Friday, December 30, 2011

Oppositional Endurance

I stealth slept last night. There wasn't enough time to do research or handle protest logistics, the invigorating influence of strong willed people like Collette wasn't abundant, and I wanted to be better prepared this time around, so inherent tyranny prevailed, yesterday. Meanwhile, in other news...

Many Occupy L.A. protesters arrested during demonstrations in recent months are being offered a unique chance to avoid court trials: pay $355 to a private company for a lesson in free speech.,0,4087465.story

A lawsuit over the policy was brought by two Occupy Austin protesters – Rudy Sanchez and Kris Sleeman – each of whom was arrested in connection with the ongoing protest at City Hall and ultimately handed a so-called "CTN," banning them from setting foot on City Hall property for a year. The ban would prevent the men not only from protesting at the site, but also from attending any meetings or conducting business of any kind at the seat of city government.

“Some of these investigations don’t even break state laws,” says Rachel Meerpol, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights who is representing Shapiro in a constitutional challenge of the AETA. “It’s possible to gain undercover footage lawfully. The way the FBI is interpreting this law would allow for prosecution of completely lawful, valuable advocacy efforts as an act of terrorism.,0,5919114.story

An assessment of Occupy Vancouver’s services conducted by social policy graduate student Eric Hamilton-Smith found that over 37,000 meals were served, $672,000 of primary medical care was provided, and 30 people were housed for 37 days at a time when beds at primary shelters were not available. The assessment documented more than $1 million in benefits to the community.

At times like these I hear the voices of the saints who went before us. The suffragist Susan B. Anthony, who announced that resistance to tyranny is obedience to God, and the suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who said, “The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.” Or Henry David Thoreau, who told us we should be men and women first and subjects afterward, that we should cultivate a respect not for the law but for what is right. And Frederick Douglass, who warned us: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” And the great 19th century populist Mary Elizabeth Lease, who thundered: “Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street, and for Wall Street. The great common people of this country are slaves, and monopoly is the master.” And [Major] Gen. Smedley Butler, who said that after 33 years and four months in the Marine Corps he had come to understand that he had been nothing more than a gangster for capitalism, making Mexico safe for American oil interests, making Haiti and Cuba safe for banks and pacifying the Dominican Republic for sugar companies. War, he said, is a racket in which newly dominated countries are exploited by the financial elites and Wall Street while the citizens foot the bill and sacrifice their young men and women on the battlefield for corporate greed. Or Eugene V. Debs, the socialist presidential candidate, who in 1912 pulled almost a million votes, or 6 percent, and who was sent to prison by Woodrow Wilson for opposing the First World War, and who told the world: “While there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” And Rabbi Abraham Heschel, who when he was criticized for walking with Martin Luther King on the Sabbath in Selma answered: “I pray with my feet” and who quoted Samuel Johnson, who said: “The opposite of good is not evil. The opposite of good is indifference.” And Rosa Parks, who defied the segregated bus system and said “the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

I'm not proud... or tired. So we'll wait till it comes around again, and this time with four part harmony and feeling. We're just waitin' for it to come around is what we're doing.

Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating.

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