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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 81 - 90 of 97

Page 9 of 10

MonkeyMuffins

this preoccupation (no pun intended) with amerikan fascism as somehow new and emerging would be absurd if it weren't so myopically tragic.

the cold, harsh, indifferent truth is that from day one, for the innumerable victims of the nightmare of the amerikan dream, amerika has always been fascist.

what goes around, comes around.

---

i don't want a job, a car and a house
i don't want to Occupy the past
i want a Revolution
a new way of being

Anonymous

It not The Poeple that are fascist, but governments. That said, as well as a right-wing press & TV, do not many believe in, "my country, right or wrong"? Yet the world is not so much against the poeple of the USA - it is just you government.

Anonymous

More than 90 percent of criminal cases are never tried before a jury.

What would happen if we organized thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of people charged with crimes to refuse to play the game, to refuse to plea out? What if they all insisted on their Sixth Amendment right to trial? Couldn’t we bring the whole system to a halt just like that?

Anonymous

Quit paying taxes....quit voting as it just give them the feeling they have power...quit respecting their laws...quit buying their corporate crap...quit worshiping "the troops", "the police" and all "authorities". Then you might get somewhere.

Anonymous

There's an idea. An Occupation of the entire country's "criminal justice" system.

"And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all."

- Mario Savio, 1964

“Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.”

- Henry David Thoreau, 1849

Anonymous

I like this idea. It will take some dedication however. Something to get the ball rolling. This is a perfect bill/tactic to get people (the general public) to wake up to the reality that our government no longer represents (it may have never, but that's a different discussion) the people it governs.

Anonymous

Our isolationist existence programmed by Corporatism without regulations:
soylent green
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070723/plotsummary
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green

Anonymous

For large protests, I see jail solidarity (not saying your name, so we fill-up the holding cells) and helping our comrades escape the paddy wagons/zip ties.

Anonymous

It might have to be something like that. Acknowledging the probability or inevitably of arrests, and not letting the arrests stop the momentum of creative dissent and disobedience. Gum up the works, both in the streets and in the holding cells, even in the courts. Whose precincts? Our precincts.

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