"in a single republic, all the power surrendered by the people is submitted to theadministration of a single government;" - james madison, federalist no. 51
|occupy wall street|
in the history of the united states, there is a precedent for warning against a single body of government holding all of the power in the nation.
after the civil war, however, the power of the states was largely absorbed into the federal government. when the united states declared and carried out a war on the confederate states, it effectively demonstrated that individual states had no right to leave the union, and thus ultimately had no rights at all.
similarly, the rights of the individual to express dissent in these united states has been largely lacking for decades. despite pervasive rhetoric citing "freedom of speech," people who attempt creative free speech that is opposed to government policy are often violently attacked by government agencies.
but this is nothing new. the women's suffrage movement, the civil rights movement and the vietnam war protests all faced violent opposition from the state.
since the industrial revolution, almost any protest large enough to cause a scene has been violently suppressed and covertly combatted by the u.s. government.
|occupy wall street protests. photo: @samglewis|
true, we no longer have soldiers shooting live rounds at non-violent protesters in broad daylight...
we do, however, have conclusive evidence of a nationally organized police assaults on the occupations from oakland to denver to new york.*
you can also read my eyewitness account of the eviction of occupy portland and see video of the police beating of the non-violent protesters there, one of whom was put in a wheelchair.
these efforts resulted in a wave of city-mandated tax-payer violence across the united states in recent weeks. police have repeatedly beaten non-violent protesters into comas, while shooting others with rubber bullets and tear-gassing hundreds.
video after video depicts police officers dragging unarmed women by the hair (for instance, here and here and here).
there is also some evidence that the federal government is engaged in an ongoing violent campaign shut down the occupy protests nationwide.**
most troubling of all, many images and stories of police abuse may never reach the public. the policy of the nypd at times is to keep reporters as far away from the action as possible, even when that includes violence against reporters.
|occupy davis students sit peaceably while police assault on nov. 18th.|
there is a remarkable failure of the republic to serve the needs and interests of human beings, for "representatives" to represent their constituents. worse, there is a profound failure of a government that claims to be by the people and for them to show any signs of being human at all.
*in an open letter to the portland's mayor sam adams, former occupy portland police liaison alaina melville criticizes the mayor for lying to msnbc about support he received from other cities in preparation for the beating and jailing of the occupy protesters on november 13. at least one other mayor has come out and admitted that a group of representatives from cities across the u.s. strategized against the occupations on a national level. also: the ap reports the collaberation as fact here.
**the extent to which the federal government is directly involved in what has been called a remarkably similar outbreak of attacks against the occupations remains in question. both the fbi and the department of homeland security assured media organizations that they were not involved, huffington post reports. additionally, portland mayor sam adams seems to have alluded to contact with the department of homeland security in a tweet earlier this week.