Moving Ahead with BA Everywhere—Imagine the Difference It Could Make

February 10, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


All the suffering, all the devastation of people and the earth, are, at this moment in human history, unnecessary.

A far better world is possible through revolution. There is a vision and a framework for a radically new society and world concentrated in the new synthesis of communism developed by the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian. There is a strategic approach to building the movement for this revolution. And there is a leadership to make this revolution in Bob Avakian, “BA,” and the Party he leads, the Revolutionary Communist Party.

Revolution – Nothing Less! Van Tour in Washington Heights, New York, Summer 2013

This is real and it is possible. People need to know about this potential in every corner of society. If they did, it would change everything. This could contribute to the movement for revolution developing with impact and influence throughout the country. People would be discussing and debating what is the root cause of the hell most people on this planet live in and what is the solution that could actually lead to the emancipation of humanity.

To make BA known requires big sums of money. To raise the kinds of funds that are needed requires people working together to change the most important thing there is—bringing about a world without all the oppression and exploitation of people and the planet that this vicious capitalist-imperialist system brings down every second and every minute.

The BA Everywhere—Imagine the Difference It Could Make!campaign—is the leading edge of a whole movement for revolution, a national fundraising campaign to raise really massive sums of money, involving growing numbers of people, so that BA becomes a household word, so that the vision and framework of the new synthesis of communism is known throughout the country, reaching around the world. So that BA and the revolutionary vision and framework he has developed becomes a contending pole for a liberatory new society arrayed up against the killing program and oppressive reality that people live today.

In 2014 we can and need to make big advances in raising funds and making BA known everywhere as a part of a whole process, a whole ensemble, of work so that the movement for revolution has impact and influence throughout society. We’re getting this going now while making plans for the year. But, we want to hear from you—both those who have been active in the campaign as well as those just finding out about it today.

We need your thinking, your suggestions, for how to reach and tap into the deepest aspirations of those this system has cast off—from the youth with no future who are dogged by the police and racist vigilantes, to older folk discarded by this heartless system, to young women who face a 1-in-3 chance they will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, to students and professionals who want to contribute to a better world, as well as progressive wealthy people—to all who feel the profound need for a radically different and better world. Check out the questions we posed in an editorial in Revolution two weeks ago (#328, February 2, 2014) to help focus your thinking so that we can unleash a process of national collective wrangling with what it will it take, and what the campaign should look like in 2014. Send us your proposals—fully formed, or even just a beginning idea—for how to bring BA Everywhere to people from all parts of society and struggle with them to generously donate to BA Everywhere to make BA and the radical vision and plan for revolution and whole new world known everywhere.

We have received some ideas already, and we have been discussing a vision for the year to advance BA Everywhere in 2014. With this editorial, we want to get the ball rolling with some concrete proposals that will be components of this plan so that people can start working with them now, continuing through the spring. And to provoke more percolation so that soon we can put forward a fuller vision and plan for BA Everywhere in 2014.

First and foremost, at the heart of BA Everywhere, what everything pivots around, is national fundraising for the overall objectives of the campaign—raising funds among people from all walks of life, from the bottom to the top, among all nationalities, so that BA and what he has brought forward becomes known. So that, as a group of people from Harlem and the Bronx, NYC. who baked and sold pies over the holidays to raise hundreds of dollars for the campaign, put it—this revolution and BA “won’t just be a vision, but become a reality.” This requires bold plans and struggle. It involves reaching out to, struggling with, and changing the thinking of blocs of people—a neighborhood, a school, a cultural scene, whole sections of people—working on changing their thinking about the problem and the solution to what’s going down in the world and giving them the opportunity, and struggling with them, to donate to the campaign that will make all the difference in the world.

The BA Everywhere campaign has done some audacious things over the past two years that have made a real difference. Just a few examples:

  • Tens of thousands of dollars were raised to send BAsics Bus Tours in 2012 to Sanford, Florida, where Trayvon Martin was murdered by the racist vigilante, George Zimmerman, and then into the deepest ghettos of New York City right when hundreds of thousands of youth were being jacked up by the police with stop-and-frisk. These teams of volunteers made an impact and spread BAsics—a book of quotations and short essays from BA, the handbook for what people need to know to change the world.
  • BA Everywhere raised $24,000 to make the film Stepping into the Future... that focuses on the artists, activists, and revolutionaries who were part of a major cultural event at Harlem Stage in April 2011, on the occasion of the publication of BAsics.
  • Just last month, with funds raised through the BA Everywhere campaign, The BA Institute was able to sponsor a team to go to the Sundance Film Festivalto take out BA Everywhere and to raise even more funds at this important gathering of filmmakers from around the world—many of whom are making films to bring awareness and change to the world.

All of this needs to be amplified and assume an even greater national presence. In 2014 we need to raise funds that go beyond the cost of the different projects that BA Everywhere undertakes. A large pool of funds is required mount the kind of society-wide presence necessary, including having the ability to respond to events in the world with billboards, advertisements, and in many other ways to reach millions with BA when things are sharply posed in society.

Two Immediate Ways to Advance BA Everywhere Now

Here we want to propose two interrelated ways to advance BA Everywhere beginning right now and continuing through the spring—both of which will contribute to an overall plan that extends through the year.

First, we need to make wide use of the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live. People need to be seeing it, discussing it, and making it an impetus as well as a focus for fundraising so that BA becomes a household word.

Interpenetrating with getting out in a big way with this film, but as a crucial means and a lever in its own right to advance the movement for revolution with BA Everywhere as its leading edge, is a plan for youth—especially those for whom this system has no future—as well as students and people of all ages and from other sections of society to take up wearing the T-shirt that says “BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!” People can wear this themselves and make a statement, and/or they should be encouraged to, and organized to, wear it together with others. And this should be photographed in a good way and popularized on the website, building community and giving a living picture of a movement for BA Everywhere, inspiring people from all walks of life to contribute to the BA Everywhere campaign.

Wearing this T-shirt should come to be seen as an act of defiance. Wearing the T-shirt, and especially when people stand with others to do so, can become a pole of attraction and controversy. The strong message of the shirt, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, speaks to and can draw forward a section of people who are fed up with things as they are today and who come to see wearing the shirt as a way of taking a stand.

There is an entry-level way people can get into this. For example, a small group hangs together for a day all wearing the T-shirt—going out to eat or to the movies, riding buses or trains, walking through the park—becoming a presence. Or, this could be done on a day when the movement for revolution is holding an event in an area. This can give people a sense of impacting the scene with some power, of a crew that is together with a purpose.

Wearing the T-shirt, especially as it becomes something that people do together—like in a class, or out on a basketball court, or when people go together to a protest like V-Day/One Billion Rising For Justice on February 14, can be a way that youth and others make a statement—yes, even a fashion statement—against all the shit that is heaped on people, all the ways that people are demeaned and devalued, all the ways this system pits people against each other. People hate this shit, and wearing the T-shirt is one way, in the context of the overall BA Everywhere campaign as the leading edge of a whole movement for revolution, to stand against all that pushes people down, and to stand up for the future.

The wearing of T-shirts and a movement that develops around doing so will be projected by the BA Everywhere campaign to raise major funds from all kinds of people for the campaign as a whole. As photos and YouTubes of people wearing the shirts spread and are pulled together and amplified on the website, this can have a big impact on many different people to donate not only to make the shirts available inexpensively, but for the campaign as a whole.

Taking up the T-shirt can be a way that youth and others go out themselves to raise funds for BA Everywhere by winning “sponsors” for their shirts. Learning from “Run for the Cure” and other fundraising mass campaigns that people are familiar with, going out and getting sponsorships will be a way that youth reach out to friends, classmates, neighbors, and others to support their wearing the shirt, and to learn about BA and REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! and to support the BA Everywhere campaign. There should be a range of sponsorships—for example (and we are not setting the prices here), for $12 someone could sponsor a friend and get their own shirt. For $1,200 someone could sponsor 200 shirts. All this should be projected through the website and promotional literature as one expression of BA Everywhere that is raising money for the campaign overall.

Taking up and wearing the T-shirt and fighting for sponsorships will involve real struggle with friends, neighbors, and co-workers over what is the problem in the world and what is the solution as well as over why donating funds to make BA a household word can make a very big difference. And if people decide to wear the T-shirt alone or together—to an event, or school, or just out for the day—it might well involve sharp struggle, with real stakes, up against people who will oppose it. Standing firm, going up against intimidation, continuing to wear the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt, involving even more people in doing so or simply standing with and supporting those wearing the shirt in the context of BA Everywhere being the leading edge of a whole movement that on different fronts is “Fighting the Power, and Transforming the People, for Revolution”—all this will strengthen the whole movement, giving revolutionary edge and content to it. Wearing the T-shirt in this context can impel people to get into the film. It can come to be seen as a way to “signify” against all the shit that people are forced to live—signifying in a basic way standing up for a different better world—and identifying this with BA.

The BA “image” button has shown some of the same potential and should also be popularized. Two weeks ago Revolution told of a teenager who wanted the BA button because it “shows who I am.” One year, at a graduation ceremony at Crenshaw High School in LA, a number of students wore a pin with a quotation from BA.

Part of the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt catching on and becoming one way people are inspired to donate to BA Everywhere is if people from different sections are doing this. If college students from the campuses are “crossing the tracks” and joining the youth from neighborhoods of oppressed people. If artists and musicians wear the shirt “onstage” or in other settings, this can have a big impact—opening up space for the youth to do so—and, again, all this should be marshaled to raise funds overall.

All of this will be amplified and given shape on the BA Everywhere section of the website. When people go to the site, they should see the impact that BA Everywhere is having, and find the ways they can donate and the means to be a part of the campaign.

Before concluding, it is worth returning to the importance of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live. This film, along with BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, is foundational to changing the world. REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! is a daring, substantive, summoning to revolution that can change how people see the world and what they do with the rest of their lives. From the premiere showings, to significant public library showings in Los Angeles and Berkeley, to deep discussions in bookstores and living rooms, we have seen the impact BA has on people seeing this film.

Beginning right now and running through the spring, REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! should be shown in libraries in different communities, in classrooms and college auditoriums, in community centers and in housing projects, at salons among professionals and people with significant means. REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! should be all over the place—with people experiencing BA full out and getting a more profound sense of why big funds are needed now so that really large numbers of people—way beyond what the movement for revolution reaches directly—know about BA. Show the whole film—with an intermission, or in two sessions over two days. Let people experience the sweep of BA’s talk. These showings can be fundraising events. There can also be screenings that are not directly fundraising events but serve to give people an understanding and appreciation of BA and how he approaches the world as a deeper foundation for involving them in making and carrying out plans to raise funds for the campaign. At the same time, at Revolution Books stores and other places people will be digging into the film chapter by chapter to learn even more deeply the method and approach that BA takes.

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Taking up the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts—showing through pictures and videos a sense of the national movement that is taking root around the country—and spreading the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! are two components of an overall plan that we plan to put forward soon to make big leaps in 2014 in raising funds to spread BA, and his vision and framework for a radically new society, everywhere.

We look forward to learning from reports—and seeing pictures—of first efforts with the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts (including at V-Day/A Billion Rising For Justice events). And we look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas for big advances for BA Everywhere in 2014.

Send us your comments.

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