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My Afternoon With Chairman Bob Avakian

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Avakian is a communist in America from the “good old days” of protest. One of the original SDS (students for a democratic society) members and leaders, he’s been trying to stir up trouble for many decades. And he’s made a living at it and continues to do so. Like the SDS, he advocates action over words, and for all practical purposes, he can be called the inspiration for the Antifa movement. Reading this article it’s fun to see where his “supporters” don’t think he’s radical enough.

If you asked me why I would waste a perfectly good Saturday to go see Bob Avakian speak in person, you would get no points for originality: almost everyone else asked me the same question, usually with some derisive adjectives thrown in for good measure.

Leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA (RCP) and in self-imposed exile in France for most of the past 35 years, “Chairman Bob” is revered by his small party and dismissed by many others on the left and elsewhere as the leader of either a fringe left party or an eccentric cult. He hasn’t spoken at a public venue in decades but you can read him regularly in the RCP’s Revolution newspaper and hear his lengthy presentations on audio recordings and DVD. The carefully cultivated aura of mystery around Avakian was heightened in the days before the November 15 event by a full-page ad in the New York Times promising a chance to witness history on Saturday afternoon. Read more here.