Larry Wartel to Gregory Hartnell: “We are not waiting for elections, but contributing to building a long term movement for peace and justice, no matter who is in office.”… Open letters of veteran Victoria activists, Sept. 22, 2011.

From: Freedom 4 All <>
To: Gregory Hartnell <>
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011 2:35:31 AM
Subject: Re: your family history and Pacifican Liberty

The “Explosive Evidence” film drew an amazing 40 people, thanks to Heather’s postering work. Thank you Gregory for sharing about Mom and Dad. You come from very humble–and fascinating!–origins. You mentioned Dad had fascist sympathies (no, you didn’t previously mention this to me). Do you mean he did approve of Hitler or Mussolini? Otherwise, these sentiments of his are pretty admirable:

…he ranted against Churchill, said we had no business in England’s war, echoing the Catholic priests in Quebec who used similar arguments against conscription.

Sounds good to me! Amazing and disturbing repressive experiences he had with the mounties. He may have been fascist oriented, but he clearly had courage to stick to his ideals. Now I see where you get your moral tenacity from.

I like the principles you mentioned of the “Pacific Liberty Party”. You express very important idealism around “separatist anti-globalist pro-life anti-war party” values.

What do you think of connecting idealism to realism during and between elections: saying this is where we have to go–and this is where we are at now? The unity of the ideal and the real are what guide all my actions. Whatever ideal future we want to see, to get there, we have to build the bridge from here by educating thousands of people, and by connecting with the people we live amongst through a systematic organizing process. During elections it’s as simple as going door-to-door.

If the candidates or campaigns during elections are only symbolic–cannot actually win–this absolves us of the responsibility to organize. I used to be like this. I would say “F-you all if you keep voting for morons like that, then you get what you deserve.” Then two organizations had a profound impact on the way I started viewing not only elections, but all of life: Every living moment presents an opportunity to engage in a healthy “struggle”: (“struggle”=to contend with an adversary or opposing force; to contend resolutelywith a task, problem, etc.; strive) against negative life forces that our society’s structure creates. We can choose to struggle against the negative life forces or allow them to proceed at any given moment, day or period.

For instance, today they killed Troy Anthony Davis. So I hooked up with Amnesty International at UVic and we went into classes to urge people to sign the online petition. Of course, any candidate that affirms the sanctity of life I will support during an election, while “struggling” for life-affirming conditions between elections, at all levels. So during an election, I was educated to choose candidates that have three to five core values, no matter what they think or believe on the other 20: They must oppose war and occupation, must be committed to ending the conditions that create poverty, and must be genuinely concerned about ending the commodification of our environment which means it gets ravaged and pillaged for profit. If they are good on those three, we can work out the rest later, and they will get my vote. The two Los Angeles organizations said that voting for the lesser of two evils is still less evil–until we the people are organized enough to get Ron Pauls and Dennis Kucinichs in a majority of seats. It’s already happened in numerous other countries.

Now sometimes they will only be good on two out of those three. They will still get my vote if their opponent has a score of zero or one out of those three core principles. And every day in between elections there are endless opportunities to make history in simple ways that bring those core values to thousands of people in Victoria. In this way we are not waiting for elections, but contributing to building a long term movement for peace and justice, no matter who is in office.

In this way I learned to merge the ideal with the real.

As mentioned above, I very much admire Ron Paul–his recent speech was just fantastic!–and Dennis Kucinich. And we will get representation like that throughout the land once we’re prepared to organize for it. That’s a long, historical process that’s been going on and will continue to occur. We just have to decide to get in and get dirty or watch the show from the sidelines–which is what I used to do, and it contributed to keeping me depressed. Dennis and Ron come from constituencies that are exceptionally conscious–no coincidence. Decades of education and experience led to that, if we would do our demographic research of their voting base. But it’s not automatic, which means it can happen in most places. That’s why their adversaries spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to unseat them. But it doesn’t work, because their constituents do hard work during elections to help them stay in office.

Thank you for the constant “Shalom,” (a great petition to push Israel into more “Shalom”:


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