Robert Greenwald is a producer, director, political activist, and Brave New Films founder and president.
He levitated the Pentagon, brought down Lyndon B. Johnson, shamed Richard Nixon, challenged Wall Street and pioneered a cultural revolution.
Sometimes I still hear his Brooklyn meets Boston accent when I think about Abbie Hoffman, his family or his legacy. I directed "Steal This Movie" to capture what I consider to be Abbie's greatest gift: using satire and culture to impact and inspire people to take action. "Steal This Movie" was the last narrative film I did, and Abbie inspires me to this day.
Abbie died 22 years ago this month and that's got me thinking about what he would do to stop the Koch brothers.
Tell me at my Koch Brothers Exposed campaign Facebook page.
Remember when he nominated a pig for president at the 1968 Democratic National Convention? Whether it was the Vietnam War, income inequality or environmental causes, Abbie always struck the right note.
That's how I first heard his name. His action on Wall Street - where he literally threw cash down to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange - merged intrigue and interest with activism in a way no one had even conceived of. He believed in never making it boring, which is advice I've followed as a young New Yorker picketing and protesting lunch counter segregation at the Harlem Woolworth's, and later as a director and political activist.
But behind the strategic humor and laughs was a serious and lifelong conversation about the haves and have-nots. Abbie would be disgusted at how much money there is in politics today. I know he'd have a few zingers aimed squarely at the big corporations that have demonstrated they own what Abbie would refer to as "the whole pickle."
That's why I know Abbie would take on the Kochs full throttle. More than anyone else today, the Kochs have a thirst for unchecked power, and that's a trait Abbie detested.
That two oil scions could amass $43 billion in wealth and spend $324 million exerting political influence would have infuriated him. But it also would've inspired Abbie, because it is a fight about the lifeblood of our democracy, which is at stake today.
Let's make Abbie our muse as we think about ways to stop the Koch brothers quest to remake our democracy in their image. Our Koch Brothers Exposed and Brave New Foundation videos are meant to be equal parts informative, entertaining and engaging. It's a model with Abbie's fingerprints.
Thinking about Abbie today, I wager he'd acknowledge social media as the great force for democratization. He'd have an iPhone (after all, Jerry Rubin was an early Apple investor), he'd have a page on Facebook and would interact with critics, imitators and allies through Twitter. His YouTube channel would feature young protestors everywhere from Cairo to Madison, WI.
I can only image how his LinkedIn profile would read.
Tell me what you think Abbie Hoffman would do to stop the Koch brothers at my Koch Brothers Exposed Facebook page.
Let the exposing begin.
April 22nd, 2014
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January 28th, 2014
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January 21st, 2014
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December 18th, 2013
This morning it was announced by the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board that my first film, 'Roger & Me', has been ...
December 14th, 2013
[View the story "Michael Moore Tweets on Eve of Newtown Anniversay" on Storify]
November 9th, 2013
Click here for this week's full schedule for the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City, Michigan. The day has arrived. For ...
September 10th, 2013
[View the story "John Kerry's Accidental Diplomacy" on Storify]
September 11th, 2010
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December 14th, 2010
Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that ...
May 12th, 2011
"The Nazis killed tens of MILLIONS. They got a trial. Why? Because we're not like them. We're Americans. We roll different." – Michael Moore in ...
November 22nd, 2011
This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and ...
September 22nd, 2011
I encourage everyone I know to never travel to Georgia, never buy anything made in Georgia, to never do business in Georgia. I will ask ...
December 16th, 2010
Dear Swedish Government: Hi there -- or as you all say, Hallå! You know, all of us here in the U.S. love your country. Your ...
November 2nd, 2010
This letter contains (almost) no criticisms of how the Democrats have brought this day of reckoning upon themselves. That -- and where to go from ...