Criticizing foreign governments is risk free; criticizing your own … not so much.
When asked how many people in America besides Leonard Peltier are currently in jail for their political beliefs I realized I didn’t know the answer. What follows is a preliminary list. It is not nearly complete but the fact that there are any names makes me nervous especially in light of reports on local police using military technology to spy on ordinary citizens, the increasing militarization of local police agencies and the US military’s new direction in preparing for civil unrest.
Some of the people listed below were convicted for something called ‘mob action.’ I had to look up what ‘mob action’ means. Mob action means ‘illegal assembly’ even though I was under the impression that freedom of assembly: the right to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue, and defend common interests was specifically protected under the first amendment of the American Constitution. Quite a few people on the list were jailed for ‘conspiracy’ which I decided to call ‘thoughtcrime’ because I just re-read 1984.
I hate how Alex Jones this sounds but …
Edward Snowden. NSA whistleblower
American Prisoners of Conscience Currently Imprisoned
Cecily McMillan, Occupy activist
Chelsea Manning, whistleblower on Iraq war
John Kiriakou, CIA whisleblower on torture
Barrett Brown, Journalist reporting on Anonymous
Marie Mason, arson and vandalism
Eric McDavid, thought crime
Brandon Baxter, thought crime (Cleveland 4)
Connor Stevens, thought crime (Cleveland 4)
Doug Wright, thought crime (Cleveland 4)
Joshua Stafford, thought crime (Cleveland 4)
Jared Chase, arson and mob action (NATO 3)
Brian Jacob Church, arson and mob action (NATO 3)
Brent Betterly, arson and mob action (NATO 3)