Revolution #210, August 29, 2010
Taking the Campaign out for the 5-day saturation
The area that we concentrated our efforts was in an area which is a rich crossroads of immigrants mostly from Latin America, movement activists, cultural forces, and broad middle strata consisting of a mixture of young alternative counter-culture people, yuppies and enlightened middle strata forces. Some of the other spots that we covered included the Day Laborers' corner, two main Catholic Churches in the community, and a street with clubs, bookstores, cafes, and a park, which is a popular gathering spot for the middle strata and a few immigrants on the weekend.
The response that we got was more contradictory, which was not surprising given the historical influence of other trends in this community—from social democracy, anarchist, to revisionist. At the same, we found a certain amount of apathy towards the sharpness of contradictions developing around the world. Initially, due to these objective conditions, there was a tendency to mainly pitch things to the intermediate by agitating about the horrors of this system with an emphasis on the fascist Arizona law and then follow that up with some mention about revolution and the leadership we have. After two days, we held a substantive summation meeting where we identified the line and made a plan to rectify this wrong approach. We went out the rest of the days with an approach of unfolding things around the leadership that we have by highlighting the role of Bob Avakian in relationship to the communist revolution that we need and the movement for revolution that we are building to get us there. With this approach, we were able to polarize the situation and those who were attracted by it stepped forward—from both the proletariat and middle strata. To these people, the existence of a re-envisioned communism with an actual strategy to make revolution in a country like the U.S. presented a fresh attraction. They were intrigued to find out who this leadership is who has taken up the challenge to forge a theoretical framework and strategic orientation for making revolution and getting to communism. Several of the advanced who stepped forward were particularly impressed that this leadership is taking up the challenge of developing a strategy for making revolution in the U.S. Among some others who have put revolution on the back burner or even are resigned to accept that revolution is not possible due to their experience of revolutions not leading anywhere in Latin America, were drawn to the kind of re-envisioned communism and socialism encompassed by BA's new synthesis.
A team also went out to the park on Sunday afternoon with this approach and things got controversial real quick. In the midst of this—people's "normal routine" was disrupted and confronted sharply with the thrust of the statement and highlighting Bob Avakian and his leadership role. In the midst of the back and forth, some people were challenged and inspired to engage with the statement. Some people contributed funds, taking up the statement—in singles and in some cases, bundles.
At the conclusion of the 5 days, we had a showing of excerpts of the Revolution talk at a café in the neighborhood. We had initially planned for this to be an outdoor showing in the early part of the evening, but we changed this plan due to the weather turning windy and cold. 7 people attended this showing. The excerpts that we showed were:
- Postcards of the hanging.
- Why do people come here from all over the world and
- The Imagine section on communism.
The people who attended watched intently and were visibly moved by seeing and hearing the talk projected largely on the wall of the café. The response included the following comments:
- "I think what this guy Bob Avakian is talking about is all true—things shouldn't be this way and people need something different." (a 65-year-old Black proletarian who had joined us for two days in distributing the statements in the community)
- "There is no other group with this kind of vision and is out there doing it—actually making revolution." (an Asian American activist who joined us for the 10 days of saturation and then went to Arizona Freedom Summer and joined us for several day during the 5 days of saturation)
Our assessment is that even though we distributed 17 K in this community and encountered the experience of people taking up bundles and distributing them and coming back to ask for more and people making the comment (by the 4th and 5th day) that they had already gotten it—we did not achieve the threshold of saturation. This was due to the fact that this is a large area and required a larger force to be able to penetrate more deeply in this area and also due to the contentiousness of taking the campaign out in this community with many diverse cultural and political trends.
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