I interrupt my regularly scheduled post to share what happened today at a tiny press conference and rally about the NSA spying.
Capital police decided that we did not have the proper permit to be there. The speakers kept speaking. The cops warned us that we would be arrested. They then started harassing media. Cameras started shutting down. Speakers started cutting their speeches short. After the second warning, as I don’t think anybody was prepared for arrest threats at a press conference, everyone split up so that no group was more than 25 people.
The last protest that I went to was in Guatemala. You know that Central American country that people refer to as “third world” or “developing.” The place many people only know about because of civil war and genocide. That place. Well, I imagine we had a permit for being in the central plaza. But I seriously doubt we had a permit to block the road and door in front of the presidential palace and then drum annoyingly.
Amazingly, nobody was threatened with arrest.
Aren’t you estadouidenses glad that you live in a country that is a beacon of freedom for the world?
I’m tempted to go into a long diatribe about the protest, prisons, criminalization, social control, and our shrinking spaces. But I’m going to have to save it for a day when I have more time. I will just say this.
There are risks involved with doing the right things, the necessary things. The system has been increasing those risks. I think that means we are all going to need to so some serious thinking about what risks we can take and then be willing to take them. Because their plan can backfire. They are counting on us to not make sacrifices. But if we all take the risks, thoughtful and strategic risks, then we can crash the justice system and all the other systems too.
If nothing else, we should all probably prepare to be arrested for pretty much anything that we do from now on – press conferences, walking downtown, doodling on a school desk, wearing a thong bathing suit, asking to see a warrant, being too poor to pay a debt, your kid skipping school…
I mean if we are going to get arrested for that kind of bullshit anyway, shouldn’t we at least make it worthwhile?