The National Revolution Tour at the UCLA Union and Workers’ Strike

Sharpening the Revolutionary Challenge: Bernie Sanders Is Nothing But #BEB



The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour went to the UCLA union and workers’ strike where Bernie Sanders was scheduled to speak.

It was important for ourselves to grasp and project that it was a righteous demand for workers to call for equality and decent wages, but the reality is that humanity is locked in a worldwide system of oppression and exploitation of capitalism-imperialism. We brought the core message that none of the 5 Stops could be resolved under this system, we need a revolution, and we have the leadership in Bob Avakian who has developed a strategy and plan for an actual revolution and how society could be run radically different than the #BEB.

We stood outside the corner where people were streaming in from the rally with a big banner with the #BEB and an enlargement that said #BourgeoisElectoralBullshit and passed out the Revolution broadsheet en masse.

Many were perplexed about the #BEB. “What is BEB?” It’s right in front of you; get into the Revolution newspaper to find out.

There were some people who heard the agitation that this system cannot be reformed, it must be overthrown; we have a strategy to do that and we need that, not #BEB. There were at least three people who came up and said they agreed with everything we said, like really agreed with it; including that they weren’t really there for Bernie but were looking for something radical. And saw us; and were like that! There was the contrast of BEB but also that we have a strategy for overthrowing this system and a vision for a radically different world.

One 17-year-old came all the way from Compton, to “be cool” until he met us and was drawn to the truth. He told us his brother had just been shot by the police (lived through it) and his brother is in prison. He said all his life he had been saying we need to overthrow the system, was against the wars and people would tell him that he was crazy. We organized him on the spot to run with us. Another person, who told us about having been in prison, said they had been following the Tour online and watched the #BEB Reveal on Facebook. They said, “I really feel that this system cannot be reformed; it does need to be overthrown, but I don’t know where/how to spend my energies.” They said they felt it so bad that they felt like crying.

Another woman, who had a shirt that said power to the people, signed up on the spot and is offering to bring food for 20 people and gave $20 on the spot. (WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN RAISING MONEY A LOT MORE! THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT WAYS TO ORGANIZE ON THE SPOT AND YOU SHOULD ASK EVERYONE!) She was like, yes, I know what you mean about revolution—this is what I want. I’m not really that into Bernie but he just seemed like he was the best you could do.

There was an importance to proceeding from ALL of the 5 Stops, not just the white supremacy or not just the attacks on immigrants; because we are talking about the emancipation of all humanity and you can’t stop any of these things without stopping all of these things because they are rooted in the same system. Even many people who didn’t agree with us that Bernie is #BEB couldn’t deny the truth about this system’s wars for empire and we used the centerfold of the #BEB broadsheet with people, bringing them up against what this country has done all over the world.

One of the questions we posed in the agitation repeatedly: “How many murders does an organization have to commit before you consider it a murderous organization?! That’s the Democratic Party. The Republican Party Is Fascist. The Democratic Party Is Also a Machine of Massive War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. This System CANNOT Be Reformed—It MUST Be Overthrown! We Need an Actual Revolution.”

There were some people who feel the desire for overthrow vs. reform, especially among the more oppressed people, even while they have a lot of different ideas about what that actually means. We kept hitting at the reality that BA poses in his speech from last summer: “We have two choices: either, live with all this—and condemn future generations to the same, or worse, if they have a future at all—or, make revolution!”

There were also some people who we knew, who have listened to BA who were telling us, “Yeah, I know Bernie isn’t the whole solution, but isn’t he on the road to the solution? Isn’t this a step in the right direction?”

NO. This is a step back into the system of capitalism-imperialism that is the source of these horrors; we need a revolution. We have a strategy for that. And a vision for that. This is what people need. Not getting roped back into the election circus. And wielding the quote from BA on the back, “The essence of what exists in America is not democracy but capitalism-imperialism....”

There were students who were listening and checking this out; not a lot but some who were not among the hardcore base of Bernie but had come out to hear what he was going to say.

We passed out the BEB spreadsheet along with the Tour kickoff flyer and announced that the Tour is in town to organize for revolution. People came forward provoked to ask questions, to declare their agreements and disagreements and a few who came to try to drown us out with blowhorns. But we made an impact by chanting “B-E-B! B-E-B!” when Bernie Sanders came on to speak.

At the end, some of the DSA organizers said this was a workers’ strike not a Bernie rally and they didn’t understand why we were there. This was interesting because they didn’t want to advocate or defend Bernie even though we all know they had invited him to be there. Some of them felt defensive about that and didn’t want to have that conversation.

We have a question about how we did at organizing based on BAsics 3:1, overall, but we rolled with the 17-year-old who came to the rally to spread the polemic from Tala Deloria and materials on the Tour at one of the main dorm buildings. We summed up the positive impact and importance of doing meaningful revolutionary work like what he had been a part of, not only joining us on the spot at the rally and then getting into the POAs, but also by spreading the revolution on the campus.

In this summation, a member of the Revolution Club said she was really coming to appreciate the strategic importance of challenging people about the #BEB. She commented that when people looked at the banner and saw all the politicians being grouped together, it made them ask, “OK, then who and what are you for?!” It was a fight to break people out of thinking along the terms of the #BEB and we put to people the reality that there are three futures possible in the world right now: the mainstream imperialism of what has been, the fascist future being rapidly consolidated... or revolution and the struggle to emancipate all humanity.

Read here

Find artwork for social media, posters here

Read the Call for the Tour:

“You Think You’re Woke...
But You’re Sleepwalking Through A Nightmare —

This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown!”

The Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour

To you who are fed up with this society and “solutions” that are no solution...

There is a way out of this Madness!

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

Bob Avakian

Read the full Call here


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