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Robin Laverne Wilson is a performance artist finest known in brand-new York City activist circles for the miscellaneous personas she has embraced to advance a society justice message. There is Dragonfly, the piercing singer with Reverend Billy and also the Church of avoid Shopping Choir, miss Justice Jester, the irreverent, tambourine wielding clown through a big bright red wig who has actually enlivened many a regional protest and Helvetika Bold, a superhero who confronts corruption corporate media. This days Robin has taken on maybe her most audacious role to day – environment-friendly Party candidate because that United says Senate.

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In she Senate operation against wall Street-backed three-term incumbent lining Schumer, she has actually emphasized what she phone call the 3 P’s: planet, people and peace in the really hopes of amplifying grassroots voices who seek as she puts the “to difficulty the establishment's pattern of lethal regulation made by corporate interests and also military leadership.”

She freshly sat down through me at the Brooklyn Commons Café and also in a wide-ranging conversation disputed her upbringing, the difficulties of gift a first-time politics candidate and also the reaction she faces as a black woman that is never ever afraid come speak her mind. Below is one edited variation of our conversation.

Elia Gran: What led friend to expropriate the environment-friendly Party nomination to operation as U.S. City council for brand-new York?

Robin Laverne Wilson: Why not? We have to push the limits of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience as much as possible. Another reason was because I am right now working on mine master's degree in applied theatre in CUNY. When I got readily available the candidacy i was studying Augusto Boal and also how he took the pedagogy that the oppressed, used it as a device to organize and ultimately end up being a legislator. It was the perfect storm! Right once I’m in the center of learning just how an artist, activist revolutionary uses theatre together a device to theorem people.

At the same time ns think I stand for a very an essential part the the American population. I am component of Generation X, i am the wedge between the two key generations the are obtaining all the attention and my generation is the silent forgotten one that is everyone else’s caretaker, either taking care of our parental or elders or taking treatment of ours children, who are the millennial. There has actually been no respect, no attention offered to us at all.

Who are people that have inspired or influenced you?

My father to be a an extremely self-educated man and also I thrived up in a house complete of books. As soon as I was six- years-old he claimed that ns was also metaphysical and also I should be much more empirical. That made me take the end a dictionary and look up the an interpretation of those two words. That minute with my father is a storage that simply rings louder and louder together I acquire older and especially in this minute of mine life. Realizing just how I have personally become a very an effective union that logic and also empathy, left and also right brain, empirical and metaphysical. Gift able to relate to civilization at every little thing level they room at.

I am also an extremely inspired by Harriet Tubman. She never asked because that permission to do what she did, she didn’t to speak sorry, she go what necessary to it is in done. That was few of the most poor ass feminism you can ever do. She had actually a gun and most of the time she had actually to usage it ~ above the human being who to be afraid that freedom, I have the right to relate to that.

In your project you point out that you room ‘running because that our lives', what execute you mean?

We are running from ecocide, the devastation of all life ~ above the planet, native the means poor world are constantly being shaken down and also stigmatized. We room running for the basics of human dignity in life; clean water, air, food, and also land.

I feel that my project is come wake people up and get them to reevaluate their top priorities regardless of whom they're voting for since in order to change culture we need to be the culture, we have to be ready to talk about things that room emotionally uncomfortable and also spiritually uncomfortable before they become ultimately physically unbearable for all of us.

How does it feel to operation as a third-party candidate?

I reject the term third party because it’s a method of insulting us, as if we can't do simple math. By saying third it's currently a limitation, the term third party normally carries a pejorative description.

The way that language morphs end time and becomes redefined helps explain who has acquired the power. It is the language that we use that perpetuates these systems. Even those of united state who feel extremely disenfranchised by the means these systems room perpetuated, our attitude and also our language continues to perpetuate the standing quo.

Do you take into consideration yourself a politician?

I’m no a politician due to the fact that I’m too honest and authentic. I am so used to being Dragonfly and saying precisely what’s on mine mind, how I feeling it, vice versa, in politics things have to be street coated a bit.

I am learning a lot around the eco-friendly Party, its potential and also its dysfunction. Also those who think about themselves liberal and also progressives have actually a lot of polka dots in your peripheral vision that’s walk to keep us all from moving forward. So also now, ns am no really an insider, quiet a troublemaker top top the various other side of the ballot.

Have friend been energetic in your roles as Dragonfly and also Miss justice Jester throughout the campaign?

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Dragonfly right now is chilling out and taking it all in, taking notes. I’m still involved with Reverend Billy and also the stop Shopping Choir. I’m quiet a part-time graduate college student while make the efforts to run a full-time or nearly full-time political campaign and I don’t have any type of income from either.

So again that goes ago to my duty which i am quiet identifying and also redefining. I desire to use my strength for an excellent not evil, everything that power is. My polite disobedience takes place on both sides of the ballot and also I probably haven’t to be disruptive enough.

Has it been tough to command your very own political campaign?

Oh yes, it's a consistent uphill battle. The seems favor we room either preaching come the choir, people who already know us and are onboard and also get that or we are dealing with human being who, even though they room frustrated v the system, are still apathetic or mistrustful the anything the is not the two-party paradigm that we have all been indoctrinated in. Ns feel like it is mostly the young human being who room learning around me.

I don't also want to make it around me. A an extremely interesting part of this trip is that, not believing in the cult that personality, it's still her name and also image that you're placing out there and promoting and so girlfriend still need to self-promote even though i feel the it's not about me and also so over there is a little of a cognitive dissonance.

What have you learned indigenous this endure so far?

One of the points that I have actually learned is the the civilization simultaneously expects and also disrespects the management of black women. Whatever we take into consideration leadership. It's expected, however once you to fill the space, particularly when you’re clear and also direct, over there is nearly always a push-back even though that’s what you were asked come do. You would think that after 42 years of being in this skin ns wouldn’t it is in surprised.

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The solution that I get when ns meet human being is 98% they space overwhelmingly positive. And I think that’s since I feel that the key thing ns am doing and can do right now is inspire human being to think external the box, to it is in unafraid, to an obstacle the status quo, to proceed whatever work-related they room doing top top the ground, in the grassroots, on everything is their issue.

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