Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"A More Beautiful Revolution"

In the wake of the popular uprising that took place in the halls of the Madison, Wisconsin capitol building, I attended a smaller gathering of union members and activists in a church sanctuary here in Detroit, Michigan. They were readying themselves for the mounting attack on our vital public sector and its employees. Several pieces of state legislation damaging to the public sector unions were being tracked at that time.
The mass revolt in Egypt was mentioned as a point of interest and an example of a protracted action necessary to gain political traction. The stark contrast between the 50 folks gathered in the sanctuary at Gracious Savior Church and the hundreds of thousands rallying in Tahrir Square was evident. But so was the correlation. We all have that innate connection to the ideal called direct democracy. It is always simmering just below the surface. If we can just break through a long history of resisting, and succumbing to authoritarian rule, positive change can happen overnight. That applies here in the U.S. as much as anyplace else.
Michigan's Governor Rick Snyder and a legislative body full of paid assassins are moving swiftly to eliminate the public sector. Hundreds protested and rallied on March 2 against Robert Bobb, Dave Bing and, of course, Snyder. Now the halls of the capitol building in Lansing have been occupied. I hope they stay filled. We need to realize the importance of public institutions to a free society. We need "some more time, to make a more beautiful revolution."

The raised voice on the track below belongs to Dr. Ali El Mashad, an Egyptian doctor who suddenly found himself immersed, for days on end, in Tahrir Square, protesting the U.S.-sponsored regime of Hosni Mabarak. His poetic comments were offered in the heat of the moment-- a moment that continues to stretch throughout North Africa.

AMoreBeautifulRevolution by guy mingo