I want to take a few moments to talk about the social event of the week. our anti-war demo. Last week we had 20 people show up, the hard core. Time passes quickly when we engage in talking and listening to pedestrians on all four corners at Xenia and Limestone in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It is amazing, the anti-war emotions uncovered in these conversations. Yellow Springs is a small town about eight miles from Xenia, where Alison and I now live. (House prices in Yellow Springs about twice the size of Xenia’s).
Last Saturday a woman whose father was in the Infantry in the fght against fascism talked about that war and the wars since that have made no sense at all. The Saturday before, Andrew showed up with his home-made sign. He told me that he could not hold back any longer, he had to show up. On week-ends tourists make their appearance. Once, a man from Colorado stopped to talk to us. He hailed from a thoroughly militarized city in Colorado and he told us about the anti-war sentiment, demonstrations included, in that city. We asked him to say hello from us to the demonstrators in his home town. He said he would.
Now if you think these little conversations are not worthwhile, please think again. They are lessons to us about the hidden opposition to senseless wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. Yes, we get pro-war shouts from passing cars, but the usual response is a “straight ahead” look. Sometimes the “straight aheads” actually lift a hand from the steering wheel, as though half-way agreeing with us.
There is always hesitation from pedestrians we talk and listen to, about taking the next step, joining us, but when that simple step is taken the world opens up. We learn from CITIZENS in the good ol’ US of A. Fun? Sure is !!!
…BUT MORE ACTIVISM IS NEEDED
Well, we face serious and deadly crises striking us all at once, and I guess the anti-war protests are a chance to socialize, but always the civilian and military deaths and wound-ings are always there, a black background. The latest crises are the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that killed eleven workers on the drilling platform and the recent deaths of 29 coal workers trapped underground in Upper Big Branch mine. Accidents happen every day in industrial work, some minor, some major—and deaths too.
Oil is still boiling up from the ocean bottom. British Petroleum is buying dispersants and spreading it on the oil. Long-term effects are unpredictable, especially for coral reefs, already besieged by ocean acidifcation and warming of the world’s oceans. BP is also spreading dispersants on the sea bottom. This has never been done before; the long-term consequences are unknown, but we can guess that sea bottom creatures will be affected. When the oil reaches the gulf of Mexico’s land, Mexican and U.S. beaches and marshy regions it will spread havoc. The solutions are obvious; the federal government needs to levy fnes that are way beyond the “cost of doing business.” BP was given a pass by the authorities: the cost of the appropriate structure to meet the explosion and subsequent events was “too expensive.” This leniency has to stop. Saying so won’t budge the people in charge of our country now. What we need is a massive “People in the Streets” movement. Impossible? No. We are up the crick without a paddle. Time to get moving. Orangutans have been observed getting into rowboats and paddling with their huge hands. We are doing the equivalent down here in Ohio--standing on sidewalks with posters and fags. We show up.