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View Diary: What's possible for humanity? vs. What's in it for me? (52 comments)

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  •  In terms of demonstrations... (12+ / 0-)

    ...those, like activism in general, don't all have to be in D.C. In fact, better to have, say 200 demonstrations in 100 cities and 100 college campuses on the same day or the same consecutive days, like a Friday and a Saturday. Hundreds of thousands of participants nationwide without the expense of traveling to Washington. Among many other benefits, that LOCAL organizing on one area of need can have a residual effect for future organizing on other needs as the same people get together on matters of mutual concern.

    I am not against demos in D.C. But I think, have long thought, that we put too much emphasis on—and too much energy, time and money into—them.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 04:00:18 PM PST

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    •  You need the big D.C. rally to get attention. (4+ / 0-)
      •  No. We need 200 local broadcast news (9+ / 0-)

        stations, in all 50 States, running similar footage on the same day.

        So that everybody in the nation gets to see it in the leading 5 minutes of the local news.

        Because 'everyone knows' that the really important news that you should pay attention to (because it is likely to have an impact on your own life) happens before the first commercial break.

        Once it gets on local news shows that "crowds are showing up at every state capitol on the same day", the next day it's what everyone is talking about.

        Which is about the only way to engage the vast majority of disconnected voters in this country, to my great dismay. The era of the Informed American Voter seems to have passed, and our 4th Estate is doing little to nothing about it.


        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization" -- me

        by Angie in WA State on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:33:16 PM PST

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        •  Yes. It involves way more people. (5+ / 0-)

          It brings the issue home, everywhere. It facilitates growing local and regional networks, and coalitions of diverse groups working on different environmental and/or policy issues. It encourages young people, not just on college campuses but in high schools and grade schools as well.

          Nobody pays any real attention to how many people are protesting what in DC these days. It's always something, and most media don't even bother covering any of it. Same if you focus too much on state capitals. If you really want to say something about our dependence on petroleum, wasting a whole bunch of it so you can show up and not be counted is pretty counterproductive. I'd love to see some demonstrations where most participants show up on bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, mopeds, donkey carts... anything but cars and trucks. In my nearest city, public transport would be okay - it's all electric or biodiesel, has been for years.

          The only way the status quo will change is if the people ignore the status quo and change things themselves. I've long believed that.

          •  Masses Shrugged (4+ / 0-)

            I'm not so sure that 'taking it to the streets' and 'demonstrations' are so effective anymore. I think people need to organize and decide on a series of rolling dates in key cities, and pull a Masses Shrugged, wherein people stay home with their family and friends, and the streets and businesses would be empty.

            •  Interesting idea. (3+ / 0-)

              But short of a nationwide general strike, I don't think there's much any group of 'demonstrators' can do that would shake media silence and political complacency. And if we haven't had any spectacular general strikes yet (I do remember France in the late '60s), I don't think those will ever happen either. Too many people in this country are hopelessly automated.

              I like to encourage people to stop fretting and whining if it's not getting anything done, just turn their backs on the Big Picture that's making their lives miserable. Put into regular daily practice all the things you believe people should be doing, and live your life as if that counted. Because it does, maybe more than anything else.

              Get your energy usage down to as low as possible. Install those solar panels as soon as possible. Ditch the cable TV and just get a Roku for occasional movies. Plant some peas, shop at your local grower's market, learn how to cook, eat good food and eat it at home. Buy a bike and use it regularly. Donate time and energy to community and hunger projects. Teach your children well, and their friends too if they're always hanging around... §;o)

      •  Look at the mediocre coverage the D.C.... (7+ / 0-)

        ...rally actually got by Big Media. PBS did best, with 50 seconds out of an 11-minute segment that included a debate between an NRDC fellow and an oil lobbyist.

        Attention can be gained from local media without big D.C. rallies. If there are 200 small marches and rallies of a few hundred or few thousand in cities nationwide on the same day, I guarantee this will get better attention from national media. Of course, the organizers of such a networked protest operation can't be passive about getting the media to come out. Gotta work at it.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:35:02 PM PST

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        •  You are all right. MSNBC did a segment on this (3+ / 0-)

          on the Ed Show tonight and Chris Hayes did a panel and segment on Sunday. Thanks FSM.

          We need both. There is something palpable when a throng of people from many places in the country shows up in DC ( we were there for the inauguration. Chills) And we have seen the conversations started by local actions.

          Thanks to those getting up and away from their keyboards and putting the energy into showing up.

          Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

          by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 11:25:15 PM PST

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