Chomsky: Only a Massive Uprising Will Change Our Politics

Are there enough progressives to stage a mass uprising in the U.S.A? Wisconsin seems to be the test. And in Wisconsin a majority of the citizens apparently elected a Republican/Tea Party dominated legislature. The eviseration of the labour movement in Wisconsin, and in your state or province might just be done democratically. That one percent of the U.S. that controls over 99 percent of the wealth, seems to have convinced the 99 percent that that is a normal and just state of affairs. Is this the last gasp of the labour movement in the U.S. (and soon in Canada), or is it the beginning of a re-birth. Peacenik is not feeling good about what is going down in Wisconsin. Editorials about Tea Party over-reach are not going to get it done. This is the pitch fork moment. But wait, who is on Dancing with The Stars. And did J-Lo really cry on American Idol this week. Is Charlie Sheen finished? Will Lindsay go to jail?

Chomsky: "What has to be done is what's happening in Madison, or Tahrir Square. If there's mass popular opposition, any political leader is going to have to respond.

NOAM CHOMSKY: We were talking about unions before. Union busting is criminal activity by the government, because they’re saying, "You can go ahead and do it; we’re not going to apply the laws," effectively. And the COINTELPRO, which you mentioned, is actually the worst systematic and extended violation of basic civil rights by the federal government. It maybe compares with Wilson’s Red Scare. But COINTELPRO went on from the late ’50 right through all of the ’60s; it finally ended, at least theoretically ended, when the courts terminated it in the early ’70s. And it was serious.

It started, as is everything, going after the Communist Party, then the Puerto Rican Independence Party. Then it extended—the women’s movement, the New Left, but particularly black nationalists. And it ended up—didn’t end up, but one of the events was a straight Gestapo-style assassination of two black organizers, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, literally. The FBI set up the assassination. The Chicago police actually carried it out, broke into the apartment at 4:00 in the morning and murdered them. Fake information that came from the FBI about arms stores and so on. There was almost nothing about it. In fact, the information about this, remarkably, was released at about the same time as Watergate. I mean, as compared with this, Watergate was a tea party. There was nothing, you know?

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