Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Greed, For Lack Of A Better Word, Is Bad."

Why are Medea and crew taunting these poor, poor rich folks? It's so...unseemly and dare I say, rude!

NY Daily News:

CodePink may be an anti-war group, but they’ve also got a nose for news, and five members managed to get seats in the AIG hearing today. And they managed to provide a little lighthearted news.

Founder Medea Benjamin and her partners came dressed, of course, in pink, and came bearing signs like “AIG (arrrow) JAIL” and “Fire Geithner.”

But holding them up while AIG CEO Edward Liddy testified prompted a sharp rebuke to the “lady in pink” from subcommittee chairman Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.), who ordered them to handover their signs or leave, before the committee chairman Rep. Barney Frank asked questions.

Unable to resist a preamble aimed at the glowering, scowling Kanjorski, Frank noted, “considering your method of dealing with this, it’s a good thing no one was wearing a T-shirt.”

As far as their presence there, Benjamin said they saw the AIG mess as intimately related to the wars. “Our economic mess now is related to the war we’re still paying for,” she said.

“They’re criminals. This is criminal what they did,” said Benjamin, referring to AIG. “I can’t believe we’re talking about bonuses considering the rest of the bailout, but this was theft.”

The Capitol police know CodePink well, and Benjamin and a few officers were seen chatting and laughing with each other after the hearing took a break.

Imagine that! Code Pink somehow managed to get seats at the AIG hearing. How on earth did they pull that off?

Anyway, it's a funny little story, but the larger issue it illustrates is how much myth there still is surrounding CP and really citizen engagement in democracy. I've had people ask me, "how do you get in to hearings?" Uh...we show up, wait in line with everybody else, then take a seat. It's just that simple.

Yet people don't know they have that right--the responsibility, even--to attend hearings and other government activities. This is our machinery of democracy, and we assume it's some self-oiling mechanism that will run just fine without a driver. I hope with Obama's successful use of grassroots organizing this can change.

I'll also note that somehow people think CP is "anti-war." We ran into that during Inauguration, being asked about how anti-Bush and anti-war and anti-whatever we are, and whether we have no mission with Obama in the White House. I replied that we've always been "pro-peace" and that means not just protesting Iraq and Afghanistan and Gaza, but doing positive, constructive things to foment justice here and all around the world.

Maybe if more people understood that, they'd be more willing to join us...



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Patrick D said...
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