SF Bay Area “Revolution – Nothing Less!” Van Tour – Day 6

July 26, 2013 | BA Everywhere | revcom.us

Saturday, July 20—The Van Tour joined hundreds of people at the Oakland rally for Trayvon Martin at the Federal Building. This event, called for by Al Sharpton, brought out a crowd that was filled with anger and outrage at the Zimmerman verdict. This was expressed by many speakers: two young Black boys, who told of now being scared to walk out on the streets, a mother who cried as she talked about the target that is now on the backs of Black youth, young women, Stop Mass Incarceration Network speakers, and many others. People from the van tour fanned out with the BA Speaks: Revolution -- Nothing Less! Bob Avakian Live DVDs, palm cards and the new piece, “They Must Not— They Will Not— Get Away With This!!!”

One white woman bought the DVD right away. Following up in a phone call, she said she has always been open minded and she isn’t sure about revolution yet, but she wants to learn. She wants things to be fair and just and had gone to demonstrations around Oscar Grant and Trayvon. When she heard the not guilty verdict she was infuriated and so agitated in her body she felt discomforted and felt she needed to do something. She searched on the internet to find the protests and joined them. The verdict pissed her off. She said it was unacceptable that someone can gun down an innocent person because it sends a message and sets a precedent. She said it’s just horrifying that now people are being given a green light to do this. She was moved when she saw a kid with brown skin with a sign that said, "I fit the profile - Am I next?”

She has been around Black people her whole life and sees things in a different way than many whites. In the past, she has had white people talk to her as if she shared their racist views, and she realized that she just didn’t fit in with them.

Another white woman said she was stunned by the verdict. It made her realize how racist this country is that there were people who supported Zimmerman and thought he did the right thing. It made her ashamed to be an American. She said she was surprised that white people she knew (though not her good friends) were on the wrong side of this question and it bothered her.

Comments that came up included: people saying Black people’s oppression has been going on for a long time. Sometimes people have meant that it’s nothing new and the think there isn’t much you can do about it. But many who say this mean that it’s time to change this and they’ve had enough.

Others raised that instead of revolution, the solution is for people to be better parents or to have things like after school programs. A few Black people were pushing for a boycott of certain products tied into the Koch brothers or for Blacks to exercise their “power” as consumers to not buy certain items, saying if enough people did this it would hurt the capitalists economically and somehow force them to change. One man said he agreed with us that revolution was needed, but that his approach would be more effective. Another guy who was advocating this approach also argued that revolution was “old school” and instead, we should be growing hackers or people who have access to intelligence sources, which could cause problems for the capitalists. We argued over why boycotts cannot get rid of the underlying source of the problem and why only revolution could.

Questions came up about “What do we mean by revolution?” “What’s emancipation?" Someone wanted to know if Bob Avakian is our leader, is this the same as a white person using Black people? No, we got into what BA stands for and why he’s leading this revolution as a revolutionary communist and not a white person. This is a revolution about emancipating all of humanity, to get rid of this system of capitalism-imperialism we are living under now and fight to bring into being a radically different world. BA has developed the scientific theory and strategic orientation for how to actually make the kind of revolution we need, and people need to find out about him and the movement for revolution he leads.

A few people said they knew about Bob Avakian, including a couple who had been Black Panthers who had heard him speak at a Free Huey rally at the Oakland Auditorium. They were interested in his memoir, From Ike to Mao and Beyond.

During the rally several people from the crowd held our banner. When Larry Everest gave a passionate and charged speech and said he thought revolution was needed, many people clapped in agreement.

The Three Strikes poster, with Dread Scott, Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin was very popular in that crowd, with many carrying it and reaching out for it. The mood was one of righteous indigation and determination to not let this go down and people were clearly fed up.

The van team was joined by new people, including someone we met the day before who had watched two hours of the DVD.