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The Snitches of Utah


Unlike the snitches of Utah who suppose that citizenship is something to oppress with, and who on the basis of their sense of self-appointed citizen superiority mailed out a roundup list of neighbors and coworkers who they think should be reported to arresting authorities for the offense of living free in an occupied state–unlike those fascist-minded snitches I don’t want to name names.

I just want to say that based upon my observation of a few dozen glowing faces this past weekend at the convention of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) many of whom qualify as name droppable because you have heard of them and from them during this despicable first decade of the 21st Century–I just want to report that resistance is the health of the people.

Resistance is something altogether different from snitching.  Snitching only makes you old and cranky. It troubles your sleep.  You know it’s wrong.

That’s why people do it on the sly, undercover, anonymously, no return address requested.  The fascists of Utah even snitched on children.  They went that far.  No doubt the noses of all those snitches will grow narrower and crookeder the better to enable them to sniff around corners without showing their faces.

Resistance on the other hand is something you organize to get done in the street while the sun is up.  It gives you a feeling of satisfactory tired, keeps your skin flushed with good chemistry, helps you know you done good even if nothing ever comes of it.  Yes, even if you want to put it down, resistance, you can walk away unashamed.  You make friends you’ll never stop loving.
All I want to report to you about the IVAW convention 2010 is all I paid attention to–the glow of time going backward, getting younger again, people with real sparkles in their eyes and purpose in their faces.  Handshakes of verve and gusto.  Energy that will outlast any empire, believe it.

Snitches on the other hand, you forget them as soon as you can.  Every fascist state needs them.  Informants.  Provocateurs.  Troublemakers.  The living eyes, ears, and hands of an unseeing, unhearing, unfeeling state service.  It will be interesting to see where the Tea Party types come down on the matter of the Utah roundup list.  As if Paul Revere snuck around in disguise so that he could send secret messages to the King.  As if Paul Revere would ask to live in a country where you needed papers!
Look it’s no use explaining.  Either you’re with the snitches or you’re with the resistance.  Either you’re a paper-carrying empire-building wanna be, or you’re working with free people on the problem of freedom in this life, because as in the case of the IVAW you’ve seen enough of what empire comes to when it starts to stirring the people’s pot.

Randolph Bourne said during the early 20th Century that war is the health of the state.  Now in the early 21st Century we say resistance is the health of the people.  Health of the state or health of the people?  For the love of Mary you don’t want to get your soul caught on the slide with the snitches!

GREG MOSES is editor of and author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence.  He can be reached at




Greg Moses writes about peace and Texas, but not always at the same time. He is author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. As editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review he has written about racism faced by Black agriculturalists in Texas. He can be reached at

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