LA counter-protest against fascist attacks outside Maxine Waters' offices

Standing Up Against Fascists... Not Letting Democrats Set the Terms

| Revolution Newspaper |


U.S. flag burning
The American flag was burned at Maxine Waters' office. People danced around it as it was burning while the Revolution Club led people in chanting “1 2 3 4! Slavery, genocide and war! 5 6 7 8! America was never great!” Photo: AP


On Thursday, July 19, over 100 people protested against fascist threats targeting Maxine Waters, a Black Democratic congressperson from Los Angeles.  The Oath Keepers, an armed organized group of fanatical thugs called for an “ongoing protest” at Waters' offices.  This came together with the Trump/Pence regime’s fascist threats against her along with calls to their fascist base to defend ICE. 

After people caught wind of the Oath Keepers' intentions to come to South Central Los Angeles, where Waters is based, anti-fascist counter-protesters from different organizations and different perspectives gathered in front of the offices to meet them when they arrived.

The Oath Keepers are foaming-at-the-mouth fascists itching to be unleashed.  They were seen heavily armed in Ferguson when people were rising up against the murder of Michael Brown and they were part of an armed standoff against the federal government by reactionary Cliven Bundy.  They said that they were doing this not only as “a protest against Maxine Water’s incitement of terrorism” but also “a stand FOR ICE and the Border Patrol…”

What did they consider “an incitement of terrorism”?—Waters' call for people to protest the representatives of the fascist regime wherever and whenever they appeared.  This was NOT a call for violence but for political protests—and these fascists have repeatedly lied and distorted her statement.

Oath Keepers back down... American flag lit on fire

South Central is a section of Los Angeles that is predominantly populated by Black and Latino people and has been a place of past upheaval against police brutality.  When the Oath Keepers realized that there was a mass of people waiting to meet them when they showed up, they canceled their protest and left. The police came over to the counter-protesters and announced that the Oath Keepers weren’t going to show up, but the crowd wasn’t going to take the LAPigD’s word for it and stuck around to make sure.

There were a few minor incidents as Trump supporters attempted to drive by or blend into the crowd and interview people.  When exposed they were driven away from the scene. At one point, a large truck attempted to drive by waving a large American flag and it got snatched away. The flag got lit on fire and people danced around it as it was burning while the Revolution Club led people in chanting “1 2 3 4! Slavery, genocide and war! 5 6 7 8! America was never great!” When someone else showed up with a large American flag in support of Maxine Waters people struggled with him about what that flag actually represents.

The demonstration itself was a powerful example of what it looks like to stand up against the fascists WITHOUT having the terms set by the Democrats, even as there was a lot of struggle around this.  Among the people who came out to protest were clergy members, a labor union, activists with Refuse Fascism, a handful of Black nationalist organizations and others, and predominantly basic people from the neighborhood where Maxine Waters' offices are. Within the protest, there was debate about voting vs. revolution, about what real revolution is, about the nature of the Trump/Pence fascist regime, whether Black people could or should just “ignore” this, and about whether the fact that the fascists were descending on South Central was just a matter for South Central.  The Revolution Club was in the midst of all this—waging a lot of substantive and sharp struggle, distributing HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution and getting into it with people about the need for all of us to build the struggle to prevent the consolidation of fascism.

Maxine Waters tries to outpatriot the fascists... why she and the Democrats can't be relied on to stop fascism

Fascist “news” outlets are now using the flag burning to double down their attacks that “Mad Maxine” is “inciting terrorism and violence” against Trump supporters and against the US itself.  First, this is bullshit and a distortion of reality. Maxine Waters does oppose the fascist regime and has stood up against it in some ways.  But she is working to resolve this contradiction on the terms of this system and by struggling to corral people into the framework and channels of this system.

This can be seen in her response to the protests of the Oath Keepers and the fact that she distanced herself from the righteous counter-protests against them. Two days after this important protest, Waters released the most defensive, spineless, driveling statement.  While there's a lot of bullshit to shovel in what she said, there are three main points we want to make:

First, in response to the flag burning, while she had to admit this is perfectly legal, she fell over herself to uphold this blood-soaked country.  “I do not take a backseat to anyone on patriotism,” she said.

Think about this!  What does it mean to vie to be the most patriotic in a country founded on genocide and slavery, with white supremacy running like a bloody thread through the whole fabric of America?  A country that has committed crimes more horrific than what our stomachs could take if we described them in their gory details?  And these aren’t just crimes of the past.  The power and wealth the U.S. has accumulated to this very day has been accumulated through the most brutal exploitation. The system of capitalism-imperialism that the US sits on top of continues to be enforced through the most cruel and vicious violence imaginable. From children forced to work in mines to extract the minerals that go into our cellphones to the children not only being ripped from their parents' arms, but literally ripped apart from bombs dropped by the US military forces or by the butchers they’ve installed to do their dirty work.  

Someone should ask “Auntie Maxine” what time she's thinking of when she talks about her patriotism?  During the founding in slavery and genocide?  Or Jim Crow?  Or when this country decimated Vietnam, murdering three million people?  Or today?  Hell no!  America was never great and everyone needs to break from this sickening American chauvinism.

Second, not only did she blame people who were there taking a righteous stand against the fascists for creating “fodder for partisan media outlets,” she tried to discredit people who put their bodies on the line by saying they just wanted “press attention” and “were not necessarily from the 43rd district.” This is just echoing the cry of “outside agitators” used by racists in the South to denounce people who heroically risked their lives in order to register Black people to vote. To make things worse, while taking this horrible stance towards people standing on the right side of things, she dangerously upheld and “honored [the] right” of the fascists who were going there to intimidate (and possibly kill) her, had the protesters not showed up.  

Third, to understand WHY she is doing what she is doing, you have to understand that neither the fascist Trump/Pence regime nor the Democratic Party that Maxine Waters is a part of represent the interests of the people.  Again, she is opposing the Trump/Pence fascists, but doing so on the terms of the very system that gave rise to them. She is trying to channel people's outrage at these fascists back into this very same system.

Join the struggle against fascism, and join the revolution to overthrow the system that gave rise to this fascist regime

The lines are being sharply drawn by the fascists and the Democrats—including Waters, upheld as one of those most standing up against Trump—are leading people to conciliate with fascism at every turn. If you have a heart for humanity, and any sense of the danger these fascists represent, we can’t fall behind those who call for “civility” in the face of a spiraling descent into fascism.  We can’t look to the representatives of this system, we need to confront the fact that beating this back is going to get harder and the sacrifices are going to be greater the more we leave it in the hands of those who have been running this system.  There is a monumental struggle that has to be waged right now to drive out the whole regime through massive, sustained political protests that must involve millions coming together from many different perspectives.  We urge everybody to get with and get organized to do just that.

The Revolution Clubs will be there throughout that whole struggle.  We will be telling everyone to stop looking to the Democratic Party and whatever lying ass politician they tell you to vote for.  We will be telling people to look to the only party and leader that truly represents the interests of the people: the Revolutionary Communist Party and its leader, Bob Avakian (BA).  Fuck aiming to go back to what was before Trump. There is a truly emancipating society that we need to fight for which is envisioned and laid out in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by BA. Fuck looking to the media that despite being attacked by Trump and his supporters refuse to tell people what they’re up against and what it will take to stop it.  There is a website that will not only tell people the truth about what is happening and where it comes from but leads people to fight back and get rid of the whole thing,

U.S. flag burning
Refuse Fascism was among the counter-protesters at Maxine Waters office. Photo: AP

Clip: "Free Yourself from the GTF!"

Excerpt from
How We Can Really Make Revolution

Those who catch the worst hell under this system, and those who are sickened by the endless outrages perpetrated by this system, need to join up with this revolution. Thousands need to get organized into the ranks of the revolution now, while millions are being influenced in favor of this revolution. We have seen the potential for this in the protests that have taken place against police brutality and murder, and other ways in which large numbers of people have gone up against the established authorities and the political “rules of the game.” But this needs to be transformed, through struggle, into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization. The organized forces and the leadership of this revolution must become the “authority” that growing numbers of people look to and follow—not the lying politicians and media of this oppressive system—not those who front for the oppressors and preach about “reconciliation” with this system—not those who turn people against each other when they need to be uniting for this revolution. While many people will do positive things in opposing the crimes of this system, we need to approach everything—evaluate every political program and every organized force in society, every kind of culture, values and ways of treating people—according to how it relates to the revolution we need, to end all oppression. We should unite with people whenever we can, and struggle with them whenever we need to, to advance the revolution.

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