“I’m Rested and Ready to Fight”—The Reverend Barber’s Battle Cry Is One for the Ages

There’s too much at stake to be tired, or to mourn, says Barber. “We gotta fight like hell.”

Anne Wernikoff

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The Rev. William Barber II was born just two days after the historic March on Washington, and he went on to become one of the most prominent civil rights leaders in the South. Now, 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s first Poor People’s Campaign, Barber is reviving the movement for 2018 and calling attention to systemic racism, poverty, and injustice. 

“This is not a commemoration,” says Barber. “This is a call to action.” 

On the Mother Jones podcast, join us for a fiery conversation with Barber, where we delve into how his movement has built a progressive coalition in the South, how to stand up against inequality and voter suppression, and why the fight isn’t just about President Donald Trump. “There comes a time when you’ve got to stop mourning and pick yourself up,” says Barber. “I’m tired of what I see happening—and I’m rested and ready to fight.” Barber spoke with senior reporter Ari Berman at a live event last week in Berkeley, California.

We also hear from folks in the audience who tell us about the messages they’re taking home with them—and what they’re inspired to do next. Many in the room were energized to take action immediately, and as one 11-year-old says: “When people ask me what am I going to do when I grow up, I say I want to be an activist. Right now, I feel like I don’t have to start when I’m older. I feel like I can start now.”  

Finally, listen to DC bureau chief David Corn decode Trump’s highly controversial meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin—and why “it was the most stunning moment in US foreign policy history that did not involve an actual war or coup or act of violence.” 

Note: The audio of the live conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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