A tribute to the 99ers: We are not invisible.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

#99ers: As long as we remain alone, we will be alone.

Minor surgery is surgery that occurs in someone else's family. If my flesh and blood is involved even a liquid suture is a major procedure, worthy of the same worry as open heart surgery. Over reaction? Not when my family is involved. This is a major problem for 99ers. As long as the 99er isn't in your family, the problem is minor.

Simply put, 99ers need to make others understand exactly what is happening to the 99ers. How do you make others feel hunger, homelessness, bone numbing fear? It's not easy, but I have an idea.

As a start, violence is never, never, never an appropriate or allowable response.  Any idea I suggest or endorse will not include violence or a threat to some one's personal safety. With non-violence an expressed requirement here's my thought:

I would take last night's candle light vigil and add some flash mob mentality. Imagine a group of people with only boxes for shelter blocking the entrance to a US Representatives office at opening time. How about a human blockade of 99ers with signs, blocking an expressway off-ramp at rush hour?  A mass of rags-for- clothes protesters impeding access to a civic cafeteria (or maybe fast food restaurant) at lunch time? No one talks, chants or moves. Press coverage is essential, but the local TV station should be called (prepaid cell phone) moments before the protest comes together. The protest lasts a specific period of time (15 minutes - hour) and breaks up as quickly as it assembles. A fax or call to the local media explains the significance of the protest as soon as it concludes.

This type of advocacy is not simple. It requires organization and money. It requires lawyers on site to represent the protesters when they get arrested. Ideally these attorneys would use the bond hearing as a soapbox. This advocacy requires the participation of the very same groups (NELP, U-Cubed, Working America) that have yet to make the 99ers a priority.

You might think I espouse extreme measures. Perhaps, but ask yourself if the Viet Nam War would be over if  the only protests were calls and letters to Congress? I'm just saying.

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