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Spirit & Activism

Often, the term "rebellion" is used to describe social or political upheavals. Today, social activism is something people all over the world see as what needs done to liberate themselves, from the growing rift between the rich and the poor to totalitarian-like policies of their own governments.

The United States was practically founded on the principles of revolution or rebellion against repressive ideas of government. More and more, it seems that this "American Revolutionist" philosophy is being squashed by the very government set up to foster these ideals over 200 years ago! The events in Seattle, and more recently in Washington D.C., protesting the growing trend for "globalization" in world markets underline the need for a new form of "rebellion". The "law enforcement" practices, witnessed at the protests in Seattle and D.C., included tear-gassing non-protesting bystanders, deliberate lies by police and firefighters (!) about alleged fire code violations, and accusations of "molotov cocktails" discovered at protest headquarters in D.C. - that turned out to be art supplies!

What kind of nation has this supposedly "great" US of A become? Were it not for the Internet, and the effect created on traditional media by this new form of information, we may not even have known that these things occurred! There seems to be little differences, at least in principle, between these practices and those of the Gestapo under Hitler's Germany. If government officials can get away with petty lies and deliberate fabrication of evidence, then they are no different than the criminals that they put behind bars, except that they don't go to jail!

This writer has some ideas on the subject. This "thing" called the Internet seems to be all the rage these days. It might even be said that it is creating a new form of capitalism. Let's "capitalize" on that. If all of us, who feel that the individual needs to be heard, were to get on the 'net, and through whatever channels we can find, begin a "Network Rebellion", there wouldn't be any way to "arrest" our protests and demonstrations. Nor will it be possible for the few in the crowds who wish to use violence to cloud the issue.

We should be able to make a difference, in terms of the "fairness" of terrible practices, seemingly not only allowed, but also sanctioned by the powers that be. Why? Greed! This basest of human emotions has driven the so-called globalization to which the protests have brought media attention. A few thousands of protesters have done their job, in spurring media attention; the rest of us tens or hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, must do our own protests, in any way we can, in our daily lives!

Protest with your dollar, or pound or peso. Refuse to purchase goods made by corporations taking advantage of underdeveloped nations. Talk to your friends and neighbors or write letters to the editor and congressmen. Send e-mails, a new power those of us privileged with Internet access can tap, to people you know. We can even share this power with those we know who don't have that access! There are other, much older forms of networking than the Internet. Many of us know people all over the planet. Talk to them and find out what is going on in all corners of the globe. Let them know what goes on in your neighborhood.

Use the power of "free speech" to talk, chat, or write our way to a more open and free world, where everyone can have the right to speak their mind and stand up for what they think is right. Let our voices be heard and our keystrokes counted! Not at the ballot boxes, but on the streets and in the shops and malls, whether real world or virtual. Slowly but surely, without getting arrested for "refusing to disperse" or even disrupting the happy flow of daily life, we can all make a difference.