By Margaret Flowers and Keven Zeese Reprinted from popularresistance.org
Chris Hedges has an important essay in Truthdig this week, Our Invisible Revolution . Essentially he describes a revolution of the mind in which people's consciousness are raised as they become aware of the inability of the current governmental and economic systems to respond to the needs of people and the planet. When this is understood, then the revolutionary changes that seemed impossible become possible. Hedges writes:
"As long as most citizens believe in the ideas that justify global capitalism, the private and state institutions that serve our corporate masters are unassailable. When these ideas are shattered, the institutions that buttress the ruling class deflate and collapse. The battle of ideas is percolating below the surface. It is a battle the corporate state is steadily losing. An increasing number of Americans are getting it."
People realize that the institutions don't work because they are experiencing the consequences.
Sandy demonstrates the dysfunction of government to address both the people's needs and climate change. As Naomi Klein wrote this week in How Science Is Telling Us All To Revolt, "there is still time to avoid catastrophic warming, but not within the rules of capitalism as they are currently constructed; which may be the best argument we have ever had for changing those rules."
Within the current rules, big business continues to build pipelines, even when experts say there is a 90% probability of a leak, and withholds information from the public, as in North Dakota where there were 750 "oil field incidents" including 300 oil spills in two years. When people stand up and protest these realities, big business spends large sums of money to stop those efforts, as big oil is doing in South Portland. Young people at the Power Shift conference experienced how the entrenched big environmental groups hold them back from saying and doing what they believe is necessary.
As families struggle to keep their homes, billionaires are trying to cut the meager social safety net that exists in the United States. It is becoming more obvious that the current system is rigged in favor of the rich. JP Morgan, who is negotiating with lawyers at the Department of Justice that used to work for them, will likely receive what amounts to a slap on the wrist. And Hillary Clinton is charging a minimum of $200,000 per speech. She spoke at two Goldman Sachs events this week raking in at least $400,000 -- ten years of work for the average American.
The Security State is Fueling the Revolt
In his essay, Hedges points out another ingredient for the growing revolt, the expanding security state. He writes that people
". . . recognize that we have been shorn of our most basic and cherished civil liberties, and live under the gaze of the most intrusive security and surveillance apparatus in human history. . . These truths are no longer hidden."
A protest held in Washington, DC last weekend showed that a diverse group of Americans are angry at the surveillance apparatus. Those at the rally covered the political spectrum, all racial and ethnic groups and every region of the country. And anger will continue to grow because Greenwald promises the worst is yet to come.
The Washington Post just reported that the NSA had tapped into the cloud of Google and Yahoo to gain access to hundreds of millions of personal accounts. It is not only Americans that are angry, but people around the world and world leaders are angry at being spied on. In addition to protesting, people are also developing technical solutions to block the NSA.
We are all at risk of unjust treatment by the security state. Local police are looking more like the military, even with tanks, which has people wondering -- are the police preparing for a war? This week in Oakland, police gave surveillance footage to an employer to get an activist fired. In Hawaii, two (de)Occupy houseless protesters were sent to jail for 30 and 60 days for refusing to take down tents at an (de)Occupy Hawaii sidewalk encampment.
There were several days of protests in Northern California against a Sonoma County sheriff who killed 13 year old Andy Lopez. In Oakland, people protested against the police Urban Shield convention. In addition,rallies were held in 30 cities against police brutality and abuse. Students at Brown University booed New York's police commissioner, Ray Kelly off the stage preventing him from speaking because of racist police practices, like stop and frisk which was in the Court of Appeals this week. The court decided to allow stop and frisk to continue pending their final decision and removed the district court judge who banned it from the case.
More people are taking up the cause of ending police abuse. And, there is also a growing movement of undocumented immigrants putting their bodies and freedom on the line to stop abusive immigration deportations.