Tired of milquetoast advice

Blue Lady in Manitou Carnivale
A conglomeration of peace activists took part in the Manitou Carnival Parade this year. We had fire-breathers, our Blue Lady, and a banner which read TIME TO REBUILD: A NEW WORLD IS POSSIBLE -THE PIKES PEAK JUSTICE AND PEACE COMMISSION.
 
We encountered someone along the parade route who objected to our bringing politics into the parade. Peace, justice, that’s politics?

We had followed advice not to be overtly anti-war. But where is that going to get this country? There was a politician a little further up the way whose red-white-and-blue entourage marched behind a large American flag. It wasn’t dripping with blood, so may I say that I think that was too much politics.

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I’m getting so much advice about how to go about things diplomatically, talk to influential people, find an elegant compromise, something to suit their interests which might encompass a portion of mine. It sounds worth a shot, but I’m wondering if altogether I’m losing sight of the bigger goal. The closer you get to people in positions of power, the more everyone’s principles seem to be mired in molasses.

I don’t want to sit down and with all politeness ask somebody to do the right thing. What kind of conversation will that be?

It’s not my responsibility to figure out how a radio station can afford a particular change, or how to shore up donations from conservative sources. Why should it be my place to figure out how they can find a face-saving resolution?

No. I want to pull the entire debate into the public realm. Make them do the right thing or keep flogging them until they do. It’s not my problem that they’ve done the community a disservice thus far. If they’ve driven us to such a point where so many of us have to put so much energy into righting their wrongs, then by god we’re going to be merciless in our castigation!

Do the damn right thing!

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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2 Responses to Tired of milquetoast advice

  1. Avatar Eric says:

    I should add that the Carnival Parade was a real missed opportunity. PPJPC turned out four people, but Critical Mass brought a dozen. Dennis Apuan had brought extra puppets, drums and other marching goodies but there were
    not enough in our contingent.

  2. Avatar C says:

    I was somewhat turned off by J&P’s e-mail saying they were not protesting the war or Bush, or something to that effect. Wasn’t sure what the purpose was in going.

    Anyway, PPJPC and similar groups need to learn that recruitment is much, much more that putting an e-mail out at the last minute. From my experience, numbers come when you are building democratic organizations, involving people in leadership and decision-making, and making personal contacts, like telephone calls and one-on-one conversations.

    Unless J&P groups are committed to that kind of meaningful involvement from their members, then attendance at demonstrations will continue to be sparse….

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