Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Know Your Saints; Know the Response to Them

History has a troubling tendency to repeat itself. The struggles of the 1960s, and their broad effects, may have become submerged in our cultural narrative, but they have finally returned. As we have seen a backlash against women's rights, against various minorities, and the rise of what might be called (at times) a Police State in the last decade, so to have we seen a return to the massive protests of the 1960s and the 1970s. With this return has come the desire to discuss how far we have not come as a society, and what it just might take to get to that point.

But a new version of COINTELPRO is right around the corner, if it hasn't already sprung up. Always be aware that if you threaten the Powers-that-Be, they will deploy themselves against you. With pepper-spray, and hoses, and batons, and tear gas. And if that fails? There are always more sophisticated weapons.

Still, know your Saints. If all of this has happened before, then that means that there are voices in the past worth looking to.

Fred Hampton was a rising member of the Black Panther Party in 1969, when he was gunned down in his apartment by the Police. Hampton had recently criticized his county's State Attorney, Edward Hanrahan, who Hampton claimed was using speeches about “wars on gangs” - a war that Hamptom claimed really allowed Hanrahan to carry out a “war on black youth.”

While the current situation with the Occupy Protests has not yet reached this height of violence (possibly owing to less occasions for outright racism, in my less than humble opinion), it should be remembered that they may reach this height if the power of the police is not actively monitored by both fellow citizens and the media. This is why it is so utterly important to discuss what it means when the police overstep their place as protectors of the populace, and become bullies to the populace. But then, there is a bit more than meets the eye to the Davis incident.
 Articles via Krimhum, image via VI, and the rest from me.

Happy Thanksgiving.

1 comment:

Rose Weaver said...

The Patriot Act is also included in this mix. I've attempted to discuss this before to no avail. From Wikipedia:

Title VIII: Terrorism criminal law
Main article: USA PATRIOT Act, Title VIII
Title VIII alters the definitions of terrorism, and establishes or re-defines rules with which to deal with it. It redefined the term "domestic terrorism" to broadly include mass destruction as well as assassination or kidnapping as a terrorist activity. The definition also encompasses activities that are "dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State" and are intended to "intimidate or coerce a civilian population," "influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion," or are undertaken "to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping" while in the jurisdiction of the United States.[132]

Subsequent Acts also reinforce these "domestic" crimes as "terrorism".