Revolution #82, March 18, 2007


Opening Up a Conversation

Last Friday I caught up with a friend of mine at work to show her the “This Must Halt! A Challenge” issue of Revolution newspaper (#77). While she was packing up to head out the door I quickly pulled out the WANTED T-shirt (“Wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity: The Bush Regime”) and a bunch of issues of the papers and quickly talked about how this was a critical time occurring with Bush’s escalating the war in the face of the millions who voted against it in the November election and how this newspaper also introduced people to Bob Avakian for all those who ever dreamed of having a different world. There was a need to get this issue of the paper out and call on the people to act to stop Bush. I also quickly ran down the Three Main Points about what people need to learn from reading Revolution newspaper and why she needed to get a subscription. She said she’d think about it but agreed to take a bunch of newspapers to get out and definitely wanted the T-shirt.

When I got back to work the following week she called me to come on over and collect the money for the papers which she got out to her girlfriends at the Bid Whist game they have every Friday night. When I went over to her office she ran down the story about Friday night. She told them, “Tonight before we start our game I would like you all to read this newspaper I got from a friend at work so we could talk about it.” This immediately started up controversy. One of her friends immediately said, “We came here to play cards and not think about all this.” My friend said, “Well this is my house we’re playing cards at and first we’re going to check out this newspaper.” Her friend shot back, “This doesn’t sound like a democracy, this sounds like a dictatorship.” And my friend snapped back, “That’s right—its time to start thinking about this.” So, they proceeded to flip through the paper and two of the girlfriends who were devout Catholics read the first two paragraphs of the “Three Alternative Worlds” article and said that this was against religion and they didn’t think they could deal with this. My friend said that this was about the world and we had to be open to different viewpoints about how we were going to deal with Bush and all the problems. Another friend responded that she was just an individual and an individual couldn’t change the world. My friend responded by saying that the world is full of thousands of individuals and thousands of individuals could be powerful; even a group like theirs who gets together to play cards every week should be talking about this situation—who knows, something could come out of it. She brought out that even her brother who she’s always felt was “never about nothing,” made a life change last year, moved to D.C. and wanted to be part of a movement to get rid of Bush. “If someone like him could make a change, then a lot of people could make a change.” Then her social worker friend said, “In my work every day I see these problems out here that Bush is causing and something has to be done about it. Bring the next issue and let me check this out further and I’ll decide whether or not to give this paper more attention.”

Anyway, this was not your usual Friday night. Debate opened up and a conversation got started about what to do about what’s going on in the world and whether card-playing friends can bring about any sort of change.

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