revcom.us, April 19, 2021 through April 25, 2021 (#696)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/694/a-declaration-a-call-to-get-organized-now-for-a-real-revolution-full-en.html

FROM THE REVCOMS (REVCOM.US):

A DECLARATION,
A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW
FOR A REAL REVOLUTION

| revcom.us

 

Let’s get down to basics: We need a revolution—nothing less!

To everyone who can’t stand this world the way it is ... who is sick and tired of so many people being treated as less than human ... who knows that the claim of “liberty and justice for all” is a cruel lie ... who is righteously enraged that injustice and inequality go on, and on, and on, despite false promises and honeyed words from people in power (or those seeking power) ... everyone who agonizes about where things are headed and the fact that to be young now means being denied a decent future, or any future at all ... everyone who has ever dreamed about something much better, or even wondered whether that is possible ... everyone who hungers for a world without oppression, exploitation, poverty, and destruction of the environment ... everyone who has the heart to fight for something that is really worth fighting for: You need to be part of this revolution.

This revolution is not just “a good idea”—it is actually possible.

Is this for real? Are we serious about this, and can we back it up? YES. We are not here to repeat garbage that may be “popular” or to spread the lies we are constantly told by the people in power and their mouthpieces in the media and elsewhere. We are here to bring the truth. So here are some basic truths that we need to understand and live by.

1. The system we live under, the system of capitalism-imperialism destroys lives and crushes spirits. It is the source of endless horrors for the majority of people in this country and all around the world, and it is increasingly threatening the very existence of humanity. The military of this country is not carrying out an “honorable service”—and it is not some “bad ass” force that people should respect. It is doing the same thing around the world, on a massive scale, that the police are doing here: carrying out the cowardly killing and terrorizing of people in the service of the biggest oppressors in the world, the rulers of this country. And it is a major cause of the destruction of the environment.

It is a hard but basic truth: For the masses of people, and ultimately for humanity as a whole, there is no future, or no future worth living, under this system.

But there is a way to a world and a future that is worth living, and is worth fighting for right now: revolutiona real revolution, not playing around with a few changes that leave this system in place and in power, while benefitting only a small number. A revolution means a force of millions, drawn from many different parts of society and organized for an all-out fight to overthrow this system and replace it with a radically different and much better economic and political system, a socialist system, based on meeting the needs of the people and carrying forward the fight for a communist world where there will finally be an end, everywhere, to the exploitation, oppression, and destruction of the environment that is built into this system of capitalism-imperialism. Anything less than this revolution will completely fail to deal with the root of all the problems or lead to the actual solution.

2. Revolutions are not possible all the time, but are generally possible only in rare times and circumstances, especially in a powerful country like this. This is one of those rare times and circumstances. This system is in real trouble, caught up in crisis and conflicts for which it has no easy or lasting solutions. Throughout this country the workings of this system have given rise to deep divisions which cannot be resolved under this system. Society is being ripped apart. Those who rule are locked in a bitter fight among themselves, and they cannot hold things together in the way they have in the past. Although there are a lot of bad things connected with this and it could lead to something really terrible, it is also possible that we could wrench something really positive out of it—revolution, to put an end to this system and bring something much better into being.

We have seen the potential for revolution powerfully demonstrated just last summer when millions of people, of all races and genders, all over this country, and all around the world, rose up together against racist oppression and police murder. We have seen this potential in the mass outpourings of women, in countries all over the world, refusing to put up with being abused and degraded. This potential is also revealed in the deep distress being expressed, by scientists and millions of ordinary people, about the continually worsening climate crisis and the threat this poses to the future of humanity—a crisis this system cannot solve, but can only make worse. But, with all this, right now only a small number of us have recognized the need for this revolution and are acting to make it happen. So there is crucial work that must be done now to win people to understand the need for revolution and act to make it real—to turn the potential for revolution into a powerful movement and organized force for an actual revolution.

3. To make this revolution a reality, we need leadership with the scientific method, the strategy and program that can shine a light through the madness and chaos that this system is constantly creating and can lead in carving the path forward out of this madness to the radically new world we need. AND WE HAVE THAT LEADERSHIP—IN BOB AVAKIAN (BA). BA is the architect of a whole new framework for the liberation of all oppressed people and the emancipation of all humanity: the new communism. We are followers of BA. And you need to become followers of BA too. There never has been a leader like this in this country and there is no other leader like this in the world now. We cannot afford not to follow this leadership if we ever want to get free and put an end to this madness.

4. We need to urgently change the situation where not nearly enough people know about this revolution and are with it. We need to get this revolution, and its leadership, known everywhere. We need to challenge and seriously struggle with people right around us, and all over the country, to do something that, yes, requires real heart and will make a positive difference for real—become part of this revolution, and follow this revolutionary leadership. We need to organize more and more people into the ranks of the revolution.

Organizing people into this revolution means reaching out to all sorts of people—not just where there are protests and rebellions against oppression and injustice, but everywhere throughout society—spreading the word about revolution and getting people together (in real life and online) to grapple with why an actual revolution is necessary, what such a revolution involves, and what kind of society this is aiming for. This will enable people who are new to the revolution to themselves become organizers for this revolution and to recruit more and more people to do the same. On this basis, and through the growing ranks of the revolution acting together as an increasingly powerful force, it will be possible to attract and organize the necessary numbers, and build up the necessary strength, to be in the position to do what needs to be done.

We need to struggle hard with people to take up the orientation and strategy, the values and goals, for this revolution, and dedicate themselves to working for this revolution, while we unite growing numbers to fight the abuse, brutality and destruction perpetrated by this system, and through all this get thousands and then millions of people prepared and steeled to do away with this system that brings so much hell to people. We need to wield this growing revolutionary force to stand up to this system and its murderous enforcers and to change the whole “terrain” (the political, social and cultural situation and “atmosphere”) throughout society, in order to weaken the hold of this system over people, win people away from acting to strengthen and enforce this system, and create the best possible conditions for this revolution to succeed.

To come back to basics: We need revolution—a real revolution. We cannot afford to waste these rare times and circumstances that could be ripened into a real chance to make revolution. We cannot afford to squander the rare and precious leadership we have for this revolution. We have to get busy, build the movement and the organized forces for revolution all over the country, and work together tirelessly for this revolution, to actively prepare for the situation where this system can be brought down and something much better brought into being.

To get more of the tools and the knowledge you need to become part of this revolution, and to go to work building for this revolution, get with those representing for this revolution right now, become part of the Revolution Clubs around the country, go to our website revcom.us regularly, and watch The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show every week.

If you want to know more about this, right now, keep reading: here is further knowledge about these basic truths.

One. This system of capitalism-imperialism rules and profits by exploiting and oppressing, using and abusing masses of people, including children, all over the world; by treating whole groups of people as less than human; by slaughtering people who get in its way; by threatening people with its arsenals of mass destruction; by destroying the environment. Regardless of who is in the positions of power, this is the only way this system can operate, and under this system things can only get worse. All this is why we need a revolution. Bob Avakian (BA) has put this very clearly: “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!

To make it very clear once more: By revolution we mean nothing less than overthrowing this whole system—defeating, disarming and dismantling the murderous armed power and other institutions that enforce this system—completely abolishing this whole system and replacing it with something radically different and much better, a new society built on an entirely different foundation. And this new system we need is socialism—an economic and political system that is set up to meet the needs of the people, not the profit and power of exploiters and oppressors—a system that moves to do away with all exploitation and oppression, and supports people everywhere fighting against exploitation and oppression, in order to get to a communist world, where all this madness will finally be ended, for real, and people all over the world will be able to work together for the common good. Don’t be fooled by talk about how communism is no good and will make things worse. That is just talk that helps to keep this system of capitalism-imperialism going, with all its horrors for the masses of humanity and its growing threat to our very existence. In the works of BA, and other works you can find at revcom.us, you can learn the real truth about communism and the way BA has further developed communism into an even more powerful and liberating science of revolution: the new communism.

Two. This is one of those rare times and circumstances when revolution becomes possible, not just because this system is always a horror, but because the crisis and deep divisions in society now can only be resolved through radical means, of one kind or another—either radically reactionary, murderously oppressive and destructive means or radically emancipating revolutionary means. Those who have ruled over us, for so long, with their Republican and Democratic parties, are now caught up in bitterly fighting each other over how to hold this country together, keep this system going, enforce its rule over the people it exploits and oppresses, and maintain this country as the world’s top-dog oppressive power. The Republicans are moving to exercise this rule through fascism: discarding the pretense of “democracy for all,” relying on naked brutality and trampling on people’s rights, to enforce undisguised, aggressive male supremacy, white supremacy, xenophobia (hatred of foreigners and persecution of immigrants, especially from non-white countries) and crude “America first” chauvinism. The Democrats are trying to keep things together with more disguise and deception, with the claim that what exists in this country is a “great democracy” representing “the will of the people,” and for this reason it deserves to be, and needs to be, the most powerful force in the world. But, in reality, both of these ruling class parties are working to maintain the violent oppressive power, the dictatorship, of this capitalist-imperialist system, with all the horrors for humanity this involves.

These divisions and conflicts have ripped big holes in the camouflage of this system, further exposing its real nature and the lie that this is “the greatest country in the world,” the “shining light of freedom” and “leader of the free world.” All this is very likely to become more and more intense, tearing apart the bonds that have held things together under this system and further deepening the divisions throughout society, including within the institutions of power. This could lead to something very bad—or something very good, IF we act in the way we need to in these rare circumstances and fight to take things where they need to go.

As BA has emphasized, in a powerful New Year’s Statement (A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity), the fact that the fascist Trump was voted out of office is important but it only “buys some time” and time is not on the side of the fight for a better future for humanity. So the time there is must not be wasted by going along with this system. We will never get where we need to go by being a tail on the Democratic donkey (and, obviously, not by siding with the Republican fascists). No, we need to break out of acting on the terms, and within the confines, of this system, which has all this murderous oppression and destruction built into it. We need to be actively working to radically change the “alignment of forces” in society, to where things are more favorable for overthrowing this whole system.

These days there is a lot of talk about another civil war, especially from fascists, in government and the broader society, who think they could just carry out a one-sided slaughter of those they hate, including Black people and other people of color, “illegal immigrants,” “uppity women” and those who don’t conform to “traditional” sexual and gender relations and “norms.” This situation needs to be radically changed, to where there are masses of people prepared to defeat these fascists and to do so as part of getting rid of this whole system, which has bred these fascists, along with all the other horrors it continually perpetrates.

What we need is “repolarization for revolution—making real revolution an active and increasingly powerful force of first thousands, and then millions, of people organized to work for and win more and more people to this revolution—radically changing the “terrain” on which the revolution will be fought.

Today, there are not only many fascists in the murderous police forces, but more than a few in the military as well. But it is a fact that, at the high point of the 1960s, the strength of the radical liberation movements at that time reached into and strongly influenced every part and every institution of society—including the armed forces of this system, where more of the soldiers looked for leadership from the Black Panther Party and other revolutionary-minded forces than from the president of the United States (the so-called “commander-in-chief” of the armed forces). Even with the differences between then and now, creating this kind of situation—where a revolutionary movement based on the new communism and the leadership of BA is impacting every part of society and key institutions—this is achievable, and is a very important part of preparing the ground for the seizure of power, when the time is right. This will make it possible to have the best fighting chance to take revolution all the way, and not be beaten back down into yet more horror.

And the potential for this revolution is real. There is the ever intensifying climate crisis—and it is a scientific fact that this system of capitalism-imperialism cannot solve this crisis, but can only make it worse. At the same time, over the past few years, literally millions of women, all over the world, have demonstrated their outrage at the murder and rape, the attacks on their right to abortion and birth control, and the all-around brutality and abuse they are continually subjected to, as a result of the male supremacist relations that are built into this system of capitalism-imperialism, and all systems that are ruled by exploiters and oppressors. And last summer, when millions of us, of all races and genders, rose up all over this country in righteous rebellion in response to the vicious murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police, this powerfully demonstrated the potential for revolution.We were supported and joined by millions more in countries all over the world. And, at the height of this, the whole country, the whole world was compelled to recognize and to talk about the long and continuing chain of these racist murders and big questions about the whole history and nature of this country. Yes, this powerful rising was, in the short run, misled into dead-ends by people working for meaningless petty reforms and seeking funds for themselves and positions within the structures of this system. But that does not change the fact that what was demonstrated was the possibility and potential for something much greater and far better—an actual revolution.

Three: Bob Avakian (BA) came forward as a revolutionary and developed into a communist leader through the mass revolutionary upsurge of the 1960s. He is an old white guy—yes, deal with it! Unlike so many who considered themselves revolutionaries at that time, BA has never given up, never departed from the road of revolution. He has continued to advance on this road and to confront the problems and difficulties in making revolution. He has drawn crucial lessons from the historical experience (positive and negative) of revolution throughout the world, and from many other aspects of human society and human endeavor. He has deeply studied how this system of capitalism-imperialism actually works, and what are the defining contradictions of this system that constitute the basis for overthrowing it. It is through all this that he has brought forward a whole new framework for the liberation of all oppressed people and the emancipation of all humanity: the new communism.

BA is providing ongoing leadership for this revolution, and he has a whole body of work that contains the scientific method to analyze the problem and the solution, the strategy for the revolution to bring down this system, and the vision and concrete plan for that radically different and much better society, on the road to emancipate all of humanity from every form of oppression and exploitation, and to enable humanity to become fit caretakers of the earth. He’s even written a Constitution (the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America) that concretely maps out what to do starting right after the seizure of power, so we can actually work on building up that whole new emancipating society. It is simply true: There never has been a leader like this in this country and there is no other leader like this in the world now, and we cannot afford not to follow this leadership if we ever want to get free and put an end to this madness.

Four: Many of the people who can be won to this revolution are not “into this” now and are not acting in accordance with the methods, principles, and goals of this revolution. And there is still way too much trying to get over on each other and attacking each other, which only brings more heartbreak and misery. This revolution is in the interests of all people who catch hell under this system and all those who hunger for or dream about a world where an end to exploitation, poverty, inequality, injustice and oppression is not a bitter joke but a liberating reality. Instead of fighting each other, we need to be uniting everyone with a heart for justice and protecting and defending each other from the criminal, brutal and murderous actions of “official” forces and fascist forces with the power to do us the greatest harm. We need to be working together to build up the ranks of the revolution and prepare to defeat the forces, of any kind, that would keep this system going and make its madness even worse.

And, in working to change the world in this way, people can change themselves—they can be united with in refusing to put up with injustice that no one should accept, and struggled with to see that revolution is the way to put an end to all this—that revolution is what we should live for and fight for. The basis for making this real is concentrated in the guideline: Fight the Power, and Transform the People—for Revolution.

To do this, people need to break with this system’s ways and take up radically different and emancipating methods, principles and goals, and a radically different and far better culture, morality and way of relating to each other. With the revolution it’s not “everyone out for themselves and against everybody else”—it’s all of us together who can’t stand to live like this and hunger for something much better, something truly emancipating.

At the same time as leadership and guidance for this revolution is being provided, in an ongoing way, through our website, revcom.us and through The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show, and while paying attention to the necessary health measures in light of the still continuing COVID pandemic, we are reaching out directly (in real life) to people around the country, to bring the liberating message of this revolution, to win growing numbers of people to this revolution and organize them into the ranks of this revolution.

All over the country, in every neighborhood, every school, every place and every institution where there are people sickened by the way things are, or questioning whether things have to be this way, revolutionary organization needs to be built, as part of the nationwide revolutionary movement. This revolution and its leadership need to increasingly become the authority that people look to and the leadership they follow, setting the standard and providing the direction for how people see things, and how they act.

Through all this, growing numbers of people can be working together to shape the political situation, winning masses of people to revolution and strengthening the organized revolutionary forces for the all-out fight for revolution when the conditions for revolution have been ripened.

To come back, once more, to basics: We need a revolution—a real revolution. And this revolution is possible. To everyone who hungers for an end to oppression and injustice, and everyone who has the heart to fight for something that is really worth fighting for: You need to get into this revolution, become part of the organized forces for this revolution, and work tirelessly for this revolution, so that we can have a real chance to win.

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/avakian/new-years-statement-2021/bob-avakian-new-years-statement-2021-en.html

 

NEW YEAR'S STATEMENT BY BOB AVAKIAN

A New Year,
The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—
For The Emancipation Of All Humanity

 

1In my statement of August 1 of last year, I put forward the analysis that, in the particular circumstances of this presidential election and the truly profound stakes it posed, if the Trump/Pence regime remained in power at the time of this election, it would be necessary and important to vote for Biden to deliver a decisive electoral defeat to the fascism represented by this regime. At the same time, I emphasized that simply relying on voting would likely lead to disaster, and that it was vitally important for masses of people to take to the streets, in nonviolent but sustained, and growing, mass mobilization with the demand that this fascist regime must be OUT NOW!, as called for by RefuseFascism.org.

As it turned out, masses of people did vote in large numbers to oust this fascist regime—and, in doing so delivered a decisive enough electoral defeat to the Trump/Pence regime that its increasing, and then massively violent, attempt at a coup has been more difficult to pull off and has finally been defeated, with Trump forced to leave (while still refusing to acknowledge his loss in the election), even as Biden had to be inaugurated in a capital city that was a locked-down armed camp.

In immediate terms, the catastrophe has been narrowly averted that would have occurred if this fascist regime had been re-elected (or in some other way remained in power) and on that basis further consolidated its fascist rule and been more fully emboldened and unleashed to implement its horrific program. The fact that the Trump/Pence regime has had to leave office is of great importance and something in itself worth celebrating! Yet the reality is that, not only in relation to this election but throughout the four years of this regime’s rule and its mounting atrocities, there has not been the massive nonviolent mobilization called for by Refuse Fascism to drive out this regime—and, in the aftermath of the election, the streets were dominated by fascist mobilizations, and not by opposition to fascism. This has resulted in a situation where, despite the Trump/Pence regime’s loss in the election, the forces of fascism are still in many ways being strengthened, and the opposition to this has remained much too passive and reliant on the terms set by the Democratic Party.

The reality has to be confronted that, as expressed through the election, nearly half this country has passionately, aggressively and belligerently embraced what is represented by “Trumpism.” The unavoidable truth is that this country, the much-proclaimed “Shining City on a Hill,” is full of fascists!—in the government at all levels and in large parts of the society as a whole. And a defining characteristic of these fascists is their fanatical allegiance to demented distortions of reality, which is extremely difficult (and in many cases impossible) to penetrate with reason and fact, because these distortions serve to reinforce their sense of threatened entitlement and render long-standing prejudices and hatreds even more virulent. This fascism is deeply rooted, in the underlying dynamics of the capitalist-imperialist system that rules in this country and in the whole history of this country, from its founding in slavery and genocide. Related to this is another critical truth: Biden will fail miserably in his attempt to bring about “healing” and “unite the country.” As I have written previously:

Biden and the Democrats cannot “bring the country together,” as they falsely claim, because there can be no “reconciliation” with these fascists—whose “grievances” are based on fanatical resentment against any limitation on white supremacy, male supremacy, xenophobia (hatred of foreigners), rabid American chauvinism, and the unrestrained plundering of the environment, and are increasingly expressed in literally lunatic terms. There can be no “reconciliation” with this, other than on the terms of these fascists, with all the terrible implications and consequences of that!

There is no question that many of the policies of the Biden/Harris administration will be different than the blatant atrocities of the Trump/Pence regime, and things will definitely “feel different” with Biden and Harris, but the way they will try to “unite the country”—in line with the interests and requirements of this system of capitalism-imperialism—is something that no decent person should want, or be part of. In seeking to re-establish and reinforce “stability” at home, and to maintain the U.S. as the world’s number one oppressive power, Biden, Harris, and the Democrats (as well as other “mainstream” institutions, such as the New York Times and CNN), will make determined attempts to keep the masses of people who have righteously hated the fascism of the Trump/Pence regime, and who aspire to a more just world, firmly tied to this system—restricting their political vision, and activity, within the confines of this system, preventing them from acting in their own fundamental interests and those of humanity as a whole. And to the degree that things are maintained within the limits of this system, this will actually have the effect of furthering the horrors for humanity that are built into this system, while also reinforcing and giving further impetus to the underlying economic—and the social and political—forces that will strengthen the fascism that has already shown great strength in this country (and a number of others).

2Even as it is critically important that the voting in this election has resulted in a decisive defeat for the Trump/Pence regime and its attempts to more fully consolidate fascist rule, this must not be allowed to obscure this crucial truth: The polarization, between Democrats and Republicans, as expressed through the electoral process in this country, involves contention over how to uphold and pursue the interests of the capitalist-imperialist system and rule by the capitalist class. It does not represent the fundamental divisions in society and the world, nor the fundamental interests of the masses of people, in this country and in the world as a whole. Nor can the profound problems confronting humanity be solved—in fact, they can only get worse—within the confines of this murderously oppressive and exploitative system and the chaos and destruction it will continue to unleash on a massive scale, so long as it continues to dominate the world.

This is fact-based, scientifically-established truth. Ignoring, denying, or trying to pursue individual escape from this reality will only make things worse and hasten disaster.

The electoral defeat of the Trump/Pence regime only “buys some time”—both in relation to the imminent danger posed by the fascism this regime represents, and more fundamentally in terms of the potentially existential crisis humanity is increasingly facing as a consequence of being bound to the dynamics of this system of capitalism-imperialism. But, in essential terms, time is not on the side of the struggle for a better future for humanity. So the time there is must not be squandered—mired in oblivious individualism and political paralysis or misspent on misdirected activity that only reinforces this system which perpetuates endless horrors for the masses of humanity and has brought things to the brink of very real catastrophe.

A profoundly different polarization must be brought about, in line with the potential for a radically different and better world, representing the actual interests of the masses of people and ultimately all of humanity. A radically different approach to understanding, and acting on, the relations and problems of society must be taken up—a thoroughly and consistently scientific method and approach.

3Among many who have been outraged by the way Trump has consistently engaged in both pathological and purposeful lying, there has been a great deal of emphasis on the importance of science and truth, on facts and evidence-based reasoning. This has focused to a significant degree on the criminally anti-scientific approach that Trump and Pence have taken to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the encouragement of this anti-scientific madness among the fascist “base” in society at large—all of which has led to at least tens of thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of unnecessary deaths as well as unnecessary hardship and suffering for masses of people. This emphasis on science and the scientific method is vitally important, but it is also necessary to emphasize the real need and great importance of being consistent with this, and following scientifically-determined truth wherever it leads, in order to correctly understand reality, in every sphere of life and society.

This means fully breaking with and moving beyond an approach of merely embracing truths—or supposed truths—with which one is comfortable, while rejecting, dismissing, or evading actual truth which may make one uncomfortable. One important dimension of this is rising above and repudiating methodologically the philosophical relativism of “identity politics,” which does a great deal of harm through its own version of reducing “truth” to partial, unsystematized experience and subjective sentiment (“my truth”...“our truth”...) in opposition to real, objective truth, which is correctly, scientifically arrived at through an evidence-based process, to determine whether, or not, something (an idea, theory, assertion, etc.) corresponds to actual material reality. While politically this “identity politics” may be proceeding from a desire to oppose various forms of oppression—even if this is often characterized, and vitiated, by people of different “identities” seeking to claim “ownership” of opposition to oppression—in terms of epistemology (the approach to understanding reality and arriving at the truth of things) “identity politics” has a lot in common with the reliance on “alternative facts” (assertions that are in opposition to actual facts, often wildly so) that is the hallmark of the fascists. Even as it is important to recognize the political distinctions involved, the situation is far too serious, and the stakes far too high, to allow ourselves to fall into, or conciliate with, any form of opposing the scientific method and its pursuit of objective truth about actual reality.

To understand why we are confronted with the situation we are, it is necessary not merely to respond to—and in effect be whipped around by—what is happening on the surface at any given time, but to dig beneath the surface, to discover the underlying mainsprings and causes of things, and arrive at an understanding of the fundamental problem and the actual solution. This means coming to the scientific understanding that we are living under a system, and what that system actually is (the system of capitalism-imperialism); working to grasp the deeper relations and dynamics of this system and how this is setting the framework for how different sections of society spontaneously think and react to events in society and the world, and what is the possible way forward to transforming all of this in the interests of the masses of humanity and ultimately humanity as a whole. A crucial part of this is a scientific understanding of major changes, resulting from the very dynamics and functioning of this system, that have led to upheaval in society and have in significant ways fed this fascism: changes in the capitalist-imperialist economy and correspondingly in the social structure and “social composition” within this country, as well as internationally, which have undermined “traditional” forms of oppression without, however, leading to the ending of this oppression but establishing and enforcing it in new forms, while provoking what is truly a deranged, sadistic and often violent reaction on the part of the sectors of society who have identified their interests, and in effect their very being, with the traditional forms of oppression.

As an introduction, and overarching point, in regard to some of these important changes, it is important to emphasize that these changes, and especially those that have occurred in the last few decades, are bound up with the heightened parasitism of capitalism-imperialism in the contemporary world. As I explained in Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summary, parasitism refers to

the fact that an increasingly globalized capitalism relies to a very great degree for production and for maintaining the rate of profit on a vast network of sweatshops, particularly in the Third World of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, while capitalist activity in the capitalist‑imperialist “home countries” is increasingly in the realm of finance and financial speculation, and the “high end” of (not the production of the basic physical materials for) high tech, as well as the service sector and the commercial sphere (including the growing role of online marketing).

Since the end of World War 2 (75 years ago), the situation of Black people has dramatically changed. These changes were initially based in increased mechanization and other transformations in agricultural production, and the economy overall; they were driven by a powerful upsurge of struggle of Black people, wrenching concessions out of the ruling class in this country that was anxious to maintain its image as “the champion of democracy” and “leader of the free world,” especially in its confrontation with the Soviet Union for a number of decades after World War 2. As a result of these and other factors, Black people’s oppression is no longer centered around brutal exploitation in the rural south, in conditions of near slavery (and in some cases actual slavery) backed up by Ku Klux Klan terror, but instead involves a situation where masses of Black people are segregated and concentrated in urban areas throughout the country and subjected to systematic discrimination and continual brutality and murder by the police. Over the past several decades, due to heightened globalization and automation of production, interacting with continuing discrimination, there has been the elimination of a great deal of factory employment which provided Black men (and some women) with better-paying jobs in the urban areas. At the same time, as a result of the civil rights and Black liberation struggles of the 1960s/early ’70s, and other factors, there has been the growth of the Black middle class. But there has also been an increase of the so-called “underclass,” concentrated and contained in urban ghettos and more or less permanently locked out of regular employment in the “formal” economy.

Unable to provide a positive resolution to acute contradictions bound up with these changes—unable to end systemic racism which involves degrading discrimination against even economically better-off sections of Black people—unable to integrate large numbers of Black people into the “formal” economy—the ruling forces in society have responded to this situation with mass incarceration of millions of Black males (and growing numbers of females) with arrests, trials, convictions and sentences embodying yet more discrimination and injustice, and by unleashing and backing systematic police terror, which is especially directed against Black people in the inner cities but can target any Black person, anywhere, at any time. The attempt to brutally enforce “law and order,” given that a more just solution is impossible under this system, heightens the volatility of this whole situation, leading to further upheaval—including completely justified and righteous protest and rebellion—which, in turn, is seized on by fascist forces in promoting their grotesque white supremacist portrayal of the masses of Black people as “criminals” and “uncaged animals.”

The fact that, with all these changes, and regardless of who is occupying the seats of power, systematic discrimination and murderous oppression has persisted, has led some Black people to conclude that the Democratic Party is the problem, since it has consistently sought the support of Black people but has repeatedly acted against their interests. Even as the Republican Party has become the vehicle of overt and aggressive white supremacy, it is true that the Democrats, and not just the Republicans, have presided over the oppression of Black people. But what is the actual reason for that, and what is the real answer to it? The reality is that white supremacy is built into this system of capitalism-imperialism, and neither of these ruling class parties could put an end to this, even if they wanted to. The answer is not rallying to the fascist Republican Party, or trying to play these bourgeois parties against each other, or embracing “Black capitalism” and begging for a better “seat at the table”—all of which will only reinforce the existing system of oppression and perhaps benefit a few at the expense of the many. The answer is revolution, and establishing a radically different society that has the basis as well as the orientation to uproot and abolish white supremacy, and all oppressive relations.

There have been profound changes in the situation and social position of large numbers of women, both within this country and internationally. To cite one important dimension of this, much of the sweatshop labor in the Third World involves women, forced to work under horrific conditions. In this country, changes in the functioning and structure of the economy (as part of the increasingly globalized world economy) have led to extensive employment, and exploitation, of Black women (and other women of color), in the service and retail sectors in particular. At the same time, not only is there more opportunity for large numbers of women (especially white women, but some women of color as well) to find positions in the professions and in business, but this has also become a necessity in order for their families to maintain a “middle class way of life.” This situation where greater numbers of women are employed outside the home, including a significant increase in the number of women in better-paid middle class positions, has seriously strained and significantly undermined the “traditional” patriarchal (male-dominated) family and patriarchal relations in society overall.

All this has provided more favorable conditions for, and has been significantly influenced by, the struggle against the oppression of women, which was powerfully expressed as part of the overall radical upsurge of the 1960s and has continued in various forms since then. As I spoke to in Away With All Gods!:

Through the upsurge of the ’60s, many things were called into question—not just in the realm of ideas, although that was extremely important, but in practice, in the realm of political struggle—things that are foundational to this society. And many changes were brought about, partly as a result of mass political struggle and partly because of the changing features and needs of the economy. Once again, one of the most important dimensions of this was in relation to the role of women, particularly among professionals and other sections of the middle class, where it became both possible and necessary for women to work full time, in the effort to maintain a middle class standard of living. When you combine that with political and ideological expressions of feminism, and other movements that came forward out of the ’60s, this did pose a very direct challenge to traditionally institutionalized forms of oppression in this society.

Yet the elimination of male supremacy is impossible within the confines of this system. This is true because male supremacy has been deeply woven into the fabric of this society, and because this system is based on capitalist commodity relations and exploitation—things are produced to be exchanged (sold), through a process in which masses of people work, for a wage or salary, to create profit that is accumulated by capitalists who employ them and control their work—a system in which the patriarchal family unit remains an essential economic and social component and requirement, even as it is being put under increasing strains. And the fascist section of the ruling class has, over a number of decades now, waged a relentless attack on Constitutional rights, and mobilized their social base of religious fundamentalist fanatics, to forcefully and often violently assert “traditional” patriarchal oppression—with the assault on the right to abortion, and even birth control, a major focus of this attempt to essentially enslave women. What I wrote, 35 years ago, is today more true than ever:

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.

What has gone along with all this has been an increased possibility and “space” for the assertion of gender “identity” and relations that run counter to the traditional oppressive gender relations—and, once again, there has been the often violent attempt to reassert and reinforce the traditional relations and to suppress anything that does not conform to this.

Religion, and especially religious fundamentalism, is a powerful factor promoting and reinforcing the patriarchal subordination of women, as well as other “traditional” forms of oppression. Here is an important insight by Kristin Kobes Du Mez, who grew up in a town in Iowa that was filled with white Christian fundamentalists (which she refers to as “white evangelicals”) who are the backbone of present-day American fascism. In her book Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, she writes:

White evangelicals have pieced together this patchwork of issues, and a nostalgic commitment to rugged, aggressive, militant white masculinity serves as the thread binding them together into a coherent whole. A father’s rule in the home is inextricably linked to heroic leadership on the national stage, and the fate of the nation hinges on both. [emphasis added here]

Given the tight connection between militant patriarchy and fascism, it is not surprising that some (though clearly a minority of) Black and Latino men have been drawn to support for Trump, despite his overt white supremacy. (This includes some who are or have been prominent in rap music. While there have been positive forces and elements in rap and Hip Hop overall, what has been increasingly promoted is a culture that is full of, not to say dominated by, misogynistic degradation of women, as well as admiration for the kind of hustler gangsterism that is one of Trump’s defining “qualities.”) It is also not surprising that even significant numbers of women (mainly white women but also some Latina and other women of color) have been drawn to this fascism, as the phenomenon of the oppressed clinging to “tradition’s chains” that oppress them is unfortunately all too common. (Think of the mothers in the fatherland, written about by Claudia Koonz in her book with that title—women who actively worked for the aggressively male supremacist Hitler and the NAZIs in Germany during the rise of fascism there in the 1930s. Or listen to the words today of Black female fascist Candace Owens, who has praised Hitler for his efforts to “make Germany great”: “There is no society that can survive without strong men.... In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It is an outright attack. Bring back manly men.” Of course, for fascists like Owens “strong” and “manly” men are those who embody and enforce traditional gender relations, exercising domination over women who submit to this domination—and men who do not conform to traditional gender roles and relations, men who support equality between men and women are somehow “weak,” “effeminate,” “emasculated.”) And for white women who are part of this fascist phenomenon, in which virulent male supremacy is a defining and cohering element, there is also the fact that these women can join in with the white supremacy which, particularly in a country like the U.S., is also a defining and decisive element of this fascism and is closely intertwined with the virulent male supremacy—as reflected in Kristin Kobes Du Mez’s formulation: aggressive, militant white masculinity.

As a result of the intensifying climate crisis, war and repression—and, as a driving force in all this, major changes in the capitalist-imperialist dominated world economy, including the further growth and increased impact internationally of corporate agribusiness and labor-displacing technology, increasingly monopolized control of seeds and chemicals, greater monopolization of marketing, and vast land-grabbing investments—there is massive dislocation and upheaval, particularly affecting people in the global South (the countries of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia—the Third World). An important feature of all this is mass urbanization: more than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, with huge shantytown slums, involving more than a billion people, in the urban areas of the Third World, even as tens of millions of people from the Third World have been forced to migrate to the U.S. and countries in Europe. And the situation has developed where, in some of these countries—with the U.S. a prime example—the economy could not function without the exploitation of large numbers of immigrants, while many are subjected to the constant threat of deportation, which also makes them even more vulnerable to extreme exploitation.

The ruin of much of traditional small-scale farming in Third World countries and the dramatic increase of an urban population there (as well as in the U.S. and some other imperialist countries) which in large numbers is unable to find work within the “formal economy”—this has also fostered the growth of an illegal economy and of gangs (and, particularly in Third World countries, cartels) based on this illegal economy, in particular the drug trade, but also the trafficking of human beings, especially women and girls viciously victimized in prostitution, the “sex industry,” and literal sexual slavery.

This dramatically changed and often highly volatile situation has also been a major factor in the rise of religious fundamentalism, in the Third World and notably in the U.S., where Christian fundamentalism is a powerful negative social and political force. Interconnected and interacting with these economic and related social changes in a way that has contributed to the increased influence of religious fundamentalism, particularly in the Third World, has been the defeat, or abandonment, of movements in the Third World led by communists or revolutionary nationalists against old-line colonialists and neo-colonial oppressors, above all the U.S., in the period after World War 2—with the greatest setback being the reversal of socialism and the restoration of capitalism in China in the 1970s, which transformed China from a powerful socialist country and a beacon and bastion of support for revolutionary struggle throughout the world, into a rising imperialist power and itself an exploiter of masses of people in Africa and other parts of the Third World.

The rise of religious fundamentalism has occurred together with, and in opposition to, the increase of secularism (people who are not religious, or at least not part of traditional religions), especially among the more educated urban populations. This secularism is not in itself conceived or intended as an attack on people who continue to hold religious beliefs, but it does objectively undermine religion—and it is taken as an attack “on everything holy” by religious fundamentalists who refuse to even attempt to reconcile religious belief with the results of scientific inquiry, as strongly reflected in their irrational attack on the solidly established scientific fact of evolution.

What is essentially involved in this division is the acceptance, or the denial and rejection, of evidence-based rational thought, including the importance of critical thinking, that has, in a broad sense, been the extension of the Enlightenment, which arose in Europe (in particular France) several centuries ago. In that time, and since, the advance of science and important discoveries this has brought forward have given impetus to the questioning of religion in a way that was not really possible before, since many of these scientific discoveries clearly contradict long-entrenched religious scripture and dogma, and the scientific method rejects the recognition of things as “real” if concrete evidence for their existence cannot be shown, in the real material world. And, as emphasized by Ardea Skybreak, author of the very important book The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What’s Real and Why It Matters, science provides plenty of evidence that human beings have invented every religion that exists anywhere in the world. (In a book consisting of an interview with Skybreak, Science and Revolution, she also emphasizes that, although at times “bad science” has been used for very negative purposes, including to promote racism, the actual scientific method itself provides the means for refuting this: “you can use rigorous scientific methods to prove that was all bad science.”)

It is true that science itself cannot put an end to religious belief, as shown by the fact that there are large numbers of religious people who consider themselves advocates of enlightenment and accept the discoveries and conclusions of science (up to a point at least) but insist that there is a realm of existence—involving a supernatural being, or beings—which is beyond the scope of science. And it is a fact that in general the representatives of the ruling class in this country, whether they are “liberal” or “conservative”—and whether they themselves personally believe in god or not—definitely regard religion as a crucial part of maintaining the “social cohesion” of the country on a capitalist basis, and work to promote religion, in particular Christianity, in one form or another. (They are all essentially practitioners of the statement attributed to Napoleon: society is impossible without inequality; inequality is impossible to maintain without a morality to justify it; and such a morality is impossible without religion.) Nevertheless (to paraphrase an important statement by the physicist Steven Weinberg), although science itself does not eliminate religious belief, it does provide a basis for people not to believe in god and to reject religion. This is in conflict with those who believe religion is necessary for an orderly and “moral” society, and all the more so with those who insist on a religious fundamentalism that is wildly out of keeping with reality and with a rational approach to reality.

Yet, while it is true that, in order to win their full emancipation, the masses of people in the world will ultimately need to cast off religious belief in general, it is important to emphasize that, in the world today, the polarization does not simply come down to those who have rejected religion in the name of enlightenment vs. those who cling to religious belief. An important polarization now is that between what can rightly be called decent people (including large numbers of religious people) who are opposed to injustice, and on the other hand those who are determined to revive and enforce traditional forms of oppression. In regard to all this, one of the important questions is whether people come to embrace, or reject, two distinguishing qualities: largeness of mind and generosity of spirit.

4All this provides an important foundation and “backdrop” for understanding what happened in the recent election, why, and what are the implications of this, now and in terms of the future. The following, from a November 9, 2020 article by Leonard Pitts Jr (“The election of 2020 has ended at last, but the celebration has caveats”) contains some important insights. The result of this election, he writes, “strips bare all the glossy claims about who we are as a country, underscoring the fact that in a meaningful sense, we are not one country at all anymore, but two sharing the same borders.” He continues:

The last time that happened [with the Civil War], it took four years and 750,000 lives to force us back into some semblance of oneness. Even then, the seams of the fracture were always visible.

Unlike that break, this one is not starkly geographic: South versus North. No, this one is city versus country, college educated versus high school educated and, most significantly, future versus past. Meaning that yesterday, this was a nation where white people were the majority, and tomorrow it will be one where they are not.

Although Pitts is correct that the division today is more rural vs. urban than strictly South vs. North, it is the case that the old (and new) Confederacy—and in particular rural white southerners—remain the anchor for an ill-founded and ill-intended attempt to restore the past (in the name of “Making America Great Again”). As I pointed out in the 2017 talk 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.

At the same time, the divide, and the clash, between the past and the future goes deeper than demographic changes and the prospect of a majority non-white U.S. population. The forces fighting for the past are aiming to reverse, with a vengeance, even the modest concessions that have been made to the fight against social injustice and institutionalized inequality and oppression, and to enforce a form of capitalist dictatorship that is overt and unrestrained by the Constitution and the rule of law (or which turns the Constitution and the rule of law into merely instruments of fascist tyranny and atrocity).

As I put it in my August 1 Statement, fascism is “open and aggressive dictatorship, trampling on and perverting the rule of law, relying on violence and terror, on behalf of the predatory capitalist system and as an extreme attempt to deal with profound social division and acute crises (both within the country and in the global arena).” While this might hold things together, in an extremely negative way, for a certain period, in the final analysis this cannot succeed—cannot indefinitely preserve this system of capitalism-imperialism, and cannot lead to any future but one of horrors for humanity, if indeed we have a future at all. And the supposed “alternative,” as represented for example by the Democratic Party in the U.S., involving a “more democratic” means of exercising the rule of this system, will also continue to embody and enforce terrible and completely unnecessary suffering for the masses of humanity and pose an existential threat to humanity as a whole, even if not always through the same brute and unmitigated juggernaut of horrors as the fascist form of capitalist dictatorship.

What was expressed through this recent election—what, in fact, is expressed through all elections under this system—is not “democracy” and “the will of the people” in some abstract sense but specifically a choice that is made between different representatives of this system of capitalism-imperialism, which is the only “realistic” choice that is, or can be, offered under this system. In this particular, extraordinary situation, that choice—between fascist and bourgeois democratic capitalist rule—actually made a real difference, to the point where it was right to support one side, the Democrats, in order to deliver a defeat to the attempt to more fully consolidate fascism. But that does not change the fact that this was a vote on the terms of the very system that has produced this fascism and will continue to provide fertile soil for this fascism at the same time as it continues to generate horror after horror for humanity—horrors that are hidden only from those who do not, or will not, look. The “liberal” (or “mainstream”) version of this system’s rule involves the enforcement of the exploitation and oppression of masses of people in this country and throughout the world (including the more than 150 million children in the Third World who are cruelly super-exploited in sweatshops and mines). Enforcing all this, and defeating attempts by rivals to gain a larger share of this plunder and to replace the USA as the world’s dominant power—that is what “liberal” (and other) representatives of this system mean when they speak of the “national interests” of this country. And this is the foundation for the “progressive” approach of allowing for some more “diversity” and “inclusiveness” for previously excluded sections of this society, and the promotion of certain aspects of science, on the basis of and especially for the purposes of this international plunder, of people as well as the environment.

5To emphasize this crucial point once again: It is necessary to confront the fundamental reality that there is no future worth living for the masses of people and ultimately for humanity as a whole under this system—which has given rise to a powerful fascism; which is the source of horrendous, and unnecessary suffering, not only for masses of people in this country but for billions of people throughout the world; and which poses a growing threat to the very existence of humanity, through its massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons as well as its accelerating destruction of the environment. It is true—an important truth—that the Trump/Pence regime (and others like it, for example the rule of Bolsonaro in Brazil) has made the environmental crisis far worse—has, so to speak, accelerated the acceleration of environmental destruction. But the dynamics and requirements of this system are driving the climate crisis toward the point of no return, regardless of which particular person or regime is acting as its dominant political representative. Capitalism is often extolled for being a “dynamic” system, constantly bringing about changes. But this is a “dynamism” based on exploitation for privately-accumulated profit, and driven by anarchy (and anarchic competition between capitalists), and that very anarchy is rapidly propelling things toward an existential threshold—past which humanity could well be irreversibly hurtled—if this system of capitalism, in its imperialist globalized expression, continues to dominate the world.

Given how much the fascist social base in this country has been conditioned to falsely and ridiculously identify the Democrats (even “centrist” Democrats like Biden) as “radical socialists” (or even “communists”) and to viscerally hate them on that basis—largely because of the Democrats’ limited concessions to the struggle against racial and gender oppression, to the need to address the climate crisis, and to a reckoning with the real history of this country—it is highly ironic that it is only a powerful movement aiming for actual socialism, as a radically new and emancipating society and the transition to the fundamental goal of communism on a global scale, that could create the basis for significant numbers of those, and in particular youth, who have been caught up in this fascism to break with that and become part of the struggle aiming for a positive resolution of the contradictions that this system of capitalism-imperialism continually intensifies. (As any rational person can readily determine, the relatively small number of “democratic socialists” who are part of the Democratic Party are in no way “radical socialists”—or really socialists at all—but are social-democrats who are aiming not for the abolition of the capitalist system and its replacement by a socialist system, but for reforms within the capitalist system which would not change, or significantly affect, its basic nature and functioning.)

The fact is that there is no bringing back (or newly bringing into being) an idealized way of life that supposedly existed in the late 19th century and the first part of the 20th century in this country, no return to an imagined idyllic America, characterized by “traditional values” which somehow fairly rewarded “virtues” such as hard work, and where people occupied the place in society they deserved (or were intended by god to occupy)—something which has really existed only in the minds of those who seek an illusory “restoration” of this, and who have been conditioned to irrationally hate everyone and everything that has supposedly destroyed it. And there is no bringing back the situation that existed for several decades after World War 2 where large numbers of people (especially, though not only, white men) without a college education could have jobs in major industries like auto and steel at a wage that made possible a “middle class standard of living.” That there is no basis for this is true not because of conspiracies by “satanic liberals who drink the blood of trafficked children” but, once again, because of the workings of this system of capitalism-imperialism, which have led this world to be shaped as it is, and to be heading for the environmental disaster it is rapidly bringing into being, if it does not first extinguish humanity through nuclear war unleashed by the powerful possessors of massive nuclear arsenals.

And no one should want to go back to the actual past: to a world marked by massive poverty and disease, even beyond the terrible toll this takes today, especially in the Third World; with the horrendous destruction and suffering brought about through two world wars in the 20th century, in which tens of millions of people were slaughtered, and atomic bomb attacks were unleashed by the U.S. on two Japanese cities at the end of the second world war, immediately incinerating hundreds of thousands of Japanese people and ushering in the “nuclear age”; with the USA marked by open, institutionalized segregation, discrimination and “second class” status for people of color and women, and a brutally suppressed existence for LGBT people, and Black people in particular subjected to continual terror, marked by repeated lynchings and other depraved acts accompanying them. The future lies not with the (real or imagined) past but in going forward, to an actual socialist society, and ultimately a communist world, where the fundamental orientation and practical policy are geared to meeting the material, intellectual and cultural needs of the people, while giving increasing scope to individual initiative, on the basis of and within the framework of the collective and cooperative foundation and ethos of society, where age-old economic and social relations of exploitation, inequality and oppression are surpassed, and no longer does the well-being of some rest on the misery of others.

It should be clear that the present polarization and the profound problems that must be faced cannot be solved by trying to “adjust” things within the confines of this system. The example of the “Occupy” movement of the last decade is another illustration of this. This attempt to in effect repolarize the 99 percent against the 1 percent of super-rich failed, in significant part because social relations (such as the oppressive relations between different “races” and genders), and not just economic relations, are powerful material forces, and a good part of that “99 percent” is determined to maintain those unequal and oppressive social relations from which they benefit (or strongly believe they benefit), especially in this capitalist society which sets people against each other in often ruthless competition.

It is only on the foundation of a radically different economic system—a socialist economic system (mode of production), where society’s productive resources are collectivized, marshaled and utilized, in a planned way, to meet the material, intellectual and cultural needs of the people, on a continually expanding basis—that there can be a favorable basis for uprooting and transforming social relations that embody oppression, and the ways of thinking that go along with and reinforce that oppression, moving beyond the situation where (as Lenin so aptly put it) people are not merely encouraged but are compelled to calculate, with the stinginess of a miser, what their position is in relation to others.

6All this strongly points, once again, to the need not simply to “face reality” but to consistently apply the principle that science matters and truth matters, and therefore to seriously engage the scientific analysis (which I have outlined here) of the problem facing humanity, and the solution: where the world is heading now, under the domination of this system, and the radically different direction it needs to, and can, take. It calls for a willingness to apply this same approach—that science and scientifically-determined truth matter—to communism and the historical experience of the communist movement, and in particular to the new communism which has resulted from decades of work I have carried out. This new communism is a continuation of, but also represents a qualitative leap beyond, and in some important ways a break with, communist theory as it had been previously developed. Unlike those who slander and condemn, or simply ignore, communism and the historical experience of the communist movement, I myself have done, and have led others in doing, extensive, serious scientific, study—investigation and analysis—of the history of the communist movement and the socialist societies it has brought into being (as well as countries that have called themselves “socialist” but in fact are not, such as Cuba since 1959, Venezuela in recent decades, and the Soviet Union and countries of Eastern Europe, where capitalism was restored and has reigned for more than 60 years, well before they became openly capitalist countries a few decades ago). This scientific approach has led to the conclusion that with the actual socialist societies that have been brought into being, with the leadership of communists, first in the Soviet Union and then in China (before capitalism was restored in the former in the 1950s and in the latter after the death of Mao in 1976), this experience of socialism has been mainly—and in the case of China overwhelmingly—positive, while secondarily there have also been significant, in some cases serious or even grievous, errors.

Drawing from this historical experience of the communist movement and a broad range of human endeavor, the new communism, as its defining method and approach, emphasizes the critical importance of science and applying the scientific method to everything—to society as well as nature. It firmly rejects any approaches that amount to applying and justifying the bankrupt and extremely harmful notion that “the ends justify the means,” and that “truth” is just an “instrument” of desired objectives, rather than what it actually is: a correct reflection of objective reality.

It is this same method and approach that has been applied to continually deepen the understanding of the nature and functioning of the system of capitalism-imperialism that continues at this point to dominate the world, with terrible consequences and implications for humanity and its future. And this work is continuing as an important part of developing the revolutionary movement that is needed in order to finally abolish this system and bring a radically different and much better world into being. While much remains to be done and many challenges remain to be met, a scientific analysis and synthesis of fundamental questions relating to the situation facing humanity and the possibility of human emancipation can be found—in both more concentrated and popular forms and in works of considerable depth—in talks and writings of mine and other materials that are available at revcom.us. And a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for a radically different and emancipating society, on the road to the final goal of a communist world, is set forth in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which I have authored.

It is a fact that, nowhere else, in any actual or proposed founding or guiding document of any government, is there anything like not only the protection but the provision for dissent and intellectual and cultural ferment that is embodied in this Constitution, while this has, as its solid core, a grounding in the socialist transformation of the economy, with the goal of abolishing all exploitation, and the corresponding transformation of the social relations and political institutions, to uproot all oppression, and the promotion, through the educational system and in society as a whole, of an approach that will “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.” All this will unchain and unleash a tremendous productive and social force of human beings enabled and inspired to work and struggle together to meet the fundamental needs of the people—transforming society in a fundamental way and supporting and aiding revolutionary struggle throughout the world—aiming for the final goal of a communist world, free from all exploitation and oppression, while at the same time addressing the truly existential environmental and ecological crisis, in a meaningful and comprehensive way, which is impossible under the system of capitalism-imperialism.

Far too many have rejected this—or, more often, failed or refused to even seriously engage it—because of ignorance and prejudice which have their ultimate source in the distortion relentlessly propagated by guardians of the present order, and which serve to reinforce this highly oppressive order. Here, it has to be said (and can be readily demonstrated) that the “liberal” bourgeois attack on communism is, in its own way, as ludicrous and outrageous—crudely in violation of the scientific method and blatantly in opposition to the actual facts—as the fascist mangling of truth which the “liberals” are forever decrying. This does great harm to humanity: Refusing to apply, and acting in opposition to, an honest, scientific approach to communism, the actual history of the communist movement, and the development of the new communism contributes to closing off the only real alternative to this truly monstrous system of capitalism-imperialism—the only viable alternative that represents the fundamental interests and a future worth living for the masses of humanity and ultimately humanity as a whole.

The road to a better world is not, and will not be, an easy one—this cannot be accomplished without determined struggle and, yes, great sacrifice. But continuing on the current course, under the domination of this system of capitalism-imperialism, means a continuation of the horrors already being perpetrated in the world today, the far worse horrors that are immediately threatening, and the very real existential danger that is increasingly looming.

In the face of the fascist juggernaut that is still threatening and gaining strength, large numbers of us who are deeply sickened and outraged by this, and who aspire to something much better, have raised and rallied to the call that science and truth matter and must be our guide. Let us now be brave enough, and bold enough, to apply this in an unhindered way, determined to seek the truth and follow the truth wherever it leads, overcoming all obstacles to this, including any cherished illusions and ingrained prejudices that run counter to reality and scientifically-established truth. Let us dare to act to make a reality of what science reveals as possible: a radically different and far better world and future for humanity.

 

Download PDF of this statement (English):    Booklet    |    8.5x11 sheets


In Spanish:

Download PDF in Farsi:

(This translation reposted from the website cpimlm.org)

 

 

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Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/694/when-and-where-to-celebrate-international-revolutionary-may-day-2021-en.html

When and Where to Celebrate
International Revolutionary May Day 2021

| revcom.us

 

Local information (we will post as it becomes available)

Los Angeles:

Saturday, May 1
2:00 pm
Magic Johnson Park, Avalon Blvd. Entrance
(North of El Segundo Blvd.)
*Wear a mask and practice social distancing*

New York

Saturday, May 1
2:00pm - 5:00 pm
St. Nicholas Park
133rd and St. Nicholas Ave, Harlem

Chicago:

Saturday, May 1
3:00 pm
Revolution Club Organizing Center
1857 E 71st Street

Boston

Saturday, May 1
4:00 pm
Parade Ground, Boston Commons (Corner of Beacon and Charles Street)

Cleveland

Saturday, May 1
2 - 6 pm
Edgewater Park
lower level—look for the tent and banner
wear a mask and practice social distancing

Houston 

Saturday, May 1
2:00 p.m.
Our Park, 2604 Alabama (at corner of Alabama and Live Oak, next to SHAPE Community Center)
*Please wear mask and practice social distancing*

Seattle

Saturday, May 1
4:00 p.m.
Seattle Center, corner of 4th Avenue North and Broad Street near the Space Needle

FROM THE REVCOMS (REVCOM.US):

A DECLARATION,
A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW
FOR A REAL REVOLUTION

Read this Declaration and Call, find out more:
Basic version | Extended version

Available in Brochure format (PDF):
Basic version | Extended version

 

 



(Click to enlarge)

1. Download this template for the poster and leaflet.
2. Add your local information.
3. Get it out everywhere:

Poster 11x17:   PDF   |   JPG
Leaflet 8.5x11":   PDF   |   JPG

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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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.

Download poster and leaflet:

11x17 poster

8.5x11 two-sided leaflet

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America

Click to read and download (PDF)

 

 

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Read: www.revcom.us
Watch: youtube.com/therevcoms

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/665/bob-avakian-for-the-liberation-of-black-people-en.html

BOB AVAKIAN FOR THE LIBERATION OF BLACK PEOPLE
AND THE EMANCIPATION OF ALL HUMANITY

| revcom.us

 

One of the things that comes through most powerfully in Bob Avakian’s memoir1 is that a profound hatred for the oppression of Black people has been a defining part of Bob Avakian’s life from the time, as a teenager, he learned about the lives of the Black people with whom he developed deep ties of friendship. Never feeling that, because he is white, “it is not his place” to be involved in the struggle against this oppression—but, on the contrary, determined to contribute whatever he could to this struggle—Bob Avakian (BA), from the time he worked closely with the Black Panther Party in its revolutionary days in the 1960s, has made the liberation of Black people a defining part of his life’s commitment and work. As he developed as a revolutionary communist, and emerged as the foremost revolutionary leader and thinker in the world, this commitment has become even deeper and has been strongly interwoven with a dedication to the emancipation of all humanity from every form of oppression and exploitation.

As BA has written about his life’s work:

Why was I doing the work I was doing? Once again, we’re back to for whom and for what. I wasn’t doing this work for myself. When I was young, in middle school and then even more so in high school, my life got changed in a very major way by coming into contact with people that I hadn’t really known that much before, in particular Black people. I started learning about their situation and how that relates to what goes on in this society as a whole. I was drawn to the culture—not just the music and the art overall, but the whole way of going through the world—of the Black people who became my friends, and the world they introduced me to. And I came to the point of recognizing: these are my people. Now, I knew they had a different life experience than I did. But these are my people—I don’t see a separation—it’s not like there are some other people “over there” who are going through all this and somehow that’s removed from me. These are my people. And then I began to recognize more deeply what people were being put through, the oppression they were constantly subjected to, the horrors of daily life as well as the bigger ways in which the system came down on them. And as I went further through life and began to approach the question of what needs to be done about this, and was introduced to taking up a scientific approach to this, I realized that my people were more than this. I realized that my people were Chicanos and other Latinos and other oppressed people in the U.S.; they were people in Vietnam and China; they were women...they were the oppressed and exploited of the world...and through some struggle, and having to cast off some wrong thinking, I have learned that they are LGBT people as well.

These are my people, the oppressed and exploited people of the world. They are suffering terribly, and something has to be done about this. So it is necessary to dig in and systematically take up the science that can show the way to put an end to all this, and bring something much better into being. You have to persevere and keep struggling to go forward in this way. And when you run into new problems or setbacks, you have to go more deeply into this, rather than putting it aside and giving up.

So this is why I’ve been doing the work that I’ve been doing.2

Bob Avakian grew up in Berkeley, California. Unable, because of a life-threatening illness, to be directly involved in struggles taking place against racial oppression for several years after graduating from high school in 1961, BA nevertheless closely followed and strongly supported the civil rights movement in the early 1960s, and at the same time was influenced by and supportive of the militant stand and role of Malcolm X. This was reflected in an article that BA wrote at the age of 19 in 1962 supporting the struggle of Black people. (This article was submitted to the liberal magazine Saturday Review. Although the article was not published, the editor-in-chief of the magazine, Norman Cousins, personally replied—indicating that, although the magazine had chosen not to publish this article, he recognized that the article spoke, in a strikingly compelling way, to very important questions.)

Having recovered from his illness, in 1964, BA became actively involved in the Free Speech Movement at the University of California in Berkeley, where he was a student. The central issue of this movement was the right of students to carry out activity on the campus in support of the civil rights movement. BA was among the 800 who were arrested during the occupation of the university administration building, which was the high point of the movement and led to winning its demands.

As the civil rights movement increasingly gave way to a more militant Black liberation movement in the second half of the 1960s, BA was strongly influenced by this. He left the university and dedicated his life to working for radical change. As a result of direct contact and discussions with Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, the founders of the Black Panther Party, and getting to know Eldridge Cleaver (who also became a leader of the BPP), BA worked closely with the Black Panther Party from its earliest days and at the height of its revolutionary role and influence.

In 1967, BA attended rallies, and spoke at one of the rallies, held by the BPP in North Richmond to protest the killing there of Denzil Dowell, part of the long and continuing chain of murders of Black people by police.

In 1968, when Huey Newton was facing murder charges as a result of a shoot-out with Oakland cops, BA spoke—along with a number of key figures in the Black liberation movement, including Stokely Carmichael, Rap Brown, James Forman, and leaders of the Black Panther Party— at a Free Huey rally held in the Oakland auditorium on the occasion of Huey Newton’s birthday.

BA worked tirelessly to build support, including among white people, for the demand to “Free Huey!” At a “Free Huey” rally at the courthouse in Oakland where Huey Newton’s trial was being held, BA was arrested for “desecrating” (burning) the American flag.

During this time, at the invitation of BPP leaders, BA wrote a number of articles for the Black Panther newspaper.

At a rally of thousands, led by the Black Panther Party, on May First, 1969, BA spoke of the need for revolution and called on white people in particular to more actively take part in movements for revolutionary change in the U.S., and to support such movements throughout the world.

By the beginning of the 1970s, millions of people in this country were in favor of some kind of revolutionary change, but they faced profound challenges. How could this revolution be made—or was it even possible to make a revolution here, up against such powerful forces of oppression and repression? Which were the key forces that had to be mobilized to have a real chance to carry out such a revolution? What kind of leadership was needed, and what methods and approaches should that leadership be based on? The difficulties in confronting and seeking the answers to these hard questions, combined with brutal and often murderous repression by the powers-that-be, led many revolutionary organizations, including the Black Panther Party, to split and end up departing from the road that could lead to real revolution.

By this time, partly because of the influence of the Black Panther Party, which had popularized the “Red Book” of quotations from the Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, BA had become convinced not only that revolution was necessary, and was possible, but that it had to be led by a vanguard force that based itself on the scientific method and approach of communism, as it had been developed initially by Karl Marx, then further developed by V.I. Lenin, the leader of the Russian Revolution in the early part of the 20th century, and then in turn further developed by Mao, who led the Chinese revolution and the new, socialist society in China, until his death in 1976. BA led in the formation of the Revolutionary Union at the end of the 1960s, with the aim of working toward the establishment of the vanguard party of revolution, based on the science of communism. During the first part of the 1970s, BA was both the practical leader and the leading theoretician of the Revolutionary Union, writing much of the essays and polemics for its theoretical journal Red Papers. This included major articles, particularly in Red Papers 5 and 6, that involved groundbreaking scientific materialist analysis of the situation of Black people, historically and down to the present—how and why their particular conditions of oppression had changed, from the time of slavery to the present era, and how this objectively put Black people in a potentially powerful position to be a driving force not only for their own liberation but for the communist revolution whose fundamental aim is the abolition of all oppression and exploitation. These articles included powerful polemics, arguing against positions and programs that would not lead to, but would actually work against, this liberation and the revolutionary transformation of the world as a whole.

In 1975, with BA’s leadership, the Revolutionary Communist Party was founded, with the aim of being the vanguard force for the revolution that was, and continues to be, profoundly necessary. Over the decades since then, BA has fought to keep that Party on the revolutionary road and to bring forward new revolutionary forces to revitalize and strengthen the vanguard forces for the revolution that is now, all the more urgently, required. While continuing to provide practical guidance to the revolutionary forces, BA, through summing up the experience (positive and negative) of the communist movement, and drawing from a broad range of human experience, has brought forward a new synthesis of communism (also referred to as the new communism) which, most decisively, has established communism on an even more consistently scientific basis. As BA’s Official Biography explains, the new communism “is a continuation of, but also represents a qualitative leap beyond, and in some important ways a break with, communist theory as it had been previously developed. It provides the basis—the science, the strategy, and the leadership—for an actual revolution and a radically new society on the road to real emancipation.”3

A defining part of this new communism is the emphasis it gives to the struggle for the liberation of Black people, and the relation of this to the ending of all oppression. And this has continued to stand out in BA’s leadership role and work over the decades, up to the present.  At revcom.us there is a special section, Bob Avakian on The Oppression of Black People & the Revolutionary Struggle to End All Oppressionwhich contains clips from films and selections from the writings of BA on this question. The following are just a few examples of important works and leadership by Bob Avakian, over the past few decades, that speak to this decisive question.

The book Reflections, Sketches & Provocations, written by Bob Avakian during the 1980s, contains a number of commentaries, speaking in a number of dimensions to the oppression of Black people and the struggle against this oppression, including support for rebellions following the murder of Black people by police. This book begins with the essay “Hill Street Bullshit, Richard Pryor Routines, and the Real Deal,” which powerfully exposes how terror against Black people, and other oppressed people, is “part of the job” of the police—and is “a reward” for carrying out the role of maintaining the “law and order” that keeps the oppressed in their desperate and miserable conditions. Going deeper, it speaks to how this is rooted in this system of capitalism-imperialism, which has had this oppression built into it from the very beginning.

In the 1990s, BA raised the idea that there should be a day, every year, when people mobilized to protest police brutality, mass incarceration and repression by the government. This proposal was taken up and a broad coalition, including family members of people killed by police, was formed to initiate, in 1996, the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation. At its height, over the next decade, this National Day of Protest, held every October 22nd, rallied thousands of people in dozens of cities across the country. And activities by people who have been part of this coalition have continued since then.

During the past two decades, BA has given a number of filmed speeches, and written articles, essays and books, in which the liberation of Black people and its crucial relation to the communist revolution, aiming for the emancipation of all humanity, has been a major question.

BA’s 2003 speech Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About, begins with a searing exposure and condemnation of lynching, and speaks to the horrific reality of slavery and the oppression of Black people down to today, including the continual murder of Black people by police.3

In 2006, BA gave a series of 7 Talks, in which once again the oppression of Black people, and the struggle for their liberation, is a major theme. One of these 7 Talks, Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy, begins by speaking to the experience of Black people in this country; and the question of slavery and the overall oppression of Black people is, of course, a major part of this talk. It is in Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy that the following is clearly stated:

There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth.

(This is also the very first statement in BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, the handbook for revolution.)3

At the beginning of BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less!, in 2012, this point is stated emphatically:

Let’s start with just one great crime of this system: police murder—after murder—after murder—of Black people and Latinos, especially youth.3

This is part of the powerful exposure in this speech of the role that continuing murders by police play in enforcing this monstrous system of exploitation and oppression, the system of capitalism-imperialism.

At the beginning of his October 2017 speech The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible,  BA speaks powerfully to the horrors of slavery in this country—including the rape by slavemasters of huge numbers of enslaved women. This speech shows how the murderous oppression of Black people, continuing down to today, is one of the main roots of the fascism that has come to power in this country with the Trump/Pence regime; and, in this speech, BA repeatedly returns to the critical importance of the fight against this oppression.3

BA’s 2018 speech Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution begins this way:

In 2012 in Revolution—Nothing Less! I talked about the outrageous murder of Ramarley Graham earlier that same year—shot down in his own house in the Bronx by the New York City police. He was only 18 years old. Do I have to tell you what “race” he was?! His mother kept saying: “This has to STOP!” And his father repeated over and over: "WHY did they kill my son?! WHY did they kill my son?!" New York cops then loudly rallied around their fellow pig who murdered Ramarley in cold blood, viciously taunting Ramarley's family and loved ones, demonstrating yet one more time the ugly truth that, in the way this country has been built, and for the powers-that-be in this country, the humanity of Black people has never counted for anything—they have never been valued as human beings, but only as things to be exploited, oppressed, and repressed. Six years later, and with cold-blooded murders by police continuing in an unbroken chain, I will say again what I said then: How many more times does this have to happen? How many more times do the tears and the cries of anguish and anger have to pour forth from the wounded hearts of people?! How many more times, when another of these outrageous murders is perpetrated by the police, do we have to hear those words that pour gasoline on the already burning wounds: “justifiable homicide, justified use of force” by police?! How many more?!3

In that 2018 speech, BA not only powerfully exposes once again the horrific oppression that this system of capitalism-imperialism inflicts on Black people, and on other oppressed people in this country and throughout the world, and the grave danger this system poses to the very future of humanity; he also lays out in this speech (and in a more recent article A Real Revolution—A Real Chance To Win, Further Developing the Strategy for Revolution3) the strategic approach that could make it possible for this system to be finally overthrown through a revolution in which millions and millions of people are led to fight to put an end to this system and bring a radically different and much better system into being.

In the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA, a sweeping vision and concrete blueprint for that radically different and much better system is set forth. And the principles and means for finally putting an end, at long last, to the oppression of Black people is a major part of that Constitution.3

This year (2020), BA has written as many as 30 articles in which this decisive question—the oppression, and the struggle for the liberation, of Black people—is a recurring subject.3

In the speeches and writings of BA overall, there is not only powerful, penetrating exposure and uncompromising condemnation of brutal and murderous oppression but, even more importantly, there is scientific analysis of how all this is rooted in this system of capitalism-imperialism and of the need, the possibility, and the means for making revolution to overthrow this system and finally put an end to all the outrageous and unnecessary suffering that the masses of humanity are continually subjected to under this system.

***

It is a very precious thing for the oppressed of the earth when they have a leader whose life is dedicated to their emancipation, and who has the determination, and the scientific method, developed over decades, to point the way, and continue to carve out the path, to achieving that emancipation. BA is such a leader. As emphasized in the article Bob Avakian: A Radically Different Leader—A Whole New Framework For Human Emancipation:

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.3

One of the things that most distinguishes BA’s role as a revolutionary leader is his willingness—indeed, his insistence—on telling people the truth, even when they may not want to hear it. This comes through in the way BA exposes and refutes unscientific ways of thinking—all kinds of “conspiracy” theories and superstitious ideas—that lead people, including the most bitterly oppressed people, away from understanding the world as it actually is, and keep them from seeing not just the need, but the possibility, of radically changing the world, in a way that will lead to ending oppression. A big problem that BA has taken on, straight-up, is the role of religion as a mental chain on the masses of Black people, and other oppressed people, and the need to break this chain in order to most powerfully wage the struggle to finally be free of all oppression. BA has repeatedly emphasized that, in order to end oppression, “you have to want revolution badly enough to be scientific about it.”

Science means judging whether something is true, or not, by whether there is evidence that it actually corresponds to reality—and not believing something because it makes you feel good to believe it, or not refusing to believe something because it makes you uncomfortable. In the article Conspiracy Theories, Fascist “Certitude,” Liberal Paralysis, Or A Scientific Approach To Changing The World, BA has spoken directly to this problem:

many of the basic masses, who are bitterly oppressed under this system, also are suspicious of and even are inclined to reject science and scientifically-grounded analysis. But this also leaves you vulnerable to all kinds of unfounded “conspiracy theories” and other wrong and harmful ideas, including the notion that nothing people do will make a difference because “it’s all in god’s hands.”3

In the 2014 Dialogue with Cornel West (REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion), which took place during the upsurge of protest and rebellion in response to the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, while speaking to the importance of uniting people broadly in the struggle against oppression, including people who hold religious views, BA also emphasized that the revolution that is needed to finally put an end to oppression must be led with a scientific, not a religious, outlook and method.3

From the start of the article Bob Avakian On Emancipation From Mental Slavery And All Oppression, written this year (2020), BA does not hold back in speaking to these critical questions:

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?!....

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.3

****

From his early years, forging close personal ties with Black people and increasingly learning about their lived experience, to his development as this rare leader who has brought forth the most advanced scientific revolutionary theory with the new communism—a defining part of the life and work of Bob Avakian has been the liberation of Black people from centuries of oppression, and the understanding of how this relates to, and is a crucial driving force in, the communist revolution to finally abolish every form of oppression and exploitation, everywhere.

BA himself has expressed this in the following poetically powerful statement:

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.

 


1. From Ike to Mao and Beyond, My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary CommunistA Memoir by Bob AvakianInsight Press, 2005. [back]

2. 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, first printing, 2016, pp. 321-22. In addition to THE NEW COMMUNISM, in other recent works by BA—in particular Breakthroughs: The Historic Breakthrough by Marx, and the Further Breakthrough with the New Communism, A Basic Summaryand Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis, Breaking with Individualism, Parasitism and American Chauvinism—the oppression and the struggle for the liberation of Black people, and its relation to the emancipation of humanity as a whole, is a prominent subject. These works are available at revcom.us.  [back]

3. All of these works are available at revcom.us. (Information about how to acquire the print and e-book editions of BAsics can be found at revcom.us. Audio of the 7 Talks is available in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us; and Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy has been published in a print edition, the text of which can also be found in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us.)

The film of the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, is also available in BA’s Collected Works at revcom.us.

The article Conspiracy Theories, Fascist “Certitude,” Liberal Paralysis, Or A Scientific Approach To Changing The World (longer and shorter versions) is available at revcom.us as well.

The importance of Bob Avakian as a revolutionary leader, who has further developed communism as a consistently scientific method and approach, is a central theme in 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. Ardea Skybreak is a scientist with professional training in ecology and evolutionary biology, who is also the author of the important book THE SCIENCE OF EVOLUTION AND THE MYTH OF CREATIONISM, Knowing What’s Real And Why It Matters. Each of these books by Ardea Skybreak is published by Insight Press, and the Interview with Ardea Skybreak (SCIENCE AND REVOLUTION) is also available at revcom.us

The following articles, written by Bob Avakian this year (2020), which speak to the oppression of Black people and the struggle to end this oppression, are available as well at revcom.us:

Donald Trump—Genocidal Racist (Parts 1-10) 

Racial Oppression Can Be Ended—But Not Under This System

Police And Prisons: Reformist Illusions And The Revolutionary Solution

Anything But The Truth—Bob Avakian Exposes Lies, Distortions, Distractions and Evasions About the Murderous Oppression of Black People

Lynching, Murder By Police—Damn This Whole System! We Don’t Have To Live This Way!

Bob Avakian On Emancipation From Mental Slavery And All Oppression

Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James And The Whole Truth

Donald Trump Isn’t “Tough,” He’s A Bloated Bag Of Fascist Feces

Bloated Bag Of Fascist Feces Trump Isn’t “Tough”—Part 2: Who Really Has Heart?

Trump And Pigs: A Racist Love Affair

Fucker Carlson, Fascist “Fox News” And The Broadcast Of White Supremacy

Bob Avakian on Black Trump Supporters: What If Jews Had Supported Hitler?!

Bob Avakian On: A Beautiful Uprising: Right And Wrong, Methods And Principles

On Statues, Monuments, And Celebrating—Or Ending—Oppression

Fascists Today And The Confederacy: A Direct Line, A Direct Connection Between All The Oppression

Patriarchy And Male Supremacy, Or Revolution And Ending All Oppression

Sounding Like Southern Segregationists: It’s Not Just Trump—It’s Democrats Too

Bob Avakian Brings Out the Truth: Barack Obama Says Police Murdering Black People Should Not Be Normal—Unless He’s President

Bob Avakian On Ugly Words & Phrases

Bob Avakian On Tulsa Racist Mobs

A Real Revolution--A Real Chance To Win: Further Developing the Strategy for Revolution

[back]

Get to know BA

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/683/the-more-i-engaged-ba-i-could-not-wait-to-get-out-of-prison-en.html

"The More I Engaged BA, The More I Could Not Wait to Get Out of Prison"

by Joe Veale, revcom, former member of Black Panther Party

| revcom.us

 

Editors' Note: We received the following from Joe Veale.

I’ll start like this. I “knew” BA even before I met him. We grew up in the same city, in Berkeley, California. The Black Panther Party had started in Oakland which was right next to Berkeley. I knew a lot of the rank and file Panthers, once they got going. They were telling me what they were doing—they had developed this organization and they were trying to make revolution to overthrow the system and to put an end to the oppression of Black people. They were straight up about the fact that racism went with the capitalist system, working to overthrow the system and not working within the system. And they made it clear to me that they was trying to build the revolution not only among Black people, they was trying to build support for it among whites, you know, support for this among whites as well as other different races and nationalities. And in that context, BA’s name always came up. It was “Bob Avakian.”

I hadn’t met him yet, I wasn’t a Panther yet, but I knew about him. That’s what they were saying—this is the main person who supported them when they first began. Then when I started to go to Panther rallies, that’s what I would see on the stage with these Black revolutionaries, Black militants—BA would be right up there speaking with them about Black liberation and revolution, and supporting the Panthers.

Joining the Panthers

Then when I joined the Panthers—it was in Richmond, California, that’s the branch I went in. BA and the Revolutionary Union, which he led, were also there as well. I didn’t know this at the time, but they were in Richmond doing their political work. They were answering the call from the Panthers and others to take revolutionary politics out to poor whites. He talks about it in his Memoir (excerpts from the Memoir available here).

Richmond was a proletarian city of different races and nationalities. So out in Richmond, I would see him come by the office to talk with the Panther leadership. At times I’d have assignments at the National Office in Berkeley and I’d see him come through there talking to some of the national leaders and everything.

I remember on one occasion it was at this community college, Contra Costa College. BA talks about doing work there and the Panthers did work there also. This is when I first ran into BA face to face. And one of the things that really struck me, because up to this point, I had never met anyone who was white that was so passionate about Free Huey! Huey Newton and Bobby Seale were the two founders of the Black Panther Party. Huey was facing a murder charge for a shootout with Oakland police and they were trying to put him in the gas chamber. BA had Free Huey buttons all over his clothing—it was really striking to me. He also had Mao Tsetung buttons all over him.

You know, the Panthers were into popularizing Mao’s Red Book, but BA was just as passionate, if not more so, about Mao and revolution. I hadn’t met anybody—anybody white, to be frank—who was so passionate about Black liberation and communist revolution.

Then I found out that me and BA, we had some of the same friends. He talks about one of these friends—Billy Carr, who was also a friend of mine. Billy was a very good athlete, and a really nice person—he was a little older than me. Billy ended up being in “the life”—I had gotten into it too and I kinda idolized Billy.

But he was a friend of BA’s that he knew really well. BA was struggling with Billy trying to get him to do something else with his life. He wasn’t blaming Billy for being in the situation that he was in, he was blaming the system and trying to get Billy to see that. He really understood and he had a lot of real affection for people like Billy generally. When I realized that and I learned that BA had genuine friends like that, that they had potential to do something great with their life, this had a big impression on me—I just have to be straight up about it.

Studying Revolution in Prison, Going Up Against Identity Politics

In the early ’70s when I was sent to federal prison, these revolutionary prisoners (seven prisoners known as Leavenworth Brothers) struggled with me to read BA’s writings. Because I was really angry like [another person in this discussion] was talking about. I was cocky and angry, and nobody could tell me shit. I had a certain attitude towards other prisoners: “y’all trying to win a longevity contest but you need to be out here trying to make revolution.” Anyway, some people were struggling with me: “if you’re really serious you got to read BA.” The first thing they had me read was Red Papers issues #5 and #6, both issues were about the Black National Question or Black liberation. I knew BA had wrote these.

I had already read, studied, and listened to Malcolm X, all of his speeches/recordings over and over. I had read Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth. I had read all this stuff from the Panthers and the Panthers’ leaders about this contradiction—the oppression of Black people—and what’s the solution to it. But when I read Red Papers 5 and 6, I recognized that I had never seen this kind of approach, this kind of systematic and scientific approach that BA took to understanding and analyzing it: from the time of slavery, to sharecropping and Jim Crow, to moving into the urban cities, into the proletariat still facing discrimination, segregation, and police terror—the implications of all that for revolution. Black people was now potentially in a more powerful position to contribute to communist revolution to emancipate humanity. I had never read anything like that.

But at that time some people were saying (at least some people that I knew—it was one of the things that was in the movement at that time): “don’t read anything from somebody white that’s trying to tell you about the struggle of Black people or any other oppressed people because its social chauvinism.” It means they are trying to take over “your” struggle. They are trying to “own” it. No! If it is true and scientific it is getting to the root of the problem so that this oppression can be uprooted and overthrown.

You hear a lot of this today in identity politics lingo—it’s white privilege, white racism, therefore white people are automatically disqualified and they have no business in here trying to tell you about what is real or not real. That is bullshit! It’s a way of avoiding the central point which is whether what anybody says is true or not, does it correspond to reality or not? You can determine that by taking the evidence-based scientific approach.

It’s bullshit on another level. I knew BA, and I knew where his heart was.

And then when I got to reading his writings—I got to know his method of thinking, his thinking process, how he went about engaging reality. When I received that pamphlet while I was in prison, Revolutionary Work in a Non-Revolutionary Situation, I thought it was a masterful grasp of the dialectical materialist method—understanding how a thing of one quality can be transformed into a whole different kind of quality. How a non-revolutionary situation can be transformed into a revolutionary situation.

I was in prison and we had our Marxist study group. We were comparing all these people that were saying they were communists and communist leaders. You had different ones—October League, League of Revolutionary Struggle, Communist Workers Party, Black Workers Congress—all these different organizations. You had ’em all, they were all around. We were looking at all of them, what they were saying in relationship to what BA and the RU were saying, as well as comparing it to how Mao, Lenin, and Marx took up the scientific method, how they engaged reality, and who here came the closest to that. Even at that time BA stood out.

The method that he was applying, even though he has developed it and made different ruptures since that time—but you could see, if you was looking for it, that there was some real systematic and a scientific way of getting to the roots of things. He did not put forward or say something just ’cause it was something to make people feel good, he just told people the truth whether they liked it or not. It was something I really appreciated. He applied this to everything including the oppression of Black people and how it had changed over the years.

Getting Out of Prison and into the Movement

The more I engaged BA, I could not wait to get out of prison. Before that, I didn’t give a fuck whether I got out or not. Before that I was saying: if I only live five more minutes it’s going to be on my terms, whether I’m in here or whether I’m out there—fuck it! But once I started getting into... I wanted to get out. I wanted to get with the leadership of BA. I wanted to meet him, I wanted to get with the Revolutionary Communist Party because I thought: hey, we have the leader and the leadership to really make revolution that we was trying to do in the ’60s.

When I came out of prison in the late ’70s, what immediately happened was the Bob Avakian and Mao Tsetung Defendants court case. He was part of a demonstration in DC that was viciously attacked for defending Mao and revolution in China and was calling out the capitalist coup after Mao’s death. BA himself was facing hundreds of years in prison. Because I knew that we had something special here in terms of a leader, I volunteered immediately to go to DC to be one of the volunteers. I said: we can’t allow BA to be snatched away from us. I’ll go anywhere, do anything politically, to prevent that from happening. And 200 of us volunteers went to DC. We went there to politically “turn DC upside down”—again, this is in BA’s Memoir. We were passionate about that, even as we were just beginning to grasp what we have in the leadership of BA.

I was brand new. I had just got out of prison, my parole had just ended the day before and the very next day I was on the plane to DC as a volunteer. So, I’m there, and I think it was a speech BA had just given to the volunteers. I’m standing in the back talking to somebody, he comes up to me. He starts talking to me about some of things we were all studying at that time about the Collapse of the Second Communist International. We studied why during Lenin’s time, Lenin was the only one who led the masses to go for revolution. They had other parties that were bigger and had even greater influence but were capitulating and leading the people in different countries to take up guns to defend the fucking imperialist fatherland and shit like that, during World War 1.

BA just walked up to me and started talking to me about that and some of the lessons that we should draw from that. I was just kinda... I have to say I was kinda taken aback because he came up and was talking to me. But BA was so genuine, he had no airs, he was just so genuine. I was just talking to him... even though he’s this really advanced world-class leader, when you’re talking to him it’s like you’re talking to your best friend, it’s like talking to a friend—that’s just how he comes off to me, which again, just really struck me. This always has struck me about him.

Back to what I was saying about his friend Billy, even the thing with the Panthers, when I listen to BA talk about it, he understands it better than I do. I was in the Panthers, I went through it, but he understands it. When I went to prison that’s why I was so angry because of what had happened to the Panthers. But BA had a rational and a scientific understanding about why they split apart, and departed from the road of revolution. Again, not blaming them, appreciating the very brutal and murderous repression they faced—but more so, recognizing how they didn’t make the leap to become scientific about revolution.

Nobody in the ’60s came up with a real strategy that can lead millions and millions to defeat and overthrow this system, what to replace it with, what kind of leadership do we need, what kind of methods and approach does that leadership needs to be based upon.

So it’s the same thing like what I was saying about Billy or with those youth in Chicago when we showed them the video clips of BA Through the Years. BA resonates when people hear him, especially the basic masses, as well as others. When they hear him it resonates so profoundly because he understands their situation, what they are going through, and what is the way out—better than you do.

You may be going through and suffering in this way, but it is like going to a doctor, a good doctor. You’re the one suffering but they understand what the solution is to put an end to that suffering better than you do and better than you can. Because he has done the work. People need to engage this work and become followers of BA.

“There has never been a leader like this”

But these are some of the things that have really always struck me about BA. It always struck me on a real personal level. Anytime I was ever able to talk to him, and then read and study his works, it’s so striking that there has never been a leader like this. I think it’s really rare. Especially when I was in prison, and other times, I would just hope that we could get a leader that could really lead the masses to get out of this shit and really navigate through all the twists and turns. Because in any revolution there are always difficulties, there’s always unanticipated things that pop up, but you got to have a method and approach that allows you to be able to work through that and not be thrown by that. And that’s what I see with BA.

When I was in my prison cell, I used to think that either I was going to do something crazy when I got out or I was just going to go to China and live because Mao was still alive at that time. But I hated this system, I hated what it was doing to the masses, not just here but all around the world. But I didn’t think we could get that leadership on that level of a Mao, a Lenin, or a Marx. Then I started realizing that we had it, we have it. And now, it’s developed more beyond what it ever had been in the history of the communist revolution, because BA has made this science much more thoroughly and consistently scientific, to be in synch with reality and how it is changing, and how it CAN be changed to emancipate humanity.

I would read some of things from the first wave of the world revolution—Marx making the first great breakthrough in our understanding in the struggle for human emancipation—but there were definite limits and weaknesses in the first stage of communism. Sometimes I would read those things and get to a place where I’d say, “oh yeah, now we can relax because there’s a kingdom of peace and forever harmony”—that’s a vision would come to my mind. But I don’t ever get that from BA.

Through this revolution humanity can surpass being divided into antagonistic groups—but there’s always going to be matter in motion, there’s always going to be struggle, even if it’s not always antagonistic, that’s just reality. That’s what’s so fucking refreshing. Because when I was in prison people would talk... some of these people, they was eloquent, they’d been studying Marxism—but it was really dogmatic. And I’d listen to them talk and my jaw would just drop because they’d be talking about how the working out of history is pre-determined, that feudalism would be negated by capitalism, and capitalism is going to be negated by socialism—and it was all a kind of worked out in a one/two-step harmony. Real dogmatic and shit like that. Some of that was in that first phase of communism, and BA has gotten rid of all of that with his new synthesis of communism. You don’t find none of that religiosity, religious mantra and shit like that in it and stuff. To me, that’s why I think we can do this—with him, and with his leadership, because of that.

 

BA Through the Years 1969,1979, 2003

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/revolutionclub/index.html

 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/696/feeling-the-need-to-do-more-and-getting-out-revolutionary-seeds-en.html

From a reader:

Feeling the Need to "Do More" ... and Getting Out Revolutionary "Seeds"

| revcom.us

 

Hi Revcoms!

I’ve been watching for quite a while with admiration, and with longing for this movement to really take off, and for this analysis and leadership really to be seen and felt out there. In the past, I’ve supported in various ways, where I can, when I can, knowing there are a handful of reasons I cannot do as much as is needed. But at the same time I’ve felt drawn to do more. While I cannot act with the level of dedication that is needed from growing numbers right now, today I did a bit more to help the revolutionary movement be seen.

Downtown XXX is covered with “Seeds”... maybe not covered, but I got up almost a hundred posters, including the “Seeds” quotes from BA’s New Year’s Statement, LOTS of the Three Strikes posters, lots of the May 1st Declaration posters... and a few full-color 5-2-6 posters!

It was early, and there weren’t a ton of people out, but especially in [one] neighborhood, people walking by definitely took notice of the Three Strikes poster. Struck up a conversation around the endless series of police murders with a few guys... and the photos really helped take our talk in the direction of the many different forms the vicious oppression of Black people has taken throughout the history of the U.S. Another guy stopped on his bike, said, “Wow, they’ve got Jim Crow and slavery on here... that’s how deep it goes.” We talked about the historic oppression that even with small reforms that the people may win by standing up, refusing to take this, taking to the streets, and then all of the forms of the “within the system” advocacy that tends to sweep up the energies of people... that oppression will continue to “morph” and to take up new forms as long as this system continues. They said, “It has to start somewhere” but also that keeping Black people down is “built into” this system and that only revolution will undo that in the end.

One offered that he is usually out there with some Muslim guys feeding people on Saturday mornings. We talked a bit about that, he said he wasn’t Muslim but trying to decide whether to convert. I shared that I’m an atheist and while I grew up in “the church,” with time I saw that there was a better way to understand the world as it actually is, and that the group that made these posters is using a scientific approach to understanding our society and laying out the potential for revolution and the way we could get to a radically different world. He nodded in appreciation, we talked a bit more before parting ways... he really wanted to know if there was a way for people from XXX to get to ZZZ for May 1st. I pointed him to the website to get the information... and just kind of left things at that.

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/696/why-you-should-come-to-revolutionary-may-1-gatherings-in-cities-across-the-country-en.html

Why you should come to revolutionary May 1 gatherings in cities across the country:

| revcom.us

 

  1. Be part of a revolutionary gathering that declares to the whole world:
    WE DECLARE: WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS—WE REFUSE TO ACCEPT SLAVERY IN ANY FORM!
  2. Meet the Revcoms—an ORGANIZED revolutionary group, formed with a revolutionary morality, disciplined and militant... and welcoming YOU! They will show you how to:
    GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION!
  3. Learn more about the leader of the Revolution, Bob Avakian (BA). There has never been a leader like this in this country and there is no other leader like this in the world now.
    WE ARE FOLLOWERS OF BA. AND YOU NEED TO BECOME FOLLOWERS OF BA TOO.

You will meet people just like yourself and people very different—but all united to make revolution here as part of making revolution all over the world and freeing humanity.


How you can organize now together with the Revolution Club to make May 1 the day this organized material force for revolution makes a real advance that can impact and recruit more people:

  1. Make a video pledge to be there yourself. Record a short video saying why you are going and calling on others, send it to us... and send it all over. (We can help you with this. DM @therevcoms or write to GetOrganizedForRevolutionTour @ gmail.com)
  2. Spread the word about May 1—impact the neighborhoods, schools, cultural scenes, etc, by posting on social media, putting up posters, leaflets and stickers everywhere so people notice and get the feeling this is growing. And give out the Declaration and Call from the revcoms to “Get Organized Now For A Real Revolution.Donate to print materials to organize for May 1.
  3. Invite (and if need be, struggle with) your friends who care (forget the ones who don't for now) that real revolution is possible and they should come. (Use the three reasons above.)
  4. Meet up with the Revolution Club to practice marching in formation. Contact the Revolution Club in your city, or contact the National Revolution Tour.
  5. Run with the Revolution Club—at least once or as much as you can between now and May 1 to impact with this revolution and learn how to take this to the people. Be with us to urgently get organized now for this real revolution. Again, contact the Revolution Club in your city, or contact the National Revolution Tour.
  6. Donate: Venmo: @RevolutionTour; CashApp: $revtour; PayPal orCredit Card: revcom.us—go to Donate Now to the National Revolution Tour

Fr. Luis Barrios, NYC, invites you to International Revolutionary May Day 2021

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/695/revolution-club-materials-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Materials to Take the Revolution Everywhere

Flyers, Posters, the BA Statement and more...

 


FROM THE REVCOMS (REVCOM.US):
A DECLARATION, A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR A REAL REVOLUTION

PDF Pamphlet (English)

Now available:

PDF 8.5x11, 7 pages (English, Extended Version)

PDF Pamphlet (Spanish)


NEW YEAR'S STATEMENT BY BOB AVAKIAN
A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—
For The Emancipation Of All Humanity

PDF of this statement (English):    Booklet    |    8.5x11 sheets

PDF of this statement (Spanish):    Booklet    |    8.5x11 sheets

PDF in Farsi
(This translation reposted from the website cpimlm.org)


"Seeds" (English)

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"Seeds" (Spanish)

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Three Strikes...

Download, print, and distribute widely (English)

8.5x11    |    11x17

Download, print, and distribute widely (Spanish):

8.5x11    |    11x17

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/695/revolution-tour-fund-appeal-en.html

As the New Declaration and Call from the Revcoms Hits the Streets…

DONATE NOW TO THE NATIONAL REVOLUTION TOUR

| revcom.us

 

The National Revolution Tour has gone out strong in these past few weeks, while still taking needed precautions not to contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Now there is something huge afoot; a new Declaration and Call from the revcoms, NOW is the time to get organized for a real revolution! If you have not read this yet, read it now.

This Declaration and Call must get into millions of hands, all over the country. The horrors for which this system has no answer—the white supremacy, the patriarchal oppression here and around the world, the looming ecological catastrophe—have given rise to massive struggle and, among tens of millions, to searching and intense questioning. This Call speaks to that—to the situation we face and how this system has caused it; to the revolution we need; to the rare and precious leadership we have in Bob Avakian; to how such a revolution could really be made, and the ways that people can be part of all this.

Thousands must be brought forward to answer this Call, racing to get organized and into position to take advantage of one of those rare dangerous times when the system is caught up in crisis and, to quote the Declaration and Call, “those who rule ... cannot hold things together in the way they have in the past.” Yes, these times carry the danger of catastrophe—but they also carry the possibility for the people to “wrench something really positive out of it—revolution, to put an end to this system and bring something much better into being.”

This is what the National Get Organized For An Actual Revolution Tour is working night and day to do, fighting to make this real, and leading the Revolution Clubs to do so as well. But they can’t do it alone.

And this is where YOU come in. Funds are needed to pay for:

  1. Printing massive quantities of the Declaration and Call from the Revcoms to get them into people’s hands everywhere. This alone takes many thousands of dollars.
  2. Spreading the New Year’s Statement from Bob Avakian everywhere and planting the “Seeds,” to be posted up everywhere.
  3. Planning and hosting revolutionary May Day celebrations around the country where this Declaration and Call will be featured.
  4. The ongoing needs of the members of the Revolution Tour who have made tremendous sacrifices to quit their jobs and travel around the country, in order to devote themselves full time to organizing for this revolution.
  5. Support for The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show on YouTube, which, along with revcom.us, is a major voice of the revolution.
  6. Widespread promotion of the recent major statement BOB AVAKIAN FOR THE LIBERATION OF BLACK PEOPLE AND THE EMANCIPATION OF ALL HUMANITY, video showings out among the masses, and other important media.

Your financial support is a critical part of making all this real. Because of the leadership of Bob Avakian there is a vision and a plan for a way out of this madness, a way out of all the suffering this system causes for millions and millions around the world. But many, many thousands more people need to hear about this revolution and become a part of it. This cannot happen without your support. Donate $10, $100, or $1,000—whatever amount you can afford makes a huge difference to the revolution. And if you received a recent stimulus payment, donate whatever portion of it you can and make it count for what really matters—supporting this revolution that can put an end to this system of oppression.

“This revolution is not just a ‘good idea’—it is actually possible.”—from the “From the revcoms (revcom.us): A Declaration, a Call to Get Organized Now for a Real Revolution.”

____

What Is the National Revolution Tour?

The National Revolution Tour formed in 2019 to go across the country to spread the word about, and wage struggle for, revolution and the new communism and leadership of Bob Avakian (BA), and to build Revolution Clubs. We aimed—and still aim—to bring forward a force of thousands who represent for this revolution and can have a major impact on a society that is right now locked in major crisis and conflict, with millions wondering and searching for whether there is a real way out. We went to Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York—and a whole lot of other places as well.

Last year, just as we were getting started with a new phase in LA, COVID hit; we adopted best practices against contagion, but we didn’t let it stop us.

And now we are hitting the streets again, beginning with major revolutionary events this May 1. We aim to carry forward the Tour this year, going forward around the country to spread the word, organize people, and hasten the time when millions can be won to fight, all-out, for the revolution humanity so desperately needs.

FROM THE REVCOMS (REVCOM.US):

A DECLARATION,
A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW
FOR A REAL REVOLUTION

Read this Declaration and Call, find out more:
Basic version | Extended version

Available in Brochure format (PDF):
Basic version | Extended version

How to Donate to the
National Revolution Tour

  • Venmo: @RevolutionTour
  • CashApp: $revtour
  • Write in to getorganizedforrevolutiontour (at) gmail.com, let us know if you are taking up collections, or to send statements
  • Or call (323) 671-9839
  • Send a check or money order,
    payable to RCP Publications and earmark it for National Revolution Tour. Mail to:
    • RCP Publications
      Box 3486, Merchandise Mart
      Chicago, IL 60654-0486
  • PayPal or credit card:

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/696/verdict-in-murder-of-george-floyd-draws-close-a-system-on-trial-whose-time-is-up-en.html

As the Verdict in the Murder of George Floyd Draws Close…

A System on Trial Whose Time Is Up—We Need to Organize NOW for an Actual Revolution!

| revcom.us

 

The trial of the pig who murdered George Floyd will soon come to an end.

The proof of this pig’s guilt has been overwhelming, and cannot be denied. Anything less than a verdict of guilty for the main charges would be yet another outrage, salt in the wounds that are still fresh.

But the guilt of this system also cannot be denied. Say their names: Daunte Wright, 20 years old, shot dead at a traffic stop, Black and unarmed; Adam Toledo, 13 years old, shot dead in an alley with his empty hands in the air, Latino; and those are only the most well-known. During the 19-day period of testimony in the trial of the Minnesota killer cop, at least 64 people were killed by police—over one-half of them Black or Latino.

THIS MURDER MUST END. This is what every decent person feels.

But this nonstop string of horrific murders has forced the whole world to confront the brute fact that so long as this system goes on, THE MURDER AND BRUTALITY BY THE POLICE CANNOT END. To deal with this, to deal with all the other towering outrages this system brings down here and around the world, we need—humanity needs—revolution, nothing less.

And this is one of those rare times in which a revolution could possibly be made in this country. “Those who rule are locked in a bitter fight among themselves, and they cannot hold things together in the way they have in the past.”1 At the same time, over these past few years the people have shown their hatred for oppression, and their courage, in powerful demonstrations and mass outpourings, here and around the world, including in the beautiful rising after the murder of George Floyd. These show the potential for revolution.

We have the leadership for that revolution in Bob Avakian, BA. BA has further developed the scientific way to understand the world, the strategy for an actual revolution, and a vision and blueprint for an emancipating new society in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which he authored.

To learn more about all this, and to start changing the world while you are learning, dig into and spread A DECLARATION, A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR A REAL REVOLUTION.

If you burned with anger and a rage for justice when you saw the life snuffed out of George Floyd and if you ache for something better... you need to be part of this revolution. And we, together, need to urgently get organized now for this real revolution. Be with us when the verdict goes down. Right now: come to, and help build for, Revolutionary May 1 celebrations. Meet, and become part of, a serious force, resolutely determined and getting organized now for a real revolution, to bring into being a world without slavery in any form, in which all of humanity can finally and fully breathe free.


1. Quoted from A DECLARATION, A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR A REAL REVOLUTION. [back]

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/696/how-pigs-approach-people-of-color-with-default-moves-that-kill-en.html

What Police Showed These Weeks of Derek Chauvin's Trial for the Murder of George Floyd:
How Pigs Approach People of Color with Default Moves That Kill

| revcom.us

 

Testimony in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the depraved murder of George Floyd began on March 29. In the 19 days that followed, police in the U.S. killed at least 64 people, with Black and Latino people representing more than half.

As a simple illustration of How Pigs Approach People of Color, With Default Moves That Kill, let’s look at a video that has gone viral:

On April 10, Caron Nazario, a 27-year-old Black and Latino man, released video of cops pulling him over in rural Virginia in December, because his license plate wasn’t visible. Cops approached his car, guns drawn, screaming at him. Nazario, a uniformed Army lieutenant, remained calm but told them he was “afraid” to get out of the car. One pig responded, “You should be.” Nazario asked what was going on: the cop said “What’s going on is you’re fixing to ride the lightning,1 son.” The cops pepper sprayed him—three times!—kicked him in the knees, knocked him to the ground and kicked him some more.2

Going further on How Pigs Approach People of Color, With Default Moves That Kill, let’s look at another case:

On April 11, Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was pulled over by cops in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Cops claimed “expired tags.” Daunte called his mom, scared. Then he hung up, got out of the car. One cop started to handcuff him because he had missed a misdemeanor court appearance. Daunte jumped back in the car, and a 27-year-veteran cop shot him dead. The cop claimed that she thought she was “just” tasing him. This is hard to believe to begin with, but in any case, it is completely outrageous even to tase someone—which is potentially deadly—who is not threatening anyone in any way.

... And another damning case:

On April 15, Chicago police (CPD) released video of the March 29 killing of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Latino child. Cops claimed they had a report of “shots fired” in the vicinity. (Note, not that someone had been shot, and not who had done the shooting.) They pulled over Adam and an older companion. Adam ran and one cop chased him down an alley screaming “show me your hands. Drop it. Drop it.” Adam stopped, turned, and was shot dead. Before the video came out, CPD claimed it was an “armed confrontation”; the video showed clearly that Adam was complying with orders: he stopped, raised his empty hands, and turned to face the cop ... who then murdered him.

Following is original research from revcom.us volunteers, a partial list of people killed by the police in the first two weeks of April, as best can be determined by national and local press:

AmeriKKKa April 1–13, 2021

Police murder is so normal in the U.S. that only the most outrageous cases, and for which there is video or eyewitness documentation, even come to public attention. But the killing grinds on day in and day out, and for every person killed there are dozens or hundreds directly impacted, and countless more who are terrorized by police violence that they survive and that goes unreported. (In Minnesota, for example, cops are not even required to report when they pull guns on people.)

On April 5, Iremamber Sykap, a 16-year-old Pacific Islander was killed when Honolulu police opened fire on a car he was driving, with five other kids in it. One of them—a 14-year-old—was severely wounded. Iremamber was much loved by family, friends and teachers, but he was desperately poor and reportedly had a history of robberies and similar crimes. Police claim the car he was in was stolen and had been used in some other crimes.

A week later, in Knoxville, Tennessee, cops shot 17-year-old Anthony J. Thompson in a high school bathroom. Cops claimed that Thompson shot one of the cops first, but it turned out that he was not wounded by the gun that the cops claimed Thompson had. At this point it is not clear if Thompson really had a gun, and if he did, whether it was fired or not.

Here is the known death toll for the first two weeks of April: Police killed 37 people—almost three a day.

 

Date Name City, State
April 1 DeShawn Tatum Rock Island, Illinois
  James Iler Brighton, Illinois
  Steven Ross Glass Lakewood, Colorado
  Unidentified* Fremont, California
April 2 Natzeryt Viertel Salem, Oregon (22)
  Noah Green Washington, DC
  Angel Nelson Corona, California
  Unidentified Hurdle Mills, North Carolina
  Lauren Archibeque Long Beach, California
April 3 Jeffrey Appelt Corvallis, Oregon
  Gabriel Casso New York, New York
  Jose Arenas Phoenix, Arizona
  Juan Carlos Estrada Moreno Valley, California
  Samuel Yeager Douglas County, Colorado
April 5 Iremamber Sycap Honolulu, Hawai'i
  Roy K. Jackel Jr. Buena Vista, New Jersey
  Silas Lambert Anadarko, Oklahoma
April 6 Devin Wyteagle Kuykendall Redding, California
  Tyler R. Green Oneonta, New York
  Stephanie Voikin Miami, Florida
April 7 Dominique Williams Tacoma Park, Maryland
  James Lionel Johnson Tacoma Park, Maryland
  James Alexander Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
April 8 DeShund Tanner Georgetown, Kentucky
  Raheem Reeder Tallahassee, Florida
April 9 Douglas C. Barton Bethel Township, Ohio
  Unidentified Whitewater, California
April 10 Unidentified Metairie, Louisiana
  Faustin Guetigo Rockford, Illinois
  Unidentified San Fernando, California
  Rescue Eram San Marcos, Texas
April 11 Daunte Wright Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
April 12 Pier Alexander Shelton Bremen, Georgia
April 13 Peyton Ham Leonardtown, Maryland
April 14 Marcelo Garcia Houston, Texas
  Lindani Myeni Honolulu, Hawai'i
  Jacob Wood Mars Hill, Maine

 

Of the 37 people killed by police in April:

9 Black, 5 Latino, 1 Asian, 7 white, 15 nationality not stated

According to the police: 15 were armed with a gun, 6 knife, 1 rifle, 1 airsoft gun, 1 toy gun, 1 tire iron, 12 no weapon named (including unarmed)

* People who are “unidentified” means that their names have not been made public in news reports

 


1. “Ride the lightning” is a reference both to tasering someone and to the electric chair.  [back]

2. The Washington Post reports that when Nazario was a boy he watched the NYPD murder Eric Garner, a member of his extended family who he called “uncle.” Afterwards, a cousin told him firmly that if confronted by cops “he had to stay calm, comply, never make them feel threatened.” Maybe that was in his mind when police pulled out behind him; Nazario slowed down, put his turn signal on, but continued driving for a few minutes to find a public place to pull over. Maybe that’s why he’s alive today.  [back]

See also:

The Murder of Daunte Wright: When Police Kill Black People Again and Again... That Is No "Accident"

Read more | Watch released video here.

and

Just-Released Video Shows Chicago Cops Shot and Killed 13-Year-Old Adam Toledo as He Had His Hands Up

Read more | Watch released video here.

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/690/updates-george-floyd-trial-blog-en.html

Updates on the Derek Chauvin Trial from Revcom.us

A Blog

| revcom.us

 

The trial of Pig Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis is underway. Chauvin is now charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

The outcome of this trial—and what the masses of people do in an effort to determine that outcome—will have consequences. The system must not be allowed to let Chauvin off, or to give him a slap on the wrist—Chauvin must be punished for straight-up murder of George Floyd. So it is very important that people have begun to stand up and fight to prevent what could be a terrible injustice on top of an utter horror from going down.

But to really get free... to put an end to the kind of horror that the world saw go down on that Minneapolis evening but that goes on and has gone on all the time, year in and year out, over the centuries... to end the oppression of Black people as part of ending all forms of oppression and exploitation all over the world, people need science and they need leadership. So the most important thing is that through this struggle for justice, more people are enabled to learn about, to get into, and to get organized around the scientific understanding of the problem and the road to the solution—to revolution, nothing less—brought forward by Bob Avakian.

Last summer Bob Avakian wrote a number of important works going into issues raised by the murder of George Floyd and the massive struggle against police brutality and institutionalized racism that arose in its wake, as well as other critical issues in that period, including the struggle against Trump-Pence fascism. Go here for some of those articles; and go here for other seminal works by Bob Avakian on the oppression of Black people, the possibility of ending that oppression through revolution, and its connection to revolution. And go here to learn more about Bob Avakian’s historic relation to this struggle.

A statement from Bob Avakian:
NOTHING LESS!

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?

Days 12 and 13 of the Trial of Derek Chauvin (Tuesday and Wednesday, April 13 & 14)

The Dishonorable Defense of Derek Chauvin: George Floyd Could Have Been "Resting Comfortably" Under Chauvin's Knee, But Instead Chose to Kill Himself With Heart Disease, Drugs and Carbon Monoxide, and by Struggling to Breathe

For 11 days the prosecution presented powerful testimony and evidence that Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd: eyewitnesses, medical experts, use of force experts, and extensive video of the murder.

On Tuesday, attorney Eric Nelson launched Derek Chauvin’s defense. So far, the key to this has been two witnesses: Use of force expert Barry Brodd, and forensic pathologist Dr. David Fowler. These “experts” asserted that what the cops did to George Floyd was not only legal and justified, but also had nothing to do with his death.

Barry Brodd:

Brodd—a former cop steeped in the murderous outlook of the police—literally tried to turn reality upside down. For instance, it took the prosecutor several minutes to get Brodd to admit that Chauvin was on top of Floyd! Then Brodd asserted that “maintaining of the prone control is not a use of force” and “it does not hurt.” When the prosecutor showed Brodd video of Floyd’s face, contorted in pain as it was crushed into the pavement by Chauvin, Brodd acknowledged that it “could be” a use of force. Brodd argued that Floyd crying, “I can’t breathe” was proof that he could breathe (a fallacy [false belief] that had been previously exposed by a world-renowned pulmonologist.)

Brodd went so far as to claim that Floyd was “struggling” for several minutes after he was face down, handcuffed and under three cops. The prosecutor asked if Brodd meant, “struggling or writhing?” Brodd answered, “I don’t know the difference,” [!] and then followed this up by saying that Floyd should have been “resting comfortably” instead of struggling to breathe!

Brodd was forced to walk some of this back: ultimately he agreed that prone restraint “could be” force, that cops have known for 30 years that it is dangerous, and that after Floyd lost consciousness, Chauvin “would know that he’s not resisting.” But he still stuck to his position that Chauvin “was acting with objective reasonableness, following Minneapolis Police Department policy and current standards of law enforcement.”

Dr. David Fowler:

Dr. Fowler, a forensic pathologist, is the former chief medical examiner for the state of Maryland.11

Fowler argued that “Mr. Floyd had a sudden cardiac arrhythmia... due to his atherosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease... during his restraint and subdual by the police.” In other words, Fowler says that Floyd died of heart disease “during” police “restraint and subdual” but not because of restraint and subdual. As the prosecutor put it, Fowler was arguing that it was just coincidence that Floyd was under police restraint when he died.

Fowler went at this in two ways. One was that he played up—or outright made up—various health issues that he said, “could have” led to Floyd’s death. Floyd did have high blood pressure, a slightly enlarged heart, and narrowing of his coronary arteries.12 A respected cardiologist13 had already testified that there was no evidence that any of these was the primary cause of Floyd’s death, and video showed him walking around happy and healthy minutes before his encounter with the police. But Fowler claimed that heart disease was the main cause of death.

Grasping at other straws, Fowler went on at great length about the role of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning because Floyd was being held down [Note: held down] near the exhaust pipe of the police patrol car. Under cross examination it came out that there was zero physical evidence of carbon monoxide poisoning in the autopsy, and that Fowler didn’t know how much CO the car emitted, or even whether the car was turned on while Floyd was being held down. Similarly, Fowler spoke extensively about a paraganglioma in Floyd’s abdomen—a type of tumor that in 10% of cases may at times secrete adrenaline that may speed up the heart rate, so… “heart attack!” The prosecution pointed out that there are only six recorded deaths in the entire world from paraganglioma!

Fowler was somewhat more effective in attacking the prosecution theory—put forward by a series of renowned medical experts last week—that Floyd died of lack of oxygen due to positional asphyxiation. (That is, that the combination of Chauvin’s pressure on Floyd’s neck, coupled with the weight of the cops pressing him down on the sidewalk while his shoulders were pulled back by the handcuffs—sharply restricted his ability to get oxygen, leading to his slow death over five or six minutes.) Fowler did this largely by citing studies done by Dr. Mark Kroll14 and others that supposedly showed prone restraint was safe. As the prosecution pointed out, these experiments were done on gym mats not concrete, used young and healthy volunteers who knew that they would be let up if they felt any distress, and, crucially, none of them was done for nine and a half minutes and none involved a knee on the subject’s neck.

Fowler was forced to concede some important points, particularly that if the cops had given Floyd “immediate medical attention” when he no longer had a pulse, that could “well have reverse[d] the process.”

Still, Fowler’s efforts to discredit the reality of prone restraint being dangerous may have created enough confusion—enough un-reasonable doubt—to provide a justification for one or more pro-police jurors to dig in their heels around. And the defense only needs one such juror to prevent a conviction.

 

Ex-Medical Examiner Witness for Chauvin Called the Police Killing of a Black Man in a Similar Case an “Accident”

One of the key witnesses called by Derek Chauvin’s defense is David Fowler, who was the chief medical examiner for Maryland until 2019. Fowler claimed on the stand that George Floyd died because of pre-existing heart problems and drug use, not because of Chauvin and other cops holding Floyd face down on the ground, with Chauvin’s knee on his neck for over nine minutes.

Two and a half years ago, when a young Black man died after being held down by pigs in a case that echoes the police murder of George Floyd, Fowler officially categorized the death as an “accident.” On September 15, 2018, in Greensboro, Maryland, 19-year-old Anton Black—an aspiring actor and model—ran from the police. According to his family, Black was having a mental health crisis. Body cam footage from one of the cops—which was only released months after the incident—shows Black being tased, handcuffed and forced face down onto the ground. Then multiple cops along with a white “civilian” put their weight on him for over six minutes. Struggling to breathe, Black—like George Floyd—cried out for his mother before his life was crushed out of him.

A report on Anton Black’s death signed by then-medical examiner David Fowler declared that Black died of “cardiac arrest while being restrained by law enforcement” and that bipolar disorder was “a significant contributing condition.” The report said that “no evidence was found that restraint by law enforcement directly caused or significantly contributed to the decedent’s death; in particular, no evidence was found that restraint led to the decedent being asphyxiated.”

The family of Anton Black has been fighting for justice, and in December 2020, they filed a federal lawsuit against Fowler and a number of police and local officials involved in the case. The lawsuit accuses Fowler and his office of having covered up “the obvious cause of death—prolonged restraint that prevented Anton from breathing.” Attorney Sonia Kumar of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland said, “The medical examiner blamed Anton for his own death—peppering its report with false claims about laced drugs, a heart condition, and even Anton’s bipolar disorder—instead of the police who killed him.”

As reported by Intercept, Fowler’s decisions exonerating police in killings have been challenged in other cases, among them the following:

* In 2016, Tawon Boyd, a 26-year-old Black man, called 911 for help. Instead of providing help, the Baltimore County cops who responded punched him and restrained him in a prone position. Boyd became unresponsive after being administered antipsychotic medication and died three days later. Fowler’s office cited drug use and “excited delirium” and classified Boyd’s death as an accident. An independent pathologist retained by the family said Boyd “died as result of asphyxia after restraint.”

* In 2013, Tyrone West, 44-year-old Black man, was beaten and kicked in the head by Baltimore pigs, who then pinned him to the ground in a prone restraint position similar to Floyd and Black. West’s breathing became erratic, and he later died. Fowler’s office blamed West’s death on his heart problems “complicated by dehydration.” A forensic pathologist who conducted an independent investigation concluded, “The main cause of death is that [Tyrone West] was restrained in such a way that he was unable to breathe.”

 

11. Fowler is being sued by the family of Anton Black, a teenager who died in 2018 while being held down by three cops, struggling to breathe, and calling out for his mother. The family accuses Fowler of covering up the police role in his death.  [back]

12. Arteries carrying oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart.  [back]

13. A doctor specializing in the heart.  [back]

14. It is worth noting that Dr. Kroll sits on the board of Axon Enterprise, the company that makes Tasers and has over three million dollars of stock in the company. Tasers themselves are frequently implicated in police killings.  [back]

 


 

Week Two of the Trial of Derek Chauvin
Expert Witnesses Confirm What the World Saw on Video: Chauvin Murdered George Floyd

The first week of testimony painted a devastating picture of a crime—the cruel murder of George Floyd at the hands of police—through the eyes of bystanders who witnessed it. And it brought out Floyd’s humanity, especially through the testimony of his girlfriend, Courteney Ross.

The second week focused on expert testimony on two issues: whether police use of force against Floyd was legal under Minnesota law, and whether this force was the cause of Floyd’s death. Police in the U.S. have a mandate from the authorities to exercise brutal force—including deadly force—on a routine basis, and the legal system almost always backs them up.4,5 In that context, this week’s testimony will likely have a big impact on the outcome of the trial.

 

Police Use of Force:

Was the police use of force against Floyd allowable under MPD policy?

Derek Chauvin and two other cops held George Floyd face down on the pavement, hands cuffed tightly behind his back, with Chauvin’s left knee on his neck and another cop on his back, for 9 minutes 29 seconds. This fact is largely undisputed.6 But Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, is arguing that this use of force is legal under Minneapolis Police Department rules.

Ten police witnesses testified for the prosecution about this. MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo said once Floyd “stopped resisting and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that ... and was no longer responsive, and even motionless, to continue to apply that level of force to a person proned out, handcuffed behind their back, that, that in no way, shape or form is anything that is by policy, it is not part of our training.”

This was backed up by other witnesses, including Sergeant Jody Stiger, a use-of-force expert with the notoriously brutal Los Angeles Police Department: “He was in the prone position, he was handcuffed, he was not attempting to resist, he was not attempting to assault the officers—kick, punch or anything of that nature.”

Nelson pushed back by pointing out that MPD rules do allow cops to brutalize people like this for periods of time, and that all MPD rules allow “officers on the scene” to use their discretion as to how to apply the rules, depending on the situation. The prosecution’s witnesses mainly did not dispute this overall, but held to the position that in this case, it went on too long, and that after Floyd was unconscious it was no longer authorized.

Were police required to provide emergency medical aid once Floyd became nonresponsive?

All police are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and Chief Arradondo testified that “the defendant violated our policy in terms of rendering aid” in emergency situations. Nelson claimed that this requirement didn’t apply because the cops had called an ambulance, but other witnesses said the policy was clear that aid must be provided while waiting for the ambulance. (Paramedics reported Floyd was dead when they arrived.)

Nelson also argued that the “loud, excited” and “hostile” group of bystanders protesting Floyd’s murder prevented the cops from providing CPR. He got some support on this from the MPD officer who trains police in medical care; she said that such a crowd makes care “incredibly difficult.” But Sgt. Stiger pointed out what is obvious on the video—the so-called “hostile crowd” is actually a dozen “concerned” people—including four children and an older man—who did not threaten the cops. Likewise, the defense argument that the situation was so “chaotic” that the cops didn’t realize Floyd needed aid disintegrates in the face of the fact that the police themselves took Floyd’s pulse, found he didn’t have one, and continued to brutalize him.

Did George Floyd Die as a Result of Police Force?

This was addressed by several highly experienced medical professionals. World-renowned pulmonologist7 and critical care physician8 Dr. Martin Tobin walked the jury through the video, pointing out all the indicators that Floyd was being deprived of oxygen and how that killed him. Tobin pointed to Floyd struggling to free up his lungs from the suffocating pressure, fighting for air, gradually losing consciousness, and even the point at which he passed away. He refuted the cops’ claim that “If he can talk, he can breathe,” pointing out that people can talk until they are at the very brink of suffocation death.

The former chief of the Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, forensic pathologist9 Dr. Lindsey Thomas, testified along similar lines. And (like Tobin) she also point-by-point refuted defense arguments that Floyd had died of a pre-existing heart condition, or of a drug overdose. These experts pointed out that an overdose of opioids is a “peaceful” and rapid death—victims fall asleep, go into a coma and die.

Dr. William Smock, the surgeon and at-the-crime-scene doctor for the Louisville, Kentucky, police department, put it this way: “He’s breathing. He’s talking. He’s not snoring. He is saying, ‘Please, please get off of me. I want to breathe. I can’t breathe.’ That is not a fentanyl overdose. That is somebody begging to breathe.”

As Dr. Thomas said “There’s no evidence to suggest [George Floyd] would have died that night except for the interactions with law enforcement.”

The last witness was Dr. Andrew Baker, Chief Medical Examiner for Hennepin County, who performed the autopsy on Floyd. That autopsy labeled Floyd’s death a homicide (which in medical terms means “death at the hands of another”—i.e., the police.) And in a confusing way it did say that police “subdual, restraint, and neck compression” killed Floyd. But the report also raised drug use and other health issues as “contributing factors.” As a whole it did not make clear that police force caused Floyd’s death.10

When asked direct questions by the prosecutor, Baker did clarify this somewhat—reaffirming that Floyd’s death was a homicide, and saying straight up that neither heart disease nor drugs was “the direct cause” of his death, and that police force was the trigger to his death. But he also continued to fudge these questions whenever he could, saying things like “the law enforcement, subdual restraint and the neck compression was just more than Mr. Floyd could take by virtue of those heart conditions.” [emphasis added] His testimony left some openings that the defense is likely to exploit when they present their case next week.

Conclusion:

The week’s testimony presented a very strong argument for the fact that Chauvin’s actions were illegal and caused George Floyd’s death. But testimony from some of those witnesses (from those witnesses who are themselves part of the law enforcement apparatus), also provided openings for the defense to attack when it presents its case next week. And as noted earlier, the scales in cases of police murder are tilted very heavily towards the police.

 

4. Out of roughly 15,000 police killings since 2005, 121 cops have been charged with manslaughter or murder. Of these, 44 were convicted, often on lesser charges. (New York Times, September 24, 2020). [back]

5. SeeAdvantage Cops! in the Injustice System of these United States.” [back]

6. Chauvin’s attorney has tried to make hay out of the fact that at a few points, Chauvin’s knee moved from neck to shoulder for a few seconds, but this in practice is a trivial point. [back]

7. A doctor specializing in the lungs and respiratory system. [back]

8. An intensive care unit doctor. [back]

9. A forensic pathologist is a doctor who performs autopsies to determine the cause of death. [back]

10. Baker also noted that no drugs were found in Floyd’s stomach, undercutting a major defense argument that Floyd died as a result of swallowing a large quantity of drugs when confronted by the police. [back]

 


 

Day 5 in the Trial of Derek Chauvin (Friday, April 2)
MPD Homicide Lieutenant Testifies: “If your knee is on someone’s neck, that can kill them.”

The main prosecution witness on Friday was Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman, the most senior officer in the Minneapolis Police Department, with 35 years on the force.

Zimmerman’s testimony was damning:

  • He described Chauvin’s violent restraint of George Floyd as “totally unnecessary ... pulling him down to the ground facedown and putting your knee on the neck for that amount of time is just uncalled for. I saw no reason why the officers felt they were in danger, if that’s what they felt. And that’s what they would have to feel to use that type of force.”
  • He said that “Once a person is cuffed, the threat level goes down all the way to, they’re cuffed, how can they really hurt you? That person is handcuffed, and the threat level is just not there.”
  • He pointed out that in the face of little or no threat from either Floyd or the bystanders, the cops were deploying the “highest tier” on the “force continuum” that all MPD cops are trained in on a yearly basis. “If your knee is on someone’s neck, that can kill them.”
  • He also said that “Once you handcuff a person you need to get them out of the prone position as quickly as possible, because it restricts their breathing.” Prone position means having someone face down, which puts pressure on their lungs. And on top of that, being handcuffed “stretches the muscles back through your chest and it makes it more difficult to breathe.” Zimmerman asserted that this is part of training and is well-known—meaning that Chauvin knew that what he was doing could kill Floyd.
  • Zimmerman also said that officers are “absolutely” trained to provide emergency medical assistance, even if an ambulance is on the way.

Coming on top of the testimony of Sergeant Pleoger (Chauvin’s supervisor) yesterday that Chauvin should have ended his knee-choke of Floyd when Floyd was not “offering any resistance,” Zimmerman went even further in driving home the fact that Chauvin was consciously employing deadly force in a way that was not justified by the situation and in violation of MPD training.

 


 

Day 4 in the Trial of Derek Chauvin (Thursday, April 1)
George Floyd, a human being full of life who died at the hands of the police

The witnesses on Thursday included George Floyd’s girlfriend, the two paramedics who attempted to resuscitate him after Derek Chauvin murdered him, and the MPD sergeant who was Chauvin’s supervisor.

  • Courteney Ross, 45, opened the day with moving testimony about her three-year relationship with George Floyd, painting a rich picture of Floyd as a human being, a sweet person full of love and full of life, in spite of being plagued with many problems. She started by telling “her favorite story” of meeting Floyd when she was at a low point in her life, while she was “fussing in a corner of the lobby” at the Salvation Army, and George coming up and offering her comfort. She talked about his love for his kids, for the outdoors and for sports, and how broken up he was when his mother died in 2018. And she bravely shared their struggle with opioid addiction, which for both of them had developed from using pills legally prescribed for chronic pain, and which they tried “many times” to shake.

    Each time Courteney started to talk about George, her face would light up with joy as if her words brought him back to life, joy which quickly turned to pain and tears as she confronted again the magnitude of her loss, and the loss to all who loved him.

    This testimony went up against the dehumanizing portrait painted by the Defense of George Floyd as a “dangerous drug addict.” Ross also made clear that in spite of his addiction and other health issues, George was very active physically, lifting weights, running, playing sports with neighborhood kids, which undercut the Defense argument that Floyd's death was caused by his own ill health and addiction, rather than by Chauvin’s nine-minute chokehold.
  • Paramedics Derek Smith and Seth Bravinder were both in the ambulance that arrived at the scene of George Floyd’s murder. Both noted that there were three cops on top of Floyd when they arrived. Bravinder saw as soon as he got there that Floyd was still in handcuffs even though “I didn’t see any breathing or movement.” Smith – working around Chauvin’s knee which was still on Floyd’s neck – searched for a pulse and couldn’t find one. “In lay terms, he was dead.”

    The paramedics first had to get Chauvin up off of Floyd, and then loaded him into an ambulance. They described a harrowing period of trying desperately to resuscitate George Floyd, but Floyd never again had a pulse. As Smith testified, “When I showed up he was deceased, and when I dropped him off at the hospital he was still in cardiac arrest.” Asked why they persisted so desperately with their resuscitation efforts, Smith said “He’s a human. I was trying to give him a second chance at life.”

Up to this point, the trial has focused on establishing the facts of what happened, and people have been given a vivid picture of the sustained violence the cops unleashed on George Floyd, and on his death during this encounter. But on Thursday attention began to turn to the legal issues that will ultimately determine whether Chauvin is found guilty by the jury.

The first of these issues is the question of whether the cops were legally justified in using the knee-to-neck restraint hold on Floyd for an extended period of time.* In this case, the Prosecution is not arguing against police violence in general because the law allows for a great deal of police violence. But it is saying that Chauvin’s actions were “excessive.” 

  • Sgt. David Pleoger (now retired) was the first witness to address this. Pleoger was the supervisor for Chauvin and the other three cops involved in Floyd’s murder. 911 dispatcher Jena Scurry called Pleoger during the incident because she was alarmed by livestream video of the arrest and felt compelled to alert Pleoger to an extraordinary situation. Pleoger went to the scene of the murder, and then to the hospital where Floyd was officially pronounced dead.

    In much of Pleoger's testimony he seemed reluctant to say anything that could counter Chauvin’s defense. Finally—over fierce objections from the Defense—the Prosecution was allowed to ask Pleoger directly when the use of force (i.e., the knee-on-neck) against Floyd should have ended, according to MPD policy. Pleoger said: “When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers.” [Emphasis added.]

    Pleoger also confirmed that cops are required to provide emergency medical aid to people in their custody when necessary—which they did not do with George Floyd.

    Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, tried to turn things around. Cross-examining Pleoger, he “creatively” attempted to show that the small crowd of people demanding that the police not murder Floyd were the reason that the police did not give Floyd medical attention. As NPR reported, Nelson asked Pleoger "If during an arrest, a crowd of bystanders grows increasingly volatile ... should an officer focus on the arrest or the crowd?" Or, "if Pleoger were involved in a gun battle and a person was injured, would he deal with threat or perform CPR on the imaginary victim?"

    But, to be real, this was not the situation. Nelson's imaginary violent mob actually consisted of 12-14 unarmed people, (mostly) on the sidewalk, including three high school girls and a 9-year-old, a 61-year-old-man and a Minneapolis firefighter, none of whom were threatening or physically confronting the cops.

* Note: The fact that something may be legally justified in an oppressive society such as this one does not mean it is right, but it is the focus of the trial. [back]

 


 

Eyewitness Charles McMillian, a 61-year-old Black man from the neighborhood, watches pig videocam and breaks down on the stand.

Day 3 of the Trial:

Today’s testimony was a study in the contrast between the mind-numbing cruelty and indifference of the pigs who murdered George Floyd, and the humanity of George Floyd himself, as well as a wide array of people he encountered in the final hour of his life.

In store surveillance video from Cup Foods* that was entered as evidence on Wednesday, Floyd “chatted with a store clerk about playing football. He grabbed a banana off a shelf, flipped through a wad of cash, and hugged and exchanged pleasantries with a woman, laughing with his hand on her back.” [New York Times]

Christopher Martin, a 19-year-old Cup Foods employee, said that Floyd was “friendly” and “talkative.” Floyd asked to buy cigarettes, paying with a twenty-dollar bill that Martin immediately thought was counterfeit. But he also thought that Floyd was unaware that the bill was bad and so he (Martin) initially decided he would accept it, knowing that it would later be docked from his own pay. He said he felt like doing Floyd—a stranger—“a favor.”

Later Martin had second thoughts and reported the counterfeit bill to his supervisor, who insisted that Martin and another employee go out to Floyd’s car and ask him to come in and talk to the supervisor. Floyd and the two other people in his car declined to do that, and after a second attempt, the supervisor called the cops.

Now flash forward to the arrival of the pigs. In video taken by eyewitness Christopher Belfrey and even more damningly in the body cam video of the four MPD pigs who murdered Floyd that was entered in evidence, these videos reveal aggressive cruelty from the opening moments. Even though Floyd was only suspected of a misdemeanor and had not behaved in a threatening manner to anyone, two cops go up to his car, bang on the widow with nightsticks, and almost immediately pull a gun on him. Floyd, clearly terrified, pleads repeatedly “please don’t shoot me.” Cops handcuff him, even though they could have issued a citation. Then they violently force him into a patrol car even as he cries and pleads that he is claustrophobic. And then we see it all again, from the angle of the pigs themselves, the slow grinding out of Floyd’s life, the complete disregard for the pleas of bystanders to save him.

From the opening moments of arriving at the scene the cops demonstrated aggressive cruelty towards George Floyd.

Charles McMillian, a 61-year-old Black man from the neighborhood, saw Floyd being forced into the patrol car, and his initial reaction was to try to convince Floyd to go along. As he explained in court, he told Floyd that “you can’t win” – meaning the best hope for surviving the incident in one piece was to do whatever the cops said. McMillian persisted with this advice for a while. Even when the three cops were on top of Floyd, holding him down and choking him, McMillian testified that “I’m trying to tell him, just cooperate with them. Get up, get in the car. Go where you can win.”

But soon it became clear that this strategy would not work. "Even I said to the officer, I said, 'man, he said he can't breathe.' They said, 'if he keep talking, well, he can breathe,'" They kept on with their torture. McMillian said that "When the paramedics arrived for Mr. Floyd, I knew then in my mind and in my instinct, it was over for Mr. Floyd. That he was dead,"

Watching the video in court, at the point where Floyd was calling out for his mama, McMillian broke down, sobbing uncontrollably, saying “I couldn’t help but feel helpless. I don’t have a mama either, but I understand him.”

Shortly after the murder, McMillian saw Chauvin as he was getting in his patrol car to leave. Referencing an earlier encounter, he said “‘Five days ago, I told you the other day to go home to your family safe and let the next person go home to their family safe. But today I gotta look at you as a maggot.’”

 

* A busy “groceries plus” store on the corner where Floyd was murdered. [back]


 

March 31, 2021
Testimony of Minneapolis Fire Fighter Reveals Pigs’
Depraved Indifference to the Life of George Floyd

Genevieve Hansen, 27, is a white fire-fighter with extensive training as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). Hansen indicated that she has been a first responder on at least 100 medical emergencies .She testified on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Out for a walk on May 25, trying to chill out after her 48-hour shift, Hansen saw flashing lights and went to the scene where George Floyd was being brutalized. She quickly assessed “that [Floyd] was in an altered state of consciousness. What I needed to know was if he had a pulse." She identified herself to the cops as a Minneapolis fire-fighter, asking if they had taken his pulse, and then urged, insisted and pleaded with them that they do so.

Hansen saw Floyd’s condition deteriorating. "He wasn't moving, and he was cuffed. And three grown men putting all of their weight on somebody is too much." She offered to provide treatment, or to walk the cops through treatment. In return Chauvin threatened to Mace her, and she was belittled by Officer Thao, who she recalled "said something along the lines of, 'If you really are a Minneapolis firefighter, you would know better than to get involved.'"

Hansen said that she became “totally distressed” realizing that the cops would not allow Floyd to receive medical treatment. And she was outraged by Thao’s comment: “I got there and I could have given medical assistance. That's exactly what I should have done." Finally an ambulance arrived, but Floyd was apparently already dead. Hansen called 911 to report that she had just seen a man murdered.*

Derek Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, tried to shake, provoke or discredit Hansen. But she stood up with great courage against this and came back with both reason and defiance. Regarding Nelson’s contention that she should have waited quietly for the ambulance, Hansen said “There was a man being killed. I would have been able to provide medical attention to the best of my abilities, and this human was denied that right.” When Nelson tried to denigrate her for being angry and upset at the scene, she shot back defiantly: “I don’t know if you’ve seen anybody be killed, but it’s upsetting.”

 

* Hansen also testified that after the ambulance left she remained on the scene for a while out of fear that the remaining cops might attack other Black men who had been in the crowd protesting Floyd’s murder. [back]

 


 

March 31, 2021
Trial Opens with Devastating Portrayals of Cold-Blooded Murder

Since opening arguments in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin finished on Monday, the jury—and the world—has heard from eight witnesses. While they are very different from each other—ranging from a Minneapolis fire-fighter to an MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter to a nine-year-old girl—they tell an incredibly consistent and horrifying story of three pigs choking the life out of George Floyd for over nine minutes while a fourth pig held back a small crowd of distraught and angry people who demanded that they stop.

Almost every witness was in tears at one point or another as they relived the trauma of that day.

Here are brief reports on some of the witnesses:

  • Jena Scurry, the 911 dispatcher who sent the cops to the scene where Floyd was murdered. She watched the live stream of the cops from her workstation and said that they were sitting on Floyd’s motionless body for so long that she thought the screen must be frozen. When she found out it wasn’t, she became alarmed and called the cops’ supervising sergeant to get him involved, saying “You can call me a snitch if you want to...”.
  • Jena Scurry testifies at Derek Chauvin trial.

  • Alisha Oyler, a 23-year-old white woman working at a gas station across the street, who left work to film what was happening, “Because I always see the police messing with people and it’s wrong, it’s not right.”
  • Donald Williams, a 33-year-old Black MMA fighter and security professional, was coming back from a fishing trip with his son. Based on his martial arts training he quickly assessed that not only did Chauvin have Floyd in a “blood choke” (a choke that cuts off the flow of blood—and therefore oxygen—to the brain through pressure on the neck) but also that Chauvin kept ratcheting up the choke through a method called “shimmying” that increases the pressure on the carotid artery. Williams also observed the stages of Floyd’s passage from extreme distress to losing consciousness to death, which Williams called “torture.” "You could see that he was going through tremendous pain ...You could see his eyes slowly rolling back in his head...”
  • Donald Williams testifies at Chauvin trial.

  • Darnella Frazier, the then-17-year-old Black girl who courageously shot the video that told the whole world of this murder. She was at Cup Foods with her 9-year-old cousin (who also testified) buying her treats. Seeing what was happening Darnella hustled her cousin into the store so she wouldn’t see it and then went herself to film it. Frazier described Floyd as "scared," "terrified," "begging for his life." "It wasn't right. He was suffering. He was in pain. I knew it was wrong. We all knew it was wrong."
  • Alyssa Funari, an 18-year-old white girl and classmate of Darnella’s was there with a younger friend (who also testified). She told the Court: "'He looked like he was fighting to breathe. I slowly knew that if he were to be held down much longer, he wouldn’t live." Then, in tears, she said she felt she was failing because she wanted to intervene but was unable to because "there was a higher power there"–meaning the cop “controlling the scene.” "There was nothing I could do as a bystander there. I couldn't do physically what I wanted to do." (USA Today)
  • Genevieve Hansen, 27, a white fire-fighter trying to chill on her day off. She came upon the scene and immediately saw that Floyd’s life was in danger, identified herself to the cops and asked, urged, begged and pleaded with them to take Floyd’s pulse, to get off of him, to let her provide medical treatment... for which she was taunted, insulted and threatened with Mace. She spoke to what she saw, as a Firefighter and EMT, and saw George Floyd was dying in front of her. The Defense was not able to get her to back down from her account. In the days ahead, we will be posting a more in-depth report on her testimony.
  • Genevieve Hansen testifies at Derek Chauvin's trial

In the face of all this, Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, tried to flip the world on its head and imply that this small crowd of bystanders pleading for Floyd’s life somehow caused Chauvin to murder Floyd. In this twisted view, people trying to save the life of a fellow human being are “angry” and “dangerous,” while murdering cops are good people just doing their job. Cross-examining Hansen, Nelson had the nerve to compare the people defending Floyd with a “hypothetical” crowd of people trying to stop fire-fighters from putting out a fire. These pigs are saying that just as people shouldn’t interfere with firefighters doing their job (putting out fires), no one should interfere with the cops doing their “job”—oppressing, beating down and even murdering the people!

What’s It All About?

Despite the terms of the legal trial and courthouse confined to just being about what happened on May 25, 2020, the larger context and what emerges through the testimony is that the murder of George Floyd was not an “aberration” but a concentration of the role of the police and the treatment of Black people. Quite a few witnesses (Black and white) spoke to this in one way or another, but none more powerfully than Darnella Frazier, who closed her testimony with these words:

When I look at George Floyd, ... I look at my dad. I look at my brothers. I look at my cousins, my uncles because they are all Black. I have a Black father. I have a Black brother. I have Black friends. And I look at that and I look at how that could have been one of them....

It's been nights I stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life. But it's like — it's not what I should have done, it's what he [Chauvin] should have done.

Darnella Frazier testifies at Derek Chauvin trial

And it’s about what we do. As we posed: will all those who were part of the Beautiful Rising—in the face of police repression and vigilante violence—and all those who care about the police brutality and murder of Black and Brown people, stay vigilant? Will they have their voices heard during this trial, in diverse, creative and bold ways, from the pulpits and from the stage, on media and in the streets?

 


 

March 30, 2021

Minneapolis on Edge as Trial of Pig Chauvin Starts—People Demand “Justice for George Floyd!”

Minneapolis remains on edge. After the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, tens of thousands took to the streets across the country and the world. Now, on the eve of opening arguments in the trial of the pig, Derek Chauvin who murdered George Floyd, people took up different actions—to honor the life of George Floyd, demand justice, and call attention to this important case.

Family members of other Black men killed by cops attended a prayer service, including Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner who was killed in NY with a pig’s chokehold in 2014; and the family of Daniel Prude who was murdered by the Rochester, NY cops putting pressure on his head and body—just three months before George Floyd was killed. George Floyd’s brother Terrence talked about the emotional experience of seeing cops who have killed Black men, going free—like the pig murderers of Sean Bell in Queens, NY, where Terrence lived at the time. “To see no justice in that situation, it made me furious, he said, “We need justice, we need it now!” Another brother of George Floyd, Philonise, said, “He [Chauvin] killed my brother in broad daylight, it was a modern day lynching.”

Dozens of local organizations also rallied at the Minneapolis Government Center on Sunday. Chauntyll Allen of Black Lives Matter Twin Cities said, “We want to give folks a space to come together and talk about what we’ve been experiencing through the jury selection process. And we want to let the system know... We are not sleeping. We’re paying attention and we’re here until the end.” A march downtown temporarily forced light rail service to stop when protesters blocked the tracks at two stations. People then rallied at the Hennepin County Government Center (where the Chauvin trial is taking place), chanting and shouting at the Minnesota National Guard troops stationed inside.

On Monday morning, before the trial started, the Floyd family, Floyd family attorney Ben Crump, Reverend Al Sharpton and others took a knee outside the courthouse for eight minutes and 46 seconds—to mark the time Chauvin pressed his knee on the neck of George Floyd, killing him. At a news conference just before this, Ben Crump talked about what he thinks this trial means for the Floyd family and the country, saying, “George Floyd galvanized cities all across America and all across the world when that video, that video of torture was viewed millions and millions of times.” He said now, “The whole world is watching.”


On Monday morning, before the trial started, the Floyd family, Floyd family attorney Ben Crump, Reverend Al Sharpton and others took a knee outside the courthouse for eight minutes and 46 seconds—to mark the time Chauvin pressed his knee on the neck of George Floyd, killing him.

Monday evening, after the close of the first day of the trial, there was another protest in downtown Minneapolis, organized by over 20 groups. People marched behind a banner that read, “Justice for George Floyd and all stolen lives.” People are calling for the conviction of Derek Chauvin with the maximum penalties.

The city is saying it will respect people’s right to protest. Meanwhile, officials are putting in place means to repress the people. There is fencing and concrete barriers around the County Government Center, Minnesota National Guard are stationed outside the courthouse, and nearby businesses have been boarded up. Police have said they are planning on increasing their presence with the beginning of the trial.

People in Minneapolis and around the country and the world have their eyes on this trial and are demanding, “Justice for George Floyd!” Stay tuned at revcom.us for coverage of the trial and protests.

 


 

March 22, 2021

The Need to Stay Vigilant
Recent Developments in the Trial of Pig Chauvin for the Murder of George Floyd

Editors’ Note: This article captures recent developments shaping the legal terrain in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the brutal murder of George Floyd. For all those who participated in the Beautiful Rising last summer, and for all those horrified by the oppression of Black people and the epidemic of police brutality and murder, it is important to follow the trial and stay vigilant. Justice for George Floyd matters! And is far from guaranteed, despite the uprising or the promises and anxiousness (real or pretended) of liberal politicians.

Introduction

First, let’s remember the original incident:

On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis cops approached George Floyd in his car on suspicion of using a counterfeit 20-dollar bill to buy cigarettes. Almost immediately one cop pointed a gun at Floyd. Cops screamed contradictory orders at Floyd as he begged them not to shoot him. Within minutes, Floyd was handcuffed and forced face down on the ground, three cops on top of him, including Derek Chauvin, who put his knee on Floyd’s neck in a hold that restricts blood flow to the brain. Chauvin kept it there for five minutes as Floyd pleaded for his life, crying “I can’t breathe,” and then for another four minutes after Floyd was unresponsive, and even after another cop was unable to find a pulse.

If you saw this, you might conclude that a Black man who posed no threat to others or himself had his life stolen for no good reason. And you would be right. And you might conclude that the cops who did this must be held fully accountable, not only because of the injustice done to George Floyd and his loved ones, but also because of the chilling message that it would send to pigs everywhere if they faced no serious consequences. And you would be right again.

And you might conclude that even in the United States, with its sickening record of allowing killer cops to walk free again and again, that in this case, with a crime is so brutal, facts so plain, and all caught on video that drew millions into the streets in protest... that this time the cops will be convicted of murder and given lengthy jail terms.

But this is by no means certain.

Selecting—and “Shaping”—a Jury

The pretrial stage of the trial of Derek Chauvin is drawing to a close. It seems likely jury selection will be completed early this week. In addition, on March 19 presiding Judge Cahill ruled on a number of pending pretrial motions. So, barring the unexpected, the actual trial (presentation of witnesses and evidence) will begin on March 29.

The jury so far is reasonably diverse in terms of age, gender and race. There are five men and eight women. Eight are under 50 years old, four are in their 50s and one in her 60s. Four are Black; two are mixed race, seven are white. And generally they come across as well-meaning and decent people, including many who say that racism and discrimination are real problems in the U.S. and that police sometimes treat people of color unfairly.

But through the process of jury selection, two things have been going on.

First, some potential jurors have been “weeded out.” For instance, the judge has dismissed people who said they had intense emotional reactions to the video of Floyd’s murder. The defense seems to be dismissing people who have had personal experience with how police treat Black and Brown people. On the other hand, a number of jurors have been seated who have cops as close relatives, and/or have strong feelings that “the police keep us safe.” In other words, the jury seems to be made up mainly of people who appear to buy into the system’s narrative that police are good people doing a tough and dangerous job, but “they are only human” and may make mistakes in the heat of the moment.

Second, the judge and defense keep hammering at—and getting jurors to verbally commit to—the idea that they are “finders of fact” and not of law, and that they must be ready to vote to acquit on the basis of the law as the judge instructs them on it, and not their emotions. This may sound good on the surface, but the problem is that the law in the U.S. (as explained in our March 15 “Advantage Cops...” article) is designed to give very wide latitude to cops to violently oppress people in the service of their role as enforcers of the unjust order of capitalism-imperialism.

For instance, Chauvin used an extremely dangerous knee-to-neck restraint that is legal for Minneapolis police to use under some circumstances. So you can already envision the defense argument that Chauvin was using a legal restraint in a “difficult” situation. And then the jurors are boxed in to arguing about whether Chauvin exercised good or bad judgment in using it and for how long ... which leaves a lot of room for any juror inclined to sympathize with police to argue “well, it was a tough call, and maybe he should have stopped sooner, but we weren’t there ...” Or in other words, “don’t believe your lying eyes; it wasn’t murder, it was a ‘mistake.’”

Cahill’s Rulings on Pretrial Motions

On March 19, Judge Cahill ruled on several pretrial motions. First was a defense motion to admit as evidence reports and video from an incident on May 6, 2019 in which Minneapolis cops had pulled over Floyd on suspicion of drug activity. In that incident too, the cops quickly and for no valid reason pulled guns on Floyd, dragged him out of the car, and restrained him, while Floyd begged for his life and said he couldn’t breathe. The defense argument for introducing this incident was so slippery and convoluted it is impossible to sum up, but the prosecution correctly characterized it as “a desperate attempt” to “smear Mr. Floyd’s character.”

Nonetheless, Judge Cahill ruled to allow some of this into evidence. Cahill said that as a result of this incident—in which the cops allege that Floyd swallowed drugs when confronted by the police—his blood pressure shot up to a dangerously high level, and a medic said that he could die without treatment. So, Cahill ruled, this was relevant to one of the defense’s main potential arguments about the 2020 killing. As reported in the news, the defense may argue that Floyd died of heart failure due to a drug overdose suffered when he swallowed drugs to avoid arrest—one of the earlier rationalizations floated by the pigs for George Floyd’s death.

This ruling was unjust on two levels. First of all, in January Cahill ruled that most of Chauvin’s record of at least 15 civilian complaints, and his involvement in three shootings, one of which was fatal, could not be admitted at trial2. These records are closed, but if they do establish a pattern of brutality, that would obviously be relevant to the trial.

Secondly, and even worse, by declaring that Floyd’s high blood pressure in 2019 is relevant to his death in 2020, Cahill is essentially validating the defense’s ludicrous contention that Floyd died of a drug overdose. For one thing, there is no evidence that Floyd’s high blood pressure in 2019 was caused by drugs—it could just as well have been caused by being brutalized and terrorized at gunpoint by pigs. And there is even less evidence that Floyd’s death in 2020 was caused by drugs. (See Court TV interview with renowned pathologist Cyril Wecht.3) This is once again setting up a situation where the jurors are being fed “reasonable doubt” that has no basis in reality.

At the same time, Cahill ruled against the defense’s very insistent motions for the trial to be moved out of Minneapolis and/or postponed, because pretrial publicity (videos of the murder, protests, and the recent agreement by the City of Minneapolis’ to pay Floyd’s family 27 million dollars to settle their federal civil rights lawsuit) made it impossible to seat an impartial jury. Cahill has consistently stated that there is no place they could move the trial and no amount of delay that would substantially eliminate the problem of pretrial publicity in such a high-profile case. But that it could be—and is being—dealt with through a rigorous jury selection process.

It is important to keep in mind that while the prosecution, judge, and in this instance, the defense, are all—ultimatelyrepresentatives of the same system, a system that depends on the police and all their brutality to enforce its rule, there are contradictions within all this, and a lot will depend on the evidence, the arguments and back-and-forth of the actual trial, and how well they are fought for—all in the context of the larger and changing political climate. The outcome of the trial is not determined. The Beautiful Rising, the struggle of broad numbers of people who went into the streets to demand justice, did shake this system. Now, as this trial proceeds and there is potentially further exposure of the nature and workings of this system, what is at stake is not only whether Chauvin is convicted and goes to prison, but the larger struggle to end this oppression once and for all through an actual revolution. This poses two challenges:

First, will all those who were part of the Beautiful Rising—in the face of police repression and vigilante violence—and all those who care about the police brutality and murder of Black and Brown people, stay vigilant and have their voices heard during this trial, in diverse, creative and bold ways, from the pulpits and from the stage, on media and in the streets?

Second, will those same masses be challenged to grapple with the revolutionary analysis of Bob Avakian (See Bob Avakian For The Liberation of Black People And The Emancipation Of All Humanity) as to why this deeply-rooted, centuries-old, horrific oppression cannot be ended under this system, no matter how hard people protest and struggle, unless and until that fight is transformed into one that becomes part of building for an actual revolution to overthrow this system, and that CAN actually END this oppression?


2. Cahill is admitting evidence from two incidents that show Chauvin was aware the knee-to-neck hold could be fatal. [back]

3. Wecht points out that while Floyd had a dangerous amount of drugs in his stomach, drugs must be absorbed into the bloodstream before they can cause an overdose. To this we will add that even if Chauvin’s claim were true, and Floyd lost consciousness because of drugs, and not because Chauvin had been choking him for five minutes, Chauvin continued to choke him for another four minutes while he was unconscious. That’s still murder! [back]

 


 

March 15, 2021

As Chauvin goes to trial for the murder of George Floyd:
Advantage Cops! in the Injustice System of these United States

Last spring, millions of people rose up in protest against the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black and Brown men and women brutalized or killed by this system’s pigs. In the vast majority of these police murders, the cops are not even charged, and in the handful of cases in which they are, most of these pigs are given a slap on the wrist or let go entirely.1

Even the very laws are set up to advantage killer cops. Some examples:

Jury selection in this trial involved prospective jurors filling out a long questionnaire about their views on a wide range of issues related to the case, and then going through “voir dire”—a process in which the judge and the attorneys for the defense and for the prosecution question prospective jurors to make sure the jury is “fair and unbiased.”

Jurors—particularly people of color—have been repeatedly disqualified for things like having “an intense emotional reaction” to the video of Floyd’s death. But think about it—who wouldn’t have an intense emotional reaction to seeing a defenseless man brutally killed? Hardcore racists? People who have no sense of human empathy at all? That is not a “fair and impartial” juror, that is a juror primed to acquit the defendant.

Another example is that jurors are asked (on the questionnaire) to respond to the following statement: “Because law enforcement officers have such dangerous jobs, it is not right to second guess decisions they make while on duty.”

The problem here is that this statement is not some random opinion—it is a key doctrine of U.S. law when dealing with charges of police misconduct. This statement is drawn from a ruling by the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1989 in Graham v. Connor, as follows:

The “reasonableness” of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.

And the ruling goes on:

With respect to a claim of excessive force, the same standard of reasonableness at the moment applies: Not every push or shove, even if it may later seem unnecessary in the peace of a judge’s chambers ... violates the Fourth Amendment. The calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments—in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving—about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation. [All emphasis added]

The meaning of this doctrine is that jurors are instructed by the judge when they go to deliberations to give very wide latitude to police violence. So even if the video, the bystanders, and experts all show that George Floyd was unarmed, not aggressive, not a danger to himself or others, and that there was no good reason to subject him to violent restraints, much less to kill him... jurors are supposed to imagine themselves as cops dealing with a “dangerous” situation and making a “split second decision.”

The effect of this doctrine is that even in the rare cases where cops are charged and prosecuted, it is very difficult to get a conviction, in spite of all the evidence.

The police play a crucial role and must not be discouraged or punished for exercising extreme violence in the service of that role. As BA puts it:

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.

BAsicsfrom the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, 1:24

 


1. Out of roughly 15,000 police killings since 2005, 121 cops have been charged with manslaughter or murder. Of these, 44 were convicted, often on lesser charges. (New York TimesSeptember 24, 2020).  [back]

 


 

March 9, 2021

People Take to the Streets, Demanding Conviction of Killer Cop, Justice for George Floyd

May 25, 2020: People watched in horror as a Minneapolis pig, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into the neck of George Floyd for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while other cops joined in this modern-day lynching or kept bystanders away. People screamed in horror as George Floyd cried out, “I can’t breathe.” Millions would see the view of this cold-blooded murder. For weeks people all over the country and the world took to the streets in sustained protest. The trial of pig Chauvin has now begun, on March 8. People are taking to the streets once again. And the powers that be have geared up to come down with repression. Barricades and barbed wire have been put up around the Hennepin County Government Center and Minneapolis City Hall. And other measures are being taken to protect other buildings like Chauvin’s pig precinct. Security measures will also be going up around other city infrastructure, such as the police precinct buildings. The Minnesota National Guard has been called in to stand by.


Sunday, March 7. Many hundreds gathered in Minneapolis, demanding justice for George Floyd. People carried a white coffin as the protest marched in silence through downtown. They held photos of George Floyd and flowers. There was a scroll of the names of more than 470 people who have been killed by Minnesota cops, including other murders that Chauvin was involved in. There was a banner with George Floyd’s last words: “I can’t breathe.” The music of Bob Marley, Prince, and Sam Cooke filled the streets. When the march got to the Hennepin County Government Center plaza, where the trial was set to begin, people put down the coffin and placed flowers around it.

About 150 people, including many family members of people killed by the police, marched and rallied in St. Paul, at the house of Minnesota governor Tim Walz. Organizers of the protest, from Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, are pushing for the reopening and investigations of other cases of people murdered by the police.

In Boston, people rallied for George Floyd and also to demand justice for people murdered by pigs in the Boston area. Some 200-300 gathered for a second rally in the afternoon outside Boston City Hall. People demanded that Chauvin be convicted of second-degree murder, but many said they believe the jury will end up acquitting him and that is why people have to keep protesting.


Monday, March 8. Hundreds gathered again at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis as the trial began—demanding the conviction of Chauvin. People chanted, “Say his name, George Floyd,” “The whole world is watching,” “No more killer cops!” and “Ain’t no power like the power of the people!” 

As night fell in Seattle, members of the Seattle Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression gathered in Westlake Park. They were demanding justice for George Floyd, but many don’t think this will be delivered at Chauvin’s trial. A speaker at the rally said, “We see these murders in the streets and we see officers get off, and we’re not holding our breath for a guilty verdict.”

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, protesters who gathered downtown clashed with police who said the sound equipment was too loud and people were blocking traffic. As people were arrested, others chanted, “Let them go.” Eight people were charged with obstructing traffic, causing a public disturbance, and refusing the command of a police officer.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/695/murder-of-daunte-wright-is-no-accident-en.html

The Murder of Daunte Wright: When Police Kill Black People Again and Again... That Is No "Accident"

| revcom.us

 

At 2:00 pm on Sunday, April 11, police in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center pulled over Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, for a “traffic violation.” Speaking through tears, Daunte Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, told reporters that Daunte called her when he was pulled over and said he was being stopped for having an air freshener hanging from his rear-view mirror. She heard noises in the background. She heard police yelling at Daunte and telling him to put down the phone. Then the call ended. When she called Daunte back, the woman who was with him told her Daunte was dead in his car, a few blocks away after being shot by police.

Katie Wright said about Daunte, "He had a 2-year-old son that's not going to be able to play basketball with him. He had sisters and brothers that he loved so much. He just had his whole life taken away from him. We had our hearts pulled out of our chests. He was my baby."

The official story of what actually happened is contradictory, obfuscated, changes hour to hour, and cannot be taken as fact. Police have provided different reasons for pulling over Daunte’s car, including an expired registration, which—if true—should have been a ticket at most, not a death sentence.

The day after Daunte Wright’s murder, the Brooklyn Center police chief held a press conference and claimed the killing was an “accident.” He played bodycam footage that shows cops telling Daunte he has a warrant. On the video, one cop approaches Daunte with her gun drawn and pointed at Daunte. She yells, “I'll tase you! I'll tase you! Taser, Taser, Taser!” An instant later, she shoots Daunte with her gun at point blank range. She then appears to yell, “Holy shit, I just shot him.”

The following day, the cop who murdered Daunte resigned from the police force, saying, "I have loved every minute of being a police officer and serving this community to the best of my ability, but I believe it is in the best interest of the community, the department, and my fellow officers if I resign immediately." The police chief who insisted Daunte’s death was just an “accident” resigned as well.

An accident? The video clip selected by the police chief shows cops in what was supposedly a traffic violation stop acting like they were in war-fighting mode.

And about that traffic violation: Again, police and the media have reported contradictory and uncredible explanations for why Daunte Wright was stopped—including distortions of his previous engagement with police that would not be relevant even if true. The Minnesota ACLU released a statement expressing “deep concerns that police here appear to have used dangling air fresheners as an excuse for making a pretextual [an excuse that isn’t really why something is done] stop, something police do all too often to target Black people.”

The cop who killed Daunte Wright was described by the police chief as a “very senior” member of the force. Her taser is yellow, her gun is … a gun. Yet, like the cop who killed Oscar Grant in an Oakland, California transit station in 2009, we are told she couldn’t tell her gun from a Taser.

But what if it does turn out to be the case that this trigger-happy cop was so reckless, had so little regard for a young Black man’s life, and had been so programmed to see Daunte Wright as less than human, that after a “pretextual” stop, she shot and killed him when she was “only” intending to terrorize, brutalize and torture him with a Taser? What would that prove except that to this system, the dignity and life of a Black person is worth less than that of a dog?

Daunte Wright was killed in a country where all young Black people have targets on their backs in the eyes of the police, just miles from where the pig who lynched George Floyd is on trial. In Minneapolis Black people are 20% of the population, but 68% of the time Minneapolis police draw a gun on someone, it is a Black person. And when police kill Black people again and again and again and get away with it, that is no “accident.” That is a system that can’t be reformed but must be overthrown.

 

Outrage in the Streets


Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, April 13, 2021. Photo: AP

As news broke of the police murder of Daunte Wright, people began to pour into the streets of Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis in outrage and anger. Police fired flash-bang grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters. The Minnesota National Guard, already mobilized to respond to protests if the Minneapolis cop who murdered George Floyd is not convicted, deployed more troops. A curfew was set. Authorities put out claims about Daunte’s past that are completely irrelevant to why he was murdered. The media focused on property damage.

But the message that police murder of Black people MUST STOP still came through.

Immediately after the killing of Daunte Wright on Sunday, protesters shouted "Don't shoot" while kneeling and raising their arms in front of a line of police officers at the Brooklyn Center police station. Messages in chalk and signs included “Black Lives Matter” and “Justice for Daunte Wright.”

Monday night, hundreds of protesters defied the curfew imposed by the city and gathered outside the Brooklyn Center police station chanting “Daunte Wright!” “This is the wrong time for another Black man to get killed by the police," said Dez Odoms, 30, whose apartment is near the police station. Tear gas was fired at his apartment by police. A massive statue of a fist created after the police murder of George Floyd was placed at the spot where Daunte Wright was killed.

The National Basketball Association issued a statement on Monday that “in light of the tragic events in the Minneapolis area yesterday, tonight’s game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center has been postponed.” Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League also cancelled games in Minneapolis that night.

There have been protests in other cities across the country. Monday night in New York City, protesters took over the Manhattan Bridge. Other protesters in NYC marched through Washington Heights, north of Harlem, heading for the Alexander Hamilton Bridge.

As we post this, there are news reports that people are gathering in Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis for a third night of protest. Check in at revcom.us for continuing coverage of this developing situation.


Daunte Wright

Body camera video of the police murder of Daunte Wright.

To All Revcoms, and Others Who Follow This Site:

As you are out in the struggle, be sure to take out the "3 Strikes" poster and "A DECLARATION, A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR A REAL REVOLUTION."

The police murder of Daunte Wright occurred only a few miles from and during the trial of the pig murderer of George Floyd! And what does Biden do? He preaches to the people who are outraged by this endless police brutality and murder that “there is no justification for violence.” Oh, really—“No justification for violence”? Go tell that shit to the police! This is just another threat from Biden for more violence by the murderous forces of “law and order”! 

Yes, it goes on ... and on ... and on. Yet further confirmation—as if further evidence were needed—of the profound truth that we need Revolution—Nothing Less!


Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, April 12, 2021. Photo: AP


Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, April 13, 2021. Photo: AP

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/695/video-shows-chicago-cops-shot-adam-toledo-as-he-had-his-hands-up-en.html

Just-Released Video Shows Chicago Cops Shot and Killed 13-Year-Old Adam Toledo as He Had His Hands Up

| revcom.us

 

More than two weeks after Chicago police shot and killed Adam Toledo on March 29, the city of Chicago finally released police body cam videos of the incident. The police had claimed that the shooting was the result of an “armed confrontation.” In his incident report, the cop who fired the shot claimed that Adam Toledo posed an “imminent threat” and that he was armed with a semiautomatic weapon. The videos released on April 15 show the youth being chased down a dark alley, then turning around—with his empty hands raised—before he is fatally shot, his young life so suddenly and unjustly ended at the hands of armed enforcers of the law.

The released videos also show what the police claim is a gun that Adam Toledo and a 21-year-old man who was with him that night were carrying at some point. But as Adam Toledo’s family attorney emphasized after the video’s release, “Adam during his last second of life did not have a gun in his hand. The officer screamed at him ‘show me your hands’. Adam complied, turned around. His hands were empty, when he was shot in the chest at the hands of the officer.”

Adam lived with his mother and four siblings in Little Village, a largely Mexican neighborhood in West Side Chicago. Elizabeth Toledo, his mother, described Adam as “a little kid” who “still played with Hot Wheels.” As we said right after the murder, “the police killing of Adam Toledo was completely unnecessary and totally intolerable. His mother said in anguish, ‘They had a lot of options, but not kill him.’ What kind of a monstrous, criminal system has armed enforcers of the law that shoots down seventh-grade kids?!”


The video showed Adam Toledo with his hands up before he was murdered by Chicago police.

The video of the Chicago police shooting of Adam Toledo

 

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So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/696/people-await-with-eagle-eyes-on-the-chauvin-trial-en.html

People Await with Eagle Eyes on the Chauvin Trial

| revcom.us

 

Letter from a reader:

People have been intently watching, waiting—with a seething anger, as the trial of Derek Chauvin dug even deeper into what so many already knew: That this depraved pig murdered George Floyd with a stunning lack of even an ounce of humanity.

The deep wound felt by so many people who watched the video less than a year ago, not even scabbed over, was reopened and scraped bloody with each new video, each new detail that has come out in the trial about the last moments of George Floyd’s life. This is such a moment of collective trauma, grief, outrage—and determination to see justice.

Coming from all over the country, people have been visiting, gathering at the spot where George Floyd took his last breath, maintaining a memorial with flowers, candles and signs. George Floyd’s face looks out at you from posters and large paintings. Trash cans have been reborn as street art. And there are also the names of others who have died at the hands of police—Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, Freddie Grey, Eric Garner. A small library has been set up in the parking lot of the now boarded-up Speedway and there is a food bank. The people are clearly in control here, the cops who nervously remember the beautiful uprising against the murder of George Floyd last May are, so far, staying away.

Periodically the air is pierced with demands for justice—“No justice, no peace... Say his name.” And for 10 months now, people have occupied this intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, the scene of the crime etched in the minds of so many watching the trial.

Mileesha Smith, who brought her five- and eight-year-old sons, said, “It’s hard to be both an activist and a mom. If somebody told me two years ago I’d basically be spending a year fighting for justice, I’d say you were crazy. We would rather be doing something else with our time. But sometimes it’s not about what you want to do. It’s about doing what you have to do.”

People have also been gathering outside Hennepin County Government Center where the trial is taking place, letting the world know that the people will not accept anything less than a conviction for Chauvin, with the maximum penalty. Twenty-six-year-old Ashley Dorelus said, “We will be here every day and every night until we see some justice... This is a revolution, ladies and gentlemen. It is not a parade.”

Seft Hunter, a community organizer, said, “What we cannot do is rest all of our hopes on the trial when, in essence, what we’re talking about is a system that makes this behavior permissible in the first place. That system will remain intact after this trial is over, irrespective of what the outcome ultimately ends up being.”

Watching the trial has brought back the flood of emotions from last year for Kyra Walker, who said, “I had a moment where I just felt broken and I started thinking about Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and how in such a short time frame, it was like one Black death after the other, without a break.”

Leigh Smith, who has watched the trial every day so far, said, “You catch a murder on camera and you’re going to explain away to me that this man died of a heart attack? All this does is reaffirm the hatred and entrenchment of white supremacy and white domination over communities of color.”

Meanwhile, authorities are preparing for repression against the people. The city spent at least $1million to erect barbed wire fencing and concrete barriers. Over 3,000 National Guard soldiers have been called in to join police and sheriff’s deputies, standing by on high alert. Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, referring to the beautiful and so justified uprising of people after the murder of George Floyd, has made it clear that “We cannot allow that to happen again.”

In response, people have found ways to go up against all this and make clear their determined demand for justice. It’s become a people’s ritual, coming up to the fencing and attaching ribbons, flags, signs. People are taking shifts to ensure the protest occupation never flails. The names of people brutalized, killed by the police are written on various types of locks and then attached to the fence, an initiative called “Locks 4 Stolen Lives.”

People have also locked themselves to the fence in defiance. A high school English teacher, 48-year-old Kaia Hirt, who padlocked herself to the fence for nearly 24 hours, said, “This isn’t about me at all. These fences that the city erected are representative of their inability to build a relationship with the community. If I have to sit out here with these silly chains on to get you to listen to me, I will.”

The authorities can’t even tolerate these heartfelt gestures by the people. They come in and regularly wash away chalkings people have put on the sidewalk and remove the locks—which people quickly replace with new ones.

Very few of the businesses that were destroyed in last May’s uprising have been rebuilt, like Elias Usso’s pharmacy. But Usso looks at the loss of his business from a larger perspective than a small-business mindset. He said, “That’s the price we pay for justice. I really see it that way. If there wasn’t a cry out for a Black man getting killed on the street, who would have heard us?”

Civil rights activist Frank Nitty, who came from Milwaukee to witness the Locks 4 Stolen Lives, said, “Anything that shows we want justice, they’ll destroy. All the while they’re keeping monuments that represent slavery and some of the most racist people in the country.” Nitty also raises the whole question of whether this country will recognize the humanity of Black people, saying, “Of course we want people to go to jail for killing George Floyd, but we want to be treated fairly walking down the street, and it goes beyond. If we were out here protesting for dogs, they wouldn’t have done that. They can sympathize for dogs, but they can’t sympathize for Black people. And that’s a telling part of what’s happening in this country.”

Trahern Crews of Black Lives Matter Minnesota said, “America hasn’t been welcoming to the descendants of slavery since we’ve been in this country, and that’s what this trial is all about... Will America respect our humanity and give us the justice we deserve, socially, politically and economically?”

 


Sources:

“‘No justice, no streets’: Still grieving, Minneapolis residents wonder how city will move forward after Derek Chauvin trial,” by Trevor Hughes, USA Today, April 4, 2021.

“Protesters Are Chaining Themselves to the Fence Outside Derek Chauvin’s Trial.” by Samir Ferdowsi, Vice News, March 31, 2021.

“Chauvin’s trial leaves many Black viewers emotionally taxed,” by Noreen Nasir and Corey Williams, PBS/NPR, April 3, 2021.

“Why the Chauvin trial feels so momentous,” by Sean Collins, Vox.com, April 12, 2021.


Outside of the courthouse where the Derek Chauvin trial is taking place, people find locks with names of people killed by the cops and lock them onto the fence surrounding the courthouse. Photos: AP

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/695/rnl-show-episode-48-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Episode 48 of The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show!

International Revolutionary May 1st:
Step Into The Revolution!

Thursday, April 15, 2021
5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT
YouTube.com/TheRevcoms

 

The system that rules over us—capitalism-imperialism—is in serious crisis. Society is being ripped apart. A radical resolution is coming. Will it be reactionary and enslaving? Or revolutionary and emancipating? The answer depends on all of us!

Host Andy Zee will talk with Noche Diaz, Annie Day and Pete from The RNL Show about how we make May 1st 2021 a powerful day that advances the forces of revolution. At the heart of May 1st will be the recently issued "Declaration, A Call To Get Organized Now for a Real Revolution" from the Revcoms (available at revcom.us). 

Rage and pain seethe across the country over the testimony and unending video of George Floyd's murder during the trial of the pig who killed him. Protests erupt against the cold-blooded murder of Daunte Wright, just a few miles from where Floyd was killed. When will these police murders end? Lenny Wolff and Carl Dix will get into it.

We will feature:

* An illustration of the article "Violence? It's the Police!" read by Bob Avakian

* A discussion between the mighty Revcoms on the new Declaration and Call by the Revcoms and why you need to join the revolution at the upcoming May Day (May 1st) celebrations

* "3 Strikes" by Bob Avakian

* Round up of testimony and expert witnesses in the trial of Derek Chauvin

* Followers of Bob Avakian Lenny Wolff and Carl Dix will get into the Derek Chauvin trial

* Co-host Sunsara Taylor interviews Gabriel Black Elk, brother of Paul Castaway, who was murdered by police, and member of Native Lives Matter on the ground in Minneapolis

* "Nothing Less" by Bob Avakian

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/696/us-withdrawal-from-afghanistan-en.html

U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan:
The Formal End of a Savage War of Imperialist Aggression

| revcom.us

 

This past week, the U.S. announced it would finally pull its troops out of Afghanistan after 20 years of war.1

By August 2016, some 111,000 people had been killed and over 116,000 injured in the war. On top of this carnage, nearly five million Afghan people have been forced from their homes by the war.

President Biden called it a “just” war when he announced the withdrawal by September 11 this year. After years of calling Afghanistan the “good war,” the mainstream media, the propaganda organs of this system, treated the news as the end of a well-intentioned but difficult and, to an extent, poorly thought-out effort on the part of the U.S.

But what’s the real truth? That America’s 2001-2021 war in Afghanistan—and its interventions in the decades before, and leading up to it, have been savage, totally unjust wars of imperialist empire that have destroyed the lives of literally millions of Afghans and devastated the country and society.

A Quick Background: U.S. Proxy War against the Soviet Union, 1979-89

In December 1979, the Soviet Union2 invaded Afghanistan. Their aim was to prop up a regime that was friendly to the Soviet Union. The U.S., especially under President Reagan, responded over the next decade by funding, arming, and organizing the reactionary Islamic fundamentalist Mujahideen (including Osama bin Laden and future leaders of the Taliban with their medieval, patriarchal program3) in a vicious, decade-long “proxy”4 war to “bleed” the Soviets and kill Russian forces.

The result: Between 800,000 and 1.5 million Afghans (along with 15,000 Soviet soldiers) were killed in this reactionary bloodbath, and five million Afghans were forced to flee the country. As important, this played a major role in unleashing and spreading the scourge of reactionary Islamic fundamentalism and jihadism across the region and the world, and it helped pave the way for the 9/11 attack.5

This 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon with hijacked airplanes took nearly 3,000 lives. People in the U.S. were in shock and mourning, and George W. Bush, the president at the time, took advantage of this to launch a series of wars and other aggressions aimed at giving the U.S. dominance of the Middle East and Central Asia, a strategically important part of the world.

Afghanistan was the first.

The U.S. Invades Afghanistan in October 2001

Over the last two decades, different sections of the U.S. imperialists have come up with a half-dozen or more justifications for their invasion and occupation: avenging 9/11 and preventing another one, ending terrorism, liberating women, bringing democracy, and more. In reality, as Bob Avakian analyzed at the time, this was a predatory war of imperialist empire attempting to lock in U.S. domination, and designed to send a gangster message to the world that any attack on the U.S. would be avenged at hundreds of times the cost, and facing a certain need, real and perceived, to “drain the swamp” in the Middle East and South Asia of the Islamic fundamentalists who hate and attacked the U.S., “rebranded” as an overall “war on terror.”

Right after this invasion, Bob Avakian analyzed in The New Situation and the Great Challenges:

They [the U.S.] have ambitions of essentially reshuffling the whole deck, reordering the whole situation—beginning with the strategic areas of Central and South Asia and the Middle East that are more immediately involved now—but, even beyond that, on a world scale. This is “New World Order Revisited” or New World Order 2 that they’re trying to carry out on a deeper and more sweeping level than what they set out to do with their war against Iraq a decade ago. They’ve set themselves a very far-reaching agenda with gigantic implications.

And:

Like any Mafia thugs—and they are that on a monstrous and worldwide level—they can’t allow even the appearance that somebody came up and poked them in the eye, and got away with it. If you are worldwide and world-class gangsters like them, if you are global exploiters with an apparatus of mass murder and destruction to enforce and extend that, you just can’t allow even the appearance that someone can get away with hitting back at you.

What Did the U.S. Bring to Afghanistan?

A staggering amount of violence, death, destruction, suffering, and oppression! Between 2004 and 2018, it dropped over 38,000 bombs, and by March 2020, it had carried out over 12,000 drone strikes.

By August 2016, some 111,000 people had been killed and over 116,000 injured in the war. On top of this carnage, nearly five million Afghan people have been forced from their homes by the war.

Today over one-half of Afghanistan’s 35 million people remain impoverished, and nearly one-half don’t have enough food. Chronic malnutrition has stunted the growth of a mind-boggling 41 percent of Afghan children under five. One-half of the population lives on less than a dollar a day.6 The U.S. war and occupation fueled the resurgence of the Taliban and other reactionary Islamic fundamentalist forces, and now after all this death and destruction, the Afghan people will face the greater horrors these reactionary monsters will no doubt bring.

Some Concluding Points to Note:

[T]hese imperialists are good at invading countries and knocking over regimes, but then when they find themselves in the position of occupying the country and they have a population that gets aroused against them, it becomes a different dynamic, and it is not so easy for them. It is not so easy for them to maintain “order” and to impose the changes they want to impose in accordance with their interests. It is not so easy to impose this “from the top down”—which is the only way imperialist occupiers can impose changes. (See Bringing Forward Another Way by Bob Avakian for further analysis of the contradictions and difficulties faced by the U.S. imperialists in their global “war on terror” focused in Iraq and Afghanistan.)

The military of this country is not carrying out an “honorable service”—and it is not some “bad ass” force that people should respect. It is doing the same thing around the world, on a massive scale, that the police are doing here: carrying out the cowardly killing and terrorizing of people in the service of the biggest oppressors in the world, the rulers of this country. And it is a major cause of the destruction of the environment.7

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

Revolution, Nothing Less!

 


1. The U.S. currently has thousands of contractors and other operatives in Afghanistan besides the troops it’s withdrawing, and it has also raised the spectre of continuing its military aggression with forces stationed outside the country. See, “How the U.S. Plans to Fight From Afar After Troops Exit Afghanistan,” New York Times, April 15, 2021; “Afghanistan: Biden Vows to End Nation’s Longest War by 9/11 After Decades of Bloodshed & Destruction,” Democracy Now!, April 14, 2021.  [back]

2. From 1917 until the mid-1950s, the Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or USSR) was the world’s first socialist state, and this marked a huge advance for humanity. However, following the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953, capitalism was restored in the Soviet Union. By the late 1970s, the Soviet Union had become a capitalist-imperialist power, and it was locked in a fierce, reactionary rivalry with the U.S. for global dominance. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.  [back]

3. Osama bin Laden was a member of a prominent family in Saudi Arabia who became a fanatical Islamic fundamentalist and joined with the Mujahideen to wage war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. He later helped form the jihadist group Al Qaeda, turned against the U.S., and helped plot the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. The U.S. assassinated him in 2011. The Taliban are Islamic fundamentalists, rooted mainly among Afghanistan’s Pashtun people, who also emerged from the 1980-88 war against the Soviet Union and ruled Afghanistan during the 1990s until they were overthrown by the U.S. in 2001-2002.  [back]

4. Proxy wars refer to wars in which the warring parties—often rival world powers—do not fight each other directly, but through local forces especially in the Third World which these powers fund, arm, and often direct.  [back]

5. American Crime Case #24: U.S. Proxy War Against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, 1979-1988, revcom.us, February 25, 2019.  [back]

6. America Leaves Afghanistan After Killing Over 100,000 People in Its “Good War,” revcom.us, March 9, 2020.  [back]

7. FROM THE REVCOMS (REVCOM.US): A DECLARATION, A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR A REAL REVOLUTION  [back]


October 16, 2015: An employee of Doctors Without Borders walks inside the charred remains of the organization's hospital after it was hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan killing 42 Afghans. By August 2016, some 111,000 people had been killed and over 116,000 injured in the war. Photo: AP


Relatives look at children killed by a 2009 U.S. airstrike in Kandahar. Photo: AP


America's Bagram Air Base, the largest military base in Afghanistan, was home to a massive prison, interrogation and torture operation. It was part of a network of prison and detention centers where at least 15,000 Afghans have been detained on little or no evidence, brutally beaten, tortured, and sometimes killed.

Download Pamphlet version (PDF)

Bringing Forward Another Way

Bringing Forward Another Way is a talk given by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, to a group of Party supporters in 2006 and published in early 2007. This groundbreaking analysis, made during the George W. Bush years, continues to be very relevant. This work is an illustration of applying the scientific method to approaching international conflicts and understanding social and political contradictions—and identifying where the fundamental interests of humanity lie, providing concrete leadership and guidance for the strategic repolarization for revolution and a thoroughly internationalist orientation. Given the current situation in the world, we urge our readers to restudy this important work or to get into it for the first time. Read more

Biden calls Afghanistan a "just war," the U.S. troops as having "valor, courage and integrity"? The farthest thing from reality:


Ghulam shows scars from shrapnel wounds received during U.S. bombing of wedding in Kakarak in July 2002 which killed 25 people. Photo: AP


Afghan villagers stand near a hole in the ceiling of a house in Kakarak, Afghanistan on July 3, 2002 after it was hit by a U.S. bomb. Twenty-five people celebrating a wedding party in the house were killed. Between 2004 and 2018, the U.S. dropped over 38,000 bombs on Afghanistan Photo: AP


Local children look at a U.S special forces member during their raid on a tiny farming village in Konar province, northeast of Kabul. U.S. forces and their Afghan clients terrorized people with such raids or dead-of-night house searches. Photo: AP


A 19-year-old woman named Rokhshana was barbarically stoned to death in a Taliban-controlled village in 2016 for refusing a forced marriage and fleeing with another man. The U.S.'s imperialist war fueled the resurgence of the Taliban and its reactionary, patriarchal Islamic fundamentalism.


November 12, 2008: Atifa Bibi, an Afghan school girl, recovers in a hospital two men threw acid on her in Kandahar as she walked to school. Such vicious misogynist attacks against Afghan women often for stepping outside harsh patriarchal norms (attending school, not wearing the veil, refusing male advances, etc.), are widespread (over 4,000 in 2015) Photo: AP


Afghan children play near the debris of a damaged house after a U.S. drone crashed in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan's capital. By March 2020, the U.S. had carried out over 12,000 drone strikes in Afghanistan, killing thousands of Afghans. Photo: AP

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/696/biden-and-harris-to-unite-the-country-3-things-to-think-about-en.html

IF You Are One of the People Who Is Rooting for Biden and Harris to "Unite the Country"... Here's 3 Things to Think About:

| revcom.us

 

 

The way [Biden and Harris] will try to “unite the country”—in line with the interests and requirements of this system of capitalism-imperialism—is something that no decent person should want, or be part of. – From A NEW YEAR’S STATEMENT BY BOB AVAKIAN: A NEW YEAR, THE URGENT NEED FOR A RADICALLY NEW WORLD—FOR THE EMANCIPATION OF ALL HUMANITY

1 As people went into the streets in righteous outrage against the police murder of Daunte Wright and other wanton pig murders and were once again met with violent police response, Biden said, “Peaceful protest is understandable. And the fact is that we do know that the anger, pain and trauma that exists in the black community in that environment is real, serious and consequential. But that does not justify violence.” (emphasis added)

First of all, is this righteous? Why doesn’t Biden go tell that shit to the police, who is causing all this violence in the first place ( see "As the Verdict in the Murder of George Floyd Draws Close... A System on Trial Whose Time Is Up—We Need to Organize NOW for an Actual Revolution!")! This is just another threat from Biden for more violence by the murderous forces of “law and order”! When the people RIGHTEOUSLY stand up, as they did again this week, all they get is more violence from these pigs—along with sermons, scolding and empty promises from politicians.  Then, when the promises wear thin, Biden and others essentially threaten people, this time out of fear of what they might do if Derek Chauvin walks free next week.

Is this—Biden’s scolding of righteous protest against police murder and institutionalized racism—what you want and uphold?

Yes, it goes on ... and on ... and on. Yet further confirmation—as if further evidence were needed—of the profound truth that we need Revolution—Nothing Less!


Protesting Daunte Wright's murder by the police, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, April 12 and 13, 2021. Photos: AP

2 As Biden announced the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by later this year, he said of the U.S. invasion in 2001 and the war since then, “Our objective was clear. The cause was just.”

Really?

As our article in this issue makes clear, this was a brutal war of revenge-domination—a war designed both to send a message to the world that anyone who crosses the U.S. will suffer violence against them hundreds and thousands of times worse and to launch a much more militarily direct domination of the Middle East and Central Asia, with hundreds of thousands killed, millions displaced as refugees and the society destroyed. The U.S. carried out torture and drone strikes over and over against innocent people, including wedding parties, and in the end set up the masses for an even worse domination by Islamic fundamentalists. 

Biden actually had the gall, in the face of this reality—and everything the US and its military has done around the world, in Vietnam and in Iraq, in El Salvador and in Indonesia—to say that “...we’re absolutely united in our respect and support for the valor, courage, and integrity of the women and men of the United States Armed Forces who served. I’m immensely grateful for the bravery and backbone that they have shown through nearly two decades of combat deployments. We as a nation are forever indebted to them and to their families. ...”

Is this—Biden’s valorization of U.S. and its military, its wars, torture and cruelty—what you want and uphold?

The Declaration and Call To Get Organized For A Real Revolution hits with the REAL reality:

The military of this country is not carrying out an “honorable service”—and it is not some “bad ass” force that people should respect. It is doing the same thing around the world, on a massive scale, that the police are doing here: carrying out the cowardly killing and terrorizing of people in the service of the biggest oppressors in the world, the rulers of this country. And it is a major cause of the destruction of the environment.


People of Afghanistan mourn some who were killed by U.S. airstrikes, June 2019. An estimated 43,000 Afghan civilians killed during the years of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Photo:  AP


Victims of U.S. airstrike in Kandahar, Afghanistan, 2003.
Photo: AP

3 This past week Biden put forward his proposal for how many refugees the U.S. should accept in the coming year—many of whom are fleeing from the wars, climate disasters and other mayhem wreaked by America around the world.

And how many did he propose? 15,000—the exact same historically low figure put forward by the fascist Trump!

Now Biden promises to raise that quota—after howls of outrage even from Democratic Party politicians.

Is this—a slightly modified and sanitized version of Trumpism on the border—what you want?

Let’s look at why people come here. Go here.

As Bob Avakian has written:

There is no question that many of the policies of the Biden/Harris administration will be different than the blatant atrocities of the Trump/Pence regime, and things will definitely “feel different” with Biden and Harris, but the way they will try to “unite the country”—in line with the interests and requirements of this system of capitalism-imperialism—is something that no decent person should want, or be part of. (From New Year’s Statement by Bob Avakian: A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity)


This group, many unaccompanied minors, most from Honduras, just crossed the river Rio Grande. They have been travelling for months suffering from thirst and hunger. Photo: @CarolinaChimoy


Young unaccompanied migrants wait for their turn at the secondary processing station for unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley, in Donna, Texas, March 30, 2021. Photo: AP

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/696/georgia-voter-suppression-law-clashes-at-top-of-system-and-through-society-continue-en.html

Georgia’s Voter Suppression Law... The Clashes at the Top of the System and Through Society Continue...

| revcom.us

 

A letter from a reader:

I learnt a lot from the article “The Blatant Fascism and Naked White Supremacy of Georgia’s New Voter Suppression Law—More Revealed!” in revcom.us. In this context, and in reading the site, I had a few additional thoughts:

I agree, the conflict around the struggle to defend the right to vote of Black and other people of color is rapidly sharpening up, in society as a whole and among the powers-that-be. The fascist Republicans in dozens of states are moving to bring back the days when Black people were systematically prevented from voting for generations, through a network of laws backed up by violence. Courageous freedom fighters risked—and many gave—their lives to win the right to vote in the South in the 1960s. Now, sparked by Trump’s phony cries of the election being “stolen,” the fascists are moving with a vengeance against the masses of Black, Latino, Native American and immigrant people.

There is a “steal” all right—a steal of the right to vote for oppressed nationality people of color, as part of even more violently subordinating all people who are not white. Sharp divisions have erupted among the rulers over the first of these laws, passed in Georgia, with a whole section of non-fascist rulers coming out in strong opposition.

The Fascists Become More Openly FASCIST

First off, it’s important to see that among themselves—and increasingly in public—these fascists have dropped parts of their mask and are now spouting even more openly white supremacist crap to back up their offensive.

At least 250 new laws proposed by Republican legislators in 43 states are aimed at limiting or banning keeping voting stations open after work, voting by mail, and/or early in-person and Election Day voting—all of which would put roadblocks in the way of tens of millions of people. In Georgia, the first of these laws recently passed—a law which seriously diminishes access to the vote for Black people, with one provision that makes it illegal to pass out water bottles to people waiting to vote. This law is an example of supposedly “color-blind” racism: while the law itself does not single out Black people, it just so happens that because of the discrimination already built into the system which puts fewer ballot boxes in Black neighborhoods, Black people often line up for hours in the Georgia sun to vote and need this water.

But as noted in this article previously, along with Major League Baseball moving the All-Star game out of Atlanta in protest, Georgia-based Delta Airlines and Coca Cola issuing statements opposing the law, last week hundreds of prominent lawyers and the heads of many major corporations and banks, along with celebrities, signed a two-page ad opposing voter suppression that appeared in the Washington Post and the New York Times. Biden has called the Georgia law an attempt to reinstitute Jim Crow, and Democrats have proposed a law in Congress to counteract these measures.

Nevertheless, despite what are in many ways unprecedented positions taken by powerful ruling class corporations and institutions, the Republicans in Georgia have not backed down. Across the country, they are moving full speed ahead with voter suppression laws. Meanwhile, the fascists defending this law have become more openly fascist in doing so, with racist pigs like Tucker Carlson—whose show is the highest-rated “news” show on TV—going so far as to espouse an openly fascist theory in defense of it. [see sidebar]

A Few Initial Thoughts on What it Shows

First, I feel it lays bare again the essence of what these laws are: serious attacks on one of the basic legal and civil rights of being a citizen of Black and other oppressed people of color. And it points to connections between the wave of moves to disenfranchise Black people and people of color in general, and a whole fascist agenda based in white supremacy, patriarchy and xenophobia. Note well: these attacks didn’t begin with these laws, as I have learnt from the American Crime Cases #11 (Part 1 and Part 2) on these American crimes on voting rights, and they will not end with them either.

Second, the fact that major blocs of capital have weighed in strongly against these laws, but even so and in the face of this, the Republican governors and legislators in Georgia and around the country have not backed off but have doubled down, indicates the depth of this split within the ruling class.

This refusal to back down contrasts, for example, with what happened several years back when Indiana then-governor Mike Pence had to amend a so-called “religious liberty” measure that had legalized bigotry against LGBTQ people after organizations like Apple, Salesforce, Subaru, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) threatened to boycott the state. This contrast shows how much more hardened and determined the fascist section of the ruling class has become over the last five years.

The heads of major ruling class institutions acting to protest Georgia’s voter suppression law are not only prompted by the fact they lead diverse or multicultural-inclined workforces, or that the major initiators themselves are Black and are opposed to these measures. Or even by the real fact that these laws are aimed at further marginalizing the Democratic Party in states controlled by Republicans. Related to all that, but even more profoundly, I think that the ruling class opponents of the Georgia law and other voter suppression bills fear that such a profound change in legitimating norms will further endanger the stability of U.S. society and undercut the ability of the U.S. to remain the world’s dominant superpower—atop a world of sweatshops, slums, wars, and environmental devastation.

The new Declaration and Call from the Revcoms rings out sharply, and this in particular resonated:

This system is in real trouble, caught up in crisis and conflicts for which it has no easy or lasting solutions. Throughout this country the workings of this system have given rise to deep divisions which cannot be resolved under this system. Society is being ripped apart. Those who rule are locked in a bitter fight among themselves, and they cannot hold things together in the way they have in the past.

Third, after rivers of blood were shed for the right to vote, we are again, in some ways, fighting the same battles, though in a different context. The vote itself did not fundamentally eliminate the white supremacy at the foundation of the system, and the vote itself will not prevent the genocidal assault that people like Carlson are laying the basis for. But this right—and the current attacks on it—matters!

This is an ominous situation, to say the least. But the other side of these intractable divides is revealed in the call from the RevComs: A DECLARATION, A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR A REAL REVOLUTION and the full passage from which we quoted above:

Revolutions are not possible all the time, but are generally possible only in rare times and circumstances, especially in a powerful country like this. This is one of those rare times and circumstances. This system is in real trouble, caught up in crisis and conflicts for which it has no easy or lasting solutions. Throughout this country the workings of this system have given rise to deep divisions which cannot be resolved under this system. Society is being ripped apart. Those who rule are locked in a bitter fight among themselves, and they cannot hold things together in the way they have in the past. Although there are a lot of bad things connected with this and it could lead to something really terrible, it is also possible that we could wrench something really positive out of it—revolution, to put an end to this system and bring something much better into being.

 

Tucker Carlson

Fox Fascist News’ Tucker Carlson has been a leading attack dog against opponents of Georgia’s voter suppression law. On April 8, he claimed on his show—one of the top-rated on Fox News—that the opposition to the law was aimed at robbing white people of their votes by “diluting” them with those of non-white immigrants. And in the long tradition of white supremacists prefacing white supremacist rants with “I’m not racist but...,” Carlson claimed “everyone wants to make a racial issue out of it. Oh, you know, the white replacement theory? No, no, no. This is a voting right [sic] question.”

Carlson promoted and “mainstreamed” the white supremacist “replacement” theory in the guise of ridiculing people accusing him of upholding it. This “replacement” theory sees non-white immigration as an intolerable and existential threat to white supremacy and patriarchy. In recent years white supremacists have invoked the fear of “replacement” as they carried out massacres in mosques in New Zealand and Norway, against Latinos in Texas, and in massacres at a mosque and synagogue near San Diego. The “replacement” theory “inspired” many of those who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a white supremacist murdered Heather Heyer. Their chant “Jews will not replace us” reflected fascist conspiracy theories that Jews are stage-managing this “invasion” of the West.

Among those who have called out the Nazi connections in Tucker’s invocation of “the white replacement theory,” a montage on The Daily Show demonstrated the chilling similarity between Tucker’s words and those of the white supremacist perpetrators of these massacres.

In response to a call from the Anti-Defamation League—a Jewish organization generally aligned with the most conservative forces in the Democratic Party—for Carlson to be fired, Fox Fascist News head Lachlan Murdoch defended Carlson. Carlson himself has repeated his claims.

And in the wake of Carlson’s overt mainstreaming of the “replacement theory,” Republi-fascists in the House announced plans to form an “America First” caucus. Their platform promotes “a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions" and advocates for infrastructure with aesthetic value that "befits the progeny of European architecture." At a House subcommittee hearing on April 14, on migration from Central America, Republican Congressman Scott Perry said, “For many Americans, what seems to be happening or what they believe right now is happening is, what appears to them is we’re replacing national-born American—native-born Americans to permanently transform the political landscape of this very nation.”

Bob Avakian on the direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today

 

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Watch: youtube.com/therevcoms

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/696/letter-from-a-comrade-training-day-en.html

Letter from a comrade

TRAINING DAY

| revcom.us

 

Dearest Camaradas,

The pigs who murdered brother George and brother Daunte were both training rookie pigs how to hunt down, and how to crush the spirit and dreams and suffocate the life out of precious human beings.

We don’t need more trained pigs. Humanity need thousands of trained masses of people with the science of revolution.

Revolutionary May 1st needs to be a training day of the people that give a fuck about humanity and the vibrant future that could be. A training day where all those people who hoped for something different in the summer can see that they can contribute to something worthwhile; hasta emancipation!

We got to show people the way forward—in the work being done and leadership provided by Bob Avakian.

Period.

 

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

 

Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:



 


 

Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/696/joe-veale-replies-to-letters-from-prisoners-en.html

Joe Veale Replies to Letters From Prisoners:

BREAKING ALL THE CHAINS FOR A REAL REVOLUTION

| revcom.us

 

Editors' Note: For the past few months, revcom.us has been getting the New Year's Statement from Bob Avakian (BA) to prisoners and printing some responses. The following from Joe Veale responds to some of those letters. The letters themselves are at the end of the response.

We have received a number of letters from prisoners responding to BA’s New Year’s Statement, “A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity.”

These letters express a strong desire to engage in this statement—they express a real attraction to BA—the scientific method—and revolution.

One person writes: “The statement itself has become an instrument we are using to educate individuals. It has proven to be very enlightening to some. Recently I gave it to a ‘Progressive’ friend that I have engaged with for a couple months now about progressive ideals are dangerous, and why communist revolution guided by the new synthesis is the only real option.”

Another writes: “I’m starting to tell you that I have read the New Year Statement by Bob Avakian, and I have to tell you that not only the New Year Statement, but everything that he has said on every article is the reality that is going on in this country with these politicians that are abusing their power to lynch black, Latino and anyone that is not white.”

Someone else writes: “We face a Perilous road, with many obstacles in the way. But that is no reason to lose hope. We must assess the ground that has been covered. We must keep nurturing the land as the conditions are further advanced for a Revolutionary Situation.

“It is true as Bob Avakian said, time is not on our side, at the moment, [we] lack the necessary numbers of people needed for a successful Revolutionary mobilization... One advantage I wanted to Point out to my comrades is that we have an actual scientifically grounded and disciplined leadership—in Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party.”

Others have expressed similar sentiments and there is a lot to unite with in this.

At the same time—these letters also express some sentiments that are in conflict with this desire for revolution. While there is plenty to unite with in these letters there is a lot we need to struggle over if we are really going to make an all-the-way revolution—which is the only kind worth making. To take one important example, some of the same letters which express the strongest desire for revolution also express the strongest opposition to women’s liberation.

A Decisive Point for the Oppressed—Get Rid of ALL Oppression? Or Hold On to Just a “Little Bit” of It?

In the handbook for revolution, BAsics, BA gets right to the point (BAsics 3:22):

You cannot break all the chains, except one. You cannot say you want to be free of exploitation and oppression, except you want to keep the oppression of women by men. You can’t say you want to liberate humanity yet keep one half of the people enslaved to the other half. The oppression of women is completely bound up with the division of society into masters and slaves, exploiters and exploited, and the ending of all such conditions is impossible without the complete liberation of women. All this is why women have a tremendous role to play not only in making revolution but in making sure there is all-the-way revolution. The fury of women can and must be fully unleashed as a mighty force for proletarian revolution.

This is decisive.

After reading BA’s New Year’s Statement, one person writes: “I’ve read the ‘A New Year’ and can see a very comprehensive plan to effect change in a society filled with bigotry; racism; misguidance and hate.” He goes on to say: “I must reiterate...in more detail my opposition in favor of abortion. Though it is never my intention to ever subjugate women in any way, or limit their God given right to free will, I must stress that it is a inhuman, unequal and a completely selfish trait for two people to engage in the act of consensual sex...but only one (the woman) having the right to abort the life of a fetus. What happens to the man in that decision making process...?”

To this, it must be said straight-up: forced motherhood is slavery. You, men, are not carrying around in your body a living and growing embryo—that develops into a fetus—something you carry around for nine months. You are not the one going through all kinds of changes in your body both physically and mentally—this is what women go through—not you, men.

What kind of effect will carrying her pregnancy to term have on the rest of her life? What kind of positive effect will it have or what kind of negative effect will it have?

No man has the right to decide for women whether to have an abortion or not. No man has a right to take over any part of a woman’s body, tell her what to do with it, or use it for his own ends.

“Male rights” are, and can only be, the “rights” of men to dictate the social role, the social status of women. It means reducing the humanity of women to the dictates of a patriarchal male supremacist society. Reducing women to a baby-making machine. A breeder. Denying her equality with men.

Denying women the right to abortion is, once again, forced enslavement.

Allowing men to decide this is to make her and her body the property of men. It’s the other side of the patriarchy that reduces women and girls to sexual playthings for men, forcing them into the role of “mothers” or “bitches and ho’s.” Roles where women are less than human.

Who wants to live in a world like that? We do not have to live in such a world.

Not only that, forced motherhood is a cornerstone of the fascist program.

Why? Because it fits their drive to totally dominate women, to reduce them to breeding machines, sex objects, emotional supporters, child raisers and on and so on, for men. All this denies women their humanity. If the fascist program is able to fully succeed—and women lose the right of abortion—women will still fight to assert their freedom—but then they will have to rely on the illegal underground market where they risk mutilation and humiliation—they will risk injuring internal organs causing them hemorrhage—from ruptured blood vessels or organs—they will risk death from having abortion done in unsanitary conditions... all of which can and do cause women to die unnecessarily.

If fascism is able to win out and consolidate itself, women who are lucky enough to survive the scenario outlined above will go to prison for giving themselves an abortion. For killing a so-called “unborn child”! Much of this is what happened to women when abortion was illegal. It happens today in Latin America, where abortion is illegal.

It is now happening and being reasserted by the fascists—even though they no longer control the executive branch—still, it is happening with a vengeance.

Reducing Women to “Mamas” Goes Against Revolution

But one person contends that “...it is the female who often plays the most important role in the family...” He goes on to argue that women need to be “Mamas” and he is alarmed that so many have joined the fascist movement.

Speaking to the point about women joining the fascist movement: again, BA addresses this in the New Year’s Statement; after discussing the tight connection between militant masculinity and fascism—and why some, (clearly a minority) of Black and Latino men have given support to Trump, he goes on to say: “It is also not surprising that even significant numbers of women (mainly white women but also some Latina and other women of color) have been drawn to this fascism, as the phenomenon of the oppressed clinging to ‘tradition’s chains’ that oppress them is unfortunately all too common.”

In this context, BA calls attention to Candace Owens, the Black female fascist who calls for “manly men” to enforce traditional gender relations—the traditional way men dominated women through the family. “There is no society that can survive without strong men,” says Owens. “In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It’s an outright attack. Bring back manly men,” she says.

As BA goes on to say: “Of course, for fascists like Owens ‘strong’ and ‘manly’ men are those who embody and enforce traditional gender relations, exercising domination over women who submit to this domination—and men who do not conform to traditional gender roles and relations, men who support equality between men and women are somehow ‘weak,’ ‘effeminate,’ ‘emasculated.’”

Glorifying women as mothers actually works against what is needed.

Once again, the fascists, especially the Christian fascists, make a whole cult out of motherhood. In order to force women into that role and no other—and all too many men who are NOT Christian fascists make a division between “mama” (the so-called good ones) and all those whom they deem to be “bitches” and “ho’s”(the so-called bad ones)—terms which should have no place among revolutionaries or anyone claiming to be a decent human being.

Many women do want to be mothers. Get great enjoyment from it. But many women do NOT. ALL of them have the equal right to be respected and treated as full human beings whose freedom to choose is respected and who must have all the rights granted to men.

It is not a question of respecting “mama” but unleashing the fury of WOMEN, and uniting men and women to break every chain of gender oppression as a mighty force FOR REVOLUTION.

Go Deeper into the Scientific Understanding

To go further, I encourage you to study, and re-study BA’s “A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity.”

In part 3 it says:

...the elimination of male supremacy is impossible within the confines of this system. This is true because male supremacy has been deeply woven into the fabric of this society, and because this system is based on capitalist commodity relations and exploitation—things are produced to be exchanged (sold), through a process in which masses of people work, for a wage or salary, to create profit that is accumulated by capitalists who employ them and control their work—a system in which the patriarchal family unit remains an essential economic and social component and requirement, even as it is being put under increasing strains.

Drawing heavily from points 3 and 4 of the “A New Year” statement, I leave you with this:

The Democrats and liberals are no alternative. They represent the same system whose rule involves the enforcement of the exploitation and oppression of masses of people in this country and throughout the world (including 150 million children in the Third World who are cruelly super-exploited in sweatshops and mines). Enforcing all this, and beating out their global competitors and rivals, is what they mean when they talk about the “national interest.” And this is the foundation from which they seek to lure in the masses with their “progressive” approach of “diversity” and “inclusiveness,” especially women, and people of color, in this worldwide plunder.

In part 3 of his “A New Year” statement, BA makes this incisive observation and analysis:

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 is 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.

In addition to this, over the last several months revcom.us has covered a rising tide in Latin America of women in rebellion against femicide, against rape, against forced motherhood and patriarchy—do we stand with that, and transform it through struggle into a key element of the struggle for revolution, or do we stand aside from it or, still worse, against it?

Everyone must decide.

* * * * *

Letters from Prisoners:

My Thoughts On: “New Year’s Statement By Bob Avakian: A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity”

With the recent acquittal of Donald Trump’s second impeachment hearing/trial, Bob Avakian’s message is even more relevant, urgent, critical and necessary.

I’ll begin with a quote from page 3, “And a defining characteristic of these fascists is their fanatical allegiance to demented distortions of reality, which is extremely difficult (and in many cases impossible) to penetrate with reason and fact, because these distortions serve to reinforce their sense of threatened entitlement and render long-standing prejudices and hatreds even more virulent.” And from page 2: “The unavoidable truth is that this country, the much-proclaimed ‘Shining City on a Hill,’ is full of fascists!—in the government at all levels and in large parts of the society as a whole.”

With both the riot on capitol hill and most of the republicans agreeing to acquit Donald Trump we see, “in the government at all levels and in large parts of the society as a whole,” a unification of a “fanatical allegiance to demented distortions of reality.” This unification both in the streets and in the government presents a very real and virulent problem. We know of those we seen in the streets and those in government positions, but what about the many more millions who aren’t in the streets or in the government? The millions who fund, donate, and support both those in the streets and in the government? This “fanatical allegiance” is real and pervasive. And as Bob Avakian goes on to say on page 3: “This fascism is deeply rooted, in the underlying dynamics of the capitalist-imperialist system that rules in this country and in the whole history of this country, from its founding in slavery and genocide.”

Bob Avakian has described this problem as “deeply rooted.” This is very significant because roots are connected. So this unification of a “fanatical allegiance” has history and roots. One of the definitions of the word root is: quantity to be multiplied by itself. Also: become fixed. So we could safely say that this system has multiplied in its hate, racism, and oppression and is “fixed” on doubling down on it. So when Bob Avakian says this problem is “deeply rooted,” we are talking about science and a system.

Now if we know anything about systems, systems aren’t easily changed. Science teaches that in order for a system to change, there must be many forces at work. You can’t just “vote” a system out of place/order.

We also must understand that the fascists have a lot invested. They have centuries of oppression that they are willing to defend. When we seen confederate flags flying all over the capitol, that’s an investment. When the republicans voted to acquit Donald Trump, that’s an investment. So if we’re going to turn this thing around we must be seriously invested. Roots of a tree are investments. Our actions are our investments.

On page 12 we read: “... 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.” This statement brings to mind the many women who were also at the capitol riot. We seen mothers, aunts, nieces, cousins, and daughters all believing Trump’s lies. One woman was even shot and killed. Women represents a balance that can’t be replaced. If we lose the women, all hope is lost. This “powderkeg” that Bob Avakian is speaking about, to me represents what will happen if we can continue to lose women. If we look at science and nature, it is the female who often plays the most crucial role in the family. Many communities in nature have gone on and thrived without males. But I have never seen any family/community thrive without the female. One example is that of elephants. The matriarch holds the most important position in that community. And as a Blackman in Amerika today, I made it without my father but doubt seriously if I could’ve made it without my mother. (Listen to Tupac’s “Dear Mama.”) We know George Floyd’s last words were “Mama,” not father, but “Mama.” I hope that women of all colors around the world remember that. So “Mama” at the capitol, “Mama” at home, “Mama” at work, “Mama” in prison, “Mama” we can’t lose you.

 


“A very comprehensive plan to effect change in a society filled with bigotry, racism, misguidance and hate”

First and foremost I would like to thank you for keeping me informed about the current events out there. Furthermore, by giving me the news raw and uncut. As it were, I am a big supporter of your universal movement and I encourage my little brothers to also lend their support. Moreover, I’ve read “A New Year” and can see a very comprehensive plan to effect change in a society filled with bigotry; racism; misguidance and hate.

Nevertheless, I must reiterate my opinion in more detail, my opposition in favor of abortion. Though it is never my intention to ever subjugate women in any way, or limit their God given right to free will, I must stress that it is a inhuman, unequal and a completely selfish trait for two people to engage in the act of having consensual sex together, but only one (the woman) having the right to abort the life of a fetus. What happened to the man in that decision making process? Did the woman create this fetus alone? No, of course not, so why is it possible that she should have the final and only say so in the decision to either kill or carry a fetus to full term, that by the way she didn’t create on her own. I am pro-life, and believe that if two responsible adults decide that now is not the time to have a baby they should take preventative measures, for we do not live in a time when condoms were outlawed or women being oppressed to the point when she doesn’t have the right to take birth control pills or require that her lover use protection before making love to her.

Nevertheless, let me get back on subject. What do I think about “A New Year!” I think it’s great because it’s all inclusive. Bob doesn’t distinguish between Black or white, but refers to all as humanity. We share the views that nothing will change absent the realizations that we are one people. All of us come from the same source. Moreover, we cannot think to effect true change using a system, constitution or government that openly authorized the oppression, subjugation, murder and wholesale slavery of their fellow man. Further, we must have that conversation, no matter how hard that there exist a people who has benefitted and still are benefitting from the slavery of Nubian people.

Nevertheless, I question how can there be reform of a system whose life blood is capitalism; slavery; oppression of those who are other than white? How can a people (Nubian people) ever trust a people (white people) when in all examples of history we are being murdered, oppressed, raped and enslaved in every encounter? It is examples such as the Tuskegee experiment that makes Nubians (Blacks) in this country distrustful of whites in this country sticking needles in their arms claiming it to be a vaccine for Covid-19.

So, I pose the question would you trust a people who stole you from your homeland (Africa), forced you into a cramped, unsanitary ships, subjected you to be shitted on literally for months at sea, raped you; your women and children; enslaved you and aborted fetuses in public by savagely cutting them out. Then stomping the baby underfoot? How can you trust 198 Nubian people being openly murdered by white cops in a single year?

Sincerely, XXXXXX

 


“Everything BA had said... is the reality of what is going on in this country”

I’m starting to tell you that I have read the New Year’s Statement by Bob Avakian, and I have to tell you that not only the New Year’s Statement, but everything he had said on every article is the reality of what is going on in this country with these politicians that are abusing of their power to lynch black, Latinos and anyone that is not white. But everything that Mr. Avakian had said, it happen the same he been saying all this time and what make me angry is that they start protesting now when all this is happening for decades. This officers have being killing innocent people and getting away with it, because no one want to speak up. I have to say, that don’t matter who is the President in this country. Our problem are the people in that Capitol, because they are the ones who make this laws and keep this officers for being try in court for the crimes committed against those innocent people that was kill by Police. I see the way Trump have act in that White House, and I ask myself, how he win the election in the first place because he was very disrespectful in every presentation about women, LBTG people, Latinos and in my opinion he bought his way to be the President and all those people who attack the Capitol are on his payroll and this officer and Proud Boys that was target people to intimidate them to help Trump win again and the ones that kill all those people. We have to keep fighting without violence to change this Congress because is not only about racism that we are dealing with and we got to stop these labels—high, middle and low class—because that’s another problem with discrimination and profiling people, just because some are living better than others or got more money than others. Another thing people have to fight for this background checks on the jobs, because is a lot of people that have criminal record and want to work to avoid going back to the street life that only leads to prison or death. We have the right to work like everyone else and we are discriminated because our background or race...

For scientific grounding in the oppression of women, I would strongly recommend these works:

Break ALL the Chains! Bob Avakian on the Emancipation of Women and the Communist Revolution

Of Primeval Steps and Future Leaps, Ardea Skybreak (Available at Revolution Books - New York City. Also available at amazon.com.)

A Declaration: For Women’s Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity
Download PDF

 

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So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/696/defund-the-police-naw-not-nearly-radical-enough-we-need-a-real-revolution-en.html

Defund the police? NAW, NOT NEARLY RADICAL ENOUGH — “We need a real revolution...”

| revcom.us

 

Defund the police? NAW, NOT NEARLY RADICAL ENOUGH—"We need a real revolution, not playing around with a few changes that leave this system in place and in power, while benefiting only a small number." If you're ready to find out what revolution really means and how this could be brought about, go here. And to know why "Defund the Police" won't work, and would actually cause harm, go here.

FROM THE REVCOMS (REVCOM.US):

A DECLARATION,
A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW
FOR A REAL REVOLUTION

Read this Declaration and Call, find out more:
Basic version | Extended version

Available in Brochure format (PDF):
Basic version | Extended version

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/695/republi-fascists-push-wave-of-hateful-anti-trans-laws-en.html

Republi-Fascists Push Wave of Hateful Anti-Trans Laws

| revcom.us

 

In dozens of states across the U.S., fascist Republicans are pushing an unprecedented wave of discriminatory laws aimed at limiting the rights of transgender people and LGBTQ people overall. The organization Human Rights Campaign1 reported that as of March 13, 82 anti-transgender bills have been introduced in state legislatures this year. This tops the total of 79 similar bills for all of last year, which makes 2021 already the year with “the highest number of anti-transgender bills in history.”

One thing that is already very clear is that the current intensification of attacks on transgender people by Republican fascists in multiple states is just that—a fascist campaign—one that can only result in more harm being done to transgender people, and to society generally. NBC News reported that legislators in many states have been prodded by a group known as the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian fascist “advocacy group,” to draft these bills and take up court cases as part of these attacks. The ADF was founded to combat what they describe as a trend where “The [U.S.] legal system, which was built on a moral and Christian foundation, had been steadily moving against religious liberty, the sanctity of human life, freedom of speech, and marriage and family,” i.e., Christian fascist values and ideals. Here are just some examples of the measures fascists are trying to work into law and policies.

Excluding Trans Youth from Sports

Many of the bills are aimed at banning transgender youth from participating in sports. Already this year, more than 25 state legislatures have introduced bills along these lines. In March, the Mississippi governor signed a law “requiring the state’s schools to designate teams by sex assigned at birth and prohibiting transgender student athletes from participating in school sports in accordance with their gender identity” (NBC News2).

Even while the fascists often couch their rationale in terms of “fairness” to women, these attacks on transgender people—and their fascist objectives—have nothing to do with protecting or defending girls and women, in sports or otherwise, and everything to do with reinforcing oppressive patriarchal rules and rigid traditional gender norms which can be boiled down to: females submit to males, at home and in every corner of society.

Commenting on these bills, soccer star and Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe wrote recently, “These bills are some of the most intense political assaults on LGBTQ people in recent years. Sports have become another avenue to attack the rights of trans people. These efforts cause incredible harm to trans youth, who, like all kids in a global pandemic, are feeling isolated and need compassion and support. Even before the pandemic hit, 1 in 3 transgender youth reported attempting suicide...” (Washington Post3).

There is some objective complexity to some of the issues that have arisen and been raised about competitive “fairness” especially as applied to trans-women in sports, and at elite and professional levels, and these issues should invite further reasoned reflection and discussion. See Explanatory Note below. But even while the fascists often couch their rationale in terms of “fairness” to women, these attacks on transgender people—and their fascist objectives—have nothing to do with protecting or defending girls and women, in sports or otherwise, and everything to do with reinforcing oppressive patriarchal rules and rigid traditional gender norms which can be boiled down to: females submit to males, at home and in every corner of society.

This type of outrage must be denounced and exposed in the strongest terms.

Targeting Medical Professionals Who Help Trans People

One of the most despicable recent fascist attacks on transgender people is the Arkansas law making it illegal for doctors to provide medically recommended care and advice to transgender youth. This is among a group of state bills aiming to punish trans youth and their doctors. On April 6, for example, legislators in Arkansas4 overwhelmingly voted—over the veto by Governor Hutchinson, a Republican5—to uphold a law that bans doctors from providing “gender-affirming” medical treatments and prevents them from referring the youths for these treatments.6 This is the first time any state has actually passed a law outlawing such procedures—but 18 other states already have similar bills pending this year.

In late March, South Carolina7 lawmakers put forward a bill that would make it a felony for medical professionals to provide transition-related care to transgender minors. Conviction could result in up to a 20-year prison sentence for the medical provider. Think about it—20 years in prison for helping youth, many of whom are in tremendous anguish. The bill also would require teachers and school staff to tell students’ parents if they think that a student’s “perception of [their] gender or sex is inconsistent with the minor's sex.” In other words, the bill essentially requires teachers to “out” students they think are transgender to their parents. A nearly identical bill is pending in Alabama. And on March 30, a proposed law was filed in the Texas8 Senate and House of Representatives that would make it illegal for any physician in Texas to provide gender-affirming care to transgender people under the age of 18.

Other Hateful Bills and Policies

This goes along with a range of other proposals in many states across the country attacking the rights of LGBTQ people that are categorized by the American Civil Liberties Union9 as “prohibiting health care for trans youth,” “single-sex facility restrictions,” “restrictions on identity documents,” “religious exemptions in healthcare, adoption and foster care, schools and student organizations,” and “other religious exemptions.”

Attacks are also occurring through other levels of governmental and educational entities. For example, in the name of defending “religious liberty,” on March 10 Republi-fascists in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives10 introduced the so-called “Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act,” aiming to significantly reduce federal funding for states that prevent anti-LGBTQ foster care and adoption agencies from participating in child-welfare programs.

Baylor University11 in Texas, the largest Baptist university in the world, is standing by its policy stipulating that “an employee’s spouse can be added as a dependent only if the spouse is of the opposite sex.” Baylor referred questions about its policy to a lawyer from the First Liberty Institute, a Christian fascist organization based in Texas, whose spokesman said, “There is almost nothing more sacrosanct than the right of a religious organization, like Baylor, to arrange its organization, benefits and requirements around its religious beliefs, including its Biblical definition of family and marriage.”

This escalation and intensification of attacks on transgender people by Republican fascists is just that—a fascist campaign—a horrific campaign that is extremely harmful to transgender people and to society more broadly, and needs to be exposed and denounced in the strongest terms.

Explanatory Note: There is some objective complexity to some of the issues that have been raised about competitive “fairness,” especially the question of trans women in sports, and more specifically whether people who identify as female now but were assigned as male at birth should be allowed to compete in women’s sports (whether or not they have actually undergone hormonal treatments and/or sex reassignment surgery), or whether such trans female athletes would inherently benefit from “unfair” competitive advantages which would objectively end up undermining the athletic achievements and prospects of natal females (those who continue to identify with the gender or sex assigned at birth).

Some of these issues stem from the possibility that if males have gone through puberty, then even if they later do undergo a physical transformation from male to female, there are certain physical attributes that they may potentially “carry over” from this process of having gone through puberty as males (such as permanent testosterone-related muscle mass and bone structure changes) which can give them unfair competitive advantages in many sports. This is especially concentrated at elite and professional levels where competitive financial scholarships, sponsorships and other forms of support may greatly impact the futures of competitors. These are issues which require a scientific approach, and should invite further reasoned reflection and discussion of how one might best approach defending the rights and well-being of individual transgender girls and women, while also continuing to fight the ongoing broader obstacles and discrimination traditionally experienced by girls and women in general and all around the globe in the sphere of sports, as in all other dimensions of life, even despite some advances made under Title IX.12

 


1. Breaking: 2021 Becomes Record Year For Anti-Transgender Legislation, Human Rights Campaign, 3/13/21.  [back]

2. Mississippi governor signs bill banning trans athletes from school sports, NBC News, 3/11/21,  [back]

3. Megan Rapinoe: Bills to ban transgender kids from sports try to solve a problem that doesn't exist, Washington Post, 3/28/21.  [back]

4. Arkansas legislators pass ban on transgender medical treatments for youths, overriding governor's veto, Washington Post, 4/6/21.  [back]

5. Asa Hutchinson, the Republican governor of Arkansas, vetoed this law—a veto the state legislature immediately overturned by an overwhelming margin. He said of the law, “that’s not the role of government” and that it does not convey “the message of compassion and conservatism that we need to have as a party.” As an example of how extreme things are, Donald Trump immediately dismissed him as a “lightweight RINO,” or “Republican in name only,” adding: “Bye-bye Asa, that’s the end of him.” This, for a Republican Christian fascist who recently signed a bill banning trans youth from participating in girls’ and women’s sports—and another allowing “medical conscience objections,” a favorite tactic of Christian fascists that says, in the words of Hutchinson himself, that “doctors can claim a conscience reason if they want to deny a particular procedure,” especially to turn away LGBTQ patients. [back]

6. Gender-affirming refers to medical procedures and care that enable a person to develop the gender they identify themselves as. [back]

7. South Carolina Lawmakers File Extreme Anti-LGBTQ Bill That Would Criminalize Medical Professionals Who Provide Essential Care to Transgender Youth, SC United for Justice & Equality.  [back]

8. Texas could follow Arkansas in passing anti-trans health care bill, Chron.com, 3/30/21.  [back]

9. Legislation Affecting LGBT Rights Across the Country, ACLU.com, 4/9/21.  [back]

10. LGBTQ groups mobilize against bill sponsored by Pa. Rep. Kelly targeting same-sex adoptions, Pennsylvania Capital-Star, 3/24/21.  [back]

11. Baylor denies health care dependency status to same-sex spouses of university employees, Baylor Lariat, 4/7/21.  [back]

12. Title IX is a federal law that was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. It prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools and other educational institutions that receive federal funds. [back]

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

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So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/695/iranian-poet-and-political-prisoner-baktash-abins-life-hangs-by-a-thread-en.html

Update from the Emergency Campaign to Free Iran's Political Prisoners:

Iranian Poet & Political Prisoner Baktash Abtin's Life Hangs by a Thread—Over 300 Writers Demand His Immediate Release
Free All Iran's Political Prisoners NOW!

April 11, 2021

| revcom.us

 

Editors' Note: We received the following from the Emergency Campaign to Free Iran's Political Prisoners.

The Emergency Appeal to free Iran’s political prisoners issued on March 20 began by starkly stating “This is an emergency. The lives and dignity of hundreds of political prisoners are in imminent, mortal danger.” This is not hyperbole, and the need for action remains urgent.

The Emergency Campaign to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners issued a press release last week—U.S.-Iran Talks Begin—Iran Political Prisoners Lives Hang in Balance—highlighting the increasing threats to several high-profile political prisoners.

The Appeal has now been signed by some 200 people, including those directly connected to the prisoners' cause—their relatives and advocates, Iranian political exiles, and 11 former Iranian political prisoners; members of the religious community including Father Bob Bossie, of Priests of the Sacred Heart; Father Claude Mostowik, MSC, Australia, and Rev. Dr. Robert L. Brashear, Pastor Emeritus West Park Church; and the Santa Fe, New Mexico chapter and four other members of Veterans4Peace.

Now the very life of Baktash Abtin—poet, documentary filmmaker, and member of the Iranian Writers Association (IWA)—is hanging by a thread. He was sent to Evin Prison hospital last week with coronavirus infection. Yesterday, over 300 Iranian “writers, poets, and independent writers and cultural figures” heroically issued a signed letter for his “immediate and unconditional release,” along with the release of other members of the IWA, and other political prisoners.

All of Iran’s political prisoners must be freed NOW, including all those held at Evin Prison, as their lives are threatened now more than ever given what one medical website calls a “meteoric rise” of Covid-19 cases in Iran this past week, especially in Iran’s capital Tehran where Evin is located.

Crippling U.S. economic sanctions against Iran (and anyone who trades with Iran) have played a major, deadly role in this horrific Covid surge by seriously inhibiting Iran’s ability to access and pay for vaccines.

Now, even as negotiations are beginning between Iran and the U.S., with European powers acting as intermediaries, over the nuclear deal they all signed in 2015, nothing remotely close to what is necessary is being done for Iran’s political prisoners, not even the dual citizens held by Iran in violation of international law and standards of human decency.

People in the U.S. have a special responsibility—and opportunity—to ACT now to save the lives of Iran’s political prisoners. Sign, circulate and publicize this Emergency Appeal. Find other creative and bold ways to fight for its demands:

We demand of the Islamic Republic of Iran: FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS NOW

We say to the U.S. government: NO THREATS OR WAR MOVES AGAINST IRAN, LIFT U.S. SANCTIONS

 


Baktash Abtin

 

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So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/690/basic-points-of-orientation-en.html

BASIC POINTS OF ORIENTATION

| revcom.us

 

1. This system of capitalism-imperialism is the source of endless horrors for the majority of people in this country and all around the world, and it is increasingly threatening the very existence of humanity. We are actively working for an actual revolution—to bring down, to overthrow and completely abolish, this whole system as soon as possible and replace it with something radically different and much better, a new society built on an entirely different foundation. That, and nothing less, is what is needed. So that is what we are all about—and we have the necessary scientific method, the plan, the strategy, and the leadership to succeed in this. But there aren’t enough people committed to this yet. So... this is what you need to be about. Anything else will completely fail to deal with the root of all the problems or lead to the actual solution. Given the situation facing humanity, we don’t have time to waste, so we need to get busy working for this revolution, in an organized way, and winning more and more people to do the same.

2. We are followers of BA. And you need to become followers of BA too. He is an old white guy—yes, deal with it! He is providing ongoing leadership for this revolution, and he has a whole body of work that contains the scientific method to analyze the problem and the solution, the strategy for the revolution to bring down this system, and the vision and concrete plan for that radically different and much better society, on the road to emancipate all of humanity from every form of oppression and exploitation, and to enable humanity to become fit caretakers of the earth. He’s even written a Constitution that concretely maps out what to do starting right after the seizure of power, so we can actually work on building up that whole new emancipating society. There never has been a leader like this in this country and there is no other leader like this in the world now. We cannot afford not to follow this leadership if we ever want to get free and put an end to this madness.

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/691/there-is-the-powerful-positive-potential-en.html

There is the powerful positive potential...

| revcom.us

 

There is the powerful positive potential of what it is that Revcoms are—and need to be—fighting for, consistently, boldly, compellingly bringing forward and bringing alive. In this context, the following passage is worth reviewing and reflecting on, from Bob Avakian’s The Coming Civil War and Re-polarization for Revolution in the Present Era, Religion and the Right to Religion, DARK AGES MENTALITY AND THE LIBERATING OUTLOOK AND METHOD OF COMMUNISM”:

The religious fundamentalists, of various kinds, make a point of recruiting in the prisons, and they come with a heavy ideological message. There is something very important to be learned from the “Losing My Religion” article that appeared in our newspaper within the past year. The author of the article, who comes from a family steeped in religious fundamentalism, says that his own life experiences had provided plenty of reasons to reject religion, but it was only when there was another coherent ideology that he could take up that he completely broke with religion. And that coherent ideology wasn’t another religion—it was the scientific outlook and method of communism, which he was introduced to through writings of mine which he encountered in college. He also commented on that: he said that these writings, and the outlook and method they embody, taught him to do what religion never did—to think critically. It is not at all the case that people can only “lose their religion” by replacing it with another religion in some form. But there does have to be another explanation about the world and existence and why this is the way it is, and how it could be different. And how an individual relates to that. If you want to rupture people out of shit, not only stuff that lands them in prison, but the daily shit they are caught up in, in the society, you have to have a really strong hardcore ideological thing to bring to them. It doesn’t have to be dogmatic—it should not be dogmatic, and it should not be religious—but it has to be coherent and systematic. It has to explain the world—and in our case we can actually explain it in a scientific way [BA laughs]. That ’s an advantage of communism over religion, even though religion has certain short‑term advantages because it can appeal to things we can’t appeal to, things that go along with spontaneity. But we have the advantage of actually being able to make reality make sense for people. That’s a very powerful thing.

We should not underestimate the importance, not only with prisoners but in general, of doing a lot of ideological work to really enable people to see the world in a wholly different way— really the way it is. To take the pieces of this puzzle that are all out of whack and don’t fit together— it’s like looking through a weird kaleidoscope the way most people see reality. And then it’s misinterpreted for them by all these different bourgeois and reactionary ideologies and programs, and so on, including various religious views. But communist ideology and its application to the world is a way of taking reality and having it make sense for people. That’s what the CD1 of my speech on religion aims to do, that’s what we urgently need to do in general. [Emphasis (boldface, italics, and underlining) added here]

 


1. This refers to a talk on religion given in 2004 by BA which was later encompassed in Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World (Insight Press, 2008)  [back]

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

You’ve read this article and now you need to be part of making sure revcom.us is able to make an urgently needed leap and transformation.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/696/many-hundreds-around-the-country-protest-pig-murders-of-daunte-wright-and-adam-toledo-en.html

Many Hundreds Around the Country Protest the Pig Murders of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo... And So Many Others

| revcom.us

 

Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Protests of hundreds have continued every day for six nights now since Daunte Wright was murdered in cold blood by the pigs on Sunday, April 12. Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis that was more than 70 percent white in 2000, now has a majority of Black, Latino, and Asian residents.


Confronting police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Photo: AP

Coming out in the rain and snow this past week, people have been demanding justice, chanting the name of Daunte Wright, and from the beginning, angrily confronting the pigs who used tear gas against the crowd. The protests have targeted and gathered at the Brooklyn Center Police Department. But Friday night, April 16, saw the largest number of arrests, reaching 100.


From the beginning, people have angrily confronted the pigs who were using tear gas against the crowd. Photo: AP

Reportedly people began to break into the fence surrounding the Brooklyn Center Police Department and refused to obey orders to disperse. The crowd grew from 250 in the afternoon to 500 by evening, despite the fact that authorities had announced a citywide curfew from 11 pm to 6 am and then declared the protest an unlawful assembly.


People have poured into the streets in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, despite curfews, to protest the murder of Daunte Wright by police. Photo: AP

According to one news report, a “cavalcade” of squad cars flooded the street and Minnesota State Patrol pigs rushed in to form a line blocking the street. Pigs deployed flash bangs to disperse the crowd, and people could be seen on video trying to protect themselves with gas masks, respirators, helmets, and umbrellas. When the cops used tear gas, some people tried to leave through backyards. But then the pigs swarmed people from all sides. One reporter described how protesters were “kettled” (surrounded—not letting anyone leave), then the pigs moved in to make mass arrests. It was reported that some residents not involved in the protest were detained and that members of the media were forced to show credentials to prevent being arrested.

John Harrington, the state’s commissioner of the “Department of Public Safety,” promised that there would be “A robust assortment of National Guard, state and local police departments working together” in the days to come. At least 1,000 National Guard troops have been stationed in the area since Monday. And with the coming verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the pig who killed George Floyd, and the specter of even more and larger protests, the city is maintaining a curfew and schools have been closed.

Chicago, Illinois. Friday evening, April 16, thousands of people protested on the city’s northwest side to protest the pig killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo, taking a knee and shutting down the six-corner intersection of Milwaukee, Diversey, and Kimball and filling the streets for many blocks. People held signs saying things like “Justice For Adam” and “We Are Adam.” The diverse crowd included people who came from many other parts of the city.

Chicago, April 16: March for Adam Toledo. Photo: special to revcom.us

At least two people were arrested. Black Lives Matter Executive Director Amika Tendaji, the mother of Anthony McCullom III, one of those arrested, said, “There was nothing that happened out there that warranted the arrest of any young people who were out there fighting for their lives. They [the police] were brutal to those protesters and there are no signs of it slowing down.... If folks keep getting arrested, the idea is that we will be too afraid to keep fighting back, but at this point we have no choice. We’re fighting for our lives.”

There had been other protests during the week but this was the largest, and perhaps angriest, coming the day after a video was released on Thursday showing that Adam Toledo, a 7th grader, turned around and had his hands up in the air, when a Chicago pig shot him less than a second later.

Maria Sanchez, who lives a couple of blocks from where Adam Toledo was murdered, recalled what it was like to watch the video. She said, “It made me sick to my stomach, it made my blood boil.” Karina Solano, an organizer with Únete La Villita, said, “We demand justice for Adam Toledo. Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old boy. He should still be alive.... Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing excused CPD having shot and killed him. Nobody deserves to die at the hands of the police, especially not kids.” Roxana Figueroa, the cousin of 22-year-old Anthony Alvarez, who was killed by Chicago pigs two days after the murder of Adam Toledo, said watching the video gave her the strength to fight for justice for Alvarez. Standing with seven other family members, including three young kids, she said, “When I saw the video, it gave our family hella strength to show up today.”  

Later in the evening, tensions escalated when protesters faced off against a line of police. Demonstrators chanted “f--k the police” and “f--k 12.” At one point demonstrators headed toward Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s home nearby. As a line of bike pigs stopped the protest from getting near the house, people chanted “CPD, KKK, how many kids did you kill today?”

* * * * *

Around the country hundreds of others have also taken to the street to protest the murder of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo ... and so many others. These include:


Protestors in Baltimore, Maryland.

Thursday, April 15, in La Crosse, Wisconsin there was a community discussion about systemic racism and police brutality. Afterwards, a Black student group led a protest of about 100 people through downtown and blocking traffic at one intersection. Friday night, people took to the streets in Chicago to protest the killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo by a Chicago cop and Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center. This was one day after the body-cam video was released of the March 29 shooting, clearly showing that Toledo had his hands up in the air when he was shot and killed. On Tuesday after a Brooklyn, New York, rally at the Barclays Center, 100 cyclists rode across the Brooklyn Bridge. And at other protests people have marched across the Manhattan Bridge, from Brooklyn to Manhattan, stopping traffic. Other protesters in NYC marched through Washington Heights, north of Harlem, heading for the Alexander Hamilton Bridge.


Dallas, Texas, April 13, protest against the murder of Daunte Wright


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania protest against the murder of Daunte Wright. Photo: KPaynter

On Thursday in Los Angeles, people took to the streets near Sunset and Vine in Hollywood. In Washington, DC, a video of a protest Monday night shows people chanting “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now. If we don’t get it burn it down!” On Friday night, a protest in Oakland, California, drew around 300 people and there were reports of people setting fires and breaking windows. In Portland, Oregon, people took to the streets to protest the pig killings of both Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo, as well as a man shot and killed in the city’s Lents Park. People marched through Lents Park, tearing down police tape and facing off with the riot-geared cops. One news report said some protesters with sticks chased cops who responded with smoke canisters, pepper spray, and a rubber ball distraction device. On Friday night, people gathered in downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina, where George Floyd was born. They gathered in honor of and to protest the killing of Daunte Wright, answering the call “Stand with us” and “We won’t be silenced.” One protester shouted into a bullhorn, “I can’t sleep,” as people responded with “Because our babies are dying.”


Fayetteville, North Carolina, April 16.

There have been protests in many other cities and demonstrators continued in Chicago and Brooklyn Center on Saturday and Sunday nights.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/696/update-from-emergency-campaign-to-free-iran’s-political-prisoners-en.html

Update from the Emergency Campaign to Free Iran's Political Prisoners

The Urgency of Acting Now:
Executions Underscore Danger to Iran's Political Prisoners

| revcom.us

 

The Emergency Appeal: The Lives of Iran’s Political Prisoners Hang in the Balance—We Must ACT Now, sounds an alarm about the grave danger facing Iran’s political and prisoners of conscience, warning:

A brutal campaign of arrests, torture and executions is now taking place in Iran. This is an emergency. The lives and dignity of hundreds of political prisoners are in imminent, mortal danger. 

Executions, including of political prisoners, are often carried out in secret. It heightens the Emergency Appeal’s challenge that:

All those who stand for justice and yearn for a better world [to] rally to the cause of freeing Iran’s political prisoners NOW.

Amnesty International (AI) has warned of an “alarming rise in executions,” with 49 prisoners executed from December 1, 2020 to February 4. 2021. Now, the UN reports that in recent months, more than 20 members of the Baluch minority have been executed, over 100 Kurdish activists have been detained, and members of the Bahá’í faith have been targeted. And recently the Kurdistan Human Rights Association, Iran Human Rights, and other sources report that the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) has carried out a wave of at least 13 executions so far this month alone (mainly for alleged drug charges).

The Persecution and Execution of Political Prisoners

Political prisoners form an extremely broad grouping in Iran. Besides the well-known civil/human/women’s right defense lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, there are several other lawyers being prosecuted for their human rights activism, including Mohammad Najafi, Payam Derafshan, and Amirsalar Davoudi. 

Eight members of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation were sentenced to prison sentences ranging from four to 10 years for allegedly “collaborating with the hostile state of the U.S.” Iran’s authorities produced no evidence against them and refused to investigate allegations they were tortured.

On February 28, four political prisoners from Iran’s persecuted Arab minority were secretly executed. Often, the IRI provides no notice to lawyers, the family or even prisoners that they’re going to be executed. (In the summer of 1988, tens of thousands of political prisoners were suddenly executed in mass.)

The Emergency Appeal makes the bold call:

We must not allow this to happen again.

Last summer, after a massive social media campaign with millions responding to the hashtag #Don’tExecute, three protesters who had been part of the November 2019 uprisings had their executions halted. The Emergency campaign aims to have no less an impact.

“The heroes I met fighting Iran’s brutal prison system”

Sepideh Kashani was an administrator at the now-defunct Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Iran’s premier conservation NGO. She was as well-behaved and unassuming a prisoner as the guards could have asked for… However, the day Sepideh found out that her husband, Houman Jokar, had been savagely beaten under the stairs in the interrogation block, something inside her snapped. Quiet, obedient Sepideh … simply couldn’t stand that image of her intellectual, softly spoken husband, Iran’s foremost expert on big cat conservation, handcuffed and bleeding, his glasses broken and his ribs kicked in… I have seen acts of exceptional bravery, even foolhardiness, from fellow inmates like Sepideh Kashani…

So writes Kylie Moore-Gilbert, one of the brave former prisoners who have signed the Emergency Appeal. She’s a British-Australian academic who was imprisoned in Iran for over two years, and her powerful, new testimony, The heroes I met fighting Iran’s brutal prison system (The National News, April 16), describes the brutal conditions she witnessed, and the prisoners’ “exceptional bravery.”

Join, Amplify Courageous Resistance Inside and Outside Iran’s Prisons

Some supporters of labor-rights activist Mehran Raoof have also signed the Appeal. They report that, “so far, more than 90 trade unions worldwide from Argentina to the United Kingdom, 12 human rights organizations from Argentina, Amnesty International, 24 Iranian organizations and groups, and nearly 800 artists, lawyers, political activists and women activists and labor activists from Iran protested the arrest of Mehran Raoof and have demanded his release.”

The Independent Union of Iran recently reported, “Mehran Raoof had been on a hunger strike for several days in early April in protest of the uncertainty of his condition, and as he is over 65 years old, there are serious concerns about his physical health.” They demand “…the authorities… end the illegal treatment of this labor activist and release him immediately and unconditionally.”

Now Is the Time to Spread the Emergency Appeal Far and Wide

Over 200 people have signed the Emergency Appeal so far. Another 700 signed an earlier version of the statement. Among the current signers are former prisoners, supporters and relatives of current prisoners, as well as social justice activists, artists, academics, faith leaders, medical professionals and more.  (See selected list of signers below.)

The Emergency Campaign has also begun to reach the progressive media airwaves. Mariam Claren, daughter of political prisoner Nahid Taghavi, appeared on KPFK radio’s The Michael Slate Show, and We Only Want the World with Sunsara Taylor, which is broadcast on WBAI in New York and WPFW in Washington, DC. Satar Rahami, spokesperson for the International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran which campaigns for Iran’s political prisoners, was interviewed on the April 10 edition of KPFA’s Evening News in Berkeley.

Yet much more remains to be done in winning freedom and dignity for Iran’s courageous political prisoners. And we here in the U.S.—the belly of the imperialist beast–—have a special responsibility for this. This responsibility is born of the whole history and current reality of U.S. aggressions against Iran, from the CIA coup of 1953 that installed the butcher the Shah, to its bloody fueling of the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war, to its crippling sanctions today, which have blocked medicines and COVID-19 vaccines and contributed mightily to Iran’s death toll from the disease. All this has caused enormous suffering and destruction. As the Emergency Appeal declares:

The governments of the U.S. and Iran act from their national interests. And, in this instance, we the people of the U.S. and Iran, along with the people of the world, have OUR shared interests, as part of getting to a better world: to unite to defend the political prisoners of Iran. In the U.S., we have a special responsibility to unite very broadly against this vile repression by the IRI, and to actively oppose any war moves by the U.S. government that would bring even more unbearable suffering to the people of Iran.

 


Signers include 10 former Iranian political prisonersMariam Claren, daughter of political prisoner Nahid Taghavi; Dr. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, British-Australian academic, former political prisoner in Iran; Elika Ashoori, daughter of political prisoner Anoosheh Ashoori; Satar Rahmani, spokesperson, International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran, campaigning for Iran’s political prisoners; Mehri Jafari, UK Solicitor and advocate for Iranian-British dual citizen, political prisoner Mehran Raoof; and Carol Downer, pathbreaking advocate for women's reproductive rights, and co-initiator of this Campaign.

Other signatories: Father Bob Bossie, Priests of the Sacred Heart; Rev. Dr. Robert L. Brashear, Pastor Emeritus West Park Church, NYC; Carol Gay, President, New Jersey Industrial Union Council; Jill Godmilow, filmmaker, Emeritus Professor, University of Notre Dame, IN; Dr. Warren Gold, MD, cardiopulmonologist, Emeritus professor, University of California, San Francisco; Kit Kittredge, Steering Committee Women’s Boat to Gaza; Raymond Lotta, Revolution Books NYC; Shekib Mosadeq, revolutionary Afghan artist, activist; Nicholas Mottern, coordinator Knowdrones.com; Father Claude Mostowik, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, Australia; Cecile Pineda, novelist; Gordon Rogoff, theater director, professor Yale School of Drama; several members of Veterans4Peace and Santa Fe, NM chapter; (Institutions for identification purposes only)


Mehran Raoof

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/696/verdict-in-murder-of-george-floyd-killer-pig-righteously-found-guilty.html

As the Killer Pig Is Righteously Found Guilty...
...The Guilt Of This System Can NOT Be Denied

WE NEED TO ORGANIZE NOW FOR AN ACTUAL REVOLUTION!

| revcom.us

 

The pig who murdered George Floyd has been found guilty on all three counts he was charged with. His guilt could not be denied. But the only reason there was such a trial in the first place is the fact that WE, people here and all over the world in our millions, came into the streets to demand justice night after night, standing up against murderous repression to do so. Through our struggle, justice has—in this case—been won and people are righteously celebrating.

At the same time, the guilt of this system continues, and can also not be denied. Say their names: Daunte Wright, 20 years old, shot dead at a traffic stop, Black and unarmed; Adam Toledo, 13 years old, shot dead in an alley with his empty hands in the air, Latino; and those are only the most well-known. And the names go on, and on .... During the 19-day period of testimony in the trial of the Minnesota killer cop, at least 64 people were killed by police—over one-half of them Black or Latino.

THIS MURDER MUST END. This is what every decent person feels.

But this nonstop string of horrific murders has forced the whole world to confront the brute fact that so long as this system goes on, THE MURDER AND BRUTALITY BY THE POLICE CANNOT END. To deal with this, to deal with all the other towering outrages this system brings down here and around the world, we need—humanity needs—revolution, nothing less.

And this is one of those rare times in which a revolution could possibly be made in this country. “Those who rule are locked in a bitter fight among themselves, and they cannot hold things together in the way they have in the past.”1 At the same time, over these past few years the people have shown their hatred for oppression, and their courage, in powerful demonstrations and mass outpourings, here and around the world, including in the beautiful rising after the murder of George Floyd. These show the potential for revolution.

We have the leadership for that revolution in Bob Avakian, BA. BA has further developed the scientific way to understand the world, the strategy for an actual revolution, and a vision and blueprint for an emancipating new society in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, which he authored.

To learn more about all this, and to start changing the world while you are learning, dig into and spread A DECLARATION, A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR A REAL REVOLUTION.

If you burned with anger and a rage for justice when you saw the life snuffed out of George Floyd and if you ache for something better... you need to be part of this revolution. And we, together, need to urgently get organized now for this real revolution. Right now: come to, and help build for, Revolutionary May 1 celebrations. Meet, and become part of, a serious force, resolutely determined and getting organized now for a real revolution, to bring into being a world without slavery in any form, in which all of humanity can finally and fully breathe free.


1. Quoted from A DECLARATION, A CALL TO GET ORGANIZED NOW FOR A REAL REVOLUTION. [back]

 

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Together, WE passed $40,000 in revcom's Winter fundraising campaign to “Transform Revcom.us’ Web Technology and Presence”!

Reaching this goal is a real achievement and a victory for the people of the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated efforts of many people working creatively and collectively to meet this pressing need: those who donated whether large or small contributions, who fundraised, who spread the campaign, who sent statements, who raised comments, questions, criticisms or suggestions – and of course those who worked so hard on modernizing and upgrading our web technology and presence. It all made a difference!

The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/696/rnl-show-episode-49-en.html

| revcom.us

 

Episode 49 of The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show!

Chauvin Verdict, Earth Day,
Revolutionary May 1st – Seize the Time!

 

A real victory has been won, Derek Chauvin found GUILTY for killing George Floyd. Yet, as Bob Avakian (BA) makes vividly clear in this episode: the police will continue to kill Black, Brown, and Native people until this system of capitalism-imperialism is overthrown. We must transform the potential we have seen in the streets into a powerful movement and organized force for an ACTUAL REVOLUTION.

On Revolutionary May 1st across the country, come meet the Revcoms, learn more about Bob Avakian, and get involved with the revolution. In this episode, you’ll see how the Revcoms have been hitting the streets getting ready for May 1st and some of the people you’ll meet when you come out that day.

Today is EARTH DAY. In a powerful illustrated segment, you’ll learn why the environmental crisis cannot be solved, but only made worse, under this system. In an interview with Raymond Lotta, you’ll learn how an actual revolution rooted in the new communism forged by Bob Avakian will give us a real chance to solve this while bringing about a society and world you’d actually want to live in.

Plus, a contribution from the Chicago Revolution Club and a special commemoration of Damián García.

***

INVITATION! SATURDAY, APRIL 24:

If you are just learning about and trying to figure how to get involved in this revolution, including in revolutionary May 1st or forming a Revolution Club where you are, email us at: GetOrganizedForRevolutionTour@gmail.com

Tell us where you are from, how you learned about the revolution, what is drawing you towards it, and what questions you have. We’ll send you back a link to log into a national Zoom meeting this Saturday, April 24 at 10 am Pacific, noon Central, 1 pm Eastern.

 

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Permalink: https://revcom.us/a/696/earth-day-2021-en.html

Earth Day 2021

| revcom.us

 

In his New Year's Statement, Bob Avakian has called on people to "confront the fundamental reality that there is no future worth living for the masses of people and ultimately for humanity as a whole under this system..." The environmental crisis is a concentrated expression of this. There is a REAL road out, in the work of Bob Avakian, including in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. This needs to be grappled with, taken up and applied.

Watch Raymond Lotta on The Revolution—Nothing Less! Show talk about how a socialist republic in what is now the USA can and would immediately set to work on this environmental catastrophe.

The Biden climate summit is a cruel imperialist deception, a slap in the face for anyone who cares about the fate of the planet. It ignores what science is telling us about the urgency of the environmental crisis and the scale of action needed. The emission cuts proposed amount to a measly drop in the carbon bucket. And like all that came before, it’s based on vague pledges and promises. Meanwhile the planet gets hotter and the people of the global South bear the greatest suffering of this crisis. More analysis coming soon on revcom.us.

****

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg's short Earth Day video calls this summit for what it is...”bullshit.”

 

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The Ongoing Need for Sustainers

During this four month fund drive, Revcom.us continued to incur thousands of dollars of costs each month for our office, maintaining our existing site and other expenses. But thanks to our existing monthly sustainers we were able to meet these expenses and use all the funds raised in the drive to transform the website.

So we encourage all our donors and those who’ve not yet donated to become monthly sustainers at whatever level you can afford.

Remember, humanity’s fate truly hinges on millions taking up the revolutionary science, strategy, and new communism brought forward by Bob Avakian which they can find at revcom.us.

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