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VIDEO: Protesting Illegal in Australia?

6:10 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

Last week, the Legislative Council of Victoria passed the Summary Offence Act 2013, which outlaws the right to protest in Victoria, by a vote of 20-18.

Several activists involved in the Tunnel Picket protests were arrested during in Parliament as the voting was taking place. One of those activists, Sean Bedlam, is the subject of our interview today.

From September onwards the police in Victoria will have the power to ‘move on’ groups of people at their will, including those involved in peaceful protests and pickets. Those who refuse to comply with these orders can be issued with fines of $750, exclusion orders, and jail terms of up to 2 years.

Sean Bedlam (interviewed here) is a comedian, artist and activist based in Melbourne. An active member of Occupy Melbourne and other social justice campaigns, Sean states:

Activists in Australia are reaching out to people all over the world, particularly in America, because Australia is a client state of the United States (while at the same time) we are reaching out to the Indigenous people of Australia, the first nations, and that has become a burning central issue. Now, the powers that be know that if we are making contact with the powers that be around the world and if we are making contact with indigenous Australians, you’ve got an incredibly powerful network, and they don’t want the network to form.

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VIDEO: Reproductive Rights in a State of Emergency

2:41 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

This Wednesday marked the 41st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which protected a women’s decision to have an abortion was marked by thousands of anti-abortion activists taking part in a march for life in Washington, D.C. Carrying signs saying “I AM the pro-life generation”, and “conceived from rape, I love my life” marches converged on the National Mall Wednesday and marched to the Supreme Court.

While public opinion on abortion has not shifted much since the 1970s, the war on female reproductive rights, which was raging at a fever pitch in 2013, continues to escalate.

2013 Gallup poll showed that “52 percent of Americans support access to legal abortions under certain circumstances, with 26 percent holding it should always be legal and 20 percent in favor of an outright ban.” Those numbers have shifted little in a generation.

However, as Sunsara Taylor of Stop Patriarchy, points out Reproductive rights are in a state of emergency.

2013 was another record year of assault on abortion and birth control:
In 2013 alone, 22 states passed 70 new restrictions including late abortion bans which defy Supreme Court precedent, unwarranted doctor and clinic regulations, limits on medication abortion and bans on insurance coverage.

FIVE states have only ONE abortion clinic and in 2013 more clinics were forced to shutdown abortion services including almost one-third of clinics in Texas alone. 97% of rural counties have no abortion provider.

A homegrown American Christian-fascist movement of anti-abortion fanatics continues to threaten and harass doctors and patients outside clinics across the country.”

Sunsara Taylor is the interview guest on this edition of The Resistance Report.

Sunsara writes for Revolution Newspaper and is an initiator of the movement to End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women at StopPatriarchy.org

American Exceptionalism

6:11 am in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Most Americans- (and by Americans it has come to be understood by most living in the United States of America simply to mean those people residing within the borders of the 50 states of the USA and excluding the clearly inferior peoples who just so happened to be born in Central or South America- or Canada, eh?) – Most Americans believe that we live in the greatest country on the face of the earth.

Is this true?

By almost any rubric save for the nationalistic bravado that has been pounded into our brains the answer is clearly – not even close.

Most Americans- (and by Americans it has come to be understood by most living in the United States of America simply to mean those people residing within the borders of the 50 states of the USA and excluding the clearly inferior peoples who just so happened to be born in Central or South America- or Canada, eh?) – Most Americans believe that we live in the greatest country on the face of the earth.

Is this true?

By almost any rubric save for the nationalistic bravado that has been pounded into our brains the answer is clearly – not even close.

But the belief in American Exceptionalism persists.

What has this Exceptionalism given birth to?

In the 19th century, we wanted to expand west. Our nation was great, went the thinking. its expansion destined and preordained by God. We call this concept, in a Lady MacBethian attempt at hand washing, Manifest Destiny. If a few Mexicans and Native Americans got killed and maps redrawn along the way, who is going to count the dead and file it in history books as Genocide or merely casualties of war?

Certainly not your 8th grade civics teacher.

In the 20th century, this Exceptionalism gave birth to military technology, like the A-Bomb, and our wiliness to exterminate major populations of cities like Hiroshima and Nagasaki even when doing so was the strategic equivalent of blowing up a house to deal with a roach infestation.

By the 21st century, it has been well documented; this Exceptionalism has created an unbelievable amount of wealth. If this wealth were dispersed evenly, we might find ourselves in a moral quandary as to whether to not the means justify the ends. However, when the wealth is concentrated is so few hands, as it is now and both Democrats and Republican bow to Wall street, and the military industrial complex needs more war to clear old inventory and make room for the new models- when weapons and war run on the same business model as your local car dealership, while so many within and without our borders suffer there can be no moral quandary that is defensible.

Many can readily produce statics that shock and awe, like “The amount of money blown on our illegal war in Iraq could have paid for 220,000 teacher salaries- each year; the yearly cost of stationing one soldier in Iraq could have fed 60 families in that same year.”

Similarly shocking examples of how better to re-direct our resources are readily available and demonstrate a country ruled by robber barons, who in their quest to be exceptionally wealthy are actively killing off the environment, herding the middle class into the expanding pool of poor, and expanding corporatism to the point where corporations are now fucking people.

I mean that both in the sense that corporations are fucking people and corporations (thanks to Citizens United) are fucking people!

Those of us who fight against this, who demand a return to a rule of law where power is not concentrated in the executive branch, who demand that Congress assert the congressional authority to declare war, and who find pornographic the implications of corporate personhood are easily dismissed by the machine that has little interest in hearing our demands.

But our numbers are growing.

Today, for instance, you just might join us. Visit October 2011.org for more information.

Dennis Trainor, Jr is a writer, video producer for No Cure For That and serves on the Steering Committee for October2011.org