I’ve been watching the Occupy Wall Street movement today, and have been following it for a bit now. It’s been reminding me of the 2004 RNC Protests where I got arrested and held in NYPD custody for three days. I remember feeling the solidarity with those who were there with me, but it was what happened after that really pissed me off. I got told I wasn’t a “real protester/progressive” because I didn’t do whatever they thought I was really supposed to do.
But, you know what, not all of us can be out on the streets today:
Some of us can’t take the time away from jobs or family. Some of us can’t drive or even bus out to a protest because we are too far away. Some of us can’t go to a protest because of disabilities. Some of us can’t afford to get arrested or go to trial to protest our arrest. Some of us can’t go because we’re non-residents (legal or illegal) and are afraid to get deported as a terrorist. Some of us are partners of non-residents, and our actions could get our partners deported. Some of us work for the federal government and are not allowed to go for fear of our job. Some of us have kids and no one else to take care of them. Some of us can’t handle crowds and noise…
WE MAY NOT BE MARCHING, BUT WE ARE STILL SUPPORTING THE CAUSE!
We are still supportive if all we can manage is to retweet information. We are still supportive if all we can do is write about it on our blogs. We are still supportive if all we can do is vote, or honk our support as we drive by, or send money, or just think positive thoughts about the movement.
WE ARE STILL SUPPORTIVE EVEN IF ALL WE’RE DOING IS PAYING ATTENTION!
To the uber-progressives:
Do not treat those of us who are not there like we are failures because we can’t march. Do not treat us like we’re not real progressives because we aren’t doing what you think all “real” progressives should be doing. Not all of us have the ways and means to do direct action. I certainly don’t. I can write. I can pass information. That’s about it.
And, more importantly: INSULTING THOSE WHO ARE MARCHING WITH YOU CREATES DIVISION, NOT SOLIDARITY. Telling us we’re not awake, or wrong, or not “real”, or bad because of whatever doesn’t make me want to support you. It makes me want to tell you to fuck off and stay home. Not all of us are in total agreement with you. Some of us are even conservatives! (*gasp*)
I feel like a broken record when I say this, but THIS IS DOING THEIR WORK FOR THEM. Those that are being protested against want us to fight among ourselves. If we’re focused on who’s right and who’s wrong in our own camp, we’re not focusing on what needs to be said: the 99% is really pissed off and we want to be heard! We want fairness and jobs. We want the government to do something about the economy, and we want the rich and corporations to pay their fair share.
Please, let’s not blow this one by fighting amongst ourselves. It gives them more of a reason to laugh at us: