Thursday, September 13, 2007

Questions & ANSWER

We continue to get the run-around on the permit for the planned peace witness on Sunday evening. The parks police (comically closed due to a power outage on September 11) initially told us that all permits for the entire weekend have been issued to the ANSWER coalition for the major demonstration they are holding on Saturday. A couple of calls to their DC office revealed that they have absolutely nothing planned for Sunday, leaving us wondering why the police won’t issue a permit.
Perhaps it’s because the powers that be understand something that most of us don’t want to grasp: there is genuine power in witnessing. The tools of nonviolence in acts of resistance can become a force more powerful.
That prospect may be threatening to the powers that be; they are sometimes even more threatening – terrifying, in fact – to those of us who would try to employ such tools, for they demand of us a willingness to let go of our own agendas and align ourselves with the long arc of the moral universe as it bends toward justice. Nonviolence requires a certain release of self interest and ego.
So as I look ahead to my own participation in an act of nonviolent witness on Sunday evening, what frightens me most is not the potential encounter with the police so much as the encounter with myself.

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