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Protest as Lifestyle

my 2 cents
I have often advocated demonstrations as direct action. I've marched against pre-emptive war, bombings, genetically engineered foods, sweatshops, and the exploitation of biospheres. I've marched in support of peace, women's rights, and global solidarity among workers.

To what avail? In my lifetime? Little. The movement isn't large enough and quite often my actions have been too radical to convince others to join me.

What will we accomplish by getting in the streets today? The Democrats have not cried "Fraud!" If we stand in Pioneer Square today and shout "Fraud!" we will appear fanatical, insane, ridiculous; all of the things that we ascribe to the evangelists, the fundamentalists, and Zionists that have an approval rate of about 51%.

This is the time to center. Ground. Focus. Whatever you want to call it... and put your energy into your individual protests. Fight CAFTA. Fight the Forest Service. Fight those who exploit animals. Fight sweatshops. Fight corporate globalization. Fight privatization.

If you choose to stand up in the streets today - do so with vision and clarity and a message that will expand the movement against imperialism and religious oppression rather than inviting the moderates to despise us for our own fanaticism. Little more than half of the U.S. population voted for Bush. If you are in the streets today remember that Kerry won Oregon, but that Measures 36 and 37 passed. There is the real fight.

I expect I will be criticized for being a pacifist or for not being radical enough - but I believe that the most important thing to do now is to live our protest through lifestyle and change the world through example.

To truly make change, we have to craft it throughout our daily experience. We have to be kind and gentle and we must never stop talking about the reasons behind our choices.

Demonstrate through a lifestyle of protest. Ride a bike. Buy organic. Buy fair trade. Don't buy. Do it yourself. Plant seeds. Tell stories. Save trees. Clean water. Stop buying plastic. Sell your car.

Consume less. Consume consciously.
exactly 03.Nov.2004 14:41

notquick

right.

the fuels running out, the government is still going 100% power straight toward that brick wall called reality, and hatred/self-prejudice/war on the youth's world are all legitimized. So what do you do? Fight harder, protest against imperialism or the war is hardly that if you drive there. We need to cultivate a culture where legitimate direct action is embraced and respected, when people arent turned off by sit-ins, tree sits, and generally acting along with your beleifs. good post youre smart.
hope and peace

Protest 03.Nov.2004 15:13

Grants Pass joe

I've only marched 6 or 7 times. During each march I spent most of my time watching those who watched us - the drivers by, the walkers, the few who paused to look. Almost everyone I ever laid eyes on seemed completely bewildered. Many seemed unnerved. A few even looked frightened. Most were bored or perhaps a bit annoyed that their endless rushing about might be somehow interrupted. Later, local or national news either neglected us entirely, or focused on the least quote tasteful unquote portions of the days activity. I used to wonder: What did we accomplish? Oh, I know that perhaps many folks were inspired to themselves join in future demonstrations which would, then, be generally ignored or mis-characterized by the mainstream press. And then? Well, I imagine a few are still active...

The Oligarchy has been studying these matters for a very long time. In Germany, after WWII, American John J. McCloy was essentially President / King of Germany. He and the CIA experimented with a variety of methods of influencing, re-orienting, dis-orienting the population to suit American needs. They were quite successful. U.S. elites, then, applied what they had learned in a number of countries and regions. Little by little they introduced their techniques to the domestic U.S. population. They're pretty successful, it seems.

We need to figure out how to communicate with people on a fairly large scale. The internet is wonderful, of course, but the Oligarchy is already taking aim in this direction, and sooner than we'd wish it, Winston Smith will have to find another way - unless we can hold on to this medium. Like Jade, I don't know what to do. I watch FSTV, or LINK TV on satellite, but how many subscribers ever tune in? Some of my neighbors who have these stations have "never heard of them!"

Many years ago, in Seattle, I started a small business. I printed up a bunch of fliers on plain paper on the copy machine at the stationary store. Though I started out dirt poor, I eventually moved to a nicer, colored / textured paper, and my girlfriend and I walked door to door and placed them where they would be noticed. We eventually (in the space of about 3 months) left one at four thousand front doors. Recently, I recalled that now famous quote from Herman Goering, Hitler's # 2 guy:

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

I thought I'd print up a few hundred and start walking. I didn't. The Jesus who supported second amendment rights and war and military spending and corporate socialism (which is what we're getting - and which is Fascism) - and who hates gays and people of color is God here in G.P.. This is Bush country. I chickened out. The revolution must not wait for old guys like me!
Still, such an action on a larger scale, could be very interesting.

Some sort of town-type-meeting situations might be interesting, as well. Naturally, loud and burly opposition would arise quickly, but some interesting discussions could well ensue if, somehow, violence and madness could be avoided. And, of course, we need more newspapers, radio shows AND stations, more t.v. time... As Jade says, we DO need to work on ourselves, personally. Gandhi said something like: BE what you'd like the world to become...
Confused, frightened, angry people can't but build a confused, frightened, angry world.

However, as we focus on ourselves, we must also try to study the problem of trying to communicate our perspectives to large numbers of people - either through many, many small gatherings, presentations or broadcasts - or on some larger scale. I'm NOT aware of any good Leftist writings on this stuff. We have many outstanding media critics, corporate critics, etc. - but do we have folks studying this stuff? What has the Left learned since the McCarthy era? Is any of this stuff written down? If so, I hope folks will note it here. In the meantime, I'll look around on the web and see if I can figure out what an aging 60's guy can do, in place of a door-to-door approach.

We need to figure out how to get our message out or we'll soon find ourselves wearing armbands which identify us as weirdos... then, they'll ship us out... It seems to me that all the energy now goint into marching and demonstrations could be, generally - tho not always - better used in working on how to communicate more effectively, more often, to an ever greater number of people.
We've had our Reichstag Fire: Now the Reich can finish attacking "Poland" and begin focusing on the "enemies" here at home!

badge 03.Nov.2004 15:27

courage

We need to get Solidarity badges! Wear 'em with purpose. Any idea how to make 'em? already been done?

truth to power 04.Nov.2004 15:34

nixonknew

***If we stand in Pioneer Square today and shout "Fraud!" we will appear fanatical, insane, ridiculous***
don't sell yourself short!
pax,
nix