Agitators

Grace Lee Boggs
“A rebellion is something that is developing as an explosion coming out of the righteous grievances of a community of people.”
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Saul Alinksy
“The organizer becomes a carrier for the contagion of curiousity, for a people asking ‘why are beginning to rebel. ”
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Muhammad Ali
“I ain’t draft dodging. I ain’t burning no flag. I ain’t running to Canada. I’m staying right here. You want to send me to jail? Fine, you go right ahead. I’ve been in jail for 400 years. I could be there for 4 or 5 more, but I ain’t going no 10,000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I want to die, I’ll die right here, right now, fightin’ you, if I want to die. You my enemy, not no Chinese, no Vietcong, no Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom! You my opposer when I want justice! You my opposer when I want equality! Want me to go somewhere and fight for you? You won’t even stand up for me right here in America, for my rights and my religious beliefs. You won’t even stand up for my people right here at home.”
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Jo-Anne McArthur 
“‘Meat’ is the language of objectification — an attempt to turn a “someone” into a “something.” By referring to an animal as ‘meat’, this industry seeks to create a moral vacuum in the minds of consumers, a complete disconnection between the animal’s identity and their flesh product. ‘Meat’ is their packaged commodity, presented just like all the other products on the store shelves, divorced from the living individuals they once were – individuals whose lives were each shaped by a unique set of experiences, interests, emotions, thoughts, memories, likes, dislikes, desires, joys, fears, attachments, families, friends, losses and pains. We need to take back the language for the animal’s sake. Eating ‘meat’ is eating an animal, an animal corpse.”
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Dave Zirin
“Sports writers, academics, and sociologists need to rethink the very stale conventional wisdom about sports fandom: that its most prominent feature is that it’s devoid of all politics and actually serves to steer people away from struggle. In the case of the Turkish ultras, they are citizens with the same concerns as anyone else. The difference is they bring mass organization and the art of street combat to this dynamic stage in Turkey’s history.”
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Jane Jacobs
“Under the seeming disorder of the old city, wherever the old city is working successfully, is a marvelous order for maintaining the safety of the streets and the freedom of the city. It is a complex order. Its essence is intricacy of sidewalk use, bringing with it a constant succession of eyes. This order is all composed of movement and change, and although it is life, not art, we may fancifully call it the art form of the city and liken it to the dance — not to a simple-minded precision dance with everyone kicking up at the same time, twirling in unison and bowing off en masse, but to an intricate ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts which miraculously reinforce each other and compose an orderly whole. The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any once place is always replete with new improvisations.”
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Gordon Parks
“You have a 45mm automatic pistol on your lap, and I have a 35mm camera on my lap, and my weapon is just as powerful as yours. (To Black Panther militant Eldridge Cleaver)
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Rachel Corrie
“Sometimes I sit down to dinner with people and I realize there is a massive military machine surrounding us, trying to kill the people I’m having dinner with.”
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Gil Scott-Heron
“I’ve always had questions about what it meant to be a protester, to be in the minority. Are the people who are trying to find peace, who are trying to have the Constitution apply to everybody, are they really the radicals?”

“Everything that’s bad for you catches on too quickly in America, because that’s the easiest thing to get people to invest in, the pursuits that are easy and destructive, the ones that bring out the least positive aspects of people.”
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Gore Vidal
“The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.”
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Chelsea Manning
“I am the type of person who likes to know how things work.  As an analyst, this means I always want to figure out the truth.”
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Emma Goldman
“Anarchism is the great liberator of man from the phantoms that have held him captive; it is the arbiter and pacifier of the two forces for individual and social harmony.”
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Edward Snowden
“Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. …it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life.

When Ron Wyden and Mark Udall asked about the scale of this, the NSA said it did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people have been scrutinized most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians.”
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Sophie Scholl
“The real damage is done by those millions who want to ‘survive.’  The honest men who just want to be left in peace.  Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves.  Those with no sides and no causes.  Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness.  Those who don’t like to make waves—or enemies.  Those for whom freedom, honour, truth, and principles are only literature.  Those who live small, mate small, die small.  It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control.  If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you.  But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe.  Safe?!  From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does.   I choose my own way to burn.”
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Eugene V. Debs
“I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world. While there is a lower class, I am in it, while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”
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Tim deChristopher
“Going down a path of extremely rapid change with an ignorant, apathetic citizenry afraid of its own government, which is under the thumb of corporate power, is terrifying to me.”
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Epicurus
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”
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Malcolm X
“You show me a capitalist, and I’ll show you a bloodsucker. It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. As the nations of the world free themselves, capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.”
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Alice Paul
“One thing is obvious: Our policy, which is directed at making the country ungovernable, has started to bear fruit. The process that has been initiated is irreversible.”
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Cornel West
“Racism is a moral catastrophe, most graphically seen in the prison industrial complex and targeted police surveillance in black and brown ghettos rendered invisible in public discourse.”
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Neil deGrasse Tyson
“After the 9/11 attacks, when President George W. Bush, in a speech aimed at distinguishing the U.S. from Muslim fundamentalists, said, ‘Our God is the God who named the stars.’  The problem is two-thirds of all the stars that have names, have Arabic names. I don’t think he knew this. This would confound the point that he was making.”
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Bill Hicks
“Children are smarter than any of us. Know how I know that? I don’t know one child with a full time job and children.

bill1_1631778cQ’orianka Kilcher
“The Trans Pacific Partnership would be devastating for people around the world and it is being negotiated in complete secrecy to hide the content, because these agreements would never see the light of day if US citizens and congress were allowed to see what is being proposed in our names. While hundreds of corporate advisors have access to the information contained within these documents, the American public, the media and even members of congress do not. This sort of secrecy is highly undemocratic and is a complete disregard of all the systems of checks and balances established by the U.S. Constitution to avoid exactly this sort of thing.”
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Amelia Earhart
“The economic structure we have built up is all too often a barrier between the world’s work and the workers. If the younger generation finds the hurdle too absurdly high, I hope it will not hesitate to tear it down and substitute a social order in which the desire to work and learn carries with it the opportunity to do so.”
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Chris Hedges
“Inverted totalitarianism, unlike classical totalitarianism, does not revolve around a demagogue or charismatic leader. It finds expression in the anonymity of the Corporate State. It purports to cherish democracy, patriotism, and the Constitution while manipulating internal levers.”

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Alice Walker
“The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.”

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Patrick Stewart
“I’ve often reflected on this in the past weeks as I’ve been following the presidential campaign: Very often, I thought it would have been great for both of these guys to sit down and be force-fed a couple of dozen episodes of Star Trek.”
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Glenn Greenwald
“There’s nothing “grown-up” about wanting the State to punish people without evidence of guilt so that you can feel safe. It’s actually a deeply childish need at the heart of all authoritarianism – the desire for a big daddy figure to keep you safe from the Bad People even it means there are no legal constraints, due process, or transparency. Children growing up learn that their Daddy is omnipotent and omniscient and exercises his unchecked power for benevolent ends – it’s a nice, safe feeling, and many continue to cling to it in adulthood, hoping the Security State will provide that. Many adjectives can and should be used to describe that need – “grown-up” definitely is not among them.”
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Naomi Klein
“At leftie talks there’s always somebody who goes up to the mike and says, “But don’t things have to get worse before anything happens?” and I slam those people down because the values that I would hope we represent are human values, and that is such a profoundly anti-human idea — of desiring a descent so there can be some shock that will wake people up.”
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John Muir
“Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away; and if they could, they would still be destroyed — chased and hunted down as long as fun or a dollar could be got out of their bark hides, branching horns, or magnificent bole backbones. Few that fell trees plant them; nor would planting avail much towards getting back anything like the noble primeval forests.  It took more than three thousand years to make some of the trees in these Western woods – trees that are still standing in perfect strength and beauty, waving and singing in the mighty forests of the Sierra. Through all the wonderful, eventful centuries. God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand straining, leveling tempests and floods; but he cannot save them from fools.”
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Russel Means
“I hate the word Native American. Its a government term, which was created in the year 1970 in the Department of the Interior, a generic term that describes all the prisoners of the United States of America.”
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Mark Twain
“Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out…and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel. ..And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for ‘the universal brotherhood of man’.”
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Captain Paul Watson:
“Monkey-wrench a bulldozer and they call you a vandal, spike a tree and they call you a terrorist. Destroy an entire forest, mountain, or river, well then they call you a logger, a miner, or an engineer.”
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Julian Assange
“We released 400,000 classified documents, the most extraordinary history of a war to ever have been released in our civilization. Those documents cover 109,000 deaths. That is serious matter.  What is the possible benefit? Can this material save lives? Can it improve the quality of life in Iraq? Can it tend to shape our perceptions of how war should and should not be conducted? Can it shape our perceptions of who should be conducting war and in what manner? And the answer to that is a clear yes.”
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Edward Abbey
“All revolutions have failed?  Perhaps.  But rebellion for good cause is self- justifying–a good in itself. Rebellion transforms slaves into human beings.”  
abbey_tvJulia Ward Howe
“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, Whether our baptism be of water or of tears! Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies, Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”
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Daniel Ellsberg
“Obama is making a choice now that will lead to the deaths of many thousands of civilians in Afghanistan by American hands. By ordinary standards of presidents, he is a decent man. But those standards aren’t good enough. He’s in a position either to kill or not to kill, and he’s made the decision to kill.”
Screen shot 2013-06-10 at 1.48.09 AMDr. Martin Luther King Jr
“Direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is force to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.”

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Amy Goodman
“Of the four major nightly newscasts, and that’s CBS, NBC, ABC, and PBS, there were 393 interviews done on the war.  Only three were with anti-war representatives.”
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Percy Shelley
“Government is an evil; it is only the thoughtlessness and vices of men that make it a necessary evil. When all men are good and wise, government will of itself decay.”
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Howard Zinn
“Civil disobedience is not our problem.  Our problem is civil obedience.  Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of leaders and millions have been killed because of this obedience.  Our problem is that people are obedient allover the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity and war and cruelty.  Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves and the grand thieves are running the country.  That’s our problem.”
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3 comments

  1. Read the book “The Man Who Loved Bicycles.” You will then add the name Daniel Behrman to this very worthy list.

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