I realize that this post will offend some readers. That is the price of expressing one’s opinion publicly and I will try to be brave. I needed to write something today and this is the topic my muse assigned me to write about, so here goes.
The Arab Spring and the Occupy movement dominated world news in 2011.
The term “Arab Spring” was coined in 2005 as a play on “Prague Spring”, the 1968 uprising against communist rule in Czechoslovakia (Source: Arab Spring, World Wide Words).
The Occupy movement
“References to a movement named Occupy Wall Street began to appear in the press at the beginning of August, but a curiosity of its creation is that the term predates the movement. It was coined by the Canadian anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters, which launched a campaign on Twitter with this title on 13 July. The movement opposes wealth inequality and urges government action against banks and corporations.” Words of 2011, World Wide Words
The first Occupy event in South Africa, organized by Operation Ubuntu, took place on Saturday 15 October 2011 in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Grahamstown and East London (SA joins as ‘Indignant’ protests go global). The most recent one took place on Monday 16 January 2012, a US national day of action on Martin Luther King Day “to focus attention on the gross injustice visited upon the 99% by the financial elite”.
If you are planning to take part in future protests and risk injury or even death (Woman killed, 17 injured in UJ stampede), or support the protests in any other way:
I hope you know exactly what you are protesting about and exactly what you are asking for, i.e. have specific demands for specific authorities.
I hope you know exactly what the people organizing the protests you are supporting are asking for. Do they support democracy? If they have a communist agenda, are you sure that is what you want for your country? Have you ever been to a communist country?
I hope your Facebook or online dating profile does not say that you have “no interest in politics” or anything along those lines.
I hope you exercise your right to vote, a right that people in this country sacrificed their lives and freedom for. In South Africa’s 2011 Municipal Elections, the voter turnout for all provinces combined was 57.64% and about 10 million registered voters did not vote (Source: Electoral Commission of South Africa).
I hope you are doing something more constructive than waving your fist in the air to address the issues you are protesting about the other 365 days of the year (2012 is a leap year).
The above cartoon by Nate Beeler for The Washington Examiner is featured in ‘OCCUPY WALL STREET’ & ELSEWHERE: The 9.9 Most Eye-Catching ‘Occupy’ Cartoons, The Washington Post.
“A year or two after emigrating, she (Sabina) happened to be in Paris on the anniversary of the Russian invasion of her country (Czechoslovakia). A protest march had been scheduled, and she felt driven to take part. Fists raised high, the young Frenchmen shouted out slogans condemning Soviet imperialism. She liked the slogans, but to her surprise she found herself unable to shout along with them. She lasted no more than a few minutes in the parade.
When she told her French friends about it, they were amazed. ‘You mean you don’t want to fight the occupation of your country?’ She would have liked to tell them that behind Communism, Fascism, behind all occupations and invasions lurks a more basic, pervasive evil and that the image of that evil was a parade of people marching by with raised fists and shouting identical syllables in unison. But she knew she would never be able to make them understand. Embarrassed, she changed the subject.” Parades, Words Misunderstood
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera (1929-)
This article was first published here http://mywingsofdesireblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/occupy-this.html