World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Bob Avakian

Bob Avakian (born March 7, 1943)[1] is an American political activist and Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP).


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Reception 3
  • Notes 4
  • External links 5

Early life

Robert Bruce Avakian was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Berkeley, California.[1] His father, Spurgeon Avakian, was an Armenian American lawyer, civil rights activist, and judge on the Alameda County, California superior court.[1][2][3]


As a young man, Bob Avakian became involved with the Students for a Democratic Society at Berkeley, the Free Speech Movement[2] and the Black Panther Party.[4] In 1968, he wrote articles for the Peace and Freedom Party's publications[5] and in July 1969, he attended the Black Panther conference in Oakland, California.[6] By the time that SDS split into three factions in summer 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.[7] During that period, Avakian was a leading member of the Bay Area Revolutionary Union.[8]

In the early 1970s, Avakian served time in jail for "desecrating the American flag" during a demonstration.[2] He was charged with assaulting a police officer in January 1979 at a demonstration in Washington DC to protest Deng Xiaoping's meeting with Jimmy Carter.[4][9][10] 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[11] and his police assault charges were dropped a few years later.[1][4]

He went on a speaking tour in 2000[12] and in 2005 published an autobiography called From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist.[1][13][14]

Avakian has been the Revolutionary Communist Party's central committee chairman and national leader since 1979.[11][15]


Avakian and his philosophy have been criticized by Mike Ely[16] of the Kasama Project[17] and Mark Oppenheimer of the Boston Globe.[4]


  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.  
  2. ^ a b c d Baum, Richard (2010). China Watcher: Confessions of a Peking Tom (1st ed.). University of Washington Press. p. 241.  
  3. ^ DelVecchio, Rick (February 2, 2002). Sparky' Avakian -- racism-fighting judge"'". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  4. ^ a b c d Oppenheimer, Mark (Jan 27, 2008). "Free Bob Avakian!". Boston Globe. 
  5. ^ Werkmen, Dirk (Mar 10, 1968). "Freedom: The Birth of a Party, 1968". Independent Star News. p. 5. 
  6. ^ Benson, George S. (Mar 28, 1972). "Looking Ahead". The Evening Independent. p. 11. 
  7. ^  
  8. ^ Baker, Ross S. (Nov 22, 1970). "A History of The Weathermen". Express and News. 
  9. ^ Avakian, "Bob Avakian Speaks on the Mao Tsetung Defendants' Railroad and the Historic Battles Ahead", Introduction and pp. 18--21.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ a b "Scores arrested, Injured In May Day Violence". Logansport Pharos-Tribune. UPI. May 2, 1980. 
  12. ^ Buchwald, Art (Aug 12, 2000). "Leisure Will Kill You". Indiana Gazette. 
  13. ^ Jacobs, Ron (Feb 5–7, 2005). "A Life of Revolution in a Country of Reaction". CounterPunch. 
  14. ^ DelVecchio, Rick (Apr 29, 2005). "Berkeley: Memoir follows author's road to communism". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  15. ^ Unknown (Dec 6, 1979). "Communists get year sentence for disruption". The Daily Tar Heel (Chapel Hill, North Carolina). p. 2. 
  16. ^ Ely, Mike. "Letter 4: Truth, Practice and a Confession of Poverty". Kasama Project. 
  17. ^ "What Is Kasama". Kasama Project. Retrieved Sep 5, 2014. 

External links

  • Official website
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.