Revolution Club Los Angeles:

Standing on the American Rag: Creating a Scene, Enlisting Forces in the Revolution

June 22, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


From members of Revolution Club LA:

The Revolution Club went out the day that Trump signed his fascist executive order to “stop separating families” by detaining whole families together at the border and talking about how new prisons would have to be built to house entire families.

We went out on the trains carrying out only two of the “Five Stops,” jumping from car to car agitating around the need to overthrow a system that heartlessly separates children in that way and called on people to join the movement for revolution. We weren’t just planning to be on the trains however, so we got off in two very different neighborhoods, one was a predominantly Black neighborhood and the other is a neighborhood known to be heavily populated by immigrants from Central America.

When we got here, we started to agitate to the crowd in both English and Spanish while some pigs were nearby where people exit the trains. We wanted to do more than just agitate on the bullhorn, we wanted to create more of a scene so we pulled out the Amerikkkan rag and stood on it.  

We drew from the agitation of the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! where BA speaks of the terror of deportations and one of Sunsara Taylor’s latest posts on social media and how a system that continues to rip away children from their parents that way is a system that has to be overthrown and replaced. We talked about the strategy for this revolution concentrated in “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution” (HWCW) and that we have the leadership for this revolution in Bob Avakian who has written the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.  

The pigs came over almost immediately after we began stepping on the flag, trying to get us to stop. We pointed out to the crowd that these pigs were set off by us stepping on this flag because they go hand in hand with what this system represents and they deserve no more respect than this rag that we were stepping on. Before we knew it, we were surrounded by pigs and a pig helicopter overhead. 

The response from the crowd was contradictory, there was the occasional backward fool yelling from their car, calling on the police to arrest us, or yelling that bullshit tired old line about “love it or leave it,” to which we responded that what this rag represents needs to be hated and overthrown and went further into what this country has done and continues to do and if you want to defend this rag then you have to be okay with all the horrors this country has committed from the time it was founded on slavery to throwing children in cages right now at the southern border. 

Someone pleaded with us to cooperate with the cops and just move—this wasn’t coming from a reactionary place and it seemed that other people were also genuinely concerned and wanted to avoid further antagonizing the police. We kept on the bullhorn telling people that too many people still think these pigs are the good guys even as pig after pig is continually caught on video after video murdering someone and not one of these pigs comes forward to call it murder. We went into BAsics 1:24 and what that means right now that there are fascists in power carrying out the crime of ethnic cleansing and snatching children away to throw them in a cage but those muthafuckers aren’t getting arrested. 

As more and more pigs kept showing up, more and more people got closer and brought out their cell phones to film. People were cheering and cursing the pigs, some were really in a fighting mood. The pigs surrounded us and kept people from getting closer. We agitated on the “encirclement” point from HWCW and directed people to the website,

We need to oppose and disrupt the moves of the ruling powers to isolate, “encircle,” brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and who most need this revolution. We need to “encircle” them—by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system.

We had been hearing the pigs talking and weighing whether to arrest us or not, one oinking about arresting us for stepping on the flag, but the sergeant said that if they arrest us all the people will see and that is what we (the Revolution Club) want.  

They backed off and left and we told people why the pigs decided to leave and how this could’ve turned out differently if people there would’ve just continued to walk by. We told people that what these repressive forces fear most is them getting with this movement for an actual revolution to overthrow the system that they are there to serve and protect and how too many of us don’t know what we can do if we lose our fear of going up against these pigs. People were excited, cursing the pigs in Spanish as they rolled away. The person who initially wanted us to cooperate with the pigs came over to stand on the flag and pass out copies of HWCW. He stood with us for a while, then went out among the people to reach those who weren’t walking by to where we were standing on the flag. Before he left he handed us his number and suggested ways that he could contribute to the revolution.

One person told us how he was getting out of work and saw the helicopter flying in the same direction as patrol cars that were zooming by and figured that they were responding to a shooting or something of that nature but then all he sees is us standing on the flag and agitating on the bullhorn. He went around the corner and parked his car and came over. He called us later that night to tell us how inspired he was at seeing people standing up and wanting to know how he can get involved. He raised that people are scared to stand up right now because they are undocumented but that it was necessary to fight back. We had posed to him earlier that we needed to be on a mission to spread what is in HWCW and getting in the streets now around what’s happening in order to push things toward a revolutionary situation, otherwise the trajectory society is on will only get worse and worse. So he said that he had already begun spreading this by posting a picture of the scene on social media, that he had people in mind to give a few pamphlets of HWCW in the following days and wanted us to come over for dinner so we could talk to other people in a few days.

Another person wanted to get into a lofty abstract conversation about libertarianism in the midst of the police repression, but one of us was letting the HWCW pamphlet set the terms by reading to him out loud what we’re here to do from part one and part two, especially the paragraph in part two that everything we’re doing now is aiming for something very definite: a revolutionary situation. By the end of it he was asking how to get with us and when to come by our organizing center, and asking where to get a copy of the Constitution, taking a stack of HWCW and making an appointment to come to the center next week.

We’ve been wrangling with how to break through and measuring our approach against HWCW and what’s been up on, in particular the recent piece “A Step Forward in Harlem.” When we were out there, we did better at organizing people on the spot and getting back to them right away in order to go further but we were summing up that we had to think more on our feet as things unfold. Someone was saying that we needed to call on people to come stand on the flag with us as we were being surrounded by pigs and make the case of how that is one concrete way to come into this and transform the situation closer to one where we can make a revolution. We were also thinking that we could’ve done better at harvesting right after the pigs left. There had to be more of a call and orientation coming from the bullhorn where we called on masses to come up and get organized rather than the few people who came up to talk to us.

However, there was a sense that we were really on a mission, even being on the trains with the urgency and seriousness while disrupting business as usual and spreading the word, with many people asking if we were protesting the separation of families and taking pictures of the “Stops.” Even posting up when the pigs were threatening to arrest us and not backing down presented us as a material force for revolution. Overall, we think that key to unleashing this process will be really wielding HWCW as a working document and making real to people how taking this up is part of how we’re going to get to a revolutionary situation and be able to really have a chance to go for a real revolution.


Revolution Club LA outside a busy transit stop getting the message out about the movement for an actual revolution amidst attempted police repression. Photo: @Connor_atw.

Read, print and get out all over

From the pamphlet HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution:

While awaiting the necessary conditions to go all-out for revolution, we need to hasten this and actively carry out the “3 Prepares”: Prepare the Ground, Prepare the People, and Prepare the Vanguard—Get Ready for the Time When Millions Can Be Led to Go for Revolution, All-Out, With a Real Chance to Win. We need to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution—protest and resist the injustices and atrocities of this system, and win people to defy and repudiate this putrid system and its ways of thinking, and to take up the outlook and values, and the strategy and program of the revolution, build up the forces for this revolution, and defeat the attempts of the ruling powers to crush the revolution and its leadership. With every “jolt” in society—every crisis, every new outrage, where many people question and resist what they normally accept—we need to seize on this to advance the revolution and expand its organized forces. We need to oppose and disrupt the moves of the ruling powers to isolate, “encircle,” brutalize, mass incarcerate and murderously repress the people who have the hardest life under this system and who most need this revolution. We need to “encircle” them—by bringing forth wave upon wave of people rising up in determined opposition to this system.

The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:24

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