Saturday, April 19, 2008

Thank you, sir! May I have another?

Protest-Buenos-AiresThis morning I clicked on Not My Tribe's new upper-left graphic which imparts info about protesting the state democratic convention. What I discovered was page after page of terms to meet and rules to obey, laid out neatly by the powers-that-be, so that would-be activists can protest the most egregious war and power-hungry administration in our country's history. Happily chirping about meetings with policemen and attorneys, the activists invite us to join them in defining the terms of their oppression.
I'm sorry, I know these people are wannabe do-gooders, but this bullshit is akin to meeting with a gang of rapists to consent to the terms of one's degradation. Oh yes, please! Just use lubricant and let me lie in a comfortable bed!

It's pathetic that our passionate anti-war activists have so little vision, so little faith in human history, such a lack of conviction and temerity that they can be contented to hand out fliers and maps, cower in a cage gilded especially for them, and be completely marginalized by the system they profess to oppose.

Here's my idea. Do not legitimize the trampling of your civil liberties and the silencing of your voices by compliantly meeting with police officers and attorneys. Instead tell them that you'll see them on Venetucci Boulevard with a thousand of your closest friends. You'll have drums and cowbells and bullhorns and offensive banners and whatever fuck else you feel like bringing. Tell them you'll sing and shout and march and cross every boundary they put up to keep you on the fringe. Tell them you'll do whatever the fuck you want to in order to make your voices heard.

What the hell? The vast majority of Americans oppose this war and despise this administration. Why aren't they out on the streets? Do you really believe they'll join you there as soon as they are enlightened by Amy Goodman? No! They aren't out on the streets because they are sheep waiting for a shepherd. So where are the shepherds, our visionary and inspiring leaders? Where are the men with balls, bravely putting their necks on the line in the name of peace and justice? Where are the courageous vaginas, fresh from their New Orleans beaver fest, newly empowered to fight violence against women all over the globe? The anti-war movement in Colorado Springs does not have a single leader. It has a few worker bees -- banner painters and flier makers -- who don't have a clue about what it's going to take to stop the machine.

If you are like me you are saying "Well, Marie, why aren't you out there making a difference?" I'll tell you why. I am the system's bitch. I have assets that can be frozen by the IRS. I have children in the public school system. I have dough invested in Social Security. I am tied by law to an ex-husband which precludes me from moving my family to another neighborhood, let alone another country. I am a cog in the machine. And in the scheme of things, nothing more.

I am, by position and ultimately by choice, powerless. But at least I don't pretend to be anything more.

Argentina protestors
Argentina plaza protest
Blue period
After the main protest
In the street
Green peace shirt

Argentina cops behind the barrier
Argentina riot police behind the fence
Argentina protest media


b said...

MARIE, Do you live inside my head, the me that lived many years ago and still has not given up on my country? Yes, I to am part of the cog but I also know that a protest is not a protest if you have permission to stand in front of a convention hall and say what all the people inside agree with.

No! "I'll see you on Venetucci Boulevard with a thousand of my closest friends" works much better. But then I am a child of the 70"s with friends dead in Viet Nam.


T.R. said...

She's back - like oxygen - necessary for life. Your voice of reason is so exact and refreshing.