Revolution #229, April 10, 2011

Taking up the BAsics Challenge - a BBQ Fundraiser for Publishing BAsics

Revolution distributors and some people in the Black community took up the $200 challenge for BAsics by pulling together a BBQ plate fundraiser. Several people from the neighborhood prepared the different items for the plates. Some others assembled the plates and delivered them to the people who had ordered them. The dinners had been sold in the neighborhood and to others as well. People got involved in this project for a number of different reasons ranging from wanting to popularize Bob Avakian to appreciation for the revolutionary movement. Through donations and selling 40 plates, we were able to reach our goal of $200 and a lot more people now know about BAsics and the upcoming celebration on April 11th.

Several regular readers of Revolution were excited about participating in this way and tried to sell tickets to their family and friends. In selling tickets for a couple of weeks leading up to the fundraiser, a lot of people got to find out about BAsics, BA and the celebration. Many people said that helping to raise money in this way is something that they feel they can do for the revolution and some of them said that we should do things like this on a more regular basis. One person who prepared the dinner said that he supports this revolution and he has liked what he's heard so far from Bob Avakian. And while he said, he can't be out in the streets he can contribute in this way.

People who bought the plates did so for many different reasons. One person said that "I really understand that more people have to take responsibility for building the revolutionary movement and that's why I'm volunteering to sell these plates. This is something I can do, even though my health is not good." Another person said that "If buying these plates will help get this revolutionary book published, I support that. If there is someone leading us in this revolution, everyone should know about him." Another comment, "It's so great that people in the community made these plates in order to make it possible to publish BAsics. It will make a big difference for people to get this book and read everything Bob Avakian has to say about how it's really possible to make revolution and get to a better society." A woman who bought a plate said that she is looking forward to the publication of BAsics because she has an open mind and she wants to know other people's thinking.

At a flea market in the neighborhood, a couple of people bought plates and got it out to others. Several people there have been reading Revolution off and on. But this fundraiser helped take the buzz about this movement for revolution to another level. One guy bought 3 plates and let his friends know that we were coming and encouraged them to join in buying plates. A young revolutionary-minded musician got a plate from his manager and he said that he sees the celebration of BAsics as really important and that it could put this revolution on the map. He thought that the newspaper is important but right now it only reaches a limited number of people, while the celebration of BAsics, with many artists joining in, could reach potentially tens of thousands of people. A vendor also got several issues of the newspaper and offered to help promote this revolution by getting out stacks of promotional flyers everywhere he went.

A lot of the people involved were really happy with this fundraiser and there was a common sentiment that they felt that they had made a difference. We had had to revamp our plans around this several times, and there were moments when it looked like it was going to fall apart, but collectively we worked through the contradictions we ran up against—both political and otherwise. Everyone was excited that we had reached our goal and a couple of people started coming up with more ideas on how to keep raising money.


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