Revolution #270, May 27, 2012
The BAsics Bus Tour Sets Off
Something has begun in Atlanta, Georgia. This week, the BAsics Bus Tour spent several days all over Atlanta before heading farther south. And all across the country, people are watching and acting together with this tour.
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The volunteers on the tour are reaching out to people in the aftermath of the murder of Troy Davis, in the aftermath of the murder of Trayvon Martin, and in the midst of a situation where, according to one youth the tour spoke with, "The police don't care, they'll kill anybody, that's real." While that's true all over America, there is a particular and painful history in the South where public lynchings are in people's lived memory. There is what is concentrated in Bob Avakian's point, "The 'Bible Belt' in the U.S. is also the Lynching Belt."
BAsics 1:13, one focal point of this leg of the BAsics Bus Tour, has gotten a powerful response from people wherever they go... garnering hundreds of signatures on a banner that they've taken out to oppressed neighborhoods, high schools, a homeless shelter... all over.
No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that.
The centuries-old oppression of Black people—in its historical and modern forms—is a deep wound but it's also a raw nerve. "Simmering" is how one volunteer described it. The BAsics 1:13 quote expresses a powerful sentiment that connects this oppression with oppressed people all over the world... and it's spoken by the revolutionary leader, Bob Avakian, whose work and ongoing leadership represent the actual way to make good on this pledge of "no more"... the leadership whose work provides the ability to get out from under this system once and for all, a viable vision and strategy for a radically different way the world could be and a movement for revolution being built today.
Along with this, the tour volunteers have brought out the serious questions from people that arise when they actually begin to consider a legitimate alternative to the horrors of this world. "But aren't they too powerful? Is all this just talk? Why communism?"
The volunteers have been getting into the answers with people... playing clips of Avakian's Revolution talk, getting into debate and discussion. And giving people ways to be part of this movement for revolution, taking up the campaign to get BA Everywhere. They've talked with people about which of the 12 ways to be involved they could see themselves taking up, they've left small stacks of palm cards with the above quote and talked with people about ways they could get it out... to be part of getting this message known throughout society, and to leave behind networks of people who are part of this revolution, in beginning but powerful ways.
Clyde Young, a revolutionary communist leader and former prisoner who joined the tour while in Atlanta, spoke to someone in a neighborhood about this. This was someone who told Clyde about the time he himself spent in prison and the routine forms of torture he experienced, being tied to a board, immobile, for hours at a time. Clyde said, "What if we get together and it's not just me going up against them by myself, or not just you going up against them by yourself, but what if we get organized and say gone are the days when this system can just keep doing this to people, and we resist that and are prepared to go down together over that... it's a whole different ball game when people stand up together." (You can hear the audio of this exchange at basicsbustour.tumblr.com.)
A new kind of coming together is also what this bus tour is opening up across the country. Kick-off events were held in several cities May 18 where people watched videos from the tour, gave statements of support, talked about how this is hitting them. People are heading out to neighborhoods with banners emblazoned with BAsics 1:13, coming together to make them, and taking them out for people to sign—in support of the tour and acting together with them to actually make a leap in building this movement for revolution. Coming together, and getting organized together.
Stay tuned to basicsbustour.tumblr.com to find out how people are being reached and impacted by the BAsics Bus Tour, in the places the tour is going and across the country to find out ways people are responding... to find out how through this, YOU and many others can become involved in the campaign to project BA Everywhere and in the movement for revolution.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Follow the tour at basicsbustour.tumblr.com and twitter.com/baeverywhere, share the posts and updates with people you know, gather some friends and watch the videos together. Send your own statement, written or video (with sunglasses and a hoodie to keep it incognito). Email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Contribute funds and raise funds... to complete this leg of the tour and for the next one. Pull together groups of people to discuss all this and contribute.
- Make banners with BAsics 1:13 with a whole crew of people... get people all over to sign their names and write a message. Send high-resolution photos by Thursday, May 24, to email@example.com and the people on the bus tour will make enlargements for displays to really deliver this message—from thousands of people across the country—to those the tour is meeting.
Tuesday night. A special video statement from the tour will be released online along with a special announcement about the tour! (These will be online Tuesday morning and available for download.) You'll hear first-hand and in some depth about the progress of the tour thus far, what the volunteers are learning and what the response has been up to that point. Gather in neighborhoods, Revolution Books, all over—in a multitude of collective and informal gatherings across the country.
Memorial Day Weekend. Have a picnic or join with others at their picnics to raise funds in creative ways throughout the weekend... hear from the crew on the tour as this leg of the tour comes to a close. For those already planning family picnics, ask if the revolutionaries can come through and do a fund pitch or sell raffle tickets... be out among people in a big way, letting them in on the accomplishments of this tour and the role they can be playing in all this.
From a young volunteer on the tour: "I am going down South, to join with others on this BAsics Bus Tour. We ride to connect people with Avakian, whose life work and mission has been human emancipation. We ride with the hopes and dreams of a better world. Not just our own hopes and dreams, but of many who are watching what we do, many who have supported in various ways, and the many more who do not yet know who I am or that I am joining with others to do this. We ride with you."
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