Revolution Club Mass Meetings Dig Deep Into Getting Organized NOW for Revolution

On June 26, the Revolution Club held mass meetings to discuss A Declaration, A Call To Get Organized Now For A Real Revolution in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. These meetings came in the wake of powerful demonstrations on June 12 calling on people to take up this Declaration and Call, and going right up against the hated enforcers of this system. People—veterans of the movement and brand new—came to the meetings and the vast majority stayed for the whole five hours.

Cover of A Declaration, A Call to Get Organized Now For A Real Revolution

 

The conferences gave expression to this pivotal point from the Declaration and Call: “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.”

The meetings began with a showing of Episode 57 of The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!Show on YouTube, which was devoted to those June 12 demonstrations. Then people broke into small groups over lunch and discussed the show, getting into what these marches had shown and accomplished. After that, people held three sessions to get into different parts of the Declaration and Call and break things down.

Watch Episode 57 of The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show:
Report from June 12 Marches Announcing: An Emerging Force Is Organizing NOW for a Real Revolution

Among other questions the meetings dug into:

* What is a revolution? Must the imperialists be overthrown—that is, as the Declaration and Call puts it, must a revolution “mean nothing less than overthrowing this whole system—defeating, disarming and dismantling the murderous armed power and other institutions that enforce this system—completely abolishing this whole system and replacing it with something radically different and much better, a new society built on an entirely different foundation”? Or is that unnecessary, too hard, or even impossible? In LA, this question got joined more than once and rightly so—there is a lot of confusion among many sections of people about what a revolution really is.

* What is the relationship between changing the way people think and relate to each other, and getting organized to fight an actual revolution? People very deeply agonize over how we get caught up in relating to each other in ways that reflect the alienation, me-firstism, and overall social relations (for instance, the oppression of different “races” and nationalities, of women, of LGBTQ people or the “dog-eat-dog” mentality of capitalism); and many people from the most oppressed are very angry at what is done to them and to others like them by the police. So, how does all that relate to getting organized for an actual revolution?

The Declaration and Call actually gets into this:

Many of the people who can be won to this revolution are not “into this” now and are not acting in accordance with the methods, principles, and goals of this revolution. And there is still way too much trying to get over on each other and attacking each other, which only brings more heartbreak and misery. This revolution is in the interests of all people who catch hell under this system and all those who hunger for or dream about a world where an end to exploitation, poverty, inequality, injustice and oppression is not a bitter joke but a liberating reality. Instead of fighting each other, we need to be uniting everyone with a heart for justice and protecting and defending each other from the criminal, brutal and murderous actions of “official” forces and fascist forces with the power to do us the greatest harm. We need to be working together to build up the ranks of the revolution and prepare to defeat the forces, of any kind, that would keep this system going and make its madness even worse.

And, in working to change the world in this way, people can change themselves—they can be united with in refusing to put up with injustice that no one should accept, and struggled with to see that revolution is the way to put an end to all this—that revolution is what we should live for and fight for. The basis for making this real is concentrated in the guideline: Fight the Power, and Transform the People—for Revolution.

Along these lines, one highlight of the LA meeting was when Joe Veale, the former Black Panther who became a revolutionary communist and joined the movement for revolution after reading Bob Avakian in prison, recounted how when he first met the Black Panther Party, they struggled hard with him both over politics and some of the negative ways he was relating to people. He showed how his own personal and political transformations went hand-in-hand, and this really enabled people at the meeting to get a deeper sense of this.

* The New York meeting was the scene of intense discussions over the struggle with many Black people over the need to follow Bob Avakian, who is a white man. This went very deep and everybody involved got a much deeper understanding not only of what Bob Avakian has brought forth—why it is really so deeply true that:

There never has been a leader like this in this country and there is no other leader like this in the world now, and we cannot afford not to follow this leadership if we ever want to get free and put an end to this madness.

Through the course of this struggle, comrades brought forward not only the unprecedented contributions that BA has made—which are also outlined in the Declaration and Call—but who he is as a human being, which is gone into in great depth in the article “Bob Avakian for the Liberation of Black People and the Emancipation of All Humanity.” Everybody in the discussion commented at the end how we need discussions where people really do “go deep” on things and put them on the table.

* A highlight of the Chicago and Los Angeles meetings were presentations on how people who cannot be “full-time” can still find many ways to spread this revolution and help people get organized, with the LA presentation given by someone who has become active over the past few months.

The Chicago meeting also heard a poem phoned in by a revcom who was too sick to attend that went into the contrast between The RNL Show and all the other stuff you get from politicians and the like. The point was made that one key form through which people can get organized is watching, and getting others to watch, The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show.

There were points that do need to be revisited in more depth at further meetings—including why today does constitute one of those rare times and circumstances when a revolution could be possible and the character of the society we are fighting for. But a good form has been found in which to do just that. Most people left very enthusiastic, and there was a real sense that meetings like this—where people can really take the time to get into some deep questions—have to be done much more often.

***

Something that drove home the great need and urgency of all this happened after the Chicago meeting—when right down the block from the meeting, a drive-by shooting wounded six people and killed one young woman waiting in line at a gyro place. And just a few days earlier in LA, a similar shooting took the life of a young man just a few blocks away from where people were gathered together outdoors at that very time to watch The RNL Show. In both Chicago and LA people went out to those neighborhoods in the days immediately after with the audio of Bob Avakian’s “Weapons of Oppression, and the Heart to Fight to End Oppression,” determined to take this revolution to those who need it the most.

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