Occupy Plutarchy, Oligarchy, corrupt News Media and the Fascists' Police
Before there was Occupy Wallstreet, there was Woody Guthrie and his political songs during the days of the Dust Bowl, the great depression of the 1930's. Many within the Occupy Wallstreet Movement (for that is what Occupy is, a political movement) lean left, towards Progressivism, Socialism and perhaps even Communism. Who can blame them, the Democratic left itself has sold out to Corporatism, Oligarchism and Plutarchism?
But there are some parallels between Occupy Wallstreet and Woody Guthrie, some parallels between the corporations of the 1930's and the corporations who own the American President, Congress and Supreme Court now. Unfortunately, the biggest parallel is the massive amount of violence the political right and their corporate masters are willing to expend to quell the political left (Occupy, the Democrats are no longer the political left). The billy club is still the main weapon of choice, the sap and the black jack, brass knuckles have been replaced with new-age pepper-spray, plastic-slip-ties applies too tightly as a torture technique and by sound cannon, LRAD acoustical weapons. This last, the LRAD, causes permanent hearing loss.
Occupy is not the first politically left organization in America to face violence and underhanded opposition, propaganda in the press, etc. The 1930's through 1970's Union Organizers faced everything from beatings, bad press in the newspapers, etc. Google the Ford Hunger March sometimes called the Ford Massacre. [see reprint below]
More recently, the 1960's counter culture movement faced COINTELPRO, which is very well documented, possibly even a government persecution called Operation Chaos. Operation Chaos is not as well documented as COINTELPRO. The point of bringing up these tidbits of US history is to put the perceived setbacks of Occupy into perspective. What some journalists are calling the death of the Occupy movement is actually the knee-jerk reaction of the status quo" They flinched! Occupy hit a big, giant military-security complex nerve. The giant US and Multinational corporations and the President, Congress and Supreme Courts have become one big, money-diseased organism.
Free speech itself is under attack, mostly by throwing money at politics and calling it free speech" but real, live, active free speech such as Occupy protesting in front of highly crooked banks is suppressed with violence. Cannot have Occupy free speech in front of a bank, must use violence to enforce sanitation laws.
The thing about protected free speech is it is supposed to be protected for everyone, be they right wing, ultra-right John Birchers, left wing communists (if such a thing still exists anywhere), socialist, ultra left of communist, etc. The US Constitution does not list a bunch of individuals or groups that are not protected by free speech guarantees. If the NRA has it's right to put NRA stickers all over big trucks as free speech, how is it that Occupiers on public property in front of a bank somehow have less free speech and get pepper sprayed, tortured with plastic binder-tie-hand-cuffs and baton beatings.
Recently Chicago Police beat protestors in front of NATO Summit in Chicago. Do these same police show up in the park and beat and pepper spray people at a NRA barbecue? In plain English, the free speech rights of the right wingers do not get infringed on with pepper spray, batons and tear-gas rounds. But the free speech of the Occupy protestors has become open hunting season by right-wing law enforcement.
Jeremy Scahill, in his book Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, makes a pretty good case that the CIA, the NSA, the FBI and Private Security such as Blackwater ARE ALL RIGHT WING. This means the intelligence they gather is right wing biased. The decisions to go to war are right wing biased. It is not a far stretch to extrapolate that most police departments and sheriff departments are right wing, NRA loving and of course prone to right wing bias. The point being that having a bunch of right wing cops beating the hell out of and arresting a bunch of left wing protestors is about as blatant of civil rights violations as one could find, anywhere. Odd, that the right-wing newspapers and TV calls Occupy "Anarchists" while ignoring the police descending into total anarchy.
The right is not just bludgeoning the left using police departments, the right and the traitorous democrats are passing or attempting to pass law after law that infringe more and more on the either the left, the average citizen or both: the Patriot Act, Citizens United, NDAA, SOPA and PIPA, H.R. 347 or the "Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011", TARP and TARP II, and the TPP TransPacific Partnership. Some of these laws are designed to worsen economic disparity, some to curtail or completely eliminate free speech" including free speech online. It should be up to everyone in America to notice that you do not hear of Patriot Act, Citizens United, NDAA, SOPA and PIPA, H.R. 347 or the "Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011", TARP and TARP II, and the TPP TransPacific Partnership on TV in 2012. These laws are unraveling the US Constitution, the US Bill of Rights.
If there is one single thing Occupy Wallstreet did accomplish and accomplish well, it was free speech" Not corporate propaganda on TV, not a giant business bribing politicians and spinning their spin during a TV commercial or newscast" Occupiers were actually real people voicing real dissent about the unholy alliance between business and government.
In the Citizens United Supreme Court decision Justice Kennedy reasoned that such expenditures "do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption". Justice Kennedy was referring to Private Corporate Money going into Public Elections. What Justice Kennedy should have written was that the marriage between PRIVATE CORPORATE MONEY and PUBLIC ELECTIONS was reminiscent of the marriage between a brother and a sister, that the union would produce an unhealthy, inbred prodigy. For is not CORPORATE GREED married to POLITICAL PUBLIC SERVICE producing a TOTALITARIAN OLIGARCHY in place of a democracy?
The corporate-political machine pushes further and further right, all the while moaning that socialists and communists are out to get them. The tax breaks given to their Oil Companies are socialist, as are the leasing of public land to drill oil upon. Oil companies do oil exploration and develop new oil fields and new off-shore drilling platforms with public money. The Federal Government makes a vast fortune leasing public land to the oil companies, who make even larger fortunes price gouging the public. What some call free market capitalism is a mixture of public, socialist money to defray costs. The damage oil companies do to the environment is left as an ongoing legacy to the public, the monetary profits are kept for the oil executives private use. The adverse health affects from drilling, refining and burning oil is left for the public to suffer from. Anyone who gets cancer from living next door to an oil refinery has to pay for their medical treatment out of pocket.
Everyone drives on socialist freeways, crosses socialist bridges, depends upon socialist firemen, paramedics and ambulances" The Plutarch elite demand socialization for new Nuclear Power Plants, which are paid for with vast sums of public money. Their frenzied wars are paid for with public money, their defense contractors the epitome of socialized corporations. But Universal Socialized Medicine, my God, the Commies are coming. Why don't they scream the Commies are coming when they pour $1-2 Trillion of public money per year into Defense Contractors? The right-wing only screams commie lefty when it is health care, but not when it is a new Nuclear Power Plant being built. Health care, too expensive, communism. A new deep sea oil rig or new Nuclear Power Plant to kill our health with dangerous, outdated technology" free market capitalism with public dollars. Public health with public dollars, taboo. The thing those of us on the left loved and still love about Occupy, is Occupy exposed the hypocrisy.
Henry Ford could well afford to print anything he wanted to in the 1932 newspapers. He still lost, a valuable lesson to remember the next time you see TV news calling Occupiers anarchists. The libel and slander on TV and in the papers does damage, but ultimately the will of the people will prevail over bought and paid for corrupt media.
Both the general public and Occupy members do not know where Occupy will end up. But if all the Oligarchs and Plutarchs have on their side is TV and corrupt police willing to engage in violent anarchy, then the right has already lost. If all their strategy is invested in corrupt laws like Citizens United, all they are going to do is fill New York's Times Square with Protestors.
Many people claimed that Occupy's message was muddled, that their list of demands varied too much from one group to the next. The passage of time from Woody Guthrie until now made people forget what Unions, Strikes and Protests are about. These types of social events are always about the same thing: FAIRNESS!!! Fairness" Occupy was and is and will be about fairness. It matters little if it is a demonstration today, tomorrow, or next year. It matters little whether the group calls itself Occupy Wallstreet and Down With the Plutarchs, either way, it will be the so-called little people come out in droves.
What is important to remember is the Henry Ford's of this world always lose to the factory workers, but it sometimes takes a long time.... The unjust wars, the tax money for socialized oil and gas that comes from public land, the price gouging chiseling way that businesses pay Congress to rip off the little people. Occupiers wanted and still want to fix all of it. Those who write blogs about them being gone don't know how dirty and underhanded Henry Ford did the autoworkers. Ultimately they won Union wages. Fair is fair, propaganda and buying the three branches of government doesn't change that. People have protested against tyranny for centuries, Occupy in the US is just the latest.
The writer Aldous Huxley once wrote: "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern". In some ways America right now is in its cavern" To many blogs and ezines, too many mainstream newspapers pronouncing OWS is dead. The Newspapers once had the same headline about God, God Is Dead as their main headline.
God is not dead, neither is Occupy. The Occupy Protests proved something besides the little people want fairness. The Occupy Protests proved the little people aren't so little. Although the media made a big deal out of a few broken windows, the protests were largely non-violent and well behaved. There are not enough cops and national guardsmen in the country to handle the types of crowds that will next form. Whenever that is, wherever that will be, it is the non-violence and well behavedness of the crowds that keeps order. Every cop in the country knows they keep order because WE ALL LET THEM KEEP ORDER.
"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite". If you forget the media brainwashing, the implied threats of more violence by the police and the government" PEOPLE GOT OUT AND PROTESTED FOR FAIRNESS! It is a damned miracle. It is a miracle that deserves to be repeated, as often as it takes. Those few who underestimate OWS probably don't know about all the lawyers who want to help OWS. Even better than a large herd of lawyers, OWS has http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ise6Emc7eHM Lisa Fithian. Many of those who underestimate the human will for both freedom and fairness expected what? This isn't Homs, Syria, not yet, anyway. For right now, the police have so violated free speech rights in America that the lid is part way on the pressure cooker. But anyone that expects the lid to stay on is naive.
The current leak of pages of the TPP, the TransPacific Partnership shows that our government wants to further enslave us economically. This is equivalent to Henry Ford trying to interrupt the workers Hunger March with machine-gun wielding cops. Watch the video and judge for yourself, If there is unfairness, there will be more protests. This time, go out and protest, too. If you are already a regular in Occupy, talk some friends and family into protesting. TPP alone is a reason to get out and protest. But don't think for a minute that Occupy is dead. Think about Nelson Mandela" Human beings have that kind of stubbornness inside of them. Don't let the six TV companies that work for the incestuous government-corporate interests dissuade you otherwise. You have in you what Nelson Mandela has in himself. He went through way more hardships than anyone in Occupy, or anyone reading this. In the end, the Apartheid Government collapsed. Someday, Citizens United will be outlawed. It just takes time and patience. It doesn't take a gun or knife; it takes persistence and some courage.
Mandela owes much of his success to seeing things as they really were, seeing things as they ought to be. He refused to see things through the narrow chinks of a self-imposed cavern, even when he was falsely imprisoned. The people of America are not unfair laws like Citizens United, NDAA and TPP, we the people are bigger than the petty laws imposed upon us by a few Plutarchs. These Plutarchs have money, but have no vision whatsoever. They stand for nothing that the majority in this country would fight for. See them as they are" If Washington DC were invaded suddenly by shock paratroopers from a foreign army, would you race to Washington DC and risk your life saving the power elite? 75% or more of the country would say, HELL NO! What about the Board of Directors of Monsanto, Exxon Mobile, Peabody Energy and Big Frackers Gas Company? No, you wouldn't risk your life to save them either. They are nowhere near as great and powerful as claimed. Wizard of Oz, behind his TV curtain, paying for primetime ad after primetime ad to make more oil dollars. All of them have to hide behind armed body guards. All that they can create is what they buy. When they pass from this life, most of us will say good riddance.
It is imporatnant to see that the power elite live in a kind of vacuum, a self-imposed exile from polite society. Their weddings, funerals, hospital stays, etc. are all under armed guard. Even if there is none among us who means them harm, they live exiled anyway, their own sense of guilt, repressed as it is, still exists. Their happiness is what they buy, because they are that shallow. They missed the true meaning of life" Or worse, perverted it beyond their own recognition.
The opposite is true of those we saw in the Occupy encampments. They were trying to help not only themselves, but all of us. They were attempting to be what the 1960's -- 1970's right once referred to as the moral majority. Now, in 2012, the moral majority are those who speak up against the injustice.
The power elite don't get it" They just saw what they thought of as some unemployed people in camps. What they don't get, will never get, is that the Occupiers speak for the vast majority in America. Think of where Occupy would be if 65-75% of the country went out into the street all at once. Remember the crowds on TV in Tahrir Square in India? Someday K-Street in Washington DC is going to have a crowd 3-4 times the size of that in Tahrir Square. The police cannot kettle a crowd that large, won't want to. The power elite in Washington DC don't have the loyalty of the police, they simply give them paychecks. It's not the same thing as real loyalty.
Converesely, the protestors of Occupy Wallstreet have the loyalty of 65-75% of the Americn People. Not K-Street, not Congress, but OWS has our loyalty. If you feel the same way, then Occupy has already won. It is perception. Don't be misled by government/corporate propagnda. If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. Good fighting evil is not another war in Syria or Iran. Good fighting evil is a large cadre of Occupiers with picket signs in front of a bank. Good fighting evil is us, moving our money from the big banks to a tiny little credit union with free checking. Resist, in any way you can and don't ever stop resisting. Somewhere inside, you know it's the right thing to do.
The Ford Hunger March of 1932
Published Mar 25, 2009 3:45 PM
March 7 was the 77th anniversary of one of the bloodiest chapters in Detroit labor history: the Ford Hunger March of 1932.
The stock market crashed in October of 1929. By 1930 millions were without work. Nowhere was the pain felt more deeply than in Detroit, where the auto industry’s promise of prosperity had turned into its opposite. When the Trade Union Unity League, the Communist Party, the Young Communist League and the newly formed Unemployed Councils called a coast-to-coast demonstration on March 6, among the millions of participants were 100,000 at a rally in the Motor City. Detroit police broke up the protest, clubbing and arresting scores of participants.
Two years later the crisis had deepened; one statistic showed four Detroiters dying of hunger every day. Unemployment compensation did not exist. With two-thirds of his employees laid off, Henry Ford, then the richest man in the world, said the unemployed created their own misery by not working hard enough.
Detroit’s network of Unemployed Councils had grown into one of the strongest in the country, saving untold numbers of families from a life on the streets. A citywide meeting of the councils—there were more than 80 neighborhood-based chapters in metropolitan Detroit—decided to march on the Ford Motor Co.’s River Rouge complex in Dearborn, Mich.
The march, called by the Unemployed Councils and the United Auto Workers, had 14 demands: “Jobs for all laid off Ford workers; immediate payment of 50 per cent of full wages; seven-hour day without reduction in pay; slowing down of deadly speedup; two fifteen-minute rest periods; No discrimination against Negroes in jobs; relief [welfare], medical service; free medical aid in Ford hospital for employed and unemployed Ford workers and families; five tons of coal and coke for the winter; abolition of Service Men [Ford’s hated private army of spies and thugs, led by the notorious Harry Bennett]; no foreclosures on homes of Ford workers; immediate payment of lump sum of fifty dollars for winter relief; full wages for part time workers; abolition of the graft system of hiring; and the right to organize.” (Philip Bonosky, Brother Bill McKee: “Building the Union at Ford”)
The protest brought out thousands of workers. Beyond the immediate 14 demands, signs connected issues affecting workers around the world. They called for freedom for the Scottsboro Nine, a group of Black youths falsely accused of raping two white women. They said “hands off China,” a reference to the sale of scrap iron to Japan, which used it in attacking the Chinese people.
The march began and proceeded without incident in Detroit. Dearborn, however, was Ford’s personal fiefdom; his cousin Clyde Ford was the mayor. Marchers were attacked with tear gas at the city’s border, but forced police to retreat with a barrage of stones and clumps of frozen mud. Police regrouped, only to have the scenario repeated.
At the entrance to Ford’s complex, Dearborn police were reinforced by the Dearborn Fire Department, Detroit police, and Ford’s own “Service Department.” The firefighters turned their hoses on the unarmed marchers, while police fired a hail of bullets. Coleman (also spelled Kalman) Leny, Joe DiBlasio, and Joe York—the 19-year-old district leader of the YCL—were killed. Fifty more were wounded.
When Unemployed Council leader Alfred Goetz attempted to lead an orderly retreat, machine-gun fire, this time from Ford’s own finest, began anew. The auto magnate’s right-hand man, Harry Bennett, was immediately recognized and injured by stone-throwing workers. Bennett emptied his own gun and then a police officer’s revolver into the workers. He and his goons killed 16-year-old YCL member Joe Bussel and left many more injured. Forty-eight workers, some in their hospital beds, were arrested.
More repression followed, with hundreds fired if they possessed left-wing literature or donated to the martyrs’ funerals. Membership in the CP was cause for arrest.
At the funeral, Ben Bussel spoke loudly: “In the name of my murdered brother, I call upon you to organize and fight. Long live the workers of the world.” As a band played the International—the lyrics “Arise, ye prisoners of starvation” particularly fitting—some 80,000 joined the march to the cemetery.
In June a Black worker, Curtis Williams, died of wounds suffered during the march. Segregation policies kept him from being buried with his comrades; the funeral committee hired a plane and scattered his ashes over the cemetery—or by some accounts over the Rouge.
Attorney Maurice Sugar had written two months earlier that police brutality “grows out of the institution of private property under which one class in society lives in luxury at the expense of the great mass of workers who are compelled to live in a state of poverty, wretchedness, and despair.” (Christopher H. Johnson, “Maurice Sugar, Law, Labor and the Left in Detroit, 1912-1950”) Although Sugar was able to convince the grand jury not to indict any of those arrested, no one was ever indicted for the Ford massacre.
In 1941, after years of sacrifice and struggle, the Auto Workers union finally won recognition from the Ford dynasty. In 1992 UAW Local 600 retirees bought five headstones—including one for Williams—and placed them by the four graves. On each is carved the words, “He gave his life for the union.”
As workers begin again to fight evictions, foreclosures and the layoffs that cause them, the unyielding courage of the Ford hunger marchers is an inspiration.
Articles copyright 1995-2012 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.
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