Friday, March 31, 2006

Re: Walkout

Educational Justice SF Freedom School

I watched the film "walkout" two nights ago and was really impressed with the quality of the film. One of the most important scenes in the film is when the students are watching the TV news version of the first walkout during which the police beat the sh** out them. The TV news reported that there were student disturbances but that the police were able to get them under control, indicating that the students started the violence. It was a complete misrepresentationof what happened. The movie was extraordinarily powerful and eloquent on how violent the police were and how the media distorted the event. This happens ALL THE TIME! Think about what happened at Thurgood Marshall HS here in SF and how the district and media spun it!!

This is why one of the civil rights veterans who trained people in non violent direct action explains to our SF Freedom School students (when he is a guestspeaker at our sessions) to not count on the media at all, in fact its best that they aren't around, since they will distort what you are doing. He has many experiences and good theory to back up this point.

The movie "walkout" also pointed out that the surveys that led to the walkout had been given out 3 years before and "didn't work." That is another important lesson to learn. That the first time you try something, if it doesn't work,that doesn't mean it won't work. It means that it needs to be tweaked or it wasn't the right time. Another example, those who organized the montgomery bus boycott had tried to do so several times. They learned from each failed attempt so that they finally got it right, at the right time.

I believe that the more we understand how social movements developed in the past, the better and more effective the next one will be. They have the monopoly of violence, the media, money and patronage. We only have people power. and to tap into it we need to be smarter and more organized than they are.


info on SF Freedom School
info on hbo's walkout
more on today's walkouts and student movement from democracy now

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