George Graham

Echoes of the Sixties? Or Just my Imagination?

The news during the past year or so has been dominated in America by the ultra-conservative Tea Party movement. Violence – or threats of violence – and “controversy” make news, and the Tea Party has provided plenty of that. The more “controversial” their comments the more play they have received in the media.

In the Vietnam era, it was the “left” that filled American television screens with their protests, some of which were both “violent” and “controversial.”

But, recently, there has been an eerie silence from the “left.”

I’ve been puzzled by this silence.

With national unemployment stuck around 10 percent (more like 20 percent among minorities), with young Americans dying in seemingly endless wars, with social programs under siege, I expected some kind of reaction.

After all, the crisis in Egypt is attributed to a preponderance of “young, unemployed” citizens. And there’s no shortage of those in America. Especially among minorities.

Today, I noticed an obscure news item that might signal a resurgence of the leftist protests of the Sixties:

LA QUINTA, Calif. – Authorities in California say 25 protesters have been arrested for trespassing outside a strategy session of conservative political donors at a Palm Springs-area resort.

Riverside County Deputy Melissa Nieburger (NEE’-bur-gur) said Sunday that the protesters were being booked at Indio Jail and released.

Hundreds of people participated in the mostly peaceful demonstration that had been arranged with authorities, but some protesters crossed the street to the Rancho Las Palmas Resort.

Deputies in riot gear arrested them without incident when they refused to leave the area.

If this is not just an isolated incident, if the “left” is finally awakening to today’s injustices, I smell trouble.

I realize that America is not Egypt or Tunisia or Greece or Ireland, or … But some of the irritants that sparked violence in other societies are increasingly present in America.

People get frustrated here, too. And frustration breeds violence – which, in turn, breeds more violence.

In a “global” world, dominated by powerful corporations,  where opportunity is ever more limited and free expression increasingly curtailed by the threat of “terrorism” (read about it by clicking here), violent protests are only to be expected.

As Martin Luther King Jr. said:

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

And with the militant right itching for a fight, things could get out of hand if the left takes to the streets in America.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for