My main intent is to expose the fear-mongering machine; and with any luck, disarm the machine by arming people with information. It's real news that the mainstream ignores, things I consider to be smokescreens, plus a few ideas on what to do about it all. Please see the bottom of the blog for older posts and a wide variety of resources that I consider need-to-know info.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bye, Bye Civil Liberty Pie...

I'm pleased to see that the story about the Tasored student has been blasted through media outlets. However, I think that the vast majority of Americans have no idea how often this sort of thing has been happening, nor that it's been happening for several years now too. On the other hand, I imagine that the majority of those reading me here are quite aware of this fact, and I thought I'd lend a little info to back this assertion when discussing this matter with nay-sayers. I'm personally shocked at the amount of people I've seen spread across the internet that have said "the guy deserved it," or attempting to justify it by saying he was resisting arrest. REALLY? What exactly was the legal premise upon which he was arrested for the first place?!?!? As far as the argument for resisting arrest goes, I suggest these people read the Supreme Court rulings on unlawful arrest:

"An illegal arrest is an assault and battery. The person so attempted to be restrained of his liberty has the same right to use force in defending himself as he would in repelling any other assault and battery." State v. Robinson, 145 ME. 77, 72 ATL. 260

"Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer's life if necessary." Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306."

Being obnoxious is not a crime, and over zealousness is not legally punishable by brute-force or law. Therefore, I post again the quote from Albert Einstein that I think is most pertinent to this matter:

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

My man told me that if he'd been there, he'd most likely have been keeping that guy company in jail that night. Neither one of us could live with ourselves, allowing that to happen right in front of us and I certainly would've ended up in jail with them both. We are by no stretch of the imagination violent people, but when it comes to police brutality that violates constitutional rights - forget about it, we hate bullies! It's seriously shameful and even frightening how the people there not only allowed, but actually cheered this fascist reaction right before their eyes. No matter what "side" you're on politically, this should have been seen as a total affront to our freedom of speech. The Constitution and our First Amendment right is far from a partisan issue! If we don't defend everybody's right, then soon enough we'll find that NOBODY will be able to exorcise it. You can't support the right to be extended ONLY to those you agree with - that's 100% anti-patriotic. Whatever happened to "Sticks & stones..." people?
Remember, "First they came for the Jews..." and I seriously doubt that any American wants to find themselves with nobody left to speak out for them, when they want to express themselves - WAKE UP SHEEPLE!

So here are a few examples of how our rights to peacefully assemble and speak our minds are being violated by our system and it's officials:

Last year posted on You Tube, another student being Tasered inside the UCLA library. The main difference between what happened a few days ago and this episode from last year is that the students witnessing this atrocity were vigilant citizens. They asked for badge numbers and tried to ask why this was happening. How did we go from that to now? Is it really just a matter of it happening in California as opposed to happening in Florida? Or is it a result of another year since, of desensitization and growing acceptance of such treatment of Americans?

In an effort to lawfully post notice of the march protesting the occupation, set for September 15th, police came to arrest and harass the people from the ANSWER coalition. Say what you will about the organization itself; I've worked with them and they are extremely careful to obey all laws and regulations. Watch the video, there was no violence or even civil disobedience going on. Of the 192 people arrested at the occupation protest on the 15th, only five or so still remain in jail (in correlation to prior charges). Can anybody tell me why they needed to be arrested in the first place? Crossing the police lines was the official explanation, but that obviously didn't hold water or I'd think they would've remained in jail or been released on bail until trial - but no, they were simply released. Eerily this echoes of the thousands of "terror suspects" released without any explanation from Guantanamo, doesn't it? Even more disturbing was that a few people were sprayed with chemicals, and that detail is barely visible or rarely reported in the news.

During the Petraeus hearing, a Reverend was jumped on and forced to the ground by at least five officers and thrown to the ground so hard that his f'in leg was broken! Come on, you can't tell me that a clergyman was so out of line, or doing something so offensive in the halls of Congress that it warranted arrest and putting him in the hospital. This is completely obscene. Here is the Reverend Yearwood telling his side of that story.

Almost a year ago one of Code Pink's members was banned from DC for an entire year, or she faced six months jail time. This is just another ludicrous absurdity! At least the incident with the student a couple days ago got one of the co-founders of Code Pink into the mainstream!

If you are unaware of the abuses and incredible acts of brutality perpetrated on the victims of Katrina, then you need only Google it to get thousands of results for that as well.

There is a great book that was released last spring that chronicles the rights violations that have occurred to ordinary people since 9/11, some for the most benign acts. It's called, "You Have No Rights; Stories of America in an Age of Repression" by Mathew Rothschild.

So where does this end, and how?
I say it ends in fascism if we don't act to prevent it from continuing, and that it can only be cured by exorcising the rights afforded us by our beloved Constitution. The ability to exorcise our civil rights is literally the foundation that our democracy depends upon for its very existence.


wonderwoman said...

I wonder what you consider to be the most effective action for a concerned citizen to take.

I wonder if civil disobedience actually accomplishes anything. What about trying to get lawyers to sue the government? Is it even possible?

the Left Paw aka Heather said...

I think the most effective way to act on just about everything is to contact your representatives! Praise them when they are well behaved, and let them know that their bad behavior will cost them your vote next time around. Better yet, tell them you wont forget what they've done, and that you'll remind your fellow voters when election day arrives.

the Left Paw aka Heather said...

PS - YES, those that have had their rights violated CAN sue whomever has done so - even the government. For example, that student can sue the police. I hope he's smart enough to take that fight to an organization such as the ACLU and/or The Center for Constitutional Rights ( too - that way he's not only deterring them from repeating the offense, but also setting precedent to protect others in the future.

Anok said...

I like your blog more and more with every post I read. I too was outraged about the tasering (along with the over use and total abuse of taser guns in general).

I have been thoroughly appalled at the loss of civil liberties and rights, and even more shocked at the ostrich style of dealing with it from Americans.

As for suing the government, yes you can - but I wouldn't hold my breath. The supreme court is laden with Bush Cronies who vote for the rights of corporate America rather than individual citizens. Direct action can work, over time.

I hate to say it, but when push comes to shove and when all else fails there will be riots in the streets. Direct action will turn to violence. I was watching Mr Bogle last night on PBS, and he stated that he, and many others are worried about the outbreak of violence because quite frankly, people will only take so much disadvantage before things get very ugly.

You know what? I agree with him 100%.

But for the record, October 22 is protest police brutality day - so get yourselves organized and host a protest on the 22nd to let law enforcement and government agents alike know that we will not stand for abuse of power!

About Me

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I had been writing a News & Politics column for an online magazine for a little over three years, and just last fall opened this blog to continue publication. I also had the pleasure of being the associate producer for a progressive talk radio host for about a year. Alittle of everything... I've advised small businesses, and I paint all kinds of things (boxes, figurines, greeting cards, personalized children's and other dish-wares, decor...). I still paint when I can, but mainly I'm manage a wholesale company for a Fair Trade, eco-friendly Jewelry & Homewares designer/producer out of Bali called, Verlu. You can see a full catalog of our line on the website, and there is now a list of our retailers for you to visit too. "Wear in everybody's Good Health!"
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