The Republican National Convention will soon be history, but the resonance of what occurred in Tampa may live on for a long time. For the first time in decades, police and protestors found a common ground and mutual respect. Now, that’s something that the élites who met to plan their divisive foreign and internal policies and to continue and expand the influence of their party of exclusion, can’t be at all happy about. There are still a few people out there who haven’t forgotten the plethora of crimes committed by the Bush Administration, even though many people who questioned 9/11 and the aggressive wars launched by the USA against countries that had nothing to do with it were marginalised and written off as kooks, some are still able to make themselves heard and are still fighting for those responsible for everything from the Guantánamo detention centre to the Bush torture programme to be brought to justice.
Although a majority of the American people are too scared to stand up and protest, a growing number of Americans feel that they have nothing to lose and that it’s time to take their country back from the rich élites who have gutted the American Dream for the many and have destroyed the USA’s image. Many Americans are waking up; they realise that there isn’t any real democracy in the USA and that both parties are exactly the same. Despite this, the US Republican Party has been classically and unapologetically the party of rich white elitists, so, it’s now become the focus of protests by protest groups and the majority of Americans who’re truly suffering.
One of these groups, Code Pink, a predominantly-female anti-war group, has attempted to make citizen’s arrests of various members of the previous Bush Administration for years, but there’s a lack of legal entities willing to bring charges against entrenched political figures, came out in force at the RNC in Tampa. Code Pink’s methods may seem to be questionable, and some might even call them outrageous, but they’re effective in getting attention, and, then, using the attention to get their message out, in particular, their attempts to stage what Americans call a “citizen’s arrest”. Along with the Occupy Movement and over 40 other protest groups, they descended on the “Convention of the Élite”, who gathered in Tampa to select an already chosen candidate, to ogle beautiful women stripping in front of them, listen to speeches, to plan policy demonising Russia and other “evil” countries, and to pat each other on the backs and tell each other how wonderful they are.
Code Pink was very active at the RNC, for example, at a speaking engagement tied to the Republican National Convention, members of Code Pink protested outside of the venue whilst Condoleezza Rice was speaking inside. The protestors carried handcuffs and said they had come to arrest the former Secretary of State for war crimes. The Co-Director of Code Pink Rae Abileah and Code Pink Member Colonel Ann Wright, US Army (retired), managed to enter the building where Rice was holding her speaking engagement and disrupt her speech regarding “compassion”. At the beginning of the speech, the Colonel stood up and shouted, “You can’t be compassionate, and kill people in a war of choice, the war in Iraq!” Then Ms Abileah stood up and shouted, “The blood of Iraqi children is on your hands!” Then, guards escorted the women from the building. Code Pink later confirmed on Twitter that the activists tried to prevent Condoleezza Rice from making a political speech.
The group also managed to pull off one of the most successful disruptions of their 10-year existence by infiltrating and getting through the intense security of the Republican National Convention and disrupting a speech by the vice presidential contender Paul Ryan. The group also heckled Rick Santorum, pulling off more than the Occupy Movement and the other protest groups who’d also gathered to protest at the RNC. According to Code Pink, they’ve “become famous for confronting the warmongers, whether in the halls and hearing rooms of Congress, the national conventions of both the Republicans and Democrats, George Bush‘s fundraisers, the publicity tours of Karl Rove, Condi Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, and others and even at Nancy Pelosi‘s house”.
Code Pink compiled a long list of Bush-era war criminals, it’s available on their website, including Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Stanley McChrystal, George Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Karl Rove, John Bolton, Michael Chertoff, John Ashcroft, I. Lewis Libby, Alberto Gonzales, John Yoo, Dick Cheney, and George Tenet. They call for the arrests of all of the aforementioned. What’s more, according to Tighe Barry, an actor and a Code Pink activist, in an interview with VOR, the group approached and attempted to carry out a citizen’s arrest on all of the individuals on their list. Although the group is active regarding some of the most serious issues of our times, their tactics, such as the wearing of costumes designed to look like female genitalia, some say does not help their credibility and is actually insulting to women, others say this helps them get attention.
An organizer with Occupy the RNC, a local group that assisted and coordinated all of the groups that have come to protest the RNC, including Occupiers from all over the USA, said there were few if any incidents of violence between the peaceful protestors and the police. The organiser, Amos Miers, even said that, on Thursday, the Occupiers at the Occupy camp ran out of food and water and the Tampa Police themselves brought the Occupiers dozens of cases of food and fruit and dozens of bottles of water. Code Pink activist Tighe Barry also had many kind words for the police, who’re reported to have prepared for the worst, and who he said behaved professionally and without the use of violence or excessive force. Miers said that, according to police, they’d been told that they would be going up against violent anarchists and violent protestors and that the police were surprised at the peaceful and temperate nature of the Occupiers and the other protestors.
The Republican National Convention is coming to a close, and barring last minute and unexpected events, the RNC has accomplished one thing, for the first time in recent memory, the so called 99 Percent were looked after and have even found common ground with the police and the authorities, who until now appeared to be solely the servants of the One Percent.
31 August 2012
Voice of Russia World Service
It doesn’t surprise me that the coppers acted like decent men… they’re working-class Joes, too. They’re not of the Affluent Effluent, and we shouldn’t act as though they are. They have eyes and ears… and brains. The One Percent’s actually losing its grip… and everyone knows it. The coppers aren’t ogres… let’s face it; if you got thrown in the drunk tank Saturday night, you probably deserved it.