11.09.13

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The Decline of Civility

Posted in Action at 2:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Aaron Swartz and Lawrence Lessig

Summary: Activism is being marginalised in the West (meaning Europe and north America for the most part), which makes it hardly any safer than it is for activists in third-world countries (meaning poorer countries, not ones which are neither with the US nor the USSR)

PESSIMISM is not a virtue, but sometimes it is important to be able to spot where — if anywhere — society becomes blind or apathetic towards its own regressions. Activism is a good indicator of where in the world the people are being oppressed and actions against activists help show where authorities are more oppressive. In so-called “developed countries” it sure seems like activism is increasingly being viewed and also treated as a crime or even terrorism. Watch the story in [1]; the US appeals court is basically treating activists like pirates (as in criminals at seas). There are some cases which are similar to it and Wikileaks likes to casually cite this important case. It demonstrates the extremely low level of tolerance that Western nations now have for activists. Russia is not much different and the whipping boy which is “Pussy Riot” helps show this [2,3,4]. Activists who use performance and stunts as a form of protest receive the same treatment as serious criminals and arguably ‘disappear’ in jail. Over in the United States, such people (minor offences if any at all) may even die in jail [5], or get anally raped by so-called law enforcement [6]. People are generally assumed guilty before any guilt is established and then they’re punished for it. This is like the CIA/Gitmo approach [7] being applied to the domestic population, including white people in Western nations [8]. Remember Aaron Swartz, the activist against copyright monopoly? It turns out now that secret services in the US knew they were driving him into depression before he committed suicide [9].

The bottom line is this: never assume your innocence just because injustice has been stereotyped the art of people in power in so-called ‘rogue’ nations or because people in power in Western nations only abuse people from so-called ‘rogue’ nations; if you are an activists, you are a target, no matter where you are. Rather than civilise the so-called ‘third world’, we in the West are inheriting the negative attributes of those whom we label “rogue”. A pile of evidence shows this every day.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Sea Shepherd activist Paul watson faces US court after year on the run

    A FUGITIVE activist known for attacking Japanese whaling vessels off Antarctica insisted “we’re not pirates” as he addressed a US appeals court considering whether he and the organisation he founded should be held in contempt.

  2. Pussy Riot Member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova Goes Missing During Prison Colony Transfer

    Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has disappeared into the gulag transit system between Russia’s penal colonies, and her family is worried that authorities are trying to crush her spirit.

  3. Pussy Riot: Tolokonnikova ‘out of sight’ since jail move

    One of the jailed members of the Pussy Riot protest band has vanished from sight since she was moved to a new prison 10 days ago, reports from Russia say.

    The husband of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova told a US news website he had not received any news about her and her current location was being kept secret.

    She had been on hunger strike at a penal colony in Mordovia.

    She and another band member were jailed over a protest in a Moscow cathedral.

    They were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment after performing a crude protest song in February 2012. A third band member was released on appeal.

  4. Pussy Riot band member sent to new prison

    Russian prison service says Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has been moved, after her husband expressed fears she had disappeared

  5. Today’s Drug War Outrage: Man Dies In Jail Cell After Misdemeanor Pot Offense
  6. Terrifying Drug War Story Of The Day: Man Receives Multiple Anal Probes After Traffic Stop

    The first doctor the police asked to perform the procedure refused. But the police then took Eckert to Gila Regional Medical Center, where, according to his lawsuit, he was first subjected to abdominal x-rays (no drugs), two anal penetrations with fingers (no drugs), three enemas (no drugs), another round of x-rays (no drugs), and, finally, sedation, followed by a colonoscopy of his “anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines.” No drugs. All of this was of course done without Eckert’s consent.

  7. CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds

    Doctors were asked to torture detainees for intelligence gathering, and unethical practices continue, review concludes

  8. David Hicks seeks to overturn Guantánamo “terrorism” conviction

    Former Guantánamo Bay prisoner David Hicks, an Australian citizen, has lodged an appeal with the US Court of Military Commission Review to overturn the bogus “providing material support for terrorism” conviction imposed on him in 2007.

  9. Secret Service Report Noted Aaron Swartz’s ‘Depression Problems’

    The U.S. government noted in passing that Aaron Swartz suffered “depression problems” nearly two years before his suicide last January, according to a newly released Secret Service report.

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