Utah Phillips left us this past week. Since I heard the news, I have pulled out Fellow Workers and have been listening to it repeatedly. I tend to do that. "The Most Dangerous Woman," about Mother Jones, is a personal favorite. "The most dangerous woman,... 83 years old,..." in Ani's unique twang. And Utah says, "She wasn't an organizer, she was an agitator."
We need to remember the stories of those that fought for us to have rights. We can't even take the eight hour day for granted. Utah would remind us of this. Collaborations such as Fellow Workers with Ani will hopefully help ensure that the struggles that others have endured for us will not only be remembered, but also remind us that there are other rights that we need to stand up for.
Summer posted an article by Amy Goodman about Utah. Two quotes struck me:
After spending time postwar Korea, Utah said, "It all has to change. And the change has to begin with me."
And he remembers Ammon Hennacy saying, "You’re going to have to lay down the weapons of privilege and go into the world completely disarmed."
I just watched a BBC Documentary about Jean-Paul Sartre that At the Moment posted which is also influencing me. We need to make sure that we are engaged because we do create our world at least to some extent.
I drove one of the teens I work with home today and played "The Most Dangerous Woman" on the way. He was polite and listened. I am not sure what he really thought of it. I know that he is a thoughtful young man and at least filed it away in respectful acknowlegement. On the drive, he also told me that he was doing a short report on Lebanon. He hadn't realized that I grew up there. He just thought it sounded like a place he wanted to learn more about.
Connections. This is where it begins.