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The following is Joan's endorsement of Senator Barack Obama and his quest to win the Democratic nomination in the 2008 election for President of the United States.

    I have attempted throughout my life to give a voice to the voiceless, hope to the hopeless, encouragement to the discouraged, and options to the cynical and complacent. My weapons have been a singing voice and a commitment to nonviolence in both word and action. From Northern Ireland to Sarajevo to Latin America, I have sung and marched, engaged in civil disobedience, visited war zones, and broken bread with those who had little bread to break - for all of which I am richer in spirit. The experience dearest to my heart was marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he led the movement to end racism, bigotry, misuse of power, and poverty. Those were times when sacrifice was an accepted and meaningful concept, before greed had swelled to the proportions it has today.

    Through all those years, I chose not to engage in party politics. Though I was asked many times to endorse candidates at every level, I was never comfortable doing so. At this time, however, changing that posture feels like the responsible thing to do.

    I am endorsing a candidate for the office of President of the United States. If anyone can navigate the contaminated waters of Washington, lift up the poor, and appeal to the rich to share their wealth, it is Barack Obama. If anyone can bring light to the darkened corners of this nation and restore our positive influence in world affairs, it is Barack Obama. If anyone can begin the process of healing and bring unity to a country that has been divided for too long, it is Barack Obama.

    It is time to begin a new journey.

    Joan Baez

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