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Anti McCutcheon Decision Protest-- Thoughts on How Protests Need To Change

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After the Supreme Court's McCutcheon decision, I got word there would be a protest in downtown, Philadelphia, across from where Occupy Philly had been. 

I took a train down and encountered about 60-70 people mostly carrying mass-produced signs. It got me thinking that mass protests MUST change to become more effective. Most are still based on a top-down way of thinking. 

anti McCutcheon decision protest in Philadelphia
(image by Rob Kall)

 On the train ride down, I made two rough, hand-made signs. The first one expressed the sentiments I expressed in my article, Supreme Court Traitors Sell Out America Again With McCutcheon Decision  -
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anti McCutcheon decision protest sign in Philadelphia
(image by Rob Kall)

The second one expressed a conclusion that I believe the SCOTUS decision made even more screamingly obvious. 
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anti McCutcheon decision protest sign in Philadelphia
(image by Rob Kall)

After a few minutes, one of the protesters set up a portable sound amplification system. 
A person from a local rootstrikers groups spoke, then a member of City Council-- Stephanie Singer, who I got to know when we worked on a progressive campaign seven years ago together, and then a member of the PA state senate. He was introduced as one of the good guys, but he was going on and on, and when he said that the most important thing we should do is WME-- Win More Elections, I couldn't stop myself from saying, "Bullshit."

The protest had started at 5:00 PM-- prime time for people being on the street. The talks started about 5:20 and when the politician made his remark, pushing for more of the same insanity-- elections as the only answer-- I had to speak. I asked the moderator. He pointed to the guy who provided the PA sound system. 

Boris Dirnbach, protester at anti McCutcheon decision protest in Philadelphia
(image by Rob Kall)

I asked him if I could speak and he asked what group I was with. 
Yes, being with a group adds credibility. 
I told him I was with Opednews. He smiled and enthusiastically said something very positive about Opednews and gave me the go-ahead to speak. 

Finally, the politician stopped and the first thing I said was that elections are absolutely not the only thing we can do. I said to the protesters, "You've taken the action to come down to protest this traitorous action, and I explained why the SCOTUS five are traitors, opening up the floodgates to foreign money influencing elections, and then I told them to stop listening to the speakers.
"You came here to fight the decision.  Listening to speakers top down. Look around you. Talk to all the people passing by. Let them know what's going on. That's the way to make change  happen. With the McCutcheon decision there is less likelihood that electoral change will happen. We have to reach the people and make change in other ways."
I don't know if any listened to me. I kept my remarks very short and then I tried to walk my talk. It was very difficult. People ignored me, they walked around me. It's not easy to do. There were a few people handing out 8.5" by 5.5" info sheets. They were on the right track, but only two or three out of sixty or seventy.

But it was an epiphany for me. The old, top-down protest model is ineffective-- gathering a lot of people together and then having big name people or organizers speak to them. We need a new protest model, one that empowers and encourages ALL the people who are protesting to reach out to non-protesters. That means we can't be doing protests at delegated spots where government issues permission. We need to go to where the people are, on the busiest streets, in shopping centers, for example. 

We need to face the reality that the electoral process itself is profoundly broken, especially at the bigger levels-- federal elections, governors, mayors. So we have to use other means to make change happen. It has been done. It can be done again.

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the

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I agree with you that petitions and rallys are no ... by Catherine McCoy on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 11:54:12 AM
Read, act.... by womanity on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 12:19:25 PM
Rob - Congratulations on going to a protest. ... by Scott Baker on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 12:21:56 PM
Rob, I agree with you that petitions, rallies and ... by Paul Roden on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 12:49:39 PM
The power is in the relationship. Organize. Conne... by Nelson Betancourt on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 2:03:49 PM
We don't HAVE years! The time is NOW!!! ... by Shireen Parsons on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 3:40:54 PM
Then you'd better get started, right?  Or, I ... by Samson on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 10:39:02 PM
"The old, top-down protest model is ineffective--... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 2:33:40 PM
"The old, top-down protest model is ineffective-- ... by Shireen Parsons on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 3:38:21 PM
And, after the 'revolution', are you planning on h... by Samson on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 11:16:42 PM
I pretty much agree with you. I don't think people... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Apr 6, 2014 at 7:42:50 AM
So....... who would you vote for Hillary, any Rep... by Rusudana Jason on Sunday, Apr 6, 2014 at 5:07:22 PM
If you want to get a politicians attention, threat... by Samson on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 10:36:52 PM
Note that these 'reforms' that most of the left se... by Samson on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 10:45:57 PM
I wish one thing people organizing protest would l... by Samson on Friday, Apr 4, 2014 at 10:55:52 PM
From an  Australian perspective, I have long... by Peter Hindrup on Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 at 6:38:11 AM
I believe that rallies and petitions are a waste o... by Woody Smith on Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 at 7:10:01 AM
In the last election, the percentage of independen... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Apr 6, 2014 at 7:36:47 AM
What we need is a geographic tool to amplify impor... by Gustav Wynn on Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 at 8:13:39 AM
Rob, I so agree with you re: the old protest parad... by Jill (Julia) Dalton on Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 at 11:58:20 AM