As an activist I hear a lot about what is going on in this community. I hear about what people are working on and what needs are being seen in their communities. Tonight, I heard about budget cuts, as many of you have as well I'm sure. I heard from a teacher that has been attending meetings talking strike. I heard about a friend that works for United Cerebral Palsy and how they are going to be cutting positions and dropping people from there case loads. I heard from people that rely on the Oregon Health Plan to supply them with the mental health care they need. The social welfare state is failing to meet there needs.
Now is the time to come together as communities and address these needs the state feels are less important than war! This has already begun! Students and teachers are talking about collectives to educate themselves outside of the education system. As we speak plans are being made to take education into their own hands. New can replace the need for a social welfare state by providing each other with real social welfare. Find out if one of the folks that was in the care of United Cerebral Palsy is in your neighbor, sometimes these folks simply need someone to cook for them. Ask yourself, "Can I cook a little extra food for a neighbor that can't leave their house?" I bet you can! At this point they are leaving us no option but to turn to each other.
Turn to your communities to find out what needs your neighbor has and evaluate what skills and time you have to fill them. There are folks in YOUR COMMUNITY that need you. Likewise many of the voids left by the gutting of social services you have can be filled by your neighbor. Call a community meeting. Find the biggest church you can in your neighborhood. Knock on every door and poster on ever telephone pole. Call people to an assembly and take a lesson from the piqueteros in Argentina and organize locally. Sit down as a community and discuss these hard times as a community.
We have nothing to loose and real community to gain!