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Taking Back The Right To Dissent: The Case of the Bangor Six
Recently, jurors in the Case of the â€˜Bangor Sixâ€™ brought back a decisive verdict of â€˜not guilty.â€™ The six veterans for peace, anti war protesters were arrested in March of last year after refusing to leave the federal building where their senator, Republican Susan Collins has her office. The six activists were among 12 that say they were protesting Bushâ€™s proposal to increase troops in Iraq to support a military strategy known s the surge and also urged Collins to vote against continued funding for the war. Collins did not vote against funding for the war and did not meet with activists. Six of the activists were later arrested. (Collins Watch)
Now, during this trial, the jury was allowed by the judge to decide whether the defendants believed that they were not guilty in making a conscious choice to break Maine law because they thought international law was being violated. The jurors decided unanimously that the protesters did believe they had the â€˜license and privilegeâ€™ to act as they did, in rendering the â€˜not guiltyâ€™ verdict.
Guest – Bar Harbor attorney Lynne Williams, also with Maine Lawyers for Democracy a group of 65 Maine lawyers, calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
List of Bangor Six – Jonathan Kreps, 57, of Appleton, Henry Braun, 77, of Wells, James Freeman, 59, of Verona, Dudley F. Hendrick, 66, of Deer Isle, Douglas Rawlings, 61, of Chesterville, and Robert Shetterly, 61, of Brooksville,
chose to go to trial. The other six pleaded guilty and paid fines.
We go now to hear two speeches from this yearâ€™s Left Forum Opening Plenary from author/ professor Adam Hochschild and writer/ filmmaker Naomi Klein author of The Shock Doctrine. The Left Forum was titled Cracks In The Edifice. The many panels at the 2008 Left Forum addressed and challenged the current economic and political catastrophes in the United States and discussed possibilities for social movements to build better world in its place.
Weâ€™ve interviewed Adam previously on Law and Disorder about his books, King Leopoldâ€™s Ghost and Bury The Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves. Heâ€™s the co-founder of Mother Jones magazine and teaches at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California Berkeley. In his speech Hochschild uses the ideas of early activism to abolish slavery as models for the current civil rights movement.
In her speech, Naomi Klein discusses how the lack of response in the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are intentional strategies she calls â€œdisaster capitalism.â€ At the 2008 Left Forum Naomi suggests that many in the United States have woken up to roughshod profiteering of disaster capitalism.