Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What Political Fortitude Can Do: Ohio

Political Fortitude turns back the tide: today’s defeat of the anti-union bill in Ohio by popular referendum is a great example of what persistent, patient, joint political action can do: Ohio, like Wisconsin, was the site this summer of major protests against a campaign to break public-sector unions, the last remaining stronghold of collective bargaining in America. Like the Occupy protests, this victory should give hope and confidence to the Left; it will help maintain a good standard of living for some people and can be used to build momentum for future victories.
Two other links I’d like to point out:
Political courage is physical courage: Watch this to see what it’s like to get shot at a protest: someone filming Occupy Oakland -- not protesting, just filming -- gets shot with a rubber bullet or bean bag projectile, both of which can be lethal. He even asks permission to film, repeatedly -- although he shouldn’t have to, because this is protected, IMHO, by the First Amendment right of freedom of the press. Why are police shooting anything at all at someone peacefully filming what is obviously a major news event?
Political Courage is moral courage: Here is a useful guide for protestors -- or anyone, really -- if an encounter with police looks like it will become tense: don’t be confrontational, but do assert your rights, and do say, “I do not consent to be searched”:
“You have to own these things,” [political organizer Chino] Hardin explained. “You can’t just [be meek] about it. Police do know when you start asserting your rights. What you want to say is, ‘Am I being detained, or am I free to go?’ Once they say you’re being detained, which means you’re not free to go, then they must have reasonable suspicion to detain you. At that point you can say, ‘What is the reasonable suspicion that you have to detain me?’ Then they will have to articulate it.”

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