Thursday, September 4, 2008
My essay arguing that the arrest of peaceful protesters in Minneapolis - and the labelling of nonviolent protesters as "terrorists" - was for the purpose of grabbing power and stifling dissent has been confirmed.
Specifically, members of the long-time peace group, Food Not Bombs, have now been charged with drummed-up allegations of terrorism (and see this).
Food Not Bombs has been peacefully participating in nonviolent protests for 20 years. They served meals to rescue workers at the World Trade Center after 9/11 and to nearly 20 communities in the Gulf region following Hurricane Katrina (see this). To think that they planned violence at the Minnesota convention is almost like saying that Gandhi secretly advocated violence.
If the group had been called "Bombs Not Food", had advocated for waging war against Iran and other countries, and had argued that the U.S. cannot afford to fund social programs like feeding poor when we need every cent to fight the "war on terror" abroad, do you think they would have been targeted and charged with terrorism? I think, instead, they might be invited to speak on the tv news shows and perhaps even inside the Convention.
Given that the U.S. has been funding known terrorist groups (see confirming articles here and here), the issue doesn't really seem to be about terrorism at all.
Rather, it seems to be about stifling those who are exercising their free speech rights (guaranteed by the Constitution) to criticize the government's imperial war plans.
Note: I don't know any of the actual Food Not Bombs people arrested. But given their group's nonviolent philosophy, government provocation or simply false government allegations are more likely than planned violence by the group.