The ‘Protect IP’ bill before Congress would give corporations and the government the power to completely shut down internet sites without any due process just for posting a single copyright infringing link. So for a site like Facebook, if a single user posted a single copyrighted something or other, the government could simply pull the plug on Facebook and turn it off.
But chances are the law would be used to stifle expression and ideas from smaller sites. The government would simply have to accuse a site of being engaged in piracy and that site would be effectively terminated.
That’s a terrifying abuse of power. It would complete destroy the internet and anything resembling freedom of communication. This is a glaring example of how a small number of large corporations have taken total control of the Unites States government.
I believe that the eventual success of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is spreading to many cities across the United States, depends upon its ability to change law. Ultimately, the movement must lead toward an amendment to the Constitution that bans corporate mixture with and influence over the state. It will resemble the separation of church and state, but it will be somewhat more precisely worded.
I went down to the demonstration to make a film. I liked the people there. They were very focused and happy. They were talking, explaining, arguing, educating, dancing, singing, playing, making signs, painting, photographing. Some of them made speeches at the microphone. Some read poems. There were lots of cameras.
The music and words in this film are by Tom Morello (http://nightwatchmanmusic.com), former Rage Against the Machine guitarist. He sings his own ‘Maximum Firepower’ and Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land is Your Land.’
The mood at City Hall was high energy and cheerful. The underlying anger and frustration of the movement seemed to be moving through a positive channel. It was exciting but also comfortable there because of the people and their open attitudes.
The Los Angeles police headquarters is directly across the street from the protest grounds. That’s where I began shooting my film – right into the windows of police headquarters. Several squad cars drove up First Street, but there was not a single cop anywhere near the protest area. The crowd is organized and respectful, but also very serious about its messages which are various and multifaceted.
The city has taken a protective stance over its protesters. I’m very proud of Los Angeles for this.
Occupy Los Angeles is one of the spreading protests coming out of the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York. Hopefully, the incredible momentum of the movement will continue and be heard very clearly across the country and the world.
The simple messages that I get from the protests are that government cannot function while it is under the control and influence of corporations. The economy cannot function properly while corporations and their extremely wealthy owners are allowed to operate without oversight and control. The country cannot pave its roads or build its schools or house its people while corporations and the wealthy play with money that is nearly tax-free, removing it entirely from the real world economy. The country cannot function as a democracy while its politicians and Supreme Court justices are working for corporations. The country cannot be free while racism and bigotry are increasingly seen as legitimate reactions to change. The country cannot be secure while corporations are given the power to run wars and people’s basic privacy rights are removed.
That’s what I see in the Occupy movement.
If every city in the U.S. could have as fine an Occupy movement as Los Angeles, they would be very lucky indeed.
Below is a BBC news video of a man named Darcus Howe trying to explain what he has observed as being the cause of the violent rioting that is burning down parts of London and other cities across Great Britain. The news woman should probably be dismissed as quickly as possible because she is incompetent and obviously has a problem with the answers she’s getting.
Mr. Howe’s honest attempt to communicate his ideas about what has led to these riots should be listened to carefully. It is common knowledge that Great Britain has descended in the past ten years into the western world’s most closely observed police state. Everyone is watched on every street corner everywhere every day. Police routinely suppress free expression and demonstrations. According to Mr. Howe, they are also searching non-whites for no reason. Under such conditions, with the addition of worldwide financial panic and ‘austerity measures’ being put into place that strip services from the poor and middle classes, all it takes is a single flashpoint to ignite massive riots.
In case you had not gotten the picture yet, we are seeing a global explosion of rebellion, demonstration and riot. I firmly believe that all the rioting and revolt in the Middle East is directly connected to the rioting and revolt going on in Europe. People are finally seeing a broad general picture of a world and its governments, whether they be democratic or authoritarian, being controlled and dominated by a handful of powerful global corporations. Under such control, governments lean their decisions in favor of these corporate entities and the very wealthy people behind them.
The UK riots have broken out very shortly after the expanding news story of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporations committing crimes in partnership with the police as part of what they represent as ‘journalism.’ That is basically a tip of the iceberg example of corporate control of a nation.
To call the riots simple acts of vandalism by thugs is a gross simplification of the situation. All riots start from some cause which comes at the end of a long resentment and building desperation. When the riots actually break out they include all sorts of people, many of whom are simple thugs and criminals. But those thugs don’t normally break into riots that burn cities down. They are normally robbing convenience stores and shooting each other. Something much larger than them brings them out into open battle on the streets.
Widespread unemployment, idleness and the easy access to video information from all over the world builds anger and resentment toward governments that seem locked into corporate bonds. People begin to realize that it doesn’t matter who they elect. All the candidates are run by the corporations. The defining signal to the world, much to everyone’s surprise, was the election of Barack Obama. He won his office by seeming to promise something new – something independent and free. But as soon as he took office the world saw that he was just another corporate middle man. The ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are simply at the behest of the corporations that insist upon such a course which includes the very profitable activity of ‘nation building.’ That Obama signal – that horrific disappointment – has led directly to this global explosion of rage. Obama, by not being who he should have been, lit the fuse. The bomb is now going off.
Here’s a man explaining the riots to a journalist in London:
The ongoing worldwide explosion of violence is the beginning of a global war against corporate control of nations.
We are watching the beginnings of a worldwide effort to break government away from this corporate control. It mirrors the efforts of prior centuries to break away from the control of the Church.
It’s going to get worse and it’s going to spread virulently. The fact that London has exploded should indicate to everyone that it is leaping past all predictability.