As we make our way into 2015, the Truthout team is recommitting to a year of questioning, struggle, intentionality, hard work and, most of all, hope. A few of us have put our personal hopes for the coming year down on paper, and we offer them to you in the lines that follow. Here we go, from A to Z:
For 2015, I hope the grassroots protests and other organizing efforts against racist police violence, mass incarceration, neoliberalism and climate change continue. Some small but important victories have been won on issues like raising the minimum wage and banning fracking in various communities. There has also been great solidarity work done between Black people and Palestinians relating to police brutality and military occupation. I hope these efforts continue.
– Adam Hudson
My hope is that my town of Denton, Texas, can successfully defend the state’s first fracking ban against the lawsuits, institutions and Texas politicians threatening to undermine our democracy. I hope that other municipalities across the state continue to follow Denton’s lead by passing restrictions on the process that our bought-and-paid-for regulators at the Texas Railroad Commission won’t implement. Further, I hope Texans can unite in a coalition of cities to defend themselves against the historically entrenched hegemony of oil and gas interests in our state. We are seeing the beginning of a great oil and gas rebellion in the very heart of the oil empire. It’s a rebellion that could play a big role in a larger global challenge to the industry’s hopes to burn more fossil fuel reserves than our planet can afford to stay under 2 degrees Celsius of warming.
– Candice Bernd
In 2015, I hope that the Ebola tragedy will inspire the collective epiphany that a global health infrastructure is as, if not more, important than a global business infrastructure (and that the latter should support the former, both ideologically and fiscally). I hope that the strange bedfellows of capitalism and science have a moment of lucidity, and scientists can begin to spend more time on matters of greater urgency than male pattern baldness, and capitalism can spend some time in rehab to heal from its unsustainable fossil fuel addiction. And finally, I hope that in every community across the world, people continue to build bridges and discover common ground faster than those with other ideas can divide and conquer us.
– Courtney Parker
For the coming year, I hope that humanity’s collective consciousness reaches a point of critical mass wherein the majority of people begin to truly digest the psychological and spiritual reality of where we’ve brought the planet, regarding climate disruption. Until we understand that, in addition to the more than 200 species each day that are going extinct, ours may one day be included, our willingness to truly appreciate the gravity of our situation and think/feel/behave accordingly remains constrained. Perhaps then we might begin to treat nature with the awe, respect and love it deserves, hence we could begin to treat one another similarly with the time we have on this rare, precious planet.
– Dahr Jamail
The most exciting political work in 2014 has been done by a movement against police violence and the US injustice system, led by people who are mostly young, mostly women, almost entirely Black and often queer. I hope this movement continues to grow and build power, in the face of an inevitable backlash from the state, as well as neglect or even smears from the media. I hope independent media understands our responsibility to cover this movement responsibly, and I hope white people understand the need to support this movement with solidarity and humility.
– Joe Macaré
As we move into 2015, my hopes are unusually high. While the past year has been arduous in a number of ways, there has been a lot of beautiful resistance in the streets, and a lot of truth both told and heard. I am hopeful that the new year will bring more work done in the spirit of transformation, and that more and more ideas that have long been seen as radical are recognized as being fundamental to both our liberation and salvation. We stand in the shadow of what is, in many respects, a dark history, and on many fronts, we are faced with a great precipice. For many, freedom is at best compromised, and at worst, denied. People of color face fierce repression as they organize for their very survival, and brave activists face heavy penalties for defending the natural world we live in. But in the face of great adversity, those who live in struggle aren’t merely holding their ground – they are building forward. My greatest hope for 2015 is that we all continue to build in the coming year, recognizing the intersections of struggle, between people of color, those living in poverty, the criminalized, the trans* community, and beyond, and stand behind one another in our respective battles for change. As this year comes to an end, I live in the same hope that gives me strength each day – that we will love and protect one another, move forward in change and never give up. My hope is that together, we will get free.
– Kelly Hayes
I genuinely hope that the progress we’ve made in fighting for racial equality and justice in this country can continue unfettered. More than that, I hope that people grow to understand that the actions of the police, and the way they’re covered in the corporate media, are grossly unfair and dangerous to the United States, and that we deserve better than to be killed by our police forces and lied to by our news agencies. Ultimately, I hope that we truly grow, learn, heal and rise as a nation, so that our troubling past and present of deadly racial inequality can end.
– Lauren Walker
I hope 2015 is the year when, in our individual and collective human consciousness, love overwhelms fear, and domination becomes as hateful to those who practice it as it is to those whom it is practiced upon; the year when we open our hearts to one another and work toward every person enjoying what we wish for ourselves; when we find a way to cherish one another and this extraordinarily delicate and beautiful world in a way that preserves life and humanity in all their stunning diversity and allows each person and every creature space to thrive, a year of detoxification, health, joy, justice and peace. And on the small scale, I hope to meet all my colleagues at Truthout at last in person.
– Leslie Thatcher
I hope that relationships between people in the world will be measured more in compassion and personal friendships than in the growth of technological connectivity. Silicon Valley innovations do improve our ability to social network in cyberspace, as many powerful hashtag campaigns this year have evidenced. However, we must also create networks of change that begin by directly engaging our neighbors and local communities.
– Mark Karlin
The massive social movements calling for leaders to address climate disruption and police violence against people of color didn’t start in 2014. And my hope for 2015 is that they don’t end, but continue to grow stronger, more organized and more widespread, across US cities and the world, as they have in the last few months. Collective action made headlines in 2014; in 2015, I am hopeful and look forward to seeing the results of this action, and the real change to come.
– Matt Surrusco
In 2015, I hope that we, as a society, become increasingly conscious of the ways in which all of us are imprisoned: in narrow thinking, in harsh laws, in repressive social norms, in violent structures built through racism and anti-Blackness, in limited notions of “justice” and “safety,” and for many – mostly people of color and the poor – in cages. I hope we embrace the creativity that will be necessary to think beyond that confinement. I hope we embrace hope itself, and act on that hope – all us have something to contribute to movements for justice, healing and transformation. And while we’re doing all of these things, I hope we are able to have (at least) a little fun.
– Maya Schenwar
My wish for 2015 is based on the concept of accountability. As an independent reporter, it’s my job to hold those in power accountable to the public. Politicians who are paid off by the wealthy to do their bidding should be kept honest. Corporations that suck up the world’s natural resources for their own profit and pollute our shared spaces should not get away with their crimes in the dark. Police who kill and brutalize those they are supposed to protect and serve should be held to the same standards of justice as everyone else. At Truthout, we work to expose information that can be used as a tool to hold the powerful accountable, and we still have a lot of work to do. No one in the CIA or the Bush administration will face criminal charges for torture; the killers of Mike Brown and Eric Garner continue to walk free. The news is often grim, but there is hope in our activism. When we work to hold ourselves accountable to each other, both in our own homes and in our movements, we are practicing a model that that can help change the entire system from the bottom up.
– Mike Ludwig
My fervent wish for 2015 is that those in power find the courage to think outside themselves, even if just about their own families, and abandon the pretense they are engaged in that is destroying our planet and our democracy. I also hope that those not in power find the courage to confront the powerful, each in her own way, without destroying the peace we all strive for within our private lives – essential to maintaining calm in our turbulent times. Finally, I hope that we at Truthout can have even a small hand in facilitating both groups.
– Patty Fitzgerald
I hope that 2015 is the breaking point. It’s time for my generation to step it up and make room for change. It’s 2015, and we are still ruled by a white supremacist patriarchy. It’s time to listen to our planet; to not forget Mike Brown, Eric Garner or the countless other Black lives lost to senseless racism; to not forget about the students yearning for an education without an expensive price tag. I want 2015 to start restructuring the system. If we don’t start now, my generation and our children don’t stand a chance. But I know it’s happening – we’re on the cusp of something. I can feel it in my bones.
– Samantha Borek
It is my hope that the new year will bring a renewed spirit of compassion and critical thought so that we can better engage in a dialogue about the future of our world.
– Victoria Harper
Someone shoots up a school and kills a pile of kids; I lament the act while mentioning the danger of having so many guns loose in the country, and I am accused of “politicizing a tragedy.” Someone shoots two New York City police officers; a former governor of New York blames it on “divisive anti-cop rhetoric of Eric Holder and Mayor de Blasio” because people are protesting police violence, and somehow that isn’t “politicizing a tragedy.” My hope for 2015 is an end to the double standards, and an end to the all-encompassing cognitive dissonance that, if we are not very careful, will be the death of us all.
– William Rivers Pitt
I have a simple hope for 2015: that we be guided by empathy. That we scrutinize ourselves for it before every action that impacts another human being – or another sentient being for that matter. That it compels us to increasingly swell in the streets and with strangers protest the laws and deeds, and judgments and proclamations of those that lack it. That it motivates us to lend a hand in support of those in need, regardless of distance or dissimilarity, and that it informs our every interaction, whether insignificant or profound.
– Ziggy West Jeffery