By Yotam Marom
Originally published in Stay Solid!: A Radical Handbook for Youth, published by AK Press in May 2013. Edited by Matt Hern and the Purple Thistle Project.
We fight because people’s needs really aren’t being met, because there are simple and systemic reasons for that, because it is unacceptable, and because there is an alternative. We fight because of injustice abstractly, but also for the type of injustice that makes us sick. We fight for other people, but also for ourselves – because none of us get to live out our full human potential in the institutions that dominate our lives today, because another world really is possible, and because we demand it for us and for our kids and grandkids. With all of that, we have a responsibility not only to fight, but to win.
We win when we build diverse movements led by the most oppressed people in society, capable of becoming a dual power – a movement able to prefigure the values of a free society and laying the seeds for it, while fighting the institutions that oppress and exploit and toppling them to create space for the new world we are trying to create. We win when we raise social costs so that those hopeless few elites find themselves left with no carrots tempting enough to wave before us and no sticks big enough to do us any harm, when we grow and grow and grow with no end, when we refuse to go home until we’ve gotten what we came for. We win when do all of this while telling the story of the world we are creating.
We need to tell a story that shatters the myth that there is no alternative, that people don’t fight back, that we can be bought off with TVs and iPhones. We need to tell a story that smashes cynicism and identifies it as nothing more than a defense mechanism to protect us from taking risks and dreaming. We need to tell a story of autonomy within solidarity, equity alongside diversity, peace bound with justice, struggle intimately linked with beauty. We must tell the story of the scarring we’ve gotten from this brutal world and the victories we win as we transform it.
We must tell the story ourselves, tweet and tag it, film and sing it, write it with our arrests and our bruises. We must tell our new story at work and in school, on the picket lines and during demonstrations, at our occupations and sit-ins, in the jail cells where they put us when they are truly afraid of the power we hold. We must tell it by fighting in a way that reflects the values of the world we are dreaming of, and by creating as much of that world as we can while we fight.
We must tell our story in a new language, a language of passion and purpose, vision and creativity, solidarity and direct action. And when we truly find our voice, we should use it to shout, finally and deafeningly: Of course there is an alternative. It is us.