The above is not some foreign war zone. It is an assault on unarmed pipeline protesters in South Dakota by water cannons, tear gas, percussion grenades and rubber bullets, Dec. 1-2 of last year.
ALL OF THESE PHOTOS SHOW WHAT PEACEFUL PROTESTS GET IN TODAY'S AMERICA...WELL, WHAT CERTAIN 'CHOSEN' PROTESTERS CAN EXPECT, SHALL WE SAY?
AMERICA'S "2%, OR 1%", THOSE WHO OWN EVERYTHING THAT RUNS THE AMERICAN MACHINE, JUST WON'T STAND FOR PEOPLE PROTESTING AGAINST THEIR PRIVATE AGENDA.
ALL OF THESE PHOTOS SHOW WHAT PEACEFUL PROTESTS GET IN TODAY'S AMERICA...WELL, WHAT CERTAIN 'CHOSEN' PROTESTERS CAN EXPECT, SHALL WE SAY?
AMERICA'S "2%, OR 1%", THOSE WHO OWN EVERYTHING THAT RUNS THE AMERICAN MACHINE, JUST WON'T STAND FOR PEOPLE PROTESTING AGAINST THEIR PRIVATE AGENDA.
Below, it only took six police armed with riot sticks to "properly" take down a pipeline protester.
Below, a few more who just couldn't wait to help control that "mob" at Standing Rock's protest site.
Why are some treated to beatings and others are not?
WHY WEREN'T THE CLINTON SUPPORTERS ARRESTED AFTER THEIR RIOTS?
WHY WAS THE 'OCCUPU' GTOUP TREATED SO DIFFERENTLY FROM "TEA PARTY" PROTESTERS?
Below, student protesters being pepper-sprayed ...and that particular policeman called for another can of spray and went back over the kids a second time.
Heavily redacted FBI memos confirm that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was aware of a plot to assassinate the Houston organizers of “Occupy Wall Street,” but the agency has managed to withhold the details from the American public using the worn-out excuse that transparency compromises national security.
According to the agency’s official memos, an unnamed party or agency “planned to engage in sniper attacks against protestors in Houston, Texas, if deemed necessary… [Redacted] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles.”
Revealed: how the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy...Guardian,U.K.
DISSENT AND FREE SPEECH IN AMERICA...GOING, GOING, ALMOST GONE.
“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear."
[Special Message to the Congress on the Internal Security of the United States, August 8, 1950]”
― Harry Truman
“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”
― Benjamin Franklin
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
“Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are incapable of forming such opinions."
(Essay to Leo Baeck, 1953) ― Albert Einstein
Acts of Congress Held Unconstitutional in Whole or in Part by the Supreme Court of the United States...
#1. Act of Sept. 24, 1789 (1 Stat. 81, § 13, in part).
#140. Act of Oct. 28, 1989 (Pub. L. 101-131), 103 Stat. 777, 18 U.S.C. § 700. The Flag Protection Act of 1989, criminalizing burning and certain other forms of destruction of the United States flag, violates the First Amendment. Most of the prohibited acts involve disrespectful treatment of the flag, and evidence a purpose to suppress expression out of concern for its likely communicative impact.
United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990).
#144. Act of Nov. 29, 1990 (Pub. L. 101-647, § 1702), 104 Stat. 4844, 18 U.S.C. § 922q. The Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990, which makes it a criminal offense to knowingly possess a firearm within a school zone, exceeds congressional power under the Commerce Clause. It is "a criminal statute that by its terms has nothing to do with 'commerce' or any sort of economic enterprise." Possession of a gun at or near a school "is in no sense an economic activity that might, through repetition elsewhere, substantially affect any sort of interstate commerce."
United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995).
AND THE LAST ENTRY?
#165. Act of December 30, 2005 (Pub. L. 109-148, § 1005(e)(1), 119 Stat. 2742; 28 U.S.C. § 2241(e)(1)). A provision of the Detainee Treatment Act eliminating federal habeas jurisdiction over alien detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is invalidated as a violation of the Suspension Clause [Article I, § 9, clause 2].
WHY ONLY 165 "UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACTS OF CONGRESS" IN 200 YEARS?
BECAUSE MOST OTHERS HAVE NEVER BEEN DISPUTED, THAT'S WHY.
AVERAGE CITIZEN, EVEN IF HE/SHE KNOWS SUCH THINGS CAN BE DISPUTED ARE (A) NOT FAMILIAR ENOUGH WITH LEGAL JARGON TO GO THROUGH CONGRESSIONAL "ACTS" AND SEE THE UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF THEM, OR (B) NOT RICH ENOUGH TO TAKE THINGS TO THE "SUPREME COURT"...OR (C) SIMPLY DON'T CARE WHAT ACTS CONGRESS PASSES.
THE SUPREME COURT HAS ABSOLUTELY NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO "INTERPRET" THAT OLD CONSTITUTION, BUT MOST AMERICANS ARE NOT AWARE OFF THAT EITHER, SO NO PROTESTS ON THAT, NO DISSENT WHERE DISSENT SHOULD BE.
In 2012, Congress passed (almost unanimously) and the President signed into law H.R. 347 : The Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act.
Among other provisions, the law criminalizes the offense of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority to do so.
The Secret Service is given the authority to decide on its own what is cordoned off but this includes special events of “national significance” or any area that a President (or anyone afforded Secret service protection) might be visiting, even temporarily.
WE SAW IT HAPPENING RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES AND DID NOTHING TO STOP IT.
The Crime of Peaceful Protest
MANY, CHAMPAGNE GLASSES IN HANDS, EVEN TOASTED THE MISTREATMENT OF THE OCCUPY WALL STREET PROTESTERS AND GLOATED WHEN STUDENTS WERE KICKED IN THE STOMACH, PEPPER-SPRAYED, BEATEN AND DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE STREETS, SHOT IN THE FACE WITH 'PERCUSSION GRENADES', AND SOME EVEN LAUGHED WHEN PEOPLE WERE KILLED....
WE SAW IT DURING THE CIVIL RIGHTS MARCHES, THE VIETNAM WAR PROTESTS, SAW IT WHENEVER AMERICANS PROTESTED ANYTHING DURING THE LAST CENTURY AND ALL OF THIS ONE, SO FAR..
YOUR "CAUSE" HAD BETTER MATCH THE AGENDA OF THE MIGHTY RULERS, OR DOWN YOU GO.
THINGS ESCALATED TO VIOLENCE ALMOST EVERY TIME A GROUP OPPOSED TO THE ELITIST MINDSET TURNED OUT.
VIOLENCE CARRIED OUT AGAINST PROTESTERS HAS BECOME ACCEPTABLE, EVEN LAUDED, AND YET WE PRETEND TO AGREE THAT ALL HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND THE RIGHT TO PROTEST WITHOUT FEAR.
BUT WE LIE.
WE'RE AFRAID OF THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH.
WHY DID AMERICA MILITARIZE ITS POLICE FORCE, CREATE "S.W.A.T." TEAMS TO HANDLE EVERYDAY PROBLEMS IN OUR COMMUNITIES?
WHY IS IT IMPOSSIBLE TO ATTEND A TRULY PEACEFUL PROTEST AND STAND ON AN AMERICAN STREET AND STATE YOUR DISSENT, YOUR DISAGREEMENT WITH ANYTHING YOU DISAGREE WITH WITHOUT FEAR OF ARREST... OR WORSE?
WHY ARE WE SO DIVIDED AGAINST ONE ANOTHER THAT MANY TODAY CAN'T STAND TO EVEN HEAR AN OPPOSING THOUGHT EXPRESSED ALOUD BY A FELLOW AMERICAN WITHOUT ATTACKING WHOMEVER VOICES THAT OPPOSING VIEW AND SCREAMING 'FOUL!', SCREAMING 'RACIST, FASCIST, BIGOT, HATE-MONGER!'?
WHY IS ANGER ALWAYS AT A BOILING POINT, ALWAYS ERUPTING INTO RAGE WHEN ANOTHER AMERICAN SPEAKS OUT AGAINST WHAT WE BELIEVE IN?
I HAVE FOUND MYSELF GUILTY OF THIS, AND THAT IS ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS I ASK THESE QUESTIONS.
I ABSOLUTELY CONFESS THAT I HAVE WISHED FOR A BASEBALL BAT AND 5 MINUTES ALONE WITH MORE THAN ONE OTHER HUMAN BEING OVER THE PAST FEW DECADES SO I COULD "BEAT SOME SENSE INTO THEM", AS THE OLDER FOLKS USED TO SAY.
THAT SCARED ME, SCARES ME NOW TO WRITE THAT, BUT IT'S THE TRUTH AND TRUTH IS WHAT THIS BLOG WAS ABOUT IN THE VERY BEGINNING, NO MATTER WHO IT HURTS, AS I STATED ON DAY 1.
OUCH! THE TRUTH HURTS!
WE NOW HAVE LAWS AGAINST LIBERTY, AGAINST FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND THE CRIMINALIZATION OF CITIZEN DISSENT.
TODAY, IF YOU SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT, YOU CAN BE LABELED A DOMESTIC TERRORIST, AN EXTREMIST, DANGEROUS TO NATIONAL SECURITY.
HOW DID THESE COME INTO EXISTENCE IN A SO-CALLED "FREE SOCIETY"?
WAS IT ALL, INCLUDING FREEDOM OF SPEECH, AN ILLUSION ALL ALONG?
WERE THE FOUNDING FATHERS KIDDING US WHEN THEY SAID, "LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL...EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL CITIZENS...RIGHT TO DISSENT", ETC?
I DON'T THINK SO.
I AGREE WITH MUCH THAT IS STATED IN THIS ARTICLE:
[NOTE: An earlier version appeared in Human Rights Commission, The Right of Peaceful Protest Seminar, Canberra, 3-4 July 1986 Papers, Occasional Paper No. 14 (Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1986), pp. 93-117]
The dominant political actors in liberal democracies are the state, corporations and professions.
"Challenging the status quo is a difficult business. Dominant groups have various ways to limit the effectiveness of challengers, including promoting a narrow conception of 'acceptable protest,' channeling dissent into appeals to the government and, if necessary, using repression.
The very idea of 'protest' should be considered suspect because it diverts attention away from the routine activities of powerful groups.Routine activities by these actors establish the ongoing political and economic framework for the society.
Governments promote legislation, establish foreign policy and decide on policy. State bureaucracies both prepare and implement policies, and exercise administrative discretion in areas such as policing, welfare and the law.
The electoral system ensures a ritualized competition between political parties (Ginsberg, 1982).
Corporations routinely make investments, hire and fire employees, introduce new products and services, and mould opinion through advertising. Professions hold monopolies on particular types of services--such as medical and legal services--and within those monopolies make decisions about the types and costs of services (Derber et al., 1990; Larson, 1977).
Dominant groups occasionally engage in struggles with each other, as in the case of elections, corporate takeovers and the medical profession's resistance to state regulation.
The actions of these groups are not usually called protest, though.
The term protest is applied to actions of groups that are painted as outside the mainstream.
The full power of the state can be employed against those individuals and groups placed in the category of protesters.
When trade unions go on strike that is recognized as a form of political protest--and often stigmatized--but when corporations redirect investments out of a particular area (a 'capital strike') that is taken to be a normal exercise of corporate prerogatives.
Even the major political struggles in liberal democracies, such as between workers and employers, are usually about the balance of power within the system, not about the organizing principles of the system itself.
Nevertheless, the dominant institutions are backed in the last resort by force, namely by the police and the military.
Whereas violence by 'protesters' is invariably condemned and often called terrorism, violence by the police or military is usually seen as legitimate.
The government strategy for limiting and controlling protest is based on an implicit restriction of the protest: it must be protest to the state to take action, not autonomous action itself. It is when protesters take direct action which in itself furthers their aims (rather than relying on the government to do it for them) that this action is commonly seen as 'out of hand.'
Workers may lobby and demonstrate for industrial democracy; that can be tolerated. It is when they unilaterally implement it themselves on the shopfloor that police are brought in. Concerned citizens can appeal to the government to end abuses by spy agencies; that is fine. But when they investigate the agencies themselves and publish the identity of spies and details of their operations, it is time for legislation and harassment to stop them.
A final problem is inequality of resources. Ernest Fitzgerald was a single person trying to do his own job plus make informed criticisms of Defense Department performance. In attempting to discredit Fitzgerald, officials in the Defense Department could call on virtually unlimited funds and personnel to mount refutations."
WHO HOLDS THE REINS OF POWER?
WHO DECIDES WHO IS A TERRORIST, A THREAT TO SOCIETY?
NOT WE, THE PEOPLE.
"The full power of the STATE can be employed against those individuals and groups placed in the category of protesters."
ONCE UPON A TIME WE SAID THAT THOSE WHO PROTESTED SOMETHING THE GOVERNMENT HAD DONE WERE EXERCISING THEIR RIGHT TO CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, SOMETHING OUR AMERICAN HISTORY BOOKS LAUDED WHEN THE "PATRIOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION" DID SO...BUT NO MORE.
ONE EXAMPLE OF THE FAILURE OF "GOING THROUGH PROPER CHANNELS", AS OPPOSED TO PROTEST:
The usual point of view of the dominant groups is that people should leave social problems to the elites and experts. If action isn't happening quickly enough, then they should work through 'normal channels.'
The trouble with these channels is that they are biased in favor of privileged groups.
Native Americans as a group can hardly get ahead by rising up through corporations or professions, since it is discrimination in such areas which is the cause of many of their problems.
Lobbying holds little hope, since lobbying is mainly of benefit to those who have money, power or some other reason why their views should be listened to. (Arguing on the basis of social justice alone doesn't get lobbyists very far.)
Finally, Native Americans, as a stigmatized minority group, have little electoral impact.
A million people marched for peace in New York in 1982, but this did not lead to any substantive changes in government policy.
THE SAME RULES DO NOT APPLY TO ALL.
Direct action against the military, such as opposing conscription or encouraging desertion, can result in prison terms; recalcitrant trade unions may be threatened with deregistration.
By contrast, prison terms for corrupt politicians or corporate executives are seldom contemplated
There is a wide variety of measures taken in liberal democracies to repress political opposition. Most of these measures are taken by agencies of the state, especially by the police and the military which are the custodians of legitimate violence. The role of repression is a major one (Goldstein, 1978; Wolfe, 1973) but has been downplayed by most theorists of liberal society (McCamant, 1984).
Thus the concerns of a minority (the elite) get to dictate the terms for the majority.
CENSORING FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.
Political censorship is an effective method of stifling dissent. There are a limited number of examples outside wartime in which Western governments take overt action to censor publications, such as the Progressive case (Morland, 1981).
The existence of small dissident presses often can be ignored if the information they present does not reach a wider audience. On a number of crucial issues the top executives of the mass media are reluctant to go out of their way to antagonize the government and powerful corporations (Bagdikian, 1990; Herman and Chomsky, 1988).
AS WE CAN SEE QUITE EASILY, IT IS THE MAJOR BENEFACTORS OF GOVERNMENT WHO OWN THE MEDIA IN AMERICA TODAY.
OWNERSHIP DICTATES CONTENT.
Harsh legal penalties can be used to repress protest. It is widely recognized that the legal systems do not dispense neutral justice, but rather that arrest, conviction and sentencing are all part of a wider political struggle.
CORPORATE crimes are often ignored or at most dealt with by token fines.
Protest of a political nature on the other hand often is greeted with excessive penalties.
Another way to smash dissent is to selectively (create and) enforce laws.
Spying, censorship and selective use of the law all serve to inhibit political opposition.
AND THEN THERE ARE THE LAWS, PASSED BY A CONGRESS ETERNALLY BEHOLDEN TO THEIR BIGGEST CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTORS, TO WALL STREET.
In wartime civil liberties of all sorts are drastically curtailed, so much so that a liberal democracy at war can be characterised as a 'constitutional dictatorship' (Rossiter, 1948). Rights of free speech, assembly, protection from arbitrary arrest, the right of trial by jury: these and other freedoms are reduced or removed in wartime (Linfield, 1990).
AS I HAVE WRITTEN MANY TIMES HERE, WE HAVE "BEEN AT WAR", ALTHOUGH UNDECLARED, SINCE KOREA.
BEING AT WAR SIMPLIFIES HOW WE CAN BE MANIPULATED, SUPPRESSED, DICTATED TO AND FORCED TO COMPLY WITH RULES, LAWS WE WOULD NOT COMPLY WITH IN PEACETIME.
WE ARE "AT WAR WITH TERRORISTS", BUT OUR OWN GOVERNMENT STATES THAT WE WHO PROTEST, WHO VOICE DISSENT ARE TERRORISTS OF A SORT.
WE, THE PEOPLE, THE AMERICAN VOTERS, THE AMERICAN WORKERS, THE 'AVERGEJOE/JANE' CAN BE LABELED A THREAT TO THIS NATION WITH NOTHING NEEDED TO BACK THAT UP.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DECIDES, END OF STORY.
ONCE UPON A TIME, EVERY INCH OF AMERICA WAS A "FREE SPEECH ZONE".
ONE OF THE REASONS AMERICANS HAVE GIVEN UP THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH ANYWHERE INSIDE AMERICA'S BORDERS IS THAT CONGRESS, THE SUPREME COURT AND THE WHITE HOUSE PHRASE JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING IN "LEGALESE", THAT JARGON OF ATTORNEYS, OR AS MY UNCLE CALLED IT, "LEGAL MUMBO-JUMBO".
CONGRESS WAS SCARED OUT OF THEIR WEE MINDS WHEN RON PAUL TRIED TO GET A LAW PASSED THAT REQUIRED CONGRESS TO READ EACH PROPOSED LAW ALOUD ON THE FLOOR OF CONGRESS.
THEY DON'T READ THE LAWS THEMSELVES, FOR THE MOST PART, BUT HAVE "STAFFERS" DO THAT FOR THEM AND "SUMMARIZE".
THIS IS HOW WE GOT THE HEINOUS "PATRIOT ACT", FEMA BEFORE THAT, AND THE REVAMPED PAIRING OF THOSE TWO IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S "NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT".
March 19 2012
H.R. 347, benignly titled the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act, passed the House 399-3.When President Obama signed it on March 8, almost nobody seems to have cared.
Simply put, the way the bill will “improve” public grounds is by moving all those unsightly protesters elsewhere. The law purports to update an old law, Section 1752 of Title 18 of the United States Code, that restricted areas around the president, vice president, or any others under the protection of the Secret Service.
The original law was enacted in 1971 and amended in 2006.
At first blush, the big change here is that while the old law made it a federal offense to "willfully and knowingly" enter a restricted space, now prosecutors need only show that you did it "knowingly"—that you knew the area was restricted, even if you didn’t know it was illegal to enter the space.
But it’s important to understand what has changed since the original law was enacted in 1971, because it shows how much a tiny tweak to the intent requirement in a statute can impact the free speech of everyone.
For one thing, the law makes it easier for the government to criminalize protest.
It is a federal offense, punishable by up to 10 years in prison to protest anywhere the Secret Service might be guarding someone.
For another, it’s almost impossible to predict what constitutes “disorderly or disruptive conduct” or what sorts of conduct authorities deem to “impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions.”
The types of events and individuals warranting Secret Service protection have grown exponentially since the law was enacted in 1971. Today, any occasion that is officially defined as a National Special Security Event (NSSE) calls for Secret Service protection.
NSSE’s can include basketball championships, concerts, and the Winter Olympics, which have nothing whatsoever to do with government business, official functions, or improving public grounds. Every Super Bowl since 9/11 has been declared an NSSE.
And that brings us to the real problem with the change to the old protest law.
Instead of turning on a designated place, the protest ban turns on what persons and spaces are deemed to warrant Secret Service protection. It’s a perfect circle: The people who believe they are important enough to warrant protest can now shield themselves from protestors.
Let’s start by recalling that political speech—of the sort you might direct toward Newt Gingrich or Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, both of whom merit Secret Service protection—is what the First Amendment most jealously protects.
Demonstrators can almost never be muzzled based on what it is they want to say.
The First Amendment also has a special solicitude for speech in what are called traditional public fora.
There is a presumed right of access to streets, sidewalks, and public parks for the purpose of engaging in political discussion and protest. And while the government can always impose reasonable limits on demonstrations to ensure public order, that power comes with a caveat: It must never be used to throttle unpopular opinion or to discriminate against disfavored speakers. That is a powerful caveat: The degree of slack a court will cut any given restriction on public protest will rest on whether the government appears to be acting even-handedly.
The changes in Section 1752 thus really do matter because they permit those in power to relegate their detractors to perform their political speech in REMOTE locations, far from the public and the press.
They do so in the name of protecting the security of the government official, despite the fact that their actual motivation for doing so has everything to do with the message of their opponents.
Law professor Timothy Zick of William and Mary Law School published an outstanding analysis of what are known as “spatial tactics” in the Texas Law Review a few years back.
When it comes to relegating demonstrators to obscurity, two approaches predominate: keeping protesters outside an expansive, sanitized bubble that surrounds the very event they have come to protest, or allowing them to come closer, but only within the confines of heavily policed “protest pens” that one federal judge likened to temporary internment camps.
Here’s one way the new legislation becomes doubly problematic: The exclusion zones imposed by Section 1752 have no natural or intuitive spatial boundaries. They can be as large as law enforcement claims is necessary to ensure the security of whoever the Secret Service is protecting.
Whatever they have come to say, the presence of demonstrators at these events carries a powerful message in and of itself that cannot be delivered as effectively in any other place.
Being 'permitted' to deliver their message in the same forum and at the same time as the speaker they oppose highlights the passion and commitment that animates the protesters.
It underscores the existence of dissent, which is precisely what those who would sanitize the space around high officials would have us forget.
In short, citizen protests puncture the pretty, patriotic illusion of a focus-grouped, Photo-shopped media event, and replace it with the gritty patriotic reality of democracy in action. That’s why the teeny cosmetic changes to Section 1752, which purport to be about new kinds of security, are really all about OPTICS.
HOW DID WE GET HERE, TO THIS PLACE OF QUARANTINED FREE SPEECH, FROM WHERE WE WERE BEFORE WORLD WAR I OR II WHEN IT WAS A CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY THEN TO PROTEST INJUSTICES AND THE MEDIA AND THE POLICE WERE THERE TO HELP US?
HAVING WATCHED IT ALL UNFURL A DECADE AT A TIME, I MUST SAY THAT THE TRUE HORRORS OF WHAT HAPPENS TO DISSENTERS/PROTESTERS BEGAN TO SHOW UP IN THE 1950s AND 1960s.
CIVIL RIGHTS SEEMED TO BE SOMETHING AMERICANS WERE NOT READY TO CONSIDER YET, SO PROTESTS WERE "DISCOURAGED"...BY POLICE BATON AND ATTACK DOGS QUITE OFTEN.
AT KENT STATE DURING THE VIETNAM WAR PROTESTS IN 1970, THOSE DISSENTING WERE DISCOURAGED BY GUNSHOT.
THINGS ESCALATED SO QUICKLY FROM THAT.
Wounded Knee: A 71-Day Siege and a Forgotten Civil Rights Movement
Wounded Knee | We Shall Remain | American Experience | PBS
I COULDN'T BELIEVE HOW QUICKLY DISSENT BECAME A HAZARD TO ONE'S HEALTH, HOW DANGEROUS IT BECAME TO PUBLICLY VOICE AN OPINION AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT, AGAINST ANYTHING, REALLY.
BUT, IN LESS THAN 30 YEARS FROM WOUNDED KNEE, THE SILENCING OF DISSENTERS HAD BECOME AN ART FORM.
THEN AGAIN, THE TYRANNY OF THE 'NEW GOD IN TOWN', "POLITICAL CORRECTNESS", HAS SERVED TO SILENCE MILLIONS.
HOW TO QUARANTINE DISSENT, A LA GEORGE W. BUSH, 2002.
TRY TO IMAGINE THIS HAPPENED TO YOU.
When President Bush travels around the United States, the Secret Service visits the location ahead of time and orders local police to set up "free speech zones" or "protest zones," where people opposed to Bush policies (and sometimes sign-carrying supporters) are quarantined. These zones routinely succeed in keeping protesters out of presidential sight and outside the view of media covering the event.
When Bush went to the Pittsburgh area on Labor Day 2002, 65-year-old retired steel worker Bill Neel was there to greet him with a sign proclaiming, "The Bush family must surely love the poor, they made so many of us."
The local police, at the Secret Service's behest, set up a "designated free-speech zone" on a baseball field surrounded by a chain-link fence a third of a mile from the location of Bush's speech.
The police cleared the path of the motorcade of all critical signs, but folks with pro-Bush signs were permitted to line the president's path.
Neel refused to go to the designated area and was arrested for disorderly conduct; the police also confiscated his sign.
Pennsylvania District Judge Shirley Rowe Trkula threw out the disorderly conduct charge against Neel, declaring, "I believe this is America. Whatever happened to 'I don't agree with you, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it'?"
A St. Petersburg Times editorial noted, "At a Bush rally at Legends Field in 2001, three demonstrators -- two of whom were grandmothers -- were arrested for holding up small handwritten protest signs outside the designated zone. And last year, seven protesters were arrested when Bush came to a rally at the USF Sun Dome. They had refused to be cordoned off into a protest zone hundreds of yards from the entrance to the Dome."
One of the arrested protesters was a 62-year-old man holding up a sign, "War is good business. Invest your sons."
The seven were charged with trespassing, "obstructing without violence and disorderly conduct."
The Justice Department is now prosecuting Brett Bursey, who was arrested for holding a "No War for Oil" sign at a Bush visit to Columbia, S.C. Local police, acting under Secret Service orders, established a "free-speech zone" half a mile from where Bush would speak. Bursey was standing amid hundreds of people carrying signs praising the president. Police told Bursey to remove himself to the "free-speech zone." Bursey refused and was arrested. Bursey said that he asked the police officer if "it was the content of my sign, and he said, 'Yes, sir, it's the content of your sign that's the problem.' " Bursey stated that he had already moved 200 yards from where Bush was supposed to speak.
Bush visited London and the White House demanded that British police ban all protest marches, close down the center of the city and impose a "virtual three-day shutdown of central London in a bid to foil disruption of the visit by anti-war protesters," according to Britain's Evening Standard.
But instead of a "free-speech zone," the Bush administration demanded an "exclusion zone" to protect Bush from protesters' messages. Such unprecedented restrictions did not inhibit Bush from portraying himself as a champion of freedom during his visit.
ALSO IN 2002, PROTESTING AMERICANS BECAME LABELED "POTENTIAL TERRORISTS" AND THE FBI BEGAN GATHERING PRIVATE INFORMATION ON ANTI-WAR PROTESTERS WITH AN EYE TO HAVING THEM CHARGED WITH TREASON.
Attempts to suppress protesters become more disturbing in light of the Homeland Security Department’s recommendation that local police departments view critics of the war on terrorism as POTENTIAL TERRORISTS.
In a May 2003 terrorist advisory, the Homeland Security Department warned local law enforcement agencies to keep an eye on anyone who “expressed dislike of attitudes and decisions of the U.S. government.” If police vigorously followed this advice, millions of Americans could be added to the official lists of “suspected terrorists.”
On May 30, 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft effectively abolished restrictions on FBI surveillance of Americans’ everyday lives first imposed in 1976. One FBI internal newsletter encouraged FBI agents to conduct more interviews with antiwar activists “for plenty of reasons, chief of which it will enhance the paranoia endemic in such circles and will further service to get the point across that there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox.”
The FBI took a shotgun approach towards protesters partly because of the FBI’s “belief that dissident speech and association should be prevented because they were incipient steps towards the possible ultimate commission of act which might be criminal,” according to a Senate report.
On Nov. 23 news broke that the FBI is now actively conducting surveillance of antiwar demonstrators—supposedly to “blunt potential violence by extremist elements,” according to a Reuters interview with a federal law enforcement official. Given the FBI’s expansive defintion of “potential violence” in the past, this is a net that could catch almost any group or individual who falls into official disfavor.
The FBI is also urging local police to report suspicious activity by protesters to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is run by the FBI. If local police take the hint and start pouring in the dirt, the JTTF could soon be building a “Total Information Awareness”-lite database on those antiwar groups and activists.
JOINT TERRORISM TASKS FORCES, FORMED TO KEEP DISSENT TO A MINIMUM...OF ZERO.
Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF), of which there are currently 104 located in cities and towns across the United States, were created in the 1980s and greatly expanded in the aftermath of 9/11. They were set up to coordinate between diverse federal agencies and local law enforcement, and often work in tandem with “Fusion Centers” that are supposed to collect and analyze data related to potential terrorism.
BUT THEY COLLECT MUCH OF THEIR 'DATA' BY USING "LISTENING DEVICES" LIKE 'STINGRAY TECHNOLOGY'...TAPPING DIRECTLY INTO CITIZENS' CELLPHONES AND NOT ONLY LISTENING BUT TRACKING THEIR MOVEMENT...ANY TIME THEY PLEASE.
In an interesting case reported by Wired magazine, 2015, police in Erie County, NY, used the technology 47 times in the last five years and only received the required permission from a court once.
Even in that case, “they asked for a court order rather than a warrant, which carries a higher burden of proof... (and) mischaracterized the true nature of the tool.”
The same story notes that the New York Civil Liberties Union posted documents online that showed the FBI and local police departments had made binding agreements to keep their use of the technology secret, even going so far as to ask courts to dismiss criminal cases in which the use of Stingray might be revealed.
The fear of terrorism being openly exploited by law enforcement has allowed police to resurrect COINTELPRO in all but name.
Attempts To Silence Dissenters Will Not End Well
OCT. 06, 2016
"Discussion can only exist where customs and norms demand that all voices be heard, that the points of the opposition are at least characterized as something resembling what they are, and that no one is excluded from participation by the fact that they possess views of which the majority – or a powerful minority – disapproves.
But instead of that, today we have a liberal elite that gleefully bludgeons people with opposing views into silence, and then pats itself on its collective back for its enlightenment.
This will not end well."
ACTUALLY, IT WILL NEVER END BECAUSE THERE WILL ALWAYS BE AT LEAST ONE WHO WILL HAVE THE COURAGE TO STAND AGAINST THE STATE, AGAINST A WRONG, AGAINST THE SHREDDING OF THAT OLD CONSTITUTION BY CONGRESSIONAL OR PRESIDENTIAL OR JUDICIAL WHORES, TRAITORS, LIARS, AND THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAWS THEY PASS TO APPEASE THEIR MONEYED MASTERS.
SURE, DISSENT CAN BE QUARANTINED IN AMERICA, BUT IT WILL NEVER, EVER END.
FOR IT TO END WOULD MEAN ANNIHILATION OF ALL WHO DO NOT ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH THE RULERS HERE.
IS THAT NEXT?
Violations of free speech and rights of labor. Hearings before a subcommittee of the Committee on Education and Labor, United States Senate, Seventy-fourth Congress, second session[--Seventy-sixth Congress, third session] pursuant to S. ... Catalog Record - Electronic Resource Available
~ H.R.2908 - 112th Congress (2011-2012): Testimonial Free Speech Act of 2011 Introduced in House. To protect the First Amendment rights of individuals to share their experiences and perceptions of the effects of foods and dietary supplements.
~ THE DAY SCALIA EXPOSED EXECUTIVE-JUDICIAL COLLUSION AGAINST CONGRESS, VOTERS AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAW.
Scalia exposed that in King versus Burwell the Court elevated politics over both the rule of law and the separation of powers. The majority recognized the ACA (ObamaCare) work as written, so it colluded with the executive branch to expand federal power beyond the clear limits Congress imposed.
As a result, the IRS is now taxing, borrowing, and spending hundreds of billions of dollars that no Congress ever authorized.
King v. Burwell was a hard loss for health care reform, limited government, and the rule of law.
Scalia’s dissent was a silver lining, though, and a brilliant one at that.