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[Cross-posted in HuffingtonPost.com/Chicago]

After years of attending Chicago Board of Education monthly meetings, on December 14, 2011 I felt like I left one where the community was actually heard, by the public and by the board. During the "public participation" segment of the meeting, a lone voice stopped the business-as-usual.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Adourthus McDowell, a Chicago Public School parent and member of the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, began the takeover by rising from his chair and interrupting a presentation by Chicago Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard on a new $660 million capital construction plan.



Using a 'mic check' technique borrowed from Occupy Wall Street protesters, McDowell read from a prepared text in short bursts so comrades planted around the room could repeat his words and thereby amplify them for the crowd.

The action continued. Parents, educators, and community activists repeated Mr. McDowell's speech and were escorted out of the room one-by-one.

Some local bloggers and politicians have become highly critical of the "mic check" tactic, where public meetings and events are upstaged by the voice of those who feel voiceless. On its face, it does appear to be rude and counterproductive.



This would be true if these public meetings really were about providing community input. I've attended hundreds of public meetings, both as an activist and as a reporter. Board of Education "public participation" segments are two hours where taxpayers are allowed two minutes each to describe decades of neglect or outright sabotage of their school communities, as bemused members of the Board of Education play on their Blackberries.


Video from the 12-14-2011 Chicago Board of Ed meeting. Reporter was grabbed and hassled by CPS security capturing this moment.

Ever have that nightmare where something terrible is happening and you can't scream for help? For the parents, students, and educators who take a day off of work to attend these meetings, this becomes a reality.

This particular meeting was held in the wake of CPS' announcement to close and turnaround more schools. Many came to defend their school communities. They were prepared with data and research to show why the board should halt their plans.

From Chicagoist:

A study by UIC professors last year showed that the turnaround model espoused initially by CPS during the Richard M. Daley administration has served largely to re-segregate the school system.

The Board of Education didn't get to hear any of this at the meeting, as James Warren describes in the New York Times:

David Vitale retreated into executive session. Mr. Vitale is a banker who was picked by Rahm Emanuel Emanuel to be president of the Chicago Board of Education.

This was after the Mr. Vitale, much like a bad first-year teacher:

... told the crowd that he hoped they'd 'gotten it out of their system,' prompting more jeers.

We need you out of our system,' one man yelled back.

It seems that when confronted by the public they chose to serve, the Board of Education retreats. After the board members left the room, Jesse Sharkey -- the vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union -- who taught for over a decade in CPS schools explained their cowardice:

'I've had many hard days as a teacher and... you can't just take your ball and go home,' Sharkey said, addressing the empty seats.

When you are working on changing a system led by the richest people in the city who have no patience for the people whose taxes pay their stipends and subsidize their friends, you have to come up with new tactics.

Had the community members played by the board's rules last week, the meeting would have been just another one like countless others. Motions would be passed and communities would be destroyed, as members of the board could continue playing Words With Friends.

Originally posted to Tristero 312 on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 08:51 AM PST.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Mic Check Not Perfect... (6+ / 0-)

    ...but it is a needed tool for the people to communicate directly and without filters, for each other and to address the powers that be.

    Fine diary, I know little of Chicago education isues, so thanks for the info.

    Existence is no more than the precarious attainment of relevance in an intensely mobile flux of past, present, and future.~~~ Susan Sontag

    by frandor55 on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 08:58:46 AM PST

  •  When I Hear The Phrase Mic Check (8+ / 0-)

    I get kind of emotional. Generally speaking I am a formal kind of guy. I don't like stuff like this. But I've come to think folks are just mad nobody will hear them. And this tactic, well it seems to work.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 09:02:37 AM PST

    •  How can you say "it seems to work"?? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bill W, VClib

      Yes, it is disruptive.  If the goal is simply to disrupt, and nothing more, then it seems to work.  Of course, disruption in and of itself, does NOTHING to advance a cause -- if anything, because of the disdain it brings on those doing the disruption, it hinders the cause (as many will associate the message with the messengers).  

      If the goal is to make those there listen to the substance of what they are saying, I would think it definitely does not work.  As I said below, if I were one of those who was taking my time and effort to be part of the scheduled discussion, and these people came in and thought that they had the right to take over my time and what I was there to do, that they had the right to decide who could be heard, all I'd think is "what a bunch of arrogant asses."  

      •  What's wrong with arrogant asses? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III, Libby Shaw

        The Board is full of arrogant asses, the government is full of arrogant asses, the political parties are full of arrogant asses, the media is full of arrogant asses.

        The People have as much right to their arrogance as any other group.

        •  How often does behaving like an (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib

          arrogant ass convince others that they should adopt your view?  

          This kind of tactic only appeals to people who already agree with the arrogant asses.  It does nothing to bring more support, and alienates people who otherwise might have been sympathetic to the cause.  In other words, it does not add support, and, if anything, alienates people who potentially might have supported them.  

          •  Doing it 'right' (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, lastlegslaststand, Lisa Lockwood

            in their allotted two minutes didn't work either.  What is the alternative that actually works, then?  They elected Democrats - and the Democrats populated the Board with the same useless 'assholes' that have always been there.

            So, what do the people do now?  Elect more democrats that do what the people don't want?

            Or possibly the right answer is they should go home, pay taxes, be quiet and let the 'professionals' and 'experts' and 'educated' take care of everything.

            Thanks, I'll take the aggravation, noise, and mic checks...democracy, if done properly, is rude, messy and loud.

            •  Exactly, if the Mic Check is the wrong way (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              allensl, Lisa Lockwood

              then what do these folks suggest we do that actually has the power to change things.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 11:22:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  How about... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                coffeetalk, Radical def, VClib

                ...electing a better mayor and council?

                Oh, yes, I know, that's too much work.

                Sorry, I forgot.

                •  Didn't they just elect (0+ / 0-)

                  a 'better' mayor?  Doesn't seem to be working out so well.

                  •  Maybe they should have... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    coffeetalk, Radical def

                    ...done their homework a little better when selecting a candidate, then.  

                    •  Good lord (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      allensl, Roger Fox, Lisa Lockwood

                      So people did what you suggested and then you still don't think it's the right thing.  Just great.  And let's not pretend like people haven't been working on exactly what you are suggesting and failed because of the exact problems they are trying to address.

                      The whole line about us just being lazy is getting old really fast, it's time to let it die.

                      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                      by AoT on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 11:57:57 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  They did not do... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        VClib

                        ...what I suggested they do.  If supporting and improving public education is your goal, then you should identify and elect candidates that are pro-public education.  They apparently did not do that in this case.  

                        And yes, I know that solving things through the electoral process is very difficult.  I just think it's less difficult than the alternatives.

                        •  They might have failed at doing what you (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          allensl, Lisa Lockwood

                          suggested, but to imply that it's somehow these people's fault for not trying hard enough is absurd.  The other problem with this is that we have people saying the exact opposite of what you are, that we just have to be happy with who ever is most electable and shouldn't push for the more left wing or it will get republicans elected.  Honestly, we can't win.

                          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                          by AoT on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 12:14:09 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Also, do you think progressives had any (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          allensl, Lisa Lockwood

                          chance at all of beating Rahm, who is the person in charge of the appointment of this board?  They did try.

                          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                          by AoT on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 12:15:16 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  Deans whole 50 state plan started at the (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Tristero 312, AoT, allensl, Lisa Lockwood

                        School board level.

                        I love the idea, but its had very limited successes for a variety of reasons.

                        The world economy is one Greece from total depression. And if we dont stop it, it will overwhelm everyone. At a certain level of  oppression people revolt violently, Am Rev, French Rev, Russian Rev. We need to draw the line NOW, or it will get worse and at a certain point, the shit will hit the fan.

                        I dig where coffeetalk is coming from, but I've also spent my entire life since I was 14 and volunteered for McGovern- playing by the rules and getting nowhere. More better Dems for 39 yrs is not the answer.

                        I quit my job in 2004 - left NJ for a job in the Kerry campaign in Florida. From 2004 to 2008 I worked in 11 races, from School Board to town council to Congressional and President.

                        In 2005 I formed a group to fight the purchase of Sequoia voting machines here in NJ, I attended Camp Wellstone's 3 day political training seminar in 2005.

                        39 years, the 1% have stolen everything from me. My future I draw the line at. Thats why I'm down with Occupy, and I'm sure as hell down with a MIC Check.

                        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 Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 02:02:39 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

          •  People who do Mic Check protests do so not to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            persuade or win other people over to their cause.

            They do this because it feels good to themselves and helps them feel cool among their friends.

            It's akin to two sisters arguing and insulting each other.  Neither one expects the insults thrown at the other persuades, but it feels good at the moment.

            Unfortunately, this significantly burdens those seeking change through more effective means.  

            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

            by nextstep on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 11:06:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The times are a changing friend (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lisa Lockwood

            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 Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 01:45:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Culture of obedience. (5+ / 0-)

        A central component of the culture of obedience is that those individuals who have voluntarily restricted themselves so as to avoid being punished, are resentful of individuals who refuse to subordinate themselves and disobey. That's because the disobedient bring to light the essential cowardice of individuals who subordinate themselves rather than risk punishment.
        The culture of obedience is abusive.  Abuser's take advantage of a person's preference for security over the right to be themselves and promote their own interests.  It relies on self-interest being re-defined as vice and obedience as virtuous.
        The problem with this arrangement is that abusers are never satisfied and the screws of obedience are going to become tighter and tighter, until obedience is inevitably revealed as a scam. People are suckered into being compliant and then they are injured anyway.

        We've lived through a four decade long experiment designed to prove that human resistance to rule is prompted by physical deprivation by "buying" people off with consumer goods and enough food to make them obese. That's because, IMHO, the civil rights agitation of the sixties was mistaken.  People didn't riot because they were materially disadvantaged; they rioted because they were tired of being disrespected.  What they came to realize was that physical violence was/is counter-productive and claiming respect requires something more. Much more, apparently, if the Chicago BoE is an example.
        What we are witnessing in a host of OWS interactions are public servants who are insubordinate. Too many elected and appointed public officials are under the impression that they are designated to rule, rather than serve.  Getting that message understood is going to take some time.

        People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

        by hannah on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 11:07:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Damn (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Praxical, Lisa Lockwood
          that they are designated to rule, rather than serve

          your posts are always so 'spot on' (which, of course, means that I agree with them!), but this one is masterful.

          Are you writing a book anytime soon?

          •  LOL. I think consensus is the ultimate (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lastlegslaststand, Lisa Lockwood

            high. When brains arrive at the same conclusion and validate their experience, there's nothing better.

            OWS strives to achieve consensus, but I think they've missed that the reason it took off as it did was because the American people had already reached a consensus that something had seriously gone amiss. Now it's just a matter of arriving at solutions. We know our legislative representatives need to be replaced and some of our executives.  Which means that citizens need to be more involved.  If everyone takes a turn, that should not be onerous.  But, if we "let George do it," we're bound to be disappointed.

            No, not writing a book.  Although, there's more than enough material for several on Hannah Blog.

            People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

            by hannah on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 12:09:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  In other words (4+ / 0-)

        We need to shut up and accept the crumbs of free speech that the people in charge are offering us or they will stop pretending to care what we think.  These are the same people that think they can just show up at a GA and get special treatment because  they have power.  It doesn't work like that any more. Like it or not.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 11:20:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The goal is to send a message. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lisa Lockwood

        As with any message, whether people listen or not depends on them.  

  •  Mic Check is counterproductive (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk, VClib

    as it annoys most all of the audience except those who already support the position of those doing the Mic Check.

    While it might feel good doing it, it makes persuading more difficult.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 09:10:56 AM PST

  •  Count me as one who is critical of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    susans, nextstep, VClib

    this kind of thing.

    We live in  representative democracy.  That means that if your public officials are not sufficiently responsive enough to your concerns, the solution is to vote them out of office, and vote in a candidate that is responsive.

    In our system, it is NOT a legitimate solution for any group that feels that government is not responsive to their concerns to disrupt the functioning of government.  In our system, there is virtually always a group that is dissatisfied with government -- that is inherent in a system where a majority wins.  We as a society simply cannot tolerate a system where those dissatisfied with government can be allowed to disrupt its functioning.  

    If people feel that they are not sufficiently heard through the public comment system (it's used throughout the country), they can contact representatives individually, or support others who will change the system.  The solution is not for a group to disrupt the functioning of the government that was duly put in place through elections.  That is anti-democratic.  

    That's my philosophical objection.  Practically, I think something like this is completely counter-productive.  Frankly, if I were at a government event and the scheduled topic was to do "x," and I and others had taken the time and made the effort to be there for the government to address "x," and some group unilaterally tried to disrupt that from happening by some tactic like this, I assure you that would do nothing to convince me to support their cause, whatever that cause is.  My reaction would tend to be, "what a bunch of arrogant asses."  Arrogant, in the sense that their think that what they want to say takes precedence over what all these others have gathered here specifically to do, that they think they have some inherent to take over what all these others are here to do.  

    •  These are not elected officials (4+ / 0-)

      @Coffeetalk:

      Unfortunately, the Chicago Board of Education is not comprised of elected officials. They are mayoral appointees, only one of whom has experience in education and none of whom send their kids to Chicago Public Schools.

      Believe me, if we could vote them out, we would. We are stuck with this rubber-stamp group of super-rich people who have no stake in their decisions other than side deals with vendors.

      "Your conspiracy theories won't work without evidence." -Nasir Jones

      by Tristero 312 on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 09:28:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  True, unresponsive and insubordinate (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allensl, AoT, Roger Fox, Lisa Lockwood

      public officials need to be removed.  However, not only is it impossible to know ahead of time how a particular person is going to perform, if the standard of behavior is not firmly established ahead of time, candidates won't know what's expected.

      We have a very long history of public officials considering themselves unaccountable and ruling "in loco parentis," so to speak.  That an agent needs to be constantly responsive to the people he claims to represent is a concept that's not universally understood.

      For some people, the "rule of law" merely means that autocratic whims are written down as needed, rather than issued as dicta on the fly. That public servants take their instructions from the public seems a novel concept to some.  There's a lot of education needing to be done.

      People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

      by hannah on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 11:15:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Really? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Libby Shaw, Roger Fox, Lisa Lockwood
      In our system, it is NOT a legitimate solution for any group that feels that government is not responsive to their concerns to disrupt the functioning of government.

      I think a lot of people involved in movements throughout our history, the successful ones at least, would very much disagree with this.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 12:00:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know. That particular statement just (0+ / 0-)

        made me laugh. Sigh.
        Clearly, not just the board of ed needs to be addressed, but the public education system as a whole, (duh?!) if this is the lesson that was 'learned' in civics class.
        Sit down and shut up hasn't worked very well for the 99% so far, unless you're one of the 1%.
        * Facepalm *


        "When the powerless are shut out of the media, we will make the media irrelevant" ~Anonymous~

        by Lisa Lockwood on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 04:06:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  We live in a bureaucratic society (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roger Fox, AoT, Lisa Lockwood

      Where the bureaucracy can easily be manipulated to exclude those who seek to use their voice.  Look at what happened earlier when Boner shut off the C-SPAN cams when a democrat started calling him out.

      When the process is so broken that it excludes people based on a whim, the only solution -- if you can't actually fix the root problem, which people can't, not immediately -- is to be loud and obnoxious, to be obstructive to the system and obstinate.  If you can't be heard through the normal process, then the answer is to shut up and be silent or be obnoxious and loud.

      It's an American Tradition, being loud, obnoxious, obstructive, and obstinate.  How else would you represent the Boston Tea Party?  A bunch of vandals and ne'er-do-wells destroying public property to send a message -- and they sent that message very effectively.

      •  Well, that's true... (0+ / 0-)
        It's an American Tradition, being loud, obnoxious, obstructive, and obstinate.  How else would you represent the Boston Tea Party?  A bunch of vandals and ne'er-do-wells destroying public property to send a message -- and they sent that message very effectively.

        Not to mention Operation Rescue and the Army of God.  It's true that such tactics have been around for ages.

      •  Absolutely (0+ / 0-)
        When the process is so broken that it excludes people based on a whim, the only solution -- if you can't actually fix the root problem, which people can't, not immediately -- is to be loud and obnoxious, to be obstructive to the system and obstinate.  If you can't be heard through the normal process, then the answer is to shut up and be silent or be obnoxious and loud.

        Hence, the explosion of so many activist groups, which have become necessary tools when the powerless and ignored who lack access are left with no resources within a corrupt system  to bring attention to our many grievances.


        "When the powerless are shut out of the media, we will make the media irrelevant" ~Anonymous~

        by Lisa Lockwood on Thu Dec 22, 2011 at 04:15:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  If we're going to embrace this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk, susans

    ...shouldn't we at least apologize to the tea party folks for calling them assholes when they did it?

    •   If we're going to embrace this... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      frandor55, allensl, hannah

      No. Let's forget about the Tea Party now. It's become clear that they're an arm of the Republican party, supported by the Billionaire Boys club (much like our Chicago Board of Education).

      We're at a critical time in our history where merely "getting our guys in office" isn't enough. None of these guys are our guys. They all need to have pressure put on them to do the right thing.

      "Your conspiracy theories won't work without evidence." -Nasir Jones

      by Tristero 312 on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 09:48:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A mic check can hardly be compared (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scorpiorising, Roger Fox

      to the teabagger shout outs that disrupted many town hall meetings.  Many if not most of the shouters were not dragged out of the rooms or loaded into police vans either. Nor were they pepper sprayed or shot with rubber bullets.

  •  "mic check" is...creepy (0+ / 0-)

    I can see how it might be appropriate for a large crowd, where those on the periphery might not be able to hear everything.

    But when that's not the case, it just looks and feels like a bunch of mindless idiots, as much as I might agree with many of the points being made...it becomes Very annoying, and even embarrassing.

    We are not freakin' robots..,

    Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle. Information is the ultimate key.

    by Radical def on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 10:26:49 AM PST

    •  Right, the right to speak has to be (4+ / 0-)

      guaranteed because it is really annoying to people. While it's possible to shut out what one doesn't want to see by merely closing one's eyes, it's not possible to close one's ears.  Indeed, the brain continues to be alert to sound even when one is asleep.  So, there's a particular sensitivity to sound and, for the general welfare of the human species, it's important that it not be impeded.
      After all, most individuals "announce" their intent to act.  So, it's important that we attend to their warning and take note of their disaffection. People speaking up in a public hearing at the BoE is eminently preferable to an attack with pitchforks and pikes.

      People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

      by hannah on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 11:22:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excuse me... (0+ / 0-)

        ...it's not "the right to speak" that annoys Me, heh.

        It's the needless mindless rote group repetition of every word, when everyone can already hear what's being said, just fine, that creeps Me out.

        So, my remarks are not in opposition to people "speaking up" in a public hearing...which makes your "rebuttal" seem like kind of a hyperbolic knee-jerk, defensive reaction.

        Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle. Information is the ultimate key.

        by Radical def on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 12:04:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The act of speaking is important (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, Roger Fox

          because the individual speaking is able to monitor himself by hearing what he has to say.  It's a similar feedback one gets from writing down one's thoughts.
          Writing requires a restructuring of thought.  So does speaking out loud.  Repeating what someone else has said isn't just an echo.  It's an opportunity to reflect on what is being said.
          The Greek chorus wasn't just an antecedent to electronic amplification.  The Greek chorus was culturally and psychologically important. It was an affirmation and a critique.

          It is important for people to hear themselves speaking.  Hearing themselves speaking is an opportunity that is increasingly denied to people in our consumer society which aims for compliant listeners.
          Indeed, I'd go so far as to argue that one of the major deficits of public education is the emphasis on "discipline" (children sitting still and silent) followed by "teaching," the infusion of information into passive receptacles.
          Of course, one of the reasons various minority cultures have difficulty in the public education arena is because their cultures are focused on oral participation (singing in church) and dialogue.  So, the instruction in school seems alien.

          People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

          by hannah on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 12:21:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  When it isn't really necessary to be (0+ / 0-)

          heard I agree with you.  I would note that the videos of these things distort the sound so that the people up on stage tend to sound a lot quieter than they do when you are actually there, so while it sounds like one person could simply make their voice heard that really wouldn't work.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Wed Dec 21, 2011 at 12:25:09 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You're easily creeped....n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lastlegslaststand
        •  What you see as mindless rote group repetition, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Horace Boothroyd III

          Others see as a ceremony of solidarity.

          Just sayin'.

          A little on-topic wisdom from Arlo Guthrie:

          "And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder is a study in black and white of my fingerprints.  And the only reason I'm singing this song now is 'cause you may know someone in a similar situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if you're in a situation like that, there's only one thing you can do and that's walk into the shrink wherever you are, just walk in and say "Shrink, you can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant," and walk out.  

          You know, if one person, just one person does it, they may think he's really sick and they won't take him.  And if two people, two people do it -- in harmony -- they may think they're both faggots, and they won't take either of them.  

          And if three people do it -- three, can you imagine -- three people walking in, signing a bar of Alice's restaurant, and walking out.  They may think it's an Organization.  And can you -- can you imagine -- fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day, walking in, singing  a bar of Alice's restaurant, and walking out.  And friends, they may think it's a Movement."

  •  Hmmm. I wonder where all of the concern (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lastlegslaststand

    trolls were during the teabagger shout outs and hate fests during the town hall meetings in the summer of 2009?  What about the right wing crackpots that showed up at rallies sporting assault weapons?  I did not recall a peep of protest from concern trolls then.  Nor do I recall the police pepper spraying and/or jailing any of them.

    Mic check works b/c it wakes up the audience to the fact that some folks don't agree with whatever is being said or done by a particular group.    Mic checkers bring awareness to issues to a normally apathetic and unengaged public.  

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