Thomas Jefferson sez: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
In his most recent book, a two-volume set called "Endgame," author Derrick Jensen tells of a discussion he had with a longtime activist. "She told me of a campaign she participated in a few years ago to try to stop the government and transnational timber corporations from spraying Agent Orange, a potent defoliant and teratogen, in the forests of Oregon," Jensen writes. All too predictably, the dedicated demonstrators assembled to protest the toxic spraying were, "like clockwork," ignored by the helicopter pilots. Both humans and landscape ended up thoroughly doused with Agent Orange-time and time again. The protest campaign obviously had no effect, so a different approach was taken. "A bunch of Vietnam vets lived in those hills," the activist told Jensen, "and they sent messages to the Bureau of Land Management and to Weyerhauser, Boise Cascade, and the other timber companies saying, 'We know the names of your helicopter pilots, and we know their addresses'
"You know what happened next?" she asked.
"I think I do," Jensen responded.
"Exactly," she said. "The spraying stopped."
To me, the following quote reads like poetry...so that's how I'll present it:
Whenever any form of
to these ends,
it is the right of the people
to alter or to abolish it,
and to institute new government,
laying its foundation
on such principles
and organizing its powers
in such form,
as to them
In her excellent 1995 book, "Bridge of Courage," Jennifer Harbury quotes a Guatemalan freedom fighter named Gabriel, responding to a plea to embrace non-violent resistance: "In my country child malnutrition is close to 85 percent. Ten percent of all children will be dead before the age of five, and this is only the number actually reported to government agencies. Close to 70 percent of our people are functionally illiterate. There is almost no industry in our country-you need land to survive. Less than 3 percent of our landowners own over 65 percent of our lands. In the last fifteen years or so, there have been over 150,000 political murders and disappearances... Don't talk to me about Gandhi; he wouldn't have survived a week here. There was a peaceful movement for progress here, once. They were crushed. We were crushed. For Gandhi's method to work, there must be a government capable of shame. We lack that here."
Repeat after me: We lack that here.
Another "poem" of sorts:
You've got to learn
you push people around,
some people push back.
As they should.
As they must.
And as they undoubtedly will.
There is justice
in such symmetry.
Love is the answer...but as in tennis, sometimes it means "nothing."
Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at: http://www.mickeyz.net.