Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Police state USA...
The Resistance in Obama Time
By BILL QUIGLEY
Since President Obama was inaugurated, there have been over two thousand six hundred arrests of activists protesting in the US. Research shows over 670 people have been arrested in protests inside the US already in 2011, over 1290 were arrested in 2010, and 665 arrested in 2009. These figures certainly underestimate the number actually arrested as arrests in US 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 US 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 US 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 Hopeian 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.”
In the list below I give the date of the protest arrest and a brief summary of the reason for the protest. After each date I have included the name of the organization which sponsored the protest. Check them out. Remember, they can jail the resisters but they cannot jail the resistance!
January 1, 2011. Nine women, ages 40 to 91, who brought solar panels to the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor were arrested for blocking the driveway at Entergy Corporation. Shut It Down.
January 5, 2011 and February 2, 2011. Five arrests were made of peace activists protesting at Vandenberg Air Force base, including a veteran of WWII. Vandenberg Witness.
January 11, 2011. Ten people protesting against the continued human rights violation of Guantanamo prison trying to deliver a letter to a federal judge were arrested at the federal building in Chicago, Illinois.
January 11, 2011. A sixty one year old grandmother protesting against excessive radiation was arrested for blocking the path of a utility truck in Sonoma County, California.
January 15, 2011. Twelve people protesting against Trident nuclear weapons at the Kitsap-Bangor naval base outside of Seattle, Washington were arrested – six on state charges of blocking the highway and six others on federal charges of trespass for crossing onto the base. Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action.
January 17, 2011. Marking the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, people protested outside the Lockheed Martin Valley Forge Pennsylvania office where eight people were arrested. Brandywine Peace Community.
January 17, 2011. Three people protesting the US use of armed drones and depleted uranium were arrested at the Davis-Monthan air force base near Tucson Arizona.
January 29, 2011. Eight peace activists marking the 60th anniversary of the testing of the atom bomb were arrested at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site. Nevada Desert Experience.
February 10, 2011. Twenty three hotel workers were arrested after protesting management abuses at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. UNITE Here Local 2.
February 15, 2011. A former CIA agent turned whistleblower was arrested and battered by police for standing silently and turning his back during a speech on the need for human rights in Egypt delivered by the US Secretary of State. Veterans for Peace.
February 17, 2011. Nine people protesting against the attack on collective bargaining in Wisconsin were arrested at the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison.
February 25, 2011. Eleven people protesting federal budget cuts against the poor, including one person in a wheelchair were arrested charged with blocking traffic in Chicago.
March 4, 2011. Three people were arrested in Seattle after a protest against police abuse.
March 4, 2011. Sixteen people were arrested at a protest against tuition increases at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
March 10, 2011. Fifty people protesting the removal of collective bargaining rights were arrested after being carried out of the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison.
March 16, 2011. Seven union supporters protesting proposals to strip collective bargaining from teachers were arrested in Nashville Tennessee.
March 19, 2011. One hundred thirteen people protesting the eighth anniversary of the war in Iraq, lead by Veterans for Peace, were arrested at White House. Veterans for Peace.
March 19, 2011. Eleven military family members and veterans were arrested in Hollywood California after staging a sit protesting the 8th anniversary of the war in Iraq. Veterans for Peace.
March 20, 2011. Thirty five people were arrested protesting outside the Quantico brig where Bradley Manning was being held. Bradley Manning Support Network.