Tag: politics

How to Squash Mexican Protesters: Alfredo Romero – Episode 159

The Story: How Mexico threatens, harasses and bribes activists

May 11th, 2012, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City. Presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto gets up to do a speech, describing his political platform before hundreds of students. At the end of his discourse, a group of students stood up and demanded an explanation of the government action in the civil unrest of Atenco in 2006, which resulted in violent beatings, rapes, and even death. At that time, Peña Nieto had been the governor of the state of Mexico.

Peña Nieto responded that he had acted personally to re-establish order and peace, that it was within the legitimate use of public force, and that it was found valid by the supreme court.

Many of the students didn’t like it, and began screaming at Peña Nieto, and blocking his path. In order to get out of the university, he had to hide in a woman’s bathroom for some time.

After the event, Peña’s colleagues claimed that the screams from the crowd were organised by provocateurs, sent by the opposing candidate López Obrador, that they were too old to be students – 30 or 35 years and up, a small group of less than 20 people. In response, a group of 131 youths posted a video showing their university identification. Social media exploded throughout Mexico, with many showing their support of the students, and their disapproval of Peña Nietos candidacy and later presidency, using the slogan “Yo Soy 132”, or “I am number 132”.

From there, the movement grew to a national phenomenon, drawing inspiration from the Arab Spring movement, and the Occupy movement, developing national assemblies to discuss events, and of course, to attempt to impeach the president.

In this episode, Kurt interviews Alfredo Romero, a long time activist in Mexico who was involved in Yo Soy 132, among other social movements, was threatened, prevented violent agents provocateurs from throwing stones, was accused of throwing the same stones, was arrested and intimidated by the police, and even offered comfortable government positions to silence him. Alfredo also talks about a couple of grass-roots solutions that are popping up in Mexico right now, including the work of Archbishop Vera López, who is attempting to establish a parallel government, focused on the voice and the needs of the community.

Join us as Alfredo lays out the dirty tricks used by governments everywhere to silence dissent in this next episode of … The Paradise Paradox!

The Eps:

The Links:

Alfredo Romero interviewed on We Are Change about being kidnapped by police

Vera López in Wikipedia

 

The Cash:

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The Episode:

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Would you prefer to live in a just world?

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There is a principle of law that is acknowledged and often enforced all around the world, that if someone interferes with another’s person or property, they will be punished. For example, if you break down someone’s door without a damned good reason, such as the prevention of harm to an innocent, if you are caught and proven guilty, you will be punished. Likewise, if I approach someone and threaten them into giving me money, if I am caught, I will be punished. Of course, if it is found that I was in a very desperate situation such as having to feed my family, this will be treated as mitigating circumstances and the sentence will be reduced. However, I will still be punished.

Given the choice, would you prefer to live in a society where everyone who broke down doors without a very good reason were punished, and everyone who threatened others into giving them money were punished? Or would you prefer to live in a society where certain classes of people had an exemption, where they could break down doors indiscriminately, without good reason, and threaten people into giving them money without being punished at all?

If a person doesn’t give the question its full consideration, most people will say, of course they would prefer to live in a society where the law is applied evenly. But what is the full extent of this proposition?

Police, having no right to arrest anybody whom they didn’t reasonably suspect of harming someone or their property, will decide to keep mostly to themselves, or find productive ways of maintaining the peace, by establishing ties with the community and gaining its trust. Instead of demanding someone pull over for driving too fast, they would calmly and politely ask, and attempt to persuade them that their actions exposed themselves and others to undue risk.

Judges, knowing that they will be liable for any command they make, will be unwilling to enact any punishment against peaceful people, for example, for buying or selling drugs.

Politicians would be scared to pass any legislation punishing anyone who hadn’t harmed another – making the job of politician almost completely unnecessary. And they certainly wouldn’t call for acts of war which endangered the lives of innocent civilians, because every innocent killed could be a charge of manslaughter. Likewise, soldiers would refuse to attack unless they could be certain they were only attacking a legitimate threat.

Tax collectors would decide to change tactics, knowing they couldn’t threaten anybody into getting their money, and so they would instead canvas for donations, or turn to charging for individual services.
If you agree with the premise that those who injure, threaten or steal from others should be punished, you might have to rethink what the problems with the world are, and what your idea of an ideal world might be. If you disagree, and believe that certain classes of people should be free to attack, threaten and steal from others, and even commit mass murder, then again I would suggest you reconsider where your ideas might lead, what kind of ideal world they imply, and whether that is really the kind of thing you want to support, in your heart or in your actions. Do you really want to be a detractor of civilisation, welcoming violence as necessary, along with all of the abuses of power that come with it?

Making a more peaceful world isn’t easy. There will be challenges along the way, inventing new ways of solving problems with less and less violence, or no violence, when previously we believed they were only solvable with violence. And maybe we’ll never achieve such a thing in our lifetimes, or in any lifetime. But when you look back on your life, with your dying breath, will you be content in knowing that your entire life you supported the status quo, that violence is a requirement? Or would you be more content knowing that you dared to dream, to imagine a world without war, without police brutality and abuses of power, where the word “civilisation” is not a euphemism for a society dominated by the threat of violence, but, through an entire population becoming civil, is a literal fact.

I’m not asking much. I’m not asking you to do or say anything, or even exert any effort. I’m just asking you to let go of one idea, the idea that “violence is necessary” – the conviction that even an ideal world must include threats of violence – because whatever happens, the thought of dominating your fellow man out of necessity can never make you happy. To liberate yourself from this idea is to open up new possibilities, to open yourself to compassion for your fellow man, and to embrace the innocent as worthy of your protection.

Episode 27 – How I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Hate the State

Part one of a two part epic. Kurt explains his philosophical and political development, in the steps he took and the questions he had to ask to become a voluntaryist/libertarian anarchist. Why does government get to decide what you do with your body? What lawful right do police have to detain you when you’ve injured no-one? Can an involuntary government be a moral institution?

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Related links:

CBC Freeman Propaganda
Robert Menard interview
Marc Stevens “bringing about a voluntary society one visitor at a time”
Dean Clifford “Both sides of the story”
The Space Between – Kurt’s experience in court
Thomas Sowell abandons Marxism
Bob Lunn – Am I Free To Go? track

Episode 11 – The Fate of the Union

Politics schmolotics. A few days ago, some guy called Barack Hussein Obama gave an hour-long speech, and a lot of people listened. We used this as an opportunity to examine the ways in which political leaders use language to influence the way you see the world.

Right click and press “Save as” to download.

Please donate to show your support. BitCoin address: 182CzJUbz8xb1JZjuVm2S4YUBfd3xk2XfM

Or donate your Altcoins using Shapeshift:


Here are some related links:
Charlie Hebdo politicians solidarity photos
Lincoln’s letter to Horace Greeley
Historian Tom Woods on Lincoln and the Fugitive Slave law
CIA influences media – Operation Mockingbird on Wikipedia
Mark Dice presents Anderson Cooper CIA agent case
Son of a Bush “Catapult the propaganda”