Two important announcements:

On Operation Atonement :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b12fPkhmtUM&feature=youtu.be

On April 15, 2018, a global campaign will commence to directly halt child trafficking and other genocidal actions by the Vatican, other churches, governments and corporations. ITCCS Field Secretary for North America, Kevin Annett, describes some of the campaign and how to be involved.

AND Now available: Kevin’s latest book:

At the Mouth of a Cannon: 

Conquest and Cupidity on Canada’s West Coast – A Personal Account
Authored by Rev. Kevin Daniel Annett 
Available now at www.createspace.com/7997500 

Image result for clearcut bc

AT THE MOUTH OF A CANNON puts a human face on Genocide in Canada. It depicts the last-stand resistance by one west coast indigenous nation to a three-headed assault by the British Crown, its churches, and land-hungry companies. Leading that opposition are the succeeding generations of the Maquinna clan, the hereditary Ahousaht war-chiefs who must battle not only smallpox-bearing missionaries, gunships and loggers but their own fellow chiefs who seek to accommodate to and accept the white invaders. And that battle is far from over. 
 

AT THE MOUTH OF A CANNON is one man’s discovery and personal account of the untold story of the Ahousahts and how their nation and land was seized by foreigners. A renegade clergyman from his own United Church that led the assault on the Ahousahts, author Kevin Annett befriended and fought alongside Chief Earl Maquinna George during the 1990′s as he struggled alone to stop the sale and logging of the last of the Ahousaht ancestral land on Flores Island. This is a moving story of Group Crime and resistance, of who owns British Columbia and how natives and whites alike are expected to dance to the tune of multinational corporations. But the unconquerable spirit of a few souls on either side of the racial divide struggles to prevail against overwhelming odds and big money.

List Price: $15.00

6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on White paper
232 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1983790843 (CreateSpace-Assigned) 
ISBN-10: 1983790842

BISAC: History / Canada / General


Order your copy today at: www.createspace.com/7997500

Learn more this Sunday January 21 on Kevin’s blog radio program Here We Stand, 3 pm pacific, 6 pm eastern, 11 pm GMT atwww.bbsradio.com/herewestand 

Censored News: The Oxford Union Lecture by Kevin Annett that Didn’t Happen, until now

On the subject: ”Is there any good in the Roman Catholic Church?”

 (Soon to be broadcast on youtube)

The Oxford Union Lecture Hall and its shadow of censorship

Hello and welcome. I’m Kevin Annett. Not too long ago I received a formal invitation from the oldest debating society in the world, the Oxford Union, to come there and debate the rather strange question of whether there is any “good” in the Roman Catholic church. Just a week before the scheduled debate, and as on so many other occasions, my invitation to speak was withdrawn without explanation. So here is the talk I planned to present at the Oxford Union debate.

 Good evening. Let me begin by saying what a pleasant surprise it is to be able to join you here tonight. The last time I tried to give a public talk in England, at a London rally to protest child trafficking by church and state, your privately-run UK Border Agency police saw fit to arrest, finger print and deport me from this country without giving a reason. But be that as it may, and it usually is, I especially thank you for having me here.

 Tonight’s topic for debate is framed rather tellingly: “Is there any good in the Roman Catholic church?” and assumedly in its holding company, the Vatican Incorporated. The very wording of this subject imples that no, there isn’t any good, so let’s search for some. Of course, trying to locate integrity in any corporation is like looking for love in a brothel. So perhaps the question of tonight’s debate has already been answered, my job is done and we can all go home.

 In any event, the title of the main event tonight is a bit confusing, beginning with the word “good”, which is after all a completely relative and morally ambiguous term.

 The Spanish Conquistadors and their slaughter-blessing catholic priests thought they were doing good when they wiped out millions of non-catholic people for their own good. The Vatican’s Inquisition that barbecued and tortured to death Christians who disagreed with Rome was officially titled an Auto da Fe: an Act of Faith. Even the present, so-called liberal pope Francis, Jorge Bergoglio, speaks of “the goodness and zeal” of the Franciscan missionaries who worked to death untold thousands of aboriginal men, women and children on their slave plantations in California. Bergoglio also recently pardoned some 10,000 of his own child raping priests, no doubt in the same spirit of “doing good”: at least, good for his institution. Human beings, especially when goaded on and justified by religion, always adorn their crimes in a halo of goodness.

 I’ve had personal experience of what I speak about. For over twenty years in Canada I’ve lived and worked with and documented the stories of many survivors of the mostly catholic run Indian residential school death camps, where over 60,000 children died. Half of these children never came back, because at the hands of priests and nuns they were ritually tortured, routinely starved, trafficked, experimented upon, flogged, gang raped and killed en masse with smallpox and tuberculosis. Not one catholic priest has ever gone to jail in Canada for any of these crimes, nor will they. These killers are above the law as it stands now. And having had the misfortune of speaking with enough of them, I know that these complicit clergy are still convinced that they were only trying to do good to the little brown savages, by killing their bodies to save their souls, to quote the foundational catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas.

 So perhaps we need to redefine the term “doing good” in a better way, using this simple definition: to do good means to do no harm to others and to let them be themselves. Of course, under that definition you immediately condemn the Roman Catholic church, which has killed more people than any institution in human history. The church of Rome’s body count is well over fifty million corpses, ever since it was made a legal corporation by Emperor Constantine in the year 317.

 Alright, that all may be true, sputter the defenders of Rome, so nobody’s perfect! But look at all the charitable works the church does as well! Isn’t that good?

 Well, in that sense, perhaps tonight’s topic for debate should have been titled instead: Was there any good in Pablo Escobar, the head of the criminal syndicate known as the Medellin drug cartel? For Pablo engaged in lots of charitable good works for the poor folks of Colombia. Just like the Roman Catholic church of which he was a loyal dues-paying member, Pablo used his ill gotten loot to build shelters for the homeless, playgrounds for slum kids and soup kitchens for the hungry. Sure, that charitable money was covered in blood and paid for by the early deaths from drug addiction of the very same poor people, but still, it was doing some good, wasn’t it?

 My analogy between Pablo Escobar and the Vatican is more than fitting, since the Vatican Bank is heavily invested in the international drug cartels as well as the arms and human trafficking industries that go hand in hand. GMO companies, big pharma, the biggest small arms company in the world, Beretta Limited, even dozens of online internet porn companies: all of these 100% Vatican investments pay for the goodies doled out to the deserving poor people who kiss the claw that feeds them.

 So let’s take on directly the suggestion that the roman catholic church, as the world’s richest and least accountable corporation, plays a major role in providing charitable sustenance to the world’s needy. Let’s ask, what percentage of the church’s annual revenue actually goes towards charitable works? It’s an important question, not only for this debate, but because the only legal basis for the church to be exempt from paying taxes under the law of nations is that they must devote all – not a portion, but all – of its collected revenue for either the advancement of religion or the practice of charity. Well, right there, you can knock out the roman catholic church, unless someone wants to explain what money laundering for the mafia, buying cruise missiles for third world dictators, or issuing routine bribes to politicians and governments all over the world have to do with either religion or charity.

 What percentage of the catholic church’s revenue goes towards charity? Less than one percent: at least in America. For tellingly, that’s the only country in the world where the church consistently publishes any of its financial records. After all, the Vatican is a closed, self-governing, totally unaccountable body, like any secret criminal society. But that inconvenient, lingering notion of the separation of church and state found in the American constitution requires that even the catholic church has to create an appearance of transparency. And so, according to the US government, in the year 2013 the catholic church in America had a net revenue of $13.4 billion. And that’s just in one country, where only about 15% of the world’s Catholics are found.

 By projection, the annual income for the Vatican must be in the hundreds of billions of dollars, not just from all those collection plates but from its massive global investment portfolio and its secret financial concordat agreements with over one hundred governments that channel a regular percentage of all of government tax revenue into the vatican bank.

 But coming back to America, the one country where a light is shone on the murky underworld of Vatican finances: according to the same self-audit of the catholic church, of the $13.4 billion raked in during 2013, only 1.1% of it went into charity. But since half of that amount came from government grants to catholic aid societies, in reality only .6% of their income went from their bank accounts into charities. But since those charities are mostly owned and operated by the church, it just means that one hand of the octopus is feeding the other.

 One half of one percent, friends. The truth is that the roman catholic church is not a force for charitable works. It is in fact a huge criminal racket, a money-sucking corporation kept afloat by every taxpayer in the world.

 Okay, then, let’s turn to the other basis for the church not paying a dime of taxes: the advancement of religion. What percentage of its time and money goes towards advancing its particular, and might I say extremely violent, religious creed? Less than ten percent. That’s the time each week a priest spends conducting prayers, masses or catechism classes, according to a statement from the Vatican’s governing College of Cardinals, who in 2014 issued an internal report concerning the training and ordination of its priests. The main job of the clergy, according to the Cardinals, is the material and social upkeep of the church, the safeguard of its traditions and operations, and the expansion of its income and membership. Somebody tell me where God, let alone Jesus, enters into any of that.

 Strike Two. That’s a baseball term, by the way. I don’t play cricket.

 The third and final strike against the roman catholic church lies in its real and not imagined nature, once its enormous pretense and lie is pulled back and we see it for what it is, historically and today. But to do so, and to pierce the mental fog surrounding the Vatican Incorporated, we must realize that the catholic church is not a Christian church at all. On the contrary, it is in every respect a cult of Emperor worship derived from late third century Rome, not from the historic Jesus nor from the early Christian church. This fact is crucial if we are to deal with the mental confusion of many people, atheists included, who ponder helplessly, “But how can a body that preaches about the love of Jesus cause mass murder, genocide and institutionalized child rape?”

 Of course, the simple answer to that is that it’s always the worst child rapist in town who has the most sterling reputation. The latter is needed as a cloak by any crook: the bigger the felony, the sweeter the coating. Talk, my friends, is easy, especially from a pulpit.

But let’s not forget what Jesus warned, “Many false prophets will come in my name and say ‘I am the Christ’. But do not be fooled: by their works you shall know them.”

 We can see the works of the papacy all too well: conquest, brutality, just wars, genocide, inquisitions and the crushing of the human spirit. And it all began when the Roman Emperors Aurelian and Constantine created the Roman Catholic church on the murdered bones of the early Christian movement. That Church of Rome was an extension and continuation of that other big killing machine, the Roman Empire.

 For the proof of this you need look no further than the Pope’s official title, which is Pontifex Maximus, which means the great bridge, between heaven and earth. That was the Latin title of the Emperors of Rome, starting with Aurelian in the year 275, who also assumed the title “Deus et Dominus”: God and Master. One man who has become god. First that was the emperor, and now, to a catholic, it is the pope. Christ is no longer the link to God, but a man is, elected and elevated blasphemously over humanity, even over God, by other old men in funny suits.

 Not surprisingly, every newly elected pope is given the title Vicarii Christi, which in Latin means “the replacement of Christ”. In black and white, it’s right there: Catholicism is the replacement of Christianity, an empire of conquest and wealth relying on the means of the world and not the way of Christ. Just look at its body count. And listen to these admissions of guilt, right from the horses’ mouths: statements from various popes down the centuries that have never been contradicted or reputed by any of their successors:

 Pope Boniface in 1302: “We declare that it is necessary for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff”.

 Pope Leo in 1520: “The Pope is Christ himself on earth.”

 Pope Pius in 1929: “Fascism is simply the doctrines of our faith made the law and government.”

 Pope John in 1962: No man may enter into Christ unless he be led there by the sovereign Pontiff.”

 Pope John Paul II in 1996: “Have no fear when men call me Christ on earth, for I am he.”

 Pope Benedict in 2008: “You need not go to Christ for salvation. Come to me.”

 Pope Francis in 2016: “Christ made himself sin, made himself the devil, for our salvation. Only the church and its magesterium can claim holy infallibility.”

 Had enough?

 Is it any wonder that such a power-obsessed, megalomaniac religion makes itself unaccountable, sees nothing wrong with its crimes, and uses the images and words of Christ to delude and soak its millions of duped followers to believe that a bit of communion wafer, or a papal blessing, or the right amount of cash delivered into church coffers, will buy their way into heaven, as if one can?

 I saw it for myself, when I was last in Rome in 2011: right there in the Vatican museum – a display board for buying indulgences, just like in Martin Luther’s day. Special papal blessings cost only 150 euros! Imagine! The more you spend the closer you get to heaven! Although be warned: apparently “God” prefers credit cards to cash. How right he was when pope Leo said in 1520, “This myth of Christ has served us well.”

 The most dangerous group in the world is a super wealthy cult that sees itself as god, superior to everyone, and therefore justified in doing whatever is needed to protect itself and rule the world. A cult, in other words, like the church of Rome.

 What other than a cult can operate according to a criminal policy like Crimen Sollicitationas, which has been a binding catholic church law since 1929? That policy states that whenever a child is raped or otherwise harmed by a priest the police are not to be told and the victim is to be silenced; and that if anyone speaks of the harm they will face excommunication. Clearly, the god of Rome, like the mafia, cannot tolerate a snitch. Better instead to operate under a global criminal conspiracy to aid and abet child rapists and killers than to cost the church a lawsuit or save a child’s life. And yet despite all of this criminal arrangement, the world keeps wondering why there is so much child rape within the church of Rome. Are we all that blind? Do we think that a lion isn’t going to devour lambs?

 Absolute power corrupts absolutely, said the British politician John Acton. He was referring to the church of Rome when he made that statement – something conveniently left out of the history books. The catholic church is absolutely corrupt, but it also corrupts whoever is near to it: like all who attend it, who fund it, who associate with it or rent its halls or smile on its policies or public relations gestures: all who do so partake in that corruption. And under the law of God and of mankind, those human accessories are equally guilty of all of its crimes.

 The only good that can be said to come out of this most violent, corrupt and anti-Christ body in history is how its evil awakens people to the need for a return to the simple words, witness and spirit of Jesus that have always been the chief adversary of Rome.

 Jesus founded a community of called out just people, a remnant not of this world, a congregation, not a church. Nowhere did Jesus speak of popes, of bishops, of rituals and ceremonies by which someone would mediate him and God to others. He said that the kingdom of heaven lay within each of us, not outside, in a communion wafer or a religious ritual. That inner kingdom of Christ alone is the guide of all true Christians, who must come out from and be separate from all false and violent churches that deny God in practice. And that is the task of any deluded soul still caught within the fatal clutch of Rome and its blasphemous illusions and depravities.

As America’s founding fathers said, We hold this truth to be self-evident. And one of those men, the second US President, John Adams, said “A free government and the Roman Catholic religion can never exist together in any nation or country. Liberty and Popery are opposed.” The nature of an ancient corporate evil like the church of rome does not change over time – it simply alters its appearance, because it comes from the dark ruler of this world, the one of whom Jesus said, “He is a lie from the beginning for he is the father of lies.”

 It is a good thing to free ourselves from a lie so huge as roman catholicism. As freeborn men and women we are made for the truth, and so when we recognize it, our hearts and minds breathe freely and we return to our natural state of independence and liberty. From that place of freedom we are empowered to take action to stop criminals in every high place, whether they be popes or presidents or prime ministers. For we the people are the source of all sovereignty, of government, of the law, and of true religion. We can and must stop and arrest and confine child raping priests when the police and courts refuse to do so. We can and must shut down the churches that traffic children and have hidden their crimes over centuries. For the life of one child is more sacred than all the fanfare and rituals of any church anywhere.

 Jesus’ own prescription for child killers was simple: “Whoever would harm one of these innocent ones should have a millstone placed around his neck and be thrown into the sea.” So I wonder what Jesus would say about an entire institution that mocks God, murders with impunity, rapes and murders children and protects those who do so. Is there a millstone big enough for such an abomination?

 There is. It is we the people. Thank you.

Blast from the Past: Of Continued Relevance

NEWS RELEASE · 25th August 2010

VANCOUVER CO-OP RADIO SHUTS DOWN NATIVE JUSTICE PROGRAM “HIDDEN FROM HISTORY” AFTER NINE YEARS ON THE AIR

A Reflection by its broadcaster and host, Kevin D. Annett

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I was a budding activist in the summer of 1975, fresh out of a Vancouver high school, when Co-op Radio came into being. I remember the month it opened, in a crumbling building off Pigeon Park, long before East Hastings street had become the garbage can it is now.

An old communist sailor named Joe Hendsbee told me about the station one night over a beer at the Lotus Hotel. Joe had survived RCMP bullets on the Vancouver waterfront during the 1946 Canadian Seaman’s Union strike that had won him a lifelong blacklisting, and he didn’t have any time for idiots or fake radicals.

“They’d better do something more than talk and scratch their asses” he pronounced.

Those were the days when nobody felt the need to be politically correct, because people were authentic back then. They did what they promised. When you called a protest, five hundred people would show up, padded and armed with clubs to fend off the riot cops. When we rallied, we’d tie up traffic on a business day and never apply for a permit to gather – not politely assemble on a weekend at a closed government office, like nowadays.

Joe and I checked out Co-op Radio, and at a general meeting he pissed off some of the feminists by asking one of them out.

“How the hell was I to know she was a lesbian?” he bemoaned, later.

But nobody made a big deal about it. People were less paranoid and suspicious back then. We weren’t ego-bound. We knew we could overturn the world.

Over the years, Co-op Radio gradually acquired the middle aged layers of fat that adhere to anyone or anything that stays stuck. As the government grants arrived, so did domestication and bureaucracy. During the early 1980′s, I worked for a while on a labor program with the Canadian Farmworkers’ Union, and I remember the horror I felt when asked to fill out a form about our show for the government’s federal CRTC agency.

“You mean they monitor us, like Big Brother?” I exclaimed to the program host, who was equally appalled.

That just wasn’t on back then, any more than was the thought of being filmed by a close circuit video camera. We would have assumed you were nuts, or joking, if you had have told us that one day, Co-op Radio would be monitored by many such cameras, inside and out.

And yet for all the creeping Orwellian restrictions all around us and at the station, just knowing there was a space on the airwaves that was still moderately open and offering some alternatives was a lifeline during the regressive 1980’s – and the ‘90’s. The stupidity of Reaganism and Thatcherism, and their contrived, profit-driven scare of nuclear Armageddon, injected a new and deadly demon into our collective veins: Fear. And out of that toxin sprang distrust.

People of my generation and those who followed learned to be cautious and to worry about everything. From 500 souls at a spontaneous protest, our numbers fell to fifty or less. Many of us no longer knew that we could change the world. We had lost our faith, and self-concern replaced valor.

We are adrift in the cesspool created by those times, and for those of us who survived that era with our principles and our drive intact, we have had to fight against the stream and not go under to keep truth and clarity alive. Co-op Radio helped me and some others do that at critical moments: not because of its policies or the station staff, but simply because the space it provided helped us to remain ourselves and be freely heard.

In the fall of 2001 I returned to Co-op Radio after a long hiatus, when I was invited to share over the air my labors with Indian residential school survivors, and our evidence of church-sponsored genocide in Canada. I launched a new program that I named “Hidden from History”, based on a book I had just written. I was guided by a single aim: to give a public voice to the survivors of the worst crime in Canadian history, long before anyone – whether native or white – wanted to.

Lindsay Bickford was one of the bright souls who ushered me back into the station then. A gentle but ornery guy in his seventies, Lindsay operated as my techie for a few years.

Lindsay would spontaneously break into tears and sob when one of my guests would describe their torture, or the death of a friend, at a residential school. Afterwards, Lindsay would rush from his little booth to the native man or woman before they left the station and embrace them with a completely open and unassuming love, urging them to stay strong and pure, and to come back again. Of course, if anyone ever banged the table or fiddled with the mikes during a show, Lindsay would flail his arms and scream in anger from the other side of the glass with equal passion. And woe betide me if I didn’t announce the station I.D. every fifteen minutes!

Lindsay died suddenly one day, and when I conducted his funeral in the spring of 2004, I remember telling the many mourners that afternoon that Lindsay had made me a vegetarian, for awhile at least, by his own personal example, which was simply that he had an unflagging love for all living creatures.

As the best of us went that way and the years passed, our Hidden from History program persisted, and it kept something alive that began to shake the very foundations of the Canada we knew. From those airwaves, voices began to open sealed graves and official secrets. Churches were confronted and occupied by the same stumbling men and women who found their lost voice on our airwaves. Official Canada was forced into a pseudo “apology”, and even some admissions of criminality. The women who still go missing were remembered, and their murderers named. The myth of a liberal, decent Canada was forever shattered because of the struggling men and women who spoke every week on our show.

But more vitally, the program saved lives. As one survivor recently told me, “Doing Hidden from History let me be myself.” The freedom to speak what we are without fear, in season and out, is part of our soul’s right to breathe, and sharing that right brings life again to even the most unlikely of people.

Every week, I fought to give William Combes and Bingo Dawson and Harry Wilson and a hundred others like them the right not to be censored, not to crawl away with their pain and die from it, but to shout it to a world that wouldn’t listen, to name the names and demand something as unattainable as justice.

It worked. William survived longer than he would have, thanks to that microphone. So did Bingo, and Harry. Their torture didn’t hold them, during that blessed hour from one to two p.m. every Monday, when we gathered as in a sacred circle to simply tell the truth. Somehow, they acquired their manhood again.

Often, ten or twelve people would show up fresh from the street and crowd Studio B in a noisy and joyous clamor, each wanting to share something of their life or some latest brutality. I never had to worry about scheduling the truth. It always arrived and was heard. And often it sang, like when homeless Ricky Lavallee would arrive with a battered and near-stringless guitar, and belt out a new tune of his about seeing Jesus that day, laid out and drunk behind a dumpster.

The spontaneous nature of our show raised hackles among the senior staff, especially those like station manager Leela Chinniah who would one day axe our program on government orders. I was told I needed to be careful about allowing people to speak of murders. I was told to restrict people, and guide them, and structure everything.

It didn’t impress me much, that fearful need for management, nor did it the way that station policy was selectively enforced or ignored at the whim of the staff. I saw programmers who weren’t liked by particular staff people ostracized and forced to give up their shows; and those who were favored granted privileges and rights denied to the rest of us. But the worst filth was never seen until it was too late, as Leela and the other staffers went behind our backs and made a secret deal with a corporate media mogul named Jim Pattison to buy up the station. And all the time, these actors in deceit justified everything with the same politically correct lingo.

Hannah Arendt observed that evil is mostly banal, utterly sure of itself and bureaucratically incapable of hearing any voice but its own. So too with the now-extinguished Vancouver Co-op Radio, and those who pretend to run it. 

But now is not the time to mire our spirit in banality, especially in the light of the victorious nine years that I was honored to establish and share Hidden from History, and help change the nation. Now is the time for all of us, bureaucrats included, to rise to the opportunity granted to us by William and Harry and Bingo, and those many others who will no longer sit with me in Studio B.

Opportunities in life come and go too rapidly to notice, and in our daily stumbling, these golden chances are easily lost. The truth is, we who were Hidden from History held out every Monday to anyone who would truly listen a priceless gift: the chance to know what we are really a part of, here in “Canada ” – our true legacy on this land, and how we can overcome its blood and horror. And we did so not by speaking “about” the truth, but by embodying it.

The Beast that is devouring all of us can only tolerate that kind of upsetting example for so long. Then it takes careful aim and strikes at the head of the threat, and the others scatter – for a time. Thus do I find myself now on the outside of what had been our voice, after so long, as the calumny and deceit tries to discard me and our witness like so much refuse.

But that is only the present moment. We have made our mark, and its impact continues to swell like an approaching off-shore Tsunami.

Shortly before he was killed by three Vancouver cops last December, Bingo Dawson – a regular on our program – showed a rare joy in his eyes when I asked him to come with me to Rome and help confront the Pope for what his church did to Bingo’s people. He paused and looked around the struggling human ebb and flow from his perch at Main and Hastings street. And then he said,

“I wish we could bring all of this shit with us there to make them see.”

I can’t remember how I responded, but then Bingo gave me a happier look and continued,


“Remember when me and Frank invaded that Anglican church with our banner, about the missing kids? And we got locked in there with all of those idiots and those priests went ballistic in panic?”

I nodded, smiling and remembering. Then Bingo said,

“That was the best.”

As George Orwell wrote about a stranger he briefly met who was later killed fighting fascism during the Spanish Civil War,

For the look I saw in your eye,
No power can disinherit.
No bomb that ever burst
shatters the crystal spirit.

Struggle and survive, O you poets and witnesses.


The Great Looting: A Post-America Obituary on the Road to Revolution

by Kevin D. Annett

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The wealthy parasites, the pimps, the criminals had all fled like drowning rats to Havana’s docks as the insurgents approached the capital. But ahead of them the dictator Batista had already left the country with the entire Cuban treasury in his pockets, billions of pesos stolen from the people. In their final days the rulers of the collapsing order showed their true face.- Che Guevara, Cuban revolutionary, 1965

Trump’s latest tax cuts for the super rich will kill at least ten thousand poor Americans every year by taking away what little health insurance they have. - former Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers, December 4, 2017

O, let America be America again! The land that never has been and yet must be: the land where every man is free. The land that’s mine: the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s: the ones who made America, whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain, whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain, must bring back our mighty dream again. From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives, we must take back our land again! O yes, I say it plain, America never was America to me; and yet I swear this oath: America will be! Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death, the rape and rot of graft and stealth and lies, We the People must redeem the land, the mines, the plants, the rivers and the endless plain: and make America again. - Langston Hughes, Let America be America Again, 1938

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrqeywXhKfY

The other day an unusually astute media pundit remarked that no-one seemed to be in charge in Washington anymore. The nation’s capital, he observed, felt like “the last day of a massive closing-out sale, where everything has to go”.

It should be mundanely self-evident by now that the wealth of America is being systematically looted by a tiny class of super-rich traitors, epitomized by the felonious psychopath in the White House who calls himself a President. This past week the Republicans cut taxes to the rich and thereby increased the national deficit by over a trillion dollars: a loss that will be shouldered by already-crushed low income Americans. The fact that Mr. Trump and all the other billionaries in his cabinet will personally profit from their tax bill by soaking the nation and killing low income Americans doesn’t seem to bother many of those same victimized poor folks who suicidally voted for him, any more than does the “President’s” treasonous philandering with foreign powers.

That said, the media pundit’s sage observation about the “closing out sale” state of the United States government was accompanied by the comment that even to the Republicans, Donald Trump is nothing more than a convenient figure head these days, “someone to sign the bills and not do anything too stupid”, in his words. Almost like a dictator about to pack up and leave a sinking and looted ship, he may have added.

In fact, it isn’t just America’s wealth and its people that are being ravaged, but the government itself. Since his election, Trump and his ever-shrinking circle of minions have systematically dismantled the Justice and State Departments and prevented them from operating. All of the professional diplomats and civil servants – and anyone who comes close to uncovering Trump’s own criminal activities – have been purged. According to one of the cashiered State Department officials, “The White House seems intent on destroying the fabric of effective and responsible government in a manner that can only benefit our enemies.” (October 12, 2017)

Like Russia and China, perhaps?

Of course, as every honest soul soon discovers, one’s real enemy is not in some far-off land but right at home, and often masquerading under a cloak of patriotism. But even that garb has been stripped from the Trump administration nowadays as its putrid “rich guys only” agenda stands so naked and exposed that hopefully even the stupid can’t ignore it.

The issue now is what is to be done about it.

There’s a woman in her seventies named Judy Wanchisn who may have an answer. She lives in the heartland of the nation, in a small pastoral community of seven hundred people called Grant Township, Pennsylvania. Since October of 2012, she and her family and friends have stood up to a giant corporation and its friends in government that want to inject toxic fracking waste water into their land. But the Grant folks have done so with a weapon as potent as the one that fusiladed British troops at Concord and Lexington in 1775: a proclamation of community self-governance. In a word, they are reclaiming their country from the corporations that run it.

The battle Judy and the others face is not really the obvious one, against the combined money and power of business and government, and their lackey courts. It’s in truth a fight for an idea, against the dead weight of conformity and programmed subservience that passes for “democracy” in a corporatized world. That idea formed the American Republic and has persisted for over two centuries: namely, that people’s inborn right to govern themselves under their own laws outweighs all other interests and statutes. It’s an idea as revolutionary and disruptive now, and as necessary, as it was in 1776.

On whatever front the American people and every other people fight for justice and survival today, this single idea always raises its head. Who will rule, the people or an elite? This issue can easily be forgotten or lost in the stream of legalese and arbitrary authority that descends the moment that vested interests are challenged. But any struggle eventually faces that issue, which is one of power and who will wield it.

Judy Wanchisn and her neighbours in Grant Township have found this out the hard way. And the repressive Corporatocracy that considers itself the law has been their best teacher.

“Everything is the opposite of the way it should be now” Judy Wanchisn told me the first time we spoke. “The Environmental Protection people are helping the company destroy our land and our water. The courts are denying us our constitutional rights and our right to life. All we’re doing is trying to remain free Americans who are defending their homes.”

Judy is a stubbornly free woman. Spearheading the Grant Township resistance, she didn’t back down to Pennsylvania state court orders that allowed the company, Pennsylvania General Energy (PGE), to poison her home. In response, Judy, her daughter Stacy and their neighbours issued a local Home Rule Charter that nullified the court order and not only banned any fracking deposits but devolved political power to their township, making them self-governing. As a sovereign authority, their Township then legalized civil disobedience to preserve the land and recognized the rights of nature and its creatures under the law.

A shot heard ’round the world, indeed! The Grant Township action has caught the imagination of many others. Already, inspired by the example of the Pennsylvanians, local townships in Maine, Michigan and Colorado are passing similar Home Rule Charters to empower them to wage their own local battles against predatory corporations. The Grant Township’s establishment of direct democracy especially gained traction after they gained coverage in the Rolling Stone magazine in May of this year.(http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-a-small-town-is-standing-up-to-fracking-w482577 )

History shows us how the repercussion of a single act can eventually shake down the strongest tower of oppression, but only if it is learned from and generalized by many others. Judy Wanchisn and her neighbors have made such an act. The Grant Township seizure of its own self-governance is a genuine working answer to the corporate tyranny of Donald Trump and his ilk that has subverted the American Republic. America must be created again from its grassroots. But that can only be done by its citizens relearning freedom and the courage to reclaim what has been taken from them: their personal and communal liberty, which is our real nation’s very heart and soul.

This new but very familiar American Revolution is greater than politics and the sordid bi-polar two-partyism that’s run by the same wealthy masters. As Judy Wanchisn points out, their self-governance Charter was approved by more than 80% of the people in their community, both Democrats and Republicans. The usual divide and conquer malaise by which the few rule the many has been shattered by the people of Grant Township. And thus armed, everything becomes possible for them.

The waters are rising and many of us have already gone under. But as long as the idea and the spirit of independence and freedom remains so too will our heartland. As John Adams said in 1781, the Revolution dwelt first in the hearts and minds of the people before the first shot was ever fired. So too today. A new fire is spreading in our people, unseen by official politicians and media alike. Like the Great Spiritual Awakening of the 1740′s that inwardly freed our ancestors and allowed them to launch their political revolution, a new light has appeared in the very midst of our gloom. It is carried and found in the witness of the Judy Wanchisns of America. Our 1776 is approaching once again, even more quickly than we realize. In fact it has already arrived.

To arms, then, citizens. In your own communities, take back the law, the government, and the land. You carry within you all that you need to reclaim the Republic of America, and establish it once again.

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For more information on the community self-government movement or to contact the Grant Township movement, see https://celdf.org or write to thecommonland@gmail.com .