“The Tyranny of Structurelessness”


Jo Freeman by Carolmooredc

Jo Freeman by Carolmooredc

The Occupy Movement can take some pages from earlier movement struggles for civil rights and social justice.

“If the movement continues deliberately to not select who shall exercise power, it does not thereby abolish power. All it does is abdicate the right to demand that those who do exercise power and influence be responsible for it. If the movement continues to keep power as diffuse as possible because it knows it cannot demand responsibility from those who have it, it does prevent any group or person from totally dominating. But it simultaneously insures that the movement is as ineffective as possible. Some middle ground between domination and ineffectiveness can and must be found.”

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by Jo Freeman aka Joreen

Jo Freeman (Wikipedia)

The Criminalisation of Political Dissent

The Criminalisation of Political Dissent: Huckstering the Law | Critical Legal Thinking.


“Of course it would be just if the State were to stop crim­in­al­ising polit­ical protest­ors, and this is neces­sary, at a min­imum. But polit­ical trans­form­a­tion lies in chal­len­ging the nature of private own­er­ship that per­vades the very form that law takes. In the Eco­nomic and Philo­sophic Manu­scripts of 1844, Marx writes that the “huck­ster­ing with landed prop­erty, the trans­form­a­tion of landed prop­erty into a com­mod­ity, con­sti­tutes the final over­throw of the old and the final estab­lish­ment of the money aris­to­cracy.” Huck­ster­ing, Marx tells us, is what defines the very essence of own­er­ship (whether it’s feudal or cap­it­al­ist, of land or money).

“Per­haps huck­ster­ing is also an apt and ana­log­ous term for the use of law to crim­in­al­ise polit­ical dis­sent. What we are being offered here (what is being peddled) is a ver­sion of the law that deems it crim­in­ally improper to dis­rupt the enti­tle­ment of the wealthy to enjoy sport, to assert a noisy, vis­ible pres­ence in pub­lic space, to chal­lenge the increas­ingly private own­er­ship of our uni­ver­sit­ies. Per­haps one place to begin in recon­cep­tu­al­ising a law of pub­lic harm is to ima­gine laws that are not tied to the pro­tec­tion of prop­erty in all of its glor­i­ous diversity, but con­ceives of pub­lic harm as that which dam­ages the life chances of that major­ity liv­ing on the mar­gins of socio-​economic privilege.”

Brenna Bhandar is Lec­turer in Law, Queen Mary, Uni­ver­sity of London.

Petition: protect #occupywallstreet

We petition the Obama Administration to:

Send the National Guard into New York City and elsewhere to protect the right of We the People peaceably to assemble.

The Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are being beaten, bloodied, pepper-sprayed, photographed, arrested, finger-printed and harassed by police and by counterintelligence agents.

The First Amendment guarantees “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The kinds of harassment and counterintelligence mentioned above abridge that right.

Local restrictions on assembly intended to keep good order in normal times should also be suspended in this instance.

Therefore, we petition our government to send the National Guard into New York City and anywhere else where police, agents of government, or thugs may abuse and abridge the civil rights of Occupy Wall Street and affiliated demonstrators.

Created: Oct 09, 2011
Issues: Civil Rights and Liberties, Human Rights

Signatures needed by November 08, 2011 to reach goal of 25,000: 24,999

Sign Here at WhiteHouse.gov


Get Involved

Inalienable rights and wrongs

Should I be allowed to sell my children into slavery? Should I be allowed to sell myself into slavery?

If you say no, what principle do you base that on?

If you say no, then why am I allowed to sell away my right to free speech or my right to due process of the law?

If you settle a damage or injury suit with British Petroleum or the  General Public Utilities Corporation (owners of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant) or any similar corporate  entity, you will have sold off your freedom of speech and your ability to tell your own personal story in the public square. The non-disclosure terms of your settlement will gag you from telling the truth, not just about the corporation’s legitimate intellectual property, but about its criminal acts, your own injuries,  your public witness, your right to even warn your neighbors of a threat to their health or their lives. Is that a right or a wrong?

If you buy a car, a house, or just about any other purchase involving a written contract, in the fine print of the contract you will have signed away your right to sue the seller in a court of law for any wrong or injury you may suffer as a consequence of the sale. You will no longer have the right to a fair hearing in the public judicial system.  If the brakes fail on the way out of the car lot and people are killed, or the house falls down when you slam the door, you will be limited to seeking help from some unregulated private  arbitrator, someone with unknown competence and bias, on somebody’s private payroll. Is that a right or a wrong?

Corporations have long held that an employment contract supersedes the employees’ constitutionally protected rights. The US Supreme Court, whose task is to uphold the constitution, has often sided with employers, suspending the civil rights of employees while defending (or creating from whole cloth) the equivalent civil rights for the non-human, amoral legal fiction called a corporation. Is that a right or a wrong?

Who says that corporations can buy our civil rights and discard them, then turn around and claim civil rights for themselves and have them defended by the constitutional officers of our government?

Contract law does not allow parties to contract for murder or anything else that is against any other law on the books. So why does it allow parties to violate, void, and alienate our constitutionally protected civil rights?

Poor Richard

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