The Death of American Dissent
Perhaps I was a little hard on America’s non existent resistances movement yesterday, as I marveled at what was going on in Kiev. Failing to acknowledge the United States’ formidable secret police and all powerful watchful eye, it was patently unfair to ridicule America’s lack of robust civil disobedience efforts.
While the American oligarchs have fooled the world into believing Americans have freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of association, the reality of the matter looks far differently. This ugly truth was never more evident than when the Occupy Wall Street protest was launched in New York City during the reign of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In fact, it was that pitiful populace uproar that exposed the true powerlessness of the people.
When Mayor Bloomberg’s bully boys said you’ve said enough or you’ve stayed in one space too long or you’ve been hanging out with “persons of interest”, you’d better watch what you say, move along when told to do so and above all, be careful who you befriend. I can recall trying to make a few connections with some of the Occupiers to further understand the cause, the plan and the strategy in order to support the effort.
Unfortunately, I was met with suspicion, caution and apprehension. I actually had some accuse me of being 5-0. Simplemindedly, I just shrugged off the brush-off as mere unfounded paranoia. I, could not have been more wrong.
During my limited visits to Zucotti Park, I began to see what the protestors saw; undercover officers of all stripes lurking about, taking pictures, eavesdropping on conversations and infiltrating covertly to gather intelligence for later planned operations and detentions. The protestors had good reason to suspect strange faces, because they could see strange faces suspecting them.
One of the more seasoned protestors explained it this way: If they can’t find a reason take you right then and there, they’ll take your picture and take your name so they can take your fingerprints and what’s left of your freedom later. All of this is done away from the cameras and behind closed police doors. Once identified, cataloged and interrogated, its off to court for certain sentencing. Hopefully, you don’t have any priors or outstanding warrants. If so, it could be a long time before you see your BFF again.
That was enough for me to fully appreciate why many would not want to expose themselves to the power of the state when the likelihood of any real change is almost nil. With all the legal tools and lethal toys at the United States government has granted itself, even the bravest dissenter will think twice before speaking truth to power.
Truth be told, America, “land of the free”, may very well be the most controlled space on the planet. With a surveillance structure the envy of any fascist state and budget busting funding for “Homeland Security”, the American malcontent has very few options and outlets to express dissent.
How and Why Others Are Confronting the Global Oligarchs
As I study the effects of the world’s economic woes on people everywhere, its apparent different people respond to income inequality, a lack of economic opportunity and basic freedoms in very different ways. From the entire Arab Spring to Greece, to Spain, to Brazil to Thailand to Venezuela and most recently Ukraine, people have taken demonstrations, civil disobedience and street protest to the next level. Many facing state paid baton wielding morons and kangaroo courts if their lucky, still go berserk wreaking havoc until they’ve made their point. In worse case scenarios, many unlucky protestors have faced summary justice by way of a snipers bullet. Case closed. Family notified. Maybe!
When I begin to ask myself, why would people risk so much when they have so little, I realized the answer was in the question. They’re willing to risk their lives, because having so little, they’ve been left with little to live for. Perhaps Americans simply haven’t suffered enough yet!