Camp Casey Detroit

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

reflections at the end of Day 17 at Camp Casey Detroit

If I may speak personally, these are amazing times for me. Never before have I felt so inspired, energized and committed to my work for peace. What is happening at Camp Casey Detroit is exactly what needs to happen, especially during these times of such a painful, tragic and inexcusable breakdown in the social fabric of my country.

New Orleans has shown that what we thought we had in this so-called "land of opportunity"--a safety net to catch us when we fall--was just an illusion. If there IS any net, it is only for the privileged among us. For those who are poor, black, young, old, infirm and/or without the resources to fend for themselves, life in these United States is a risk at best, a disaster at worst. Your government cares nothing about you, and, in fact, makes decisions every day that threaten your very lives.

Many of us had suspected this before, but now we know it is true.

So what do we do about it? We ask the hard questions publicly, we don't let them get off with their callously superficial answers, and we organize ourselves in such a way that coalitions are formed and movements are strengthened. No longer can we go off on our separate tangents. No longer do we have the time to waste bickering over the small stuff that divides us.

Now it is time to come together and say, NO to corporate control of our politicians, NO to our tax dollars going to war rather than to our society's very real needs, NO to our children being sent to fight, kill and die in countries that are no threat to us, NO to governmental leaders who curry favor with their rich campaign donors by allowing them to despoil the earth, divert the waters, destroy the wetlands, pollute the air, deforest our wilderness areas, choose oil over our safety and the safety of the countless species of life with whom we share this planet.

And it is time to say YES to creating the world we want, YES to respecting our wondrous diversity and calling forth everyone's gifts not just those who entertain us or play sports or find fame under some spotlight or other. We must say YES to community, to creativity, to critical thinking, to organizing for change, to looking for answers outside the box.

We cannot waste our precious time whining, complaining, blaming, or denying the truth of what is happening. NOW is the time, my sisters and brothers, and, as the song says, "We are the ones we've been waiting for."

For us at Camp Casey Detroit, we've seen what it feels like to come together as one people and stand our ground...literally. What we have found for the past 17 days and nights on that street corner in the middle of Detroit is a reason to get up in the morning, to stay informed and aware, to organize, strategize, create new options, form deep and lasting bonds with all kinds of people, and to simply keep on keepin' on no matter what they do in Washington, DC or anyplace else when human rights and needs are ignored.

Yes, WE are the ones we've been waiting for. And how grateful I am to be a small part of it all.

--posted by Patricia


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