Revolution #259, February 12, 2012
Post-Holiday Yard Sale:
Raising Money for BA Everywhere
This correspondence was sent to Revolution from readers taking up the BA Everywhere campaign. This is the kind of thing lots of people need to be doing and we hope others will write to us about their experiences in taking BA out everywhere in all kinds of creative ways.
As part of the campaign to get BA everywhere in 2012, a group of us decided to hold a post-holiday yard sale to raise money for the BAsics bus tour. XX is the woman who hosted a yard sale in a great location just north of downtown. She said, “Yard sales are good for building community... They’re a lot of work but they can build your group.” This idea of “building community” became an underlying theme in our efforts that brought in close to $600 for the BAsics Bus Tour and getting more copies of BAsics to prisoners.
Having lots of “stuff” is an important part of yard sales. We put out a call for resale items that reached people with many different views on revolution and Bob Avakian’s new thinking on communism, and just what’s possible for humanity. Most of the several truckloads of items that filled XX’s yard came from folks not at all in agreement with BA’s vision. But they have been challenged by the determined efforts of this movement and by new things coming into being. Going through their closets was something they not only could do, but also wanted to do.
On the other hand, there were several “make or break” moments in putting this event together. At each of these points the people who stepped in to make things happen had been engaging Bob Avakian’s thinking, and been impressed by it, especially around questions of democracy—today and in a revolutionary society—and the role of god and religion, and found the plan for a BAsics Bus Tour inspiring.
For example, a couple of Occupy activists drove their truck 25 miles into town to help transport merchandise for the sale. One of their first intros to this movement for revolution was watching the cut from the Revolution talk, Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About1, on democracy under capitalism and the election trap, which they really liked. However, not surprisingly, communism is very controversial for them. As the system tries to shut the Occupy movement down, BA’s statement on Occupy and the call to defend it have influenced and challenged this couple and others. It was in this mix that the young woman offered her truck, wanting to contribute to the sale. And in particular, it was after a moment of sharing thinking with friends on some quotes from BAsics, like 2:31 on BA’s proposal for what a truly revolutionary society needs to look like.
A young revolutionary-minded artist recruited her four-year-old son to help make signs, and then posted them all over the neighborhood the night before the sale. She has been looking for ways to contribute in her free moments since having become excited by the diverse thinking and engagement around revolution among people at the BA Everywhere conference. BAsics discussions with her friends and others are another way she’s found to participate.
Several college students we’ve met in the last period staffed the tables, making deals with people who came to buy. When business slacked off for a minute, people made new acquaintances, shared their experiences and got into the controversies and struggles that were compelling them. One youth talked about traveling to China and Ireland, and finding heroic resistance among the people in those countries. A young Black woman was excited to come across BA’s Away With All Gods!, and the point in this book about the slave mentality promoted by religion really struck her as true. She also checked out Not in Our Genes in the used books on sale, and learned something about the struggle taken up by scientists against ways that the powers have tried to twist science to rationalize racism and national oppression.
Everyone was impressed by the mix of people this event brought together. XX got a good vibe from everyone who came and wants to have another yard sale. New plans have taken shape for an art show, building off the possibilities people saw in all the new people and energies that were a part of making this fundraiser an all-around success.
1. The four-disk Revolution talk DVD is available from RCP Publications, PO Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654 for $23, including shipping or at revolutiontalk.net/info/order/. Watch the film online at revolutiontalk.net. [back]
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