HOW politics met radical imagination : IN 2020, we were not only hit by a global pandemic, but also by police batons.

We watched as protesters around the world breathed in air thick with tear gas, lost their eyesight from rubber bullets and endured torture and, in some cases, death.

This was a year of radical political imagination : 2020 invited us to take our dreams seriously and inspired us to envision a better, alternative future.

I've been an active part of the anti-authoritarian, feminist L.G.B.T.Q. communities since 2007.

Global activists have achieved so much in recent years. My arrest and imprisonment with another Pussy Riot member in 2012, together with our stubborn refusal to back down after our release in late 2013, helped encourage our fellow artists and musicians to get involved in politics.

I've learned that while change may not happen overnight , in time small actions can build to something lasting and profound : One by one, police officers can be reformed or replaced, until the day arrives when the death of an unarmed man, woman or nonbinary person at the hands of law enforcement becomes a thing of the past.

The tragic death on May 25 of George Floyd, while in police custody in Minneapolis, led to one of the biggest social movements American history.

It reignited the Black Lives Matter movement, with pools suggesting that 15 million to 26 million people in the United States participated in Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the weeks following Mr. Floyd's death.

Black Lives Matter will have a profound influence on the way we view justice in 2021 and beyond. Justice must mean racial justice. It must also mean economic justice, gender justice and environmental justice.

The social movement of 2020 taught us to think holistically and intersectionally, to ask big questions and imagine a better future.

This year we began to imagine very different paths for our civilization : What if we radically rethought public security? 

Could we benefit from less policing in our lives? Should we redirect police funds and resources to programs in marginalized communities, redistributing some law enforcement responsibilities to social workers?

What if the police, an institution that has lost our trust, were to be dismantled, and another more accountable social organization were to take its place?

Whom do police officers serve, and whom do they protect? Do they protect me? Do we still need to lock people up? Has the prison system rehabilitated anyone? Isn't using practically free prison labor a form of slavery? Can we imagine a post police, post prison world?

Governments, especially those with autocratic sympathies, have reacted nervously to the courageously radical political imagination of their citizens.

President Trump has labeled social justice activists as ''terrorists'' and said he wants to ''dominate'' them. Russian President Vladimir V. Putin believes that if you're critical of him, you're an enemy of the state and must be silenced.

The Honor and Serving of Great Opinions and Writings on Social Justice, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Nadya Tolokonnikova, an activist, artist and musician.


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