Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Working for the Clampdown

Have you been following the actions of the police/FBI/Homeland Security in Minneapolis/St.Paul? I realize it hasn't been on the news much, especially with Hurricanes Gustav and Palin absorbing the entire capacity of the 24/7 news cycles. I was morbidly transfixed this whole last long weekend by the unfolding saga of pre-emptive raids on "hippie homes" before the Republican Convention even started up to and including the appalling arrest of Amy Goodman and her producers from Democracy Now on Monday.

I can't believe that this is not being covered more widely. I know there is a lot of other news going on now. But c'mon, arresting people before they even have protested? Arresting journalists that are only covering the protests? Doesn't it strike you that this is a made-for-television event, especially with the availability of video?! Seems to me that this proves once and for all that we truly do not have a liberal media in this country. Or maybe people really don't want to know about this, it makes me feel physically ill just thinking about the whole thing, that my fellow citizens who only want to peacefully protest are being tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, thrown to the ground, and arrested.
The parallels to what Naomi Klein describes in her excellent and throughly depressing book, "Shock Doctrine" are absolutely chilling. Remember saying to yourself during the Olympics, when seeing all that coverage of the Chinese repression of the press: "oh thank goodness that can't possibly ever happen here"? Well it is happening here, whether you know about it or not. The ruling elites are realizing that their hold on power is tenuous, that they've almost been found out for the frauds that they are, and this is how the clamp down begins.

I found this quote to be particularly prescient:
"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear." -Harry S. Truman, 33rd US president (1884-1972)

Not my photo, from Flickr, thought it perfectly illustrated what I'm talking about here.


jovaliquilts said...

Thanks for posting this. I had not heard about these arrests. I followed your links and googled it, too. Horrifying!

Karoda said...

Girllll, I was all over this and have begged and pleaded with friends/family to view it online at Democracy Now's website!!! CNN did a really brief and I mean brief clip of the film footage of Goodman getting arrested. my concern is that mainstream will focus on the destruction of property by the few protestors to justify the riot police being in full force and over the top.

There is the myth of America and what we ideally believe is reality and then there is what actually happens on the gap is very very unsettling.

Laume said...

It chills me to the bone that it hasn't been all over the news. You'd think at least folks like Olbermann or some of the more liberal talk shows would have mentioned it! I think people just can't wrap their brains around it REALLY HAPPENING here. I remember telling people about some of the things that went down in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and people would tell me it was just the news media twisting things, that it wasn't really that bad. I'd say that the stories I were sharing her first person personal stories by people I KNEW and TRUSTED and then folks would just switch into that "blank eye" look that means they've shut you out because what you've said doesn't fit their world view and they'd change the subject.

Laume said...

that should read ""the stories I was sharing were first person" sheesh, fumble fingers.