We could all take a tip from Dorli Rainey, who at 84 has the stamina and then some to keep up the good fight, even if it means facing off with the police, and even if it means getting a faceful of pepper spray. That’s what happened to Rainey on Wednesday, courtesy of the Seattle police, but the incident only fired her up. Rainey’s indefatigable spirit landed the longtime activist on top of our list for this installment of Truthdigger of the Week.
In case you missed the viral photos of Rainey recovering from Wednesday’s run-in with the SPD, the excerpt from Thursday’s “Democracy Now!” broadcast included below this report shows those stills, along with a substantial and very savvy interview with the retired schoolteacher, who moved to the States from Austria more than half a century ago. We should also point out here that Rainey’s political CV also includes a run for mayor in 2009 and active engagement in the infamous 1999 World Trade Organization protests in her home city—another low point for local law enforcement.
In the course of her conversation with hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzales, Rainey clearly demonstrates that she’s no lightweight when it comes to her awareness of the state of our nation or the threat to our civil liberties. “It is getting progressively worse, she says, “our freedoms are getting curtailed.” Her analysis doesn’t stop at the local level, either: “This, in a country where we export our sort of democracy all over the world at gunpoint,” she continues, “and what we have to do is change the mind-set of people that guns will not solve our crisis.”
That’s great to say on “Democracy Now!,” with a self-selected audience that’s likely to agree with her statements. But Rainey didn’t hesitate to give Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn a piece of her mind and point out possible gaps in his understanding of the country’s current predicament during his obligatory apology call. “I told him that he is not in charge of what is going on,” she tells Goodman. “Our politicians really have lost control, and this sort of brutality is now endemic all over the United States,” she says, linking what she’s seeing in Seattle with a broader and more sinister trend that has a lot to do with that familiar catchphrase that became a federal agency, “homeland security.”
Have a look at the clip below. Before signing off for this week’s Truthdigger, we have an honorable mention in the story of Father Eduardo Samaniego, Jesuit pastor at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in San Jose, Calif. Samaniego persuaded his fellow parish officials to move their money from the church and its associated school from Bank of America to a credit union. The funds he and his fellows withdrew from bailed-out megabank BofA totaled $3 million. Ouch. Here’s a link to Samaniego’s story. Tip of the hat, Father Eddie. —KA