Zahir Ebrahim, Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
September 25, 2009 | Updated September 29, 2009
“... The small group of people grew as it made its way through the city tonight. People were carrying signs as they walked down liberty avenue, with each block more demonstrators joined the march. They were protesting everything, G-20. 'We are marching in a direction of freedom, which is counter to the direction of G-20.'”
“... I order all those assembled to immediately disperse. You must leave the immediate vicinity. If you remain in the immediate vicinity, you will be in violation of the Pennsylvania crimes code. You must leave. If you do not disperse, you may be arrested, and/or subject to other police action. Other police action may include actual physical removal, the use of riot control agents, and/or less lethal munitions which could cause risk of injury to those who remain. By order of the city of Pittsburgh chief of police, I hereby declare this to be an unlawful assembly. I order all those assembled to immediately disperse ... no matter what your purpose is. ... ”
Veteran dissent-chief Alex Jones spent an hour on Sunday, September 27, 2009 going over the G-20 protest: pt1, pt2, pt3, pt4, pt5. Police are always brutal, whether it is in Pakistan, or in the United States. Judging from Pakistani standards, the police were rather mild in the G-20 protest, and even polite at times, although far more heavily and expensively attired. It appears that they had rehearsed their crowd intimidating tactics extensively someplace. That is the only difference I see between them and other police actions in other nations. As Alex Jones put it, the reason for the heavy-handed response against a thin group of peaceful protesters was to send a message to the public. Dare not oppose the state. I suspect that this exaggerated public intimidation is mainly in preparation for administering the forthcoming swine flu vaccination drive amidst a largely reluctant public. Many coercive hard and soft methods have been prepared for public control. The above were the hard methods. Below is a glimpse at how the church clergy will be used to soften the state's blow of Martial Law.
We Are Change... Can Street Activist–Journalism ever be effective against an entrenched oligarchic power that controls all the instruments of state against the public?
My own answer to the above question is 'NO'. However, the main purpose of such street action is not journalism (which is only an outer packaging suited to the genius of this particular group of activists), but Moral-Activism. And its principal purpose is to become the catalyst for a large number of human beings waking-up and angrily announcing to the tyrants: “I am as mad as hell, and I am not gonna take this any more!!”
Power of course only respects power, not beggars, not platitudes, not petitions, not rational arguments, not unarmed civilians in small numbers, not manufactured mantras like 'speak truth to power', not writing wonderful prose and bestseller books of dissent, and certainly not lonely voices on street corners handing out pamphlets and yelling into megaphones. And power which is itself guilty of monumental crimes is often deaf, dumb, and blind to protestations. Only a counter-force that realistically threatens derailing the elite's agendas can effectively get their attention. Creating such a force remains the holy-grail of Moral-Activism since time immemorial. And it occasionally succeeds too.
The best recent example is how Bechtel Corp. of San Francisco was forced to leave Bolivia after tens of thousands of indigent peasants in Cochamamba, with nothing more than sticks and sickles in hand, collectively yelled “enough” to the privatized-water price hikes! The Bolivian military surrounding the protesters, also finding water too expensive for their own families, left their armaments behind and joined the peasants! With their storm troopers rushing to join the public in protest, the Bolivian government had no choice but to reverse its decision. Chapter 7 of this scribe's 2003 book examines the failure of protests and Moral-Activism in the West, and gets deeper into the issues of what it realistically takes to have any useful impact on the hegemonic affairs of the state.
The secret sauce to the recipe so to speak, of the oligarchs' success in defeating Moral-Activism time and again, as the rectifier of injustices, as the restituter of shattered tabula rasa of bombed out victims, as the preventer of new abhorrences before they transpire, is the lack of appreciation for the concept of fait accompli among the “malcontent”. The state holds all the cards, all the incantations of power, and all the initiatives. Its antagonists are, at best, predictably reactionary. Consequently, the passionate practitioners of Moral-Activism, the malcontents, “many of them quite gallant and graceful-looking people”, often end up being mere tools in the diabolical hands of the political scientists. The Machiavelli cleverly use the inexperienced idealists as red herrings, and/or as steam valves, and/or as dupes and patsies to orchestrate controlled dissent, all of which for the explicit purpose of deflecting attention from what isn't fait accompli yet, to what already is.