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View Diary: 2. Update - Dr. Cornel West arrested at Supreme Court in Washington DC (321 comments)

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  •  Coxey's Army (8+ / 0-)

    The stunt sounds similar to the one by Jacob Coxey who during the depression of 1894 led an "army of tramps" (so described in the press) to Washington where he attempted to raise a banner and speak on the Capitol steps. He was arrested and found guilty of a law prohibiting such banners:

    Whereas, The Capitol grounds have been formed to subserve the quiet and dignity of the Capitol of the United States, and to prevent the occurrence near to it of such disturbances as are incident to the ordinary use of public streets and places; therefore, the following statute for the regulation of the public use of said grounds is hereby enacted:


    Sec. 6. That it is forbidden to trade, stand, or move in any processions or assemblages, or display any flag, banner, or device designed or adapted to bring into public notice and party, organization, or movement.

    He was also found guilty of damage to plants and shrubs.

    Press reports in the NY Times were universally sneering, calling his planned speech a "wail against imagined opression" and "a plea for unsound money."

    Twenty years later the law had evidently changed, but the dismissive attitude of the press had not, as the NY Times reported:

    COXEY SPEAKS AT CAPITOL.; But Only 16 of the "Army of the Unemployed" Are There.

    WASHINGTON, May 21. -- "Gen." Jacob S. Coxey, at the head of his so-called unemployed army of nine, climbed the steps of the Capitol today and, unmolested by the police, delivered a prolonged speech on industrial conditions to a curious crowd. Reinforcements of seven unemployed from Baltimore, accompanied by J. Eads How, joined the army at the Capitol.

    •  Bowers v Hardwick. In 1987, 481 of us were... (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davidseth, jmknapp, mimi, mrkvica, alizard, kurt

      ...arrested on the steps of the US Supreme Court in protest of that decision, which came down the previous year.

      The CD was held in conjunction with the 1987 Gay Rights March on Washington.

      "If I can't dance, then I don't want to be in your revolution"--Emma Goldman

      by ehrenfeucht games on Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 06:08:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ah, the first March on Washington (9+ / 0-)

      and the biased reporting of the people's army, even then.  It was a noble effort, and there were thousands behind him.

      Did you know that Coxey's Army going through Chicago inspired a reporter named L. Frank Baum?  He wrote a book that came out a few years later called The Wizard of Oz. . . .  Still a great story for today, when a lot of people would have been wise to not fall for the big booming voice that hid the little man behind the screen.

      "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

      by Cream City on Sun Oct 16, 2011 at 06:57:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wizardry (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I did see the wikipedia article about how Baum's story is an allegory for the Free Silver populist movement, the cowardly lion being Wm. Jennings Bryan, etc. It seems a little like an urban legend though. Even in the BBC article cited as the source:

        But not everyone believes The Wonderful Wizard of Oz includes any hidden meanings.

        "Nobody ever suggested it until 1964," says Bradley Hansen, who is a professor of economics at the University of Mary Washington.

        "There's no solid evidence that Baum had written it as a monetary allegory," he adds. "While it may have grabbed students' interests, it doesn't really teach them anything about the gold standard and, in particular, the debate about the gold standard."

        Professor Hansen thinks the author was just trying to create a new kind of fairytale, the "Harry Potter of its time".

        •  That's not the same at all as my point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radical simplicity

          which -- if you get off Wikipedia -- has solid evidence behind it that Baum was a reporter in Chicago when Coxey's Army went through, was inspired by it for aspects of his Oz series, etc. . . .  Oh, fuggedaboudit, this is like correcting a weird essay on an exam in which the student answers anything but the question asked.

          "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

          by Cream City on Mon Oct 17, 2011 at 01:37:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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