Revolution #272, June 17, 2012
Announcing the BAsics Bus Tour
Kicking off from New York City... Reverberating Across the Country
The BAsics Bus Tour... fresh off its second leg in May, will be heading out in mid-July from New York City. Right now, $50,000 and hundreds of volunteers are needed to make this next leg happen—contributing funds, volunteering for the tour itself, and throwing in, in whatever ways they can, to get this tour on the road.
This leg will be building on—and taking further—the most recent experience with the bus tour which began in Atlanta, Georgia, and made its way to Sanford, Florida. Sanford is the site of the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a vigilante, and it is the place where tens of thousands came to protest this modern American legal lynching. (For more on the second leg of the tour, check out basicsbustour.tumblr.com.)
This tour has reached out to, and captured the imagination of, thousands—connecting people with the voice and work of Bob Avakian, the revolutionary leader who has developed a new synthesis of communism. And all throughout the tour, the volunteers have worked to involve people in the campaign to spread BA's voice and work even further as part of building the movement for revolution. Hundreds of people all across the country came together to make this tour happen—contributing and raising funds, sending support statements, following and spreading the blog posts from the tour, helping to house and feed the volunteers in the places where the tour went. Hundreds were part of sending a message to the people of Sanford through signed banners with quote 1:13 from Avakian's BAsics featured in the centerspread of this issue.
This quote is also the centerpiece of efforts throughout the month of June—distributing it in the many tens of thousands, especially to youth, breaking open discussion and debate around the layers of meaning concentrated in this quote and the ways in which Avakian's work and ongoing leadership provides the means to make good on the pledge of "no more," and through these efforts bringing together cores of people to engage and spread it further.
All these efforts have begun to cohere a national movement around the mass campaign to raise big money to project Avakian's vision and works into every corner of society: BA Everywhere... Imagine the Difference It Could Make. And right now, with this next leg of the tour, there is a big need and a big opportunity to take the campaign even higher, tapping into people's outrage at the horrors of what is, and their hopes and aspirations about what is possible for humanity... creating a situation where the whole social and political culture will "breathe" more freely, with people wrangling passionately over "big questions" concerning the direction of society with the times resonating with big dreams for fundamental change and the emancipation of humanity.
Next Stop… New York City and Beyond
New York is the global financial center of imperialism, a place of great wealth and opulence. But right within the city's borders, and in smaller towns and cities just a short drive away, there are neighborhoods and cities that have been left to rot—abandoned and downpressed. Post-industrial hellholes populated with people who have been cast off, people for whom this system truly has no future. The tour will be reaching into places with some of the greatest wealth disparities in the country, places where the high school dropout rate is close to 50 percent for some oppressed nationalities, places that are centers of housing foreclosures and staggering unemployment.
Let's step back: The situation in the whole world is a horror... this is because of the system of capitalism-imperialism, not because of human nature. It doesn't have to be this way... a radically different world is possible—where people can come together in common cause, lifting their heads fully and straightening their backs... out from under this system of degradation, exploitation and misery. But bringing that world into being requires a revolution. Such a revolution is possible—and in particular because of Bob Avakian and the work he has done over several decades, summing up the positive and negative experiences of the communist revolution so far, and drawing from a broad range of human experience—there really is a viable vision and strategy for a radically new, and much better, society and world, and there is the crucial leadership that is needed to carry forward the struggle toward that goal. And not only is such a revolution possible, but we ARE BUILDING a movement for this revolution which provides a way to begin working on that now.
But way too few people have even heard about this! This BAsics Bus Tour is one key part of changing this on a grand scale, and it can make a very big impact now—bringing it directly to people in all the ways described here, and pulling together a national movement to do so.
These are centers of the New Jim Crow—with police brutality and murder felt painfully and routinely. These are centers of the apartheid-like policy of stop-and-frisk, with astronomical numbers of Black and Latino youth harassed, stigmatized, and put on a pipeline to prison. The slow genocide of Black people taking place in this country is palpable.
The area this leg of the tour will travel through is also a region that people from every corner of the globe have fled to—forced out of their homelands because of the workings of capitalism-imperialism, and in particular, to paraphrase Avakian, forced out of their homelands because the U.S. imperialists have fucked up the rest of the world even worse than what they have done in this country. As part of gaining their riches and power, they have made it impossible for many people to live in their own countries. Immigrants from Palestine, Lebanon, Mexico, El Salvador, Peru, Syria, Bangladesh... and many other parts of the globe have gathered in this region, hoping to find work and to make enough money to send to their families back home. Once thrust into the American nightmare, these different sections of people are set against each other, not knowing their common oppression in the system of capitalism-imperialism nor realizing their common hope in being part of a movement for real revolution, aimed at bringing into being a radically different, and far better, world.
The BAsics Bus Tour will go right into this mix, to reach out especially to the youth in this region. Youth this system has no future for... Black and Latino youth who are tracked into the prison pipeline from an early age... immigrant youth who have nowhere to fit into in this society, who were brought here at an early age by parents whose old ways and old social norms don't fit into this hyper-paced imperialist country and whose children are often still forced to live in the shadows... young women who are pimped by boyfriends trained to view them as property to be owned and sold... youth who have never been told that all this is the product of a system, not of human nature... and that it doesn't have to be this way.
Volunteers of different ages, nationalities and life experiences will come together on this two-week leg of the tour to bring word of Bob Avakian and the new synthesis of communism he's brought forward, the strategy for revolution he's developed, the leadership that he's providing to the movement for revolution. The focal point of the tour is BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian—a book of quotations and short essays that concentrates over 30 years of BA's work on everything that stands between humanity and its emancipation. This work can introduce people to "the basics" of understanding and changing the world and give them the foundation from which to act on the world and learn more.
The tour will be getting out copies of BAsics itself, and thousands of palm cards and posters drawing from this work, and getting into all kinds of discussions. The tour will also show Avakian's DVD talk, Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About.
The volunteers aim to create a big scene, stirring up debate and controversy about something people have never been allowed to consider, and, as they do, they aim to draw people forward and link them to a national movement. Volunteers will be working to leave behind organization in the areas they go to. And all this—which will be reported on in near real-time—will be part of affecting the political terrain across the country and around the world, reacting back on and changing what people think is possible.
Everywhere across this country, as people first fundraise and build for, and then follow and find the ways to spread the word of this tour, we should find the ways to bring people together, knowing that we are all part of the campaign to get BA Everywhere that is growing in its organized strength and impact. Utilize this newspaper—and the blog (basicsbustour.tumblr.com)—to let people know what is happening in all regions of this country. Send statements of support—and write about what you are doing so that everyone, everywhere will know about this.
All of this will only be made possible through the collective effort of people nationally riding the bus in spirit—with statements of support, contributions, following and spreading word of the tour through the blog (basicsbustour.tumblr.com), via Twitter (twitter.com/baeverywhere) and taking this out onto the street and through word of mouth... all as part of spreading BA's work and building a movement for revolution wherever you are.
Be Part of Taking the BAsics Bus Tour Higher
People have begun to volunteer and teams are beginning to be assembled to build for this leg of the tour. But in order to make this tour happen, and for it to reverberate across the country—many hundreds need to be involved nationally and in NY itself. $50,000 is needed to have a real impact—in this region... and across the country. The situation in the world is demanding that people know about Avakian’s work, and have a chance to be part of the movement to bring a radically different world into being. This is a crying need—and if we are able to reach out far and wide, tap into the inspiration and excitement (see the statements of support at basicsbustour.tumblr.com) that the boldness of this bus tour has garnered, and organize cores of people to come together and raise the funds in broad and creative ways—this can be made possible.
All throughout the next two weeks, while reaching out with the BAsics 1:13 quote, talk with everyone you can about contributing to this tour... pull together cores of people who want to develop immediate plans to raise funds with bake sales, yard sales and more. Reach out to professors and professionals who are able to contribute larger amounts and who would be interested in matching funds that are raised in a housing project or neighborhood. Ask lots of people to contribute on the spot and schedule phone banking nights to reach out to everyone you’ve been meeting, letting them know how they can be involved including through contributing funds—every contribution makes a difference and will get us closer to reaching this essential financial goal.
A significant amount of these funds should be raised for this leg of the BAsics Bus Tour as part of the big weekend coming up around BAsics 1:13 on June 22-24. This will be a time when all across the country, people are coming together to have a big impact with this quote... and to raise big funds... all contributing to an effort larger than themselves but within which their contributions are an essential part.
Start making plans now for major fundraising efforts to take place the week of July 4. Talk with people about the best form for this, what they want to do to be part of it, and start letting people in your area know about these plans on the June 22-24 weekend as well as writing to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com so these plans can be announced on the BAsics Bus Tour blog and in Revolution newspaper.
If you want to volunteer to be on the tour, contact your local Revolution Books or write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, volunteers are needed for film editing, graphic design, online research, transcribing, and much more.
To contribute online or by check/money order to the BAsics Bus Tour:
The Bob Avakian Institute is a nonprofit institute organized for educational purposes. Its mission is to preserve, project, and promote the works and vision of Bob Avakian with the aim of reaching the broadest possible audience. In furtherance of its mission, The Bob Avakian Institute financially supports projects aimed at Spreading BA Everywhere.
At this time, donations can only be solicited and accepted from residents of the following states: California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming. All donations from these states are greatly appreciated. Residents of these same states can donate online at thebobavakianinstitute.org.
Checks or money orders may be made out and mailed to:
Please be aware that The Bob Avakian Institute is not tax exempt and donations made to it are not tax deductible.
Disclosure statements can be found at The Bob Avakian Institute website at thebobavakianinstitute.org.
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If you would like to make a check or donate online to the BA Everywhere campaign but live in a state other than California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming, contributions can be made payable to RCP Publications online at revcom.us/BAfundcampaign or sent to RCP Publications, PO Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654 (indicate "BA Everywhere"). Contributions or gifts to RCP Publications are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.
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