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