Martyr Porn Money Shot
Entirely ignoring reports that the National Park Service has stated that the protestors violated permits that allowed them to march — but not stand or sit — on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the White House (which — according to Vent Casey III — has been closed off since the Clinton administration), Jane seems to need to believe that Obama’s jackboots are fomenting a police state, and that her arrest (along with the arrest of almost 100 others) is evidence of the looming police state.
Does she not realize that 1500 people signed up to “court arrest” in connection with the Tar Sands protests? Does she not realize that the activists themselves have been dividing themselves into groups: Those who are willing to be arrested and those who planned to leave after police warnings were issued?
In other words, the organizers of the Tar Sands Action had planned and trained for this, and the activists who were arrested expected to be arrested (as participants in non-violent protests often do).
In fact, arrest is a mainstay of civil disobedience:
Those who have never experienced it first hand likely do not know this, but a civil disobedience event is… a dance. It is a carefully orchestrated and methodical set of moves in which a group of organized resistors plan ahead, aware going in that they are knowingly acting in violation of the law, what the likely consequences of their action will be, and exactly how they are expect themselves to behave during every step of the event in order to achieve the goal of peaceful non-violent and civil (civil as in polite) disobedience. In our modern political environment, that means that the actors (the protestors) and the police often have full awareness and communication of what each side will do.
Additionally, civil disobedience stems from a philosophy of love, spirituality, and faith in justice. It does not stem from self-aggrandizing and shrill attacks lobbed at those whom you view as perpetrating injustices.
Dr. King wrote about the following 6 elements which form the basis for civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance:
First, nonviolence is resistance to evil and oppression. It is a human way to fight.
Second, it does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his/ her friendship and understanding.
Third, the nonviolent method is an attack on the forces of evil rather than against persons doing the evil. It seeks to defeat the evil and not the persons doing the evil and injustice.
Fourth, it is the willingness to accept suffering without retaliation.
Fifth, a nonviolent resister avoids both external physical and internal spiritual violence- not only refuses to shoot, but also to hate, an opponent. The ethic of real love is at the center of nonviolence.
Sixth, the believer in nonviolence has a deep faith in the future and the forces in the universe are seen to be on the side of justice.
Do any of these elements describe this petty woman who, as far as I can tell, absolutely loathes our President? Do any of these elements describe this permanently aggrieved woman who drew a comparison between her several-hour incarceration and Bradley Manning’s confinement? Do any of these elements describe the woman who penned the following “Letter from a D.C. Jail,”1 in a seeming effort to garner sympathy and page-clicks?
“All 65 of us were crammed into four 6 x 8 holding cells (we measured) with a toilet at the end. I was held with other women who took part in the demonstration. … The park police took all our jackets and sweaters away, which left a bunch of women in spaghetti straps. They said they were worried we’d hang ourselves if they let us keep them. Then they cranked up the air conditioning so everyone was really cold.
We asked for something warm so they brought us 3 yellow styrofoam sheets. They said that was all they had. So we ripped them in two and rotated them with two women sharing them at a time, but when someone had to pee, we all turned our backs and used the sheets as sort of a wall so they’d have some privacy.
One woman had to poop and she just really did not want to do that in a 6 x 8 cell with 13 other women in the room. She asked the guard if he’d let her do it in the restroom down the hall. He wouldn’t. So we asked if she could go join some of the men who were being held in the sally port where there was a porta potty, or if we could be taken there while she used the one in the cell, but he refused. We all said we didn’t care if she did what she needed to do, but she was so uncomfortable she just couldn’t.”
You mean they don’t allow private “poop” breaks in jail? THE HORROR.
When one compares her statement to that of Bill McKibben’s, the difference between activism and ankle-biting becomes clear:
Hello everyone! We don’t need sympathy, we need company. It’s clear to us that police were hoping to deter this action, and it’s equally clear to us the opposite will be the result.I’m looking forward to seeing everybody over the next 2 weeks. It has been a little hot here in central cell block, but not as hot as it will be if we don’t stop this project. People here have been in good spirits, and there has been a great deal of learning. We are thinking ahead to this weekend to share stories about Dr King and freedom movement.Even though uncomfortable, this experience has given us a greater sense of that part of history. Come on in, the water is fine.” If you’re looking to jump in to the water, sign up here: http://www.tarsandsaction.org/sign-up/ We expect that the 45 protestors who remain in jail from Saturday’s demonstration will be released early Monday afternoon.
As The Lake continues to exploit Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, know this: nothing that Jane Hamsher does has anything to do with the principles espoused byDr. King, or nonviolence, or bending the arc of history towards justice. Nothing.
Whether it’s working with the Tea Party to kill a bill that provides health insurance to 30 million Americans, or calling supporters of President Obama “the dumbest motherfuckers in the world,” Jane Hamsher perpetually seeks cudgels that she can wield against Obama, his administration, and his supporters.
Jane Hamsher is not on the side of justice, love, or faith — justice, love, and faith don’t lead to page clicks or membership revenue.
Jane Hamsher is on the side of Jane Hamsher.
And you can bet your ass that no matter the outcome of the Tar Sands sit-ins — whether Obama signs the permit or not — Jane Hamsher will be there, either to take credit, or scream “Toldja so!” And whatever the outcome, she will move on to Obama’s next big failure, whatever that may be.
1 Just to be clear, Hamsher’s post is not entitled “Letter From D.C. Jail.”
[To find out more about or participate in the Tar Sands protests over the next couple of weeks, visit www.tarsandsaction.org, and remember FOCUS ON MARK RUFFALO -- (Tar Sands Pipeline: Ignore the FireDogMartyr and Focus on Mark Ruffalo).]
[edited for clarity Aug. 22, 1 p.m.]