Friday, October 19, 2012

The urgent need to defend ...

What do these people  have in common?

Photographed on the Richmond Greenway

Dr. Martin Luther King
                Rosa Parks 
                Malcolm X
                Susan Sarandon
                Joan Baez
                Tim Robbins
                Daniel Ellsberg
                Jane Fonda
                Cesar Chavez
                Cindy Sheehan
                Brothers Berrigan
                Danny Glover
                Alice Walker
                Harry Belafonte
                Gore Vidal
                Lewis Hill
                Jane Stillwater
                Rep. John Lewis
                Muhammad Ali
                Helen Keller
                Sojourner Truth
                Susan B. Anthony
                                               A. Phillip Randolph
                                               Doris Haddock (Granny D)
                                               James Baldwin
      plus the entire American Revolutionary Army who told King George to get lost!

All were dissenters who questioned authority under the protection of the 1st Amendment-- and by so doing helped to change the course of history.

... and of course, internationally, we have Nelson MandelaGhandi, and who can ever forget Burma’s courageous and beautiful Aung San Suu Kyl?

To this illustrious list I’d add my long time friend, Marilyn Langlois, for a lifetime of speaking truth to power, and whose values and principles have served us all by calling attention to human and environmental injustices.

The recent and sustained personal attacks upon her character have revealed the ignorance of those opposing her candidacy for public office.  They obviously have no idea of how important and essential is the role of the dissenter to participatory democracy.

Whatever would the world have done had these brave souls not walked among us, holding us to live up to our highest ideals -- and the nation to keep to its promises granted by the Constitution and Bill of Rights?

How dare they?