Friday, January 05, 2007

State of the Movement and World Can't Wait Press Conference

Hello my readers, my life is changing as '07 begins. I have decided to apply to graduate schools for a Masters in Education or Library Science. I will never lose my love and deep appreciation for the peace and justice movement, but I feel that for the next year and a half to two years my actual organizing will be almost entirely put on hold. Right now, it kind of feels like breaking an addiction, but it won't really take off until the wonderful action on January 11th is over. This date marks five years that men and boys -- some as young as 9 -- have been taken to Guantanamo Bay and held indefinitely with no charges filed. This issue is really inspiring me to do something. And, then, beyond that -- I will be returning to school and trying to get my life back into financial order to some degree.

Here is a paragraph from something I wrote a couple friends a couple days ago:

"To be honest, after our vigil at Memorial Bridge last night I also feel a little bit beaten down by the movement. I feel like we are not gaining much momentum, as the war will simply be re-packaged into one that can "be managed better" by the Dems. Also, there are many in the movement simply not willing and probably never willing to make greater sacrifices to engage in nonviolent civil resistance/disobedience. Therefore a greater burden will always fall upon us who are willing to
do so."


I honestly believe in my heart these words. The movement has a lot of challenges ahead of it. But, frankly I feel these "soft activists" who are not willing to take some risks and offer some personal sacrifice are not going to contribute to the movement -- and since that's probably the majority of the movement most goals will not be won. Many, even within the movement, believe the Democrats can somehow be redeemed -- that somehow they will suddenly stop being cowards. That's not the reality within the Beltway. Sorry to have to break the sad news to you.

Yesterday evening I was at the press conference for World Can't Wait. These folks can turn out a crowd and they had some excellent speakers -- Daniel Ellsberg, Cindy Sheehan -- but where the heck were the mainstream media? They weren't there, so it was just kind of a sad exercise in preaching to the choir once again. I mean, I wanted to believe it was making a difference, but here's Travis Morales and his Revolutionary Communist Party bosses in NYC spending lots of money for the biggest room in the National Press Club -- and it was more of a rally than a real press conference!? I didn't stay until the end, I have to admit. But today I found maybe one sentence mentioning it through Google News. Also, World Can't Wait just seems a little like the new ANSWER to me.

Again, World Can't Wait (RCP) can turn out decent crowds (as ANSWER did in its prime), but their literature comes off as a bit hysterical and they haven't quite caught the media's attention yet. So for all the spending -- I am still thinking of their full-page ad in the New York Times about a year ago -- where's the coverage? But then again, getting real media coverage has been very hard for the movement. But the money -- the money could go to a lot better use by contributing it to the Catholic Workers or another community of resistance such as Jonah House in Baltimore! The other thing with World Can't Wait is the obsession with kicking Bush out of office. As I have said many times the problem is far larger than just Bush/Cheney. It is a culture and economy of violence -- of war profiteering, of destroying our civil liberties at home and pursuing empire abroad. That's front and center on many Democrats' agenda, as well as the neoconservatives.

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