When I began this blog nearly five years ago, the Spirit told me the title should be “Quakers, Social Justice and Revolution.” At the time I wasn’t sure what the revolution part would mean. It was clear the status quo was oppressing so many of us and raping Mother Earth in the process. The status quo was and is violently maintained by social, political, religious, white supremacist, economic and militarized forces. Moving toward justice requires transforming those forces with peace and love, building Beloved Communities instead. But to do that we need to take back our power.
This morning I’m reading Saving the Planet Means Overthrowing the Ruling Elites by Chris Hedges.
Friday’s climate strike by students across the globe will have no more impact than the mass mobilizations by women following the election of Donald Trump or the hundreds of thousands of protesters who took to the streets to denounce the Iraq War. This does not mean these protests should not have taken place. They should have. But such demonstrations need to be grounded in the bitter reality that in the corridors of power we do not count. If we lived in a democracy, which we do not, our aspirations, rights and demands, especially the demand that we confront the climate emergency, would have an impact. We would be able to vote representatives into power in government to carry out change. We would be able to demand environmental justice from the courts. We would be able to divert resources to the elimination of carbon emissions.
The ruling elites and the corporations they serve are the principal obstacles to change. They cannot be reformed. And this means revolution, which is what Extinction Rebellion seeks in calling for an “international rebellion” on Oct. 7, when it will attempt to shut down city centers around the globe in acts of sustained, mass civil disobedience. Power has to be transferred into our hands. And since the elites won’t give up power willingly, we will have to take it through nonviolent action.
When power is threatened, as it was in the sustained protests during the Occupy encampments and at Standing Rock, the ruling elites react very differently. They employ the full weight of the surveillance state to demonize the protesters, arrest and detain the leadership and infiltrate agents provocateurs to carry out violent assaults to justify the use of the police and security forces to shut the protests down.Saving the Planet Means Overthrowing the Ruling Elites by Chris Hedges, Truthdig, Sept. 23, 2019
The screenshot and the video below are from the Extinction Rebellion referenced in the above quote.
I imagine almost everyone who has worked for peace and justice has experienced how ineffective our efforts have often been. Have we have now come to the revolution part of “Quakers, Social Justice and Revolution?” I think the video below does an excellent job of describing how dire our environmental situation really is today. And describes what can be done in great detail. I plan to write more about this, but for now will share some of what was said about grief. I am just learning how important it is to grieve now.