The tide of dissent is only rising in the U.S., with the roar of protests sweeping the streets of major cities. The anti-war marches are continuing and new rallies are being planned. The voice of op-position continues to echo across the world. Meanwhile, the global justice movement was successful in Miami, de-railing the meeting of FTAA leaders. However, the FBI is now collecting data on the anti-war movement, and the disgusting display of police brutality in Miami is proof that the government is trying to crush the two largest national and global movements occurring, which are the global justice and peace movements.Information leaked to The New York Times states that the FBI has been collecting information on anti-war demonstrators and groups. The FBI statements, sent to local law enforcement agencies in Washington and San Francisco, said that the protestors sometimes use “training camps” to prepare for demonstrations. The memorandum sent to the local agencies also stated that the groups have been using money raised on the Internet to provide gas masks, in order to defend against tear gas. This is the kind of language that is placed upon terrorists. Peace demonstrations have been peaceful and calm over the last year. Violence was minimal, and the FBI shouldn’t have the right to spy on anti-war activists and groups. The FBI is claiming they’re just trying to target anarchists, but that’s probably unlikely. Martin Luther King, Malcom X, and activist Abbi Hoffman, author of Steal This Book, were all bugged and targeted in the 1960s, among many other activists who made their voices heard. They didn’t partake in violence, but they created revolution and opposition. They led the wave of change, that swept through the country at the time. The anti-war movement has obviously become a thorn in the side of the Bush administration, if the FBI is going to collect data on rallies and groups. The voice of dis-sent is ringing in the ears of the U.S. government, and the movement isn’t fading. The recent October 25th rally had over 50,000 people, marching along the streets. Another rally is planned for March 20th, one year after the war began.
In the middle of November, global justice protestors took to Miami’s streets, to protest a meeting of FTAA leaders. The protestors were met with fierce brutality, including, rubber bullets, tear gas, and pepper spray. Roughly $8.5 million was used to beef up security and riot police for the rally. Over one hundred protestors were injured, 12 were hospitalized, and over 250 people were arrested. After the Miami City Commission passed an anti-protestor ordinance, protestors were even arrested for flyering in the city. Despite the brutality, the protestors were successful in derailing the meeting. They achieved a victory, but the victory came at the price of arrest, injuries, and injustice.
The acts of brutality, during the Miami rally and the FBI surveillance of the anti-war movement only proves that the rallies are making an impact. The Bush administration must think that the outspoken, important movements are going to be silenced with wiretaps, batons, and tear gas, but they’re not going to be. The voice of dissent will rise above such injustice and assault on freedom of speech and civil liberties. Americans have the right to protest, and those who want global justice and peace will con-tinue to make their voices heard.
Brian Fanelli is a sophomore majoring in comparative literature.