Sunday, January 28, 2007

Say Peace

I am so glad I decided to go to DC to remind Congress that I voted for peace and not for more war. It was a great day, the crowd was awesome and the people spoke truth to power.

The rally started out with ecumencal prayers - which I really liked. I thought it was done in a pretty open and inclusive fashion. Certainly there were more Christian religious represented than any other group, but also Jewish and Muslim. Maybe they could think outside the box next time and include wicca or other spiritualist groups.

I think the crux of this spiritual preparation for peace work was the approach that we - as people of one planet and connected one to the other - can counter the present war machine. The Whitehouse answers threats of terror with fear and oppression. But violence begets violence. Spirited people counter terror with care, compassion, and generosity. Rather than conquering evil, we liberate goodness through acts of care, attitudes of compassion and generosity of our selves and our resources so that justice and dignity can be restored and celebrated. In practical terms, we're talking about healthcare, education, and economic opportunities to allow persons to grow and thrive.

All in all, I thought they did a good job of staying on topic. The only tangent was two speakers on ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine. That they had to give a rather convoluted explanation of why these two causes were related makes me think the real answer is they made a donation to the cause. Otherwise, you heard the same message repeated clearly:

Not One More Dollar
Not One More Day
Not One More Death

I particularly enjoyed Tim Robbins speach. He noted that Richard Nixon talked to the walls, but George Bush is talking to God. "But it is not a God I recognize," said Robbins. This God seems to be giving Bush a pass on some commandments. Robbins then went on to outline several of the commandments that God seems to have so graciously given George a pass. It was delightful.

I do wish Jane had stayed home and sent her daughter instead. Her daughter could have carried on the legacy of activism without all of the baggage. I predicted she would be the only soundbite the newsstations would carry. Actually, I was wrong. It was Jane and the Raging Grannies.

I found Rev. Jesse Jackson completely uninspiring.

As for the crowd. To me, the crowd looked like family day. There were so many young people. There were also many families with young children and teens. There didn't look to me to be nearly as many really far out there folks. I thought there were more African-Americans at this rally, but these things continue to be mostly lily white. I was amazed at the large number woman age 30-40 who obviously had never attended a rally before. I never saw so many leather coats and leather boots - with heels!! And perfectly done hair and make-up. Some were with groups of women, others with their yuppy husbands. I suspect that these are the moms and sisters and aunts of those serving in Iraq.

As for the size of the crowd, I couldn't really judge. The "official" count for the September '05 rally was 100,000. I heard CNN say that this crowd was larger. Wapo noted that the crowd was big enough that the march stretched the length of the route from the Mall, up Constitution Avenue to the east front of the Capitol and back to the Mall.

I think protests like this are an important part of the peace movement, but they aren't the only component. Monday is a day of congressional advocacy. Click on the link and find out what United for Peace & Justice is asking of our congresscritters. But just because we're not in Washington Monday, doesn't mean that we can't join in the fun. Please take time to call your representative and senators and tell them we want our troops home now and no more funding for Bushco's illegal and immoral war.

TAGS: , , , ,

No comments: