Bob Avakian

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Bob Avakian (born March 7, 1953)[1] is an American political activist and Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP).

Early life[edit]

Avakian was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Berkeley, California.[1] His Armenian father was a lawyer[1] and became a judge in San Francisco.[2]

Career[edit]

As a young man he became involved with the Students for a Democratic Society at Berkeley, the Free Speech Movement[2] and the Black Panther Party.[3] In 1968 he wrote articles for the Peace and Freedom Party's publications[4] and in July 1969 he attended the Black Panther conference held in Oakland, California.[5] By the time that SDS split into three factions in the summer of 1969, Avakian was a leading member of the Revolutionary Youth Movement II faction, and was their candidate for National Secretary. Although defeated for the top position by Mark Rudd of the faction soon known as Weatherman, Avakian was elected to the National Interim Committee. [6] During that period, Avakian was a leading member of the Bay Area Revolutionary Union.[7]

In the early 1970s he served time in jail for "desecrating the American flag" during a demonstration.[2] Avakian was charged with assaulting a police officer in January 1979 at a demonstration held in Washington DC to protest Deng Xiaoping's meeting with Jimmy Carter.[3][8][9] After receiving an arrest warrant, Avakian "jumped bail" and fled to France.[2] In 1980, he gave a speech to 200 protestors in downtown Oakland[10] and his police assault charges were dropped a few years later.[1][3]

He went on a speaking tour in 2000[11] and in 2005 published an autobiography called From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist.[1][12][13]

Avakian has been the Revolutionary Communist Party's central committee chairman and national leader since 1979.[10][14]

Reception[edit]

Avakian and his philosophy have been criticized by Mike Ely[15] of the "communist project" Kasama[16] and Mark Oppenheimer of the Boston Globe.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Avakian, Bob (2005). From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist. Insight Press. ISBN 9780976023623. 
  2. ^ a b c d Baum, Richard (2010). China Watcher: Confessions of a Peking Tom (1st ed.). University of Washington Press. p. 241. ISBN 9780295800219. 
  3. ^ a b c d Oppenheimer, Mark (Jan 27, 2008). "Free Bob Avakian!". Boston Globe. 
  4. ^ Werkmen, Dirk (Mar 10, 1968). "Freedom: The Birth of a Party, 1968". Independent Star News. p. 5. 
  5. ^ Benson, George S. (Mar 28, 1972). "Looking Ahead". The Evening Independent. p. 11. 
  6. ^ Sale, Kirkpatrick (1974). SDS. New York: Vintage Books. pp. 412, 521, 566, 576, 592. ISBN 0394719654. 
  7. ^ Baker, Ross S. (Nov 22, 1970). "A History of The Weathermen". Express and News. 
  8. ^ Avakian, "Bob Avakian Speaks on the Mao Tsetung Defendants' Railroad and the Historic Battles Ahead", Introduction and pp. 18--21.
  9. ^ Athan G. Theoharis, "FBI Surveillance: Past and Present", Cornell Law Review, Vol. 69 (April 1984); and Peter Erlinder with Doug Cassel, “Bazooka Justice: The Case of the Mao Tse Tung Defendants – Overreaction Or Foreshadowing?”, Public Eye, Vol. II, No. 3&4 (1980), pp. 40--43.
  10. ^ a b "Scores arrested, Injured In May Day Violence". Logansport Pharos-Tribune. UPI. May 2, 1980. 
  11. ^ Buchwald, Art (Aug 12, 2000). "Leisure Will Kill You". Indiana Gazette. 
  12. ^ Jacobs, Ron (Feb 5–7, 2005). "A Life of Revolution in a Country of Reaction". CounterPunch. 
  13. ^ DelVecchio, Rick (Apr 29, 2005). "Berkeley: Memoir follows author's road to communism". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  14. ^ Unknown (Dec 6, 1979). "Communists get year sentence for disruption". The Daily Tar Heel (Chapel Hill, North Carolina). p. 2. 
  15. ^ Ely, Mike. "Letter 4: Truth, Practice and a Confession of Poverty". Kasama Project. 
  16. ^ "What Is Kasama". Kasama Project. Retrieved Sep 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]