Sunday, January 22, 2017

What Time Is It?, Intro 1, First Day of Marches

It's a long, long way from 1982, but it's still the right question.  

For the most part, I suppose my listserve posts and Facebook status updates have taken the place of my blog. Still, once in a while, they need to be both places because I'm saying something that sums up my experience in a way that I need to hang onto, that I need to be able to find, that I feel is a part of a worthwhile progression in what this blog means for me and those who read it.
Starting the day of the Inauguration, I began to write daily reflections connected to an article co-written by the editorial board of Rally Comrades, the newspaper that serves as a voice for my organization The League of Revolutionaries for a New America. This is the first of three I will repost here today. DA

What Time Is It? Intro I, First Day of Marches
At times like this, I think we find ourselves thinking about the times themselves and our roles in them. I certainly have been. I've been thinking and stewing and trying to decide upon the words to say just what I want to say. I don't have them, necessarily, but I know it's time to say something.
25 years ago, after years of activism helping to found the Greater Kansas City Coalition Against Censorship, helping to launch Culture Under Fire, using the paralegal work I was doing to help with the founding of the Kansas City Missouri Union of the Homeless, and holding the national Break the Blackout Summit of poor people's organizations and presses, and after writing about music and activism associated with music for just about every paper in town, I joined with longtime allies, some of them who had been together for decades in various organizations to found the League of Revolutionaries for A New America. It was then and has remained our conviction that the changes happening in our society were not mere ideological differences but were, in fact, objective changes in the way our economy produced goods that were eventually going to throw this entire society into motion. There was no going back, we had to study our history, study the conditions around us and collectively strategize ways to steer our society away from a world where a wealthy few controlled the lives of the vast majority who no longer had a role in the system. Nothing in the past 25 years has shaken my conviction that this is what is happening but much has clarified and heightened my understanding.
A number of personal setbacks, including a divorce and a near fatal heart attack sidelined me from much of the kind of action I used to be involved with, but I have never stopped contributing to the collective understanding and strategic development of the League. Most of the things I have written that really resonate with people would not have been possible without the clarity I've gained from this relationship with the League, yet I think I've failed to articulate that relationship as I could have and should have in the past.
At this moment in our history, while the entire country is thrown into motion in reaction to the changes confronting us, I know that the League is more important to me than ever, and I am rededicating myself to its efforts. Everyone in the League is an activist of some kind of another, but we join together in the League because we know we need to strategize a way forward for all of those who are being thrown out of a changing system. It is an organization of revolutionaries that doesn't tell people how to fight on the several hundred fronts where we fight, but it allows us to organize one another to raise the level of discussions and push these fights in a common direction--a society where humanity is truly valued, individual expression is respected and valued, and we work together to meet our common and distinct needs.
So, from here on out, I'm going to be tying my work much more directly to the work of the League so that this individualist writer illusion is traded for a clearer understanding between myself and my friends. If you do not want to engage with me about any of this work, that's fine....ignore me or unfriend me. Those who do, I want to talk.
My heart is with all of those who have long been hurt and scared in this changing world as well as those who just realized what this world was last year, last week or five minutes ago. I believe we all need each other more than ever, and, yes, I believe we can steer this ship away from destruction if we cling to one another, share with one another, study with one another, strategize with one another and support one another in the thousands of struggles that face us.
Love to all. I mean it.
As Trump enters office, many of us feel the need to move into action. We are taking to the streets. We are active in our communities. We feel the need to come together to talk, study, and discuss. We see that the only way forward is through a new kind of politics, a politics that puts people and planet first, a politics that doesn’t “go back” but fights forward in a whole new direction.
An organization of revolutionaries is needed, where we can create and share a vision, strategy, and tactics with the people. The League of Revolutionaries for a New America is working to build such an organization. The League works to build unity around the demands of those who have the least, to unite us in the struggle for a new society. The future is up to us!

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