Dave & Ish & All,
Salud for making a presence/statement at Norton's Poobaa. I don't usually consort with rioters, but in Dave's case, I'll make an exception. . .
What I've learned in my 40+ years is that it's very dangerous to "cross borders" with critical messages. Having been escorted by Philly police to the defacto official protest areas -- blocks away from the action -- on several occasions in the 80s, we knew that if we broke ranks and went First Amendment outside of our bubble, we'd be arrested. Though I somehow always avoided it, several colleagues often paid their jail dues. . .ala "Return of the Secaucus 7". . .Protest is a good exercise for people who really believe that we have a good Bill of Rights in this country. . .you can feel the outrage of other citizens who scream and threaten you. . .and often pelt you with objects. . . .trial by fire is sometimes the only way to learn. . .
But sequestering happens all the time in this country. . .how many have had those radical graduate seminars at UM/MSU/Wayne State/where-ever, and then attempted to translate what you'd learned into other fora? Prettttty tricky. . .there are repressive lines to tow in non-profits, in alternative journalism, in unions, in teaching -- even. . .there is usually always a price to pay for speaking out, no matter how respectful your tone. . .it's not the triumph of democracy that I grew up believing in, and with the Bush crowd and the Patriot Act (riotPats), things are looking gloomier and gloomier. . .
I've consulted with ACLU officials on several occasions (and one of the best is Henry Silverman, the current President of Michigan's ACLU & a former writing colleague at Lansing's City Pulse where he writes about these issues), and must say that they have been very helpful. . .perhaps you'd want to contact him?
But it's not just an ACLU contact that a movement makes. . .we all need to vote with our feet more than we do (the last demo I was in was in February, like many of you. . .it didn't precent the war, but wasn't it great to feel all that solidarity? and send a message to the world that we said "NO!"). . .maybe we all need a giant protest sometime this fall about some issue idetified by the Michigan Environmental Council/Ecology Center/whomever. . .I'm ready. . .
Take Care, but take it!