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You Have No Rights: Stories of America in an Age of Repression Paperback – July 16, 2007
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of "The Progressive" magazine.
As a student activist and progressive throughout my life, I found the incidents in the book to be important information for those of us who
truly value our first ammendment rights. The range of incidents from subuarban mall goers at a Rick Santorum book reading to a student teacher in a St. Louis high school point out how our rights to speak freely have been eviscerated by Bush and Cheney in the last seven years. After reading this book, one feels the need to do something.
It is a must read for anyone who is concerned about the future of our society.
The most chilling stories for me were the ones of students, some of whom have been frightened by their encounter with the FBI or Secret Service and are unsure where the boundaries and might be watching over their shoulders for a long time to come.
"According to the FBI statement the questioning took about twenty minutes, and at the end the agents decided not to pursue the matter further. 'The issues brought forth by the complainant were resolved, and no further action has been taken,' the statement says.
Rashed, who did not return my phone calls, has reportedly suffered adverse reactions. 'The entire experience left the student badly shaken,' says the December 2005 joint statement from the Lawyers Committee and the Council on American-Islamic Relations. 'He has since been hesitant about expressing his political views in any context.'"
I also wonder who the people are that are "the complainants". There seems to be a lot of people calling the police about other people's actions. What kind of country are we becoming?
The book clearly shows via personal experiences that today our government and the police (who are government workers) are for the most part only interested in having people obey them. They are not too worried about 'right' or 'wrong'. There is absolutely NO accountability for law 'enforcement' officials and officers as the book reveals in the numerous stories included. A cop hits you or tasers you for no good reason? Unless it's caught on video (and even if it is), nothing is done.
Some of the behavior of the police is so crazy that you wonder if they really have enough to do with their time. Like the guy who was harassed for having an 'anti Bush' bumper sticker on his car. Or the woman in the story who had FBI agents show up at her dorm room for no real reason. The one about the guy who dared say something negative to Dick Cheney was amazing, yet doesn't surprise me anymore. These stories are not enigmas or rarities, they happen more than we think (or are told). No wonder stuff gets posted on youtube, you don't hear often about the 'real story' in the print media.
I thank the author and those who agreed to have their experiences published, so that the mass of American's can have a birds eye view of what is really going down behind the scenes of the good ol' US of A.
I don't think it's a coincidence that most police departments have removed the slogan "To Serve and Protect" from their squad cars, do you?