I Report

Team member “I” gives report

“My assigned question was as follows — “Would you look into religion’s role in democracy and politics? I think that there are wolves in the flock that are up to misguided mischief. We need to know if this will hamper our efforts.”

Team Leader – “If anyone reading this report would like to help please contact civis mundi here

I REPORT .     

When you asked me to evaluate any problems that we might encounter from religion I was dubious that I would find any; however I now believe there are major concerns that need to be exposed for what they are.

It would appear that Christianity moved from being a compassionate leftish religion to one fraught with right winged dogma and ambitions. Some now call it Prosperity Christianity.

This shift from left to right came about because of the issues of abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, Darwin, science plus other controversies. The Evangelicals made a deal with the right and are now pretty much a Theocracy political party.in both Canada and the USA; because it is taboo to talk about religion anywhere, including the media, this fact goes pretty much ignored – to our ultimate peril, I am afraid.

Other nations have to run all laws reviewed by religious leaders so it is not just a problem with the west.

I’m not sure how we can overcome this obstacle at this stage but forewarned is forearmed.

Team Leader- ’Well, thanks team for keeping the reports brief. Let’s hash things over so that I can make a condensed report to the boss.’

The subsequent report is at the opening of this paper,

MISSION POSSIBLE

Preamble:

Let’s pretend that my boss came to my office and said, “The world cannot survive the insults were are throwing at it and still continue to support life as we have known; I want you to come back to me with a report on what we must do – put together a team and report back in a couple of weeks – Okay?”

“No problem boss, I’ll start right away”

I hope this little drama is seen as a serious exercise, even if it is written by a person unfamiliar with everything that faces us –but who is? For this task I will need a team, so I call in nine colleagues to outline the task at hand.

First I will assign questions to each person on my new investigative team, and then I will give the summary of the reports, and conclusions, to my “boss”.

So! First the report as drafted for the boss; to be followed by the questions and subsequent nine reports as prepared by the team – if you care to read them.

Part one: Report summary:

After presentation of all reports and vigorous debate, the following summary was drafted for presentation to the boss.

Title: DRAFT “PLAN” – HOW TO ADDRESS SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNANCE OF 195 NATIONS.

  • 1 To be effective and taken seriously, we think that the first thing that is obvious is that we are going to need a very large earth-spanning organization and an international following of perhaps an initial membership of one hundred million or more members.
  • 2 There needs to be action initiated on at least 6 levels with each level addressing a distinct set of local, regional, domestic and global problems. The following levels are proposed: SCHOOL, MUNICIPAL, PROVINCIAL or EQUIVALENT, FEDERAL, CORPORATE and INTERNATIONAL.
  • 3 The first 5 levels would be composed of CITIZEN ASSEMBLIES whereas the international group would use DEMAND/PETITIONS signed by an international membership and forwarded to every lawmaker in all 195 nations simultaneously.
  • 4 Problems at the international level would come from a wide variety of categories, each addressed in a sequence with a predetermined time interval between problems. (not less than two weeks)
  • 5 Global issues would require a massive organizational structure complete with name, logo, mission statement and everything one can imagine to create comradery and sense of purpose.
  • 6 Public visibility of participants is deemed to be of utmost importance to instill the aforementioned comradery and sense of purpose for our mission.
  • 7 Each level of activity would come from a single plan where all problems have been categorized and prioritized by debate and consensus utilizing, in part, the expertise of established NGOs and activist groups)
  • 8 At the international level, everyone would be working from a single spreadsheet, prepared with space for 25 years of problems. (Open to amendment as the situation dictates)
  • 9 Problems that need to be addressed would be assembled and categorized into about 25 groupings before attempting to determine year one priorities.
  • 10 The responsibility of each category could be assigned to separate and distinct groups of NGOs and activist groups who in turn could provide advisors and information.
  • 11 A spreadsheet could be used to first prioritize a problem in each category. Subsequent priorities would be established after confirming the first priorities and getting the movement under way.
  • 12 Every individual, including every politician and corporate executive, would know what the far-reaching objectives are as there can be no secrets as our very survival is at stake.
  • 13 A year may pass before a new priority is addressed in each category. (As lawmakers need time to react to our demands)
  • 14 It is assumed at this stage that all categories would be addressed in each and every year following the start of the program, perhaps in sequence. (perhaps due to the urgency for remedial action)
  • 15 NGOs, activist groups and individuals could offer their priorities for consideration, and decisions would be by consensus.
  • 16 There would be only two rules to determine if an issue met the necessary criteria for inclusion in the international program. (Regional issues would not be considered at the international level but assigned to Citizen Assemblies within each sovereign nation)
  • 17 Priorities could be set for all six levels of people-action so that everyone would have a list of priories to work from.
  • 18 Global action would require the formation of a large umbrella organization and movement; larger than anything imagined so far. (perhaps with more people than the UN but without a building and without government participation)
  • 19 Membership would come from all 195 nations. (It would appear that all individuals over 15 have a pretty good idea of the urgency and could be participating members.)
  • 20 Access to social media would be necessary for engaging in the international level movement.
  • 21 NGOS and activist groups would not give up any aspect of their structure to participate. All would benefit as the new movement would in fact be doing the will of most all groups.
  • 22 At the global level, problems would be put to the membership through a Demand/Petition which would require signed approval.
  • 23 Signed Demand/Petitions would be sent to the lawmakers in all 195 nations simultaneously.
  • 24 I repeat – This global group could very well entail the efforts of perhaps thousands of individuals, Including legal scholars, translators, scientists, programmers. (Perhaps rivaling the UN staff in size, but operated totally without governmental interference, and all trough social media)
  • 25 Like the UN, all communications would require multiple languages.
  • 26 Individual members would opt in for the categories that concern them and would not receive petitions that they do not want.
  • 27 Political parties that work against the plan because of business or religious reasons need to be identified to members and to the public at large. The enemy must be subdued in not tamed.
  • 28 There is profound urgency

 

The balance of this paper is available at civismundi.net

Part two (ASSEMBLING A TEAM AND ASSIGNING TASKS)

 

When the team of nine was assembled they were given the following tasks.

  • A –“I want you to tell me why we cannot seem to make any headway with social and environmental issues. Look at everything you think is relevant.”
  • B – “See if you can find any groups that have effective ideas and movements. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel here if it is not necessary. It might be the small groups that have the best ideas.”
  • C – “Civil Disobedience is advocated by some groups. There is also a lot of chanting and shouting. Please look into this and report on the effectiveness of such programs. What are the negatives of this approach?”
  • D – “Will you make a rough list of identifiable problems in everything from GLOBAL WARMING, PLASTIC, TOXINS, HUMAN RIGHTS and the like? Don’t neglect anything as we will sort out the priorities later on. Just start by making a big long list in no special order. Nothing is too small or controversial to consider.”
  • E – “As I understand it there are thousands of NGOs and activist groups out there. They all have research data bases, agendas, memberships, fund raising and so on. I want you to start contacting them and ask them what their top priorities are in this ever growing crisis.”
  • F -“Let’s assume that we need to address these problems at all levels of government. Could we use volunteer or appointed Citizen Assemblies to work at City Hall level, at Federal level and all levels starting with school boards if possible? Think about how we could organize at the Global level as there are about 195 nations that need to be working together and not against one another’s efforts. The global effort may need a different approach from the national level. One idea may not suit all levels. OK?”
  • G – “I am going to guess here that we will have a lot of categories of problems once we have compiled the list and broken them out into separate and identifiable groups. Will we probably need a new international organization?; estimate how big it would be?”
  • H – Let’s assume we will start a new global movement to address all of the problems- what would our mission statement be? How would we motivate people to work with us without annoying the hell out of the population with all the demonstrations and unhelpful hollering? I want you to think about a name, a logo and anything else that brings about comradery and a sense of purpose.
  • I – “Would you look into religion’s role in democracy and politics? I think that there are wolves in the flock that are up to misguided mischief. We need to know if this will hamper our efforts.”

Team Leader to team – “Ok team, you all have your assignments. Be brief, but thorough, if that is possible.

Team member A gives report here

Team member B gives report here

Team member C gives report here

Team member D gives report here

Team member E gives report here

Team member F gives report here

Team member G gives report here

Team member H gives report here

Team member I gives report here

 

A NEW RELIGION IDEA

A new religion

I am reading a book about the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland. I shook my head in bewilderment as I read where the evangelical pastor Ian Paisley (apparently) incited Protestants to fire bomb Catholic homes. He would use his power of persuasion and actually give the addresses of Catholics living in areas that he deemed to be Protestant territory.

He so incited people with his poisoned dogma so that when Catholics staged a peaceful march, his followers used a tractor to deliver stones to Protestants lying in ambush so that they could be pummel them with bricks and quarried stones.

This type of action of course can be found everywhere throughout history so it is not unique to the Irish. As my ancestry is both Irish and English, I thought that I could use them here as a small example of our universal cruelty.

Years ago I sat on a bar stool beside a work colleague, somewhere in Arkansas as I recall. He asked me if I believed in any religion. To this I suggested that if I were developing a religion, then no one would gain salvation from his/her deeds from just one lifetime. Each individual would have to live multiple lifetimes. (Perhaps 40) Why should someone who lived a sheltered uneventful life gain salvation when other less fortunate persons were cast onto damnation’s fire? Why indeed? There would be a score card where you gained or lost points depending on how you behaved over these multiple lifetimes of rebirths. There would be challenges like the following.

Each consecutive rebirth would alternate so that half your lives would be male and half female.

Over time everyone would be born with a different skin color and different racial features and would be born into different belief systems.

Everyone would have the opportunity to least once to be diseased and deformed in some way; to die in countless wars; to be blessed with more or less grey matter in their successive new heads.

A crowning feature might be that if you hated someone of another religion or race you would be reborn as one of those you scorn. (I won’t carve that one on the stone just yet.)

At the end of the trial period of 40 or so lives, our demerit points would be tabulated and we would be judged accordingly.

I have yet to name this new religion. Maybe ?? Any thoughts?

Message to Extinction Rebellion

I would like to offer some suggestions on how we should be working as individuals and groups; how we should be prepared to work at every level of society, from schoolboards, city councillor, Provincial legislatures, Federal lawmakers, and internationally; I will suggest how to use NGOs and activist groups to contribute to the success of our goals.

First as individuals we need to be prepared to show the world that we are concerned and are working together in all 193 nations. We need to visually display to all that we have one mission even if our particular objectives many be different.

To do this we need to adopt a symbol that we are prepared to display openly on our person so that all will know our objective. We need to do it all the time and not just on rally days.

I have chosen to wear the XR hourglass symbol on my hat. As I could find no source for the symbol I made my own with old campaign buttons (of which I had quite a few.)

I made several with the hourglass, one with Greta’s  HOW DARE YOU and one that simply says “SENIOR CITIZEN FOR CLIMATE’ for those who do not recognize the XR group and wonder what the heck I am doing.

As an individual I will display my XR buttons everywhere I go. No one has asked me about it even though I have my morning coffee in the university restaurant with students and staff coming and going.

As an individual, I write to councillors and politicians and anyone I think might be swayed by my ideas.

As an individual, I tagged along with students and others at a rally of Cambridge City Hall. I was prepared to offer suggestions to councillors should any venture out to talk with me – none did. (more on this later)

As a member of a student group (or seniors for that matter) they collectively might actually prepare a list of things they expect the city Councillors to do if we ever get to speak with them. What is the point of hollering for attention and then having nothing specific to offer when asked?

As a place to start, how about asking city level lawmakers to pass a bylaw that eliminates plastic signage during elections or passing a bylaw that regulates minimum and maximum heating and cooling levels in municipal buildings.

As a group we might actually prepare letters to send to corporations asking them to be better corporate citizens. Like taking plastic out of tea bags, taking plastic stickers off of fruit and vegetables etc. These requests (for corporate participation) could be made without legislation of any kind.

At the Provincial level we might ask for legislation for the protection of arable land or for natural burial that eliminate embalming and the subsequent leaching of chemicals into ground water resources.

As groups, at the Federal level we could address bigger and bigger problems. In the category of human rights we might demand action of female genital mutilation; we might demand that oil and gas companies refrain from burning off waste gas as it is wasteful of a natural resource and creates greenhouse gas.

We could ask NGOs and activists to share data bases and resources to categorize and to make prior zed lists of what the heck they want done and when.

As combined concerned citizens of 193 nations we could use the Avaaz model and create demand petitions on a regular timetable and repeating order to address the priorities set by mutual consensus, to all nations simultaneously.

We need to work at every level in a better organized manner if we are ever going to put some structure into this challenge; and we need to make our personal concerns visible just as if you were proudly wearing a uniform.

There are more ideas at civismundi.net

Demonstration

Demonstrations are necessary, but generally ineffective and soon forgotten. However, fifty million signatures on a worldwide E-Demand/Petition would get  the attention of everyone and could not be forgotten.

Basic rules for social justice advocates, and environmentalists, worldwide –

  • List all of your concerns
  • Categorize your concerns
  • Prioritize your lists
  • Submit your priorities to a site solely dedicated to working on your behalf

What CIVI MUNDI would do for you (if it existed)]

  • Put structure and order into a worldwide demand for action
  • Create an E-Demand/Petition to your specifications and requirements
  • Present the E-Demand/Petition to the membership for  consideration and signatures
  • Distribute the E-Demand/Petition to the lawmakers in all 193 nations.
  • Give every category equal weight and attention
  • Repeat the process when all categories have had their E-Demand/Petition processed
  • Create a spread sheet that would tell the world what we want done over the next 25 years so that no one is unaware of our concerns.

 

TWO YOUNG LADIES

Imagine a world where 10,000,000 NGOs and uncountable social and environmental groups from 193 nations would agree on what needs to be addressed over the next 25 years, and displayed it on one social media site – all categorized and prioritized in a concise plan of action. That is the objective of civismundi.net JUST IMAGINE that such a platform already existed!

Two young ladies explain the worldwide movement to a skeptic-

I thought that rather than try to explain why and how we needed to come to the aid of people and planet through a unified worldwide movement, I would write this as if it had already happened; this then is how it would be discovered by someone yet unaware of what has transpired. So to set the scene – it is 2020 and social and environmental crises are only getting worse. The planet is unable to cope with our toxins, waste and our ever increasing numbers. The planet is dying. There appears to be no hope in changing the direction in which we are headed when –

I am driving on a country road when I see a young man painting a bright color band on a tree trunk beside the road; he is wearing a cap of the same color as that on his brush. A little further on I notice what appears to be a mother and young daughter standing beside their bicycles at an intersection. They in turn are tying strips of cloth onto the posts of stop signs. The cloth is the same orangey-red – the color of clay pottery. I am now curious and I pull over on the shoulder and ask “what are you people up to?”

The young lady comes to my window and says “We are trying to save the planet for the future, would you like to help?”

I smile politely and somewhat patronizingly I ask “What does the ribbon signify?”

“This is the color that was chosen to represent our worldwide movement – it is called Terra Cotta and it means Burnt Earth – kind of appropriate right? – considering the mess we have made,” she says as the young girl joins us. I note that she is wearing a kerchief of the same cloth while the lady has a terra cotta ribbon pinned to the shoulder of her blouse.

“If you would like to support our movement, I can give you a Terra Cotta paper sticker for your mail box or your car bumper,” kerchief girl says. “It will show that you are willing to consider remedies to anything that diminishes our hopes for future generations.”

I smile again and say, “girls, I have a drawer full of campaign ribbons, lapel buttons, political badges and even a few kerchiefs from every sort of activist, environmental and political group you can imagine – why should I wear this one?”

Ribbon lady says “Well – for a start this simple color is our ‘uniform’ – we wear it, or display it in all 193 countries, so that we are readily identifiable to one another anywhere we go – Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas – everywhere. Because we are visible we can share ideas and show solidarity with whoever has a concern for both the environment and social issues – If you have a concern that needs to be addressed then you are one of us”

Kerchief interjects, “It means we are as mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore – it means listen to the voice of the people – it means we are putting politicians everywhere on notice – it means pass some laws to fix the problems or we will put you out of office and put someone in who will fix them. It means that the wealthy and powerful cannot protect their own interests at the expense of the rest of us. For corporations we are saying you are being given notice that things are going to change. Wear the ‘uniform’ and you are automatically a part of the Civis Mundi community and movement”

“And what does Civis Mundi mean?”

Ribbon lady says “In English speaking nations we are known as World Citizens but International we are known as Civis Mundi simply to avoid any animosity where one language is favored over another – in Quebec and France we are proudly identified as Citoyen du monde – in Germany we are Weltbürger – every nation uses their own words for world citizen”

Kerchief looks at me and asks “In all seriousness, do you have an issue that bothers you? – one you would like to see addressed on a global scale?”

Glumly I said “Yes – plastic in the environment – particularly in the oceans is a threat that is killing everything and we cannot seem to accept that we need to severely regulate manufacturing in this deadly and toxic material – manufacturers should be charged a tax of $1,000,000 for every pound they use just to cover the cost of removing it from the oceans”

Ribbon lady says “Plastic is one of the 26 categories of problems we at Civis Mundi consider – one issue from each category is addressed once each and every year until we eventually get it under control; we suggest a long range plan of 25 years overall – one issue per year – we would start with something we all can readily agree on, like stopping the use of plastic micro beads and then moving up to tougher and tougher problems.

I try to counter her enthusiasm with ”How can you possibly hope to find resolutions to every problem on the planet with one small group of people? – that’s insane!”

Ribbon says “That’s not the way it works – consider your category of plastic concerns. All of the hundreds of NGOs and groups working on plastic issues come together separately and independently; they are asked to come to a consensus as to what is the one single issue that they want addressed in year one and perhaps in years two and three. They write up their decision and give it to the Civis Mundi site for presentation to the membership. The membership either support it or they don’t support it but once it is signed it is sent off to all legislative bodies on the planet – all 193 nations – it is not just sent to your local city council or your provincial or federal legislation, it is sent to every legislative body that considers problems and makes legislation – like it or not, these are the only people that can change things”

“OK” I say “I get that – pollution and social problems have no borders. Can you tell me why you have tried to put all of the issues into 26 categories?”

Ribbon continues with “There are 52 weeks in the year so each of the 26 categories would get a chance to be considered once per year – there is a two week period between categories – no single category would be dominant – all would have equal weight – Water, Human Rights, Waste and Recycle Programs, Population, Land and Soil use, Toxins, Food to name some – all are equal.”

“How can I possibly get involved in so many issues?” “You only subscribe to the categories you are interested in and you can add or delete categories whenever you like. You won’t be overwhelmed with information unless you ask for it; you will only be asked to consider the categories and issues you have selected from the 26 categories – personally I subscribe to Nuclear Issues, Genetically Modified Organisms and Water Resources – my friend here has other concerns like Democracy and Voting as she wants to get a Proportional Electoral system and for her vote to count for something – you may wish to be informed only when Plastic issues are addressed which would be once per year.”

“How large is your group?”

With a big smile, ribbon girl says, “We have been active for about a year now and we have close to 25,000,000 members. At the rate we are gathering support, we expect to pass 500,000,000 in two or three more years; I think that with this many we will be taken seriously”

“Amazing! How do you handle translations?”

“The Civis Mundi web site is something like the United Nations where everything is in every language. It is all done by volunteers” she adds.

I question – “So you send your petitions to all legislations?”

“These are NOT petitions. These are DEMANDS – do something about this or find another job”

“Is there a role to play in the movement for us old folk? We’ve got time on our hands and generally more assets than young people”

Seniors could put their talents and time to good use. Knitting skills could be used to make terra cotta toques and socks for new members. Old sewing machines could be brought out of closets and used to make terra cotta ribbons and turn old cotton shirts and sheets into handkerchiefs – Just think of the trees that alone would save. I like the idea of sewing on a terra cotta colored pocket on shirts as a ‘uniform’ – who doesn’t need an extra pocket for sunglasses or cellphone? I’m sure you could find something to do; here is my membership card; it has the paint code number on it if you want to get into mischief.”

I am now getting more enthusiastic and ask “It sounds like something worth considering – do you advocate civil disobedience?

“Civil disobedience is perhaps necessary in extraordinary times – like today; we are here “defacing” these trees and posts with our ribbons, but violence and property destruction are not tolerated. I know that a lot of acts of civil disobedience were justifiable when looked at it in hindsight – look at what rights and privileges we now have because others took it upon themselves to disobey the law or convention.”

“Yes, look at history” I add. “We can learn a lot from Gandhi and his mission to free India from Imperialistic Britain. The Indian people took direct action and would have to share and endure the physical, and the verbal abuse of those in control; in addition, they accepted the scorn of fellow citizens who were truly afraid of the unknowns that independence might bring. They accepted the initial hardship, and the prospects of future hardship, from their action – whatever the hardships might be, knowing full well that the cause of independence for India was worthy of their efforts and physical pain – if you want to change the status quo you had better be prepared to get pushed around, tear gassed or even jailed for your efforts.”

Changing the subject back to my plastic concerns, I said “I have often thought that I would like to put paper stickers on fruit in the grocery store that says “Do not buy fruit with plastic stickers attached” I said as I grinned at the prospect of this 80 81 year old getting unceremoniously escorted out of the super market.

“That would make a really great campaign” Kerchief girl said enthusiastically. “We could do that anywhere on the planet – they are cheap to make and not polluting, providing the glue is safe of course – how about you put them on the doors and windows of the store and see how much they like removing and recycling them – when they take them off you could put more on the checkout conveyors so they go around and around for all to see – we could have a thousand campaigns that used this one idea. The stickers could be terra cotta in colour of course”

“OK I’m sold on the idea – where do I sign up?”

JUST IMAGINE IF THIS WAS ALL TRUE.

If you have any thoughts on how we might continue with our little story please contact me.

PAPER STICKER CAMPAIGN

COULD WE USE PAPER STICKERS AS A NONVIOLENT TOOL FOR CHANGE?

Consider a small adhesive paper sticker, strategically placed, to be similar to a small flyer or handout which we might use, to pass on information, gain public support, change attitudes and practices. Read more –

One day I had this simple idea which made me speculate. If food producers could put plastic stickers on fruit and vegetables, and make the public responsible for removing them and recycling them, then why could the public not do the same thing? We could conceivably put paper stickers in conspicuous places asking the public to stop buying products (or cease other destructive practices) that are creating a hazard to the health of our planet, and to ourselves. E.g. Like the aforementioned plastic stickers that get washed into the planets water systems. This of course is just a simple example of what could be communicated with a worldwide sticker crusade. Other examples might include stickers as follows –

  • On a product shelf – This product contains plastic micro beads – do not buy
  • On a display counter – This product contains a hormone mimicker chemical – do not buy
  • On a store window – For a healthier planet do not buy plastic toys this year and stop buying battery operated toys.
  • On a display shelf – This packaged food product has excess sugar/salt/fat/nitrates/ etc..
  • On a flower shop window – do not buy imported flowers as the impact on the planet is profound.
  • Tell your favorite political party that you will never put up a plastic campaign lawn sign – put a sticker saying this on the sign painter’s window so that all customers will see it.
  • On a funeral home window one might place a sticker that says – please provide formaldehyde-free burial to protect ground water.
  • On a restaurant window one might place a sign that says stop cooling this place below 75 degrees to avoid wasting finite energy.
  • On a supermarket window – Do not shop here until they stop selling GMO produce
  • On your car window or bumper – support a worldwide ban on Female Genital Mutilation
  • On Leaf Blowers – Buy a rake and save fossil fuel for something important, like the future for instance.
  • On plastic bladed snow shovels – the plastic on this implement will wear away and become part of the oceans toxic soup.
  • On the window of a carpet store – If you must have carpet buy only natural fibers as synthetics shed into the environment and become part of a toxic food chain.
  • On your car bumper – support Proportional Representative electoral systems, where a political party cannot have greater representation than it deserves.
  • On a car – Next time please buy something with less horse power.
  • On your own car – I promise – My next car will be more environmentally friendly.
  • On a power boat – Buy a sail boat and stop corrupting our waters
  • On the counter next to the coffee maker – Refuse to drink coffee made from single disposable K cups.
  • (added April 12 2019) A vote for any Conservative party is a vote for business interests and a vote against the interests of people

If we assume that the planet is in trouble then we should see it as our responsibility to do something about it. This is certainly something anyone could do to expose the many problems we have to address.

It would not be difficult to print and distribute stickers pretty much anywhere on the planet. The language needed would match the area being considered. They are cheap and non-destructive providing the proper adhesive is used.

We can go the political route, the activist route, the NGO route, the letter to the editor route, the prayer route etc.; we can read everything on the internet and in the alternative press but little is going to change without a common collective action. Working both domestically and locally are fine but the movement for change (like India’s goal for independence) needs to be global and all inclusive.

I offer this idea for public debate and consideration. Your thoughts are important.

stickers-2stickers

 

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF E-PETITIONING IN ANY LONG RANGE PLAN?

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF E-DEMAND/PETITIONING IN ANY LONG RANGE PLAN? (changed from E-Petitioning 10 Feb 2019)

Following the making of an extensive list of everything (my humble listing) and putting them all into categories, a decision must be made as to which issue in each and every category will be put to the membership as a campaign. Once a consensus is made, the information and an E-Demand/Petition would be distributed to all who have signed on as Civis Mundi*. Whether individuals choose to participate in any campaign is their personal decision, as no one should support anything they do not wholeheartedly believe in. Remember, to maintain some order, and to minimize chaos then only one campaign per category will be addressed per year. Each and every one of the 26* categories would follow a predetermined rotation over the course of 12 months, and then the order would be repeated, following the completion of the full order, with new demands. (I.e. second priorities)

As an example, if we collectively agree that in the category of PLASTIC  we might choose ‘the use of micro beads as the issue for worldwide attention. The relevant information and an invitation to sign an E-Demand/Petition would be conveyed to members via email. The email might read “Tiny particles of plastic have been added to thousands of personal care products sold around the world. These microbeads, hardly visible to the naked eye, flow straight from the bathroom drain into the sewer system. one campaign is here

The E-Demand/Petition, after an appropriate period of time, would be forwarded to each and every governing legislative in all 193** countries simultaneously in their own language.

This action meets the first two criteria that were noted earlier. It is certainly an essential demand. It is certainly nonviolent as all we are asking through our E-Demand/Petition, is for all governments to do their collective duties, and to pass laws to immediately eliminate microbeads from each and every product produced, and sold, within their nation’s borders.

The third criterion specifies that we need to communicate the desire for support in our efforts. If actual fact, in our communications, we are not only recruiting members to the Civis Mundi* movement we are asking all environmentalist and environmental groups to participate. They have the information, knowledge and memberships to add to the effort. Civis Mundi* would help to make their campaigns known to the world; they in turn would provide ideas and encourage their members to adopt the name Civis Mundi*, to wear the terra cotta uniform’ and to be part of the worldwide movement – everyone wins. Accepting the title of civis mundi* or world citizen* simply puts us all into one communication and action network. It takes nothing away from any individual or activist group or NGO

*If that is the final choice

** more or less

 

GANDHI

CAN WE COMPARE OUR MISSION TO THAT OF GANDHI?

I recently read that Gandhi was not a perfect person. He had his own prejudices against other races, and had other human failings – as do all of us. Pretty much all I know about him and his struggles is from the great movie starring Sir Ben Kingsley. From the movie “Gandhi” I came to understand that it was necessary to use friendly persuasion and non-destructive/nonviolent civil disobedience to achieve his goal of India’s independence from Great Britain. Great Britain with its Imperialistic and corporate interests would never simply give up economic profits and total control without a military led backlash. For his ideas to work, the Indian people needed to be seen as unreservedly united behind the cause. His strategies and ideas in his domestic crusade need to be the basis for our worldwide citizen driven movement.

Today we have the ultimate global crisis on our doorstep. We can approach it in the same way as Gandhi did. Forget the local politicians and political parties. Forget begging corporations to do the right thing as you are wasting you breathe. Forget great expectations from well-meaning and fragmented NGOs, with their own agendas, Forget religious leaders as they pursue their own selfish interests. Forget the UN with its political intrigue and national interests. We need to take the problem of survival directly to the meek and humble masses and ask them to come to the aid of the planet and its entire population without reference to national borders.

Gandhi defined the goal for the whole nation in simple-to-understand terms; just as we must define the goals needed to save our planet and to lighten the injustices against its people in all our 190 plus diverse and independent nations. The Indian people eventually saw his clearly defined goal for independence from foreign rule as being long overdue, necessary and just and they eventually joined the struggle.

He started his nonviolent civil disobedience plan with a simple act of defiance. This initial campaign was his ‘march to the sea’ to challenge the British law that gave the making and selling of salt in India to a British corporation. In a nation of perhaps 500,000,000 he had 78 individuals who initially joined him on his 241 mile march to the sea. As his message grew, the followers numbered in the thousands.

It is worth noting that he took the problem directly to the people as he knew instinctively that all other avenues would simply lead to failure. The Indian people were the ones who took direct action and would have to share and endure the physical and the verbal abuse of those in control. In addition, they accepted the scorn of fellow citizens who were truly afraid of the unknowns that independence might bring. They accepted the initial hardship and prospects of future hardship from their action – whatever the hardships might be; knowing full well that the cause of independence for India was worthy of their efforts and physical pain.

 

Civil Disobedience by any name

Civil Disobedience by any name

In the fight for social justice and the continuance of the planet, civil nonviolent resistance is indeed not only necessary and it is certainly justifiable. I would prefer to call it ‘civil nonviolent resistance’ or possibly ‘people engagement’ or even ‘friendly persuasion’ rather than civil disobedience but ‘what is in a name?’ We will be undoubtedly be called hooligans whatever label we choose to use. Whatever we call it, it will be immediately labeled as civil disobedience so let’s accept that from the start.

Societies would be in constant turmoil if we did not obey just laws. Equally important – one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws, (and unjust practices) just as many is history have said. We need to disapprove and to collectively rebel against the acceptance of long-established political, corporate, and common everyday practices that diminish and destroy any ray of hope for future generations.

Clive Hamilton is his book Requiem for a Species says “Reclaiming democracy for the citizenry is the only way to temper the effects of climate disruption and ensure that the wealthy and powerful cannot protect their own interests at the expense of the rest of us. To do so requires a new radicalism, a radicalism that refuses to be drawn into short-term electoral trade-offs and that aims to shift the ground of politics itself.”

He further says “When just laws are used to protect unjust behavior, our obligation to uphold the laws is diminished. In the usual course of affairs it is right to allow the normal democratic process, however slowly its wheels may turn, to change the laws to reflect the new reality. In 2008 the truth of this was acknowledged in the case of six Greenpeace protesters arrested for causing criminal damage to the Kingsnorth coal-fired power plant in Kent, scaling its smokestack and painting a slogan on it. Persuaded by the defense’s argument that the protesters had a lawful excuse – for in causing damage they were trying to prevent the greater harm being done by the power plant to the climate – the jury of ordinary citizens acquitted the six.”

“for in causing damage they were trying to prevent the greater harm being done by the power plant to the climate – the jury of ordinary citizens acquitted the six.”

Adrian Johnson in an article from 2009 (which I found on the net) suggested that civil disobedience must meet three specific criteria to be justifiable – Righteous intentions, nonviolent means and the desire to communicate the desire for change. I would add that participants in civil disobedience must also be prepared to accept the punishment and abuse imposed by the various authorities for their conduct.

“Thoreau, what are you doing in there?”

“Emerson, what are you doing out there?”

Henry David Thoreau saw that his taxes were being used to fund war and slavery and as a protest, he refused to pay his taxes. When Ralph Waldo Emerson expressed surprise at seeing his friend Thoreau in jail for his tax violation, Emerson asked, “Thoreau, what are you doing in there?” Thoreau replied, “Emerson, what are you doing out there?” Indeed – just as Thoreau implied; regardless of the consequences, we must unite and get on the correct side of a worldwide movement and get away from the status quo side.

Once a person makes the decision to engage in the philosophy of conscientious objection, the protester in fact demands that the penalty for such violations be imposed. Acceptance of penalties and abuse are in fact a fundamental part of the whole process.

Individuals must always expect to be verbally abused, beaten or jailed by those who resist change and the want the status quo. Resisters must be prepared to except this wrath or we collectively risk failure in our efforts. When one makes a decision to be engaged in acts of conscience then one must stand their ground and accept the consequences that will be imposed by law for their actions. Reacting with violence will only gain us all the unwanted label of militants, rabble–rouser, delinquents etc.