In 2016, the People's Email Network completed the movie they had worked on for several years – "Citizens United – The Movie." It's a small, low-budget, Indie flick with one star – Ed Asner – a well known activist who, if he didn't do it for free, must have worked for minimum union scale. It runs 86 minutes. The plot summary, from IMDb, reads:
When activist Sun Lee leads a protest against civilian killings by drones manufactured by the defense contracting company her grandfather founded, it leads to a dramatic falling out with her family. Now, the activist group she leads becomes the target of an unscrupulous government informant, who infiltrates the group and frames two members for a fabricated terrorist plot. Grappling with betrayal at every turn, Sun continues to strive for a shareholders' resolution condemning the drone killings, while leading her organization in the fight against the systematic shredding of U.S. democracy.
Note that this summary includes "an unscrupulous government informant, who infiltrates the group and frames two members for a fabricated terrorist plot."
When I read the script, I kind of felt that might just be over the top. But that was before the election of the Pumpkin Pinocchio. Now, I wonder whether it goes far ehough.
A couple of weeks ago this was published. James O'Keefe, an unscrupulous provocateur, who runs a group called "Project Veritas," (Republicans probably would not know Vertias if it came to the door and showed ID, but they do know how to project) personally and through operatives (including Allison Maass, who attempted to infiltrate first Russ Feingold's campaign, and then Hillary CLinton's campaign, but was caught both times) spent a great deal of time and money doing his best to destroy Democratic campaigns at every level. It is of course normal to want one's own side to win and the other side to lose. But decent people do not attempt to accomplish that goal through infiltration.
So a couple of people who had some prior knowledge of this con-man and his entourage, Ryan Clayton, an activist with Americans Take Action, and Lauren Windsor, the Executive Director of The Undercurrent (which got extensive footage in 2014 of a secret Koch Brothers meeting), teamed to hoist O'Keefe with his own petard.
They obtained and have releaseed video footage of O'Keefe's network offering huge sums of money – unlimited resources – to progressive activists if they would majorly disrupt the inauguration, up to and including shutting down bridges into D.C. You can see it at the Huffington Post article linked above. Pretty damning.
Ryan Clayton is now – or was Friday – in the hospital, having been choked, kicked in the head, and thrown down a flight of stairs by associates of O'Keefe. Another activist, Jason Charter, was also hospitalized after being beaten and kicked. His phone and camera were also stolen. Update: they were both released from the hospital Monday.
Neither fought back or otherwise engaged in violence, according to Peter James Callahan, a third activist at the event who captured some of it on video, screenshots of which are below….
Clayton, who blogs for The Huffington Post, was handed the microphone and began singing. When attendees realized what was happening, Clayton said a man grabbed him from behind.
Clayton told HuffPost the assailant put his larynx in the nook of his elbow and began twisting his head sideways. “I felt a pop-pop-pop-pop-pop, and then there was nothing left to pop,” Clayton said. “There was a moment I thought, ‘Oh God, this is how I die.’ Last night was the most terrifying night of my life.”
When Clayton shouted they were being filmed, they left him, allowing him to get away, but turned on Charter, who they decided must be the cameraman.
“Somebody looked at my neck tie and I was thrown to the ground,” Charter said. “I had a foot placed on my neck and held down. My lower right abdomen is very sore from the kicks.”
The foot eventually became a knee on his neck, he said, as his camera, his phone, his glasses, his tie and his wallet were taken. Charter said a man he couldn’t identify got the crowd off of him and helped him leave.
Now, I expect you are wondering what Clayton did to call forth such reprisals. It was this: "Attendees were invited to ask questions. Clayton, who blogs for The Huffington Post, was handed the microphone and began singing." OK, that's annoying. But I think it's a stretch to even call it disruption.
The guy in the hospital bed photo is Charter; the other two photos show Clayton.
If we want to have a shot at keeping our country, we are all going to be activists. Please, everyone, let's all be careful out there.
Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4033986