Revolution #266, April 22, 2012

On the May Day Internationalist Contingents

We received the following correspondence from Andy Zee of Revolution Books, New York City.

Dear Revolution,

In NYC 600 people gathered for a Spring Awakening to plan major Occupy Wall Street protests on May Day, filled with a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the movement to break out anew. Into this mix revolutionaries spoke with people about being part of an Internationalist Contingent which will bring a much needed pole of standing with the people of the whole world into the protests, as Revolution newspaper wrote last week: "helping to strengthen these demonstrations and bringing their own resolve and determination to fight for a better future for all of humanity into them."

We initiated our discussions particularly around two short quotes from BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian: "Internationalism—The Whole World Comes First" (5:8) and "American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People's Lives"(5:7). When we got into more depth we brought in other points of internationalism from BAsics, especially the last quote in chapter 1 that begins: "If you can conceive of a world without America—without everything America stands for and everything it does in the world—then you've already taken great strides and begun to get at least a glimpse of a whole new world...," using the whole quote.

In this brief correspondence I want to draw attention to the fact there were people who recognized the need to bring the stand that these quotes concentrate into the May Day protests—who thought that an Internationalist contingent and presence would bring an important reality into Occupy—including from their own perspectives.  For example, we spoke with a group active around forging solidarity between American and Iranian people who were raising the alarm against a U.S./Israeli attack on Iran, and invited them to be a part of the contingent. With a strong revolutionary core to the May 1st Internationalist contingent, framed around the quotes from BA, we recognized that there is a broad basis for different people with diverse viewpoints—from those concerned about immigrant rights, to the environment, to the global trafficking in women, to anti-war activists—all to find real import in being part of making it manifest on MAY1st that the 99%—to use the parlance of Occupy—must start from the fundamental interests of the 99% of the people of the world. 

One of the most savage inequalities in the world today is the great oppressive divide between imperialism and the rest of the world—enforced by the most vicious and largest military in world history. "Another world is possible," must really mean the whole world free of all forms of exploitation and oppression.


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