Meet the New American Revolutionaries!,
With our beloved Constitution under attack, and new legislation (H.R. 1955 and S. 1959) that will further usurp our freedoms, Americans are reaching back into history for the familiarity of their Revolutionary past. American freedom fighters, determined to reNEW their democracy, are digging into the fashion of their Founders, donning tricorn hats, and preparing to reNEW their Constitution.
The New American Revolutionaries are here!
Even before the Patriot Act was whisked into being on October 26, 2001 by an uninformed and overzealous Congress, true American patriots knew it would shred the Constitution. Respected Constitutional scholars like Irwin Chemerinsky (formerly of USC & Duke), Jonathan Turley (George Washington University), the ACLU, and numerous legal experts, forewarned Americans of the infringements on their freedoms by this pernicious act. Concerned citizens rose up in protest, but never in sufficient numbers to force Congress to repeal the act.
Of course, had there been an informed American electorate, MILLIONS would have protested this purging of their rights. But the corporate-owned media had accomplished its task. It had dumbed down Americans so drastically that "Survivor" was their reality, and the threat to their democracy was unreal.
In October of 2002, the Iraq War Resolution passed, granting George W. Bush the authority to take what actions HE deemed necessary against Saddam's Iraq. Concerned citizens rose in protest. Women held constant vigil at the White House. But mindless reality television held a vigil of its own. Americans were minor interested and major uninformed -- as filmmakers Danny Schechter, Robert Greenwald and Norman Solomon have clearly shown.
On February 15, 2003, millions around the globe stood in solidarity against the war. The greatest numbers were in Europe. Rome had 3 million strong. Across America, pro-peace patriots marched in large numbers -- but not large enough. Corporate media had again done its job. This time "Survivor" had company. "Fear Factor," and "Big Brother" were added realities, and "The Osbournes" took the nation by storm.
For America's media-deluded nation, the war eventually became a reality on March 20, 2003, when it was broadcast as "Shock and Awe." Americans chomped popcorn and drank beer to their war. It was the ultimate video extravaganza.
The corporate media had sold Americans a war. Americans bought it, financed it, staffed it, and now owned it. Their hard-earned taxes had bought George Bush's war.
When will they finally stop paying?!
On March 9, 2006, George W. Bush signed the newly reauthorized Patriot Act into law. Patriots bemoaned their inability to protect the Constitution. Corporate media-conned Americans paid it no mind. The New York Times front page didn't cover it, concentrating instead on the Dubai ports debacle, which bolstered domestic fear. With the scrawl of a pen, Americans' freedoms and privacy were again signed away.
By 2006, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were still raging on. Thousands of troops had been killed. Tens of thousands had been grievously wounded. Bush had suspended habeas corpus. Houses began to foreclose. More jobs were shipped overseas. More workers became unemployed. More health benefits were denied. More widening of the economic divide.
With this further decline in quality of life, more Americans awakened to their decaying democracy. Still not in sufficent numbers. Corporate media dumbed on. Peace marches weren't televised. Progressive leaders weren't interviewed. "American Idol" and "Dancing With The Stars" rated high. Britney's marriage was rocky and French-hating Americans were ga-ga for Paris.
And now, as 2007 moves toward its end, the wars continue, the economy further dies, and Congress sucker-punches the Constitution once again. Meet the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (H.R. 1955), and its Senate companion, S. 1959 -- the government's newest weapon against its own people. Its latest tool to identify and control "homegrown terrorists," and in the process suppress dissent.
Thanks to California's ever disappointing Bush-Dog Democrat, Jane Harman, Congress pushed through yet further legislation to erode First Amendment rights. Harman's H.R. 1955, which passed the House overwhelmingly with a 404 to 6 vote, presents such a vague definition of "homegrown terrorism," that any American who dissents is subject to government reprisal. Per H.R. 1955, "homegrown terrorism" is defined as "the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives."
When considering that individuals and organizations who oppose government policy regularly plan the actions needed to force government change, Jane Harman's bill is antithetical to democracy. H.R. 1955 dissuades citizen participation in government, and is an extension of the disastrous Homeland Security Department - the same Homeland Security Department that used its resources in 2003 to track down Texas state legislators at the behest of former Republican Congressman, Tom Delay.
The Founders of this nation surely didn't foresee, or prescribe, the tyrannical rule set forth in H.R. 1955, in Senate bill 1959, or in the Patriot Act. Thomas Jefferson, perhaps this nation's most vocal proponent of participatory democracy, made many statements in support of citizen involvement in government.
"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories."
Jefferson also said:
"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive."
Left in the despotic hands of Bush-Dog Harman, and her 404 colleagues in the 110th Congress, Mr. Jefferson's America will collapse into disrepair. The great leaders of this nation have always understood that its salvation rests squarely in the hands of THE PEOPLE, who love it more purely than electeds who succumb to ambition and corporations that succeed through greed.
After enduring nearly seven years of the Goebbels' fear tactics of George W. Bush, and the dumbing-down tactics of corporate media, the American people are slowly waking to the perilous state of their union. Still, many fail to realize how severely their Constitution has been shredded by their ruthless President and reckless Legislators.
For most Americans, few historical symbols are as recognizable as the clothing worn by the Founders they learned about as children. In a non-partisan effort to assist Americans in reclaiming their nation, the New American Revolutionaries will don the duds of their forefathers and go forward to re-teach the Revolutionary principles of justice and humanity upon which this nation is based.
On January 1st at the Pasadena Rose Parade, Revolutionary garbed patriots from the White Rose Coalition will move amongst the crowds to spread the message that it's time to reclaim our democracy. It's time to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's time to bring our heros home. It's time to make peace with the world. It's time to end corporate dominance of a society steeped in greed. It's time to impeach Bush and Cheney, and restore our nation to its original creed.
Here's to a most Revolutionary New Year!!
Linda Milazzo is a Los Angeles based writer, educator and activist. Her writing has appeared in numerous domestic and international newspapers, magazines and journals. Over the past three decades, Linda has divided her time between the entertainment industry, community development projects and education.