Good News Sunday: New Dawn for Anti-War Movement is Possible
This past week marked the beginning of the 8th year of the U.S. Occupation of Iraq. At the same time the people of this country are witness to a bloody escalation of the U.S. war in Afghanistan and widening war into Pakistan. It’s stunning…it amazes me how it continues to stun me…maybe I refuse to lose that feeling. The trick has always been not to let that feeling become a feeling of paralysis.
This week has been a demonstration for many who are sick at heart over these U.S. wars and occupations and torture in learning to move again. Many had hitched their hopes to the Obama wagon hoping beyond hope that he would put an end to all this. I knew this back in 2007 after the Democrats were voted into the majority of Congress. I knew this when people suddenly started talking about Obama as President that that was not the answer. I knew at my core that ending these crimes of our government would have to be the mission of the people and that these crimes would not be ended through elections. I remember exclaiming in a WCW meeting in January 2007 why people were suddenly focused on the Presidential election when these fucking wars were still going on?
That feeling at the pit of my stomach grew as I watched large sections of the anti-war movement hitch their wagons to the Obama band wagon and at the same time watched these crimes of the Bush Regime escalate and go unaccounted for…I knew these crimes would be carried forward in the next presidency no matter who the President would be. Anti-war protests grew smaller and smaller. And if any one really listened to Obama during his campaign the crimes that seemed so unacceptable to many under the Bush regime would suddenly become acceptable under a new President It scared me to watch this and my heart literally ached for the people who suffered/suffer at the hands of our government. It did indeed appear to be a long time before the dawn. I am reminded by that line from the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song, Long Time Gone,
“Speak out, you got to speak out against
The madness, you got to speak your mind,
If you dare.
But don’t try to get yourself elected.
If you do you had better cut your hair.
‘Cause it appears to be a long time,
Before the dawn.”
The one thing that kept me throwing my hands in the air was the way in which WCW kept going out to people on the moral basis and really grappled with the objective reality of the situation around these wars/occupations and torture. We did this when it was unpopular to do so. This spirit and practice continues. Protest matters. Protest matters even when it seemingly does not to others and even when our government is impervious to it. It matters because the people of the world need to see the people of this country visibly resist and oppose the crimes of our government.
This week activists/organizers from World Can’t Wait took part in protests with other organizations that demanded “End U.S. Wars and Occupations Now!” Protests happened in Chicago, Seattle, L.A., San Francisco, and D.C. I encourage you to read national director of World Can’t Wait Debra Sweet’s statement on these protests. The resistance can and must grow. And if you want to see it grow consider financially supporting a project of WCW called the We Are Not Your Soldiers tour. This project involves a representative from WCW and an Iraq or Afghanistan war vet going into the classrooms of highschools around the country . They speak the truth about these wars and occupation for U.S. Empire and encourage youth to actively resist be recruited into them and to take a stand against them. It is a powerful and moving project that holds much potential in giving new life and energy to the anti-war movement. To get a feel for just how powerful a project that this is read a letter from an Iraq war vet who has been part of this project.
I read an email this morning from someone who took part in the protests this week. She pointed out that there does seem to be a new energy. She is right. There is but where will this energy go…where will it lead? These things do not continue spontaneously…they must be guided and directed. Those who are outraged and sickened that these crimes continue in our names are responsible for taking this struggle up, keeping it, and guiding it. The people of the world are counting on us. The time is now…let’s break with the dawn.
Tags: anniversary of the u.s. invasion of iraq, anti-war protests, crosby stills nash and young's long time gone, debra sweet national director of world can't wait, donate to world can't wait, resistance to u.s. wars/occupations for empire, u.s. war in afghanistan, we are not your soldiers tour, World Can't Wait