1960s activists on modern politics: “I hate cynicism; you have to fight.”


You say you want a revolution? If so, it’s time to begin defining your terms.

‘I hate cynicism; you have to fight’: 1960s activists on modern politics, by Sarah Marsh and Guardian readers

From Donald Trump to Brexit, the world is changing rapidly. Here, those who lived through the transformative 1960s give their view on changing times

Since becoming the US president-elect, Donald Trump has left some people worrying about their rights. He has vowed to roll back on abortion freedoms and deport millions of illegal immigrants with criminal records. He has also appointed Steve Bannon, who has been labelled a “white nationalist”, as White House chief strategist.

Many of the liberties being challenged were fought for and won in the 1960s. The women’s liberation movement, for example, battled for abortion to be made legal (it happened in the UK in 1967 and the US in 1973). In America, the civil rights movement, led by Martin Luther King, campaigned for racial equality and against discrimination.

So how do those who stood up for these freedoms feel about Trump? We spoke to activists in the US and the UK about the 1960s and whether they believe what they battled for is now at risk. We also asked their advice on dealing with political uncertainty and standing up for what you believe in.