Announcing the LAUNCH of the FILM:
The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion;

Speech Given at BA Everywhere Celebrations to Launch a Film That Opens Eyes to a Radically Different Future

February 16, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following talk was given at fundraising dinners hosted by BA Everywhere Committees on February 15. At the dinners, people watched the trailer for and clips from the forthcoming film of the Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West.


People all over the country need to know about and see this film. High school students who have to pass through metal detectors before they can even open a book need to see and experience it. College students who want to do something meaningful for the betterment of humanity. The youth who fear for their lives when they walk the streets need to see it. And artists who want to make art that matters. Intellectuals alive to critical and innovative thinking need to experience and engage this film. Basic people in the ghettos and barrios who catch the worst hell from this system, they need to get deeply into this film.

Let’s really recognize how extraordinary what we have in this film is. Ardea Skybreak said in an interview in Revolution newspaper: “I can’t think of another example of exactly this kind of event in history, where a revolutionary communist leader of the revolution is meeting together with a revolutionary Christian so that they can bring forward what they have in common and explore the differences and put it before the people and encourage hundreds, thousands and ultimately millions of people to engage these very important questions that have to do with morality and conscience and with the future of humanity.”

A Plan for Making the Film a Big Deal in Society

Watch the trailer here

And here’s the exciting news. On Saturday, March 28, the film of the historic Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West—Revolution and Religion: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion—will have its premiere. It will be screened in several major cities in the U.S. It will also be going online so that tens of thousands can quickly see it and spread it. March 28 is the national launch of the film. This is the focal point for the BA Everywhere campaign for the winter/spring. BA Everywhere is the mass campaign to raise major funds to project Bob Avakian’s (BA’s) vision and works into every corner of society.

We have a plan for making this film a big deal in society. We have to start organizing and preparing now for March 28. A lot is riding on this. Getting this film out widely—sparking discussion, study, debate, and controversy in neighborhoods, on campuses, in the social media—can change the terms of things in society. We’re talking about how tens and hundreds of thousands of people think about the world, the struggle to change it through revolution, and their role in this.

Raising Sights and Transforming Thinking at a Critical Time

Let’s step back for a minute. As Revolution newspaper’s New Year’s editorial put it, 2014 was a momentous year. Ferguson. The long-suppressed rage burst into a massive struggle against police murder. A new spirit of resistance emerged and caught fire. The youth were on the front lines. And as the outrages multiplied—from the chokehold execution of Eric Garner to the senseless and heartbreaking murder by Cleveland police of Tamir Rice, a young Black boy playing with a toy gun—things went to another level. Tens and even hundreds of thousands from all walks of life joined in. The streets thundered with... artists responded with... society was confronted with: This Must Stop! Black Lives Matter!

The Dialogue took place as this upsurge was gaining momentum. Bob Avakian put forward a full-out, vibrant message of revolution. BA and Cornel West were engaging one of the most critical questions of our time: revolution and the role of religion. They were challenging people to act with moral conviction and courage in the face of these outrages—in a world that cries out for fundamental change, for revolution.

Now we have to spread this film, get it out into the world!

It can play a crucial role interacting with the urgent battle to retake the offensive around stopping police murder and the slow genocide of Black people. It will influence how people understand that they have no common interest with the rulers of this country in the growing difficulties and problems they face, at home and internationally.

The upheaval around police murder, along with other important struggles, including against the whole war on women, and the fact that the message of revolution is being brought out within these struggles and within society more broadly—this is having tremendous impact in society. The workings of the system, the responses and anger of the people, and the conscious work of revolutionaries and others are contributing to the mix.

As the New Year’s editorial from Revolution newspaper put it: “All this and more could develop into the first steps toward an actual revolution. Not guaranteed but possible.”

That’s a serious statement and that’s what the vanguard, the RCP, is working to bring about. There are different elements of the work and organizing required, and all kinds of challenges. And at junctures like this, it is critical to be raising people’s sights to a radically different and better world, to have people’s thinking challenged and changed by what is gotten into in this Dialogue, and for people to be grappling with what underlies the madness of this system and the way out. This has everything to do with people coming to know about BA and the work he has done—and for this to become known throughout society.

The film of this Dialogue can open eyes to the basis, the possibility, and the strategy and vision of an actual revolution that could bring about a world free of oppression.

This film can provoke and help train the defiant ones of the new generation... educate them in the science and morality of communist revolution. One of the special qualities of the Dialogue that comes through in the clip is the camaraderie and love between BA and Cornel—and how they explore their differences and engage in principled struggle with one another. Something is being modeled here. This film can be part of changing what kind of people we are.

You Can Be Part of This Campaign While You Are Learning More

If you want this film to be out there, along with other works by BA, setting terms in society—raising people’s sights to another way that society and people could be, and giving voice to people’s desire to be free of the bone- and spirit-crushing life we are forced to live—then get involved with the BA Everywhere campaign. Get with the plans and contribute to the plans around the film.

Now some of you might be thinking: I like a lot of what BA is about, but I don’t agree with everything, or at least I’m not so sure. Well, you CAN get involved at the same time that you are trying to learn more about revolution and communism and are figuring out what you think. You can be getting into this film and the work of BA at the same time that you are part of getting this out into society—helping to make BA a household word, helping to get BA’s work, his leadership and vision, known, discussed, and debated. It’s a process, an exciting one.

Getting the Word Out and Fundraising for the March 28 Launch

So let’s get into the plan. March 28, that’s the big launch online—on the Internet—and that will be the first public screenings of the film in major cities. Hundreds of people coming together to see the film—with reviews, articles, and radio interviews—will generate momentum and bring forward people to be part of making this a big deal.

Over the next few months this film needs to reach hundreds of thousands. Word has to get out. That requires advertising, public service announcements, posters, palm cards, and buzz in the social media. And all that is going to take money.

So we have to raise funds. Fundraising raises both money and people—because thousands of people have to be involved. At the grass-roots level, that means canvassing for donations, holding bake sales, selling buttons, organizing house parties, and other creative do-it-yourself things.

Let’s reach out to better-off and wealthy people and organize fundraising get-togethers with professors, lawyers, doctors, and even wealthier people to watch some of the same clips that we saw tonight or other excerpts that will be made into YouTubes.

There’ll be argument and struggle. That’s good and an important part of the process. At the same time, keep in mind two things: First, many people have been influenced and their thinking transformed by the recent upsurge after Ferguson; and many of these people are deeply concerned over issues like what’s happening in the Middle East, or with the war on women, or to the environment. And, second, THE SYSTEM HAS NO ANSWER to these problems—while THE REVOLUTION DOES. It’s concentrated in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal), this incredible document based on BA’s new synthesis of communism.

There’s potential for all kinds of people to be won to seeing the importance of BA’s work and leadership becoming a point of reference in society, the difference it can make, especially at this intense moment, and using their public platforms to make this known. Our goal is to raise $20,000 by March 25.

Bringing Forward a Dynamic Mix of People

We’re creating public opinion... we’re organizing forces... and we’re raising funds for the March 28 launch.

Students are a crucial part of this plan. Teams have to go onto campuses—into classrooms, student unions, dorms, and cafeterias with the trailer of the film, YouTube excerpts, and other materials from By early March we will have pre-release DVDs of the film for organizers to show on campus and in the neighborhoods—bringing forward people to contribute to making the launch of the film a big deal. Building on the initial forays on the campuses, we should aim for a campus-wide showing of the DVD in early March on a major campus wherever possible. Those students who come and are inspired or intrigued by the film can take up the online campaign and help build for March 28.

We should also organize showings at Revolution Books, at the Revolution Clubs, and in the neighborhoods. People in the Stop Mass Incarceration Network should be taking this up, as they are building for A14, April 14, No School! No Work! Stop Business as Usual! People in Stop Patriarchy should be taking this up in the course of that work. People in various other movements in society, around the environment and immigrants’ rights, should be finding out about the film. We want to bring forward a dynamic mix of people at the March 28 citywide screenings—students and intellectuals, artists and professionals, basic people, and activists.

What’s most important is people taking this up and making it a big deal on their campuses, in the neighborhoods, and on social media all while raising funds. The trailer should be tweeted everywhere. Advertisements promoting the trailer and date of the launch of the film need to appear on websites all over.

And, all this will be knitted together at the BA Everywhere page at People can go there to see the latest listing of the cities and times for the film showings; to learn about the progress being made and the questions and controversies coming up; to find out about how we’re doing with fundraising; and to read the latest comments from people who have watched the video simulcast and DVD of the Dialogue.

Everyone here, and the many others that we have to meet and get involved, can contribute. If all you can do is spread this through the social media—there’s a place for you; if all you can do is bring this up at your place of worship, or with people you work with—there’s a place for you. If you have ideas for fundraising but can’t do much yourself—let’s brainstorm.

So that’s the core of the plan for this film to have real impact—stretching far and deep into society, at this intense juncture in society, and continuing beyond March 28. With this film, we can make a major leap in making BA a household word, changing thinking, and raising sights to a radically different and far better world through revolution.

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