Part II of an Investigative Report into Tar Sands Action & the Paralysis of a Movement

by Cory Morningstar (Political Context)

We have now reached a new level of subservient conditioning in an action ironically titled “Stop the Machine.” If the freedom fighters from liberation armies and resistance fronts read “the rules” that the organizers have established in order to “stop the machine,” they would undoubtedly come to the conclusion that Americans are insane.

The rules put forward by the organizers of this action demonstrate how the bourgeois environmental movement as a whole believes it has the moral superiority and authority to impose their unnegotiable, absolute tactical doctrine on all others, framing anyone who falls out of line with the dogma as provocateurs or “haters” who wish to incite violence. Such free-thinkers will be verbally chastised, stigmatized, then isolated and marginalized. Some of the actions that have been undertaken include: training “peacekeepers,” a request that participants undergo nonviolence training, employing “peace cameras” to video anyone who might initiate violence with a request that participants bring cameras too and work with police to make them aware of threats and to isolate counterprotesters if they should attend.

Other rules include turning your anger at injustice into a positive, non-violent force; no destruction or vandalism of non-sentient objects; no running or other “threatening” motions; no insulting or swearing; protecting those who “oppose or disagree with us” (i.e., police) from insult or attack; no verbal or physical assaults on those who “oppose or disagree with us” (i.e., police) “even if they assault us.”

Participants are to embrace an attitude, as conveyed through their words, symbols and actions, of openness, friendliness, and respect toward all people encountered, including police officers and military personnel. The participants agree to be obedient to the organizers of the action or, if they do not obey, they must withdraw from the action.

Citizens are essentially being trained to completely submit to the corporate state – even if they are beaten with weapons. The organizers have embraced the Gandhian myth that all neo-pacifists wear something akin to a shield. They will need this shield in order to protect themselves from their own hypocrisy.

Who needs big brother when you have “the movement” itself protecting the corporate state hell-bent on eradicating us? If it were presented as educational outreach to further ideas and crucial analysis/critiques, this campaign would be deserving of much credit, as it highlights critical issues such as capitalism, corporate-controlled state and other vital truths that bright green NGOs refuse to address. However, as currently presented – an action to “stop the machine” – to even imply that “the machine” could actually be stopped through the outline and extensive “rules of non-engagement,” shields the truth rather than exposing it.

Of course, this is often what happens when activists are replaced with global strategists, finance officers, marketing executives and branding agencies. For countries exploding with citizens holding business degrees and MBAs, we could not possibly be more unintelligent and out of touch with reality, even if we tried. How many species on this planet knowingly and deliberately destroy their own habitat, their own future?

An indigenous woman holds her child while trying to resist the advance of Amazonas state police who were expelling the woman and some 200 other members of the Landless Movement from a privately-owned tract of land on the outskirts of Manaus, in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, March 11, 2008. The landless peasants tried in vain to resist the eviction with bows and arrows against police using tear gas and trained dogs, and were evicted from the land. (REUTERS/Luiz Vasconcelos-A Critica/AE)

The movement with the corporate greens at the forefront refuses to admit – and in many cases refuses to even acknowledge the cold hard fact – that our success in achieving truly substantive change has been essentially zero, completely impotent. A million “likes” on Facebook won’t make this fact any less so. Reality will not be altered by a belief that the white middle class can stop the very forces oppressing us with a dazzling dress code and impeccable manners.

Further, a dogmatic refusal to see reality and failure, along with an obdurate insistence on condemnation of those who may choose to take up self-defence (thereby framing anything other than “their way” as unacceptable in the eyes of the public) does nothing but further displace ongoing violence and bone-grinding poverty onto the billions of citizens and species already marginalized and suffering. This is not to say that everyone is expected to participate in self-defence. Rather it is to say that one’s decision must be base upon real facts – not on the doctrinaire delusion that pacifism is a moral virtue.

Compare the Tar Sands Action to civil disobedience in other countries who are being brutally oppressed and exploited by the violent system we participate in on a daily basis. Apathy in the face of injustice is also a form of violence.

Continue reading HERE.