Demonstrations and protest marches are good for the soul, but do they accomplish anything? No, they don’t.
All right, let me redact that conclusion. Protest demonstrations give participants and supporters a sense of accomplishment, it makes them feel good. They get out there with their signs, their friends, their neighbors and a bunch of folks of like mind, and they march. They march and they chant, march and chant—all the way to a stage where some politician or activist gives a speech. Then some celebrities show up and they sing or give another speech. The protestors are excited and brimming with a feeling of accomplishment. Well and good, great even… but have they accomplished anything?
Sorry, but the demonstration, however popular, however large, regardless of the massive media coverage, did not do a damn thing to change the deplorable situation We The People find ourselves in—politically, economically, socially or religiously.
The majority of our elected politicians and those serving as heads of government agencies, the chief executive officers of corporations, and the heads of the international banks and monetary funds don’t give a rat’s ass about you, me, our children, our environment or our future.
Their one and only concern, the omniscient god they owe allegiance to is MONEY and the power it gives them over the so-called 99%. If you don’t believe it, allow me to close this statement with a single word that provides inviolable truth and closure to the topic at hand; a word uttered several times a day by our current president’s press secretary… “Period!”
So, are we now on the same sheet of music? I know, it’s tears in your beer song, but there is a tune on this jukebox, popular in the good old days of unions (real—for the people—unions) called, Strike!
If you get international news where you live, and it comes at a time you could see or hear it, (not the middle of the night or while most people are at work) you’d get real proof of the efficacy of strikes. Please ensure that the news outlet you are listening/watching does not belong to the chain of news operatives owned by Rupert Murdoch. If the only news you can get comes from his international web of disinformation and dissension aimed at befuddling and brainwashing, you won’t find the truth.
But, I digress.
In almost every European country, the most effective way to change a bad policy is to strike. Unions in Europe are strong, dedicated to their membership, tenacious in their dealings with government and corporate entities, and… okay, unions in Europe are owned just like those in the U.S. But, they get results and they can legally strike. Were they unowned and truly in it for the people, they’d get great results.
Strikes are effective. As powerful as the 1%ers are, as weak as the union representatives are, the people still get a compromised result. If they strike for higher wages, say six percent, they will ultimately get two and a half, maybe only one. The keys to winning a strike are unity, numbers, and patience.
There are those who believe an armed revolution, another French Revolution (1789–1799), is the only recourse left to us. Then, a group that represented 98% of the population in the King’s court (non-aristocratic folks, people like you and me, the 99% of today) known as the Third Estate, were subordinated by two other aristocratic bodies although they comprised only 2% of the population (religious and business leaders—today’s rich, the 1%ers). The French commoners rose up and overwhelmed every one of the 1%ers. It was the most significant revolution of the common people in Europe, ever. As an aside, the French Revolution was surpassed only by our own revolution against British monarchy (dictatorial rule) a decade earlier. Is that American spirit long dead?
I hope not.
But armed revolution is not the answer. An armed revolution today would be far more devastating than anything the French or our ancestors did three centuries ago.
The solution, friends, neighbors and countrymen/women is to strike! Not a union strike… a We The People strike. A strike that is uncompromising, determined and patient. Here’s an example:
The newly designated Secretary of Education is Betsy DeVoss. She was confirmed for this post after a heated confirmation hearing that clearly showed her unqualified and unfit to serve in this position. I watched almost every minute of the hearing and I was appalled at the audacity of this woman’s lies and the facts presented that clearly showed her incapable of objectively and knowledgeably leading a huge government agency that controls every public school in the United States. Well…
Our illustrious Senator’s split their votes along party lines (except for two GOP Senators who crossed the aisle to vote against Mrs. DeVoss’ confirmation… bless their hearts). The Senate split 50-50 and was then decided in favor of Mrs. DeVoss by the Vice President. Duh!
We now have a Secretary of Education whose goals are to reinstate religion and creationism in public schools, separate special needs students from their peers, and privatize all public schools (along with vouchers that will cover perhaps one-quarter of the private school’s tuition, but more importantly, the kids who take these vouchers will face ostracism throughout their school years). All three acts should be anathema to every American citizen… except of course the rich, the fanatically religious, and the neo-Nazis over there in the corner, rubbing their hands with glee, until the fanatically religious and Nazis parents discover they can’t afford the private schools, or their kids become psycho cases due to brutal ostracism and mobbing by the rich kids.
What to do? STRIKE!
The National Education Association (NEA) together with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) controls, at the nuts and bolts level, every facet of the public school system, and a strike announced by either of these entities would do the trick. But they serve under the auspices of the almighty U.S. Department of Education, are therefore government or public organizations, and as such incapable of striking as it is illegal for them to do so.
But, if every public school teacher in the country went on strike, refused to work until Mrs. DeVoss is removed from office and a new, moderate, educated, knowledgeable person, unfettered by money or religious belief is proposed for confirmation by the Senate… We The People would ultimately win this battle.
Strikes work for everyone, in every walk of life, in every profession and job set.
A well-organized, determined strike hits corporations, banks, and the government representatives owned by these multi-rich entities. Strikes are effective because they affect the bottom lines of the corporations and banks… no production equals loss of sales, equals stock market plunges, equals victory for We the People.
In days gone by, unions were the only source and leadership capable of initiating and maintaining a prolonged strike. The people had no internet and were incapable of rallying enough support to accomplish the mission. Union chiefs were the only solution. Unfortunately, today’s unions, are merely pawns for the 1%ers and most unions have been designated governmental or public organizations and therefore, incapable of striking as our fearful leaders have made strikes by these entities illegal. If you’re wondering why they are illegal, it’s because strikes are effective. They work.
To my mind, there are only two ways to take back our country and reverse the oligarchical system of government we have been pushed into:
Armed revolution (a decidedly bad idea) or… Strikes by We the People with huge assemblages of people in every industry, association and organization, coordinated, sustained, and unrelenting.
We can also continue as usual—protest, rant and rave, cry, scream and blame each other and everything for our current state of government. We can surrender, accept or ignore the slavery that big money has placed us in. We could pass it off for the next generation to worry about. We could allow the fear that government uses to shackle us to our places to dominate our lives, the lives of our children and their children.
No, the only option is to resist and the best way to resist is through strikes that cripple corporate and banking bottom lines; strikes that clearly show the will of the people against the inhumanity of corporations and banks.
Hurt the corporate bottom lines and government will change accordingly.