What You Can Do

 

" You do things again and again, and nothing happens. You have to do things, do things, do things,. You have to light that match, light that match, light that match, not knowing how often it's going to sputter and go out and at what point it's going to take hold. Things take a long time. It requires patience, but not a passive patience -- the patience of activism."

Howard Zinn, historian and author

*****

" Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest. "

Martin Luther King, Jr.

What you can do

" Capitalism [is] a word that has gone largely out of fashion. The approved reference now is to the market system. This shift minimizes - indeed deletes - the role of wealth in the economic and social system... It would be hard to think of a change in terminology more in the interest of those to whom money accords power. They have now a functional anonymity. "

John Kenneth Galbraith, economist and author

*****

"... U. S. business wants a "favorable climate of investment" abroad, and ... military regimes that will crush labor unions and otherwise serve foreign business meet that demand."

Edward Herman, economist and media analyst

Boycott page

"They are going to arrest us all and execute us for Shell."

spoken by Ken Saro-Wiwa, Nigerian democracy activist, after reading a secret Nigerian military memo in May 1994. He was executed by the Nigerian military dictatorship in 1995.

*****

" It is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners."

Albert Camus, French writer and thinker, 1913-1960

Solidarity page

"Social and economic well-being will become a reality only through the zeal, courage, the non-compromising determination of intelligent minorities, and not through the mass."

Emma Goldman, American anarchist and feminist, 1869-1940

*****

" Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable ... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. "

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Numbers to know

" Today enormous effort goes into convincing the American public that we're just consumers of media manipulation and sound-bites and spin doctors. That we care only about ourselves, money, and "stuff". That acting out of passion and conviction "doesn't make a difference". But all history shows that it does."

Bernadine Dorn, Irish democracy activist

*****

" All of us can do something. "

Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador

Progressive websites and organizations

" If development was measured not by gross national product, but a society's success in meeting the basic needs of its people, Vietnam would have been a model. That was its real "threat." From the defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 to 1972, primary and secondary school enrollment in the North increased sevenfold, from 700,000 to almost five million. In 1980, UNESCO estimated a literacy rate of 90 percent and school enrollment among the highest in Asia and throughout the Third World. "

John Pilger, author

*****

"Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead. anthropologist

Become informed -- authors / books page

" We find comfort among those who agree with us and growth among those who don't."

author unknown

Become informed -- books page

" We may not be strong enough to stop wars when the powers that be want them, but at least we are wise and humane enough to take political and moral stands as publicly as possible. This is, after all, the foundation we must build from."

Leslie Cagan, anti-war activist

Become informed -- magazines, media organizations, publishers, and programs

"First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me."

Martin Niemoller, German anti-Nazi pastor during World War II

*****

" When small steps are taken by large numbers of people momentous things can happen."

Vandana Shiva, environmental activist

*****

" ... when you come back from the Third World to the West - the U.S. in particular - you are struck by the narrowing of thought and understanding, the limited nature of legitimate discussion, the separation of people from each other. It's startling how stultifying it feels, since our opportunities are so vastly greater here."

Noam Chomsky

Progressive Politics

"The time is past when good men can remain silent, when obedience can segregate men from public risk, when the poor can die without defense."

Catholic priest and human rights activist Daniel Berrigan

*****

" Free men of every generation must combat renewed efforts of organized force and greed to destroy liberty."

Robert M. La Follette, Sr., 1856-1925, liberal activist and founder of the Progressive magazine


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