November 7, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us From readers:
Just days leading into the 2016 presidential election, with all the fascist Trump ugliness being unleashed across the country, revcoms marched onto Cleveland State University (CSU) with the message, “America was NEVER great! We need to overthrow— not vote for— this system!” With that simple and radical message, standing on an American flag and holding a sign promoting THE NEW COMMUNISM by Bob Avakian, we drew out a shitstorm of “USA”-chanting, America-first bigots and assholes, and brought a real lesson to the students of CSU: a challenge to “America’s greatness” and the fascists promoting it, and what is the real WAY OUT of this mess for humanity—revolution, nothing less.
The revcom crew hitting the ground in Cleveland this week are part of the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Tour and the RNC16: the 16 Revolution Club members who were illegally arrested this summer for daring to project revolutionary authority in opposition to the Trump Nazi-rally, burning the U.S. flag at the entrance to the Republican National Convention. We were dragged back to Cleveland by the criminal INjustice system for a court hearing November 3 and decided to make good use of our trip!
When we first got to the quad, it was a sleepy mid-day Friday at CSU and a few people passing through stopped to talk in quiet one-on-one discussions. As more people started passing through the area, we sharpened up our message over the bullhorn: of the actual history of this country, why we need to overthrow, not vote for, this system, and the leadership and science we have for an actual revolution. At first a small group of students gathered on a second-floor landing a little distance from us, watching and yelling out a couple things. The comrade on the bullhorn challenged them to make an argument defending this American rag, and all the crimes against humanity it stands for. Other Trump assholes came up to physically try to go after the revcoms, but were prevented from carrying out their attack by comrades who blocked the blows and other students who grabbed and yanked away one of the assholes. The police came in and, instead of attacking the revcoms like they did last summer, decided this time it was in their interests to masquerade as “neutral.”
Some of the reactionary Trump fools ran off and came back carrying a U.S. flag on a pole, and at that point a crowd had already begun to form. For more than an hour, we debated and chanted and engaged students in the courtyard, including passing out the “HOW WE CAN WIN” booklet and Carl Dix’s statement, “Why I Am Not Voting In This Election, Why You Shouldn’t Either…But Why I Will Defend the Right of Black and Other Oppressed People to Vote.” The most vocal and numerous were the America-first assholes. At the same time, there were others there listening, some in snarky amusement, but others who were seriously watching the whole thing and were challenged with joining the forces for revolution. “When was America great?” challenged one of the revcoms. One reactionary said America was great in 1776. The revcom turned to a group of Black high school students who were watching all this with their social studies class and asked them, “What was happening in America in 1776?” A young woman answered, “slavery!” When we marched away through the cafeteria, we were followed by flag-wavers, police, and dozens of other students.
After leaving CSU, we marched through downtown Cleveland to join up with a protest in support of the Standing Rock water defenders, arriving towards the end. We arrived chanting “America Was Never Great.” And as the rally ended, we stood in formation and a revcom spoke powerfully to the protesters in solidarity with Standing Rock and bringing forward the need for an actual revolution, that we have the leadership and plan for it, and calling on everyone there to join in getting organized for revolution. Many people appreciated the message and stuck around to talk afterwards, with some getting into “HOW WE CAN WIN” and getting connected with the Revolution Club plans for the rest of the week.