Sustain Revolution and and build the movement for revolution

One More Reason to Sustain Revolution: Photos Aren’t Free

January 20, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


The danger: Revolution/Revolución and do not have the financial base to continue.

The Solution: YOU and others sustaining this paper and website.

We live in a world of vicious exploitation, brutal oppression, and environmental devastation. Each issue of Revolution reveals deeply and sharply the nature of the system responsible for these horrors—with analysis you can’t find anywhere else. And Revolution and invite, and challenge, people in many different ways to engage with the alternative to capitalism—a new stage of the communist revolution, based on Bob Avakian’s new synthesis of communism.

Here’s a real danger: Revolution/Revolución does not have the financial base to continue to operate—in print or online. That is a situation which must change right away.

A big part of the solution: forging—with creativity and determination—a network of sustainers, people who contribute money to Revolution and on a regular basis. Without this network of sustainers, Revolution will not continue to publish—in print or online. What a disaster that would be! But a vibrant, vital network of sustainers will make it possible for this paper and website to continue and expand its reach. And that network will itself be part of preparing the ground for revolution. For a full picture of how this can happen, and the role of Revolution within that, see “On the Strategy for Revolution” at

So, it starts with YOU. If you’re not a financial sustainer of Revolution, make arrangements with your local distributor to change that NOW. And reach out to many others who are inspired by the radically revitalized website and Revolution newspaper.

Arrange to sustain Revolution and through your nearest Revolution Books, your Revolution distributor, at (click the Donate link in the Revolution section of the site), or by writing RCP Publications, Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654-0486, or emailing us at

Each issue of Revolution presents photos from around the world. Photos that bring to life people whose lives have been ruled “off the agenda” by global capitalism-imperialism… that invite readers to dig deeper and learn “the story behind the picture” of major events in society…  that bring to life the emerging movement for revolution. In these ways, and more, photos in Revolution are critical to people learning that the world does not have to be this way, and how it can be changed.

But many of the photos we use in Revolution  have to be licensed, for a fee. They are not free. The average monthly cost of licensing photos to use in print and online is $650. We are challenging an individual or group of people to step to the plate and commit to sustain Revolution and at $650/month, to allow us to continue to use these photos.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But these photos are worth much more than that. Photos in Revolution are a key way to make the content accessible to those with limited literacy skills. And Revolution photos are essential to presenting a compelling picture of the world as it is, and making the case that all this suffering, exploitation, and oppression are not necessary. They invite, and challenge, people to engage with the message of Revolution, and with a whole other way the world can be.

These photos have to be paid for. And even with frugal and judicious use of photos, the bill averages $650/month. That is money we currently do not have, and if we don’t raise it, we cannot continue to license photos. And that can’t happen.

There are many projects readers can contribute to. There are rent, Internet connections, and utility bills to cover. Generous donors contributed several computers that allow us to put out the paper and run the website. But there are ongoing costs of updating equipment and software. There is the cost of enabling reporters and editors to function. Every sustainer commitment helps make all this happen. Within that mix, one project we are specifically challenging an individual or group to commit to is to cover the $650/month photo bill. This could be a grouping of attorneys, teachers, professionals in other fields… who can combine their sustainer commitments to cover our photo costs for the coming year.

Whatever contribution you can make, it will make a huge difference in a world crying out for fundamental change.


Photo 1

Man in Gaza, holding the body of his two-year-old child killed by an Israeli rocket
Photo: AP

The cover photo on our November 25, 2012 issue is of a man in Gaza, holding the body of his two-year-old child killed by an Israeli rocket. Circulating on walls in the inner cities, passed hand-to-hand in cell-blocks, and posted and circulated on campuses, the photo humanized the Palestinian people who were dismissed by the ruling class media as “collateral damage” so that Israel could “defend itself.” This photo—licensed from an agency.


Photo 2

Two children standing next to home destroyed by a U.S. drone
Photo: AP

The December 16, 2012 Revolution cover photo shows two children standing next to the ruins of a home destroyed by a U.S. drone. At a time when Obama and “liberal” ruling class media are celebrating the fact that drone warfare kills without “endangering American lives”—as if American lives were more valuable than anyone else’s—this photo was a powerful wake-up and shake-up call on people to stop accommodating themselves to that intolerable immorality, either out of ignorance or ignore-ance. And, for reasons you might imagine, photos of the death and destruction caused by U.S. drone attacks in rural Afghanistan are very difficult to obtain. So when a photo like this is available through an agency, it is important that we have the resources to license it.


Photo 3

Student revolutionaries visiting a facotry in socialist China in 1967
Photo: AP

The January 13, 2013 issue of Revolution includes a stereotype-busting photo of student revolutionaries visiting a factory in socialist China, in 1967, during the Cultural Revolution. You see the faces of youth who took time out from their studies to bring liberating revolutionary theory in the form of Mao’s Red Book to the workers. This photo, those faces, confront people who have bought into the lies and distortions that the previous socialist societies were totalitarian disasters. Photos like this play a big role in challenging people to wipe the sand out of their eyes and take an open, fresh look at the accomplishments of past socialist societies, and to engage with Bob Avakian’s new synthesis and leadership for a new stage of communist revolution. Ironic as it might seem, this photo of the Cultural Revolution had to be licensed from a photo agency for a fee.


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