Revolution #265, April 8, 2012

BA Everywhere in Harlem

It was a cold and wet Saturday in New York, but in a few hours people in Harlem donated $321.57 for the BAsics Bus Tour. On the subways, at a street corner, in shops, people stopped to listen and dig in their pockets for ones and twos, and a five and ten, and a barber pledged $100. He and some of the other contributors regularly read Revolution newspaper and have BAsics. He said he had been following the reports of the initial run of the BAsics Bus Tour in California, and when the team wondered what it might look like if "100 barbers donated $100," he said it didn't necessarily have to be one barber, but it could be raised in a shop. He also said that he really liked the BAsics Bus Tour graphic that has the highway running through it.

The BA Everywhere teams reported that people were very open, and many emotional, still very much feeling deeply the murder of Trayvon Martin, and they really heard that it doesn't need to be this way, there don't need to be any more Trayvon Martins or Emmett Tills. Learning about this BAsics Bus Tour, one woman broke down in tears as she contributed. One person asked what was the big deal, we are getting killed all the time. That turned around when a team member said we are building a movement for revolution to get rid of all this and build a different world, and this BA Everywhere campaign is about that, and people contributed. A team member, a young Black man, spoke powerfully to people, saying that he wasn't there to sell candy, that he and any other young Black man could have been Trayvon Martin, but that there is a strategy for revolution for him and others, there is Bob Avakian, a leader, and there is BA Everywhere campaign that is going to change all of this.

A Dominican shop owner spoke about how Dominicans are treated a lot like Black people and none know what BA is talking about. The BA Everywhere team read the "no more generations" quote and this man wound up contributing and getting the paper. At another shop a person from Mexico who was in the place heard the team read from the last lines of the RCP Statement on the Murder of Trayvon Martin and, while one person asked how the Trayvon Martin killing connected with communism, he said that he had read about the California BAsics Bus Tour and that it had stopped in Fresno with all of the immigrants and others there, and he made a small donation and got Revolution newspaper. Another person there got two copies of the paper and pledged to contribute to the tour and to get BAsics. Several people who contributed for the tour got the "Three Strikes" poster. One person who did explained to his friend, "These people really have it together." A young woman just moving into the projects and doing the laundry contributed and got a paper, saying that she was "looking forward to a place where there was resistance."

The teams also distributed hundreds of the RCP Statement on the Murder of Trayvon Martin and sold virtually all of the Revolution newspapers they had. They reported that it was important to make it very clear and sharp to all that this was national fundraising campaign to raise money for the national BAsics Bus Tour briefly, and then to step directly to people and ask them to donate, and when someone did others did also. The BA Everywhere team members were cold, but jazzed by what happened and by the potential for much more.


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