Friday, July 6, 2012

Detroit Summer Update #2: Looking Back To Go Forward

Peace Family:

After a very successful indiegogo campaign and a very busy month we've arrived in Michigan. I think you already know that you've helped make this possible, and I hope you all know how much I want to bring you all with us. It's actually been a reocurring theme at Detroit Summer 2012, this idea that what we do here can be shared and applied throughout our country and our world. It's why I'm here, it's also why we started our campaign and why I'm writing this email. So the people may live. I've also started recording both audio and video of our work. Unfortunately as soon as I started recording my computer has decided to stop charging its battery, so now I'm left without a computer to download my information onto so that I can share it with you all. Don't worry, you'll still receive it, but until I can get up and running, let me share with you some impressions from today.

The event we attended was a Round-Table called: The State of Our City. Some of the highlights (and lowlights) of the experience for me were:

~ Finding beauty in the failures of industrialization, and seeing this failure as an opportunity to look back at what used to sustain us before we were dependent on this unsustainable lifestyle
~ An emphasis on seeing every aspect of creation (from individuals to community and grassroots organizations) as completely essential to our survival
~ Making available and defining common space (is common space just what our tax dollars pay for i.e. our schools or our transportation system, or is the idea of ownership of land inherently oppressive?)
~ Yusef Shakur's insistence that civil disobedience is a necessity and that we must DEMONSTRATE our willingness to stand up for issues of justice
~ Should we be working to fix the old system or creating new systems?
~ What is the difference between revolution and delusion? (This question came up for me as a young man spoke about how we are all waiting for ourselves to start the revolution. I wondered if his words were empty or revolutionary, deciding in the end that "all G-d's children got a place in the choir)
~ "There are 1 empty houses for every homeless person in Detroit."!!!!!!!
~ VISION ACTIVISM: States that we cannot vision without images (or the imagination) of what is possible
~ The reason this country supports prosperity gospel over liberation theology is because it makes it easier to blame the victim
~ We need to know Charity Hicks and Detroit Works
~ Don't forget to look back at the next generation and look forward at the generation who may not be aware of major cultural shifts
~ Why shouldn't we preach to the choir? Choirs have rehearsals for a reason, because sometimes the choir sings off key and sometimes people sing solos when they shouldn't and sometimes the choir needs a separate sermon that occurs before church

If any of these preach to you or bring up answers or more questions please let me know, I'd love to hear them. In peace,

Tai Amri

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