Have you noticed how often we find ourselves waving signs outside a closed building?
If our goal is to raise public awareness, that’s fine.
If our goal is to demand action from those inside the building, standing outside of it is kind of a waste of time.
What works is to get inside.
Face-to-face discussion forces people to hear inconvenient truths and answer inconvenient questions.
The shutdown allows power-hungry and “just plain lazy” officials to ignore the frustrations of the people they serve. Zoom is not representative government.
We have to reclaim our Constitutionally-granted access before we lose it altogether.
Our peaceful protest at the mayor of Battle Ground’s house the other night drew controversy. I hadn’t bothered posting video of it because it was so peaceful, it could have been confused it for a block party. We had 50-60 folks gathered around eating pizza and listening to worship music. Terrifying!
But to some, this was an unacceptable invasion of the mayor’s privacy.
The mayor could have easily prevented the protest by reopening City Council meetings to the public. Had he listened to months of citizen requests to do so, we could have made ourselves heard at City Hall.
Instead, City Council “meets” on Zoom. When our “chat” last night became controversial, even that was turned off.
This is why we sometimes take protest to the public property outside the homes of public servants. This offends some sensibilities, but we’re not going to win this by tiptoeing around people’s feelings.
Neighborhood response was positive and those who attended learned more about how to stand for freedom.
Dissent is inconvenient. As things get worse, we will have to force people to hear us. This applies regardless of the person’s political affiliation, or ours. Just because we all rub elbows at some party event doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hold each other accountable.
In fact, it is in exactly those face-to-face scenarios where we have any hope of making real change.
Of course I’m against violence and aggression. In fact people who sign wave with me will tell you my response to screaming passersby is usually to shout back, “I love you!”
I encourage people to be the light. But shine let’s that light where it will be seen, even if – especially if – those hiding in darkness complain.