I’ve been seeing and saying it for a while now. First time I was ever fired at by a throng of armed stormtroopers with tear gas and rubber bullets was at the big anti-Iraq Invasion protest march in DC in early 2003.I still feel a little regret about that date. Truth be told I feel like I got into the global activism movement late compared to other people I knew who had started at the paradigm shifting Seattle WTO protest in ’99 — that event is now known as “the coming out party for the activist movement of our generation”. But at least I finally got a clue and got hooked in. The next time was at the FTAA protests down in Miami, FL, also in 2003. I’ve seen and felt what it’s like to be marching, unarmed and vulnerable, in a giant crowd of your fellow citizens speaking up for something that you know is right but facing down an army of uniformed police armed to the hilt, a different group of your fellow citizens… that fear of not knowing what’s going to happen next. Seeing people get taken down right in front of you. Not knowing if you should run and hide or stand your ground. Your life is on the line. But so is freedom truth and justice.
When I first heard about activism in general it was through the footage of the activism that went on the 1960s in the United States. One assumes the majority of these people were so called left-wingers. Later in life I started hearing about a different kind of activists. The Patriot Movement is what it was called; might still be. Constitutionalists. People who wanted the United States to go back to being more of a free society, with more liberty and less laws and regulations. The Jon Birch Society was one such organization. Interestingly the people in these groups were all more like right-wingers. Hard righties.
And then I started getting involved in whatever seemed most important at the time. A lot of people in the know were traveling the country participating in protests against the WTO, the World Bank, Free Trade, the G6 then G8, and especially against the United States march towards war just after 9/11. These groups seemed more left-wing again.
Then a funny thing happened. The Tea Party. Now I know what a lot of people are thinking right about now. That bunch of whackamoles?!? Yeah, that bunch. Take the Sarah Palins and Michelle Bachmans out of it and what we have is a small group within this larger group that have at their heart the same unifying principles and desires as any other freedom, justice, liberty and law loving Americans. More importantly they were willing to head out into the streets to march and protest and demand to get what they felt as American citizens they deserved.
Then what? The Occupy movement. Same idea. Different group for sure. One group seems to be complaining about the government taking too much money away from people and giving it away to poor people (while the majority of them at the same time claim that they will NOT give up their Social Security or Medicare or Farm Subsidy checks) and then there’s this other group equally passionate complaining about the government NOT giving away more money to “the people” instead of the “big banks and corporations”. Somewhere in between are the activists who are less concerned about either of those activities and more concerned about our rampant loss of basic freedoms over the last ten to twenty years and a seemingly blatant corruption that has seeped into the government.
These days when you’re out in the street, protesting the White House’s banning GMO labeling or wiretapping it’s citizens or committing torture or drone strikes, there’s a pretty healthy mixture of all sides of the economic and political fence. Truth is, these left and right groups have a lot more in common than any of us realize. People have been saying it for years: the government(s) use the left and right political parties as a tool to divide and conquer the citizenry of a country so they are unable to unify against the ruling elite. This is not a new idea. But to many people who are still staunchly leaning one way or the other, it’s about time they caught up and jumped in line.
Sure we aren’t going to ever find ourselves with a broad based consensus among the majority of the American people regarding abortion rights or same sex marriage rights or even social service like welfare. But the bigger issues, the ones we should really be concerning ourselves with, such as loss of privacy and basic freedoms and liberties, or government corruption, campaign finance corruption, lobbying, and anything else Constitutional… these are ideals that are being lost on many people as they fight against which president they think is the “least desirable”, when in fact both candidates (at least of the two major controlling parties (see “controlling parties”)) work for the same side — that is, any side that will PAY their bills. THIS corporatocracy and how we wrestle control back out of their hands and into our own… this is something that any concerned citizen from either side of the political divide can agree on.
For years I’ve been noticing, observing, commenting on, how similar both groups are becoming… Precisely because in reality there aren’t really TWO groups. There are MANY. In reality there is just a country made up of 300 million people who don’t want to lose it. Think Egypt. Think Tunisia. Think Syria. It’s not because we’ve woken up one day and realized that we all of a sudden all agree on same sex marriage… or even gun rights. Yes, many on the right are flat out ass backwards in their stated defense of the Constitution AND at the same time their refusal to allow others the same Constitutional rights as they enjoy. And YES there are some on the left who are flat out crazy for wanting to do away with State’s rights in order to pass broad sweeping laws that they believe are “for the betterment of everyone” when that idea is the exact opposite of what “The United States” is all about — the sovereignty of the individual states and the people who live in them. Hell, the only thing that the Federal government should be legislating is our military defense. Righties get that. Lefties don’t. Both sides have some catching up to do.
And that catching up may happen sooner than later. This weekend yet another Obama White House faux paz slipped out of their duplicitous grip when it was revealed that the president signed over control of all wired communications to the Dept of Homeland Security in times of emergency, including control of the internet. Read the article here. The measure has sparked a fire of controversy already and the White House is already on the defense over it. It is these little things that anyone on any side can come together on. And truth be told probably a whole lot more in between.
Right around the same time that I saw this article — posted by someone on the left? The right? Hard to tell these days. And that’s the point… I also saw this post below by a retired United States military veteran. I think it speaks volumes more than I can so I’ve pasted it in it’s entirety:
“I’ve had many people ask me over the past few years will I give my militia orders to fire on American troops? As a veteran myself I know the difference between a lawful and unlawful order, and if American troops follow unlawful and unconstitutional orders to oppress the American people in anyway they will be treated no differently than the enemy because in doing so they have become the enemy. Let me make this clear to every service member, LEO and federal agent out there. It’s not only your right to question unlawful and unconstitutional orders from those appointed above you but it’s your responsibility and duty to question them. If you follow those unlawful, unconstitutional orders your are just as guilty as the person giving them it makes no difference if you didn’t know or not you’re still guilty of the crime. In fact, under Article 90 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), during times of war, a military member who willfully disobeys a superior commissioned officer can be sentenced to death. Seems like pretty good motivation to obey any order you’re given, right? Nope. These articles require the obedience of “LAWFUL” orders. An order which is unlawful not only does not need to be obeyed, but obeying such an order can result in criminal prosecution of the one who obeys it. Military courts have long held that military members are accountable for their actions even while following orders. I’ll bet a lot of you out there are wishing you would have stayed awake in basic training when they taught us about the UCMJ, huh? Just honor your oath, if I along with millions of veterans still honor our oaths we damn well expect all those still serving to honor theirs….remember, there’s no expiration date on our oath and you will be held accountable for your actions!!!
Michael Graham III
Founder of The Three Percenters Club
Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum”
Perhaps we’ve finally reached that tipping point where the men in uniform started defending & backing up the activists in the streets instead of firing tear gas & rubber bullets at us. ?It is only a matter of time before we realize that we are all more alike than we realize. The worst thing we can do as a people is fall prey to the left versus right game of charades that the government so desperately seems to want us to. One would say that divided yes indeed it does seem like an impossible dream for us to even imagine that we the people could start turning things around in the United States. The government is too powerful. They’re too sold out to the big banks and corporations. There’s nothing we can do on our own. We don’t want to get in any trouble. We have kids; we have to think of them… I get it. We all get it. But how soon before we are forced to start paying attention? Before we are forced to believe that we CAN do something? That we HAVE to do something? How soon before we are forced to start recognizing that our neighbor who may have voted for the “wrong candidate for president” is actually our friend and not our enemy? How soon before the left starts looking an awfully lot like the right and vice versa? In a revolution both sides fight not each other but the controlling powers whose sole mission is to destroy the heart and spirit of both sides in order to maintain control rather than give it to the people. #WalkLikeAnEgyptian