The Leadership Center for Social Justice Podcast

Toward a "No Borders" Politics: A Conversation with Bridget Anderson

April 05, 2023 Season 1 Episode 9
The Leadership Center for Social Justice Podcast
Toward a "No Borders" Politics: A Conversation with Bridget Anderson
Show Notes Transcript

This episode’s guest is Bridget Anderson, Director of Migration Mobilities Bristol and Professor of Migration, Mobilities and Citizenship at the University of Bristol. In this episode, we are in conversation with Bridget on the history of migration and the movement toward a “No Borders” Politics. Bridget discusses the normalization of the movement of goods but the movement of people being seen as exceptional, especially the movement of the global poor and working class. Bridget considers and expands upon the imagination that is needed to create a world with no borders.


Us and Them? : The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Controls 

Doing the Dirty Work? : The Global Politics of Domestic Labor

Migration Mobilities Bristol

Episode Transcription available here

Host: Ry O. Siggelkow

Producer: Adam Pfuhl

Podcast Engineer: Michael Moua

Music: Kavyesh Kaviraj

Episode Recorded on October 10th, 2022

You can find out more about the Leadership Center for Social Justice on our website and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

In Conversation with Bridget Anderson

Ry Siggelkow [00:00:00] Hello. My name is Ry Siggelkow and I am the director of the Leadership Center for Social Justice at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Today, I'm excited to be in conversation with Professor Bridget Anderson. 

Professor Anderson is the Director of Migration Mobilities Bristol and Professor of Migration, Mobilities and Citizenship. She is the author of Us and Them?: The Dangerous Politics of Immigration Controls with Oxford University Press, published in 2013 and Doing the Dirty Work?: The Global Politics of Domestic Labor with Zed Books in 2000, in addition to serving as an editor and co-editor of a number of other collected volumes. Professor Anderson takes as her starting point that the migrant and the citizen and the differences between them are constructed in law and in social and political practice. She is interested in the relation between migration, race and nation, historically and in the contemporary world. She understands the mobility of people in the context of mobilities of goods, finance and ideas. Mobilities whose speed and patterns are significantly changing in the face of technological developments. Her work explores the relations between migration, temporalities and future making claims with a particular focus on precarity, labor market flexibilities and citizenship rights. She has pioneered an understanding of functions of migration in essential economic sectors. Bridget has also worked closely with migrant's organizations, trade unions and legal practitioners at local, national and international levels. Bridget, thanks so much for joining me today. 

Bridget Anderson [00:01:50] Thank you so much for inviting me. 

Ry Siggelkow [00:01:54] We often hear that there are more people migrating today than ever before. According to the UN's World Migration Report, in 2020 there were 281 million international migrants, which is 3.6% of the world's population. And the numbers have just continued to grow since 2020. We know that a heating planet, war and inequality are some of the reasons why more people are on the move today. But I sometimes wonder whether this focused attention on the sheer number of migrants plays into older, racialized fears and anxieties about migrants, and tends to reinforce the idea that staying in place is the norm and that movement and migration is an aberration and somehow inherently disruptive and a historical anomaly. What do you think about the discourse today and these widespread assumptions? 

Bridget Anderson [00:02:55] Yeah, a great question. Well, I suppose one thing I would say is that 3.6% of the world's population isn't a particularly large proportion. And actually, up until the last kind of eight or nine years, it was kind of pretty steady at around 3%, 3.2%. So as a proportion, while numbers are increasing, I suppose the proportion of the world's population on the move isn't that much. And I think we have to also think carefully about the total numbers and what we mean by the word migrant because of that. Of that, those figures that you quoted, not all of those people count as migrants. So I don't know, an American banker who comes to London might be subject to immigration controls, but they are generally not talked of in terms of migrants. So when we're talking about migration, when we're talking about movement, then I think very often there is a very particular idea of who it is that we're talking about, the kind of movement. 

Migration is really typically associated with movement across an international border. So this normalization of staying in a particular place, it's staying in the country that you were born in. It's not staying in the village you were born in. Because, actually, if you think about it, certainly in Europe – I don't know what it's like in the States – if you're unemployed, then there can be all kinds of efforts to make you move, to look for work. So very often in Europe, you'll be required to say that you're prepared to travel at least 2 hours a day to work or to count as intentionally unemployed. There are efforts to make people move as well as to make people stay. And, of course, there are efforts to deport people. Huge expenses on deporting long-standing residents. So the normalization of staying is actually not the normalization of any old staying or indeed the normalization of any old people. So, actually, it's very particular people who are expected to stay in place. 

One of the issues with global mobility is that it is very unfairly distributed and rich people can move relatively easily. So you can buy, in many places, you can buy a long term residence and even you can buy citizenship. There's a really interesting index of mobility, annual index, which is developed by a company called Henley & Partners, which shows you what passports give you visa-free access to what countries and it kind of lists them. So I can't remember what topped the list at the moment. It might be Finland, which has access to, I don't know, you'll have to look it up, but, you know, 143 countries in the world grant them visa free access, whereas the bottom countries, which are perhaps predictably but also shamefully Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, you have very few visa-free access. So basically if you are rich and you're from a country where it's difficult to get visas, then you might want to become a citizen of a country where you have access to more countries. If you're from Saudi Arabia and you're a wealthy Saudi Arabian, then you might want to get a passport from Saint Kitts and Nevis, for example, which gives you access to far more countries without having to go through the rigmarole of having a visa. So I suppose all of that is a bit of a long winded way of saying that money matters and it's poor people who are expected to stay in place. 

And at the same time, staying in place is the norm for people, but it's not the norm for goods, for money. And I mean, if I just look around me and you think, well where does the computer come from? Where is the sort of material that has made this computer come from? Where is the material that makes my paper, my table, the clothes that I'm wearing? Where do they all come from? And actually just looking in the sort of one meter square from where I'm sitting, the world is here. And that movement of those things and the traversing of orders has been completely normalized. In fact, we accept that we can't live in the way that we do today without that kind of movement. So that's normal. It's the movement of people that has been rendered exceptional, not the movement of the many other things that make up our lives. So I think that kind of helps you see that it's a really strong ideology that naturalized some people as belonging in certain places and their movement as unnatural. And that makes other ways of being in our world really kind of unimaginable. 

I think it's a strong ideology. But I also think that we have to appreciate, and I say this as somebody who would like to think of herself as an activist as well as an academic in migration and asylum, I think it's important to also understand why it is sometimes that some people are hostile to migration, hostile to refugees. And I think that there is a component of it which is fear, and it's a fear that comes from an appreciation at some level that even if we are living in the rich world, there are many people who are barely getting by. And you look out at the rest of the world and think, I'm barely getting by, and I can see there's a lot of people out there who are a whole lot worse off than I am. What would happen if they all came here then? You know, we have to share what little we have, what little I have with people who are worse off than me. I don't want to do that. So I think understanding that fear, that motivation, and then kind of thinking through ways of responding to that voice, of helping people understand why they don't have to fear and what they might have in common with all of those people out there that they're scared of. I think that's also a kind of important step.

Why does this naturalization of staying in one place really have such a strong kind of leverage, really have such strong force over our thinking and over our imagination? And how can we start unthinking that? I think it's important. 

Ry Siggelkow [00:11:18] Much of your work focuses on the British context, but it seems to me that when we're thinking about migration, we're almost forced to think globally and internationally outside the boundaries of the nation. And yet immigration laws and controls are produced, as you argue, and enacted by national states. In the U.S. we see the emergence of immigration restrictions in the late 19th century with the number of exclusion acts against the Chinese in particular. Many people, many scholars have argued that these acts sort of set the precedent for immigration controls globally. But in your work, you locate the emergence of immigration controls to a much earlier period in vagrancy laws. I wonder if you could speak a bit about why this is an important intervention for you. 

Bridget Anderson [00:12:09] Yeah, thanks. And thanks for saying that's an important intervention. And I'm really pleased that you picked up on it because in a way it leads on from what I was saying earlier. If we recognize that immigration controls are an effort to control global mobility, not of everyone, but largely of the poor, so immigration controls are largely directed at the low skilled who are, I would argue, the global poor or the global working class; if we recognize this, we can start making those connections that I think are so important between migrants and low wage or other marginalized citizens. And I think if we take a historical longue durée kind of view, we can see that mobility controls were introduced by rulers to control the movement, the mobility and the labor costs of the ruled. And this actually, I would argue, even predates nation-states. So it's true that nation-states produce immigration controls. But I would also flip it and say that immigration controls also helped produce nation-states that helped produce citizenships and citizenship regimes. So there's a kind of complex relation between the two, but actually that the controls over movement predate the nation-state. And as you point out, I locate their history in vagrancy controls.

So basically my argument is that vagrancy controls, which in Europe sort of began to be introduced by rulers around about the 12th century, so the 1100s. So in the case of what we now call the United Kingdom, before really even England as an identity has been kind of established properly, and they were established to control the movement of serfs, of people who were attempting to use the land to which it was assumed they should be tied. And so here again, we have workers who were tied, serfs who were tied to a land and to a master in the same way that arguably we, our imaginations, still tie people to a particular land or a particular territory. And so they were used to control the price of labor because they started being introduced at a time when serfs were leaving the land and selling their labor. And because of the plague, they were able to sell their labor for more.These efforts to control mobility were an effort to control labor cost. They were an effort also to control begging. 

So there was this fear of – they would be given various great names, like “valiant beggars” – people who were actually deemed able to work. So there was this fear that they were able to work, but they were too lazy or they chose to get money in other ways. And also, too, as a response to fears of “masterless men.” So, if you think back to this historical period, it made no sense for men to leave masters. I mean, that was incredibly socially disruptive because that was how societies were organized. You have masters and you have serfs. It was a feudal system. So it was actually very disruptive. And I would say that actually then these different anxieties, the costs of labor, these sort of later developed into labor law. Concerns about the valiant beggars developed into welfare controls and concerns about social disruption are now mirrored in concerns about integration. So I think in some ways we can see that these kinds of efforts to control movement are actually really deep-rooted and have got lots of different ramifications and consequences and histories. 

But if we think about vagrancy, then we can again help to join up what are seen as very disparate fields of government, of governance and control and punishment and see the connections between them. And so we don't have to think about immigration in itself as a separate field, which helps us avoid those wedges that spring up between people. 

Ry Siggelkow [00:17:32] Nandita Sharma has recently written about the need to understand the historical significance of the shift from living in a world dominated by empires to living in a world dominated by nation-states. The age of empire is no longer, she argues, we now live in a world of sovereign national states with border regimes, immigration controls, walls, etc., and we must all remember to carry our passports when we travel. What are the ongoing impacts of the age of empires, and what are some of the new challenges presented by our contemporary world? A world of nation-states. Does the end of formal empires mean the end of imperialism? 

Bridget Anderson [00:18:14] Oh, if only. Nandita Sharma's book Home Rule is a really great book and I think she showed us how imperialism can continue without empires through the structures that were put in place largely at the end of World War II, so the World Bank, the IMF, the UN and the trading relations that all of these sustain. But I think it also sustains imperialism, that is in many of the sociolegal assumptions and frameworks of different states. So you can think about caste in India or ideas of property and marriage that were kind of rolled out through empire but that kind of continue today. And I think as Nandita argues, most of all it really persists in the global rollout of the nation-state form itself, which is not a natural form. I mean, you were talking earlier about the ways in which it's sort of assumed that mobility or migration is unnatural. But actually, the nation-state and the nation-state form, I think we have to recognize, is actually relatively recent, at least its global rollout is relatively recent. Of course people talk about the Treaty of Westphalia, but actually in terms of immigration controls, national sovereignty, it is actually relatively recent, even though it seems to be located back in the mists of time. And all of these types of governance enable relations of domination and subordination between the rich and the poor worlds. And so I think if by imperialism we mean the domination of the poor world by the rich world, then yes, imperialism persists. 

Ry Siggelkow [00:20:29] That's a really interesting claim. And Sharma argues that during the age of empires, people were actually more free to move, that there weren't these same kinds of controls on movement. Of course, there are other kinds of controls on movement, perhaps. But to go to a place, an imperial place or a colony or something like this, was actually encouraged and that the shift to nation states shifted this sort of the regimes of control. 

Bridget Anderson [00:20:58] Yeah, and also, empires often want people. People are not viewed as an expense, they're viewed as an asset, they're viewed as labor, they're viewed as a way of exercising control over territory. So it's a very different kind of idea of what the relation between people and the Imperial State is. 

Ry Siggelkow [00:21:27] We know that immigration controls in the United States are most often deployed against migrants from certain places. And of course that's not just true of the United States and often against people of color, which has led to the claim that immigration laws are often racist or immigration laws are racist. And yet, since the 1960s, U.S. immigration law is formally colorblind, having done away with the race based laws of the past. 

In your work, you have a more complex view of the relationship between racism and immigration laws and controls. You seem to go so far as to say that the nation-state itself is racist and that it is productive of race and racialized subjects. Am I right to say that this is your argument? And if so, I wonder if you could speak a little more about this. 

Bridget Anderson [00:22:18] Yeah, sure. I mean, I think a less provocative way of expressing it is that the nation-state is a state, as David Goldberg says, that is racial. So the nation-state is racialized which is not the same as saying that it's racist. So making that distinction is also not to say a racialized nation-state is fine as long as it's not racist. It's just to say that, you know, apartheid South Africa is not the same as the contemporary UK in terms of how race is part of, embedded in and part of the management of people. It is in both cases, but it's differently imagined and it works differently. And the reason that I would argue that the nation-state is a racial state, riffing really off David Goldberg, is that the key way that people are kind of designated as belonging is through race. And I think that this can be made more palatable and is made for more palatable by talking about ethnicity and culture. And there'll be a big debate about whether ethnicity is or isn't race. I would say that ultimately it is actually race. Other people would argue that it isn't. That’s one block of arguments. 

But I think that another way of engaging with this, which personally is the way that sort of interests me more is by thinking about race and nationality. So, I think few people would dispute that the nation-state creates nationalities, it’s almost kind of tautologous, and nationality actually has a kind of interesting ambiguity about it. Radhika Mongia has written about this, I think, really insightfully. So it can mean both citizenship, you know, what's your nationality? I have British nationality. But it can also mean belonging to the nation. And I think that that ambiguity between the ambiguity of nationality is actually intensely productive and is really important for normalizing and reproducing race in a socially acceptable way. 

And I can give you an example. I've talked to a lot of employers. I've long been interested in why employers employ migrants. I mean, there's a kind of simple answer, which is, they're cheap, cheaper than citizens, but it's not always the case, actually. And I've talked to plenty of employers, particularly around domestic labor, where the migrants, certain nationalities of migrants can be more expensive than employing citizens. And so I ask employers, why are you employing in a way, employing this migrant? And they'll say, “well, you know, Filipinos, they're just naturally good with children.” Or “fish filleters, Chinese people are very, very dexterous with their hands, you know. So we need to have people from China.” And you think actually, if you were to racialize this, if you were to say, Asian people are really good at this or African people are like this, it would really be kind of considered unacceptable and rightly so. But if you use a nationality, then it gets imbued with other kinds of ideas of culture. And it's rendered acceptable. 

And indeed, immigration laws discriminate on the grounds of nationality. You know, you're not allowed in the UK to discriminate against somebody on the basis of either their race or their place of birth, if they are a citizen. However, if they're not a citizen, then you're obliged to discriminate on the grounds of where they were born. So the naturalization of discrimination against migrants, it's not just naturalized, but it’s actually kind of legally required. So I think nationality does a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to the distinction between racism, xenophobia, and migration. And I think we really need to be looking much more closely at the work that that nationality does, which is one of the areas that I'm hoping to kind of explore in the future. And, of course, nationality in both senses of the word, citizenship or belonging to the nation, is – like race and like ethnicity – passed through ancestry, passed through blood. And again, all of these forms of race, nationality, ethnicity can be codified in law and have been in the past and maybe they will be in the future. How that's codified varies, but it is codified in law and also in social forms. 

So when we're thinking about, you know, when I was talking earlier about who counts as a migrant, that an American banker in London wouldn't count as a migrant, even if they're subject to immigration controls. If that American banker is seen in the street and they are kind of looking smart and wearing a suit, then they might not be thought of as a migrant. However, if they kind of look down and out, then they might well be socially imagined as a migrant. And I think that that is also important. So it's not just legally who counts as a migrant, who counts as a citizen, it's also how people are socially imagined, and that has to do with race. But race also interacts in interesting and important ways with class. 

So there was a very interesting report that was done by an ombudsperson who was tasked with looking at matters of race and immigration control briefly in the early 2000s, in the United Kingdom. And she looked at whether black people were more likely to be stopped at immigration ports of entry – I think particularly airports – than white people. And what she found was that they were more likely to be stopped. But if you controlled for income and this is in a very kind of crude way, basically, you know, do you look poor or not? Then that difference was not significant. So basically, it was really immigration officers who were stopping people that looked as if they were hard up. So that was an interesting finding, suggesting that there is a connection here between race, how people are racialized, and income. But even more interesting was she then looked particularly at people from the United States, South Africa, and I think it was Canada. But I might be wrong about Canada. To look at well, were black citizens of the U.S. and South Africa more likely to be stopped than white citizens. And what she found was that they were more likely to be stopped, significantly more likely to be stopped, even controlling for income. So in the case of the United States, I think it was something like, black U.S. citizens were three times more likely to be stopped than white U.S. citizens. But what was super interesting was that when it came to South Africa, it was like way more. It was 24 times more likely to be stopped. Black people were more likely to be stopped than white people if they looked wealthy. So clearly there was a kind of relation between income and race or between race and class, is complicated, even in these very kind of stylized ways. You can see that it is complicated, but they are very much interconnected.

So I think as well as thinking about race and racism, we need to see that as inflected by class. So saying that it is important that race, race or nationality differences really matter. But they're not the only thing. I mean, we've got a Home Secretary whose parents came from Mauritius who's now advocating that asylum seekers should be sent to Rwanda and who's proud of saying this, who recently last week went on record saying, “I have a dream” a la Martin Luther King, but her dream was of a newspaper headline saying that people who were asylum seekers were being sent to Rwanda. So, I think that we need to think about race and racism, but we also need to think about how that is inflected by class and see those as interconnected. 

Ry Siggelkow [00:33:08] I've been thinking a lot lately about the ethics and politics of movement, particularly in relation to terms like colonialism and migration or the figure of the colonizer versus the figure of the migrant. A common anti-immigrant trope is, of course, to refigure the migrant as a colonizer, a foreign invader seeking to replace or conquer a nation. But at the same time, we are also witnessing the popularizing of the discourse of settler colonialism, which sometimes seems to suggest that moving and settling in a new place is itself the problem. Now, of course, we need to take seriously the ongoing history of forced removal and dispossession of land from indigenous peoples as absolutely fundamental to nationalist projects and the formation of borders in the first place, especially in white settler colonies like the United States. But I suppose I'm wondering about the ethics and politics of movement more generally and whether these categories might need to be rethought altogether. Are there bad forms of movement? Is that part of what we mean when we speak of colonialism? How do we distinguish between movement as colonization and movement as migration? 

Bridget Anderson [00:34:27] Yeah, I think that's a really, really good question, a really important question. I think that I would start by saying I'm not convinced that it's helpful to think about good and bad forms of movement because how do we decide what is a good or a bad form of movement? It also suggests, you know, is movement really the problem?

I would sort of, as my starting point say the problem with colonialism was domination, violence, greed, racism, all of that ugliness. If we took those out of movement, would movement still be a problem? If mobility and immobility were fairly distributed, which they're not, they most definitely are not at the moment. And if they were in harmony with the environment, which again, at the moment they're most definitely not. Would they be a problem? So I suppose the question is, is movement a distraction? And should we be rather looking at territory, at the concept of territory itself? And as Nandita Sharma discusses the concept of sovereignty. Should we be looking at our relations to the land and our planet, our relations with each other and our relations to non-human species? So is movement per se really what we should be looking at either as a problem or as a solution in itself? A lot of movement is a people's solution, people's response to inequality. And very often people have to move or it's the most sensible thing and the most sensible choice for them to make to move when confronted with unemployment and hunger. Movement in those cases is a solution. But actually it's not really the solution to global inequality. So is perhaps the focus on movement a distraction? After all, we've always moved, or else we'd still be in the Rift Valley. So I think I would kind of want to take the conversation about movement further back to those kinds of principles, rather than to focus on good movement and bad movement. 

Ry Siggelkow [00:37:20] Yeah. I think I understand what you're saying. I mean, we're talking about the problems of domination of colonialism. Perhaps that gets back to this question of imperialism that you were talking about before, of domination.  

Bridget Anderson [00:37:33] Yeah. I think so. And I think that, you know, I suppose you know. I would want to move away from the idea that the migrant is a settler colonist, because I think that that builds divisions where we need to be looking for commonalities and solidarities and indeed to kind of recover the sorts of relations that we need to have with the world that we live in, that also antedated colonialism and imperialism, and that we've had the kind of blessing really of indigenous peoples holding that alive for us. So I think I want to recover those kinds of relations and not build further divisions between people. 

Ry Siggelkow [00:38:44] In various places, you have argued for what you call a No Borders politics. I know for you this means much more than simply getting rid of borders. It is a positive, constructive project grounded in a radical imagination and a commitment to love and solidarity. How would you describe a No Borders politics and what does it look like to embody such a politics practically and concretely? 

Bridget Anderson [00:39:11] Yes, I think a No Borders politics is a radical commitment to equality and justice. And in itself, it's not enough. So it's not simply a negative project. I mean, it's a world building project. So in that respect, I think it is like prison abolition. And I think it's that the kinds of connections that are now being built between No Borders politics and prison abolition, I think are really important ones. And I do think that they kind of go to the heart of these long-standing injustices and inequalities and demand that we do something about that inequality rather than naturalize it or indeed forget about it because it's happening elsewhere. And I think importantly, we all have a stake in it. 

So a No Borders politics like prison abolition, like many justice projects, is not just about “the others.” Sometimes I kind of try to move away from the language of solidarity towards one of shared interests. I have an interest in building a world with no borders because I believe that that world would be a world without dread. It would be a more beautiful world and it would be an exciting world. It would be a world where human potential and capacity would be so much more available and open and I just think it would be very different. So I've got an interest in building that world. It's not just my solidarity with migrants. 

And I like what you said about a world of imagination as well, because I think sometimes we think, we train too much in thinking with our brains and not enough on drawing on our creativity and our imagination, which is kind of siloed off in something like, “That's what artists do and that's what creatives do. That's not what sociologists do. That's not what academics do. That's something that is a kind of indulgence.” But actually, I think imagination is really important. And I think imagination sets the bounds of what is possible. If I decide that there's no point in thinking of a world without borders because, you know, it's impossible. It's never going to happen. Then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It will never happen if we all decide that it's impossible. So I think really thinking imaginatively and drawing on our imagination and refusing, recognizing that what I decide is possible is in many ways a political decision. It's also, I would say, an ethical decision, a moral decision. I think, you know, we need our imaginations to help us with that. So it is an imaginative exercise. And then how it looks in practice, I think really depends very, very much on context. 

At the moment I'm working on a project with Nandita Sharma and Cynthia Wright called Hydra Rising, which is building on a fantastic book by Marcus Rediker and Peter Linebaugh called The Many-Headed Hydra, which looks at movements for justice and equality and sort of the world turned upside down in the 1600s in the 17th century. It looks at radical movements of sailors and pirates and maids and anti-slavery kind of rebellions, ways in which the motley crew all come together, find a radical commitment to solidarity and equality across significant differences. And so our project, Hydra Rising, is looking at the Hydra today, and particularly with reference to migration and mobility, but looking at how those kinds of efforts to build a different kind of world continue. So I think that there are lots of different ways in which people are struggling for that world. You know, and you can see how that differs often at borders. But I would say that in order to do it, it's not only at borders. 

And I think that we really do have to situate migration in struggles that are not associated with migration. So I would say, for example, that many of the struggles of many homeless people are actually migration struggles. You know, there are migrants and asylum seekers who are partaking in those struggles, who are part of those struggles. And that in itself is a No Borders struggle. That’s No Borders activism. And this is really important because I think that if we don't centralize migration into these other sites and fields of struggle, you know, welfare, housing, right to health, rights to education, then migration would be used to derail any victories that might be had. So, okay, you've just won this, you've got this fantastic kind of housing co-op. Well, what are you going to do about migrants? Unless you think about it right at the very beginning and integrate that into your struggle. And that could be migrants from outside the city. It doesn't have to be international migrants. I think that the stranger always risks derailing those efforts at justice making and building a new world. So I think that No Borders politics is all around us, perhaps in unexpected places, and it's certainly much stronger than when I started kind of talking about it. 

I remember when I was first talking about No Borders politics really in the 1990s, in the early nineties and people looked really askance at you like, “Wow, you're really crazy.” Whereas now, at least there are the people, there's a language for talking about it and you know, it is recognized as being an argument. It might still be seen as kind of quite left field, but still there is an argument that is recognized. There's an argument to be had there. So, yeah, small steps. But we are proceeding. We are getting there, I think. 

Ry Siggelkow [00:47:09] That's very exciting to hear about this project of the Hydra Rising. We're going to be having Peter Linebaugh on the show very soon. So I'm excited to talk to him about the many-headed hydra. And yeah, and it seems, you talk about the 16th century movements. I mean, many of those were faith movements actually. And you have the anabaptists, you have the peasant movements that emerge out of Europe, that are movements both in the sense of social movements, but they're also movements in the sense of mobility. 

Bridget Anderson [00:47:45] Absolutely. 

Ry Siggelkow [00:47:45] To reclaim the commons. 

Bridget Anderson [00:47:47] Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. 

Ry Siggelkow [00:47:49] And it seems that so much of social justice struggles can be thought of in terms of this politics of movement and resistance against the ways that those in power dominant structures sort of control and want to keep certain populations in place. So the politics of movement, I mean, centering that as the sort of heart of social justice struggles from the beginning, as you say, rather than putting it to the side as an issue among other issues, is absolutely central. Perhaps particularly in the world we're currently living in. And as things, you know, get worse with the climate catastrophe that we're facing, I think we're going to need to live even more into this kind of politics. 

Bridget Anderson [00:48:39] Yeah.Thank you very much for having me. 

Ry Siggelkow [00:48:41] Yes. I am so grateful to you for taking the time to speak with me today. And your work has really shifted my own imagination about the world and what is possible. And I'm incredibly grateful to you for that. Take good care. 

Bridget Anderson [00:48:55] You, too.