"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

Oct 17, 2008

Protest is Patriotism

Criminalising dissent

US states are spying on political activists and classifying them as terrorists in order to stifle protest

Matthew Harwood

There's an old saying that circulates in more politically radical circles: "Protest is patriotism." In this post-September 11 world of paranoia and political expediency, however, protest, an essence of democracy, has morphed into something perfectly Orwellian: terrorism.

Two recent events demonstrate how easy it is for the government to dilute words and their meanings to close off opposition and dissent. Last week, the Maryland state police disclosed that 53 nonviolent anti-war and anti-death penalty activists were tracked for 14 months in 2005 and 2006 under the state's terrorism surveillance programme, and that their names had been added to the state's and the National Security Agency's database.

Who are these sinister terrorists? Two of the activists caught in the Maryland dragnet are Carol Gilbert and Ardeth Platte, Dominican nuns in the Roman Catholic Church who did indeed break the law in acts of civil disobedience. On October 2, 2002, in response to the first anniversary of the war in Afghanistan, they broke into a missile silo in northeastern Colorado and painted bloody crosses on it.

Understanding that acts of civil disobedience carry grave consequences, Gilbert and Platte paid a hefty price for their protest: they went to prison. Gilbert received 30 months in a federal penitentiary while Platte was sentenced to 41 months for injuring government property and obstructing national defence. The nuns no doubt agree with Thoreau's famous saying: "Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison."



At 3:06 PM , Blogger Zoro said...

More evidence of the desperate last throes of a moribund social state.


At 6:51 PM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...

I'd say.

Unbelievable, the punitive meanness in America these days.

The draconian wave is cresting...hopefully. The pendulum needs to swing the other way...and soon.

At 1:06 PM , Blogger Anna Van Z said...

Don't you wonder what lists we're on? I know I do!

At 2:00 PM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...

You're on my list.

At 5:26 PM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...

That was meant to be funny, not creepy.

Seriously, I try to shrug it off. If they have nothing better to do than worry about me, I figure that's absurd to the point of hilarious.

Paranoia strikes deep, but just who is the paranoiac in this equation?

Reminds me of when Nixon had a passel of agents chasing John Lennon around, and every report that ultimately came to light had his address wrong.

I read today that FBEYE is having trouble finding enough agents to deal with all the white collar crime. Hahahahaaaa. I think I'm gonna cry.


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