Revolution Online Edition, August 17, 2009
"The Revolutionaries Are Here!" Taking out "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have" to a high school and in a proletarian neighborhood
At the high school we went out there boldly in Revolution t-shirts, with a banner, agitating on the bullhorn, and plenty of copies of the call and statement from the RCP "The Revolution We Need ... The Leadership We Have." We got statements into the hands of the youth and a bunch of them signed up. That night we e-mailed the students who signed up, then came back the next day and got out more flyers and met more youth, getting into discussions with them mainly about the need for revolution.
All of us read the article by Andy Zee in issue 172 "Observations on Taking the Message Out in Harlem," and the next week we went back to fight to bring forward some of these youth, on the basis of honing in on the leadership we have. We learned that the controversy had begun to swirl in the school over communism, and whether or not it is desirable with communism being defined as "everybody's equal and gets paid the same." Also swirling seemed to be people taking positions on "the revolutionaries." One young woman didn't want a flyer and told us, "I'm not a revolutionary, I'm a Jehovah's Witness," while a young guy specifically said he's a supporter of us and what we're doing.
We made a half-page high school flyer with the picture of the dead Iraqi child on one side and the paragraph on what kind of future this system has for the youth in this country and that this system needs to be swept away, and on the back a picture of Bob Avakian's DVD Revolution Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About with the paragraph that it is up to us to shake this off and rise up, and the days when people aren't inspired and organized to stand up can and need to be gone. The flyer called on people to get with the revolutionaries and come to a nearby McDonalds to watch the DVD. This flyer was taken up by students who took stacks of them inside the school and passed them out in class.
We did DVD showings at the McDonalds two days in a row. The first day two rebellious students who hate the police and live near the McDonalds came and checked it out really quickly and took papers to get out in school. The second day a more serious 22-year-old who lives across the street from the school came with his 17-year-old friend who goes to the same high school but is not due back in class until September. They watched the"Imagine" track and the Q&A on smoking weed in socialism, and we talked about what kind of revolution this is, in particular a revolution of masses of people with communist goals and aims vs. individual acts of frustration. The older of the two very sincerely made the point to his younger friend that we have to be working for revolution now, we can't wait, because this is about the people of the world. He told us he really appreciates this leader and what we are doing. We told him we're recruiting into the revolutionary movement and he should join, and he said OK. He gave $2 for a bundle of 20 papers and then he and two friends came out with us the next day when we went into the community.
We have plans to follow up at the school with weekly DVD showings at the McDonalds, and we're aiming to meet some teachers who will invite us to come speak in classes, and we're talking to the contacts we've met.
In the neighborhood, we went to a shopping area where a lot of people go and did a march through the area with a small youthful crew. We held up the banner of the DVD, and we marched using the chant, "seize the day, seize the hour, the people need revolution, and political power." We ran into three white youth who had seen the paper at the Warped Tour and they marched with us until we stopped. They didn't want to run with us the whole day, but got the paper and gave their contact. Next time we should go at a slower pace so that we are able to talk to people who are checking us out and spend more time talking with the youth we run into about this statement and what we're doing and challenging them to take up bundles of the paper.
It was when we got into the neighborhood itself where people got a sense that "the revolutionaries are here." We had a large crew all in the Revolution t-shirts, and a sound truck playing one of us reading the statement. We talked to everybody out on the street and in the park and we went into the apartment complexes and knocked on doors. We talked to some youth who opened up and spoke bitterness about their encounters with the police, but we weren't really able to go over to a discussion about the kind of revolution we need and the leadership we have.
We told everybody we'd be doing a DVD showing in the park after dark and we did. We made a screen, hooked up the projector and played the DVD, loud enough that it could be heard down the block. A couple people decided to come over and watch some of it. This DVD showing contributed to the sense that the revolutionaries are here and not backing down, in the sense of fighting through on doing it and bringing people to it. The small crew that included the new youth also marched down a major commercial street in the area to where the theaters and restaurants are stopping at each corner to talk to people and get out the paper. It was loud and vibrant, with everyone holding up the paper, and stirred things up. The decorated truck followed the march and people kept coming up to it, wanting to know what this was about. Two people along the way had heard of Bob Avakian before and both basically said, "I think he has some good ideas," when asked what they thought of him. Seeing this march gave people a sense of seeing those ideas becoming a material force.
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