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America's Authoritarian Turn

Speaking truth to power becomes a crime.

JOHN MINCHILLO

Ever since the rise of Occupy, corporatist authorities have been trying to figure how to squash our emerging social movement. First they tried a media blackout, but when over 700 nonviolent meme warriors were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge our Gandhian ferocity catalyzed a thousand encampments and the 1% could ignore us no more. Next elites tried the Bloomberg model of midnight paramilitary raids backed up by excessive force and sometimes-lethal munitions. That worked well to evict encampments in New York City, Oakland and nationwide … but it backfired when occupiers became diffuse, appearing at scripted events and interrupting the spectacle of corporate-funded politics with mic checks of truth. Now they are trying the new tactic of “lawfare” – using draconian laws to squash free speech in a last ditch effort to put an end to people power.

A week before the G8 Backdown, the US House of Representatives voted in near unanimous consensus in favor of an authoritarian law, H.R. 347, that makes it a federal crime to disrupt “Government business or official functions” or to enter any building where a “person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting.” In other words, to mic check Obama is now a federal crime punishable by a year in prison. And so too is the banner drop if it takes place in any building that a “protected” person might be visiting in the future, even if jammers don’t know it. And so is the anti-globalization tactic of blocking road access to a meeting of world elites, there is a special clause about that too. Obama signed the bill into law on March 9.

History shows that using authoritarian laws to silence the authentic, legitimate concerns of the people always boomerangs into a fatal loss of legitimacy. Governments derive their authority and right to exist from the people and when the people are ignored and beaten back regimes fall.

Read more about H.R. 347 at the dailyagenda.org and the lawfareblog.com and then brainstorm below on how Occupy can outmaneuver this new tactic of repression.

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97 comments on the article “America's Authoritarian Turn”

Displaying 31 - 40 of 97

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Anonymous

Spokean Free Speech Fight! In this bloody battle the working class of Spokean did what we are poised to do as a nation. When their town outlawed speaking openly on the street the IWW set up soap boxes and started speaking openly on the street. Every single person who came to the protest got arrested. Thousands of people. they filled up every inch of public space with busted protestors. then the city had to feed them and the tax burden was enormous. So the town changed the law due to direct action. Want to overturn this law, put your body on the line and speak your mind. Remember, "the state cant give you free speech and they can't take it away. youre born with it. Freedom is something you assume and then you wait for someone to take it away. the degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are free."-Utah Phillips

Anonymous

You might want to look-up FIJA -- and keep in mind that, in this age of plea blackmail (otherwise known as "plea bargain") fewer than 5% of all "crimes" go to trial. Double that number --- requiring jury trials -- and leafleting juries with FIJA (Fully Informed Jury) information -- could bring the whole so-called "justice" system to a halt.

Anonymous

Good. Finally America is arresting all its white people!

Talk about doin' the right thing at the last possible moment!

Arrest all your white people America!

Fill your jails with them!

Then you can have all the rest of the white people guarding the other half in jail! That should keep the white people busy. Or should I say, occupied.

Anonymous

Bashing white people? I take it you aren't white. Also it isn't just white people who are protesting.

Anonymous

Actually, there are no white people protesting. Not a single white person.

Those people you see protesting, I would not label as white.

Anonymous

As a blind person you are probably the MOST familiar with this concept of "white".

Nice try though. Imitating a blind person? Not cool.

Anonymous

Best thing to do is to get arrested, go to trial and have some "activist lawyer" demonstrate within a court of law what a croc this law is.

When Tea Party protesters start getting arrested then we'll see some action. Never when its the "dirty hippies".

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