The National Revolution Tour Touches Down in Chicago



From a member of the Revolution Tour
July 16, 2019

In mid-July, something new hit the streets of Chicago. Revolutionaries inspired by the vision and taking up the science of Bob Avakian’s New Communism took to the road in early 2019. These volunteers left their jobs and families behind to spread this revolution, build networks of support, and forge concrete organization throughout the country. After a real beginning in Los Angeles, which culminated in a march through South Central, the launch of the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour Chicago leg came off of its headline-grabbing flag burnings on July 4 in Washington, DC and at the U.S.-Mexico border. News of the blood-soaked U.S. imperialist rag going up in flames in front of the White House, which happened at the same time as the fascist-in-chief Trump was having his Nazi rally, went out all over the world, and the righteous aspirations of millions for a world without America and everything it stands for was powerfully represented. In the fires that engulfed those flags, a new world could be glimpsed.

The Tour touched down in Chicago as a major jolt was breaking out around the Trump/Pence regime’s concentration camps for migrants and refugees, and the horrific overcrowded slave-ship conditions within them. The profound need for revolution is sharply posed around these continued atrocities, and the challenge before us is to accumulate thousands to influence the millions, putting this revolution, and the leadership of Bob Avakian and the New Synthesis of Communism he has brought forward, on the map.

Welcome Dinner for the Revolution Tour: Liveliness, Struggle, and the Sense of Something New…

On Friday night, July 12, the 15 or so members of the Tour were welcomed by upwards of 40 people at a dinner held in the Hyde Park neighborhood. The diverse crowd included activists from Refuse Fascism, family members of people killed by police, and new masses who had just met us that week. There was a sense among those who were already familiar with the revolution for some time but have not necessarily come out to everything we have been doing that something new and radically different from our past work is concentrated in this Tour. There was a real anticipation and curiosity that interpenetrated with the overall mood of liveliness and enthusiasm. People local to Chicago in and around the Revolution Club were encouraged to step further into this historic process that the Tour is working to unleash and be part of making this real this summer.

Many people cooked dishes and several restaurants donated food. Attendees contributed funds to the Revolution Tour, including by donating for photos of the July 4th action autographed by the notorious flag burner Joey Johnson.

At the same time as our welcome dinner, the local Refuse Fascism chapter was leading an important protest as part of actions happening worldwide. A few members of the Tour went to unite with this struggle, and Joey Johnson spoke on behalf of the Tour, including by recounting how he and others burned the flag on July 4th. When a second wave of attendees came to the dinner off of this protest, they brought another round of urgency and interest in the Tour's mission.

The Revolution Steps into the Resistance Against Trump's Concentration Camps

On Saturday, July 13, there was another rally against Trump's concentration camps, this one with a more mass character that we aimed to impact on a revolutionary basis. We united with people's deep outrage and the growing militancy among a section of people, and we struggled against the notions promoted from the stage that we could rely on the Democrats and other #BEB. We challenged people to lift their sights and step into the revolution, and fought for everyone to recognize the urgency of driving out the Trump/Pence regime because it is fascist. A big focus of ours was to organize new people to come the next day to see the filmed speech, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, by Bob Avakian, thereby meeting the leader of the revolution and gaining crucial understanding of how humanity can get free.

We also connected new people to our social media. We waged sharp struggle around the questions of reform or revolution, the role of leadership, and other questions sparked by the 5-2-6 broadsheet. We marched in formation, chanting, “Fuck your borders! Humanity first!” One member of the Tour reported, “There were some people on the sidelines whose faces lit up, raising their middle fingers and joining was almost as if it had never crossed them to say 'Fuck Your Borders' & when they did; I wish I could describe the look on people's faces, it was like a mix of joy, surprise and freedom.” One young woman, who had written a song indicting Donald Trump, took to our mic and injected some creative energy into the contingent, marching with us and taking a “BA Speaks – Revolution, Nothing Less!” T-shirt. Drawing out the more radical minded, we represented an alternate pole of authority and attraction.

Getting into BA at the Revolution Organizing Center

On Sunday, July 14, members of the Tour, Revolution Club, broader supporters, and new people came together to watch and discuss the full speech from Bob Avakian, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. After the speech, one of the Tour leaders led a discussion by posing the two parts of the title as questions: What did you learn about these things from this film? This unleashed a very rich discussion in which people’s questions and concerns were collectively wrangled with, including what is meant by “reform” and “revolution.” One member of the local Revolution Club did a sharp and substantive polemic about how, under this system, even the best-intentioned reforms will just lead “back to square one” and you'll be starting over, and over, and over again unless you overthrow the whole system. He gave examples from around the world and throughout history where people had righteously risen up, only to see their struggles drowned in blood and the oppression continue. In this light, he pointed to the tremendous significance of the science and strategy that BA had just broken down in the film.

Another Club member remarked that the first time he saw this film, BA “totally shredded apart” any notion he had left that this system can be reformed. He emphasized that BA fearlessly makes the case with evidence that the system cannot be reformed, and argued that we should challenge anyone who disagrees to provide their evidence to back up their argument. Others, including brand-new people, threw in their thoughts on how to spread this revolution further on the basis of what BA lays out in the speech, showing just a glimpse of what this sort of engagement with this film and this leader can unleash. We’ve also learned from the first leg of the Tour the importance of showing both parts of the film together, and that, as a recent article on points out, “People linking up with BA is the most dynamic factor in bringing forward revolutionary forces and enabling masses of people to break with oppressive and unscientific modes of thought and actually work to consciously transform society in a revolutionary direction. BA is the greatest strength that the masses of people have.”

Throughout this all, we were beginning to get our feet wet out in the neighborhoods – sending teams out on the street to agitate and spread the revolution, get a sense of the city, and begin drawing some people forward through street rallies and provocations.

While we still have much more to accomplish here in Chicago, the first few days have been incredibly rich. As we finish this first dispatch, we have just announced big plans for the weekend of July 27th and 28th. Stay tuned here at and @tuneintorevcom.

Watch BA’s whole speech, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

Watch clips from speech HERE


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