South Carolina was in the news recently when Newt Gingriff won the Republican primary. His victory turned out to be an anomaly, given how his campaign has tanked since then. It is interesting to note that he won largely by playing the “Rebel.” Ironically, one of South Carolina’s most famous rebel sons is Francis Marion (better known as “The Swamp Fox.”) He was agile and aggressive. He broke the rules of warfare – using techniques and tips he learned while fighting Native Americans. In particular, he used the element of surprise to attack the straight-marching redcoats when they least expected it. He and his men would blend into the natural environment before and after their attacks.
As a youngster, I watched all the Disney episodes, starring a young Leslie Nielsen as the Swamp Fox. In addition, I have lived in North Carolina for 25 years – visiting our neighbor’s hot tourist spots – Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, and Charleston; as well as other spots (e.g., Clemson a couple times.) South Carolina is a state of contrasts – poor lowland communities leading to world-class beach resorts. High tech industry competing with Redneck philosophy and racist culture. Battle re-enactments not far from exclusive golf courses. Anyhow, as one of the premiere colonial settlements, Charleston was also a focal point in the War of Independence. Today, activists can use the Swamp Fox’s tactics to get their message across, practice civil disobedience, and take things down without hurting people. Click Below to learn all about one of America’s true heroes – and what his legacy means for our current American Revolution.
Many people were shocked over the extreme response of the Chapel Hill police to a group of peaceful protestors who were camped out in an abandoned building. This is especially surprising because this small and sleepy college town has a lot of experience with huge crowds of wild and crazy young people. I live in the “twin town” of Carrboro which is one of the most hip and relaxed places around. This incident is a very bad reflection of the democratic process and fairness for which our community has been known. This could have been much worse if one of the nervous young cops had shot someone. This shows how it really is time to reign in the police state before it takes hold!! As Jeff Bridges maintained in The Big Lebowski “This aggression must not stand, man!” Why are they carrying such deadly weapons?
I was surprised and saddened after hearing about this incident on Countdown with Keith Olberman (now on Current TV.) Chapel Hill is the last place where police would ever confront the kind of aggressive violence they were dressed up and ready for. They are able to deal with huge crowds of drunk revelers on Halloween and whenever UNC-Chapel Hill wins a national championship. Clearly someone up the chain of command (ultimately the mayor) screwed up badly when they estimated the extent of threat that this rag-tag group of protestors represented. The absentee landlord is the real social deviant who should be taken to task for blighting Franklin Street for a decade. Fortunately, former US Senate candidate Jim Neal delivered a detailed list of questions that Chapel Hill authorities need to have answered by an independent commission. Click below to learn all the details.
As the Occupy movement gains momentum and support the potential for more police violence is always present. In most cases the unarmed, peaceful protestors will be the losers (as happened in Oakland.) The occupy movement has natural allies that provide them with protection and clout (e.g., union members.) In return, the occupy movement provides lots of youthful energy, passion and creativity. This winter is the time for organizing and building coalitions. I hope this article provides ideas and inspiration as to the kind of power the occupy movement can have.
The one group with a long-history of confronting police harassment and social rejection include the subculture known as “Outlaw Bikers.” Ironically, they are also known as “1%’s” – but for very different reasons (as you will learn below.) They also represent one of the last truly free-living groups (like the James gang and other western outlaws.) These leading-edge freedom fighters live to ride hard, play hard, and fight hard when provoked. However, demographics and police repression have reduced the numbers of potential members. Most “outlaw” chapters do want to engage and help the community – any many are involved with charity. The outlaw bikers will find kindred spirits in young punk rockers, skateboarders, street gangs, and even hippies!
Historically, the Hells Angels have been a major presence in the SF Bay area (particularly Oakland) for over fifty years. This gang has been demonized by most of society – particularly the cops and media. Not unlike, the Sopranos and others, outlaw bikers are involved in a range of “criminal” activities that are economically rational, given the unfair society they and the rest of us live in. They are prone to violence if provoked. However, the “crimes” committed by outlaw bikes mainly hurt each other or those who make the mistake of messing with them. Many outlaw bikers have similar politics and experiences to the Tea Party (i.e., are less educated, white males that tend to be veterans who like guns.) Like the hippies and some Occupy protestors, they are alienated from society and have learned to live outside the system (i.e., off the grid and outside the law.) All three groups would agree that “we should be able to do anything we want, whenever we want – as long as we don’t hurt anyone else.” Click below to learn why outlaw bikers and the occupy movement would be a good match to help keep the cops in check.
Jesus Drives Money Changers from the Temple
The Occupy Wall Street movement builds on over 2,000 years of Christian activism aimed at helping poor people and promoting social justice. Like Jesus, many of the people taking a stand are willing to sacrifice their own comfort and welfare to help the less fortunate. In this article I compile writings that demonstrate how Jesus Christ was a radical reformer and rebel who challenged the rich and powerful of his day. You will find key quotes that summarize how Jesus taught us to care for the least among us. He also fought hard against greed and corruption during his time.
I was moved to write this article by the “Poverty Tour” conducted recently by Tavis Smiley and Cornell West. This amazing program was broadcast over five nights on PBS. This article provides links to watch the shows, as well as a summary of the series. I was also inspired to write when Joe Scarborough finished his MSNBC interview with Smiley and West with his own testimony that “Jesus’ ministry was about taking care of the poor. We don’t see that from the very people who wave their bibles around the most.” This article documents the many ways in which Jesus would now be considered not just a liberal, but a radical in today’s culture. I have included a summary of an important book called “Radical: Taking back your faith from the American Dream” by David Platt. You will also learn about the great song “Jesus Christ” by Woody Guthrie (which uses the melody from Jesse James and has been covered well by U2.) Click to Learn Why Jesus would Lead the Fight against greedy Wall Street moneychangers