Revolution #241, July 31, 2011

Out to the summer concerts and festivals with BAsics
“This is something my generation needs”

Over the next six weeks, there are some significant summer concerts and festivals where tens and tens of thousands of youth will converge. This will be an important and exciting opportunity to connect them with the BAsics.

Someone who picked up BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian at a local festival said, “This is something my generation needs.”

Take BAsics out to the shows below and to others you find out about!
July 30
Los Angeles
LA Rising
Aug 5–7
Aug 12–14 
San Francisco
Outside Lands
Aug 13
New York 
Governors Island
Lupe Fiasco
Aug 20
Los Angeles
Rock the Bells
Aug 26–28
New York
Governors Island
Dave Matthews Band
(with The Roots and Gogol Bordello)
Aug 27
San Francisco
Rock the Bells
Sept 3
New York             
Governors Island
Rock the Bells
Sept 10
Rock the Bells

They went on, “To say the least, I wish I had had a copy of BAsics in high school so that I could counter the bullshit being taught to me. I didn’t have that opportunity, but there are millions of students today who need to hear the voice of Bob Avakian so they can join the fight. BAsics presents an essential challenge to all that is oppressive and intolerant. It paints not only a picture of a new world, but it leaves room for innovation and growth, as a communist future will have, as Bob Avakian says, ‘a solid core with a lot of elasticity.’”

Being at the upcoming shows with BAsics and a very radical, revolutionary presence is a chance to connect with some of those millions of students, to introduce them to Bob Avakian, the movement for revolution he is leading, and the whole different society that this revolution is aiming to bring into being. It’s a chance for them to connect, to subscribe to Revolution newspaper (via print or online), to pick up copies of BAsics for themselves and their friends, to buy one for a prisoner, to check out Avakian’s memoir and to get the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal).

Many of the musicians who are performing are doing work that’s up against the status quo and they attract young fans who are sick of the degrading culture, consumerism, and passivity towards this system’s crimes. We shouldn’t underestimate the active yearning for a whole other way, even as most of these youth have never seriously considered the potential for real revolution, or have been told it’s not possible or desirable. These festivals are a chance for people to hear their favorite band, to step out of the day-to-day, have fun, dance and meet others of like minds. They’ll draw forward a range of youth—from the suburbs, immigrants, some youth among the basic masses, high school and college age.

There are all kinds of ways to have a big impact, and we should be learning a lot as we go—both about how to have the biggest impact but also about the mood and concerns of the young people in attendance. We should find forms that embody a sense of radical revolt against a revolting culture, that are lively and compelling, and involve volunteers and others who are new to the revolution themselves. This should be part of creating a real buzz, impacting the whole scene with posters and palm cards, quotes from BAsics and the BA image card, and snaking through the crowd with a chant or big signs. Try read-ins of BAsics, bring a smartphone to show people clips of BAsics readings on YouTube ( or clips of BA’s Revolution talk ( Film some people there reading quotes. Try different things—a big sign held above someone’s head, “Ask me about the BAsics of revolution and communism.” Last year, someone went out to a festival with a big sign, “Ask me about a world without rape,” and drew forward a lot of appreciation and controversy.

We should sell a lot of books and copies of Revolution newspaper. And get a lot of people’s contact information to get back with them right away.

The forms of outreach will have a lot to do with the character of the show, and the freedom we have inside... whether Revolution Books has a table inside or out, whether some of the revolutionaries can get tickets to be inside or decide it’s better to do outreach on the outside or both. Get creative and solicit ideas from others, including artists, students... Are there other kinds of materials that could be gotten out or forms that could be used? Other kinds of visuals?

The plans should be radically simple, very bold, and lots of fun.


As part of your plans:

When going to concerts and festivals, take palm cards with quotations from BAsics on one side and how to order the book on the other. Go to, click on the Production/Distribution tab, and download the artwork for palm cards for professional printing.



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