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The Violence of the ’60s Is Nothing Like What We Are about to Face

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  • The late ‘60s and early ‘70s were crazy, but we’re looking wilder.
  • Related: Revolution Ahead for U.S. if GOP Tax Plan Rigged for the Rich Is Not Defeated

Todd Gitlin, Moyers & Company / AlterNet

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September 9, 2017 | “This country is going so far to the right you’re not going to recognize it.” Those memorable words were uttered by Richard Nixon’s Attorney General, John Mitchell, who proved to be off by almost 50 years. But he and other Nixon cronies, however premature in their timetables, were establishing precedents for today’s worst case scenarios. We have to ask: Which elements of the state-sponsored violence of the ’60s and early ’70s are ready for revival and renewal? What new wrinkles in constitutional crisis might be in the works? Just how far to the right — or the left — will we go?

On taking office in 1969, Mitchell had declared that he was “first and foremost a law-enforcement officer.” The extent of the law-breaking — including murders — that that he and his cronies supervised against radicals, black militants and Democrats, is still coming to light. We have known for decades that the FBI informant drugged the Black Panther Chicago leader Fred Hampton, in December 1969, so that he was helpless to resist when two Chicago cops shot him in the head, in his bed, in the middle of the night. We know of a host of dirty tricks the Bureau deployed to deepen paranoia and internecine warfare in the Black Panther Party, in the New Left and the women’s movement.

Todd Gitlin is a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University, the chair of the PhD program in communications, and the author of The Whole World Is Watching: Mass Media in the Making and Unmaking of the New Left; The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage; and Occupy Nation: The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street.

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Related:

Revolution Ahead for U.S. if GOP Tax Plan Rigged for the Rich Is Not Defeated, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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  • Part 1: Huge Human Inequality Study Hints Revolution is in Store for U.S.
    • Every society has a tipping point.
  • Part 2: How to Stop a Tax Plan Rigged for the Rich
    • Average Americans today face political elites hellbent on a tax ‘reform’ that funnels new fortunes to the already fortunate.

 

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