Imagine the world without anger, without greed. We have the power, the tools, the skills and the resources right now to build a peaceful world, where people live in harmony with the Earth and each other. This blog explores ways we are doing just that, one post, one change, one day at a time. Join me. Tell your stories. Ask for help. Spread your ideas for making the vision real and, well, ordinary.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ordinary Hero: Dorli Rainey, 84, pepper-sprayed at Occupy Seattle

Ordinary Heroes Award
© L Kathryn Grace
All rights reserved
You've probably seen the image: A tiny woman, face and hair dripping with pepper spray, held upright by two young men. She's lifelong activist Dorli Rainey. On Tuesday, in a police action against a peaceful assembly of Occupy Seattle protesters, 84 year old Rainey was pepper sprayed by, as she calls them, Seattle's Finest.

Rainey grew up in Germany and remembers the rise of the Third Reich. She also remembers the Civil Rights Movement and the Women's Rights Movement. She remembers them because she was there, on the ground, working to gain opportunities for Black people and for women in America.

Last month she was in Washington, D.C., participating in the October 2011 actions there. On Tuesday, back in Seattle, Rainey was about to switch buses on her way to a "boring transportation meeting" when she took a detour. Thinking rightly, as it turned out, that the flock of police helicopters overhead were observing an Occupy Seattle action, she followed the choppers to lend her support.

There she found a number of her friends. They had, she says, decided to leave, something she says the police knew. They never got the chance. In this video (just under ten minutes), Keith Olbermann of Current TV gives an entire segment to Rainey, listening with little comment.

You know when a commentator shuts up and listens, the speaker has got to be good. She is. Afterward, Olbermann tells Rainey she is his personal hero. Indeed. She is mine as well.

To Ordinary Hero Dorli Rainey

For remembering Goebbels; for remembering what happens when media is coerced, bullied, and bought into silence and worse, promulgating propaganda; for heeding--and sharing--the advice of your activist friend Jackie Hudson, "Whatever you do, take one more step out of your comfort zone;" for being an example to us all and reminding us there can be no such thing as retirement while injustice reigns; I bow in deepest gratitude, and count you, Dorli Rainey, among my Ordinary Heroes.

Whatever you do, take one more step out of your comfort zone.
Activist Jackie Hudson, as quoted by
Dorli Rainey in Keith Olbermann video above

From Rainey, the last word: "And that is what I do, I take a step out of my comfort zone. ... Somebody's got to keep them awake and let them know what is really going on in this world."
We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.


Paul said...

Kathryn, I bow with you!

Sharon said...

I too, bow to Dorli Rainey, in deep appreciation for her courage and voice and sanity. I will take one more step out of my comfort zone today, and tomorrow, and...

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