Posted in Music, Politics, Songs of the Resistance

Soundtrack for the Resistance – (2) Despair is Not an Option

Despair is not an option (Bernie Sanders)

Hope is the one seat they have not already taken (Margy, author of this blog)

Trump is busy de-funding Planned Parenthood and I’m getting ready for a tax protest march on the Cambridge Common  this Saturday. We still don’t know where Trump is getting his money and how much of it he’s paying his taxes. Is Russia his overlord? We have no idea. Everyone else in Trump’s camp seems to be on the Kremlin’s payroll.

We will not crawl into a corner and blow away. We will show up at town halls, make calls, find new progressive candidates to run against the Koch machine and – eventually – we will prevail. Tiny steps, yes. Incremental advances, but the push is on.

And we will sing. In this interconnected world, the voices are coming from around the world, but the message is the same. We will not accept this. Our setbacks are only that. Like some crazy political whack-a-mole, one protest that’s put down leads to several more in other places. The Dakota Access Pipeline may have been rammed through a nation’s sovereign borders, but other nations-within-a-nation are taking up the struggle.

Ever hear of the Pilgrim pipeline in New York and New Jersey? How about the Sabal Pipeline for natural gas in Florida? Nobody’s giving in to this.

The New Dakota Pipeline?

By the way, in my research I found out that indigenous people from throughout the US and the world came to support the protesters at Standing Rock. We all remember the military folks who came to apologize for their part in earlier massacres and land theft, but did you know that the New Zealand Maori and the Australian aborigines also sang and danced in their honor? Did you know other US and Canadian tribes came to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux? This journey has led to my own education and a feeling that Native Americans may just be starting to feel their oats once again. About time we treated native Americans like human beings.

Like the song says, stand up. Be strong and don’t let the current right wing wave wash you out to sea. Stay rested, take breaks from social media, love like there’s no tomorrow. If we don’t, there will NOT be a tomorrow.

I’ll wind this screed up with another trip down memory lane because, yeah, I’m a baby boomer and so are a lot of the women marching at the head of the crowd:

Watch out now, take care
Beware of falling swingers
Dropping all around you
The pain that often mingles
In your fingertips
Beware of darkness

Watch out now, take care
Beware of the thoughts that linger
Winding up inside your head
The hopelessness around you
In the dead of night

Beware of sadness
It can hit you
It can hurt you
Make you sore and what is more
That is not what you are here for

Watch out now, take care
Beware of soft shoe shufflers
Dancing down the sidewalks
As each unconscious sufferer
Wanders aimlessly
Beware of Maya

Watch out now, take care
Beware of greedy leaders
They take you where you should not go
While Weeping Atlas Cedars
They just want to grow, grow and grow
Beware of darkness (beware of darkness)

Song and Lyrics by George Harrison

Stand up. Stay on your feet. Don’t succumb to inertia, fear or cynicism. We have to do this.

#resistancesoundtrack

Posted in Black Lives Matter, Donald Trump, Elizabeth Warren, Occupy-Wall-Street, Politics, Womens March

Add One More Activist

I’ve participated in American democracy primarily by voting, at least up until now. I voted when I turned 18 and still show up for every election in the many, many years since. Like many of us, the election of Donald Trump has suddenly turned me into an honest-to-God activist. I’m calling my representatives in congress, writing letters to the paper and will be meeting a member of my Congresswoman’s staff this Friday. My Congresswoman will still be in DC. Otherwise I’d be meeting with her in person. I’ve been watching videos of town meetings in other parts of the country, where hundreds or thousands of people have been turning up to protest and let their elected reps know they’re on notice.

Republicans, alas, control both houses of Congress so there have been setbacks. We have a Secretary of Education who knows nothing about public schools or college education. We have a Secretary of State (Jeff Sessions) who was condemned by Coretta Scott King back in the 1980s for his support of racism and segregation. My Senator, Elizabeth Warren, was shut down by Republicans before she could conclude her testimony against Sessions. As a result, #she persisted is now a viral meme on the internet.

The Supreme Court nomination process worries me. These are lifetime appointments and we have a split court. It’s been rightward-tilting up until the death of one of the judges and the Republicans held up Obama’s nominee for an entire year. Right now we have four liberals and four conservatives. Another conservative could set progress back for generations. Trump’s nominee will need 60 votes to pass, which means some Democrats will have to vote for him. At the very least, there’s a great deal of pressure on them to delay or defer that vote. A lot of people are saying that the seat was stolen by the Republicans’ refusal to consider Obama’s candidate for so long. Maybe we’ll just have to wait, at least until 2018 when we might be able to get the Senate back, this time with forward-thinking, progressive Democratic candidates.

It’s been an amazing time. Massive demonstrations and mass actions everywhere. It feels different, like we’re on the verge of a revolution. All the energy that went into the Occupy, Black Lives Matter and other movements feel like they’ve come together into one, huge, uproar.

And maybe the women will lead. The Womens March, Elizabeth Warren and the rest may be at the head of the line this time, leading us to change.

 

Posted in Boston, Massachusetts, Politics, Womens March, Wow!

Making History

Boston Globe article
A Second American Revolution?

I made history yesterday, along with several  million people all over the world. I participated in the Boston Women’s March for America. We were 175,000 people strong. By the time we got to the Boston Common, the area was so crowded that we couldn’t hear the speakers, only clapping and roars from the crowd closer in. It took us over two hours just to get from where were stood at the center-rear of the Common to the street where the march commenced. I was surrounded by energy, love, diversity and hope.

I came with 16 other people, organized by my good friend Michele. She gathered family and friends, many of whom came in from other New England states to participate in the march. Some of those same folks left that same night. I applaud their energy and enthusiasm. We represented all ages. Michele (as well as many of us) is in her 60s. She was joined by siblings, nieces, friends of nieces and more. We had a family tree on its way to Boston Common!

It was an amazing day. Our numbers were far higher than anyone had expected. The same was true of marches in other parts of the country. We were a sea of pink pussy hats yesterday and we sent a message, whether or not our new “president” deigned to hear it. Everyone else did.

I’m still floating today. Every news source was full of stories and pictures of millions of people demonstrating and marching. There were marches in Antarctica, Europe, Asia and Africa. The DC event was the largest protest march in history. Our election put our own people as well as people in the rest of the world in danger. As an American, I have a responsibility to rectify that. Donald Trump was not elected by a majority, but by an antiquated electoral system that did not serve the interests of the American people in November.

I feel empowered, for the first time in months. And, I don’t intend to stop here. The marches were just the first volley in our second American revolution.

Posted in Politics

Resist Much

reprinted from the New York Times opinion page by Timothy Egan

This is a very dangerous man, our next president. Dangerous in his certitude about what he doesn’t know. Dangerous in his ignorance of history, his antipathy toward reading, his inability to sort fact from fiction. The last man to play things by the gut while in control of the world’s most powerful military left a mortal mess.

But welcome, for now, President-elect Donald Trump. It feels, in much of the nation, like the death of a loved one — the sudden, unexpected kind. I haven’t felt this way since the nuns told our second-grade class that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. Still, grief is an emotion that has little power in politics.

A majority — well, not from the popular vote, which Hillary Clinton won — chose radical change over reasoned predictability. They’re going to get plenty of change, much of it chaotic and cruel. Those who think Trump can be contained, or trained by seasoned K Street hacks to act reasonable, are deluding themselves. He’ll do it his way.

The Republicans will control everything, including the Supreme Court. Washington is theirs, with minimal checks and balances. And if the forgotten, the undereducated, the Rust Belt survivors think they are going to see a renaissance of their communities, consider this headline from Yahoo Finance on the day after the election: “Trump win is a ‘grand slam’ for Wall Street Bankers.” He will not betray his class.

 But resistance is not futile. Within the durable strength of the Constitution are many options — peaceful, legal, effective countermoves, not the burn-it-all down schemes of the Trumpsters, had Clinton won. One question is existential: Can the world survive the 45th American president?

When he looks the other way while Russia takes a small country, we can remind him that the United States signed a treaty with war-broken European allies that cannot be dismissed by fiat. When he orders the generals to torture suspects, kill family members of suspected terrorists, they can cite Geneva Conventions — something the generals know much more about than Trump.