Where Have All The ____ Gone?

As a young man just returned from service in Vietnam I found myself protesting for an end to that war and all wars.

For me war is an obscene show of force….”mine is bigger than yours” sort of thing. There is nothing romantic or heroic about the destruction of life and limb.

After several trips to the local jail for defying a police order and the life caught up with me and I became a father and had tom get a “real job” and slowly my activism got less important but the feelings about war stayed with me and I wrote about them whenever I got the chance.

Somewhere in the absence from the movement and it died….and now all our wars, endless, senseless wars, go on and on unchallenged…..a sad thing indeed for the US had a proud history of pacifism and protests…..

Resistance to war is as old as war itself. The first recorded instance was a Christian, Maximilian, who was executed in the 3rd century AD for refusing to join the Roman army. There have been many other individuals who have refused to serve in war throughout history. But for the beginnings of a coherent peace movement, rather than individual resistance, we have to look to the 19th century.

In America, the first pamphlets calling for an organised anti-war movement were distributed in 1814, and the first meeting of the New York Peace Society followed a year afterwards. Soon there were chapters all over America, and similar societies in Europe too. The American Peace Society was officially founded in 1828.

During World War I, a large number of men resisted conscription on the grounds of conscientious objection to war. Some were made to pay fines, and many others were sent to prison. The No-Conscription Fellowship was formed in 1914, and grew into a substantial movement once conscription was introduced in 1916. Some of these objectors went on to found War Resisters’ International in the aftermath of the war. The War Resisters’ League, its American branch, was set up a couple of years later in 1923, and both groups are still actively campaigning today.

It wasn’t until the Vietnam War, however, that the anti-war movement began to really take hold in the public imagination. Opposition to the war became less individual and, inspired by the Civil Rights movement, took the form of widespread, large-scale demonstrations attended by people from all walks of life. Starting with small demonstrations on university campuses around the United States in 1964 the movement grew quickly, with several marches of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the USA and in Europe over the following years. In 1969, the November 15th Moratorium March in Washington, D.C. was attended by over half a million people.

http://www.ushistory.org/us/55d.asp

So I asked….what happened to the antiwar movement?

Years ago, most Americans decided that the war in Iraq was not worth fighting. That judgment helped elect Barack Obama president in 2008. Last year, for the first time, a majority of those polled said it had been a mistake to send forces into Afghanistan as well. Support for both wars has been steadily declining since Obama first took office.

So why, given the unpopularity of American involvement, is there not and has there never been a sizable movement to demand that the U.S. military withdraw from either nation? This absence is an extraordinary phenomenon: two of the longest wars in American history entirely lack the kind of organized, sustained opposition that emerged during nearly every other major armed conflict the United States has fought over the past two centuries.

Why Is There No Antiwar Movement?

There are other theories and articles to why there is no substantial antiwar movement anymore in this country…

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/where-has-the-antiwar-mov_b_815073

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/peace-pass%C3%A9-why-pacifist-movement-died-90321

We need a strong antiwar movement to keep the power brokers honest (as honest as they can ever be)…..we have had enough wars and far way too long…..

Just a musical interlude after a somber post…..

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

The Hong Kong Drama

For months now the people in Hong Kong have been protesting…..some say for democracy others say it is just for the helluva it and then there are those in the government that say it is just provocateurs that are never happy…..

There for awhile I thought that Trump would veto the bill that condemned China for their responses to the protesters and for their disregard of the democratic process…..

I can say now that I am pleasingly happy with the news that Trump has signed the bill….

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law legislation that could bring diplomatic action and economic sanctions against Hong Kong, brushing off multiple warnings by China against such a move.

“The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act reaffirms and amends the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, specifies United States policy towards Hong Kong and directs assessment of the political developments in Hong Kong,” the White House said in a statement.

“Certain provisions of the act would interfere with the exercise of the president’s constitutional authority to state the foreign policy of the United States.”

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3039673/donald-trump-signs-hong-kong-human-rights-and-democracy-act

The one question that this situation begs…..is what will happen with the negotiations between China and US on trade?

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Why Is Latin America Exploding?

It is interesting that since 2017 Latin America has become a hot bed of right wing politics and protests….are the two related?

Riots in Venezuela, Chile (again), Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, even Brazil is feeling the pressures. People taking to the streets and the government uses police and military to calm the population.

The Newest outbreak of protests is in the country of Colombia……

Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in the Colombian capital on Saturday as anti-government protests continued for a third day amid rising fear and violence.

The protests began on Thursday when more than 200,000 people took part in what they called a national strike over a number of grievances, including possible economic reforms by the government of right-wing President Ivan Duque.

While the majority of the protesters continue to demonstrate peacefully, banging kitchenware in the streets in a traditional Latin American protest called a “cacerolazo” [casseroles], some small factions have clashed with security forces in Bogota and country-wide.

Three protesters have died in the unrest so far, while a car bomb in the western region of Cauca killed at least three police and left 10 others wounded on Friday.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/fear-grips-colombia-protesters-anti-gov-rallies-turn-violent-191124051954754.html

Latin America has not seen this much violence since the 70s and 80s…..when most of the right wing strongmen lost their hold on the governments….time to throw the slugs out again.

The US has been a friend to the neofascist in Lain America for decades…..some recent history…..

However much they war on the domestic political front, Washington’s Democrats and Republicans are on the same page when it comes to the imperial war on democracy and social justice in Latin America.

In 2009 and 2010 Republicans were in a partisan tizzy over everything Barack Obama and Democratic Party, from health insurance reform to economic stimulus, bank bailouts, auto bailouts, and climate policy. The “Tea Party” rebellion arose, replete with a heavy dose of white herrenvolk racism.

But the Teapublicans offered no complaint when Obama’s Secretary of State Hilary Clinton aided and abetted a right-wing business and military coup that overthrew Honduras’ democratically elected left-populist president Manuel Zelaya in the spring of 2009.  Washington’s two major parties were united in opposition to Zelaya’s alignment of Honduras with Venezuela, Brazil and Bolivia in attacking poverty and inequality and redirecting Latin American regional development away from U.S. control [1]. Democrats and Republicans agreed that the independent and egalitarian Latin American trend needed to be checked.

Washington’s Consensus on Neofascist Coups in Latin America

The US cannot keep its grubby hands off Latin America and in almost every occasion they have claimed some violation of the Monroe Doctrine to justify the interference.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego ergo Scribo”

50 Years Ago

“It was 50 years ago today
Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play,
They’ve been going in and out of style,
But they’re guaranteed to raise the smile,
So may I introduce to you,”

Sorry I digress….a short trip down Memory Lane….

But speaking of protests as I did earlier….a little history……

As a young man I was an antiwar activist…I had witnessed war first hand and wanted to see the whole concept disappear…..I have heard people say that protests do very little in the grand scheme of things……I dis agree….

Ergo 50 years ago this Autumn……

“Demonstrations don’t work.” Next time you hear someone (or yourself) say that, you might consider the Moratorium and Mobilization demonstrations in the fall of 1969 — both commemorating their 50th anniversaries this year.

On Oct.15, 1969, more than two million citizens took part in the Moratorium — a one-day national strike against the war. In hundreds of cities, towns and campuses throughout the country, people from all walks of life took the day off to march, rally, vigil or engage in teach-ins. Until the Women’s March of 2017, the Moratorium held the title as the biggest nationwide demonstration in American history.

Exactly a month later, on Nov. 15, more than a half-million war opponents flooded the nation’s capital for the Mobilization. That was more than double the number of marchers who participated in the famous 1963 March on Washington led by Martin Luther King, Jr. More than 100,000 rallied in a simultaneous antiwar demonstration in San Francisco.

How anti-Vietnam War protests thwarted Nixon’s plans and saved lives

Do not let them (whoever them are) tell you protests do not work….they do and the American people need to remember that and act accordingly.

In closing a bit of protest musical interlude……

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Protests Go Global

The world is a light with the sounds of protests…Hong Kong, Lebanon, Iraq, Bolivia, Venezuela, Iran, Chile et al……the entire globe seems to be in protest….that is except here in the good old US of A…….

This country use to lead the world in protests for a wide array of reasons…..women’s rights, civil rights, antiwar, etc…… etc…..but these days we are a bit too lazy to actually care for much to protest….or so it seems……Without a mass movement continually pushing and prodding for real change and holding politicians accountable—for their policies as well as their words—our neoliberal rulers assume that they can safely ignore the concerns and interests of ordinary people.

The waves of protests breaking out in country after country around the world beg the question: Why aren’t Americans rising up in peaceful protest like our neighbors? We live at the very heart of this neoliberal system that is force-feeding the systemic injustice and inequality of 19th century laissez-faire capitalism to the people of the 21st century. So we are subject to many of the same abuses that have fueled mass protest movements in other countries, including high rents, stagnant wages, cradle-to-grave debt, ever-rising economic inequality, privatized healthcare, a shredded social safety net, abysmal public transportation, systemic political corruption and endless war.

We also have a corrupt, racist billionaire as president, who Congress may soon impeach, but where are the masses outside the White House, banging pots and pans to drive Trump out? Why aren’t people crashing the offices of their congresspeople, demanding that they represent the people or resign? If none of these conditions has so far provoked a new American revolution, what will it take to trigger one?

As a long time antiwar activist I cannot believe that after almost 20 years of continuous war and there is NO antiwar movement…..

It is embarrassing to witness just how LAZY the American people have become….that they cannot be bothered to learn about our many wars and decide if they are worth the cost in blood and treasure.

All I can say is “Be the change you are looking for”!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Season Of The Protest

As a young man I spent many a days in protests….mostly for an end to the Vietnam War….also many days of fighting off the effects of tear gas…and a few beatings…..but that was then and this is now…..

I know that trying to keep up with the silliness coming from the White House and the Congress and the Media is a full time gig…..but while you were being lulled into boredom the world has erupted in protests….

Iraq

Lebanon

Chile

Haiti

Spain

Hong Kong

Ecuador

And the count goes on…..

Another day, another protest.

On Monday it was Bolivia – angry people clashed with police after the political opposition said it had been cheated in an election won by incumbent President Evo Morales.

Last week, the streets of the Chilean capital Santiago descended into chaos, as demonstrators enraged by a hike in public transport fares looted stores, set a bus alight and prompted the president to declare a state of emergency.

Earlier this month, Ecuador’s leader did the same after violent unrest triggered by the decision to end fuel subsidies that had been in place for decades.

And that was just South America.

Hong Kong has been in turmoil for months, Lebanon’s capital Beirut was at a standstill, parts of Barcelona resembled a battlefield last week and tens of thousands of Britons marched through London at the weekend over Brexit.

Protests have flared around the world in the last few months. Each has had its own trigger, but many of the tactics and underlying frustrations are similar. Governments, economists and ordinary people are taking notice.

https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1956991/season-discontent-protests-flare-around-world

In honor of those in protest….a musical interlude from Buffalo Springfield……

Or if you do not like that…how about the Rolling Stones…..

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–15Oct19 #2

50 years ago today…..15 October 1969…….

Moratorium Day involved mass protests across the US. Religious services, rallies and meetings were held, aiming to bring the war to an end.

By this point, US troops had been fighting the Communist Viet Cong in Vietnam since 1965. About 45,000 Americans had been killed in action by the end of 1969.

In the frigid fall of 1969, more than 500,000 people marched on Washington to protest U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. It remains the largest political rally in the nation’s history. While President Richard Nixon was said to have spent the day watching college football inside the White House, to the rest of the world, the protests successfully proved that the antiwar movements comprised more than just politicized youth. The November rallies were part of a string of demonstrations that took place around the world in 1969, with groups from San Francisco to Boston and London petitioning for peace. Despite their cries, the war toiled on for six more years, ending with the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.

(Time)

Check out the Great photos from this antiwar protest……

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-49893239

Or for those that cannot read…..

See photos of the history of the peace symbol.

This was when the nation had a soul…..and the deaths of so many Americans for no reason was unacceptable….I miss those days.

And now for Country Joe……

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”