How do we make real change? #CivilAssistance
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others?’”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
When Women’s March on the Pentagon (now known as March on the Pentagon) was planning our actions on the weekend of October 20-21, we had always imagined that we would have an act of non-violent civil resistance attached to it, but, we could never imagine what such an action would look like.
The Pentagon was mostly closed the day we had planned the march and rally (to coincide with the 51st anniversary of the March on the Pentagon in 1967), so there were no exits, or streets to block.
Throughout all our organizing, unbeknownst to the main committee, we were put out in a place where no one could even actually see us, anyway, so an act of civil resistance would have been just for our own amusement in the end.
The entire year of 2018, our committee was very dedicated to making our event different from all the other events since the antiwar activities of the Vietnam War...if they had worked, why, after 51 years, was the USA still destroying country after country? Why were we always trying to replicate things which had actually, in reality, failed? I thought and thought about what the Women’s March on the Pentagon could do INSTEAD of civil resistance--what could help people who are adversely affected by the war machine that we profoundly oppose?
I came up with the idea of #CivilAssistance, and on Monday the 22nd of October, about two dozen of the hundreds of people who had come to DC for our weekend, gathered at Lafayette Park and we fed hungry people right across the street from the White House: we fed homeless people and activists who are always in front of the White House advocating for their causes. Organizers and supporters for March on the Pentagon (MOP) felt like this was the thing that we should incorporate into our future movement.
Since then, we have raised thousands of dollars and unknown amounts of awareness for the suffering people of Yemen with our support of and participation in hunger strikes in solidarity with the humans being starved to genocide in Yemen. In November, MOP organized a #noTHANKSgiving fast for that weekend of unrelenting gluttony and consumerism here in the US. Many people joined us in fasting for all or part of the weekend and were able to educate their friends/family/frenimies about the plight of the Yemeni.
For this month of December, MOP has been sponsoring a rolling fast called #IlluminateYemen. Dozens of people from all over the world have joined us each day in December for a day or more of fasting and raising money for aid to Yemen. Our action has been so successful, we are expanding it to January.
Also, for January we are promoting another Act of Civil Assistance to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Instead of thinking everything would be hunky dory if only Trump weren’t president, we recognize that the fundamental scourge on the planet is the US Empire, so matter who is POTUS. How can we really change that paradigm absent the use of weapons of mass destruction (which we don’t have, anyway) against Washington, DC, which would also result in the further loss of innocent life?
MOP feels that the only way we can change things is to try and make things better for people who are harmed because of either US bombs outside the US or by the US predatory economy here within the borders. We may not change the world for millions, but we can improve the lives of some, and what is more important than that to someone who is hungry or homeless?
Please click this link: A Little Civil Assistance Can go a Long Way for more information.
I can be contacted here on FB messenger or at: CindySheehan@MarchonPentagon.com