“Bringing It Home”

Thoughts on Work Among the People in the Home Stretch of #RiseUpOctober

October 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Letter from a reader to other regular readers of revcom.us about building for Rise Up October:

As we move into the home stretch for #RiseUpOctober, we need an approach and corresponding plans to “bring it home”—to mobilize all positive factors with the perspective and goal of actually manifesting thousands on October 22 and 23, and especially tens of thousands on the 24th. Over the last couple of weeks, we have been out in the neighborhoods, at transit hubs, projects and commercial strips, in churches, schools and community organizations—and met a lot of people who have been moved by the agitation, and in different ways and at different levels see #RiseUpOctober as the means and vehicle to take a leap in the political battle to stop police terror, posing to society at large the moral and political challenge, Which Side Are You On? In the next week, all this has to be brought home through a multifaceted approach so that tens of thousands actually do manifest for #RiseUpOctober.

This will require (a) even sharper agitation, comprehending the outrage of the recently released prosecution reports stating the murder of Tamir Rice in Cleveland was “reasonable,” (b) even sharper challenges for people to throw in, organize, and manifest for #RiseUpOctober, based on the stakes of this moment and the political battle over whether it is legitimate for police to keep killing our youth, and (c) work involving masses in ever growing numbers to fundraise and meet the goals of the Indiegogo campaign and to give people a sense of momentum and social movement, to secure commitments of organized cores and facilitate actual organization. This should include ways and means of transportation, so that people demonstrate—overcoming hesitation and doubts, and the obstacles posed by conditions of life—and make this the powerful manifestation it needs to be.

Along with the three points on “Why There Must Be a Truly MASSIVE Outpouring Against Police Murder on October 24 and Why You Are Needed,” here are some brief thoughts on the discrete, but interrelated, aspects of work that I think will be required during this home stretch, all of which should include fundraising as part of it, through donations on the street and online contributions in the hundreds and thousands.

Stolen lives poster
Poster PDF (for print) color | black & white       JPG (full size, for web)

* Saturation and Visual Presence, a factor in the compulsion to “get on the bus” for #RiseUpOctober. In addition to the palm cards, there should be a concerted focus on the Stolen Lives posters and stickers for #RiseUpOctober (available from the materials tab in the Rise Up October page at revcom.us). Along with a vibrant social media campaign, this gives a sense of social movement, that “it’s happening,” and people are reminded of and feel compelled to politically act in relation to the genocidal proportions of what’s on the Stolen Lives poster. We have contact information for hundreds in certain neighborhoods, and with a systematic plan covering blocks and quadrants, masses can be marshaled to saturate the barber shops and storefronts, and the project and church lobbies with the Stolen Lives poster—making for an unmistakable presence through the week. We should get out hundreds of thousands of stickers and encourage people, especially youth and high school students, to wear them through the week, strengthening their commitments to be there on October 22-24.

* Institutions, Community Groups, and an Approach of Two Maximizings.* In the last week, there should be a priority to get with, activate, and organize institutions, community groups, and social networks, all of which are disproportionate in their influence and numbers. These are also cohered groups of people, and are more likely to manifest in groups and as contingents if organized. Along with churches and schools, these should include the numerous social work and service groups in the neighborhoods of the oppressed, such as those focused on addiction and substance abuse, on youth empowerment, on health and employment assistance. There has proven to be great receptivity among certain sections of social workers, given their genuine sympathies and desires to help those less fortunate and their familiarity with the conditions of life among the oppressed. As far as possible, we should have a “two maximizings” approach of unleashing and leading the positive dynamic between those taking up #RiseUpOctober among those at the bottom of society who catch the hardest hell, and those in the middle strata, such as students, social workers, teachers, and artists—strengthening the resolve among all sections of society in the process. This includes concrete plans for this Sunday (October 18) at the churches, meeting with the pastors beforehand so that they announce it in their sermons, even preach on these themes, and organize their congregations; for Columbia students to “cross the tracks” and build for this in the projects and neighborhood of Harlem; and for masses in the Bronx to attend the teach-in at the local community college this week—and maximizing off all this.

to STOP Police Terror

October 24, 2015 in New York City

Breaking news, latest outrages here

Everything you need to get involved here

Download organizing materials here

* The Entirety of #RiseUpOctober, the Three Days is an enormously positive factor and provides many channels for masses of people to be part of #RiseUpOctober, including being at the reading of the Stolen Lives names on October 22, which will feature the families of those killed by the police joined by voices of conscience, and either participating in or bearing witness to the nonviolent direct action to shut down Rikers on October 23. The entirety of the three days (see yellow box at “550 Pack Columbia University Auditorium for Rise Up October - A Challenge to Columbia University Students and the World”) should be presented in a compelling way to masses of people, and participation on the 22nd or 23rd provides a lot of positive compulsion towards the culmination with the mass demonstration on the 24th. As a concrete example, parents and family members of those imprisoned in the hellhole called Rikers should be encouraged to provide testimony on what goes on inside Rikers, and why it needs to be shut down.

* Actual Organization includes many forms, including transportation for people to get to Washington Square Park on the 24th, convergence spots for people to gather and travel together, and team captains with responsibility for different groups from project buildings, social networks, schools, and churches. This has proven to be a critical factor, even if most of the masses come on their own as individuals. This need for organization, for finding and determining the appropriate forms, and the actual responsibility for it, should be put to masses of people, especially key individuals, because #RiseUpOctober “can only happen on the scale and scope that is absolutely necessary if many, many people throw in on this, now—people who have been fighting this, as well as people who are just now coming to this fight.”

* Ideological Work with Organizational Cores. In the course of this, masses have and will have lots of questions; many will come from those they are working with, ranging from “what good will a protest do, they keep killing our youth” and “what about violence among the people” to “what will it take to ultimately stop this,” “is a revolution really possible,” and other big questions on the role of the U.S., the history and legacy of Black people in this country, nationalism and communism, human nature and the nature of this system. We should use every opportunity to drive people to revcom.us and Revolution newspaper, where there are not only answers to these and other big questions, but also where the vision for a radically different world, the strategy to bring that world into being through communist revolution, and the leadership for this in Bob Avakian and the Party that he leads, the Revolutionary Communist Party, are made easily accessible. People need to know about and get to know BA, the most scientific and radical of thinkers and leaders. REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN is available online at revcom.us and is a good introduction, as is the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! and BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian.

* “Two maximizings” refers to doing revolutionary work among the basic masses, and revolutionary work among the middle strata, and their dialectical interrelation. For more see “The Strategic Approach to Revolution and Its Relation to Basic Questions of Epistemology and Method.” [back]



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