How can we fight fascism as public health restrictions tighten? Kelly talks with Shane Burley about organizing for survival and the analysis of state power we need right now.
Note: This a rush transcript and has been lightly edited for clarity.
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Kelly Hayes: Last week we talked a bit about organizing during a pandemic and what we ought to be doing with ourselves. Even for people who have been doing the work of activism and organizing for quite a while, this is a moment of uncertainty and reinvention. It’s also a moment of great anxiety and grief, as we mourn the losses we’re experiencing and contemplate the losses to come. At the state level, our situations vary pretty wildly. My state is under a shelter-in-place order, but most states are not, despite warnings from experts that the whole country should be locked down.
Meanwhile, on the national stage, we’ve seen the Trump administration’s ongoing contempt for facts on display at his daily briefings, where he exudes dishonesty, racism and xenophobia in a manner we’ve all become accustomed to. We have also seen disturbing power grabs on the administration’s part, such as the DOJ’s effort to suspend due process for people detained by the federal government. For those of us doing the work of politics, there is no pre-existing rule book for this moment. We all have skills that can be applied in some way, but none of us have a blueprint or roadmap.