Revolution #212, September 26, 2010
Taking the Campaign to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities
We received this correspondence
We planned to start saturating with the re-printed four-page full version of the Message and Call at one of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)—a campus that we've repeatedly returned to with the campaign for every saturation and in between. Since there would only be a small team and this would be the first saturation for the new school term, we planned to create an atmosphere of the statement being "everywhere" over the course of a couple of days. On the first morning we got our new statements to a rapid rail station near the campus, and along with getting the statement out to people going to work in the morning, we got the statement to the students taking the shuttle buses to the campus. Then we went to the campus and around to some key academic buildings and offices, posting the Call up on every bulletin board available for notices, putting them in the boxes or under the doors of professors who weren't in their offices—and talking briefly to those who were in about the campaign. The Calls, front and back, also appeared taped inside the doors of the bathroom stalls in most of the main buildings as well.
The next day we returned with a tent and several tables to join with a traditional "market day" held on the main mall in front of the student center. We got there early so we could go to the far end of the campus to the largest classroom building at class break and get statements out to hundreds of students changing classes. We also put them on empty desks before the class rooms filled up. We invited everyone to come to our table throughout the rest of the day and talk to us about "the revolution we need and the leadership we have"—and tell us what they thought.
Our tent and tables had an enlargement of the Call, a large image poster of Bob Avakian and some colorful covers of Revolution, as well as a sign: "You've been lied to about communism." We displayed the Call, the current paper and highlighted the memoir and several other works by Bob Avakian—as well as the new Manifesto (Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage, A Manifesto from the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA). We tried to get the most impact with our table and small team—one of us got the statements out to the hundreds of students who walked by while the second person passed out the image fans, as the day really heated up! These are hand held fans made of an enlarged version of the yellow image card that looks really great. We were wearing our yellow image shirts as well. Students would ask: "Who is that?" We'd answer: "Stop by our table and find out," "He's the leader of the revolution that we need…," "He's Bob Avakian, watch this DVD on-line and find out about him and the revolution he's leading..." As the day went on lots of students told us "We got one in class this morning" or that they had gotten one earlier in the day on the student center mall.
While we made sure we concentrated on getting the Call out to as many people as possible, and also the image fans, we took turns talking with students who came up to the table with questions: "What kind of revolution are you talking about?" "Didn't communism turn out to be terrible when people tried it?"... "I'm interested in what Cuba is doing—is that what you're about?"... "I identify with the Black Panther Party... I see us having a lot of unity; this 'entre-manure' thing [in the centerfold of the current issue of Revolution newspaper] is on it... I'm in business school and I'm having a hard time with my professors, with my own principles." One history student asked us if we were about the tea party (which he was very much against) and we showed him the Revolution newspaper. He said he agreed about America being founded on slavery and genocide, but didn't communism have a bad history, too, and why we were for it? He bought a paper and took note of the website for Set the Record Straight: Socialism Is Much Better Than Capitalism, and Communism Will Be a Far Better World (thisiscommunism.org). One freshman student said the statement (and the newspaper) was saying things about America that were different than "everything I've ever been taught."
A number of students signed up on the bookstore contact list and to get a free e-sub to Revolution newspaper. We got out about 1100 statements (in the two days) and a little over 200 image fans, as well as about 200 DVD cards. We have follow-up to do with students and several professors, and work to do on the adjacent campuses. We did not reach our goal yet to raise funds or to get students to take bundles of the statement up and out, and especially into the dorms.
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