"AT SOME POINT WE DECIDED TO STOP BEING SILENT AND OUR REVOLUTION STARTED." - Hussein Ghrer, human rights activist, Syria
December 17, 2010 Tunisia: Street trader Mohamed Bouazizi sets himself on fire in protest against police harassment. The moment sparks an unprecedented outburst of popular protest and demands for reform throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The Arab Spring begins.
The Laquan McDonald video showing this 17 year old black male being shot 16 times by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke and the alleged coverup by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and outgoing State's Attorney Anita Alvarez still sparks and inflames a season of civil resistance and engagement in Chicago that is growing stronger by the day. I feel the same spirit of resistance and revolution in Chicago and other American cities that I have witnessed since the self-immolation of Tunisian street trader Mohamed Bouazizi.
Chicagoans are facing off with our own Mayor and elected officials over the reformation of a civilian oversight board - which instead of sweeping a half billion dollars of taxpayer monies under Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) rugs - will evenly and justly deal with issues of police misconduct. The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) may strike on October 11th thereby freeing teachers, students and parents to overflow downtown streets with pain, power and purpose. Our overtaxed and underserved citizens are talking about term limits in a Machine city like Chicago. Go figure...
Black people are no longer apologizing for raising black issues. President George W. Bush said it best at the opening of the National Black History Museum in Washington D.C., "The price of our Union is America's Original Sin." Racism is the lethal platform for all the 'isms'. Historically consistent - Black American struggle liberates all Americans (and the world) to reach beyond historically oppressive constructs. I'm excited. I'm concerned but hopeful. The Revolution is upon us. It is not only being televised - it's being snapchatted, tweeted, marched and fought by, for and of the people around the world. It will be Springtime this winter in Chicago. @gslivingston