actions of immediate lament
Long, heartfelt debates about AIWs speak to a need for lament, rather than procedural votes. Moving testimony on all sides of our Actions of Immediate Witness may have helped the speakers feel better, but a good lament process would deepen that relief *and* reduce the time spent on actual votes.
Last Sunday afternoon, delegates in plenary debated anti-immigrant measures at state and federal levels, the blockade of Gaza, gulf coast environmental justice, the clean energy bill and the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. All are compelling issues; all are issues on which our vote will have little effect. The main value of these efforts, IMHO, is to allow people to voice their feelings. Perhaps doing away with the messy vote process, and deepening the opportunity for lamentation, would better serve our delegates and our movement.
The Rev. Mr. Jose' Ballester delivered an impassioned lament on Saturday afternoon, and has created stirring laments in previous settings. I am sure that there are some people who disagreed with some or all of his comments, and I am sure that many people were moved and found some healing in them, too.
It may not be appropriate to abandon the AIW process entirely. Perhaps we could stage a time for lament in addition, at some GA (or at district/chapter events) soon.