Discovering the Chairman

Revolutionary Worker #1250, August 22, 2004, posted at

A young woman, an immigrant from Central America, first met up with people from the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade when they were leafletting for the New York premiere of the new film of a talk by RCP Chairman Bob Avakian, Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About. She was interviewed after the screening.

Q: What did you think of the film?

I really could totally relate to what he was saying. It made me even cry because everything he said was real. I see myself doing that. I see myself speaking knowledge and just telling the world. I wish everybody knew the truth about everything, like our whole life is a lie out here, you know. Not everybody really has the knowledge or the courage to come out and speak the truth.

Bob Avakian is sincere and passionate about what he is saying. He's a very educated man, you know? He's giving you quotes, statistics, and it definitely helps in arguments to everyday people. You're not just telling them, oh yeah, the U.S. government is like bla, bla, bla. And the way he does this is very important. It's important to know what you're talking about. It's important to listen to people like him because you LEARN from him.

We need to follow people like that. They empower and give you solutions to do more. He's a role model. They say Democrats are role models and like that. Democrats and Republicans are passionate about their views too, they'll do anything, they even spit at people!

So, we should have a leader too! You know, and have someone to look up to. I'm so happy I came because I also found myself with people my age and other people who I can look up to, and they can look up to me too. Talking after the movie, something came up about what we need to do to change society and we talked about how we need to be rebels with a cause. We can't just sit around talking. We need to not only talk, but do the walk too.

Q: What was your favorite part of the film?

When he says there's immigrants who come here from other countries, to baby-sit, take care of other people's kids, just to make sure that their own kids have food to eat and a place to sleep at night. That was my own mother. It made me cry because I can totally relate to it. Everything he said, he talked about the lynchings, he talked about how America was founded on slavery and that's something we should never forget. We try to blame Black people for their situation, you blame the poor, you're saying you're poor because you want to be poor. People don't talk about where that stemmed from, or how a Mexican or a Black person ends up living in a certain neighborhood, it's not because they want to live there. It's because they're forced to live there..

Q: In the next part of that talk he gets the system cannot be reformed and how revolution is the only answer. Did seeing this first part make you want to check out the rest of the DVD?

Yeah, it did. I'm so glad I came to hear him speak. I mean I already knew a lot of it because I did study or I lived through it or whatever. But it's good to hear it and to remind yourself of your purpose in society. And try to hook up with other people who feel the same way, because you're much more powerful when you are with other people who think like you. And with that power you're able to fight the system. When you separate people. you lose power. So I'm glad I did come. It did inspire me to go out there and tell them what I saw and what I heard and tell more people to come and see the film, and also to go to more meetings, and just stay in touch with people who want to do something about the conditions of society, and to try to beat Bush, and the whole system.

Q: So what brought you here?

I was actually working for the Democratic National Committee! [A few days ago] I was on the street fundraising for Kerry when someone from the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade came over to me, in the village, where they're showing Outfoxed.They gave my DNC partner a flyer, too. He looked at it and he threw it in the garbage and said, "Oh look at this communist crap." And I was like, oh, let me put my flyer away before he says something because, you know, if you're working for them...whatever. Today I was supposed to go back there, and this morning I was tossing and turning in bed, "Should I go to work or not--work, or NOT??" So, I came here tonight. (Big smile.) I'm not going back.

I used to work for the government, city hall, because that's what I studied in school, you know, political science. I wanted a job in government to be able to help poor people. But I realized you can't do that because it's a whole system. I'm gonna try to do more, because it's like I know, in my mind I always thought I was put on this earth because I have a mission. I have passion and compassion. Both. And it's something I want to give to people. I think people should have both -- passion and compassion -- to get other people who don't have that to not be selfish, and to look at the world in a different way, and to think of others and not only themselves -- and try to change the world.

Q: What do you think things would look like if more people were getting down and checking out what this guy has to say?

I think if more people were watching this movie, it would totally change what would happen in this election. I think people would come out of here having a bigger understanding of the world all around them.There's a lot of people, like some Jewish people, Italian people, who have been oppressed who forget their history, and they come here and oppress other groups when they've been through the same thing.

They want people to like fight each other. If people saw this film, they probably would not feel that way anymore, maybe they would try to help each other out, understand each other, and find a common ground. Now that we have a common cause, which is to fight the system and try to tell the truth. If people saw the truth, a lot of things would change.

.People told me, "be there" for this premiere, even if worse comes to worse. And this makes me think about August 29 -- I've never been arrested. But if you get arrested for something you believe in, there are other people backing you up. Even though you're gonna be behind bars, they'll be standing with you, you're not alone. It helps, you know, to have that type of support.

I feel like a family now, even though I just met people, and the reason is because I have a lot more in common with them than anybody else I can meet. I've known people for years and don't feel close to them because we don't have the same ideology. I don't look up to them.

I've read Marx, you know? People can have an education and not understand much. Many people will mention a thinker they've read but won't go into detail about their ideas. I want to do more research. I want to read more Bob Avakian, his books are like a whole college education.

If each one of us were to go out there and spread the word about the DVD it would definitely be a revolutionary act...

Then she sings, in a very lovely way, perfect for this late-night interview set in an emptying restaurant, just this one line, with what sounded like a question-mark on the last syllable... "Viva la revolución."