February 04, 2008

[Our Impeding Doom] Ideological Profiling

Here's an article my friend forwarded to me about the revamped Homeland Security Act in the United States:

Perhaps CNN and Fox haven't "had time" to mention a whole lot about this, given their orgiastic coverage of the Presidential race. You know, news stories about the erosion of democracy just don't seem to garner as much attention as those discussing Clinton's waterworks and Romney's latest makeover.

The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act was already passed in the House by an overwhelming majority last October. The Senate is currently offering their second "sober" opinion. As the article explains, the legislation brands both radical and reactionary anti-globalization (or "AG") activists as falling into the same "operational environment as al-Qaeda".

I know, they've been calling social justice activists "terrorists" for years, but here is a piece of government legislation that pits everyone from civil rights activists to environmentalists to unionists against some kind of corporate-security-state apparatus. Further, it gives the impression that Seattle-type demonstrations (read manifestations of democracy) are genuine threats to the security of the homeland.

How ironic when I think back to the Quebec City protests, when I marched alongside tens of thousands of peaceful activists: Our voices were drowned by the violent gagging reflex caused by tear gases unleashed with reckless abandon by the very forces that were originally designed to keep us safe. Who were the real terrorists there? Were they the hundreds of riot cops lined in formation with guns and shields and helmets and an entire arsenal of high tech military equipment - or were they the people marching with drums and signs and costumes, singing songs and chanting about the impacts of free trade?

When I read about legislation like that discussed above, I see the legal justification of more tear gas, more water canons, more rubber bullets (soon to be replaced by real bullets).. and for what? To keep us "terrorists" from expressing our concerns about the destructive effects of neoliberal capitalism upon our society's moral fabric, our environment, our jobs and our socioeconomic wellbeing?

Say hello to the very near future, friends, it's called fascism. This is what Polanyi warned us about decades ago, and what we've seen manifested in previous eras when the marriage between capitalist interests and the state feels threatened and can't keep people deluded any longer, and so they have to find some way of justifying the pursuit of unalterable (and unrealistic) economic growth. The fascists always need "homegrown terrorists" to fill their scapegoat role, and since al-Qaeda has been all too foreign since 9-11, they're turning their eye inward - towards the "Latin Menace", towards Muslims, and yep - social justice activists too.... unbelievable.

My only recommendation for today: Download a pirated copy of Sophie Scholl, watch and learn from this 22-year-old hero, this exemplary rose petal from times passed, and start training yourself to defy the machinery of unjust power that will soon be fortress America.


  1. Reminded me of this wonderful comic

    I love the wonderfully evocative phrase "airport secutity [as the]...elaborate kabuki ritual of pointless activity"