Sunday, December 26, 2010

Truest statement of the week II

Among these are why did left media outlets such as commondreams, alternet, counterpunch Znet and others devote relatively little attention to the protest in the days leading up to it, even when it was already clear that it would be a major act of civil disobedience that needed, and deserved to be, reinforced by thousands of others. As for well known left writers such as Thomas Frank, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Katrina van den Heuvel why did they fail to write pieces in support of it, or even mention it, within the high profile platforms they have access to, thus getting the word out to many thousands some of whom were sure to have participated?

We can only infer the answers to these questions. But for at least two members of what might be called the "left establishment" we now have some grounds for making inferences. These are based on a recent initiative which attempted to move some of these figures from their prior positions of support, albeit highly critical support, of the administration into active opposition. Thus, in his reaction to the initiative (which he characterized as "weirdness") Tom Hayden described the demonstration as "somewhat jusfified" while expressing doubts as to whether "it was a smart idea to begin with." In short, an event of relatively little consequence, though Hayden did mention that civil disobedience could be "healing" for those participating in it.

In his reaction, Bill Fletcher made no comment on the demonstration confining his remarks to the observation that he was a strong critic of the administration.

It should be noted in this connection that while failing to mention the Dec. 16th event, even when specifically requested to do so, Fletcher has been actively involved in Washington demonstrations since the Obama administration took office, most notably the union- sponsored One Nation rally on October 5.

The differences between the two protests could not be more stark and are highly revealing.

First, one was a rally held at the Lincoln Memorial some distance from the White House while the other centered around civil disobedience at the White House fence.

-- John Halle, "Why Johnny Can't Protest: Reflections on Dec. 16th" (Corrente).
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