Eight years ago I allowed myself to be suckered in by all the lies Bush and crew told, by all the lies, the propaganda that filled the airwaves and newspapers.
I guess I really wanted to believe, to stop being the dissenter. I wanted to be part of the flag waving, self-congratulatory mob, cheering while our military might rained down death and destruction.
I should have known better, the lies of Bush and crew weren’t any different from the thousands upon thousands of jingoistic lies about our “Exceptionalism” , about how much better, nobler and freer we are than anyone else.
Now 8 years later and a new “anti-war President who lied to us about hope and change yet the endless war remains the same. This yesterday I went to a demonstration of perhaps 100-120 people down in University Park near SMU.
So few of us standing up against the war machine. so few of us daring to name the noble cause and say it is not so noble but goes by the name Imperialism.
I feel back among family, the family I have known for over 45 years. Among those who march for peace, who speak out against injustice. Those who stand along side the oppressed.
Those who dissent and resist. Who say “Not In My Name”. Those who defend the right of the wolf, tiger, eagle and whale not to be hunted, exterminated and exploited.
When I look at the faces of my sisters and brothers, young and old who come out and speak out I realize how privileged I am to be part of such a family.
It matters not if it is a union rally, a peace demonstration, a demonstration for the rights of immigrants or against genocide. Like Tom Joad, I’ve tried to stand up for what I know to be right.
Then there are the celebratory rallies and marches like we have on Pride Day.
Be they demonstrations or celebrations these rallies and marches show we are not alone.
I am an anarchist, I admire the all-American radicalism of the men and women of the IWW.
They had a couple of slogans that people should remember, “One Big Union” and “An injury to one is an injury to all.”
The Right Wing can walk and chew gum at the same time. They are relentless, attacking planned Parenthood at the same time they are destroying Unions, giving tax breaks to the rich, destroying the social safety net and promoting homophobia, misogyny, racism, classism, transphobia etc. etc.
They sent spies among us during the 1960s and sowed the seeds of division and internal strife, identity politics. And we bought in. Instead of asking the question, “Will this further the liberation of everyone.” We got all hung up on “what’s in it for me and my kind.”
Separate we are few. Together we are a majority.
Maybe we need to start taking a different approach.
One where we adopt an attitude of, “I’ll listen to what you have to say if you will listen to what I have to say.
Maybe we need to negotiate with other groups and offer, “Hey, I’ll support you on this cause if you will support me on my cause.
We have nuclear plant disasters, a war on the working people and the poor. Globalization and out sourcing along with anti-worker policies that are destroying the middle class. Some classes of people have nearly 50% unemployment or under employment.
The educational system has been destroyed and replaced with a prison/industrial system.
And… Oh yeah… eight years… two Presidents including one who promised us he would end the wars. Still we are there killing, maiming and spending money hand over fist while pushing for austerity measures at home.
And Today Obama celebrated that Eight Anniversary of Shock and Awe with a little shock and awe of his own.
Today we bombed Libya and fired cruise missiles.
Is it really in service of some sort of noble cause? Much as I want the revolutionaries to win I have the feeling we wouldn’t have done squat if it weren’t for one magic word, “Oil.”