Revolution #192, February 14, 2010
Revolution Talk online–out in the world
Before the week of the big push to get the Revolution Talk online out in the world we made a plan for enlisting people in the effort. We talked about people we knew who had watched the video—either in the recent period when we have been going out with the statement—or even going back some years. And we added people we knew in different parts of the city, in schools and community centers who maybe hadn’t watched the Revolution Talk yet—but should—and who could get word of it out in key places.
What follows are some brief snapshots from our efforts:
An old friend from the projects was very excited to hear the entire talk was online. She has had a selection of cuts from the DVD for a number of years now and many in her family have watched it many times.
Her whole family is on Facebook. She has hundreds of friends across the country on Facebook, including people she reconnected with that she hadn’t heard from since high school. Even one of her mother’s friends is on Facebook and hooked up with her there.
So, she is going to organize a showing of the DVD for her family to get them on board and then have everyone spread the talk through Facebook.
She has pledged $20 for the effort and took 100 pluggers to get out at work.
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We showed the “A better world is possible” cut to a woman who has a shop (and to her daughter who is in the 8th grade). She said, “Wow, seeing this makes everything clearer. He makes a lot of sense.” We first met this woman when a friend of hers was shot more than a dozen times by the police and killed. She has taken things in her shop to get out, including the special prison issue, “From the Hellholes of Incarceration to a Future of Emancipation” (Revolution #183, November 15, 2009), and had a trial subscription to Revolution.
She has always been somewhat interested but this is the first time she “lit up.” She got the whole DVD and vowed to watch it that night.
She was really excited about this and thought it would make a big difference. She said, “You know, people really don’t read that much—and having this online will make it available to people.”
She knows a lot of guys that sell DVDs, including some who burn them for others. She is going to be sure they get the pluggers.
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We got together with a young woman and her father who we met over the summer in a hard-hit part of the ghetto. Since we first met them we have watched a number of cuts of the video together and had deep discussions getting into their agreements and disagreements. They took 300 pluggers. He is going to get some out at a local college where he works. She is going to get them out at her high school.
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Another young woman from another ghetto who we met at a march for justice for a young man murdered by the police, and who came to the kick-off event for work with the RCP’s Message and Call, “The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have,” said if she felt like this was something she wanted to take up, she would contact US. Basically, a “not interested” response.
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We spoke with another man and woman we know. We’ve known him for a long time—he’s an activist whose history goes back to the Civil Rights struggle in South Carolina in the early ’60s. A year or so ago he hooked up with the woman, who is just beginning to get politically active, though she says “anyone who is Black has always been in the struggle.”
She goes to college. Last semester she had a class surveying social sciences where they compared communism, socialism, liberalism and conservatism. In doing research for the class she found Bob Avakian’s Revolution Talk clips on YouTube. She brought them up in class and people said, “He’s got some good things to say. We can take up parts of his program without having to take up his whole program.” The “we” was particularly “Black People” and in regard to what will solve Black people’s problems.
Now she is reading the Manifesto from the RCP, “Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage” to get deeper into communism. And she is watching the whole Revolution Talk online. Together, they got 300 cards to get out. He is going to a bunch of King Day events. She will get materials around at the community college.
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We caught up with a woman who teaches high school. She said she would download and watch the Talk. The school, and the students, are on Facebook. She is going to watch some sections with her students and then encourage her students generally, and certain students in particular, to spread the Talk through Facebook.
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We reached an OG we first got to know after his son was shot by the police. He loves the Talk. At one point he made all of “his guys” sit down to watch large portions of it. He was excited it was online and asked “what took y’all so long?”
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We spoke with a man we met last summer. At that time we watched several cuts from the DVD with him and his partner, and had a deep and engaging discussion of them. We had some catching up to do.
We brought the Message and Call. He thought it was important to try to break things out of where they are at now and particularly important to get to younger teenagers who haven’t, yet, been “taken over by the street.” He wondered why the prevailing morés went from where they were in the sixties to where they are today; we got into the analysis that is gone into in “The Plague of Violence Among the People—and the Real Solution” (Revolution #146, October 26, 2008) that ran in Revolution a while back.
We got into what Bob Avakian has done in the new synthesis, digging in to the revolutions of the past and looking at the overwhelmingly positive things they did accomplish which have been denied and lied about, while also digging in to their shortcomings and weaknesses. And on that basis re-envisioning a vibrant and visionary socialism and putting communism on a more scientific basis. Now this friend wants to dig into some of the Chair’s theoretical works.
He will take materials to the college. He made suggestions of faculty at his college to talk with, and suggested putting on a fundraising event, particularly a talent show or a stepping set, and getting to the sororities and fraternities at the college. He asked if we had someone who could go out and speak to groups. And he suggested getting the commuter stations in the morning when thousands of people are coming through.
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At a youth center in the ghetto, we showed the director there the clips “Youth deserve a better future” and “A better world is possible.” We all discussed what it has meant that youth don’t see the possibility for the world to be any different—and compared it with a time (the ’60s) when they did see that.
We talked about what difference it made to have Mao’s China as an example. And what the powers-that-be have done to reverse the verdicts of the ’60s and promote an ethos of “I’ve got to get mine.”
The discussion ranged to the point Bob Avakian makes about the conservative economist saying: “Crime is a rational choice” for youth in the inner city. What that says about the system—and what that has meant (and means) for the situation we find ourselves in today. The director spoke at length about the prevalence of crime and the tragedy of so many youth getting caught up in the criminal justice system.
We asked what people were saying about Haiti. When one youth said, “No one is talking about that and anyway, we can’t do anything about it so why think about it?” we challenged them on that attitude. The women at the center joined in and we all got into what led to the situation in Haiti—the whole history starting with Haiti having the only successful slave revolution and how the U.S. has dealt with Haiti since then. The women made a point of exposing how the Haitian masses are portrayed in the media—in the service of justifying the U.S.’s military occupation.
The youth center is setting up its own Facebook page and most youth in the program are active on Facebook. We left pluggers and posters at the center. People at the center want us to come back regularly.
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From these experiences we got a small taste of the potential impact this Revolution Talk can have in helping people see the possibility for a different world. And their willingness and desire to play a role in taking up the talk and spreading it.
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