A transcription never captures the energy and
excitement of a moment. To get you in the mood for Paul Hawken’s
PASA address, let me tell you about the moment. There were 1400
farmers and activists on a cold and snowy February day packed into
a large institutional hall in Happy Valley, the home of Penn State
University. Listening to Paul speak to this crowd was like being
at a secular revival meeting. We were all swept up by the sweet
sense that our dreams and visions for ourselves and our world were
shared by tens of millions of people in hundreds of thousands of
small groups all over the world—what Paul called “civil
society.” And when Paul said “There are two super powers
in the world … and one of them is civil society,” I
believe we all sighed “Yeah. We’re not alone.”
The woman working with AIDS victims in Botswana is connected to
me, working with farmers in PA. We share a common vision; we work
toward the same goals. And, collectively, we are strong and growing
stronger. Sometimes I still wake up in the morning with a sweet
lingering sense of the fundamental truth of that. What follows is
an abridged version of Hawken’s address at PASA. –Chris
Hill, Executive Editor.
Thank you very much for welcoming me. I’m not wearing a suit
so you don’t mistake me for a businessman.
I don’t know about you, but I didn’t sleep well last
night. I thought a lot about what Percy [Schmeiser] said last night,
and I was thinking about my grandfather and what he would have done
if somebody walked onto his fields. It was always locked and loaded.
Just listening to Percy made me angry … and it wasn’t
even my farm.
As Percy did last night, I’d like to just give you a little
bit of my own background. I grew up mostly on but sometimes off
the farm. It was my grandfather’s, in the San Joaquin Valley.
He’d been a farmer since the ‘20s and through the depression.
He always had two jobs, one off the farm and one on. You probably
know that story.
We were Scotch and German and Swedish and Cornish on that side,
and on my grandmother’s side we married into Portuguese and
my favorite uncle was Portuguese, Joe Kreitz. He grew olives. I
tell this story because it made a very big impression on me. He
was really happy one day when he got a big contract to pack olives
with Safeway. It seemed like, boy, the gravy train had rolled right
in. Every year Safeway bought a few more olives, or quite a few
more, and every year they just negotiated that price down just a
little bit less and pretty soon it got to the point where they were
most of his business and he wasn’t making any money and they
wanted a lower price again.
I remember being a small child going to his place near Corning,
and there were trucks there and everyone was upset and, basically,
he had gone bankrupt with Safeway, and it left a very deep impression
on me about the relationship between farming and corporations.
At the same time as I grew up, I was pretty sick. I had asthma
and that had a lot to do with the fact that I grew up in the San
Joaquin Valley which has, along with the Bronx, the highest rate
of asthma in the United States. One out of five children carries
an inhaler in the San Joaquin Valley. When I was twenty years old
I got tired of taking medicine and I thought, well, there must be
something I can do about it, so I started reading books from Rodale
and many others. And it basically said “Clean up your act.
It might have something to do with what you’re eating.”
|" I got rid of the hamburgers, the
shakes, you know, the French fries, which I missed dearly. And
sure enough my symptoms went away. And then I went back to eating
the junk food and the coca cola and, boom, it came right back.
It went back and forth until I was finally convinced that food
made a big difference in my life."
So, I started to eat pure foods, natural foods, which wasn’t
so difficult because it was the food that my grandmother canned
and froze and served and baked – so it wasn’t a real
stretch. I changed my diet very radically. I got rid of the hamburgers,
the shakes, you know, the French fries, which I missed dearly. And
sure enough my symptoms went away. And then I went back to eating
the junk food and the coca cola and, boom, it came right back. It
went back and forth until I was finally convinced that food made
a big difference in my life.
I noticed in the process that it was difficult for me to get food.
I was living in the Bay area at the time, and had to go to this
Lebanese store, to this Chinese store, to the Japanese store, to
this place where they had wheat, etc. I just thought that somebody
ought to put it all together in one location. That was how in 1966
I started what was one of the first of what I call natural food
stores, which is basically a farm stand in the city—a store
that did not sell vitamins at all. We sold food.
I knew nothing about business. I was just stunningly naïve.
[This was in Boston, where Paul moved in the mid-60s. The business?
Erewhon.] I remember going to Harvard, sneaking into classes, listening
to time sequence matrices of progress analyses, using the BCG model
of cows and dogs, and I’d be taking notes and go back to my
warehouse and we’re selling … wheat. I could never figure
out how to apply it.
I remember in a coffee shop there listening to two guys talking.
I was twenty, but I was thirteen when it came to business. My only
prior commercial experience had been a paper route. These two guys
were talking, Harry was talking to Manny and Manny was saying to
Harry, “Geez, I’m really sorry about the fire at your
warehouse last night,” and Harry said, “Shhh, it’s
tomorrow night.” It’s a little different than the inventory
control methods they were teaching at Harvard.
But we grew and we grew. By the time I left seven years later we
had 50,000 acres of farmland under contract in the United States
that was all organically or biodynamically grown. And remember this
was the late Sixties. We had hard red winter wheat from Montana,
hard red spring wheat from Texas, we had durham in soft white wheat
from eastern Washington, we had buckwheat from Pennsylvania, we
had long grain rice from Louisiana, medium grain rice from Arkansas,
we had cocoa from California, open pollinated sunflower seeds from
North Dakota, and so on and so on and so on. We had vegetables,
fruits, beans, and nuts.
What I decided to do was recreate a food supply. The reason I did
that was because when I first opened up and started selling things,
somebody came into the store and they held up a bottle of Hain cold
pressed oil and they said, “How do you know it’s cold
pressed?” I said, “Well, it says so.” I defended
it until they left, and then I thought about it and I said to myself,
“I don’t know a darn thing about the food I’m
selling.” So I wrote a letter to Hain. It said, “Would
you please provide me a letter attesting that your oil is cold pressed.”
They came back to me and said, ‘Well, it’s not really
cold pressed. It’s cold processed, which means that once it’s
extracted,we freeze it and draw out the stearates and ….”
So I started writing to other manufacturers and I found out that
virtually everything I was selling was a fraud. This was stuff in
health food stores.
That’s why, in our stores, it was the name of the farmer,
the name of his farm or her farm, the name of the agricultural practices
used, the type of soil--it was completely transparent so that we
didn’t have to ask you to trust us. We started the first certification
organization in the United States, in California, as well. That’s
my background with farming.
Since then, I have always worked in my life in this relationship with
business and the environment because, going back to my Uncle Kreitz,
you can see that business has the power to destroy or it has the power
to restore. It can be at service to farmers, to the land, to consumers,
or it can be something that takes advantage of the land, of the environment,
of consumers. Generally speaking and almost universally, in my experience,
the bigger the company gets the less likely it is to serve humankind.
||"When I first opened up and started
selling things, somebody came into the store and they held up
a bottle of Hain cold pressed oil and they said, “How
do you know it’s cold pressed?” I said, “Well,
it says so.” I defended it until they left, and then I
thought about it and I said to myself, “I don’t
know a darn thing about the food I’m selling.”"
Now, it’s interesting to talk about sustainability. Recently
I was asked by a California group to talk about sustainability,
and one of the sponsors said she didn’t want me to speak unless
there was somebody there to present the other side. At first I was
upset, but then I got pretty excited about it. I would love to hear
the other side. I am dying to know what the other side of sustainability
is. Some even make the business case for it as well. What is the
business case for being the last generation on earth? That’s
interesting. The business case for double-glazing the planet with
the carboniferous period? I’d like to see a Harvard case study
on that. And what’s the business case for an economic system
that tells us it’s cheaper to destroy the Earth than to take
care of it in real time? I want someone to explain to me why we
are given economic signals that are deeply, deeply antithetical
to our own deeply held values and common sense. Why do these innate
qualities of goodness, of inclusion, of generosity get thwarted
consistently by commerce and politics? In short, why is it that
we live in two worlds instead of one? I want to know. And that person
never showed up.
It’s often said that talk is cheap, that conversations are
not. This conversation you’ve been having [at PASA] for the
last thirteen years now? First of all, you know it’s not cheap.
The organizers know that. It takes a lot of money and organization
and sweat to do this. But these conversations are occurring around
the world. There are conversations about ecology, about justice,
about democracy. The concept of justice is not just about rights
and wrongs. At the heart of this conversation about sustainability,
it’s really about the language of kinship. It’s a language
of possibility. It’s not the language of foreclosure or exclusion
It’s the language of possibility, particularly for those
people who have been exploited or ignored. To have this conversation
it requires that we listen patiently and carefully to each other,
of course, but even to those whose views we many not agree with.
And all of us carry that responsibility--to carry this conversation
forward into the world about what it means to be a human being at
a time when every living system on Earth is in decline and the rate
of decline is accelerating.
In some ways that’s putting it just a bit too polite. In
fact, life is being annihilated on earth. There was on March 7th,
2000, in Nature, an article about extinction, recovery,
and biodiversity. It said this: “It takes the Earth ten million
years to recover from a mass extinction of species, far longer than
previously thought. It takes the environment just as long to recover
from the extinction of even just a few species--smaller events that
nevertheless rip holes in the biosphere that are impossible ever
fully to repair. When you lose a species it’s not ever coming
back. You can’t recreate an animal – extinction is final.”
The article, by Kerchner at UC Berkeley, predicted that up to half
of all species would vanish over the next 50 to 100 years. “If
we deplete the planet’s biodiversity, we will not only leave
a biologically impoverished planet, not only for our children or
our children’s children, but for all of the children of our
species that there will ever be.” It may sound a little neat,
a little pat, but it cannot be embroidered. The fact is that the
corporate form of commerce that has been practiced on this planet
is destroying life on Earth.
And the marginalization of nature is always the marginalization
of human beings. Always. They do not occur separately. It was Lewis
who said that man’s power over nature turns out to be the
power exercised by some men over other men with nature as its instrument.
It is the power of corporations over people and place. It is the
power that was never granted and must be taken away by those to
whom this power rightly rests.
Today, the fluency with which we describe our relationship to life
also has been debased. The environmental and social justice movement
is an attempt to, in a sense, enlarge its vocabulary to create a
vastly expanded sense of what is possible for human kind. Fendera
said that the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory
against forgetting, but it’s also the struggle of language
itself against what has been muted, of intelligence and insight
against the confinement of the tellers and sound byte, of human
decency against the convoluted lies of corporate communications
|" I want someone to explain to me why
we are given economic signals that are deeply, deeply antithetical
to our own deeply held values and common sense. Why do these
innate qualities of goodness, of inclusion, of generosity get
thwarted consistently by commerce and politics? In short, why
is it that we live in two worlds instead of one? I want to know.
And that person never showed up."
Our grief over the loss of lives in 9/11 was manipulated to justify
war. Our love of nature is being manipulated by corporations to
continue their predation of the environment and our people. The
media is so concentrated in this country that we are simply breathing
our own exhaust fumes. At some point, in the face of remote tyranny,
as is in the face of corporate hegemony, you have to do something.
As the poet Rumi wrote, just don’t stand there and pray –
do something. Each generation carries with it a story, you know,
and then it passes on to the next generation. The present story
is the endless extension of industrialism, of toxicity, of combustion,
of exploitation. Industrialism and industrial farming took a complex
living system and transformed it into a low life high way system.
And we are told that this system, which describes people as easily
as it describes ecological integrity, is the cheapest, and that
social justice, living wages, local democratic rule, green buildings,
global food security, renewable energy and biologically based agriculture
are just too darn expensive. At our best we are asked to entrust
these goals to transnational corporations and free markets. We are
literally told that it is cheaper to destroy the Earth in real time
rather than to conserve and honor and maintain the dignity of humanity
and this miracle that we call life. So, at the heart of our current
system is the belief that life is expensive. This is of course bizarre,
it’s upside down and backwards, but it goes back to language
In my work I get the opportunity to stand here and look at people
like you many, many times--maybe 600 times now, I’ve given
a keynote speech in this country and countries around the world.
And what I have come fiercely to believe is that this world lies
in the hands of ordinary people … and thank God. Here’s
what I mean by that: It is just simply not realistic to expect or
look for courageous and inspiring leadership from any large institution,
whether it be scientific, academic, business, or government. I do
not mean that institutions are unnecessary but the scope and breadth
of the world’s problems now lie far beyond the reach and the
ethos of these monolithic organizations that have basically trailed
us into the 21st century.
The real questions are these: Do people have the right to determine
their own biological destiny? Do they have the right to live in
their homes secure from corporate and government oppression? Yeah.
We fought the British to overthrow the yoke of external domination;
we certainly do. So it’s a completely rhetorical question.
We have an enshrined right to live without the threat of remote
tyranny and we have the right to resist it. It is the backbone of
this country. It was the right of the First People who proceeded
us (to be trampled on), but it is definitely still our right as
Thus, the answer to agribusiness cannot come from Washington D.C.,
it cannot come from Philadelphia. It must come from bioregions.
Life is regional. It’s not national, you know. If we had a
real government in Washington D.C., I would still maintain this
position. Given that we only have a simulacrum of a government,
it becomes imperative to seek local control. Not only is all politics
local but, really, so is all sustainability.
Now, we hear around the world this cry against globalization. And
I would like to, in a sense, offer you the idea that this cry against
globalization is the same concern as you have, and it’s a
protest against corporatization of the commons. It is so insidious
because the corporations that are issuing social responsibility
reports are busy closing and dominating the world’s commons.
These “commons” include our stories, which are our culture.
They include our music, our right to determine our own destiny,
democracy itself. They include the ability of people to decide what
is and what isn’t acceptable in a locale, a region or place.
All these areas in our life are being corrupted by corporations
and as Wendell Berry would tell you, all publicly held corporations
live a lie. They believe that we reside in a world where capital
has the right to grow, and that that right is higher than the rights
of people, of culture, of place, of those qualities that have historically
been our commons.
There’s something colossally wrong with this view. You can’t
get to sustainability from an economic model that strives to increase
the amount of money large corporations have. You can’t get
there if you’re destroying small local economies. You can’t
get there if you’re McDonald’s and you’re spending
two billion dollars a year to get our children to eat junk food.
We cannot correct environmental problems if we don’t correct
the assumptions that cause them. Most of the world’s government
and economy are under the control of corporations, and corporations
are striving to increase this control. Yet the world is increasingly
out of control. There is a direct connection between these two phenomena.
A highly placed government official from the Clinton administration
met with his counterpart in the Bush administration. His conclusion?
“They are not governing. They are preventing governance in
order to serve their masters’ corporations.”
Even if a large corporation does not engage in that activity, why
are they mute in the face of this liquidation sale of our commons
to private interests? This weight of corporate colonization is having
disastrous results in San Francisco, Suez, Lanais, in France. Novartis,
Dupont, Monsanto want to take control of—and this is a direct
quote in a private meeting—“ninety percent of the germ
plasm of ninety percent of the caloric intake of the world.”
That’s their corporate strategic goal. Now, these are companies
who made their money making toxic aniline dyes, animal hormones,
artificial sweeteners, explosives, and pesticides.
Ted Turner said there will be two media companies in the world. He
wants to have a stake in one of them, AOL/Time Warner. Rupert Murdock
agrees and wants to be the other. McDonald’s opens up 2,800
restaurants a year and even the U.S. government has said that the
doubling of childhood obesity and diabetes in the past ten years in
due to fast food. Right now one out of every five meals in the U.S.
is fast food. McDonald’s wants that to be true everywhere. Coke
has now achieved 10% of the world’s TLI (Total Liquid Intake).
Ten percent of anything you drink in the world is sold to you by Coca
Cola. Their goal is to go to 20%. What do you think their goal will
be at 20%? These are absurd and devastating goals for corporations.
||"They can get out of our schools, they
can get out of our stomachs, they can get out of our government,
they can get out of our rivers, our oceans and our forests,
they can get out of our skies and our soils and get out of our
farms, they can get out of our seeds and human genome and they
can stop molesting our children. That’s something corporations
can do positively. "
Somebody asked me once, “Well, can’t you say something
positive?” So I will. There are some positive things that
corporations can do. Let me list them to you:
They can get out of our schools, they can get out of our stomachs,
they can get out of our government, they can get out of our rivers,
our oceans and our forests, they can get out of our skies and our
soils and get out of our farms, they can get out of our seeds and
human genome and they can stop molesting our children. That’s
something corporations can do positively.
Here’s another Wendell Berry quote: “A corporation
does not age. It does not arrive as most persons do in realization
of the shortness and smallness of human life. It does not come to
see the future as a lifetime of the children and the grandchildren
of anybody in particular. It can experience no personal hope or
remorse. No change of heart. It cannot humble itself. It goes about
it’s business as if it were immortal with the single purpose
of becoming a bigger pile of money.” And I believe that until
corporations understand that they are spearheading a kind of commercial
fascism, they’re going to find that our resistance will continue
to grow and grow.
I say fascist because it’s fascist when there’s an
assumption that a small group of people know better than the larger
group. That is called fascism. It doesn’t matter that it’s
hard for us to use that word in our culture because we think we’re
a democracy. In The Latches in the Olive Tree, Tom Freedman
wrote, ‘The hidden hand in the market will never work without
a hidden fist. McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonald
Douglass. It is the hidden fist that keeps the world safe in the
Silicon Valley.” This is so bizarre that it is accepted as
The question to be grappled with by all of us is the shape of relationships.
This is what this conversation of sustainability is about. What
is going to be the relationship between a region and its people?
Between companies, markets, and the commons which support all life.
And we’ll have to come down in the end to some very simple
questions. Do we want democracy and self-determination? Or, do we
want oligarchic institutions? Do we want a world of uniformity where
the road from every airport to every city center looks like every
other strip mall and every other part of the world? Do we want the
world envisioned by Monsanto and Walmart and Disney? Do we want
our nine-year-old girls being lured to McDonald’s with Happy
Meals and dolls? Or, do we want strong regional cultures proud of
their heritage devoted to the land, committed to real development
and the future of their children?
In short, do we want a world structured by mostly rich men or a
world which is an expression of the fabulous qualities of human
beings. That is what we’re faced with.
We know that the way to create healthy, vibrant economies and societies
is through diversity. There’s no question about that. We know
that scientifically. Any system that loses its diversity loses its
resiliency and is more subject to sudden shocks and changes from
which it cannot recover. This corporatization of the commons is
the abject loss of diversity. It forces uniformity upon people,
upon place. Historian Arnold Toynby said that the sign of a civilization
in decay is the institution of uniformity and the lack of diversity.
So we can judge our companies now not necessarily by whether they’re
large or small, but by this criteria: the degree to which a company
honors and allows diversity to emerge from a place, a country, a
locale is a good thing; the degree to which it tries to enforce
a one size fits all formulate solution to diet or media or agriculture
I, in my opinion, going to be seen in hind sight as just as much
of a criminal act as the deracination and the slaughter of indigenous
people by the Spaniards, and later by us. We will look back at what
we’re doing now and see it as a violation of humanity. I believe
that in our lifetime we will convict corporations of crimes against
We know—you know in this room—how to transform this
world. We know what to do. We know how to provide meaningful, dignified
living wage jobs for all who seek them, how to feed, clothe, and
house every person on Earth. What we don’t know, admittedly,
is how to remove those in power whose ignorance of biology is matched
only by their indifference.
This is a political issue. It is not an ecological problem. But
the way to save the Earth is to focus on its people and in particular
those people who have paid and continue to pay the highest price
under its current system. They are women, they are children, they
are communities of color, and they are the localized poor. This
sustainability movement--without forsaking its understanding of
living systems, of resource flow, of conservation biology--must
move from a resource flow model of saving the Earth to a model based
on human rights, the rights to food, the rights to livelihood, the
rights to culture, the rights to community, and the rights to self-sufficiency.
Essentially, the sustainability movement must become a civil rights
and human rights movement. Sustainability for me represents and
stands for improving the quality of life for all people on Earth.
Diversity means possibilities and choice, and the only kind of sustainable
development that makes sense is about alleviating the suffering
and honoring all forms of life. The world is waiting for answers,
and right now the main providers seem to be fundamentalists--whether
they be political or religious or economic. It was David Bower who
said that environmentalists make terrible neighbors but great ancestors.
There are two voices on the world stage and one is the voice of
the wealthy and the other voice is the rest of us. One is a minority
and one is the majority.
André Gide said once that one does not discover new lands
without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
We are in deed in a very long period of this continuity from one
system to the next. We do not know what it will be called. We do
not know what it will be named, but we know collectively that we
are moving towards it. We live in an extraordinary time, the most
corrupt period since reconstruction.
|"This shared understanding is arising
spontaneously from different economic sectors, from every country
in the world, from different regions and cohorts. It is spreading
and growing worldwide. No one started this world view. No one
is in charge of it and there is no orthodoxy. This is the sustainability
movement. This is what you are creating. It is the fastest growing
movement in the world and it will prevail, not as an ideology
but as a standard set by humanity for itself."
Nobody really talks about it, keep in mind. This is the president,
the person you are sending into office with a criminal record. We
can forgive that. But he appointed more convicted criminals than
anybody in U.S. history and that should raise some eyebrows. He
presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history, and refused
to intervene when the corruption was revealed. He appointed the
richest cabinet in history of any U.S. administration. The poorest
multimillionaire, Liza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after
her. He presided over the biggest stock market fraud in any market
in any country in the history of the world. He created the largest
government department bureaucracy in the history of the United States.
I could go on and on.
The thing is, we live in very disturbing times. Mark Twain said
that you can’t see if your imagination is out of focus--and
it’s very hard to focus our imagination when what we see is
a kind of shortsightedness and venality all around us. It has poisoned
us, but we don’t want to find ourselves at the end or our
life wondering if we had made or done something particular or real,
or in fact were simply merely visitors to the planet. There’s
this great quote. See if you can guess who said it: “This
is not a time of gentleness, of tinted beginnings that’s stealing
to life with soft apologies. This is a time for a loud voice, open
speech, fearless thinking, a time for all that is robust, vehement
and bold, a time radiant with new ideals, new hopes of true democracy.
I am a child of my generation. I rejoice that I live in such splendidly
disturbing times.” That’s Helen Keller. Isn’t
Remember. I said there were two worlds and two voices. In February,
the New York Times said that there are two superpowers in the world,
and one of course is the U.S. The other superpower is civil society.
You are civil society. There are in the world today over one hundred
thousand non-governmental organizations, foundations, citizen-based
organizations, that are addressing these issues of social and ecological
sustainability. They address such a broad range of issues: environmental
justice, ecological design, affordable housing, conservation, women’s
rights and health, population, renewable energy, corporate reform
labor rights, climate change, trade rules, sustainable cities, water,
and more. Some groups conform, resist; others create new structures,
patterns, and means; some do both.
What is so extraordinary about the time you live in is if you ask
each of these groups, if you ask PASA, all of you collectively,
the board, staff, and you ask these groups for their principles,
their frameworks, their conventions, their mental models, their
declarations, what is it that informs you? What is your mission?
And we’ll find that none of these conflict, amongst these
100,000 groups in the world. They don’t conflict, but they
are not the same. This is real human evolution. Such an upwelling
of shared wisdom and understanding has never before happened in
In the past, movements have always started with the very centralized
set of ideas and then dispersed outward from that – Christianity,
Marxism, Freud, you name it--and generally became divisive over
time. The sustainability movement does not agree on everything,
nor should it ever, but it shares a basic set of fundamental understandings
about the Earth, how it functions, the necessary of fairness and
equity for all people in partaking of the Earth’s life giving
systems. All believe that their right to self-sufficiency is a basic
human right. They believe that water, air, and oceans and land are
sacred. That’s God’s business, not ours. But they do
belong to us all in a sense that we are stewards of them. They do
believe that seeds cannot be patented or owned nor can any other
life forms by corporations. And they believe that nature is the
basis of true prosperity and must be honored. That must we fight
poverty, and not the poor.
This shared understanding is arising spontaneously from different
economic sectors, from every country in the world, from different
regions and cohorts. It is spreading and growing worldwide. No one
started this world view. No one is in charge of it and there is
no orthodoxy. This is the sustainability movement. This is what
you are creating. It is the fastest growing movement in the world
and it will prevail, not as an ideology but as a standard set by
humanity for itself.
Now, it is said that society honors living conformists and dead
troublemakers. So let’s cast our lot with those who age after
age with no extraordinary power choose to reconstitute the world,
in Adrianne Rich’s words. Some of you, I think--perhaps all
of you--know Terri ‘Tempest’ Williams, the author of
Refuge. Extraordinary woman. I was emailing her the other
day actually about PASA, about this conference, about speaking,
what it means to leave your home far away and go speak to people
you don’t know and go back home. We were just trading notes
and I would like to close and read you what she wrote, because it’s
She said, ‘I have been reading Emerson’s speeches.
They are revelatory. Ten thousand people would come to hear him
speak. This is part of the American tradition. We pay a price, all
of us, and each takes their turn. To PASA: Please don’t lose
heart. You each and all are courageous and revolutionary. We must
support and build each other up. A crisis of confidence each of
us faces in our darkest hours is only what the opposition wants.
I have been reading Walt Whitman. We need his reminders, conscience,
moral judgments, and justice. If something happens that we can no
longer hear our voice, believe me: Your voice is loud, it is clear,
it is resonant.’
PASA, thank you very much for inviting me and allowing me to address
you, but mostly thank you very, very much for your work. It does
not go unnoticed in the rest of the world.