Talking with Democrats & Occupiers in Charlotte

Protesting drones Charlotte DNC

by Debra Sweet

On Sunday September 2nd the World Can’t Wait hit the streets of Charlotte, NC. A small but determined crew participated in the March On Wall Street South. World Can’t Wait was there to protest Obama’s drone wars and challenge the “lesser of two evils” argument.

The crew of activists had a drone replica which they wheeled through the streets of Charlotte. The drone replica drew much attention, press, and conversation. The activists chanted “When Drones Fly, Children Die!” and “Obama, Romney, All the Same, No More War Crimes in Our Name!” For a time a group of young people marched along with the World Can’t Wait crew and on the spot came up with the chant “Drone Strikes Are War Crimes, Obama Should Do Prison Time!”

 At one point the protesters were waiting to proceed with the march and a World Can’t Wait activist began to agitate to the delegates to the DNC and residents of Charlotte gathered on the side walk about the grim realities of Obama’s drone wars for the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. It was during this point that the 12 Steps to Overcoming the Addiction to Voting for the Lesser of Two Evils was read to the crowd of an enlarged copy which had also drawn much attention through out the day.

Tuesday, World Can't Wait joined with others from Vets for Peace and Occupiers from around the country to stage an unpermitted march to Free Bradley Manning and End the Wars. Energetic, impassioned, and outraged by the restrictions on free movement (and thus free speech) in downtown Charlotte, people gathered at the newly formed Occupy encampment and marched until stopped by lines of police. World Can't Wait brought out the drone again, added a visual element to the march that many felt was almost too creepy to endure... disturbed and disgusted by the hidden though horrific reality of flying death robots. St. Pete for Peace brought an illustrated anti-drone banner which completed the story of drones with images of some of the children who have been killed in these bombings. 

In Chicago, protesters also gathered Tuesday to "Reject President 1% and End Obama's Wars on the World's 99%," also bringing a replica drone to the streets of downtown.

Links to media coverage here.

12 stepsIn response to the huge volume of response I received about 12 Steps to Overcoming Addiction to Voting for the “Lesser” of 2 Evils:

  • I haven't answered all of you yet, but I will. Thanks for writing, even if you don't agree with the message.
  • No, I don't wish for Romney to win. To me, the Democrats and Republicans are both "worse," though in different ways.
  • I can't tell you who to vote for. I urge you not to throw away your time, funds, and especially your hopes, on something that has no chance of turning out well. 
  • I do have plenty of hope, but it lies in changing the terms in this country, so that people refuse to put up with the crimes carried out against people here and around the world, by "democracy."

Artists like this give me hope:

Brian McFadden, editorial cartoonist carried in The New York Times, as been hitting these points effectively in The New "Due" Process and DNC Swag Bag.

I want to visit the Guantanamo Bay Museum of Art and History, opened this year "when the last detention facility in Guantanamo Bay was officially decommissioned in 2010, an international team of artists, curators and architects began planning and designing a museum that would take the place of the detention facility - a little less than two years later, their work became reality."

For more substance to the case that the Democrats dangerously set the basis for torture by indefinite detention to expand, no matter who the president is, see Dropping Torture Investigations, Obama Prosecutes Only Critics of Torture (includes video from appearance on RT last week):

The platform of the Republican Party, and Romney in his speeches, promotes reviving the “global war on terror” as a concept, and criticizes the Obama administration for changing its name to the “overseas contingency operation.” I will grant you, there is a difference in approach between the two parties.

But does emphasizing that distinction miss the essential spread and development of the US “war on terror” which the Obama administration has relentlessly pursued?  Beyond the matter of not closing Guantanamo, Obama’s lawyers argue against habeas corpus rights for 6,000 prisoners in Bagram; against even the right of people tortured in Guantanamo and U.S. secret rendition programs to sue for damages; against the release of photos of torture at Abu Ghraib so that people would have seen more of what the Bush regime was responsible for. (Continue reading...)

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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.