Yesterday I attended a great rally and march protesting corporate personhood and a business meeting of the Eugene Mutual Aid Society, and both events restored my enthusiasm to keep on working for needed changes. My friend Judi and I were among 100 people who came to the rally, some from as far away as Corvallis. There were Raging Grannies with cool, crazy hats, who sang protest songs written for the occasion, and protestors dressed in judges’ robes labeled with Supreme Court justices’ names. A totally energetic and enthusiastic guy with a megaphone rapped and mic-checked and got us chanting and raising our hands and fists — all on themes of working together (the 99% and the 1%), persistently, for radical change. One of our chants was “Money is not free speech! This is free speech!” One young woman held a cardboard sign that said, “If you don’t poop, you’re not a person.”
When we marched on the new federal building, I realized how expressive its architecture is: massive, gray, and cold, with no visible doors or windows, an impregnable fortress defending the “Just Us” system of the 1%. Another marcher told me that if you want to visit Representative de Fazio’s office there, you have to be approved and can only go in two at a time. Our supposed “representatives” don’t want to face or hear from us; they just want our votes and tax dollars. When the chants “Whose courts? Our courts!” and “Whose government? Our government!” flew through the air, I was silent. I don’t want these courts or this government. I want something completely new (old): localized, non-hierarchical self-government, in which everyone’s voice is equal.
Judi had a letter printed in yesterday’s Register Guard expressing her passion for change, and spelling out the kind of change she thinks is needed. (See Eugene RG letters for 1-20-12.) I was excited that this kind of revolutionary talk would make it into our relatively conservative local paper. The word is spreading.
There was lots of passion, enthusiasm, warmth, humor, and solidarity at our EMAS meeting, held in public (at Cozmic Pizza) for the first time. Some excellent ideas, too. Come to our next meeting next Friday (5-7 PM), same place, and gather round our “fire.”