Monday, March 24, 2014

This is what democracy looks like!

Show me what democracy looks like! THIS is what democracy looks like!
CofC students, faculty, and staff put on a fantastic protest march today, dramatically critiquing the Board of Trustees' selection of Glenn McConnell as CofC's new president.  The group marched through campus--around the borders of the campus and right through the middle, ending at the Cistern (above), where graduation happens.

Several students did all the organizing and publicity--they came up with idea, and they made it happen.  All I did was show up and take a fantastic sign that Bri made.

Caption:  "CofC's Board of Trustees owes the College $100,000
for their fake presidential search."  I totally agree.
The Charleston Post & Courier published the picture above immediately after the march.

Damn, do I love a protest!  Apparently our group filled an entire block while we were marching and screaming.  One of the news outlets referred to "several dozen students," but I'm going to estimate more like 33 dozen students (that would be 396, for those of you who are as bad at math as I am). There's something incredibly invigorating and satisfying about screaming with a crowd that's voicing things I believe.  My favorite chant--probably my favorite of all time--is

Show me what democracy looks like!

THIS is what democracy looks like!

Hell, yeah, it is!

I remember taking part in the March for Women's Lives in DC back in 2004, the biggest march in US history.  As we forged ahead through the streets, protestors stood on the sidelines holding signs showing fetuses and saying, "I regret my abortion."  And as we shouted "THIS is what democracy looks like," I really felt it:  democracy isn't about everyone agreeing.  It's about meaningful conversation, meaningful dissent.  It's about each of us getting to make our argument, to marshal evidence, to build community and let people know where we stand.  We are allowed to speak, to hold signs in the air, to scream.

I was proud to be a member of the College of Charleston community today.  I hope the Board of Trustees heard us.

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