(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.”
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.”