Saturday, June 19, 2010

New project: "Walk Against War"

(It occurred to me after having coffee with my daughter Jessica this afternoon, then hiking in the local hills. I wanted to just keep walking – out across the country.)

“Walk Against War”: an international grassroots organization that encourages members (like me) to not just blog and twitter about ending war, but actually go out into their local communities (and beyond) to intentionally raise the topic. Getting up off their butts, off their computers, and into face-to-face dialogue with other humans, occasionally walking en masse but not particularly causing spectacles. It needs to start more low-key and organically, but be insistent and persistent and build momentum, until it cannot be resisted. (The fall of the Iron Curtain comes to mind.) There wouldn’t be periodic or isolated events, but continual activity. (Think Jehovah’s Witnesses, with cooler clothes and a more noble agenda.) No demonstrations or marches, where everyone goes back to sleep afterward.

The tag line could be “there are more of us than them”. (On the back of the t-shirts!)

These “missionaries” would be “armed” with the information, skills and understanding of the specific steps needed to influence the political system. (Like Obama’s campaign – but this wouldn’t be “virtual”!) They would have all the necessary personal contacts and links for representatives, support and activist group contacts, “field manuals”, access to databases, etc. All for teaching fellow citizens how to defund wars in particular, and the military-industrial complex in general (and the economic opportunities of having that newly-available wealth to address society’s critical challenges – like global warming, hunger, clean water, housing, etc .) They would know things such as what companies to avoid patronizing and investing in, be able to compute exactly how much of an individual’s income supports the military and war, the “opportunity cost” of this investment, who to vote for in support of these goals, etc.

It could link to all the activist politicians like Alan Grayson and Dennis Kucinich, media outlets like Pacifica, Pro Publica, Huffington Post and activist groups like Code Pink, Greenpeace, MoveOn, etc. (and hopefully be supported by them, at least in spirit.)


The platform would be clear, beginning with the U.S. (the biggest war-maker of them all):

  • Spotlighting the “war politicians” (and their “war scorecard”)
  • Spotlighting the war corporations and industries
  • Publishing actual costs of war for each citizen of each nation (already being done here in the U.S.)
  • Demanding year-over-year military budget reductions
  • Withdrawing military installations from foreign countries
  • Ending the use of “supplementals” to fund war, covert operations, etc.
  • It must be international – with representation in all militant nations at minimum
  • Establish Dennis Kucinich’s proposed “Department of Peace” in the President’s Cabinet
  • Demand immediate decommissioning and elimination of nuclear arsenals
  • Promote higher education credential programs focused on skills essential to peacemaking (Doctor of Demilitarization, Masters of Military Mothballing)
  • Bottom line is to starve these military “adventures” of their funding by helping populations vote with their wallet
I am going to divert my attention to this project, and reserve this blog for topics outside of this new campaign.

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