One tip that Mark Rudd left out of his interesting article on organizing on the weekend CounterPunch site: one has to recognize when the movement is all there, ready to go, and just needs a little impetus.
For the past eleven months, on weekend mornings, I’ve been selling our “NO AFGHAN WAR” buttons at Farmers Markets and elsewhere in the D.C. area. The buttons cost $275 per 1000, I sell them for a dollar. If the market is active, I bring in $35-$45 per hour. Obviously the profits are considerable.
What do I do with the profits? I buy elegant yard signs saying: “NO WAR IN AFGHANISTAN” — they cost $364 for 100 — and go around neighborhoods in the D.C. area, knocking on doors of houses with yards and saying: “Look at this gorgeous sign! It would look great on your lawn, no? Absolutely free!” And one out of five owners says, “Sure, stick it in!”
An account of this, with pictures of buttons and signs, can be found at www.waifllc.org.
I’m on my third order of 1000 buttons and about ready for my fourth order of signs. This is easy pleasant work, and the signs make a big hit.
Thus far my successes. My failure is mammoth, and easy to describe: I am, up till recently, the only person doing this work. This is not for lack of trying. I’ve appealed to ANSWER, to Worldcantwait, to Quakers, to CodePink, to Vets for Peace. I say to them: If ten people would do what I do, we’d change the face of the D.C. area. They reject this, sometimes with a smile (They are doing much more important stuff), often quite rudely. Just recently a couple of people have signed on.
Perhaps Mr Rudd has suggestions about how to organize the organizers? Chomsky recognized a decade ago that in many ways we are way ahead of where we were at the end of WW II, or the beginning of Vietnam, so what is sketched above is simply following his insights.
ALAN McCONNELL can be reached at: http://patriot.net/users/alan