Friday, February 02, 2007

Darfur heroes or Hedonists? New School Northern Virginia

Conference/Activism(?): February 10th, 11th, and 12th at the New School of Northern Virginia

For most, for the vast majority of Darfur "activists" the so-called Darfur Genocide (a Hoax!) has been the coolest way to have fun at no risk and little effort since the invention of mast-------n. The historic and truly heroic David Dellinger spoke of the phenomenon, activist-self-pleasuring, in somewhat more genteel terms:

P296-7 in his book "Yale to Jail" Dellinger, an activist hero of Howard Zinn speaks of the mid 1960's power of activism/demonstrations:
"For a long time, the demonstrations played a crucial role, not just in showing the public, the traditional peace organizations, the government... how widespread and serious the opposition was but also in giving heart to the demonstrator's.... The main effect of the participating was energizing and empowering. [Participants] went back to their local communities ready to play a more confident and active role."

But then he saw develop what is rampant today in what shamefully calls itself a "Save Darfur" movement. Ha! Dellinger:
"After a while, though, the demonstrations tended less and less to work that way. Periodic demonstrations began to take on a life of their own as the be-all and end-all of the movement. [today with Darfur it is not demonstrations (too much work and sacrifice!) but rather Lobby/email/write the do-nothing/say ANYTHING congress and White House] The line got blurred between participating to end the war and participating in order to enjoy the exhilarating experience of expressing one's antiwar views in solidarity with thousands of like-minded people. There were indications that some people were going to a demonstration much as some people go to a church, synagogue or meditation center. For them, the marches and rallies had become periodic self-satisfying rituals that weren't consistent enough in leading to follow-up activities elsewhere. Instead of helping people to gain new insights and energy to go home and express them in new relationships and practices, they were becoming almost a substitute for doing so."

Will the efforts described by the New School of Northern Virginia be different than the self-serving nonsense of the Save Darfur "movement" thus far? We can only pray. Our only real hope for Darfur is the young people. But will Ms. Scully's effort be of the ilk we've seen - STAND's 1 day Fasts from Luxuries - or of the nature of the 1000's of youngsters in the 1960's that went to jail to stop racial discrimination in the US, or that were fired upon by South African police?

Details are available from Kate Scully
Co-Founder, Student Organizer

The New School of Northern Virginia
9431 Silver King Court Fairfax, VA 22031

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