The Global Justice Center Agenda

NOTE: All articles on this archived site, all entries, are virtually unedited. They are posted in a rush, as a rule, partly as a function of my sense of deadlines, my particular sense of urgency being quite different from what I observe in other alternative quarters. Nothing should be read unless it is specifically recommended to you. Each entry is posted for particular people and purposes at a given time. Not knowing context can prove to be puzzling and/or off-putting. My 3pm “update” on contact with GJC was lost because of some technical glitch, but it’s just as well; I look forward to running through that with the powers that be at GJC. It will be highly instructive, to say the least.

The Global Justice Center Agenda
Dedicated to Amelia and Dan
by Oxman

Glance at the GJC mission statement, if you will:

“The GJC is a human rights organization whose mission is to use the strategic enforcement of international human rights and humanitarian law to build global human rights based on the rule of law. Our vision is based on principals, not politics, towards enforcement of international laws with an emphasis on equality to lay the groundwork for long term global change.”

This is admirable. Their work should be applauded and supported. In fact, all else being equal, they could easily secure my services and resources for free 24×8. That’s how much I respect what they’re doing, their spirit, the necessity of what they’re all about.

That said, I am in the process of appealing to the decision-making people in their quarter, asking them to consider HOW they’re going about… bringing about change. For I have a paradigm for action to recommend to them which would serve as a significant supplement to their operations. A necessary supplement, if I may say so. [Pause.] I do say so, emphatically so. For I firmly believe that their primary priorities will live or die contingent upon whether or not they embrace some additional approach… as they continue to honor their agenda with obsolete models for protest being their primary or exclusive means for changing the status quo. In this respect, they are typical of well-meaning, highly educated, deeply experienced non-profits ‘cross the country.

Like GJC, my vision is NOT based on politics. But unlike GJC, I am not restricted by parameters in the electoral arena which have been set by the powers that be. Powers such as the ones behind the Helms Amendment. Such restrictions are, to say the very least, not in our interests. And they have been very cleverly established so as to keep the status quo on all serious scores essentially stable, unchanged significantly*. The thing is, that daunting obstacle can be circumvented by appealing to members of non-profits as private citizens. By recruiting members of various non-profits to move in solidarity, not as reps of their organizations, but as individual concerned citizens… with the understanding that making inroads in solidarity will benefit each of those organizations immeasurably, way beyond what they are able to do by limiting their activism to the impotent level imposed upon them.

*The trade-off is agreement to not get involved in the political arena in order to receive the necessary, highly valuable benefits given to official non-profits.

Of course, non-profits which are only or mainly concerned with keeping their little corners of activism operating — afloat financially — don’t have the heartbeats or interest to do anything much by way of moving in solidarity with others, except perhaps joining hands with other organizations for an occasional high profile marching in circles with placards on Washington, D.C. [Pause.] Stuff like that, as we know, comes and goes, and is a perfect example of one of the many popular obsolete models of action referred to above.

Speaking of D.C., I’m obliged to make another important point before closing on the run. That is, that although I’m all for shouting out to Obama and anyone in a position of power to do the right thing. It’s time to call a spade a spade, and acknowledge that stuff like the Helms Amendment wouldn’t be on the books for so very long if it didn’t serve the personal purposes of people and groups who hold the the most important reins of power over all of us. People and groups who have no intention of making any institutional changes such as the ones GJC is crying out about.

Again, I’m all for the bootless cries, to quote Shakespeare. BUT… we cannot rely on such obsolete models for bringing about change as our primary or exclusive means for doing so. To give just one example: When I signed the petition to keep Troy Davis from being executed in Georgia on my birthday last year — along with a million other folks, including highly influential people such as the Pope, Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, conservative politicians in Georgia, Angela Davis et al. — I did not sign with the idea that putting down that signature was going to be my primary or exclusive means for keeping the powers-that-be from putting Troy down. I fully intended to do something to supplement my signature that would be fresh, and have a true shot at saving his life. [Pause.] I failed. But my failure was not a given, not guaranteed.

And speaking of guarantees, if the powers that be at GJC will grant me a leisurely rendezvous in person with ample time for in-depth Q&A, I can guarantee that they’ll have a much better chance at bringing about the changes that are most dear to their lovely collective hearts. If what I have to say resonates deeply with them, as it does with me 24×8.

24×8. That’s what someone, some core group of individuals, has to be spending by way of heartbeats on issues such as the ones that GJC faces. For those who have been keeping horror on the books which so clearly works against our collective interests are working 24×7 to keep things as they are, for the most part.

They’re used to dealing with howling from the public. They are not used to encountering feral howls which follow a fresh paradigm. [Pause.] That’s what I have to offer.

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