Nighttime Screening of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! in South Central LA and Getting Organized For Revolution

| Revolution Newspaper |


Los Angeles, Saturday night, July 28. Outdoor, night-time screening of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! in the park. People from all walks of life came out and engaged with the leadership that humanity needs as a part of stepping into the movement for an actual revolution.

On Saturday night, July 28, 40 people gathered at a park in South Central LA to watch excerpts of the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, a talk by Bob Avakian, the most radical revolutionary on the planet and the architect of the new communism.

This was a lively and exciting scene from the beginning. We scheduled some time to socialize and hang out about an hour before we showed excerpts from the film. We had all of our displays of the “5 Stops” on one side of a giant projector screen, and on the other, there were literature and organizing tables from both the Revolution Club as well as The Bob Avakian Institute. People came from the area right near the park (which is also near the Revolution Club Organizing Center) and others came from areas up to 60 miles away. Some people were drawn in who were just walking by the park and saw the big banner: “This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown” or the big displays of the “5 Stops.” Someone who wanted to show support but couldn’t come, made some agua fresca, thinking people would need to drink something cold and refreshing during the warm summer night in which this would be taking place.

There were people who have known about BA for some time and others who had only heard his name but wanted to know who he is and what this movement for revolution is all about. A few people who showed up expressed that they were angry and tired of all the shit going on and that they just want to fight, they were eager to find out more about how we could actually make a revolution.

We thought it would be important to do an introduction to who BA is, in addition to the excerpts, but without giving a whole speech, so we decided to show BA Through the Years and let people see for themselves.

A way to work on the strategy for revolution together, 100 posters on 100 poles: BAsics 3:1

At the end of the social hour and just before the screening of the excerpts started, two members of the Revolution Club called on people to take part in an effort to put up 100 posters of the quote 3:1 from BAsics on 100 poles this week. Beginning to get this up in a mass way is important and significant for people to concretely be organized into the movement for revolution and go to work on the strategy to make that revolution. This is an example of the work that the masses of people need to do now as part of not only spreading the word about the leadership and the science we have but also in transforming the ways people are being influenced by different class forces.

Putting forward our strengths: Three sections from BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

We picked out three sections that we wanted people to get into: “How Long Must This Nightmare of Oppression & Brutality Go On?,” “A Revolutionary Situation… The Role of Youth… & How to Work Today So That There Is A Revolutionary Force When That Time Comes,” and “Could We Really Win... Really?” We then encouraged people to go online and watch the whole thing.

We chose these because BA lays bare the problem in this system of capitalism/imperialism with tremendous heart. Then the last sections bring to life in a concrete way what a revolution is and how it’s possible.

As night fell, this was a beautiful scene. A warm summer night. Banners lit up by spotlights with people intensely watching a big screen with the leader seriously breaking down how a real revolution could be made.

Putting on the RNL shirt, stepping into the movement for revolution

After the screening, a member of the Revolution Club called on people to step into the movement for revolution by throwing on the BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! shirt and begin to fight for a whole new world beyond the horrific shit that this system does to people. One youth immediately got up and joined the Club members who had lined up in the front. After he put the shirt on and stood next to the Revolution Club, he said to the crowd, “Come on, I can’t be the only one.” Others began to respond, and one after another people started coming forward to grab a shirt and form up. Six people in total came up and joined in the chants: “It’s time, it’s time, it’s time, it’s time... to get organized for a REAL revolution.” The leading Revolution Club member read the “Points of Attention for the Revolution” and also called on people in the audience to contribute funds as part of them stepping forward.

After the showing people stuck around to seriously discuss what they had just seen on the screen. One person said, “This is what I’ve been looking for, I’m ready!” while another person who has often ran into the Revolution Club at different protests went up to someone and stated, “I don’t want to keep just going to protests, I want to be part of a movement for a revolution.” Someone who has been part of “the life” and has shown up to different things, referenced what BA said in the film about not acting out of frustration and said that was him. He talked about how that is a lot of how he has been feeling, angry and emotional about what this regime is doing and just not being able to take it any longer. There was a whole back-and-forth drawing from what was said in the film and coming to the conclusion that we had to fight to win or else whatever we do, no matter how righteous the sentiment behind it is, is not going to count for shit in the end.

Some people bought BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, the handbook for the revolution, and copies of BA’s seminal work, THE NEW COMMUNISM.

A last minute fight

The day before the screening, at 4 pm (right at the end of the day), the Parks Department tried to say we couldn’t go ahead with our event despite previous approval. They tried to lay down all this bureaucratic bullshit and threatened that if we went ahead, we would be stopped by the “local safety officers”—in other words, pigs.

We immediately mobilized, contacting lawyers and supporters. A range of people responded including lawyers who thought the particular threat was outrageous, but also thought the whole permitting process of the Parks Department is unacceptable and should be fought. These are people who don’t necessarily agree with the need for revolution, but intend to fight for the space for this to be discussed—and feel especially up against it in “Trump’s America.”

If the city was going to go ahead with this outrageous silencing, we were going to fight it, and use this attack to make this screening even further known. At the last minute, they backed off and said we could go ahead with the screening. In this, we had a few lawyers who said they’d be on call and supporters who came to make sure we didn’t get messed with.

All this was very important for the screening, and even more important if you’re thinking about what’s required to make a real revolution.

Important lessons for building a mass movement: Solid core with a lot of elasticity based on the solid core

Very importantly, as the Club was summing up this experience, different people continued to emphasize the importance of putting BA in front of people. We can’t do what we need to do without BA being integral to everything that we are doing, people have to hear directly from BA as much as possible, there is just no way that we are going to be able to replace the level at which BA applies the scientific method and approach to the most challenging contradictions that humanity is up against by giving our own interpretations. We were able to see how engagement with BA can change everything in what and how people begin to think about life or death questions.

On the basis of putting BA forward in this way, while doing our best to apply the method and approach being modeled by BA, we were also able to see the possibility for people to come forward in waves into a mass movement for revolution not just ones and twos into the Revolution Club. Too often we’ve summed up discussions with individuals that we’ve struggled to bring forward around how did we do at putting forth the challenge, which more often than not amounted to joining the Revolution Club. This is important, and essential, but there are many ways to involve people into contributing to the overall strategy to make a real revolution, which involves many different people putting forward our strengths but also the needs of the revolution. Here, it was important to put this challenge to everyone there to step into the revolution and in meeting this, they worked on each other. One thing that we summed up is that we have to continually wrangle with how to understand the process of building and unleashing a mass movement for revolution and struggle to not fall back into old ways of doing things that won’t lead anywhere. The stakes are too high and all of humanity is counting on us whether they realize it or not.

Let’s get down to basics: We need a revolution. Anything else, in the final analysis, is bullshit.

Now, that doesn’t mean we don’t unite with people in all sorts of struggles short of revolution. We definitely need to do that. But the proffering of any other solution to these monumental and monstrous problems and outrages is ridiculous, frankly. And we need to be taking the offensive and mobilizing increasing numbers of masses to cut through this shit and bring to the fore what really is the solution to this, and to answer the questions and, yes, the accusations that come forth in response to this, while deepening our scientific basis for being able to do this. And the point is: not only do we need to be doing this, but we need to be bringing forward, unleashing and leading, and enabling increasing numbers of the masses to do this. They need to be inspired, not just with a general idea of revolution, but with a deepening understanding, a scientific grounding, as to why and how revolution really is the answer to all of this.

Bob Avakian, BAsics 3:1

"Yes, this is a film, but that is not its essence. This is a daring, substantive, scientific summoning to revolution. 6+ hours that can change how you see the world and what you do with the rest of your life. Is this hype? No."
—From one of the filmmakers

Watch the Film HERE

Find out more about this Film HERE

Basics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian

"You can't change the world if you don't know the BAsics."

BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian is a book of quotations and short essays that speaks powerfully to questions of revolution and human emancipation.

Order the book or download the book in ePub format HERE


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