Amidst all of the massive media coverage of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, particularly interesting news to come out of it centered on multiple cases of protesters outside the convention burning the American flag. Who are these people, what do they want, why are they burning this flag? The mass media might not be able to (or don’t want to) answer these questions, but Orderly Conduct can and will. To the untrained eye, one might think that those people are America-hating Bernie Sanders supporters or just plain old anarchists. They’re neither. They’re something quite different: members of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP).
You can tell from videos and images taken during the flag burnings who they are simply because they are all wearing the same distinctive RCP shirt. Also, the RCP has a long history of flag burnings, as their party members were at the center of two U.S. Supreme Court cases that legalized the burning of flags as free speech: Texas v. Gregory Lee Johnson and United States v. Shawn Eichman et al. While some may feel that being able to legally burn the U.S. flag may seem ironic, it is actually totally non-ironic given America’s democratic principles. Regardless of how we feel personally about flag burning, the U.S. government protecting those who wish to burn its own flag is a beautiful testament to how good we actually have it here. What is ironic, however, is how this notion is lost on the RCP, who frequently burn the U.S. flag and wish to instigate a communist revolution. What is ironic is how people who hate the U.S. for what they perceive it to stand for – a hateful, disgraceful, disgusting country that propagates racism and sexism – these people are nonetheless willing to utilize the U.S. legal system to protect themselves and to create a U.S. political party. This hypocrisy is but a taste of who the RCP really are.
The RCP publishes an anti-capitalist newspaper and books and they operate out of book stores and several front groups that are meant to raise money for them and their “Chairman” Bob Avakian (think Chairman Mao Zedong, his hero). The RCP believe in a “new synthesis” of communism that Avakian created, which he insists is totally “scientific”; it will eliminate racism, patriarchy, economic inequality, and almost all forms of social injustice that they feel exists because of capitalism and U.S. imperialism. Their brand is the notion of “revolution” and Avakian’s image. Avakian has openly admitted that the RCP has worked very hard to develop a cult of personality around himself, and they have been very successful in this regard – the RCP is widely considered to be a communist cult.
The RCP is also widely considered to be parasitic. They specifically target uneducated or minimally educated colored youths, exploiting any of their underlying social discontent, fostering their prejudices and offering them false hope, all in an attempt to bolster their ranks. They’re also almost universally reviled because of their underhanded protest tactics that even isolate them from other radical leftists, who are known to at least grudgingly and passively accept any and all radical leftists since they’re “part of the struggle” against capitalism. (And therein lies a major weakness behind the notion of solidarity – but that’s a conversation for another time.) Say you decided that you were going to organize a peaceful protest against police brutality. How would you feel if the RCP showed up to your protest uninvited, toting big signs advertising their brand and the egotistical, delusional Chairman Bob? How would you feel if they showed up with megaphones, drawing all the attention onto themselves by spouting hateful rhetoric against cops, all the while hawking their self-published newspapers to anyone who passes by? How would you feel if they further hijack your protest by whipping people up into a frenzy and then leading them on an impromptu, unpermitted march through the streets, where they will attempt to shutdown roads, tunnels, highways, and bridges? Do you think they care about the fact that they’re placing people they never met at risk for arrest? Of course not, because that will be one more person who may feel victimized by “the system”, and who they can then recruit. This is very typical behavior by the RCP.
The RCP is also quite prolific. They have many chapters throughout the country and have been known to travel to anywhere that attracts national attention, including the 2016 Democratic National Convention and to Ferguson, Missouri, after Michael Brown was killed by police. They will go everywhere and anywhere, welcome or not (usually not), especially if it is of a location of civil discontent, and they will incite the locals to “fight the system” in whatever way they deem appropriate – violent or not – all in the name of Chairman Bob and their ridiculous utopian communist revolution.
So if you ever come across someone from the RCP, now you can better contextualize who they are. Regardless, it would be wise to continue ignoring them and let the burden of their own ignorance and hypocrisy keep them down.
And certainly don’t buy any newspapers from them.