When I think of Civil Disobedience, I think of Walden Pond
Way back in the '90s, when I was super active in the queer movement, I was able to go to the International Queer Studies Conference. It was held in Iowa City, IA (I know, what a crazy place to hold it). People came from all over the world. The attendance was much greater than anyone expected. The little college town was so amazing and welcoming. Even the cab drivers where helpful. But it was here that I got to hear Gloria Anzaldua, a long time hero of mine, speak about identity. I never could find my socks from that lecture. I used her example of why it is important to know who you are and what you stand for, every time I got to guest lecture on identity.
Gloria had us imagine ourselves as a tree, and that all of who we are as our roots. The better we know who we are and what we stand for, the stronger those roots are. Then when the wind of the dominant culture rolls in and tries to knock us off our feet, we will remain standing, perhaps even stronger than before as we dig in and work with those around us.... Solidarity! Have you seen the way roots of several trees entangle themselves with one another to remain standing no matter the winds or the looseness of the rain soak soil? Amazing is what it is.
In solidarity is where we need to be standing strong together yet again.... and I'm not just taking about queers, or women, or laborers, farmers, anarchists, even hooligans.... but all of us that do not stand with the dominant culture of over entitled corporations, banks, GMO seed companies, those that try to run our government, hell the world.
I don't know about you, but the more I step outside of the mainstream world, the more I learn about myself, and the more questions I have about how things got to the way they are and concerns for they way things appear to be going. And I think that the reactions, especially the American responses, to the incarceration of the Russian band Pussy Riot, has me excited yet concerned. It seems all sorts of musicians and organizations, like Amnesty International, is taking action and fighting for their release.The fact that people all over the world are taking notice is great; however, we have some (a lot) of political prisoners here in the United States as well. And I'm not just talking about the obvious ones like Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Since 9-11, the U.S. government has used the anti-terrorist act and legislation to come after environmental and animal liberation organizations. And now that the Occupy Movement has had some success in getting people together and create a new counter-culture style revolution, they are coming after Anarchist groups. The book and website Green Is The New Red goes into detail about the history of how this happened, but I am concerned about what the FBI and other agencies are doing now. Like raiding local anarchists houses in in the Pacific Northwest. For more about what is happening here check out Committee Against Political Repression. Many prosecutors are now trying to go out of there way to associate individuals or groups of people as anarchists, much the same as was done with communists after WWII.
The government of ours must be afraid of something to be taking such action, but what do we do as a community? Well not buy into their fears is one thing. The fears that they try to feed us about how dangerous certain groups of people are to our individual freedom. How the hell is someone fighting for all to have more freedoms threatening? Ask questions... lots of questions... like why the hell do you want to put fluoride into my perfectly good water? Join a co-op... or at least shop at one.... or look up co-ops and learn about them. Shop at the truly local stores instead of the large corporate stores....