Looking Ahead to the Premiere of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

“Our forces must grow every step of the way”

February 24, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

Our forces must grow every step of the way—in the course of building for this film as part of accumulating forces for revolution. This was our orientation when we went to a community college where most of the multinational student body is from the basic people!

Even though there was no crowded central quad area, we found an area where there was a steady stream of students walking by around lunch time. We set up in this area with large displays of the film premiere along with displays of Trayvon Martin and another display of the many crimes of imperialism. Many students stopped and looked at these displays.

We agitated boldly and loudly, following the guidance in Revolution newspaper announcing the film. We said it was POSSIBLE to end the many manifestations of the horrors of this system, but it requires revolution—nothing less. We also agitated that this situation is intolerable, this situation is illegitimate, this shit must end and we must end it! We told people that we have leadership in BA, the vanguard organization in the Party, and the science of revolution brought forward in the new synthesis of BA. But what is missing is THEM, in order to further build this movement for revolution. Some students asked, “What’s so important about this film?” and why should they build for it. We pointed to the Revolution editorial (#294, February 10, 2013) and that if they are SERIOUS about ending this horror, they need to clear their schedules to engage with BA!

A lot of students were interested in Trayvon Martin and we told them that we cannot make revolution if people do not fight the power. We need revolution, nothing less; and we will not get to that without fighting the power. This was why it was so important to join with this national outpouring for Trayvon.

We had a boom box, loudly featuring the Cornel West interview with BA as well as the BA talk on Obama and the elections. People wanted to hear more, and a few students wanted to stay there for the duration. But we were not satisfied with people’s general interest in hearing BA’s voice. We needed to grow forces right on the spot. We announced boldly that we would have a Revolution Club meeting two hours later. We sharpened up the ideological challenge to people: you know there are horrors going on because of this system, so for you to simply go to class or be involved in daily life that keeps you from engaging with BA and this film is UNACCEPTABLE. About 24 students decided to give us numbers, several papers were bought, leaflets distributed, etc. There were some questions that came up, like around strategy ... how are you going to do it? And we distributed palm cards featuring the Michael Slate interview with Bob Avakian that answers these questions.

But we didn’t just say “we’ll get back to you” at some distant time. We called them, starting a half hour before the club meeting (some of them were in class). Sure enough a couple of students showed up and we started the first meeting of the Revolution Club on this campus, beginning with a reading of the basic principles of the Revolution Club: 1) humanity needs revolution and communism and 2) fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution.

We talked a bit about the RCP’s statement “On the Strategy for Revolution” (the supplement to Chapter 3 of BAsics), especially about the point of thousands becoming millions and the importance of those few in the beginning in building forces “all along the way” (i.e., even in “normal times” the world is a horror). And the second Revolution Club principle led to a discussion about how to build for Trayvon Martin Day on campus on February 26! But most importantly, we urged the cruciality of attending the premiere of the film.

into the ’hood

Going with the same orientation as at the community college, we aimed for a big outing—going to a big store in the ’hood on Saturday, February 9. However, it was a slow day at Walmart, so we moved our crew, complete with bullhorns, displays of Trayvon Martin, and a large poster for the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! We reassembled at a busy intersection where a Trayvon Martin Day is scheduled for February 26, and immediately began chanting  “BA Says, BA Says, Revolution Nothing Less” and “Trayvon Martin didn’t have to die, We all know the reason why, the whole damn system is guilty,” and also “No more Trayvon Martins, No More Oscar Grants, No More Alan Bluefords, No more Ramarley Grahams ....”

The chants drew lots of attention from the passing cars, who honked support and sometimes bought papers as our crew weaved thru the traffic selling papers and leafleting for both Trayvon Martin Day and the premiere. Many copies of the page 3 Revolution editorial in issue #294 were also distributed to people just walking by, and they were challenged by what the editorial said, that you couldn’t use excuses of being too busy with whatever (family, drama in the ’hood, little corner reforms, etc.) if you were serious about wanting to end the hellish conditions on this planet. That it is your responsibility to engage with what Bob Avakian is saying!

Our crew was an interesting mix of age, race, and gender. We had a small group of high school students who enjoyed the hell out of coming out to this area, notorious for a high rate of homicide. Engaging with those who catch hell was something that really meant a lot to these students. Also, it was the first time some of them had been on the bullhorn!

The presence of this little crew of students had a profound impact on the whole character of the day; and they were in turn impacted by the responses of the basic people. (One of the students had been warned by their parents about the dangers of this area, but he instead felt that this was the place to be!) One of the passersby was a woman (a former Black Panther) whose son had been murdered by police a few years previous! This woman, who joined the crew on the spot, said that she felt proud of these young people coming out but then challenged the students with an old saying: “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” and told them that they had a responsibility to the future of the planet. That we didn’t want to have more police murders go on over and over when they got old! We needed a revolution, nothing less. And this was the message we then took on a small march through the ’hood down to the place where a Black man was killed by police in 2009.

Although we were small, our spirits were very strong as we chanted loudly together, old and young, Black, white, Asian, Latino, “BA says, BA says, Revolution—Nothing Less!” So to carry it further in building forces for revolution, we set a Revolution Club meeting in the ’hood on the very next day.

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