Snapshots from the Revolution Club Summer Project, LA

July 14, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From Revolution Club, LA

Leading with BA Everywhere (what difference it makes)—the major fundraising campaign to project the vision and framework of Bob Avakian everywhere—to have the new synthesis be a contending pole throughout society.

Our work has mostly focused in the neighborhoods of the oppressed (Black and Latino). When we’ve canvassed (door to door knocking) we’ve try to introduce BA (through BAsics, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, Revolution newspaper, etc.) to frame our overall discussion. We went in with the thinking that BAsics 3:16 would be an important quote to read to people because it’s currently framing the 1000 years—$1,000 campaign. We spoke to a young Black woman (late 20s/early 30s) whose friends were recently killed because of a beef from a rival gang. She said she’d been sitting on the steps (of her apartment) thinking, why do people do these things to each other?

We walked through BAsics 3:16 and her immediate reaction was: “Wow, this is deep.” The quote framed her pain (and frustration); we spent some time on this part of the quote “...Raise your sights above the degradation and madness, the muck and demoralization, above the individual battle to survive and to ‘be somebody’ on the terms of the imperialists...” She was not familiar with the term “imperialists.” I briefly talked about the war in Iraq and this was something she was familiar with; but also it strengthens her ability to understand the rest of the quote. At a certain point she broke into tears and I asked her why—she said everything we’re talking about is so real that it just has her thinking about a lot of things.

We talked about the 1000 years—$1,000 campaign and tried to illustrate the difference raising BIG funds could make. Not surprisingly, without much thought, she was able to accumulate 350 years (50 people for an average of 7 years incarcerated). We returned to BAsics 3:16 to speak to the challenge at the end “...But there is a world to save—and to win—and in that process those the system has counted as nothing can count for a great deal...” And, asked if raising the 350 years was something she could take responsibility for. She thought about it for a second, and started making a list of all the people she could reach out to. She took a stack of fliers and we set a deadline of bringing the funds raised to the anti-4th of July picnic in the neighborhood. There is more work to make this real, but something she was serious about pursuing.

And there’s the potential to multiply these experiences. While I think we’ve done a lot of work in introducing people to BA (through BAsics, REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! and Revolution newspaper), I think there’s a shortcoming in fundraising for BA Everywhere. I think there’s a lot of appreciation for BA’s leadership. But what we’re working on is raising BIG funds to introduce millions to the leadership we have. Otherwise, we are not preparing the ground, preparing the people, preparing the vanguard—for a time when millions can go all-out, with a real chance of winning.

BAsics 5:20

The Vans Warped Tour invites a number of non-profits to table at their concerts, including Revolution Books. This year some of the booths include organizations that aim to prevent teen suicide, or help young women to stop cutting themselves, to several church groups (including KONY 2012). I think a lot about our work in the suburbs and I constantly find myself returning to BAsics 5:20 or the section its drawn from in Birds Cannot Give Birth to Crocodiles, But Humanity Can Soar Beyond the Horizon.

Stepping into the Vans Warped Tour, I was alive with wanting to engage the youth. The Vans Warped Tour is a major summer festival that attracts mostly high school students. They’ve always been known for punk music but lately, given the lack of mainstream punk, there’s more metal and pop-punk; even though throughout the campground you still see people representing for Bad Religion, the Dead Kennedys, Misfits, etc.

We held a large display that read “Women Are Not Bitches, Ho’s, or Punching Bags. Women Are Full Human Beings.” We were an immediate pole and a lot of young women energetically and enthusiastically stopped to talk, take pictures, grab stickers, or check out our booth. Some self-identified as feminist, others were glad something was being said about the oppression of women, and many wanted to represent a different alternative to the existing conditions. At one point, a group of young women came to our booth to ask if we were the ones with the awesome sticker. Some were enraged in regards to the Santa Barbara mass killing and grabbed information to take back to their friends (Revolution newspapers, stickers, and fliers).

For many this was the first time they’ve encountered anything revolutionary. We had a couple of people say “I’ve found my booth” or “I’m all about this.” For those who were a bit more politicized there were questions in regards to “corporations” or “improving capitalism” or the “EZLN model (of revolution)”. It was very difficult to have very meaningful engagements because our booth was right next to a very loud stage. I found myself pointing to displays with quotes from BAsics and Revolution newspaper; or handing people BAsics to check out particular quotes that spoke to their question.

This was a very important opportunity to reach out to a particular section of youth and more needs to be done. There is the ongoing need of people following and getting into the works of Bob Avakian. And we have to find the ways for people to politically sustain themselves that counters the relativism and parasitism; as part of building the overall movement for revolution and the Revolutionary Communist Party.


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