Thursday, June 29, 2006

Border People

There is a border which runs through our society that largely remains unnoticed but it is a critical one.

It is the border of people who are employed as civil servants, members of the military and police forces and media people. The border they work in defines the interface between the citizens of this nation and our government and big business interests. These border workers are the first line of loyalty and defense the people have. It is within their ability to choose to serve the greater good of the society or to serve those governmental and corporate interests who may be causing harm to the society and it's people. We need them to be alert that this choice may have to be made in the coming times.

It may not be an easy choice, requiring them to put their job at risk and perhaps suffering financial hardship. For some, legal punishment may resulting in jail time. For others, it may be that they can follow their conscious through activities that don't reveal their identity but serve to alert the citizenry of questionable activities. Why take the risk? Why should they endanger themselves to tell us anything if it threatens their personal well being or that of their family? It is not easy to ask this of them but the future of all of us is at stake here and either one is working for the people and a society that survives and thrives or giving one's efforts to those who threaten that. If a tiny minority that has an agenda to take control of our government for the benefit of money making interests, we can look forward to a further diminishing quality of life, degrading environment and the threat of nuclear warfare. They can only achieve their objective if the border workers continue to support their efforts with their work.

Those who stand on our front line are :

The Civil Servants.
For lifetimes many of them do the paperwork and carry forth the policies of government across our nation. While parties come and go, they remain to run the engines of government. In their daily tasks many of them become aware of information withheld or misrepresented to the people. Information that the people need to know. Some hold a tiny piece to a larger picture. What should they do? The official channels are fraught with danger, since often the information indicates it is the officials themselves who are violating the law. The leadership of Congress has shown itself to be non-reactive and non-protective of those who come forth. The press is often censured by corporate entities who also have vested interests in keeping information away from the people. Who they confide in that will be trustworthy and make sure the information is revealed as well as protecting their identity? Sadly, we lack a place for the truth tellers to go, but we must change that. If we are asking them to risk coming forward with information we need, we must insure they are protected. We must identify those groups who can be trusted to receive information and to get it out to the rest of us and make sure legal defense exists for those who may need it.

The Military/ Police
These are the people who have they physical means to protect us. They stand as our defending vanguard. Our taxes pay them and they are sworn by oath to uphold the laws that protect us. What happens then when our own protectors are turned on us in service of protecting the ill gotten gains or illegal activities of elected officials and corporate entities? They tread a fine line and their position is one that requires a great dedication to what is right, even if that means disobeying orders. Too often in the past, officials have used them to protect the powerful and wealthy against the people with just and grievous complaints. Workers striking or protesting for better wages or work conditions have been met with armed military or police sent to suppress them. Protesters who oppose government policies of war or environmental destruction have been likewise oppressed. Now, more than ever, they must question who's interests they are serving? Is it the interests of the people or is it those of the powerful who may be up to no good. Those ordered to do harm to citizens like themselves, who are massing together to voice the need for change, must decide who's interests they choose to protect. Will they choose to be one of the oppressors or to support the citizens expressing their concerns? Each one must search their consciousness and decide what side of the line they stand on and follow that with their actions. Those who support us are courageous and deserve our appreciation and support. We must not fail them when they strand up for us.

The Media
As the bearers of information, they are so important to us! Through their courage and diligence, we are given the information necessary to a healthy democracy. Without information, we do not know what is going on, we cannot make decisions that insure that this country still functions based on the Constitution and the laws threat protect our freedoms. many media people become aware with events and activities that are of questionable nature. As fellow citizens, they have a vested interest in making sure that the members of their society are informed. Please! Tell us what is going on! Investigate, question, report. I know that many are fearful of their jobs and go along with the suppression and half truths that owners of media demand. Where does that get one in the end if democracy disintegrates and we live under the yoke of suppression? For the thousands of you who still labor for the corporate god, I hope you will keep trying to do what your heart tells you and find ways of revealing the truth. To the brave editors who print the work of truth telling journalists and TV managers who broadcast all the truth, we hold you in esteem and honor your courage. To those who do not, you must accept that you are complicit in the denigration of our freedoms.

As a nation, we must come together to honor and protect our border people who work for us. It is primarily in their hands to advance the causes of justice and democracy in our society because of their strategic positions. If you are a border person, please think about these issues and decide your loyalty. If you are a citizen, think and act in ways that support their efforts on the behalf of our society. We need them.

Sue Dyer, Guest Essayist