Two Days at the Chicago Revolution Club Organizing Center

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Editors’ note: while the Revolution Club has been right in the thick of the ongoing protests against the police murder of Harith Augustus, they have also continued to keep the organizing center open. The following correspondence is from someone who has been at the center.

Saturday, July 14, Chicago Pigs gun down another Black brother, known by many as Snoop. Snoop was murdered three blocks from the center and he worked at a barber shop three buildings down from the center.

The Revolution Club had, earlier in the day, been at that intersection organizing and recruiting people into the revolution. As the club was en route to another event, we immediately turned around and headed to the scene, where the masses had already gathered in anger of the murder.

Saturday, Day 1—In front of the organizing center, we put out an A-frame with HWCW (HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution) on one side and the poster for Bob Avakian’s talk (THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible) on the other, as well as a poster of Pigs Kill Again! How Many More Lives Will Be Taken By This System? We Need REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! with the pictures of Korryn Gaines and Paul O’Neal on it, two young people killed by police within days of each other in 2016. Paul O'Neal was murdered just blocks away from where Snoop was killed. The role of the police poster (BAsics 1:24) was posted on a window and a table with a stack of HOW WE CAN WIN pamphlets.

The murder of Snoop was on everyone’s lips. You could hear people passing by talking about having just got a haircut by him, and having been his customer. People spoke in outrage. Youth who normally hang outside the center, expressed outrage and being tired of it all and were open to discussion, even with disagreement of the solution. One male youth was so infuriated, he was putting forward revenge as the solution. A challenge was put forward about the need to overthrow the system but he was clearly too enraged for an ideological struggle...right then. This was the mood of people—a visceral anger!

As the protest erupted, most of the club went out to join; a few of us stayed back to keep organizing. Passersby expressed anger, despair, disbelief, and a sense of “this has to stop.” A couple who weren’t aware of the center even though they had lived in the area for years were attracted by the signs outside. They were welcomed inside and a discussion about HWCW ensued. Conversation with the masses was mostly outside due to the hot weather and people didn’t want to just sit down and talk. It was a different mood where the masses had enough. People were in and out of the protest.

Day 2

From the time the office opened until the time it closed, some six hours later into the night, the organizing center was buzzing with activity. People stopping by were directed to join the Revolution Club at the corner where they were organizing people into the revolution. A couple of people stayed back to watch the talk by Bob Avakian, THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO ! In The Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible, which had been scheduled earlier in the month. It was decided that it was important to continue with the showing while we also had a team out in the neighborhood, and people we had met the day before joined us.

People would stop by to get Revolution Nothing Less! T-shirts and learn more about the revolution. Throughout the day, people stopping by the center were introduced to the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, Bob Avakian by using clips from his speeches as well as BAsics, and HOW WE CAN WIN. There was no mistake that we ARE organizing for an actual revolution and have a strategy, plan and leadership and are recruiting them to do THAT.

One of the highlights was when the protest marched by the center. The march had about 100 people, with the Revolution Club in the mix. As the march passed by, a Revolution Club member used the bullhorn to introduce the people to the organizing center—this is where you come to learn more about the movement for an actual revolution and Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution. A group of Revolution Club members along with Joe Veale, a leader of the revolution, stood outside the center and greeted the march with a huge poster of (Home of the thief...) and HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution. The crowd cheered, raising their fists, and the Revolution Club led the chant, Who are we? Revolution Club.

After the demonstration, the Revolution Club organized a few people from the march and walked to the center. A few others stopped by and joined the informal discussion. People spoke to why they participated in the march. One older woman said she no longer could stay at home and had to come out. Two young women, one age 13, spoke about their own experience being harassed by the pigs. All expressed anger and wanted to know how to end it.

The clip—the role of the youth—from the talk by Bob Avakian, REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, was shown. People would shake their heads in agreement. People began thinking of who they can bring forward into the revolution, and one person put forward doing a barbecue to raise funds. All of them took HOW WE CAN WIN pamphlets and were to come to the center the next day to join the march, which they did. A woman next door to the center played a key role in organizing people. She put on the Revolution— Nothing Less! T-shirt day one and brought forward others to the center to get their own T-shirt. She didn’t bring them to get a “free” T-shirt. She mentioned that they had to make a donation for the shirts. Donations ranged from $3-$7 for T-shirts. She also got one for her toddler son and teenage daughter. This is an example where people can change overnight and can begin organizing right away with limited understanding of revolution.

The center has been an actual organizing center. The Revolution Club was known in the neighborhood, but this time it has a different vibe. There is a sense—the potential—of the Revolution Club becoming the authority that people look at. People that never stepped inside the center are now interested in learning more, others who never knew about the center are stopping by. People just curious about the Revolution Club also stop by. The center has been open late into the night with the first day closing at 10 pm because people continued to stop by. It has also been beautiful seeing people with Revolution–Nothing Less! T-shirts in the midst of the neighborhood casually wearing it, not just at the protest. Stay tuned for more developments.

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