I met Sgt. Shamar Thomas at the rally against Police Brutality on 10/22/11 in Union Square, New York City. This was right after his famous rant against the NYPD had gone viral. Sgt. Thomas served 14 months in Iraq and the war has been going on so long both his parents served there as well but when he came home and saw how the police were treating United States citizens, well; let’s just say he lost it. [see video]
“This is not a war zone. These are unarmed people. It doesn’t make you tough to hurt these people. You want to fight? Go to Iraq and Afghanistan. Leave these people alone. They are U.S. citizens. Why are you doing this to our people? They don’t have guns. How do you sleep at night? There is no honor in this, etc.”
Across our nation our police forces have been turned into Para military units complete with tanks, tasers, riot gear, sound guns, machine guns, mace, etc. And they are using this force against unarmed, nonviolent protesters. I realize not all police are guilty of this but what does it say about a system of government that allows this violence to occur? What is the difference between Hitler’s SS storm troopers of Nazi Germany and our militarized police forces? This unchecked violence will only escalate.
The amount of mace blasting from their canisters looks like the fire hoses that were turned against the Civil Rights protesters in the south in the 60’s. However, in the 60’s they had Robert Kennedy, the Attorney General to deal with. Kennedy demanded these racist actions be stopped and when the Governors, Mayors and police chiefs ignored him he sent in the National Guard to stop the violence.
Obama condemns the use of violence in Egypt while remaining mute here at home and allowing these types of actions to go on right here under his nose. By not speaking out against these atrocities, Obama, Bloomberg, Pisti Basile (UC Davis), Mayor Jean Quan (Oakland), whomever are complicit with these actions and like we said in the 60’s, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”.
Do these recent violent events reveal the true state of our country? Are we now a police state ruled by the oligarchy at the expense of the many to protect the few? These oligarchs, the 1%, along with the blessings of many of our bought off elected officials, as it turns out, have systematically been hollowing out America from the inside for the past 50 years.
Both Democrats and Republicans it seems have been more than willing to sell America’s future out from under us. Corporate welfare has spiraled out of control and many of our largest corporations do not pay taxes and in fact receive millions back from our government: GE, Bank of America, AIG, and Citicorp, to name a few. [see “16 More Companies That Pay Almost Nothing in Taxes”]
Taxes for millionaires/billionaires have diminished from 91% under Eisenhower, when America was at her zenith, to 70% under Nixon, to 50% under Reagan, to their current lowest point under Bush and then Obama extended the tax cuts for the rich. Clinton sold American’s NAFTA by assuring us this would be great for creating jobs. Unfortunately, he failed to mention those jobs would be created overseas. Clinton also deregulated Wall Street by killing the Glass-Steagall Act, which was put into place in 1933 after the stock mark crash to protect us from that ever happening again and sure enough without these regulations the banks went about the business of gambling with our money and caused the global meltdown of 2008, which we still have not recovered from.
The too big to fail banks are now larger than ever and the limp bank regulations have done absolutely nothing to change that or rein in their salacious behavior. It’s all smoke and mirrors. So while hundreds of protesters are beaten, maced, and arrested the bankers go about business as usual. And then there’s the proverbial icing on the cake, Citizen’s United. Our Supreme Court anointed corporations personhood thus allowing unbridled and undisclosed amounts of cash to further bribe and corrupt already compromised politicians.
Let’s be honest our system is rotten to the core and our elected officials being only human are no longer serving us: homes foreclosed on or underwater, jobs sent overseas, students bridled with school loan debt, pensions and savings stolen and now they’re trying to kill Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. So out of sheer desperation, with no where else to turn, we’ve finally taken to the streets to stand up against our incarceration and say enough is enough.
The powers that be have no ideas. No answers. Their system is dead and only comes to search, seek and destroy. They are afraid and have decided to fight back with the only thing they know. Violence.
Obama is not a president. I don’t believe we’ve had a real president since JFK and we all know what happened to him. Obama is a brand that was put in place after the Bush brand collapsed. I believe Obama is the Trojan horse put in office to do what no Republican could have gotten away with and that is to take all our rights and social safety nets away in the name of austerity and balanced budgets. But his “hope and change” brand is collapsing around him. They only thing keeping him afloat are fear of the crazy Republicans.
And as long as money is the name of the game and elections cost outrageous amounts of cash (Obama needs to raise $1 billion) a mere politician is left with no alternative but to serve his corporate puppet masters and when things get rough best to leave the country or beat the drums for war with Iran. Well, sure why not. It worked twice before. Why not again? The Occupy Wall Street movement isn’t going away so the powers that be pull their trump card. War should distract us. No matter there’s no evidence for it. [see Seymour Hersh interview on Democracy Now!]. It’s WMD’s all over again and the corporate media or propaganda machine is more then willing to pick up the lies and run with them. This way when American’s aren’t numbing out on “Dancing With the Stars” or some other mindless entertainment they can be afraid. Fear is how they control us. It’s the oldest trick in the book. The Russians used it in the 50’s and now the U.S. uses it.
Throughout history all totalitarian regimes have eventually turned on their own citizens. The violence always comes home to roost but like Gandhi said,
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win.”
A Course in Miracles teaches, “You become what you defend against.” And we have become a culture of war. Claiming to have no money for schools, pensions, healthcare, social safety nets while spending millions on pitting militarized police against peaceful protestors and now with the passage of the Patriot Act and with Homeland Security and the Department of Justice all working together the police state has been put in place
So this is our moment, perhaps our only chance. We must remain nonviolent. This is the key. I recently listened to a talk Marianne Williamson gave at Occupy Oakland and she had a very valid insight. “In the 60’s we stopped the war but we did not create peace.” We cannot solve our problems from the same level of consciousness that created them. The powers that be would like nothing better then for our peaceful protests to turn violent so they could instill marshal law and use all their high-powered weaponry on us. We cannot allow this to happen. We must remain ever diligent and win the hearts and minds of those who still do not understand.
Think of all the brave souls who have risked their lives by putting their bodies in front of the machine, from New York City to Seattle to Oakland to Egypt and beyond.
Scott Olsen – Iraq war Vet seriously injured @ Occupy Oakland
Kayvan Sabeghi – Iraq war Vet seriously injured @ Occupy Oakland
Elizabeth Nichols – pepper-sprayed @ Occupy Portland
Dorli Rainey – 84 year-old activist pepper-sprayed @ Occupy Seattle
UC Davis students – pepper-sprayed @ University of California
Brendan Watts – Beaten @ Occupy Wall Street
Ydanis Rodriguez – NYC Council member arrested/detained @ Occupy Wall Street
Pancho Ramos Stierle – meditator arrested/faces deportation @ Occupy Oakland
Robert Hass – 70 year-old Poet Laureate beaten @ Berkeley
We deserve a better world and it is up to us to create it. But make no mistake Americans have been asleep since the gunshots rang out at Kent State and four college students were murdered in cold blood and now our sleeping giant, America’s youth, have once again awakened and I have faith with truth and justice on their side, God willing, they just might save us from ourselves.
“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”
— Isaac Asimov
Jill Dalton is a recovering army brat/writer/performer who has appeared in film and television as well as performing her solo plays in New York and around the country. Most recently she can be seen in and consulted for William Hurt on the HBO film, “Too Big To Fail.” Her articles have been published on: Dandelion Salad, RSN, OpEdNews & Progressive Activists Voice. She is currently writing a screenplay.
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