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Denounce the attack on the Revolution Books table at Oscar Grant Plaza
by Rafael and Opi
Wednesday May 2nd, 2012 10:47 AM
Denounce the attack on the Revolution Books table at Oscar Grant Plaza
Much love to the fighters and dreamers who came out into the streets of Oakland for May Day 2012. Overall, it was a beautiful day. But something needs to be said about the fucked up incident at our table at Oscar Grant Plaza.

The Revolution Books table -- with copies of Revolution Newspaper, BAsics by Bob Avakian the chairman of the RCP and other revolutionary literature -- was attacked by people, claiming to be radicals of some kind, who threw water all over it. When we blocked them from attacking our table, we were physically assaulted. A female volunteer with our table was hit by 2 men and a woman and knocked to the ground.

This unprovoked physical attack on the Revolution Books table and the people doing political outreach there should not be tolerated by the Occupy movement, or by anyone upholding basic standards for how people should deal with each other. This kind of behavior is harmful and dangerous. In fact, it is straight up counter-revolutionary. It is the opposite of the kind of serious engagement and principled debate over differences that is urgently needed. Further, the atmosphere where such attacks are tolerated, and even fostered by rumor mongering and gossip about organizations and leaders, is an atmosphere that enables the FBI and other agents of repression to carry out attacks and even worse against revolutionaries and the broader movement of resistance. If you don't know about COINTELPRO --the lies and ad-hominem attacks and personal animosity among individuals that was used by the government to foment divisions, to create a climate where people like Malcolm X and Bunchy Carter could be assassinated and revolutionary organizations like the Panthers destroyed -- you should look into it. People need to understand that this kind of unpricipled behavior can only aid the enemy.

In this case, many people in Occupy came forward to denounce the attack on the Revolution Books table, and some anarchists also came forward afterward to make it clear that despite their serious disagreements with the politics of revolutionary communism and Bob Avakian, they did not agree with the physical attack on us.

We also want to make clear that this incident in no way stopped us from doing what we set out to do on May Day -- to unite with and help strengthen the Occupy movement, to build an Internationalist contingent within the March for Dignity and Resistance -- bringing out the message "Internationalism: the whole world comes first" and "American Lives are not more important than other people's lives" -- and to reach out to and talk to many many people about Bob Avakian, and raise funds to make his new synthesis of communism a part of the debate and struggle throughout society.

Fight the power and transform the people for revolution!

-Rafael Kadaris and Opi Santos
(Revolution Club, Bay Area)

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by HonestPoster
Wednesday May 2nd, 2012 12:48 PM
A reference was made to Malcolm X/Nation of Islam from the article (http://rwor.org/a/264/a-reflection-on-piggery-then-and-now-en.html) creating a strange argument against Kasama (who do not work with Cointelpro and has taken the high road in its two line struggle). While I unite against cointelpro fascism - I'm not sure why this harmful article is being quoted again. Shouldn't the cult of personality and the religiouslity from The Nation be dug into and how that affected Malcolm X and the harm to the movement.
by Eyewitness
Wednesday May 2nd, 2012 1:05 PM
This is an extremely inaccurate account of what happened. I was standing feet away from the Revolution Books table when these events transpired. A young woman threw water over the table, ran away, was detained by the acolytes of Avakin, who let her go because the crowd gave them no choice. I certainly saw NO PHYSICAL VIOLENCE on either side, although there was a lot of posturing and spittle flying. I asked a half dozen people who were standing around, and none of them saw anyone from the RCP being assaulted.

The rest of this article is complete nonsense. No one accuses the RCP of being FBI stooges. Everyone knows that there are a wingnut sect, convinced in the absolute truth of Comrade Bob Avakin’s dogma. The RCP are not welcome at anti-authoritarian events. This has been made abundantly clear to them by thousands of people on thousands of occasions. They are there to build their risible membership and sell papers. It seems prudent to consider whether conflict and the publicity it generates might help them in this regard. They are there to co-opt our struggle and funnel our creative powers towards the venerations of Comrade Bob. They do not, cannot, stand in solidarity with us because they hold us in contempt; much as the bourgeois leadership of the RCP holds their own members in contempt. The only reason they are able to continue to maintain a visible presence in the Bay Area is because of all their massively rich bourgeois benefactors, so don’t shed too many tears about their propaganda getting soggy.
by Richard Chen
Wednesday May 2nd, 2012 1:21 PM
I am not a member of the RCP, but I was present at the Anarchist Book Fair some years ago where some people took it upon themselves to pour water over the RCP table and their books.

There may or may not have been physical violence at this incident. I wasn't there and am not going to comment on it. But the idea that it is okay to dump water over somebody's table just because you don't agree with their ideas, is every bit as stupid as the RCP's politics are. Dumping water over somebody's table isn't politics. It's just a prank that lets you feel good about yourself.

The poster might think that Occupy is an "anti-authoritarian" space but I don't happen to agree with him. In this particular case "anti-authoritarian" simply means that he gets to push around people that he defines as not being sufficiently anarchist. I'm quite sure that if we were to look at his politics, we might also find things there that might not look all that great either - oh, do you think that might be some bourgeois liberalism lurking around somewhere? Most everybody has a bit hanging around in this society no matter how subjectively radical they might be.

You might be interested to know that when we had a march for Kenneth Harding at the stadium a few months ago, the RCP came and marched with the contigent despite great hostility from the people attending the ball game. They helped out quite a bit. You may not agree with their politics, but that doesn't mean you have to dump water on their table. It is actually possible that there are people working for the RCP who are subjectively committed and who do actually do work to help oppressed communities. Or is that totally out of the question? I'm sorry if they're not "anti-authoritarian" enough for you.
by miles
Wednesday May 2nd, 2012 1:53 PM
It isn't that the RCP isn't "anti-authoritarian enough"; it's that they, like all other Maoists, are not anti-authoritarian at all. They are a cult of personality around their bourgeois leader, Chairman Bob. You remember him right? The errand-boy for the BPP, the homophobe, the guy who skipped out on bail to escape the charges that were eventually dropped - who thereby defaulted on the Party's bond and who now lives in relative obscurity and luxury in France? Whatever commitment to improving the lot of oppressed communities individual cult members might have, it is incidental to to the overall mission of the Party, which is to amass cadre who exult Chairman Bob (or as the acolytes refer to him: "BA"), give their money to the Party, and continue the amateur eugenics program instituted in the mid-70s to make inter-generational cadre loyalists. Those assholes who support and celebrate the massacres of revolutionary workers and peasants are lucky that water was the only "weapon" used on them. Death to red fascism.
by Richard Chen
Wednesday May 2nd, 2012 6:51 PM
And they were also involved in various kinds of thuggery in the 70s. They would threaten people with physical violence and a friend who was active in the farmworker movement recalls that the RCP sent gangs of people with chains to beat up supporters of the UFW when another union was moving in on them (I don't remember which union it was).

It STILL doesn't justify dumping water on them. Lots of people have problems with the Black Bloc. Should I go around advocating violence against them?

The equivalence of fascism with communism is a liberal invention, which argues that both are forms of totalitarianism. Calling the RCP "red fascists" shows that you can't differentiate between left and right. Do you honestly think the RCP aspires to the same role the fascists did in Spain and Germany on the side of the bourgeoisie? Please examine your head closely.
by oleolo
Thursday May 3rd, 2012 10:15 AM
This should happen again and again, and the idiots in the RCP praying to Bob Avakian should reflect on why they are not welcome.

The RCP and too many other groups deep within Occupy are direct descendants of old guard Stalinist, Maoist, or some Trot group that believes they are the holders of the true revolutionary wisdom. Their cadres historically crushed far more radical groups across the world and made stultified statist regimes from the ashes of radical activity. They will defend these historic actions, like Kronstadt to this day. Pouring water on their books is too good for them.
by Rafael
Thursday May 3rd, 2012 12:33 PM
Some of the commenters here are very self-exposing. An alleged "eyewitness" blatantly lying about what happened. A eugenics program? Rich benefactors? Physical threats? "Anti-authoritarians" who have decided that they have the personal authority to decide who can and cannot be at Occupy? Anonymous internet commenters spreading this unprincipled and vile shit are either pigs or (consciously or not) doing the work of pigs. Instead of principled debate over questions of substance -- i.e. the RCP and Bob Avakian's actual views -- we get lies, distortion, slander... that coincide quite nicely with the global imperialist ideological assault on communism. Enough of the simple-minded and arrogant accusations -- if you haven't bothered to do the work to find out what we're actually about, you really have no business commenting on it. If you want to have a debate about anarchism and communism let's have it, but let's make it over questions of principle:

The wretched of the earth did in fact rise up and make communist revolution in the 20th century first in Russia, then in China. What did the anarchists do in the 20th century? A few very short lived workers councils and militias. But under communist leadership, and yes, state power, 1/4 of humanity broke free of the stranglehold of capitalism and imperialism and accomplished incredible things for decades before those revolutions were reversed and capitalism restored. Wait, he's not gonna defend Stalin and Mao is he? Yes he is. The fact is, weapons of mass destruction wasn't the first thing they lied to you about, and it's amazing how the anarchists lose their critical thinking skills and end up regurgitating the conventional wisdom when it comes to the Russian and Chinese revolutions. Pop quiz, what was the only country in Eastern Europe that stood against anti-semitism in the 1930s? The Soviet Union. Under the tsar, Russia was known throughout the world as the "prison house of nations" because of the brutal oppression of minority peoples by the dominant Russian nationality. But how many of you know that while Black people were being lynched in the U.S. South in the 1920s, the Soviet Union was fighting to uproot Russian chauvinism and racism and to promote the equality of languages. Resources were channeled into minority regions to overcome the centuries of oppression and inequality and these regions were given local autonomy and the right to self government. Another pop quiz: What was the only country in the world in the 1960s where the government and leadership was calling on people to rise up against oppressive institutional authority? China under Mao Tsetung during the Cultural Revolution. The Cultural Revolution was the furthest thing from a top down power struggle. In fact no where in the world before then or since then have so many millions of people taken such active participation in conscious revolutionary struggle, debate, and decision making. Another question, Did life expectancy go up or down under Mao? It doubled from 32 years to 65 years. Harvard economist Amartya Sen calculated that if India had the same health care system that China did under Mao from 1949-1976, then 80 million fewer people would have died. Think about that. But no, Mao was a mass murderer who cared nothing for human life. Bullshit. This was a society where young people were brought up with a whole different culture and ethos, captured in popular expressions like "Serve the people" and "women hold up half the sky." If you don't know about all this, it's because the people that run shit don't want you to know, and i would strongly encourage you to find out more at thisiscommunism.org. At the same time, communism is a science and has to keep developing, cuz the world is constantly changing, and cuz there were shortcomings including some big problems, both in the practice of these socialist societies, especially under stalin but also in China under mao, and in the theoretical frameworks that guided them, going all the way back to Marx. You want to know why we promote Bob Avakian so much? This is why. Because he's done the work to sift thru this experience, and on that basis has made marxism even revolutionary, upholding what was positive, but also discarding certain religious tendencies and nationalist tendencies in communism, breaking with outmoded and revisionist models of socialism as a "workers state" or some kind of feed em and lead em social welfare state where the masses role in society is still confined to being producers of wealth. No, the RCP is fighting for a total revolution, that overcomes all class divisions, all the production relations that give rise to those classes (in ownership, in the distribution of wealth, the division of labor), all the social relations (patriarchy, white supremacy, etc.) and all the old ideas that correspond to those class divisions. But what Avakian is saying is that we have do all this, we have to uproot all forms of oppression, exploitation, and inequality, we have to bring the oppressed and exploited masses into political life...but without turning out the lights on intellectual life, artistic expression, individuality, critical thinking, and dissent. There won't be an "official" ideology that everyone has to profess in the socialist society we envision, and dissent will not just be tolerated but will be valued and promoted. We can't get where we need to go without it. You need to have a vibrant and diverse society, where people are going off in different directions, experimenting, creating, protesting, even occupying, where different ideas are contending and people feel that they can say what they think. Because fundamentally, this revolutionary transformation has to be the conscious and voluntary act of the masses of people, changing the world and changing themselves in the process, not some kind of straight line march in tight formation. As Avakian put it in BAsics: "In socialist society we should not act as if the central authority is all-knowing and as if things will be fine if it relies on its authority to get masses to go along with things, rather than relying on the masses to grasp their own interests and act accordingly, with leadership and through lively, vigorous debate and struggle. We cannot rely on such authority when we don't have it, in the old society, and we should not try to rely on it when we do have it in the new society -- or it won't last long either." [2:21]. At the same time, there will be no revolution to speak of without leadership, specifically without the mechanism of a vanguard party, and there certaintly will be no revolutionary transformation without the authority of a new state power to protect the revolution from imperialists, from overthrown and newly arising exploiters, and to express the highest interests of the masses of people.


by lololol
Thursday May 3rd, 2012 1:10 PM
This should never happen again, and the idiots in the anarchist scene praying to anti-authoritarianism should reflect on why they are not welcome.

The anarchist scene and too many other groups deep within Occupy are direct descendants of old guard European nationalist, Libertarian, or some "radical" Christian group that believes they are the holders of the true revolutionary wisdom. Their cadres historically crushed far more radical groups across the world and participated in counter-revolutions that brought stultified fascist regimes from the ashes of radical activity. They will defend these historic actions, like Kronstadt, to this day. Denouncing them is too good for them.
by some anarchists
Thursday May 3rd, 2012 1:57 PM
stop selling newspapers at protests and we will stop fucking you up
by backyard steel
Thursday May 3rd, 2012 2:00 PM
Congratulations to the people who did this.

From the Bookfair several years ago to May Day this week, anytime the RCP is ridiculed or silenced is a good thing to me.

The RCP is a joke. The reason no one will engage with you in "principled debate" is because your principles = worshipping a fucking rich boy whose father is a judge, who currently lives off the party's expense in France, and attempting to co-opt legitimate revolutionary struggles by showing up late to the game with some red flags and newspapers, trying to get people to join your party.

If you honestly wanted to be a part of the Oakland Commune, you would've been there when it mattered. You would've left your flags and newspapers, and all your talk about Chairman Bob at the door (a long with all the other politicians).

We do class war. You guys are playing a different game. You're a joke. Kill yourself.
by queer@
Thursday May 3rd, 2012 6:04 PM
Two queer people poored water and beer on the RCP for being queer-phobic pricks. The RCP member jumped one of them, a brawl and screaming match happened. The end

-One of the queers that happily started the fight, has before, and will again.

FUCK THE RCP, I aint never going to a camp at the hands of some straight "communists"
I know because my parents were there. I don't think it's such a great idea to idolize it. Mao DID know, and he did NOT care. There is plenty of biographical evidence indicating this.

I still think the anarchists shouldn't have dumped water on your table, and I would defend you against that. But the Cultural Revolution really wasn't just some revolt against institutionalized authority. It was that . . . but a lot of innocent people died.
by A communist
Thursday May 3rd, 2012 6:49 PM
RCP, that's what you get for *selling things during a General Strike*. Not to mention being homophobic, Maoist wingnuts.
by Rafael
Friday May 4th, 2012 12:14 AM
The level of discussion here is pathetic. Why do we pass out Revolution newspapers? Uh, cuz people need to be exposed to what's in it... an analysis of what's going on in the world, why it's happening, what it has to do with the nature of the system that we live in, why we need revolution to put an end to it, and the strategy and leadership needed to make that revolution. Why do we ask for donations? Cuz this ain't charity fool! And we're not condescending saviors. The revolution we're all about has to be the conscious and voluntary act of the masses of people themselves, and requires their participation!

Queer@, you've got to be kidding! The RCP is gonna send you to "a camp"??? Wow, you been watching too much "red scare" propaganda or something. The RCP has never been a homophobic organization. It has always opposed discrimination and attacks on queer folk. It did inherit a "workerist" and reductionist view of homosexuality from the communist movement of the past, which led to some very wrong positions... like the idea that male homosexuality was some kind of conscious misogynist statement. Anyway, the RCP broke with all that shit a long time ago, in large part thanks to Bob Avakian fighting for a new synthesis of communism. Queer@ leave the beer at home and deal with reality, not the communist boogeyman that's been constructed in your head. If you want to read a very interesting piece on this question, from 2001, check it out: http://revcom.us/margorp/homosexuality.htm
Here's a more recent article from Sunsara Taylor on the death of Tyler Clementi: http://revcom.us/a/213/Clementi-en.html

I appreciate Richard Chen's principled rejection of the "physical attack" method of handling political differences. Here's an article you might be interested in from Avakian to get a better understanding of how we see it: "The Cultural Revolution in China...Art and Culture...Dissent and Ferment...and Carrying Forward the Revolution Toward Communism" http://revcom.us/a/260/avakian-on-cultural-revolution-in-china-en.html

Everyone else... smh... pretty shameful. I'll repeat two points i made above: 1) Anonymous internet commenters making physical threats are either pigs or they are (consciously or not) doing the work of pigs. Enough of the infantile posturing! 2) As Mao said, "no investigation, no right to speak." Or as Mark Twain once said, the average American has "the perfect combination of ignorance and arrogance." If you don't know what our views actually are, have a little humility. Ask a question. Do some work. Or are you so brainwashed by anti-communism that you already know the answer without even thinking... seems like some cultish shit to me.
by Rafael
Friday May 4th, 2012 1:21 AM
Is it true what i said in the original post about COINTELPRO, or not? If so, why would you want to make it easier for the agents of repression to do their work? This is not just about attacks on the RCP. This is about whether the Occupy movement and other movements of resistance will be easily penetrable by the authorities, whether folks will fall prey to the same FBI traps that too many people fell for in the 60s and 70s. These are lessons paid for in blood. Let's not repeat that. Let's have a movement that is characterized by principled unity and principled debate -- not backbiting, namecalling, gossip, rumor, innuendo, and physical attacks on those you have political disagreements with.
by Trixi
Friday May 4th, 2012 8:17 AM
The fight with the RCP over GLBT was settled over a decade ago. I find it unprincipled to continue RCP bashing when the RCP conceeded the argument as far back as 1997-98. There was a time for the ad baculum argumentum to be deployed against the RCP over the transwoman issue, but that was years ago. I don't think the RCP would deny a transwoman's membership today provided she met the other totalitarian ideological criteria the RCP advances.

Also remember the RCP, next to the Jehovah's Witnesses has fought an won more 1st Amendment cases than any other orgaization in the United States.
by Trixi
Friday May 4th, 2012 8:33 AM
I'm pretty sure BA moved back to Chicago to work at the RW HQ severla years ago after his father and mother died.

RCP's Bob Avakian Father Judge Avakian Dead at 88
http://la.indymedia.org/news/2002/03/15591.php

There has been recent COINTELPRO activity against the RCP which I know to be a fact. The FBI said that Al-Masakin aka Majdur Travail aka Edward Campbell http://edwardcampbellmedia.blogspot.com/ was organizing a plot to murder Bob Avakian in 2004. http://media.portland.indymedia.org/media/2005/04/314855.pdf

The RCP branch in Tucson, AZ was being "researched" by the FBI in 2004-05. Something else I know for a fact.
by @Queer
Friday May 4th, 2012 9:27 AM
THE GLBT QUESTION? ??? FUCK YOU! Is there a women's question? Or a black question? Or a Jew question? Or a white man with a rich daddy who plays communist revolutionary question?

Im not your fucking question you fuck wad. And I am going to wreck your shit and your faces...again. What you gonna do? Call the cops?
by queer@
Friday May 4th, 2012 9:29 AM
because i did it in person and a good 100 people backed me up.
by Trixi
Friday May 4th, 2012 10:47 AM
Myself and a number of transwomen went to a public meeting with the National Gay-Lesbian Task Force in NYC demanding that GLBT be created. Before that everything was Gay-Lesbian. At the time there was a huge fight with the RCP over their ani-Gay political line, especially at the Revolution Books on West 19th. There was violence against the RCP nation wide. But not just the RCP, against the Gay-Lesbian establishment. As transwomen we existed, but politically we did not exist. We were beinng called gays, but at the same time beinng prosecuted by Gay-Lesbian owned establishments for doing things like using the women's restroom.

Gays tyrannized us and at the same time denied us our rights. They would creat "transgender night" at the gay bars to turn a boirng Wednesday night into a money maker, but at the same time wouldn't (and still won't) hire us to mop their floors the next morning. The NAtonal Gay-Lesbian Task Force was ready to add the "B" onto "GL" for the people who were sick and tired (and still are) of being equated with those people, but adding the "T" was a big fight. We won. Now you have GLBT, for all the good it does the transgendered (none). The "T" still falls off the end when the chips are down, like the gays in the military thing.

You can threaten me with violence all you want, as a transwoman I'm real used to it. KO'd (litterallly KO'd him) a fag who owns an upscale business here in Asheville a liitle over a week ago said I had to walk on the on the other side of the street. Second time I was attacked in from of the same business in the space of three weeks.

So not fuck me, fuck you kid! I'll bash you fag-dyke brains out anytime you want.

by Daniel Borgström
Friday May 4th, 2012 11:14 AM
I have serious disagreements with the RCP. At the same time, I've also seen them do some very good work. They are part of the left, and I can see no reason to exclude them or any other leftist group from distributing newspapers at Occupy.

We should debate and disagree, keeping it civil and respectful. That is how we'll build the society we want to see.

Let's remember the many times during these last six months that we've marched together, sharing risks, and even sharing crowed jail cells. We are brothers and sisters in this struggle, and need to treat each other as comrades.

by queer@
Friday May 4th, 2012 5:02 PM
Im not trans?
Tow your party line traitor.
by An anarchist communist
Saturday May 5th, 2012 12:51 AM
It appears that the RCP haven't had any truck with homophobic politics for a little over a decade. In fact, much as I may have some problems with the position one of them linked to above, it beats the shit out of the weak as fuck "sex positive" stuff that seems to be fashionable amongst anarchists these days.

As to the justification that the RCP are authoritarian, that's a reason to argue with them and try to win their rank and file members over, not go around trying to police the movement by force. If anarchists are to have any basis on which to claim to be any better than the parties we denounce as authoritarian, we have to avoid acting in authoritarian ways. Individual leftists are not the enemy, the bosses are.
by Richard Chen
Saturday May 5th, 2012 11:37 AM
With the poster above. As well as with what Daniel Bergstrom said . . . he has a good heart. You should all be glad he holds the line for you down at KPFA.
by denounce the attack
Wednesday May 9th, 2012 6:41 AM
I saw young RCP comrades break away from a mainstream rally and lead a large militant march through the streets of San Francisco to the Castro during the Prop 8 struggle. So don't attack RCP for a backward position they changed many years ago. They have been very much a part of the LGBT struggle since.
Some of RCP's tactics bother many of us on the left. So what. We should defend their right to be part of the left movement without hassle and most certainly not to be attacked by other so-called sectors of the left.
As far as those RCP papers go and all the other communist/socialist papers and materials, say no thank you or say nothing at all. I would rather have all those communist/socialist groups contributions to the struggle, the countless hours and relentless dedication to the movement than the 2 seconds it takes to walk by their table or say no thanks to their papers.
And by the way, the Occupy Movement is not an anti authoritarian movement. It's a movement of the working class. A sector of the working class belong to "authoritarian" organizations, such as the unions. Are you going to attack union members next under the guise of your "anti authoritarianism"? Thousands of union members marched with you. Many even went to jail defending Oscar Grant plaza.
Seems to me you all are more interested in dismantling the Occupy Movement than building it.
by just saying
Tuesday May 29th, 2012 7:34 PM
Everyone can grind whatever axe they have. Bottom line is the RCP is a creepy cult that only hurts the people who join it. You'd have to be fucking crazy to take their 8-hour talks and weird "sit downs" where "leaders" tell you how to have sex and to listen to Bob Avakian six hours a day on your ipod (seriously).

They aren't communist any more than Charles Manson was a Beach Boy.