March Like Egyptians!

If we had the passions of Egyptians!

Last week saw the remarkable power of non-violent action of a committed people.  Egyptian dictator, Hosni Mubarak, was forced to resign, after 30 years of repressive rule, because of the persistent, passionate demands of a broad cross section of the Egyptian people.  For eighteen days people stood firm in the streets calling for Mubarak to resign.  What will replace him remains to be seen.  See But I am reminded of a line in one of Gandhi’s favorite hymns –Lead Kindly Light — “I do not ask to see the distant scene, one step enough for me.”

The Egyptians have taken a major step forward for all of humanity seeking a world of peace and justice.  If only more of us had the passions of Egyptians in committed non-violent action, the U.S. wars of aggression and ongoing illegal occupations would cease to exist.

Before the 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq by George W. Bush, more than 11 million people worldwide took to the streets protesting the impending U.S. attack.  We protested but then we went home.  We did not stay in the streets, squares, and capitols of power to say with the passion of our lives, as the Egyptians did, that we will not go home until our demands are met.

In  the summer of 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. went to Washington along with hundreds of thousands of others.  There he gave his famous “I have a dream” speech.  Then King and all the others went home.  Five years later, Dr. King was mobilizing for another summer gathering in Washington in 1968.  This time he said he would be staying in Washington and calling for massive civil disobedience to shut down the nation’s capitol until the demands of the people were met.  In 1968 King was calling for an end to the war in Vietnam, and end to institutionalized racism, and he was especially calling for economic justice –jobs or income for the nations poor — all poor people –black, brown, white, etc.

Dr, King was gunned down on April 4, 1968 in Memphis in support of garbage workers on strike.  He was assassinated in what the jury verdict in the civil trial on his wrongful death called “An Act of State.”.  An “Act of State” means this: King’s death was not the work of a lone crazed assassin.  It was a government operation. King was murdered by the U.S. national security state because he was going to Washington to stay until peoples demands for justice and peace were met.

Dr. King had the vision, the passion, the commitment, and following required to bring about profound non-violent change.  That’s why the U.S. national security state made up of powerful political and economic vested interests considered him dangerous and took steps to eliminate him.  Like Gandhi, JFK, and Malcolm X,  King was a prophetic leader and easily targeted.  The Egyptian uprising appeared leaderless, or at least a movement of many leaders, not so easily targeted.

Let us learn from the vision, passion, and commitment of Gandhi, Dr. King, the Egyptians, and all those dedicated non-violent activists throughout history that have changed history.  In our hands lies a power greater than we know, a power than can change the world when we join hands together with the passion of the Egyptians in non-violent direct action.

Let’s March Like Egyptians!

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc.
5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action

P.O. Box AB Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone (808) 966-7622.  Email
Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (Feb. 18, 2011 – 492nd week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office