Name: Debra Sweet
Hometown: New York City, NY
Occupation: Political Activist/Director of The World Can’t Wait
Why I Found Her at The NEM:
Debra’s group, The World Can’t Wait, formed about five years ago with the intent of driving out the Bush regime. The group strongly opposed the fascist direction they saw President George W. Bush take our country, including the use of secret surveillance of citizens, a “police state” against political protest, and the wars led in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Even as I interviewed Debra, police officers were trying to tell her group they had to take down their recognizably orange display because they had set it up “too early.”) Though Bush is no longer in office, the group has stayed together to continue opposing the momentum of his policies. Among the issues they continue to advocate for are pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq and addressing the United States’ use of torture.
The group recognizes that in order to achieve its goals of peace and freedom, it must also support women’s rights and LGBT rights. At the March, Debra and The World Can’t Wait were distributing materials calling for “LGBT Rights Now!” and “No ‘Common Ground’ with Christian Fascists!” Here is an excerpt from one of their handouts:
The righteous outrage in the streets today, and last November in the wake of the passage of Proposition 8, signals that there is a new generation not willing to wait for LGBT rights.
The lives of women and LGBT people are endangered by the Dark Ages mentality of religious fanatics who will not stop until we are shoved back into the closet and/or criminalized or killed: until women no longer have the right to an abortion or even birth control; until Muslims and undocumented workers are detained and deported. We must not cede any more ground!
This whole direction, which took such a leap under the hated Bush regime, has not stopped. We need bold, uncompromising, principled resistance against discrimination and oppression.
What She’d Change in America:
Debra took this question to the next step. She would not change anything in America; she would change America itself. She told me, “No America. No border. No empire.” The problem in America, she explained, is that we live off the rest of the world, and that is what she would change.
Debra’s pins say, “Ban the marriage of church and state. LGBT Rights Now!” and “Torture is a war crime. Prosecute!”