New Age Civil Rights (NACR) In Its Early Forms:Hands Stretched Across Border In Portland
This article concerns every living, breathing, thinking, feeling human being. The rights of each individual and the rights of his or her neighbor are synonymously upheld. As Thomas Jefferson said, "When the government becomes tyrannical, it is the peoples' duty to oppose it."
There are many divisions of human beings that are being suppressed by the powers that be globally. Whether it is based on age, sex, religion, ethnicity, or economic bracket, there are few -if any- human being who haven't been exposed to suppression on some level. Regardless of where you stand in each of these categories, your rights are equal to the people around you, and it is each and every individual's duty to uphold them for everyone. This movement has been labeled New Age Civil Rights (NACR).
The constitution, a brilliant document, decrees us all created equally and endowed with unalienable rights. If this is true, then why are vietnam veterans not receiving adequate health care over 30 years after the war they served in disabled them? Many returning soldiers have sustained physical injury, and the number of soldiers who have been psychologically damaged is incalculable. The soldiers returning from Iraq face this same problem, and their complaints have not been overlooked by this author. I have had several soldiers actually cry on my shoulder. With the death toll rising to over 4,000, it's easy to overlook the damage in the Middle East.
We have been dropping bombs on Muslim churches since 9/11/2001. Over 100.000 Iraqi civilians, many of them women and children, have died in this war that was started for no reason. There WERE NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, and many U.S. citizens have forgotten that Iraq had NO TIES with Al Quaeda or 9/11. The world is not so quick to forget, and America has faced much resentment globally. They are telling us that we are winning their hearts and minds, and we are being shunned and hated and spit upon and perceived as more evil than they had already labeled us.
Throughout human history, women have been objectified since the cave man. In fact, the "Caveman Complex" is still affecting many men and women today. Pop culture has not helped, portraying women as valueless flesh to stare at, or "Bitches and Hoes." This has effected the female psyche as well, and has caused women to feel extremely self-conscious about their appearance and sexuality. What it boils down to is a basic lack of respect for half of the world's population. Without men, there would be no women, and without women, there would surely be no humans as well.
Gays and lesbians have not been recognized as human beings, and have not been granted the rights they deserve. A human being's sexuality does not affect their parenting ability. They have been slurred against and disrespected and have refused to give in. With this kind of strength, it will not be long until the government and the powers that be recognize their rights as human citizens, and their equality under the United States constitution.
The first amendment to the United States constitution is a beautiful foundation to build respect for spirituality upon. Each and every man, woman, and child is entitled to believe and practice any harmless belief they want. Any soul can entertain whatever thought crosses their mind, and we as a nation MUST respect that. If there were no people inquiring as to the true nature of existence, truth, love, reason, or life in general, there would be nobody to learn from. It is the author's opinion that these things are endowed to us all, and we must all pursue them in our own way and in our own time. Just about the worst place to do that is prison.
For every one white man in prison, there are ten blacks. This is caused by many factors. Racist cops are a huge problem. Throughout the course of the NACR protest, I have been arrested twice and held for a total of 12 hours for absolutely no reason. The second time around, i was in the main holding cell with a very diverse group of people which consisted of three blacks, two Mexicans, one Iraqi war veteran, and three homeless people. Out of this group, every single Negro had been physically assaulted by police officers. Their reasons for being there varied, from possession of marijuana to possession of a hand gun without a warrant. Two were bleeding from the face and i witnessed a third slammed face-first into the wall by a cop that I could clearly tell was indeed racist. One way to make sure that contemptible, vile, and evil acts like this do not occur is to have mandatory personality and lie detector tests for police officers to ensure that they are not prejudiced against ANY group of people and will protect and uphold ALL citizens of the United States, reguardless of race, sex, or economic worth.
The most economically discriminated against group of people are the homeless. they have been kicked from sidewalk to sidewalk in Portland, Oregon, where the NACR movement begun. They have been protesting in front of City Hall for an entire month without any positive results. There have already been dozens of arrests and police harassments, and they have been banned from city hall and denied their FIRST AMENDMENT (freedom of speech, right to petition the government for a redress of grievances on public property, and the right of people to peacefully assemble), FOURTH AMENDMENT (illegal search and seizures) and FIFTH AMENDMENT (the author has experienced this personally, after being arrested without just cause and illegally and detained and searched and interrogated without having my rights read to me). There is no price to pay for sleeping under the stars, other than police harassment.
There have, however, been some very positive, if tentative, steps forward. The UPP (United Poor People) has joined with the Northwest Constitutional Rights Center in Portland on Monday morning (5/19) for a civil rights rally in front of city hall. They were also joined by Native Rights and Immigrant Rights protesters, and were not disrupted by the police.
No matter the shape or form of the people involved, it is the concept of liberty and equality that we are striving to obtain. One thing is certain: we will only be successful if we stand together and realize that that THIS EFFECTS EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Peace, Love, and Happiness,
BANGO SKAGG aka ANDY DEVINE aka BOOMER SUNSHINE aka THE SAVVY TRAVELER
P.S. There has not been a proper amendment to the constitution for an eternity. I propose the following:
Every living human being has the right to do with his or her body what he or she wills, so long as he or she is not denying others' constitutional rights.
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