Challenge from a Former Prisoner:

Stop Doing What the System Wants Us to Do—And Get with BA and the Movement for Revolution

June 30, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


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I want to stand with the people who are standing up to the NYPD pig invasion and occupation of Black and Latino neighborhoods in Harlem. This system cannot be allowed to just come into neighborhoods and round up our youth in the name of stopping crime and get away with it. That is how the Nazis started going after Jewish communities in Germany. A slow genocide is being carried out. It is that serious. The people from the different neighborhoods who are unifying and fighting against this outrage are fighting for all of us. I stand with them.

To the youth who are the targets:

This system has no future for you! It treats you like garbage and it needs you to believe that is what you are and for you to treat each other that way. Some of you who were swept up in the raids are fighting each other in jail. WHY? The system needs for you to hurt each other and to hate each other. Why do what they want you to do?

I had that same rage in me. I was ready to smash in somebody's face for a few dollars, or because they were from some other block and feel little remorse. I saw no hope and hated everything but what I should have been hating—the system that caused all this suffering. This set up was stealing my humanity and making me into a monster. I was doing things that hurt the people not the system, and was programmed for prison or death from the time I was a child. Some of you are into that same shit now and you got to get out of it. Not just for yourselves and your families, but for humanity! You got to find the ways to unite against this system and stop being played by it. It's time to stop doing what they want us to do.

Start thinking a different way. The philosophy of "If it ain't about money, it ain't about nothing" is the way of thinking of the people who rule over us. That is the way of thinking of the capitalists and the police and courts that back them up. To die for a piece of real-estate that ain't yours—a fucking city block, hurting each other—for what? And then to take pride in being used this way, in acting in this way, is really messed up. Stop it! We have to start thinking in a different way.

I was you. I'm a former gangster youth and believe me I've probably done every stupid thing you've done and more. When I was your age, and doing a long bid, somebody handed me a book one day and told me to read it. I didn't like to read then but read it anyway. The book was Soledad Brother by revolutionary prisoner George Jackson. I didn't know that people like George Jackson existed. Somebody who had come up like me, being told by the system that he was a criminal and an animal and believing it. But George Jackson transformed. He went from criminal to revolutionary and a fighter for the people. My eyes began to open. I began to change. I came to hate this capitalist system and what it had done, not just to me and people like me, but to people worldwide. The more I learned the more I hated this system and the more I wanted to be part of ending it. I became a revolutionary.

Get with BA

Today I am appealing to you brothers to stop the bullshit and get with Bob Avakian and the movement for revolution. BA is the leader of the RCP, the Revolutionary Communist Party. He has the strategy for how to make revolution. I did not know how different the world could be if we get rid of this system until I started to get down with the work BA is doing. Nobody has to be treated as less than human or be made to feel that way. We can learn to understand the truth about why things are the way they are and how we can change them by using the scientific approach to everything. Bob Avakian's works is like a flashlight to find our way out of this fucking darkness they got us in. I'm telling you like someone once told me, read this book, BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, and it can change how you see everything. Read From Ike to Mao and Beyond, and watch BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Read the books and watch the video all the way through. You don't like to read—do it anyway!

BA ain't playing! He is not talking about people holding hands waiting for some savior. He's talking about getting ready for the time when we can throw down, millions of us, and defeat this system and make a better world for humanity. I went from being a hard core criminal; from wanting to be John Dillinger, to becoming one of the emancipators of humanity. We need a lot more emancipators!

"1,000 Years–$1,000 for BA Everywhere"

I am raising a dollar for every year I was in prison for the "1,000 Years–$1,000 for BA Everywhere" campaign. That money is going toward getting the word out about BA into the prisons, and neighborhoods, into the colleges, and high schools, everywhere. This has to get out there to stand up to the lie that we have to accept this living hell, that we are to blame for how messed up things are or it's human nature. Or that the system is too powerful to be defeated. All lies! People need to know that—the youth need to know that—NOW!

A call to former prisoners:

All the former prisoners who read this—raise a dollar for every year you were behind bars and contribute that to the BA Everywhere campaign. Ask everybody you know to participate. Let's start getting more into BA ourselves and working together to connect this young generation with the leader who knows how to get out of this hellhole we all live in.

To all the rest of you:

Match the money we raise for BA Everywhere.


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