Introducing Masses to BA—Some Experience from Chicago



from a member of the National Revolution Tour

In the week leading up to the major film screening in Chicago, we took tablets and speakers to show the trailer to people we were meeting on our outings. On the South Side, there was a struggle to bring people forward and engage with us. In our agitation we would announce we are showing the trailer for people to watch. Oftentimes people had questions for us and get caught up in T.I.N.A. (the myth that “There Is No Alternative”), but the trailer for the filmed speech from Bob Avakian (BA), Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, helped us to both introduce the leadership of BA and raise people’s sights on the possibility for an actual revolution.

Many who watched the trailer were very engaged and watched the whole trailer. They were inspired by BA’s words and wanted to know more about him. The trailer puts revolution “straight up” and poses the 2 Choices. Consequently, people would speak to the question of revolution and what BA is saying in the trailer. In some instances, people who either didn’t think revolution was possible or thought they knew everything about that were forced to engage a little deeper and were more open to dialogue on how we can do it after they watched the trailer. Their response was based on why we need an actual revolution and brought up some thoughts on how exactly we were going to do that. The trailer stimulated the process of getting into these questions with people and sharply put forth what we are actually talking about when we say revolution, so people started from there as opposed to somewhere else.

Another example of introducing BA happened outside of the organizing center. There was a young Black male who is frustrated by the conditions Black people are in. He began talking about his solution to deal with police harassment and murder and went in the direction of revenge. He said, “Protest doesn’t do anything. People are tired of talk, they want action.” A friend of his then stopped to listen and began agreeing with him saying people need to arm themselves and began talking about the Black Panthers. The first man said that once the media covers a group of serious individuals who know their rights and are going to defend themselves, then the police will know not to fuck with them because they will be scared. One comrade asked him, “And what do you think will happen if people rise up in that way? Will they just be allowed to do that?” She then pulled out the clip on BA throughout the years and when the second man saw BA, he said, “He’s white!? Nah!” and was walking away when his friend told him, “Look, that’s not right, you have to listen to what he is saying.” So they both watched the clip and were making comments in agreement to what BA is saying in the clip. One of them liked when BA says, “You have to emancipate yourself.” The first man pulled out his phone and searched up the YouTube page and took HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, saying he wanted to watch more and read and come discuss it with the Revolution Club. They left abruptly after that but I think it is worth noting that he did not want to take our materials at first and had some misconceptions about what the club is about. There was a lot of struggle to even get him to listen to what we were saying at first because he was so upset about the police and also didn’t know we had an actual strategy and leadership. I think the BA clip helped in cutting through some of the BS, and also the tendency people have of dismissing what we are saying without even engaging in materials or what we are actually saying.

Trailer: Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

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