Human Rights Activists and Journalists are the Status Quo’s New Targets Globally
Dear Socialist Viewpoint:
During the 1960s and ’70s the Counter-Intelligence Program Act was invented and orchestrated via J. Edgar Hoover to disrupt, dismantle and eliminate any organization or rising Black Messiahs within the U.S. Those individuals and those that advocated on their behalf, to further support their cause and struggle were subjected to brutal oppression including prosecution, persecution, scrutiny and even murder. Not only the people that freely spoke or wrote against this corrupt regime but even their lawyers, while endeavoring to defend their accused clients, were themselves placed under the “anti-governmental microscope.” They were illegally wiretapped; their offices illegally searched and property seized; and they were also interrogated.
Most notably, anti-Vietnam War protestors whose numbers were formidable, suffered slander, suppression, arrests and even beatings for participating and speaking out in marches and rallies against the war. Eventually, pressure from the establishment became so exacerbated that many revolutionaries were coerced into exile or were assassinated outright, as was singer/songwriter and activist John Lennon.
Today, in 2011, international activists and journalists are being harassed, kidnapped, prosecuted, ridiculed and murdered for simply telling the truth. Their most common assailant is the U.S. government. The U.S. claims to allow its citizens the right of freedom of religion and speech, but obviously, this does not apply to all!
FBI shakedowns in Detroit; so-called terrorist roundups in Miami; the 10-year sentence of lawyer/activist Lynne Stewart for defending a client accused of terrorism; the FARC (Colombia’s Armed Revolutionary Forces) and their supporters murdered; the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka and their followers hunted down and slaughtered; and the most recent persecution of WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, have all been glued to the U.S. terrorist list for their outspoken condemnation of U.S. wars, occupations and injustices and, for telling the truth about them.
Once again we are living in an era where the U.S. government administration is indoctrinating and claiming it is acceptable to crush those who resist oppression and injustice. It is time for the people of the world to recognize the cloth being pulled downward over our heads to block our rational vision to see and acknowledge right from wrong.
Brother Khalil Bennett
Dear Socialist Viewpoint:
It is 6 a.m., clear, calm, twenty below zero. I am looking forward to my football team battling it out in a game for the title, later. In Minneapolis, Minnesota, their team, the Vikings are defeated, their hopes busted, like the plastic dome of their stadium.
Football as played in the U.S. under capitalism is a bone crushing, destructive sport which pays hundreds-of-millions to capitalists; mostly rich, fat, white men. The rich owner of the Vikings has now gotten the agreement of the Democratic governor of Minnesota and of powerful Republicans for the government to tax the people of Minneapolis and Minnesota one billion dollars for a new domed stadium. In this stadium his team can make money for him. Tonight it is over 20 degrees below zero in Minneapolis near the old stadium. And in Minneapolis there are thousands of homeless trying to stay alive, trying to find charities that will help them live through the night. Some will not do so. This is U.S. capitalism in an extremely rich city, in a rich state, that plays the rich man’s game by his rules.
The Green Bay Packers, the football team I will be rooting for is a little different. It is not owned by a rich capitalist; but rather it is a type of co-op that is owned by 50,000 people. Most are from Green Bay, Wisconsin and each has one share of the team and each has one equal vote on major decisions. This is not perfect economic justice and equality, but it is a step above private ownership. They decided, for example, not to build a closed domed stadium; rather they voted simply to enlarge their open stadium to 75,000 seats. The team makes a few million most every year; none of which is paid to a rich owner. The extra money is paid to Wisconsin charities.
I hope my team wins. [And they did!]
With warmest comradely greetings,
Joe Johnson, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin