By Brad Friedman on 1/14/2005, 7:35pm PT  

We're moved beyond words, frankly.

Activist Doris "Granny D" Haddock, best known for her cross-country walk for Campaign Finance Reform speaks out today with extraordinary eloquence about "Our Velvet Revolution".

(A RealPlayer slideshow of some of her heroic efforts over the last several years is available here.)

She will be participating in several of the upcoming Counter-Inaugural events in DC, and her 95th birthday will be four days later. Her statement, published by Democracy Week today, are meant as her 95th birthday remarks.

Having seen and done as much as she has in her lifetime, only a fool would disregard her wisdom.

And so, on velvet revolutions and the freedoms and pursuit of happiness, we'll quote just a few of her words from her beautiful piece:

We remember and honor the poet revolutionary Vaclav Havel of Czechoslovakia, where Charter 77 rendered the flowers and songs of a velvet revolution more powerful than the guns of oppression. We remember the shipyard hero, Lech Walesa, of Poland. We remember those who stood non-violently in Russia, in Yugoslavia, in Tiananmen Square, in East and West Germany.

When people stand united with certain courage, they get their way.
...
[T]he pursuit of happiness? There it is, a phrase central to the world's idea of America. If some people in this country could erase those words from our Declaration, they would do so--and replace them with something more religious or otherwise authoritarian and demanding of obedience instead of the nurturing of our human potential. But the words remain there on that parchment, and indelibly upon our hearts and imaginations. That is why there is a velvet revolution brewing, and it is not the whining of spoiled children, but the song of freedom of brave men and women who are prepared to let the bales upon their backs fall and mix with the old tea in the harbor.
...
I have long admired the Europeans for the fact that they discuss politics constantly. The sidewalk cafe conversation is superior for the maintenance of democracy, when compared to our sitting in front of endlessly dumbed-down news broadcasts and newspaper accounts. Even during this recent disclosure of election fraud in Ohio, the news channels all but ignored it, and the main story in the New York Times, even as Senators stood against a sham election, was a long report on the disruption made to Congress's mindless train schedule.

The sharing of email and our occasional standing together in protests is the best we Americans can do to create the community of democracy and raise the barricades of its defense. Or is it?
...
This is our Velvet Revolution, American style. We resist what we must and what we can, but our victory is not in defense, but in a cultural offensive made irresistible by the power of love and courage, pulling our people together, and our own lives together, over time.

We have tried this before in America. Things got in our way: drugs, wars, fears. We became parents. We became distracted. It is now time to get it right.

Wow...

Dennis Burke of Democracy Week, who joined Granny D on her walk, follows up her article on the Democracy Week blog with a piece on our Velvet Revolution featuring a short interview with yours truly.

Despite our frequently self-promotional flair here on The BRAD BLOG!!! we assure you it is but a satirical literary device. Of sorts. And in fact even we find ourselves a bit too modest to quote somebody quoting us...At least this evening.

So a link to Burke's fine coverage on how VR came about and a bit on what we hope to accomplish will have to suffice.

We thank both Democracy Week and the inimitable Granny D for both the coverage and the inspirational words of wisdom.

The Velvet Revolution continues...