Monday, June 16, 2014

Your fundamental Constitutional rights are under attack

There are days when I wonder how any observant, thinking citizen can resist taking to the streets to scream in rage. Take this article from AlterNet, Pentagon Preparing for MassCivil Unrest.

“A US Department of Defense (DoD) research programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar programme is designed to develop immediate and long-term "warfighter-relevant insights" for senior officials and decision makers in "the defense policy community," and to inform policy implemented by "combatant commands."”

In other words, the DoD is spending tens of millions of dollars conducting research on how to deal with civil unrest, people taking to the streets in protest. Called the Minerva Research Initiative, the DoD is funding research at colleges and universities to study the dynamics of civil unrest. If we were talking about preparing for violent riots, that would be one thing, but this research includes non-violent and peaceful protests, conflating them with “"supporters of political violence" who are different from terrorists only in that they do not embark on "armed militancy" themselves.”

Our government equates peaceful protests to violent uprisings. We’ve already seen a glimpse of this during the Occupy Movement of 2011 when we learned from formally secret documents that the FBI treated the peaceful organization as a possible criminal or terrorist threat. As Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) stated,  “These documents show that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity. These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.

The First Amendment to the Constitution provides for 'the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.'" Apparently, the DoD and the FBI disagree. Instead of spending tens of millions of dollars to address the causes of civil unrest, like poverty, joblessness and income inequality, our government is using that money to figure out how to keep us quiet and oppressed. This isn’t a conspiracy. This is reality and it should make us all mad as hell.

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