gregory_a_k

“What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers.”—Karl Marx
gregory_a_k » Posts for tag 'Michigan Ave'

Stop Thinking Like An American, Start Thinking About Humanity

As Barack Obama was being sworn in as the new leader of American imperialism, some comrades and I were in Chicago challenging people to consider what it is that Obama really represents, and to stop thinking like Americans and start thinking about humanity.

Stop Thinking Like An American, Start Thinking About Humanity -Michigan Ave. Chicago

We started the day hanging a banner over the Eisenhower Expressway, catching people’s attention on their drive into the city. A number of people honked their horns and waved and gave the thumbs-up, and a few people on the overpass even stopped in the middle of the street to ask about the sign and what it meant. One woman who stopped her car in the middle of the street and talked to me agreed that Obama’s silent complicity in the weeks-long Israeli massacre in Gaza and his plan to send tens of thousands of more troops into Afghanistan were serious concerns of hers, and she took a copy of Revolution newspaper to dig more deeply into exactly what this system is that Obama is now leading (See The Promise of Change, The Rules of The System… And the Real Revolution We Need).

Then we headed downtown to Michigan Ave., where huge JumboTrons had been set up for people to watch the inauguration. Again we had the huge banner, and quite a number of people came up to consider just what it meant, and many took pictures of it – though with the exception of a few videographers, photographers, and reporters (including one from a Spanish-language network) all of the corporate media made sure to avoid the sign and the statement it made that was unavoidable to the crowd gathered there. Many people came up to consider the Uncle Bam poster on the back page of Revolution newspaper as well:

Uncle Bam Revolution #153

Stop Thinking Like An American, Start Thinking About Humanity - Obama Inauguration, Michigan Ave. Chicago

Later in the day we went to DePaul University, and put the banner up at the corner of State and Jackson in downtown Chicago. Many people got copies of Revolution newspaper, and there was a lot of struggle and debate with people over Obama and this system.

Especially in this time of crisis for the American imperialist system, a time so dire that Obama had to be brought in by the ruling class as a trump card to suck people into supporting this system and all of its horrors, it is critically necessary that people oppose this system and get down with Revolution. A new face on American imperialism is not going to bring about any change for the better for the people of this world. Barack Obama stood by in silent criminal complicity as the Israeli army massacred over 1,200 Palestinians – the majority of which were civilians – in Gaza. He stood silent as Oscar Grant was executed by a cop on a subway platform on New Year’s Day in Oakland. On the very day of his inauguration 9 Iraqis died, including a mother and child and an elderly man and his daughter in Baghdad; and the day after 34 Iraqis were killed, and 18 bodies were found in a mass grave (See Iraq Body Count).  Afghan villagers reported that 25 civilians, including 5 women, were killed in a U.S. military raid on Obama’s inauguration day as well. And Obama wants to send 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan.

This is not the “change” that humanity needs. What we need is a communist revolution to get rid of the exploitation and oppression inherent in this capitalist system – a revolution that will bring real change and hope to humanity. As Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA put it:

“To those who say we should ‘give Obama a chance’—the question is: a chance to do what?

Obama has no problem with this system that causes so much misery and oppression, death and destruction, for so many people throughout the world—he is anxious to take over as head of this system. His problem is that this system is in serious crisis and faces all kinds of heavy challenges.

For those who really want an end to oppression, injustice and unjust war, our problem is this system. Our challenge is to make revolution to get rid of this system and emancipate all of humanity from its horrors.

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No! To Five Years of Illegal War

Today marks the fifth year anniversary of the start of the U.S. imperialist war of aggression in Iraq. Across the country thousands of people gathered to voice their opposition to the ongoing war, which has claimed the lives of over a million Iraqis and nearly 4,000 Americans. I attended the protest and march in Chicago.

Iraq 5th Year Protest Chicago - March 19, 2008

The rally started at Federal Plaza, where a large group gathered before a stage to hear music and speakers. Throughout almost this entire time I was kneeling on the ground in an orange jumpsuit and black hood to visually remind people and bear silent witness to the torture being committed daily by the U.S. government, so I didn’t have the opportunity to take many pictures. I did a brief interview with a videographer concerning the nature of the orange jumpsuit and hood demonstrations and discussed the correlations between the policies, practices and techniques of torture being used by the U.S. government in the War of Terror and the methods and practices used in the U.S. prison system.

Iraq 5th Year Protest Chicago - March 19, 2008

The above picture is from very early in the rally. After gathering together in Federal Plaza, we proceeded to march through the streets of downtown Chicago, most people carrying signs and banners, some drumming, others shouting for the end of the occupation of Iraq. Our voices echoed through the urban canyons of the Windy City as we made our circuitous march through the streets. We marched from Federal Plaza, around downtown and up Michigan Avenue – the city’s premier shopping strip – and through the Gold Coast.

As we ended the march we gathered in the street, many commiserating and dancing, showing solidarity with those around the country and the world who were protesting or feeling the brunt of the jackboot of U.S. imperialism. Before long the police attempted to force us out of the street, as they rushed in on ATVs and Segways.

Cops Rush Iraq 5th Year Protest Chicago - March 19, 2008

Cops Rush Iraq 5th Year Protest Chicago - March 19, 2008

Cops Rush Iraq 5th Year Protest Chicago - March 19, 2008

Although they moved people a bit off the street initially, far too many people refused to move and at the time I left shorty thereafter a huge group of people were still gathered in the streets, dancing and cheering for the freedom of the people to oppose the monumentally disastrous agenda of the ruling class in America…

More pics

Videos of the protest and march:

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