Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Seeds of Outrage

The Power of Civil Disobedience

Still can't believe we need to protest this crap
~ Tim DeChristopher, a US political prisoner, writes from jail, a month into his 2-year sentence:
With civil disobedience cases, however, the government puts an extra value on an apology. By its very nature, civil disobedience is an act whose message is that the government and its laws are not the sole voice of moral authority. It is a statement that we the citizens recognize a higher moral code to which the law is no longer aligned, and we invite our fellow citizens to recognize the difference. A government truly of the people, for the people, and by the people is not threatened by citizens issuing such a challenge. But government whose authority depends on an ignorant or apathetic citizenry is threatened by every act of open civil disobedience, no matter how small. To regain that tiny piece of authority, the government either has to respond to the activist’s demands, or get the activist to back down with a public statement of regret. Otherwise, those little challenges to the moral authority of government start to add up.
It is happening again, now, as hundreds are jailed at the White House protesting the Keystone XL pipeline. While not yet approved, the fix appears in. We will seemingly allow the construction of a pipeline from the environmentally disastrous Alberta tar sands to Texas, where refiners will process the devil's excrement into fuels, many of which will then be shipped elsewhere. The oil patch will get richer, the environment dirtier, the air yet fuller with greenhouse gases, but we will not see cheaper energy, more security, or some magical economic recovery due to all the jobs it will supposedly create.

Meanwhile, real solutions go begging.

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