From a new Revolution Club Member

The Power of a T-Shirt and Confronting Revolution

August 4, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


I was introduced to the Revolution Club through the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. I went to an organizing meeting the network was having for the Rise Up October event after receiving an email for it. I went to the meeting because stopping police brutality was one of the causes I felt the most passionate about. Soon after this meeting, I joined the network at a rally on the anniversary of the murder of Eric Garner. At the rally I noticed a lot of people wearing the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts, and I was strongly encouraged to wear one as well, by a member of the Revolution Club.


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At first, I felt a little uncomfortable wearing the shirt because I felt I wasn’t knowledgeable enough about communism. I was soon approached by another member of the Rev Club, and asked why I decided to put on the shirt. I realized by that point that I had enough sense of what goes on in the world, and that I have probably been brainwashed and lied to about a lot of this, as well as the whole history of communism and was very curious about getting deeper into what the Rev Coms [revolutionary communists] had to say about all this. The Rev Club member encouraged me to learn more about the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian, the strategy he’s developed, and the real history of revolution and communism. I had read up some on Castro and Che, and had heard that in previous communist revolutions, everyone who disagreed would be killed. Talking to the Rev Club members made me realize that a lot of this is just lies and slander that I have to learn more about. As I talked more to the revolutionaries throughout the day, I began to realize that this club was about getting into who the real enemy is, the root problem; knowing not everyone will agree, and that many people won’t like this, but still encouraging all viewpoints to come forward and fight the power with us, as we struggle over big questions.

Later on that day, there was another rally and I noticed there was tension between the Revs and some other organizations. I really didn’t understand why, and I wanted to try to investigate this myself. I thought if I took off my Rev shirt, I would look more neutral and would better be able to hear out both sides. I thought maybe if we didn’t bring Rev into what we were saying, and just stuck to talking about police terror, that maybe there wouldn’t be such tension.

I ended up falling behind when the rally became a march, and took off into the city. Alone I thought, “Which side are you on?” This is the question we are putting before people in the fight against police terror with Rise Up October, but I thought about it in relation to the whole movement for Rev. These people were saying we could really change all this, by making revolution. I agreed with the fact that capitalism is the problem, and I realized so much of my thinking on this was being stifled before I met them. I was being influenced a lot by the mainstream media, and what other people think, and all this was pushing those thoughts down. Meeting the Rev Club unleashed a lot of my thinking on the real problem and solution.

That day I was encouraged by a couple different people to get into the Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West. I realized this must be a key piece to get into what the Rev Coms were about. I knew I’d still have questions, but I wanted to check it out, and see from there if I agreed or not. I thought to myself at first that I didn’t HAVE to get into Rev, I could just do work with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, but I got this feeling from the Revs that they had a real way out, and I wanted to learn more about that; I had this itch to dig deep.

I watched the Dialogue the next day. I was extremely impressed with the way Bob Avakian went at answering such major questions on the history of communist revolutions and religion, so unapologetically and boldly. I really appreciated that. I knew this person was serious, and that this whole movement was serious. Since then, I’ve been coming out more and more, rolling with the Revolution Club, organizing people for Rise Up October, digging into theory, especially on the question of the oppression of women and how patriarchy is so woven into this system of capitalism. The more I learn, the more conviction I have, and the more I’m not swayed by what people think. This is too important to only do or say things that allow people to stay in their comfort zones.

This is the first time I have encountered a shirt that meant more than the shirt. This shirt is about putting out there to the world that there is a root cause to all these horrors and injustices, and that we are about weeding that out. Wearing this shirt is like wearing your heart on your sleeve. It says that you are serious about changing all this, and I am!

Of course I still have a lot of questions! I really want to get more into the REAL history of communism, and why democracy under this system is not and will never be enough to free humanity. I want to understand why communism is the best possible system to solve all these problems. I want to get into the strategy for revolution, how we could have a real chance of winning, and what we could do with state power. All of this and more!

I will end with this...

A lot of people say, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I’m beginning to realize... there’s no way you can be the change you want to see without making a fucking REVOLUTION!



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