Good Reason to Try Again

(9AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

While the Netroots Nation 2010 conference was happening in Las Vegas last weekend, another conference, even more important IMHO, was occurring in Albany, New York.  The United National Anti-War Conference brought together a broad coalition of peace, anti-war, social justice, labor, ethnic, and other activists for the purpose of finding a new mode and presentation for our many, many righteous grievances.

From Glenn Ford to David Swanson to Noam Chomsky to Medea Benjamin, the hard core community of dissent and change gathered to explore why we have not been able to attain our goals and look for more productive roads to success.

Glenn Ford, one of my favorites, Editor of the “Black Agenda Report”, and an attendee at the conference reported on July 28th:

A renewed anti-war movement is under construction, one that breaks decisively from the Cult of Obama, demands an end to all U.S. aid to the Israeli “apartheid regime,” and calls for “immediate, total and unconditional withdrawal of all U.S. troops, mercenaries and contractors from Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, and the immediate closing of all U.S. bases in those countries.”

…snip

The mission [of the nearly 600 delegates] is to rescue the anti-war movement from the rubble of its collapse with the ascent of Black Democrat Barack Obama to the presidency.

Ford goes on to name the anti-war defectors:

Leap with me beneath the fold…

As George Bush exited the White House, the phony anti-war forces – people and groups that only oppose Republican wars – exited the movement. Activist and author David Swanson’s list of those that have made their peace with Obama’s wars include: Campaign for America’s Future, the Center for American Progress, DailyKos, Democracy for America, Moveon.org, National Organization for Women, Open Left, the Out of Iraq Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, the Network of Spiritual Progressives, Talking Points Memo, True Majority.

Several people here have expressed a lack of any hope for changing and correcting this society.  And it is far from me to express an optimistic view of the dire straits in which this nation and the world currently languishes.  I am not optimistic, but I also realize that to support an hopeless, a pessimistic view of possibility is indeed self defeating.  No matter how slim the possibility of a positive outcome may be, it only makes the failure more certain when we abandon that slim possibility.

Cassiodorus presented a hypothetical about addressing climate change.  This conference in Albany focussed on anti-imperialism and jobs at home.  

The different emphases don’t bother me.  Either and both can be used to raise consciousness.  And, as Banger has said, it is the consciousness which needs to be raised.  That is the basis for change.  Either that, or the “miracle”, the sudden “leap of consciousness” to another plane where all will be a little more clear, a little more purposeful — a kind of hundredth monkey type of thing.

The conference endorsed several actions coming this summer and fall – and next spring a national day of actions.  Read it here.

I’ll close with another quote from the BAR article:

Perhaps the most poignant moment of the weekend came when Ralph Poynter read a letter from his companion in struggle for nearly fifty years, Lynne Stewart, who had been part of the conference steering committee. “I have been out of the steering apparatus due to my unavailability,” she wrote. “Serve the people with honesty, kindness and respect. Love the struggle.”

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  1. for anyone who has a better reason to keep trying…~~~

    • Edger on July 30, 2010 at 6:43 am

    On Tuesday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill already passed by the Senate that funds a $33 billion, 30,000-troop escalation in Afghanistan. The vote was 308 to 114. What could the good news possibly be?

    The first good news is that, while we had no more than 35 congress members who would vote against war funding a year ago, or perhaps 55 when it was an easy vote with no pressure, we’ve now got 114. That’s serious progress. That’s a far more dramatic increase than we’ve seen in the number of congress members willing to vote for a non-binding unspecified timetable for a withdrawal. That number rose from 138 last year to 162 on July 1st (although the legislation was somewhat stronger this year). In other words, willingness to express mild interest in ending the war has reached a plateau. Willingness to take serious action to end the war is rapidly catching up. Of course, both have to top 218 before we win.

    The really good news is that we finally have an essential ingredient in any recipe for legislative change: a record of which legislators are with us, and which against us.

    More… by David Swanson

  2. …for the boost!

  3. thanks for this dharmasyd…

    there needs to be a major overhaul and paradigm shift. Maybe Ill have time again to blog in September…heh.

    Was listening (in the car) to Democracy Now this morning re Obama’s Education “reform” and there was also a segmnet re AZ and immigration stuff.

    Several days ago there was the absurdity of the sentencing of Comrade Duch in Cambodia….

    and some other things… plenty of fodder….

    all whizzing by with barely a whisper.

    So the pop-psyche definition of “insanity” being “doing the same things over and over and expecting different results”… seems to apply to… us… (whoever that is).

    To me, it seems completely pointless and a waste of time to fight with the Blue Team fans over at GOS (or anywhere), to engage in foolish debate, to continue pissing in the wind…. its just spinning wheels and a total waste of valuable time and mental energy.

    Since the Gulf Disaster, Ive been, well, immobilized. Utterly discouraged. How do you combat that kind of Goliath?

    But Im slowly coming back from that despair.

    Slowly.

    Cant do it alone…. none of us can.

  4. Good of you to come forth, despite our bummed out feelings, to offer a message of a little hope.  The event in New York was very important and, I think, a huge statement.

    Nonetheless, despite Wikileaks, and all the anti-war pleas and protests, the $33bn supplemental funding was passed.

    But a little help for the Small Businesses?  No, the Republicans blocked the bill that would have provided some tax relief, as as well as small loans to Small Businesses — all of which was intended to help the economy!

    But, yes, we must try to keep a little “fire” burning within us!

    Thanks again!

    • RiaD on July 31, 2010 at 2:16 am

    for this little spark in the darkness

  5. especially:

    As George Bush exited the White House, the phony anti-war forces – people and groups that only oppose Republican wars – exited the movement. Activist and author David Swanson’s list of those that have made their peace with Obama’s wars include: Campaign for America’s Future, the Center for American Progress, DailyKos, Democracy for America, Moveon.org, National Organization for Women, Open Left, the Out of Iraq Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, the Network of Spiritual Progressives, Talking Points Memo, True Majority.

    The fake left needs to be called what they are.  

  6. As George Bush exited the White House, the phony anti-war forces – people and groups that only oppose Republican wars – exited the movement.

    ain’t it the truth.

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