Times pass and things change. It’s a fact of life. And it’s the present reality for AF&O and The Armchair Activist project.

Long involved in activism, altruism and journalism, I founded the effort in 1996 in the hope of encouraging more people to get involved in citizen action toward making this a better, cleaner, fairer, more compassionate and peaceful world. In the past 10 years, we — myself and the thousands ARMACT’s wide-reaching activities have touched, informed and/or inspired through my reports and editorials published on this site and in publications throughout the US and abroad, the Armchair Activist e-list, and this blog — have been enormously successful in this regard. I can safely say that we have nudged
many people to become active and aware, and this gives me great satisfaction.

But things change.

No, I am not shutting the tent and retiring. Quite the contrary.

As time has flown by, I have grown anxious about the rise of different
technologies. I have pondered the wisdom of saying the same old thing — “freedom and justice for all good – bigotry bad”; “think for yourself”; etc. — over and over. The same old blogging feels ineffective to me when thousands of blogs say roughly the same thing or when non-mainstream blogs are ignored in favor of popular-but-safer centrist alternatives.

At the same time, I am finding much more potential in Internet radio. I’ve run my little station, Grateful Dread Radio, over various portals for the same decade, and more and more people, to my delight, are finding and supporting it. To me, this looks like real possibility — taking my first love, radio; running my own station, a near lifelong dream; and combining it with The Armchair Activist effort, AF&O (which needs renaming; suggestions welcome), and the ARMACT e-list to really spread the message of peace, love, equality and citizen action locally and globally and to organize the listeners — part of the grassroots, after all — into positive, peaceful action for a better world.

To that end, I am changing AF&O and retire from the e-list. Our focus will be making Grateful Dread Radio the best community-service station on the Internet so that we can maximize the good we do for and in the world. AF&O will continue to highlight issues and activism, but as the mouthpiece for the station. I also have started a new mailing list — simply named The List — for Grateful Dread Radio members, listeners who make a recurring financial of $5 or more per month or make in-kind contribution(s) to ensure the station and the Armchair Activist effort’s continuing survival (a route taken simply because after 10 years and recently leaving my job, I can no longer afford to do this on my own).

Longtime AF&O members and supporters know who they are. So do I. Write me – you guys are special to me and thus have an open invitation to become GDR members on a complimentary basis (through March 30, 2007). Your participation in this effort over the years certainly qualifies as in-kind support — please email me or leave a comment telling me who you are and your e-dress and I’ll get you registered.

Through The List, you’ll get activism news (same as here), as well as community-building discussion, activist info – resources – alerts, the monthly station newsletter, and exclusive access to member-only promotions, giveaways, alerts and more.

Of course, if you can become a paying member, it would be a great help. If you wish to make a one-time or recurring contribution to the effort and are able to do so, I encourage and ask you to do so. Grateful Dread Radio does important work: organizing activist and service projects; informing the public about issues mainstream media routinely ignores, presenting alternate points of view; serving as an openly antiwar, progressive presence that speaks out directly and subtly for our issues; and showcasing the beauty of diversity and
tolerance by broadcasting diverse sounds and ideas from artists of varying genres and groups and from just-folks around the globe. Write to me at gdrinfoATgmailDOTcom and I’ll be happy to discuss it with you. (Contributions are NOT tax-deductible because of ARMACT’s political activism.)

I see the possibility for a lot of good being done. Please join us and help us make a better world.

And whatever you decide, THANK YOU for your participation and dedication to the cause. If our paths do not cross again, may you experience prosperity of the soul and live in peace.

More info at GDR’s home site (give it a bit, though – the renovation is under way and will be starting here really soon).

Love and Thanks,

Natalie Davis
Grateful Dread Radio – The Armchair Activist

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