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The Daily Tar Heel

Moral Mondays are a good start to change


From the 1964 civil rights fast to the Occupy camp two years ago, the Franklin Street Post Office has been a place where people come together to fight injustice.

Yesterday, I was happy to see that tradition still alive with the NAACP rally.

Make no mistake — the state legislature’s rollbacks on racial justice, safe abortion, environmental protection and access to health care are attacks on the people.

However, if our resistance amounts to little more than an electoral strategy to get Democrats “back in office,” we will never win.

The problem is not that there aren’t enough people supporting the Dems — the problem is we have gotten so used to abdicating power to others to represent our interests that we have forgotten how to wield power ourselves.

Every major beneficial change in this country has started from people’s power in the streets: the labor movement, civil rights, the women’s movement — even wheelchair ramps are rooted in direct action.

People power innovates, governments roll back.

What continually happens is those movements get neutered by politicians who make promises that they can never deliver fully.

Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue was ineffectual at stopping fracking. Nationally, Obama has continued the domestic spying and imperialism abroad that characterized Bush.

Not to mention all the abhorrent systems both parties agree on: the prison-industrial complex, exploitation of workers abroad under the banner of “free” trade, the borders that separate families and make undocumented immigrants an effective underclass whose exploitation we all live off of.

Any act of defiance, Moral Mondays included, has potential in bringing people together to exercise power on our own terms.

We need to find ways to expand that power, not funnel it back into the means by which politicians decide what is best for us.

Next week is Radical Rush Week, a time to come together and figure out how to take power back into our lives without politicians, rulers or representatives.

Check out for a full schedule and more info.

James Hoopes ’15 Mathematics

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