Revolution #173, August 16, 2009
Taking out: "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have"
Report from a major metropolitan area
Our team has been trying to learn better how to really connect with people and bring people into the revolutionary movement, people who really want to see a different kind of world. We brought together all our different past experience, both good and bad learning from it, taking a lot of knowledge and experience and people's different strengths, and applying it all to making the beginning with the message and call from the Revolutionary Communist Party (Issue 170), putting this out into society in a major way. We were not afraid of past mistakes, or even new ones, even though we were trying really hard not to make them, because there's really a lot at stake. We had real goals, we fought to achieve them, and we got better at making scientific summation as we went along, about what are the questions, how is it going, how are we doing so far, what is the impact objectively, what should we try differently. It's a very rigorous and scientific thing, making revolution!
One really great exchange we had was with a Black Honduran woman in her late 20s and her 12-year-old son born here in the U.S. The thing that was really good about it was that we had a deep engagement with them about the statement, including learning what they were thinking about the reality of the world today, and based on this, they came up with some meaningful ways to get organized into the revolutionary movement immediately right on the spot.
They both were really impacted by the pictures in the paper, and what we said about how it's a system of capitalism-imperialism and we need a revolution, and we have the leadership to make it. We asked had she ever thought about that before and she said, "No, but I should." We said that now was her chance and we could all sit down and read this statement out loud and talk about it, and how they can be part of spreading this and changing the world right now. She said okay, can you come back in about 10 minutes, and I promise I'll be ready, so that's what we did.
We came back and brought with us another member of our team who has a lot experience going to the people in the projects and barrios, and also a young friend of ours who himself is only in middle school and is beginning to get what this is all about and is eager to take out Revolution newspaper.
We squeezed into the living room, with our new friend's three other kids also sitting around listening or coming in and out playing, and we read the whole statement out loud and they all listened. It was challenging to figure out how to get started. First I tried to point out that there were three points the statement was making that people could share their thoughts on the way the whole system is, the need for revolution, and the Leadership we have. This was kind of a lot for people to wrap their minds around at once! Then our friend spoke up and said, "I noticed that it talked about god, that there are no gods and we don't need them. Well I believe in God." she explained, "That's the way I was raised." One of us spoke up and said that this is a way in which the truth is kept from people and in which they are kept down, being told that the problem is them and that what they need is religion. He talked about how he himself was raised in a family where people believed in God, and where they rolled around on the floor and said the devil was in them at church on Sundays. She shook her head and said, well that's not what I mean! And then we talked about how a communist view is about really knowing the world and understanding it.
Then there was a pause and the conversation went off in a different direction. We read outloud the section in the statement on the youth, on what this system does to them, and how this is reason enough for a revolution. This jumped off a whole conversation. Our friend talked about how the youth were out there killing each other, doing terrible things to each other, running around "like they're crazy," that they don't care, and that she's afraid for her son and doesn't go out or let him go out anywhere. She also posed the question –"Why?"—Why is it that the youth act like this, it just seems insane. She said that really she gets the point about it's a system, but said that she believed it wasn't all that, because some people do get out of the projects, some of them do act in the right way and have a job and try and support their families, so it is partly because of how these youth act that they get in these situations.
Then her son had a chance to speak up. He commented overall that people needed to come to together, to live in a different way where they weren't killing each other all the time. He said he felt like in order for that to happen, their environment had to change. We asked him what he thought a revolution was and he said, "A change." This was a really important point that people had to change their environment, and also his desire for people to really come together, and we explored this with him, going into how the only reason people can't is because there's this system that's in place and we need revolution.
Then his mom at some point decided to ask another question. She said, "Okay, but how are we going to do this?" A very important question! So we got into it.
We brought in that we were like a doctor trying to understand and cure a virus, that you have to know what that virus is and what its doing to get rid of it. We also brought in that we can actually understand how it is that the youth got into this situation, and why they are acting the way they do, even though it seems so crazy. That Bob Avakian breaks a lot of this down in his DVD Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, in terms of the history and foundations of this country and how we got into the situation we're in today, about how there came to be millions of Black youth in the inner cities with no hope of ever having a job, and the jobs they might have in the past when people came up during the great migration, having been moved all over the world where people can be more profitably exploited. That this shows how the system works, and you can look at the tags on your clothes and see that they are made in Taiwan, in China, in Vietnam, and all this wealth being produced is being accumulated and kept by a small class of people.
We said to them that if people were watching this DVD and getting into these things, this would be part of how we would do this, this would be building a revolutionary movement right now, that people needed to spread this statement everywhere to their friends and family and put it up in their windows and get it out in the neighborhood, that people needed to come to the DVD screening at a community church the next week, and bring lots of their friends and all their questions. We also posed that people needed to help us to learn about the terrain, about what people are thinking and where to go to get down with them and bring the Revolution, and how they can be organized into the revolutionary movement.
She thought about it for a while and then made a couple of suggestions. She said that we should go around to the beauty parlors and barber shops. She also commented that we should go into her son's school when they start in the fall and get kids talking about all this. These were really important ideas and we made plans right then to come back the day after tomorrow in the evening and she would go out with us to the barber shops. She took a copy of the DVD sampler and a paper and donated a couple dollars, saying when we came back she would get the special offer DVD and 10 week subscription, she also took fliers for the DVD screening and had an idea of three different buildings she wanted to post them in near there.
Overall, we have done some important work in the projects that represented beginning ways of people finding out about the Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have, and taking this up. Whether this will become a real buzz throughout this area and whether a core of people will come forward around this here, is very much yet to be determined, but we are taking the orientation from the message, "We mean what we say, and we will not back off or turn our backs on what we have started, on the people who need this revolution. We will keep coming back and digging in, to strengthen this movement for revolution, to build up the bases, spread the influence and organize the forces we need to make revolution. We will not be scared off, backed down or driven away. A WHOLE DIFFERENT WORLD, A MUCH BETTER FUTURE, IS POSSIBLE. WE HAVE WHAT WE NEED TO FIGHT FOR THAT WORLD, THAT FUTURE. IT IS UP TO US TO GET WITH IT AND GET TO THE CHALLENGE OF MAKING THIS HAPPEN.
More to come...
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