February 1, 2012
How did we get to February already? I am very proud of MoveOn Sullivan, and what we have done in the past few months. Kudos to Kathie and all, and thanks for welcoming me into this ‘conversation’. I needed an outlet for my anger over things and my Sullivan and Ulster MoveOn friends helped me with this. I started by going down to the first big march on Oct. 5th with some of my ‘women in black’ friends, Barbara Upton, Linda Abbott and others.
They welcomed me and mentioned that there was a Sullivan county MoveOn group.. Who knew? I had some great ‘learning’ experiences with them in New Paltz, Kingston, and met many other great people supporting Occupy Wall Street, and we brought some supplies and other stuff down to NYC to help out there. Then, there was Occupy Poughkeepsie. A great group of young folk showing us all ‘what Democracy looks like’. I am proud to have rallied with them several times and once with Padma and Kathie.
Now I feel like MoveOn Sullivan has reached a pinnacle but also a growing moment. We are now, sort of, the Progressive movement of Sullivan, or its head. We have a great responsibility and a great opportunity. Some differences as to how and where we should be or go, is natural. I believe we need to ‘tighten up’ our structure somewhat, focus more on what we are doing. We need to get our Press releases out to more avenues and make our voice heard. This is all possible, and I dedicate myself to help to my best ability to this.
We are one ‘spot’ of action in the Hudson valley area, amongst some amazing others, such as all the local Occupy movements, but all the ‘re energized’ progressives in the area, I believe, mostly, thanks to the Occupy movement’s s spurring us on, as all around the nation, and even the world, are now realizing our strength. I am not sure if I would have found Sullivan’s MoveOn, (Kathie actually), if she had not advertised some meetings around Progressive actions. I use the term ‘progressive’ as I feel it better portrays my feelings, rather than some of the more ‘divisive’? terms? I like Progressive, because to me it means ‘going forward’ instead of backwards. Many in our nation (at least on the more conservative side) have a misplaced affection for thoughts of a Post War, ‘cold war’ ethic, which is actually, not an ethic in any sense, but, more a retro way of thinking about things that have changed beyond their ability to comprehend, and, perhaps, keep up with. I believe , I am being ‘kinder’ than I normally would.
I /we live in such a strange time, especially, to my thinking. When I was a teenager, college student, who would have ever thought the Soviet Union would just dissolve before our eyes? Or that the Berlin wall would ever come down. More recently, who would have thought that finally, the Middle eastern Arab countries, would likewise, seem to be protesting their age old dictatorships, and in seeking their own Freedoms, and perhaps Democracy of their own devising, falling one by one, however, in a much more bloody fashion, and still battling, for their own freedom. They had to do this on their own, and the less we, (USA) have to do with it the better. But, how could we have conceived of this ever happening with one man’s suicide by fire, in Tunisia and spread around the Middle east. And it still goes on and will continue.
So, I am energized and emboldened. Some of my friends and most of my family, who even pay attention to me, are flabbergasted, or just plain, unbelieving of me. Maybe I am too! But, I always had the activist spark, though I hadn’t ‘lit’ that spark again since protesting for Gay Rights and AIDS support in the 1990’s, as I watched way too many acquaintances and dear friends pass away, in a horrible way.
So, these are my current musings, and thoughts. Where will we go in 2012? Where we NEED to. I am with you all, and very glad to know you all. I know we will add members from people who have just been on the sidelines waiting for us to tap them on the shoulder and say, ‘Let’s get up and speak out. Let’s DO something’… Some will Occupy, some will Protest, some will take non- violent public actions. Some or all of this, might be us. I am very interested in the call for us to be more ‘confrontational’, aggressive, or whatever else it takes. I think its time we put out bodies (and minds) on the line. If you look at what’s going on in Syria and most other Arab countries, as well as the daily news of new arrests in all the ‘Occupy’ camps, it should shame us into concrete action…. Yes, I am older now, feel pain everyday, have a terrible, uncurable disease, but , I will do what is necessary. Maybe I’m crazy. LOL!