Revolution #232, May 15, 2011
$30,000 in 30 days, plus 100 new sustainers for Revolution newspaper… Changing the world with the BAsics.
Pick up a copy of BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian... flip to any page and you will read a quote or an excerpt of a short essay that speaks to a burning question about today’s world and what it means for people and society to be radically, radically different. You will read something that speaks to questions that people who want a better world are losing sleep over and answers to questions people didn’t even know they had, answers that can change how people are looking at the world today and the potential for a whole other way for humanity to think, feel and be. You will read from over 30 years’ worth of work from Bob Avakian pulled together in a comprehensive but succinct way that as a whole speaks to the essential questions of revolution and human emancipation. And you will find out what Avakian stands for and what kind of leader he is.
Photo: Special to Revolution
May 1, 2011, New York City
BAsics can play a unique role as a handbook for a new generation of revolutionaries, puncturing through the deadening and putrid culture of lies, degradation and me-first consumerism... and it can speak to those who have no future under this system besides criminalization and commodification. Very broadly, it can inspire people to look critically at the world around them, to think beyond the world as it is, and it can introduce millions to the unique and essential work of Bob Avakian, making him a reference point among people who are disturbed about the state of the world and seeking another, better world.
Flip to any page in this book or go through it cover to cover, and you’ll see why the back cover states, “You can’t change the world if you don’t know the BAsics!”
On April 11, a range of artists came together on the occasion of this book’s release in a cultural celebration of revolution and the vision of a new world. What came into being that night—through the combination of the artists’ work, a range of perspectives, and Avakian’s words—was electric, and gave the hundreds in attendance an all too rare taste of a whole other way the world could be.
Now, we are announcing a 30-day plan—to start Monday, May 23—to raise $30,000 plus 100 new Revolution sustainers, for beginning but bold promotional plans for BAsics to have a societal impact, for covering the remaining small debt incurred in the production of April 11 and the very initial production costs to make a documentary about this event, and for the critical functioning of RCP Publications. In addition, thousands of dollars are needed now by the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund to make important initial headway in their goal to get BAsics to 2,000 prisoners.
$7,000 is needed immediately
- one week’s worth of advertising on two of the country’s most popular hip-hop stations, a 30-second spot will run evenings and weekends for about a week—saturating the airwaves and connecting mainly with high school and college-age youth. This would enable millions to hear Avakian’s words cut through the bullshit that normally runs on mainstream radio play, and drive them to check out BAsics.
- targeted online advertising through Google and Facebook with selected quotes which will synergize with the presence of BAsics on Amazon as a “new notable” non-fiction release for the month of May.
Each copy of BAsics sent to prisoners costs $10. Help PRLF and Revolution newspaper raise the $20,000 needed to send 2000 BAsics to prisoners in the hellholes across the country.
To those inside prison walls:
To those outside the prison walls:
Donations can be made online at
PRLF is a project of the International Humanities Center, a non-profit public charity, exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the IRS code.
$6,000 is needed by PRLF immediately
While the program for buyers of BAsics to also buy a copy for prisoners has been successful and is continuing, an immediate additional infusion of funds is needed to begin to cover all the BAsics and Revolution subscription requests by prisoners.
$7,000 plus 100 new sustainers
RCP Publications is the publisher of BAsics, as well as the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal), and many other important works. And it publishes Revolution newspaper in print and online, in Spanish and English. This newspaper plays a pivotal role in the strategy for revolution. It enables people to really understand and act radically to change the world and it is the scaffolding for a movement for revolution. Building up the newspaper’s fund base and regular sustainers is necessary for the functioning of RCP Publications and it is an essential part of accumulating forces for revolution.
$7,000 plus 100 new sustainers will enable RCP Publications to begin to meet important overhead costs while expanding the donor base, including a significant change in what can be relied on regularly.
$10,000 toward a film of the event
“On the Occasion of the Publication of BAsics: A Celebration of Revolution and the Vision of a New World.” What was brought into being on April 11 has to reverberate beyond the walls of Harlem Stage. In a professional documentary of what this night was, footage of the performances would be interspersed with interviews of the artists who took part and people on the host committee who lent their name. These interviews could focus in on a few individuals and the development of their thinking, what Avakian’s work spoke to in them, how they were changed through this and their overall thoughts on the need to celebrate revolution and the vision of a new world, including through their art.
See “And Now...A Glimpse of Spring” in #231 of Revolution and the interviews with some of the artists in this issue of Revolution and online at revcom.us, to get a sense of the depth and range of voices. This film would be a project of those who helped make April 11 happen and beyond, and when completed, could be circulated in many different ways... submitted to film festivals, airing on public television, at independent theaters, high schools and colleges, libraries and housing projects.
$10,000 would eliminate debt and pay for the initial production and editing costs. Then this film project will be in a position to raise what will be a much larger amount for further production, promotion, and distribution.
Accomplishing these financial goals is a real necessity that provides an opportunity to involve many, many people in the movement for revolution. It is an opportunity to introduce people very widely, including those with more resources, to Avakian’s work and this powerful book. This is an opportunity to build long-term strategic ties and connections, accumulating forces for revolution... of varying levels and views. And it is an opportunity for them to be part of having a meaningful impact on the world... something many, many people would like to do.
Making these needs known—boldly and broadly—is an opportunity to create more buzz about the book and its author. And when we accomplish these fundraising goals, it will enable us to make this book known and get it into many more hands in U.S. hellholes and more broadly in society, put RCP Publications in a stronger position and begin the process of making this important film. Then the movement for revolution will be standing in a different place... with stronger ties and connections, and on a bigger and broader platform from which to catapult this book even further. And we will have learned a lot and had a great deal of fun in the process.
You have two weeks to get into position for May 23, which should begin with a running start. This means you have to start right away—pulling together lists, making a phone banking schedule and organizing volunteers, strategizing with all kinds of people in different spheres about what plans you should make, who you should reach out to and how they would want to be involved... including connecting you with others who might be able to contribute financially and with their ideas.
Some ideas might include working with a group of people in a housing project to fund one radio spot (one 30-second spot in the evening is about $250). Meanwhile, you can find someone with more means to match that group. This is both a way to raise the needed funds, and to forge the connections between different strata of people today. Are there mass forms that would be good... fundraising salons, learning from people in a neighborhood what they might want to do (in one neighborhood, someone cooked and sold fish and chicken dinners).
What teachers and college professors can you reach out to, asking them to contribute and asking them who they might reach out to… Find out what progressive theater is being done in your town and reach out to the producers or the philanthropists who contributed to that theater company... Talk with artists who are doing important and provocative work... ask if they can give, and if they know art buyers and donors who you can reach out to. Do some quick research on the Board of Trustees at a nearby progressive institution, think about who might be good to approach... and approach them!
Fundraising materials will be available at revcom.us soon, but in the meantime, there are plenty of materials you can use to go to people—BAsics itself, which includes the RCP’s statement, “On the Strategy for Revolution,” the editorials from Revolution newspaper on BAsics (which can be found at revcom.us/avakian/About-Basics-en.html), interviews with the artists who participated in April 11, statements from the host committee members and others and interviews with attendees from April 11.
There is an overall, initial leap being called for with these four discrete projects. Some people might be unleashed by the whole picture being painted here, others might want to focus on one aspect and run with it. There are actually five ways people can give: earmarked for one of these four projects or they don’t have a preference. We should make a lot of space for all this.
Write in with your ideas, suggestions, experiences and questions. Revolution newspaper will be a center of activity on this drive, so write in regularly, including with your plans and ideas before May 23.
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