Symbolic Actions don’t Solve Real Problems By Cindy Sheehan

By Cindy Sheehan
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Dandelion Salad
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox Blog
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox
Oct. 17, 2009

My Speech at anti-war Rally in San Francisco

It’s nice to see everybody here today as we are about to embark on another symbolic march to nowhere.

How many self-congratulatory miles do you think we’ve marched for peace in the last 45 years? Millions?

How many petitions do you think we’ve signed and delivered? Millions?

How many phone calls have we made to our elected representative? Billions?

How many War Party Politicians like Nancy Pelosi do we continually elect to office? Thousands?

Why do we consistently and constantly perform these symbolic actions, when millions of people are not symbolically dying?

When millions of people are not symbolically losing their homes, their jobs and being poisoned by the War Machine, why are only symbolic actions undertaken?

Trust me, our symbolic actions have absolutely zero affect on real problems.

Have our actions over the years diminished the War Machine by one iota? Hell no, as a matter of fact, The Empire counts on us to keep our actions symbolic, because our symbolic actions actually strengthen The Empire.


Because we march one day and write out a check to The Empire the next day in the form of paying our Federal Income Taxes.

Because we sign a petition one day then fill up our gas tanks at Chevron the next day.

Because we call our Congress Reps one day and support sponsors of the Media Industrial Complex the next.

Because we vote for War Party Politicians who promise to escalate war and then do nothing but whine when he actually keeps his promise to surge the violence.

If we really do want real change, then we are going to have to really do something real.

Why do we continue to constantly do the same thing and expect different results?

Until we do what Mario Savio encouraged us to do 45 years ago—throw our bodies upon the gears of the machine—NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

At the risk of sounding like a politician, I want to call you “My Dear Friends,” because you are and there is nothing symbolic about that, this will be the last rally you will see me at here in San Francisco.

I am moving to DC to throw my body on the gears of the machine and I hope thousands will join me in this great sacrifice.

We actually have to Be and Create the change that our planet and humanity so desperately needs.

Next time I am here, we’ll be dancing on the grave of the US Military Empire!

I promise you that because this time failure is not an option and I am not standing down until peace finally prevails.

Thank you!


[DS added the video]

Mario Savio’s Speech: You’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears (1964)

December 19, 2007

Mario Savio’s speech before the FSM sit-in


“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.”



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Peace of the Action by Cindy Sheehan

War Is Peace. Ignorance Is Strength By John Pilger

4 thoughts on “Symbolic Actions don’t Solve Real Problems By Cindy Sheehan

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  3. Wow!
    Yeah, I am with you Cindy:
    “dancing on the grave of the US Military Empire!”

    Just got to DC tonight, am staying at the Peace House on 12th street. Will be in the halls of Congress on Monday… Maybe I will see you there.

    Your friend,

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