Boycott Season is now upon us. Let every citizen take careful aim. Your target is the corporate empire. Your weapon is your wallet.
[By the latter part of May, 1970, feelings about the war in Vietnam had become almost unbearably intense. In Boston, about a hundred of us decided to sit down at the Boston Army Base and block the road used by buses carrying draftees off to military duty. We were not so daft that we thought we were stopping the flow of soldiers to Vietnam; it was a symbolic act, a statement, a piece of guerrilla the after. We were all arrested and charged, in the quaint language of an old statute, with “sauntering and loitering” in such a way as to obstruct traffic.
For all the avowed patriots who demand my Pledge of Allegiance and salutes on Loyalty Day, Fourth of July, and other patriotic, militarized holidays, I fling this question to your hearts: how deep and far does your loyalty to your country run?
It happened so subtly, we missed the corporate coup. Like shadows, corporations surrounded our country and slowly strangled it. They crept into Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, the FDA, the military, the Department of the Interior: everywhere you look, a corporation controls the decisions of this nation. We have become the occupied territory of brand names, corporate logos, monopolistic power, and corporate greed.
with Chris Hedges
TheRealNews on Apr 29, 2022
Legendary UK-based hip-hop artist and activist Kareem Dennis, aka Lowkey, uses his considerable talents as a musician to pay homage to the voices and struggles of the oppressed, from the plight of migrants that have fled to Europe, to the suffering of Iraqis and Palestinians in the Middle East, to the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.
A smoothly functioning society is created and maintained by the people. Children go to school, workers show up at their jobs, shipments are made, groceries and purchases are bought, bills are paid, goods and services are delivered; and so on. In times of justice, when the workings of society are fair, respectful, and uphold the rights and dignity of humanity, then the people have every reason to collectively maintain functional workplaces, schools, roads, social events, and so on.
For decades, the U.S. public seemed largely indifferent to most of the horrible suffering of war. The corporate media outlets mostly avoided it, made war look like a video game, occasionally mentioned suffering U.S. troops, and once in a blue moon touched on the deaths of a handful of local civilians as if their killing were some sort of aberration. The U.S. public funded and either cheered for or tolerated years and years of bloody wars, and came out managing to believe falsely that a large percentage of war deaths are of troops, that a large percentage of war deaths in U.S. wars are U.S. troops, that wars happen in a mysterious place called a “battlefield,” and that with rare exceptions the people killed by U.S. troops are people who need killing exactly like those given death sentences in U.S. courts (except for the ones later exonerated).
This week on Talk World Radio we’re talking about refusing military “service.” Our guest Charles Lenchner is a veteran peace activist, organizer, and political campaigner. Born in the United States, he grew up in Israel where he became an anti-occupation activist at a young age. In 1987, he was drafted into the Israeli Army and subsequently refused orders and spent time in military prison. More recently he was a co-founder of People for Bernie Sanders and today is part of the RootsAction team that publishes ProgressiveHub. I also work for RootsAction.
For those whose personal and political identities are virtually indistinguishable, these are especially vexing times. Specifically, during this historical stage of capitalism it’s challenging to abide by Gramsci’s optimism of the will and heart and not acquiesce to pessimism of the mind, to the intellect’s awareness of certain recalcitrant realities in our world. And residing in the belly of the global beast also compounds one’s sense of personal responsibility.
The 1697 Treaty of Ryswick legalized French control over the western third of the island of Hispaniola – a Spanish asset – under the name of Saint-Domingue. The colony proved to be a valuable spigot of wealth. In 1789, Saint-Domingue supplied two-thirds of the overseas trade of France and was the greatest individual market for the European slave trade. It was a greater source of income for its owners than the whole of Britain’s thirteen North American colonies combined. The labour of half-a-million slaves propped up the dazzling opulence of the French commercial bourgeoisie, and formed the hidden foundations of cities like Bordeaux, Nantes, and Marseille. In August 1791, after two years of the French Revolution and its ripple effects in Saint-Domingue, the slaves revolted.