The Dissolution of Patriotic Dissent

Denny, the last remaining founder of the DeCleyre Coop, told me about his days running a pirate radio station and how the FCC had shut him down. He talked about anarchy beyond the Sex Pistols – about pacifism, about the fight for equality and justice, and about activism as one of the dying voices of freedom in America. And it worried me.
As I watched peace met with violence, and listened to Denny speak of the passion to change the world melting away, the potential for burnout in such an uphill climb, it frightened me. Perhaps it is my own fear of being shot in the chest for standing up for what I believe or being maced because I have the gall to protest. Perhaps I’m worried that I won’t have the guts to stand for my own convictions. But I’m wondering how many people in America are still willing to stand for theirs.
The truth is that we still need activists. We still need those people acting as guard dogs, standing watch and facing concerns we don’t think about as we watch reruns of “Friends” and go shopping at the mall. Yet, it’s getting to the point where the positions these people are getting into by simple, voluntary, peaceful protest for our own freedom is becoming life threatening. How long before they get too weary of being abused to protest any longer? How long until they give up the fight? How long before the watchdogs retire to the porch and let the wolves come?

This is an excerpt of The Rucksack Letters by Steve McAllister. Buy your copy of the eBook on


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