I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Suppression of Dissent In Chicago

Earlier today, I wrote a post comparing how our credulous press ate up the Bush administration's lies in the run-up to the Iraq war with how easily they swallow the spin of the corporate "reform" movement these days.

Well, it looks like more of the old hits from 2003 keep coming back:
Apparently officials at the Board of Education (BOE) are getting the message: The parents, educators and clergy of more than 30,000 Chicago Public School (CPS) students do not want their schools closed. Today, BOE security began erecting metal barricades around the building as thousands of people plan to rally this Wednesday in protest of CPS’ plan to shutter 50 schools and disrupt 50 others. Some have noted this is the largest school closing campaign in the history of the United States. [emphasis mine]
Sounds familiar; remember "free speech zones"?
In many cities across the country, the Secret Service has discriminated against protesters during Presidential and Vice Presidential appearances. Such incidents have spiked under the Bush Administration, prompting the ACLU to charge government officials with a ""pattern and practice"" of discrimination against those who disagree with its policies.  
Following is just a partial list of incidents from around the nation. In some cases, the ACLU is representing the individuals or groups involved.  But because these cases are too numerous to litigate individually, the ACLU has asked a federal court for a nationwide injunction barring the Secret Service from directing local police to restrict protesters' access to appearances by President Bush and other senior Administration officials.
Click through and remember the good old days, when the corporate media sold us the lie that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; if, however, you'd dared to stand up and demand accountability from our leaders, you were herded into a special "zone" set up for French-lovin' hippies.

Oh, you think I'm being hyperbolic? You think that education "reformers" won't go as far as the Bushies did? How about this: remember "Operation TIPS"?
OPERATION TIPS - the Terrorism Information and Prevention System - is a scheme that Joseph Stalin would have appreciated. Plans for its pilot phase, to start in August, have Operation TIPS recruiting a million letter carriers, meter readers, cable technicians, and other workers with access to private homes as informants to report to the Justice Department any activities they think suspicious. 
This is not an updating of George Orwell's ''1984.'' It is not a satire on the paranoid fantasies of right-wing kooks who see black helicopters swooping across their big sky. It will be a nationwide program run by Attorney General John Ashcroft's Justice Department. If it is allowed to start up and gather steam, it will begin in 10 cities and then expand everywhere, enrolling millions of Americans to spy on their neighbors. 
On the Web site of President Bush's new Citizen Corps program, this assault on the Constitution is described without any hint of irony as ''a national reporting system that allows these workers, whose routines make them well-positioned to recognize unusual events, to report suspicious activity.''
Well, it's not like reformies are calling on educators to spy on each other to quell dissent, right?
March 26, 2013
Secret Memo: CPS warns principals about possible civil disobedience in response to massive school closings
School officials asked to spy on demonstrators, take note of media
CHICAGO – The day before educators from the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) intend to join with parents, students, clergy, community leaders, civil rights activists and the rank-and-file members of SEIU Local 1 and Unite HERE Local 1; the union released a confidential memo sent to the city’s public school principals warning them of potential civil disobedience actions in protest of school closings. Mayor Rahm Emanuel will seek to shutter more than 50 neighborhood schools in the African American community by the end of this school year.
Preparing for what could be the spark of 21st century Civil Rights Movement in Chicago, the school district recently instructed principals to prepare for the worst. “Be approachable and supportive to feelings of unrest, anxiety or dissatisfaction” the secret memo read. “Observe and report all information regarding possible protestors, locations, dates and times… Is the media present? Which news outlet(s)?”
The CTU obtained the memorandum from a source who has requested anonymity for fear of repercussions. “They’ve asked us to do a lot of things that I’m not happy with, but some of this is going too far,” the person said.
CTU President Karen Lewis, “Why are they asking principals to work as agents of this administration when they are the ones who have created a climate of chaos? Civil disobedience is a direct response to unjust policies and practices. We intend to use whatever nonviolence protest actions we have in this fight for education justice.
This is, of course, what all autocratic regimes do: suppress dissent, turn working people against each other, and target educators.

"Oh, Jazzman, not again?! You're not seriously implying that the reformies are manipulating the press, setting citizens against each other, and using governmental powers to sell a dangerous lie to the American people - just like the Bush administration?!"

Once again: I'm not implying that at all: I'm stating it outright.

Take it away, George:

They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying -- lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want -- they want MORE for themselves and less for everybody else. But I'll tell you what they don't want. They DON'T want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that, that doesn't help them. That's against their interests. That's right. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting ****** by system that threw them overboard 30 ******' years ago. They don't want that. You know what they want? They want OBEDIENT WORKERS. OBEDIENT WORKERS. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly ******** jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime, and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. 


1 comment:

G. Gales said...

Let's not forget that Chicago is Obama' city and Rahm was Obama's chief of staff. Where is the president? Where is Duncan? When working people wake up and realize that there is no hope in supporting the Democratic Party you will see things turn around. They are not our friends and haven't been for a long, long time.