I'm reading Twitter & Tear Gas--The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest by a Turkish woman named Zeynep Tufekci, No Enemies, No Hatred by the late Chinese dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo & Politics and Vision--Continuity And Innovation In Western Political Thought by the late Professor Sheldon Wolin.
I'm taking these books everywhere I go, underlining passages, taking notes and thinking about what I read. Everybody--including a yahoo like myself--has the ability to understand all sorts of things.
My intent is to be one spur of many for a national or global protest movement centered on the value of our everyday lives and the value of the places we spend our lives each day & that addresses first and foremost the issue of climate change.
The value system, movement and coalition that will move us forward regarding climate change, job automation, the prospect of 24/7 surveillance and the threat of authoritarian/ white supremacist government hasn't yet taken form.
I'll be discussing this a lot in the days ahead and I invite you please to share your thoughts and suggestions as we move forward.
Please review my photography gallery.
Twenty three people participated in the 104th week of the John Cornyn Houston Office Protest. As always we did it ourselves. We don’t coordinate with any political party or candidate.
We are at the Cornyn office at 5300 Memorial Dr. each week from 11:30 AM to 1PM on Tuesdays.
During our weekly demonstration, we yell our message to cars stopped at the the traffic lights at the busy intersection of Memorial and Detering. Sometimes we are asked to be quiet. While it is not our intent to be disruptive, we have an audience and we want people to hear what we are saying.
Most people who react are positive. We get far more thumbs up and friendly honks than middle fingers and anger.
Sometimes though people say angry things. Two weeks ago one of our regular protestors was called a “bitch” by a driver. He also said “You’ll be dead soon.” When pressed to explain, the motorist said he meant that since we were older than him, we’d be dead sooner than him.
Last week a man stopped his truck in the street and yelled at us: “I hope your daughter is the next one raped by a wetback.”
This past Tuesday we had another bad encounter. A man who lives in a nearby apartment building came down and said we were keeping him from sleeping. He asked me if I’d stop yelling. I explained that while I don’t intend to keep him up, this was a protest and it might well be loud.
At that point he said: “Well then I can only hope that someone flies off the handle and kills you.”
We reported the comment to the two police officers assigned to the protest. They talked to the man for a few minutes. He went back to his apartment. The officers came over and asked if I’d stop yelling to drivers stopped at the lights. I asked if that was an order. They said it was not. So I said, I would not stop yelling. I told them I would obey an order.
The officer I spoke with was professional. He did not seek to intimidate. At the same time, telling him no was a bit stressful. I’m not simply looking to make a point with a public display of bravado. But I know at bottom line we cannot yield our space or our voice at our weekly Cornyn protest.
I want to emphasize this point. The prospect of authoritarian and white supremacist government is real, the President of the United States is of questionable loyalty to the nation and hate groups, and hateful individuals feel empowered.
We must show up, assert our space and make our voices heard. This is the only way we are going to come out of this with our safety, our freedom and with the ability to look ourselves in the mirror.
BABY JAIL ON EMANCIPATION AVENUE STILL AN ISSUE IN HOUSTON---ASK YOUR LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS ABOUT THIS MATTER
I went by the baby jail on Emancipation here in Houston recently. I just walked around the place. There was not much activity.
I remain aware of this issue & I ask others to please remain aware as well. The City of Houston seems to be stonewalling the Emancipation place from opening and that is good.
At the same time, I still wonder about the other private immigrant detention facilities in Houston & Harris County. It’s
never been clearly addressed if there are forcibly separated children in those places. It was the issue of forcibly separated kids that started the local issue of the baby jail.
It’s clear that Trump immigration policies are a human rights issue.
It’s up to each of us to press this issue with the new Democratic majority on the Harris County Commissioner’s Court, with our Houston elected officials & with 2019 candidates for Houston offices.
We need assurances and action to prevent any human rights violations of detained immigrants in Houston and Harris County & we need to understand the extent to which local officials are cooperating with the Trump immigration officials.
Please take a look at my photography gallery.
TWO THOUGHTS ON CLIMATE CHANGE
1. Maybe climate change is a kind of art work where not having the courage to use nuclear weapons we find the next quickest way to remake the planet. Now we are all artists with a reach beyond what even the most talented artist has had before.
2. If you are a living being of some kind at a time of ecological crisis or disaster—Are you then a living science experiment? A victim? A guilty party? An innocent? A canvass of a kind being reworked by a creative force?
Here is the most recent disturbing story on the fact of climate change.
There is a new story like this every few hours
Please visit my photography gallery.
We had 16 folks today at the Weekly John Cornyn Houston Office Protest. This was week 95.
Please join us each week as we interact with passing motorists at our busy intersection, communicate our issues to Cornyn's staff, share ideas and encouragement with one another & make clear to all that we will not yield our space.
Please join us for week 96 on Tuesday 12/11 from 11:30 AM to 1 PM at 5300 Memorial Dr.
Please visit my photography gallery.
We must put forward progressive, liberal or Democratic Socialist ideas as the 2019 Houston City Council and Mayoral election season gets underway.
We don’t have to focus on individual candidates — few will run on such platforms.
We can and should offer policy ideas and values as we question candidates, evaluate options and consider Houston’s future. We must influence the debate and make sure our issues are on the table.
My priorities for Houston municipal candidates are below. You will have your own priorities. Let’s take leadership ourselves to make certain we are heard.
1. Work to repeal the revenue cap so Houston can raise the money it needs to properly function.
2. Take aggressive action to fight climate change — even if that means difficult conversations with Houston’s energy companies. Talk publicly about climate change.
3. A stated willingness to help mobilize the public — and offer leadership and support — against any moves to authoritarian government by the Trump administration.
4. Making sure the City and the Houston Police Department allow lawful and peaceful demonstrations to be conducted in public places, and maintains awareness of any far-right elements in the police department.
5. Make public statements that human rights violations against immigrants, unlimited detentions and child-detention “jails” are unacceptable in the city of Houston, and act to prevent all three.
6. Take an active role to help elect progressive candidates at all levels of government. That means leading voter registration efforts, phone banks and block walks. If you want our support for your election, then also show up when you aren’t on the ballot.
7. Be accessible to the public, and use social media and public addresses to talk about issues - not just for innocuous publicity.
8. Have a plan to make sure recovery from Hurricane Harvey is equitable.
I will do my best to make my agenda known in 2019 Houston city elections. I encourage you to make your views known as well in the upcoming campaign.
Please visit my photography gallery.