Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Starhawk reports on the Gaza Freedom March

We had created a micro-Gaza right there in the plaza, and again, that is the point of nonviolent action—to dramatize an invisible wrong and make it visible, put in the face of the world so it can’t be ignored.
So I ended up in front of these hard-eyed Egyptian security guys, with the grim expressions that reminded me that these are the folks the CIA gets to do their real torturing for them. But honestly, I was bored. So bored that I decided to make use of the time, if possible, to improve my Arabic.

I smiled at grim cop in front of me, held up one finger, and said, “Wehed?” His eyes locked on mine. I held up two. “Efnayim?” He ventured a smile, nodded encouragingly, and said “Taletha.” “Arbah” I replied, holding up four, and before I knew it the entire line of cops within earshot were grinning and nodding encouragement as I counted to ten, then patiently instructing me on to eleven, twelve, thirteen…There’s a music to the Arabic numbers that is quite hypnotic, and before I knew it I was up to a hundred, with my team cheering me on. Then we started over again, and over. They were all gazing at me with fond, paternal eyes, like a father looks at a promising child, and they stopped looking to me like potential torturers and started looking more like sweet young men doing a job that wasn’t really their choice to begin with. Then they switched shifts, and I had to start all over again. But damn if it didn’t work just the same way with the new guard.

Those quotes are from Starhawk's fourth post detailing her participation in the Gaza Freedom March. Here's the first one.

Is this on the news?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Organizing Against Foreclosures in Chicago

My friend Sandy was at some of these demonstrations. Her friend Elce is in the videos. Go, Elce!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Borders Suck Too...

Sci Fi author Peter Watts beaten at border crossing. Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now fame, was questioned at length at the border. Maybe she'd like to highlight this case. (I found the contact gizmo on their webpage and sent the link.)

School Sucks Sometimes

Mark Chu-Carroll was severely bullied in high school and now they want to to friend him on Facebook, and want him to come to the high reunion. Over 400 comments - he's hit a nerve.

It speaks to me, even though I wasn't physically abused, and can't remember any emotional abuse at school after all these years. (I got more of that from my cousins, who I do see, who think I'm 'too sensitive' for having any problem with their behavior. Yeah, they 'friend' me on Facebook, too. Maybe that's why I've never taken much to Facebook; it's a pretty superficial environment.)

His solution for his kids is to make sure they know martial arts. My solution is to keep my son away from environments like that. His school is tiny, and cares about how the kids feel.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Political action, what's that?

Mike Tidwell's provocative title, To really save the planet, stop going green, isn't quite accurate, but the point he's making is right on.

Don't change your lightbulb, organize!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Our local coffee shop

Catahoula is a local coffee shop 4 blocks from my house. I'd gone there a number of times, but wasn't a regular until I lost my internet connection at home for a few weeks. During the month of November they got to know me well. "A latte, please. More milk, less coffee."

A few days ago Rigo, who works there, said hi as he walked by on his way home. I said, "I bet you knew my internet was better." But I realized I missed the camaraderie, so I headed over there this morning without my computer, got my latte, and read the paper. (I found out Barbara Lee and Barbara Boxer are opposing Obama's "surge". I'm proud of them. I hope they can make a difference.)

I had left some business cards in the display they have for us locals, and noticed they were gone (cool!), so I left a few more.

This is such a cool business. I wish for more like it in our struggling neighborhood.