Taking BA to the Sacramento Protests against the Police Murder of Stephon Clark

April 2, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

I went to Sacramento twice last week, to attend the funeral of Stephon Clark, and two days later a noon rally called by the former Sacramento Kings NBA player Matt Barnes. I focused on promoting the film of the talk by Bob Avakian (BA), THE TRUMP/PENCE REGIME MUST GO! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE to Accept a Fascist America, A Better World IS Possible. I showed clips of the film to people at these events. 

All of the people viewing clips said they certainly would view the whole film, including three who enthusiastically said something like, “Wow, he (that is, BA) lays it all out. I can’t wait to go home to see the whole thing.”

A couple older guys were especially impressed by the GTF (Great Tautological Fallacy) clip (“Free yourself from the GTF!”), saying, “That is really true, this American chauvinism, people need to dump that shit!” One of them commented off BA’s example of GTF (about how people react to North Korea nuclear weapon threat), saying, “Yeah, even around the Vietnam War too. I still heard people telling me that yeah, we made a mess and the war was no good...but we wanted to protect democracy over there and our intention was good.”

One middle-aged Black woman was very impressed when she viewed the clip “The direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today.” She said that while she thought she herself had been familiar with history, including the part in the film where BA talks about what Reagan did to start his campaign for presidency, she had not known about Nixon’s Southern Strategy. She was one of those who told me, “Now I know that there are things I have not known. I just cannot wait till this funeral is over so I can go home and watch this film.”

One middle-aged Black woman was talking about how the 2018 midterm election are the way to go in dealing with the Trump/Pence regime, but when she saw the clips about the Democrats, especially about how Obama said he was on the “same team” as Trump and that Trump’s success is “our” success, she could not believe it. She kept saying, “No, No No..., he would not say that.” I told her that it was all documented and she could check herself if what BA said was true. She said she would definitely do that, and “if he (that is, Obama) did say that, shame on him, and I would think twice before believing in the Democrats.”

Some of the people commented that the police killing Black people has gone on “forever” and it had to stop. How? A few who viewed the clips said that we need to change the whole set-up, not this or that policy about the police. A couple of guys said the police body-camera thing was a joke; it was something the government heralded as the solution, and now what? Now we are hearing “Oh, the police forgot to turn the camera on!” These guys referred to the “set-up” to the white supremacy BA speaks about in the clip. One guy said even when Obama was president, there were so many cases of police murders, “So, will things get to the point of a wholesale genocide? I would not put it past this Trump guy.”

A few of the protestors had revolution on their mind. A middle-aged Black man wearing an “Oakland Warriors” t-shirt with the famous image of Huey P. Newton sitting on a chair told me that he was wearing the shirt because he wanted to promote the Black Panther Party legacy. I asked him what part of the legacy he was talking about. He said the early days of the Panthers, not the “breakfast program.” He said it was too bad that a lot of Black folks remember Panthers for the latter but not the former. But he also added that it was too bad that the Panthers did not last long enough to “figure out a theory for making revolution.” I introduced him briefly to BA’s new synthesis of communism and “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution.” He was impressed by what he saw in the two clips he saw (“The direct line from the Confederacy to the fascists of today” and “Why is it the Democrats can only try to resolve this on the terms of the system?”) And he said, “If this guy really has developed a strategy for making a real revolution as you just described, I would study it” (referring to the “HOW WE CAN WIN” pamphlet that he got from me). I told him to go online to www.revcom.us and The Bob Avakian Institute site.

It was interesting that Black Panther Party was in some people’s mind after seeing clips. And there was back-and-forth with a couple of them about “Breakfast program.” One guy said that you need both, referring to going out in the streets to fight the power and feeding people, arguing that you cannot make revolution with empty stomachs.

One college-educated Black woman in her 30s, accompanied by her mom who calls herself a former Panther, acknowledged that the Black Panther Party did not have a fully developed theory for revolution. (She said she learned of this from her mom and from reading history.) She said, yes, revolution is not just going out to fight the police, you need a correct theory to guide the people—otherwise, and how could you counter the mighty force of the other side? She was very glad to hear that there is such a strategy for a whole process, including dealing with the aspect she was worried about (the part in the “HOW WE CAN WIN” pamphlet that I pointed her to). She said not only would she go home and view the whole BA film, she would read the pamphlet and go to our websites to see more works by BA.


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