Two Letters from the Tour in Orange County



From the Editors: Below are letters from two members of the National Get Organized for an Actual Revolution Tour sent while they were taking the Tour to Orange County. One chronicles some of their experience in Orange County, the other wrangles more broadly with some of the experience of the Tour. Both reflect on the overall process of bringing new people into the movement for revolution.

[1] Report from the Field: Taking the Revolution Tour to Orange County

Recently, the National Get Organized for an Actual Revolution Tour was invited to spend a few days with some revolutionaries down in Orange County, California. Orange County has for decades been known as a hotbed of fascist conservatism and this remains the case in many ways. But this has been also changing in recent years, including that there is a significant population of immigrants from Mexico and Central America as well as a significant number of young people who are yearning for something different.

The National Revolution Tour has been in Orange County for two days now. We have been to a community college and a nearby state university. Students have expressed interest in the 5 STOPS and the Points of Attention for the Revolution. Many have said they need to check out what the revolution is before making a commitment. We summed up that although it is important for people to do the work themselves in order for them to commit to anything, we ourselves should not be standing in the way of the masses stepping into a process of making revolution. Just listen to BA and how he talks. Pay attention to the method he is using, someone with a lot of heart for the masses of people and science, with a firm understanding and a wide embrace and learning. This is someone who doesn’t feel sorry for what people go through but sees their revolutionary potential to become emancipators of humanity. There is no formula to The New Communism. I don’t think you can just get it by expecting the science to just come to you. This is what it means to do the work. Yes, to study, but to apply that science from the abstract. Ardea Skybreak talks about the analogy of the horse and how if you are riding a horse and you pull the reins too sharply, the horse will buck and come to a stall; if you let go of the reins, the horse will just go whichever way. The horse is not an analogy of the people we are working with, but it’s an analogy of the process we need, and BA is a concentration and a model of what it means to lead the masses into a process of making revolution.

From this wrangling, we have identified a need for us to bring the masses what we HAVE and what we DON’T have as we go to people straight up with revolution and that anything less is bullshit. Taking on the bullshit can be an attractive pole that resets the terms, and we have been figuring out how to “disrupt the air” like walking into a dining hall, propping up the six Points of Attention on a table, and standing on a chair to read them aloud. After this, we organized two students, one young Latina who was an oceanography major and cared about the environment said she thought it took a lot of courage to stand up on chairs and to read them aloud, and another young Latina who believed the POAs were important and that it was good that we got up and did that.

These few days in Orange County have been intense in the sense that there is an extreme urgency in that, ultimately humanity and the planet do not have that much time and need revolution more than ever. The National Tour will be in LA for a few more weeks so it can set a foundation for this nationwide movement for revolution to accumulate and impact to the degree and rhythm it needs to in a beginning way as it cannot stay at any particular city indefinitely, and we have a gathering on Wednesday night at a local cafe for people to meet the National Tour. Some have said they are interested in coming, and someone we met at the Downtown Art Walk has just committed to coming and bringing friends from her weekly discussion group.

People’s commitment is not based on how much we can convince people to commit to joining the revolution or doing tasks for the revolution. Commitment is based on people’s understanding and aspirations and those aspirations can be awakened through exposure and struggle. We have discussed what actually stands in the way of people stepping into a process, and it is the modes of thinking that this Tour is going to work to hit at as we accumulate and organize the thousands needed for the revolution in the next year that can influence millions. The other reason is in the way we can stand in the way of the process by expecting everyone to agree with everything or to be won to everything, before they can step into the process. We need to do better at showing and introducing the leader of this revolution, Bob Avakian. A lot of people we meet are impressed and intrigued that there is a National Tour. They will ask where is it going, what is it doing, and they are easily won to following the Tour on social media. We’ve been getting a lot to follow us on Instagram, where we can send them a direct message.

We’ve wrangled a lot about putting the problems of the revolution to the masses of people, to bring them in to fulfill the needs of different particular problems we are confronting at any given time. Some of this was done in new ways in relation to the picnic last week in LA. It is not to have people merely feel included in the process so they will want to join “our movement,” but they actually become a part of the process by going to work on the problems of the revolution. Our collectivity is our strength, and we have relied on this collective process rooted in the science we have along with the guidance and conception of the Tour to make advances and to sum up our breakthroughs, our shortcomings, where we got sidetracked, and what we can identify as key in our approach without tailing everything that attracts the masses of people.

We are embarking on a historic journey and mission with this National Tour. Orange County is not another place we are doing work in, but many people in OC and LA and around the country do really care about the 5 STOPS, and our understanding has to be rooted in that material basis for revolution, that none of these “Stops” can be resolved under this system and that is a big weakness for this system, as we take on the approach needed of stepping up to people straight up about revolution and find the ways to include all kinds of people in the process of making revolution, solving problems big and small, toward emancipating all of humanity. This is still just the beginning.

[2] Involving the Masses in Solving the Problems of the Revolution—A Reflection from a Tour Member

I thought the work we did in the last week during the Points of Attention (POA) week was qualitatively different than what has come before. First off, I think we have actually stepped out much more consistently with the 5-2-6 message1—and people, based on what they understood this revolution to be about, and for, as concentrated in the POAs took up and participated in the process of making revolution. Different people spread the word about the POAs, engaged thoughtfully with the POAs, and challenged others to engage them.

People found different ways to be a part of working on the problems of the revolution. Some people made food for the picnic. Others were a part of getting supplies so that others who didn’t have cash could contribute something. One person volunteered to talk to rival gangs so that this picnic could happen without set-tripping. Hundreds met the revolution and dozens were a part of spreading this further.

I think it is important to note how this is unprecedented. We did new things in terms of carrying out work that from the beginning was involving people in the process of making revolution and never before have we so frankly popularized the contradictions, the problems, of making this revolution and worked with masses to solve them.

I think an example that is small, but still worth learning from, is the approach taken to working with masses around the banana pudding. Here is a real objective contradiction. The very reasons why we need a revolution—stand as obstacles to masses of people being a part of the revolution. Like a woman who is disabled and on a limited income who wants to contribute food but doesn’t have the finances to purchase the ingredients. So, we took those problems and put it to other people. We didn’t do this just by saying “help us make a banana pudding,” we did it by saying “there are two choices, live with all of what is concentrated in the 5 STOPS or make a revolution—we are making revolution—here’s what it’s all about, and here people are stepping into the movement for revolution—someone wants to make a banana pudding—but can’t—you should be a part of solving this problem.” Instead of approaching that contradiction as a nasty roadblock in our way we actually seized on it to involve even more people in the revolution.

Looking through the reports on, you can see all different sorts of people who were both challenged and inspired by the 5-2-6 message. Taking a look at the testimonials of what people said about the six POAs, you can see how much this speaks to people. On many different levels. You can also see how much the POAs challenge what people think. A revolution without revenge? Not for self? Without borders? And you can see people stepping out with these in a beginning way while still having differences—and while having differences still considering themselves part of this!

For example, there was a woman at the picnic who told me that she didn’t agree with communism and was more of a socialist herself—yet she considered herself a part of the revolution and thought the POAs should be upheld and spread. There are a lot of people just like that who have been part of the process. People are going through a process—and most people aren’t going to go from 0 to 60 MPH instantly. From what I have seen and read, it looks to me that there has been very substantial struggle over the two choices and an involving of people on the spot to be a part of the revolution while they learn more and struggle to get to the truth of things.

In opposition to this, I have felt strong pulls towards trying to join every difference and struggle through every wrong position before involving people in the revolution. Which both means demanding people to go 0 to 60 MPH in their thinking and actually reinforces the “us vs. them” divide—and is NOT the process that BA is fighting for.

We should be stepping to people straight up with revolution and struggling with them over the solid core—the 5-2-6 and the core message—AND involving them from the beginning in line with their aspirations and understanding (in relation to the solid core message). And thereby initiating a process where people can learn more as they take part in changing the world.

One thing that I got much more of an appreciation of the POAs as part of taking them out is just how much they concentrate what the revolution is all about—what it is for—and how much it concentrated key parts of the revolutionary strategy. In that way the POAs are “enough” to get started. They are a coherent whole, not just statements of morality divorced from the revolutionary process. I still think part of bringing alive the strategy for revolution is bringing out the importance of living by and fighting for the POAs. Struggling with the thinking of blocs of people, winning them to the core principles of the revolution, transforming their thinking to defy and repudiate the putrid values of this system. Like hating on women and gays and immigrants. American chauvinism and me first. Petty revenge and meaningless violence. Going against the grain when “what is popular” is flat wrong. Winning people to take these up and struggle with others is a key part of making revolution. As opposed to approaching these POAs as just an alternative ethic that we will apply off to the side of what is going on in reality. NO. These are to be actively fought for and striven for as part of making revolution NOW. And we are organizing people around these core principles because the road to this kind of world is revolution and communism (POA #1) and how we get there is an overthrow (POA #6) and building up the forces for revolution, based on these POAs, and changing the thinking of people, and building up the alternate authority of the revolution are all key parts of preparing for the time when we can go all out for power.


1. This refers to the 5 STOPS, the 2 Choices posed by Bob Avakian (“We have two choices: either, live with all this—and condemn future generations to the same, or worse, if they have a future at all—or, make revolution!”), and the 6 Points of Attention for the Revolution. See here. [back]

The Revolution Tour in Orange County

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