Judith Butler at Occupy Wall Street

"If hope is an impossible demand, then we demand the impossible."

Published October 24, 2011 5:41PM (EDT)

 Judith Butler  (Hendrik Speck/<a href='http://www.egs.edu/faculty/judith-butler/photos/'>egs.edu</a>/AP)
Judith Butler (Hendrik Speck/egs.edu/AP)

Judith Butler, the renowned academic and feminist theorist at the University of California Berkeley, became on Sunday the latest intellectual to express solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.

In brief remarks to the occupiers at Liberty Plaza, Butler offered her take on the continuing "demands" debate:

People have asked, so what are the demands? What are the demands all of these people are making? Either they say there are no demands and that leaves your critics confused, or they say that the demands for social equality and economic justice are impossible demands. And the impossible demands, they say, are just not practical. If hope is an impossible demand, then we demand the impossible — that the right to shelter, food and employment are impossible demands, then we demand the impossible. If it is impossible to demand that those who profit from the recession redistribute their wealth and cease their greed, then yes, we demand the impossible.

The full video is worth a watch:

By Justin Elliott

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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