“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.” Mario Savio
Nothing a government can do is more odious than attacking its own citizens. That is exactly what is happening right here in America, and it is too dangerous to continue to pretend it isn’t happening and that you don’t have to do something to help stop the violence.
The choice now is not whether to vote for a Republican or a Democrat. It is between supporting a corrupt criminal enterprise known as the United States Government or joining the Occupy Wall Street Movement (OWS) and fighting with every ounce of your being for a real democracy that values everyone, not just those of wealth and privilege.
The Occupy Movement is only in its infancy (only three months along), but it has had a great impact on the conversation about the state of our world, and it is changing the consciousness of many who once found it easy to ignore the inequities around them. Even though only bits and pieces have slipped through our corporate/government-owned mainstream media, the concepts are making their way to Main Street America. The most telling example of this was an open forum that was held to discuss upcoming changes in the New York City School District. The parents knew that the changes were a done deal and this was just an empty formality so they “mic-checked” the Bloomberg-appointed Chancellor and made their own statement using the methods and language of the Occupiers Parents ‘Occupy’ NY School Meeting, Freak Out the Squares .
While the movement has a long way to go to organize itself into a strong force for change, one must realize that it is not an organized revolution but a counter-revolution to the right-wing takeover that started with Reagan and has continued through the Obama presidency. Much needs to be learned along the way in a counter-revolution, and I am in awe of the (mostly) young people who have been putting their bodies on the line on our behalf. They are brave, smart, creative - Hart Senate Building Protest October2011.org , united by a vision of a better world, peaceful #OWS calls for nonviolent solidarity on November 17th – YouTube and most importantly, relentless. That is the part that gives me the only glimpse of hope I have had in many years. From an article by activist and Raging Granny Vicki Ryder “First They Ignore You….” – “The visual cacophony of signs calling for health care and jobs and fair elections and an end to war and environmental exploitation is a reflection of the frustration felt for so long by ‘the 99%.’ With great patience and courage, they have been trying to figure out how to plug all of these holes in the dike, and finally have come to realize that they have run out of fingers. They see now that the system can’t be ‘fixed’ because it isn’t ‘broken’. It is working exactly as it was meant to do. It’s become increasingly clear that if we ever are to survive and live at peace in a sustainable world, then what’s needed is a different system.”
The language and dedication of the Occupiers are striking a chord and starting to wake people up. Happily, I see that there are moments like this Raw VIDEO: Aerial view of 100,000+ at Occupy Oakland | The … but the transformation may take a while, especially in America where the sheep-like populace has been lulled into acting against their own best interests. Eventually, senior citizens will realize that their Social Security and Medicare have been eliminated, unions will see their benefits and pensions slashed, the middle class will be living in the street and standing in soup kitchen lines and our young will realize they are not protecting “democracy” by going to never-ending wars that make the richest of the rich war profiteers even richer. If the Occupiers can hold out or at least keep coming back, they eventually will have the numbers that they need to affect real change.
It is that drastic change that is referred to above that is needed because when only the top 1% is represented, the grand experiment in democracy has failed. When Americans are beaten and imprisoned for trying to express their First Amendment rights or ask for redress of their grievances No Free Speech at Mr. Jefferson’s Library and when we cannot even videotape the police (while they can videotape us) Michael Allison Faces 75 Years In Illinois Prison for recording police … there is now no question that we are living in a police state. What has made the fascist (the marriage between corporations and government) takeover so obvious is that Obama and his administration, his Justice Department, and his Office of Homeland Security have coordinated a massive attack on United States citizens using our police as a domestic military force. The police have gone after unarmed peaceful protesters with rubber bullets, with tear gas, with pepper spray (which is banned for use in war as per the Geneva Conventions) Yes of course pepper spray is a torture device | War Is A Crime .org (In 1997, peaceful protesters were not only sprayed at close range with pepper spray but it was dabbed directly in their eyes with cotton swabs.), with sound canons, with batons, with their fists and their feet, and with other toys that have been developed for our military to use on other unfortunate people of the world. The image of a fascist takeover being tanks going down the streets of cities and towns is actually already taking place right here in America. All these weapons can cause serious physical harm, and some are considered instruments of torture such as shooting passive protesters on the University of California-Davis campus with pepper spray directly into their faces Interview with a pepper-sprayed UC Davis student – Boing Boing or spraying an 84 year-old woman Occupy Seattle: Octogenarian activist Dorli Rainey on being pepper … or a 19 year-old pregnant woman Pregnant #OccupySeattle Protester Miscarries After Being Kicked, Pepper Sprayed or beating up a 70 year-old former Poet Laureate and his wife Former Poet Laureate Robert Hass Clubbed By Police At UC Berkeley or arresting a retired Philadelphia police captain Capt Ray Lewis, arrested at #ows, interviewed on Olbermann’s … Two veterans, in separate incidents in Oakland, California, were seriously injured by police. The first, Scott Olsen, was hit with a rubber bullet and while he lay on the ground and protesters ran to help him, the cops shot tear gas canisters into the crowd and hit him in the head Video: Veteran injured by …. He had to be put in a coma to relieve the swelling and he still has not regained full language skills. The other, Kayvan Sabehgi, was beaten so badly they ruptured his spleen Occupy Oakland: footage shows police beating ‘peaceful’ Iraq war … The two veterans served in Iraq and Afghanistan to supposedly defend our freedoms, only to come home to this kind of treatment and find that they no longer have even their First Amendment rights. The methods being employed and the use of overwhelming and unnecessary force to crack down on the Occupiers is similar in cities all around the country, and it it is very clear that the now worldwide movement is a threat to our government and the 1% that they serve. After the first round of violent crackdowns in late October, I posed that it was too coordinated an effort to not have come directly from the White House. Seems I was not alone in that assessment, and it became even clearer (and documented) in mid-November after the second round of violent evictions of Occupy sites around the country National Lawyers Guild Files FOIA Requests Seeking Evidence of Federal Role in Occupy Crackdown . The mayor of Oakland said she had been one of 18 mayors on a conference call with Obama’s Office of Homeland Security who told them what to do to remove the Occupiers. See also Surprise, Homeland Security Coordinates #OWS Crackdowns and The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy | Naomi Wolf … and Occupy Wall Street: Michael Moore connects the federal government and Police Conspire to Shut Down OWS Nationwide | Veterans Today – “In recent days, a pattern has appeared across the country in the actions of police in dealing with the peaceful protesters taking part in the OWS movement. This coordinated effort leads many to suspect the dark presence of the federal government in what should be a local event.”
What I keep wondering is when will this violence by the police(and possibly by our military) cross the line into Kent State territory. We already have the death of an unborn child directly related to the attack on the protesters…it is only a matter of time till the rubber bullets are replaced with live ammunition. Keith’s Special Comment: Why Occupy Wall Street needs Michael … It is usually best to show a united non-violent response as the Occupiers have been doing (except for the agent provocateurs) because then it shows who the perpetrators really are and bares for the world their agenda, but there comes a time when those who prefer non-violence might have to protect themselves as they did in Egypt and other Arab Spring countries or they/we could end up digging our own graves as the Jews did in Germany.
What took place at the University of California – Davis campus was an assault plain and simple, and the bastards who sprayed the peaceful protesters multiple times with pepper spray need to be in jail, not just on “administrative leave.” So should all the other officers who aided and abetted the crime by not doing anything to stop it. Turning Patrolmen Into Soldiers: How Did We Let This Happen . College Chancellor Linda Katehi, who called in the police to remove the students, was subjected to a Walk of Shame UC Davis Chancellor Kotehi walks to her car but that is far from enough. This is an excellent letter asking the Chancellor to resign but allowing her to resign would be way too lenient – she needs to be fired POWERFUL- Letter From UC DAVIS Professor Demanding Chancellor’s … . Those in positions of power need to be held to an even higher standard than the general public. Hopefully, there are some police who are not sociopaths and it is with them that some of our hope rides, that they will realize they are part of the 99% and start doing the job they get paid for – protecting the lawful citizens instead of doing the bidding of the corrupt 1%. Actually this gets to what I believe is the heart of our problems even more than corporate greed…lawlessness. Accountability at this point is only for the little people. In addition to changing the actual system of government that we have now, we must return to the rule of law for everyone. That includes the Bush and Obama Crime Families who have committed, and are still committing, genocide and other crimes against humanity, other high crimes and misdemeanors too numerous to list, while they have robbed Americans blind. They, along with a thoroughly corrupt Congress and Senate all need to be behind bars as do the bankers, Wall Street magnates and other corporate and war profiteers. Only then can we hope to begin the process of creating a better world.
This includes an excellent statement on the Occupy Movement and a very accurate assessment of Obama Arundhati Roy: Occupy Wall Street is “So … – Democracy Now! – Occupy Wall Street is “So Important Because It is in the Heart of Empire”
They are trying whatever they can to incite the Occupiers to respond in kind so that they can justify the arrests (there have been 4,000 so far and not one banker, war profiteer, or government criminal) and make use of the 385 million dollar new and refurbished detention centers they have waiting for us 14. Homeland Security Contracts KBR to Build Detention Centers in … The contract “provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to expand existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs, KBR said.” It is that phrase “rapid development of new programs” that is most worrisome.
Years ago I saw for myself how the rage to respond in kind can be generated. My husband teaches at a local college, and I often took my young daughters to graduation ceremonies. One particular year Governor Ed Rendell was the scheduled speaker. We arrived in time to see the procession make its way across campus. After the procession entered the gym, security guards suddenly slammed the doors shut and locked them. I didn’t really care if my girls and I got in, but I looked around and realized there were many parents and family members who had been videotaping the procession (mostly African Americans) who were now not going to get to see their children graduate. Several of us started banging on the doors. We could see security walking back and forth, but they refused to come to the door. Finally, the head of security cracked one door a couple of inches and asked what we wanted. We told him there were parents who needed to be allowed in and he refused, saying they were at capacity, which was a bald-faced lie. We said to ask faculty to give up their seats, but he refused to do anything and slammed the door in our face. Next thing I knew, they had called the cops who were lined up in the street behind us in an aggressive stance. It was at that moment I understood how riots start – by those in power who stonily refuse to bend or be reasonable. A few days later, another faculty wife and I asked for a meeting with the college president who, of course, didn’t bother to show up so we put in a complaint. As usual, no one was held to account. I wasn’t even one of those graduates’ parents, but I can still feel the rage I felt that day. “Those who make a peaceful revolution impossible, will make a violent revolution inevitable.” -John F. Kennedy
Some of the more stunning examples of recent police violence against the Occupiers:
Occupy Denver 11/12/2011 Police Clash – police destroy everything in the encampment
It also became obvious that this was a nationally coordinated effort when every city mayor or school chancellor was using the exact same reason for evicting the Occupiers: “Health and safety issues.” It is just like when you hear “newscasters” saying exactly the same line of propaganda over and over on every TV station – it is obvious that it came from a centralized location. Also coordinated was the lack of coverage by the mainstream media protecting those who pay their salaries. This includes even the so-called “liberal” MSNBC and the so-called “liberal” New York Times (just check out their headlines for the last few weeks…one right after another about the protests in Egypt, nothing about the Occupations right here at home). When journalists are corralled away from the action they are trying to cover or are abused and arrested as they were during the evictions at Zuccotti Park, why would they not even write about that or about the fact they no longer have First Amendment rights Occupy Wall Street: Jonathan Turley calls out Bloomberg, NYPD for …
Also, while Obama couldn’t say enough about the need to stop the violence against the protesters in the Arab Spring countries, not a single word from him about the violent attacks on citizens in his own country. NOT ONE WORD!!!!! And, not one word about the rights we are supposed to have under our “Constitution.” Wasn’t he purported to be a Constitutional Law professor?
Make no mistake, it is the Democrats (with a little help from their friends Open Channel – Lobbying firm’s memo spells out plan to undermine Occupy Wall Street ) who are the ones most adamant about crushing the movement. The message of the movement is resonating with more and more disenfranchised Americans, and Obama and his compliant Democrats are worried that it will interfere with his re-election campaign which is all that is really important to him and his followers. If he were to even hint that the Occupiers had valid points, he might lose his funding from his crony corporatists and his Wall Street bankers. Keep in mind that the candidate with the most money wins election 94% of the time, and Obama is planning to raise not millions, but billions. That kind of money isn’t going to come from the proletariat. The Democrats (and front groups like MoveOn and ActBlue) have tried to wheedle their way into the movement - Glenn Greenwald: Can OWS be turned into a Democratic Party movement? – Glenn .. but have been spurned by the Occupiers who are not in the streets to get Democrats elected but to fight for systemic change. They understand that our problems go way beyond Democrat vs. Republican, and they know that the establishment is not going to rein in the corruption and that little tweaks are not going to fix anything. Using violence is also a way to contain the movement by scaring people into staying home. We must not let that happen because after today we might be facing an even bigger danger. Back in 2007 I wrote about how our Constitutional rights had been decimated Sound Like America To You? and just a few months ago it was revealed that the president had been given the right to call for the assassination of anyone he deemed to be an enemy combatant, even an American citizen, and that at least one such assassination has been carried out. As I write this, the Senate, which most people don’t realize is still in the hands of the Democrats led by Majority Leader Harry Reid, is poised to pass a bill that would allow for the use of the U.S. Military on American soil as part of the global “battlefield.” American citizens in the United States could be picked up by the military with no due process and detained indefinitely without trial or even charges being filed that would necessitate a trial. Labeled the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 1867, it was drafted in secret by Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and approved in a closed-door committee meeting. If that doesn’t scare you, I guess nothing will. Anyone else wondering about the timing of introducing a bill such as this?
This young man took a stand, and now it is time for all of us to take one - Occupy Honolulu: Hawaiian Musician Makana Performs Protest Song to World Leaders at APEC Summit
The Occupiers keep reminding us that another world is possible. To make that happen we must heed the words of Albert Einstein, “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”
Remember how, during the Bush years, we said that the buck stopped with the president? It does now, too. What I have shown you is Obama’s nation. This is not what a democracy looks like. You cannot have it both ways. You can’t be a good little Democrat and support that which is unsupportable. Only those who have no conscience could watch what is being done to our world and to the peaceful protesters and continue to support the greedy sociopathic establishment that is ordering the abuse. Now is your chance to make a difference – PICK A SIDE!
Miley Cyrus just did Miley Cyrus Rock Mafia – IT’S A LIBERTY WALK! – YouTube