Activist Awakenings: Ben Kubrich

From the May 2015 PNL #842

compiled by the PNL Editorial Committee

In 2001 I was a senior in high school. In 2003 two college friends were in the National Guard, ready to go to war. I read about Abu Ghraib. I argued about war and about GW Bush, but I was apathetic. I had a developing political consciousness, but there was no possibility. I didn’t know of any contemporary social movements. I didn’t know they were necessary or could be successful.

As a Masters’ student I joined a living wage campaign—my friends and colleagues got me involved. It was my first time organizing. I had worked many low wage jobs and through that work I identified with the custodial staff on campus, seeing them as similar to the workers I met washing dishes at fast-food restaurants and loading semi-truck trailers. My first summer, working with the union, we successfully defended healthcare benefits. I’ve been organizing since then.