“Oppose US imperialist war against Libya.” Neal Resnikoff beckoned to a student who happened to be on her way to a blood drive. The student seems disturbed by the controversial topic of foreign policy, and continues on her way.
Neal is commonly known around campus as “the communist papers guy.” Neal hands out a weekly newspaper published by the U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization called the Voice of Revolution. The Voice of Revolution is a socialist publication that Neal has been distributing on campus, “once or twice a week, for a number of years” according to Neal.
Neal has been active in organizations such as the U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization, and peace and justice activities since he was a kid as he, “has always been an advocate about issues of peace and justice for all humans,” Neal said.
Neal is not paid to distribute the Voice of Revolution, and believes he does the job of passing them out this way because it shows he is passionate about the issues. He is a volunteer activist in his spare time. Neal’s part-time job is as a taxi driver and he is currently retired. Neal is a former teacher of English, including at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire as well as other places before he stopped that and took up working-class jobs. Neal still relates to students, but in the “free-speech area” at UIC, among other places around Chicago.
“Here at UIC, there is a student body that is interested in political issues and takes action to improve the situation.” Neal said. “I am always open and ready for discussion, of any view point. I encourage students to think and take a stand, while giving legitimate, thoughtful, accurate reasons.”
Neal believes that UIC is a good place to distribute the Voice of Revolution. “Most of the media is owned by corporations and other media needs an outlet and it is widely appreciated at UIC.”Neal said.
As startling as political issues in a student’s face may be when en route to a blood drive, Neal believes that he is a part of the UIC experience. “Hundreds of students get a lot out of reading the articles. We have regular readers.”
Although strongly opposed by some students and seeing his wife arrested a few years ago for being out of the “free speech area”, Neal continues to be determined. “Just don’t stop. Help the people and help some students, regardless if there are restrictions on rights to free speech and assembly at a state university.”
Published in The Chicago Flame: Sunday April 17, 2011