I knew that the prospects of people heeding my call for a peaceful uprising in San Francisco Union Square today were very low the minute I got off BART at the Powell (and Market) station. It was a beautiful day; the weather was perfect, and there were hundreds of tourists standing on line waiting to catch one of the famed San Francisco cable cars.
There was a little bit of excitement thought... It's about 12:15 P.M. I start walking up Powell towards Union Square, and (I kid you not) I hear the rotor blades of a helicopter directly above. I looked up and there it was, seemingly in a straight line up from where I was standing.
I laughed it up, thinking, "OMG, have I've been taking Daily Kos readers telling me that nowadays the police can arrest you for whatever reason they want, too seriously?"
I keep walking up Powell, and I swear the helicopter seemed to be with me (straight up line) the whole time until I got to Geary and Powell (one of the corners of Union Square). Now I got a little bit paranoid and started thinking, "What about if 'the authorities' considered all those messages I posted on twitter asking people to join me at Union Square today for a Flash Mob peaceful demonstration some kind of a threat?" Fear.
Of course, I know the helicopter is not following me, and that it is very unlikely anybody would show up anyways. But the fact that for a few minutes those thoughts crossed my mind is very telling about the situation we find ourselves in. More on that later...
I got to Union Square; there is some construction going on at that corner (Geary and Powell). I walked up Geary towards the other end of the plaza; there is a really nice coffee house there. I walked in, order a salmone panini sandwich, a diet coke, and find a very nice table under the shade of a large umbrella. There is a Jazz band playing. The music is very nice; the sky is blue; the weather is perfect. People are sitting around, walking, talking eating, having fun--except for a few assorted homeless/poor people with signs asking for money, or panhandling.
It's 1:00pm, time for the Flash Mob peaceful uprising I've been calling for; nothing happens. The band is playing; I'm having a great time.
Either way, I made sure not to "waste" my entire day in planning a futile revolution, by scheduling a business meeting close-by. At around 2:00pm, I walk a block to a nice pub/restaurant for my meeting.
It's funny, I go to SF mainly to see if people would show up for a protest rally; nobody shows up, but I end up having an hour and a half lunch meeting with a client, and close one of the most important deals I've done in quite some time!
Some Kosacks have ridiculed my call for "peaceful revolution" saying that if one day I get off behind the keyboard and actually go somewhere to start the uprising, that I would look back and there would be nobody there. I tested that assertion, and guess what, you were right! There was nobody there.
That's okay. You see, there is something very powerful when one actually takes the steps to, as you say, get off behind the keyboard and lead by example, go to where it is I want to start the uprising, be there physically. Boots on the ground, as they say.
The time I spent at Union Square, sitting there, eating my sandwich, listening to the Jazz band, was great to do a little thinking about what's happening to our country. To reflect on ways to try to convince people that given the situation, we have no other choice than to rise up in protest, in opposition to the imposition of corporatist-induced tyranny.
I'll keep at it... I'm reaching out to the folks at reddit. They're planning some rallies on the Fourth of July: restorethefourthSF.
Here's the problem with fear... There is a lot coming at us in very fast succession. The government can detain you indefinitely; it can assassinate American citizens extra-judicially; it can (and does) collect every bit of available data and information about you using an increasingly powerful total-information-awareness surveillance system.
It can brutally suppress peaceful uprising coordinating strategy nationwide. Cops can sucker-punch you in the face, or in some instances, just shoot you point blank and just say they thought you had a weapon, much of it with total impunity.
Wall Street can pillage with impunity, under the protection of corrupt government functionaries.
If you watch any TV at all, much less news channels (including MSNBC), you are being bombarded with an incredible amount of mind-numbing propaganda which pretty much turns you into a compliant servant to this increasingly brutal and corrupt system--beautiful and pleasant San Francisco Union Square full of beautiful people and some of the best shopping in the world notwithstanding.
One of the ways the system controls people is by keeping us fearful. In fact, it seems that the TV news media is specifically designed not to really inform you about what's going on, but to constantly spread false narratives, misinformation, and fear.
I'm not afraid. Even my wife says I'm naive for thinking that I shall have the right to come and go as I please, to gather at any public goddamned place I want to in protest, and to fully exercise my constitutional rights.
In the increasingly nebulous and fast-shifting legal system, have we really come to accept the proposition that any one of us could be unfairly and unjustifiable targeted by the government?
If we have, then people cannot longer deny that yes, we are starting to look like East Germany of yore, withe the Stasi as the security apparatus.
Right now, those being brutalized by the system are suffering in the shadows. The huge amount of formerly middle class people who suddenly find themselves homeless or standing at food lines (while hoping that nobody would recognize them) is truly staggering--and it all seems to be happening in the shadows, away from our consciousness. Unless it happens to us, of course.
But by then, it's too late; you've lost any leverage. You've become a ghost in the eyes of the rest of the society.
What are people afraid of? Folks, this brutal and inhumane system is causing mayhem in our society in multiple ways. We are already under attack!
In closing, think about why these parasitic psychopaths brutally suppressed the Occupy Wall Street movement. We (they) can't have that. People breaking free from the mental cages the system has so carefully designed to keep us compliant and enslaved, and taking to the street in solidarity? Oh no, we can't have that. That is dangerous--to these motherfucking tyrants.
I've attended several protest rallies throughout the years, including many Occupy Wall Street rallies.
These are good, decent, to a certain extend innocent people with a heart of gold. Compassionate, moral, ethical, just. I've seen it; I've experienced it.
Yes, I have my quibbles with the lack of focus, and organization, planning, but I've come to understand that the reason for that is because these citizens don't really have the malice to think that way; to think like a greedy capitalist who put together forty-year blueprints to turn the whole fucking country into a tyrannical banana republic.
I understand this type of malice, and this type of ruthlessness, and because of it I understand the need for precise and strategic short-, mid-, and long-term planning. And I understand the huge importance of counter-propaganda.
But I've also come to understand that I can't push my approach on these good people. They won't accept it because they don't have the malice.
It's taken me a very long time to understand that... So I will continue with my activism, but I will find other more productive approaches to reach out to other activists.
No matter what, at this point these tyrants will not relent on their own. They will have to be forced to do so. I will always advocate to do so peacefully, but we will not be able to avoid a direct confrontation.
The confrontation must happen--otherwise we'll be enslaved.
Instead of waiting for "And then they came for me," let's unite now that we still have a chance.
Here are some of the photos (and videos) I've taken at different OWS rallies.
San Diego - Oct. 8, 2011
San Diego - Oct. 8, 2011
Oakland - November 19, 2011
Oakland - November 19, 2011
Berkeley- November 15, 2011 (At night)
About SPARK! - SPARK! is an essay I will write on a regular basis specifically meant to help spark a peaceful uprising against the rising proto-fascist state in the United States. There will never be any calls to violence or law-breaking of any kind in this series. All actions advocated in SPARK! are based on lawful, constitutionally-protected rights.