A Tribute to Dorli Rainey

Courage & Grace Under Fire

"People say to me, “Are you crazy? Why don’t you just retire?” I can’t. I have to keep on going because there’s so much work to be done. I just don’t feel like sitting at home and letting the world fall apart."
Dorli Rainey Portrait
February 16, 2012 | by Paul K Haeder | English Instructor
Original article: greenriver.edu
Occupy activist Dorli Rainey, 84, after being hit with pepper spray during a protest in Seattle. Photograph: Joshua Trujillo/AP

Small in stature, quiet in voice, a bit road weary, sure, but this retired public school teacher blasted through the Green River campus Wednesday with several plasma-setting lightning bolts of energy and passion for her almost eight decades of protest…

“I was born a protestor . . . . My mother had to go to the school a lot and talk to the principal.” That was in Austria, where she spent the first 30 years of her life. She moved to Seattle when her former husband landed a job as a technical engineer for Boeing. She was quick to take some jabs at Boeing for not paying its fair share of taxes and for promulgating its role in the military industrial complex by building parts, engines and jets that end up killing people in other countries.

Occupy activist Dorli Rainey and Louise Hull
Louise Hull, Sociology Instructor with Dorli Rainey at Green River Community College.

Dorli has been fighting against that sort of rapine of the soul since she was in Austria. We’re talking about a ten-year-old Dorli when Hitler started sharpening his fascist talons in Austria in 1938. She lived through a huge depression, flu pandemics, World War Two. Then, from Eisenhower to Obama, Vietnam through the wars in Central America and the invasions of Iraq twice, Dorli has been fighting for social justice the entire time while also being an educator.

Without a doubt, education is her linchpin, both at the November 2011 rally that got her face, drenched in milk after being sprayed with toxic irritants by the Seattle Police Department, on every wire service as the face of protest in the US in the 21st century, and at this GRCC teach-in, titled, The Attack on Higher Education – Student Activism.

Since the media in general have failed to really understand the Occupy Movement, she quickly put a face on it – young people with huge student loan debts working for minimum wage or who are jobless. She sees her Occupy Seattle participation as a natural outgrowth of her decades on the front line protesting unfair treatment of her fellow Americans and people worldwide.

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June 27th, 2012

Posted In: News About Dorli

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