Saturday, May 21, 2005

Where are the student protests today?

As we approach June 4th , the anniversary of Tiananmen Square, and I reflect on our own history of student protests, it got me to wonder where are today's student protesters, as certainly there are many disturbing trends in America today, threatening the very fabric of our democracy as we search for bipartisanship in Congress and a more humble America in our rhetoric abroad and at home. But we still seem very arrogant as a nation with little understanding of the very cultures we are trying to change. I am not talking about Iraq here. I am talking about the "Divided" States of America, that's right, the good ole D.S.A., one nation, (partly) under God, very divisible, with liberty (until we can change those Senate Rules), and justice for (a few).

There was once a time of idealism, of standing up and being taken seriously by society, a conscience for all of us. This was the time of Student protests. Students protested the Vietnam war, the May 4th, 1970 Kent State shootings, Tiananmen Square and support for democracy in China, the outrage at the Chinese Government’s reaction to the protests and some recent protests of the Iraq war in selective cities.

As a nation, we have a lot to be angry about with our government. First there was the misleading “intelligence” of the lead up to the Iraq invasion and then the letters of former White House General Counsel and current Attorney General, Roberto Gonzales, regarding new interpretations of what is and what is not torture. Then the pronouncements by our President that certain prisoners would not necessarily be treated in a manner consistent with the Geneva Convention. Add to this more recent assertion about additional abuse in Guantanamo and the shameless deceit to get recruits on High School campuses to enlist, and you wonder what it takes to get Student protesters engaged again. There have been some protests of the Iraq war but they fade away quickly. What captures the focus and attention of the bulk of our students today? Could it be survival, as the job market still looks bleak? Or is it just apathy? What do you think? I don’t think they care much about what the Senate is proposing in its Nuclear Option to end the filibuster and allow judicial nominations through who by the minority see as extreme in their views. Stay tuned.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Justen said...

If you want to see some more student protesting, I have a bunch of pictures of the ISU Democrats at www.flickr.com/photos/justen/

4:24 PM  
Blogger Chris Woods said...

You can also check out the student filibuster that took place at Princeton University's Frist Center (graciously funded by graduate Bill Frist and his family) at their webiste Filibuster Frist. They have links to other college filibusters as well. They even made it to DC and were joined by national politicians and got covered in the New York Times and the Washington Post.

For coverage on the Nuclear Option from a college democrat's perspective, check out my political weblog: The Political Forecast.

5:49 PM  

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