whistle stencilThis next week we’re going to hear a lot about patriotism. What does patriotism mean to you?

To me, it’s most important to be loyal to humans and our planet as a whole, not to focus too much on nationality. I feel suspicious of so-called patriotism being used to silence critical thinking and dissent. I like Barbara Ehrenreich’s quote: “No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.” In fact, dissent, rebellion, and hell-raising have a strong track record of strengthening democracy & justice in our country and all over the world.

On that note–Will you join me and other PJALS folks to speak out against US violations of civil liberties–NSA spying, call-tracking, email surveillance; unlawful detentions, force-feeding, & rights violations at Guantanamo; and the persecution of whistleblowers Eric Snowden & Bradley Manning? Join us on Wednesday July 3 at 5pm on Division at North River Dr, near the Wendy’s. Park at the old Comp USA building & walk to the median for our rush hour demonstration.

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety,” wrote Benjamin Franklin.

More recently: “When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they are going to be stunned and they are going to be angry,” wrote Senators Wyden and Udall just last year. Read more & sign a petition from the ACLU here.

We’ll make signs the day before, Tuesday July 2 at 5:30 in the Community Building, 35 W. Main.

What does patriotism mean to you? Join our discussion in the comments here.