more howard zinn

Let's talk about socialism. … I think it's very important to bring back the idea of socialism into the national discussion to where it was at the turn of the [last] century before the Soviet Union gave it a bad name. Socialism had a good name in this country. Socialism had Eugene Debs. It had Clarence Darrow. It had Mother Jones. It had Emma Goldman. It had several million people reading socialist newspapers around the country… Socialism basically said, hey, let's have a kinder, gentler society. Let's share things. Let's have an economic system that produces things not because they're profitable for some corporation, but produces things that people need. People should not be retreating from the word socialism because you have to go beyond capitalism.
-Howard Zinn

I'm still not able to get over how amazing and influential Howard Zinn was.
Daniel Ellsberg writes an obituary for antiwar.com in which he points out exactly what i mean when i say things like "all cops are bastards."
so Daniel and Howard Zinn are at this sit-down anti-war protest,
Then one of the officers came over to Howard and said, “You’re Professor Zinn, aren’t you?” Howard said yes, and the officer reached down and shook his hand enthusiastically. He said, “I heard you lecture at the Police Academy. A lot of us here did. That was a wonderful lecture.” Howard had been asked to speak to them about the role of dissent and civil disobedience in American history. Several other policemen came over to pay their respects to Howard and thank him for his lecture.

a little bit later
An order had been passed. The bloc of police in the center of the square got into tight formation and lowered their plastic helmets. The police standing right in front of us, over us, straightened up, adjusted their uniforms and lowered their masks. Apparently the time had come to start arrests. The supporters who didn’t want to be arrested fell back.

But there was no arrest warning. There was a whistle, and the line of police began inching forward, black batons raised upright. They were going to walk through us or over us, push us back. The man in front of us, who had been talking to Howard about his lecture a little earlier, muttered to us under his breath, “Leave! Now! Quick, get up.” He was warning, not menacing us....
The voice over our heads whispered intensely, “Move! Please. For God’s sake, move!” Knees in uniform pressed our knees. I saw a club coming down. I put my hands over my head, fists clenched, and a four-foot baton hit my wrist, hard. Another one hit my shoulder.

I rolled over, keeping my arms over my head, got up and moved back a few yards. Howard was being hauled off by several policemen. One had Howard’s arms pinned behind him, another had jerked his head back by the hair. Someone had ripped his shirt in two, there was blood on his bare chest.

It's like the Stanford Prison Experiment; maybe the police have great respect for the protesters; maybe they agree with them. but they are still the police, and they have to follow orders. by becoming police officers, they put themselves into a roll, where if they do not follow orders, they will get in trouble and possibly risk loosing their jobs.

It's possible there are plenty of good people who become police officers, and when not in the role of law enforcement they might be decent human beings. but as soon as they take on the role of police everything else goes out the window.

that is why we hate the police.

oh, and there's a documentary coming out of oakland about a year in the struggle for Oakland. This documentary takes us through the murder of Oscar Grant to the case of Lovelle Mixon as ordinary residents take to the streets in a hostile environment to combat injustice with video cameras.

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