Thursday, October 9, 2008

Standing Up to the Madness

In her book Standing up to the madness, Amy & David Goodman say: "Protesting is an act of love. It is born of a deeply held conviction that the world can be a better place. Saying 'no' to injustice is the ultimate declaration of hope. But the corporate media ignores and ridicules grassroots activists who speak out. Concerned citizens are thus left wondering: Where are the millions marching in the streets to defend human rights, civil liberties, and racial injustice? Where is the mass revulsion against the killing and torture being carried out in our name? Where are the environmentalists? Where is the peace movement?

The answer is that activists and peacemakers are everywhere.
And they are changing how policy is done.

Malik Rahim: A man in dreadlocks in a flooded and abandoned African American neighborhood of new Orleans hanging Sheetrock, restoring life to a forsaken neighborhood, house by house.

Bonnie Dickension: A drama teacher & her high school students from Connecticut performing a play about soldiers in Iraq at theaters in New York City, after being banned and shunned by their own school.

Erhan Watada, Augustin Aguayo, Liam Madden, Jonathan Hutto, Adam Kokesh, & Cloy Richards: Soldiers inside a vast military machine refusing to fight a dirty war.

Raed Jarar: A man wearing an Arabic peace t-shirt saying we will not be silent standing up to racial profiling

George Christian, Peter Chase, Janet Nocek: Librarians standing toe-to-toe with FBI agents, declining to name names of library patrons

James Hansen: Earth scientist at NASA testifying in front of Congress that his scientific findings were edited to down play his warnings about global warming and other dangerous changes and that they were replaced by science fiction reports by writer and global warming denier Michael Crichton.

Jean Maria Arrigo: Started the group Psychologists Against Torture to stop the participating of Psychologists in interrogating detainees at infamous facilities such as Guantanamo & Abu Graib.

In conclusion, this book restored my hope, if not optimism, by demonstrating that each of us has the power to change any unjust situation. All we need to do is just stop complaining and wining and instead have the courage to do something about it.

This piece is dedicated to my good friend Noran.

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