Voice from the Suburbs: "This Dialogue Is Like a Springboard into the Future"

October 12, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


When I heard about the Dialogue it was a total surprise and very exciting to me. Just the thought of BA coming out and speaking, it speaks to the times we're in and how crucial this is. And it just was amazing to me. And when I heard that the venue was Riverside Church, and the discussion would be with Cornel West, it even added to the excitement. It is just such a crucial topic and it's such a crucial question in society—religion and revolution. It just to me, screamed for people to notice this! In fact, on my way home from hearing the announcement, I contacted people. It was a one hour trip home—and before I was home I had ten tickets sold. "Get me four tickets; I need to be at this; get me two tickets; get me three tickets."

I live in the suburbs. I've been hitting a pretty major university. We've been there five Mondays, consecutively now. And we're getting known in the area. “Here are the guys with the tickets.” We've made connections to the African-American studies department and we've made other inroads in the student union, in the student alumni center, in the library. We noticed yesterday people saying, "Ah, you guys are back again." Yeah, we're gonna be back until November fourteenth and a half. [laughter] We're gonna be back here. And, you know, we're not here as an exercise. We're here cause it's important that as many people as possible hear this information. It's a learning experience that that needs to go on from November fifteenth. It's like a springboard into the future, that's the way I'm thinking of it. That's why it's so important that these students come, and other students, you know, from all over.

I've noticed how open-minded young people are, and how they'll really sit down or stop walking and really talk about these issues. And it's just such a provocative title, “The fight for emancipation, and the role of religion”... “Huh?!" You know it's like, "What the hell are you talking about?" You know there is a role, and these two people are gonna be talking about it. Cornel West, who considers himself a revolutionary Christian, and Bob Avakian, who's a revolutionary communist. And it couldn't have come at a better time, and it couldn't be more provocative.

We're working with clubs at the university and also trying to go to events that that are a little in synch with what we're talking about—you know, mass incarceration, things like that. Things we're talking about as far as needing revolution, needing people to rise up, and emancipate themselves. We've made inroads getting to talk to one of the people at the radio station at this university. Hopefully he'll play the interview that Cornel West did with BA in 2012, or have a speaker on there. You know, just something to make more and more people aware—not only at the university, but in the surrounding area.

Students are telling us, "I see you guys all the time. I already have the card. I'm thinking about coming." The distance is an issue. We were waiting to get enough people to get a small bus, but now we are thinking maybe we've been going about this the wrong way and we should get the bus and say, we have a bus, can you join us?

There are people hungering for this and we're trying to reach them. We're going out to a progressive movie theater, peace groups, Unitarian Church members, people that want change and don't quite know how to go about it. I sold three or four of those tickets to people that were in peace networks. They're putting it on their Facebook. They're talking at their meetings about it. Taking fliers, taking cards, taking posters, calling me for advice, how they should approach this or that person. So, it's like a community. Trying to build a bigger community, you know. Which is what we need. You know it's a very upbeat uplifting situation. I'm very excited about the progress we've made.

We need people to hear this. We need to have BA out there. And this is a tremendous chance to get people to hear Bob Avakian. And I urge everyone to come out.


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