A Reader Shares Some Thoughts on the Revolution Clubs and the slogan "Get Organized for an Actual Revolution"

Updated March 2, 2015 | Originally published December 11, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us



To the editors:

I have been following the current upheaval around police murder and the illegitimacy of the legal system. This truly is a “jolt” along the lines pointed to in the Party’s statement on strategy: a situation “in which many more people are searching for answers and open to considering radical change. The work of building the movement for revolution must be consistently carried out at all times, but in these situations of sharp breaks with the 'normal routine' there is greater possibility, and greater potential, to make advances. This must be fully recognized and built on to the greatest degree possible, so that through such situations, leaps are made in building up the movement and the organized forces for revolution, creating in this way a stronger basis from which to work for further advances.

The statement goes on to emphasize that:

All along the way, both in more "normal times" and especially in times of sharp breaks with the "normal routine," it is necessary to be working consistently to accumulate forces—to prepare minds and organize people in growing numbers—for revolution, among all those who can be rallied to the revolutionary cause.

And toward the conclusion, it points to this as one crucial part of “how thousands can be brought forward and oriented, organized and trained in a revolutionary way, while beginning to reach millions more, even before there is a revolutionary situation...and then, when there is a revolutionary situation, those thousands can be a backbone and pivotal force in winning millions to revolution and organizing them in the struggle to carry the revolution through.

I have also been thinking, in relation to this, about the Party’s new slogan “Get Organized for an Actual Revolution.”

All this is background to saying that I have been following the work of the Revolution Club in various cities as best I can through the website. It is clear that club members have been at the forefront of these protests, showing the way in both word and deed—as indeed they should be! This has been very good and very important. And it is extremely important that the protests and resistance and upheaval continue, and grow in strength—and that revolutionaries, and people who think that the revolutionary position needs to be part of the mix, make every effort within this upheaval to get out the fact that there is a party with a real program to END all this, and a real strategy to make that program reality, through revolution. “Nobody can say exactly” where all this could lead—but what we can say is that WE had better be out there push push pushing as hard as we can.

In the spirit of making the maximum of this current “jolt,” and pushing it as far as it can go, in every sense, and thereby bringing closer the day when people can finally be free of this madness and the torture, including literal torture(!), that it brings down on people not only here but around the world, I wanted to pose some questions to think about, as people continue to participate in and give leadership to the resistance.

1) Can the Revolution Club do better at projecting itself as an organized, cohesive force in the midst of the struggles in the street? Can it be more powerful in making visible the existence of a force that is serious, organized, and working with all it has to bring closer the day when people can be led to wage an all-out struggle for power? I realize that banners and posters and other visuals have been out there, and that the Clubs have played a big role in this. This has been good and should continue. But I am getting at something else. When the Black Panther Party would come to a demonstration, you knew through their uniforms, their chants, and their organization that there was an organized, serious revolutionary force there—serious about both the struggle at hand and about linking that to making revolution, as soon as possible. This made you want to check out what this revolution was all about. I know a veteran comrade who told me her first demonstration was one organized by the Black Panther Party in which people ringed the federal building, raising Red Books* in the air, and chanting “I Am a Revolutionary.” She said she had never considered herself a revolutionary before, but the chant matched her feelings—and she never looked back.

The Revolution Clubs are just as serious, and follow a Party that has developed the strategy to actually make revolution when the time is right. But is this getting conveyed? And are there ways to do this better?

2) Can the Revolution Club do better at growing, right on the spot, and organizing new people into the Clubs? Right now there are many people who not only want to check out the revolution but who could be won to “run with” the Club, in a serious way. Yes, many have questions—but I have a strong hunch that there are many who would want to run with the Club while they work through their questions. Are we doing enough to move on this now, when people’s thinking is in motion? I know a comrade who told me that her first experience with revolution was going to a demonstration to free Mumia. A person in the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade (a youth organization of the Party during the 1980s and '90s) grabbed her hand and said, “We’re going into the streets.” She felt conflicted; they had on a really cool revolutionary tee-shirt that captured her imagination, and they were projecting themselves in a way that really resonated with how she felt... but “did they have to be communists?” She put that aside to run with them that day, then got into what communism was about over that summer, and “the rest is history.”

3) Is this a time where the Clubs need to raise money to rent pop-ups, or find a friendly church or community center, where they could have “office hours” and people could come by to find out what’s going on, or to watch the dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West, to plan actions, or just to kick it with people in the surrounding community? Such a thing would not replace, but complement, going into questions with people all the time—in the streets, at the movies, over coffee, wherever...

I raise all this in the spirit of contributing to grappling with how we can make maximum advances toward revolution, nothing less, in the midst of this inspiring—and challenging—upsurge.

* The Red Book, a revolutionary handbook of quotations from the revolutionary leader Mao Tsetung (or Mao Zedong), was taken up by revolutionaries and radicals all over the world in the 1960s, and became a symbol of revolution.] [back]


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