Peace Hugs

Kate Anne, communikating on multi-levels -- personal and political, as well as for peace, justice and nonviolence

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Activist Question: What does it mean?

Paige Doughty posts food for thought at

What does it Mean to be a Politically Active Citizen if No One is Listening?
by Paige Doughty

Over the last five years it has come to my attention that I do not live in a "democracy." That in fact, I have no idea what living in democracy might mean. A comment made to me during a recent conversation with a member of the press has exacerbated and confirmed this feeling on the most basic level. "I live in D.C and I see at least one protest everyday. Protesting is not effective anymore. I hardly even blink when I see one on my way to work."

I bit my tongue to stop myself from responding, "Well, perhaps this is the problem."

In the year leading up to the current war in Iraq. I was living in Australia. There, I and hundreds of thousands of other people took to the streets in protest of the building momentum towards war. Similar protests took place around the world. Later that same evening as I was watching the news a rolling headline flew past my eyes on the bottom of the screen, with the words, "Thousands protest U.S. entrance into Iraq around the world, but media does not cover." The protests were under reported, but the major corporate television station I was watching did manage to include a meager headline reporting that they were not reporting thousands of people protesting. A month later the war began. MORE

The bigger question may be, "How do we make them listen?" What do we have to do to get the word out not only to the masses but also and perhaps especially to the legislators who make the laws and the executive branch who is supposed to enforce them? Paige may downplay protests but numbers do count. We want huge crowds at the January 27th Washington peace march. If people who hate the occupation and U.S. sabre rattling diss the march and stay home, you can well be sure that then the media will be having a field day. It is hard to win the peace, but we still have to be out there. And while we are at it, it is imperative with the current state of main-stream media that we insist upon internet neutrality or the voice of America of We the People will be effectively silenced. We must seek to reform media and to restablish the Fourth Estate and our democracy.

Peace hugs,
Kate Anne


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