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San Francisco | Immigrant Rights

Red Flags at May First Immigration Protest
by Felix ( Felix60 [at] hotmail.com )
Wednesday May 3rd, 2006 5:55 PM
One hundred thousand people demonstrated in San Francisco on May 1. Throughout the Bay Area and Northern California hundreds of thousand more took to the streets. A great, unprecedented upsurge of protest for immigrant rights is shaking the U.S. The red flag of the international proletariat was boldly present at the May First demonstrations. Two large yellow and red banners declared in English and Spanish: “We Are Human Beings. We Demand a Better World. We Will Not Accept Slavery in Any Form.” Approximately 2,000 people took up red flags during the demonstration in SF. And works by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party were distributed.
sfmay1-06-060501-0050.jpg
sfmay1-06-060501-0050.jpg

One hundred thousand people demonstrated in San Francisco on May 1. Whole schools were nearly empty as students of all nationalities joined the protest. Throughout the Bay Area and Northern California hundreds of thousand more took to the streets. Millions more marched across the country. The stores in the Mission district were almost all closed. (Even the McDonalds on 24th and Mission was cerrado). A great, unprecedented upsurge of protest for immigrant rights is shaking the U.S.

May First is the revolutionary holiday of the international proletariat--the worldwide class with nothing to lose but its chains, and the class that can lead all humanity to a world without slavery in any form. On May First, the proletariat affirms its internationalist outlook: The proletarians have no country, and a mission to bring about a world where no more borders define relations of exploitation and oppression.

The red flag of the international proletariat was boldly present at the May First demonstrations. Two large yellow and red banners declared in English and Spanish: “We Are Human Beings. We Demand a Better World. We Will Not Accept Slavery in Any Form.” Approximately 2,000 people took up red flags during the demonstration in SF. And works by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party were distributed.

In its special May 1, 2006 issue Revolution Newspaper spoke of the significance of this: “As people engage in the sharp struggles of today it must be understood that there is a flag that represents the fundamental interests of the people, but it is not the flag of one nation. It is the red flag of communism and proletarian revolution. It is the flag that links the exploited and oppressed the world over as opposed to dividing them. It is the flag that represents the historic mission of the proletarian class to liberate itself and all of humanity. It represents lifting our heads up beyond the interests of any one nation, to a world without nations or borders. It represents casting our vision to the furthest horizon of a whole new world that is possible and necessary. The red flag is the flag of nothing to lose and a world to win—and it’s got to be more the case that when people rise up in struggle and rebellion they raise up the red flag!”

I hope that these pictures capture some of this revolutionary internationalist spirit at the San Francisco action as well as the powerful sprit of the entire action.
§My Parents Are Not Criminals
by Felix ( Felix60 [at] hotmail.com ) Wednesday May 3rd, 2006 5:55 PM
myparentsarenotcriminals.jpg
myparentsarenotcriminals....

§Somos Seres Humanos
by Felix ( Felix60 [at] hotmail.com ) Wednesday May 3rd, 2006 5:55 PM
somossereshumanos.jpg
somossereshumanos.jpg

§Youth With Red Flag and Bandana
by Felix ( Felix60 [at] hotmail.com ) Wednesday May 3rd, 2006 5:55 PM
redflagandbandana.jpg
redflagandbandana.jpg

§Wanted
by Felix ( Felix60 [at] hotmail.com ) Wednesday May 3rd, 2006 5:55 PM
wanted.jpgd7qg33.jpg
wanted.jpgd7qg33.jpg

This was a heavy T-Shirt (with a picture of Bush and Cheney saying "Wanted for Illegally Crossing Borders" was being sold by Revolution Books with a graphic from Revolution Newspaper
§Alto Al HR 4437
by Felix ( Felix60 [at] hotmail.com ) Wednesday May 3rd, 2006 5:55 PM
altoalhr4437.jpg
altoalhr4437.jpg

§Group with Red Flags
by Felix ( Felix60 [at] hotmail.com ) Wednesday May 3rd, 2006 5:55 PM
redflags.jpg
redflags.jpg

§Raising a Red Flag
by Felix ( Felix60 [at] hotmail.com ) Wednesday May 3rd, 2006 5:55 PM
raisingaredflag.jpg
raisingaredflag.jpg

§Sorry Closed
by Felix ( Felix60 [at] hotmail.com ) Wednesday May 3rd, 2006 5:55 PM
sorryclosed.jpg
sorryclosed.jpg

§Red Flags Throughout the March
by Felix ( Felix60 [at] hotmail.com ) Wednesday May 3rd, 2006 5:55 PM
sfmay1-06-060501-0026.jpg
sfmay1-06-060501-0026.jpg

§Crossing the Fence
by Felix ( Felix60 [at] hotmail.com ) Wednesday May 3rd, 2006 5:55 PM
crossing_the_fence.jpg
crossing_the_fence.jpg

Some people created this really powerful guerilla theatre with a steel fence with a whole in it they yelled at people to come through today, that you don't need any papers.
§Even McDonalds Was Closed
by Felix ( Felix60 [at] hotmail.com ) Wednesday May 3rd, 2006 5:55 PM
mcdonaldssign.jpg
mcdonaldssign.jpg


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by rez
Wednesday May 3rd, 2006 8:02 PM
Bob Avakian and all y'all vanguard dictatorship of the proletariat people can suck our collective ass. You are one more reason for people to prefer George Bush in power.
by Felix
Wednesday May 3rd, 2006 8:57 PM
Rez:

I don't really know how to "suck your collective ass" I guess I'll just say no thanks. But I do really wish that people who are serious about changing society and creating a better world (not sure about you but that's what I want) could engage in discussion on a higher level.

As for the promotion of vangard parties and leadership being a reason that people support Bush, do you really think that it is going to be possible to bring down a force as powerful as U.S. imperialism without leadership and organization. Maybe an unpermitted march can be organized like that but not a social revolution. Do you think people who are thinking seriously about what we are up against will want to struggle and fight in a disorganized way that is sure to lose.

The need for vangard parties does pose some profound challenges to revolutionaries. Actually Bob Avakian has written extensively in recent years on this point and developed a “new synthesis”--that is, a new comprehensive and systematic understanding--of the experience of the whole first wave of proletarian revolutions and of Marxism itself. He’s developed a model of socialism in which the proletariat both holds firmly onto power but also fosters and promotes dissent and critical thought and “struggle from below” as essential elements in the struggle to reach a communist society.

If you (or anyone who is seriously grappling with how to bring a better world into being wants to read something by Avakian this is a great article that was just published on revcom.us:
THE BASIS, THE GOALS, AND THE METHODS OF THE COMMUNIST REVOLUTION by Bob Avakian
http://rwor.org/avakian/basis-goals-methods/index.html

Felix
by Brendan Collins
Thursday May 4th, 2006 9:20 AM
Probably not the only but certainly the largest east bay Cinco De Mayo event will be this sunday 5-7 in the Fruitvale district of Oakland . Festivities start at 10 am with the parade . In view of recent events this will probably be the biggest and most political one ever . International Workers day and a Celebration of a Anti-imperialist victory . A natural alliance .
P.s. I give credit to the R.C.P. for their mass distribution of Red Flags . A small but important counter to the sea of U.S. flags promoted by Liberal Democrats .
But as re Bob Avakian . It's about time he comes ''above ground ''. He's not a fugitive (the charges against him were dropped years ago ) , so his remaining clandestine smacks of cult building not any sort of necessity.If he is half the brillant leader you'll say he is then he can handle being exposed to skeptical questioning from less than adoring activists from outside the RCP during a national speaking tour .If he is such a talented organizer he can be a valuable part of the attempt to unify the antiwar movement . So bring your leader 'out of the closet '' and into the streets !
by Humph
Thursday May 4th, 2006 9:41 AM
I wonder how many of the people carrying those red flags knew what it ment. Or if they were just handed a flag to carry. I was handed a pot and spoon to carry and bang on and didn't know I was a part of some organized thing untill someone asked me if I was a part of the Cacerolazo.
by Felix
Thursday May 4th, 2006 10:31 AM
I interviewed and talked to many people who were carrying red flags at the demonstration. I saw some organizers/monitors with the demonstration trying to get people to give back their red flags and saw many people refuse. I talked to a man from El Salvador, an artist in the Mission District, who identified the red flag with the armed resistance movements in Central America in the 1980s. He said the flag stood for Revolution and against capitalism. Another young Latino woman said that she wanted to carry the red flag because it stood for the struggle being international and that's what she wanted to identify with and carry, instead of the flag of the country she was from or the American flag. Also, when people were giving out the flags they were telling people what it stood for. In general in Mexico and Central America I think there is a greater political awareness of what the red flag stands for than in the U.S.
by Sunni Ruiz
Thursday May 4th, 2006 1:31 PM
I agree with Brendan Collins . I'm not a anarchist . I think we do need real leaders. But democractic, accountable, recallable leaders . We don't need mainstream liberal misleaders like Fabian Nunez . Nor sadly, Dolores, who urged people to stay at work and to go to school. But we don't need invisable ''leaders;; like Bob Avakian either . No Lider Maximo need apply . Leaders who arise the hard way from working and proving themselves in the movement are the only ones i will listen to ,
by Felix
Thursday May 4th, 2006 2:30 PM
Sunni:

I think you are raising an important question: what is real revolutionary leadership and how do you tell.

In my opinion the most important thing is line -- does the person or organization have a correct outlook and methodology for understanding the world and do you correctly apply it to come up with an actual analysis and programme that can lead to the solution to all this and can actually lead people in making revolution?

Real revolutionary leaders struggle to to unleash the conscious initiative of the people in a revolutionary direction. Where leadership is genuinely revolutionary leadership, the more it plays its leadership role correctly, the greater will be the conscious initiative of the masses.

I think these criteria, are what people need to use to assess leadership. Whether they "arise the hard way from working and proving themselves in the movement" can be part of the picture, but isdn't the decisive thing. Someone like Delores as you point out is only leading people back into the system, despite her many long years in the struggle. Bob Avakian has a history of many years in the struggle too (you can get a sense of this by checking out his recently published memoir) but this isn't the main reason that I consider him a revolutionary leader.

The reality is that revolutionary leaders like Avakian don't come along all that often and if you are serious about revolution you want to do all you can to protect revolutionary leaders. The RCP has done a lot in recent years to make Avakian more accessable to the people here including publishing some recent talks (see http://www.babavakian.net ) and also putting out a dvd of a recent speech he made.

Felix
by red 'n black
Thursday May 4th, 2006 4:44 PM
In two months the leaderless Immigrants Rights Movement has organized the largest marches in US history, in the context of a May Day general strike. In 30 years the Revolutionary Communist Party has achieved jack shit. This movement would be wise to steer clear of the "correct" leadership of Chairman Bob, the laughable name by which he refers to himself. A comparison of the anti-war movement which has been dominated and suffocated by the "leadership" of UFPJ, and to a lesser extent ANSWER, and the explosive growth of this movement which has openly defied the orders of would be leaders, and the choice of which is the superior organizing model is obvious.
by no fan of dear leader
Thursday May 4th, 2006 5:03 PM
while no fan of the dear leader myself, your criticism is unfair

you could say the same for anarchism, or any other political doctrine for that matter, that they didn't inspire millions of people to march in unison all at once

besides the faulty logic of claiming the success of one group justifies the criticizing of another, there are some stark differences here between the nascent immigrants rights movement and the RCP (or whomever)

1) the immigrants rights movement has a natural single-issue constituency -- millions of undocumented immigrants and their relatives/friends/supporters were threatened with becoming felons overnight. the RCP (or whomever) tries to work with groups that do not fear being overnight felons, those much more comfortable in their status as Americans and therefore more resistent to calls for dramatic change. once these immigrants are safer from criminalization and deportation, perhaps even becoming citizens, I would suspect political complacency would settle in at some point not too long after that. it is only when a group feels fear that you see truely mass actions like those witnessed this past monday.

2) these marches were largely the result of promotion on commercial spanish radio across the nation. the RCP (or whomever) has never had this sort of mass media soapbox to promote nationwide events.

so you have a large, very specific group of people directly targeted with potential criminalization and mass media facilitating a reaction to that targeting


that's enough for now. sure I could list more if I thought about it just a few more minutes.
by mudpie1598
Wednesday May 10th, 2006 7:09 AM
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