Plowing New Ground for Revolution—the Revolution Tour Hits California’s Central Valley



To find out what the 526 means—or the 5 STOPS, the 2 choices, and the 6 Points of Attention—read this page.

From members of the National Revolution Tour:

Two of us from the Revolution Tour went up to a state university in the Central Valley of California, often called the “breadbasket” of the country because of its enormous agricultural output. We pinned down the trip very quickly after receiving an invite from a student (I’ll call her H) who had met the Tour during the national MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán) conference.

When we got there, H and her friend B took us to one of their favorite restaurants and told us about the area: lots of farmworkers who migrate from Mexico to harvest, a large Latino population in the area, and a lot of Trump supporters. They told how there is some controversy on the campus over a person many believe is one of the white supremacists who was a part of organizing the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville where Heather Heyer was killed. Also posters from “Identity Evropa” (a white supremacist group) have been going up on campus. They told us how involved they were with campus organizing and making a list of recommendations to better the conditions for the students of color on that campus such as increasing funding for the ethnic studies program, a new diversity center, etc.

We got into the rising fascism in the U.S. and all over the world with the ascendance of Trump/Pence and what it’s unleashing on the campuses and everywhere else, because of the very workings of this system. We also talked about where it can further lead if we don’t stop them through a revolution and fundamentally get rid of this system that brought into being Trump/Pence. We got into the POAs, which she had spread via group chat to some friends already. She spoke on POA #2 and how it’s a problem that people make fun of other people for being a woman or LGBT. We had an important conversation—which would continue with her and many others throughout our visit—over what we meant by “overthrow” and “revolution” and getting each other to have the same conversation.

At one point, we asked our hosts what they thought it would take to end white supremacy for real—not just on one campus or community, but for all seven and a half billion people on the planet. In response, one of them returned again to the struggle at their college, saying that the institution was not built to include students of color and probably can’t ever be fully reformed and instead they’ll have to focus on the local community college. Our other friend agreed that capitalism is the problem and suggested that people need to return to the land. They argued that this would be better for the environment and allow people with criminal records to not be subject to discrimination in hiring. We united with much of what they were getting at, but posed in different ways that the point is not simply to enable some individuals to escape the jaws of this system, but to make a revolution that breaks the hold of the capitalist-imperialist state over the lives of literally billions and sets out to dig up all the oppressive divisions of today.

After dinner we went to a screening of Battle of Algiers that was part of a film festival put on by the ethnic studies program. The film was heavy and exposed the sacrifices made in Algeria during that national liberation struggle to rid themselves of French colonialism. A student allowed us to do a brief presentation after the film. We talked about the Tour and the 5-2-6. A couple of students knew who we were from H. One student was curious about the strategy for revolution and still trying to understand why some of the leaders of MEChA had tried to silence us at their national conference; in part this had made her more curious and in part it made her cautious. We got into why people would be opposed to revolution, even though it’s in the interest of humanity.

Another student had met the revolution up in the Bay Area and heard we were coming from someone in the Revolution Club. We got into things with her afterward and watched the clip of what BA has to say to people who complain about immigrants. She said she had watched some of the first part of the film but it was a little confusing to her and she wanted to watch it with others to discuss it. We planned to meet up the next day to watch the film together. We put to her being a part of the Tour’s next leg and gathering a contingent from the campus to come down to L.A. for a nodal event on the Tour. Still, this question of, “What should I be doing with the revolution?” was a challenge for us to answer with her. We posed to her the great strengths of this revolution—the highly developed leadership, strategy, and scientific approach—but also what we don’t have and urgently need: the people taking this up and making it a reality. And we wrestled with her about how she could be part of spreading this revolution—including together with the others we were meeting—even as she is learning more. We decided to work on a POA day on campus, but this is something that needs more ongoing attention and thinking overall.

As we were getting ready for sleep that night, our host told us how she had been thinking all night about what we had posed to her, “A world without borders... a world without rape...” She’d never heard anyone insist that it was possible and she’d been trying to envision it. We stayed up wrangling with the strategy for an actual revolution, learning more about the struggles and dynamics of their campus, and a whole lot more about life and the world.

The next day we met up with B who lent us MEChA’s table they have set up in the campus plaza. We put our materials on it, POAs, BAsics, the NO MORE posters, stickers, HOW WE CAN WIN (HWCW), 5 STOPS posters, etc. We had an A-frame of the 5 STOPS set up. Friends of B stopped by and he introduced us to them. A friend came up and saw all of our materials and just started taking stacks of POA posters and NO MORE posters as well as stickers. He gave me some of his stickers too that said, “Reject White Supremacy.” I talked to another friend about communism. He considers himself a communist and has anarchist friends, but couldn’t imagine a world without a state, but made clear not the kind of state we have now under capitalism. He was saying this in relation to his anarchist friends, but also in relation to the climate crisis and how concerned he is about the report that came out on the fact that we only have 10-12 years to solve this problem, and doesn’t see how you could solve this without a different state. I emphasized the need for him to get into the New Communism forged by Bob Avakian and got into the importance of communism as science, how Avakian has put communism on a more scientific foundation, and the real advances made by him and the real importance of that. He seemed intrigued and sat and talked with us more. A member of the LGBT group came over wearing a “KAMALA” hat who wasn’t really interested in revolution. Later, however, while we were struggling with another student about the history of America, she chimed in, “When Was America Ever Great?” We then posed to her the contradiction of her hat and putting faith into the Democratic Party, explaining how the Republican Party is fascist and the Democratic Party is a machine of massive war crimes and crimes against humanity while giving her a BEB broad sheet. She got a little defensive saying, “All parties need improvement” and we had some struggle over that, which was positive but definitely didn’t get resolved.

Our hosts also introduced us to a member of the Black Student Union. After we spoke with them a bit, they invited us to speak at their meeting that night. I met this other Black student with a “Defend DACA” shirt on. I told her to read the 5 Stops poster, posed the 2 choices and told her why we are here and gave her the 6 points of attention. I read her POA #3 in relation to her shirt. She had a really great response along the lines, “You know what’s happening to women in Saudi Arabia, in Mexico and Latin America is my problem. I’m tired of people only standing up for things when it affects them.” She also really appreciated the quote from Avakian, “Internationalism—The Whole World Comes First,” and, “American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People’s Lives.” She had an internationalist perspective and morality. We also got into “cancel culture” and she shared how ridiculous it is that people bring up things in the past that people did to write them off when what’s more important is how’ve they’ve changed and what they are doing now. She said, “It can’t just be the people who are most affected standing up, it has to be everyone, we need more allies, we need more men and white people.” I united with her, then also said we don’t need more “allies,” we need emancipators of humanity. And what would happen if only the most oppressed rose up without others joining in? They’ll get crushed or encircled. I invited her to come watch the film with us later and showed her the trailer for it on the spot before she had to leave.

We came to the MEChA meeting. They had a training session from people who do dispatches on I.C.E. raids and they gave instructions to the MEChA members on what to do when they see an I.C.E raid. It was pretty heavy and infuriating how ever-present the terror of I.C.E. is to everyone’s lives in the area. After the training, we did a presentation on the 5-2-6. We made sure to clarify what we really meant by revolution and an overthrow, pulling from part 1 in HWCW and part 3, “An actual revolution does not mean making some changes within this system,” but means meeting and defeating its armed forces of oppression and repression when the time comes. We put forward the strengths we do have in the leadership, strategy, and science developed by Bob Avakian and the people we don’t have and how the tour is on a mission going all around the country to solve that problem and organize the thousands. All the students stayed (about 10) even though their meeting had ended. One told us that overthrowing made sense, but seemed scary to think about. Another asked how long we have been at this and how it is going. We were very honest about telling people the tremendous breakthrough BA has made in the science and strategy for revolution and the game-changer this is and how all this is the product of decades of work and struggle, but at the same time we are basically starting anew with this Tour in going out and fighting to organize the people needed to make it real and put that challenge to them as well.

One of us then met up with the young woman from the night before to watch the first part of BA’s talk Why We Need an Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. We were only able to watch a little over half of part 1 because she had time constraints, but she thought after watching the 5 STOPS that “it all makes sense.” And we both appreciated the fact that BA walks through how the 5 STOPS are interwoven into the capitalist system, she even shared how, “Being part of a Mexican family, they’re always asking me when I’m going to get a boyfriend. But what if I don’t want to have a boyfriend? Why does my self-worth have to be measured by being tied to someone else?” She said she can’t see why people would disagree with this and I explained to her even though all of what BA is saying is true, people are caught up in a lot of B.S. and mental shackles and walked through the mental shackles the Tour is going to work on breaking. She also had questions on how she is going to take this out because she “doesn’t know enough.” I told her if people have questions, to take them to the POAs, and I also guided her to the website as a place where she can learn more as she’s spreading the word about it. Also I said she could call me anytime.

Meanwhile, one of us gave a presentation to the Black Student Union meeting. The Tour member began by walking through each of the 5 STOPS, emphasizing with each that it was woven into the system of capitalism-imperialism and cannot be reformed away and must be overthrown. By the time she reached the fourth stop, a student blurted out, “Wow, you are like super-woke!” He meant this very positively and the room was rapt during the whole presentation which proceeded to the “2 choices” and then the challenge and mission of the Tour. The first question was posed by that same student who had blurted out, asking what the exact plan for an overthrow was. This focused up more sharply what we mean by revolution and the big challenge before us—in addition to briefly answering it we pointed people to HWCW on the website and especially to BA’s full talk, Why We Need an Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution. This made one of the other students, who had reacted very positively previously, reconsider in some ways. She said the idea of an actual overthrow gave her pause. But she also reached back to her knowledge of the Black Panther Party and how everyone acts like they were so extreme because they took up arms, but they were real heroes to her and were just fighting to end oppression. We stuck around after the meeting to talk more with her and with others who were interested.

That night, we stayed up late with our host one more time reflecting on the trip as a whole. We let them know that they had made a very important contribution to the revolution by inviting us up, introducing us to so many people, and helping open so many doors. They expressed that they were moved and inspired by how we had been able to relate to so many different people, lift their sights, and not get caught up in the petty squabbles that too often characterize people’s thinking even among those who are fighting for change. We agreed to keep working on all this together.

The National Revolution Tour in Los Angeles, May 1st.

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

Read here
Find artwork for social media, posters here

The Revolution Club in Los Angeles discussed the Points of Attention wherever people were gathered, including at this bus stop. (Photo: Special to Revolution)



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