From Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers, by Matthew Vadum (WND Books):
Rathke is usually quite careful about what he says in public. He soft-pedals his radicalism with positive-sounding phrases such as “citizen wealth” and “participatory democracy,” but from time to time even a master manipulator can slip up. His essay “Tactical Tension” is a case in point. It dates back to mid-2001 when the Left was in a stupor.
Liberal and radical activists were angry and demoralized because their would-be savior, Democratic candidate Al Gore, had just barely lost the presidency to George W. Bush. Although there has never been any credible evidence that Republicans stole the election, it became an article of faith on the Left that the GOP had deprived the American people of their rightful president. Many on the Left had high hopes for Gore after Bill Clinton tacked toward the political center and now those hopes were dashed.
To this perceived affront to democracy, Wade Rathke offered his comrades a declaration of war. His militant rant is very revealing.
Rathke argues that the Left is losing and needs to get more aggressive.
“We need an edge, some harder steel on the rim,” he writes. “If some day we want to make more just laws, then today we may have to just learn to break more laws.” In a “wish list,” he includes “[t]actics that include civil disobedience and political defiance” and “[t]actics that include extra-legal activity.”
He praises the rioters in Seattle during the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting as “progressive forces.” Their civil disturbances were “a colorful, exciting, smoky, hazy amalgamation of helmeted police, broken glass, and righteous rage.” He continues admiringly, “Dispersed affinity groups operating on ‘street’ consensus [were] making a range of tactical decisions and holding ground in a way that made the momentum of the actions impossible to immobilize in spite of rain, gas, and cops.”
Rathke then attempts a delicate rhetorical balancing act, denouncing violent tactics in general while at the same time advocating specific examples of it: “We do not embrace violence, quite the contrary, but we need to create chemistry containing the elements of more explosive combinations in order to create more force and power through the equations of action and reaction that we push to the target.”
Despite this perfunctory condemnation of violence that fosters an illusion of respectability, the rest of the essay is filled with explicit endorsements of violent and illegal tactics. He praises the violent Black Panther Party of the 1960s and longs for some computer hackers to come to the aid of the labor movement.
Crazy, computer viruses are started by young kids around the world or hackers bored out of their skulls that live right down the street. As union organizers we are still doing 8 point difficulty dumpster dives for alpha lists of employees, when theoretically some good geeks could tap in, load up, and download the whole thing and throw it over our transom window. What a waste of talent when such a huge contribution could be made to the labor movement.
“Simply put, why isn’t there more ‘monkey wrenching’ in our world? Where is our Earth First!” he writes. Monkey-wrenching is a form of eco-terrorism or ecotage (eco-sabotage) that consists of harming the economic interests of those who are perceived threats to the environment. It might be arson, destruction of crops or sport utility vehicle dealerships, bombing, or tree-spiking, in which an activist drives metal rods into trees in order to prevent them from being cut down for commercial use. Tree-spiking has led to the injury and death of lumberjacks.
It further enrages Rathke that some of ACORN’s targets have not only defended themselves but have dared to fight back. ACORN’s founding Caudillo-in-Chief, whose stock-in-trade is thuggery, denounces these acts of self-defense as “intimidation.” Some targets filed lawsuits against ACORN “designed to sap resources and chill membership organized campaigns,” he huffs.
The nerve of those people! Hmpf.
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