“Preplanned, well publicized in advance, literally coordinated with police”

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“The centerpiece of such activity usually involves an arrest, either of a token figurehead of the movement (or a small, selected group of them) or a mass arrest of some sort. In the latter event, ‘arrest training’ is generally provided – and lately has become ‘required’ by movement organizers – by the same marshals who will later ensure that crowd control police units will be left with little or nothing to do. This is to ensure that “no one gets hurt” in the process of being arrested, and that the police are not inconvenienced by disorganized arrest procedures.

“The event which activates the arrests is typically preplanned, well publicized in advance, and, more often than not, literally coordinated with the police — often including estimates by organizers concerning how many arrestees will likely be involved. Generally speaking, such ‘extreme statements’ will be scheduled to coincide with larger-scale peaceful demonstrations so that a considerable audience of ‘committed’ bystanders (and, hopefully, NBC/CBS/ABC/CNN) will be on hand to applaud the bravery and sacrifice of those arrested; most of the bystanders will, of course, have considered reasons why they themselves are unprepared to ‘go so far’ as to be arrested.

“The specific sort of action designed to precipitate the arrests themselves usually involves one of the following: (a) sitting down in a restricted area and refusing to leave when ordered; (b) stepping across an imaginary line drawn on the ground by a police representative; (c) refusing to disperse at the appointed time; or (d) chaining or padlocking the doors to a public building. When things really get heavy, those seeking to be arrested may pour blood (real or ersatz) on something of ‘symbolic value.’

“As a rule, those arrested are cooperative in the extreme, meekly allowing police to lead them to waiting vans or buses for transportation to whatever station house or temporary facility has been designated as the processing point. In especially ‘militant’ actions, arrestees go limp, undoubtedly severely taxing the states repressive resources by forcing the police to carry them bodily to the vans or buses (monitored all the while by volunteer attorneys who are there to ensure that such ‘police brutality’ as pushing, shoving, or dropping an arrestee does not occur). In either event, the arrestees sit quietly in their assigned vehicles – or sing ‘We Shall Overcome’ and other favorites — as they are driven away for booking. The typical charges levied will be trespassing, creating a public disturbance, or being a public nuisance.”

- Ward Churchill, from “Pacifism as Pathology

#floodwallstreet #peoplesclimatemarch

America the Temporary

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“America is gigantic; but a gigantic mistake.” (Sigmund Freud)

America is a nation built upon myth. If you don’t believe me, consider the Florentine merchant-adventurer after whom this country was named. Amerigo Vespucci probably made at least two voyages to the Americas, but he was not the leader of any expedition or the first European of his era to set foot on the mainland.

America named after a self-hyping fraud? It’s just too perfect. Yes, the USA is a nation built upon myth…and the greatest myth of all is that the Land of the Free™ is gonna last forever.

America the Beautiful. The Declaration of Independence. The Statue of Liberty. Baseball, apple pie, and internal combustion engines called Chevrolet. All of these are nothing more than the castles made of sand Jimi Hendrix sang about.

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Hendrix, for that matter, is yet another sandcastle. Take it even further: Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, and, as Fight Club’s Tyler Durden reminds us: “Even the Mona Lisa’s falling apart.” Our denial forces us to ignore this reality but, whether we admit it or not, what we call “civilization,” is indeed fleeting.

If you don’t believe me, I have one word for you: Maya.

If one were to view that civilization from Pre-Mayan to Pre-Columbian, it spanned roughly 3500 years before collapsing. America is 238 years old. The Mayans had us beat by more than 30 centuries but are now barely more than a footnote for most humans.

No one is certain what happened to cause the demise of the Mayan culture but this description has an jarringly recognizable ring:

“History is a continual ebb and flow of civilizations, but the collapse of many great Maya cities occurred within a fairly short amount of time centuries before the Spanish arrived. Archeologists are still trying to answer the mystery of why this happened. Several answers are emerging, with overpopulation and the resulting exhaustion of land resources leading the list. The soil of the rain forest is actually poor in nutrients. Crops can be grown for only two or three years, then must be allowed to go fallow for up to 18 years. This requires ever increasing destruction of the rain forest (and animal habitat) to feed a growing population. Other reasons for the collapse include increased warfare; a prolonged drought; a bloated ruling class requiring more and more support from the worker classes; increased sacrifices extending even to the lower classes; and possible epidemics owing to the dense populations in the urban centers.”

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Steel Cage Match: America’s Torturous History vs. ISIS

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Despite the current “war on terror” façade, not much about American war propaganda has changed over the past century (besides, of course, how it’s transmitted). Rhetorical edits aside, it remains true that U.S. wars and interventions are skillfully packaged and sold and the official history of those conflicts is subject to spin and distortion.

These realities exist in order to portray our leaders—of either party—as moral and thus lay the foundation for future military ventures.

By portraying all our [sic] enemies as a never-ending parade of savages auditioning for a starring role as the “next Hitler,” wartime spin plays into our worst fears—the bogeyman—while shoving  America’s catalogue of criminality down the proverbial memory hole.

handpointRTig Click here to read my full article

(Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism can be ordered here.)

People Before Prophets?

 

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There are several different versions explaining the gift and curse of Cassandra; the most popular one is that God Apollo fell in love with her and granted her with the gift of prophecy.

When Cassandra denied the God and his advances, he placed a curse on her, so that no one would believe her words or her predictions. He gave her a gift that would bring frustration and despair to her.

Thus, the first patriarchal use of the “friend-zoning” concept guaranteed that man’s myopic, murderous ventures would go virtually unchallenged.

Hell (on Earth) is for Children

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“Stop killing our kids,” warns Ward Churchill, “if you want your own to be safe.” What’s that? You’re not killing anybody’s kids? Au contraire, mon ami

With nearly half of all U.S. tax dollars going to the military, the vast majority of Americans have contributed to enough death to make Kissinger blush.

handpointRTig Click here to read my full article

(Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism can be ordered here.)

Bill McKibben: False Eco-Prophet

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In 2010, I interviewed Bill “funded by Rockefeller oil $” McKibben and, among other things, asked him:

Of your work, Derrick Jensen has said: “One of the problems that I see with the vast majority of so-called solutions to global warming is that they take industrial capitalism as a given and it’s the planet which must conform to industrial capitalism, as opposed to the other way around.” How do you respond to this critique?

He replied: It strikes me that the single biggest variable explaining the structure of the world today is the availability of cheap fossil fuel – that’s what happened two hundred years ago to create the world we know, especially its centralization. I think if we can put a serious price on fossil fuel, one that reflects the damage it does to our earth, then the fuels that we will depend on – principally wind and sun – will push us in the direction of more localized economies. Those kind of changes have been the focus of my work as a writer in recent years.

#evade #deflect #deny

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I also asked him: The U.S. Department of Defense is the world’s worst polluter, the planet’s top gas guzzler, and recipient of 53.3 percent of American taxpayer dollars. How does your work address this situation and the concurrent “untouchable” status the U.S. military has among the majority of American citizens?

He replied: I’m not sure it really does, directly. Indirectly, I think the biggest reason we have the oversized defense that we do is that we rely on distant and unstable sources of energy as the core of our economy. I remember one sign in particular from the early Anti-Iraq-War rallies I went to: “How did our oil end up under their sand?”

#evade #deflect #deny

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And, of course I asked him this: Since 51 percent of human-created greenhouse gases come from the industrial animal food business, are you encouraging people to adopt a plant-based diet lifestyle?

He replied: I’ve written time and again that industrial agriculture, especially factory livestock farming, is a bane – not only for its greenhouse gases, but for myriad other reasons. Interestingly, though, scientific data from the last couple of years is leading to the conclusion that local, grass-pastured, often-moved livestock, by the action of their hooves and the constant deposition of manure, improve soils enough to soak up more carbon and methane than they produce. (This would explain why, say, there could have been more ungulates on the continent 300 years ago than now without it being a curse to the atmosphere). So there may be hope for meat-eaters as well – but only if you know and understand where your dinner is coming from.

(Not surprising, I guess, from the man who says: “There’s no company on earth who’s done more to try and change the planet than Ben and Jerry’s.”)

#evade #deflect #deny

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