Stand Up

EdwinHowlandBlashfield-TheAngelwithTheFlamingSword1893LargeIt simply boils down to this. Either you can let your civil rights be taken away inch by inch, or you can stand up. Standing up is hard. When an abuser “, grooms” us they take, inch by inch, our rights. We’d never put up with the end-game right off the bat. But trample a right here, bend a rule there, and eventually we’re living in George Orwell’s 1984.

It’s not to say that a lot of protestors and activists aren’t dumbasses. Some are, and if you’ve watched the streaming videos of the protests you’ve probably seen a few. Some have so much rage and anger and rebellion boiling up inside of them, they are so incensed at the encroachment on our rights, they get angry and they make stupid decisions. And it’s not to say that the protests are always well-organized. There’s not always an overarching strategy on what “winning” looks like, which can make it frustrating to engage. I have found myself frustrated with this.

But what I can’t do is sit down. What I can’t do is just wait for things to fix themselves. The rich tax-dodgers aren’t going to pay their fair share without legislation. The “sit down and shut up” laws aren’t going to get repealed, the “indefinite detentions” won’t stop, without a call for justice.

So I’m going to do one simple thing that I can do today. I’m going to stand up. My feet will not be happy with me at the end of the day and I’m discovering I have a chronic foot pain. But I’m going to stand with all those who want a better world.

The fearmongers have implanted it into your brains that it’s pointless to stand up, that standing up won’t do anything. That standing up is dangerous. That something could happen to you. That you should avoid downtown Chicago. Standing up against authority is “bad.”

But ask yourself…what happens if you don’t? What happens if you just let these things slide, if you figure, “Other people will stand up for my rights,” or, “It’s not so bad, we can deal with a few impingements on our liberties in order to be safer.”

Inch by inch, your rights will be taken away.

Instead, what would happen if we choked the streets? Not wandering around trying to antagonize the police–that’s pointless, and I support their work and their jobs too. They are trying to keep the city safe. But really absolutely choked the streets of Downtown Chicago. If there was no denying the massive angry surge of voices demanding our rights, demanding money for health care and education, demanding justice. What if there was NO WAY to overlook how many of us have stood up?

Demand a better government. Demand corporate accountability. Demand the banks are accountable. Demand the CEOs are accountable. Demand what is your right to demand. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. This can be the turn of the tide, if we make our voices heard now, if we demand change and refuse to leave until there is change.

How will you stand up for justice?

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