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And, yes, I DO take it personally: A year ago, no one imagined an Arab Spring, and no one imagined this American Fall
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A year ago, no one imagined an Arab Spring, and no one imagined this American Fall

rebecca solnit...
When civil society sleeps, we’re just a bunch of individuals absorbed in our private lives. When we awaken, on campgrounds or elsewhere, when we come together in public and find our power, the authorities are terrified. They often reveal their ugly side, their penchant for violence and for hypocrisy.


Does an 84-year-old woman need to be tear-gassed in Seattle? Does a three-tours-of-duty veteran need to be beaten until his spleen ruptures in Oakland? Does our former poet laureate need to be bashed in the ribs after his poet wife is thrown to the ground at UC Berkeley? Admittedly, this is a system that regards people as disposable, but not usually so literally.

Two months ago, the latest protests against that system began. The response only confirms our vision of how it all works. They are fighting fire with gasoline. Perhaps being frightened makes them foolish. After all, once civil society rouses itself from slumber, it can be all but unstoppable.


[T]he grounds of my hope have always been that history is wilder than our imagination of it and that the unexpected shows up far more regularly than we ever dream. A year ago, no one imagined an Arab Spring, and no one imagined this American Fall -- even the people who began planning for it this summer. We don’t know what’s coming next, and that’s the good news. My advice is just of the most general sort: Dream big. Occupy your hopes. Talk to strangers. Live in public. Don’t stop now.

i confess... i'm a hope junkie... i keep thinking that maybe, just maybe, there will be a breakthrough and we'll see some real change... how that will happen, when it will happen, if it will happen, i couldn't begin to guess...

this morning, i visited the occupy reno site and caught up on what's been going on there while i was out of town... the good news is they're still there and still cranking away... they're going to be at the mall at midnight on black friday and plan to project the bat signal the way it was done on the verizon building in nyc... a lot of people will be gathered waiting for the doors to open so they can trip all over each other in their mad rush to part with their money so it will be a captive but not necessarily receptive audience... i'm thinking i'll join them just to see how it goes...

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