All Quiet On Albuquerque's West Side
Reinforcement protesters are reported to be streaming into Istanbul, and protests have spread to other cities, after the government attacked the 50,000 protesters in Istanbul with tear gas and water cannons today, killing at least one woman with a tear gas grenade.
The Erdogan government's increasingly dictatorial rule is behind the protests, as The Guardian reports, but its focus has become the occupation of a city park that Erdogan wants to turn into a shopping mall, i.e., wants to take from the people and hand over to the wealthy. One Facebook post said it's the last remaining green space in Istanbul's downtown. Posts about today's developments are being ignored by the corporate media and everyone is urgently getting the world out. It's flooding Facebook tonight. I've not seen such an explosion about one topic since the height of the Occupy protests.
|People streaming into Istanbul earlier today|
Khaled Akil took this video from his balcony tonight.
Here at the soon to be fashionable Tierre Pointe apartment's on Albuquerque's West Side it's quiet, a typical Friday night. The predominately Hispanic residents, largely young families and single working men and women, have either gone to bed or are watching TV with the sound down. These people work. Once in awhile, a group of people will move into an apartment here and I'll walk by on my way to work and they'll be hanging out on the landing and they'll be up late partying and making some noise, but they don't stay long. When I come home at around 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning, it's always easy to find a parking place. Everyone who works and drives a car is already at work.
Last night on my way out to Holbrook I listened to a podcast from Global Research, a radical Canadian web site that's widely read in the US. They were talking about the TPP, the Trans Pacific Partnership.
The TPP is a trade deal being secretly negotiated by the Obama Administration, although some drafts have been leaked. Privvy to the deal at present are the governments of the US, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, and, according to Global Research, 600 US corporations who are party to the agreement and who, unlike the people of the United States, can read the drafts and have input into the negotiations. The US government's web site about the TPP is directed at these "stakeholders" and lists the briefings they can attend.
The TPP is in part an attempt to create an economic noose around China's neck, the economic arm of President Obama's military "pivot to the east", but it also represents the new breed of so called free trade agreement, that establishes tribunals in which corporations can sue a government for damages when any of that government's policies or laws harm the corporation's profits, and even future profits. Some of these pacts are already in effect and have been used to counteract environmental laws and citizens' movements. The TPP, and another agreement being negotiated between Canada and the European Union, will bring a lot more of the world under their purview. They are being called massive corporate power grabs.
I came home this morning to read an article by William T Hathaway, a US ex-patriot who lives in Germany, about how the Democratic Party, Leftist media, and unions, channel peoples' anger and rebellion into manageable channels. This is a longstanding critique and one I've written about myself. Hathaway laid out a concise outline of the problem, but the comments under his article soon became an argument over whether Leftists should abandon or reform the Democratic Party, and then over what the true history of the Democratic Party really is.
This is how it is on the Left. There's always broad agreement over what the problems are, and always a lack of unity when it comes to deciding what to do. Everyone wants their ideas heard, their solutions adopted. There's posturing, ego, splitting and fracturing, until something like Occupy comes along, or the situation in Istanbul. Suddenly everyone's focus is shifted away from themselves and to that. It's all the talk on Facebook. The human dynamic begins to take affect that leads to mass movement, mass action. Rebellion becomes possible. Sometimes revolution breaks out.
There's always a question about whether or not people in power are consciously aware, all the time, of this potential in the masses, and about the extent to which they take active measures to prevent and forestall the restive part of human nature. There's talk about how the internet as an avenue for free expression is under threat, and how the corporate media serves the interests of those in power.
That those in power are unconsciously aware of the threat posed by the masses is not in question. Human nature is such that anyone, anywhere, does what they do in large part to keep what they have, their status, their possessions, to hold onto whatever it is that provides them with their sense of security.
There's been a lot of talk about the increasing power of Hispanics in America, less about what lengths the dominant grouping of people might do to hang onto their privileged status which, the daily struggle being what it is, most don't even know they have until it becomes threatened. All over the Middle East and in parts of Africa you can see what happens when divisions in the working class are created and exploited. Workers are killing and raping and torturing each other and blowing each other up. Not just political parties but whole nations are fracturing.
Elsewhere you can see what happens when peoples' attention is focused on the ways in which power is exercised over them for the benefit of the wealthy, as in Frankfurt, Germany today where protesters decended on the headquarters of the European Central Bank, and in Iraq and Syria today, and in Istanbul, where average people in jogging pants and windbreakers didn't go to work today but streamed into the downtown, en masse, in solidarity with people they've never met, answering an unconscious, primal urge to survive they didn't even know was there.
But here, on the West Side of Albuquerque, there's peace and quiet. Tonight.