Revolution #279, September 2, 2012
The BAsics Bus Tour—Coming to a Campus Near You!
A new school year is beginning on colleges and universities. Students, including freshmen, are heading off to campus. And you’ve got your whole life ahead of you. Anything seems possible. There will be fun, whole new experiences and friendships… along with anxieties and parental pressures to “succeed.” And for many of you—aspirations to do something meaningful. To contribute to bringing about some positive change in this world. Because wherever you look, the world is a horror show: endless U.S. wars, killing poverty, police shooting down Black youth in the streets, and a system killing the environment and threatening the very planet we live on.
We live in a society full of boundaries and segregation: Black/white; those who work with their hands/those who work with their minds; young/old; those who come from different countries and speak different languages—the list goes on. Let’s begin to break these barriers down as people come together as part of a growing movement for revolution. Teams of revolutionaries with decades of experience, those new to the movement for revolution, high school students, people from the most oppressed communities, old and young, men and women of different nationalities are coming to the campuses.
In the 1960s the Black Panthers brought the Red Book onto the college campuses, radicalizing, energizing and challenging the students. Now we have BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian, a book of quotations and short essays that concentrates more than 30 years of BA’s work. It speaks powerfully to questions of revolution and human emancipation. And it is playing a major role in bringing forward and forging a new generation of revolutionaries.
RIGHT NOW, you can do something really meaningful to change the world. Become part of the movement for revolution when the BAsics Bus Tour hits college campuses around the country! Join in when boldly decorated vans arrive at your campus and the BAsics Bus Tour crew turns up the volume with BA’s “All Played Out” (Bob Avakian’s spoken word piece with music by jazz musician William Parker) and huge displays of the quotes from BAsics!
Look forward to being there when impromptu gatherings and debates take off on the spot. And imagine a whole scene you can be a part of: informal discussions in dorms, classroom presentations, brown-bag lunches with professors. If you have hopes and aspirations for a better world, then join in. There are ways, on many different levels, in beginning ways, for everyone to immediately become part of the movement for revolution. Imagine this and more: classroom debates, stirring things up in the cafeteria and outdoor debate and discussion about the world as it is and how it could be because we have BA’s work and leadership for this liberating revolution. Get your hands on BAsics and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal) and set up dorm discussions. Get out postcards with quotes from BAsics and put them up wherever you go, organize on the spot showings of excerpts from the Revolution talk (Revolution: Why It’s Necessary, Why It’s Possible, What It’s All About) and discussions of BAsics 1:22 on the class nature of democracy—and what this has to do with the elections... and the whole future of humanity. Exchange messages and responses about all this—joining with people coming on campuses from the oppressed communities, sharing experiences and learning from each other as they come together as part of the movement for revolution. And donate money. Take up collections in the cafeterias and dorms. Be part of organizing fundraising!
Colleges and universities are supposed to be places of inquiry and discussion—a place for “big ideas” that can change your life and change the world! A place for big debates about things that really matter. Not an education of memorizing and echoing dry lectures. There’s not much air to breathe on campuses these days, critical thinking is almost verboten, the atmosphere is one where you’re there to listen, recite—not to question. Bringing controversy and political struggle into the classroom is frowned upon in most cases. Young professors who challenge the accepted curriculum better not count on tenure. But all this needs to be overturned with a fresh revolutionary wind of discussion, debate and struggle over all the big questions of the day.
This fall is the time to break out of the stifling atmosphere that permeates a lot of campus life, where it is just accepted that “this is the way things are, where you are supposed to be in school to just become a cog in the wheel.” Even if you manage to navigate a course of study and career you find interesting, even somewhat fulfilling—deep down in their hearts there’s the knowledge that it’s not really changing the horror show in the world that’s just getting worse by the day. Ask yourself: what is the future of the earth and the people who live on it if we just “do a little good in a totally fucked-up world”? And more than this—just think what contribution you can make by working for something that will lead to real change, to real liberation on this planet and the actual survival of the planet itself!
There have already been three BAsics Bus Tours. The first, in California, hit the immigrant neighborhood of Pico Union, impoverished rural sections of the state, and college campuses in outlying areas. The second tour traveled from Atlanta to Sanford, Florida, right after the outbreak of resistance to the murder of Trayvon Martin. And the third, in the New York City area, focused on the Bronx and Brownsville in Brooklyn, two neighborhoods where the NYPD’s policy of stop-and-frisk is the most intense. Thousands and thousands of people have been impacted by, and supported and joined in these tours in many ways. Now the tour is hitting campuses across the country.
And the BAsics Bus Tour is coming at a crucial time. From the Middle East, Europe and Latin America to the Occupy movement and the massive protests in this country when Trayvon Martin was murdered by George Zimmerman, people—and especially the youth and students—have begun to rise up against injustice and demand a better world.
Now, when the situation in the world cries out for real, fundamental change more than ever, and people of all nationalities have begun to awaken and fight for this…now comes the two-ring circus of presidential elections once again calling people into the big tent of false promises. Just think about it for a minute. They’re telling you that all your concerns and hopes for a better world should be placed in choosing who will preside over the country that is the biggest exploiter and oppressor in the world. This is not only a dead end, but a deadly choice for the people not only here but all over the world who suffer and die from the crimes of U.S. imperialism. Read the exposure in this issue of Revolution of Obama and the Democrats—how in so many ways, Obama has not only continued the crimes of the Bush regime, but is committing even worse crimes! The fact is—the choices this system gives you aren’t the only choices! The fact is things actually don’t have to be this way. We need a revolution that will bring about fundamental change, that will bring about a whole different economic and political system.
The BAsics Bus Tours are a focal point in getting BA Everywhere, making this person, his writings, and his leadership a point of reference on campus and for all of society. BA Everywhere is a mass, nationwide campaign to raise big money to project the work and vision of BA into every corner of society.
As we wrote in launching this campaign: Because if we succeed with this—if we collectively raise enough money to make it concretely possible to project the whole BA vision and project into all corners of society and to introduce him and what he is bringing forward to millions who are not yet familiar with his works and vision; if the framework he is bringing forward and advocating for becomes increasingly debated and wrangled over by thousands and by millions of people from all walks of life; if, together, we manage to accomplish this, this will actually make a very big difference. The whole social and political culture will “breathe” more freely, people will wrangle passionately over “big questions” concerning the direction of society (like knowing that much of the future of humanity hangs in the balance) and the times will once again resonate with big dreams for fundamental change and the emancipation of humanity.
The BAsics Bus Tour is coming to a campus near you. Be a part of organizing to make that happen! (For more information about the BAsics Bus Tours, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your local Revolution Books store or outlet.) Donate now to BA Everywhere! Throughout history, in this country and around the world, youth and students have played an important role in electrifying others part of society with their rebellion and calls for moral consciousness. So we are talking about making history here. Join us!
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