Following up at a community college

March 10, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


Many people have responded positively and taken flyers and gotten copies of the Cornel West interview with BA to listen to. And like we reported before, right on the spot, when we have gone out in a big way, we have called on people to come to a meeting of the Revolution Club that same afternoon and people have come and started to work together. People listened to the Cornel interview and had a discussion of the article in the newspaper about the new scene on campus at a college in the New York area.

So one of the new things that happened at the rally to save the community college is that three of the new people who recently formed a beginning Revolution Club took up mass leafleting and started engaging with folks about coming to the premiere. They also are organizing a rally and speakout on the anniversary of the killing of Trayvon Martin. They took the flyer that was put out by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and put the information about their rally and speakout on the bottom and decided to take this out along with the announcement for the premiere of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! The plan for the day was to call for people to get with us at the end of the rally to listen to the Cornel interview and help figure out ways to make the premiere a big deal on campus. The plan for the Trayvon rally next Tuesday is also to call people to meet immediately after the rally/speakout to get together with the Revolution Club to watch the part of the Revolution DVD where BA speaks about they are selling postcards of the lynchings and connecting the history of lynchings, the story of Emmett Till, to the situation today. So, what we are doing is not waiting to call people later, but, yes, getting the contact information, but pulling them together on the spot to check out BA and take up the challenge of contributing to making this film a really big deal in society overall...

One of the important things that we learned on this day was that the Revolution Club people who were flyering for the first time ran into new questions and new challenges. One person got really jolted by some movement activists who started attacking Mao Tsetung and the experience of socialism in China as a “horrible thing” and accusing Mao of “killing millions.” She didn’t know how to answer this. Another Rev Club person was disappointed by the fact that there is still so much “apathy,” lack of rage, among so many students, when the situation is so horrible for much of humanity. He said that it really made it hard for him to see how things could ever change to where enough people in this country cared enough to where a revolution could be possible.

The next day we pulled together these two people and tried to get others too, to get into these questions. We listened to the second KPFK radio interview of BA on the Michael Slate show where he gets into “Is it crazy to think a revolution is possible in this country?” Listening to this really changed the way people had been looking at things. It really gave them, finally, a beginning understanding of how it could be possible to get to a situation where “tens of millions are questioning the legitimacy of this system” and that the work we do now of building the movement for revolution is how we can contribute to that possibility. It really opened his eyes to this. He still had a lot of questions with regard to what kind of things do people need to be doing today. We talked about the civil disobedience that people did in New York around stop-and-frisk. We talked about going out to oppose the Christian fascists who marched to deny women the basic rights to abortion and birth control as example of what kind of things people need to be doing. We talked about how we should fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution.

On the question of China, we talked about really challenging people to not just regurgitate the lies and slanders that they might have heard and that are so much the “popular thinking” these days but to get serious and look into the real history, the really liberating things that people did in China and before that the Soviet Union, when they “WERE” socialist. We got into some of this experience and pointed the website link to “Setting the record straight” and plans for the special edition of Revolution newspaper dedicated to this. One comrade lent his copy of the book Some of Us to the woman who ran into a lot of these lies and slanders and she is looking forward to reading these personal stories of women who grew up during the years of the Cultural Revolution in China and how they point to these as the best years of their lives where women were rising up in unprecedented ways to change the world—and how it changed how they thought about the world.

So, taking out the premiere for the first time has brought with it new challenges for the new people taking it up and they are eager to learn more as they persevere in connecting with other students and professors on campus. We see the next big leap needed is engaging with professors at this college to encourage their students to come to the premiere. Not that they have to agree with everything about BA’s new synthesis of revolution and communism, but that in addition to they themselves engaging with BA, they see students engaging with this revolutionary work as something that many more students today should be doing. And everyone who is serious about finding a way out of these horrors should engage with the premiere BA Speaks: REVOLUTION–NOTHING LESS! We have had some initial very positive responses from people who feel this premiere ties in to questions they are studying, like, for example, a class that someone is taking on “The Politics of Sexual Violence.” Another student volunteered to connect us up with his English teacher, who he said is always calling on students to get involved and raise their voices. Another student who is part of the “Economics and Political Science Club” said it would be interesting if this premiere could be discussed by their club. And we have heard that a teacher of a class has already said she wants to come see the premiere because she felt the topic of this film is very compelling. So there are some new and exciting connections to be made right away.


Comment: People run into a lot when they take this out; we need to “be there” collectively with them all along the way, advancing through challenges.

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