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Creating Solidarity (In appreciation for Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh and all who are "being the change")

Message Peter Barus
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ICNC interview with Palestinian activist Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh
(Image by YouTube, Channel: ICNC - International Center on Nonviolent Conflict)
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Dear Mazin,

I hope you are well; especially in light of the profound difference you make for so many people, in Science and in Society.

Not only, although of course primarily, for people under the direct oppression of obsolete power; but also people like me, who still can sit back, in our supposedly inconvenient confinement, and watch, and wait.

Like the wild turkeys here, who cross the road one at a time, while the rest watch fearfully awaiting developments. We might think we are safe, even prudent, and not merely hesitant. We might even think this is solidarity.

But we are not turkeys, and our solidarity is not mere huddling with the flock in the face of danger. Solidarity is not safety-in-numbers, the madness of a lynch-mob. We are not born in solidarity. Not even that of a flock of turkeys. Nor is it a philosophy, or a movement, or a vision of some-day.

It is our condition only if we declare it so. And worse yet: only if we then honor our given word. Solidarity is after all only a word, until our actions give it the lie, or give it reality. Action is not bravery or foolishness: it's creation.

This is elementary, or should be. Then we can see that the one standing out there on the illusory sanctuary of that dotted line, is the one standing in and for solidarity. Without that individual, solidarity is no more than turkey-gobble. In this context, I must now rethink my usual lofty disdain for "middle-of-the-road." True solidarity clearly involves a lot more going-it-alone than I had at first imagined.

Now that the great mirror of pandemic has captured our gaze, all of us stand naked in its glaring truth. Captured as we stood. Freeze-framed, caught in the act, our true intentions silhouetted against our own walls. Whatever walls we have built or imposed, decorated with art or blood, or broken through.

Now, many and many of us will spend what time remains cropping and tinting that picture, hoping to curate its proliferating viral clones. Hoping to splice it seamlessly into the footage unreeling so mercilessly onto the ground of our true being. Mind you, not our "true nature," but what we have brought into being in action.

But for a few, nothing need be explained or nuanced. Their work remains relevant and effective and necessary. It is but a frame out of thousands showing the same steadfast practice and expression of solidarity, with and for everyone on Earth.

Thank you, Mazin. For being the change we all want to see.

 

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I'm an old Pogo fan. For some unknown reason I persist in outrage at Feudalism, as if human beings can do much better than this. Our old ways of life are obsolete and are killing us. Will the human race wake up in time? Stay tuned...

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