Drayton's Gazette discusses social and political issues happening around the globe through the eyes of the African American, minority and disaffected communities.

Occupy Movement Meets Libyan Like Pushback By V.Lyn

“The money powers prey upon the nation in
times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more
despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than
bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies, all who question its methods or
throw light upon its crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in
front of me and the Bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my
greatest foe.. corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high
places will follow, and the money powers of the country will endeavor to prolong
its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is
aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed.” Abraham Lincoln

 

Years  ago I wrote an article wondering when we the American people would rise up against the income inequalities and social injustices we see across America, orchestrated by large corporations and the Republican Party. Well we have finally taken a stand, beginning in Wisconsin with the fight to retain the Unions and their to bargain and on to NYC you can see this movement stretch across the nation. It was obvious that America was heading towards a rising tide of anger that would mirror what happened in Libya that also has occurred in more ways than one with New Yorks Cities Police behaving no differently than Qadhafi military loyalist in the early days. We have seen some police aggressively arrest protesters, some young men and women have been beaten and pepper sprayed in attempt to squash the movement and make no mistake the arrest are not really about civil disobedience, it is about silencing the message, quelling the crowds anger through the tactic of divide and separate, as if disbursing the protesters would magically quell the seething anger the vast American population is feeling. Now in Oakland we have seen the Oakland Police step in with the same heavy handed zeal that we saw the Libyan military use against their own people. We saw with this police action America at it’s worst, no better than the thugs we flew drones against in Libya. How different were the initial military threats to Libyan citizens from the actions of the police against unarmed American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights?

Last night October 25th 2011 the police in Oakland used tear gas and fired rubber bullets on American Citizens. Young  and old, poor, middle class and yes even a few socially conscious wealthy, it did not matter that whether there were White, Black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Jew. These people are Americans of every ilk standing against an oppressive system that is continuously disenfranchising all Americans except for a very few at the very top, the 1%. Police with the approval of city official fired upon the very people they are PAID WITH TAX PAYERS DOLLARS TO PROTECT. US. The Oakland police surrounded the Occupy Oakland encampment in order to remove the protesters from Frank Ogawa Plaza. Hundreds of police officers in riot gear marched into the plaza using rubber bullets, tear gas and flash grenades an action no better than the action taken by the Libyan military. Sean M. Lynn Jones Editor, International Security; Series Editor, Belfer Center Studies in International Security of the Belfer Center Studies in International security in a March 1998 paper Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University titled “Why the United States Should Spread Democracy “stated: There are two reasons for the relative absence of civil violence in democracies: (1) Democratic political systems-especially those of liberal democracies constrain the power of governments, reducing their ability to commit mass murders of their own populations. As Rummel concludes, “Power kills, absolute power kills absolutely … The more freely a political elite can control the power of the state apparatus, the more thoroughly it can repress and murder its subjects.”30 (2) Democratic polities allow opposition to be expressed openly and have regular processes for the peaceful transfer of power. If all participants in the political process remain committed to democratic principles, critics of the government need not stage violent revolutions and governments will not use violence to repress opponents.31” The most powerful words Rummel spoke was the fact that the “more freely a political elite can control the power of the state apparatus, the more thoroughly it can repress and murder its subjects.” While the corporate elite, that infamous 1%, are not killing us literally their influence on our government is killing us financially.

Richard Hofstadter in his paper The Founding Fathers: An Age of Realism stated:” Democratic ideas are most likely to take root among discontented and oppressed classes, rising middle classes, or perhaps some sections of an old, alienated, partially disinherited aristocracy, but they do not appeal to a privileged class that is still amplifying its privileges.”

It is important that the protesters do not give up and go home, it is important that they stand strong, and it is important for all concerned American citizens to stand along the protesters in support, and to exercise their civil and political rights. Protest, marches and civil disobedience has been a part of our history, the founding fathers not only supported the Peoples right to protest but viewed it as a duty as noted by these quotes from their speeches:

“Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin

“… God forbid we should ever be twenty years
without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed.
The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of
the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it
is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty…. And what country
can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that
this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is
to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few
lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time
to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural
manure.”

Thomas Jefferson
Papers, 334 (C.J. Boyd, Ed., 1950)

“If we wish to be free, if we mean to preserve
inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long
contending, if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have
been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until
the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained _ we must fight!”  Patrick Henry

Abraham Lincoln said “The money powers prey upon the nation in
times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. It is more
despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, and more selfish than
bureaucracy. It denounces as public enemies, all who question its methods or
throw light upon its crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in
front of me and the Bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my
greatest foe.. corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high
places will follow, and the money powers of the country will endeavor to prolong
its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is
aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed.   Abraham Lincoln

Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.

No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities,
of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different
men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it
will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do
opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my
sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The
questing before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own
part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and
in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the
debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill
the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep
back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should
consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of
disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly
kings.Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We
are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that
siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged
in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number
of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which
so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of
spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and
to provide for it.

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of
experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And
judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the
British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which
gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it that
insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not,
sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed
with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports
with those warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are
fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown
ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back
our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and
subjugation; the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir,
what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission?
Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it? Has Great Britain any
enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies
and armies? No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us: they can be meant for
no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the
British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them?
Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years.
Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the
subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain.
Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find
which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive
ourselves. Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm
which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have
supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored
its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament.
Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional
violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been
spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne! In vain, after these
things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no
longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free– if we mean to preserve
inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long
contending–if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have
been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until
the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained–we must fight! I repeat
it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is
left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an
adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next
year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be
stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction?
Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our
backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have
bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those
means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people,
armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we
possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.
Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who
presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight
our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the
vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were
base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There
is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their
clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable ­ and let
it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace
­ but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps
from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren
are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen
wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be
purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know
not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me
death!

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