Sunday, January 08, 2006

Cindy Sheehan's latest call to action

If I hear one more rendition of "We Shall Overcome" and then watch the vigilers or marchers go home and turn on their TV's and crack open a brewsky content in the fact that they have done something for peace that day, I am going to scream! We can't overcome unless we take the proverbial bull by the horns and overcome!

Hold your vigils and marches in relevant places: such as warmongering local Congressional offices. So many Senators and Congresspeople come to mind. Or in front of a recruiting station. Or Federal Buildings. Or military bases. Then instead of going home and cracking open a beer, or uncorking a bottle of wine, sit down and say "we aren't leaving until you call for an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq." Put your butt on the line for humanity.

Change will not happen until we make it happen. We can't make change happen by wishing or praying that it will happen.

We actually have to do something.

I actually believe vigils do do something; I think it's always good to send concentrated energy for peace out into the world (especially in a visible way). I understand Cindy's point completely, though. We need to move towards real action. And that can take so many forms--sitting one's butt down, or lifting one's pen, or creating new ways to speak to power, to educate the public, to inspire lawmakers to change. I'm trying to decide how best to "do something" in 2006. Do any of you have any specific resolutions/plans for action this year? I'd love to hear about them...

2 comments:

Donna said...

The American people are not hurting enough to do what Cindy says. Remember, it was the draft and over a decade of fighting that led to the famous Vietnam protests. Probably mainly the draft.

For those of us who are not in Iraq actually fighting, it is impossible to tell we are even in a war. There is no sacrifice. How about WWII? Every single person in the country made a sacrifice to support the war effort. Everyone felt the pain of war. Granted, not to the degree of those on the front lines, but it was not invisible. The Iraq war is no more real to most Americans than a TV movie. In fact, we see more of the pain of war in movies.

Today, we are just pushing the costs off into the future and onto our children and grandchildren. The people in power are not stupid. They are menacing in their cold calculations. They know that if it doesn't hurt us here at home, we won't care. It's sad that they don't even care about their own children and grandchildren, but only their own greedy grab for power.

I agree with Cindy, even though I have not spent much time marching or at vigils. I keep saying, "where is the outrage"? My husband says, "until it hurts people's pocketbooks, you will see no outrage." I'm sorry to say, he is probably right.

I am posting my plan for 2006 on my blog soon. I have been struggling on finding a way to focus my energy in the face of so many eggregious and depressing problems ranging from destroying the environment, to war, to gay bashing, to the corporate takeover of our government AND the media, and so on. In the end, I had to focuses specifically on making the world safer and more comfortable for women and minorities. Stopping war is a huge part of that, but not all of it.

gayle said...

Donna, thank you so much for your wise words. It's so true--we are not hurting enough. We have not been asked to sacrifice. I wonder what it will take for mass outrage to surface. I see flickers of it here and there--and bonfires of it, when I was in DC--but I guess what we need is a whole wide swath of it before people will feel the true pain of this war. It's so easy for it to feel like an abstraction now, when the wounded and dead are hidden from us, and the fighting is happening so far away. I shudder to think of the price the future will have to pay.

I would love to see your plan for 2006. Could you post the link when it's up so people can find it easily?

Thanks so much!