Citizen action means giving a hand, joining hands, raising your hand, and never handing over your constitutional rights. The action began last November 7 when voting citizens said “no” to conventional wisdom and returned control of Congress to Democrats. Now the holidays are over and Congress’ work begins tomorrow. This is the beginning of a brand new year for our elected senators and representatives. And there is still much to be done by citizen activists.
Citizen action means in some cases getting on your feet, putting one foot in front of the other, footing the bill, and never sitting at the feet of power. There is an opportunity for many feet to march in Washington at the end of the month. This story about the potential of activism comes from a website called the Baltimore Independent Media Center . The headline reads,”MASS DEMONSTRATION IN WASHINGTON DC ON JANUARY 27.” To quote from the story,
United for Peace and Justice (1500 organizations) is teaming with over 500 additional groups to march on Congress to insist the US get out of Iraq. Massive numbers are expected to rally and to march around the Capital on January 27 at the start of a 3-day event.
. . . More than 70% of the American public is opposed to this war, but it doesn’t matter to this President. You voted in November — but your vote apparently didn’t register. This time, vote with your feet, vote with your airfare, vote with your bus ticket. Vote with your
presence in the streets of Washington DC on Saturday, January, 27th. The stakes have never been higher.
Citizen action means flying in the face of logic by opposing the war while supporting the troops. Walking that very fine line is very difficult. This group has found a way, it seems. Visit propeace.net, whose heading reads, “The propeace community; evolving from antiwar to propeace; building a culture of peace” One of the members of the community titles his post of today, “There are reasons to be cheerful.” Hear, hear! Another blogger, “betmo” carries a list of organizations to which citizens can turn, and she includes “armed forces organizations” on that list. Her post today covers the nuts and bolts of impeachment. How about that for walking that fine line?
Citizen action means speaking up. Bloggers do it by writing. Wednesday is the day I designated for writing about activism, citizenship and the environment. We are never sure whether we make a difference. But we must believe that we do, or we would not continue our regular posting and commenting for years and years. For an excellent study of the world of progressive blogging, the so-called “netroots,” I recomment an article from the Sept/Oct 2006 issue of The Boston Review. Headlined, “Bloggers and Parties – Can the netroots reshape American democracy?” It was written by Henry Farrell, whom I quote:
The “netroots”—an Internet grass roots that has set out to change the Democratic Party—are often maligned. These progressive bloggers and their readers, who emerged as an influential group during Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, are increasingly depicted as a sinister movement under the dictatorial control of Markos “Kos” Moulitsas Zúniga, the founder of the prominent political blog Daily Kos.
. . . The netroots are also important in their own right, even if their role in winning or losing elections is sometimes exaggerated. The availability of Internet-based communications and community-building technologies has allowed people from quite different ideological backgrounds to come together, to identify points of common interest, and to build a community of action.
Coincidentally, MPetrelis, a DailyKos diarist, posts today about a citizen action group from some time ago. It is titled, “ACT UP turns 20 in March 2007.” Wonder how they will celebrate.
Citizen action means doing everything we can as individuals to protect the environment. Last year I wrote a post about “Living Green.” Today I include a useful link to an all-purpose web page – About: environmental issues.