November 18, 2011

Deja vu all over again: 1968 and 2011 on Sproul Plaza

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Jane Stillwater @ 3:14 pm

Here I am, sitting on the steps in front of Sproul Hall at the University of California in Berkeley, looking out over Sproul Plaza before me, reliving my youth.

“Come to Cal and study city planning,” my best friend Anne wrote me back in 1966. “President Johnson has just ear-marked hundreds of millions of dollars for urban renewal and for his Great Society, and there will be lots of city planning jobs available to us after we graduate. This is a good way to both help America and also have meaningful jobs.”

Sounded good to me. I’d just finished helping Bill Tatum and Walter Thabit save New York City’s Lower East Side from the bulldozer and I had nothing else to do. Cal, here I come!

Then what happened? I graduated from Cal in 1968 with an MCP — only to be told by perspective employers, “Too bad for you. All the money that had been going to the Great Society is now going to the Vietnam war and most city planning jobs have been eliminated. And besides, we can’t hire you because you’re a woman — we’re only hiring men with families to support.”

It was 1968. I had no money. No job. Nothing to do. So I just lived in a friend’s attic, lived by my wits and sat on the steps in front of Sproul Hall every day for a year after my graduation. For a whole year.

It was a very bad year.

And now it’s deja vu all over again. No job. No money. No hope. All the big hopes that we held for the new millennium in the year 2000 have all been wasted on stupid endless pointless wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Palestine.

So I decided to do the same thing today that I had done back then: Go sit on the steps in front of Sproul Hall. Only this time I’m hoping that it won’t take a whole other year for me to figure out what to do next.

PS: In many ways, the corporatist One Percent just loves our Occupy America movement — because It gives the oligarchs who control us a chance to flex their weaponized muscles, to divide us American peons against each other still further and to characterize people who object to their wealth as dirty, homeless and crazy instead of moral and financial victims of their blatant systematic chicanery.

PPS: Nationally, the first thing that we 99% need to do is to eliminate the wide-spread massive corruption that currently characterizes American politics: Every politician who spends over $100,000 on any one campaign should be thrown in jail — hopefully one of those private gruesome for-profit forced-labor-camp nightmare-inducing prisons that our current legislators have been shameless about voting into place.

Second, Anyone who has ever had anything major to do with the Federal Reserve should be jailed as well — or tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. According to the GAO, the Fed just embezzled 16 trillion dollars from us and gave it to Wall Street and big American banks — and to foreign banks too. If that doesn’t totally piss you off, then you need to start checking your pulse.

Third, unjust Supreme Court justices such as Thomas and Scalia should also be jailed immediately. And White House pretty-boy poodles for the One Percent such as Bush, Cheney and Obama should be jailed as well. And Congressional errand-boys for the big corporations? Also clamped in leg-irons! Duh.

Fourth, every single man, woman and child in America should also take turns sitting on Sproul Plaza for a day. And then we should all be awarded free education and/or meaningful jobs. Plus we should also be awarded $30,000 each — as part of America’s new victim compensation plan after having been viciously robbed by corporatist thieves in Washington and Wall Street.

PPPS: Speaking of bulldozers, U.C. police raided Sproul Plaza again at 3 am last night — driving bulldozers across the plaza, flattening everything in sight, destroying tents and artwork in their wake and pushing people out of their way. No big surprise there.

PPPPS: And speaking of endless war, the Glasgow Sunday Herald’s war correspondent David Pratt just sent me an article entitled “Danger: the Middle East may go Ballistic”.

“In more than two decades of Middle East watching,” stated Pratt, “I’ve got used to unexpected events and endless predictions of doomsday scenarios. But, even by its own politically volatile and labyrinthine standards, there have been some very ominous and shadowy things taking place there of late…. So many factors could now ignite the [Middle East right now], and standing well back would be a near impossible option for the international community. The Middle East might just be about to go ballistic, and I’m not simply talking about a few missiles in Iran.”


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