Archive for June 12th, 2007

Today "We" is One More.

Sharon June 12th, 2007

The Riot for Austerity/90% Reduction made NoImpactMan today here: Thank you Colin!!!

Looking at the responses to Colin’s wonderful post, I think a lot of people’s initial reaction to this project is fear, or perhaps “I might do it if you make me but I could never volunteer.” And I genuinely understand that reaction - after all, my own reaction when I saw the real numbers was “what if we can’t.” I understand that this is a bigger change that many people are ready to make, and that’s ok. But I do want other people to understand that “I can’t” is merely a first reaction.

Because, what if we can do it? Right now, the yahoo list is at about 150 participating families, with a total of nearly 500 people involved. And 500 hundred people are, in themselves, enough to make a real stand. To face the people who say “we can’t or won’t do this” and say “We have to. We believe in the future. And each of us is living proof we can.” We can put the faces of all of us, men and women, children and the elderly who are doing this out there and say “when they tell us it is impossible to do what is necessary, they are wrong!” 500 people is a bigger group than started the American revolution.

I never dreamed we’d have 500 people. Now I’m starting to dream even bigger. What about 1,000 people? What could they do? How many people would they tell, speak to, influence? We could make music, video, art. We can speak out with a collective voice, and say not only “We can. You can” but also “We’re here and we won’t go away. This is too important.” Less than 1,000 people began the march across India in Gandhi’s revolution.

5,000 people all over the world who cut their emissions would be a constituency, a PAC, a political power, a voice of quiet joy and anger. 5,000 people alone could save 25,000 barrels of oil from being burned. Less than 5,000 people changed the 2000 US elections.

When 10,000 voices speak, you cannot help but hear. When 10,000 people stand up and say “We did. We can. We must” those who would rather not hear us have to pay attention. 10,000 people have changed the course of history hundreds of times.

50,000 can march and stop traffic. 100,000 can change the world. 1 can change the world if it is the right 1 - just not all alone. I don’t know how many people it will take before my kids and your kids and everyone’s kids get to live in a world with water and reasonable security - but getting to that number starts with one and only goes up until we reach it. We don’t have a choice - I didn’t make these numbers up, and science doesn’t negotiate. The simple fact is that these are the numbers that give us the best chance of having a future - and that’s worth any price to me, and to a lot of other people.

This started out with Miranda and I challenging one another. Neither of us wanted to do this alone, so we thought we’d be better together. Neither of us ever thought that there would be 150 participants in a matter of a few weeks. Now we wonder - what is possible? We are, of course, sometimes overwhelmed and frightened. But hope is a heady and joyous thing, and that makes the fear subside. And with friends, and allies, neighbors and community, and eventually the dragging feet of political support, it gets easier and easier and easier…

I leave you with an excerpt from Marge Piercy’s _The Low Road_

….Alone you can fight,
you can refuse, you can
take what revenge you can
but they roll over you.

But two people fighting
back to back can cut through
a mob, a snake-dancing file
can break a cordon, an army
can meet an army.

Two people can keep each other
sane, can give support, conviction,
love, massage, hope, sex.
Three people are a delegation,
a committee, a wedge. With four
you can play bridge and start
an organization. With xis
you can rent a whole house,
eat pie for dinner with no
seconds, and hold a fund raising party.
A dozen make a demonstration.
A hundred fill a hall.
A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter;
ten thousands, power and your own paper;
a hundred thousand, your own media;
ten million, your own country.

It goes on one at a time,
it starts when you care
to act, it starts when you do
it again after they said no, it starts
when you say “We”
and know who you mean, and each
day you mean one more.
-Marge Piercy “The Low Road”

Welcome, to today’s 1 more!!!