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The People Speak (english)
by Stephen DeVoy
22 Jan 2003
Modified: 25 Jan 2003
Personal thoughts on DC protest.
The People Speak
Author: Stephen DeVoy
January 20, 2003
I spent Saturday with about 300,000 other Americans protesting in
the streets of Washington D.C. Our protest was one of the most
diverse I have seen. All age groups, all races, all religions, and
all political stripes were there. The Rebels of America united and
made their voices heard.
The media portrayal of the event was all wrong. The media
grossly underestimated the number of protestors (which happens every time,
unless a pro-Israel demonstration is held). More importantly, the
media grossly exaggerated the importance of the "leaders" who
spoke "before" us.
As speaker after speaker took to a stage we could not see, I noticed
that almost no one was listening to them. For the most part, I did
not listen to them either. It could be argued that these
"leaders" exploited the revolutionary spirit of the people and
placed themselves before us in order to seize the movement, but this would
only be partially correct. The speakers were invited and the protest
was organized by A.N.S.W.E.R., and in this sense, the "leaders",
having been invited, had every reason to be there. However, it is
easy to overestimate the role played by A.N.S.W.E.R. and the importance of
those who spoke before a captive audience. Like many demonstrators,
I did not come because of A.N.S.W.E.R. and I did not come to hear ANYONE
speak. And whether it was Jesse Jackson trying to puff up his
importance by sliding in his personal agenda or whether it was any of the
various other political "leaders" who pandered their own agenda,
we were there not to listen, we were there to speak. We the People
came to DC to speak out and We the People came to DC to demand that our
nation not launch an unjust war. We came to dissent against the
fascist regime. We DID NOT come to be led by well fed political
whores who chase demonstrations like many a lawyer chases an ambulance.
And the People did speak! They spoke loudly. Some spoke
together and some spoke as individuals. The essence of the
demonstration was in the street and not on the podium.
"Leader" after "leader" thanked the "young
people" before them, without ever coming close enough to see that we
were both young and old. The "leaders" took for granted
that we were all liberals, when in fact we were from all positions on the
political landscape. All of this confirmed to me the uselessness of
leadership and the danger of allowing opportunists to stand in front of us
and pretend to lead.
In the future we should not face the podium. In the future we
should encourage the many smaller voices to speak out and encourage those
who wish to hear them to gather around. We neither need nor want a
center of the movement.
The diversity of the demonstration was its strength. It was
inspiring to see the individualized expressions of dissent and the
creativity that went into the expression. I saw signs reading,
"Vaginas for Peace," "No sex for warmongers," calls
for regime change, calls for an end to aid to Israel, and countless other
manifestations of dissent and defiance. In each small act of
defiance, the edifice of war can be weakened. The smallest calls of
dissent, combined across their diversity, collectively construct an
invincible weapon that will crush the fascist coup. The essence of
resistance is to become ungovernable. Those who march in lockstep
are but sheep following a shepherd, well organized and ready to be
governed. But those who march to their own tune and assert the
particular power they have, whether it be the threat of withholding sex,
the words of the pen, the act of Internet subversion, the labor strike,
the middle finger raised in the face of authority or what-have-you - these
are the things that make a system fall and it is not the well managed herd
that brings change.
Effective resistance calls for creativity. At this early hour
of the resistance we must make it clear that we have no leaders. We
must turn our backs on those who pretend to lead when they stand before us
while you can be sure that they will fly first class to their next meeting
with the corporate leaders. We came in buses, trains, and coach
class commercial jet. You can be sure that the "leaders"
Let us continue our uprising, but let us do it without lending a
hand to the false leaders who seek only to deliver us back into the fold
of the Democratic Party, where they, upon gaining power, will continue to
impose the will of the corporatists.
Hey Steve !!!!!!!! (english)
(No verified email address)
25 Jan 2003
How in the world did you arrive at 300,000 people present in D.C. ..???? I was there and thought it was MAYBE 20,000.