THE BLOG

E-Samizdat works!

02/12/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

If an MLK led a Selma march today and the media ignored it, as they have ignored so many anti-war and anti-torture protests these last years, would it have happened? The world is changing and change.gov is answering citizen questions, but creative protests, ignored by the media, stubbornly keep happening, and we need to talk them up every way we can. This is a moment for citizen voices to speak louder, not softer, because finally someone in the White House may be listening! Hey, those grassroots protests about Rick Warren had some effect, didn't they?

Remember the day last week that Burris, Blago's pick to replace Obama, couldn't get into Congress? Did you know another, equally interesting drama happened before cameras in the Senate that day: that citizens managed to unfurl five huge banners in the atrium of the Hart Building that read "THE AUDACITY OF WAR CRIMES," "IRAQ", "AFGHANISTAN," "PALESTINE" and "WE WILL NOT BE SILENT"?

I didn't. Seventeen anti-war protesters were arrested. These were creative people, reading out the names of those who have died, trying to make human contact with the people in the building and to get on the media.

2009-01-12-DC.1.6.09.2457.jpgThe media passed. You probably didn't know about this brilliant protest either, if all you read is the mainstream media, or even HuffPost. No mention on HuffPo that I can find.

I only know because an activist wrote about it on OpEdNews, someone sent out her article in an email, a small town Unitarian minister posted that email to a listserve in Orange County, NJ and someone on his list posted it to my old congregation's listserve that I'm still on. It's the e-samizdat, still working.

I called the minister, Rev. Jim Bridges, an old friend of mine, to ask why he bothered. He said because "I'm a pacifist, this was strong anti-war publicity and these things just don't get in the media!" He asked if I knew that Witness Against Torture is doing demos in DC to publicize the "100 Days to Close Down Guantanamo" campaign. I didn't know. I can't find any mention of it on HuffPo either.

When they were seniors in high school, Jim Bridges and his girlfriend wanted to go march with MLK at Selma. Jim's parents wouldn't let him but his girlfriend went. How did she know about it? You have to be on the right networks. It's still the same. And let your kids go to DC to protest with the Close Down Gunatanamo folks, OK? The Obama administration is more open to protest and creative ideas than the Bushies, so promote them every way you know how! It's a better time to be a citizen again.