Going a step further than making personal New Year’s resolutions to shed some pounds or cut down on cancer sticks, progressive political activists in the area, with the encouragement of Santa Monica peace activist Jerry Rubin, have been drumming up ways they can make more of a difference in 2007.
At a meeting of the Activist Support Circle, Wednesday, December 27th, a group hosted by Rubin where political activists discuss their activities, share ideas and consider ways to prevent burnout, progressive activists planned to share with each other their New Year’s resolutions for 2007.
At the upcoming “Make Love Not War” New Year’s Eve Peace Party, organized by Rubin to raise funds for his Alliance for Survival nonprofit peace and environmental group, the idea of tying in New Year’s resolutions with political activism in the coming year will be continued.
One segment of the evening will be an invitation to participants to come up to the microphone and share a New Year’s resolution with the crowd. The resolution that elicits the loudest applause will win a gift certificate to Broadway Deli in Santa Monica, says Rubin.
This year is the 25th year that Rubin has organized the New Year’s Eve peace party. This year’s event is scheduled to begin with an all-you-can-eat buffet at 7 p.m. Sunday, December 31st, at the Church in Ocean Park, 235 Hill St., Santa Monica. Tickets are $30 per person or $20 for low-income individuals.
Festivities, in addition to the New Year’s resolution contest and a midnight peace ceremony emceed by Rubin, include live comedy with Rick Overton, Denise Munro Robb, David Zasloff and Bill Bronner; live music and dancing with Playing in Traffic, folk “singer/songfighter” Ross Altman, KPFK FM radio host and songwriter Maria Armoudian and “rag ‘n’ roll” songbird Suzy Williams; and a poetry performance by Linda Albertano.
Some activists and performers who are either participating in or plan to attend the New Year’s Eve Peace Party told The Argonaut a few of their resolutions for 2007.
JERRY RUBIN, peace activist, agitator and organizer, resolves to “put more time into helping and advising other activists regarding their projects; praise other activists more and criticize them less; work harder to reinstate the positive meaning of the word ‘liberal’; work harder to get the media to cover progressive events and activities”; and stamp more hands with the peace symbol at his bumper sticker table on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, he says.
RICK OVERTON, Emmy Award-winning comedy writer and costar with Billy Bob Thornton in the upcoming film The Astronaut Farmer, resolves to “stop being so PC and start being more Macintosh; swear off cable and network news; not go along with the 9/11 commission’s findings; not to send chain e-mails to 15 other friends tonight for good luck; and never become the archetype asexual, ¸ber-literate block of post-liberal ice that has kept [activist] numbers so small for so long,” he says.
ROSS ALTMAN, folk “singer-songfighter,” presented his resolutions in poetic verse:
When I despair of the world and
I remember what Tom Lehrer
said about the Spanish Civil
They may have won all the
battles, but we had all the good
That should keep me going for
another year or more.
So for 2007 I hereby resolve:
To stay out of jail
To change my guitar strings
once a month without fail
To find one progressive group
that will pay me union scale
To finish my song about
Humphrey the Humpback
To sing “Bread and Roses” for
the workers’ trailblazer
For labor lost it’s troubadour
with the death of Joe Glazer
To paint what I see, be they
sinner or saint
And like Wee Willie Keeler, to
hit ’em where they ain’t;
But most of all, I resolve to get
So your eyes won’t be offend
And so I will look at least as
good as the ape
From whom I’m descended.
SUZY WILLIAMS, “rag ‘n’ roll” songstress and chanteuse, resolves to support the progressive radio and internet outreach of KPFK and MoveOn.org; work to get TV and audio advertising off of public buses; and to bike more and support Critical Mass bicycle advocacy group, she says.
GERRY FIALKA, media ecologist, archivist and Marshall McLuhan scholar, resolves to “make a million dollars selling ‘Guilty Until Proven Rich’ T-shirts, and finance the end of police harassment of the Venice Boardwalk artists and musicians; to enlighten the entertainment capital of the world that the police are arresting Venice Boardwalk artists and musicians; to rejoice that the community has joined together to stop the selective enforcement of unjust laws that are hurting Venice Boardwalk musicians and artists; and to promote loving conflict resolution, hope and forgiveness in regards to the harassment of Venice Boardwalk artists and musicians.”
LINDA ALBERTANO, performance poet, resolves to be more generous to “reader, watcher and listener-sponsored media
than ever before, jerk the money rug out from under the feet of
Rupert Murdoch and similarly bloated Control Monsters and think Free Speech TV!”
She resolves to “write, telephone, buttonhole, or outright
harass my representatives and fellow citizens about the importance of voting, making the act itself easier to come by, and treating every single ballot cast as though it actually counted, and not on some lying, thieving, cussing, no-good cattle-rustling, electronically-manipulated, secretive, proprietary, cheating machine, either.”
Albertano also resolves to challenge “whiners” who call third-party candidates spoilers, she says.
DAVID ZASLOFF, comedian and jazz vocalist, resolves to “join AAAA — Activists Activate Activism Anonymous; keep the fire burning under global warming; evolve new ways to believe in evolution; to not abort the cause of abortion; to begin to accept that George W. Bush may not be impeached; to try to make a living and not expect people to donate to my cause.”
MARIA JOY a.k.a. Maryjahn, writer and activist, resolves to “insist on gender equality”; promote the creation of the “Department of Peace” and “cancel out the Department of War”; “diminish the security focus and fear emphasis” in current Western society; “cancel fear-mongering and enhance trust”; push for a “change to the real popular vote count instead of electoral college” for future Presidential elections; and to care for “all living creatures.”
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