From Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

At UCLA Campus: “We had challenged the whole framework that keeps these students sleepwalking through a nightmare and this sharply polarized the people”

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Last Wednesday the Revolution Club went to an open mic on the UCLA campus called The Word on Wednesdays. It’s a very progressive crowd of mostly Black and Latino students who are loosely in the “woke” scene on campus. We went to read poetry, and announce the upcoming You Think You’re Woke... But You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare–This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown! The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour.

Someone from the Revolution Club stepped up to the mic and read parts from the Call—including doing a pretty short and sharp polemic on intersectionality. The room began to tremor and faces visibly contorted as if the crowd had bit into a lemon.

The Club member went on to read the title of their poem “The Women of the World.” They begin to read their poem....

In Somalia the rain does not fall
So we must sell our only daughter
In Myanmar police burn my village
Drown my dark-skin baby in the r...

Before the Revolution Club member could read another word, they were shut down by the emcee saying, “You can’t just come up in here and criticize intersectionality and then go on to read a poem about women all over the world.” Another woman got up and said “by criticizing intersectionality you are discounting all of the people in the room,” and quickly the argument got boiled down to the lowest common denominator and what really concentrates the problem with this whole way of looking at the world: “You are a white man.”

Despite the fact that the Revolution Club represents the interests of all of humanity and is fighting to end all oppression—the organizers and most of the people there felt that it was not the place of this Revolution Club member to criticize intersectionality—and it was especially abhorrent that they wrote a poem speaking about oppression he has never directly experienced.

After being shut down and called out—a crowd of people shouted down any debate and forced out the Revolution Club members, all while threatening to call the campus police. Riotously applauding after the Revolution Club had been forced out into the hall where campus security appointed by the police department were waiting.

The Revolution Club left campus that night, debating amongst ourselves what had just happened. We identified that it was overwhelmingly positive what had just happened. We had challenged the whole framework that keeps these students sleepwalking through a nightmare and this sharply polarized the people. So we started developing a plan that could further break things open on campus and create more polarization, creating more sharp debate over intersectionality vs. the emancipation of humanity.

We went back to campus the next day posting the censored poem all over campus and mass distributing it. We went onto the Bruin Walk and started agitating about what happened the night before:

“During Slavery, would the slaves have wanted all the white people to ‘stay in their own lane’ and insisted they do not speak on oppression they do not directly suffer?

“During Nazi Germany, would the Jews in concentration camps have insisted that the German people ‘stay in their own lane’ and not speak out against the oppression they do not directly suffer?

“Do you think the 15,000 immigrant children who sit in America’s concentration camps on the border today would insist that all the people who have not experienced that ‘stay in their own lane’ because they have never seen the inside of cages?

“No, that’s BS, and it’s a cop-out. If something is wrong it is wrong, and no matter what your identity you have a responsibility to speak out about it and fight to stop it. I don’t care if you are Black or white, male or female, queer or straight. And if you are more concerned that a white man is standing up here ‘taking up too much space’ than you are with ending the horrific oppression he is speaking on—then you are a part of the problem.”

This agitation really challenged people and stopped a crowd of about 20 people while impacting hundreds. A woman in the crowd who had been at the open mic the night before started challenging the Revolution Club member on the mic, and an open debate broke out on the spot. She was saying how you change things isn’t by taking up the spaces of women of color, that it wasn’t by yelling at students on Bruin Walk, but was by getting inside the system and changing it from the inside. She mentioned AOC [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] and the Green New Deal, and demanded to know what concrete policies we have passed.

We went back and forth—taking on how all she was talking about was getting some oppressed faces on the top of this murderous system. We shouldn’t want women and people of color to get in on oppression, we need to overthrow the system that is at the root of all of this. AOC and the Green New Deal are just talking about taking some of the blood money that the imperialist extract through exploitation and violence and spreading it around. We don’t need a bigger share of the imperialist pie, we don’t want their blood money. We do need to save the environment, but that can only be done by getting rid of the system that is the root of the problem.

After she felt her arguments were exhausted, she put it back to us: “OK then how are you going to solve the problem?” The debate went on going back and forth over the strategy to make a revolution and overthrow the system. The more we went back and forth about the strategy in HWCW (HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution)—the more the crowd wanted to get their hands on HWCW and read it.

This was an example of how things can break out. How only by challenging these frameworks and masses of people seeing the revolutionaries sharply compare and contrast all these dead-end solutions to the new communism developed by Bob Avakian, can we actually build a real mass movement for revolution. We are continuing to work to wrench all the freedom we can out of this situation. We are spreading the word about an open-air debate we will have on campus this Monday [March 4]. This is just a report for now and we will write more correspondence after Monday.

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