Report From the DNC in Charlotte
September 15, 2012
A contingent of revolutionaries went to the DNC in Charlotte, North Carolina to put revolution and Bob Avakian on the map in the midst of a very politicized atmosphere. March on Wall Street South, a coalition of activist groups, organized a rally and march through downtown Charlotte on Sunday, September 2nd, a few days before the official start of the convention. Charlotte is the finance capital of the south with the international headquarters of Bank of America and the East Coast headquarters of Wells Fargo, two of the four largest banks in the country. According to march organizers, these banks have some of the highest foreclosure rates as well. Duke Energy, also headquartered in Charlotte, was another focus of the protest. Duke Energy is the largest utility company in the country, and one of the most damaging to the environment, with dozens of coal-fired power plants, most of which burn coal from the devastating method called mountaintop removal mining. Duke also has many nuclear power plants.
BA EVERYWHERE… IMAGINE THE DIFFERENCE IT COULD MAKE!
Reposting from Revolution #249, November 6, 2011
Reposting the editorial announcing this campaign. Check out this blog for the difference this campaign has made and going forward… IMAGINE THE DIFFERENCE IT COULD MAKE SOCIETY WIDE!
Announcing: A Mass Campaign to Raise Big Money to Get BA’s Vision and Works Into Every Corner of Society
“I hope he gets number one Amazon.com. We need to get this kind of word, this kind of conversation out—it needs to be disseminated, it needs to be in the mainstream more. We got to stop thinking that this kind of stuff just belongs at the very, very fringe of society…”—journalist and writer
“I wish I had a copy of BAsics in high school so that I could counter the bullshit being taught to me. I didn’t have that opportunity, but there are millions of students today who need to hear the voice of Bob Avakian so they can join the fight. BAsics presents an essential challenge to all that is oppressive and intolerant. It paints not only a picture of a new world, but it leaves room for innovation and growth, as a communist future will have, as Bob Avakian says, ‘a solid core with a lot of elasticity.’”—student from the Midwest
“I want to urge everybody out there to get their hands on this book and to help get it into the hands of others, not just prisoners, but into the hands of youth who are in danger of becoming prisoners themselves. … Help them unlock their potential and give them a sense of purpose that doesn’t involve killing each other. Give them an alternative to the criminal lifestyle that doesn’t involve conforming to this horrid system. That is what they need, that is what they ache for. They want to rebel, they just have to be introduced to the correct way to do so. Put them on the path to becoming communists…”—a prisoner from California
These are things people have written us after reading BAsics, a book of quotations and short essays from Bob Avakian. They feel the need for more people to know about Bob Avakian—his vision and works. And so do we.
To do just that, we are launching today a major, multi-faceted fundraising campaign to project BA, his voice and his work way out into society—far beyond what it is today. A fundraising campaign that will raise the necessary major money to make this possible. A fundraising campaign that unleashes and develops imagination, defiance, and community in everything it does.
Imagine what we could change… and imagine how we could change it.
Reposted from Revolution #281, September 23, 2012
Three Things You Need to Know About the Background for Events in the Middle East and North Africa
Mass protests and attacks on U.S. embassies took place in more than 20 countries across the Middle East and North Africa last week, including in Egypt, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, and Palestine. In Libya, the U.S. ambassador and three other State Department employees were killed. These outbreaks coincided with the distribution of a clip of a film that, as described in media reports, appeared designed to grotesquely and gratuitously offend Muslims.
The actual relationship between the distribution of this video and the range of protests and other incidents is not clear at this point, and circumstances surrounding who or what is behind this video and their motives are murky. But to analyze and understand these rapidly unfolding events, it’s crucial to start not with whatever specific incident triggered these events, but at the beginning of this story with some basic facts and history.
- “The essence of what exists in the U.S. is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism and political structures to enforce that capitalism-imperialism. What the U.S. spreads around the world is not democracy, but imperialism and political structures to enforce that imperialism.”
—BAsics 1:3 by Bob Avakian
This is as true in the Middle East as anywhere in the world. For thirty years, the U.S.-backed Hosni Mubarak regime oversaw the interests of U.S. imperialism in Egypt, with torture and “disappearance” directed at any form of protest. The religious fundamentalist, absolutist Saudi monarchy—a model of the vaunted “freedom and democracy” the U.S. brings to the world—prohibits women from public activity, including driving, and recently sent troops into neighboring Bahrain to shore up another torture-based, oppressive pro-U.S. regime. And the U.S. backs Israel, on the land of the dispossessed Palestinian people, as regional (and global) “enforcer.”
A Call To Stand Together To Oppose The Obama Administration’s Dangerous Assault On Fundamental Rights
The administration of Barack Obama, which had promised to put an end to torture and other outrages committed by the Bush Administration, is in fact putting into place a dangerous system of repression and control. This is a serious assault on fundamental rights, and it must be answered not with silence and complicity but with heightened awareness and more determined opposition.
The record of the Obama Administration is a chilling one. President Obama has preserved Bush’s rendition program, which relies upon torture, and has extended the Patriot Act. His Administration has adopted a quasi-official assassination policy, complete with secret “kill lists” reviewed by the President, which Attorney General Holder has brazenly asserted meets Constitutional standards of due process. In the 2010 case of Holder v HLP [Humanitarian Law Project], the Obama administration successfully argued before the courts that the “crime” of “material support” to “terrorists” be broadened to include merely speaking with and advising (even on some legal matters) any group designated by the government as terrorist. The ruling has already been applied to pro-Palestinian activists and endangers many others, including prominent public intellectuals, as well as groups upholding or advocating fundamental social change.
The most recent expansion of dangerous and illegitimate government authority is the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This law grants to any U.S. president the power to detain any person, including U.S. citizens, indefinitely and without charge or trial, for the alleged crime of associating with a broad and vague category of people, which could include people who have nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks or with terrorism in general.
The pattern is disturbingly clear: not just a continuation but a further leap in the draconian measures taken by the Bush administration—under the pretext of the open-ended, so-called War on Terror—to detain, torture, and assassinate… not just a continuation but a further leap in measures to restrict and criminalize dissent and opposition to the status quo.
This must not go unanswered—nor be allowed to continue to grow increasingly worse. In opposing these repressive moves, it is imperative that people not allow anyone, or any one group, to be singled out or targeted for repression. In this regard, the lawsuit Hedges et al. v Obama et al. that is challenging ominous provisions of the NDAA is quite salient. On May 16, a federal district court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and issued a temporary injunction blocking the government from implementing Section 1021 of this law. But insinuated into this mainly positive ruling is a reference to the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and its Chairman Bob Avakian which is an erroneous and potentially harmful characterization that could be used as a pretext to criminalize what is constitutionally protected freedom of speech and association and potentially sweep the RCP and its Chairman into a category of organizations identified by the government as terrorist.
Those of us signing this statement cannot speak for the RCP and indeed have various levels of familiarity with and a variety of views on its philosophical and political principles and objectives. But we do not countenance—and recognize as very dangerous—the designation by the powers-that-be of groups as politically “acceptable” and “unacceptable.” History teaches, by negative and positive example, that we must stand against attempts to divide progressive, radical, and revolutionary forces along any such lines.
In this there are very important lessons to be drawn from the self-critical summation by Pastor Martin Niemoeller of his experience when confronted with the heightening repression carried out by the Nazi regime in Germany during the 1930s:
"First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak out because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak out for me.”
The signatories of this statement call on people to step forward and stand together to oppose the assault on dissent and the moves to restrict and criminalize oppositional speech, association, and political activity, which are being carried out by the Obama Administration and which continue and expand dangerous precedents and mechanisms which can also be utilized by any future Administration.
Go to the statement’s web site to sign the call: http://opposerepressionndaa.net/OpposeRepressionNDAA/OpposeRepressionNDAA.html
A friend snapped this picture on a bus this morning, 9/17/12.
Newest in series of BA quotes in poster form.
Reposted from Revolution #280, September 16, 2012
Revolution: Why should people go all out on September 13 to Blow the Whistle on Stop-and-Frisk in New York City and answer the Call for Nationwide Resistance to Racial Profiling, Police Brutality and Murder and the Pipeline Leading to Mass Incarceration?
Carl Dix: Two very important reasons. One is the very intense way the criminal “injustice” system as a whole is being unleashed on people: racial profiling, the almost two-and-a-half million people being warehoused across the county, the five million plus people discriminated against even after they’ve served their sentences—denied employment, government loans, public housing, not even allowed to vote. This is a very intense situation for tens of millions of people; their lives are enmeshed in the justice, or the injustice system as I like to refer to it. But at the same time there is a mood of defiance and resistance that’s been building. We saw it in the response to the legal murder of Troy Davis, after the vigilante murder of Trayvon Martin, with the civil disobedience actions to protest stop-and-frisk, the hunger strikes in California prisons that then spread to other states. And there is a need for that resistance to be taken to a higher level. That’s the point of September 13.
And get out palm cards with BAsics 1:13. Write to us at BAEverywhere@gmail.com and let people know what people are saying, what their response was.