The Revcom Recruiters on a Campus in a Stop Everything Moment



This week, abortion became effectively illegal in Texas.  This is a stop everything moment... and it's a reflection of the overall way that, as it says in A Declaration, A Call to Get Organized Now for a Real Revolution from the revcoms, “Society is being ripped apart.”  In moments like these, we need to make a big leap in organizing for revolution!  (For more on this law, and how to understand why this is happening and what's needed in the face of this, go here.)

As the Declaration analyzes, it is a rare moment when revolution has become possible.  On the National Revolution Tour, we've been grappling with how to reach blocs of people, organizing people in groups for revolution (vs. one on one).

On the day the Texas law went into effect, we decided to pull our whole crew together to have a big impact... and we did... with some important lessons for going forward!

Breaking the Silence

We made a multi-faceted plan to impact a populated state college—taking a couple hours in the morning to get signs up in bathroom stalls and bulletin boards with the basic message that the revcom recruiters are on your campus today, organizing for revolution—nothing less!  At about mid-morning, three volunteers put on bloody pants, t-shirts that say “abortion on demand and without apology” and stood silently in the middle of campus with a big sign on the ground about the Texas abortion law.  This stopped a lot of people in their tracks while others walked by uncomfortably.  Most people didn't know about the new law or had just heard about it and were furious and agonizing.  People took pictures and posted on social media, and we could overhear a number of discussions that got going among the students themselves.

At the same time, a crew—all in the Revolution Club uniform—was going around to the different eating areas on campus, hopping on chairs or tables and blowing a whistle with a 60 second emergency announcement.  We announced that we're the revcoms—the revolutionary communists—on their campus to recruit them for revolution.  We brought alive what this law will mean for women and that forced motherhood is female enslavement!  And we read this quote from A Declaration, A Call,

This is one of those rare times and circumstances when revolution becomes possible, not just because this system is always a horror, but because the crisis and deep divisions in society now can only be resolved through radical means, of one kind or another—either radically reactionary, murderously oppressive and destructive means or radically emancipating  revolutionary means.

 We invited all those with a heart to fight for something really worth fighting for to gather in the main quad at 12:30 pm to to get organized for revolution!

A Growing Group Discussion to Get Organized for Revolution

At the appointed time, some students started to gather off of our announcement.  The discussion started with about six students... but at its height, grew to about 25–30 students.  We made sure everyone had a copy of A Declaration, A Call, and two members of the National Revolution Tour led a discussion of the Declaration—reading parts out loud, asking some of the students to read parts out loud and drawing people out to respond to it, and to respond to each other.

I'm not going to capture the richness of the whole discussion... In response to the point on the military, one woman talked about her experience checking out the military where they teach you to hate people around the world.  Woven throughout the discussion, people were coming to grips with what this new law represents and how the fascists aren't backing down—a young woman said it's not just that they want to get rid of abortion, but they want to get rid of birth control.  Someone else said it feels like they want to bring The Handmaid's Tale to life.  In response to part two of the Declaration, a young woman talked about how we're trained to accept all these nightmares as normal, that we're supposed to go along with and accept things that aren't acceptable.  Someone else said we need a different morality, we need to stand with the people of the world.  And someone else talked about how long this struggle has been going on for women's rights, pointing back to the Tupac song from the ʼ90s, “Keep Ya Head Up,” where he talks about a woman's right to abortion. 

Someone asked a question about who the revolutionary leader Bob Avakian (BA) is, and why our t-shirts say, “BA Speaks: REVOLUTION – Nothing Less!”  A revcom took the opportunity to read Part 3 from the Declaration on BA, and then read a quote from BAsics on the importance of women's liberation to the struggle for human emancipation (BAsics 3:22).  We passed around the article, “Bob Avakian Answers Accusations of 'Cult': IGNORANCE, AND COWARDICE” and talked about why we follow BA, and why they need to follow BA too.  Another student who also was just finding out about this said they call things like this cults because they're small and don't have “official recognition,” but the real cult are the people who follow Trump with their fascist lunacy.

Finally, someone wanted to know how to turn our words into actions, and we read from Part 4 of the Declaration on getting organized for revolution.  Together, we made plans for a discussion, scheduled concretely for soon, collectively with the students on campus, and someone made a suggestion for where we could hold it and what time would be best.  People took stickers and some extra copies of the Declaration to spread the word, and everyone signed up to be part of a group chat on campus to make plans together.  One person responded to wanting to start a Revolution Club on campus and together, we went to find the administration building to find out how to do that.

While this discussion was happening, some people had to go and made sure to sign up to find out the plans... and throughout, new people kept joining.  People were attracted by the scene, or pulled into it by other revcoms who were telling people what was going on and inviting them to join.  The revcoms didn't have one on one discussions with people off to the side, but explicitly made the point: “we can't organize for revolution one-by-one, we need to come together... and the stakes are too high to stand on the sidelines...”  And with this, brought people over to the main group discussion.

Throughout, we were able to “catch people up” as to where we were in the discussion with a sign we made with the “4 Basic Truths” that are in A Declaration, A Call.  We pointed to what we'd already gotten into, and where we were in the discussion so people could “find their place” so to speak.

Our Learning Curve

There were a lot of rich lessons from the day—we reached blocs of people with an electric effect.  Our whole crew worked together as a team with “the whole greater than the sum of its parts.”  Throughout, we were improving our agitation—summing up along the way.  And once the discussion got going, it mattered that some people were leading the discussion and others were bringing people into it.

In the discussion itself, it was really good to stick to the discussion of the Declaration—making clear this was the beginning of a process of people coming together to learn more about this revolution, and be part of “urgently chang[ing] the situation where not nearly enough people know about this revolution and are with it.” 

A Declaration, A Call says,

Organizing people into this revolution means reaching out to all sorts of people—not just where there are protests and rebellions against oppression and injustice, but everywhere throughout society—spreading the word about revolution and getting people together (in real life and online) to grapple with why an actual revolution is necessary, what such a revolution involves, and what kind of society this is aiming for.  This will enable people who are new to the revolution to themselves become organizers for this revolution and to recruit more and more people to do the same.

We summed up that there was even more we could've done to draw people out.  People are often shy, and unsure of themselves in this kind of group discussion so it can take some conscious work to get people speaking to each other.  Nothing replaces the process of people grappling together, on the basis of getting into the scientific distillation in this Declaration.  Summing up, someone reflected on why the Declaration uses the word “grapple”—insightfully making the point that “people learn science by doing science in this kind of collective process.”

Also, where we needed to do even better was concretely organizing people now for revolution.  Most people joined this discussion because they want to act.  We could've had more concrete things for people to take up on the spot and in this kind of collective way—organizing packets, a collective goal of everyone there getting the Declaration to 10 others (exhibiting what exponential growth can look like), revolutionary change jars for people to leave from there to immediately be raising funds for the revolution, students could've more brainstormed together about how to do more with simple protests around this abortion ban... We did invite everyone to a collective online viewing of The RNL Show, and a zoom discussion Friday night... while we're all going to be building for an in-person discussion there again soon, collectively with the students.

There's more to learn... but wanted to share this experience reaching blocs of people with revolution.



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