Weekly Update: A National Disgrace
It is an exciting time! The Culture of Resistance continues to grow in the United States and around the world as more people are connecting with each other and planning days of national and international solidarity actions.
Last week, we wrote about VIA 22, monthly international solidarity actions. This Saturday there will be a national day of actions against the increased austerity measures that are coming no matter which candidate is elected president. And most recently, there is a call for a Global Debt Strike. They say "You are not a loan, you are not alone."
This reminds us of a statement in an Egyptian article after October2011 and Egyptian Revolutionaries published a letter of solidarity from Abdallah Helmy of Revolution Youth,
“We need to send governments a message,” Helmy says. “We can connect networks around the world. We have common goals, common views and common causes. We are changing the concept of international relations, making it civil society to civil society, not through governments or ordinary channels.”
Direct actions are escalating in the US and so are the tactics being used to oppose them.
In Texas, activists with the Tar Sands Blockade continue tree sitting to stop the destruction of land and construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Texas police are being turned into mercenaries hired by TransCanada, the multinational corporation building the pipeline, to protect TransCanada's interests and keep necessary food and water from the protesters. This is a national disgrace! And it raises the question of whom the police are serving and protecting.
From California to New York, anti-drone activists are increasing their protests and finding new ways to work together. This has frightened one commander, Lieutenant Colonel Earl Evans at the Hancock Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, New York, so much that he requested and received an order of protection from the peaceful protesters so that they cannot continue their weekly vigil even in a permitted area. The base contains Humvees, assault rifles, fighter jets and drones, which makes us wonder who should be afraid of whom.
Nonviolent anti-eviction activists are now facing police in military fatigues and SWAT teams when they peacefully work with families to prevent them from losing their homes. Despite the homeowners requesting to work with the banks in order to stay in their homes and the banks' refusals to negotiate, the police are serving and protecting the banks instead of people who live in their own community.
More people are making the connections between the big banks and the lack of democracy in the US. These three brave high school students stood up to JP Morgan in New York this week asking for transparency in campaign donations. As Supreme Court Brandeis said, "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." And even the bankers know that as indicated by Andrew Haldane, Director of Financial Stability in London, who said thatOccupy protesters have made valid points about the corruption and inequality inherent in the global financial system.
And nowhere is the inequality more evident than when it comes to health care in the United States. Health professionals with Occupy Eugene in Oregon are continuing to provide direct health services with their mobile MASH unit. This is a model that is needed throughout the country. And in particular, the people of New York and the surrounding area who were devastated by the recent Superstorm Sandy need help. Occupy Wall Street and other groups are working to meet their needs. They need supplies and volunteers.
It is wonderful to see the growing resistance. We must continue to question whom the police are serving and protecting. The research shows that there is a 60% greater chance of success if the police join the movement. In fact, it is in their best interest to do so because police families are also losing their homes, their job security and are unable to afford education and health care.
Noted author and peace activist S. Brian Willson shared his wisdom with us this week in Liberation Requires Disobedience. Will more people take a stand against the corrupt and lawless system in which we live or will they be complicit with it? This is a question that we hope you are asking yourselves, your family members and your neighbors. Whom are we serving and protecting in our actions - the corporatocracy or the people?
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