Making a visual presence of

March 9, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


Our plan for the weekend was to make a visual presence of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! in a neighborhood where we've been doing a lot of work. And we wanted to do this in a way that immediately engaged and involved people from the neighborhood. We focused on the busiest streets for postering, and spent time selling Revolution newspaper outside a grocery store. A team of us put posters up on every pole on a busily traveled street and around a park in the heart of the neighborhood. One of the people with us had said that it's not good enough to have a poster here or there, but it needs to be everywhere to stand out. Throughout the weekend, we struggled over not just putting up posters, but doing it in a way that was accumulating forces on the spot.

People from the neighborhood came out, curious as to what we were doing. Some of them were very excited to find out about the film and asked for info on the showing and where they can get tickets. We created a buzz, as cars stopped to read the posters, and people on the street and bicyclists stopped to talk. Some people took stacks of palm cards and began passing it out as they walked down the street. Some youth came up and asked if this was about Trayvon Martin, because they'd seen revolutionaries talking about that last week. We talked to them about the film and how this revolution is about putting an end to all the brutality and horrors, so that there are no more Trayvon Martins. We challenged everyone with the importance of this talk and a number of people responded with their thinking about the real history of this country, what revolution and a revolutionary society would mean, and whether they thought it was possible. A number of folks were impressed with the talk being 6.5 hours, reflecting the seriousness of what was being called for.

A young man on his way to work took a bunch of posters to put up later, and went up to the team to watch how they were doing it and told them, “I'm part of the revolution, I got my posters to put up.” An older guy said that he knows about revolution, because he's from the '60s, and we told him about BA and how this is about winning an all-the-way revolution. He asked for information on the film, and in talking with him about how he needs to be part of making this happen, he said that he can get palm cards out on the buses. One thing that we stressed in talking with the people taking up materials was how BA is a contended question and how many people like him for what he stands for and some don't, so they shouldn't get thrown off by the controversy, and make sure and let us know what their experiences are.

We set up a listening session for the next day with some of the people we met. It fell through, and we summed up that we need to pull these together more on the spot and lay a better basis for it.

A recently formed “street team” went out to small businesses, and many of the owners put posters announcing the film in their windows and took stacks of palm cards to distribute. This team said that they would take responsibility to systematically go through the neighborhood to every store over the next couple of weeks and work with the storeowners to build anticipation for the film. They said that there was a lot of receptivity to the film and one storeowner told them that he would put up posters and go to some of the other businesses himself. One thing they summed up as a weakness was that they didn't bring up donations. And they would correct that next time out.

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