Wednesday, October 06, 2010

People of Conscience

I remember thinking two years ago about the young peace people and older people of faith arrested for planning to demonstrate against the Republican and Democratic national conventions. Watching the celebrations of militarism taking place in their Midwest cities was bad enough, but the overt displays of consumerism -- with the logos of corporate sponsors visible everywhere -- must have been hard to stomach.

This morning I thought of the Quakers and Catholic Workers and young peace people in those Midwest cities again harassed by the Joint Terrorism Task Force. With the lists of people against US imperialism in their database, and their budgets fortified from earlier exercises against democracy, the SWAT teams last week broke down doors, ransacked homes, and terrified more innocents who've chosen to voice their dissent.

Eleven years ago, before the 9/11 infrastructure of social control was in place, police in the city of my birth were humiliated by young people who refused to be locked down or out of the discussion about globalization, and many were wrongly incarcerated, tortured, and no doubt blacklisted for their acts of citizenship and humanity. Today, people of conscience in America are serving time in federal prison for opposing our daily export of homicide from bases and ports and board rooms across our country.

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