On Saturday, April 15 -- historic "tax day" -- somewhere between 5 and 10 thousand people marched down Market Street demanding the Great Tangerine release his returns. This local march was one of several hundred around the country.
Experienced protester that I am, I saw hardly anyone that I knew in the crowd. These were people with a grievance against the unfairness of things, against the fact that they play by the rules, but somebody can break those rules and end up running the country.
Though this march was good-humored -- one of those events where people relax because being part of the crowd shows them that they are not alone -- these are angry people.
San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim was cheered for a speech that caught the mood of the gathering: "I'm not afraid to call Trump 'the enemy of the people.' ... Right here in San Francisco we see how people can no longer afford to live in their city; it's becoming a city just for the rich ..."
Since this was San Francisco, there were plenty of gay protesters ...
... but others seemed new to this game. You know something is happening when the majority of protest signs are homemade and heartfelt.
Before this event, some of my more leftist friends seemed bemused by the call for a Tax March. Their attitude seemed something like: don't we already know the whole system is rigged ... what's the point? This crowd had a slightly different attitude: they know full well that the system is rigged; there are special rules for special people. But that's just wrong!
This San Francisco purveyor of graffiti has it right. When times are bleak -- when country and planet sink under the barely restrained sway of greed, raw power, and fear -- it's time to restate what matters.
I write here to preserve and kindle hope for a national and global turn toward multi-racial, economically egalitarian, gender non-constricting, woman affirming, and peace choosing democracy that preserves the habitability of earth for all. There's a big order -- but what else is there to do but struggle for this? Not much.
Topics range from the minuscule to the transcendent to the global, from dire to delightful. I am not an optimist, but I refuse to allow myself to wallow within the easy bias that everything is going to always be awful. Good also happens; love lives too.
I've been yammering here about activism, politics, history, racism and other occasional horrors and pleasures since 2005. I intend to continue as long as the opportunity exists. In this time, that means activism and chronicling resistance. Perhaps it always has, one way and another.
I'm a progressive political activist who runs trails and climbs mountains whenever any are available. I've had the privilege to work for justice in Central America (Nicaragua and El Salvador), in South Africa, in the fields of California with the United Farmworkers Union, and in the cities and schools of my own country. I'm a Christian of the Episcopalian flavor; we think and argue a lot. For work, I've done a bit of it all: run an old fashioned switch-board; remodeled buildings and poured concrete; edited and published periodicals, reports and books; and organized for electoral campaigns. Will work for justice.