What is to be done?
rise to the occasion* find your people* join an organization1* know the stakes* feel your feelings* check on your elders* get in good trouble necessary trouble2* defend elections* flip a state* flip another* don’t stop there* seize power3* free them all* topple the statues* takeover vacant houses* shelter our families* cancel rent* grow a garden* share your harvest* make the right for freedom everyday4* lose some sleep* ask for help* call in sick* rest and reflect* roll up your sleeves* wear your mask* embrace the season* protect your heart* learn self-defense* punch a fascist* disarm the cops* rename the streets* make a plan* plan a backup* paint a wall* trust your struggle* rescue a friend* gather your tools* prepare for disaster* take a nap* heal your wounds* use every mistake* add joy to your demands* refuse to be satisfied with the inevitably of the world you inherit5* keep your rage tender* sing thru the long night* never to forget where you come from and always praise the bridges that carried us over.
1. Alicia Garza
2. John Lewis
3. Kwame Ture
4. Ella Baker
5. Stacey Abrams
6. Fannie Lou Hammer
Now that we have a new administration, we also know the work is far from over. We riffed off Tim Blunk’s 1987 poem “for comrades who ask, ‘what is to be done?’ during this particular historical conjuncture, a (partial) list of practical things to do,” a riff itself of Vadlimir Lenin’s 1902 collection of essays, What is to Be Done?
Blunk’s poem attempts to offer a practical list for everyday people looking to create change and sustain their spirit during an extended moment of crisis. Between Blunk’s lines, @islandpacesf woven directives by fellow freedom fighters from various historical moments who, despite different politics and tactics, share a lineage in the struggle for civil rights and freedom that extends into our current political moment.
Thank you @caleb_arte_ for letting us throw up poetry on this wall, @ybca for letting us get down and @islandpacesf for coming out of retirement.