Thursday, September 22, 2011

See what Bradley Manning started?

As mostly oldsters considered the stranglehold of military spending on the nation and wondered what to do about it at the MIC at 50 conference in Charlottesville last weekend, mostly youngsters began the occupation of Wall St. that mimics the Arab spring. Will it grow to Cairo proportions? I hope so. It contains many of the same elements including good grassroots organization, police harassment, and splendid chanting (e.g. Banks got bailed out, We got sold out!).

Sixty thousand marched against nuclear power and weapons in Tokyo, causing the alarm of Japan's prime minister to manifest by minimizing the demonstration as a "parade." Mie and Steve Ahearn completed their 200 mile march from Rockland, Maine to Boston where they presented a petition to the Japanese consul, calling for the government to protect children and pregnant women being exposed to ongoing radiation from Fukushima.

We march where we find ourselves.

Organizing continues apace for Washington DC Oct 6 and beyond. From Starwhawk, one of the co-founders of CODEPINK, comes this invitation to join the Pagan Cluster:
Where: Freedom Plaza, Washington DC
Focal day: October 6
We'll gather and work our magic October 3–8.  Come for an hour, come for a day, come for as long as you can.
Contact us at:

The Wheel is turning.  The veil is growing thin. Around the world the people are rising, calling for freedom, claiming their power.  Can you hear Mama Gaia calling - calling us to serve Life?

I'll be supporting from the back benches until I can get down there myself. (Actually, Wall St. is a lot closer.)

As for why thousands and millions of people are giving up on reform, and getting together to start a people's movement for nonviolent change, here's just a smattering of related news from the last few days: the US is setting up drone bases all over northern Africa and the Arab peninsula; NATO night raids have increased dramatically -- and are likely making the situation in Afghanistan worse by fanning the flames of violent insurgency; Obama claims we need to cut Medicare and Social Security to fund the inevitableness of wars; and Troy Davis was put to death yesterday in a travesty of justice that once more demonstrates that the war at home is a war on the poor, the non-white, and -- incidentally -- is highly profitable.

See what Bradley Manning started?


chrisrushlau said...

The process of finding a political voice has been studied, I suppose. Pedagogy for the oppressed.
"As soon as I found out where I was from,
I decided to be someone new."
I'm quoting myself singing while bicycling yesterday. I had a walk around Brunswick with my bike on my back (flat tire, en route to bike shop) and the people I encountered were not the people I think of growing up around (college, base, "Establishment"--Angus King, to put a fine point on it: Brunswick's "brand") but the people I actually grew up around, the faceless, unimportant, insignificant, loser-class, everyday people with whom I formed my world map=Weltanschauung: my people. I felt like I'd come home and I hadn't even thought I'd had a home.
So this was the guy I've been being all those years when I wasn't being who I was supposed to be.
But as soon as I realized this ("welcome home", said the guy in the LL Bean bike shop after I told this story (during my second flat of the day)), I realized that that guy is not who I want to be. I don't want to be from anywhere. I want to be going somewhere. Too glib? "You gotta get into it before you get outta it." --Frank Zappa. People are not tree fungus. But people do grow on trees. But to grow up you have to climb down out of the tree. Morphogenesis recapitulates orthogenesis?
Bradley Manning is someone who realized early on where he was from, and thus found the freedom to get on the way to somewhere.
I've long been comfortable with the ageold wisdom that you have to be able to sit quietly and listen if you want to be effective and at peace--integrated. Now I guess I have to add to it that you also need a crisis: to bring home to you what you're made of, who you are. Sorry for that pun? No, I'm not sorry for that pun (paraphrasing the movie line).
As soon as I found out
Where I was from,
I found that it was time to leave home.
This is democracy, it is faith in God, and it seems to be the nature of things--the best description of characteristically human experience.
If politics, or religion, is not seated in human nature, it is not "transformative". Unless the transformation you seek is replacement of your pet delusion with the school-solution delusion. People get tired of wondering where they're from, so they pretend they're from someplace else, which nobody has ever been to, and nobody has ever been from.

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