World Can’t Wait...

Sights and Sounds from Live 8 Philly

Revolution #008, July 17, 2005, posted at

The following “sights and sounds” from the Live 8 concert in Philadelphia were compiled from reports and interviews from people who went into the crowd to get out Revolution newspaper and the statement: “The World Can’t Wait—Drive Out the Bush Regime!”


One young couple walks past us and refuses to take the leaflets, yelling out quite angrily that it won’t do any good, “We’ve already been robbed twice.” After chasing after and catching up to the couple and expressing that we understood how they feel and that’s why we need to talk, the woman shoots back very fiercely and still angrily, “You know how I feel? Like I’ve been raped!” After hearing what this proposal is actually calling for, she turns more to pleading and says, “I just want someone to tell me what I am supposed to do.” And then she leaves with a big stack of leaflets to get out.


“This government has always openly tortured and killed people and justified it—look at what they did during slavery, or with lynchings, or to Native Americans. They have always put people in jail unjustly, with no evidence. What’s new is who they’re doing it to. Christian fundamentalists are scary—Black people here can’t find a radio station Sunday mornings that isn’t Christian. What have Black people done to have this forced on us? What Bush is doing is typically Christian—look at the crusades. How can we fire up the American people? Too many are disinterested.”

Charlotte, a Black proletarian woman from Philly


A white laborer from Kentucky who had been up north working on a construction site, stares at the Revolution Books table for a while. He says Bush is taking the country in a Hitler direction and he wants to be part of what we’re doing. He throws ten dollars in the donation bucket, gets a subscription to Revolution, and takes flyers to distribute in Kentucky.


For many people, a newspaper that brings truth in time of lies, and gives a revolutionary communist perspective, is an intriguing and even exciting discovery. And some people are desperate for a paper like this. One of us sells a sub to a guy with a MOVE T-shirt, who is really fascinated by the whole idea of driving out the Bush regime, and then to a Black worker at UPS who came to the concert more to look for alternative political stuff than to catch the acts.


“Bush is a Nazi. It’s going to take the power of the people to drive him out—I don’t think they’ll willingly impeach him. They need to feel pressure from us. If we do nothing, we’re just copping out. We need to bring people together and I feel this project can do that.”

A white Christian man in his mid-fifties from Philly who took a large stackof the “World Can’t Wait” flyers


Just above the heads of the crowd are 21 huge placards each with a four-foot-tall letter on it. Together, they spell “Drive Out the Bush Regime.” We’re having some trouble getting through the crowd with the huge placards, but almost immediately, a young white dude with a Mohawk and “Jazzy-Jay” tattooed Tupac-style across his stomach, asks if we need help. He tells me he was a soldier but got out of going to Iraq for health reasons. All together, we wade deep into the crowd, loudly calling out the slogan, asking people to make way, and handing out flyers. There was a generally friendly response, along with a few catcalls like “I love Bush.” We talk to a group of youth. Some had been deeply involved in the Kerry campaign at college, all of them hated Bush. When they heard what we were doing, they went out and came back in five minutes with more kids like themselves. Now there are 15 or so of us and together we move on to find a spot to hoist up our signs. We call out to the crowd, “Who will take the U, the S, the H?” Quickly people come forward to get in line with their letter.

As we lift up the signs, the reaction is quick—like a wave, the crowd starts cheering, and it’s electrifying. After several minutes a group of about five jock-types physically attack us — grabbing at the letters and punching a couple of people. But we all hold our ground and others from the crowd jump to our defense. At this point the musician onstage is the reactionary Toby Keith, which I think ups the ante. The polarization is thick. One young woman with blue hair glows as she tells me, “I really can’t believe we could do this in the middle of Toby Keith. That was impressive.”


“People really need to know what Bush is about. Americans need to say he’s not carrying our voice. He wasn’t voted in in the first election, and I think he’s more illegitimate now. What will it take to get the government to work for us? We can’t be passive in the face of this. To drive his regime out, it will take something we haven’t seen in a few years—sacrifice. It’s going to take people saying ‘I’m not going to let my kids grow up under this kind of government.’ I registered people to vote—a lot of new immigrants, parents of my students—because people need to make informed decisions. I had my students research and compare and contrast the main contenders and then we took polls. I taught them how there are different forms of government—not just democracy.”

Brandy, a young middle school teacher from the Bronx,
who says it’s controversial to teach evolution at her school


We find ourselves enlisting people who voted for Bush, including some who still identify as Republicans. One guy who voted for Bush took a whole box (several thousand) flyers to distribute and is getting a lot of them out on the spot. We talked with white woman in her mid-fifties who is a Republican. She said she hates and detests Bush, and that he was “ruining the Republican party.” The person selling Revolution gave her five papers to distribute and she responded by reaching over and taking ten more. She said she would be part of anything that called to drive the Bush regime out of power.


A Party supporter active in the “World Can’t Wait” initiative wrote:

"We really had to engage people in discussion and struggle and the paragraph in the box on the back of the flyer [telling people how to get in touch and what to do] was important and worth talking with people about, particularly toward the end of our conversations. I would tell people ‘I know how you feel—horrified by what is being done—but that’s not good enough. It’s not good enough to be angry, or to complain, or to be scared—we have to change history and you have to take responsibility for this, right now, in a way you never imagined. There’s no escaping. . .’ This had a huge effect on people and whether they agreed to take a stack of 30 leaflets—or 300.

"We also struggled to really go broadly to sign people up. And not just the people who are angry and ready to do something, but also many more who are questioning, filled with anxiety, not yet ready to act, but who need to be in the mix and hearing from the organizers as events unfold and to be challenged through this to get more involved—in all kinds of new ways.

"We are confronting an unprecedented challenge, and part of this is whether we will dare to speak and move the many millions in this country. What we began in Philly—and are still coming from way behind to in achieving—was an important advance in the effort to drive the regime from power.

“It’s interesting to note that where we struggled with people to take this effort to drive out the Bush regime as their own, and did this based on the materialism of this current situation and what it says in the call—this was not antagonistic to bringing out our full view of the problem and solution, and quite a few papers, Bob Avakian DVD samplers, and subscriptions to Revolution were sold.”