We are all witness at this theatre of complacency as we sit idly by gorging ourselves with conspicuous consumption as we gaze upon our freedoms and rights being stripped away. Most of us not even willing to leave our comfort zones, move off our sofas, or even budge from our aptly named Lazyboys to raise our voices and shake our fists in protest to the destruction of our beloved democracy. And when it all comes crashing down it won’t be the Middle Eastern terrorists, the communist Chinese, the irradiated Iranians, or even aliens from distant planets who we’ve been indoctrinated to believe hold the keys to our destruction.
No, the culprits will be the same capitalistic, money-driven, morally corrupt politicians, cannibalistic businessman, and deceitful lobbyist that are building a wall of inequality. They have proven to be the ultimate shysters and magicians, because they are doing it right in front of our faces. They waive one hand over here telling us one thing, while their other hand performs the “slight of hand” maneuvering over there to accomplish their sinister agendas. They have levied bold faced lies on TV, in the halls of the Senate and House, and to the American people guaranteeing that the decisions they make are for the betterment of this country and the people who are citizens of it. They each have a culpable hand placed on our Constitution as it is gnashed in the teeth of the “shredder” of deregulation, nontransparent legislation, unjustified detention, and a decaying adherence to social and civil rights.
And yet we do nothing. We do nothing as program after program is created to dole out money to these institutions that swear they are on the precipice of collapse, then turn around and have the audacity to charge their saviors 20 to 30% interest on the very money they just lent them. The same people who foreclose on 3-bedroom houses of hard working families because they’ve missed a few payments, and then give their CEOs hundreds of millions of dollars for helping increase their bottom line. And when the boiling point has been reached, the people can no longer stomach the atrocities that are being committed in plain sight, and they attempt to say that they have had enough, that the corruption in congress, and the corruption in the boardrooms needs to stop, who does the law protect? Not the people it was designed to. No, it will protect those in power and you will be asking the people who are committing the crimes to regulate themselves.
What about the protesters occupying Wall Street, city government, or their college campuses? “Sorry kids you are not allowed to protest a corrupt system anymore.” I know what it says in the constitution about lawful assembly, but that was only when it didn’t annoy or bother us. These rights are inalienable rights, and should be protected at all cost. In fact, the only people that seem to even care about their rights are the people that have taken up arms and who are protesting. The 60’s protests weren’t that long ago, and the powers that be learned what they did wrong to ultimately lose against a bunch of hippies and colored civil rights activist. They incorrectly used force. They lost. They lost because of the TV age they were newly thrust into and the perception of their violent actions in response to a peaceful protest. But they paid attention to their mistakes and they learned.
They passed legislation to ensure that they now had rights against protesters. They created legislation to “legally” deal with protesters who in essence are protesting against them. Violence is not the answer, however, violence unfortunately is still in our DNA and unfortunately some officers recently did react in a violent manner. However for the most part, the politicians of yesteryear helped remedy he solution by circumventing our freedoms. The new legislation still “allows” for peaceful assembly, but now they have created “protest zones.”
So if you want to protest let’s say the Citibank head quarters, you would have to do so, but in the designated zone, which could be up to one mile away. How the, what the? That is correct, there are designated zones to protest in that have been created with public safety and disturbance in mind. And these zones are nowhere even close to where the people want to protest. The whole point of protesting is to be disruptive so that people will pay attention to what is going on. It is the legislative way of curtailing protesting. It is a way to circumvent our constitutional right to peaceful assembly, and they are doing so without so much as a whimper of protest from the masses. Its only a matter of time until the rights being violated wont be that of some peaceful arm linked college kid getting sprayed in the face with copious amounts of pepper spray by some (over aggressive) cop, it will be you. And then who will come to your aid? Who will take up arms to protect whatever freedoms have been stripped from you and ensure they are returned?
There is a line in Usual Suspects that best sums up what is going on with our government in terms of us asking for our rights and the protection afforded in the Constitution. A cop says to Gabriel Byrnes’ character, “What, you think you’re in the restaurant business? Nah, from now on you’re in the getting fucked by us business”