As a locked-out Kaiser steelworker we saw a lot of picket lines and protests.
The recent climate protests reminded me of something that happened in Portland about 20 years ago. A lot of protests going on and these young people invited me to a pepper-spray party. They were pepper-spraying each other so they would know what to expect when the riot police did it to them and they could also practice first aid.
It made me feel sick inside as my generation left such a mess for them and I had never really gotten involved or even voted most of the time. So here they are, pepper-spraying each other so they could go out in the streets to protest what was going on.
I felt we had really let them down – and now I see all these young people a generation later take to the streets to protest the same mess that existed 20 years ago.
Erv Schleufer, Coeur d’Alene tribal member