AT. When did you start Dissident Voice and why?
DV. Dissident Voice, an internet newsletter, was founded by Sunil K. Sharma, a writer, musician and activist based in Santa Rosa, California, in 2001 (although the archives show articles going back to 1999!). It is dedicated to challenging the distortions and lies of the corporate press and the privileged classes it serves. The goal of Dissident Voice is to provide thought-provoking, and even entertaining, news and commentaries on politics and culture that inform on the struggles for peace and social justice. Sunil retired from DV in 2010. In February of 2010 then co-editor Kim Petersen asked if I would like to help out as a co-editor. I said yes, and I have been here ever since. My aim is to ensure that DV continues to be the type of newsletter Sunil visualized and to adhere to the level of excellence that he and Kim provided to DV’s readership over the years.
Almost three years or ago DV added its Poetry on Sunday page. We always published poetry but within the Main Page of the newsletter. Now that poetry is a separate entity, it’s become hugely popular. I enjoy very much reading/editing and publishing poems from people all over the world.
AT. The left needs to discuss the universal basic income and its relation to global inequality – how do you feel about this issue?
DV. With respect to the UBI, as long as it provides for income security and human rights as articulated in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, then I support such a measure. However, implementation of the UBI should not be used as a tool to further remove/erode social programmes.
AT. How many bloggers contribute to Dissident Voice?
DV. Dissident Voice has approximately 2,000 writers contributing. Some of those folk have their own blogs. Many of DV’s contributors go back to the beginning of the website, so that is really awesome!
AT. A role model and why.
DV. I have never had a role model. There have been, and still are, any number of people that I admire — people who have a sense of humor, who can laugh at themselves and the world around them, people who are honest, people who DO things that help humankind no matter how seemingly trivial those things are, these are the people I admire most.
AT. What do you see in the future for Dissident Voice?
DV. I hope Dissident Voice will adhere to its stated mission and continue to grow. It is a totally independent website. It does not accept advertising, so it is beholden to no one, and that is how I like it.
AT. Anything you’d like to add?
DV. I would like to say a huge thank you to the DV contributors who came and stayed, to the people who have subscribed to the DV Digest over the years, and to those who send their comments to DV from time to time. Without contributors DV would not exist — dreadful thought!!!
Thank you for your interest in Dissident Voice.
AT. Thanks Angie – anyone who supports the Universal Income is a friend of ours as it’s obviously the greatest gift that our wise central bankers could give us and would literally solve inequality overnight.