Revolution #246, September 29, 2011

BAsics on Mexican Independence Day

Revolution received the following correspondence:

A group of us went to a Mexican Independence Day parade and festival with BAsics.   We asked everybody for money, and hundreds of people donated.  Bob Avakian, and donating to spread the word about BA, and to wake up and shake up the campuses, became a social question along the parade route.  We were specific and concrete in telling people what the funds were for—the need to print 100,000 more papers to get to the students, and that we had a goal for the day of $1,000. People understood the necessity of going out to the students.  They had to think about the receptivity to BAsics among the students and what’s in this book.

We sold 6 books, got out 1,700 (Spanish) of the special issue on BAsics, raised $283, and got 11 new contacts.  People, overwhelmingly, gave us $1 or change.  We got a few $5 or $2 contributions, but we didn’t make the case for people donating $20 (we did ask, though it was uneven).

Some people came back to ask about BA, “who is this leader?”  Others, when they heard “this depends on you,” came back and put something in the bucket.  On the parade route there was some back and forth with people who argued for capitalism and the need for greed as a motivator.

At the festival, we had the display of pictures from the RCP’s Message and Call, and displays of the Revolution centerfolds of people killed by the police, and the centerfold from the 9/11 issue. (Revolution #245, September 11, 2011) There were also large displays of the BAsics cover and quotes in Spanish.  The pictures were riveting; people stopped again and again at the picture of the little girl being carried by her grandfather.  People asked about Aiyana Stanley-Jones, who she was.  On the Message and Call pictures, we had the quote about borders not being sacred, and American lives are not more valuable than other lives, and the BAsics 1:9 quote about choices.

In the evening, after the parade, one person did agitation near the displays, mainly calling on people to get to know this leader, this book, and donate to wake up the campuses. One young woman came up at the end, asked “how much is the book?” and bought it.

When we got there in the afternoon, the sheriffs told us we couldn’t use sound, couldn’t block pedestrian access with a table, etc.  In the evening as it got dark there were so many people in the streets that the attempts of the authorities to keep things in order broke down and they couldn’t enforce all their rules.  This created a real opening for us to speak to thousands with our agitation.

People who stopped to buy or look at the book had a lot of questions—is revolution possible, questions about the strategy and the new theory of what communist revolution and socialist society is like.  Some saw communism as a good idea that’s not working right now; we talked to them about the need for state power, and about BA’s New Synthesis of communism and bringing forward a new vision.  One question was what kind of revolution.  Is it only for white people?  Backward religious people argued that we can’t change the world.  Some people said, this is dangerous, the government here is dangerous.

Towards the end of the day we sold 4 books, opening by saying that BA’s work has made possible a new stage of revolution and socialism and communism and showing people the table of contents in the book.  A woman who had stopped to read 1:9 responded to that by saying that she thinks the whole system needs to be changed, her daughter is at an elite East Coast college now learning to be a doctor because she wants to help people, we showed her the essay on reform and revolution – while you’re alleviating pain for a few people the system is destroying millions of people and the planet.  She went and got $10 from her husband, came back and bought the book.  A young man asked if the socialism we were talking about is like Cuba. The discussion went to imperialism, the parasitism of imperialism and the need to liberate humanity worldwide from this system.  He went to the ATM, bought a book in English and in Spanish.  Another person who bought the book seemed to be checking out all kinds of alternatives to this society.  A young woman who heard the agitation came up and bought the book.  We summed up that the possibility of a new stage of socialism and communism was speaking to many of the people we met.  We were learning that by challenging people that the advance of this revolution to emancipate humanity “depends on you” was resonating with those who bought BAsics.


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