Demonstrators walk near President-elect Barack Obama's vacation residence in Kailua, Hawaii, on Dec. 30, 2008.(Kent Nishimura/Bloomberg News)
Holding signs urging Obama to take a new approach to Middle East policy, the protesters gathered early in the morning just beyond the security perimeter of Obama's estate, hoping the president-elect would see them when he left for his traditional morning workout. But as of 9:20 a.m. Hawaii time, Obama had not left his residence.
It was the first time protesters had gathered outside Obama's vacation home during this trip. The activists represented several groups, including Veterans for Peace. They told a pool of reporters traveling with Obama that they want the incoming administration to make a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian territories a top priority, especially given the current strife in the Gaza Strip.
Ann Wright, 62, a retired Army colonel from Honolulu, wore a T-shirt that read, "We will not be silent." She carried a sign that said: "Change U.S. foreign policy. Yes we can."
This San Francisco purveyor of graffiti has it right. When times are bleak -- when country and planet sink under the barely restrained sway of greed, raw power, and fear -- it's time to restate what matters.
I write here to preserve and kindle hope for a national and global turn toward multi-racial, economically egalitarian, gender non-constricting, woman affirming, and peace choosing democracy that preserves the habitability of earth for all. There's a big order -- but what else is there to do but struggle for this? Not much.
Topics range from the minuscule to the transcendent to the global, from dire to delightful. I am not an optimist, but I refuse to allow myself to wallow within the easy bias that everything is going to always be awful. Good also happens; love lives too.
I've been yammering here about activism, politics, history, racism and other occasional horrors and pleasures since 2005. I intend to continue as long as the opportunity exists. In this time, that means activism and chronicling resistance. Perhaps it always has, one way and another.
I'm a progressive political activist who runs trails and climbs mountains whenever any are available. I've had the privilege to work for justice in Central America (Nicaragua and El Salvador), in South Africa, in the fields of California with the United Farmworkers Union, and in the cities and schools of my own country. I'm a Christian of the Episcopalian flavor; we think and argue a lot. For work, I've done a bit of it all: run an old fashioned switch-board; remodeled buildings and poured concrete; edited and published periodicals, reports and books; and organized for electoral campaigns. Will work for justice.