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Do Protests Work?

October 10, 2011

Do What is Right

Protests work! Protests helped create and shape our nation. Protests brought us things like emancipation, equal rights, unions, an end to a war and to a president.

Protesters began gathering on Friday October 7th on the Hennepin County Government Center Plaza, renamed “The People’s Plaza”, in downtown Minneapolis, and the gathering still continues. Spawned by “Occupy Wall Street, these Minnesotans stand in peaceful solidarity with protesters located now in dozens of other cities across America

Are protests like this really such a big deal? That’s up to you to decide, but if you’re someone who is: unhappy with the direction of the country, unable to find a job, worried about keeping your home, fighting foreclosure on your home, unsure about the future of your job, underpaid, working full-time and not making ends meet, working two jobs and still not making ends meet, juggling paying your rent with buying your food, feeling a little sick inside when you see a person holding a sign asking for money, feeling lucky when you’re able to afford food, beginning to wonder if your education will get you a job, thinking that you’ll never pay off your student loan, worried about your savings, concerned about your children’s education, thinking about dropping out of school, doubtful as to whether or not you’ll ever be able to afford to retire, upset about having been denied healthcare or have received inadequate healthcare, expecting honesty and accountability from the media and from your elected officials, unable to afford/maintain a car, living paycheck to paycheck, afraid what will happen if you miss one paycheck, starting to believe that vacations are what other people get to take and not you, then these protest are a big deal.

That list above could go on and on and I’m sure you could add to it if you wanted, but if you identify with any one of those scenarios, then you’re one of the people the protesters at People’s Plaza in downtown Minneapolis are standing up for. You’re one of the 99%.

Legalize Freedom

I know it doesn’t make things better, but you’re not alone. If you’re one of the 99% go downtown and check it out. Say hello. Hold a sign. Be heard. If going downtown and hanging out and holding a sign isn’t your thing then there are other ways to be heard. Tell your friends what’s going on, send a tweet about it, blog about it, think a positive thought or say a prayer for a positive outcome, check out their website and read about their work and maybe make a donation:  or like them on Facebook:!/OccupyMN or follow them on Twitter:!/occupymn

Do something because you, like me, are the 99%.

Whether or not these protests will ultimately be effective is unknown. America isn’t the Middle East and North Africa and I’m not saying it is. This is still a great country and one of the best places in the world to live, but it needs to be a great country for everyone, not just a few. One thing I know for certain is that the protests won’t be effective, and no changess will ever be realized, if we all allow ourselves to be taken in by diversion like Dancing with the Stars and Jersey Shore and lose focus of what’s really important. 

Thanks for reading and I’d love to read your comments and thoughts on this.

Yet she’s only as rich as the poorest of her poor,
only as free as the padlocked prison door,
only as strong as our love for this land,
only as tall as we stand.
– Phil Ochs, Power and the Glory

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