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Peace on Earth requires peace with Earth -- A vision for returning democracy to the people.

Don't Let Your Attention Become Diverted

Copyright 2003 by Dave Ewoldt

Today, more than ever, citizen participation is needed within our system of governance. In a democratic country founded on the principle that the government belongs to the people, it is the duty of all patriots to become informed, to present their views, and to speak up for what they feel is right and just.

We can't let our attention be diverted by a failing economy and a looming war to the fact that terrorism on the home front is on the rise. Violence against women and the environment, the two major forces of creation and nurturance, is again increasing.

The never ending war on terror is just that. Terrorism and the culture of fear will never end as long as we allow our elected representatives to answer violence with violence. Our primary need, as a civil society, is to wage peace and address the underlying inequities that breed terrorism.

There is abundant evidence that the hard won gains over the past 40 years toward equal rights and environmental protection are being dismantled. A climate of fear is being propagated and cultivated, and acts of terrorism against our civil rights and the freedoms inherent in our democratic society are being instituted and carried out.

The lack of compassion shown for the citizens of this country by neoconservatives and corporate power is appalling. Increased funding for war and domestic surveillance is diverting necessary funds from education, social services, and ecological restoration.

Bush league tax cuts for the wealthy, corporate welfare, and other rewards for campaign contributors has taken this administration's starting budget surplus and turned it into a multibillion dollar budget deficit for which there is no end in sight.

Many people today are saying that their desire for peace and their love for life and the natural world has been hijacked by the greed and desire for power from monied special interests. These desires are promulgated by a compliant media more interested in hyping the buildup for war than in asking hard questions and demanding honest answers.

Today, people of good heart need to be fully aware of the agenda of the current US administration. The dominator mind-set that is leading us into war is the same mind-set that is dismantling environmental protections, rolling back affirmative action, and attempting to privatize the commons.

The whole conversation of America has been subverted by what is perhaps best described as a weapon of mass distraction. One thing that is being overshadowed by the media's attention to the impending war of imperialism is the swell of grass-roots activism that is working to counter the rush to war, to safeguard the environment, and to defend our civil liberties.

Many people are aware that there is a better way. There exists another model of social structure on which to build a sustainable future for humanity and for the Earth on which humanity depends for sustenance. Based on common key values of respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, social and economic justice, democracy, nonviolence, and peace, this model of equalitarian partnerships has at least been available in the background for as long as humans have gathered in community.

This is the main reason that ecopsychology has been tied into the mission of the Coalition of New Progressives . The healing power of Nature, and Nature's model of a balanced sustainable system, is embodied within the inclusive and holistic world view of ecopsychology. This worldview offers more than just hope. Ecopsychology offers an effective tool to counteract the us-vs.-them rhetoric as we move to shifting individuals and the society they create into an equalitarian partnership society.

The massive world-wide peace demonstrations of 15 February are but the tip of the iceberg. Even though mainstream media in the US barely covers it, close to 50 US cities have passed resolutions asking to repeal the USA PATRIOT Act and to direct their local law enforcement agencies to not comply in the meantime with its unconstitutional aspects. Over 100 US cities have passed anti-war resolutions.

We need to remain active and vocal in both our opposition and, more importantly, in what we stand for. We need to continuously speak up against the lies, distortions, and propaganda that is being thrust upon the world, but particularly upon US citizens, by the current US administration. We need to remain firm in our desire and support for including environmental and social justice into both our domestic and our foreign policies.

The fact that increasing numbers are now speaking up so loudly is a sign of hope and a beacon of light against the darkness of personal depression that comes from external repression. We must continue to grow our numbers, stick together, and continue to work for what is right and just. To overcome the dominator lust for the power of destruction we need to continue working toward a partnership culture where the strength of creation will allow us to live in ways that allow all others to live as well.



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