Miriam’s op ed’s arranged with newest first. Endings marked = = so search for = =
May 13, 2016
Ecology protest was a very invigorating experience
Two years ago when I began a 3,000-mile walk across American with the Great March for Climate Action, it was hard to find a story in the mainstream media about climate change, fossil fuel disasters or any other important environmental topics. On April 22, the 46th anniversary of Earth Day, voices across our nation rang out loud and clear that our earth is in jeopardy.
That is why I dusted off my worn walking shoes and on April 2 joined the Democracy Spring movement that included a march from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to the steps of the Capitol, “The People’s House,” in Washington, D.C. Chaotic, noisy and challenging, our culturally diverse group of about 130 ordinary citizens, youth to elders, chanted, “This is what democracy looks like!” along the 140 miles.
Citizens around the world are demanding action. The consequences of climate change are endemic and critical. Despite the general disregard of the U.S. mainstream media, this grassroots uprising is vast and growing dramatically.
Climate change is the most imminent and threatening of the many issues pressing for solutions. Our broken systems — social justice, health care, immigration, education, incarceration, endless wars and income inequity — cannot be put right unless and until we change the way we finance our political system. The game is rigged and those that pay play.
After reaching the Capitol on April 10, we were joined by several thousand more in front of “Our House” (“The People’s House, not the Corporations’ House”). Among them were 1,400 diverse citizens from all over our country who sat peacefully but illegally, blocking the Capitol steps. Our supporters stood across two police lines from us calling encouragement and chanting support as we were arrested and taken away.
We were arrested for demanding that campaign finance be reformed, that Citizen’s United be overturned, that voting rights be restored and that this country becomes a real democracy, not an oligarchy for the one percent.
I’m proud that at 73 years of age I can add “arrested” to my resume. History demonstrates again and again that when “We the people” step outside our comfort zone, put ourselves on the line and demand an end to exploitation, intolerance and corruption, real change starts to happen. This is just the beginning.
Miriam Kashia is a resident of North Liberty.
Miriam Kashia’s LTE – DM Reg, March 19, 2016
Civil disobedience is key element to inciting change
Miriam Kashia, North Liberty, Letter to the Editor 12:02 a.m. CDT March 19, 2016
State Rep. Ralph Watts [Don’t let IUB’s work on pipeline become undone, March 7] seems to have a problem with the idea of civil disobedience in the name of sustainability being used to right injustices or protect the citizens of Iowa. May I remind him that is what it took to undo slavery, give women the right to vote, move forward on civil rights, and give gay and lesbian people the right to marry whom they love. This is how we create change in a democracy when partisan, gridlocked legislators and our system of law obstructs our legal protections. Because of the community rights movement, 200 communities in nine states have protected their families from encroachment and extraction practices they did not want threatening them.
The Iowa Constitution says “All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.”
Paul Cienfuegos has been an educator in this movement for 20 years, and he was invited to Iowa by 100 Grannies for a Livable Future, a growing eastern Iowa organization whose motto is “Educate, advocate and agitate.”
— Miriam Kashia, North Liberty
= = end of March 19, 2016