Mikael Rudolph died at home in Minneapolis on Friday, after struggling with cancer for several years. He was a well-known mime, traveling nationally to perform. He was a principal organizer of protests in Minneapolis to Drive Out the Bush Regime 2006 – 2008. He posted many articles during that time on OpEd News.
I initially met Mikael the Mime in the Minneapolis airport when he was returning from a show, and I was changing planes. We were on cell phones, trying to find each other in the crowds. He said, “I’m a mime. I won’t be hard to find.” And he was not hard to find. He stood out as a unique, energetic,
passionate human being.
Mikael became a main organizer in Minneapolis for what were several of the
largest protests World Can’t Wait held in our efforts to pull out a mass of people into the streets, demanding the end of the Bush program. Close to 1,000 people marched there on October 5, 2006, taking the street and making news with traffic stopped, street theater, and Democratic politicians joining in, along with many youth.
With others, he founded ImpeachforPeace, putting in place a strategy for
“do it yourself” impeachment, based on the conviction that the Constitution
allowed for people to replace tyrannical government through petitioning it.
We disagreed on whether that approach put too much faith in a mechanism
rather than mass, visible protest, while he remained a significant part of World Can’t Wait’s presence. He pursued this strategy tirelessly, even as he went through cancer surgery and some level of recovery.
In September, 2008, World Can’t Wait/Impeach for Peace was in the streets protesting the Republican National Convention, bringing the spectre of the Bush regime’s torture into the march. Jodin Morey, another Impeace for Peace leader, got the brunt of a police attack on the march, being forced into a pen and tear-gassed, while wearing an orange jumpsuit. I arrived from the protests at the Democratic Convention just after that, for speak-outs Mikael and Jodin organized to show why we opposed the Bush program. We experienced the next days of a police state, as protesters were swept off the streets, and arrested in homes.
Kathryn Stone wrote about Mikael this week,
“He won his first battle with cancer and made it the subject of his soulful, funny one-man play, “Cancer My Ass!” which debuted — or “de-butted” as Mikael called it — in Minneapolis one year ago.” Sadly, Mikael had a secondary leukemia, related to cancer therapy, and died at home at the age of 51.
The work and mission of World Can’t Wait, and all who knew Mikael were enriched by his spirit and passion. RIP, Mikael.