[sixties-l] America's revolutionary spirit alive and kicking

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Tue Feb 06 2001 - 17:33:11 EST

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    America's revolutionary spirit alive and kicking

    February 2, 2001
    By Pamela White
    Colorado Daily
    U. Colorado

    (U-WIRE) BOULDER, Colo. -- I grew up wishing I had been
    older during the '60s. Born in 1964, I have only the vaguest
    memories of the activism that set those years apart: a news
    broadcast about desegregation riots; the radio announcement
    of Robert Kennedy's assassination; Rocky Flats protesters
    blocking Baseline Road at the 28th Street overpass with

    By the time I had gotten old enough to get involved, nothing
    much was going on. Still, I tried.

    I skipped school for a day to protest the fact that jocks on
    my junior high's wrestling team had been allowed to stay all
    day at a meet to watch the other teams compete, while we
    members of the choir and concert band had been forced to
    come back from our competition immediately after performing.
    This resulted in my parents getting a phone call from the
    school's principal -- who doubled as the wrestling coach --
    and a day of detention.

    I also protested the ritualized violence of football in my
    high school P.E. class by refusing to participate and doing
    only yoga, which wasn't in the curriculum. I was kicked out
    of P.E. but was forced to endure a week of juvenile
    delinquent boot camp at San Diego's Naval Training Center,
    where the connection to violence was much more direct.

    Petty efforts at best. My escapades weren't nearly as
    interesting as the time college students across the street
    from my parents' Martin Acres home painted a fine portrait
    of Dick Nixon on a car -- and then bashed the car to bits
    with baseball bats. They weren't as compelling as the riots
    that shook University Hill over Vietnam and resulted in the
    Colorado Bookstore abandoning its all-glass storefront in
    favor of cinderblocks.

    Why couldn't I live during a time of action?

    I couldn't have known that the intervening years, including
    years of travel abroad, would lead to my running the
    newsroom at an independent newspaper during a time that
    might eventually make the '60s look like a backyard

    The revolution is here. It breathes all around us. It grows,
    learns, adapts and moves forward each day. It showed its
    face around the globe once a month during 2000 -- Quito,
    Bangkok, Boston, Seattle, D.C., Philly, Cochabamba, Chiang
    Mai, L.A., South Africa, India, Buenos Aires, Windsor,
    Nigeria, Okinawa, Colombia, Honduras, Seoul, Fort Benning,
    Melbourne, Prague, Nice, Cincinnati. It's already come out
    to play this year in Davos and Geneva.

    It's with us each day as more and more people begin to
    unplug from the consumer/capitalist matrix, realizing they
    don't need to buy junk to be happy. It's with us as people
    decide to boycott corporations that use sweatshop labor.
    It's with us as environmentalists, labor activists and
    minority activists cross bridges to work together to reach
    common goals.

    I was shocked into this realization on the streets of
    Washington, D.C., when a dozen activists lay down in the
    streets in front of police officers on motorcycles and
    didn't move -- not even when the cops backed up, revved
    their engines and drove their tires into and over people's

    Something has changed. It changed when 50,000 people of all
    ages and backgrounds shut down the World Trade Organization.
    What I see around me now are committed people who know far
    more about how the system works than the media is willing to
    let on. They're willing to put their lives and health at
    risk to improve the lives and health of people around the
    globe. They'll go to protests, they'll change their
    lifestyles, they'll speak out, they'll go to prison. But
    they won't go back.

    Dubya's coronation has added fuel to the fire. While some
    were tolerant of President Clinton because of his
    pseudo-sympathetic stance on health care, abortion and some
    aspects of the environment, they clearly will not extend
    that tolerance toward Dubya, who doesn't deserve it. With a
    cabinet of Christian extremists and rape-and-run
    capitalists, his presence ensures that events will escalate.

    But this is what scares me. The government and media have
    pursued a policy of marginalization toward activists,
    depicting them as violent, irrational and disorganized, when
    quite the contrary is true. Further, the police forces
    around the nation have become paramilitary organizations
    which treat the exercise of free speech -- not to mention
    the making of puppets -- as a criminal activity.

    John F. Kennedy had his finger on the problem when he said,
    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent
    revolution inevitable."

    Forced to the fringes and justifiably enraged by policies
    that put high profits ahead of human lives, some activists
    have already begun to express themselves with fire, spray
    paint and broken glass.

    If Dubya and other politicians were smart, they'd find a
    place at the negotiating table for those who oppose their
    policies. They'd listen, and they'd respond by including at
    least some activist demands in their policies.

    But smart they're not.

    Stay alert. It's going to be a wild ride.

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