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 What's changed in the 40 years since Watts?  When people were asked why they rebelled in 1965, many

answered that it was because there were no jobs, the education Black people got was second rate and the police

beat and even killed people and got away scot free.



The Watts RebellionFrom a Revolutionary Perspective  

By the Revolutionary Communist 4


The following is an op-ed piece written by on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the L.A. Watts Rebellion of 1965.  The RC4 are currently in Los Angeles and will be speaking on August 20th at the Crenshaw United Methodist Church.

What are the lessons of the Watts rebellion?  First, when Black people rise up against their oppression, people around the world are impacted.  When Watts erupted in righteous rebellion in 1965, it sent shock waves around the world. People from Germany to South Africa know of this small place in Los Angeles because of the rebellion.

Second, when Black people rise up against the hell this system puts them thru it inspires many other sections of people to join in the fight against oppression and injustice.  And it gives a harder edge to the resistance already being waged.  The rebellion in Watts played an important part in the transformation of the movement among Black people in the 1960s from civil rights to Black liberation.  When people like Martin Luther King came to Watts in '65 to try to get people to cool out, he got shouted down and run out of town.  Watts contributed to the development of revolutionary resistance among many different sections of people in the '60swomen, Latinos, people opposed to the war in Vietnam.

The rebellion in 1992 in Los Angeles underscored these lessons.  It jumped off first among Black people enraged at the acquittal of the cops who beat Rodney King.  And it quickly spread like wild fire among our Latino brothers and sisters who also face impoverishment and discrimination.  Graffiti appeared that spoke directly to the spirit of unity:  "Bloods, Crips and Mexicans united. April 29th 1992."  White people also directly participated in this rebellion.

What's changed in the 40 years since Watts?  When people were asked why they rebelled in 1965, many answered that it was because there were no jobs, the education Black people got was second rate and the police beat and even killed people and got away scot free.  Isn't all this still in effect today?  Doesn't the murder of Devin Brown, a 14 year old kid gunned down in cold blood in 2005 bring to mind the murder of 14 year old Emmitt Till in Money, Mississippi in 1955?  Only this is South Central LA and Devin Brown was murdered by the police while Emmitt Till was murdered by the KKK. In both cases those who are responsible are still walking around.

What has changed for the great mass of Black people over these years? Not a damn thing! Black people are still catching mo' hell than a little bit!

How long will all this continue to go on?  Until Black people get with a movement rooted among people locked on the bottom of this society of all nationalities that's aiming to end the oppression this system inflicts on Black people and all the other problems people face today.

Our nationwide tour, the Revolutionary Communist Speaking Tour, hits LA on August 20th, at the Crenshaw United Methodist Church at 3740 Don Felipe Drive, and we will bring a challenge to Black people, other oppressed people and everybody who hates the many foul things this system does to peoplethere is a different possible future than the one Bush and the Christian fundamentalists around him have in store for the country and the world.

A future where people consciously learn about and transform the world, and are not imprisoned in the chains of tradition and ignorance. A world without racism and without borders. A vibrant place, where people together debate and decide how to develop society. A world where people no longer wonder where their next meal will come from, or if they will be homeless, or abandoned or sick in their old agea world of abundance, where people together hold all of society's resources in common. A world where people not only work to produce the necessities of life, but get into art and culture and scienceand have fun doing it! A world without the domination of women by men, where people interact with each other based on mutual respect, concern and love for humanity. A world that looks out for and takes care of the environment.

That is the communist world envisioned by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party. We will bring out that people need to get with this revolution and this leader. And we will challenge people to get out of the things that stand in the way of them realizing their revolutionary potential:  Viewing preachers as the spokespeople for Black people, even as some Black preachers hang out with Bush and his crowd.  Buying into Bill Cosby's line that Black people are responsible for their own oppression.  Disrespecting women, thinking hip-hop capitalism is the answer to our problems when it's really the source of them.  Getting caught up in "pimpin' and playin'" and "bangin' and slangin.'"

It's Way Past Time to Throw Off the Chains of Oppression and Get With the Emancipators of Humanity!

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Who are the Revolutionary Communist 4?

The Revolutionary Communist 4 (RC4) are Clyde Young, Joe Veale, Carl Dix, and Akil Bomani.  They say:  "We are revolutionary communists who have lived thru the hell this system forces Black people to endure.  We do not believe in gods or saviors.  We look reality in the face, and we are passionate about changing the world." They are currently on a nationwide speaking tour and will speak in LA on Saturday, August 20th, at 2 PM at the Crenshaw United Methodist Church at 3740 Don Felipe Drive.  For more information you can contact the RC 4 at (213) 804-7710 or via email at

Los Angeles Committee to Support the
Revolutionary Communist 4 (RC4) Speaking Tour
Contact: Tony Vargas
(213) 804-7710

Carl Dix, National Spokesperson, Revolutionary Communist Party

P.O. Box 941, Knickerbocker Station, New York, NY 10002-0900

866-841-9139 x2670

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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The New Jim Crow

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By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

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W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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posted 17 August 2005




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