I'm really looking forward to Black Friday! You see, this year I feel that both, Thanksgiving Thursday, and what has come to be known as "Black Friday," are going to be days of sharing, of brotherhood, and solidarity. I won't feel the unease or cognitive dissonance that comes from witnessing (on TV) the grotesque spectacle of throngs of people bursting through the doors of big-box retailers, trowing punches, grabbing and pulling, stepping over each other, just to buy stuff, the very next day after getting together with family to celebrate Thanksgiving.
This year, I'm truly celebrating both days! Thursday with family, and Friday with brothers and sisters of the fast-growing (spreading-like-wildfire) peaceful revolution against abuses of the corporate state. And what better way to do that than to take part in the Black Friday Walmart Protests taking place nationwide.
This to me has special significance. For years I've been promoting the concept that in order for social justice activism to be successful there needed to be a high degree of first, awareness (about the true nature of the system), and second, coordination, coalition-building, planning, strategic thinking, and sustainable action (days, weeks, months, years, decades).
Many times people would tell me, "I know, you may be right, but that won't happen until things get really bad." Every time I hear that, I think "That's a problem because by the time things get 'really bad' it means that people have been stripped of their ability to be able to stand up against the oppression." But I digress...
I've been waiting for this moment in history. Although I sometimes worried a bit that it wasn't happening soon enough, I never lost faith that it would eventually happen.
What I find really inspiring and hopeful about the OURWalmart movement and the Black Friday Walmart Protests campaign is that this approach can be tailored to stand up against the predations of the corporate state across the board, in many industries. In fact, that is exactly what's happening. If you visit the Popular Resistance website, you'll learn more about how activists across the country, and across the world are joining forces and taking action.
And of course, one must give thanks to the brave social justice pioneers of our times, the Occupy Wall Street Movement, of which Occupy Oakland is a shinning example.
It is truly inspiring to see how unions have finally come to realize that they needed to reach out to the community at large, to build coalitions with all kinds of different groups, to engage in education and counter-propaganda campaigns. They are doing just that, and because of it, they are now helping ignite the wildfire of social justice activism against oppression and exploitation.
Photo: Occupy Wall Street Activist Barry Knight
As these brave and dedicated activists and workers unite in solidarity, we also get an added benefit... The corporate state (the choke-hold the moneyed elite and corporatist interests have on our democracy) is coming down one way or the other, sooner or later. And as we go through the transition towards democracy, justice, the reinstatement of the Constitution and the rule of law, we are going to need support networks. Those networks are being set up right now as social justice activists' coalitions are built as the result of the types of campaigns like the Black Friday Walmart Protests.
Here's how Chris Hedges describes the process we are undergoing in his truthout article "Our Invisible Revolution."
“Did you ever ask yourself how it happens that government and capitalism continue to exist in spite of all the evil and trouble they are causing in the world?” the anarchist Alexander Berkman wrote in his essay “The Idea Is the Thing.” “If you did, then your answer must have been that it is because the people support those institutions, and that they support them because they believe in them.”Of course, the real reason the revolution seems to be "invisible" is because the corporate media conglomerate is desperately trying to make it so. But they are failing.
Berkman was right. As long as most citizens believe in the ideas that justify global capitalism, the private and state institutions that serve our corporate masters are unassailable. When these ideas are shattered, the institutions that buttress the ruling class deflate and collapse. The battle of ideas is percolating below the surface. It is a battle the corporate state is steadily losing. An increasing number of Americans are getting it. They know that we have been stripped of political power. They recognize that we have been shorn of our most basic and cherished civil liberties, and live under the gaze of the most intrusive security and surveillance apparatus in human history. Half the country lives in poverty. Many of the rest of us, if the corporate state is not overthrown, will join them. These truths are no longer hidden.
And so on Black Friday, instead of engaging in a mindless ritual of shopping, I'll be joining my brothers and sisters of the peaceful revolution against the exploitation, corruption, and depravity of one of the most powerful corporations (because of their ability to buy off treasonous politicians) in the world: Walmart.
Would you join us? Visit the Black Friday Walmart Protests website to find a protest close to you. Visit the AssociateVoices website to read accounts by Walmart employees "about the reality of working for the world's largest private employer."
Photos: Black Friday Walmart Protests
UPDATE: THURS NOV. 21, 2013 AT 10:00 A.M.
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