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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
WyoWoman Starbucks under terror threat (63* d) RE: STARBUCKS UNDER TERROR THREAT 02 Feb 02

I'd match donut-eating reporters against donut-eating cops any day. I once thought of a book plot in which a terrorist organization wanted to wipe out the media and the police force in the same day, so cadres of radicals bearing poisoned pastries descended on every newsroom and cop shop in the country. From my experience in newrooms, the media would bite the dust first.

And, I don't think our choices are simply anarchy or slavery to the multinationals. I also don't think the people throwing heavy objects through the glass at Starbucks represent any but a tiny sliver of the protest movement right now. I also think there are agents provocateur who are out there specifically for the purpose of providing the media some sexy coverage that makes all the people who object to the abuses of the corporate system look like foaming-at-the-mouth, violent radicals. Personally, I don't have trouble with business large or small, if human rights, environmental initelligence and economic justice are built into the system. What enrages me is a system in which the corporations visit various injustices and environmental horrors on us and operate as de facto government all over the world, but have absolutely no accountability to the "governed," and came into their roles of overlord by utterly un-democratic means.

Now WHY are people who are agitating for grassroots democracy so frequently characterized as "radical" or "violent" or "anti-American" or just as fools? What's THAT agenda all about? Could it be a way to marginalize people who are trying to exercise their rights as sovereign citizens, in such a way that they can't calll those companies to account? I certainly think so.

Could it also be a result of reporters and editors -- PARTICULARLY televion media -- who are either too over-worked, too busy, too shallow or too arrogant to educate themselves on what the actual issues are, so they just accept the ever-so-smooth party line and dismiss the concerns of the great unwashed as being just too outside the "mainstream" to even investigate? I certainly think that as well.

But what's at stake? Is it just a cup or two of coffee? A pair of running shoes? Or is it a choice between a life that's manageable and real and over which we and the other actual people on the planet have some say, versus a world in which we are insignificant cogs in machinery that is so shrouded in "spin" and outright deception that we can't even see where to throw in a wrench, and an environment that is so unloved and degraded that none of us will have a fighting chance at health or the pursuit of happiness? I think there are some true divergences in vision happening here and that we are smart to inform ourselves and attend to them.

I don't want to fight anyone, I don't want to make anyone get tear-gassed or pepper-sprayed or arrested--and I don't want to create a situation in which hard-working good-guy cops are forced to do the gassing or arresting. So my preference and commitment are that change take place courtesy of our greatest weapons: our buying power and our willingness to stand for something other than our own comfort. We have choices and we're fools not to use them. One of these days, we won't.

But violence begets violence, and lord knows, we've all seen enough of that.

For some ideas and examples of iniatives that actually CAN work--and information on why this matters, read Frances Moore-Lappe's new book "Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet," and Lester Brown's "Eco-Economy: Building an Economy for the Earth."

This isn't easy work. I'm trying to change the way I eat, the way I dress, the way I buy and get myself to work and on and on and on -- and it's just a bear to try and get off of auto-pilot and into consciousness about the choices I make. Some days,I'm successful, some days I just go buy the goddamned fast food, eat in my car and drive on. But if enough of us keep looking hard enough at what we do, how we do and where our money goes, we can make substantial difference in the world we see in a few years.

Sorry for the soapbox, but as you can see, these issues are near and dear to my heart.


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