Peacynic speaking.


I'm having a battle today (and everyday) with what constitutes a productive response to Lebanon and Iraq for a white, well-off, liberal, uk-based designer.

I marched all through my twenties against wars and injustice all over the place. I marched on the early Afghanistan marches in 2001 with a good understanding of the Taliban - I just weighed it against the futility of remote wars and whole-heartedly belived it was the worst course of action.
Our feeble 20k, and the later 100k were ignored.
When Iraq came around the marches started at 200k and by 1 million people (just before the shock and awe kicked off) we were confident that we, combined with the absolute authority of international law, would not be ignored.
But we were ignored, so much so that the march is only known as a record breaker. It did nothing. Compare that to the direct action of Father's for Justice, or the Countryside Alliance. Democratic governments welcome and encourage peaceful protest because it enables potential activists to exorcise their antipathy and feel righteous and then go home and then forget about it, just as they are forgotten about.

So I've stopped marching. When 15 thousand Londoners want to march through the streets alongside lunatics screaming death to Israel, "We are all Hezbollah now", I say "No thanks, (are you insane?)"
When international petitions come through calling for ceasefires based only on my email address: - I think, mmmm, data harvesting.
When people say "This has to stop!" I ask, why are you telling me?
So now when the UK government goes on holiday I think fine. Why didn't they go on holiday in the first place? Why didn't they pump billions of pounds into the Afghan economy, billions into Iraqi infrastructure, billions into establishing TV networks and giving out free laptops and Fox News and wireless connections?
Why don't they pump billions into creating sustainable irrgation solutions in Sudan, Ethiopia and the horn of Africa? Why aren't they actually interested in solving these situations, merely sustaining them?

That's where I stop caring. I can care for lives and cry for pain and suffering. But I'm not going to stand up and claim this is a democracy and "my view counts" when it clearly doesn't. Not one iota. Not a jot.
Maybe that's not even a bad thing - but I'm not lying about it.

I'm a peacynic and I need a better way.

Written by
Tea Uglow
There is, it turns out, always a Tea in team. And Beth. Of course. x
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