Susan Sarandon at the Democratic National Convention: The Climate Revolution Continues

July 25, 2016
Web Exclusive


Susan Sarandon

actor and activist.

Susan Sarandon spoke to Democracy Now! Sunday after a rally outside the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia that connected the issues of climate change, environmental, racial and economic justice.

See more of our coverage of the DNC this week.


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Susan, we’re speaking on the eve of the Democratic convention. Bernie Sanders has conceded to Hillary Clinton. Your thoughts as a major surrogate for Bernie Sanders, major supporter?

SUSAN SARANDON: Well, of course, there was disappointment, but I think it was really imperative for him to be able to speak and for his surrogates, and not only surrogates, but his delegates, to be able to go. But I think the real thing, for those of us who have a bigger picture and have been in the fights for a long time, is that really what we have to do is keep the army together, because no matter who gets in, we’re going to have to fight the TPP, we’re going to have to fight fracking, we have to keep our eye on Wall Street. None of these people have platforms like Bernie’s, no matter what got in the Democratic platform. Honestly, I’m not putting all my hope on that, so—and even those were very incremental little things.

So I think I’m here today because we want to talk to people and say—we’ve gotten a broad coalition of everybody from Black Lives Matter to anti-fracking environmentalists to the nurses to indigenous people to LGBT—is to say, you know, our work is just beginning. This has been a great ignition of a flame that has started, and people feel empowered, and people understand these issues, but it’s the issues that are important. And this is just a stopping-off point right now.

So, once this is over, you know, we’re going to get people—I was just talking to somebody who’s going to run for the Senate. We’ve got to get people, progressive people, real progressive people, in all of these offices, from the bottom up, so that we have a Congress, so we have people that represent us. And that’s what our focus has to be. And all of these people, we have each other’s backs now, so that’s a force, you know? I was yesterday marching with Black Lives Matter, and the nurses are coming in on the environmental things, because they’re all connected. And so, I guess, really, what we’re saying is, you know, don’t be discouraged. Everybody still has their power. We’re even more powerful because we are working together. And we have to be in solidarity.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you have thoughts on Hillary Clinton choosing Tim Kaine as her running mate?

SUSAN SARANDON: Well, I think that’s a very wise decision. I think she’s going to have a lot of Republicans cross over, and that’s probably a good thing for her. You know, he’s interesting because he was against the death penalty, but then, you know, enforced it. My feeling is that whoever gets in, we are going to have kind of the same problems in terms of these issues that I’m interested in and who I feel are really pressing. For me, fracking is really, really a big deal and an immediate deal and something that can’t be done incrementally over the next 40 years. So, that’s something, and even in New York, that we have to pay attention to. TPP, I think, is a huge, huge issue. So, we have to educate people. We have to stand together. And, of course, you know, social justice and economic justice all tie in together.

AMY GOODMAN: What do you think of the Bernie or Bust movement?

SUSAN SARANDON: I think they’re—I’ve been talking to some people here, and they’re full of steam, and they’re going to find ways to stay solid and to keep pushing and to—I’m not asking anyone who they’re voting for or anything, because, again, that’s—I’m looking at the bigger picture. And so, they’re—they sound like they really have got their issues clear, and they’re going to keep their Rolodex, and they’re going to keep their contacts, and I think we have to share all of those. And I’m looking forward to a really integrated big—you know, because of the internet, because of social media, you don’t have to have a vertical chain to get these things done. You can be horizontal. You can keep having people work in their own way and then come together. And I think that’s easier than trying to control everything from the top. Maybe I’m wrong; I don’t know.

AMY GOODMAN: Could you see yourself voting for Hillary Clinton?

SUSAN SARANDON: I’m waiting for her to tell me what she’s doing with TPP. I’m waiting for her to tell me where she’s coming from fracking, you know? I’m waiting to be seduced. I’m waiting to be convinced. I haven’t heard anything yet, so—it’s a little while off; she has some time. We’ll see.

AMY GOODMAN: Are you attending the convention?

SUSAN SARANDON: Yes, I’m going to go to the convention. I’d like to see Bernie’s speech. I’d like to be there for some of these—I’m not a delegate, but I do have credentials, so I’ll be in there for at least maybe the first two. I’m not going to—I don’t think I’ll stay 'til the end, because I've got to work. But my son’s here, and we’re looking—it’s his first convention. I was here with Obama the first time. So, it’s a curious American thing. So, I mean, I would like to see, you know, a more just way of voting and representation. I think that has to be really looked into, and there’s been a lot of pushback recently on that. So I’m not sure quite what’s going to happen.

AMY GOODMAN: So, the whole controversy over the emails that have been released from the DNC, do you have thoughts on this, the trying to disparage Bernie Sanders, though the DNC was not supposed to be taking sides?

SUSAN SARANDON: Well, I mean, it’s not surprising. It’s great that everyone finally understands that this wasn’t some kind of paranoia. But every little thing, from not allowing Bernie’s table with his information into the dinners in some of the states I went to and what I saw at caucuses, and I know what happened in New York, where all of that information, the wall went down, and then 137,000 people were just disappeared out of Brooklyn, and I know other people that went and were registered as—I mean, it was clear in California what happened, in Puerto Rico what happened. There was some—it was clear that, you know, promises were made for so many polling places, and then there was only a third of them, and that there was something going on. It was no news to anybody that was working so hard to get to a polling place and have them giving the wrong directions to people or to—I mean, there were all these little things all the time. So, it’s not surprising. It’s sad.

And I think what is really devastating is that it doesn’t seem to matter to people if—you know, I remember Nixon, right? They went—broke into the Democratic headquarters, and he had to resign. And now all this stuff’s coming out, and that—no—and I don’t know if people will even care. That we’ve gotten so cynical or the bar has been so lowered or we just don’t want to know, I’m not quite sure.

AMY GOODMAN: So, we’ve just come off of the Republican convention in Cleveland. Your thoughts on Donald Trump, on the convention and the man himself?

SUSAN SARANDON: I did not—I did not watch the convention. You know, I really—I didn’t need to. I mean, I saw the replay of Cruz’s moment. I thought that was fun to watch. That was pretty—he seemed to be having such a great time.

AMY GOODMAN: That he refused to endorse Trump.

SUSAN SARANDON: Well, that he—that he just said what he said amid the boos. I think that that was probably like the biggest kind of rebellion that he’s had in his life. I was happy for him after they insulted his wife and his father and everybody, you know, that he got this moment to be, you know, a little bit—what?—outside the box for two seconds? But I didn’t really watch it, and I don’t have thoughts on Trump. I mean, I’m—he’s against the TPP. He’s not an interventionist. You know, he’s full of hatred. He’s done—I mean, I don’t even know who he is, really. But in—you know, I guess, with Trump, it all depends upon who his advisers would be. And I don’t like that he also talked to Henry Kissinger, so it’s not just Hillary. They’re like sharing Henry Kissinger. How does that happen? How does Henry keep getting in there? You know, that’s a little scary.

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