Saturday, October 29, 2011

Occupied our state capitol

On Saturday afternoon Oct.29, Occupy OKC conducted a rally at the Oklahoma State Capitol as part of a nationwide Occupy Your State Capitol event. A variety of speakers and marchers supported clean, publicly financed elections, public schools, public libraries, unions, jobs for all, and an end to corporate dominance of the US political and economic system. I estimated that more than 100 people were in attendance when I arrived at about 1:30 p.m. A friend told me that more people had been present earlier, and one participant estimated peak participation at 200 people. The next Occupy OKC event is a candlelight vigil tomorrow night (Sunday, Oct. 30) in Kerr Park in downtown Oklahoma City. Kerr Park is located on Robert S. Kerr Avenue between Robinson and Broadway.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Occupy Wall Street and feminism

Okay, I've got to quit blogging and get back to my school work, but I just discovered something that I liked a lot, a post by Judith Levine on the Web site of the Vermont weekly Seven Days. She says that the Occupy movement is more like the feminist movement of the seventies and the women's peace camp movement of the eighties than it is like the sixties anti-war movement:
The closest ancestor of Occupy Wall Street was the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp in Berkshire, England. The encampment started in 1981, after some Welsh feminists called Women for Life on Earth marched from Cardiff to the RAF military base in Berkshire, asking to debate the siting of 96 U.S. cruise nuclear missiles there. Ignored, the women pitched their tents outside the fence. They were told to take their tents down. They slept under tarps or in the open. Over the years, thousands camped out, with as many as 70,000 showing up to link hands and encircle — or, as they put it, “embrace” — the base.

Journalists arrived from everywhere. Other camps sprang up across Europe. The women conducted thousands of acts of nonviolent civil disobedience to slow the war machine. They were repeatedly evicted and arrested. But they stayed — for 10 years, until the missiles left, and nine years more, until a monument to their struggle was erected.

Forget comparisons to the ’60s. What the current Occupy movement is emphatically not like is the old (pre feminist, male) New Left. The Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York’s Zuccotti Park (renamed Liberty Square) is a feminist phenomenon in both deep and quotidian ways — not just in the ubiquity of women protestors but in its group process, nonviolent ethos, aesthetic feel and emotional tenor.
Now, I don't look at things in quite the same way that Judith Levine does. First, I'm a bit puzzled that she didn't mention the U.S. women's peace camps. There were at least two, one at Seneca Falls in New York, and at Puget Sound in Washington State.

Second, having spent some time at the OKC Occupation at Kerr Park, I am pleased and impressed with the movement (and consider myself part of it). But I wouldn't go so far as to call it feminist. Women are active in this movement, and not just at a token level, but it still seems male dominated to me.

Nevertheless, I think that Judith Levine is a hundred percent right in the way she describes the movement's philosophy and organization. She has absolutely described the thing that keeps bringing me back down to Kerr Park.

Now if you'll excuse me, I really do need to catch up on my reading for my classes.

What's going on in Oakland?

This morning the radio news brought word of an intense ongoing clash between police and Occupy movement members in Oakland California. Once I was awake I got online to find more information. I wasn't sure about what I was going to find. I support the Occupy movement, and consider myself a part of it. I also remember demonstrations back in Eugene, Oregon, where macho-male anarchists seemed to crave confrontations with the police. And yes, the police generally overreacted, but the story was ususally more complicated than a simple one of brutal police squashing peaceful protests. While I still can't be sure what happened in Oakland, what I've seen and read leads me to believe that the protesters were mostly peaceful and the police went off the wall.

So here's what I found. The Los Angeles Times reported that Oakland Police admitted using tear gas and bean-bag rounds against protesters, but said this was necessary to defend themselves against bottles, rocks, and paintballs that protesters were throwing at them. According to the Times, protesters accused the police of also using flash grenades and rubber bullets, and claimed that some paintballs were directed at police, but only after police charged the crowd.

I found this analysis from Colorlines to be really useful and interesting. For one thing, it pointed out that the Oakland police department has a history of deadly unlawful violence and racial profiling -- a history made more complicated by the recent election of an Asian-American woman mayor who appointed an African-American man as police chief:
Miller’s questions to Taylor about the role of race in the policing of Occupy Oakjland points to what is and will continue to be the larger question in Oakland and other U.S. cities where former “minorities” are becoming majorities: What does it mean when those charged with defending elite interests against multi-racial and increasingly non-white activists are themselves multiracial and non-white? The ongoing protests, mayor recall, phone calls, emails and other pressure and pushback of Occupy Oakland are no longer aimed at cigar-smoking white men. They are aimed at a power structure in Oakland whose public face looks more like Miller and other non-white protesters.

Miller and others are calling for the recall of Jean Quan, who made history as Oakland’s first Asian-American mayor (full disclosure: Quan’s daughter is my Facebook friend); and they are complaining about the use of excessive police violence authorized by Interim Chief Howard Jordan, an African American. Such conflicts between former minorities are becoming the norm in what more conservative commentators call the “post-racial” era ushered in by the election of Obama.

Quan and Jordan are in the throes of dealing with a police department plagued by officer-involved shootings and killings, corruption and other crimes—crimes that have forced a federal consent decree to reform the department, after officers were convicted of planting evidence and beating suspects in West Oakland. Taking her cue from the Obama campaign of 2008, Quan announced Jordan’s appointment at a public safety forum titled “Creating Hope in the Community.”
Finally, the folks at Democracy Now! had an excellent segment on the Oakland situation this morning:

It appears that police departments nationwide are trying to create unfavorable stereotypes about the Occupy movement in order to limit free speech rights and peaceful protest.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Consensus in the rain

Between school and work and other commitments, I can't make it down to the Occupy OKC site in downtown Oklahoma City as often as I'd like. I went down there late Saturday afternoon and caught the end of a performance by local folk musician Peggy Johnson.

I came back later for Saturday evening's General Assembly after I'd found a bite to eat. The GA had already started by the time I arrived. I estimated 30-40 people were present, huddling under the awning of a building in the rain. One of the moderators counted 37 people present. The group adopted a process for working groups and the General Assembly submitted by Beth Isbell. Copies of this document should be available on Facebook and at the info table at the Occupy site. A decision was also made to require a quorum of 30 people present in order to have a valid General Assembly.

I took pretty good notes, but have been too busy and tired to transcribe them. You can read the official minutes here. There is more that I want to write about this meeting, but since I am lucky enough to have a job, I want to make sure that I'm not late getting to it.

You can follow recent developments on the Facebook page and the Web site. You can participate in discussions by signing up on the Forums. This is one of the main places where ideas get worked out before being taken up by the General Assembly. To visit the occupation of OKC, go to Robert S. Kerr Avenue between Robinson and Broadway in Oklahoma City. You'll find an interesting and diverse group of people gathered there.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Remembering Anita Hill

Like many women I know, I've been very interested lately in keeping up with the Occupy movement that started on Wall Street and has spread all over the United States and even the world. I keep running into my feminist friends down at Kerr Park in downtown Oklahoma City--and not the same ones, either.

Feminism as I know it is a movement about complete transformation of an oppressive world. Feminist analysis generally starts with an examination of gender, but it's not about keeping the same rotten system except with equal opportunity for women to be oppressors. Even though the Occupy movement has very little explicit feminist analysis, it has the feel of it of something that means to get to the roots of oppression and dig them out.

I was looking through my inbox looking for material for my latest blog post about Occupy OKC when I came across this reminder of events from 20 years ago that brought the nation face to face with the pervasive reality of sexual harassment in the workplace. As Emily Douglas of The Nation writes:
After the hearings in which Anita Hill testified about the harassment she’d been subjected to as an employee working under Clarence Thomas at the Department of Education and EEOC, and after Thomas had been confirmed to the Supreme Court, polls suggested that 70 percent of Americans felt Hill had been treated fairly by the Senate Judiciary Committee. It would take years before Hill would be vindicated in the view of the broader public—but, in the words of Catharine MacKinnon, the hearings served as a “massive consciousness-changing session” for the entire country. Even those who didn’t believe her were forced to admit that if what she said was true, Thomas should not have been confirmed to the Supreme Court—implicitly acknowledging that sexual harassment, long considered “just life,” was wrong, and women shouldn’t have to put up with it.
Of course, feminists had been talking about sexual harassment for years and organizing to end it. But it the grace and courage of University of Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill forced the nation to deal with this issue as never before.

With Hill's example to inspire them, women in Washington state shared with the press their stories of having been harassed and physically molested by Democratic Senator Brock Adams. Adams was driven from office by the allegations in 1992.

Oregon Republican Bob Packwood was the next to go. He had been narrowly re-elected to the Senate before the reports surfaced that he had a long history of sexually harassing female employees. Packwood finally resigned in 1995, after the Senate Ethics Committee unanimously recommended that he should be thrown out of the Senate.

As Emily Houston's Nation post reported, on Oct. 15 there was a conference honoring Hill at Hunter College in New York. I remember listening to the coverage of Hill's testimony 20 years ago and being filled with awe at her courage and filled with rage at the story that she told. Today, the fight against sexual harassment is not over, but it is less likely to be treated as a joke.

So here's a big thank you to Anita Hill, and a thank you to the feminist movements that have worked so hard to stop harassment. This serves as a reminder that when you move against injustice, people may treat you with disdain. Persistence is our only hope of success.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October 15 OKC rally

About 100 people gathered in Kerr Park in downtown Oklahoma City on Saturday, Oct. 15 as part of a global day of action in support of Occupy Wall Street. I counted 80 people listening to speakers and another saw about another 20 in the plaza where the food tables and working areas were located. I also saw nine tents in the camping area. Here are some pictures:

More people were on the steps behind this area.

This is what the Occupy movement is all about.

The daily schedule for the OKC Occupiers.

Some of the tents in the camping area.
The kitchen feeds anyone who needs food.

Monday, October 17, 2011

What about the one percent?

Thanks to Truthout for reposting  this excellent analysis by Mike Konczal of New Deal 2.0. What Konczal shows is the way that income has been redistributed over the past 30 years in a way that favors executives, managers, and stock traders.
     There’s a reason the protests ended up on Wall Street: The top 1% and top 0.1% comprises all the senior bosses and the financial sector.
      One of the best things about Occupy Wall Street is that there is no chatter about Obama or Perry or whatever is the electoral political issue of the day. There are a lot of people rethinking things, discussing, learning, and conceptualizing the kinds of world they want to create. Since so much about inequality is a function of the legal structure known as a “corporation,” I’d encourage you to check out Alex Gourevitch on how the corporate is structured in our laws.
      The paper notes that stock market returns drive much of the manager’s income. This is related to a process of financialization, something JW Mason has done a fantastic job outlining here. The “dominant ethos among managers today is that a business exists only to enrich its shareholders, including, of course, senior managers themselves,” and this is done by paying out more in dividends that is earned in profits. Think of it as our-real-economy-as-ATM-machine, cashing out wealth during the good times and then leaving workers and the rest of the real economy to deal with the aftermath.
In other words, the reason for increasing inequality in our society is not because some people have worked harder or smarter than the rest of us. It's because the very few people with the most wealth also have accumulated the political power to rip off the rest of us.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The advantages of "disunity"

Donnie is smiling because we're taking our
future back.

It's been a busy week for me with work and grad school, and besides that, I went to hear a presentation by Indian feminist activist Pramada Menon at OU on Wednesday night. Given that, I haven't had chance to get back down to the OKC occupation since Tuesday night. According to the Occupy OKC Web site, there was a march on Chase Bank yesterday afternoon and a rally today at noon. I writing this quickly before I head off to that demonstration.

Tuesday night my girlfriend and I went downtown to check out the occupation. As had been true on Monday night, there were about 50 people present, but although there was some overlap, it wasn't the same 50 people. My sense is that this movement is made up of ordinary people with lots of other responsibilities, folks who mostly aren't able to devote all their time to the movement, but who show up when they can. It would be great if the OKC occupiers developed greater coherence and a more focused strategy. For instance, the Occupy OKC Official Facebook page had no clear announcement that there is indeed a rally at Kerr Park today at noon up until an hour or two before the rally. But the fact that this movement is being put on by overworked ordinary people instead of PR professionals helps to explain that.

The other thing that helps to explain some of the lack of a focused message--both in OKC and in the wider Occupy movement--is that it is indeed a movement of the 99 percent of the population that has been increasingly excluded from the nation's prosperity over the past 30 years. And the truth is, the 99 percent don't have complete agreement amongst ourselves about many important issues.

We don't agree about feminism, abortion rights, gay rights, unions, or the environment. We don't agree about whether the XL pipeline is something we should oppose because of its disastrous environmental consequences, or something we should support because it will provide living-wage union jobs, at least for a short period of time. We don't agree about whether we should eliminate the Federal Reserve.

I believe that disagreement is important, and ought to be treated with the greatest respect. Many people are understandably distressed about the polarization and name-calling that has come to dominate political conversation in the US.

One way to change this is the way that the mainstream Democratic party has chosen--the method of defining an arbitrary "middle ground," and telling everyone else to shut up for the sake of "unity." The other way is for ordinary people to actually start talking to each other across the boundaries of our different beliefs, to reach consensus about what we can, to learn to disagree respectfully when we can't.

I believe that this "other way"is what is starting to happen on the streets of the United States under the auspices of the Occupy movement. And I think that's a good thing.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wall Street occupation not evicted for now

Last night my inbox was flooded with messages from progressive groups warning that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was about to evict Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park, under the pretext that it needed to be cleaned. blogger Allison Kilkenny reports that the occupiers have won the showdown, at least temporarily:
This was the first protest I’ve ever covered where the activists won – if only a battle, and not the war, and if only temporarily. And the victory is definitely temporary. Major problems have not been resolved and large questions remain: Will the protesters be able to bring their sleeping bags back into Liberty Park? Will they be able to sleep on the ground? Fourteen hours ago, Mayor Bloomberg declared protesters wouldn’t be able to return their gear to the park, and now the decree came down to postpone the cleaning entirely. Why the change of tune?

Many were braced for a disastrous clash with the police and were instead handed not a truce, but ongoing purgatory followed by a run-in with the authorities at a second location. After the cries of victory went up, a group of about a hundred protesters marched up the middle of Broadway. This caused quite a stir at Liberty. Many thought it was bad strategy, abandoning the camp when it was still so vulnerable, but some of the protesters seemed to have gotten a taste of victory and wanted to go on a celebration lap. At the gates of City Hall, protesters clashed with police armed with riot gear, and as of this report, six individuals have been arrested thus far. has this link to a live video stream provided by Occupy Wall Street to what is happening right now. (Hat tip to for posting its Twitter feed on its Occupy Wall Street page--that's how I found this link.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Occupy OKC rally scheduled for Saturday noon

There are several posts about the Occupy movement that are in my head waiting to be written. For now, the only thing I have time for is a note that a rally to support Occupy OKC is scheduled for this Saturday at noon at the Kerr Park amphitheater, located on Robert S. Kerr Avenue between Broadway and Robinson.
The protest rally this Saturday will be a family friendly event designed to show solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and the other Occupy groups in our country and around the world, and to demand ACCOUNTABILITY from our Government & Wall Street! Occupy OKC fully supports the principles set forth in the Declaration adopted and published by the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street at Zuccoti Park in New York City, NY.,
The text of this declaration can be read here.

Occupy OKC has also adopted "Open Fair Organizational Practices" and a new structure for this group. I'll try to blog more about this later. You might also check out the Occupy OKC Official Facebook Page, the Occupy OKC Web site, and their online forums.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

OKC occupation continues

The occupation continues at Kerr Park in Downtown Oklahoma City, and a march (maybe two) took place on Tuesday afternoon. I hope to provide more details later, but at this moment it's my bedtime.

OKC occupiers to march downtown Tuesday

When last I blogged, the occupation of Kerr Park by Occupy OKC was tentatively scheduled to begin today, Monday. This evening, after I finally caught up with my schoolwork--and after a brief break to allow my brain to unstick itself from the inside of my skull--I headed downtown to see what was going on.

"I won't believe corporations are people until Texas executes one."

It was a smaller crowd than on Friday night. People were standing and sitting around in small groups getting to know each other, playing musical instruments, and discussing political ideas and strategy. (One fantabulous group of women was playing hacky-sack.) I thought there were about fifty folks when I got there a little after 7 p.m. The General Assembly had taken place earlier in the day, so maybe there were more people earlier.

"Privatized Gain = Socialized Loss"
Talking with several participants and moderators, here is what I found out. Tomorrow afternoon, Tuesday, a march will step off from occupied Kerr Park at 2 p.m. Marchers will visit Chase Bank and travel along Park Avenue. In order to keep this demonstration legal without a permit, marchers are asked to walk single file, to stay on sidewalks, and not to block traffic or entrances to buildings. Signs are encouraged, but please don't carry a sign on a stick or wear a mask.

"Workers Rights Are Human Rights"
Occupy OKC does have permits to be in Kerr Park continuously from October 10 through October 12. They are asking for donations to help cover the cost of permits to stay there for additional days, as well as to cover the cost of porta-potties. There is a kitchen now that is feeding occupiers, and folks have started donating food and blankets for the occupiers. My hunch is that more of these donations would be welcome as well. Kerr Park is located on Robert S. Kerr Avenue between Broadway and Robinson.

While the participants in Occupy OKC have a variety of political opinions--see sign photos included with this post--Friday night's GA seemed to reach consensus that Occupy OKC endorses this statement by Occupy Wall Street. This is, in general, a statement against corporate greed, militarism, environmental destruction and discrimination, and for the rights of workers and other living beings. You can find out more about Occupy OKC on their Facebook page, via Twitter, at their Web site, or through their online forums.

99% of us are being exploited by a ruthless elite.

Updated 10/11/11 to fix some grammatical errors.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Background information

Occupy OKC is inspired by the Occupy Wall Street demonstration that has fascinated the nation, and is part of the fast growing Occupy Together movement. While many participants in the OKC General Assembly emphasize the need for supporting concerns specific to Oklahomans, there also seems to be widespread suppport for the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City.

In addition to its Facebook page, Occupy OKC has a Web site and a forum page where you can join a subcommittee/working group, familiarize yourself with issues and discussions, share information, and discuss your opinions. The subcommittees include the following:
Much of the work of Occupy OKC is done by these subcommittees, so if you want to take a part in shaping the work of these groups, the thing to do is to jump in and volunteer. In order for the work of the general assembly to move quickly, participants need to do the work to understand issues in advance of each meeting. The place to do that is in the forums.

In other news, Occupy OKC has made its first appearance on Channel 9.

How it felt to go the OKC General Assembly

The General Assembly of Occupy OKC met Friday evening in Kerr Park in downtown Oklahoma City, and probably agreed to begin its occupation of Kerr Park on the afternoon of Columbus Day. I say "probably," because when you get 300 people trying to do consensus decision making without much prior experience, you get a few rough edges.

You get the tension between wanting to have a coherent strategy and consensus about goals, and wanting to take action while energy is high. You get the tension between wanting to have unified positions, and honoring diversity of experience and belief. You get a meeting that goes on that it probably should have, with people getting a bit cranky because they probably need a nap and a snack. You get all of the complications of communicating via "human microphone" to avoid breaking of laws requiring a police permit to use amplified sound.

This is not paint-by-numbers. This is not the packaged cake mix that is fast to fix, but oh-so-bland and unsatisfying. This is going to be the real homemade work of art, the thing that produces broken eggs and broken crayons and probably a few broken hearts in the process of creating a new world.

I sat there scribbling notes, but now I can't seem to find words for what I feel. Maybe it's irrational hope. For the past thirty years the patriarchs, the capitalists, the race-baiters, the gay-haters, the generals, the right-wing t.v. preachers have made the United States into a meaner, greedier place, a place where 99 percent of us are sinking fast. I feel that I have done what I've known how to do to change it, but that hasn't seemed like much. And now, maybe here is a chance for something to be better.

So it looked like most of the people in the crowd were in their twenties or thirties. The crowd was not entirely white, but there were few people of color there. I felt much more comfortable in this crowd than I'd expected to feel--this was even before I found a few trusty Herland dyke friends to sit with--but much more than half of the people in the crowd were male. But half or more of the moderators and team leaders seemed to be women. And this was a crowd that despite its differences seemed to be united in its egalitarianism.

For instance, when Brittany, the representative of the Action Team, spoke in favor of beginning the occupation on Monday, a large part of her reasoning had to do with the fact that Columbus Day symbolizes the fact that "this land was taken from indigenous people"--and that we have a responsibility to counteract that injustice.

And when one speaker insisted on the importance of having a clear list of demands, one young man standing in the back row said something like, "We all agree that we need the one percent to stop acting like dicks."

Exactly, sir, And I appreciate your dedication to the cause of ending patriarchy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

More on Occupy Wall Street

If you missed it, my first post is here.

Betsy Reed at The Nation has an interesting analysis of the march and its supposed lack of demands:
t’s not that the demands being suggested by OWS’s volunteer policy advisors in the blogosphere are not worthy ideas. At a time when we desperately need to rein in financial speculation and change the incentives on Wall Street, a financial transactions tax is a terrific policy proposal. Dean Baker has been talking about it for years. The thing is, we on the left don’t have a scarcity of policy ideas. We are positively bursting with them. Create a housing trust fund! A national infrastructure bank! And, yes, sure, eliminate the carried interest loophole so fat cats don’t get a bigger tax break than working people. (Some even have more radical ideas, which are quite sensible too.) But at best, we get a polite hearing for these ideas, which then fade away or are hopelessly watered down. We simply lack the power to put them into practice.

And in the recent past, even the most smoothly organized, expertly messaged mass demonstrations have not made a whit of difference in this regard. Consider the last big march on Wall Street this past May 12. The coalition behind it was admirably diverse, including unions like the teachers and SEIU’s 1199, as well as local community organizations such as Citizen Action NY, Coalition for the Homeless and Community Voices Heard. The “May 12 Coalition,” which turned out thousands of protesters on the appointed day, presented the Bloomberg administration with a proposal that exhibited great thoughtfulness in its rigor and detail, asking banks like JPMorgan, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley to take a 20 percent cut in their contracts to handle functions like child support disbursements or income tax remittances for the city. This would have saved $120 million, part of $1.5 billion that could have been extracted from the banking sector to prevent the city from having to slash education and social services, according to the coalition.
I would also like to nominate this song by Bonnie Lockhart as the movement's unofficial anthem:


A few weeks ago I started receiving e-mails from organizations who were sponsoring a protest to occupy Wall Street. I deleted these e-mails without paying much attention to them. Don't get me wrong. I'm no fan of the stock market or the financial speculation industry that seems to have eaten the US economy, and I remember how they helped to crash our economy. But I didn't think these protests sounded as if they'd been planned very well, and I couldn't imagine them being effective.

I seem to have been very wrong.

Now, the mainstream and alternative news (and my inbox) seem to be full of news of a movement that has spread across the US in the past two or three weeks. Busy grad student that I am, I am still trying to sort through all of this stuff and make sense of it.

Here is what I've figured out so far.

First, the feminist peace group Code Pink is leading an effort to make sure the demonstrations are inclusive and have a feminist perspective. See this great post on AlterNet by Melanie Butler:
If Week I of Occupy Wall Street was about surviving, Week II has been about finding our voices. This protest is about the 99 percent of people in America who have been on the short end of the economic stick, but it appears the media believes it's 90 percent made up of men. Some of the organizing and facilitation processes we've developed to make our movement inclusive and participatory have proven not to be enough, and we are constantly adapting and regrouping to ensure that everyone's voice in this broad and vibrant coalition is heard.
Via an e-mail from Code Pink, I also found out about Occupy Together. Their Web site says that they're "an unofficial hub for all of the events springing up across the country in solidarity with Occupy Wall St.," and they also have a Facebook page.

Thanks to a link shared by a friend on Facebook, I found out that there is a local Occupy OKC group, which as a Facebook page and a Web site. Their next "general assembly" is scheduled for tomorrow, Friday Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. at Kerr Park in downtown OKC. I'm not sure I'll be able to make this, but it looks interesting.

Death of a pioneer

Nah. I'm not talking about Steve Jobs. I think that the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth probably did more to make the world a better place. Shuttlesworth was a leader of the civil rights movement in Birmingham, Alabama, and personally faced many dangerous situations in furtherance of the cause. According to a report on NPR's All Things Considered last night, Georgia Rep. John Lewis, himself a civil rights veteran, credits Shuttlesworth's work with making possible the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
"Fred Shuttlesworth had the vision, the determination never to give up, never to give in," Lewis said. "He led an unbelievable children's crusade. It was the children who faced dogs, fire hoses, police billy clubs that moved and shook the nation."
Reporter Allison Keyes had a fascinating retrospective on Morning Edition today.