February News

2024. Who would have believed that we may very likely be voting on another Biden/Trump election choice?

As we look to energize Create Protest in another critical election year, one that tests our very democracy, we look back at where we began in January 2020, where we realized, with the help of a poet’s lens, that these periods are cyclical.  

“Pity the Nation” was written by Khalil Gibran in 1933, and reinterpreted by Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 2007. We posted these two poems when we launched in 2020, and it continues to be our site’s biggest search link. We re-read both poems and think they are worth sharing again now in 2024. (see poems at end of newsletter)

Let’s look at where we have been, where we are now, and then where we want to go, with intention. How do we learn to recognize these cycles that Gibran and Ferlinghetti illuminate? How will we choose to go through them in this coming year? How will you walk through 2024?  

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Get ready to activate for this 2024 election year by writing postcards to voters!  Order your postcards from Create Protest, write messages and get addresses from Activate America, stamp and mail them to voters across the country.  It’s a great way to take action, to encourage people to get out and vote, to be an active democratic citizen!


Here are a few of the resources that have inspired us recently around active citizenry.  We’d love to hear what’s inspiring you!  

Baratunde Thurston’s How To Citizen podcast

Citizen University - equipping us with tools to build a stronger civic culture

A Braver Way podcast with Monica Guzman about how we can disagree about politics without losing heart.

Disagree Better, a Governor’s initiative on providing tools and training around listening across difference.

David Brooke’s project, Weave, a Social Fabric Project tackles the problem of broken social trust that has left Americans divided, lonely, and in social gridlock. 

Omkari Williams’ new book Micro Activism, on how you can make a difference without burning out.

by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 2007 (After Khalil Gibran)

Pity the nation whose people are sheep   
And whose shepherds mislead them 
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars
Whose sages are silenced  
And whose bigots haunt the airwaves 
Pity the nation that raises not its voice
Except to praise conquerers
And acclaim the bully as hero
And aims to rule the world
By force and by torture
Pity the nation that knows
No other language but its own
And no other culture but its own 
Pity the nation whose breath is money 
And sleeps the sleep of the too well fed
Pity the nation oh pity the people
who allow their rights to erode   
and their freedoms to be washed away
My country, tears of theeSweet land of liberty!

By Khalil Gibran, 1933

Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion.

Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave, eats a bread it does not harvest, and drinks a wine that flows not from its own wine-press.

Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero, and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.

Pity the nation that despises a passion in its dream, yet submits in its awakening.

Pity the nation that raises not its voice save when it walks in a funeral, boasts not except among its ruins, and will rebel not save when its neck is laid between the sword and the block.

Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggler, and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.

Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpetings, and farewells him with hootings, only to welcome another with trumpetings again.

Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years and whose strong men are yet in the cradle.

Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation.