by Sunsara Taylor – reposted from revcom.us
I’ve been meaning to write in about the fantastic holiday party held by Refuse Fascism in NYC at the end of last year. It was great! More than 40 people turned out, a really good mix including a core of folks who have come forward through the OUTNOW launch and stuck. There were also folks who have either known the Revolution Club for a long time or met it recently in different ways. Several newer young folks, including a young Black woman who got a flyer about #OUTNOW at some point during the five weeks of protests and has been following on social media but never came to anything until this. She got into things deeply at the party and seemed to love it. And a spread of others, including several middle-aged and older Latino folks and some others who I didn’t get a chance to talk to or learn about. People were mixing it up, talking to each other, feeling very much like this was their scene. Different folks brought food. A young gay Black man brought eight bottles of wine. A Black woman who has worked with the Club and Revolution Books baked two incredible cheesecakes topped with salted caramel (one to eat, one to auction for fundraising). Another Black woman donated a piece of artwork for auction. A member of the Revolution Tour got a tray of chicken and another tray of rice and peas donated by a well-known soul food spot in Harlem. And more.
Then the program began. A young man, who’s been part of the protests starting the second or third week of #OUTNOW, did a very powerful slideshow presentation. He began by briefly indicting the Trump/Pence regime and saying it must be driven from power. Then, he began a slideshow about how this is exactly what people all over the world have been doing in their own countries. With pictures and commentary, he described what went down in Puerto Rico, then South Korea, then Hong Kong, then Lebanon, then several other places. He spent just a minute or two and 3-4 slides on each and concluded by coming back to the mission of #OUTNOW and its urgency. Then, two leaders in the local chapter each gave strong presentations on the mission of RefuseFascism.org and the #OUTNOW Movement and the January plans and the need to donate. This was followed by testimonials from a woman who first heard of #OUTNOW in the news when we protested Trump’s appearance at Madison Square Garden and loved it. Then, she was working as a journalist at the UN during the Climate Summit when some youth came in and did more in one day than all the world leaders had done in days, and she learned of the Climate Strike. When she went to the Climate Strike, she met the Revolution Club and Refuse Fascism—the very people she’d seen in the news about the Madison Square Garden protest—and immediately joined up. Several others gave testimonials as well, including a former lawyer who emphasized how important it is that we each take a step outside our comfort zones and work to wake up the millions who hate Trump to our true potential to drive him out, and the young man who brought the wine, as well as two very thoughtful testimonials from people who have been part of the chapter but were out of town.
I spoke briefly on behalf of the Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour on the need for revolution and—as Bob Avakian (BA) has put it—hope for humanity on a scientific foundation. I saluted and underscored the need for the #OUTNOW mission and made clear that we revolutionaries are in this fight all the way—especially at this pivotal moment of impeachment. At the same time, I challenged people to lift their sights to a world without America and imperialism, to real revolution. I pointed to the work BA has done on this and the leadership he is providing and invited people to get into this as we work shoulder to shoulder to challenge others to step into the struggle to drive out the regime. I ended by reading a quote from Bob Avakian’s recent talk Hope For Humanity On A Scientific Basis and pointing people to the website revcom.us to find the whole speech and much more, and said that we must be driven, yes, by our determination to stop the nightmare of Trump/Pence fascism, but also by the inspiring reality that we could bring about an emancipated world for all of humanity.
Two artists gave powerful performances, and then the lights were turned down, the dance floor was cleared, and the music came up and folks spent the next hour and a half chatting, eating, dancing, and having a great time.
There was a “selfie booth” for people to take their pictures and post them with the #OUTNOW posters and ask their friends to join them in donating.
It was clear that folks had really worked together to pull this party off—and my sense is that the whole process not only made the party better, but further consolidated the chapter. This kind of camaraderie among us in all our diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints is so precious and important, especially as we are facing such momentous challenges together in this new year.