The Revolution Club Marches in Chicago’s Bud Billiken Parade—Boldly Projecting Revolution and Organizing to Make It Real

from a member of the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour



From a flatbed truck, Noche Diaz of the National Revolution Tour agitated through a booming sound system to the people who lined the streets for the Bud Billiken Parade. Behind the truck, members of the Revolution Tour and Revolution Club marched in formation. Noche asked if they had heard of what happened in El Paso, where a white supremacist murdered 22 Latino people, and during the same weekend in Chicago, 59 people were shot by the violence amongst the youth, 7 dead. While our youth have their guns pointed at each other, these white supremacists are pointing their guns at these same people, who could be organized for revolution. Another member of the Revolution Tour held a copy of BAsics high in the air and told people straight up about the leader Bob Avakian and how he has forged a way to get humanity free, but you are needed to go to work on this to change the whole world now. Everyone was challenged to join in and be part of this revolution. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?!

Fists from the crowd on each side of dividing rails were raised as people yelled out,


“Revolution is what we need!”



More fists were raised as members of the National Tour and the Revolution Club marched forward along with the flatbed truck that was decorated with banners that showed the leader of the revolution Bob Avakian (BA) on one side, the banner “This System Cannot Be Reformed—IT MUST BE OVERTHROWN!” on the other, and the statement “When the White Supremacists Are on the Offensive...We Stand With the Immigrants! We Refuse to Kill Each Other! We Say Revolution—NOTHING LESS!” For those people whose fists were raised, they were called upon to get with this revolution now, as they were organized by members of the Revolution Club on the ground organizing people and passing out palm cards—including a 12-year-old who put on the “BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!” t-shirt and tirelessly got out palm cards and stickers to the crowd and running back to the truck for more materials to go back out with to the crowd.

Paying “Respect” to the U.S. Flag

A U.S. flag was displayed by a member of the Revolution Club ahead of the march. The revolutionaries on the truck agitated about the crimes committed against the people of the world under that flag—wars, invasions, nuclear bombs, police murders. The crowd began to chant, “Shred that rag!” Then, the revolutionary with the flag put it on the ground, stepped on it, picked it up, waved it and began ripping it. Most spectators cheered, some raised their fists, and a couple shook their heads and screamed out “YOU NEED JESUS!” A group of children jumped up and down in glee when the member brought the flag over to them over the rail for them to finish ripping and shredding, until a pig police appeared from behind them, stuck his snout out to attack the children and tried to grab the flag away from the club member. Without any success, he oinked, “Respect the flag!” and trotted away.

Marching Forward, Fists Up

The National Revolution Tour was joined by Revolution Club members from across the country at the Bud Billiken Parade in Chicago on August 10, the second largest parade in the country, which brings thousands of people, mostly Black, to the south side of Chicago. There were floats of different colors and messages and organizations like stopping the violence, many addressing the main theme of enabling the youth to go back to school. There were young dancers making moves down the parade route and motorcycles blazing through popping wheelies for people to see, along with militarized youth and BEB (Bourgeois Electoral Bullshit; for example, Kamala Harris is BEB) campaigns. Nothing else in that parade was representing the interests of humanity and the planet, challenging people to get into this revolution now, exposing the system for what it was and laid out where the interests of the people lie and lifted people's hopes like the Revolution Club marching did.

We had a few dozen people in our contingent, which constituted a force that was able to march through the parade in a disciplined and attractive way that was open for anyone who wanted to join and put on a t-shirt, having agreed with the Points of Attention, with clear orientation and direction commanded from the flatbed truck in a compelling way that went under people's skin to bring them into the revolution. Our aim was to impact and accumulate on the basis of what is concentrated in BAsics 3:30.

Some of those we met days before when we shut down Lake Shore Drive joined us for the parade, bringing a special energy and defiance. This was the beginning of their stepping into the revolution. Members of the Revolution Club who came from out of state commented on the size and awe of the parade. Many had not even been in a parade before. Being a part of the contingent brought great joy and determination.

Message from the Revolution to You

Joe Veale spoke from the truck about being in the streets when he was younger and being a part of “the life.” He got out of that, and many other people can, too, to be a part of the revolution, to make your life count for emancipating humanity. People watching were being struggled with in a good way from the revolutionary float. We read the Points of Attention for the Revolution. The agitation and challenge from the flatbed were consistent and clear:

This system has no future for the youth but the REVOLUTION DOES

We Stand with Immigrants—TRUMP AND PENCE MUST GO!


Along the parade route, there were many Black people, young and old, jumping from their seats running along the rails of the route or standing up straight to raise a fist or cry out “REVOLUTION, NOTHING LESS!” A woman sitting on the side agreed and said, “Yes, there is no future for our youth under this system.” A woman with a youth organization raised her fist to cry out “NO MORE!” as she nodded her head at the agitation about driving out the Trump/Pence regime and heard the Points of Attention. She told us, “It’s a revolution—Trump and Pence, they gotta go! They are tearing families away from their homes. What happened in Mississippi should not have happened. Children are crying, people are dying, and Trump is fueling this! There needs to be a movement: THEY GOTTA GO!”

Many people got palm cards highlighting the upcoming film showing of Why We Need An Actual Revolution and How We Can Really Make Revolution by Bob Avakian. We had a way for people to come in and be part on the spot by taking a photograph following @TuneIntoRevcom with a sign from the march. The Revolution had a booth toward the end of the march that people could meet at and get organized into the revolution.

As the march came to a stop, there was one last push for those who were able to go across the outer sections of the parade route, where people had seen and heard us to organize them into the revolution. Two young men came up to us to ask for materials, because they had seen our contingent and thought we were not just talking but were serious.

Revolution Booth

On the corner of the street was a booth with a banner “This System Has No Future For the Youth, The Revolution Does...” that was set up with books like BAsics and the Constitution for a New Socialist Republic in North America and The New Communism. Displays of the “5 STOPS,” an installation used on “Red Summer,” and The Points of Attention for the Revolution attracted people to come by the booth. We played the trailer for the film Why We Need An Actual Revolution and How We Can Really Make Revolution” that we will be playing on Sunday, August 18. We also played a clip from the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian, where BA talks about “What if...” and another clip of “BA Through the Years.” One person said, “Oh my god this makes complete sense. This is exactly what they do to us.” Another person said: “This is deep, this is really deep. People need to see this.” People also asked where could they see this film and for other clips of BA. The people gathered materials and were organized, and BAsics was sold.

Summing Up Lessons

At the end, we sat in a circle with about 50 people summing up the experience we had. Everyone spoke positively of the impact we made and how much joy it was to be a part of it. People spoke to how people had joined the contingent off of what was done on Thursday during the protest and shutdown of Lake Shore Drive. Others reflected on the strength of the agitation about BA and the leadership he is providing and the urgent need for more people to take this up, and how this was an advance even from earlier in the week off some collective summation the Tour had had. About a dozen new people joined and stayed from beginning to end. Someone said they were thrilled to be a part of and witnessing the action on Lake Shore Drive and that we did not back down. They also said we did not back down when a comrade during the parade brought a U.S. flag over to a group of children to rip up and a pig police attacked them. A young man said this was something he felt he had to be a part of after having tried to start an organization of his own but realized you can’t do it on your own but this is the one to be a part of it until his dying breath.

What the revolution did at the Bud Billiken Parade represented the interests of the seven billion people on the planet. We showed there was a radically different force on the scene having brought people from the impact made by shutting down Lake Shore Drive days before to the march at parade to make an impact there and organize people off of that impact for revolution, so the revolution can impact further to organize even more people. We were not going to back down from that goal, not from those who said revolution is not possible and not from any repression or attacks on the masses of people. We struggled with the youth who were about to get into a fight and were chased by the police. There was something to fight and live your life for and it was not that kind of life that they have for us, but the challenge was made to all to be a part of this revolution, whether photographing and following us, or to do more by joining the contingent on the spot as some people did. The message of the revolution was clear and loud, and so were the people in the crowd who were responding to it.

Carl Dix on WVON Chicago's Matt & Kim Show
Why the Revolution Tour was at the Bud Billikin parade, why people should come to see this film...


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