So today is laundry day. I have been putting it off for almost four weeks (can you say gross?). I went through the most extreme ways of not having to wash my clothing. I re-wore underwear. Then I wore no underwear. Then I went out and made my mom buy me new clean underwear.
Sharing a dorm room with someone is a very fragile ecosystem. Especially when one of you is fat, gross and lazy and the other is a germophobe, anal retentive, and a neat freak. I have abused my roommate for almost four weeks. Allowing the state of the room to grow messier and messier. Allowing the clothes to pile up higher and higher.
I could sense things were almost at a breaking point so I decided to do the only humanitarian thing and clean my room and wash my clothing.
I hate washing laundry. Not only do you have to PICK it all up. PUT it into a bag and CARRY it all the way downstairs. But then you have to fight for your right to a machine. When I first came to Middlebrook Hall I had a very nice passive- aggressive Midwestern attitude about things. I thought things were fair and everyone waited in line and didn't hog all the resources for the rest of the community. Boy has shit changed.
As I came down to do laundry with no less than TWO stuffed to the brim laundry bags I saw a rare opportunity. Almost the entire laundry room was empty. I acting like any reasonable rational human being proceeded to take six washing machines. The laundry room is the jungle. There is no sense of morals, rights or human decency. You have to take what is available and fight off any freeloaders.
I will end this section with this thought. Every time I do laundry without fail I get this song stuck in my head. It is the best thing about the worst household chore. Take a listen and enjoy!
Expectation of Movements
So some of this is section is building on frustrations on today's events. Today I participated in an action against US Bank in Support of John Vinje and Occupy Homes (read some of my writing on their work here). I also went to the Socialist Alternative public discussion of the deeper implications of the Trayvon Martin shooting. I will talk a little about each of them individually and then come back together to critique a common thread.
So I had a lot of fun at the bank action. We were protesting at the US Bank in Bloomington. At a local restaurant where we were meeting and getting ready to picket, in walked two police officers. They didn't ask who we were or anything they told us we can stand on the sidewalk. If we try to go into the bank, near the bank, or try to do anything to disrupt business they will arrest us.
We didn't do anything to disrespect the law enforcement's request. We ended up picketing and chanting back and forth across the bank entrance, not preventing cars from entering but slightly annoying them. Now I will be very honest. There were about 12 beautiful, energetic protesters at this bank. Not exactly a standing army or a potential threat to public safety or anything like that. Bloomington law enforcement still deemed is necessary in the interest of public safety to keep no less than three squad cars on site the entire time we were there (about an hour). Good use of your tax dollars, yes? sickening. They should be arresting the corporate stooges that got us in this mess. Not 12 peaceful protestors that are trying to fix the problem.
After this small but exciting US Bank action we headed back to our SA meeting. Now as reported earlier, there were about 5000 people at the Million Hoodie March last week (if you missed this post go here). Socialist Alternative handed out 2400 leaflets advertising a public meeting next Tuesday (today) to have a deeper discussion on the Travyon shooting moving forward. We all talked to dozens of people who were happy and excited that we were there and passionate about coming to the meeting next week.
We were not expecting high numbers, but what we actually got was about 6. Six people from the rally came out of 2400 Leaflets. This now feeds into my problems about my generation's expectations of social movements.
- First of all I received criticism from the bank action today because "there were only 12 people" You can't get 100 if 12 don't stand there first. You can't get 1000 if 100 don't stand there first. You can't get 1,000,000 until 1000 stand first.
- 5000 people coming together to protest an event doesn't mean anything. You need a solid list of clear demands for public action. These demands have to be backed up by legitimate threats if action isn't taken to meet these demands. here is an example of a list of demands:
Movements don't start and end overnight. that Kony bullshit they pumped into your head was just that: bullshit. The civil rights movement was a several year struggle. It took lots and lots of planing and organizing. It took public meetings like the SA Trayvon meeting, public actions like Occupy Homes' action on Us Bank. The biggest thing it took was you.
There are no magical movement fairies like Martin Luther King. The civil rights movement and all the movements of that era were successful because average working-class citizens took initive and started organizing themselves. If you care about Trayvon, and the problem of institutional racism in this country don't bitch about it do something about it. We need you and your friends and your friends' friends.
Martin Luther King was just a man. It was the people in the streets that made him one of the most important political activist in our history.
On a side note one of my friends recorded some great footage from the Trayvon Rally Thursday. Enjoy!
Right- Wing Terrorism.
So I realize the progression of this blog is just a building of anger. I went from pissed about laundry to really pissed about social movements to this section. What I am about to write about should make you violently angry. Because what I am writing about is terrorism. Not over in Baghdad or Kabul. Not among Middle-eastern citizens or people who ascribe to the Muslim religion. This is American terrorism and it comes from the right.
So this weekend in my home state of Wisconsin a Planned Parenthood was firebombed. Firebombed! You know like the Taliban did with schools or the Al-Quida does with government agencies. Where is the giant media story about the American terrorist? Where is the uproar? Where is the racial profiling or the police's mass surveillance of US citizens, and undercover infiltration of right-wing political groups OBVIOUSLY responsible for this? (These are all policies we have used to oppress the Muslim community in the country).
What? We are only afraid of terrorists if they are brown? We are only afraid of terrorists if they are part of a religion we don't like? We don't radically profile white people. We don't go into their community and wire tap their churches and communities centers. We don't go into their shops and schools and keep undercover classified records of all of their community's activities. We don't because they are WHITE. We don't because they are CHRISTIAN.
Terrorist acts in this country are committed by Muslim extremists the least (minus the commies FEAR THEM TOO). look at the data for acts of Terrorism committed on US soil from 1980 to 2005(the source is the FBI database)
I hope this section raised some concerns about why we so heavily policing and persecuting a minority group that poses one of the smallest threats to our countries. Surprisingly Fox News didn't really report on the firebombing incident. Maybe because the bomber looked like this:
and Not like this:
food for though. BED