Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Don't just believe--organize. Change is up to us.

Whew! What a relief to have an administration in Washington where you can actually count the neoconservative warmongers. It's a welcome change from an administration made up of them.

Think we're being too cynical? Well, this blog post and this press release give you examples of why we think the change in administrations doesn't mean our job out on the bridge is done.

History tells us that, too. Despite what one candidate in the recent election said, we can't elect our way out of war or other social problems. Large numbers of people organized and asserting their will--social movements--are what drive progressive social change, leaving the politicians no choice but to follow. So please don't call politicians our "leaders." Whatever kind of political system it is where people elect their leaders, that's not what we've got. The people we elect are supposedly there to represent us--and they can't read our minds.

One thing that's been on our minds lately is that too few people understand that a blockade is an act of war. If we were to blockade Iran and Iran were to retaliate, we'd be hearing what evil aggressors the Iranians were, not that we'd started something. And Israel, which says a blockade against it was a cause for war in 1967, has long maintained a blockade against Gaza. Yet it claims that rockets fired in response to that blockade were acts of aggression and that its response to those is merely self-defense. Here's what Israeli human rights groups are saying about what they call "the campaign in Gaza."

Since our last update the third member of our group has left town. Two regulars remain, and sometimes we can both manage to get out there at once on Sunday--though rarely right at noon. And one couple occasionally stops by and walks a few brisk circuits around the bridge around the middle of the hour.

It sure is thrilling that this country elected an African American president--and even inaugurated him. It's great to have a president who uses the vocabulary of some of our movements for social change. He may even want to make some of the changes we need made. But the president can't do it. Change is up to us. Don't just believe--organize.



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