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Sir, I Must Protest

October 5, 2011

Everyone loves a good protest march. Well, not everyone. Chris doesn’t. He calls it Throwing Frisbees for Peace, because the connection between protest and reform is so tenuous, and he thinks (rightly) that there are more effective ways to effect change.

I say that the right to peacefully assemble is one of things that makes us American, and if Things Are Afoot, I want to be part of it, unless, as in the case of the Tea Party movement, I get the wiggins. Back when we lived in Washington, DC, I used to swing by the Mall whenever there was a well-organized march, not to wave a sign and yell and scream so much as to see what was up. One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t ever make it down to the annual Stonewall march when we lived in New York, and one of the things I miss about living in Miami is the King Mango Strut  which isn’t exactly a protest march but it has the same vibe.

Friday, I hear, the Occupy Wall Street movement is coming to Dallas. And the weather is glorious. And Catherine has the day off of school. And it would be educational for her, right? RIGHT?

On the one hand I would feel like the world’s biggest hypocrite attending because my comfortable lifestyle is funded through Chris’s work in America’s financial sector. On the other hand, Chris is a pension actuary, so if there is a “side” he’s on the good guy’s side, helping companies pay pensions to their retired employees which, no matter how you look at it, is a very good idea. And I do believe that this protest thing might actually take off and change some stuff, and I also do truly believe that something is rotten in the state of Denmark, if Denmark is the way our government and corporate sector are all snuggled up in bed together. So I am contemplating heading down there to see what’s up.

Most of all, I am inspired by this lady. She’s someone I have known since the day I was born. Her husband is a decorated war hero, a career military guy whose retirement is so recent in my mind I still feel the urge to salute him. She’s one of the people who convinced me to join the Junior League. This is the lady who taught me to make salad, eat lobster, and never, ever give up on anything. She once saw Albert Einstein walking across the green at Princeton, remembers it, and tells the story.

I figure if my Godmother is telling me to quit bitching and start a revolution, I’d better get on it.

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3 Comments
  1. doris permalink

    Protest does not directly cause change, but it does get people’s attention. It helps those who would otherwise feel hopeless stand for themselves and say “no, this is no longer OK.” It normalizes the notion that things are “rotten in the State of Denmark.” Demonstrations also help those who think they do not agree recognize their common cause.

    The various “races” and “fun runs” and other pink things taking place this month (Breast Cancer Awareness month) are offshoots of demonstrations. They started as marches in memory and support and became fund raisers.

    The willingness of people to risk arrest and speak truth to power is a very strong thing and I think it is important for children to know that it is not bad or disloyal to speak up.

    I grew up a Philadelphia Quaker taking part in candlelight vigils and learning to tell the honest protesters from the outside agitators. It was a valuable education. I do not know where my grown son is tonight. I believe he is demonstrating. Which is apt, as the financial devastation caused by corporate misdeeds has interfered both with his education and with his ability to find work.

  2. Aunt Lee permalink

    I could not agree more with you and Doris’s comments.

  3. SWEET! And what Doris said!

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