Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hey You...Got Revolution?

Georgia. On Wednesday, September 21, 2011, Troy Davis, a convicted (alleged) cop killer, was executed in Georgia despite a lack of substantial evidence and statement recantations from 7 out of 10 original witnesses (read all about the campaign to save Davis before his execution here). His story garnered international attention and Davis gained a large number of supporters who believed in his innocence. In the several days before the scheduled execution, everyone was talking about him. The discussion about Davis was full blown on Twitter.
If anyone did not know about Davis before, then they sure as hell did by the 21st (which was a little late if you ask me). Everyone was Tweeting and Re-Tweeting links to several petitions against Davis' execution, various numbers to contact officials about granting Davis clemency (which were busy as all hell), information about protests and marches, and just plain frustrated Tweets about the situation in general. For the first time, I was seeing people who never had anything substantial to say finally begin to..."wake up." It was refreshing.

New York. On Saturday, September 17, 2011, a leaderless movement known as "Occupy Wall Street" descended on New York's financial district. The goal of the protesters: Restore democracy (even though our Constitution says this is a democracy). With the exception of the uber wealthy, most of us have been dealt a low blow in today's economy. Yet, the government has handed out billions of dollars in bail outs to the ones who got us into this recession (because "depression" is such a scary word) in the first place. How is it that the ones who got us into this economic crisis receive assistance? What about the regular folks? And why the hell is that only 1% of the population controlling the wealth of the world? These are only a few of the madness that the Occupiers have had enough of. The peaceful protest is still very much alive today as I write this though it seems to be getting a little hectic with the NYPD. Once again it was refreshing to see people taking a stand and...doing something.
Suddenly the word revolution was flying around. Could it be that we were really on the verge of a revolution? Were the members of our mediocre society becoming revolutionaries?
Kind of...not really.
It has only been a couple of days and already I can see the recession (no pun intended) of Davis' memory. When the Occupy Wall Street movement started we were all for it and now most people are either annoyed by it or have forgotten about it. For a couple of days, we were activists (keyboard activists at that) and then...nothing. Even if Davis had been granted clemency, we would have still forgotten about in a couple of days. We have been programmed to have short memory spans. Once we have lost or won as a whole, we simply forget and think that the job is done/over instead of re-grouping, re-strategizing, and re-formulating a plan.
Someone asked me what did I propose in regards to my statement about people slowly forgetting about Davis. I had been pondering the exact same question and I was honestly at a loss. What did I want us to do? Walk around wearing Troy Davis T-Shirts (I am pretty sure someone somewhere is working on that)? Have a candle light vigil in Davis' honor (that is also in the works)? Have an Occupy Wall Street in every major city (it is already spreading across the country)?
Then it hit me...
Here I am dismayed about what others were not doing, but what the hell was I doing? How was I being active? That was the real problem. It had nothing to do with everyone else. Rather, I saw myself relfected in them and it upset me. I was actually upset at myself.
Does the revolution not start at home? I felt a little embarassed that I was critiquing others and there I was doing nothing. The audacity I have sometimes... For a while now I have felt this urgent need to action, but that need continues to be oppressed, so I in turn attempt to repress the urges, but it keeps getting harder.
This was about more than only Troy Davis. This was about ending injustice (abolish the death penalty entirely) that was and is taking place everyday. There are so many more people who are "scheduled" (like a damn doctor's appointment) for executions around the country. This had so much more to do with than "occupying" Wall Street. It was about getting the people's voices heard and taking a stand against a corrupted government.
So, even though Davis' soul is now in the heavens amongst the stars, we cannot allow his death to be in vain. Even though Occupy Wall Street in New York will eventually come to an end, it cannot be the end.
Hey revolution?


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