Action Following Action

The Women’s March in Portsmouth, NH was the happiest march I’ve ever attended. Occupying the main street, dancing, signs, cheering, clapping, smiling, photos. This contrasts the handful of times I occupied the street in front of the Minneapolis police department to demand the release of the tapes documenting Jamar Clark’s murder. There, we yelled, chanted, slept in tents. People smoked joints on the lawn to spite the police. I sensed more anger. Maybe this makes sense. Trump hasn’t shot anyone…yet. It’s the yet that keeps me on edge.

In the wake of the march, what should we do? I keep discussing politics with my friends. Hiking up the mountain, shedding layers as we climb up to Lonesome Lake, we’re nagging on the structural problems of our capitalist state (the electoral college, gerrymandering, the increasing cultural divide between blue and white collar workers). And increasingly, the solutions we’re dreaming up are increasingly Marxist and/or inspired by ancient Sparta. A structure requiring citizens to be educated in order to vote, shared food and educational resources, equal opportunities for all people who agree to live in the society. But for this to occur, there has to be a revolution, and we’re not talking the the type of revolution Trump claims he’s bringing to politics. A revolution meaning complete upheaval of present structures in favor of something new and better for the majority of humans. The U.S. has never really had one. The break from Britain was a trade squabble among the British elite, a reestablishment of capitalism on new soil. Here, we’re talking China or Russia converting to communism. We’re walking downhill now. If we had a revolution, what would it look like? Messy. And will it be in our lifetime? Probably not. But the worse things get, the more possible it becomes.

And then we come up to the lake. It’s snuggled up in fog. Another hiker meets us at the edge, so it must be still solid despite the recent thaw. It’s 40 degrees up here and we’re walking in puddles which are resting on top of the ice. I’ve seen it in summer, so I know it’s a hundred or so feet across but for all we know, it could go on for miles. The mist makes eternity possible. I look over at my friend, and we keep walking.

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