Comrade Will Reese—A Celebration and Commemoration, May 14, 2016

Message from Bob Avakian to Conclude Commemoration of Will Reese

May 23, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


[Andy Zee speaking] Thank you Carl.

I just want to turn your attention to the program you received and on the back cover it says that donations in memory of Will Reese can be made to The Bob Avakian Institute or Revolution Books. These are the two things that Will believed deeply in as you’ve heard tonight.

I have been asked to, and it’s my honor, to convey that Bob Avakian, the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has sent his heartfelt condolences to Will’s family, to his friends, and to his comrades. And he has sent this flower arrangement expressing these sentiments.

And BA appreciated and wanted to underscore the letter that he learned that Will was working on just before he died, which Carl also spoke of, calling on many new people to step up, to step forward, and step into the revolution. The letter went on with Will urging all of you who are already involved in different ways with the great cause of the emancipation of humanity, to deepen your commitment, deepen your understanding, and make even greater contributions to the revolution. And this is something Will consistently fought to do.

And in the context of this message, the leadership of the RCP has decided that Will Reese/Bobby Hill’s name will be entered into a special roster of remembrance and honor that was begun in 2009, with the designation “Perseverance, and Inspiration.” This designation is the title of the final chapter of Bob Avakian’s memoir, From Ike to Mao And Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist. So we will inscribe Will’s name in that roster.

I want to conclude the formal part of this program by reading from the end of Bob Avakian’s memoir. But before I read, I want to invite up Sophia Loren Coffee. Sophia is known in these streets of Harlem and many of the people you’ve met tonight are wearing Sophia’s earrings. When I finish reading, Sophia is going to sing “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free” by the great Nina Simone.

So Avakian writes at the end of his memoir:

When I look at all this, I think again of my friend who decided to dedicate his life to ending cancer—and of the even greater need to put an end to the system of capitalism-imperialism and all the suffering and oppression this system embodies and enforces throughout the world. You see that there isn’t anything more important that your life could be about, and whatever you end up contributing during the course of your lifetime is the most important and the most uplifting thing that you could possibly do. And yes, there are moments of great disappointment, but also moments of great joy as part of this. There is the joy that comes from seeing the ways in which people break free of constraints and rise up and begin to see the world as it really is and take up more consciously the struggle to change it. There is the joy of knowing that you are part of this whole process and contributing what you can to it. There is the joy of the camaraderie of being together with others in this struggle and knowing that it is something worthwhile, that it is not something petty and narrow that you are involved in but something uplifting. There is the joy of looking to the future and envisioning the goal that you are struggling for and seeing people come to even a beginning understanding of what that could mean, not just for themselves but for society, for humanity as a whole.


A Life Lived for Revolution:
Comrade Will Reese—
A Celebration and Commemoration



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