A Report Back Meeting That “Jumped Off”!
The happening opened up with a volunteer, Ben, telling all kinds of experiences on the BAsics Bus Tour volunteer team in New York. He started by describing the fascist weight of the police there, he saw that in the Bronx. He said how there were phalanxes of police on both sides of the street so when people crossed the street they were degraded, put down and intimidated. He told how the crew handed out whistles so that when there is “stop and frisk” happening people would blow their whistle. There were some people saying that will only bring on more heat from the police. Some mothers saw their child get a whistle and one said “Oh no, give me that whistle.” A volunteer talked about how when we take the whistles, the police might come after you but the point of it is that we are taking responsibility for stopping the stop and frisk and part of something bigger than you. Ben said how the a group in the Bronx united with the whistle and distributed them. Ben spoke about how religion was a contradiction with people. One youth said he was not interested because he was into Jesus; he walked away. People got into what BA says in Basics about religion and the next day the youth came back and said,”I thought about it and I want a stack of 12 Ways cards.” [12 Ways to be Part of the Revolution cards] He went off with a stack. Ben brought to life over and over again how the tour made such an impact on people, including people who disagree strongly with communism but see that life is a horror and we need something different and when introduced to revolution and BA’s reenvisioned communism, that became in a beginning way that “something.” Then the floor was open to questions. Someone said how many people don’t even know they are oppressed and cannot see the distinction between oppression and the solution through communism, that they see communism as just more oppression. Ben spoke about how the different questions people had were taken up by people on the team, that Raymond Lotta took up and answered the issue of freedom under communism. The youth in the room didn’t have any questions but they were glued to the discussion. When it came to taking out the 3:22 palm cards and really pushing out BA everywhere they had lots of ideas. One youth goes to a elite Catholic high school in an area where lots of homeless are. He wants to take out the palm cards to the homeless as well as to the students when school starts up. A couple of the youth are going to make a banner for a festival in the Black community with 1:13 on it and get it signed and sent off to Anaheim. A Black musician and follower of BA said, “Let’s get some noise out there Saturday, bring drums and guitar and let’s get revolution in the air.” A youth said, “You know all I think about is revolution, that’s all I think about.” As people were leaving there was excitement in the air, thinking about and talking about how they were going to get revolution and BA’s reenvisioned communism out in all kinds of ways, ways that were not even mentioned but swirling in the minds of the people there.
A Yard Sale at a Progressive Bookstore
A progressive bookstore in a changing neighborhood of the city where lots of artists live and show their works dug the idea of doing a BA Bus Tour yard sale to raise money for the New York leg of the tour. They put lots of materials from the basicsbustour.tumblr.com website on their website, inviting people to the garage sale. Lots of people brought things to sell, more than we could sell there. It was hot and slow, not a lot of traffic but people working the sale were determined to stick with it and raise hundreds of dollars.
As people came up to check out the sale, we gave them palm cards and told some of them about BA, his leadership and the new synthesis. One young woman said, “He sounds like a real leader.” By the end of the day, $670 was collected, people felt it was a victory given the heat and the fairly slow periods, an important day for the Basics Bus Tour.
We made a binder at Revolution Books inviting people to give their comments to BAsics quotes. Here's two responses from people who came by. On hearing the quote, “You can’t break all the chains except one…” from BAsics, by Bob Avakian, 3:22.
- "Women are treated badly. There needs to be more jobs for women. Women get abused by their spouses and by the police because of police brutality. Women have been pepper sprayed. Sometimes women get pulled over by the cops and get arrested for no reason at all. Sometimes the cops lie and make up a bogus story. We should have the right to speak our minds as women. We need a real revolution for everybody in America." -- Shorty, an African American woman
- Well , these chains are interchangeable, actually they are all connected. They connect and create our triangular oppression that’s called the kyriarchy, which is neologism that describes how capitalism, sexism and racism interconnect creating this force that oppresses us. So, yes we can’t break the chains of capitalism, sexism, or racism one by one, but we can smash the long f’ed up chain of our kyriarchal system. And we can do this by telling stories and organizing womyn of color who are continually oppressed by the kyriarchy. Our voices and strength will lead the revolution. -- Luz-Del-Dia
Correspondence from the South West
On August 18, several dozen people participated in a Night of Revolutionary Culture to Welcome Back the BAsics Bus tour volunteers and Raise Money for the Tour. And what a night it was! Inspired by various BAsics quotes, especially those that have been the themes of the bus tour, and by the tour itself, every one present in that diverse assemblage that night─audience and performers alike─walked out of there inspired and uplifted─with a deepened sense of hope for the future.
BAsics quotes alternating with scenes from all three legs of the bus tour flashing in a loop on a back wall set the stage for a what was to be, as BA calls for, “a radical revolt against a revolting culture.”
The evening opened with a one-man band of guitar, voice and keyboard. Introducing his performance with “Internationalism—The Whole World Comes First” (BAsics 5:7), he delivered a somewhat understated, yet beautiful performance of songs in the “nueva trova” tradition from Latin America.
Reposted from Revolution #278, August 19, 2012
From the Road: Voices from the BAsics Bus Tour…
Interview with Sc, BAsics Bus Tour volunteer, middle-aged Black man
Revolution: Maybe you could just start with the story of how you first met the movement for revolution and got introduced to BA. Maybe you could talk a little bit about what that experience was like?
Sc: Well, I first got into the movement after I heard Avakian do “All Played Out.” That was the original thing that got me into it. And when I heard that, it was more or less like: this man has been saying things that I’ve been thinking about and thought about for many years. And he put it all in an 11-minute [spoken word] thing. And so after that, I got more involved with the bookstore in my town, which got me more into who he was, as opposed to what he was about, and about the movement for revolution. And so, after that, I was convinced to buy the BAsics book [BAsics, from the talks and writings of Bob Avakian]. And when I started reading it, I just couldn’t put it down. I probably read the whole book in about two days… [I thought,] “Oh, OK, this very much says a lot to answer a lot of questions for me throughout life about a lot of things.” And so, later on, I started investigating more of his other works, his memoir, I also got to reading that. And more and more—I started to get more within the movement. ‘Cause there is a very great need in this country for a change in the system. The system…with police brutality, with a lot of families who have lost their children to our so-called legal system, which is supposed to serve and protect, but—as Avakian says—they only serve and protect their interests, to serve and protect the status quo, so to speak, their own agenda, and really not anything to do with the people they’re supposed to serve and protect…
I lost my sister through police brutality.
Reposting this video. Show this video to friends and family, co-workers, etc. Encourage people to contribute to the BAsics Bus Tour - basicsbustour.tumblr.com and the BA Everywhere… Imagine The Difference It Can Make! Campaign and to involve everyone in building this movement for revolution. There have been three BAsics Bus Tours now — all spreading the vision and works of Bob Avakian — the revolutionary leader who has developed a new synthesis of communism and involving people in this movement for revolution. BAsics is a book of quotations and essays which speaks to the essential questions of revolution and communism in this millennium. This video is of the May leg of this Tour which traveled from Atlanta to Sanford, FL. and the national movement which supported the tour and it’s goals. Find out more and contribute at basicsbustour.tumblr.com.
Interviews from the NY BAsics Bus Tour Nicky: A Life of Abuse and Pain Connects with the Revolution
Reposted from Revolution #278, August 19, 2012
by Michael Slate
Michael Slate is a revolutionary communist and host of The Michael Slate Show which airs weekly on KPFA every Friday at 10am Pacific time and is rebroadcast on a number of stations around the country at different times throughout the week. Here’s a transcript from his August 3, 2012 show. You can listen to his show online.
I first met Nicky in a Harlem park where the BAsics Bus Tour volunteers were having a send-off breakfast on the first day of the “New York and Beyond” leg of the tour. We all chowed down on food and drink donated by people in the projects in Harlem and other parts of the city. A supporter who had helped organize people in the ‘hood to support the tour talked movingly about how street corner tables were set and that as people learned about the tour and what it’s doing, they gave with all their heart. Now these are people who don’t generally have a whole lot of anything extra hanging loosely and pockets that have little more than holes in them. But they gave with their hearts and their brains. They dug deep and gave what they could and went to their neighbors and friends, to their churches, tenants’ associations, schools and buildings, to do the same. All told, $450 and a whole lot of food was contributed to the tour in a neighborhood where people often have to choose which meals they need to skip in order to stretch the food out to the end of the month. These were people who were eager to be part of this movement for revolution in whatever way they could.
At a Report Back from the New York leg of the BAsics Bus Tour August 11th (see more info in post below) — towards the end of the picnic there was a special surprise when the dj began spinning Too Short’s ‘Blow the Whistle’ inspired by the call to Blow the Whistle on ‘Stop & Frisk’ on September 13, Nobody gets stop-and-frisked in silence. In fact, the cook himself began rapping “revolution’s in the house, revolution’s in the house.. Blow your whistle blow your whistle!”