May 29, 2014

Socialists say Obama imprisoning Political Opposition

By Mark Wachtler

May 29, 2014. New York. (ONN) For all those millions of Republicans and conservatives who consistently label President Obama a socialist, they might want to consider the fact that America’s actual socialists despise the US President. Like many Americans, they see him as a compulsive liar and a pawn of Wall Street. And when it comes to accusing Obama of being an oppressive tyrant, nobody is more outspoken than the nation’s socialists.

Occupy protestor Cecily McMillan arriving in court. Image courtesy of Anthony Lanzilote and The New York Times.

A communication last week published on the World Socialist Web Site and distributed by the Socialist Equality Party here in the US warns the American people that President Barack Obama has taken unprecedented steps to silence his political opposition. Some cite the White House’s unceasing prosecution of whistleblowers within the federal government. Others cite Obama’s protection of impeached AG Eric Holder, who refuses to prosecute himself. Still more point to the IRS’s sabotage of Tea Party groups. But most of all, critics point to the widespread imprisonment of opposition protesters, journalists and attorneys.

“While the current rash of anti-democratic measures largely targets non-citizens, mainly of Middle-Eastern descent, they constitute a fundamental attack on the basic rights of the entire population,” a past announcement put out by the WSWS ominously warned, “These attacks will be extended to American citizens, especially those who oppose the government’s policies, sooner rather than later.”

Obama, the new Bush

Some readers may be surprised to learn that the above quote is actually 12 years old. It was put out in the days after 9/11 condemning a panic-stricken rash of laws and Executive Orders suspending the US Constitution and America’s freedoms. As those of us in America’s political opposition warned in 2008, both the left and the right, Barack Obama is no progressive and he’s no friend of the American people. He’s merely the blue version of George W. Bush.

And when it comes to State take-overs of private businesses or assassinating American citizens without charge, trial or conviction, Obama has exceeded even his universally despised predecessor. The socialists reiterate that sentiment writing, “The actions of the Obama administration, whose anti-terror policies represent an escalation of the assault on democratic rights under Bush, fully vindicate this warning.”

Specific examples

Echoing a number of grassroots organizations around America, the Socialist Equality Party points to the May 5th conviction of Occupy Wall Street protester Cecily McMillan. The 25-year-old New York protestor is facing 7 years in jail because one police officer injured himself while sexually assaulting her when the city launched its 2012 raid on Zuccotti Park to clear it out of Occupy protesters once and for all. The officer is accused of violently attacking the young woman because when he physically apprehended McMillan, he snuck up from behind and the first thing he violently grabbed onto was the voluptuous 25-year-old’s breast, leaving massive bruising as evidence.

The account also holds up the NATO 3 from Chicago as another example. In that instance, local undercover police infiltrated Chicago’s protest community months prior to the NATO summit arriving in the city. And court documents clearly showed that the three young men dubbed ‘the NATO 3’ had no interest in carrying out violent acts. Secret government recordings even catch the men insisting they are peaceful protesters. It was undercover police officers that ceaselessly pushed all the arriving demonstrators to commit violent acts.

“The circumstances of both cases are outrageous, with severe penalties being imposed on individuals who are not criminals, but political opponents of the policies of the Obama administration and corporate America, for which they have become victims of police violence and provocation,” Socialist Equality Party’s Patrick Martin argues, “The cases involve people who took part in peaceful, legal protests in New York City and Chicago, only to be framed up and convicted on felony charges.”

More examples

Martin continues, “These frame-ups follow a pattern that has now become familiar, where individuals are targeted either because they are politically active or vulnerable to provocation, and prosecuted for actions that are either fabricated out of whole cloth, or would never have occurred in the absence of incitement by police agents.” The announcement goes on to list even more examples.

One example is Lynne Stewart, the attorney who represented a blind sheik being accused of inciting terrorist acts. The 74-year-old lawyer was jailed for four years after being accused of relaying messages from her client to the public. She was only released due to her impending death from cancer.

Another example cited is the double-raid in Minneapolis and Chicago of the homes and offices of the Twin Cities Antiwar Committee and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Their only crime was that a couple of their members had visited Palestine and Colombia. The Obama administration used the Patriot Act to justify the multi-city assault.

Yet another example given is the conviction of 5 young men in Cleveland for allegedly plotting to blow up a highway bridge. Just as in the NATO 3 case, the evidence showed the defendants had no interest in carrying out any violent acts. It was the undercover law enforcement infiltrators that were inciting terror and violence. And to top it off, two of the five young men convicted were shown to be mentally ill.

The Socialist Equality Party ends its brief list of examples by enlightening Americans on how the Obama administration has dealt with the overall Occupy Wall Street movement. They cite examples in Portland, Seattle and Olympia where the FBI spied on Occupy demonstrators, acquiring their identities and then following up with raids on the protesters individual homes.

Final thoughts from America’s socialists

Illustrating what the rest of America can look forward to in the coming years, the account describes the above raids in the American northwest saying, “Dozens of heavily armed federal agents smashed down doors and used stun grenades, pulling their victims from their beds at gunpoint, then seizing computers, literature, banners and other explicitly political materials. A warrant presented at one home cited the need to confiscate ‘anti-government or anarchist literature or material’.”

The socialists go on to remind their fellow Americans, “The National Defense Authorization Act (2012) expressly gives the US military the power to seize and imprison any person anywhere in the world, including within the US, on ‘terror’ allegations - without charges, evidence, or trial. And as the revelations by Edward Snowden demonstrate, the US government is using its vast surveillance and data collection apparatus to create political dossiers of those individuals who would be targeted for such repression.”

Patrick Martin of the Socialist Equality Party closes the recent communication calling for the release of all of America’s political prisoners. On behalf of the SEP he says, “The Socialist Equality Party demands the release of the NATO 3 and Cecily McMillan and all others imprisoned in the United States as the result of political frame-ups.” While we at Opposition News can’t possibly agree with all 15 of America’s national opposition parties on all issues, we definitely support that specific demand. And to again show where we stand on political oppression, check out the first and only video ever produced here at Opposition News (you may have to turn the volume up a bit).

Read the full announcement at the World Socialist Web Site. For more information, visit the Socialist Equality Party.


The first and only video ever produced by us here at Opposition News (you may have to turn the volume up a bit).


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