Friday, June 01, 2007

An Open Letter

Dear George W Bush:

We wish to acknowledge some of the truths you have presented about the war and occupation of Iraq. When you told us that the troops are fighting to preserve the American way of life, you spoke truth. You were also right on when you said that Americans are addicted to oil. Inspired by heros and heroines such as Brian Willson; double amputee and Vietnam Veteran; and Cindy Sheehan; warrior and outspoken mother of fallen US soldier Casey Sheehan; we are on a mission to help transform the cycle of oil dependency, so that US soldiers won't be compelled to fight or die any more for our voracious, out of control, oil consumptive habits. This is our tribute to the country we love, this is our sacred tour of duty.

The Catalysts of H.O.P.E.(Healing Our People and Earth) began riding our bicycles across the United States for Peace and Sustainability on 17-Mar-07 in Portland, OR. All the way down the west coast and beginning to travel across the south, we and our message have been supported by Americans from all walks of life. We've had as many as 15 riders at one time, but our core has consisted of two adults, an 11-yr-old, and 20-mo-old twins. We're a traveling family, dedicated to recognizing and reconciling our complicity in perpetuating a system that allows US; 1/16th of the world population; to consume over 1/4 of the Earths resources, and to produce nearly 1/2 of the waste. Our wanton lifestyle choices and disregard for the repercussions that
those choices will have on the futures of our children and generations to come are combining to create a state of perpetual war, terror, poverty, resource depletion, and ultimately threaten our very survival as a species. By being the change we wish to see in the world and encouraging others to do likewise in their own manner, we're striving to reclaim the soul of our nation and heal the damaged ties with each other and with the world outside of our borders.

These past 2 months have been tremendously eye-opening for us. By trusting in and relying on the kindness and concern of our fellow citizens in this great country, again and again we've witnessed the genuine goodness and concern people innately have for one another, especially children. Through countless conversations with Americans of nearly every stripe, political affiliation and ethnicity, we have also found that our shared vulnerability as human beings on this fragile, endangered planet have left many of us overwhelmed and unsure of what part we have to play in the outcome of the course we are now on. Many have bought into the notion that they are too insignificant to have any impact on the seemingly insurmountable problems we face as a country, and instead have lamentably invested precious resources; especially time; into fleeting, transient material gain, thereby further isolating themselves from the very networks of support that could make the shift to sustainable community possible; family, friends, neighbors, and co-inhabitants of a small planet with limited resources. Therefore, the challenge before us is to take heart from successful people's movements from around the world (e.g.: http://www.sarvodaya.org) and to restore the collective belief in the power of humanity to transcend our perceived differences and unite for the common good.

We are appealing to the very best in your human nature, Mr. Bush, as we absolutely do not accept that any human being is a lost cause or is beyond redemption. The movement towards reconciliation and peace is living, breathing proof that another world is possible. We expect to bicycle into Crawford, Texas, on the last weekend in June and would welcome the opportunity to discuss our experiences on this journey and on our past journeys throughout America, the Middle East, and Africa. We will also be in Washington, DC during the second half of September, further providing excellent opportunities to communicate with our elected officials. We've got a lot to talk about.

May there be Peace in Our Time,
The Catalysts of HOPE

Supported by organizations such as Veterans for Peace, CODE PINK, Sarvodaya USA, Whitefeather Portland Catholic Worker, Oregon Peaceworks, and many others, The Catalysts of HOPE (Healing Our People & Earth) are continuing to trek across America and welcome any and all dreamers to join us in whatever capacity each determines appropriate.
(http://www.catalystsofhope.org)

As you come to know the seriousness of our situation----the war, the
racism, the poverty in the world-----you come to realize it is not going
to be changed just by words or demonstrations. It's a question of risking
your life. It's question of living your life in drastically different
ways. - Dorothy Day

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