A Call for Major Events on July 4th Weekend


June 9, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


In 1852, the escaped slave and freedom fighter Frederick Douglass gave a powerful, historic speech condemning the hypocrisy of America. Douglass exposed how the vaunted "greatest democracy in the world" had built its wealth on the enslavement of Africans and their descendants, and called for the abolition of this slavery.

Today, 162 years later, chattel slavery is no longer the law of the land (though millions worldwide are still enslaved, in ways that indirectly and often directly feed into and benefit the American empire). (See "21st Century Slavery Under Global Capitalism," Revolution #102, September 23, 2007.) Yet today...

From those millions of Black and Latino youth put in a pipeline to prison the hour they are born... to the women who, even if they do not find themselves among the millions and even billions directly trafficked or raped or brutalized or denied the rights to abortion and birth control, still suffer the consequences of those practices and like all women must every day walk a gauntlet of potential abuse and danger...

From the immigrants, here and around the world, driven by a desperate need to work to risk their lives in the deserts and oceans to then live in the shadows for the "chance" to be bitterly exploited... to the billions overall, whose very lives are funneled into amassing huge wealth for the imperialists while they themselves scrape for survival...

From those who suffer the horrors of America's invasions, proxy wars, and drone strikes... to the way in which humanity as a whole faces an environmental catastrophe for which capitalism, in its mad pursuit for profit, has no other recourse but to make it worse...

...for all these, and for those whose hearts beat in empathy with them, America's July 4th boasts are still nothing but mockery and hypocrisy. July 4th this year must NOT be a holiday to celebrate their revolution but a time to seize to build for the REVOLUTION we need now, at the earliest possible time, to get rid of their instruments of power and bring in a whole new world, free of all forms of slavery, all exploitation, and all the rotten institutions and ideas that go with the system of capitalism and prop it up.

This July 4th, BA Everywhere has called for major activities throughout the "holiday weekend" to raise funds to get the word out on Bob Avakian—the leadership he's provided, both in the form of the revolutionary theory that he's brought forward that forms the framework for actually overcoming this madness, and the practical leadership he has provided through his leadership of the vanguard of the revolution we need, the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. In commemoration of Douglass' speech—and in recognition of the fact that, as BA writes in BAsics, "There would be no United States as we know it today without slavery. That is a simple and basic truth."—these activities will go forward under two slogans:



The weekend should be filled with revolutionary activity. As a centerpiece, there should be fundraising picnics, which should be very, very broadly built for, and, at the same time, be full of revolutionary celebration and activity. The film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, the book BAsics, from the Talks and Writings of Bob Avakian, and BA's 2014 New Year's message should be right there, playing at different times, and be widely available. Testimonials, culture, games, food, displays, community—everything that makes for a good time—should be going on, infused with the content of the whole new world to which people aspire, and for which we are fighting. Everybody who comes should be introduced to Revolution—the website and the newspaper—and this heartbeat of the movement for revolution should be utilized and built all the way through the lead-up to the weekend. And along with all the celebration, there should be active engagement with why we need a revolution, with what BA has brought forward in relation to that, and with how we actually need to and can prepare the ground, prepare the people, and prepare the vanguard TO get ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.

These celebrations should build on what has been accomplished so far in the campaign to get BA Everywhere—and be a significant success in their own right. And they should mark a kick-off to a whole summer of intense efforts leading into Fall 2014. At these events, let's energetically raise money to Get BA Everywhere – across this country! A focus of this fundraising should be the 1000 years—$1000 dollars project. That project is calling on people from all walks of life to make the hundreds and thousands of years suffered in the hellholes of this nation of prisons count for something that will really matter. As the BA Everywhere campaign has said, "Let's celebrate throwing those thousands of bitter years taken from us, taken from humanity, back into the face of the system that took them as we contribute to the BA Everywhere campaign and the fight for a radically different world."

These July 4th events should concentrate real substance…going up against the patriotic July 4th fervor that celebrates the bloody history and current day oppressive reality of the U.S., and make known to all that a whole new world is possible through revolution. And throughout society, people need to know of the leadership we have in BA. And let's draw in many, many people, and people who are only meeting the revolution now, into making these celebrations be a moment when the revolution leaps into and becomes a serious question for many who are agonizing over the state of this society and the world. And let this especially be true in neighborhoods and communities among the people who have been outcast and downpressed in this country.


People who come should be made aware of the purpose and point and activities of BA Everywhere, in different ways, and learn how they can contribute to this. At the same time, they should also learn about and have a chance to get into the important struggles against mass incarceration and the oppression of women.

But the weekend should not just be these picnics. People who come to the picnics should have ways to get involved and do things—right on the spot, fanning out over the next two days of the holiday weekend, going to festivals, beaches, community events, concerts, etc.

How should these events be built? We need to be out, everywhere people are, inviting them into things, spreading materials, raising funds, and giving them ways to get involved and find out more. We need especially to be where outrages are happening and people are raising, or need to be inspired and organized to raise, their heads and fight back.  And this is the time when people who attended the "Where We Are in the Revolution" talk should be joining in concerted efforts to reach out to their friends, colleagues and communities and bring them to the July 4th celebrations. We should not rely on emails to reach people—though we SHOULD use the Internet and definitely spread the YouTube of BA embedded in this article.

Plans should be made with objectives in mind—in what areas, with which sections of the people, do we need to make breakthroughs this summer? What goals should be set? How should we keep track of our progress in meeting these goals? How do we quickly both grab hold of positive experience and build on it, and also learn from setbacks, mistakes, or disappointments? How do we utilize revcom.us to spread the lessons and to give leadership?

Here we want to quote from a reflection by a comrade. While this comrade was speaking specifically of the initiative against mass incarceration, the spirit applies to the entire "ensemble" of revolutionary work, of which BA Everywhere is the leading edge.

We need a calendar of nodal points when we call out the masses to act, and weekly activity of going out into the world to the centers where these outrages are perpetrated and when outrages occur like the police ramming the youth's head through a plate glass window, we need to be there. Someone that was involved in the grape boycott back in the day recounted how every week they were out picketing and demonstrating, passing out fliers, calling on people to boycott grapes and join the movement to support the farm workers and hardly ever had meetings. The movement was built by being out among the people. We should be getting out the call, leading people to fight the power, and bringing them into this. We have to break out of the dynamic of meeting after meeting where we have a major event every six months or so that is well attended but in the meantime we are not out in the world to the masses in a mass way. Every weekend we need to go out and do something to change the world, do things that affect public opinion, where people are standing up and feel like they are standing up. These actions serve to build a movement. Go out to distribute the call, flier with here is what you can do, and stickers. After these outings people can gather over dinner or whatever to sum up and write a report to submit to the SMIN website. Rather than all these meetings we have been doing we can organize film showings that expose these crimes. People like coming to these and then discussing the films and getting into all kinds of questions. Formal and informal dinners are an opportunity to strategize and get to know people. Part of the point in all of this is giving people ways into this movement that are ways to act that are meaningful and an opportunity to meet the movement and get into all the questions that are being posed in the world and in their thinking.

Again, while this was written specifically in regard to the initiative against mass incarceration, its spirit and approach is very applicable. Going out to build this picnic should be anything but lifeless! We need a combination of individuals getting this out, often in subtle ways, and at times where, with radically simple plans and materials, people make a big scene and this has big impact. What the comrade says about showing films and discussing definitely applies to BA Everywhere, and to how this picnic should be built. And let's mix it up a little—when people run into the movement for revolution let them learn about and meet people from all these realms of activity and struggle.

Come to the revcom.us site for materials—including for a possible layout of a flier/poster this Thursday, June 12.


Editor's note: Stay tuned to revcom.us for coming thinking and guidance on building the whole ensemble of revolutionary work, including ideas on making plans for this summer and beyond.

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