18 March, 2007

Cynthia McKinney - "we must resist"

Cynthia McKinney speaking at a March 2 fundraiser for Pacifica Radio station KPFK, in LA:
. . . in order to solve the massive problems this country now has, it can no longer be business as usual for a critical mass of us.

Whether it's the thawing tundra in Siberia or the melting glaciers in Greenland, our contribution to global warming is something that must be dealt with.

Whether it's the massive amounts of money we spend on the war machine or the fact that we still don't know what happened on September 11th, the values and priorities of the American people must be reflected in the public policy we pursue. I do not believe that is the case today and there are specific reasons why.

Just voting isn't enough. Voting is necessary, but it isn't enough to get the kind of change we must now demand. We have to change the structure within which we cast our vote.

We must have a different kind of leadership than is possible now without the kind of change I'm talking about.

This is revolutionary in its impact.

And so, I will be fought even more fiercely than I've already been fought, and all I wanted to do was improve the lot of people of color in the U.S. and around the world; institute the kind of respect for human rights at home and abroad that would change the policies of our government toward the global community, including the American people; and make the U.S. government accountable to the taxpayers for the way it spends their dollars. Now, that's all I wanted to do. And you see what's happened to me!
. . .

Now, it would be nice if we could count on someone else to do it for us. And we would all join that person and make it happen. But, I reluctantly say that if no one else will do it, then I guess I'll have to do that, too!

The world's most marginalized and dispossessed are already ahead of us in taking their countries back! Of course, starting in 1959 with Cuba, but then Venezuela, Cote d'Ivoire, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, India, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Haiti, and Nicaragua all have stood up to imperial domination - and won!

In the meantime, we have to demand more from our representatives. How can you be against war if you finance war? And how can you be against George Bush if you won't impeach him?

"We will build a broad-based, rainbow movement for justice and peace."

The American people are being fed madness as sanity. But, this is not Oz, Wonderland, the Twilight Zone, and it's not 1984!

With every fiber in our being we must resist. Resist like Mario Savio told us to resist: with our entire bodies against the gears and the wheels and the levers of the machine.

We must resist because we claim no partnership in war crimes, genocide, torture, or crimes against humanity. We claim no complicity in crimes against the American people.

We will build a broad-based, rainbow movement for justice and peace. And we will win.
Greg Palast on American Blackout:

American Blackout, directed by Guerrilla News Network’s Ian Inaba uses a stunning mix of never before seen archive and firsthand interviews. Inaba knows how to make otherwise dull C-Span clips look like something completely new and interesting. He does this by split-screen and zooming so you know who you’re supposed to be looking at — Katherine Harris, Jeb Bush, ChoicePoint representatives. You see them lying to a Civil Rights panel, you see them sweat when questioned by Congresswoman McKinney. All I can say is that I am stunned that I’ve never seen this technique used before — it keeps you interested, on your toes and wanting for more. . . .

The story of Cynthia McKinney that sews the running thread through the film, is uglier than even I knew. Many only familiar with the Congresswoman’s press coverage will be aghast at just how distorted a picture the media has fed us.

It literally defies belief.

Here we see her cross-examining Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with such surgical precision and grasp of her brief that Rumsfeld is left stammering and ashen-faced. It makes us wonder what kind of country we might have right now if more had put this administration under such factual scrutiny. American Blackout lays out exactly why she has been so relentlessly hounded. Every one of her speeches brings to mind the hoarse pleas of Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, a force to be reckoned with.


Ali Abunimah:
Obama has also been close to some prominent Arab Americans, and has received their best advice. His decisive trajectory reinforces a lesson that politically weak constituencies have learned many times: access to people with power alone does not translate into influence over policy. Money and votes, but especially money, channeled through sophisticated and coordinated networks that can "bundle" small donations into million dollar chunks are what buy influence on policy. Currently, advocates of Palestinian rights are very far from having such networks at their disposal. Unless they go out and do the hard work to build them, or to support meaningful campaign finance reform, whispering in the ears of politicians will have little impact. (For what it's worth, I did my part. I recently met with Obama's legislative aide, and wrote to Obama urging a more balanced policy towards Palestine.)

If disappointing, given his historically close relations to Palestinian-Americans, Obama's about-face is not surprising. He is merely doing what he thinks is necessary to get elected and he will continue doing it as long as it keeps him in power. Palestinian-Americans are in the same position as civil libertarians who watched with dismay as Obama voted to reauthorize the USA Patriot Act, or immigrant rights advocates who were horrified as he voted in favor of a Republican bill to authorize the construction of a 700-mile fence on the border with Mexico.

Only if enough people know what Obama and his competitors stand for, and organize to compel them to pay attention to their concerns can there be any hope of altering the disastrous course of US policy in the Middle East. It is at best a very long-term project that cannot substitute for support for the growing campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions needed to hold Israel accountable for its escalating violence and solidifying apartheid.

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