Battle Lines behind the Battle Lines

There is something that has been bothering me a bit
lately about the Peace movement, and about street
protests in general, and the movements that inspire
them. And for me, the title of this post, which I
borrowed from a headline in the Washington Post, sums
it up.

The article in the Post is about Cindy Sheehan and her
Bring them Home Now tour, and the amazing fact that
military families are speaking out, both for and
against the war. The Post calls these differences Battle Lines.

And I feel that is exactly what the Peace Movement is.
It is a battle line, against those who would use
violent force to dominate the world. Perhaps no where
than in the streets is it more evident that this is a
battle, at times an all out war. The militaristic,
tight, controlled motions of the Black Block, marching
in unison are the best example of how street
protesters function, at times, like an army. A
nonviolent army, but an army non-the-less. And only
considered non-violent if you don't consider property
destruction to be violent, which many people do.

Not to mention I have worked closely with a major
leader in the Peace and anti-globalization movement,
who referred to herself as a general in a past life. A
general, sending in troops to fight the battle, as it
were.

Definitely, with Bush and cronies in office, the Peace
movement IS in a huge battle for its goals, an all out
war, one might say.

OK. Does anyone, has anyone, picked up on a MAJOR
irony, perhaps even a hypocrisy, here? The Peace
Movement is engaged in a War? Hello?

Not that I want to back away from the fight, not in
the least. However, it does make me feel that, in a
certain sense, war is inevitable, Battle Lines occur
throughout our society, internationally and
domestically. The only real thing that the Peace
movement has going for it is a tradition of
non-violence, and some would say even that tradition
is being eroded by embracing diversity of tactics and
property destruction. Not that I particularly want to
pass judgment on property destruction. To each their
own.

So, if the Peace Movement itself can be engaged in a
war, if it is drawing up Battle Lines domestically, if
it is embracing diversity of tactics in the streets,
and actively engaging the country’s police forces in a
fight for the streets, what exactly do we have to
offer as an alternative to war? Or are we really
offering an alternative to war? Perhaps we are simply
arguing about the way in which war is waged by our
country and military forces?

I really and truly don't mean to undermine anyone's
commitment to the Peace movement, or the march in
Washington, In fact I wish I could be there. However, I am and have been of late struck by the similarities to
war, by the battle lines, by the military precision I
experienced marching with the black bloc in NYC, and
by all the ways in which the Peace movement is engaged
in a HUGE conflict with the powers that be.

And thus the Peace movement validates conflict as a part of life and of this society, as it were. And war, isn't war itself, the ultimate expression of conflict, the point at which two societies can find no resolution but by engaging violently with one another. And, if the Peace Movement is going to embrace conflict, point to
conflict, create conflict in the streets, don't we
have a responsibility to address the entire concept of
conflict, and somehow explain how conflict isn't in
and of itself a bad thing, only that all out war can
be avoided, and thus provide alternatives to violent
war craft? Non-violent generals? Non-violent troops?

Anyway, I just have been thinking about this for
sometime, about how I feel that I am engaged in a war,
I often say, when things really go down, I have chosen
my side, and these are the people that I want to stand
next to. And I mean that, really and truly, the Pagan
Cluster more than any other activist group is full of
folks that I want to stand next to when the shit hits
the fan. Never-the-less, I strongly feel that I am
waging war against the mainstream, and it is a war I
am willing to fight, and I am grateful for the tools
of song, holding hands, working magic, and more which
I have been given to fight it with. However, how do I
explain, when I am engaged in this battle, that I am
against war? When Guerilla Healing will be practiced in the streets of Washington DC, how can I say unequivocally No to war?

Perhaps the problem is that the Peace Movement has been infiltrated with the terminology of war. It is not only the mainstream press, such as the Washington Post projecting war terminology upon us, at times we ourselves embrace it. And if we wish to create a wholly new paradigm then perhaps we have a responsibility to edit ourselves and our movement, and come up with the Terminology of Peace to describe, label, and address our actions and our world. Magically, energetically, this would cause a shift in reality, a shift in perception, which might carry us further towards our goal of World Peace than any single street action.