Mr. Saturday Night, Raleigh’s Supervillain, Asks: Moral Monday Folks — What’s the Point of Getting Arrested?
I‘ve been seeing a lot about Moral Monday in the news lately. When a news article about this comes up I think I can hear all of Raleigh changing the channel all at once. I saw that the abortion bill passed, or at least got paper-clipped to something that passed. Wow, and they call me the bad guy.
In spite of the bill passing, it hasn’t stopped people from protesting. I don’t understand it. Protesting is fun and all, but there is usually one moral person per nine people who are there to network, tag along or oppose authority for the sake of opposing authority–I think they’re called hipsters now.
The good crew at Candid Slice made two mistakes:
- They gave me an account here
- They let me keep it.
So, join Mr. Saturday Night, the supervillain of the Triangle area, as he weighs in on the issue sweeping his city; the Moral Monday protests.
Times have changed since the civil rights movement, when protesting actually meant something. Did you know that? The media landscape is not what it used to be. A person getting arrested for a cause used to carry weight, but I’ll get to that later. People fighting and getting arrested for a cause used to make great special interest stories, but now the media is more tightly regulated. Some of these stories are going to get squashed before they make it to television. No one will know what you did.
There was a time that politicians could be persuaded to do things one way or another by letter writing and making phone calls. That time has also passed us by. These days politicians owe so much to lobbyists and political groups that your words and letters fall on deaf ears. There are politicians that don’t know basic human anatomy. There are politicians who think the earth is flat.
Worst of all there are politicians who think that once they’re elected regular citizens like you and me should sit down and shut up.
Have you ever filled out a job application? If you’re a law abiding citizen, I bet you have. There is a spot toward the bottom of most job applications that says have you been arrested for anything greater than minor traffic violations? Below that in parenthesis is a blurb that says that answering yes does not exclude you from an employment opportunity. I can attest to the fact that last bit is a bold faced lie.
Just because police seem to have a catch and release policy for civil disobedience doesn’t mean that it won’t follow you around for the rest of your lives. Why even bother? And for those of you who get back home and go on facebook sounding so excited about getting arrested for a cause I have bad news for you:
Despite your best efforts, you are not the next Rosa Parks. Sorry. I hate to burst your bubbles.
While I’m on the subject, the whole act is so pointless. I had a roommate who owed me money for bills. By your logic I should have slit my wrist to show solidarity in wanting the money back. Do you think that the politicians who passed this bill care if you get arrested or not? Do you think your show of solidarity is going to convince them that what they’re doing is wrong? You’ve already given them all the power they need to run your life and take away things you care about. Why are you just getting upset about it now?
If you want to really get your views heard you have to stop and look at the situation. These people are set for life. They’re already in office. Getting arrested and making touching speeches won’t do anything to stop them from what they’re doing. If you want to really send a message that message should be something along the lines of, “If you keep this up you will never be in office again.”
Now, there are ways to be smart and safe while protesting. I don’t think anyone has used gas or pepper spray or anything like that so I’ll skip the bit about vinegar.
- The first thing to do is to know your rights. Do some homework, both on the group you’re supporting and the law of the land.
- Think about how you’re dressed. If you want to draw attention to yourself then do that. If you look like a criminal they’ll treat you like one.
- You’re going to be on your feet for hours so comfortable shoes are your best bet. Bring a backpack with your valuables. Pickpockets tend to thrive at events like this.
- Bring a first aid kit. If someone gets hurt you could be a hero.
- Most smart phone users know that there is an app to record sound. It’s not a bad thing to have along but bring a pen and paper in case those get taken away or you want something documented that doesn’t make noise.
I’m giving this bit of advice as a freebee. As I said earlier, the bill passed. There’s nothing you can do anymore. Game over, wait till next election. I doubt anyone is going to show up this time. I’m sure most of the slactivists who ‘Occupy’ Raleigh have better things to do than stand around in the hot sun and listen to speeches for something they are only half interested in.
The next protest starts around 5pm, but people start lining up in the afternoon. Good luck changing the policy. You’re going to need it. If you want to save your city and be a hero then by all means, prove me wrong.