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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/11/20

When Voting Fails, Take to the Streets

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Our Sovereign Lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George the First, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies. God save the King.
We've been taught that there is a "mob psychology" that makes people do crazy things when they're surrounded by others doing crazy things. This theory was debunked by psychologists long ago, but it is kept alive by journalist who are in thrall to the ruling class.
The word 'riot' evokes a visceral reaction, calling up visions of chaos, disorder and offence to civil society. Once an event has been dubbed a riot, the media narrative is easy to frame: 'these people' are acting unlawfully, are out of control, irrational; if only they would sit down and talk.
The truth is that "crowds aren't really crazed they are made of highly co-operative individuals driven to shared interests and goals." People take to the streets when democracy isn't working. There is a long history of rioting for legitimate goals that are ultimately recognized and achieved. A few examples: Abraham Lincoln called the right to peaceably assemble the 'Constitutional substitute for revolution', the next step in forcing government to acknowledge the people's demands when it has otherwise ceased to be responsive to voting, speech or even the rule of law. However it is defined, and whatever its parameters and perception, sometimes riot might be necessary to reclaim and defend democracy.

-- Excerpted and paraphrased from an Aeon article by Antonia Malchik


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Congress shall make no law ... abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
-- First Amendment, the Bill of Rights

 

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Josh Mitteldorf, a senior editor at OpEdNews, blogs on aging at http://JoshMitteldorf.ScienceBlog.com. Read how to stay young at http://AgingAdvice.org.
Educated to be an astrophysicist, he has branched out from there to mathematical (more...)
 

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2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments  Post Comment


Josh Mitteldorf

Become a Fan Follow Me on Twitter (Member since Sep 14, 2006), 45 fans, 625 articles, 393 quicklinks, 1036 comments, 11 diaries (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
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It is empowering and game-changing when the people come together to feel their unity, and vindicate their common grievances.

The Power Elite recognize this, and so there are extensive internal propaganda programs and infiltration programs -- both illegal -- to discredit and to disrupt mass movements.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 at 6:42:42 PM

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Lois Gagnon

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(Member since Mar 21, 2011), 42 fans, 1 articles, 15 quicklinks, 5458 comments (How many times has this commenter been recommended?)
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The wealthy criminal elites are keenly aware that there is massive discontent bubbling just beneath the surface both in the US and throughout the world. Neoliberal austerity has taken a huge toll on the public at large while they live like gods insulated from the real world.

They have constructed a sophisticated surveillance state to monitor our activity. The longer we wait to join the people of the world in hitting the streets, the riskier it will become.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 at 9:54:04 PM

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