August 2012


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Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
David Westman <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 6 Aug 2012 06:16:10 -0700
Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Maggie, and all SftP activists,
         Even though you have treated me very unfairly recently by 
ignoring or dismissing all my posts on any issue, I will endorse this 
call for rejection of the unjust condemnation of the RCP and Bob 
Avakian.   I do not agree with the RCP and Bob Avakian on many points, 
and I think they are quite wrong in their strategy and tactics, but I 
cannot stand by and see them singled out in this fashion.    Thank you 
for posting this.

David Westman

On 8/6/2012 1:45 AM, Maggie Zhou wrote:
> Dear climate activists,
> The US (and UK, and other NATO powers) government has been busy 
> associating activism of many stripes with the magic black paint of 
> "terrorism", starting with the most radical groups, but using laws 
> purposely written in vague languages, closing in on all the rest that 
> poses any threat/inconvenience to the powers-that-be, just like using 
> a giant dragnet.  Environmentalists, and indigenous rights groups 
> struggling to protect their land, water and soil, have been often 
> lumped in with and treated using the same tactics as "terrorist 
> organizations" by the US intelligence/security apparatus, according to 
> some declassified/leaked documents.  So, I hope you do not consider 
> the below irrelevant to these mailing lists, especially since it has 
> become clearer than ever that a truly systemic change to the 
> profit-driven capitalist/imperialist system is needed to allow any 
> real solutions to the climate crisis, and we will need all our allies 
> in other social movements to effect that change, and can not allow the 
> fascists in power to take us out one by one.
> Below is a request for individual/organizational endorsement of a 
> statement fighting back on a dangerous insinuation by the legal ruling 
> in the USA in the case of /Hedges et al. v Obama et al. /pertaining to 
> the National Defense Authorization Act, and about who the government 
> can claim to advocate violence/terrorism.  Though the case is in the 
> US, theywelcome international endorsements as well.
> Even though I disagree with the RCP on some major points, I understand 
> that RCP does not advocate terrorism, which is violence against 
> innocent people.  They only advocate being prepared to meet violent 
> repression unleashed by the state, which I think should be totally 
> legal as it would be self-defense, though I don't even know if that's 
> a viable strategy (could violent response to state violence be used to 
> justify more violent repression, and also prevent internal revulsion 
> among the ranks of the state's military/police apparatus?)  In any 
> case, RCP's advocacy and organizing should be protected by our 
> constitutional rights, and we can not allow them to be singled out for 
> persecution.  Besides, the US and NATO has been providing "material 
> support" to the "rebels" in Syria, and previously in Libya and many 
> other places, to violently challenge their respective states, and 
> often proactively, as opposed to in self-defense, so the hypocrisy is 
> quite naked.
> If you do not see the text of the statement itself titled "*A Call To 
> Stand Together To Oppose The Obama Administration’s Dangerous Assault 
> On Fundamental Rights*", immediately below the name and email of 
> Raymond Lotta, please let me know.  Some others have reported this 
> strange disappearance of the text, and the pdf of the statement fails 
> to forward too.
> Thanks, and all the best.
> Maggie Zhou
> ----- Forwarded Message -----
> *From:* raymond lotta <[log in to unmask]>
> *To:* Raymond Lotta <[log in to unmask]>
> *Sent:* Saturday, August 4, 2012 6:33 PM
> *Subject:* Response requested: Statement vs NDAA
> Dear Friend,
> I am sharing with you a public statement for signature entitled “A 
> Call To Stand Together To Oppose The Obama Administration’s Dangerous 
> Assault On Fundamental Rights.” The statement can be read below this 
> letter or as an attachment (and it will soon be posted on the web).
> The purpose of this statement is to call attention, and summon 
> resistance, to a dangerous trajectory of repressive acts and laws and 
> to reaffirm a core principle: we cannot allow any one group or person 
> to be singled out and targeted. I have drawn up this statement out of 
> great concern for the situation we are confronting—and in doing so 
> have consulted with, and incorporated the insights of, others 
> expressing similar concerns.
> The immediate catalyst for this statement is the National Defense 
> Authorization Act of 2012 and the ruling of May 16 by District Judge 
> Katherine Forrest in response to the law suit/Hedges et al. v Obama et 
> al./ The ruling was a mainly positive one, but it also contains an 
> erroneous and potentially harmful characterization of the 
> Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP) and its Chairman, Bob 
> Avakian. For background, you can look at the article 
> <> I 
> have written for /Revolution/ newspaper. The legal steps taken to 
> rectify this mischaracterization are summarized here 
> <>. 
> As for the RCP’s actual view on the struggle for revolutionary change, 
> here is a link <>.
> This public statement below is aimed at broadly influencing public 
> opinion and helping, along with other efforts, to galvanize the kind 
> of opposition that is really needed to the widening assault on 
> fundamental rights.
> I encourage you to become a signatory to this statement; if 
> appropriate, include your institutional affiliation (any public 
> manifestation of this statement will include the phrase “institutional 
> affiliation is for identification purposes only and does not imply 
> endorsement”). Please reply with your information.
> Any thoughts on projecting this statement, as well as your thinking on 
> the larger situation to which it is addressed, would be greatly 
> appreciated.
> In solidarity,
> Raymond Lotta
> [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> ***************************************************************
> *A Call To Stand Together To Oppose The Obama Administration’s 
> Dangerous Assault On Fundamental Rights*
> The administration of Barack Obama, which had promised to put an end 
> to torture and other outrages committed by the Bush Administration, is 
> in fact putting into place a dangerous system of repression and 
> control. This is a serious assault on fundamental rights, and it must 
> be answered not with silence and complicity but with heightened 
> awareness and more determined opposition.
> The record of the Obama Administration is a chilling one. President 
> Obama has preserved Bush’s rendition program, which relies upon 
> torture, and has extended the Patriot Act. His Administration has 
> adopted a quasi-official assassination policy, complete with secret 
> “kill lists” reviewed by the President, which Attorney General Holder 
> has brazenly asserted meets Constitutional standards of due process. 
> In the 2010 case of Holder v HLP [Humanitarian Law Project], the Obama 
> administration successfully argued before the courts that the “crime” 
> of “material support” to “terrorists” be broadened to include merely 
> speaking with and advising (even on some legal matters) any group 
> designated by the government as terrorist. The ruling has already been 
> applied to pro-Palestinian activists and endangers many others, 
> including prominent public intellectuals, as well as groups upholding 
> or advocating fundamental social change.
> The most recent expansion of dangerous and illegitimate government 
> authority is the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This 
> law grants to any U.S. president the power to detain any person, 
> including U.S. citizens, indefinitely and without charge or trial, for 
> the alleged crime of associating with a broad and vague category of 
> people, which could include people who have nothing to do with the 
> 9/11 attacks or with terrorism in general.
> The pattern is disturbingly clear: not just a continuation but a 
> further leap in the draconian measures taken by the Bush 
> administration—under the pretext of the open-ended, so-called War on 
> Terror—to detain, torture, and assassinate…not just a continuation but 
> a further leap in measures to restrict and criminalize dissent and 
> opposition to the status quo.
> This must not go unanswered—nor be allowed to continue to grow 
> increasingly worse. In opposing these repressive moves, it is 
> imperative that people not allow anyone, or any one group, to be 
> singled out or targeted for repression. In this regard, the lawsuit 
> Hedges et al. v Obama et al. that is challenging ominous provisions of 
> the NDAA is quite salient. On May 16, a federal district court ruled 
> in favor of the plaintiffs and issued a temporary injunction blocking 
> the government from implementing Section 1021 of this law. But 
> insinuated into this mainly positive ruling is a reference to the 
> Revolutionary Communist Party, USA and its Chairman Bob Avakian which 
> is an erroneous and potentially harmful characterization that could be 
> used as a pretext to criminalize what is constitutionally protected 
> freedom of speech and association and potentially sweep the RCP and 
> its Chairman into a category of organizations identified by the 
> government as terrorist.
> Those of us signing this statement cannot speak for the RCP and indeed 
> have various levels of familiarity with and a variety of views on its 
> philosophical and political principles and objectives. But we do not 
> countenance—and recognize as very dangerous—the designation by the 
> powers-that-be of groups as politically “acceptable” and 
> “unacceptable.” History teaches, by negative and positive example, 
> that we must stand against attempts to divide progressive, radical, 
> and revolutionary forces along any such lines.
> In this there are very important lessons to be drawn from the 
> self-critical summation by Pastor Martin Niemoeller of his experience 
> when confronted with the heightening repression carried out by the 
> Nazi regime in Germany during the 1930s:
> “First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I 
> wasn’t a communist.
> Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because 
> I wasn’t a trade unionist.
> Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a 
> Jew.
> Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak out because I was 
> a Protestant.
> Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak out 
> for me.”
> The signatories of this statement call on people to step forward and 
> stand together to oppose the assault on dissent and the moves to 
> restrict and criminalize oppositional speech, association, and 
> political activity, which are being carried out by the Obama 
> Administration and which continue and expand dangerous precedents and 
> mechanisms which can also be utilized by any future Administration.