CURRENT MOON

Friday, March 25, 2011

Madison



Thanks to Hraefna, in Canada, for alerting me to this in Comments. The other day, some of my friends from the Madison protests sent me an Ian's Pizza t-shirt. I really treasure it.

The Madison Protests (along with the brave actions of the Madison 14, who will never buy their own drinks when I'm in the room) did something that Saul Alinsky (my parents pushed me read exactly 3 books in my entire life. One, via my mom, was Kon Tikki, which I refused to read. One, via my dad, was Great Expectations, and one, also via my dad, was Rules for Radicals. So you can see, I come by it honestly) said good political action can do: it forced Walker to act precipitously, and it showed his actions for exactly what they were. Forcing a tyrant to act as a tyrant is a powerful political act. And it was effective here.

Now, a judge has stayed the implementation of Walker' act, based on the precipitous manner in which it was enacted and the likelihood that those challenging the act will succeed on the merits of the case once it comes to trial. There's a huge campaign (already halfway there) to recall the Republicans who supported Walker, and Walker, who is entitled by Wisconsin law to one year recall-free, is dead in the water come next year. Yeah, he'll go on to wingnut welfare on Fox or at the Heritage foundation, but he'll never eat lunch in this town again. As I've been chanting most of my life, sometimes on marches and sometimes at my altar, "The people, united, can never be defeated."

I am more proud than I can say of my friends who were there and of other friends who supported them. For a while, following the massive, and massively ignored, anti-war protests, there was a lot of buzz about how protests were old school and could never be effective in the modern world. Well, Egypt showed that for the lie it was, and so did Madison. Never doubt the power of people-powered political action. Never doubt that, as Margaret Meade said, "A small group of thoughtful people c[an] change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Pagans were involved in the Madison protest, both as simple people occupying the beautiful Wisconsin State Capitol, as clergy, and now, via Sharon Knight's participation in this stirring video, as performers.

On, Wisconsin!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

good stuff here. Would share if I knew how.
vox

Jessica said...

Hecate, great point about "forcing a tyrant to act like a tyrant".

I take issue with one thing you said, though, namely: "For a while, following the massive, and massively ignored, anti-war protests, there was a lot of buzz about how protests were old school and could never be effective in the modern world. Well, Egypt showed that for the lie it was, and so did Madison."

Not discounting the success of the protests in Madison (and how those protests deviated from the norm). But I was heavily involved in the anti-war movement for around 6 years, and I do question the effectiveness of the protest tactics that are normally used today in the U.S. To conflate law-abiding, "stay in one lane", police-escorted protests with the protests of Egypt seems like equating apples and oranges. In the Middle East, the people succeeded precisely BECAUSE they challenged the authority of the state (along the lines of Saul Alinsky's tactic) and refused to comply when the state flexed its repressive muscles. In Egypt the people FOUGHT the police in the streets, taking over control of streets, bridges, and even police stations. As long as protesters in the U.S. allow the state to set the conditions of the protest and choose to follow those conditions, then believing those protests will be able to change the government amounts to clinging to a false hope.

So I guess I'm not totally disagreeing with you - I agree that protests can change the state, but that's determined 100% by the nature of those protests. All protests are not created equal, so to speak.

Anyway, I'm having a lot of fun reading your blog. Keep the great posts coming, please!