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.
I [found] myself spending more and more of my time on issues I was seeing [around me]....I saw tenant organizing in a similar way that I see union organizing: it's a way to actually build commonality.
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.
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.
Electoral politics and lived realities
I believe in a diversity of tactics. I believe that electoral politics is necessary. I hate it….So even when I thought it was the right thing to do I hated it. I do not like electoral politics but I consider electoral politics to be important particularly given the fact that as the left we're so fucking weak. So to me it's an arrogant position to dismiss electoral politics because what it does is to dismiss the day-to-day lives of working people and poor people.
I don't want to point to a specific example of an activist initiative and say that this is the guide to the future. My own feeling is that there are values that I think I'd like to see broadened to be values that people can work with. Things like solidarity, affinity, autonomy, cooperation over competition, these sorts of vague themes. And then there are various experiments with those which are sometimes inspiring, like cooperatives. Those sorts of things have those values in them.
When most people think of politics, they think of electoral politics. So while many of us may think of this in much broader terms as far as measuring winning I think we have to give ourselves things that can be actually measured and [success in] electoral politics in the next two to five years probably wouldn't make sense for any kind of political movement that would develop. So I don't think that that would be on the goal post but it would certainly involve engagement with that political process in some way. So we actually have to be able to win things because that's the only way that we convince people that we can succeed.
Winning, solidarity, and common sense
I guess in a grander way, I'm thinking of a quote...by Zygmunt Bauman who is a post-modern theorist. I remember reading an article of his and he ended by saying something along the lines of: the day you don't have to justify yourselves for being in solidarity with everybody else is the day that that's achieved. It's an abstract thought but in a way if you don't have to defend your decision about entering [into a relationship of] solidarity with someone, if you don't have to justify that, then it means that it's understood in common sense and therefore, if you don't have to explain that or justify that to anybody, then that means that you've won...in a way.
The necessity of decolonization
...I think Canada is a colonial state and the question is to what extent will First Nations ever have self-determination as long as Canada is a settler state? I guess never maybe….So does that mean I overthrow Canada?...I think we need to decolonize, I think we need to think through how we're colonizing by being here and...actively confronting that...in the same way when you’re part of a system of oppression. For example, gentrification, if you live in a low income neighbourhood because that's the only place you can afford but you recognize the fact that you’re also forcing people out who are on a...lower income, a different bracket of class...or of color, how do you oppose it? I don't know, burn down the condo?
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.
A world without rape culture
I try and imagine a world without rape culture sometimes and it's pretty exciting.