to give due importance and emphasis to opposing these repressive moves by the U.S. government, it remains necessary and there is also great importance to criticizing this outlook and approach embodied in the thinking of people like Assange and Glenn Greenwald, as well as Žižek. The idea that these bourgeois (or “establishment”) politicians are just “all the same,” without any analysis of the nuances, or even the blatant differences, between them and the consequences of this for the masses of people, the masses of humanity—this is very harmful.

Here it is worth looking at the criticism that was raised of the German communists in the period of the rise to power of Hitler and the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s. The slogan was attributed to the German communists: “Nach Hitler, Uns,” (meaning: “After Hitler, Us”). In other words, the same kind of thinking—that Hitler actually heading up the government would shake up things and would cause such a crisis in society that, then, the communists would have a chance to come to power. This represented a very serious underestimation of what was represented by Hitler and the Nazis, and the terrible consequences of this for humanity. Yes, the communists there should have been consistently and firmly opposing the whole system on a revolutionary basis, but it was also very important and necessary to recognize that Hitler and the Nazis were a particularly perverse and extreme representation of all the horrors of this system, and would carry them out in very extreme forms.

So, in relation to all this, there is a need for a scientific approach to building opposition to the fascism embodied in the Trump/Pence regime in the U.S. today, in a way that is based on and proceeds from the understanding that’s captured in works of mine like “The Fascists and the Destruction of the ‘Weimar Republic’... And What Will Replace It” and “Not Being Jerry Rubin, or Even Dimitrov, but Actually Being Revolutionary Communists: THE CHALLENGE OF DEFENDING FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS—FROM A COMMUNIST PERSPECTIVE, AND NO OTHER.” (These articles are available at revcom.us. They are part of the Collected Works of Bob Avakian.)

As I have stressed several times, and as concentrated in the slogan we have brought forward: “The Republican Party is Fascist, The Democratic Party is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity.” This emphasizes the importance of both aspects of things: recognizing the particularity of what’s represented by the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime and the Republican Party as a whole, and confronting the nature and massive crimes of the whole system, and all those who are functionaries and enforcers of this system, definitely including the Democratic Party.

In an article in the New York Times (Tuesday, July 16, 2019), “Racism Comes Out of the Closet,” Paul Krugman makes the point that not just Donald Trump but the Republican Party as a whole has gone from “dog whistling” racism to overtly and crudely expressing it. Krugman concludes this article this way, referring to the Republican Party’s dropping of even any pretense of opposing racism:

It’s tempting to say that Republican claims to support racial equality were always hypocritical; it’s even tempting to welcome the move from dog whistles to open racism. But if hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, what we’re seeing now is a party that no longer feels the need to pay that tribute. And that’s deeply frightening.

Krugman does have a point—an important and relevant point—here, as far as it goes. The problem is that it doesn’t go far enough, and in particular does not break out of the constricting terms of contradictions and conflicts among ruling class parties (the Republicans and the Democrats). The stance of hypocritically pretending opposition to such outrages as racist oppression, while in fact acting as the representatives, functionaries and enforcers of a system that has this oppression built into it and could not exist without this oppression—this does not just apply to the Republican Party in the past (if it ever applied to that party at all over the past 50 years and more) but also applies to the Democratic Party. What is concentrated in this situation is the need to recognize, and correctly handle, a very real and acute contradiction: the fact that, on the one hand, the Democratic Party, as much as the Republican Party, is a party of a system that continually commits, and cannot help committing, massive crimes against the masses of humanity and embodies an existential threat to the very future of humanity; and, on the other hand, the fact that (to paraphrase what is cited above from Krugman’s article) there is a very real difference and very direct danger embodied in the fact that one of these ruling class parties (the Republicans) openly abandons much of the pretense of being anything other than a rapacious, and yes racist, plunderer of human beings and of the environment. This requires the correct synthesis of, in fundamental terms, opposing the whole system, of which both of these parties are instruments, and actively working, in an ongoing way, toward the strategic goal of abolishing this whole system, while also, with the same fundamental strategic perspective, recognizing the acute immediate danger posed by the fascist Trump/Pence regime and working urgently to bring forward masses of people in non-violent but sustained mobilization around the demand that this regime must go!

Failing to really recognize and act on this understanding, in its different aspects and its full dimension, is very much related to individualism—particularly in the form of seeking the illusion of painless progress, rather than being willing to confront inconvenient and uncomfortable truths and to act accordingly, even with the sacrifices that might be required.

With all the nuances and particularities of contradictions that do have to be recognized, this crucial truth can be put in this basic and concentrated way:

The Democratic Party Is Part of the Problem, Not the Solution.

Here a challenge needs to be issued to all those who insist on the position that “the Democrats are the only realistic alternative”: On the website revcom.us, there is the “American Crime” series, which chronicles and outlines many of the most horrific crimes of the U.S. ruling class, going back to the beginning of this country and right up to the present, carried out under Republican and Democratic administrations. Here is the challenge: Go read that “American Crime” series and then come back and try to explain why it’s a decent thing to do to be caught up in supporting the Democrats.

Along with its other crimes, and its particular role in maintaining and enforcing this system, in the current circumstances the Democratic Party is also an active facilitator of fascism because of its refusal, even on the terms of the system it represents, to do anything meaningful to oppose the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime. This is concentrated in the insistence by Democratic Party leader Nancy Pelosi (or Piglosi, as she should be called) that impeachment is, once again, off the table. Some people may not remember (or may have chosen to forget), and others may not even know, but there was a massive sentiment to impeach George W. Bush back around 2005-2006, in particular because of the way he took the country to war, attacking and invading Iraq, causing massive destruction and death in that country, on the basis of systematic lies that were very consciously perpetrated by his whole regime, including Colin Powell, Cheney and Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice and the rest, who deliberately and systematically lied about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction and supposedly threatening the U.S. (and “allies” of the U.S.) with those weapons. These lies were the rationalization for perpetrating the U.S. war of aggression against Iraq—which, in fact, was an international war crime. There was a mass sentiment toward impeachment of George W. Bush largely on that basis. Well, when the Democrats, in the 2006 election, won control of both houses of Congress, immediately Nancy Piglosi said impeachment is off the table. And now she’s doing the same thing again—and she’s doing this not just as an individual, but as representative of the leadership of the Democratic Party. To borrow a term from the gang scene, the “shot-callers” of the Democratic Party are saying: “We shouldn’t impeach Trump because that will just serve him; he’s trying to goad us into impeaching him.” As though it would not be a good thing for Trump to be impeached. Piglosi insists: “We’re not gonna fall for that, we’re gonna hold Trump accountable.”  Oh yeah? How? How are you going to hold him accountable when you refuse to use one of the most powerful instruments you have, impeachment, to actually do something meaningful to oppose what he’s doing?

I saw a commentator on one of the networks the other day who made an observation which (along with and despite a bunch of nonsense that she was also spouting) was actually somewhat insightful and important. She said: “Laws don’t enforce themselves. If you can do something and get away with it, the law is meaningless.” Well, Piglosi, your “accountability” (holding Trump “accountable”) is meaningless because you are refusing to exercise the most effective means you might have to “hold him accountable.”

Now, some people say that this is just being done by Piglosi and the rest because they have the 2020 election in mind, and they don’t want to feed the Republican Party ammunition for their insistence that “this is a witch hunt” against Trump and the Republican Party. That may be a secondary consideration on the part of the Democrats, but if you listen to Piglosi she’s telling us what the deal actually is. She’s saying it would further divide the country to impeach Trump—as if the “country” is not already very deeply and very intensely divided, at this point, which is precisely why someone like Trump could get elected in the first place.

But there are really three reasons, or we could call them “three fears,” that Piglosi and the rest have. They’re afraid of Trump and the Republicans, so they’re allowing Trump and the Republicans to set the terms of what they can do. Their “logic” goes like this: “Since Trump would lash back if we tried to impeach him, therefore we shouldn’t try to impeach him.” This is the logic of what they’re saying, even if they don’t directly and explicitly articulate it like that. So they’re letting the Republicans set the terms—which, of course, only causes the Republicans to be even more aggressive in pursuit of their agenda and in defying and trampling on the “norms” of this system. Even according to their own bourgeois “principles,” the Democrats should be acting on the basis of what’s in their Constitution, not according to what the Republicans will allow them to do.

Secondly, along with being afraid of Trump and the Republican Party, they are afraid of the reality that laws don’t enforce themselves. They’re afraid that if they impeach Trump—and if, somehow, they even succeeded not only in impeaching him, but actually getting him convicted in the Senate—that Trump might well declare: “Fuck you, I’m the President, I don’t recognize this impeachment.” Then, what and whom can they turn to? This brings up the other dimension of this second point: They’re afraid of Trump’s “base.” They’re afraid of these fascist forces out there who are being encouraged and goaded by Trump to increasingly act in a violent manner and who (as I’ll speak to shortly) do have a lot of weapons and are demonstrating not only their willingness, but their eagerness, to use them. So Piglosi and the rest are afraid of that.

But at least as much—and here is the “third fear”—they are afraid of the people on the other side of the divide in the country, the people who tend to vote for the Democrats, especially the basic masses of oppressed people. They are afraid of the very people, basic masses and others, whom the Democratic Party is responsible for “corralling” into the BEB and “domesticating” their dissent. They’re afraid of the people who are angry about what’s represented by Trump and Pence. They don’t want those people out in the street, unless it is contained within the narrow confines of what the Democratic Party, and the system it serves, can allow. And they don’t want the confrontation between those people and the fascists who have rallied behind Trump. You think they want to see masses of Black people, immigrants, and others, including masses of people from different strata who are furious over Trump—you think they want to see them in the streets in direct and determined opposition to what is represented by Trump and Pence? That’s one of the worst nightmares of Piglosi and Company, not only because of the potential for militant confrontation with the fascists, but because people could then get completely out of the control of the Democratic Party, and the whole system of which the Democrats are representatives, functionaries, and enforcers. A big part of what they are representing and enforcing would be seriously jeopardized.

So this is what’s really going on with Piglosi and the rest in stubbornly resisting a move toward impeachment.

And then we come to one of the main aggressively fascist functionaries in the Republican Party, the Congressman from Iowa, Steve King. Recently, along with all of his other outrageous postings and overtly racist, misogynist, and crudely derogatory statements about Muslims and immigrants, and so on, King recently posted a meme, with this comment, on his official campaign page:

Folks keep talking about another civil war. One side has about 8 trillion bullets, while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use.

Now, it has to be said that there is a “demented insight” in this comment. Obviously, this is a vicious attack on trans people, as well as those supportive of their rights. So, on the one hand, this is an outrageous statement, a thoroughly reactionary and vicious statement. But it does express a certain demented insight, or a demented representation of some truth, because while people are rightly supporting the rights of trans people, gay people, women and others, there are real limitations and problems with the spontaneous outlook prevailing among those on the correct side of the divide. There is a narrowness along lines of “identity,” and an ignoring of, or a not paying sufficient attention to, the larger dynamics that are shaping up in the society (and the world) as a whole, and the implications of this, as represented, once again, by the fact that, while people are fighting around or raising some resistance around this or that particular instance of oppression, discrimination and prejudice, they are not rallying to take on the whole massive assault that’s embodied in the Trump/Pence regime, let alone the whole system that has produced this regime. There is the serious problem that, as a whole, people who consider themselves “progressive” or “woke” have, to put it mildly, not made any real rupture with American chauvinism (about which I will have more to say shortly). And, related to this, there is the fundamental problem of attempting to resolve the conflict with what is represented by the Trump/Pence regime and its fascist “base,” with its “8 trillion bullets,” through relying on (or seeking a return to) what have been the “norms” of the bourgeois order in this country (and, on the part of some, this involves a call for “restoring civility”) while the fascists are determined to trample on and tear up these “norms” and are perfectly happy to have those who oppose them adopt the stance of “civility” (accommodation) toward their unrelenting fascist offensive. Although this does not apply absolutely, it is far too much the case that the words of the poet William Butler Yeats describe this very serious situation: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity.” And so, while things could be heading toward a civil war, and it could come down to that even in the not-too-distant future, the present lineup is very unfavorable for anybody who represents anything decent in the world.

All this is, in a demented kind of way, represented in King’s statement that one side has about 8 trillion bullets while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use. Again, it’s not that the question of bathroom use and the larger questions it encapsulates is unimportant. It is important. But there’s a larger picture here of this developing trend or motion toward a civil war which right now is very one-sided in a very bad way, and if things continue on this trajectory the outcome could truly be disastrous.

So that should be serious food for thought—and not only that, but also a serious spur to action for people who do care about all the various ways in which people are being brought under attack and oppression is being intensified all across the board against large sections of the people who need to be brought together to fight against the offensive from these fascist forces—and, in more fundamental terms, need to be brought forward on the basis of recognizing that it’s the whole system, out of which this fascist phenomenon has arisen, and which embodies such terrible oppression of people not just here but all around the world, that needs to be swept away.

Now, another element of this that we can’t overlook is that, while a lot of what King describes applies in a certain demented way, particularly to progressive or so-called “woke” middle class people, there is another kind of problem with regard to more basic oppressed people, and in particular the youth—a big problem that their guns are now aimed at each other. And without going more fully into this right now, this is something that needs to be radically transformed in building a movement for an actual revolution.

So here we come to the question of the relation between building for an actual revolution and the still very urgent question of driving out this fascist regime. The following from Part 2 of Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution remains extremely relevant and important:

The relation between the struggle against this fascist regime and building the revolution is not a “straight road” or a “one-way street”: It must not be approached, by those who understand the need for revolution, as if “first we must build a mass movement to drive out this regime, and then we can turn our attention to working directly for revolution.” No. It is crucial to unite and mobilize people, from different perspectives, very broadly, around the demand that this regime must go, but it will be much more difficult to do this on the scale and with the determination that is required to meet this objective if there are not, at the same time, greater and greater numbers of people who have been brought forward around the understanding that it is necessary to put an end not only to this regime but to the system out of whose deep and defining contradictions this regime has arisen, a system which by its very nature has imposed, and will continue to impose, horrific and completely unnecessary suffering on the masses of humanity, until this system itself is abolished. And the more that people are brought forward to be consciously, actively working for revolution, the growing strength and “moral authority” of this revolutionary force will in turn strengthen the resolve of growing numbers of people to drive out this fascist regime now in power, even as many will not be (and some will perhaps never be) won to revolution.

 

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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

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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’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/613/bob-avakian-you-cant-change-the-world-if-you-dont-know-the-basics-45-en.html

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

| revcom.us

 

 

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

 

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

Follow: @TheRevcoms
Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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/613/trump-is-coming-to-los-angeles-en.html

Trump In Los Angeles, September 17

The Revolution Club, LA sent a message for the fascist‑in‑chief and the shit-hole system of imperialism he rules over.

| revcom.us

 

Trump came to California with a threat to send federal officers into major American cities to round up homeless people and relocate them to government facilities. One member of a Trump delegation who just toured California told the Washington Post, "We're not rounding people up or anything yet."

Homelessness is an open sore of this capitalist system, where needs as basic and simple as housing cannot be met because housing is produced for profit and cities are run by the dictates of "real estate." The Democrats have answered this problem by passing laws that criminalize people who have lost homes and have nowhere to go, while Trump is threatening to remove people from the streets, putting them in camps, so that poverty cannot be seen. What is next? The forced labor camps of Hitler where "work shall make you free" was written over the entrances?

This capitalist/imperialist system is producing fascist movements and open dictatorships around the world in response to the extreme humanitarian crises created by the workings of imperialism—like the 60 thousand people living on the streets of LA or the tens of millions of refugees roaming the world. This obsolete system has NO answer but repression and terror against billions of people. There is nothing more needless than being homeless. That will be one of the problems the New Socialist Republic in North America would solve in its early stages. The bridge to this radically different society is an actual revolution. The Revolution Club is organizing now to prepare for the time when we can really make revolution to get rid of this system that is tormenting and terrorizing humanity.

As Trump is announcing yet another fascist offensive—threatening war on Iran with missiles "locked and loaded," on the heels of concentration camps at the border and fascist-packed courts striking down asylum laws and women's right to abortion: what will YOU do?

People are way too silent in the face of this but there is a way to ACT. Refuse Fascism is calling on people to take to the streets this fall, week after week leading to millions acting day after day to demand the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go Now!

The Revolution Club is joining Refuse Fascism at "When Do You Say Enough? Town Hall: A Time to Act!" (Tuesday, September 24, 6:30 PM–9:30 PM PDT, Echo Park United Methodist Church, 1226 N Alvarado St, Los Angeles, California 90026) and calling on everyone to be part of protesting Trump's visit to LA where we demand that Trump and Pence Must Go—Now!

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

The Republican Party Is Fascist!
The Democratic Party Is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity.

This System CANNOT Be Reformed—It MUST Be Overthrown!
We Need an Actual Revolution

From Refuse Fascism:

When Do YOU Say Enough?
A Town Hall: A Time to Act

Los Angeles, Tuesday 9/24

Why This Is Fascism
Why We Need to Get In the Streets to Demand Trump and Pence Must Go – Now!

Read more

At a time when Trump is telling Iran “we're locked and loaded for war” and attacking homeless people, he came to LA for a Beverly Hills fundraiser. When tens of thousands should've been in the streets yelling at the top of their lungs, he was greeted by a small but determined group of protesters from Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club, including students from campuses across the city. Despite repeated assaults by pro-Trump fascists while the police stood by, the Revolution Club delivered a message to Trump: fuck you and the shithole imperialist system you rule over. In that spirit, they burned the American rag while chanting “humanity first.” At one point, a tank full of police in riot gear swarmed the demonstration detaining a fascist and a revolutionary—the fascist was released and a member of the Revolution Club was arrested. Some of the students who came were part of a summation with the Club after. They commented on the contrast between the two sides: we maintained our calm and composure, standing with the people of the world while the other side were woman-hating frothing-at-the-mouth fascists. One young woman talked about how much she's changed since meeting the Club, within a week, going to her first protest and facing off with cops and fascists. Through this, people were exhilarated and found courage they didn't know they had. We ended the night watching the trailer from Bob Avakian's talk The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible, making plans to bring people to the upcoming Refuse Fascism Town Hall.

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/613/no-war-on-iran-artwork-en.html

Alert: The Threat of U.S. War in Iran Is More Acute Than Ever

Get These Materials Out to Wake People Up and Move Them to Act in the Interests of Humanity

| revcom.us

 

The world faces an acute situation with the escalating threat of a U.S. war of aggression on Iran—with horrific consequences for the people of the country, the region, and beyond. This is on top of the U.S.’s economic warfare and sanctions that have already had devastating effects on the lives of Iranian masses. There are differences within the U.S. ruling class over Iran—but all within the framework of how best to advance imperialist America’s “right” and needs to dominate a strategically important part of the world. (See this article currently at revcom.us for more on this.) In none of this is there the slightest concern for the lives and well-being of the 80 million people of Iran, or for the interests of humanity as a whole.

This situation poses an urgent challenge for those who do see the U.S. war threats for the monstrous crimes they are: to go out all over—to the climate protests, campuses, neighborhoods, public squares, BEB events, and more. We need to a draw a clear line of demarcation with the three slogans below—and struggle for people to stand on the right side and act in the interests of humanity.

American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People’s Lives. 
–Bob Avakian, BAsics 5:7

NO U.S. War On Iran!

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

On this page there are three things to use in doing this:

  • PDFs for making stickers with the slogans (signed with www.revcom.us and unsigned)
  • PDFs for making large banners—you can have people sign them, Revolution Clubs can add their names to them, etc. (signed with www.revcom.us and unsigned)
  • PDF for a flyer or poster

Banner 10' x 5' (PDF) - with revcom.us:

 

Banner 10' x 5' (PDF) - general:

 

 

 

 

Leaftlet/Poster 8.5x11 PDF:

Sticker - with revcom.us (4"x4") (PDF):

Sticker - with revcom.us (PDF, 4up):

Sticker - general (PDF, 4up):

Follow: @TheRevcoms
Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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/613/elizabeth-warren-has-a-plan-en.html

Elizabeth Warren Has a Plan for Domesticating Your Anger

| revcom.us

 

A report from the Revolution Tour

The Tour went to a major rally in Washington Square Park in downtown NYC for Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign. Media reported that 30K people turned out. Most were early thirties or younger, with a significant number of college age. Majority white, but with significant diversity mixed in.

We were not able to have the kind of outsized, viral-creating impact we were aiming for. That is worth summing up in its own right—how to develop plans that are actually capable of really becoming “the thing” that everyone is talking about afterwards. But, I mainly want to focus on the interaction and impact we did have on maybe one or two thousand people and what can be learned from it.

We had a small BEB banner and some BEB and 5-2-6 broadsheets, flyers for the Club meeting, and printouts and enlargements from the provocations from BA. We went in the middle and set up and when organizers told us to leave, we filmed and challenged them that Warren’s campaign was calling cops on speech in the park. When pigs came, we persisted and they backed off.

The sound system of the campaign was extremely loud playing music so it was difficult to agitate, but we were drawing a steady trickle of people and small clusters (5-10 at a time) intrigued by the banner and when they got close they could hear our agitation. Going after the fascism and need to drive it out, but Dems are collaborating, then dropping back to how both represent the same system which cannot be reformed and must be overthrown. Warren had just released a major piece on her plan to take on “corruption” and this was the major theme of her speech, so all night we hammered on this: “The problem is not corruption of the system, the problem is the system of capitalism-imperialism itself. The system can’t be reformed, it must be overthrown.”

  • There was a minority, but steady trickle of young people and students who immediately “vibed” with the idea that the Dems were also war criminals. They were still into Warren, but they couldn’t argue with the centerfold and they appreciated it. There is a recognition—if it is fought for—among a section that the problem is the system, this country, and the Dems are part of the problem even as those same people are still trying to make the Dems what they are not.
  • A young Bernie/DSA guy asked why revcoms don’t think Bernie is at least better than the rest. He immediately said, “I know there is his foreign policy, but besides that.” I asked what is objectionable about Bernie’s foreign policy and he acknowledged he supported the military funding and overall... “BUT he is doing stuff for workers here.” I challenged him that the wealth Bernie wants to share with some workers here is a direct result of the brutal exploitation the U.S. carries out around the world and, which is enforced by that military. It’s not two separate issues, he is trying to buy you off with blood money. He kept saying, “That is wrong, but at least we should do some good for people here...” I kept posing back, “You can’t have it both ways. Decide, do you really care about the people of the world, in which case you have to get out of Bernie and into the real revolution. Or, do you really just want to be a disgusting American?” The guy each time tried to evade, but eventually his friend blurted out that I did have a point. This American chauvinism is thick—but it has a real impact to challenge it.
  • There was a section that got very angry at us, “You are the reason Trump won!” “You are going to get Trump re-elected!” Which often mixed with a very different question, “Well, what is YOUR solution?” As well as the question which was just completely trapped and unable to even hear or imagine what we were saying, “Well, who are you voting for? If you are not voting you are out of it, have no right to complain, that is the game and if you don’t play you are nothing.” A lot of this latter wasn’t even nasty, just completely mentally imprisoned. The stuff this section starts with was often quite nasty, but none stuck around, they yelled while walking by.
  • The official rally began with the national anthem. We chanted, “1,2,3,4 slavery genocide and war, 5,6,7,8 America was never great!” Probably a couple hundred people heard us. Many were visibly angry, but not one said a peep to us. No one wanted to be the defenders of the flag on those terms. A small number were actively attracted to this and came over.
  • After the rally, we agitated with a bullhorn but there was still music so it was still hard to hear us. This drew a very engaged shifting knot of people—half dozen young people hanging on every word and loving the back and forth (we’d share the mic with people to agree/disagree/etc.). A couple Black students were drawn in by the weak objections and our answers (a guy from Uruguay argued that this country is more free than his, so we should all thank god we are here; elections vs. resistance to drive out and organizing for overthrow; and more).

When this died down, we went outside the pen of people waiting for selfies and agitated—calling out how Warren called Trump the “embodiment of corruption” but not a white supremacist or fascist, contrasting waiting for 2020 with driving out now, the problem is not corruption of the system but the system itself and the real revolution we need and are organizing for. People were annoyed, but probably 100 actively listening. When we said, “Look at that disgusting, blood-soaked flag you are about to pose in front of,” lots of heads turned to look. The agitation that most got under people’s skin in a good way was laying into how Trump/Pence are fascist and the Democrats are actively collaborating with that—concretely 4.6 billion for border security, refusal to impeach, midterms didn’t slow him, not one of them (including Warren) will call him a fascist, they are telling you to wait for 2020 when the only thing that can stop this is to drive them out from below, like Puerto Rico or Hong Kong. Also, taking on the grotesque American chauvinism which permeated the speech and the flag and linking this with the fundamental nature of this system and why it must be overthrown. Maybe 20 people in the course of this 20 minutes came to us and listened intently, a few really enthusiastic and signed up, stayed with us as we moved on. Many of them were still into BEB.

From there, we went to the lines and agitated. At first people were dismissive, then annoyed/resentful. But we kept at it, including calling on their better side but challenging them sharply. A Black woman came up on mic and “agreed” with our indictment of the Democrats and the whole system but said Warren is not like the rest, she’s for reparations. We said the demand for reparations is just, but doesn’t come close to what is needed and, besides, we are facing a fascist white supremacist regime. There was some back and forth that was pretty good. After a while a white young woman started SCREAMING irately, “You are being disrespectful! Shut up! Leave us alone! We came here for Warren!” Later she yelled, “You are going to get Trump re-elected!” 40-50 people cheered/clapped. They had someone to mobilize the side of them that wished we would stop challenging them. While we were answering back, the same young Black woman came back up and, on our mic, said very strongly, “These people [pointing to us] are NOT disrespecting you. They are representing their truths. You are hearing the activism that is strong and you have to respect that. These people—and trans Black women—are why you even have the right to stand in a line like this.” This was not how we would answer it, but it was very positive and part of the larger swirl developing. About 30 people applauded and cheered—almost all of them had just cheered for the irate white woman trying to shut us down. Then the Black woman said that people can’t all sacrifice like how we are calling for with driving out, for instance she has to work and other details. One of us pointed to the hardship in Puerto Rico, but they still stood up so don’t tell me people here can’t do it.

The best agitation of the night was very sharp, substantive, and firm, but also very inviting. This is important. We were struggling against the wrong ideas people were in the grip of, not against the people themselves. At one point, we were getting screamed at by someone who had basically said it was not their job to stop the kids from being put in cages, that it couldn’t be done before 2020 anyhow, that we were being unreasonable. One of our crew went off at the backwardness of all this. He was legitimately furious. But it was becoming a screaming match that was giving others an excuse to tune out. Another member of our crew stepped in, “Come on now, people—let’s talk about the reality...” and talked very movingly about the kids in camps and how people came out to stop it, but then it went on and now people are going along. She said something along the lines of, “You know this is horrible, so we are really calling on you to step into this revolution, to check this out, these are our children and there is a way out of this nightmare.” She said more, but was extremely sharp but in an inviting way. It was very sharp, but didn’t give any wiggle room for someone to claim she was being an asshole and dismiss on that basis, and it drew the whole crowd back in.

We moved down the line a couple more times and got different swirls going. At each point, only about 10 percent would take our materials, but this was making a statement because we had really gotten under people’s skin, mainly in a very good way. A few thanked us, even as they clearly were still standing in line for several more hours to get their selfie with Warren in front of the flag. Thousands stood for hours for this! We managed to break down some of the us/them as some masses stepped in to debate and roll with us for a bit. There was also clear polarization and repolarization going on in the scenes we were creating.

There were a number of people drawn to what we were putting out, a definite minority but a really important one. Some who had come for the rally and some who were walking through. Most were still into the BEB, and not seeing the contradiction. Many could not conceive, even if coming from a good place, anything besides voting to deal with Trump. A LOT of people insisted that if Trump lost the election, “Of course he’d leave office. That is the way things work. You have to.” We challenged this, but for a huge number of people it was like we were suggesting a spaceship was going to come down and give us all candy-bars filled with stardust. It was beyond inconceivable. A minority saw this as a real risk, but this drove them more desperately towards BEB.

The Democratic Party: “A Major Instrument of This Monstrously Oppressive System”

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

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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/613/these-attentions-make-you-think-differently-en.html

"These 'Attentions' Make You Think Differently, That Maybe It Is Possible for the World to Be Different"

| revcom.us

 

A report on a conversation from a member of the Revolution Tour

I wanted to share a recent experience that shows the power of the Six Points of Attention of the Revolution Club and how this is actually a “way in” for many different kinds of people.

I was sitting with a woman who has been very helpful with some extremely important logistical needs of the Revolution Tour. I had brought some materials regarding the Revolution Tour for her, and she picked up a laminated card with the Points of Attention printed on it and began reading them. 

When she was finished reading, I asked her what she thought of the Points of Attention. She said they were beautiful. She said “the attentions” are about so much of what we face today... she said, like the first one, Trump is all about personal gain, and so many people are—they don’t think about or care about humanity. She said we should make a large banner of each of “the attentions” and march around the White House with them. Maybe it would cause people to think differently. Like it did to her—these “attentions” make you think differently, think that maybe it is possible for it to be different.

She spoke about each of the Points of Attention... the way women are treated in society, Trump being elected despite his pussy grabbing comment, how do mothers and their daughters deal with that, why was that tolerated? It should not be tolerated, as the attention says.

On number three, she spoke about how immigrants are being demonized now. She told the story of one mother from a Central American country who was raped and her family was threatened, they had no way to live there, so they risked their lives on the difficult journey to come to the U.S. just for a way to live. Too many people have the wrong impression about why people come to the U.S.—people are just desperate for a way to live. They should be welcomed, not treated as enemies.

She loved number four—standing with the oppressed and their potential to emancipate humanity. It was uplifting to think of the oppressed this way, not demonized as they usually are. She brought up a lot of examples of revenge that leads to horrors—everything from a friend of hers recently who wouldn’t confront a situation because it would have brought revenge on her, to examples of one section of people seeking revenge on another. She said Trump is the master of revenge—him and his people seeking revenge on others who they feel privilege over, who they feel are beneath them or not loyal to him.

She spoke about the violence among the people, and how she feels it must be unbearable to lose a child that way. She hopes we make a lot of progress getting people out of that. She thinks we need a different system, a different way of doing things, but I don’t actually know what she thinks revolution means—the actual overthrow of this system.

After talking about this, I showed her the “What If” video from Bob Avakian. She was very moved by it, really liked what BA was saying. She said she would love it if more people were like this. I told her who BA is, and connected all this to what the National Revolution Tour is doing, what it is out to change. In retrospect, I wish I had done more to draw her into how to bring others into this. But this is not the last time I will be talking with her as she is taking responsibility for supporting the work of the Tour in very important ways.

What If the World Doesn't Have To Be This Way?

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/613/capitalism-is-a-straightjacket-en.html

Capitalism Is A Straitjacket On Humanity’s Chance To Save Our Planet...

Only A REAL Revolution Can Remove That Straitjacket

| revcom.us

 

Look around. The planet is literally burning and hurling toward environmental catastrophe. Millions COULD BE put  to work to SOLVE this – scientists, environmentalists, the youth, the resources and knowledge of humanity. Many are sounding the alarm and mobilizing to tackle this urgent problem, but under this system of capitalism-imperialism this CAN ONLY BE suffocated, squandered, and straitjacketed.

All of this is completely unnecessary, and there is not much time to turn this around. The straitjacket is not greed or corruption. Capitalism puts the resources and knowledge humanity has developed in the hands of capitalists who are driven to “expand or die”, to compete for more profits, to exploit humanity and the planet in ever more brutal ways. If politicians tried to violate these basic laws of capitalism, the society could not function. This system cannot be reformed, it MUST BE OVERTHROWN. The National Revolution Tour is out to recruit YOU into this revolution.

At the top of this world-wide, dog-eat-dog system sits America, a country built on white supremacy, male supremacy, and wars of conquest. Now this system has brought a fascist Trump-Pence regime to power, imposing even more vicious and dangerous forms of all this, and threatening the future of humanity by denying climate science and escalating the possibility of nuclear war.

Meanwhile the so-called "opposition", the Democratic Party, has no answers. They represent the same system that caused this existential threat in the first place. They refuse to call people into the streets (the way it was done in Puerto Rico and other places) to drive out this fascist regime. Instead, they have people hitting the snooze button, waiting until 2020, and thinking about America and Americans first. The planet cannot be saved by trying to make America’s parasitic consumer society “green” (it would take 5 earths for everyone to live that way). And you can’t keep the U.S. military intact which both enforces this empire with murderous brutality, and is the largest institution polluting the earth.

Only an emancipating revolution to bring into being a radically different society can shatter the restraints of this system-and the violence used to enforce it-and take off the straitjacket. A society and system that can fully unleash people to meaningfully work on solving the environmental emergency and eradicating all forms of oppression. Bob Avakian has developed a strategy to make this revolution, a blueprint for this new society based on the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, and a scientific approach to make this revolution in the New Communism. The National Revolution Tour is on a mission to organize thousands throughout the country into a force to represent that future, bring the possibility of revolution alive for growing numbers of people, and bring closer the time when millions can be led to go all-out to make this revolution.

 

“...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

 

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6 Points Of Attention For The Revolution

These are Principles for joining, or starting, a Revolution Club now. Bring together people who want to fight for these principles, and reach out to connect up.

LIVESTREAM: Sunday, Sept. 22 11am
Facebook.com/RefuseFascism

To Consider and Plan Sustained Mass Non-Violent Protest Beginning in October.

NEW YORK: Tuesday, Sept. 24 6:30pm

Come to the National Revolution Tour Organizing Center (318 W139th St, NYC)

Meet the Revolution Tour and join with the NYC Revolution Club

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Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to all who participated in our successful May Fund Drive for Revcom.us and The RNL Show!
Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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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