FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Outside the Lines

I’ve been a crybaby lately. Okay, not just lately. I’m an admitted sap, tears blurring my vision when I watch a poignant scene in a movie or read anything inspirational or depressing.

Cecily McMillan’s on my mind, in my heart, lumping my throat. When I read her sentencing statement at http://justiceforcecily.com/, I reached for the tissue. Grab one before you continue:

The law of love holds that we, all of human society, live one common life, our existence beats with one common pulse – that as we listen to one another, learn from one another, love one another – we draw closer to one another and towards our collective happiness. Therefore -whether in resistance or in retribution, whether personal or political, violence is not permitted. This being the law that I live by, I can say with certainty that I am innocent of the crime I have been convicted of. And as I stand before you today, I cannot confess to a crime I did not commit; I cannot do away with my dignity in hopes that you will return me my freedom.

Cecily received 90 days in jail and five years of probation. She not only was assaulted by a police officer but also by a judge who sent a message from the government that dissent and protest will not be tolerated. Cecily has been made an example in the expanded suppression of freedom by a militarized police force and the surveillance state.

Insert: There are many women, younger than Cecily, locked behind bars for absurd reasons. Our corrections system is a failure with over two million people in prison.

Someone wrote, suggesting I gather my friends for massive action, “another Occupy”. When I mentioned this to my son H, he asked if I’d heard of Active Denial System. I hadn’t. It’s a weapon, designed for crowd control. At a minimum, it warms the skin of victims but also can produce pea-sized blisters. And more:

Like all focused energy, the beam will irradiate all matter in the targeted area, including everything beyond/behind it that is not shielded, with no possible discrimination between individuals, objects or materials. Anyone incapable of leaving the target area (e.g., physically handicapped, infants, incapacitated, trapped, etc.) would continue to receive radiation until the operator turned off the beam.

I’m thinking of that bumper sticker: “If You’re Not Outraged, You’re Not Paying Attention”. Imagine if all the outraged, and the mildly outraged, and the potentially outraged unplugged from distractions and acted on that slogan. We’d have a population of skin-blistered activists, wishing they’d identified in as advocates for justice before peaceful protest was criminalized.

Reread Cecily McMillan’s words and weep. Because Raytheon and other developers of mass destruction and torture arsenals are busy, conceiving and manufacturing even greater high-tech punishments for anyone who believes that we should love one another, anyone who colors outside the lines.

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

April 25, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Selective Outrage
Dan Kovalik
The Empire Turns Its Sights on Nicaragua – Again!
Joseph Essertier
The Abductees of Japan and Korea
Ramzy Baroud
The Ghost of Herut: Einstein on Israel, 70 Years Ago
W. T. Whitney
Imprisoned FARC Leader Faces Extradition: Still No Peace in Colombia
Manuel E. Yepe
Washington’s Attack on Syria Was a Mockery of the World
John White
My Silent Pain for Toronto and the World
Mel Gurtov
Will Abe Shinzo “Make Japan Great Again”?
Dean Baker
Bad Projections: the Federal Reserve, the IMF and Unemployment
David Schultz
Why Donald Trump Should Not be Allowed to Pardon Michael Cohen, His Friends, or Family Members
Mel Gurtov
Will Abe Shinzo “Make Japan Great Again”?
Binoy Kampmark
Enoch Powell: Blood Speeches and Anniversaries
Frank Scott
Weapons and Walls
April 24, 2018
Carl Boggs
Russia and the War Party
William A. Cohn
Carnage Unleashed: the Pentagon and the AUMF
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
The Racist Culture of Canadian Hockey
María Julia Bertomeu
On Angers, Disgusts and Nauseas
Nick Pemberton
How To Buy A Seat In Congress 101
Ron Jacobs
Resisting the Military-Now More Than Ever
Paul Bentley
A Velvet Revolution Turns Bloody? Ten Dead in Toronto
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Left, Syria and Fake News
Manuel E. Yepe
The Confirmation of Democracy in Cuba
Peter Montgomery
Christian Nationalism: Good for Politicians, Bad for America and the World
Ted Rall
Bad Drones
Jill Richardson
The Latest Attack on Food Stamps
Andrew Stewart
What Kind of Unionism is This?
Ellen Brown
Fox in the Hen House: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
April 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
In Middle East Wars It Pays to be Skeptical
Thomas Knapp
Just When You Thought “Russiagate” Couldn’t Get Any Sillier …
Gregory Barrett
The Moral Mask
Robert Hunziker
Chemical Madness!
David Swanson
Senator Tim Kaine’s Brief Run-In With the Law
Dave Lindorff
Starbucks Has a Racism Problem
Uri Avnery
The Great Day
Nyla Ali Khan
Girls Reduced to Being Repositories of Communal and Religious Identities in Kashmir
Ted Rall
Stop Letting Trump Distract You From Your Wants and Needs
Steve Klinger
The Cautionary Tale of Donald J. Trump
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Conflict Over the Future of the Planet
Cesar Chelala
Gideon Levy: A Voice of Sanity from Israel
Weekend Edition
April 20, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things: On Devils Known and Not
Conn Hallinan
The Great Game Comes to Syria
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mother of War
Andrew Levine
“How Come?” Questions
Doug Noble
A Tale of Two Atrocities: Douma and Gaza
Kenneth Surin
The Blight of Ukania
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail