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The big banks have sold us out. Democrats and Republicans have sold us out. No one is defending our interests. Our future is going up in flames. It’s time for us to stand up and defend ourselves. Trillions of dollars in fraudulent activity by the big banks on Wall Street caused our current economic crisis. Paid off politicians from both parties, along with secret deals made by the Federal Reserve, gave trillions of taxpayer dollars and subsidies to the very people who caused our crisis. After taking our tax dollars, they had the audacity to give themselves all-time recording-breaking bonuses and consolidate wealth in unprecedented fashion within the economic top 0.01% of the population. While a record number of Americans are currently living in poverty and on food stamps; while millions of American families have been foreclosed upon; while health care, food and gas costs are skyrocketing; while over 200 million Americans are living paycheck to paycheck struggling to make ends meet, the super-wealthy have never had it better. We now have the most severe inequality of wealth in American history. The depravity of the Robber Barons has been outdone.
Flag Day, June 14th, Operation Empire State Rebellion (#OpESR) will launch. #OpESR is a decentralized non-violent resistance movement to end the system of political bribery (campaign finance and lobbying) and break up the big banks centered at the Federal Reserve. To coincide with the launch of this movement, people have begun organizing acts of resistance throughout the US. We are calling upon you to take an action of your own. Whether it’s taking part in a local public protest, withdrawing your money from one of the big six banks, starting a community group or passing out fliers. Anything you can do to rebel against the system of economic tyranny in a non-violent manner is welcome.
On June 14th 2011 at 1pm, free thinking citizens (aka campers or indignants) will occupy Zuccotti Park (14971 Broadway, New York, NY 1007) in the Financial District of New York City indefinitely, to express non-violent dissent to the further consolidation of wealth into the hands of international corporations by the corrupted two party oligarchy, and develop through the exchange of ideas a new political discourse to unify those who have been exploited. The action will be done in Solidarity with similar camps that have sprung up in Tahrir Square, Puerta Del Sol, Syntagma Square, and countless other squares around Europe and the World. We recognize that since the consolidators of power who actively exploit the majority of the people are international corporations, that it will require an international effort of indignants (those who are feed up with the rampant predatory exploitation) to decentralize this power and return it to the people.
Since President Obama was inaugurated, there have been over 2,600 arrests of activists protesting in the U.S.. Research shows over 670 people have been arrested in protests inside the U.S. already in 2011, over 1,290 were arrested in 2010, and 665 arrested in 2009. These figures certainly underestimate the number actually arrested, as arrests in U.S. protests are rarely covered by the mainstream media outlets which focus so intently on arrests of protestors in other countries.
Arrests at protest have been increasing each year since 2009. Those arrested include people protesting U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Guantanamo, strip mining, home foreclosures, nuclear weapons, immigration policies, police brutality, mistreatment of hotel workers, budget cutbacks, Blackwater, the mistreatment of Bradley Manning, and right wing efforts to cut back collective bargaining.
These arrests illustrate that resistance to the injustices in and committed by the U.S. is alive and well. Certainly there could and should be more, but it is important to recognize that people are fighting back against injustice.
Information on these arrests has been taken primarily from the newsletter The Nuclear Resister, which has been publishing reports of anti-nuclear resistance arrests since 1980, and anti-war actions since 1990.
Jack Cohen-Joppa, who with his partner Felice, edits The Nuclear Resister, told me:
Over the last three decades, in the course of chronicling more than 100,000 arrests for nonviolent protest and resistance to nuclear power, nuclear weapons, torture, and war, we've noted a quadrennial decline as support for protest and resistance gets swallowed up by Presidential politicking. It has taken a couple of years, but the Hopeium addicts of 2008 are finally getting into recovery. We're again reporting a steady if slow rise in the numbers willing to risk arrest and imprisonment for acts of civil resistance. Today, for instance, there are more Americans serving time in prison for nuclear weapons protest than at any time in more than a decade.
The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law "respecting an establishment of religion", impeding the free exercise of religion, infringing on the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.
Originally, the First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by the Congress. However, starting with Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925), the Supreme Court has held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies the First Amendment to each state, including any local government.