This is bothering me, I think it's a real betrayal, what do you all think?
I wrote this comment to "why we protest" with the idea that my point about being a woman burned by what I think are the best activist attorneys we have is the most pressing reason as to why we protest. That reason is that we have got to stand together, even if our best hope, the activist attorneys will let us fall. Again, I repeat that women are the stakeholders, and as long as we, at the center of society are left behind, we all are left behind.
protester mom 01.Feb.2005 11:54
Hi all, I am a mom who protests, and being a mom causes me to protest. The main thing I want to say is that protesting is good. We get so many cheers from people walking by and driving by in their cars that are inspired and comforted by the very sight of us. That alone is good, plus the message that we constantly enforce to the police "Violence is not the answer," etc., will eventually get to them. TRUTH ENDURES, AND SO DO WE. Here is what William Blake has to say, and I think it applies to protesting and what's going on in the world right now:
"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.
A dove-house fill'd with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell thro' all its regions.
A dog starv'd at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.
We are led to believe a lie
When we see not thro' the eye,
When the soul slept in beams of light..."
That protesting is good is my main point, but as a mom, I have something really sad and illustrative to drive it home with. I am upset about this because I know that mothers have great reason to protest--perhaps the most reason to protest (after all we are closest to and hold the stakes to society's most vulnerable, and "the future"), yet I find specific barriers from not only "without," as in too many time constraints put on us, but, most pressingly, I have found a sick barrier from within the movement.
This barrier is from the activist lawyers themselves, who are, you guessed it, men.
What happened is that I was recently and unexpectedly arrested at the N3 protest just for having my foot in the street, and a small crowd had gathered because my daughter was visably upset and not getting in the cop car. The police did not want to make a scene (a lot of credit for that goes to to the activist lawyers for enforcing that policy/ideal), so instead of hauling us off to jail like they would have if I had been a guy, they let us go early at Pioneer Square. We rejoined the protest, and the arresting seargent was mad, because he said "Why'd you have to come back again!", and whispered to three officers on three separate occasions, who each made eye contact with us, including the paddy wagon driver who leered menacingly at us for a long time.
My charges were dropped, because they knew they had no real charges on me anyway. However, WHAT THEY DID WAS TO CALL IN TO THE CHILD ABUSE HOTLINE THAT I WAS AN ABUSIVE PARENT FOR STAYING AT THE PROTEST UNTIL 10:00. I repeat: THEY CALLED IN TO THE CHILD ABUSE HOTLINE THAT I WAS AN ABUSIVE PARENT FOR STAYING AT THE PROTEST UNTIL 10:00. They promply started pepperspraying right after we left, too, and I had the last remaining child at the protest (kudos once again to the activist lawyers who enforced the respect the child policy/ideal).
So now I have child abuse people knocking on my door (litterally), and once someone has made an accusation like that, I am permanently in the hot seat, and though unresolvable, it will always remain on my record. This sucks, because I have specifically been fighting for my family's and specifically my daughter's welfare, ever since we were financially raped in open family court. As a true activist and mother, I have given from the heart on this. I don't even have a choice to turn back, as it would be wrong for me to not only let my daughter be raised in open financial/property violence from the courts and her father, but to leave it to her to deal with as a wife and mother, too. Thus, protesting is biologically tied to my chromosones....
AND, WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I ASKED THE ACTIVIST LAWYERS FOR HELP IN BEATING BACK THE LONG AND PARTICULARLY INVASIVE ARM OF THE GOVERNMENT--
"No, we only do criminal law."
As if it's not a crime for the police to initiate a false procedure designed to dangerously harm a protestor. What if the child abuse people did say that "Yes, staying at a protest until 10:00 means that you are a bad mom, and we are going to have to constantly monitor you and you are going to have to report to us, or we are going to have to take your child away."
What then, will the family court, that gives us only 1% of our maintainance money, sold our entire house illegally, gave the family car to my husband, along with our insurance, my daughter's college money, and 99.99% of my retirement money (in order to shut me up because I spoke up and openly declared financial rape)--do then with such an accusation by the police? They will try to take the one they couldn't take (because the could not touch my track record as a mom)--my child. My child. The whole reason why I protest.
I remember that night, when we were on 2nd, near Burnside, and the cops were trying to take people down, a woman said to me and my daughter: "Don't go over there, it's violent!" Me and my daughter simultaneously replied: "They need us!" without missing a beat and went to help them. I feel that everyone must do what is in their power, and although our power in this case stems from our vulnerability, the presence of numbers and women and children can cut down on police violence. So we did it. Unconditionally, as true protestors.
It's a sad day when the police go so far as to sic(sp?) the child abuse dogs on a protestor, and even more so for protestors to get burned by the activist lawyers who are the closest to fighting for principle instead of money.
When those lawyers fail a major stakeholder, what else have we got? This is why I protest, because we have nothing else. Everyone, please protest, and walk your talk in all circles!!!!!
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