this week was so full it overflowed, every minute was targeted, focused, occupied.
it was warm and sunny each day except the two I had to be outside on actions.
there’s lots of media about the actions I was involved in this week, most of it wrong.
the oscar grant rally was a study in applying nonviolent theory in the face of real, deep anger from the community. there were so many different kinds of people involved, such ideological distances in terms of how to respond, that it seemed impossible to have any kind of good, useful event. and yet we needed something that was grounded in peace and community that also had confrontational elements. the feeling we get watching the video of grant’s murder, we carry it inside. the video gave us the kind of credible proof that no amount of eyewitness accounts or common sense can deliver. from this singular horror, we spread light on the state of ourselves as a people.
the situation in gaza and our response to it is also a test of any principle of nonviolence. is there an edge of nonviolence…should we condone nonviolence to the point of extinction; physical or cultural or both? israel seems to think so: if palestinians turn the other cheek, israelis break palestinian necks. if palestinians fight back, israelis break palestinian necks. this is not new, this is fear-driven power.
I work with an organization committed to nonviolence, but do not self identify as a pacifist. poet dylan thomas said, ‘do not go gentle into that good night’. when faced with cultural extinction, we watch communities rise up, throw rocks, break windows, form into gangs, sacrifice themselves, scalp their enemies, shoot rockets, become zionists. destroying the culture of another group of people in order to advance your own, the practice of supremacy – reactive or not – is perhaps the largest, most incendiary and yet easy, polite, crime imaginable. we are not eveil, but the cycle for survival that we’ve been on so far continues to turn us towards the darkness.
i sound like star wars. but…its been giving me nightmares, as well it should. at every moment right now, something is being done by one human onto another that is unbearable, and our advancement as humans has only served to make sure we have high tech ways to do these awful things to each other, and to make sure we all know about it as we do it.
fight or go numb, what’s better, i don’t know. seeing the fight this week made me glad to be on the warrior side.
we deserve to live, we know this, we carry that feeling inside us.