It was May 21st, 2005 when I wrote a Blog post titled, "Where are the Student Protests Today?". It has taken this long before some have finally demonstrated. This is the 99% Occupy Wall Street movement. Here is what I wrote back in 2005:"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."
I think this has merit today as well. Those brave students at UC Davis who were pepper sprayed for no reason other than they were protesting. Others on Wall Street protest as they have seen what they have gained over their lifetimes gone because of the greed on Wall Street and the Banks. Let's be thankful that the conscience of some is alive and full this Thanksgiving, even though their stomachs may be empty. Bless the 99% and be thankful for their voice and their courage. They are the best of what has made America great. Back in 2005, way before the Sub Prime problem, there was a jobs crisis (during the Bush years), but many have forgotten that. Many ill informed have blamed President Obama. Not me.
Along with your dinner today, which is a blessing in itself, maybe this will give you some extra food for thought.
Labels: 99%, banks, Congress, conscience, greed, idealism, Occupy Wall Street, politics, protests, standing up, the past, UC Davis students, Wall Street