Summer 2013 BA Everywhere Campaign: Making a Difference

June 9, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


On the weekend of June 1-2, planning conferences for the Summer 2013 BA Everywhere Campaign took place in various cities across the country. The conferences, involving many different people, were a chance to wrestle with how to make a real national impact—to raise the kind of funds that will make it possible to reach millions with Bob Avakian's revolutionary communist vision and works. Check and future issues of Revolution for reports about the conferences and the plans coming out of them. The following is the keynote speech for the conferences.


Welcome to the kick-off planning conference for the Summer 2013 BA Everywhere Campaign.

Let's begin with this from Bob Avakian's talk, REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!:

Those this system has cast off, those it has treated as less than human, can be the backbone and driving force of a fight to not only end their own oppression, but to finally end all oppression, and emancipate all of humanity.

Take a moment and reflect on who else in the world today, what other political force, is putting forward this liberating vision, this goal, this challenge to remake the whole world—that those this system has cast off can become "the backbone and driving force of a fight to not only end their own oppression, but to finally end all oppression, and emancipate all of humanity."

Hearing this statement at the film's premiere, a woman who lives in a shelter responded:

"That's me. There were certain points in this movie where I was moved to tears because I identified with it. And that quote right there, that's exactly how I feel... [she starts to get really choked up] ...I feel cast aside. But hopefully getting involved with this group, learning more, actually learning how to apply this, changing my political affiliation, I'm going to, and working from there, whatever I can do to help. I also have a sister who I think will be very interested in this. So I'm going to play the DVD as much as I can."

Those this system has cast off, those it has treated as less than human, can be the backbone and driving force of a fight to not only end their own oppression, but to finally end all oppression, and emancipate all of humanity.

Bob Avakian
Chairman of the Revolutionary
Communist Party, USA
From the film BA Speaks:

She said, "I'm going to play the DVD as much as I can" because BA connected with her. This is what BA awakens. Those this system treats as nothing can, with the right leadership, rise to become emancipators of humanity joined by people from other classes and strata who are inspired to be a part of the same great struggle for a future where all the oppression and exploitation of the people and the planet are no more.

As you watch and watch the film again you realize that it is not just that BA captures people's lived experience and that he affirms their humanity, but he digs down deep to how and why this system is the horror it is—and why a radically different world is possible. BA opens BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live asking "How long must this nightmare of oppression and brutality go on?" Then he breaks down why the horrors of the world of today need not be forever—how they flow from the capitalist-imperialist system, and how they can go out of existence through revolution. This is because of real reasons—actual contradictions in the way society works and how it has developed, why it continually gives rise to crisis, to war, to profound inequalities, to degradation and devastation. And this system also gives rise to those who have nothing to lose, who have been cast off and cast down, who can become the backbone of making revolution.

People can learn and understand this. What is the problem? This system. And what is the solution? Revolution—Nothing Less! BA breaks revolution down: why it is possible, how to build up the people's understanding and strength, and how to win in a country like this—providing a strategy for making revolution. This is farsighted leadership that is scientific—probing reality from different angles to come to understand the world as it actually is, applying that understanding to changing the world, and then measuring results by again looking back at reality and learning again.

Brownsville, Brooklyn, NYC, July 2012.
Photo: Li Onesto/Revolution

A woman in Harlem said after reading BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian: "Listen, this man is teaching me things that I never knew before and is showing me a way to change the things that I feel that need to be changed, which is this whole world, by the way, you know. It's powerful stuff."

A young man in Harlem said, after watching BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live:

"In America, a lot of people do say this is the land of the free... But people like me, it's just totally the opposite because I'm the definition of America's enemy. I'm a young Black youth in the inner city. They wrote us off before we was born. We was convicted at birth, that's how I feel sometimes. But one thing that surprised me—the whole thing is a surprise to me, actually. Because I'm not—me, myself, I'm not used to actually engaging in real issues that may be in society. So this is being real direct, just talking about stuff that makes sense, really engages me as a person."

The Reverend Robert B. Coleman of Riverside Church in New York said, after seeing and reading Bob Avakian:

" give voice to the voiceless; to empower the powerless... these things speak to my heart as an ordained pastor and theologian. We may diverge on the various strategies employed to achieve a more just society. We may be identified by our disconnect when it comes to religion in general and Christianity in particular. But, there is great benefit in engaging in the dialogue, listening to Avakian's critique and proposal for change, and discerning your place in the ordering of society as we move into the twenty-first century. Go, listen and learn. Engage in the dialogue and critical synthesis..."

It is sentiments like these responding to BA that brought you here this afternoon—experiences that opened a door for you to get a glimpse of the world as it really is, to get a taste that we do not have to live like this, that there is a vision and plan for a whole different and better world through revolution that you want to know more about and you think that others ought to know about it too.

Maybe you live right under the boot of the man in this dog-eat-dog society, or, perhaps you are someone who is getting by but are horrified by what this system does—from the millions in prison in the U.S. to the children in faraway lands killed by U.S. drones; or, perhaps you have been part of the fight against the outrages of this system and you are getting a sense of the enormity of it but then you found yourself standing alongside someone in the battle who didn't bend, who didn't waver, who told you that their determination came because they had learned that all of this could be changed through revolution and they told you in order to understand that—in today's world—you need to find out about BA and the new understanding he has developed of communism—the new synthesis of communism—which re-opens up the struggle of the oppressed to change the whole world in this, the 21st century.

We are here this afternoon to make a difference. So that over the next period millions of people come to know about BA and the whole vision and framework for a new stage of revolution that he has brought forward.

A few weeks ago in Bakersfield, California, David Sal Silva, a 33-year-old Latino father of four, was beaten mercilessly by state police—David's screams were so piercing that his neighbors were roused from their houses and they took out their cell phones to document what the pigs were doing—watching in horror as he was hogtied and dropped to the ground where he died; and then, the next night the police busted into some of their homes and confiscated their phones to conceal the evidence of their murderous ways. When this happens—as it happens all the fucking time—too often today people just seethe, their rage smoldering and suppressed, and they try to push it out of their minds because they don't know there is a way out—any other way the world could be.

This will change with BA Everywhere.

By accident and coincidence you were in the right place at the right time and you met the revolution that BA leads and now you are here. This should not be such a rare occurrence. Making BA known is changing that. We are going to work to change the situation where people get excited by discovering BA, and the movement for revolution he leads, but then they get discouraged because it's not known widely enough yet.

A friend of the revolution was traveling recently in Palestine and the Middle East, places they knew well, but this visit they could barely recognize Palestine for all the huge barriers and numerous checkpoints—the prison that is Israeli apartheid. They agonized over the huge hatreds and divisions among people throughout the Mideast—grappling with what is to be done about the seething cauldron of civil war in Syria; about the revolutions in limbo as the Arab Spring confronts the magnitude of making liberating change; about the reality that people are locked in their thinking between reactionary imperialism and reactionary Islamic fundamentalism. This friend said that on more than one afternoon they found themselves thinking about what if Avakian's new synthesis were known in the Mideast, what if people in that part of the world knew about the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) and could apply that model to their countries.

Venice Beach, CA, summer 2012

But then, these thoughts became overwhelmed by the present situation where the new synthesis of communism developed by BA is not known, and people are mentally trapped in fighting for one or another set of oppressors. We must understand our responsibility and realize what a huge difference it would make if right here in the belly of the beast, which is also where the Party and the movement for revolution that BA leads actually are, when this movement for revolution that we ARE BUILDING becomes a real force with impact and influence. Do not underestimate how that would reverberate around the whole world.

For that to happen requires that BA, and what he has brought forward, be known—everywhere.

Recognize, too, the potential for revolution here—just how deep and suppressed the frustration and rage is of people living right here in this richest of all countries yet where over half the population lives close to or below the official poverty line; where half its population has to live with the always-present fear of being sexually degraded and assaulted; where an unprecedented number of its citizens are being locked up for long stretches for being Black and Latino with little chance of a decent life. Recognize that this system has no future for tens of millions of people right here, and grasp the potential for revolution.

But this potential won't be realized unless people are led to fight back, led to understand that it is this system that is the cause of all of the misery we face—that it's not human nature, it's not ordained by fate or some god who works in mysteriously cruel ways. But only if they are led to know that revolution is possible, that there is a strategy to win, and that BA's new synthesis of communism provides the basic framework for a radically new society—which means a new type of government, a new culture, new relations among people. A place where you would not only want to live because we would be solving the problems that have afflicted humanity for way too long, but this would be a society where people could flourish and the whole thing would be moving forward to uproot all forms of exploitation, inequality, and oppression all over the world. Only with all this could this potential be realized. This requires that today, as a key part of forging this movement for revolution, BA be known—everywhere.

This is what we are here for today: to grapple, brainstorm, be inspired, and get organized. So that as we move through the spring and into summer, hundreds, even thousands of people are contributing funds and participating in the campaign in different ways and according to their abilities—even while they are sorting through their thinking on revolution, on communism and on what BA represents and has brought forward.

BA Everywhere

BA Everywhere is a multi-faceted fundraising campaign to project Bob Avakian—BA—his voice and his work way out into society, far beyond what it is today. A fundraising campaign that will raise the necessary major money to make this possible. A fundraising campaign that unleashes and develops imagination, defiance, and community in everything it does. It is the leading edge of the movement for revolution, and it is a way for lots of different kinds of people to support changing the whole dynamic in society by donating to BA's liberating vision and framework for a radically new society getting way out in the world. It provides a way for people to be part of getting BA known and to engage the work themselves.

In launching the summer campaign, we are building on a foundation that is first of all concentrated in the work of BA—especially BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live and BAsics, but also in a whole range of work—including the story he tells and the lessons he draws from his life in his memoir, From Ike To Mao and Beyond; in the incredible half-hour interview he did with Cornel West on the Smiley & West radio show this past fall; and the new synthesis concentrated in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)published by the RCP—an actual blueprint for the future society that I touched on before; and more. We are also building on the positive beginning impact of the film and its premieres—drawing on those who have heard of the film, those who have seen it, and those who have been really digging into and learning the method and the approach that BA takes to understanding and changing the world. We are learning from experiences of the April 11, 2011 celebration at Harlem Stage on the occasion of the publication of BAsics, and from the BAsics Bus Tours last year that began in Northern California and then took BAsics to Sanford, Florida—the site of the murder of young Trayvon Martin, and then into some of the most oppressed areas of New York. This is a solid foundation: the work of BA, the people who have had a chance to engage, those who have already contributed to getting it out, while drawing on all that has been learned over the past 18 months since the campaign began.

Fresno, California, spring 2013

This summer begins a new arc of popularization of BA and raising funds running through the fall and into the winter, doing so on an ever larger scale, with more and more people taking this up, with BA Everywhere Committees becoming vibrant in cities across the country, with Revolution Books stores attracting and percolating with people wanting to dig into BA and apply the method and approach of the new synthesis to a wide range of subjects that are of deep concern to people.

Chicago, summer 2012

Like a runner preparing for a marathon, or an athlete training for a new season, we are going to be building muscles—making an impact wherever we go and finding the forms to draw new people into the movement. We will experiment with new ways of spreading revolution and BA, new creative ways to involve different kinds of people. We will measure our work by the funds we raise, the people we involve, the growth and beginning cohesion of organizations, and by the recognition and impact that BA is having on the places we go and the people we meet—a sense of a growing social movement beginning to impact all of society.

This is going to be a summer where we have a presence—bringing BA into the heat of the struggles against the crimes of the system—bringing BA and revolution into forums and discussions about important issues—bringing BA out to where people vacation and have some time to reflect on big questions—everywhere raising funds so that over a whole year we change the political landscape.

We are giving people an opportunity to change the whole atmosphere and culture of this whole country—where thousands at first, later hundreds of thousands, and eventually millions become aware of BA. Some people will passionately agree, some people will passionately disagree, some people will, for now, simply feel the need to get better informed in order to understand it better. But people throughout society will be debating and wrangling over truly "big" questions about the nature of the present capitalist-imperialist system and a concrete and worked-out vision of an alternative way of organizing society which really would benefit the vast majority of people.

Right now we should call for volunteers—young and old—to spend their summer, or their vacation time, working to raise the funds and build the campaign.

This will be exciting. People will be "crossing the tracks" going back and forth—students and middle class people going into the 'hoods with people who grew up there, running with the Revolution Club for an afternoon. Then people from 'hoods will be going out to the suburbs and to wealthy resort areas with people who know that terrain, winning support and allies by taking them the liberating vision in BA's work.

Finale, April 11, 2011 celebration of publication of BAsics.
Photo: Li Onesto/Revolution

It can make a huge difference when middle class and wealthy people learn of the fundraising in the 'hoods through penny jars and other forms; and, on the other hand, the great heart that people who are living under virtual lockdown in the projects, demonized in the media, will take from knowing they are not alone confronting the monster of this system. When this happens it deepens everyone's understanding of the basis for a total revolution to liberate all of humanity and not just for my group to have its turn, to get our share.

Just to give a brief sense here of both the daring and the strategic plan to grow forces, twice during the summer for one week, in LA, the Bay Area, Chicago and NYC, volunteers will go out in decorated BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! vans with portable DVD players, flat screen TVs and, if we raise enough money, video projectors, saturating key neighborhoods of the oppressed as well as key middle class neighborhoods, going to concerts and parks, lectures and films, art exhibits—taking them the campaign, showing BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! to hundreds of people, involving people in raising money so that by the end of the summer there are funds for ads in college websites and newspapers, on billboards and the Internet, and there are theaters showing the film. The BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! vans will focus in the city and suburban neighborhoods for the beginning of the week, and then will head out for a few days to a progressive resort area to meet wealthier people who have the potential to contribute large sums of money as well as to help in other ways. And, then, a few weeks later they will be back... following up, deepening ties, and in a stronger position to raise larger sums and to forge ongoing relationships.

And, all of this will be reflected and led on a soon-to-be-redesigned BA Everywhere page of the website. This is where people will go to follow the campaign, read about people's responses to BA, measure the progress of the fundraising, learn from experiences around the country, and where there will be the guidance to navigate the tough questions and solve problems that we encounter as we go forward. This is the spot where BA Everywhere as a national movement will cohere.

This is just a taste of what's on deck.

BA Everywhere & Building the Movement for Revolution

BA Everywhere will be taking place during a summer of growing mass struggle against some of the most glaring outrages of this system—outrages that reflect deep contradictions that could open up big cracks in the social fabric, and as struggle unfolds could lead to where increasing numbers of people come to see the illegitimacy of this system and those who rule. As people step into struggle for the first time around one or another key battle they will be raising their heads and it will make all the difference in the world if, when they do, they encounter BA—right away finding out about the real nature of the problem and the real liberating solution.

"THIS MOVEMENT FOR REVOLUTION MUST NOW BECOME A REAL FORCE, POWERFULLY IMPACTING AND INFLUENCING ALL OF SOCIETY... bringing forward growing numbers of those this system has cast out and cast down, who must be and can be the driving force of the fight to put an end not only to their own oppression, but all oppression, all over the world... drawing in many others, from all walks of life, who are inspired to join this same cause... preparing minds and organizing forces, Fighting the Power, and Transforming the People, for REVOLUTION— NOTHING LESS."

Bob Avakian
Chairman of the Revolutionary
Communist Party, USA
Coming off the Premieres
A Fundamental Point of Orientation,
Approach and Objective

The two sides of key battles are sharpening up, momentum is already gathering for the June 10 opening of the trial of George Zimmerman, the wannabe-cop vigilante who shot Trayvon Martin. There must be powerful resistance so that the government is not able to sweep this under the rug, in effect further legitimating open season on Black youth. As the eyes of the whole country focus on the trial in Sanford, Florida, and people are protesting there, shouldn't there be bold advertising with BAsics 1:13: "No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that." Imagine the impact of that on people's thinking.

As the Zimmerman trial progresses, another sharp struggle will be unfolding to support the California prisoners who plan to restart their hunger strike to protest the torture of solitary confinement. Then, in late July, the movement to End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Degradation and Enslavement of Women will be going out in two vans from the East and West coasts to converge on North Dakota where new legislation will virtually outlaw access to abortion in that state. Without the right and access to abortion—without the ability to determine whether or when they will have children, women are not free. It is also possible that later this summer, President Obama will approve the Keystone pipeline with potentially catastrophic impact on the environment and which will be a sharp rebuke to the environmental movement.

These battles have the potential to draw lots of people into them. As people begin to fight back, their sights get raised, their minds open up, but a crucial question is: will they find BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live, along with quotation cards from BAsics and the whole BA package? For these unfolding struggles to be able to stand up to all that will be thrown at them, for these struggles to contribute to a movement for revolution, which is the only way to uproot the causes of this oppression, BA Everywhere must run through everything.

Bob Avakian, drawing from and extending an important insight from V.I. Lenin, the leader of the Russian Revolution, said:

"what people see as tolerable, or intolerable, is dialectically related to what they see is possible or necessary (or, on the other hand, what they come to see as un-necessary—or no longer necessary—no longer something they just have to put up with and endure)...."


"the more that people grasp that this is not the way things have to be but only the way things are because of the workings of a system—a system which is full of contradiction—the more they can feel, and will feel, impelled to act. Lacking that, even our best efforts at mobilizing them to act are going to eventually run into their limitations and be sidetracked or turned around into their opposite, into something which actually reinforces the present system and the sense that nothing can be done to radically change things." (From Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity)

This applies to the role of the newspaper as well as to spreading the work of BA—which is why both are mainstays in the strategy for revolution. This is a crucial part of the strategy which enables the revolution to make advances in drawing forward new forces into the movement at those times when there are breaks in the normal routine.

Coming off the premieres of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live, BA provided this Fundamental Point of Orientation, Approach and Objective:

"THIS MOVEMENT FOR REVOLUTION MUST NOW BECOME A REAL FORCE, POWERFULLY IMPACTING AND INFLUENCING ALL OF SOCIETY... bringing forward growing numbers of those this system has cast out and cast down, who must be and can be the driving force of the fight to put an end not only to their own oppression, but all oppression, all over the world... drawing in many others, from all walks of life, who are inspired to join this same cause... preparing minds and organizing forces, Fighting the Power, and Transforming the People, for REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS."

Those who see, and those who are coming to see, their life mission as making revolution and emancipating all of humanity need to understand that this involves a strategic approach—a whole ensemble of revolutionary work. In all of this it is essential to enable lots of people to be a part of things, to really reach out far and wide so that all those people who know nothing about BA and have no idea that there is a movement for revolution and a new synthesis of communism—which today is most people—can discover and be a part of it.

The leading edge of this whole movement is now the campaign to spread BA Everywhere, raising funds and getting the film out everywhere. In the interview with a younger generation revolutionary, A. Brooks, What Humanity Needs: Revolution and the New Synthesis of Communism, Bob Avakian said that the BA Everywhere Campaign "is a key element of influencing millions of people now: getting the concept of this revolution and the scientific grounding underneath it, in a basic sense, out to millions, so millions of people are encountering it, so that people are debating it very broadly in society—so it's a point of reference.... The new synthesis of communism and what that represents is being engaged and debated broadly in society—some people agree, some people disagree, some people say, I like some of this and some not—but they're actually engaging what it is, the substance of it, at least in its very basic contours."

Today, because of Bob Avakian and the work he has done over several decades, summing up the positive and negative experience of the communist revolution so far, and drawing from a broad range of human experience, there is a new synthesis of communism that has been brought forward—there really is a viable vision and strategy for a radically new, and much better, society and world, and there is the crucial leadership that is needed to carry forward the struggle toward that goal.

The Broad Basis for BA Everywhere

Most people we meet will be discovering BA and the new synthesis of communism for the first time, and they will be sorting out what they think about it since it goes straight up against all the bullshit they've been told about communism, yet there is a broad basis for people to appreciate and to financially support the tremendous positive impact of getting the BA vision and framework for a radically different world way out in society.

The following from What Humanity Needs: Revolution and the New Synthesis of Communism, An Interview with Bob Avakian by A. Brooks, provides an orientation and approach:

"...people are fully capable of holding two thoughts in their head at the same time. That is, in relation to the 'BA Everywhere' campaign—and I touched on this earlier, but it's worth coming back to a bit—people, at a given time, can feel that they personally don't know that much about, or maybe don't agree with parts or much of what is actually embodied in the new synthesis of communism and my body of work and method and approach overall, but they can at the same time feel that it would be very important for these ideas to be projected broadly into society and for many, many more people, in all corners of society, to be actively engaging and debating these ideas as part of generating a much greater and much loftier wrangling with the question of, once again, 'whither humanity?'… Why are we confronted with the situation we are today? Is there a possibility of radically changing it? Does it need to be radically changed? If so, how?

"Even people who may not agree with or may not know that much about the new synthesis of communism, for example—many, many people, thousands and thousands of people—can get actively involved in and be motivated to be part of helping to project this into all corners of society. They can find their own level, so to speak—as long as the way is provided for them to find their own level—to participate in that, with that kind of contradiction in their own understanding, and in their own approach."

Seattle, Gay Pride Parade, summer 2012

This is a critical point of orientation and approach that is worth wrangling with, and returning to repeatedly, that describes a process and the basis through which many people who are just finding out about BA, who have questions, disagreements, even substantial differences to be a part of the campaign. We need to understand this including our responsibility to provide the ways for people of different strata and backgrounds, with different perspectives and thinking who have "that kind of contradiction in their own understanding"... "to find their own level" to engage, participate and contribute to this campaign and movement.

Think about, for example, Cornel West—a revolutionary Christian, as he puts it, who consistently speaks of Bob Avakian's "deep love for poor people, oppressed people, all around the world," or of Reverend Robert B. Coleman, who I cited earlier, when he said that Avakian's "empowering the powerless" "speaks to my heart as an ordained pastor and theologian. We may diverge on the various strategies employed to achieve a more just society. We may be identified by our disconnect when it comes to religion in general and Christianity in particular. But, there is great benefit in engaging in the dialogue, listening to Avakian's critique and proposal for change, and discerning your place in the ordering of society as we move into the twenty-first century. Go, listen and learn. Engage in the dialogue and critical synthesis..." Note that Rev. Coleman says: "We diverge on strategies... we have a disconnect on religion and Christianity," and at the same time, both West and Coleman recognize in BA a deep commitment and an actual vision for uprooting all forms of oppression throughout the world.

Yet some have been confused because they say: it seems that one minute we are saying "Revolution—Nothing Less!" and "We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis is bullshit," and now we're saying that we should reach out to, involve and raise funds from all kinds of people who really don't agree with that, who voice ideas and programs that are completely opposed.

Well, what about that?

We do need a revolution. There is nothing else that begins to come close to even comprehending the problems humanity faces, let alone solving them. The BA vision and framework, the new synthesis of communism, provides a scientific understanding of the problem, and the solution—a radically new state power aimed at achieving a whole world that has overcome all the oppression and exploitation of class society. And, BA has developed a strategic approach to win. All this and more is in BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live. This sets the right terms that people can find their relationship to, and at the same time—two thoughts in mind—they can see what a difference it would make if this, whether or not there is radically different system, is what was being debated and discussed in society, recognizing that this would make a huge difference in the sense of possibility in the world, even as they still have differences and are working through their thinking. And there must be lots of room for them to find, as Reverend Coleman and Dr. West have, their level of unity with this.

There are lots of people who just can't tolerate all the injustices being swept under the rug, who feel suffocated and infuriated that the enormous problems that they see in the world are getting worse and yet are ignored and buried under a mountain of bullshit—from media assholes blaming the people like the way Wolf Blitzer is currently smearing Trayvon Martin; to the all sexist celebrity gossip, and the society-wide obsession with the latest "I-spy on you" so-called smart phone. In opposition to this degraded culture and discourse with the future at stake, to be dealing with the root causes of the problems humanity faces, to be debating revolutionary solutions such as BA's conception of a new state power with a Constitution that would make it a matter of principle and law that economic development be ecologically sustainable, that would be a whole better place to be. People can support that, even as they are working out what they think about the full analysis and revolutionary solution.

It has also come up that people get inspired by the film and they come to a discussion which really engages them like no other; they get excited but then three things often happen: (1) they go out to their friends, colleagues, teachers and they find that they're just not into hearing it, or they tell them to be wary of communism or worse; or, (2) if they don't run into the revolution again, or come to a meeting or to the bookstore, what they experienced kind of fades from being present in their life; and/or (3) as they think about the film, about BA, what they are reading on and/or the discussion they had at the bookstore, they feel unsettled and not so sure they want to plunge into all that challenge right now. Often these three things come packaged together.

A young woman who was moved by the section of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! on the oppression of women asked in a follow-up phone call: "Wouldn't it be a lot better if every man had to take women's studies?" This was a more comfortable approach than confronting what it is going to actually take to uproot the deep roots and traditions of patriarchy.

First off, even if people do back off for a period, what they have learned is in their minds and as things develop in the world, this is present. More, we should extend "An Invitation"from BA that is in your packets, in which he invites and struggles with people to pursue their convictions about outrages they know are intolerable and that if this leads to understanding that the source of the problem and its solution lies in revolution and communism they should not turn away because it moves them out of their comfort zones, challenges cherished beliefs, or because of prejudice and slander. But instead they should seek to learn more and act accordingly.

We must really encourage people to engage this, and keep engaging it. This is about the future of humanity and the planet. We should be firm in making the case for why digging into BA's work is decisive at this moment. At the same time, we should clearly convey that we are not giving up on people when they run into difficulties; we will be there to talk it through. The door is open and it matters.

We must also be proactive in speaking to the fact that BA is a sharply contended question—and you have a piece on this in your packet as well. From the jump we should be putting forward that "what many really like, and what some others really hate, what still others feel conflicted about—and what many, many more need to know about—regarding BA is what in fact he is a concentrated focus of, that is, what humanity needs: a real, really radical and thorough revolution, aiming for the ultimate goal of communism throughout the world and the emancipation of all humanity as a whole from thousands of years of tradition's chains, exploitative and oppressive relations and outmoded ideas."

And finally the more BA is talked about, the more people run into this everywhere that there are progressive things going on, everywhere people are standing up and fighting back, the more they will have a sense of being a part of a movement that is on the move and less dragged down by the complacency that still too much characterizes society, including many of their friends.

Raising Funds

Why is BA Everywhere a multi-faceted fundraising campaign? Why not just show the film, pass out flyers and talk about it? Because this is about changing the world. Fundraising—if it's done right—does two things. It raises the money that is actually needed to make a huge impact in the world. Face the reality: to puncture the atmosphere in this society takes money. And, to have the kind of advertising and major programming to really do that requires big money. Second, fundraising brings people together, it is a great way to involve people, to build partisanship and support.

When you donate to a cause that matters, you take it more seriously, you do your "homework"—you watch the film, get into BAsics, you find out what BA is all about. And the movement should regard every donor as someone to be in touch with, as a thinking person who has made a difference. This is why the cards that thank people, provide a button, and give them a way to be in touch are so important. Starting today we can no longer have a situation where people donate to this movement and do not hear back from us.

Many people from the most oppressed neighborhoods donated funds for the BAsics Bus Tour—penny jars, yard sales, raffles. But to succeed in this campaign people need to be doing this in an ongoing way. Those on the bottom of society who should be the backbone of a revolution need to work at developing regular sustainers for the campaign and for the revolution in the 'hood—a regular financial base of many people in the places that must become strongholds of the movement for revolution and for the work and leadership of BA. This is a crucial barometer of the support for the movement for revolution. Here too, some will be ardent advocates and fighters for the revolution, and many others will just dig some of BA, or think it important that he is known, and/or others who just believe that the revolution deserves their support.

As important as fundraising is, as an ongoing activity among the basic people, to forging the rock solid base of the revolution, what will be decisive in raising the large amounts of funds needed, ultimately raising millions of dollars, is whether or not a breakthrough is made in raising funds from the large numbers of people in this country who have significant financial assets, from the very wealthy to professionals as well as significant sections of the intelligentsia.

Will those with a comfortable (or even more than comfortable) lifestyle support this? We have already spoken to the largest reality of the horrors of this system that profoundly disturbs people of all strata. Look at the signatories of the recent World Can't Wait ad in the New York Times against the war crimes committed by the Obama administration as but one example of deep concern some sections of prominent and wealthy people have about the state of the world.

To a certain extent, because middle class and the wealthy have more leisure time and generally more training in engaging intellectual, political, and cultural ideas, they are able to explore and learn about the breadth and depth of the situation in the world. Yes, their privileged position can blind them to the realities of the brute force that the state routinely exacts on those on the bottom of society, and it can intoxicate them with the illusion that they "have a say in things"—the illusion of bourgeois democracy. But the problem is in the absence of knowing about the desirability and viability of a radically different world, people's progressive sentiments ultimately get channeled into reinforcing the very system causing these outrages.

BA Everywhere challenges all that—opening up a radically different alternative and giving people a way to make it possible so that this is what's being discussed and debated. When there is a real alternative in the air, that is a different political and social dynamic.

For example, consider the progressive middle class audience that will be going to Jeremy Scahill's new film, Dirty Wars, based on his new book of the same name with scathing exposure of the U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Pakistan, that opens in New York, LA, and Washington, DC and then the week after in cities across the country. When people go to see this film and confront the illegitimate brutal misery the U.S. is bringing down on people, are they going to find BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, are they going to get a card from BAsics that says: "American Lives Are Not More Important than Other People's Lives"? If there are talkbacks—or even if not—can't someone stand up at the end, sharply condemn what the U.S. is doing, and invite people to check out and support BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!?

BA Everywhere Summer 2013 Plan

So, to come to a conclusion, let's get into the plans for BA Everywhere Summer 2013.

It's going to be fun. It's going to be work. It is going to be interesting, exciting, and challenging. WE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. BA Everywhere is going to get on the map, building legs, reaching deep into some key neighborhoods where the movement for revolution is focused and stretching out to reach people in some interesting summer resort areas. Everywhere raising funds, everywhere showing BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live and selling DVDs and BAsics. Pop-up provocative discussion in parks, projects and shopping malls. People gathering around flat screen TVs at city basketball courts to watch and talk about a chapter from the film, or outside a "summer stock" theater or outdoor concert in a resort area, and figuring out ways to raise money so that word can spread.

Lots of people we meet may just want to take this out themselves, and the committees should be sure there's lots of good materials available in stores or community centers. When groups go out together there should be lots of experimentation and learning, finding creative ways to reach and involve people—unleashing individuals and forging collective approaches and organization and making this all known on the website.

In one sentence, the summer plan is "out to the masses of all strata in a mass way" with BA Everywhere as the leading edge of the whole ensemble of revolutionary work. What "to the masses in a mass way" means is that when we go out—including bringing new people out to be a part of this—we are putting forward a pole of revolution, taking a firm stand against the way things are and boldly putting forward that there is another way in BA, and in doing so we are creating an interesting politically provocative scene—speaking out in talkbacks at theaters, science fairs, gallery talks, or at the movies!

And not everyone has to do this. Some people may just want to observe and be a part of the scene. Others may just hand out cards or talk to people as they feel comfortable doing so. That's fine. It's part of the mix and can contribute to people who are just encountering this for the first time seeing that there is room for different ways to be supportive, to be a part of this, and that they too can find a place.

We should be stylin' while we are out—wearing the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! shirts and buttons. These small pins—with the title of the film as well as the one with the image of BA—could really become widely worn revolutionary fashion statements. Let youth and jobless people sell them and keep some of the money. The hoods should be saturated with quote-of-the-month cards and film palm cards, posters in storefronts, chalking on the sidewalk. We should have a vibrant presence and displays in well-to-do neighborhoods, suburbs, and at cultural venues and festivals.

We're going to meet people going door to door, setting up in a park, basketball court or at the beach—everywhere engaging people getting out the word and raising funds: with raffles, penny jars, yard sales and raising funds via social media. Going out to summer schools at high schools and colleges in June and July. Everywhere building community through raising funds and getting out the DVD and BAsics.

The focal point of our work will be showing and distributing BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live. Its power and potential to change people is enormous. You feel the connection with BA. The intolerableness of this system and the hope for really radical change is opened up; an understanding of the world and potential for fundamental change through revolution is deepened. Adding to the deep personal connection that people experience watching the film, we will be widely promoting BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, which concentrates the essentials of the work of BA. Together these two works provide the foundation of what people need to understand and change the world—the handbook for revolution of our time, and BA himself, up close, delivering a scientific, substantive, summoning to revolution.

We should grow the committees as we go through the summer. We have planned key nodal points and phases to punctuate and accelerate our work—aiming for leap upon leap. The arc of the summer plan is this:

Over the next two weeks everyone here should go all out to successfully reach the goals of the first phase of the Fund Drive—meeting the goal of $X,XXX in this city. We need to step up and sum up our initial experiences in raising funds in a grass roots way—going all out for the event planned for the weekend of June 15/16. Coming off this conference we need to get organized—build the BA Everywhere Committee and start making preparations for the rest of the summer. Over the next two weeks we should get back to all the people we've met over the last 18 months who weren't able to come today, and those of you who are new today should invite those friends of yours that you think would be interested in being a part of this. Bring them to the event on the15th or 16th.

Then on Monday, June 17, we are going to start a crowdfunding 26-day Indiegogo (or similar) fund campaign to raise the funds needed for the summer. While we are still calculating the costs of the summer van tours, we are projecting that we will need to raise $20,000 with the Indiegogo campaign. To raise these funds we will need to make the BA Everywhere summer campaign a social question out in the streets as well as on the Internet. Personal written and video testimonials and reports need to be gathered—including right here today—and they will be put up on the revcom site.

The website will be the "must-go-to" place every day. It will give a living sense of "making a difference"—of the dynamic of a growing social movement centered around the film. It will be the place where you go to follow the progress, development, thinking and problems that are coming up in the campaign. The site will give voice to all kinds of people grappling with the significance of this campaign, with BA's work in relationship to the larger world. Here is where our fundraising goals will be measured with advances as well as shortcomings discussed. This is the place where the campaign will be led. And, when people go to they will find BA, the Party he leads and the newspaper that ties it all together.

July 4 weekend should involve a lot of going out to all kinds of places where people gather, and then on July 12 the crowdfunding Indiegogo campaign will close as we gear up for the first BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Van Tour. There should be great send-off and/or welcome events for the tour. Plans should be made for volunteers to be hosted for dinners with people we've met—a suburban backyard BBQ, a picnic in the courtyard of an inner-city project. There should be broad interest and excitement following the progress of the vans in the different cities, building more interest with still more people coming to the website.

On July 20 in Los Angeles BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live will be shown at the main branch of the Public Library. This is a big deal that should be amplified everywhere.

Late July and early August are great times to meet a lot of youth at outdoor concerts—both big events where the word can get out to thousands and local events where we can meet and involve the artists. Then, during the week of either August 5 or August 12, the vans should go out again, reconnecting, collecting larger donations, and spreading out even more, learning from the first outings.

Two words about how the tours should be conceived and carried out: radical simplicity. These tours should be doable and rely on the masses.

The summer will be capped off with a cultural celebration in a park or neighborhood (a block party if there is enough support on a particular block) that brings together many of the different kinds of people that have responded to the campaign and been brought forward—including aspiring and professional artists. There could be games and family activities in the afternoon, culture in the early evening, all capped off by showing an hour of the film after dusk.

And then, it's get ready for the fall with the appearance in late September of the film about the April 11, 2011 Celebration of Revolution and the Vision of a Whole New World that was occasioned by the publication of BAsics. There should be funds for ad campaigns and new people to go out to the college campuses and high schools. In early November we aim to have theatrical showings of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live in small theaters nationwide, and then December will be a month of massive fundraising with major cultural celebrations that not only raise funds for BA Everywhere and Revolution Books but are manifestations of broadening influence and impact of BA and the movement for revolution.

Last, all of this is going on in the context of sharp developments in the world that make revolution so needed—these plans are the leading edge of the whole movement for revolution—deepening and strengthening and interacting with all the people who will be standing up and fighting back against the power—lifting their heads and opening up to the big questions that are posed in the world, and we are bringing them a radically better way the world could be through getting into and funding BA Everywhere.

We close with the words that were said at the start of this campaign 18 months ago:

If we succeed with this—if we collectively raise enough money to make it concretely possible to project the whole BA vision and project into all corners of society and to introduce him and what he is bringing forward to millions who are not yet familiar with his works and vision; if the framework he is bringing forward and advocating for becomes increasingly debated and wrangled over by thousands and by millions of people from all walks of life; if, together, we manage to accomplish this, this will actually make a very big difference. The whole social and political culture will "breathe" more freely, people will wrangle passionately over "big questions" concerning the direction of society (like knowing that much of the future of humanity hangs in the balance) and the times will once again resonate with big dreams for fundamental change and the emancipation of humanity.

Let's make that difference. It's time to get to it.


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