BA at the Front Counter of Revolution Books

March 12, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


A couple weeks ago we introduced a little DVD player at the front counter at Revolution Books. Something new began to happen. Staff people stopped trying to "convey" who Bob Avakian is and what he's saying and instead simply introduced people to the leader of this revolution, in person, if you will. By simply saying here's what I'm talking about, and clicking it on, we've shown dozens of people the 10-minute video "BA Through the Years" at the counter. Most stay to the end. It has changed what many thought about communism and revolution, what they are pondering about what's possible, and in some cases what they are doing—including buying tickets on the spot to the film premiere. Sometimes little groups form checking out the video, and a conversation ensues about BA among perfect strangers. 

One Black man who recently got out of prison after 17 years was taken aback by the clips, asking, "Why didn't I know about him?" Another older West Indian guy who's read Avakian but is still caught up in religion, after seeing this clip, bought a ticket and sat down to reread Away With All Gods on the role of the Black church.

Yesterday, a young white brick mason/actor wandered into the bookstore for the first time, watched the whole video, never moving, except for his fingers drumming on the counter. "That was amazing, man. I'm with him. Understand that. This is what I think about. I've always felt myself backing away when I hear about communism, but I realize I really don't know anything about it, and that's wrong, to make that judgment about something so important on hearsay." I said, "You have to be at this film if you want to know about communism. You've been lied to. BA has a whole new synthesis that goes farther than anyone. This is a science."  Him: "Okay, don't get me wrong, I think communism is a great idea, but could it work?" Me: "Yes. And no one has explored this question and the past revolutions with more rigor than BA. You have to be there Saturday."  The guy bought BAsics to find out more. He will have to get out of his job that day to be there. "It'll cost me $300 in wages, but I'm gonna try."

We are also playing the video clips for people who come into the store regularly-- some for many years-- to buy the paper, hang out and talk, take part in events. They too are transfixed. Some are surprised by BA's history in the 60s with the Black Panthers, some have never heard his "broke-leg motherfucker" story, some had literally never seen BA speak. Which is on us, friends! 

No more long windy conversations where we chase every objection to communism anyone ever heard from a prof or blog or backward relative. We are getting out of the way and letting BA speak, letting people actually meet the leadership they have. This is the person who can make the most compelling argument for coming to these premieres!, and connecting with this movement for revolution that has a real chance of winning.

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.