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Taking It to the Streets

August 15, 2011 - Awhile back, I indicated, upon receipt of an email inviting me to participate, that I would be interested in taking part in an action protesting the KXL (tar sands) pipeline. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find a place to stay in the Washington, D.C. area, so I'll send an email to President Obama, telling him that I support the protestors, heart and soul. That's the best I can do. If you're going to be in our nation's capital during the second half of August, and would like your voice to be heard, take a look at this website: http://www.tarsandsaction.org/sign-up/.

I feel enormous admiration for the demonstrators who are participating in this action, which begins August 20 and lasts though Labor Day. Having grown up during a time of great upheaval and unrest, I know the truth of the words, "The People, united, will never be defeated!" I believe the people of the United States are growing more united with every passing day. Our country no longer stands for government of, by, and for the people, and we feel it. There is a burgeoning recognition that something must be done to stop those who believe this ideal is For Sale.

The vast majority of Americans know by now that unchecked climate change will destroy our precious planet, and that's why some are marching in Washington. Others feel just as deeply that our threatened democracy must be revived. They will be in Madison, WI on August 24 and 25 for the very first Democracy Convention. Honing skills necessary for the revival and application of democratic ideals will be the basis for this first-of-its-kind conclave. Skills like Non-Violent Direct Action, Radio for Revolution, Using Local Laws to Create Food Sovereignty, and Building a Progressive Movement will be discussed. Get trained, then get busy - go to http://democracyconvention.org/ .

For those who remain steadfastly unamused by the shenanigans of JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and others of that ilk, think about setting up housekeeping on Wall Street for a few months. The Occupy Wall Street action starts September 17, and I for one truly hope so many people turn out they can't be ignored - not on Wall Street, not on Main Street, and not on Pennsylvania Avenue. Thanks to adbusters for getting this underway. The most recent organizational meeting was August 13 - see if you can make the next one! Go to http://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/occupywallstreet .

More brave Americans have decided that ten years of war is enough. For this reason, they intend to occupy Freedom Plaza in Washington, starting October 6, the tenth anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. Those who pledge to participate also promise to remain for as long as they can. Many of the organizers of the actions described in this post liken them to Tahrir Square in Egypt, to the Arab Spring, and to the Midwest Awakening. If this sounds like the way you'd like to inform your government that YOU have, indeed, awakened, go to http://october2011.org/ .

These actions will rely heavily on young Americans to participate. I am so proud of our children for following in the determined footsteps of those who protested racial inequality and the Vietnam War. Senator Bob Dole, someone I am not in the habit of quoting, put it best: "Where is the outrage?" Perhaps, at last, we're ready to own our fury. Let's not forget why these events need to happen.

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