Taking Out BA’s THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO!—Vignettes from NYC Campuses

March 12, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From the Revolution Club, New York:

Over the last three weeks members of the Revolution Club and others have shown clips and excerpts from BA’s (Bob Avakian) THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! to scores of students on various campuses throughout New York City. What manifests repeatedly in people’s comments is an appreciation for the reality of what humanity actually confronts that BA brings alive in the clips, as well as struggle to be scientific, to go further and understand more deeply BA’s analysis of why we find ourselves in this situation and what to do about it. This points even more to the need for people to watch the full film, and the Q&As, and for this to be broadly engaged and debated. Some glimpses of initial reactions and responses:

* “A first-generation immigrant student watched the first 22+ min. of the film and found himself in agreement with a lot of what BA said and through the course of brief discussion felt challenged existentially over what he’ll do with what he understands/knows. He felt like he needed time to process what he heard even as he was very moved by the analysis and exposure on white supremacy and how we got here, the long and short story.”

* “One high school student who watched the whole film gathered several others at her school on March 1st, around 12 seniors and freshmen, and invited the Revolution Club to the gathering. They started with a short intro and watched the clip ‘What are we facing?’ from the BA film and opened it up for discussion. Mainly what the youths talked about was how they had disdain and disgust for Trump and what he represents as well as the running theme of ‘immigrants are what make America what it is’ and ‘America (the multi-nationality) being a diverse force for good in the world.’ The students present were a mix of white youths, a person from Uzbekistan, as well as a young woman whose parents are from South Korea. All of them come from more progressive backgrounds. They had some back and forth over what America has actually done in the world and the youths who helped put together the gathering challenged everyone to go deeper and expressed that people need to watch the full BA film to really get an understanding of the truth about what this country has represented to the rest of the world as well as why we are in the situation that we’re in. As she announced this, both of them (the student organizers) passed around the film card and the ‘BA: A Contended Question’ statement. There was struggle amongst the students over whether this country has made a lot of opportunities for immigrants and how that is a part of what makes this country so great, versus what this country really has done in the world and how it has caused people to flee their countries in search for safety in many cases. Both of the young women who helped put together the event spoke to what they understand about what this regime represents and their own thoughts and fears about the generation that they are a part of, rising up, and becoming a part of a movement to stop everything that this fascist regime represents.”

* “Two students watched the clip ‘The direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today’ and were appreciative of ‘a white man’ saying these things. They wanted to break down any barriers amongst races and felt people needed to come together in such troubling times. They were never introduced to a radical alternative of how the world could be and were provoked to find out more about the overall movement for revolution. While there they sent the link out to a group chat amongst their club members to be able to discuss having a film screening on campus.”

* “We had two different interactions with students organizing with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). One of the students was in a class of a professor who ordered books from Revolution Books (this professor also allowed us to make a brief presentation about the bookstore and the film). She remembered us from this exchange and watched the clip ‘Free Yourself from the GTF!’ and one of the things that she really resonated with and that divided her friends out (she watched the clip with a group of friends) was the critique of America including the Great Tautological Fallacy. In a different instance, another student with SJP watched about half the film. Initially she had watched the trailer and was stopped in her tracks because she’d been thinking about how there’s not enough critique amongst the left of the role of America in the world. This young woman is an international student who came to the U.S. to study but has been further moved into political life because of the election of Trump. And given the fact that she’s in America, larger questions in regards to social justice/activists’ responsibility are posed to her. She found herself agreeing with a lot of what BA had to say as she was nodding along through the 22+ minutes she watched. After the film clip she walked through her thinking further insofar as the critique of U.S. imperialism and in her words, appreciated ‘the intersectionality’ portrayed in the film.”

* “One student chose to watch the question on ‘if we drive out Trump, what next?’ (Q&A Part 1 at 11:10) and the one on immigrants (Q&A Part 2 at 11:30). Between clips, she commented a lot on what BA was saying, especially when he talked about Pence—about whom she’d known almost nothing, even his name was foreign to her! And she was struck when he said, in response to the immigrant question, that ‘we can’t protect people from what the people in power are intending to do to them except by driving out the people in power.’ She said she and her friends had been struggling with individual solutions to not get deported like getting married, etc. ‘I understand what [BA] is saying, because it’s not like that would work since the Christian fascists hate gay people, and immigrants,’ plus she’s ‘only one person and there’s so many more people.’ This woman had a deep visceral response to the clip on immigrants. She organized her friends to watch this same clip on March 1st as several of them are going thru this contradiction in one way or another.”

* “One student was very moved by the clip ‘What are we facing?’ and felt everything in that clip was true but then went on to explain that our only hope was the upcoming elections. We then showed her the clip “Why is it the Democrats can only try to resolve this on the terms of the system?” to which she fell a bit silent; she kind of soberly said neither of them are really fighting for our interests and it’s all been a setup. There was more richness to our back and forth and mainly I think there was a valve that was unleashed that allowed her to talk about all her pent-up anger over what’s been happening this past year. She said there’s some classes where this is being talked about but in the main she’s felt like she’s just had to continue and go about her business/life.”

* “We watched the clip ‘What are we facing?’ and one student dove straight into the attacks on the press and bounced off on the attacks on LGBTQ and Black people, etc. She said she’s been thinking about the persecution of people and the consolidation of fascism in Nazi Germany and she’s stunned by the similarities to what’s happening in America. She said she’s very concerned for the safety of all peoples and doesn’t really know how else to make sense of it all.”

In most cases, people said they were provoked to go home and watch the whole film, and in several cases students talked about the need for others to see what they have just seen, bringing out in different ways why this must be part of what is contending in how people understand what we confront with Trump and Pence and what that means for what we must do. We are working with a few to set up fuller showings of the film with their friends or in their classes or on campus that they would play a role in organizing.


We look forward to learning more about the responses to this film and the experiences spreading it to others. Write to us at: revolution.reports@yahoo.com.




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