Kundalini Splendor

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Patricia Speaks in Beirut as an Anti-War Activist 

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, Patricia recently went to Lebanon as a guest of the family which she supported in every way when the husband was rounded up by U. S. police forces, held for over a year without charges, and then summarily deported. While she was there, she was invited to speak at the meeting of Christians and Muslims which she describes at the end of the speech itself. Patricia, long a forceful voice in our own country, now becomes an international figure. Here is a transcript of her talk along with some explanatory comments:

I've just submitted the following to commondreams.org, alternet.org, and truthout.org:

An American Anti-War Activist Speaks

by Patricia Lay-Dorsey

Assalamu Alaikum.

I come as one woman who hopes to speak for millions of Americans whose voices are not being heard in America or worldwide.

We are those who say "Not In Our Name" when the president of our country, George W. Bush, makes war on countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, takes the oil and other natural resources that rightfully belong to other countries, captures and tortures prisoners--many of them innocent--in his so-called War On Terror, unjustly detains Moslem men of Arab descent in U.S. jails with no charges and no recourse to due process of law...yet continues to say he is "making the world safe for democracy."

We say if what you stand for is democracy, Mr. Bush, then we want no part of it.

We say that you, George W. Bush, do NOT speak for us.

We say your imperialistic and aggressive actions, attitudes and words do not reflect what we believe America can and should be.

We say by our words, actions and attitudes that peace is possible, and it can only come when America takes its proper place as an equal among equals in the world community.

As long as George W. Bush, and people like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove and Condoleezza Rice continue to act as if America is the "boss of the world," we will fight them--nonviolently--with every breath we take.

We are not giving up or giving in to their destructive decisions. We are not going to sit back and let them ruin our nation and the world. We are strong, we are angry and our numbers are growing every day.

Yes, we know there are Americans who support George W. Bush, and his government. Americans who believe his lies and propaganda. Americans who unwisely voted him back into office in 2004.

But we also know that many of them now regret that vote, now see that the war against and occupation of Iraq is a disaster. A disaster that is killing not only our young people--over 2000 of whom have now died in this war--but hundreds of thousands of Iraqi innocents. These former supporters of Bush's war now say, Bring Our Troops Home Now!

I personally met some of these people on September 24th on the streets of our nation's capitol when over half a million people--young and old, black and white, Christian, Jewish and Muslim--came together for a huge march and rally organized by a coalition of national peace groups. It was called "End the War On Iraq!" I have never before felt such power and commitment in a gathering like this. And it was my seventh such march on Washington, DC over the past decade.

Something has shifted in America. It is as if the sleeping majority has awakened and they don't like what they see. Recent polls show that less than 37% of the American people believe Bush is leading our country in the right direction, by far the lowest approval rating for any U. S. president in history. He is losing his grip. Finally.

But we still have three more years of George W. Bush in the White House. Three more years of fighting for justice, for freedom, for accountability, for peace.

And I want you to know we WILL be fighting. We are not giving up. Even if the media never shows you our faces or reports on our words and actions, please know we are there, working together, forming coalitions, traveling to places like Palestine to offer our solidarity to oppressed peoples, coming up with creative solutions to what can seem like unsolvable problems.

And we are not just working for justice and peace; we are working for the life and health of our planet. We are trying to develop sustainable ways of living that do not damage the land, water, air and species that share this, our home.

We are in solidarity with you, our neighbors in Lebanon, as you try to find the truth behind tragedies like the assassination of your beloved Prime Minister Rafik Al Hariri. As you try to find new ways to be in respectful relationships with your neighbors to the north and to the south. As you do all you can to help peace come to the Middle East.

We are together in these struggles. We are one people, no matter what our nationality, our religion, our language. We are one because we share the same home--Earth--and because we all want the same things: to live in peace, dignity and freedom. We want our children and our children's children to have all they need, to share what they have, and to live together in peace.

May it be so.

Patricia Lay-Dorsey, Detroit anti-war activist, presented this speech on Saturday, November 19, 2005 at The Muntada, a center for dialogue between Christians and Muslims located near the American University of Beirut, in Beirut, Lebanon.

Approximately 60-70 predominantly Muslim men and women attended, even though there had only been three days advance notice. They were respectful and attentive throughout our two hours together.

During the question and answer period, everyone expressed surprise and gratitude that there are people in the United States who feel the way I do about George W. Bush and, especially about his war on and occupation of Iraq. What follows are some of their questions:

1) What is your goal, your motivation? What would you like to see the world become?
2) What tangible steps are you in the peace movement taking to change things?
3) How do Americans in general feel about 9/11?
4) You're calling for the removal of George W. Bush but what if a worse president comes around?
5) How do you see the future in Iraq?
6) You said that you were working to overthrow the system but what if an "ideal" president was elected? What then?
7) The U.S. is spending millions to improve their image in the Middle East, with propaganda-loaded radio stations and newspapers. What is your advice to us in the face of that?
8) You criticize the capitalistic system. Is this the general mood in the U.S.? What system would you prefer

see www.windchimewalker.blogspot.com and her journal on www.windchimewalker.com for further description of her visit, including many wonderful photographs.

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