So the news today is not good.
Our friends, the self-anointed “sheepdogs” at the CCVM have pressured a local pizza restaurant, serendipitously called Peace-a-Pizza, into canceling a fundraising event that CCPM had planned there.
After my last misfire, accusing the College Republicans of organizing to get Karen Porter off a campus-event panel, I’d be a little hesitant to accuse CCVM of sticking their noses into this one. Until we saw an e-mail in which one of their leaders proclaims, with great pride, that this is their doing and their great victory. His message, to the Sheepdogs, says:
“Congratulations patriots! Peace-A-Pizza on Gay Street in West Chester has decided to withdraw their support of the Chester County Peace Movement. It was YOUR phone calls and emails that made the difference and you are all a fine example of what pro-victory activism can achieve in a community.
If you would like to thank Peace-A-Pizza personally for withdrawing their support from an anti-American, treasonous cause, here is the contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-918-1116
This is a real victory for the CCVM and the good citizens of West Chester. It sends a clear message that we reject those who choose to demoralize our troops and weaken our country’s resolve to fight terror abroad and at home. ‘Let’s roll.'”
It’s unclear, at this point, precisely what their “pro-victory activism” looked like. It is clear, from their own message, that they harassed and intimidated a local business from serving a population in our community that is significant, sizable, legal, and peaceful. These folks need to get through their heads that there’s NOTHING wrong, immoral, unpatriotic, or even particularly dangerous about what CCPM does. They just hate us, and will do anything to try to silence us. This is the angriest, most hate-filled group of people I’ve ever encountered.
As I’ve said and written many times, I have no problem with their right to organize on behalf of their message–such as it is. They have a right to try to convince people that we’re traitors, although we’re not and they know this. It’s standard practice for the far right to do things in situations like these–
1. Be ridiculously hyperbolic. The accusation of treason, for example, is just silly. Treason is an attempt to bring down a government. What we’re doing is well within the limits of our current government and laws. Yes, we’d like to see democracy work, but that’s only a matter of pushing our government to do what it says it’s designed to do, not to destroy or overthrow it. Duh.
2. Accuse us of doing what they, in fact, are doing. If anybody in this situation is being unpatriotic, it’s them. They’re the ones who are abusing the First Amendment in order to silence dissent. They’re the ones who are in favor of shredding the constitution in order to keep us from resisting an imperial, illegal occupation. They’re the ones who say out of one side of their mouths that they fought for our freedom, but out of the other that we shouldn’t be able to use that freedom on behalf of justice.
You don’t get to have it both ways, sheepdogs. Freedom (as you put it) isn’t worth defending if you then turn around and insist that nobody can use it unless you approve the message.