The following represent a random sampling of voices from those activists and organizers who participated in our research project. To see more, refresh this page. Use the tag cloud to the right to navigate by theme.
Beginning with the basics
I like Food not Bombs because I think that having food and...sharing food is... one of the most...basic things. If we can do that then we can do everything else...or we can work towards doing everything else for ourselves too.
One of the things we do a really bad job of is fostering a sense of hope. I know that's kind of cheesy but people come to radical politics because they think it's going to do something and be a legitimate option and we don't make it that. We make it seem like a club, we make it seem like something that people of only a certain ilk can engage in….It should be a part of everyone's day to day experience.
Hope in the dark
There's always going to be that kernel of good possibilities and I think it's going to be a lot harder for rich people to keep in this bubble that we're in right now which is not having to realize the incredible poverty and the incredible suffering going on in the rest of the world. Especially as climate change refugees start to come to North America. And as stuff in North America starts to get flooded and in Europe, so that part to me is hopeful. Unfortunately it's going to come with a lot of shit and we're probably going to end up killing a lot of people and I also think that neoliberalism cannot exist in that future, in that vision of the future, because something as powerful as the state might not be able to exist except through a huge amount of coercion or totalitarianism.
Solidarity and sectarianism
After the student day of action, the organizers of the student day of action, sent a really, really nasty message about why did we have to go and yell chants that weren't the chants they wanted us to yell. Like, ‘what was that all about? Are you trying to act more radical than [us?]’ It felt like we'd kind of gone out in solidarity with them…..So after that I felt like we weren't on the same team.
Acting to win
The left is very intellectual and we have these complicated explanations for things and I really think we need to boil it down more, without losing the substance of it….I think that the left needs to stop feeling like a perennial loser and start acting more like the obvious winn[ing] choice.
Revolution and Indigenous struggles
I've found stories of Indigenous resistance in Canada pretty inspiring and I'd like to know more about that history actually and be more in touch with it. As far as when people say that there's not going to be a revolution in Canada and that Canada is one of the most stable countries in the world I think that's not true in a lot of communities and I wouldn't say that's true with Indigenous people.
Industrial civilization and root problems
As long as we continue to be preoccupied with material consumption and economic growth that's based upon material consumption then we're just sort of pissing in the wind in terms of solving these problems. The fundamental root of the problem is an industrial growth model that is based upon this false premise that you can use resources within a human economy and that the only consequence of it is having to deal with the waste on the other side or having to find more resources to exploit. We're now encountering the point of pushing ecological thresholds beyond their finite capacity. So if that's the case then we need to reinvent the system so that it is one that is more aligned with what the finite ecological capacities of this planet are.
Building autonomous networks
The state is using...these new innovations and technology to encroach upon us and I believe the potential of technology to undermine that and to pose real threats to state and capital are quite acute and I'm interested in building anti-surveillance and anonymity structures online. Housing the technology so that it's not dependent on the structures [that seek to]...capitalize...on those communications technologies....How can we build networks and systems that are completely autonomous that don't rely on those things? But...I'm also constantly questioning these sorts of pursuits...in relation to...climate chaos and the end of energy and so [also] thinking about how technology has a horizon.
Leadership not dictatorship
Things can happen awful fast sometimes...and [when it does happen] I think that the Left needs to...be...there to try and pick up the pieces and give it some coordination and leadership. Because I do believe in leadership, I just don't believe in the form of leadership that dictates to everybody what should happen. We've never really had a democracy.
Airing our differences
...polemicizing can be a danger and people don't talk, or groups don't talk, to each other. I agree that to some extent it's not helpful. To some extent it is. To give people a chance to really explicate the intricacies of what they model for a better society, I mean to some extent that's good. Let's hear that.