Revolution #212, September 26, 2010
Two Big Social Faultlines: Police Brutality and Israel
Revolution newspaper is the key way that we lay bare the big social "faultlines" beneath the surface of society. These faultlines are the oppressive conflicts and tensions—the contradictions—which this system works to contain and misdirect. They are painful... but they are also the stuff which can boil up to crack the surface suppression of society, and out of which righteous struggle can emerge. The paper enables people to understand the turmoil beneath the surface—and it gives people a way to act on it all.
For the next month, we’re going to focus on two big faultlines: the murdering and vicious police brutality that runs rampant in the inner city; and the actions of that U.S. attack dog in the Middle East, a/k/a the state of Israel.
1) This week the paper lays bare how the police harass and brutalize and unjustly imprison and, yes, murder innocent people in cold blood. It shows how they knowingly violate even the professed laws of the system itself, and how they lie and cover up when they are caught. And this issue of the paper shows how people are resisting this, in different ways. It gets the word out about the big national day of protest against this coming up on October 22. It gives people the chance to "bear witness" on the way that they, or people they know, have been brutalized.
So, take this paper—get it out, in different ways, in the communities that are under the gun. Make sure that it ends up widely available—turning up in high schools, laundromats, and wherever people gather in these communities. And get it out as well on the college campuses—where students need to hear what it is like to live in the hellholes of America. Break down barriers—and build a whole different kind of movement as you do so. Make use of the back page poster in this issue—win people to posting this where they live and work. And spread the word about "Bear Witness"—this paper’s effort to get people to tell their stories about the brutality and crimes of the police.
Then, especially (but not only) in the week beginning September 27, put some focus on taking out the Message and Call ("The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have") in its beautiful new edition, along with word of the October 22 protests, to the high schools in these same oppressed communities, and in the suburbs as well. Meet students and teachers, talk with them, and build up the influence and organized ties of this paper at these schools. Get people ready to wear black on October 22 and to figure out other ways to make that a day of ferment and foment in the high schools. Make sure that people have literature and other ways to spread the word on October 22.
Let people know that, as the Message and Call puts it:
The days when this system can just keep on doing what it does to people, here and all over the world...when people are not inspired and organized to stand up against these outrages and to build up the strength to put an end to this madness...those days must be GONE. And they CAN be.
2) The state of Israel was implanted in the Middle East by the imperialist powers—the U.S. and Europe in particular—as a way of controlling that strategic region and keeping the people who live there under the thumb of imperialism. Israel has maintained the Palestinians in what are little more than open-air prison camps for decades—and in the land that until very recently was theirs. And right now, on top of that, the Israeli regime is threatening to attack Iran, waging yet another in a long line of wars against nations in this region. But most people don’t get what’s actually going on in all this.
So opposition and resistance to this must grow, and for that to happen, the real facts and underlying dynamics must be exposed. And this knowledge about, and opposition to, these outrages must grow in particular on the campuses—where new and oppositional ideas first catch hold. To this end, we are doing two things, immediately:
- On October 4, we’re publishing a special issue focused on Israel—its history, its role, and the role of the U.S. behind it. This issue will go deeply into the facts and show the underlying connections between the facts.
- Right now, in this issue, and to get ready for that, we are publishing a special quiz on Israel. Get this quiz out on the campuses. Find professors who will let you get it out in their classes; see if there are student associations who would help distribute it. Then be sure to write the paper with the results—with the responses you got, and with the actual answers to the different questions.
As the article 'Background to this Quiz' shows, even just raising these questions can cause controversy. This kind of controversy is badly needed on campus, to break the deafening—and deadening—silence and complicity on this. This quiz should also get people ready for the October 4 issue, where we’ll print the answers. The answers are also available online at revcom.us. Then, on October 4, get this special issue out on the campuses, in a big big way. Off of that, there should be openings for more discussion and debate.
So, to recap:
From September 21 to 27, get this paper out big in the communities that directly suffer from police terror, spreading word of October 22 as you do, and turning people on to the whole movement FOR REVOLUTION—especially as concentrated in the Message and Call of the RCP. At the same time, also get this paper out on the campuses—and where we can, let’s lead students to go to the communities, and people from the communities to come to the campuses. While you’re doing that, spread the Message and Call, as well as literature about October 22.
From September 27 to October 4, put the focus on getting the Message and Call, along with word of October 22, out to the high schools. At the same time, organize cores—and work with people who are already concerned about this question—to get the Israel quiz out on campuses.
Beginning October 4, mobilize to get the special issue on Israel out onto the campuses. Reach out to people already active and working on this question, and work with imagination and science to have a huge impact.
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