Thousands of demonstrators filled the streets
defying social distancing protocols to protest
Police used riot gear, billy clubs and stun guns
water cannons, tear gas, and pepper spray
to quash dissent
protesters throwing objects like plastic bottles and umbrellas
petrol bombs, poles,
a lively protest movement
taking matters into its own hands
returned to the streets
reflects an intensification of longstanding tensions
the atmosphere was unusually strained
in anticipation of a harsh police crackdown
the real patriots
fundamentally change the landscape of dissent
People said they are not afraid of the coronavirus
we can all agree at the end of the day
we will make them face justice
over 1.3 billion racist right-wing extremists,
migrant workers, day-wage laborers
Armed masked men, passers-by, politicians
Western lackeys, parents, teachers
religious groups, transgender people,
gang members, women, rural residents
critics, judges, experts, advisors
activists, journalists, photographers
many arriving by chartered bus
some demonstrators were openly carrying firearms
screaming at law enforcement officers
an American flag with a naked doll
a powder keg dynamic that is dangerous
thousands of vehicles jammed the streets
This is a spontaneous public outburst
they were met with stiff resistance
The protest was the outcome of desperation and despair
the pandemic is likely to intensify the pain and suffering
if we’re not concerned yet, we’re not paying attention.
taken from results for the search term ‘the protesters’ from salon.com, reuters.com, zerohedge.com, NBCnews.com
This Post Has 4 Comments
what a powerful poem, cecil….here is my thought:
we have become intolerant of otherness.
i heard that on the radio a few weeks ago.
i wrote a collage-poem about it.
i continue to see this in so many interaction.
we (not all) are incapable of seeing the otherness of the person in front of us.
we feel threatened by their otherness.
we feel their otherness threatens our own “rightness”.
where will we go from here?
these are my concerns tonite.
thank you for this poem.
Thank you for your kind words Julia
It seems the more we identify ourselves
Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, etc.
as conservative or liberal or independant
or disenfranchised or privileged,
as hispanic, white or asian,
as tough or gentle,
as anything specific, which we are all prone to do,
in this world of differences and distinctions
then we locate ourselves in some sort of group
or maybe in many different intertwined groups
with whom we identify
with those who seem similar to us
or with whom we aspire to be similar to
and groups tend to develop an identity
that we, assuming ourselves a member, tend to conform to,
tend to take lessons from,
and ideas, behaviors, patterns, attitudes
something to guide us along a trail
so that we feel as if we are a part of something more than just our own listless self.
Then that sense of connection creates a feeling of loyalty and fealty
which gives a feeling of purpose
and this encourages us to then try to define
what we are and what we are not
so that we feel clear about ourselves
because everyone likes clarity
but then it becomes clear that most are not like us
not like who we are in our identity as a member of some or many groups
and then everyone else becomes ‘Other’.
They have other ideas, other behaviors
a different sense of identity
a different take on the world
a different language that we don’t understand
and all of that challenges our feeling of wholeness
and many groups’ identities encourage that distinction
this is what we believe
this is who we are
this is how we look at it, etc
this way is the best way
this way is the only way
and if you are not with us
you are part of them – the Others.
The thing is, we are all the Others to all the others as well.
We all know that we are all in the same boat together
We all know that we are all US in the end
It is obvious and undeniable
but in order for us to exercise our discrimination,
our ability to distinguish one thing from another thing
to feel clear
to feel a part of something we can grasp
to understand the small things
because the big things are beyond our understanding
then we all tend to keep to the small places
where we can feel the walls
where we can understand the limitations
where we can feel certainty of purpose
but we can grow out of that
we can become bigger that the little places we inhabit
we can extend our sense of self identity
to absorb Otherness
to be comfortable with a world that we can’t wrap our arms around
but that does require a lot of letting go of little things
it is impossible to embrace others
if our arms and our hearts are full of those little things
our grocery bags full of beliefs and convictions and prejudices
we have to put them down to give a hug to the others
and ask them how they are doing
and invite them for a cup of tea
or to break bread together
or to tell our stories
and to laugh and cry together
That’s one idea.
You are absolutely right, of course..and i would like to correct a mistake i made above..rather saying we are incapable of seeing their otherness, i mean, we are unable to tolerate their otherness, for the very reasons you have explained. The question arises: why can’t you be more like ME? And of course, how boring our world would be if THAT became true!
We are certainly at a very interesting point in our human history…and there are a lot of us! And everyone wants their way…that could be a problem…
I agree to breaking bread, and tea, laughter and tears.. maybe meditation together too…but that might be a bit much for starters, right? Thanks for your wonderful reply!
‘meditation together’ Yes, nothing better than an open heart and a placid mind to let in the light.