About Juliana

About Juliana, serious version

Juliana Barnet is a social justice activist, writer, anti-colonial anthropologist, musician, and educator. For decades she was also also an organizer and translator for labor unions and worker organizations in Mexico and the US, as well as providing bilingual support for Latin American immigrants in US educational, political, and healthcare settings. She has long been a participant-observer of activist culture, focusing on the experience of being an activist—the risks, tensions, and dangers, as well as the joys, of daily life in the belly of the beast activists are struggling to transform.

Juliana has been part of movements for a just society all her life, from the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam war movements as a child and teen, to social movements in Mexico, where she lived for nearly two decades, also working for justice, peace, and inclusion at many levels and with many groups and movements in the DC metropolitan area where she now lives, and elsewhere in the U.S and Latin America.

In her nearly two decades of living and working in Mexico City, she was a teacher, cultural organizer, musician, and writer in the national Popular Education Movement, and co-founder, in 1983, of the Asociación Cultural de Ayuda a la Comunidad, a Mexico City cultural and political organization that exists to this day. Her work includes making movement music, and artistic, theater, literary, and other forms of activism and cultural organizing. She is also co-editor (with Haitian activist scholar Gérard Pierre-Charles) and translator of “Shattered Jewel: the New Jewel Movement of Grenada, and of a series of articles on the rise and fall of the Grenadian revolution of 1979-1983.


Juliana is an Associate Fellow at the Institute at the Policy Studies in DC, Founding Board Member of the Asociación Cultural de Ayuda a la Comunidad in Mexico City, and member of the Claudia Jones School for Political Education in DC, USA.

Essays and other nonfiction

She writes the newsletter Activist Explorer and


is writing a coming-of-age novel-memoir about a young North American woman becoming an activist in Mexico, entitled The Educación of Julia.

Her fiction includes the Rainwood House social justice mystery trilogy, about every-day activists fighting gentrification, workplace harassment, and racial injustice, set in a ramshackle Maryland house mildly haunted by bygone racial justice struggles which becomes a refuge for activists fleeing some form of persecution for their work.

She also has co-written two children’s  novels with with groups of 3rd-6th graders, Zombie Elementary and The Imagination Club.


JB explores the wilds of Delaware USA

More About Juliana, whimsical version

Drawn Juliana Barnet sitting at table with laptop
Activist Explorer in tunnel

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.


Rainwood Series, Collective Novels written with Children, Novel/Memoir in Progress, Fiction Featuring Activists Anthology, Edited Books, Books In Spanish


Activist Culture, Fiction Featuring Activists, Life in the Liberated Zone, Neighborhood Novelists (collective writing with children), Book Talks, and more

Articles, guest posts, interviews

Press Kit

Bios, photos, CV and related info


Art and design work

Mexico and Movements

Participant-observer writing from my many years living in Mexico and participating in Mexican popular education and other social movements

My Life in Liberated Zones

Participant-observer experiences of life in spaces carved out to experiment with creating the new world now.

Activism and Organizing

Movement Music

Latin American folk music, Mexico and music, Nueva Canción, DC Labor Chorus, social movement singing

Interpreting and translating

Working as a translator and interpreter/advocate with immigrants in unions, schools, political events, films, TV and elsewhere

Protect Our Activists focuses on the need to protect the the first responders to injustice around the globe, the folks who fight for justice, respect and equality for all people and for the Earth. POA is about fostering greater awareness of the nature of activism, sharing the culture and experience of activist life, and working for full and fair representation of activists, particularly in fiction, where activists are commonly marginalized and stereotyped.

Activists–folks who stand up, speak out and step beyond our private spheres to fight for justice and inclusion at all levels around the entire planet–face many risks, from being flamed on Twitter to being murdered by death squads. Activists targeted because of gender, race, colonialism, and other oppressions are especially vulnerable; however, anyone who challenges the prevailing power structures faces potential consequences ranging from annoying to dire. 

Risks for activists are compounded by negative, stereotyped portrayal of activists in dominant culture. Slurs and other direct attacks are harmful, of course, but insidious stereotyping, othering, and marginalizing of activists, often unnoticed even in the activist community, are pervasive, yet rarely addressed.

At Protect Our Activists we explore activist culture and the activist experience, on the reality fiction continuum. Our goal is to foster greater awareness of the delights, dilemmas and dangers of living in the very belly of the Beast that we are working to transform. We think and write about, and invite discussion on, the nature of our experience, and on how activists are represented in fiction (novels, feature films, TV shows, etc.). We call on people to notice and counter the harmful effects of invisibilizing and stereotyping activists, activist movements and activist culture. We encourage people to enjoy, look for, demand, and also create fiction with full and fair representation of activists. 

And we encourage pooling our knowledge on all aspects of activist protection–physical, emotional and more.

Popup Speech Bubble
Popup Speech Bubble

Always the first responders in fighting injustice, activists face all the challenges of daily life in the belly of the Beast they’re battling, PLUS all manner of direct, often violent attacks by forces that fear–rightly!–that activism threatens their power and wealth.

How do we protect the protectors? What are the activist community and everyone connected to it—that is, everyone aware there is no Planet B and that we are all connected—doing about this?

What more can we do?

Well, it’s gonna take a lot of villages, towns, cities and every other kind of community, but what POA is doing is focusing on better understanding of activists, both among ourselves as to our own experience, and more broadly to help create a better climate for existing and future activists.

POA Projects

Linked Activists in circle

Cultivating Our Connection-
a daily practice

Novelistas reading manuscript

Becoming Activists

Participant-Observer Quest!

Creating the Protect Our Activists Website

Novelistas reading manuscript

Becoming Activists

No link indicates projects are...

Emeritus Team Members

POA Team Characters

Horrendous Adversary

POA Activist Community Connections

granny gus protect our activists

That would make activism something everyone does as a matter of course, as an equal, respected participant in one’s communities and in Earth’s community.

Detective Drunella

Instead of something you risk your health, job, or life for?

sour puss protect our activists


Juliana Barnet

We rely on activists to agitate and organize to protect our world from forces hell-bent on plundering, poisoning, broiling, beating and blowing it up…

…spreading plague, war, starvation…

The Beast squeezes the planet
sour puss protect our activists

In short, the whole patriarchal, white supremacist, capitalist, imperialist, war-mongering and downright mean system the Beast represents. 

Always the first responders in fighting injustice, activists face all the challenges of daily life in the belly of the Beast they’re battling, PLUS all manner of direct, often violent attacks by forces that fear–rightly!–that activism threatens their power and wealth.

How do we protect the protectors? What are the activist community and everyone connected to it—everyone aware there is no Planet B and that we are all one humanity—doing about this? What more can we do?

Protect Our Activists explores these questions with folks in our global activist community…

…Including you! Share your thoughts and experiences. Together we can better protect people striving to create a more just, equal and safe society for everyone.

     POA is home to the work of Juliana Barnet (aka JB), anti-colonial activist anthropologist, writer, artist, movement music aficionada, and global activist community and culture participant-observer.

And to folks who write, think, and study these things with me.

Detective Drunella

Who exactly are activists and why do they need protecting?

As soon as any of us steps beyond our own private sphere to fight for more justice for our communities–anywhere, at any level–we join the global activist community.

granny gus protect our activists
Detective Drunella

We all need protecting nowadays. Why focus on activists?

Like folks who fight disease or fire, activists are the first responders to injustice. And like these other first responders, activism carries particular risks. 

Juliana Barnet
Detective Drunella

Such as?

beast head

such as Silencing, marginalizing, surveilling, evicting, firing, infiltrating, deporting, de-funding, jailing, maligning, beating, torturing, disappearing, murdering. There’s nothing I won’t do to stop those pesky activists who refuse to behave and give me indigestion.

granny gus protect our activists

That ruthlessness is on top of all the other exploitation and oppression activists experience as part of whatever targeted communities they belong to. 

In fact, activists of those communities are often the most severely targeted, and with the least protections.

Juliana Barnet
sour puss protect our activists

The Beast, by the way, is NOT an animal, just a metaphor for the ruthless, rapacious, irrational, unjust social system activists are trying to change. We animals are a lot smarter than that.

Detective Drunella

So what is Protect Our Activists doing about this?

granny gus protect our activists

Understanding the situation of activists in greater depth, for starters. We explore the nooks and crannies of our experience as activists, to better understand what it means to be an activist. We  interviewing activists (Ask Activists), visit Liberated Zones, and post observations and reflections in the POA Journal. 

Juliana Barnet

Activists focus on protecting people from injustice. POA this same spirit toward the activist community itself.


Look into some of what's happening on this site, in progress and/or coming soon...

sour puss protect our activists

Plus, you can
(and should) …

Keep up with our progress. Sign up for (not too frequent!) updates.

Reach out if you have comments or suggestions.

Fill out this survey to give feedback on this website.

Get in touch about:

  • Activist Culture Participatory Research
  • Life in the Liberated Zone tours
  • Stories Of Our People (SOOP) workshops
  • Neighborhood Novelists collective fiction writing for children and adults, in particular our upcoming project on the US-Mexico Border.


Buy books:

  • Pre-order Rainwood House Sings, a social justice mystery
  • Order Zombie Elementary, our first Neighborhood Novelists collective novel.
  • Support publication of The Imagination Club, a Neighborhood Novelists collective novel, authored by over 60 children.

Battles in the Belly of the Beast

What does it mean for activists to be in constant battle with "the Beast" in whose belly we live?

JB's Quest

My adventures in cyberspace, real life and on the reality-fiction continuum

Activist Emotional Landscape

The emotional ups, downs and struggles of being an activist, and how they affect us as individuals, movements and community.

Activist Culture

Writings about the nature of activist culture, the activist experience, our global community. And about the participatory research I am doing on this topic.

Everyday Activist Life

What is the daily experience for activists who live in the belly of the Beast they struggle to transform?


Revolutionary Love is often cited as the unstoppable force, the power that holds the activist community together. But what exactly is it? How can we cultivate and care for it, regardless of the Beast's vicious attacks?
Life in the Liberation zone

Life in the Liberated zone

Observations on life in the spaces we carve out in the midst of movements to begin living the new world now.

Fiction Featuring Activists

Movies, books, plays and other fiction with activist protagonists and plotlines featuring what we do and how we are. Encouraging activists to write more fiction that opens windows on the reality of our lives and adventures.

The Beast

A well-known metaphor for the system of inequality, exploitation, destruction, greed and oppression that is ruthlessly focused on taking over the entire Earth,  and our own colonized minds and bodies.

Activists work together across history and around the globe to overcome the Beast and create a system that will need a different metaphor.

Beast on top of Earth

What are Activists?

Activists with posters marching in a line

We’re all potentially activists, as soon as we step beyond our private spheres into any part of the historic, worldwide struggle for a society where everyone is equally valued and no one is oppressed or exploited. 

Which is what we all want, right? Yet instead of being recognized as an indispensable aspect of planetary citizenship, the active pursuit of collective justice is often viewed as weird or worse. It is almost never formally taught, and generally not encouraged in young people (or anyone, for that matter).

But then, activism’s purpose is to overturn the existing oppressive power structure, aka the Beast. That’s what the Beast and its beneficiaries rabidly and ruthlessly oppose. 

That’s why activists face such a range of risks. And why Protect Our Activists explores what they are and how activists everywhere face them.

Our favorite fiction is full of police and superheroes. And activists?? Not so much. Let’s seek out stories with activists, the courageous first responders against injustice! And let’s look into why there aren’t more of them.

We’ll ask why activists–when they do appear–are so often shown as unappealing stereotypes, not real people.

Does this matter? If so, what can we do about it?

[mailerlite_form form_id=1]

Under Construction...

Subscribe for Updates!

Preorder Rainwood House Sings

RAINWOOD HOUSE SINGS, a social justice mystery, paints an authentic picture (with a hint of magic) of eveyday activists fighting for justice in their lives and communities, tackling mysteries large and small with creativity, humor, and collective action.

  • Print version — 20.00 + S/H
  • ebook — 7.99

Submit form below to preorder and receive publication details

Your Message

Stories of Our People (SOOP)

Sample filled-out FFA Test:
JB tests the movie Billie Elliot

Sample filled-out SOOP Questionnaire:
A few stories and burning questions from JB