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Change comes from actions, not votes

In this circa 1960 file photo, Dorothy Day is seen. In his speech to Congress, Pope Francis highlighted the contributions of Americans he said helped shape fundamental values that will “endure forever in the spirit of the American people.’’ Day, long a revered figure among Catholic progressives, founded the Catholic Worker Movement in the 1930s as she sought to help the poor and homeless. A pacifist, Day was arrested many times as she fought to bring attention to the plight of the poor and working class.
In this circa 1960 file photo, Dorothy Day is seen. In his speech to Congress, Pope Francis highlighted the contributions of Americans he said helped shape fundamental values that will “endure forever in the spirit of the American people.’’ Day, long a revered figure among Catholic progressives, founded the Catholic Worker Movement in the 1930s as she sought to help the poor and homeless. A pacifist, Day was arrested many times as she fought to bring attention to the plight of the poor and working class. ((AP Photo, File))

It is noteworthy that November 8 is Election Day and Dorothy Day's 110th birthday. Dorothy was co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement and is currently on track for sainthood in the Catholic tradition.

Long before Dorothy was involved with the worker movement she was a journalist writing for The Call and The Masses in New York City. She was also a suffragette advocating for the right of all women to vote. She was arrested at the White House demanding that right and went on a bitter hunger strike while imprisoned in Occoquan, Va.

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Regardless, Dorothy never voted. She recognized quite clearly that the elites and corporate power, what we now call the 1 percent, control all elections. Maintaining a two party system keeps things in proper order. She agreed with the late Phil Berrigan that "if voting could change things, it would be illegal."

Real and lasting change comes from the bottom, from the groundswell of the marginalized, from those locked tight in poverty and from those who believe that nonviolent solutions to massive injustices here and all over the planet are the only solutions that will have a lasting effect. The deceitful Donald Trump and the trustless Hillary Clinton are both aligned with the 1 percent, the raging and always hungry military and the corporate giants.

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The election is rigged in favor of the wealthy, the arrogant and all those who believe in military solutions to all problems. Think about that on Election Day. It was Dorothy Day's birthday, and she never voted. Dorothy was on to something. You vote with your life. It's more important than the ballot.

Brendan Walsh, Baltimore

The writer is co-founder of Viva House.

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