From a Reader

Anti-Thanksgiving Fundraising Dinner at LA Revolution Books

December 16, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper |


An anti-Thanksgiving fundraising dinner was held at Revolution Books, Los Angeles the last Sunday in November, under a banner supporters had made: "Revolt Against a Revolting Culture!" About 30 people came together to enjoy a delicious pot-luck dinner and a growing community taking up the "BA Everywhere—Imagine the Difference It Could Make" campaign. And we came with a sense of urgency as well. Just the week before, the murderous Israeli assault on the people of Gaza had been launched. People wanted an alternative to the Thanksgiving, or as one woman put it "the Thanks-taking." So this was a welcome opportunity to celebrate the movement for revolution, the significant beginning of the BA Everywhere campaign over the past year as part of that, and to raise big funds to reach millions more in 2013, and begin to change the atmosphere, culture and terms of debate throughout society.

A high school student read three poignant and defiant poems by the late, celebrated Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish ("I Come From There," "Passport," and "Psalm 9"). Michael Slate captured the rage in a powerful dramatic reading from Allen Ginsberg's "Howl," describing Moloch, the industrial, demonic god to which children must be sacrificed.

Importantly, the evening included an informal discussion of Israel's attack on Gaza, the role of the U.S., what needs to be done and bringing forward another way, using Alan Goodman's article in Revolution #285. People were united around opposing the outrageous assault, but had different views of the problem and the solution, the nature of Israel and the capitalist-imperialist system it serves. People from different backgrounds, countries and ages posed questions and contributed to getting at the truth. Comparisons to the settler state of South Africa's role in the imperialist empire were very helpful in cutting through complexities and relativism and getting clarity. The morality and urgency of even a small minority standing up to this gross injustice were brought out, with examples like people who took on Jim Crow attacks on Black people in the '50s and what difference it makes. People left with stacks of Revolution plugger cards ("Stand Up Against Israel's Murderous Assault on the People of Gaza") and BAsics 3:2 plugger cards ("There is nothing more unrealistic than the idea of reforming this system...") to take to protests and distribute everywhere.

A fundraising pitch to get BA Everywhere was given by a Revolution Club, L.A. member earlier in the evening. He ended by reading from the special Revolution pull-out section on BA Everywhere, "If we succeed with this—if we collectively raise enough money to make it concretely possible to project the whole BA vision and project into all corners of society and to introduce him and what he is bringing forward to millions who are not yet familiar with his works and vision; if the framework he is bringing forward and advocating for becomes increasingly debated and wrangled over by thousands and by millions of people from all walks of life; if, together, we mange to accomplish this, this will actually make a very big difference. The whole social and political culture will 'breathe' more freely, people will wrangle passionately over 'big questions' concerning the direction of society (like knowing that much of the future of humanity hangs in the balance) and the times will once again resonate with big dreams for fundamental change and the emancipation of humanity." Over $800 was raised for the campaign that evening.

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