Monday, April 10, 2006

Protest

Right now, just a few blocks from where I'm sitting, 100,000 people are gathering to protest the immigration law reform that is making its way through Congress. While I think this is a good thing simply because the changes to the laws proposed by Republicans are worthless for dealing with the real issues of racism, poverty, and global economy that are at the root of the immigration problem that some people seem to have, I am also encouraged by the willingness of so many people to get out there and act to protest the actions of their government.

So often these days we hear people complain about what the president or congress or some government agency is up to, but rarely do we see the kind of direct action that is such an integral part of the history of our country. From the Boston Tea Party to the 1960's, protests or other public actions have marked many of the important events in our history. The recent anti-war demonstrations and these immigration rallys are a continuing reminder that our country is not made up exclusively of old white men in suits who sit around finding ways to get ahead. We are a vibrant, diverse nation; this is part of what makes us unique in the world. When the people of this country come out to show their support of an idea it reminds us all, regardless of our personal views on the subject at hand, of the fact that we are a democracy and it is the people who are at the heart of our government, if only it would listen.

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