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December 31, 2007

Social Upheaval in 2008

A lot has happened in the world in 2007. I didn't keep up with the news in the past year the way I did in previous years - you can read about some of what I was up to on angelheaded hipster, my other blog. I even forgot that Time named "You" person of the year.

The mainstream media has been focused on the 08 presidential race horse race since at least January 07. More air time was spent on Sunday morning talk shows discussing candidates' relative viability in Iowa and New Hampshire than was spent discussing the substantial policy positions that differentiate them. Scariest statistic learned from this over-flow of information: only 5.7% of eligible voters participate in the 2004 Iowa caucuses. Tell me again why Angelenos live in too big of a city to have our votes count equally with those in rural states.

Elections haven't been going well around the world - among corruption charges, Kenya's elections are bloodier than normal (yes, sadly, violence is a regular aspect of national elections there). They aren't going well in Pakistan either, where Benazir Bhutto lost her life attempting to bring democracy back to a country plagued by military dictatorship buttressed by US foreign aid. Many in the US think democracy is duking it out with socialism in Venezuela, but personally I think the story is more complicated than that.

I'm looking forward to a New Year when people's movements for change encourage more people to get involved in social change. I look forward to more people believing they can make a difference - when more people delve deeply into the issues that intertwine us all, make their voices heard, and start building the nonviolent movements for change that will create the social upheaval needed to build a more just, peaceful world.

I believe we will be the change we wish to see in 2008. I believe together we will change the world. I believe 2008 will be more peaceful and just. I look forward to the New Year.

Want to support women's advocacy for peace & justice both in the US and throughout the world? Then give a tax deductible contribution to the Jane Addams Peace Association.

To join the world's oldest women's peace organization, click here.

Posted by cj at 8:19 PM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2007

Activism in Perspective

In the last month, two extremely important women in my life died. One had lived a full life, the other was taken well before her time.

I don't pretend to have all the answers. My belief in the Women's International League and its members is based on my observations of the peace, justice, and women's movements in historical perspective. It is difficult for me to hold firmly to that long-term view while dealing with the immediate realities of grief and mourning.

I hope as we move forward in our struggles for peace & justice we remember our individual and institutional fallibility. Though we are not perfect, we are all striving towards the same basic goal: a world at peace where all human needs are met equitably. I hope we will continue to work together to achieve those goals, by constructively supporting each other's work. I fear that our institutional progress may be undermined by our current financial crisis and eagerness to lay blame on particular individuals.

I look forward to helping the WILPF increase its presence within the movements for peace & justice and expanding its membership. I apologize if my last post seemed unnecessarily negative - sometimes, I deal with my frustrations publicly. Usually, I try to maintain a veil between my personal angst and public persona. I hope my sister WILPFers can forgive my transgression and we can work together to create the WILPF needed to create peace & justice in the world.

Posted by cj at 1:56 PM | Comments (0)