A whirlwind west coast tour aptly called REV COM (short for re-creating revolutionary communities) took place this summer. The event was spearheaded by Cindy Sheehan and the veterans who accompanied her. They committed to spend the year networking, planting seeds of peace, and cultivating those already working on a holistic approach to a new paradigm of thoughtful, meaningful, actual change. A simple, fundamental question was asked: What are you doing in your own communities at a grassroots level to make this world a better place and to make your communities more resilient? The posing of this question seeks to unite both individuals and entities that are forming community at a local level by meeting basic needs, addressing pressing issues surrounding energy use and environmental issues and generating peace.
With that as their focus, Cindy Sheehan and the Veterans for Justice packed up the 35 foot REV COM bus called Squadron 13 and headed out across the landscape in search of answers. That is when the mountain communities of Mariposa, North Fork, and Oakhurst responded together with a resounding: Check out what we are doing to foster more resilient communities! And indeed, the REV COM bus swung through this beautiful mountain community to hear our stories.
The stories told of the wisdom of permaculture, transition towns, growing local organic gardens, seed saving and supporting our local organic farmers to increase food security and sustainability within the food supply. Some demonstrated alternative forms of energy and modes of transportation that use less gas or none at all, as a way of decreasing our dependency on oil and reducing CO2 emissions. Others shared how local currency, bartering and banked hours are helping to stimulate the local economy and keeping revenues closer to home. Still others stressed the importance of being in community with one another, gathering in meditation circles and women’s circles, painting new pictures together. We were inspired to step up, show up and be visible for peace, network with and learn from one another, and share our piece of the puzzle. Face to face, heart to heart dialog was abundant during the potluck that provided a delicious feast for those who attended. And to top it off, Jimmy Collier (musician for Dr. Martin Luther King) who was accompanied by Joe Nelson, played rousing songs throughout the day, reminding us of the importance and joy of music when it comes to re-creating revolutionary communities!
Each story that was shared brought a vital piece of the puzzle of a holistic approach seeking to mitigate a converging global crises (economic, energy and environmental) by engaging in home-grown, citizen-led education and actions designed to increase self-reliance within local communities. These shared stories reflected real grass roots endeavors that are currently in motion cultivating hands-on approaches that implement thoughtful, meaningful and actual change toward supporting sustainable, resilient communities.This coming together of the various people from Mariposa, North Fork and Oakhurst areas to answer Cindy’s original question allowed us to see a larger collective at work as well as provided us with an opportunity to learn from one another and partner with our combined resources. It allowed us to connect the dots and see a larger picture emerge, as we experience our own stories as being housed within a larger framework of many more stories. This is community at its source. We move forward together, one pot-luck at a time, contributing our piece of the puzzle, evolving and re-creating revolutionary community.