Or Meeting Chris Hedges in Union Square
by Jill Dalton
The people together can overthrow the system.
The people organized can build the kind of future we want.
On tax day (April 15, 2011) I head down to Union Square for the “Sounds of Resistance” rally in New York City to bring attention to social justice, healthcare, housing, and opposition to our illegal wars. I knew Chris Hedges would be speaking and as a long time admirer of his writing and his courage to act wanted to meet him as well. The rally was organized by several groups including: Veterans for Peace, US Uncut, It’s Our Economy, etc. to demand corporations pay their fair share of taxes, home foreclosures must stop immediately and the too big to fail banks be broken up.
There are several speakers including Kevin Zeese of It’s Our Economy, Dr. Margaret Flowers, co-chair of the Maryland Branch of Physicians for a National Health Program who was arrested at the Senate Roundtable on Health Care (see link below), John Bales a homeowner who told of his nightmare dealings with Bank of America foreclosing on his home, Chris Hedges and the group, Junkyard Empire.
Prior to the rally, as people are milling about, I spot Hedges standing behind the stage. I’m wondering if I should approach him when I’m asked by a young guy if I knew who Chris Hedges is and could I point him out. I do and the kid walks right up to Hedges and starts talking with him. That’s when I go, “Hey wait he didn’t even know what Hedges looked like so as soon as the kid departed I go right up to Hedges.
I thank Chris Hedges for his insights and writings. I tell him I thought I was crazy until I read his books and weekly column at Truthdig.com. Turns out I’m not crazy just hyper aware of what’s been going on in this country for the last 40-50 years. I say, “I’m an Army brat” to which he replies, “Oh then you know what’s going on.” “Yes, I know.” And when you know it’s your duty to act.
Hedges speaks for 12 minutes and you could hear a pin drop as he stands alone on the stage reading from his notes. (See link of his speech below.) And we’re talking noon time in Union Square in New York City. Seems even the birds listened.
The band Junkyard Empire plays “We Want.” (See link of the song below.)
As the crowd disperses to head over to Bank of America for a sit-in; I need to leave for my tax preparation appointment. I had to laugh at the irony.
That was in April. A lot’s happened since the 100 or so of us stood in Union Square. I kept thinking we need the young people. They’ve got the energy and they need to get involved if this is to have any impact. It can’t just be me and a few other ex hippies I see at every rally.
But since then the Occupy movement started and blossomed and people are now aware and engaged in what’s going on in this country. And now we all must get involved and stand up against the tyranny that has befallen us. This is much more than being about a job or a house this is about the very soul of America.
And I too have a deep faith justice will eventually win or as Chris Hedges recently stated, “I felt this twinge of euphoria again in my stomach this morning, this utter certainty that the impossible is possible, this realization that the mighty will fall.”
Yes, we have the ideas we have truth and justice on our side and she will prevail.
Chris Hedges spoke for almost 12 minutes.
Junkyard Empire singes “We Want.”
Interview with Dr. Margaret Flowers