Anyone involved in political organizing, especially of broad-based social movements like the antiwar movement or civil rights movements around the world, knows that persistence & patience are required & that misanthropy will get you nowhere.
Movements ebb & flow from protests close to a million to rallies of a handful. Sometimes you even stand alone because those who oppose independent social movements make sure nothing gets done. Those committed to human rights don’t let a little isolation get them down but just keep doing the work of movement building. Not because they’re fools for martyrdom but because justice is so important & when political events make action possible, the ragtag movement is in place to maximize & mobilize it.
One of the central issues in Indian politics is the formation of a massive anti-occupation movement that can strengthen the Kashmiri struggle against occupation & for self-determination. For US antiwar activists, the problem is familiar. The US is bombing the hell out of several countries & antiwar protests only rally in the few hundreds & sometimes in the few thousands. If instead of staying steadfast, we started spewing venom about the American people, hating on them for not marching, we’d end up cranks & cynics of no good use politically. More importantly, we would not have an understanding of why war has not rallied more massive & active opposition.
This is all to introduce a two-day educational event about Kashmir in Kolkata, India organized by the People’s Film Collective where the two teachers were Kashmiri activists & the work of our own Rollie Mukherjee was featured. The impressive event is part of building an anti-occupation movement & the organizers are to be saluted.