June 21, 2013
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We are all subjects of the American Empire. Whether we live in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East . . . we are all under the thumb of neo-liberal capitalism that puts concentrated corporate power in control of our lives. For decades, American Empire and wealthy elite have forced privatization of resources in developing countries and austerity measures on public programs. Now, we are also experiencing these same policies in wealthier nations like the US and Europe.
All but the wealthiest are now members of the “Global South.” And, more and more people realize this. People from all over the world recognize that we must stand together in solidarity to challenge the tiny minority that dominates us. The revolts in Turkey, Brazil, Europe, the Middle East and Asia — as well as in the United States — are all connected.
These struggles share common messages that people are more important than profit, that human rights must be respected and that we want to live in peace with dignity. We see that capitalism is failing and that the people must take control to create the kind of world in which we want to live. The Afghan Peace Volunteers said this clearly in their recent open letter: “accomplishing these actions hinges on us, on climate change citizens, Arab Spring citizens, Occupy citizens and the ‘awakening’ citizens of every country to free ourselves from the unequal dominance of corporate governments with their laws and weapons of self-interest.”
And it’s happening. People from around the world are working in solidarity and protesting on behalf of others. Across the US, people are taking action to stop the drone warfare that kills innocent Afghans, Pakistanis and others. In Maine, they are taking a legislative approach along with protest and in Iowa, people are walking 195 miles to the Capital, Des Moines.
The campaign to close Guantanamo stretches from the living rooms of US veterans to the Washington, DC to Yemen. Three veterans, Elliott Adams, Diane Wilson and Tarak Kauff are on a solidarity hunger strike with the prisoners. They are coming to Washington, DC next week to protest and invite you to join them. Codepink recently traveled to Yemen to learn from the families of the prisoners about the impact of Guantanamo on their families.
People in Hong Kong marched in support of Edward Snowden and to oppose his extradition. Japanese railroad workers in Tokyo protested a lockout in Oregon, nearly 5,000 miles away, of American dockworkers who load grain ships headed for Asia.
Before the G8 Leaders met this week in the UK, protesters held a Carnival Against Capitalism. Last year, we protested the G8 in the US with an Occupy G8 Peoples Summit. President Obama traveled to Germany after the G8. His visit was preceded by a large march that looked like it could have taken place in the US. Protest signs had messages around issues of mass incarceration, Guantanamo, Bradley Manning and illegal spying with a play on Obama’s campaign message, “ Yes We Scan!”
In fact, thanks to the courage and sacrifice of Edward Snowden, we are learning more about the extent of spying by the National Security State and that we are subjected to it, in the US and around the world. Author, Nafeez Ahmed writes that this is part of preparation by the government for a citizen’s revolt in case of a climate and energy crisis as well as economic collapse. This includes new powers claimed by the DoD to use the military “to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.”
This article originally appeared on: AlterNet