Why It Takes Organized Resistance To Bring in the Sweeping Change That the Public Wants
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You can sense that new found power in this incredible tape of an NSA recruiting session. Several young people, armed with the truth, put their recruiters on notice, highlighted their lies and told them being a whistleblower is more honorable than being an NSA spy. Now, their tape is being shared widely and more people are gaining power.
Indeed, the Snowden revelations have not only lifted our ignorance, they have created action. As we can see today, thousands of people are taking action the Fourth of July to restore the 4th, in more than 100 actions around the country. More than 500,000 have signed on to take actions to stop the NSA spying – a figure that could vastly increase with online actions today. ( Take action here.) And, as Eric Snowden’s father points out in an open letter to his son, even some in Congress are waking up to the surveillance state. We have a lot of work ahead; a former East German Stasi officer warns us the only way to protect ourselves is “not to allow the government to collect their information in the first place.”
Last week, the Europeans united against the invasive US spying of their leaders and people. At the same time, the powerful security state took the extraordinary action of ordering allied nations not to allow Bolivian President Evo Morales to fly over their territory and they complied. This forced President Morales’ plane to land in Austria where he had to spend the night – why because they suspected that Snowden was on board. They were wrong. Not only did the surveillance state once again show it is not invincible but they further turned Latin America against the United States.
Look at all the impact one person’s actions caused. A relatively low-level technocrat in the security state has turned their power upside down. One person can make a difference – a truth we have seen over and over.
Another person who has made a tremendous difference is Bradley Manning. This week Nobel Prize winner, Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, urged that Manning be given the Peace Prize. The documents he leaked showed the daily operations of US Empire. It was not flattering. It showed to all truths that can no longer be denied. The US is the strongest nation in the world, but it is a rogue nation, willing to violate the law, commit war crimes, arrest people without charges, allow torture, pressure countries on behalf of transnational corporate interests and lie about it to the world. Well, Manning is in the midst of his trial. The prosecutor rested their case this week, with some big holes in their evidence, so we can expect a strong motion to dismiss next week from David Coombs. Support for Manning is growing as you can see in this 1,000 strong contingent at a Gay Pride Parade.
The state of dissent in America is rising, but so is the security state response. More and more people need to join in taking action so we protect our right to dissent from the government, to speak out against and to redress our grievances. We need to flex our rights to build our power. One group that is flexing its rights is veterans who stand for peace and justice. A group of 17 vets and allies will be going to trial this week in New York City to stand up for their right to protest. They were arrested while reading the names of the war dead at a Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The police decided to enforce a curfew, only enforced when people are exercising constitutional rights, and arrested them.