Join Us, Ye Custodians of Democracy!

Of course, there is nothing new here in this Moyers classic Spying On Democracy, but once in a while it’s good to read that it’s not just that we forgot to take our anti-paranoia meds in the morning.


Many corporations have their own intelligence sections, for example, so that they may have a unit that spies on activists, animal rights and environmental activists are one of the prime targets, because the F.B.I. has labeled them a top domestic terrorism threat. So that if you go to a protest and you’re an animal rights activist, you can expect that you’re being tracked in one way or another.
They now identify what they call the anarchist threat. And that’s basically anyone who I think may be continuously critical of government and corporate policies, who speaks out, and who isn’t intimidated by corporations. So they spend vast amounts of money to track these individuals.


You say, “We need more troublemakers to bring us to our senses.” Troublemakers?


That was a quote from a judge in New York over an Occupy Wall Street case, and the judge said that Occupy, in effect, had shone a light on these so-called troublemakers. The police department called them troublemakers. And he said that they really provide an invaluable service in terms of reminding us what’s important in our country.
The custodians of democracy are the ordinary people that make up this country and make us so special. They believe that we can be a thriving democracy and that we do not have to cede our lives and our autonomy to multinational corporations who I think have really robbed us of some of the privileges that we’ve been so fortunate to have over the history of this nation. And they’re not afraid to stand up to leaders.

But, hey, rather than reading this watch the original!

We’re All Terrorists Now! (Updated 2/21/2014)

Cross-posted from Fossil Free RI

Interesting article in The Guardian:

DoD might be forced by circumstances to put its broad resources at the disposal of civil authorities to contain and reverse violent threats to domestic tranquility. Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, DoD would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance.

Indeed, anyone with even half a functioning brain has known all along that the Pentagon knows what we know: climate change will wreak havoc nationally and internationally. As Naomi Klein wrote a couple of years ago in Capitalism vs. the Climate:

Denialists are dead wrong about the science. But they understand something the left still doesn’t get about the revolutionary meaning of climate change.

A gas flare burns at a fracking site in rural Bradford County Pennsylvania

A gas flare burns at a fracking site in rural Bradford County Pennsylvania

The consequences will pose a serious threat for the Ruling Class which runs the Pentagon.

Sacrifice zones will go first, but national excitement will really take off when big chunks of the east and west coast of the US will start sinking into the rising waters.

Fortunately, we have the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012: we’re all terrorists now.

Thank you, dear Senators & Representatives, for your courageous stand in these matters!


Documents reveal NSA and GCHQ efforts to destroy Assange and track Wikileaks —click at your own risk— supporters. Here is some of what Michael Ratner has to say about this:

Then what they say: we also have the capacity to go onto the WikiLeaks website, or to look at that website, and everybody who visits the WikiLeaks websites, search or not, according to, you visit the website, we have an ability to track their IP addresses. So here you have not just the U.S. intelligence going after WikiLeaks, the NSA, but you have GCHQ as well, and, in this second case, going after anybody who has even an interest in WikiLeaks, even if it’s an interest against WikiLeaks, everybody who looks at WikiLeaks.

A Super Bowl Filled With Toxic Mix of Sports And Jingoism

It doesn’t make sense. But the point is, it does make sense: it’s a way of building up irrational attitudes of submission to authority, and group cohesion behind leadership elements — in fact, it’s training in irrational jingoism. That’s also a feature of competitive sports. I think if you look closely at these things, I think, typically, they do have functions, and that’s why energy is devoted to supporting them and creating a basis for them and advertisers are willing to pay for them and so on.

Yeah, yeah, yeah! Only an anarchist nutcase like Chomsky can come up with elitist crap like that. Right? Wrong! Even respectable conservatives like Andrew Bacevich do
sink to this depth:

Fenway Park, Boston, July 4, 2011. On this warm, summer day the Red Sox will play the Toronto Blue Jays. First, however, come pre-game festivities especially tailored for the occasion. The ensuing spectacle — a carefully scripted encounter between the armed forces and society — expresses the distilled essence of present-day American patriotism. A masterpiece of contrived spontaneity, the event leaves spectators feeling good about their baseball team, about their military, and not least of all about themselves — precisely as it was meant to do.

No idea why Jessica Lynch comes to mind.

People can be fooled once, twice —shame on them!— in fact as many times as you like, and, unfortunately, it’s not only true in the United States of Amnesia.

GA minutes, February 1, 2014

2/1/2014 General Assembly

  • The works are to be discussed. TBA, some Occupiers are to be involved.
  • A homeless action to honor the memory of John Joyce is in the works, meeting, rally, march. Occupy Providence has ideas to contact the people involved in the Utah solution to homelesness. Also see this site. Search for speakers in progress; RSVP with thoughts, ideas and interests.
  • OWS has invited Occupy Providence to Nat Gat, 2014, Sacramento CA.Date will be confirmed by 1/14/2014. Racial profiling is an ongoing issue, some activist have been talking with police to create a bill against profiling. There will be a meeting at Mount Hope Neighborhood Association., 5:30 pm on Monday. This is the coalition against racial profiling. Occupy GA endorsed these efforts.
  • Ray Watson wants people to write letters to the Chair of the board of the Urban league.
    More details are here.
  • There will be a Rally Against Surveillance Tuesday 2/11 @ 1pm The Federal Bldg. Kennedy Plaza, Downcity Providence.
    There may be a rescheduled if there is snow. It’s “The Day We Fight Back” national action. Remember Aaron Swartz. Enndorsed by Occupy Providence.
  • Next GA will be at Rochambeau Branch Library 2/8/2014 at 11:30am prior to the RI Coalition to Defend Human and Civil Rights at noon and “Dirty Wars” a film/documentary by Jeremy Scahill and same location.