2011: Year of New Beginnings By Grace Lee Boggs


 2011:  Year of New Beginnings

By Grace Lee Boggs

Michigan  Citizen, May 29-June 4, 2011 

 2011 opened  with the Arab Spring when  the people of North  Africa decolonized  themselves,  thrilling the world with  their non-violent gatherings,   ousting  the dictators the United States has supported  to secure its access to Mideast oil.

 NOW  Spanish youth in central Madrid and in 50 other Spanish cities have created huge “democracy camps.”

 Recognizing   that they cannot  depend upon political parties to solve  their  nation’s unemployment and debt crisis,  thousands have been conducting open air overnight sit-ins, defying police orders to disperse.

 “On Sunday we realized we were not alone,” Juan Lopez explained. “Before [the march] we didn’t feel we could make a difference. Now we want the politicians to listen to the people, and help change our country.”(Common Dreams, May 21).

 The democracy camp has become more organized by the day, with bright blue tarpaulins strung from statues and lamp posts and tents pitched on the cobblestones. There are sofas, mattresses and  four chemical toilets, provided by the firm for free.

 There are committees for food, cleaning, legal affairs and communication and daily assembly meetings that hear proposals and allow joint decisions to be made.

 Behind a table piled high with fruit, biscuits and Turkish delight, is a mountain of milk cartons, canned fish and crisps.

 “I brought bread, tomatoes, cheese and chickpeas,” says Leticia Moya, 28, an unemployed nursery worker who lives close to the camp and is one of many supporters donating supplies.

 “I feel we should all collaborate, however we can. I can’t stay sleeping here overnight, but at least I can bring food. I don’t have much, but I prefer to spend my money on this, than on going out at the weekend,”

 In Detroit this is also a year of new beginnings.

  Saturday, June 11, at 11 a.m.  thousands of Detroiters from grassroots organizations on the east side of Detroit will meet at the Church of the Messiah, 231 E. Grand  Blvd.  to create our first  East Side Declaration of Love and Hope

  We will celebrate,  heal and talk with each other.

  • We will share ideas to re-create our communities to develop ‘new work,’

    build sustainable houses, local economies, and put the Neighbor back in the ‘hood.

                   We can do this,  YES WE CAN!!!!

Contact:  Church of the Messiah: 313-567-1158; Riverfront  Front East  Congregational Initiative – Carmen 313- 974 –4826