From a Conversation with Revolution Club Members Now in Kenosha:

“When we bring up that we want to fight for our people... we’re talking about all the people in the world that are just like us”



Editors’ Note: The following are edited excerpts of a conversation between editors of and several members of the Revolution Club, Chicago, who are in Kenosha now and have been since the day after the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

It seemed quieter in the streets on the days after these two young men—who actually stopped this guy from murdering more people, stepped in the way of that—and lost their lives. There was a kind of a chill. But then we also realized after talking to people and also staying on top of some things that they were actually being very proactive about it, the other side, arresting people while they were alone or were separated from others....

There have been a couple of groups we met. One of those was Riot Kitchen, and they had come all the way from Portland and Seattle, on their way to the protests against Trump in DC, picking up people in Arkansas and a few other places. A very mixed crew, they kind of looked like modern-day hippies in a lot of ways. Some people were master’s degree students, some were sous chefs, others were people who’ve always been rebellious. One guy always thought that it was his fight to be part of something where people can be treated as humans, you know, no matter what their socioeconomic position is....

In Kenosha, the chemicals the police are using are very, very harsh. And it really pushed back people. But they kept on coming back, which is very important. The protest yesterday, that was the biggest outpouring of people that we’ve seen. It was close to a thousand people. It was a more mixed crowd. It wasn’t just the youth—older people, middle class, all together. Versus the “night crowd,” which is mainly between 17 and 30, a very young crowd.


Some of the local people—it was almost like they had no idea of the national implications and global implications of what they had done. In the neighborhoods, we found that some of the people were connected to Chicago street organizations, and it was like, “We stood up.” They were even more heartened when they heard that because of their actions, it had a huge impact on the rest of the people looking in on this.

When we talked to some other people, the “outside agitators,” coming in from places like Portland and Seattle they had more of a sense that we are facing fascism. Some of them were on their way to DC because they said, “You know what, we need to bring the fight to the doorsteps of Trump himself.” It was interesting to talk to them because the way they had been in the middle of such a hot, boiling situation, they’d gotten a little more sense of how this is drastically different than the “normal” workings.


We missed the initial protest on Monday (the day after the shooting of Jacob Blake) because we got in later in the day. When we got there we went straight to the scene and met a lot of really cool people who were there on the first night of protest. A lot of guys we met were definitely associated with “the life,” to some extent. At first they would be like, who are you, why are you here? And we’d be like, we’re the Revolution Club from Chicago. Then they’d start opening up and getting a little warmer. There were some women who were on the scene right after, or even during the shooting of Jacob. They were a little scared to talk to us at first, but they more opened up towards the end of us talking to them.


Once some of the younger people in the neighborhood figured out who we were, they were really friendly. They were really proud that they had done all this with the protest, so swiftly, to stand up for each other and for Jake. It was fun listening to hear how they felt really empowered and energized in standing up. But they had no idea of how much impact they had had even within 24 hours—they were frankly kind of astonished at the impact.

When we talked to them, and to another group later, they were like, when we bring up that we want to fight for our people, we’re not just talking about Black people or the people in our neighborhood, we’re talking about all the people in the world that are just like us. That’s what they were saying—this is coming from these people who are probably in “the life,” or were, not too long ago, you know.... But at the same time, we had to go a little deeper with them—getting into what fascism is. Not like in a scholastic way, but bringing out there’s a certain reason why this stuff is hurtling like a meteorite toward the world. By understanding that, that gives us the scientific grounding as to why we need to massively organize to oust them, while at the same time building as much as possible to go for revolution.


I think there’s an important need to struggle with people around the country to not back down, despite what’s happening. And seriously get into the August 1 statement by Bob Avakian. Because without the understanding that this is a whole fascist program, and this is happening nationally with global implications, people going to be stuck in this land-lock of fighting against things that come up against them. And the fascists are just one day going to be able to completely crush those against them, if people don’t understand what’s going on and the need for them to stand up wherever they are.

The other thing is that, we had to be struggled with too. Initially, when we got here, we were like, we don’t want to be arrested, we still got stuff to do in Chicago, all that. But then we came to see this is actually an opening that could have huge implications for driving forward revolution. There’s going to be repression and everything, but that just means we need to come back stronger. It is scary to be running around town and have the police stop you and everything. But the defiance people have is going to make a world of difference going into September 5th—and a world of difference going into a whole other situation.

The Revolution Club in Kenosha.

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