Reporter's Notebook from Terri Schiavo Hospice
Revolutionary Worker #1274, April 10, 2005, posted at rwor.org
As the RW has pointed out, the hysteria around Terri Schiavo was not a groundswell from below, but a power-grab from the top. But who were the people who were mobilized on the ground? And how did they respond when revolutionary communists entered the fray? Our first hand report comes from RW correspondent Sunsara Taylor who spent two days outside the hospice where Terry Schiavo was the center of a storm of controversy.
Edited Blog Entries from a Reporter's Notebook
Dedicated to Michael Schiavo who stood up for truth in the face of a raving inquisition of ignorance, cruelty, and terror.
A Crowd of Contradictions
Suddenly, the yelling voice of a young male with an Alabama drawl rises above the flurry of screaming. At first all I can decipher is that he is proclaiming his personal relationship with Jesus Christ, yelling about true Christianity, how great this country is, and something about the signs that are being fought over. I assume he is just another voice yelling at me and Debra.
Then I realize that he is yelling at the women who are covering our signs. He is calling them hypocrites, talking about Jesus and demanding to know if this is a free country, or what?
Then a new woman with a shrill piercing holler right into my ear starts in, "Name one place communism has ever worked! Name one!"
As she hammers away and the noise accumulates, I could hardly think, let alone get my voice heard. Then, in my other ear, a very quiet voice blurts out, "It worked alright in Cuba."
I turn, thinking to myself that Cuba is not really a socialist country but anxious to see someone else who is at least thinking about revolution, and the first thing I notice is a huge afro--totally out of place! There is a young Black high school kid standing behind me, next to a young white female friend of his.
They, too, are from the neighborhood and the young woman marvels at our bravery for being there. The guy asks what kind of communist I am and who I voted for. He says, "Wow, that's interesting," when I tell him that I didn't support any candidate, but I did unite with the efforts to defeat Bush. He is with the Green Party and supported Dean who he considers "the most radical candidate there was."
Both kids know a great deal about Terri Schiavo. They know that she can't feel or think anything and that parts of her brain have been turned to liquid. The majority of their school thinks that she should be allowed to die, although they complain that there is still too much apathy.
The young woman whispers, "The scary thing is that three years ago I would have been out here with them, because of the influence of the church." When asked what changed her thinking, she takes a slow look around and answers, "Stuff like this. There is so much judgement and so much hate. It is just so hypocritical."
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