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OP-ED: My New Year's Resolutions
Work with not just this year but many future years and generations and centuries in mind.
Work with an international perspective as much as possible. Collaborate internationally as much as possible.
Work to turn last year's Arab Spring into this year's Worldwide Spring-Summer-Fall-Winter.
Help to create a worldwide movement against plutocracy and violence.
Stop thinking of defeating horrendous proposals as the only kind of "victory" possible.
Within the United States, help to advance the organization of a student loan debtors union large enough and strategic enough to both refuse payment and to build a campaign that will make education free going forward — in the United States and around the world.
Help to advance a nonviolent resistance campaign to halt foreclosures on homes, one by one, and through legislatures and courts.
Work to build a movement against the military industrial complex and for economic conversion, inclusive of libertarians and internationalists, civil libertarians, environmentalists, economists, labor, educators, humanitarians, local governments, state governments, and international allies.
Make U.S. residents aware of local struggles against U.S. bases around the world, and see fewer U.S. troops at fewer bases outside the United States and within the United States by the end of the year.
See reduced military spending in the 2013 U.S. budget.
See fewer drone strikes, fewer bombs, fewer assassinations, fewer prisoners, fewer torture victims, and less talk of a "war on terror" this year than last.
Use Iran war promotion as another opportunity to build resistance to predictable propaganda.
Develop a culture that includes our wars' victims, not just their perpetrators, in the death and injury counts.
Help design an up-to-date anti-war movement that can effectively challenge drone wars, robotic wars, space wars, privatized mercenary wars, secret wars, and death squads. Revive the War Outlawry movement and spread the understanding that war can be abolished.
This May in Chicago build a movement to end NATO.
Repeal the 2001 and 2003 authorizations for the use of military force.
See the United States join the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and without the current qualifications the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Develop a global campaign to pressure the ICC to apply the same standards for prosecution to criminals in the governments of wealthy nations and permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
Help continue to build awareness and understanding of single-payer health coverage and to create it at the state level within the United States.
Help continue to build awareness and understanding of sustainable energy, and of why nuclear energy is not part of it. Work to advance this agenda at the local and state if not national or international levels.
Make central to each of these campaigns and a major campaign of its own the demand for accountability, for an end to corruption, for the equal application of the rule of law to the powerful and the weak, for transparency, for checks on political power, and for protection of the rights to speak and to protest.
Revive the practice of breaking up oversized corporations rather than bailing them out.
Work to protect and advance a free and open internet, and to otherwise build independent means of communication and journalism.
Promote the movement to amend the U.S. Constitution, both to re-articulate the old and the obvious (money is not speech, corporations are not people) and to create and enforce the rights we need but have never had.
Put in extra hours inspiring people to work on things other than elections, redirecting funding away from lesser-evil candidates and into truly good grassroots movements, developing energy behind clear-throated demands that will move the whole society rather than mealy mouthed lies that will move a few compliantly forgetful pundits.
Encourage people who refuse to work fulltime on something more important than elections to work for decent candidates at the local, district, or state level, and to back decent national candidates like Rocky Anderson or Jill Stein, with the understanding being advanced that there is nothing rational about picking the less evil candidate each time while allowing our political culture to steadily degrade in such a manner that both candidates next time can be counted on to be even worse than the more evil candidate this year.
Support the backing of candidates who meet the policy demands of organizations, rather than organizations that adjust their policy demands to meet candidates. Back candidates to the extent that they meet our demands, and never censor those demands in order to accommodate. Develop the concept of the public servant as a means of undoing the common understanding of the activist organization as the servant of the public official.
Be happy at the end of the year if I have increased the possibility of these projects succeeding someday, regardless of whether that day looks likely to occur in my lifetime.
Make the most of these upcoming events:
Dec. 26, 2011 - Jan 3, 2012, Occupy Iowa Caucuses
Jan. 7, 2012, 5:00-7:00 p.m. ET David Swanson chat at FireDogLake book salon.
Jan. 11, 2012, Washington, D.C., Witness Against Torture
Jan. 14, 2012, Richmond, Va., Virginia People's Assembly
Jan. 16, 2012, MLK Day, Publication of The Military Industrial Complex at 50
Jan. 16, 2012, Occupy the Dream
Jan. 17, 2012, Washington, D.C., Occupy Congress
Jan. 20, 2012, Occupy the Courts
Jan. 23, 2012, Day of Rest and Reflection
Jan. 25, 2012, Washington, D.C., Stand With the Egyptian People.
Feb. 25-26, David Swanson speaking in Hilton Head, SC.
March 23-25, 2012, Stamford, Ct., United National Antiwar Coalition Conference
March 22-25, 2012, Washington, D.C., Split This Rock Poetry Festival
April 3, 2012, David Swanson at McNally Jackson Books in New York, NY.
May 18 - 20, 2012, Chicago, Challenge the NATO War Makers
July 4, 2012, Philadelphia, 99% Convention
July 14, 2012, David Swanson at Peacestock 2012 in Wisconsin.* * *
David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org andhttp://warisacrime.org and works for the online activist organization http://rootsaction.org