Writer & Thinker Arun Gupta Talks Activism at Liam Flynn’s Ale House, August 2, 7pm

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Genuine courage means looking honestly at ourselves, and wrestling with the questions we would rather ignore. Arun Gupta, writer and activist, will speak on resistance and challenging the norm at Liam Flynn’s Ale House (22 W. North Ave. Baltimore, MD 21201) on Friday, August 2 at 7pm. Our favorite radicals, Red Emma’s, are co-sponsoring Gupta’s appearance.

Gupta is the co-founder of NYC’S The Indypendent, Occupy the Wall Street Journal, and a regular contributor to Salon, The Guardian, and AlterNet.

Gupta argues that, “Nearly everywhere I have gone in the U.S. there is pervasive fear: of poverty, of joblessness, of the police, of the state. In such an atmosphere, few people are willing to speak their minds and fewer still stand up for their rights, or the rights of others. Where fear rules, democracy is absent…”

“Many of us are afraid to challenge our assumptions, examine our failures and perhaps most of all, are afraid to admit we don’t know everything and maybe are not right all the time.”

Gupta insists a path forward must directly challenge various forms of fear: fear of the state, corporations, and police, including identifying those fears, and building authentic relationships and communities of trust and solidarity.

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Standing Up for Justice

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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picket lineDr. King called for a radical transformation of values, a movement from “a thing-oriented society to a people-oriented society.” We are still not there. Yet every moment each of us are presented with choices to shift from love over visceral hatred, truth instead of mendacity.

I stood up with a handful of folks on Black Friday to protest the world’s largest retailer’s poor treatment of its workers – some drivers honked their horns, others ignored us, while many looked puzzled. Who were these people with signs, and why didn’t they shop like everyone else?

According to Making Change at Walmart, an advocacy organization, “An employee who works Walmart’s definition of full-time (34 hours per week) makes just $15,500 per year. That means hundreds of thousands of people who work full-time at Walmart still live below the poverty line.”

Americans like to think of ourselves as non-conformists, but most of us are deeply afraid to question “normalcy.” Some who buck against convention increasingly do so from the comfort of smart phones or social media (not that this is not activism), but it does not replace the physicality of being on the ground, having a presence.

I have attended other rallies, but something shifted in me that day as I raised my voice, moved my body to the drum beat, and held up my handmade sign. Another kind of courage, a raw determination to stand up for justice beyond my laptop keyboard, a willingness to ask myself increasingly tough questions like what my choices mean for others who live in the developing world. How do the bargains we receive bamboozle us, tie us to a myopic way of seeing that worships materialism?

Standing up for justice is never convenient or comfortable, but it is necessary. The world we tolerate is the one our children will inherit. Justice and truth cannot wait, so keep moving and pushing, another way is possible.

Talking with Inspiring Activist Damien Nichols of Occupy Baltimore

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Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
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Damien Nichols and I
Photo Credit: Keston De Coteau 

Damien Nichols, activist, Occupy Baltimore organizer and self-described “creative visionary,” doesn’t speak in slogans because he lives them, quoting Gandhi and Margaret Meade with ease. Gregarious and optimistic, one leaves his presence believing another world is possible, despite the obstacles.

As I interviewed him tonight (video of our talk coming soon, produced by Keystone Productions), Dr.Wayne Dyer’s definition of inspiration as “living in spirit and alignment with our purpose,” came to mind.  Damien is living in spirit, completely immersed within his calling – creating change and speaking the language of the possible. Where others see obstacles, he sees opportunity.

I left the Occupy Baltimore site “in spirit” or inspired by the beauty of community, and the tremendous courage of so many who refuse to accept that what has been must always be.

Here’s How You Can Get Involved:

1.Visit the Occupy Baltimore Site – McKeldin Square (corner of Pratt & Light streets).  After you arrive
    and start making friends, join a committee, or attend a general assembly meeting (every evening at 8pm).

2. Visit the Occupy Baltimore website @ http://www.occupybmore.org/ for up-to-date info.  You can also
     follow the group on Facebook or Twitter or join the Occupy Baltimore Google group.

3. Donate money, food, or clothing to the cause.