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Posted by meganmonkey in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Tue Jul 18th 2006, 09:30 AM
For the record - I was in DC in October of 2002. And in January of 2003. I was in Detroit and Lansing and Ann Arbor many times throughout 2003 and 2004 and 2005. I was in DC again in September of 2005, and stayed beyond the permitted Saturday march and participated in the civil action on the following Monday with Cindy Sheehan, Code Pink, UFPJ and CALCI. We surrounded the White House and refused to leave the sidewalk and were arrested. Imagine if there were 400,000 instead of 400 of us willing to get arrested? I was also in NYC a few months ago for another big one. Not to mention that I protest almost EVERY DAY Monday thru Friday in Ann Arbor for an hour and a half after a full day's work, and I have been doing so since early April...

But when it comes to protests that actually change things, I am NOT talking about permitted marches on weekends in DC being the answer. You are right in saying that they don't work. What I am talking about is mass, unpermitted protest, civil disobedience by the hundreds of thousands, in cities across the country, during the work week, disrupting government offices, media offices, for days in a row. How do you think the civil rights movement happened? By Saturday afternoon la-di-da marches that everyone ignored? NO. How about the Vietnam War protests?

People got out in the streets and wouldn't back down. THEY WOULDN'T BACK DOWN. They didn't go out for 4 hours and then come home and wonder why it didn't work.

If we did that today, if we refused to back down, would the police fire pepper spray? Probably in some towns. Would some people get hurt? Probably in some towns. Would some police side with the people? Pretty likely in a lot of places. Would some military side with the people? Again, pretty likely, since those folks are getting fucked the worst in this mess, as far as the US goes.

So the bottom line is that most people don't seem to want to risk anything. They live their relatively comfortable lives in their air-conditioned homes and listen to the news and say 'oh, that's so sad, I wish all those people weren't suffering so' and deep down they know that it is their tax dollars, their leaders making these horrors happen, and by sitting back and not risking anything to stop it they are complicit, they are responsible. And they go to their doctor because they can't sleep at night and wonder why they need to take Ambien and Prozac and it's because they are in denial that they are guilty of murder. And you may think I am overstating it and that's fine, think what you will, maybe I am. But there is some truth to it. And unless you are in total denial you know it too.

As I mentioned in a different post, most of the people who I speak to who are receptive of the idea of mass strikes are non-voters, non-political people, who have known all along that their gov't doesn't work for them (don't forget, these people make up almost half the US adult population -they are the people, not the sheeple, or ignorant, or apathetic, or whatever else people around here like to think...). The Dem activists? They drive by and honk and wave and thank us for protesting (as if we are doing it on their behalf? Please...). But the blue-collar, low income struggling people who are on their way to the bus stop after a day's work cleaning hotel rooms - THEY are the ones who will stop and protest for half-an-hour and catch the next bus out-of-town.

So IMO, based on my experiences in 'the real world' and here on DU, I have to say that the people are ready for this shit, most of them just need some leadership. And the partisan activists are holding EVERYONE back by being so goddamn careful and comfortable.

btw, my frustration and anger (which I am guessing are pretty evident in this post) aren't meant to be directed to you in particular - I have been needing to get this out of my system for awhile. But I am hella frustrated with the attitudes of many on DU. It's like everyone sees the problem, there is only one time-tested solution, it is a difficult one, and everyone is trying to avoid having to do it. But meanwhile people are screaming in pain all over the world because of us, and I for one can't take it anymore. I can't imagine how a child in Baghdad who listens to bombs all night, every night, can take it
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meganmonkey
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megan
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Member since Wed Oct 6th 2004
Michigan, US
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