SF Bay Area “Revolution – Nothing Less!” Van Tour, Day 7 - Visiting a Resort Area

July 26, 2013 | BA Everywhere | revcom.us

Sunday, July 21—We found this scenic and tranquil river town to be full of sharp contradictions and very polarized especially around Trayvon Martin. About 1½ hrs. away from the S.F. fog and cold, it is a resort area for the gay community, a destination for tourists, and a place for summer days suntanning, kayaking and swimming.

From the first moments we arrived, those contradictions jumped out. A Van Tour volunteer held up a 3 x 4 foot enlargement of a Revolution front page of Trayvon Martin. A driver held up his middle finger, but he was followed by someone who honked his horn in support. Just as we set up our table on the middle of the main street, a white teenager leaned out of his car window and shouted, “He got what he deserved,” smiling when he said it. A white middle aged man told us to, “Fuck off!” when he was asked what he thought about Trayvon, then spit out, “He did the right thing,” in support of Zimmerman. People who think this way are really puffed up right now and have an attitude that right is on their side so they’re free to lash out with hatred and venom.

Many just passed by, not wanting to talk. A few said they didn’t have a t.v. or read the news, though many had strong opinions. A few who said “Justice has been served” or “The jury has spoken” didn’t want to talk about it. A white woman said emphatically and self-righteously that race had nothing to do with it, but she was asked then why was he stopped? He was young, Black and wearing a hoodie. She had no answer and looked uncomfortable.

A number of people were really glad we were there and told us they were with us and Trayvon. There was a feeling of sadness and people being upset that this didn’t have to happen. Two white women said their kids were half Black and they didn’t like the verdict at all. One young woman watched the second disk of the BA Speaks: Revolution – Nothing Less! Bob Avakian Live DVD set, the section on what is communism. She said what happened with Trayvon was awful and she was thinking about the possibility of revolution. She didn’t want another 30 years to go by and for this to keep happening again and again. She looked through the table of contents of the DVD, bought it and gave us a way to contact her. Another white woman said the verdict was devastating and she wanted to help.

Several people said Zimmerman should have listened to the 911 operator and not followed Trayvon. A Vietnam vet was extremely excited to see us and brightened up when he saw BAsics. He asked, is Bob Avakian still alive and said he remembered him from when he was with Vietnam Veterans Against the War and that he still believed in revolution.

A woman who was active against the discrimination of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people said she hated racism. A former resident of the Bay Area, she said the verdict was outrageous and that Oakland (with all the protests) did well and she wanted to be there. She saw different things that were wrong with this system, like the way women were looked down on. She said she’d rather die on her feet than live on her knees and donated $5.

One person said it wasn’t just Zimmerman, but the whole racist society that was to blame. There was discussion about what was the solution, with someone saying you needed to get the kids to stay in school and to vote, while someone else said the choices were limited and you could only choose among puppets.

On the solution, someone asked, “What can you do?” which we answered by getting into the need for revolution and to fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution – with a great need to jump into the struggle around Trayvon. While someone else thought it was wrong what happened to Trayvon, they also thought there wasn’t anything better than this system. Another person said these problems are nothing new and agreed revolution was needed, but was very doubtful that it was possible because he thought the system was too powerful and the people were too messed up. We answered that he really needed to watch the DVD because it answered the question of why a revolution was really possible. A few Native Americans said they know too well the history of this country. One white man who was with his grandkids talked with us for awhile about how much he did not agree with the verdict. He said when someone has a gun it’s not a fair contest. He said people deserve better than what we have here and around the world. A minister said he understands the system because he’s been in it. He thought we needed a revolution and what we were doing was great.

Throughout the tour, almost 90 people stopped to watch sections from the BA Speaks: Revolution – Nothing Less! DVD.

A few watched a half-hour or more. People shared their comments as they watched. In the Mission district, after watching part of disk 3, when it was talking about miseducation, someone said, “You can’t do nothing! America is fucked up and they’re going to destroy the world.” In response, another man said, “Yes, you can do something. Listen to this guy (BA) talk about how to change the world.” In Oakland at the Trayvon rally on 7/20, Someone asked, “What kind of revolution are you talking about? If it’s what I’m thinking, you’d have to go underground!” Then after watching a section in disc 2 about socialism, he said, “Oh, so this is what you’re talking about. It makes sense.” In Santa Cruz, someone said, “This man is really talking about something deep. Ending all oppression? Is that possible? I don’t know but I’m glad he’s talking about it.”

Watching these sections from the DVD convinced several to buy it, while many people who got promo cards said they would definitely look into it and asked how to order it.

On the way to the resort, we read over the new statement, “They Must Not— They Will Not— Get Away With This!!!” and discussed it. The new person who watched 2 hours of the film joined us for the last two days. He liked the DVD and wanted to get it out to other people. He said things aren’t working out with this system and we have the solution which we need to connect with people. In talking about the part of the flier about how Rachel Jeantel was treated, he said it was the same old shit. He said it’s important for people to stand up and not sweep things under the rug.

Our team, a mix of people brand new to the movement for revolution and some not-so-new, young and old, really gelled as a collective force in the seven days we worked together in taking out BA Everywhere. We learned a lot from the experience of going out to people, taking out the film, BAsics and the fliers on Trayvon and having debates with people about what is the problem and solution. We found people who were definitely looking for solutions and we were able to introduce them to and give them a way to connect with BA and this movement for revolution.