Friday, April 24, 2009

'This is what Democracy looks like' - Mayday Global Chalk4Peace

Mayday Global Chalk4Peace - Its Time To Get Out The Chalk again!

Mayday Global Chalk4Peace - Its Time To Get Out The Chalk again!

Invite all your friends to join in with this global event here:
http://www.facebook.com/editevent.php?guests&eid=102523387344

http://www.infinitepossibility.org
click on Chalk4Peace for details of past Chalk4Peace Global Events

In 100’s of cities around the world On Mayday -Chalk4Peace

Please copy this & forward this to all your contacts

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
United Kingdom…United States…Egypt…Austria…Germany…Canada…
Ecuador…Puerto Rico… France… Chile… Iran… Iraq… Mexico… Spain…Italy…Cypress…Israel… In hundreds of towns and cities - Everywhere!

“Our Streets Are OUR Media”
WE have TOTAL access -
“We CAN Make the difference”
_______________________________________

http://www.infinitepossibility.org
Changing The World By Changing The Conversation”
Please Support The work of this website

———————————————————-

Mission Possible “Our World Working For ALL of Us”

We CAN Make THE Difference!

MAYDAY 2009 Chalk4Peace!
On the pavements and sidewalks of our towns and cities

You are invited to Take Action! -
For your local organiser, LOOK IN THE MIRROR

It takes very little to participate in the global MAYDAY2009 chalk4peace , all you need is a piece of chalk, you can chalk anything you want: a heart, a smiley face, a word a poem or a flower - on a wall, a pavement somewhere, anywhere! - It washes off in the rain so don’t worry.

Invite all your friends on facebook, myspace etc & beyond, this can
spread faster than ‘flu, break the surface & appear in the mainstream
media.

Invite people to join you, if you have extra chalk, people will want
to join in ‘cos its so much FUN!

Get together in groups, organise chalk4peace parties picnics, print
leaflets, send press releases.

Your participation can be as big or small as you want
Bring some colour into the grey streets & turn our cities into
gigantic art galleries

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCjATioFPCI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpkndYaCYYM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqJrNt9YVyU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBGb9q3F334

(Scroll down for “WHAT CAN YOU DO?” to Participate in this
GLOBAL outpouring of public art. Where we make
our personal statements for peace on the pavements and sidewalks of
our cities all over our world.”)

Chalk4Peace MAYDAY 2009 IS HAPPENING!

All around the globe, together we are decorating, dedicating and
declaring, in deep sincerity our collective call for peace.

Chalk4Peace is about our empowerment. We The People, our global
culture, all people everywhere and our common desire to live in peace.

The Chalk4Peace project has already transformed the experience of
thousands of people attending demonstrations for peace all over the
world during the past 7 years. Chalk4Peace is both a tool and a
conduit for non violent public self expression, and participation in
the growing global movement for peace.

Chalk4Peace is an opportunity for all of us of all ages to make our
feelings known, especially the young, whose future is in dire jeopardy
as our global village falls faster and faster into the fear breeding
fear breeding fear spiral.

Our global culture is teetering on the edge of extinction.

No one person alone can turn this around, but together WE CAN!

“The Structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man, one
party,or one nation. It must be a peace which rests on the cooperative
effort of the whole world”
… Eleanor Roosevelt

Our basic human instincts drive us to seek safety. This is what this
chaos is all about.Our essential human survival instincts are acting
out of context with the wider global cultural need resulting in
mistrust, fear and conflict.

Everywhere the media is bombarding us with WAR TALK, distractions and
negative belief patterns that encourage us to believe that the future
of our world is out of our hands entirely.

One place we still have communal access to, is OUR STREETS.

We can balance our GLOBAL CONVERSATION with collective self-expression
using OUR STREETS AS OUR MEDIA!

Chalk4Peace is one step, a catalyst that can transform our global
conversation as we the people, en masse make our statement that is our
common aspiration for peace.

START NOW! Just DO IT!

Carry some chalk with you, invite a friend with you, to chalk
inspirations on the pavement whenever and wherever you fancy.

Chalk is harmless, cheap and washes away within a few days.

Especially PARTICIPATE On MAYDAY 2009
GLOBAL Chalk4Peace ACTION!

Make it happen in your Community!

(Scroll down for “WHAT CAN YOU DO?”)

Lets us turn our grey streets into a living river of colour and
possibility - With poetry, hearts, peace symbols, empowering
statements, also expressions of our frustrations and despair.

All will be seen for several days by thousands of people, then as they
are washed away by the elements WE CAN CONTINUE to find fresh places
to Chalk4Peace.

We don’t need to be an artist to Chalk4Peace. Every statement, however
small or large becomes part of the amazing tapestry that is our global
future.

This unique event conceivably, could be the largest of its kind in
modern history.

It is a global effort that is happening.

We The People are spreading the word and making the effort to be a
part of this huge creative endeavor to bring Peace back into the
equation.

It is our goal for at least one million or more of us to participate
with this sidewalk/pavement chalk extravaganza, at thousands of
locations, in as many countries, cities and towns around the world as is possible.

So WHAT CAN YOU DO to help make this happen?

1. NETWORK this email to your friends, contacts and where ever else
seems appropriate

2. JOIN the Yahoo group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Chalk4Peace

or send a blank email to:
Chalk4Peace-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

To network with others around the world who will be Chalking4Peace.

3. EMAIL:
viziondanz@infinitepossibility.org
to let us know what you are doing in your community, and please send
us pictures. Or to find out how you can participate in the project.

4. ARRANGE with you local businesses, libraries, churches, mosques,
synagogues, restaurants, supermarkets etc to chalk on the pavement
outside their premises Mayday and whenever else

IDENTIFY public squares such and invite
all your friends and your friends’ friends to show up with a few boxes
of chalk, or even get some from your local quarry.

TAKE extra chalk with you to hand out to passers-by.

5. USE this Email as a press release for you local TV, Radio and Newspapers. Let them know that Chalk4Peace is happening ASAP to get the momentum going.

6. DOCUMENT YOUR Chalk4peace actions with photos and video. Send them
to your local media - copies for our website will be greatly
appreciated - send to:
viziondanz@infinitepossibility.org

7. ENGAGE co-creatively in local communal efforts, strengthen working
relationships and find what it takes
to stand for peace and freedom.

8. Have lots of FUN and keep on
Chalking4Peace after the Mayday event.

“FUN The Final Frontier”

How did Chalk4Peace begin?
“Message in a bottle”
http://www.infinitepossibility.org/chalk/message/
http://www.infinitepossibility.org/chalk
http://www.myspace.com/chalk4peace

Its time for us to move beyond the “No to War” position and come together

“Saying Yes2Peace”

“If we don’t create our future, our past will create it for us”

http://www.infinitepossibility.org/yes1
Lets skip the war bit and just get to the peace

Greet someone new today,
look into their eyes, smile, say hello,
shake their hand …
LET THE PEACE BEGIN!

Brian
:)

1+1=11 — We Are S.Y.N.E.R.G.Y
“There is nothing wrong with our world,
we are just having a weird conversation”
“Reclaim the conversation”
“Our New World Order IS Love
http://www.infinitepossibility.org

Profile @
http://www.infinitepossibility.org/movies
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=522206103
http://uk.youtube.com/profile?user=viziondanz&view=videos
http://www.myspace.com/viziondanz
http://www.myspace.com/chalk4peace
http://www.gunghomedia.co.uk

Social Acupuncture — http://www.infinitepossibility.org/sa

The FreeMind Project — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv4rmwQlfnM

Sunrise Celebration 2009 -The Odessy Continues - Phoenix Rising From
The Floods of 2008
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFunT6c_Pl0

The Synergy Project video– http://youtube.com/watch?v=ecPKHAW0AXA

“Obama - are you the new american zeitgeist” ? - from the global community
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA4jA1YV6bc

The Movement For Peace Enters A New Phase
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cSDimvFYVU

“This is what democracy looks like”
http://youtube.com/watch?v=FZ01Z2pC2Is

Dedicated to the child inside each one of us,
All the children and
All the children to come

Stop War & Make Peace



AFRO SAX - Legendary Orlando Julius Ekemode, featuring Latoya Aduke Ekemode from the album 'Longevity and Reclamation'

'Acid Test memento: I have my Acid Test graduation diploma'

From On the Waterfront by Edward Levine (The New York Times)

19 Apr, 2009

Domains - Stewart Brand

Deceased 1960s pal he'd like to see again: Abbie Hoffman. He was brilliant and a card and dangerous to know and delightful in every way.

His best line: In 1966 I had buttons made with the paranoid-sounding slogan, “Why haven't we seen a photograph of the whole Earth yet?” Well, we got the photos from NASA in 1969.

Moving house: The Mirene is a working, 64-foot-long tugboat built in 1912. We take the boat out cruising from time to time. We turned the wheelhouse and skipper's cabin into our bedroom, with two rooms and a bath below.

Why a boat: The main thing is our houseboat community here, which is exceptionally congenial. The boat is inexpensive to live on, and you have no problem with earthquakes, wildfires or rising sea levels due to global warming.

Green living: I didn't choose the boat because it's green, but it is. It doesn't take much to heat 450 square feet. Cooling is no issue on the water. We have solar panels and a demand water heater and use biodiesel fuel when we cruise.

Morning routine: Get up at 6:30 or 7:00 a.m. The trip from the bedroom involves going down a ladder outside. I breakfast in the galley and then go off to work.

Job description: I design stuff; I start stuff; I found stuff. On the passport I put “writer.”

Bad trip: That was my first trip. I had 400 micrograms of LSD under quite clinical circumstances at a psychological research institute in Menlo Park, Calif. It was in a white room with therapists sitting around.

Good trip: In 1963 or '64 I showed up at the door of Ken Kesey, the novelist and LSD evangelist. I was involved in Kesey's Acid Tests, which were happenings where LSD made its way around and everyone was there to entertain each other.

Acid Test memento: I have my Acid Test graduation diploma. The conceit was, “Can you pass the acid test?” Mine was signed by Neal Cassady, who inspired Kesey and was the model for Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac's “On the Road.”

On the wagon: Since 1969 I haven't used psychedelics. I realized I'd seen all I needed to see.

Drug of choice: I'm stoned right now on two cups of coffee. I'm 70, and the easiest way to young-up your mind is to drink caffeine.

Worst thing about the 1960s: Let's see. I made the mistake of being married during the sexual revolution. Nice marriage; inopportune timing.

~ more... ~

Pacifism and the military-industrial-university complex: Interviewing Mark Rudd

by Bob Feldman for Toward Freedom
7 Apr, 2009

Image
Mark Rudd
Mark Rudd was the chairman of the Columbia University chapter of Students for a Democratic Society [SDS] at the time of the 1968 Columbia Student Revolt; and Rudd’s autobiography, Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weathermen was finally published in March 2009.

In a recent email interview with Toward Freedom, Rudd responded to some questions about how U.S. pacifists might consider responding to the role U.S. universities play in the current historical era of "permanent war abroad and economic depression at home" and about his new book.

Toward Freedom [TF]: In 2009, some U.S. pacifists seem to regard elite universities like Columbia as institutions that have, both historically and currently, opposed war and opposed racism—since they hire both anti-war and African-American professors and administrators, implement affirmative action hiring programs, set up "peace studies" and "African-American studies" departments, steer foundation grants and scholarship money in the direction of students from historically oppressed communities and to local community groups, and provide free or low-rent meeting room space for anti-war students and off-campus pacifist groups.

Yet in the preface to your book, you write that between 1965 and 1968 you were "a member of SDS at Columbia University" and "made as much noise and trouble as possible to protest the university’s pro-war and racist policies." In what ways were Columbia University’s policies "pro-war and racist" in 1968 and in what ways are the policies of Columbia University and other elite U.S. universities "pro-war and racist" in 2009?


Mark Rudd [MR]: The specific demands we raised leading up to the spring of 1968--training and recruitment of military officers for the war in Vietnam, weapons research for the war, the building of a gym in public park land--were only the tip of the iceberg of Columbia's policies. Within months of the strike, the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) produced a book entitled "Who Rules Columbia," in which they detailed the military, State Dept., and CIA contracts and connections with the School of International Affairs, the various geographical "area studies," such as the East Asia Institute, as well as the revolving door between Columbia and the government; also Columbia's expansion into the surrounding community at the expense of non-white residents. Most of these connections and policies are still in place; almost all major research universities are still major war contractors. The point is that student activists have their work cut out for them to research and expose what's correctly called the military-industrial-academic complex.

TF: In chapter 1 of your book, titled "A Good German," you recall that when you first met the then-chairman of Columbia’s Independent Committee on Vietnam (ICV) anti-war student group--current U.S. political prisoner David Gilbert—in early 1966, Gilbert mentioned that in May 1965 his group had "held an antiwar protest at the Naval ROTC graduation ceremony" at Columbia. And later in the "A Good German" chapter you mention that in March 1967 you had "taken part in a sit-in at a Naval ROTC class" at Columbia.

Why did you oppose Naval ROTC at Columbia in the 1960s? And do you think U.S. pacifists should consider opposing ROTC on U.S. university campuses in 2009?


MR: The issue is fundamentally moral. Is the training of people to wage war against other countries, carrying out a criminally aggressive military policy, appropriate in an institution that pretends to seek the truth? Our answer to this question was NO, because we believed in the necessity to oppose U.S. violence as a moral value. Remember, too, that the time we lived in was essentially post-World War II, and the problem of values in society was still being debated in the aftermath of Nazism. I have no doubt that contemporary students will be taking this up again in the near future.

[ ... ]

TF: In your book, you mention that you and Abbie Hoffman were both arrested at a November 1967 anti-war protest in Midtown Manhattan against the Foreign Policy Association giving an award to then-Secretary of State Dean Rusk.

April 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of Abbie’s death. How would you characterize the role that Abbie Hoffman played in U.S. anti-war movement history and his historical relationship to U.S. pacifists and non-violent anti-war activists like Dave Dellinger?


MR: Abbie was essentially a comedian and an organizer. He was not at all violent; he always encouraged mass organizing, though often in the form of provocative guerilla theater, like the Yippies nominating a pig for president in 1968. I forget how he and Dave Dellinger got along in Chicago, both in 1968 and during the conspiracy trial the next year. My guess is that they respected each other. Perhaps you know more specifics.


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Artists against assassination

by Carmela Cruz for Towards Freedom

Source: Foreign Policy in Focus

Babaeng Nakaitim (Woman in Black) by Emmanuel Garibay
Woman in Black
Gabriela Krista Dalena sits on a painter’s stool, narrating a harrowing incident from a night in April 2003. A ray of late morning sunlight comes through the parted doors of the verandah across her. It illuminates the corners of oil paintings hanging on the room’s high walls and the delicate features of terracotta sculptures sitting on the tops of wooden cabinet and tables and lining the wooden floor. Dalena, an independent filmmaker, recalls how 20 men, armed and masked, abducted five of her colleagues, including her ex-boyfriend, a cameraman. The team had just finished a fact-finding mission investigating allegations that soldiers from the Philippine Army had beaten up leftist activists helping peasants in a town in Oriental Mindoro, an island province about four hours from Manila.

Human rights activist Eden Marcellana from Karapatan, a human rights group, and Eddie Gumanoy, a leader of a local peasant organization, were found dead the next day, with bullets wounds and signs of tortures on their bodies. Dalena’s ex-boyfriend survived, but only after being hogtied and threatened with death if he returned to Mindoro.

"He was able to live because Eden told the men, ‘Don’t touch him. He’s just a volunteer. His parents are prominent artists in Manila,’" says Dalena, 31, whose parents are also well-known artists. In the 1980s, her father, Danny Dalena, a painter, had worked as an editorial cartoonist for a newspaper critical of the dictatorial rule of then-president Ferdinand Marcos. Her mother, Julie Lluch, a terracotta sculptor, was a founding member of the feminist group, Kasibulan.

"He was told not to return and to change jobs," says Dalena, who also worked on the films Red Saga and Echoes of Bullets about peasantry and insurgency in the Philippines.

Mindoro’s mountainous terrain has long been a base for the communist rebels, the New People’s Army (NPA). Its jungles and coastal communities have been battlefields for insurgents and military troops. As the communist insurgency across the country rose and fell as a threat to national security, the mostly fishing and farming folks of Mindoro have lived in relative peace, occasionally interrupted by violent skirmishes between the military and rebels. The NPA’s popularity among the Filipino poor has been less due to its communist ideology than to their search for a better life. Its membership has dwindled from about 25,000 in the 1980s to about 7,000 today. With the political killings, however, the NPA has called Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo its "greatest recruiter."

Since 2001, Karapatan has recorded more than 800 extrajudicial murders in the Philippines. Among some of Manila’s intellectuals and artists, these killings have opened new discussions about old and interwoven woes such as peasant landlessness, the powerful oligarchy, and the legacy of colonialism. Following the country’s rich tradition of artistic dissent and nationalist struggle, rock musicians, painters, poets, and other artists have taken up their pens and brushes and video cameras to protest the latest in a long series of political outrages.

~ more... ~

Resist AFRICOM


AFRICOM: The expansion of US military interests on African soil



Making Peace or Fueling War in Africa
By Daniel Volman 14 Mar, 2009
Coauthored with William Minter


At the end of President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony, civil rights leader Rev. Joseph Lowery invoked the hope of a day “when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors.” No one expects such a utopian vision to materialize any time soon. But both Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have spoken eloquently of the need to emphasize diplomacy over a narrow military agenda. In her confirmation hearing, Clinton stressed the need for “smart power,” perhaps inadvertently echoing Obama’s opposition to the invasion of Iraq as a “dumb war.” Even top U.S. military officials, such as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, have warned against overly militarizing U.S. foreign policy.

In practice, such a shift in emphasis is certain to be inconsistent. At a global level, the most immediate challenge to the credibility of change in foreign policy is Afghanistan, where promised troop increases are given little chance of bringing stability and the country risks becoming Obama’s “Vietnam.” Africa policy is for the most part under the radar of public debate. But it also poses a clear choice for the new administration. Will de facto U.S. security policy toward the continent focus on anti-terrorism and access to natural resources and prioritize bilateral military relations with African countries? Or will the United States give priority to enhancing multilateral capacity to respond to Africa’s own urgent security needs?

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A People's History of Iraq: 1950 to November 1963

From Bob Feldman's article in Toward Freedom :


...To counter the continued political influence of the Communist Party of Iraq in Iraqi society during the 1950s and early 1960s, the U.S. government apparently began to encourage the growth of an anti-imperialist, pan-Arab nationalist, but anti-communist, Ba'th Party in Iraq during the Cold War Era. As Rashid Khalidi recalled in his Resurrecting Empire book: "Starting in the late 1950s, this policy ranged from covert sympathy for the Iraqi Ba'th Party to wholehearted backing for dictatorial Ba'thist regimes at various times from the 1960s through 1990."


At first linked to Syria's Ba'th Party branch, when the Iraqi branch of the pan-Arab nationalist Ba'th Party was formed in Iraq in 1952. The group apparently only had 50 members. By 1955, the Ba'th Party in Iraq still had 289 members, although Syria's Ba'th Party had gained control of the Syrian government by 1954. The Iraqi head of state prior to the 2003 U.S. military occupation of Iraq (the currently-imprisoned Saddam Hussein) apparently began his connection to Iraq's anti-communist Ba'th Party in 1955 when he was 18 years-old.


The involvement of the regime's Baghdad Pact ally in the 1956 military attack on Egypt by the UK, French and Israeli governments triggered Iraqi communist-led mass street protests in Iraq between November 1 and November 24, 1956. Although the regime's police were able to suppress the November 1956 street protests, opposition to the monarchy within Iraqi military's officer corps increased...


~ more... ~


Oi Va Voi - Everytime

.

by Stu, 20 Apr, 2009

Really creative video from the UK's Oi Va Voi. "Every third frame of the footage was printed, shredded and shot three times blended with adjacent frames by different stripes configuration."

Video made by Katarzyna Kijek & Przemysław Adamski.


~Source: Chunnel.tv ~

Artist, historian and rebel

From Socialist Worker :

Alan Maass honors a revolutionary who helped keep the history of our movement alive.

Franklin Rosemont (center) with Penelope Rosemont and Paul Buhle (Thomas Good | Next Left Notes)

Franklin Rosemont (center) with Penelope Rosemont and Paul Buhle (Thomas Good | Next Left Notes)

Franklin Rosemont, a historian, poet, artist and lifelong revolutionary, died suddenly April 12 at the age of 65. He was a part of movements for justice that spanned half a century, and as a writer and artist, he helped keep alive the traditions and history of the struggle for a better world.

Franklin was born in Chicago in 1943. His father Henry was a union printer who played a leading role in the nearly two-year-long Chicago newspaper strike of 1947-1949, editing the strike newspaper and writing scripts for a daily radio show, "Meet the Union Printers," broadcast on the Chicago Federation of Labor's station WCFL. His mother Sally was a jazz musician who became president of a union local for women musicians.

Not surprisingly, Franklin was drawn to the left early on--he joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) at age 7. Tiring of high school, he dropped out to hitchhike across the U.S. and Mexico, logging more than 20,000 miles by his count.

One regular stop was San Francisco's North Beach, the heart of beat culture, where he met Lawrence Ferlinghetti and the other poets at City Lights bookstore. Franklin was also drawn toward surrealist literature and art--first encountered, he said, in a high school anthology, where he came across the surrealist proverb "Elephants are contagious."

With U.S. society still in the grips of Cold War conservatism, the appeal of the beats and the surrealists was as a cry of defiance against the conformity of American culture. But Franklin always connected cultural rebellion to a political one, viewing surrealism not only as a form of artistic expression, but as a political philosophy.

By the early 1960s, the civil rights movement was shaking U.S. politics, and a new left was emerging. Back in Chicago, Franklin went to Roosevelt University, then a center of radical activity, and one of the few schools committed to hiring African American faculty--it was known as the "little red schoolhouse."

In the mid-1960s, he and his wife Penelope, a fellow artist, visited Paris, where they met Andre Breton, the main figure of European surrealism. Breton's Surrealist Manifesto, written in the 1920s, insisted on the connection of politics and art. Breton later visited Mexico to meet Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky--together, they wrote the manifesto Toward a Free Revolutionary Art.

Breton found kindred spirits in the Rosemonts. Franklin and Penelope came back to the U.S. and formed the Chicago Surrealist Group. Its members could be found at Solidarity Bookstore or Gallery Bugs Bunny--both places served as meeting space during organizing around the demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

For the Rosemonts, exhibitions of their art went hand in hand with producing leaflets and posters for the struggle. Franklin worked with the IWW and Students for a Democratic Society. He also spearheaded the newspaper Surrealist Insurrection, which was singled out as an inspiration by radical students during the Prague Spring rebellion in Czechoslovakia in 1968.

~ more... ~

How a forest fire may have pushed Thoreau to Walden Pond

From Woods burner by John Pipkin :

But there is one curious event in the life of Henry David Thoreau that has received little attention, and which may have been a formative event, influencing not only his decision to sequester himself at Walden Pond, but also the development of his environmentalist philosophy. On April 30, 1844, Thoreau started a blaze in the Concord Woods, scorching a 300-acre swath of earth between Fair Haven Bay and Concord. The fire was an accident, but the destruction of valuable woodland, the loss of firewood and lumber, and the narrowly avoided catastrophe that almost befell Concord itself angered the local residents and nearly ruined Thoreau's reputation. For years afterward, Thoreau could hardly walk the streets of his hometown without hearing the epithet "woods burner."

That the father of American environmentalism could have been the scourge of the Concord Woods may seem too ironic to be true. Yet, not only did this unlikely event actually occur, but it seems quite possible that, given Thoreau's general lack of direction at the time, as well as his growing interest in pursuing a career as a civil engineer, America's first great naturalist might not have undertaken his Walden experiment at all, had it not been for the forest fire he sparked a year earlier. The fire happened at a time when Thoreau seemed desperately in need of some catalyst to convert his thoughts into action.

There is no shortage of ruminations on fire and firefighting in Thoreau's writing. At the beginning of "Walden" he talks of the penance he sees the people of Concord performing every day in the form of the labor required to live in a society fixated on material success, and he compares them with "Bramins" sitting exposed to flames. In "Henry David Thoreau: A Life of the Mind," Robert D. Richardson goes so far as to suggest that the catastrophe in the Concord Woods might have even been the source of the dreams about "fire and wind-whipped showers of sparks" that Thoreau later describes in his "Ktaadn" essay. However, it would be a mistake, an oversimplification, to read all of Thoreau's later work through the lens of the Concord fire. Rather, the significance of the fire, occurring when it did, may be that it set in motion a series of events that might not otherwise have happened.

~ more... ~

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