May 13, 2006

Happy Mothers Day To All

Geov Parrish reminds us that Mothers Day was originally a call for women to wage a general strike to end war.
Here is the original, pre-Hallmark, Mother's Day Proclamation, penned in Boston by Julia Ward Howe in 1870:

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts,
Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears
Say firmly:
"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We women of one country
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.
From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!"
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice!
Blood does not wipe out dishonor
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war.
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions.
The great and general interests of peace.
Speaking of mothers, Cindy Sheehan is becoming a much better writer:
The Iraq policy is fatally flawed, especially for the nearly 2500 US dead; and for every one of these there are another 100 dead Iraqi civilians. We have to do something to build a peace movement that can stop this blood-bathed foreign policy. We've demonstrated, written letters, sung songs, engaged in civil disobedience, and traveled far and wide engaging our fellow Americans to demand that the troops come home. Hundreds of thousands of us marched in the streets of New York City for Peace, Justice and Democracy on April 29th.

What's next? What can we do now? What tools do we have left in this democracy of ours?

Now is the time for the peace movement to get electoral. Americans opposed to preemptive war need to vote for what they believe in, and not vote for candidates that support war. Let's turn the majority of Americans into an electoral majority that can redirect the United States.


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