Capitol Police Attempted To Arrest Code Pink Activist Medea Benjamin For Allegedly ‘Assaulting’ Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

| Resist!

Above Photo:  Screen shot from stream posted by Code Pink activist Medea Benjamin (Facebook)

Police in Washington, D.C. surrounded the home of Code Pink activist Medea Benjamin and attempted to arrest her for “assaulting” Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. But police did not have a warrant and apparently were uncertain whether an assault was even committed.

At the House Triangle by Capitol Hill, Wasserman Schultz and Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart announced the formation of a “bipartisan Venezuela Democracy Caucus” to “support freedom for the Venezuelan people, who have endured years of suffering under brutal and illegitimate tyranny.”

In other words, the members of Congress announced a caucus to ensure that support for the floundering coup attempt against President Nicolas Maduro remains strong in the legislative branch.

Photo from “Venezuela Democracy Caucus” press conference posted by Medea Benjamin (Twitter)

Activists from Code Pink and other groups were present at the press conference at the Triangle. A group of Venezuela opposition supporters waving Venezuela flags crowded closely around Wasserman Schultz and Diaz-Balart, and Benjamin was able to take a position right next to the congresswoman.

Video was posted by the account for the Venezuela Embassy in D.C., which police helped the opposition seize in May. It shows Wasserman Schultz finishing her statement, and moments after, she yells, “Please, somebody get her out! Out! Out! Out!” She was referring to Benjamin.

It is not entirely audible, however, Benjamin can be heard yelling, “You’re hurting me!” Individuals, who were not police, pulled Benjamin away from Wasserman Schultz like she demanded.

Benjamin shouted something about free speech, as Diaz-Balart tried to give his statement, and then clearly Benjamin was pulled down again. She cannot be seen in the video, but she put her hands on Wasserman Schultz to keep herself from falling on the ground.

“Let go of me!” Wasserman Schultz yells. “Okay, we’re going to need to call the Capitol Police. This woman is assaulting me.”

Then, Wasserman Schultz adds, “She is assaulting me,” and “Get off of me!” Like Benjamin, Wasserman Schultz is struggling to maintain her balance.

Footage was recorded by Voz de América, the Spanish version of the United States government-funded state-owned media agency Voice of America. It shows Benjamin as someone at the press conference has their arm around her neck.

“Mr. Balart, tell them to stop choking me. They’re choking me,” Benjamin implores.

People gathered at the press conference were bunched so closely to each other that anyone pushing another person would cause several people to fall like dominos.

The press conference to announce the formation of a pro-opposition caucus occurred at 3 pm. Less than an hour later, Benjamin returned home and immediately realized police were deployed against her. She streamed the attempted arrest on her Facebook page.

“We’re told that there was an assault that occurred on the Triangle earlier,” an officer says to Benjamin. He has the letters “U.S.C.P.” on his turtleneck, which stands for United States Capitol Police, and stood outside the fence around her home.

Benjamin replies, “I was being assaulted. We have video footage of it. I was being assaulted.”

“You know me. You know me all the time. I don’t assault anybody. I’m a peaceful person,” Benjamin additionally states implying that the Capitol Police are well aware of all her acts of civil disobedience and protest, where she has been arrested without hurting anyone.

She recalls, “I was being pulled by these big guys behind me, and we have all this on footage.”

At that point, the officer who initiated contact with Benjamin informs her she was accused of “assaulting” Wasserman Schultz. He asks if she would be willing to come with the police.

“You’ll be placed under arrest, and/or we’re going to get a warrant for you,” the officer adds.

Benjamin is intimidated by all the police. She points out the escalating presence.

“Yeah, we’ll scale it back. Hey, we can scale it back,” the same officer says.

Benjamin launches into her recollection of what occurred. “Debbie Wasserman Schultz was there. I was standing by the side of her, and the right-wing Venezuelans were dragging me down. I grabbed on to whatever I could find, and now they’re saying that I assaulted a congresswoman.”

The same officer suggests the Capitol Police have video camera footage from Capitol Hill with “all the Capitol angles.”

Benjamin asks the police to get a warrant, and the officer replies, “We can get a warrant, or you can come with us and we can solve it right now.”

She indicates she would prefer to wait for her lawyer to advise her on what to do next, and not long after, this particular officer mentions police were reviewing footage to see what exactly happened.

Apparently, the Capitol Police had an allegation, did not know if they could substantiate the allegation, but because it involved a congresswoman, it did not matter. They sought to quickly coerce a political activist into submitting to their authority, even if there was no basis for that activist to do so before the allegation was corroborated by police.

Police are afraid that Benjamin would flee. One officer tells her to stay put, even though she is not under arrest.

A second officer, who had not spoken with Benjamin, approaches her. “They’re re-interviewing the victims, the witnesses on scene. We’re trying to figure out exactly what happened, okay? Do you understand? Does that make sense? Any other questions?”

“Yeah, I have questions. Are you arresting the people who attacked me?” Benjamin responds.

The second officer indicates they were “investigating that,” whatever that means. At this point, a detective was on his way.

Shortly after, according to Benjamin, she was informed that she was “free to go” after they had looked over the footage. But she did not know if that meant they would not seek a warrant for her arrest.

Journalist Ford Fischer interviewed Benjamin soon after the attempted arrest. She said she was “very shaken up” by what happened.

“I think it shows how closely the Democratic Party and the Republican Party work hand in glove with the Venezuela opposition, who are very aggressive. We saw what they did at the Venezuela embassy. They attack us. They spit on us. They hit us. And we can’t get them arrested, even when we ask the police to do something.”

There was an instance where someone snatched an activist’s phone at the press conference. The police apparently did nothing in response, according to Benjamin.

Able to speak without the threat from police surrounding her, Benjamin offered Fischer much more detail about the way in which Venezuela opposition supporters allegedly manhandled her.

“When Debbie Wasserman Schultz was speaking, I was standing right next to her, and every once in a while I would say something like, ‘Lift the Sanctions!’ ‘This is all about the votes, Debbie, isn’t it? In Florida!’”

“I was pulled by people behind me. They grabbed me. They choked me. They threw me down, and I was very upset and shaken,” Benjamin claimed.

The attempted arrest by Capitol Police came weeks after D.C. police showed up to journalist Max Blumenthal’s home prepared to execute a “SWAT-style raid.” They arrested him for “simple assault” based on a five-month-old allegation from members of the Venezuela opposition, who besieged the Venezuela embassy in D.C. in April and May.

Ben Rubinstein was at the embassy trying to deliver food to activists, who were authorized by Venezuela government officials to help protect the embassy from takeover by opposition supporters. He was arrested and charged with a crime in May. (The opposition has tried to tie Blumenthal to this political offense.)

On May 16, Margaret Flowers, David Paul, Adrienne Pine, and Kevin Zeese were arrested, as police raided the embassy in violation of the Vienna Convention. They face misdemeanor charges of “interfering with certain protective functions” of the federal government. They could each be imprisoned for up to one year and fined up to $100,000.

*Note: The above report will be updated if Capitol Police return to carry out an arrest against Code Pink activist Medea Benjamin tonight or tomorrow.

**Correction: A prior version of this report indicated D.C. police had attempted to arrest Medea Benjamin. The stream recorded by Benjamin clearly shows an officer with a “U.S.C.P.” turtleneck and vehicles with “United States Capitol” on the side surrounded her home.

  • I hope this is the end of this incident for Medea. It does illustrate the ongoing decay of ‘normal’ conduct. Laws are being twisted or ignored more and more as our sociopolitical conditions deteriorate.

    Everyone involved in visible protests may want to rethink their approach to activism. There are other methods of activism that are just as, if not more, effective than placing oneself at risk of financial and physical harm both from opposition protestors and the police. Getting arrested in this environment only puts you at risk and may restrict your ability to participate in movements you believe in. Times are different; ignore this and be subject to the new norms of corrupt law and dangerous incarceration conditions.

  • voza0db

    The funny part is “Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, modern slaves keep voting for scoundrels and then s h i t happens!

  • Hi dB,
    Yes, far too many people still believe in the 1950’s portrayal of American life where voting ‘sort-of’ counted, politicians at least appeared to want to make things better, a living wage could be earned by the majority (at least caucasian majority), civil violence was the aberration not the norm, and TV dinners still tasted like cardboard (well that wasn’t one of the positives).

    I’m concerned that many activists in the U.S. are using a playbook that works with a society that respects law and order. That respect is no longer there in many circumstances and is becoming less so all of the time.

    If someone’s playing dirty pool, you need to adjust to those ‘rules’. A lot of people are going to suffer physical, mental, and fiscal harm if they try and play by rules that are no longer followed. Thinking about how people communicated over distances before there was the internet and mobile phones would be wise from a surveillance standpoint – i.e. meet in person, use the physical mail system, when prudent, use a key code, etc. Wear things that disguise your identity at live protests if you feel it’s worth attending, make sure you know your exits in advance, have lookouts that can tip your people off to changes in police presence or actions. and so on. I’ve said this before but I’ll repeat myself – Use critical and innovative thinking; adapt to the reality of today and tomorrow. Don’t put yourself in harm’s way when it’s not necessary – save that for when and if it is required as part of the end game or a specific surgical action.

    Things are getting uglier here dB. They’re not horrific on a widespread basis yet but we’re marching down that road and I don’t see anything that’s going to deter that progress in the near future. People need to use their heads and acknowledge that things are going to get worse, a lot worse, before we’ll have any glimpse of more peaceful times.

  • voza0db

    Modern Slaves are programmed to play the civilization game using chess rules, Owners & Friends play the game using whatever rules they see fit.

    Almost a year ago I wrote the following:

    Hello Little Bird.

    Here’s part of something I’ve wrote:

    “A few years ago I suggested to some slaves that one of the best ways to do a “strike” or to cause damage to the MAIN SYSTEM is to stay home, at least for a week, doing nothing:

    NO WORK. NO CONSUME. NO OBEY

    Reaction? The usual…

  • Interesting. I’ve stated something similar myself. The only real barrier to that concept is the ability to maintain the basic essentials – food, water, shelter, etc. for the period necessary to shut down the system until (I’ll use the U.S. government’s economic maximum pressure line) “until it screams”. This resiliency can be achieved and needs to be accomplished prior to a ‘strike’. There is no need for people to go hungry or risk losing their residence in order to achieve change if planning and cooperation are employed intelligently.

    To your last statement “Reaction? The usual.”, maybe someday that reaction will reflect what’s needed. Until then, we can keep offering ideas while we take care of our own needs.

    Personally, I am willing to engage more directly either in the creation of a viable plan or in the execution of a viable plan – not before either of those two options are present. All of our time is valuable – I’m not willing to invest mine or ask others to invest theirs in what I perceive to be fruitless endeavors.

  • rgaura

    Ms Wassermann Schultz should be in jail for vote fraud, and conspiracy. She should be investigated for having hired a group of Pakistani spies to run the democratic congress members IT system for 14 years. Dual citizens should not be allowed in office.
    Thank goodness the capitol police backed down. Their chief was threatened publicly by DWS when the Awan scandal broke.

  • mwildfire

    What’s DWS and what was the Awan scandal?

  • mwildfire

    I see your point but–well I’ve been reading novels set in part in Nazi Germany, and it seems to me a key to what happened there is that the Nazis used a variety of approaches to get and increase their power–but all along a key one was intimidation. They would announce a new repressive policy and very few would speak up–they could arrest those few, along with their scapegoats, mostly Jews, and their chief political rivals, the communists. Once they got away with that, they announced new measures, tightening the screws. They would have huge military marches, and the crowds lining the streets would cheer and offer Nazi salutes–anyone who did not salute would be attacked by brownshirted goons who accompanied the parade, and arrested. They probably couldn’t have gotten away with that in the early years when they still needed to win votes. Most of the German people–the “real Germans” anyway, not the untermenschen who didn’t count–were enthusiastic supporters in the middle years when the economy was enriched by all that plunder and Germany was winning wars (because nations, as well as individuals, didn’t want to risk standing up to the bullies). I expect quite a significant percentage of the “good Germans” started out going along with it all to avoid trouble, giving the salute and putting up swastikas to keep their business thriving while privately thinking uncomplimentary things about the Nazis. And then, over time, it just was easier, avoided cognitive dissonance, to persuade themselves that they actually supported the Nazis. Eventually, everyone paid the price.
    But suppose, early on, people knew how the Nazi story would play out and were determined to block it. Suppose more people chose integrity and freedom over security. Bullies are not stopped by moralizing; they’re stopped when someone stands up to them.

  • mwildfire

    I see you included the key item often left out when people talk about a general strike: don’t go to work or school, and BUY NOTHING. But to be successful a general strike must be organized long in advance, must draw in a hefty percentage of the public and must make clear demands.

  • mwildfire

    My notion of how you get around the “basic essentials” problem is that you don’t do a continuous strike, you do it every Monday or Friday until demands are met–so it isn’t hard to see to it your gas tank is filled and there’s food in the house in advance of strike days. The second week you also strike on Wednesday. The third week it’s Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday…but the thing is, surviving in the future we’re bringing on by ignoring climate change and overpopulation and other environmental crises, is going to require belt-tightening and relocalizing of economies anyway, so if people practice getting more self-sufficient, it’s all to the good if they never resume their previous consumption patterns.

  • ANTONIO

    You must use all forms of struggle against capitalism. This will depend on the correlation of forces. An uprising would be madness where the popular vote can arrive at the same place. In some countries antagonisms between classes make inevitable a violent result in social arena. In any case this can only be decided by the working class itself. The oligarchy is an armed force against the workers, but we will work against them peacefully where it can be done, and with armed struggle where there is no other choice. It depends on the moral (or demoralized) state of the bureaucratic military complex, the degree of resistance among the ruling class, the characteristics of the political institutions, and the degree of traditions respected in the Constitution and in social life. To what degree has the police machinery grown, how much has militarism taken over, and how far is imperial reaction willing to go? In some cases the ruling class can become convinced that resistance is useless, and would prefer to keep their heads. On the other hand, the kleptocracy is quite capable of imposing a civil war on the population, aimed at crushing people’s movements, and using bloody repression against poor people, working people and leftists. LENIN 1917

  • Great analogy. I agree with your …”Bullies are not stopped by…” statement. Saying the same thing with different words… Problems don’t solve themselves; they perpetuate until the root cause is addressed.

    I believe people need to be provided with a clear picture of how things could be different and what it will take to get there before they’re willing to channel their energy toward making it happen.

  • So if I’m correctly understanding your suggestion, you’re saying instead of going ‘cold turkey’, ease into a productivity stoppage by scaling it up over time. That has possibilities. One concern I have would be allowing the establishment more time to come up with ways to thwart the ‘siege’. They may implement measures (such as a workplace lockout or municipal water shut-off) that would nix the ‘strike’ before it could scale up. If reserves of the basic necessities have already been stockpiled in case of this eventuality, then the scale up tactic you’re suggesting may work better as it could have a less abrupt disruption to daily lives making it perhaps more appealing to more participants and less threatening to the affected institutions.

  • voza0db

    Of course… That’s the main problem of performing a strike like this one.

    Deep down modern slaves know that if they pull of one strike like this, their lifestyle will never be the same. So they prefer to remain with the present existence.

    Adverse reaction to real CHANGE.

  • voza0db

    You already know what is my current understanding of the feasibility of such Herd actions!

    Our behavior is truly funny…
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d438263cfc8fbbe1b31389bcaa6b9e4ecdcd079c74f41ae217cd9bcd41584f90.jpg

  • voza0db

    I agree… wasting our life and resources with delusion endeavors isn’t a balanced action.

    If we reach the conclusion that it is fruitless we must just relax and enjoy the Birds dialogues…

  • 👍 Well said. Frugality is Freedom!

  • You are too outcome oriented for society’s own good. What happened to doing the right hting BECAUSE it IS the right thing?

    I guess you and Chris Hedges do not get along.

  • We will not survive if we do not radically change to a biosphere sustaining civilization. Gradual measures ensure our extinction.

    Here’s a tiny snippet of the problem we all struggle with that an excellent writer (novelist James Bradley’s spot-on long essay titled simply, “Unearthed.”) recently voiced laying out all the intractable issues before humanity at this time:

    But as Hildyard recognises, it also demands we acknowledge our personal responsibility for the disaster unfolding around us.

    This is a deeply confronting idea. Most of us are at least a little bit aware of the degree to which our lives affect the lives of others less fortunate than ourselves, but we are careful to keep the implications of that awareness at bay. We buy cheap clothes without letting ourselves think too much about the manner of their production, eat meat without thinking too much about where it comes from, catch planes without thinking too hard about the impact of them, or of the materials that went into building the plane, or the road, or of making the power that runs the lights.

    For those of us in the first world, any reckoning with these questions is likely to be particularly painful, demanding we learn to see the invisible legacies and ongoing trauma of colonialism and exploitation, dispossession and destruction that surround and enmesh us. Seen like this our resistance looks less like moral cupidity or wickedness than self-preservation. As T.S. Eliot recognised almost a century ago, there is only so much reality most of us can bear.

    As a result we inhabit a weird duality, a world in which we know but do not know, and where these mechanisms of evasion and denial allow us to avoid staring into the eye of what is coming. It doesn’t always work: I am a skilled compartmentaliser, but still there are moments when it overwhelms me, when the knowledge of what is coming is too much to deal with, moments when I look at my kids and wonder what I have done by bringing them into the world. Like most parents, I want them to live full and happy lives. I want them to grow up believing the future is a place of possibility. I want them to have hope.

    Yet I know that is not what awaits them. Instead they will inhabit a world progressively poorer, less stable, more violent, a world where hundreds of millions and possibly billions of people are likely to die from the effects of global heating and environmental collapse by the end of the century. They will endure fear, chaos and deprivation. Their future lives will not be better but significantly worse than their lives now.

  • SNIPPET from novelist James Bradley’s spot-on long essay titled simply, “Unearthed.”:

    Perhaps your mind recoils from this idea. I know mine does. I don’t know how to think about these possibilities, let alone talk about them. Yet I also know we have to find a way of doing so. Because unless we find a way of saying the unsayable, there is no way we can begin to prepare for what lies ahead.

    There are versions of this conversation I dislike, versions that arrive freighted with a particularly self-regarding and peculiarly masculine performance of intellectual honesty, as if congratulating yourself on being the only one brave enough to face the truth makes you admirable rather than a bit of an arsehole.

    Only slightly less objectionable is the godlike equanimity of those who seek comfort in the fossil record and deep time by declaring there have always been extinctions, and while we may not survive, the planet will. ‘Reefs have gone extinct many times, but coral is still with us,’ they will tell you, as if that somehow makes what is happening now okay.

    At the heart of both lies an ethical vacuum and an indifference to the fate of billions of human and non-human lives that I find abhorrent.

    I am also deeply suspicious of the brand of environmental thinking that simply turns its back on these questions. Paul Kingsnorth is correct when he writes ‘our stories are cracking: the things we have pretended to believe about the world have turned out not to be true.’ But while there is no question his work and that of others who share his outlook offer a vital and profoundly troubling counter-narrative to modernity, demanding we engage with the impermanence of all human cultures and the occluding fantasy of progress, there is also an unpleasantly reactionary sheen to its barely sublimated misanthropy. To speak of ‘uncivilisation’ or to treat a return to pre-industrial conditions as not just inevitable but desirable in a world in which more than half the population lives in cities is petty at best and grotesque at worst.

  • voza0db

    Hello agelbert.

    Books… not my thing! Don’t know the dude James Bradley.

    agelbert… we are what?

  • I agree that the solution does need to include a balanced and healthy ecosystem. Part of achieving that will mean a very different view of what has value and a simplification of our socioeconomic systems.

    And, yes, things will get worse before they have a chance to get better; some of the damage that has already occurred will not be undone during the lifespans of anyone who is already living – all we can do is mitigate to the extent possible and set things in place that will turn it around eventually.

  • Actually I appreciate Chris Hedges. And yes I am outcome focused – without a goal you cannot devise a plan and without a plan you do not have a compass and without a compass you’re relying on luck to reach your goal.

    Different people have a different definition of what “the right thing” is. Because of this, at least top level guiding principals are needed for everyone to use as a ‘right thing’ gauge – such as a Constitution and Bill of Rights.

  • I read the article associated with that top image. I remember years ago hearing about similar ‘coffins’ (even smaller) that people in Japan ‘lived’ in and wondered at the time how they could accept that condition. Now it seems we have something similar in Los Angeles. Just one ‘crap in your face’ example of how much our human society has deteriorated.

  • voza0db

    I guess LA wanted to do even better than New York so they went for even smaller coffins!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/24279ac854b19048597976ac30d072c62071e2a31cf846ebfb5620632f2a3085.jpg

  • I’ll keep rejecting, through minimalist, frugal, non-consumerist, non-polluting INactivity, what too many people selfishly, and suicidally, believe they “cannot do without”:

    Quite possibly, then, this era, which so congratulates itself on its self-awareness, will come to be known as the time of the Great Derangement.

    Likewise, Delia Falconer has written eloquently about the ways in which our society’s passion for newness hides the darkness at its centre, a process she describes as the ‘narrative of glamour’:

    For every book concerned with the fate of the world, there are a hundred, a thousand, films and books and ‘lifestyle’ television programs and advertisements and magazines offering an alternate universe that is already here on Earth. Glamour exists on a different time scale where nothing is permanent but can always be ‘made over’—houses flipped, dream homes located, ugly ducklings zhoozhed. In its alternate universe decisions are not moral, but only ever aesthetic, surfaces always gleam, and those who have glamour are ‘winners’—above the ruck, in their gilded sphere—while those who don’t are ‘losers’.

    ‘Glamour’, she concludes, ‘is the great enabler of a neoliberal logic, hiding its long-term and catastrophic damage with a glossy fluidity.’ It might also be ‘our most powerful and fatal fiction, the one that kills us all’.

    These patterns of evasion are written deep into our culture, the way we think—and more importantly, don’t think—about the future we have already set in motion.

  • I totally disagree. The relativist mindset is applicable to color choices, shoe styles and so on. However, it has no place in ethical considerations. The goal, a Viable Biosphere, is clear. “I’m okay, you’re okay” is not a valid assertion when correct personal action to mitigate Climate Chaos is the issue. There is no sliding relativistic scale on Climate Chaos mitigation ethics. If you believe there is a sliding scale on ethics, consider this old saying:

    “People who stand for nothing will fall for anything.”

  • John Chadwick

    On July 28, 2016, Wasserman Schultz resigned from her position after WikiLeaks released a collection of stolen emails indicating that Wasserman Schultz and other members of the DNC staff had exercised bias against Senator Bernie Sanders and in favor of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primaries.AND WHO’S WASTING AWAY IN PRISON FOR RELEASING INFORMATION TO TO ENLIGHTEN US ABOUT OUR ‘DEMOCRACY’ ???

  • voza0db
  • voza0db

    If any survive, this will probably be known as the Era of Degeneration. Even though I find it very unlikely that the survives will be able to acknowledge the Degeneration.

    But my question remains… we are what?

  • voza0db

    I used to say to many fellow uman animals “I am You, You are Me”… But, they don’t see it… or as I say, “They don’t feel it!”

    Many wouldn’t even react to such declaration!

    Without this there is no room for a Viable Biosphere.

  • voza0db
  • Voza0db: “But my question remains… we are what?”

    If your definition of “we” in the question above is humanity and what merits we have as a species, if any 😉, I’ll try to answer as best I can.

    We are not bacteria eating up all the agar in the petri dish. We are self aware beings capable of acting responsibly. The fact that, as a species, we have not done so to date only means we have submitted to poor leadership.

    We are in a Climate Chaos “hole” which threatens to become our grave. It was time to quit digging way back in 1988, but that does not excuse us from giving it the old college try now.

    People like Senator Sanders and AOC (and other true progressives all over the world) are our last chance for responsible leadership.

  • 👍 True. The interconnectedness of all the life forms in our biosphere is something we ignore at our peril. Any part of the web of life that is damaged degrades all the other parts. This is Ecology 101.

    Of course the 🐉 chemical, 🐍 mining and 🦕🦖 hydrocarbon hellspawn corporations have never been able to wrap their greedy, profit over people and planet heads around that basic, irrefutable reality.🤬

    I remember an old saying from the early days of environmental activism in the USA: “We all live downstream.” We sure do. 😱

    In regard to any and all industrial civilization activiies that allow pollution 😈 “externalities” for short term profit, we need to change NIMBY (not in my back yard) to NOPE, not on planet earth..

    “Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster, in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions”
    ― Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

  • mwildfire

    I think you’re totally on to something here. People do not imagine a positive future worth working or sacrificing for–they imagine dystopias or just more of the same. This is partly because most people’s imaginative faculties have atrophied due to too much TV and screen time. Hence, we must depict a positive future and the path to get there from here–and I said DEPICT, not merely yap about it in abstract language. This why I’ve been writing futuristic novels–movies would be even better but I don’t have those skills.

  • mwildfire

    I disagree with the last bit. We don’t have to take either “more than half the population lives in cities”or the “nine to ten billion expected by mid-century” as givens, unchangeable. These “facts” are not in accordance with the world right around the corner, the one in which breakdowns of various sorts accelerate. City people will come to realize that that food is not something made in the back of grocery stores, and is not a minor item on the purchase list when the trucks stop rolling in on the eight lane roads. A backyard garden also will not feed you urban agriculture is a good idea but it can only be supplemental. Large cities need arrangements with the surrounding countryside, including labor which will be needed to replace the fossil fuels which will be unavailable, expensive, or just plain, people will realize how destructive their use is and convert to regenerative agriculture. Since a world in breakdown will no longer support “bullshit jobs”, there will be plenty of people looking for livelihood to supply that labor.

  • mwildfire

    Wow! What a right-on post. You’re pointing to an important reality here.

  • mwildfire

    But that’s largely because as mentioned by Kelly Storme way above, people need to be shown a different narrative, a vision of a way things could be that’s worth sacrificing for, including a path to get there. People aren’t willing to let go of comforts and habits because they suspect that all that’s out there as an alternative is LESS, with no upside. And as agelbert said, most are vaguely aware they live in privilege at the expense of others but they don’t like this awareness so they tune it out. I think this is a significant part of the appeal of Trump–he tells the privileged that they have nothing to feel guilty about, should not think about giving up anything to the less lucky, but instead THEY are the victims who are owed more.

  • Marvelous that you’re writing about what’s possible. I read a great deal – a variety of genres. Who knows? I may have read some of yours. Movies are great entertainment but I have found in most cases that books beat them in quality and longevity hands down.

  • Great point on the “will no longer support bullshit jobs”. ‘Jobs’ have been created to support wealth generation and retention for those in the ruling class. Some work that is currently done needs to continue. Other work, such as producing financial instruments that have zero real life value need to be nixed. People are capable of many things – we can adapt, learn, and apply skills and knowledge that are intrinsic to a society that works with the planet and with the people – Not against as we do now in too many cases.

  • I’m getting the feeling that we’re not evaluating the same book so to speak.

    I think you are saying that Not addressing the Climate problem is a non-starter. I agree with this. If you are thinking that I don’t understand or support a firm stance on tackling pollution and the current economic system that supports it, then you have misunderstood my position. And, I have no ideology that emphatically supports “I’m okay you;re okay”. I will restate that everyone’s definition of what ‘is okay’ can be different. Without a clear guide as to what’s okay, all of us will be debating it until death.

    Right now, the global elites think it’s perfectly ‘okay’ to pillage the earth and enslave the human masses – wouldn’t you agree that a different definition of ‘okay’ is needed?

  • okay I’m holding back the spew – just barely.

  • Jon

    In a decent society, one we need to invent, work will be determined by what people (and other life) needs, NOT what makes profit for some company. Enough work for everyone until everyone has a safe home with indoor, potable water, adequate nutritious food, and medical care at little to no cost.

  • Jon

    I appreciate your series of rational comments, Kelly. Stay with us. I’ll add, there is a sequential line that goes: acting with honor provides truth, then justice follows, and only then can there be peace.

  • Jon

    DB, Do you ever post anything encouraging? Despair is not a winning strategy!

  • Medea Benjamin does great job confronting politicians in a non violent manner – my advice to her is that she ought to include some large people in her entourage [if only to cover her back] so that these types of incidents might be prevented.

  • Hear! Hear!

  • voza0db

    Jon… Confront REALITY!

    Why should I waste my time and energy with BS comments if the WWW is filled with those ‘encouraging‘ comments and articles and books and speeches and lectures and studies and so on… and YET we are as we are?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a8e858e9b0aa69189a0d5f91174819516e91bbc11b97de537489788f080914e3.jpg

    Not recognizing the root causes of our collective misery just perpetuates the Present…

  • voza0db

    And by the way… I’m not in despair.

  • voza0db

    Yep… is not easy!

  • rgaura

    the awan crime family was hired by DWS, and ran the democrats IT for 14 years, they had complete access to 44 members of congress, and all their committees, personal info, etc. they have been charged with financial frauds, but the obvious longstanding blackmail and information sales to other actors has been swept under the rug. so, between awan and epstein, we face the distinct possibility that most members of congress and in high office are being blackmailed.

  • rgaura

    a psychological insight into the dark turn the german people took can be found in one of Freud´s case histories. it is called the strange case of Dr Schriber. He was a full blown psychotic. he was also the son of the most celebrated child rearing specialist in germany. his father started the wildly successful gymnasium movement. he also taught parents not to feed their children when they were hungry, but on a schedule. he recommended restraints at night as a cure for self stimulation. you can find a hundred humiliating and torturous things he recommended for the rearing of that whole generation of folks. my summation is that child abuse is endemic to western culture, and that it produces narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths, and people who have tons of suppressed anger. in the social realm, this produces the return of the repressed in genocide and war.
    i see lots of these elements in child rearing and education in the US, and fear that we shall reap the wind.
    sorry about no caps etc, i fell on the dance floor last night and am one handed at the moment. blame it on the cumbia…

  • rgaura

    i´v been doing that for years, it needs to go mass scale…

  • voza0db

    Taking the USofT as example… what does “mass scale” translates to?

  • D.K. Wilson

    Not quite Franz.

    The U.S. is a late 15th century forward coalesced Europe’s “logical” expansion of power, the goal being to encompass the Earth with its power by accessing both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans; European elite became, global elite.

    As Allen Dulles said of the primary purpose for forming the CIA: {the goal . is} unfettered access to and procurement of the world’s natural resources.” (There are other versions of this statement and some length has been gone to to claim the sentiment was never expressed by Dulles… all of which should be a tell that Dulles, ever the hubris-filled, game-playing, power monger – see, “The Old Boys,” by Burton Hersh – did, in fact, say this.)

  • mwildfire

    And here I love the cumbia! Hope you’re feeling better now, r. I read a book about15 years ago the thesis of which was that corporal punishment of kids leads to authoritarian ideology in the kids often. Because the child being beaten by the parent naturally feels rage but can’t afford to direct that rage at the tormenter, so deflects it–including, often at their own kids when they have them. It had horrifying case histories of some well-known evangelists who got regular brutal whippings, or were required to thank the parent for the beating…Margaret Mead said that the strongest correlation she found for warlike cultures was absence of affection for children. I thought about this when I spent a summer in Ecuador, and noted how different the attitude of the parents was to that or parents in the US. Not the absence of physical punishment–even here parents don’t do that in public, so I wouldn’t know. But the hostility you see parents directing at their kids here, I never saw that there. i also noted how well-behaved the kids were, for example on a ten hour bus ride they’d sit quietly in their seats the whole way. These were indigenous or mestizos–the roiling going on there now (and in Bolivia, Chile, Brazil) has a major racial component US media won’t mention–in each case it’s a struggle between white minorities used to being an upper class with power and privilege, and an indigenous/mestizo majority demanding democracy and equality.

  • mwildfire

    NO. If we reach the conclusion that a given endeavor or approach is fruitless we must find better ones. “Just lay back and try to enjoy it” is what they used to tell rape victims…but what I hear you saying is, “We can’t do anything about today’s crises so it’s pointless to make any effort, just go on about your business and don’t worry about your own ecological footprint, your own contribution to the problems.” NO. You don’t know how this story ends. The odds that we can make such wrenching changes in all our systems as to deliver our entire oversized human population into a lovely new ecotopia may be minuscule, but our efforts may make the future our children have to live in at least a bit more bearable, and that’s worth doing. Ideal approaches both minimize the damage and prepare you and yours to get through the bottleneck times ahead.

  • mwildfire

    Sometimes one does something in the teeth of a gale that renders the action fruitless, just because it’s the right thing to do. But I speak here in favor of outcome orientation–because I believe that the world surrounding me is real. The living things, human and not, that face great suffering and death and species extinction because of current human stupidity are real–so it’s not good enough to just put forth some effort. It’s critical to keep seeking the avenue that pays fruited dividends, that actually makes a difference. I’ve been an environmental activist for a couple of decades (in West Virginia–what joy) and I get frustrated with endless repetition of “actions” that make no difference, with strategy sessions that amount to making a series of lists. I’m not in it to feel virtuous, I’m in it to preserve a livable planet for future generations of, as the indigenous say, “all my relations.”I love Chris Hedges but he is such a Jeremiah, always focused on the ugliest stuff and the moral question; he plays a useful role in doing that, because he is incisive and articulate, but this isn’t enough; we also need people looking at the ways out, experimenting, trying to find solutions–like Rob Hopkins.

  • voza0db

    I’m already doing too much comparing to those that are leaving offspring behind!

    But like I usually say “Go on and try to stop that incoming tsunami with a glass of water… have fun!

    Even if by some very unusual and remote odd ALL the Herd of the United States of Terrorism decided to CHANGE and by some fluke of luck they reached ZERO GHG EMISSIONS by 2030, it wouldn’t make a difference in terms of the Planet!

    This story is going to end like all stories related to degenerated uman animals: divisions, conflicts, torture, death and extinction or at the very best a reduction to a very small number of uman animals.

  • mwildfire

    Well them voza. let me thank you for your hard work assiduously posting multiple times a day to discourage anyone from doing anything. I doubt if you’re paid by the Koch brothers or Exxon, but there are people doing similar work who are. Perhaps you should apply.

  • voza0db

    Well… well… so for you “posting comments multiple times a day” is “doing too much comparing to those that are leaving offspring”?

    Keep it up then…

  • Jon

    Amen, Mwildfire! Nothing but cynical and snide remarks–never any positive proposals for help.

  • mwildfire

    I’m not complaining about your posting too much. I’m complaining that all your posts are aimed at dissing and discouraging anyone who proposes any kind of positive action. And I don’t think you get a free pass for life just because you didn’t have kids.

  • kevinzeese

    I have received other complaints about the negativity of voza0db with people asking me to moderate the comments. I’ve resisted because we only moderate for racists, sexist and other abusive comments. It is worth knowing, voza0db, that you are coming across to people as too often negativity.

  • voza0db

    “positive action” never read a single one… Care to point any, if those actions really result in CHANGE, if they are just for some pics and vids and parties… don’t waste time!

    Kids… Our decision (female+male) had nothing to do with this BS of Uman Made Climate Change and so on.