Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"Freedom Is About Authority"

God, I love Youtube! Now, it may not be for the exact same reasons others do. Because Youtube is like a mirror into the soul of the user: It can be deep or as shallow as you make it.

Like reality itself, every spectrum of human behavior seems to be covered in some way, ranging in seeming randomness from bum fights and beheadings to lonelygirl and stupid pet tricks -- and everything in between... from unhinged depravity and deviance to sheer uncut stupidity on display, running the gamut from technical wizardry to amateurish naivety.

Of course it's cool to punch in the names of your favorite bands and see what pops up. And there's great old sports moments or even last night's game right there at your fingertips.

But what I think is remarkable about Youtube, perhaps even revolutionary, is its ability to highlight a seminal political moment and literally influence the process itself, sometimes directly, sometimes in more nuanced, indirect ways.

Consider the George Allen "Macaca" moment.

A recent Dick Cheney clip from 1994 about not wasting American blood on Saddam Hussein.

The terrific 9/11 stuff, including the infamous BBC broadcast prematurely announcing the fall of WTC7, which incidentally got me started down the primrose path of conspiracy surrounding the events of that sordid day.

How about MC Rove, or George Bush playing conga drum, which are in a class by themselves that sadly straddles a bad Saturday Night Live skit, dumb game show, and embarrassing home movie.

But in almost complete and utter seriousness, I think the clip I just saw courtesy of
Wonkette may take the lead in my Youtube hit parade, if only for its startling insight into the inner workings of the modern police state. Here's what happened, according to the Toronto Star:
Protesters are accusing police of using undercover agents to provoke violent confrontations at the North American leaders' summit in Montebello, Que.

Such accusations have been made before after similar demonstrations but this time the alleged "agents provocateurs" have been caught on camera.

A video, posted on YouTube, shows three young men, their faces masked by bandannas, mingling Monday with protesters in front of a line of police in riot gear. At least one of the masked men is holding a rock in his hand.

The three are confronted by protest organizer Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. Coles makes it clear the masked men are not welcome among his group of protesters, whom he describes as mainly grandparents. He urges them to leave and find their own protest location.

Coles also demands that they put down their rocks. Other protesters begin to chime in that the three are really police agents. Several try to snatch the bandanas from their faces.

Rather than leave, the three actually start edging closer to the police line, where they appear to engage in discussions. They eventually push their way past an officer, whereupon other police shove them to the ground and handcuff them.

Late Tuesday, photographs taken by another protester surfaced, showing the trio lying prone on the ground. The photos show the soles of their boots adorned by yellow triangles. A police officer kneeling beside the men has an identical yellow triangle on the sole of his boot.

Kevin Skerrett, a protester with the group Nowar-Paix, said the photos and video together present powerful evidence that the men were actually undercover police officers.

"I think the circumstantial evidence is very powerful," he said.

It's funny: this happens with Reichsfuhrer Bush in Canada to promote something very much like what Poppy proposed in that infamous New World Order speech he gave, get this, on September the 11th, 1990. For whatever reason, credible evidence suggests someone in very high authority apparently went a very long way toward attempting to discredit or vilify a peaceful protest led by a union president. Why? The same reason a near police riot broke out a few years back in Miami during a protest against implementation of yet another disastrous NAFTA-like treaty -- FTAA: to quell dissent, make examples, and in general enforce the mandates of corporate power in its naked, essential form. Brute force representing state power, in tandem with a coordinated criminalization and demonization of the opposition.

The benignly named Free Trade Area of the Americas did little to address, for instance, generations of almost biblical impoverishment for millions of Central and South Americans, but instead shamelessly promoted a mutant strain of unfettered corporate avarice that sought to stack the hemispheric deck in favor of unbridled exploitation of the work force, the concerted extinguishing of trade unions or associations, the widespread establishment of free trade zones which ultimately result in workplaces that are de facto sweatshops -- basically legislation designed to maximize shareholder profit while offering in return little more than sustenance wages.

Remember where this video takes place when you contemplate relocating to Canada if someone like, oh, Crazy Rudy Ghouliani gets elected. And believe it or not, Britain has its own Patriot Act, and it's even more onerous in terms of civil liberties, as authorities of the former commonwealth (what an archaic term, and increasingly so by the day: at least in America, the divisions that now separate us cut much deeper than the ties that once bound us) shred what's left of their landmark Magna Carta, just as our own "elected" officials race to rend our once-sacred Constitution.

In a Guardian UK story headlined Police to use terror laws on Heathrow climate protesters, we get an ominous foreshadowing of what may be in store for those wishing to still exercise their once Constitutionally-guaranteed right of free assembly:

Armed police will use anti-terrorism powers to "deal robustly" with climate change protesters at Heathrow next week, as confrontations threaten to bring major delays to the already overstretched airport.
Scotland Yard's plans for handling the protests are revealed in a document seen by the Guardian, which was produced by Met commander Peter Broadhurst during a legal hearing at the high court which imposed restrictions on a number of named campaigners.

"Should individuals or small groups seek to take action outside of lawful protest they will be dealt with robustly using terrorism powers. This is because the presence of large numbers of protesters at or near the airport will reduce our ability to proactively counter the terrorist act [threat]," the document says.

The police report makes it clear that the government has encouraged police forces to make greater use of terrorism powers "especially the use of stop and search powers under s44 Terrorism Act 2000".

The law gives police powers to:

· Stop and search people and vehicles for anything that could be used in connection with terrorism

· Search people even if they do not have evidence to suspect them

· Hold people for up to a month without charge

· Search homes and remove protesters' outer clothes, such as hats, shoes and coats.

You see, the long-armed might of the Modern Global Corporation State knows no boundaries and recognizes the laws of no nation. Instead, through lobbying and influence it writes all the important economic legislation in its favor, and through an entrenched culture of lobbying and cronyism -- best exemplified by the revolving door between defense contractors and the Defense Department -- it sustains and enriches itself indefinitely, while cultivating new ways of insulating itself from criticism and oversight.

If you think this is some leftover Sixties rhetoric, that's your prerogative. But what to make of the following statement from one of the current candidates aiming to become the 44th President of these United States -- seamlessly blending the old school dementia of Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Father Coughlin and George Orwell:

"We look upon authority too often and focus over and over again, for 30 or 40 or 50 years, as if there is something wrong with authority. We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don't see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do." - Rudy Giuliani, March 1994

Which is why the great Jimmy Breslin once nailed him as "a little man in search of a balcony."


jimithegreek said...

Good one! I found a great video search engine,
you can search all the video web sites. enjoy

Serge A. Storms said...

Man, there goes my plans for sweet Canadian living. I've watched some of that conference. You can tell Bush-leaguer is incredibly serious about it because he's obviously been hitting the Molson's and isn't wearing a tie. He's pretty laid back for someone with such a big hand in the oil industry, what with the dissipating arctic circle being rumored to have a large amount of the world's untapped oil supply.

I'm going to just start an underground kingdom.