Following two days of protests and mass demonstrations in Washington DC for the inauguration of the 45th President, I attended a summit called "Inaugurate the Resistance" which was hosted by the Progressive Independent Party. The summit brought together leaders and representatives from a wide range of organisations on the left for panel discussions and working groups, all aimed at how they could bring the various movements that were uniting on the streets into a coalition that could start making some demands in national politics.
There was one speaker on the direct action panel that caught my attention right away. He was talking about the historical record of radical movements and revolutions in the last 100 years and that it only takes 3.5% of the population, who are dedicated and organized around policies with popular support, to overturn the status quo. I had never heard this before and immediately introduced myself to Kevin Zeese and his partner Dr. Margaret Flowers.
To be honest, I didn’t know of Kevin and Margaret or their organization Popular Resistance, before I attended these summits that week in January. So they weren’t on my radar as far as potential interviews to schedule, but after talking with them that day I knew that I had to get them on camera. They are two very inspirational figures because they don’t just talk revolution, they live it. They have a collective experience that links our current resistance to the movements of Occupy, Anti-Globalization and even to civil rights and the anti-war movement of the 1960s and have worked on campaigns for Ralph Nader and Jill Stein, while organising sit ins and mass civil disobedience actions to agitate for the three pillars that they see as uniting the movements of the left. They are economic, racial and environmental justice. Justice being the important word there. They have been fighting for a fairer world for all of us for many years and this insight is obvious when you listen to the extended interview I was fortunate enough to have with both of them at the studios of We Act Radio in Washington a few days after the summit. When you watch the series, their contribution to the project was invaluable and I am eternally grateful to them being gracious enough to give me so much time.
We are releasing this episode with some sadness in our hearts too. In September the revolutionary Kevin Zeese passed away at his home in Baltimore, leaving behind a legacy of fighting for the fairness, integrity and human rights until the very end. We’d like to dedicate this episode to Kevin and hope that his words will reach more future and current revolutionaries so that his and Margaret’s example can help grow our ranks for the fights to come.
We encourage everyone listening and watching this project to go to www.popularresistance.com where you will find tons of information on the different movements working within the Resistance and how you can get involved. There you will also find a new fund that has been set up in honor of Kevin’s legacy; the Kevin Zeese Emerging Activist Fund. From the website:
"The Kevin Zeese Emerging Activists Fund will provide a small grant to one or more activists or a small grassroots organization each year that is in line with the life work and philosophy of Kevin Zeese. The emphasis for grantees will be on people or frontline grassroots organizations working for economic, racial or environmental justice or peace.”
If you can contribute please do so.
This will be the last episode of the Resistance Companion Podcast. We hope you have enjoyed the series and have already subscribed and rated it on your podcast service. The videos and podcast will remain online as long as there is still a movement out there that can use them to organize and galvanize citizens to stand up for a better country and a better world.