An Irishman was walking down the street one day and, to his delight, he saw a big crowd surrounding a couple of blokes beating each other to a pulp. The Irishman, shoved and elbowed his way though the crowd to the inner circle and, in a lull, shouted, “Is this a private fight or can anyone join?!?”
Fresh from her triumphs in Tahir Square in Cairo, the National catholic Fishwrap’s very own Sr. Joan Chittister has now taken up fight for the Occupists!
Yes, Sr. Joan, looking for a pick-up protest to join, has linked arms with the unwashed.
She was not there to protest in favor of women who were battered during the siege of Zuccotti Park. No, her motive was more poignant.
She is pointing out that the “elders” of the early protest movements has decided to reach out to the young visionaries of the Occupy thing and extend to them their wisdom. Of course, the young people have not asked for any advice but, damn it, Joan and company has it anyway.
And now… heeeeeere’s Joan!
A Council of Elders has appeared on the scene. [And when she says “elders”, she’s not kidding.]
A newly organized, independent group of leaders from many of the defining American social justice movements of the 20th century a veritable who’s who of social change in the United States over the last 60 years has risen up anew, this time in solidarity with OWS.
You know these people; if not by their names, [CUE MUSIC!] certainly by the breadth of their hearts. You have heard their cries for justice, seen their protests for peace, followed their steady, steady demonstrations of care for the dispossessed everywhere. [Can she write a sentence without a cliché?]
[I swear I am not making this up….] The Organizing Committee of the Council of Elders includes Rev. Vincent Harding, Rev. James Lawson, Rev. Philip Lawson, Dolores Huerta, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Dr. Grace Lee Boggs, Dr. Gwendolyn Zoharah, Marian Wright Edelman, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Rev. Dr. George Tinker, Rev. John Fife, Rev. Nelson Johnson, Joyce Hobson Johnson and, because of their generous spirits, me, as well. [Who are these people? Has anyone heard of them?]
Their statement of solidarity reads: [I swear I am not making this up…] “As veterans of the Civil Rights, Women’s, Peace, Environmental, LGBTQ, Immigrant Justice, labor rights and other movements … [but not defense of the unborn] we are convinced that Occupy Wall Street is a continuation, a deepening and expansion of the determination of the diverse peoples of our nation to transform our country into a more democratic, just and compassionate society.”
[But wait! There’s more] To be clear that they are about more than writing statements, this group of leaders [this band of elders] — seasoned by all the social justice movements of their day [but, wait!… there’s more! What did they do next, Joan?!] — started a Facebook page, [sniff] launched a website, [wow] uploaded a video to YouTube [just wow] and sent a delegation of older people to Zuccotti Park in New York City, to Justice Herman Plaza in San Francisco, and to Los Angeles, Oakland and Washington, D.C., to speak with demonstrators. [I … sniff… just have to stop for a moment and gather my thoughts. All this from the “Organizing Committee of the Council of Elders”.] They went to encourage this generation’s young people, who are bringing to consciousness a national awareness that our wealth is in our people and our resources, well developed and well used, not in our banks. They went to bring the flame of peace and economic justice from one generation to the next. [Can she write a sentence without a cliche?]
The elders are going to be among the Occupiers, [I hope their insurance is good and they bring some … spray.] they say in their public statement, to “applaud the miraculous extent to which the Occupy initiative has been non violent [except when it wasn’t] and democratic, especially in light of the weight of violence under which the great majority of people are forced to live, including joblessness, foreclosures, unemployment, poverty, and inadequate health care.”
It stumbles along pretty much like this for a while longer. Meanwhile…. CLICK.
I say we form our own council of elders and call it the “Council of Donors to Fr. Z in Protest of the Fishwrap!”