Friday, October 21, 2011

This is What Democracy Looks Like

On daddy's shoulders

It's been awesome watching history happen before our eyes over the past few months. First with the massive demonstrations in Wisconsin, and now with the Occupy Wall Street protests and their offshoots all over the country.

Leo has been attending political rallies all his life - but we've definitely been going to even more than usual lately. We've hit marches and demonstrations all over the city, taken Leo down to the Occupy Philadelphia camp at City Hall, and attended community meetings. I do think that this is a big moment in our country's history and I want Leo to be able to say that he participated.

UPenn Cantor Protest
Behaving at a meeting past bedtime
Of course there are many people who are very annoyed by the entire movement. They don't see a group of fellow citizens exercising their rights to free speech and petition for redress of grievances. They see everything through the right's pseudo-military jargon about a "threat spectrum", "intelligence gaps",  and accusations of "class warfare".

Being accused of class warfare is so...ironic. If you've been paying attention, you surely are aware that the wealthy and corporate America have been on the offensive against the rest of us for quite some time.  Now they are trying to finish the job by further biasing the tax code in favor of the wealthy, destroying labor unions and gutting public services like social security, medicare, medicaid, education, libraries and transportation. It's inevitable that the people are going to take notice and try and fight back.  So, I suppose in a sense these accusations of "class warfare" are accurate - because wars don't start when the attacker attacks; they really only begin when the attacked start defending themselves.

March in West Philly
I wouldn't say we are at the frontlines - it's tough with a toddler.  We haven't camped out overnight and we've missed events that fell during naptime - but we are showing up when we can and doing our best make sure Leo has an age appropriate awareness of what's going on.  And to all of those riled up by the lack of clear message (this movement is in it's infancy) and the inflated costs of security (it's our government's JOB to make sure the protestors and everyone else are safe) - I quote a protest sign: "Sorry for the inconvenience, we are trying to change the world."


  1. Carolyn Chernoff10/23/2011

    we've been sick and traveling and under deadlines and boo hoo hoo--but keep me posted on what's shaking? i'd love to do a baby bloc with you and other.

  2. Great photos, and thoughts. I've been wanting to participate in this movement in some what, but have been unsure what the most effective angle is. The protestors here in Austin are mostly of the crusty-punk persuasion, and while I certainly did my time on that front, I'm not sure wearing Ramones patches in front of the courthouse here in ATX is really my angle now. My husband and I decided that we'll remove our accounts from Chase bank and join the local credit union, and we're ensuring our (small) investments are busy contributing to the greater good. We also avoid supporting big corporations in every way we can. It IS tough to be on the 'front lines' with a toddler to care for, but trying to figure out how to live our everyday lives WHILE changing the world is a crucial undertaking. Because the right for everyone (100%) to live their everyday lives in the best ways possible is what we're working toward, no?

    Thanks for participating, and writing it up.