Activism – Where do I stand?

So, here are just a few of my thoughts. I don’t know if you know my background so I’ll capsulize it here. After being an activist growing up in Washington, DC, and in college, I joined the Black Panthers, and went to Woodstock along the way. Then, I was part of Peoples Temple in California and Guyana. That was the purest political and socialist environment I have ever seen or been a part of. I happened to be on a sales trip in Georgetown when 913 of my friends died – along with Jim Jones – in Jonestown. It was a fluke that I survived, but my dream about a consistently activist life was absolutely smashed. Actually, I barely survived.

When I came back to the US, after about a year, I moved into Synanon for TLC. It made all the difference for me. But, Synanon was more of a Club Med. It was a social experiment to take in drug addicts (and to embrace me in a sane and loving environment) and turn their lives around, but really apolitical. All that happened over 20 years ago. Since then, I’ve been on the hunt for an equally political, activist community or group, or anything. Now, my life is a mosaic of different affiliations that make me whole. I have activist fellow survivors from Peoples Temple, I have Quakers of all persuasion, I have moveon.org, Democratic party, the Innocents Project, Southern Poverty Law Center, teaching, and many other “justice-seeking” activities. But, no one organization comes close to what I’ve seen and been involved with.

So, some Quakers and others I know and love might wish that I believed in God – not going to happen. So, I am atypical. Lo siento mucho. But, I like the world I have created around me and continue to support those causes I am moved to support. I try to see how that fits in an organization, I am an “attender” in many of my efforts – not a joiner/member.

That is how I resolved my activist issues.