Category Archives: Community Life

Year End Donation Suggestions for 2016

It has become my custom as the calendar year ends to suggest organisations for folks to consider sharing our abundance/surplus with. These are charities, grassroots organisations and non-profits that directly help others while seeking to change the world. Most of the organisations have a link on their website to make donations on line, but all welcome donations through the mail. Several of these  I’ve been on the board of; others are ones who do unique work that I support. Not all the groups I suggest supporting can give charitable receipts—OCAP doesn’t—but all could use your financial support.

1. St. Clare’s Multifaith Housing Society
Box 801, 138 Pears Ave,
Toronto, ON M5R 1T2.

St. Clare’s combines developing affordable housing while providing safe and secure homes for people, most of whom come through referrals from agencies working directly with the homeless, marginalized and difficult to house. St. Clare’s grew out of Toronto Action for Social Change, which organised many creative protests during the Harris years. More info can be found at: http://www.stclares.ca

2. Shoresh.
c/o 132 Cedric Avenue,
Toronto, ON M6C 3X8

From a community gardens to education on the relationship between spirituality and ecology to a Community Shared Agriculture initiative, this is a great and wonderful addition to the world of food security in the GTA. For more information, check out: http://shoresh.ca/about-shoresh/introducing/

3. Rooftops Canada.
720 Spadina Avenue, Suite 313,
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2T9

Rooftops Canada, the international development arm of Canadian co-operative and non-profit housing movements, works with overseas partners in countries from the Baltic Sea to Zimbabwe to “improve housing conditions, build sustainable communities and develop a shared vision of equitable global development. “Rooftops initiatives range from capacity building to microfinance. More information can be found at: http://www.rooftops.ca/

4. Canadian Alternative Investment Foundation (CAIF),
CSI Regent Park,
585 Dundas St East, 3rd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5A 2B7.

CAIF evolved from the Canadian Alternative Investment Co-operative (CAIC), which does social investing on behalf of Canadian charities. CAIF is a charitable foundation which will be providing grants and loans to charitable organisations involved in community initiatives that further the vision of CAIC’s founders. More information can be found at http://www.caifoundation.ca/

5. CHFT Charitable Fund,
658 Danforth Avenue, Suite 306,
Toronto, ON, M4J 5B9

The CHFT Charitable Fund is a project of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto. Its programmes have ranged from diversity scholarships to support for the Ottawa Funeral Co-op to a basketball court at Atkinson Co-op. More information can be found at:
http://co-ophousingtoronto.coop/charitable-fund/

6. Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.
157 Carlton Street, Unit 206,
Toronto, Ontario
M5A 2K3

From direct action casework to solidarity with imprisoned refugee claimants to walking picket lines, OCAP activists are a strong voice for economic and social justice. For me, OCAP remains the most important anti-poverty organisation in the GTA. For more information http://www.ocap.ca/

7. Puppermongers.
3 Jersey Avenue
Toronto, ON M6G 3A2

I’m not directly involved in the arts these days, but I do serve on the board of a very wonderful puppet troop. This small group does everything from workshops to touring productions. For more information, see: http://puppetmongers.com/

8. Earthroots.
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 410
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3A8

This is a great organisation with a long history. It describes itself as “a grassroots environmental organization dedicated to protecting Ontario’s wilderness, wildlife and watersheds through research, education and action.” For more information see http://www.earthroots.org

9. Peace Brigades Canada.
211 Bronson Ave, Suite 220,
Ottawa, ON K1R 6H5

Peace Brigades Canada is a part of a global network of activists who work with human rights activists in places of conflict. From Nepal to Mexico, Peace Brigades volunteers have accompanied human rights workers as the eyes of the world. For more information see http://www.pbicanada.org/

10. FoodShare Toronto.
120 Industry Street – Unit C,
Toronto, ON M6M 4L8

From the good food box programme to community gardening to advocating for sustainable food policies, FoodShare works hard to make sure that social justice includes what is on the table. More information can be found at: http://www.foodshare.net/ .

The above is not an exhaustive list. I donate monthly to Interval House and the Wilderness Society. In the past many organisations such as the Elizabeth Fry Society had me among their regular donors. However, I think my top 10 represent a range of places, from social investing to radical peacemaking, that are my priorities at the end of 2016.

FURTHER THOUGHTS OF A LONE JEW IN ISRAEL

I am now back in Haifa looking back on the events of the last few weeks. I’ll be going back to Jerusalem from here where I’ll be based for the rest of this visit to Israel.

Last week, in Tel Aviv, I had a meeting to discuss ways of bringing the Canadian co-op model here. That meeting promises to lead to other meetings before I go. Tel Aviv is far different than Jerusalem, Haifa or Hebron; it feels more European or Quebec than the other places I’ve visited.

Yet Tel Aviv, like every other place I’ve been in Israel, felt like home. And I still don’t understand this. The land is strange; the language different; there are tensions all around. And yet this is home. It is home in a shul where every word I hear is Hebrew and at a store where the clerk asks if I’m entitled to the seniors’ discount and on a walking tour of a divided city and in an upper floor apartment overlooking a busy street.

It is a place where public tears come.

Standing at the Kotel (Western Wall) feeling it is a place that reaches out to me, drawing me in to my spiritual home I cry. The divine presence welcomes me in a way I’ve not experienced before; like the feeling I once had in celebrating the Eucharist but one without a sacrificial essence. My place in creation somehow is linked to this place and to the millions who have mourned and rejoiced in being close to something immanent and transcendent. I felt I was in a sacred place when I visited the Wall while I was a Christian priest. It feels now that I am in my sacred place, a place where as a Jew I am fully welcome. Tears flow here.

Standing in a rebuilt shul in Hebron, one destroyed in anti-Jewish riots in 1929, and touching the Torah scrolls that were saved during the attack and are not only in the Torah Ark but used regularly. These are the words presented to me at Mount Sinai. I get to touch these centuries old scrolls and tears flow.

I see signs of hope at times. I saw a mixed group of Arab and Jewish school children (distinguishable by their head coverings) laughing together while waiting to get on a bus. I stood in line at a coffee shop where Muslims, Jews and Tourists shared the space and waited patiently for their latte or Cappachino while the clerks shifted from Arabic to Hebrew to English.

In Hebron, I talked to a Palestinian woman who showed pictures of flooding of her store last year. She claimed that the flooding occurred on both sides of the divide and it was only stupid men on both sides that prevented solving the common problem. For her, if they could solve the common problems they could then start working on overcoming differences with some hope of success.

I see signs of despair at times. Having to show bags and go through metal detectors to enter a shopping mall; having to have my luggage go through an x-ray machine to take an inter-urban train; people sleeping rough; empty buildings in a place with an affordable housing crisis—lots of signs of the fear of terrorism and lots of signs of poverty and stress.

There is an odd openness in many places and inward looking tensions in others. Acre and Hebron are divided cities in different ways—Hebron due to rules and regulations; Acre due to tradition and distrust. Tel Aviv and Haifa are places where there are tensions but also openness. Jerusalem seems a place of surface openness and fear lurking just under the surface.

Unusual for me, I do spend time in coffee shops just drinking a latte or other caffeinated beverage, and listening to people. One overhears odd conversations. I heard a group of U.S. Republican supporters feeling betrayed by the appointment of an anti-Semite to Trump’s transition team and a group of U.S. Democratic Party supporters feeling betrayed at the effort to appoint an anti-Semite as the head of the Democratic National Committee.

I did video audition in Yiddish (I haven’t heard back yet if I got the part). It was an odd experience. I auditioned for a part in a film where I would play the head of a Yeshiva in Quebec in the post-war period faced with an ethical dilemma. I don’t know the language or culture but I do think I would do a credible job with the role.

The human politics around the wall distress me; humans should not be putting barriers between the sacred and people. I don’t understand why there is so much tension arising over a 3rd section at the Wall. I hear the arguments and appeals to both tradition and inclusivity but don’t get them.

It is a small thing, but I was delighted when I finally made sense of the currency and could pay the exact amount at a check-out. I don’t know the language but I have learned one of the expectations of living here.

I only have about 2 weeks left in Israel (I leave for Toronto on the 1st). While I am greatly looking forward to being with my family again, I am already trying to figure out the practicalities of coming back to Israel. This is home.

INITIAL THOUGHTS BEFORE APPEARING AT THE BEIT DIN

I grew up in and around Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in a very left wing household. My parents were members of The Reorganised Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints (now Community of Christ) —one of the many churches within the broader Mormon world. The government of Canada recognises me as Metis, and some of my extended family are what had historically been labelled Status Indians. Thus I grew up between cultures and in a minority faith tradition. I have three living and one deceased sibling, all of whom are substantively older than I. Faith was linked to politics—CCF/NDP and the trade union movement for my father; CCF/NDP and housing and international solidarity for my mother. My family had little contact with the small Jewish community in Sault Ste. Marie but did work on matters of common interest with labour Zionists and some of the Jewish activists in the CCF/NDP world.

I have a varied academic and work background. I have an B.A. in political science/psychology from Algoma University; a B.Ed. from Queen’s University with Drama as a teaching subject and an M.Div. from Emmanuel College, University of Toronto.

To earn a living, I have done everything from acting to working in a lumber yard to community organising, with teaching for a decade and working for housing co-ops for close to 20 years being the substantive careers I’ve chosen. I was ordained and worked within various church structures, from prison chaplaincy with the United Church to peace education with the Mennonite Church to congregational ministry with St. Andrew’s Old Catholic Church.

I have a long history of volunteering with local, provincial and national co-operative organisations and various non-profit organisations, including serving as President of the Canadian Alternative Investment Co-operation, chair of the endowment committee of the Student Christian Movement of Canada and on the Board of Directors of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada. Currently I am serving on the boards of St. Clare’s Multifaith Housing Society and Puppetmongers and as treasurer of Home Ownership Alternatives.

Choosing to become Jewish was both a sudden and slow process.

I have worked with many within the Jewish left in Canada on common projects, supply taught for a year with Associated Hebrew Schools, moved back and forth on supporting or opposing Zionism not as fashions changed but as my view of the roll of the state changed, had long discussions with Harold Kandle (a World War one era vet and anarchist Zionist) and had a moment or two of heatedly challenging anti-Semitism.

The big shift occurred when I accompanied my wife to Israel. She was giving a paper at the University of Tel Aviv and I went with her, with the intent of just having a nice holiday together. Upon getting off the plane at Ben Gurion I had the overwhelming sensation of coming home. It stayed with me as we explored a bit of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

I chose to test this by going back to Israel, this time as a volunteer. Through Skilled Volunteers for Israel I did placements at both Israel Elwyn and the Jerusalem Centre for Jewish-Christian Relations. I had a chance to meet people from the Christian community there who indicated that there was work I could do there if I chose. However, they didn’t feel like my people. I found myself more comfortable at the Kotel or in conversations with people from different streams of the Jewish communities in Jerusalem. My world view and the way I saw myself had shifted. I was a home but it was a different home than I expected—a shift had occurred and I found myself feeling at home in the Jewish world, not the Christian one. We chose to take the yearlong Living Jewishly course, I was laicised by my religious tradition and I have undergone the hatafat dam brit

Perhaps the final intellectual push for me to move away from Christianity and embrace Judaism was reading Giosuè Ghisalberti’s The Achaia Testament: Paul, Timothy, and the Judaic Hellenistic Foundations of the Gospel. It helped me come to the realization that what I liked about Christianity was what Jewish elements remained in the faith; what I didn’t like were the accretions that were added to it from its earliest days on. The view that Jesus was the fulfillment of the messianic tradition made no sense, especially in light of Ghisalberti’s persuasive argument that Paul and Timothy were responsible for much of this view. Torah makes more sense than Gospel; reason and tradition more than faith; current practices more than focusing on the end times. I have described this as coming to see that the Shema is a clearer statement of my faith and spiritual obligations than is found in the Nicene Creed.

We are members of the Danforth Jewish Circle. I am also in fairly regular attendance at First Narayever, more often at the Sunday morning davening. We have attended services at Makom, which we’ve enjoyed and felt welcomed at, and at Holy Blossom. I have gone to davening at the JCC but find that 7:15 a.m. is hard for me to make. We honour Shabbat at home with following the home rituals, primarily those of the reform tradition, by reading the weekly Torah portion and haftarah portions together and discussing commentaries on these passages. I do recite/read along with the Shema in its entirely most evening and recite the beginning of it upon rising. I try to remember to be consciously in the world and acknowledge the many blessing that around me.

I miss the sacramental aspect of celebrating the Eucharist but find that Jewish prayer/davening a meaningful alternative. In the flow of prayer and in the sense that the community is where the sacred can most easily be approached I do feel something very akin to my previous religious practices.

I find that I struggle more with time than faith—it is hard to break a habit that Saturday is a sleeping in day. This makes my regular attendance at Shabbat services a challenge. I have also struggled with learning Hebrew; I’ve taken two courses and will take more in the future but very little remains with me. I find the lack of Hebrew an actual challenge—reading English translations of prayer makes me feel I’m looking through a window rather than being fully present and sharing with the community around me in a common act.

I find some aspects of communal Jewish life quite challenging. At heart, I am a hermit. I certainly find myself attracted to ascetic forms of spiritual expression, which makes Purim daunting and Tisha B’Av a time of familiar spiritual expression.

I feel trapped, at times, between my life long radicalism and my wanting to be in and supportive of Israel. With many of those I worked with for decades supporting BDS, it is odd to be on the outside of my political worlds. This isn’t the first time—I also found it hard in the 70s and 80s to be strongly critical of imperialist and militarist initiatives of the U.S.S.R. and China when so many peace activists were doing apologetics for these countries.

I am delighted that study and reflection are seen as core expectations of being a Jew. Even in challenging times, and with splits within the Jewish world, reason is respected.

I will continue to take advantage of learning opportunities offered by the Danforth Jewish Circle and other shuls. This is important for me to come to a better knowledge of Jewish rituals and practices.

I will be returning to Israel in the near future, primarily as a volunteer but also to continue to explore longer term options in a place where I have felt so strongly at home.

While I am not 100 certain I won’t change my mind, I think I’d like Baruch Chayim (Blessed Life) as my name. If I am correct this would make my Hebrew name Baruch Chayim ben Avraham Avinu. I think it sums up my understanding of what being Jewish means to me.

[Note: Pieces I wrote at the time of my visits to Israel can be found at my somewhat active blog: https://morecoherent.wordpress.com/category/israel/ , with perhaps different insights available through a couple of YouTube clips I posted: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheRevBrian/videos . There are relevant mini reviews of Jewish works mingled with other works on my Tumbler blog: http://brianburchbooksetc.tumblr.com/ ]

Quick Thoughts Arising from Black Lives Matter and Pride.

For many of us our privileged status could disappear tomorrow; for some such status may never come about. Black Lives Matter and Idle No More raised the later reality into current political debates. It is important, though, for many who think that the issues raised by Black Lives Matter recently and Idle No More a little while ago will never affect them to think again. There is both an idealistic and a selfish reason to work for a truly just and egalitarian society for all. A little bit of reactionary social change and suddenly privilege can disappear. Real solidarity now, radical transformation now, is in the interest of most of us.

During my activist years I learned about a number of very obscure laws, such as Unlawful Handbill Distribution, or that criminal charges and harsh bail conditions can be imposed for such crimes as drawing peace symbols on the pavement of Nathan Philips Square. I was a pretty obnoxious activist and drew police attention as a result. The right skin colour, a real address, a union card in my pocket, etc. did not stop me from learning that police power is all too often arbitrarily exercised and that privilege is not permanent. Stepping back into safety is something available to people like me, but that safety is precarious. I don’t take it for granted.

A lot of the criticism I come across in regards to the tactics and timing of Black Lives Matter and similar groups comes from people who seem to forget what it is like to not have a voice or to be always on the outside or always having to hide something about yourself in order to fit in or to be safe. While there is a rush in the movement of confrontation, if there was an easier, faster and better way to transform the world those methods would be chosen. The social vision that Black Lives Matter raises is key for a better world for all.

The demands raised at this year’s Pride were practical, material and achievable. They move us to a place where more of us are included and, eventually, one where everyone is welcome. I may feel shielded by my social status today, but that could change all too quickly. By challenging privilege, and hopefully pushing aside privilege, they will help create a better world for me. Black Lives Matter doesn’t speak for me; I don’t speak for them. But I support what they want to achieve and the tactics they’ve chosen. My future depends on it.

A FEW THOUGHTS ON WATCHING SCROOGE (A CHRISTMAS CAROL) WITH ALLISTER SIMS

I’ve watched this movie many times over the years, finding different things each year standing out. In recent years I’ve began to wonder if Dickens’ novel and its various adaptations has undermined the social transformation needed to successfully address poverty and its many ills.

Early in the movie, Scrooge is asked to donate money to a charity. The exchange is an interesting one, where private charity is honoured and any collective (state) efforts to address need portrayed, in their essence, as cruel:

“At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,” said the gentleman, taking up a pen, “it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.”
“Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge.
“Plenty of prisons,” said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
“And the Union workhouses?” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”
“They are. Still,” returned the gentleman, “I wish I could say they were not.”
“The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” said Scrooge.

There is no call for adequate social assistance available to all throughout the year, but an effort to appeal seasonally for charitable assistance. Scrooge doesn’t complain about his taxes being used for (albeit far from adequate) relief; just to being asked to make a personal contribution to a charity for short-term help.

Scrooge gives Bob Cratchet a paid holiday—very unusual in 1843 in England. Indeed, it wasn’t until the Bank Holiday Act of 1871 that paid holidays were required by law. This was noted both early in the movie, when Cratchet and Scrooge have a conversation about Christmas Day; very similar to a scene that is included in the visions of Christmas past. Scrooge may cut wages upon taking over a business, but he can also go beyond the minimum expectations of staff. Cratchet’s daughter, in domestic service, wasn’t sure she was going to get the day off and had to run to be home for the family gathering. At the Cratchet dinner, Bob Cratchet makes mention that not many of their acquaintances could afford two rounds of the best gin punch. There are hints that Scrooge is not entirely the grasping businessman tradition has made him out to be.

The development of the story, especially the end, is widely known. Scrooge undergoes a change of heart and devotes himself to good works, especially at Christmas. This redemption is quite moving, but at the end of the day the redemption is only on the individual level. There is no indication that people should work together to solve social problems on an ongoing basis; there is no indication that there is a social obligation to care for others. Indeed, any mention of such shared obligation in the movie is critical of the idea. We are not asked to consider solve the problems of poverty by any concept of permanently addressing problems. We are told that we should act individually to address problems, and most generously at Christmas. If everyone acted as compassionate individuals then everything would be good.

We aren’t asked to work together to provide good quality affordable housing or to ensure universal access to good quality medical care. As long as there is a Scrooge then Tiny Tim can get his medical needs addressed. What to do when there such a relationship doesn’t exist isn’t hinted at.

The world would have been better if such a powerful appeal to private charity hadn’t been written. Already there were writers, utopian socialists and others, calling for a more communal approach to both communal and individual needs. We need appeals to our conscience to encourage us as individuals to act compassionately and justly in the world; but if that appeal is all that is offered we as individuals will quickly wear out and the social problems will continue.

Year End Donation Suggestions for 2015

As 2015 comes to an end, it’s time for my off and on sharing of ideas for sharing our abundance with charities and non-profits that do something to directly help others while seeking to make broader social change. Most of the charities have a link on their website to make donations on line, but all welcome donations through the mail. Several of these charities I’ve been on the board of; others are ones who do unique work that I support. Not all of the groups I suggest supporting are able to give charitable receipts—OCAP isn’t, for example—but all could use your financial support.

 
1. St. Clare’s Multifaith Housing Society
. 138 Pears Ave, Toronto, ON M5R 1T2.
St. Clare’s still seeks ways to develop new affordable housing efforts while continuing to provide affordable housing to people, most of whom come as a result of referrals from agencies working directly with the homeless, marginalized and difficult to house. St. Clare’s grew out of Toronto Action for Social Change, which organised a number of creative protests during the Harris years. While the website is being redeveloped, more information can be found at: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/st-clares-multifaith-housing-society/

 
2. FoodShare Toronto.
90 Croatia Street, Toronto, ON M6H 1K9.
From the good food box programme to community gardening to advocating for sustainable food policies, FoodShare works hard to make sure that social justice includes what is on the table. More information can be found at: http://www.foodshare.net/ As Foodshare has a number of social enterprises it sponsors, it helps to make a note on cheques that the funds are for a donation to Foodshare.

 
3. Rooftops Canada.
720 Spadina Avenue, Suite 313, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2T9
Rooftops Canada, the international development arm of Canadian co-operative and non-profit housing movements, works with overseas partners in countries from the Baltic Sea to Zimbabwe to “improve housing conditions, build sustainable communities and develop a shared vision of equitable global development. “Rooftops initiatives range from capacity building to microfinance. More information can be found at: http://www.rooftops.ca/

 
4. Canadian Alternative Investment Foundation (CAIF),
CSI Regent Park,
585 Dundas St East, 3rd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5A 2B7.
CAIF evolved from the Canadian Alternative Investment Co-operative (CAIC), which does social investing on behalf of Canadian charities. CAIF is a charitable foundation which will be providing grants and loans to charitable organisations involved in community initiatives that further the vision of CAIC’s founders. More information can be found at http://www.caifoundation.ca/

 
5. CHFT Charitable Fund,
658 Danforth Avenue, Suite 306,
Toronto, ON, M4J 5B9
The CHFT Charitable Fund is a project of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto. Its programmes have ranged from diversity scholarships to support for the Green Roof initiative at Hugh Garner Housing Co-operative to a basketball court at Atkinson Co-op. More information can be found at: chft.coop/charitable/

 
6. Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. 157 Carlton Street, Unit 206,
Toronto, Ontario
M5A 2K3
From direct action casework to solidarity with imprisoned refugee claimants to walking picket lines, OCAP activists are a strong voice for economic and social justice. For more information http://www.ocap.ca/

 
7. Puppermongers. 388 Carlaw Avenue, Toronto, ON M4M 2T4
I’m not directly involved in the arts these days, but I do serve on the board of a very wonderful puppet troop. This small group does everything from workshops to touring productions. For more information, see: http://puppetmongers.com/

 
8. Wilderness Committee. P.O. Box 2205, Station Terminal, Vancouver, BC V6B 3W2
The Wilderness Committee is a mainstream but persistent voice for wilderness and endangered species. In addition to political campaigns, they are a good source of fair trade goods not found elsewhere. For more information see http://wildernesscommittee.org/home

 
9. Peace Brigades Canada. 145 Spruce Street, Suite 206, Ottawa, ON K1R 6P1
Peace Brigades Canada is a part of a global network of activists who work with human rights activists in places of conflict. From Nepal to Mexico, Peace Brigades volunteers have accompanied human rights workers as the eyes of the world. For more information see http://www.pbicanada.org/

 
10. Shoresh. c/o 132 Cedric Avenue, Toronto, ON M6C 3X8
From a community gardens to education on the relationship between spirituality and ecology to a Community Shared Agriculture initiative, this is a great and wonderful fairly new addition to the world of food security in the GTA. For more information, check out: http://shoresh.ca/about-shoresh/mission-vision-and-values/

 
The above is not an exhaustive list. I donate monthly to Interval House and the CRC. In the past many organisations such as the Elizabeth Fry Society had me among their regular donors. However, I think my top 10 represent a range of places, from social investing to radical peacemaking, that are my priorities at the end of 2015.

A Couple of Brief Thoughts on Means and Ends

It seems like a million years ago, but I clearly recall a conversation among members of the Alliance for Non-violent Action around non-violence and choice.   At the time there were sit-ins and blockades of the Morgentaler clinic.   There were some with ANVA who took the position that because the tactics were similar to those used by ANVA and others in the anti-war/anti-nuke movements they were part of our movement.   Others were clear that it wasn’t just the tactics but the cause that needed to be considered.    It wasn’t just the tactics that determined the nature of the movement but a combination of aims and tactics—non-violence can easily be used to promote a far less just, open and compassionate society.

I also remember a conversation in regards to disruption of events.   For some it was a way to speak truth to power.   For others, such efforts contain echoes of jack boots and were a statement of an unwillingness to accept the value of free speak.   For these later folks our tactics should be ones we’d be willing to tolerate against us—if we would feel intimidated by outbursts of anger and efforts to silence our speech, we shouldn’t use such tactics against others.

One of the major reasons I am politically pessimistic is that some movements I’d like to support are using tactics I oppose and some movements I oppose are using tactics I have long advocated.   I am longing to see a unity of means and ends.