I've Always Wanted To Burn Atlanta
Oh, well, tomorrow's another day. Today, though, I don't see anything much beyond scattered, minor disturbances if the Repukelickin anti-election machine stops Kerry. No real violence, not on our side, anyway. Although, the police are frequently inclined to riot; equipped to do damage; and ideologically right-wing. In spite of that, I really hope people engage in massive, peaceful civil disobedience, and shut the whole damned country down until everyone gets to vote, and every vote is counted.
Even passive resistance is too active for most Americans, normally. We're usually just too fat and happy; even in the worst of times. Other than the odd draft riot, race riot, haymarket riot, bonus army and the like; no real organized, or massively disorganized popular uprising has ever taken place all over this country, all at once. I don't count the Civil War, because that was government against government, even though one was totally illegitimate. It took a draft to get enough men to fight for the other, and they were the ones prosecuting the war.
Most people really have to feel personally desperate before they'll put themselves at risk, even just for an arrest, never mind a bullet. Another rigged election, or an incomplete count, could be the abnormal, unusual, extraordinary thing that gets everybody up off their asses.
I have been heartened by the groundswell of opposition to Dubya these last few weeks. I was afraid people might just let everything slide. But I think Dubya made a gross miscalculation in even mentioning Vietnam; worse yet, through surrogates, and slandering liars at that. It pissed off a lot of people; got them up out of their easy chairs.
Then there was the cold, callous, calculated and continuous attempt to use the tragedy of 9/11; and right in New York, no less, for the crudest political purposes. That, I think, stirred up those old feelings, all that unresolved anger and guilt, pain and desire to DO something, which had fallen dormant in the years since 9/11. That, and seeing our boys and girls --and they are just boys, and girls, many of them-- in uniform being so badly misused in Iraq, while the Shrub just lies and denies and tries to shuck and jive the guilt off on somebody, anybody else... Kinda makes ya mad, don't it?
I hope those feelings continue to burn in people's guts, if the election and tabulation are not full, free and fair. I hope we can force a full, nationwide recount, and get every vote counted. If we do, Bush is history. If we don't, America is history. He will destroy our democracy, ruin our foreign relations, trash our environment and our economy. We just can't sit by and let that happen.
So, for now, just get out there and VOTE! And bring two friends. If it isn't all done fairly, we absolutely must raise high holy hell until it IS done fairly: Corporate America doesn't make a dime until it is. No violence: just communication, among ourselves; organisation, of peaceful protest; and massive, paralysing civil disobedience. Buy nothing. Sell nothing. Don't work. Don't play. Don't do anything. Every city and every highway must be shut down. Park your car on the freeway or sideways in the middle of Main Street, if you have to. Every stock exchange, commodities exchange, bank and money market must be shut down.
If it comes to that, I hope someone manages to shut down our transportation networks, and our whole system of government, from federal to state to county to municipality. I hope truckers and airline employees and civil servants refuse to report to work, and workers everywhere go out on strike. This country, this democracy, this economy runs on people. If we choose to, we can stop it. If we don't have a functioning democracy, nothing else can, or should function. I only hope we have the guts, and the unity, to do it, if the time comes. Otherwise, democracy really is dead here.
The election is only a week away: If we don't prepare, Bush may get away with it again. These blogs, and the various interconnected websites, should form a resistance network right now. Back-up phone numbers, email addresses, and snail-mail addresses should be exchanged, one to one. People living in the same area should arrange to meet, and plan for any eventuality.
There should be ABSOLUTELY no violence, of any kind. That should not even be DISCUSSED in these forums: It could lead to them all being shut down. It's wrong and counter-productive, in every way, always. Don't forget the "Patriot Act:" It could be used to stop patriots: Us. Don't give them any excuse. The goal is to peacefully force a full, free and fair election and count. That's all, but that's non-negotiable. And NOTHING moves until we get that.
Right NOW, today, those willing and able to lead local passive resistance should get prepaid cell phones in another name and address (maybe Aunt Tilly's, especially if she's gumming carrots in a nursing home). Cell phones are actually microwave radios, and don't require warrants to tap. But digital phones are not easy to tap, especially if you don't know the number. Still, they should be used with caution. Big Brother IS watching.
Internet traffic may be jammed, or curtailed; surveiled or shut down: It's highly vulnerable at a number of points, and easily traceable. Snail-mail is too slow, and goes through government hands. The private express mail services are faster, but no more secure. The phone system would be the toughest thing to shut down, selectively. They could do it in a whole geographical area, but they wouldn't want the area to be too big. If they did overdo it, they'd be cutting themselves off, from other agencies and levels of government.
Meeting strangers in person could be dangerous, on many levels. Stick to people you already know and trust, and let everyone build his or her own network. Get a prepaid digital cell-phone now, and start connecting the dots. Give out your regular phone number only as an emergency back-up, and only to those you trust absolutely. Next Wednesday may be too late, to just be getting started. Do it now.
Most importantly, remember: This is a peaceful action, we just want all the votes counted. Whoever wins, wins. Then we go back to work. There is no intent to overthrow or subvert anything, and no violence. If anyone starts talking that way, cut them out, disavow them publicly, and keep them out. Nobody wins if anybody gets disappeared to Guantanamo. Be smart, be safe, be peaceful, and we can't lose.
All we'd be saying is: Count the Vote. And, until then, EVERYBODY stays home. Simple. Peaceful. Effective. If even twenty percent of the population did it, it would have a big effect. Something would have to be done. Stock up on essentials now, if you need to. It could take weeks to get a result, and we'd all have to boycott everything for the whole time. If you are worried about work, call in sick, take personal or vacation days. Whatever it takes. We should stay in touch with election officials, and Kerry's people, but we should not be connected to them in any way. We don't want him blamed for any disruptions. Honest Republicans should join us, also, if there are any. Everybody loses if this election is blown. Let's not blow it, eh?
And don't worry about those few Bushite assholes who will try to mock or dissuade you. This is not just a "liberal" thing to do. This is an American thing to do. Totally mainstream. Why aren't THEY doing it, if the vote and the count are screwed up?
You don't think this can work? You're wrong. It can work. I've seen it work. It will work. If we even get that 20% to stop everything, it would be unprecedented, and the world would take notice. It would be making history, by doing a good thing, for a change. It's time the world knew how bad things are here: How unelected, self-appointed leaders do not represent us, and how we don't support their actions at home or abroad. Even if you call this just a "symbolic" protest, the symbolism is important. The rising corporate multinational empire must know that we are not behind it, not if it murders innocents, enslaves millions, and destroys our way of life. If we lose, we lose. But it's time to make a statement, so our descendants will know we didn't give up on REAL freedom and democracy without a fight. Sometimes, the losers win; if only in the eyes of history.
Yeah, I know it sounds crazy. Paranoid, even. But how crazy will it sound if Bush rigs the election, stops the count, or discounts thousands of votes AGAIN? It's not like he hasn't done it before. We CANNOT let him do it again. If everything goes well, fine. I hope it does. But if not, we'd better be prepared.
READ THIS ON CUL'S SITE, "RATBOY'S ANVIL":
"Ready for a second Civil War?"
- ratboy's anvil
- Just A Bump In The Beltway
- Shining Light In Dark Corners
- The American Street
- daily kos
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