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The world is full of violence, oppression, racism, misogyny, poverty and greed, with big powerful companies controlling our resources and exploiting the earth no matter the cost, and the United States is no exception. But how does the average person stand-up to these atrocities?
Well, in this LoCO Video Report we meet a Bay Area woman who’s devoted her life to being a full-time activist.
Sixty-seven-year-old Xan Joi travels the country in a used vegetable oil powered truck that’s covered in activist art and bumper stickers. Since 9/11 the truck has racked up 390,000 protest miles, facilitating Joi’s ability to visit controversial areas and attend a multitude of protests, rallies, marches and events. This week the mobile billboard made a stop in Humboldt.
From anti-GMO and Monsanto, to resisting the presidency of Donald Trump and statements to end violence — no matter who you are, the truck is sure to catch your attention.
In the past year Joi was arrested for protesting at Standing Rock, protested against the Trans-Pecos pipeline through Big Bend National Park in Texas, and the Sabal Trail pipeline through Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. And of course she attended the anti-inauguration and women’s march in Washington D.C.
However Joi says her burning flame for activism sparked decades ago — first, seeing her Holocaust-surviving parents struggle in a conservative anti-semitic New Jersey town and then coming out as a lesbian in 1978.
“My life made me activist. My love for the Mother Earth, for people and for this country,” she says.
Joi’s two close friends Janice and Pacifica have joined her for the summer and say the trip has been pretty smooth. But Joi says this fearless outgoing approach to activism is not always easy.
“People who feel that if your speech is not the same as those in power, then they have the right to be violent,” she says. “I’ve had people try to run me off the road, break my windshield, slash my tires, in different parts of the country and California.”
However Joi’s ability to inspire others and give the marginalized a voice, just by driving around the mobile billboard, is what keeps her going. Joi dreams that one day we can have a society that’s accepting of all people and a world that we’re are all proud to live in.
“But women have to step up,” shes says. “And that’s what I want women to take away and people to take away from this.”
You can find out more about Xan Joi’s travels from her website Code Pink Journals.
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