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.
Talking – or not – about patriarchy
A really sad truth...is that when you start talking about patriarchy, people shut down.
Selling people short
Personally I'm really critical of [the belief that] in order to mobilize people [you] have [to] appeal to the lowest common denominator. I think that really sells people short….If we take the G8 organizing [in the] spring [of 2010], I remember being at a meeting and someone said using the slogan ‘stop globalization: another world is possible’ was too political and they had to take ‘stop globalization’ out of the slogan. It's just kind of, like, really? I mean the reality is not that many people are going to come out to this protest anyways, do you have to make it so watered down? It's a watered down slogan as it is but to water it down even more to be just ‘another world is possible’ it just doesn't make any sense to me.
Dystopia, narcissism, and control mythologies
Dystopia is a control mythology, that's what it is, and it is the mark of a society that is completely narcissistic that imagines that its own ending is equivalent to the ending of the world... Will we face resource shortage? Unquestionably. Will there be difficult choices to be made? Absolutely. Will there be fascism? Yes, almost certainly. Do we maybe need some of that crisis in order to actually generate movement forward? Unfortunately, probably yes.
Coexistence without domination
To me winning would be being able to live life without feeling like I owe something….I think it really depends on the situation. I think it's safe to say that if there were no need for prisons, no need for borders, or money, all of these sort of institutionalized methods of control, I think if you got rid of all those and just had the co-existence of people working, living together and not depleting and stripping the ecosystem in which they're placed, to me I guess that would be [winning].
The meaning of ‘radical’
I don't...think that being radical is necessarily about having a project about how the world should be or about how we can change it but is always about understanding that from our most individual and most intimate and personal relations all the way up to the most impersonal and macro social relations there's something wrong here and that it's a change at all levels that's going to be required if we want to live in a world where we're free and we have a certain level of autonomy and equality. Do I consider myself a radical? Yeah, but I do struggle with...that language because I don't think it's accessible to people who are outside of political movements.
Living collectively without the state
I don't think we can get that far if we keep getting concessions from the state….What do I think is the way forward? I think...we have to be more creative about thinking collectively to get things done. Being able to imagine that it actually is possible that we can get things done without the state or whatever other institution it is that we're talking about.
Anarchism and radical social change
Eventually I came to [anarchism]... and a complete rejection of the entire system and seeing its destruction as the only possible solution. It didn't seem like it was hierarchical in any way. It didn't seem to be intimidating in the sense that you had to prove yourself to be a part of it or climb any kind of ranks or whatever, or find a place to be. You were just an individual making your own decisions and individual actions for what you saw as a potential for change.
Violence, clarity, and context
Diversity of tactics - really what it boils down to is black bloc versus no black bloc and that...gets turned into violence versus non-violence [but] they don't line up. I think starting with a definition of what is violence, and what is the black bloc, and where does it fit on the spectrum of violence, and what's the particular advantages and disadvantages of a black bloc, and taking that out of the conversation of violence versus non-violence because it's not the same question as far as I'm concerned. Equating those things doesn't make any sense to me. When I think of violence...in social movements [I think of] revolutionary wars or something [like that] which has no bearing [on] what's happening in our context at the moment. So what do I think of violence? I think it's certainly justified and necessary in cases of self-defense.
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...I saw a little bit while working in other countries that had had big revolutions, like Cambodia for example or some Latin American countries, is sometimes the revolution is as frightening as what was there before. It may change the power...but it doesn't seem to change what happens to people in terms of violence in their day to day life [or allow better] access to the things that they fought for. So I guess some element of me is as leery of what we will do in the name of change...