Below we include a brief biographic list of this oral history’s many interviewees in the order they first appear in the book. My gratitude goes to these brilliant and caring revolutionaries for sharing their insights. To get to know them has been an incredible honor.
For each interviewee there is a link to his or her unedited original interview. What finally appears in the book is edited and excerpted so the chapters flow, and also includes some additions accomplished by email questions after the book was emerging. Therefore, please do not use the separate interviews linked from this page as material to quote, or send around – think of it, instead, as drafts. The interviewee’s final words are in the book!
For each interviewee there is also a link below you can use to send a question to him or her, and a link to the interviewee’s answers which are quick, not polished, as if asked at a public forum and answered/transcribed on the spot. Follow-up questions are welcome too.
If you send a question, please include your name and note who the question is for in the body of your email. Understand, though, that the interviewees know they are hearing from people from 2017 and will measure their answers in accord. Don’t ask, for example, who will be the NBA MVP in 2018. Or who will be elected in some future election and so on. The interviewees will try to keep their answers reasonably short, and will answer as many questions as they feel they can.
Also note – in case you haven’t already noticed, the interviewees’ names pay homage to some admirable figures from history: Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman, Malcolm X, Martin Author King Jr., Fred Hampton, Rosa Parks, Norman Bethune, Richard Feynman, Harriet Tubman, John Lennon, Anton Pannekoek, Rudolf Rocker, Rosa Luxembourg, Bertrand Russell, David Dellinger, Celia Sanchez, Madame Curie, Amilcar Cabral, W.E.B. Dubois, William Kuntsler, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Stokely Carmichael, Bob Dylan, and Leonard Cohen.
First Appearing in Chapter One
Juliet Berkman, a militant feminist, was born in 1993 and became politically engaged roughly in parallel with the emergence of RPS. A workplace and union organizer known for her effective advocacy of non violent tactics and her ability to talk with understanding and sympathy to people holding seriously contrary views, Juliet has been centrally involved with RPS from its earliest days and a shadow Secretary of Labor.
Andrej Goldman, an economist and activist born in 1987, was radicalized some years before RPS’s emergence and has been closely involved for its duration. He has held various movement jobs, staff positions, and other odd jobs for income while writing numerous books and articles and teaching in various institutions. Deeply involved in the process of arriving at and continually revising RPS program and vision, Andrej is well placed to talk about the history of each.
First Appearing in Chapter Two
Senator Malcolm King was born in 1985. An avid student of history by his schooling but an assembly worker and cook by his early employment, Malcolm became a political candidate and ultimately a U.S. Senator. Malcolm was attracted to RPS and became a member, then a prominent activist, and long thereafter ran for office within the Democratic Party in Massachusetts. Later, he became the first highly placed national elected office holder and used his position and abilities to propel RPS platform.
First Appearing in Chapter Three
Mayor Bill Hampton , born in 1997, became highly active in immigration and anti racist politics and then became involved in RPS, not least focusing on issues of city life, transportation, and urban planning which he was active in conceiving and organizing for. In time, he became a prominent inner city activist and candidate, and then Mayoral candidate and finally Mayor of New York City.
First Appearing in Chapter Six
Cynthia Parks was born in 1992. She watched her family lose their modest home in 1998 due to the housing crash of the time. Years later she became an advocate for inexpensive quality public housing. She became, as well, a staunch proponent of what was then called rights for the city and has worked within RPS ever since on related programs and organizing and staffing diverse campaigns. A militant activist, a tireless staff contributor to project after project, Cynthia was the secretary of housing in the second RPS shadow government.
First Appearing in Chapter Nine
Harriet Lennon was born in 2001. A grassroots organizer of extreme effectivity to the point of also being a trainer for other organizers, Harriet started her activism in local communities fighting evictions and, at the same time, developing consciousness of housing issues that later merged into larger scale demands and campaigns, without ever losing track, however, of the local dimension. Harriet became very active, in particular, with food organizing and delivery, a protector and advocate of the defenseless.
First Appearing in Chapter Ten
Celia Curie was born in 1994 and an aspiring actress at the time of the first RPS convention, Celia became highly active in RPS while a successful actress in Hollywood, not least in politically inspired films, including her famous Oscar acceptance speech. She became, in time, and for a time, Secretary of Popular Culture for the RPS shadow government, a Cabinet position created specifically for RPS purposes, after which she also became Governor of California.
First Appearing in Chapter Eleven
Barbara Bethune was born in 1992. She became a medical doctor and researcher questioning from the very start her role and profession. Barbara’s early involvement in RPS solidified her purpose as revolutionizing health care, a focus she has retained since, not least as an RPS shadow government Secretary of Health.
Mark Feynman was born in 1990, and became a nurse by trade. Mark has been a very strong advocate for working class politics, highlighting the interface between nurses and doctors and between workers and members of the coordinator class. Mark has been in RPS from its inception and a pivotal figure in both its class commitments and its workplace and worker constituency organizing.
First Appearing in Chapter Twelve
Peter Cabral was born in 1978. A militant anti racist activist, Peter focused in the years before RPS on police violence and prison policy, including inmate organizing. He was active in RPS from its inception and focused much energy on ensuring RPS program and internal culture provided seeds of a racism free inter communalism. After a time in prison himself, and not least due to his activism while inside and continuing activism after his release, Peter became a tireless speaker, organizer, and activist for community affairs and prison and legal change. He served as Secretary of the Interior in RPS shadow government, as well. And with all that, Peter was also a professional ballplayer for a time.
Reverend Stephen Du Bois was born in 2001. A seminary student at the time of the first RPS convention, Stephen later became a priest in a progressive church in San Francisco. Famous for his hunger strike efforts, he became highly influential and active in the development of RPS attitudes toward and policies regarding religion and also ecology.
First Appearing in Chapter Thirteen
Robin Kunstler was born in 1971. A criminal trial lawyer with many major crime cases for experience, Robin rebelled at the injustices of the criminal justice system and became active not only in aiding RPS members accosted by the state, but also in developing RPS conceptions and policies bearing on judicial affairs, including becoming the first Shadow Supreme Court Justice.
First Appearing in Chapter Twelve Fourteen
Leslie Zinn was born in 1978. An accomplished media personality on both TV and radio, famous for resisting incursions on free speech, Leslie advanced RPS policies and analysis not only about media, but in all matters, ably using her shows for the purpose.
First Appearing in Chapter Fifteen
Anton Rocker was born in 1987. A student of linguistics and cognitive science and a prolific writer, Anton’s focus on workplace attitudes and roles played an important role in shaping the emergence of RPS workplace program and activism. Anton became, in time, and for a time, Secretary of Labor for the RPS shadow government.
First Appearing in Chapter Sixteen
Lydia Luxemburg, 93 when I interviewed her, was born in 1946 and became political in the great upheavals of the 1960s. Lydia has held many jobs over the course of her life but in just a few minutes of our time together it was clear that only one was permanent and basic to her motivations and perceptions, that of revolutionary. Life-long feminist, activist, organization builder, and media worker, she is one of the best RPS participants for addressing its past and future contours, including having been its first shadow government President.
First Appearing in Chapter Seventeen
Bertrand Dellinger was born in 1966 and politicized by his no nukes and anti war activism. He became a key advocate of RPS from its inception, and like Lydia is exceptionally well placed to discuss virtually every aspect of its development. Bertrand has been a university professor of physics and world renowned contributor to physics theory, as well as a social critic and militant activist his entire adult life. He was shadow Vice President during Lydia Luxembourg’s term as president, and later had his own term as shadow President, as well.
First Appearing in Chapter Eighteen
Dylan Cohen was born in 1981. Ex military, Dylan became a writer activist focused on understanding and relating constructively to working class and particularly military service-related agendas. Relating strongly to other ex military, Dylan became involved with peace movements but also with campaigns aimed at military and police structure and policy.
First Appearing in Chapter Nineteen
Noam Carmichael was born in 1995. Active in media and public speaking, Noam’s written work focuses on popular culture and broad social trends, especially issues of political participation and race. In RPS, his work has emphasized raising consciousness, developing organizing projects, media, and aiding RPS internal relations.