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    Parenting Versus Protesting

    Many would argue that political activism is the badge of
    responsible citizenship; and many hope to plant the seeds of
    dissent in their children. But parents who march, organize,
    demonstrate and resist must decide for themselves whether to let
    the little ones tag along, or keep them home and out of potential

    This is the topic of the first in an ongoing series of essays
    that addresses issues of parenting and protest by Kirsten Anderberg
    on the one-stop anarchist information site, infoshop.org. ‘As an
    activist single mother,’ Anderberg writes, ‘I could not just sit
    home, and not protest wars, simply because I had a child… it
    seems essential to include them in our political struggles.’

    Some of the mom-and-dad-dissenters Anderberg includes in her ad
    hoc survey believe that children can be especially useful at
    protests that directly affect them, ‘such as funding cuts at
    hospitals that treat children, or midwifery rights protests.’ She
    also cites the FTAA protests in Miami last November, where mothers
    and children marched together in what was dubbed a ‘Baby Bloc.’

    Anderberg recognizes that ‘protests are not your typical family
    event,’ but determines that they are no more dangerous than any
    other large gathering where children might be present. And indeed,
    if more parents brought the kids along regularly, notes one
    respondent, ‘then the response from police might change.’
    Protestors with children, Anderberg suggests, must first address
    their responsibility as parents: bringing necessary supplies and
    weather protection, good planning, and an acute awareness of the
    mood of the crowd and the mood of the kids. Beyond that, protesting
    is largely the same with or without children.
    Eric Larson

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    Parenting Versus Protesting: Are They Mutually Exclusive?

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    Published on Feb 1, 2004


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