Revolution Club Rallies on Chicago South Side:


May 22, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


On May 20, on a late afternoon on the south side of Chicago, over a dozen Revolution Club members marched in formation—in tight formation. This set the tone for the next hour—an hour of speeches and culture when the sights and sounds of revolution would be what was happening on a busy, and contested, corner in South Shore.

By the time the hour was up, approximately 40 people were listening intently, and still others lined the sidewalks across the street—not “officially” part of it, but staying where they were and taking in what was being said... and what was being modeled on that street. Families of the victims of police murder... activists in the struggle against the oppression of Black people... a prominent well as everyday people from around the way all turned out to listen and to show support.

What they heard was a challenge—a challenge to how all too many young people are living right now... and a challenge to get into the revolution and live differently. Emcees from the stage laid out the Points of Attention of the Revolution Club and read the statement that called on people to put aside beefs to hear the message of the day. Joey Johnson spoke powerfully on what the families of the victims of police murder had endured and how they had fought back, calling out the names of some of those killed.

Joe Veale stopped people in their tracks with a deep personal story on the need to break with revenge and get with revolution. You could hear a pin drop at that busy intersection. Revenge is a huge question among the people in Chicago, because among the oppressed it seems that almost everyone has lost someone to the violence among the people and the code is that “you must retaliate.” One person testified afterward how important it was to hear Joe speak to that, that it helped him to deal with something right then in his own life. Then a Revolution Club member spoke about what it means to wear the Revolution tee-shirt—the politics and morality you are representing when you do—and challenged people to take it up... and by the end of the day there were new people in that shirt. The noted Chicago artist Maggie Brown read and sang the moving and insightful poem “Children of Children” by her late father, Oscar Brown Jr.

Carl Dix then took the stage, speaking for the Revolutionary Communist Party. Carl opened by laying out the painful reality of Chicago: summer is coming, but instead of looking forward to a time where kids can be playing, parents dread it, for fear their children will be shot—and they hold them inside.

“It is heartbreaking,” he said, “the way that so many of our young people are caught up in killing each other.” Then he made a vow: “This has got to stop and the revolution declares that it’s gonna stop it this summer by giving our young people something that is worth living for and fighting for.”

He went into why people get into the mentality of retaliation and he laid out what people need to get out of it. He talked about what the revolution would do to wipe out the oppression of today, and how it would be fought. And he talked about the leadership of Bob Avakian—the work he has done, the leadership he has provided, for a whole new stage of communist revolution.

Dix spoke further to what people raise in response to the challenge of revolution.

“Some of y’all say to us these people here ain’t gonna do nothing. They too far gone. Well, Bob Avakian has looked at that question and here is what he has to say about it: He says: ‘Those the system has cast off, those it has treated as less than human, can be the backbone and driving force of a fight not only to end their own oppression, but to finally end all oppression and emancipate all of humanity.’ He’s talking about you, and he’s talking about you, and people like you all across Chicago, people like you all across the country, people who have been caught up in the violence out here, caught up in dealing drugs, who have been living in communities that are surrounded by all of this. You can get out of that, you can get out of the system’s way of thinking that has you stuck in that. You can become part of the backbone of a revolution that is emancipating all of humanity.... the Party is here to train you, to guide you and get you ready to do that, make it possible for you to be part of and to play your role in that revolution.”

Throughout the speech, the Club posted up strong and faced the audience, sending a message that this was their message. Friend, foe and undecided all took note.

One of the emcees sent people off with her own powerful message: “Before everybody splits up, there’s something extremely important to what Carl was talking about, actually changing what this summer is about. And what this summer is to most people’s minds out here. A summer where he spoke of people thinking it would be a bloodbath, carnage, and what we are trying to do, actually making this a summer of emancipation for all of humanity. Now everyone needs to think here if they can not only join but support the revolution. To spread word of it, to let people know what you heard today. To go to the website that’s on the bottom of all these tee-shirts, To follow what is happening, to understand all of the dynamics, the changes in this crazy fascist-led system, to learn and get into Bob Avakian. And most of all, find out how to join the Revolution Club and be a part, and begin the process of joining. This can be the first day of the rest of your lives. And you can make it the first day of other people’s lives too by funding this revolution because people dropped everything to come to the front lines here in Chicago to really make this happen, and this situation where everybody knows the city but not for anything good. So step with us to get into the New Communism.”

That night, over two dozen people—people who came to the rally and some who had got there late and missed it—crowded into the organizing center, watching videos of Bob Avakian, buying and wearing their new Revolution—Nothing Less! T-shirts, and wrangling into the night.

This was a beginning. A step, with a lot that remains to be figured out and solved and transformed, and far from the leap that even in the immediate period urgently needs to be and can be made. But it is a step—an important one—toward making that leap.




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