Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the RCP
Revolutionary Worker #1086, January 14, 2001, posted at http://rwor.org
These statements were sent from Los Angeles, where they were presented at a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the RCP:
STATEMENT FROM A CHICANA YOUTH, PART OF THE INVESTIGATION TEAM
December 12, 2000.
Well, let me start out by saying that I had been asked to do research on the Chicano people as part of the Programme investigation. I myself became political through the Chicano/a Movement. I was a Chicana Nationalist for about four years. I became a Chicano/a Nationalist because I was full of rage and anger. I hated seeing Chicano/a people being harassed, I hated the fact that my parents worked so hard, but always struggled to survive. I hated the fact that people were being attacked because of their brown skin. I was full of rage and full of anger. I always thought that the cause of my oppression was white people because, if you see it through historical events, that's the first thing that pops in your head.
I blamed white people for everything. I once thought the answer to my oppression was living away from white people and having a place for only Chicano people. I never understood the problem and so I didn't know the solution. While I was in the movement, there were many obstacles which I faced. I didn't understand certain things, like where did women fit in this movement? I always had questions, so many questions, but they could never be answered and I didn't know where to ask. These questions consumed me and I didn't understand where this movement was going. After a while, I became disillusioned. I thought to myself, nothing can be done and we are destined to live in this fucked-up society. I thought that things could never change, and I knew deep inside that getting rid of white people was not the solution to my oppression. So, I gave up. I stopped searching for answers and just settled for what I had.
But, of course my story doesn't end there because there it was, I found it, the Revolutionary Worker. It just blew me away and after reading the programme. Shit, you could just imagine how I felt then! The rage and anger, I once had came back and this time with a vengeance. In the beginning I had problems with Bob Avakian being white but after hooking up with the Party, joining the RCYB, and being involved for over three years, all that changed. White people ain't the problem and I've met more down-ass white people who are willing to die for the people, all people! Shit, I love my white comrades and have lots of love for white proletarians. I now know what the problem is and I now know what the solution is and of course that's Proletariat Revolution. My life has been turned upside down because of the Party and when a comrade told me that the Party wanted me to work on the Programme, I was so fucking honored I couldn't believe that they wanted me to work on the Programme. It was so overwhelming that I wanted to cry.
Because I have been doing research on the Chicano/a people, those questions I once had which were consuming me are now answered, and are still being answered as the research goes on. I understand things more, and if I have questions, I know where to go so they can be wrangled with. Updating this Programme is just so important. It will speak to the Chicano/a youth of today and to all youth, no matter where they come from. The same dilemma I faced and questions I had: Chicano people of today will also face the same dilemma and have the same questions, but they will have the chance to pick up the updated Programme and have their questions spoken to. Doing this research has taught me a lot and I truly thank the Party for giving me the chance to work on such a great and important project. I've learned things I couldn't have learned anywhere else, like MLM our science!, which of course is bad ass and is taught nowhere else.
And about describing how I feel within. Well, let me give it a try. All I can say is that I have so much love for this Party and there isn't a day where I don't thank Bob Avakian for creating such a massive and strong Party for the people. A Party which will lead the masses into Proletariat Revolution. A Party which will bring on the destruction of Capitalism and Imperialism and in its place create a Communist Society for the people. I live for Proletarian Revolution and it runs through my veins--without the thought of it, I would die. I admire, respect, and love this Party. I would do anything for the Party if asked, that's how much I love it. And when the time comes when this system collapses and I'm still alive, no matter how old I am, I'll be there in the front, side by side with my comrades and the people, fighting to bring this monster down, and if I die, than I know it would be for the people and for the creation of something new. Long live the Programme, and since I'm in the RCYB of course long live the RCYB and of course LONG LIVE THE REVOLUTIONARY COMMUNIST PARTY!
SOCIAL INVESTIGATION FOR THE DRAFT PROGRAMME AND MEETING THE REAL PROLETARIAT
Earlier this year I was part of a group that did social investigation among the Latino immigrant proletarian population in the L.A. area. The investigations had two phases. First we did book and library research. This was very helpful in terms of giving us a general understanding of the major shifts in immigration since the 1980s. We learned that Latino immigrants have been and continue to be an overwhelmingly impoverished group. The vast majority have no healthcare because they can't afford it. Through our research we came across several articles that brought back dreadful memories of the incident of the little boy who died because his parents were too scared to take him to the hospital out of fear of being deported!
We then moved on to the second phase of our investigation. Coming into the second phase I had only a vague idea of who, where, and whether or not the real proletariat existed. However, Marx's description of the proletariat as a class of people "with nothing to lose but their chains" found full expression through the heart-breaking yet beautiful and inspirational stories of the people we interviewed.
The entire process was very infuriating but also very empowering and liberating. It was very infuriating to hear a youth we interviewed tell her story of how she felt a "sense of hopelessness and disempowerment" because this system shut her out from higher education even though she fully qualified, all because she is undocumented; but it was also empowering and liberating to hear her righteously lash out at this system by saying, "It's bullshit that this is the land of opportunity!"
It was very infuriating to hear the story of an older immigrant woman working as a maid bitterly speak about her boss "checking and going through my bags" because they think she's a thief and how it's "humiliating, degrading and embarrassing..." and that they're treated like a "slave and an object"; however it's also empowering and liberating to hear how several times she's had the courage to confront her boss and demand she be treated with respect.
It was also very infuriating to hear the people we interviewed speak about their fears and in full detail describe what it is like to live in the shadows; however it was beautiful to hear and feel their hopes and dreams, letting their imagination take them away into a loftier vision of a better world.
It was very infuriating to see an entire class of people overworked, underpaid, criminalized, humiliated, and degraded; however it's empowering and LIBERATING to know that this same class of people in their millions will break the chains and be slaves no more!
UNLEASHING THE FURY OF WOMEN AS A MIGHTY FORCE FOR REVOLUTION
I am just one of the many young women today coming forward as a part of this revolutionary generation, and it is no mistake that I am here today as a part of the RCYB to bring that new world closer to being. I was first drawn to the Party with their line on the woman question. It was like a whole new world had opened up before me with new and different possibilities. For once I did not feel alone and all of a sudden anything was possible. Before this it was quite a different experience.
I was no different from any other woman in this rotten society that has experienced male chauvinism first hand in her life. You can probably ask any woman in this room or any room anywhere in the world for that matter of her own experience and you will hear stories that cry out for revolution. By the time I was 16, every woman I knew had been raped, molested, assaulted or harassed. This is the life experience of a young woman growing up in this society. Just imagine what it is like to be young and hated, assaulted and humiliated just because you happened to be born the wrong sex. Every time you go out you have to concern yourself with how you look and it's not because women are vain by nature. You're either trying to cover yourself so much so that there is no hint of a body to take some attention off of yourself or trying to make yourself look like someone else because we are told every day in so many ways that a woman ain't shit without a man. When you have to hold yourself up to this light a young woman can easily feel worthless and tired of living. Is it any surprise that women starve, mutilate and kill themselves every second in this world? That's half of the world's population hating themselves for some bullshit that they indoctrinate us with in order to keep their blood-sucking system alive. Their system ain't worth one drop of blood, but it's worth many to overthrow it and bury it once and for all.
So what brings me here today...isn't that enough? Even if that were the only problem, that alone is enough reason to make revolution and put something better in its place. I am lucky to be here today dedicating my life to serving the people and bringing about revolution here in the belly of the beast--we need it, the people of the world need it and they need it fast. I can't think of a better way to live my life. I see what it has done to my life and to all the other women out there. The rewards in being a revolutionary communist are many, but I love it when I see another young woman's life transformed and changed forever when she finds revolution. When I hear these stories of young women killing themselves it breaks my heart because I think if only they had found a way out or held on for just a little longer to find revolution, it just might have been the answer they were looking for.
And none of this would have been possible without the RCP. When they say unleash the fury of women as a mighty force for revolution, it's not just because it sounds good--it's because they are serious about revolution and their line on women proves it. They know and understand that you can't have a successful revolution without women playing a leading role in that. And they provide women with so much leadership, not just to fill a quota, but because women have a crucial role to play in revolution. Just look at all the battles going on in the past year--in Seattle, D.C., Philly and Los Angeles there was no denying that women were out there in the forefront leading a lot of it. Just imagine if those women were not there we could probably not look back on it the same way and it would not have been the victory that it was for the people. The bourgeoisie has a place for women and we all know where those two places are. And then the Party has a place for women and that is standing shoulder to shoulder with their brothers to tear down this beast and put a whole new world in its place.
Break the Chains!
Unleash the Fury of Women
As a Mighty Force for Revolution!
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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