Step in Time to the Revolution
Last week, my brother asked me to get together with him at the Seattle Folklife Festival to contradance. I told him, "Sorry Paul, I don't dance.". Never have, never will. Paul patiently explained to me that contradancing has nothing to do with blue suede shoes or fancy footwork. It is the soul of the new revolution-it is what people do in-between planning WTO protests and rallies for justice.
So, I told him I would give it a try on Saturday. Saturday came and I wandered into the middle of a contradance event with more than 200 people moving at once. The movements were so incredibly complex and incomprehensible that I left.
Paul then invited me to a class to learn the basics. In 30 minutes, I got all the basic moves needed to do almost any dance. I also found a source for STOP THE WAR T-shirts and bought some newspapers which were put out by the poor and homeless in Seattle (these are fantastic newspapers-if you want a copy, let me know and I will tell you how to get one).
So, the next night I participated. I can't tell you the feeling I had-you connect with everyone in the room, even if there are hundreds. I danced with a 60 year old Chinese woman who could not speak English and an eight year old girl who could not quit talking. I say "dance"-I am using that term pretty loosely since most of this contradancing consisted of walking from person to person with a partner (and that partner changed with every dance): there was no fancy footwork or anything intimidating like that. And people brought their families, friends brought their friends, some people just wandered in off the street and everyone connected.
There are contradances in your area, but I am not sure if they are used for the same purpose. If not, perhaps it is time for you to connect with your local contradance group and, during the breaks, take to the mic and announce that
-your group needs more volunteers in organising rallies,
-everyone in the room is invited to join your group and
-we are a community and as a community we stand united against the loss of our civil liberties, the jailing of our fellow brothers and sisters in the United States of America and all injustice which has been foisted upon us by the Right and their corporations in order to disrupt our communal lives.
Contradancing is the event where your announcements can have an impact.