Creating a Buzz About the Rare Time for Revolution at the Mini-Bike Races in Compton

From two members of the National Revolution Tour



For the last couple months, we’ve gone out regularly to organize for revolution at the mini-bike races in Compton held every Sunday. We heard about these races from a youth who stepped into the revolution a year ago. It’s a scene where all kinds of youths come together to hang out, race their mini-bikes, as well as where youths caught up in the gangs come, but with an agreement to not set-trip for the day. (To give a sense of some of the positive aspirations of some of these youths, one of the slogans of one of the mini-bike crews is, “Smoke tires, not the homies.”) We have been there a number of times in the past couple of months and have learned a lot. There are many youths there—Black and Latino, ranging from 9 to 19, as well as more OG types... older Black and Latino people. About 200 people or so attend these races, and we’ve had somewhat of an impact where people know us, have taken stickers and buttons, have engaged BA, have donated, and have at times raised disagreements with what we are about and are doing.

Because the mini-bikes make so much noise, you can’t go out with a microphone to reach lots of people and we’ve been grappling with how to speak to “blocs” of people—at the same time as we’re concretely organizing people for revolution, based on what’s concentrated in the Declaration from the revcoms, A Call To Get Organized Now For A Real Revolution and now expanded on in the new piece from Bob Avakian, This Is A Rare Time When Revolution Becomes Possible—Why That Is So, And How To Seize On This Rare Opportunity.

We have been experimenting with visual posters that have polemical quotes from the new BA piece, as well as quoting from the Declaration: “These days there is a lot of talk about another civil war, especially from fascists, in government and the broader society, who think they could just carry out a one-sided slaughter of those they hate, including Black people and other people of color ‘illegal immigrants,’ ‘uppity women’ and those who don’t conform to ‘traditional’ sexual and gender relations and ‘norms.’ This situation needs to be radically changed, to where there are masses of people prepared to defeat these fascists and to do so as part of getting rid of this whole system, which has bred these fascists, along with all the other horrors it continually perpetrates.” This all brings to life the reality of what these rare times to make a real revolution mean, and how we seize on that.

This past Sunday, off of wrangling with how to have a bigger impact in the scene overall, not having one-on-one discussions but aiming for mass engagement, we came with a truck with all these visuals posted on the sides of the truck. Our plan was to fight for people to collectively wrangle over what is said in those placards. We also had a Google sign-up form that listed concrete ways people can begin to engage and spread the revolution, things like subscribe to the YouTube channel for The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show, spread the word about it, donate, take flyers, posters, stickers, and join the Revolution Club.

The first grouping of youths we encountered were six brothers age 9 to 18. They were reading the “civil war” placard, thinking about and debating what’s being said there. One of them was saying how he had been learning about the Civil War in his class, and his brother put forward that we just have to get ready to defend ourselves now. The rest of the brothers were agreeing with what the placard was putting forward and saying that we have to fight for what’s right. We signed up the oldest brother to the Google doc and subscribed them to the YouTube channel. The oldest brother wanted to take responsibility for spreading the show online.

One of the brothers was disagreeing with what the Declaration says about why this is a rare time when revolution is possible. (We were reading this part of the Declaration out loud to them.) He said we needed to just go fight the fascists and get people strapped. (This was a question that came up more than once in different ways in this mini-bike scene.) While he said this, he got teary-eyed and angry about these fascists. We clarified what a revolution is and is not and what is the time we are in where a revolution can be possible, how are we understanding why we are in this situation, why this system has given birth to such a fascist movement, and why we need to overthrow this system; and dealing with that, we can understand why (1) if people try to just lash out in individual acts of frustration, people would get slaughtered and (2) doing that also wouldn’t deal with the whole fascist direction which these fascists are fighting for society to take. (This discussion happened more one-on-one, and we summed up afterwards it would have been better to put this question back to the whole group for everyone to grapple with this question together.)

We had the truck weave through the different parking lots where people were kicking it on the sidelines of the races, and had the truck go on the street where the bikes were racing too. This was creating a buzz because people were looking at the truck as it passed by and reading what the placards were saying. We stopped in several parking lots and pulled the truck up where people were able to engage the placards, off of beginning engagement on this question, not trying to answer every question, but driving people to the Declaration, the new piece by BA which we also distributed copies of, while flyering for the upcoming August 5 episode of The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show as a way to get deeper into this. There was struggle because some people were into this and some weren’t and we used that to open up more debate about the revolution. We signed people up on our Google form, which was also an important new experience, where rather than just taking people’s number and calling them later with “what they can do,” they signed up concretely agreeing to basic, simple ways to spread this in the week leading into the show, along with committing to tune in on the August 5 episode of The RNL Show.

It was important that we persevered with trying to have a broader impact on the people who go to these races, and concretely organizing people on the spot, and especially making The RNL Show a focal point—having people subscribe and tune in every week because it’s providing revolutionary leadership in an ongoing way for people all across the country.



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