Revolution at the Warped Tour 2014

July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The Vans Warped Tour is a summer-long national music festival reaching out to youth, mainly from the suburbs, with punk, metal, and pop punk music. BA Everywhere was given the opportunity to travel with the tour doing a 10-day stretch covering 9 cities in the Southwest from Texas through California. This opportunity gave this movement for revolution a broad and diverse audience to reach out to daily. This isn’t a scene we get to mix it up with often, predominantly a white suburban crowd, so we jumped at the chance to get a feel of what this section of youth is confronting and to introduce them to BA and this movement for revolution.

I was able to have a number of conversations with people surrounding different injustices plaguing the world. From police murder, immigration, the oppression and enslavement of half of humanity, and the danger and devastation to the environment caused by the global system of capitalism. And most importantly driving home the need to make revolution and all that means: “Prepare the ground, prepare the people, and prepare the vanguard—get ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win.”

There was plenty of curiosity with the booth, the only one of its kind really at every stop. There was no other booth/organization putting the blame on the system, not surprisingly instead putting forward personal responsibility and religious morality. Youth along the tour saw the booth as their own, their “home” confronting and challenging all the demeaning and demoralizing shit on the tour from the America # 1 to the awful depictions and descriptions of women everywhere. The booth planted a pole attracting youth who wanted to get things done, yes it was a “positive” and radical message but I was also out to organize youth.

Flag waving was found all along the tour, particularly in Texas where at one point a few young men took up the chant “U.S.A” in front of the booth trying to involve others as they elicited “high fives.” Many had a hard time getting beyond the word abortion, people when confronted with the slogan “Abortion on Demand and Without Apology” thought it was anti-abortion, some immediately telling stories about the awful things they have heard or one father giving a $20 donation for his daughter coming back once having read a portion of a flier realizing we were for abortion.

Highlighting the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride while in Texas was a powerful statement—many young women came and thanked me for what I was doing, asking how they could get involved. For those who have seen the images across their screen at from SPP in Houston I can tell you there were many more smiles and anger with what was going on. There was a lot of back and forth with youth about the oppression of women. One sign that I had at the booth that helped combat a lot of the bullshit around women was the slogan Women Are Not Bitches or Ho’s or Punching Bags. Women Are Full Human Beings! This attracted people who wanted to see something different. Several times I had women tell me or scream out “feminism.” This gave me the opportunity to dig in to the great contribution from the party, A Declaration: On the liberation of Women and the Emancipation of All Humanity. While not enough of this issue got out, there were several discussions and struggles that got carried out around the false notions of freedom among women that the issue takes on. I want to quickly highlight Dallas here. I was told not to expect too much from Dallas—“too pretentious” someone told me, it turned out to be the best spot while in Texas. I got into several deep conversations with women and men about the state of things and particularly on the question of strategy. Outspoken backward people only attracted more people to check out the booth. One incident I recall was of a man who took a close look at what was on display. Walking away he came back in disbelief and asked how could we have a button like stop thinking like Americans start thinking about humanity next to abortion on demand and without apology, “how could you be for humanity when you are for killing babies?” He walked off and told (screamed at) others who he thought would support him. One was a young woman who later came by having heard the rant, asking how she could contribute to this. She gave $10 and gave us a way to reach her. One of the activities that I encouraged youth to take up who wanted to volunteer was to get online and print out the centerfolds and slogans that are available at They offered to take these print outs and post them at record stores and street corners. Dallas was also where I got most of the donations from Texas.

I was out with the whole ensemble of revolution, particularly highlighting BAsics, the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Bob Avakian Live DVD and Revolution newspaper as what youth need to immediately check out. People were attracted to the centerfolds on display and the enlarged quotes from BAsics. One thing I wanted to highlight was the use of the text e-sub which can be found on the sub form in Revolution newspaper and in a downloadable palmcard that includes the QR code. I popularized the number 22828 with revcom as a quick and easy way they could subscribe. This is something that should be popularized which could be further highlighted at booths and at protests. I used the small pocket-size palm card available at to promote the New Year's message and the website. More than a thousand were distributed on this leg of the tour.

While there isn’t a 24/7 presence of revolution on the tour now there are stops coming up in the midwest, east coast, and south which there will be tables at. Volunteers could be used to spread the world in and outside the venues where these concerts are taking place. Youth love to arrive early, so hitting up the lines with stickers and a donation can is a great way to spread the word and raise funds. So contact your nearest Revolution Books and find out how you could help.

I also wanted to encourage those who will be reaching out to the youth at the remaining Warped tour dates to promote From Ike to Mao and Beyond, BA’s memoir. Thinking more about the youth I meet along the way I thought about this book and its three interwoven stories. Youth would be challenged and can get a lot out of this book. Two things that stand out after thinking about the conversations I had is its detail and summation of the '60s and the importance individuals can make when the people of the world are put first. This of course is not a summation of the book but two points of a rich text that can inspire a new generation of revolutionaries. I highlight these two because youth have no idea of what kind of society it was that people rebelled against and they don’t know about the transformation that took place with one of those youth in particular who has dedicated the better part of his life to the emancipation of humanity. Quote 5:23 in BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian would be my recommendation to do just that.


Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

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