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  • Ed Edwards
    commented 2014-03-02 16:43:56 -0500

    Coming to a park near you!

    “Freedom of assembly is the individual right to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests. The right to freedom of association is recognized as a human right, political right and civil liberty." – wikipedia

    The loci for these assemblies have historically been the city parks.

    An earnest speaker might mount a soapbox to vent his concerns, to rally like-minded individuals, to rail against the failures of a system. A crowd might gather, listening for a resonant message, looking for shared solidarity.

    Those days are gone having been replaced by the electronic megaphone where the multitudes can “talk at” more expediently than “exchange with”. Web sites and even social media like Facebook and twitter are fine, but they are simply tools in the box. They each have their own demographic. They greatly enable preaching to the choir. They are, however, not well suited to attract the misinformed or the willfully uninformed. And we do know, as heavy might be the boot of repression on the citizen voice, it is apathy and ignorance which still remain the biggest obstacles to the by-the-people, for-the-people, of-the-people changes which we most desperately need.

    We absolutely know, too, that no communication is as strong as face-to-face, particularly in a climate of glorified isolationism engineered by the forces of divide and conquer. If there is one thing the Occupy movement proved it was the concentration of dozens can draw the interest of hundreds. And hundreds, in turn, can entice thousands.

    To that end, you and over 4 dozen citizen and cause proponents are being invited/urged to participate in an informal “teach-in”. You can decide if it has merit for your particular focus and in what way. You can decide how best to use this platform, this opportunity… how it might work for you. At the very least it is an opportunity to explain your positions, your goals, your successes, your membership, your affiliations, your actions, your contact information.

    Excerpts from a notice being distributed and posted on civic calendars…

    Coming to a park near you!

    Please, take a moment and walk with me through an imagined place. A bazaar, if you will, for social, legal, political, economic, ecological, and environmental causes. An outdoor shopping center where browsers might find, not merchandise, but rather resonant issues. Might be exposed to the activities of existing groups working on those issues. Might be challenged and inspired. A flea market with stalls touting both problems and solutions – boutiques of reaction.

    If you think no one but the NSA is listening to your concerns you are correct. For decades there has been a concerted, ever increasing effort by an elitist group of very rich and very powerful people to marginalize and mute the public will. As their influence has grown, the average person’s say over his own destiny and wellbeing has been squelched.

    Dozens of citizen interest groups and advocates will be available at McPherson Square on March 22. They will be open to discussing their issues, their activities, and how you can regain your rightful voice.

    By specific design there is no organization, no coordination, anyone can take part. There is a date, a location, and a bit of promotion. If you care to participate just show up – and bring your soapbox.

    This could become an on-going affair. If we, you and I, continue to show a presence over the initial weeks it could blossom into a city attraction. Or it could flop-out. I will suggest, however, our own imperatives demand we give it a try.

    date – Saturday, March 22, 2014

    (and subsequent Saturdays, weather permitting and interest encouraging)

    time – loosely 10 am to 4 pm

    place – McPherson Square, 15th and K sts. NW Washington DC

    Hope to see you there.
  • Valeriy Korostyshevskiy
    commented 2014-03-01 23:33:30 -0500
    Dear Senator Strauss,

    Thank you, and thank you to the Government ofthe United States of America, for your immediate and critical recognition ofthe interim Ukrainian government. This acknowledgement of the courage and determination of the people of Ukraine pursuing democracy and freedom is incredibly important in this critical juncture.

    I ask the United States to continue to provide the critical support needed to assure a free and democratic Ukraine, and to assure its territorial integrity, as the United States agreed to do when Ukraine voluntarily ceded its whole nuclear arsenal in 1994. Time is of the essence to prevent Putin from re-constituting his corrupt shadow network in Ukraine.

    Please establish and maintain efforts on the following four fronts:

    First: The US and its Western allies must maintain the integrity of the territorial lands ofUkraine. Russian military activities near Ukraine’s border and in the Crimean peninsular threaten to destabilize Ukraine’s fragile state, undoubtedly to advance Putin’s geo-political goals. The United States and Russia both agreed to be guarantors of Ukraine’s territorial integrity in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, in exchange for Ukraine ceding its nuclear arsenal to Russia. The US needs to take concrete actions honoring its commitment to the Budapest Memorandum if the US is to maintain the credibility of its non-proliferation efforts.

    Second: Work with the EU and IMF to quickly provide a robust financial aid package of $35 billion to stabilize the Ukrainian economy and to help wean Ukraine from its heavy dependence on coerced and monopolistic Russian commerce. Call on the US Government to support an equivalent of a Marshall Plan for Ukraine to rebuildits economy in the wake of the devastating and corrupt presidency of Viktor Yanukovych. Incentivize US businesses to invest in Ukraine, and promote open commerce with small and medium sized businesses in Ukraine.

    Third: Support financial sanctions against persons in Ukraine guilty of ordering or facilitating murder, undertaking illegal separatist activities, and human rights abuses. In particular, the US, working with its allies, must proactively freeze the assets of members of the former regime, so that those assets are not used to fund further destabilizing actions in the short term, and can be returned to the Ukrainian government inthe long term. US leadership in this matter would also help stabilize Ukraine’s position on the financial markets.

    Fourth: Encourage cultural and educational exchanges through non-government agencies and other institutions. Over the past two decades, such programs have developed a new generation of leadership in Ukraine with a thorough grounding in western, democratic ideals and governance. The impact and value of these programs cannot be overstated. Support substantial increases in the Peace Corps volunteers assigned to Crimea and the southeastern regions of Ukraine.

    From its earliest days, The United States of America has inspired the world with its ideals of justice, human rights, self-determination, and freedom for all. In 1820, Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Marquis de Lafayette “The disease of liberty is catching; those armies will take it in the south, carry it thence to their own country, spread therethe infection of revolution and representative government, and raise its people from the prone condition of brutes to the erect altitude of man.” Many in Ukraine were killed, many more were wounded, in their pursuit of the ideals that the United States famously champions. Please do all you can to help this brave evolving democracy to achieve that dream.
  • Albert Hirschson
    commented 2014-01-24 11:33:27 -0500
    I’m trying to make an on-line contribution but I keep getting this error notice…“ls confirmed needs to be checked” ?…what does this mean ?
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