Revolution #62, September 24 2006
Update from Projects in the Midwest
“There's somebody way over yonder who is thinking the way I'm thinking”
Bar-b-que fundraiser for World Can't Wait at a housing project in the Midwest
Some people from the projects came with me to the September 7 World Can’t Wait organizing meeting. One guy—when we was out leafleting—he began to quote a Black historian who spoke at the meeting. He had talked about the U.S. dropping atomic bombs, and leaving only shadows where people and buildings have been. And then, also another speaker was talking about the Sixties—how SDS started with only a few people. He didn’t know all that. He was telling me if more people had been there, he couldn’t think of anybody who, if they had come, wouldn’t have been moved by what the speakers were saying. The people who came took bags—organizing kits—of stickers and leaflets. The next morning, I noticed the buildings had a lot of stickers up. Everyone could see something was happening. But stickers don’t stay up long—they come through and clean them up. Another guy came to the September 7 meeting with his daughter—he didn’t think she was paying that much attention. But then, the next day he went to look for his bag—his organizing kit—and his daughter had taken it to school and passed the stickers and flyers out there.
I have been talking to this guy who didn’t come. And the problem was he didn’t have a way to get there, so it’s pretty important to organize rides. Especially in the projects, where it’s hard for people to get out of that place. This is something I am going to bring up when we go to the next meeting of the local World Can’t Wait committee. But people seem to be alive about World Can’t Wait, and the 7 new talks by Bob Avakian [available at bobavakian.net and revcom.us].
One of the things we did was show people the two articles that have been in Revolution about building for October 5th, and talking about Bob Avakian’s new talks. People really liked that. After she read the part in Joe Veale’s article where one guy says, “Why have I not ever heard this before! They don’t teach you this in school. Jefferson was atrocious. They are all hypocrites with a double standard,” one woman commented, “there’s somebody way over yonder who is thinking the way I’m thinking.” It was important to her to know that people are taking this up.
One question that has come up around the talks is that Bob Avakian is white. One guy says that “I know more about Black people than he do.” So we have to get into it, like on a perceptual level that’s true but on a rational level that’s not true. He says, “I’ve never seen this person. I know you, I don’t know him.” So he read some of Bob Avakian’s memoir. Part of this really is that he disagrees about religion, and also the “blame the masses” thing. So he goes back and forth on that. Actually, he called me yesterday—he’s taking a Spanish language course, and he wanted to use “Why Do People Come Here From All Over the World”—from Avakian’s DVD REVOLUTION… and show it in class. For this other woman, who has been listening to the CDs, she said this is not a question for her, because Bob Avakian is putting forward important stuff to help people, and you’d be crazy not to listen to him.
We have been talking to people about raising money so World Can’t Wait can run that ad in USA Today. Several people have volunteered to do cooking, and make and bring different dishes and we’re having a bar-b-que to raise money for the ad, and inviting people from outside the projects too—from World Can’t Wait. Someone is bringing baked beans, other people are bringing meat and stuff. People saw it was important to get this ad. Someone was saying that there is a soccer field near the projects where Mexican guys play soccer and we should go there.
One problem we have to bring up at the World Can’t Wait meeting and get some help with is that the authorities keep taking down stickers and signs. We made a big banner for World Can’t Wait and put it up on the fence, and people were signing it, and the police made them take it down. Also, someone got a letter threatening eviction for having the World Can’t Wait poster that was in the newspaper on his door, and also they had the poster that was in Revolution for Bob Avakian’s talks. Last year, for World Can’t Wait, some people had banners out their windows and the housing authority told them they were “eyesores.” We talked to a lawyer, but also we need people from World Can’t Wait and other people to be calling in and telling them not to take this stuff down or tell people to take the signs out of their windows.
Some people here want to get deeper into Bob Avakian’s talks, because a number of people have listened to them. We have to make CDs here, people here don’t have MP3 players. So we try to get them on CDs. Like this woman, when we were talking about different things, we were reading, and comparing the two articles in Revolution from the projects. And she said, “What is this ‘Conservatism, Christian Fundamentalism, Liberalism, and Paternalism…Bill Cosby and Bill Clinton…Not All “Right” But All Wrong!’ talk that they are talking about in the article from Joe Veale? I don’t have that one in mine.” She is someone who is always arguing with people that no, this is not all their fault. So I got her that one that night. That “Bill (Clinton) and Bill (Cosby)” talk is a big one. So is what Avakian talks about in “Communism: A Whole New World And The Emancipation of All Humanity—Not ‘The Last Shall Be First, And the First Shall Be Last.’” So we are starting organized discussions up.
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