150 people turn out for the Climate and Sustainable Jobs Rally 2013 Oly WA
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then we can step back and talk about the tactics to make change happen. I have been somewhat fixated on the controversy about the black bloc, the whole diversity of tactics debate since the Chris Hedges cancer of black bloc challenge. My friend Austin Kelley sent along an interesting link this morning that makes the point that while we argue about a single tactic, and while we argue about diversity of tactics as if it is one thing (diversity - doesn't that mean a bunch of things?) , we neglect the strategy that ties tactics together. Here is some of what Austin sent along:What is a demand?
“[A demand] is a goal which is not only a thing but, like capital at any moment, essentially a stage of antagonism of a social relation. Whether the [demand] we win will be a victory or a defeat depends on the force of our struggle. On that force depends whether the goal is an occasion for capital to more rationally command our labor or an occasion for us to weaken their hold on that command. What form the goal takes when we achieve it…emerges and is in fact created in the struggle, and registers the degree of power that we reached in that struggle.”
"[The founding fathers] conferred, as against the Government, the right to be left alone -- the right most valued by civilized men." -- Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941) US Supreme Court Justice, 1928Indeed, the right to be left alone.
We are living in important times. There is great upheaval across the land. The people are rising up against the status quo, more so each day. They are rising up against inequality, against bad environmental practices, against social woes.
The Occupy Movement that is growing across our nation is a manifestation of this discontent. It is a clarion call against the status quo. People have had enough of the system, both financial and governmental. Something must give.
The criticism surrounding its lack of cohesiveness is quickly addressed by a single phrase. The same that was espoused by the revolutionaries of the 1770s: taxation without representation.
No matter your issue, whether it be environmental, economic, or social, the dilemma is the same. We are taxed every day by the current system, economically, socially, and emotionally, yet we are not represented by those we elect.
The invisible thumb of the free market rests squarely upon the scales of justice and equality, and prevents us from seeking the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness we were promised. Indeed, that promise has been eroded to the point of oblivion.
If we are to be successful today, we must coalesce. We must stand for equality. We must stand for reciprocation. Taxation without representation is not and never has been tenable. We must push forth under the banner of our Founders, for were they here today they would be with us.
We must demand reform, and if we are not granted substantial and meaningful reform - if the current system cannot modify itself to our will - then revolution is the only recourse.
We must commit ourselves to this task. It will not be easy, and people will suffer. The powers that be will undoubtedly go to great lengths to maintain their stranglehold upon their power. We must not be deterred, for we are righteous in our endeavor.
Speak truth to power!
Dear White House,
A foreign policy of aggression does not honor our military service personnel. We must bring troops home. We must end this international belligerence! Stop bullying!
[memorial day peace vigil video]
A couple photos and a video from the event. The Olympian also has a story, I'll put a link down below.
Sunday 22 May 2011—Members of the Olympia local and Western Washington chapters of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Veterans for Peace Rachel Corrie Chapter local 109, and many other community members built a wall out of cardboard boxes to represent the Military-Industrial Complex, and called to Turn the Budget Around—to re-direct military spending toward mutually uplifting peaceful alternatives, like schools, health care, environmental protection, and full employment.
The Wall of the Military Industrial Complex, dividing people from each other.
Artesian Rumble Arkestra adds to the festive atmosphere