Revolution #158, March 8, 2009

From a reader:

Breaking Out of “Me and Mine”

I wanted to share an interesting exchange I had taking out Revolution newspaper and building for the March 1 event in Chicago, Making Revolution in the USA, that underscores the importance of struggling with people to take responsibility for the world as it is and being part of a revolutionary movement really working at making revolution.

A few of us were out in Englewood, one of the most oppressed neighborhoods in the city with a sound truck and Revolution. We talked with one guy who lives in the neighborhood and he got a copy of Revolution. We were struggling with him to come to the event on March 1. He agreed things were fucked up in the world and that there needed to be real change, but that he had to focus on his family, going to school and the betterment of himself. I argued this was bullshit—look at the world around us, it's crying out for revolution, for communism and he needs to lift his head up out of himself and deal with this. He asked me what neighborhood I was coming from—as if to argue I had no right to speak.

I asked him why that was a relevant question and his answer was that it's enough of a struggle for him just to walk through these streets every day. I joined this sharply—think about what the youth have to walk through in Gaza—under fire from U.S.-backed Israeli bombs where frankly, the youth are lucky to reach his age. I don't give a shit what neighborhood you're living in, all of us have a responsibility to those people and the people of the world to make revolution and get rid of this system—which is not in our interests here and definitely not in the interests of those youth in Gaza. He stared at me for a second and answered, "Oh shit, I hadn’t thought of that. Do you have a card? You just really challenged me. Can I talk to y’all more sometime?"

He took a small stack of flyers and I gave him a way to reach us and got his address so we could stop by. Someone stopped by his house and made an appointment to talk further, and he kept emphasizing how much he wanted to talk more.

This is just one opening, but I thought it was a good example of someone responding positively to the necessary struggle for people to break out of “me and mine” and lift their heads up to think about and take responsibility for revolution.

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