Revolution #97, July 29, 2007

Garage Sale for Revolution

We received the following from a reader.

Dear Revolution:

I wanted to let you know about a garage sale that a few of us organized to raise funds for the $500,000 Revolution newspaper fund drive. We raised $300 for the newspaper and had a lot of fun in the process.

My roommate went out to people at her work. Some of them had read the newspaper off and on, but mainly they weren’t that familiar with the paper. We used the supplement, “Truth In Preparation for Revolution” in Revolution #89 to explain what the fund drive is all about. What impressed the people at her work was the diversity of the quotes from people who said they read and liked the paper.

An old friend who is a chef made some delicious organic rice-crispy chocolate things for us to sell.

A woman that I know helped price all of the items. She donated books, and went out door-to-door in her neighborhood, talking to people about Revolution, using issue #89 and getting them to contribute items for the sale. She reads the paper sometimes, especially when it has articles about the oppression of Black people. She had particularly liked the series of articles by Bob Avakian that were published in Revolution this year for Black History Month (The Oppression of Black People and the Revolutionary Struggle to End All Oppression). She told me that she’s never seen such a deep and realistic analysis of slavery. .

Someone else donated some of his books and asked his relatives to donate items.He had recently bought the Revolution DVD and had been closely following in Revolution the battle over dissent and critical thinking in academia, especially the attacks on Professors Finkelstein and Churchill. We advertised the sale on the online bulletin board Craig’s List and put signs up around the neighborhood. Our advertisements let people know that it was a benefit for Revolution. At the garage sale we had copies of the newspaper and an enlargement of the front page of the supplement announcing the fund and expansion drive.

At the sale, we got to know some of our neighbors better. One guy remembered the paper and Bob Avakian from the 1980s. He asked about Bob Avakian and his memoir, which he had heard about. Another neighbor, who I had previously had disagreements with about the role of a “neighborhood watch” program, checked out the article by Linda Flores about criminalization of youth. We ended up in a discussion of why the schools today are more like prisons, a point she agreed with.

The sale did generate some controversy. When we told one couple that it was a benefit for Revolution newspaper, the man started putting back things that he had picked up, clearly not wanting to contribute. Meanwhile the woman that he was with started picking up even more items.

Looking back, we realize there is a lot more potential for people to contribute and to get involved than we first understood. And for them, in turn, to involve others. This experience, while small, gave us a sense of that there are many, many people who can recognize the unique character of Revolution newspaper and take up supporting it in many ways.

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