Group joins National General Strike Day with flash mobs downtown

4 months 2 days 22 hours ago February 17, 2017 Feb 17, 2017 Friday, February 17 2017 Friday, February 17, 2017 4:00:00 PM CST in News
By: John Saltzman, KOMU 8 News
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COLUMBIA — A group called “The Collective Uncomfortable” hosted a flash dance party parade in accordance with the National General Strike. The group set out to “strike generally” in front of the Boone County Courthouse earlier this afternoon.

The National General Strike is a nationwide event happening at 132 different locations today across 32 states. Strike4America is the overarching organization

“Democracy” and fighting for what they believe has been lost in today’s political climate according to Strike4America.

There are 5 different strikes happening in Missouri today with 3 in St. Louis and 2 in Missouri plus the non-traditional events of today that started at the courthouse.

The flash dance party parade is designed to bring a joyful element to striking. Music blaring and costumes galore, the members that chose to participate tried to get their ideas across in a more fun lighthearted manner.

“We will wind our way through downtown Columbia pumping a playlist of songs, some joyful and uplifting and some sober and soulful. Each song will call us into a kind of action or simple movement idea,” Jenny Hipscher said.

Hipscher is the creator and lead organizer of “collective uncomfortable” and she believes if we can come to terms with our own comfort we can discuss what is needed in society today.

“I think we are all carrying around a lot of pain and trauma that’s been internalized because of just the legacy of settler colonialism and slavery and racism that our nation is built upon and that’s what kind of got us to this place today, it’s really been here all along. Some of that is because we avoid this feeling of being uncomfortable,” Hipscher said.

After everyone met at the courthouse, Hipscher explained to the group the plan of action and everyone dispersed throughout the streets of downtown. Slowly each member casually grouped together on the corner of Broadway and Ninth streets and broke out into dance.

“Today is the Trump strikes and the strikes on his policies and I wanted to do something in solidarity with it more so “for” something rather than “against this or against that,” Hipscher said.

Like how can we be in the paradox of what it is to both be in pain and have the anger, be struggling and you know be uncomfortable and also connect with each other at the same time. We experience pain and we tend to isolate and that just continues to perpetuate violence,” Hipscher said.

The basis of the downtown demonstration is founded on this principle says Hipscher and she hopes people will take a step back and take in the whole scope of what they are doing.

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