Saturday, January 7, 2012

Just Stand in the Doorway and Block Up the Hall

Wild Old Women at Bank of America
The title of this post is not only a quick reversal of the famous lines from the Bob Dylan classic, "The Times They are A Changin'" but also a brilliant political strategy naturally and effortlessly utilized by a group calling themselves "Wild Old Women" out of the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. These militant "old ladies" shut down a branch of Bank of America by blocking access with their walkers, oxygen tanks, wheelchairs and slow-moving bodies.

The women ages ranged from 69 to 82 and their issues were the same ones that have brought so many people to the streets of late: rising bank rates, foreclosures, the hardship of living on a fixed income as the cost of living rises.

They didn't need to storm the bank. Like the exiled, overlooked and underestimated elderly everywhere, they simply had to show up and get in the way, thereby demonstrating the perfect technique to protest threatened cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

No legal action was taken against the women. But just think of the possibilities. Arresting old people could prove to be the law's worst nightmare. Between special needs, mobility problems and medication requirements, just imagine the monumental inconvenience of, even temporarily, incarcerating the elderly. And then consider the negative media attention it would engender.

These wild old women have undoubtedly tapped into a fantastic idea to be filed away for future use!