2009 poem for occupy oakland/activism is reborn in the east bay once again!

this poem was originally published  in 2009 after the uprising at UC Berkeley after the first round of exorbitant fee hikes were announced.  today, with all of this weeks insanity at occupy oakland, this poem and its sentiment felt relevant. 

 today the children awoke from their long deadened sleep…

today they rubbed the dried crumbs of apathy from their eyes…

today they woke up from the paralysis of non-action…

they put down their electronic gadgetry of the age for a moment

slipped out from beneath what has long kept them mesmerized and often blinded

and today, they woke up to a new morning

suddenly paying a new kind of attention

until today, a passive segment of youth has walked though days like sheep

having bought into the lies and decisions made for them by others for their future

until today they have stepped, stupified and stumbling

distracted like robots through the motion

activism was only an unknown social action performed by their parents or grandparents in some decade before they were conceived

until today

until today they believed and swallowed all that had been spoon-fed to them over the years by a never-questioned authority

but today, was a different kind of day

until today, mommy and daddy had written check after check

other starving students have lived on hard-fought grants… some juggling the act of college and part-time job

living in sub-standard housing if they were lucky enough to find it

a whisper away from poverty’s dank streets

a generation forced into recession’s survival mode with the pipe dream that a degree might be the only salvation for their young lives

and today they woke up…. today they finally had enough

today yes! they finally cried enough!

today, i smiled proud of these children of an age

into the streets they screamed fighting for their rights to higher education

fighting for something they believed in!

protesting the rise in fees and costs that would have them the one’s left behind

the very children left behind in this era of lies

spewed from the dank, foul mouth of another bad actor politician, whose smirking grin has all but taken out this,  their once-golden state

today they realized how they’ve been fooled

shunned

realizing suddenly today that they too are these children he promised not to leave behind

and today in the streets

they closed down the halls of higher education

put the entire uc system into operational shut-down mode, and today

i smiled with hope at their fury      a generation finally awake after the long wait

we’ve wondered how much a generation could take

as authority smugly pressed their young, smooth backs up against erudite walls

walls of society’s troubled brick        pushed and pushed simply because they were certain of the apathy

certain no one of this generation would react, and today

they were wrong!

today this generation responded with spark            fire in young eyes                      today they walked through gates to hallowed halls stood in the streets and in quads and said, no more! these children linked arms climbed in windows barracaded themselves in hallways             in emptied classrooms fought campus police and saw with their own innocent eye what we saw forty years ago when we stood where they stand today            battered and bloodied wondering about constitutional rights as batons and tear gas burned our throats and eyes as we too, demanded change              demanded an end to another senseless war watched with the same young eyes while the sixties ‘pigs’ hauled us away beating those rights out of us           pigs with dead hearts and crazed eyes       they,  ‘the authorities,’ laughed as they tried to kick the activism out of us too               and today              these children saw that side as their own young fallen comrades wiped pepper spray from burning eyeballs and blood from the faces of their fellow students crying, where is my right to assemble peacefully? where are my freedoms?

today, a new generation demanded fairness and justice            cried out for fairness and recognition for their efforts at higher education and screamed, no more               realizing that this cannot go on                   knowing they want better lives, they demanded affordable education, unable to bear the sight of their already-spent fees swirling red and brown down the drain of a dirty shitter in the movie set of a pretend governor’s undeserved mansion

today i end this day in solidarity with a generation previously unknown

today i am proud of these new children who’ve awakened and are ready

for the fight

for something they believe in…

and today

i am proud and grateful for their efforts

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About lindalou5150

as exercise or exorcism, i write...for the eyes of others, for my eyes and heart only, for the love and the rage, i write...to release the gamut of emotion...to tell the truth and say what's often thought but not written...
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One Response to 2009 poem for occupy oakland/activism is reborn in the east bay once again!

  1. Your poem captures so well the feelings I have toward the young people participating in Occupy movements around the country. I feel like my chest has been tight for 40 years waiting for the resurrection of the fight we fought for social justice and economic equality, peace and love, and respect for the earth. My chest has been tight, but now I breathe deeply, sigh with relief, that the young have finally taken to the streets as we did so long ago. Obama and Clinton praised the people of Tunisia and Egypt for their peaceful uprising and warned the countries’ leaders to do no harm to these peaceful protesters. I hope our leaders speak out loudly and clearly that any violence perpetrated against these peaceful protesters will not be tolerated. Thank you so much for expressing my feelings as well.

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