Revolution Club Speak-Out in Chicago:

From the slave-catchers to the KKK to the brutal, killer pigs of today... This system cannot be reformed, it must be overthrown!



Field Report from a Member of the Revolution Club, Chicago:

On Thanksgiving Day, Chicago police slammed Bernard Kersh’s head into a curb. Someone passing by in a car caught the brutality on video–Bernard standing there in front of the pig, the pig picking him up off the ground and then throwing him onto the street, his head slamming sickeningly into the curb of the sidewalk. Bernard survived this attack. And for that, HE is now in jail, facing charges of battery on a police officer, because he supposedly spit on the cop. The pig who nearly killed him has essentially been given a vacation, temporarily “relieved of police powers.” The video went viral, and in Chicago many are outraged, but at the same time many are numbed and “used to it.”

The day after this happened, the Revolution Club connected up with a supporter who was furious about this and together made a plan to do a speak-out on the corner where it happened, a busy intersection on the South Side. The word went out on social media and we did the speak-out the next day.

We had just issued a statement on the 50th anniversary of the murder of Fred Hampton by Chicago pigs and FBI, a sharp challenge on what is worth living and dying for. We took this statement to the speak-out, passing it out and speaking out loud the challenge concentrated there. What we were saying connected with a lot of people who responded in different ways. One thing that people connected with was that Fred Hampton died for the people, his life and death meant something.This in contrast to people today talking about “I gotta make money” (including right on that corner) and taking each other out, while the police are slamming people’s heads in the concrete, and it is all getting worse with a fascist regime in power. People just looking out for self is keeping this all going instead of doing something to put an end to it and bring something new into being.

We brought out that the revolution Fred Hampton was fighting for wasn’t made, but we need to make revolution now and we have the leadership for that in Bob Avakian and the new communism he’s developed.We called on people to get with the Revolution Club, to step up and be part of working now to make this revolution, including speaking out right on the spot. We had a display with the Points of Attention for the Revolution and told people they could start to live by and fight for this now and be part of the first to step forward and challenge others.

Some people came up to speak on the microphone. A woman talked about how the police shouldn’t be doing this to people, if the police are supposed to serve and protect, who protects us from the police? A man waiting for the bus was furious and spoke about how the cop who did this should be in jail. Another man came up and called on people to stop killing each other and come together. Other people were listening closely, but didn’t come up. Some were sharply challenged and felt the need to reply to the challenge; there were a number of debates and discussions going on, some over the mic, some on the sides among people listening, sometimes both.

  • One man in his 50s who walked by with his fist in the air was walking across the street to the store, shouting back at us that he couldn’t stop and get filmed on the mic because the authorities were looking for him. We responded on the mic that the FBI killed Fred Hampton and that was a death with meaning, he risked his life for the people, not for himself. When the guy got out of the store, he felt compelled to come over and get on the mic. He said a few things about Black people needing to come together. Afterwards we challenged him to get with the revolution and he tried to slide past it by saying we’re just talking and he’s about action. We said it’s the opposite, we’re getting organized for revolution, what are you doing? He walked away with his fist in the air saying, “I support you” and “power to the people.”
  • A young guy passed by crossing the street and said as he stepped into the street, “I don’t care about that.” We responded over the mic something along the lines of that’s the problem, this system is doing all this shit to people and people are just thinking of themselves instead of caring about humanity and doing something to change this. He responded, yelling out from across the street, “they don’t care about us.” We said no, they don’t, that’s why we have to overthrow the whole system. He kept yelling as he got further away but we couldn’t hear what he was saying anymore.
  • A couple guys were talking to each other and one was running out a whole slavish thing about how if people would just stay out of the way of the police and not give them dirty looks, etc., the police will leave them alone and they can get back to doing whatever they’re doing. We took this on over the mic. He eventually tried to come back using something Malcolm X said as a way of arguing that there’s nothing we can do, nothing will change. We just called this out as bullshit and a way of refusing to work on changing things.
  • An older guy selling cigarettes who had been listening for a while came up and said I like what you’re saying, keep saying it, don’t worry about these people who don’t like it, keep going and you’ll get somewhere with it. We challenged him to be part of it. He said he would support this and he came over and read the Points of Attention for the Revolution. He said he agreed with them, but before we were able to go too deep on it he was whisked away by his partner, a woman who said the first thing we have to do is get Trump out, by which she meant voting.

Significantly, we were joined halfway through by a woman whose 17-year-old son was killed by police two years ago. She walked up wearing her Revolution–Nothing Less! T-shirt. She has kept up with the Revolution Club mainly through Facebook and text messages, and was in touch with the supporter of the Club who had posted about the speak-out. She told us she first met members of the Revolution Club right after her son was killed, but it was hard for her to pay attention at that time and now she wants to be involved. She spoke powerfully at the end of the speak-out about what happened to her son and called on people to think about humanity and join the revolution. Her speaking drew forward other people on the spot who had children killed by police. They didn’t want to speak on the mic but took flyers and the 5-2-6 message from the National Revolution Tour and gave a way to stay in contact.

Overall I felt there was an appreciation that we were sharply struggling against the individualism this system has people locked in: the “me, me, me” outlook while millions are suffering unnecessarily and the meaninglessness of people’s lives and deaths up against what could really give it meaning, acting in the interests of humanity to put an end to this system and a way to do that. There were times where it specifically resonated with people that we were talking about not only putting an end to what is being done to Black people, but humanity, including immigrant children in cages, etc. However, there were not many people trying to follow through on really getting with the revolution themselves.

We were waging a struggle, but we also could have done more to help people step into the revolution. We didn’t do enough of drawing people together to talk about how to go to work together on these problems we confront and unleash people to start working on that. We plan to get back out to the area and try to talk with some of the younger people who were hanging around listening, to struggle for people to engage what’s in the statement and come be part of the commemoration this Sunday.

Which Side Are You On?




Get a free email subscription to

Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.