In our first hour we spoke with the activists who edited “Another World is Possible,” collection of writings bydissidents, family members of WTC and Pentagon attack victims, and antiwar activists on Progressive responses to theSeptember 11 attacks and the U.S. war against Afghanistan.
In the same spirit Bay Area activists gathered last month to present the Mario Savio award to a leading youthorganizer. Mario Savio was one of the leaders of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and a tireless human rightsactivist. The recipient of this year’s award was Jim Keady, the former St. John’s soccer coach who was fired for hisanti-sweatshop activism and went to Indonesia to live with Nike workers on starvation wages before starting his ownhuman rights group.
The speech Mario Savio gave in Berkeley in December 1964, before students launched an occupation of student buildingsto demand free speech, would ring as true today. Savio said “There is a time when the operation of the machinebecomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, andyou’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’vegot to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unlessyou’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”
They’re words that might have been spoken by Cornell West, who gave the keynote address at the awards on thechallenges facing progressives since September 11.
- Cornel West, professor of African-American studies and philosophy of religion at Harvard University andauthor of the best-selling book, ??Race Matters.