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1968 A YEAR OF REVOLTS; a year remembered for important social conflicts and popular rebellions against repressive states, militarism and capitalism.

30 Nov








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Newsletter – Now’s The Time! Next Phase For Popular Resistance 

18 Dec


By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, www.popularresistance.org



Today, we are excited to announce the next phase of Popular Resistance. We are starting with a new website that is easier for you to use and to share, and then we’ll bring you expanded media and the Popular Resistance School in the new year. Together, we are building the culture of resistance necessary at this point in human history.

The countdown this past ten days has been like a walk down Memory Lane for us and an opportunity for you to meet some of the people who work with Popular Resistance. Before we describe the next phase in more detail, we would like to tell you about Popular Resistance’s origins.

The History of Popular Resistance

When we started Popular Resistance over four years ago, it was after the Occupy encampment era. We helped to organize Occupy Washington, DC on Freedom Plaza in 2011. In the beginning, we called it October 2011 based on the revolutionary movements in Egypt and Spain, which used dates to describe their protests. The Occupy movement did not exist yet, but something was in the air. Many groups were discussing and planning types of sustained actions.

Occupy Washington, DC was planned to be a national action. There were more than 50 state coordinators in 36 states working to bring people to Freedom Plaza on October 6, 2011. We all hoped that the action would be successful, but never did we expect the fantastic take off of the Occupy movement. It changed the national conversation quickly by exposing the corruption of Wall Street and the obscene wealth divide. It built a space where people could see that they were not alone, that their circumstances were caused by a system, not by their actions, and where people could learn about how that system works and how it could be changed.

When the encampments wound down, many people formed groups to focus on specific root causes of the crises we face, such as debt and an unfair economy, or organized around specific issues such as housing, education and health care. The activity kept going, but many people were unaware of it because the corporate media didn’t cover it. We felt a strong need to keep informing people about the beautiful resistance actions and work being done to build alternative systems. As we organized campaigns of our own, we also kept posting about other activities on the Occupy Washington, DC website.

In the Fall of 2012, we took on a process of determining how our work could better serve what needed to be done to build a movement of movements to transform the country, and so we took a partial hiatus and focused on a series of strategy meetings. This culminated in a retreat in March, 2013, where we delved deeply into what the current environment was in the country, what were impediments to change and what we could do to augment the work that needed to be done. Out of that, we developed our priorities and Popular Resistance was launched in June, 2013.

One of our priorities is education. The government and corporate media try to mislead people on many issues, so an analysis that explains what is really happening is essential. In addition, we knew the corporate media would not report on the movement, so media for the movement is necessary. There is also a need for examination of the history of movements and understanding movement strategy and tactics. And, there is a need for people to see how the various issues are connected to each other in order to build a mass movement of movements. Understanding the root causes of injustice, how power operates and how it can be challenged is the foundation of every effort to organize people into an effective force.



An ongoing priority is building a culture of resistance. As we looked at efforts across the country, we could see that people in the US were rising up to challenge injustice in their communities, but this revolt wasn’t widely known. The corporate media works to divide and distract us and to convince us that we are powerless. Seeing people and groups taking action to confront injustice demonstrates that resistance is an acceptable and effective strategy and teaches us how to resist. We are inspired by the actions of others. And it is important to know that there are groups challenging the status quo and advocating for bold solutions. Some groups, members of the non-profit industrial complex and/or partisan groups, are limited in what they can do. The presence of a more radical element pulls those groups to be bolder.

One approach to this was for Popular Resistance to choose campaigns that unite movements, e.g. stopping the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which impacts every issue we work on, and fighting for Internet freedom and net neutrality because everyone in the movement requires equal access to the Internet to reach people with their messages and to organize, as well as for day-to-day activities. Expanded and improved Medicare for all is another campaign because health care impacts everyone, and it helps people understand the overall philosophy of putting people and the planet ahead of profits in a very palpable way. Working to stop dependence on oil and gas and transitioning to a clean energy economy is another fundamental issue. Of course, challenging militarism abroad and at home is also a critical concern. Through the campaigns that Popular Resistance organizes and collaborates on, we work to improve activists’ skills and to provide tools for action. This is done through action camps, national calls and issue-specific websites.

Hand-in-hand with resistance actions, there must also be constructive programs – work to build alternative systems to replace the current dysfunctional ones. The “Create” section on Popular Resistance highlights those activities, as does our campaign to build a democratized economy that reduces the wealth divide, It’s Our Economy. We also see the essential need to highlight art in the movement and do so through Creative Resistance. The tagline for the October 2011 occupation was “Stop the machine, create a new world.”



The Next Phase of Popular Resistance

We have reached a very critical phase in the state of resistance in the United States, and we must be prepared to navigate it.

Although they were largely quiet about wars, militarism, economic injustice, destruction of the environment and racism during the Obama Presidency, many Democratic Party-aligned groups have risen up under President Trump and proclaimed themselves to be “the resistance.” They are resisting the Republicans and their theory of change involves electing more Democrats. The Democrats have tremendous resources for reaching and mobilizing people, which they are using to channel people into electoral work. This will escalate in the next three years, especially during election seasons.

But, the reality is the crises we face are bigger than Trump and the Republicans. If people who consider themselves to be progressive, many of whom are activated for the first time, lack an understanding of what is happening, why it is happening and what to do about it, they will be mislead down a false path. Our work must be to reach more people and to provide education and skills-building to help them to be effective change agents, and we must do this in an environment that is hostile to dissent and works to confuse and mislead people.

This means that our work must expand, and that is what  this next phase is intended to accomplish.

The centerpiece of our next phase will be a significant upgrade of the Popular Resistance website. The site will continue to be a hub for coverage of the movement and issues, but it will also make it much easier for you to share media through social media. The attack on independent and people’s media is becoming more extreme so we must each increase our efforts to spread the news and share information. Sharing media is an act of resistance. You will also  find it easier to access videos and our podcasts and to submit your events directly to the national calendar.

Popular Resistance is building its own audio and video studio. We have been producing a weekly podcast, Clearing the FOG, for the last six years. This will allow us not only to continue Clearing the FOG but also to produce more audio and video media. We will be able to respond to breaking news, interview key people, produce live streams and reach a wider audience.

Related to this, Popular Resistance is developing a school. This web-based school will cover strategy and tactics, detailed analysis of key issues and skills-building videos. Our first school, which will begin early next year, will focus on how movements grow and succeed and what strategies and tactics have been shown to be effective.

Popular Resistance will continue its current campaigns, but is also considering new campaigns in 2018. They are campaigns that unite different segments of the movement in order to demonstrate that we are a movement of movements. Our action camps will continue too. The next one will be part of the Health Over Profit for Everyone (HOPE) campaign to win National Improved Medicare for All. The HOPE action camp will take place April 7 to 10 in Washington, DC.

We have more plans we’d like to implement if we obtain the necessary resources. And this is where we appeal to you. We are aware that most of our readers, like the majority of people in the United States, are struggling to meet their basic needs. At the same time, we must build an effective resistance if we are to change the current situation, and this takes funds. Groups that challenge the status quo are less likely to receive grants. If you are able to donate, please consider supporting Popular Resistance with a tax-deductible end-of-the-year donation. Perhaps, you would consider becoming a monthly donor. A few dollars a month from many people is significant. 




Preparing a Transformational Future

With the extremism that is currently being shown in government and the economy, it is hard for some to imagine a social movement making advancements, but we see the extremism as an opportunity, like a spring being pushed down before it releases.

Every society has a tipping point. A  study published last month looked at wealth divide and tipping points throughout human history. Measuring inequality is done by the  Gini coefficient, which gives perfect, egalitarian societies a score of 0 and high-inequality societies a score of 1. The United States has a score of .81, one of the highest in the world. Research shows that inequality leads to social instability. Tim Kohler, Ph.D., the study’s lead author, warned “we could be inviting revolution, or we could be inviting state collapse. There’s only a few things that are going to decrease our Ginis dramatically.”

Some people are predicting a boomerang in response to the proposed tax cuts, which are a grotesque money grab on behalf of the wealthiest people in the United States, and greater austerity. The money grab comes at a time when three people have the wealth of half the population and when corporate profits are soaring while workers struggle with survival. According to the Tax Policy Center, by 2027, the top one-fifth of earners would receive 90 percent of the tax bill’s benefits.

Sam Pizzigati, who studies and writes about inequality, describes the current situation as akin to 1932. He writes “Back in 1932, just as today, conservatives had a lockgrip on the White House and both houses of Congress. Then as now, America’s wealthy lusted for fundamental tax changes that would significantly reduce their already reduced tax burden.” He describes how the corporate media pushed legislation for the wealthy and both parties were guilty of serving big business. The government went too far, and in reaction “Americans would push back. They would mount the first national political surge against plutocracy…The surge broke out almost as a matter of spontaneous political combustion. From across the nation.” The political reaction to big business extremism and the depression resulted in more than doubling the top tax rate to 63% and a host of programs to lift people up economically and provide for basic necessities. Franklin Delano Roosevelt rose to power on this political movement calling for policies on behalf of the “forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.”

The current political culture is more divided than it looks – not just between Republicans and Democrats, who are two wings of a Wall Street and war party – but also between the people and those in power. The issue of inequality is on the political table – forced there by Occupy, the Fight for $15 among others, racial inequality and police violence are part of the political dialogue because of Black Lives Matter, fair immigration is being fought for by multiple vibrant immigration groups, healthcare for all is being urged by a single payer movement, Freedom of Speech, Internet freedom and net neutrality are supported by tens of millions of people and climate justice movement against fracking, oil, gas and their infrastructure are being fought by a growing movement. The peace movement continues with a variety of new groups working to end war and challenging militarism. These are just a few of many vibrant fronts of struggle where people are educating and organizing.

Our job now is to build on these efforts to create a mass-based foundation for the boomerang against plutocratic extremism. The more we do now to educate, organize and activate, the stronger our opportunities will be in the future. Popular Resistance is entering this new phase to help build the movement so positive transformations can occur when opportunities arise.

As a member of the Popular Resistance community, you are part of this growing resistance that will transform our society and the world. We urge you to continue sharing what you are doing in your communities. Send us your press releases, articles and videos. Share the content that you find on Popular Resistance through social media. Join or support the campaigns that you learn about on Popular Resistance. We also urge to support Popular Resistance with your funds and make a donation today.

This is an exciting, though challenging time, and we are excited for the real possibilities that it provides. Together we will stop the machine and create a new world.




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Source: Newsletter – Now’s The Time! Next Phase For Popular Resistance | PopularResistance.Org

Huey Newton’s Lessons for World Revolution in Our Times 

3 Nov


“Huey used the framework of dialectical materialism, which gave him the understanding that all development is a struggle between contradictions.”BAR contributor Danny Haiphong delivered the following remarks to a day-long conference on “Huey P. Newton: Our Struggle for Self-Determination and World Peace” October 28, at Temple University, in Philadelphia.

First, to discuss the significance of Huey P. Newton and the theory of revolutionary intercommunalism in the same space as Mumia Abu-Jamal, Yvonne King, and Regina Jennings is more than the word honor can describe. A big thanks to the Black and Brown Coalition for putting this conference together. The foundations for this conference reminded me of what Huey P. Newton said at the Revolutionary People’s Convention in 1970, which was also held at Temple:

“We who are gathered here by our presence do resolve to liberate our communities from the boot and whip of the oppressor so that people of good will may live their lives free from want, free from fear, and free from need.”

Huey Newton helped me take this pledge. As an alienated subject of empire, my family’s history cannot be separated from the US imperialist war on Vietnam’s just struggle for socialism. The Agent Orange sprayed over the lands of a quarter of the country and the imperial violence experienced by the people of Vietnam left an indelible mark on my personal history. Vietnam’s victory over the US, so repressed by the popular mythology of the US empire, led me to search for the truth about US wars not found in Ken Burns documentaries. Huey Newton helped me find the truth. He helped me see this period as one marked by war. Few others have raised the people’s subjective consciousness to the conditions of war and have prepared them to fight for global peace as Huey P. Newton.

“He connected the police occupation of the Black community to expand white capitalist profit to the wars waged by the US military abroad for the same purpose.”



Huey P. Newton conceptualized peace not as an abstract idea, but a material condition rooted in the interconnected development of history and political economy. The path he traveled to become a revolutionary warrior for peace was paved by the reality of endless war. Huey observed two forms of war. He founded the Black Panther Party first as a self-defense organization of the Black working class trapped in ghettos occupied and terrorized by the police. That was the first front of war. Huey then emphasized that Black people also needed to defend themselves from what the police protected: capitalism’s impoverishment of the Black community. He connected the police occupation of the Black community to expand white capitalist profit to the wars waged by the US military abroad for the same purpose. He believed that Black liberation was impossible without the support of the colonial peoples waging wars for national liberation and socialism.

Huey’s understanding of war propelled the Black Panther Party into a vanguard position in the world revolutionary movement for peace and socialism. His leadership represented the best of the Black Radical Tradition’s long history of international solidarity with the oppressed worldwide. He was instrumental in the development of the Black Panther Party’s international chapters in nations such as North Korea and Algeria and organized a delegation to socialist China just prior to Nixon’s historic trip in 1972. But Huey was neither an adventurist nor dogmatist. He was a Marxist-Leninist and believed that theory had to be grounded in the material reality of the people if it is to bring about revolutionary change.

“Newton believed that Black liberation was impossible without the support of the colonial peoples waging wars for national liberation and socialism.”



Huey Newton was a student of history who sought to advance the people to a higher level of consciousness than what had been achieved in prior generations of Black struggle. That is why Huey developed the theory of revolutionary intercommunalism. He observed that US imperialism was evolving into a high-tech, global empire. This empire degraded the condition of the working-class to the status of “unemployable.” Huey also observed that the US empire didn’t allow colonized nations to exercise independence without the threat of war. Advances in technology and the concentration of capital had placed humanity into one “global village.” Oppressed people faced the same oppressor not as nations, but as communities. Some of these communities, like socialist China, had liberated their territories and formed socialist, planned economies. Still others were completely dispossessed of the state power required to determine their own destinies.

Revolutionary intercommunalism was Huey’s contribution to Marxist theory as it applied to Black people and oppressed people worldwide. Imperialism was the central question. The peoples’ wars that were raging in Vietnam, Mozambique, and Uruguay when Huey introduced the concept in 1970 were profoundly important in the development of the theory. Huey studied their successes and their failures. He urged the Black Panther Party to reach out to national liberation movements wherever they resided. In a letter to the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, he explained that:

“Our struggle for liberation is based upon justice and equality for all men. Thus we are interested in the people of any territory where the crack of the oppressor’s whip may be heard. We have the obligation to take the concept of internationalism to its final conclusion–the destruction of statehood itself. This will lead us to an era where the withering away of the state will occur and men will extend their hand in friendship throughout the world.”

Revolutionary intercommunalism presented a practical guide toward the goal of a classless world. That meant, as Huey explained, “it is imperative to defend people of color when they are attacked by American troops in other lands. These attacks are designed to continue the profit mongering of the ruling class. . .” The first lesson of revolutionary intercommunalism, then, is to oppose US imperialist war. The second is to unite with oppressed peoples subject to US imperialist war in a common program for human emancipation.

“Revolutionary intercommunalism was Huey’s contribution to Marxist theory as it applied to Black people and oppressed people worldwide.”

What else do we learn from revolutionary intercommunalism? We learn that the question of class is in fact not a matter of mere economics. That class is what shapes the interests of the global order and is attached to the hip of any real understanding of white supremacy or racism. That figures like Ta-Nahesi Coates talk about race as a static phenomenon detached from material reality, all in the name of personal class gain. The class from which Coates belongs ignores the world in its entirety. It makes attractive statements about the racist roots of the US but fails to acknowledge who those racist roots serve and how they serve them. It is much easier to lay the blame for oppression on white American foot soldiers of white supremacy than to look at the class in power. Especially if your goal is to be that class or make peace with that class.

Revolutionary intercommunalism, however, is about waging a people’s war for real peace in our time. We are faced with a dangerous global situation, more dangerous than the one Huey Newton inherited. The US imperialist system is playing with a world war scenario that has the potential to be more destructive than any war ever known to humanity. A bi-partisan consensus exists in the halls of Washington and the US military to wage war on Russia, China, and whatever independent political force gets in the way of their quest for unquestioned hegemony and guaranteed profit for the military, finance, and corporate capitalists, even if it means rendering the planet to nuclear dust. Millions have died in the US military’s endless war on the people of Syria, Iraq, and Libya. The DPRK, a friend of the Black Panther Party, hangs on to independence despite a constant barrage of US-backed provocations in the Korean Peninsula. Africa is almost entirely occupied by the US military in the hopes that China will cease economic activity with the resource rich continent. Political chaos and economic stagnation prevail in much of the world, especially in the so-called “developed” countries in the US and Western orbit.

“It is imperative to defend people of color when they are attacked by American troops in other lands.”



Yet war and peace is not the question on the order of the day for most who are engaged in the struggle for social justice of any kind. There is little identification with the oppressed classes of the world because few in the struggle identify as a class. Few US-based left tendencies, organizations, and groups offer solidarity to oppressed people facing the same enemy that exists here. In fact, a lot of them repeat the mantras of the empire and place themselves in the imperialist camp. Not only have the people of Syria, Libya, Korea, and elsewhere suffered from this fatal error, but so too have poor and working class people in the US suffered, especially the Black poor. Black wealth is approaching zero, joblessness and poverty is rampant, and the mass incarceration state refuses to let up in a period where it takes nearly a trillion in US tax dollars to maintain US military supremacy worldwide. It is as if we should forget that the NYPD receives training in Israel or that the same weapons deployed to local police against the Black community are used to arm US-backed fascists in Ukraine, Syria, and elsewhere. We are living in an era characterized by full spectrum counter-insurgency warfare enforced by the dominant class.

As Huey proclaimed, the root of the endless war that exists in the world is what unites the oppressed beyond national boundaries. Black Americans share a common enemy with Syrians, Libyans, Russians (yes that’s right, Russians), and Venezuelans to name just a few. That enemy, US imperialism, is more consolidated than during the era of the Panthers. Technology has advanced and confirmed Huey’s analysis that a mass of unemployed proletarians would disrupt the economic stability of the system. US imperialism is more desperate in the 21st century than maybe ever before. It can no longer invade or indebt its way out of economic slowdown. The markets have dried up and much of the planet is looking to China to provide relief amid the destruction that US domination has wrought. As the contradictions become more acute, revolutionary intercommunalism helps inform our answer to the question, where do we go from here?

“Africa is almost entirely occupied by the US military in the hopes that China will cease economic activity with the resource rich continent.”

We can begin to answer this question by recognizing that the method that Huey utilized to devise the theory of revolutionary intercommunalism is just as important as the content of the theory itself. Revolutionary intercommunalism was a specific application of Marxist theory to existing historical conditions. It required a deep study and investigation into the developments of the historical epoch from which Huey lived. The precarious position of the Black poor and the explosive wars that the US empire had imposed on the peoples of the world led Huey to the conclusion that exploited people in the US mainland had to transcend their understanding of what a nation was. The US was no longer a nation, it was an empire destroying national liberation struggles abroad in a similar manner to which it violently opposed any effort by Black America to form its own nation. And Black Americans needed to build international alliances if they were to gain the strength necessary to defeat a global enemy.

The most appropriate way to celebrate revolutionary intercommunalism is to study Huey P. Newton’s methodology. First, we must assist the masses in applying intercommunal thought to the present condition of the masses. We must investigate global developments and make firm conclusions about who can be trusted as friends of the exploited and oppressed in the US, and who are the enemies of peace and liberation. Huey used the framework of dialectical materialism, which gave him the understanding that all development is a struggle between contradictions. These contradictions inevitably produce change at specific stages of the development process. We must harness this mode of thought to understand the forces at play in our current stage of development.

“Black Americans share a common enemy with Syrians, Libyans, Russians (yes that’s right, Russians), and Venezuelans to name just a few.”



Second, we must understand that the conclusions we come to in the 21st century will differ in form but not in substance to Huey’s interpretation of Marxism. A specter of crisis haunts the US imperialist system that was unknown five decades ago. The US is in fact losing its grip on hegemony in the world, especially in the economic realm. US imperialism’s total share of the world economy is shrinking. China, a developed socialist economy, is set to surpass the US as the largest in the world in the coming years. This has sent US imperialism into a state of desperation, launching war after war in hopes that the world will submit to its continued domination.

On the domestic front, there are signs that the masses are rudely awakening to the reality that US imperialism has little to offer except misery and alienation. That was the lesson of the 2016 Presidential elections. US imperialism’s crisis is defined by a terminal decline evident in all spheres of society. More than half of the population in the US is poor and unable to pay for $500 emergencies when they arise. Healthcare remains in private hands and the costs keeps rising. Police repression in poor Black communities continues to intensify. Low-wage jobs and unemployment dominate the economic landscape as automation compels workers to work faster and longer for less pay. The war on the poor is the only means the system has left to maximize profit yet this has come at a significant cost to both the masses and the rulers. The masses feel the burden of poverty and the rulers feel the coming storm of collapse when reality sets in that what the poor produces cannot be absorbed back into the economy without producing harsher and ever more burdensome crises.

“Black Americans needed to build international alliances if they were to gain the strength necessary to defeat a global enemy.”

Huey Newton taught us that the inherent contradictions of US imperialism lead to seismic change. He taught us that the war at home is the war abroad. There is no time to allow so-called leftists who spend their time condemning oppressed people worldwide to continue to lead. These forces must be isolated, and their positions thrown into the dustbin of history. New relations among people in the US will be born out of a deep consciousness of the condition of the oppressed under the gun of empire. Revolutionary intercommunalism was Huey’s call to investigate the common experience of exploited classes and act on this investigation by developing an international political program that can strengthen our struggle in the belly of the empire.

We can start putting Huey’s theory into practice by extending a hand of friendship and solidarity to the targets of empire. The people of the world, though always empathetic to the struggles of oppressed people in the US, cannot possibly trust a movement that does not recognize their rightful struggle against US imperialism. Unlike charities or NGOs which are designed to enrich the oligarchy and subvert self-determination, intercommunal solidarity is driven by the people themselves. If we conclude that oppressed communities share a common enemy, then we must plan a course of action that will bring our common struggle closer to a victorious conclusion.



Source: Huey Newton’s Lessons for World Revolution in Our Times | Black Agenda Report



The “Rigged System” holds no future for the 99% a Political Revolution does Left Wing & Progressive books & blogs fah451bks.wordpress.com

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