9.01.2007

Waiting For Robin Hood

You've all heard about Robin Hood--the mythical resident of Sherwood Forest who robbed the rich and restributed the goods to the poor. It might be said that Mr. Hood was merely recovering the wealth that was stolen from the poor in the first place, and giving it back to them.

And speaking of stealing, read about how Halliburton, (Dick's former company) served rotten food to our troops, supplied e coli tainted water for them to bathe in, and billed taxpayers up to $16 million for food that was never served to troops. See a slide show narrated by Iraq War watchdog Matt Taibbi at www.rollingstone.com/nationalaffairs.

A fellow bus rider recently noted that this is Bush's last term of office(506 days)--unless a national catastrophe "forces" the White House to declare martial law, and then W would be president for life. First, an election coup; then a military coup.

This conversation came back to me as I read about the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar, f/k/a Burma, where the ruling miltary government, 45 years in power, routinely "monitors" and detains protesters, including Buddhist monks. (source: NYT International Wed August 29, 2007 Buddhist Monks Join Pro-Democracy Protesters in Mayanmar, A11.)

" Protesters have for the past 10 days defied a clampdown on dissent by Myanmar's military government to stage a rare series of protests against an increase in fuel prices...

Activists said up to 20 people were arrested after the rally in Yangon, where about 50 protesters had gathered near a bus stop close to the former campus of Yangon University...They chanted, "Lower fuel prices, lower commodity prices!" as they walked along a main road, while about 200 people gathered to watch.

The march was led by labor activist SuSu Nway, member of the opposition National League for Democracy. She was sent to prison for more than seven months in October 2005 after reporting cases of forced labor to the United Nations...The military, which has ruled Myanmar for 45 years, maintains complete control over the nation's news media and deals harshly with dissent.

But the junta sparked public anger when the government secretly increased fuel prices by as much as fivefold August 15. The move imediately doubled the cost of transportation, which left many people unable even to afford the bus fare to get to work..."(end NYT quote)

Wait a minute--this sounds vaguely familiar!

That couldn't happen here--could it? Protesters sent to prison, fuel prices being doubled (try tripled), forced labor. (What do you call U.S. prison labor--an internship?)

Myanmar isn't the only country where protesters are arrested, oppressed, and otherwise frowned upon. The anti war group A.N.S.W.E.R. was hit with another $10,350 in fines in addition to the $10,000 already levied against it by the DC government for posting flyers on lamp posts to advertise its September 15 anti war march and rally.

The First Amendment is a terrible thing to waste, so I'm exercising my free speech option on behalf of an organization that had its first amendment rights assaulted and battered. Read about it here

Sept15 button
And here http://www.justiceonline.org/

1 comment:

ClapSo said...

Yup, the bush crime family, with the support of the two parties of the apocalypse have moved us away from freedom toward despotism. A shame that most of the US population is asleep in front of the TV!

The scientifically impossible I do right away
The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer