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.
A new party
I think there has to be a new party. I think there has to be a new communist party, that's what I think. We see that we're not able to get legislation in this province to protect workers in the workplace. We see that we have something in the order of one in eight children living below the poverty level and families not having enough food to eat. I don't think this can be solved by tinkering around the edges and sending in a social worker. We need to have some kind of spirited organization that is going to consistently fight.
Winning is a collective process
Winning is the ability to develop a collective process in which we're destroying the things that are unjust in this world. I have my particular perspectives of what that world should look like but my overall perspective is that that perspective should change as that's happening, especially since it's a collective process….I can't [inscribe] an individual viewpoint onto a collective future, it should be a collective viewpoint onto a collective future. I think then that what a post-capitalist society would look like [is] hard to exactly imagine...because it would still be a place of constant struggle. There's no ideal way of being.
The politics of fear
When people are insecure, when people think there is instability, and they feel atomized like we feel in this society, then anybody who can guarantee security and stability will receive their support, including the far right. Even intelligent people who you would think would have left wing positions would adopt that because when it comes to insecurity and stability...people want to opt for security and stability.
Turning the tide
I guess what I keep hoping is that the people who are using the skills of working together, of growing food, making things, of connecting with people despite barriers and differences, that when there is an inevitable big shift in this particularly unsustainable political and economical world we live in...there will be enough of these to...turn the tide.
The fetish of the local
I don't want to be programmatic about it but I certainly think there's something to the anarchist vision of free federated collectivities that makes a lot of sense to me. But I also agree that that's utopian in some ways, in the sense that I think that we will not solve the crises we currently face by retreating to the local, and imagining the local as a space that we can create a little life boat, and by growing our food locally, and by having very nice community assemblies, and by trying to just retreat to this imagined space of hearth and home that we'll somehow escape what's coming because it's only in building lines of communication and solidarity that we'll do that. I think that that's part of what it would mean to win to me. I'm not interested in creating a world or being part of a project that creates a world that revels in parochialism.
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.
Crisis and collective action
I feel like there's going to be some sort of big shift, something's going to happen, maybe all the ice is going to melt in the Arctic and its going to finally make people, I hope, wake up. I think that it's sad that this is the way it is but I feel like people won't unite as a whole until something cataclysmic happens. I feel like that might be the kick in the pants our species needs.
Equity across time and space
Equity is a really challenging thing, when you're dealing with equity...on a geographic scale. I'm drinking a coffee, obviously someone had to like pick the beans, and it is a fair trade coffee so I have that sense that I've purchased a product and I'm able to see the connection, at least tangentially understand, that there's ways and means to creating more equitable distributions, but again that's...just relying on some of the functions and features of capitalism to solve problems that are fundamentally being precipitated by [it]. And then equity across generations is an even more difficult thing, especially when you're talking about climate change because...the decisions we're making now are going to have an effect on our grandkids.
Precarity and inertia
I think...one of the most present problems right now is...how precarious everything is around us in terms of our living spaces, we have no control over [them], we...pay all this rent [and] it's just burned off….The places we work, we have no control over the vast majority of them so that we're just thrust around here and there. We're fired with no notice, we have to deal with all kinds of unfair working conditions depending on the whim of the employers and this creates a lot of problems for everyone. We're stressed out, we're just left with no energy and time at the end of the day other than to watch TV or zone out or whatever.
Organizing and alternatives
If the goal is equality, for example, then you have to organize society in such a way that you're going to get that equality and you have to organize the economy in such a way that gives you that equality. That means that the very ethos of this economy has to be overcome, has to be destroyed because as long as the economy is running on the basis of profit, and accumulation of wealth, and growth we can never achieve equality because it's the antithesis of the system. On a political level we have to have a decentralization of power. I don't agree that we can achieve it through...spontaneous uprisings all over the place, I don't think that's going to get us anywhere. We need to see centralized organizations as facilitating the grassroots movements rather than dominating the grassroots movements.