There is some quick background that I need to give you, The Reader, for this article. Here is a very short timeline of relevant facts about my life:
2004: My son, Casey Sheehan, was killed in Iraq on 04 April
2005: I camped out in front of George Bush’s ranch in August
2006: I helped Democrats take back Congress, believing some of them were better than Republicans
2007: I left the Democrat Party after I realized they weren’t.
2008: I ran for Congress in San Francisco against Nancy Pelosi as an Independent
2009: I lost 90% of my support when I held Barack Obama to the same standards I held Bush.
After I was narrowly defeated (by about 75,000 votes) by Pelosi in 2008, I struggled mightily with the Anti-Bush War movement to retain its integrity by protesting the wars still, even though a Democrat was now in the White House and Congress was overwhelmed with a tyranny of Democrats. My efforts were mostly unsuccessful and supporters were dropping from my email list like hypocritical flies when I criticized Obama. I was being thoroughly attacked by the “left” using much of the same rhetoric as those who were and are still attacking me from the right.
During the beginning of 2009, I was as lonely as the “Maytag Repair Man” and feeling very sorry for myself. I was no longer “in demand” for speaking and antiwar protests had practically dried up to nothing.
So, one particularly frustrating night, the idea for Myth America came to me when I was struggling with trying to figure out how those people who appeared so informed and dedicated to peace when Bush was in office could be come so stupid and war mongering over night. “It must be the Myths (such as American exceptionalism and voting matters) we are force fed from the time we are babies,” I thought.
Remember, I had just come off of a campaign where every obstacle known to the “ruling” class had been thrown at us: from laws that keep our class from having a political voice to infiltration, sabotage, and vandalism. I concluded that trying to break into the establishment was a huge waste of limited time, money, and energy, so my “revolution” became one of social anarchism. I concluded that we needed to divorce ourselves from the institutions that kept us enslaved: banks, the war machine, food production, the government, etc.
Long before “Occupy,” I was encouraging people to take their funds out of banks and investing in credit unions, community banking, or the First Local Bank of Sock Drawer.
Food security became one of my number one issues and backyard gardens and local farmer’s markets are the best way to subsidize a food supply that is being contaminated by Monsanto and our government’s loyalty to the evil corporation.
Since 2009, I visited at least 60 communities to share Myth America (including a visit to Freedom’s Phoenix) and I saw what communities from Eureka, Ca to Ithaca, NY were doing with local scrip, health care, food and other co-ops, education, and the most important thing to me: anti-militarism.
Obviously with the “left” only being against Republican Wars and Republicans being in favor of all war, a mass movement to end wars will go through inherent fluctuations and it seems that when we get a head of steam going to build a movement, some Democrat shill organization like Moveon.org will magically appear to undermine it. Moveon.org co-opted and ruined the OWS movement before OWS could get its crap together and realize that it had true power, just as Moveon.org ruined my Camp Casey Peace movement by distracting us with partisan politics for two years.
So, the only way that we can fight the Empire and its militarism is by raising children in Revolutionary Communities of love and co-operation that encourages peaceful conflict resolution and refuses to allow our children to be used as pawns of the War Machine.
Most of the children of our class join the military (and children of the “ruling” class rarely join) for economic reasons. I know my own son joined, and ended up being killed for profit, so he could further his college studies. If we the people who care about each other and care about the world create these loving communities of care, we can offer our children healthy alternatives to being used as cannon fodder for the squalid elite.
If you are an employer, offer internships or apprenticeships. I believe that these days, real job skills and experience are becoming more valuable than a college education. My other son was profoundly fortunate to be offered an apprenticeship out of high school and is now a land surveyor. It’s the “Tale of Two Brothers.” One, who desired a college education and was abused, misused and subsequently killed for it and then one who was not college material and literally had this apprenticeship opportunity fall in his lap.
If you live in a college town, offer a room or bed to a student. University is prohibitively expensive for our children and we can pull together to make it work. Trade babysitting or household chores for room and board, this also has the additional affect of building community and personal relationships that are being lost in the land of “social” media and internet dating.
Start a get-together (coffee shop, pub, town square, home) for like-minded people in your own community to create ideas that will help build these Revolutionary Communities in your own area. Not every community is identical to the next and you need to decide what is the most urgent need in your community and then identify what YOU ALL can do about it.
Revolutionary Communities don’t ask permission to fulfill human needs and civil rights.
That’s why we call it a “Revolution.”
Cindy Sheehan is an internationally known author, radio talk show host, and peace and justice advocate who opposes the Empire no matter who is in office. Cindy started her quest for peace and justice after her oldest son, Casey Sheehan, was killed in the Iraq War for profit on 4 April, 2004. Cindy can be reached through her website: www.CindySheehansSoapbox.com