The Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade (RCYB) — formerly known as the Attica Brigade and then as the Revolutionary Student Brigade — is the youth faction of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). The keynote address at RCYB’s founding conference (in 1977) was given by RCP Chairman Robert Avakian. Characterizing America as a “sick and dying empire” whose ruling elite has long subjugated minorities and the poor, RCYB members typically wear T-shirts bearing a large red star superimposed with the silhouette of a young man raising a rifle, and the message: “I was born in the sewer called capitalism but now I’m living for revolution!”RCYB’s best-known member was Gregory Johnson, who, during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, burned an American flag to protest the policies of the Reagan administration. Johnson, who was arrested and convicted of desecrating a venerated object, appealed his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled, in a 5 to 4 decision, that Johnson’s act qualified as protected “speech” under the First Amendment.
RCYB’s ultimate objective is to help create “a world of for-real Communism; a world where a few rich nations don’t oppress and dominate the globe; where whites don’t lord over non-whites; where men don’t dominate over women; and where one class of people doesn’t exploit the rest.” “Our ideology,” says the organization, “is that of the proletariat — those who have nothing to lose but our chains, and we are fighting for the wretched to be wretched no more.” Like RCP, the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade seeks “to seize the power through mass armed revolution.”
RCYB pledges allegiance to the following Principles of Unity:
1. “A revolution of the proletariat …, the dictatorship of the proletariat and worldwide Communism, is the only solution to this madness [capitalism]. It is the only future worth fighting for.”
2. “The USA is not our country. Our flag is the red flag of world revolution. We oppose wars of plunder by the imperialists and reactionaries and welcome their defeat at the hands of the people.”
3. “Revolutionary war is a war of the masses. It can only be waged by mobilizing the masses and relying on them.” (This was originally a quote of Mao Zedong.)
4. “Continuing the revolution after the seizure of power is the way to prevent the rise to power of a new bourgeoisie. Phony communists (revisionists) have seized power back from the people in the Soviet Union and China. The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution led by Mao [Zedong] was a revolution within a revolution. It showed the way for the people to prevent the restoration of capitalism.”
5. “We study Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the most radical and liberating ideology on the planet. It is our science, our weapon, our guide.”
The RCYB no longer exists.