|my great-niece Eliza|
Why is every spare moment now in my 6th decade on Earth spent contacting like-minded and not so like-minded people to say WTF??? and what do we do about it?
Here's a list of lessons learned from my good friend Janet Weil out in California. She, too, cares about the future of our grandchildren yet unborn.
Very briefly, the lessons as I have absorbed them from the incredible courage and determination of the Egyptians (and others):And I would add one more thing it's clear they were doing in Cairo: read Gene Sharp's research on effective nonviolent resistance: aeinstein.org Here's the write up from NYT about its influence on events around the globe.
Have one central, easy-to-determine-if-it's-met demand with a few supporting demands, and STICK TO THEM;
Pick a place (or places if in more than 1 city) that is meaningful and remain there;
Turn out people with a sense of urgency and comraderie;
Stay turned out (have plans for "turnover" and getting new people coming in);
Establish some basic routines of controlling in/out process, check-ins, media, set up and clean up;
Create a culture of appreciation, support, courtesy, response to people's basic needs (the cleaning of Tahrir was so important!);
Commit to the seriousness of what's going on; stay when/after things get hard; take the blows and keep going;
and above all,
the people determine the narrative, the actions, the demands -- they are pro-active, not reactive, primarily.
Almost everything I've written applied to New Yorkers (and other Americans) after the 9/11 attacks. It's not like we don't know how to do these things; often we do them very well. We are all as fully human as the Egyptians, it's just that as a people we have been so numbed, distracted, enfeebled...
...well, not all of us!
Don't do it for me, or Janet, or Gene. Do it for Eliza.