We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, November 25, 2011

"Death to Al Sa`ud" Chants by Thousands in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province: A Game Changer?

Click here to access article from Jadaliyya.
Protests in this predominantly Shi`i region evolved after  Sunday's shooting. Thousands swarmed the streets calling for the "Death to Al Sa`ud" (i.e., death to the Saudi royal family).
Even people in armed-to-the-teeth Saudi Arabia are fighting back against their US satrap. No amount of repression can keep people down indefinitely. Ruling classes that exist only through the use of force have much to fear. Human beings are very adaptable, but there are limits, and these limits are being tested in many parts of the world today.  People throughout history have expressed this basic component of human nature in various ways:
Give me liberty, or give me death!
Patrick Henry - March 23, 1775, at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia (Virginia Convention)
There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.
Mario Savio - December 2, 1964, University of California, Berkeley, California.
And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers? Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
Martin Luther King - April 3, 1968, Mason Temple, Memphis, Tennessee.