A World to Win News Service for 16 August 2017 contains three articles. They may be reproduced or used in any way, in whole or in part, as long as they are credited.
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Charlottesville, US: White supremacist offensive meets furious opposition
16 August, 2017. A World to Win News Service. The following edited material is from the 14 August 2017 issue of Revolution, voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (revcom.us)
Hundreds of white supremacist, Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi fascist scum descended on Charlottesville, Virginia on 11-12 August, to hold a “Unite the Right” rally. They came to defend the statue of Robert E. Lee, who commanded the Confederate army that fought to keep slavery alive during the US Civil War, from being removed from a public park. They came to glorify the decades of open subjugation of Black people in this country under slavery and then vicious “Jim Crow” segregation – and to promote the continuation and intensification of this oppression today. And they came to brazenly celebrate the history of Hitler-ite fascism – and step up their fight to help consolidate the American fascist regime in the White House today.
These extreme reactionary forces have been encouraged and emboldened by the Trump/Pence regime, and they’ve been increasingly active across the country. What we saw in Charlottesville was a major leap in this – some media commentators compared it to Kristallnacht, the night of violence and terror aimed at Jews by Hitler’s Stormtroopers in the 1930s. The hundreds of white supremacists came heavily armed. They did a KKK-style torch march through the University of Virginia campus the night before, chanting things like “blood and soil,” a Nazi slogan.
David Duke, a former imperial wizard of the KKK, was at the fascist torchlight march through the University of Virginia (UV) campus on Friday night and was quoted as saying, “We’re going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump” to “take our country back.” Many of the white supremacists carried Trump campaign signs along with their Nazi signs. There was a real feeling among counter-protesters that white supremacists are being emboldened by Trump and that they cannot go unopposed, that they cannot be allowed to threaten people and spew their poison.
The white supremacist mob did not go unchallenged. They were confronted by hundreds of counter-protesters from Charlottesville and from nearby and from other areas of the country. There were white middle class people disgusted by the racist fascists. There were Black Lives Matter activists. There were clergy and faith leaders, from near and far, including national leaders Dr Cornel West and Dr Traci Blackmon, and hundreds of church people. At the KKK-style march the night before the main event at the UV campus, a group of students courageously held up a banner saying “VA Students Act Against White Supremacy” in the face of threats and violence by the fascists.
People from Refuse Fascism were in the thick of things, calling on people to carry on the fight against the white supremacists as part of the fight to drive out the whole Trump/Pence fascist regime. Revolution Club members were there, and they brought a banner with a statement of solidarity signed by people from the South Side of Chicago. Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party issued a statement right from the scene in Charlottesville.
One man who had gone to graduate school at UV said, “The statue that people are rallying around needs to come down – it’s a sign of ongoing structural white supremacy. It’s clear there is a huge mobilization of fascists in this country who are organizing around that statue and what it represents as a central structural principle and it needs to be opposed in every way possible…. That statue was put there as a monument to domination and violence and that’s the function it’s always served, that’s the function it’s still serving. Anybody who says it’s about heritage is fundamentally lying about that basic truth of why it’s there. Because that heritage is white supremacy, that heritage is evil and it needs to be fought.”
The protesters were determined to send a message to the world, in word and deed, that people will not tolerate for one second this white supremacist poison. Throughout the day, wherever the white supremacists went in Charlottesville, they were fiercely opposed by different groups of protesters. These protesters on the frontlines represented the sentiments of millions across the country. And many, many more have to actually follow the example of the protesters in Charlottesville and step up and step out in the fight against fascism.
As Carl Dix said in his statement, “What is going on in Charlottesville is a direct outgrowth of the Trump/Pence fascist regime. And it is the outlines of a new civil war in this country. These fascists are serious. And we must wake up and confront them with resistance that is just as serious.”
The “Unite the Right” rally was scheduled to begin at noon in the park with the Confederate statue. Hours before the rally, hundreds of fascists marched through the streets dressed in military gear, carrying all kinds of semi-automatic weapons and signs upholding white supremacy, Hitler and the KKK. Counter-protesters on the scene near the park confronted the white supremacists and defended themselves against the violence of the fascists. There were clashes for at least an hour near the park, and there were other confrontations elsewhere. Hundreds of police, including Virginia state troopers in riot gear, and the state National Guard had been mobilized and were in the area, some close enough to clearly see the clashes. They watched as the fascists who were already in the park rushed out to join in the attacks on the counter-protesters. One of these fascists then drove his car at speed right into a crowd of protesters, killing one woman, Heather Heyer, and injuring 19 others, with five people still in critical condition.
By noon, the city declared the white supremacist rally an unlawful assembly and the police then cleared the park. Soon after this the governor of Virginia declared a state of emergency. As the fascists left the park and marched down the street, clashes continued. People chanted: “Nazi Scum Off Our Streets,””No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA,” and “Black Lives Matter.”
After all this, the fascist-in-chief, Trump, refused to condemn the white supremacists and instead talked of violence “on many sides” – an all-but-open endorsement of the racist neo-Nazis.
This, coupled with the nuclear roulette now being played by Trump with his threats against North Korea, makes it even more starkly clear where things are headed. This IS a nightmare. What must happen now is that many, many more people need to face the depth of the situation and respond immediately by marching in the streets across the country.
Immediately after news emerged that Heather Heyer had been murdered by a white supremacist, thousands of outraged people in many cities poured into the streets.
That night, about 800 people joined a demonstration in Oakland, under slogans including “Charlottesville We Got Your Back, Bay Area United Against White Supremacy.” Marchers carried signs that read “White Silence Equals Violence” and “This Shit Is Not Okay.” Protesters climbed up onto the freeway and shut it down for 15 minutes. One woman told the news, “We have to bring attention to what’s happening in Charlottesville and to show that we will resist Trump and this fascist regime… We will not tolerate white supremacy. So we have to get in the way of people’s normal days, we have to cause a little bit of disruption … peaceful disruption.” Another protester held a sign, “America First = Fascism.” Earlier, hundreds attended a silent vigil called by Indivisible in downtown San Francisco.
The next day, 300 people joined in a march called by Refuse Fascism in San Francisco, going from the Mission District, down Market Street to the Civic Center, with die-ins blocking intersections along the way. There were two other protests in the East Bay, an action against police terror and a demo by Hip Hop for Change. Vigils for Heather Heyer were called for the San Francisco Civic Center and downtown Oakland.
In Seattle, over 1,000 people took to the streets responding to Charlottesville and tried to shut down a white supremacist rally that was being protected by militarized police. The impromptu event was called by RefuseFascism.org. The crowd was very diverse – Black people, white people, Latinos, Asians, LGBTQ people and others. There were young people, old people, families with children, people pushing baby carriages. Many people brought homemade signs. The march went to La Plaza at Olivera Street; then to the ICE Detention Center, where people shouted to those being held inside, “We hear you.” It continued to the Japanese-American Museum where people spoke about the threat of nuclear war from the Trump/Pence regime and the anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Nagasaki.
In Chicago, Refuse Fascism put out a call for people to take to the streets. The march swelled to around 1,000 people as it wove through the heart of the tourist area downtown. As it neared the Trump Tower they took the street for several blocks. They came from Indivisible, the Women’s March, the LGBTQ community, in Black Lives Matter t-shirts, children in strollers with anti-racist t-shirts and children with their homemade signs against hate. Car horns blared in support. Anti-war armed forces veterans from around the country came to Trump Tower after their own march. Huge pictures of Heather Heyer with the word “HEROINE” were brought to the rally.
In New York, chants of “No Trump, No KKK, No fascist USA” rang out as hundreds of marchers marched through Manhattan toward Trump Tower, the president’s private residence, picking up people and shutting down the avenue before police blocked their path.
Other actions took place in Houston, Philadelphia, Plymouth (Massachusetts) About a thousand people came out in Syracuse (New York).
Humanity needs heroes
“I want her death to be a rallying cry for justice.” —Susan Bro (mother of Heather Heyer)
Heather Heyer was a 32-year-old paralegal in Charlottesville, Virginia. When armed, violent Nazis, KKKers and other white supremacists mobilized in Charlottesville Saturday to protest the planned removal of a statue commemorating Robert E. Lee, she took to the streets with hundreds of other counter-protesters to confront and oppose them. A cowardly white supremacist drove his car into an intersection full of counter-protesters, killing Heather and injuring 19 people.
Heather’s mother told the Huffington Post there was no question but that Heather would protest the neo-Nazis and others: “She always had a very strong sense of right and wrong, she always, even as a child, was very caught up in what she believed to be fair. Somehow I almost feel that this is what she was born to be, a focal point for change. I’m proud that what she was doing was peaceful, she wasn’t there fighting with people.”
A neighbour in Charlottesville told HuffPost, “She lived her life like her path – and it was for justice.”
Heather’s last Facebook post before joining the counter-protests was, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” The white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville declared, like the lynch mobs of not so long ago, that they were bringing weapons, and they threatened to use them. Heather Heyer, and hundreds of others, defied the threats and dangers, and she heroically gave her life doing that.
Bob Avakian has written:
There is a place where epistemology and morality meet. There is a place where you have to stand and say: It is not acceptable to refuse to look at something – or to refuse to believe something – because it makes you uncomfortable. And: It is not acceptable to believe something just because it makes you feel comfortable. (BAsics 5:11)
That is a critical principle under any circumstances, but it takes on extreme urgency at this moment. Fascism has direction and momentum. The time to stop it is now. And that will take physical, and intellectual, courage.
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Colombia: Pence out! The Trump/Pence regime must be stopped!
16 August 2017. A World to Win News Service. US President Donald Trump has threatened to unleash a “military option” against Venezuela, because “the people are suffering, they’re dying.” Seeking to round up support for imposing regime change out of what he called his concern for “democracy”, he sent his vice president Mike Pence on a week-long tour to talk to the heads of some of Latin America’s leading US-dependent regimes, starting in Colombia and then going on to Argentina (where the US provided large-scale financial support and arms for a 1976 military coup that “disappeared” about 30,000 people), Chile (where the CIA helped organize a 1973 coup against the elected government of Salvador Allende, killing thousands and driving a whole generation into exile) and Panama (whose president was directly overthrown by invading US troops in 1989).
The following was put out before Pence’s visit by the Revolutionary Communist Group of Colombia (Alborda Comunista, acgcr.org.)
Officially, Pence will hold meetings with government leaders and businessmen to “deepen bilateral ties of trade and investment in the region” and to “continue support … for cooperation in security, business involvement, agriculture, and infrastructure development.”
What Pence really comes to do is to get his lackeyslined up in what the U.S. has contemptuously considered its “backyard”, in the service of their imperialist interests (what they call “ties” and “support”), but especially around U.S. plans for “regime change” in Venezuela.
In advance, a few weeks ago CIA director Mike Pompeo visited the presidents of Mexico and Colombia “to help them to understand” the “transition” in Venezuela, as he put it at a recent forum in Aspen, Colorado.
This is no minor matter. The Christian fundamentalist Mike Pence and the rabid fascist Donald Trump, together with a whole team of white supremacists, xenophobes, fundamentalists and women-haters, command the most powerful machinery of domination in the world.
The Trump/Pence regime, in addition to being a grave danger to immigrants, Latinos and Muslims, Black people and women in the United States and beyond, also represents a grave danger to the entire planet and a grave danger to the truth and critical and scientific thinking everywhere.
While Trump functions as the leader and frontman of a whole regime, Pence has been the mainstay and main agent behind the scenes. A Catholic converted to evangelism, he is “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order”, in his own words. He makes no effort to hide his adherence to what he considers traditional family values nor his hostility toward abortion and same-sex marriage. He believes that homosexuality is a disease that can be “cured”.
A total reactionary in everything. To put it bluntly, Pence is the Christian version of the Taliban in Afghanistan, imposing a fundamentalist religious order.
Pence was picked to get the Republican Party’s elite, the evangelicals and the ultraconservatives to swallow the bitter pill Trump represents. They distrusted Trump because in the past he supported Democrats and was open on issues like abortion, and is weighed down with too many scandals. Pence brings to Trump his conservative credentials and key political experience to rely on in Congress.
But what do the Yankee imperialists want to shore up in Colombia?
In a large swath of the world, Yankee imperialism is tied down in wars for empire and locked in clashes with the historically outmoded forces of Islamist jihadism, even as the two mutually reinforce each other in a deadly and oppressive dynamic for hundreds of millions of people.
The United States also confronts challenges from China as a rising economic and military power, and inter-imperialist rivalry with Russia and Europe.
Although in Latin America the “pink tide” of so-called “twenty-first century socialism” has been receding with the return of the old patriarchs in Brazil and Argentina and the “course correction”in Ecuador, it is crucial for the Yankees to have their so-called “backyard” completely under their thumb.
Consequently, the United States and the traditional ruling classes of the region are keen to finish off the Chavista regime in Venezuela.
Today Venezuela is in a deep economic crisis. And the government is carrying out harsh repression. Among progressive people there is a lot of confusion about how to evaluate these events. Some are inclined to support the Venezuelan government.
But the “Bolivarian revolution” was NOT a real revolution. Despite improvements in the situation of sections of the people for some time, this current regime is not socialist nor does it represent a model for liberation. It represents bourgeois nationalist forces.
Despite this, neither the United States nor Colombia has any right to interfere in the affairs of Venezuela.
The Yankee imperialists must be stopped from getting their way in Venezuela as well as in the rest of the world, including in the United States.
The future of the world is at stake. We must support the forces in the United States who are organizing to stop the Trump/Pence fascist regime, especially the revolutionary communists there.
It is true that the possibility of driving Trump/Pence out of power is very difficult, but there also exists a real material basis for stopping this fascist regime. There is no guarantee that this will happen, but there is a guarantee that without struggle this will not be achieved.
This is not something that matters only to the people in the United States. There needs to be global resistance to a global threat.
We are faced with a vital question: Which side do we take? Let’s take sides for humanity and act accordingly!
The Trump/Pence FASCIST regime is a grave danger to humanity and must be stopped! YANKEES OUT! YANKEE GO HOME!
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Behind the madness of Trump’s threats of “fire and fury”against North Korea
16 August 2017. A World to Win News Service. The following article, dated 10 August 2017, is from Revolution, voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (revcom.us).
Donald Trump’s threat to attack North Korea with “fire and fury and… power the likes of which this world has never seen before” put the world in the cross-hairs of nuclear war. As we wrote immediately after these threats, “This is another level of brutality, bellicosity and insanity even for Trump. The danger we face cannot be overstated: this fascist president has now potentially put the very future of humanity in question.”
Trump’s threat poured gasoline on a conflict that has already brought almost unimaginable suffering and death to the Korean Peninsula. In the Korean War (1950-52), the US carpet-bombed North Korea, destroying every building over two stories high, and massacred three to five million people, some 30 percent of the people in that country. After the war was fought to a stalemate, the US-installed puppet regime in South Korea imposed brutal fascist repression for decades. And the US has never recognized the North Korean regime as legitimate, and has armed the South Korean regime with cutting-edge missiles and a huge army geared to invade the North. The US has over 20,000 US troops stationed on the border of North and South Korea.
Trump’s incendiary threat came on top of vicious UN sanctions aimed at imposing widespread hardship and crippling the regime. And it came after threats by US National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster on 5 August that the US might launch a “preventative war” against North Korea. By “preventative” McMaster literally means that the US would strike first – launching an unprovoked war, which would be a violation of every basic tenet of international law. Plus, the US and South Korea are conducting extremely provocative “war games” simulating a war with North Korea.
Who is threatening whom? and why
The North Korean regime is not socialist or revolutionary, it is exploitative and repressive. But it is a problem for the rulers of the US empire, who face a world of crises and challenges from many quarters. North Korea’s rulers have defied US threats, and 15 years after George Bush put that regime on the “Axis of Evil” list (with Iraq and Iran), the North Korean regime is still intact. The US ruling class sees this as unacceptable, especially as the position of US imperialism as the world’s sole superpower is being challenged by forces ranging from fundamentalist Islamic Jihad, to regional powers flexing their muscles as they perceive weakness in the US empire, to rising rivals like Russia and China (with whom North Korea is aligned).
All this is unacceptable to the US ruling class as a whole, and every administration has tried to weaken, isolate, and oust the North Korean regime. But Trump, as a fascist, cannot accept any other power that directly challenges US power. A Trump surrogate told Fox News, “He’s saying don’t test America and don’t test Donald J. Trump… We are not just the superpower. We were a superpower, we are now a hyperpower. Nobody in the world, especially not North Korea, comes close to challenging our military capabilities.”
North Korea has repeatedly made clear, and even US ruling class experts generally acknowledge, that its nuclear programme is not aimed at a first strike (which wouldn’t make sense, given its very limited capacity compared to the thousands of nukes the US has). As we wrote recently, “If North Korea is not going to launch a ‘first strike’, then why does it pose such a ‘threat’ and why are its actions ‘dangerous’ or ‘provocative’? The only logical answer is that the development of nuclear weapons and missiles could serve precisely as a deterrent, and render North Korea less vulnerable to bullying, and possible aggressive military actions, by the US and its allies. So, in reality, the Trump/Pence regime, now at the helm of US imperialism, is threatening and taking actions that could lead to a major – possibly nuclear – war, because an adversary is doing things that might make it less vulnerable to bullying and aggression by these imperialists!”
Nuclear weapons are inherently weapons of mass destruction, which no one should have. The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, a blueprint for a society aimed at ending all exploitation and oppression, insists that the new revolutionary society will not possess and will not use the nuclear weapons, and will lead a struggle around the world to bar them completely. But the completely outrageous position of the US imperialists is that they should have enough nukes to destroy the world ten times over, but if any country they don’t like tries to even acquire them, then the US is permitted to threaten and perhaps carry out a nuclear attack on them.
The madness behind the madness
An outright US military attack on North Korea would kill many people in that country and almost certainly result in a counter-attack by the regime that would kill tens of thousands of people in South Korea right away (and very possibly thousands of US troops stationed there as well). Further, the possibility of a nuclear response from North Korea would be horrific in its own right, but it might also set in motion a dynamic that could draw in China or Russia and spiral to the point of a larger nuclear war that puts the very future of humanity in question. For that reason, mainstream US ruling class military doctrine has been to attempt to use crippling sanctions, economic and diplomatic isolation, sabotage, and constant military threats to pressure North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme – going to the brink of, but not crossing the line of all-out war. The concern of the US rulers has not been the fate of humanity, but the danger that an attack on North Korea could trigger extreme and unpredictable consequences for their system.
With his bellicose threat, Trump tossed a grenade into that. However conscious or unconscious Trump himself is of what his threat represents, there is a logic to the madness. This is the monster who repeatedly asked a foreign affairs expert: If we have nuclear weapons, why can’t we use them? In the eyes of the Trumpite fascists, making America “great again” means – as Trump declared repeatedly during the campaign – having “our” enemies fear us.
The logic of that logic leads to the madness of pushing humanity to the brink of a horrific war that could spiral into unimaginable death and destruction, either through conscious decision, accident, or unexpected chains of events.
This nightmare must be stopped – by the people
The tremendous uncertainties involved in a US attack on or war with North Korea, with the possibility things could spiral way out of control of the US, has provoked debate and conflict within the ruling class, and even among Trump’s inner circle. The New York Times reported that Steve Bannon – Trump’s chief strategist and a hardcore fascist – is arguing the real challenge to the US is China, and that too much focus is being put on the clash with North Korea. But for all the criticisms and demurrals from the Democrats, and reservations on the part of some of the key players in the regime, there is right now no force within the ruling class that is going to stop Trump. Democrats, and possibly some Republicans who have serious reservations about the risks Trump is taking, have more fear of where the upheaval involved in stopping Trump might lead than they do of the path he’s headed down. And, absent a major upsurge of protest and resistance from the people, the US ruling class as a whole will almost certainly put aside any differences to close ranks and rally around Trump in any conflict with Korea.
On the other hand, should there be a powerful upsurge from below, demanding that in the interests of humanity this nuclear roulette STOP and the WHOLE REGIME BE DRIVEN OUT, then that upsurge could interact with contradictions and conflicts in the ruling class in ways that create opportunities to actually drive out the regime.
People must act to stop this regime now! By exposing and protesting moves to war. And most importantly, coming together around the call from Refuse Fascism, starting 4BNovember: In the name of humanity, we refuse to accept a fascist America! This nightmare must end: the Trump/Pence regime must go.
Beyond that, the whole system that spawned this fascist regime needs to be overthrown at the soonest possible time. And from many perspectives, there is a need to break out of starting from the interests of the “USA” in any shape or form.
As Bob Avakian puts it in BAsics:
The interests, objectives, and grand designs of the imperialists are not our interests – they are not the interests of the great majority of people in the US nor of the overwhelming majority of people in the world as a whole. And the difficulties the imperialists have gotten themselves into in pursuit of these interests must be seen, and responded to, not from the point of view of the imperialists and their interests, but from the point of view of the great majority of humanity and the basic and urgent need of humanity for a different and better world, for another way.
– BAsics 3:8
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