If we only look at the politicians, it’s easy to get discouraged. So many of them promise to act against powerful institutional interests and for the rights of everyday people, then gain office and turn out to do the exact opposite. Watching these politicians is important, if only to prevent their worst excesses, but it sure can be depressing.
We should keep watching the politicians; we should keep a careful eye on them — but we shouldn’t just watch the politicians. We should keep an eye trained on people outside of power, many of whom never have walked away from their principles. I look close to home, where Maine peace activists are organizing a walk from Caribou, Maine past a planned site for a new drone air base and to the Bath Iron Works, where so many gigantic warships are “christened” year after year. The walk, a moving protest over hundreds of miles, is a public declaration in support of peace and in opposition to inhuman drone warfare against foreigners and surveillance against people at home. The Maine Campaign to Bring Our War Dollars Home has some information on the walking ten-day protest:
We invite you to consider joining the October 10-19 Preserve our Privacy: No Drone Spying in Maine peace walk. The walk is being organized by the Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home and Maine Veterans for Peace.
President Obama has announced that 30,000 drones will be soon flying around the US doing surveillance of the American people. Thirty-seven states have applied to be one of six drone test centers across the nation. More than 500 drone manufacturing corporations are now bidding to be recipients of Pentagon funds for drones. Join us as we walk across parts of Maine from October 10-19 to call attention to this deadly and unconstitutional drone program. We must push back against the expanding use of surveillance drones in the US and weaponized drones around the world that are killing many innocent people. There is much talk about bringing drones to Maine and making the Presque Isle airport a weaponized drone test center, thus our reason for starting the walk in Aroostook County.
For a moment I turn my eye away from politicians who are turning their back on the people they represent. I look to people who are willing to commit their bodies and their time to a cause of peace, and hope swells again in my heart. I know that both utter dejection at decay and utter faith in the possibility of change are to be avoided, but every now and then a bit of heartfelt, unabashed, vocal protest is good for the soul.