One response to Responses to Kevin Zeese> Chris Hedges Examines the Strategy of Occupy Washington DC
I agree that opposition to war and empire need to continue to be near the top of the agenda of the Occupy Movement. The Freedom Plaza occupation has been aggressive on that protesting at the Armed Service committee, protesting drones and having peace signs throughout the encampment.
And, it is also important to tie the Empire economy to the economic misery at home. The two go hand in hand.
We did not start as an anti-war protest. Our goal — as we said on the first day and in the build-up to the occupation — end corporatism and militarism. We always had the economic and peace agenda’s intertwined.
I wonder why Kevin Zeese does not mention that the “Freedom Plaza Occupy” started as “Stop the Machine” anti-war effort. I find it disappointing that the focus has turned to the domestic miseries and away from the “long” (or endless) war and military empire building. The escalating national debt, governmental corruption and resulting economic miseries are in large part the “sorrows of empire” and “blowback” from the wars so it’s really dumb to ignore these root cause of the mess we’re in.
Editor’s Note: The pledge for Freedom Plaza is listed below. It does include war as an issue. Antiwar work needs to be incorporated into all OWS/Occupy movement work. In many places it is. Suzan Koch’s closing sentence is a challenge for the progressive movement to provide the leadership to ensure that Occupiers understand at a deep level that the military industrial media complex is all of a piece, on a continuum, starting with the fact that the top .01 percent are not Wall Street moguls, are not Banksters, but are CEOs of arms manufacturers, namely Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing. See the video from Thom Hartmann/Brave New Foundation here.
Yes, the wars and occupations are part and parcel of the ever expanding and rapacious/murderous and mendacious empire we reside in. On the shoulders and land of the dispossessed, slavery and immigrants in need, has the enormous wealth of the few been built. Intricately bound with this expansion has come the continuation and glorification of war in order to gain control of the world’s resources, and in particular, fossil fuels, while also controlling the land and the people who happen to live there, either directly, or through our chosen local officials who do our corporations’ bidding. Cheap exploited labor is provided, often with no environmental regulations or protections and no significant consequences for destroying the land, water and air of a peoples.
The wars are for the purpose of feeding the corporate machine, and all the businesses that feed and mulitiply off of war, as well. Make no mistake, however, if by some magic, the USA could have gained control of all the resources and governments they wanted to, without going to war, we would still have this economic crisis just as they do in Europe, as the cause of it was deliberate and when debts need to be repaid even if these debts were incurred by the banksters themselves, they will bleed everyone dry to enrich themselves through financial plunders.
They have done this across the globe, with lies, propaganda, threats, bribes and assasinations. If all of these do not accomplish the goal, then there is always war to pave the way. Woe is the leader who attempts to keep some local control, and to keep some benefits for the people the leader claims to represent. If the leader will not hand over the keys to the kingdom, then lookout–need I mention more than the recent example of Gaddafi.
It is incredible, that time after time, the people of this nation get taken for fools and led into war based on lies told, over and over and they are always the same type of lies. Even when the truth is told interspersed with the lies, the truth is not heard, as it receives no focus or attention from the [mainstream, corporate] media.
The racist underpinnings of America lend themselves to convincing Americans into believing anything about people of color, who live elsewhere and also willing to commit any atrocity against them as well, since they are not really seen as completely human.
One must face the reality that the Financial Crooks who run the world, in large part, had a long range plan to defraud and derail our economy, then to get a bailout when they decided to crash the economy and place big bets while it was happening – right before Obama is elected and it looked like he would be. This was a worldwide economic plan to continue to concentrate wealth into fewer and fewer hands, and thus economic, political and military power into fewer and fewer hands as well. Corporate Capitalism depends on ever expanding resources and markets – it is built into the system, and they will get those by any means necessary.
The Bankster Mafia uses the governments, media, spy agencies and military to accomplish this criminal enterprise while brainwashing us into thinking we are always under threat of losing our liberty from outside forces, and so must always be preparing for war and be at war.
However, we are not having an economic crisis specifically because of our wars – it is just that they want to use this as an excuse to continue to lower living standards and wages here in US, and around the world, where possible. This is why the people of Europe and the USA are under economic attack – this is a war against the people using the economic crisis as a cover (this is called the Shock doctrine) to speed up their gains at the expense of the majority of people, for the benefit of the few.
It is only human nature to begin to rise up against your conditions, when you cannot get a job, your losing a place to live, you can’t feed your children adequately, you are deep in debt, your government is paraded before you as totally corrupt puppets – AND we continue to finance and wage wars abroad. This is the reason for the revolts by the youth and the working class in many countries, as well as here.
It is not surprising when people rise up against being driven into poverty and being denied a democratically run society, especially if they have received an education and been led to believe they might have a future. We have masses of youth around the world who are highly educated and ready to work and lead us forward, and they are faced with no jobs, and not real opportunities for the future while their governments become more and more corrupt and dictatorial or refuse to end dictatorship. This is what is happening in Eurpoe as well as the MidEast.
The wars were not directly affecting the majority of youth in the US, as far as they were aware, and they did not seem to be able to stop these wars, through protests or politics, so they chose to retreat from the streets and work a bunch of low paying jobs to survive, but now things have gone too far and with a 50% unemployment rate, and low wages along with student loans and the general knowledge that our country needs to change, they are on the move.
Without our full awareness the capitalist class has been on the rebound step by step for 40 years – ever since Louis Powell, and then Supreme Court Justice Powell, raised the call for a concerted and coordinated effort to roll back all progressive legislation, and also to introduce step by step legislation to take away union rights, civil rights, womens’ rights over their own bodies, and any and all legislation that proteacts our health and safety and the health and safety of our environment.
They also began an all out campaign to transfer all commons into private hands, including our education system, and to fill the media and airwaves with their version of reality, while they manipulate the lives of millions and millions with filthy self-serving lies. Soon, the way things are going, our children will be going to a private military academy financed with our tax dollars, or they will have to be home schooled.
This may seem like a nightmare fantasy, but many of the building blocks for this are already in place. If you are not lucky enough to go to a private, but publically funded school, perhaps you can help the corporations make money by becoming part of the prison industrial complex. Your choice: a future as a soldier for the empire, or as a slave laborer in the empire’s private prisons.
The seeds of rebellion lie in many directions, but the Occupy movement is not a right-wing racist war-mongering movement, and it is our job to keep the issues of war, torture, and human rights at the forefront of concerns in the Occupy movement. We need to fight the economic warfare here at home, while fighting to end the American wars and empire abroad. The youth of the world, are in general, lining up on the side of human rights and against war and the majority of the youth of America are no different. The progressive movement can help provide this leadership!
Coleen Rowley and Suzan Koch are members of WAMM.
Pledge for Freedom Plaza
“I pledge to support the nonviolent occupation of Washington, DC, in Freedom Plaza, participating either in person on Freedom Plaza or from wherever I am, as we nonviolently resist a corporate-driven war-and-Wall-Street government that exploits people and the planet for the 1%. I commit to supporting this resistance until we have a real democracy and our resources are invested in human needs and environmental protection.”