Saturday, September 19, 2009

Not the Mad Hatter's Tea Party

update below

Lewis Carrol wrote in the chapter "A Mad Tea Party", the Mad Hatter's famous riddle: "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" When Alice cannot solve it, the Hatter admits he does not have an answer himself.

Enter the 2009 characters of 'A Mad Tea Party.' They may have appeared at a town hall meeting or at a venue in your location this past summer. They were in costume, often carrying their props. They had memorized their lines, too. Quite the medieval-esque troupe, looking to entertain the townsfolk. The only difference between the modern jesters and the 14th century version is bathing regularly.

"The Hatter admits he does not have an answer himself."

A key phrase. Madness for madness sake.

He has no answer.

They have no answer.

Ask any one of them, if you dare, "What's the answer?"

You'll likely walk away in a stupor with a riddle rattling around in your head.

A riddle with no answer.

Today, just before noon, I will be at a non-tea party in downtown Toledo. No birthers. No deathers. No 'I hate Obama-ers.'

A rally of normal people who are concerned with the lack of affordable health care in this nation. A group of people worried about middle class joblessness. A gathering of folks who believe in Jobs with Justice. Citizens with a purpose, not a quixotic riddle. Americans who believe that the right to affordable health care is a right of citizenship.

I'll report back later today on what went on. Stay tuned...


About 100 souls gathered in the parking lot of Maritime Square on the Maumee River to be encouraged to continue the fight for a public option. The U.S. Representative from the 5th Ohio district, Marcy Kaptur [D] was one of the speakers as were local politicians, but not the current mayor of Toledo. Two citizens told their health care nightmare stories and a Protestant minister and a Muslim doctor cited passages from their Holy Books regarding the need [demand] to care for one another. The minister noted that most of Jesus's life was spent ministering to the sick and dying.

The Muslim doctor chided the tea-baggers for throwing around the words, 'Socialist and Communist,' in referencing Obama. "I know communism!" he said. I was born in one of the Muslim states of the former Soviet Union. "It is ignorant to suggest that affordable health care is somehow socialism or communism," he said. "They have no idea what communism is!"

Many of the participants are long-time advocates for peace and justice and we had met on other venues for similar issues at former times. Pax Christi, Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition and the Gray Panthers were represented along with Jobs for Justice, Interfaith Worker Justice Coalition and several trade unions.

Here are some photos of today's event:

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