I think part of the dilemma is that people see activists like Kathy Kelly and Media Benjamin and ask themselves, "How do I fit into this?" While both individuals, and those like them, should be praised and respected, not everyone can do what Kathy and Media do: travel overseas, get arrested, spend time in jail, etc. That sort of activism is simply unsustainable for the vast majority of Americans and Australians. We need more practical examples. Again, we need to work on the local level.
The antiwar movement is great at organizing national and even international events, but not at organizing their neighbors, coworkers, friends and family members.
When I worked with Iraq Veterans Against the War, we spent much more time traveling the country than we did with local political groups. Unfortunately, that didn 't work, nor did it build our power. People went home demoralized, and rightly so, for it 's extremely difficult to go to an event with thousands of like-minded people, only to come home to the daily, mundane existence that is modern American life.
Moving along, many antiwar activists hold the false assumption that people simply walked away from antiwar organizing following the 2003 protests and the 2008 election. Sure, some folks did go home. They were burnt out, exhausted and disempowered. On the other hand, many people continued to organize, but in different arenas. Some of the people I first met while doing antiwar work are now labor organizers, artists, environment...
... middle of paper ...
...ecessary, just get involved. Devote some of your time, if not a significant portion, to creating a better world. That 's a good place to start."
For those who are still interested in doing antiwar work, or peace and justice work, or whatever you want to call it, let 's start reaching out to each other. Let 's create new coalitions. Let 's drop the sectarian bullshit. Chances are, we agree on 90% of the issues. Yet we allow the 10% to get in the way. That 's unacceptable. This isn 't about my ego, pride, my career or legacy, it 's about saving peoples ' lives and creating a most just and peaceful world. I 'm sure all of us, myself included, could spend less time in front of our computers and more time speaking with those who are interested in rebuilding a serious antiwar movement. What are we waiting for?
War is hell, no doubt, but so is stagnation and powerlessness.
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