“Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never”

by jim on November 9, 2016

5481167_originalThose words from Winston Churchill hung on a hand-drawn, four-foot long poster above the door of the Downwinders' first office in central Cedar Hill throughout the 1990's. 

They were still there in the fall of 1999 when we lost our six-year, six-fgure fight to keep TXI from getting a state permit to burn hazardous waste in obsolete kilns – more than 10 years after they'd already begun the practice. 

Both the quote and office were long gone in 2006 when we started our Green Cement campaign to try to stop the burning of hazardous waste through local procurement ordinances. 

By 2008, when TXI announced they were indeed going to stop burning waste, the sign itself was just a memory. But we never, never, never, never gave in. Despite the election of W as Governor, and then president. Despite both a hostile state and federal government. Despite getting our ass kicked. Hard. We dusted ourselves off, got back up, and started again. 

Our fight over waste-burning took 14 years, and spanned three different presidential administrations. 

No doubt about it. We all just got our ass kicked yesterday. Hard. Our collective butt is red and sore and it's perfectly natural not to want to put it in a position to be kicked again, to avert another possible ass-kicking, to avoid conflict for awhile. But you must resist that urge. Instead, we have to regroup and keep fighting. Hard. 

There are some epic battles coming up. Their results are not decided yet. We need your participation to stand a chance. Unlike elections, we don't need 51% to win many of them. Just a critical mass of people like you. Yes, there's always the possibility of getting your ass kicked again. But there's also the possibility of you kicking some ass.

And if you want to learn how to be a better ass kicker, then we suggest this bit of training. 

The point is, go ahead and lick your wounds however you must, but don't check out of political action because of the election results this year. We need you back here on the front lines asap, now more than ever, because the challenge is greater than ever. As one of our College of Constructive Hell-Raising guest lecturers, Changa Masomakalia, wrote in a post last night:

This is your Reconstruction period. 
This is your Civil Rights Movement. 
This is your moment. 
What are you going to do with it?

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