Continuing the Discussion on "Jolts"

August 8, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

In continuing the discussion about the current situation and the responsibility of revolutionaries, I wanted to share some further thinking... Are we really appreciating the depth of the ways people have been hit by the Zimmerman verdict, and are we taking things as far as they go?

While this isn’t all staying at the same pitch, and while there are a whole range of interpenetrating contradictions breaking open throughout society, there is still a great deal to learn and apply about what has been posed in the two pieces: "There is a Jolt! What Is Our Responsibility Now?" and "More On 'Jolts.'"

In particular, I think it’s important to learn from the emphasis given to how are we acting on this in making LEAPS in accumulating forces for revolution. This isn’t going to happen by having general, good discussions with people. I feel there are way more people who can be drawn into and activated to be part of impacting and influencing society with revolution in so many ways right now. Are we still being too passive about this? Not enough recognizing a situation which is still roiling.

Many, many people are still very angry and have big concerns about the future of Black youth as well as Black people in general in the wake of the acquittal of Zimmerman. But many do not really know what to do with this anger. Some are reaching for the system’s answers—putting their hopes in call for federal intervention, focusing in on "Black-on-Black violence" as the problem (ending up in blaming themselves) and/or leaving things in god’s hands.

But for many, many people this isn’t closing the wound... there is still a deep, raw anger and people don’t know what to do. At the same time, this system is continuing to bring forward more horrors... a young Latino man murdered by the police in Santa Ana, CA... a 14-year-old Black youth murdered by the police in the Bronx, NY... hundreds of prisoners remain on hunger strike and the system is punishing these prisoners with more brutality and repression. (In this, we also need to be making the links to other outrages of this system—the prosecution of Bradley Manning, the war on women, waging a battle for science...)

This is an intense situation... people are unsettled and still not ready to let things die down.

But this will not go where it needs to—and can—if people don’t get more deeply into and understand the SOURCE of all this in this system, if broad numbers of people aren’t getting with and getting into the SOLUTION of revolution—as an immediate and urgent need, if they’re not finding out about the leadership for this revolution in Bob Avakian and the Party he leads and if they’re not becoming part of the movement for revolution that is being built right now. People who understand have to act in the ways commensurate and be working with people to themselves be acting in this way.

As a key part of this, we’ve been doing mass distribution of the Three Strikes poster as well as 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.”—from Bob Avakian) and getting out hundreds of copies of Revolution newspaper. Lots of people respond with a deep agreement but again, I don’t think we’re enough making the connection that THIS—along with themselves getting deeply into the substance of what this revolution is about, getting into BA’s work and spreading this—is a big part of what they can do. And how that is so.

I posed to a Black youth waiting for the bus in a shopping district who was reading the Three Strikes poster, “What do you think about the Zimmerman verdict?” and he looked at me and said, “What do you think I think about that!?” So I said, “Okay, so what do you think we should do about this?” He paused and said, “Wow, that’s a really good question but I really don’t know.” He looked at the poster and then I opened up to the centerfold of the current issue of Revolution and he read BAsics 1:13. He said very emphatically, “That’s what I say: NO MORE. Exactly! I say NO MORE too!” I answered that this is why we are out here building a movement for revolution—to make real that “no more.” And right now, here’s how you can act on your emphatic agreement with that and got into the fact that we have printed up tens of thousands of these posters. We talked about what difference it would make to have these posters up in the thousands around this city. This would radically and drastically change the terms of the discussion and debate and for all those who feel as he does—angry but not sure what to do about this. It would let people know there are others like them who aren’t ready to let this die down, it will help people understand what this is a part of—the whole history of the oppression of Black people under this system, it will introduce people to the leadership they have for the revolution we need in BA and the Party he leads AND it will move people to say: “That’s it for this system. Three strikes, you’re out!” He immediately said, “I want to get that paper and I will take these posters and get them up.” He also wanted a handful of the BAsics 1:13 palm cards to get out. His bus was coming so he gave me a couple of dollars, I told him to get back with us and let us know where he got materials out, what the responses are as well as his thoughts after reading the paper and how he sees his role in all this.

This kind of thing has been happening with dozens of people but should be happening with hundreds. But we have to be putting this to people—and working through with them what difference this can make NOW.

Finally, there is a great deal more appreciation and openness to Revolution newspaper, people watching parts of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! and the presence of the revolutionaries in a lot of different places. One way we’ve been working at further cohering this—in addition to what’s in last week’s issue of Revolution newspaper about getting into BA, contributing funds, chalking messages from Revolution, etc.—is them taking small stacks of Revolution newspaper and getting them to people they know. Really working at this systematically can be part of the big leap required in accumulating forces for revolution and forging networks of distribution around Revolution newspaper.

Again, learning from the openness and appreciation for what we’re stepping out with right now is important, but still not sufficient and we really can’t leave it at that. People need leadership and need to know now not just what they can do—being part of impacting society with this message and raising funds to make that possible—but why: what difference this kind of mass effort can make right now in ending this and all the other horrors this system rains down on people.

We have to be hearing people right now in the deep ways they’re wrangling with the situation, we need to be very open and helping them find the range of ways they can be part of this movement for revolution and be challenging them to do so.

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