National Organizing Tour makes it first stop at high school on Chicago's South Side, October 14. Photo: @sunsarataylor
Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour in Chicago
Day 1 at a South Side High School
October 17, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
From a Revolution Club member participating in the Get Into the Revolution National Organizing Campaign and Tour:
Beginning now, we are on a mission for the next year to organize thousands into the ranks of the revolution.
We’ve just arrived in Chicago, and our very first day out began with an invite to an assembly of high school youths on the South Side. This was a group of about 50-60 Black youths, as well as some teachers and staff from the school.
The assembly began with a showing of part of a film about mass incarceration. Then, from the back of the assembly, the room filled with the sound of “1, 2, 3, 4! Slavery, Genocide, and War! 5, 6, 7, 8! America was NEVER great!” “It’s time! It’s time! To get organized! For an ACTUAL revolution!” as the Revolution Club marched from the back of the assembly to the front of it, on stage, where chanting continued: “Who are we? REVOLUTION CLUB! Who’s our leader? BOB AVAKIAN!” and then a member of the Chicago club introduced to the students Carl Dix.
Carl, starting with the message that we are here to recruit you, laid out why America was never great, and we need to overthrow, not vote for, this system. He introduced people to the leadership we have for this revolution, Bob Avakian, and the science and strategy BA has forged. That we are on a mission to organize people to overthrow this system as soon as possible. He talked about the mission of this tour, and what is concentrated in the “How We Can Win” statement from the RCP Central Committee. A member of the Revolution Club who is part of the national tour then talked about the focused effort we are waging here to really take on this epidemic of people killing each other, and get people into fighting the real enemy, this system, and its enforcers. And she compelled people to understand their potential role and responsibility to be part of the thousands coming into the revolution now.
To give you a sense of who the audience was, in this school and this city: This morning we woke up seeing stories of two killed and nine injured in shootings among the people yesterday. To people here, this was just another day in Chicago. Seems like everyone’s been to funerals of friends or family who’ve been killed this way. I said funerals, not a funeral. The school is focused on what this system labels as “at-risk” youth. In other words, youth this system has no future for. Numbers of them were either already in, or actively considering joining, one street organization/social club or another; several knew people who had been murdered by the police or had seen people murdered by police. And they were some of the brightest and sharpest youths you can encounter.
They responded viscerally to not just hearing about the horror of this system, but also to hearing about another way. One of the students asked, “I’m kinda offended, but also I’m kinda not offended, because you keep saying ‘us’ and ‘our people’ but you’re talking about what happens to us, people who are our color, and you’re their color.” The revcom responded by saying, “That’s a good question. I’m a revolutionary communist. That means my people are the people of the world. My people are Black people... Latino people... Native Americans... the women in Bangladesh who make our clothes...” and there was an eruption of applause.
They responded with many deep, serious, and often challenging questions. “What are you going to replace this with?” “What if there are people in the new society who just want to do the same things that are happening now?” “Is this going to be peaceful?” “Is there really no point to voting?” “How are we going to get people to fight for us when we won’t fight for ourselves?” “There were leaders before, like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., and they were killed. What about Bob Avakian makes you think you can win?” “Are you talking about going to war, because I’m ready?”
There was serious engagement after the assembly, where people stayed around to talk more. People were getting into the “How We Can Win” pamphlet, especially the Points of Attention for the Revolution. Some people were taking several copies of this pamphlet to spread amongst those they know. People were talking about how we’re going to organize people into the revolution. Some were looking at the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. A couple of people got BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts. People were engaging with the revolution, and this was happening with a vibe of people weighing what their role was going to be. We were working, and struggling to have them work with us, on what it means to get into the revolution and become organized into its ranks.
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