S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Fury Has Many Forms and Faces

There are a lot of people in the United States who are taking action in response to things they do not like. Individuals and groups act both within and outside of the law to protest against their government. My post today is a form of protest.

Over and Over - A New Mexico man has repeatedly jumped the White House fence. He was arrested and will be charged with contempt of court for violating an order to stay away from the White House.

Wearing a T-shirt with an American flag and the message "God Bless America,"
Patterson jumped the wrought-iron fence near camera positions used by television
correspondents and ran well inside the grounds before being stopped.
"I have intelligence information for the president; I'm not afraid of you," he told
officers who confronted him.
The man continued yelling during a momentary standoff with gun- and canine-wielding Secret Service officers.
New Social Movement - Yesterday Dallas, Texas, was the site of the largest march in the city's history. The Dallas Morning News reported that, quote,

As many as half a million people marched peacefully through downtown Dallas
on Sunday for the rights of illegal immigrants, in the largest civil rights demonstration in the city's history – and to some experts, the birth of a new social movement.
. . . Between 350,000 and 500,000 participants showed up, according to Dallas police estimates. In Fort Worth, about 10,000 to 30,000 people marched.
Sunday's march brought together U.S. citizens and immigrants, both legal and illegal. It drew families and teenagers and a mix of veteran activists and those demonstrating for the first time. Police reported only one arrest, for public intoxication.
. . . In Dallas and many other cities across the U.S., Hispanic leaders are organizing an economic boycott today to show the spending and labor power of Hispanics, native and immigrant alike. Supporters are being urged not to spend a penny. Some workers plan to call in sick. Some students had talked about staying home from school, although event speakers urged them not to.
How the two days' events will shape the thorny debate over immigration in Washington, Dallas and across the country, however, remains uncertain. But experts say the efforts stand to galvanize those on all sides of the issue.
For those fighting for the rights of the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S., "these are almost intoxicating days," said Michael Young, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin who studies social protest movements. But for those who are frustrated with illegal immigration and want to secure the borders, "these could also be exciting days for them," Dr. Young said.
This Reuters story is about the meaning of the new movement. To quote,
Last month, more than a million immigrants took to U.S. streets, angry at a bill
passed by the U.S. House of Representatives to make illegal immigrants felons and to build a 698-mile wall along parts of the Mexican border.
The huge scale of those protests -- including at least 500,000 people in Los Angeles -- was a departure from the past when fear of being deported made illegal immigrants reluctant to engage in public activism.
"What we are seeing in the streets is a naked assertion of power," Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, said. "This isn't really about immigration -- it's about power."
Immigrant activists prefer to call it strength in numbers -- and the numbers have been rising. So has the use of Spanish, which has become an unofficial second language, found on government forms and the menus of automatic teller machines.
Hispanics, who numbered around 37 million in 2001, overtook blacks as the biggest minority group that year, according to the Census Bureau. The latest figures estimate 40 million Hispanics are living in the United States.
Blogosphere Furious - There was a fascinating thread of comments last night on DailyKos. Titled, "A staggering collection of misfortunes and failures" by georgia10, it has garnered 210 comments to this point. The challenge was this,
A tough week for rubber-stamp Republicans and their midterm aspirations, for sure, but a "staggering collection of misfortunes and failures"? It's a start.
It's difficult to remember ever failure and abuse of power over the past five years or so, but let's give it a whirl. Use this thread to list what yo
u think are the scandals and crimes you think voters should know about the Bush Presidency and its rubber-stamp Congress. It will be interesting to see just how staggering the collection will be...
Here is a typical entry in that thread by "HillaryIsMyHomegirl." The lists were varied, voluminous and valuable. Check it out.
Resignations of Protest - To name just a few, diplomats David Krieger and Mary Wright resigned in 2003. Judge James Robertson resigned his FISA court position earlier this year.
Reference: Statements of Opposition lists -
  1. The Global Policy Forum has an expansive chronological list of people who have voiced opposition "against war and occupation of Iraq."
  2. Scoop published "Insiders Who Have Criticized Bush's Iraq Policy" Tuesday, 2 November 2004.

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