I’m soooper-busy with teaching and looking for work and trying to live, which is far more effortful than it should be, so it’s easy for me to say “I don’t have time for activism.” But currently, some chances for activism going on in my neighborhood this weekend relative to two causes that deeply concern me, that make “trying to live” way more effortful than it should be, and that I’d like to bring to your attention.
The first is SlutWalk NYC. We’ve discussed them here before (and do re-read that link; this protest is not without its issues), and maybe you’ve already gotten involved in one in your area. But if you’re ’round these-here parts, Saturday is the day. Meet at Union Square at 11am to make signs, or at 12 noon to start the march. Are you going? Do you wanna meet me there?
Occupy Wall Street you may not have heard much about. That’s not an accident or fault of yours; the coverage in the mainstream media has been abysmal here in the US–and not by accident, I believe. The several hundred young people who have been living in Downtown Manhattan for going on two weeks now (!) have mostly been criticized, downplayed, or mocked (most notably by the Times) or simply ignored by national/network news–even NPR–who, when buttonholed by listeners, offered a weak-sauce excuse (and now are starting to cover it). I don’t know about cable coverage, since I am cable-less. I know the rockin’ Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! has been on top of it, but is Maddow covering this? Colbert? Stewart? Olberman? …Bueller?
Anyway, rather than recap the whole thing, go here and read up, or use your google-fu. If you’re in the NYC area, you’ve got a couple options. Friday night at 5:30, there is a protest outside NYPD headquarters to draw attention to the nasty, disproportionate response the cops have taken against the protesters, including kettling marchers, pepper spraying a group of women peaceably assembled behind a barrier, and deploying unnecessary physical force when cuffing and detaining people they decide are “resisting arrest.” Then, on Saturday, after you’ve SlutWalked, you can head downtown and demonstrate with the 99% at Liberty Plaza/Zuccotti Park from 3-8pm.
If you’re not in this area, you’re sorta off the hook. But only sorta. But you can get involved in your own area. Dozens of cities in the US–and I know we have readers in many of these areas–are having their own satellite protests. You can look up information on them here. Or you can send money or supplies to the protestors. Or you can talk up the marches in your community, and explain to those who scoff at those damn dirty hippies that these young people actually have legitimate grievances, and are providing a rallying point for others. Just yesterday, two large unions–the IWW and Transport Workers Union–officially threw their support behind the protestors. I actually believe that this thing has legs, and I am as skeptical a mofo as you are likely to meet.
And lastly, after you get informed and inspired, here’s an inspirational, if slightly ironic tune: