Why Power Elites Are So Afraid of Telling the Truth
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Another task is to mobilize. Talk to people in your community. Develop a core group of people to work with or join existing groups that are working on issues you care about. Understand the goals and strategy for success that has been developed. We can succeed and we know from past movements how to do so. There is so much good work going on throughout the country that you will be joining a developing mass movement that will make a historic difference.
Just in the last week we have seen how people who make a difference are feared. In Pennsylvania, Vera Scroggins, an anti-fracking activist, was barred from 312.5 sq miles under a sweeping court order granted by a local judge. It bars her from any properties owned or leased by one of the biggest drillers in Pennsylvania, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation. They barred her even though she has never been arrested, mainly because she has published hundreds of videos showing the truth about fracking and its impacts.
And, in Wisconsin 1,200 acres of land was closed to the public by the state’s Department of Natural Resources to allow mining to go forward without protests. Wisconsin calls the protesters “eco-terrorists” even though they have not done anything violent or threatened any people. What they did was to draw attention to a secret mining operation that is likely to cause serious environmental damage.
These economic and environmental problems are happening around the world. Just last week the UK government passed a gagging law to prohibit charities, NGO’s, bloggers, community groups and most attempts at organized opposition to the government in the year prior to a general election. This bizarre law shows how threatening democracy has become. How can you have an election if people are not allowed to criticize those in office?
We expect these actions to backfire as similar restrictions have backfired. Each shows the weakness and fear of those in power. This week the blowback from an anti-protest law was most evident in the Ukraine where there has been an ongoing revolt. It escalated when an anti-protest law was passed. Now the Prime Minister and other members of the cabinet have resigned and the anti-protest law has been repealed. The protesters are demanding more, targeting the president’s resignation or early elections. When restrictions on our rights are put into law, social movements need to act strategically to combat and challenge them.
Chris Hedges makes the point that we are like the crew of the Pequod in Moby Dick. They are stuck in a suicidal chase for the great white whale, Moby Dick, led by an insane Captain Ahab:
“Yet we, like Ahab and his crew, rationalize our collective madness. All calls for prudence, for halting the march toward economic, political and environmental catastrophe, for sane limits on carbon emissions, are ignored or ridiculed. Even with the flashing red lights before us, the increased droughts, rapid melting of glaciers and Arctic ice, monster tornadoes, vast hurricanes, crop failures, floods, raging wildfires and soaring temperatures, we bow slavishly before hedonism and greed and the enticing illusion of limitless power, intelligence and prowess.”
Can we mutiny as Ahab’s crew should have done before they came to their destruction? Our mutiny begins with resistance which at its root begins with understanding and sharing the truth around us. We cannot let the misleaders falsify reality for their own purposes. Our task is to break through, get the truth out and mobilize people so we avoid the fate of the Pequod.