War is a language of lies. Cold and callous, it emanates from dull, technocratic minds, draining life of color. It is an institutional offense to the human spirit.
In the drizzling rain, I yank up the military recruitment sign and throw it into the tall grasses on the side of the road. If anyone asks, I didn’t “destroy” government property. I merely relocated it. Think of me like a windstorm. A peace-loving, nonviolent windstorm countering military recruitment.
What is it like to be so ashamed of the company for which you work that you cannot bring yourself to admit you work there? Ashamed of the products they manufacture, the innocent people those products kill, the hundreds of billions of dollars of public taxpayer money squandered in a gluttonous pursuit of profits?
The super-indoctrinated, Trump-voting American working class, dulled by the mass media and the “American dream”, has changed very little since the crushing of the great textile strikes that swept the United States in the 1920s. Not an iota of class-consciousness has it absorbed. (Nor has it been explained and offered to all wage earners in sufficient doses.) For also the middle classes, crushed by an ever more desperate, an “end of times” form of capitalism, has not yet grasped that they too are now part of the American proletariat. In that respect it seems that the old, often criticized word proletariat is still quite adequate.
Long before the Covid pandemic, it was important to ask, where are the mass movements to enact in Congress majoritarian-supported changes and reforms? Another question: Whatever happened to the mass rallies that used to command the attention of our 535 members of Congress to whom we have given our sovereign power?
We have a violence problem. It runs through our nation like an invisible road system, touching every front door, cutting through each town and city. Mass shootings kill our children in their schools. Forty-five thousand people will take their own lives this year. An additional 14,000 are likely to be killed by gun violence. Twelve million of our fellow citizens will experience intimate partner violence this year. More than ten million children face violence in the forms of maltreatment, verbal abuse, sexual assault, extreme neglect, and physical abuse.
Three weeks since the UK experienced its hottest weather ever, with temperatures hitting 40°C, it’s become clear that that was just a spike in a long hot summer in which, for the first time ever in my 37-year history of living in London, the weather has turned hostile.
[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.