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View Diary: The Era of Street Protest is Over (107 comments)

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  •  Even though I participate in many (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ex Con, smkngman, funluvn1

    demonstrations, I know that real power comes from voters.  If having a street demonstration can get me the 5+ votes per hour I can get from other methods then I'm all for it - otherwise I'll use my time where it pays off the most.

    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt

    by norahc on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 10:04:36 AM PDT

    •  So we can elect more Amy Klobuchars? (6+ / 0-)
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      tikkun, Shadan7, stevej, marina, chesapeake, norahc

      More people like Tim Walz, Zack Space, Jim Webb?
      Harry Reid, Nancy Peolsi?

      They are not listening to us, they are listening to something else. The sirens of Wall Street, the klaxon of "al-Qaeda", the boardrooms of corporations. They are not listening to us.

      socialist democratic progressive pragmatic idealist with a small d.

      by shpilk on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 10:13:51 AM PDT

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      •  Hate to say this (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hornito, leveymg, marina, norahc

        but we (the so called left blogosphere) are to the Democrats what the bat-shit crazy fundies are to the country club Republicans.

        The Irony is that we are the mainstream and the Beltway Democrats are not.

        I have never lived in a time where so many different and apparently contradictory realities can happily co-exist.

        Impeachment is not an option ........It is a duty.

        by stevej on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 10:32:37 AM PDT

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        •  with all due respect I disagree (9+ / 0-)

          Upholding the Constitution, habeas corpus and civil liberties is not 'bat shit crazy'.

          Calling for a realistic sane foreign policy is not 'bat shit crazy'.

          Calling for fiscal repsonsibility is not 'bat shit crazy'.

          In fact, all three of these are ideas are traditional conservative ideas.

          socialist democratic progressive pragmatic idealist with a small d.

          by shpilk on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 10:40:27 AM PDT

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        •  I've seen this before: the Vietnam War (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shpilk, stevej, antifa, bmaples, norahc, Clio2

          It's clear in retrospect what did and didn't work to bring the war to a close.  

          Worked:  really BIG marches on Washington (200,000 and more); personally talking to your Congressman; Impeaching Nixon

          Didn't Work: "Street Fightin Man" posing, property destruction, "Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh" identification with the "enemy"; blowing holes in the anteroom wall of the Capitol Bldg; blowing up a university computing center with someone inside.

          If one wants to take a clue from the fall of the Iron Curtain, get a million people together and OCCUPY Washington until Bush-Cheney flee, never to come back.  That might work, too.

          •  There was a related (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            leveymg, antifa, marina, norahc, Clio2

            sidebar on another diary that touched on this, there are plenty of options that lie between total acquiescence (which includes token cliched feelgood acts as candlelight vigils) and violent acts endangering property and people.

            We need to explore this area and fast, our elected leaders obviously haven't the desire or, I suspect, the stomach to do what is needed so we need to.

            Impeachment is not an option ........It is a duty.

            by stevej on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 10:52:26 AM PDT

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            •  We need to encourage our "leaders", not threaten (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shpilk, stevej, antifa, marina, norahc

              them.

              In Eastern Europe, the "Velvet Revolution" method was very much one of a true opposition politics, in which  part of the Gov't essentially said to the central regime, "You aren't legitimate anymore.  We are the true representatives of the people - get out of town.  we don't want you here anymore"

              There would then be a tense period in which the regime's response was awaited.  Would the tanks come rumbling down the street?  Large crowds would then gather around the Parliament, opposition party headquarters, and the main TV and radio stations, protecting the new government.  This sort of stand-off sometimes lasted for weeks -- people lived in the streets outside Parliament, not marched. They were prepared to die there, if need be.

              Eventually, the country decided.  The people won.

              That works.  We should try it.

              •  Some (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                leveymg, norahc

                of our "leaders," that is.

                •  Velvet Revolution requires we have leaders (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  marina, smkngman

                  Somebody of statute in Washington has to break from the rest, blow the whistle, and declare that "this game is over".

                  The system won't mend itself if we just run out the clock.  If we won't Impeach, for any reason, that just gives the Bush-Cheney regime permission to do ANYTHING they damn well please.

                  The other side isn't playing by the rules -- they fouled out two quarters ago -- and it's time for them to go home.

              •  Exactly right. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shpilk, leveymg, chesapeake, norahc

                Don't go home.

                Let the government go home.

                Stay in the street until the government quits.

                The ruling elite is incredibly fragile. Their only real strength is the apathy of the many, who will write letters, make phone calls, and attend one-day protests, then get back to wage slaving and shopping.

                That doesn't scare them.

                When you stop shopping, and stop up the streets, and stop commerce, they have no option but to back down to try to save something of the perks they enjoy.

                "The rule of the wise must be absolute . . . rulers ought not to be responsible to the unwise subjects." ~ Professor Leo Strauss

                by antifa on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 11:27:26 AM PDT

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              •  As a European (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pesto, leveymg, marina, norahc

                this is the approach that appeals to me. Not sure that it would work here though. The elite have very cleverly used patriotism to neuter the effects of class dissatisfaction which has always been a huge factor in European politics.

                In the USA being American super-cedes everything whereas Europe has a strong tradition of loyalty along class lines e.g. a German worker would feel more kinship towards a British worker than he would towards say a German factory owner.

                Over the past three decades things have changed and the class divide has become blurred and leaders have encouraged nationalism based on the US model. No coincidence that the revolutions have stopped.

                Impeachment is not an option ........It is a duty.

                by stevej on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 11:43:58 AM PDT

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                •  The most ardently patriotic people were the (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  stevej, marina, norahc

                  Russians.  Before 1905, they LOVED the Czar, who was revered as "the Little Father", closest to God.  This despite the military disaster in the Far East as the pride of the Imperial Navy went to the bottom   at the hands of the Japanese fleet.

                  Then on a snowy Easter Day, Father Gapon, the head of the moderate opposition workers guild (and, an agent of the secret police) led a singing, peaceful procession a mile long. These were people bearing a petition for  modest reforms in working and living conditions, not revolutionaries.

                  As the procession neared the Czar's Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, a line of the elite Guards and Kossacks formed.  With narily a warning that could be heard over the religious songs, the commanding officer ordered the troops to raise and aim their rifles, and to shoot.  That order was obeyed.

                  That was "Bloody Sunday" - many in that crowd arrived at the Palace loving their Little Father, and fully expected his blessings, came back a dozen years later as revolutionaries.

                  That is the other model of revolution.  The one I DON'T want us to take.  

          •  The synergy (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pesto, marina, chesapeake, norahc

            The power structuiure took a scare when they saw the flow from the large peaceful protests into the more militant actions, threatening to make the country ungovernable. I'd put the turning point at the 1972 republican Convention in Miami Beach, with Nixon and sammy davis onstage choking on the teargas which had been picked up by the Convention Center's air intake.

            Democratic Candidate for US Senate, Wisconsin 2012

            by ben masel on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:03:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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