Impact at the LA Climate Crisis March:

Cracking Open Mass Debate on Real Revolution

| Revolution Newspaper |


by a member of the Revolution Club, Los Angeles

Young people in over 100 countries took part in a strike on Friday, March 15, answering the call from 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg to demand action by world governments to curb the catastrophe of climate change. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 people, many of them high school students, came out in LA.

A heightened sense of urgency is being felt by youth all over the world: Will there be a planet for future generations to live on? Millions are being thrust into political life at a time when the very future existence of human civilization is up for grabs. This global wave of struggle is very important, but left to itself, it will be channeled into the confines of the very system of capitalism-imperialism which is driving this destruction. Going into the youth protest here in LA, the national Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour and the Revolution Club LA felt an additional sense of urgency: Thousands of people need to get organized for revolution now, with the aim of impacting and influencing millions.

The Revolution Club marched in formation, chanting “There is no Planet B! Revolution is what we need!” and “We are the revcoms! The mighty, mighty revcoms!” and other revolutionary chants, announcing our presence and alerting all that there IS an organized, serious, fighting force for a whole other way for humanity and the planet. This in itself had an impact. During the march, many students took up our “Planet B” chant, which we followed up with, “The system can’t be reformed. It must be overthrown!” which did not see the same number of people take it up. We would switch back and forth between the chants. This reflected the positive inclinations toward a more radical solution and the simultaneous resistance to an actual overthrow. This was all part of a bigger process by which people were being influenced on different levels. Through our presence as a whole, we unleashed a process of polarization and repolarization around the questions of reform or revolution, the Green New Deal, questions about violence and about whether you could defeat them, and what exactly is the new communism.

We wielded the polemic on the Green New Deal, which is being promoted as the big “solution” to the climate crisis, but is in reality a deadly illusion keeping people fighting to reform the system instead of uniting to overthrow it. Repeatedly, we unleashed mass contestation, with people sorting themselves out in relation to our core message and the controversy that followed in our wake. Even those who sharply argued against revolution because we took their ideas on, served the larger process of clarification and demarcation that led to others turning their heads to revolution.

A note on the makeup of the march: Many of the students were from better-off sections of Los Angeles, and for most taking part, this was their first demonstration. The fact that hundreds were out in the street was positive, but certainly the size was not commensurate with the threat humanity is facing.

Often the polarization was negative against revolution, with many seeing this solution as being too “extreme” or repeating tired anti-communist tropes that still get ingrained in people from the time they are young, including through the school curriculum. We sharply challenged all of this, wrenching freedom from the fierce struggles being born out of the debates. Because we didn’t back down, we projected something that was, to some people, very attractive. THIS brought forward the interested parties seeking another way out of the crowd in a way that we could never do if we stayed on the margins, talking to people one-on-one.

In one instance, 12 students debated with us over the role of the Democrats, the Green New Deal, America’s founding principles, and more. At a certain point many were piling on anti-communism and not even listening. One of the students who was more serious and challenged her peers to “hear them [the communists] out.” Then, in front of them all, she signed up with the revolution. At the same time, 40 people throughout the course of the afternoon gave us their names and contact information.

When a counterrevolutionary agitated against the revolutionaries, trotting out the “cult” line and urging others to disregard us, we put it back to the masses that anything short of revolution would allow the planet to burn. Serious students drew near and dug in.

In summing up, we felt there were real strengths in how we stepped out, proceeding from BAsics 3:1: “Let’s get down to basics: We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit...” and uniting and struggling with people on that foundation (as the rest of BAsics 3:1 goes on to explain).

At the same time, while there was some work done to organize people into the revolution, this needed to be done much more consistently and boldly—putting forward, and concretely carrying forward, our goal of organizing thousands into the revolution now, and organizing hundreds as part of this crucial tour.


“The Destruction of the Planet by Capitalism-Imperialism”
An Excerpt from
Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution
A speech by Bob Avakian

“You Think You’re Woke...
But You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare —

This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown!”

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

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