Showing Bob Avakian’s New Film in an African American Community

October 30, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader

Yesterday, 11 of us gathered in this small church in the African-American community. The showing was hosted and organized by the minister who strongly supports Refuse Fascism’s Call and was previously introduced to the work of Bob Avakian (BA). She saw this showing as an important opportunity to bring the importance of this battle to drive out the Trump/Pence regime out amongst her parishioners and friends, as well as those who come to her food pantry every week.

Seven of those who came were older African American women along with two of their children, one in high school, one in his 20s, along with one younger Haitian immigrant.

The film really struck a chord in people there. Throughout the film, people would yell out “that’s right,” etc. This was especially true of Bob Avakian’s examination of the roots of the rise of this fascist regime in a country founded on slavery and white supremacy, and also when BA gave examples described in the American Crime series on and specific crimes committed by Trump.

The film had not even ended before our new Haitian friend whispered, “Is this on You Tube? I want to send this to all my friends on Facebook.” And that indeed became the way our discussion afterwards began. Mini-palm cards promoting the website were passed out—as the place to go to not only view and spread the speech that they just saw, but to get short excerpts for social media, and the questions and answers that followed his speech, AND where they can find the “American Crime” series that he mentioned twice in the talk and much more. Some people took extra cards.

Everyone also got a copy of the 12-page indictment “The Crimes of the Trump/Pence Regime and How to be a Part of Driving Them from Power” from Refuse Fascism that BA referred to in the film. Many know of some element of the regime’s crimes, but knew little about others and for all this was an important resource.

One person raised “But people are so silent—they aren’t doing anything about this.” And we got into two elements of this—that there have been huge outpourings, such as the Women’s March the day after the inauguration, and people flooding the airports when the Muslim ban was announced, but also that this reflected only a tiny fraction of those who are “yelling at the TV sets,” deeply worried and upset, but not yet out in the street acting. That is our reservoir but also our challenge, bringing out those millions in a way that can really make a difference, all aimed at actually removing this regime from power. And how November 4 is the time to take this to a higher level.

Five hundred palm cards were taken by people who came—to spread. Two people plan to spread November 4 on social media—mainly Facebook. One person wants to get it on her weekly cable television show, and another wants to reach out to people she knows who have Haitian internet radio shows. Some took posters to put up. All this doesn’t count the 1,000 cards that two people (one who unfortunately missed the showing) are planning to broadly distribute at rush hour at a nearby subway station, and with a third person who volunteered at the showing to join them at the station.

Two people who don’t have good internet access got the film on a flash drive, so that they could show the film to their friends, etc.

After a short group discussion, most people stayed for another 30 minutes talking more, one-on-one or in smaller groups. One young man said that he really appreciated the film, how it got at the relationship of the rise of Trump to the history of America, “Man, the way he connected things!” He also mentioned how many are angry that Tina Campbell, a prominent Black gospel singer, voted for Trump and that BA’s discussion of the role of Christian fascists in this regime helped him to understand how such people could be sucked in by those in the regime who are invoking Christianity. One person said that she felt in some ways Pence is even more dangerous than Trump—people don’t see the role of these Christian fascists. This brought out how important it is to call out the whole regime, not just Trump, and how important it is for religious people—including all in attendance—to really speak out AGAINST this fascist regime.

The woman who wanted to share BA’s talk on social media went further afterwards. She said “People shouldn’t shy away from the word ‘revolution’—that is what we need to really change things.” She got BA’s book The New Communism and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, budgeting paying for them over time with her limited income.

There was a feeling expressed by all we talked to that this was an enjoyable, productive and thought-provoking evening, a good beginning.


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