Tony award winning playwright, performer, and activist; Founder of V-Day and Once Billion Rising
What does this time require us to set our intentions to do?
I think, first of all, we have to have a lot more webinars and calls and teachings like this on the grassroots level. I think dialogue right now is critical: education, analysis, forums. Really confronting the truth of where we are, and listening to a cross section of ideas, and people on the ground who will input into a vision of where we're going.
I think we need to build multiracial visions. I think this is a moment to strive for a much bigger, more radical vision, and really look at neoliberal capitalism in general as a system that we want to deconstruct. Saying, “Okay, here we are. What is the world we want to build, and what does that world look like?” I think we have to really have each others' backs. We know that Trumpism has also got this enemies list, and we have to be tight in our support of each other.
I think in some ways, we have to work on two fronts, resisting and protesting right now, and protecting with actions and strategies those who are under immediate threat. The Standing Rock Sioux, immigrants, Muslims, Mexicans, women, LGBTQ folks, African Americans. Communities of privilege have to reach out and really be protective of communities that don't have their same protections. I think we have to really look at climate change. It is the most looming threat on the planet right now. Every scientist is telling us that we have five years to change our extraction policies, and we have to push forward on that. We cannot let that linger behind. It has to be up front in what we’re doing.
I think there must be a two-prong approach. Resisting and protesting right now, and then having a longer view, where we begin to weave a broader and deeper intersectional, progressive, anti-neoliberal capitalist, anti-racist and misogynist, pro-people, immigrant, and refugee movement. Fear gets us to lock down and cut out into our own silos and fight for our own terrain. This is the moment for the exact opposite of that.
That’s why it requires deep thinking, analysis, and time, so that we intersect our movements, and fight for each other and with each other. I think that is one of the most critical things we can think about. I also want to say that it’s critical we link our movements to global movements. We are not in this alone. As someone earlier in the call talked about, the authoritarian xenophobic regimes that are rising in India, in France, in Russia, and in Congo, and Hungary and Croatia, Brexit—we have to see that we are part of a global anti-neoliberal capitalist, anti-racist, anti-xenophobic movement across the planet.
The GABRIELA movement put out a statement on November 9th saying that they are looking at a worsening time of escalating imperialism, and they’re terrified. Capitalism and war and famine are escalating. I’m getting calls from my sisters across the planet, urging us to join arms in struggle with people across the planet. I think, really, one of the last things I want to say is, we have to build coalitions that go beyond a two-party system, and really promote and create a vision and idea of what we want. Then, begin to create the mechanisms and the levers and the strategies to bring that about.