I’m excited. Really excited. I think my coworkers are more excited than I am. This is going to be big. Or small. It’s going to be something.
Lots of people online are on edge. They’re not worried about protesters breaking things, they’re worried about police hurting people. I’m pretty sure everything will be fine. Westlake park will have some people that don’t plan on doing anything crazy, there will be a couple marches, the march for immigrant and workers rights being the biggest. People will be dressed as clowns or in garish colors. It will be what it will be. It won’t shut down the city, and it may not change very many minds. But I had some conversations with people about the history of may day, so I think it’s had a good effect already.
We have to keep the government on their toes. Same goes for corporations. Accountability is vital for any system, and ours has far too little. People that immiserate millions get off scott-free while people that made all the right choices, or even a few mistakes, pay the price. We shouldn’t be afraid of people trying to make things better. Especially when we disagree with them.
Liberty is a small thing. It’s soft and thin and quiet. It’s in the corner of your eye, it’s a song you forget the lyrics to. You can go for quite a while before you realize that it’s gone. You can go weeks, months or years and not use it. So when people tries to use it and those in power try to spread fear and distrust about folks using their rights you have to stand up and demand that people be allowed to exercise their rights in peace.
We didn’t get here by ignoring politics. We got here because we’re afraid. Afraid of school shootings, of box cutters and WMDs. We’re afraid of uncertainty. Anything we can’t control, quantify economically or qualify with some safe and respectable label. The problem is that just because people we disagree with may be crazy doesn’t mean they’re wrong. Decisions that are made on a party line basis will be wrong from time to time, sometimes because the other side is right and other times “both” sides were wrong and we never considered the full range of possibilities.
I’ll tell you what’s really wrong. People get paid lots of money to bankrupt the country, to profit from wars we don’t need and from prisons filled with people who never had a first chance. The people who didnâ€™t break the country, they struggle in quiet lives of desperation. Scientists warn of catastrophic climate change and â€œseriousâ€ people worry about poor people bankrupting the country for having the temerity to exist.
This is kind of a big deal. You should consider going on strike tomorrow. People did it for the 8 hour day, the minimum wage and for working conditions that didn’t kill them. Doing it so that your children can lead productive lives in dignity, so they can see a doctor without fear of bankruptcy and walk through the streets without being hassled for choosing the wrong skin color is the next step weâ€™ve been unwilling to take because weâ€™re afraid. But weâ€™re not the people that should be afraid.
The people in power should be afraid that they could be replaced. That they could be forced to address the rotting house of our liberty that theyâ€™ve failed to maintain. They should spend the next eight-thousand seven-hundred and sixty odd minutes until May 1st 2013 wondering how many people will walk out and demand justice, how many bonuses will be lost and how many inconvenient truths will be made unavoidable. They should dream of millions people unwilling to accept getting the wrong end of lady luck.
Not because people will break things, but because they will make choices that werenâ€™t given to them by those in power.