Demonstrating While Old

Boston Globe. Photo by Mike Desmond, Associated Press

I’ve been out on the street many times in my life, not because I’m brave or a savvy political organizer. No, I’ve been inspired to march when I’m angry and/or sad.  Right now I’m both of those things, and ashamed as well… Surely we can do better than this.

But this time I’m not joining the crowds because I am afraid of getting sick. 

If you look at the protesters on the streets these days, young faces predominate.  Of course that is almost always the way—young people are the force of change, trying to shape the future that they want to live in.  However, even when I marched against the Vietnam War in the sixties and seventies, there were always old people along who formed a line of continuity to past protests.

I don’t see many old faces now.  The seventy-plus year old man knocked down by police in Buffalo is, from what I’ve seen, a rarity.  Correct me if I’m wrong.

Are you protesting now? I’m not, and it makes me even sadder.

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5 Responses to Demonstrating While Old

  1. Lizzie says:

    No I’m not protesting in person, for the same reason as you – I’m afraid of getting sick. We drove through a small town protest this week, and most of the protesters were very young. They were not precticing distancing even though they easily could have. Few were wearing masks. I admire their spirit, but question their judgment.

    What has astounded me most during all this is how very over-equiped police forces are. They look more like stormtroopers than like peacekeepers.

    • Abbey smith says:

      Yup, that’s where military surplus has gone for the last decade or so. Even smaller cities have baby tanks, which also explains the increase in budgets. Pause for thought, no?

  2. Julie Zuckman says:

    No but I am feeling more likely to do so. We need “senior marches” with social distancing. And any one of us is free to stand in front of City Hall or PD with a sign on our own. I looked into local social actions scheduled but they have a youthful flavor and the organizing rhetoric turns me off. I’ve been to such demonstrations before and I’m not comfortable.

  3. JS says:

    I’ve never really been a person who goes to protest marches despite believing in causes. I am not participating now because I don’t want to get sick, make vulnerable relatives sick, get hurt, or get arrested.

  4. Susan says:

    I, too, am still sheltering in place, because my husband and I are in a high risk age group. Also, because until I was finally able to get cortisone shots in my arthritic knees two weeks ago, I could barely walk a block, much less march. My (senior citizen) next-door neighbor asked a friend about attending a march with her; he said, “Get real. If either one of us took a knee, they’d have to call the paramedics to get us back up.”
    However, I thank Stephen Colbert for reminding us that “Silence Implies Consent.” We can still write, and phone people, and contact our local and national elected officials. Checks to our favorite organizations — even food banks — can’t hurt, if that’s possible for you. The National Lawyers Guild offers legal support to protesters who get arrested….

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