Revolution #273, June 24, 2012
July: The BAsics Bus Tour and Making Big Leaps with BA Everywhere
A new movement is being forged—bringing something radically new onto the scene—and in the next six weeks it can take a big leap. This month, people across the country have begun to raise funds for the next leg of the BAsics Bus Tour as it gets ready to hit New York and surrounding areas in mid-July—$50,000 is needed by August 1. And people across the country have been part of efforts to distribute, engage with, and display this quote from Bob Avakian's BAsics, a book of quotations and short essays that concentrates more than 30 years of BA's work on everything that stands between humanity and its emancipation:
"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."
People were out in a major way this weekend with dramatic displays of this quote, distributing it all over. Watch for reports in Revolution newspaper. At this point, all kinds of people are being involved in the effort to get out many, many tens of thousands of BAsics 1:13 palm cards. The quote was the focus of the previous leg of the BAsics Bus Tour through the South, when banners with the quote were signed by hundreds across the country to send a message to the people of Sanford, Florida, the site of the murder of Trayvon Martin. It's been worn by students at a high school graduation. Cultural events inspired by this quote are being announced. It's been a very significant gateway into Avakian's work overall, forging powerful connections between people most cast off in this society and the revolutionary leadership they have in BA... and a gateway into debates and discussions more deeply getting into how the problem causing the horrors in the world is not human nature or "poor personal choices" but the system of capitalism/imperialism... and getting into the solution to this—a revolution aiming for a communist world, for the full emancipation of humanity.
This revolution is necessary and possible—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—and 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.
The nationwide distribution of BAsics 1:13 is part of bringing people forward to be part of the movement for revolution. It's part of right now organizing the thousands today to influence millions toward revolution, part of challenging and changing the way people see things and preparing those millions to make revolution, when the conditions emerge to do so.
And it's a part of the mass campaign to raise big money to project Bob Avakian's vision and works into every corner of society: BA Everywhere... Imagine the Difference It Could Make. A campaign aimed at making Bob Avakian a reference point in society and radically changing the whole social and political "atmosphere" in society, breaking open serious and broad debate about the state of the world, why things are the way they are... and the potential for a radically different world. And it's aimed at involving anyone and everyone who is upset at the status quo, the grinding up of millions of people here and around the world—everyone who just can't go along with the notion that we should just accept the howling social injustices carried out day in and day out.
Building on what's been done with this campaign thus far, we aim to make a big leap in July... with the organized strength, impact and influence of all this. Here are the plans...
BAsics Quotes in July
Announcing the BAsics quotes for July:
"American Lives Are Not More Important Than Other People's Lives."
"Internationalism—The Whole World Comes First."
These quotes go right up against the ugly American chauvinism this country is built on and that its rulers trumpet to this day—terrorizing the people of the globe for their profit and plunder, and inculcating people of this country to celebrate that. They also go up against the kind of chauvinism too many progressive people take up—viewing what is needed in the world from how it will affect American lives first and foremost. These quotes—taken together—plant a radically different pole. At the same time, they tap into an aspiration held by many, many people who want a better world. People who don't want to live in the new Rome, people who feel a unity with others like themselves all over the world. And they provide a powerful introduction to BA—who has always stood first with the people of the world, and who has developed further the theoretical foundation for internationalism.
All throughout the month of July, these quotes should be felt, seen, and heard all over... involving many hundreds and thousands, and influencing tens and hundreds of thousands.
July 4 in particular will be an important opportunity to have a big impact with the quotes—going right up in the face of the multiple wars that the U.S. is waging, new wars and interventions being threatened, the continuing devastation of the environment, and other imperialist crimes around the world. Hold anti-July 4 events, or go out to where people are holding picnics and barbecues. Get crews together to go to different places—progressive integrated suburbs, housing projects, wealthy parts of town—and canvass widely with the quotes. Mass distribute the quotes at parades and other citywide events. And through all this, raise money for the upcoming leg of the BAsics Bus Tour and document the impact (send photos, videos, written snapshots of experience to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org).
Getting Ready to Kick Off the BAsics Bus Tour
The pilot project of the BAsics Bus Tour rolled through California in February, and this was followed by the tour through the South in May. Building on these first two legs, the BAsics Bus Tour will be hitting New York City and surrounding areas starting in mid-July... and will be gearing up for other legs in the future.
New York is the global financial center of imperialism. It is a city of incredible wealth and opulence right next to neighborhoods that have been abandoned and left to rot by this system; a city with a brutal police force that confronts the people like an occupying army. The tour will be going into some of the most impoverished and segregated neighborhoods in the city. The tour will also be going to other cities in the region—places with some of the greatest wealth disparities in the U.S., where people live under the apartheid-like conditions of the New Jim Crow, and where there are people from many regions of the world—in many cases forced to come to this country to seek a means of survival because U.S. imperialism has fucked up their homelands even worse than what it has done to the people of this country.
The tour will be going right into this mix, reaching out especially to the youth who have no future under this system. Volunteers of different nationalities, ages, and life experiences will come together on this two-week leg of the tour to bring to the people word of Bob Avakian and the new synthesis of communism he's brought forward, the strategy for revolution he's developed, and the leadership he's providing for the movement for revolution. They'll be connecting people broadly with the two BAsics quotes for July, as well as continuing to reach out with BAsics 1:13. The tour will be getting out many copies of BAsics itself, the work that 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. There will be showings of BA's talk Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About. The tour aims to stir up debate and controversy, and draw people forward and link them to a national movement for revolution. And the volunteers will be working to leave behind organization in the areas they go to.
All across the country, thousands of people can be part of this and be tuned in to all this. Thousands of people who have contributed to make all this possible amplifying the impact this tour is having—from Harlem, Oakland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and more... Reading the blog posts about what this tour is doing and learning... sharing the videos that will be regularly posted, along with testimonials from the volunteers, interviews with people they're meeting, and responses to being introduced to what Avakian is saying. Imagine all across the country, people coming together in living rooms in housing projects and middle class homes, in house parties and other gatherings, at community centers and elsewhere, to talk about what this tour is learning, what they're tapping into... and to raise funds for other aspects of BA Everywhere... Imagine video messages and statements of support being sent from all across the country to the people the tour will be meeting, and having those messages responded to while the tour is on the road. This latter aspect—the back-and-forth that should be kicked off among different sections of people in different parts of the country—can be a powerful and exciting element, where people come to learn from each other in how they are, from different places and in different ways, responding to and getting involved in the revolution.
Nodal Points in July
On Friday, July 6, a video will be released that provides a living sense of the power of the previous leg of the tour. That weekend, join with others in cities across the country to gather people you know in house parties, salons, community centers, one-on-one meetings... and start talking with others to schedule these now. There should be all kinds of decentralized appointments and groupings coming together on the occasion of the release of this video—to watch it, and raise big funds towards this tour. This is a weekend where whatever you are able to contribute, you will be part of something bigger than yourself and where your participation will be an essential part.
Either jointly with this or separately, the week before July 12 have a send-off party for volunteers if any are traveling from the city you're in. This is a way for people who can't physically be on the tour to get on the bus in spirit, sending their statements of support and contributions to make this tour happen.
After the tour kicks off, a special video will be released on Thursday, July 19, and another on Wednesday, July 25. July 19 will be a report-back from the tour itself—the on-the-ground responses from people in the neighborhoods, and the immediate and living impact... a powerful picture of who they're reaching and how they're connecting. And the video on July 25 will have a further report from the tour along with a fuller sense of what's being brought together across the country.
These will be opportunities to pull together friends and hear first hand about the progress of the tour thus far, what the volunteers on the tour are learning and what the response has been up to that point. You can organize a larger event at Revolution Books, plan big outings with these videos, organize screenings in the park, and definitely pull together smaller groupings in the neighborhoods where people live. Invite people to your home for this, have a special gathering in a community center, church, neighborhood barber shop, or restaurant. Watching these videos together with people will also be a chance for people to see the impact they are having and a larger sense of what they are a part of... with others just like them all across the country. Coming together in this way, people will also be given another opportunity to contribute... this time to other aspects of BA Everywhere, which those on the tour will also be fundraising for.
All these plans taken together—including in the ways they are documented and posted online and in Revolution newspaper for people to see and feel the kind of impact we are having—can go a long way in radically changing what people, here and around the world, think is necessary and possible, and bring them into the process of changing the world—as BA's voice gets out into society even further, as the movement for revolution is further forged and organized... and as everything that happens as part of this is further amplified as part of a national movement with reverberations throughout society. You are needed to make this happen... your contributions and ideas, your energy and creativity, your questions and participation.
If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.