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Interesting Encounter Yesterday

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 12:27 pm
by gulfgal98
I am not sure if I should post this here or in General Talk, but here goes.

Yesterday was a cool (high 40's) and sunny day, just perfect weather for our Peace vigil. Since our 92 year old, Richard, had to retire due to physical problems, we are now down to four of us as the core group. My buddy, Bill, has been gone the last two Saturdays visiting a daughter and her family out of state, so there were only three of us this Saturday.

Last weekend, the Tea Party folks were back after a two week absence, but they were gone again this weekend. They usually come earlier than we do and leave at noon when we come. Since the election, they have only shown up one time in the last four weeks. Even though most of them are fairly friendly toward us, I always feel more comfortable when they are not around.

Some weeks are very mundane and others can bring a nice surprise. Yesterday was one of those nice surprise days. Early into our one hour vigil, a woman with a dog stopped by. She said that she supported what we were doing and was glad to see the Tea Party folks were not around. First she asked if we were affiliated with any organization or group and we answered no. Then she asked us if there was an environmental activism group similar to ours because she was very interested in mountain top removal and moving this country off of coal to clean renewable energy sources.

As we talked more, she told us that her name was Marat (pronounced Merritt) Moore and that years ago she had been a coal miner in West Virginia for a couple of years. Then later she was involved with the union for women miners. She also said that she was only visiting our town for the weekend, but wanted to give us something and that she would be right back. About 15 minutes later, she returned and gave me a book that she had written, called Women in the Mines. It was a compilation of both history and the first person stories of women miners that she had interviewed. I asked her for her email address so that I could put our own JayeRaye in touch with her.

My own family came from western Pennsylvania coal country and both mt great grandfather and grandfather worked for the coal company. My great grandfather emigrated from Scotland and went to work for the Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal Company. He had great people skills and became a manager. My grandfather followed in his footsteps and was a general manager for the company. Like Marat Moore, I believe we need to get off of coal as soon as possible.

Re: Interesting Encounter Yesterday

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:54 pm
by Shahryar
I think it's great that you hold a weekly vigil. The last time I did that was during the Vietnam War, when (I think) more people were receptive.

Re: Interesting Encounter Yesterday

PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:46 am
by lapsedlawyer
I echo Shahryar's sentiments -- it's good to hear of activism that is actually, you know, active.

One thing as to the Tea Party not showing up -- why would they? They've got what they wanted because, despite all their Gadsden Flag purity rhetoric they are merely Republicans. Vocal ones, and most often obnoxious and virulent in their hatred of All Things Democrat, but they are after all just Team Red.

Whenever I hear them speak it's like listening to a sports radio call-in show where the fans can "sound off" on how such-and-such a player should be cut or not from the team. They're fans and their analysis is just that shallow.

Re: Interesting Encounter Yesterday

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:25 pm
by Sharharazade
Peace vigils and protest's/demonstrations and people coming together off line are heartening to see. The huge demonstrations are needed but I feel if all RL activism is geared to and judged effective by media response it's ass backward. Grassroots works by cultivating the roots and ground work. That was one reason in 2003 I was drawn to Howard Deans DFA and meet ups. Each person we unite with in RL does build solidarity . The net not so much. Ferguson and racism is a good example. Even on the guardian the threads seem to be filled with racists that have crawled out from under their stones to spew hatred and love of authority. Thanks for your participation in these peace vigils your inspiring me to out and find small or large ways to be active in my neighborhood and city.

One of the best rally demonstration? I have attended in my adult life was a small one. It was a rally in a downtown square held in solidarity with the workers in WI in the early days of protest's there. Only about 40 people attended but passers by came and stayed also. It was organized by Students for Justice a group from Portland State University nearby. There were several speakers. One was from the electrical workers union, a stevedore union leader, one from the justice group and others from the small group. They all spoke about the need for economic justice and for solidarity between workers.

My favorite group was 4 high school girls who had cut school come into the city on the bus from the burbs. They were appalled that their teacher would not let them talk about the turmoil in Madison in their social studies class. Their 'representative' spoke last and was really eloquent and knowledgeable about what was going on and the history behind it. I asked her afterward how she knew so much about this as her description of her school didn't sound like any place to learn labor history. She said from the net and looked at me like I was clueless. She had learned about the rally from a bulletin board at Portland State. so online and offline both work to unite people of good spirit.

When OWS came I always marched behind the Students for Justice as they had the best drummer and chants. I bet those HS girls were active in our local OWS as well as the union members I heard speak. The electrical union guy was a featured speaker at a huge climate change rally here this summer. I guess I'm saying the roots need tending and they do spread.