“There’s a North American strategy to take away the right to mass protest.” — Michael Ratner

Citizen Action Monitor, July 27, 2011

We use the word – in the US we call it “it chills your rights” — because it’s basically sending a message to the next demonstration, you come out there, you’re not going home tonight. You better bring your toothbrush. And that’s a bad message for peaceful demonstrators, a really bad message. And it’s a way of undercutting mass protests because, as I said when I began, what they’re afraid of most, I think, in this economic downturn, the austerity measures, is mass protests, which we started to see in Madison, Wisconsin, in the United States, and which we’re starting to see in Canada, which we have certainly seen across Europe. I remember when they were happening in Europe over the years, I kept saying, when are we going to start having this? And now, of course, austerity is kicking in, in the States. We’re seeing it happen here as well.” — Michael Ratner from an interview with Paul Jay of the Real News Network

Watch the full 10:50-minute interview with Michael Ratner here, followed by my transcript of selected portions of the interview, including added subheadings and text highlighting to facilitate browsing.

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