Sunday, March 17, 2013

Protest don't come easy!

As a life-long protestor against human rights crimes & injustice, I value civil liberties. But I was a recipient of the political gains & insights won through the battles of the Civil Rights movement in the US which stood against tear gas, attack dogs, water cannons, & mounted cops--& though I witnessed violations of democratic rights to protest (especially for Palestinians) I generally was secure in my rights to public protest in the antiwar, women’s, homosexual rights & immigration rights movements.

That changed in 1999 at the GTO protests in Seattle when the oligarchy decided to decisively reverse the democratic gains of the 1960s-70s (coming out of the McCarthy era). Soon after, I was arrested & prosecuted in Minneapolis, MN for opposing experimentation on animals--but really for daring to protest at all. Animal welfare seems trivial to many but to animal lovers it seems paramount. The dignity of life is our mantra (regrettably putting aside cockroaches).

But the imprecations & violations we endure as protestors are as naught compared to what our companeros in other countries must endure to protest injustice. This is a photo of a brother in Bahrain disabled by bird shot pellets. We see many similar photos by the Indian government against political activists in Kashmir.

Rule of thumb: when they oppose public protest using violence, including rubber bullets, live ammo, chicken pellets, extreme violence, they’re on the wrong side.

This protestor was pummeled by a pellet gun from riot cops during a funeral cortege/tribute to Mahmud al-Jaziri, a democracy protestor. May brother Mahmud al-Jaziri RIP; may the Sunni monarchy that sanctioned this atrocity  be brought down & rot in hell!

(Photo by Mohammed Al-shaikh/AFP/Getty Images)

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