Revolution #243, August 21, 2011

The BAsics Challenge to the sisters and brothers behind the walls

To all those who one way or another are caught up in the criminal justice system—in prison or out. Let me begin with this: unfortunately when I went to prison, it was too much like a high school reunion. Literally and figuratively.

I come from the so-called "worst of the worst." That is what the prison authorities labeled us when I was locked up. I come from a family of six—four young Black males and two females. All the males ended up in the penitentiary. It got so bad that by the time my youngest brother got to be 18, he blew his brains out. Even my sister did county jail time for defending us from police harassment and brutality.

But at the time, we refused to accept the system's terms—its outlook and values—and labels. It was a time of a strong revolutionary movement in society and in the prisons. We had Mao Tsetung's Red Book and other revolutionary literature and we were beginning to develop a revolutionary understanding of human society and of the world. Under the horrific conditions of being trapped in the criminal justice system, we developed an even more defiant attitude and we fought to be part of the larger revolutionary struggle and we ourselves changed in the course of that. But we did not make revolution. For one, we did not have the leadership we needed to do it during those times. That's why this shit is going on even worse today than it was back then. Counter-revolution was launched by the powers-that-be.

I'm speaking to you who have been cast to the margins of society. You, who they demonize and dehumanize. The truth is that when you begin to speak and act in a revolutionary way, it can contribute to rapidly and dramatically making things more favorable for revolution.

Today, communist-led revolution is more needed and possible than ever. We do have what went on before and we have the leadership of Bob Avakian who is leading the Party and the movement for revolution we are building. This is what is transforming people today.

But to strengthen and advance this revolution and the fight for human emancipation, millions need to know Bob Avakian, be introduced to him, the vision, methodology and approach he has developed so we can realize this vision of a whole new world. They need BAsics.

I'd like to give an assignment to those of you who have been reading and digging BAsics—and being transformed into revolutionaries. Everybody you write should know about this. They should know about BAsics, Bob Avakian and Revolution newspaper. Everybody who visits you should not only know about this but they should get their hands on it and engage it themselves. This is how we can turn hundreds into thousands and have thousands leading millions in the future.

You should write Revolution newspaper and tell us how you are spreading BAsics from the inside to the outside. Tell us how you are speaking to the youth and share that experience so others could learn from that.

Send us your comments.

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