revcom.us, June 29, 2020 through July 5, 2020 (#654)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/633/bob-avakian-a-radically-different-leader-en.html

BOB AVAKIAN: A RADICALLY DIFFERENT LEADER—A WHOLE NEW FRAMEWORK FOR HUMAN EMANCIPATION

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

| revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian is completely different than the endless stream of bourgeois politicians who are put forward as “leaders,” whose goal is to maintain one variation or another of this system of capitalism-imperialism that is founded on and perpetuates itself through cruel and literally life-stealing exploitation, murderous oppression, and massive destruction, in all parts of the world. BA is a revolutionary who bases himself on the scientific understanding that this system must finally be overthrown through an organized struggle involving millions of people, and replaced with a system that is oriented to and capable of meeting the most fundamental needs of humanity and enabling humanity to become fit caretakers of the earth.

Bob Avakian is the architect of a whole new framework of human emancipation, the new synthesis of communism, which is popularly referred to as the "new communism."

BA is the author of the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, an inspiring application of the new communism—a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a new socialist society, whose fundamental goal is to bring about a world without classes and class distinctions, a world without exploitation and oppression, and without the destructive divisions and antagonisms among people: a communist world.

Ardea Skybreak, a scientist with professional training in ecology and evolutionary biology, and a follower of Bob Avakian, speaks to the importance of what he has brought forward:

Bob Avakian ... on the basis of decades of hard work [has been] developing a whole body of work—theory to advance the science of communism, to advance the science of revolution, to more deeply explain where the problems come from, what the strategy is for getting out of this mess, what the methods and approaches should be to stay on track and actually build a better world, to build a society that most human beings would want to live in. (From Science and Revolution, On the Importance of Science and the Application of Science to Society, the New Synthesis of Communism and the Leadership of Bob Avakian, An Interview with Ardea Skybreak)

BA is a leader who is firmly convinced, on the basis of a consistently scientific method and approach, that the goal must be nothing less than all-out revolution, and who at the same time has emphasized:

the new communism thoroughly repudiates and is determined to root out of the communist movement the poisonous notion, and practice, that “the ends justifies the means.” It is a bedrock principle of the new communism that the “means” of this movement must flow from and be consistent with the fundamental “ends” of abolishing all exploitation and oppression through revolution led on a scientific basis. (From Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary)

As a revolutionary leader, BA also embodies this rare combination: someone who has been able 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 broadly accessible.

A leader like this has never before existed in the history of this country, and this leadership is of tremendous importance for the emancipation of all humanity.

What is urgently needed now is for continually growing numbers of people—in the thousands, and ultimately millions—to become conscious and active followers of BA, building the revolutionary movement, based on the new communism, for which BA provides this unprecedented leadership.

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CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

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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/650/bob-avakian_nothing-less-en.html

| revcom.us

 

A statement from Bob Avakian

revolutionary leader, author and architect of the revolutionary new communism.

 

To all those who have risen up so powerfully and are demonstrating to say “No More!” after the murder of George Floyd, and all the other cold-blooded murders by police.

To all those who have drawn inspiration from this righteous uprising.

To all those who have had the blinders forced from their eyes and have been provoked to think anew about what kind of country it is that we live in.

This has raised the biggest questions about what is needed for people everywhere to live fully as human beings:

AN END TO INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM
AND MURDER BY POLICE—NOTHING LESS!

AN END TO ANY WAY PEOPLE ANYWHERE ARE
USED, ABUSED, AND BRUTALIZED—NOTHING LESS!

We need a world without white supremacy and male supremacy—a world where no one is regarded as “alien”—a world without war, where people from all over the globe, with a beautiful flowering of diversity, act together for the common good and are truly caretakers of the earth.

THIS IS NOT JUST A DREAM.

The possibility for this is being powerfully demonstrated in this uprising of the people, of all different races and genders, from all parts of the world—refusing to remain silent or stay passive while all this oppression and brutality goes on.

To Make All This Real
We Need: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

A strategic plan for how to make this revolution, and a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a radically different and much better world, where all this can become possible—can be found in the work I have done, including the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

You can learn more about this revolution and become part of making it a reality by going to revcom.us and joining with the revcoms.

We do not need to live in this world where so much of humanity suffers so unnecessarily under this system of capitalism-imperialism that cannot exist without exploiting and degrading people, suffocating their humanity and killing them without mercy.  We can do much better!  Don’t listen to talk about how “it can never happen.” 

Look around you—what seemed impossible yesterday is happening right now!  Revolution, why should we settle for anything less?

WWW.REVCOM.US          

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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/654/bob-avakian-on-a-beautiful-uprising-right-and-wrong-methods-and-principles-en.html

Bob Avakian On:
A BEAUTIFUL UPRISING:
RIGHT AND WRONG,
METHODS AND PRINCIPLES

| revcom.us

 

The beautiful uprising against institutionalized racism, police brutality and murder that was sparked by the police murder of George Floyd, is powerfully challenging the “established order” and entrenched “tradition” in wave after wave of protest and rebellion of various kinds. In response, those who are determined to maintain, fortify and carry to even more hideous extremes the white supremacy that has been built into this system from the beginning of this country are at one and the same time going so far as to deny the existence of this white supremacy while vigorously upholding it, and seizing on, and blowing entirely out of proportion, secondary negative tendencies within the outpouring against it.

The latest version of this reactionary chorus (whose lunatic ravings can be repeatedly heard out of the mouth of the racist-in-chief in the White House and are regularly broadcast on the fascist Fox “news”) has actually involved the defense of white supremacy—and yes, at least objectively, of slavery—in the form of tirades against the pulling down of statues honoring leaders and soldiers of the Confederacy! Things are beyond the realm of rational discussion when it becomes necessary to point out that these statues, honoring those who fought to maintain slavery, are precisely monuments to white supremacy, and that the outcry against tearing them down is one of the clearest demonstrations of the poisonous presence of ongoing white supremacy, from the White House to the white people (and a few Black lackeys) who are defending these statues as part of the “great history and heritage of this country”!

Crucial Methods and Principles

Rather than attempting to speak to every front of attack by the aggressive “soldiers” of white supremacy, or every kind of situation where someone or something has become the target of attack in connection with the righteous uprising, it is more important and more helpful to speak to basic methods and principles that can help to distinguish right from wrong and positive from negative, in regard to all this. A fundamental understanding that flows from a scientific materialist (reality- and evidence-based) method and approach is the dialectical recognition that all of reality—everything and every person—is contradictory. Even things which are overwhelmingly one way have an aspect of the opposite within them. So, it is not surprising that this beautiful uprising, which is overwhelmingly positive, also has some negative aspects associated with it. And things are not “static” but constantly in motion and in the process of development, so that the character of something can change.

It is crucially important to identify what, in any given phenomenon (a system, a movement, a person), is the main thing (the principal aspect), which defines the essence of that phenomenon at any given time, and overall. For example, both Nat Turner and John Brown, who led heroic (if ultimately defeated) rebellions against slavery, were highly religious—and it is not wrong to see each of them as a kind of religious fanatic. But their religious zealotry was in the service of fighting the main (the most egregious) form of exploitation and oppression of that time—slavery. We cannot condemn Nat Turner or John Brown because they did not recognize that, to lead the struggle to do away with all oppression, it is necessary to cast off the mental shackles of religion and take up a consistently scientific method and approach—just as we cannot condemn them for not fighting against what is today the main system of exploitation and oppression subjecting the masses of humanity to horrific suffering, the system of capitalism-imperialism, because in their time the most decisive immediate question was not (yet) the abolition of the capitalist-imperialist system and the ending of all relations of exploitation and oppression, but the abolition of the system of outright slavery. That was the main (principal) contradiction being confronted. And the main (principal) aspect of what they did, in rising up against slavery, was overwhelmingly positive, even with certain definite secondary shortcomings (including the fact that, in the rebellion led by Nat Turner, they killed not only the adults but the children of slave-owning families).

This same basic (dialectical materialist) method and approach needs to be applied to all phenomena in order to be able to determine the essential and defining character of something (or someone), and to sort out right from wrong, positive from negative.

The Question of Excess, Negative Trends and Cancerous “Cancel Culture”

In any righteous movement of people, aimed against injustice and oppression, there are bound to be some negative aspects, along with the principally positive ones. With regard to these negative trends, it is necessary here again to make important distinctions. In any social movement of major significance, there are bound to be certain “excesses” that are committed by people who are coming from the right place overall, but whose fully justified outrage and passion spills over into actions which run counter to, and/or go beyond the bounds of, the principles and aims of the struggle and what is helpful in developing that struggle in a positive direction. In handling contradictions in a way that will not undermine but will strengthen the movement, it is necessary, first of all, to determine if something is actually an undesirable excess, or is in fact something that contributes to the struggle, without allowing the powers-that-be and those who act on their behalf to dictate what is “legitimate” (and what is not “legitimate”) protest and rebellion. And, even with what are actually harmful excesses, it is necessary, on the one hand, to recognize that excesses are bound to be committed, even by honest people, in a situation where years, or even decades, of pent-up anger and frustration at being forced to endure degrading oppression are finally breaking out into open rebellion, but at the same time it is necessary to act on the understanding that excesses must be combated and curtailed. This requires that struggle be waged against these excesses without “pouring cold water” on the passionate commitment of those making such mistakes, or on the struggle as a whole.

And then there are other kinds of negative tendencies, where the principal and defining aspect of things is (at least objectively and in some cases consciously) in basic opposition to what should be the principles and aims of the movement. There are the political opportunists—for example, those who are more concerned with “ownership” of the movement than with involving as many people as possible, and making the struggle as powerful as possible, on the basis of uniting around what should be the common objectives. There are those representatives and operatives of the ruling powers who work systematically to take the struggle into channels that will render it meaningless, or even turn it into something that actually reinforces injustice and oppression.

And then there is the whole “cancel culture.” Especially in the all-too-common form of poring over the entire history of an individual’s life, looking to find one negative thing which can then be seized on to obliterate (“cancel”) that person, this is an extremely cancerous trend, which does a great deal of harm, not only to individuals targeted in this way but often to crucial social causes and struggles.

Clearly, this kind of approach runs completely counter to the correct method of looking at the overall “arc” of someone’s life, and what is the principal and defining aspect of this. Failing to do this—and instead falling into the simplistic, and often deliberately vicious, “one strike, ever, and you’re out” mentality and approach of this cancerous “cancel culture”—can lead to all kinds of terrible conclusions and actions.

For example, former slave and dedicated abolitionist Frederick Douglass failed (or refused) to support the right of women to vote in the period shortly after the Civil War, insisting instead that the focus should be (only) on getting the right to vote for Black males (and then the right for women to vote should follow some time after). Should Frederick Douglass be “canceled”?!

Or should the Lakota warrior Crazy Horse be “canceled” (should the monument that is being built to him in South Dakota be abandoned or destroyed) because, after fighting heroically for years against the U.S. Army, at the end of his life, when finally defeated and held in captivity, he apparently cooperated and collaborated with that same army in its suppression of other indigenous peoples?!

What is principal (and what is secondary) in the overall life and role of Crazy Horse and Frederick Douglass?

Many other examples could be cited. But what these examples sharply illustrate is once again the crucial importance of applying the scientific dialectical materialist method and approach to all phenomena, including the struggle against injustice and oppression, in order to carry that struggle forward, through all the obstacles, of many different kinds, that are thrown in its path, toward the final goal of abolishing and uprooting not just one particular form, but all forms, of oppression and exploitation, everywhere.

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

Get Into BA »

 

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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/654/bob-avakian_fascists-today-and-the-confederacy-a-direct-line-a-direct-connection-between-all-the-oppression-en.html

FASCISTS TODAY AND THE CONFEDERACY:
A DIRECT LINE,
A DIRECT CONNECTION BETWEEN ALL THE OPPRESSION
by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Recently there has been an uproar at Liberty University, in Lynchburg (!) Virginia, over the fact that its president, Jerry Falwell Jr., who (like many other Christian fundamentalists) had been refusing to wear a mask, then posted a picture of himself wearing a mask with a “blackface” image. This was actually a photo of Ralph Northam (Democratic governor of Virginia) in “blackface” during his college days, and Falwell’s apparent purpose was to use this to ridicule Northam (and, by extension, Democrats, “liberals,” and other enemies of Christian fascists like Falwell). Falwell was apparently “tone deaf” (as the saying goes) to the fact that this “blackface” image would be highly offensive to Black people (and others opposed to racism), and he at first tried to “stonewall” the criticism that arose (and “stonewall” is a very appropriate word here, as it is associated with the Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson). Even when Falwell finally seemed to backtrack and issue an “apology,” it was at least as much a continuation of his attack on Northam as it was any self-criticism. All this has led to an outcry, and some resignations, even from the highly “conservative” students and alumni of this Christian fundamentalist university, which has become a major institution, with tens of thousands of students.

In reading about this, I was reminded of the following from The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!:

There is a direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today, and a direct connection between their white supremacy, their open disgust and hatred for LGBT people as well as women, their willful rejection of science and the scientific method, their raw “America First” jingoism and trumpeting of “the superiority of western civilization” and their bellicose wielding of military power, including their expressed willingness and blatant threats to use nuclear weapons, to destroy countries.1

The Direct Line to the Confederacy

Here it is worth repeating these insightful observations from African-American theologian Hubert Locke:

We should make no mistake about what is at stake in this battle with the religious right. It is not happenstance that it is a movement that draws its strength and finds its support principally in the so-called heartland of the nation and especially in its southern precincts. This is the portion of the United States that has never been comfortable with post‑WWII America. The brief period of normalcy after the war was followed within a decade by a pent-up and long overdue racial revolution that overturned centuries of culture and tradition, especially in the South. The disillusionment, two decades later, with an unpopular war in southeast Asia shook the foundations of traditional/conventional patriotism in American life; it was followed in the next decade by a sexual revolution that upset deeply entrenched views among this portion of the American populace about the subordinate place of women in society and the non-place of gay and lesbian persons in American life. These political and social and cultural defeats have now erupted into a pitched battle to turn back the clock on the last half-century and return America to its pre-war purity. It is not without significance that teaching creationism in the schools, for example, is such a prominent part of the religious right agenda. That was a battle the right lost in the mid-1920s but it is not one that the right ever acknowledged losing—just as some die-hards have never acknowledged losing the Civil War. Consequently, the restoration the religious right seeks is one that would recapture a way of life that disappeared in this nation a half‑century ago.2

There is a lot “packed into” that statement, so let’s dig into it. Locke begins by making the point that it is not accidental (not “happenstance”) that Christian fascism in this country is based most strongly in the South (although it also finds significant support in rural areas, and even among sections of people in the suburban areas, in other parts of the country). Why is it the case that its strongest base is among white people in the South?

In my book Away With All Gods!, there is a section in Part Three with the heading “The Bible Belt Is the Lynching Belt: Slavery, White Supremacy and Religion in America.” There I refer to (and quote) some important analysis in the book by Kevin Phillips, American Theocracy. The following is particularly relevant and important:

Phillips reviews how, in the aftermath of the Civil War, although the South was defeated and the slave system was abolished, after the reversal of Reconstruction [in the 1870s] the South “rose again” in terms of political power and influence within the country as a whole. In connection with all this, Phillips points out, a religious mythology arose, and took root widely among white people in the South, that the (white) South had a special covenant with God and was the object of a special design by God to restore it to its proper place, righting the terrible wrong that had been done through the Civil War. Phillips makes the very relevant and telling comparison between southern whites in the U.S. and white settlers (Afrikaners) in South Africa, as well as Protestants in Northern Ireland and the Zionists who founded and rule the state of Israel.... Phillips points out that all these groups, including fundamentalist southern whites, see themselves as people being restored to their rightful, and righteous, relation with God—re-establishing a broken covenant and exercising a special, divinely-established destiny.

But all this is accompanied by a constant sense of insecurity and the reversal of perpetrator and victim, so that these oppressors and terrorizers—including the southern-based white supremacists—devoutly carry the artificial cross of being persecuted, regarding even any minor reduction of their favored position as essentially a threat to their very existence, or at least their purpose for being. As Phillips puts it (in another passage cited in Away With All Gods!), this involves biblical attitudes of “religious intensity, insecure history, and willingness to sign up with an Old Testament god of war for protection.”3

And there is the following from Katherine Stewart’s book The Good News Club, summarizing the views of a former Christian fundamentalist, Rich Lang, who broke with that and became a liberal Christian pastor:

Modern fundamentalism, like fascism in earlier times, he says, involves a strong feeling of persecution, typically at the hands of godless liberals or a religious “other”; the belief that one belongs to a pure race or national group that is responsible for past greatness, suffers unjust oppression in the present, and is the rightful ruler of the world; the impulse to submit unquestioningly to absolute authority; and the relentless drive for power and control. It is, he says, a kind of supremacist movement, with religion rather than race at its core.4

As I have pointed out: “that is the insight of someone very familiar with these Christian Fascists. And the fact is that, in this country, with its whole history of genocide, slavery and racism, any form of fascism, including one basing itself on ‘Christian supremacy’—any urge to ‘restore past greatness’—cannot help but be bound together with white supremacy.5

White supremacy, even of the most grotesque kind, has always been part of the “worldview” and actions of right-wing forces in this country. To get a sense of this, let’s look at the racism of two patriarchs of right-wing politics and ideology: Jerry Falwell Sr. (founder of Liberty University and father of its current president) and William Buckley.

Falwell (Sr.), whose Christian fundamentalism was, in his earlier days, intertwined with old-time southern segregationism, viciously opposed the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and early 1960s. Later, when the upheaval of that time had passed, he “apologized” for that opposition. But then, in the 1980s, during the high point of the struggle of Black people in South Africa against the brutal system of apartheid, Falwell once again opposed and denounced that struggle.

Although from a wealthy northern family and having the bearing not of a crude rural southern “rube” but of a highly-educated intellectual sophisticate, William Buckley, founder of the right-wing magazine National Review, was from the beginning an overt racist. He followed a path very similar to that of Falwell (Sr.): Buckley, too, vigorously and viciously opposed the struggle against overt segregation and white supremacy in the South during the high point of the Civil Rights movement (and he too, later “changed his mind”). And with the same overt racism, he supported European colonialism in Africa and apartheid in South Africa. Buckley regarded the African peoples fighting for liberation from their colonial oppressors after World War 2 as sub-human savages. If, in fact, he had been looking for savagery, he didn’t need to look any further than his own country and the horrific oppression he supported and justified within this country. He might have gotten some valuable education from the following words boldly spoken by abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass in a July 4th speech in 1852: “For revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival”—a statement which, as I have emphasized, “echoes down through time, expressing a profound truth today.”6

What ties together the racism of these two right-wing patriarchs, despite their very different backgrounds and individual personas, is the fact that both were ardent advocates of the brutally oppressive system of capitalism-imperialism—and more specifically of the “peculiar” way in which this system developed in this country, with its foundation in the enslavement of African peoples (and genocide against the first inhabitants of the continent), and the determination that this particular capitalist-imperialist country must remain dominant in the world.

Given the history of this country and the fact that, from its founding, slavery played a crucial part in its development (and that, even after slavery was abolished through the Civil War, white supremacy continued to play a crucial role in perpetuating this system, and maintaining the established “order,” in this country) and given the particular role of the South in all this, it is true both that the South would continue to have a special role in perpetuating white supremacy, and everything bound up with it, and that, in every part of the country, the advocates of this particular American “strain” of capitalism-imperialism would uphold, justify, and in various ways propagate white supremacy.

The “left” (“liberal” or “progressive”) variation of this, among the powers-that-be, speaks in terms of “equality,” “diversity” and “inclusiveness,” while presiding over and perpetuating social relations, built into this system, which actually embody inequality and oppression, and require the repeated use of violent repression to enforce them.

The right-wing version, which has now taken on the full dimensions of outright fascism, more openly and aggressively promotes and insists upon overt white supremacy, male supremacy, and other oppressive relations, with the insistence that these are the traditional ways that this country has been held together and has been made “great”—and that undermining this, even through limited concessions to the struggle against oppression, will lead to the loss of everything that has enabled this country to become (and, up to now, remain) dominant in the world. This is why, despite their significant differences in backgrounds and individual personas, William Buckley and Jerry Falwell (Sr.) would take the same position in opposition to the Civil Rights movement in this country, and to the struggle in Africa against white colonial rule—they both did this out of a combination of deep-seated racism and the fear that these struggles would undermine the “strength” and “cohesion” of this country and the top-dog position of U.S. capitalism-imperialism in the world. This is why, today especially, with the capitalist-imperialist system wreaking havoc on countries and people all over the world, in multiple ways, including through its plundering of the environment, and with the massive migrations this has caused, immigration—that is, preventing and reversing immigration, especially of people from non-European countries (the kinds of countries that Donald Trump has infamously referred to as “shit-hole countries”)—has become such a major focus and target of virulent, and violent, white supremacist action.

All this is why today the political (and literal) descendants of the Buckleys and Falwells viciously seek to not simply maintain, but to carry to even greater extremes, the “traditional” oppressive relations of all kinds that have characterized this system and this country from the beginning. And the massive outpouring that has been sparked by the police murder of George Floyd—because it has powerfully shaken the oppressive “established order” by erupting beyond the bounds of meaningless “conversation” and polite requests regarding racial equality, and by sharply posing big questions about the nature of this society and the history of this country—has been met with frenzied and brutal opposition from the Trump/Pence regime and its fascist “base,” and has been the occasion for the profound rot of this country to come oozing out, including in the unhinged screams of unloosed racists attacking the protests as well as Black people, and other people of color, that they randomly encounter.

The Direct Connection: White Supremacy, Male Supremacy, American Supremacy

Just as white supremacy has been poured into the foundation and woven throughout the fabric of the system in this country, so too has male supremacy been an essential part of the system of capitalism-imperialism, and all exploitative systems, in every age and every part of the world.7 And, just as overt and aggressive white supremacy has been, and remains, an essential part of the ideology and program of right-wing forces in this country, so too has been the insistence on the subordinate position of women. Along with the many different forms of the oppression of women, in countries like the U.S., as well as in the Third World (of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia), there is the fact that a major source of the wealth and corresponding power of the capitalist-imperialist system in this country (and others) is the super-exploitation of women, especially in the Third World. This super-exploitation would not be possible if these masses of women were not maintained in all-around conditions of oppression, deprivation and desperation, enforced with horrific brutality and abuse of all kinds (and one of the major ways women are abused and degraded, in the Third World and in the countries of the so-called “developed world,” including the U.S., is through exploitation in pornography and sex-trafficking, both of which are multi-billion dollar “businesses”).

All of this requires that the relations of male supremacy that have been developed over centuries and millennia be maintained and enforced, even with different variations in different parts of the world and different particular countries. And, here again, religion—and all the more so in its fundamentalist expressions—plays a crucial part. The fact is that

the scriptures, and the notion of god in the scriptures, in the main “monotheistic” (one-god) religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—are patriarchal, male supremacist (with “god” spoken of in male, patriarchal terms—“God, the Father,” and so on). The relations being described and insisted upon are patriarchal, male supremacist relations, with women being kept in an inferior position, often brutally so. These scriptures were written by human beings who lived within patriarchal, male supremacist societies, and the scriptures they wrote reflect this.8

This is why the Christian fundamentalist fascists—for whom the subordination of women (to husbands and to men overall) is an article of faith—are so fanatically opposed to the right to abortion. (The fact that more than a few women are involved in the Christian fascist crusade against abortion, and in support of an overall program that actually involves the systematic suppression and degradation of women—this is not a new phenomenon. Among those who are the targets and victims of oppressive relations, there have always been those who have accommodated themselves to—and even acted as enforcers of—those relations and the “traditions” they embody, because they have not only been cowed and conditioned to accept the inferior position into which these relations cast them, but to actually fear that violating these “traditions” will lead to chaos and ruin.) The Christian fascist zealotry in opposition to abortion is not really about the fraudulent notion that abortion amounts to “killing babies” (the overwhelming majority of abortions are carried out during the early stages of pregnancy, when the fetus is tiny and very undeveloped—and, during the whole period of pregnancy, the fetus is part of, completely integrated with and dependent on the body and bodily functions of the woman: it is not yet an actual independent human being). That this opposition to abortion is not about “killing babies” is demonstrated by (among other things) the fact that these opponents of the right to abortion also oppose, with equal fanaticism, birth control which prevents pregnancy in the first place.

What is really involved is that abortion, and birth control, help to provide women with a certain independence, a freedom to decide whether and when to have children—and, yes, a certain freedom to engage in sexual relations of their own choosing, on the basis of their own desire and volition, without having to be worried about whether they are going to become pregnant when they have neither wanted nor decided to do so. It is this relative independence and freedom that causes a frenzy among Christian fascists, because it runs counter to reducing the role of women to “helpmates” to husbands and breeders of children for those husbands in patriarchal, male-dominated families, and to the subordinate and oppressed position of women in society as a whole.

Just as it is the case that although there are parts of the New Testament of the Bible that can be invoked to “justify” white supremacy—passages that uphold slavery, for example—it is especially in the Old Testament that there is the strongest basis for this, this is also the case with regard to the subordination and oppression of women. And this is why, despite all their rapturous invocations of Jesus, it is the Old Testament (and, to use Kevin Phillips’ apt phrase, the Old Testament “god of war”) that most anchors these Christian fascists in their reactionary fanaticism.

In line with this, although what is involved in the struggle for the rights of LGBTQ people is not entirely reducible to the question of overcoming patriarchy, it is definitely the case that the assertion of patriarchy and male supremacy is very much involved in the Christian fascist opposition to these rights: the insistence that there are only two, absolutely different and separate genders, the whole notion of what is the proper, or “god-ordained,” character of a man and a woman, and of sexual relations that must be limited to those between a dominant man and a subordinate woman (as reflected in the Christian fascist mantra: “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”).

Where you have religious fundamentalism, you are going to have not only the forceful assertion of patriarchy and misogyny (hatred of women) but also aggressive patriotism—and notice that these two words have the same root, referring to allegiance to (and subordination to the authority of) the father(land).And, as we have seen, you are going to have white supremacy and racism.

In the swirling poisonous chaos inside the minds of these Christian fundamentalist zealots (and allied fascists), it is “just one crazy thing after another”: first Black people demanding equality and an end to injustice,...now all people of color complaining about racism...now “illegal aliens” swarming across the border...now women insisting on their right to be independent and equal...now queers, “freaks” and “perverts” wanting to get married, raise children, and use any old bathroom they choose...now they’re tearing down Confederate statues...now they’re going after the National Anthem and burning the American flag...and who knows what’s next?!—“they’re coming for us and everything we hold sacred!”

What ties all this together, in terms of the method of thinking—or non-thinking—of the fascist fanatics is not simply the departure from but the aggressive rejection of the scientific method, and critical rational thinking, and in its place the embrace of all kinds of lunatic conspiracy theories and other demented notions which serve to reinforce their prejudices and paranoia.

In all this we see the “direct connection” between the white supremacy of the Trump/Pence regime and its fascist followers and “their open disgust and hatred for LGBT people as well as women, their willful rejection of science and the scientific method, their raw ‘America First’ jingoism and trumpeting of ‘the superiority of western civilization’ and their bellicose wielding of military power, including their expressed willingness and blatant threats to use nuclear weapons, to destroy countries.”

As Hubert Locke’s statement cited earlier also points out, this is all tied together. And, according to the fascists, in particular the Christian fundamentalist fascists, all the “evil” is concentrated in the fact that “they took God out of the schools” (in the early 1960s, with the Supreme Court decision which, proceeding on the basis of the constitutional separation of church and state, outlawed school-sponsored prayer).

All this is embodied in the program of the Trump/Pence regime, with its declarations about restoring (and keeping) the supposed “greatness” of America. All this is the very real horror they are determined to impose on not just the people in this country but on the world and humanity as a whole.

You Cannot Break the Chains of Oppression by Opposing Only One—You Need to Break All the Chains

Returning to where I began, the fact is that Jerry Falwell (Jr.) and Liberty University stand against liberty and against what a university and education should be all about. The founder of Liberty University, Jerry Falwell (Sr.), was a vehement opponent of the scientific theory of evolution (and the scientific method overall). In opposition to the already well-established truth, and the continually increasing evidence, that all living things on the earth, including human beings, are the result of billions of years of natural evolution, Falwell insisted that everything on the earth is exactly as god created it in the first place. And continuing with this anti-scientific, and dangerous, lunacy, Falwell Jr. is also firmly in the camp of the deniers of climate change and in particular the fact that human activity is playing the decisive role in the accelerating climate crisis. That an institution with someone like the Falwells as its head, and with the kind of anti-scientific indoctrination that flows from their outlook—that this could be accredited as a university is incredible. But, more than that, it is a testament to the bankrupt nature of this whole system in this country, which lends legitimacy to all this and which has spawned a fascist regime not only headed by the narcissistic sociopathic maniac Trump but filled with legions of lunatic Christian fundamentalist fascists, including those holding powerful positions, such as Mike Pence, William Barr, Mike Pompeo, Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos and many others.

Contrast this anti-scientific lunacy with the orientation and approach to education that is set forth in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a radically different and far better society and world:

The educational system in the New Socialist Republic in North America must enable people to pursue the truth wherever it leads, with a spirit of critical thinking and scientific curiosity, and in this way to continually learn about the world and be better able to contribute to changing it in accordance with the fundamental interests of humanity.9

It is a good thing that Jerry Falwell Jr.’s exhibition of his racism has been met with outrage and protest, even from among the students and alumni of Liberty University (as well as others). But if this outrage is confined and misdirected into a misguided and fundamentally erroneous notion that this racism is somehow out of keeping with the supposedly positive—but in reality extremely negative—“values” of Liberty University (and the Christian fundamentalism on which it is based), this will result not only in “de-fanging” this outrage but in reinforcing the “package” of reactionary, yes, fascistic, outlook and aims that are represented not simply by Falwell but by the Trump/Pence regime to which he is closely tied and for which he is a relentless advocate and apologist.

There is, in fact, a direct line from the Confederacy to these fascists of today, and a direct connection between all the various forms of oppression that they seek to fortify and viciously enforce. You cannot finally and completely do away with racism and white supremacy without also doing away with patriarchy and male supremacy, and all the other oppressive relations that are interwoven together with white supremacy. And, fundamentally, you cannot abolish all this without abolishing, through an actual revolution, the system of capitalism-imperialism whose basic relations of oppression, exploitation and plunder, of people and the environment, these fascists are seeking to carry to monstrous extremes.10


1. THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible. Video of this October 2017 speech by Bob Avakian is available at revcom.us. [back]

2. “Reflections on Pacific School of Religion's Response to the Religious Right,” by Dr. Hubert Locke, also available at revcom.us—emphasis added. [back]

3. Bob Avakian, Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, Insight Press, 2008, pp. 141-42. The statements by Kevin Phillips cited here are from Kevin Phillips, American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century, Viking Press, 2006.

There is a definite irony in the fact that Phillips was one of the main people responsible for formulating the Republican Party’s “southern strategy,” which was based on the appeal to the racism of white southerners who are characterized by the very kinds of views and sentiments that Phillips describes, critically, here. It seems that Phillips later came to regret at least much of where this “southern strategy” has led, and this book of his contains important exposure and analysis of this. [back]

4. Katherine Stewart, The Good News Club, The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children, PublicAffairs, 2012. [back]

5. THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible. [back]

6. See Revolting Barbarity, Shameless Hypocrisy, For Those Who Cling to the Myth of “This Great American Democracy”: Some Simple Questions. Emphasis has been added here to Douglass’ statement. This article by Bob Avakian is available at revcom.us. [back]

7. In a number of works—and in particular in Break ALL The Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution (which is available in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us)—Bob Avakian analyzes the historical and material roots of the oppression of women, in societies divided into exploiters and exploited, the road to the emancipation of women from this oppression, and the pivotal relation of this to the communist revolution with its ultimate goal of emancipating all of humanity from relations of exploitation and oppression. [back]

8. This is from the article “Morality Without Religion, Emancipation That Is Real,” by Bob Avakian, which is available at revcom.us. [back]

9. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, is available at revcom.us. [back]

10. In Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, Bob Avakian speaks to those crucial questions—analyzing what an actual revolution really involves, the need and the basis for this revolution, how this revolution can be carried out, up against the powerful oppressive and repressive forces of this system of capitalism-imperialism, and what are the goals of this revolution. The text and video of this speech by Bob Avakian are available at revcom.us. [back]

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A clip from a talk by Bob Avakian:
The direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/653/bob-avakian-on-1968-and-2020-lies-then-lies-now-and-the-actual-urgent-challenges-en.html

Bob Avakian On
1968 & 2020: LIES THEN, LIES NOW
AND THE ACTUAL URGENT CHALLENGES

| revcom.us

 

As the election scheduled for this November approaches, everyone who stands against injustice and is outraged by the Trump/Pence regime (and there are tens of millions who hate everything this regime says and does) is being bombarded with the declaration that it would be outright criminal not to vote for Joe Biden and the Democrats, and that voting for Biden and the Democrats is the most important and vital political act people can carry out. Once again, people who have been taking to the streets in powerful protest are being preached at that protest is good but, to be really effective, their passion must be funneled into the elections, and that this is especially true this time. Often this is accompanied by “words of wisdom” from people who lived through the 1960s (or who, in any case, claim to be drawing crucial lessons from that time) insisting that the “tragic experience” of the 1968 election must not be repeated. According to this false re-written history, people who had become radicalized (in a very positive way) through the experience of those times—in their opposition to the Vietnam war, the oppression of Black people and other racial and gender oppression—and refused to vote for the Democratic Party candidate for president, Hubert Humphrey, were responsible for opening the gates to the reactionary “backlash” that took off with the election of Richard Nixon that year. This supposed “analysis” is just wrong, in many important ways.

The Real Lessons From Those Times

First of all, the mass opposition to the unjust U.S. war in Vietnam, and the all-around oppressive nature of this system, and the positive radicalization of masses of people, grew in numbers and gained momentum for several years after that 1968 election. This very fact—that growing numbers of people, from many parts of society, including large numbers of middle class white youth as well as Black people and other oppressed people, were motivated by revolutionary sentiments and aspirations and were breaking out of the suffocating confines of the conventional “norms” of this system, including its BEB (Bourgeois Electoral Bullshit)—this is a cause for great “upset” among those who are responsible for spreading this false tale that it was a terrible mistake, and led to terrible consequences, not to vote for Humphrey. (The fact that the revolutionary upsurge of that time did not continue past the mid-1970s and did not lead to fundamental change—this does not revolve around Richard Nixon’s election in 1968, or his re-election in 1972, but involves a combination of different factors, including repression by the ruling class, along with some moves to co-opt sections of the rebellious population, in the context of major changes in the objective situation not just within the U.S. but internationally as well. In a number of works I have analyzed some of the major factors involved.1)

Humphrey (who had been vice-president during the years that Lyndon Johnson, as president, had massively escalated the U.S. war in Vietnam) was himself a hard-core “cold war warrior,” who consistently supported the war in Vietnam, and only began to make some meaningless talk about some kind of negotiations with the Vietnamese as the presidential election approached, in an attempt to “corral” people involved in the anti-war movement. There is absolutely no good reason to believe that, if Humphrey had been elected president in 1968, this would have brought about any significant positive change in either the U.S. war in Vietnam, or in the ongoing oppression of Black people and the vicious repression that was brought down against the massive uprisings of Black people that repeatedly occurred at that time, or in any of the other ways in which oppression is built into this system of capitalism-imperialism. It was the people opposing the system in all kinds of ways, especially by taking to the streets in protest and rebellion, that led to the very positive things that happened during that time.

And it was with Nixon as president (after he had soundly defeated the “anti-war” candidate George McGovern in 1972) that the U.S. finally withdrew from Vietnam. Examining this experience in Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, I made the point that in 1964 people who opposed the Vietnam war were told, emphatically, that they had to vote for the Democrat, Lyndon Johnson, because his Republican opponent, Barry Goldwater, would massively escalate the Vietnam war—and then Johnson, upon being re-elected as president, did exactly that. Then in 1972, it was insisted that people had to vote for McGovern to end the Vietnam war but, again, it was Nixon who, soon after that election, signed a “peace agreement” with the Vietnamese. And summing up the crucial lesson: “in neither case—neither in 1964 nor in 1972—were the decisive changes that occurred brought about by the elections. Quite the contrary.”

The reason for this has to do with something very basic:

Elections do not provide an avenue for the realization of the desire of masses of people to see these policies and actions of the government change—although mass political resistance can, under certain circumstances, make an important contribution to forcing changes in government policy, especially if this takes place in a larger context where these policies are running into real trouble and, among other things, are leading to heightened divisions within the ruling class itself.2

The Crucial Challenges Now

But, at the same time as we are fed false history from the 1960s, we are told that it is different this time. Many who make this argument do so by invoking the fact that Trump (and Pence) are fascists (or on the road to fascism, or some other variation of this position). Yes, it is true, this is a fascist regime (and this is something those of us, from many diverse political perspectives, who have initiated and worked to build the organization Refuse Fascism [RefuseFascism.org] in its efforts to bring about massive, non-violent but sustained mobilization to drive out this regime, have been saying from the beginning). This regime does pose a great threat to humanity, with its program of carrying the oppression and exploitation built into this system, and its plunder of people and the environment, to even greater extremes. And it would have been very good—it could have made a real difference—if, during the nearly four years of this regime, with all the outrages it has repeatedly committed, those who are now insisting we must vote for Joe Biden and the Democrats had joined with Refuse Fascism in bringing about the mass mobilization it has been calling for, and working to build, to drive out this regime. Now, the hour is getting late—but it is still not too late to make this mass mobilization a reality. Relying on the “norms” and “regular channels” of this system will not solve this profound and urgent problem, especially when dealing with a fascist regime and its fanatical followers that are determined to trample on and tear up those “norms.”

As I emphasized in “Radical Change Is Coming,” even assuming the election scheduled for November is held (and not canceled or “delayed” by Trump, citing health dangers from COVID-19 or some other hypocritical pretext), there is certainly no guarantee that Trump will lose, or that he will accept the results if he does lose. But what is certain—what is already happening and will happen on an even greater scale and with even greater intensity—is that Trump and the Republicans, and their fascist “base,” will seek to intimidate and suppress the votes of large numbers of people who would vote against Trump. And it is entirely possible that Trump would move to mobilize his supporters within the police and military, as well as “Second Amendment people,” in the attempt to prevent his removal from office if he does lose the election but refuses to recognize this.3

For all these reasons, waiting for the next presidential election and relying on voting, while doing nothing meaningful now to actively oppose the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime, is a recipe for dangerous paralysis and potential disaster. Not only in Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, but in a number of other works as well, I have spoken to why no fundamental change for the better can come through voting under this system, and as an overall phenomenon voting actually reinforces this monstrous system of capitalism-imperialism that the politicians of both ruling class parties (Democrat as well as Republican) actually represent.4 But, expressed as the intention to vote or not, the truly massive hatred for the Trump/Pence regime, and everything it stands for, must not be reduced to and simply funneled into the electoral process. It must be manifested as active mobilization in the streets against this regime, in an ongoing way, linked in a powerful way with a continuation of the outpouring against institutionalized white supremacy and police terror, with the orientation of driving out this fascist regime and continuing this struggle even past November, regardless of what happens with the scheduled election, in order to powerfully oppose the fascism that is being mobilized in society as a whole, and to build further momentum in the overall struggle against oppression.

And here is a fact of fundamental importance: While it is crucial to unite and mobilize people, from different perspectives, very broadly, in the movement to drive out this regime,

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. So, both to meet the immediate challenge of creating a political situation in which this regime will be removed from power—and in which the political initiative has been seized to a great degree by those who are determined to turn back the assault on humanity that is being carried out by this regime and to strive for a better world, however they understand that—and to advance toward the fundamental goal of revolution, it is vitally important that all those who have come to understand the need for revolution actively contribute to building the movement to drive out this regime, and do so from the perspective and in the overall framework of building for revolution.5


1. As pointed out in a footnote to the article by Bob Avakian, “Boomers”—“X,Y,Z”: The Problem Is Not “Generations,” It’s The System (also available at revcom.us):

In a number of works—including Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution; Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary; HOPE FOR HUMANITY ON A SCIENTIFIC BASIS, Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism; and Bob Avakian Responds To Mark Rudd On The Lessons Of The 1960s And The Need For An Actual Revolution (all of which are available at revcom.us)—Bob Avakian speaks further to “why there was no revolution” at the height of the 1960s upsurges and “major changes, largely of a negative kind, that have taken place over the decades since.” [back]

2. The two quotes here are from Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, which is available in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us. Emphasis was added here to the first of these quotes. [back]

3. Radical Change Is Coming: Will It Be Emancipating, Or Enslaving—Revolutionary, Or Reactionary? This article by Bob Avakian is available at revcom.us. [back]

4. See, for example, Bob Avakian Exposes the BEB (Bourgeois Electoral Bullshit): If You Want To See No Fundamental Change—Go Vote, which is available at revcom.us. [back]

5. Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. The text and video of this speech by Bob Avakian are available at revcom.us. [back]

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/650/bob-avakian-revolution-roger-federers-tennis-en.html

REVOLUTION, ROGER FEDERER'S TENNIS:
WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO DO WITH EACH OTHER?
A LOT, ACTUALLY.

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

The title of this article will likely come as a surprise to many—not least Roger Federer himself, since he is clearly not an advocate of the kind of revolution I am talking about, a revolution to bring about socialism and ultimately communism throughout the world, in place of the current capitalist-imperialist system that now dominates the world. Federer himself is not merely a tennis player with world-class—and, as I will speak to, unrivaled—abilities; he is also a multi-millionaire, on the verge of becoming a billionaire, as a result of business deals and investments that his tennis achievements have made possible. (At the same time, Federer has devoted significant resources, and personal efforts, to charity benefitting children in southern Africa in particular, and he is widely respected and admired for being, at the risk of sounding corny, “a genuinely nice guy” on a personal level. Federer, from the small country of Switzerland, is one of the most recognized, and popular, athletes in the world, not only among tennis fans but more generally, and that is not just because of his accomplishments on the court, or simply because of successful “marketing of his brand,” but also because of what people perceive in his personality.)

What is put forward in the title of this article—that Federer’s tennis has a lot to do with revolution—can be understood to be profoundly true, once there is the necessary appreciation for both Federer’s unique, unmatched approach to and performance in tennis and what the revolution I am speaking of is, and needs to be, all about. Here, I am not going to enter directly into the debate about whether Federer, or on the other hand one of his current main rivals, Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal, is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) in men’s tennis ( although I have made a case for why that title legitimately rests with Federer in an Appendix at the end of this article). What defines Federer’s tennis, and more than anything sets it apart from even his greatest rivals—more than all of his great accomplishments, playing at the highest level of men’s tennis for nearly two decades, from the time he was around 20 to the time, now, when he is approaching 40—is the artistry and beauty of his game. And the revolution I am talking about—a revolution guided by communism, in its further development with the new communism that has resulted from decades of work that I have carried out—this revolution, and the radically different society and world that it aims to bring into being, could not do without, and has as one of its main goals and requirements, precisely an appreciation of and the flowering of beauty and artistry, in many different dimensions of human endeavor.

As I have emphasized, one of the essential qualities that defines human beings is “the need to be amazed.”1 Certainly, in the tennis of Roger Federer there is a continual source of amazement. It is not simply that he can—and, in the course of his matches, repeatedly does—hit every conceivable shot (and many that seem inconceivable). It is not just the fact that, if you pay careful attention, you can see an incredible display of skill and artistry even when Federer hits a ball to a ball girl or boy (young people responsible for collecting and distributing balls to the players) between points in a match. It is, more than anything, the footwork, the movement—the flow—as Federer floats around the court to get himself in position to hit the ball. While with more or less everyone else among the world’s top men’s tennis players—including Djokovic and especially Nadal—their movement is broadcast with various noises, and their striking of the ball is often accompanied by audible, and often loud, grunts, Federer moves silently, seemingly effortlessly, and the only sound accompanying his strokes is that of the racket meeting and delivering the ball, with an incredible consistency, to just the spot where he intends it to go. Metaphors that could be invoked to describe this movement, such as those comparing it to ballet or other dance, are not, in this case, cliches but actually come close to capturing the fluidity and beauty of Federer’s movement.

Djokovic and Nadal are clearly great tennis players—legitimately considered among the greatest of all time—but one of the things that sets Federer apart from them (and this may seem ironic or even illogical at first) is the fact that their greatest strength is their consistency, while in the course of a match, or a tournament, Federer is likely to have more “ups and downs.” Nadal is relentless, intensely playing each point, and even each shot, as if the whole match depended on it; and, besides—or, in a real sense, even more than—his highly skilled shot-making, it is the wearing down of his opponents through this relentlessness that marks Nadal’s game and accounts for his great success. The key to Djokovic’s game is his defensive skill, which rests to a large degree on his considerable physical flexibility: he is able to return powerful (and/or well-placed) serves and great ground strokes by his opponent, time after time, in a way that puts Djokovic in at least a “neutral position,” and often at an advantage, in relation to the opponent, enabling Djokovic to eventually turn defense into offense and win the point. Here, again, although in a somewhat different way than with Nadal, it is Djokovic’s consistent relentlessness that is his greatest strength.

With Federer it is different. As more than one observer has commented, Federer is an artist, and with an artist you are going to have times of brilliance, beyond what others are capable of achieving, and you are also going to have times when that brilliance does not fully shine. Ironically again, to some degree errors on Federer’s part (and specifically what, in tennis terms, are considered “unforced errors”) stem from his tremendous abilities, particularly his movement and footwork, which allow him to be in position to hit a variety of shots at a given time, and his “racket skill” which enables him to execute so many different shots. There are many instances when Federer gets himself into a position where he has many options in terms of hitting a shot, and on some occasions having so many options—rather than being more limited and forced to just play quickly and “instinctively”—actually results in Federer “out-smarting” himself, including sometimes when he “changes his mind at the last second” about where and how to hit the ball, causing him to either hit an ineffective shot or to miss a relatively easy shot and lose the point. One of the things that makes Federer so uniquely great and breathtaking to observe is that we see the artist at work, trying things that others would not dare to try, willing to fall down at times, in the immediate, in order to find the way to reach the greatest heights.

This comes through in all aspects of Federer’s performance on the court. There is the unrivaled precision, combined with artful deception, in Federer’s game. This finds perhaps its most concentrated expression in Federer’s serve (starting the point), which is one of the very best and most impactful in the men’s game. In the case of Federer, this is not because of raw speed and power—there are many in the men’s game who significantly exceed Federer in those categories—but rather because of disguise (it is very difficult to tell where Federer is going to deliver his serve) and placement (he regularly succeeds in putting the ball right where, or very near to where, he intends to place it with his serve). With his ground strokes, once the point is underway (on his own serve or that of his opponent), it is the same—the same deception and precision, combined with effective power, or subtle “touch.” Watching Federer “paint the lines” (hit the ball right on, or very close to, a sideline or the baseline) is indeed like taking in a breathtaking painting. And there is no equal, anywhere in tennis, to his balance and racket skill at the net (volleying back a shot by the opponent from a position near the net) and here, too, he often makes even the most difficult of these shots seem effortless.

Once again, it is the movement that underlies all this and makes it all possible. As tennis author and journalist Mark Hodgkinson puts it, in a book analyzing not just Federer’s prowess and accomplishments but his unique presence on the court: Federer “Moves Like A Whisper.”2

To some, in particular those who have never concerned themselves with questions of this kind, this might seem “forced,” but in the way Federer is able to use his movement, and his other remarkable skills, to neutralize and overcome the raw power of the “heavy hitters” in men’s tennis, there is an analogy to how the stranglehold of the world’s most powerful oppressive forces could actually be broken and shattered, by the creative action of masses of people, freeing them to embark on the road of bringing into being a society and world free of oppression. But the comparison and relevance of Federer’s tennis to revolution cannot, and should not, be reduced to that. Beyond that, it is the fulfilling of profound human needs—“the need to be amazed,” the appreciation of artistry and beauty—that is the link between the tennis of Roger Federer and the revolution that humanity needs.

Federer’s tennis is not simply the product of a genetically-established high-level athleticism, but also of a great appreciation for the creative and innovative, beyond that of even his most highly skilled world-class contemporaries and competitors. Among the highest level tennis champions, it is only Roger Federer who will frequently experiment with shots, running the risk of losing a point, or even a game, during the course of a match in a high-stakes tournament. It is only Roger Federer who would feel, and at times say openly, that if he did not do this he could find such a match boring, even while he was winning. This is not a “lack of discipline” on Federer’s part, but once again a real appreciation for, and giving life to, an artistry and beauty that can and should characterize the sport of tennis—and does, in its highest form, in the game of Roger Federer. There are a few others near the top ranks of tennis who are willing, or who feel the need, to try “trick shots” and other displays of artistry, at the risk of losing a point, a game, or even a match. Nick Kyrgios, an athletic and highly-skilled young player from Australia, is the most striking example of this, but neither Kyrgios nor anyone else besides Federer has achieved the combination of brilliant artistry with the necessary focus and, yes, discipline—channeling and translating this into world-class level competitive tennis, with the consistency required to repeatedly win matches and tournaments, including the most prestigious and highly-prized Grand Slam tournaments (which involve all, or nearly all, of the world’s top tennis players and require winning seven consecutive matches, within the two week period of the tournament, in order to claim the title).

As much as there is a “magical quality” to Federer’s tennis, it is at the same time the product of consistent hard work—both off the court, in physical work-outs, to reach the peak of fitness, and on the court, in endless hours of practice. And there is the constant striving to increasingly master the game mentally. Federer is a great student of tennis. It has been noted, and demonstrated in practice, that he is very often able to tell (in observing the footwork and position, and knowing the “preferred tendencies,” of his opponent) where that opponent is going to hit a shot, even before that opponent has begun his stroke. And Federer possesses the greatest ability to adapt his game, including in the middle of a match—something that can be seen not only by serious students of the game but even by more casual observers in paying attention to the changes he makes in his approach, including the kind of shots he chooses to make, whether he “stays back” on the baseline or increasingly “comes to the net,” and so on.

All his mental as well as physical preparation and continual “refinement” of his game underlies and is the basis for Federer’s ability to both have tremendous success competitively and to do so with his unparalleled artistry. Hodgkinson writes that, early on, Federer was inclined toward the stand that doing things with artistry was even more important than winning, even as Federer has always had a very strong competitive drive. This was reflected, even fairly far into Federer’s success atop the men’s game, in the fact that Federer resisted using the “drop shot” (hitting the ball just a little ways over the net, especially when the opponent is far back in the court), believing that this shot was somehow a violation of the aesthetics (and perhaps the ethics) of tennis. But, not only did Federer change his mind on this and develop one of the game’s most effective, and yes artistic, drop shots, but more generally, and fortunately for Federer—and for everyone who appreciates the beauty with which the game of tennis can be played—Federer has achieved an unrivaled combination (or synthesis) of artistry and competitive achievement overall.

And he has continued to adapt to competitive challenges, and to technological changes that have affected the competitive challenges. For example, less than a decade ago, Federer was still playing with a racket that was smaller than those of nearly all of his major opponents, feeling that he possessed the necessary skill to hit the shots he needed/wanted to hit, and to avoid excessive errors, with this smaller racket. But the rising level of competition finally convinced Federer to increase the size of his racket, which has played a significant part in his finally gaining a decisive upper hand over his long-time rival and significant nemesis Rafael Nadal. In coming back from a knee injury and surgery in the latter part of 2016 and resuming competitive play in early 2017, aided by the increase in his racket size, Federer worked systematically to improve his backhand stroke, which was key in enabling him to overcome the tactics Nadal had used against Federer to force him on the defensive and out of position, making him more vulnerable to winning shots from Nadal. (For those interested in some of the more technical aspects involved in how Federer has been able to offset Nadal’s tactics and decisively gain the upper hand in matches with Nadal—or, as Federer himself has put it, “crack the Nadal code”—in a footnote below some of the details involved are discussed.*)

Federer has continued to play competitive tennis on a world-class level, vying still to be at the very top of men’s tennis, into his late 30s (which is extraordinary, since in terms of world-class tennis, this is definitely considered “old”). It is remarkable that Federer has been able to retain a powerful competitive spirit, and at the same time an unequaled “cool,” not only during the time when he was the undisputed “number one” in men’s tennis (and frequently referred to then as the Greatest Of All Time) but for many years after that as well. It is one thing to be “hungry” and “focused” when one is young and “rising,” striving to get to the very top of the rankings—or in the situation with Djokovic, who has yet to become, but has openly declared his intention to become, the holder of the most Grand Slam titles and presumably the honor of being declared the Greatest Of All Time—but it is a whole other matter to continue to strive for greatness at the highest level long after one has seemingly achieved all there is to achieve, as has been the case with Federer for some time now.

But, even as he was planning, after another knee injury and surgery, to return once again in the summer of this year (2020) to compete at Wimbledon, the most prestigious of the Grand Slams—and the tournament where Federer has had the most success, winning 8 times—with the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus, including the cancellation of this year’s Wimbledon tournament, it is unclear when Federer will return to tennis (interestingly, the French Open, normally held in the late spring, has been re-scheduled for the fall, and as of now has not been canceled—see below, in the Appendix, for the relevance of this to the “GOAT” question). In any case, before too long, Federer’s age will finally catch up with him, and he will retire from world-class level competition. When he does, it is likely that Djokovic and/or Nadal (who are both about 5 years younger than Federer) will continue playing for a few more years; and, if they have not done so already, it is possible that one or both of them will then surpass Federer’s Grand Slam titles record, which now stands at 20 (again, more on this, and how it relates to the question of Greatest Of All Time, in the Appendix below).

But, as truly great as Djokovic and Nadal are, and with whatever specific number of Grand Slam titles they ended up winning, when they leave tennis there will be others, young and hungry, who will rise to, or near, the level of play that has characterized the best of Djokovic and Nadal. With Federer, however, it is not a matter of quantity, not something that can be captured simply with statisticsthe number of Grand Slams and other tournaments won, the amount of time as the top-ranked player, and so on—but much more one of quality: the artistry and creative genius of Federer, which has no equal in tennis, in any era, including the present one. As much as the governing bodies of a sport—and the television networks and other financial institutions which profit from it—seem to feel the need to market things in terms of “rivalries,” and this is definitely the case with tennis, there really is no “rival” to Federer, no one whose approach to the game and performance on the court compares to his or gives expression to the same synthesis of artistry and accomplishment. When Federer leaves, it will be a long time, if ever, before someone comes along who will bring to tennis the beauty and, yes the awe and wonder, that Federer has embodied and inspired.

To return to the theme of this article, as expressed in the title, in the future being aimed for with revolution based on the new communism, tennis will not play the same role as it does in the world as it is now, dominated by the dynamics and dictates of the system of capitalism-imperialism and consequently restricted far too much to those with (or with backing from those with) a certain level of finances and resources. But, as spoken to in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America—a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a radically different and far better society and world—there will continue to be a need for and importance to sports, with an emphasis on basic sports activities involving the masses of people, to promote their health and recreation, but also providing for full-time (professional) sports, which will take place within the overall framework of the relations and values of this radically new society, and will serve to foster friendship and comradeship among those competing, and those following such competition, while promoting and giving expression to the joy, the beauty and the wonder that sports, at its best, can inspire.3

From this perspective, as we look forward to and work actively to make a reality of this revolution, and everything it will finally make possible, if we do not wish to diminish the vision and the goal to which this revolution must aspire, and the kind of society and world it must strive to bring into being, we cannot fail to appreciate beauty and wonder, in the natural world and in the creations of human beings, even now amidst the terrible conditions which this currently ruling system of capitalism-imperialism imposes on the masses of humanity. And from that standpoint, the tennis of Roger Federer has a great deal to do with the revolution we need, even as that revolution will give rise to beauty, and give expression to the need to be amazed, in ways beyond what can even be imagined today.

 


* Note on Federer’s Gaining Decisive Dominance Over Nadal:

Nadal is left-handed and, particularly with his forehand, he hits the ball with a lot of “top spin,” which causes the ball to bounce high after it lands (this is true on all tennis court surfaces but is especially so on clay, which is by far Nadal’s favorite surface, on which he is most effective—more on that below, in the Appendix). Both of these factors (Nadal’s “left-handedness” and his extreme top spin) for some time enabled Nadal to create a lot of problems for Federer in their matches, because (for various reasons, including the fact that the net is lower in the middle of the court than it is on the sides) hitting the ball cross-court is easier and less risky than hitting it “down the line” (over the higher part of the net, on the same side of the court the player is on when hitting the ball). So, in the course of points in matches against Federer, Nadal would repeatedly try, with a large amount of success, to hit the ball with his forehand cross-court, where Federer (being right-handed) would be forced to hit the ball, not with his own forehand—his stronger stroke—but with his backhand. And the extreme top spin with which Nadal hit his forehand cross-court—causing the ball to bounce up to shoulder height, or sometimes even higher, before Federer could “make contact” with the ball—often resulted in a situation where Federer either hit a weak shot, setting Nadal up to hit a “winner” ( a shot Federer could not return) or Federer actually “missed” with his backhand (hit the ball into the net or “out” of play), giving Nadal the point. And this was especially so in the frequent exchanges where Nadal would hit forehand after forehand with top spin to Federer’s backhand—something Nadal was often able to do, because it was difficult for Federer to “redirect” the ball “down the line,” to Nadal’s backhand, and in attempting to do so Federer would run a higher risk of mis-hitting the ball and either losing the point outright by hitting it out, or into the net, or hitting a weak shot in response to which it would be easy for Nadal to hit a winner.

In recovering from a knee injury and surgery, and in preparing to return to competitive tennis, in the latter part of 2016, Federer focused on improving his backhand—aided, again, by his now larger racket—which enabled him to “stand his ground” on the baseline (rather than being pushed back farther and farther behind it, in an increasingly defensive position) and, from that position on the baseline, “take the ball earlier” with his backhand (before it could bounce as high), giving him more control and the ability to hit winners with his backhand and generally to hit backhand strokes with more variety, including by “re-directing” balls “down the line” to Nadal’s backhand, his less imposing shot. This resulted in Federer beating Nadal in the final of the Australian Open (one of the four annual “Grand Slam” tournaments) in early 2017. Since then, in matches played between the two, Federer has beaten Nadal 4 out of 5 times—the only exception being a semi-final match in the 2019 French Open (another of the Grand Slams), a match on clay, played moreover in conditions so ridiculous, with such powerful gusts of wind, that it was impossible for Federer to come close to playing his normal game, which relies, much more than other top players, not so much on power but at least as much on finesse and “touch” and fundamentally on movement to get in position to hit an incredible variety of shots—all of which was effectively impossible under the conditions.  [back]

 


Appendix: The Greatest Of All Time

As spoken to in the main part of this article, in one sense the argument about who is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) in men’s tennis (a debate that now centers around Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic) is mis-placed, especially if (as is generally the case) this debate focuses on matters of quantity—numbers of Grand Slam titles, etc.—because with Roger Federer it is above all a matter of quality: the unique and essentially irreplaceable artistry he brings to the game, playing on a world-class level. But, without abandoning that decisive understanding, let’s examine the question of quantity—in a scientific way, drawing on relevant evidence in its significant dimensions.

First of all, in what is generally regarded as the most essential measure of greatness and achievement, there are the totals of Grand Slam titles won. While, as I will speak to shortly, this number, taken by itself, is not adequate to determine the issue of greatness (or, specifically, Greatest Of All Time), it does provide one important part of the picture. The current Grand Slam title numbers are: Federer 20; Nadal 19; Djokovic 17.

Looking into this further, however, we see that a clear majority of Nadal’s titles (12 of the 19) have been won on one particular surfaceclay—at the French Open Tournament. It is true that a large number of Federer’s Grand Slam titles have been won on his most favored surface—grass, at Wimbledon—but the majority of Federer’s titles have been won on other surfaces. And it is not simply the case, as more than a few commentators are known to say: “Well, Federer is the best on his favorite surface, and Nadal is the best on his.” If we subtract from Federer’s total of 20 the 8 he has won on grass at Wimbledon and subtract from Nadal’s total of 19 the number he has won on clay at the French Open (12), we end up with this count: Federer 12, Nadal 7—a difference far greater than the total numbers (20 and 19).

Beyond that, clay is not just “another surface.” It is a very different surface than either grass or “hard courts” (courts consisting mainly of asphalt or concrete), the other surfaces on which Grand Slam Tournaments are played. Clay causes the ball to bounce higher and effectively “slows down” the game, with the result that hitting “winners” (either with the serve or other shots) is more difficult, and those players whose game relies to a large extent on lengthy rallies, wearing down opponents, have an added advantage. All this plays heavily into the strengths of Nadal’s game. That there is not just a minor but a qualitative difference between clay and the other main tennis court surfaces is reflected in the fact that, on the one hand, in the men’s game specifically, there are at least 10 people who have won the French Open but have never won another Grand Slam title, while there are a number of tennis greats, with multiple Grand Slam wins (on grass and/or hard courts), who have never won on clay at the French Open—including not only Pete Sampras (with 14 total Grand Slam titles) but also Jimmy Connors (8), John McEnroe (7), Stephan Edberg, and Boris Becker (6 each). (Also, among women, those who have won multiple Grand Slam titles but never won at the French Open include Venus Williams, Virginia Wade, and Martina Hingis. And, although she has won at the French Open, Serena Williams—who can legitimately be considered the greatest women’s tennis player of all time, and indeed is one of the world’s greatest athletes in any sport—has had much less success on the clay at the French Open than she has on other surfaces.)

This difference in surfaces is strongly reflected in the head-to-head competition between Federer and Nadal: On every surface except clay Federer has the advantage, while on clay Federer’s wins against Nadal are less than 15%!

There is also the fact that changes, beginning more than 15 years ago, in the other surfaces besides clay—and in particular the grass at Wimbledon—has meant that, even while it is still the case that on Wimbledon’s grass the ball tends to “skid” through the court, overall the courts at Wimbledon do not “play faster” than many of the hard courts. In short, these surfaces, other than clay, have become much more similar, with grass no longer significantly different than hard courts—and the difference is certainly nothing like that between grass, and hard courts, on the one hand, and clay on the other. Thus, Federer’s wins at Wimbledon—which have come after these changes began there—are in no way in the same category as Nadal’s at the French Open.

All this puts into perspective the actual significance of Grand Slam titles won by each. Even if Nadal were to equal Federer’s total of 20 by winning the French Open this year (assuming it is actually held), that would not change the reality that Federer’s total of Grand Slam titles is much more meaningful in terms of being representative of overall accomplishment.

In regard to Djokovic, his Grand Slam total of 17 titles is also more evenly spread out among the different tournaments, with most coming at the Australian Open, but also significant numbers at Wimbledon and at the U.S. Open, the last of the 4 Grand Slam Tournaments. (Notably, Djokovic, like Federer, has only won once at the French Open.) A number of commentators have offered the opinion that Djokovic, who is presently healthy and in “top form,” is likely (some even say “almost certain”) to catch or surpass Federer in number of Grand Slam titles.

This, however, is not certain. Federer won a majority of his titles before 2010, when he was in his 20s—although it is a measure of his greatness that he has won 3 titles in the last 3 years, at the age of 35 or older. Djokovic is now 33, and just as Federer faced very strong competition, from Nadal and then from Djokovic as he hit his prime just after 2010 (when he was in his early to mid 20s), as alluded to in the main part of this article, there are now a number of very talented younger players in the men’s game, who are just as hungry to win Grand Slams as Djokovic is to become the all-time Grand Slam title winner. Besides the question of age in general (and again, in terms of world-class tennis competition, being well past 30, and especially beyond 35, is “old”) there is also the fact that, with increasing age the likelihood of injuries, including more serious injuries, increases, and Djokovic has already not been free of injury during the overall period when he was at, or near, the very top of the men’s game. (It is another manifestation of Federer’s greatness that he has not only won a number of Grand Slam titles at 35 and older, but that he has done so after being sidelined with a knee injury serious enough to require surgery and then a period of rehabilitation.) For these reasons, among others, one is inclined to reply “not so fast” when hearing predictions that Djokovic will (almost) certainly surpass Federer, and overtake Nadal as well, in Grand Slam titles (besides the very real possibility that Nadal will win more Grand Slams, particularly keeping in mind his peculiar success at the French Open, there is also the fact that it would be a mistake—one which has been made before with regard to Federer—to discount the possibility of his winning one, or more, additional Grand Slam titles).

In terms of the GOAT argument, there is the fact that Djokovic has an overall narrow lead over Federer (27 to 23) in head-to-head matches. Here it has to be noted that this is the result of the fact that Djokovic gained the upper hand over Federer in head-to-head matches only after Federer was well past 30, while Djokovic was only in his 20s. Djokovic has continued this overall dominance in recent years, although a number of the matches he won were very close, and in 2 of their last 3 matches Federer has either beaten Djokovic—as he did convincingly in the end-of-the-year championships in 2019—or he has very, very narrowly lost to him, as happened in the 2019 Wimbledon final. (In that final Federer had two “match points”—a situation where he needed only to win one of the two next points in order to finish the match victoriously—on his own serve, but he was unable to finish Djokovic off and eventually suffered a heartbreaking loss in a classic match that was extended to nearly 5 hours. See the footnote below for some analysis of why Federer did not succeed in winning one of those two match points.**)

It was after this devastating defeat that Federer rebounded and decisively defeated Djokovic in two straight sets (2 sets to 0) in the end-of-the season championship (although Federer did not go on to win that tournament). It is true that Federer lost to Djokovic a couple of months later in the semi-finals of the Australian Open (a tournament won by Djokovic), but in that semi-final match Federer was clearly injured and not capable of playing anywhere near his best. Assuming world-class tennis is able to resume, in more or less its full dimensions, before so much time has elapsed that finally Federer has actually passed his prime, it remains to be seen whether, as he has with Nadal, Federer can gain a decisive upper hand over Djokovic, one more time, before Federer does finally decide it is time to give up competitively playing the sport he loves.

In any case, while Grand Slam titles and head-to-head competition are a significant part of the picture, in terms of determining who deserves the title of Greatest Of All Time, they are not the only factors that matter and they do not, by themselves, settle the question. As indicated above, the fact is that Federer has only been overtaken by Djokovic in head-to-head competition in more recent years when Federer has been in his 30s, even past 35—an age when, before Federer (and Serena Williams, in the women’s game), tennis players would have been considered well past their prime, certainly in terms of winning Grand Slam tournaments, something Federer has done as recently as 2018 (and very nearly did the next year at Wimbledon). Federer’s “longevity” is another important dimension to his greatness and to the argument for his status as the Greatest Of All Time. This is not just a matter of “hanging in there,” even at the very highest level, but of continually adding to an incredible record of accomplishment.

Looking at overall achievement, Federer has won far more tournaments overall (103) than either Nadal (85) or Djokovic (79). He has won far more matches (1,227) than Nadal (977) or Djokovic (893). He has gotten to more Grand Slam finals (31) than Nadal (27) or Djokovic (26). Federer has won more Grand Slam semi-finals (47) than Djokovic (36) and Nadal (33). Even more remarkably, Federer has far out-done both Djokovic and Nadal in consecutive appearances inGrand Slam semi-finals (23) and quarter-finals (33), accomplishments that are incredibly difficult to achieve.

It would be possible to go on at greater length into various statistics (and, while I believe the most relevant statistics strengthen the argument for Federer as the Greatest Of All Time, there are some that could be cited that are favorable to Djokovic or Nadal); but again, statistics, while part of the picture, do not give the full story, nor get to the essence of the matter. So, with regard to all that has been spoken to here, let me end with what I wrote near the conclusion of the main part of this article:

But, as truly great as Djokovic and Nadal are, and with whatever specific number of Grand Slam titles they ended up winning, when they leave tennis there will be others, young and hungry, who will rise to, or near, the level of play that has characterized the best of Djokovic and Nadal. With Federer, however, it is not a matter of quantity,not something that can be captured simply with statistics—the number of Grand Slams and other tournaments won, the amount of time as the top-ranked player, and so on—but much more one of quality: the artistry and creative genius of Federer, which has no equal in tennis, in any era, including the present one. As much as the governing bodies of a sport—and the television networks and other financial institutions which profit from it—seem to feel the need to market things in terms of “rivalries,” and this is definitely the case with tennis, there really is no “rival” to Federer, no one whose approach to the game and performance on the court compares to his or gives expression to the same synthesis of artistry and accomplishment. When Federer leaves, it will be a long time, if ever, before someone comes along who will bring to tennis the beauty and, yes the awe and wonder, that Federer has embodied and inspired.

 


** Note on Federer’s Narrow Loss to Djokovic in the 2019 Wimbledon final:

Federer’s failure to win one of the two match points he had on his serve in the 2019 Wimbledon final against Djokovic has to do, on the one hand, with Djokovic’s “grittiness” but even more, and more concretely, with minor mis-steps on Federer’s part. On the first of those two match points, Federer narrowly missed his first serve—which, if he had gotten it in play, would very likely have resulted in his winning the point, and the match—and on the second serve of that point, after Djokovic returned the serve to a spot deep in the middle of the court, Federer attempted to hit the ball back on an angle into Djokovic’s backhand corner, which if it had succeeded would likely have put Djokovic on the run and given the advantage to Federer, with the probable result that Federer would have prevailed. But, in attempting this, Federer “went for a little too much” (hit the ball on too sharp an angle), with the result that the ball landed out and Djokovic won the point. On the next point, Federer’s first serve was in and, in response to a fairly routine return by Djokovic, Federer chose to come to the net, with the aim of finishing the point off quickly with a successful volley that Djokovic could not return (or could return only weakly, setting up Federer to finish off the point with his next shot). But, in this case, Federer’s “approach shot” (the shot he hit to set up his coming to the net) did not have quite enough on it (it was hit toward Djokovic’s forehand corner, but not deeply enough or at a sharp enough angle to force Djokovic into a position where he could only hit a weak shot in return, enabling Federer to finish off the point, and the match, from a solid position at the net). Instead, in response to Federer’s approach shot, Djokovic was able to set up well and hit a forehand winner, which got past Federer at the net and landed securely within the court, beyond the reach of Federer’s attempted forehand volley. From there, a no doubt momentarily deflated Federer lost the next two points and the game—and the chance to finish the match off then and there—although he was far from “folding,” and in fact he continued to fiercely battle Djokovic for another 8 games, before losing the final match-deciding “tie-breaker.”

Again, credit definitely has to go to Djokovic for “hanging tough” and “refusing to fold” when he was on the brink of defeat. But, at least as much, this was a matter of Federer quite understandably feeling the great pressure of being “oh so close” to what would have constituted one of his greatest victories—winning a Grand Slam title, at this late point in his career, in a match against another great player who has dominated Federer for most of the last few years. The result was that, in a situation where literally inches decide things, Federer failed, by the thinnest of margins, to prevail. If Federer had played either of these two match points a little less anxiously, it is very probable that he would have succeeded in winning the match. (With the first match point, Federer could have “gone for a little less” with his first shot after Djokovic’s return of serve—hitting the ball toward Djokovic’s backhand corner but “leaving a little more margin,” to make sure the ball was “in,” while still being an effective shot—and then working from there to gain the advantage in the point and finish it off. With the second match point, here again having an aggressive approach, as Federer did, rather than passive one, is right and necessary—and also difficult, because in a situation like this it is very tempting, and seemingly easier, to just keep the ball in play and hope that the opponent will make a mistake and “give you the point.” But, instead of “coming into the net” right away, Federer could have again “worked the point” a little longer, in order to get a clear advantage and then finish the point by coming to the net or with a winning ground stroke. Or, if Federer were going to come to the net early in the point, as he did following his first shot after Djokovic’s return of serve, then it would probably have been better to hit an “approach shot” into Djokovic’s backhand corner, forcing him to hit a difficult “passing shot,” which could then be volleyed away for the win. Of course—of course!—it is easier to offer these opinions here and now, far removed from the court and the crucial moment of play, and without any of the pressure that inevitably accompanies such a momentous situation, in which a decision has to be made on literally a “split-second” basis; but observations removed from the heat of the moment can be valid and valuable—and, in any case, I could not resist offering these observations here, for whatever they are worth!)

As I wrote in the main part of this article:

It is remarkable that Federer has been able to retain a powerful competitive spirit, and at the same time an unequaled “cool,” not only during the time when he was the undisputed “number one” in men’s tennis (and frequently referred to then as the Greatest Of All Time) but for many years after that as well. It is one thing to be “hungry” and “focused” when one is young and “rising,” striving to get to the very top of the rankings—or in the situation with Djokovic, who has yet to become, but has openly declared his intention to become, the holder of the most Grand Slam titles and presumably the honor of being declared the Greatest Of All Time—but it is a whole other matter to continue to strive for greatness at the highest level long after one has seemingly achieved all there is to achieve, as has been the case with Federer for some time now.

Ironically, however, that very determination almost certainly results in a feeling of tremendous pressure, especially up against one’s major competitors, in a situation where beating them still has great significance, especially after they have for some time had the upper hand over you, as was the case for Federer in his 2019 Wimbledon championship match against Djokovic.  [back]

 

1. See "Materialism and Romanticism: Can We Do Without Myth?" This is an excerpt from Getting Over the Two Great Humps: Further Thoughts on Conquering the World, which is available in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us.  [back]

2. Mark Hodgkinson, Fedegraphica, A Graphic Biography of the Genius of Roger Federer, Updated edition, Aurum Press; Revised edition, 2018“Moves Like A Whisper” is the title of the fourth chapter of this book.  [back]

3. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, is also available at revcom.us.  [back]

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/651/bob-avakian-radical-change-is-coming-en.html

RADICAL CHANGE IS COMING:
WILL IT BE EMANCIPATING, OR ENSLAVING—
REVOLUTIONARY, OR REACTIONARY?

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

For those who cannot help but hunger for a “return” to some kind of “normalcy” as an answer to the madness of Trump, Pence and the rest—forget it, it is not going to happen!

And nobody should want a return to the “normalcy” of this system. The “normalcy” of this system has always included the barbaric oppression of Black people and other people of color, with systematic terror, brutality and murder to enforce this oppression. It has always included vicious discrimination, bigotry and violence against immigrants, women, LGBTQ people, and any others regarded as inferior and “alien.” It has always included unjust wars for empire, and continuing crimes against humanity. It now poses a threat to the very existence of humanity through its increasing devastation of the environment and the ever present threat of nuclear war.

The outpouring of protest in response to the cruel, sickening murder of George Floyd—yet another link in the seemingly endless chain of murders of Black people and other oppressed people by police, acting with a smug sense of impunity, without fear of punishment—this powerful outpouring of outrage, bringing together not only Black people but others, of all races and genders and from all parts of the world, has begun to change the whole political landscape and culture, seizing the initiative in a very positive way from the ruling Trump/Pence regime and its fascist “base,” and challenging the whole paralyzing notion that the brutal reality of this system and its “norms” is the only possible reality and everyone just has to find their place within this and “do for self” as best as possible.

Faced with this rapidly changing situation, Trump has reacted with predictable threats, bullying and intensified repression, while others—who represent the same system but feel it is important at times like this to harness, “pacify” and “domesticate” the outrage—speak once again in terms of meaningless “reforms” and advocate a supposedly “softer” but still vicious version of the “law and order” which oppresses masses of people and represses any who dare to stand up against this oppression. Recognizing that it is likely to further inflame things to simply call for a return to the way things were before this outpouring of righteous rebellion broke through the suffocating routine of life under this system, there are voices representing a section of the ruling class, such as CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who are now speaking of the need for “a new normal” that will supposedly be more “just.”

But there is no “normal” of this system that does not involve systematic injustice, continuing outrage and horror, for people here and all over the world.

And the fascist Trump/Pence regime, which now controls key levers of power, and has called forth and cohered a mass base of fanatical followers, will accept no “new normal,” except one that carries the monstrous oppression of this system to even more barbaric extremes. If anyone is looking to the scheduled election in November as the way to solve things—painlessly and without turmoil and upheaval—first of all, it is not even certain that this election will actually be held. There is a definite possibility that Trump will find a way to “postpone” it, seizing on the continuing coronavirus crisis and/or some other pretext. (Yes, using COVID-19 as an excuse for canceling the election would be hypocritical, given the reckless way the Trump/Pence regime has approached this from the beginning—but who should be surprised by hypocrisy on their part?!)

Even if the election is held, there is a real chance that Trump could “legitimately” win, given the character of the “opposition,” from Joe Biden and the Democratic Party.

And anyway, Trump is already preparing the ground to say the election was “rigged” if he is not declared the winner. Remember how, before the last election, he refused to say he would abide by the results if he lost? Now, he is proclaiming that in Michigan, and some other states, preparations for people to vote by mail is massive “fraud”—when, in fact, this is not only legal but highly sensible in the conditions of the coronavirus. At the same time, Trump and the Republican Party are making other moves to suppress votes, especially of people very likely to vote against them. And all this will almost certainly go on, in an even bigger way, as the time for the election approaches.

Further, if the election is held and Trump is not declared the winner but refuses to accept the results and insists he is still president, what about all those fascist followers of Trump, some of whom are already parading around with weapons and threatening people, including elected officials—what do you think they will do if Trump calls “fraud!” and calls on them to rally to his support? Remember how, during the 2016 campaign, Trump threatened his opponent, Hillary Clinton, talking about what “those Second Amendment people” might do to her? Remember how Trump has openly talked about how he has lots of supporters, among the police and the military, and among bikers and other “tough” people? And then, just recently, Trump has threatened to use the military to violently suppress protests against police brutality and murder.

Even if the election takes place and Trump loses, and he is prevailed upon to accept the results, and his MAGA-hatted madmen and women do not “rise up in arms” in the short run, do you really think they are just going to “go away,” or slink off passively, waiting for the next election?

Whatever takes place in relation to the election scheduled for November, nothing good will happen, and really terrible things are bound to happen, if those who cannot stand what is going on now with this regime—and the very real threat of far worse—do not find the ways, even in the conditions of COVID-19, to powerfully manifest that they are determined to drive this regime from power, without waiting for, and regardless of what goes on around, the scheduled November election.1

Digging down even deeper, the basic fact has to be faced that—even while Trump might very well use extra-legal (that is, illegal) means to remain in power—this fascist regime actually came to power in the first place not through a military take-over or some other violation of the principles and functioning of this “great democracy,” but through the “normal workings” of this system. And those “normal workings” will continue to wreak havoc in the world and on the masses of people in the world, through destruction of the environment, wars, massive displacement and desperate migration of people, on top of the ongoing savage inequalities, crushing exploitation and murderous oppression “written into the DNA” of this system and carried out by its brutal enforcers.

Because of all this:

in fundamental terms, this notion of a “return to normalcy” is an illusion that will be exploded by the nature and workings of the system of capitalism-imperialism to which the masses of humanity are subjected.2

For some time now, in speaking to the conditions of women, I have been calling attention to the fact that, with the changes in the U.S. and the world economy:

The whole question of the position and role of women in society is more and more acutely posing itself in today’s extreme circumstances—this is a powderkeg in the U.S. today.

And:

It is not conceivable that all this will find any resolution other than in the most radical terms and through extremely violent means. The question yet to be determined is: will it be a radical reactionary or a radical revolutionary resolution, will it mean the reinforcing of the chains of enslavement or the shattering of the most decisive links in those chains and the opening up of the possibility of realizing the complete elimination of all forms of such enslavement.3

This is true not only with regard to women, as important as that is, but for all those who are oppressed, degraded and brutalized under this system. It is true not just for the U.S., but throughout this highly interconnected but terribly unequal world, dominated as it is by this system of capitalism-imperialism.

In the beautiful outpouring of determined resistance to institutionalized racism and police terror, marked by a growing sense that this is somehow bound up with the very nature of this system and the many other injustices it continually perpetrates, we can see the potential for the revolution that can shatter those chains of oppression and open the way to a radically different and far better world, on an entirely new foundation. What remains to be done is to develop that potential into reality, bringing forward greater and greater numbers of people—through this present upsurge sparked by the murder of George Floyd, and through many diverse spheres of life and many different streams of struggle—who are fired with a determination to put an end to all oppression and are gaining the scientific understanding that this system of capitalism-imperialism is the source of all these inter-connected horrors, and are driven by the need and inspired by the possibility of bringing this system down and bringing that far better world into being.

 


1. Many of the points spoken to in this article regarding the dangers posed by the Trump/Pence fascist regime, and the possibility of this regime remaining in power regardless of what happens with the election scheduled for November, are spoken to and elaborated on very compellingly in The Worst-Case Scenario is Continuing to Accept a Fascist America by Coco Das, which is available at revcom.us, reposted from RefuseFascism.org. [back]

2. The Deadly Illusion Of “Normalcy” And The Revolutionary Way Forward. This article by Bob Avakian is available at revcom.us. [back]

3. This quote and the one above it are from a statement by Bob Avakian that was first published in 1985 and has been cited in a number of works since then, including Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution, Part III: “The New Synthesis and the Woman Question: The Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution—Further Leaps and Radical Ruptures,” which is also available at revcom.us. Emphasis has been added here to the second quote. [back]

See also:

THE DEADLY ILLUSION OF "NORMALCY" AND THE REVOLUTIONARY WAY FORWARD
by Bob Avakian

Read more

See the full film, excerpts and Q&A of this film

 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/652/bob-avakian-on-civil-war-and-revolution-en.html

Bob Avakian on
CIVIL WAR AND REVOLUTION

| revcom.us

 

I began the article “Radical Change Is Coming with this blunt statement:

For those who cannot help but hunger for a “return” to some kind of “normalcy” as an answer to the madness of Trump, Pence and rest—forget it, it is not going to happen!1

I went on to speak to ways in which the fascist forces aligned with Trump (and Pence) are preparing to react, quite possibly with violence, if the election does not go Trump’s way (or if Trump cancels the election and there is an outpouring of resistance to this). In fact, for more than 20 years now, I have been analyzing the fascist nature of the kind of forces that have rallied around Trump and how they have been increasingly talking about, and preparing for, a civil war.

This is obviously a very serious question. But something even more serious is reflected in a statement I read somewhere recently—that if only one side (the fascist side) is waging a civil war, then it is not really a civil war but murder, and genocide. This is another way of saying what was crudely expressed by the fascist Congressman from Iowa, Steve King, who declared:

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.2

Recently, powerful figures within the Republican Party have turned against King, feeling that his expression of this and other fascist positions is a little too crude, and King has been defeated in his bid for re-election in a Republican primary election. But, expressed more or less crudely, King’s fascist views and stands are shared by the core of the Republican Party and its “base.” And, as I have pointed out previously, there is a “demented insight” in the comment by King quoted here. While the people King is ridiculing are righteously supporting the rights of trans people, gays, women, and others, at the same time far too many are

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.... 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.3

And here is another big part of the picture:

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.4

This whole situation needs to be radically transformed—and with a very definite urgency! We have once again seen the potential for this in the recent determined actions of masses of people whose outrage at the ongoing police murders of Black men and women erupted in response to the cold-blooded execution of George Floyd in Minneapolis. (And a strategically favorable element in this outpouring of outrage is that, at the same time as it has involved significant numbers of Black people, it has also involved large numbers of people of other “races,” including a great many white people, especially youth.) As I said in Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, upsurges like this exert a very powerful positive force and influence, and show the potential for revolution, and it is crucial that the righteous resistance and rebellion of masses of people “be transformed...into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization.”5

Looking at this from the strategic standpoint of working for the revolution that is needed to deal with the root causes of all this, it is also important to act on this understanding:

To a significant degree now, the conflict between the sections of society upholding this fascism and those opposing it, from various different perspectives, is shaping the terrain on which the struggle for revolution must be carried out; this conflict is likely to intensify, and could erupt further in violent confrontation, and in any case it would be a significant factor in the context of an all‑out struggle between revolution and counter‑revolution.6

It is not time, right now, for the all-out fight between revolution and counter-revolution: the conditions for this—most of all, a revolutionary people in the millions in a situation of deep crisis for the whole system—have not yet been brought into being. But there is a pressing need to work to accelerate and “hasten” the development of things toward a revolutionary situation. A big part of working to bring that revolutionary situation into being, at the earliest possible time, is waging a determined battle against the injustices and outrages continually perpetrated by this system.7 And

this political battle also needs to be waged in bold and determined opposition to the “base” that is being mobilized by the fascist section of the ruling class—this is important in its own right now, and is important preparation for and will have an important bearing on the “civil war between two sections of the people,” once conditions have fully ripened and the all-out struggle is underway.8

For, when it comes down to it:

The all-out struggle will not just mean going up against the institutional forces of the old ruling class but will also involve “a civil war between two sections of the people,” requiring the revolution to both defeat and disintegrate but also, as far as possible, win over parts of the armed forces among the population that started out on the other side.9

With regard to winning over parts of the armed forces among the population that started out on the other side: First, and fundamentally, the advance of the revolution in the actual fight would have a very powerful positive impact and effect on the thinking of people broadly. Along with that, there would be the powerful moral clarity and authority of the revolutionary forces fighting with right on their side and in ways consistent with the emancipatory goals of the revolution. And then there are specific measures—such as the cancellation of all debt that people have owed to banks and other financial institutions in the old society—that the revolutionary forces would make known as their official policy. Such policies would be in line with and flow from the basic goals of the revolution and the radically new society the revolution is aiming to bring into being; and making such policies known, and actually implementing them wherever and as soon as the basis exists to do that, could play an important part in winning sections of society which started out on the counter-revolutionary side to actual involvement in, or support for—or at least a “friendly neutrality” toward—the revolution. Still, it will be the case that certain die-hard reactionary elements of the population, including many among hardcore fascist forces, will remain stubbornly committed to the counter-revolution; and the revolutionary forces would need to take this into account as part of their overall strategic approach and operational principles, in waging the all-out fight, once the conditions for that had been brought into being.

A one-sided civil war—waged only by the forces of fascism against everyone and everything they hate and are determined to wipe out or beat into submission—would be a disaster. Ignoring the reality that these fascists are definitely prepared to carry out such a civil war, if they see it as necessary to achieve their objectives, will only make such a disaster more likely. And nothing good will come from relying on those, like the leaders of the Democratic Party, who refuse to call out this fascism for what it is and oppose it on that basis, because doing so would call into question the “legitimacy” of their whole system, which has given rise to this fascism.

What is urgently needed is a massive struggle against the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime and determined opposition to the “base” it is mobilizing in its support. This struggle needs to be waged in a serious way, in accordance with the actual stakes involved—not seeking or initiating violence but also not cowed into submission by the actions of the fascists.

And what is needed, in working toward the fundamental solution to all this, is to wage this anti-fascist struggle as part of accelerating—“hastening”—the development of things toward the point where it will be possible to carry out the revolution, the all-out fight, to finally put an end to this whole system of capitalism-imperialism, with all of the horrors it has already brought about for the masses of humanity—and the even worse horrors it will unleash if it is allowed to continue—when all this is completely unnecessary and there is the basis and possibility for a radically different and far better world.

 


1. Radical Change Is Coming: Will It Be Emancipating, Or Enslaving—Revolutionary, Or Reactionary? This article by Bob Avakian is available at revcom.us. [back]

2. This statement by Steve King is cited in Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis, Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism, by Bob Avakian, author of The New Communism, which is also available at revcom.us. [back]

3. Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis. [back]

4. Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis. [back]

5. The text and video of this speech by Bob Avakian (Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution) is available at revcom.us. [back]

6. From Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution (Part II, “How We Can Really Make Revolution”).The text and video of this speech by Bob Avakian are available at revcom.us. [back]

7. As pointed out in a footnote to the article by Bob Avakian “Boomers”—“X,Y,Z”: The Problem Is Not “Generations,” It’s The System (also available at revcom.us):

In a number of works—including Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution; Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary; HOPE FOR HUMANITY ON A SCIENTIFIC BASIS, Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism; and Bob Avakian Responds To Mark Rudd On The Lessons Of The 1960s And The Need For An Actual Revolution (all of which are available at revcom.us)—Bob Avakian speaks further to “why there was no revolution” at the height of the 1960s upsurges and “major changes, largely of a negative kind, that have taken place over the decades since.” Among these observations are the following (from Bob Avakian Responds To Mark Rudd):

An actual revolution requires two essential factors: a revolutionary situation, and a revolutionary people in their millions. And these two factors are closely interconnected.

A revolutionary situation involves not just a crisis in society in some general sense but a situation where the system and its ruling powers are in a profound and acute crisis and millions and millions of people refuse to be ruled in the old way—and are willing and determined to put everything on the line to bring down this system and bring into being a new society and government. Key components and signs of a revolutionary crisis are that the violence used to enforce this system is seen by large parts of society for what it is—murderous and illegitimate—and that the conflicts among the ruling forces become really deep and sharp, and masses of people respond to this not by falling in behind one side or the other of the oppressive rulers, but by taking advantage of this situation to build up the forces for revolution.*

[* Bob Avakian has also characterized a revolutionary situation this way:

What is a Revolutionary Situation? A deep crisis and sharpening conflicts in society and in the government and ruling circles, where they cannot find a way to resolve these conflicts—in society and among their own ranks—which do not make things worse for them and call forth more resistance and further undermine people's belief in their "right to rule" and in the "legitimacy" of their use of force to maintain their rule; programs of "reforming" the system are shown to be bankrupt, totally unable to deal with what more and more people recognize as profound dysfunction and intolerable injustice of the whole setup; those, in society as well as among the ruling class, who are trying to enforce the existing system are on the political defensive, even if lashing out; millions of people are actively seeking radical change, determined to fight for it, willing to put everything on the line to win it, and searching for a force to lead them in doing so; and a solid core of thousands is united around a leadership, an organized vanguard force with the vision and method, strategy and plan—and deepening ties among masses of people—to actually lead the fight to defeat and dismantle the violent repressive force of the existing system and its power structure, and to bring into being a new revolutionary system that can provide the means for people to radically transform society toward the goal of abolishing oppression and exploitation.] [back]

8. Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. [back]

9. Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. [back]

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/653/bob-avakian_bloated-bag-of-fascist-feces-trump-isnt-tough-part-2-who-really-has-heart-en.html

BLOATED BAG OF FASCIST FECES
TRUMP ISN'T "TOUGH"—PART 2:
WHO REALLY HAS HEART?
by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

In “Bloated Bag,” part 1, talking about “Bunker Boy” Donald Trump—who continues to threaten and is responsible for vicious repression against protesters—I made this point:

Anybody can act “tough” when they are calling on a massive machinery of violence and destruction, like the U.S. military, to back them up.

And I spoke to the fact that, in opposition to the cowardly bully Trump:

The ones who are showing real courage and heart are the masses of people, of all races and genders, who have taken to the streets to demand an end to this brutality and murder, and have defied curfews and braved assaults from police and National Guard forces.1

If we go broader and deeper—beyond the confines of this country and the immediate time frame—we can see another shining example of people with real courage and heart going up against powerful oppressive forces: the Vietnamese people who fought heroically and at the cost of great sacrifice to drive out their colonizing oppressors. As Malcolm X put it, these were a people of a poor nation who chased the French colonialists right out of their country! And then, after the U.S. (which had backed the French colonialists in that war) took over directly and tried to dominate Vietnam, the revolutionary Vietnamese fighters, at the cost of great sacrifice, defeated the attempts of the most powerful military in the world to subjugate their country and forced it to withdraw. Unlike the U.S. military that slaughtered huge numbers of Vietnamese civilians, or the fundamentalist Islamic fanatics of these times who also slaughter and seek to terrorize masses of innocent civilians, the Vietnamese were fighting a war of liberation by revolutionary means.

Or, coming back to this country, if you want to talk about courage and heart, how about the Black Panther Party, which began with a small number of Black youth who went on armed patrols (legally at the time) in Oakland in the 1960s to prevent police from brutalizing and murdering Black people, and stood up against murder and continuing heavy repression from the government as, over the next few years, the BPP grew into a powerful revolutionary force throughout the country. And they did this in unity with revolutionary struggles going on throughout the world. (How many people know or remember that the leader of the Black Panther Party, Huey Newton, declared that, if they were needed, he was ready to send Black Panthers to fight on the side of the Vietnamese, against the U.S.?!)

Clearly, the Black Panthers, in their revolutionary days, were not the kind of Second Amendment people” that Donald Trump likes to talk about! (And, in recent days—particularly in the context of the mass outpouring against institutionalized racism and police terror, and with the repressive response of the Trump/Pence regime and the threats and attacks by the fascist “base” of this regime—there have been Black people who have exercised their “Second Amendment rights,” in some cases raising political demands, such as the call for the World Court to investigate the United States for its murderous oppression of Black people. Even though this does not represent the same kind of revolutionary outlook of the Panthers in their early days, it does involve an important stand.)

Although both the Vietnamese liberation fighters and the Black Panther Party eventually were taken off the road of revolution, there is still much to learn from their revolutionary heroism at the height of their inspiring struggles.2

Applying the lessons from previous revolutionary struggles and forces, and going still deeper, here’s something worth thinking about: How about masses of Black and Brown youth today who, instead of killing each other, are taking up the 5-2-6 (basic principles of revolution) and are moving as a powerful positive force working for an actual revolution that will put an end to this oppressive system and bring something much better into being—a revolution based on the new communism and aiming to put an end to all the ways in which people anywhere are exploited, abused, terrorized, brutalized and slaughtered?!3


1. This is from the article by Bob Avakian, Donald Trump Isn’t “Tough,” He’s A Bloated Bag Of Fascist Feces, which is available at revcom.us. [back]

2. Bob Avakian (BA) was actively involved in opposing the U.S. imperialist war in Vietnam and in supporting and working with the Black Panther Party when it was the leading revolutionary force in the U.S. during the late 1960s, even as the ideology and political program of the BPP was (as BA has put it) a “mixed bag,” reflecting a combination of revolutionary nationalism and the inspiration and influence of communism in its most advanced expression at that time in China, which was then, under the leadership of Mao Zedong, carrying forward the socialist transformation of China itself while supporting revolutionary struggles throughout the world, including the mass uprising of Black people within the U.S. In developing the new communism, Bob Avakian has drawn from the positive but also the negative experience of the communist movement historically, and in particular that of revolutionary China (and the bitter lessons of the restoration of capitalism there after the death of Mao in 1976) as well as the experience of revolutionary movements, of various kinds, in different countries. In a number of works, including Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis, Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism, Bob Avakian sums up key factors involved in why the revolutionary upsurge in the 1960s and into the early 1970s (not just in the U.S. but internationally) ebbed, and leading revolutionary forces of that time were defeated or transformed into reformist and in some cases even counter-revolutionary appendages of the imperialist system. The point and purpose of this work by Bob Avakian, and the new synthesis (the new communism) it has brought forward, is to enable the struggle for the emancipation of the oppressed masses of humanity, and ultimately humanity as a whole, to overcome key obstacles and reach new heights, both in defeating and abolishing the existing oppressive system and in bringing a radically different and much better world into being.

An introduction to the new communism developed by Bob Avakian and his unique role as a revolutionary leader (in the article Bob Avakian: A Radically Different Leader—A Whole New Framework For Human Emancipation) and access to his body of work, can also be found at revcom.us. [back]

3. The 5-2-6 refers to the 5 STOPS—5 deep and defining contradictions of this system of capitalism-imperialism—5 ways in which this system oppresses people, plunders the environment, wages unjust wars and continually commits massive crimes against humanity; the two choices articulated by Bob Avakian (“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!”); and the Six Points of Attention for the Revolution. The full presentation of the 5-2-6 can be found at revcom.us. [back]

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/653/bob-avakian_another-provocative-but-simple-and-basic-truth-on-communism-and-the-fallacy-of-totalitarianism-en.html

ANOTHER PROVOCATIVE BUT SIMPLE AND BASIC TRUTH
ON COMMUNISM AND THE FALLACY OF “TOTALITARIANISM”
by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: The following is the second part of a previously published article: Bob Avakian On Impeachment, Crimes Against Humanity, Liberals And Lies, Provocative And Profound Truths.” It has been given a separate title here.

It is very common to hear communism denounced as “totalitarian,” but the fact is that there is no such thing as totalitarianism. And there has never been a society—in Russia, China, or anywhere else—that corresponds to what is asserted by Hannah Arendt in The Origins of Totalitarianism, the seminal work and “Bible” of “anti-totalitarians.”

As I have extensively analyzed, “totalitarianism” is a thoroughly unscientific—or, really, anti-scientific—“theory” which has been concocted and promoted by intellectual apologists of this system of perpetual atrocity (this system of capitalism-imperialism) and which serves to distract from and rationalize this system’s ongoing massive crimes against humanity and to foster irrational opposition to revolution and especially communist revolution.* That anyone could take this “theory” seriously—and that this “theory” is widely treated as some kind of  “sacred wisdom”—is a bitter testament to the willful desire on the part of far too many, including far too many self-professed “liberals,” to accommodate themselves to this capitalist-imperialist system, which rests on the ruthless exploitation of billions of people around the world, including hundreds of millions of children, enforced through brutal repression and massive destructive violence.

What is required in regard to the historical experience of communism, and its relation to human emancipation, is a scientific method and approach. As pointed out in the article “Fascist Distortion And The Response Of The New Communism” (recently posted on revcom.us):

while the overall experience of socialist societies on the road to communism has been definitely positive and inspiring, secondarily there have been, in this historical experience, real problems and errors, some actually grievous, and in the works of Bob Avakian, over four decades, there is a critical scientific examination of the actual history of the communist movement—its great achievements as well as, secondarily but significantly, its serious errors and severe setbacks.... This scientific study, along with serious engagement with and drawing lessons from many other important spheres of human endeavor, has precisely led to the synthesis that is embodied in the new communism. And, yes, this new communism does enable those who take it up, and apply it as the living scientific method it is, to do even better.


* In the book Democracy: Can’t We Do Better Than That?, Bob Avakian has thoroughly refuted and exposed the anti-scientific character of the “theory” of “totalitarianism” and demonstrated that its primary use has been precisely to promote irrational anti-communism. [back]

 

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

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Especially right now, funds are urgently needed to spread BA's work and leadership and the movement for an actual revolution.
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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/646/bob-avakian-on-emancipation-from-mental-slavery-all-oppression-en.html

Bob Avakian On
EMANCIPATION
FROM MENTAL SLAVERY AND ALL OPPRESSION

| revcom.us

 

In 1863, mid-way in the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln finally issued the Emancipation Proclamation and, as a result of the Civil War, Black people were formally freed from literal, physical slavery. But today the question is: When, and how, will Black people finally be free from all forms of slavery and oppression? And this poses straight-up this big question:

When will Black people finally emancipate themselves from the mental slavery of religion?!

We have seen the possibility of a world without oppression powerfully expressed in the not-too-distant past, during the radical upsurge that took place within this country and throughout the world during the 1960s and early 1970s.1 Within this country, the struggle of Black people was at the forefront of all this, and as that struggle became more radical in opposition to the system itself, and groups like the Black Panther Party, driven by the impatience and daring of Black youth, grew and gained influence, the advanced role of the struggle for Black liberation exerted an even more powerful positive role. And, as a very significant part of the widely and strongly held conviction that it was not only necessary but possible to put an end to the nightmare that had been endured for so long:

among Black people—who we’re always told are just sort of inherently religious—there was a massive turning away from religion, especially among the youth. Why? Because people were filled with hope, they didn’t believe that there was no hope for a better world. They were full of hope for a better world right in this world. And so, among Black people, there was, on the part of the youth in particular, a major turning away from religion and from all the old conventions that went along with religion that were conservatizing influences holding down the people.2

Hard Truths, Emancipating Truths

But the great promise of the 1960s radical upsurge, and the hopes that it raised, were not realized—fundamentally because things did not go all the way to an actual revolution. And, over the decades since then, through conscious policy by the ruling powers to foster the growth of more bourgeois and petit bourgeois strata among Black people, while at the same time maintaining and containing the masses of Black people in conditions of deprivation, oppression and vicious repression, this bitter reality has resulted:

Among the basic masses of people, including Black people (not the more middle class strata being developed through conscious ruling class policy, but the masses of oppressed people), there was a tremendous amount of demoralization and sense of defeat, and the introduction (including through deliberate ruling class policy and action) of massive amounts of drugs further intensified the desperate conditions of the basic masses and further reinforced the sense of demoralization. A lot of people were dying or being reduced to broken wretches on the basis of turning to drugs out of despair—the lack of hope, or the death, in immediate terms, of the hope that inspired so many people, on a real basis, through the course of the 1960s upsurge, which had now ebbed and been transformed. And this situation was made even more desperate and demoralizing with the growth of gangs in the ghettos and barrios of this country (as well as internationally), with youth drawn to the gangs in conditions of increasing deprivation and desperation and what was for most the illusion of getting rich, with the orientation of “get rich or die trying,” fueled by the growth of the drug trade and the influence of the putrid culture promoted throughout society that fostered and extolled the exploitation and degradation of others as the means for making it big, whether on Wall Street and on the world stage, or on the streets in the neighborhoods of the inner city.3

In the face of all this, amidst a feeling of fatalistic hopelessness, there has been, on the part of large numbers of Black people, a retreat into religion. It is often claimed that religion is what has allowed Black people to endure and persevere through all the trials and tribulations—the very real horrors—they have been subjected to throughout their experience in America, and that this remains the case now. But this is a logic of defeat—it rests on the underlying assumption (spoken or unspoken) that the system will basically remain as it has been, and that Black people will continue to be despised and discriminated against, persecuted, brutalized and terrorized, and the best they can hope for is to somehow survive, and strive to thrive, through all this—or, if you suffer in this life but you “get right with the Lord,” or submit to Allah, you will be rewarded in some “next life.”

Once more, the question is sharply posed: How can Black people be finally and fully emancipated from centuries of oppression, and how does this relate to ending all oppression, of all people, everywhere?

The answer is that the possibility of this is real, but it can happen only on the basis of a scientific approach to changing the world and the scientifically-grounded understanding that this oppression is rooted in and caused by the system of capitalism-imperialism—the same system that is viciously exploiting and murderously oppressing people not just in this country but all over the world and is plundering the natural environmentand that this system must and can be overthrown through an actual revolution and replaced by a radically different and far better system: socialism, whose final goal is a communist world, without any oppression or exploitation of anyone, anywhere.

As I have put it, expressing a simple and basic truth: “in fundamental terms, 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—ormake revolution!”4

And, in relation to this, I have also spoken to this profound truth:

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.5

But here is another way that, in fundamental terms, there are two choices: either cling to the mental slavery of religion and remain oppressed, or cast off the mental chains of religion while rising up to fight with a real chance to get finally and fully free, in putting an end to all oppression and exploitation.

Religion may seem to give people comfort in the face of the oppression and anguish they are forced to endure, or to make people feel that with religion they can keep from “doing wrong”—or, even though they may “do wrong,” they still have some worth. And it is true that, for some people, their religious views are a motivation to fight against various forms of oppression, and many people who approach things from a religious standpoint have insights and knowledge that it is important to know about and learn from. But it is also true that, as a way of thinking and a guide to acting, religion relies on the invention of supernatural beings that do not exist but which are said to ultimately shape and control reality, including the fate of human beings. Religion calls on people to submit to those imaginary supernatural beings (or, to very human authorities speaking in the name of those imaginary supernatural beings) and to follow scriptures that in reality do not lead to ending oppression but actually promote and reinforce all kinds of degradation and horror. (This is something I have illustrated very concretely in the book Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, particularly with regard to the three main monotheistic [one-god] religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.6) In this way religion stands in direct opposition to taking up a consistently scientific approach to understanding reality and waging a scientifically-grounded fight to end all oppression.

This is why the powers-that-be, whose very existence, wealth and power rest on oppression and exploitation, continually promote religion. It is why the very same slavemasters who prohibited Black people from learning to read (and severely punished those who did) actively encouraged their slaves to take up religion and get down on their knees in prayer. And it is why today, the ruling powers in this country are only too willing to provide a platform for, and parade around, any Black people who are inclined to engage in passionate “god-talk.” This may be painful to hear, but the question is: is it true, or not? Think about it.

It is neither possible nor principled—and no one should ever try—to force people to give up beliefs they hold at any given time. In the most fundamental terms, emancipation—from every form of slavery and oppression—must be the voluntary and conscious act of people. But there is a great need and importance to waging ideological struggle, in a principled way but as sharply as necessary, to win people to take up a scientific approach to understanding, and changing, the world and break with ways of thinking that actually contribute to keeping them, and others, oppressed.

Again, it is true that many religious people take part now in important struggles against oppression; and it is also true that many religious people will be among the millions taking part in the revolution to do away with this whole oppressive system. But this revolution, and the continuing struggle to end all oppression and bring about real and complete emancipation, must be led by those, among the most oppressed, and others as well, who have taken up a scientific approach to changing the world and have cast off the mental slavery of religion, along with every other way of thinking that promotes, or at least rationalizes and objectively justifies, oppression.

A bitter truth is this:

Oppressed people who are unable or unwilling to confront reality as it actually is, are condemned to remain enslaved and oppressed.7

But, an even greater, emancipating truth is this:

The notion of a god, or gods, was created by humanity, in its infancy, out of ignorance. This has been perpetuated by ruling classes, for thousands of years since then, to serve their interests in exploiting and dominating the majority of people and keeping them enslaved to ignorance and irrationality.

Bringing about a new, and far better, world and future for humanity means overthrowing such exploiting classes and breaking free of and leaving behind forever such enslaving ignorance and irrationality.8

 


1. In HOPE FOR HUMANITY ON A SCIENTIFIC BASISBreaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism (available at revcom.us), Bob Avakian speaks to this major change taking place during the 1960s:

In the 1960s, masses of people all over the world, including in this country, were filled with hope and determination about the prospect of bringing into being a radically different and better world. Throughout the Third World, there were liberation struggles aimed at throwing off the yoke of colonial oppression that had been imposed on them for decades, generations and even centuries. And in the imperialist countries themselves—including, in particular, the U.S.—the generation that came of age in the 1960s had both the understanding of the need and a real belief in the possibility of bringing a radically different and better world into being, and was not interested in hearing all the arguments about why things had to be the way they are.  [back]

2. HOPE FOR HUMANITY ON A SCIENTIFIC BASIS.

In Bob Avakian Responds to Mark Rudd on the Lessons of the 1960s and the Need for an Actual Revolution (available at revcom.us), this point is emphasized:

in moving from the limitations of the civil rights movement to the more advanced position of demanding Black liberation and linking this with liberation struggles in the Third World, those Black revolutionaries exerted a powerful positive force in influencing the movements of those times, including among educated youth, toward a more revolutionary orientation, even as that orientation was (in the parlance of those times) a “mixed bag,” involving a complex of conflicting tendencies, including the revolutionary communism that was coming from China as well as various revolutionary nationalist and other contradictory trends.  [back]

3. HOPE FOR HUMANITY ON A SCIENTIFIC BASIS.  [back]

4. In the speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, from which this quote is drawn, Bob Avakian speaks to those crucial questions. The text and video of this speech are available at revcom.us. And in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, (available at revcom.us) there is a sweeping vision and a concrete blueprint for a socialist society aiming for the final goal of communism throughout the world.  [back]

5. This statement, along with other works by Bob Avakian speaking to the oppression of Black people and the road to their full emancipation, is available at revcom.us.  [back]

6. Bob Avakian, Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, Insight Press, 2008.  [back]

7. BAsics 4:1 (BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian).  [back]

8. BAsics 4:17, emphasis added.  [back]

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/652/bob-avakian-racial-oppression-can-be-ended-en.html

RACIAL OPPRESSION
CAN BE ENDED—
BUT NOT UNDER THIS SYSTEM

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Everywhere we go, and in everything we do, we revcoms boldly put forward: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

This is not just a slogan—though it is a very good and very important slogan. It is the concentrated statement of a very profound truth, which is also captured in our slogan: This System Cannot Be Reformed—It Must Be Overthrown!

But what do we mean in saying that this system cannot be reformed, and why is that true? In Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, I speak to the “5 STOPS”—deep and defining contradictions of this system—and all the terrible suffering to which this system of capitalism-imperialism subjects the masses of humanity, and why all this cannot be ended under this system.1 Here I am going to focus on the systematic and murderous oppression of Black people, and racial oppression overall—which has been sharply exposed with the outpouring of outrage sparked by the murder of George Floyd—and discuss the basic reasons why this oppression cannot be eliminated under this system, but can (only) be ended through revolution.

The continuing terror and murder carried out by the police particularly against Black people (as well as Latinos and Native Americans) is not fundamentally because the police are racist—although, speaking of the police overall, that is certainly true. The fact that the police are racist is itself an expression and a function of the fact that terror and murder against Black people (and other people of color) is required by this system—is necessary in order to maintain the “order” of this all-around oppressive system—and this would be much more difficult to carry out if the police were not racist.

The Fundamental Causes of This Oppression

But, going deeper, why is this terror and murder necessary for this system, in order to ensure its “order” and its ongoing functioning? The answer is that, from the beginning of this country, white supremacy has been poured into the foundation and built into the institutions and the ongoing functioning of this system. Specifically with regard to Black people, the centuries of oppression they have suffered—from slavery days to the days of Jim Crow segregation and Ku Klux Klan terror, to the present time, with the continuing systematic discrimination against Black people, in every part of society (employment, housing, education, health care, and on and on)—all this has resulted in a situation where masses of Black people today, and in particular youth, have been robbed of a means for a decent life, with many maintained in conditions of desperate poverty and deprivation. This, again, is not simply because those who are in the seats of power and deciding government policy are racist (though that is true of most of them). It is fundamentally because of the nature of the system itself and the historically-evolved requirements and dynamics of this system of capitalism-imperialism.

Now, that is a big mouthful (“the nature of the system itself and the historically-evolved requirements and dynamics of this system of capitalism-imperialism”), so let’s break it down. This country was founded on the enslavement of masses of African people, as well as the genocidal subjugation of Native Americans and theft of their land (and its further development involved the conquest of huge parts of Mexico, reducing people of Mexican origin to second-class status as well). This required the propagation of racism to “justify” all the horrific oppression. Then, when the Civil War broke out over the question of slavery, and even when slavery was abolished as a result of that Civil War, given that white supremacy had been, and remained, such a crucial part of the “glue” holding the country together, the only way to “put it back together,” on the foundation of the capitalist system, was to once again forcefully assert white supremacy. That is why, very soon after the end of the Civil War, Black people were subjected to the system of Jim Crow segregation (backed up by systematic terror, punctuated by repeated lynchings), while the genocidal aggression against and theft of the land of Native Americans was stepped up, and immigrants from Mexico were subjected to ongoing discrimination and violence by the enforcers of this system.

Generations later, during World War 2, because of the needs of the rulers of this country in waging that war, large numbers of Black people were able to migrate to the North and get jobs in industries that served the war effort. And then, largely as a result of the fact that the U.S. was on the winning side of that war—and the fact that the war was not fought on its territory and it experienced no damage to its industrial facilities and infrastructure—there was an expansion of the economy in this country after the war. In this situation, significant numbers of Black people were able to continue getting employment in large numbers, including some better-paying jobs in factories (making steel, cars, and so on).

But, at the same time, because of the white supremacy built into the system over centuries—and the fact that really moving to overcome this would tear apart the fabric of the system and crack its very foundation—Black people continued to be subjected to systematic discrimination, including in employment (with “last hired and first fired” an accurate description of the situation of Black people with regard to employment). To cite another ugly example, government policy with regard to housing involved conscious, deliberate discrimination: after World War 2, loans were given to white people to enable them to buy their own homes, and increasingly move to the suburbs, while this was denied to Black veterans (and others) and instead Black people were piled into segregated housing projects in the inner cities. And this was part of the continuing systematic segregation and discrimination to which Black people were subjected.

As a result of the Civil Rights movement and then the more radical Black liberation movement in the 1960s, some concessions were made, and there has been an increase in the number of “Black faces in high places” and a growth of the Black middle class, although their situation is far more precarious than that of white middle class people (something which was cruelly demonstrated in the 2008 crisis, which resulted in large numbers of Black people losing their homes and much, if not all, of any savings they had). And, in more recent times, huge numbers of factories and other sources of jobs for people in the inner city have closed down, often moving their operations elsewhere—particularly to countries in the Third World (Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia) where the desperate situation of masses of people, including children, has left them vulnerable to being super-exploited, at near-starvation wages.

All this, together with increased automation and “cybernation” of production, when combined with the ongoing segregation and discrimination built into this system, has led to a situation where huge numbers of Black people, and especially youth, have, for generations now, not only been unemployed but are left with no prospect of meaningful employment in the regular (“formal”) economy.

The “Toxic Combination” of Capitalism and Racism

Here we see the “toxic combination” of systematic, historically-evolved segregation and discrimination, enforced with brutal violence by the powers-that-be, together with the basic functioning and requirements of the capitalist economy—which involves the greater and greater concentration not just of wealth, but of the means of production (technology, factories and other physical structures, sources of raw materials, and so on) in the possession and under the control of large-scale capitalist enterprises and financial institutions, which are locked in cut-throat competition with each other, not just within a particular country but increasingly on a global scale, and are therefore driven to ruthlessly exploit people and constantly search for ways to even more viciously super-exploit large numbers of desperate people, including children, in a worldwide network of sweatshops. (For example, cell phones and computers depend on the mineral coltan which is mined under horrific conditions by people, including large numbers of children, in the Congo in Africa; and a large part of the clothes that are bought in the U.S. are produced by huge numbers of women working in horrific conditions in the Asian country of Bangladesh.)

In this situation, and especially with the growth of the international drug trade, and its deep penetration into the U.S., many of those, in particular youth, who found themselves locked out of the “formal economy,” have turned to drug-dealing, as well as other criminal activity—something which has been encouraged by government policy that has actually resulted in the movement of large amounts of drugs into the inner city, even as the authorities seize on this situation to carry out systematic repression against the youth in particular, with such things as “stop and frisk.” The result of all this has been a huge increase in mass incarceration, as well as the continual murder of large numbers of “minority” youth by police.

At the same time, the way that the U.S. has continued to dominate Mexico, as well as other parts of Latin America, and to distort the economies, corrupt the governments and bring ruin to the social relations among the people in those countries—all this has resulted in large numbers of people being forced to flee those countries and migrate to the U.S., where they are vulnerable to being viciously exploited in factories and farmlands, and other parts of the economy of this country. And large numbers of the younger generations of these immigrants have also formed (or joined existing) gangs and become involved in the drug trade and related crime.

More recently, however, in at least many of the inner-city neighborhoods, for a number of reasons—including the fact that the “crack epidemic” had taken a terrible toll on people—there has been a decrease in the trade in cocaine and the high profits this brought for the relatively small number of “higher-ups” in the drug trade hierarchy. For a period, particularly during the 1980s and 1990s, given their desolation and desperation, the drug trade was a “major employer” of youth in the inner cities, female as well as male, and a major source of at least a basic income for many (even if the promise of “getting rich” remained an illusion for most). Now, even this source of employment and income—as perverse and harmful as it is—has dried up or greatly diminished for many. This has further added to the miserable situation of massive numbers of inner-city youth in particular who have no future—under this system—no future but prison, an early death or a life of desperate hustling, in one form or another, in the attempt to survive and care for loved ones.

All this cannot be changed—cannot be transformed and overcome—within the confines of this system. Despite what any politician (“liberal” or outright fascist like Trump) may say, there is no way that this system could “reverse itself,” bring large parts of industry back to the inner city and provide meaningful employment, with “a living wage” for all those it is now depriving of this. Even if the government had the “political will” to try to do this, doing so (with the employment of millions of formerly unemployed or “underemployed” people at a “living wage”) would seriously undermine the competitive positions of American capitalists in the global economy. And, if they attempted to do this while at the same time trying to seriously overcome the whole historically-evolved relations of white supremacy, this would completely disrupt the social “cohesion” that “holds this country together,” with white supremacy a crucial part of this.

It is one thing for “good-hearted people”—and in particular many white people—to say (and sincerely mean) that it is wrong for the police to just wantonly, cruelly murder people, and to mobilize in protest against this. But imagine what would happen if, under this system and with the way its economy functions, the government tried to adopt policies that would deal with the long-term unemployment of Black people in the inner cities, who have not only been denied jobs but also the training for the jobs that do exist—imagine what the reaction would be of many white people who would in fact lose their better-off positions as a result of these policies. Imagine what would happen if these kinds of policies were applied not just to employment, but to education, and on down the line. (We have already seen the “backlash” that was fostered in response to even minimal efforts to implement “affirmative action” programs in employment and education.)

Again, this is not simply a matter that “white people are racist.” Many are racist, although many do not want to be. But the deeper problem is that given the basic way the capitalist economy works, and how everyone is encouraged to be “out for yourself”—and, more fundamentally, the fact that people are actually driven and compelled to compete with each other in every significant part of life, including employment and education—it would actually create destructive chaos and conflict among the people, and tear apart the “cohesion” of the society, to try to really and fully undo and overcome the reality and effects of centuries of racist oppression—under this system.

This most definitely and emphatically is NOT an argument for holding back from struggling against every form of discrimination, inequality and oppression in every part of society. Fighting back against oppression, and wrenching concessions from the powers-that-be, is very important—in enabling masses of people to feel their own strength in standing up and standing together in opposing oppression, and drawing people from all parts of society to join in this struggle—rather than feeling isolated, beaten down and hopeless. And it is important in contributing to the ability of masses of people to gain the understanding and build up the organization necessary for the final all-out struggle to bring down the whole oppressive system. But that is just the point—as important as these mass struggles are, if they are not built toward, and do not finally get to the point of, taking on the whole system, with the aim of bringing it down, and bringing something much better into being, then, as I have emphasized before, even where concessions are won, “so long as this system remains in power, there will be powerful forces who will move to attack and undermine, and seek to reverse, even these partial gains,” and people will remain oppressed and once more weighed down with a feeling of demoralization, as they are once again divided and pitted against each other.2

The basic and crucial point is that the fight against racial oppression (and all oppression) must not remain confined within the limits of this system, and instead must be carried out and carried forward as part of the overall struggle toward the goal of abolishing this system. The fact that this oppression cannot be abolished under this system is not a reason for giving up in despair—it is a compelling reason why this system must be and can be abolishedand it is the fundamental basis for why people can be won to wage the revolutionary struggle to finally bring it down!

All this is why there will not be any real and meaningful move by the powers-that-be (and any of its politicians and political parties) to overcome the centuries-long experience and legacy of brutal racist oppression and the situation it has led to today, where millions and millions of Black youth and other youth of color have no prospect of a decent future—under this system.

As I have pointed out before: “So what does this system do with youth that have no future and no prospects? It contains them.... contains them violently.”3

And all this is why there is systemic and systematic police terror directed at Black people and other people of color. It is why this is brought down not only on the youth (and others) in the inner cities, but why it can and does lead to harassment, brutality and murder of any Black person, anywhere, even those with more education and status in society. If the system needs the police to “violently contain” the masses of people in the inner cities—and it does—then this is bound to “spill over” and be applied to Black people, and other people of color, more generally. The police have neither the interests, nor the ability, nor the will to make distinctions between “good” ....... (fill in the blank as to what racist terms they use) and “bad” ones. And, beyond that, the “random” nature of the brutality and murder makes it all the more effective in terrorizing people—making everyone, even the “better off,” feel, correctly, that they could be a target of this.

There IS a Solution: Revolution and a Radically New and Different World

It is for all these reasons that racist oppression will continue so long as people are living under the domination of this system of capitalism-imperialism. It is not only right but crucially important to rise up and wage a determined fight against this, but it is also crucial to recognize that this racist oppression will never be, can never be, eliminated under this system—and, to finally put an end to it, we need a radically different system.

We need a radically different economic system—a socialist economic system (mode of production) that is geared to and proceeds by developing and utilizing the means of production collectively, to meet the needs of the masses of people, materially (for employment, food, housing, health care, and so on) as well as their needs intellectually and culturally, and to provide them with the means not only to live a life worthy of human beings, but also to scientifically understand the basis and need, and to more and more consciously take part in, carrying forward the transformation of society to finally and completely eliminate all relations of oppression and exploitation, and to support that struggle throughout the world. And, as one of its highest priorities and goals, this will involve the determined struggle to overcome and finally eliminate racial oppression in every aspect of society.

The radically different socialist economy (mode of production) will provide the foundation on which the ongoing process of uprooting racial oppression, and all oppression, can be waged on favorable ground, and can finally succeed in overcoming all this. The following from my work Breakthroughs speaks to this key relation and process:

Ultimately, the mode of production sets the foundation and the limits of change, in terms of how you address any social problem, such as the oppression of women, or the oppression of Black people or Latinos, or the contradiction between mental work and manual work, or the situation with the environment, or the situation of immigrants, and so on. While all those things have reality and dynamics in their own right, and aren’t reducible to the economic system, they all take place within the framework and within the fundamental dynamics of that economic system; and that economic system, that mode of production, sets the foundation and the ultimate limits of change in regard to all those social questions. So, if you want to get rid of all these different forms of oppression, you have to address them in their own right, but you also have to fundamentally change the economic system to give you the ability to be able to carry through those changes in fundamental terms. To put it another way: You have to have an economic system that doesn’t prevent you from making those changes, and instead not only allows but provides a favorable foundation for making those changes.4

The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America provides a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for such a radically different economic system, and for government institutions, laws and a legal system, as well as an approach to education, science, art and culture that go along with this mode of production and contribute to its continual development, opening the way to finally eliminating all oppression and exploitation.5 And in Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution (as well as other works of mine) the basic strategy is spelled out for carrying out the revolution that will make it possible to apply this Constitution in working to bring about a world free of all the unnecessary suffering and madness to which the masses of humanity are subjected under the domination of this system of capitalism-imperialism.

This is why, and this is how, racial oppression, and all the oppression, which is built into this system of capitalism-imperialism, can be ended—but only through a revolution to abolish this system.

This is why we continue to emphasize this basic truth: 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!

This why we continue to boldly raise the slogan: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

 

1. The text and video of this speech by Bob Avakian (Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution) is available at revcom.us. [back]

2. The statement quoted in this part of this article is from Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. [back]

3. Bob Avakian On Police Brutality And Murder: Consent Decrees Won’t Stop This—We Need A Revolution! This excerpt from a Question and Answer Session with Bob Avakian, after his presentation in 2018 in Chicago of the speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, is also available at revcom.us. [back]

4. This statement is contained in Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary, by Bob Avakian, which is available at revcom.us. It originally appeared in the book by Bob Avakian, The New Communism: The science, the strategy, the leadership for an actual revolution, and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation, Insight Press, 2016. Italics in the original. [back]

5. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, is also available at revcom.us. [back]

Watch BA's whole speech:

Watch clips from speech

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

 

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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.
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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/654/refuse-fascism-take-to-the-streets-july-4-en.html

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

Take to the streets July 4th!
Join Refuse Fascism Protests to Demand:

This nightmare must end!
TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!
In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America!

| revcom.us

 

America is at a serious crossroads. A fierce struggle for the future is underway.

Trump is campaigning on openly celebrating and defending the Confederacy, with a clear message that he will unleash the violence of the police and military and his heavily armed MAGA shock troops against the movement for Black Lives.

He threatens to toss aside the 1st Amendment to jail those who burn the flag, a constitutionally protected act of free speech.

He has demeaned Mayors of Chicago and Seattle while threatening to send in federal forces “to clean up” their cities; He has doubled down on his anti-immigrant rants and program.

In the midst of skyrocketing deaths from COVID-19, the Trump/Pence regime petitioned the Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare. In his press briefing, Pence urged Americans to pray but did not once urge them to wear masks. The regime has the blood of tens of thousands on its hands who have perished due to the regime’s science-hating, genocidal dismissal of a global pandemic.

This is just in the past week. Stop and think if you can live with all this. The lives of countless more here and around the world are under threat.

Trump is not losing an election. He is setting the stage to declare any outcome other than his victory illegitimate, backed up by a GOP willing to rig elections and the violence of the “police, military, and bikers for Trump.” He is declaring his determination to prevail.

The people on the side of humanity must be equally determined to prevail. On July 4th and in the coming weeks, we must take to the streets in growing numbers to demand: The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!

Should we fail to take to the streets and stay to win, do not for a second think that the fascist agenda of the Trump/Pence regime could not become the law of the land. But the last four weeks of sustained protest has also shown us that another future is possible – if the demand that Trump and Pence must go now becomes a part of the great rising in the streets against police murder of Black people. Without going all the way to driving out the Trump/Pence regime, the movement for Black lives and every struggle for justice will be crushed.

On this July 4, take to heart the words of the escaped slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass: If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. ...Power concedes nothing without a demand.

Genocide, slavery, the Confederacy, Jim Crow ... virulent white supremacy, misogyny, and xenophobia ... an American empire that has invaded, subjugated, bombed and occupied countries around the world.

This is the history and these are the values of Make America Great Again, hell-bent on exacting revenge against the liberation movements of the 1960s and the hard-won social progress of the last 50 years – social progress that was only made possible by people courageously taking to the streets and refusing to back down.

The upsurge of struggle for Black Lives matters a great deal. It must continue to broaden and deepen its determination to win, which includes acting on the recognition that an avowed white supremacist regime poses a mortal threat to Black people and must be driven from power. Refuse Fascism since its founding has recognized and struggled for the understanding that at the core of the fascist regime is white supremacy. Along with hatred of immigrants and women and differently gendered people, these form a triad of the fascist program that must be opposed.

At this crossroads, what will you do? Will you continue to accept a fascist America? Will you listen to those who urge waiting until November for an election that may not come, or working within the normal channels that are being shredded by a regime that sees this as their last chance to consolidate power. Or will you seize on our power in the streets and raise the demand Trump/Pence Out Now?  Dangerous regimes all over the world are driven out by the people in sustained, non-violent protest demanding the removal of the regime and refusing to go home until their demand is met.

To stop an American fascism that threatens the very future of humanity and the planet, the necessary demand is Trump Pence Out Now! This is a moment to seize. Let us change the course of history, not for ourselves alone but for all humanity.

This nightmare must end.

The Trump/Pence regime must go.

TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!

 

See the full film, excerpts and Q&A of this film

Washington, D.C. June 6, 2020.

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, Sign and Donate to the Statement of Conscience; Call to Act

Find out more about Refuse Fascism here.

 

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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/653/bob-avakian_kayleigh-mcenany-living-dead-liar-for-trump-en.html

Kayleigh McEnany:
"LIVING DEAD" LIAR FOR TRUMP
by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

The “mainstream” media of this system (CNN, MSNBC, etc.) often talk about how Kayleigh McEnany lies in her capacity as “Press Secretary” for the Trump White House. No one should be surprised by this: If you are going to represent the Liar-in-Chief, you have to constantly, systematically lie. But, while CNN & Co. make a point of repeatedly insisting that facts are important, here is a fact that these “mainstream” media will not tell you: Kayleigh McEnany is a religious fundamentalist fanatic (part of the “living dead” legions of this regime), so she is completely out of touch with reality anyway. Ask yourself why that fact is something you will not hear from these “mainstream” media.

 

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

Get Into BA »

 

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/653/bob-avakian-on-ugly-words-phrases-en.html

Bob Avakian On
UGLY WORDS & PHRASES

| revcom.us

 

Here are words and phrases that should never be used in the wrong way by anyone who hungers for a more just world: “officers” to refer to police, and “the President” to refer to Trump. Police should not be referred to as “officers,” but “murdering racist pigs,” for that is what they are. Trump should not be referred to as “the President,” but “the racist pig-loving fascist in the White House,” for that is what he is. Next time you are watching “mainstream” television, every time you hear them refer to cops as “officers” and refer to Trump as “the President” make a sound (like “beep!”). Check out how many times you end up making that sound. These “mainstream” media use these terms this way (“officer” and “the President”) to show respect and “lend legitimacy” to what should never be respected and made “legitimate”: brutal oppressors and institutions of oppression! Why do these media do this? Because they are also an arm of the same oppressive system—the system of capitalism-imperialism—that “the President” and the “officers” maintain and enforce; and, as much as people in these “mainstream” media may dislike Trump, he is still “the President” of their system, and the police are the agents of the repressive and murderous “law and order” of this same system.

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

Get Into BA »

 

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/653/bob-avakian-on-tulsa-racist-mobs-en.html

Bob Avakian On
TULSA RACIST MOBS

| revcom.us

 

Watching the people (most not wearing masks) standing close together at the fascist Trump rally in Tulsa, the day after Juneteenth, this reality was once again driven home:

These Trump supporters are the direct extension, the political and ideological descendants—the very same kind of people—as the white mobs that in 1921 murdered hundreds of Black people in Tulsa and literally destroyed the entire Black neighborhood, with all its homes, schools, churches, and businesses.

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

Get Into BA »

 

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/651/it-takes-science-and-leadership-to-truly-get-free-en.html

To Those Rising Up and Awakening:
It Takes Science and Leadership to Truly Get Free

| revcom.us

 

This is written especially to those who have been righteously standing up and fighting back against murder by police and the oppression of Black people more generally, and to all those who have taken heart and inspiration from this, who are newly encountering the Revolution. Welcome! We stand side by side with you in this struggle and unite with your outrage and fury against centuries of oppression that truly must be NO MORE. This outpouring of resistance must continue and it must grow. People must stay in the streets, and this upsurge must get bigger, broader, deeper, and even more determined. At the same time, the big question that now presents itself—one that literally millions of people are asking—is: What will it take to truly put an end to police brutality, murder by police, and the oppression of Black people, once and for all?

The answer is that it will take far more than just people staying in the streets and fighting back, as critically important as that is. And this oppression can never be ended by trying to make a few reforms to a system that is completely rotten to its core. As with any big problem—whether a natural disease like COVID-19 or a social disease like racial oppression—solving that problem will take a deep understanding of the cause of that problem and the solution to it. In other words: It will take science. And it will take leadership. So let’s talk about what science and leadership have to do with changing the world.

Many people hear “science” and think biology and ecology; climate change and the environment; chemistry and physics; labs and microscopes; medicine, technology and new inventions. All of these are very important examples of—or closely related to—science. But for some reason, many people don’t think you need science to understand and change human society as a whole, or even that you can apply science for this purpose. This makes absolutely no sense. Science means investigating reality, gathering evidence, analyzing that evidence, identifying patterns, and drawing conclusions about reality on that basis. Why would it possibly be that this scientific method can’t or shouldn’t be applied to understanding and changing society? Because human society is complicated? All the more reason you need science to understand it!

Many people hear “leadership” and think of an activist with a bullhorn or a person leading a protest. These can be important and necessary examples of leadership, but leadership in the most important sense is something much bigger than that: Leadership in that sense is a matter of identifying and leading others to see the most fundamental problems confronting humanity and the solutions to those problems. Leadership is a matter of saying “Here’s why we’re in this situation and here’s how we can get out of it.

In Bob Avakian (BA), we have the science, the leadership, and the understanding of problem and solution we need to not only emancipate Black people but all of humanity from centuries of oppression. Sound like a bold statement? GOOD. It’s meant to be. And it’s backed up with more than 50 years of substance.

BA came forward as a revolutionary in the 1960s, working and struggling alongside the Black Panthers. In the decades since he has been working tirelessly on bringing forward and continuing to develop the deep, scientific understanding of the need to NOT reform but rather overthrow and completely sweep away this system through an actual revolution; the strategy for bringing into being the conditions necessary to make that revolution and win in those conditions; and the vision for a completely new and radically different system, society, and world. Underlying all of this is BA’s scientific method, which he continues to apply to the biggest questions facing humanity while leading a movement for revolution. A deep understanding of and visceral hatred for the oppression of Black people and the ways that Black people suffer, and a burning desire to see Black people free of this oppression, is at the core of BA and everything he is about, and is a constant thread that runs through his life and work over decades.

People throughout society and throughout the world need to know about BA. Thousands now and ultimately millions need to follow him in order to make an actual revolution to get free of this monstrous system and bring a far better society, world, and future into being.

See for yourself. Start with BA’s powerful new statement, “NOTHING LESS!Read it and spread it to everyone you know. Go to revcom.us to see the latest articles from BA on an incredibly broad range of topics related to revolution and radically changing the world, and learn more about and find out how to get involved in the revolution BA is leading. Check out BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, the handbook for revolution, and the film Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Could Really Make Revolution. Go to the BA portal to get deeper into his extensive works. Learn more as you get involved in spreading this throughout society. Write to us to find out how you can specifically learn more and get involved. Write to us with your questions and let us know what’s on your mind.

One last thing: Make no mistake—hell yes, this is controversial. Once again, we say: GOOD. Think about this: Could there ever be a genuine movement for an actual revolution that didn’t offend anyone or make them uncomfortable!? There are all kinds of people out there who might talk a big game but are scared of an actual revolution, who want to get in on this system and try to get a better deal for themselves, or who just plain don’t know what they’re talking about. There are people who would have you believe that if the skin color of a person who has a way out for humanity is white, you shouldn’t listen to that person. Needless to say, these people are not going to like BA and what he stands for. And they’re going to come up with all kinds of lies, cheap shots, and slander to attack BA and cover their own asses. This kind of behavior is despicable, it is very harmful and it must be taken seriously and fought against. But it is not at all surprising.

So let’s end with a question back to you: Are you going to listen to lies and bullshit from the mouths of people who—in one form or another—want to keep the world basically the way it is? Or will you have the courage, integrity, and intellectual honesty to go directly to the source, get into BA, and see for yourself? Just how badly do you want to end oppression, change the world, and get free once and for all?

BOB AVAKIAN: A RADICALLY DIFFERENT LEADER—A WHOLE NEW FRAMEWORK FOR HUMAN EMANCIPATION

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

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Watch BA's whole speech:

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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/654/on-bob-avakians-memoir-from-ike-to-mao-and-beyond-en.html

On Bob Avakian’s Memoir, From Ike to Mao and Beyond

When You Come in from the Streets... a Book You NEED—and Are Gonna WANT—to Read

by Lenny Wolff

| revcom.us

 

In these times of marching, and sometimes fighting, in the streets day after day... in these days of questioning and talking and debating, thinking new thoughts and meeting new friends, and wondering about the chances for a whole new world... I strongly recommend the memoir of the revolutionary leader and thinker Bob Avakian (BA), From Ike to Mao and Beyond.

First, it’s a fun read—fun as you start out with Bob Avakian in childhood and high school, and fun even after he takes up the very serious life of a political fighter and then a revolutionary. Through all the peaks and valleys, the high times and heartbreaks and sacrifices from the 1950s up to the early 2000s, you come to know this person—and as part of that you really see the truth of the observation that BA has never lost his deep connection to the masses... or his sense of humor.

It’s a deep read. Deep in the sense of covering the 360 degrees of life, and how you confront the big questions of “what really matters,” “what is my life going to mean,” personal relationships, and all the rest of those heavy complicated questions that keep you up at night. Deep in the sense of the humanity he reveals. And deep in the sense of the heaviness of the issues he’s taken on, and the way he’s done that. You get to know this leader as a person.

Finally, right now, it’s a must read. Maybe you’re out there in this truly beautiful uprising in which millions of people are raising their heads, asking questions and getting involved. Well, BA lets you know how HE went through all that in a different time. What compelled him to “get involved”? Who influenced him, and how? And what did he do with those influences? Go with him in the days when he becomes a revolutionary and then watch how he approaches people, works with them, struggles with them.

Along the way, you’re gonna learn a whole lot about what actually happened in the 1960s... as well as what led to them. Want to know what he learned by going to an integrated high school in the 1950s—and how that shaped this leader? To be in the Bay Area as a young man with its vibrant arts scene of the time? Want to know what it was like to struggle with soldiers over the war in Vietnam? To work with the Black Panther Party?

Then be at BA’s side and share his thinking as he fights to forge a vanguard out of that whole wave of struggle that was the 1960s. Why did he struggle with the Weather Underground over strategy—and what happened? What did he learn about the possibility of a whole new society on his trips to revolutionary China when Mao was alive... and why did he feel compelled to struggle with the Chinese revolutionaries?

Learn about the repression he faced—how he approached that, and how he worked with others to fight it, and how he also approached and handled the personal costs and sacrifices that entailed. See and think about how he confronts the terrible reactionary decades of the ’80s and ’90s, when the inspiring first wave of revolutions, especially in China, had been clearly defeated and most people lost hope. Begin to learn about what has been forged as the new communism through this whole process.

Find out, in short, who BA is and what went into making him the most important political thinker and leader on the planet today.

Really—can you afford NOT to read this book, whether for the first time or the fifth? I helped edit the book, I’ve read it any number of times, and I’m enjoying it—and learning as much—right now, as the first time.

Get to know BA

Listen
to Bob Avakian
read the first six chapters from his memoir

Read
excerpts from
the memoir

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the book from
Insight-Press.com

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

Get Into BA »

 

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/652/a-beautiful-rising-2-en.html

A Beautiful Rising

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: Tens and tens of thousands of people—in the U.S. and across the world—have poured into the streets these past several weeks to draw a clear line: For centuries, and with intensifying horror today, the rulers of America have regarded the humanity of Black people as counting for nothing. Now, in the face of the truly cruel and heartless police murder of George Floyd, people have said NO MORE! They have defiantly asserted that Black lives do and must matter, and this has included a growing section of white people who have denounced white silence as violence. Demonstrations have built around the world, including in places like London and other cities in the UK, where people linked this to other victims of police murder and targeted their anger at symbols of white supremacy and colonialism like statues of slave traders.

The mass outpourings defied bloody police repression, mass beatings, arrests, and violence—in Buffalo, New York City, Louisville, Los Angeles, and other places. After Trump threatened to bring in the military on June 2, people rose in even greater numbers and determination. In fact, Trump and the whole regime he heads and the fascist movement he leads and mobilizes have made clear their antagonism and determination to suppress this beautiful and righteous outpouring. In that light, the actions that are being called by Refuse Fascism are very important and need to grow—with FUCK TRUMP! resounding as a rally cry and choruses of Trump/Pence Out NOW! And the efforts of revolutionaries needs to redouble in “announcing ourselves and making ourselves known to the world,” manifesting Revolution—Nothing Less! and oriented to working towards this at the soonest possible time—and to attract and organize new forces into the revolution.

This page is frequently updated with reports and pictures from the continuing uprising, including from revolutionaries. Check back here often.

July 3, 2020

Native Americans Protest Trump Rally Held on Stolen Land

On July 3, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Trump held another rally to spread fascism, white supremacy, and COVID-19. Trump’s speech was a fascist call to arms against all those who have been taking to the streets against police murder of Black people and righteously taking down statues and symbols of white supremacy, the Confederacy, and colonial oppression—and against anyone opposing this regime.

But this did not go unopposed. Native American protesters blocked the highway leading to the rally site—protesting how this ugly rally, beneath Mt. Rushmore, was being held on land sacred to the Lakota and other Native peoples. They protested how this land had been stolen by the U.S. government. They protested the whole history of stolen land and the systematic and genocidal oppression of Native Americans. At the rally’s height, protesters numbered around 200. The protesters were mainly Native Americans of different tribes and others also joined.

Read more


Native American protesters blocked the highway leading to the Trump July 3rd rally site. They protested how this land, sacred to Lakota Sioux, had been stolen by the U.S. government and the systematic and genocidal oppression of Native Americans. (Photo: twitter.com/EEBormett)


June 29, 2020

Uniting in Struggle, Organizing for Revolution

Beautiful Rising in Santa Ana—Joyous, Internationalist, Revolutionary

The sight of dozens of mainly Latino people marching through downtown Santa Ana, California, shouting “Black Lives Matter!” on Saturday afternoon, June 27, was absolutely beautiful. A unity march brought together the fight for Black Lives with the demand “No more kids in cages!” and also merged powerfully for a short time with a protest against the occupation of Palestine. It was initiated by a Latina from the area who had never led a protest before and reached out to the Revolution Club and other groups to take this up with her. The collectivity of groups and individuals that led this together was part of the beauty and power of it, and the large Revolution—Nothing Less! banner became the symbol of unity of the march and the speak-out afterwards.

Read more


“We are the revcoms / the mighty, mighty revcoms”


June 22, 2020

A Beautiful Rising Continues, as Trump Speaks in Tulsa –

Revcoms Join Refuse Fascism in Saying Goddamn to Donald Trump and His Fascist Regime, Bringing Forth Revolution


June 20, Refuse Fascism outside the fascist Trump rally in Tulsa.

Defiant protests around the country continued on Saturday, June 20, many called by Refuse Fascism. The day before, Trump had threatened to viciously come down on anyone coming to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to protest the fascist rally he was holding there. But as an ugly, reactionary crowd attended Trump’s rally, there was righteous and defiant protest outside the arena, capturing the world’s attention and grabbing the split-screen.

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Ugly Trump Rally Met by A Beautiful Day in Tulsa: The Crossroads America Faces – The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go, NOW!

Yesterday in Tulsa was a beautiful day! People from all walks of life and different backgrounds, came into the streets to repudiate Trump's white supremacist fascist America and his attempts to threaten protests & Black people. Hope and an atmosphere of liberation filled the air, in stark contrast to the hundreds of racists camping out in Tulsa the night before.

Throughout the day, people were being told to not go down to oppose this rally, that a “race riot” would ensue – but people, especially young people did not let themselves be cowed by Trump’s repressive threats earlier that day and found their courage and conviction.

Emma Kaplan from Refuse Fascism interviewed on MSNBC by reporter Cal Perry.


June 20 Protests: Selections from @TheRevcom Tweets

Tulsa, Oklahoma

New York City

Chicago

Los Angeles

Stay tuned for more reports...

 


June 19, 2020

Juneteenth—a Righteous Anniversary and Celebration, Even More at This Moment...

June 19 – Tens of thousands of people across the country took to the streets on Juneteenth, the day on which the emancipation of Black people from slavery is celebrated. The protests and celebrations on Juneteenth were a righteous continuation of the weeks of demonstrations in thousands of cities against the police murder of George Floyd and countless other Black people who have been brutalized and killed by the police.

Read more



In Richmond, Virginia people torn down statues of the Confederate Gen. Williams Carter Wickham, and former Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Above: the statue of Jefferson Davis.

Righteous Toppling of Statues: Slave Owners, Confederate Generals, Imperialist Colonizers, Genocidal "Heroes," and More....

As protests continue across the U.S. and all over the world against police murder and racism, the people are taking righteous action to topple statues of slave owners, colonial oppressors, imperialist rulers and other enforcers of systematic, racist, oppression.

Read more


June 15, 2020

 

From RefuseFascism.org


June 15, 2020


June 14, 2020

Atlanta: Police Murder a Black Man—AGAIN! People Rise Up to Say NO MORE!


Atlanta Protesters block University Avenue by Wendy's where Rayshard Brooks, 27, was shot and killed by Atlanta police, June 12. Photo: AP

It’s happened again. AGAIN! This time in Atlanta, the life of a young Black man was snuffed out for no reason. Watch the videos—yet again—of this murder by the pigs.

Rayshard Brooks was 27 years old, father of three girls ages 1, 2, and 8, and a 13-year-old stepson. He worked in a Mexican restaurant. At 10:23 on Friday night, Brooks was asleep in his car at a Wendy's restaurant. A cop woke him up and ordered him out of his car. Then a second cop showed up, and for 20 minutes harassed Brooks for nothing. They gave him a field alcohol test and a breathalyzer (he was barely over the legal limit). They patted him down for weapons; he had none.

Read more

Los Angeles:
Revcoms Lead March, Speak Out For Black-Latino Unity

On June 12, 300 people came together to say “Black and Brown United Against This System” in a march led by the Revcoms through downtown LA to the Central American neighborhood near MacArthur Park. Some people heard about it in various ways and came to be part of it, and others just showed up downtown looking to see if people would be in the streets and found it. Many expressed appreciation that there were people continuing to lead people to stay in the streets.

The march started with the Revcoms talking about the ways people are oppressed by this system and then taught to hate each other, and the fight needed to put an end to the oppression caused by this system, including some vision of what a new society would be like. Latino comrades spoke very frankly about how masses of immigrants, as well as Chicanos, are turned against Black people. 

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The banner says "Black and Brown United Against This System"

 

Chicago:
Marching Through Downtown on the Two-Week Anniversary of Police Murder of George Floyd—and "Growing" the Protest Right on the Spot

When the mayor finally reopened downtown last Monday, we expected someone or some group would call a protest. When no one had by Wednesday, the Revolution Club (together with some new friends we have an online chat group with) concluded that we should call on people from all over the city to converge on downtown Saturday at 3 pm.

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Mexico City and Jalisco: Justice for George Floyd, Giovanni López and All Victims of Police Brutality!


Demonstration in the state of Jalisco, Mexico.

The following was translated by revcom.us, from Aurora Roja, the blog of the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico.

In repudiation of the murder of George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis, United States, and the murder of Giovanni López by the police of Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos, state of Jalisco, Mexico, more than a hundred people demonstrated at the U.S. embassy in Mexico City on June 5, 2020.

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France


BA's Nothing Less! statement distributed in France.

Protests erupted in nearly every big city in France and many smaller ones on June 5 and 6 as tens of thousands of youths and others defied an official ban and police repression. In Paris, as elsewhere, two illegal demonstrations declared solidarity with the upsurge in the U.S. and honored George Floyd and Adama Traoré, a young man killed by French police under similar circumstances. Here marchers surround the U.S. embassy in Paris.

Chicago:
After a week of brutal police attacks and arrests, tens of thousands take to the streets

Thousands had already gone up against police attack and arrests; there was a 9pm curfew and the National Guard locked down the whole downtown. June 6, a massive crowd estimated at 20,000-30,000 people gathered in Union Park on Chicago's near west side—the largest protest to date. The crowd was overwhelming young people of all nationalities, races and genders. The Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism set up at a key entrance to the park. Chants led by the Revolution Club were taken up enthusiastically by the crowd. Among them: "1,2,3,4 Slavery, Genocide and War; 5,6,7,8, America was Never Great" "How do we get out of this mess? Revolution Nothing Less!"

Read more

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN:
Thousands continue to visit site where George Floyd was lynched

June 6, thousands protested at the governor's mansion in St. Paul, MN linking the murder of George Floyd to the horrendous conditions in the prisons, and the heightened horrors due to the Covid19 pandemic. Carl Dix addressed the crowd, giving people a sense of the magnitude of what the protests and uprising have accomplished and the crucial crossroads we now face...

Organizers of the protest brought the Revolution Tour up to lead chants against Trump during the march and to speak about the need to drive the fascist regime from power in the name of humanity. All day thousands continued to visit the site where George Floyd was lynched, laying flowers, shedding tears, reading the names of others murdered by police....

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June 14: A new grouping of friends of the Revolution Club in Minnesota took up the nationwide call to celebrate Trump's birthday in the streets—at the Minnesota State Capital—to demand "#TrumpPenceOutNow" and "We Say NO MORE! Revolution—Nothing Less!"

Washington, DC:
"It felt like a festival, a festival of defiance"


Washington, D.C. Photo: AP

D.C. saw the largest crowd since the upheaval began... It felt like a festival, a festival of defiance, a festival with a deep yearning for something radically different for Black people, with conviction that this "generation was not fucking taking it no more" and a real seriousness in debating the implications of what this means. The NYC Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism went out in the crowd -- People were asking: Who is Bob Avakian, what did we mean by an actual revolution, why we thought there was a chance to even win.

Read more

Protests Spread Broadly in Society »


May 30 to June 10

Cities Across the U.S.


Minneapolis – Demonstrators gathered outside the governor's mansion where victims of police brutality told of their experiences. Photo: AP.


The Revcoms in Minneapolis


Minneapolis – Police line after firing barrage of tear gas at protesters, May 30, 2020. Photo: CNN.


Refuse Fascism at protest in Minneapolis, June 6.


Revcoms at protest in Minneapolis, June 6.


Revcoms at protest in St. Paul, June 6.


Washington, D.C. – Cops attacking newsmen June 1, 2020, to clear the way for Trump's photo op.


Washington, D.C. – Tens of thousands converged on the newly named Black Lives Matter Plaza in front of the White House, now surrounded by high fences and concrete barriers. Photo: AP.


Refuse Fascism joined by Revolution Club at the protest in Washington, D.C., June 6.


Philadelphia – Thousands of protesters packed the entire area around City Hall. Photo: AP.


Detroit, Michigan – There were several protests in Detroit and the surrounding areas. Photo: AP.


Chicago – 20,000 people protested, shutting down a portion of Lake Shore Drive.


Atlanta – Atlanta Police detain demonstrators protesting, Saturday, May 30, 2020. The protest started peacefully earlier in the day before demonstrators clashed with police.


Starkville, Mississippi – Thousands, many of them Mississippi State University students, protested on the MSU campus.


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - A "lie-in" outside the Allegheny County Jail on June 4, to protest the murder of George Floyd. Photo: AP.


New Orleans – Thousands gather in Jackson Square. Photo: AP.


New York City – There were at least two dozen protests across the city, with many going past curfew and including a march across the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo: AP.


Vidor, Texas - 200 rallied in this city that in the past had been a stronghold of the KKK.


Berkeley, CA - Thousands flooded the streets, parks and intersections


Refuse Fascism at protest in San Francisco, June 6.


San Francisco, CA - Refuse Fascism Contingent in the protest where thousands marched across the Golden Gate Bridge.


Los Angeles – Thousands demonstrated in many areas of Los Angeles, with reports of at least 30 separate protests.


Louisville – Thousands gathered at Metro Hall with Breonna Taylor's mother, on what would have been Breonna's 27th birthday. Photo: AP.


Revcoms at protest in Los Angeles, June 6.


On June 5 hundreds of medical professionals in St. Louis lined the street outside the Barnes-Jewish Hospital and stood silently for 8 minutes, 46 seconds, to honor George Floyd. Photo: AP.


Maui, Hawai'i, May 31 – about 300 people held a sunset "paddle out for George Floyd". Surfers held Paddle Out for George Floyd events in Galveston, TX; Malibu, CA; Dakar, Senegal; Biarritz, France, and other locations. Paddle outs are a Hawaiian tradition used to honor surfers who have died with groups paddling out and sitting together on surfboards.


Alabama – Protests were held in Montgomery as well as Birmingham and smaller cities. Photo: AP.

Protests Spread Broadly in Society


Professional soccer player in England, Jadon Sancho, with Justice for George Floyd shirt, May 31


NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, with his car, June 10. Photo: AP


At 9 a.m. on June 9, ports across the U.S. West Coast ground to a halt as longshore workers stopped work to mourn the death of George Floyd. Photo: AP


Singer, Fiona Apple protesting in Santa Monica, CA.


Actor, Michael B. Jordan at protest in Beverly Hills, CA, June 6.


Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner and her husband, singer Joe Jonas, at a Black Lives Matter protest in Los Angeles, CA


A number of professional tennis players have spoken out against the murder of George Floyd, including Coco Gauff who posted a new Tik Tok video, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, she asks, "Am I next?" Some players launched a "Rackets Down, Hands Up" campaign.


500 Pittsburgh Public Schools teachers, staff march to protest George Floyd's death, June 8.


In Richmond, Virginia, protesters pulled down a century-old statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in the former capital of the Confederacy.


Protestors in Bristol, UK, take down 100-year-old statue of a slave trader and dump it into the river. June 7. @carlottacorner Around Europe and in the U.S., many statues of slave traders, Confederate generals, and others have been taken down or defaced by protestors.


NBA player Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics), vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, drove 15 hours from Boston to Atlanta to join the Black Lives Matter protest, June 6. NBA player Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana Pacers) also marched in this protest.


Pulitzer Prize winner musician Wynton Marsalis organized a "HearTOGETHER: A Healing Conversation in Music and Words" on June 6, dedicated to "George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and the countless Black Lives wrongfully and tragically lost before them, and to the value and dignity of all Black Lives."


Singer Ariana Grande joined a Los Angeles protest on June 6, wearing a mask and a sign that read "Black Lives Matter."


Sikh-Americans join a Black Lives Matter rally in Easton, PA, June 7. Michael-Kubel-Photography.


A group with Hmong Americans for Black Lives marches into a rally for George Floyd at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, May 31. One protester, Youa Vang lost her son, 19-year-old Fong Lee, shot and killed by a Minneapolis cop in 2006 – an all white jury let the cop go free.


Hundreds of skateboarders "hill bombed" at a Black Lives Matter protest on Twin Peaks, in San Francisco, June 6.


Relatives of Jonathon Tubby, a Native American man killed by a Green Bay cop in 2018, speak out against police murder, June 7


Alameda County public defender Brendon Woods, center, takes part in a rally to support the Black Lives Matter in Oakland, CA, June 8. Other public defense attorneys around the San Francisco Bay Area marched to courthouses with Black Lives Matter shirts.

Latin America


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Hundreds protested up against police tear gas. Photo: AP.


Kingston, Jamaica - Several hundred protested outside the U.S. Embassy.


Mexico City, Mexico – Hundreds of people gathered at a protest/vigil in Mexico City. Sign reads, "Your Struggle is My Struggle". Photo: AP.

Europe


Paris, France – 1,000s defied a government's ban and went up against riot police at the U.S. Embassy


Berlin, Germany – 20,000+ demonstrated (above), and tens of thousands protested in other cities in Germany


Oslo, Norway – Thousands of protesters outside Parliament building


Genoa, Italy – A crowd of about 1,000 protested.


London, UK - Tens of thousands protested in Parliament Square and clashed with the police. Photo: AP.

Asia – Pacific


Sydney, Australia – Protesters also spoke out against racism and police brutality against the Aboriginal people.


Seoul, South Korea – Dozens gathered, some with "can't breathe" masks and signs like "George Floyd Rest in Peace" and "Koreans for Black Lives Matter." Photo: AP.


Auckland, New Zealand - Protesters also spoke out against police brutality of the Māori people. Photo: AP.


Tokyo, Japan - Hundreds of people of various nationalities took to the streets. Photo: AP.

Africa


Nairobi, Kenya – Mural of George Floyd. Haki is Swahili for Justice


Pretoria, South Africa – Re-enacting the murder of George Floyd in front of the U.S. embassy. Photo: AP.


Dakar, Senegal – Protesters in front of African Renaissance Monument – the sign in French reads, "Too Much is Too Much". Photo: AP.

 

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/654/beautiful-rising-in-santa-ana-joyous-internationalist-revolutionary-en.html

Uniting in Struggle, Organizing for Revolution

Beautiful Rising in Santa Ana—Joyous, Internationalist, Revolutionary

| revcom.us

 

The sight of dozens of mainly Latino people marching through downtown Santa Ana, California, shouting “Black Lives Matter!” on Saturday afternoon, June 27, was absolutely beautiful. A unity march brought together the fight for Black Lives with the demand “No more kids in cages!” and also merged powerfully for a short time with a protest against the occupation of Palestine. It was initiated by a Latina from the area who had never led a protest before and reached out to the Revolution Club and other groups to take this up with her. The collectivity of groups and individuals that led this together was part of the beauty and power of it, and the large Revolution—Nothing Less! banner became the symbol of unity of the march and the speak-out afterwards.

The opening rally and march involved various groups putting forth different programs in an overall spirit of unity and appreciation including the Revolution Club, Free R Kids that has been leading protests all over the LA Region, Refuse Fascism, and a group of Brown Berets who drove all the way from Colorado. When it arrived at the Palestinian rally, both protests were really strengthened by this coming together, the unity was very real, people talking about their own experiences of oppression and about what they have learned about each other’s oppression and their struggles for liberation. There was a real indictment of America that was part of the Palestinian rally that strengthened that sentiment among everyone.

When the march arrived back at the park where it started, the Revolution—Nothing Less! banner was the backdrop to the rally and speak-out, where several people from organizations spoke as well as others in the crowd who wanted to talk. The people who spoke from Free R Kids made important contributions to the character of the whole thing. The founder of it talked about how people come here from all over the world because of what the U.S. does to their countries, and he talked about how we have to stand up for all children, Black, Brown, white, they are all our children. He said the R in the name is for revolution, but not one that tears everything down because you need a plan of what to do after that, instead it is a revolution of changing minds.

A speaker from the same group told the story of how she was jailed and separated from her mother by the immigration authorities when she was four years old. It was a heart-wrenching speech filled with determination to do everything possible not to let this happen to anyone else. An organizer who comes out of the street life brought up two really young guys from one of the neighborhoods in Santa Ana to point out they are part of this, and a bit later an older guy who lives nearby and was hearing the protest came over to say he was from a different and opposed neighborhood of those young guys but now we are coming together.

Michelle spoke again for the Revolution Club, indicting America and calling for people to burn the flag with the Revolution Club on July 4. She talked about how a new society is necessary and possible, and how there IS a plan for that, we have the leadership of Bob Avakian and the Constitution he’s written for a new socialist republic in North America. She gave people a sense of who this leader is and called on people to get with this, giving recognition to people there who had already put on the Revolution—Nothing Less! T-shirt during the march, including two young women who had come up to stand with her while she spoke.

Towards the end of the rally, Chantelle from Refuse Fascism spoke and made a really important contribution to the whole thing, bringing to life the need to stay in the streets and drive the fascist regime from power. The rally ended with a poem by the woman who had initiated all of this, conveying her love of the people for whom she is fighting.

When the rally was over, the Revolution Club told everyone that anyone who wanted to talk and learn more about the revolution could join the little meet-up happening right then. About seven new people stuck around to do that and three who have already started to get involved before that day. Some others who had also put on the T-shirts earlier had to leave, but gave a way to stay in contact. In this gathering, people went around in a circle and introduced themselves and said something about why they were there at that protest and why they were there in this revolution gathering. Several members of the Revolution Club were part of doing that as well, with a diversity of experience and thinking.

Just that process of going around and people meeting and hearing from each other in this kind of way was pretty precious. People were able to get a sense of a movement for revolution and stepping into that with other people. After that round of things, we told everyone about beginning plans for an anti-July 4th protest and celebration, and read quote 1:31 from BAsics to give people an introduction to Bob Avakian. Then we read out loud the “No More” flyer which gives people a way to know what to do now to start working on making revolution. And then we broke up the formal gathering and people talked with each other in smaller groupings for a while.

Without trying to get into everything, one thing that stood out from these conversations is how many people really are looking for what can put an end to oppression, even while they are working on many things short of revolution. A guy with a “Defund the Police” sign said he is generally more drawn to anarchism, but he is really happy to have found an organized group with a plan for how to make fundamental change. A guy who had joined from the Palestinian rally said he has been protesting for Palestine as long as he can remember, together with his parents, and it was refreshing to find a group that doesn’t ultimately lead people back to politicians and voting. Two women who came together said they have been talking about revolution and one said she thinks it will take war to actually put an end to this system. And they all had thoughtful questions about things and listened to each other and want to work together on the anti-4th celebration.

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.

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

Order the book HERE
Download the book in ePub format HERE

 

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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/654/a-beautiful-rising-confronts-ugly-assaults-en.html

A Beautiful Rising Confronts Ugly Assaults from Trump/Pence Fascist Regime and Its Nazi, White Supremacist Supporters

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: As we go to press, fascist-in-chief Trump has reportedly deleted a tweet, which he earlier had posted, with a video from The Villages, a retirement community in Florida, in which a man driving a golf cart with Trump campaign posters is seen chanting “white power.” Trump thanked the “great people” shown in the video, referring to the community’s Trump supporters seen arguing with anti-Trump protesters. Trump’s continued and consistent backing is the context and driving impetus of Nazi, white supremacist thugs who have taken to terrorizing those righteously protesting police murder, the subject of this article.

Opposed sides are squaring off more and more sharply in this country.

On one side, millions of people have risen up with courage and determination to oppose and repudiate what has been a pillar of “America” from its foundation to the present day: the violent oppression and subjugation of Black people, what revcom.us has covered as the Beautiful Rising. However people understand this oppression, they are insisting that it must go—the police brutality, murders and cover-ups; the Confederate statues; the daily racist incidents; the rampant and blatant inequality throughout society—all of it is intolerable. And they are in many ways so far persevering in this demand.

In response, the leader of this fascist Trump/Pence regime is signaling and mobilizing the hard core of his racist, xenophobic, misogynist, and anti-science base to counterattack. Trump is describing the protesters as “terrorists” and “thugs” who are a threat to “our” way of life. He has labeled the uprising an antifa plot. He has openly signaled that his people should respond violently to this, including very specific references to people having arms, warning protesters in Minneapolis that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” a phrase that originated in the 1960s with a white supremacist police chief.

Along with the incredibly horrific and repressive violence unleashed in many cities by the official police forces against the protesters, fascist forces are mobilizing and responding to Trump’s calls to vilify and terrorize the protesters, especially in small towns and rural areas. They include many who are heavily armed or even organized into militias, and some who are outright and open advocates of genocide, along with other people who are vulnerable to being whipped up by the ignorance and racism that saturates white American “culture.”

Here are some key examples:

Mobilized by Trump’s “Antifa” Lies

Trump has repeatedly attacked protests against police terror and murder as basically a terrorist plot by “antifa.” These attacks have been systematically spread by fascist websites and social media accounts, which have concocted rumors of protesters coming to small white towns to burn them down and loot—one of these, eventually traced back to the white supremacist, fascist Evropa group, claimed antifa would “move into residential areas” and “white” neighborhoods and “take what’s ours.” This has tapped into deep veins of racism and white supremacy especially in small-town America and caused armed white mobs to form. “Towns from Washington state to Indiana have seen armed groups begin patrolling the streets after rumors spread on social media about an antifa invasion,” reports NBC. Below are a few examples:

Going Up Against the Fascist Attacks

The intensifying mobilization of these fascist forces is extremely serious. These fascist forces on the ground are not just backward blowhards mouthing off—they are a reactionary counter-revolutionary force in formation, intent on readying for civil war, what they often see as a “race war,” with horrific consequences for humanity. They are encouraged and backed by the fascist regime heading up the world’s top-dog capitalist-imperialist power.

In the face of this real and dangerous threat, it is a wonderful thing that so many people are continuing to stand up and be in the streets across the country, including in the strongholds of these forces. It is righteous and inspiring that people have consistently refused to be either provoked or intimidated but have stood their ground with conviction and courage.

Look at what happened, for example, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when Trump flew into town for his first campaign rally. The day before, Trump had threatened a violent crackdown on anyone protesting his fascist rally. As expected, the Trump rally drew an ugly, reactionary crowd of thousands. But a righteous and defiant protest outside the arena in Tulsa against Trump and his fascist mob captured the world’s attention.8 They were joined in chorus by many others in cities across the country as people took to the streets once again demanding an end to police murder of Black people and systemic racism, and denouncing Trump and his regime.

In Tulsa and in other protests across the country during these weeks, Refuse Fascism has been right in the mix with their bright orange banners, signs, and stickers demanding “Trump/Pence OUT NOW!” And the Revolution Club and the National Tour to Organize for an ACTUAL Revolution are bringing the message of “Revolution—Nothing Less!” and spreading the word about the leadership for this actual revolution we have in Bob Avakian, BA.

In this context, while the overall uprising against police murder and white supremacy needs to continue and grow, especially in the face of these vicious counterattacks, the following orientation from Bob Avakian, from Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, assumes heightened importance as a very urgently needed orientation:

If this regime is able to further consolidate its power and more fully implement its horrific agenda, the prospects for revolution could then be greatly set back and the conscious revolutionary forces decimated—or completely destroyed—at least for a time. On the other hand, if a mass movement is built to drive out this regime, and if the revolutionaries work to build this movement from the perspective of how it relates to the revolution that is needed as the fundamental solution, then the situation in society (and the world) will become much more favorable for the fight against injustice and oppression, and crucial advances can be made toward the overthrow of the whole system. To a significant degree now, the conflict between the sections of society upholding this fascism and those opposing it, from various different perspectives, is shaping the terrain on which the struggle for revolution must be carried out; this conflict is likely to intensify, and could erupt further in violent confrontation, and in any case it would be a significant factor in the context of an all-out struggle between revolution and counter-revolution.


1. “3 North Carolina police officers fired after conversation about 'slaughtering' Black people and the need for a second Civil War,” The Hill, June 24, 2020 [back]

2. “Bikers And Second Amendment Groups Crashed A Black Lives Matter Protest In A Small Town And Violence Broke Out,” BuzzFeed News, June 15, 2020  [back]

3. “Former Long Beach Officers Write Death Threats Against BLM Activist Shaun King,” NBC Los Angeles, June 25, 2020  [back]

4. “Man Is Shot at Protest Over Statue of New Mexico’s Conquistador,” New York Times, June 15, 2020  [back]

5. “In Klamath Falls, Oregon, victory declared over antifa, which never showed up,” NBC News, June 6, 2020 [back]

6. “When Antifa Hysteria Sweeps America,” Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, June 17,2020  [back]

7. Kristof  [back]

8. “A Beautiful Rising,” Revcom, updated June 29, 2020  [back]


There have been a rash of vehicular assaults on protesters, as here in Denver Coloado.


An armed man watches over a memorial service for George Floyd at Person Field in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, June 7. (Photo: AP)


In protests across the country RefuseFascism demanded “Trump/Pence OUT NOW!” The Revolution Club and the National Tour to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution bought the message “Revolution—Nothing Less!” and the leadership of Bob Avakian, BA, for this actual revolution.

 

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/649/rev-club-corner-en.html

Revolution Club Corner

| revcom.us

 

Note to readers: In this regular feature on our website, Revolution Club Corner, we share letters, correspondence, and reflections from members of the Revolution Clubs on different questions, experiences, events, or discussions. These are being shared with the aim to open up the scientific percolation, to invite and involve people who come to revcom.us in a process of working together to grapple with, and contribute to solving, the problems of the revolution. These are not intended to be “full or final” on any subject but instead to further stimulate thought, and some things may be shared that reflect different “takes” or assessments on the same things, but are nevertheless important contributions to the overall process of getting to a scientific understanding.

 

***

Washington, D.C., July 4: Burning the Flags Right Near the White House

From a member of the Revolution Club, NYC, and a member of Refuse Fascism:

In Washington, DC, we hosted two separate actions—one, a rally and speak-out with Refuse Fascism (RF) on Black Lives Matter Plaza and another, the #flagburningchallenge as close to the White House as we could get on the same street. The rally/speak-out portion was hosted by people from RF, who both spoke about the urgent need to drive Trump and Pence out of office, while calling out the hypocrisy of the celebration of this country, echoing the RF July 4th statement. The speak-out design was an 8 ft x 12 ft American flag laid on the ground with a microphone on top. People enthusiastically danced over the flag—there was a speaker/PA system so some music—e.g., "F Donald Trump," and "This Is America"—was played between speakers to build an audience and encourage participation, and about a dozen people spoke, while 60-100 people gathered throughout the 3-hour long program.

Read more


Burning the flag in Washington, D.C., July 4th, 2020.

Most of what was shared was bitterness towards the country & the President, the lack of "real” accountability and action by the government, corporations, and other leaders—the insufficiency of performative activism. For example, one woman on the mic pointed out that all these cities now have BLM murals on the ground but offer no real solution to eradicate oppression of Black people in their communities. Another was upset that her dad grew up as a sharecropper and she works in social services—both giving so much of themselves to this country, but she'll never afford to own property. And yet another, a 11-year-old Black kid who rapped about learning to deal with police. Some of it was heavy, some more joyful moments, and overall—standing on the flag was established as optional, but majority expressed feeling liberated, and were happy to do so. In one instance someone who didn't want to speak while standing on the flag addressed the crowd to the side. Other people as they walked by stopped to dance to the music or wipe their feet on the flag. During the RF demo, Jamel from the Revolution Club came up to agitate for the need to drive out Trump and Pence from the perspective of making a revolution to end the oppression of Black and Brown people—and to take up the #flagburningchallenge today as part of properly displaying an American flag—and getting with the revolution.

Later in the evening at around 7:30 pm, Jamel addressed the crowd that had formed in prep for the #flagburningchallenge—some were just hanging around from the RF event, and others were there to hear Jamel and watched as he demo'd a mini flag burn at the end of his agitation. He talked about the crossroads we face with a fascist white supremacist at the helm, Mt. Rushmore, the diverse people who have taken up BLM, the exposure of the hypocrisy of this flag and the celebration of July 4th—and the need to get with the movement for revolution . As Jamel spoke, the crowd grew larger and media attention was significant.

We led the crowd of about 50 people in a small march from BLM Plaza over closer to the White House. Everyone following our group was given the fold and tear flyers, ready to fold and burn the half with the American flag. We lined up in two single file lines, and people pulled out their lighters. And throughout there were the chants of "1,2,3,4 slavery, genocide and war, 5,6,7,8, America was never great!" and "overthrow this f’ing system" as people burned flags. This was quickly met with resistance from a group of young Black men with “GOOD” written on their T-shirts, who had music set up at the gate in front of the White House. As the group marched up chanting—"1,2, 3,4 slavery genocide and war, 5,6,7, 8, America was never great”—you could hear the DJ say, “We are because of the same for the same thing."


Washington, D.C., preparing to burn little flags near the White House, July 4, 2020.

As the group approached the White House fence and lined up ready to light the flags—you can see this group quickly moved in to stop what was happening. They specifically targeted our group, with Jamel at the center. We called for people to form a circle around Jamel and protected him from attack by this group who claimed we shouldn't "give the media what they want." This other group acted like pigs themselves, stomping out the fires and snatching papers out of our hands, claiming that “we didn't have any Black people" (to us, both Black). They pushed and shoved us and others, and one point nearly knocking a young Black woman over. People were upset by this, and we made flag burning and their behavior a mass question, called on people to do what they know is right—and torch that rag. People continued to burn their fold and tears and small flags we distributed in groups and circles everywhere near the front fence. Despite the contention building, and once all 300 flag flyers we distributed were burned, folks were eager to also burn the 8' x 12' flag that was left behind where the rally and speak out were happening.

Organizers of the disruptive group came up to try to talk or negotiate to stop or move us from the front of the White House. We told them to check their people—and asked them, Why are you defending the American rag? We asked them, Why are you defending this rag that flies over concentration camps and on the badges of murdering police? Why are you defending that flag? One organizer came on—and was barely able to get a word in edgewise without talking down to, especially the women, in the crowd and in our group. "You should willingly silence yourself," he told one of the young women who volunteers with RF Yonkers. We told the GOOD organizer to explain why and handed him the megaphone.... There were arguments breaking out everywhere at a certain point not just about flag burning, but where this movement needed to go, and what kind of movement it was actually going to take—and it wasn't just a matter of just listening to Black people. What kind of a world are you fighting for?

And so folks grabbed the BIG ASS flag, brought it to the center of action, and burned that too. which was majorly covered in press and media—CNN, BallerAlert, The Hill, etc. DC Police watched as it all went down from a relatively close perimeter but didn't interfere. Before torching the big flag—we agitated to the crowd again with Joey Johnson's call—talked about Supreme Court case Texas v. Johnson—and we raised our fists and chanted the “1, 2,3 4...” chant.


Flag burning July 4th not too far from the White House, Washington D.C.

Overall it was a spirited 6-hour day of protest—RF and Revolution Club actions included. And most of it was a full expression of bitterness towards Trump, this country and the system that holds Black and Brown people down in all sections of society. Where there was contention with the flag—either for it being on the ground, or set aflame by dozens, that was met with strong reaction from organizers and real opposition that didn't back down. People were courageous and steadfast in both actions—defending the movement for revolution, for driving Trump and Pence out of office, and redefining the July 4th holiday through protest.

The core of volunteers from RF Yonkers was very attracted to the movement for revolution—flag burning and July 4th—and are seeing the need for driving out Trump and Pence as part of making a revolution to bring into being a society that could ensure that Black lives matter. This collectivity has also been forged through struggle and contention—as we have been out in the streets together over the past couple of weeks in DC and NYC—bringing “Trump Pence Out Now” to BLM protests with contention. Gonna leave this here for now.


~~~

In talking with revcom.us, Jamel of the Revolution Club put it this way: “Today, on July 4 we took up the call from Joey Johnson, the flag burning challenge in the face of the White House and in the face of Trump’s military style celebration at the White House. We expected to be met by resistance from pigs, but found it instead from some in the crowd. We righteously both challenged and invited people to be part of what it would actually take to create a world where Black lives matter. And to imagine this. And that starts with imagining the end of America and burning that rag.”

 

***

LA, July 4th: Torching the Flag at Trump's Walk of Fame Star

From a member of the Revolution Club, LA:

The protest in Hollywood was about 40 people. Besides our own people, it was mainly people we directly organized to come. There was media who came to cover the press conference with Joey Johnson and the protest, including Reuters and a photographer for the Los Angeles Times. There wasn’t a lot of actual coverage, though. ABC showed some footage of the flag-burning and there was an article in a San Diego newspaper. A local TV station (KCAL) featured Jamel in DC. The LA Times ran a 4th of July article that didn’t talk about the Hollywood protest (it mentioned the Olvera Street protest, which it said was 400 people), but included a good picture (a Revolution Club member centered, a Revolution—Nothing Less! T-shirt visible), and a caption, “Protesters march in Hollywood in the ‘Demonstrate How to Dishonor the American Flag’ event put on by the Revolution Club. The group burned a flag at President Trump’s Walk of Fame star.” There weren’t other trends there or groups of fascists. And it seems we were censored by the main group that popularizes protests in the city (inthistogetherla did not list our protest), though there were individuals and smaller groups posting it.

Read more


Burning the flag in Los Angeles.

Joey Johnson and others spoke at Sunset/Cahuenga, and we marched to the star and burned three flags (American flag, Confederate flag, and the pro-pig “blue lives matter” flag). Then, since there was more freedom, we burned a second American flag and invited others up to disrespect the flag or burn a couple smaller ones there. Mainly people were observing, though a woman in a Revolution—Nothing Less! shirt came up to burn a flag and said something like “fuck U.S. imperialism.” Joey said a couple things and we wrapped up pretty quickly.

A number of people who were at the protest came to MacArthur Park afterwards, and other people who didn’t go to the protest or missed it also came to the park. In addition to our people at the park, there were about 25 people. There was a nice display of the American Crimes from the revcom.us series and a good speech by Noche, then a speak-out element of people talking about why they were there/why they wanted to burn the flag, and we played two BA clips from the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! speech and the Tulsa massacre video from the RNL Show—Revolution, Nothing Less! There were lots of small-group and one-on-one discussions happening in a good way. Then there were some people that hadn’t been part of the action earlier and wanted to burn the flag and we gathered people up to do that. A couple who heard about it on the Michael Slate Show decided to burn the husband’s American flag-themed shoes and did so.


Revolution Club, Los Angeles, July 4th, 2020.

I think the accumulating aspect of the day was very significant. There were people who had worked with us to make the flag-burning happen that really took responsibility and saw that through. There were people who showed up to be part of the day, some in Revolution—Nothing Less! T-shirts. There were people we met in Santa Ana who came to be part of the protest and the MacArthur Park gathering. A group of young women at the park, who have been following us on social media and were excited to be with us in person, went through the 5-2-6, and two of them put on T-shirts.

 

***

Chicago, July 4: "This flag stands for imperialism, this flag stands for the genocide of Black and Brown people"

From a member of the Revolution Club, Chicago:

The Revolution Club, Chicago joined Refuse Fascism’s July 4 protest held in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. Logan Square is on the northwest side of Chicago. The area where the protest was held is a predominantly white and middle class area filled with millennials, many with small children. A bit farther west, the neighborhood includes lots of Latinos.

Club members coming up from the South Side remarked at how few American flags were flying on July 4th in the neighborhood and how many “Black Lives Matter” signs were posted in windows of the houses and flats in the Logan Square area.

Read more


The Revolution Club Chicago and Refuse Fascism marching through Logan Square, July 4, 2020.

Refuse Fascism posters and posters from the Revcoms (Tulsa, BA’s “Nothing Less!” and RNL Show promotionals) were put up all over the area in the days before. By the time of the march, most had been systematically removed. As the rally gathered, a well-dressed white woman wearing gold jewelry came up to one of the Refuse Fascism (RF) organizers and showed her photos of a “crazy guy who was cutting down all your posters.” She apologized that she was on her way to lunch with her visiting sister so she couldn’t stay but hoped we had a great protest.

Before the rally began, a group of drummers from Degenerate Artists Against Fascism and RF performed as a call to people in the area to join the protest. About 50 people, predominantly white and young, including people from the neighborhood, gathered at the rally site, enjoying the music.

Before the rally, Club members distributed their leaflet calling on youth caught up in killing and dying on the streets of Chicago to lift their sights and get into the revolution. The people in the crowd were generally receptive to this and some said they could consider joining the protest the next weekend in the South Side neighborhoods where the violence is raging. One young woman said, “I have been with you all at a number of protests and I want to help with this,” giving her contact info to a Club member. A bit later in the day, a Filipino youth spoke with a Club member about this, saying what you are trying to do is really important but also really, really hard. There is nothing for these Black youths who are trapped in these horrific conditions in these neighborhoods on the South Side.

The rally was short and was MC’d by Void from the Revolution Club. One of the drummers performed his song “The Trump Regime Has Got to Go.” Lou from Refuse Fascism and Niko from the Revolution Club spoke. The rally was closed out by Paul Street leading people in taking the RF pledge.

In the midst of the rally, a young man wearing a helmet and holding an upside down American flag jumped on the “stage,” an elevated section of the monument where the rally was held. Holding a bullhorn, he proceeded to disrupt the speakers. Monitors were able to move him away from the stage and stop him from using his bullhorn so the rally could conclude. It was unclear initially where he was coming from but this became clearer as the day went on.


Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club marching through Logan Square, July 4th, 2020

After the rally, the crowd, which had grown to about 75 people, took off on a spirited march through the neighborhood. There were few people out on the streets but as the marchers passed houses, families came out on their porches to show their support, holding up their Black Live Matters signs from windows and taking photos from the sidewalks as they waited for buses. Chants of “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA,” “1, 2, 3, 4, Slavery, Genocide and War, 5, 6, 7, 8, America Was Never Great,” “No White Supremacy, Silence Is Complicity,” “Drive Out the Trump Regime,” “This System Is Outrageous, It Puts Our Kids in Cages,” “Trump/Pence Out Now” and more rang out from the march. Police on bikes followed the march. They did not interfere with the march taking the streets but they kept one lane open for traffic.

A press release sent that morning announced that the Revolution Club would be burning an American flag at the rally site at 4 pm. A news van from Channel 7 was seen circling the area around this time but did not return to cover the action. There was no press at the rally, march, or flag burning.

When the marchers returned to the rally site, some culminating points were conveyed by Refuse Fascism, and the MC announced that the Revolution Club would be taking up the call issued by Joey Johnson to burn a flag. Chanting “1, 2, 3, 4, Slavery, Genocide and War, 5, 6, 7, 8, America Was Never Great!” two Club members, surrounded by a security perimeter of other Club members, set the flag aflame. The crowd cheered and many, many came in close to take photos. As it burned, Niko from the Revolution Club called out, “This flag stands for imperialism, this flag stands for the genocide of Black and Brown people.” A second flag was also burned.

 

***

NYC: Acting on the #FlagBurningChallenge at Trump Hotel and Tower, Bringing New People into the Revolution

From a member of the Revolution Club, NYC:

About 60 people took part in the #July4BurnFlag challenge called by the Revolution Club in New York City, with many burning flags of their own outside Trump Hotel in Columbus Circle and again at Trump Tower.

Carl Dix and a member of the Revolution Club spoke about the whole history of America, of why this was nothing to celebrate, and everything America stands for and what it does in the world, drawing from BA’s new statement and also doing this as part of going up against the bloated bag of fascist feces in the White House, to repudiate him and invite people to imagine a world without America, without everything it stands for and does in the world, and to make this real, people were called to not only burn this flag but to get into the revolution. Many people eagerly took up the flag-burning challenge, and I mean eager, and spoke about why they themselves felt compelled to come out. Including being sickened by video after video of police murder, disgust at what the U.S. does to people all over the world, and the recent murder of Vanessa Guillen, a Latina military member who was bludgeoned to death. ...

Read more

...What was notable was how many people were expressing a coming to terms with the lies that they had been told about America and how they have been inspired by what has been happening so far and are getting some hope that things could be different and seeing things that they never thought they would see happen—but at the same time feel that things still haven’t really changed in a fundamental way.


Burning the flag in Columbus Circle, New York City. Photo: AP

One young man expressed that he felt weird going to celebrate the 4th of July, but he couldn’t really articulate it—when he came to the protest he said, wow, this was exactly how I was feeling.

And people spoke to how they have been heartened by people standing up against all of this, and inspired by people together to indict all the 5 STOPS and the need for unity. We spoke about and united about the deep desires that people have to be rid of this and called on people to go deeper; what people need now to put an end to this is science and leadership and what those things mean—and what we have in BA, who has done over 50 years of work in analyzing where this white supremacy came from and how it could be gotten rid of, and to think about what this means that we have a leader like this. And then called on people to act on that desire to see this ended by becoming a member of the Revolution Club to act now to organize thousands into this movement for revolution. We read the Points of Attention and called on people if they agreed with these points to come to the front and get a Revolution—Nothing Less T-shirt. About seven new people did—including people who have been working with the club and reading BAsics.

And then we marched to Trump Tower with great ferocity, hands clapping and chanting “1, 2, 3, 4, Slavery Genocide and War, 5, 6,7 ,8, America Was Never Great! and Revolution—Nothing Less.”


Revolution Club, NYC, burning the flag in front of Trump Tower, July 4th, 2020.

It was intense, beautiful, and moving. And you actually felt that people were getting cohered around revolution—even while there was an unevenness in the understanding. New people took the mic and led the chants. And plans were made for an open-air revolution meeting. A small cluster of people afterwards talked together about the strategy for revolution and some new members took materials down to go to the Occupy City Hall.

 

***

Reaching for the "Power of Science" in Turbulent Times

Editors’ Note: Below are edited excerpts of wrangling and reflections from a newer member of the National Revolution Tour. They have been part of the Beautiful Rising protests, inspired by people “putting their individual interests of fear aside and actually feeling a stronger calling to fight back against these oppressors after experiencing the violent attempts at repression,” while at the same time grappling with the ugly, violent—and inhumane—repression of the police, the fascists and others.

The comrade began by recounting experiences in the recent uprising following the lynching of George Floyd:

“People took to the streets standing together to demand, ‘Black Lives Matter’ and with the heart and spirit set heavy with a determination to end the way Black people are indiscriminately dehumanized, and lynched by the police. Thousands of people had been out around the country and soon after around the world. This continues in a mass and sustained way although the demonstrations have ebbed a little. In the first few weeks there was heavy repression by use of force by the police. Rubber bullets, tear gas, batons, flash bangs. Some people were very frightened by this. I was pretty frightened by the potential physical harm. But like many people I talked to, standing beside comrades and beside strangers with a common sentiment, the sentiment of NO MORE lynchings, no more murder by police, no more institutionalized racism, standing shoulder to shoulder with people who were willing to put aside what individual risk there was to stand for something bigger I found strength. ...

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I felt the strength of righteousness—standing on the right side, and the kind of force used against us gave me more confidence in the position we took. ‘These fucking pigs.’ I have a lot of disdain. I took a lot of footage of the lines being held. Their line, armored and weaponized and ours, righteous and determined, half cowed at times with the fresh masses being very new to protests thinking that by cowering and cooperating the pigs would be nicer. With this footage you can see the kind of contempt these pigs have for us. Some are smirking, flexing, twitching, jaws clenched. Maybe some are scared. I wonder and muse and try to see if there is empathy, if the indoctrination isn’t fully set. Who might come to our side. Part of me keeps pleading with them after arrest. In my head mostly. I say a short stint out loud. ‘Do you see which side you are on? How can you live with yourself? You are shooting at, beating and arresting kids. Do you see what side you are on? Are you not human?’ My outrage is an expression of disbelief that there can be such cruelty in this world and people who carry it out. It’s a part of my feet being in many places at once.

“The protest went on in a sustained way after this. People who were interviewed by the RNL Show stated that the fear of repression wouldn’t keep them away, like I expressed above, a lot of people were feeling that same sentiment of putting their individual interests of fear aside and actually feeling a stronger calling to fight back against these oppressors after experiencing the violent attempts at repression. The lines drawn of ‘which side’ became sharper....”

The comrade went on to reflect further:

“[Reflecting on] the bulk of horrendousness and unnecessariness of ‘it all’ the question surfaces, ‘Why are there mean people in the world?’ Why is there so much ugliness? I think it’s okay to start there, with those questions however it would be wrong to sit atop all that pain and ferment in it for too long as I have before, just woe-ing. Something I have gained in my interacting with the Revolution Club and the new communism is the inclination to pursue and investigate with a purpose, to find truth, to try to locate the source and begin a process of working to change things with a new confidence and sense of direction in that undertaking. I’m not completely set or trained in this but that night I was falling into it a little, I was reminded of the tools and the way to move forward. I think about the process we are trying to involve others in, and the process I am taking up, using a scientific and materialist approach to examining reality and changing it for the better, in the interest of humanity. It’s a kind of hope and lifeline and tool that humanity really needs.

“I’m really digressing, but to round this out, early into joining up with the tour I was feeling fucked up about thinking about the opposing forces in a kind of flat way, not specifically the situation with the pigs suppressing the protests but before that, thinking about the lynchings and other manifestations of the 5 Stops like rape and people who take joy and find power in hurting others. I was initially taking it as this ‘cycle of abuse’ that is ‘nurtured’ into people, but also almost thinking about the ways these behaviors materialize as a result of ‘human nature’ and not external contradiction. That is where the ‘hopeless and defeated’ pain came from—trying to understand why there is some kind of ‘inherent cruelty’ in people. Why and how is there a world where other humans want to inflict pain on each other ‘just because.’

“It wasn’t that much of a scholarly leap to pull myself to a more reasonable and scientific approach. Partly because I was being quite a 5-year-old in my initial emotional response to the fucked-up-ness of the world. ‘Why!?’ with a big sad face. Then there was the part of me telling myself to stop being a baby & figure it out. Look at the way society has developed. What kind of necessity posed itself. With what tools did people set out to understand the world and secure the means to live and reproduce? In the past due to limited technology, understanding and preparedness there was scarcity and insecurity of the resources to live and reproduce and societal structures formed in a way. Hand to mouth, to agrarian societies, to feudalism to capitalism. This is a cheap way of putting things, I know this isn’t a thorough or super accurate analysis but as I’m trying to work through this it may fall short. Anyways, at some point humans developed better tools and technology to secure ways to reproduce the means to live. The models of scarcity are imposed on masses because of an outmoded system of capitalism-imperialism that runs on exploiting masses that can and should be done away with. It’s long, long past its time. This was a helpful and less defeatist way of approaching reality.

“I didn’t have to turn to god or sin or whatever. There is a lot of power to science. Even as I’m just learning about dialectical materialism, I kind of have a love for it. It feels like a lifeline. The point is to get better at using the tool of dialectical materialism and struggling with, inviting and empowering others to take up a process of examining reality in this way. I can relate this further to the two-part talk by BA on revcom.us under collected works/audio: “The Material Basis and the Method for Making Revolution.” He goes into the need for ideological struggle and the importance of working with the masses. He goes into the Enriched What Is To Be Done-ism 6 paragraphs. I want to write more about this tomorrow. I took a lot away from a summary of Lenin’s WITBD and relating it to the way we (Rev Club) take up both ideological struggle with the masses and the—often on my end—neglected need to get further into theory and history. Neglected due to prioritizing ‘tasks’ and trying to make revolution based on that flatness, being task oriented and lacking initiative or bowing down to spontaneity or necessity. I’m not sure which one of these is most accurate but I mean taking up some kind of 1-1 approach and feeling kind of dragged around without proper planning. With these uprisings posing urgent necessity and demand on time we have re-evaluated often in hindsight.

“Re-evaluating in hindsight or summation is good but there should be an advance in what we learn from these observations and how we act in the future. There is a balance between needing to be flexible in a quickly changing environment and needing to plan more than one or two days in advance.”

 

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Taking "Revolution—Nothing Less!" into March Demanding Justice for Andres Guardado, Killed by Police

From the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

As the powerful protests for Black lives shake society demanding an end to racist murders by police, sheriffs in Gardena, California, ruthlessly murdered 18-year-old Andres Guardado on June 18. They shot at least six bullets into him at the auto body shop where he worked as a security guard and then ripped out the security cameras at the shop. Three days later, the day after Trump’s racist, violent, fascist speech in Tulsa, Oklahoma, about 500 people took to the streets in Gardena and Compton in a powerful march and protest demanding justice for Andres.

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Andres Guardado

People and organizations came into the streets who have been part of the ongoing upsurge, and others came into the streets from the neighborhood for the first time.Some people traveled from far-out areas, full of outrage and deciding they could not sit this out. Andres’ family and friends marched together with Salvadoran flags in a contingent with a banner in Spanish saying, “Justice for Andres Guardado.” A network of people took part who have been uniting with the protests for Black lives and demanding “free our kids” from the cages this government is locking immigrants into. The organizers of the march explicitly expressed unity between Black and Brown people, and this was beautifully seen as the mainly Latino march made its way through Compton and Black people came out to watch and support, some with fists up.

As the marchers gathered at the memorial site, members of the Revolution Club spoke about the need to finally put AN END to this, not continue with cycles that keep it going, and then handed the mic to the brother of Anthony Weber who talked about his 16-year-old brother being shot in the back 16 times two years ago and said: We are people and demand to be treated as such.

The Revcoms carried a banner, “This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown,” and an enlarged quote from Bob Avakian (BA), “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....” During the march we would at times form a horizontal line behind the banner, drawing everyone’s attention to this formation in “Revolution—Nothing Less!” T-shirts, which included new people who had just joined in through the protests of the last two days. At one point we started chanting, “Trump loves cops, cops love Trump, HELL NO! THEY ALL GOTTA GO!” Not everybody caught on to this chant right away, and there was even some opposition to it, while others loved it, including a young woman hanging out of one of the cars riding along in the protest who threw her middle finger up in the rhythm of the chant. Along the march people took signs with “We Say No More! Revolution—Nothing Less!” and taped them on their cars or bodies and grabbed the posters being distributed with BA’s “Nothing Less!”statement and the history and significance of the racist violence in Tulsa and Trump’s campaign starting there. People familiar with the Revcoms in different ways were finding us there, some joining in on the spot to help get out materials. 

When the march got to the Compton sheriff’s station, the sheriffs were lined up in riot gear behind a metal fence and threatening people. Much of the youthful protest defiantly went right up to the fence, shouting and chanting in the face of the sheriffs, and Aztec dancers went to the front and danced. The father of Andres Guardado gathered his courage to speak briefly to the crowd, expressing his grief and pain and his appreciation for people being there together and the need to put a stop to this. This opened up a speak-out where four other families of people murdered by police got on the mic and told their stories, further painting a real picture of the pig nature of these murderous police.

As the rally was coming to a close, the sheriffs put their brutality and inhumanness on full display. On the other side of the building where they were also lined up in riot gear, they began shooting tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash bangs at people who were in their faces, refusing to back down. Over and over again they would shoot something and the small crowd would fall back and gather again.

At one point, a couple of young Latino guys went and stood up close directly in front of the sheriffs with their backs turned and hands behind their heads. They had already been tear-gassed and their faces were red and puffy. Some people have said that Andres was shot in the back with his hands up this way when he was killed. Some of us joined with them and gathered others to do the same and formed a line in front of the sheriffs, shouting out Andres’ name. The sheriffs decided not to keep shooting at people in this circumstance. Instead, they started circling a helicopter overhead, threatening people with more violence and arrest. As this was happening, a second standoff was occurring back on the other side of the building. These standoffs went on for about an hour. 

As they were happening, there were other groupings of people who had been part of the earlier rally gathered on the sidewalk away from the building, talking and getting organized. Those in our crew who weren’t in the middle of the standoff were able to talk to people there. A student who grew up in Compton said he wants to be part of an organization and he was attracted to the banner and asked how he could participate. From a report from a comrade: “I gave him the Tulsa statement and asked him to read the BA statement. He said I completely agree, I’m with this. He asked how can he start organizing now and I put the problem back to him that not enough people know about this revolution and its leadership, so spreading the word is an important way in going to work at that. He took a stack of flyers and we talked about the need for growing numbers of people to represent for this revolution and call on others to get organized into this revolution as part of accelerating the process of actually making revolution. We read the 5-2-6 and told him to get a shirt if he agrees, to begin to represent... He ended up buying three shirts (one for him and for his siblings).”

Lots of other important conversations were happening throughout the whole day, and some of these continued at a meeting the next day. More on that soon.


"The organizers of the march explicitly expressed unity between Black and Brown people, and this was beautifully seen as the mainly Latino march made its way through Compton and Black people came out to watch and support, some with fists up."

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Los Angeles: Snapshot on the June 20 Protest

From a member of the Revolution Club, LA:

A snapshot and few insights from today’s protest:

There were over 100 people on the march and about 140 out at the Trump star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was important that the night before, leading into the event, the Instagram account with many thousands of people added this protest to the 25 events happening in LA today. This was the only event challenging Trump’s KKKampaign rally in Tulsa. Some came off that. This action attracted people we really have to work to consolidate(!). For example, people who had just read Refuse Fascism material over the past couple of days, and the fascist description really resonated with them—they want to connect up from here on out (and want to learn more...). Or one young woman who by herself went to DC from June 6-10, who lives in a small town one hour away from LA, and who, when she and eight other friends protested Floyd’s murder in her town, were set upon by fascists with guns (she has a video of it), and was wrestling with all of it, including why the police did nothing about it. My point at the top here is there were “fresh forces” at this event who were serious about Black Lives Matter AND serious about driving Trump and fascist regime out...

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The action got framed well at the beginning, sharpening the crossroads and stakes and what Tulsa actually represented today, what this tells us about the fascists and their white supremacist genocidal program. Chantelle and Michelle MC’d and Noche spoke for the National Revolution Tour. Noche was particularly sharp on the nature of the U.S. and its history of violent white supremacy—“so don’t tell me it can’t happen here”—zeroing in on the moment we are in, which now powerfully has a NEW situation w/ mass resistance, which needs to be connected with Trump/Pence Out Now and with revolution. Noche did a call-and-response on the main slogan in BA’s “Nothing Less!” statement and invited people to study BA on revolution, and he raised, “How can you get rid of white supremacy and police murder of Black and Brown people when you have an open white supremacist and fascist in the White House and who controls the levers of power?” This first rally also included a speech from Rich Procida, from LA Progressive and Bible Study for Progressives, which was a coherent presentation on how the Trump regime is going after voting rights, rigging the elections, attacking the Constitution etc.—it concentrated an important trend in the Trump/Pence Out Now movement.

The MCs did a good job training the crowd in new chants for the march, when the rally ended and march started. There wasn’t a huge crowd out along the route, but definitely some of the stores and restaurants were open along the route, and there were people out and the march was tight and powerful. It picked up people along the way, including young Black youths on electric bikes who joined the march. There were cars following the march, people who were providing water and some food, and there with people hanging out of cars with posters. A big part of the march—most of the people—had the “#OUT NOW” Refuse Fascism sticker, which had a big impact. The Trump/Pence Out Now / RefuseFascism.org banner was held by seven people from the beginning of the rally to the end of the event.

Once the march got to the Trump star, media that had been there at the beginning and more were waiting: CNN, KTLA Channel 5, Channel 9 and KCBS 2; there were a lot of photographers, including from Getty and AFP. There was a galvanizing speak-out, with different people speaking to the murder of George Floyd and how the police murder us—“SO DON’T TALK TO ME ABOUT BLACK ON BLACK CRIME”—and people who made connections between Hitler and Trump. There was some sweet binational/bilingual singing by a woman who had a song about liars in office being no more. The videographers and photographers jumped on it when a whole bunch of people, one after the other, put OUT NOW stickers on the Trump star, which was covered up completely.

A number of these fresh new forces took up small stacks of the new Call to Act/Statement of Conscience from Refuse Fascism. The revcom.us statement about this crossroads and Tulsa was also passed out to the crowd. Some people were planning to come to Grand Park Sunday at 3 pm. During this last part there were brief speeches by the MCs on the fascist program of Trump/Pence and driving out the regime, and returning to the significance of this when Trump is in Tulsa, the site of the massacre of Black people 99 years ago. And that Refuse Fascism is in Tulsa too—challenging this fascist program with orientation of driving out.

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Chicago: Out at the Juneteenth March

From a member of the Chicago Revolution Club:

As anticipated there were all kinds of Juneteenth events all over the city. I don't yet have a full picture of them and I don't think the local media is very clear on all that happened either. The front page of the print edition of the Tribune has an awesome picture of Black women with their fists raised and huge smiles on their faces (Kente cloth masks on their chins, a big sign saying “I'm here so my kids won't have to be” and a headline “Day Like No Other”). This photo is from what was actually a pretty staid protest of hundreds early in the day that included politicians Gov. Pritzker, Tammy Duckworth, etc. It was organized by ministers. Marched from Columbus and Roosevelt into Grant Park. They had snowplows block entrances on Lake Shore Drive...

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Along King Drive and Cottage Grove early in the day there were small festivals, food giveaways and more. It was a beautiful hot summer day. Juneteenth was in the air all over. I don't know the results of other events but announcements included medical workers for BLM near the University of Chicago hospital. Car caravans from different parts of the city, a protest in Englewood that included the “Trump Resign” demand. Lots of events were planned on the West Side too.

Refuse Fascism and a few Club folks manifested at 10 am at a gathering at Union Park which was much smaller than anticipated—a few hundred people who are part of “fight for 15.” There are beautiful photos of the Refuse Fascism presence on IG. Looked great and included a few drummers. Met some people there who had marched with the Club downtown.

The Club gathered in the Loop at 2 pm anticipating that there would be throngs of people still there from the various gatherings that were supposed to culminate there. We were wrong, but a Club core practiced drilling downtown with “We are the Rev Coms, the Mighty Mighty Rev Coms” and some of us briefly joined a small protest at ICE.

We were able to do a really good orientation, stepping back to the bigger stage and looking at the situation from the perspective of being “strategic commanders.” This was really important because until then we were not in tune with the whole situation, including Trump’s ugly threats on the protests in the Tulsa and the anticipation that we might need to be poised to act on Saturday or Sunday to meet a possible counter-revolutionary assault on those standing up for Black lives and against the fascist Trump/Pence regime in Tulsa.

Around 4:30 we headed over to hook up with the protest called for 6 pm at 2400 S State. (For non-Chicagoans, this is a grassy field where Ickes Housing project used to be in the South Loop which has been transformed over the past 20 years from a site of SROs and projects into a vibrant middle class community of condos and high rise NYC like downtown or just south of downtown, apartments and other living spaces, shopping areas, etc. It is pretty interesting community, diverse and young with many people who work in medical professions—white, Black, South Asian. It is also near the downtown colleges and when the schools are open has 1000's of college students. )

Traffic was backed up for blocks and people were walking along the streets holding homemade cardboard signs heading for this gathering. When the traffic came to a halt, we decided to exit our cars and march the rest of the way. Our crew with a Revolution—Nothing Less banner chanted and marched past people eating at outside restaurants who greeted us with fists raised.

The area was covered with beautiful posters from Revcom.us (Tulsa and BA’s “Nothing Less!”) and also posters for the RNL Show.

When we got to the park around 5:30, there were only a few people there. We set up near the entrance with our banner, the sound. People (mostly 20 somethings of all nationalities, including lots and lots of white people, kids in stroller, etc., most with homemade signs) began streaming into the park. This did not stop for an hour or more. We passed out 11x17 glossy 2-sided posters from revcom together with the “No More” statement. Hundreds took fliers. It was not a much of a “stop and talk to us” group, just streams of people–although a few folks did stop at the banner including a young man who said he had marched with us before in rainbow shorts who ran with the us the whole evening, helping to carry our banner. One of the people we had met with last week (19 years old) greeted us but did not stay to run with us.

This was a fresh newly awakening crowd. Most has no idea who we were unless they had marched with us earlier in the midst of this upsurge.

People fill this “green space.” There was a rally but their sound system was not real good. Heard a little. One person did some very sharp exposure of Tulsa 1921. There were calls for CPAC (community control of police initiative that has been going on here for years and years.)

We were able to get hundreds of Refuse Fascism flyers for the Saturday protest to coincide with Trump's Tulsa speech and got them out widely while people were listening to the rally. The call to protest to coincide with Trump's speech was well received.

When the march finally poured out from the park (maybe 7:30 and an hour later than originally planned) it was huge. There were thousands—it was clearly “The Juneteenth Event” for Chicago. It was joyous and festive. People danced and drummed and chants rang out, “Say her name...,” Say his name...,” “Black Lives Matter” and more.

The Club led a wide array of chants picking up on those the crowd was doing and interspersing our own. Many joined in with “It's Time, It's Time, It's Time to get organized for an actual revolution.” People around us also joined in with “We are the Rev coms.” It was a very cool scene. An old friend and his partner joined with us for a while and helped lead chants but we were not successful in organizing on the spot. There were people around us who were “with us” in a way. Two young white women who chanted along with the “we are rev coms” held up their signs (ones we'd made that say “We say No More, We need Revolution”).

CPD was everywhere but with sort of low-key presence. Just pigs and more pigs standing along the streets in summer pig gear. When we got up to Roosevelt Road which is sort of the main opening to the downtown Loop they blocked all entrances into the heart of the city. Unlike the night of May 30 when people fought the police in the streets, this crowd while defiant was not one to push through the police lines. We got bottlenecked for a while and then the south-bound route opened up and the march continued south and returned to its starting point. Joyous, defiant and chanting, the march finally ended around 10:30 pm. You could see people heading out on all directions, mostly north into the city, and everywhere people raised signs and chanted as they departed.

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NYC: June 20 March from Union Square to Trump Tower

From a member of the Revolution Club, NYC:

There was a lot that had to do with standing up for justice going on this afternoon in Union Square. People doing art, chalking the sidewalk, making posters and painting on bed sheets the names (George Floyd, Breonna Taylor & Ahmaud Arbery especially); dozens of people riding bikes in a group decked out with Black Lives Matter signs and chanting George Floyd's name. Around 3 p.m. 150-200 people marched into the square and held a brief Black Lives Matter rally. People got on the bullhorn and called out to them not to leave because a Refuse Fascism rally that's demanding Trump/Pence Out Now is starting in a few minutes. “Stay and march with us to Trump Tower to deliver the message...” And most of the people did stay...

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When the rally got started there were 400+ people there, some from the earlier rally and others who come to be part of the Refuse Fascism rally. (A thing to note here is that people go to a Justice for George Floyd list on Instagram to find out what's happening and pick what rally they're going to go to from it. Whoever has been getting events posted on this list has to keep doing it because it does draw people out.)

The Refuse Fascism (RF) speaker and the person repping the Revolution Club did a good one-two getting things started. The RF laid out what was at stake that this inspirational upsurge in resistance that had swept the country was in the cross hairs of a fascist onslaught that aimed to crush it and shut down people's ability to stand up against any of the horrors people are forced to endure. And that to stop that from happening, we needed to drive this regime out. The Club member built on this and took it to that reality that the horrors were baked into the very fabric of the system and that to end them you needed an actual revolution. He also spoke to the leadership we have for this revolution in BA. And wound up by calling on people from whatever perspective to join with RF to drive out the regime. They both spoke to Tulsa as a concentration point in the challenge we faced and how RF had people there among the protesters saying no to Trump at the scene of his KKK rally.

After a dancer performed to “Fight The Power,” and another speaker, Carl Dix underscored a few of the points that had already been hit. He noted how determined people in Minneapolis and here in NYC were to see these horrors ended and told them, “Don't let anyone tell you that determination is just an idle youthful dream.” We can end these horrors, and to do that we have to get serious and get organized. He urged people who wanted to do that to get into the leadership we have for this revolution, to check BA's work, especially the Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution speech, and to connect with people wearing the Revolution—Nothing Less! T-shirts to get with the club. And to watch The RNL Show. And he urged people who saw how the regime was intensifying all these horrors to get with RF.

From there we did a fund pitch and gathered people up to hit the streets. By the time we were in the street, the protest seemed to have grown, maybe to as much as 700-800. The chants coming from the front of the march were pretty much the ones from RF, although given the size of the march there were other chants being done in the middle and the end of the march. The march went to the Trump Tower, where there was another rally, and from there people marched to the West Side Highway, down the highway and then came east back over to Union Square.

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LA: Getting Out the Tulsa Poster

June 20, 2020

The following is from a Revolution Club member in Los Angeles, reporting on getting out the revcom.us poster on the Tulsa massacre and other revolutionary material at the Juneteenth march.

It sounds like at the end point at Sunset near Crescent Heights, people had some pretty good experience with the posters and impact of having it on the walls, people reading them, getting bundles, and donating. One store owner saying to leave the posters on his store (people had covered his wooden storefront in the morning because they mistakenly thought it was closed down).

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We got out 600 English posters and 150 Spanish and raised $180 in donations.

A big question we heard was, "Where to from here?" One Club member said she told people they need to get into the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian and the strategy for revolution. We were consciously using the back of the 5-2-6 poster, with the article on BA being a radically different leader... and calling on people to watch the Revolution Nothing Less YouTube show. Many people took up the palm cards and really liked the BAsics quote on the back.

Many people got small stacks of the poster to get out and donated, because they didn't really know the true history of the Tulsa massacre and want others to know. Many read the whole thing posted up on walls and then got small stacks and donated.

We are summing up that we need to not just ask people to take stacks or donate, though we need to do that—but really we need to invite people into the revolution and as part of that, taking it up in a myriad of ways. There’s more to develop, including maybe interviewing some store owners about why they are making the important contribution of keeping these posters up on their wall; or the Syrian store clerk who read the poster and said it was horrific—he is from Syria and said 2 million people there have been killed by the war started by the U.S. He took a small stack to let people know the truth.

 

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LA: Revcoms Lead March, Speak Out For Black-Latino Unity

June 15, 2020

On June 12, 300 people came together to say “Black and Brown United Against This System” in a march led by the Revcoms through downtown LA to the Central American neighborhood near MacArthur Park. Some people heard about it in various ways and came to be part of it, and others just showed up downtown looking to see if people would be in the streets and found it. Many expressed appreciation that there were people continuing to lead people to stay in the streets...

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The banner says "Black and Brown United Against This System"

The march started with the Revcoms talking about the ways people are oppressed by this system and then taught to hate each other, and the fight needed to put an end to the oppression caused by this system, including some vision of what a new society would be like. Latino comrades spoke very frankly about how masses of immigrants, as well as Chicanos, are turned against Black people. 

Slowly, others began to come up to the mic, including a woman from an organization celebrating the anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia decision of the Supreme Court that legalized interracial marriage and a Latina lawyer who spoke powerfully about the terror her father and family had been subjected to by the police as she grew up and even through law school. Many other people gave moving examples of internalizing the thinking of the oppressor—and breaking free of that thinking.

At different points Noche Diaz in particular strongly brought out the goal of revolution, and the importance of the work that’s been done and the leadership being provided by Bob Avakian. He gave living examples of how things would be different in the new revolutionary society and challenged people there to be part of bringing that into being—and getting with the revolution NOW. From the sound truck came recordings of Bob Avakian, the most important revolutionary thinker and leader today, with short, hard-hitting commentaries on what’s going on. 

All different nationalities of people marched and chanted together, stopping at Rampart police station with its notorious history of brutality and corruption. Then the march entered the stretch of neighborhood where people are everywhere in what feels like an outdoor street vendor shopping plaza. Before marching in, everyone had practiced chanting in Spanish and the whole march entered chanting together, “Afroamericanos y Latinos ahora unidos en contra el sistema.” It was captivating. It was an immediate message to all those filling the sidewalks and they were stopped in their tracks, looking with wide eyes, some smiling and joining the chants.

The march ended in the center of all the vendors and took over the intersection for at least an hour with an open mic speak-out that changed something as people listened to each other. Joe Veale started it off, and when he spoke about what the U.S. has been responsible for in Central America and what it’s done to immigrants, there was applause and deep appreciation from many who had been on the march, and his comments were also translated so the primarily Spanish-speaking people joining in and along the sides could understand. 

An Asian-American man spoke passionately about how this country was built on 400 years of the oppression of Black people. He said, “We are here together, we are one, we are humanity!... We are all human and we must protect our Black community, because they have taken the pain of centuries for us and now is the time that we alleviate that pain.” A Latino man came up and spoke about the racism among Latinos, that he is not even Black but gets discriminated against for being darker-skinned and all of this has to stop. A Black man who said he lives where the rebellion of 1992 began, looked out at the crowd of marchers and all the Central American immigrants everywhere and said with a smile, “It’s been a long time coming, look at this. This looks beautiful, this was Martin Luther King’s dream, this is what he was talking about, all of us coming together, doesn’t matter what we are, all walks of life, it just looks beautiful, man, this is what LA is supposed to look like every day.”

Michelle Xai ended the rally with reading the Points of Attention for the Revolution in English and Spanish and calling on people to join the Revolution Club and get into the big questions with us of how to put an end to this oppression and how to take this struggle forward. Refuse Fascism spoke at the beginning and end of the march, urging people to demonstrate on Saturday to drive out the Trump/Pence fascist regime. 

Something of real importance was brought forward last Friday—the challenge now is to carry that forward.

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From Revolution Club, Chicago: Marching Through Downtown on the Two-Week Anniversary of Police Murder of George Floyd — and “Growing” the Protest Right on the Spot

June 15, 2020

When the mayor finally reopened downtown last Monday, we expected someone or some group would call a protest. When no one had by Wednesday, the Revolution Club (together with some new friends we have an online chat group with) concluded that we should call on people from all over the city to converge on downtown Saturday at 3 pm. We set up a Facebook event, made a flyer and posted the event on various online sites...

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Revolution Club Chicago leading a march in Downtown Chicago, June 13, 2020.

Our demands were those put forward in BA’s statement: “An End to Institutionalized Racism and Murder by Police—Nothing Less!” and “An End to Any Way People Anywhere Are Used, Abused, and Brutalized—Nothing Less!” We also put forward the demands “Trump Pence #Out Now” and “#Revolution—Nothing Less.” The text of our call was BA’s statement, which we printed on the back of our flyer and used as the text for our Facebook event.

As of Saturday morning, fewer than 20 people were signed up on Facebook as “going.” We had no idea what to expect. In a pre-protest conference call we decided no matter how big or small, what we were doing was very important and that we would work to “grow the protest” on the spot no matter what happened.

Club members got to the gathering site at Millennium Park before the start time. One young man was already waiting for us. A group of about five friends came up and offered to help set up. By the start time, there were over 100 people (a young and diverse crowd, many with homemade signs saying “Black Lives Matter” and “Justice for George Floyd”); a helicopter hovered in the sky overhead and various media were there.

The club did a short rally where club members spoke, uplifting the crowd by bringing out the importance of this upsurge and their still being in the streets and making clear that what is needed to stop this is an actual revolution and calling on people to get into Bob Avakian. A member of Refuse Fascism drew applause from the crowd, which took up the chant “Trump/Pence Out Now!” and encouraged everyone to attend Trump’s Bunker Birthday protest on Sunday [the next day].

The young man who was there at the start offered to help carry the lead banner: “This System Can’t Be Reformed! It Must Be Overthrown!” The banner led as the crowd poured into the street. Two protesters volunteered to carry a Stolen Lives banner (with photos of people killed by police). We headed toward Trump Tower with the crowd taking up the chants led by the Revolution Club: “How Do We Get Out of This Mess? Revolution, Nothing Less!” and “It’s Time, It’s Time. It’s Time to get Organized for an Actual Revolution!”. Throughout the march these chants, along with “1, 2, 3, 4. Slavery, Genocide, and War. 5, 6, 7, 8. America Was Never Great” were interspersed with “Trump/Pence Out Now!” and “Say his name ... Say her name ... “No Justice, No Peace,” and more.

While downtown is not yet fully open, the crowd swelled from people on the streets and late arrivals to the protest. The Chicago Sun Times wrote that it grew to hundreds. It rallied on the street outside Trump Tower, took off down State Street through the Loop and then took over Lakeshore Drive for 20 plus minutes.

It was covered by TV news and the Chicago Sun Times website led Sunday morning with an article titled “Revolution Club, advocates for police reform march downtown on 2-week anniversary of massive George Floyd protest” with a photo of club members in uniform.

***

Making the Most Out of Going Into the Struggle in Minneapolis

June 14, 2020

From a member of the Revolution Club, Chicago:

I was asked to go to Minneapolis last week. I took it as a duty to go and to make the most out of it. It was a great learning experience in regards to myself being a Revolutionary.

The importance of watching legendary Revolutionary leadership in action and the excitement of watching a comrade I came with step up to the plate. Seeing faces I haven’t seen a while and realizing how much I truly missed them. Having wonderful conversations as I learned from the masses. Yet there were some heartbreaking stories I have been told by people who were either themselves or had family that were hurt by crimes done by the Minneapolis police department...

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But there were successes and mistakes that were made. But learning from them scientifically to move forward to build the movement for Revolution is the real treasure.

Also try importance of the “5-2-6.” I won’t go into a deep analysis about it now, but my experience in Minneapolis after its uprising made me realize that the police cannot be reformed under capitalism. Basically there is no such thing as a “good cop.” The police refuse to call each other out for the crimes they commit. Making them just as guilty. More importantly, the police are not meant to protect and serve. The police only protect and serve the system that exploits us. That is brought forth on a deeper scientific study done by Revolutionary Leader Bob Avakian.

To quote Bob Avakian from 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 had 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.”

It also made me realize the critical importance of upholding the 6 Points of Attention and what dangers it might have if we compromise on them just a little. All members of the Revolution Club need to hold everyone accountable in a respectable fashion and using possible mistakes as learning experiences without shaming.

My final thoughts are to those people that foolishly judged me for going. Fighting for a better world is something all of us should aspire to. If you judge me for what I am, then be scientific enough to research why I am who I am. You might learn something and realize your head was up your ass all these years....

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“We Won't Be Pitted Against Each Other”: Working to Forge Unity Between Black People and Latinos in LA

June 10, 2020

From a member of the Revolution Club, Los Angeles

Two of us in the Revolution Club joined with a Latinos for Black Lives rally of maybe 50 or so mostly young people. We worked with the organizer to kick off a speak out. The organizer seemed like she hadn’t led a protest before, said she had seen a lot of fucked up things online coming from Latino people speaking about BLM, and saying some backwards shit, so she decided to act on it and call for this protest and march together to the City Hall protest, and to call for unity and to oppose the racism that she had witnessed. She shared that her family member told her that if she went out and protested, that she should not return home. So she left, really hurt but recognizing the need to be out in the streets in this moment...

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Another young woman who was holding a sign she made, with written history of the oppression of Black people on it. She spoke to the outrage of the fact that people in Central America leave their homes to come to the U.S. seeking a better life, and then powerfully brought out that Black people were kidnapped and forcefully brought to this country and was forced to build the wealth of this country. She thought more Latino people needed to be educated on this history to recognize the oppression of Black people and not be played by the backward shit that many people are caught up in. 

There were a few people who saw themselves as showing up as an ally, and the extent of it for them was letting Black people speak in this moment and thought more Latino people and others needed to come out as allies and support. That wasn't mostly where people were coming from, a lot of people were responding when I spoke about the need to go to work on the fact that there is conscious efforts to de-legitimize the protests and try to pit people against each other, and the need to actually keep coming back with an even stronger movement, with much more Latino and other people coming out and standing with people in the streets. 

When I spoke I brought out some of what has been happening in Chicago where people are being pitted against each other and all the shit I've seen on social media. People were coming up to me during the march and expressing a lot of frustration because they were seeing the same things on social media and talking about their family members saying some ugly shit about black people and not supporting the protests, and repeating a lot of what they are seeing on TV which is that these are just criminals. Some people were digging the idea of a march through MacArthur Park (a large Latino neighborhood) but we didn't make any concrete plans.* A woman was there with her 2 daughters and was in tears thinking about her family that she said were ending relationships left and right because they were getting into arguments with her and her 2 daughters, saying some ugly shit about black people. She has been defending what is happening, saying people are right to be in the streets, people are tired of being treated like animals, and she expressed a lot of anger because these questions are tearing up families, but she knew she was on the right side. I asked her how she thought we needed to work on this problem, she thought we needed to have those kinds of arguments with everyone. She said she didn’t mind losing ties with family members because she knew they had to be challenged and pick a side.

I learned a lot from what people were saying, the fact that people are forced to respond to what is happening, it cannot be ignored. One big problem, I’ve seen a lot of shit on social media saying shit like “Where were they when we needed to protest about children in cages” and calling on Latinos to, instead of being out saying BLM, they need to be in the streets “with our people.” Pitting the struggles against each other. One thing I’m still not super clear about is what Univision and Telemundo are saying about the protest, I haven't had the time to watch anything on TV and hear what they are saying. I have seen a lot of things online where people are talking about how these two networks, in particular, are spreading anti-blackness. I saw one story by Jorge Ramos where he was reporting on the attacks on the media by the police. One thing he did do, which was AWFUL and untrue, was he said the police hadn’t used force until “the looters” started the violence, and therefore, the pigs used violence on everyone including the media. As I'm sitting here writing this, Univision is airing a special called “No to racism” where they are talking about the protest and I haven't heard any backward shit so far. They haven't said anything on the looting, they are mainly focusing on the murders by police, and the brutality of the police on the protesters, and telling different stories of people who have been victims of police brutality and murder, and exploring "solutions" they had CHIRLA (Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, LA) on to talk about defunding the police and investing in communities, they had a pig talk about why the brutality from pigs keeps happening and if there could be discourse between pigs and the communities... BARF! But I haven’t seen any backwards shit against Black people. What I was told and seen a lot of was that during the more intense times of the protests, when shit was on fire, they were running out some shit calling black protesters criminals and thugs, and a lot of people in Latino communities took up that narrative and kept repeating it.

So it was important what people came together to do, and there’s some strategizing and talking the Club is doing together with some people about how to work further on the way Latino/Black people are pitted against each other. More to come soon!

 


* Since this was originally written, the Revolution Club and National Tour to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution have joined with others to call for a march this Friday at 5 pm, starting from City Hall.  [back]

***

Reflections on the First Week of the Battle...
and Reading BA

June 10, 2020

From a member of the Revolution Tour:

I wanted to talk about what I’ve been learning in terms of like talking to people and talking to some youth out on the ground...

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There was one point when a number of people protesting were getting arrested, there were a lot of youth out there who were processing what was actually happening. There was some of them who were very very afraid, who were like, “What’s going to happen to me? What’s happening right now?” and a little bit like panicked, and a bit like, “Oh my god this can’t happen to me!” But then there were other youth, who were friends with those same youth who were scared, who were like, “NO! I don’t give a fuck! They can arrest me and I don’t care! Because I want this to stop! And this is the only way that this is going to stop by us standing up to it!” So their friends are kind of like inspiring and challenging each other within that.

I talked to one youth, I asked her why did she come out here, and she was very uncorked on, like, seeing the need and seeing that the future is in her hands, and not just in her hands, but in all of these youth who are standing up. And she had gotten so tired and fed up with all of what’s happening.

Someone was telling me the other night too that they’ve been seeing all of these videos on TikTok of youth challenging their parents, like challenging their parents, they didn’t send me a link and I want to investigate more, but there’s youth who are challenging their parents saying, “I don’t care what you say, I’m going out.” So that’s really interesting, that there’s a lot of fear, but there’s also a lot of fearlessness. That they wanna go put some shit on the line and they’re seeing this is actually larger than themselves and they see that the future is their responsibility and is up to them to decide where it goes. So that was one point I was learning from people.

I am also learning that there’s a lot of anti-trump sentiment. There’s a lot of “fuck Trump!” sentiment. You say that chant out there and people are like “YEAH, FUCK TRUMP!” but what I don’t know is, do people understand that Trump went and did this whole speech in front of the White House in the rose garden while people were getting tear gassed like a few feet away, and he went to hold up that bible in front of St. John’s church. I don’t know how much people understand that this represents an actual leap to, like, a police state and calling in the military and that fundamental leap and advancing with their fascist program. I think there is a need to really lead people and bring them to understand that, about the whole regime and the need to drive it out, and the fact that people are in the streets every day and what that needs to be transformed into.

And then, also, the role of the police. I think there are some people getting swayed by the kneeling shit. “Take a knee!” (to the pigs) but once one of us went at that like, “No! don’t take a fucking knee with the police! This is the role of the police, they don’t serve and protect!” Some people were listening and like, “Yeah! Yeah! I agree!” We were able to break that shit down. I’ve even started seeing some people on social media like, “No don’t kneel, these pigs are taking a knee and then 5 minutes later their beating you over the head with a baton.” So I think there is a need to lead people on that because there is that point that without science you are at the mercy of being manipulated by this shit and be swayed by “good cops/bad cops” whatever, so that was also something I was thinking about.

Another thing is that, on BA’s pieces, the way I understand and what I’m learning is that he’s getting at the biggest questions that people are thinking about and aren’t thinking about, and the biggest question of the reality. And in the “nothing less!” piece the clarity of and even the end of it, “Revolution, why should we settle for anything less?” and really putting that as the question to be think about and work on. And the clarity of the BA piece on the violence of the police... the sharpness of his piece on the “bloated bag of fascist feces”... there’s a lot of short and sharp that he’s modeling that I think we need to be really rooting ourselves in.

I was also really struck by that longer piece on revolution and Roger Federer. One, I really learned a lot about tennis and Roger Federer and I actually looked up Roger Federer and spent like 30 mins to an hour watching tennis matches of Roger Federer, which is really like actually fucking amazing watching him play like I was astounded and BA brings life to that in the piece and the need to actually appreciate the artistry of Roger Federer and what he’s doing and to appreciate what’s actually happening right now, and to appreciate the beauty of the diversity of people coming together and not being cowed by lowered sights. One thing that I was taking from and learning about Roger Federer was being really set on the experimentation of things. He’s not so caught up trying to be consistent (which is not necessarily a weakness. BA talks about the other great tennis players Djokovic and Nadal, that their strength is consistency and they’re consistently going at it), and sometimes Federer even misses a shot, but he’s actually willing to take risks even if it means losing a game or losing a really easy point. And that kind of struck me in terms of what we need to be doing right now, a lot of experimentation and running without a safety net.

***

To Those Who Wish to Escape the Real

June 10, 2020

And still there are those who wish to escape the real by trying to act like these events never happened. 

Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Darius Pinex, Justus Howell, Alton Sterling, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice (12 years old), Aiyana Stanley-Jones (7 years old), just to name a few...

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Police has murdered close to 2,000 people since 2019! And you wish to believe that it's not happening?! I was first to mention David Smith, who died very much like George Floyd and numerous others. 

What's so troubling is they didn't do anything to warrant a death sentence by Police! So many people believe that they can navigate through life in these BLACK BODIES UNSCATHED. Like Eric Garner... Sandra Bland... Philando Castile, whose mother said "he lived by the law, obeyed the law, loved the law, and the law took his life!” Manuel Ellis who 3 months ago said, "I CAN'T BREATHE!" before Tacoma police took his life! 

There is way for us to win against this system of death and destruction to our bodies! A Revolution based upon the science of Bob Avakian. Something that will change the conditions under which we currently live. Or we can continue to give up our bodies to them willingly, but yet unwillingly. Revolution Nothing Less. 

Go to www.revcom.us and check out "Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution." Join the Revolution Club nearest you and let's work on getting the millions needed to make an all-out change to this System.

(I own these words.)

XXX from a Revolution Club member in Chicago who did 25 years in prison.

***

Correspondence 1, May 25, 2020:

We’ve gone out to trains running through South Central with signs for The Revcoms on YouTube and the “EMANCIPATION FROM MENTAL SLAVERY AND ALL OPPRESSION” article from BA, made simple stencils for The Revcoms that could be read from people’s cars and put up at freeway exits.

In taking out the article from BA on “EMANCIPATION FROM MENTAL SLAVERY AND ALL OPPRESSION,” we’re also studying the article for both content and, fundamentally, for method. BA is leading people and there is struggle to fully appreciate that and take up the same method, including actually leading people to engage what he’s doing. That is in contrast to old ways of approaching things that is our spontaneous go-to and leads people with something else. One simple example: you can start with the first question BA poses and initiate a discussion with that, but leave out the second question, which means it’s a very different discussion. “When, and how, will Black people finally be free from all forms of slavery and oppression?” And this poses straight-up this big question: “When will Black people finally emancipate themselves from the mental slavery of religion?!”...

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A few more examples. BA talks about the 1960s towards the beginning of the piece, but you can talk about it in a way that does something different than what he’s doing. We can talk about the hope people had in the 1960s in a way that makes it seem as if we are trying to hold onto the past for hope. Instead, what BA actually does is mine the reality of what happened at that time to show, among other things 1) the present is not permanent and why and how people’s conditions and thinking have changed, and 2) he’s also showing something concrete about what is meant by getting free of slavery and oppression—which today is easily reinterpreted because so few people are thinking in those terms.

We can talk about how there is now a feeling of fatalistic hopelessness without talking about how retreating into religion is the logic of defeat that assumes these conditions can’t be changed and the best you can do is endure it. You can ask the question “How can Black people be finally and fully emancipated from centuries of oppression, and how does this relate to ending all oppression, of all people, everywhere?” without also going to the answer given directly after that. You can even struggle with people to stop believing in imaginary beings, but outside of the questions of how to end this oppression and how and why the belief is part of and reinforcing oppression and how people have come to take this up but can break free of this and take up the scientific method to understand the real root of their oppression in this system and how this system can be overthrown through revolution and replaced with a different and far better system. If the “struggle” is divorced in that way, it’s doing something else and going somewhere else.

There is a challenge of whether and how we are going to go deep to struggle with people “where they live” and why this is necessary. Does it matter if people hold onto religion as long as they will unite on the basis of fighting back against particular outrages? It does if you are working to make an actual revolution and trying to bring forward the leaders necessary for that. Does it matter when we struggle with people if people are able to confront reality and see societal patterns of why things are the way they are and why people think the way they do, and consciously begin to compare and contrast different approaches to understanding the world? It does if people are actually going to be able to break out of a whole framework that explains the world one way (imaginary beings directing and shaping the world and scriptures that promote and reinforce degradation and horror) and take up a whole different framework, a scientific approach—understanding the world the way it really is and how it changes and can be further changed.

While spreading this article we would tell people the title and then read the two questions to people. In one instance, there were no Black people on our team, and a number of the Black people we talked to would ask initially about why we were talking about this if we’re not Black, or would ask if we were Black. Rather than opening up a whole discussion about that, we would go back to those first two questions, or even read the whole first paragraph. Another way some people responded was saying Black people are free, or “I’m free.” Again, we would go back to those first questions.

A man who said “I’m free,” when I went back and read the two questions, I asked him if he was saying those are not the questions we confront, if this has already been resolved. That changed what he was talking about. Another guy wanted to know what we meant by free from all forms of slavery and oppression and when we got into the part about the 1960s, he understood we were talking about a radical struggle of Black people against the system to get free of oppression. With a number of people we read about half the article with them, and with all those people they were really into hearing it.

In another conversation, we were talking with one man and then brought in another woman to be part of the discussion. He was wrestling with how we could even be talking about ending this oppression through a revolution in the year 2020 when the attempt at this in the 1960s was crushed and people are not even thinking about that now. The woman wanted to know why we were saying Black people need to free themselves from the mental slavery of religion, what that faith has to do with this.

The man said that the ’60s accomplished nothing. How we answered at the time was to say the ’60s produced BA, that we now have the approach and understanding and leadership we need to make revolution that they didn’t have then. But, in thinking back on this, that is not what BA actually says in the article in the whole section when he talks about this. It would have been more consistent with the article from BA to draw from how he addresses what was, and was not, accomplished in this time, pointing to how Black people’s courageous struggle against oppression not only forced the system to grant certain reforms (it matters whether people no longer live in a segregated South with Black and white fountains), which have been under attack ever since, but also this struggle of the 1960s brought forth a terrible beauty that inspired and raised the hopes of people not only here but all over the world. Now, thanks to the work of BA, the lessons of that time have not been lost but rather have been synthesized into a much higher understanding of how to make revolution—indeed, a breakthrough in the understanding of what it will take, and how to achieve, the emancipation of humanity. So this is another example of how we’re learning and struggling to actually wield this article.

When the same man who asked about the ’60s insisted it is impossible to put an end to this oppression, I asked him to respond to this paragraph from BA’s article and tell us where it’s wrong:

The answer is that the possibility of this is real, but it can happen only on the basis of a scientific approach to changing the world and the scientifically-grounded understanding that this oppression is rooted in and caused by the system of capitalism-imperialism—the same system that is viciously exploiting and murderously oppressing people not just in this country but all over the world and is plundering the natural environmentand that this system must and can be overthrown through an actual revolution and replaced by a radically different and far better system: socialism, whose final goal is a communist world, without any oppression or exploitation of anyone, anywhere.

The woman who was also in this discussion had a flurry of questions after this, wanting to know more about who BA is and if he’s running for office and what we mean by scientific approach and not religion and what socialism is and is this something that BA has developed and everybody just needs to follow what he’s saying. She was curious to learn more but couldn’t stick around. Meanwhile the man we were talking to got more seriously engaged and asked if we could really see a million Black people coming together in this time to make revolution. I showed him the 5-2-6 and the basis in those five stops for millions of people, and not just Black people, to come forward to make revolution. But I also went back to the article and the struggle it is waging for Black people to emancipate themselves from mental slavery and take up this scientific approach and understanding, that it is precisely this kind of struggle that is needed in order to transform the people for revolution, and that he is needed to be part of that now. He was intrigued, didn’t want to give a way to stay in contact, said he would watch the Revolution, Nothing Less YouTube show and took extra copies of the article to share with others he talks to.

A Muslim man started off saying he was in agreement, but at the same time was arguing Black people need Islam to free themselves, and was running out the NOI program of getting your own property within this system and men being patriarchs over women. He listened while we read through a large portion of the article—including the part about the logic of defeat and “if you suffer in this life but you ‘get right with the Lord,’ or submit to Allah, you will be rewarded in some ‘next life.’” He again responded by saying he agreed and continued to say what he’d already been saying. Finally we skipped to the part about the harm of believing in supernatural beings that do not exist but which are said to control reality, and the scriptures that reinforce all kinds of degradation and horror (and added in, like that patriarchal domination over women!). Here something finally pierced through and he said, “wait, supernatural beings?” Then the train came and we didn’t continue with him.

These deeper discussions tended to be with people who were older, though that wasn’t always the case. However, there was something that more drew the attention of youth, even though we weren’t able to do that much with it. That was when we were riding on the train and doing some agitation about the article. People of all ages reached for the article. On one train a young Black woman listened intently nodding to the agitation, but then didn’t want to talk more. On another train a young Latino man took out his phone and started filming and was saying this was good to see, we need people doing shit like this, even though he also didn’t stick around and said he has his own revolution going.

***

Correspondence 2, May 25, 2020:

Are we taking people to the crucial questions posed and wrangled with in the article or are we using the article to prove our point or answer people’s questions? Are we interpreting what BA says or leading with BA? Are we ourselves going to where BA takes us to this crucial problem about the oppression of Black people? Are we afraid to challenge people’s deeply held, religious belief? Also importantly, do people grab ahold that this is from the leader of the revolution, Bob Avakian?...

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BA models a scientific method and approach, and in this article, as with all of BA’s work, invites people, walks them thru the reality from beginning—title of the article—to the very end. BA reminds readers, keeps coming back, to the crucial question of how can Black people finally and fully be emancipated from all forms of oppression. Why? Because it is a pivotal question in society that everyone needs to engage with. Putting an end to the oppression of Black people is not a Black people problem, it is a problem humanity faces and we all need to be part of putting an end to it! He keeps coming back to the question because we tend to veer in different directions to avoid looking at the reality that Black people continue to be oppressed. Throughout the article, BA reminds the reader why he is struggling with them by posing and reposing questions.

In taking out the article, we’ve had to keep coming back to the first two questions posed because people don’t initially go there. Some say they are religious, believe in Jesus and either don’t take the flyer or don’t want to engage. But they haven’t engaged the questions! The question is not “Do you believe in Jesus or not”! So there has been a need to constantly return to the questions, to reset terms.

We noticed with the Spanish-speaking community, many are unfamiliar with the oppression of Black people and some put forth “what about our (Latinx) oppression?” There was a tendency to chase after this question by utilizing parts of the article to prove that we are talking about ending all forms of oppression. This, of course, is true but, again, it is not addressing the question being posed! This is not leading the masses to confront the reality of the oppression of Black people—not leading the masses to wrangle with what is in the article. This is a good example of how we can take a section, a fact from the article but then end up not talking about what is in the article after all! This is not wielding the article! This is simply utilizing the article as a salad bar, taking a section to prove your point.

BA makes an argument from beginning to end. It’s a scientific journey of history, lessons learned, how to understand why Black people are still oppressed and the possibility for real change by taking up a scientific method and approach. It is a beautiful journey with Hard Truths—cling to the mental slavery of religion and remain oppressed—and Emancipating Truths—cast off mental chains of religion and be part of putting an end to all oppression! We should lead and walk with people through this journey. This is what it means to wield the article with the masses, not just take a section and go off in talking about whatever you or the masses bring up. People need to feel different from our initial encounter to the end of our encounter—people should feel provoked, challenged, and inspired!

People have directly or indirectly said, “Without religion, what will give people hope?” Hope comes from the reality that things are not permanent! The point is that Black people can and need to emancipate themselves as part of emancipating all of humanity by tossing religion and taking up a scientific approach! Hope comes from the reality that, unlike the ’60s and ’70s, today we have the science, strategy, and leadership to make revolution and actually win! And BA in this article walks people through HOPE on a SCIENTIFIC basis.


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A statement from Bob Avakian:
NOTHING LESS!

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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.

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

Order the book HERE
Download the book in ePub format HERE

Watch BA's whole speech:

Watch clips from speech

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Reaching for the "Power of Science" in Turbulent Times

| revcom.us

 

Editors’ Note: Below are edited excerpts of wrangling and reflections from a newer member of the National Revolution Tour. They have been part of the Beautiful Rising protests, inspired by people “putting their individual interests of fear aside and actually feeling a stronger calling to fight back against these oppressors after experiencing the violent attempts at repression,” while at the same time grappling with the ugly, violent—and inhumane—repression of the police, the fascists and others.

The comrade began by recounting experiences in the recent uprising following the lynching of George Floyd:

“People took to the streets standing together to demand, ‘Black Lives Matter’ and with the heart and spirit set heavy with a determination to end the way Black people are indiscriminately dehumanized, and lynched by the police. Thousands of people had been out around the country and soon after around the world. This continues in a mass and sustained way although the demonstrations have ebbed a little. In the first few weeks there was heavy repression by use of force by the police. Rubber bullets, tear gas, batons, flash bangs. Some people were very frightened by this. I was pretty frightened by the potential physical harm. But like many people I talked to, standing beside comrades and beside strangers with a common sentiment, the sentiment of NO MORE lynchings, no more murder by police, no more institutionalized racism, standing shoulder to shoulder with people who were willing to put aside what individual risk there was to stand for something bigger I found strength. I felt the strength of righteousness—standing on the right side, and the kind of force used against us gave me more confidence in the position we took. ‘These fucking pigs.’ I have a lot of disdain. I took a lot of footage of the lines being held. Their line, armored and weaponized and ours, righteous and determined, half cowed at times with the fresh masses being very new to protests thinking that by cowering and cooperating the pigs would be nicer. With this footage you can see the kind of contempt these pigs have for us. Some are smirking, flexing, twitching, jaws clenched. Maybe some are scared. I wonder and muse and try to see if there is empathy, if the indoctrination isn’t fully set. Who might come to our side. Part of me keeps pleading with them after arrest. In my head mostly. I say a short stint out loud. ‘Do you see which side you are on? How can you live with yourself? You are shooting at, beating and arresting kids. Do you see what side you are on? Are you not human?’ My outrage is an expression of disbelief that there can be such cruelty in this world and people who carry it out. It’s a part of my feet being in many places at once.

“The protest went on in a sustained way after this. People who were interviewed by the RNL Show stated that the fear of repression wouldn’t keep them away, like I expressed above, a lot of people were feeling that same sentiment of putting their individual interests of fear aside and actually feeling a stronger calling to fight back against these oppressors after experiencing the violent attempts at repression. The lines drawn of ‘which side’ became sharper....”

The comrade went on to reflect further:

“[Reflecting on] the bulk of horrendousness and unnecessariness of ‘it all’ the question surfaces, ‘Why are there mean people in the world?’ Why is there so much ugliness? I think it’s okay to start there, with those questions however it would be wrong to sit atop all that pain and ferment in it for too long as I have before, just woe-ing. Something I have gained in my interacting with the Revolution Club and the new communism is the inclination to pursue and investigate with a purpose, to find truth, to try to locate the source and begin a process of working to change things with a new confidence and sense of direction in that undertaking. I’m not completely set or trained in this but that night I was falling into it a little, I was reminded of the tools and the way to move forward. I think about the process we are trying to involve others in, and the process I am taking up, using a scientific and materialist approach to examining reality and changing it for the better, in the interest of humanity. It’s a kind of hope and lifeline and tool that humanity really needs.

“I’m really digressing, but to round this out, early into joining up with the tour I was feeling fucked up about thinking about the opposing forces in a kind of flat way, not specifically the situation with the pigs suppressing the protests but before that, thinking about the lynchings and other manifestations of the 5 Stops like rape and people who take joy and find power in hurting others. I was initially taking it as this ‘cycle of abuse’ that is ‘nurtured’ into people, but also almost thinking about the ways these behaviors materialize as a result of ‘human nature’ and not external contradiction. That is where the ‘hopeless and defeated’ pain came from—trying to understand why there is some kind of ‘inherent cruelty’ in people. Why and how is there a world where other humans want to inflict pain on each other ‘just because.’

“It wasn’t that much of a scholarly leap to pull myself to a more reasonable and scientific approach. Partly because I was being quite a 5-year-old in my initial emotional response to the fucked-up-ness of the world. ‘Why!?’ with a big sad face. Then there was the part of me telling myself to stop being a baby & figure it out. Look at the way society has developed. What kind of necessity posed itself. With what tools did people set out to understand the world and secure the means to live and reproduce? In the past due to limited technology, understanding and preparedness there was scarcity and insecurity of the resources to live and reproduce and societal structures formed in a way. Hand to mouth, to agrarian societies, to feudalism to capitalism. This is a cheap way of putting things, I know this isn’t a thorough or super accurate analysis but as I’m trying to work through this it may fall short. Anyways, at some point humans developed better tools and technology to secure ways to reproduce the means to live. The models of scarcity are imposed on masses because of an outmoded system of capitalism-imperialism that runs on exploiting masses that can and should be done away with. It’s long, long past its time. This was a helpful and less defeatist way of approaching reality.

“I didn’t have to turn to god or sin or whatever. There is a lot of power to science. Even as I’m just learning about dialectical materialism, I kind of have a love for it. It feels like a lifeline. The point is to get better at using the tool of dialectical materialism and struggling with, inviting and empowering others to take up a process of examining reality in this way. I can relate this further to the two-part talk by BA on revcom.us under collected works/audio: “The Material Basis and the Method for Making Revolution.” He goes into the need for ideological struggle and the importance of working with the masses. He goes into the Enriched What Is To Be Done-ism 6 paragraphs. I want to write more about this tomorrow. I took a lot away from a summary of Lenin’s WITBD and relating it to the way we (Rev Club) take up both ideological struggle with the masses and the—often on my end—neglected need to get further into theory and history. Neglected due to prioritizing ‘tasks’ and trying to make revolution based on that flatness, being task oriented and lacking initiative or bowing down to spontaneity or necessity. I’m not sure which one of these is most accurate but I mean taking up some kind of 1-1 approach and feeling kind of dragged around without proper planning. With these uprisings posing urgent necessity and demand on time we have re-evaluated often in hindsight.

“Re-evaluating in hindsight or summation is good but there should be an advance in what we learn from these observations and how we act in the future. There is a balance between needing to be flexible in a quickly changing environment and needing to plan more than one or two days in advance.”


Revcoms at protest in Los Angeles, June 6.

The RNL Show—Revolution, Nothing Less
Episode 12: Don't Let The Struggle Be Derailed—Get In The Streets And Stay!

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The Material Basis and the Method for Making Revolution
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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/653/taking-revolution-nothing-less-into-march-demanding-justice-for-andres-guardado-en.html

Taking "Revolution—Nothing Less!" into March Demanding Justice for Andrés Guardado, Killed by Police

| revcom.us

 

From the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

As the powerful protests for Black lives shake society demanding an end to racist murders by police, sheriffs in Gardena, California, ruthlessly murdered 18-year-old Andrés Guardado on June 18. They shot at least six bullets into him at the auto body shop where he worked as a security guard and then ripped out the security cameras at the shop. Three days later, the day after Trump’s racist, violent, fascist speech in Tulsa, Oklahoma, about 500 people took to the streets in Gardena and Compton in a powerful march and protest demanding justice for Andrés.

People and organizations came into the streets who have been part of the ongoing upsurge, and others came into the streets from the neighborhood for the first time. Some people traveled from far-out areas, full of outrage and deciding they could not sit this out. Andrés’ family and friends marched together with Salvadoran flags in a contingent with a banner in Spanish saying, “Justice for Andrés Guardado.” A network of people took part who have been uniting with the protests for Black lives and demanding “free our kids” from the cages this government is locking immigrants into. The organizers of the march explicitly expressed unity between Black and Brown people, and this was beautifully seen as the mainly Latino march made its way through Compton and Black people came out to watch and support, some with fists up.

As the marchers gathered at the memorial site, members of the Revolution Club spoke about the need to finally put AN END to this, not continue with cycles that keep it going, and then handed the mic to the brother of Anthony Weber who talked about his 16-year-old brother being shot in the back 16 times two years ago and said: We are people and demand to be treated as such.

The Revcoms carried a banner, “This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown,” and an enlarged quote from Bob Avakian (BA), “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...” (See BAsics, 1:24). During the march we would at times form a horizontal line behind the banner, drawing everyone’s attention to this formation in “Revolution—Nothing Less!” T-shirts, which included new people who had just joined in through the protests of the last two days. At one point we started chanting, “Trump loves cops, cops love Trump, HELL NO! THEY ALL GOTTA GO!” Not everybody caught on to this chant right away, and there was even some opposition to it, while others loved it, including a young woman hanging out of one of the cars riding along in the protest who threw her middle finger up in the rhythm of the chant. Along the march people took signs with “We Say No More! Revolution—Nothing Less!” and taped them on their cars or bodies and grabbed the posters being distributed with BA’s “Nothing Less!”statement and the history and significance of the racist violence in Tulsa and Trump’s campaign starting there. People familiar with the Revcoms in different ways were finding us there, some joining in on the spot to help get out materials. 

When the march got to the Compton sheriff’s station, the sheriffs were lined up in riot gear behind a metal fence and threatening people. Much of the youthful protest defiantly went right up to the fence, shouting and chanting in the face of the sheriffs, and Aztec dancers went to the front and danced. The father of Andrés Guardado gathered his courage to speak briefly to the crowd, expressing his grief and pain and his appreciation for people being there together and the need to put a stop to this. This opened up a speak-out where four other families of people murdered by police got on the mic and told their stories, further painting a real picture of the pig nature of these murderous police.

As the rally was coming to a close, the sheriffs put their brutality and inhumanness on full display. On the other side of the building where they were also lined up in riot gear, they began shooting tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash bangs at people who were in their faces, refusing to back down. Over and over again they would shoot something and the small crowd would fall back and gather again.

At one point, a couple of young Latino guys went and stood up close directly in front of the sheriffs with their backs turned and hands behind their heads. They had already been tear-gassed and their faces were red and puffy. Some people have said that Andrés was shot in the back with his hands up this way when he was killed. Some of us joined with them and gathered others to do the same and formed a line in front of the sheriffs, shouting out Andrés’ name. The sheriffs decided not to keep shooting at people in this circumstance. Instead, they started circling a helicopter overhead, threatening people with more violence and arrest. As this was happening, a second standoff was occurring back on the other side of the building. These standoffs went on for about an hour. 

As they were happening, there were other groupings of people who had been part of the earlier rally gathered on the sidewalk away from the building, talking and getting organized. Those in our crew who weren’t in the middle of the standoff were able to talk to people there. A student who grew up in Compton said he wants to be part of an organization and he was attracted to the banner and asked how he could participate. From a report from a comrade: “I gave him the Tulsa statement and asked him to read the BA statement. He said I completely agree, I’m with this. He asked how can he start organizing now and I put the problem back to him that not enough people know about this revolution and its leadership, so spreading the word is an important way in going to work at that. He took a stack of flyers and we talked about the need for growing numbers of people to represent for this revolution and call on others to get organized into this revolution as part of accelerating the process of actually making revolution. We read the 5-2-6 and told him to get a shirt if he agrees, to begin to represent... He ended up buying three shirts (one for him and for his siblings).”

Lots of other important conversations were happening throughout the whole day, and some of these continued at a meeting the next day. More on that soon.


Andrés Guardado


"The organizers of the march explicitly expressed unity between Black and Brown people, and this was beautifully seen as the mainly Latino march made its way through Compton and Black people came out to watch and support, some with fists up."

A statement from Bob Avakian:
NOTHING LESS!

Read more

PDF Flyer

17x22" Poster: English | Spanish

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/649/what-to-do-now-en.html

NO MORE!
It is time, and long past time, that this system of oppression and murder needs to go!
We need a REVOLUTION at the soonest possible time. We need to get busy working for this revolution.
WHAT TO DO NOW—BUILDING FOR THE ALL-OUT REVOLUTION WE NEED

| revcom.us

 

* Fight the Power and Transform the People for Revolution—don’t let things just keep on going the way they are, where people are used and abused, brutalized and murdered under this system, and they don’t really know why and what can be done to put an end to it. Get more and more people involved in standing up and fighting back, in line with the 5-2-6, and struggle with people to give up the foolishness that too many are caught up in and instead take up the 5-2-6. (See bottom of this page.)

* Go to www.revcom.us and watch The RNL Show -- Revolution, Nothing Less! regularly, where you can learn more about this revolution and the most important leader in the world today—the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian (BA), the architect of the revolutionary new communism. On the basis of the 5-2-6, get the shirt BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less! Wear it proudly and let people know this is what they need to get with, and this is the leadership they need to follow.

* Spread the word among people you know, and widely through social media, so that more and more people, in every part of society, will hear the word that revolution is necessary and possible, and revcom.us is the place to go to get hooked up with the revolution and become part of the organized force for revolution.

* Keep on learning while you are working to build this revolution: watch the videos and listen to the recordings by BA. Get into BAsics and other writings by BA, including the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. Get deeper into the science of revolution BA is bringing forward to make revolution a reality.

* Keep in regular contact with revcom.us—write or record things that can be used by the revolutionary leadership, on revcom.us, through social media, and on The RNL Show, to help build the revolution.

* Do all this with the goal clearly in mind, and work to bring about, as soon as possible, the situation where there are not just thousands but millions who are with this, and the system is in deep crisis, so that an all-out fight can be waged for revolution, with a real chance to win—to bring this system down and bring something much better into being.

* With this COVID-19 pandemic, do all this while also doing your best to apply necessary safety measures that can help keep you, and others, from getting sick and spreading the virus—BUT DO IT!

Get with the REVCOMS!                                                             

www.revcom.us                                                       @TheRevcoms

 

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English JPG (front)
English JPG (back)

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

Special REVOLUTION newspaper issue, March 2020

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

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

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

| revcom.us

 

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

There Is a Way Out of This Madness!

Get Into Bob Avakian (BA)

A Radically Different Leader
Who Has Developed
A Whole New Framework
For Human Emancipation

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

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

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

STOP

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

STOP

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

STOP

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

STOP

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

STOP

Capitalism-Imperialism from
Destroying Our Planet!

Spread these everywhere

2 CHOICES:

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

—Bob Avakian

Spread this everywhere

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spread these everywhere

BOB AVAKIAN: A RADICALLY DIFFERENT LEADER—A WHOLE NEW FRAMEWORK FOR HUMAN EMANCIPATION

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

Bob Avakian is completely different than the endless stream of bourgeois politicians who are put forward as “leaders,” whose goal is to maintain one variation or another of this system of capitalism-imperialism that is founded on and perpetuates itself through cruel and literally life-stealing exploitation, murderous oppression, and massive destruction, in all parts of the world. BA is a revolutionary who bases himself on the scientific understanding that this system must finally be overthrown through an organized struggle involving millions of people, and replaced with a system that is oriented to and capable of meeting the most fundamental needs of humanity and enabling humanity to become fit caretakers of the earth.

Bob Avakian is the architect of a whole new framework of human emancipation, the new synthesis of communism, which is popularly referred to as the "new communism."

Read more

BROADSHEET PDFs

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

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

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

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

Bob Avakian

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

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

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

The National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

This broadsheet was put out by the National Tour To Get Organized for An Actual Revolution. If you agree with what you have read and want to help spread the word about this revolution, click here. To find out more about Bob Avakian and the new communism, click here.

To find out more and support the tour, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/650/graphics-flyers-posters-to-share-and-print-en.html

Graphics, Flyers, Posters... to Share & Print

| revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian says:

Tulsa 1921 Til Now: NOW MORE! THIS MUST END!

DOWNLOAD AND PRINT (PDF)

ENGLISH:   FRONT   |  BACK

SPANISH:   FRONT   |  BACK

From the Revcoms:

Click for more memes to post and tweet »

 

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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/349/watching-Fruitvale-Station-with-Bob-Avakian-en.html

Watching Fruitvale Station With Bob Avakian

August 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This article was originally published in 2014.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/653/joey-johnson-responds-to-trump-threats-to-re-criminalize-flag-burning-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Gregory “Joey” Johnson of Texas v. Johnson Responds to Trump Threats to Re-Criminalize Flag Burning: #July4BurnFlag / #FlagBurningChallenge

For immediate release
Gregory “Joey” Johnson available for interviews
Contact: 323.245.6947 / DefendJohnsonOfTvJ@gmail.com

 

As #GeorgeFloyd #BlackLivesMatter protests spread across the country, President Donald Trump has threatened to militarily suppress the protests, and also to re-criminalize flag burning, which has become part of many protests. Earlier this month, Trump asked the Supreme Court to reconsider Texas v. Johnson, the 1989 ruling that made flag burning constitutionally protected speech. During Trump's June 20 Tulsa rally, he said, "We ought to come up with legislation that if you burn the American flag, you go to jail for one year," and called flag burning "desecration." Trump condemned protesters in Portland who he said, "ripped down a statue of George Washington and wrapped in an American flag, and set the American flag on fire."

Gregory "Joey" Johnson, the defendant in Texas v Johnson, has responded to President Donald Trump's call to re-criminalize flag burning:

“Fuck Donald Trump!" Johnson says. "He's a fascist, a white supremacist, a misogynist, and a xenophobic, jingoistic, American chauvinist imperialist. I have nothing but contempt for him and support for the hundreds of thousands who are in the streets and staying in the streets following the brutal and sickening police murder of George Floyd. This has rocked Trump's fascist regime back on its heels and now the regime is trying to re-seize the initiative through threats and repression.

“I am determined to defy Trump on July 4th," Johnson states, "by burning an American flag at a fitting symbol of Trump and his fascist regime. And I'm calling on everyone who stands against injustice and oppression to join me. Be safe, don't endanger others, but wherever you are in this country or around the world, help make this July 4th a day of defiant flag burning actions! Then let others know by posting photos and videos on social media with the hashtags #July4BurnFlag and #FlagBurningChallenge.

BACKGROUND/MEDIA COVERAGE

The New York Times has called Johnson "America's Most Famous Flagburner." His 1989 Supreme Court case (Texas v Johnson) upheld the constitutional right under the First Amendment to burn the American flag in protest. In June, 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.

On July 4, 2019, Gregory "Joey" Johnson was arrested for burning an American flag in front of the White House. The charges were later dropped.

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.


July 4, 2019—In the face of Mein Trumpf's militarist orgy the burning flags light up a different future

 

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Watch: youtube.com/TheRevComs

 

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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/654/refuse-fascism-all-criminal-charges-dismissed-against-the-protesters-en.html

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

Victory! All Criminal Charges Dismissed Against the Refuse Fascism Protesters who took action in Los Angeles on the 101 Freeway in 2017 Demanding The Trump Pence Regime Must Go!

| revcom.us

 

6/25/2020 Press Conference, Los Angeles City Hall:

25 June 2020 Press Release
Immediate Release
Refuse Fascism, Los Angeles
press@refusefascism.org
Los Angeles Refuse Fascism: 323 946-1742
For interviews call: Mari Matsuoka at 323 574-3997

VIDEO OF PRESS CONFERENCE AVAILABLE AT tinyurl.com/yabxxzj6

STATEMENTS MADE AT 6/25/2020 PRESS CONFERENCE by Attorneys, Paul Garcia, Michale Plaut, Christopher T. Armen, Colleen Flynn, by Jim Lafferty of the National Lawyer’s Guild, Stephen Rohde, First Amendment Advocate, Dorothy Reik, and Isabel Cardenas, long time Immigrant Rights activist

From Paul Garcia, Attorney representing Miguel Hernandez (“Alex”)

Fellow Members of the Los Angeles City and Los Angeles County Community:

This week the Los Angeles City Attorney dismissed cases known as the “Freeway Cases” regarding protests that occurred in 2017. Inclusive members of our community of all ages, all races, all walks of life and every economic standing banded together to oppose the current occupant of the White House (Trump) as an evil divider of not just our community but all of America.

They banded together as a nonviolent protest group called Refuse Fascism to oppose the fascist ideas and actions of Trump. The urgency of his evil—urging violence, placing children in cages, threatening foreign countries with war and calling them “shit hole countries,” supporting white supremacist hate and violence, changing laws to restrict freedoms and, at the same time, removing restrictions on big business to pollute the environment, constantly lying, and the list goes on—caused Refuse Fascism to go directly to the public. They knew that reasonable people did not and would not tolerate Trump. They decided to protest on the freeway to get the word out without the disinformation that Trump spreads on the airwaves and internet. The public supported them but the Los Angeles Police Department did not. After protesting nonviolently and being arrested cooperatively, LAPD sent an informant into the church where Refuse Fascism’s meetings were held. Their informant taped their meetings. Their informant urged violent protest. But, unaware they were being taped, the informant was told that Refuse Fascism doesn’t do that. Despite having proof that these were just ordinary concerned citizens banding together for social justice, the LAPD along with the LA City Attorney decided to prosecute the nonviolent protesters.

The Freeway protesters who were charged decided to have their case heard in court and pled Not Guilty. Every opportunity was given to the City Attorney to dismiss the case. Yet, the LA City Attorney insisted on a trial and, after that trial ended in a hung jury, they insisted on setting another trial despite calls to dismiss the case. The ordinary citizens who stood their ground and put their life on hold for almost three years went to trial again. Again, the case was a hung jury. Finally, after admitting that their own witnesses did not want to testify again, they dismissed the case. Perhaps lost in all of the drama and legal maneuvering is the plain fact that the ordinary citizens of Refuse Fascism were right. Trump was and is a threat to our community and America. All of the warnings given were proven true by the subsequent actions of Trump. It has taken the death of innocents for most Americans to come to the realization that they said back in 2017 that, “Trump must go!”

June 24th, 2020
Statement of counsel Michael Plaut who represents Chantelle Herschberger

We all know how terrible a year 2020 has been for us individually and collectively.

However today finally justice has been achieved on behalf of Chantelle Herschberger and Miguel Antonio when all criminal charges against them regarding their brave freeway protests in 2017 were finally dismissed.

The long journey to justice lasted almost three years and required two trials in which most jurors sided with the innocent protestors Chantelle Herschberger and Miguel Antonio.

It should be noted that the second trial occurred during the current pandemic and all parties fighting against injustice refused to end the trial because justice delayed is justice denied.

As we all know the fight for justice has only begun but today is a proud day for those who believe in the first amendment and who stand against government and police tyranny.

Michael Plaut, Esq.

Statement by Stephen Rohde, First Amendment advocate and author of American Words of Freedom and Freedom of Assembly

The dismissal of all charges against the Freeway Five by City Attorney Mike Feuer is a victory for free speech. It is a cause for celebration by everyone who believes in the right to peaceful, non-violent protest. These young and dedicated activists should never have been charged in the first place. Two of them have been forced to face two separate trials both resulting in hung juries, and yet the City Attorney was threatening to waste more taxpayers’ money to try them a third time until he finally came to his senses. “Conspiracy”—one charge leveled at 2 Freeway protesters—has been used by authoritarian governments for centuries to silence protest and resistance. Oppressive authorities called labor organizing a “conspiracy” and got injunctions from courts stopping working people from striking. In the law a conspiracy is any two people pursuing the same end. I think conspiracy is a dangerous weapon when it comes to free speech. I hope the City has learned its lesson. The police and City officials should protect peaceful protests like the ones involved in this case, rather than criminalize it. We owe these young protesters our thanks for having the courage to speak out against injustice and then to have the tenacity to defend their First Amendment rights in court. The Freeway Five, their lawyers, and their supporters deserve our gratitude and appreciation. Without people like them, constitutional rights would be a hollow promise. Everyone should learn from these brave protesters and finds ways in our own lives to exercise our constitutional rights and resist the first signs of repression.

From Dorothy Reik:

Congratulations on your vindication! City Attorney Mike Feuer’s disgraceful behavior in bringing these charges and then refiling them when there was a hung jury is shameful overreach. The right to protest peacefully in protected in the First Amendment to our Constitution.

From Jim Lafferty:

What the Freeway 9 defendants did was a courageous service to us all. And I salute them! They risked their own freedom to protect the freedom of all Americans now under the sway of the would-be autocrat and neo-Fascistic president, Donald Trump. Everyday, in more and more frightening ways, we witness Trump’s cruel and bottomless hatred for all that is not Trump, for all that is not done as Trump wants it done, and for all that is not done solely for the benefit of Trump and his gaggle of criminal, greedy and hateful sycophants. Free all of the arrested anti-Trump protesters! Run Trump and Company out of the White House and into prison!

In Solidarity,
Jim Lafferty
Executive Director Emeritus,
National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles

From Christopher T. Armen, attorney:

To our community of Los Angeles,

It has been my distinct honor to represent my client, both in the UCLA Protests against Trump Administration official Steve Mnuchin, and Ex Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, as well as in the freeway protests case, demanding the ouster of the Trump/Pence Regime. In the UCLA protests all four clients were found not guilty by a jury of their peers, of all charges against them. When the jurors were polled and asked if not guilty was their individual verdict, the jury foreperson shouted out, Absolutely!!

In the freeway protest cases all charges against all our clients have been correctly, dismissed.

The foresight of these young, brave defendants, surpassed most of our own. They saw, with great clarity the corruption, incompetence, authoritarian nature, pathological lying, and gutting of our institutions, early on.

They are my heroes. And it was my pleasure to represent them and their righteous opinions, on the battlefield of the courtroom. They spoke simple yet enduring truths, about the damage this corrupt administration has done to our country and the citizens of the world. They pleaded for people over profits, and that humanity must be nurtured, not attacked, and reviled. They exposed the simple fact that out electoral system, our health, environmental and educational institutions, have been corrupted and must be reformed.

They did all this, while embracing peaceful methods, even in the face of provocation, and spying.

For this, we are all indebted to each and every one of them, who stood against the powerful and corrupt, and said , No More.

Attorney Christopher T. Armen

Colleen Flynn, attorney:

Congratulations to the Freeway 9 defendants! This is a huge victory for free speech and activism in the City of Los Angeles.

Statement from Isabel Cardenas:

Regarding the charges against Refuse Fascism activists, these should have never been brought to trial!

Their action was under the constitutional right of Freedom of Speech. And the spying by the LAPD on Refuse Fascism—that is a violation of the constitutional rights to assemble of Refuse Fascism, the organization. These cases should have been dropped long ago... and now they are only doing it because of the demonstrations brought about by the murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin, a police officer. Police brutality has been going on with impunity for too many decades and it is time that it stops; enough is enough!

The charges against Refuse Fascism organizers are being dropped because politicians are feeling the pressure. The banner they held on the freeway with “Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!” in 2017—is one that should be taken into the freeways again! Let’s do it everywhere, including in front of City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office, and be out with this demand 24 hours a day.

These Refuse Fascism protesters are courageous—and the only ones that have protested, continuously, saying “in the name of humanity the Trump/Pence regime must go.”

Humanity is suffering, because fascist presidents in other countries also follow the lead of Trump. Refuse Fascism has made a commitment... we need more people... because this is a human issue, and these fascists truly must be driven out. The work has been consistent, remarkable and uncompromising.

KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK! THESE FASCISTS MUST BE DRIVEN OUT NOW SO THAT THE NIGHTMARE ENDS ONCE AND FOR ALL.

ISABEL CARDENAS

Long time Immigrant Rights activist from El Salvador

BACKGROUND AND HISTORY

In the Fall of 2017, protesters on two separate occasions walked onto the 101 Freeway in downtown LA during morning rush hour, stopping traffic with a 50-foot banner and signs demanding TRUMP/PENCE MUST GO! The Freeway 9 were arrested and charged with a total of 43 misdemeanors including, obstruction of movement; failure to disperse; failure to comply with CHP and each faced up to 3 years in jail. This included 1 person who was not even on the freeway being charged with 2 counts of conspiracy. In the course of defending these protesters, it came to light that LAPD had sent in an informant to secretly record meetings of Refuse Fascism, posing as a avid advocate for the cause of the organization.

These defendants have held firm and insisted that they were right in taking these actions in the name of humanity, calling for people in their millions to take to the streets against the fascist Trump/Pence regime.

Today, almost 3 years later, the 30 misdemeanor charges against the 5 remaining Freeway 9 have finally been dismissed!

As one of the Freeway 9 Chantelle Hershberger said, “This is a victory in the fight against fascism. We defendants never backed down, after they spied on, slandered, dragged us through 2 trials, we remained on our mission—understanding that this regime is fascist and must be driven from power. We were right when we stepped onto the freeway in 2017 to call on others to step out as we are seeing in the streets today—not bound by politics as usual but proceeding from the interests for humanity. As the banner we unfurled said “TRUMP PENCE MUST GO! and NOW MORE THAN EVER!”

Paul Garcia, attorney for Miguel “Alex” Hernandez stated “The Refuse Fascism protesters were right. It has taken the deaths of innocents for most Americans to come to the realization that what their banner said back in 2017 that “Trump/Pence Must Go!’” Michael Plaut, attorney for Chantelle, concluded “As we know the fight for justice has only begun but today is a proud day for those who believe in the first amendment and who stand against government and police tyranny.”

Stephen Rohde, First Amendment advocate and author of American Words of Freedom and Freedom of Assembly, stated “Everyone should learn from these brave protesters and finds ways in our own lives to exercise our constitutional rights and resist the first signs of repression.”

History

The Freeway 9 were relentlessly persecuted and prosecuted for almost 3 years for demanding that the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go as this fascist regime was unleashing a barrage of insult, injury, and atrocity, with catastrophic consequences for all humanity. They were sounding the alarm of the dangers of this regime and calling on others in our thousands and millions to take to the streets across the country in nonviolent sustained mass protest demanding Trump and Pence Out Now, growing to millions, and staying in the streets until this demand is met. The LAPD responded by having the LAPD Anti-Terrorist Division take over the investigation of these arrests. This division sent in a confidential informant CI (aka police spy) who secretly recorded the political meetings of Refuse Fascism held in a church for four weeks. It was revealed in Court that these secret recordings included attempts by the CI to entrap members of Refuse Fascism. Based on the ATD’s recommendations, 2 individuals whom the ATD identified as leaders of Refuse Fascism were charged with conspiracy, one of whom was not arrested or even on the freeway during these protests.

A critical component of the Trump Pence fascist regime’s program is the suppression and criminalization of dissent, the tearing up of the rule of law and the passage of laws allowing protesters to be run over, and Trump encouraging his white supremacist Nazi mobs to take out protesters on stretchers—all of which has escalated in the last 3 years.

It is outrageous that these dismissals come only after 2 of the Freeway 9 having been put on trial two times, both of which ended in mistrials (hung juries). Even as the first trial ended with 9 of 12 jurors voting not guilty on all charges, the City Attorney Democrat Mike Feuer demanded a new trial. The second trial also ended in with a hung jury in March of this year and again, the City Attorney’s office announced they would be seeking yet a third trial!

These Freeway defendants acted with courage and foresight and refused to back down facing 3 years in jail. Today, we see the eruption of a beautiful movement of hundreds of thousands across this country standing up to horrific crimes against Blacks lives, against the murder by police of Black and other oppressed people, which has been given even more of a green light by the Trump/Pence regime.

The courage and conviction shown by the Freeway 9 should inspire all those who see the danger of this fascist regime to now build on what has begun in the streets this past month to raise more powerfully that The Trump/Pence Regime must go. We can’t rely on the normal channels to stop this fascist regime. We need to flood the streets in mass sustained nonviolent protest, not stopping, until our demand is met: Trump/Pence #OutNow.

See the full film, excerpts and Q&A of this film

Washington, D.C. June 6, 2020.

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, Sign and Donate to the Statement of Conscience; Call to Act

Find out more about Refuse Fascism here.

 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
Read: www.revcom.us
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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/651/bob-avakian_oh-now-theyre-saying-its-fascism-en.html

"OH, NOW THEY'RE SAYING"—
IT'S FASCISM!

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

The late sportscaster Dick Enberg frequently used that phrase (“Oh, now they’re saying”) to cover up his mistakes. Here’s an example: In a basketball game Enberg is broadcasting, someone makes a shot—but they are called for a “traveling” violation, so the shot doesn’t count. Yet Enberg doesn’t realize right away that the “traveling call” has been made and the shot doesn’t count—and he goes on for a while raving about what a “great shot” it is, before he finally realizes that the shot doesn’t count. Then, instead of simply admitting his mistake, he says: “Oh, now they’re saying the shot doesn’t count” (when that has been the case all along!).

I was reminded of this in seeing a number of recent articles and commentaries, including by more “mainstream” voices, where comparisons are being made between Trump and the NAZIs and the specter of fascism in this country is finally being discussed by such people. For years now, those of us who have been consistently pointing to the fascist nature and objectives of Trump, and the whole Trump/Pence regime, have been met not only with attacks from the “base” of this regime but with ridicule and dismissal from many “liberals,” who have accused us of using exaggeration, hype, and “alarmism” in the attempt to scare and manipulate people into following us. Now, when what we have said about this is becoming increasingly obvious, to the point where more “respectable” sources are beginning to speak in these terms, a few honest people have readily acknowledged “You were right about this, and I was wrong.” Yet most of those who, for some time, have criticized or dismissed our analysis—but have now finally started to recognize, “Well, I guess this is fascism”—have not had the decency and integrity to acknowledge that we have been correct all along in calling this fascism, and instead they have done the “Oh, now they’re saying” routine.

To be clear, the reason it is right and necessary for people to acknowledge that we have been right all along about this is not a matter of our egos, but a matter of principle and method. If we have been right about something as important as this, maybe there is something to learn from that—not only the particular analysis we have made but the method that underlies that analysis, the scientific method and approach of investigating reality and proceeding on the basis of the facts and evidence about the actual reality, following the truth where it leads, rather than proceeding according to preconceived notions and prejudices and resisting “uncomfortable” conclusions. And this question also needs to be seriously engaged: Perhaps those of us who have applied this method and approach to understanding not only the nature of the Trump/Pence regime but, beyond that, the fundamental nature of the system we live under, are also correct in our conclusion that this system (of capitalism-imperialism) has the most horrendous oppression, exploitation and plunder, of people and the environment, built into its very foundation and its ongoing functioning—and therefore, as we have emphasized: This system cannot be reformed, it must be overthrown, if there is to be a future worth living for humanity.

 

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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/649/worst-case-scenario-continuing-to-accept-a-fascist-america-en.html

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org

The Worst-Case Scenario is Continuing to Accept a Fascist America

by Coco Das

| revcom.us

 

Today’s Sunday New York Times featured an article about the growing fear among Democrats and even some moderate Republicans that Trump will refuse to leave office – either by losing and contesting the results of the 2020 elections, stealing the election through voter suppression, or canceling the election altogether. The article described how think tanks and task forces have been talking about and preparing for worst-case scenarios, “gaming out how to respond to various doomsday options,” but did not actually get around to offering any solutions.

It’s no secret that the Trump/Pence regime is already laying the groundwork for de-legitimizing any result that goes against them. Even before Trump won the 2016 election, he said he might not accept the results if Hillary Clinton won. They’ve even contested the results of the 2016 popular vote despite the fact that they made it to the White House through the Electoral College. They have continually peddled baseless voter fraud conspiracy theories accusing Democrats of stealing elections, and Jared Kushner would not even commit to stating there would be an election in November. Just today, Trump tweeted that mail-in ballots would lead to the “greatest Rigged Election in history,” at a time when we face a global pandemic that has killed nearly 100,000 people in this country.

Even more chilling, recently the Republican Party announced a plan to recruit 50,000 “election monitors” who will stand at the polls in 15 key states to “challenge” suspicious-looking voters and ballots. This plan also includes spending millions of dollars on ads that cast the Democrats as “agents of election theft.” It should not be hard to guess what kinds of volunteers will be recruited for this so-called monitoring and challenging – the same forces that have been called out for the Re-open America rallies, 21st Century MAGA Klansmen and brownshirts who have been harassing people for wearing masks and staging displays that threaten bald violence, armed insurrection, and white supremacist and misogynist terror.

People should be planning for and considering worst-case scenarios for the 2020 elections, but the worst-case scenario for humanity is not about whether Trump loses or wins. Worst-case scenario is that the millions of people in this country who hate this regime but have waited to resolve this through the elections – will continue to accept an even more fascist America.

And while the GOP has been laying the groundwork for ensuring their victory, the Democratic leadership has already conceded a lot of ground by stating that the only way to avoid this is by beating Trump by a large enough margin – a landslide – so that the results cannot be contested. Nancy Pelosi said this even before the impeachment, and it was just re-stated in a tweet by the author and activist Amy Siskind. Citing an article full of logical fallacies, Siskind tweeted “It can’t be close to give him any excuse. He must lose 40+ states and take the Senate down with him!”

Look at the logic here and how this allows fascists to set the terms and shatter the rule of law. We are being asked to accept that if Trump loses by a small margin, he should be allowed to contest the results and stay in office. And who do you think will get to decide what is a large enough margin to declare a defeat?

Look at the logic here and how this allows fascists to set the terms and shatter the rule of law. We are being asked to accept that if Trump loses by a small margin, he should be allowed to contest the results and stay in office. And who do you think will get to decide what is a large enough margin to declare a defeat? Who will enforce getting him out of office under any circumstance? Trump’s Supreme Court? His Department of Justice? His federal judiciary? A Senate that the GOP is determined to win by any means? What will the Democrats do when they are confronted with the kinds of armed mobs that fascist forces have already called out in Michigan, forcing legislators to wear bullet-proof vests? What will they do when Trump makes good on his threat that the police, military, and Bikers for Trump are on his side?

Consider this quote from the above-mentioned New York Times article. “’We hope there are safeguards in place,’” said Norman J. Ornstein, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who participated in the task force. “’Let’s face it, those safeguards ought to include the Senate of the United States and the Justice Department. There’s reason to be nervous.’”

This clearly represents a sharp division at the top of society, with Democrats trying to resolve this on their own terms. But this cannot be resolved without the masses of people being called out to take a visible stand in the streets, something the Democratic Party is loathe to do. The truth of this passage in the Refuse Fascism Statement of Conscience/Call to Act is all the more relevant:

The Democratic Party cannot be relied on to stop this nightmare. Trump has branded them as enemies and “traitors,” rallying crowds to “lock them up.” Yet, the Democrats have repeatedly jumped to work with Trump when he let them, normalizing what should only be opposed. When they finally moved to impeach, it was on the real, compelling but narrow grounds of cheating on elections, but not the full crimes of the Trump/Pence program. They have not called forth the one force that could change the whole political equation—the power of the people in the streets—and they’ve refused to say publicly what many of them know in private, that Trump is a fascist.

There are too many people wanting you to freak out just enough to vote, but calm down about what this actually means for humanity and the planet we share.

Here is another question for people to confront: What if Trump wins, fairly or fraudulently? There are too many people wanting you to freak out just enough to vote, but calm down about what this actually means for humanity and the planet we share. The body count is growing rapidly with the potential to multiply, not only from COVID-19 but from this regime starting another nuclear arms race, from their climate and science denial, from their rapid destruction of the environment, from their alliances with other fascists around the world, and the list goes on. Wake up, stand up, shake off this deadly passivity. For the love of all the children of the world, we cannot accept this.


Potential Republican "election monitors"? Armed militia occupying the Michigan state Capitol demanding an end to "stay at home" orders intended to slow the spread of Covid-19.

See also:

Fascism-Denialism, Part Two: Left-Wing Bankruptcy in the Pages of Jacobin

Read more


Fascism-Denialism Is as Dangerous — and Unscientific — as Climate Denialism: Part One

Read more

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, Sign and Donate to the Statement of Conscience; Call to Act

Find out more about Refuse Fascism 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!
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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/652/why-we-cant-wait-for-november-en.html

Reposted From RefuseFascism.org:

Why We Can't Wait for November

By Sarah Roark

| revcom.us

 

Someone who follows Refuse Fascism on social media posted the following comment:

Disregarding the importance of the electoral struggle beforehand may be a grave error. This is true for a number of reasons. 1) Though your fears seem justified, it MIGHT just work to get him out. Every small chance needs to be pursued. 2. If it doesn’t work, after the failure one can justifiably say, “We tried our best, but the electoral farce didn’t work. Now we need to use other means.” And people might listen!

Sarah Roark from the Refuse Fascism Editorial Board addressed this important question in an episode of the podcast #OUTNOW Live. The transcript has been edited for length and clarity. 

We can’t afford to wait for the elections. And let me make something clear, as a Democrat who belongs to this non-partisan organization (Refuse Fascism), we really can’t afford to wait for the election. I am not saying don’t vote. I’m going to vote. I support all my friends who are doing electoral volunteering. People have died for the right to vote and we must exercise it while we still have it.

However, take a look at what happened in Georgia today (June 9) ―a hundred and forty thousand more votes for Trump in the Republican Party primary, compared to votes for Biden in the Democratic Party primary. And Trump didn’t even need the votes because he ran unopposed on the Georgia ballot.

In fact, everything that’s been going on with the election in Georgia, with the long lines, machines not working, ballot problems ... is a test drive for November. It’s my conviction that the GOP is planning to pull out all the stops in terms of election interference, including cyber/hybrid warfare such as hacking voting machines and voter suppression. This is all on top of the Electoral College that got us, in 2016, where Hillary won by 3 million votes in the popular vote and it still wasn’t enough.

I would like to point out that Nancy Pelosi herself has said that she doesn’t think Trump will concede and leave office unless there is an “overwhelming”―that was her word―victory in November. Well, American presidential elections, even in normal circumstances, are not won by an overwhelming margin; that’s just not a thing that happens anymore. So she must know as much as any of the rest of us that we’re not on track for that. Even with free and fair elections.

And I’m sure she knows that if the Republicans have their way, this election is not going to be free and fair. They’ve been setting up all the mechanisms, and we have not been able to do the investigations, we’ve not been able to do the legislative reforms, because of Trump. So as passionate an advocate as I am of America’s system and as someone who volunteered full-time for Hillary in 2016 trying to keep Trump out of office, I don’t see how we can rely on the elections. As far as I’m concerned, lives are being threatened and ended right now by this brutality, by surveillance, by this regime’s destruction of democratic norms, by the coronavirus, you name it―these are all lives that are hanging in the balance right now. None of that is going to wait for us.

At the end of the show, Sarah addressed the power of people in the streets.

The creativity and the energy people have been bringing to this is inspiring. It reminds me yet again: we need to flip the equation around. For three years we’ve been coming up with the reasons why we can’t do this, why we can’t get Trump out of the White House until November, or at all. That basically, we’re on this ride until he decides we’re getting off of it.

That’s just not true. We need to take all that brainpower we were using to think of all the reasons why we couldn’t or shouldn’t, and start using it to think of the reasons that we must, and the ways that we can, and all the beautiful strategies and methods and artistry that we can employ for that. And really turn this into a joyful―I mean, I think it can be a joyful celebration. It’s not a celebration of Trump, but it is a celebration of our collective power and our collective spirit and a resurgence of American awareness.

Which is something that has come out. If you think about it, this hideous police murder of George Floyd, for nothing more than being a Black man in America, eight minutes and 46 seconds of strangulation, it’s hard to imagine a more torturous death than that, and yet, coming out of it, has been this overwhelming power, this response from Black Lives Matter and allies. It’s bringing the awareness that more is possible than we thought, that our masters are not all-powerful. We haven’t really flexed our muscles, yet, to anywhere near to the extent that we can.

These protests are showing some of the power that’s possible. If, in addition to the general demand that Black Lives Matter, that police brutality must end, if we add to that the URGENT demand Trump Pence must go, we won’t have a regime that blocks progress. Because we all know they are not going to be the ones to fix these issues, reform policing―they’re not going to be the ones to make our elections free and fair again. None of this can happen while fascists are in power. It’s just madness to think these things can be done while they’re still there. All these crucial demands can clear the way for us to live and thrive as human beings, we have to add the first step: to get the Nazis out. And I’m hoping the ties we forge now, among each other, wherever we are coming from in life, if we can come together to get these fascists out of power, I don’t see what we can’t do from there.

So let’s turn around the thinking. Let’s think of what is possible instead of what’s not possible. Let’s reclaim our power, our creativity and our courage.

Reposted from RefuseFascsim.org:

Into the Streets Juneteenth Weekend:

June 19th Join Refuse Fascism Contingents at Nationwide Defend Black Lives Protests
June 20th Join Refuse Fascism Protests to Demand:

NO MORE POLICE MURDER OF BLACK PEOPLE
NO FASCIST POLICE STATE
NO FASCIST MILITARY WAR ON THE PEOPLE

TRUMP/PENCE OUT NOW!

Go to RefuseFascism.org for more information.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/652/refusefascism-on-video-by-project-veritas-en.html

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

Statement from the Editorial Board of RefuseFascism.org
on the video released by “Project Veritas” on June 10, 2020

| revcom.us

 

I. The massive uprising and protest of people of all nationalities to stop the killing of Black people by police and the institutionalized racism has struck hard at the core of the white supremacist fascist agenda of the Trump/Pence regime. Trump has responded with threats and actions that if fully carried out would represent a serious escalation of a fascist police state rule, including against RefuseFascism.org.

II. Against this backdrop, on June 10, 2020, the organization “Project Veritas” released a video of an illegally and surreptitiously recorded conversation in California in 2018 with Andy Zee,1 a co-initiator of RefuseFascism.org (RF) and member of RF’s Editorial Board. This video, which has gone viral in right wing circles, maliciously and falsely claims that RefuseFascism.org has advocated and trained people in violence. This was done through crudely edited juxtaposed footage of another organization’s martial arts training which itself may have been taken out of context. RefuseFascism.org, since its formation in December 2016, has put forth its principle of non-violence in every public statement—including its first which appeared as full-page advertisements in the New York Times and The Washington Post; in its Mission Statement; as well as on its website: www.refusefascism.org:

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! (underlining added for this statement).

The malicious and slanderous attempts to paint RefuseFascism.org as advocating violence is part and parcel of—and could serve as a pretext for—pronouncements by President Trump to declare the loose knit diverse groups in the U.S. and internationally referred to as Antifa as a “terrorist” organization, which would be an unprecedented and dangerous escalation of fascist rule in the U.S.2 We note that also on May 31, not only did Trump tweet this, but Attorney General William P. Barr said in a statement: “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.” That this is an outright lie is no barrier for the Trump/Pence regime seizing on this as a pretext for investigation and far worse in their pursuit to crush dissent.3

James O’Keefe, the founder of “Project Veritas,”4 appeared on Sean Hannity’s radio program on June 5 saying: “This one Sean, is something called ‘RefuseFa’ New York City, Refuse Fascism, part of Antifa.” After which he and Hannity discuss their desire for the Attorney General and the Justice Department to see this video. Meanwhile, rightwing/fascist forces have been flooding the Justice Department, the FBI, Secret Service, etc. with calls for action against RefuseFascism.org and worse.

Two facts: O’Keefe has made up the name “RefuseFA”—to sow confusion. This is not a name that we or anyone have used before. Second, while RefuseFascism.org and the Antifa movement have very different strategies and approaches to thwarting fascism, with RefuseFascism.org focused on the political objectives of building a broad-based political movement to remove the Trump/Pence regime from power, RefuseFascism.org insisted in a statement issued on September 9, 2017 which included the following:

“There is NO moral ‘equivalence’ between those seeking to impose white supremacy and fascism, and those fighting against this nightmare...”

And, that:

“To stand against injustice at this moment requires firmly understanding that the attacks against ‘Antifa’ are designed to intimidate, suppress, and divide all opposition to fascism. The threats and attacks on Antifa and anyone else standing up against fascism, especially attempts by the state to brand them as ‘terrorist’ or put them on watchlists, must be opposed.”

People concerned about justice must recognize that “Project Veritas” and James O’Keefe’s slanders against RefuseFascism.org in this video, in their media appearances, and in their social media campaign are blatant attempts to provide pretext for harmful action against RefuseFascism.org and one of its key leaders, Andy Zee.

We note, too, that the rightwing nutjob, author and film maker Dinesh D’Souza has in the last two weeks accused RefuseFascism.org, Black Lives Matter, and Antifa of creating “a left-wing ‘paramilitary force’.” These inaccurate accusations are now ricocheting around right wing media and are finding support if not direction from the Trump/Pence regime. This too is ominous, with potential repercussions.

III. The “Project Veritas” video also is a serious attempt to suggest that George Soros and Tom Steyer are funders of RefuseFascism.org. While neither have donated to RefuseFascism.org, there would be nothing wrong with their doing so or supporting other progressive organizations.

In regard to their supposed “scoop” on fundraising, Veritas’s surreptitious video is packed with lies. “Project Veritas’” Christian Hartsock dishonestly posed as a representative of wealthy people interested in making substantial donations to RefuseFascism.org. The video included an RF organizer in Atlanta saying she helped secure a grant for an abortion rights group from the Soros foundation two decades ago (time frame omitted by Veritas) and then edited the video to make it appear as if this grant was to RefuseFascism.org. Then, they took parts of a conversation from RF co-initiator Andy Zee where the Veritas imposter was pushing to find out if RefuseFascism.org was getting and/or would try to get financial support from Tom Steyer. Zee’s answer to this was to say instead that RF was trying to dialogue with Tom Steyer, who was at that time in the early stages of launching a mass campaign to impeach Trump.

The nefarious objective of the fascist regime and its wanna-be operatives like Hartsock and O’Keefe is to go after not just RefuseFascism.org and other political and social movements who are mobilizing masses of people to resolutely oppose the Trump’s agenda of imposing a white supremacist, xenophobic, patriarchal theocratic fascist regime on this country, but to also intimidate, demonize, destroy and/or neutralize their political opposition in government—the Democrats and their funders. This BS attempt to stigmatize funders and those seeking funds should intimidate no one and be given no quarter.

************

IV. RefuseFascism.org has recognized from its inception that this is a regime that is attempting to establish a fascist form of rule in this country at great cost to humanity. We have never wavered from this analysis even in the face of progressive forces that thought this was alarmist and who counseled a wait-and-see approach. We have argued that history shows it can become too late to stop fascism and every fascist escalation must be opposed with increased unity and action.

We recognized that the fascist movements that have grown over the last four decades in this country have seen in Trump’s election their “last chance” to achieve their remaking of the country. This has been especially the case with the Christian fascist theocratic element—represented by VP Mike Pence in the regime. As such, we are not deterred by attacks against us.

WE CALL ON EVERYONE WHO CARES ABOUT JUSTICE AND HUMANITY TO STAND AGAINST THESE ATTACKS... WITH REFUSEFASCISM.ORG

AND WITH ALL WHO COME UNDER ATTACK FROM THIS REGIME.

And last, in October 2017 we called on all principled organizations, media, and individuals to reject, repudiate, and to stop repeating the distortions and lies of these attacks on RefuseFascism.org and the nonviolent protest mobilizations it was planning, and issued this statement:

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.

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

 


1. California Law Penal Code § 632, enacted under the California Invasion of Privacy Act, makes it illegal for an individual to monitor or record a “confidential communication” whether the communication is carried on among the parties in the presence of one another or by means of a telegraph, telephone, or other device. California is known as a “two-party” state, which means that recordings are not allowed unless all parties to the conversation consent to the recording. [back]

2. Trump tweet on 05/31 after saying on 05/30, “The violence and vandalism is being led by antifa and other radical left-wing groups”:


[back]

3. See front page of the NY Times; June 12, 2020: “Police Dismiss Trump’s Claims of Antifa Plot” [back]

4. “Project Veritas” and James O’Keefe have a sordid history of infiltrating, secretly recording and sending spies into liberal and progressive organizations. This has had, at times, devastating impact, destroying the community organization ACORN, and seriously disrupting Planned Parenthood. Although discredited by much of the media, O’Keefe and his outfit are quoted favorably by Trump and Trump Jr. and are a part of the fascist movement. The pathetic nature of the video they released against Refusefascism.org should not dissuade anyone from the real harm it could do. [back]

See the full film, excerpts and Q&A of this film

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 until our demand is met: This Nightmare Must End: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! We welcome 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.

Find out more about
Refuse Fascism 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/653/ugly-trump-rally-met-by-a-beautiful-day-in-tulsa-en.html

Reposted from RefuseFascism.org:

Ugly Trump Rally Met by A Beautiful Day in Tulsa: The Crossroads America Faces – The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go, NOW!

by Emma Kaplan

| revcom.us

 


On right: Emma Kaplan from Refuse Fascism interviewed on MSNBC by reporter Cal Perry.

 

Yesterday in Tulsa was a beautiful day! People from all walks of life and different backgrounds, came into the streets to repudiate Trump’s white supremacist fascist America and his attempts to threaten protests & Black people.  Hope and an atmosphere of liberation filled the air, in stark contrast to the hundreds of racists camping out in Tulsa the night before.

Throughout the day, people were being told to not go down to oppose this rally, that a “race riot” would ensue – but people, especially young people did not let themselves be cowed by Trump’s repressive threats earlier that day and found their courage and conviction. This is exactly the type of courage and conviction we need to drive out the fascist Trump/Pence regime. People turned dread for the future into a force for hope. And I can’t explain to you how amazing that felt. And it is a harbinger of what it could feel like if we drove this fascist regime out of the White House.

People faced off with the National Guard and police, Black people saying – “Stop brutalizing our people” and masses of people chanting “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA!” and “Black Lives Matter” and “No Trump, No Pence” and “Trump/Pence OUT NOW!”

At the beginning of the day – there was a small group of people out there, along with some Black Lives Matter and other people of good conscience, religious clergy and others; Trump supporters got in our faces, but we all stayed on message and continued to rally people to join us, on the media and on social media. We refused to be provoked, even when a racist Trump supporter attempted to physically assault a young Black woman, even when they insulted people including calling Black people “uneducated” we stood up and protected each other and were non-violent. And other people started coming down who were watching some of this live because they felt they couldn’t sit at home while this hatred went on, that it went against everything they believed in. People brought their own signs, things like “You can’t spell hatred without red hat” and big puppets of Trump, the Klan and the police which had a quote from a Tulsa police major that said African Americans “ought to be shot more” and people felt and expressed their deeply felt desire for this white supremacist fascist regime to be out.

People in America face a crossroads – will you accept a fascist America? Will you stand aside hoping that politics as usual will remove a regime that is subverting elections and using the military to crush dissent? Or will we marshal the strength of being together in huge numbers and staying in the streets until our demand is met. This is the challenge every organization and  congregation and every single person with a conscience must confront: we cannot wait for November to remove this regime.  This regime is tearing up the rule of law and has organized a fascist base. They are not backing down and they won’t stop until they prevail. All struggle for justice must bring this demand – The Trump/Pence regime must go now! 


Tulsa, June 20, protesters kneel as part of protest of Trump's Nazi campaign rally.

Washington, D.C. June 6, 2020.

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, Sign and Donate to the Statement of Conscience; Call to Act

Find out more about Refuse Fascism 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/654/unnecessary-covid-19-deaths-show-this-system-is-obsolete-en.html

From Aurora Roja, the blog of the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico

Unnecessary COVID-19 Deaths Show This System Is Obsolete—Revolution Is Needed

| revcom.us

 

Editors' note: The following was translated by revcom.us from Aurora Roja, the blog of the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico.

In Mexico and the world, the operation of the system and government policies have resulted in a tragic and criminal number of unnecessary deaths by COVID-19. Under the world capitalist-imperialist system, it is not possible to mobilize all the necessary resources, consistently apply the latest advances in medical science, or mobilize people to grapple with the challenge of the virus. This system is obsolete, we need to overthrow it and create a much better new system, a socialist system.

Scientists have long been warning that this was not a question of whether there would be a pandemic but of when it would occur. However, there was no adequate preparation anywhere, because in this system investments tend to go to what is most profitable now. Short-term calculations are guided by the needs of the capitalist economy, based on competition among capitalists for profit. The unscientific or in fact anti-scientific approaches of many rulers also contributed. A program to develop a SARS vaccine—triggered by a coronavirus much like the current virus—was abandoned after that epidemic ebbed in 2004. Had it continued, we would be much closer to getting a vaccine now against SARS-CoV-2. Nowhere were reserves of medical equipment created remotely close to what was needed. In fact, many governments have cut their health care budgets in recent years. Mexico, despite current president Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s promises to get a health care system “like in Denmark,” remains one of the Latin American countries that spends the least on health care per person.

In the socialist society we are fighting for, the priority will be the health of the people, not the profits of the big companies—in fact, these companies will have become the property of all the people and the new economy will be at the service of the needs of the people and of all humanity. Health care policy will be guided by the most advanced scientific understanding and will include, importantly, preparation for pandemics and other disasters.

It is frankly criminal that health care workers here and in many other places have not had the personal protective equipment and the testing for COVID-19 necessary to protect themselves. In Mexico, cases of medical personnel represent a fifth of infections by COVID-19. Protests due to the lack of equipment and in favor of “transforming the health care system” throughout the country are just and deserve our support. The dedication of health care workers is inspiring, who, despite these criminal shortages, risk themselves to save lives. This is a seed of communist morality, of caring for others and putting the interests of humanity first.

In the future socialist society, oriented to the needs of the people and not profits, in a pandemic, production will be immediately reoriented to produce any lacking medical supplies, as well as food and other needs of the population. Instead, the response of many capitalist companies has been predictably guided by their immediate profits, such as in the plants in Ciudad Juárez of the U.S. company Lear, which forced, under threat of firing, its workers to continue producing seat covers for luxury cars, with the result that at least 30 workers have died from COVID-19. Due to the demands of the companies and governments of the United States and Canada, the Mexican government has classified, among others, automotive production and mining as “essential,” instead of insisting on redirecting production towards the necessary medical supplies.

The “stay at home” measures applied in Mexico and many other countries are necessary, but by themselves they only serve to “flatten the curve” of infections to avoid oversaturation of hospitals. They distribute the number of deaths over a longer period of time, but the contagion continues, with its toll of more deaths, as even the Mexican undersecretary of health, Hugo López-Gatell, has admitted. To contain the contagion and prevent deaths, it is also necessary to apply massive testing and the tracing and isolation of infected people. Even a few capitalist governments, such as South Korea and Iceland, have implemented this policy and the number of deaths has been greatly reduced. However, the vast majority of countries have not implemented this policy on time on the scale needed, resulting in a large number of unnecessary deaths.

The Mexican government has rejected the need to apply massive testing and contagion tracing, arguing that it would be a “waste of resources and effort.” Thus, guided by narrow capitalist financial calculations and an unscientific approach which refuses to learn from international experience in this regard, they are condemning many more people to unnecessary death in order to save money. This is completely criminal. And to top it off, several investigations have shown that the official figures in Mexico, as in many other countries, omit many deaths caused by COVID-19.

The pandemic has highlighted the reality that we live in a world system, the capitalist-imperialist system. In this globalized world, contagion has spread rapidly to virtually all countries. Although many scientists advocate international efforts, the imperialist powers are in a race to develop the first vaccine or cure to gain advantages over their rivals, and transnational corporations are in the same race, seeking profits in competition with each other, while taking advantage of the lack of health care supplies to force prices to skyrocket. The future socialist society will practice internationalism, and will put all scientific advances in health care at the service, not of narrow national interests, but of all humanity.

The pandemic is impacting the current society divided into antagonistic classes, marked by big inequalities and the oppression of women, indigenous people and others. More people are dying in poor neighborhoods, such as in Ecatepec and Iztapalapa in the Valley of Mexico, and among people working without the necessary protections. Migrants and prisoners are in deplorable conditions and very vulnerable to contagion. Indigenous people and peasants are particularly vulnerable due to the lack of medical services and health care facilities.

The necessary confinement measures, combined with the growing weakening of the capitalist economy, even before the pandemic, have resulted in the sudden impoverishment of millions of people in Mexico and billions worldwide. In Mexico, 12.5 million have become unemployed and the economy is projected to plummet 7.5% this year. Instead of mobilizing resources to ensure food and housing for all, priority is given to promoting megaprojects with plundering and environmental destruction, such as the so-called “Maya” Train and the cross-isthmus corridor to attract more investment from big imperialist and domestic capital.

The future socialist society will undertake a profound struggle to eliminate exploitation and uproot all forms of oppression of women, indigenous people, LGBT people and others, overcoming step by step the inequalities inherited from the capitalist past. Such a society will be born out of the conscious revolutionary struggle of millions, and will mobilize the conscious participation of people, with increasing access to science, to cope with pandemics and other disasters and fight to ensure that no one lacks essential needs. When important mistakes are made, they will be raised publicly so that the people themselves can help find solutions. In today’s capitalist society, dominated by the big capitalist exploiters and governed by the capitalist state, most people are denied access to scientific knowledge, they tell us what to do without clearly explaining why, they keep people in a passive role, just telling us to obey the authorities. And they lie and lie and lie to us, that this is no big problem, that everything is prepared and under control, that the pandemic has already been “tamed,” hiding the true dimensions of the crisis.

Many believe that all the injustices, misery and suffering we face are due to the bad intentions of such and such rulers, businessmen, etc. The pandemic has been showing, in many ways, that the underlying problem is the capitalist system, governed by competition for profits among the large private owners of the wealth produced by millions of workers. The solution is revolution, with the guidance of the new communism, to establish a new socialist system governed by the needs of the people, guided by science and dedicated to the emancipation of all humanity.

—June 20, 2020

Aurora Roja, voice of the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico

aurora-roja.blogspot.com | auroraroja.mx@gmail.com


Protest at the ISSSTE [Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers] due to lack of supplies. The banner "Todos somos Miguel" ("We Are All Miguel") refers to a healthcare worker who died from COVID-19 due to lack of adequate protective equipment.

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America
(Draft Proposal)

Authored by Bob Avakian, and adopted by the Central Committee of the RCP

Read and Download (PDF)

How the Revolution Would Deal with Health Care, Including Epidemics

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

Read more

 

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!
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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/654/coronavirus-rips-through-houston-en.html

Coronavirus Rips Through Houston: A Crisis in Public Health Driven by a Criminal System

| revcom.us

 

From a reader:

Texas and Houston have become centers of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. Infection and hospitalization rates have tripled since the end of May, and risen steadily for 13 of the last 14 days as I write on June 27. This week Dr. Peter Hotez, one of the world’s foremost authorities on infectious disease and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, told the Houston Chronicle that the city and the state are “on the brink of disaster.” Hotez said that unless there is a reversal in the existing trajectory, Houston will likely have 4,000 new COVID-19 cases a day by mid-July, and will become the “worst affected city in the U.S., maybe rival what we’re seeing now in Brazil.”

The following day, Lina Hidalgo, the highest elected official in Harris County, which includes Houston, said, “Today we find ourselves careening toward a catastrophic and unsustainable situation. Our current hospitalization rate is on pace to overwhelm our hospitals in the near future.” Her statement echoed a letter issued by 11 hospital and medical school executives.

Yet, Houston is home to the Texas Medical Center (TMC), the largest medical complex in the world. The TMC’s statistics are staggering. Among them: its hospitals have 10 million patient encounters a year; a baby is born there every 20 minutes, and a surgery begun every three minutes; it holds three medical schools, and the world’s largest children’s and cancer hospitals. Its website boasts that it is “home to the brightest minds in medicine,” and nurtures “cross-institutional collaboration, creativity and innovation because together, we can push the limits of what’s possible.” TMC consistently ranks among the top hospitals in the U.S. in surveys done by publications like U.S. News & World Report.

How can this situation exist? Shouldn’t Houston, with some of the most modern medical facilities in the world, with its legions of medical professionals, including many dedicated and conscientious people, be particularly well positioned to limit the spread of this virus and contribute to combating and overcoming its spread across the globe?

An Abysmal Record

For decades, Texas has ranked at or near the bottom of almost every measurable standard of public health. The Christian fascists who have dominated the state for decades have repeatedly enacted cruel and punishing measures to restrict health care. These include cutting reimbursement rates for Medicaid and Medicare patients, and establishing the most stringent Medicaid eligibility requirements in the country. The Texas Tribune reported that before the virus hit, Texas had about five million uninsured residents, about 18 percent of its population, the highest rate of uninsured in the U.S.

Texas Republican leadership rejected expansion of Medicaid coverage. NPR reported that in 2013, then-governor Rick Perry, a Christian fascist, gloated that Medicaid expansion was “foolish” as he rejected “as much as $100 billion of federal money over 10 years—money that could pay for health insurance for more than 1 million of its working poor.” An estimated 1.1 million people who earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid but too little to buy private insurance would have been eligible for Medicaid under the proposed expansion.

The measures taken by these fascists have contributed to a situation in which county hospitals of urban areas like Houston are understaffed and the health workers are overworked—struggling with old and inadequate equipment. They are stuffed to the bursting point with people in need of care, including with patients suffering from severe chronic conditions they were unable to treat because they lacked the money. In rural areas, more hospitals have closed in Texas than in any other state, mainly in East Texas, a historic center of the state’s Black population, and the coastal and border areas of South Texas, populated largely by people of Mexican descent.

The Tribune reported that since the coronavirus pandemic began, more than a million people in the state have “suffered the double whammy of losing their jobs and their employer-based health insurance. Some have landed in the state’s patchy health care safety net, where advocates say they could be cut off from physical and mental health services while facing the economic strain of a public health crisis.” Health care professionals estimate that 40 percent of the newly unemployed in Texas will become uninsured.

Christian fascists and the Trump/Pence regime fully intend to escalate attacks on publicly supported health care for the tens of millions of poor people in this country. This week—in the midst of a global health care crisis that continues to expand—lawyers for the Trump administration filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting a lawsuit spearheaded by the state of Texas and joined by 19 other states that seeks to end the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Whatever the outcome of this lawsuit, it indicates the serious intention of the Trump/Pence regime and Christian fascists generally to impose and in fact intensify brutally severe cuts in public health like those in Texas across the country.

A Thoroughly Outmoded System

But the problem goes deeper than Republican policies to slash and dismantle public health care.

The vast, socially created but privately owned resources of the Texas Medical Center are not being institutionally mobilized and utilized to meet the needs of the people in the ghettos and barrios within eyeshot of its gleaming towers, or the homeless crowded on sidewalks leading into it, or the people of the entire world lashed by this pandemic. This includes the training and efforts of its people—the doctors and other medical professionals, the scientific researchers, the tens of thousands of staff–despite their best intent. And despite the intentions and best efforts of people like Peter Hotez and many others, they cannot be—under this system and its mode of production of capitalism-imperialism.

I have recently been reading “The Deadly Illusion of ‘Normalcy’ and the Revolutionary Way Forward,” where Bob Avakian (BA) writes, “This crisis with the coronavirus has brought into sharp relief the reality that the capitalist system is not simply out of step with but is in fundamental conflict with, and a direct obstacle to, meeting the needs of the masses of humanity.”

Right now, it is crucially important for everyone to do what they can to limit the spread of this deadly virus, and to support and defend the efforts of people working to develop a vaccine and to uncover ways of treating the disease. But the most fundamental and urgent need of humanity—under the conditions of a raging virus and a rapidly consolidating fascist regime—is building a movement for an actual revolution... a revolution that has a real chance at overthrowing the foul and utterly outmoded capitalist imperialist system.

BA concluded the article quoted above:

Overcoming all this can be—and can only be—accomplished through the communist revolution and the increasing establishment of socialist countries in the world, proceeding on an internationalist basis and carrying out the economic, social and political transformations, as well as transformations in the ways of thinking and culture of the people, that will enable humanity to leap beyond the constraints and the terrible consequences which are imposed by the “normal” functioning of the capitalist-imperialist system and are greatly intensified in situations of crisis. This unprecedented revolution will make it possible for people to engage reality, and to confront crises, in a truly cooperative way as members of a world community of freely associating human beings, not separated and pitted against each other by divisions of country, class, nationality (or “race”), gender and other oppressive relations.

See also:

THE DEADLY ILLUSION OF "NORMALCY" AND THE REVOLUTIONARY WAY FORWARD
by Bob Avakian

Read more

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America
(Draft Proposal)

Authored by Bob Avakian, and adopted by the Central Committee of the RCP

Read and Download (PDF)

How the Revolution Would Deal with Health Care, Including Epidemics

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

Read more

The RNL Show—Revolution, Nothing Less
Episode 4 of The Revolution, Nothing Less Show: Bob Avakian on Science and How Real Socialism Would Handle Pandemics

Airs every Thursday evening, 8pm ET, 5pm PT. Watch the whole series.

youtube.com/therevcoms

 

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/641/resource-page-on-covid-19-pandemic-en.html

The Coronavirus Pandemic — A Resource Page

| revcom.us

 

This is the interactive Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases Chart from the Coronavirus Resource Center, Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.

 

COVID-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus, has spread throughout the world, including the U.S. This pandemic is interacting with the state of the world and the gross inequalities and oppressive social relations of capitalism-imperialism. It is having a huge effect on human society as a whole and in individual countries, and may potentially have even more major impacts beyond even what is happening now. As Bob Avakian has said in “The Deadly Illusion of ‘Normalcy’ and the Revolutionary Way Forward”:

Underlying the immediate crisis, and the danger posed by the Trump/Pence regime and its fanatical fascist “base,” there is the more fundamental reality of the capitalist-imperialist system and the consequences of allowing this system to continue to dominate the world and determine the conditions of the masses of humanity and indeed the very fate of humanity itself. This crisis with the coronavirus has brought into sharp relief the reality that the capitalist system is not simply out of step with but is in fundamental conflict with, and a direct obstacle to, meeting the needs of the masses of humanity. Even as the capitalists and governments representing their interests have been forced to take certain emergency steps that in some ways run counter to the inherent dynamics of their system (such as massive intervention by the government in the functioning of the economy), the ways in which this system constitutes an obstacle to dealing with this crisis continue to assert themselves—including not only such perverse actions as the hoarding by some of vital medical and other supplies, in order to drive up the price, but also the fact that the creation of wealth under this system proceeds on the basis of ruthless exploitation and the impoverishment of masses of people throughout the world, while even in the “wealthier” countries there is significant poverty and large parts of the population live paycheck-to-paycheck and are only one serious crisis away from disaster; the ongoing rivalry between different capitalists (or associations of capital), with their private ownership of the means of production (land, raw materials, technology, factories and other structures) and private, competitive accumulation of wealth acts as a hindrance to necessary cooperation and the production of things that may be urgently needed but are not productive of private profit—and the whole ideology of advancing one’s interests at the expense of others, the individualism that is fostered by this system and is promoted to an extreme currently in this country, runs counter to and undermines inclinations toward cooperation and, yes, sacrifice for the greater good. Despite the dedicated efforts of many well-meaning people, even if the immediate crisis with the coronavirus is resolved, this will be done on the basis of intensifying the contradictions built into this system and the suffering of the masses of humanity who are already exploited and oppressed under this system. [Bolded emphasis added]

See the table of contents at right (or below, for mobile version) for what this special resource page on the coronavirus pandemic addresses. This is a time when having accurate scientific information and understanding is a life-and-death question for people here and around the world. Yet there is a lot of confusion about the coronavirus. There is misleading information coming from people in power, especially Trump. So getting to the truth on this is urgent.

We invite readers to send correspondence and suggestions, to volunteer and help maintain and update this page at this crucial juncture.

 

Bob Avakian on Revolution and the Coronavirus Pandemic

In the context of this current crisis, the exploitative and oppressive relations built into this system are asserting themselves in a pronounced way, within this country and internationally, just as they have in previous crises.

— Bob Avakian

CONSPIRACY THEORIES, FASCIST "CERTITUDE," LIBERAL PARALYSIS, OR
A SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO CHANGING THE WORLD

by Bob Avakian

 

The RNL Show — Revolution, Nothing Less!

Episode 4: Bob Avakian on Science and How Real Socialism Would Handle Pandemics. An excerpt of a speech from Bob Avakian that takes us deeper into the scientific method. Then a reading of Communique #4 from The Revcoms.

 

[Back to top]

 

What IS the Coronavirus COVID-19 and what do scientists know about this?

From The RNL Show — Revolution, Nothing Less!

Episode 3: An update from Dr. Phil Rice, Chair of Emergency Medicine at North Shore Medical Center in Salem, Massachusetts.

Episode 1: An interview by host Andy Zee with Dr. Phil Rice about the COVID-19 Pandemic

[Back to top]

How is the capitalist-imperialist system making the effect of the Coronavirus worse than it has to be?

The following was translated by revcom.us from Aurora Roja, the blog of the Revolutionary Communist Organization, Mexico:

Unnecessary COVID-19 Deaths Show This System Is Obsolete—Revolution Is Needed

Read more


Mexico: Protest at the ISSSTE [Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers] due to lack of supplies. The banner "Todos somos Miguel" (We Are All Miguel) refers to a healthcare worker who died from COVID-19 due to lack of adequate protective equipment.

[Back to top]

How do the "savage inequalities" of the system play out in the way this virus affects different sections of people? Who does it come down the worse on, and why?

[Back to top]

How would the revolution handle the coronavirus or similar epidemics if it held state power?

How the Revolution Would Deal with Health Care, Including Epidemics

Excerpt from the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian

Read more

[Back to top]

How are people resisting here and around the world? What should we be doing now?

Prisoner Writes on the Coronavirus—and Noche Diaz of the National Revolution Tour Responds

Read more

Sharply Contending Futures ... A Roundup of May 1st Protests

Read more

[Back to top]

This resources page is in formation. Visit frequently for updates.

We invite readers to send correspondence and suggestions, to volunteer and help maintain and update this page at this crucial juncture.

 

 

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/650/black-people-revolutionary-struggle-to-end-all-oppression-en.html

The Oppression of Black People & the Revolutionary Struggle to End All Oppression

| revcom.us

 

Bob Avakian on The Oppression of Black People & the Revolutionary Struggle to End All Oppression

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

an illustrated excerpt from the film
“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”

Watch the entire film here

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

Watch the whole speech here

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

Watch the whole speech here

WATCHING FRUITVALE STATION WITH BOB AVAKIAN

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

Read here | Download printable PDF

The Revolutionary Potential of the Masses and the Responsibility of the Vanguard

One of the things that I see, something that I haven't lost sight of, is this: I see all the strength of the ruling class, but I also see all the way through all this shit, all the contradictions in society—I actually see a force in this society that, if it were developed into a revolutionary people, actually could have a go at it, could have a real chance of making a revolution, or being the backbone force of a revolution, when the conditions were ripe. I see a force of millions and millions and millions—youth and others—for whom this system is a horror: It isn't going to take some cataclysmic crisis for this system to be fucking over them. The ruling class, ironically, sees them too. It is those who once had but have lost—or those who never had—a revolutionary perspective...it is they who can't see this.

Read more

The New Communism

From “Part III. The Strategic Approach to An Actual Revolution,” an excerpt from the section: 

National Liberation and Proletarian Revolution

Read here

Learn more about the book.

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

 
There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:1

Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy

Read online

Listen to MP3 audio:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

American Crimes — The Ugly History of This Country

From the revcom.us series American Crime:

Read the entire American Crime series

There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.

BAsics 1:1


There is a semi-official narrative about the history and the "greatness" of America, which says that this greatness of America lies in the freedom and ingenuity of its people, and above all in a system that gives encouragement and reward to these qualities. Now, in opposition to this semi-official narrative about the greatness of America, the reality is that—to return to one fundamental aspect of all this—slavery has been an indispensable part of the foundation for the "freedom and prosperity" of the USA. The combination of freedom and prosperity is, as we know, still today, and in some ways today more than ever, proclaimed as the unique quality and the special destiny and mission of the United States and its role in the world. And this stands in stark contradiction to the fact that without slavery, none of this—not even the bourgeois-democratic freedoms, let alone the prosperity—would have been possible, not only in the southern United States but in the North as well, in the country as a whole and in its development and emergence as a world economic and military power.

BAsics 1:8


Determination decides who makes it out of the ghetto—now there is a tired old cliché, at its worst, on every level. This is like looking at millions of people being put through a meatgrinder and instead of focusing on the fact that the great majority are chewed to pieces, concentrating instead on the few who slip through in one piece and then on top of it all, using this to say that "the meatgrinder works"!

BAsics 1:11


If you want to talk about who owes whom—if you keep in mind everything the capitalists (as well as the slaveowners) have accumulated through all the labor Black people have carried out in this country and the privileges that have been passed out to people on that basis—there wouldn't even be a U.S. imperialism as there is today if it weren't for the exploitation of Black people under this system. Not that the exploitation of Black people is the whole of it—there has been a lot of other people exploited, both in the U.S. and internationally, by this ruling class. But there wouldn't be a U.S. imperialism in the way there is today if it weren't for the exploitation of Black people under slavery and then after slavery in the sharecropping system and in the plants and other workplaces in a kind of caste-like oppression in the cities.

BAsics 1:12


No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that.

BAsics 1:13


The Black people, the youth, with their pants hanging down around their knees, their hats on backwards, their swagger, much of which I admire, weren't the ones who picked the jobs up and took them out of the ghetto. The people filling the prisons, the people in the gangs weren't the ones who took the jobs and moved them away. They were not the ones who, when Black people went chasing jobs, relocated them over the decades, discriminated against them, brought the police out to harass them and made it very difficult for them to get a job and keep a job under those circumstances.

None of that was done by the masses whom Bill Cosby so cheaply chooses to attack in this way. These were conditions that were caused by the dynamics of capitalist accumulation in its international dimension as well as within the country and by conscious policies of ruling class politicians in line with this.

BAsics 1:18


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.

BAsics 1:24


An Appeal to Those the System Has Cast Off

Here I am speaking not only to prisoners but to those whose life is lived on the desperate edge, whether or not they find some work; to those without work or even homes; to all those the system and its enforcers treat as so much human waste material.

Raise your sights above the degradation and madness, the muck and demoralization, above the individual battle to survive and to "be somebody" on the terms of the imperialists—of fouler, more monstrous criminals than mythology has ever invented or jails ever held. Become a part of the human saviors of humanity: the gravediggers of this system and the bearers of the future communist society.

This is not just talk or an attempt to make poetry here: there are great tasks to be fulfilled, great struggles to be carried out, and yes great sacrifices to be made to accomplish all this. But there is a world to save—and to win—and in that process those the system has counted as nothing can count for a great deal. They represent a great reserve force that must become an active force for the proletarian revolution.

BAsics 3:16

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

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

BAsics 2:16


People say: "You mean to tell me that these youth running around selling drugs and killing each other, and caught up in all kinds of other stuff, can be a backbone of this revolutionary state power in the future?" Yes—but not as they are now, and not without struggle. They weren't always selling drugs and killing each other, and the rest of it—and they don't have to be into all that in the future. Ask yourself: how does it happen that you go from beautiful children to supposedly "irredeemable monsters" in a few years? It's because of the system, and what it does to people—not because of "unchanging and unchangeable human nature."

BAsics 3:17


Even with very real changes in the situation of Black people, as part of the larger changes in the society (and the world) overall—including a growth of the "middle class" among Black people, an increase in college graduates and people in higher paying and prestigious professions, with a few holding powerful positions within the ruling political structures, even to the extent now of a "Black president"—the situation of Black people, and in particular that of millions and millions who are trapped in the oppressive and highly repressive conditions of the inner city ghettos, remains a very acute and profound contradiction for the American imperialist system as a whole and for its ruling class—something which has the potential to erupt totally out of the framework in which they can contain it.

BAsics 3:18


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


Oppressed people who are unable or unwilling to confront reality as it actually is, are condemned to remain enslaved and oppressed.

BAsics 4:1


During that time and on the way back after the game I was sitting with some Black friends of mine on the football team, and we got into this whole deep conversation about why is there so much racism in this country, why is there so much prejudice and where does it come from, and can it ever change, and how could it change? This was mainly them talking and me listening. And I remember that very, very deeply—I learned a lot more in that one hour than I learned in hours of classroom time, even from some of the better teachers.

BAsics 4:23


The "Bible Belt" in the U.S. is also the Lynching Belt.

BAsics 5:5


Do Black people need to take responsibility?
Responsibility for what?

Responsibility for REVOLUTION—DEFINITELY! We all need to take responsibility for making revolution—to emancipate all of humanity from this whole system of oppression.

BAsics 5:21

 

 

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This Memorial Day, Imagine a World Without America, and Everything It Stands For

| revcom.us

 

Internationalism —
Revolutionary Defeatism

Excerpt from: THE NEW COMMUNISM By Bob Avakian

What do I mean by revolutionary defeatism, and why is it so important? Revolutionary defeatism means that you oppose the actions of your own government and ruling class in carrying out their wars, which are wars for empire. It means that you welcome any setbacks they suffer in those wars, because that weakens their oppressive hold over masses of people, here and in the world more generally. Now, we do have to recognize that we have a different situation than back in the day with the war in Vietnam...

Read more

These imperialists make the Godfather look like Mary Poppins.

—Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:7

From the revcom.us series American Crime:

Read the entire American Crime series

These imperialists make the Godfather look like Mary Poppins.

BAsics 1:7


"Internationalism—The Whole World Comes First."

BAsics 5:8


It is not uncommon to hear these days, from government officials and others, that only 1 percent of the population is in the U.S. military but that this 1 percent is fighting for the freedom of the other 99 percent. The truth, however, is this: That 1 percent, in the military, is in reality fighting for the other 1 percent: the big capitalist-imperialists who run this country—who control the economy, the political system, the military, the media, and the other key institutions—and who dominate large parts of the world, wreaking havoc and causing great suffering for literally billions of people. It is the “freedom” of these capitalist-imperialists—their freedom to exploit, oppress, and plunder—that this 1 percent in the military is actually killing and sometimes dying for.

BAsics 1:5


The essence of what exists in the U.S. is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism and political structures to enforce that capitalism-imperialism. What the U.S. spreads around the world is not democracy, but imperialism and political structures to enforce that imperialism.

BAsics 1:3

The interests, objectives, and grand designs of the imperialists are not our interests—they are not the interests of the great majority of people in the U.S. nor of the overwhelming majority of people in the world as a whole. And the difficulties the imperialists have gotten themselves into in pursuit of these interests must be seen, and responded to, not from the point of view of the imperialists and their interests, but from the point of view of the great majority of humanity and the basic and urgent need of humanity for a different and better world, for another way.

BAsics 3:8


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

BAsics 1:31

 

 

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BOB AVAKIAN ON
COVID-19 AND THE OPPRESSION OF WOMEN

| revcom.us

 

In The Deadly Illusion of “Normalcy” and the Revolutionary Way Forward, I pointed to this basic fact:

In the context of this current [coronavirus] crisis, the exploitative and oppressive relations built into this system are asserting themselves in a pronounced way, within this country and internationally, just as they have in previous crises....

Even as broad swaths of the population will be hit by the coronavirus, this inequality will once again have its effect in this country in relation to the current crisis—as immigrants, prisoners, the homeless, people in poor communities, particularly among the oppressed nationalities, and others who are subordinated, degraded and despised by the “normal workings” of this system and the powers that be, will be subjected to disproportionate suffering.1

One of the main ways this is happening is with the oppression of women. This oppression is a fundamental part of this system of capitalism-imperialism (and all systems divided into exploiters and exploited), and it takes horrific forms in the “normal” functioning of this system.

As I have previously written, speaking to this horrific oppression:

Look at all these beautiful children who are female in the world. And in addition to all the other outrages which I have referred to, in terms of children throughout the slums and shantytowns of the Third World, in addition to all the horrors that will be heaped on them—the actual living in garbage and human waste in the hundreds of millions as their fate, laid out before them, yes, even before they are born—there is, on top of this, for those children who are born female, the horror of everything that this will bring simply because they are female in a world of male domination. And this is true not only in the Third World. In “modern” countries like the U.S. as well, the statistics barely capture it: the millions who will be raped; the millions more who will be routinely demeaned, deceived, degraded, and all too often brutalized by those who are supposed to be their most intimate lovers; the way in which so many women will be shamed, hounded and harassed if they seek to exercise reproductive rights through abortion, or even birth control; the many who will be forced into prostitution and pornography; and all those who—if they do not have that particular fate, and even if they achieve some success in this “new world” where supposedly there are no barriers for women—will be surrounded on every side, and insulted at every moment, by a society and a culture which degrades women, on the streets, in the schools and workplaces, in the home, on a daily basis and in countless ways.2

There are many ways in which all this has become even more extreme in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. To cite just two important examples:

Incidents of women being battered by husbands or boyfriends have significantly increased—not just in the U.S. but in many other countries as well.

And within the U.S. in particular, in a number of states whose governments are dominated by Christian fundamentalist fascists, there have been further attacks on the right to abortion. This is being done specifically in the form of closing down clinics that provide abortions, under the hypocritical pretext that such closures are aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus—at the same time as governing forces in many of these states are promoting reckless defiance of necessary measures to limit the spread of this virus. The fact is that it is definitely possible for clinics that provide abortions to implement measures to protect the health of women who are seeking abortions and to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus; and, given this, as well as the basic fact that the denial of the right to abortion is itself a great social harm, contributing in a major way to the oppression of women, there is no legitimate reason for closing these clinics and creating further obstacles to women exercising their right to abortion—and doing so adds further to the harm that is done to women on a daily basis, and to society overall.

All this is an expression of the fact that the position and role of women in society has become a very acute and concentrated focus of the whole question of the fundamental direction of society, and of humanity. This is something which fascist forces, including the fascist Trump/Pence regime in this country, have seized on as a crucial part of their unrelenting drive to reinforce and carry to extremes the already oppressive relations of this system—and it is something all those who are determined to live in a world free from all forms of enslavement and oppression need to recognize and take up as a crucial battlefront.

In this regard, something I wrote more than 30 years ago has become all the more profoundly true and important:

Over the past several decades in the U.S. there have been profound changes in the situation of women and the relations within the family. In only one of ten families is there the “model” situation where the husband is the “sole breadwinner” and the wife a totally dependent “homemaker.” With these economic changes have come significant changes in attitudes and expectations—and very significant strains not only on the fabric of the family but of social relations more broadly....The whole question of the position and role of women in society is more and more acutely posing itself in today’s extreme circumstances—this is a powderkeg in the U.S. today. It is not conceivable that all this will find any resolution other than in the most radical terms and through extremely violent means. The question yet to be determined is: will it be a radical reactionary or a radical revolutionary resolution, will it mean the reinforcing of the chains of enslavement or the shattering of the most decisive links in those chains and the opening up of the possibility of realizing the complete elimination of all forms of such enslavement.3

 


1. The Deadly Illusion of “Normalcy” and the Revolutionary Way Forward is available at revcom.us.  [back]

2. BAsics 1:10 (BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian). This is drawn from Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution—Part III: “The New Synthesis and the Woman Question: The Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution—Further Leaps and Radical Ruptures,” which is also available at revcom.us.  [back]

3. This statement by Bob Avakian was first published in 1985 and has been cited in a number of works since then, including Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution. Emphasis has been added here.  [back]

 

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/645/50-years-since-earth-day-1-en.html

50 Years Since Earth Day 1: Reflections on the Catastrophe That Is Capitalism-Imperialism

by Raymond Lotta

| revcom.us

 

This article addresses critical aspects of the climate emergency and broader environmental crisis. These are reflections on how the system of capitalism-imperialism is the underlying cause of this crisis—and why this system is the fundamental obstacle to humanity consciously confronting and collectively acting on the environmental emergency, with the urgency and on the scale required.

I. Indicators of Accelerating Crisis, Devastation, and Great Power Criminality

*2019 was the second hottest year on record. Since the 1960s, each decade has been warmer than the previous decade, by significant amounts. By 2016, when the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was signed by more than190 countries pledging to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, the planet had already passed a precipitous threshold of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: 400 parts per million.

NOTE: Half of all global carbon emissions since the industrial revolution (dating to 1751) were produced between 1988 and 2014—that is, since climate scientist James Hansen presented his seminal findings on global warming, and since the convening of UN summits on climate change. And in the almost four years since the signing of the Paris Agreement, not one major carbon-emitter is close to meeting stated goals. Meanwhile, the country responsible for the greatest amount of cumulative carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere—the United States—is headed by a fascist regime that denies the reality of global warming altogether, while ramping up fossil-fuel production.

In the following section, I draw from Bill McKibben’s article “A Very Hot Year”1 and step back to show how the underlying dynamics of capitalism are expressed.

*McKibben observes that the models used by scientists 20 and 30 years ago to predict warming have proven to be remarkably accurate—some 1 degree Celsius, as averaged across the globe, so far. BUT the impact/effect/severity of global warming was far underestimated. The planet has notably suffered the loss of more than half of sea ice in the Arctic, and the onset of the collapse of coral reefs. McKibben cites a November 2019 European study identifying nine major tipping points focused on Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, the boreal forests and permafrost of the north, and Amazon rainforests and corals of the tropical latitudes. The conclusion is that the risk of “abrupt and irreversible changes” was much higher than projected by the earlier research.

NOTE: No emergency alarm has gone off, no radical rethinking, no bold action at the highest levels of governance.

*The U.S. is the world’s biggest oil and natural gas producer (for the record, the “climate-conscious” Obama administration presided over the largest increase in oil production in U.S. history and under Obama the U.S. became the largest natural gas producer in the world). The U.S. is also expected to produce 80 percent of the new supply of oil and gas over the next five years.

NOTE: This projection cited by McKibben predates the COVID-19 pandemic and the sharp contraction of the world economy. But, tellingly, in the early stages of the pandemic, Russia and Saudi Arabia were dueling it out in a price war to secure and expand global oil market shares. How? By pumping more oil, which then threatened the global market position of the U.S. fossil-fuel industry. The Trump/Pence regime moved to bolster U.S. oil prices. But as the pandemic worsened and oil consumption fell sharply, oil prices crashed.

*To meet the Paris Climate Summit goal of limiting temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the world would have to cut emissions by 7.6 percent annually for the next decade. That would require an enormous slashing of fossil-fuel consumption. As McKibben observes, no individual country (and certainly not the global economy as a whole) has reduced carbon emissions at that rate in a single year.

NOTE: The reality is that an effective and coordinated commitment to sustain such a level of carbon reduction, continuously over an entire decade, collides with the short-term horizons of capital and the profitable fossil-fuel foundations of the world-imperialist economy... and smacks up against the boundaries of private/national-state decision-making in a world of competing capitals and national-imperialist states. Again, think about it: no major signatory to the Paris climate agreement is on track to meeting its goals. We live in a world in which non-renewables, including oil, coal, and natural gas, provide 80 percent of global energy.

II. A Contradiction Built into the Competitive-Private Relations of Capitalism as It Has Historically Evolved: Reliance on and Expansion of Fossil Fuels...
The Barriers to and Limitations of Green Technology in the Framework of This System

In his March 12, 2020 article, McKibben cites Financial Times calculations that in order to meet the 1.5 degree Celsius Paris target, and this is far from what is needed, the fossil-fuel industry would have to leave 84 percent of its reserves in the ground, effectively writing off their value. (Reserves refers to the estimated amount of crude oil controlled by private and state companies that can be brought to the surface under current technical and price conditions.)

Let’s examine why keeping 84 percent of fossil-fuel reserves in the ground is such an imponderable in the framework of capitalism-imperialism.

*The oil/natural gas energy companies/investors draw on finance to make huge fixed capital outlays (technical equipment, infrastructure, etc.): in order to explore for and develop their oil reserves... and ultimately to extract oil and natural gas at a profitable margin. There are “sunk investment costs” in these reserves. This refers to the social knowledge (engineering, etc.) that is privately deployed; seismic and oil-field development technology that is applied, transport infrastructure put in place—costs that cannot be recovered if the firm making those investments leaves the industry. At the end of the day, these investments are weapons in the capitalist battle for markets, expansion, and survival.

*There is this particularity in the oil and natural gas extraction sector: it takes years for individual fossil-fuel projects to become profitable... years for massive capital-intensive investment to be recouped by private owners.

That can only happen through continuous cycles of production. If those circuits of production-realization-new production do not continue—recoupment plus profit will not materialize. There is compulsion facing these individual units of capital to “make good” on these investments, which means developing and drilling oil from these reserves, producing and producing more—with all the adverse consequences for the well-being of the planet.

This capitalist calculus of profit-making and return on investment works against, effectively nullifies, a rational recommendation by climate scientists, and a most “sensible” demand by many climate activists: to “keep the oil in the ground.”

This profit-making calculus, and it flows from the expand-or-die compulsion of capital, is also part of the reason that the idea and prediction bought into by many progressive people—that once the price of clean-renewable technology came down, we’d surely be on a different (a positive) trajectory—has proven to be utterly untrue.

*A salient observation on green energy by David Wallace-Wells in his 2019 book, The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming (a recommended read):

“[T]he much-heralded green-energy ‘revolution’ ... has not even bent the curve of carbon emissions downward. We are, in other words, billions of dollars and thousands of dramatic breakthroughs later, precisely where we started when hippies were affixing solar panels to their geodesic domes. That is because the market has not responded to these developments by seamlessly retiring dirty energy sources and replacing them with clean ones. It has responded by simply adding the new capacity to the same system. Over the last 25 years, the cost per unit of renewable energy has fallen so far that you can hardly measure the price today, using the same scales (since just 2009, for instance, solar energy costs have fallen more than 80 percent). Over the same 25 years the proportion of global energy use derived from renewables has not grown an inch. Solar isn’t eating away at fossil-fuel use, in other words, even slowly; it’s just buttressing it. To the market this is growth; to human civilization, it is almost suicide.” (Emphasis added, p. 178)

*There is what is called “path-dependency”: So much capital is tied up in fossil fuel, as fossil fuels have been cheap and widely available; and as fossil-fuel-based production has been foundational to the profitable functioning of the global capitalist-imperialist system, including its global supply chains with their “dirty” (fossil-fuel-based) infrastructure. Moving outside the energy industry, the auto industry continues to manufacture vehicles with gasoline-fueled, internal combustion engines—with research expenditure and infrastructure established for gasoline-fueled transport and machines. This “path” of fossil-fuel-based production is self-reinforcing, and has been further reinforced with the massive expansion of hydraulic fracking of petroleum and natural gas (and this sector’s huge fixed capital outlays). What is being described is a major barrier to “unlocking” fossil-fuel energy systems.

*The problem of green energy in the framework of capitalism-imperialism

Renewable energy, like wind and solar power, has been scaled up commercially. But these renewables answer to the goal of generating profit and are also objects of market share competition. So you have the situation in which both the Obama and Trump administrations imposed tariffs (a tax) on Chinese-manufactured solar panels. And in the current pandemic-slowdown of the world economy, firms in the solar and wind industries are scrambling to survive and competing for bank and government-backed loans.

Green energy/technology as it has developed is stamped by the structure and workings of the system. The current manufacture of solar panels involves the mining and fusing of quartz and coal, and depends on global supply chains with significant inputs of fossil fuel. The batteries powering GM and Tesla electric vehicles would not function without cobalt that is mined under horrific conditions of super-exploitation, including child labor, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Europe is establishing wind farms in North Africa, in what amounts to a kind of “green-energy colonialism.” Solar panels help power the prison and torture camp at the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo in Cuba. All of which is to say that harnessing a less fossil-fuel-based infrastructure to the existing imperialist economy of the U.S., with its unsustainable levels of consumption and its plunder of the planet, is NOT a good thing for humanity and for the earth.

*A brief aside on innovation and “risk taking.” The ideologues of capitalism hail its “risk-taking” qualities: “savvy entrepreneurs” who take “bold gambles” and “venture capitalists” who go where others dare not go. But the one “risk” that is not taken, that will never be taken... is that which does not follow the logic of profit and empire, the very logic that is destroying the planet.

*Oil is a strategic commodity. Oil is bigger than ExxonMobil, bigger than the money-slinging, right-wing oil-political donor and operative Charles Koch, and bigger than the major banks that have frenetically financed fossil-fuel’s wave of capital expansion of the past decade. Oil is a strategic commodity. Control over oil supplies and oil markets brings with it leverage over the world economy. Oil is central to the military and war-making capabilities of U.S. imperialism. It is a strategic weapon of rivalry and intimidation. For example, the U.S. imperialists, beginning with the Obama administration, stepped up oil and natural gas production to increase maneuvering room against imperialist Russia, and to intimidate countries like Iran and Venezuela—that depend on oil sales as their economic lifelines—into submission.

For all of the reasons gone into—the profitability of oil-based production, the fixed capital tied up in it and “path dependency,” the role of oil as a strategic commodity—along with other factors, capitalist markets and the capitalist state have NOT effected a rapid shift to “green technology.”

BUT ON THE BASIS OF MAKING A REVOLUTION THAT OVERTHROWS THIS SYSTEM... that establishes a new socialist state power and economy no longer based on private ownership and exploitation—and that puts an end to the American empire, with its network of sweatshops and military bases—we will be able to decisively move away from fossil fuels. We can do that as a critical part (emphasizing that this is still only a part) of a radical, all-around reorganization of society and restructuring of the economy toward socialist sustainability.

A genuine socialist economy would allocate and re-allocate resources on a societal level. It would have the capacity to redirect and subsidize investment and effect dis-investment—and to consciously regulate growth. It can do that because the framework of public-state ownership enables you to socialize and centralize the surplus of society and to consciously steer and coordinate economic development through comprehensive, integrated planning, guided by the three goals/criteria set forth in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America authored by Bob Avakian and the associated Some Key Principles of Socialist Sustainable Development.

III. “Public Goods” in a Private Capitalist World

Humanity is part of nature. We evolved with and are dependent on the physical environment and its interaction with other living things. Well-functioning ecosystems provide us with oxygen, food and fuel, materials essential to survival and well-being, protection from storms, disease, and solar radiation, regulation of water and climate. Not to mention aesthetic wonder and inspiration for art.

*The economic models and pricing system of capitalism cannot capture the true measure of these elements of nature. They systematically “undervalue” nature because, historically, these benefits of ecosystems are provided “free” as “public goods”—and have been systematically overexploited as imperialism relentlessly and massively commodifies more and more of nature. Export-production in poor countries rich with natural resources is based on the exploitation/processing of “public goods,” such as mangrove forests turned into commercial shrimp farms. But export prices do not factor in “environmental costs”: their short- and long-term impacts locally and globally. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that rich countries disproportionately use what are called “environmental sinks”—like the atmosphere and tropical rainforests—to absorb their high levels of carbon emissions.

In short, profit-maximizing capital has massive negative effects “external” to its private boundaries of ownership, operations, costs, and earnings. These are unpaid environmental externalities.

IV. The Rich/Poor Country Divide and Climate Change

*The U.S. and Western Europe have been directly responsible for 52 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions since the Industrial Revolution. The U.S. alone has accounted for 25 percent and is, in the words of climate scientist James Hansen, “by far, more responsible than any other nation” for global warming. The poorest half of the world’s population—3.5 billion people—is responsible for just 10 percent of cumulative carbon emissions.2

*By 2050 global warming might create as many as 1 billion climate refugees, most from the poor nations of the world—according to projections from the UN International Organization for Migration.

*In the years 1961-2000, countries in the low, middle, and high income groups were responsible for 13%, 45%, and 42% of greenhouse-gas emissions, respectively. The resulting “climate damages” were estimated to be distributed 29%, 45%, and 25%, respectively.3

*During the past 50 years, some 69 percent of deaths from extreme weather-related events—such as droughts, wildfires, floods, landslides, heat waves, and large storms—have taken place in poorer countries. Since 2000, this death rate in poor countries has been seven times higher than in wealthier countries.4

*And one little known but significant contributor to this situation is that major U.S. transnational corporations like Walmart, GM, and Apple outsource pollution to China, Bangladesh, countries in Central America, and elsewhere. America’s total carbon emissions worldwide are actually 14 percent higher than the domestic numbers reveal, when you factor in the greenhouse gases emitted by the manufacture of cars, clothing, and other products overseas but that are consumed in the U.S.5

*A 2019 study by Stanford University scientists estimates that the gap between the economic output of the world’s richest and poorest countries is 25 percent larger today than it would have been without global warming; and from 1961 to 2010, global warming decreased the wealth per person in the world’s poorest countries by 17-30 percent.6

*In the world today, nearly 70 million refugees have been forced from their homes: 23 million of them, about a third of the total, and almost all from Third World countries, were displaced by extreme weather events that are becoming more common and destructive because of global warming. The number of Central American migrants forced to flee their countries, due in significant part to climate change, increased five-fold between 2010 and 2015. These were unusually dry years, leaving many without enough food.7

V. Imperialist Global Trade, Agro-Industry, and the Destruction of Species

In May 2019, the UN Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services issued a preliminary report. Its crucial finding was that one million species face extinction in the next few decades unless action is taken to reduce the intensity of drivers of biodiversity loss. The report identifies five factors driving extinction and biodiversity loss: changes in land and sea use; unsustainable overuse; climate change; pollution; and invasion by non-native species. And what are some of the key drivers of these drivers? This is summarized in the revcom.us article “Capitalism-Imperialism Is Strangling Life on the Planet.”8

*Global trade. The UN report points out that global trade has increased ten-fold in the last 50 years. This is a product of profit-driven imperialist globalization and the forging of a globally integrated, cheap-labor manufacturing/sweatshop economy and the extraction of raw materials. Goods produced in the oppressed countries of the global south are transported worldwide in huge container ships consuming massive amounts of fuel oil that contributes to pollution and global warming. These supply chain/transport systems require increased infrastructure, such as roads and pipelines, which split up ecosystems (having effects like impeding the ability of animals to travel with changes in seasons). Global trade also increases the spread of invasive species (not native to a region). These invasive species have increased by 70 percent since 1980 alone, disrupting and often causing great damage to ecosystems. One invasive pathogen spread in part by global trade is responsible for the extinction of at least 200 species of frogs around the world.

*Commercial-driven destruction of wetlands that often support high concentrations of animals. Many such wetlands have been drained to make room for industrial farming that utilizes toxic fertilizers and pesticides that poison land and water. Wetlands have been compromised by reckless residential and urban-industrial development that produces pollution and carbon dioxide accelerating climate change.

*Fossil-fuel-driven climate change. The report emphasizes that climate change is “increasingly exacerbating the impact of other drivers...that many species are unable to cope locally with the rapid pace of climate change, either through evolutionary or behavioral processes, and that their survival will also depend on the extent to which they are capable of dispersing, of following the appropriate climatic conditions and preserving their capacity for evolution.”

VI. A planet interconnected and integrated by capitalist-imperialist globalization is a planet of intensifying and accelerating eco-catastrophe... a planet on fire.

*Why? Because capitalism-imperialism, in its ruthless and anarchic pursuit of profit and competitive advantage, not only has ravaged the environment but is driven to continue to do so, releasing more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in the ceaseless drive of competing blocs of capital for profit and more profit. This is a system in which fossil fuels are “cost effective.”

*And global warming is having cascading feedback effects: climate-driven crop failures and water shortages; diseases and plagues compounded by global warming—mosquitoes that can migrate to expanding tropical regions; mutating viruses; rising sea levels that endanger densely packed swaths of humanity in coastal cities; unbreathable air; acidification and warming of oceans that depletes fisheries and contributes to more frequent and intense weather events and disasters; the potential loss of one million species; climate refugees and resource-scarcity conflicts.

*Global interconnection without global cooperation. To quote again from The Uninhabitable Earth: “If you had to invent a threat grand enough, and global enough, to plausibly conjure into being a system of true international cooperation, climate change would be it—the threat everywhere, and overwhelming, and total.” (This was before COVID-19, but this is the world we are living in!) And what we see is the utter opposite of “true international cooperation.” This inability to coordinate and cooperate is a function of capitalism-imperialism, of globalized capital anchored to national markets and safeguarded by national-imperialist states, a world system divided into oppressor and oppressed countries, and rent by antagonistic class and social division. A system in which private ownership and appropriation are in conflict with socialized and interconnected global production.

*It doesn’t have to be this way. Only a revolution to overthrow this system and establish a new socialist state power and economy, to create a socialist society as a transition to global communism—a revolution guided by the new communism developed by Bob Avakian—gives humanity any real chance to save the planet. Only by making this revolution can we fit ourselves to be caretakers of the planet for current and future generations, and create a true world community of humanity.

 


1. New York Review of Books, March 12, 2020. [back]

2. James Hansen, Climate Change in a Nutshell: The Gathering Storm, 18 December 2018, p. 15; “World’s richest 10% produce half of carbon emissions while poorest 3.5 billion account for just a tenth,” Oxfam, December 2, 2015. [back]

3. Data from U.T. Srinivasan, et al., “The debt of nations and the distribution of ecological impacts from human activities,” Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences of the United States, February 5, 2008. [back]

4. “Time to redress the globally unjust cost of climate change,” International Institute for Environment and Development, September 2019. [back]

5. Brad Plumer, “You’ve Heard of Outsourced Jobs, but Outsourced Pollution? It’s Real, and Tough to Tally Up,” New York Times, September 4, 2018. [back]

6. “Global warming has increased global economic inequality,” Noah S. Diffenbaugh and Marshall Burke, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the Unites States, May 14, 2019. [back]

7. The climate crisis, migration, and refugees, Brookings Institution, July 25, 2019; Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration, World Bank, August 2018; “Central American Farmers Head to the U.S., Fleeing Climate Change,” New York Times, April 13, 2019; “Climate Change Threatens the World’s Food Supply, United Nations Warns,” New York Times, August 8, 2019. [back]

8. “Capitalism-imperialism is Strangling Life on the Planet,” revcom.us, May 13, 2019. [back]


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)

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.

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

Order the book HERE
Download the book in ePub format HERE


Coral reefs have declined 50% in the last 150 years. All but 1 percent may be lost in the next decades if climate change continues. The Northwest Hawaiian Island coral reefs alone support 7,000 species of fishes, invertebrates, plants, sea turtles, birds, and marine mammals.

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


Ice Melting on Denmark Island, Greenland, August 6, 2018. (Photo: Matt Osman/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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


The Montiva Refinery, Port Arthur, Texas, largest oil refinery in North America. The Texas Gulf Coast has four of the 10 biggest oil and gas refineries in the United States. (Photo: AP)


U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons on a patrol mission over Afghanistan, November 29, 2019. (Photo: USAF/SMJenkins)


Sea otter, among the species endangered due to destruction of habitats and oil spills which contribute to their fur being unable to keep them warm. (Photo: Marshal Hedin, San Diego/Wikimedia Commons)

 

 

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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/654/letter-from-prisoner-on-breaking-with-islamic-fundamentalism-and-casting-off-the-mental-chain-of-religion-with-editors-note-and-response-en.html

Letter from Prisoner on Breaking with Islamic Fundamentalism and Casting Off the Mental Chain of Religion — with Editors’ Note and Response

| revcom.us

 

Editor’s note: We at revcom.us periodically publish letters from prisoners on revolutionary theory and struggle, as well as other aspects of human experience and thought, including conditions and struggle within the prisons themselves. We appreciate and learn from all correspondence from the prisons. The opinions of the letters we publish are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Revcom.us. The letter below from a prisoner is followed by a response from Revcom.us editors.

From a prisoner in the South:

To the Prisoner Revolutionary Literature Fund (PRLF),

I've been getting mailings of Revolution from the PRLF for about a year now, and unfortunately I never sent you my thoughts on its contents. So let that be my self-criticism. I've had ample opportunity to contribute to discussions that would've benefited me, but only laziness held me back. All along, your volunteers print out and send me this newsletter every week – so it's been a one way street when it ought to be a two way one. For now on, I will send correspondence, and in return, I would like know if you can send me: 1) The New Communism; 2) BAsics; 3) "Breakthroughs" and 4) The Constitution [for the New Socialist Republic in North America].

As you well know, in response to COVID, the Prison Nation has placed us all on lockdown instead of doing the humane and sensible thing, which is to release people. That's because we're not living in a humane and sensible system that values human lives. I must say I am one of the "fortunate" ones who are captive in an institution that has not seen an outbreak. Despite that, this federal concentration camp in southern xx has been on lockdown, wherein we've been confined to cells for 22 and a half hours a day 5 days a week, and 24 hours on weekends.

In response to the righteous rebellions that have popped off in cities across the US, and even the world, sparked by the lynching of George Floyd, the BOP has put a twist on the plot: they have essentially turned every medium and maximum security prison in their jurisdiction into one massive SHU. We are being held hostage, with no time out of our cells, no phone calls, no emails, no commissary and no showers, until the demonstrations end. They have assured us that these measures are "non-punitive" when in reality it is the epitome of torture to keep human beings caged in 6'x12' cells without any recourse to calling our loved ones and even bathing. After complaining to a lieutenant on Friday, he taunted us and said "wash your ass in the sink." This has been going on since Monday, June 1, and it is because more than 60% of the Prison Nation are composed of George Floyds, so the struggle that's being waged outside against police terror is our struggle, and state violence is something that we incarcerated people experience on an ongoing basis all day every day. Therefore this is an attempt to disconnect us from what’s happening outside, and it won't work.

I wanted to address two articles in Revolution, issue #649 and the other in #646 that I saw as being interconnected. One is an excerpt from The New Communism, from the section "Internationalism and an International Dimension" and the other is "BA on Emancipation from Mental Slavery and All Oppression."

I saw a connection between the two because I can relate to them on a personal level. BA mentions that Islamic Fundamentalists ought not to be supported by communists and anti-imperialists because they are an inherently reactionary force, and that does not mean that we go and support the imperialists – both sides must be fought. Let me provide a brief introduction – I was once beguiled by reactionary jihadist propaganda which made me fall prey, at the age of 17, to an FBI-NYPD manufactured sting operation – which is why I'm in federal prison. I understand very well the ideologies of various Islamic fundamentalist organizations and their histories, and with that being said I agree with BA 100%. Anybody who doesn't is naive to the current situation and the political histories of North Africa and Western Asia.

I would further add that jihadists are actually allies of capitalism-imperialism even as they now appear to be mortal enemies. It must be understood that these groups formed in areas where there were intense people's struggles – Palestine, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. These countries, among others, at one time or another were either led by Arab Nationalists (Egypt and Syria), Marxist-Leninists (the People's Democratic Republics of Southern Yemen and Afghanistan) or had strong and dynamic communist and/or revolutionary nationalist insurgencies (the PFLP and PLO in Palestine, and the Communist Party in Iraq). These are only a few examples, but originally religious organizations were formed as a counter-weight to all of this popular energy, and in some cases were supported by, or at least allowed to grow, both by regional governments and imperialists, in an effort to split the movement. In Egypt and Palestine, the settler-colonial state of Israel originally funded the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, even helping build schools for these organizations. It was hoped that these groups would have a conservative effect on the masses of people who otherwise were supportive of the PLO – which at that time in the 1980s was the largest, SECULAR resistance movement in Palestine. In Indonesia, back in the ’60s, you had a nationalist leader named Sukarno who was instrumental in forming the Non-Aligned Movement. Well, the CIA orchestrated a bloody coup against him which involved none other than ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISTS. I'm not even going to go into the CIA funding and support of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan because that’s well-known, but a more recent example are the jihadi groups that are around today. Much of the resistance to the US occupation of Iraq were originally coming from nationalist organizations as well as just basic masses of people who wanted to defend their homeland. Al-Qaida didn't come til much later, in 2006, when their affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq (later changing its name to ISIS and now just IS) was formed. Well, they were allowed to form, not on the streets of Iraq but in a US military detention camp. While there's no evidence that the occupation supported them in anyway, the ISI did their bidding when, they were finally unleashed into the streets and started waging a religious war on the people of Iraq, mainly Shi'ites, splitting the resistance along sectarian lines. This is actually the reason why the ISI were expelled from Al-Qaida. The same dynamic has played out in the last decade in other Arab countries – in Yemen during the Arab Spring when the government allowed Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula to form mini fiefdoms in the south of the country and go after student demonstrations; and of course the Syrian Civil War, originally starting as an uprising against police brutality, devolved into armed conflict between rival religious extremist factions, each supported by Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, and the United States. Unfortunately, I don't have any of my sources on hand that I can cite, but all of this information could easily be found.

So, in conclusion, Islamic fundamentalism, though representing an outmoded system, is very much subordinated to capitalism-imperialism, far from actually being opposed to it. Its calls to fight the US is purely situational, and the latter only sees them as a threat insofar as they pose a threat to US interests. Some groups may even say that they're opposed to capitalism, and might include some left-wing rhetoric, but don't be fooled – fascists sometimes have to do that to get the masses on their side, and Islamic Fundamentalism is nothing short of fascist. They might not be identical to German Nazism, but they don't need to in order to be FASCIST – as BA points out elsewhere. It's interesting to note as well that Islamic Fundamentalist organizations developed at the same time as the Christian Right – and they both serve the same interests, which is to be a backlash against previous social gains and to push women back in their "places" as social safety nets the world over are being dismantled.

I studied all of this history in prison, and through listening to WBAI and being exposed to radical left publications, I became a communist. I held on to religion for quite a while after that though, actually til very recently. So it wasn't a linear process wherein I became a communist and an atheist at the same time. I had to learn from experience that religion was really holding me back from realizing my full potential and at the same time, I had to struggle with my emotional attachment to it. Believing in a spook in the clouds was very damaging in that it kept me from working with people who were more advanced than me because they were queer or trans (and kept me ashamed of being queer myself), and I was plagued with this spirit of procrastination – in other words, I was often held back from taking action in intervening in my personal life or in the social reality around me because I believed that a god was going to do it for me. So yeah, casting off that mental chain has been truly liberating on many different levels, and I'm a fuller human being as a result of that.

A big part of being a communist is understanding that WE are the ones who move history, WE have control over our lives. At the same time, the history we make and the social reality that forms around it has an influence over our lives. Insomuch as the belief in a spook god gets in the way of understanding that, insomuch as religion keeps you from identifying with people who are being exploited and who are suffering, then no, I don't believe that a communist can be religious. Often organized religion is a conservative influence that, even while sometimes encouraging and motivating people to fight for social justice, has also discouraged masses from going all the way with it - in social revolution. Even during times of uprising and rebellion, like what has been going on in several major cities these last couple weeks, the state always relies on religious leaders to "urge restraint" or corral them into voting for a lesser evil candidate (Bourgeois Electoral Bullshit!). Now on the other hand people do have spiritual views that don't get in the way of understanding who is in control (you, we, us) and who has the power (the people), and it exhorts them to righteous rebellion and solidarity. Where such people actually exist, I don't think it's anyone's business what they believe.

Additionally, I think that it's necessary for revolutionaries to understand that while religion is the opiate of the masses, it is also the sigh of the oppressed. Yes, it is an outdated way of understanding aspects of the universe that are unknown to us – like why do we suffer? So we have to realize that as long as people are living under oppressive conditions, as long as they're living an alienated, powerless existence, religion is going to be something that people turn to.

I do think that religious people should be struggled with, but with the understanding that only through the process of participating in a collective struggle for liberation, through seeing first hand one's creative power when joined with others (and thus seeing the humanity of others), will people finally cast off those mental chains of religious dogma once and for all. You can't make being an atheist a prerequisite to being a revolutionary, it's participating in the revolutionary process that makes one think and understand the universe in new ways, beyond the constrictions of religion.

I know you'll probably disagree with me on that last point, but I'm very open to discussion and struggle. I hope this is the beginning of a fruitful correspondence, and anything that I write that you wish to publish, I give permission. You can use my nickname "Just."

In Struggle,

Just

* * *

Revcom.us editors respond:

Dear Just,

We very much appreciate your letter and the journey you’ve been on. Your story is an extremely important one to share, and you bring to bear some important insights on the history of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. In that regard, we wanted to share the accompanying excerpt from AWAY WITH ALL GODS! Unchaining the Mind And Radically Changing the World, by Bob Avakian – the passage entitled “Why Is Religious Fundamentalism Growing in Today’s World?” 

To get into the question you pose and struggle you raise at the end of your letter: it’s important to both not only welcome people with a wide range of views into the revolutionary process but to learn from people holding a wide range of views, including religious views. At the same time, we firmly believe that it’s necessary to struggle with people from the very beginning of that process over views which hold them back and prevent them from fully contributing to that process – a process which is, after all, aimed at the full emancipation of all humanity. Without such struggle, there will be no revolution – it’s as simple, and important, as that.

As you very compellingly point out about your own development, while you made contributions to the struggle as you increasingly took up a scientific materialist outlook to society, it was only when you took up a fully materialist outlook that you were able to break with a certain feeling that things will somehow work out on their own, without our own conscious activity. So we do people no favors – and more important, given the urgency of the situation we all confront, we do humanity no favors – when we hold back from struggling with people over anything in their outlook that prevents them from contributing to the revolution as fully as possible, even while we should seek to work closely with people as we are struggling with them.

Here we want to emphasize what is said toward the end of the article you cite from BA, EMANCIPATION FROM MENTAL SLAVERY AND ALL OPPRESSION:

It is neither possible nor principled—and no one should ever try—to force people to give up beliefs they hold at any given time. In the most fundamental terms, emancipation—from every form of slavery and oppression—must be the voluntary and conscious act of people.  But there is a great need and importance to waging ideological struggle, in a principled way but as sharply as necessary, to win people to take up a scientific approach to understanding, and changing, the world and break with ways of thinking that actually contribute to keeping them, and others, oppressed.

Again, it is true that many religious people take part now in important struggles against oppression; and it is also true that many religious people will be among the millions taking part in the revolution to do away with this whole oppressive system. But this revolution, and the continuing struggle to end all oppression and bring about real and complete emancipation, must be led by those, among the most oppressed, and others as well, who have taken up a scientific approach to changing the world and have cast off the mental slavery of religion, along with every other way of thinking that promotes, or at least rationalizes and objectively justifies, oppression.

So, again, thank you for your correspondence, and let’s keep up the dialogue.

The editors

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.

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

Order the book HERE
Download the book in ePub format HERE

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Graphic imagePRLF is an educational literature fund that sends Revolution newspaper (www.revcom.us), works from Bob Avakian, and other revolutionary and scientific literature to hundreds of prisoners across the U.S.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/654/this-july-fourth-demonstrate-how-to-dishonor-the-american-flag-en.html

From the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

This July 4th: Demonstrate How to
Dishonor the American Flag

| revcom.us

 

In words that echo down to today, Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist and former slave himself, said in a July 4th speech in 1852: "For revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival."

WE DEMAND:

AN END TO INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM AND MURDER BY POLICE — NOTHING LESS!

AN END TO ANY WAY PEOPLE ANYWHERE ARE USED, ABUSED, AND BRUTALIZED — NOTHING LESS!

WE NEED: REVOLUTION — NOTHING LESS!

The Revolution Club challenges you this July 4th to think about the following from Bob Avakian, a radically different leader with a whole new framework for human emancipation:

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

— Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:31

Saturday, July 4th

1 pm B.Y.O. Flag to Desecrate
(Art and Theatre Welcome)

Rally and march beginning at
Sunset Blvd. and Cahuenga Blvd.

4 pm Celebration and Program
MacArthur Park (7th St. & Park View St.)

Come together, meet each other, learn about the history of American Crimes.

LOCAL INFO: revclub_LA@yahoo.com
(323) 245-6947        @revclub_LA
YouTube/Social Media: TheRevComs
Website: www.revcom.us


The U.S.A. was founded on enslavement of Black people and genocide against Native Americans. It expanded through war—stealing large parts of Mexico and continuing to drive native people off their land.

The U.S.A., on the original foundation of slavery and genocide, has since built itself up as a world-wide empire of plunder and exploitation. Its wealth and power built up through Jim Crow Segregation followed by a New Jim Crow of mass incarceration targeting Black people and other people of color; and through invasions and genocidal wars, CIA coup d’etats and assassinations, and support for murderous regimes all through Africa, Asia, South America, the Middle East...

On July 4th, all of this is CELEBRATED as “greatness”!!!??? WTF!?

This July 4th... as people around the world have stood up to say NO MORE to racism and murder by police... as people confront what kind of country it is that we live in, and its real history... as people defy police batons, arrests, and tear gas... a beautiful uprising has come into being. While Democratic mayors and governors have used their pig forces and called in the National Guard, this is not enough for the fascist Trump regime. Trump has threatened to send in the military into the cities to crush the Black Lives Matter uprising. He is threatening 10 years in prison for people righteously pulling down white supremacist statues.

And now he has declared that burning the American flag should be illegal, asking the Supreme Court to reconsider the Texas v Johnson ruling that made flag burning constitutionally protected Speech.

As the defendant in that case Joey Johnson has replied: "Fuck Donald Trump. I am determined to defy Trump on July 4th," Johnson states, "by burning an American flag as a fitting symbol of Trump and his fascist regime.” And Joey has called on everyone who opposes the crimes of this empire to join him in doing that!

This July 4th The Revolution Club joins with Joey's call. And we call on you to not only be part of condemning MAGA—"America First” chauvinism—but to be part of bringing a radically different world into being where people from all over the globe, act together for the common good and are truly caretakers of the earth by making REVOLUTION - NOTHING LESS! Join with us to take action that day, and to learn about the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian and get into the strategic plan he has developed for how to make this revolution, and the sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a radically different kind of society that can be found in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America that he authored.


July 4, 2019—In the face of Mein Trumpf's militarist orgy the burning flags light up a different future

Download and distribute leaflet

 

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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/654/here-is-what-the-fascist-trump-is-celebrating-by-going-to-mt-rushmore-july-3-en.html

HERE IS WHAT THE FASCIST TRUMP IS “CELEBRATING” BY GOING TO MT. RUSHMORE JULY 3

| revcom.us

 

Like his trip to Tulsa to re-launch his campaign, like his defense of Confederate monuments, and like 100 other things, this is a deliberate upholding of white supremacy and genocide.

To get a deeper sense of what he's honoring and the ugly and irredeemable history of this country, read these:

Read the entire American Crime series

 

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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/654/press-release-gregory-joey-johnson-to-defy-trump-again-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Gregory “Joey” Johnson, Defendant in Landmark Supreme Court Decision, Texas v. Johnson (1989), to Defy Trump AGAIN: #July4BurnFlag / #FlagBurningChallenge

1 July 2020 For immediate release
Gregory “Joey” Johnson available for interviews
Contact: 323.245.6947 / DefendJohnsonOfTvJ@gmail.com / @joey4revolution

LA Times: "Meet the man who made it legal to burn the American flag"

As Donald Trump continues to threaten violence against those righteously protesting police murder and to criminalize the basic political right of flag burning, Gregory "Joey" Johnson, the notorious flag burner of Texas v. Johnson, the 1989 ruling making flag burning constitutionally protected speech, will again defy Trump.

In 2019, Johnson, together with the Revolution Club, burned an American flag in front of the White House, an action that drew global news coverage. This year Johnson states,

"I am determined to defy Trump on July 4th," Johnson states, "by burning an American flag at a fitting symbol of Trump and his fascist regime. And I'm calling on everyone who stands against injustice and oppression to join me."

"In the beautiful uprising sparked by the brutal and sickening murder of George Floyd, people have righteously torn down statues of white supremacists and genocidal murderers of Native Americans. And they have burned the American flag because it is a cloth monument to the same and more!

"As abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass said in an 1852 July 4th speech, ‘For revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival,’" Johnson adds, "and those words echo down to today."

Johnson will be supporting the Revolution Club's @therevcoms call: "This July 4th: Demonstrate How to Dishonor the American Flag."

"Be safe, don't endanger others," Johnson says, "but wherever you are in this country or around the world, help make this July 4th a day of defiant flag burning actions! Then let others know by posting photos and videos on social media with the hashtags #July4BurnFlag and #FlagBurningChallenge.”

Gregory "Joey" Johnson will be interviewed about plans for #July4BurnFlag on The RNL-Revolution Nothing Less-Show, Thursday, July 2, 5pm PT, 8pm ET.

Also: Bob Avakian on Fredrick Douglass: "What to the slave is your 4th of July," @Carl_Dix interviews @MrChuckD and more

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.

Robin Abcarian, "Meet the man who made it legal to burn the American flag," Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2020:

Gregory “Joey” Johnson plans to burn a flag on July 4 to protest the president’s suggestion that flag burning be outlawed...

Gregory “Joey” Johnson is not willing to say where he will be on July 4 — “It’s a big country, so who knows?” — but he will definitely be somewhere in the public square, advocating an end to white supremacy, institutionalized racism and police brutality. In all likelihood, he will also burn an American flag....


July 4, 2019—In the face of Mein Trumpf's militarist orgy the burning flags light up a different future

See also:

 

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.
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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/654/rnl-show-episode-15-announcement-en.html

Episode 15 of
The RNL Show—Revolution, Nothing Less!

| revcom.us

 

Share this widely

"What to the Slave Is Your Fourth of July? What to the Future of Humanity Is America?"

Premieres on youtube.com/therevcoms
Thurs, July 2, 2020
5pm PDT / 8pm EDT

The Revolution, Nothing Less Show

As July 4th approaches, Black and Brown people are still being gunned down in the streets. The fascist Trump is threatening protesters who pull down Confederate statues and anyone standing up for Black lives. And around the world, the U.S. military terrorizes and unjustly occupies foreign lands.

Episode 15 of The Revolution, Nothing Less Show takes an ideological sledgehammer to the fucked-up notion that America is the “leader of the free world” and challenges you to imagine—and fight for—a world without America. A world of real emancipation for all of humanity. This means REVOLUTION, NOTHING LESS!

In this episode:

  • Chuck D will be interviewed by Carl Dix about the slammin’ new song from Public Enemy, “State of the Union (STFU)”!
  • Andy Zee will give commentary and share clips from Bob Avakian that take us deeper into the foundation of America and why this system cannot be reformed and must be overthrown!
  • Notorious flag-burner Gregory “Joey” Johnson will join Sunsara Taylor for an interview about his challenge to burn the American flag this July 4th in defiance of Trump’s threats. Then they will hit the streets with Pete on the Street to learn how people broadly see the American flag. You won't want to miss what happens here!

Subscribe to the YouTube channel, leave a comment, and spread the word all over social media to help extend the reach of The RNL Show — Revolution, Nothing Less!

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/654/chicago-press-release-for-july-2-2020-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Announcing plans for marches through areas where the youth are killing and maiming each other; calling on these youth to “Get with the Revolution” and be part of bringing down this murderous system and bringing into the being a whole new world

July 2, 2020

Immediate Release:  
What: Press conference and rally

Who: Revolution Club, Chicago 
When: Thursday July 2nd 3pm
Where: 71st and Jeffrey in South Shore — one of CPD's designated “hot spots”

Contact: Interviews available by phone: 312-804-9121 
Follow us on social media @therevcoms 
Revolution Club Chicago organizing center 1857 E. 71st Street, Chicago, IL 

The entire country (indeed world) has been involved in a beautiful uprising for weeks demanding an end to institutionalized racism and police brutality and murder. What does Lightfoot’s new “progressive” Chief of the Chicago Pig Department (CPD) do? Threatens to illegally round up teenagers and put them in preventive detention for days over the holiday in the middle of a pandemic!  For the July 4th holiday, he is planning to put young people in cages to “protect them.” As Frederick Douglass said on July 4th in 1852, “For revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.”  We have one thing to say to the new chief, “Empathetic progressive” my ass, you, sir, are a mad lunatic for whom the answer to every question is prison, prison and more prison. How dare you call these youth "evil murdering bastards". It is the CPD you lead, notorious around the world for its brutality "who are the 'evil murderous bastards' not our youth who your pigs terrorize daily.”

We in the Revolution Club Chicago also have a message for these youth the pigs want to incarcerate. We will be out in neighborhood hot spots over the holiday weekend recruiting you to learn about and become part of the revolution we need.  You who are now killing and maiming each other are capable of something much greater — becoming emancipators of humanity — part of overthrowing this monstrosity of a system that commits crimes here and around the world ... crimes far beyond anything ever imagined by mythology or any small time gangster. This system of capitalism/imperialism has cast people like you aside — burdened and deprived of a life with meaning, then violently contained by marauding pigs along with mental shackles like “dog eat dog” look out for #1 or praying for some savior.  The Revolution Club intends to begin marches in areas where this violence among the people is raging to get youth out of the mess they are caught up in and into what is really needed — organizing now to Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can be Led to Go for Revolution, All-Out, With a Real Chance to Win.


Juneteenth 2020, Chicago

 

Follow: @TheRevcoms
Read: www.revcom.us
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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/654/on-the-russian-controversy-the-interests-of-the-us-rulers-are-not-our-interests-en.html

On the Russian Controversy:
The Interests of the U.S. Rulers Are NOT Our Interests

| revcom.us

 

An intense struggle has erupted in the U.S. ruling class over allegations that Trump was briefed by U.S. intelligence agencies in February or March that Russian operatives have been, for about a year, offering “bounties” to Taliban fighters to kill American troops who are currently occupying Afghanistan. And it is charged that Trump then did nothing to oppose Russia doing this, or even to investigate further.

About 20 U.S. soldiers were killed in Afghanistan last year, and it is claimed that at least one died because of these “bounties.” For mass consumption, this controversy is being wrapped in emotional salutes to “our brave men and women in uniform, fighting to defend freedom,” in order to draw the masses of people into a fight in the ruling class over how best to maintain their bloody worldwide empire

First, let’s get two things straight:

Number one, U.S. troops have NOT been defending “freedom” or anything that is good for humanity. The war in Afghanistan is not a “good war” and U.S. troops in Afghanistan are not “innocent bystanders.” Over the course of 18 years, more than 800,000 heavily armed and armored U.S. troops have been the backbone of a U.S. occupation and war; the U.S. has rained 38,000 bombs on this impoverished country, conducted 12,000 drone strikes, imprisoned and often beaten, tortured or even killed at least 15,000 Afghan people. The U.S. war has killed well over 100,000 people, and five million people – almost one person in seven – has been driven from their home. All of this was in pursuit of imperialist strategic interests. (See “America Leaves Afghanistan After Killing Over 100,000 People in Its ‘Good War’” for documentation and for a deeper understanding of why the U.S. nearly destroyed Afghanistan.)

Number two, these howls of outrage are profoundly hypocritical. The U.S. poured billions of dollars into Afghanistan in the 1980’s to build up Islamic jihadist forces (including Osama bin-Laden) precisely to kill thousands and thousands of Russian troops who were there to dominate Afghanistan in Russia’s own bloody war for empire.

As we wrote in American Crime Case #24: U.S. Proxy War Against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, 1979 – 1988:

In July 1979, the U.S. began a covert campaign to destabilize Afghanistan’s new pro-Soviet government and lure the Soviet Union, at the time their main imperialist rival, into invading Afghanistan. In December 1979, after the Soviets invaded with 100,000 troops, the U.S. organized and led a bloody, decade-long proxy war against them and their Afghan client regime with one focus: bleeding the Soviet Union white and “killing Russians.”

As part of this the U.S. provided over $3 billion in arms and aid to Islamic fundamentalist forces fighting the Soviet Union, including Osama bin Laden. At least 800,000 Afghans and 15,000 Soviets were killed in the ensuing bloodbath, and the war is widely viewed as playing a major role in the 1992 collapse of the Soviet Union. This was a major imperialist-strategic “win” for the U.S., whereas for Russian imperialism it was a major defeat from which Russia is still trying to “come back.”

The accusations against Trump are part of a very sharp struggle within the U.S. capitalist-imperialist class. There are deep differences over HOW to maintain and expand their empire.

As Bob Avakian has said:

The interests, objectives, and grand designs of the imperialists are not our interests—they are not the interests of the great majority of people in the U.S. nor of the overwhelming majority of people in the world as a whole. And the difficulties the imperialists have gotten themselves into in pursuit of these interests must be seen, and responded to, not from the point of view of the imperialists and their interests, but from the point of view of the great majority of humanity and the basic and urgent need of humanity for a different and better world, for another way.

BAsics 3:8

At the same time, this struggle could affect the overall struggle right now to drive out this fascist regime, in complex ways. In this regard, we must also keep in mind these two paragraphs, which have run frequently at revcoms.us:

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.


Children killed by U.S. airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan, 2008. (Photo: AP)


In October 2015, the U.S. destroyed a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing 19, and wounding dozens of patients and staff. (Photo: AP)

From Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution:
"Wars of Empire, Armies of Occupation & Crimes Against Humanity"

Watch the complete speech 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/654/bob-avakian-a-necessary-and-fitting-commentary-on-july-4th-en.html

A NECESSARY AND FITTING COMMENTARY ON JULY 4TH

by Bob Avakian

| revcom.us

 

Any country which began with its foundation in slavery (and genocide against the native peoples); which maintained, and expanded, slavery (on land stolen from native peoples and Mexico) for nearly 100 years after its founding; which for another 100 years after the Civil War carried out thousands of lynchings of Black people, with mass celebrations of this, including the selling of postcards of lynchings throughout the country; which still has thousands of monuments to the Confederacy and white supremacy; and which today continues racist oppression in every dimension of society, enforced by continuing police terror—any such country has absolutely no claim to any positive celebration of itself or its history and heritage!

Bob Avakian (BA) is the most important political thinker and leader in the world today.

Get Into BA »

 

 

 

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/654/press-release-on-july-4th-ill-be-burning-the-american-flag-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Press Conference/Protest with notorious flag burner Gregory "Joey" Johnson

“On July 4th, I'll be burning the American Flag at Los Angeles Revolution Club protest!”

 

3 July 2020 For immediate release
Gregory “Joey” Johnson available for interviews
Contact: 323.245.6947
DefendJohnsonOfTvJ@gmail.com / @joey4revolution

 

12:30 pm Press Conference, Sunset Blvd. & Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles
1:00 pm Rally & March, Sunset Blvd. & Cahuenga Blvd
4:00 pm Celebration & Program, MacArthur Park (7th St. & Park View St.)
B.Y.O. Flag to Desecrate, Art & Theater Welcome
INFO: revclub_LA@yahoo.com, Social Media @revclub_LA, @TheRevComs
Washington, DC, NYC, Chicago July 4 Protests below

Hashtags #July4BurnFlag / #FlagBurningChallenge

Statement from Gregory "Joey" Johnson:

"On July 4th I will be present at the ‘Demonstrate How to Dishonor the American Flag’ called by the Revolution Club in Los Angeles. I will be burning the American flag in protest and in defiance of the fascist Trump’s call to re-criminalize burning the flag in protest.

"Trump is attempting to overturn the decision in my Supreme Court case, Texas v Johnson (1989) that decided burning the flag in protest is constitutionally protected speech. Trump is fighting for a fascist clampdown of force patriotism – by criminalizing disrespect for the flag, he is forcing respect for the flag.

"A year in jail for flag burning?! Forced patriotism = fascism. I’m going to defy Trump by burning that flag and you should do the same!

"Defy the fascist in chief, the white supremacist in chief, the misogynist, xenophobic, jingoistic, America first chauvinist imperialist in chief! We all should have nothing but contempt and revulsion for him and his fascist regime – and be determined to mobilize millions of people to drive the regime from power!

"It is fitting Trump claims the flag because behind all the mythology the American flag has always been about slavery, genocide, war, white supremacy, — it is worn as a shoulder patch by police that murder Black and Brown people every day, it flies over the mass incarceration prisons in this country packed with mainly Black and Brown and Native people, it flies over the concentration camps holding our immigrant sisters and brothers, it is worn on the lapels of the legislatures stripping women of the right to abortion, it is a flag that blesses the planes and bombs and troops, as the “glorious” military of this country — which is a massive machinery of slaughter and war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"The revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian says, 'Internationalism—The Whole World Comes First!', and he says, 'American lives are not more important than other people’s lives.' Humanity first, not America first! This is what should be coursing through our hearts and minds and actions on July 4th."

Johnson is calling on all who oppose oppression and injustice to make this July 4 a day of defiant flag burning actions, and to let others know by posting photos and videos on social media with the hashtags #July4BurnFlag and #FlagBurningChallenge.

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

See, Robin Abcarian, "Meet the man who made it legal to burn the American flag," Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2020

Revolution Club: This July 4th: Demonstrate How to Dishonor the American Flag

  • Washington, DC: 7 30 pm, Lafayette Park / front of White House
  • New York City: 4:00 pm, gather at Columbus Circle
  • Chicago: 4:00 pm, Logan Square (Illinois Centennial Monument)
  • Click HERE for contact info


July 4, 2019—In the face of Mein Trumpf's militarist orgy the burning flags light up a different future

See also:

 

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/603/revcoms-july-fourth-fireworks-2019-en.html

Revcoms' July Fourth Fireworks, 2019

| revcom.us

 

From a reader:

The most meaningful Fourth of July event I’ve ever experienced took place yesterday in Washington, DC. There I saw two U.S. flags being torched on Pennsylvania Avenue with the White House in the near background. The event was conceived and carried out by members of the Revolution Clubs to protest Trump’s policies towards migrants, especially those seeking entry at America’s southwestern border, and against the U.S. government’s financial and moral support of other countries as they repeatedly bomb and invade such Middle Eastern nations as Yemen and Palestine.

The day before I witnessed this event, I spent some time with a friend discussing flag burning as a method of political protest. Even though I had already decided to go to DC as a protest against the government’s putting toddlers, children and adults into virtual concentration camps, my response to this idea was that it was rather melodramatic, and not worth doing because it would offend those that love America but hate Trump, many of these don’t associate the flag with Trump’s fascism. My friend felt that burning the flag was a powerful statement against Trump and those of his supporters that have made a fetish of the flag, steeping it in the symbolism of white supremacy and jingoism. He felt, as I did, however, that flag burning would be deeply offensive to some allies of Refuse Fascism and Revcom and divisive at a time when we activists must face Trump and his followers with as much unity as possible.

When my friend and I parted, I found myself leaning towards his at least partial approval of flag burning—that it was a powerful statement against the uses to which the fascists had put the flag. As I mulled over this assessment, my own agreement warmed, and I was glad that my concern over the little kids’ being locked in cages had decided me to go to DC to bear witness to the Revcoms’ protest regardless of what shape it took.

The flag burning turned out to be not only a powerful statement but also an intensely honest one.  I am beginning to realize that people must be persuaded by raw truth not cajoled or flattered by the beliefs that their families or schools instilled in them. Those are habits, sugar coated by a false and unhealthy sense of virtue. Surely those who are capable of struggling against Trump and his cronies must be able to see America’s behavior at its southern border, in the Middle East, and within its own boundaries has sullied all of its symbols, including the flag. Why would we want allies so fuddled by habit and so complacent about their own morality that they would hold our struggles back by clinging to old mores? Not that we should reject such people wholesale. There are many really good people like that out there. We should continue to seek them out and persuade them even if it means shocking them to do so.

To some extent, I am one of the people that need to be persuaded. My use of the term “melodramatic” when criticizing flag burning marks me as a liberal bourgeois. (You mustn’t burn flags, dear. It’s not in good taste.) But I found myself more shocked by the behavior of the trolls and ogres that had gathered at DC to celebrate Trump than by the flag burning. They were obviously more upset over the destruction of a piece of cloth than over the deaths and emotional crippling of humans. As they strove to vent their rage on the flag burners, they howled like animals and repeated with idiot conviction: “USA USA USA!” I saw one young woman, painted with stars and stripes, leaning into the arms of her boyfriend and wiping away fake tears over the “desecration of the flag.” Part of me wanted to smack her and say, “I’ll give you something to cry about.” People like this woman had passed us by with smirks when, before the main event, we had tried to engage their compassion for the migrant children at the border. Others, after the flag burning, mimicked the crying of the little ones (Mami, Papi) when they were torn from their parents’ arms and forced into cages.

Trump supporters, so determined to impose their fake and toxic values on others, must never take over our society. I noticed that other witnesses beside myself were more appalled by them than by the torching of a cloth symbol. One woman was beaten to the ground by the Trump supporters and arrested by the DC police when she gave verbal support to the flag burners. Another woman of about sixty came up to thank one of the Revcoms in Lafayette Park when he made a speech explaining the burning of the flag. She was the very epitome of a lady. She wept different, more genuine tears than the clinging vine I had noticed earlier.

—Lillian Forman, an eighty-three-year-old retired book writer and editor

 

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/654/press-release-july-4th-i-will-be-burning-the-american-flag-en.html

| revcom.us

 

“On July 4th, I will be burning the American flag at Los Angeles press conference.”

Trump's fascist threats at Mt. Rushmore make Gregory “Joey” Johnson action all the more important.

 

4 July 2020 For immediate release
Gregory “Joey” Johnson available for interviews
Contact: 323.245.6947 / DefendJohnsonOfTvJ@gmail.com / @joey4revolution

 

12:30 pm Press Conference, Sunset Blvd. & Cahuenga Blvd Los Angeles
1:00 pm Rally & March, Sunset Blvd. & Cahuenga Blvd
4:00 pm Celebration & Program, MacArthur Park (7th St. & Park View St.)
B.Y.O. Flag to Desecrate, Art & Theater Welcome
INFO: revclub_LA@yahoo.com @revclub_LA @TheRevComs  
Washington, DC, NYC, Chicago July 4 flag burning protest info below


Hashtags #July4BurnFlag / #FlagBurningChallenge

"Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities...the American people are strong and proud and they will not allow our country and all of its values, history, and culture to be taken from them." 
—Donald J. Trump, July 3 2020

Friday the fascist Donald Trump traveled to Mt. Rushmore where he issued a monstrous call to protect the legacy of the white supremacy and threatened demonstrators who have been heroically demanding that this END NOW. His answer to this is to arrest and prosecute people for telling the truth about the history of this country and the symbols of slavery and oppression that Trump calls "our most sacred memorials." There is a straight line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today.

Trump's threats make it all the more important to attend and cover the 12:30 am Los Angeles press conference where Gregory "Joey" Johnson, the defendant in the landmark 1989 Supreme Court case establishing flag burning as constitutionally protected speech, will be burning the American flag.

Statement from Gregory "Joey" Johnson:

"On July 4th I will be present at the ‘Demonstrate How to Dishonor the American Flag’ called by the Revolution Club in Los Angeles. I will be burning the American flag in protest and in defiance of the fascist Trump’s call to re-criminalize burning the flag in protest.

"Trump is attempting to overturn the decision in my Supreme Court case, Texas v Johnson (1989) that decided burning the flag in protest is constitutionally protected speech. Trump is fighting for a fascist clampdown of force patriotism – by criminalizing disrespect for the flag, he is forcing respect for the flag.

"A year in jail for flag burning?! Forced patriotism = fascism. I’m going to defy Trump by burning that flag and you should do the same!

"Defy the fascist in chief, the white supremacist in chief, the misogynist, xenophobic, jingoistic, America first chauvinist imperialist in chief! We all should have nothing but contempt and revulsion for him and his fascist regime – and be determined to mobilize millions of people to drive the regime from power!

"It is fitting Trump claims the flag because behind all the mythology the American flag has always been about slavery, genocide, war, white supremacy, — it is worn as a shoulder patch by police that murder Black and Brown people every day, it flies over the mass incarceration prisons in this country packed with mainly Black and Brown and Native people, it flies over the concentration camps holding our immigrant sisters and brothers, it is worn on the lapels of the legislatures stripping women of the right to abortion, it is a flag that blesses the planes and bombs and troops, as the “glorious” military of this country — which is a massive machinery of slaughter and war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"The revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian says, 'Internationalism—The Whole World Comes First!', and he says, 'American lives are not more important than other people’s lives.' Humanity first, not America first! This is what should be coursing through our hearts and minds and actions on July 4th."

Johnson is calling on all who oppose oppression and injustice to make this July 4 a day of defiant flag burning actions, and to let others know by posting photos and videos on social media with the hashtags #July4BurnFlag and #FlagBurningChallenge.

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

See, Robin Abcarian, "Meet the man who made it legal to burn the American flag," Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2020

Revolution Club: This July 4th: Demonstrate How to Dishonor the American Flag

  • Washington, DC: 7 30 pm, Lafayette Park / front of White House
  • New York City: 4:00 pm, gather at Columbus Circle
  • Chicago: 4:00 pm, Logan Square (Illinois Centennial Monument)
  • Click HERE for contact info


July 4, 2019—In the face of Mein Trumpf's militarist orgy the burning flags light up a different future

See also:

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/654/native-americans-protest-trump-rally-held-on-stolen-land-en.html

Native Americans Protest Trump Rally Held on Stolen Land

| revcom.us

 

On July 3, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Trump held another rally to spread fascism, white supremacy, and COVID-19. Trump’s speech was a fascist call to arms against all those who have been taking to the streets against police murder of Black people and righteously taking down statues and symbols of white supremacy, the Confederacy, and colonial oppression—and against anyone opposing this regime.

But this did not go unopposed. Native American protesters blocked the highway leading to the rally site—protesting how this ugly rally, beneath Mt. Rushmore, was being held on land sacred to the Lakota and other Native peoples. They protested how this land had been stolen by the U.S. government. They protested the whole history of stolen land and the systematic and genocidal oppression of Native Americans. At the rally’s height, protesters numbered around 200. The protesters were mainly Native Americans of different tribes and others also joined.

An array of repressive forces had been mobilized against the peaceful protest: National Guard, cops, and sheriffs—many in full riot gear. The protest was repeatedly declared an unlawful assembly, with threats to arrest people. The crowd responded by shouting that the cops are on indigenous land and the ones who are here unlawfully.

The protest was angry and spirited and very defiant. Some explicitly made a commitment to stay all night if they needed to and were willing to be arrested. People blocked the road with their bodies and also parked vans across the road. When the National Guard lined up across the road and started moving toward protesters, people rushed up and confronted the pigs—pushing up against their shields, forcibly preventing the soldiers from moving forward.

For many hours people kept up the chants, including: “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Donald Trump has got to go,” “This is our home, this is our land,” “No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA,” “Dismantle White Supremacy,” “Indigenous lives matter,” and “No more stolen sisters.” A call and response went: “You took our children. You took our mothers. You took our fathers. You took our culture. You took our land.” At one point people chanted: “Black Lives Matter and We Can’t Breathe.” One sign simply said: “Never Great.”

Pepper spray was used and two protesters said deputies pulled protesters’ gas masks and face coverings in order to spray them up close. Later, cops moved in and arrested around 15 people.

A young woman interviewed on Unicorn Riot livestream of the protest said, “They have broken treaties time and time again, you as settlers are here on this land illegally, you are trespassing, we have the right to prosecute you on our land, this is treaty territory. They are not welcome here. You have already spilled enough blood here colonizers!”

For background:

Criminal History of Mt. Rushmore

The monument at Mt. Rushmore was carved into the granite rock face between 1927 and 1941. But the land here, the Black Hills of South Dakota, was stolen from the indigenous Lakota by the U.S. government in the 1800s.

The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 recognized that a large portion of the Black Hills belonged to Native American people. But in 1874, a military expedition led by General George Custer confirmed and announced the discovery of gold in the Black Hills, unleashing a flood of miners into the region, backed and protected by the U.S. military, and leading to the Black Hills War of 1876. Then in 1877, the U.S. implemented the Indian Appropriations Act of 1876, cutting off all rations to the Lakota to force them to "sell or starve." In 1877 the U.S. proclaimed an "Agreement" under which it claimed that the Lakota had ceded the land back to the U.S. But the legal validity of the "Agreement of 1877" — including whether any significant section of Lakota actually signed onto it — is disputed to this day.

Over 100 years later the site was occupied by a group of Native Americans protesting treaty violations, and in 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government had violated the Fifth Amendment and that the Sioux Nation was entitled to a $100 million compensation. The tribes declined this compensation because accepting it would mean they could no longer legally demand that the land be returned to them.

The creator of Mt. Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum, built strong ties to the KKK and attended their meetings while working on an enormous bas-relief at Stone Mountain in Georgia to memorialize Confederate leaders, featuring Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson. Whether or not he was officially a KKK member, he espoused white supremacy and anti-Semitism. Borglum left the Stone Mountain project to work on Mt. Rushmore.

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier said in a statement about Mt. Rushmore, “Nothing stands as a greater reminder to the Great Sioux Nation of a country that cannot keep a promise or treaty than the faces carved into our sacred land on what the United States calls Mount Rushmore.” Frazier says “This brand on our flesh needs to be removed and I am willing to do it free of charge to the United States, by myself if I must.”

Sacred Land of Paha Sapa

For years, Native American activists have argued that the Mt. Rushmore monument is a huge insult to the people, just like monuments to Confederate leaders or Spanish conquistadors. And now there are demands that the massive sculpture at Mt. Rushmore be destroyed. This comes in the midst of the people taking direct action all over the country to tear down statues of Confederate soldiers, slave owners, and other oppressors.

Most people call this land “Mt. Rushmore,” but to the indigenous Lakota people its name is Paha Sapa, “the heart of everything that is.” Nick Tilsen, a leader and citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation on Pine Ridge Reservation, said, “This place is very, very sacred to our people. And so, the act of, one, stealing our land, and then carving the faces of four white men, who were colonizers, who committed genocide against Indigenous people, is an egregious act of violence... it’s also pushing this falsehood narrative about American democracy, when we actually really should be uplifting the truths of what happened throughout history and how those truths are directly connected to the disparities that exist today in society amongst Indigenous people.”

Mt. Rushmore Criminals

Mt. Rushmore—which features the stone faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln—is a monument to white supremacy, slavery, and crimes against the Native American people.

Washington and Jefferson both owned slaves. In 1779, Washington commanded a scorched-earth campaign against Native American tribes in western New York. In 1862, Lincoln ordered the hanging of 38 Sioux in Minnesota after a violent conflict with white settlers. Roosevelt actively supported the uprooting and genocide of Native Americans.

Harold Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, said, “Visitors look upon the faces of those presidents and extol the virtues that they believe make America the country it is today... Lakota see the faces of the men who lied, cheated and murdered innocent people whose only crime was living on the land they wanted to steal.”