Revolution Club Chicago Sidewalk Party
A glimpse of a newly developing movement for revolution

| Revolution Newspaper |


Saturday. Late summer. Chicago. There has been death after death, murder by police, shootings among the people, a LOT of pain. There has been resistance and striving for a way out of this mess. On Saturday, August 25, a whole other, beautiful thing began blossoming—right out on the sidewalk, in the middle of South Shore, a beginning of something new.

At the Revolution Club Organizing Center, an all-day benefit party brought a feeling out on the street that was like a glimpse and a taste of what a mass revolutionary movement feels like. And this was brought together and taken to a higher level by a powerful program in the middle of the day. There was an incredibly attractive scene that reverberated out through the neighborhood all day. It was a scene characterized by new people stepping up for revolution and a sense that there is a growing force here representing and fighting for a radically better world, including right in that neighborhood.

August 25 outside the Revolution Club Organizing Center, Chicago.

People newly in the revolution and some just beginning to find out about it, courageous revolutionary volunteers who have spent the last year in Chicago fighting to bring forward a revolutionary pole and force here, revolutionary communists who have dedicated their lives to making revolution, and people passing through checking it all out—all eating and listening to music together, talking and dancing, a feeling of camaraderie and joy and love, together with the seriousness of working for an actual revolution. You got the feel of people coming together and fighting together for a new and better world, and a movement widely drawing and inviting people in, with leadership and a growing organized force at the core.

Early on in the day, some newer revolutionaries who have some history in the streets went down the street with flyers to bring more people over to the party. A bit later they returned with some people. They had run into people they know, people who used to know them in a different way, living a different life, now seeing them in the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts that are increasingly becoming associated with a force that is fighting back, representing a liberating morality, and seriously working and organizing for an actual revolution.

In front of the center, as the grill and the music were going, people pulled up chairs and got into some deep and serious discussions about what people are up against and how to go at this, what kind of revolution we need and how to go about that in a way that can change things now. One of these was the kind of discussion driven by the pain of loss and frustration with the way things are, but a serious discussion that kept going deeper, with the people in it working together on the problem of how to get people out of going at each other and into making revolution—a revolution that is real and going somewhere.

Little kids played inside and outside of the kids’ room where volunteers kept an eye on them; a sign on the window thanked the local businesses that donated for the benefit party; and a banner on the corner said, “This system can’t be reformed, it must be OVERTHROWN!” Pictures of people killed by police were on display. Inside the center, people came to see the pictures of building the movement for revolution from all over the country that filled one of the walls: from people in South Shore wearing REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirts while protesting the police, to the force for revolution represented by the Revolution Club contingent in DC recently opposing the white supremacists, to group discussions of the strategy for revolution, to our comrades in Los Angeles standing on the American flag.

In the middle of the day, all of this was brought together inside the center for a brief, but incredibly powerful, program featuring two ceremonies—a Remembrance and Rededication ceremony followed by a Revolution Club induction ceremony. The theme of the program was that there are two things Chicago is known for and something else it needs to be known for. It is known for unrelenting murder by police and heart-grinding violence among the masses. It needs to be known for people, especially those subjected to and caught in all this, getting organized for revolution to overthrow the system that is responsible for all this heartbreak and terror.

The program began with a clip of Bob Avakian, including him saying, “No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that.” (BAsics 1:13)

A number of people killed by police were recognized and remembered: Justus Howell, Darius Pinex, Harith “Snoop” Augustus, Aquoness “Quono” Cathery, Maurice Granton Jr., Steve Rosenthal, Charles Macklin. And then, some of the people in the room were called on to come up and talk about their loved ones killed in the violence among the people. Many people in the room had lost loved ones. Three people spoke, including two who are newly stepping into the revolution and have very recently lost relatives and are still reeling from the weight of it. Their pain was felt by everyone in the room as they remembered their loved ones and expressed their aspirations to see an end to this, and it had deep meaning when some talked about how they are getting with this revolution to do that. Joe Veale spoke about the need and the potential for people who are caught up in all this madness of killing each other to get with this revolution, and the leadership we have in Bob Avakian.

The MC came back up and returned to the quote from Bob Avakian about no more generations of our youth. He said all of these people are all our youth, and went on to say that the children in Yemen, the immigrant children, the children all over the world are also our youth and we are making this revolution to emancipate all of humanity. He played two videos to bring this alive for people, and many were very moved by seeing the video from Yemen of the children laughing and playing who were then slaughtered by a U.S. bomb.

In the second part of the program was a different ceremony, this one to recognize and honor people who have taken the important step of joining the Revolution Club. Three people received their Revolution Club member patches and spoke about what it means to them to take this step. They expressed a serious desire for revolution and a love for their comrades they are joining together with to do this. And there was an explicit call and challenge put to everyone there to begin the step of becoming a Revolution Club member.

After the program, some people stayed inside talking while others spilled back onto the sidewalk for more food and music, enjoying each other’s company, dancing and talking. One woman who had come with her young child heard and responded to the challenge at the end of the program. She has only just begun to learn about the revolution, but wanted seriously to know more and what was involved in becoming a Revolution Club member. She watched some Bob Avakian clips on the spot and then sat and talked deeply with someone from the Revolution Club. The party was transformative for her, but not just her—a lot of people there went through changes in one day on different levels.

At one point, lots of people were dancing to a playlist of music that a group of people preparing for the party had put together after discussing the Points of Attention for the Revolution. The whole scene gave life to those points—men and women of different backgrounds and sexual orientation, treating each other as friends and comrades, music that was lively and not degrading, including some in Spanish, and people talking about the lyrics and culture.

As the day turned to night and everybody, including passersby, started singing together to Prince, people were slow to peel off to head home. You had a sense there was something people were part of that they didn’t really want to end. And really, there is something people are now part of that is really just beginning.

August 25, at the sidewalk party outside the Revolution Club Organizing Center



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