'I'd Rather Plan My Own Arrest Now Than Have Someone Else Plan It'.
Who Will Stand in the Gap?
Note: US folksinger and political activist Joan Baez published the following statement on Facebook after her participation in the Families Belong Together march
These are my thoughts and afterthoughts which emerged from participating in the Families Belong Together march and rally in San Francisco, June 30, 2018:
It was a joyous outpouring of music, chanting, speaking, and commitment. It was a rainbow of races, genders, religions, non-religions, rich, poor, and everyone in between.
For my part I spoke about Reverend William Barber and his current resurrection of the Poor People's Campaign. He and his thousands of fellow activists have just completed forty days of action and training for nonviolent civil disobedience.
Who, he asked, is willing to "stand in the gap"?
The gap between the rich and the poor.
The gap between reality and fake news.
The gap between empathy and cruelty.
Who will stand in the gap?
When my long farewell tour is over I will be ready to stand in the gap. Because as essential as music is to social change, music alone is not enough.
Hoping is not enough.
Praying is not enough.
Marching is not enough.
Rallies are not enough.
And whining gets us nowhere.
No viable social change takes place without people’s willingness to take a risk. I saw hundreds of people in the gathering today who are ready to take that risk, and some who’ve already taken it.
During the Civil Rights Movement when we sang “We are not afraid” it was NOT because we were not afraid. We were scared to death. Our fear cultivated our courage. We’ll need that courage now to "stand in the gap," wherever we are called.
I’d rather plan my own arrest now than have someone else plan it a few years from now.
I don’t believe people are evil, but they can do evil things which create unimaginable suffering.
We are now facing waves of that blinding evil. How do we face it in the darkness and utter confusion of these days?
We will face it with very low expectations, plenty of denial, a steadfast belief in human dignity, and mass nonviolent civil disobedience, which, by the way, Gandhi said was nothing more than organized love.