Mar 22Liked by Garrett Bucks

Woof, this really hits. I had to take my time and read it in small chunks, because I have so many feelings and vivid memories about this era, because of the age I was then.

It feels almost too on the nose, but I swear it's true: on March 20, 2003, I was 16 years old and at a youth retreat at the Quaker summer camp that I'd attended growing up. Since this was before most people had cell phones, at least anyone I knew, we found out when someone announced before dinner that the bombing had started, and we joined hands around the room. I remember crying, and feeling taken aback by having an emotional reaction instead of an intellectual one-- I was a fervent baby leftist and also hella traumatized and mainly pretty divorced from my feelings.

I think a lot about the type of naivety you describe of young white leftists in that era, having also been one! I'm sure a lot of people experience their own coming of age similarly, regardless of era, and map their own move from naivety into disillusionment or to more complicated forms of hope, onto the era writ large, but damn is it ever striking in that era.

For a while I flirted with the idea of writing a novel set in that era, since I would really really love to read an early 2000s period piece about what that was all like-- if anyone could recommend one, I'd be very interested!

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Mar 20Liked by Garrett Bucks

Thanks for sharing Garrett. I needed this today. I'm reminded of the quote (mis)attributed to Martin Luther but is lovely nonetheless: If I believed the world were to end tomorrow, I would still plant a tree today.

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I'm a little older than you, so my experience of this realization came with the first Gulf wars of the 1990s which I protested with the fervence of youth. I went on to spend the next 15 years enmeshed in radical activism around many causes, all of them hopeless from the start. I am now, 30 years later, about to retire from being president of my union local. I don't know that I have been naive in all my activities despite the fact I've picked the "losing" side over and over. I like to think that despite the world as it is, I've been able to carry a vision forward of something different- more compassionate, more hopeful, more generous. Perhaps I am biased by my own life, but I would call that a strength of character that this world woefully needs these days.

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That last paragraph really touched me. I’m not helpless and it’s not all hopeless and in the choosing we reclaim our humanity. ❤️

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Mar 21Liked by Garrett Bucks

Oh man this brought it all back, thanks for writing it but it took me a while to steel myself to read the whole thing. I was in Sheffield, in the north of England, and when we protested it felt like the whole city was on our side-as it pretty much was. And London on the day of the global protest was just something else. The protest seemed to take over the whole city.

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