Saturday, May 10, 2014

Easter 16-18: You say you want a revolution


The Revolutionary Communists are back again. Daily checking on details.

Alia goes back to the days when she worked with Leila’s father, Samir. She is a classical pianist and accompanied Samir’s original compositions, including I believe his opera, Perimplin , based on a play by Lorca. It was his life’s dream to have it performed and finally he realized it here at West-Park. I’m glad that was able to happen before he died.

Like Berik, Alia is a Kazakh. She also used to teach Kazakh language classes to children and dreams of doing that again. But under current building realities, that’s not possible.

Off to Newark.


Deacon James drops in. I missed him last Sunday. That always concerns me. But he’s ok. Good to know.

Today it’s Bob from the RCP in to work on logistics. They are seriously taking Saturday’s event seriously.

Debra comes in to share some ideas about making the church more attractive. Pat will be happy to know that. Jamie, too. Need to get them all together.

I stop in and see RL before I leave.  He’s watching Nero Wolfe as I walk in.  I tell him about Rachel calling to threaten to sue us fro removing  her valuable items. I told her about the exterminators, how the mice are now gone. But it is foolish of me to attempt a rational conversation which isn’t going to happen.


A Spanish couple comes in looking for food. I refer the down to SPSA and the Westside Campaign Against Hunger.

Jerry (who is named the Mad Uke by RL) is looking for Danielle to do another walk through and bid for the work we need to get done. Trying to get this all moving forward. He’ll be back on Monday.

Phil F of Revolution Book Store has been wanting a conversation, so I set aside the time and we talk. He’s interested in my background. And progressive Christianity. And the theologies of liberation course I teach at Newark. How NST was created to serve working people.  Lots of connections here. He goes back to Berkeley . The Free Speech movement. The Black Panthers.  He’s long time friends with Russ J from our Palestine film series. And Norman Gottwald, who spoke to my Newark class in early April. Norman, whose pioneering work on the Tribes of Yahweh revolutionized (well, that word again) Old Testament Studies, created with Newark School of Theology founder and President Douglas Bendall  the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice (CLBSJ) at Stony Point Center. (

He apparently was once a minister himself. And was one of the many cadres who were sent to industrialize themselves in solidarity with the proletariat back in the seventies. Like so many friends I had back in Pittsburgh.

I talk about the ‘80’s, the Sandinista Revolution, its successes and failures. My conversations with Occupiers, my attempt to explain just how serious revolution is and how they needed to take seriously how the empire responds when it feels threatened, the systematic assassinations  of  Panther leadership in the seventies, for example. Their need for discipline, strategy.

He talks to me about the need to transform the people for a revolution and for a solid core with elasticity. He frequently quotes the RCP Chairman Bob. I want to hear the Cornell West interview. 

Off to meet Lotte and Carman.

Well, I admire anyone  who has remained steadfast this long.

Newark School of Theology  (
Norman Gottwald  (

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