A very good summary of the program by Roger of VFP (he is also the author of the blog ). The program was truly a joy to be a part of and I came away with a great deal of appreciation for Catholic Peace Fellowship and Oklahoma VFP and the synergy that is beginning to grow between those groups.
I do though have one small clarification about what Roger said…
In discussions a gentleman in a suite and tie asked that we impeach Bush and vote Democratic, explaining that it was the Bush administration who was ultimately responsible for the improper use of our military. James explained that impeachment or regime change may be impossible and preferred we focus on other efforts.
Probably I didn’t explain myself well here, but what I meant to say was that political change should be pursued (Bush absolutely should be impeached for his unconstitutional actions, and Rumsfeld should face criminal prosecution for war crimes), but the odds are against us in that arena. Certainly we shouldn’t give up (heck, I’m a political candidate so I certainly see some worth in the political process), but I also think that we should also work outside the system with individuals to help them to resist the war machine through nonviolent means (including assisting GI’s to leave the military).
Ideally though these two fronts of action should happen consecutively. Some of us may be drawn to one area of work or the other, but I do think that both fronts are important.
Now on another subject that I didn’t discuss at the program, I also do differ with the questioner on his advice for folks to vote democratic. Certainly there are some good Democrats on the national, state and local levels (i.e. Bert Smith, Rhonda Rudd, Andrew Rice, Dennis Kucinich, Opio Toure, Connie Johnson, etc.), but most Democratic party politicians are active participants in the war machine. In fact, the most recent Democratic candidate for President was agressively pro-war (Kerry actually wanted to send MORE troops to Iraq).
So as far as I’m concerned voting Democratic in of itself is not the answer. Of course my own bias is that I’m a Green, but I do believe that even excellent democratic party politicians have to work within an oppressive organization if they remain Democrats and will be preasured to water down their anti-war beliefs.
Anyway though, I’ve said far more than I meant to but those are a few thoughts. I had better shut up now though because I need to hit the road to Austin.