Friday, March 16, 2012

Why You Should Join Me Tomorrow


Tomorrow is a big day for Georgia, people are mobilizing at the Georgia Capitol at 11am and I've decided to be a part of it. I'm writing this post in an effort to convince you to join me.

Whether or not you believe in the work I've committed myself to over the last ten years or not, I do think most people who would read this believe that Georgians should have the right to publically call out injustice. I believe that most who would read this blog post also would agree that it's wrong to allow the super rich to provide politicians with economic resources in exchange for legislation that protects them from those that would highlight wrongful doing at their hands.

Dissent is precious. Without dissent we wouldn't have a weekend, a 40 hour work week, we would still have slaves, women couldn't vote, blacks would still give up their seats on the bus, this list goes on. Dissent isn't comfortable for the anyone, it's a disruption.

Right now, in our state there are some troubling trends that need to be disrupted. We're number 5o in loan modifications, we have the 4th highest foreclosure rate, we have the largest prisoner per capita percentage in the country, our unemployment rate is close to 10%, and our income gap is the third highest of any state in the country; we should all be uncomfortable with these troubling realities.

Senate Bill 469 has a clear intent to further criminalize our right to highlight injustice in our communities, dissent will become a serious crime if it passes.

It's widely known that the language in SB 469 is from model legislation drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Counsel(ALEC). ALEC is a non-profit organization that has existed in the shadows of our political landscape for decades. Corporations pay $50,000 a year to be a part of ALEC, and even more to serve on one of their task forces. Politicians pay $50 every two years to join ALEC's ranks.

ALEC has super expensive retreats that law makers and their families attend free of charge. These retreats are used to draft model legislation that law makers are assigned with introducing. In the past one out of five ALEC bills have passed into law.

What ALEC and SB 469 represent is the idea that the super rich can show up on the doorstep of their local politician with a bag of cash and get a law passed in exchange.

Whether you agree with this protest or that one tomorrow is a day to protect our right, your right, to speak your mind, to call out injustice when you see it, to disrupt that which needs to be disrupted.

Tomorrow we need a historic action in order to win the fight for free speech. We need thousands. I want to look back and know that I made whatever personal sacrifices required to be a part of what's going down tomorow. Tomorow I will stand with workers, students, teachers, old, young, black, white, brown, religious, athiest, republicans, democrats, anarchists, socialists, and maybe you.

We can't afford the attacks coming out of the gold dome this season, it time for some disruption in a system that hasn't been serving us for some time.


Tim Franzen
American Friends Service Committee

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