It's 2002--the height of the War on Terror panic--and Sam, a life-long, left-wing radical, has had enough. He finally decides to stow his black ski mask and move to the uneventful mid-sized city of Springfield, Illinois to settle down and sell out as a gas utility regulator. His plans to coast and collect a check, however, are complicated when the pipe of a major gas provider he's tasked with overseeing explodes, killing a school janitor and sending an overfunded security apparatus and into full-on John Milius mode--looking for terrorists who aren't there and using "Homeland" authority to mask their self-dealing.
Soon, Sam discovers the real problem isn't outside threats, but a culture of casual negligence and an opaque system of "charity" and "public-private partnership" that diverts money away from public safety and into the pockets of government and corporate higher-ups. With the help of a sarcastic local reporter, a kind but jaded office chum, and a mix of other outcasts, Sam realizes that "going with the flow" may come at too high a cost.
Testimony isn't about One Great Man taking on the system, but about one okay, flawed person working with a rag-tag team of other okay, flawed people to combat a system of cynicism and greed much bigger than them. Testimony is a sardonic political noir about corporate regulatory capture, a mid-size city finding meaning in security theater, and reluctant rediscovery of lost idealism.
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About the Author
Sarah Lazare is a writer and organizer in the U.S. anti-war and GI resistance movement, as a member of The Civilian-Soldier Alliance and Courage to Resist. She is also a co-organizer of the Dialogues Against Militarism U.S. war resister delegation to Palestine/Israel, to show support for Israeli youth refusing to join the military and Palestinians resisting occupation. Sarah is active in economic and social justice organizing in the U.S. and seeks to connect domestic struggles for justice and liberation with global movements against U.S. war and empire. She is also an independent journalist, writing articles for publications ranging from The Nation to Truthout to Al Jazeera English.