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Demonstrating with the stars

By Mike Flugennock on Sunday March 9, 2008 02:26 PM

Oh, hot damn' diggety; here's the usual suspects, back again to waste our time:


-- Code Pink, Democratic Party front group, starring Medea "Media" Benjamin, the Britney Spears of the anti-war "movement" (oops, she did it again);

-- IVAW, starring Adam Kokesh and his sprayed-on t-shirt, and George Clooney of the anti-war "movement" (sigh, swoon, palpitate);

-- Hip-Hop Caucus, starring Lennox "Whip Me, Beat Me, Cripple Me" Yearwood, achievers of absolutely nothing that I can recall;

-- ANSWER, who coulda' been a contendahh (cue the Volga Boatman);

... and, of course, the inimitable After Downing Street (jeezus, give it up, the "election" is less than a year away, already, thank Dog);

-- PLUS a cast of dozens! Be still, my heart.

Oh, how I can hardly wait for this retitled, repackaged, same old shit in a different bag -- yet another round of trudging up to Crapitol Hill to beseech a bunch of bloody oligarchs to act against their own best interests, and one...more...time, be threatened with arrest, roughed up and bum's-rushed out of the goddamn' place. Check out their lame-assed "Mission Statement" (god, how I hate "Mission Statements") at www.stop-losscongress.org:

We believe that the time has passed to ask or petition or beg Congress to act under the will of the people. We believe that Congress works for US, and that the time has come to TELL them what they must do. It is time to stop the corrupt and murderous business as usual in the Senate and House of Representatives.

We will participate in non violent direct actions that will deliver our official orders to Congress, and confront them peacefully if they refuse to comply. When we model this behavior to the citizens of the USA, and the world, we hope to inspire them to take similar actions, and take back control of Congress and the Government that is ours...

Lemme get this straight: They say the time has passed to ask, petition or beg Congress, so what are they going to do next week? Why, they're going to ask, petition and beg.

Remember that old joke about how nobody's life and liberty are safe while Congress is in session? Well, it's not a goddamn' joke anymore. If you ask me, you should just let the motherfuckers leave town so that we can enjoy whatever shreds of liberty and dignity we have left until they come back.

Comments (6)


do nothing

Michael Hureaux:

It's pretty amazing. No matter how viciously the mainsteam behaves, many just can't get it through their heads that the character of the factions that lead the ruling class have taken a decisive sea change. It's not that there aren't any appreciable differences between the two factions, it's just that both are intent upon the defense of the empire because that's what capitalism means at this point, empire.

The old marxists used to say that nothing teaches like events. But learning depends upon a willingness to learn, also. And in all truth, many people, myself included, have a hard time understanding that empire light or empire heavy both mean to kill their opponents. Gaza bares witness, but it doesn't matter. Amazing.

But the powers that be will act, to the extent that we let them, when they have a desire to act (with or without congressional ratification). If congress can be made irrelevant, thus distancing power even more from the population, all the better. However pathetic they may seem, these stunts represent the most successful form of activism that presently exists. Certainly we should be doing vastly more, but it's not clear what constructive purpose ridiculing the small amount that actually is being done serves.

(I think it is a fallacy to assume that because people endorse the path they see as being the one that will cause the least pain that they must naive about "the nature of things". Most Democratic party "supporters"* I have spoken to, e.g., don't hold any delusions about the role of the party, they just don't see a better alternative and can't imagine one being created. The situation is a depressing and frightening one one, but not one that warrents the verbal abuse of those participating.)

Bat Delacourte:

Peter, I think Mike's focus is not so much the activism, which could be debated on its own merits, but the self-defeating accompaniment to the activism, for which there is no excuse. Why bother petitioning people who know they've got your votes and support when they call on it? It's worse than silly. Empty threats and staged spectacles are self-mockery, blindly wasteful and demoralizing to anyone who's sincere. They offer no opposition at all.

That's bad enough, but that's also not all there is to to it.

The organizers cannot possibly be ignorant of what came of their previous empty threats.

They've lost supporters by the thousands. They've splintered the anti-war movement. They've managed to elect a few more Democrats who have made it abundantly clear that they have no intention of ending the war. They've responded to every criticism, whether gentle or outraged, with flatulent sanctimony and wails of victimhood. They've made contempt a reasonable response to their activities. Ridicule is letting them off easy.

You say,

Most Democratic party "supporters"* I have spoken to, e.g., don't hold any delusions about the role of the party, they just don't see a better alternative and can't imagine one being created.

My experience has been the same, with one small difference. Most of them demand proven an acceptable -- to them -- alternative of efficacy as a precondition for ending their support of the Democrats, who support the war. Needless to say, no such thing can materialize on its own. There is no magic movement waiting to make its blushing debut. It cannot be imagined into being, as they rightly acknowledge. They'll have to work for it, possibly with people who are not quite their cup of tea. But they won't do that, because no one has presented them with an alternative of proven efficacy. I'm sure you can see the problems that approach creates.

I'll just add this one more bit, and (ahem) move on:

Since at least the First Clinton Era, Congress has either increasingly openly ignored or flat-out deliberately acted against the wishes of the People, regardless of how loud the non-violent(spit) public outcry, and the only thing the public (bless 'em) can think of to do is the same old letter-writing, petition-signing bullshit.

In the meantime, lately, especially since 9/11, as the State's tactics against the people escalate -- such as beating and tasering people who talk back to John Kerry -- the peace'n'justice cargo cults...uh, movements, sorry... can't think of anything else to respond with except the same old beat-assed old Gandhian crap that didn't work in the '60s (when you really think about it) and isn't working now. Anybody here remember that definition of insanity as repeating the same actions with an expectation of a different result?

Honestly, gang; if the so-called antiwar "movement" really wants some results, they need to ditch the nonviolence dogma and start taking some serious direct action. What the Cuban revolutionaries did, what the Weathermen did in the '60s, what the Palestinian and Iraqi freedom fighters are doing, and what the anarchists did in Seattle in '99 may have been nasty and messy, but it sure as hell got results. At least somebody out there is growing some balls in Seattle (ELF burns newly-constructed McMansions) and NYC (Armed Forces recruiting office bombed).

The "movement" needs to knock off the Gandhi crap and start following the examples of people overseas who don't have any problems with rioting and fighting the police in the streets. It's nasty, bloody and messy, but if you take a look at history, nothing was ever accomplished by waving signs and singing Kum Bah Yah.


Only a tiny sliver of the nebulous majority that supports hasty withdrawal would be willing to engage in violent direct action. Those who did would be marginalized and courtesy of the Patriot twins would have the book... hell, the whole fucking library... thrown at 'em. (And I question your claims of the efficacy of the Weathermen!!!)

I think a one-day general strike along the lines of the Immigrant Day of Action (or whatever it was called) of Spring '06 is a much more promising course of action. If commitments to participate rose above a certain threshold then folks would be willing to walk off the job without fear of employer initiated repercussions. Alas, in an election season when many an anti-war symp holds out unwarranted hopes that an Obama win is the vehicle of vehicles, such a threshold is probably out of reach for the time being... the very dilemma that is the raison d'etre of this site.

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