Peace and Civility
Freedom Of Speech
"...There comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odius makes you so sick at heart that you can't take part,you can't even passively take part and you've got to put your bodies upon the wheels and upon the levers and you've got to tell the people that run it,the people who own it that unless you're free the machine will be prevented from working at all"
That quote above is an excerpt from a speech given by a man named Mario Savio on the Sproul Hall steps at the University of California,Berkeley.The top photograph on the right is of Mario standing on top of a car and giving an impromptu speech to a crowd of students who had gathered to protest the University banning all political activity and fundraising.Fresh off of a trip to Mississippi,on a mission to help African Americans register to vote,Mario returned to the university to find that the very freedoms he was away fighting for had been banned for all students.Mario had returned with the intent of raising money for the Civil Rights movement and was distraught by what he'd found.He would tell his friend Karlyn Barker that he could not forget what he'd done and the people that he'd just met in Mississippi a few weeks before.
Against the will of then U.C. president Clark Kerr,the students set up tables and booths to raise funds subsequently the police were called.One student in particular was chosen by the police because he'd set up a booth.After havingh his set up and table broken down by the police,he was arrested and placed in the rear of a police car.Unable to contain the passion for justice that raged within him,Mario kicked off his shoes and climbed on top of the police car and someone yelled from inside the crowd "Sit Down",everyone in the crowd sat down.Mario proceeded to give a rousing speech and the ensuing peaceful sit-in(stand off) would last 32 hours.
The next time Mario would climb on top of the car again it was to say this to the members of the peaceful protest "I ask you to rise quietly and with dignity and go home"The steps of Sproul Hall would later be renamed the Mario Savio steps a year after his death in 1997.
I have often wondered what else did we lose with the passing of men and women like Mario Savio from the generation before mine.My preliminary conclusion brought me to seeing the obvious first,solidarity.Something that happened recently closer to my home and in this age that we all share now,exemplified this trend and solidified my personal observations,that people are afraid to do what is right today,even if that means putting yourself in a position to go against the wishes of your superiors.For example watch this clip below:
Don't Tase Me Bro
Peace At Any Price
The man who gets tasered in the video is named Andrew Meyer.I've spent much time analysing the rhetoric that he'd been reading to better understand his perceptions and questions he was asking in the extended edition of this video.I read the book he was holding but the rhetoric isn't important here.I spent even longer with the video itself,Is it me or is the majority of the crowd just sitting there?At an institute of higher learning getting arrested for asking a question and barely anyone moved,really disturbs me..When compared to the reaction of the youth from a generation ago,the implications of this societal shift seem ominous to me.In the extended version of the clip Mr.Meyer is told what he is being arrested for and his response to the police officer is "For asking a question?"Mr.Meyer was tasered and arrested for "Inciting A Riot"The question was posed to Senator John Kerry and that was the amplified voice you heard as Senator Kerry casually kept talking as the student was pleading with the police officers not to be tasered.I would've expected a man elected to preserve our fundamental rights,a man who at one point wanted to be our president,would have said something.
I ask you to consider if Mario Savio was to climb on top of a car,as this student was being arrested would that have been considered inciting a riot today?The comparison is stark and you can clearly see the difference between these two events,over the span of 40 years.Mr.Meyer's scream of "Don't tase me bro" gained notoriety,bumper stickers,songs and even made Yale university's list of best quotes for the year.This passive acceptance of his loss of Freedom of Speech should be disheartening to any American with thoughts on their minds and enough passion in their hearts to say something,this includes a passion for peace.Regardless of Mr.Meyers rhetoric I'd expect more to have spoken up because the acceptance of his lost freedom means the acceptance of yours.One day when you need to speak up,for peace for instance, your silence is your accepting this same treatment of you.I consider it a travesty that the apathetic citizenry around you may casually press on as if nothing is happening to you,even if that citizen is one you elected to preserve and defend those very freedoms that we all consider fundamental and inalienable rights.
Well maybe I am alone in this but I believe every human being on this planet has the fundamental right to speak freely and without risk of retribution.That we are born with this freedom is a self evident truth,that Thomas Jefferson so eloquently expressed for us to remember.This is true especially if I don't agree with you and I will stand with you in solidarity,for you to be able to have your say and I expect the same from you.Eventually enough of humanity will discontinue being pawns of the oligarch's and the demands for peace will waft through the windows of their Ivory towers,that are the result of your labor and excised by taxation.
As reported by the B.B.C. in February of 2009 the British police are bracing for the summer of rage.From the machinations of Homeland Security and the thoughts from one of the U.S. Army's think tanks,which I frequently visit,America is not far behind maybe in their estimation, It's better to call it (in America) a fall of rage.From what we've all seen taking place around the world,there is little civility in these protests from either side (police/citizenry)and they quickly dissolve into anarchy.
We have been behaving in such an uncivilised manner in our own culture wars here in the States that the voices of reason and screams for peace and revulsion at our collective trajectory will be drowned out by the sounds of our screams for mercy,or silenced,shackled and sentenced for inciting a riot.Perhaps we should look into the mirror at our own contributions to this trend and that maybe,just maybe those who we loathe because of our perceived differences are really not that different from us.This can be evidenced in this very microcosm and playground for those interested in sociology, called hubpages.I spend more time reading these hubs than I do writing them and I am fascinated by the "hubtivity"People from all over the world of different faiths,perspectives,backgrounds and upbringing find common ground and develop friendships through a shared love of art,poetry,humor,music,literature etc...Everything that we miss about each other while we're too busy arguing in the real world or simply too afraid to find out of another outside of our social circles and perceived hierarchies,is learned here.Maybe the world would be a better place if we all walked around with a profile page on our backs,I may not like your views on(insert topic here)but I sure did like that (insert topic here) in your profile,so maybe you're O.K. even if we don't agree on everything.
Our future and the very world that our children inherit depends on our solidarity and respect for each other as individuals,regardless of our personal differences.As I lurk on these pages sampling the thoughts of people of all ethnicities,philosophies and ideologies one thing is clear,the odiousness of the rulers of our "machine"is becoming obvious to most and what is good for Wall St. isn't neccesarily good for Main St.The brutal truth is that we have been contributing to our loss of freedoms by the way we treat each other and allow each other to be treated.The Homeland Security apparatus is growing and remains in the control of whichever side we elect to power.
As I write this there is a 16 year old boy from North Carolina in custody after his mother and siblings were awakened by a team of federal agents.Ten federal agents and 3 state troopers, stormed the boys home and took him away.He is alleged to have made bomb threats and because the Patriot Act was used to justify the raid and arrest his mother can not get him out or get any answers.If any of you have read the Patriot Act the child is now considered an enemy of the state and he is then stripped of all of his rights.I will include the video below,if you're interested in hearing his mother tell the story.
During the 2004 R.N.C.(Republican National Convention) hundreds of protesters were arrested and detained simply for walking peacefully beyond the protest zones(Protest Zones???).Many members of the political right knew about it and remained silent.Let them arrest those pink commies they deserve it and they are a threat to national security.It's been interesting to watch how quickly the focus of the Homeland Security apparatus zoomed in on the right when the political left gained control.Ahhh,but who's paying attention those racist facist deserve it,after all they are the real threat to national security.To the members of the apparatus they means you,it simply depends on the perceptions of whoever is giving the commands.Eventually a continuation on this path will mean that they means us.
And so the people continue to play checkers,linear in thought and limited in vision,distracted by the circus presented by the media with very little truth,mostly propaganda,who cares about the truth when Brittany Spears shaves her head,now that's news you can use.In my personal opinion this is allowed to happen,even encouraged,since it provides the cover for the oligarchs to continue to play chess,filling your minds with doublespeak, while convincing the brutes that they are engaged in a game of checkers.George Orwell summed up the results of this trend beautifully in the novel 1984 "If you want a picture of the future,imagine a boot stomping on a human face---forever"
The avoidance and end to this potential future is also the beginnings of peace in my humble opinion.Peace begins with having the civility to listen,debate,negotiate even argue then defending your ideological opponents right to do the same.In other words peace and the preservation of freedom begins with you and from my perspective very soon we will have realised that while we were arguing,the very freedoms we depend on to speak truth to power in America have slipped away and if we don't stand in solidarity then those brave enough to demand peace,in essence rocking the boat,will be taken away in the name of national security.For my children to live in peace I would pay any price,so I stand with you in solidarity,citizens of this world,so our children can live in peace together.
I have only a single request and that is by forming this chain you hold the line at any price,you may not live to see the results of your efforts as this is sure to take some time.You may have to venture beyond your comfort zone or even <GASP> the protest zone but I promise, peace is worth it and you never know you may make a new friend of your perceived former enemy.Then when it's over we can all rise up in dignity and go home.
Oh look Brittany Spears is on the tube I gotta go.
Hold the line homelanders.
Mario Savio,Inciting a riot
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