A coalition of leftist groups is promising to occupy part of downtown Washington, D.C. “with the intention of making it our Tahrir Square, Cairo” next month.
This exercise in Marxist mobocracy is just one of many scheduled nationwide in coming months. It will take place nearly three weeks after the Left’s “Days of Rage” occupation of Wall Street scheduled for Sept. 17.
The Washington protest is modeled after the demonstrations that brought down the Egyptian government earlier this year. It is being organized by an umbrella group called the October 2011 Coalition, which is run by David Swanson, a former spokesman for ACORN and the International Labor Communications Association.
Swanson said the event was timed to overlap with “October 2011 when the next year’s budget kicks in, in the United States which includes cuts for just about everything useful but again a larger budget for the military.” Of course through the magic of the federal government’s baseline budgeting, there probably won’t be any actual reduction in federal spending, but the Left needs to pillory a villain in order to rally its troops.
The October 2011 Coalition is asking activists to pledge to show up at and remain in Washington’s Freedom Plaza “if any U.S. troops, contractors, or mercenaries remain in Afghanistan.” It is urging protesters to “resist the corporate machine” by occupying the plaza “to demand that America’s resources be invested in human needs and environmental protection instead of war and exploitation.”
In a promotional video for the group, wild-eyed playwright Karen Malpede seemed to suggest President Obama was Paul von Hindenburg and that Nazis were poised to take over America.
I will be in Washington on October 6 because it seems more and more a Weimar sort of moment where we have a nice, well-intentioned, weak, and mealy-mouthed president and lunatics on the right wing who would rather destroy the country than do anything productive. And we’re in how many wars, six now, and counting. We have the biggest military budget in the world combined. All other countries in the world do not spend as much as we spend on our military and it’s driving the country into bankruptcy and moral bankruptcy which is more important, I think, or as important. So it’s a time for citizens who value democracy and care about the country in which they live to step forward and say no.
Malpede, incidentally, seemed to be one of the more sane individuals appearing in videos promoting the October 6 event.
Swanson said Monday that his supporters will occupy Freedom Plaza, “the name of which is very similar of course to Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, and from there we are going to expand to shut down offices, buildings, streets, hallways, to nonviolently, strictly nonviolently resist what our government is doing.”
Swanson didn’t bother to address the glaring contradiction in his statement. The protesters at Tahrir Square to whom he alludes were anything but nonviolent. It is far from clear how the gargantuan government of the most powerful nation on Earth could be shut down without the use of violence.
The suggestion that nonviolent civil disobedience will be practiced that day seems to be merely an opening bid offered by the organizers, a public relations bait-and-switch calculated to appease the authorities and maximize attendance. In the world of radical activism the line between nonviolent protest and violent protest is often so thin that it might as well not exist. Unless all the demonstrators have the discipline of a Mohandas Gandhi, violence is virtually inevitable.
With few exceptions, the groups pledging to take part on October 6 aren’t exactly known for Weather Underground-caliber violence, but they’re also not known for reasonableness and restraint.
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