This Independence Day, before the barbeque and fireworks, I walked on over to Dolores Park and chatted with people about what the 4th meant to them. For most it was a time of family, friends, and relaxation. It had little to do with bombs bursting in air, but rather about the comfort and joy they got from being around loved ones.
People talked about the feelings of disconnection they had with the America of the past seven years. When I asked about the possibility of challenging those feeling through activism, the picnickers, dog lovers, and coffee drinkers vocalized their frustrations quickly. It’s not that they weren’t speaking out; it’s that they felt no one was listening. With press coverage on the war declining steadily and policy makers evading the issue ardently (despite the fact that the majority of Americans support withdrawal), their frustrations are completely understandable. So they asked me, now what?
Enter the No Soldier Left Behind campaign. In this crucial election year, voices of peace cannot simply fade away in hopes that the next administration and Congress will take care of the war. Opening up a dialogue now will lead to an opposition too loud to be ignored by the media, by Speaker Pelosi, or by the next president.
Perhaps you might be feeling the same frustration’s at the state of our nation. July 4th 2009 can be different. If the media and the policy makers will not demand change then the peaceful will. Please sign our petition to the next president-elect.
If you’re in the San Francisco area, you can join our meetup and work with to plan actions to pressure Speaker Pelosi and make sure the next Congress will take strong action to end the war.
If you’re somewhere else, check out our list of meetup groups here. If you don’t see one in your area and would like to start one up, e-mail our Political Director Rebecca Griffin and she can help you start one.
Together, we can construct a policy of peace through diplomacy rather than fear. And what could be more patriotic than that?
San Francisco volunteer coordinator