This past Friday before Christmas, I lit a candle and kept it burning constantly throughout the holiday weekend. I have not extinguished it because it is my reminder of those who are serving in Occupations right now, around our state, our country and our world. It is my reminder of all those around the globe who are standing up for what’s right, in spite of increasing aggression against them. It reminds me of our shared plight and that the 99% knows no borders and is as global as the corporatism we stand in defiance of.
I can’t help but think of the Eternal Flame that burns at JFK’s grave site. The dream it was intended to represent, the visionary spirit. President Kennedy is as fitting a martyr as any. He appears to have been our last bastion of hope against what has since been a non-stop, machine timed march toward allowing corporations and the 1% to rule through their politician proxies. Things might have been different had he not been murdered.
I have watched the candle’s flame flicker and dance in the gathering darkness and cannot avoid the irony embedded in the scene. While it seems there are far too few flames burning for freedom and in opposition to the theft of our liberties, our numbers are growing each day. Soon, the bright fires of righteousness will turn back the shadows that threaten now to swallow us up, to hide us, to silence us.
Each brave man, woman and child, willing to Occupy in the face of the forces that gather against them are now, and will ever be remembered in our history as the first to lay blocks in a wall of resistance against corporate rule via our corrupted systems. All of you who are Occupying are doing the rest of us a great service, as you are a representation of the rapid erosion and restriction of our rights and liberties that have been achieved in secrecy to throttle such a public outcry against what they are doing to us. You are the first of us, those in the mythological minority that we know by a different name:
It is for all of you that I burn this candle. For my friends in Occupy Detroit, who stood this week against the worst kind of atrocity, the elimination of our public libraries. To those who were arrested in defense of information and our right and access to it, I cannot say enough thank you’s. My family thanks you, as we use the resources at our public library and believe in the value it provides. To Ms. Emma Howland-Bolton, a personal thank you for all the work you are doing and the attention you have helped to bring this subject.
For my friends in Occupy KC, who have seen the mayor’s office insist the public pay to exercise their rights to free speech during their upcoming Death of Social Safety Net jazz funeral December 30th this week, I say, I will march with you. I will add my candle with yours to illuminate the insanity of defunding these programs when they are most needed. Government by the people and for the people….but I digress. The candle I burn is for the struggles you are having from lack of funding, but it is also in hopes of continuing to build on your positive relationship with the KCPD. Thank you to @gnuggitz for all your kind words and @loki8025 for all the late night sentry updates.
It is for my friends at Occupy Flint and Occupy Maine and Occupy Norfolk and Occupy Columbia, Mo. It is for all of you because what you are doing now, well, that’s for all of us.
Merry Christmas from us here at American Spring. Solidarity.
And Santa, if you’re listening, I’ll take world peace for Christmas…..or as a New Year’s Resolution if you think it might take a little longer than one night to deliver.
The New Frontier
We were warned of this from the beginning, by Benjamin Franklin himself, when answering a woman who’d asked what sort of government the Founders had settled on. “A Republic, ma’am,” he was reported to have answered, “if you can keep it.”
It is a difficult thing to process, when it all fully settles over you. The truth is a heavy burden to carry. Yet once we understand it, this unfolding truth around us, in the reality of the struggles of our daily lives, it screams at us to wake up and urgently calls us to action. The increasingly desperate glances we exchange, the deepening furrows of worry on our brows, are road maps that can be used to trace our paths to these troubled times and point toward even rougher still ahead.
None of us ever expected to wake up to this. Far too few of us saw this coming. Those who did, and said so, were and have been, marginalized and pushed to the side for decades, as dissent was simply buried by the propaganda mill of corporate public relation firms. Now, with the NDAA, they have now legalized other ways to deal with those who would dare speak out.
The MTV adds, depicting the military roundup of an average American family and loading them onto a flatbed truck is haunting before they crystallize it in your mind with an unforgettable image that is now chillingly true:
THE HOLOCAUST HAPPENED TO PEOPLE LIKE US.
I grew up believing in the promise of America while it was preached literally and figuratively, in politics and in the news, that we needed a big, overwhelming military to combat the Soviets. Growing up, literally, in this part of Missouri, where the fear-fest propaganda movie ‘The Day After’ was based, I was thoroughly immersed in the big military, big business, pro-corporate, free market dream Ronald Reagan both endorsed domestically and enforced abroad.
He delivered significant blows to the powers of the workers and unions when he defeated the air traffic controllers so thoroughly. From there, it was off and running on a platform of deregulation that allowed companies like GM to do what was done to Flint.
This at home, while we exported terror globally, in support of the oppression of human rights if it serves the corporate masters.
Those conflicts that litter South and Central America in the latter part of the Twentieth Century, were the laboratories, to borrow a phrase from Naomi Klein, in which a kind of new philosophy, one designed to enforce the economic will of the 1% at gunpoint, was hatched and unleashed by an evil minority. It was honed into a weapon and the unholy alliance of corporate warfare and legitimate warfare was forged as the few steered this country into making it more than foreign policy, they made it sound, via the corporate megaphones the politicians themselves had allowed by deregulation, as though it came with divine endorsement.
They worked tirelessly to galvanize the American public into endorsing the export of terror. They conspired to hide the truth of what our military, this nation’s most valuable resource, has been asked to do in our names. Blind acceptance has been achieved by funneling down the points of view we are exposed to.
Apathy is expected to become common practice. Turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to what’s going on. Pay no attention to what’s behind the curtain, Dorothy. It is time that we let go of the myths that CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, MSNBC and the like inform us. They don’t. They aren’t going to help us. The New York Times, LA Times and Wall Street Journal aren’t going to help us. Editors don’t pick topics and types of coverage that go against the bottom line interests of the corporations that own them. They would lose their jobs if they did. They are paid to keep us uninformed. For them, it’s good business. They serve advertisers, not subscribers. That is a common problem these days and and one can draw the parallel between it and our own government systems and institutions without me using a neon sign.
MTV has done that. I am thankful they have. It is time we all wake up and seek a little truth. Bradley Manning, whom we remember today, is accused of informing the American public of the sins committed in our name, funded by our tax dollars. This bravery should be rewarded, not punished and certainly not tortured, as Manning has been during his wait now over a year and a half, to go on trial for exposing the truth.
Obama is a continuation of Bush Jr. is a continuation of Clinton is a
continuation of Bush Sr. which is a continuation of Reagan. We’ve been on this path for awhile. Government by and for the highest bidder isn’t a new concept. It’s just now becoming blatantly obvious that they own it all, the media, the government, the military, the police, the economy and so on. They don’t have to play nice any more and so now, they won’t. They will not be happy until we are all living in shantytowns. This is what the policies they are putting into place will lead us to. Look at a history book. It is absolutely terrifying what we have endorsed while we were sleeping for the past few decades. Look at this country just in the last eleven short years. From the ‘crisis’ and ‘confusion’ that sprung up around the 2000 election until now.
They have set us on a very definite path. The models for what they are doing are sprinkled throughout recent history, in examples we can all remember from our own lifetimes. They are doing it before our very eyes on American soil, in front of our eyes.
My sister the other day, remarked of the beard I’ve taken to wearing for the first time in my life, that it reminded her of our grandfather. She was right. I cannot deny the resemblance. I cannot help but think of him as I’m writing this now. He was a Southern Baptist preacher all his adult life, working and serving all around Missouri. He was a World War II veteran, although he didn’t talk about his experience, in the South Pacific, much at all. He was a lifelong Republican, proud of a letter he once had received from President Ronald Reagan. I wonder what he would think of what is happening here now. Or my uncle, who also served, in Vietnam. This was not what they shed their blood to protect. The corporate agenda and welfare aren’t worth a single drop of American military blood, anywhere in the world. That is too high a price to ever pay. It is especially obvious we are doing it now, as we see the development of a US led military force in Africa. It is all for the profit and gain of a very few. Engaging in that practice means we must surrender the moral high ground we seem to claim we still have, in spite of actions to the contrary.
This corrupt system needs perpetual warfare to survive, even if that means unleashing the industry on people like us as the police state becomes more militarized. Look at the MTV video. This is not what democracy looks like. This is something far, far different.
The link to the chilling video can be found here. Take a moment to look through the site. Let me know what you think. I’m anxious to hear what you have to say. Follow on Twitter @AmericanSpring.
Thanks for your time and to all of you out there Occupying (including and most especially the following groups: Occupy Norfolk, Occupy Flint, Occupy Detroit, Occupy Maine and all the rest) and all of us who understand the importance of this moment in time, including my brothers and sisters who stand in Missouri in St. Louis and those who raise their fist in Occupy KC, I say solidarity.
We are the 99%. We must use our rights while we have them.