Be a Part of Making History—This Dialogue Is About the Future

September 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Following are edited excerpts from a speech given in cities around the country about the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian to be held November 15, 2014 at Riverside Church in New York City.

Get on the bus... Who Should be at the Dialogue

Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion

We have to make good on the potential of this Dialogue. Why? Because it is about the future.

Let's go out of here and build a social movement for this Dialogue. Go out in the world and tell everybody you know about it. Raise funds for it. Friends and family—yes—but also EVERYBODY you know needs to hear about this and contribute to making this happen.

If you are east of the Mississippi, then get together with others and organize buses. Get on the bus! West Coast, raise the money, so that some folks can get on a plane and get to New York for November 15. You don't want to hear afterwards, "You should have been there!"

Teachers, bring not only your classes, but other teachers and classes. History, Black Studies, Women's Studies, the Sciences, Morality and Philosophy, Religion... all who are concerned about the state of the planet and humanity, all those who are just questioning, who look around and see this system doing no good.

Let's go to all the youth groups and programs we know of, and those we don't know about yet—those that aim to keep youth out of trouble, athletic youth groups, artistic and cultural youth groups. Come as a group.

Youth hanging out on the basketball courts and at fast-food joints, get them involved now—spread this T-shirt signifying defiance—let youth represent with Revolution—Nothing Less!... creating an atmosphere that this Dialogue is of and for them. One of the crimes of this system is that youth are not welcome—and don't feel welcome—in a lot of places, those of the artistic, scientific, and intellectual life of society. This Dialogue IS radically different. Here, you ARE welcome. And, we have to make them feel: "This is for you."

If you are coming, tell people why you are coming! Send us a statement or a video that we can post to We want voices from all sections of society saying why they are coming, a growing social movement for this Dialogue.

Old-heads, tell the young folk about this.

Young folk, tell the old-heads.

Women, struggle with the men—why they need to be there.

Men, if you want a radically better world, talk to the women, why they need to be there... make it possible so that all the sisters are in the house.

Let's go to all the progressive priests, rabbis, and imams. Invite their congregations.

What about all the artists, the conscious hip-hop artists, spoken word, or those in theater? From Lincoln Center to the underground hip-hop scene, you need to be there.

We want to make this a big deal on the campuses. Get the word out and stir up the big questions—with professors and students alike. On Revolution and Religion... Is another world possible? What about the history of communism? What does communism have to say about questions of morality and purpose? We need to be creating an atmosphere of: "I have got to be there." We want your thoughts and participation.

On campuses and in society at large, we should—and we will—take this Dialogue EVERYWHERE people are standing up against injustice—whether protests against the war on Gaza, against police brutality, or global warming.

Raising Funds to Make an Impact

We need to raise tens of thousands of dollars—not only to put on the event, but for publicity. We want this in front of millions, aiming for ads in major media, Black and Spanish-language media, and on websites and social media.

We need funds to rent buses and for transportation so that people can get there, from the projects and the barrios, the streets of the big cities and the suburbs. Look at Ferguson—aren't there other suburbs like that from which youth should come? From Harlem to Ferguson, get on the bus! Raise funds so we can get these buses and bring people here.

Let's be on a mission—with purpose and inspiration. Be a part of making history—build for this, contribute and raise funds—starting today—so that everywhere people know that Cornel West and Bob Avakian are going to get into Revolution and Religion on November 15 at Riverside Church in NYC.

A Largeness of Mind and Generosity of Spirit
to Radically Change the World

BA and Cornel West—each in his own way—embodies a largeness of mind and generosity of spirit. This stands in stark contrast to how too many today just think about "Am I interested in this? What will I get out of this? What about ME?"

Let's go to work on this, struggle around this "me, me, me." What about the billions—in the sweatshops, shantytowns, and brothels of the world? The millions—killed and cast out as refugees in wars of empire, shackled in lives of isolation in the prison cells of this country, leaving their families to cross the border only to face the guns and hate of this system?... We could go on and on and on.

This Dialogue is about changing all that. It's for the millions and billions.

So, what about you? Where are you going to be on November 15?

As this Dialogue shakes things loose, there will be those who will passionately welcome it, there will be those who will be honestly wrestling with what they think, and then there will be those who will snarkily slander the event or the two speakers, working to undermine or even attack it—people who are coming from a vested interest in keeping this brutal system on people's backs, not wanting to unsettle things, especially in any genuinely radical and revolutionary way.

This hate gets especially targeted against BA because he stands for a radically different alternative to this system—for Revolution—Nothing Less! And, against Cornel for speaking the truth. Unprincipled bullshit must not be tolerated because it seeks to destroy the hope and possibility for a new world. At the same time, we need to bring forward the "love"—for BA, and for CW. The "love" being giving voice to those who know and appreciate who BA is, who Cornel is, and who want and cannot wait for this Dialogue.

Where will you be on November 15?

Be at Riverside Church in New York  to be a part of "Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion: A Dialogue Between Cornel West and Bob Avakian."

For the seven billion of humanity around the planet.

For a radically different and far better world.

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