Saturday, October 1, 2011
Operation Abolition; Operation Correction
These two films, one a propaganda movie from 1960 made by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee about events and protests at their hearings in San Francisco, the other an "answer" from the ACLU about what was really going on, are important documents about what it was like in the United States during the the latter part of the Red Scare.
As much as we deplore the violations of civil liberties that occur today -- and the lack of any real sense of justice for the wrongs done to us and in our names -- I'm posting these films so that there might be some perspective on how things have changed.
Everyone knows about the civil rights movement and the ultimate liberation from the denial of basic civil rights for minorities and women in this country that arose from it. But I'm not sure that the parallel liberationist movement, to get out from under the wild assed accusations and worse coming out of the red-baiting Congress of the United States -- even long after Joseph McCarthy's excesses were curbed -- is as well known.
What you see in these movies is literally the way it was back then -- both the propaganda, which was pervasive, and the truth, which was barely known at all, and only to those who gave a damn. That wasn't most Americans by any means.
As bad as the police have behaved in New York -- just what did they think they were doing on the Brooklyn Bridge today anyway? -- it's been worse in this country. Much worse. And not that long ago, either.
In Albuquerque today, hundreds marched down Central Avenue near the University, through traffic, without a permit, accompanied by the police, but not harassed or arrested by them. In fact, according to the news reports, the police were protecting them. The police were stopping traffic on one of the busiest streets in town, on the opening day of the Balloon Fiesta, perhaps the biggest festival in the Southwest, to let the marchers do their thing.
Over at Corrente, MsExPat reports on her experience marching on the Brooklyn Bridge today and her experience with a cop in Brooklyn she encountered on her way home after she got off the bridge. One of the chants used in the demonstrations is "We ARE the 99%!" and when cops are around, they will often add "and so are you!" Or sometimes they'll change it and say, "You ARE the 99%!" Solidarity with the police and all the other public sector workers who are being shafted by the Overlords is very much a part of this whole Occupy Wall Street movement. MsExPat encountered a "white shirt" police officer in Brooklyn today, with whom she had a remarkable -- and illuminating -- conversation.
Read it for more.
This is turning into something I don't think anyone could have anticipated.
They aren't there yet, but it won't be long before the police are marching with the activists.
We're all being screwed without lube you see...