Revolution #269, May 20, 2012

Getting Ready for the BAsics Bus Tour

From a correspondent

It was close to 2 am when a few of the other volunteers and I finally sat down to talk after a send-off party for the BAsics Bus Tour—we were already getting a feeling of what wrangling into the night was gonna be all about! The party was hosted by two young supporters of the revolution. It was an evening where people celebrated the BAsics Bus Tour and got involved in supporting it. It was just a taste of how lively debate and discussion is opened up when you bring BA into the mix. It also made a dramatic impact for those at the party to encounter this diverse group of people that have decided to get on a bus and go on tour with this, and the different types of people coming together in a myriad of ways to make this happen.

At the late night volunteer chat I checked in to find out what’s on the minds of those that are gearing up to get on the bus. Cielo is a young, but in some ways already tempered, revolutionary. I asked how he’s feeling...”I’m looking forward to it, we just had this send-off party and I’m kind of fired up, there was a lot of struggle, healthy good struggle, and it’s good, a lot of back-and-forth, and I look forward to being on a bus where we’re all struggling with each other into the night and taking this out.”

The volunteers are giving two weeks of their life to really push out... connecting people up with the leadership we have in BA and the revolution we need, and finding the ways to involve people in the movement for revolution. But it’s more than an individual commitment. This is a strength that we’ve been coming to understand more: how we’ll be in this together and we’ll be carrying the hopes and aspirations of people all across the country, those that know about the bus tour and this revolution, and those that haven’t even met the revolution but long for a way out of the nightmare of this system.

This week we started to get the feeling of what this means as people confide in us, sharing their support for the bus but also their hopes for its success, their advice for the trip, their questions and concerns. Cielo talked about encountering a former member of the Black Panther Party he’d never met before and telling him about the BAsics Bus Tour, the guy listened and then he handed him $20.

“There’s the joy and the pleasure and excitement and the warm feelings we’re getting from people who support what we’re doing,” said Cielo, “but there’s also the responsibility that comes with this thing of we’re going to the South and riding through with what we’re doing, representing the hopes of those that know us and those who don’t even know about it, but are riding on us doing what we’re doing on this bus tour, that’s exciting, there’s anticipation and excitement, looking forward to being down there but also some anxiety... you don’t really have a sense of what the basketball game’s gonna be like until you look at what the court looks like, I can’t wait to step into the court and get in the game.”

As part of this, going on the trip is becoming a happening, people find out about this, or getting more into the revolution, or contributing in new ways, feeling like this bus tour belongs to them and they want it to succeed. Two young teachers came down to Revolution Books this week and when they heard about this they immediately had ideas about creative ways to spread this revolution down there and materials to do so, and they were concerned about how one of the young volunteers they know and respect is going to eat, donating $80 on the spot to help ensure this.

Earlier in the week I spoke with another volunteer, Jordan, who is newer to the revolution and fired with anger and enthusiasm based on a newfound understanding of this whole system and the truth about communism. I asked what he thinks will happen when this leader is brought into the South; he commented, “I think that a lot of new doors will be opened up, but also a lot of old cobwebs brought out.” He explained that this is the South, the land of confederate flags, but this is also America with its whole history of anti-communism that is so prevalent and by “cobwebs” he meant all this backward and reactionary thinking that is so prevalent in this society. This is something we have been wrestling with throughout the week as well. It’s true on one level what Malcolm X said, about how if you’re south of the Canadian border, you’re in the South, but there is a particularity to the South where the roots of the brutal history of slavery and Jim Crow and the present day reality of the oppression of Black people go deep, and at the same time the ground zero of a contradiction that’s been called the Achilles heel for this system. Jordan also talked about how important Revolution newspaper is going to be as part of how people are organized into the revolution and we leave something behind, that it’s “how you get your revolutionary news” each week, that “it’s got the theory from Bob Avakian, to understand and change the world, and you could pretty much read all of BAsics through the quotes each week.”

As the trip comes closer and preparations are made and more people are becoming involved, and transformed themselves as they become part of something historic, we keep coming back to this essential point, and coming to understand it more deeply: this world is a horror, there is a stifling and revolting culture out there that people are being ground up in, but it doesn’t have to be this way.

It’s like BA talks about in the new interview, “What Humanity Needs: Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism,” how the more you look at the world and the horrors, and confront that, the more you want to understand what the causes are and what the solution is. And the more you pursue that by digging into this scientific understanding, the more you see how things don’t have to be this way. And through all this, the more impassioned you are about being part of changing it—to get off the bench and get in the game, or even come over from rooting for the other team, or step up to take the ball when it’s all on the line. There’s a relationship between playing with heart and all the hours of practice. All I can say is we’re ready to get in the game—the next time you hear from us, we’ll be live from Atlanta, Georgia.

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