An open space for global conversation
Nice piece from DKos regular Meteor Blades. Here's the heart of it, with some good links about the protest and a rousing defense of the hard and valuable work being done by so many Occupiers:
The damage done by the corporations that fund ALEC and its stable of mostly Republican legislators is immense and on-going.
I can hear the sighs from here. Another protest? What for? In fact, these locally organized, nationally networked, peaceful direct actions constitute just one element in a renewed struggle to pry our democracy from the grasp of corporate dominance. The CEOs won't be waving a white flag at the end of the day. The ALEC board won't resign en masse. But that doesn't mean the actions will have failed. Only that we must do more of the same, as well as take many additional approaches, to achieve our objectives.
We who seek change, real change, must be as committed and hard-nosed and in it for the long haul as those who have used ALEC as a means to their ends, which are, so much of the time, enhancement of the bottom line at the expense of the public's health, safety and well-being.
Street politics always get a bad rap in American discourse. Mischaracterized by an ever-more concentrated and conservative megamedia, misdirected by infiltrators, agents provocateurs and supposed allies with their own counterproductive agendas, mistaken for a threat to—rather than an enhancement of—democracy, movements like the one organizing the Leap Year action face an array of obstacles just to get heard. And that's before they have to deal with the pepperspray and other antics of officialdumb. To top it off there is always somebody on the sidelines telling you that you're doing it all wrong.
Building a movement is hard, hard work. Plenty of people get disillusioned along the way, often before things really get rolling. Excuses abound. The opposition is too tough, group dynamics too messy, egos too annoying and too many people seem to want to reinvent the wheel at every meeting. Sticking with it takes commitment and sacrifice, often with family and friends and perhaps co-workers suggesting and even demanding that it's time to give it up. The corporadoes count on this. And when they actually do see a threat to their power, rather than a nuisance, they crank up their well-funded machinery to smack us down.
Surrender is truly not an option. Decades of bad policies from the center, right and far right combined with paltry resistance from the left have squeezed vast numbers of Americans in an economic bind, or two paychecks away from one. The acute crisis of the past four years has brought the chronic problems into sharper focus. Chief among them is an inequality not just in wealth and income but also in what that inequality can purchase. And one of those things is ALEC.