The Big Conversation with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn was held at The Other Side in Utica, NY in May. Ayers gained some attention during the 2008 presidential election for an allege connection between him and former president Barack Obama. The social justice activist, author and teacher, is Founder and former member of the Weather Underground Organization, (WUO). Ayers and his wife Dohrn were in town to discuss his new book, Demand The Impossible, a Radical Manifesto.
In addition to touting the importance of activism, the two long-time activists touched on gun violence, police brutality, and the Black Lives Matter and Resistance Movement that have steadily gained momentum following the election of President Trump.
The 9/11 attacks that brought down the iconic World Trade Center, damaged the Pentagon and causing the death of nearly 3,000 people, is being remembered ceremoniously across the nation. It’s been 15-years since that awful day altered the course and culture of our nation and subsequently, the world, especially the Middle East. From the on-going war against terror, The Patriot Act, immigration policies, to the boom of U.S. intelligence gathering through a number of surveillance operations. Greater precautions to ensure the safety of Americans have been instituted in the wake of the attacks.
Whether the steps go far enough or violate human rights is still a topic of contention and debate among politicians and the average citizen. Nonetheless, the lessons of that tragedy are still being learned today. The consequences of it are not only visibly apparent, on this particular day, it cloaks the hearts and minds of many people like a heavy quilt made of sorrow and pain.