“For a World Without Borders” Picnic in an Immigrant Community Raises Funds for the National Revolution Tour

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From a reader:

A “For a World Without Borders” picnic was held at the end of June in the Mission District, an immigrant community in San Francisco. It was a fundraiser for the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour. The idea for the picnic was put forward by an immigrant woman at a prior fundraising event for the Tour at Revolution Books in Berkeley, in mid-May. She was inspired by the 5-2-6,1 especially by #3 of the Points of Attention for the Revolution.2

She was energized in pulling together others in her community who had shown interest in the 5-2-6, to figure out concretely the exact time and place for the event and some other aspects of it. A prominent organization of immigrant women decided to co-sponsor and help make it happen, including outreach and preparing food.

The event took place shortly after Trump’s threats to start massive ICE raids. It was very significant that this picnic happened in the face of these threats. Immigrants are in the crosshairs, and targeting them is a linchpin in the drive to consolidate this fascist regime. In the atmosphere of intimidation caused by these threats, the effects on the community can be seen, as vendors who usually crowd the busy streets have disappeared and heavy foot traffic has been a rare occurrence. In this atmosphere, the picnic with its theme “For a World Without Borders” stood out to people in the community as a symbol of resistance as well as a call to fight for a much better world that is possible. It drew support from other progressive individuals in the community. Some came to the event, others donated by buying tickets.

At the event, the immigrant women brought drinks, tortas, pizza, a number of chicken dishes, and chips. Displays around the picnic area included pictures of children who have died in the Border Patrol camps, the 5 STOPS, and 6 Points of Attention in English and Spanish on large sandwich boards, and a special display comparing the Nazi era with today. There were 31 people at this picnic. About half were immigrant women. There were also members of a local progressive church, some supporters of Berkeley’s Revolution Books, immigrant rights activists, members of Refuse Fascism, and others. Community people visiting the park came by to check out the displays and revolutionary literature displayed at a table.

At the beginning people introduced themselves, explaining why they had come, many expressing determination to fight against these attacks on immigrants and condemning the egregious concentration camps across the country.

A statement from an immigrant woman focused on Point 3 of the Points of Attention. In part, she said, “I like these 5 Stops, 2 choices, and 6 points. Number 3 is the reason for which we are facing this terrible situation that is happening in our immigrant community, from all parts of the world, we who find it necessary to emigrate, because of the conditions that were created by this country: wars, famine, depleting our natural resources for them to get better and even though they have acquired so much profit from our countries, they don’t respect us, we are attacked, they lock our children and our families in metal cages, in million-dollar businesses called detention centers, inhuman, that look more like the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. Let’s pay attention to what is happening, we can still stop the direction they are going in here in this country and in the whole world where fascist regimes are emerging. Let’s get organized and mobilized, let us not get immobilized, knowing perfectly well that there is fear and persecution directed at our communities and we cannot get used to this nightmare. Let us end all these nightmares.” She also said that Democrats are not the answer, that only through massive, sustained resistance can we drive out the Trump/Pence regime, and that fundamentally we need to get organized for an Actual Revolution.

Another statement came from the immigrant women’s organization that denounced the concentration camps and urged people to fight. There was a presentation by the MC, getting into the 5-2-6 and what the Revolution Tour is all about.

As people ate, there were lively discussions about the 5-2-6 and the National Tour. One woman from Central America who had crossed the border with her children responded to the 5-2-6 saying: “I just hope that all this talk of revolution is not just talk but can actually change the situation. We didn’t bring our children and sacrifice so much to then see our children separated and then die. We came seeking a better life and what we have gotten is this (pointing to her electronic ankle bracelet). I came for a better life for my children.”

There was back-and-forth with some people there about the need for thousands now to get organized for revolution and the crucial role for people like them who were drawn to this to take part in solving the problems of the revolution, to be part of the thousands needed to be organized into it now.

Since some people came from countries in Latin America where often militant reformism is promoted as “revolution,” people engaged in "compare and contrast"--that is, comparing and contrasting the difference between that kind of “revolution” and the New Communism that BA has brought forward. One immigrant asked about the difference between the New Communism with what they saw as the shortcomings of the Shining Path’s people’s war in Peru several decades ago.

There were side discussions with immigrants and some middle class people who have been active around Trump/Pence Must Go and opposing the attacks on immigrants. One person was skeptical about the possibility of actually going for revolution and winning. She wasn’t at all familiar with BA’s New Communism and hadn’t read the pamphlet HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution, which she got introduced to.

People were encouraged to seriously study the HOW WE CAN WIN pamphlet and also to get into the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. Copies of the pamphlet and a couple of Spanish copies of BAsics were gotten into people’s hands. People raised questions like, is it really possible to get to a situation where you could actually defeat the forces of repression of the U.S.? This was brought up by several people, including by one of the immigrant mothers who spoke about the measures the government is taking to try to keep people under their control.

In all, $469 was raised. One immigrant woman sold $50 worth of tickets. There was money donated by storeowners. Two members of a progressive church donated $200 to the tour, and over 30 donations were made at the picnic.

Towards the end, there was a piñata of Trump. And suddenly over a dozen kids from the rest of the park (mainly Latinos and a few Yemeni kids) appeared. The anger of everyone there, including the young children, was evident in how people attacked the piñata and stomped it once it was on the ground.

At a program and fundraiser for the Revolution Tour held at Revolution Books in Berkeley a week after the picnic, the immigrant woman who initiated the picnic proudly told people about the event and challenged those attending the bookstore program to match the $469 dollars raised. The challenge was met—another $500+ was raised there!

1. The 5 STOPS, the 2 Choices, and the 6 Points of Attention. See here for more. [back]

2. “We fight for a world without borders, and for equality among different peoples, cultures and languages. We do not tolerate insults, ‘jokes’ or derogatory names about a person’s race, nationality, or language.” [back]


What Is 5-2-6?
The 5 STOPS, the 2 Choices, and the 6 Points of Attention

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