On July 16, 2018, Amy Goodman interviewed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau at New York University in New York City. Ocasio-Cortez and Colau discussed their personal trajectories, the opportunities for social movements to run candidates for elected office, the limitations that arise once within those institutions, and the urgent need to challenge the status quo definition of what is possible.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the New York Democratic congressional candidate whose recent primary victory upended 10-term incumbent Representative Joe Crowley, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House. Ocasio-Cortez ran a progressive grassroots campaign as a Democratic Socialist advocating for “Medicare for All” and the abolition of ICE.
Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau Ballano was elected under the citizen platform Barcelona en Comú and is the first woman to hold the office. Prior to her election, Colau was famously photographed being dragged away by riot police protesting a bank that had refused to negotiate with an evicted family.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, what a remarkable evening. And I also want to thank my colleagues at Democracy Now! for live-streaming this event across the globe. This is a very special evening, it is historic, because before us you have two women, the first woman mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, and you have Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has upended Democratic politics in the United States, shocked the Democratic Party with her remarkable win—it was not close—against the fourth most powerful Democrat in the House of Representatives, Joe Crowley. If she wins in November, she becomes the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Thank you.
AMY GOODMAN: Tonight, we’re going to talk about a number of issues, most importantly, grassroots activism, what it means to be close to the base and stay there. We’re going to be talking about global politics, politics in the age of Trump, whether here in the United States or in Spain, and what is the mechanism of getting a hold of those levers of power. And there, we wanted to start with Alexandra. If you could talk about how you think you achieved this victory, what exactly you did?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yeah, and I think that it—I do think that the way that we won in New York 14 is a model for how we can win almost anywhere. I knew from the outset that—you know, I had no misconceptions of the fact that the New York political machine was not going to be doing me any favors. And so I didn’t—I tried to kind of come in as clear-eyed as possible. And I knew that if we were going to win, the way that progressives win on an unapologetic message is by expanding the electorate. That’s the only way that we can win strategically. It’s not by rushing to the center. It’s not by trying to win spending all of our energy winning over those who have other opinions. It’s by expanding the electorate, speaking to those that feel disenchanted, dejected, cynical about our politics, and letting them know that we’re fighting for them. So I knew that I had to build a broad-based coalition that operates outside of the traditional Democratic establishment, and that I had to pursue kind of an uphill journey of convincing activists that electoral politics is worthwhile.
AMY GOODMAN: And the issues you ran on?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: And the issues I ran on were very clear, and I think it was an important part to us winning: improved and expanded Medicare for all; tuition-free public colleges and universities, as well as trade schools; a Green New Deal; justice for Puerto Rico; an unapologetic platform of criminal justice reform and ending the war on drugs; and also speaking truth to power and speaking about money in politics not just in general, but how it operates in New York City.
AMY GOODMAN: And, of course, that power was also the Democratic Party.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Mm-hmm. Well, in New York City, that’s all it is.
AMY GOODMAN: At this point, you were not just taking on—right, you were not just taking on the president of the United States.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Right, right, no. And I—in fact, I didn’t take on the president much at all, because we know—here in our district, we know that we’re united against this administration. And, for me, it was very important to not talk about what I was running against, but to talk about what I’m running for, because, to me, saying something like “abolish ICE” is an implicit—it’s an implicit rejection of the current administration’s policies, and it’s going a step further, to advance the causes of justice.
AMY GOODMAN: And explain what you mean by it. The immediate answer of Republicans, and a number of Democrats, were you’re for open borders, you are for no borders.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yeah, and that also kind of belies, I think, a misinterpretation of how immigration works in the United States. First of all, ICE is not BPD. That’s a whole, you know, other issue that could potentially be up for debate. But what ICE is—you know, when we talk about abolishing ICE, we’re talking about ending family detention. We’re talking about—we’re talking about ending an agency and ending a practice and a structure that is not accountable to the U.S. Department of Justice, that often takes on things that look a lot like enforcement activities. And so, to have an enforcement agency that operates outside of the accountability of the Department of Justice, it’s no surprise to see the violations of civil and human rights that we’re seeing right now.
AMY GOODMAN: Talk about what it means to be a Democratic Socialist.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: You know, I think, for me—and I’ve said this refrain a couple of times, but it’s because I think it’s true—to me, what it means is that in a modern, moral and wealthy society, no person should be too poor to live. That is what I believe. And, to me, there is no other structure, party, movement that is asserting the economic—the basic level of economic and social dignity that should exist in the United States. So that’s what that movement means to me.
AMY GOODMAN: Ada Colau, to be a Socialist in Spain? Well, now you have a Socialist prime minister. I mean, you may have paved the way for this victory, just in the last month. But talk about your rise, how you got involved with politics. Your win was three years ago. And the most famous picture of you was being dragged away by riot police, getting arrested for protesting yet another eviction in Spain.
MAYOR ADA COLAU: Yes. First of all, thank you so much for this opportunity. It’s amazing, and I’m really happy to be here with you, with Amy, with Alexandria Ocasio and all of you. It’s better for me and for you, I think, if I speak in Spanish, so I use a translation. [translated] Thank you so much to Caracol Interpreters Cooperative, that is going to help us with the interpretation.
It’s true—it’s true, one of the first—you were one of the first people to interview me after the victory. It was a David-and-Goliath victory. And it reminds me of the victory of Alexandria. But it’s more than that, because I was the first woman of humble origins, of working class. Men were the—they were in power always. And it was—I was one of the people that started to build political relationships. I didn’t know anyone in power. And the people that accompanied me were not even in those circles, either. So, we were people that did not come from elites, or we were people from social movements. We’re from working-class families, not only from Barcelona, but the first mayor that described themselves or the first government that described themselves as feminist.
And it’s not only in Barcelona, but it’s a movement that is happening in Catalonia, in Spain, but other places in Europe. And we have had massive mobilizations against the corruption, to change the way that politics are done, with people in the center and to change the relationships with power. And I think it is a movement that we have seen this in our countries, and we have been seeing this in a lot of places in the world. And so, to be part of this movement from people, it’s diverse, and it’s also changed the institutions. It’s an example of people that want to change institutions and bring plurality to politics.
AMY GOODMAN: I mean, you were taking on the major institutions and powers of your country. I mean, when you were arrested protesting yet another eviction, you were arrested protesting a bank evicting yet another family. So, talk about what that meant and how that movement grew in the streets of Spain and how you then went—and I think you touch on this, Alexandria—you not only had to battle those in power, but those who you were used to working with at a grassroots level, to convince them that electoral politics is where they should put their energy. Mayor Colau?
MAYOR ADA COLAU: [translated] We won also because the divorce or the separation between the citizenship and people and the institutions, because we saw the different parties were interested in power and in a way that they were just governing for few people. And when all these banks that robbed millions of people and all the evictions and all the corruption that happened, it’s not a problem that there isn’t any money. It’s because it’s in few hands.
And so, we were seeing the difficulties were increasing, precarity was increasing. And so, the movement of people that were evicted continues, because we are talking about global powers, right? It’s not only happening in Barcelona. It’s a global network of power. And so, we have to fight back with a democratic movement also at a global level, but also with a strong coalition locally.
And before, we were fighting from the position of social movements, and now we’re fighting it from the municipality, and so making sure that we are governing for the majority of people, not for a minority. And we are here to remind people, the democratic politics has to respond to the basic needs of people. The financial power, they want to get the major profit from people. And we need a political power to represent people, that says their basic human rights, like health, education, housing, that cannot be objects of speculation or speculative, because that brings cruelty.
And so we have to defend human rights. And we do that—that’s done from social movements, who are the most important groups that historically make the path and conquer the power of their freedom and how they want to do it, so that they—and so, we want to recognize, and other people in power should recognize, social movements as their role.
AMY GOODMAN: You’re here in the United States for a very brief time. You’re going back tomorrow. You’re at the United Nations. You’re taking on Airbnb, Uber. Talk about how that fits into your politics?
MAYOR ADA COLAU: [translated] So, we talk about Fearless Cities. And a lot of people came from other cities from the Americas. And we are creating these movements of Fearless Cities, because we need people that have no fear, cities that have no fear, political power that has no fear to listen to their people, to work with the people and to fight back predators and economic power that is speculative.
So, when we won in Barcelona, we like tourism, and we are a city that is open. We’re a cosmopolitan city. But we want the city to be for the well-being of people, not only like a window of a store, of a business. And so, there were thousands of apartments that were illegal for tourism, that brought a lot of problems, like raising prices, that end up displacing a lot of people. So we have to defend our neighborhoods to fight speculative landlords. And so, we came together to tell the global powers that were working in this business they could not have these illegal apartments in their global marketing platforms. And they make thousands of millions of dollars. Airbnb is not used to being demanded to do things, things like this. And so, we don’t have any debt with any economic power. We gave them a fine of 600,000 euros. And when we gave them the fine, Airbnb sat down with us. And it worked. And now, with a lot of—you know, kindly, we have a conversation. And we have been able to get that they delete a lot of illegal apartments from their web, so that we can control and then so that we—so we can see that there’s a global power that is doing this. So there are politicians that are fearless, in that there are social movements. We can defend people from speculative businesses like this.
AMY GOODMAN: I also want to ask you about immigration. I mean, Barcelona is a welcome refugee city. You consider yourself to have an open port. But before we go to that, I wanted to turn to Alexandria, because when we were trying to interview you a few days before Election Day, Primary Day, on June 26, some might have considered you crazy, others incredibly brave and compassionate. You left your district. You weren’t campaigning there. You went to the border. You went to Brownsville. You went to areas there where people—children were being separated from their parents. And in the end, your plane was very late even in coming back, and this was right before the Primary Day.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yeah, yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: But talk about what is happening in this country today around immigration. Just hours before we’re meeting now, a judge has ruled that families who have just reunited with their children, who Trump had snatched from them in the last weeks, cannot be deported. The judge has put a halt on deportations. Why did you go to the border? And what do you think needs to happen?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Well, I went to the border because our nation is in a moral crisis, and there is no convenient time for us to stand up against human rights violations. And every day that we allow these 2,000 children, that have been ripped from their parents, which is an internationally recognized human rights violation—this is being done in our name, this is being done in representation of us as United States citizens—every day that we allow the continued violation of those children’s rights is the day that I believe the moral character of the United States is at stake.
So, for me, it wasn’t a question of whether I should go down there. We have to have a rapid response. And I think every day that we go on, especially a day when something that heinous happens, we have to occupy all of it. We need to occupy every airport, we need to occupy every border, we need to occupy every ICE office, until those kids are back with their parents, period. And it’s not—you know, I may have had a primary three days after I went down there, but we’re not going to win if we don’t stand for anything. And we have to show people that we’re willing to walk the walk and put our money where our mouth is.
AMY GOODMAN: Right through these last weeks—I mean, when President Trump ran for the presidency, the first day, he talked about Mexicans as rapists. Now he’s talking about Mexicans as animals. Your response to President Trump? This policy, that has been stopped by judges, but now he is trying to control the Supreme Court and the decisions that would go to that level.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Well, I think that the best way that we respond to what can widely be recognized, I think, as rising fascism, and his policies of it, is that we have to go into ourselves and into our communities and mobilize ourselves. You know, we need to be ready when the next time—or if this happens again, we need to be ready to drop everything and go straight to LaGuardia Airport. We need to be ready to drop everything and go straight to our local ICE agency, because this is not someone that is going to be capable of being convinced through a nice conversation and a chat over coffee or even an excoriation on live television. This can only be blocked through our own action.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, this has particular meaning, especially for a global audience, that you have Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saying go to LaGuardia Airport, because she actually represents LaGuardia Airport.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yeah, that’s in my constituency. Come on down!
AMY GOODMAN: You not only represent LaGuardia.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: That’s right.
AMY GOODMAN: You also represent Rikers Island.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: That’s right.
AMY GOODMAN: A vast prison system that the mayor of New York has even said, at this point, because of enormous grassroots activism, that he wants to see closed. What are your comments on this? What should happen to Rikers, and even La Guardia, the whole issue of development of LaGuardia, the major international airport?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Absolutely. Well, first of all, the move to close Rikers prison is 100 percent thanks to the grassroots movement, for people who are mobilizing on the street with Black Lives Matter, for the people who are mobilizing—for example, organizations like JustLeadership USA. It was everyday people choosing to take up space and talk about it and apply pressure on it and say, “This is something that is morally important enough for me to vote on,” that prompted that change and the closure of what is, you know, a site of heinous human rights violations in the United States. So it is—that is a testament to what people power can do. You know, I think there’s a weapon of cynicism to say, “Protest doesn’t work. Organizing doesn’t work. Y’all are a bunch of hippies. You know, it doesn’t do anything,” because, frankly, it’s said out of fear, because it is a potent force for political change.
In terms of closing Rikers, we have to close Rikers, but we have to ensure that we’re not just taking—that we’re not continuing to incarcerate the same level of people. It doesn’t do us much good if we close Rikers and then take that same amount of people and just distribute them to be incarcerated elsewhere. We have to pursue an agenda of ending the war on drugs, of really investing in transitionary services. And we have to pursue an aggressive campaign and agenda of reducing the amount of people that we’re choosing to incarcerate to begin with, because it is unproductive for our society, it is a moral wrong, it is a drag on our economics even, and it’s a vestige of Jim Crow, and it’s the modern-day manifestation of the legacy of slavery in the United States.
AMY GOODMAN: The development of LaGuardia Airport also goes to the issue of climate change.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Absolutely. You know, we have—we already are experiencing a two-foot sea level rise in our areas of New York 14, which directly border LaGuardia Airport. So, we’re already starting to see sometimes flights get delayed because so much water and very heavy storms are starting to kind of take over these runways. These areas of LaGuardia Airport are experiencing and are going to be facing very extreme levels of sea level rises. And we need to figure out—we need to figure out how we’re going to either protect the airport or how we’re going to adjust, basically, our infrastructure to accommodate for that.
AMY GOODMAN: Ada Colau, refugees welcome city, Barcelona. an open port. What does that mean? And also, because you’re here in the United States, if you can comment on Trump’s policy, from taking children from their parents—now, he has issued an executive order saying they won’t do that, but there are nearly 3,000 children that have not been reunited with their parents.
MAYOR ADA COLAU: I have no words with this, because I’m a mother, so—and I want to thank you, all of you that resist to this migrant policies of Trump, because you say, you know, it’s a moral crisis, but it’s also a political crisis, because it’s about democracy. And democracy, it’s for all. If not, it’s not democracy, you know?
[translated] [inaudible] what’s going on very sad. We cannot allow it, because it’s cruel. It’s dehumanization that we’re transmitting. We’re trying to dehumanize. And if you dehumanize a politics, you also [inaudible]. It’s not only about the children and the parents that are being affected, but really we are allowing anything [inaudible]—tomorrow, it can be anyone, and it can mean that democracy ends for everyone. And to resist those policies that are cruel and inhumane is an obligation of all of us, that is a moral and political obligation. And we have to collect our strength. And you have all of our help from Barcelona to resist those immoral politics.
But at the same time, I have to say that we also need your help, because Europe has been traditionally very arrogant and has considered itself a territory of human rights and democracy. But Europe right now is even worse than this Trump’s policies, because our Mediterranean Sea—Barcelona is in the Mediterranean Sea. And in the Mediterranean Sea, not only people suffer, but thousands of people die, thousands of children die, due to the Europe’s migration policy. They’re dying drowning, when we could be saving their lives. But Europe condemns them to death by drowning women, men, elderly, children, that today and every week are dying every—every week in the Mediterranean Sea. That is unbearable. We are ashamed. It enrages us. And it makes us act.
So we are denouncing the policies of the European states, as well. We’re pressuring to change those policies. We shouldn’t have competition in immigration. But we should look for strategies, imaginative strategies. And there is an NGO, which is Open Arms, that is doing what the states should be doing. They’re saving human lives in the middle of the sea. And that’s an embarrassment to Europe. And that NGO does it with very few resources, with the resources of civil society. There are many cities that have said, “Well, we want to work with you.” And we have done some parallel policies, and we’ve done an agreement to help politically and economically to this NGO that has been saving people and, a few days ago, was able to provide—rescued people to the port of Barcelona, which is not a solution, because the solution needs to be structural, it needs to be all of Europe, but it can show that it is precisely a political matter. It is a political will.
So, what Barcelona says, that it says it’s a refugee city that is saving lives and helping with this ship that is saving human lives. So we denounce what’s in Europe, and we do legal action to denounce immigration policies. We also make our cities to be a city of rights. So, all the people that arrive, we recognize them, even though the state doesn’t acknowledge them. We give them a role. We give them paperwork from the municipality of Barcelona so they can have legal aid, accompaniment, access to health and psychological services, access to language classes, actually housing, because, for us, they’re not just—they are people. For the state, they might not exist, but, for us, as neighbors, they exist to us.
So, that is a policy of resistance. It’s a policy with a lot of limitations and suffering, but it’s a politics that we’re going to continue to battle until the end, because we know that if we dehumanize ourselves and we accept those migration policies that are deeply, deeply racist, then it’s the end of democracy. So we have to fight, and we have to put it in our first line of struggle.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to let people know that we’re going to be taking some cards. And if you have questions, you can put them on the index cards, and they’re going to be handed up. Your assessment of President Trump, Mayor Colau?
MAYOR ADA COLAU: [translated] I don’t know if I have to tone down my vocabulary or my words. I want to make a joke, because it’s a very serious issue. For me, Donald Trump is the worst kind of policy in politics. It is actually using power to do harm and to cause suffering. So, I don’t know there’s nothing more horrible than that. I could criticize his style, his lack of education. But the worst is to use power to generate cruelty and suffering. And there’s nothing worse than that, therefore, in that sense, I have a lot of reject for Trump.
But I don’t want to—but Trump, there’s this expression of Trump in Europe, where we have the extreme right, where there are resurgence of fascist movements, something that seemed impossible after the Second World War. And we have to ask ourselves why. Why has Trump won? Why are this resurgence of the extreme right and fascism in Europe? And the thing that also happens is to a failure of the leftist politics, the social democracy, that bought the paradigm of the right, of neoliberalism, and accepted privatizing public services, accepted commercializing housing and water, and giving the message that there was no other alternative, that the neoliberal way was the only way. And I think that is at the root of that victory, of those extreme-right victories, and that Trump represents that.
I also think there’s an element that is a new element. I think that’s a more historical element, the failure of the social democracy and the failure of the traditional left. And then the newest movement, from the new progressives, that we need to understand how to analyze it, and that is that we are in a global world, in the globalized world. And in the globalized world, there’s a lot of fears. There is fear of people, that is a rational fear, it’s a legitimate fear. But there is also fear of losing your job. There is fear that when we’re older, we might not have a pension. There is a fear that our children will live worse than us. There is fear to lose our home. There are fear to suffer different kinds of violence, terrorist attacks. There are a lot of fears associated with globalization that generate anxiety and uncertainty in the population. And I think it’s our duty to look to these fears straight—straight to them in the eyes, not to pretend that they’re not there, not minimize them, because I think Trump has been able to do that, and the extreme right has been able to use that very well. So what we have to find is alternative ways to respond to those fears.
From the cities is one of the things that we do. The city is the place of proximity. It’s the policies of everyday life and of community. And I think from the community is where we can transform the fears into hope, because, in communities, all of us are neighbors, all of us know each other. So, it’s more difficult to generate that narrative of Trump or the extreme right about us versus them, the winners, the losers, the inside, the outside ones, the ones that are invading us. That, in the proximity of our city, that we’re all neighbors in the city, and together we have to fight to acquire rights and freedoms and to confront our fears together. So that’s why we talk about Fearless Cities, that the city is that opportunity to generate another kind of response, political response, to some fears that are there, that are real, and that we need to find a response that is not more fear, which is Trump’s response.
AMY GOODMAN: This question comes from the audience, and it’s for both of you. You’re both, in a sense, governing in a minority—Mayor Colau with a minority in the city council in Barcelona. And, future Representative Ocasio-Cortez, you’re in the Democratic minority, and a smaller progressive minority within that. Could you each talk about how you have—what your plan is to push through policies in that context?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: OK, sure, I’ll go first. Gracias. I think—well, first, it’s my hope, and I’ll be working very hard, that by November we will not be a minority in the House of Representatives, Democrats will take a majority, and we need to work to make that happen. So, that’s first things first.
It is incredibly important, especially—you know, even for me as a progressive, it’s very important that we take back the House. And that may mean that—that may mean electing folks in some seats that I have certain ideological differences on the left for. But that’s OK, because we have to take back that majority. We have to do it.
The benefit—and, for me, going into this process—is that it is not static. It is not a foregone conclusion. So, a lot of my work between—ever since winning the primary, and I’m pursuing this work until mid-August, when the lion’s share of Democratic primaries will be through, is to make sure that I am organizing and mobilizing attention and resources to solid progressive candidates throughout the United States.
So I believe we can expand our caucus. I’m working to help amplify the voices of people like Abdul El-Sayed, who’s running for governor of Michigan; Rashida Tlaib in—also running in Michigan; Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts; Cori Bush. I believe that this moment, we have an opportunity to really broaden the progressive movement, right here, right now. And we can’t give that opportunity up.
So, you know, after November, once we find out what that makeup looks like, I think that it’s good electing organizers, because I know how to operate in these kinds of conditions, that it’s not just about electing people, but it’s also about generating and helping organize pressure around positions and an agenda.
AMY GOODMAN: Just a technical point: Has Congressman Crowley, who you beat in the primary, relinquished his being on the ballot right now on the Working Families line and the Women’s Equality line?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Women’s Equality Party line.
AMY GOODMAN: Or is he going to be running against you in November, in addition to the Republican candidates?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: So, thanks to New York’s arcane and backwards election laws, he will be on the ballot. But he has said that he will not actively campaign against me in the general.
AMY GOODMAN: Has he said that he will actively campaign for you?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: He says that he is endorsing and supporting our campaign. And we’ll find out what that means.
AMY GOODMAN: Mayor Colau—
MAYOR ADA COLAU: Yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: Governing from a minority?
MAYOR ADA COLAU: Yes. [translated] Well, we can govern as minority, because there is an active citizenship that demands politics of change; otherwise, we will not be able to govern. If the policy and the politics was only between political parties, then we will not be able to do many of the things that we’re doing right now.
For example, living—in terms of housing, which is a topic that they expected us to do many things, we’re doing a lot of things that were not done before. Aside from making more social housing, public housing, we have been able to put fines to banks for having empty houses, very big fines, important fines. So, these fines, or these changes of regulations that make the private investors to put a 30 percent of housing to an affordable price, this was unimaginable. And it’s possible because there’s social movements that are demanding to the political parties this.
And, for example, in terms of energy, we have done things to clear a public operating generator to generate as a need, as this is a first—this is human right. This was at the hands of companies that were speculating, employing high prices. We did a public operating for energy that can invest on renewable energy. And this minority, without us, we have not been able to do it, if there was a citizenship that was demanding and exposing these ideas. When we won, we said, “Now that we won, everything’s starting. This is not the end.” We need, more than ever, an active citizenship, that is critical, that is mobilized in each of the neighborhoods, because, effectively, the policies are just a struggle between the political parties and the great corporations that move between great capital, that it’s impossible to govern in minority. We really need to have a mobilized people and citizenship.
AMY GOODMAN: This is a question for Alexandria: Is there a difference between your positions as an activist and as a candidate, particularly in the ability to be critical of the human rights violations committed by Israel?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Well, I think that—you know, I don’t think that there’s a huge difference. I do think that as we approach issues like these, and sometimes we hope that—there’s a lot—I mean, candidates are—the inherent nature of being a candidate and being in political office means that my job is to be criticized. And my job is to be held accountable. That is my job. So, in that, in there being a difference, there’s a functional difference there.
I do think that sometimes, especially coming into this going straight from activism to being a candidate or to being a person who potentially, you know, looks like will be holding political office soon, I think we expect our politicians to be perfect and fully formed and on point on every single issue. And it’s a profound disappointment sometimes, or it’s an outrage. when we aren’t.
But I think that the way I’ve operated is the way that I’ve always operated, where whenever there’s an issue that I feel like I need more background on, that I need to engage in dialogue more on, build consensus more on, that is what I do, and in this issue in particular. You know, one of the things that I’m pursuing is sitting down with lots of activists and sitting down with lots of leaders and figuring out exactly what this position looks like in the progressive movement.
AMY GOODMAN: This is a follow-up to that. How do you see the movements for sovereignty and decolonization, from Puerto Rico to Palestine to Spain, as linked? And we’ll begin with you and then move on to Mayor Colau.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Well, I think the first question—and the mayor kind of spoke to this a lot, as well—is about democracy and how much a person’s voice is actually being translated into fair democratic representation.
In Puerto Rico, we continue to see the perpetuation of second-class citizenship in the United States. We have 3 million people that are not allowed to vote in federal United States elections, that do not have federal representation in the House, that do not have federal representation in the Senate, that cannot vote for U.S.—in U.S. presidential elections. Five thousand people in Puerto Rico have died in the last several months, since Hurricane Maria, members of my own family included, and nothing happens. Our media doesn’t talk about it. Our politicians don’t care. And there is absolutely no response to the political enfranchisement of Puerto Ricans.
And I think, on a base level, that is how these three movements are linked, because, to me, it’s no surprise that there’s a humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, because if we had Electoral College votes, then perhaps people would be more responsive. But we don’t. And so long as we allow a people to lack democratic and true representation in the places and the governments that make decisions for them, then those people will continue to be oppressed.
AMY GOODMAN: Are you still for a two-state solution with Israel and Palestine?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Well, you know, I think this is a conversation that I’m engaging with, with activists right now, because this is a huge—you know, especially over this weekend. And this is a conversation that I’m sitting down with lots of activists in this movement on. And I’m looking forward to engaging in this conversation.
AMY GOODMAN: And, Mayor Colau, your perspective on the Israeli occupation and what’s happening in the Occupied Territories, what’s happening now in Gaza with 14,000 Palestinians wounded, somewhere around—well, over 130 Palestinians have been killed during their protests since March 30th, the Right of Return March?
MAYOR ADA COLAU: [translated] Yes. We have condemned the actions that basically don’t comply with human rights and the resolutions of the U.N. And [inaudible] Barcelona is a human rights city, so we’re not going to allow. We’re not going to be complicit to that silence and those indifferences. And that the message that they sent is that there are some populations that are second-level, and we can massacre them, and we can violate their human rights, and nothing happens. So, we are against that. And I insist on it. It questions our own democracy, and it makes us in a society that is weak. I think a strong society is the one that is brave and says this is not what we’re going to do in our name. So, in the issue of Gaza, there has been a lot of pressure from Israel over the politicians in Spain, so there is no positioning in Barcelona. We’ve been very clear we are going to denounce any violation of human rights, any assassination, and we have established relationships of cooperation with the movements in Palestine and Gaza that are currently fighting for human rights.
So, I think it’s an issue of a minimal democracy. I insist, the more that Europe becomes weak when we don’t position ourselves clearly in a humanitarian crisis like this one, or when we maintain a migration policy that basically allows the deaths of thousands of people. And I think the U.N.—we were also talking about it in the U.N. this morning. When the U.N. is no more acting more to make resolutions to be complied with, then you are delegitimizing the democratic institutions, and every day they’re more weaker, and the transnational powers become stronger. If there is no democratic convention, it becomes harder. It is in the most difficult conflicts where we have more firm, more political and moral firmness. And the great institutions like the U.N., like the European Union, they are in crisis, and we have to reconstruct democracy from the bottom up, from the citizenship, from the cities, to defend those rights, those strong democratic values, that are the only ones that will allow a just relationship around the world, that give a horizon of hope.
AMY GOODMAN: We, at Democracy Now!, recently returned from Western Sahara, another occupation, in this case the kingdom of Morocco. Can you comment on this? The activism against the occupation of Western Sahara is most intense outside of Western Sahara, in Spain.
MAYOR ADA COLAU: [translated] Yes. Well, it has to do with a series of international relationships historically that have been unjust, that have to do with colonization, with predatory actions, where there have been some countries from their north that have colonized, that have completely taken out the public goods of those territories. It has generated corruption, generated a lot of pain. And then they try to not be accountable over that, not be accountable and responsible over that harm caused. There have been a lot of—the migrations from the south to the north have to do with the policies of the north. And Europe is primarily responsible for a lot of the worst injustices in the countries of the Global South. So, we have to change the international politics; otherwise, the conflicts are going to continue.
In the case of the Sahara, it’s a historical conflict, that were not complying with the U.N. resolutions. And Spain, it has a direct responsibility, that has to do with the current policies that we continue to do towards Morocco. Spain as well as other European countries try to block immigration, making agreements that violate human rights, so people don’t come to Europe. So, it’s something that is useless, because when people are fleeing from horror, from rape, from torture, from killings—we would also be fleeing. In Spain, a lot of people, a lot of our grandparents, had to flee due to the civil war, due to fascism. So, it is our obligation to open the doors for these people that are fleeing from horror. Unfortunately, in Spain, as well as the rest of the European Union countries, they make agreements with Morocco, with countries like Libya, where they are violating human rights in a systematic way to try to contain immigration. And we don’t solve the problem, but they complicate it even more and cause even more pain.
AMY GOODMAN: This is a question from an 8-year-old in the audience, who said, “I am a fierce opponent of President Trump. Do you support the right for children to vote?”
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: That is such a fabulous question!
AMY GOODMAN: Would that person care to stand? Do I see you in the striped shirt?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yes! Amazing! What’s your name?
AMIDIO: Amidio [phon.].
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Amidia?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Amidio. So nice to meet you, Amidio, and thank you for standing up for what you believe in. It’s so important to ask those questions, because when you ask those questions, it forces leaders to think about things that perhaps they hadn’t thought of before. It’s true. So it’s a really important thing, what you’re doing. It’s a very important question that you ask.
I think, you know, there is a legitimate question raised, especially in the wake of Parkland, of allowing 16-year-olds to vote or even lowering—you know, lowering the age of voting. And I think that, like many movements for enfranchisement, it takes a—it takes a popular—it takes a popular mass movement.
But I think about—you know, I think about so many issues right now. We have a real problem in our governance. Our government is older than it ever has been before. And the Democratic Party, in particular, is at its oldest point in the House of Representatives in American history. The average age of a House Democrat is 65, which is the oldest it’s ever been. And that creates real structural problems, because younger people, especially because there’s such a dearth and lack of diversity of age in Congress, that it’s—you know, it’s almost as though almost all of Congress is up there, and there’s very little that’s younger. And so that creates a problem, because it’s going to be our generation and it’s going to be your generation that has to deal very seriously with climate change, with automation, with the evolution and transformation of our economy as scarcity begins to diminish, and we deserve to have a say in that.
So, while I’m not sure about 8—you may have to convince me on that—I think it’s certainly an open question that I’m willing to engage on.
AMY GOODMAN: Should you win in November, will you take direct action to Washington, train the Democratic and Republican establishment what standing for your values looks like in a time of creeping fascist?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Oh, I’d be happy to.
AMY GOODMAN: Foreclosures in Puerto Rico are back on the rise. What lessons learned from the response in Barcelona that may be beneficial for Puerto Rico?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Well, I think that there’s so much to be learned, and I look forward to engaging you more on this issue after. But there is a lot of resistance, direct action and resistance, that I think needs to be had.
Right now, what we’re seeing in Puerto Rico is not new. When the island was first taken over by the United States, it wasn’t taken over by the traditional forms of colonial history that we usually see, where you send in an army and totally take it over, although there were some vestiges of that. But they sent in banks. And what they did was that when Puerto Rico was first kind of incorporated into the United States, they were using the peso, as a former colony of Spain. And at the time, the peso was at around the same value of the dollar. But when they took over Puerto Rico, the United States artificially pegged the peso at 40 percent of the dollar, which immediately put every—you know, which immediately put almost everyone on the island—it reduced their assets by 40 percent overnight, which forced them to take loans from banks. And there were no usury laws that applied to the island in the way that they applied to the United States, so banks were able to set unlimited interest rates. And that is how banks began to repossess and take over the island a hundred years ago.
And so, now in the wake of Maria, it’s happening again. And there is a very real chance that the island could just become an empty shell of what it once was. And it’s an effort to displace Puerto Ricans. It is an effort to take over a lot of their homes, and kind of using financial machinery. But we know that it’s an injustice. So I think that by standing up for it and being willing to, hey, take direct action and be arrested, that is where we’re at, unfortunately, but that is where we’re at. And whether we have the political courage to stand up to it, I think, is the question for leadership in our time.
AMY GOODMAN: Mayor Colau?
MAYOR ADA COLAU: [translated] [inaudible] the question that the child asked, there is a very concrete experience in Barcelona that we have, that is very important for us, the voice of children of the city, for many things. For example, right now we’re in a process where we are rethinking all the spaces, all the public spaces, all the children’s areas, with a participatory process from children. We have asked thousands of children, through their schools, what they want for public space.
And there’s a very specific topic where the voice of children is very important to confront big lobbyings. One of the biggest issues is pollution and pollution by cars, that take up most of the public space of cities in a very unfair way, because the majority of people are not moving through cars. But so, 60 percent of public space in Barcelona is still by cars. And we have a big contamination issue, pollution, in very big cities, like London, New York, Barcelona. And the lobbying of the automobile industry has a lot of money, and they can reach a lot of mass media and do campaigns about how important it is, the car for the economy. So it’s very important to give voice to children. And children have done their own research through the schools, and they have arrived to the conclusion that if we allow that dominance of cars in our cities, we will be extinguished as a population, so we’re all going to die.
So, basically, children are a voice that is very important, and their freedom is very important. They don’t have pressures. They don’t have debt. And that’s why their voice is so important, to counteract those other voices that have other external pressures. So, as you said, children are the future of the cities, so their voice is very important, but also it’s one of the most freest voices of our city, so we have to give them space to use their voice to counteract the big powers, because when you actually ask people, there are other kind of majorities that are silenced, like children’s.
AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about cities as a major force for change, from Barcelona to New York?
MAYOR ADA COLAU: [translated] As cities of change, we have a lot to do. But you’re asking me for the importance of cities for change? Is that the question?
I think, from the cities, there’s a lot of limitations, because the greatest powers are global and speculation, financial speculation, speculation with housing, the great monopolies of the energy industry. Tourism is a global phenomenon. So, from the cities, there are limitations. But there’s also, precisely because we are the spaces of everyday life, the power of people is concentrated in the cities. So, we are seeing that in a lot of cases—the fight for housing, for energy, for water, and the struggle for making democracy and participation better, for transparency, against corruption. The majority of those movements happen in the cities.
So, the cities is where the great inequalities happen, but also the cities are also producing those great movements, that are social movements, that become in the great hope to rebuild democracy from the ground up, because in the end all these topics that we’re talking about, in the end, the discussion is about whether our democracy is only a formal thing, or is it a real democracy. And for it to be real, it needs to have the protagonism of the people. And space, the privileged space, to have people be the protagonists of democracy are the cities. And the cities have a lot of power in that sense, and we’re going to have even more power, in the good—in the positive way, in the power to transform.
And the 21st century is going to be the century of the cities, the century of women and feminism. There is a great movement at the global scale that is a great hope, that may be able to transform everything, because to fight for feminism is to fight for democracy, to fight for equality is to fight for migrant people, is to fight for a just economy, so the fight against patriarchy, and a global feminist movement associated to the cities movement.
And also, I think another strategic topic that we have to talk about is the technology. There is right now a technology revolution that is changing everything, and it’ beyond—it’s a new industrial revolution. And technology is changing our economic relationship, ways of work, personal relationships, the ways of participating politically. So I think it’s very important that the citizenship and the cities, for example, we do policies of democratizing technology, and that technology doesn’t become as a new way of dominance in the 21st century. So, the cities, we have to do policies of open data, of access to technology and feminizing technology. I think women, we have to be the propellers. We have to make sure that there is engineers and programmers that take the reins over revolutionary technology, not just as dominance of capitalism, but as a democratic revolution from below, with the leadership of women in technology.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yeah, I think cities are front lines. I think cities are—they are autonomous in a lot of ways. And the capacity for cities to organize and mobilize, I think, is—in some ways exceeds that of even Congress, because the Congress is designed to function as slowly as humanly possible, and cities are the laboratories for the nation. You know, that’s why here in New York City we have universal pre-K that’s rolling out. We’ve tested and tried out policies. That’s why you have—that’s why the idea of a true sanctuary city is so revolutionary, as well, because mayors, city governments, governments, have the ability, have a very strong ability, to operate radically different than the federal government does, and to kind of create these little enclaves of a future and craft the future that they see fit.
So I think that cities are enormously powerful in moving the needle forward, on housing policy, healthcare, education and addressing climate change. You know, you just look at the Paris Agreement and what happened there, when President Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement, and then you had this wide coalition of American cities that came out in saying that they would pledge to the standards of the Paris Agreement anyway. And so, we at least have almost every major city in America that is going to hold itself by those standards, despite the fact that the president of the United States has pushed itself—has pulled out.
So I think that cities are a real opportunity for us to experiment with these policies and to also reject the argument that these things don’t work, that housing as a right doesn’t work, that healthcare as a right doesn’t work, that, you know, if you expand it to states, that universal college and trade school education doesn’t work, because we can prove that they do on municipal and statewide levels.
AMY GOODMAN: Will you use your platform to address police injustice against African Americans?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Absolutely. You know, I think, for me, my district contains Rikers Island, as you noted, and I interpret that as a moral and ethical responsibility to advocate for criminal justice reform and to ensure that we bring justice to the long, long legacy of mass incarceration and beyond.
AMY GOODMAN: Ada, do you have any advice for Alexandria as she transitions from activist to politician?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: I’m taking my notes.
MAYOR ADA COLAU: [translated] I feel Alexandria will do well, because we need people without fear. And I think what is true is that institutional politics can be more frustrating than social politics, because in institutional politics there is a fight for power, and the fight for power, in some cases, maybe not others, but in some cases, it brings the worst out of people. Not it’s by coincidence that institutional politics is so—there’s no procedure in it. And after three years of being mayor, to this day, there is part of the institutional politics that makes me really depressed, deeply. For us, it’s very important to be outside of the institutions, go to the communities, the neighborhoods, continue the contact with the people, because that’s what gives reality to politics. It’s not a micro world of the institutional politics. The fight for power between political parties and economic powers is one kind of thing, but, in reality, it’s overrepresented and basically used to having the monopoly of power. So, breaking those things, those frontiers, those barriers of the political institutions, it’s the power that we have, so the institutions represent the majority of population, not the minority.
So, the institutional politics, people will ask me, when I started being mayor, they would say, “Are you an activist or not? What happens?” Because that has never happened before. So how is this going to work out? And I would say, “No. Precisely because I have been an activist, I know that I’m not an activist anymore. But I have the same objectives that when I was an activist. But I have a diverse responsibility. I am a mayor. I have to represent all the population. And they’re going to demand results of me. So, I am responsible for the institution to do its best to comply with the commitments that we have to the citizenship.” So the function of activists is to demand from public power to do the most as possible. When you have the institutional responsibility, your responsibility is to fight every day with the contradictions, with limitations, with the imperfections, to be able to achieve more and more power for the people. So, the responsibility and the action is different as mayor than when I was an activist, but the objective is exactly the same. And that’s what we can’t forget.
AMY GOODMAN: A friend—
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Gracias.
AMY GOODMAN: A friend from Spain writes, “Mayor Colau, what will be different about Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s policy towards Catalonia? He’s been willing to hold meetings with the pro-independence leaders, but a few days ago he said self-determination is not a right.”
MAYOR ADA COLAU: [translated] The Catalan topic is very long and complex, and I cannot give a summarized answer. But the issue is beyond of who defends or not the right of self-determination. There is a political reality in Catalonia, as well as other parts of the world. I am not an independentist, I am a democrat. And in Catalonia, there’s more than 2 million people that have been, for many years, asking to be recognized and be able to vote on a referendum, like they did in Scotland, like they did in Canada in a referendum. So, beyond of who is an independent or not in Catalonia, there’s a majority that is democrats, and we want a referendum, because we believe that in democracy, when there is a conflict, the best way to resolve it is to give the voice to the citizenship. So, and that’s the roadblock that we have with the Spanish government, because whether who is from what part, there’s a majority of us that say, when there is more than 2 million people mobilized, you’re not going to resolve this with repression. You’re not going to do it by denying rights to people. You have to give voice to the people. And that’s the conflict that we have, that beyond the national issue, there is a democratic issue that has been unresolved. And it’s more complicated, because now there’s people in jail. And until those people don’t come out of jail, it’s going to be very impossible to recognize the issue towards a democratic debate, which is the only way that we’re going to be able to resolve it.
AMY GOODMAN: What is the question you most want to ask the other person here? What’s the first question you’ll ask when you go backstage?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: There’s so many. You know, some of them are just very specific. You know, I wonder, especially because you’re in such a different functional position in that—[translated] an executive position. And what I have here in the U.S. is a position that is more different. It’s not as executive power. And what I have to do and the mandate that I have is to develop consensus. [in English] Sorry, I know they told me not to use Spanglish. [translated] I’m trying.
[in English] And so, one of the things that I guess I wonder is: How do you build consensus, despite having more of an executive position? And I’m interested in learning more in how she does that, especially in proportionate governments, in governments that really depend on coalition building. One of the things that’s so different between the United States and any real proportionate represent—any country with proportionate representation is that they just see Democrat and Republican, and all those small groups within those two behemoth parties really don’t have formal recognition. It’s just what Democrats do and what Republicans do. And there’s very little nuance. So, I’m interested in how you approach consensus building and are able to get things done.
MAYOR ADA COLAU: [translated] Our system is different, of course. Before, we had bipartisan. And, fortunately, now it’s more pluralistic, the political reality in Catalonia, as well as Spain. But in reality, there is still an issue to generate consensus for the same issue of the party system. I think we need to modernize politics, as in the party system is very antiquated. And right now the parties are just structures that are worried of acquiring power and perpetuate power, more than resolving issues. So, I think there’s an issue of political systems that was created in the last century, and in that moment it had a reason, historically, but society has changed. Society changes in different ways with objective, networked, a horizontal way through technologies. And I think politics has the challenge and the obligation to modernize itself in the ways that we do politics, because, as I’ve said this before, but I think it’s important, that if politics continues to be a thing between parties, we’re talking about mediocre politics, a politics of very low level and not very brave.
So we need politics not to be a political party thing. We need to be politics about the people. And in that sense, we have to modernize it. That’s why I said that us, consensus is very difficult, because we govern in minority. But we’ve been able to do very brave things and very ambitious things, because we had social majorities, social majorities that were mobilizing, that were putting pressure, that were demanding things. So I think the political key, beyond the system of the U.S. or Spain, I think that’s what’s going to be important for the future.
And I’m very curious to ask you something, to Alexandria, because I think it’s something that we have been—for those of us that has started in the politics, and we are like an anomaly of the system, because it wasn’t supposed—they didn’t see us arriving in these positions. If you have thought about staying a long time in the politics or just a few years?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: [translated] That is a very good question, because, for me, what guides me, the objective is that if I have—if I am efficient—if I am efficient also in different ways, so not only in government, but in the power of using this position to mobilize national discourse. And I want to stay for the time that you are useful, that you’re effective. Thank you. I am trying. I want to stay for the time that I am useful. And if that is two years, then it’s two years. And if it’s 10 years, it’s 10 years. If I have to change positions or leave and come back, my objective is, first of all, is to be able to bring justice—social justice, racial justice and economic justice—for the working families in the U.S. And that is my North Star. And these political positions are just tools. They’re not identities. They’re not something that I have to just need to have. I want to be able to be in the position for the time that it’s useful. [in English] I tried.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re beginning to wrap up, but July is Disability Pride Month. This person writes, “I marched in the Disability Pride Parade this past weekend in New York. What can be said about Fearless Cities for the disabled who navigate an inaccessible city?”
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Yeah. I mean, amen. Thank you for asking that question. I get so frustrated. I think a lot of New Yorkers get frustrated, especially with how our subway is functioning, let alone it doesn’t even function for fully physically abled people, but even less so for people with physical disabilities. And we see over and over again a lot of—a lot of stations—my own station—I live in a neighborhood in the Bronx. It’s an above-ground station, and they kind of shut down the station for construction for a $150 million renovation over two years. And they put in a big, fancy, commissioned, custom commissioned stained glass window, and they cleaned it up a little bit. And there’s still no elevator. And it’s an express stop.
This city is not accessible enough to physically disabled people, and even when we extend that to mentally disabled people in our criminal justice system. When we do not have a system—and we don’t really have any sort of public system, I would argue, that functions, particularly when it comes to—particularly when it comes to policing, but also when it comes to just existing in public, that allows and accommodates for people with mental illnesses, as well. So, if someone has an episode in a subway stop, there is no general recourse for them. And so, there’s so much that has to be done in terms of making our cities safe and accessible and just for people of all abilities.
AMY GOODMAN: This is one last question for each of you. For Alexandria, what was the most challenging part of convincing the activists and organizers that electoral politics is worth it? And for Mayor Ada Colau, do you believe getting rid of capitalism in the United States will create a domino effect around the world?
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: No big deal. For—
AMY GOODMAN: You can answer that one, too, Alexandria.
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: I think for trying to convince activists, I knew it was a high hill to climb, but it was a worthy one. Electoral politics, I think, if you’re coming from an activist perspective, it may not be worthwhile or motivating to get into every single race. But we have a real opportunity now, I think, in this window, where the electorate is expanding so rapidly in this window in response to the current administration, that we can capture a lot of hearts and minds in various movements. And the way we do that for everyday people is electoral politics. And so, when I—for me, going to activist communities, saying, “Hey, I know you never give this a shot, but give this a shot,” it was important for me to say this isn’t just for me, that what this is, what electoral politics is, is a vehicle by which activist movements can get their messages heard to a much wider electorate that wouldn’t ordinarily participate in it. And so, when we stick to very firm stances and when we show a willingness to engage and a willingness for discourse, with positions that don’t even usually get discourse in the public sphere, I think it’s a profound opportunity for activist communities. So, for me, that’s kind of how I engaged in that. But not every candidate, I think, an activist would be—would think is worthwhile of that. But I think when we—when we create movement-based campaigns, movement-based electoral campaigns, that that, in and of itself, is a profound, profound opportunity. Even if the person doesn’t win, it’s a profound opportunity, because you shift a lot of attitudes in a very concerted piece of—portion of time.
AMY GOODMAN: And, Mayor Colau, do you believe getting rid of capitalism in the U.S. will create a domino effect in the rest of the world?
MAYOR ADA COLAU: [translated] I think that the great changes, we do it, each of us, every day. So, I think there is an issue with capitalism at the global level. There is an issue with Trump. But there is a problem which is in our own hands to change, and that is that there’s everyday injustices. There is a lot of things happening every day. There’s a lot of inequality in the everyday lives. And we have the capacity to transform those things. Because if we think about the maximus things, “We have to end with capitalism in the U.S.? Well, I’m just going to go with my two kids home, and that’s it. I’m not going to tackle that.” But if what is at play, it’s our life, it’s our hope and humanity. And throughout humanity, humans have been able to do the worst and the best. So, every day, in our everyday actions, we choose. We choose if we want the best or the worst for humanity. And for that reason, we can do many changes in the U.S., because the U.S. is not only Trump. The U.S. is Alexandria Ocasio, is the movements for the rights of refugees. It is the feminist movements and the Women’s March. It is the Fearless Cities. It’s many people, Democracy Now! and Amy Goodman. The U.S. is full of hope, is full of very brave people with ideas, with a willingness to change the world. And that’s the U.S. that we love and the U.S. that we want to work to get a better future.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, we want thank—we want to thank NetLab, Fearless Cities and the Institute for Public Knowledge here at New York University.
And because we deeply care about employment, I wanted to let you know that at Democracy Now! there’s a full-time news producer position open, and I hope that you will go to our website, let your friends know—you, yourself, consider applying—at democracynow.org.
This has been a real privilege to be with both of you here and with all of you. A special thanks again to our news team at Democracy Now!, who is broadcasting this around the world. And we want to thank—we want to thank Maria and Patri and Telesh, who translated today’s conversation. Thank you so much!
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