By: Jack Collins
As of this writing it has been ten weeks since I began attending a weekly street protest in Bloomfield called Revolutionary Fridays to bring attention to the need for systemic change to address the problems our society faces. State violence, environmental destruction, racial hatred, economic inequality, legalized political corruption, and a laundry list of other issues are why we are out there. People who attend the protest are asked to bring or make a sign about an issue that they are passionate about and every week people make new signs. There is no shortage of issues to complain about because the political and economic system continues to put the needs of the few over the wellbeing of the many.
Who are these people that stand on a street corner every Friday?
We are survivors.
We are poor.
We are angry.
We are not afraid.
And we are not going away.
We are out there and we will continue to be out there until we get the system change needed to survive in this world. We are taking it to the street because we have been abandoned by the so called “movements” that were supposed to help us fight this system. They told us that we should vote for Democrats who could make change happen and to be patient with educational events and meetings with policymakers. Of this, I could say a lot of things but one thing is for certain. I am done waiting.
If we do not take strong action against the oil and gas industry in Western Pennsylvania the cracker plant will get built, cancer and asthma rates will increase, and our climate will get worse. If we do not force Stephen Zappala to resign, innocent people will continue to get locked up and killed in the name of mass incarceration. If we do not abolish ICE, immigrant families will continue to be hunted down and torn apart by the federal government. And, if we do not get banks like PNC to stop investing in nuclear weapons, we will always live on the brink of a nuclear world war.
These aren’t predictions about what will happen in the future, but a description of what has been happening and what will continue to happen until we liberate ourselves from a system that does not care about us. Revolution means a lot of things to a lot of people, but for me, it means creating a society that values justice and equality over greed and exploitation. It means building a system that makes it impossible for someone to be homeless or to die from lack of medical treatment. Right now that way of life is impossible under the current socio-economic system. We must demand change if things are ever going to get better. It is with these words that I make a simple ask: JOIN US! Don’t wait for things to get worse or for some movement to come and save you.
If you want to save the world, you gotta make it happen. We can’t do it for you. Revolutionary Fridays takes place at 5 PM every Friday at the corner of Liberty and Millvale Avenues in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh. For more information on how you or your group can support this protest or other projects of Unity Division, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack Collins is a member of Unity Division, a Pittsburgh based anarchist group.