Protesters in NYC demonstrating for jobs
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Are you ready to speak out against the impious alliance the church has made with the American super-state? To do so will no doubt mean jail and maybe worse; but as Martin Luther King said forty years ago at Riverside Church in New York City:
Betrayal of whom? - BETRAYAL OF CHRIST whose holy Name the leaders of today's church have linked to the crimes of the American New World Order System.
THIS IS FOR REAL. Your faith is being put to the test. Is it real or is it fake? Several years ago I wrote:
Now, be clear here, there is no obligation per se on a Christian's part to protest against the American New World Order System itself. BUT THERE IS AN OBLIGATION ON CHRISTIANS EVERYWHERE TO PROTEST THE EFFORT BY THE LEADERS OF THE CHURCH TO LINK THE PRECIOUS NAME OF OUR SAVIOUR TO THIS EMPIRE OF GREED AND HATE - even if that means going to jail. It is not without reason that Jesus warned:
The article that follows gives clear evidence of how one will be treated by the super-state if one dares to stand up against its dictates. Indeed, the groundwork for massive arrests in Chicago is being laid to ensnare hundreds if not thousands who might dare to protest there this May against the elites. NEVERTHELESS, WE WILL BE THERE CARRYING OUR SIGN:
THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT
THE BUSINESS RIGHT
THE POLITICAL RIGHT
AN ALLIANCE MADE IN HELL
THE U.S. Constitution forbids laws "abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
But that did not stop the city government in Chicago.
At a January 18 City Council meeting, local ordinances were twisted into tools of repression, ready to be used against any organization or group of individuals that wants to express dissent.
It won't take much for a protester to be labeled a criminal in Chicago--using a sound system or carrying a banner that wasn't registered in advance, not providing an official marshal for every 100 people attending a rally, letting a demonstration last more than two hours.
The city council's new ordinances are supposedly in preparation for demonstrations expected at a joint summit of the Group of Eight industrialized nations and the NATO military alliance that will take place in May. But the shredding of civil liberties isn't temporary. It will be permanent.
LEFT: Leaders of the eight richest nations in the world (the G-8) at a lavish dinner in Paris; RIGHT: Leaders of NATO at a recent meeting. Both groups are scheduled to meet in Chicago this May.
In a society that truly represented the will of the people, such proposals would be laughed off as a relic of the past, when countries were ruled by emperors or dictators. But we now live in a country where political and business leaders love to preach about freedom and liberty publicly, but behind closed doors do just about anything to undermine them--especially when their power and privilege is being questioned.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allows for the indefinite jailing of U.S. citizens.
On the last day of 2011, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) - one provision of which grants the military, at the discretion of the president, the power to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens - was signed into law.
Of course, the administration insists that the government's policies are intended to be used against the "bad guys" - extremists and terrorists - an effort to contain "outside agitators" who are "bent on violence."
But it's amazing how easily peaceful protesters can be painted as dangerous extremists.
Consider the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), a law quietly passed in 2006 at the behest of the agriculture and biotech industries. AETA labels as "terrorist" anything done "for the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise," as well as "economic damage" to such an enterprise. Activists say the law is so broad that they could be targeted just for secretly videotaping abuses against animals at factory farms, since this could affect companies' bottom lines.
That's how peaceful protest gets conflated with terrorism.
The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) makes "non-violent physical obstruction," also known as civil disobedience, a crime which subjects an activist to 18 months in prison, plus fines. In other words, those "who conscientiously believe that it is their duty to peacefully protest" through civil disobedience could be labeled terrorists.
We witnessed a similar dynamic throughout the fall, as the Occupy Wall Street protest movement spread around the country. When it became clear that Occupy couldn't be dismissed, local officials, aided by the media, stirred up a slander campaign, accusing activists of everything from tolerating violence to causing a public health hazard. The slanders were prelude to a crackdown--in city after city mayors ordered police to raid the Occupy encampments and arrest anyone who got in the way. [Please see our article, "Wall Street Attacks the Occupy Movement with the Help of the Religious Right."]
Democracy--the bottom-up kind, based on the idea that people have a right to stand up for jobs and better schools, for health care and Social Security, for programs to aid the most vulnerable in society--isn't the kind that politicians respect. To them, "democracy" is limited to pulling a lever in a voting booth every few years or making a financial contribution to their reelection fund.
When dissent becomes tangible and concrete--as it has with the upsurge of the Occupy movement in the U.S., not to mention the example of millions of people in Egypt, Tunisia, Nigeria and elsewhere taking to the streets to demand justice--that our free speech rights get put on the chopping block.
The Occupy movement was the most invigorating example of grassroots democracy in years, if not decades. But when it became a threat because it was growing and challenging the status quo, political leaders were ready to shut it down.
"Whether these measures are temporary or permanent is beside the point. The fundamental freedoms upon which this country was founded cannot be dismissed or negotiated at any time, for any reason, and certainly not in the name of convenience.
"This is an effort by the mayor's office to manage dissent in a city where the mayor has given his constituents ample cause to dissent. He has stripped the people and the communities which he was elected to represent in the name of austerity, while championing the 1 percent and a $65 million dollar price tag for the NATO-G8 summit. And now, with a duplicitous excuse of 'public safety,' he seeks to strip Chicagoans of their voice as well."
Many people will think these latest assaults on civil liberties are an aberration from the real traditions of democracy in the U.S.
That's not true. The elites in the U.S. have always been willing to use violence and repression.
Just how violent and repressive becomes obvious in times of war, when violations of the Bill of Rights go nearly unquestioned. During the First World War, the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 forbade the use of "disloyal, profane, scurrilous or abusive language" about the U.S. government.
But similar attacks on our rights are familiar in peacetime, too. The Palmer Raids, in which thousands were rounded up and deported in 1919 and 1920, came after the end of the First World War. During the 1950s and '60s, the federal government carried out a witch-hunt against socialists and civil rights activists. The FBI's COINTELPRO was squarely aimed at citizen protesters in the US.
The Sedition Act, the Palmer Raids and COINTELPRO
In his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," Martin King responded to critics who questioned whether he was wrong to defy the law:
"Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest."
God bless you all!
IN ADDITION, WE URGE YOU TO DOWNLOAD THE NEW ANTIPAS PAPERS, PRINT THEM OUT YOURSELF, AND STUDY THEM CAREFULLY; SHARE THEM WITH YOUR FRIENDS.
FINALLY, WE URGE YOU TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT OUT THE FLYER WE SENT TO YOU RECENTLY.
Then make copies and take these copies out to the campuses where you live; pass them out; OR if that seems too "daring" for you right now, post them on telephone poles, the sides of buildings, on campus bulletin boards; post them in union halls, in the neighborhoods of the poor and downtrodden, near employment offices, wherever you can.
Once again, we URGE you to read (or re-read):