The Occupy Movement ignited popular awareness of “horizontal” concepts, yet many years have passed and few movements – and even fewer organizations – have really figured out how to embody those ideas. Samantha Slade’s new book, Going Horizontal, offers practical tools and tangible practices for all of us seeking to walk our talk … and go horizontal.
The tools of nonviolent action and the skills of struggle are as vital to these times as reading, writing, and arithmetic. Training to use them is as essential as learning how to use a computer. The ability to boycott and strike is as important as the ability to drive a car. Every citizen who knows how to use email should also know how to protest, walk-out, shut-down, occupy, blockade, and more. This is the only way the power of the people can hold the power of oligarchs in check.
C.J. Hinke has produced probably the best collection I’ve read of writings by and about conscientious objectors and war refusers behind bars. It’s called Free Radicals: War Resisters in Prison.
The time is up. The time is now. Gather the people to do the work: the healing, transformative, deepening work of building community, solutions, understanding, skills, knowledge, and hope. You must be the one to make a change, to step out of the rutted tracks of the looming train wreck that is our culture. You must have the courage to walk into the wilderness of what you don’t know and embrace the solutions that will save our lives.
Gossip is the opium of the American public. We lie back, close our eyes and happily inhale the stories about Roosevelt’s and Kennedy’s affairs, Lyndon Johnson’s nude swims with unnamed partners and, now, Nixon’s pathetic “final days” in office.
The Vote – the beloved, abused, scorned, corrupted, stolen, hijacked, pointless, profound, hopeful, depressing, hard-won, cherished vote – is not the only way to take action for meaningful change. Currently, the elections operate in our nation like a cattle chute, all too often forcing us back into the deadly, no-win tracks of the two-party duopoly that serves only the moneyed class. It becomes a handy device for siphoning off the demand for revolutionary change by giving false hope that elected officials will actually enact their campaign promises once in office.
Blockade the gangplanks of the Titanic! Shut down the boilers of the ship! Storm the stairs from steerage and seize the wheel!
We have passed the point where token victories, small handouts, and crumbs from banquet tables will help us. We have struck too many icebergs and the hull of our society has been breached. Band-Aids on shredded steel will not hold back the floodwaters of injustice.
Wishful thinking and random action will not topple the corrupt and powerful collusion of extreme capitalism, the wealthy elite, and military force. For all the courage shown thus far by people across the country in demonstrating, petitioning, even throwing their bodies in the line of danger, I call upon an even greater courage now …
You must believe that pockets of resistance exist. As America plunges into darkness, some people burn with resistance like fires in the night, aglow with respect for the civil liberties that define the modern ideal of freedom. The quiet murmur of their impassioned voices will call to you as they discuss nonviolent strategy and struggle, but you will not be asked to join them until you strike the matchstick of your heart, build a fire of your determination, ignite the blaze of your courage, and reach out to others.
The road to total tyranny is littered with tests — moments when those atop reigning oppression structures learn how far they can push the boundaries of decency without sparking potent people’s resistance. One such moment was when the demented jackass and imperialist butcher George W. Bush marched down a red carpet to screw up his evil, moronic face to announce the U.S. invasion of Iraq on openly false pretexts including the shamelessly idiotic claim that Saddam Hussein’s government had been involved in the September 11, 2001 jetliner attacks and the equally bogus charge that Iraq possessed a threatening stockpile of “weapons of mass destruction.” The president and his team of Orwellian Neocon war pigs faced two days of mass protest across the country and around the world. Still, they were not deterred from launching a brazenly criminal invasion and occupation that would kill more than a million Iraqis, displace millions more, and devastate Iraq almost beyond recognition.
Updated: May 16, 2018 Please take action; write and call your Congress person now!
TheRealNews on May 8, 2018
Several dozen websites and organizations are launching a campaign in support of net neutrality ahead of an upcoming US Senate vote on whether to rescind the FCC’s decision to get rid of net neutrality. Craig Aaron on Free Press discusses the plan and the prospects.
48South7th on Aug 31, 2011
Author Michael Parenti challenges his audience to learn about and advocate free speech in the face of oppression. From the origins of the Bill of Rights up to today’s challenges by the FBI and other government entities, Parenti says, it is essential to stand up for one’s rights. He spoke at an event sponsored by the South Bay Committee Against Political Repression.
The secret to successful nonviolent struggle lies in understanding strategy and systems. All systems require participation and resources to survive. Deny those things, and the system will wither away … or concede to meet your demands.