Interviews for Resistance
How to be Ungovernable in 2017, with Kali Akuno
Since the election, I’ve been flooded with questions about what happens next. People who, before November, thought that protesting was useless are now declaring themselves part of the resistance. And yet when you peruse social media, the most pervasive vibe is fear, often coupled with despair.
Thanks to years of being a labor and social movement beat reporter, I also see lots of people who are organizing, who are fighting, planning, and raising hell. But their stories were getting lost under the persistent drumbeat of horrifying news.
With that in mind, in the continuing spirit of Necessary Trouble, I’m launching a new project. Partnering with several excellent news organizations, I’m doing a syndicated series of “interviews for resistance,” which will be available as articles and as podcasts, with organizers, agitators, troublemakers, and thinkers about what comes next. These are people who have already been doing the work that has just become more necessary than ever, around the country, and they will cover a wide range of subjects and geographical locations.
There is an alternative to despair. Resistance is more than just sharing the scary news.
My first interview is now up, with Kali Akuno of Cooperation Jackson and Ungovernable2017.
We need to recognize that in a number of different instances, folks who actually want to see something different constitute the majority. There were the majority of people who voted against Trump if you just look there. On a deeper level, this is something that I think we need to look at more profoundly and try to address: the 50 percent of voting-age adults in this country who typically don’t vote. I don’t think that is apathy; or not all of it. I think there is a growing dissatisfaction with the façade of democracy. People feel that “Whoever I vote for, nothing fundamentally is going to change. Their economic policy is going to be what it is. A lot of the fundamental questions around society are not on the ballot. We are restricted from being included in any serious discussion of democracy and what we can vote on, so why should I vote?” I think that is begging for some more fundamental, deeper and systemic change that I don’t think the electoral strategy and the electoral focus that we — in this case being the left — have been so oriented toward touches upon.
Up at Truthout.
Up, with audio, at The Baffler.
Thanks to my partner publications for taking a chance on this project: The Progressive, In These Times, Truthout and the Baffler. Thanks to Laura Feuillebois for her transcription skills. Thanks to the Nation Institute, for the backing that makes it possible for me to do this work. And thank you to everyone who fights.