Revolution #99, August 26, 2007
Revolution Expansion and Fund Drive Kicks Off Around the Country
The weekend of Aug 3-5 saw kick-off events held for the Revolution Expansion and $500,000 Fund Drive in cities around the country. At picnics, brunches, potlucks, barbeques, events at cafés, gatherings at churches … hundreds of people came out to help launch Revolution’s fund drive! Leading up to, and at these events, funds were pledged and raised from teams who committed to raise $100, along with individual contributions. According to reports received by Revolution, the total pledged and raised was over $49,950.
In LA, a crew from Watts stepped up and pledged to raise $1,000 through car washes and other activities. The kick-off event in the Bay Area was announced as a news item on KPFA (Pacifica station) and one of the events MCs was interviewed. In Chicago, the kick-off weekend included a reception at an attorney’s office to raise funds for Alice Woodward’s reporting on the case of the Jena 6 in Jena, Louisiana. A minister, a professor, attorneys, political activists from the Green Party and others listened intently to a called-in message from Alice. Donations were collected on the spot, and a basis laid for reaching out much more broadly among different communities of professionals.
At one event, a professional pledged $1,500 and offered to also match up to $500 raised in a proletarian community in her city. A man in Watts pledged $100 a month from his disability check and committed to raise money from others. One young woman volunteered to advertise a day when she would cut and dye hair and donate all the proceeds to the paper. A friend of hers volunteered to do piercing the same day and also contribute to the drive.
At the kick-off events, people got into the basis for this fund drive. One youth posed the challenge of raising money broadly for a communist paper. At the same time, he talked about his own experiences where, as he brings out the issues the paper speaks to, people want it right away. He joined a $100 team and with others pledged to raise $200. Another woman at one of the events said she never had raised money for anything and she didn’t think she knew anyone to involve, but when she saw the suggestions in the flyer “100 Ways to Raise $100” (available at revcom.us) she started to see possibilities for doing this.
At a New York event, an immigrant proletarian read a statement: “For me the paper has been a messenger that transmits the hope for a better future, the hope for change that we crave and we see is possible. It has allowed me to have a clearer picture of what this country is doing to the world and its own citizens. The articles written by Bob Avakian, which are very insightful and detailed as well as controversial, always open a window for discussion. I know this because I’ve discussed these articles with fellow workers over the last ten years. Let’s do everything we can to support this paper. I have and will continue to do so. It needs to be read by millions and it isn’t yet. Compare it to all the papers out there that lie to us everyday and are read by millions now. That has to change. It is up to us.”
Many at the events drew from the Truth in Preparation for Revolution broadsheet at the kick-off events: “You, and people like you, can make this happen… Much is at stake. If people are going to really understand what is going on, and if something good is going to be pulled out of the current storms, a greatly expanded Revolution newspaper must be at the heart of that process.”
Lets build on these successful opening kick-off events and take them higher, broader, and more boldly into society, and bring more people forward to play a role in this unprecedented movement to raise $500,000 for Revolution newspaper.
Labor Day weekend, the 2nd Anniversary of Katrina, and Mexican Independence Day are all junctures where hundreds of thousands of people can be reached with the Revolution fundraising broadsheet and the paper. There is potential to bring forward 100’s and 100’s of $100 teams—people who commit to raise $100 for this drive. And these events will be great opportunities to involve new people in selling thousands of “Wanted T-shirts” and the new “Wanted” tote bags in English and Spanish.
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