Why Non-Communists (You and I) Should See the Film BA Speaks: Revolution—NOTHING LESS!

We want to share with our readers some thoughts and comments from someone who saw the rough cut of the film: BA Speaks: REVOLUTION – NOTHING LESS!  

 

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Here’s what I have to say. Feel free to use it.

I have just seen the first two hours, of six, of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!It was like plunging into a very blue, very icy pool. I got out shivering, sad, angry, and very worried. About my life and all of our lives.

Two wildly strange things came into my mind during the hours afterward. The first is from John 8:32: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The second is Plato’s allegory of the cave, in which Socrates describes a group of people who have been chained to the wall of a cave all their lives, facing the stone. These people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them. The shadows are as close as the prisoners ever get to reality. Socrates tells us that the philosopher is like a prisoner freed from the cave, who can step outside, at last, into the freshness of truth, the real world.

Bob Avakian’s analysis breaks apart the small framework in which we are manipulated. He presents the big picture of Western Civilization and Capitalism—and a corrupted and tragic history it is. Mr. Avakian tell us the truth, wakes us to reality. He urges us to notice how the culture, which we breathe like air, really is in business of blinding, numbing, binding, and using us by its entertainments, diversions, and coercions. How frightening to acknowledge how we have become so enthralled by getting and spending. How we are kept fighting each other instead of the grotesque matrix that holds all of us.

So, the first step toward liberty is to know reality. And reality stings us, because we can begin to see how we have been fooled, how we’ve let ourselves be gulled and manipulated. But there it is. In the beginning is the adult satisfaction of facing reality. This is good in politics, art, and personal life. Real living and real freedom have to start with the real.

Then what? Well, there are four more hours of Bob Avakian live that I haven’t seen yet. And I’m terribly interested to see what he thinks can be done, once reality is grasped. I don’t have a clue yet. I confess that I’m temperamentally unsuited to “masses.” Masses scare me, and the individual, I worry, shrinks into nothing there. I don’t know what a “revolution” means, or how it could be accomplished without anarchy. But, as Mr. Avakian says (and I agree with him): the world is not writ in stone; things can be different than they have been; history and the future are not the will of God.

In the end, I’m open to hear and consider. It seems crucial. We’ll all benefit by a splash of the clean, cold water of reality.

February 19, 2013

Letter from a reader:

“I told her of my own experience of seeing the rough cut of this talk and how it changed the way I saw the world…”

The following was written by a young revolutionary who was part of a team that went out to a busy intersection in a Black and Latino neighborhood to spread the word about the film premiere of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

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A young Latina woman and her friend were standing around and we went up to them. Gave them a palm card (of the film) and described what it was about, and I asked her, “So, what do you think about revolution?” And she said, “I don’t know, I don’t really care, I just go with the flow.” I said, “Well you shouldn’t just go with the flow, you should care cuz there is so much fucked up stuff going on.” She said “Well, like what?” And I gave her a long list. I mentioned the oppression of Black people, the oppression of women. She looked interested when I spoke about abortion. I told her abortion is under attack and if we don’t do anything that right will be taken away! She said she didn’t know that abortion was under attack. I told her about my experience on going to San Francisco and how there was thousands of people marching for abortion to be banned and how we were a small group but we were there standing up for abortion rights and that made a difference. So, she told me a story of when her mother was pregnant of her, she was low on money and didn’t have time and wasn’t prepared for a baby. But, she was an old fashioned thinker so, she just went along with having the baby. But, now she has a different mentality and her mom said, “If I would of been pregnant of you now and I had this type of thinking I probably would of had an abortion,” so that story made her think about abortion. I asked her what she thought about abortion and she said it was important and thinks that right should be available to women.

We gave her an issue of the newspaper and asked for a donation and offered her a ticket to the film. I explained that it would be very helpful for her to watch this film so she could hear what BA has to say about these issues. And, I told her of my own experience of seeing the rough cut of this talk and how it changed the way I saw the world. It completely transformed the way I think and see all these issues and how I can actually do something about it. So, she bought a ticket and she took the Revolution newspaper. We asked her afterwards “what was the reason” she bought the ticket, and she answered, “Well you just made me think a lot about all these issues and I’m interested to see what he (BA) has to say about these issues.”

March 8, 2013

“Bob Avakian Articulates What the Problems Are and a Plan for Changing Them”

Bob Avakian has mastered the art of communicating complex ideas so that anyone can understand them.  He articulates what the problems are and a plan for changing them. He does not try to simplify either the ideas or the language to express them.  Rather, he relates those ideas to the lived experiences of people, especially the oppressed who are often treated as ignorant and stupid.  BA knows that they are not; he actually knows many people who are oppressed, unlike most political leaders.

Though this may sound simple, it is not easy; nor do I find it anywhere else in the U.S. political sphere.

Nancy Van Ness, American Creative Dance

March 6, 2013

“You need to experience this for yourself and get moved like I did”

At the fall presentation that I attended, Bob Avakian was speaking to me.

My testimony is reflective of my experience of finally meeting someone who was able to see me as a visible, viable force of fury who has since become an inextricable part of the movement for revolution. He tapped into all my emotions: in other words I cried when he scientifically articulated how capitalism and imperialism was intrinsically embedded in the consequential genocide of Black people.

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That open discussion of the reality of how chattel slavery historically and contemporarily affects those of us who continue to catch hell by this fucked up system just set me on fire and forced me to diligently look outside of my own plight under capitalism and get on board with BA and the collective revolutionary communist movement of the RCP to create an unfettered movement for revolutionary transformation. It compelled me to see the world no longer as a hopeless victim but as someone on a mission to organize others and to do so methodically.

It would be selfish and counterproductive if those of you reading this did not come to the film premiere of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION–NOTHING LESS! You need to experience this for yourself and get moved like I did.

Spoiler alert: He puts forth several challenges to us at the end, and if you come make sure you experience the whole thing.

From an African-American Grandmother and Freedom Fighter

March 8, 2013

From an Iranian Communist Living in the U.S.

Dear friends and comrades,

As an Iranian communist who was involved in the 1979 revolution in Iran, I felt deep into my flesh and bones when I heard BA speak about “Revolution – Nothing Less!” The understanding he brings out in this talk, the lessons he shares, are lessons paid for in blood by thousands of revolutionaries and communists in Iran and around the world. Based on our experience in Iran,

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and what has happened to communist/Maoist forces in Peru as well as Nepal, people (communists and non-communists) who are seriously thinking about radical changes in the US should come to see the film of this talk. What BA says is based on objective reality and a summation of experience, including shortcomings, of communists all over the world. As comrade BA said, “Revolution is nothing to play with!” People who are serious should approach the revolution as scientists who want to change society based on a scientific approach. Sometimes revolutionaries and communists have not been prepared for a revolutionary situation. If you want to be prepared for a time when it might be possible to make a revolution, you should come listen to BA…

—An Iranian communist living in the US and fighting for the New Synthesis of BA

March 13, 2013

High School Student on the Film:

“It answers questions but calls on people to ask more questions!”

Before I saw the film I had learned about the lynchings during Jim Crow and before that, and I used to think, these people were fucked up. They took slaves, they killed Black people, they were fucked up. It was always about the individual. Like, some people didn’t do that, and some people did. It was never about, like, all the things that made that OK.

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That’s what society was comfortable with. So I was always angry, I thought, how could you think that was ok? How could you see that and not say anything? I had all these questions about lynchings, and all these things I never understood. I never questioned the entire environment they were in. The way people interacted with each other and saw each other. People’s environment affects them so much, causing things to be normalized, things that should never be normal. So I never took into account the whole context. It’s like people’s ideas are manufactured in a way that’s telling them how to respond to this or that thing. So in the film, he’s talking about the lynchings. And you can see the little white kids smiling. And they’re going to the lynchings and people are hacking off the body parts of the Black people, and the white people are having a picnic! Those things I didn’t know, they spoke to the state of the environment people were living in. And suddenly I wasn’t mad at all those individual people. I wasn’t mad at the little boy who laughed, or the little boy playing with the fire that was burning a man alive. I was just angry about the whole system that made that seem OK. The laws that made that seem right. What people had been led to believe. People’s vision of worth. It was so mind-blowing to me because I understood something on a whole different level.

And what he said about not just taking revenge. It just answered so many questions I didn’t know I had. Doubts in my head. Or refuting other people’s arguments. Why this can’t be about doing wrong against those who wronged you. It’s not about raping the rapist or killing the white people, it’s not about that. That’s what I feel like a lot of Black nationalists are about, and I don’t get on board with that at all. It’s the relations that people have with each other, that’s what causes them to be so… cruel. Which became so much clearer to me. It isn’t about revenge at all. Revenge doesn’t, it doesn’t take into account the situations that make people the way they are. Like, if somebody does a horrible thing. It doesn’t question the bigger system, the bigger problems. It doesn’t address that people are born on different levels, people have had horrible lives, and some people have had privileged lives. People didn’t choose that. Revenge doesn’t address what makes that OK to begin with. If you just get revenge, you’re not getting at the root of the problem. You’re not getting at the relations, the whole environment, the causes, the motivations, that made it happen. You just get that it happened. That’s a very narrow form of justice, whatever justice is. People should be questioning the situations that make all that possible. Or they’re not addressing all these deep inequalities, the effects of privilege, all these things that are the basis for what happens in the world.

Before this film I really didn’t realize how many great things people have done, or even understand why people do terrible things. Now I know: people are not done doing great things. This is NOT the best that we can do. People could do so much better than this. It’s so, so possible. Revolution… Nothing Less! speaks to me, more than anything else: this new synthesis of communism has to be fought for and put into place.

Hearing the history of how great humans can be, understanding the past communist revolutions, has really set it in stone for me. Before, I would be like, these are ideas on how something could work. It was never solidified in my brain: this could really happen. In some ways, this HAS happened! People are not all bad. It became real. It became different from just another person’s ideas on how society could work. This is something that can happen. A revolution. And in the right direction. He’s getting into what worked and what didn’t. He’s not just another guy with some ideas about how society could work. It wasn’t like learning from somebody who’s just a philosopher. This is real. He could be our leader. It’s so possible! I just have to stress that because so many people don’t have hope that things can really change. Thinking THIS is all we can do! And he said it in such plain language, that I could understand. Because what a lot of people who have a lot of good things to say do, is use all these terms I don’t know, and then I just shut down. Analysis like this, and leadership like this, and saying it like that, so people can understand, is just a testament to how all this is possible.

Before I was like, so where’s he at? Where is Bob Avakian? And he talks about why it’s important to protect the leadership. It’s the same reason why you avoid… avoiding “premature decisive encounters.” He says, don’t create situations where the revolution can be crushed. He talked about Huey. He puts it a lot more eloquently than I do, but he basically said the system doesn’t want leaders like Huey around, doesn’t want people around who have a lot of the right ideas and are actually mobilizing people. The system will kill them, which can crush a movement, or demoralize it. That’s terrible. We need to have him alive! We need to be able to pick his mind, and to have him be our leader, and not only have him be our leader, but to expand on the most thorough, and… I’m trying to say… the new something you can put into action! It’s the most advanced thinking we have! Having him alive is worth not knowing where he’s at. And also we need to have BA EVERYWHERE, not just where he’s at, only relating to people in the place where he is! We need to connect people to him, and everyone should know who he is. So okay. maybe people should not actually know where he’s at. He should be safe. Things like that just checked off so many boxes in my head. This is serious.

Revolution defies a lot of people’s beliefs. They think people are lazy, or they don’t care, or people are too comfortable. People’s views of human achievement are so low. So, so low. Like he’s talking about the human nature argument. Like all these bad things people do are justified because that’s just what humans do! But people are so molded to believe these things that they can’t imagine a revolution. They speak the words of their oppressor. They become different people. They can’t get past what they’ve been told. It makes them unwilling to move, or even hope, even hope that a better world is possible. So you gotta come with the best argument, a real case for it, with the real history, having the analysis, having the evidence, that revolution IS possible! That’s what he does in REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

Like when he was talking about rap and music videos. He called it a “poisonous package of individualism, religion, and misogyny.” He talked about people wearing huge chains with crucifixes on them, and rap videos that have religious references side by side along with degrading women, all along with this message of “getting mine” and “me first.” So he talks about how it’s all three, it’s a package. Young men growing up today come with this package. It was kind of crazy to me, because I never connected them in that way. I was like, oh, I got the individualism. Young men grow up believing that if they try hard enough, they could be a millionaire. Not just the hope, but there’s such a huge value on material things. And women are just part of that. There’s so much misogyny in the rap scene, it’s all that you hear. Seeing they’re connected, and they’re essential for young men to be the way that they are. So many people, so many youth, come with that package, and I never thought it was all connected. It was cool that he could connect them all. And then it all connects to the lack of young people in the struggle. The lack of youth voice, a lot of apathy, in young people. We need those people! We need people who haven’t settled in, who haven’t had decades of indoctrination by this system, and they’re all being held back by this whole package. From every angle. Having those people be a part of the solution is critical! You can attack that package, and see even better how all this is possible. The package is what THEY want you to believe. When I say “they” I mean the media, the church, the government, the people who produce all this propaganda. I mean the system. It’s bigger than rap videos, it’s propaganda, that fuels the religion, fuels the government, fuels the misogyny. This country, with the religion, it’s ridiculous. It comes from everywhere. You can’t escape it. You know what I’m saying? You’re so pressured to believe one thing, without evidence. It’s in the media, it’s in the laws, it’s everywhere. The people that own everything, the only people who benefit from this whole system, are the people who benefit from all the young people believing in this package. They benefit so much more because people believe that package, and so they reinforce it for a lot of people to believe. Most people, which is kinda scary. But it’s so unnecessary! It’s so crazy. Like, so many people are caught in the trap of religion that they believe anything those people tell them. People are so fucked over in so many ways by that package right now. Not only women with misogyny, not only the planet with individualism, and not only, like, the unwillingness to do something about it, or to believe in something even though there’s evidence because of religion, all of the shit that comes along with religion, and what that causes for women, and what that causes people to believe, and when he says there’s a package he’s right. There’s so much in that package, it’s so much to challenge people on, and question people on, and enlighten them on. There’s just so much work to do. A lot of work more people need to be doing.

I think that it’s really important for people to be there [at the premiere] because not only all the questions they have, and all the beliefs they have that need to be challenged, but like, later on, there needs to be more people around that are talking about these things. More people who are informed, and understand what BA is talking about, and give historical references to things and challenge each other, and debate. That’s a great thing! Having a lot of people there, and bringing people with a lot of different outlooks is so important. People will leave with a lot more answers, and a lot more of the right questions. They should be there to talk to other people who care about the world, about making this revolution. About whatever comes up that they hear that they need to debate out. It’s so crucial. That’s why I know I’m going to be there. People will be inspired.

I love this film. You know? I love this speech, and the way he, like, breaks it down. If it even causes someone to question what he’s talking about, and having people there to speak to it, that’s so much more beneficial than even just researching it on your own. This will help you not only be more politically conscious, but it pulls out the right questions. But not just that. It answers questions but it calls on people to ask more questions! You SHOULD be questioning what makes your society the way it is! To be less quick to trust what somebody says to them. It’s incredibly important.

You can’t wait for the revolution to come. You shouldn’t wait. It also speaks to you not being passive about knowing the world can be a lot better, and doing nothing, knowing there’s a place and people that you could be helping. It’s crazy to me. It sounds horrible. Like, if you know, if you’ve watched the speech, I’m not saying people are horrible, but I’m saying if you know the system can be better, and you understand, but you just go back about your daily life, it’s… appalling. It’s appalling! I couldn’t imagine ever being the same, knowing what I know. I can’t imagine anybody finding out what’s really going on and then not doing anything about it! You can’t. Your life will be changed. Even understanding the things that make your life the way it is. If you know, really know, about American imperialism, if you know about the state of the world that is crying out for your help, only at the expense of you being a comfortable American person, like if you know that? And understand that? And go back to your life as it was? No way. You’ll be stuck with something at the end of this premiere. The movement needs you. Like if you give a rat’s ass about what the fuck is going on in the world, and you see this, you would be taking it up and getting with a revolutionary party that needs you, and is trying to make all the shit that’s going on in your life, shit that you hate, make it non-existent! Trying to liberate all of the rest of the seven billion people on the planet! Not only is it ultimately important, but you should feel the drive and the fire and the anger inside yourself to be a part of this revolution. Because of what you know now, now that you’ve seen this film. To be a part of changing the entire world!

These are the words of a high school student who saw the rough cut of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! The only questions she was asked were, “What stood out to you?” and “Why should people be in the theater on March 16 / 17 for the premiere?”

March 12, 2013

“Talkin’ Bout… A Revolution?”

The following commentary by journalist and op-ed columnist Erin Aubry Kaplan, dated March 14, appeared on the Social Focus section of kcet.org, website of the public media outlet KCET in Southern California.

The short curve of Crenshaw between Vernon Avenue and King Boulevard has long been a kind of delta where the many rivers of black reality meet. For starters, Crenshaw borders Leimert Park and View Park, separating the affluence of those places from the poorer hinterlands south and east of there.

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But it also brings the elements of both together in a scene singularly known throughout the city as Crenshaw (the area, not the boulevard). In that brief corridor that features both the modernized Baldwin Hills mall and the street hawkers and community saviors who regularly congregate on the corner of Crenshaw and King are all the psychic elements of black folks—aspirations, protests, struggle, resistance. They are not necessarily harmonious. It’s quite a stew.

I’ve seen many billboards in that corridor trumpeting everything from black Atheism to Obama-ism. One that caught my eye this past week was an invitation to Crenshaw denizens to come see a film featuring Bob Avakian, chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party. It’s screening this weekend downtown at the L.A. Theatre Center and records a marathon seven-hour speech by Avakian that he delivered recently. I won’t get into the complex and controversial history of the RCP here, but suffice it to say that it is very much alive and believes that the black freedom struggle is foundational to the many other ongoing struggles in the country for justice and equity. Of course, unlike traditional black advocacy groups like the NAACP, the Party doesn’t believe that the American system of capitalism can ever deliver that freedom—it simply wasn’t designed to—and that the only real option is to institute another system altogether.

This proposal of radical change has always presented black people with a paradox. We want inclusion, meaning we want access to what every American has access to (theoretically), from functioning schools to safe neighborhoods to meaningful employment. But generation after generation we fail to secure these things, or not enough of these things to declare the struggle over. It has become clearer to many of us that we may always be in this state of gross inequality, a realization that prompts a question that sounds not radical, but perfectly logical: why not live some other way?

Nobody black that I know believes for a minute that America was created with his or her interests in mind. Nor does anyone I know believe that American hostility to true racial equality has relaxed to the point where blacks can claim that we have assimilated with reasonable success. And yet the determination to soldier on as part of the fractured and deeply flawed American project is almost universal. I guess blacks have been knocking on the door so long, we’re loath to stop now. We’re loath to stop being a thorn in the side of a nation drifting toward total racial indifference that needs all the reality checks it can get. True, we aren’t exactly holding anybody’s feet to the fire, as we did in the ’60s, but somehow our mere presence, even the thoroughly mainstream presence of President Obama (who undoubtedly would live west of Crenshaw, if he lived here) makes the point that we still await our forty acres and a mule. That’s how unassimilated we remain.

But there are certainly those among us who, like Malcolm X, see waiting on the system for justice akin to waiting for Godot, the title character of the world’s most famous absurdist play who never shows up. It’ll be interesting to see who shows up Saturday to hear Avakian. “Revolution—Nothing Less!” is what the ad encourages. I don’t know about nothing less, but what’s indisputable is that black folks here—and elsewhere—need something more.

March 17, 2013

“After seeing and hearing BA’s talk I laid awake and thought long and hard…”

From an activist and organizer:

After seeing and hearing BA’s talk I laid awake and thought long and hard about my life and what it was going to be about from here on out. After all I have been an activist and organizer trying to mobilize people to resist and oppose the crimes of the U.S. and while resistance is critical it will go nowhere unless people think about what’s next…what would really bring to an end to murderous wars for empire, the oppression of woman and minorities, and the destruction of the environment?

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…certainly not just resisting and winning a gain here and there…humanity needs to go further in order bring an to end, once and for all, these horrors. BA breaks it all down from covering all the horrors of this capitalist imperialist system, why reforms and economist points of view and relativist points of view are a dead end and that revolution is the answer, to showing you a strategy for making a revolution…yes even in a country like the U.S. When you look at this system and all the heartache and suffering it causes and you’ve been part of the struggle like I have to stop these crimes because you just can’t look the other way and do nothing and you hear someone like BA who shows that it actually is possible to sweep away a system that not only allows for these crimes but also relies upon them in order to keep functioning and serving the ruling class and you could actually be a part of something truly emancipating.

Well when you hear someone like BA and in his BA way bring it all into focus you can’t just walk away from that and not think anything of it…you could try, but I bet you’d be going about your life and every once in awhile it will be tickling the back of your mind or some jolt will happen in the world like Trayvon Martin or you hear more children were killed in a drone strike or maybe some injustice happens to you or someone close to you and you’ll remember this talk and what will you do then? I’ll just end this by saying this if you know this system is nothing but a horror for the majority of humanity and you wonder if there is anything YOU could do to be a part of transforming the world then you need to see this film.

March 10, 2013

“6 plus hours can impact 6+ billion lives”

From a young man in high school in the SF Bay Area who has watched the rough-cut of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

What stood out to you?

“When BA gets into pornography, the whole thing about porn how it really degrades women. When you get into that industry—if there’s no job and you’re in a desperate situation you end up getting into that because you’re desperate to make ends meet. Also, this country makes clear—BA talks about the culture of patriarchy promoted for so long it’s hard to know how far it goes back.

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When I was introduced to BA, I understood that patriarchy going on, but he gave more clear light in simple manner how it’s going on in this country and how we need to bring an end to it. He makes it visual—if someone didn’t know anything about what patriarchy is, he makes a very clear understanding in five minutes and you get an understanding.

“Overall the movie—like the book BAsics itself—is basic. Some parts are hard to comprehend but most of it was easy to understand and captures and things make you laugh—it’s true you say—things about Obama. Interesting he points out these things—the detailed things that a lot of people are missing—without making it too heavy and complex. Even though the film is six hours, it fits in your brain, it goes in there easily. It’s not six hours of reading like Marx or something.

“What I’ve noticed is it makes things clear to people who don’t know anything about revolution and communism, and getting out to all variety of audiences. With revolution and communism, the ideology, he answers—I’m not saying he answers everybody’s questions—but different audiences, like intellectuals, people who said look what happened in the past, he speaks to them. He put 40 years into it. You couldn’t find anybody else who could answer questions like he does it. Not a long answer—look up some of his videos about what is capitalism, the unchanging human nature crap. He has a good way of addressing things—not answering everybody’s problems (in sense of individual problems), but giving answers to those things.

“This country has a lot of different kinds of people with a lot of different ideas about revolution and especially communism—and lies are being told. There’s Set the Record Straight which is really awesome. Recently I had an argument about the Great Leap Forward and what happened with the three million who died. BA and the rest of the Party helped—they’re together on this mission to move for revolution, to make revolution and get stuff out plus tell people what really went down in those previous revolutions. He’s not saying they’re perfect, he’s summing up the positive and the negative and learning from it. There will always be mistakes he says, but he talks about what happened back then and how to improve on it. This country is known to lie and push down the history of communism and socialism and what happened in Russia and China.”

What jumped out at you?

“The end part—toward the end. It doesn’t matter what age you are, we need more youth. He’s giving confidence to everybody it doesn’t matter what age they are—encouraging the youth this is their future—this system has no future for the youth but revolution does.”

What do you say to people about the film?

“Holy shit this was good! Better than all the Lord of the Rings put together. 6 plus hours can impact 6+ billion lives. What is it about? I really can’t answer it for you—you have to see it for yourself. You’ve just got to see it for yourself. It’s incredible—you’ve got to see it for yourself and then judge. This premiere can make a big difference because afterward people will have a lot of strong reactions.

“When friends ask about the film, I say he speaks the truth about Obama and why things can’t be reformed, but there’s an alternative. Then people say, well this movie sounds like something I might want to go to. Even if you’re not clear who this guy is, I say, he makes strong case for revolution, even if you don’t agree with all of it, it’s excellent. Personally, I saw it and I loved it, and thought it was very well executed. If you’ve never heard of BA—go see it. If you have questions—go see it anyway.”

March 10, 2013

The Film Shows BA’s “Love for the Masses”

I have already read the book, “BAsics” by Bob Avakian and enjoyed it.  I also enjoy Revolution the publication.  But the film, “Revolution, Nothing Less” actually really shows Bob’s love for the masses.

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I most enjoyed his analogy of people who evoke “the founding fathers” who were nothing but racist, sexist, slave owning, native killing, white male property owners.  Bob also called out people who were in their comfort zones, but see the everyday injustices done to young African Amerikkkan males being murdered by police, as well as the mass deportation of Latino (Brown) people.  The scapegoating of Muslims, etc….we live in an economic system that thrives on exploitation to survive.  Bob does a good job of pointing that out.

Redstik

April 15, 2013

From a Spanish speaking supporter and sustainer

(Translated from Spanish)
I’ve been a witness of a BA’s talk that only could be described as spectacular and much needed today. In it there are many valuable things for discussion and it poses impressive objectives that deserve the effort to get this project of the BA’s movie off the ground. All this effort yearns for giving voice and inspires the possibility of a radically different world from the exasperating nightmare in which many live today. The threat of mass incarceration and a war worse than the current one that hang over many people. A life sunk in misery and human degradation from which many yearn to free themselves. These powerful reasons suffice to support this nascent revolutionary movement.

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As a supporter and sustainer, I want to encourage others to join and contribute with money and other ways to this valuable revolutionary project. Many will think that you are dreamers—it’s real sad to think that we have lost the ability to aspire to a better world and that we must settle for what exists. We cannot ourselves be blind and ignore the painful reality that exists for many people here and around the planet. Since unfortunately we live in a world based on exploitation and subjugation to put it in Marxist terms. A world which we want to change. We have to be participants and contribute in various ways to achieve this objective of liberating humanity. The Party is working in that direction and needs your collaboration and financial contributions in order to carry out projects for creating a revolutionary movement that can succeed in its objectives. I am convinced that another world is possible, and we must contribute with our efforts and money to support those who commit themselves and are true to this cause. But the conformists must be shown that there are people whose understanding of how this system functions has led them to take up an advanced, revolutionary position that seeks the good of all of humanity. We really have to make enormous contributions in order to achieve this high-sights objective which could benefit the world. We must have the world in our mind. Because what the people really need is a revolution!!!

March 3, 2013

“It changed the way I looked at everything”

From a young Latina:

As a person who has seen the rough cut of this film, I think it’s very important for everyone, especially young people from the hood to see this because BA talks about what they go through and he has a solution to all the oppression. And I know for me, when I saw it, it changed the way I looked at everything… music, shows, commercials, ads. I just started seeing all the fucked up shit they promote and it made me want to challenge all that and not go along with any of it. So I think everyone should just buy their ticket, clear their schedules and be there on March 16.

March 6, 2013

Comments from Rev. Robert B. Coleman on BA

My conversation with Bob Avakian and my reading of his strategic plans for revolution have been challenging to say the least. To begin the conversation with focused attention on the poor and the marginalized fits my religious and biblical sensibilities. To give voice to the voiceless; to empower the powerless… these things speak to my heart as an ordained pastor and theologian.

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We may diverge on the various strategies employed to achieve a more just society. We may be identified by our disconnect when it comes to religion in general and Christianity in particular. But, there is great benefit in engaging in the dialogue, listening to Avakian’s critique and proposal for change, and discerning your place in the ordering of society as we move into the twenty-first century. Go, listen and learn. Engage in the dialogue and critical synthesis yet unfolding. The uncritical support of any public figure or philosophy is folly. And the test of effective strategy shall not come without intense interaction and dialogue.

Rev. Robert B. Coleman Chief Program Minister and Minister of Social Justice The Riverside Church in the City of New York

March 12, 2013

Dr. Ulysses Crockett, Dean of Instruction, Carlton R. Innis, III, Community Law School, Oakland

The film was wonderful and every segment was important.  The length was necessary because Bob Avakian doesn’t always get the opportunity to speak to the people in the audience.  We have to do outreach to those unfamiliar with what Bob Avakian was talking about since there’s the fascist control of the media, which makes many people brainwashed.

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Bob Avakian is a commanding speaker.  He’s passionate and his talk lent credence that he was serious about what he was saying.  The talk had coherence.  It was illuminating.  Now the job is for you, I and others who are sympathetic to get it to others who are unfamiliar with it.

The film was very well done and I liked that he talked about how the government was like Nazi’s.

I appreciated the audacity of Bob Avakian’s talk.  For Bob Avakian to have retained his passion for all these years and to do something about it is admirable.  Bob Avakian has that spirit and his genuineness and believability came through.  He believes in this and that gives it credibility.

April 15, 2013

“BA Everywhere is endurance, perseverance and equality.  This about justice and equality—it is direction on how to.”

From a Minister in Chicago

“I’m an ordained minister but my life style consisted of me being a drug addict—one of the worst kind.  There wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do to feed my addiction.  Now that my life has been changed there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to keep straight.  BA is a part of my life and that is one of the things that keeps me strong—keeps me on the right path of righteousness.

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I believe in God first.  God is my Father and I surrender my life over to him.  BA is second and I surrender my life over to BA to get our world back into the righteous place where it needs to be.

BA Everywhere is endurance, perseverance and equality.  This about justice and equality—it is direction on how to.

People want to stand together, but when you look out someone has fallen out the tree.

Meeting BA was overwhelming—the leader had to show a good example.  It took laziness out of the program.  With his mind set if you throw it at him, he catch it and give it to you in the raw.

BA should be shielded at all times.  If it came down to someone trying to shoot I guess I’d have to take that bullet for him because I don’t want his ideas to die—I want his ideas to live on and for him to be able to make plans and preparations for us to be able to go forward.

This is an analogy that I have found helpful:  Reality is like a fire, like a burning object, and if you want to pick up that burning object and move it, you have to have an instrument with which to do it.  If you try to do it bare handed, the result is not going to be good.  That’s another way at getting at the role of theory in relation to the larger world that needs to be transformed, in relation to practice, and in particular revolutionary practice, to change the world.

BAsics 4:21

BA is like a fiery burning bush—getting this system torn down and then replaced in the way it should be—he is the man.”

March 24, 2013

James Vrettos, professor, John Jay College, NYC

 

Having gone and listened to a live, public Bob Avakian speech, as I have, is to be exposed to one of the most provocative, serious and controversial social thinkers of our time. He’s an American original who should be heard, debated and critiqued for these dramatic and troubling times.

March 10, 2013

Professor of history and scholar of the Chinese revolution

BA is a great revolutionary leader in today’s world who has a clear understanding about what are the underlying problems of our world. He has been fighting for the goal of creating a world where there is no oppression and exploitation all his life. People who are interested in building a better future for humanity will benefit from listening to what he has to say.

March 8, 2013

“You have got to watch this incredibly credible movie”

From a small business owner and peace activist:

You have got to watch this incredibly credible movie. It is an absolute “Tour de force” by Bob Avakian that can and will move you right up to the front with thousands and then millions of others in the drive for revolution.

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At first I wondered how there could be such an intensity in his voice and gleam in his eyes as Chairman Avakian carefully and thoroughly laid out the monstrous crimes and injustices of our imperial capitalist society. Well, I soon realized I was more than just a passive listener as I began to anticipate and join in his understanding of the scientific approach to the solution.  I and millions of others are going to be needed to help replace capitalism with the new synthesis of communism – and wow, is it truly 21st century new.

Here’s what I like best about it:

The new synthesis of communism thrives on not only learning how to take on the contradictions in society; it also actively and positively seeks out contradictions to allow their expression and evolution in the bright daylight of scientific inquiry. [Check out the RCP’s Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal).]

Just look at the world after this movie opens your eyes. Nothing else is working. Do I want to be part of this push for revolution? Damn right I do!

March 9, 2013

Message to the Youth in the Neighborhood

I want to say this to the youth in the neighborhood. This system has no future for you. You have to seriously check out Bob Avakian.

From an early age this system had me programed for prison and I wound up doing many, many years. I know about the solitary confinement, the beat downs—the struggle to keep your humanity. I was a kid when I went in and an old man when I came out.

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You know this is the future this system has looming over you. You know it just like I did. From the time I was teenager I knew that I would end up in prison or dead. The system had conditioned you to expect prison and death. Do you accept this?! This system has no future for us. Is that okay?! Revolution is the only way out. But you don’t know that we have the leadership to get out of all this, BA. He’s saying something you never heard before. The preachers, politicians, and all those who tell us we got to accept how things are—they’re spreading bullshit. Things can change and on March 16 you can hear Bob Avakian cut through all the bullshit and tell you how. A different future is possible for us and humanity. BA has the light to get us out of this horror. But you have to be part, you have to be there on the 16th and hear for yourself. Take that first step. I got my ticket! Get yours!

Revolutionary brother in Harlem

March 8, 2013

From a conscious young Black man in Chicago:

Why People Should Come Out to
BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS

“Bob is like a Black leader but he is bigger than that” he is an emancipator for everybody.

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When I say “Bob’s like a Black Leader” it’s because most of our leaders stood up against what’s wrong and tried to make a change in our community—and that’s what he do—but not just for our community, for the whole world.

When African-Americans, Blacks, what not, when they say “we need a leader” they mean we need a voice to speak about the conditions they in that they face every day from like police brutality to Black on Black crime. So Black people say they need a voice. That’s why I be like, “Bob is like a Black leader but he is bigger than that” he is an emancipator for everybody. Cause he touches on things that happen in our community today all the way back to the establishment of this country. He teaches REAL Black history. He shows us how to stand up—not for only our family and friends, our loved ones—for everybody. He tells you it is not only y’all going through this it’s 10’s of millions of people going through this.

Hearing BA I know the world could be different because these are everyday things that people be talking about but he puts it on a bigger scale—not just in our community but he shows the oppression that’s happening all across the world and he start from the root of it. And when I be reading it and hearing him—how he takes it all the way back and then he bring it to today’s terms it shows you how the world is. It gives you that voice that you need that we don’t hardly understand because we dealing with these situations individually.

When I be listening to BA I be knowing these things be going on but I don’t know that understanding or that basics that he teach to present it to my people the way he do. I know it could be different because he says things people don’t want to talk about. To a whole multitude of people it crushes them every day and they just forced to deal with it—we forced to deal with it. And then we forget about the problem. And that’s wrong.

March 9, 2013

“I hereby recommend this docu/film as a must see”

We received the following blurb about the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

The down-pressed peoples of the World needs and are crying out for Revolution—Nothing less! Comrade Bob Avakian painstakingly outlines in a simple, clear and forward way, the tactics and strategy of how revolution can be made and maintained within the borders of the United Snakes of America. He speaks with much courage and determination about the serious need for revolution and the crucial importance for it to be fuelled by revolutionary theory and the revolutionary science of Marxism Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, so as to bring about a more humane understanding of society.

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Comrade leader Bob Avakian and the RCP are definitely leading the political pack in challenging the core of imperialist-capitalist America. His passion and love for the working class and other working peoples are unmeasurable, and must be admired. As a living revolutionary stalwart of the peoples struggle, Comrade Avakian is not about just talk, he has been walking the walk, and organizing among the masses of down-pressed peoples for close to five (5) decades across race and class lines. In BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, Comrade Avakian takes time to hammer out a clear detailed and decisive revolutionary line for making revolution in Imperial United States of America. As a revolutionary active in Caribbean political struggles from the late 1960’s, I hereby recommend this docu/film as a must see, for anyone seriously interested in bringing about revolutionary change for the down trodden masses of humanity.

Ready for Liberation Manager of a Pan African bookstore, Chicago

February 24, 2013

“Be a new generation that is standing up”

I’m buying a ticket for a young person who might need help getting to BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS. I want this ticket to go to a young person who is not a carbon copy of what this society wants the youth to be.

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Someone who wants a different future for this world. BA is one person who has the vision and the program for another world. Go hear BA and don’t be a carbon copy. Be a new generation that is standing up against what keeps us enslaved.

Black man in Harlem

Things do not have to be the way they are! You should go listen to what Bob Avakian has to tell you. I gravitated to this message from reading BAsics. BA speaks with great passion about the horrors of the world, but he says IT DOES NOT HAVE TO LIKE THIS. You can’t say it any plainer. The young people in particular should see BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

From Harlem

March 10, 2013

On BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS

From a musician

After seeing the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS, I am much more in the know that there will be no change under this system of oppression, no real future for the youth, and all the horrors of this nation and the world will go on until we all stop kidding ourselves by the notion that our government is such the superpower that they can’t be defeated or that we are so powerless to just let all these outrages go on.

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BA was very much on point about the injustices of our youth, particularly black and brown youth that ends up entangled in our criminal (in)justice system, and how much we need to stop with blaming the youth for their plight and for why they are criminalized under this exploitive system. The film made very strong points on the mentality of religion and how it controls people with keeping them on their knees and not living on you feet. This film was not for the closed minded, and nothing is sugar coated or just blowing coloured bubbles at issues as the media would give half-truths and lies, but this film was very straight forward and Bob told it like it “really” is. I especially loved how he broke the deception of Obama and his true role as the puppet of the ruling class, and just how this system is spreading its monstrous claws all over the world with it’s greed and destruction, and the murdering of many people, here with our police (who would justify 137 [shots] on two people and other killings by (un)law enforcement), and the military (who kills without impunity with drone missile attacks on the people), and the signing of the NDAA which the president can kill anyone he chooses at will without due process. Much more is presented in this film as to how much horror goes on in the U.S. and abroad, and if you are horrified by all of it, and you want to know what you can do to contribute to the end of these horrors brought on by the system, and not a bunch of rhetoric, soft language, sugar-coated, watered down solutions that amount to nothing and results in nothing, and you have an open mind to want the real, in your face, no nonsense and hardline truth, then this film from BA is a must see, and I encourage anyone who want to make real change to be a part of this movement and get inspired by the words you won’t hear from the politicians, most teachers, or reformist, and those religious “leave it to the lord” tambourine shakers who don’t want to hear it outright and hide behind the “word”…well listen to the words that BA has to say about all this and more, and if you can get with it, you’ll see that the nation and the world need to get rid of this system to make real change, and for that we need REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!!

March 24, 2013

Warrior Woman for the Revolution

This statement came from a woman who was unable to attend the premiere but has been part of collective viewings of BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! since.

When I first was introduced to BA’s teachings, I was very shocked that this white boy was very real and knew a lot about Black life. Listening to BA, I felt that he knew just what I was going through and up against day after day. I was very interested in what he had to say and I wanted to find out more about this man who I heard and seen on video.

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I observed a lot of things that was not right about this society and he did too. He caught my attention when he actually spoke on the subjects like domestic violence, police shootings, corruption, unfair laws, injustices, things that everyone is facing and can relate to. BA speaks from the heart with passionate, he speaks on a level in which anyone and everyone can relate to, not talking above your head. BA speaks in a way, where you are being taught not preached to or at. He is funny and very intense and leaves you thinking and with your mind challenged and ready for more. BA is simply amazing and made me want to work for the Revolution.

Trying to describe BA and the impact that he has on me and other people is priceless. BA is that nice breath of air that you hope or wish for on a hot day. Some of the adjectives describing BA is the following: extremely intelligent, critical thinker, comic, committed, passionate and everything I would want in a leader.

April 13, 2013

From Barney Bush

From Barney Bush, Writer/Teacher/Native community chairman/Father/Grandfather and Activist in the honor of our homelands and the next seven plus generations

I am aware that we are at the crossroads where we are unable to recover any of the thousands of species destroyed by industrialization within just the last five years (about two hundred a day, so I hear). Having said that, we are already outside the realm of quick fixes for recovering the earth, air and water.

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Mining/fracking/drilling/crushing corporations realize that they have been given free rein from the legal system to do as they wish…maybe not exactly free; it’s in exchange for the mining and drug company moneys that elected them to office, and none pretends to hide it. Not enough know yet, to care…. Colonialism, or any of its subsidiaries: democracy, republic, capitalism, Christianity, has done a good job at imprinting all of us, most of us, with criminal views of truth, good health, respect, courage, confidence, creativity, communication, perseverance,  prosperity, and the simple organic feeding of one’s family and him/herself. I am coming to Chicago to the premiere of the film, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! to find connections that, through intellectual and common sense organization, will help us to make the impending disasters survivable.

March 15, 2013

“Black people need to see/hear this”

This statement is from a woman whose son was killed by the police and who heard BA speak:

Black people need to see/hear this tape because we blinded. I was blinded at first—I’m not blinded no more. They get out and hear this about why we are oppressed the way we are. Maybe somebody will stand up and say “we stand for revolution.”

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When I heard him it didn’t take long for me to say that this is what I wanted to do—stand up and fight because shit that is going on out here is wrong. But we didn’t see that. We never thought that the police’s goal was actually out here to take our lives away and lock us up for no reason. And what was that point for? What was that reason for? So they need to see, hear the reason why the system is the way it is. And maybe some people will join us. We need millions, not some, we need millions of people to join us and wake up and say, “yes, it’s time for revolution.”

What helped me was how he broke it down, how he broke down the system, and why the system can’t provide. And then for me to go through my own trial just made me say, “hell no. No!”

March 6, 2013

500 Years from Now…

Five hundred years from now, about the same amount of time that has elapsed since Columbus invaded what his class of exploiters call the “New World” and began a genocide of its native peoples, future humans, if there are still any, will look back on this time—our time—as one of the most critical in human history.

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Our planet is now literally teetering on the brink of environmental catastrophe, yet our so-called “leaders,” of this capitalist-imperialist system we all live under, do nothing. In fact, they are even accelerating the crisis. It was just reported that last year saw the second largest annual increase ever recorded of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas driving global warming. Greenhouse gasses are not being cut back, their output is increasing!

And let’s not forget the many other crimes spawned by this system: from the starkly illegal invasions of Third World countries, to Stop and Frisk and the New Jim Crow, to the imprisonment of brave whistleblowers like Brad Manning (who faces a possible death sentence for exposing war crimes—who should instead be treated as a hero), to the patriarchy and commodification of women (and men), to ALL the “savage inequalities” that are part and parcel of this system. Anyone with eyes to see and a developed conscience can grasp that the world is a living nightmare for billions on the planet today—and it will only get worse under the current worldwide system of capitalism-imperialism. So how do we break out of this madness—of a system that has proven time and time again it can’t be reformed in any meaningful way?

Revolution—Nothing Less! This is the only viable answer—and it is also the title of a remarkable new film I was privileged to see in rough cut form. This is an extraordinary film of an extraordinary leader—a revolutionary leader. Why extraordinary? Because genuine revolutionary leadership is not common in today’s world. Expect unusually straight talk from someone who is basing himself on a thoroughly scientific worldview and on the most advanced revolutionary theory there is—the New Synthesis of Communism—from someone who is motivated by a deep love for the masses and a genuine concern for the future of the planet. And, most importantly, HE IS WILLING TO LEAD AND FIGHT FOR THE BETTER WORLD HE KNOWS IS POSSIBLE! This is a film and a leader I stronglyrecommend to everyone who is concerned about the future of humanity and the fate of the planet.

Finally, let’s hope that when our descendants of the distant future—if there are still any—look back on the early 21st century they will not remember it as the time when the cruel and greedy capitalist-imperialists won out and destroyed their planet and their future—completing the destructive cycle begun by Columbus 500 years earlier. Let’s hope instead they will remember a bold and heroic people of that time, inspired and led by farsighted revolutionaries like Bob Avakian, who in one of history’s darkest hours was able to meet and defeat the forces of reaction, move history forward, and progress beyond anything those brave revolutionary souls of that time could have imagined. These descendants of the future would celebrate the memory of those individuals for the sacrifices they made for their future, which they in fact would have made possible.

—a former Peace Corps volunteer and environmental activist

March 9, 2013

From a High School Student on Hearing BA Speak:

“It is not enough to just say you agree. Humanity is at stake… Revolution—nothing less!”

This system cuts short the life of millions of children as they slave away in third-world factories, this system consistently allows police to murder anyone they choose, this system regards women as objects, this system literally starves people to death, this system perpetrates human suffering in all its forms. This is what we were born in to.

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We never decided that this is the way the world should work, but we do have an obligation to do something about it. Still, look around; the world we come to is nothing less than a horror. It is easy to get lost on where to focus just efforts so many folks are stuck, overwhelmed by the horror, unable to see a way out of the conditions cast on to themselves and the world around them.

In the film premiering March 16th, BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!, Bob Avakian, the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party USA, poses a challenge to the notion that this is just the way the world works. He lays out the framework for understanding the conditions we face and moving beyond this system to finally achieve the emancipation of all humanity. This film is vital, now more than ever, because folks hungry for a way out of their unacceptable conditions have been lied to and kept away from the truth for far too long: capitalism is the problem, communist revolution is the only way out, and it is possible, largely thanks to the work of Bob Avakian.

Avakian was active throughout the revolutionary upsurge that took place in the sixties. However, unlike so many others, he never lost that spirit. In fact, he continues to deepen understanding of the strategy necessary to make revolution in a country like the U.S. I had the opportunity to participate in a discussion with Bob Avakian in the fall. What struck me most about him was the conviction he spoke with. The clarity of analogies used deeply affected me. I have been around the Party since I started high school and am fixing to graduate this June, but I never felt so sure about my role and responsibility in the movement for revolution as I did after hearing him speak. I really believe that this film could have a similar effect on other people, including more high school students.

There is no necessity to allow another generation to come to this planet drained by capitalist greed and this world demolished by imperialist violence. There is a necessity for revolution, there is a strategy that can take us there, and there is leadership to guide us. It is not enough to just say you agree. Humanity is at stake. If you’re not for the countless ways this system devalues human life and the planet sustaining it, then you have to watch this film and you have to help build for its premiere on March 16th. BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! is exactly what folks need right now.

March 6, 2013

“If you are someone who once imagined a better world or if you’re someone who has checked out revolution and communism in the past, but have found yourself believing the mantra ‘It looks great on paper, but it [is] horrible in practice. Communism just doesn’t work,’ you’ve got to see this film.”

From a teacher in Atlanta:

If you’re anything like me, the idea of watching a six hour film seems nearly impossible. I rarely get six hours of sleep a night, six hours with a friend or family member, six hours to do whatever…pretty much the only thing that allows me to spend 6, 8, 12, 16 hours is my work…my job and I guess I’m lucky to have one.

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If you’re anything like me, you probably ask yourself, “Is this really as good as it gets? Is this really the best of all possible worlds?” If you’re anything like me, you’ve caught yourself compromising your hopes and dreams of a better world and a different future. Maybe you’ve caught yourself compromising your imagination to conform to what we’re told is “possible” and if you’re anything like me…maybe you’ve even started to believe that nothing will ever change. This is the best we can do, so I should quit whining, get back to work and be thankful.

If you’re anything like me, you MUST see this film; BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! is not just a film, it is an experience, a journey with a relentless revolutionary leader. If you’re someone who once imagined a better world or if you’re someone who has checked out revolution and communism in the past, but have found yourself believing the mantra “It looks great on paper, but it’s horrible in practice. Communism just doesn’t work,” you’ve got to see this film.

Bob Avakian is going to challenge some of your assumptions and he might even inspire you to think differently or rekindle that flame of hope and rebellion you once had. What is so powerful and potentially world changing about this film and Avakian’s re-envisioning of communism and revolution is the science behind it. BA’s words are going to tap into your emotions, your indignation and righteous anger at “the way things are.” All the while, he is going to guide you, scientifically, through how real revolutionary change is possible and how it could actually be made. That is powerful! There is NOTHING else out there like this. Truly, if you’re anything like me, you will leave this film inspired, and yearning for NOTHING LESS than a WHOLE NEW WORLD.

March 9, 2013