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A Message of Hope for the New Year

By       Message Jack Balkwill     Permalink
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Kevin Zeese at Occupy Washington D.C.
(Image by rob kall)
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Reprinted from dissidentvoice.org

Kevin Zeese has long amazed me because of the number of things he does to make a better world. Mondays he does a radio program with Margaret Flowers called Clearing the FOG, which is one of the best alternative programs in the world, informing people of what is happening beyond the narrow scope of the corporate media.

Months before the Occupy Movement began, he was organizing activists in the City of Washington to occupy Freedom Plaza there.

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Daily he puts out Popular Resistance, informing people of the latest news around the corporate media and organizing activists across the nation.

Kevin is in touch with activists involved in a great many activities-- opposing war, championing the environment, in short addressing the public interest so ignored by corporate media and government.

I thought I'd interview him to start the new year.

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Jack Balkwill: What is the most important issue for activists in 2016?

Kevin Zeese: First, thanks for the nice introduction. On everything you list I did not act alone. In movements, no one should take credit because it is always a group effort that leads to success.

When I was part of organizing the occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC about 50 people met on a weekly basis from April 2011 through Occupy 2011 to plan it. I deserve no more credit than anyone else developing that occupy.

And, when we began occupying, others joined in and decisions were made at a General Assembly. Popular Resistance came out of that after we met with fellow occupiers from different encampments as well as activists working on different issues.

I found the same thing in my work against the drug war. We formed the Alliance of Reform Organizations (ARO) which was made up of all the groups in the movement. ARO was leaderless. We all shared information and began to think like a movement, not just an organization. We need to act cooperatively and my work succeeds when more people are participating to make it happen, and I am just one participant.

Always the most important issue is building a mass transformative movement. We need a revolutionary change in our values. A mass movement is the root of all the progress we need to make; with it, anything's possible; without it, our power is diminished.

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So, whatever issue you care about, realize it is connected to other issues and work on it in unity with others. We need to build solidarity across issues as we are all confronting the same problems of a corrupt government and economy that cannot respond to the multiple crisis situations we face.

If you look at the front page of Popular Resistance, you will see all the fronts of struggle and recognize we are all part of a movement for economic, racial and environmental justice. The movement is doing work to both stop mistaken policies and create new institutions and approaches to our problems. We call this two track approach: Stop the Machine, Create a New World, the name of our Facebook page (please "like" it).

There are multiple issues that are at a boiling point in 2016:

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Jack Balkwill has written for publications from the little read Rectangle, magazine of the English Honor Society, to the (then) millions of readers USA Today, and progressive publications such as Z Magazine, In These Times, Counterpunch, This (more...)

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