imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The 5:32 AM Train to Washington, D.C.

by William Hughes Monday, Aug. 13, 2007 at 11:11 AM
liamhughes@comcast.net

A lot has changed since 9/11, mostly all for the worse. When I took the commuter train from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., on the morning of Aug. 7, 2007, “Big Brother” knew I was on it, since an ID is needed to buy a ticket. When I got to D.C., “Big Brother’s’” cameras watched me get on and off the Metrorail. When I tried to videotape a demonstration at the DOE, a security guard threatened to confiscate my camcorder and to put me “in handcuffs!”

The 5:32 AM Train to...
thelongblueline.jpg, image/jpeg, 320x181

“The actual outlook [for the survival of Civilization] is very dark!” -- George Orwell

Baltimore, MD -- The commuter train belonging to the MARC Line, pulled out of Penn Station, on Aug. 7, 2007, at exactly 5:32 AM. I was lucky to get a seat. It was overbooked and headed for Washington, D.C. about an hour away. The first thing I noticed on the train was how quiet it was. No one was talking. There was no chattering--just--silence. The passengers were mostly sleeping. Some had on their head phones to pass the time. It was also black as pitch outside and the train was eerily dark inside. It could have been a funeral train carrying home a coffin to be buried! Maybe, in a way, it was. America has changed a lot, since 9/11, and mostly for the worse. Every passenger on the train needed to show some ID before being allowed to purchase a ticket. This meant that “Big Brother” knew I was on that 5:32 AM MARC train!

Later, at about 6:40 AM, I’m sure “Big Brother’s” cameras spotted me catching a Metrorail at Union Station, and then taking it to the Metro Center station. From there, I changed to an Orange Line train and got off at the L’enfant Plaza station, near the National Mall. The Smithsonian station would have been a better choice for me, since I was going to the Department of Energy (DOE), a huge complex on Independence Avenue, to videotape a demonstration by Peace and Justice activists. (Incidentally, the DOE’s main building is named after James V. Forrestal, who was President Harry S. Truman’s Secretary of Defense. He supposedly committed suicide by jumping out of a window, in 1949, at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. But, not everybody buys that story.)

As soon as I landed at the DOE, about 40 activists were preparing to put on a Street Theater skit satirizing the DOE’s involvement in the proliferation of nuclear weapons. They were on a sidewalk adjacent to the Forrestal building. I pulled my camcorder out of my shoulder bag to set it up for the shoot. A uniform police officer, however, came rushing up to me, and, as though I were the infamous shoe bomber, he got right in my face and snapped: “If you turn that camcorder on, I will confiscate it and put YOU in handcuffs!” Well...strike another blow against the First Amendment! And...another example: on July 31, 2007, at the White House, a uniformed functionary there refused to accept more than 300 Petitions from the “Cities for Peace” organization because he claimed “protocol” wouldn’t allow it. When it was pointed out to him that the people have a guaranteed First Amendment Right “to Petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” he still refused. (1)

The erosion of our Constitutional Rights has a history. It didn’t start with these security guards, the Bush-Cheney Gang or even with this Congress of mostly jellyfish. In the 90s, I covered a hearing of a U.S. Senate Committee, on Capitol Hill. It was chaired by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA). (Yea, that Arlen Specter! He’s the wise guy who came up with that “magic bullet theory” in order to explain away the fact that there were more than one shooter of President John F. Kennedy, at Dealey Plaza, on Nov. 22, 1963.) The Senate Committee was considering legislation to authorize “secret trials, based on secret evidence” for immigrants suspected of terrorist activity. The “Star Chamber” gambit was pushed by Specter in the Senate and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who was then a member of the House. It became law in 1996.

One of the Committee’s witnesses warned that the legislative scheme was a “slippery slope” which the country would soon regret. He was right. You could argue that the horrific situation at Gitmo was sourced by Specter and Schumer’s “Star Chamber” ploy. Since its enactment, the draconian USA Patriot Act has been put on the books, along with the Military Commissions Act, which permits the Bush-Cheney Gang to target an individual as an “enemy combatant.” The ancient Writ of Habeas Corpus has been gutted, too. Most recently, Congress decimated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and gave the White House a green light to spy on Americans, with little or no judicial oversight. Meanwhile, President George W. Bush has in his desk drawer an Executive Order, which will allow him to declare “Martial Law,” wherever he sees fit to do so. (2) Some pundits think that he will invoke the measure, after he, at Dick Cheney’s urging, nukes Iran! If you’re not concerned about all of this, then maybe you should cut back on your medicine and stop watching the TV, a device suspected of amusing our society “to death.” (3)

After the DOE demonstration, the activists paraded across to the north side of the Mall--to the national headquarters of the Bechtel Corporation. It’s a company whose moniker is synonymous with the Military Industrial Complex and “war profiteering.” Even though it was still early in the morning, the heat and humidity were already stifling. Josh Cohen was the drummer for this protest gig. He kept a lively beat for the activists in their 30 minute-or-so walk to their second demo of the day. Liz McAlister of Jonah House, a Catholic-based faith and nonviolence resistance community, and one of the leaders of the protest action, was drenched in sweat from marching inside a giant Octopus prop. It was the centerpiece of the protesters’ very creative Street Theater performance. (4)

On the way over to Bechtel, we passed the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. My thoughts raced back to a memorial service which was held there on June 22, 2006, for Philip Merrill Levine, aka “Phil Merrill.” He was a media mogul, Iraqi War Hawk, and a raving Neocon. Levine had served on the Pentagon Defense Policy Board with Richard Perle, the Darth Vader of the Neocons. Like Forrestal, Levine committed suicide. Supposedly, he shot himself to death, while out on his boat on the Chesapeake Bay. What was odd about the service was how a smirking Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Paul Wolfowitz’s protégé, showed up, along with his ex-boss, V.P. Dick Cheney. Scooter went in the front door, while Cheney took a back entrance. Naturally, Perle was there. I noticed him after the service, standing on the sidewalk, kibitzing with his cronies, while feeding his face with cookies. Like Cheney, and the Neocons William Kristol and John Bolton, Perle wants the U.S. to attack Iran.

Washington, D.C. is a town filled with unrepentant War Hawks. Many are enjoying the good life, while U.S. troop and Iraqi civilians are dying daily in an unjust war, and our revered Constitutional Rights are regularly being flushed down the toilet. (5) I think it’s important to understand these War Hawks and their respective roles as ideologues and/or government officials, and how they cleverly used 9/11 as a pretext to drive the country into the Iraqi conflict. (6) The War-Mad Perle, Libby, and Cheney mourned the Neocon Merrill, but none of them has ever been known to attend a funeral service for any U.S. soldier who has been killed in Iraq.

Getting back to the demonstrators. After crossing K Street, the prime domain of the wheeler-dealer lobbyists on Capitol Hill, the activists camped out in front of Bechtel’s headquarters and did their spoof. The local cops soon showed up, but, wisely, decided not to interfere. (7) When I was on Capitol Hill, on Aug. 2, 2007, to attend a press conference called by Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), I couldn’t help but notice a sea of Capitol Hill police officers. (8) A few were carrying huge weapons that looked like they belonged in a George Lucas’ Star Wars flick. The truth is that Washington, D.C. is now an armed camp. I suppose it is so, in order to protect the Bush-Cheney Gang, the Congress and federal offices from any possible terrorist attack. But, there is this larger, deeper and more relevant question: WHO IS GOING TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE from the Bush-Cheney Gang’s and Congress’ warmongering policies, impeachable offenses, mostly cowardly conduct and damnable contempt for the U.S. Constitution?

Finally, after covering the demos in D.C., I headed back to Baltimore on the 10:30 AM MARC train. You don’t have to take my word for it. Just ask “Big Brother!” He’s has all the train records!

Notes:

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfOZO0y9JgI

2. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Establishing_martial_law_in_the_United_States

3. “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business” by Neil Postman.

4. http://www.jonahhouse.org/

5. http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/

6. http://batr.net/neoconwatch/

7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOxC43Zj4Ws

8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diob9SNtY_w

©2007, William Hughes.

William Hughes is a video and print journalist. His videos can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=liamh2.

Email Contact: liamhughes@comcast.net.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy