Yesterday afternoon (Thursday) there was protest in the air on North Campus. I walked towards the parking deck on Jackson Street and heard chanting and drum beats over near the President’s office. So I walked on towards the Hubert Bond Owens memorial fountain right outside Old College. The protestors were around the building (forever the Art Museum to me...) which houses the President’s office and other senior administration people. The chants were difficult to make out at first but as I listened I realized the protest had to do with a living wage protest. Today’s Red and Black has a front page article on it if you’d care to read about it. I don’t know if the laughable ABH (Online Athens) webpage/newspaper bothered to cover it or not.
I stood for a moment, listening to the chants, the drum beats, the flute, taking in the whole experience. I have been observing protests on this campus since my teen years. Its part of what makes a college town unique. I feel energized by the protests most of the time. Its nice to see students and others who are concerned and engaged enough to organize and stage a peaceful protest.
On my drive home, I pondered the goal of the protest. Given the current national and state economies after 8 years of catastrophic presidential rule, just where is the money for a Livable Wage supposed to come from? Damn, right now folks ought to be more concerned with salary continuity than anything else. I suppose its the right and expectation that college students be idealistic. But in the current economy, I think realistic would be a better attribute to develop.