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To make crystals, a single pure crystal is entered into a saturated solution.  This is called the seed crystal.  Other crystals then begin to form around the seed crystal, building themselves into the crystal lattice structure.

Cindy is the seed crystal of the renewed antiwar movement.  We are crystallizing about her, it is our job to build the lattice, the enduring structure that facilitates continued growth and emerges from the solution.  

x-posted from Liberal Street Fighter

Let the lattice-building begin, we need to form organized, active grassroots antiwar structures everywhere we are.  Don't be afraid if your little town or conservative suburb has few against the war--now.  Look at what one person, our seed crystal, has accomplished.  We don't need to be national heroes.  But even a few voices, if everywhere, will grow together into a rising national chorus.  Already the fundamental political tide has turned, I needn't recite the poll numbers on Iraq here.  Now your neighbors need to know that the antiwar movement isn't a bunch of faraway professional troublemakers and dirty hippies.  That it's ordinary folks in their home town, their daughter's third grade teacher, that helpful bagboy at the supermarket, that antiwar activists are people just like themselves who have decided the time has come to take a stand.

So you say, I live somewhere remote, or somewhere ultraconservative, if there was a local peace group, I'd be glad to join, but what am I going to join here?  I'll answer your question with some questions of my own.  How remote?  How ultraconservative?  Do you live in, say, Alabama?  What if I told you I could immediately locate 15 local peace groups active in Alabama?   Hard to believe?  Here they are:  15 Peace groups in Alabama.  Perhaps Utah?  Here's 8 Peace groups in Utah.  And for our Californian friends, I count no fewer than 179 peace groups from Tehachapi to Ukiah.  Every single one of these groups, whether in Alabama or California or wherever else are always in need of new blood, new energy, new ideas.  To find a list of local peace groups in your state, click here.  (If you are in a local peace group that isn't on the list, you can submit your group information right there on the same page.

So often netroots activists find themselves dealing with organizations that don't provide us with the tools that allow us to work efficiently.  United for Peace and Justice is different.  They have many of the tools we need already in place, what does not yet exist is our awareness of them.  This diary is an effort to begin remedying that.  I've already shown you their list of local groups.  If you have a local peace group that isn't in their data base, you can have it added.  Deaniacs will recall the high value the "Get Local" had for our grassroots efforts.  UFPJ has a Local Events Calendar tool that can be used in the same way.  You can use it to find a local action, or if you create your own local event, and you can post it to the Calendar.   A couple of days ago browsing the Massachusetts calendar, I found this event for September 25 in the little nowhere town where I graduated from high school.  Since I probably won't be able to make it to Washington for the 9/24 rally, you can bet I'll be in Southwick on 9/25.  As I implied above, I believe that in its own way it is just as important to be present in places like Southwick as in Washington.

Students!  Lest you think I'm forgetting you, I know there are plenty of students reading the blogs.  Does your campus have an active peace group?  Hundreds do:  check the list at the Campus Antiwar Network.  You'll note that high schools as well as colleges have CAN affiliated chapters.  

This is how we build the lattice, with a thousand small crystals all over the country, bringing the message to each and every community in America, and uniting for the big pushes such as supporting Cindy and the big marches.  Bushco has made it clear that they intend to continue playing the same lying imperialist game that got us into this mess.  The Democrats are still fearful, still under the sway of the Peter Beinarts telling them they must out-hawk the Republicans.  But if the people lead, the leaders will follow.  Cindy has opened the door, in her way not unlike the stand of Rosa Parks so long ago.  Now is the time.  Come together all you crystals, let us be the rock on which the warship of the regime is broken.  Shine on, you crazy diamonds, shine on.

Originally posted to Dancing Larry on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:05 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Never asked before (4.00)
    If you think the tools and techniques can be valuable in building on the momentum of Camp Casey, please consider recommending.  But most importantly,  find your local peace group and get involved.
  •  hey larry (4.00)
    i just finished aulinsky's rules for radicals (which i highly recommend for anyone who wants more summer reading FWIW), as was struck by how well cindy's vigil puts bush well outside his experience, and her getting up from a discussion here and deciding to drive to crawford has allowed her to grab control of the flow of events. i think i have a bit more of a sense of  what you were talking about in those earlier LSF organizing diaries now.

    i think we're doing ourselves a disservice by waiting around for that one decisive moment, that protest or special election or great event that will turn the tables for good. in fact, we would do far better to push in a million little ways, in a million little events, like - but not the same as - camp casey, so that we build the momentum where we want the nation to go, from the bottom up.

    the blogs ought to be of more use than just fundraising, community-building and talking points, although i believe that those things are important parts of a larger movement. we need to be brainstorming creative forms of activism and action in our collective mind, perhaps coordinating, perhaps just talking them out, and then starting small pebbles rolling downhill where we are.

    as to how to do that in my own life, i've got some thinking to do (he says ironically). but the need to do so is a lot clearer to me now.

    thanks for the inspiration, and i'll plug the book again for whoever's reading this: go out and buy rules for radicals by saul aulinsky. there's a lot stuff in there of potential use ot our great mass of creative latent energy that might be used to great effect, should we get past our inhibitions towards ruffling feathers in our lives offline.

    we are the people we have been waiting for.

    crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

    by wu ming on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 10:28:03 PM PDT

    •  Thanks wu ming (none)
      As you can imagine, I deeply appreciate your comments on organizing and Alinsky.  Thank you so much.  Talkin' Organizing has been very much a labor of love; I see this post as a continuation and expansion on that.  

      I'm fumbling my way forward here in terms of trying to apply those principles in the new situation created by the internet and the blogosphere.  I whole-heartedly agree that the vision of what we in the netroots can accomplish tactically has been far too limited to this point.  My prime example was an idea that Kosmonaut Sheba came up with last December.  When Rummy was busted for using an autopen to sign the death letters, she suggested sending Rummy a pen.  What a wonderful Alinsky-quality tactic, right up there with the shit-in at O'Hare airport.  Imagine if the netroots had generated 10,000 pens streaming into the Pentagon mailroom with notes saying, "here's a pen, now sign the letters yourself!"  I ran that through the Alinskyizer (the Rules of Tactics) and it seemed to score a perfect 13, a true rarity indicating a perfect tactic.  However, when I tried to generate interest, I discovered that it somehow seemed to be outside the experience of our people.  It wasn't the action that was outside the experience, everyone has a cheap ballpoint pen they could stick in an envelope, and everyone knows how to put something in the mail.  What my analysis tells me was outside the experience of the netroots was the idea of tactical direct action itself.  We need to break that barrier.

  •  Glad you diaried this, Larry. (none)
    Magnificent imagery mixed with solid advice on growing our 'little' movement.


    Bring them home. Now. [poll]

    by ilona on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 11:25:59 PM PDT

  •  My small contribution to the crystal (none)
    From my earlier diary:
    Stand With Cindy
  •  Department of Peace (none)
    Are you involved in the Department of Peace movement? I'd be interested in hearing thoughts on that idea and how to move it forward, both through online and offline actions.

    I'm also very interested in the power and potential of online communities for activism and the work of building movements and effecting change. Your example of the pens is a good one - what are the best ways to mobilize people to take an extra step up the engagement ladder. I work for a progressive online community, and am always trying to think of ways to engage our community to both take the actions they have grown comfortable with (online advocacy campaigns) and then take that next step for the issues they care about.

    This is a great conversation - thank you!

    Show Bush and Congress that you stand with Cindy:

    by peacecats on Sun Aug 14, 2005 at 11:45:36 PM PDT

    •  Vet for Peace (none)
      I was of course familiar with the Department of Peace idea from the Kucinich campaign, but I was not aware it had its own movement associated with it.  My main connection to the antiwar movement is as a member of Veterans for Peace.  

      While I see ending the Iraq War as Progressive Job #1 today, most of my organizing experience hasn't been in the antiwar/peace movement, but in local citizen action organizations fighting on issues like slumlords, utility rates, redlining, etc.  You noted my exchange with wu ming above, those were organizations that employed the Alinsky model.  What I'm trying to do is transfer the proven effective organizing model of the Alinsky organizations to the antiwar movement.  Most people aren't familiar with Alinsky-style organizing, because it rarely makes the radar screen of the Corporate Controlled Conservative Press (CCCP), and it's hardly glamorous, usually practiced in poor and working class neighborhoods.  But there is an almost 70-year track record of these methods working.  While the fights are usually local, they can have national repercussions; for instance the community organization in Lowell, MA I was part of played a big role in helping topple Reagan's first EPA Adminstrator Ann Gorsuch Burford for her coziness with the Chemical Manufacturers Assn.  

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