1000 Years-$1000 for BA Everywhere Project:
Donor Will Match First $3000

June 16, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


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On May 1, the BA Everywhere campaign launched the "1000 Years–$1000 for BA Everywhere" project, calling on BA Everywhere committees and people around the country to meet the challenge of raising $1,000 that would be pledged by ex-prisoners, prisoners, and their families and loved ones—$1 for every year lost in the cages of this nation of prisons. And then, to go on and match and multiply the first $1,000 many times over.

As of June 14, over $2,200 has been raised for more than 1,300 years lost in these dungeons. This is the first step in raising the many tens of thousands of dollars that are needed over the next few months to begin to project the revolutionary vision, leadership and framework for radically new world developed by BA to have impact and influence throughout the whole society.

Now, we are bringing to you, below, a challenge from a donor who will match $3,000 when that amount has been raised from among those most impacted by mass incarceration. And, he is challenging those with more means to donate more.

The statements and interviews from those responding to this call over the past few weeks are incredibly powerful: from the ex-prisoner interviewed about what it means for the youth who pour into the prisons to learn about Bob Avakian and his revolutionary leadership; to the family of an Iranian revolutionary who donated $100 so that his life, lost in the dungeons of the Khomeini regime in the late 1970s, "can count for the emancipation of humanity."

Read these stories and statements. Let them wash over you. Feel the heart and courage of those stepping out to make their bitter lost years count toward a whole different world. Then, think of who to reach out to. Put the challenge of matching many times over the dollars for bitter lost years already donated to BA Everywhere, to many people who may not have experienced, but who are disgusted, alarmed, agonized by mass incarceration and the many other brutal life-stealing crimes of this criminal system and have the ability to donate significant amounts.

"If those locked down in the hellholes of this nation of cages, who have so fucken little as it is, can come up with ways to raise a dollar for every year they've spent in prison, they could have a resonating impact not only on our fund-raising efforts out here on the streets, but also in the overall work we are doing in building the movement for a REAL revolution... This isn't about raising money for some feel-good-about-yourself charity that doesn't change shit, this is about filling the great need to raise the consciousness of the masses to a level that, when conditions are right, opens up the possibility to meet, defeat, abolish, and dismantle the repressive forces and institutions that have targeted and hounded us on the street, decided our fate with the mere hit of a gavel, and held us in torturous conditions for years on end." ("From A Former Prisoner Who's Answering the Call to Contribute to "1000 Years–$1000 for BA Everywhere")

Isn't THIS—making what BA's work is all about, known everywhere—what so many people should learn about, be thinking about, challenged to give resources to?

In this light, the BA Everywhere campaign is putting the challenge to all of you who are reading this, to spread to others. The donor writes (below) that if the BA Everywhere campaign can reach the goal of $3,000 raised for the years lost in this country's dungeons from among those BA is speaking to in the "Appeal to Those the System Has Cast Off" by the first week in July, he will match that $3,000.

And, the BA Everywhere campaign, along with this donor, challenges those with more resources to give more. For every $1 for one year given by an ex-prisoner or the families impacted by losing the years of their loved ones, those with the ability to do so should donate many times more.

One-third of what is raised through the "1000 Years–$1000 for BA Everywhere" project will go to the Prisoners Revolutionary Literature Fund, to send copies of BA's book BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian into the prisons, in response to prisoners' requests. The other two-thirds will go to the Bob Avakian Institute which promotes knowledge of and engagement with Avakian's work.

So to everyone reading this; to every BA Everywhere committee, to every person raising funds for BA Everywhere, to everyone giving efforts and heart to stopping mass incarceration—including those now taking up the Call from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network: "WE SAY NO MORE! A Call for a Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation!"—read through this donor's challenge below. Read the words of the prisoners and ex-prisoners and families who have written about why they have already pledged. Donate yourself, and involve others in donating.

Then come together at the BA Everywhere July 4 gatherings to celebrate and mark what should be a great success in meeting this donor's challenge, and going on to raise tens of thousands for BAE over this summer.


Statement: From a skilled worker fighting for a different future

I am mortified knowing what this system does to so many oppressed people here. It's disgusting that the people who aren't wealthy are being squeezed more and more, fall between the cracks and are being ground up. Giving them the "choice" to slog through schools—which are like prisons in so many ways—or drop out into the unofficial/underground economy, or getting an entry-level job that enriches someone else. Like BA says, "No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that."

So often youth are railroaded into prison like the Central Park Five, or given no real choice for another future, so the "choice" they "choose" puts them there. Think of the dimensions of the pipeline to mass incarceration; what proportion of the oppressed community has suffered from being, or knowing someone, behind bars. It's become part of the culture! Saggy pants, from belts not being allowed in prisons; the youth are mooning society! Too bad that can't bring it down.

I was reluctant to give to the BA Everywhere campaign overall. I was thinking it is mainly the prisoners who need Bob Avakian's works and the Party's literature. But now I realize that if BA and his new synthesis of revolution, of communism, if his leadership isn't known, isn't in the mix outside the prison walls, what are we bringing to the prisoners? Busting BA Everywhere onto the scene—everywhere—so that BA becomes a household word, so it can't be ignored, is crucial; who else can lead where we need to go?

Imagine a future where a million-plus Black and Latino youth are out from under the thumb of the system, in fervent debate about the way forward and the role people should play in society. The true nature of the system exposed, the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) being wrangled over and honed, sharpened to further prepare and inspire struggle for revolution.

I call on those BA is talking to in BAsics 3:16: "An Appeal to Those the System Has Cast Off": " Here I am speaking not only to prisoners but to those whose life is lived on the desperate edge, whether or not they find some work; to those without work or even homes; to all those the system and its enforcers treat as so much human waste material…." I'm calling on those people—the people in Harlem, the Bronx, South Central LA, East Oakland—you know who you are. I am challenging YOU to join together, to raise $3,000 nationally by the first week of July, for the "1000 years–$1000 for BA Everywhere" project. And I pledge to match that amount.

Further, I challenge others in a position to greatly further this campaign: consider making significant contributions. The system has made this society intolerable to live in on so many levels. But there is something we can do about this that makes a difference—the BA Everywhere campaign. Match and multiply the first $1,000 donations to this "1000 years–$1000 to BA Everywhere" project over and over.

What else could make such a difference?

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