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Response to Amerigo Vespucci (Original post)

Wed May 2, 2012, 06:10 PM

26. Excuse me, because I've been sick the last few days

A damnable upper respiratory virus that's going around. So it's not surprising that I don't know much about how these rallies went. Needless to say, I was inside huddled under blankets with hot tea, boxes of Kleenex, and a big jar of Vitamin C, so I did not see throngs of people. As I understand it, the Chicago Occupy event was successful to the extent that (according to today's newspaper), "several thousand" people attended.

I'm not sure that can really qualify as being successful, however, for several reasons. First, getting several thousand people to show up for a few hours (or even a day) isn't really very much at all. New York is also said to have had several thousand. That's in cities with populations of 4 and 8 million, respectively. Back in May 2006 I attended a May Day immigration rally that had 400,000 people (same newspaper's estimate): 200 times larger. It felt great: the marchers from Union Park to Grant Park stretched for miles, not blocks. All the major politicians--US senators and representatives--were even there. Los Angeles and other cities had equally massive marches. And what happened? Nothing. The comprehensive immigration reform the march was asking for still hasn't passed, and doesn't look like it will any time soon. Very sad.

A march (and especially a small march) isn't an action. A "general strike" would have meant that the trains and buses weren't running because transportation workers had shut them down; businesses would have shuttered their doors. This wasn't a strike at all, because it didn't have any participation from a broad base of citizenry. Europe has these strikes from time to time (there was a general transportation strike that closed even airlines earlier this winter), but we don't do that here. Maybe because it's not a tradition, or maybe because workers are complacent; or scared. But believe me, the general strike that was called did not happen. Until this movement can really capture the imagination of the general public, not just a few thousand people, it's going to fizzle. I don't say that happily, just honestly.

Maybe if you haven't seen marches before, these pictures seem to suggest something big to you. But really, more people show up for a hockey game or concert at Madison Square Garden on a regular basis (18,000-20,000 capacity) than participated yesterday. A hockey game. This is where American priorities are, and you need to understand that if you really want to start to understand the mechanics of effecting change in this country.

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Amerigo Vespucci May 2012 OP
FarLeftFist May 2012 #1
Amerigo Vespucci May 2012 #2
snot May 2012 #18
Amerigo Vespucci May 2012 #19
freshwest May 2012 #20
redqueen May 2012 #21
freshwest May 2012 #22
redqueen May 2012 #23
freshwest May 2012 #24
redqueen May 2012 #25
freshwest May 2012 #27
mmonk May 2012 #3
kath May 2012 #5
just1voice May 2012 #10
panader0 May 2012 #4
varelse May 2012 #6
Bjorn Against May 2012 #7
mmonk May 2012 #8
DCKit May 2012 #9
gratuitous May 2012 #17
pinboy3niner May 2012 #11
Scuba May 2012 #12
hay rick May 2012 #14
shcrane71 May 2012 #15
countryjake May 2012 #13
SalviaBlue May 2012 #16
LineNew Reply Excuse me, because I've been sick the last few days
frazzled May 2012 #26
malthaussen May 2012 #28
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