--> “Field Reports” From Taking Out the Revolution, April 25

“Field Reports” From Taking Out the Revolution, April 25

| revcom.us


Over the past several days, the National Tour has continued to go out in Los Angeles, working to draw people into the revolution. They have ranged from a South Central neighborhood, to UCLA, to a community college on the East Side: finding the ways for masses of people to come into and work on the problems of the revolution. The Tour is building right now for a picnic this Sunday. We’re including reports from their work and encounters to help give everyone a sense of what they’re working on and how they’re viewing it, and to foster the widest possible ferment over how to break through.


In the neighborhood

#1 “Deep Exchanges”

Three of us went out yesterday for a little under two hours. We were planning to go to the community center someone told us about in the area but never made it there. We set a couple appointments on our way down to meet up with two people who had taken some stacks of the POAs on Saturday.

In addition to those discussions, where we gave them more materials and talked more concretely about Sunday’s picnic, there were other, really deep exchanges. One important thing to note is that there are several repeat discussions we had with people who had gotten our materials in the days before. One dude had talked to one of our people on Saturday and really appreciated that we were out here. He understood we were bringing a wider view to people, but still in a framework of “doing good for the community.” We talked more about this, struggled over the question of choices... He wants to come Sunday but raised contradictions of being in that neighborhood (where there are disputes between sets). We got into this some but there is more to work through. He did say he would help poster with us today.

As we were walking away, a couple guys in a car pulled us over. One said he'd seen me doing agitation at some point and wanted the materials and the other dude got the flyer and said, “Oh, good... y'all are doing another picnic, I missed the last one.” The guy who’d seen us doing agitation said something like, “I know we’re being messed over by the system, I’m an ex-con. I can tell you all about it.” This was brief because we had to head out, but I sent them a video link from BA by text.

Finally, we talked to the person who had suggested we go by the community center. He’d read the POAs but hadn’t gotten more into BA’s recent stuff and was still raising that he didn’t really want to participate.... that he’s more like on both sides of things, needs to learn more, etc. He would be interested in coming on Sunday, but he has to work. He did take some flyers to leave out at work. In struggling over the need for him to step into this now, on different levels and in a way he feels comfortable, he said that if he gave people stuff, they’d ask him questions and he wouldn’t know how to answer. First, I said it’s ok to say he doesn’t know something and point people to get deeper... also, that there’s a Revolution Club and he could contact the people here locally... then I thought better and added that there’s a whole national movement and a website that he could write to with stuff that comes up. We also talked about BAsics and BA’s ability to break things down... BA as a resource. I showed him BAsics but we didn’t have any copies (!) and he was interested in getting it. He said he’d pull the money together and get it today.

In the meantime, last night, he texted me: “I’ve been watching a few videos of Bob Avakian, and really enjoyed/learned quite a bit. At this moment, I’ve staked my claim here [he texted a link to a progressive nationalist group]. Maybe some quid pro quo can be found in this struggle of ours. This talk from BA was very enlightening... I listened to a talk from BA from years ago pertaining to this matter, and respected his in depth comprehensive take on this. See you tomorrow purchase that book from you. Power to the People.”

There were some heavy discussions with people about the life, revenge... and one dude who very movingly talked about finding solace in “my best friend” and showed me his beer can. One point this latter guy made was about the need for us to paint a vision of what kind of world we’re fighting for. This, I felt, was an important criticism from him. This is in the POAs but also made me think about the need to make more use of the “What If’s...” clip as part of this...

Also, I left this out but there was concrete discussion/wrangling about getting people to the picnic and why spread the POAs.


#2: Taking This Up in Beginning Ways

From another comrade, same neighborhood:

One experience I had with a guy who was in “the life,” who was appreciative of the flyers and what we were putting to him about revolution and getting organized to overthrow this system. His response to this was that he couldn't get with this, when asked why he said his future is already written because of what he represents, he pointed to Nipsey and said that’s what’s going to happen to me.

I posed to him the challenge of our life is going to be about something or nothing.

Later, I thought this challenge should of been done different, by indicting this system that keeps us in these conditions where we are trained to look at each other as the enemy and go and kill each other, then this same system keep us locked in to thinking like there is no way out! That this is just the way our future will be and there is nothing we can do about it, and the fact that we don’t have to accept this future and we can go to work on changing that right now, stepping into this revolution and what we do have (strategy, leadership, science) and what’s needed is you.

There was also a guy who we met last time who wanted to go check out the POAs on his own before doing anything else; he got in touch a day later and said he liked this message and wanted to be a part of it. Yesterday he went to a rap concert in LA and handed out about 15 or 20 of the flyers and a few stickers. He said he had a good response, that people liked them. He said he read the flyer out loud to some people and told them to call the number on the flyer. We talked about the importance of that and the fact that he was a part of this revolution by spreading this; he appreciated that.

I think it’s important, examples like this that bridge that divide of “us” and “them” where people, like this person above, sees this as theirs and taking it where they go and see the importance in others knowing about it, but also this thing about putting the problems of the revolution to them, what we do have but also what we don’t.

At a college: “I decided to have a solo outing with the POAs before and after one of my classes…”

From a member of the Revolution Club:

I was inspired by the recent videos being uploaded from the Revolution Tour of students giving their impressions of the Points of Attention for the Revolution. I decided to have a solo outing with the POAs before and after one of my classes, and I ended up posting up about 50 flyers with the POAs and the contact information for the Revolution Club in and around the campus, on poles and other visible public spaces (in bus stops, outside shops). This being a solo outing, I took a step back to think about how I could impact blocks of students, but I found this hard to do just by solo flyering. I talked to about five students about the POAs, taking cue from what was modeled in those videos and the recent practice of the Tour. I asked people what they thought of these POAs and what would the world be like if society was set up with these in mind.

One young woman really dug Point #2 and Point #3 when I read them to her. She agreed that the world would be a far better place if these were taken up by large numbers of people, but she was hesitant to spread them. Still there was a divide that I don’t know how to break down. I explained to her that spreading these Points of Attention is something that one can do even if they don’t know very much about revolution and communism, but the hesitation was real despite her high level of unity with what was put forward. A white student in his mid-20s held a long conversation with me which ranged broadly, and I had to constantly struggle to bring it back to the 2 choices (leave the world as it is, OR make revolution), 5 stops, and 6 POA points on which the conversation had been grounded, particularly the 2 choices, which he disagreed on.

This is a larger phenomenon we have been running up against: a lot of people don’t agree that there are only two choices. I could tell that this guy took a totally academic approach to this exchange, and I tried to bring it back to the visceral reality that all the suffering and exploitation that the masses face is not just horrific but unnecessary, the leadership we have to make the revolution humanity needs, and the strategy to make revolution are things we have not had before in this country. The biggest obstacle in his thinking was American chauvinism; even though he had some heart for the conditions of people around the world and he acknowledged that the whole global economy is based on exploitation, he saw the major solution to this being tariffs. Another huge obstacle in his thinking was something BA has focused a lot on: the lack of belief that we can have a better way of organizing society than capitalism, that even with its flaws, what more can we do than tinker around with capitalist democracy? I tried to respond simply with, “this is the system we have, but we could have a whole better system, but it takes a revolution to get there.” Although this student didn’t agree with the need for revolution, I challenged him to dig into those POAs, and ask himself “is this real? Would the world really be different if we all, and the society, lived by them and fought for them?” and to check out the website, which he said he would do.


Taking Up the Points of Attention at a Community College

First, some numbers:

  • Three of us were out for 4 hours – from 12:30 to 4:30.
  • We texted/signed up 26 people to view a clip of BA and info about the picnic.
  • 25 people took stacks of POAs – some as few as 3 or 5, most between 10 and 20, and a couple took more. A very conservative average would be 10 each, adding up to 250 POAs put in the hands of new people to spread. This was based on reading and discussing with them the 5-2-6,* including concretely who/where they would spread the ones they took. [*The 5 Stops; the 2 choices (either live with this and condemn future generations to live with it, if there is a future at all… or MAKE REVOLUTION; and the 6 Points of Attention.]
  • Three meaningful direct engagements with BA: A young woman with family from Central America – including some who had been part of/sympathetic to the struggle of the people and some who had died – watched the clip about how the youth tried so hard after the LA rebellion to forge unity. She gave vocal responses, anticipating and cheering for how BA took her through it all. A Black woman who works on campus and lives in South Central watched the “What Ifs...” from the Dialogue as well as the Corcoran SHU clip. She loved both, but especially was cheering and laughing during the places that always get the deepest response. Both these women took a kit (as well as the #BEB paper and the system has no future for the youth poster), gave donations (one gave $2, one gave $5). The Black woman got her 16-year-old on the phone to talk with us and get her involved as well. One young man read quotes from BAsics and talked for quite a while and put down $5 toward purchasing BAsics (we gave him the book and made plans for him to give the rest).
  • Four people spoke on video, reading one of the POAs and talking about what it means to them, what the POAs as a whole mean to them, and where/how they intend to spread them. Need to get these out on social media. One guy spoke with deep feeling and insight on #2, including making a critique about how the pervasive and widely accepted, truly disgusting and degrading treatment of women is accepted. Two who read and spoke deeply about #3. One who read #5 – and several others – said that point spoke to them very deeply. We'd read them all, though, and people also reacted to them as a whole. One in the video spoke about how these are six simple ways you can understand and get started, not just keep walking by.

We spoke to several members of student groups and student government who were very friendly and supportive. They are actively working to get us a room to show BA and give a presentation about the Tour and the Revolution. They’ve already texted back and forth about availability, etc. Need to pin this down.


The campus was overwhelmingly friendly to the 5-2-6 message. A solid 40% of the students we actually approached stopped to listen and responded very favorably to the basic message of the revolution, or to the 5 Stops poster. The campus is majority Latino. A lot of texture to sum up and work to do to build on this, and take to a whole higher level.


On Monday, April 23. Our team went to a small junior college with a number of DACA students, Latinos as well as Asian students.

We set up a table in the quad with books and other materials. We had the 5 Stops displays and the #BEB display. We had a tablet to show people clips as well.

The campus was relatively empty, and the stream of people walking by was pretty small. Yet the overall dominant response from people was very positive and receptive. People were very open to talking and would take more time out of their day for us. As compared to some of the more elite schools where it can be difficult to get anyone to stop and talk.

People stopped to read the 5 Stops; they would say things like “I agree with these things.” People would read the POAs and say “Whoa, what is this about?” “Is this a club on campus?” “Are you a non-profit or something?”

Among the people who had a positive response there were different subsections. There were people who were more actively engaging us and those people tended to hear our message as ‘big change’ and in response people would give us a ‘big thumbs up!’ But as things got clearer what a revolution really is and what the two choices are, things would divide out again. It was right here where people would build bridges out. They would pose why they thought we were wrong about there being only two choices (less common), or why you couldn’t do anything at all (more common), which most people raised because people are set in their ways and we can’t tell them what to think.

There were people who were more “passive,” and kind of acted like they were caught off guard by the conversation and didn’t have much to say about the world yet, but at the same time would express that they thought what we were doing was positive.

Overall we organized about 26 people who took about 250 flyers in all (about 10 each). And we ourselves distributed about 180 and sold a BAsics. We showed clips from BA about 5 times (The System Has No Future for the Youth). We met some student body officers who are helping us get a room and set up a meeting, and another student agreed to take responsibility to form a Facebook group for students (at this campus) in the revolution.

What happened as we engaged people individually:

There was a table set up next to ours. The campus is in the middle of student elections, so there were a half-dozen students giving out pizza and petitioning their students for votes. They first walked up to us off of the #BEB poster. They really wanted to know what it was. “Try and guess,” we said. They thought it must be bad because Trump was on it, but at the same time Bernie, Buttigieg, and AOC were on there so… now they are confused.

We pulled out the broadsheet and revealed what it was, Bourgeois Electoral Bullshit, and opened up to the middle of the broadsheet and immediately they said, “Can I please have this?” They poured over all the war crimes, and one student said he had just learned about one of these in class. One of the students really wanted to become a politician; he said he wanted to be president, yet at the same time was really drawn to what we were saying. Two of the group were more drawn to us and spent some time with us talking. One student was a part of six groups on campus, the other was a student body senator. They agreed to and offered to get us a room on campus where we could have a meeting and show a film. They even offered to help so we could put up flyers and advertise around campus (since it requires a special stamp to be posted). They offered to invite people they knew in clubs and groups.

A couple of young Latino males stopped to read the 5 Stops. I engaged them and talked to them about the 5 Stops and the POAs. They both thought the 5 Stops were horrible things that should be stopped. We had gone back and forth for some time about that these things can’t be reformed and the system has to be overthrown and that we have two choices. I kept posing back two problems: that, one, people don’t know about this, and two,  there have been all sorts of people who are interested on campus and who are going to spread the word about this, but that this has to be cohered into some form of organization or else all these people who want a revolution will be off on their own.

It was after this that one of the youths raised how he knew as soon as he took this out he would get shit for it, and didn’t really think it was right to force your views on other people who don’t want to hear it. I went another round with him that people have their heads up their asses, but also care about these 5 Stops and that we are not going for everybody right now. I gave the example of what would it change if there was even 20 people on this campus who were organized and serious about this. He agreed that it would make a huge difference. So I posed those two problems again in relation to the two choices, and the student thought that he should start a Facebook group for students [at this campus] in the revolution so that we could keep everybody in the know. He thought we should organize people to get together at a restaurant or something, and that we should all go together to spread the word...

We met someone else, a young Latino male who was a former police cadet. He really thought the 5 Stops were wrong. He asked me what we meant by revolution and I contrasted it to what Bernie means by revolution. “We aren’t talking about dividing more of the spoils of empire, we are talking about overthrowing the system and getting rid of the empire.” I mentioned briefly about where all wealth comes from and briefly mentioned the Congo where children as young as four are mining coltan. This deeply disturbed him. He said he had no idea stuff like that was happening and brought up these children mining in the Congo several times throughout our conversation. He thought the police could be reformed (there’s good cops and bad cops). I showed him BAsics 1:24 and he said he halfway thought it was true. He purchased a BAsics and wants to come to the meeting next week.

Points of Attention for the Revolution

1 We base ourselves on and strive to represent the highest interests of humanity: revolution and communism. We do not tolerate using the revolution for personal gain.

2 We fight for a world where ALL the chains are broken. Women, men, and differently gendered people are equals and comrades. We do not tolerate physically or verbally abusing women or treating them as sexual objects, nor do we tolerate insults or “jokes” about people’s gender or sexual orientation.

3 We fight for a world without borders, and for equality among different peoples, cultures and languages. We do not tolerate insults, “jokes” or derogatory names about a person’s race, nationality, or language.

4 We stand with the most oppressed and never lose sight of their potential to emancipate humanity—nor of our responsibility to lead them to do that. We work to win people of all backgrounds to take part in the revolution, and do not tolerate revenge among the people.

5 We search for and fight for the truth no matter how unpopular, even as we listen to and learn from the observations, insights and criticisms of others.

6 We are going for an actual overthrow of this system and a whole better way beyond the destructive, vicious conflicts of today between the people. Because we are serious, at this stage we do not initiate violence and we oppose all violence against the people and among the people.

Spread the Points of Attention on social media


“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

Read about the Tour stepping up and stepping out »

Read the Call to the Tour »

Below are a selection of pictures from the Tour in Los Angeles.



Get a free email subscription to revcom.us:

Volunteers Needed... for revcom.us and Revolution

Send us your comments.