Things are still fairly crazy on our lovely planet, but it seems that this is a period where things are shifting. Women have been honored with the Nobel Prize and there are progressives in the streets of cities across the United States expressing our desire for great shifts. Best of all, we seem to be witnessing a shift in the national consciousness.
Our Own Tahir Squares
|Rob Cammiso in Liberty Square|
The protests in the streets of Egypt may have inspired those in Madison, WI, and cracked the code of silence for a global network of humanity that is mad as hell and needs to have its say about the state of the world. I remember watching the Arab Spring unfold on CNN International and wondering if such a thing could ever be possible here, or if the U.S. would simply lapse into another winter of discontent. So I am thrilled by the latest developments. Oddly, Tahrir Square is more familiar to me than Liberty Square. I have walked the streets of Cairo many times, unlike Wall Street. So I was not surprised at how beautiful and peaceful the Egyptian protest was. In fact, if demonstrators had not been attacked by what even the Arab media referred to as “Mubarak’s thugs,” there would likely have been no Libya moment there. The same is true of the Wall Street protests. But then the police did what police so often do when faced with protesters. They swarmed into a peaceful situation and asserted authority where none was needed, required, or desired. Imagine how things could be from this point on if the cops determined to protect the peaceful protests that are our right. The smart thing for them to do would be to use the orange netting for traffic control, allowing both demonstrators and drivers to coexist in an easier, friendlier manner, so we could all just have a nice day.
There are many reasons why I think these demonstrations are important. Chief among them, which should be obvious from the title of this Blog and my book-in-progress, is that we the people must not just stand by and wait while we let the government do its thing. Also, we Progressives must wake up to the danger of the damn Tea Party and stop them from having their way with our country. If the Republican debates aren’t frightening you into action, you are either not watching, which is insane given the temperament of the times, or you must have slept through the candidates’ litany of hate speech directed at everything we hold dear, from human values, to human rights, to a host of other rights that we have fought wars to secure, and their celebration of and love for profit at the expense of all but the top one percent and Wall Street. But most of all, I am completely thrilled to see all of the young people who have come out to express their intolerance for the greed of corporate America and those who swill at its trough. I was afraid that America would never grow another protest generation. I have never been happier to be wrong!
What We Can Do:
What We Can Do:
- Find and join in whatever demonstrations in solidarity to the Occupy Wall Street Movement that you can
- Decide what you want to get out of joining in for yourself. The political wins are pretty obvious, but what would make it a personal win as well?
- Imagine a world with the kind of social and economic equity that supports your own idea of a strong society that serves the wealthy, the middle class and the less fortunate
- What more can you do to make that happen and when will you begin?
I could not agree more Sal. Someone said to me, "but the Wall Street protestors are not presenting a coherent agenda." My response was, "They are, they are saying this society no longer functions appropriately it needs to be fixed." The same happened in Tahir Square, in Tunisia, in Syria, in Yemen, the protestors have not emerged with 'agendas' other than a profound sense that their society is dysfunctional. We applauded those protests, why do some question these? If we look at working conditions and how wages have barely risen over the last three decades, yet work hours have dramatically increased and worker rights have diminished is that not cause for protest? In this society where bosses earn up to 400x more than their employees - surely that should give cause for concern? How can we expect such inequity to go uncontested?ReplyDelete
More street theatre. A People's Choir. More public art performance. More swarming of people with signs, songs and message (outreach!) less marching in a police-escorted parade.ReplyDelete
If you haven't seen it yet, this is my kind of action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p6_p_yRy-s
Non-stop til we get there Sal
Good luck with the site, the book and the action
E double trouble
I agree wholeheartedly on all fronts. So heartened by what's going on!ReplyDelete
This is great, Sally! Can't imagine it said better! I'm focusing on advocacy more than on protestation these days, but both are needed. My energy has been going into arts advocacy more and more. A society that honors its arts and its artists is less likely to become dehumanized. It also goes hand in hand with economic prosperity. I feel empowered by the work I do to promote and encourage recognition of the value of the arts in a healthy society.ReplyDelete
Jane I would love to know more about the work you are doing. It sounds wonderful and effective.ReplyDelete
Keep on shouting and whispering and speaking out!ReplyDelete