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.
...as 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"