Say NO to the Use of the Military against Peaceful Protest in the United States
Will the Military be used against the Occupy Movement?
by Kevin Zeese
Global Research, December 13, 2011
The Congress is rushing through S. 1867, the Defense Authorization Bill. It contains a radical change in law – allowing the use of the military inside the United States, against U.S. citizens and residents, allowing their indefinite military detention based merely on suspicion of being engaged in hostilities against the U.S. This amendment, sponsored by Senators Carl Levin and John McCain, was added in the senate after a closed door hearing and has received bi-partisan support on the Senate floor, with very little debate.
At the request of the White House language that exempted American citizens and legal residents from indefinite military detention was removed from the bill passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee, as Senator Levin said on the senate floor. http://www.youtube.com/embed/PLiKvSz_wX8
This is a major shift from a country that forbids the use of the military domestically under the Posse Comitatus Act passed in 1878 during the Reconstruction Era. There have been holes in the domestic use of the military primarily in drug enforcement. Indeed, I worked on one case involving Esequiel Hernandez, an 18 year old high school student killed on the Texas-Mexican border by Marines on drug patrol in 1997. The Hernandez killing shows why the U.S. military is the wrong tool for enforcement inside the United States and raises questions for young soldiers ordered to turn their weapons on Americans.
On Friday Occupy Washington, DC on Freedom Plaza had a discussion on the Department of Justice’s responsibility to uphold the rule of law when it comes to abuses of the military and CIA regarding human rights abuses like torture and the killing of civilians. During that discussion Ray McGovern, a retired 27 year veteran of the CIA, who provided the morning intelligence briefing to multiple presidents and security advisers, said that he thought the provisions allowing domestic use of the military and military detention were being added because of fear of civil unrest at home.
The Tea Party and Occupy Movement are signs of an American revolt – a revolt against a corrupt government that funnels wealth to the top 1% while leaving Americans economically insecure. When I asked McGovern about this he said he could not see any reason for the domestic use of the military except for the fear of the elites:
“I think it may be fear. They worry that the DC police, Park Police, even Capitol Police will be subverted into seeing that they are really part of the 99%; that when push comes to shove (literally) they cannot be relied upon to carry out mass arrests/imprisonments; that the powers-that-be need to be able to call on the Army, which can be more dependably relied upon to carry out whatever bloody orders may be required at the time.”
In fact, there have been examples of police criticizing and not participating in efforts to arrest or remove occupiers. In Albany, NY police refused to arrest occupiers saying they were not causing any trouble. In Baltimore, the police union endorsed the occupy and urged the mayor to let them stay. Retired Philadelphia Police
Captain Ray Lewis went to Zucotti Park to urge police to join the occupiers. When a police commander in New York pepper sprayed arrested women, you can hear another police officer saying on the video tape, “I can’t believe he just pepper sprayed her.” Oakland police officer Fred Shavies who had gone undercover against the Occupy Movement now says he supports it and knows police are part of the 99%. From the beginning at Freedom Plaza we have described the police as part of the 99%. Police have mostly treated us with respect; some have even made financial donations to our effort. Those police who abuse their power will create more divides among police and pull more to our side because most know we only seek fairness, justice and participatory democracy.
But, will the military obey orders to shoot Americans or make mass arrests of non-violent civilian protesters? That is an open question. There is dissent in the military as well. United States Marine Corps. Sgt. Shamar Thomas from Roosevelt, NY told New York City policy, in a widely watched, now iconic video, there is no heroism in attacking unarmed civilians. No doubt many who have volunteered to serve in the military feel the same way as Sgt. Thomas. http://www.youtube.com/embed/WmEHcOc0Sys
The the vague language of the amendment allows the military to be used against protesters. In subsection A of Section 1032 it states that the military can be used against people (including U.S. citizens) that “are substantially supporting, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or (B) have engaged in hostilities or have directly supported hostilities in aid of a nation, organization, or person described in subparagraph (A). The key, vague words are “substantially supporting” “associated forces” “engaged in hostilities” “in aid of a . . . organization or person.” There is a lot of flexibility in those words and when they apply – no need for probable cause, a trial, jury verdict or sentencing – just on suspicion you get indefinite military detention.
The military’s role in the United States has been growing. In 2002 President Bush established NorthCom, a military command inside the United States based in Colorado with additional bases in Alaska, Florida, Texas, Virginia and the DC area. On October 1, 2008, the 3rd Infantry Division (United States)’s 1st Brigade Combat Team was assigned to U.S. Northern Command, marking the first time an active unit had been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command. In 2008 The Pentagon announced plans to deploy 20,000 troops inside the United States, set to be trained by 2011. The change in law in the new Defense Authorization comes at a time of rapidly creeping domestic military expansion.
Could the elites actually see protesters seeking a participatory democracy who challenge concentrated wealth as terrorists? Well, in a December 2, 2011 document issued by City of London police entitled a “Terrorism/extremism Update” given to London businesses, the police defined Occupy London as a terrorist group. In the section on domestic terrorism the Occupy Movement and other critics of capitalism were singled out as terrorists. As the Guardian reported the document said: “As the worldwide Occupy movement shows no sign of abating, it is likely that activists aspire to identify other locations to occupy, especially those they identify with capitalism.” The document went on to say that police had “received a number of hostile reconnaissance reports concerning individuals who would fit the anti-capitalist profile,” and asked businesses to be “vigilant for further sign of occupation activity.”
When the Guardian asked the police about the document rather than apologizing, they defended it saying the “City of London police works with the community to deter and detect terrorist activity and crime in the City in a way that has been identified nationally as good practice . . . We’ve seen crime linked to protests in recent weeks, notably around groups entering office buildings, and with that in mind we continue to brief key trusted partners on activity linked to protests.” While the terrorist label has not been applied to U.S. occupiers, the counterterrorism unit of the NYPD has been used at Zucotti Park.
The Occupy Movement is in its infancy, less than three months old, and already it has the elites petrified. As a top Republican pollster, Frank Luntz, told a Republican Governors meeting last week, I’m “scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death.” The Tea Party, which has its roots in similar economic insecurity and economic unfairness has for the most part been co-opted by the Republican Party and lost its energy, but the Occupy Movement has resisted co-option by the Democratic Party and its operatives.
The Occupy Movement, despite more than 5,100 arrests and aggressive police actions across the country, is not going anywhere. In fact, it strives to become an even bigger movement and more powerful political force. Plans are being made to bring occupiers from across the country to Washington, DC for an American Spring. If the elites are scared now, what will it be like when this movement grows and matures?
This is all occurring when economic insecurity is getting worse. The economy is not done collapsing, critical resources are getting more limited and hence more expensive, the greed of the elites seems unquenchable, the global economy means that the middle class will have a hard time getting decent paying jobs as more jobs are shipped to less expensive labor markets and the very limited social safety net is under attack while poverty rises.
The elites know they are not solving critical problems, are incapable of doing so because of their own corruption and that the political system cannot respond. As economic insecurity gets worse, the economic unfairness becomes more evident resulting in growing anger and action.
It is not that the economic problems are unsolvable. When Occupy Washington, DC held its own Occupied Super Committee hearings and asked experts to put forward evidence-based solutions to the economic mess, they did so. By facing up to the 1% and the military industrial complex, we achieved the super committee’s deficit reduction targets in two years, created millions of jobs, forgave student debt, restored the housing market and began to democratize the economy. Knowing solutions exist, but the dysfunctional government cannot implement them will lead to more Americans joining the Occupy Movement.
One of the gravest grievances described in the Declaration of Independence was the misuse of standing armies against the colonialists. Numerous state constitutions declared standing armies a threat to liberty and the U.S. Constitution showed antipathy to militarism. Now, the Congress and President Obama are prepared to turn the military against Americans and allow indefinite military detention without any finding of guilt. If the elites think military force against Americans will quell the revolt of the people they are wrong; it will have the opposite effect and fuel the revolt against the elites.*******
Michael Moore Claims Occupy Movement Has 10 Million Leaders
Just like his movies, his “facts” about the Occupy movement are pure fiction. But I wouldn’t expect anything different from him
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore sat down with Conan O’Brien on Thursday night and a large part of their discussion focused on the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Moore reiterated his support for the movement and claimed that there are, in effect, ten million leaders of the movement spread across the country and that he was glad that there wasn’t a singular leader to the movement because Fox News would have tried to choke that person around the neck.
O’Brien: What you’re saying is the anger is coming from a good place. What if a charismatic leader did emerge for this movement? Would that be something you’re opposed to?
Moore: Yes, because what I think is great about this is that by having ten million leaders and ten million spokespeople in every PTA, in every church, in every neighborhood, that’s how this movement’s grown so fast. It’s only twelve weeks old. It already has the support of the majority of Americans who say they agree with the principles of the Occupy Wall Street movement. That we need to put regulation back on Wall Street, we need to end the Bush tax cuts for the rich and make the rich pay what everybody else pays, right? Real basic things that the majority of Americans agree with. Plus if you have one leader that makes it too easy for Fox News to wrap their hands around the neck of that leader and choke the thing.
The movement wishes it had ten million leaders. But the lack of a singular leader and a set of unified goals has plagued the movement from the start, resulting in nothing more than a series of crime- and violence-ridden encampments that have cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars to protect and clean up.
Once again it looks like Moore is making figures up out of thin air. Recent polls have shown that the percentage of Americans who view the Occupy movement favorably is stuck in the low 30% range. That’s not exactly a majority.
Just like his movies, his “facts” about the Occupy movement are pure fiction. But I wouldn’t expect anything different from him.
The fun starts at the 6:30 mark. [see below]*******
What's with the "Occupy Wall Street" Crowd?
07 October 2011
01 November 2011
OWS Brats Will Starve If Not Given Church Space
The OWS Hunger Strikers
Monday, December 5, 2011
New York City—On Saturday, December 3, in Liberty Plaza, we—THE OWS HUNGER STRIKERS—will begin a hunger strike. We are striking to demand outdoor space for a new occupation. We will hold our strike, for its duration, outside at Duarte Square on Sixth Avenue and Canal Street in Manhattan as part of a continued effort seeking sanctuary on Trinity Wall Street’s unused and vacant lot of land. Should we be arrested, we will continue the strike in jail. We are calling on Occupiers across the nation to join us.
I guess this is as close to the irrelevants stomping up and down in the corner, screaming “I WANT IT, I WANT IT!” as we’ll get. What’s most laughable is that OWS actually believes the 99% will come running, begging them to eat donated food, and giving them a new area to occupy where they will freely repeat all of the unsanitary (and sometimes criminal) activities performed at Zuccotti Park.
Go ahead, starve yourselves. See how [we] will try [and] to stop you.*******
Occupiers Launch Hunger Strike to Liberate Outdoor Space
04 December 2011
On Saturday, December 3, in Liberty Plaza, we—THE OWS HUNGER STRIKERS—began a hunger strike. We are striking to demand outdoor space for a new occupation. We are holding our strike at Duarte Square on Sixth Avenue and Canal Street in Manhattan as part of a continued effort seeking sanctuary on Trinity Church’s unused land.
This is a call for escalation, in response to the escalated levels of government-enacted violence and repression The Occupy Movement has endured over the last few weeks. In dozens of cities across the nation, Mayors chose to stifle freedom of speech and the right to assemble by evicting peaceful occupations using illegal and and unconstitutional force. Here in New York, on the night of November 14, the City—under orders from Mayor Bloomberg—violently evicted our community from Liberty Square.
For our movement to grow we need new, outdoor space. We need to hear the voices of those who for too long have been voiceless. We recognize the long history of hunger strikes as a radical action that has liberated countries, communities and individuals from repression, slavery and injustice. From colonial India to modern Turkey; from the Northern Ireland H-Block cells to Palestinian prisons; from 1970s Cuba to present-day California, hunger strikes have amplified the voices of the oppressed to declare they have been silenced for far too long.
The 99% has been been oppressed and silenced for far too long. Therefore, THE OWS HUNGER STRIKERS are hunger striking to demand the right to create space for The Occupy Movement to rise up and speak out.
You can help by bringing blankets and warm clothes, as well as hot water, lemon, cayenne pepper and maple syrup to Sixth Avenue and Canal Street. We will live there, day and night, until our movement has unfettered access to this space.*******
The only nerve these scruffy protesters strike is the gag reflex
Unless you’re a sex-mad, anti-social, anti-Semitic exhibitionist with an appreciation for law-breaking, Occupy Wall Street is unlikely to be your cup of tea
Friday, December 2, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The liberal media has gone to great lengths to convince us that Occupy Wall Street protestors are just like the rest of us.
The Washington Post’s far left-tilting columnist Eugene Robinson, for example, tells us they’ve “struck… a nerve” with the American people. But the only thing Occupy Wall Street has struck is America’s gag reflex. The movement is decidedly outside the mainstream.
Challenge Occupy Wall Street protestors to some Jeff Foxworthy-style tests and see for yourself.
You might not be the 99 percent if, for example, you defecate in places other than toilets.
One New York Occupy Wall Street protestor was caught on camera using a police car as a Porta-John while police have repeatedly been forced to issue warnings against public urination and defecation to Occupy protestors in Los Angeles.
Or you might not be the 99 percent, if you take time off your job to protest that you have no job.
One of the principal demands of Occupy Wall Street protestors has been for “jobs.” Yet, according to former Bill Clinton pollster Doug Shoen, 85 percent of the Occupy protestors in New York’s Zuccotti Park are currently employed.
And you probably aren’t among the 99 percent, if you blame Republicans alone for enriching Wall Street, banks and powerful corporations at the expense of everyone else.
Both parties have done so and most Americans understand that. Even so, Democrats appear to be more culpable in recent years than Republicans.
Fifty-four percent of House Republicans voted against final passage of the Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) legislation in 2008, while just 27 percent of Democrats voted against it.
The following January, all but two Republicans in the House and all but six in the Senate voted to block $350 billion in TARP spending. That effort failed thanks to the nearly unified, pro-TARP opposition of Democrats.
Republicans also voted en masse against the $787 billion stimulus package that’s provided billions of dollars to such “start up” companies as General Electric. Not a single Republican House member and only three Republican Senators voted for the legislation.
Nor might you be in the 99 percent, if you believe civil disobedience and violence are legitimate forms of political expression.
According to pollster Shoen, 98 percent of those participating in the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York believe civil disobedience is an appropriate means of achieving their objectives and an astounding 31 percent support the use of violence.
You might not be the 99 percent, if you can’t tell the difference between exposing people to your views and exposing yourself.
Occupy Seattle protestor Jesse Drugge was charged with five counts of indecent exposure and three counts of second-degree child molestation after exposing himself to and engaging in lewd acts in front of children.
Occupy Wall Street in Madison, Wisconsin was reportedly denied renewal of its demonstration permit due to public … um, let’s call it “self-gratification.” And reports of public sex at the New York protest have been rampant.
And you undoubtedly are not in the 99 percent, if you blame minorities for the nation’s problems.
At the Occupy Wall Street protest in Zuccotti Park, one man carried a sign reading “Zionists Control Wall Street.” At a similar rally in Los Angeles, Occupier Patricia McAllister told Reason TV, “The Zionist Jews who are running these big banks and our Federal Reserve need to be run out of this country.” And the New York Post reports that the American Nazi Party recently broke with its “rule against standing beside Communists” urging its members in the ‘pro-white’ movement to join the Occupy Wall Streeters’ fight against the common enemy: “Judeo-capitalist banksters.”
In fact, unless you’re a sex-mad, anti-social, anti-Semitic exhibitionist with an appreciation for law-breaking, Occupy Wall Street is unlikely to be your cup of tea.
David A. Ridenour is Vice President of The National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.ncppr.org), a conservative, non-partisan think tank on a Capitol Hill. Readers may write him at NCPPR, 501 Capitol Court NE, Washington, DC 20002. David can be reached at Letters@canadafreepress.com*******
What's with the "Occupy Wall Street" Crowd?
07 October 2011
01 November 2011