Nothing has actually changed yet, but the following changes have been promised by UFPJ:
— The Working Group on Accountability and Prosecutions will be permitted to have a listserve and a webpage.
— The Working Group will be permitted to submit items for inclusion in weekly Emails and in stand-alone emergency Emails, and to have someone respond with a yes or a no, and a why or why not.
— The Working Group will either be integrated into the “Yes We Can” campaign that has come to consume all of UFPJ’s time and energy, or it will be permitted to create serious work separate from that campaign. UFPJ has not decided which of these alternatives to go with. Neither will be easy. Neither has previously been contemplated. The prior arrangement was to brush Accountability and Prosecutions aside as unimportant and ignore those working on them. Either solution to taking the work seriously would be a major change for the better and a good reason to take more seriously UFPJ’s commitment to follow through on the decisions of its members. And that would be a good reason to keep supporting UFPJ.
*Note: the first two of these three things had also been promised earlier, beginning in mid-December, but they have been promised again.
*Also Note: the Working Group has had a small listserve for conveners for some weeks through which it has been doing a lot of work that has been ignored and gone nowhere. The outstanding request is for the long-promised larger listserve that UFPJ members at large can join. This point was never unclear to UFPJ.
UPDATE: UFPJ has put out this response (PDF).
Other than the renaming of the group to remove the word Prosecution and the pretense that we wanted the conveners listserve that we already had, the plea to be nice seems pretty reasonable, the commitment to actually do things seems encouraging.
These questions remain:
When will we have a webpage?
When will we have the larger listserve (claiming it “exists” but that we can’t be told how to find it yet doesn’t quite make it usable much less justify claims that we should have known it “existed”)?
When will we have even a response to the submissions we’ve made of emergency urgent Emails to go out and items to go in weekly Emails?
And most significantly, there is no answer here as to whether the Working Group on Accountability AND PROSECUTION will be part of the “Yes We Can” campaign or will be part of other major work. What exactly will be done with a separate flyer from our group? And why is there no mention of the fact that we’ve already drafted and submitted such a flyer and received no response to it at all?
I’m not asking that all of these questions be answered today — that would get tiring after two months of it. But I’d be inclined to think that if all of this is still in the promises stage in March it will be beyond reasonable to conclude that something is wrong.
If, on the other hand, words become actions, I’ll be inclined to tell everyone to support UFPJ as much as possible.
And if it ever becomes possible to have things corrected or “cleared up” within a few hours as claimed in UFPJ’s response (cleared up how? did anyone receive any corrected talking points?) I will consider urging people to take out loans to fund UFPJ. I’m serious. A peace movement that works would be worth a great deal of sacrifice.
Well that didn’t take until March. Within 30 seconds of posting the last update I got from UFPJ access to a larger listserve, and a link to a webpage. The webpage should appear any moment now at:
The webpage should have a link for those who want to join the listserve of the UFPJ Working Group on Accountability AND PROSECUTION.
That’s a start, huh?