Get the “BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!” T-shirt WAY out there this summer


July 13, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Revolution Club, Oakland, California

Revolution Club, Oakland, California
Photo: Special to

Last summer, nearly a year ago, the suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, erupted into the national consciousness. Michael Brown, an unarmed Black youth, was gunned down by the police, and his body left on the street for four hours, in dishonor and humiliation. Courageous youths, from those the system has cast out, rose up in rebellion, manifesting on the streets night after night defying curfews in the face of a highly militarized police presence, and attracting support from all kinds of people in the process.

Ferguson broke out and followed in the wake of the police murder of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York City, who died saying, “I can’t breathe,” “I can’t breathe” as the murdering cop continued to strangle him in a chokehold, all captured on cell phone video for the world to see. All of this, and the non-indictments of the murderous cops, has sparked a year of rage, ferment, and roiling. It has been marked by a significant rebellious upsurge in Baltimore and the recent white supremacist murders in Charleston, South Carolina, and mass protests and societal questioning, about the police, the historical role and place of Black people in America, and what is to be done.

In the iconic images of the last year, in defiance and rebellion, in mass takeovers of highways and streets, is the striking presence of those whose T-shirts boldly proclaim BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! This was merely a glimpse, not only of a critically needed revolutionary pole of attraction, but a gathering social force cohering around this pole.

The Initiative and the Campaign

BA Everywhere is proud to announce the launch of a mass fundraising initiative, lasting through this summer, to achieve societal impact with these T-shirts, putting forth a radically different answer to what is needed right now, REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, and the leadership for this revolution in Bob Avakian, BA.

Not only do these T-shirts speak to and resonate with the sentiment of the moment, but in fundamental terms, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! represents the real and scientific answer to these horrors—of why the police keep murdering our youth, why there is no justice and the murdering cops get away—and most important, what it will take to get beyond not only police terror and the oppression of Black people, but all of the myriad horrors, madness, and needless suffering that stem from this capitalist-imperialist system, its wars of empire, its criminalization of immigrants, its wanton destruction of the environment, and the horrendous attacks on and degradation of women around the world.

BA, Bob Avakian, has done the work to scientifically forge a new framework for human emancipation, the new synthesis of communism, including an actual strategy to make revolution in the U.S. and bring about a radically different and far better society, with a different economy and political system, a socialist society in transition to a world free of exploitation and all oppressive inequalities and social divisions. The world does NOT need to be this way, with all these horrors and this madness—and because of and based on the work BA has done, there is a visionary and concrete blueprint for this new society (in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)), and the strategy and leadership for the revolution needed to establish this. BA Everywhere, the fundraising campaign to make BA a household name and his work a point of reference with broad societal impact, has to do with making this known throughout society, raising sights and radically changing how people look at what is needed, possible, and desirable. Imagine the difference... This initiative is one of the major ways to make this happen, to contribute to this campaign this summer and fall.

The Basic Vision and Dynamic

Imagine a growing social movement through the summer with the T-shirt BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! becoming increasingly visible in the neighborhoods of the oppressed, at summer youth concerts, in upcoming anniversaries such as those of the murders of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, all of this manifest in and spreading through social media, with dedicated Twitter hashtags, and on Instagram and YouTube. Imagine if a significant section of those wearing the T-shirt—through the summer—were more deeply getting into and struggling over the content declared in the T-shirt—of the revolution, of BA, through his works, especially the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN; the film of the same name, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!; and BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian. If you in fact don’t know much about BA, these would be good places to start, and even as you are learning, and thinking about all this, agreeing, disagreeing, provoked and challenged by what BA says, if you feel this—BA and his vision—needs to be out there, sparking discussion and debate about revolution and a radically different world, stay engaged and contribute to this campaign.

In this process and dynamic of the summer, of fundraising for and getting out many hundreds of the T-shirts, sparking interest in the content of this revolution and what BA actually represents, accumulating forces for revolution through this, there are two critical moments to mark—the one-year anniversary of the murder of Eric Garner on July 17, and the one-year anniversary of the murder of Michael Brown on the weekend of August 9. Both weekends must be viewed and built as markers and nodal points in manifesting the growing presence of this social force, with these T-shirts, this message, REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, and projecting this leader, BA!

We envision this whole process culminating with a mass manifestation of this growing social force—across the country, mainly in groups but also individually—of youths and others in these T-shirts on Saturday, August 22, followed by anchor showings of REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! in major cities, either that night or Sunday afternoon, August 23.

For example, what we currently envision is scores of people rolling up to and assembling at major intersections and public squares on Saturday afternoon and evening, all wearing the T-shirt, raising their fists, reading quotes from BAsics, with these images simultaneously projected around the world on YouTube and other social media. In New York, this could be in a neighborhood like Harlem or someplace like Times Square. Imagine the same kinds of things happening in LA, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay Area—and in Ferguson, possibly at the site where Michael Brown was killed; Cleveland, where Tamir Rice was killed; and Baltimore, at the epicenter of the recent uprising after the police murder of Freddie Gray—and many other cities across the country. Others send selfies, as individuals and groups, joining hundreds of others across the country... all connected through and seeing each other on social media, feeling part of something much bigger and truly meaningful. Imagine the difference... projecting an unmistakable manifestation of a social force around the country with these T-shirts, this theme—REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, the leader speaking this: BA—and as an entrée and compelling invitation to critical sections of the people learning more and getting deeply into the content of this revolution and BA.

What Is Needed Is You!

Protestor w BA speaks T- Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina
credit: Ernestine Hamilton

Massive funds are needed—not only for the T-shirts subsidized for those who cannot afford it, along with DVDs of the films—of BA in dialogue with Cornel West, and in REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, and the book BAsics—but more fundamentally, to further crack open societal discourse with BA and his work, to achieve BA Everywhere, and to project this growing social force onto a bigger stage. While there will be more coming soon on actual fundraising goals and means, we should all start thinking on how to raise big money for this initiative, who to go to and places to visit, especially among the propertied and middle strata, including progressive theaters and films, author readings and jazz performances, progressive churches, artist retreats—and campuses when they open. Donating funds is a very meaningful way, with impact, that all people can contribute to actually changing the world. Along with direct contributions, there are other means, including salons and house parties, art performances, auctions and book readings as fundraisers.

Fundraising among those who are less well-off, including at the bottom of society, is especially critical in building up the social base of support for this initiative—and for the revolution—through penny jars with dollars and coins, yard sales and pie bakes, or through neighbors and communities coming together to collectively buy and sponsor T-shirts for the youths who wear them.

For it matters!—it matters whether people “meet” and get to know BA, the best friend the masses have, fearlessly, consistently, and tirelessly struggling for our fundamental interests in getting free of all the chains; it matters whether people have access to the only real solution there is to all of these horrors and madness, a thoroughly scientific approach to what is the problem and what is the solution; it matters whether there will be a radically different and viable alternative posed in the discourse that otherwise seeks to re-direct the righteous rage and the profound questioning of people into the dead-end channels of faith—in “God,” in the elections, and in America, as the quest for a “more perfect union”;  it matters whether people can breathe freely, knowing a radically different world is possible and contributing to making it happen, or be stuck within the constraints of this system, humming in the background as it crushes lives and destroys spirits.


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REVOLUTION AND RELIGION The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, A Dialogue Between Cornel West & Bob Avakian
BA Speaks: Revolution Nothing Less! Bob Avakian Live
BAsics from the Talks and Writings of Bob Avakian
Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)
WHAT HUMANITY NEEDS Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism
You Don't Know What You Think You 'Know' About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation Its History and Our Future Interview with Raymond Lotta