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Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 19:31:59 -0000
From: gonzolawyer@comcast.net ("maywood2008")
Subject: [lpaz-Pima] Re: Western Libertarian Alliance
To: lpaz-Pima@yahoogroups.com
Reply-To: lpaz-Pima@yahoogroups.com

I'm going to respond to a couple of different ideas expressed on this list in the last few days in explaining why I think WLA is a good thing.

Jonathan suggested that we have neither the numbers nor the unity to support Joe and/or Scott. David Green said that attendance at the protest was indicative of the individuals who valued being there. I think that of these two statements, DG is more correct.

LWV silenced the Libertarians. Absent any other ideas, Jason and I decided to organize a sign-holding protest and asked other libertarians and Libertarians to come and show support for the LP. Such an action did not require a vote by PCLP or ALP Inc., therefore there was no need for unity as a broad concept. Even if some of us disagree with others on a number of issues, we can choose to work together on the issues where we do agree.

As for support, the protest gained additional attention with every additional person who showed up to hold a sign. We got attention initially because there were a dozen of us; we would have gotten less if we had only 2 people and we would have gotten more if we had more people. This is not the kind of action where if you must have 100 people or else it's not worth anything.

We were asking for individuals to come in their own capacity. And as DG rightly pointed out, individuals were asked to choose for themselves whether to come.

Which leads nicely into Western Libertarian Alliance.

The one thing that libertarians do better than anyone else out there is grassroots activism. It's about education and outreach - we have the right ideas, and therefore we make for good teachers. We will affect the political system only after we affect the culture. Electoral success on a major scale will only happen when there is a culture of freedom among the voters. WLA is nothing more than a name to describe libertarians who believe, among other things, that we have to get out there and affect the culture.

There is a reason why there are no officers and no bank account. We want every individual to do as much or as little as he/she wants. We don't want to give anyone the idea that "Person X holds Office Y in Organization Z and therefore X will take care of it." If it is something that you believe needs to be done, and you don't see anyone else doing it, then you can make it your job and get as many people to come along as you are able.

It was in this spirit that Jason and I organized the LWV Debate Protest, and it is in this spirit that we organized the Sept 13 meeting, and it will be in this spirit that we will organize other events in the future that we consider important. But at the same time, Jason and I don't "run" WLA; it's a nationwide alliance ("Western" signifies our culture, not our geographical location) and there are no "animals who are more equal than other animals." Feel free to call your own meetings if you don't like the day or time or you just want to do something else.

Everyone else should feel equally empowered to suggest and organize activities and ask others to come along. Jason and I considered the protest to be the best thing to do, but others with better ideas could come along and suggest and do other things. And if someone with another suggestion for Sunday had followed through, maybe we would have had TWO events running concurrently; and that probably would have been quite interesting! :-)

With regard to Joe's case, one of the agenda items for the WLA meeting will be what to do on September 16, which is his court date. Some have expressed disagreement with pursuing this course of action, and in some situations I'd have to agree. But in this case, Joe was completely in the right. He was not being civilly disobedient, because he broke no law.

In fact, it is my understanding that Scott Stewart deserves credit for putting into place a policy that allowed Joe to do what he was doing. So Scott, credit given where credit is due.

And since Scott is on the PCC Board, and is concerned with protecting the PCC assets from being drained by a possible lawsuit, Scott might want to sponsor a resolution to the PCC Board stating that the campus officers acted contrary to published policy and that their actions were not approved by the Board. This way, the officers can hang out to dry along with LWV.

Joe might be getting more "government numbers" befre the end of this campaign. Of course those decisions are his, but I know that he will ask for our support on whatever course of action he takes. Each of us will decide whether to support those actions with our own voices.

But I think it is self-evident that libertarians in Pima County need to be doing SOMETHING to get into the public eye - preferably something that is principled and will not have much (if any) negative backlash. For example, we won't suggest that a Libertarian make a protest by selling drugs on elementary school property. But we have to keep our eyes open for any and all opportunities.

When we were deciding on the date of the first meeting, we thought it would be best for it to be after the primary (so we knew who the nominated candidates would be), and before Joe's hearing, and this was the only day that worked. Future meetings will likely NOT be on Friday nights, but this was our best option given the circumstances. When we decide when to hold metings, we will do everything possible to find a consensus - we won't be taking a vote :-)

And just because we'll be discussing anything and everthing on Friday the 13th, that does not mean that we are precluded from discussing things prior to that time. One thing in particular that I'm happy to see is the heavy increase in traffic on this list. Earlier in the year there were 15 messages a month, and now I'm seeing 15 a day sometimes.

To paraphrase Barry, we're not trying to tear down the building of PCLP. We're trying to build a new building that does different things. And we're trying to keep the channels of communication open so that there is optimal interaction among individuals interested in doing things to advance the cause of freedom.

If you can, please put aside that Friday night to come. If you cannot attend, please do not hesitate to make suggestions either publicly or privately.

David Euchner

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