i got in here! baby shark 4 (my laptop, or rather my 4th laptop for the newly initiated) is in critical condition, cracked his head, can’t communicate with any clarity at all. oh well. while i’m in seattle there are at least internet cafes with actual computers.
i’ve gotten myself involved in some direct action. i love activism. i wasn’t really planning on joining this particular protest, but i went to be body support for a day and ended up with responsibilities. yeah, the occupies. i should bake some pies. take apple pies to activists. i have a friend who was arrested over the weekend at occupy wall street, and another friend who is living at occupy boston. they are both huge occupies compared to occupy seattle. i met my friend monte whom i’ve talked to (with keys) a few times but have never actually met in person before – he is very active in the homeless community in seattle. he estimated there were about 200 people there. i had thought there might be a few more, but as he is used to counting congregated bodies on streets, he’s likely the more correct one. i think seattle is still a heart broken city for protests and direct action. yes, speaking of the great glory of days gone by, battle of seattle, the great WTO protests, the first and greatest U.S. protest in modern times (or maybe ever, don’t know enough about the history of unions in my own baby country), where everyone i knew* in the city participated, where somewhere between 50,000 – 100,000 people took to the streets with hope, rage, idealism, intelligence, solidarity, demands. every street and sidewalk in the entire downtown was full of citizens, people, fellow humans marching, demanding an end to corporate domination and global injustice. we took rubber bullets and got gassed (i just got gassed, no bruises).
and. nothing. changed.
it was the most amazing gathering of people any of us had ever seen. not only were our efforts apparently ineffective in implementing change, since that week more than a decade past, the situation has become remarkedly worse. so how are a couple hundred protestors sitting outside expensive boutiques in a cold wet city supposed to effect change?
i don’t know. but i still believe in activism. one thing working with the buffalo field campaign has taught me is that activism works. very slowly. activism isn’t about showing up for a day and complaining about the status quo. though every contribution counts – without the general populace behind a movement, a movement goes nowhere. you don’t get that support easily in a coddled nation. it’s just too fucking easy here. despite the millions living in poverty even here, it’s just too easy to turn your head in this nation to focus on your own ego, your own comforts, your own little universe as long as it’s working for you. they know that, all those champagne drinking motherfuckers toasting their own arrogance and power from locked, high places. they know that if unrest grows to beyond what they see as amusement, they just have to open the doors a little wider, let a little more money flow, and we’re all smack happy again.
or, they think they know that. but people are getting smarter. i hope. we can look to the arab nations to see that activism actually can work in a modern age. i can look at the fact that due to the efforts of some activists who’ve dedicated years to saving some beautiful animals from extinction in the wild, 800 buffalo were spared their lives this year. small victories. victories that come one small step at a time. this is my world, and i will choose how to live in it, will try, however futile it may seem at times, to right the wrongs and leave my children a healing planet.
thinking about it now, i realize that both my children even participated in essence in those WTO protests. i took my daughter on the march when she was just over 15 months old. my son would have been a newly implanted zygote in utero…