Thursday, February 9, 2012

Free Speech Fight Still 'Alive' In San Diego 100 Years Later

Do you really believe America is the Land of the Free? Not even speech is free anymore. It comes with a price tag, go directly to jail if you don't obey. Wednesday Feb 8, protesters from Occupy San Diego gathered on all four corners at 5th and E Street in downtown San Diego's, gas lamp district around 5pm. Standing on top of soap boxes like the Wobblies did a 100 years ago, speaking about the same injustices that continue today.

These injustices are police harassment, intimidation, corruption in politics, the banking industry, how corporations are not people and should not be allowed to put their money into the political arena. How Corporations should pay their fair share of taxes and provide a living wage to employees, not minimum wage. This problem starts at home where people are taught how to behave and treat others Things don't change, when the system stays the same, or when people stay the same.

At 6pm local labor unions and other groups joined Occupy San Diego. The SDPD blocked off 5 Street at F Street and detoured traffic, so we could gather in the middle of the street. The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO headed this event. The Labor Council is a coalition of 133 local unions that represent more than 192,000 working families in the region. Lorena Gonzalez the Secretary-Treasurer and CEO of this council was the first speaker and reved up the audience.

Two young men, one playing the banjo and the other a guitar, played intermittently through the event, bringing fun and lightness with song, to the evening. Many speakers spoke about, the violence that happened a hundred years ago on the same day. This year was more subdued, with only one man placed in handcuffs for not dispersing, when asked to by the SDPD.  The event ended with the Women's Occupy Occupella singing, 'Occupy your mind,' 'Vote, vote, vote your rights,' and a couple other songs.

It was a successful evening, ending with a young man mic checking, the occupy movements grievances through a bull horn, with people on all corners repeating what he was saying. At this point about ten cops stood right in front of the protesters mic checking on the southwest side of the street. People of all ages and racial ethnicity's attended the event and left feeling satisfied with what they heard and participated in.

A few news channels showed up, but not that many. It takes citizen journalist these days to tell the real stories. This evening was another indication occupy is here to stay and will stand up and fight for their freedom to speak out about the gross injustices in this country and around the world. Freedom is not free and probably never will be. Don't let the SDPD, or any police officer intimidate you, not to protest and use your voice for the good for all.