Note: I am reposting this story, it was the first one I wrote for the Occupy Movement, and to this day still perfectly echos my sentiments about how our movement can succeed. It is simply really- can your grandmother feel comfortable in it? Then the answer is yes!
Please read and share your feelings in the comments sections- what do we need to do so that we win?
I had what most people believe to be a rather unusual childhood hero- if it wasn’t for Abbie Hoffman, I’d probably not be here writing to you today. His pranks and outspokenness inspired me, his writing helped structure how I see the world.
My American grandmother was outraged by this. I brought a copy of ‘Revolution for the Hell of It’ to her house- she refused to let it through the front door, the next week it lived in her garage. This only left me further entrenched.
She explained how it offended her how he ridiculed everything, and how his words were clouded by disrespect. She continuously referred to how hurtful it was to her he wore a shirt made out of an American Flag. She foamed at the mouth when she heard him using the word ‘baby killer’ about soldiers- her husband and son had both been draftees. And, it pissed her off on day when one of Abbie’s protests blocked traffic in NYC, making it so she was late to make dinner for her family.
My grandmother was a member of the 99%.
In her heart, grandma agreed with Abbie’s principles. But, his methods alienated her to the point of rejecting even the good parts she agreed with.
So, please, everyone, I beg of you: before you do or say anything in related to our movement, stop and think to yourself, will it alienate someone’s grandmother.
(Posted on the Occupy Vancouver Facebook page on October 4th)
- ‘Growing Up In America’: Documentary on Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, Abbie Hoffman and more (dangerousminds.net)
I believe that if an activist uses intelligence and knowledge of the enemy, and follows the law they just might be the person to change the system. We really don’t need all 99%, I just wish like 50% would put down their lattes, turn off the tv, and pay attention to what is going on around them. We can’t be courteous to everyone.