LA Revolution Club on Election Night at UCLA
November 16, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
From a member of the Revolution Club, Los Angeles
Election Day: We went out to an event at UCLA on election night where they were showing the election results and got out “How We Can Win.” There were hundreds of students there, most of whom were rooting for Hillary (we could tell because they yelled in approbation every time Hillary won a state). We misassesed the potential for something to erupt there and we left early, but then heard that this event turned into a protest. It went through Westwood where someone set fire to a Trump piñata and it ended up at the dorm area, where I and another comrade caught up with it. It was dying down by this point but there were still a couple hundred students sitting together chanting, “Love Trumps Hate.” We pulled out the American rag, stepped on it and did some agitation, saying that America was never great! Trump is an open fascist, and we need to resist him and what he stands for, and get organized for an actual revolution. I called on people to take a pamphlet from us and to join the Revolution Club. Many people were listening intently.
Someone yelled out something about violence being wrong, and we went at that —bringing the reality that this system is inherently violent, and it cannot be reformed, so if we are serious about bringing into being a world free of the outrages that make people’s hearts ache, then we need to confront the fact that it’s going to take an actual revolution—meeting, defeating and dismantling this system's violently repressive apparatus—to get rid of this system. Many people came up to us and took the pamphlet and they were expressing concern over what Trump's election will mean for undocumented people living in the U.S., for Muslim people, and for the people of the world because of his access to the nuclear codes. We challenged people to stay and talk and to join the Revolution Club, but most people just left their contact info because they were very tired. We did talk to one young white guy who said he agreed with the kind of society we are trying to bring into being, but thought we could get there through peaceful means. We stayed several hours struggling over this.
The next day I went to an open mic organized by the Undercommons group on campus. I got on the mic and agitated about people’s concern about the direction of society being legitimate, about it being righteous to resist and maintain the resistance, and the need to get organized to overthrow this system to bring into being a socialist state in transition to a communist world. I spoke to a couple of people, one of whom asked how individuality would be preserved under communism because capitalism allows people to do what they want to do. The other student standing there challenged that by saying that people's desires are shaped by this system and that people don't even have the freedom to survive and be treated as fully human under capitalism. We spoke some more and he said he wanted to meet up with us after his class.
A couple comrades joined me on Bruin Walk for a few hours. We read the statement that came out in the morning and many people took the flyer and the “How We Can Win” pamphlet. One woman who met us earlier in the year was very excited to see us out there and was set on joining the Club. We met up with her later in the day and went through the six “Points of Attention for the Revolution” and began the recruitment process with her. She said she wanted to join the Club earlier in the year, but let school get in the way, but that things are so extreme now that she feels the need to act. We met with the young man from the open mic afterward and got into the question of the importance of BA's leadership when he raised concerns about “putting too much emphasis on one guy.” We talked about building a wall around BA, the importance of protecting and defending his leadership, and about what the new synthesis of communism represents for humanity, and we played the clip “BA Through the Years” for him. He said in the beginning that he wanted to learn more before he joined the Club, but after some struggle, (including asking him what was more important than being a part of contributing to making revolution at the soonest possible time—to which he responded, “Nothing. I know, I’ve been thinking about this a lot.”) he said he wanted to join the Club, so we set up another time to begin the recruitment process with him because he didn't have time that same day.
The day after that, there was a “Love Trumps Hate” rally on campus. Around 1,000 students were there. It started with an open mic and we went up and made the same basic announcement that we need to get organized for a revolution and later summed up that the agitation and challenge could have been and needed to be sharper. Half the people (the ones who were within earshot of our bullhorn) took up our chants during the march: “It’s time, to get organized, for an actual revolution,” “What’s the problem? The whole damn system. What’s the solution? Revolution,” and “1234, slavery, genocide and war. 5678, America was NEVER great.” At the end of the rally, the organizers called on people to occupy the quad. We posted up and agitated more sharply this time, challenging people to get organized to make a real revolution to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time because as right as it is to resist Trump, we cannot resist only to go back to the status quo. The status quo means the continuation of the murders of Black and brown people by the pigs, the murder of civilians in Yemen by bombs made in the USA, the genocide against Native peoples, the destruction of the planet, etc. Someone began a chant about peaceful protests being the answer and the organizers of the event came up and tried to get us to stop agitating. I spoke a bit to the question of violence and called them out for preventing people from linking up with the vanguard of this revolution that is so urgently needed. Some people came to our defense saying that they wanted us to speak because what we were saying was important, but most people began to leave. We spoke to those who stayed and put the same challenge to them to join the Revolution Club. A few people wanted to join the Club and we got their contact info to set up a time to meet up. One young woman came up to us and asked what the disagreement was about and she said she thought it wasn't right that we were shut down just because people didn't agree with us. She said she agreed with the need for revolution and she wanted to join the Club so we went through the six “Points of Attention for the Revolution” with her on the spot and got her contact info to set up another time to finish the recruitment process.
Later that the day, there was a smaller march in front of the Federal building in Westwood. When we got there, people were sitting in a circle, having a conversation. Someone raised that he didn't know what the election of Trump meant; he was there to learn more about what’s at stake. Someone else replied with his concern for the environment. I spoke to the question, drawing from and pointing to the statement, “In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America” and encouraged people to read it. Someone raised that it was ignorance and a lack of education that got Trump elected, and I spoke to the fact that more than that, it was that white supremacy and patriarchy run deep in this country and that Trump’s program resonated with people. I talked about how this system produced Trump and his base, and the need to overthrow the whole system through a revolution. Once again the question of violence came up and I tried to bring alive that the fundamental antagonism between us and the state exists precisely because the kind of emancipatory world we want to bring into being cannot be brought about within this system, that this system cannot be reformed into anything that comes close to being in line with the interests of humanity, and that they will do whatever they see fit to maintain their system.
People decided they wanted to march, so we went through Westwood chanting some of our chants, (in particular they liked, “Not one more deportation, Not one more day of dehumanization, Not one more slave, Not one more rape, Not one more kid with prison as his fate! What do we do? What’s the solution? We’re building a movement for revolution!”) and other chants, such as, “Say it loud, Say it clear: Immigrants are welcome here,” “(Black/Latino/Trans) lives matter,” “No Trump, No KKK, No fascist USA,” “Fuck Trump, Fuck Pence,” and others. At the end, we spoke to people who were interested in learning more about the movement for revolution. They were too tired to get into things on the spot but left us with their contact information to set up a time to get deeper into things.
The question of violence has been coming up a lot. So has the idea that Trump won't be able to do much because “checks and balances” limit his freedom, so we shouldn't be too worried. But many other people have been jolted by this and express the sentiment that such an extreme situation is going to take extreme measures to resolve.
We've also been putting out the word to people to join us for the major citywide march called for this Saturday downtown and to be part of the Revolution Club contingent.
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