The Last, Last Straw?

The fourth of July was especially dismal for me this year.  I cannot celebrate this country.  I had spent the day before protesting at Rockefeller Center during the Today show, being harrassed by private “security” and thwarted and herded.  I was so weary of living in a police state, in a country that has had a coup and doesn’t seem to realize it. 

A young couple who may not have stood up and spoken out before showed up with hand made signs.  Not veterans of protest in this country that has so successfully marginalized and trivialized dissent, when we were denied entrance to the police barriered space where spectators are now permitted to watch the televised Today show (it used to be possible to just show up on the sidewalk before the Bush regime), these young people left.  Fortunately, several of us stayed on, out of the view of the cameras to be sure, but in plain sight of passers by and of those who were in view of the cameras.  We handed out all the orange scarves with Impeach Bush and Cheney on them we had and interacted with people.

The young couple said that Bush’s commutation of Libby’s sentence, which was also the event which prompted our appearance on the street, was the last, last straw.

They certainly didn’t have much determination, though compared to most Americans who have never showed up to protest, never called or written a member of Congress or the regime, they were active. 

I understand the fear and the discouragement.  I am afraid every time I participate.   At some level, I am afraid most of the time.  But, I cannot be silent. 

I wear a shirt that has the slogan translated into Arabic of the German students’ group Die Weisse Rose that resisted Hitler and the Nazis.  The translation in English on my shirt is “We will not be silent.”  I believe that a better translation of the original German “Wir schweigen nicht” is We are not silent. 

My own motto is more I Cannot Be Silent.  I had been censorious of the German people who allowed the Nazis to overthrow thier Weimar Republic and commit its atrocities with little protest.  I cannot remain silent as my country suffers a similar fate.  I am not heroic like the young Germans, who were all arrested and killed, of course.  I am afraid.  But I am more afraid of going to my death without doing anything than of what might happen.

I give thanks today that I left that protest on Tuesday to return home.   I will, no doubt. protest again. 

Since then, I have barraged members of Congress with faxes, phone calls, and email.  I worked as a volunteer in the office of an organization dedicated to restoring our democracy.  Does it really matter?  I am long past knowing. 

When will it be the last, last straw for Americans?  I keep hoping. 

The torture goes on.  The carnage in Iraq this past weekend was enormous; I will post the names as I get them.  The Iraqi victims’ names and the names of the tortured are not known to me.  Here is the lastest list I have of US service people who were killed.

memorial_campcasey.jpg

Those who died in Iraq from Jun 24 to 30:
 
Sgt Joel Dahl  21  Los Lunas NM
Pvt Andre Craig Jr  24  New Haven CT
Sgt Trista Moretti  27  So Plainfield NJ
Sgt Nathan Winder  32  Blanding UT
Cpl Derek Dixon  20  Riverside OH
Sgt Daniel Newsome  27  Chicopee MA
Pvt James Kerr  20  Cowdenbeath UK
Pvt Scott Kennedy  20  Dumfermline UK
Cpl Paul Joszko  28  Mountain Ash UK
Pvt Henry Byrd III  20  Veguita NM
Pvt Cory Hiltz  20  La Verne CA
Spc Dustin Workman II  19  Greenwood NE
Sgt Giann Mendoza  27  No Hollywood CA
Sgt Michael Martinez  24  Chula Vista CA
Sgt Shin Kim  23  Fullerton CA
Sgt William Crow JR  28  Grandview Plaza KS
Sgt Robb Rolfing  29  Milton MA
 
89 were seriously wounded and maimed.
132 wounded were returned to occupation.
 
511 Iraqi sisters and brothers were killed.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: