The personal stories of Dr. Margaret Flowers and Dr. Jill Stein and their paths to resistance
“Once you start speaking truth to power and standing up for the right things, it’s very empowering”
Between them, doctors Jill Stein and Margaret Flowers have been arrested nine times. In the face of injustice and government by the one percent, rather than look the other way and stick to practicing medicine they chose a different approach.
At first they took separate paths. Margaret Flowers fought for single payer health insurance. She works for the organization Physicians for a National Health Program and is a contributor to PopularResistance.org, a website advocating nonviolent direct action against injustice. Jill Stein advocated for campaign finance reform in her home state of Massachusetts, working in 1998 with others in her community to pass the Clean Election Law. She co-founded the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities in 2003 and represented the Green-Rainbow Party for governor in 2002, for State Representative in 2004 and for Secretary of State in 2006. She was the Green Party candidate for president in 2012.
Now Stein and Flowers are both members of the Green Shadow Cabinet, a group of 100 prominent men and women offering alternative policy and speaking out in an organized voice against a dysfunctional government. Stein serves as president and Flowers as secretary of health. Each fights against political corruption and a host of grievances that that have led many people to cynicism and despair. This week on Moyers & Company (check local listings), Bill Moyers speaks with Stein and Flowers about their personal journeys, what they have learned about our political system along the way and why they continue to fight the good fight.
“Once you start speaking truth to power and standing up for the right things, it’s very empowering,” Margaret Flowers tells Bill. “After the Occupy movement disbanded and people kept saying, ‘Oh, it’s gone, it went away,’ it didn’t go away. It inspired others to stand up for their rights. So we see low wage workers all around the country standing up. And now states that are starting to raise their minimum wages. We see anti-foreclosure activists fighting back and people being able to stay in their homes. We see communities creating democratic economic institutions so that they can lift themselves out of poverty. These things are happening. They’re not covered in the mass media. They’re not funded by the big funders. But they’re happening in this country.”
Also on the broadcast, Bill reports back on viewer response to our recent segments on drone attacks and government surveillance and previews the new film “Following the Ninth,” a documentary exploring the worldwide cultural and political influence of Beethoven’s masterpiece, the Ninth Symphony, and its majestic “Ode to Joy.”