(First posted on Open Salon September 16 2010)
Vermont State Police say the women are a nuisance, but unfailingly polite and respectful. Sergeant Mike Sorenson said his troopers no longer cuff the women.
“They go to get arrested,’’ he said. “We understand their rights, but they’re a drain on our resources. We’re understaffed as it is, and when we’re called down, it means we can’t respond to real emergencies.’’….
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This is typical of the way they treat sincere protesters who are looking out for the best interest of the majority of the public. Part of the problem is that the police are most concerned about “real emergencies” which to some degree they should be; but there should also be many people more concerned about solutions that work better in the long term instead of waiting for the last minute to solve problems. To some degree this is what many of these protesters are trying to do but instead of addressing their concerns they refer to them as “a nuisance.” When big businessmen participate in political activities by spending a lot of money on campaign contributions and lobbying so they can gain influence at the expense of the majority they aren’t generally referred to as “a nuisance.” But the damage they often do to the majority is much more severe and they rarely if ever get arrested for their activities which are often not considered crimes since they have influence in Washington and they can prevent their activities from being considered illegal. Also this is generally not referred to as bribery although it accomplishes the same goals as bribery. Since they do it in a more complicated way and they control the most powerful institutions they don’t have to call it bribery; anyone who disagrees can arrest them as long as they have enough political power otherwise they might be the ones arrested.
The protesting that Francis Crowe and many other people do doesn’t harm anyone and in most cases if their concerns were addressed they would save many lives yet they’re routinely arrested for their nuisance crimes. The damage that is done by fighting unnecessary wars and conducting business that devastates the environment, whether it is the nuclear plant in Vermont or the damage being done in the Gulf or many many other disasters that are being ignored is enormous yet those that do this don’t get arrested because they have political power. When protesters tried to hand cuff Karl Rove a few months ago the protesters were also considered a nuisance and impolite by some people yet they were right. Karl Rove and the Bush administration did lead the country into war based on lies and thousands of people died because of it. There were no charges for those that did it but the protesters were hauled off as a nuisance.
Another attempt by a protester to claim Tony Hayward should be arrested for what his company did in the Gulf. He was of course not arrested; in fact as usual the protestor was at a greater risk of being arrested not because she committed a crime but because she didn’t have as much political power as Tony Hayward. There have also been many other legitimate claims against many politicians with power that have been ignored since they came from those without power including Henry Kissinger who was heavily involved in the illegal war in Vietnam as well as the coup in Chile and he was late the head of the Kissinger committee which attempted to justify activities in Central America that were clearly unjustifiable. These activities included the support of death squads in el Salvador and Guatemala and the Contras that fought against the Sandinistas who had far more popular support from the local people.
As long as this continues there can be no sincere claims that this is a sincere and just democracy. If all the people that have sincere concerns about protecting the environment and stopping wars, most of which are based on lies, continue being arrested; and those that destroy the environment and start the illegal wars continue to roam free then it is a matter of time before the cumulative damage causes a collapse in society.
Update: Environmental protection punished, destruction rewarded!
Tim DeChristopher has been sentenced to two years in jail for attempting to prevent environmental damage from escalating. For full story see Activist gets 2 years prison for thwarting auction. It may be inappropriate to interfere with auctions but if there is no other way to protect the environment in the face of overwhelming corruption by corporate America it isn’t nearly as inappropriate as the destruction of the environment. The vast majority of us have little or nothing to say about how they use government land. The campaign contributors and the corrupt politicians have made it clear that as long as they can get away with it they will do anything and everything they think is in their own best interest regardless of who is hurt or killed by their policies.
I have never heard of any CEO like Tony Hayward being sentenced to two years in jail and receiving such a high fine for the damage they do. Instead they routinely receive preferential treatment while trying to make as much money as they can by promoting as much use of oil and gas as they can and often using government land that is given to them cheaply if they have adequate political connections.
The Judge, prosecutors, politicians and others have all indicated their true priorities with their actions even if they haven’t done so honestly with their words. If they were to do so with their words honestly they might say something like, “We will do whatever it takes to deter anyone from interfering with the profits of the elites even if these profits involves risking the lives of millions of people without political power, or eventually the destruction of the environment and the survival of the human race. The short term profits for corporations are much more important than the lives of the majority or even the survival of the human race and life as we know it.” Obviously they would never say this; and they probably don’t even believe it; instead at least to some degree they probably believe their own propaganda. However these are essentially the beliefs that are strongly implied with their actions.
This type of behavior is inevitable at least until we have sincere Election Reform that enables the public to control the election process and participate in the decision making process. Right now the discussion of serious issues in a productive manner has been driven underground due to the consolidation of the Mass Media. Only those who know where else to look can get the information they need to make rational decisions and without the support of the majority they will continue to be a small minority with little hope of standing up to the corrupt corporations.
To read related blogs see BP is just the tip of the iceberg and Environmental Apocalypse
If environmental destruction or a collapse in society is avoided it will be because of the protestors that are being unjustly arrested not because of those with political power that routinely take credit for many of the improvements in society.
For articles on Karl rove and Tony Hayward see: