are all subjects of the American Empire. Whether we live in North
America, South America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East . . . we are all
under the thumb of neo-liberal capitalism and we are acting in
solidarity to change our world.
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We are all subjects of the American Empire.
Whether we live in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, the
Middle East . . . we are all under the thumb of neo-liberal capitalism
that puts concentrated corporate power in control of our lives. For
decades, American Empire and wealthy elite have forced privatization of
resources in developing countries and austerity measures on public
programs. Now, we are also experiencing these same policies in wealthier
nations like the US and Europe.
but the wealthiest are now members of the “Global South.” And, more and
more people realize this. People from all over the world recognize that
we must stand together in solidarity to challenge the tiny minority
that dominates us. The revolts in Turkey, Brazil, Europe, the Middle
East and Asia – as well as in the United States – are all connected.
These struggles share common messages that people are more important
than profit, that human rights must be respected and that we want to
live in peace with dignity. We see that capitalism is failing and that the people must take control to create the kind of world in which we want to live. The Afghan Peace Volunteers said this clearly in their recent open letter: “accomplishing
these actions hinges on us, on climate change citizens, Arab Spring
citizens, Occupy citizens and the ‘awakening’ citizens of every country
to free ourselves from the unequal dominance of corporate governments
with their laws and weapons of self-interest.”
And it’s happening. People from around the world are working in
solidarity and protesting on behalf of others. Across the US, people are
taking action to stop the drone warfare that kills innocent Afghans,
Pakistanis and others. In Maine, they are taking a legislative approach along with protest and in Iowa, people are walking 195 miles to the Capital, Des Moines.
The campaign to close Guantanamo stretches from the living rooms of US veterans to Washington, DC to Yemen. Three veterans, Elliott Adams, Diane Wilson and Tarak Kauff are on a solidarity hunger strike with the prisoners. They are coming to Washington, DC next week to protest and invite you to join them. Codepink recently traveled to Yemen to learn from the families of the prisoners about the impact of Guantanamo on their families.
People in Hong Kong marched in support of Edward Snowden and to oppose his extradition. Japanese railroad workers in Tokyo protested a lockout in Oregon, nearly 5,000 miles away, of American dockworkers who load grain ships headed for Asia.
Before the G8 Leaders met this week in the UK, protesters held a Carnival Against Capitalism. Last year, we protested the G8 in the US with an Occupy G8 Peoples Summit.
President Obama traveled to Germany after the G8. His visit was
preceded by a large march that looked like it could have taken place in
the US. Protest signs had messages around issues of mass incarceration,
Guantanamo, Bradley Manning and illegal spying with a play on Obama’s
campaign message, “Yes We Scan!”
In fact, thanks to the courage and sacrifice of Edward Snowden, we are learning more about the extent of spying by the National Security State and that we are subjected to it in the US and around the world. Author, Nafeez Ahmed
writes that this is part of preparation by the government for a
citizen’s revolt in case of a climate and energy crisis as well as
economic collapse. This includes new powers
claimed by the DoD to use the military “to engage temporarily in
activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil
What the security state doesn’t realize is that their extreme response to peaceful protests actually brings more people out.
We’ve seen this recently in Turkey and Brazil. Though these protests
seemed to be sparked by minor events, the development of a park and a
rise in bus fare, they are actually caused by neo-liberal, capitalist policies similar to those in the US in which as the wealth of the nation grows, so does the wealth divide.
The responses by the leaders of Turkey and Brazil are very different. The Turkish Prime Minister ordered violent attacks on protesters, the arrest of lawyers, journalists and a crackdown on health professionals who cared for the wounded. But this brought more people out including lawyers and health professionals
who marched in the streets. When Gezi Park was violently cleared,
hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets. When marches were
banned, people started holding standing protests.
Now there are community assemblies being held throughout the country, using the hand signals of the Indignados and Occupy; and the unions
are calling for Erdogan to step down because he has lost legitimacy
after his attacks have wounded thousands, critically injured 59 and
killed 5 people. Erdogan continues on a destructive track and has ordered more tear gas and water cannons. Here is a petition asking the US not to supply more.
movements so that they become mass movements is also important for
success and that is happening within the US in the fight against
extraction of resources for energy. Front line environmental groups
working to stop pipelines that will carry tar sands, mountain top
removal of coal, offshore oil drilling and hydrofracking have joined
together for “Fearless Summer.” Their kickoff event was a tree sit to protect an old forest in Oregon. Next week, they kick-off a week of nationwide protests.
This struggle is also global. First Nation people in Canada are fighting the extraction of fossil fuels in “Sovereign Summer” and people from the Amazon protested at Chevron’s shareholder meeting.
Another global struggle that is uniting people across issues and across
the world is the opposition to corporate power grabs through new ‘free
trade’ agreements, the TransPacific Partnership (TTP) which is coming
close to being completed and the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment
Partnership (TTIP) which is just beginning. This is a struggle that we
The secrecy surrounding these talks shows the insecurity of the
negotiators. They know that, as former US Trade Representative Ron Kirk
said, if people know what is in this agreement, it will not become law.
People are taking action for transparency.
negotiators so desperately want to avoid protests that would expose how
the TPP will adversely affect people’s lives that last weekend they
tried to hold secret negotiations in Vancouver. But they failed because
protesters learned of the meetings and were able to mobilize within a
matter of hours with actions to “Break the Silence” on the TPP.
People across the world are standing up and demanding that government be
responsive to them, not to the rule of money; that the economy be
re-made so it serves all in a democratic and egalitarian way. Progress
is being made toward the world we want, every day, by millions of people
around the world. You are not alone, you are part of a worldwide