Trust the humble, everyday people, our best bet

Trust the humble, everyday people, our best bet

Oaxaca, Tuesday, March 1, 2005


We’re lucky the world is full of so many ordinary, decent people. They mostly fill our everyday lives as we go about our normal daily activities. Just today, from a an ex-Israeli friend now living in New York State I got an e-mail with a letter from a young Israeli who faces prison because he refuses, for reasons of conscience, to serve in the military. The confrontation between decent human beings and institutions of coercive power goes on everywhere. A bit of the letter from Yahel Avigur, who lives near Haifa, reads (duckdaotsu posted this letter earlier today)
"I believe that in every person there is the potential to live a life of peace and love ... to comprehend the basic identity between oneself and every human being ... We are saddened by the same things: we all fear decay and death, failures, disappointments. Every person has the potential to understand that one is part of a huge interrelated system, all of the components of which are essentially the same, as they are manifestations of life. ... [W]e are drawn away from ... this comprehension by forming barriers and borders between ourselves and ‘the other’, by believing we are different than the others and even hostile to them. Thus we create ever more suffering ..."

You can read the entire letter, and pursue steps to try to keep Yahel out of prison, by writing to my friend, Eldad Benary and asking for the e-mail he sent this morning.

Two important affirmations of the basic decency of ordinary people struck me in the past week or so.

One of them was reported on Wed, Feb 23 by the Israeli newspaper, The Jerusalem Post, in part, as follows:

500 million Christians urged to divest

An organization representing up to half a billion Christians worldwide has encouraged its member churches to divest from companies that participate in “illegal activities” in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The central committee of the World Council of Churches, which represents more than 340 Protestant and Orthodox churches in more than 120 countries, announced the decision on Monday, toward the conclusion of the governing body's meeting in Geneva.

The entire article is available at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1109042630008&apage=1

Its report included, “the WCC's international affairs expert Peter Weiderud told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that its own statement was the result of a “grassroots initiative” from its membership, and was not merely the view of a limited number of senior clergy.” My conclusion: Most Christians are decent ordinary people, affirming what I already knew.

I first learned of this encouraging event from an e-mail from Fred Nagel who wrote me on Feb 24,
“The International Herald Tribune carried a very short story on the World Council of Churches decision to divest in businesses that profit from the occupation of Palestine. No US papers seem to have covered it at all.

“If it wasn't for the Israeli press, and Aljazeera, this would be a story that didn't even happen.

“And before the Internet, who could have found this story? One assumes that freedom of the press means that all stories will be covered. But if a story goes against the established doctrine of our leaders, we don't see it. Perhaps more importantly, if the story might have a negative effect on international business, it never sees the light of day.”

Fred sent me the International Tribune story (published in Paris), and parts of the Ha’aretz and Al-Jazeera reports, with the links:
http://www.haaretz.com/hansen/spages/544180.html and

The second important affirmation comes from my good friend Al Giordano, who’s been keeping track, on the NarcoNews website, of U.S. efforts to keep the Mexican federal government in the hands of retrograde incompetents who are subservient to international capitalists, and particularly to U.S.-based capitalists. The scheme has been to prevent the popular front-runner from standing for election in 2006, thereby insuring that one of the ‘dinosaurs’ will continue that long and dishonorable line of dictatorial ‘presidentes’.

Al’s article at http://www.narconews.com/Issue36/article1187.html
Meltdown in Mexico: Ten Days that Changed the Wind
The Coup Plot to Remove López Obrador from Mexican Presidential Contest Is Imploding from the Bottom Up

By Al Giordano
Special to The Narco News Bulletin

February 24, 2005

A fresh wind is blowing South of the Border, and its name is authentic democracy. During ten days in February 2005 the direction of the wind has changed. It was blowing from above. Now it gusts from below.

Ten days ago, leading members of all three major political parties in Mexico were whispering that the “desafuero” – a proposal before Congress to remove the rights of Mexico City Governor Andrés Manuel López Obrador to run for president in 2006 – was a done deal. They universally proclaimed – some arrogantly, some in panic – that the maneuver was a fait accompli.

A follow-up story by Al three days later at

Banamex at Core of Fox-López Obrador Dispute - But AP Protects the Bankers

By Al Giordano,
Posted on Sun Feb 27th, 2005 at 09:49:43 AM EST

Associated Press correspondent Lisa J. Adams filed a story last night about the escalating war of words between Mexico City Governor Andrés Manuel López Obrador and President Vicente Fox.

But she omitted the quote-of-the-day, considered most newsworthy by the Mexican Press, when López Obrador responded to Fox's attacks on "populism" by saying:
"I would like to respond to the President... Populism is not the programs that the (Mexico City) government promotes but, rather, actions such as not collecting 30 billion pesos (about three billion US dollars) from his friend Roberto Hernández for the debt imposed by the sale of Banamex."

Hernández sold the National Bank of Mexico, known as Banamex, to Citigroup and joined the gringo bank's board of directors in 2001. This frontal assault on Fox's allowing this bank robbery to go through tax-free was quoted by Mexico's largest daily, El Universal (which added a readers forum - more than 100 comments so far - asking "Who Is the Populist: Fox or AMLO?") It was the page one story in the nation's third largest daily Por Esto. Others, like La Jornada, devoted significant space to it as well.

But Lisa J. Adams of Associated Press chose, instead, to quote only Fox and protect Citigroup-Banamex from the mounting public outrage...
The sale of the National Bank for $19 billion dollars to the biggest financial institution in the world, by itself, constituted a theft of national patrimony by gringo interests. As Narco News has long reported, Clinton administration fixer Robert Rubin, as treasury secretary, first weakened the institution in order to facilitate its sale, and, once accomplished, swang through the revolving door to become co-CEO of Citigroup. (Giordano’s article continues)
The question of power is central to all these confrontations. Yesterday I posted an essay by a former Yugoslav, Andrej Grubacic, with whom I’ve been in contact for some months. His ideas are critically important – and I think correct – in a current disagreement among people in the movement for a better world.

His article, “The archaic burden on the global movement”, is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/Discus/2005-02-25.htm.

Gotta keep struggling, and not losing the faith – in ordinary folks.

All the best,

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