Revolution #210, August 29, 2010
Bring "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have" into the schools and onto the campuses
Let's be part of making "back to school" what it should be—a time of big ideas, of broadening horizons, of digging into the new and challenging the old, experimenting and imagining, rebelling and dreaming. Whether it is at high schools or on college campuses, elite universities or community colleges—be part of "bringing revolution to a campus near you!"
Why was, and is, there an oil catastrophe in the Gulf? Why are millions of immigrants in this country being criminalized by this system? Is the war in Afghanistan really bringing liberation to the people of Afghanistan, and especially to the women there? Why is racism still a burning question in America in this "age of Obama"? Does the world really have to be like this? These are some of the big questions which many youth and students are up against—and some are bringing these questions, and their search for answers, back to their campuses and schools this fall. We need to be there, with Revolution newspaper—and with the Message and Call. This statement is a critical way to speak to students and a concrete way to expand the national campaign focused up on "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have."
"Anyone who has thought seriously about revolution knows that the role of students and youth as well as the overall ideological, intellectual and political life of campuses as a whole, is of strategic significance." Getting the statement onto college campuses and into the high schools is part of challenging these youth on what their lives are going to be about, cracking open mass debate and ferment on why is the world the way it is, taking on the "time honored" verdicts on revolution and communism. "We must bust open widespread radical ferment broadly and organize within that—and as an anchor to that—a growing core into the movement for revolution at various levels and in a myriad of ways." ("Bringing Revolution to the Campuses," Revolution #174, August 30, 2009)
As an integral part of all of this we need to learn much more about what the students and youth are thinking about—how they view the world and their role in it. In the wake of getting "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have" out broadly, sit down, talk with and listen to some students on campus, or youth from the neighborhood. See what is on their minds as well as what they think about the Message and Call. Learn from them, and then write to Revolution about what you are learning.
And let's bring together different sections of the people. How much do college students, in particular at elite universities, know about the "lived life" and aspirations of the hundreds of thousands of oppressed people who often live within blocks of their campus? How could it change the terms of campus debate if Black and/or Latino youth whose only apparent options in life are prison, death or the military and who are now considering what it would mean to become "an emancipator of humanity," came to talk to students about their lives, and what they think and believe is possible. Or if those same students left campus and went into some of the urban neighborhoods and talked to—and listened to—people speak about how they understand the need and possibility for revolution. Or if they watched clips from the Revolution talk together. With the statement and the campaign as a framework, this kind of mixing it up could have very profound impact on all involved and give people a concrete sense of how all of this is part of building a movement for revolution.
- Take out this issue of Revolution newspaper broadly the first week of this two-week issue. The newspaper can—and must—play a very dynamic role in this whole mix.
- The second week, get "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have" into the hands of as many youth and students as possible, including focusing on a few key areas to seriously saturate.
- Post "The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have," Revolution articles (and especially the centerspreads, the front and back pages) on billboards around the dorms and/or other places on campus where literature can be posted.
- Find out what today's students think about the world, and revolution. Just sit down with a couple of students and find out what is important to them and why, what do they think of the latest movies, their classes and professors, the wars in the world. And send the results in to the paper.
- Have a special Open House at Revolution Books for teachers and professors to come and meet each other and Revolution Books. Wrangle together over what needs to be done to bust open the debate about revolution, communism and the revolutionary leadership we have.
- The memoir From Ike to Mao and Beyond is a great introduction to Bob Avakian, especially for youth who are looking for role models and figuring out what their lives should be about.
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