Revolution #280, September 16, 2012
Scenes from BA Everywhere
Week of September 10
This is a regular feature that gives an ongoing picture of the multifaceted campaign BA Everywhere, and the variety of ways that funds are being raised and the whole BA vision and framework brought into all corners of society. Revolution newspaper is at the hub of this effort, publishing reports from the campaign, and playing a pivotal role in building an organized network of people across the country coming together to make BA a household word. We urge our readers to send in timely correspondence and photos on what you are doing as part of this campaign to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Breaking Down Divisions and Opening Up Debate
From a snapshot of the BAsics campus bus tour in one city:
As students were coming to school for the first time or heading back for a new semester, the BAsics campus tour went right up in the face of the status quo and verdicts that this is the best of all possible worlds. We took as our guideposts the principles from the BAsics bus tour of putting BA—who he is, and what his leadership is all about—in people’s hands, involving people on the spot and in lasting ways, and letting everyone we meet know that we have a strategy for revolution and we are carrying out that strategy.
On one campus a few folks from Harlem joined us one day, and debate broke open about what is communism, what happened in the 1960s and whether revolution is possible today. Three students went back and forth with us, and many more joined in listening or checked out the BAsics because they just had to find out what it was about that people were debating.
We put revolution on the map at a freshman orientation event at a major university, where around 2,500 students, about half the freshman class, were lined up outside, and we got out about 50 of the Revolution newspaper issue featuring BAsics 3:22 and 1:10 and several hundred palm cards with “10 ways you can be part of the revolution.” When some upperclassmen students decided to be upholders of conformity, discouraging and even trying to prevent the freshmen from checking out the revolution, it made the revolution a controversial, memorable part of orientation—and some students wanted to check it out even more because they were being told not to, and they came to college to discover new ideas.
At two different colleges, we brought to students the ideas and comments of people from oppressed communities in the city. People in the neighborhoods responded to BAsics 3:22 and wrote their stories about what it’s like to be a woman living in the projects and what it’s like to be stopped and frisked by police. Students read these comments and the quotes from BAsics and were also inspired to join the conversation or to find out more about the movement for revolution that drew forward all this.
In all this we started to meet students who don’t want this world, and they began checking out this revolution, finding out about Bob Avakian, and contributing in beginning ways.
Rock the Bells
From a reader:
We connected a huge crowd with BA and his works at the Rock the Bells (RTB) hip-hop festival. The crowd was very diverse ethnically, mainly 20s, though with lots of people of different ages. We had displays featuring the 3 Strikes quote from BA, which got a lot of attention especially from Black people; the internationalism quotes (BAsics 5:7 and 5:8); and a big banner with “stories from the war zone” featuring the centerfold from the paper containing the “You cannot break all the chains, except one” quote (3:22) and comments from people off of the “10 days” actions in New York against porn and patriarchy. This attracted a lot of attention especially, but not only, from women. We got out approximately 3K BAsics quote cards.
We engaged people on the spot, using the cards and BAsics (and the banner) to get some responses and challenging them to plug into the movement by getting cards, writing their comments, and in other ways. One Black man who saw the 3 Strikes quote and then the quote about slavery (1:1) immediately bought BAsics and then, when we pointed out BA on the cover of his memoir, got that as well, saying he wanted to check out how this young white guy became the man who was writing these quotes. He said, “This quote [3 strikes] just says it all!”
A number of women were amazed that a man had said something like this [3:22]. One woman said that it raised her spirits that a man could know how something as “normal” as the way women were put down was so fucked up and write something like that.
We got out cards to many very far-flung places. People had come from both coasts of Canada—from BC to Montreal and Toronto—specifically for this RTB. We met people from Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, DC, and even from England and Norway. Some of these people, like the Norwegians, who came back to the booth on the second day, got BAsics with the understanding that they were bringing a radically different new synthesis of communism into a place where very few people had knowledge of it—and that this could be significant.
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