Saturday, April 01, 2006

Creative Dissent

This site has been up a few weeks but off to a sporadic start. The original intent of this site was to generate interest in a one day national strike which changed into a summer long campaign and has recently melted down into candle wax.

I don’t know how much interest there is right now. Nate fell ill shortly after creating this site and it sat dormant for several days and people have drifted off. I was recently given access to post directly here. I feel it is an awesome responsibility to attempt to get this idea (any idea really) going again. I would like people to start brainstorming again about what we could do to help turn back the tide on the numbing down of America. I am beginning to think the Neo Cons have been misnamed. Perhaps Novocaine would be more appropriate. Every time they do something even more outrageous than the last it just makes us numb. The Jill Carroll smear campaign played on people’s prejudices and their willingness to make decisions without all of the facts. Blaming the victim, deflecting the issue and distorting the facts are their tools in trade. Let us try to rise above that and look toward creativity instead.

I would like to tell you about some fun a group I used to work with had back in the late 1970’s. At very short notice we found out Richard Nixon would be flying into Dulles Airport which is about 25 miles west of DC. It was his first time back since his resignation. We decided his arrival should not go unnoticed.

We made welcome signs and painted flowers on our faces and hoped into the van and headed west. We got to the airport; it seemed, just in time. Airport security was a bit different back then. It was close to non existent. We got to the gate that he was to arrive at and took out our signs.

“Stop the Bombing!” “Get Out of Vietnam!” “Hell No! We Won’t Go!” “Nixon’s the One!”

A security guard showed up and ordered us to take down our signs. A member of our group put his hands out and offered to be handcuffed and arrested which confused the guard so badly he withdrew. At this point a Washington Post reporter covering Nixon’s return asked us who we were and what we were doing. Although we refused to identify ourselves we were happy to tell him what we were doing. "We just wanted Richard Nixon to feel at home."

And although Nixon was whisked away in a Limo directly from the plane and missed his welcome the Post included our prank in their story of Nixon's return the next day.

A few years later Ronald Reagan successfully convinced the Congress to cut taxes for the rich and programs for the poor. The Conservatives in Congress and their friends decided to celebrate by baking an enormous apple pie. They trucked it out to the Mall near the Capital Building and told everyone to come get their "piece of the pie." Five members of our group, later known as the Apple Pie 5, dressed themselves up in tuxedos and top hats. They put large signs around thier necks proclaiming themselves to be Bankers, CEOs, Lobbyists, etc. They arrived on the scene and jumped into the pie proclaiming, "It's MINE! It's All for ME!" Naturally they were arrested, but they had desert in the patrol wagon.

Dissent need not be boring!

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