Archive for August 30, 2013

PhillipAgnewPhillip Agnew said it better than all those Washington marchers. Phillip Agnew hoped to deliver his message to tens of thousands observing the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, but time worked against him. Now he’s making up for being cut with an online video. Click Mr. Andrew’s picture to watch the speech.

“This is about more than the speech,” said Agnew in a statement released by the Advancement Project Thursday morning. “It’s about the voices of hundreds of thousands of people across the country that have been silenced for too long. Our generation’s dreams have been deferred for too long. While the words spoken amidst the pillars of the Lincoln Memorial yesterday may have reverberated throughout the nation, the actions, energy and love of the rising generation will resound in history books for centuries to come, like those of giants before us.”

———————————— Transcript —————–——————-

By the time we finish another black boy will lay bleeding in the streets of Chicago and as we rest our heads tonight 300,000 of our veterans lay homeless, and I want to explain how the hate we spread abroad is the reason that hatred washes on our shores….but I only have two minutes.

And, I could tell you that Philadelphia just closed 23 of its schools at the same time it builds a $400 million state of the art prison and that North Carolina and Florida continue to silence its citizens at the ballot box- but I only have two minutes.

I could tell you how as we celebrate Dr. King’s Dream, over 400,000 of our immigrant brothers and sisters languish away in privately owned detention camps…and how we still find our queer brothers and sisters imprisoned in the shadows of closets—but I only have two minutes.

I’d tell you how our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters still earn less, have no control over their bodies, and are traded and trafficked like slaves….or that it’s easier for someone to buy a gun and put it to their head than it is to diagnose the illness within it. – But I only have two minutes.

If there was time, I’d tell you that millions of young people and queer people and poor people and people of color are asking what we do with this anger, fear, disappointment, and frustration. This MAD that we feel??? —but, alas, I only have one more minute.

And with it. This last minute of our conversation I’d like to tell you that…though it may seem that all is lost…that there is a generation of dreamers, fighters, defenders, lovers builders bubbling, bubbling, bubbling beneath the rubble.

And beneath your feet you may feel a collective quaking…tremors of a sleeping giant awakening. Emanating from fault lines at the Arizona-Mexico Border, and Raleigh and Austin, and Cleveland, and Chicago, and Tallahassee, Florida.

And we’ve come here from every crack, crease, and crevice of our country to our Capitol to say, that for all whose cares have been our concern. We will not be co-opted. We will not be bought. But, we are ready.

And for those that doubt our energy, and discipline. We are ready.

For those that believe that future fingers may fail the torch. Fear not. We are ready.

For all those that believe in the power of nonviolence and love as unconquerable. We are ready.

Fifty years ago a man told us of a Promised Land. And for 50 years we’ve wandered and wondered. Where are the youth?…a constant whisper in our ears.

And so we have come, asking neither permission nor questions, but to say that we are here. Believing indeed that we have a beautiful history, and that the one we will build in the future will astonish the world.

And we are ready.

May the outcome always prosper over income. Peace over Profit. Revolution over revenue and all peace and power to the people. Don’t believe us just watch.

Ahmed-syria-napalmHumanity hemorrhaged last night. As a BBC team reported in the “Walking Dead (Warning: Graphic Video).” Even though the US and UK say the Assad regime killed hundreds in recent poison gas attacks, British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed Britain would not be involved in any action against Syria.

Consistently, like most dictators, Syria’s President Bashar Hafez al-Assad, backed by Russia, blamed the attacks on rebels or terrorists. And in the wake of international intervention, while you slept, the Syrian government took the fight to the terrorists.

A playground full of children (or terrorists should you believe Assad) in northern Syria was bombed by a fighter jet with a napalm-like substance. Eye witnesses described how a jet had passed the school in Aleppo numerous times, as if it searched for a target prior to dropping its ordinance.

British medic, Dr. Rola, working in Syria with the charity Hand In Hand, told reporters:

“It is just absolute chaos and carnage here. We have had a massive influx of what looks like serious burns, seems like it must be some sort of, not really sure, maybe napalm, something similar to that. But obviously within the chaos of the situation it is very difficult to know exactly what is going on.“

Later, in a moment of reflection, Dr. Rola said:

”We feel like some sort of, not even a second class citizen, like we just don’t matter. Like all of these children, and all of these people who are being killed and massacred, we don’t matter. The whole world has failed our nation and it is innocent civilians who are paying the price.”

And that’s the key. Humanity hemorrhaged and the world failed. In 2010, the world’s declared stockpile of chemical weapons was about 30,308 tons. A total of 71,315 tons of agents, 8.67 million munitions and containers, and 70 production facilities were declared to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).  Since I have a military background, I will make it plain: “That’s a whole lot of shit.”

Additionally, several countries are not members of the OPWC, especially Syria and North Korea, while other member states (including Sudan and the People’s Republic of China) have been accused by others of failing to disclose their stockpiles.

As the sun rises in my window pain, I think of Britain’s inaction. I think of our own indifference and ponder a time when men of goodwill prevented such atrocities.  Sipping coffee, I believe the men of goodwill have given dictators a free pass. Momentarily, I think of the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s speech and the march on Washington. Indifference marches onward; the devil is alive and well.

One witness of the Aleppo attack had a message for the United Nations:

“You are calling for peace. What kind of peace are you calling for? Don’t you see this, don’t you see this? What do you need to see?

As a former military member, fighting atrocity is a nasty and ugly business. But as men of goodwill, we must fight the fights worth fighting.  That’s all that separates us from the devil.

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