Michigan Senator Carl Levin, who infamously co-sponsored one of the most, well, infamous bills in American history, the National Defense Authorization Act which paved the way for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without trial, recently became the subject of an Occupy movement offshoot in Washington.
On Tuesday, March 6, during the senator’s address to the massive pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC, an activist from both Occupy Wall Street and the CODEPINK anti-war group greeted him with a large “Don’t Bomb Iran” banner and shouted “Don’t bomb Iran; Equal rights for Palestinians,” according to an article from OccupyAIPAC.org.
Another protester featured a video on the site also took aim at the AIPAC slogan for this year’s Policy Conference of ‘Shared Values’ by yelling loud and clear that “Nonviolence is a shared value!”
The actions came as part of a nearly-week-long series of protests aimed at countering the influence of the well-funded AIPAC organization at a time when the push for war with Iran has been ratcheted up to unprecedented levels.
Unfortunately for the protesters, many of the anti-protest stormtroopers that have acted with impunity since the Occupy movement broke out have their own set of shared values, the first of which is of course a zero-tolerance policy for dissent.
The second protester, Katie Falkenberg, was hauled away immediately as her banner fell to the ground, although this time by plain-clothes security officers.
The Occupy AIPAC movement has taken issue with Levin, the head of the Senate Arms Services Committee, for “pushing for every war in the last ten years” even as his constituents in Detroit continue to suffer in a city that has become a post-industrial wasteland in some spots. Outsourcing of jobs and a lack of manufacturing has taken a serious toll on Detroit even as Levin continues to push for more war spending. Although some parts of Detroit are making a comeback and the citizens remain upbeat, the city’s infrastructure is so hollowed out and the government is so lacking in funds that Gov. Rick Snyder has even flirted with appointing an unconstitutional government-appointed emergency financial manager for the embattled city.
“Levin has supported crippling sanctions that only hurt the Iranian people instead of listening to the military leaders who have cautioned against war on Iran. Senator Carl Levin is fiddling with war while Detroit is burning,” the AIPAC article stated.
Occupy AIPAC features over 130 organizations under the umbrella of CODEPINK to combat what critics say are destructive and undemocratic practices of the pro-Israeli lobby, which has a strong influence over U.S. foreign policy according to many analysts, which they say has hurt the country’s standing in the Middle East and the world.
Hundreds have participated in Occupy AIPAC so far.