Revolution #204, June 10, 2010
Some Good Beginnings
Below are some snapshots from last weekend and early in the week with different methods and forms being tried toward achieving saturation and bringing forward a politicized atmosphere in some key communities. Some things are starting to break open. It's significant that in some areas people are stepping forward on the spot to join up with the saturation teams—and it's very important to sit down with them in that same evening when the saturation is over and go through the long version of the statement, make sure they have a copy of the newspaper and either have the Revolution Talk or know how to find it on line.
In the areas where we are concentrating we are setting out to get this Message and Call into the hands of everyone we possibly can. That means, for instance, as people flood out of the subway or off the buses—our teams are out there getting one to every single person who will take one, just telling them: Take one, take this, read it! Fundraising cans, buckets and garbage pails are visible and being actively wielded. And if people have read the statement and want to take a bundle and help get it in their building or job among people they know, they should make a donation and we should put some broadsheets in their hands to get out. Bundles are important when they're taken up consciously by those who want to see this message spread.
And wherever possible one person on the teams should be selling the newspaper, the current issue as well as both issues which contain the long version of the Message and Call: issue #170 and the May Day issue #200.
In New York City:
As we are pulling this together it's the afternoon of June 8 and we got 2,000 out this morning which puts us just under 14,000 total. Here's some of what has been accomplished, lessons, and plans going forward.
We are focusing on two key areas– a neighborhood which has a major concentration of Black masses and a neighborhood with a lot of influential and important artistic and cultural life. We've hit the streets with people finding out about this campaign in a lot of different ways. You may have seen the picture with hundreds of flyers strung up at an intersection with clothespins, creating a striking and inviting visual display. This was done in both neighborhoods.
On a corner in the Black community we set up a Revolution Books table with bundles of papers, the Revolution Talk, and other materials set up and distributors weaving through the busy intersection handing calls to people in cars. Sidewalk chalk with quotes from the message and call were all around this corner and people would start to read them. Through the weekend traffic bikers went whizzing by with red flags and posters with the message and call and the BA image attached to their bikes. We are blanketing, getting flyers to everyone, but not just at one corner, we set up this scene and then spread out to several different corners so people encountered us all along the main street in the Black community. Then Monday we were at three different train stops for the morning and evening work rush. We are saturating and then if opportunity presented for people to take bundles we did that quickly but mainly we got them to everyone. Today, Tuesday, it shifts much more to getting out bundles and asking people for money and we also went to the park where you intersect with students from two different high schools. Each night we're going into the projects, mainly to people we know, organizing them to take responsibility for their building and for the projects as a whole. One guy took 100 flyers from us in the projects.
The oil spill has been something people are angered about and want to talk about and our agitation about what's at the root of this and making the connections and reading from the statement around what the nature of this system... this has compelled people to take this up amongst youth in both neighborhoods.
People are hearing about this in different ways that are interacting with and impacting the saturation. Some people heard about the arrest of revolutionary Will the week before and stopped to tell us they had called in to demand he be released or wanted to know if he had gotten out. In the arts district, a young couple stopped to get a copy of the call, telling us they were glad to see the image and something revolutionary as part of the gallery openings on Friday night.
In the arts district we weren't able to do the clothesline display a second time because the cops said we couldn't, so we went around to businesses nearby and told them what had happened, that what was fine the night before when they went through, today was not being allowed, and that everyone here had a role to play in whether this would be on the scene, asking them if we could post the posters outside. One store said yes and let us cover a whole side of their wall outside at the intersection with the message and call. We did really compelling agitation about how totally unnecessary it is to continue living this way, and how we have leadership to make a revolution. Meanwhile our biker with the BA image was rolling through repeatedly and being flagged down by people who wanted to know who this person was.
People stopped in ones and twos and read the call, and listened to the agitation. And we read that paragraph from the call to people who stopped: "It is this system that has got us in the situation we're in today, and keeps us there. And it is through revolution to get rid of this system that we ourselves can bring a much better system into being..." To be real, there were some good elements and we persevered in the face of a lot, but our numbers weren't great for this outing, and we summed up that part of this was because of the struggle to get going after being prevented from doing our display and then the person on the bike pointed out to us that when they rode by, it seemed we had gotten off the saturation orientation because there was kind of a scene and the agitation was attracting people, but then all of the distributors were getting into long conversations every time he rode by and all these people who were taking note of the scene were walking by without getting one! In order to really do this we have to keep in mind that we are a vehicle for this Message and Call (quite literally with the bike!), not the Message and Call is a vehicle for us to engage people.
Back in the Black community this is starting to become something that is known as being part of this revolution. One person had an acquaintance come up to them in the projects and say, "You must be with the revolution." And he said, "Yeah, how do you know that?" and he replied "Because you got that t-shirt on and the revolutionaries on the corner wear that t-shirt. I like what they do out there."
We are doing a lot of emphasizing "Read the statement! We will be here, read it." We thought about having folding chairs with copies of the Call to make this point that we want people to read it, and contact cards and bundles underneath the chairs that people can take.
There is also a fight for people to get down with it and be part of spreading it—right now—yes, before they read it and before all their questions about it are answered. Fundraising is really a major point of struggle and we are struggling with each other about making it part of everything and having the forms that give expression to that (we have an idea for big garbage cans collaged with images from Revolution newspaper, instead of little buckets). And YES you can raise money from students, the first step is you have to ask them and people have to know it's a way they can and must participate.
In the morning as people are getting on the trains we are getting the flyer into the hands of hundreds and hundreds of people. In the evening we have much more of an ear to how people responded and whether they had read it, challenging them to donate money and take more. Monday afternoon we had an enlarged image of the statement five feet tall and people were stopping to read this. We are telling people about this campaign, as a campaign, and what the goals are. We have posters that read, "Take 1, Take 10, Take 100" and "This is the Campaign" and goals of how many we want to distribute and how much money to raise in discrete areas, as part of the nationwide 200,000. All this is to give people a sense of what they are part of. One guy who worked in the hospital nearby said he would take a stack of 50 for the department and would donate tomorrow when he has money. He thought it would be important to make this a question there, the question of revolution and Bob Avakian, in the department. He liked the idea that we are on a campaign and intend to really make this a question through saturating. He liked that idea.
In the evening we were back at the train stops. Here's some of what happened: "Another woman about 40 years old from South Africa stopped and listened intently as I told her about the campaign and Bob Avakian. In the midst of this she stops me: 'When are you guys going to show the Revolution movie?' I told her about the viewings planned this summer and invited her down to the bookstore. She took a stack of about 20 broadsheets gave contact information (but had no money)."
We are going back today and tomorrow to the train stops with packets ready to go, raising money, bringing people in. What's happening at this point is it's becoming a question amongst broad sections of youth and people from the projects especially and then other sections of middle strata. All kinds of people came out of the hospital and said: we've read it, we've seen it, they've got it. Others hadn't read it and we would struggle with them to read it. The statement still has to be in all the stores, in every window, in the projects. Has to be everywhere in key intersections, in all the stores, laundromats.
Later in the week we reemerge in the arts district, starting Wednesday night with a team getting out to train stops, then doing train stops and music shows for the rest of the week and weekend, and in the afternoons going through to all the stores. We need to develop further forms and ways of going at this which are "completely outrageous and eminently reasonable" in order to break through in the community. We are getting some more backwards elements coming out and challenging us which is a good thing in that it allows for debate and allows people to hear more about what we are all about and it shows that we are beginning to affect the atmosphere. One vendor that was nearby us got out her American flag one afternoon after she had come on with all this anti-communism and slander about the socialist experience. We didn't back down; we brought out what the U.S. represents and when she exclaimed, "Where's your American flag?" we replied, "It's in the garbage!" This had an impact on the young people passing through and listening and paying attention and not really sure what to think about us yet. Our stance, our passion, the challenge and the reality of what we are saying is having an impact on them and they are reading the statement. But we need to make a leap in some of those people breaking out and taking this up and starting to see it as their campaign, and looking to the revolutionaries and getting into Bob Avakian.
Through the week we have a more focused plan and numerical breakdown. By Wednesday night in the Black community we want to be at 25,000, and in the arts district. This will put us 35,000 from our goal going into the weekend and we'll be putting our heads together on Wednesday night to make a plan to accomplish this.
In the Bay Area:
The orientation has been "all hands on deck," get everyone possible out on the streets and recruit new people into this movement, and do things in a way that is "totally outrageous yet utterly reasonable." It made a big difference to have a sizeable crew of 10 to 15 people out on Saturday and Sunday. Most concentrated in the area with a large Latino immigrant population and also sending a crew of 2 or 3 to the Gaza demo.
With this number of people we were able to organize our main force which was about 8 people to be marching up the sidewalks through this fairly busy shopping area with a bullhorn leading chants and EVERYONE possible carrying several red bags with 40-50 Calls in each one, and everyone possible carrying a donation can with a string around their neck or shoulder. We also had a truck with huge banners on the sides with the slogan "The Revolution We Need… The Leadership We Have"—both Spanish and English. The truck was constantly driving back and forth around the area of saturation, adding to the sights and sounds. We called on everyone to be part of this movement, to CONTRIBUTE MONEY in order to accomplish the three goals of the campaign, to build this movement for revolution, to be in a position to go all out for power when millions will be looking for a way out and that getting into this statement and making known to all that there is a leadership and a plan is something they can immediately be a part of. Marching and chanting with the bullhorn and doing intermittent agitation about the outrages of this system made it clear to people that this is urgent. We would run into people the next day who said yes, they got the Message and Call and "I saw the protest that you organized."
So, at the same time as this marching crew was going around, and following closely on its heels was a team of two people whose job it was to get with the small shopkeepers and win them to posting the Message and Call and the image of Bob Avakian on their windows and put a stack of messages on their counters for people to take. As planned, these two things worked in synergy. Store owners had seen or heard the protest outside and connected it with these people going around to talk with them about this.
The following is a description of what they did by one of the people on the store team: "Up and down the Latino immigrant area, a large percentage of store windows are now displaying the statement, 'The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have.' People looking for the latest fashions, pan dulce (Mexican pastries), pupusas (a Salvadorean dish), burritos, fresh fruit, a haircut or a tattoo, baptism dresses, or a bite to eat can now find statements stacked on top of store counters or right next to the cash register. We talked to dozens of people and got out about 3,600 in two days in a nine block shopping area filled with small shops. Some stores put the poster of Bob Avakian in their windows.
"We found a lot of support for revolution from people from Korea, China, Mexico, and El Salvador. A couple of young Latinas who worked in a clothing store were shocked on hearing about the police murder of Aiyana Stanley-Jones in Detroit. A Korean woman said she was getting angry at Obama because of the BP spill. She thought he could have done something, like call all the oil companies together and tell them to solve this problem, but he hasn't. A Black man who had seen the paper before said he agreed with us that things had to change and if a revolution were to come, he would go with it. We told him he needed to get with it now to help make it happen. Although at first he said he had no money, after talking about Arizona and the BP oil spill, he emptied his pockets of all his change. A lot of people were especially upset about the fascistic law in Arizona. Some of the merchants said they heard the protest marching by (our comrades) and they wanted to know what it was all about. Some people asked who was our leader and where was he from? Many of the store owners expressed their feeling that this system is really bad and that they welcomed and saw the need for a change."
A highlight Saturday was that we had four completely new people join our crews and pretty much run with us all day. One was a young Black music DJ who has done some reading about communism and revolution and who was really moved by seeing people out there talking about standing up to the most horrific crimes of this system, the murder of Aiyana Jones, the Palestine flotilla, the Arizona law, the oil disaster in the gulf and boldly putting forward the need for this revolution and calling on people to be part of it. He helped get out the Call and later helped us set up a sound system and projector and we were able to project the Revolution Talk on the wall of a building as the sun was going down. He asked us how do I find out more about this guy whose image is on the t-shirts? We told him about revcom.us and during a break he went over to the library and came back to tell us, "Wow, this Bob Avakian, he is a pretty busy guy!" He was amazed at how much and the breadth of his writing. Another was a Central American immigrant who heard the agitation about the horrors that this system is committing from Detroit with 7-year-old Aiyana, to the attack on the flotilla to Palestine, to the Gestapo-like law in Arizona and, hearing that, he came over to the person who was on the bullhorn and said: "Can I say something on the bullhorn." He took the bullhorn and started ripping into the U.S., how this system destroys the lives of people in Latin America, and how it is A SYSTEM of imperialism and that YES, people need revolution. He ran with us the rest of the day and went back home and invited people to come to the Revolution Talk that night. He ended up not coming that night himself, but joined us on Sunday when a big crew distributed hundreds of Calls and collected contributions from people coming out of a Catholic Church.
The other two who joined the campaign on Saturday were two young white women who had run into us at the protest against Obama last week and had come out to help with the campaign at the protest downtown on Saturday around the attack on the Free Gaza aid flotilla. They hooked up with a couple of our more veteran activists and distributed 400 Calls to the crowd of about 1,000 people. Two people holding the banner with the quote from Chairman Avakian that says: "After the holocaust, the worst thing that has happened to Jewish people is the state of Israel," while another person did stuff on a bullhorn. The crew made up a chant that said: "Who gave the guns that killed the Palestinians… the U.S., the U.S.… has blood on its hands."
Saturday night we held a showing of the Revolution Talk on the wall of a building. By that time of the day the streets in this area were pretty deserted and although three Central American immigrants who had heard we were showing this came by and watched very briefly, it wasn't like there were many people passing by who would be attracted to come and check it out. The great thing is that we involved some new people in making it happen from the technical side. Setting up the equipment and helping us get power from a car battery, etc, and the fact that the day ended with people who had been running with the campaign
On Sunday when the big Spanish mass was getting out, we parked the truck with banners right across the street from the church entrance so that people would see it when they came outside. This had some of that edge of being totally outrageous yet eminently reasonable. They were also greeted by one person doing oral agitation without a bullhorn right outside the entrance while seven or eight others distributed the Call and collected contributions. Another person did agitation across the street as people went into the parking lot. We collected about $44 after that mass, almost everyone got the call, a few people took bundles, and we had one person exclusively selling the newspaper. There were debates with some of the churchgoers and some of the priests and nuns about the part of the Call that says: "The truth is, there are no gods and we don't need them." At the same time, even some who expressed disagreement with this part, liked what we were doing overall and felt the system needs to be called out and people called to resist.
In Los Angeles:
On Saturday a team went out to an area that is a crossroads of Black masses in L.A. and also has large numbers of Latino immigrants in recent years. This is an area we've been to many times and gotten out thousands of the Message and Call over several months, but never actually saturated in a way that this becomes the thing on the scene that everybody's talking about and everybody has to form an opinion on.
We set up a loud speaker on the corner, playing the short version of the statement in English and Spanish and getting it into the hands of people passing by. Even with the speaker it was hard to break through the routine, we hadn't yet gotten the kind of scene going that people felt compelled to check out. Three women grabbed the bullhorn and set off on a march. All in t-shirts with Bob Avakian's image, chanting, "everywhere we go, people want to know, who we are, so we tell them, we are the communists, the mighty, mighty communists; everywhere we go, people want to know, who's our leader, so we tell them, Chairman Bob Avakian, leading revolution." Now THIS was out of the ordinary and heartening and electrifying to many. We stopped on the street corners and agitated about how this system is a nightmare for humanity but we don't have to live this way, we've got the leadership to make the revolution we need, we've got a strategy for making this revolution and called on people to join in building the movement for revolution. People came out of the stores to find out what was going on—including a store that already had Bob Avakian's image in the window. Mostly everybody wanted to grab one of the copies of the Message and Call and several people gave small donations on the spot—including a woman waiting for the bus who held her dollar up in the air as she saw us coming and waited until we got to her so she could throw it in the donation bucket.
Once we got to the neighborhood (a huge housing development), we put the speaker on the back of a truck, which drove through the streets and parked on corners so people could hear the whole statement. People hearing the statement in their cars pulled over to come up to the truck and find out more about this. From the minute the team that was on foot entered the neighborhood, there was interest. A Spanish-speaking woman smiled when she heard communist revolution and said, "Che Guevara." We said, no, "Bob Avakian," and pointed to our t-shirts: a revitalized and reconceived communism, a leader who has given his heart and skills and experience to the masses of people and developed a new synthesis on revolution and communism, and a strategy for how to actually make the revolution we need. She decided to take a stack of the statement to distribute and gave a small donation.
Then we started finding people who have seen and read this statement before, including one person who is getting the newspaper by e-mail and said at first he's a man of peace (in contrast to making revolution). Once we got talking about this campaign as part of the strategy for making revolution, he took a hundred statements and gave a $5 donation to help spread the word of this everywhere. As one person went ahead up the street passing out the broadsheet, people in her wake were reading it—by the time the next person passing out the broadsheet got to that spot, some were ready to start asking questions about what kind of revolution and what is our strategy for making revolution. A young woman who'd gotten a flyer pulled her car over where some of us were standing and started honking the horn for her mother to come and get in the car. Her mother bought the newspaper and got in the car. The young woman kept honking. Finally we realized she was calling us over because she wanted to sign up to get involved in this movement.
We summed up that this was a beginning but was not yet saturation. The breakdown on stats for these was 2300 broadsheets in the neighborhood and $28 in donations. The fundraising has generally brought in trickles of donations and there has been struggle to fight for donations both by having a dedicated fundraiser on each team, but also a shift in approach from everybody on asking for funds.
Tues. June 8, 7-9 am
We had a really good morning at the transit station today. Meeting people early in the morning on their way to work was a really good idea and a new approach for us. Even though most people are in a hustle to get from one mode of transportation to another, they were, all in all, pretty open to taking the broadsheet—The Revolution We Need...The Leadership We Have. We met people as they were getting off or getting onto their buses and the exciting thing was that you could see people on the buses reading the broadsheet!! We didn't, but need to, and should be taking pictures.
In two hours we got out 500 broadsheets, and ran out. We summed up we should have brought double that amount. We sold 10 Revolution newspapers, and got out 100 Revolution DVD cards, and only collected $9 in donations. We talked with several people who stopped and gave us their contact info; we got about 14 contacts, including one guy who came back to us and said he read the whole thing and wanted to know what he could do. We told him that he could donate money, take some with him to work, give us his contact info, and go out with us, which he said he "would be available this weekend, just let him know where to meet us."
We only had three people and we could have done a lot more if we can build up our teams. That is why we are taking people's contact info! We look forward to going back and doing even better the next time. We talked about the fact that we need to ask everyone that stops to donate money, and if we had more people we could have a designated donation seeker and paper seller. But all said we had a very good experience and learned this is a great time to go out 7-9 am.
From 4-6 pm
Four of us met at the station, split up, but within minutes were separately told by the police we had to leave the property, as it is all "private property." But we crossed the street and set up an amplified sound system, playing the DVD on a 175 watt speaker powered by a lawnmower battery. Though the screen was small and could not be seen unless you were 3 feet in front of it, Bob Avakian's voice cut over 4 lanes of traffic, and created a compelling presence. We were joined by another comrade, all of us had our tees on, passing out broadsheets to passersby and traffic at the intersection. A vendor who did have a permit to be on the property, stood staring at us for minutes, listening intently, and ran across the street saying he could hear the speech and wanted to know who it is and excitedly took several broadsheets back with him to distribute to his friends and fellow vendors. Two Muslim woman stopped, and after listening a bit, wanted to know if we wanted to unite with others who want real change, but had real differences, saying she would go home and listen to the speech, and that we should listen to Farrakhan's 2009 Saviour's Day Speech, and then talk some more.
And finally, a woman came across the street to see what we were doing and was extremely excited to see that we were "unafraid to speak the truth." She saw the picture on the front page of Revolution and frantically dug through her belongings full of pictures of her children and grandchildren, and found a 30-year-old, dog-eared news clipping from The Atlanta Constitution of herself struggling to stand up, with the same familiar grief on her face as on the faces of Aiyana's family. She introduced herself as the mother of one of the murdered and missing children, and then threw herself into getting out the broadsheets with us over the next two hours, including going into a nearby neighborhood later with the sound system!
We got out 400 broadsheets, 50 image cards, 10 posters, sold 3 issues of Revolution, and raised $3 in donations. And we really made a leap in establishing a presence today, getting almost 25 new contacts.
On the first day of saturation, we went to a Black proletarian neighborhood where we've been doing consistent work for over a year. The Message and Call was very visible. Many stores took stacks for their customers. One youth came up to one of the revolutionaries on the street and asked, "I'm seeing this everywhere! What is this about?" After a brief conversation, he took about 100 copies himself to distribute and gave his phone number.
We called this youth back, and he said he'd like to go out with us to saturate. It took some persistence, but we hooked up with him and together we saturated another neighborhood, not far from where he stays. He had read some of the Message and Call, and especially loved the section which says, "Look at what this system is doing to youth right here in the USA. For millions in the inner cities, if they are not killed at an early age, their likely future is prison (nearly 1 in 8 young Black men is incarcerated, the prisons are overflowing with Blacks and Latinos, and this country has the highest rate of incarceration of women in the world). This system has robbed so many youth of the chance for a decent life and has got far too many living, dying and killing for nothing—nothing good—nothing more than messing up people and murdering each other on the streets of the cities here…or joining the military, being trained to be murderers on a mass scale, massacring people in countries across the globe. A system which offers millions and millions of youth no greater purpose, no better fate, than crime and punishment, or to become a mindless killing machine for the system itself—that alone is reason enough to sweep this system from the face of the earth!"
We also made an initial foray into saturating the neighborhood where Revolution Books is located. It's a trendy area, with lots of youth, but has become somewhat more gentrified over the last period. And some of the store owners have been somewhat anti-communist. But in a relatively short period of time, we were able to get out hundreds of the Message and Call and hundreds of cards, in stores! Some owners of the stores were very open to this, and in other places, the young employees were happy to take flyers. Some of the store owners, in particular, really liked the cards that has BA's image, if they weren't willing to take stacks of the flyers.
This message comes from Detroit, a city of simmering anger and outrage at the murder by the Detroit pigs of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, where there are massive numbers of rotting empty houses, miles of desolation and abandonment, thousands of homeless, alongside the obscenity of structures like the massive new casinos looming overhead. The campaign has begun in two parts of the city, the neighborhood where Aiyana was murdered by the Detroit pigs as she slept in her living room and a university neighborhood where lots of progressive middle class people, youth and students live and are working on the U.S. Social Forum to be held here in late June.
A poster of the statement began to appear along a main street of university area, it immediately drew attention. A Black man on his bicycle stopped to read the statement. He said he liked it, especially the beginning part that nails the capitalist imperialist system for all the crimes, and took about 50 to get out in his travels. A car filled with young people pulled up and asked what the Message and Call was about. After saying, "It's about the revolutionary movement we are building—get involved!"—they said, "great, let's have it."
Sunday morning, we went down the street to two churches—dilapidated but still functioning, one church houses and feeds the homeless. An older Black woman riding by on her electric cart with a child stopped and took a small bundle from us, drove off and then a half-block away turned around and came back. "Can I have more of those? I live in that high-rise over there, and I want to take it around to my whole building. It's a lot of seniors, but they minds is still pretty sharp." She took 200, wanted a paper but had no money but gave us her contact info and said she would contribute when we get back with her. In a brief time, hundreds of statements in bundles were distributed.
We went to the east side, to Aiyana's neighborhood. Not to be deterred by continuing rain, our team went door to door with the aim of speaking with whomever we could find, and leaving broadsheets at every door. We encountered a complete range of responses—a few people telling us they were fine with this government and saw no need for revolution, to most who connected immediately with the urgent need for this kind of revolutionary movement. We got contact information from several people who want to stay in touch.
Wherever we went—whether the youth in the university neighborhood or people in the downpressed area of the east side, or the homeless we encountered everywhere—we found people questioning the legitimacy of the system who are drawn to and want to be part of this revolutionary movement, by taking out the Call to others. This is not a town where large crowds are easily found—a majority of the broadsheets have gone out to individuals in batches of 20 to 200. The posted broadsheets have created some visibility, and today we are looking for ways to more boldly break out, to broaden and deepen the impact of the campaign, reading the Message and Call over a sound system and decorating our cars.
In New York:
Saturday, June 5 in the evening
A hot Saturday summer night and the streets are packed. A few of us spent the late afternoon in a neighborhood with a lot of loft spaces for artists, this is an annual event where a bunch of the artists open their studios and thousands of people stream through to check out the art. There, we decided to mainly get out copies of the BA image. I was wearing the shirt and had several people ask me, "who is that? I've been seeing that guy everywhere." (It wasn't really everywhere, just concentrated around that neighborhood and the studios people were walking through that afternoon.) One guy asked for a few cards and I asked if he knew who that was. He said he didn't but the cards were hot. We told him it's Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution. He answered, "Revolution?! I'm down for that." I then gave him a copy of the card advertising the Revolution Talk online and told him it's some serious shit he needs to check out online. He said excitedly, "I love watching serious shit online, that's like what I do."
After a few hours there, we made our way over to First Night at the local museum. This is a once-a-month destination with many, many thousands coming to dance inside the museum, hang out on the steps out front and just kicking it. As the night was coming to a close, I made my way outside with a stack of the image cards. Passing out a card with no explanation or information is a new thing and I wasn't quite sure how this was going to go... it turned out to be provocative and intriguing and buzz creating... and A LOT of fun.
I went down the line of people not saying anything just one by one giving people the card, because of the size and how it looks most people took it. And as I'm kind of slowly walking, I'd look back and see people looking at the card, flipping it over to see what else was there, questioning each other about it, and then people would look up, see me walking ahead and call me back, "yo, come back here... who is this?" "It's the leader of the revolution," I answered. "What revolution?" "The one we need," I'd shoot back. Then I'd tell them this was Bob Avakian, someone they needed to find out about and I told them they should check out revolutiontalk.net. This went just like this almost two dozen times in a span of a half hour. One person walked all the way over to find me and asked me what this was about. After I answered, he said, "there's something wrong with this flyer, it's got no website, no nothing..." "Yeah," I responded, "but you know what's right about it? You wanted to know." He laughed, and then repeated the website, "Revolutiontalk.net? Alright, I'll check it out."
After we ran out of image cards, we went back around and hit people up with the statement and people were still asking me about my shirt, and who this dude was on the card.
This really was effective and something that needs to happen on a much bigger scale, in particular at shows, clubs and festivals. Understanding of course, that this won't work as a one time thing—people have to begin to see it all over... posted up by the store owner in their local bodega, cards stacked up in the coffee shop where they hang out, people being sent a clip of the Revolution Talk online and recognizing the face, seeing the Message and Call over and over... and themselves making the connections.
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