A Reader Shares Important Experience:

Cold Calling Churches to Set Up BA Film Showings

July 9, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

Revcom.us has continued to emphasize the difference it makes for many more people to see and engage Bob Avakian’s latest filmed talk, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible, especially at this very MOMENT when millions are being jolted awake.

I’ve done some cold calls to churches and want to share my experience to help propel forward an enthusiastic and radically simple movement around the country (and world) for this film to be out into society. It is an urgent intervention to transform the political terrain that BA provides at this potentially decisive juncture for humanity. Just about everyone can do cold calls to set up screenings by utilizing all the tools provided on revcom.us and RefuseFascism.org and by wielding the trailer and clips from the film itself.

The main ingredient is to firmly grasp what we have in this film, and in BA having done this—and why it matters for people to see it. It takes breaking with the notion that you need a pre-existing condition to do this—i.e., that you have to already know the people/entity you are approaching.

One church I cold called off of knowing their long reputation fighting against social injustices (those which are concentrated in the 5 Stops), confirmed by browsing their website. They had been attacked by Trumpster Nazis and had refused to back down. The staffer on the phone suggested I attend their Sunday service and speak with the minister about it. The minister had me get in front of the congregation and read what was on the palm card at the end of their service. A couple of their members immediately volunteered. Because it was a church member-sponsored event, it was a collaborative effort vs. one where they just loaned their space. We collectively shared responsibility to promote/organize via social media, do outreach at Sunday service, do logistics, etc.

Another church screening came off cold calling a list of 10 Unitarian Universalist churches in the area, as UUs are known for inclusivity. They responded by expressing skepticism but wanted their space to allow for this type of topic and speaker. Some churches I called raised the problem of their 501c3 nonprofit status, but the fact that the above churches, and other churches nationwide, have hosted film screenings argues against this reasoning. One of the churches observed that it is the regime itself that is making pulpits talk about politicians (e.g., Trump, Pence, Roy Moore). But the bigger question is the title and content of BA’s filmed talk—the actual stakes for humanity!

At both the above church screenings, there was a lot of debate over whether voting and the Democrats are the solution, even as some were intrigued about this revolution and BA. This is a good thing, because it means we are reaching broadly—beyond the breakwaters and the choir (pun intended). A key lesson is to make the case for those open to hosting screenings to watch the film themselves beforehand as it helps them to consciously fight for its importance, without making it an absolutist precondition to working together to screen it (i.e., some people want to see it with others at its screening). Others may want to host house parties among their friends and colleagues. All should pass the hat for Refuse Fascism.

Unity-struggle-unity is a living revolutionary process, and everyone can learn to listen and argue things out by following the way key questions are joined by BA and to wield his method and approach as you do this (and rewatch the film yourself). Don’t be surprised by, but be prepared for, lots of controversy after people watch the film. It’s a good problem to have. BA as well as this talk are contended questions! Take the cue from the film’s content when challenging people’s preconceived notions. People are prone to “blue wave” sleeping pills and look for easier answers, unaware of seeing the world through their Great Tautological Fallacy (GTF) blinders if left unchallenged. Some may foolishly say, “I’ve heard all this before,” to which we should ask, “Really? Where? When?” And, “Where do you stand on the GTF?” and on “order or justice?” The challenge is to have this filmed talk by BA reach such societal impact, where many people in all walks of life struggle over its content and learn about BA on their own as they are thinking and acting in big and small ways.

From an earlier article at revcom: Some people will just want to digest it and think it over. They may or may not spread it through social media or talk to friends about it... but whatever they do or don’t do immediately, it’ll be circulating in their minds as things continue to develop. Don’t underestimate the importance of that. Others are going to want to get active in Refuse Fascism—make sure that they have a way to do that. Try to find a way to stay in touch, even with those who are ‘too busy’ right now to get active.”


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