NYC Dinner: Celebrating the Film and Making Plans for BA Everywhere

April 14, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


Sixty-five people gathered on April 6 at a church in upper Manhattan to celebrate the premiere of the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live, and to make plans for the BA Everywhere campaign—a campaign to raise big money to promote BA and his works society-wide, with a major focus right now on this film being shown, dug into and spread all over.

The crowd was very diverse, with a good share being people from the most oppressed sections of the people, along with the core of the Revolution Club, a crew of young women who work with the initiative to End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women, as well as veteran revolutionaries who have been in the struggle since the '60s and younger supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party. There were people of many nationalities and a range of ages from babies to older people, which added to the strong sense of community in the room.

Most people had been at the premiere of the film on March 16, many of whom were pretty new to the revolution then, and some people had just gotten involved since the premiere.

From the time people started to come into the room there was a sense of something fresh, as people from very different backgrounds shouted greetings to each other, helped set up, and sat in groups joking, telling stories and seriously discussing the thorny problems confronting the revolutionary movement. Everyone dug into a great burrito feast, babies were shared from lap to lap and small children who had never met alternately chased around the room and intently talked and played with each other. The room was electric, and spirits stayed high until everyone left out the door over three hours later.

The program was MC'd by the BA Everywhere Committee. The centerpiece was the short chapter from the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! film titled "Emancipating Humanity … Transforming Conditions & Transforming Human Nature." The clip took people right to BA's deep confidence in the ability of people to get beyond today's dog-eat-dog to a different world, based on profound scientific analysis and history of how we got to where we are and how we can make revolution. In some cases this "reminded" people of what they had experienced at the premiere; for some others this was new.

The program also included the stirring appearance of the NYC Revolution Club, who emerged from the audience chanting "We Are—The Revolution Club" to loud cheers and applause and then lined up in front, reading statements from people about their experience of learning about BA and watching the film. One member of the Club spoke to their two principles: "Humanity Needs Revolution and Communism" and "Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution."

Another Club member spoke powerfully to the importance of people stepping up to defend Noche Diaz, a young revolutionary communist leader from the Bronx who has been in the forefront of those standing up to stop-and-frisk, police brutality and mass incarceration. Noche will go on trial later in April, facing up to four years in jail (see "Hands Off Noche! Drop All the Charges!")

The Revolution Club also "premiered" a song and spoken word piece on the theme of "After the Revolution" with call-and-response and rap.

Andy Zee, the spokesperson for Revolution Books, gave remarks keying off of the recent points of orientation from Bob Avakian in the wake of the premieres of the film, on the need for the revolutionary movement to now take a major leap to exert real influence in society. (See "After the Premieres: Raising Big Funds and Spreading the DVD.")

Quite a few of the people at the dinner who had seen the premiere have been taking the film out to family, friends, co-workers, posting info on Facebook and so on. There has been some success with this, including opening up deep engagement with many different people about the need for communist revolution and what that is. Many people had ideas for how the larger BA Everywhere movement could further break out with the film and with BA. People also talked about running into quite a lot of controversy, which Andy Zee also spoke to in his remarks: this is a good thing as people start to debate and compare different analyses of the problem facing humanity and the solution. And people need to have ways to get deeper into the film, get into the big questions about communism and revolution, what is the reality of the history and the powerful potential of BA's new synthesis of revolution and communism, up against the anti-communist lies and distortions that are the assumed "truths" today including among the progressive movements, intelligentsia and in all spheres.

People spent the rest of the evening in groups leaning in to each other listening, questioning, debating, and sometimes laughing about all kinds of questions and considering various plans and means for promotion and fundraising, including a raffle, a plan for a summer series of showings of the film in city parks, and a major BA Everywhere Committee outing in Harlem in two weeks. Several hundred dollars was raised for BA Everywhere, in particular for promotion of the film.

This scene was so incredibly lively, and contrasted so starkly with the way different sections of the people are usually kept isolated from each other, and how people as a whole have their attention focused on the smallest and narrowest things, rather than what was being discussed this night—the forging of a whole new and better world.

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