Friday, October 7, 2011

Is it the 1970s again?

When I was an undergraduate in the late 60s and early 70s there always seemed to be some cause to join. Hardly a month seemed to pass without a sit-in for this, or a march for that, or gathering for the other. I remember one sit-in in the "Junior Common Room" (student bar) that lasted several days because the college would not let the students install a cigarette machine (I kid you not). Usually, however, the cause was much more celebrated such as supporting a miner's strike or going on a "ban the bomb" march. They were always peaceful and always had some positive effect on public opinion, or so we thought.

This week on the St. Mike's campus little signs have been appearing on walls and doors declaring "We are the 99%" and other topical slogans. I'm sure they are connected with the current Wall Street "sit-in" and I think it is wonderful. I don't want to use my blog as a political soapbox but I think this passion for an issue that the students are showing is great, as long as it remains peaceful and is focused on the issues. I remember the wonderful sense of hope and involvement our support for various causes invoked in us back in the middle of the last century. There's nothing quite like it to take one beyond one's own little niche in the world.

By the way, that Peace Sign, or Ban The Bomb sign as we used to call it, in the picture is on the back of my VW van. It's called a Peacewheel. It's my way of staying connected with the causes of my youth.

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