Monday, May 7, 2007

Thoughts On Why

Throughout the past few days, the one question many people have asked me is why? Why are you people protesting? What is it you hope to accomplish? Do you genuinely think that a few people with signs marching down our streets will cause the armed forces to quit shipping supplies to Iraq?

We protest simply because it's the right thing to do. If you believe that some action or activity is immoral and/or unethical, you have a responsibility to speak up. The oft repeated phrase is true -- Your silence will not protect you!

Protesting takes on even more importance if you are a person who believes in the worth and value of nonviolence. As a pacifist, I would not countenance storming the port and blocking the shipment with the point of a gun. It would wholly negate our mantra of nonviolent action. We would soon become the very thing we so adamantly oppose.

The act of protest most likely will not halt this specific shipment, but it still serves a most important purpose. As more and more people see their friends and neighbors in the streets, it may well motivate them to get off their butts to join us. At some point, with so many people protesting, it will become politically untenable to continue to support the continuation of this infernal war.

In the end, however, I bet my reason for protesting may be a lot different than many of my fellow comrades. I believe that a person should stand up for what they believe in REGARDLESS of whether or not they believe their actions will have much of a public impact.

In other words, even if I KNEW that these protests wouldn't change a damn thing -- now or in the future -- I'd still be out there. I'm not one of these people who believes that one should only fight potential winning battles; often times the losing battles are just as important.

If you know in your heart that something is wrong and yet you sit by saying nothing, you end up bankrupting your own soul. I firmly believe in the sentiment expressed during much of the civil rights movement of the 60s: If you're don't try to be part of the solution, then you indeed become part of the problem.

1 comment:

  1. well said... Sometimes it is better to do something that you know is right or good, even though there will probably be little or no payback.

    For example, every once in a while I pay for the order of the person behind me at a drive-thru. My motivation is that perhaps the person/people benefited will do the same for others. Imagine a world where we all went around doing things for others with no expectation of a payback.


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