I was excited to find in my inbox today an interview with one of my favorite women writers of resistance, Arundhati Roy.
Roy may be most famous for her novel, The God of Small Things, but I am most moved by her political writings. She is the one who coined that very popular saying, which became a motto of the World Social Forum in the 1990s: “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
She has been a shrewd and no-holds-barred critic of transnational corporate capitalism for decades now, long before it became a trendy position to take.
As she wrote in An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, “So much of what I write, fiction as well as non-fiction, is about the relationship between power and powerlessness and the endless, circular conflict they’re engaged in.”
“I don’t think the whole protest is only about occupying physical territory, but about reigniting a new political imagination.
“I don’t think the state will allow people to occupy a particular space unless it feels that allowing that will end up in a kind of complacency, and the effectiveness and urgency of the protest will be lost.
“The fact that in New York and other places where people are being beaten and evicted suggests nervousness and confusion in the ruling establishment.
“I think the movement will, or at least should, become a protean movement of ideas, as well as action, where the element of surprise remains with the protesters.
“We need to preserve the element of an intellectual ambush and a physical manifestation that takes the government and the police by surprise.
“It has to keep re-imagining itself, because holding territory may not be something the movement will be allowed to do in a state as powerful and violent as the United States.”