I recently returned from 16 days in Barcelona, Spain, where I witnessed the most successful protest of my lifetime. I had the privilege of talking to many of the people who were marching. On the surface, it appeared that many of the them wanted to separate from Spain, but it was really more about the government in Madrid refusing to listen to their concerns. There were tens of thousands of protesters in the streets — day after day, week after week — resulting in a complete shutdown of many major streets. There were no documented cases of violence or looting by the protesters — only documented cases of excessive force by some of the Spanish police brought in from Madrid. We could learn a lot from these protesters. We are at a critical time in our history when our democratic and social justice policies are under attack. In order to preserve these values and to make a real difference, it will take tens of thousands of organized, peaceful protesters who will have to take to the streets — and not just for one day.
Cay Marquart, Boise