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Apr 19, 2006

While waiting for my first job as a reporter when got back to my hometown (NYC), I worked in an office. Since I always swam against the tide I worked 11pm to 7am, the shift they called "dog watch". There were only three or four of us and my friend Benji always listened to the radio that she kept on WBAI a non-commercial listener sponsored Pacifica station. I remember loving to hear Jerry Jeff Walker singing 'Mr. Bojangles'. It was 1964 and student activists had taken over the administration office of Columbia University. They were camped out in the President's office and called WBAI to give updates on what was going on there. It wasn't too long after that siege was broken that I became Senior Investigative reporter for a radio news service. There was so much going on at the time that I kept busy. The Black Panther Party was big at the time as were The Young Lords (militant latino group), In North Carolina the Republic of New Africa was under siege by local police, in the south voter registration volunteers were being murdered by racists as if it were open season. Eldridge & Kathleen Cleaver fled the US to settle in Algeria, I was picked up by the FBI because they thought I was Angela Davis (we were both tall, had big afros and wore glasses), the Weather Underground accidentally blew up the building they were living in which was a block away from where I lived, Abbie Hoffman ran a storefront that sold items made by southern 'blacks' for a co-operative, Andy Warhol was painting soup cans and Marilyn Monroe, Sly and the Family Stone fell in love with my daughter when I took her to the Electric Circus to see them perform live, Fillmore East was rockin'. Malcolm X was shot to death, the Soledad Brothers were killed "attempting to escape" in Soledad prison, Viet Nam Veterans Against the War held their 'Winter Soldier' hearings and John Kerry testified in Washjington, Rev. William Sloane Coffin preached against the war at Riverside Church, students were shot down by National Guardsmen at Kent State and Jackson Universities and I was in regular contact with all of them, much to my peril.

But these were all people who lived their convictions for better or worse and some died in the process. And these were just a few of those that I knew. There were so many back then and the state of the country was not nearly as bad as it is now. The government still belonged to and responded to the will of the people in those turbulent times so the people were able to bring about accountability and change.

Today government has been hijacked, ignores the will of the people and I really don't think there is anyone out there that would step out of their comfort zone to try to bring about meaningful change. No one (except immigrants) is marching in the streets in protest of government actions. College campuses are quiet. Workers take unemployment, low wages and outsourcing of jobs with a whimper.

Does anybody remember history? Are we all so terrorized that we suffer from terminal paralysis?

"EVERYBODY LOOK WHAT'S GOING DOWN"...

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Wednesday April 19, 2006, 10:00 am
Tags: change activist politics government [add/edit tags]

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Harmony Kieding (506)
Wednesday April 19, 2006, 11:48 am
Am so glad you have your blog, Elaine! Just reading what you've written here on the sixties is bringing up so many memories.
And "Everybody look what's going down" seems as pertinent now as it did back then, doesn't it...

:-)

Past Member (0)
Wednesday April 19, 2006, 2:02 pm
...awesome Elaine! pure awesome! I am honestly jealous of you & Harmony ~ I am a bit younger; then parents who "held" me back.... this was a cool read! Keep 'em coming!

Mary Riley (939)
Wednesday April 19, 2006, 3:36 pm
whew!
I remember it well, like it was yesterday.
It *was* yesterday, wasn't it?
I don't know where the students are, probably working full time jobs, just to keep up.
We *grannies* are out there, as much as possible.

Maryalice M. (20)
Saturday April 22, 2006, 7:17 am
Visit Code Pink (http://www.codepink.com) They regularly report about Peace Demo's and marches. A recent one to New Orleans. Cindy Sheehan is an acitvist. Teresa Grady is in jail (St Patricks Day 4) Alice Walker was arrested a few years ago at a White House protest. Can you imagine that, a 65 year old women thrown in jail for protesting war. There are people that are protesting through non payment of taxes, here and in UK.

You had an exciting life! Like your style and humor. Green Star to you, wish it could be 5 Gold ones.

Jen The Ophiologist (64)
Sunday April 23, 2006, 10:08 pm
Keep blogging, Elaine. Your words are entrancing -- and motivating.

Mehmet Keles (0)
Wednesday June 7, 2006, 4:31 am
I live in another country, much poorer than the US. I moved from a little town to a metropolitan city to study business administration. I was sixteen. I did not know what business administration means. Now I know, at the age of 36, resigned and at home with two kids and a wife to take care of after being administered year-by-year litle doses of the killing workoholism which is the most dangerous and de-humanizing of diseases. You are forever young Elaine! Keep on moving!

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Elaine B.
female, age 52, divorced, 1 child
Hudson, MA, USA
ELAINE'S SHARES
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There is only one way to get the kind of government we want, one that serves the people instead of the interests of multinational corporations, banking & the rich; we have to do it ourselves.As things are now our government representatives are cho...
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http://www.change.org/pet itions/stop-congress-from -riding-taxpayers-backs#h ttp://www.thepetitionsite .com/664/892/600/stop-con gress-from-riding-taxpaye rs-backs/\r\nClick a link above and if you agree sign & pass it on. Let\'s get a national referendum...
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\nTo my dear friends who have sent me greeting and best wishes I thank you all. You have truly put joy in my heart. It is so very nice to be remembered!\r\n\r\n*danci ng2*\n
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31
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\\nZEN was suspended by Eric with no warning. We don\\\'t know any reasons nor how long it will last....\\r\\nI asked about it on the forum but my post was immediately deleted. 2 threads and petitions about Zen also. And 2 her help-groups. :-(\\r\\nUntill to...
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16
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\\n\\r\\n“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.”\\r\\n\\r\\ n \\r\\n\\r\\nSpence r Johnson\\r\\n\\r\\n  \\r\\n\\r\\nMany years ago, when I was in high school chemistry lab, I was assigned to do a litm...
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New Petition! Speak out against Time-Warner Merger with Comcast! Let your opinion be know before your bill goes up and your programming choices dwindle.\\r\\n\\r\\nUrge DOJ and FCC to Not Allow Merger of Time-Warner and Comcast\\r\\nhttp://www.t hepetitionsi...
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13
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New Petition! Speak out against Time-Warner Merger with Comcast! Let your opinion be know before your bill goes up and your programming choices dwindle.\\r\\n\\r\\nUrge DOJ and FCC to Not Allow Merger of Time-Warner and Comcast\\r\\nhttp://www.t hepetitionsi...
Feb
1
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Message to the President, and to the Congress:It\\\'s very simple. We can aim for a UNIVERSAL Standard of $15 an hour Minimum Wage for ALL - that would be {frugally} a living wage these days. One should not have to be employed, and on government assista...


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