Quotable

"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." — Elie Wiesel


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Nuclear Abolition: Yes We Can!

Friends,

"Si, Se Puede!" This famous phrase, originated by United Farm Workers (UFW) co-founders Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez in 1972 during Cesar's 24-day Fast for Justice, has been a rallying cry for many other labor unions and civil rights organizations over the years. It has also been co-opted on occasion, most recently by President Obama when he used one of the phrase's translations, "Yes, we can", in his presidential campaign.

The more literal translation used by the UFW is, "Yes, it can be done." Whatever translation one favors, it is a powerful phrase intended to empower us as people to change unfair conditions, for both ourselves and others, imposed by those in power, be they corporate or governmental (the difference here can be hazy). I was unimpressed (to say the least) to see the phrase used in a political campaign.

Next weekend people will come together in many cities around the world to remember the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and many will not only remember, but will also continue our ongoing work to abolish nuclear weapons from the planet. One gathering of particular importance to me will be at Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action where a community of activists has resisted the U.S. first-strike weapon, Trident, for over 30 yearsWe thoughtfully chose the phrase "Nuclear Abolition: Yes We Can!" as the theme of this August's gathering because the movement to abolish nuclear weapons is definitely a movement of the people, by the people and for ALL people of the earth. It is a movement to abolish weapons that not only threaten all the people of the planet with suffering and death, but also drain huge sums of money from the treasuries of all the nuclear nations, money that would be better spent on programs of social uplift.

So, we honor Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez, and all who have struggled for the rights of people everywhere, often in the face of insurmountable odds. In the long struggle for nuclear abolition, we know that "it can be done," but we also know that we cannot leave the job to politicians, the military or corporations (and don't forget the think tanks). It is up to us to bring the pressure to bear on those in power to create a livable world for future generations.

Join us at Ground Zero next weekend (if you are in Washington State), or at one of the other events around the U.S. and around the world this month (see the previous posting) as we remember the past while working towards a better future, one without nuclear weapons.

Whether or not you attend an event, you can get engaged with this issue and advocate for change. Check out the Hot Links listed on the right. For starters, CLICK HERE to tell President Obama that in order to arrive at his stated goal of a nuclear-free world, he needs to take far more dramatic steps than those he has taken so far.

Si, se puede, y la Paz,

Leonard

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