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Sunday, May 1, 2016

From the Midway: Where do they find the time?

Monday, June 22, 2009

In recent global events, the Iranian Presidential election was held last week. For those of you who are not familiar with this event, the current president won the election with an overwhelming majority of the vote.

The problem is, all polls prior to the election showed the races quite close, and not in the president's favor. The discrepancy showed over 2/3 of the vote going to winner, when at best it should have been 50/50.

Sensing voter fraud and ballot tampering, many hundreds of thousand of Iranians have gone to the streets to protest the election. Their voices are screaming foul on deaf ears and a crackdown on those voices is currently under way.

In a way, it is inspiring to see the seeds of democracy being planted and not having democracy being forced on them but it coming to a people who has now seen the reason why it is so cherished by us and most of the civilized world.

But my question is, when I see all those huge crowds gather like that is, where do they find the time to just hang out for days on end?

I'm serious, don't they have jobs?

When I look upon those types of crowds I think, "Why are they not at work?"

You see, this concept of just gathering in the streets in a mass protest is foreign to me. The biggest crowed I've ever been in was about 50 thousand people in a stadium during a Pink Floyd concert (that's another story).

Like all concerts or other recreational gatherings, there are food stands, bathrooms, beer gardens and of course plenty of parking.

It blows my mind when I see of sea of people just standing around with protest signs. I understand and admire their cause and their dedication to it but it's the whole logistics matters of situation that make me say, "Wow, look at that!"

I guess it the sign of our time. Sure, we see these types of crowds on television or in pictures, but it also seems to me that in this country we don't do it as much as we used to. Sure it was nice to see massive crowds when our own president was sworn in and who could blame any one for being part of a historical event?

There's not one of us out there who doesn't love to say, "I was there when..."

Mass demonstrations have been an effective way to get things done throughout history.

When I see these types of demonstrations, there is a part of me that wishes that I could have been there. I have yet to experience or be part of a movement like these.

Granted, I'm living in Northwest Iowa and the biggest crowd I can remember in recent years was when Shawn Mayer was on Nashville Star and played a show in her hometown of May City. That was probably the biggest crowd I've seen around this area in a long time.

But nobody was trying to change the world that day, just showing his or her support for a talented young lady.

Maybe the reasons we don't see mass protests like the good old day's any longer is the fact that the work has already been done by those who came and sacrificed before us.

Maybe it is our job not to forget that so we or our children never have to know what it is like to have to gather in crowds made up of several hundred thousand just to be heard. If that's the case, I'll be glad to stay home, for now.

Mike Leckband
From the Midway