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William Kunstler's Quotes

William Kunstler profile photo

Born: 1919-07-07
Profession: Activist
Nation: American
Biography of William Kunstler

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When we talk about justice in America we're really talking about justice brought about by the people, not by judges who are tools of the establishment or prosecutors who are are equally tools of the establishment or the wardens or the police officers.

Tags: America, Justice, Talk

A dog is like a liberal. He wants to please everybody. A cat really doesn't need to know that everybody loves him.

Tags: Dog, Everybody, Him

But on the other hand government takes away a certain amount of liberty and in some countries it takes away all of liberty. And it will, everywhere, if people who fight government do not fight government any longer.

Tags: Fight, Government, Liberty

So May 4th in the labor movement has always been an important date.

Tags: Labor, May, Movement

This is New York, and there's no law against being annoying.

Tags: Against, Annoying, Law

We have become the charnel house of the Western World.

Tags: Become, House, Western

At first blush, it seems that the young people who were shot down in the parking lot at the base of Blanket Hill gave up their lives for a dream that died with them.

Tags: Dream, Lives, Young

But he said Blanket Hill should be a national monument. And so we came out of his chambers feeling, though while we had lost to the powers of darkness, we had at least shown one Federal Judge what the right path would have been.

Tags: Feeling, Judge, Lost

Four years earlier I had been selected, with Kay Boyle, the writer, and a number of others, to go to Cambodia and come back and prove that there were no sanctuaries in that country.

Tags: Country, Others, Writer

May 4th is a particularly memorable day in American history because 84 years to the day before May 4, 1970, there was another demonstration at the Haymarket Square in Chicago.

Tags: Another, History, May

On the unofficial level it was a glorious moment in our national life because young people decided that this had to stop, that they could no longer stand the shedding of blood in this tragic adventure in Southeast Asia.

Tags: Life, Moment, Young

Once the troops move into Cambodia, the colleges and universities of this country were on the verge of civil war. Many closed down. The students were up in arms. And it looked very much like there were going to be real problems in this country.

Tags: Country, Real, War

Our bodies must always be wherever that struggle and the moment we forget that, the moment we become lazy, the moment we sit back, then then the evil ones do their ordained tasks to us.

Tags: Evil, Forget, Struggle

I can see a version of my life where it all becomes meaningless. On a good day, writing seems noble. Other times, it's narcissistic and pointless.

Tags: Good, Life, Writing

I think it's important for all culturally literate people to understand the technological substrate of new developments.

Tags: Literate, Understand

I'm fascinated by the emergence of a global class. They're highly mobile; they reject the idea of place.

Tags: Class, Idea, Place

In my early teens, science fiction and fantasy had an almost-total hold over my imagination. Their outcast status was part of their appeal.

Tags: Early, Hold, Science

Intellectuals who live in Hungary, or who wish to work or lecture there, are extremely circumspect in their criticism.

Tags: Criticism, Wish, Work

There's an explosion of Indian fiction of all kinds, from military thrillers to chicklit. I think that's exciting.

Tags: Exciting, Kinds, Military

There's nothing New York likes more than a thing. Or a place. Or a place that's a thing. Or a thing that happens to be a place.

Tags: Happens, Place, York

When I try to understand somebody, create a character, I fall into them. When I think writers are telling me what to think, I get harrumphy.

Tags: Character, Try, Understand

As I got older I became a kind of sub cultural junkie, foraging around in music, street fashion and eventually art, politics and the freakier reaches of the Internet, hunting the next discovery, the next seam of underground gold.

Tags: Art, Music, Politics

Being in Harlem on the night of Barack Obama's election was extraordinary. It was the best street party I have ever gone to, and it felt like the period of American history which began with slavery had ended that evening.

Tags: Best, Evening, History
Much more quotes by William Kunstler below the page.

But it's the particularity of a place, the physical experience of being in a place, that makes it onto the page. That's why I don't just do library research. I very rarely write about somewhere I haven't been.

Tags: Experience, Place, Why

I enjoy thinking myself into other times and places. I don't like some of the conventions of the 'historical novel', but I think there's a way of doing it that has a lot of merit.

Tags: Enjoy, Thinking, Times

I like moral judgment to emerge from the reader. We are being sold a very simplistic morality by our leaders at a time when nuance and understanding are at a premium.

Tags: Leaders, Moral, Time

I realized I had a novel on my hands, but didn't know where it was going to go. So I thought, 'I'm going to do everything that you're not supposed to do when you plan a novel; I'm going to step back and let this thing take itself wherever it wants to go, and I'm not going to worry about how things connect until later on.'

Tags: Thought, Until, Worry

I stand on my public record as a defender of the human rights of Muslims, notably my work for Moazzam Begg and other British Muslims detained without trial in Guantanamo Bay.

Tags: Human, Stand, Work

I suffer from vertigo. It's paralyzing in extreme situations. The most scared I've been as an adult was trying to conquer that fear by going climbing in Wales.

Tags: Fear, Scared, Trying

I tried to take seriously the idea that if you tortured language you might arrive at some new truth. Later it became clear to me that I was retreading ground by fighting the literary battles of the 1950s and 1960s, and that I was actually a bit bored by some of the books I professed to love.

Tags: Bored, Love, Truth

I'm interested in complexity, in the mathematical sense, as well as the idiomatic sense. The idea of emergence - that it's possible for complex patterns to arise out of many simple interactions - is fascinating.

Tags: Idea, Sense, Simple

Say there are three identical-looking pizza joints on a street. Two of those will always be empty. The third will have a line of people patiently waiting, checking their phones. There's always one place that's the place. That's how it works.

Tags: Place, Three, Waiting

Some books I've kept because the binding is beautiful - I'm unlikely ever to read my grandmother's copy of 'The Life of Lord Nelson.' I'm addicted to secondhand bookshops.

Tags: Beautiful, Life, Lord

Suburbia is all about private ownership and not having to share, and it leads to a paranoid, defensive mindset. I know this, having grown up in Essex.

Tags: Mindset, Paranoid, Share

There are still some terrible cliches in the presentation of Indian fiction. The lotus flower. The hennaed hands. In mainland Europe, people still slap these images on my books and I go bananas.

Tags: Books, Flower, Hands

There are things about our world that almost by their nature defy our ability to comprehend them. Some people use a religious register to deal with that - they call it God and that's a way of domesticating it.

Tags: Almost, God, Nature

These days we're all hyper-aware of the canonical way in which stories are supposed to play out - people are taught all about three-act scripting and where to put the reversal and all of that - and I think we can do more interesting narratives.

Tags: Days, Put, Stories