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I can't get the image of the Palestinian journalist Mazen al-Tumeisi being murdered by US armed forces out of my head. [story 1, story 2 both from Democracy Now] He was just standing there reporting on an American Helicopter Gunship shooting into a crowd of unarmed civilians. The crowd is clearly visible on the tape, and so is the murder of Mazen al-Tumeisi.Peaceniks then and now
I think I understand now, the difference between the hippies of the sixties and the growing peace movement today. It appears that the peace movement is truly committed non-violence. Now, I didn't live in the 60's, but I was arguing with my father this morning when the newscaster mentioned the protests against the RNC convention. She commented on how these were the largest protests against a political convention in US history. My father's response was: "Not like the protests in 1968. They really knew how to riot then!"
That is when it dawned on me. The conventions of 1968/2004 are a good way to compare the two peace movements. In the 60's, the leaders of the peace movement were dedicated to nonviolence, as were a few of their followers. By 1968, most of those leaders were dead, and so the radicals were free to break out in violence. The current peace movement has no true leaders, and is comprised of people who range from being pacifists to proponents of nonviolence to believers in international law. We are people who have come to our beliefs honestly and without coercions. It is a natural out growth of personal beliefs rather than a group think against the war.
This is also the problem with the current peace movement. Since it is a mass of different groups spiraling around a common cause rather than a common leader, there are few credible spokespeople for the peace movement. The most prominent being Howard Dean. Together, we can change the nation.
As long as we stay true to our convictions, we can and will make a difference. We cannot give up. We cannot surrender. We must march ever forward, toward a brighter future for our nation, and our world.
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A Blessed and Safe Rosh Hashanah to all our Jewish friends.