In one fell swoop, the media meme of civic apathy has been destroyed. Those "disengaged" people who didn't turn out to vote in the mid-terms a few weeks ago are far from apathetic. They simply realized that representative democracy is no democracy at all. They finally took to the streets to protest a police killing that has become the symbol of the punishing oligarchic state. People took to the streets, took back the public spaces, took back democracy.... if only for one brief shining moment, until the Powers That Be inevitably lose their limited patience and declare that it's time for a national conversation about healing. And the now-restrained police batons will inevitably be raised again, once the official paternalistic magnanimity wears off.
It's not for nothing that the kangaroo court trial of Michael Brown, resulting in the
The actual plot didn't exactly go according to script this time around. After the first night of looting and burning and CNN infotainers sanctimoniously complaining about marijuana and F-bombs in the air, the crowds turned peaceful. The crowds displayed some good old fashioned solidarity.
The plutocrats and the politicians might have all the money and the power, but we have the bodies and the voices. The more that people of disparate backgrounds can all get together and refuse to be cowed by the divide and conquer tactics used since time immemorial by the ruling class to maintain control, the harder it becomes for them to ignore us.
This is more than a spontaneous national movement against police brutality. It's part of a vibrant global movement against the all-encompassing brutality of neoliberalism (aka the free market fundamentalist god.) A mass epiphany, a collective realization that the deck is stacked against the vast majority of people, is breaking out all over.
Over the past couple of nights, ordinary people have managed to shut down interstates, block bridges, disrupt commerce, and render the police state mute. The acceleration of capital has been slowed down. People have finally had enough, and are just saying No.
It's not so much the goals that are important, but the movement itself. People are refusing to sit still any more. If there is anything to be thankful for this week, it's for the courage of protesters who have rediscovered their own power and taken their lives back into their own hands.