June 26, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution—
Eight Days with the Revolution Club on the Streets of Chicago

The Revolution Club is on a mission to make a major advance in organizing forces for an actual revolution, impacting all of society by people getting out of killing each other, changing what they are living and fighting for, taking up the leadership of Bob Avakian, and getting organized for a real revolution. The Revolution Club has issued a proclamation declaring: This Summer in Chicago Will NOT Be a Bloodbath of Killing Each Other; This Summer Will NOT Be Free Rein for Police to Murder and Terrorize Black and Brown People; This Summer We Get Organized for Revolution to Emancipate All of Humanity.

To do this, the club is out there most every day, doing all kinds of different things, trying to learn as much as we can so we can transform more, so we can learn more and transform better, so we can learn still more... and on and on... till we make a breakthrough... and then go further still. We’re struggling with people’s ideas, straight-up... and we’re leading them to struggle against the enemy. We’re fighting to get to a situation where millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win. What follows are snapshots from an eight-day period in June to give a sense of all this.

In the face of police attempts to intimidate and suppress... people rally in the Englewood neighborhood

On June 10, people in a neighborhood in Englewood on the South Side knew the Revolution Club would be there at 5 pm to deliver a message. We had been there all week, spreading the word and getting to know people, drawing people into discussions of BAsics and showing them clips of BA speaking. When the Revolution Club arrived, the pigs had a “paddy wagon” at the corner they use when they make mass arrests, along with a bunch of other pig vehicles in a clear, overwhelming presence to intimidate people from coming to hear the message of revolution. A commander was on the scene. This commander is someone who is being promoted as a leader in the Chicago Police Department as a model of bringing down vicious brutal repression on the youth with a LAPD-style “community policing” cover. He leads the 7th District police station, which arrested two members of the Revolution Club in April. He made sure that people knew he was there... and in some cases he made sure they knew that he knew who they were. Clearly the pigs feel threatened by this message and aim to intimidate people.

There were youths and others, including family members whose relatives were killed by police, who defied the police presence to come hear the message of the revolution, some putting on T-shirts on the spot to represent for this. Many others hung out on porches, or on sidewalks, or in the park... taking it in but maybe not yet ready to represent as being really interested. Others stayed away until after the police pulled out and only then came in... and some who had been with this during the week stayed away altogether.

The speech delivered by Carl Dix, and the way the Revolution Club represented from the stage and on the ground as an organized force embodying the six Points of Attention for the Revolution, was a powerful projection of what this revolution is all about—inspiring and challenging people at the same time, and addressing the big questions people have been running up against in their thinking.

This cracked the ice... but just that. How do we break through, for real? This is what we constantly grapple with. We decided to go for simple “pop-up” rallies in a variety of locations, trying to get this out much more broadly.

Carl Dix speaks from the stage at the June 10 rally. His speech, and the way the Revolution Club represented from the stage and on the ground as an organized force embodying the six Points of Attention for the Revolution (below), was a powerful projection of what this revolution is all about.

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Getting with the revolution... revenge or revolution... break ALL the chains...

The club began going to intersections in other neighborhoods to do agitation. At the second one we went to, we posted up on a corner and started doing agitation. Almost immediately, three youths were drawn by the agitation and crossed the street to meet the revolutionaries. All three were expressing agreement with what was coming from the bullhorn. We let them know that we were building a movement for an actual, all-out revolution, that we have the leadership to do that in Bob Avakian; we have the science and the strategy to do that, and we have the program for a new society. We pulled out BAsics and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America to give them an idea of what we’re talking about.

We challenged them to get with this on the spot and all three wanted to know how. “Get your BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt and run with us right now,” we told them. They said they didn’t have any money, so we told them to put their shirts on and raise the money from the people out in the streets. They put on the shirts, grabbed some flyers and the donation bucket. We went out among the people at and around the intersection as the comrade on the bullhorn called on everybody to donate money and support our youth when they step into the revolution.

This was a lively scene, the Revolution Club was out in force with and among the masses we are fighting to bring forward, we were on all sides of the intersection calling on people to get with and support the revolution. We were getting donations and expressions of support from the older crowd, while a couple of them went over to also get their shirt. The three youths who had put on the shirt got some shit from the younger people that knew them. “Man, what are you doing in that shirt?” “You need to get with this too,” was how that back and forth kept playing out. No one was allowed to just walk by and ignore what was going on, the youths we were with wouldn’t have it: “Man, you better take one of these flyers.”

We raised the money for the shirts and came back to the initial corner where we began doing agitation. We were going through the six Points of Attention with the three youths as others would come in closer to listen in to what was going on. One guy rolled up on his bike to find out what we were doing. He said, he had done some years in prison and that he hated this system, but then at one point he said, “Man, Trump is a bitch.” We didn’t let that slide, fuck Trump but the use of the word “bitch” is degrading to all women and the thinking behind it is one of the ways that they keep us fucked up and divided, unable to recognize the full humanity of the people around us.

One of the youths who had put on the shirt said he liked Point 2, it stood out to him, but then he said that if someone were to treat his mother or sister like that, that he would chop them up and kill ’em, “tear his limbs off,” he said. We went at that also―it’s fucked up as hell and it goes against Point 4, they’ll keep us trapped and unable to fight for a better world if we don’t get beyond this revenge shit. He said he agreed, but when another comrade came up just a few seconds after that exchange and asked what people had thought about the Points of Attention he repeated he liked Point 2 and again said he would “amputate the limbs” of anyone who would treat one of his loved ones like that.

The comrade opened up a discussion on revenge and retaliation. People said that they thought revenge was good, it makes you feel better and you feel like you could breathe easier. Our comrade pointed out that this goes against the interests of the people; it doesn’t go to the root of the problem, which is the system that is causing all this shit to begin with. It keeps us from fighting for the truly liberating world that is possible. One of the other youths then talked about a documentary he’d seen about Native American tribes who got convinced to take revenge on each other and this was part of how they were wiped out and conquered. The first guy who had said he wanted to rip off people’s limbs said he could see how the retaliation among the people now is the same thing and he doesn’t want to see Black people wiped out like the Native Americans. Later he said he was glad we’d had this conversation because he had been thinking about taking revenge against some people who had robbed him and now he was rethinking it.

One of the people standing off to the side listening in was about 12 or 13 years old and he wanted to ask a question sort of off to the side. I asked what was it, he said, “So what you’re saying is that if someone is walking up on me and getting ready to smoke me, I’m not suppose to smoke him first, I’m suppose to just let him kill me?” He looked so young and I was taken aback by the question he was posing. I then asked him, “Why can’t we fight for a world beyond all this shit instead? Why can’t we fight for a world where kids like you don’t have to think about making those choices?” He responded with a “Thank you, sir” and walked away.

Point of Attention Number 2: Yes, ALL Women!

Leading up to the June 10 rally we struggled with how to go most thoroughly and sharply on the question of women. Throughout our engagement with people young and older, a trend had arisen of people really resonating with the second point of attention and then with some probing, the notion of “these women” (my mother, my sister, my cousin, etc.) do need to be ensured they aren’t getting abused sexually or otherwise, and are treated as a full human being... but THOSE women, the ones who don’t dress or act a certain way, well those are bitches, I call it like I see it.


There are no “other women” and fuck the distinction of those who fit into some neat arbitrary package. We had to figure out a way to go at it and reread and watched some of the ways BA goes at this question, like in guy culture making you literally want to distance yourself in repulsion after he rightly compares it to using the N-word. It’s something integral to both most religion and the pornography culture really taking hold. A lot of us were socialized in it, too; that’s what really laid the foundation for how we saw women and men as well. But it can be broken with, and needs to be; how the hell can you make a revolution worth having without the emancipation of women? And as they get into the revolution, waves of women need to be coming in and unleashed to tear this system down and see the communist world through in a socialist society.

For the program with a lot study and wrangling amongst each other, we dug into BAsics 5:18 to essentially get at the point of really wanting out or fitting in to get a piece of oppression pie. And linked it with the women around them treated as subhuman or appendages because the logic of this system dictates it and has socialized their role as such. The deaths of people killed by the police and how women are in death treated no less human than a man. If we can recognize that, then what’s holding us back while they are alive? Ending on BAsics 3:22 we concluded with the necessity to break all the chains and, with all human beings, tear down this system and fight through on a new world together.

Bob Avakian Through the Years - 1969, 1979, 2003.

Yes this is positive... but maybe NOT how you think...

We’ve been doing different and new things throughout our work, coming up against new challenges and putting our heads together to learn all we can to be better able to transform what we confront. Everywhere people are caught up in bad shit and being played by this system, we are going in with the way out, marching in tight formation, fanning out to engage people, doing agitation in busy intersections and right inside the neighborhoods, waging fierce ideological struggle on street corners or right on people’s front porch, wielding our BAsics and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. We’ve been out with a sound car as others are on foot to cover more ground with the challenge to get with this movement for revolution, we’ve popped open the back of a van to show BA Through the Years on a big screen TV, calling on people who are out to come check out the leadership we have.

Throughout it all, however, people have continually reinterpreted what we put forth. In a neighborhood where we had engaged quite a few people, a couple of us walked up on a scene where a crowd was facing off against the police who had chased down one of the youths and had him detained in the back of a patrol car. People saw us coming and right away cheered, “Hey, it’s Stop the Violence!” This turned out to be part of a larger trend and obviously a big problem because we need to get to a situation where millions are willing and determined to put their lives on the line to bring down this system and we won’t be able to do that if people think we are just another pacifist, reformist group. We summed up that right from the beginning we had to make very clear to people what it’s gonna take to bring this system down and build something new on the rubble of what we overthrow, and that is what we are getting prepared for right now. Some of the hard core youth who had previously refused to engage us were noticeably intrigued when we took this approach with them. “I’d get with that” or “I’m down for that” was how a couple of them put it, but most people, hard core youth and others, would respond with, “You can’t do that” or “How are you going to do that?”

There is not much need to go into how we responded to every question raised, but a point needs to be made that time and again we (broadly speaking) are confronted with the need to go deeper and wrangle in a lively way with what we do have, namely the scientific method and approach embodied in the new synthesis of communism and what has been brought forward from its application to the questions people raise when they realize that we are actually talking about a real revolution. These are serious questions and not something to be flip about, as if we got all the answers written down somewhere. There have been significant breakthroughs in theoretical conception and strategic approach to making an actual revolution, but there is no getting around the fact that masses of people are going to have to wrangle seriously and deeply with what those are if we actually are going to bring forward a revolutionary force that has a real chance to win.

We’ve used the Revolution Club Organizing Center to hold showings of parts of the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, to have discussions on quotes from BAsics, the handbook for revolution, and we are beginning regular discussions on the pamphlet HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, that go all the way through it in a deep way.

America was NEVER great—Revolution, Nothing Less!

As the Revolution Club has been out in neighborhoods on the South Side having an impact through pop-up rallies and struggling with the masses to change what they are living and fighting for and step up to the challenge of organizing for an actual revolution to emancipate humanity, the political situation throughout society has been highly charged, with daily new outrages from the fascist Trump/Pence regime and the regular workings of this capitalist-imperialist system. We are taking responsibility for the whole thing and interacting with the contradictions of the larger terrain, working to impact the whole society for revolution and organizing forces into making revolution as we go.

On June 17, the Puerto Rican People’s Parade in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago was led by Oscar López Rivera, the former political prisoner who is a long-time fighter for Puerto Rican independence and the rights of Puerto Rican people. He also led the parade in New York the weekend before, in the midst of a whole struggle over his role in this, concentrating questions of the oppression and liberation of Puerto Rico and Puerto Rican people. All of this has unfolded in the context of intense contradictions in Puerto Rico, where basic necessities are being cut and people have been protesting and standing up to fight against this and the Trump/Pence regime has cut funding and is increasing the suffering of the people there. In Chicago’s Humboldt Park there is a whole history of struggle, including where there was a rebellion in the 1960s in response to police murder of a Puerto Rican youth on Division Street. Humboldt Park, on the edge of the West Side, is also a neighborhood where today there is the same kind of violence among oppressed youth that reaches into all oppressed neighborhoods of Chicago. The weekend of the parade, 15 people were shot in Humboldt Park.

The Revolution Club entered into all this with a contingent marching in the parade under a banner with the slogans of our summer proclamation, “The Revolution Club Declares: This Summer in Chicago Will Not Be a Bloodbath of Killing Each Other; This Summer Will Not Be Free Rein for Police to Murder Black and Brown People; This Summer We Get Organized for Revolution to Emancipate All of Humanity.” A couple people from the South Side who have connected up with the revolution recently were part of marching in this contingent: breaking down some of the barriers of nationality and neighborhood that divide up the city. We all wore the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION―NOTHING LESS! T-shirts and marched in formation with fists up, chanting mainly in Spanish (which our mostly English-speaking contingent learned how to do), “¿Qué es el problema? ¡El Sistema! ¡El Sistema! ¿Cual es la solución? ¡Revolución! !Revolución!” (“What’s the problem? The system, the system! What’s the solution? Revolution! Revolution!”) We also carried pictures of Philando Castile, killed by a pig in Minnesota who was just declared not guilty the day before. All along the parade people got copies of Revolution newspaper.

The response was mixed. Among the crowd, some waved Puerto Rican flags and raised fists, some chanted along with us. Others seemed not sure of what they thought. Jeeps with loud and obnoxious horns in the parade behind us waved a Puerto Rican flag next to a Blue Lives Matter flag in support of the police, and tried to drown out the sound of our chants. Some people came up to us at the end of the parade wanting to find out more. We were flyering the crowd and calling on people to come downtown where we were going to burn an Amerikkkan flag in protest of the acquittal of the pig who murdered Philando Castile in front of his fiancée and her four-year-old daughter. This pissed off some reactionaries who came out for the Puerto Rican parade, and got support from others.

Straight from the Puerto Rican parade, the Revolution Club popped up downtown to lead a march and flag-burning in response to the sickening verdict out of Minnesota the day before that yet again affirmed that in Amerikkka, Black people have no rights this country is bound to respect. Carl Dix delivered a searing indictment of the system that murdered Philando Castile as news cameras filmed him and the Revolution Club, letting people know that we were going to burn the Amerikkkan flag. We then marched to Millennium Park chanting Philando Castile’s name at the top of our lungs in righteous anger, putting the blame on the whole system, and putting forward the solution to all this, Revolution―Nothing Less! and the leadership of BA.

We got to the park and gathered a crowd with our agitation that Amerikkka was never great, that it’s responsible for brutality and death here and all over the world; the whole damn system is guilty for the death of Philando Castile and so many others throughout the whole fuckin’ planet. The notorious flag burner and communist, Joey Johnson, pulled out a bunch of these filthy, blood-soaked rags and lit the first one on fire tossing it on the sidewalk for all to see. This astonished some, enraged others, but also got enthusiastic approval from some in the crowd. Joey threw rag after rag into the flames of the first, showing the crowd the utter contempt with which this symbol of murderous imperialism needs to be treated by everyone who sees the need to fight for anything decent in this world. Someone angrily yelled at us, “People die every day for that flag!” and we responded even more furiously, “People are MURDERED everyday in the name of that rag! Fuck that rag!” Some in the crowd gave us their numbers asking us to hit them up so that they could get involved with this movement. One went around giving props to the revolutionaries before he walked up to spit on the ashes of the flags that had been burnt.

We marched out, after a long day but more energetic than before and in the highest spirit, chanting once again and determined as ever to make those breakthroughs for revolution, here in Chicago and all over the world.





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