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In the 1960s there was a draft.  

In the 1960s young people went to the streets, burned their draft cards in protest for being conscripted into the military to fight a war they didn't believe in.

In the 1960s and before African Americans in the south weren't allowed to vote through many conniving laws that made this right almost impossible to carry out.  

In the 1960s black children couldn't attend the better schools that the white student attended.  They also couldn't live in white neighborhoods.  They were denied many basic rights that other Americans took for granted.

They, as well, rebelled.  They participated in massive acts of nonviolent direct action, such as sit-ins at Woolworth counters in the South, boycotting buses in Montgomery, AL.

Today, in the 2010s, many of our young people and some older folks are without jobs even though they received educations that were supposed to guarantee them stunning careers that would pay off student debts and allow them to start lives as contributing adults to the civil society.

In the 2010s, millions of families have found themselves put out of their homes because of foreclosures in ever mounting numbers.  Sacrifices to pay monthly mortgages in the thousands of dollars count for nothing.  Those still in their homes have found their home values evaporate like a morning dew.

Near the 2010s, the US government gave billions of dollars to US financial institutions to prevent a national financial collapse we were told.  Many of those funds went for bonuses to millionaire CEOs, who laughed all the way to their yachts while pink slips were handed out to employees all along the boulevard along the way.

Meanwhile college loans take over grants and scholarships and students find themselves graduating with loans the size of mortgages, and having no way to even start payments since they have no jobs.

We in the 1960s always wondered when the young would take over the mantle and carry on the fight for social justice in this country and beyond.

The time has come.  It is today.  It is in more than 800 communities around the globe in the form of Occupy Wall Street groups.  

These people....both young and old....are mad and aren't going to take it any longer.

My advice to the other old timers like myself.  Let the leaders of this movement be our young people.  We have fought many battles, some of which we won and some which we lost.  And we can also fight this battle, but this is the time for our young people to take leadership.

Let's pass our flame of passion onto them.  Let's follow, but be open to share our wisdom, advice and experience when asked.

This is a new dawn of activism once more in America, and the leaders do not have silver crowns like mine, but instead black, blond, red and even dreadlocks crowns, accented with tattoos in some cases.  They have babies.  Many own very little, but have so much to gain by this experience.

Let's be there for them, help make the critical mass, testify for them, write letters to the editor for their movement, then step back and let them develop a form of reform that speaks to the needs and wants of the 2010s.

Originally posted to people power granny on Tue Oct 25, 2011 at 08:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Asheville.


Who is best suited to lead Occupy Wall Street movements?

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| 20 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nobody Knows. Nobody's Ever Been Here Before. (5+ / 0-)

    We never had anything resembling today's government and business surveillance state. We never had a large majority of average people living the privileges of the technical "middle class" which were never middle income but were the educated or business-owner class with upward mobility and opportunity. So we never had such a class attacked by its government, economy and global economy being driven back down to working and working poor class.

    Youth has the most spare time, first because they're young, second because today's youth on the whole have little more prospects than our eternally-marginalized minorities.

    This phase hasn't matured yet. Let it be what it will be. There isn't a good model anywhere in history so there will be a lot of trial and error.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Oct 25, 2011 at 08:28:25 PM PDT

  •  continue leaderless (0+ / 0-)

    young people seem to be most of the initial organizers, but OccupyMN had quite a variety of age & gender, even at the pre-planning meetings. Racial diversity was not that good at first but getting better.

    I think it's good that responsibility is shared and rotated. We are being the change we want n any number of ways

    -7.75, -6.05 And these wars; they can't be won Does anyone know or care how they begun?-Matt Bellamy

    by nicolemm on Tue Oct 25, 2011 at 09:18:32 PM PDT

  •  Why they must avoid the old activist "milieu" (0+ / 0-)

    This is from "The Coming Insurrection", a pamphlet published in France about 5 years ago that predicted the events of the last 12-18 months with astonishing clarity and accuracy.  Here they instruct the young rebels about the danger of involvement with old worn-out activists like me, and I would say the authors are once again dead-on accurate:

    Particularly to be avoided are the cultural and activist circles. They are the old people’s homes where all revolutionary desires traditionally go to die. The task of cultural circles is to spot nascent intensities and to explain away the sense of whatever it is you’re doing, while the task of activist circles is to sap your energy for doing it. Activist milieus spread their diffuse web throughout the French territory, and are encountered on the path of every revolutionary development. They offer nothing but the story of their many defeats and the bitterness these have produced. Their exhaustion has made them incapable of seizing the possibilities of the present. Besides, to nurture their wretched passivity they talk far too much and this makes them unreliable when it comes to the police. Just as it’s useless to expect anything from them, it’s stupid to be disappointed by their sclerosis. It’s best to just abandon this dead weight.

    All milieus are counter-revolutionary because they are only concerned with the preservation of their sad comfort.

    We are the 99%. We are the mob. We areToo Big To Fail.

    by ActivistGuy on Tue Oct 25, 2011 at 09:19:19 PM PDT

    •  I love ya, AG, but I don't agree. The OWS is... (13+ / 0-)

      ... seeing the rise of leaders, most of them young, and I personally think that is great (as well as essential). I love seeing young people finally butting heads not in one big demonstration in NYC or DC but in hundreds of communities. Exactly the kind of activism I have been pushing for two decades. I'll happily let these young people lead.

      But in the '60s, there were some old-timers who gave us then young people good advice about tactics, strategy and other matters that were immensely helpful. OWS (and whatever comes out of it) must and will go its own way. And old activists shouldn't try to undermine it because it isn't quite what the older activists have in mind nor try to take it over. But to suggest we shouldn't engage with it and that young activists shouldn't engage with us is what is counter-revolutionary. Generational warfare sucks.

      The surest way to predict the future is to invent it. — Stephen Post. [Me at Twitter.]

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Oct 25, 2011 at 09:33:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Huge difference between France and the US (0+ / 0-)

      The 2 cultures are so phenomenally different.

      I think Gil Scott Heron did a much better job of being prescient, than anything in that pamphlet.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Tue Oct 25, 2011 at 10:47:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you compare apples and oranges (0+ / 0-)

      and it really doesn't fit in here. It implies you think the US elderly activist from the sixties to seventies are counter-revolutionaries. That doesn't sound right in my ears.

  •  Right on Granny (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie, Arkieboy, BOHICA

    They're teaching a whole new generation its OK to question authority, its OK to protest.

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Tue Oct 25, 2011 at 10:14:11 PM PDT

  •  Bravo, 99ers! (0+ / 0-)

    The young now, like Descartes, "Question everything".

  •  Among Our Protesters At OccupyOlympia..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BOHICA, joe wobblie

    are young musicians.  Today they played for us....& their young counterparts started dancing.  After sleeping on the ground for weeks, they just danced so sweetly & so spontaneously.  It broke my heart.  They have such a bleak future in this country without the change we desperately need.  

    I will never give up on them.  

  •  This (0+ / 0-)

    Doonesbury strip says it all.
    Last panel
    Zonker: So what's our play really? Pour into the streets?
    Boopsie: At our age? With my knees?

    "Remember Bob. No fear, no envy, no meanness" Liam Clancy to Bob Dylan

    by BOHICA on Wed Oct 26, 2011 at 05:14:18 AM PDT

  •  It's important to see many old-timer activist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie

    get involved, got heard and listened to. They don't have to lead, but one should always listen to their experiences and their advice.

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