Revolution #204, June 20, 2010
Spreading the Message and Call: "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have"—Breaking Through on Saturation
At the conferences on the campaign, "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have," May 29 and 30, plans were announced to distribute one million copies nationwide of the RCP's Message and Call over the summer. And to kick this off a goal was set to get out 200,000 copies in 10 days beginning June 4.
Below are some sights and sounds reported from cities all over the country.
We are focusing on a neighborhood with a concentration of Black people and another with a lot of influential and important artistic and cultural life. We've hit the streets with people finding out about this campaign in many different ways. Hundreds of Calls were strung up at intersections with clothes pins, creating a striking and inviting visual display. ...
On a corner in the Black community we set up a Revolution Books table with bundles of Revolution newspaper, the Revolution Talk, and other materials. Distributors wove through the busy intersection handing Calls to people in cars. Sidewalk chalk with quotes from the Call were all around this corner and people would start to read them. Bicyclists went whizzing by with red flags, posters with the Message and Call and the Bob Avakian image attached to their bikes. We are blanketing, getting Calls to everyone ... we spread out to different corners so people encountered us all along the street ... Monday we were at train stops for the morning and evening rush hour ... Each night we're going into the projects, mainly to people we know, organizing them to take responsibility for their building and for the projects as a whole; one guy took 100 Calls. ...
In the arts district we weren't able to do the clothes line display a second time because the cops said we couldn't, so we went to businesses nearby, told them what had happened ... and that everyone here had a role to play in whether this would be on the scene. ... One store let us cover a whole side of their wall outside with the Call. ... Meanwhile our cyclist with the BA image was rolling through repeatedly and being flagged down by people that wanted to know whose picture it is.
A highlight Saturday ... Four new people joined our crews and pretty much ran with us all day. One was a young Black music DJ who has done some reading about communism and revolution and who was moved by seeing people talking about standing up to the most horrific crimes of this system, the murder of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, the fascist Arizona law, the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico—and boldly putting forward the need for this revolution and calling on people to be part of it. He helped distribute the Call and later helped us set up a sound system and projector so we were able to project the Revolution Talk on the wall of a building as the sun was going down. He asked how to find out more about this guy whose image is on the T-shirts. We told him about revcom.us and during a break he went to the library and came back to tell us, "Wow, this Bob Avakian, he is a pretty busy guy!" He was amazed at how much and the breadth of his writing. ...
A woman came across the street to see what we were doing and was extremely excited to see that we were "unafraid to speak the truth." She saw the picture on the front page of Revolution and frantically dug through her belongings full of pictures of her children and grandchildren, and found a 30-year-old, dog-eared news clipping from the Atlanta Constitution of herself struggling to stand up, with the same grief on her face as on the faces of Aiyana's family. She introduced herself as the mother of one of the murdered and missing children,* and then threw herself into getting out the Calls with us over the next two hours....
Sunday morning ... an older Black woman riding by on her electric cart with a child stopped and took a small bundle from us, drove off, and then a half-block away turned around and came back. "Can I have more of those? I live in that high rise over there, and I want to take it around to my whole building. It's a lot of seniors, but they minds is still pretty sharp." She took 200 Calls, wanted a paper and said she would contribute when we get back with her.
Our crew decided to go to a busy Mexican supermarket. We had a great response from customers, vendors, workers, and even security people. Everyone took the Calls. After a half hour the assistant manager came and explained that although he liked some of what we were saying we needed to get permission from the management to leaflet. We said, "Sure, let us know how to contact them," and talked to him about this campaign. He went back inside. Fifteen minutes later he came back out with the contact info and stressed that we should contact the person, because they would feel the same way we felt.
At that point we told him we would leave. Then he asked us to tell "our people leafleting inside the store to leave." I told him we don't have people inside the store. "No," he said, "there are people inside leafleting the customers." Turns out those who had taken leaflets were getting them out to other customers right on the spot!
On Sunday when the big Spanish language Mass was getting out, we parked the truck with banners right across the street from the church entrance so people would see it when they came outside. This had some of that edge of being "completely outrageous... and yet eminently reasonable." We collected $44. Almost everyone got the Call and a few people took bundles. One of our crew was exclusively selling Revolution.
* From 1979 to 1981, a string of horrific murders of 29 Black children took place in Atlanta. [back]
Even now, it is plain that real and important momentum has been generated from the efforts to get out 200,000 copies of the Message and Call from the RCP, USA, "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have."
This should be seen as a major effort to spread seeds of revolution. This week some of those seeds must be harvested, even as we spread more. We should:
1) Get back to people who expressed interest, took stacks of flyers, or gave their phone numbers. Ask them about what they thought about the Message and Call. If they distributed it, find out about their experience. If they ran into problems in distributing this, find out what those problems were and listen carefully; find out their ideas on why people respond as they do, work with them to think about how to understand it, and work together to find new ways to go at this. If they got positive responses, learn from this as well, and brainstorm with them about ideas on how to build on this. In short, listen to their thinking, and what they say about their lives; our movement should be learning an awful lot right now. Send what you are learning to Revolution newspaper.
Watch Bob Avakian’s Revolution Talk with them, and leave them a copy to watch in full.
Give them a copy of Revolution, and explain how this is the newspaper of the movement to make revolution.
Give them materials with the new image of Bob Avakian.
Remember: this is very new to many people and they are still learning about it. Don’t pressure people to do all kinds of things they do not yet feel ready for. Let them learn about this movement. At the same time, be open to ways in which they may want to get involved; for instance, they may want to come out with a team to an area in which they don’t live.
Talk with them about the upcoming web-a-thon, and other fund-raising ideas. Talk with them about the importance of contributing to and sustaining this movement, and raise funds.
Make sure that they know about the upcoming anti-July 4 picnic. Make concrete plans to get together again.
2) Go back to areas where we distributed the statement with the cards, T-shirts, etc. of the new image of BA and, learning from the online article on this, get it around in those areas; get this paper out in the same areas, and find outlets (stores, community centers, schools, libraries, places of religious worship, etc.) which will regularly carry it. (With all outlets who carry the paper and the image cards, make sure that you let them know about the Revolution Talk, and see if they will watch part of it on-line with you.)
3) Find places where you can legally post quotes from Bob Avakian; if you have unused back issues of the paper, clip out the full-page quotes and post them up. This is a very important and way-underutilized resource for our movement.
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