William Rivers Pitt wonders what would happen. I figure some people will get shot, but what the hell, it’s still a good idea:
Reports have been coming out of the Gulf for days about British Petroleum blocking access to beaches and animal-cleaning stations, in some instances using private Blackwater-style mercenaries to do so. Journalists as well as citizens have been thwarted in their attempts to see for themselves the extent of the damage being done by the runaway Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Know what I’d like to see happen? I would like to see a thousand people, ten thousand, a hundred thousand, just show the hell up down there and demand access. Citizens and reporters alike, just get down there, link arms, and walk to the beaches and the marshlands with digital cameras and cell phones for instantaneous blogging of what they see, hear and smell. Pile into as many rented, borrowed and begged boats as can be mustered and plow out there to the scene of the crime. Dare the gendarmes to stop us.
One of two things would happen: either the people would break through those unconscionable corporate barriers and show the world what is really going on in the Gulf, or the forces BP has arrayed against the truth would react with violence, which would tell us everything we need to know about what is happening, and would be enough to break that God damned criminal corporation finally and forever. Either way, there would be thousands of people down there to chronicle what is happening, a ready-made army of volunteers who can also pitch in as best they can and begin the epic process of trying to undo what has been done.
Sounds crazy? Maybe, but it is the kind of direct action that has been missing from our national narrative, not just in the Gulf but all over. What would happen if a million people marched on Wall Street, parked themselves in the road, and demanded that every “too big to fail” institution be torn down a brick at a time? What would happen if a million people parked themselves on Pennsylvania Avenue and refused to leave until American military forces are removed from Iraq, as promised?