Two issues here relative to yesterdays march. One offering thoughts for success from a dear friend who has tremendous personal experience with past labor movements. The second points out the stupidity of some objections to the event.
I received a note from a friend last night talking about my post, the march, and his experience with anti-establishment movements, and he has lots of experience. He pointed out the idea and the march itself were good things. But there were few demands:
“There was no demand for jobs, public works, the right to organize, single payer healthcare, free child care, relief from student debt, a living minimum wage and living social security payments or any economic issues what so ever.. There was no demand to prosecute the Wall Street swindlers and law breakers. The march was basically a march for “classless”, women’s’ identity politics. I’m sure it felt good to be there. But there wasn’t much there there. Working class women’s and working class needs were pretty much ignored.”
He continued with a key point:
“Therefore, in the end this vague protest march will accomplish very little unless serious organizers are able to use it to begin the fight for the needs of all the American people and the working class in particular. Economic equality is the prerequisite for gender and race equality. You cannot have women’s’ or race or ethnic equality without economic equality.”
He’s right. That doesn’t take anything away from what was one of, if not the, largest mass peaceful protests ever in this country. And the march was about women’s rights. But his thoughts point out the question of, and need for what to do now, next? How to use the mass of power demonstrated yesterday to do more than identify a strong voting block? How to mold that energy into the actions needed for women’s, or race or ethnic equality on the front we care about? Economics, healthcare, education, living wages, and social security are the foundation blocks to make women’s rights happen as this march stood for. I like the demonstration yesterday. My friends point, a stand will have to be taken and not backed away from if those ideals are to be enacted.
Second issue hits objections floating about today on social media. Here is one of the gems posted by several acquaintances. The point as best as I can understand is that you can’t defend a right until it is taken or lost. Intent to discredit the women’s movement. Sorry, that just doesn’t fly. The smart, the prepared, the one’s read and educated in the history of the man, and the history of our elected representation all are smarter to defend than to have to regain lost rights after-the-fact. But there is one more twist. Two of the folks who re-posted this meme worked as I did in my former life, in the business protecting and defending our governments resources. Weapons to be more exact, with a capital W.
Our past jobs indicate the ignorance of this meme. Every day, every night, every hour, year after year, after year, men and women stood watch to make sure these resources were not lost. One of the re-posters became a leader of those who stood watch. Everyone from the bottom of the chain to the President agreed it was smarter to defend than to have to regain a lost resource after-the-fact. Same for rights. Anyone saying otherwise is driven by a questionable double standard.
Well done protesters to prepare and take a stand now than later.