Scenes from BA Everywhere

Week of January 28

January 28, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


"Scenes from BA Everywhere" is a feature that gives our readers an ongoing picture of this multi-faceted campaign, and the variety of ways that funds are being raised, and the whole BA vision and framework is being brought into all corners of society. Revolution newspaper/ is at the hub of the BA Everywhere effort—publishing reports from those taking up the campaign. Revolution plays a pivotal role in building an organized network of people across the country coming together to make BA a household word. We urge all our readers to send us timely correspondence on what you are doing as part of this campaign.


A Weekend of Fundraising Efforts Around the Country

The MLK Day weekend, January 19-21, saw concerted BA Everywhere fundraising efforts around the country. The following are from reports we have received from readers about some of those efforts.


The loudspeaker covered the whole intersection in sound. An older man who said he had been with the Black Panthers back in the '60s told us how he had been watching us every time we came out. He told us people in the area are paying attention—and how the police also are paying attention every time we are out.

Light poles around the corner were decorated for a couple of days leading up to the event with "BA Everywhere 2013" broadsheets and "Pennies for REAL Change" flyers to let everyone in the neighborhood know about BA and the upcoming collection day.

On Saturday of the MLK weekend we set up big displays with centerfolds from Revolution newspaper on them clamped to the fence on the corner of a gas station lot. We had a loudspeaker blasting the three video clips from the BA Everywhere DVD into the intersection while they played on a laptop sitting on a table under the displays. We have found that the three clips are a great introduction to BA in settings like this. People listen and want to know more about BA. The manager of the gas station let a couple of people stand outside the door and collect as people came in and out.

People got out flyers and palm cards telling about the BA interviews with Cornel West and on the Michael Slate Show along with the "Pennies for REAL Change" flyer that introduced people to BA. People also collected in the intersection—we need to get better at getting out literature while collecting funds at the same time.

A lot of people stopping on the corner to change buses donated and some stopped by the table for short discussions. One of the youth who had taken up the revolution brought his mother over for her to learn more about the revolution. She got the BA Everywhere DVD and the CD of the Cornel West Interview with BA.

The people collecting donations and working the tables included longer-time revolutionaries and people just joining the movement for revolution. We wore stickers with the Revolution newspaper logo on our coats and arms. A number of youth from the area who knew the revolution and wanted to be involved came by. Students we know from a local school came by and wanted to know when we'd be back at the school.

The goal was to involve the Revolution Club and new people who have come forward around the struggle around the recent police murders in the nationwide effort of BA Everywhere. Someone we know described the corner as an unofficial community center where people come to meet and hang out with friends. And police harassment on the corner is a regular occurrence. We took up the idea of the penny jar collection from what people did in Harlem, and planned a penny drive centered on that corner.

We went around to the stores near the corner and talked to people about what we were doing. Where people had time and inclination we showed the three clips. In every store—even where they didn't watch the clips—they agreed to take flyers and palm cards for their customers.

We got out to a number of the people we knew and talked about the BA Everywhere broadsheet and the upcoming new works from BA. A number of people took up the penny drive and got jars. They were collecting their own change and going to friends and family to add to their jars. Some other people brought change in to Revolution Books.

One person with more means was inspired by the idea of the penny drive and donated $100 to match what was being raised, as well as donating their own change jar ($41). Anticipation built up for the day. The collection was scheduled to start at 1 pm. At 9 am the morning of the collection, a guy who lives near the corner called to ask where we were. His cousin came by his house a little later with the same question.

Not including the matched funds we collected $185 in change—and there are a number of penny jars still out there waiting for us to collect from the weekend.

San Francisco Bay Area

Preparations for taking out BA Everywhere on January 19-21 began before the weekend. Two groups of proletarians, African-Americans, Mexican immigrants, and revolutionaries made about 200 tamales and dozens of brownies to sell to raise money for getting BAsics into the hands of prisoners. One of the groups included two women (one African-American and the other Mexican), both of whose sons were killed by the police. Even though there was a language barrier, they had a strong desire to interact and to some extent overcame that barrier so they could communicate and work together on this project. While they were making the food they listened to the BA interview with Michael Slate. It was also noteworthy that in one group, both men and women worked together to cook, which broke down some gender roles. This project, which people saw as part of taking out BA Everywhere and building a movement for revolution, helped to foster camaraderie and community in the course of raising funds.

BA Everywhere was taken out to a farmers' market where mostly middle class people gather on the weekend to get organic vegetables, fruit, crafts, and to eat at a food court. Some new people, including women from a neighborhood and a couple of high school students, came out to be part of the efforts. We got out Revolution newspaper, BAsics cards, the BA Everywhere brochure, and cards promoting Cornel West's and Michael Slate's interviews with BA. Over $400 was raised from the food sales.


Every year thousands gather on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday here in Atlanta, the birthplace of Dr. King. Atlanta holds an annual march and celebration that begins Downtown and ends at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violence, next to King's birth home and his church, Ebenezer Baptist, and the current location of his tomb.

For years the march and celebration have commemorated King's "dream" and his legacy; it's been an occasion for a number of progressive causes—and some reactionary ones like the military and police. Local high school bands and trade unions march along with community groups, student social and service organizations, and there are always representatives of the U.S. military and the Atlanta police department in the mix.

Since the election of Barack Obama, it has been hard to tell who is really being celebrated at the march and gathering. This year's march took place on the day of the inauguration and complimentary Obama-ade was served before, during and after the march!

Among the crowd of marchers, something new and refreshing yanked the wrinkled, vapid mask of hope—reinforced by the inauguration—to awake the sleeping from their dreams of change from within the system. "When the Revolution comes... won't be no more mass incarceration... won't be no more wars for empire...get down with Bob Avakian, leader of the revolution!" A small, yet bold, team of revolutionaries chanted and waved a banner proclaiming "HUMANITY NEEDS REVOLUTION AND COMMUNISM."

As the revolutionaries moved down the streets, arms reached out for palm cards promoting the recent interview Cornel West did with Bob Avakian. On this MLK Day in Atlanta, thousands were introduced to Bob Avakian (we distributed around 3,000 palm cards) and $100 was raised throughout the day with a brownie sale plus donations to get BAsics into the prisons. We can and must build on this.


We had a potluck on Saturday, January 19, to raise money to get BA's vision and framework to all corners of society and to push the campaign to a new level in 2013. People brought good food, and as people got a plate, we sat down, hearing Outernational's music in the background, and began talking. The people who came, including some youth, came looking for answers to the horrors they see and face in this society, looking to how to change the world in a big way and interested in what BA had to say. And there were some who were new to this revolution entirely. So after we ate, we listened to the Cornel West interview with Bob Avakian. People had lots to say bouncing off the points made in the interview about how things don't have to be the way they are. One man asked, "I don't know much about Bob, got BAsics but haven't read it yet. But I ask, 'what is success?' It's when no child is hungry in the world. I make $32 an hour but I am not satisfied that children are hungry in the world." A Black woman said that to get a change and make revolution our mindset has to change. She said, "Like Bob Avakian says it will take millions, we need a spark to get going a fight for justice, not a fight between us. The mindset is important for a revolution." A Black woman who heard about the potluck at college and came to check it out spoke about how deep racism still is in this society.

The MC read from the RCP's statement "On the Strategy for Revolution." After some more engaging about revolutionary goals and how to get there, there was a call for people to raise money for BA Everywhere in different ways—house parties, dinners, and more. We raised $80 and people left with stacks of the new palm card with BA's quote "On Choices... And Radical Changes."

Slate Interview on Campus Radio

From a reader:

Sunday morning as I tuned into a local college campus station that airs a weekly progressive news program, I was greeted by the driving drum beat that always announces the Michael Slate Show. This week the college show was airing the first installment of Michael Slate's interview with Bob Avakian!

What a great way to start the morning. The radio station which is just outside the large metropolitan city where I live, has a larger listenership of students, activists, and academics from around the area—both on air and online—where I caught it.

I had to call the DJ to tell him how exciting it was to hear the interview. He said he hadn't had a chance to get much response but that he planned on airing the whole series in the coming weeks. "You know, I have aired previous interviews that Slate has done with Avakian over the years. I am very excited to see what response we get—especially, you know, when times are so heavy." We agreed to stay in touch and to share feedback from the interview going forward.


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