July 14, 2012: A small team took a banner and palm cards to a Korean Festival. This is a big event that attracts both residents and tourists. During the short time the team was able to be there, the banner attracted a lot of attention and people immediately signed and talked about what this banner meant to them. Here are just a few comments:
A young woman visiting from Okinawa: “If Americans believed this they wouldn’t keep their bases in Okinawa.”
A resident: “Yeah…that’s not the way Americans think. If they did, they wouldn’t have come here to ‘civilize’ us in the first place….and they wouldn’t keep occupying us.”
A middle school student from Seoul, Korea (about 12 years old): “I think if Americans believed that they wouldn’t act like they do outside of the [military] bases at home. They don’t treat the Korean people good.”
Of course, not everyone agreed. When one young man said he disagreed, and that Americans were better because “our country is better” it prompted a man who was standing nearby, but who had refused to even take a palm card, to immediately step forward to sign the banner and assure us that “he didn’t think like that.”
July 21, 2012: On Friday a local artist designed and painted a beautiful new banner with both slogans and a team went to an Festival on Saturday. This festival attracted a large crowd – both military and local. The team got out a large number of palm cards and leaflets about the BAsics Bus Tour and some people signed the banner. Most people politely took the materials and did not engage, but there were some exceptions. Following are just a few:
A “lifer”, a colonel who had served 30 years in the military, enthusiastically thanked us for getting into conversations around the quotes. He related how he’d joined the military thinking he was fighting a just cause, and then was sent to Iraq with Desert Storm. He now opposes all U.S. wars.
Several people from the Baha`i faith quickly identified with the quotes, which then moved to their analysis of communism as “one of the three evils in the world.” After digging more deeply into capitalism and why revolution is necessary, one said he’d be checking out Bob Avakian’s synthesis more deeply.
A Chilean woman approached us somewhat antagonistically saying that she’d lived in Chile and that communism was a horror. When asked how she’d describe capitalism, she said it’s also a horror. After we had dug into BA’s new synthesis a bit she said she wanted to learn more because socialism was a good idea — it just “hadn’t worked.”
While the team was disappointed there hadn’t been deeper interactions with many people, hundreds at the Festival were introduced to the BAsics Bus Tour and Bob Avakian for the first time and left the Festival with the materials to enable them to dig in further.