Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Is it Time For an Us's Revolution? I Don't Think There Could be a Better Time

I watched the movie Milk last night, starring Sean Penn, and I was so inspired. It was based on the life of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to office in California. Milk took on the establishment and anti-gay activists Anita Bryant and John Briggs, and won.

The video at the bottom, was used in an attempt to stop Prop 8, denying gay marriage in California, but the message is a good one, not only for the rights of homosexuals, but for everyone losing their voice.

Milk was successful because he not only championed gay rights, but the rights of everyone, including blacks, the disabled, seniors, etc. And when he brought everyone together, bigotries within the group disappeared. The marchers were from all ages, races, genders and sexual orientations, with several signs reading simply 'God loves you'.

The success of the neoconservative movement has been achieved by marginalising and polarizing.

The Harper government goes after the gay community, knowing that they are not large enough in numbers to make a difference. They go after the Muslims for the same reason. Women's groups, veterans, seniors, the disabled - anyone they can pin a label to.

Harvey Milk referred to these groups as the US's, saying that "without hope the US's give up." So maybe it's time all the US's got together to become one big US.

We could form a coalition of labour, seniors, disabled, gays, women, veterans, professionals, academics, the religious left, or those following the social gospel of people like Tommy Douglas. All progressives, with one big voice. We certainly have enough to stand up against and for.

We represent 2/3 of the voting public and it's time to make those votes count. Thomas Walkom wrote in his column, about Harper once again resurrecting the coalition bogey man. they prepare for a possible spring election, the Conservatives are using their considerable communications skills to resurrect the idea. From Harper to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to the most obscure Conservative senator, “coalition” is a must word when referring to the opposition. Conservatives now rarely speak of Liberals. In their parlance, Ignatieff is not Liberal leader. He is coalition leader — the man whose secret agenda is to form a government with socialists and traitors. (Like Harper in 2004)
Walkom believes that the opposition parties should just come out and tell Canadians that they plan to work together ahead of time. Present the terms of their coalition, whether we end up with a Conservative or a Liberal minority.

I think that's a good idea, but I would like to take that further.

I've written before about David Lewis, a brilliant man and former leader of the NDP. He was the one who engineered the campaign against Corporate Welfare Bums. But his campaign had some help from a grassroots group called The Committee for an Independent Canada.

This group worked within the political establishment to fight against the Americanization of Canada and move us further toward a Just Society. They reduced Trudeau to a minority with the NDP holding the balance of power, and things got done. Amazing things.

And that's what we need to do. Become an army of US's to fight against income disparity, corporate greed and the destruction of the Canadian identity. All represented by the Them's.

Milk often started a speech by introducing himself with this: "Hi. I'm Harvey Milk and I want to recruit you."

So: "Hi. I'm Emily Dee and I want to recruit you into my army of US's"


  1. I loved that movie. Putting his life on the line, literally. You wouldn't see Stephen Harper exhibiting that kind of courage

  2. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
    By Gil Scott-Heron

    You will not be able to stay home, brother.
    You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
    You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip,
    Skip out for beer during commercials,
    Because the revolution will not be televised.

    The revolution will not be televised.
    The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
    In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
    The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
    blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
    Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
    hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
    The revolution will not be televised.

    The revolution will not be brought to you by the
    Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
    Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
    The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
    The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
    The revolution will not make you look five pounds
    thinner, because the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

    There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
    pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run,
    or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance.
    NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
    or report from 29 districts.
    The revolution will not be televised.

    There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
    brothers in the instant replay.
    There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
    brothers in the instant replay.
    There will be no pictures of Whitney Young being
    run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process.
    There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy
    Wilkens strolling through Watts in a Red, Black and
    Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
    For just the proper occasion.

    Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Hooterville
    Junction will no longer be so damned relevant, and
    women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
    Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
    will be in the street looking for a brighter day.
    The revolution will not be televised.

    There will be no highlights on the eleven o'clock
    news and no pictures of hairy armed women
    liberationists and Jackie Onassis blowing her nose.
    The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb,
    Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom
    Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth.
    The revolution will not be televised.

    The revolution will not be right back after a message
    bbout a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
    You will not have to worry about a dove in your
    bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
    The revolution will not go better with Coke.
    The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
    The revolution will put you in the driver's seat.

    The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
    will not be televised, will not be televised.
    The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
    The revolution will be live.

  3. Naomi Wolf talks about the barriers to authentic protest and what it takes for a real protest to succeed:

    OK. So what kind of mass protest? The kind of mass protest that always works is illegal just about everywhere in the United States today. Why is that?

    For a protest to be effective, you have to stop traffic. You have to stop traffic.

    What keeps you from getting a permit in the United States? Stepping a foot into the street.

    Now why do you have to stop traffic? Because for a protest to do anything, it has to disrupt business as usual. I don’t mean violence. Whoever’s tape-recording this to take it back to, you know, Quantico or whatever, I don’t mean violence. I mean dissent.

    Martin Luther King, who wrote “Letter from Birmingham Jail” because he marched without a permit, said sometimes it is important for the tension to rise up for people to see that all is not well. And that you do that by stopping traffic. That’s how citizens indicate, you know, business as usual is not acceptable.

    It's an exercise in stifling debate and blurring the line between legitimate protest and terrorism. They want people to be afraid of those who speak out against government policies. Then they can throw dissidents into all of those jails they want to build.

  4. Public officials have asked Tamil supporters to dial down their demonstrations amid growing impatience over a string of protests, which culminated Sunday evening in the shutdown of a major Toronto freeway.

  5. A hundred years ago today (on Friday 18th November 1910) a suffragette deputation to the House of Commons met with a six hour onslaught of police brutality resulting in a the Suffragettes beginning a huge window smashing campaign in protest.