Posted by nesaraaustralia ⋅ January 3, 2013 ⋅ Leave a Comment
Filed Under politics, occupy-wall-street, boston tea party, cnn article, law enforcement response
By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News
01 January 13
Reader Supported News | Perspectiveecember
16th of 2012 marked the 239th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, when
activists clad in Native American costumes protested a tax code that benefited a multinational corporation at the cost of taxpayers,
and committed one of the biggest acts of property destruction in
history by dumping the East India Tea Company’s product into the Boston
Harbor by the crateful. For nearly fifty years, the act was either
shunned or ignored by the populace. But today, those activists’ names
are among the revered “founding fathers” of our country.
Yet, while we celebrate the radical activists behind the Boston Tea
Party, today’s activists protesting corporate greed and a rigged tax
system are labeled “terrorists” by the federal government and
investigated as such. This week CNN reported what
most of us in the movement already knew and assumed – that the FBI had
been closely monitoring the Occupy movement since its infancy and
considered the movement’s organizers a terrorist threat. And judging
from a photo of my #S17 arrest in
the CNN article’s slideshow, it’s safe to say I’m probably being
closely monitored as well. Maybe they’re reading this article. Maybe
they’ll at least learn something.
Since September 17, 2011, police have arrested at least 7,719 people
affiliated with Occupy Wall Street. But since September of 2008, when
banks, ratings agencies, corrupt regulators and complicit economists
helped cause the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, not
one banker or corrupt government official has been jailed. The fact that
the federal government has used extensive resources to help coordinate
law enforcement response to the Occupy movement is well-documented. The FBI’s budget request for 2013 is $8.2 billion.
Surely, with 34,000 employees and an impressive budget, the FBI could
glean all the information they needed for the arrests of those who
rooked families out of their homes to make excessive short-term profits.
There’s certainly no shortage of evidence that can be found for free
with asimple Google search.
According to redacted FBI documents, federal agents had been warning
the New York Stock Exchange of a coming “anarchist protest” since August
of 2011, a month before the movement even began. Surely they also knew
in advance that Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s were intentionally giving AAA ratings to worthless mortgage-backed securities that Goldman Sachs eagerly sold to state pension funds on the open market, then referred to as “shitty deals”
in private emails with one another. If the FBI spent the same amount of
time and resources on gathering evidence to use against corrupt bankers
in court as they did on profiling Occupy Wall Street activists, we
might not even be protesting right now.
It’s offensive that our government, which was founded on
revolutionary war against tyrannical government and protesting the
multinational corporations they colluded with, puts nonviolent
protesters in the same classification as terrorists. It’s offensive that
it is now considered criminal activity to peacefully protest economic
inequality. But it’s disgusting that our government is letting real
terrorists and criminals get away while going after the very people
trying to make things right.
It shouldn’t shock anyone anymore to say that the United States is
now a police state, or that walking on a sidewalk in New York City while
protesting can end up with your head in between a cop’s knee and a
sidewalk, or that the I in FBI stands for Intimidation rather than
Investigation. Hoping that President Obama will suddenly start caring
about the rights of protesters in the United States or appoint a new
Attorney General that will prioritize the protection of the First
Amendment is naÔve and silly. But what we should do is continue to build
our own evidence locker against the bankers, continue to announce their
crimes to all who would hear, and keep risking arrest to get the truth
out. Maybe we can finally turn the cops against the real bad guys.
Carl Gibson, 25, is co-founder of US Uncut, a
nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of
thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts
in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and
other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary “We’re Not Broke,” which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Old Lyme, Connecticut. You can contact Carl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work.
Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to
Reader Supported News.
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