…it is important to remember that the First Amendment sets the floor, not the ceiling, for protection of freedom of expression.
NPR has a short piece on several who are trying to Occupy Big Food.
I’m currently in the process of reshaping how I eat to support more local and sustainable foods.
This might be the most important video I’ve watched in a very long time. I didn’t expect I would be saying that about a segment from The Colbert Report.
I found out about this video because my twitter feed has a few poetry sources, and they linked to this Huffington Post piece because it mentions several poets that were injured by the police during the protests at UC Berkeley. So I read a bit of the article, watched the video of Mario Savio, speaking the words that I know I’ve heard but never knew where from:
There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all… (video)
And then I watched the clip from the Colbert Report, and it pushed me over the edge. It succinctly portrays how our country greets those that have grievances and how easily the media can be massaged. This satire brought me to tears not only on the first time I saw it, but yet again after I had collected myself and decided that this was important enough to write about. I watched this video after a work day which ended with me feeling like I have absolutely no control over much of my life. And I’m left feeling lost. I’m left fighting battles that will not be winnable, and the act of fighting them may actually hurt my career. But I am frustrated with playing the game.
I didn’t start writing this for it to end up being about my life. This is about the people who are out there protesting, who have stayed courageous within our well developed culture of fear. This is about people who have been subject to violence for demonstrating an inconvenient opinion. These are the people that deserve our support and I’m still lost on how best to show that.
The author of the piece in the Huffington post ended with a few thoughts that I’d like to share here (please do go back and read them in context though). His last thoughts are the most troubling for me, because I do believe it’s coming.
Many of us have knee-jerk reactions to cops beating citizens. Mine comes from George Orwell, the subject of my honors thesis. He wrote something like this: “When I see a policeman with a club beating a man on the ground, I don’t have to ask whose side I’m on.” But with the exception of the great Colbert, you will look in vain for an intelligent conversation about any of this on television.
As I was following a trail of links about police violence in Berkeley, I happened upon a video showing how, in May, police in Barcelona dealt with students protesting the Spanish government’s proposed “austerity” measures.
On a message board that accompanied this video, someone proposed a definition of “class warfare” you won’t hear on television: “The rich are now rich enough to pay half the population to kill the other half of the population.”
Sickening, that — and, I fear, prophetic. When some student or “Occupy” protester dies from a police beating — and you know that’s coming — no doubt we will hear some cheers.