A Beginning for the National Tour in Chicago—Asking Questions on How to Organize Thousands

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From members of the National Tour:

As we enter our second week in Chicago, the National Tour is getting ready for a big weekend of revolution. On Saturday, July 27, we will be at the beach where 100 years ago, Eugene Williams was stoned to death for “crossing over” the line between White and Black, which unleashed racist white mobs of anti-Black violence followed by a righteous resistance of Black people defending themselves (see the American Crime series article on this here). We will commemorate the anniversary of “The Red Summer” by bringing forward a different future and involving everyone who cannot turn away from this ugly and vicious history of America and the situation humanity is facing today to join this revolution on the spot.

We are also holding a Future People Fundraising Party this Sunday from 5pm to 8pm at Elastic Arts on the North Side of Chicago. We are also hosting a national Facebook livestream at 3:30 Central Time to update the whole country on our mission and involve them in donating and raising more funds to support this crucial Tour. This is all part of raising the needed funds, but also breaking down the barriers between rich and poor, Black and white, men and women, north and south, and people who see each other as the enemy; and to bringing in a radically different culture based on the Points of Attention. We need networks of support and funding as part of making revolution. Already, people are being unleashed to spread the word and sell tickets for this fundraiser. Follow @tuneintorevcom and watch the livestream on Sunday at revcom.us Facebook page.

Where We Have Been

We have been out from the North Side of Chicago to downtown to South Side of Chicago. We have been in diverse neighborhoods from Bridgeview to Hyde Park to Wicker Park to South Shore. South Shore is on the South Side of Chicago, a part of the city where basic masses of Black people are penned in, encircled from the larger world and especially by the forces of armed repression, and pinned up against and killing each other. It is a place where there have been several upsurges against the murders by police. It is a place like many barrios and ghettos and favelas around the world where a whole section of society is walled off from the rest of society in apartheid-like conditions. In fact, Black and oppressed youth who have been hanging out in downtown Chicago near the fancy shops and tourist areas have been rounded up by police and put on nonstop trains to the South Side. “Sent back to where they belong,” according to the dictates of this merciless system, whether or not they are actually from the area. These youth need to become part of the revolution, and many people from all walks of life need to join this revolution wave after wave to break out of this encirclement.

There are the beginnings of people turning their heads toward revolution. A few people have come to the film showings of Why We Need an Actual Revolution and How We Can Really Make Revolution off of our work. Bringing everyone we can to watch this film in its entirety, followed by a discussion and living laboratory of people going to work on the same questions BA poses in this film, is a real centerpiece of our work. Through very fierce struggle over the role that Obama played as Deporter (and Droner)-in-Chief, a Black progressive man who we met while doing mass work in a major intersection became an organizer in the upcoming fundraiser for the National Tour by going to talk with his widely known pastor. A white student from University of Chicago and community organizer who admitted she was trying to work within the system to pass some reforms was impressed that there was a strategy for revolution and came to the film showing. Through this and other experiences, we can see how people who are coming from different frameworks can have a way in on working on the problems of the revolution on the basis of a desire to put an end to the 5 STOPS, even as we are struggling fiercely on what the actual problem and solution is and as they are learning more.

We Have Just Begun

We have a very good team—well-seasoned leaders, and new and young team leaders who are taking up the new communism. We are all developing and learning, which is a part of life. Some just graduated from college and are doing something radically different than what is expected of college graduates: joining the revolution, giving up their summers to fly all the way to Chicago with all kinds of different people from around the country with fire in their bellies to work for revolution. This diversity was an attractive force to those who cheered loudly on a corner in South Shore during our initial rally last weekend when this beautiful diversity was pointed out by a member of the National Tour in response to a reactionary narrow Black nationalist who was haranguing people that the problem was white people and the revolution.

We’ve learned a lot since our first leg of the Tour in LA about mobilizing all positive factors and strengths of our collectivity that includes the masses, rather than accentuating and widening the divide between people’s strengths and weaknesses. We are also inspired by and learning from the work of our comrades still in LA who are making further advances through accumulating and impacting on the first advance made after the Tour left LA.

Asking a Lot of Questions, Being a Team of Scientists

We’ve been wrangling a lot with the recent correspondence and further thinking published on revcom.us about how can we involve everyone we meet in the process by putting the problems of the revolution to them, and what that looks like. By putting the problems of the revolution to people, we can involve them into a process in a beginning way.

We come together after outings, summing up advances and shortcomings, not everything in fine detail but what were the different layers and components involved? What can we say about the makeup of a location and the thinking of people? What are the main roadblocks in people’s thinking that are keeping them from acting on what they understand, as we awaken their aspirations to something larger? What key things do we need to focus on like speaking to blocs of people, breaking down the barrier between “us” and “them,” or the need to listen and learn from people? How did we apply the strategy and the film Why We Need an Actual Revolution and How We Can Really Make Revolution by Bob Avakian? And how do we understand the dynamic of accumulate-impact as we organize and build a mass movement for revolution?

There Is Great Joy in Doing This

All this has been challenging and sometimes difficult, but not only is this meaningful to the world: the culture and camaraderie we are forging has also been really invigorating and beautiful. For example, some of us went out late at night in Chinatown for ice cream and to spend time together. We talked about relationships and what is needed for a radically different future and what kind of social relations there should be between men and women and differently gendered people. Afterward, we had dim sum in steaming hot baskets and a struggle ensued among ourselves at a roundtable over whether online dating and “swipe culture” cut against Point of Attention #2: “We fight for a world where all the chains are broken. Women, men and differently gendered people are equals and comrades. We do not tolerate treating women as sexual objects.” We got into when is it appropriate to struggle with one another and which aspect was principal in Point of Attention #5: “We search for and fight for the truth no matter how unpopular even as we listen to the insights, observations and criticisms of others.” How can we struggle with each other without any ego but with arms around each other with a lot of love for one another as we are fighting for a different world, while giving each other the space to speak up honestly and without attack? This was all very exciting for me, because it’s a culture of wrangling with different questions with a lot of heart. There is a new culture coming to the forefront! And we are all a part of leading that.

No matter where we are positioned, no matter what we are responsible for doing, we are all struggling to be strategic commanders, responsible for the whole thing of making revolution to get beyond what is known as the “4 Alls.” Making revolution is very hard work, but there is great joy in doing this, in being the first ones, and if there is one thing that stands out to me from the work of the National Tour in LA, it is this from Bob Avakian:

I have several times noted the fact that for the advanced forces, for those who come to the forefront of the revolutionary struggle, there is a heavy weight to carry. It is demanding a lot of them to play this role, to be the ones to most steadfastly carry the revolutionary struggle along. But it is not too much to demand.

In basketball there are those players who are not only outstanding in general but who specifically make the big plays at the crucial moments. These are the ones who want the ball when crunch time comes, when the whole game is on the line. They are the ones who love to go into the home court of the biggest rivals and rise to their greatest right in the face of the other team and their howling, screaming fans. These are the ones who not only soar to great heights themselves but in so doing raise the level of their team as a whole. Why shouldn’t the advanced forces of proletarian revolution—those who have the most profound interest in this revolution and the most profound desire for revolution—why shouldn’t they be capable of this kind of greatness? (BAsics 6:3)

To those who are reading this from across the nation and the world, to all those who cannot stand another day of what this system does to people here and all over the world, LET’S GO TO WORK!

Watch BA’s whole speech, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

Watch clips from speech HERE


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