PCM Post-March: Thoughts, Observations, and Photos
Questions about whether or not demonstrations are effective come up frequently. I personally feel that they’re important, as I’ve come around to the conclusion that politics is mostly a matter of brute force. I don’t recall much significant change happening because someone’s poem or video went viral. So unless someone has a Men-In-Black neuralizer they can flash fifty million FOX News viewers with, I’m reasonably sure that there’s no alternative but for millions of us each to do the hard work of changing the perceptions of the few people we’re close to.
Participating in the Peoples Climate March will help with that, but it’s actually not the TV optics that matter; the images of hundreds of thousands of people in the streets of D.C. won’t shift public opinion any more than other ‘here today / gone tomorrow’ news items. What will have an impact, though, will be my demonstration of concern over climate change; that will affect a number of people who know I was there, and who I can now talk to at length about climate change. They will not be able to remain quite so disinterested and detached as the corporate media would like them to be, after they’re aware that I was one of “those people” down on the streets of D.C. Maybe at some point it also becomes more that just me; it will be another friend, or a sister, or a coworker, who’s participation and motivation open them up to the possibility that climate change is a “stop what you’re doing and pay attention” issue, despite the garbage information thrown at them by the corporate media. It all comes down to the basic, brute force politics of talking to people face to face. Nothing fancy, no optics or media magic— just steady pressure on one person at a time, demonstrating through personal commitment that active resistance is a respectable, fashionable, and responsible thing to do.
Here are a few images of the respectable, beautiful people I was with on Saturday, trying to make things a little better for everyone on this planet.
“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” -Anonymous quote from ancient Greece.