by Bob Avakian

June 18, 2022

Today, there are some people and groups that identify as “progressive” or “woke” but have become so influenced by capitalist notions of property relations that they actually believe that they “own” the fight against injustice and the public spaces, and even whole cities and areas, where this fight needs to be waged. This has come up, for example, in the fight waged by RiseUp4Abortion to prevent the fascist majority on the Supreme Court from ripping away the right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade. “Rise Up” has consistently sought to build the broadest possible unity, uniting all who can be united, in this fight. Unfortunately, however, some of these would be “owners,” instead of doing what they should be doing—enthusiastically welcoming, actively joining in and calling on others to become part of the determined fight waged by “Rise Up” to defend the right to abortion—have instead attacked “Rise Up” because it did not “ask permission” to come into “their space” in waging this fight.

Well, it is necessary to disabuse these people of their delusions. They do not “own” the fight against injustice. Nor do they “own” any of these public spaces (let alone whole cities or areas): If anybody “owns” this “property” now, it is the ruling class of this capitalist-imperialist system—which, under this system, has dominion and exercises dictatorship over society as a whole. Anyone, any group, any movement, seeking to fight against the injustices perpetrated by this system should never ask the permission of this ruling class to wage this fight, or allow this ruling class to dictate how, on what grounds, this fight should be waged. And, as it would be terribly wrong to seek this kind of permission from the ruling class, it would be ridiculous to think that “permission” should be asked of opportunists seeking to impose on reality their petty delusions of “ownership.”

Instead of standing on the sidelines—or, worse yet, attacking RiseUp4AbortionRights—everyone who recognizes the importance of defending the fundamental right to abortion should be actively joining with “Rise Up” in determined non-violent resistance to prevent this right from being ripped away.

And all those who are disgusted with capitalist relations of ownership—and the exploitation and oppression that is built into these relations, as well as the putrid ideas and culture that go along with this—should become part of the movement for a revolution to sweep away this system of capitalism-imperialism, to do away with all the terrible, and needless, suffering it imposes not just on masses of people in this country, but on the masses of humanity as a whole, including the half of humanity that is female.