Just back from another peaceful demonstration for Gazans in front of the state capitol - about 50 to 75 people. Funeral prayers were offered in absentia for those killed in Gaza. A fair number of honks in support from passing cars, but also some one-fingered salutes and many, too many, bewildered stares. There is still such a need for education and outreach on this, but, then again, my mother - a public school teacher - has trouble getting people to care about their own children, so how do you get people to care about children thousands of miles away? And, when the media doesn't even see Iraq as worth covering anymore, how can we get them to take an interest - and dare we even ask for accuracy and impartiality? - in a story as "old news" as Gaza?
421 dead so far and word on the news is the Israelis are ready to send in ground forces. And what will come of all this?
Funny thing that this all happened just before P.E. Obama takes over, isn't it? Some are saying he should speak out, do something. The truth is he has little to no power at the moment and the Israeli government and military knew exactly what they were doing in making this move before Bush leaves office. He may be hamstrung at the moment, but be sure that we will all be watching how the new administration handles this come January 20th. I just hope Gaza makes it to the 20th.
And, as far as demonstrations go...crowds have a strange, unfortunate habit of filtering into their own cliques, which is bad for long-term organizing and actual progress. Mix it up people! Hijabis - walk up to that scruffy socialist and offer up a warm "Salaam!" Fashionista ISMers with your Urban Outfitters kifayas - walk over to the MSA crowd and introduce yourselves. Non-Muslim interfaithers wade and offer up a big "Howdy!" Young people, ask questions of your elders. Come on people! DECAMP! MINGLE! Get OUT of your comfort zone! Nothing changes until we band together.