OWS: Orwell's Wickedest Scenario
(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein)
The only good thing about fascism and its brutal and oppressive tactics is that it's never subtle. Push these people and you'll always get the answer to Inspector Finch's rhetorical question in V For Vendetta: "What usually happens when those without guns stand up to those that do?" And always there are billions who listen to the answer and its inevitable, blood-tinged physical syntax.
Anyone out there remember the late Mario Savio? Mario Savio's name has been all but lost to history even to well-meaning and well-educated liberals who didn't happen to watch Rachel Maddow's eloquent show the night before last. Savio's speech on December 2, 1964 on Sproul Hall's steps briefly put him in the news in relation to the increasingly hostile conflict between University of Berkeley officials and the students' right to free speech.
Savio's fiery, impassioned "bodies on the gears" speech, as it came to be known, proved once again that great rhetoric is recyclable and that the abstract ideology underpinning it can be used to illuminate many controversies that endanger the rights of our fellow humans. As Maddow said, he could've been talking about Vietnam, civil rights or a whole host of other topics. But on December 2, 1964 he was calling the university on its greater allegiance to its board of governors than to the first amendment rights of its students.
Savio's spirit lives on in Occupy Wall's Street movement and it's impossible to imagine the man who'd briefly shared the same ideological stage as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X not supporting this beginning of the uprising of the 99%. And perhaps some of the countless thousands of young people braving police brutality and exposure are the grandchildren of some of the people who'd surrounded Savio and the police car atop which he'd stood after they'd arrested Jack Weinberg for simply handing out leaflets informing people of their civil liberties.
That massive and frightening show of support for one of their own is reincarnated in Occupy Wall Street and its countless analogs all over the world. We see it when the NYPD tries to pick up and arrest a protester and the others link arms with him or her. We see it when police departments all over the nation forcibly evict Occupy protesters, even coming close to killing them, and they always, always come back in greater numbers.
Arrest one and they will, like the Hydra, come back twofold. Teargas them, they will wave away the smoke with their signs. Take away their tents, they'll huddle together against the cold even if they have to change shifts every hour. You could blow them up with mortars. They'll bury the chunks, hose down the street and come back after the funeral.
Friedrich Nietzsche, anyone?
This is a picture from Occupy Seattle taken last Tuesday night immediately after an 84 year-old woman named Dorli Rainey was pepper-sprayed by police who apparently have lived their entire lives boning and chipping their batons and making X's across the tops of their bullets for the return of the 60's. It's getting some play in the blogosphere and the Twittersphere and for Goddamned good reasons. It serves to show that even the eldest and frailest of us are not immune to police brutality and that they hold nothing sacred save for the financial institutions and the political institutions they obviously control. It betrays a fascist, paranoid mindset that even regards a peaceful physical presence as a crime. No one can read the thoughts of the man on the street unless they're holding a sign showing it. But when anyone and everyone venturing outside their homes near a protest are assumed to be sympathizers or protesters and are pepper-sprayed in a frenzy of retaliation, we come dangerously close to committing what George Orwell infamously called "thoughtcrime."
Thanks to Occupy Wall Street, the corporate MSM knows it would be remiss in its responsibilities (or more than it already is and almost always has been) if it didn't repeat, therefore amplify, the movement's concerns: Corporate greed, its fallout and it buying up our democracy and the electoral process that renews it. For once, in stark contrast to its fawning over the Tea Bagger astroturf movement funded by the Koch brothers, the US Chamber of Commerce and Dick Armey's Freedom Works, the mainstream media get to report factually for a change about a populist movement that makes the all-but-forgotten Tea Party look like exactly what it was all along: A glorified and intermittently-armed flash mob comprised almost entirely of ignorant, hideously-educated racists that unwittingly became tools of Wall St. as well as poster children warning of the self-sabotaging genetic fallout of incest.
Big City mayors have hardly made a better account of themselves and couldn't have possibly handled the nationwide Occupy movement worse than if they'd held a strategy session with Hitler and Himmler themselves. Obviously, the irony-deficient Michael Bloomberg, a nasty little scorpion in an empty gabardine who has the look of a man who never once had to remove the top of the shell of his
Indeed, Bloomberg, as well as jurists, banksters arresting those who try to withdraw their own money and police officials are giving the unmistakable impression that they're making up the rules as they go along. And this is understandable because, despite the long-gutted First Amendment, there's no actual mechanism in place to respect the thoughts, feelings and rights of people who do not agree with the system. And what does it say on the state of the greatest democracy in earth's history when two jurists on the same State Supreme Court, on the same day, can't even get on the same page regarding a simple abstract law such as the First Amendment?
That's why, in a frenzied retaliation in lieu of an actual rational and respectful response, the NYPD and the Portland, OR police department early Tuesday morning viciously tore down tents and removed protesters with batons, pepper spray, sound cannons (LRADs) and bulldozers, with helicopters circling overhead in case they needed air support from harsh language. The NYPD even arrested journalists and restricted the air space over Zuccotti Park with the avowed intention of keeping news helicopters from documenting their oppression and brutality.
And those on the side of that brutality, those who champion the curtailment of the rights of any faction of humanity, whether they be pro-slavers, southern racists, antiCatholic, antiSemites, homophobes or misogynists will always, always end up on the losing side of history. And such a fate is 110% guaranteed when trying to curtail the rights of 99% of a nation of 300,000,000.