Anchor for this item posted by Bernard (ben) Tremblay at Tuesday, March 26, 2002; Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Funny how something new can develop from a small change in habitual patterns. Tonight I saw a good long movie on the ''tree-sit'' movement on the West Coast ... Julia Butterfly, kneeling to press her face to the earth after, what 20 months up in her tree ... police forcing tear gas under the eye-lids of young non-violent demonstrators ... creeks clogged with fine silt ... Gypsy, days before he was killed when a lumberjack felled a tree directly onto him and a group of friends ... landlslide after landslide after landslide starting from some lumber road and running down through vaste patches of clear cut ... and the workers, saying how fish can grow again, how there are lots of other streams, how this patch of forest is just an insignificant patch of dirt ... and always the bright faces of youth, active in the name of beauty and dignity and plenty. As Julia put it, "loving respect is the answer". And it is, of course. But we need to complicate it, in order to make room for our justifications and rationalizations and story lines. Our blasted planet really is an image of our psyches ... stripped of all but the last shred of the pristine. (I just read that only 2% of Brasil's Atlantic rainforest remains ... inconceivable!)
Anyhow, that brought me across a new thread, new pages, new material, and that means new links. The March 6 page from Progressive Review carries an essay by Sam Smith called "Nobody Left But Us that begins with this paragraph:
If you're waiting for someone in power to do something useful about this mess, forget it. The axis of violence - Bin Laden, Sharon, and Bush - has turned this into a war of alternative terrors, the only certainty being that, by their bidding, somewhere, somehow, more innocent people will be killed or maimed. In this country, those of influence who should rebel against the madness are too cowardly, incompetent, or complicit to raise their voices.
It was the Buddhist Peace Fellowship site that got me to the Progressive Review site. I went there haunted by the image of the policemen torturing those kidz ... and the lumberjacks (you could almost hear the "click" when their brains clicked into "ideology" mode. I cut trees for a living ... selective cutting ... I know how easy it is for working men to understand sustainability, and how easy it is to throw the switch, abnegate responsibility, and spool the internalized propaganda when althernatives aren't practical). Not only did going there bring me that site and that essay, but it also brought me some news: the trend I've been noticing at BPF is coalescing around the new anti-war movement, and BPF has announced that it has signed on to the United We March program for April 20th action in Washington, DC. I'm considering trying some personal fund raising (i.e. begging). 30 years of activism have left me with not enough for a bus ticket across town (not true ... a friend lent me $12 tonight), so I can't actually say I have an experience of sufficiency, but it would be a good project to try ... it would be good to spend time with people who are fundamentally like-minded.
Loving respect is the answer.


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