BAsics Bus Tour Through the South: Alive With Bob Avakian’s New Synthesis
Reposted from Revolution #273
In May, the BAsics Bus Tour went through parts of the South, starting in Atlanta and going to Athens, GA; Gainesville, FL; and Sanford, FL (where Trayvon Martin was killed in February). Go to basicsbustour.tumblr.com for reports, photos, and videos from that leg of the tour. The following is a correspondence from one of the bus tour volunteers.
"Think of the situation this tour is heading into… a region where the memory of public lynchings is still quite vivid in many people’s minds and where modern-day lynchings are backed up by local authorities… a region where some of the harshest anti-immigration measures have been put into place, legalizing racial profiling and instilling terror in the lives of immigrants who have come here for survival for themselves and their families… a region where there have been hundreds of incidents of attacks on abortion clinics including arson, fire bombings and even the murder of providers …”
—From Revolution #268
This is exactly what the BAsics Bus Tour through the South in May stepped into!
Atlanta, GA—the Neighborhoods
From the photographs of these neighborhoods, one gets a sense of the living conditions of hundreds and thousands of people in this country (but also throughout the world). People finding the ways to have time pass by, as one woman recounted. She mentioned that people hang outside to step outside of their home (for a minute). In the hot days, the BAsics Bus Tour hit the scene with a beautiful chant letting people concisely know how things will be different day one after the revolution.
I walked in there with trepidation—unsure of how (people hanging outside) would respond. There was a moment of silence/pause, and then the revolutionaries stepped in. Immediately the scene changed as pockets of people began to deeply interact with the revolutionaries. It was as though a dusty brown painting was splashed with colors of liberation (red, black, yellow, etc.). Life was brought into this oppressive hot day. I quickly realized how much people really wanted to engage this movement for revolution—specifically, its leader Bob Avakian. Stories began to pour out of people’s daily existence (police brutality, mass incarceration, no jobs, mis-education).
Getting Down to BAsics With the People of Sanford — Strange Fruit
from Revolution #273, June 24, 2012
In late May I joined the BAsics Bus Tour as it rolled into Sanford, Florida, the town where Trayvon Martin was killed. The tour brought the work and vision of Bob Avakian and his book BAsics into Sanford and I spent my time in the Black neighborhood of Goldsboro talking with the people about their lives and digging into the deep questions of how to change things. This series is dedicated to the people of Sanford and to the crew of volunteers on the tour, whose enthusiasm for spreading the work and leadership of Bob Avakian and for fighting to build the movement for revolution inspired everyone they encountered. SeeRevolution #272 for "I Couldn’t Put It Down."
For more on the BAsics Bus Tour, go to basicsbustour.tumblr.com.
Trees! That’s what struck me the most about the look and the feel of Central Florida. After living in L.A. for a long time I’m like a kid in a candy store when I come up on a whole lot of big, full on Oak and Cypress trees, their branches and leaves throwing up a natural canopy to help you get through the humid and way too damn hot days. And then there’s the Spanish moss hanging down off of the branches of these trees like silver grey beards. And when tiny flowers start to bloom on the moss, little red specks in all that grey—kind of like…blood… that’s when it hits me. Trees carry with them a whole different meaning for Black people in Sanford and other parts of Central Florida. When a soft wind passes through these trees it’s not the soothing whooooshhhh sound of the surface of leaves gently passing over one another they hear. Instead, it’s more like a brittle clacking, the sound of dried bones that have been hanging there for centuries banging into one another. After all, as Bob Avakian has so sharply pointed out, “The ‘Bible Belt’ in the U.S. is also the Lynching Belt.” And all these great beautiful trees, draped in Spanish moss, are also lynching trees.
In the Goldsboro neighborhood of Sanford, one of the historic Black neighborhoods, it’s striking how many people have a lynching story. Samuel is a middle-aged, middle class Black man living with his family in a well-kept little house, with a well-kept lawn in Goldsboro. Samuel teaches in a local school. He’s a striver in a terribly downpressed town. He has a rock-bottom belief that the system works—or at least it works for those who know how to work the system. Samuel believes that things will get better once Black people get into the system and learn how to work it.
Getting Down to BAsics With the People of Sanford, part 1
This is reprinted from Revolution newspaper, http://revcom.us:
Part 1: “I Couldn’t Put It Down”
by Michael Slate
In late May I joined the BAsics Bus Tour as it rolled into Sanford, Florida, the town where Trayvon Martin was killed. The tour brought the work and vision of Bob Avakian and his book BAsics into Sanford and I spent my time in the Black neighborhood of Goldsboro talking with the people about their lives and digging into the deep questions of how to change things. This series is dedicated to the people of Sanford and to the crew of volunteers on the tour, whose enthusiasm for spreading the work and leadership of Bob Avakian and for fighting to build the movement for revolution inspired everyone they encountered.
Build on the momentum of the BAsics Bus Tour — Attend and Build for Report-Back Celebrations in Your Area!
Over the past few weeks, many hundreds of people across the country have stepped forward to make something very important happen… the second leg of the BAsics bus tour which went through parts of the South and delivered a message from those hundreds to the people of Sanford. In accomplishing this,people around the country, the volunteers on the bus and those that the Bus Tour met in the South have been part of cohering a national movement around the mass fundraising campaign to project Bob Avakian’s vision and works into every corner of society, BA Everywhere…Imagine the Difference It Could Make! More than $30,000 has been raised, to pay for this leg of the Tour and for materials and initial seed money for the next leg of the Tour.
Come to the report back in your area or write us so we can put you in touch events in your area or near by. (See below for celebrations in New York, Los Angeles, the Bay Area and Cleveland.) And find out other ways, where ever you are and whether you only have a couple of hours a week or the whole summer (!) to build on the momentum created by the BAscis Bus Tour in the South. Write baeverywhere [AT] gmail.com to volunteer to work with press, social networking, developing a web site and much more! And to let us know of other events.
Bringing a message to Sanford with BAsics and 100s of voices from across the country
This following piece has been reposted from Revolution newspaper. It was first published HERE.
by Sunsara Taylor
Down in Sanford, Black people are still seething over the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26 on his way home from a 7/11 convenience store. It is NOT “old news.” Neither is the fact that the police refused—for 45 days—to arrest his killer, George Zimmerman. More, they are following the case closely and recognize the preparations underway to exonerate Zimmerman.
When we rolled in on the BAsics bus, projecting the leadership of Bob Avakian and calling on people to get into the movement for revolution to put an end to the system that has foreclosed the lives of so many generations of Black youth through the entire history of the USA and of millions more throughout the world, it didn’t take any work to get people to open up with their outrage or their own bitter experience at the hands of the police, in the prison system, or in their dealings with the thick white supremacy which permeates the entire country but is more openly trumpeted in this part of the confederate-flag-waving South.
Black mothers told of having had to bury their teenage sons due to violence the police didn’t even bother to investigate, of having lost their sons to police murder where there was never even a case opened up, of struggling to be strong for other sons as they were sentenced by racist judges for crimes they didn’t commit or which were too petty to merit years of hard prison time, and of fearing for the indignities and brutality that was destined for the grandbabies they were now raising whose fathers had been stolen.
Everywhere we went, outrage poured forth. Bitterness. Anger. Heartbreak. Fear for the future. What took work—in many cases it took repeated and sharp struggle—was for people to really hear and get the meaning behind the word REVOLUTION. Not just protest. Not just “marching till our feet bleed” or “screaming until our voices are hoarse,” which is what many people told us was good but would never change things. But REVOLUTION. An actual victorious struggle for power and the defeat and dismantling of the oppression institutions of the old state power, when the time for that is on the agenda—when the system is deep in crisis, when millions of people are ready to put everything on the line to bring the system down and with the necessary leadership and strategy.
Carl Dix at a speak out in front of the Sanford, FL police station on May 25, 2012.
Sanford is where 17 year old Trayvon Martin was murdered in a modern American lynching