Volume 92, Issue 15

Tuesday, September 29, 1998



Community action

Although the goal was to make the streets safer for women at night, last Friday's Take Back the Night march raised a lot more issues.

Women came together to voice their concerns about one cause – and in turn opened up the forum for a multitude of voices raising a multitude of concerns. Everything from recent Harris cut-backs affecting families and children to rape and abuse to personal freedom and choices were commented upon, either through signs carried high or shouts from the crowd.

This raises the question of events which are specified to one cause – are they really effective? That is not to say that the event was not necessary. The facts thrown out for the audience to digest were startling enough to make anyone realize the need for the violence against women to stop.

But when a single gathering of women, supposedly for one issue, brings so many interconnected injustices to light – it's obvious there's a need for major change.

Perhaps a rally is the starting point. In assembling so many minds whose creative energies are all bent towards change, something good must emerge. Each participant left the event with something to think about, a multitude of perspectives stemming from a single concern.

It seems ridiculous that one simple gesture such as a group of women marching down a street could evoke radical change in the fabric of our society. In truth, it is not the act so much as it is the psychological effect it produces. The sight and sound of so many people making an effort to move towards change, showing strong emotion for what they believe in, is the very thing that causes action in others, whatever the cause may be.

It probably isn't as important to designate certain "days" for certain causes as it is to have those days simply because they stir up the apathetic fog which generally smothers communities. In banding together towards a common ideal, energies and ideas are exchanged, often raising other issues which before had gone unnoticed.

Not unlike mob mentality, it is hard to stand silent when surrounded by passionate, angry cries of injustice. Those who are passive supporters of a cause will no doubt be swept away with the marching, sign-waving, chanting crowd.

If the energy is a positive one, a gathering of community will never be a lost cause. Whether it be the radical basis of society or simply the mindset of an individual – the voices will be heard and change effected.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998