Peace March Facade
There is a great anti-war rally and demonstration scheduled for February 19th, President’s Day Weekend in Washington, D.C. and many other cities around the globe. RageAgainstWar.com displays a growing list of speakers, spoken performance artists, and much more. Many are name-brand anti-war activists, leaders of think-tanks, and grassroots lobbies. The hope is that world leaders may take notice and do their duty in initiating an immediate ceasefire and inviting all parties to the table for peace talks with no preconditions on Russia or Ukraine.
However the February Rally at the National Mall is not without risk. There is certain to be a heightened security any time prominent anti-war spokespersons are present, for instance. Several of their multi-million dollar organizations can surely afford lawyers, even private security, to insulate them from the risks of arrest and false flag events, but the ordinary masses of demonstrators cannot. This is why the entire setup may very well be an elaborate honey-trap that will be profitable for the data-gathering experts from the security agencies who will be eager to create a new generation of profiles to follow for decades, and create new blacklists.
AAPI and nonblack minorities will be particularly prone due to the present culture of hostility. On the other hand, because it is Black History Month, and because dark color pigment and more uniform racial features may be confusing for facial recognition systems, it may be safer for black and brown protesters to be present. Shortly after the January 6, 2021 protests, new cameras with sophisticated tracking capabilities were installed. Even for the DREAM rally in January 2018, a SWAT team was perched atop the Lincoln Memorial rooftop, while quite a few park rangers also were about.
Since the Covid-19 lockdowns and the ushering in of increasingly visible martial law and censorship, and with all indications of intensification due to multiple-pronged crises, practicing the First Amendment is now undertaken at great personal risk. This is why the allure of political front organizations at the February 19th rally appears so attractive. For sure for college and high school students, for a new generation of protesters, and comfortable retirees, there is less to lose attending such a march. The exposure to a credible lineup of speakers and rubbing shoulders with fellow protesters may be a great learning opportunity—although surely most of it will be video-taped—and their speeches and positions are already online.
For instance, Green Party Presidential hopeful Jill Stein did give a talk with acTVism Munich on her stance against support for the Ukraine-Russia War on January 1, 2023. This stance is relatively bold as the Green Party has its roots in Germany where the present German Green Party is very much pro-war, as seen by statement from Annalena Baerbock, the German Foreign Minister, and of Robert Habeck, Vice Chancellor of Germany. As WSWS.org has noted, the German Greens play the historical role of pseudo-leftists, caving in to the interests of the elites and corporate capitalist class, while playing on the hopes and dreams of socialists and independents.
Unfortunately, for today’s recession-prone working professionals, it is well-known fact that employers do keep track and monitor their employees off-hours, even when it is unlawful to do so. Certain kinds of managers are always eager to look for an excuse to dock their employees for any nonconformist issue. From personal and other experience, it is not advisable for AAPI to attend these rallies in person, unless you are willing to bear the risks to yourself, your future livelihood, and your family. Unfortunately, this reporter also experienced this personally in the leadup to the war in Iraq twenty years ago, which still led to a prolonged war that lasted through several administrations.
The fact that these front political organizations and think tanks can lead such rallies is a testimony to their courage and willingness to step up to the plate, however, they also are doing a significant amount of fund-raising. Although it is far from grand-standing, these kinds of crowds and rallies are always a future guarantor for greater exposure at least in the alt-media world and perhaps even at university lecturns. (Seriously, an even more noble gesture is if such funds are donated to the refugees in Ukraine or to help victims of war.)
Beyond photo-ops, this is absolutely very rarely the case for the rest of us. The antiwar crowd has always been led by a certain segment of self-appointed and actually annointed privileged few who form a very effective clique insofar as networking and interconnections and media exposure go. Whereas the rest of us are now expected to pretty much act as their cheerleaders.
One’s disappointment with the current leadership and administration can only proceed so far however. We would hope for some solid protest action that would be more effective than a vocal global shockwave. For instance, what would a global stay-at-home day look like? If everyone boycotted the workplace and shopping and traveling for at least one day, that would definitely alarm the stockmarket and globalists. Letter writing is also effective, although it will most likely only be processed by an aide (or someone who is their political handler). Silent prayer and petition can also be helpful, although forming or joining a prayer group would send a stronger message. (But some of the visible handlers at these NGOs are probably not going to allow their leaders to propose such radical action, particularly if they are capitalizing on YouTube monetization.)
Most Americans who remember Vietnam will be disappointed at the apathy within their churches today many of whom coordinate their agenda with the World Council of Churches. For instance, the ideology today is more focused on identity politics and acceptance of underrepresented populations (at least officially). The Catholic Church, which the Schiller Institute believes will step up to the plate in offering negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, has been mired in the pro-Life (anti-abortion) politics forever. Their political apparatus for the people are centered around reactionary politics, while their most radical leftist priests and nuns (think the Plowshares movement) have been left to rot in jail.
For the most part, especially given certain sects are very much in control of the direction of the Church, they are very much pro-war (Daddy Warbucks style). They understand where their bread is buttered, and there is even rumor that they are also in close coordination with the most powerful banking cartels in the world (City of London). So while the Pope may be willing to offer a prayer and send hopeful messages, the papacy must coordinate with an apparatchik which is so stodgy that it will not even allow any form of open activism among its congregation. Any anti-war protesting priest or nun is the extremely rare exception; because of his support against nuclear deterrence, Seattle’s Archbishop Hunthausen was investigated, and his powers handed over to then aspiring Auxiliary Bishop Donald Wuerl — we were told that Hunthausen was effectively under house-arrest.
Individual actions are good, but one must rehearse for rejection. For instance, one can introduce peace-activism in the form of a proposal to a professional group, at a city or local council, to your community board or club, but it may only be noted for the record. (That would be a good check on your list). Another form may be to have available (read Underminers by Keith Farnish) slips of paper, cards, short notices, fliers on events, upcoming talks, activities, or quote with weblink to tack onto a bulletin board or public kiosk or any other open bookshelf with community leaflets.
An anecdote about this was last Sunday at my church. The foyer has a bulletin board that has some self-help leaflets and cards for people to pick up. My notice on RageAgainstWar.com lasted less than an hour (or much less) before it was taken down. And this was nicely handprinted on an index-sized card. The priest did lecture on being the “Salt of the Earth” this Sunday, but he focused on “7 Corporal Works of Mercy” and held up as a model Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India. Pardon the cynicism but these acts (feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the impoverished, bury the dead) are basic common decency and part of the most basic human rights.
They are at the bottom of the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs, and have not even broached on issues of self-esteem, cognition, aestheticism, let alone self-actualization or transcendance. The parish priest may believe that anyone doing all these 7 things weekly will go to heaven, but does it really address community and collective human responsibility for the welfare of our city, nation, state, or world? Humans are not like mere termites, tending to our forage; instead, we should reach higher and consider more profoundly what the responsibility to protect truly entails, such as the prevention of nuclear war, or honoring the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, passed in 2017, by the United Nations.
The local minister or priest even emphasizes that the bulletin board is primarily for posting on social services, such as for the poor in our community. The envelope contains small notecards on which one can find community services for the needy, which is indeed very important in Chinatown neighborhood in Washington, D.C. However why leave it at there? One cannot reason with a pedigreed Jesuit that the fact of the matter is, if the Russian-Ukraine war expands to a war against NATO, this war may very well hit home. What then about leaflets for the community services provided? Are we supposed to not reason that there will be too many sick, dead, dying to take care of for the government to dole out any money? Are we to not contemplate the spectre of alternative regimens prepared far in advance, such as martial law and herding of the masses to the nearest stadium and emergency camps?
There will no longer be nonprofit industry sector with its well-positioned grifters for helping the poor while helping themselves; and the local minister or priest, far from being a Walt Whitman or Clara Barton attendee of the poor, sick, or dying, will probably flee as far away from D.C. as his fancy SUV can drive away.
And this is the real state of the matter on the Peace industry in Washington, D.C. The Washington Peace Center has effectively collapsed after a lawsuit alleging maltreatment or underemployment for minorities a few years ago, and there has been no resurrection of that Center since then. (We might say it was a planned take-down, but that is an opinion. It is very difficult for the ordinary protesters to divine who all else may have served to operate as observers passing information along the grapevine.)
For a city that is a fraction of the size of the new, upcoming cities in the Far East or Southern Asia today, it has been quite well-managed and remains a tourism showpiece, but increasingly the days of great demonstrations and bold fanfare may become a thing of the past. It is admittedly frustrating to see that the entire argument of human rights today is restricted to the history of the big wins from the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (such as on display at the Public Library). We are being effectively told that the past is prologue for the future, which is indeed relegated to celebrating the diversity won from the past, as seen in glasscases and touched by interactive digital displays.
Realistically, AAPI can hardly hope to be included in the RageAgainstWar.com rally, even though at least Tulsi Gabbard, Congresswoman from Hawaii, will be there. For the AAPI to even envision forming their own peace group, peace think-tank, peace organization, or peace convention in today’s combative culture of entrenched militarism?
A pipedream worthy of discussion later on, if the United States stays solvent through the end of 2023—and AAPI are not further stigmatized and marginalized from the usual banal refrain, “It’s all China’s fault!“
Op-ed crossposted from christinehkroll.wordpress.com