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Nonviolent Resistance


Gandhi’s Lesson for Today

By Kathy Kelly

   In a soon-to-be published book entitled Gandhi and the Unspeakable: His Final Experiments with Truth, Jim Douglass contrasts the deadly machinations of Gandhi's probable killers with Gandhi’s own incredible bravery and that of his followers, whose mantra during campaigns for independence expressed their absolute commitment to resist injustice openly, lovingly and fearlessly: with their whole lives. Their mantra was “Do or die.” 

Wall Street Buys Protection from the NYPD

 

By Dave LIndorff

 

It's no accident that the New York Police have been so assiduous in their protection of the big banking establishments that are housed on Wall Street and environs.

 

The banks don't like paying taxes, but they know how to buy the protection they need, as <a href="http://www.jpmorganchase.com/corporate/Home/article/ny-13.htm?TB_iframe=true&height=580&width=850">this page from JPMorgan Chase's website</a> makes clear.

 

It boasts that the company has bought the police a bunch of toys for their squad cars, and that is has financed spying software (they call it "security monitoring software") for the NYPD's main data center. 

 

Heroes to Pigs: The Shapeshifting of New York's Cops Took Only 24 Hours of Porcine Behavior

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

 

Probably the biggest accomplishment of the Occupy Wall Street movement to date has not been the light these courageous and indomitable young activists have shined on the gangsters of Wall Street, as important as that has been. Rather it has been how they have exposed the police of the nation’s financial capital as the centurions of the ruling class, and not the gauzy “people’s heroes” that they have been posing as since some of their number, along with many more firefighters, nobly gave their lives trying to rescue people in the World Trade Center towers on 9-11.

 

Occupy Wall Street, Arrest Officer Bologna

From Alternet:

The crackdown on the Wall Street protesters this weekend seems to have backfired. The campsite-cum-experiment in radical democracy is still there, holding general assemblies just shouting distance from Goldman Sachs and the Wall Street bull. It even appears to be growing.

From the New York Times:

Last week, a girl in the Bronx pulled out a can of pepper spray and used it in a fight with two other girls in her high school, an event that resulted in her arrest, her mother’s arrest and a report on WNBC.

The mother got locked up because she bought the stuff and gave it to her daughter, and the law in New York is strict about who can carry it — no teenagers, no felons — and how it is used. There was a long legislative fight over whether people should be allowed to carry it, and in 1996, New York became the last state to make it legal, over the objections of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who felt the rules were lax.

The law requires the following label to appear on the cans:

“The use of this substance or device for any purpose other than self-defense is a criminal offense under the law.”

Pepper spray is regulated with other dangerous weapons. For anyone interested in the effect it has on people hit with it, there are plenty of videos available online. You can hear agonizing screams, especially when it hits the mucous membranes and soft tissue like the eyes.

13 Ways To Look at the Occupation of Wall Street

 

By Charles M. Young

 

1) I had brunch on Sunday in Chinatown with a friend who works in local television news. He complained that the Occupy Wall Street people had sent over video that they said showed demonstrators getting maced. It didn’t show any such thing, my friend insisted. After brunch I walked over to occupied Zuccotti Park (two blocks north of Wall Street) and told somebody at the Media table that they had to be careful about claiming more for their video than it actually showed. Then I went home and looked at the video, and it clearly showed several young women, who presented no physical threat, getting wrapped up by police in a plastic net and pepper sprayed in the face.

The Occupied Turn Occupiers

In a recent debate Congressman Ron Paul claimed the United States military had troops in 130 countries.  The St. Petersburg Times looked into whether such an outrage could actually be true and was obliged to report that the number was actually 148 countries.  However, if you watch NFL football games, you hear the announcers thank members of the U.S. military for watching from 177 countries.  The proud public claim is worse than the scandalous claim or the "investigative" report.  What gives?

Former Editor Sues Philadelphia Police for Constitutional Violations in Her Arrest

 


by WALTER BRASCH 


 


A former managing editor for the online newspaper, OpEdNews, has sued the city of Philadelphia and eight of its police officers for violating her Constitutional rights.


Cheryl Biren-Wright, Pennsauken, N.J., charges the defendants with violating her 1st, 4th, and 14th amendment rights. The civil action, filed in the U.S. District Court, Philadelphia, is based upon her arrest during a peaceful protest Sept. 12, 2009, at the Army Experience Center (AEC) in the Franklin Mills Mall.

Liberty Plaza prevails over provocation

The sun rose this morning—behind clouds—on a tent city in occupied Liberty Plaza/Zuccotti Park in New York’s Financial District, where protesters entered their fourth day of encampment. A farmer’s market was setting up alongside the usual food trucks. Although police had already intervened in taking down a tent on the occupation’s first night, the prospect of early morning rain today made many decide around midnight to set up tarps over media and food supplies, as well as to erect several of the tents that had been donated by the rapper Lupe Fiasco to sleep in themselves. This made for some of the protesters’ most trying confrontations yet with those sworn to serve and protect them.

While few were yet awake, a motorcycle police officer could be heard saying on his cell phone, “That’s my plan. To have them down as soon as possible.” On the north side of the plaza, where the morning before there had been three TV news trucks, there was now an NYPD Communications Division Command Post truck. In it was at least one officer with “COUNTERTERRORISM” on the back of his uniform.

At 6:58, an officer wearing a suit and tie began walking through the plaza, peering through the mesh into tents where protesters were sleeping, demanding that “tents have to come down.” This caused a stir among the hundred or so who had spent the night. They woke up and sprung into various sorts of action. Some immediately began complying by pulling out tent poles—“for the good of the movement”—while others insisted that they should stop. Still more volunteered to hold up the tents and tarps by hand, rather than with poles. An ad hoc meeting started in the center of the plaza to discuss the matter, but in the course of it nearly all the tents and tarps were taken down.

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Steve Baggarly Goes to Prison for Peace

Source

The purpose of the hearing was to sentence Steve Baggarly for his July 2010 trespass at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex, but when the Judge turned to ask Steve if he had anything to say, Steve delivered a message that was part indictment of the bomb plant and part map of the path to hope.

Some Resonance Please!

By Charles M. Young



Oct. 6, Freedom Plaza May Feel a Bit Like Tahrir Square

LISTEN TO DAVID SWANSON:

The Fight Back

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We will be nonviolently shutting down buildings and offices and hallways and streets. – David Swanson

Oct. 6 marks the end of the first decade of the U.S. war in Afghanistan and the beginning of a nonviolent action that may make D.C.’s Freedom Plaza feel a bit like Egypt’s Tahrir Square. “Thousands and thousands of people have pledged to be there, and not for one day,” said author and activist David Swanson, who is helping organize the event as part of October 2011.

As he stood outside the White House on Sept. 3, the final day of the two-week mass civil disobedience against the Keystone XL pipeline, Swanson discussed the upcoming action, which will see protesters camping out day and night at Freedom Plaza.

We’ll make the same persuasive arguments that we always make about the agenda that everybody has: taxing the wealthy, ending the wars, cutting the military, saving the environment, creating jobs. But we’ll do so with actions that take inspiration from the Arab Spring and countries around the world where people try to interfere with what their government is doing, not just speak to it. We will be nonviolently shutting down buildings and offices and hallways and streets.

While the action has been organized by individuals, there are more than 100 organizations supporting it. October 2011 lists “Fifteen Core Issues the Country Must Face,” including: corporatism; wars and militarism; worker rights and jobs; criminal justice and prisons; healthcare; education and housing.

Swanson noted a paradox plaguing the U.S. political process: Americans are quick to criticize their government, but reluctant to take constructive steps to make it better.

[There are] millions of Americans who are able to say: “The system is broken.” “The government is not working for us.” “The government is completely corrupted.” But [then they also say], “How dare you shut it down?” Somehow, too many Americans think that’s an approach you take toward evil, non-American governments, [but not] the American government [which] is sacred, even though it’s “completely broken” and “corrupt” and “working for Wall Street” and “screwing us all.”

Somehow, if we can get over that hump of loyalty to the government, of loyalty to a party, and have people say, “We are the sovereigns of this nation [and] it’s We The People in whose name the Constitution was written,” then we’ll have a movement. It won’t accomplish everything this year, but it will be started.

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Police Video of Crowd Blocking Gate to Hancock Air Base to Protest Drone Murders

The DA plans to use this video in court (presumably without the music).

Letter from prison: Tim DeChristopher speaks

From Grist

The following text appeared in a handwritten letter from Tim DeChristopher addressed to Grist’s Jennifer Prediger.

Can Coffee Prevent Military Suicides?

It is difficult to watch this video without both crying and being inspired.  Ashley Joppa-Hagemann recounts her husband's struggles before he killed himself to avoid an eighth or ninth tour in the Iraq-Afghanistan Wars. Ashley confronted Donald Rumsfeld last week over the lies that led her husband to enlist.  This led to her appearing on Democracy Now on Tuesday and being featured in Amy Goodman's column:

"One person convinced by Rumsfeld’s rhetoric was Jared August Hagemann.

"Obstructing Business": South Koreans on the March

By

 I was in Seoul, South Korea this month at the invitation of the wonderful EBS TV Documentary Festival, and was truly, happily surprised to see a resurgence of activism among ordinary Koreans. Don't get me wrong. Since its founding, Korea has had a tradition of fierce, die-hard activism (which Koreans themselves may attribute to a diet high in garlic and red pepper, as well as their commitment to social justice), but this ferocity seemed to have gone dormant in the mid-nineties. I was overjoyed to find that this was no longer the case.

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Organizers plan Tahrir-style 'occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington'

From PressTV
 

A coalition of community organizers, peace activists, left, liberal, progressive groupsand supporting organizations are calling on volunteers to join them October 6, 2011, for an "occupation" of Freedom Plaza in Washington D.C.

U.S.author, blogger, and activist David Swanson says the event is being organized to take over Freedom Plaza to "nonviolently resist what our government is doing."

Swanson told Press TV's U.S. Desk on Monday that "we are going to occupy Freedom Plaza in the middle of Washington D.C., the name of which is very similar of course to Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, and from there we are going to expand to shut down offices, buildings, streets, hallways, to nonviolently, strictly nonviolently resist what our government is doing."

Jesse Jackson Sr Gets It Right

In 1960 Martin Luther King supported Kennedy instead of Nixon
to prevent America from going backwards.

 

Then he marched in the streets of Birmingham to pass the Civil Rights Act 

to move the nation ahead.

 

In 1964 Martin Luther King supported Johnson instead of Goldwater  

to prevent America from going backwards.

 

Then he marched in Selma to pass the Voting Rights Act  

to move the nation ahead.

 

For Dr. King there was no conflict between voting strategically  

to prevent the triumph of reaction and leading a nonviolent mass movement

to pressure a president to achieve profound social change.

 

When we in the movement struggled for social justice we helped weak presidents become stronger.

 

When we in the movement struggled for social justice we helped good presidents become great.

 

Rev. Jessie Jackson Jr. at the evening reception of the joint AFL-CIO/Martin Luther King Center conference on Jobs, Justice and the American Dream.

 

To view a webcast of the entire conference, click here:  

 

Sincerely,

Ed Kilgore
Managing Editor
The Democratic Strategist
www.thedemocraticstrategist.org

Vermonters Build a Direct Action Anti-Nuke Movement They Hope Will Go National

By Dan DeWalt


Newfane, VT -- A classic David vs. Goliath battle is taking shape in the courtroom and in the streets and fields of Vermont as Entergy Nuclear of Louisiana tries to overturn Vermont law in the federal courts. 


The state has thoughtfully and repeatedly voted no to the extension of Entergy's Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor's license, which is due to expire on March 21, 2012. Results of Town Meeting votes, a 26-4 vote by the Vermont Senate, and a pivotal gubernatorial race all have shown that the state does not see Vermont Yankee as a reliable or economical partner for its energy future. Forty years' accumulation of radioactive waste on the banks of the Connecticut River is enough.

Cynthia McKinney's Anti-War Tour Comes to Philadelphia

 

by Ron Ridenour

 

Leading black-skinned representatives of the “hegemon”, as Cynthia McKinney calls President Barack Obama and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, could hardly expect to win any votes from the standing-room-only crowd at her anti-war tour Friday night at Calvary Church in Philadelphia.

 

Speaking before nearly 300 people--two-thirds of them black, the remainder white and hispanic--in her T-shirt proclaiming that “war kills”, the former U.S. congresswoman said: 

 

“We need someone in the White House who thinks like us and not just one who looks like us. We have to act like we’re free if we want to be free. We have to liberate ourselves from war-mongering political parties.”

 

The Egyptian Uprising: The Mass Strike In the Time of Neo-liberal Globalization

 

By Michael Schwartz, New Labor Forum

As the Arab Spring became an Arab Summer, the failure of other uprisings to replicate the regime changes in Tunisia and Egypt has raised important questions about these increasingly impressive successes.

- Egypt is the poster child of neo-liberal reform in the Middle East Its rapid integration into globalized capitalism since 1990 has made it vulnerable to a savvy mass movement that can exploit the pressure points in current world system.

- Egypt’s recent history produced a legacy of working class militance and organization that provided a tangible foundation for the Tahrir Square movement.

- This combination of political-economic vulnerability and a savvy mass movement created a strategic bind for Egyptian and global capitalism in which abandoning Hosni Mubarak was the least dangerous exit from an intractable crisis.

What is notably absent from this list of key factors is the most visible feature of Egypt’s almost-peaceful regime change. The Egyptian armed forces, unlike their Libyan and Syrian counterparts,[2] decided not to attempt to crush the rebellion; this forbearance may have been a key factor in enabling the protest to succeed.

Obama's MLK Problem

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