Numbers, fighting the letdown, etc

LouPaulsen LouPaulsen at attbi.com
Mon Mar 24 07:08:45 MST 2003


Now that the emergency response demonstrations have been executed, we in the
movement have some tricky questions to solve.  On the one hand, we want to
stay in the streets, now, today.  On the other hand, it's not physically
possible to stay in the streets day after day without letup; people get worn
down and exhausted; we have to deal with the consequences of arrests and so
on.

Furthermore, while we stay in the streets we aren't actually recruiting new
people to the movement.  We have to take some time to go back to the
communities, campuses, etc., and bring in new people and actually
re-solidify the old ones and convince them to stay with the movement,
fighting the temptations to say (a) oh hell, we've failed, I'm just
depressed (b) all we can do now is hope for a short war (c) we can't do
anything now because it's unpatriotic and so on.

In some places of the world we might be getting more and more people into
the streets each day in a growing upsurge, but here in Chicago that's not
our experience.  We had a huge action on Thursday, fewer on Friday, and
fewer on Saturday.  Partly this is because it has been widely publicized
here for months that there weould be a day of/day after protest.  Partly it
is just people getting worn down and having to live their lives.  Partly it
is state repression.

Which is to say that we have to consciously devote time to teach-ins,
leafletings, necessary organizational work and networking, and not just be
in the streets day after day.  If we believed we were on the edge of really
knocking the government out of the war it would be different, but I don't
think so.

This is written in haste on my way to work, sorry if it doesn't seem to have
much structure or point -

Lou Paulsen


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