From the Revolution Club, LA

Fundraising, Building a Mass Movement, and Putting Revolution Straight Up to People



The National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour is on a mission to bring forward thousands across the country into the movement for revolution and put Bob Avakian and the new communism on the map. The first leg of the tour kicked off in Los Angeles in April 2019, and the tour is now in Chicago.

Fundraising is a key part of building a mass movement for revolution that goes beyond people giving a thumbs up to the idea of revolution and having that dissipate. When we heard the national call to raise $20,000 by August 1, we set a goal of raising $1,000 by raising $10 donations from 100 people. We have been reaching out to broader numbers of people, most who don't know anything about the National Tour or its work to change the whole world. So far, from our discussions with people, we've raised $830 from 34 people.

As we have been doing this, we have become much sharper with how we are putting the real concrete needs of the revolution to people, stepping from the truth concentrated in BAsics 3:1, “...We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit,” and joining struggle around THAT. Very importantly, we are putting the ask for money at the very beginning of our calls, and rolling up our sleeves to struggle ideologically. An important method in waging this struggle, especially with those who consider themselves “woke” or progressive, is challenging people to look at the 5 STOPS and make the argument how they see ending these things short of a revolution. We are also learning that not every donation is going to be a vigorous ideological struggle, some people want to donate immediately. The key is asking.

Some people really do appreciate being given the opportunity to contribute and be a part of the revolution. People have busy lives and schedules with constraints that make it very difficult to be a part of what the Revolution Club does on a day to day basis. Donating gives people a way to get some skin in the game and make a real contribution. It is a sacrifice, and some people have straight up thanked us for the opportunity. This is very different for us. We have been working to break from a model where people either run 24/7 with the Club or do something that feels very individual and cut off from the national picture. All this is connected to the next point:

We have focused on helping people see the national picture of the Tour and movement for revolution, finding the ways for those involved to see that they are a part of something bigger than themselves and the people they're talking to. Sometimes this means literally seeing each other on social media. Even how we formulated the fundraising goal was a part of bringing out this mass character.100 people donating $10 or more. When we called people, we asked them to be one of these hundred people. People tend to see their relationship to the revolution in a very individual and atomized way. Which is the same way they tend to see themselves in relationship to the rest of the world. People think about things in a different way when they are coming forward as part of a collective process, a mass movement, and asking people to be one of a hundred people is a part of breaking that down.

We have also been getting video statements and written statements from people about why they are contributing or why they are calling on other people to donate. How important is it that different voices of the movement be heard? Including some who are just stepping into the revolution. What impact could it have on someone on the whole other side of the country to hear someone just like them (or someone very different from them) making the case why this revolution is important? What we have found is that it has a really positive impact on people when they hear their statement has been spread on social media by other Revolution Clubs and that it has a real impact.

We also have been taking pictures of a money thermometer on our white board at the organizing center and sending it to people we are talking to. It seems this has an impact on people following through on their pledges. People want to make the thermometer go up! All of this is showing people that they are a part of something much larger and forging a sense that we are accomplishing a meaningful goal together. And raising funds for this National Tour is meaningful.

Another new advance was raising $168 using a bullhorn outside of a big George Clinton concert. We asked people to step into the revolution by donating, we talked about the 5 STOPS and the 2 choices, and challenged people to break out of the individualism, the bourgeois electoral bullshit, and the running away from the reality that nothing will change without tremendous sacrifice.

When you put the need for a contribution right up front, people also raise a lot of differences—not just about the funds, but raising a lot of the obstacles in their thinking to revolution. These are questions we want to be struggling over. We heard a lot of arguments that amounted to people just looking out for themselves—whether it be the daily struggle to survive, the argument we should just look out for “our people” (i.e., Black people, or American people), or the illusion that if we “keep our heads down, maybe the horrors won't visit me and those I most care about.” There's also big questions that come up about sacrifice. Both about giving money but then what the rulers make you pay when you stand up. Is it all worth it? A big part of the glue that holds together some of this different thinking is the false notion that there is no alternative to this system of capitalism/imperialism. But revolution is necessary and possible and there is a way that millions can work together now to bring a far better world into being. What could be more worth it than that?



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