First Published: The Worker, for Hawaii, Vol. 1, No. 10, July-August 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.
Excerpts from the speech by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, at the July 4th demonstration in Philadelphia.
“They got to come around and talk about national unity–all together, make America more productive, get it back to be number one. Well you know, I like to put it this way: That it’s like you got a tapeworm in society–’cause that’s what they are–a tapeworm down inside society and it says to us, ’Look here boy. Shovel some more food down, will you? After all, the more you put in there, the more there is for both of us.’ But that ain’t the way it works. Because you got a tapeworm inside of you that if you put more down, it grabs more and more, gets bigger and bigger, wants more and more and the sicker and sicker you get. And there’s only one thing to do with a tapeworm–you got to get rid of it. You got to kill it. You got to take it out of that body, [applause]
“And that’s the same thing–that tapeworm ain’t nothing but their drive for profit. They come around and say, ’Give me a little more and I’ll trickle a little down to you.’ And we ain’t going for none of their trickles ’cause they shut it off a long time ago. And we ain’t satisfied with trickles anyway. We’re cutting you out of society, buddy. We’re taking over and your day is through. That’s all. [applause]
“And they tell us, they say, ’You got to go to war to defend me’ ....they say, ’Defend the country. It’s all of our country. After all, we might have differences and I might be sucking your blood, but when it comes down to it, we got to fight to defend the country’....
“Well, we got something to say to them about that, ’Yeah, we’re going to defend the country, we’re going to defend it when it belongs to us. That’s when we’re going to defend it.’....First of all we, the working class, got to take over the country. Then we’ll set about defending it–against you. [applause] And against any other slave driver that might come over and try to take advantage of the situation. We’ll deal with them too.”
“So we’re talking about something big. We’re talking about the need for revolution and that’s no small task. But I got a question to ask. If we can begin to get ourselves organized like we have here, if we can march and rally in a disciplined way, if we can learn to battle toe-to-toe with them, if we can build our forces and begin to take care of each other and begin to reach out and build our movement broader, if we can do that, why can’t we go on and do it–not just a few thousand of us here today– but the millions that we represent–why can’t we carry it through, why can’t we get united... If we make society run–which we do and let me see anybody stand up and deny it–we make all of society run. Now if we make all of society run why in the hell can’t we run all of society? [applause] ...What’s the answer? Can we do it? [shouts of “Yeah!”] Can they stop us? [“No!”]”
“We’re a few thousand–but I’ll tell you something else–this country and the rulers of this country and the working people of this country more important, have never seen a demonstration like this in a long, long time, if they’ve ever seen anything like it. So it’s an important step. We’re drawing the line real clear. And we’re saying we ain’t got nothing in common with them... We got to recognize... where this real power lies and where does our potential to achieve this revolutionary goal and to make society...run in the interests of the great majority of the people–-where does that strength and ability he? Just with us here? No...”
“And we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve got to be just the white cap on the top of that wave, that rising wave of working class struggle, we’ve got to go back, and not think only in terms of us who are here but in terms of the millions who couldn’t come, think of where the real strength and power lies in the great majority of working people. We can’t get discouraged if the movement takes a long time. We can’t get discouraged if it doesn’t go in a straight line forward, if there are ups and downs in it, because the future does belong to us and that’s not just rhetoric. The future truly belongs to us but we’ve got to forge it, just like work every day is a struggle to forge these products. So forging the movement in which we can take matters and we can take society into our own hands and become masters of society–this too is going to be a long struggle.”
“If I stood up and told you that this was going to be easy, you’d know I’m a liar, ’cause nothing in this life is easy. Everything in life is a struggle. But, like I said, they don’t give us a choice of whether we’re going to struggle or not, and we’re not going to give them no choice.”
“So let me close by saying: Let’s leave here, let’s have a clear sense and a good head about the problems, the difficulties, the twists and turns that are going to lie ahead. That it’s going to be a struggle. But more than that, let’s build on what we’ve done here, that we’ve stood up on our own two feet, that we’ve begun to straighten our backs as was said earlier. Let’s build on that and let’s go forward from here with the confidence that the future belongs to us, and that nothing can stop us from creating that future and from emancipating all of mankind once and for all.”