Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day of Action/Reaction: Drawing a Connection

Many hoped October 7th would be the day that students, faculty, and teachers would unite and speak out against the injustices in the UC system. Nonetheless, it seems that not much was achieved. Even though I did not attend, I heard from several people that the whole thing was unorganized with unclear goals and a low turnout. This made me think about similar attempts that have been described in our readings. The parallel lies in that individuals with clear objectives seem to fail due to a lack of preparation and cooperation.

In Escape from Alcatraz several attempts by inmates were discussed. It seems that only the people who thought things out or worked with others had better chances of escaping. If an inmate simply ran out they would get shot. This is a very uncalculated and impulsive action that led to failure. On the other hand, Frank Morris and other inmates, carried out an intricate plan that might have been successful. This shows the more promising results of time commitment and teamwork.

Likewise, Like a Hurricane discusses the Indian occupation of Alcatraz and how the Indians hoped it would change American policy toward Native Americans. The occupation began with enthusiastic supporters and positive media coverage. However, over time the lack of organization and planning led to several conflicts. Since there were no real leaders, many important tasks were not conducted and there were several cases of misconduct. Also, from the beginning they did not think about provisions and the harsh conditions at Alcatraz complicated their stay. This culminated in poor media coverage and numerously disillusioned people.

In the same way that these events ended poorly, the October 7th call to action was not as impacting as expected. This shows that hopeful causes can end unsuccessfully if they begin without a carefully structured plan.


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