For the past week, I’ve been documenting the plethora of nonviolent protests breaking out across the country in opposition to the government’s proposed radical budget cuts. In another typically excellent article, Chris Hedges recently declared that the resistance he’s been calling for has finally begun. The powerful elite got too greedy and took too much from average Americans, who are now fighting back.
Hedges announced he will be joining protesters in Union Square for a planned tax weekend protest in front of Bank of America.
“The political process no longer works,” Kevin Zeese, the director of Prosperity Agenda and one of the organizers of the April 15 event, told me. “The economy is controlled by a handful of economic elites. The necessities of most Americans are no longer being met. The only way to change this is to shift the power to a culture of resistance. This will be the first in a series of events we will organize to help give people control of their economic and political life.”
Hedges implores the one in six workers in this country who does not have a job and the “6 million people who have lost their homes to repossessions” to join the protest. And this isn’t the only event of its kind in the works. Resistance cells have been springing up across the country—some planned, some seemingly spontaneous acts of desperation from citizens at their breaking points.
Albany is braced for a “Wisconsin-style” takeover of the Capitol building. The “People Power” rally includes union members representing state university professors, public school teachers and human services group, who say the state budget will cripple classroom programs, health services and low-income New Yorkers.
Video footage from the budget cut protests in New Hampshire, which organizers claim was the largest gathering of people on State House grounds in twenty-five years, can be viewed here and below.
A similar gathering, though this time protesters actually occupied the Capitol, occurred in Mississippi.
Meanwhile, students in Illinois are organizing to oppose the House of Representative’s recent actions cutting federally funded Pell Grants by 15 percent in 2011. The “Pell Yes!” campaign is designed to heighten awareness of the issue and “help students take a stand.”
In the following video, a UK Uncut organizer gives activists advice on how to form a day of civil disobedience.
In all of these cases of resistance, the participants heed the advice from Hedges, who writes that citizens don’t need leaders, directives from above, or formal organizations.
We don’t need to waste our time appealing to the Democratic Party or writing letters to the editor. We don’t need more diatribes on the Internet. We need to physically get into the public square and create a mass movement.
That physical action of leaving the computer at home and occupying the bank, street or Capitol is beginning to happen.