Revolution #256, January 15, 2012
"Changing the very possibilities that people have in their minds"
This fund pitch was given at the January 1 party in Chicago.
I want to tell everyone here tonight what the BA bus tour means to me.
I'm a college student, and the town I go to school in isn't a major city by any means. Even so, there is a local Occupy movement. My university hosted a discussion night on the Occupy movement a few months ago, right around the time where it was really becoming a big deal within the media and when Occupy was becoming a household word.
This event was hugely attended. It was immediately apparent that students and community members who came to the discussion were really eager to learn about the movement. Occupy had really hit on something for a lot of people, especially the students. Many students are staring down unemployment after graduation, and this is raising a lot of consciousness among students today.
So this room is totally full—every seat was taken. There was a panel that gave short overviews of different aspects of Occupy. One professor spoke about the development of the movement itself and how it got started. Another professor spoke about how the media works to frame things, with the prominent example being Occupy, and uses language and visuals that seek to delegitimize the movement. There was also a young woman from the local Occupy that spoke along with the professors about her personal experience being an occupier.
Through all of their individual presentations, they all hit on the same basic reason for the existence of the movement: the system of capitalism has served to create vast inequality, and people are pissed off about it! Occupy emerged as an upsurge of resistance to the "order of things."
So, after the presenters were done giving their speeches, the event was opened up to more general discussion and questions. I took this opportunity to ask the panelists that, if the system of capitalism was responsible for the injustices and inequalities that Occupy was speaking out against, was the system worth saving?
Each and every panelist was more or less confounded by this question. And each and every one of them, after stumbling over their words a bit, responded with a varying degree of "well, yes, I mean, of course it's worth saving. We just have to go make things more equal, you know, go back to the original intentions of what this country is all about."
The "original intentions," whether we're talking about the U.S. Constitution, or Declaration of Independence, or whatever, all represent the interests of a specific class; enshrined in the documents, laws, etc. of this country are the interests of the small ruling class that exploits the great masses of people. Yet, this was not how the panelists saw it, and quite honestly, is not how most people in this country see it.
But now, imagine this: the BA bus comes into town. It visits the occupied spaces, the revolutionaries on the bus are spreading BA's work, spreading the message that "things do not have to be this way" and "there is an alternative." Imagine if this bus would have been in town before I went to this discussion, how the language and debate would have been different. This change, this earthshaking change, is what the BA bus will be bringing to towns all over the country. This bus is going to be bringing revolution!
To me, this BA bus is about changing the very possibilities that people have in their minds about how the world can be. To me, this bus is "the cavalry." I get Revolution newspaper out, I talk about BA to people that I know—I'm really trying to get BA everywhere. But to be able to have a bus of revolutionaries coming to town, spreading our message… This would be so powerful! The BA bus is all about building the movement for revolution. So donate to this bus tour. Donate to making a better world. Donate to helping me bring "the cavalry" to my town!
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