by Frank Panzarella, PAR Committee
The PAR Newsletter has always had as its mission the bringing together of activists by sharing reports of the events and ongoing work of groups to build a progressive community.
Sometimes we have received articles that are more like critiques of controversial issues that are important to particular groups but tended to emphasize differences within the progressive and broader community.
As we tend to focus on community unity and building a broad progressive constituency, we have rejected such articles and asked groups to send reports that show what groups are doing.
We recognize that within activist circles and the broader population there are many complex issues that can sometimes divide us and that require ongoing dialogue.
In this spirit, we would like to present a dialogue page in the PAR newsletter that will act as a place for groups to express differing views on controversial issues.
We would like this to be a page where groups focus specifically on their own positions on these issues, points of possible unity with others, and not as a place to criticize other groups or individuals with whom they disagree.
As an example, some activists see police violence as a reason to defund the police departments and to completely change the nature of “policing.” Others in our community feel the police are still necessary and look to other reforms. Discussions of such issues may help people find common ground and programmatic unity to further the causes dear to our hearts or at least to clarify differences.
Other examples, for instance, are the strong differing views on the war in Ukraine or the differing views on political violence in Syria.
We hope organizations will take up this offer and contact us with issues they would like to see on the dialogue page. The PAR committee looks forward to providing a forum for all to sort out controversial issues and build a stronger progressive family.