There seems to be an even greater wave of unrest sweeping our country, and the world. To be honest, I’ve not followed Occupy Wall Street, and what I did follow initially did not necessarily ring with any clarity of the mission. Even as the televised news programs invite guests to discuss the rallies, I am still somewhat distant.
I remember my first trip to Washington, DC in 1968, during the height of an earlier crusade by the people. There was a massive march on Washington that August, and I remember the vibrantly colored signs, and clothing, and hearing the chants. The expanse of The Mall near the Lincoln Memorial was overgrown with masses, and masses of bodies crowding every bit of free space. My parents kept me shielded from the protesters, but I was greatly impressed, and intrigued by the sea of faces that stretched out from the reflecting pool.
Forty-plus years later, we find our country racked, once again, with the parades of protesters. One of my friends, Jeffrey Carter, having returned from New York City, commented that he was glad that we lived in a country where the freedom of speech, the freedom of public gatherings is possible. So many countries do not have these rights.
My one question that I have asked through the years, especially when looking back on the late 1960’s and early 1970’s – do these demonstrations accomplish what the protesters hope? I honestly do not know the answer to this question, and have not researched it. Nonetheless, I am curious. I remember the sit-ins, walk-outs, and protests when I was quite young, but all I recall is the disastrous outcome at Kent State. I hope these current protesters, and the authorities assigned to watch over them keep good sense and do not allow anything to get out of hand.
It does seem, as Winston Churchill once remarked, “There is a gathering storm.” I fear it will be with the economy, or even our own government exploding in some capacity.
Something doesn’t feel right…