Not sure if you know that my Mom was in the strike at Columbia 50 years ago? Democracy Now recently did some interesting coverage of that momentous civil disobedience. I was so proud to watch it with my Mom, who kept thinking she might recognize people in the crowd of protesting students. She didn't know Mark Rudd too personally but was very close with other resisters. It occurred to me that I wanted to talk about this with you, when I watched the piece on Democracy Now. Also, Juan Gonzalez, Amy Goodman's co-anchor, began his career in justice there at Columbia, and there was footage of that. I am fascinated by that time that my Mom lived through. She was a pretty privileged white woman in it, and a graduate student, which meant that she was not locked in the building. But she was on the sidewalk during the protest. She says she came home the first day to Mary Larsen and Ruth Sheriff - other graduate students who she was living with - and remembers saying what she saw, and Ruth goes "It's the Revolution!" I think that is intriguing because on Democracy they talked about the white black issues on campus and how much of the protest was for the black and brown students who did not think of it as a revolution at all, very specifically they said. Of course if your life depends on a protest, you don't have the privilege to think of it so casually. But this time did also change Mom's life. She didn't complete her degree at Columbia, and rather moved South with another striker, Geoff Green, and a few other people with the back to the land movement. She moved to Mendota Virginia, of all places, in pursuit of real people in their natural habitat, or something like that.

My life has had some similar nearness to civil disobedience, and some of the people in parts of my life were like my versions of Mom's friends. Specifically, when I was involved in early meetings of Mountain Justice, I did one thing that might have made a ripple effect and convinced some of its people to keep that movement nonviolent. Both Mom and I were marginal cast outs in our social groups and that interests me too, as I read social scientists say all people feel cast out in the early parts of socializations.