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View Diary: Methinks Thou Dost Protest Too Little (209 comments)

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  •  I was at two local (4.00)
    anti war rallies in support of the DC march.  And they weren't sponsored by ANSWER (hell, one of them was sponsored by Pax Christi, hardly a rad group).  And NO local dems showed up either.  None sent words of encouragement.  

    I am not a fan of ANSWER and believe that in Chicago, at least, Andy Thayer does far more harm than good.  But the problem lies in the lack of real leadership on the left, not in the ones stepping into the vaccuum.  If the damn Democrats stopped worrying about appearing 'shrill' to the non-existant 'middle', then ANSWER would not be needed to organize these marches.

    We need an alliance of faith, labor, the arts, and actual progressive politicians to throw a protest march or event.  

    •  Afraid to look weak or pacifist (none)
      I don't know if I'd say they were afraid to look shrill but otherwise A+ post.
      •  Please don't equate (4.00)
        Pacifism with weakness. The pacifist is almost never weak.

        Violence is a direct result of fear -- you've heard of fight/flight. The pacifist overcomes the urge to lash out physically, or to run away.

        Pacifism takes immense courage. It is the cowards who want our government to protect us by killing everyone else.

        The neocons will not give us our country back. If we want it back, we'll have to take it.
        --Lila Garrett

        by peacemonger on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 09:30:51 AM PDT

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        •  Tell that to the DLC (none)
          because I don't disagree with you.
          •  I do (none)
            Pacificism is a great a world full of pacifists. Otherwise, you're just guy getting beaten down and stolen from.

            (Note - I speak in general, and not in any context supporting the Iraq fiasco, which i oppose for reasons outside of pacifism.)

            •  Try to beat down a black belt Aikidoist (none)
              Go on.  Give it a try sometime.  You'll learn something about pacifism.
              •  I know Aikido (none)
                Not literally, but how it works. That's why I'd use a gun from a distance.

                Cute metaphor. Utterly worthless in reality.

                •  Escalation is worse than worthless (none)
                  In reality, try using a gun to resolve a conflict at a bar sometime.  See how your gun helps when you get pushed in close quarters.  See how worthless your gun is when you have no intention of shooting the person.
                  •  Not my point (none)
                    My point is that someone else just might use a gun. Being six foot three, there's inevitably some 5ft idiot with a Napoleon complex about once or twice a year who will try to pick a fight at some bar. Now my choice is always to blow them off...why bother? Face? The hell with it...let the idiot think he's tough.

                    But occasionally (every few years...luckilly as I've hit my 30's that's gone away) there's the fool who won't take "you win" for an answer. When that happened, I had two choices...let the idiot pound away, or fight back.

                    In the real world, there are thugs. There are twits who pick fights. There are looneys. There are people who will pull out a gun.

                    Only an idealistic fool will let themselves get clobbered.

    •  See (none)
      The Dems are never, ever going to organize protests.  They never have, not even during Vietnam.  Protests are designed to challenge the government, and elected Democrats are the government.  The point is to get them to our side.  What we really need to accomplish that is a leadership group that's to the left of the national Dems, but is more legitimate than ANSWER.

      "It's like we got Merrill Lynched"- Kanye West

      by ChicagoDem on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 09:11:29 AM PDT

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      •  In the 30s (4.00)
        it was the labor movement that stepped up to the plate, really.  With the voice of people like Woody Guthrie and others.  

        In other places, it's been outside groups as well.  I'm thinking of Sinn Fein, who, until fairly recently, was not a group allowed to participate in the political process.

        A coalition of faith, labor, and community groups seems to be the answer, pun not intended, to ANSWER.  

        I'm so beaten down by the struggle it takes to pay bills that I feel depleted of energy to fight, but I have to remind myself that the people fighting for a 40 hour work week were not working only 40 hours a week.  

        I'm holding a health care forum "house party" in October, trying to get as many people as possible to come and discuss solutions to the health insurance crisis.   I run a group that is trying to coordinate and improve communication between progressive groups in the area, everyone from Code Pink to the Vegans to the Students for a Democratic Foreign Policy.  

        I just feel we need a real victory.  We need to see the hope of justice done, of some progress.  We are feeling awfully demoralized since November of last year.

        •  Good luck on your efforts ... here's an idea (none)
          From wikipedia today, 9/27/05: CSA generally, is the practice of focusing on the production of high quality foods using ecological, organic or biodynamic farming methods. This kind of farming operates with a much greater-than-usual degree of involvement of consumers and other stakeholders--resulting in a stronger than usual consumer-producer relationship. The core design includes developing a cohesive consumer group that is willing to fund a whole season's budget in order to get quality foods. The system has many variations on the theme of how the farm budget is support by the consumers and how the producers then deliver the foods and thus also a variety of levels of risk for the producers. The greater the whole-farm, whole-budget support, the greater the focus can be on quality and the less risk of food waste or financial loss. (emphasis in bold mine)

          In thinking about the project you are about to embark on in terms of examining the health care, personal medical services access issue, I thought of the CSA model. You might explore the possibility of finding the "cohesive consumer group" that is willing to contract with the "producers"--in your case, medical practitioners in a sort of "country doctor practice" fashion (I know you're in an urban setting), meaning that the subscribers in your group (maybe a nonprofit 501 [c][3]?) have almost direct access to doctors contracted by the subscribers as a whole for, at the very least, preventative care. Hospital and  emergency needs are a different story, as might be prescriptions; I don't know how those aspects would work (because this isn't exactly like insurance, so if you went to the hospital under this model, you probably wouldn't get reimbursed).

          I've read that it's being done in a few places in the country.

    •  Jim McDermott (none)
      was at the march in Seattle with 6000+ people.  He's usually, if not always, there with his peeps - us.

      We shape the clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want. - Lao-tzu

      by myeye on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 10:17:19 AM PDT

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    •  How do you know (none)
      that none of the people there was a registered Democrat? Or do you mean no local pols were there?

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