Washington Round-the-Clock Vigil Day 100; Hunger Strike on Hold at Day 45 (800 calories per day) to maintain strength for VOLUME BUILDING FOR SEPTEMBER 9th and 17th.
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR:
“There is nothing wrong with a traffic law which says you have to stop for a red light. But when a fire is raging, the fire truck goes right through the red light......Or, when a person is bleeding to death, the ambulance goes through those red lights at top speed...... Disinherited people all over the world are bleeding to death from deep social and economic wounds. They need brigades of ambulance drivers who will have to ignore the red lights of the present system until the emergency is solved.......civil disobedience is a strategy for social change which is at least as forceful as an ambulance with its sirens on full.”
I would bet my life [ I guess that I am betting my life on it :-) !!! ] that Civil Disobedience is ESSENTIAL as a COMPONENT of our efforts IF WE ARE TO STOP GENOCIDE. One of your fellow activists, from the Midwest emailed me inquiring as to my views. Our exchange follows (or it is on the web under 2 comments):
[email received by me tonight in response to an earlier email DARFUR: BASES LOADED. WE-THE-PEOPLE UP AT BAT ] --------------------
Thank you for the inspiring e-mail and the loud call to action during September. I look forward to seeing you out there. And thank you for the wealth of information and articles included in the email.
One note: You mentioned civil disobedience. I was just considering whether or not our objectives for the rally would be better advanced by this tactic. As you said Bush needs our help. We in Fort Wayne feel that above all the rally is intended to lay out our demands for action to be taken in Darfur AND to let Bush know that when he does take AGGRESSIVE action, he will have our support. I think that perhaps civil disobedience may be a counterintuitive measure in this instance.
[MY RESPONSE} 8:09 PM ------------------
Jay McGinley said... Dear Comrade,
How wonderful to hear from you. I believe I understand your concern. Is it that Civil Disobedience is generally considered PROTEST?
As you may know I have been in front of the White House or similar institutions in Washington on Vigil since May 14th, pretty much round the clock. Many times a day I am asked, "what are you PROTESTING?" I explain that I am "DEMONSTRATING" to SUPPORT and ENCOURAGE the president, and my fellow countrymen to higher levels of action! My point? That I believe that you and I see that SUPPORT and ENCOURAGEMENT is what the President needs. But the world community, our fellow countrymen, China, al BASHIR need to be our focus TOO!
CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, and/or HUNGER STRIKE are ESSENTIAL at this point:
* THEY ARE THE LOUDEST WE CAN SHOUT OUR SUPPORT FOR TROOPS ON THE GROUND. Why are they loud? Because like any loud, widely heard ADVERTISING... THEY COST A LOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
* Yes, but what about Civil Disobedience? WE MUST PROTEST WORLD INACTION / U.N. INACTION / WE-THE-PEOPLE INACTION / CHINA OBSTRUCTION / BASHIR OBSTRUCTION!!! And IN TRUTH, THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE. If we do NOT use Civil Disobedience, but use ONLY less "costly" means (meetings, concerts, rallies, 4 hr demonstrations), THAT is the message - that Darfur requires ONLY CHEAP SOLUTIONS.
* SOME OF US MUST INSPIRE / ENCOURAGE / PROVIDE EXAMPLE to our brothers and sisters so that they "see," and step up in HUGE NUMBERS, MORE FORCEFULLY THAN OTHERWISE THEY WOULD. This has always been the way, no? Civil Rights, Suffrage, stopping the Vietnam War....
Please tell me if I understood your thoughts, and your reaction to the above. I grow through such thoughtful people as you.
* For the noble cause (but arguably less so than stopping the GENOCIDE OF 3,000,000) Georgetown U and U Washington, and Harvard U students HUNGER STRUCK last year and WON LIVING WAGES FOR THEIR CUSTODIAL AND FOOD WORKER STAFFS. (ERROR: Washington and Harvard were SIT INS, not Hunger Strikes per my earlier email.)
* FEW IF ANY SOCIAL CAUSES HAVE BEEN WON... WITHOUT SIGNIFICANT ANTIVIOLENT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. Suffrage? Civil Rights? Stopping Apartheid? Ending Vietnam War? Etc? Etc?
Why would we take that chance with the lives of these 3,000,000??????? Why ARE we taking a chance with 3,000,000 lives?
AND, WHY WOULD WE DEPRIVE PEOPLE OF TODAY OF THEIR FINEST HOUR??!?!?!?! I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY OF CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, AND STOPPING THE VIETNAM WAR. WILL WE DEPRIVE TODAY'S YOUTH OF STANDING UP FOR THEIR GREAT MOMENT IN HISTORY? WILL WE STAND IN THEIR WAY OF FINDING THEIR GREATNESS? Or, will we offer them the chance, and follow their lead?
ps: I'm in! Call me if I can help! In any way!
1. Antiviolent component of SEPT 17th in NYC; Elsewhere in US, and Abroad? THERE SHOULD BE!!!!!!!!
2. MASSIVE TURNOUT FOR SEPT 9th? THERE MUST BE!!!!!!!!
3. ESCALLATION ON SEPT. 10th AT THE WHITE HOUSE? CALL ME!!!!!!!!!!
pps: ANTIVIOLENT CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE: IF NOT FOR GENOCIDE, FOR WHAT!?!?! IF NOT NOW, WHEN? IF NOT US, IF NOT YOU, WHO?