Protesting A Thing of the Past?by Tyler Woods on Feb. 21, 2011, under Life
I was watching the news this morning as I was passing through the living room and saw what appeared to be a peaceful protest over union rights in Wisconsin. There were people banging on drums, and someone was leading a group in singing “We Are Family.” It was interesting catching this story amidst the world wide protesting since I thought p[protesting was a thing of the past and it got me thinking…
My biggest memories of the 60s were the protests. The music, the clothing, and the passion that went into a group of people who believed something needed to change and government would not hear them, so they protested. They sang, screamed, jumped, danced, sat in, sat out, tuned in tuned out, chained themselves to doorways and gates, handed police or national guard flowers and anything else to get some sort of attention so they could be heard.
Now this was candy to young wanna be hippy such as me. I loved it. While some kids played house and doctor, I played the protester wanting to change the system. I was crushed when the peaceful protests of the 60s were shattered when what started to be a peaceful protest at Kent State went bad and freaked out Ohio National Guardsmen gunned down and killed four students and wounded nine others.
As a young kid and a tween I recalled protesting were people who sang songs, held signs and chanted. People wanted to be heard in a country that allowed free speech so young folks took to college campuses and streets to voice their disapproval, mainly of the war. After the shootings, peaceful students who protested with love became angry and started protesting in more violent ways.
So what ever happened to protesting? God knows we are a bunch of ticked off people and we always have a complaint about something that we feel our government is not doing. There is health care, and crazed governors, cut backs, two wars, and we are just sitting….just watching, wondering…
We are not using our voice, well, perhaps just enough to complain, however, we don’t write songs and take to the streets to be heard anymore. So I pondered the reasons why and came up with this.
In the 60s and 70s, there were no home computers, no cell phones, no Facebook and other internet social networking. There were no big computer games and we were not glued to the TV or computer screen. In my day, we actually had time to care. We had time to plan a protest, walk the line, sing out protest songs and say it wasn’t fair. We chanted “hell no we wont go” and declare all we wanted was peace.
Seems like we lost interest in the real world and we do everything using technology. How dare us pick up a guitar or sign and sing “Give peace a Chance” when we can go to Youtube, find a copy and send it in a mass email.
Facebook can protest for us, and we can text everyone to tell them we are mad. We can have internet petitions that we can sign and do it all while on the phone and playing the latest computer game on our Android.
Yes indeed we have come a long way and we no longer need to have the compassion or passion to take to the streets and make change. All we today is a cell phone and computer and about thirty seconds. Times sure have changed. I am glad I lived in a time when we used our heads and our hearts to get a point across. I am also glad for the modern world and extremely happy that I am old enough that I was able to experience the best of both worlds.