from the Revolutionary Communist Party, Los Angeles Branch
REVOLUTIONARY SALUTE TO ALL
WHO FOUGHT IN THE BATTLE OF L.A.!
Revolutionary Worker #1069, September 3, 2000
The actions of the people who confronted the DNC were beautiful and heroic. In the streets of L.A.-where so many have been brutalized and killed by the police, where the people live in poverty under the gun, where those who create the wealth are supposed to be voiceless and invisible-for five amazing days the hopes and dreams of the people for a different-better-world came alive. The bravery of the youth and veterans in the face of the incredible firepower and violence of the police inspired oppressed and exploited people of all nationalities to dare to dream-we CAN fight for a better world!-and filled the hearts of all progressive people with joy and pride. "Mad props" to the youth!
Two worlds and two roads collided last week in Los Angeles. On one side the Democrats and Republicans, trying to convince us to give up our search for a better future and settle for figuring out which program of competing lies and promises is the lesser evil. And on the other, the protesters, saying that "there has to be a change, and it's not going to come from inside that convention."
RCP Chairman Bob Avakian has said, "The alleged freedom of expression in the 'democratic countries' is a sham-and for two basic reasons-because the ruling class has a monopoly on the means of molding public opinion and because its monopoly of armed force puts it in a position to suppress, as violently as necessary, any expression of ideas, as well as any action, that poses a serious challenge to the established order."
The politics of the protests were banned from the airwaves-newscasters on every major channel endlessly repeated their mantra about 'a few violent anarchists ruining it for everyone' and never talked about why people were there. In the streets an overwhelming force of police was mobilized to suppress any political challenge to the politics of globalization, poverty, prisons and punishment.
Still the ideas and actions of the people broke through. The real issues-stopping the execution of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal and opposing political repression and the death penalty; resisting capitalist 'globalization' that is turning the whole world into a giant sweatshop, garbage dump, and wasteland; putting an end to national oppression, police and migra brutality and the criminalization of the youth, and more-were ruled out of order inside the convention but were raised in the streets. The police attack on Monday night did not give the police control of the protests but created greater unity, defiance, and determination in the people.
On Wednesday, the new generation seized the political spotlight from the DNC. Every local news station carried the confrontation live as protesters refused to go into the 'protest pit' or disperse. The people held the intersection in front of Staples for over an hour. The arrival of VP candidate Lieberman inside the convention had to be held up while the eyes of the city focused on what was going on OUTSIDE. The protesters would not submit, back down, or retreat. With the Police Chief on the scene, and the Mayor, the DA and State Attorney General commentating on TV, a decision was made at the highest levels for the police to retreat rather than unleash a street battle that would ruin their whole convention. This was a political victory won by the people. That afternoon, the media couldn't cover up the fact that the real division in society is not between Bush and Gore but between the interests of the people and the powers-that-be.
The main purpose of these elections is to put the 'mandate of the people' on a program that has already been decided on by those who rule. But in the U.S. today broad sections of society don't feel that Republicans or Democrats represent the interests of the people. That's why, for millions in this country and around the world who were watching, our hearts were with those in the streets.
The media ridicules people who want no part of a 'prosperity' based on someone else's slavery, who dare to dream of a world without rich and poor people or nations, a world free of pig police and their brutality and murder, free of racism and national oppression, free of the degradation and oppression of women.
For our part, we believe the people can and will make a better world-a world where everything and everybody will NOT be treated solely as a means to make money, but where the people work together in common for the common good, where human needs will be met-a communist world. This is not an idle dream, but a dream that is both urgently needed and a real possibility. In the streets of L.A. we got a glimpse of the broad array of people of all nationalities and backgrounds who can unite to make that dream a reality. And we also got a glimpse of the nature of the enemy and what it is willing to do to hold on to its rule. It will take armed, proletarian revolution-here and around the world-to bring an end to this capitalist-imperialist nightmare.
Where do we go from here? The people need a great debate and struggle about the way forward. Debate over tactics, including violence or non-violence, must be taken up in the larger context of what this system does to the people and what it will take to change the world. The enemy always blames its use of violence on the people themselves, and their call to the movement to condemn all who step outside the 'boundaries' of acceptable protest has to be seen in that light. We must continue to unite all who can be united-of all nationalities-to fight in the interests of the people, and stand with those that the enemy attacks. We should debate and struggle among ourselves, but not forget that we are on the same side of the barricades.
The movement has made an important advance. People of different nationalities and class backgrounds came together and united in the interests of the people. Youth who stepped out in the anti-globalization battles in Seattle and D.C. came together with proletarians from Watts and Pico/Union, with youth of all nationalities from the campuses and hoods. They were joined and supported by people from all corners of society who also fought courageously. We all learned from each other, fought together, became tempered and grew stronger. This beginning mix holds great potential for the future. In this, and in the conquering spirit of the new generation, we see the seeds of great days and battles to come. In the first days of the Millennium, a better world IS in birth!
The Revolutionary Communist Party and the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade are proud to have joined with others in these battles. We pledge to continue to be in the midst of the struggle, to work for the unity of all who can be united in the fight for the interests of the world's people, and to bring forward our class-the proletariat of all nationalities-to be the backbone of the all-the-way revolutionary struggle to bring an end to this monstrous imperialist system.
Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
Los Angeles Branch
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