What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

are you scared yet?

Written mostly on 3/10/2012

So last night (3/9) I went to a really great event at Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village put on by the Occupy Legal working group. It was about US domestic spying, counter intelligence, and activism.  The event started out with an hour discussion about the newly published “zine” called “The dissident's survival guide”.  There was a great discussion of it, with commentary by and often arrested and antagonized dissident that has been raising a ruckus for years.

We then watched a movie about COINTELPRO which is the US domestic counter intelligence program.  The film, called COINTELPRO 101, was really quite disturbing under our current protest climate in the US.  Here we are in our "free" society, and have been survailed going back decades, and continue to be today.  I mean this movie wasn't new news to most everyone there.  But to see the description and dialog by the Black Panthers (one of which was there to discuss it afterwards), about the way they were systematically murdered by the US government was really amazing.  

The whole gist of the evening was quite disturbing in the depth of its fearmongering.  Obviously there is a lot of truth to these fears, but I think the fear comes from years of being taught that this didn't happen in our country!  We were repeatedly told about how shady this all was, and told story after story of actual events that have been going on.  Things you never read about in the media. Basically, we were all going to be political prisoners.  Did you know that the US has three prisons specifically designated for political prisoners.  One of the panelists had been incarcerated there for 8 years.

Now I am finishing this post weeks later, so much of the details are not making it into this post.  But it is very much worth saying that we live and have lived in a police state.  The reason we don't all know this is because they are good at it.  People that protest and voice dissent should be aware of the history of not just protest in America, but of the suppression of it as well and of the actual danger that it may bring to them.  I think personally that it is so absolutely absurd to think of Occupy in this way - as a danger to the fundamentals of America and its original values - especially being as deep into it as I am.  But the powers that be are certainly threatened by the messages and awareness coming out of the Occupy movement.  Society is waking up to the economic injustice of our social and economic system.  Those powers that be don't want this to change, and COINTELPRO is as solid a case-in-point of that fact.


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