GENE ROBERTSON: Time well spent as a soldier for Occupy COMO

Monday, November 21, 2011 | 7:16 p.m. CST; updated 4:56 p.m. CST, Tuesday, November 22, 2011

COLUMBIA — I recently became a soldier in the Occupy COMO citizens movement.

I had supported the movement indirectly. I bought coffee and rolls for those who were physically participating in this call for justice and fairness. 


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My interest is shared with the 99 percent in this country. I was tired of being one of the very few honking at the occupiers.

I had to do more and I did. I can now breathe as freely as I do when I vote. I exercised my responsibility as a citizen.

My entire life has been spent fighting injustice and unfairness, from the times I fought it within my own family, church and high school until I fought it in military service and in college as an organizer in Milwaukee and Chicago.

I worked to assist in correcting many social, political and economic issues while suffering the consequences of participating in such actions.

I did not want to miss this opportunity to help draw attention to another symptom of destruction. This Occupy effort involves the well-being of people around the world. It has credibility. I have to be a part of it.

It is not a perfect movement. None of the efforts to seek justice are ever perfect. There will be many differences of opinion, strategies and goals.

The important thing is that the alarm has been sounded. It is up to us to recognize the impending danger and do what we can.

I had little notion that the alarm had been heard or appreciated in Columbia as I sat inside the keyhole statue outside the Daniel Boone City Building one cold morning. Most of the drivers deliberately looked away to ignore my sign. No one honked.

I realized how much support a honk or a thumbs up or smile could mean. When I finished my time, I was elated and proud of myself for having contributed my body to this worthwhile effort.

I realize the time I spent was just a drop in the ocean and might appear futile to some. But each drop contributes to the ocean and prevents the effort against injustice and unfairness from drying up and becoming what Langston Hughes, a Missourian, described as a "raisin in the sun."

I will continue to support this worthwhile effort.

William E. "Gene" Robertson is a Columbia resident and a professor emeritus at MU.

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Ed Lane November 22, 2011 | 10:31 a.m.

Another example of what "higher education" gets ya!!!!

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield November 22, 2011 | 11:45 a.m.

Next you should sit outside the DSS office and ask the baby mamas why they chose to have kids when they can't support them. Is it just and fair for governments to force other people to subsidize their irresponsibility and selfishness?

(Report Comment)
Mike Diel November 24, 2011 | 8:50 p.m.

For too long we stayed home and let the government run it's self. Now corporate lobbyists run the government and the good of the stock holders is more important than the good of the citizens. I'm proud of the professor for taking the time to put his name on the line. More people need to stand up and be counted so we can take our government back from the corporate lobbyists.

(Report Comment)

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