Throughout the ages, whenever there has been oppression, there have been those who raised their voices in dissent. The new Book of Dissent from Verso collects speeches and essays, poems and songs, plays and manifestos composed by the resisters who came before us — philosophers, prisoners, bishops, abolitionists and more. Order the book today by making a donation to Truthout!
Here are seven inspiring quotations from the past few years contained in Verso’s Book of Dissent. The volume includes 340 pages of songs, poetry and statements that have inspired resistance over a vast expanse of time. These are a few of the more recent quotations that inspire resistance. The book is dedicated to evidencing the long history of dissent upon which today’s current resistance is built. Read it, and you will know that you are not alone.
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“It’s the Action that Proves the Word”
The Gaza Strip has been transformed into the biggest open prison in the world and it was obvious we had to do something. We thought maybe we should try to break that whole blockade and the only way to do it is with a convoy of ships. When I first heard about it. I thought it’s a good idea. I’d like to be on board. I believe so strongly in solidarity as an instrument to change the world, and I believe in dialogue, but it’s the action that proves the word.
Henning Mankell, Gaza Activist and Swedish Author [Mankell died in 2015.]
“Our Struggle Is Against US Imperialism”
What happened these past days in Bolivia [in 2005] was a great revolt by those who have been oppressed for more than 500 years. The will of the people was imposed this September and October, and has begun to overcome the empire’s canons. We have lived for so many years through the confrontation of two cultures: the culture of life represented by the indigenous people, and the culture of death represented by the West.
I believe only in the power of the people. That was my experience in my own region, a single province — the importance of local power…
Evo Morales, First Indigenous President of Bolivia
The Coup, “Strange Arithmetic”
Economics is the symphony of hunger and theft
Mortar shells often echo out the cashing of checks
In Geography class, it’s borders, mountains, and rivers
But they will never show the line between the takers and givers
Boots Riley, Leader of the Music Group “The Coup”
CHIEF THERESA SPENCE
We’re living in the Third World. And this shouldn’t be happening in this country, you know? They’re getting rich by our land. Everybody is using our traditional land except us. And all these mining companies and other forestries and other things that’s been happening in our community, there’s no benefits for us. It’s all going to the government.
Chief Theresa Spence, Ontario First Nations Chief
Letter to President Barack Obama
If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have a country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal.
Chelsea Manning, Military and State Department Whistleblower [Chelsea Manning’s sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama as one of his last acts in office.]
Statement from Moscow
In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, [Chelsea] Manning, or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be. I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.
Edward Snowden, CIA Whistleblower
“Now Is the Time for True Courage”
Truthout Progressive Pick
This globe-spanning anthology collects dissident voices from over the course of three millennia, in the form of speeches, poems, songs, plays and more.
I removed the flag not only in defiance of those who enslaved my ancestors in the southern United States, but also in defiance of the oppression that continues against black people globally in 2015, including the ongoing ethnic cleansing in the Dominican Republic. I did it in solidarity with the South African students who toppled a statue of the white supremacist, colonialist Cecil Rhodes. I did it for all the fierce black women on the front lines of the movement and for all the little black girls who are watching us. I did it because I am free.
Bree Newsome, Filmmaker, Musician and Activist
Copyright (2016) by Verso Books. Not to be reprinted with permission of the publisher.