By Gerald Hausman
Bokeelia, FL, USA
The protest movement in America - because it has been asleep for a generation or so - suddenly seems more alive than ever, as town parks fall to protesters and then are overtaken by authorities and re-taken by protestors who only leave to come back again. Greed's old bitter song of economic inequality is heard on every corner and in every corner of the globe.
The first such rebellion in this country was the so-called Boston Massacre. This occurred on March 5, 1770, the very onset of the largest protest we've ever had - the American Revolution.
Patriots against Lobsterbacks. Rebels against royalists. Whatever, the patriot rebels had clubs and catsticks. And for those who don't know - and I was one until I looked it up - catsticks were used in stickball. Mainly though the patriots had snowballs packed with stones. The Lobsterbacks had muskets and when they got hit with rock-packed snowballs, and brains spilled in the snow, they fired on the angry crowd. This resulted in more spillage of brains.
The next rebellion I find interesting is Dunkin's Rebellion. Same city, Boston. Different year, 1834. Dunkin's Rebellion began when a professor at Harvard asked a certain Dunkin to recite his lesson. He did not. He was protesting regimentation and rote learning. He stated for all to hear: "I do not recognize your authority." A familiar sentiment today.
Later on, Dunkin sympathizers laid siege to the classroom, smashed windows, broke furniture, and then went to bed. But for three days, the rebellion continued. The faculty dismissed the entire sophomore class, guards came on campus and imposed martial order. They soon went home, however, when the students threw rocks from the rooftops. This happened at night. After stoning the guards, the students went to bed.
Maybe some of us sleep a little better knowing that rebellion in America is alive and well and that we, the people, can make things better without catsticks and clubs. The protesters today did not throw the first blow and have resisted throwing the second. But I believe Gertrude Stein was right when she said, "History repeats itself, history repeats itself …" and I'd still rather go to Dunkin’ Donuts than Dunkin's Rebellion, and I'd rather hug than hit anybody I don't know.
Gerald Hausman - Author & Storyteller
Gerald Hausman's profile at Stay Thirsty Publishing
Gerald Hausman, author and storyteller, calls himself a native of the world. He is the author of 70 books, some of which have been made into films, many of which have been translated into foreign languages. His latest book, The American Storybag, was released by Stay Thirsty Press in October, 2010.