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Protest today

November 17, 2011

I don’t know where you’re going today after work but there’s going to be a massive protest in front of city hall starting at 5pm.

See outrageous footage of this morning on Wall Street here coming from the Wall St. Journal.

I’m thinking of going with my oldest son, who is very excited about it and desperately wants to join, especially if it means missing school (but I think his enthusiasm would be sustained if he got to go to bed late as well). I actually brought him with me that very first day I went down to check out the protest on day 13, and he’s been bragging about being in the “opening bell march” ever since.

He also thinks kids should be able to vote (and wants to join the Alternative Banking working group). Here’s an article suggesting we should do something even more extreme, namely let people vote from birth. It’s an interesting idea and could encourage families to engage in politics more.

The truth is my son thinks and cares about issues of politics and justice more than most grownups. In fact he once was a huge Obama supporter, and around the election he’d watch Obama’s speeches after finishing his homework. I thought he must just be missing most of it, since it was mostly rhetoric, and after all he was only 8 years old at the time, but then something happened which changed my mind.

We were leaving a restaurant after eating dinner, and he held the door open for me to push the stroller through with his baby brother (I think this was actually the first time we ever went out to eat with the baby). As the door closed I saw little girl, maybe 3, who looked dangerously close to getting her hand caught in the door, and I jumped back to hold the door open. My son told me he felt bad that he almost let the door hurt the little girl, to which I replied, “first of all she wasn’t really that close to the door, and second of all it’s not your responsibility to worry about other people’s kids.” My son replied, “but when Obama says that we rise and fall as a people, he means that’s exactly what our responsibilities are!”

I heard rumors that people in Zuccotti Park, who I think are still being let in single-file through a big gate with cops doing a kind of airport check-in, have been told that they aren’t allowed to “carry signs inside the park.” First of all that’s ridiculous and second of all that’s not going to make the Bloomberg administration look reasonable. Is Bloomberg going for a legacy of squelching a non-violent legal protest? I thought he was all about bringing engineering to New York.

Here’s the poster for today’s protests. I’m a bit confused by the juxtaposition of the word “non-violent” and the presence of tanks, maybe someone could explain that one to me this is a reference to Tiananmen Square I’ve been told:

Categories: #OWS
  1. Alb
    November 17, 2011 at 11:35 am

    It’s a reference to the famous photo from Tianmen square; here is a link via Google images:


  2. Kiril
    November 20, 2011 at 4:23 am

    I really like the idea of removing the minimum voting age. Of course babies and small children would need their parents/guardians to help them (but the kids have to come along in the booth!), and then kids should be allowed to vote alone as soon as they are able and their parents allow it.

    Given current low voting rates, this could make a difference in elections, and I think it’s only for the best. Voting participation is heavily skewed towards the elderly, but really of course it’s kids who have the biggest stake in the outcomes, particularly when the long term is involved. And it makes sense for parents to be the ones to represent the interests of the kids when the kids are too young to do it themselves.

    By the way I love your son’s Obama quote. In many ways the Obama presidency has been a disappointment but I still love the guy for those speeches.


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