Perhaps it’s post 9/11 malcontent, or AdBuster’s imminent Occupy Wall Street action, or just that I’m susceptible, but talk of civic uprising is in the air and this arresting post from the Guardian’s JoePublic blog struck a nerve. Will deteriorating conditions for older people in the UK galvanize them to take to the streets? The article compares older Britons to the marginalized youth who rioted in August, observing that those over 65 “are already much more likely to be institutionalized than any other group and make up a growing proportion of the prison population.” Powerful analogy. (Thanks to Senior Planet for bringing the article to my attention.)
Another parallel is to the movement for rights the disabled, where activists have overcome stereotypes of passive helplessness by turning to direct action and confrontation. The result? Disabled people report “official attitudes rapidly changing from being humored and patronized to being treated with hostility and aggression.” Progress of a sort. As I wrote in an earlier post, when the young take to the streets, we salute them. Why not the old? Righteous anger has its place at any age.