Postcard from the Spiritual Progressive Conference on Iraq, Washington DC
I’m in the Network of Spiritual Progressives meeting at the Methodist church on first street, Washington DC. Rabbi Lerner and Rev. Bob Edgar are here, as is Faithful America, Emergent, Zion’s Herald, the United Methodist Women, and the Clergy and Laity Network.
They note that the media jaded with marches, demonstrations. Maybe it isn’t jaded with demonstrations called by religious community, notes Rabbi Lerner. They all speak to the need for mass-based organizing which people can access from every-day lives. Mark Lanastr reminds us that average folks in Kentucky can’t afford to drive to DC for the protest they’ll be organizing in May.
Lerner relates the Peace movement to a larger issue of a spiritual crisis in America. He reminds us that the Right is winning on the spiritual crisis because their media networks are better. He asks us to contemplate that we may have to win the spiritual crisis first in order to win on the war
Bob Edgar forwards a proposal for the anti-war groups to work together to a greater extent than ever before. They’ll have to covenant with each other to support each others works. They’ll form a listserve of the leaders who attended in order to keep each other posted. They’ll form another medium size listserve back to key leaders in organization.
They’ll network their movement for e-advocacy. They’ll work as a movement. They’ll pool efforts, training each other on how to do radio and television.
Sekou adds: the movement needs to raise up young leaders
I speak to leaders from the different groups about CrossLeft. I repeat to them what the sociologists tell us about the Internet: It’s diffuse, it’s participatory, it’s non hierarchical, it creates its own leaders. It becomes a public square like an old world village. Email lists, blogs, and forums enable different qualities of communication for different uses: News alerts, top down content statements, sharing and dialogue.
The movement needs member groups to link to each others websites and publicize each others events. CrossLeft has the technology to let groups display bloggers’ headlines on their specific topic. It can help them with linking and information sharing problems.