I have often advocated demonstrations as direct action. I've marched against pre-emptive war, bombings, genetically engineered foods, sweatshops, and the exploitation of biospheres. I've marched in support of peace, women's rights, and global solidarity among workers.
To what avail? In my lifetime? Little. The movement isn't large enough and quite often my actions have been too radical to convince others to join me.
What will we accomplish by getting in the streets today? The Democrats have not cried "Fraud!" If we stand in Pioneer Square today and shout "Fraud!" we will appear fanatical, insane, ridiculous; all of the things that we ascribe to the evangelists, the fundamentalists, and Zionists that have an approval rate of about 51%.
This is the time to center. Ground. Focus. Whatever you want to call it... and put your energy into your individual protests. Fight CAFTA. Fight the Forest Service. Fight those who exploit animals. Fight sweatshops. Fight corporate globalization. Fight privatization.
If you choose to stand up in the streets today - do so with vision and clarity and a message that will expand the movement against imperialism and religious oppression rather than inviting the moderates to despise us for our own fanaticism. Little more than half of the U.S. population voted for Bush. If you are in the streets today remember that Kerry won Oregon, but that Measures 36 and 37 passed. There is the real fight.
I expect I will be criticized for being a pacifist or for not being radical enough - but I believe that the most important thing to do now is to live our protest through lifestyle and change the world through example.
To truly make change, we have to craft it throughout our daily experience. We have to be kind and gentle and we must never stop talking about the reasons behind our choices.
Demonstrate through a lifestyle of protest. Ride a bike. Buy organic. Buy fair trade. Don't buy. Do it yourself. Plant seeds. Tell stories. Save trees. Clean water. Stop buying plastic. Sell your car.
Consume less. Consume consciously.