Orange Alert for democratic rights: the judge's decision

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Tue Feb 11 08:10:55 MST 2003

I would not say there is an Orange Alert for democratic rights. I think the
"alert" level has gone off the scale. This is no "alert," this is the thing

We the People no longer have any *right* to demonstrate in New York. Period.
Full Stop. End of story.

The judge said, whatever inchoate, mumbling phrase about security or safety
the ruling class is willing to articulate through its police department is
enough to trump the right to protest. This is of a piece with the judges who
have gone along with imprisonment and torture of people based on some
fourteenth-rank bureaucrat's say so that this person is an "enemy

To present the rally permit as some sort of partial victory or advance, as
some are doing is wrong, wrong in every possible way. As things stand now it
is a sop, until the ruling class feels strong enough to ban any and all
public protests. That is how it must be seen.

I think the London organizers had the right idea. They announced they WOULD
have their action no matter what the cops and the robed reactionaries of the
ruling rich in the courts imagined people were allowed to do and no do. The
cops folded.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Apostle of Cuban
Independence José Martí, who once said, "The best way to say something is to
do it."

In 1953, on his centennial year, when it seemed that Marti's light had been
forever extinguished in Cuba, there was a group of young men whoi would not
let the memory of Martí die, nor what he stood for.

That is why Fidel insisted in his trial for the attempt to raise up the
people of Cuba against the Batista dictatorship with the attack on the
Moncada Barracks on July 26, 1953, that it had not been him, but rathter
Martí that had been the "intellectual author" --as the Spanish legal phrase
has it-- the inspiration and mastermind of the Moncada attack.

The best way to say something is to do it. In the fight for the rights of
working people, facts on the ground are everything, words on some piece of
paper nothing, least of all the words of a judge's ruling or a police

Audacity, courage, discipline and determination.

Bloomberg and the ruling class are bluffing. They have not prepared the
conditions that would allow them to disperse a march by force; doing so
would be a political disaster for Bush. But allowing them to bluff their way
to it will get them a lot of the way to that goal, and it will tremendously
embolden the warmakers and the ruling class elements who clkearly, without
any doubt, have been trying to use 9/11 to bring about regime change in the
United States, a change from a bourgeois democratic regime to an open

They were willing to steal the 2000 presidential election in the plain sight
of day to advance towards the kind of regime they believe they need. They
got away with it because nobody said word one against it, the left in
particular defaulted, leaving defense of the right to have the votes of
working people and especially Blacks counted in the hands of the likes of Al
Gore. With predictable results.

I hope the New York march organizers understand fully the tremendous
responsibility that now rides with them. And in weighing how to respond, I
hope they remember Marti's words.


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