Mudcat Café message #2737697 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #123871   Message #2737697
Posted By: sing4peace
03-Oct-09 - 10:43 PM
Thread Name: This is no time to be silent...G20 in Pittsburgh
Subject: RE: This is no time to be silent...G20 in Pittsburgh
Dear Neil -

I was not meaning to offend you. Read what I wrote again. The reason I brought up Calley was exactly to make the point that we are all different. Protesters - soldiers - each of us has our own story, our own quest. You were no more responsible for Calley than I (or any other protester) is responsible for those who precede or follow after who are bent on wreaking havoc and destruction. You're absolutely correct, that doesn't spell peace. You are trying to dismiss an entire movement of people because of the disruptive actions of a few who are managing to hijack the attention that should be focused on the economic and political decisions being made at these conferences.

What are we supposed to do? Not go to any demonstrations because some people who may or may not be saboteurs may or may not try to stir up some violence? I have to give credit to those folks who do show up in spite of the history of police and protester violence. Kinda brave I think.

I am very particular about who I will march or stand vigil with these days. I care very much about the method and the message. As Thomas Merton said, "There is no way to peace - peace is the way".

I don't think I know anything more about your experience in Vietnam than you do about what it was like for those who got beat up or went to prison over here trying to stop that war - Or any of the wars since. Then the media focussed on those who were in it for the sex and drugs and rock and roll and now they seek out the few out of the millions of otherwise non-violent protesters who are in it for the thrill of "putting it to the man" by breaking some windows at Starbucks.

Most of the peace activists I know would never in their life spit on a soldier. NEVER! That is not to say that there weren't some who did or do. But the actions of a few grew into a belief that those few people who spit somehow represented an entire movement.

You and I have important life experience that we need to draw from in order to help people understand who haven't been there or done that.

I think we both agree that the tactics of violence don't work.

With all due respect,