I want to thank the other members of the editorial board for their presentations. They were very rich and they should provide a lot of orientation for people. And I want to thank everybody who’s watching this live stream for watching, and encourage you, as the others have, to get out in the streets now, and hit the pavement, be talking to people, get on the phones, get on the internet and bring as many people as we can out to the protests on Saturday.
I just want to make a few points, in listening to all of this and taking it in, that I hope are helpful to everybody. I just want to start with: we really could drive out this regime. This is not just a rhetorical statement that we make because it’s catchy. There is every possibility– if we can mobilize the masses of people in their hundreds of thousands and then their millions into the streets in a sustained way in the month of October leading into the elections and then most likely continuing after that if it’s necessary– that we can actually drive out this regime. And, in fact, it’s even possible, and can’t be ruled out, as Coco [Das] said, that we could drive this regime out before the election. Why? Because of the acuteness of the situation that we face, the sharp divide that exists between the fascist Trump/Pence regime and their opposites, their opponents in the Democratic Party who are running against them and who they have said ever since the election campaign in 2016 – they said of Hillary Clinton, “Lock her up! Lock her up!” And they continue on this vein to demonize and to actually move against their opponents in the ruling class – including, I understand, this week Trump even called for Governor Cuomo in New York City to be “locked up.” And more fundamentally, where our power really comes from lies in the contradiction, the sharp acute divide between the Trump/Pence fascist regime and the interests of the masses of people to not live under a fascist regime, to not live in a fascist America, to not have a fascist America oppress the people of the world on an even more extreme basis than it has over the last decades. And even more, the fact that people have been out in the streets [for Black Lives] – that it’s not just the people’s objective interests and their aspirations – but actually there’s what they have done before.
Look, we have the power, we have a precedent, and we have our principles that give us the potential to mobilize lots of people. We have the power in the masses of people, we have precedent in that there were millions of people, as Carl [Dix] brought out, in June and July and who are still out in the streets in their thousands in different cities around the country protesting for Black lives and against police brutality and against the whole racist, white supremacist history of this country – this is very important. And we have our principles of wanting a world where science matters; we want a world where women are treated as full human beings; we want a world where Black and brown and Native Americans are not just treated as just second-class citizens but are gunned down, and in the case of Native Americans thrown into reservations, and in the case of brown immigrants are housed in concentration camps on the border. We represent these interests and that’s a very powerful thing.
Now, the other reason we can do this is the situation continues to sharpen. I mean just think about… it’s almost dizzying to think about the last 2 weeks and what has happened. I will not recount what others have just said: from the shooting of Jacob Blake, to the vigilantes being called out to Kenosha, murdering 2 heroes, now barely mentioned in the media, to what you saw in Portland.
At the center of this, what is so egregious and so sharp is that Republican National Convention which was nothing but a NAZI rally. We should be putting up on our memes the White House with NAZI regalia on it, because this was a fascist rally in every sense of the word. But all of this is causing more and more people, yes, to use the “f” word, to say “fascism,” to recognize what they’re up against. Now we have to move that recognition into action, move people from saying: “it can’t happen here” to “well, I guess it’s sorta happening here” to saying “it’s happening here and we have to act on that basis.” Because in the sharpness of the situation contains its opposite, contains the interests of people, and we have to speak to that interest. And there is, as other people on the RF Editorial Board have brought out, the suppression…at the heart of fascism is the suppression of all forms of dissent. It is an open terroristic dictatorship, a different form of rule than we’ve seen before in the normal ways that the system dictates the masses of people to live in sub-standard housing, to be unemployed, to be homeless, to not have enough to eat, and to be shot down and incarcerated by this system – that’s the normal workings of this system which is how I look at this from my point of view as a revolutionary and a revolutionary communist and a follower of Bob Avakian. I think lots of people can see this, this [fascism] is qualitatively different and they can see that too. We need to bring that out to them.
And I want to talk, third, about the breadth of unity we need if we’re gonna succeed. Refuse Fascism needs to have big arms and welcome Never Trumpers. Who are the Never Trumpers? They are Republicans of some principle, and maybe of a lot of principle in many cases, who left that Party because they see the grave danger that Trump poses to what they would say is “our democracy”. We need to have a movement that includes Democrats, including people who are convinced Democrats, people in the Biden campaign who have come to recognize the necessity to unite broadly in mass struggle in the streets to drive this regime from power because they see that the interests of humanity, and they see their own interests at stake in the kind of world that they think there should be. And, yes, we should also struggle with these “radicals” who feel that “oh, we can just sit this out, it’s all the same thing.” Of course when they wake up to the reality of fascism they will feel differently about that. And, yes, RF does include people, including Carl and myself and Sunsara, people who are followers of Bob Avakian and the New Communism, who believe that the problems we face, including the rise of fascism, come from the nature of the system and is a product of it and one particular response to the crisis that their system faces around the world. This is a time when we have to unite very broadly, very broadly, to defeat this regime by bringing the one power we actually have which is in the masses of people out into the streets.
I do want to say something about voting. As Carl said, I’m with him that this is the first time that I, personally, will be voting — against Trump and for Biden. Because it will be a great outcome in this election if Biden won by a landslide and Trump said: “I’m gonna leave office.” That is not the likely outcome. That is not the likely outcome … Paul Street did convey accurately the more likely outcome is that this is going to be highly contested going way into December, maybe into January and that Trump will refuse to leave. This is because their fascist regime has said from the very beginning that they view the Trump/Pence regime as their “last chance” to bring about what they have been working on from many different fascist quarters for some time: a fascist America. They are not going to go without a fight and they’ve not only told you that over and over again but they’re demonstrating it now in the blood that’s been spilled in the streets. It’s not just the 2 people killed in Kenosha, but over 30 people have been killed in struggles by these reactionaries with cars and in other ways. And Coco mentioned some of that. I do want to say that Refuse Fascism, as an organization, takes no position on voting; we don’t advocate voting; we don’t advocate not voting; we don’t advocate for any candidates. So the opinions that I expressed and Carl expressed and Paul Street expressed are our own opinions as to what our relationship to this particular election will be. And that’s an important point.
But the main point I’m making here in my third point is that we have to unite very broadly in this struggle to drive out the regime, which is why we have one single demand: Trump/Pence Out Now! The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! That is what we are united around. And that will allow the broadest number of people to take to the streets.
Now, as this crisis develops, should he decide, should Trump refuse to leave office and contest the election – if hundreds of thousands of people have been in the streets and that grows to millions, as it will grow in the kind of outrage over him trying to overthrow or actually steal the election – then if you have that power already in the streets… there are people in the ruling class – and we’re counting on this, if and when faced with a society-wide crisis, with millions of people in the street, society shutting down in that kind of a way – the kind of thing that you got a taste of in June and July, and that, as Coco said, you’re seeing now in Belarus – people going out every weekend, and as we saw before in the Arab spring and in South Korea — in that kind of situation different people in the ruling class could decide for their own interests and for their own reasons to escort Trump out. And that even could include the military or sections of the military at that point. You don’t know what’s possible when masses of people take history into their hands, which is what we are calling for.
This is no joke. This is not an easy struggle. But really at this point this is the only recourse the masses of people have. They don’t fully understand that yet – that’s our job. So everybody who comes to the 5th – and we have to get as many people out there on the 5th – needs to be turned into organizers, need to be turned into advocates. They need to be turned into activists on every platform they can find, to be bringing more and more people out into the streets in October and gathering people together now, as Coco and Samantha were saying, in cultural events, in discussions and debates, in protests, in taking up different manifestations of where the Trump people are trying to prevent the vote or steal the vote or anything else they’re trying to do, or suppress the masses of people in any and every struggle. We need to be there, but we have to be gathering this force to prevent a great catastrophe to humanity. That’s our mission. And preventing this catastrophe, I just want to say, opens up a lot of possibilities. I want to just say, this is an extremely beautiful and powerful thing we are doing. Imagine…just think about… really reach deep into not only your own hearts but the hearts of masses of people who have been living with this horror of this regime, of this maniac – 180,000 people unnecessarily dead from this pandemic. Some people, yes, would have died from this, that’s not a question, they have all over the world. But this has been made way worse by [this regime].…
Imagine what it would mean if this regime were driven from power by the united action of hundreds of thousands and millions of people, the sense of possibility of changing the world in whatever way each of us think that should be, would be greatly heightened. The unity between people would be heightened. The potential to wrench something different out of this would be greatly strengthened. And so it’s not just the negatives of a fascist regime, which is about as negative as you can get — but it is the beauty and the power of the people prevailing over such a reactionary and vicious and vile regime that will inspire people, not just here, but around the world.
So with that, let’s go all out for this coming Saturday, September 5th. And then let’s go forward from there with all we’ve got for the month of September and then on into October and build the kind of movement that could drive this regime from power.